Author's Notes: I just love this pairing, I really do. I always suspected that there might be something with Rastaban/Ildon, but I never thought that THIS pairing was the "gay" one in Saga Frontier. I was quite pleased to find that it was since I love it so much. Anyway, another yaoi challenge fic with the prompt: "I'd love something that both gets the artificially pretty exterior of things in the Chateau Aiguille and the kind of nasty, vicious underbelly. Politics (or philosophy) of some sort a double plus!"


Flowers are often poisonous. You learned this as soon you arrived in Facinaturu. You don't quite remember how long it's been, but you don't care anymore. Why should you? With Rastaban around to keep you company, you don't see the point. You don't quite remember when and how he claimed you for himself, but when he kisses you, again you don't see the point. The only point you could see are the thorns that protrude from roses. Lord Orlouge had many roses of many colors in his many gardens.

Facinaturu is always dark, but it's always full of some sort of liveliness. Be it the indulgent parties that Orlouge throws with his many mistresses or Rastaban himself, you are never completely bored. Even you have color; your hair is green. Sometimes Rastaban says that you look like a dark rose turned upside down. You never know what to make of that because he is full of colors. Sure, he too often wears black as no one calls him "The Black Knight" for nothing, but he doesn't shy away from other colors. In your eyes, the multi-colored gardens look pretty dim compared to him.

"Be careful, Ildon, that's an Oleander," he says when you are about to touch a cluster of orange-yellow flowers. "The leaves and branches are extremely poisonous."

You shrug. "It's not like I intend to eat them. Besides, I know that most of the 'life' here isn't really life at all, but rather entities that bring death."

"Fitting of Lord Orlouge, don't you think?" He asks, tracing a black gloved finger over a yellow rose.

"Of course. This is how things always have been." You follow Rastaban through the garden. "Why are you even talking about this? You know how this place this."

Rastaban nods. "Yes, I do. I know all too well."

You can never say that you understand Rastaban. Everytime you bring it up, he will always say, "You don't have to." You know you don't, but it never stops you from saying it or thinking it. At least the flowers are easy. Everyone who bothered to learn knew that most of them had some kind of poison involved. When a Mistress ended up sleeping forever, most of the other Mystics had an idea why and how. Orlouge always knew, and sometimes made the offender disappear among sakura petals, or he did nothing at all.

You'd think that the Lord of Mystics would be the most difficult to understand, but he isn't. Rastaban has that honor. Orlouge wants power, power, and more power. Not to mention more roses, hyacinth, azaleas, jasmine and yew berries. All of them are either full of fatal poison or hard to handle. You learn about them because Rastaban does. He closes his eyes when the wind blows and he spins when the petals fly. You simply watch. Sometimes Orlouge does the same, but he leaves the balcony to go to the highest spire where the wind is constant. A mistress almost always waits for him there. With Rastaban, you are the only one who waits.

You don't want anyone else, and neither does he. Orlouge wants every female he can get his hands on. You don't know what the other male mystics want and you sure don't care. Neither does Rastaban. When the both of you think about it, you really only care about each other.

"Look, Ildon!" Rastaban grabs your hand and drags you into a dark area of an outer garden. "Violets!"

Yes, violets, and your eyes widen because you've never seen any of the sort in Facinaturu. "These aren't poisonous, I don't think. Why would they be here?"

Rastaban shrugs. "Because they're pretty. Everyone likes pretty, especially Lord Orlouge."

"I never thought pretty alone worked for him," you reply. "Violets are just too..."

"Humble?"

"No." You shake your head. "Harmless, I guess. Not his style."

"I'm glad they're here!" Rastaban smiles. "They remind me of a story, an allegorical one about ambition." He folded his arms, and looked upward towards the highest tower. Both of you know that Orlouge is there, overlooking everything and nothing. "A violet wet with dew looked up at a rose and told the rose that she wanted to be like the roses. Roses that looked proudly at the sunlit sky. One of the roses tried to discourage the violet, but to no avail. The violet asked Nature if she could become a rose, if only for a day."

"And?"

Rastaban looked at you. "She got her wish, but she didn't last an hour because a storm killed her."

"I guess she asked too much, and never thought of the consequences." You frown, like you often do. "Why are you even bringing this up. Surely you don't intend--"

"No, I have no such intention, but the point is that even if the violet died, she died a rose. She died trying. She would rather live one hour as a tall, proud rose, than live a long life as a humble little violet. I honestly don't blame her."

"Then do you wish to be human, is that it? They have short lives, but they're hardly proud!"

"No." Rastaban shakes his head. "All I can tell you is that the violets reminded me of the story, that's all."

"It's never 'all' with you, Rastaban."

He turns towards you, grabbing your hands, caressing them. "I'm going to grow a violet of my own. It will be as fragrant as any of them, but it won't stay a violet forever. I will make it into a rose, a purple one, and it won't be like the other roses. It's thorns will be much stronger, and the wind will carry it towards the sky. Facinaturu will change one way or the other."

You sigh. Once again, you don't understand him, not even when you feel his lips almost on yours. "It hasn't changed in years."

"That doesn't mean it never will."

You let him kiss you, but it doesn't stop you from saying, "I envy you sometimes."

"You don't need to."

He doesn't say anything more because neither one of you have a reason to. Both of you find yourselves on the cool, damp earth. Rastaban is next to you, clinging to you, almost seeing you as some sort of lifeline that doesn't have thorns or anything that would harm him. The violet fragrance is much stronger now, and Rastaban smiles. He smiles more than anyone in Facinaturu, and you realize that this is how he entangled you into vines he grew himself.