Reviews for So, The Rain Is Falling
risu84 chapter 22 . 4/15
The more I think about Morgan, the bleaker the whole situation looks. I don’t think he stood a chance, only a miracle could have saved him. Emil did it with Sam and their well-being in mind, but there is the issue of a lack of consent…
I really like Sam’s and Emil’s small conversations, the feeling that there are just some things lost in translation, like when Sam asks Emil, “Don’t it bother you? That you killed them?”
Reading just their conversation, without Emil’s thoughts in-between, I would interpret this question only means the kills Sam asked about. He didn’t ask about the Germans per se. Maybe Sam also meant them, but we don’t know his thoughts and I like the ambiguity.
You convey the almost magnetic forces that attract Emil and Sam to each other so well. A look here, a touch there, and omg their kisses. Emil ends up with is back to a wall or a tree trunk quite often lately, because he tries to get away and fails.
emily.yu2122 chapter 22 . 4/9
Just found out you were updating and binged through the latest chapters (so much nostalgia) 3 I think Emil picking up English so quickly was a bit unrealistic especially since he seems to have progressed so much of his learning while he was in the company of primarily German speakers where he would have limited opportunity to practice. Since it is to move Emil and Sam's relationship along I could let it go but a tiff I had in this chapter is that Emil couldn't communicate "three quarters of a mile" when we have seen him speak numbers and distances in English before without trouble. Little things like this break the character consistency for me and can take me out of the story. Now that the gang is dwindling I'm really hoping you don't kill off Chris. I also want Emil to connect with someone other than Sam (do I sense an Emil and Kurt reunion?). I was surprised by Chris' attitude towards Emil upon his return especially since the scene of them together during Chris' head injury seemed to bring them together. Make friends Emil!
Autumn Heat chapter 22 . 4/9
Emil seems so mature at times that it feels as if he has surpassed Sam emotionally. Wonder if the hesitancy Sam exhibits is grounded in such. He looks to Emil to lead, organise and now, commit to what they have, not seeing beyond the here and now: understandable. This differs from Emil’s need to preserve or ‘save’ the fractured, yet still very irreproachable innocence in Sam, reflecting the one he has lost; seems analogous with the need to ‘save’ him - for now and the uncertain (but possible) future. Is Sam mature enough to see this in him? The cryptic almost perplexing behaviour speaks the truth, if he just ‘sees’, not looks. Sam always seems to be looking, but not truly seeing.

Do believe that Sam will forgive Emil for Morgan, in time. The suffering which he inflicted at the time of his injury, may play on his mind as the possible reason for his hastened demise, and perhaps grateful to Emil for doing what he would not have been able to do: survival for those that can make it. However, he fought so hard for them all, he may feel that Morgan was not given a chance, and the decision was taken from him as well as his authority. It all depends on what constitutes the final straw and of all the cumulative incendiary actions that have previously been forgiven, maybe this will give him pause for thought. Maybe.

Wonderful as always.
risu84 chapter 21 . 4/7
Another great chapter. I read a little bit about the battle for St. Vith because your story piqued my interest. That was before your hiatus though, haha, so I forgot most of it.
Your story makes war feel real, because you don't shy away from horrific scenes and meaningless grim atmosphere is so palpable. Like in this chapter, omg! Morgan, nooo...!
Emil's character development is amazing. Only a few months (3 or 4 months in the STRIF timeline, am I right?) he almost killed Sam and spared him on a whim. Now he killed his own men. I had to think of Emil and how he must have felt when the German held a pistol to Sam's head.
Looking forward to Emil's POV.
Yes, please give us what we've been waiting for!
Valveillen chapter 21 . 3/26
I started reading this in 2010 or something, I liked it then and I'm so happy you're continuing the story :)
Autumn Heat chapter 21 . 3/24
You are more than welcome!

With the revisions, you have made this one of the most detailed reads. It has induced a non-stop ride of emotions and without a doubt one of the more technical. You have truly challenged yourself in this chapter and it has shown in the quality of your delivery. The sheer psychological turbulence and dense moments of visual clarity and edge of seat reading, can only be attributed to your effort to give your all with each chapter.

