A/N: This is a series of drabbles I wrote for a Twelve Days of Christmas challenge. Though it doesn't actually have anything to do with Christmas as such. The prompt was to have someone receive 12 seperate gifts from someone unknown to them, and that on the last day they would reveal their identity.
Disclaimer: I don't own InuYasha, nor will I make any money from this.
(the language of flowers)
The First DayEvery day was the same now that Naraku was gone and she had left her friends in the past behind. Of course she had promised to visit and was told that she'd be missed, but she knew Miroku and Sango would be moving on, and that with them Shippou would be okay.
Her hand closed around the jewel hanging from her neck. InuYasha hadn't even come to say goodbye, or else she was certain that she wouldn't even have it as a reminder. The knowledge that he really didn't care if she left wounded her deeply, and she struggled not to cry.
Hearing her mother's call to breakfast, she forced herself from the bed and into her uniform. Nothing had tasted right since leaving, so she ate very little before leaving. As she walked around her home, she paused to look at her new bicycle, and fought off yet more tears, knowing this one would remain undamaged. She was about to continue on when she noticed that something was sticking out of the basket.
Curious, she moved closer and found it to be a chrysanthemum. It was odd. Someone had to have placed it there for her to find, but who? A small smile graced her lips as she fingered the delicate blossom. It was amazing how something so simple was able to lift her spirits and in the end she decided that it didn't matter who had placed it there, but only that it had been done.
The Second Day
Feeling better than she had in over a week, Kagome slipped out of bed. Her chrysanthemum was in a small vase on her desk and just as it had the previous day, the sight of it caused her to smile. She still didn't have a clue as to who had left it for her, but she couldn't bring herself to taint the gesture by being upset about not knowing.
While she ate she noted that breakfast seemed to have regained much of it's flavor and when her grandfather asked her to sweep the shrine grounds she found herself agreeing happily.
As she made her way across the courtyard to the storage house, she noticed a sprig of green and white on the bench in front of the Goshinboku. Her heart beat more quickly as she picked up the small bunch of flowers. Had it not been for her recent cultural project on the language of flowers, she wouldn't have recognized the blossoms; but because of it, she knew then to be gardenias, though she couldn't remember their meaning off the top of her head.
She looked around to see if there was any sign that would tell her where they had come from, but found none, and unbeknownst to her that was exactly how things were going to stay for sometime yet, provided everything went according to plan.
It was more than worth all the hard work it took to keep from revealed, when the reward was her smile.
The Third Day
A giddy sort of excitement had Kagome up nearly an hour earlier than usual. Would she find another flower today? Would she finally be able to find out who was leaving her these gifts, so that she could thank them for lightening her heart and giving her something to look forward to?
Twice during breakfast her mother admonished her for eating too quickly, but she just could help herself. She had to know if there were any more surprises for her waiting just outside.
Her heart sank as her mother reminded her that it was her turn to do the dishes, but she was spared when upon seeing her disappointment, Souta volunteered to do them for her. Of course this made her extremely suspicious of her younger brother and his motives, since Souta was always trying to get out of his chores. Could he be the one giving her the flowers? He certainly had the opportunity and was sweet enough to do something like that for her, to cheer her up. She would have to watch him closely.
Freed from her chore, she headed outside and began her search. Her bicycle was untouched and to her dismay the bench was bare as well. She sighed. Maybe she had gotten up too early and scared whoever it was away. Maybe they didn't want to be found out.
She looked down at her feet and laughed out loud. There, at the base of the sacred tree, was a small bunch of gypsophila.
The Fourth Day
Kagome rose on what she liked to think of as the fourth day of her new life; one where she was not just an ordinary school girl, or even a time traveling shard hunter, but a woman of mystique and one with a secret admirer at that. It was a wonderful feeling, and she even found herself beginning to hope it was in fact Hojou continuing his pursual of her in such an unusual way, instead of her brother, or another member of her family.
She was certain that she would come across another flower before she left the grounds for school, and for once couldn't wait to be hounded by her friends, demanding to know why she was in such a good mood, after having seemed so down the previous week.
Kagome smiled instead of sighing when she saw that Hojou was apparently waiting for her at the base of the shrine steps. How convenient.
The poinsettia that had been waiting for her on the first stair was now beside the others on her desk. Hojou certainly would have had time to place it there for her to find and he did seem a bit flustered this morning. Of course he always seemed a bit flustered around her, so that might not mean anything.
In any case she decided not to even hint at her suspicions. Mostly because she wasn't sure that it was Hojou's doing, but also because the not knowing was what made it so exciting.
The Fifth Day
Closing her eyes to concentrate Kagome tried to think of everyone who would know that plum blossoms were one of her favorite flowers. The sweet smell, the festivals, and the coming of spring were all things that came to mind when she saw the flowers she held in her hand.
Her family knew, of course. When she was very young, and before her father had died, they would both get up extra early in the morning at the beginning of spring and walk the shrine grounds, looking for the first plum blossom of the season and make a wish. It was something she still did on her own, or had done anyway, until she had fallen through the well two years ago.
