Author's Note: I do not own anything from Soul Nomad. Thanks Kristina and Wild for looking this one over!
This was written for the writer's guild of the official Tales of… forums' writing activity for February to the challenge "Have a character confess to previously unstated feelings of love for another character.". I apologize if this sucks (I'm just not used to writing this style of story…) and for any OOCness (which I'm pretty sure there is XX).
Please note this takes place after the Yuga Mountains issue so that's why Gig and Revya relationship is a bit different.
As for Her Reply, I've pretty much got chapter five done but am finishing up seven first. Hopefully I'll have it up by next week. Other than that…shutting up now.
Soul Nomad: Say it with Flowers
There's one dreaded day of the year. It all started with two lovers (like most stories do, for one reason or another) from two separate families. Long story short, the parents didn't approve of the match so there were plans to separate the two. Seeing no other way to be together in life they committed duel suicide so their spirits could be together for eternity. Touched by the story of the lovers, this one day of the year was the deemed the day for confessions and showing affection for a loved one. Generally, no one really cares about it except for a few hopeless romantics and bards looking for a good story.
Fortunately for Gig, he didn't fit into the above.
Unfortunately, Danette didn't seem to accept that.
"Why not?" She demanded.
"For one thing, the whole idea sounds like a load of bull," Gig said boredly. "Secondly, 'displays of affection? 'Confessions'? Do you have any idea how sappy it sounds? It's enough to give a guy cavities. Just the thought of it's making my teeth fall out."
"It's not sappy!" Danette protested. "It's called being sweet, though I guess that emotion's beyond you."
"Heh, 'sweet'?" He said sardonically. "'Sweet' is wasting money that could be well spent on hotpods for whatever crap the merchants are peddling? It sounds more like they came up with the whole thing as a thinly veiled scam to rip saps off in the form of convenient delusions of it being what saps had to have if they want to prove each other they wuved each others guts."
"It's not just about that! Though I admit, some of that stuff they sell is pretty nice…" Gig rolled his eyes as if to say 'I rest my case' while Danette glared at him. "It's just about being romantic for once."
"I still don't see how any of this has to do with me."
"Don't you think you should at least do something for her?" Danette pressed. "It wouldn't kill you ya know and she'd probably be really happy."
"Are you forgetting who your talking about?" Gig asked. "This is thekid we're talking about. She probably doesn't even remember what's tomorrow."
"Exactly! That's why I have to keep it in mind for her!" The sepp exclaimed. "Same with you too! I mean, last year when it came by you two were pretty much oblivious to it."
"Good, let's keep it that way," he said irritably. "Besides, why should you care? If the kid would supposedly be into all this than how comeyou'rethe one bugging me about all this?"
"Because I'm her friend, obviously, and if I don't she'd never get around to it," Danette said stubbornly. A bright look lit her face as inspiration hit, "Wait, I have the perfect idea. Why don't you just tell her how you feel for once?"
Gig's jaw dropped. "What?"
"Yeah…yeah that'd work perfectly! You don't have to buy anything and I know she'd be really happy-"
"No, no, annnd no." Gig deadpanned.
"Aw, why not?" Danette asked.
"That's not a reason!"
"Fine, here's a good one. Your so-called 'perfect' idea speaks it's own idiocy."
"C'mon, it's just a few words…Hey! Where're you going!?!"
"Somewhere that doesn't have mooing cows blabbering on as cupid's sales lady."
"WHAT!? Rgh, you know what, just for that, I'm going to follow you around until you do something for her! And I have a million ideas to run past you on how to do it too!"
Meanwhile, she was still going on about it all. It couldn't be that bad though, she was going to have to run out of air sometime. That short-termed cow memory was going to have to shift off sometime and when it did the subject would be dead.
Well, that was Gig's thinking until about the next day when she was still pestering him about it. She had even left a few 'notes' for him around the village. This was turning into one of the many times that made Gig miss his godly powers. Sometimes, just telling someone to shut the fuck up didn't compare to blasting them to a smoldering heap. Whatever the case, at least he had the satisfaction of knowing she (or anyone else actually) would never think of looking for him here.
