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The Rain and the Storm

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The rain rhythmically poured down, drenching the world. Colonel Roy Mustang paid no attention to it, he was focused on the killer in front of him. He spared a quick glance at Fullmetal once more. The kid seemed alright for now. He and brother were alive in the least. Roy hated to think what might have happened had he and his men arrived a moment later than they did.

Scar stared intensely at him. "If you intend to interfere, I will eliminate you too."

Roy narrowed his eyes. This was the serial killer who had taken on and defeated dozens of other state alchemists. But did this guy know who he was dealing with. "...interesting," he said and confidently tossed his gun to Hawkeye behind him.

"Colonel Mustang!" Hawkeye protested.

"Don't lay a finger on him." Roy ordered. He knew how good of a shot Hawkeye was but this was his chance.

"Mustang..." Scar said, "as in the national alchemist?" Roy was tempted to smirk, so this guy did know who he was. Excellent.

"Indeed," he announced. "Roy Mustang, The Flame Alchemist!"

Scar started forward. "For one that turns against God to come in person to receive judgment... today is a good day!"

Roy wasn't about to let Scar out-do him. He started forward as well, fingers ready to snap and unleash their deadly flames. "You know that I am the Flame Alchemist and yet you dare to fight me!"

"You fool!"

"OH!" he cried out. It came as a surprise, the next thing he knew, someone had tripped him from behind and he was falling backwards, just barely evading Scar's destructive hand.

Hawkeye took aim. Bang! Bang! Bang!

Roy sat up and looked at his lieutenant in dismay. "Hey, what do you think you're doing!"

"You're useless when it's raining," she replied curtly. "Please stay back Colonel!"

Useless... useless... useless...

"Oh, yeah," piped in Havoc, looking up at the rain. "When it's as wet as this, you can't make a spark."

He stood there stoically as they respectfully carried the coffin and placed it into the ground. They began shoveling dirt in to fill the hole.

Elisia tugged on her mother's hand. "... Mama. Why are they burying Papa?"

Roy nearly choked but managed to hold it back. Elisia... the poor girl.

"Don't," she sobbed. "Don't... Papa can't go to work if you do that..."

Gracia tearfully picked the confused little girl up and held her tight.

Roy took a shaky breath and looked down. Hughes...

"Papa always said he has lots of work!" Elisia went on. "Don't... Don't bury him... PAPA...!"


Roy took his hat off after the ceremony was over and stayed behind, staring down at the grave where his best friend lay.

35 liters of water... 20 kilograms of carbon... 4 liters of ammonia... 1.5 kilograms of caustic lime... 800 grams of phosphorus... 250 grams of salt... 80 grams of sulfur... 150 grams of saltpeter... 5 grams of iron... 3 grams of silicon... the brief picture of a human transmutation circle flashed in his mind. The image of the array burned in his mind, never leaving his sub-conscience.

The obnoxious phone calls, the hundreds of pictures, the endless rantings about his beautiful wife and daughter, even the annoying persistent urges to get a wife, he missed it all. Hughes, he should be here. He didn't believe in an afterlife, but he would for Hughes, just for a moment.

Roy looked up to where the Fuhrer stood above everyone else.

"I can only imagine how good it must feel up there, Hughes," he sighed "... although... I'll never be able to find out without all the support I can get."

"There's no doubt about that. You're not very subtle, y'know," Hughes said and turned to look straight at the friend he had survived through the war with. "You've got my support... but you could've just asked me." He then grinned. "It ought to be fun to watch though, and maybe your naive idealism might actually do some good.

"Getting a double promotion for dying in the line of duty," he murmured. "Brigadier General Hughes, huh? You said you'd support me from below. Just what are you going to do now that you've gone up higher than me? You idiot." How am I supposed to go on without you now?

"Colonel."

He turned to see his lieutenant walking up to be beside him.

"It's gotten cold," Hawkeye cautioned. "Aren't you going to go back?"

"Yeah," he answered. "I will."

He looked back at the grave and shook his head. "Alchemists are horrible people, Lieutenant."

Hawkeye looked at him in confusion.

"Right now," he explained, "a part of me is desperately trying to develop a theory on human transmutation." Roy have a short bitter laugh. "Now... now I feel like I understand what whose boys felt like when they tried to transmute their mother."

Hawkeye's confusion turned to worry. "Sir... are you all right?"

Roy sighed. He closed his eyes and put his hat back on.

"I'm fine." He blinked, unable to hold the tears that now began to fall. "Oh no," he said. "It's raining."

"Sir," Hawkeye began hesitantly. "It isn't raini-"

"No," he interrupted. "It's raining."

Hawkeye looked at him sadly and finally nodded. "...yes. It is," she agreed.

Do you see, Hughes? That it's raining today. It'll rain tomorrow. I can see the rest of my future in rain. What am I supposed to do now? You of all people should know how useless I am in the rain.  You're like the sun, Maes. An extremely intelligent, annoying and family oriented sun.  But now you're gone. And I feel useless without you here with me.

As useless as I am in the rain.

"Let's go back," he told Hawkeye. "It's... getting cold.

As they walked away, his back was to Riza so she couldn't see, but a there was a new determined glint in his eyes. Whoever had done this, they had lit a spark, creating a cold fire that slowly burned inside Mustang. It was a fire that could not just be put out and that fire they had unknowingly started was going to make them burn. Roy silently promised to himself that he would make sure of this.

When you mess with the Flame Alchemist's fire, you get burned.

After all, you can't have the rain without a storm.

And Roy welcomed the storm.