Disclaimer: I do not own Enzai

Warnings/Notes: Drabble. Vallewida's POV


The first time he smiled in the face of sadness shattered me. Outside duty had been long and relentless; we turned from our nearly finished work in the fields to the direction of the cool wind, our callused hands bleeding slowly. I watched as his eyes traveled to and halted on a nearby tree, one without leaves or sturdy branches. At the time being I thought nothing of it, Evan had a way of going off to far away places in times of hardship, and, location permitting, I often did the same.

"Vallewida." My name passed through his lips as if carried on the breath of an angel; "Do you know what kind of tree that is?" He inquired, with a small and plastered smile; I shook my head no.

"It's an ash tree, an autumn purple ash tree." The sadness in his eyes provoked by the frailness of the scene did not immediately unnerve me, it was the writer in him, was my source of justification.

"I've heard the ones that are able to bloom here are quite beautiful."

He nodded slowly at me, ignoring the shouting from guards close by, "I buried my mother under an ash tree…" He said to me, and I was impacted by the sentiment all at once. Underneath the tree there was a lone flower, a wilted, dying flower. The symbolism was somehow effected by the insignificance that came to ones mind at the sight of the thing. Unlike a rose, it did not hold ones attention; it was an ugly thing, in brutal honesty.

Evan always had, had a knack for attracting broken, ugly pieces.

In a desperate attempt to console him I offered to paint the scene, which became the first of many subjects I would depict whilst in prison. From then on Evan and I were given outside duty on just two more occasions, both times we were separated from one another, and were also before the completion of the painting.

The day I handed it to him was the first it had ever snowed on the grounds of our "death camp," in his eyes there was no longer a sadness only I could see, but instead a sense of serenity and peace. Looking back on the moment I still smile, for he was hiding himself even before he had the opportunity to find and read the golden calligraphy on the back of the canvas. "Smile when your scars are showing" I had written on the back of the only memory that ever caused any of his emotions to surface….

Fate's sense of irony is a cruel thing.