Author's note: Since I didn't like what I've done to this story, I'm re-writing so there won't be as much confusion and hopefully better pacing. The storyline won't stray too much from what you've already read. Chapters are just going to be a lot more detailed now so the character's thoughts are a bit more understandable.
"Father…do roses have a reason to be beautiful?"
A girl of seven years was stooping down to level with a soft white rose. A docile breeze played with her pink, shoulder length hair. Her bright blue eyes were transfixed on a single white rose, wondering how something so gorgeous could exist. Lacus Clyne tilted her chin towards the sky in order to look up at her father.
"Of course, little lady."
A thirty-eight year old man stood behind his eldest daughter. His blonde hair hung over his blue eyes as the breeze blew. He was wondering why his white suit hadn't obtained grass stains during the time they were in the enormous backyard. He looked around the area for his other two daughters, leaving Lacus waiting for an explanation.
Lacus watched Sigel as he looked for her sisters. He always made her wait and that was when she learned to be patient. She returned her attention to the flowers.
Two rows of roses were planted in front of Lacus, reaching out to the side limits of the yard. The colours ranged from white to red. Behind the flowers were healthy hedges that were grown into a maze. The other girls must have been in there, Lacus thought, they loved to play in there. She attempted to grasp his attention again,
Sigel returned his attention to the girl and tried to word his answer so her mind would comprehend it. It proved to be a difficult task.
"Tell me something little lady. Would…you look at a shrivelled brown flower?"
Siegel reached down and plucked the rose she stared at out of the ground. Lacus angled her head towards him, a child's confusion evident on her young face.
"…No…?" Her innocent voice made him smile.
"And why not?"
Lacus opened her mouth to reply when a shriek cut her off. Both Clynes looked towards the entrance of the maze. Sigel was a bit surprised by the shrill noise, not knowing his daughter was capable of such a sound. But which one screamed?
"No Cagalli! Mommy said we shouldn't get our dresses dirty!"
A brunette, around the age of five, ran out of the maze in a spotless yellow dress. As Miriallia Clyne neared, Sigel could see the fear in her emerald green eyes. The dress she wore stopped at her knees and had small sleeves. It was designed to look like a long t-shirt than a dress. Behind the brunette came another girl, around the age of six, named Cagalli Clyne, in an identical dress.
Instead of having a clean, yellow one, Cagalli wore a brown-spotted, vibrant red dress. Her small face was covered with spots of dirt and her right held something. Possibly the item Miriallia was running away from.
Miriallia spotted Lacus and ran behind her, panting heavily. Her small fingers held Lacus' shoulders tightly. The brunette didn't bother to peek over the sheltering shoulder. Sigel watched with a raised eyebrow. Why didn't Miriallia hide behind him?
The eldest female Clyne brought both her hands away from her chest with palms facing outward, indicating Cagalli to stop. The blonde stopped in her tracks, not wanting to get her sister's pink dress dirty.
All that was needed was Lacus' warning tone for Cagalli to lower her hand. Sigel spotted a ball of dirt in her small hands. He dug inside his pants pocket and took out a plain handkerchief. His legs carried him over to Cagalli and he bent down to wipe her face. His hands held her firmly as he roughly cleaned.
A sound of discontent came from Cagalli as Sigel knocked the dirt out of her hands. Auburn eyes widened when she realized that her precious dirt was not in her grasp anymore.
His hold went back to her shoulder and he started rubbing her cheek, making her close an eye. Cagalli tried to pull away but failed.
"Honestly Princess, I think that you're my son rather than my daughter. You should thank your mother for trying her best to make you look like a girl...Why don't you grow your hair out a little?"
"Yes Cagalli. Then you can be more ladylike, like Miriallia and me." Lacus said as Miriallia softened her grip.
"Like Miriallia and I, little lady. Always refer to yourself as 'I'."
