Floración Del Amor
A SatRisa Wedding Ficlet

Disclaimer: DNAngel is purely the creation of Yukiru Sugisaki. All characters named belong to her. Thanks to Sansele for help in determining certain details.

A/N:
My ghost has returned for a bit. This was written at the request of a fellow SatRisa fan found at the SatRisa livejournal comm. I haven't written in a long while. Forgive me if the writing's not on par.

This is just my take on how a Hikari marriage ceremony ought to be. Enjoy.


People didn't wake up this early on normal days.

Most people preferred to stay in bed till the sun was shining bright and strong. Unfortunately for Harada Risa, this category of 'most people' did not include her fiancé. Grunting in displeasure, she reached for the alarm clock to shut it up and yelled an "I know, I'm up!" to quell Riku's incessant knocking.

Kicking the duvet covers off herself, she swung her legs over the side of the bed only to find an image of her in tousled bed-hair staring back at her. Risa ran a lazy eye over the tumbled mess of her dresser, halting her quick sweep of a glance just once to focus on a single white feather rested against an open velvet box.

That's right, she reminded herself as she pushed herself off the bed. She was getting married today.

-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-

The sky was fading from its inky darkness as Hiwatari Satoshi put aside yet another flowerless stalk. Dawn had already broken and, as he had expected, the girl had yet to show up.
He was just about to give the twin a call, but when lights flashed through the trees, he knew that Daisuke had arrived, with both twins in tow. Casting one last look behind him, he started down the dusty path to greet his friends.

Just as he had guessed, Daisuke was pulling open the car door for Riku. And from the backseat, following her twin into the early morning mist as she took Daisuke's hand, his bride emerged - decked in a white gown with pearls about her neck and her long auburn hair piled neatly, fashionably atop her head, looking very much the part.

At this Satoshi sighed both in relief and despair; Risa had made it in time after all, but here she was dressed against his specific orders. Rolling down the sleeves of his thin, white cotton pullover, he approached the car, registering Risa's look of appall as he took her satin gloved hand.

"You look absolutely stunning," he told her truthfully as she tucked a stray lock behind her ear. "This wasn't what I had in mind for this morning, though."

Risa had to agree. She was dressed ready to be wedded in a church and in front of an audience. Satoshi, on the other hand, looked like he was going for a walk in the woods.

"I thought we were going to have a normal ceremony," Risa explained.

Satoshi sighed inwardly. He should have been more specific and told her that when he said 'decent white dress' he meant something that was simple and everything but this elaborate gown. He had thought this would be a delightful surprise for Risa, but the genius had not considered a few details missed.

He tugged at her hand. "Later. We need to do this first."

Risa, who had expected to arrive at a church building or perhaps even park - something normal, like any wedding was - or a garden, was perplexed at the mountain they had alighted at. Perhaps she had not paid enough attention when Satoshi was explaining the agenda for the day, but she was quite sure she would have picked up the nature venue and the humid conditions and the dusty path which now threatened to ruin her new pair of fragile heels. Not only that, the path ahead of them did not look like one she was willing to climb, but Harada Risa - this was perhaps the last time she could refer to herself by that name - was determined to go through with whatever Satoshi thought was important. She knew he would not bring her here if it did not matter, or if he knew that she would not enjoy it.

Risa performs rather well, tolerating the dirt that was getting in between her toes for about five minutes before she made the first notion of complaint. Satoshi turned at the murmur of displeasure as Riku, who had been clever enough to wear covered shoes, walked on ahead with Daisuke leading the way.

Satoshi stopped to wait for Risa's next careful step up the dusty pathway. He was fairly displeased with the slow rate at which they were proceeding, and unless his fair maiden hurried a little, his plans would be all but spoiled. Slipping an easy arm under her knees, Hiwatari Satoshi picked up the surprised young lady and hiked up the hill. "I'm sorry," he apologised as she recovered from her surprise, "but time is of the essence."

The lady decked in white did not complain. Rather, she would have if it had not been for the breathtaking scenery that met her once they came to the end of the dusty path. The soft morning light was casting an elegant glow on the gentle stream that flowed past them. There was a set of stones paving the way across the stream - two lines began from their side to meet at a single, circular platform in the middle of the stream, after which a new line of stones led to the other side, where her twin and Daisuke were waiting, and up a winding path up a slope where a final platform - also circular in shape - rested underneath an arc lined with vines. So enraptured was Risa in this sight of splendour that she did not even notice when Satoshi had set her back on her feet.

