Hi, everyone - I finally uploaded a new story! :D And it only took me, ah, let's see... Three weeks. XP I've got a new updating strategy, though, so maybe I'll be able to bring out stuff faster now. Speaking of which, if you haven't already, please try to vote on the poll on my profile - it's going to decide which of my stories gets updated/uploaded next (there's more info about it in the news section of my profile). Anyway, this one is not exactly a oneshot, but close to it (I think). It's based on the 1fandom Community's word theme sets on livejournal, but it uses paragraphs instead of just one sentence. Now, this brings up another important point: I'm not a member of livejournal. They might not like me doing this... Especially since I'm not entirely following their rules, and I'm not a member of that site anyway. So... If anyone happens to be a livejournal member, I would really appreciate it if you could ask them if it's okay. I'm only using the theme sets - I wasn't intending on really participating or anything. If no one reading this is a member, or if you're unable to ask them... Well, I'll just continue to use the theme sets until someone tells me otherwise. ;) And that's another thing I need to mention - if it is okay to use those theme sets, I'll be using the other ones for more Blue Dragon pairings (I'm really hoping it's okay, because I'm especially looking forward to doing one for Jiro x Kluke, game and anime). One more thing: I tried to avoid this, but unfortunately, some of the paragraphs became "almost run-on paragraphs", so to speak... You'll see what I mean, though it's mostly in the later ones. Also, this is not exactly a warning, but...: Take caution, as romance, fluffiness, and perhaps even sappiness might be found beyond here. XD And that's pretty much it. After the disclaimer, read on (and hopefully enjoy)! :D
Disclaimer: I do not own Blue Dragon... Ugh, I don't know what else to put in here anymore. XP
Her feet hurt, ache more than they have in her whole entire life. This is just ridiculous... Climbing a mountain, by foot of all things. But, if all she has to do is walk to be with her newfound fiancé... Bouquet kept walking, and noted that her feet didn't hurt quite as much as they had a second ago.
Bouquet is possibly the most beautiful girl he's ever seen, and Shu can't possibly imagine why she would want to spend the rest of her life with a simple village boy like him. Surely she's just made a mistake, and will leave him once she realizes it... But two years later, she's continued to remain by his side, even though he still can't figure out why.
"Shu!" She screams his name as she falls off the side of the cliff, her hand in front of her as if she were reaching for him - from the look on her face, he's honestly not sure if it's because she's frightened of dying, or if it's because she sees the complete agony written across his face as he watches her falling. "Bouquet!" He catches her wrist in his hand, and wills himself not to lose his grip even as the muscles in his arm starts to burn...
She loves listening to him speak. His voice can be fiery, angry, courageous, excited, upset, saddened, happy, soothing, gentle, caring... She loves all of the emotions portrayed in his voice, and she could listen to it forever.
There must be something that she's lacking, something wrong with her, if he's still continuing to pine for Kluke after all of this time. Though he pushed her away at first, now he wakes up to Bouquet every morning, and he hasn't seen Kluke (save for one time) in two years. She must be a bad fiancée, she must be...
By moonlight pouring in through a window, she watches him breathing softly as he sleeps, his bare chest slowly moving up and down. She brushes some of his messy locks away from his forehead and thinks, After all of this time, he's finally mine.
His laughter is musical, a melodic sound she never tires of. She would do anything, for him to always be laughing, smiling, happy.
"I missed you," he says suddenly. She snaps her head up; she can hear her heart hammering in her chest, and wonders if he can, too. He doesn't turn his head to look at her, just continues to stare at the blue horizon; the wind is blowing the hair that isn't covered by his Resistance helmet. "I missed you while you were gone."
She sighs wistfully, twirling her graying hair around her finger, and comments that she used to be so much more lovely during her youth. He wraps his arms around her waist from behind, and says it doesn't matter to him - she'll always be beautiful to him, no matter how old she gets.
He wakes from the nightmare with a small shout, sitting upright. Once he's calmed slightly, he curls into himself slightly, resting his head on his arms. Bouquet, please, don't leave me. Stay with me...