Nodding, Lacus appeared at her father's side, holding Miriallia's hand. Cagalli shook her head vigorously, "No lady! Lady bad! Daddy want son! Cagalli will be son!"
Sigel chuckled at the blonde's dialect, "No Cagalli, you're a girl, you can't be a boy."
"Yes! Cagalli can!"
Smiling and shaking his head, Sigel pulled away from Cagalli and turned his gaze to Miriallia.
Her face was red from running; it was a hard task to get away from the child blessed with speed. She still panted quietly and hid behind Lacus again, in case Cagalli kept more dirt hidden from them.
"Are you alright, Miri?"
She was the only one who really looked like Via, Sigel thought. Her green eyes came from Via's side; and uncle of hers had them. The brown hair was definitely from Via though. The other ones were assorted colours...Where the red and pink came from, Sigel didn't have a clue.
He wondered if Via had a speech problem in her youth...Cagalli and Miriallia couldn't speak properly for some reason. By the age of five, Sigel was sure children could pronounce simple words accurately. Miriallia and Cagalli were almost past that age...
Ridding his mind of the notion, his mind went back to bothering little Cagalli. He poked her nose with enough force to make her fall backwards. She thrashed her arms around to keep balance. He laughed, catching his daughter before she fell on her backside. The blonde frowned and shrunk her mouth as a response.
Another person entered the backyard and all four Clynes turned towards the back door. With a red ponytail flying through the air and the ends of a dark green dress flapping, Fllay Clyne ran to Sigel. He released Cagalli and opened his arms for Fllay to jump in. She giggled as she landed and he kissed her cheek.
"How was shopping with mother, fairy?"
"Fun! Mommy bought Lacus and Miri new dresses. She got Stellar and I new dolls!" Fllay's face was bright as the sun above them. Despite being three years old, the young Clyne's grammar was better than her sisters'. The situation gave Sigel something to think about; May was throwing a party for her eldest son in a month and he wanted his colleagues to see his little angels. Although, the speech deficiency would have them raise an eyebrow.
Suddenly, he caught Cagalli sink slightly from the corner of his eyes and Siegel focused on the matter at hand.
"What did mother get for Princess?"
Fllay threw Cagalli a glance before looking at Siegel.
Siegel grinned sadly before letting the redhead down. It truly was a shame that Cagalli and Fllay didn't have a bond as strong as Cagalli and Lacus. He hoped everything would work out when they were older.
A soft giggle broke into his thoughts. A two year old child with blonde hair giggled again. Looking past Fllay, the blonde man observed Via Clyne, his beautiful wife, holding Stellar Clyne, his youngest child. As they came closer, Stellar's eyes settled on him and she clapped her hands. The rest of the girls were excited to see their mother.
Before Lacus could run up to the older female, Siegel held her back and carefully slipped her the rose he plucked previously. After he smiled at her, the blonde man pushed her lightly to catch up with the others.
Fllay, even though she spent most of the day with Via, ran as well. She wasn't as excited as the others but still wanted to be like them. Via dipped down and kissed three foreheads. Her gaze then connected with his. Siegel smiled and walked over to her.
The brunette grinned and straightened. She walked over to him as well and when they were barely an inch away, Via briefly paused before reaching to kiss him on the lips.
Both were oblivious to the sounds around them as they entered a world or their own. His arms encircled her waist and pulled her closer, not aware he was squishing little Stellar. Siegel had been neglecting Via for the past week and he was happy they weren't on bad terms anymore.
He parted from her when he felt a tug on his moustache. Looking down, his blue eyes landed on Stellar. His youngest still had her fingers on his upper lip. Her mouth was off to the side, unsmiling. It seemed as though she was asking why he wasn't paying attention to her.
He smiled, grabbed her out of Via's arms and spun around once, holding her high up in the air. She closed her eyes and laughed. When she opened them, he found her pink eyes dancing. Her tiny arms flapped around, signalling she liked the ride.
