Feeling the Rain

Alfons muttered darkly to himself as he quickly walked through the pouring rain. He normally didn't mind rain, but today's was very cold and he'd only worn a light jacket. Stupid, stupid thing to do...

Hunching his shoulders as a particularly hard cough wracked his body, he quickened his pace. He was almost home; and, for that, he was grateful. The last thing he needed was to get even sicker. One sidewalk, another, then an empty road that Alfons hurried across after glancing both ways. He turned a corner, then slowed his pace when he saw someone sitting on the steps to his building.

Dressed far better for the weather than he, Edward Elric was looking up at the sky and letting the rain hit his face. His blond hair, pulled back into a high ponytail, was sodden and water drizzled off the end to land on the step behind him.

As Alfons drew closer, he could see that Ed's eyes were closed and there was a look of deep concentration on his face. He was curious to know what his roommate could be thinking and tried to decide if he wanted to know bad enough to stay out in the rain to ask.

Stopping, Alfons flexed his fingers in his jacket pockets as he tried to decide. Ed was extremely intelligent, but there were times that he was completely crazy as well. His stories were great, but Alfons worried about Ed's delusional belief that they were real... Perhaps the truly gifted were all insane...

Clearing his throat, Alfons said, "You're going to catch a cold if you stay out here." Bring his fanatical roommate inside, then ask him what he was thinking. It was a good plan and Alfons felt pleased that he'd thought of it.

"I don't care..." Edward muttered, eyes still shut.

Alfons frowned, then shivered with the cold. Well, that had not gone how he'd wanted it to. A moment's more thought, then, "Let's try this again, shall we? Cold water, plus the need for the human body to stay at a specific temperature equals being sick. Being sick is equal to being in bed and not being productive. If you take the time that you would have been productive and divide that by—"

A chuckle cut him off. "I understood you the first time, but thanks for the translation."

Letting out a sigh, Alfons muttered, "What are you doing anyway?" He'd already stood out here long enough, he might as well ask the question.


"Ah. I see." Alfons glanced up at their window, then back at Ed. "And, thinking in a cold down pour is preferable to sitting in a warm apartment?"

Ed glanced up at him, then looked away. "It's not like that... I was trying to think about how to describe what it feels like to be out here in the rain..."

"It's cold and wet," Alfons said quickly. "Your quest is over. How about we go in and have some hot tea or something?"

Ed shook his head, then stood up and faced Alfons. His eyes were grave and his words were melancholy. "What if I couldn't feel the cold or the wet; or anything at all? What if I couldn't remember what it was like? How would you explain it to me then?"

Alfons opened his mouth, then realized he couldn't find the words. How did you describe something like cold and wet to someone who couldn't feel anything?"

There was a long moment of silence, then Ed nodded wearily as if he understood the thoughts going through Alfons's mind. He reached out and put his hand behind Alfons's shoulder, guiding him toward the entrance.

"Don't feel too bad. I've been trying to find a way for years, and I still haven't figured it out..." He stopped and pulled open the door, then glanced sadly at Alfons. "Though, I suppose it really doesn't matter anymore; but on days like this, I can't help but try. Habit, I guess..." And with that, he stepped inside.

With a start, Alfons realized that he'd momentarily forgotten about the cold. He hurried through the door, then caught up with Edward. He had the urge to ask Ed what he'd been talking about; but Alfons thought he knew, and he wasn't in the mood for madness today.

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