Title: Lost in Translation
Author: Jordanna Morgan (librarie@jordanna.net)
Archive Rights: Please request the author’s consent.
Rating/Warnings: G.
Characters: Alphonse, Edward, Noa.
Setting: First anime. Set in my Tiesverse.
Summary: Al doesn’t appreciate being left out of conversations.
Disclaimer: They belong to Hiromu Arakawa. I’m just playing with them.
Notes: Just a bit of humorous and very mild Ed/Noa fluff for Valentine’s Day. This takes place some time after my story “Blood Ties”.


Lost in Translation


In all frankness, it must be said that Edward Elric could be guilty of bad manners.

He talked with his mouth full—although, granted, this was usually just when he enjoyed a meal too much to swallow before complimenting the cook. He neglected to wipe his muddy boots before coming in from the rain. He refused to wear a military uniform, or to stand at attention in the presence of superior officers. When he was in a bad mood, he slammed doors… and sometimes quite a lot of other things.

His brother Alphonse had long since learned to take all of these habits in stride. After all, they were an inextricable part of the nature that made Ed so uniquely who he was (and often so effective in the work they carried out). For as long as the younger Elric could remember, he was simply resigned to compensating for Ed’s ill-manners by being all the more polite and thoughtful himself.

There was one impoliteness, however, that rankled Al more than most. It only surfaced after Edward’s beloved Noa had crossed the Gate to be reunited with him, and the pair commenced a gentle courtship. For the most part, the behavior that resulted from Ed’s discovery of romance was just endearingly ridiculous… but one particular point tested Al’s great patience.

Vos yeux sont si beaux, cheri,” Ed murmured sultrily, gazing into Noa’s eyes at the dinner table.

They were at it again. As he sat down across from them, Al sighed and glanced away with a slight roll of his own eyes.

It wasn’t that Al minded the couple’s moments of… well, squishiness about each other. He thought that was sort of cute. It always amused him to see the way his brother’s fiery temperament could melt into puddles of tender affection, whether it was directed toward Noa or—in a very different manner, of course—toward him.

No, the thing Al found irrationally bothersome was the way Ed sometimes expressed his sentiments to Noa.

Since she came to live with them, Ed had started using unfamiliar languages to have private exchanges of words with her. Private really being an understatement: apart from the couple themselves, there was no one else on this side of the Gate who knew the two languages in question, for they belonged to the world Noa had come from. One was the Romani tongue of her native people, and the other was an attractively lyrical speech called French. From her youth she was fluent in them both, and Ed had acquired them in turn through his past sharing of her memories and knowledge.

Al could easily differentiate between the sounds of the two languages. Given his innate Elric genius, it might have been a simple matter to begin deciphering the words for himself, but he was reluctant to try—if only because he was sure Ed and Noa’s mystery dialogue consisted mainly of endearments that would have made him blush.

Still, their chuckling over untranslated comments in his presence rather annoyed him.

Noa seemed to be at least peripherally aware of Al’s vexation. She would often give Ed a brief answer, and then drop the foreign speech quickly as she launched into some other conversational subject. Often… but not always.

In this case, whatever the sweet nothing was that Ed had spoken to her, it caused a faint blush to rise in her cheeks. She gazed back at him with loving eyes and an indulgent, pleasured smile, tilting her head up toward his own. “Embrassez-moi.”

Ed grinned like an idiot at what was apparently a request. He leaned over to kiss Noa softly, and she released a sigh of contentment.

Al twiddled his fork, staring down at his plate. Love was a beautiful thing to him, and he adored Noa for many reasons—most of all for giving Ed happiness, after so many years of struggle and grief. All the same, he wasn’t quite used to seeing this side of his brother yet, and it made his cheeks grow a little hot with awkwardness.

When it came to being an adult, he supposed he still had to do quite a bit of catching up to Ed.

“You know, maybe you should teach me those languages you keep talking in,” he said impulsively, as the couple withdrew from one another.

He wasn’t even sure why he said it. Between the rigors of State Alchemist duty and his research, it wasn’t as if he needed one more thing on his mind—even if he was an exceptionally fast learner. Besides, Ed and Noa’s open flirtation was sure to continue in one language or another, whether he understood their words or not. He didn’t want to intrude on their private little pleasures, anyway.

Still, on the other hand…

“What good would it do you to speak a language nobody else here knows?” Ed asked. The question was not derisive, but genuinely curious. “We just happen to know them, but we can’t even use them with anybody but each other.”

“Yeah, but… that’s the whole point.” Al seized at his sudden inspiration. “It might be helpful in our work as State Alchemists, if the three of us could talk to each other without bad guys knowing what we’re saying. We could probably get ourselves out of a lot of trouble that way. Think about it!”

At that suggestion, a thoughtful frown quirked Ed’s expression. He glanced at Noa, raising an eyebrow inquisitively.

“He does have a point,” Noa conceded, with a wry smile.

Ed considered the proposition for a moment longer. Then he shrugged and gave Al a nod of approval.

“Okay. We’ll teach you French. Your knowing it could come in handy, at that.”

With a smile of satisfaction, Al drew the breath for a reply… but before he could speak, Edward turned back to Noa. He leaned close to her with bright mischief in his eyes.

“Besides, that would still leave Romani just for the two of us!”

The younger Elric brother heaved a sigh, burying his face in the palm of his hand.

© 2012 Jordanna Morgan