Lady Virtuous gave him a raised eyebrow when he appeared and said he was borrowing her chambers to take a nap. She agreed of course but it didn't stop her from looking amused as she watched him. It was both a blessing and curse. Either hang around outside and risk the cow catching him or hang out with the hag who, as always, seemed to know what was going on (and privately smiling about the whole thing too). While the hag wasn't his first choice it was just the safest. The kid was suspiciously missing (supposedly training) and even then, he wasn't sure he'd want to be hanging around her today (not that he'd ever admit that!)
"How long do you plan on 'napping'?" Virtuous asked after an hour or so.
Gig barely cracked open his eyes. "As long as cupid's cow is out there."
"I'm surprised, the mighty former Master of Death is hiding from a girl," the Master of Life said with an amused look.
"Bite me, Virtubitch," he hissed, attempting to sink back into darkness. It wasn't working though and he was getting bored out of his skull. With dull interest he watched as Virtuous crossed the room towards a small bundle of red roses, freshly picked.
"They're from some of the villagers," Virtuous said, as though reading his mind. "They wanted it to be a gift for today."
"Let me guess, 'display of affections', right?" He said dryly.
"Of course, love isn't just limited to the romantic nature," she said simply. With regal grace she picked one from the bundle and admired it. "Tell me, Gig, have you ever told Revya how you feel about her?"
Gig nearly fell from his spot. "W-what kind of question is that!? Don't tell me you and the cow are in cahoots or something."
"It's a simple question. Have you or have you not?" Gig glared at her direction a moment before readjusting himself in another attempted nap. "You've never told her then?"
"Gig," Virtuous said patiently.
"So what if I haven't said anything? She knows," he said finally, in a flat tone. "Shouldn't it be pretty obvious after that incident?"
Virtuous laughed softly, "Ah yes, the infamous Yuga Mountains incident…a curse broken by a series of tests and a display of true love, I remember that quite well.
"But Gig, you should understand the power of words," Virtuous said with gentle reproach.
"Yeah, the power to make you look like a simpering, spineless moron," he countered. "Especially those three. I'd rather give up hotpods for the next century or two than say something so…sappy! The most cliché words in the universe have got to be those three, right up there with 'justice', 'hope', and 'friendship'."
"Perhaps, but even so they are still words that hold a lot of weight to them," she answered. "While you assume expressing them makes a man look weak I would say it's the opposite. It takes great courage to admit something like that and truly mean it."
Gig snorted and averted his gaze. "You've hung around humans way too long if you're spouting off things like that."
Outside, there was the sound of a certain sepp girl as she asked someone if they had seen a certain jerk. Gig tensed a little but relaxed as he heard her take off again.
"Doesn't she ever give up?" He grumbled.
"It wouldn't be like her if she did," Virtuous commented with a smile. "It's one of her charms."
"Being annoying is a charm?"
Virtuous gave him a chiding look before returning her attention to the roses. "Every flower has a different meaning. These in particular are a favorite for today. Do you know why?"
"Why would I want to?" Gig demanded, ignoring the stab of discomfort.
"They symbolize many things," she continued, as though she hadn't heard Gig. "Sincerity, beauty, unity, respect…but of all the meanings the one that everyone remembers is-"
Gig abruptly stood up. Virtuous looked at him curiously and said, "Are you finished your 'nap'?"
"I didn't even get to sleep, period," he answered snidely. "It's way too noisy here."
The old woman nodded. "Very well. But before you leave I would like to give you something. What you choose to do with it is your decision. You may even choose to throw it away if you like."
Before Gig could respond she pressed one of the roses into his hand. His first impulse was to throw it back and say something to the hag but it didn't follow through. The Master of Life looked at him kindly and whispered something that made Gig's annoyance (or was it discomfort?) at the whole situation skyrocket. He shot her a dark look and stormed out…
It was only after the door was shut and he was a good distance away (silently cursing the hag) that he realized that he was still holding the stupid thing.
Gig must've changed his mind over a hundred times after leaving the village. This was a waste of time. He should have just tossed back the stupid thing and be done with it (after all, she was the one who said he could do anything with it). On the other hand, he'd still have the cow nattering in his ear. Besides, knowing the kid it's not like she'd think of it as anything anyway.
He found her just a short distance from the village. She was absently trading blows with an imaginary foe, ignorant to his arrival. Gig watched for a while, momentarily thinking back to just forgetting about the whole thing.
Instead he casually smirked and said, "Your technique's getting sloppy. I guess saving the world means you get to be lazy."