Siegel noticed she wore a dark blue dress that also ended at her knees. He looked at his other girls.
Lacus and Miriallia were looking a caterpillar and the latter seemed a bit frightened. Fllay and Cagalli were bickering about nicknames.
"Daddy loves me more! He calls me fairy!"
"Because you tell him to call you! He made up Princess himself!"
The male frowned and pulled Stellar securely into his arms. He was about to go over to the fighting pair but Via beat him to them. It was without a doubt that Fllay started it. Sigel didn't know what possessed the girl to start these little sessions. The two got along well until December of last year. What happened then?
After the task was accomplished, Via came back to him, distracting him from the thoughts of the younger Clynes.
"Via…where did the dresses come from?"
That question had been bothering him for awhile. This was the first time ever seeing them. Via looked at him...looked at him. It was when this technique was used that Siegel felt like a complete idiot. It was as though he didn't know something vital when it was really something minuscule.
"Do you remember Daniel and Rob? They gave them as a gift for the girls' birthdays."
How was he supposed to know that? It wasn't as though his free time was spent at the mansion anymore. Blinking, Siegel nodded, and took his thoughts into account. That couldn't be good at all. He then glanced down at Cagalli, who had been pulling at his pants.
"Cagalli hold Stellar."
He smiled, really hoping her grammar would improve. Stellar blinked at him and motioned towards Cagalli.
Siegel tipped her towards Cagalli and made sure the older blonde held the child properly.
The blonde held Stellar firmly in her arms and stuck her tongue out Fllay before she started to tell the younger blonde a story. She walked past Miriallia and Lacus so they wouldn't be overhead. Fllay glared at the back of Cagalli's head before sticking her nose in the air and walking off to open her packages.
"Oh, Siegel! Stellar's dress is going to get dirty!"
Before Via could rush over to the blondes, Siegel wrapped an arm around her shoulders. She looked at him with a frown and he merely grinned at her,
"Let them be. They're children, right?"
Via sighed and went back to watching her daughters.
"Why don't you follow your advice?"
He said nothing, knowing it was best not to stroke the flame. Instead, he looked around at his children.
Lacus was telling Miriallia something which held her interest; Miriallia was looking at the older girl with wide eyes. Fllay had seated herself by Miriallia's feet and was playing with her newly bought dolls. She would occasionally look up at Lacus then divert her attention back to the dolls. Cagalli was seated with Stellar in front of her and played 'Pat-A-Cake' while poking her nose once in a while, which made Stellar giggle and clap.
Siegel chuckled and said to Via,
"Will you promise me something?"
"Make sure my girls are always happy."
Twenty-five year old Lacus Clyne jolted up from her bed. She brought her hands to the sides of her head and winced slightly.
That was the clearest memory she had of them all being together and happy. It bugged her when she could not think of any other memories. Christmas? New Years? Weren't they happy then?
Lacus opened her eyes and found the night was nearing daybreak. She wore a deep purple nightgown with long sleeves so she didn't shiver when a strong wind blew through, which made their curtains fly.
The woman slid out of her bed she shared with another and made her way around the bed. Before she walked towards the open window, she covered up the body on the bed. The wind had blown the covers away, revealing twenty-four year old Cagalli.
A peaceful expression arranged on her face, oblivious to the problems plaguing them now. Lacus smiled and walked towards the window. A sound was not made as she padded across the room. Reaching up to the rim, she brought the glass down.
"Make sure my girls are always happy."
Lacus could feel tears forming at the corners of her blue eyes.
"Mom's trying her best father…if only you were still here with us."
She whispered the words, not wanting Cagalli to wake up. A tear trailed down her face and splattered on the floor. Lacus slipped back into bed and fell asleep almost instantly.
A pair of auburn eyes was slowly revealed. The owner reached for her sister's hand and squeezed it gently. Cagalli could feel the pain Lacus had endeared for the last nine years.
"Thank you Lacus...for taking care of us."