A/N: Hello, editor and illustrator of Bonds Through Horizons speaking! I'm not really much of a writer (hence why I'm taking on said roles instead XD), but I really, really wanted to write this little story! This is also the first peek into the story of these two huh? :)
Anyway, for the new readers here in Fanfiction: "Bonds Through Horizons" is a major crossover fanfic by my best friend. It mainly revolves around the lives of the characters in the directional kingdoms and the war that occurred between them. Check out my profile for more details, and the blog for BTH!
For this one, it'll be showing White and Clover's unique sister relationship. Enjoy! :)
It was a peaceful afternoon in the kingdom of Nimbasa. The sky was painted orange, the sun setting in the west. Birds were chirping and flying around as the wind makes the trees shake... Such a peaceful atmosphere indeed.
In a forest not far from the kingdom were the princess, White, and her foster sister, Clover. It seems that this time, they had chosen the vast forest as their destination for their walk. These walks are something they consider their "bonding time" with each other.
Their father, King N, is a rather loving and affectionate man. Due to his love for his children though, he gets very protective of them, especially his daughters. As much as White feels guilty about keeping things from her father, she sneaks out with Clover, being the adventurous girl she is. Her older brother, Black, even if he feels a certain degree of jealousy towards their foster sister, allows her to do so.
The forest they were in had trees lined up at their left and right, creating a trail between them. This trail was covered with dried leaves so brittle that they make a lot of noise when stepped on.
As they walked along the trail in the forest, White and Clover held each other's hands, smiles etched on their faces. They only looked straight ahead, seemingly having no direction to go... and yet they were so happy, as if they didn't care if they get lost. No word was shared between the sisters.
Suddenly, White broke the silence. "Clover, would you like to take a rest under that tree? There's a lot of shade there."
"Sure thing, Neesan," Clover said with a nod. "We've been walking for hours!"
The sisters settled down under the shade of a tree. It was surrounded by flowers, in contrast with the other trees. Perhaps White chose this spot for a reason?
With the flowers catching her curiosity, Clover couldn't help but ask. "Wow, these flowers are beautiful. Did you choose this spot because you liked them?"
White was rather confused. "Oh, haha, no! I'm not that fond of flowers," she responded with a laugh. "I chose this spot for no reason at all."
"Oh really? C'mon, I know you do!"
The way the conversation was going made Clover a bit mischievous. "Yeeeees, you dooooo!"
Knowing that the conversation won't go anywhere, White just chose to reveal her reasons. She sighed in defeat. "Oh well, you really do know me that much already... Fine, I'll tell you. You're my sister anyway. Hehe..."
The princess picked up a dried leaf, the only one among the patch of flowers around them. She held it in her hand and showed it to her sister. "Clover, take a look at this."
Her green eyes were fixed on the dried leaf. She turned to White, and was rather unsure of what to think of. "It's a dried leaf... right?"
"So what's up with it? Why did you show me this?"
White's cheerful expression somehow mellowed into a serious one. "It's a dried leaf, like you said. Do you think there's even anything special with it?"
Clover was clueless, as usual. "Not really... Maybe it's dry?"
"Hahaha!" White bursted out in laughter. "Of course it is, it's supposed to be like that. Now, think about this..."
She just stared at the leaf while talking.
"While we were walking, we stepped on a lot of dried leaves along the way. We didn't even care if we stepped on them; we just ignored them totally. Don't you think that's a bit sad?"
Clover also fixed her sight on the leaf, thinking of how to respond.
"Sad, huh. I don't really think leaves could tell a sad story, but I guess yes."
"That's the thing. These dried leaves have stories to tell. They've been fresh leaves before, and they were once part of the trees and plants in here... but eventually, they get weaker over time, until they fall off. And then, they couldn't do anything about it anymore... They're bound to wilt and die just like that."
Struck by the story, Clover looked away, looking at the flowers instead. She held her hands together. "That's horrible... I wish they were these flowers instead."
White was intrigued about her sister's idea. What's with the flowers, she asked herself... She was about to ask when Clover got the chance to speak first.
"These flowers are so lucky. Even if they show signs of wilting, you could still save them by watering them... But once a leaf wilts, it can't be saved anymore. If it's attached to a plant, it'll either fall off, or a person will remove it so that the rest of the plant won't get affected."
The princess was impressed. Frankly, she didn't think of that. "That's a really great idea, Clover!" She simply gave a smile to her sister. Both shared a peaceful silence while they were looking at the flowers.
For a while, White thought of how this story with the leaves could relate to her life. As she thought about it more and more, she began to realize how similar it was to her...
White was the only girl in her family. Her mother died even before White got the chance to meet her. Ironically, White acts more like a boy than a girl, perhaps because of her environment. She didn't like girlish things that much, which gave her difficulty in relating to other girls. It didn't bother her anyway.
But as time passed... She began to realize that it was a bad thing. No one truly understood how she felt. The people in her life were all men; there are a lot of things she couldn't tell them about, mostly because they were "girl things" she couldn't avoid. Even if she does tell them, they wouldn't even get interested.
She realized that she was alone... just like that dried leaf.
