NotZakeri !jZ462CU1sc 2008/11/13 (Thu) 06:43 No. 67426 ▼
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This is taking longer than I thought, so here's the first half or so. I might not have the second half done before I need to get some sleep, so if I don't, I'll do it on Saturday.
That guy... He always keeps me waiting, she thinks. Who, you ask? A certain disturbance, from long ago. One day, while taking a stroll through the sunflower field, she came across him. A human who simply woke up there. He was a little strange for a man, she thought. She had never known a man with such passion for flowers. A passion they shared.
She'd been having problems lately. Troubles with the border and many people coming to bother her. Those brash fools stomping over her flowers and asking if she would love them. How could she possibly do such a thing? She didn't know love to begin with.
But that guy, he was different. She didn't really know how. Was it because he didn't act like the others? Was it because he enjoyed the flowers, and they him? Was it the great stories he would tell? No, it was something more; something deeper than that. Something she didn't really understand herself.
But as much as she found herself thinking about him, there was one thing that irritated her. It was both a blessing and a curse to her and the flowers. He would only be with them for a day or two at a time. He had a lust for adventure. Unlike her, he didn't grow roots in a place he enjoyed. He was always searching for new things; new experiences. But that was one of the things that made his returns so enjoyable. He would tell them stories. Stories of the places he'd been and the people he'd met. Imagine her surprise when the human she saw leaving on foot came back through the air! Indeed, he'd learned a great deal in such a short amount of time. But none of his skills came close to his ability to tell a story. Words would flow from him in a way she'd never seen before. He had such excitement telling her, as though he was impatient and trying to hold off on the good parts. She would find herself getting lost in his words; as though she could feel what he felt, see what he'd seen, like he was showing her a recording of what had happened, rather than simply recounting it.
He would stay for a short time afterwards. Long enough for them to have a pleasant chat and perhaps dinner.
And then he would be gone.
It always hurt her a little to watch him leave. Never knowing how long he would be gone, or if he would even be coming back at all. Gensokyo is a dangerous place, after all. But even so, she didn't want to tie him down like herself. She would put on a smile, and see him off as enthusiastically as she could. She didn't want him to feel obligated to stay with her. She had her flowers, and she told herself that it was enough for her. She lied.
At first she would feel a little sad. She didn't understand, and continued with her daily routines. But as he continued to come and go, her feelings became stronger and her emotions harder to keep inside. Once, she simply cried and cried long into the night. Another time, she felt so angry that she didn't even give the people waking in her field a chance. She wasn't used to these feelings. Sometimes she thought she hated him, other times she thought she loved him.
She would worry constantly. "Has something happened to him? He's been gone longer than usual, right? Maybe I should go look?" But she knew he was fine; that he'd come back safe and tell her some more stories. After all, he had a bond with the flowers. He could talk to them in a way she never could. It made her a little jealous. A simple human could gain such powers in so little time, when she, who had lived for centuries, could only understand their raw emotions. But, it wouldn't do her any good to think that way, so she stopped.
The only thing she could do for him is wait. Wait until he came back telling her he was done; that he had seen the world and was ready to stay this time.
She's been waiting for a long time.
But this time it's different. He's been gone much longer than any other trip. But the flowers have told her he's coming. They've done so for many of his trips. He would tell flowers far, far away that he would be returning home, and the message would come to her. When she heard this, she was ecstatic. She even prepared a feast for him when he got back. But the flowers aren't happy. They hang down, as depressed as a flower could be. She cannot speak to them, so she cannot ask them why. Time passes. It's been a day since he said he was coming back. It's taking too long.
She has to do something.
And so she leaves. For the first time in many years, she leaves her flowers behind and soars through the sky. She doesn't know where to look. She doesn't know where to begin. But she has to. She can't continue to do nothing when she knows there's something wrong.
Then it occurs to her. She needs to ask the flowers. She dives down to the ground, landing with a thud.
"Where is he?!"
She yells at the nearest batch of flowers. She doesn't have time to be polite. If anyone saw her, they'd think she was completely insane. But she already has that reputation, so it doesn't matter. What matters now is that she needs to find him. The flowers don't understand. She knows that much. But they need to. She rushes out a description of him, and his name. The flowers don't react for a few seconds, and she's about to try elsewhere, before they turn. They turn on their roots and face in a certain direction.
She utters this before racing off.
She follows the flowers for some time, each patch telling her where to go from there. Every second she flies is a second she spends agonising over what could have happened inside her head. And then she sees him. Lying on the ground, in the dark cover of the trees. She races to him, as a youkai springs from the bushes to cut her off. She doesn't even break her sprint as she tears it in half. She draws near. He's bloodied, beaten and bruised. She sees the cane she gave him when he first left. Broken. It doesn't matter.
"Nemo!" She lifts him up. He's breathing. Ragged, painful breaths, but he's breathing. She lets out a silent cry of thanks as she carries him away.