Summary: The rain can symbolize many things for many people. A short fic on how some of the FMA characters feel about rain.
Note: This is perhaps one of my favorite fanfics that I wrote. This was completed a while ago on ff.net, but I really would like for more people to read it and give me some more feedback^^.
Disclaimer: don't own FMA, kay?
I hate it. Despise it. Rain. The water that falls from the sky, the liquid of life. The very liquid we are made of. The liquid that quenches our thirst and empowers us. Empowers everyone -except me.
Who am I? To military personnel, the people of Amestris, I am Colonel Roy Mustang, The Flame Alchemist, The Hero of Ishbal. I am known for my fiery powers, my burning ambitions to rise to the top, and my hot passion (at least to the ladies of Central). I am feared by my enemies, respected by my superiors, and hated by those who want what I have. I am the diamond in the coal mine, sparkling with the potential to change the way things are done-to change the world. But the water, the rain, takes all of that from me. It robs me of my ability to use my flame, the power to do the magic that made me famous. It washes away The Flame Alchemist, and leaves behind Roy Mustang. The rain robs me of my godly power- the power used to end lives and destroy entire cities-and reduces me to an ordinary human.
I hate the rain because it makes me realize how human-and weak-I am. The rain prevents me from defending myself with alchemy; it can make me sick if I stay out in it long enough. The rain helps me to see how truly helpless I am; I cannot stop the rain, nor fight against it. It reminds me that there is something greater-and more powerful- out there, something more important than my ambitions and dreams. Most importantly, it makes me see how mortal I truly am; rain will come and go long after I am dead and gone. The rain will always come back-from a battle, a mission, even a simple inspection of the block around headquarters-but I will not. The rain is guaranteed eternal life and infinite chances; I am not even promised tomorrow. Because of this, I realize I am just as human as the lowliest criminal. I make mistakes; I hide secrets. But the rain is pure and open; it is a sweet truth that pours from the heavens.
I hate the rain because it forces me to see my weaknesses.
It’s funny how some of the terms in battle come from the weather. To be caught in a shower of bullets. To be sprayed by enemy fire. How can an ordinary citizen make the connection between rain and war I do not know; I only know how this soldier makes the connection between the two.
It all starts off with that first drop-that first bullet. It’s a signal for more rain to come cascading down on your head, as you attempt to duck and dodge as much of it as humanly possible to avoid getting wet. Regardless of your best efforts, you are drenched as the rain runs down your neck, arms and head. You lose the battle. You retreat inside to dry off for another confrontation with the rain.
Now I know that there are some differences between rain and war. The rain does not pierce your skin and tear apart the muscles and tissues underneath as it ricochets around your body. When struck with rain, you lose dryness and perhaps comfort; you do not lose an eye, an arm, the ability to move, or your life. You are drenched in clear water running down your arm, not red blood. When the rain dries, it does not leave behind a sickly red color and the odor of iron and copper. Your retreat is not weighed down by wounded men crying and shouting in agony, nor in the bodies of your comrades. You will not lose your sanity over seeing perfectly able people, some who had a bright future and who should have lived long lives, cut down by bullets or blasted apart by missiles. Rain does not give the option ‘kill or be killed.’ The rain leaves you intact with your innocence.
There are times when I truly wished that the only battles I had to face were the battles with rain.
I am Lieutenant Elizabeth “Riza” Hawkeye, and when it rains, I hear the gunshots of the Ishbalan Massacre.3
Nothing excites me more than the feel of rain against my skin-except for the sound of explosions and buildings crumbling. Every time I feel a drop on my skin, I go back to my glory days in the Ishbal Uprising. I can see it now; Buildings exploding everywhere as the screams of the poor idiots trapped inside filled the air. Yes, whenever I was fortunate enough to come into contact with some Ishbalians, I took the greatest pleasure in turning them into bombs-nothing beats the sight of an exploding person. It was quite amusing to see the expressions on their face when they realized what I did a second before it happened. Oh but the best part was the blood. Their blood splattering on my face refreshed me like a hot shower. Yes. Felling the blood dripping down my face made mine run even faster; it made me feel alive .I remember once I grabbed a kid, turned him into a bomb and tossed him in the air like a crying party favor. Then boom! The resulting blood splatter was a gorgeous sight as I tilted my head back and allowed it to drizzle down on me.
I didn’t earn my name as The Crimson Alchemist for no reason.4
I guess the first thing I think of when it rains is the past-or more specifically, my childhood. I remember the lush green fields sparking with moisture as Ed, Al and I ran through them, playing our latest game. When it rained on the hottest days, we were allowed to go outside and play, rolling around in swim suits on the grass or on the bank of the river. I had the most fun playing red-light, green-light; the rain would tickle my back and shoulders, and often I was the first person to be out. When the weather became too bad, we would go inside, dry off, and listen to the gentle pitter-patter of the rain as we had lunch. In the evenings, the rain would put me to sleep, the day’s events still fresh in mind. On the days we had really bad thunderstorms, we stayed indoors and invented our own games. Ed and Al usually made the materials we needed for our fantasies with alchemy-they loved any opportunity to show it off in front of me. We would then spend hours pretending to be dragons and knights, detectives, cops and robbers, and cowboys.
