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Character/Series: Edward Elric; Fullmetal Alchemist (2003; Pandora's Universe)
Rating: PG-13
Notes: Written for the [profile] 30screams theme #17 - Rage
Title: 17 - Rage
Author: [personal profile] yuuo
Word Count: 483
Summary: He'd never felt anything so exhilarating.




Passion. It lies in all of us, sleeping, waiting. And though unwanted, unbidden, it will stir, open its jaws, and howl. It speaks to us, guides us. Passion rules us all. And we obey. What other choice do we have? Passion is the source of our finest moments: the joy of love, the clarity of hatred, and the ecstasy of grief.
-Angelus; Buffy the Vampire Slayer


He'd never felt anything so exhilarating. So addicting. It provided a release, a freedom he had forgotten the taste of, trapped up north in the frozen snow, training until his hand was blistered, bleeding and cracked and chapped, until he couldn't remember what it was like to breathe without seeing the condensation from his breath in the air, until his brain had shut down all thought processes in the cruel winter.

It bubbled up from somewhere deep inside, white hot and powerful, and it spilled over in his mind, like a poison that seeped into his blood and spread throughout his body. It warmed him, made him feel again, made him live. It pushed him on, it made his feet move forward again, trudging through snow that no longer bothered him, no longer slowed him down.

His commanding officer was very good, he would decide later, looking at it objectively. He knew how to whittle away society's morals and get down to the animalistic part of man, and then hone it into a weapon for the military to use. That was his job.

He did a very very good job.

Edward had learned very well how to hate.

Of course, the man never figured that it could be directed at the military. That Edward would develop a Pavlovian reaction to the sight of the uniform until even the softest hand could be met with hostility, wariness, mistrust.

It always crept just beneath the surface, that beautiful, vicious drug, that black rage that colored his vision, that burned both hot and cold, that sent people looking the other way and trying to get out of his path. A quiet companion that lurked at the back of his mind, a welcome distraction from the nightmares, from the guilt and the horror that was never far behind him.

It became almost a security blanket, a safety net that caught him when his guilt would rise in his chest and choke him, when he'd hear his brother's screams again, feel those black hands, see those dead eyes that stared and laughed and the feel of his brother's fingers brushing against his before he disappeared. His anger would find a target and flare up, lash out and wrap him up in its cruel embrace, punishing others for sins that were as much his as they were theirs.

Divine retribution. Let them pay the price that he had.

The dead can never come back to life. Any who failed to heed that warning were punished. Any who violated what little moral code Edward had left to him were judged.

People were made to fear the name Fullmetal.

He may have failed his brother, may have failed Nina. But his anger ensured that he didn't fail anyone else. His anger kept him from stopping, from giving up.

His anger had become his own prison.

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