Revya simply rolled her eyes (she was too used to suddenly hearing his voice out of nowhere by now). "Hey, Gig. Did you finish that errand?"
Gig blinked. "Errand?"
"Yeah, Danette said you were busy with something today before booting me out for a training session. She was supposed to meet me but I guess she got busy or something."
"Orsomething," Gig muttered darkly. Somewhere at the back of his mind he heard a mini version of the cow laughing away.
"So, what's up?" She asked. "You're not just here to critique my training, are you?"
Gig's usual confidence faltered a little and it came back in a surge of anger from his pride. He blasted the hell out of the three stooges of Drazil, this should be a cinch!
Holding onto that thought, he shoved the rose to her. "Here."
It took a moment for it to connect for her but when it did, her face looked frozen in astonishment. Gig…and a flower!?
"Gig…are you all right?" Revya asked carefully.
"What? I can't just randomly give you something?" He demanded.
"N-no, it's just.…this isn't like you…" Her voice trailed off and she suddenly looked suspicious. "What did you do now?"
Gig nearly fell over. For the love of-this is why he could never do anything 'nice'! "Nothing! I just felt like it, okay?! If you don't like it you can just toss it or hand it off to someone or whatever!"
"Okay, sorry," Revya winced. "I'm just…really surprised."
That makes two of us, he privately thought.
She was turning it over in her hands, looking a little embarrassed. "Where'd you get it from?"
"Just the hag," he said nonchalantly. "She didn't want it so she handed it off to me after spouting off some crap about its meaning and symbolism and stuff. I'm obviously not into this sorta thing so I figured you'd probably find something to do with it."
"Oh," the redhead said simply. Finally looking up at him she said with a smile, "Thanks, Gig."
"Heh, it's not that big a deal."
They stood in awkward silence.
Gig lightly scuffed the dirt, feeling an odd sense of…well, contentment. This working out better than he thought: the kid looked satisfied (and hopefully, wouldn't remember what today was), the cow would shut up about it, and he hadn't had to-
"You said they have a meaning, what is it exactly?"
…Someone up there had an unbelievable twisted sense of humour.
"Oh…that…" Gig said listlessly. He suddenly grinned evilly, "It stands for blood, guts, and gore."
She blinked. "What?"
"Well, it's bloody red and usually has nice, sharp thorn or two on it, right?" He said in a matter-of-fact tone. "So what else would it stand for? Heheh."
Revya gave him a hard look and said, "You're lying. You always laugh like that when you're lying."
Gig scowled. Damn it, he really had to stop doing that.
"Fine,don't take my word for it," he said haughtily. "Not like it matters anyway."
"Okay, I'll just ask Lady Virtuous when we get back then," she replied.
"Wait, wait, wait, you're going to ask the hag?" Gig asked. "I already gave you an answer!"
"But it isn't a truthful one," she said simply. "You said it wasn't a big deal so it shouldn't matter anyway."
"What I meant was the meaning doesn't really matter!" He insisted. "Besides, why should you be so interest? It's just a flower."
"Then why are you reacting so much over it?" She inquired. "It can't be that bad."
Gig glared at her, biting back a retort while she looked at him expectantly. Most of the anger ebbed with the realization he was screwed either way. Either the hag would or someone else would blab about it. The idea of running off to Orviska or wherever was looking increasingly temping, though there was the other idea…
Fine, if he was going to be screwed one way or another.
"Fine, if it'll get you off my back," Gig grumbled. Taking a deep breath he muttered something really fast and incoherent. "There, happy now?"
"I couldn't hear you…"
"Too bad, I'm not saying it again!" He said hotly. "It's bad enough saying it once."
"Gig, after everything that happened last year it can't be as bad as your making it out to be," Revya sighed.
Gig gave her an unreadable expression. After what seemed like forever he said quietly, "They're supposed to mean…argh, I can't believe I'm saying this…they mean 'I love you'."
Revya just stared, stunned.
Gig suppressed the flooding, mixed emotions from the words and took advantage of her silence to say, "But hey, that's just what the old hag said. She's old and losing her wits anyway so I wouldn't trust her word on it. But anyway… I'm heading back to the village so I'll check ya later. See ya."
Gig turned and began to make a quick retreat.
"Gig?" He heard her call after him. "…I love you too."