How I truly miss those days.
Whenever it rains, I think about my childhood and all the things Ed, Al and I used to do together. It makes me think of all the hours we would spend emerged in our imaginations and curiosity. Those days are gone, and so are Ed and Al, but the rain still comes.
It makes me miss my two best friends.
There are many things I have come to accept, being a soul in a suit of armor. On the plus side, I don’t get tired or need to sleep, making it easier to watch over my implusive Niisan. I can take over doing research when he falls asleep. Traveling costs are cheap since I don’t require food, clothes, rest, or health care (although sometimes I wonder if Niisan makes up for the cost I save…). However, those same positive points can also be seen in a negative view. I cannot eat and enjoy a meal with my Niisan. I am unable to relate to his pain when he is injured. My sleepless body has transformed these past five years into one very long, never-ending day. The worst, perhaps, is being forced to wear this expressionless face. To be able to smile when you’re happy, or even when you’re not, is truly an amazing thing so many people take for granted. Facial expressions are an important part of communication; they express feelings, thoughts and personality. However, to be unable to do something so human, it makes me feel…
...Even though they don’t exist, I can understand how the ghosts in books and novels feel about being in the world of the living. It is a sad thing to watch everyone around you enjoy the simple pleasures of being alive and human.
Now don’t get me wrong; I am grateful and glad that Niisan loved me so much he sacrificed his arm to bring my soul back. I appreciate the work Niisan puts into my well-being, sometimes to the point of neglecting his needs in order to take care of me, and his efforts to get our bodies back. True, I am human in mind and soul, but the sad truth is that I cannot be honest. To be denied the ability to fell the sun on your face and smile, it takes away the little things that make life worth living. If I were to tell this to Niisan, it would destroy him.
Niisan hates the rain because it reminds him of all of the bad things that happened to us so far, but I love it. When those rain clouds roll over us and release their crystal clear burden, I rejoice. Is there something wrong with me for feeling this way? Perhaps; honestly, I’m surprised that I haven’t gone completely insane yet. In fact, the rain has the potential to damage me quite badly. It can cause my body to rust, or worst yet, wash away my blood seal if it gets inside of me. So what joy does the rain bring a suit of armor such as me? It allows me the simple pleasure of crying. The rain allows me to express my sorrow to the outside world. While I cannot feel the raindrops against the armor, I can pretend, if only for a moment, that I have a real body and I can do normal things like crying.
The rain is bittersweet for me; it makes me happy because I can express my sadness. For me, Alphonse Elric, the rain is my tears.
They say that rain symbolizes a new beginning, a new life. The rains must fall in spring before the flowers can bloom. A drought filled town reawakens in the midst of the rare thunderstorm. A new life, a new beginning…can that be for me too?
The rain does not symbolize new life for me, but old pains and mistakes. It symbolizes my shame and guilt. Every time it rains, I see her –no, it’s- face. I see the ghost of my mother, and that-that-thing. I feel my mother’s disappointment and sadness that we did something so stupid. I feel her tears with every rain drop for how her sons have to live; her oldest has his soul chained to the military; her youngest has his soul chained to a suit of armor. I feel angered that we-I – was so selfish that I wanted to break the rules of nature, of the universe, to attempt to bring our mother back. The soul of my mother was already at peace-until that night. I know because I never had nightmares about her until the transmutation. I will forever be haunted of the comparison of my mother’s smiling face with that...half-formed demon, dying a slow, agonizing death. In attempting to bring someone back to life, I caused a painful death; I disturbed the dead; I almost destroyed my brother, the one I am always supposed to protect.
I will never see mom again. She is resting in heaven. I will burn in hell.
Mom isn’t the only one I see. I see the face of that poor little girl. I see Nina smiling happily, playing with Alexander, with that deranged bastard watching her enjoying her last days as a human. Then I see a perfectly formed chimera, with perfectly formed eyes of anguish. I could feel the torture Nina’s soul was undergoing, being forced to merge with a living thing and its soul. Her pain had almost touched mine, except I realized that Nina’s pain was the pain of innocence. She did nothing wrong. I did. And I could not save her from such a terrible fate.
With every raindrop, I hear his footprints. The serial killer coming for the National Alchemist. Even now, when I close my eyes, I can see those red, hatred filled eyes. In his eyes I could see my own self-loathing. I saw everything I did wrong; I can understand why Scar would want to kill me, even if it wasn’t personal. If Scar was going to take my life, I had no objections. It would have been fitting if his red eyes of resentment-my red eyes of resentment-were the last thing I ever saw on this earth. I don’t deserve to die a peaceful, painless death. I deserve to suffer.
I hate the rain as much as God hates me. And I don’t blame Him for it.
The rain falling on me is a punishment; it is a reminder of my past, a moment in my present, and a reflection of my future.
On the outside, I am Edward Elric, a.k.a the Fullmetal Alchemist. But deep within my soul… I am a monster. The rain makes sure I never forget.