Earth

They're sitting out on the verandah in what might best be described as a lounge, watching the rain fall down in silver-grey sheets. Maru and Moro and Mokona splash through puddles in bright yellow rain-coats, and a little yellow bird cheers them on from his warm place under Himawari's hair.

Himawari asks, "So what use do you have for my food, anyway, Yuuko-san?"

And Yuuko looks surprised and says, "I eat it."

So they're lounging out on the verandah at the start of the rainy season, sharing a plate of oatmeal-raisin cookies. One woman smokes, as her hair is braided by the other into long skinny schoolgirl plaits. They don't say much.

And the rain falls down, and flowers grow.

Owari

WHYS AND WHEREFORES

So there's Himawari: a pretty girl who values appearances, speaks obscurely, has a buried but vicious sense of humour ("You and Doumeki are so cute together!" SPAZZ FLAIL RANT), and owns a knack for leading people into situations they otherwise wouldn't encounter, usually unhappy.

And then there's Yuuko: a beautiful woman who enjoys flamboyant appearances, speaks obscurely, has an openly vicious sense of humour ("You and Doumeki should hold the lantern closely, as if you were newly-weds." SPAZZ FLAIL RANT), and owns a knack for leading people into situations they otherwise wouldn't encounter, quite often unhappy.

That's... quite a lot in common.

The seeds of a friendship fic began to sprout. Add to that Himawari's canon reluctance for Watanuki to know what she paid for his health, added to the unhappiness scarring causes a lot of women which is just, you know, one more thing for Himawari to hide, added to Yuuko's substance abuse (and does she even like her job, anyway?) added to ukiyo-e prints of women lounging on garden verandahs... turned into this. Hope you enjoyed it.

I rewrote this chapter so many times... The cutting room floor is quite extravagant, I must say. These notes are longer than the chapter. Sorry.