A/N: I was bored in art class. What's new? ;)


She watches her mother work, trimming and cutting and positioning and perfecting, creating beauty from beauty, and she lets her mind wander.

She thinks that love is a lot like ikebana.

Each flower has its place in an arrangement – a certain position in which it achieves its full potential. Each color must work and blend together, each petal must curl gently, each leaf must be the perfect shade of green, and each stem must be trimmed with precision. Branches must be slanted just so. Negative space must balance out the positive. Line, shape, and form must coalesce to create a work of art, one in which the ancient triangle of heaven, earth, and man are united and harmonious.

In ikebana, the details make all the difference.

But it's difficult to know what others wish to see in an arrangement. Do they prefer lilies over orchids? Glass vases over hand-made pottery? Soft, gentle pinks and whites over vibrant oranges and reds?

In the end, there is no guarantee that they'll like what they see. To them, an arrangement might be a mess of jumbled twigs and blossoms, thrown together in sudden desperation. Or perhaps the slightest leaf out of place will destroy everything, corrupting an otherwise perfect piece. All that work and struggle for the sake of art… All those measurements and calculations and dedication… If no one sees the true beauty of an arrangement, then wouldn't everything have gone to waste?

Her mother turns to her with a gentle smile, presenting the finished piece.

"What do you think?" she asks, her voice as soft as snow.

Sora gazes at it for a few moments, contemplating. Beautiful purple petals peek over the rim of the vase shyly, long grasses extend at exactly the right angle, reaching for the sky, and hesitant buds yearn to bloom into graceful majesty. The arrangement is lovely, yes, but somehow wrong…

Sora reaches over and turns the vase ever so slightly to the left, so that the swaying grasses are reaching their green fingers towards her, extending a greeting with open arms. It is the same and yet so very different; a viewpoint all her own.

"It's flawless," Sora says, nodding gravely.

Her mother smiles, and thinks that love is a lot like ikebana.