Well done and thank you again for your continuous hard work and another amazing update.
mgold8 chapter 21 . 3/24
Wow! This is just...incredible. I don't know or care if it's historically accurate. All I know is that it's enthralling. Emil is so awesome, knocking off his own countrymen in cold blood in order to save the life of his true love. He deserves a gooey ending after going to such lengths. And I don't mean gooey as in blood and gore! I should never have started to read this chapter when I knew I had to leave for work. Now I'm going to be an hour late. Again! But well worth it. Can't wait to find out what will happen next. Thank you, Ras!
TheoLavigne chapter 21 . 3/24
AN UPDATE! Thank you so much!
siderra chapter 20 . 3/15
I only just managed to find out this was updating again, by accident, while revisiting old bookmarks. Whatever account I once had on here, it’s lost, so I made an entirely new one just to follow this once again. I’ve been with this story since it began, and reading your others since ones like OBWAT we’re still up. I’m shocked you care back to this, but so pleased. I had thought it was a lost cause. I remember chatting with you a few times back in the day, (often about OBWAT, funny enough! I think I still have the copy you sent me, on some old computer somewhere), and I think everyone felt your loss keenly when updates stopped.

As for this chapter itself, I think any mistakes early on were covered well enough here that I didn’t notice any on my first read through. I only remember vague details of what learned about the St. Vith battle in school, but reading about the spotlights reflecting against the clouds brought forward such vivid memories! At that point the blend between fiction and non-fiction was so smooth that it was easy to read and believe these characters were there. It’s easy to get completely immersed in chapters, so it’s always a little jarring when they come to an end.

Emil’s English is seems to be progressing how one might assume it would. Not even taking his intelligence into account, he is surrounded by American soldiers who speak only English to one another, and I find that’s one of the easiest ways to pick up on a language. Morgan and Sam gave him a good head-start and so now, consciously or not, he’s learning whenever he hears English. Whether it’s Sam or other soldiers speaking to/around him.

As for the ending, my pessimistic heart tells me that only one of them is getting out of the war alive. I can’t see a way out of it for them, and the only happy ending I can picture is one of them getting out alive to carry the other’s memory with them. It’s heartbreaking to consider! I think Emil, at least, consistently seems to understand that their prospects are not good. He can see the reality looking both of them in the face, while I think Sam only sees it periodically, in frantic and disjointed moments; when he’s dunk or afraid, or perhaps when other people force him to. The rest of the time, Sam seems to put it away in the back of his head, like reality won’t hurt if it isn’t considered.

Sorry for the long note. Excellent work, I look forward to reading and reviewing as this story progresses! Thank you for your hard work.
mgold8 chapter 20 . 3/13
OK, so I just read all 20 chapters in less than 2 days. This story is AMAZING! The best kind of page-turner. I truly could not stop reading. Even last night after going to bed, I dreamt nonstop about Sam and Emil and finally got up after 3 fitful hours of pseudo-sleep, because I just had to keep reading. It is such a rare treat to stumble upon a story so gripping and so poignant. I feel like I know these boys better than my own family.

How do I think this will end? Well...I suppose I have grave reservations about the fact that this work is classified as a "tragedy". Because sad endings just gut me - too many sad endings in real life make them really hard to take in fiction. Adding to these already-grave reservations, is the fact that Sam and Emil's situation is about as hopeless as it gets. By this I mean that there is simply no practical way that they could possibly run off into the sunset together and live happily ever after. (Which is nevertheless what I want for them, more than anything!) If you (Ras, the author) can pull off a fairytale happy ending in a way to where it's (even vaguely) realistic, you will officially deserve to be crowned as the smartest and most brilliant writer in history.

So I don't hold out much hope as far as the odds of our boys escaping to the Castro and spending the next 50 years together in yawn-inspiring domestic bliss. Their relationship is a train wreck, with literally the entire world (ok, except for Morgan) against them. It's hard to have a relationship with someone when the whole world is trying to tear you apart. Especially if that "someone" is of the same sex, and doesn't even speak your language, and it's 1944, and you're in the middle of a war, and you and your "true love" are on opposite sides of the conflict.

On a brighter note, I have complete faith that the author will find a way to give Sam and Emil (at least) one uninterrupted night of totally uninhibited and guilt-free passion, in total privacy, preferably in a warm room with a soft bed and a tin of cooking grease (or whatever the hell they used for lube in 1944). And maybe also let them borrow an iPad with Google Translate. Just for a few hours. So they can share their life stories and actually understand each other. As well as sharing their (hopeless) dreams for a future together, maybe living on a farm in the Swiss Alps and raising a dozen Jewish orphan war babies with the loyal help of Bubbles, their live-in au pair / sex slave. Their closest neighbors (at least a mile away) would be Morgan and Agatha, with their six kids. Chris and Alice (now married) would fly in from New York every summer for an extended visit, usually accompanied by Sam's meddling mom, whose neverending schemes to break up Sam and Emil would always backfire, strengthening their eternal bond and deepening their endless love...