"This," he said, grasping her hand lightly, voice tinged with pride and hope, "is where my family has performed its marriage rituals through the generations." The beauty of the Hikari grounds never failed to instill a sense of awe in visitors and family alike. Satoshi understood that, he himself finding great pleasure in this clandestine garden of sorts as he waited patiently for Risa to break out of her trance.

"It's gorgeous," she whispered, inducing an upturn of lips by the Hikari descendant.

"I'm going to walk you through the ritual," he explained as he took her by the hand and led her to the first set of stone steps. Risa watched as the water surface brushed the edge of the first stepping stone, admiring its tranquility. "This is where you begin," she listened as her fiancé explained. "I'll start from the other line, and we'll both walk alone until we meet each other right at the platform in the middle. Here." Satoshi held her hand as she took the first step onto the uneven surface of the stone. Risa took in a deep breath as she let go and made her way carefully to the next stone, looking back only once in vague annoyance when Satoshi tells her to take care not to fall into the stream.

Feeling the light, comforting morning breeze through the material of his shirt, Hikari Satoshi began his journey to the middle of the stream. He glanced across at each step just to make sure that his bride was not on the verge of tipping over into the shallow stream. Even though his exterior remained calm and passive, his heart was bursting with anticipation, his mind roving over the significant meanings behind every step of the ritual. This was him, walking his lonely path in life, carefully treading the path; likewise for the girl that was maintaining her balance as she stepped from stone to stone, watching her step.

He reached the platform first, offering a hand to Risa as she stepped off the last stone.

"Here's where we meet after walking our own paths." He led her to the side of the platform where a raised structure not unlike a sink stood. Its inside was filled to the brim with water, stopped only by a smooth round pebble. Taking her hands in his, Satoshi proceeded to pull off the short satin gloves. "You might get a little wet," he explained as he put her folded gloves into his pocket.

"You should have said so earlier," Risa remarked, not unkindly because there was something about this marriage ritual so unexpectedly different. She said nothing more as Satoshi tore off a lily petal and dipped it into the water to rub the white flower against the palms of her hands.

"I will protect your dignity and purity," his promise was said as he pressed the petal against the tips of her fingers for a last time. "In return," he said as he scattered a handful of rose petals onto the water. Satoshi did not complete his sentence. Risa was curious as he let go of her hands and stooped down, bowing his head slightly.

Risa gazed absently at the blue top of Satoshi's head, searching for some indication as to what she was to do. But he gave no clues whatsoever, so she was forced to look elsewhere.

He had scattered rose petals onto the water, and as they mixed with the water, Risa began to have an idea of what Satoshi had meant by his earlier warning.

When he felt the first droplets of water touch his head, Satoshi closed his eyes in relief. He savoured the caress of the cool water as it ran down the back of his neck and meandered past his facial features. And the sound of Risa's voice - he would not forget - coming in a gentle whisper, yet firm. "I will pour my love on you."

Satoshi did not wait for Risa to pick out the bits of roses from his hair, straightening instead to hold the lily out to her. Understanding that she was to do the same, Risa tore off a petal, just as he had done, and wet the smooth white surface, taking Satoshi's hands to clean them. "Am I supposed to reiterate those words?" she asked as she ran the petal along the side of his thumb.

He made a sound to which she supposed was a yes, so Risa swiped the petal a last time across the heart of his palm and looked up to say the vows in all sincerity. "I will protect your dignity and purity," she promised, absently throwing aside the battered petal as his light sapphire gaze settled on her, intense. Risa could not tear her light ochre eyes away as she bent down - only slightly since he was almost a head taller. "In return, you-"

"I will pour my love out on - and for- you." She didn't notice when his hands had moved to scoop the water, and as he raised his hands to release the liquid, Risa watched. She watched as Satoshi reached for the sink yet another time to gather all the remaining petals to press the red against her cheek, as he laid out the symbol of his love against her skin. "All of it."

She had wanted really badly to kiss or embrace him or do something equally impulsive, but Satoshi was a step ahead of her; he took her left hand in his and pressed it gently against his lips. Then, clutching her Risa's hand tightly in his, Hikari Satoshi proceeded to lead her to the next set of stones that travelled across the stream and up a winding stretch.

From where she was, Risa could see the final platform quite easily. The lush green vines that snaked up either side of the stone arcs met in the middle, entwining in an elaborate manner only as nature could bid them to. At least three different shades of tiny flora trailed alongside the vines - white, peach, yellow and slight nuances in between - to complement the delicately small leaves that flanked them. Just at the tip where the vines met hung a large flower bud, notably different from the others in both size and colour.

"Amor Eterno." Satoshi's voice startled Risa, who instinctively grabbed his arm for support lest she toppled over and into the wet grass.

