|In The Silence
Author: Yellow Mask PM
Postmovie. Noah reflects on what Ed leaves unspoken. But don't let that worry you, this is Edwin. Oneshot, rather drabblelike in nature.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Angst/Romance - Edward E. & Winry R. - Words: 1,160 - Reviews: 43 - Favs: 57 - Follows: 10 - Published: 11-04-06 - Status: Complete - id: 3229198
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
In The Silence
By Yellow Mask
Spoilers: End of movie spoilers.
Disclaimer: I do not own FMA
AN: I was musing one day in a particularly boring class, and this just popped out. This is my first try at such an intensive writing of Noah's character, so any feedback on my technique would be appreciated. And thanks so much to LaughingAstarael, who, in her infinite kindness, looked this over for me.
Ed is not a talkative person. Noah knows this, better than most. And when he does speak, his silence always seems more significant than his words – as though you have to listen for what he leaves unspoken.
It is in the silences that Ed truly speaks.
She read his mind, once. Not that she gained much from the endeavour – information, random images and faces...nothing that made sense to her. Nothing to help her puzzle out Ed's silences.
No, Noah is convinced the day she first began to truly understand Ed was the day his brother joined them.
Al is more talkative than Ed, more willing to share. Ed is always willing to share his knowledge, his experience – but anything more personal, like impressions or feelings...it's as though he's taken a vow of silence.
By nature, her people are expressive. In dance, in song, in music, they express themselves and their emotions every day of their lives. Perhaps that is what draws her to him – his mystery, his secrets...
What she feels for him cannot be called love. Not yet, at least. Infatuation, maybe. Whether it flourishes or dies...only time can tell.
But something tells her it will die. Not because of her, perhaps not even because of Ed...but because of his silences. In his silences, he is unreachable. In his silences, he is untouchable.
In his silences, she knows what he thinks of.
At first, she thought he was thinking of his home. When she began to learn more of him, she assumed his mind was on his brother.
She thought the spark in his eyes was just her imagination. Whenever she was particularly strident in her views, particularly loud in her objections, particularly strong in her convictions. Later, she assumed his silences and the sparkle in his eyes expressed his support...even admiration?
She thought the desolate gazes at his false limbs were his own way of mourning his lost mobility. She assumed he was simply musing on what he had lost.
She thought. She assumed. Noah has since learned that such presumptions were foolish. She began to learn the night she read his mind. That night, she received the first piece of the puzzle.
She doesn't really remember the information she must have gained...what she remembers is what she didn't gain.
Their faces – strangers to her yet familiar to Ed – were always accompanied by noise. Small bullets of conversations, hints at their connection to Ed. Until...
A woman. Blonde hair, so different from her own, like sun-warmed corn. Eyes as blue as a clear summer sky. Pale skin, and a soft, friendly smile. She was pretty, not perfectly or stunningly so, but the kind of beauty that was indefinable and different. The kind of beauty that made you sit up and take notice.
But what Noah had first noticed was the silence. No conversation, no internal comments, as though what this woman meant to him was beyond mere words.
Noah had been perplexed, but had dismissed it. But it was the first time she had wondered about Ed's silences. The first time she wondered about the names he whispered in his sleep.
Al gave her the rest of the puzzle after he came to stay with them. He had a small photo in his pocket, and when he produced it, Ed had stared at it for nearly fifteen minutes – in complete silence.
Finally, Noah had asked the question burning her tongue. She recognised Ed and Al, and the woman beside them was the one she'd seen in Ed's mind. The one who was contemplated in silence.
"Who is she?"
It had been Al who answered her. "Winry."
Winry. The shadow-woman who haunts Ed's thoughts. The name he breathes in his sleep, in the silence of the night.
And it was then that Noah understood.
His silences were not for his home, or his brother. They were not for Noah, or his missing limbs...they were for her.
In the silence, he thought of Winry.
This is why she does not believe this crush will ever grow into love. It cannot. Not now. His heart is guarded.
Sometimes, she wonders if he ever told Winry of his feelings. What pain does he carry in his silences? The pain of a road not travelled, or the pain of a path only half-walked?
She wonders which is better. The pain of her ignorance, the pain of living the rest of his life knowing he never took his chance...or the pain of knowing the touch of her lips and the feel of her embrace, the pain of having paradise snatched from him?
At times, when she lets fear get the better of her, when she buckles under society's expectations, when she holds her tongue in an argument, she sees the contempt in his eyes. In his silence he tells her that she has shattered his illusion – as long as she is strong, independent, and assertive, some part of him can pretend that she is Winry.
His silence tells her that Winry is strong, assertive, independent. Winry would never have let herself be sold and bartered for like property. Winry would never hold back in an argument. Winry would never let herself be constrained by what others think of her.
She wonders if he deludes himself because it is the only way he can cope.
At other times, he looks at her like he could love her. But Noah knows that is only those moments when he can see Winry in her. Only when she seems stronger than she really is, tougher than she thinks she ever could be.
Only when she reflects the woman he loves.
The knowledge is like a knife in the gut. She would rather Ed hate her for herself, than love her because she reminds him of another.
He might fall in love again, he might get married, he might have a family. The heart can betray even the deepest grief. Someday, he may heal enough to let another within his walls.
But if the heart can betray, it cannot forget. Noah knows that whomever he may marry, however lovely or beautiful or beguiling his bride may be...in the silence of the night, the name unspoken on his lips will always be hers.
In the silence of the night, Ed will always remember what he lost.