[He nearly internally groaned at the fact that this man was a state alchemist. He had never really liked the government all that much. He nodded and listened to his story, believing the fact that Winry would probably do that. He nearly started sweating when he asked him to be his mechanic. He honestly wanted to turn him down, but this could mean a new customer. Perhaps he could give a little bit of his story?]
"As much as I’d love to be your mechanic….I would like to inform you that the shop has been closed a for a little while, due to my grandfather passing. He left it to me to fix up and start to run again. I haven’t exactly ah- gotten to cleaning it as you can see, nor has it passed for inspection for safety and all that. However, I believe I could probably help you for the time being. Mind you, the rooms may be messy so your repair could take a while."
[He laughed nervously.]
"Despite my young age, I’ve been working with automail since Miss Rockbell was, so please, don’t judge me for that. Luckily, you don’t really seem like the kind of person who would.."
[He stared at the mess.]
"Let me clear you a path.."
Damn him and his bad timing. Edward cursed himself mentally, already trying to make up excuses so he could leave. He’d been told many times that he was not good at comforting people in a way that they wanted to be comforted, and he did not want to offend a potential mechanic. He knew Winry had a lot of sway in Rush Valley — so this guy might as well. Mishaps could have, in his mind, gotten him banned from the entirety of Rush Valley. So he had to be careful.
'I'm sorry for your loss.' he said, cursing himself for his awkwardness. It was no secret to anyone that knew him that Edward had zero sensitivity for tricky subjects; it had gotten him into fights before, and fighting right now was not a good idea. But the man kept talking, and Edward couldn't help the grateful smile that spread across his face. There was hope! His arm could be fixed!
'Are you sure?' Edward asked, more out of obligation than an actual desire to make the mechanic second-guess his decision. In fact, second-guessing was the last thing he wanted the mechanic to do. He carefully picked his way through the rubble, not wanting to accidentally crush anything underfoot.
'I can help you clean up in return.' he offered. 'Equivalent exchange, and all.'
'I'm Edward, by the way.'