25- SEMI-COLON UNDERSCORE UNDERSCORE UNDERSCORE UNDERSCORE UNDERSCORE UNDERSCORE UNDERSCORE UNDERSCORE SEMI-COLON (Real title: Farewell Ceremony) (hint: think anime smilies)
Ficlet! It was raining here and I decided to be unoriginal. Sue me. Or something. I think I need to start writing some more Sirius/Remus. And maybe edit my college app essay.
Roy, Hughes, rain. 391 words.
Roy is dirty. Roy is grimy, greasy, foul. Roy is filthy through to his soul. Roy has the stains of hundreds of lives on him, and he doubts they'll ever wash away.
Rain rolls down the window against the backdrop of gray skies. Roy watches the raindrops chase one another to the bottom and leave water trails behind them. They look like tears. He traces the one of the paths with a finger, trying to reach them through the glass. Rainy days feel like misery and death. All darkness and sadness. It never rained in Ishbal, though, so maybe it's not as bad as it could be.
Maes has been throwing him looks all day, making sure that Roy won't do anything foolish, like killing himself. Roy knows better. He doesn't deserve death. He deserves worse.
They haven't touched since he came back. There have been echoes of their old friendship here and there, but Roy does his best to keep his distance. He thinks that maybe Maes would be able to feel the grime on his skin.
Roy runs out of soap once a week. Maes joked that maybe Roy hasn't been able to get the sand out of places where the sun doesn't shine, but that's not it. Not precisely, anyway.
He walks home in the rain. Colors are dulled, more gray. Roads and sidewalks are several shades darker. There are sounds. The steady pitter patter of the raindrops hitting pavement. The splash of a wheel going through a puddle.
Roy's hair plasters to his forehead and water runs down his face. He's soaked all the way through. Maes catches up with him, his glasses so wet Roy wonders how he can see. He hugs Roy hard, practically trying to wring all of the water in Roy out.
Get off, Roy nearly says. I don't deserve this. I don't deserve your friendship.
Only Maes, really. Only Maes would be this bold. Only Maes knew he needed this.
They stand there, on the sidewalk, in a tight embrace, and Roy lets go of so much. Tears pour down his his face and neck, indistinguishable from the rain. There's no sobbing, no sniffling, no shaking. The rain purifies, rinses away. He can start again, maybe, begin to redeem himself.
I'm dirty, he thinks, but for this one moment, he is clean.