The Usual

The Rockbell workshop was supposed to be world famous for its service, but so far Mrs. Dunway had yet to see why. She'd been standing in the foyer for at least ten minutes now, and no one had yet come to see about filling the order. In fact, the only person she'd seen at all had been a little old lady, who'd just taken her name and disappeared into the back. Where was the legendary Pinako, who was so highly recommended in Rush Valley? More and more, she was beginning to wish she had just told her husband no. If he wanted this stuff so bad, he could get it himself.

To make matters worse, it wasn't like she could go and sit on the waiting bench. THAT was currently occupied by a small, trembling figure, swaddled in blankets and quite pointedly ignoring the rest of the world. A single plait of blond hair peeked out from beneath the cloth and draped gently over the edge of the seat—Pinako's granddaughter, perhaps? She was supposed to be a decent mechanic too, but she certainly wasn't going to get very far with that sort of attitude. Not like her darling Nicholas. Now there was someone you could look up to in business. Men for miles around looked over at her husband and called him a 'go-getter'. (Mrs. Dunway didn't actually know what 'go-getter' meant, but it certainly sounded good at parties.)

A clock chimed somewhere deep within the house, punctuated by a low, sickly whimper from the bench. Mrs. Dunway turned toward it warily, half-expecting to see some wounded, wild animal; but the only thing lying there (as always) was the blonde kid. For the first time, she wondered why exactly the girl was holding so awfully tense. It didn't look right.

"Are you alright, child?" She asked finally, feeling more than a little uncomfortable. Perhaps there was a valid reason she was huddling on the bench and ignoring her patrons.

No answer. Well, if there was actually something wrong with the girl, she certainly hoped it wasn't contagious. Lord knew the last thing she needed to do was catch cold.

The diminuitive old woman was back now, carrying a box and some strange looking gears. Still no sign of this amazing 'Pinako'. Mrs. Dunway had half a mind to ask if he was even in, but politeness bade her hold her tongue.

"What's wrong with the kid?" She asked instead, a little concerned.

"Don't worry about it." The old lady said, peering into a cabinet. "Just the usual."

"Ah." Mrs. Dunway sniffed as the pieces clicked into place. That made sense, though it was certainly disappointing. That was the problem with girls these days...they just didn't know how to deal with a little pain. Lack of spine and all that.

"Female trouble, I take it?"

The pile of blankets pitched upwards and started growling quite alarmingly, causing Mrs. Dunway to wonder whether or not there might be an animal in there after all. For some reason, the old lady snickered.

"No," A young girl said suddenly, looming out of nowhere to answer her question. "Automail adjustment, actually." She flipped her blond ponytail over her shoulder and smiled wickedly. "But I'm sure HE'LL be happy to take it up with you when he's feeling better."