Her school friends knew as well, and they could have told Hojou. Then again, it was possible that it was only a coincidence that her admirer had chosen a plum blossom to leave her, and that he or she had no idea what it would really mean to her.
She wiped away the tears on her cheeks and smiled sadly. It was beginning to seem that no matter how hard she tried to keep them separate, her future and the past simply were not content to be parted.
The Sixth Day
His last offering hadn't gone at all as planned. Leaving her flowers wasn't supposed to make her cry, and yet, the tears on her face had been plain. Maybe had been mistaken about the meaning of the plum blossom after all, no matter how unlikely that seemed. He had even asked the person who sold him the flower, just to be sure.
It was almost beyond him to slide open the shoji that led to the genkan off the kitchen to lay the small bundle of sweet pea on top of her shoes. After all, it was very rude to enter someone's home without their permission, but he was determined to make her smile and in this case he was certain that he would be forgiven.
He was pleased to note that Kagome spent the entire day with a smile on her face, and wore one of his own as well. Now that things were back on track, He was confident that everything was going to work out as he intended
The Seventh Day
Kagome held the sprig of yellow flowers as she rifled through her notes. Finding the forsythia had gotten her thinking about how when doing her project, she and Miroku had discussed its meaning and the importance of hope. Of course, his experience with the wind tunnel had taught him a great lesson in the value of hope, and what a gift symbolizing that wish could do for a person with little hope of their own. Because of this, she began to wonder if maybe all the flowers being left for her were supposed to be telling her something.
She pulled a pencil out of her drawer and made a list of all the flowers she had found so far, and then wrote their meanings down beside them.
gypsophila: innocent heart
plum: pure and true
Well, the flowers certainly seemed to have been picked for their specific meanings, to her at least. If that was the case then it really was beginning to look like Hojou was the one leaving these gifts for her. After all, he had done the hanakotoba project as well, and while she had discussed the language of flowers with her family, as required by her assignment, she doubted that any of them would remember the information with enough depth to do something like this.
No matter who it was though, they were going to a lot of trouble to show her that they cared about her and for that she was grateful. Now, if only she knew who she was grateful to.
The Eighth Day
Comfort. That wasn't a very romantic wish. But then again none of the flowers so far had meanings considered romantic, so maybe it wasn't Hojou, after all. After eight flowers, you'd think a guy trying to convince a girl to go out with him would've left at least one flower with a romantic connotation.
If anything the constant mentions of purity made her think of her grandfather. He was always going on about the spiritual power of the Higurashi's.
She couldn't believe she had run, fallen down, and scraped her chin, avoiding crushing the poppies in her hand by not breaking her fall, to only have comfort to show for it. If it was Hojou leaving these flowers, then she certainly remembered why she had always been hesitant to go out with him.
Comfort. How about beauty, or love, or passion? Would it hurt to offer devotion, or faithfulness, or admiration? Temptation had a nice ring to it, along with insinuation. There was always loveliness or maybe even indiscretion. Yes, she could definitely do with a little indiscretion in her life at this point. No I live for thee or joys to come? Rendezvous, think of me, anxious and trembling - there were so many things you could say with a flower. You are my divinity wouldn't be half bad. Hell, at this point she would have been happy with infatuation - but comfort?
Tomorrow she might even wait until after school to look up the meaning of the next flower.
The Ninth Day
Lily-of-the-valley. A beautiful, wonderful, promise of happiness, Lily-of-the-valley, waiting for her just outside her back door. The gift in itself making for a promise fulfilled. It was certainly a sight better than comfort and one that made her smile.
Kagome decided that maybe she had been a bit hasty in condemning her admirer the previous morning. After all comfort was important between two people. If you weren't comfortable with someone then you could never hope to achieve a lasting friendship, let alone love.
There was also physical comfort to think about. Couldn't offering comfort translate into providing a home and a place to belong? Of course it could. When she really thought about it, the promise of comfort seeming infinitely more romantic than she had first thought, and even more so after being promised happiness.
Maybe her secret admirer knew what he was doing after all. Maybe.
The Tenth Day
Kagome checked all of her source material three times before she could believe what she was reading. All three of her books said the exact same thing . A sunflower can be given if you wish to convey love and respect - there it was love. That's not to forget respect which is just as important as love.
But love. Love. Someone loved her, Kagome.
Of course, she knew that her family loved her, and she supposed than her friends did as well, but that was an entirely different kind of love than this, or so she hoped.
Certainly it could mean the love between family members or friends, but it could also mean the kind of love she ached to know. The kind of love that filled up your heart and set fire to your soul. The living, breathing, ever changing love that ended in a broken heart more often than it lasted forever, but when true had the power to conquer anything, to surmount any obstacle and heal any wound.
After this she didn't know how much longer she could stand to wait.
The Eleventh Day
Kagome liked to think of herself as a modern girl, even if she was from a traditional family; but with the receipt of her latest flower, she was reminded that in some ways, she wasn't as modern as she liked to think.