Seriously, Ras, thanks for writing this incredible story and for sharing it with the world. I can't wait to find out what will happen next!

-Mike
Autumn Heat chapter 20 . 3/6
Such a wonderfully rich chapter.

The pragmatism of the situations that arise in this chapter are both harrowing and sedative. The simple gestures bring the humanistic aspect to life; the times when nothing is said, actions skilfully written, lure the emotions.

In this chapter, I believe Emil is giving Sam what he knows he wants: a deeper connection and corporeality; evidence that he is still here, alive, and still allows what is between them. And as Emil seems in reverence of Sam, he will do this for him, no matter how tenuous or fleeting. Sometimes, it appears that Sam sees things through a haze of optimism (or possibility); that is why, when faced with the realities of war, he becomes almost traumatised at the mere likelihood of death (Emil or friends). Emil has no such delusions and certain he would believe Sam dead until he learns otherwise.

In terms of his understanding of English. Emil has a quiet intelligence not just his maturity, but his ability to analyse. I would not be surprised if he is conversant in more than one language, which would make it easy for him to pick up English.

Thank you once again and look forward to your further update.
FizzyLizzy chapter 20 . 3/6
Somehow, receiving an email notification very time you upload is more thrilling to me than receiving my fortnightly pay check. I've noticed that you've really gotten into your groove again. Whilst I adore delving into Emil's mysterious mind and have my breath stolen every time his affection for Sam leaks into his prose, Sam's voice is such an indulgence for me - it's so raw and constantly giving. I want to chip away at Emil's shell and give him a blanket and some thermal socks, but with Sam's chapters I have this intense affection for him and how generous you are with his vulnerability.

As for the chapter, all of these "moments" that you're spoiling us with are both thrilling and so so tragic. If this does indeed end in tragedy, I only beg that you give us more than just these fleeting moments. I genuinely don't know how I will handle the next few chapters...
skelli chapter 20 . 3/5
i wish i could capture the way this piece makes me feel. ive read this fic several times and every time it just embeds itself deeper in my heart. this chapter was so beautiful and bittersweet and the portrayal of emil is done so wonderfully that i dont think i have enough words to describe how attached ive become to him and how real he feels, especially from sam's perspective. the duality and the depth that is written into emil's character not only makes us feel the attraction and the longing sam experiences for him but makes his character vivid and almost unreachable. especially in this chapter that duality! emil's soft and tender touches, his laughter and then him coming out from the shadows! brilliant! the imagery, the characterization and the development is outstanding, i have nothing but praise. i personally think since emil is so smart that the pacing of his ability in english isn't unreasonable and the action is powerful- very cinematic! when i think across the chapter, i feel such intense emotions about the dancing sequence in contrast to sam going out into the cold to see emil- both romantic and lonely and impacting. sorry this is all a ramble but i definitely wanted to say i Love this piece so much and wait eagerly for the next part
Cheeky Winchester chapter 20 . 3/5
Aww, the way you wrote the brief interactions and touches between Sam and Emil were so touching, I hope this ends well for them. I think Emil's level of knowledge for English is believable, he did have doc teach him some and being surrounded all day every day by people speaking English; it's believable to me for him to pick it up a little more.

And while I wish this could end well for Emil and Sam, realistically it's 10x not in their favor and my prediction is it will probably end bloody. Like the part where Sam was panicking and checking to see if Emil was still alive filled me with real dread that he wouldn't be lol. So kudos for that. Whichever way you choose however I have faith you will write it beautifully. :)
risu84 chapter 20 . 3/5
The way you write Sam and Emil is among the most beautiful things in the world. I had to stop in-between Sam’s and Emil’s very quiet encounter because I was just overwhelmed by feelings. I couldn’t handle it, but at the same time I never wanted the chapter to end. I just love the “fence scene”. Also, Emil’s English is really good, I’m so glad they can finally have small conversations (so proud of Emil!). I don’t know if he’s too good too quick, hard to tell. I imagine he practiced every day with Meino. German and English can be quite similar too, so… whatever, I want them to be able to talk a little.
I just don’t get what Emil wants to say with “I have no ah… Bestimmungen?” I have no requirements/regulations?
And you almost killed me with that ending. I am at loss for words, how do you do that?
Thank you!
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