He remembers the first time Bouquet told him, "I love you." He'd felt dizzy, lightheaded, anxious, ecstatic - his heart ached, both painfully and pleasantly (he'd never experienced anything quite like it), filled with such happiness... Later he felt guilty, because it took him such a long time to say it back to her (he'd been so terribly afraid, and so grateful that she understood that).
He peels his shirt off, and with a joyful shout, jumps into the river. As he's frolicking in the water, wearing on his face a look of childish happiness that often frequents his features, she can tell that he's completely oblivious to how very distracting his current state is.
She looks up at the large red dragon towering over her, paralyzed with fear. Tears form in her eyes, and all she can let out is a choked gasp. The dragon prepares its powerful attack, the one that destroyed the Rosenkreuz battleship only minutes before, and the name of her fiancé echoes in her head (she absentmindedly wonders if it will be her last thought). Shu...
The Shu-tachi can agree that Bouquet is a good cook, but she's still just as clumsy as when they first met her. After she trips on something - maybe a stone or a root - and crashes to the ground, she looks up and lets out a horrified gasp as she sees that the bowl of stew she was carrying is now on Shu's head, his hair soaked with the spilled contents. She opens her mouth to apologize, but he swiftly and kindly interrupts, saying, "It's fine. I don't mind."
For as long as he's known her, Shu always finds himself looking at her at times when she won't notice. He notices how cute her outfit is, wonders how her hair would look when not in its typical pigtails, has a sudden impulse to kiss her - and immediately wonders afterwards where exactly these thoughts are coming from.
She supposes that the beginning of her love for him was when he said those words no one else had ever said, those words that warmed her heart, those words she would always remember: "I understand your feelings."
Bouquet watches as he talks with Kluke, how animated he is (she thinks, sadly, that he's never that way with her). She wonders if she will always be second for his affections.
His chest tightens as Bouquet looks at him with a small smile, love shining in her eyes. Her eyes... They're captivating, that beautiful violet shade he'd never seen until he met her, and he gets lost in them...
He remembers the first time Bouquet asked for candy while they were in town. He saw how much she enjoyed it, and as time went on, he learned that this was because she had possibly the biggest sweet tooth he'd ever seen (until Noi would come along, anyway). After that time, he made it a habit to try and buy her some whenever he could. While their group consisted of six, it was Kluke's eyes that bored into the back of his head, burning him with her jealousy. Two years later it would be Marumaro's eyes, though they bored into his head with envy, as Bouquet smothered him with her chest.
He takes in a painful breath, thinking of how just a short while ago, Bouquet almost died. She almost died, trying to save him. He's trembling, trying not to give in and sob; there's too much he needs to do, he can't break down now. But... But she almost- "Shu," her voice startles him. "What's wrong?" He looks at her, his eyes stinging, and says, "Nothing, Bouquet. I'm fine." He has to keep going, for her sake.
He nearly gasps as she takes his hand into hers; he hadn't even known she was there, let alone next to him (she appears so suddenly sometimes...). He looks over at her, fighting back a blush; she's smiling brightly, her eyes telling him that no matter what he's going through, she'll be by his side. He closes his eyes, sighing a grateful sigh; her hand is familiar and reassuring.
He has Blue Dragon fly as flashy as possible; Bouquet cries out gleefully, wrapping her arms tighter around his waist (his heart speeds up). He hears Jiro mutter something about him being a show off - I'm the show off?! He's the one carrying around Kluke with Minotauros, the hypocrite! - but after that brief spurt of outrage, he thinks about it and decides that he doesn't care. If he's showing off for Bouquet, if he's impressing her, he doesn't really mind that much.
At the start of the day, she's always there, cooking up breakfast. During their first journey, their time with the Resistance, and their second journey - he always wakes up seeing her smile at him. Though he's never had the courage to tell her, it's something he cherishes dearly.
Do you love me? It's something she's always wanted to ask Shu, but she never does - she's always too afraid of the answer.
