"You know what I want?" Peter said, leaning closer.

He visits too often, Edward thought, mind already drifting. He was more than happy to take the Ancient's essence from Peter, but not quite as pleased to listen to the man's babbling. After seventy years of that thing corroding your thoughts, eating at your dreams, you'd be babbling too.

"I want to forget. I want to have Alzheimer's. I want to forget everything. I want to know nothing," Peter said earnestly. "If I knew nothing, I'd be safe. And I wouldn't— wouldn't have the dreams."

"Even if it means forgetting your wife and your children?" Edward said, slipping easily into inquisitor-mode. Psychologists never really leave the office. "Photography, woodworking— you would forget everything, even the things you love?"

"It's worth it to forget those things," Peter said eagerly, "if I can forget everything I ever knew about the darkness. And don't tell me you wouldn't as well. Don't tell me you wouldn't give it all up if you could forget what you know, the abominations you've seen. If you could live in blissful peace, unaware of what was going to happen or what had already happened—"

No, Edward thinks, no, that's where you're wrong. I'm stronger than that. I'm a Roivas; the Roivas never give up. I would— I will— fight the darkness until the day I die, until Pious finally pries the last breath from my cooling body. And I would never trade what I have

(Alex in her summer dress, jam smeared over her crooked teeth)

could never trade what I have to forget the darkness. I'll carry the atrocities and bear the burden of fighting the good fight if it means I can keep the few, thin, bright moments.

But Edward says none of this, because the darkest, most deviant, most despicable part of his mind whispers cunningly, But if you remember nothing, you'll never know what you're giving up.

Author's Note:

I like to think that Peter and Edward are bropals, and that they hang out and drink port in Edward's library on weekends when Peter can get a pass from the nursing home. First prompt out of fifty, list made for me by TheMagicPocketTurtle. Go read her fifty-theme list.