"Amor what?" Risa's tone was a mix between amazement and irritation as she caught her balance.

"Amor Eterno," he repeated, enjoying the refreshing scent of morning dew that was flooding the ritual site as he led his bride nearer to the stone arc. "The legendary flower of the Hikari that only blooms an hour after dawn and remains open for ten minutes."

The look of awe on Risa's face was unmistakable as she halted completely, wondering about the flower. "Really?"

So that was why she had to wake up at such a ridiculous hour in the morning. Amor Eterno, she thought absently...was that Spanish?

Satoshi, on the other hand, was checking his watch to assure himself that they would still be in time. From where they were, which was just about ten paces away from the platform, he could see the deep fuchsia of the flower and a hint of purple at the tip. He had only seen the flower bloom once before, when he first decided to tap into the ancient history of the Hikari. It was a gorgeous sight he could never forget for months after that, and he decided - after he had proposed to Risa - that this was something she had to experience. The magic of his family, which he had viewed with such loathing as a child, was showing a new dimension of itself to him and Hikari Satoshi was just beginning to understand that Hikari was not meant to be cursed. Hikari was meant to be as a light to him, giving him meaning in life, letting him be a light. Just that somewhere along the way, Krad had appeared to pervert that light.

He looked over at Risa, who was peering at the flower, trying to make out the colour and seeing if it would bloom too soon, and wondered if she would be able to understand what it meant to become part of Hikari. There were still many things he had yet to reveal to her about this lineage, and his dreams of sharing a life with her were tinged with dread at the thought that Krad might reappear in their child. But he shoved those thoughts away. For now, what was important was that they were going to embark on a new life together, and with Risa came hopes of the future.

"It's said to give out an overwhelming aroma to draw butterflies near to it as soon as it blooms," he told her, nudging her out of her seeming trance with the flower. "It floods the entire clearing and lingers even after the flower closes."

"Niwa, too, has a marriage ritual." At this, Risa's eyes widened as she turned to look at the couple standing as witness nearby. Niwa was fumbling with the camcorder, Riku was reprimanding him for being a klutz - neither of them were paying any attention whatsoever to the ceremony itself. Risa sighed.

"So it's like that, huh?" It had never occurred to her that the Niwa family would have a ritual too, and either it never crossed Niwa's mind to tell Riku, or the girl had conveniently forgotten to tell her twin sister about it, because Risa could not recall having heard about it. Was it anything like the Hikari marriage ritual? The auburn-haired girl pondered this for a moment, when something - or the lack of it, rather - struck her.

"Satoshi...why is it that only Riku and Daisuke are present?"

The answer came promptly, and albeit too direct: "Saehara-san cannot wake up on time for the life of him. Saga-san would undoubtedly want a license to use the ritual grounds for yet another Saga Entertainment production, which I cannot allow. Funabashii-san has no reason to be present without his master. And everyone else prefers the more agreeable hours of the traditional ceremony and dinner."

"Oh."

By the time they reached the platform, the petals of the Amor Eterno were just beginning to pull themselves apart, and the slightest scent of its sweet aroma emanated from the legendary flower. Being so close to the flower, Risa could now see the intricate veins of the flower, traced from the outside by silver lines, weaving a thin web across the flower's exterior. And lacing the inner side of the flower were golden lines, not different from the one outside. With the help of the slowly strengthening sunlight, the plant seemed to receive its energy to blossom, and the zigzag of silver and gold hues seemed so much as though they had real value behind them.

"What happens now?" she asked in a near whisper, half distracted by the flower whose secret was unfurling right above their heads.

Satoshi's answer came unexpectedly as Risa found her vision of the flower sudden obscured by his shadow as a pair of warm lips press hard against her forehead. Risa's eyes closed almost immediately in response as the sensation of his kiss remains for yet a second longer. The heat rising up to her cheeks was not unfamiliar to her, Risa thought to herself as she felt his fingers move to gently touch the curvature of her cheek.

She reached out to grasp those fingers in her own, chiding herself at the sudden realization that the focus of her attention ought to have been on her fiancé and not the fascinating beauty of the ceremonial grounds. Satoshi was sending light shocks down the back of her neck with his dancing fingertips as he pulled away for a second. A light pressure to her right eyelid followed, and while she was aware that this was probably part of the procedure, Risa knew that Satoshi wasn't performing all these just for the sake of tradition.

The Hikari, she thought to herself, must have been an incredible family. Everything she had seen that proved of their existence before this day had made her angry at the thought that such a hideous inheritance was passed along the generations. Their artwork was cursed, their descendants were cursed. Yet with all of that, they held dear to the value of love which they expressed so strongly yet so subtly in this complicated ritual.