He looks up at the stars, his arms pillowing his head, as he thinks about his relationship with Bouquet - it's not the first time he's done it, nor will it be the last. He's pretty sure that Bouquet loves him - most people don't risk their lives for someone more than once without a reason - though that still doesn't stop him from occasionally trying to convince himself otherwise (he tells himself that if he does, it will hurt much less when she tires of him). But, his feelings for Bouquet... How does he feel about her? That part of it is always confusing, and he spends a good deal of his time trying to sort it all out. And every time he contemplates this particular, even though it doesn't answer everything, there's one conclusion he comes to each time: He wants to protect her, with his life if the case may be, just as she's done for him.
She takes off his hair band with only one tug; he makes an embarrassed noise in the back of his throat as his hair tumbles free, stopping just below his shoulder blades (though each "spike", so to speak, doesn't go down that far, so it's slightly uneven). She notes that it's just a bit longer than it was two years ago, after his battle with Rogi (she had gotten a glimpse of it before she started wailing about the Extra Seven, and though she'd been too upset at the time, she did think about his hair being down for a good deal of time afterwards). She remembers what her original task had been - "Shu, your hair is a mess! You have to brush it at least once in a while!" - and the brush is just next to her leg, but she can't bring herself to do it yet. She pushes her fingers through some of it, feebly convincing herself that she's just "combing it out", and not giving into her long-existing want to touch his hair; it feels as soft as down, and wraps around her hand almost of its own accord... He sighs softly, an almost content sigh, and she continues. For some reason, she doesn't think he'll mind too much.
Ever since she'd gotten Shu to agree to be her fiancé, she'd fantasized about what their married life would be like. In each of her little daydreams, she would always think of the house they would live in... But she always thought afterwards that it didn't really fit. It didn't feel... well, it didn't feel like home. It took her a long while, but she finally realized something - she was trying to find the feeling of a home in a place, in an object. But all this time, whenever she was with Shu, she already was home.
Bouquet sighs, resting her chin on her hands, watching as Shu and Jiro get into one of their many loud and noisy fights. She hasn't been a part of the group as long as the others, but she's already aware that this is a typical occurrence. And she's now also aware that it's very tiring for those not participating in the fight. Still... She remembers the first time she saw them fight, remembers the fire that was in Shu's eyes then, and that's there now, and she can't stop her cheeks from heating up. Her face can only get redder as Kluke and Marumaro ask what's wrong with her.
He notices, that during all of his travels, Bouquet has always found a way to be next to him. The first few days after she joined the group, she was practically chained to his hip when they were walking (perverted attempts from Marumaro sometimes drove her away). Later, when they had the mechat, she would always look off the side of the ship railing with him (he could tell she genuinely wanted to see the sights, but she could have done that just as easily from the other side). When they were in the Resistance, she was next to him almost every minute of the day, whether during mission briefings or meal times (she's the one that cooked the meals, but she didn't go on all of the missions, and certainly didn't have to be at the meetings every time). And when they journeyed with Noi and Marumaro, she was again next to him almost constantly (though she was chased away by Marumaro more frequently now, since even though Bouquet had learned to hold her own, Marumaro no longer had the threat of Kluke). What Shu wonders is if she's noticed all of the times he tries to get next to her.
From the corner of his eye, he seems something on Bouquet's shoulder... Once he's turned his head fully, and seen what it is, it's become very hard for him to breathe. A scar. Very, very light, but it's still there. Since it looks so faded, he suspects that it's from just a year ago, received sometime when they were fighting Rudolf. He has to look away, his eyes stinging, thinking that it's his fault that the scar is there, his fault that she's been damaged. And he can't help but sadly wonder - with all of his brushing off of their "engagement", how many times has he damaged her heart as well?
Bouquet looks at him from an angle - his gaze steady, a determined set in his shoulders. In just a few moments, they'll be heading into one of the most substantial battles they've had for a while. They've been through a lot since then, though - too many things to count that happened too fast. And, still, he stands here, ready to fight and defend the world. She can't help but smile a little - Shu has immense strength, not just as a Shadow User, but also as a person.