After all, most of her friends were looking for stability rather than love. Already jaded, they wanted a man with a good job that they could tolerate being around. Kagome, however, having spent much of her time hundreds of years in the past in the time of fairy tales, only cared about finding the one man she was meant to be with - her true love.
At one time she would have said that she had already found him and named him without hesitation. Even now, she still felt like her heart would only ever beat for InuYasha, but maybe she was wrong. There was no way he could be the one giving her these flowers, could he? The rational part of herself certainly didn't think so, and that only left Hojou.
Boring, kind Hojou, who was a man any woman would be lucky to have, a man who maybe even loved her - if the forget-me-not was any indication. Boring, dull, human Hojou; could she bring herself to give him a chance?
She wanted so much to be loved as Kagome. In the end she decided that whoever it was giving her these flowers (yes, even Hojou), she was going to give him the chance to win her heart.
Kagome picked up the chrysanthemum, and noticed the gardenia a few paces away. Her heart raced and she could see the blossom shaking in her trembling hand. Was she finally going to know who was leaving these flowers for her?
Three, four, five - all in order, and halfway there.
She was afraid to look ahead. As much as she wanted to know who her admirer was, she also didn't want to be disappointed. And she knew that unless by some miracle it was InuYasha waiting for her, that she would be.
Seven, eight, nine - only two left.
Next a sunflower, and her bouquet was nearly complete. Gathering her courage, she lifted her head and forgot how to breathe.
He left his place under the Goshinboku when it became clear that she wasn't going to come to him. Her expression was unreadable and the only thing he could hear was his own heart, thundering in his chest.
"Do you like them?"
"What are you doing here?" she asked quietly.
He frowned "The flowers..."
The flowers were from him, as unlikely as that seemed. That changed everything. There was no way InuYasha had intended what she had hoped. He couldn't know the meanings behind the flowers. She closed her eyes to stave of her tears.
"What's wrong?" InuYasha asked urgently. "Damn it. I knew I would fuck this up. Did I get them wrong?"
He snatched the bouquet from her and she listened in stunned silence as he began listing off each flower and it's meaning, offering her what amounted to a confession of love.
"How?" she asked. "You said it was stupid - that flowers weren't good for anything. You weren't even paying attention..."
"Idiot," the hanyou snorted. "I always paid attention to you... So, you never said. Was I right? Do you like them?"
She smiled as she shook her head. "No... I love them."
(expanded version, for those who have questions and refuse to have them unanswered)
Kagome bent down to pick up the chrysanthemum just outside the door, and noticed the gardenia a few paces away. Her heart raced and she could see the blossom shaking in her trembling hand. Could this really be it? Was she finally going to know who it was leaving these flowers for her?
Three, four, and five - all in order, and halfway there.
She was afraid to look further than the next blossom. As much as she wanted to know who her secret admirer was, she also didn't want to be disappointed. And if she was being honest with herself, she knew that unless by some miracle it was InuYasha waiting for her, that she would be.
Seven, eight, and nine - only two flowers left.
With the addition of a sunflower, her bouquet was nearly complete. Gathering her courage, she lifted her head and forgot how to breathe.
He left his place under the Goshinboku when it became clear that she wasn't going to finish the journey across the courtyard to meet him. Her expression was unreadable and the only thing he could hear was his own heart, thundering in his chest. He offered her the flower in his hand.
"Do you like them?"
Kagome blinked once and then her eyes began to glisten. "What are you doing here?"
Confused, his brow furrowed. "The flowers..."
"The flowers," Kagome heard herself say.
The flowers were from him, as unlikely as that seemed. That changed everything. There was no way InuYasha had intended what she had hoped. He couldn't know the meanings behind the flowers he had been giving her. She closed her eyes to stave of her tears.
"What's wrong?" InuYasha asked urgently. "Damn it. I knew I would fuck this up. Did I get them wrong?"
He snatched the unusual bouquet from her hands and she listened in stunned silence as he began listing off each flower and it's meaning, offering her what amounted to a raving confession of love.
"What? How?" she asked. "You said it was stupid - that flowers weren't good for anything. You weren't even paying attention..."
"Idiot," the hanyou snorted. "I always paid attention to you." His concern disappeared and he began to smirk. "So I did get them right then? When your mother took me to get these, the man there said that I should get you some other ones - stupid ones, with thorns that could have hurt you. He said you wouldn't know that they were supposed to means something. I didn't tell him to fuck off like I wanted to, though. And your mother, your mother said it was a good idea."
"Keh, yeah. I told her what I wanted to do and she said she would be happy to help - it was kind of scary how happy she was when I asked. She let me help around here while you were at school to pay for them," he said.
Kagome could only nod her head, even though she didn't have a clue why she was doing it. Maybe it was because she couldn't think of anything to say. I mean it was a bit of a shock. Not only had InuYasha been leaving her flowers - flowers, of all things, from the most decidedly unromantic hanyou- but he had left them with the purpose of letting her know that he loved her.
InuYasha. Loved. Her.
"So," he began, interrupting her thoughts, "You never said. Was I right? Do you like them?"
She couldn't help the smile that worked its way onto her face as she shook her head. "No... I love them."