Before he pulled away, a last kiss was planted against the bone of her left cheek. Risa opened her eyes and asked what all that was about.

"'Kisses four'. I think that's what it's called." If he had his glasses on, she was certain Satoshi would have pushed them further up the bridge of his nose.

"Four? But there was only three," she noted intelligently.

If Satoshi had heard this, he paid it no heed. "It's meant to reciprocated," he told her pointedly, brushing aside a stray lock of auburn hair as he stooped for her as he had done earlier.

"One: I'll share my deepest thoughts with you."

Risa had to tiptoe in spite of the heels to brush a fleeting kiss against his forehead.

"Two: You will be the only apple of my eye."

A butterfly, painted red, blue and gold fluttered by as she pressed a warm kiss above his eye.
"Three: I'll listen to anything you wish to say."

She let the last one linger, nose brushing against his funny blue hair as she pulled away. Risa spotted her twin in the corner of her eye and was about to offer a smile to her, but Riku's head was turned. Curious, the bride peered at her sister, wondering what the matter was.

...was Riku crying?

Everything about the way Riku was attempting to hide her tears made her sister all the more concerned, and Risa would have investigated the cause of her distress but Satoshi had caught her chin between thumb and index and was redirecting her attention. "Riku's crying," she had wanted to say. There were no words which could have come from Risa, however, as her groom performed the last of the ritual. Without warning, his mouth covered hers.

The Amor Eterno must have been in full blossom then, judging from the overwhelming scent that was radically different from any other she had ever experienced. There was magic to the aroma, inducing a delightful mix of joy, contentment, peace, exhilaration, hope - and they blended together to form an almost tangible taste. Challenging the powerful scent of the legendary flower was the taste of her husband on her lips, accentuating the magic behind the Hikari treasure as the morning sun cast a warm glow on the newlyweds, its light reflected in a thousand different directions by the veins of silver and gold against pink and purple.

"Four," Satoshi said in a voice low and husky as he pulled away. "You will be - and have - all of my passion."

-sealed with a kiss-


Notable notes:

a) Amor Eterno - Risa's right about it being Spanish. It's a direct translation of "Everlasting Love" according to Altavista's Babelfish translator. Kinda cheesy name, I know, and isn't exactly subtle planting of meaning. Couldn't think of anything more creative > gomen. Also, thanks to Sansele for help with plant design.

b) "Kisses four" - something from Robert Brown's poem? There's no explanation behind it as far as I know, so I made up my own version of what 'Kisses Four' might be. Forehead, eye, ear (which turned out to be cheek because it's kinda gross and uncomfortable to have to kiss the ear, not to mention that I cannot imagine which part of the year would be suitably kissable) and mouth. Well, okay, Kisses Four should be either French or Italian, if I recall my teacher's words correctly. If you happen to know anything about it, feel free to relay the information.

c) Hikari – used loosely as both adjective and name, plural and singular. I don't know how grammatically correct this is though.

d) Satoshi and Risa - Satoshi's talking an unhealthly lot for his character. Tried to minimise his speech since he's supposed to be reticent and the like, but then again, blue-haired genius is the only one who knows what's going on here. Risa's completely not paying attention, which makes SatRisa all the more fun. Yes, finally, a kissing scene (sort of)! No nuptial scene though.

e) Riku and Daisuke – uh, I didn't want Satoshi and Risa to be alone? If there's anyone willing, please try writing a Niwa version to the marriage ceremony, although judging from the nature of their rituals in the anime so far, it would be held underground and involve a lot of shadows and hoods.

f) Floración Del Amor - means Love's Bloom...or "flowering of love" by Babelfish, depending on which direction you translate it in. Credit goes to Sansele for the title. It's amazing how much flair a different language can add.

g) As always, kindly inform me of any spelling or grammatical errors or weird usage of words. Appreciate it much.


The extra scene:

This did not look good.

Niwa Daisuke was acutely aware of the certain misfortune that had befallen him and the certain misfortune which would indubitably befall him as he peered into the hollow segment of the camcorder. Against the strong sunlight that now flooded the Hikari grounds, the bestman could see the insides of the contraption quite clearly, which only affirmed that his eyes were not playing tricks on him.

"Uh, Riku?" he dared to ask as they travelled across the precarious slabs of stone paving the way across the shimmering stream.

"There's no tape."

It was a distinct yelp that the newly wedded couple heard and a splash as they exited the grounds. Not that Satoshi was too concerned; the stream was shallow enough.


Story completed: 17 May 2006
©Copyrighted by JadOo Enterprises 2006