Love is a Flower
By: Manna


Note: This 'fic is a collection of one-shot stories compiled together with one common theme in mind—flowers. There will be a lot of different pairings, as there will be 30 chapters in all. Done (unofficially) for the 30-Flowers community on LiveJournal. I may or may not stick to their themes, because they're missing a lot of my favorite flowers, and their meanings don't always match up right.


I- Daisies (Gentleness, Innocence): Nino, Sonia, and Brendan


xOx

A child's trust was bigger than she had ever thought possible. She loathed the mere thought of a child in her presence, but on direct orders, she had been given no choice but to raise one herself; a little girl, who had, as the years went on, developed a head full of forest-colored hair and curious blue eyes. She could remember holding an infant, looking at the smiling, incoherently-babbling grin that covered her mouth…and she felt nothing.

And five years later, the infant was still babbling incoherently…though she was admittedly a lot bigger, and her words more clear. She still did not feel anything when she saw her, no matter how long she looked.

Should I be?

She asked herself the question almost daily. Some days, she would have to go out, and the child, Nino, would be with her. She would see other mothers with their children, and how they smiled and laughed…and she couldn't help but wonder about it, herself. Instead of what these silly people called love and joy, she only felt a touch of something she could not identify, save for perhaps annoyance.


xOx

She laughed loudly. "Mother, what is this bug doing?" On her hands and knees, she poked her tongue out of the corner of her mouth and watched a spider spinning a web of fine silk around a fly that had been caught in its web.

They were waiting for someone- that was all she knew. Waiting, and waiting…and the field that they had been standing in had far too many interesting things going on for her to sit still. The grass was warm from the sunlight that had been pounding on them mercilessly all day, and little Nino had given in to the childish desire to explore.

When her mother didn't answer, she shrugged and continued to crawl through the long grass in the meadow that they were occupying, fascinated with the different species of plants and animals. "Ohh!" she exclaimed in childish delight. "Mother, look at these!"

Her mother was not paying her any attention, but she did not seem to mind, instead staring at a pretty flower with wide eyes. It was then that she noticed many other flowers like it scattered throughout the long, overgrown grass. Jumping to her feet, she smiled widely and ran about gaily, gathering as many of the flower as she could.

When at last her arms were filled with crudely snapped-off blossoms, she sat breathlessly in the grass near her mother, cheeks flushed with happiness and exhaustion. Twirling the flower around in her hand, she gazed at it for a moment before fingering the soft white petals. "Aren't they pretty?" she asked softly, not fully expecting an answer, but still hoping for one.

Quickly, she poked the stem of the daisy behind her ear, the gentle white and yellow coloring of the flower an interesting contrast to the green of her hair. She smiled to herself and began to amuse herself with her flowers, making a sloppy attempt at creating a daisy chain.

Suddenly, her mother was pulling at her to get up. "Come, Nino," she said.

"No, I'm not done!" Tears quickly filled her wide blue eyes as she struggled to hold onto her armful of beauty, a few of the flowers falling to the ground as she was hauled to her feet.

"They are irrelevant." She tugged on Nino's sleeve, almost as if she didn't want to touch her at all, and hurriedly walked away, her feet pointed towards town.

"But Mother!"

Mother didn't answer, and Nino lost her flowers as they fell from her arms, scattering across the grass.

The warm sun quickly dried her tears, and she remembered the flower she still had tucked behind her ear as she hurried to keep up with her mother's long steps.

"Oh, Brendan, I am glad you could make it!"

A large man stood in front of her, and she squinted up at him as the sunlight glared into her eyes. His face was scarred, and his eyes tired, but he had a softness about him that her five-year-old mind simply could not explain.

After he had given her mother a hug, he turned to her and smiled. "You are Nino?" he asked, and she nodded energetically as he crouched down next to her.

"Yes!"

He pattered her on the head with surprising gentleness, considering his size, and he touched the flower that was tucked behind her ear. "You are fond of flowers…" he said softly, his tone wistful. After a moment, he shook his head and gave her shoulder a squeeze. "You are a beautiful young lady, Nino… just like your mother."

Nino grinned.


Author Notes:

Okay, what the heck, you ask? Well… I know it isn't completely coherent, and probably doesn't make a lot of sense. It's not really supposed to. Sonia's point of view in the beginning was to (hopefully) make you sympathize with her just a little bit. You can still hate her, though. She's not a likeable character. I think Brendan was probably a nice guy before and for a while after he met Sonia. To a young girl, being compared in a good way to her mother is a compliment. (That changes when we get older, haha.) I really wanted to portray Brendan as being a good guy, here. I think that Nino might have loved him as a father… though I'm not entirely sure.

The title is from the song, "The Rose", sung by so many, and yet known by so few. I almost stuck with the line "I Say Love is a Flower", but I decided to stick with what you see.

Thoughts and opinions, as well as constructive criticism are, of course, very much appreciated! Thanks for reading! I'll try my best to update this weekly.