"We are not..." Shu grasped desperately for a description that was more lax than what Noi had used (nope, definitely not boyfriend and girlfriend, completely out of the question, and his heart had not started pounding at the thought; it was just moving a little faster for no explicable reason). "...together." he decided on. "She called you her fiancé," Noi pointed out. "And your cheeks reddened just from talking about this. That would seem to imply that the two of you have some sort of relationship, wouldn't it?" Shu gritted his teeth and said, "Please, just drop it. I've barely known you for twenty-four hours; you don't know anything about me or my personal life." Noi's response was just to say, "Ah. It's a complicated topic, then."
After the Battle of Darkness, he'd always regretted pushing her away. At the time, he could think of only one thing: If he had become such a horrible person that he was capable of making his teacher and mentor, his companion and friend, disappear off the face of the earth, he shouldn't even be allowed to be near someone as kind as Bouquet. What he hadn't been prepared for was the incredible loneliness. So he had been completely shocked, and utterly touched, when she came back to him anyway. He didn't think she would literally "chase him to the ends of the earth", but he's glad she did.
Bouquet blinked owlishly, sitting up and trying to figure out where she was. She only had time to see that her clothes had small tears in them before she was crushed in a tight hug. She caught sight of dark brown hair and a green bandana, and instantly knew who it was holding her. His whole body was tense, and his breath shaky as he said, "I thought... I thought you weren't going to wake up..." She'd never heard him sound so upset before, and felt guilty for being the cause. Memories of the prior fight danced in her mind, but she pushed them away in favor of closing her eyes and returning his hug; he relaxed instantly. Shu hugging her was a rare occasion, and she intended to relish the safe feeling of his arms around her as much as she could.
He had simply been watching the campfire - despite the conflict with the Superior Life Forms being over for two years, they still sometimes camped out for old times' sake - when Bouquet asked him if they could go further into the woods for a minute so they could talk in private. He thought it was understandable - they'd taken more steps with their relationship during the time that had passed, but unfortunately, the two of them hadn't been able to spend much time together lately. Still, when they were far enough away, he hadn't expected her to shove him against a tree and start kissing him.
From the time that she's known Shu, there was always something she noticed about him - his eyes. They always held a bright light in their dark depths, one that warmed her all over.
"Anego!" Hibiki called cheerfully, wrapping his arms around Bouquet's leg. "Hibiki, stop that! And don't call her that!" Shu shouted at him, his cheeks blazing. "But..." The small boy furrowed his eyebrows in confusion. "She said that she was Aniki's fiancé, so that means she's our big sister, right?"
He rolls around, further tangling himself in the blanket, murmuring in his sleep. His face is so peaceful when he's like this... Her arms tighten around her knees; she's just barely aware that her legs feel a little cramped from kneeling so long. She knows that Jiro is sleeping right next to him, and would see her if he woke up, but she can't bring herself to move away. She just became his fiancé a short while ago, and all she wants to do is lean over Shu and kiss him... But she can't do it, not while he's asleep; that would feel wrong, somehow. So, she settles for just watching him sleep. Besides - she smiles - they have the rest of their lives for kisses.
Noi and Marumaro had only been walking down the hallway when Bouquet came storming out of the room, furiously ranting under her breath something about Kluke - they barely managed to avoid getting run over. Curious about what had made her so mad, both boys had peered into the open doorframe. Inside stood Shu, holding his cheek where there was a slap mark. Noi shook his head. "What is it with them...? Always fighting..." he muttered. Marumaro shrugged and said, "Well, with those two, it's often like What's-his-name's law, maro: Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong, maro." After the words were out of his mouth, the two of them only had about five seconds to start running as Shu gave chase.
"Aw, look at how cute he is!" Bouquet practically cooed as she gathered the puppy into her arms. Shu kicked the ground; he felt aggravated all of a sudden, though he didn't know why. He glanced again at Bouquet hugging the stray she had found, and the feeling intensified. And then it hit him. No... Oh no... No way. Jealous of an adolescent canine... I can't believe this is happening.
