001 Flora

Ruka's favorite flowers are not roses, although she's fond of weaving them into her long hair in those rare moments where she feels whimsical and young. Roses are the flowers she accepts from anyone, because everyone loves roses.

Ruka's favorite flowers were not violets, although her bedroom always had one or two sitting primly in glass vases. People didn't give her violets generally because the color purple she liked was rather specific and sometimes varied with her mood. They found very quickly that it was always easier (and safer) to choose roses (when in doubt).

Her favorite flowers were not poppies, although her eyes always smiled when she saw the brilliant flashes of red and orange… and yellow. Sunset colors she calls them. Ruka doesn't generally like accepting poppies though because she always finds their shape a bit flat and common; the only exceptions are her brothers. Only her brothers are allowed to give her a bouquet (a monstrosity) of firework sunset colors, because it reminds her of that precious memory where her siblings had once devoted one entire afternoon in stringing a maypole of poppies just for her sake.

Actually, to be honest, Ruka likes flowers. You were pretty much on her safe side if you gave her flowers. She may be picky about violets and poppies, but in general Ruka was a very reasonable soul with a penchant for flora. The only exception to the rule was orchids.

Ruka never accepts orchids from anyone. When offered she usually declined graciously, or simply ignored the offering. In a memorable moment (in public too if Kain remembered correctly) Ruka had openly accepted a beautiful(expensive) bouquet from one of her peers, only to extract the orchids in a very prissy way and graciously (as graciously as the awkward situation could possibly allow, though Kain suspected Ruka derived perverse enjoyment from watching other people squirm) dropped them on the floor right in front of the poor sap's feet (one part of Kain scolds him for not being nice; it's a very small part though so Kain ignores it). Since then, rumor has it that Ruka didn't like orchids.

Every time Kain hears it he laughs, laughs, and laughs and every time he's unable to resist giving the most smug and egotistical smirk. Though she could be as stereotypically cold (frigid) as the next Ice Queen, that was Ruka-hibernating (as Kain liked to call it). What the public doesn't know is that Ruka's a rather sentimental individual who only accepted orchids from one vampire for reasons she'll never admit to anyone, not even to that one vampire.

Ruka's first "important" memory of Kain was when she was eight and he was ten, attending one of those "millionaire fairs" and Kain had noticed (although even all of her brothers had missed it) that her eyes had lingered just a second longer than most on pendant shaped like orchid. The next Monday Ruka found the pendant sitting innocently in a white unadorned package accompanied with two stalks of real orchids. Although he never admitted it, Ruka knew in the way only Ruka knew when she saw the surprise in everyone's eyes at her discovery… in everyone's eyes except his knowing ones.

Ruka's eleventh "important" memory of Kain was when they were nine and she had haplessly fallen down the stairs. She had been a clumsy child, although no one could ever have guessed judging from her mature grace and appearance, and such accidents were not infrequent. Usually though, Kain had been there to more or less save her from herself. However that time she had actually cried because Kain had been out camping with his family…and hence had been unconsciously unable to prevent her hip from spraining. Ruka was spoiled, but she wasn't that unreasonable and had never blamed anyone but herself. Kain had felt guilty nonetheless. The orchids on her vanity table the next morning had made the pain go away though, and all was right in the world for nine-year-old Ruka which (by transitive property) meant that all was soon right in the world for eleven-year-old Kain as well.

Ruka's twenty-first "important" memory of Kain was when she was ten and he was twelve, the same year she had sent her first Valentine's card and chocolates (that was, contrary to urban legend, not sent to Kaname). That year, she had received the most gorgeous white orchids for White Day. From then on, regardless of her personal feelings for others, she always sent chocolates to Kain on Valentine's just for those gorgeous white orchids.

Ruka's thirty-first "important" memory of Kain was when she was fifteen and he was seventeen, and she publicly obsessed and he privately hurting for the same thing. It had been out of the blue, for no reason beyond the fact she was sad because Kaname was not there. She had not said much to Kain about her anguish, but from the knowing look in his eyes she knew he knew. What she didn't know was that he had the same anguish, just better hidden. Regardless though, he had quietly cajoled her into a game of hide-and-go-seek (a game she's shamelessly fond of even in her adolescent years… although she'll only admit that to Kain) and she had forgotten her despair quickly enough in the usual adolescent rush for fun and amusement. And even when the party had ended and she had wandered into her room wearily, she found white orchids on her bed tied with the prettiest white ribbon. The white ribbon successfully kept her occupied for the rest of the week. (Ruka still wears that ribbon from time to time.)

Ruka's forty-first "important" memory of Kain was when she was seventeen going on eighteen, and he was nineteen leaving his teens. They had passed her birthday covered in the blood and grime of Rido's lackeys, and there really was no time for the usual celebration and gifts. That didn't stop him from leaving white orchids on her windowsill though, still wet and dewy from god knows where he found them. Despite the fact Kaname was missing and Rima was injured, Ruka was still able to smile once that day.

Ruka's most important memory of Kain was her fifty-first though. She suspects it's his favorite as well.

She's eighteen then, and he's already twenty. She was wearing white with a green sash that looked like orchids, and he was dressed as dashingly informally handsome as always. She was impulsive and he was unprepared. Her eyes were closed and his eyes were open when she had brushed her lips (not against his cheeks) against his own lightly. In the most Aidou fashion possible (in the most un-Kain fashion possible), Kain had sputtered a "why".

Ruka, equally unprepared to answered, said the first thing that came to her mind.

"Thank you for the orchids."

Really there was no question that Ruka's favorite flowers were orchids, even if the public didn't know that.

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