Summary: Alphonse stands in the rain.
He could smell the rain coming before he ever saw it. The musk of petrichor sailed over smooth meadows and gentle hills, ahead of the billowing black clouds. Rain was coming to Risembool, and after two dry months and the restoration of his body, the drought was finally broken. Eagerly, Alphonse went to the small porch of their house on the hill to greet the storm. It’s electricity pulsed through the air, raising the hairs on his still new arms and legs, before curling at the base of his spine with excitement.
How long had it been since the rain was something safe? Years; five long years that he’d been trapped in the armor. A fine mist wetted his skin and a soft, pink tongue darted out to catch the droplets from his lips. As a boy, the edge of the storm had always been his favorite, the front winds whipping the trees into a frenzy. He’d race out the front door, the screen door wavering and slamming behind him, leaving Edward to stumble behind him in confusion.
A deep rumble of thunder moves steadily across the farmlands with the presence of a glacier, forcing it’s way into every nook and cranny, making it tremble. Alphonse took that as his cue, shuffling forward carefully and stumbling slightly, still not used to the awkward weight of the crutch under his right arm. Before this moment, such a clap would send Edward into a frenzy if they were on the road. His brother’s panic would always serve as a reminder that despite the steel of his body, his time here was something borrowed and so very tenuous. A single drop of water could take him from this world and everything he loved.
Now he could offer the pale column of his neck without fear, and he laughed, frail chest heaving. The rain came down howling, pressing his clothes to his body and the ground grew soft and curled around his toes. This is heaven, this is what he’d been waiting for for so long. He stood, just letting the rain cleanse him, driving the salt and sweat from his skin.
Behind him, a door slammed and the sound of his brother’s uneven stride across the wood carried above the rain.
“Alphonse!” Edward’s voice sounded frantic, and the frail boy felt a cold, metal hand close around his. “What the hell are you doing?” The metal digits wove between his own. “You scared me,” the older boy chided, his voice low and breathy.
“I’m just enjoying the rain, brother,” he smiled, giving Edward’s hand a squeeze, even though he knew he couldn’t feel it. Confused, Edward smiled awkwardly, and the younger boy knew it was just to humor him.
“C’mon, let’s go inside. You’re soaked to the bone. Winry will kill me if you catch cold,” Edward said softly. Alphonse obliged him, knowing now that he could weather any storm.