As White was deep in thought, Clover took the dried leaf from her sister's hand. She focused on it, examining every detail of the leaf, from front to back. The story she's just heard from her sister seemed to have struck her, but couldn't comprehend why. For some reason, images of her brother flooded her mind... "Maybe I just miss him," Clover thought to herself.
After several minutes spent on pondering, White finally spoke again. She was startled that the leaf was gone in her hand, but she quickly noticed it in Clover's grasp. She touched one of the flowers, seemingly interested, yet her gaze was rather... empty, void of happiness.
White's expression showed traces of sadness.
"Such beautiful flowers... But that dried leaf somehow made its way among these flowers."
Suddenly, her eyes narrowed, this time a hint of anger in them.
"It's such an eyesore, and it doesn't blend into the beauty of this scenery. It doesn't belong here. We should throw it away. As if it's any different among the other leaves. Don't you think so?"
Clover was unsure, still looking at the dried leaf in her hand. Her brother was still in her mind... Memories with him became clearer and clearer. She remembered, over and over again...
Finally, she figured out why she remembered him.
Clover and her brother, Light, once played with leaves when they were younger. They also traveled around the place back then, and coincidentally, ended up in a forest just like where they were in the present. These two would usually play with leaves, throwing them around, letting them get blown by the wind... and the part that Clover loved most was when they would pick their favorite leaf among the leaves they've played with.
With those memories in her mind, Clover answered White, in a determined tone. "No, I think I'll hold on to this dried leaf."
White was startled and confused. "But... Why? There's nothing special about it," she asked.
"There is," Clover disagreed, "You just don't see it, Neesan. I thought you were the one who thinks they have stories to tell?"
"Haha, well, how about this..."
White's words trailed off, until they connected to the start of a new question. She gently took the dried leaf from Clover's hand.
"If I'm this dried leaf among these beautiful flowers... Would you still pick me?"
Clover couldn't help but smile.
"Yes, I will. I really don't know why, but I just do!" She giggled, moving closer to White, holding her sister's arm.
Still in disbelief, White looked back at her sister's eyes, now closer to her. "But, I don't belong to these flowers, and I'm not anything special among these dried leaves like me... Why?"
Clover looked up, her free hand placed on her chin.
"It's a bit weird, but anyway, I'll tell you.
I know it's nothing really special, and it's just like any other dried leaf... But, I just... felt attached to it somehow."
"Attached, huh... But why...?" White kept asking herself again and again. "What's special about me? I'm different from the rest, and I don't blend in with the rest of the girls... Why..."
Letting go of her sister's arm, Clover spoke.
"Neesan, you know, I can ask you the same thing. When you and King N found me, I was completely helpless... There was nothing I could do, and I was bound to die. You could've chosen to leave me just like that... but you didn't."
Clover then held White's hand, the one with the leaf, affectionately.
"Whenever I felt bad about myself, Light used to tell me that each one of us is special, one way or another.
Some are good in school, defensive combat, dressmaking, public speaking, even in good looks and character, and a lot more... Some people even have all of these! But of course, we all have flaws too. When we put these qualities together, then that's what makes us. Part of who we are.
I know you're not the kindest, prettiest, or the smartest person around. You're not even like most girls, since you like boyish stuff instead... Every girl wishes to be a princess like you, and yet you don't like being one, and you don't even act like one. And there are people who are better than you in every aspect..."
Clover stopped for a second.
you know, I still think you're the best.
...No, I know you're the best!" Clover exclaimed, with conviction.
White, tears in her eyes, tried to hide her face with her free hand so that Clover wouldn't see her crying.
"No, I'm not... There's nothing to be proud of me..."
"There is!", the younger sister replied with enthusiasm, "and that is something no one else can change or get from you."
White tried to suppress her feelings as best as she could...
...But she finally gave up and released her tears when Clover gave her a hug. A tight, loving embrace.
"...You're my sister.
The one who's been with me all this time... and the one who loved me so much as if I'm your real sister, even though we're not even related by blood.
You've done so much for me... No one else can ever replace you and the love you've shown me. Everything about you is special to me, Neesan!
Even though you're a dried leaf... you're still the best to me. You're the awesomest, coolest, most caring, and most loving sister in the whole world! And that will never change. Got that?"
As soon as Clover finished speaking, tears were seem forming in her eyes. All the love she had for White manifested in her embrace, making her hug her sister even more.
White returned the embrace, hugging her sister as tight as she could, the same feelings overflowing in her heart. She was speechless... She really didn't know what to say anymore. Even if she had a hard time speaking with all the sobbing, she managed to say two words.
Clover reached out her hand to help her sister get up. White got up, and endearingly wiped the tears off Clover's eyes. Both then held hands again, silently walking their way back to the castle as dusk came.
"You're simply the best, Neesan... Never forget that."
A/N: I admit, I got carried away a bit here, hehe... I only intended to make it very simple, but it ended up this way. I'll call this the "complicated" version then! I'll post the "simple" version soon c:
This was inspired by a friend's post, and also the conversation my sister and I had about dried leaves. I thought it would fit White and Clover well in BTH, considering the story we came up with! And not to mention they're our "avatars", with my sister as Clover, and me as White & Light (that rhymes)! :D