Author: Jordanna Morgan
Archive Rights: Please request the author's consent.
Characters: Noa and Edward.
Setting: First anime. Sometime after Conqueror of Shamballa.
Summary: She wanted his memories to shape her, just as they had shaped him.
Disclaimer: They belong to Hiromu Arakawa. I'm just playing with them.
Notes: This introspective bit of Ed/Noa is a fill for the prompt of "Memories" at Fan Flashworks.
Almost every night, Noa lay awake until Edward fell asleep beside her.
In the dark of their bedroom, she would listen to his breathing as he drifted off, and savor the feeling of his presence. There was the warmth of his body against hers, and often, the gentle weight of his automail hand resting on her waist; but what she loved most was the way she felt his soul, the incandescent heat of his invisible inner flame. He was the only person she sensed that way, linked to her as no one else had ever been by their bond of emotional and physical love.
Through that bond, when she wished to, she could transmit her feelings to his mind in return… and sometimes, he could even reach out to her mind by himself. That exposure of her soul to him was a little frightening, but much more than that, she cherished it. She cherished belonging to someone for the first time in her life, after so many years of being an outsider—rejected even by her own family. Where they feared her ability to look inside other people, Ed had accepted it from the start, and treated it as a gift instead of a curse.
She had never thought of it as a gift herself until these nights, after she became his wife, and she could look into his mind all she wanted.
He knew she did this—and unlike the first time, she had his full consent. Now that they shared the intimacy of marriage, he was perfectly willing to let her into his mind any time, asleep or awake. Yet at night, when the crowding of his conscious thoughts and worries was put to rest… that was the time when his memories of the past shone through most clearly.
Ed's beautiful young mother, smiling at the doorstep when he and Alphonse ran home. The other Maes Hughes grinning and jabbering inanely as he dragged the boys away to visit Elicia. That little spark of warmth Ed secretly felt in his heart—most of the time, anyway—when he argued with Roy Mustang. Winry's hands moving with gentleness and skill as she made an adjustment to his automail.
The tears and cries Ed suppressed, for his brother's sake, when he felt more pain than even an adult could bear in silence. The raw, primal fear of fighting for his life. The heart-twisting ache of watching days and years pass with his promise left unfulfilled, as Al remained a hollow suit of armor.
Noa no longer craved Ed's memories because she wanted to be a part of the world he came from. She had long since learned that it was not the way she first glimpsed it in his mind; not the shining paradise of his most idealized remembrances. When she looked deeper, into the things his mind shut away where they would no longer hurt him, she realized that world had just as much darkness and strife as the one she was born to.
Besides… everything she really wanted all along, she found in Edward. His love was a new world unto itself: a vast wonder to explore, a place where she felt the safety and belonging she had yearned so deeply for.
Instead, she looked through his mind's eye each night because she wanted to know every inch of her husband's soul. She wanted to see every hope, every struggle, every love and fear and moment that had forged him into the man he was. She wanted to experience them again and again, until they were as vivid in her mind as her own past.
She wanted his memories to shape her, just as they had shaped him—and give her his new determination to make this world a better place.
© 2016 Jordanna Morgan