Bouquet glared harshly at him, furious tears pricking her eyes. "Just this one time, I want you to be honest with me about your feelings. I don't care how hard it'll be for me to hear it - all I want is the truth." Shu looked up at her; the despair etched into his face doused her anger like a flame. "The truth." he stated quietly. "Fine." He looked away from her, his expression akin to pain, mirroring his voice when he started to speak again. "I'm scared. So scared... Everyone who I care about seems to get hurt... or even killed... and I'm afraid that you'll end up being next..." Before he could say anything else, Bouquet had come and sat down next to him on the bed, wordlessly taking his hand. After a very short moment, Shu squeezed her hand with his own, closing his eyes.
Shu was laid out on the rock-covered riverside, trying to catch his breath. Why did I ever try to catch fish with my bare hands...? He turned his head slightly; Bouquet entered his line of sight, cooking fish over their campfire. He watched wisps of smoke lazily climb upwards... Bouquet broke his reverie with a giggle. "What is it?" he asked her. "I was just thinking... I can see myself years from now - the two of us a married couple, and me cooking fish for you, just like this..." she sighed dreamily. He gave an aggravated huff. "Yeah, if we get married..." He rolled onto his side in a futile attempt to block the girl's daydreaming. But he failed to block a stray thought from entering his mind. That does sound kind of nice, though...
"Welcome! May I take your order?" She must've said that a million times, or at least something similar to it. For a long time, she had wondered if her life would always be this way - wasting her life in an endless cycle of restaurants, waiting for someone who would be willing to marry her, no matter their disposition. But then, on that faithful day... She took the order of an odd group, and when two men at least three times her age started harassing her, he stopped them... And things only got better from there. She ended up having a purpose - she helped save the world - and she even found someone who would marry her.
She closes her eyes, waiting. It's still almost too good to be true, and she wonders for a moment if it won't happen after all, if everything in the past few minutes has been nothing but one of her fantasies that seemed startlingly real in comparison to the ones previous. But he shows her that it is real. She feels it right away - the pressure of his lips against her own. They stay like that for a long time, then he pulls away - and he comes right back, seeming like he can't stay away. The kiss is deeper this time, but he has to move away sooner - a more passionate kiss, rather than a gentle one, requires more oxygen (neither were aware of this, or much of anything, for that matter). The two of them half-open their eyes at the same time; Bouquet parts her lips in surprise when she sees Shu's eyes. The black of them is even darker than normal, gazing at her with a heavy and intense emotion she's unable to identify. And then their rest is over - they meet eagerly, as if the separation has been too long.
She's bent over, her eyes narrowed in concentration. It's a very delicate project, and she has to be careful not to ruin it. When it seems like it's just right, she puts on the finishing touches, then takes a step back to admire her work. She giggles happily, in anticipation for what's coming, and then prepares to bring it into the other room... She finds him outside, looking at the sunset (she knows, however, that he's actually looking at something much farther away). After some confused questioning on his part, she manages to coax him inside. He asks her why it's so dark inside, but any following words die in his throat as he sees the orange glow coming from the table. From the candlelight that now illuminates his face, she can see everything flickering in his eyes - shock, homesickness, delight, gratitude. "Bouquet..." he whispers her name. She smiles at him. "Happy birthday, Shu."
She looked peaceful as she slept - someone just coming into the room and seeing her would think that nothing was wrong, if not for the square gauze taped to her cheek. Holding that very same cheek, Shu had his palm right over the bandage, all tenderness and concern. He took his hand away, almost reluctantly, and held it over his chest where it had become a tight fist, trembling with held back and painful emotions. Bouquet has gone through so much, for me... because of me... She never would have been hurt if it wasn't for me. Maybe it would have been better if she never knew me- His thoughts are interrupted when Bouquet murmurs his name in her sleep, a delighted smile lighting up her face as she dreams of him. The clenched hand relaxes - he'll wait for her to awaken, no matter how long it may take.
"Kluke..." Jiro looks on as she stirs the pot, his face a mixture of pity and horror. "Don't say it," she says swiftly. "It's going to work out this time. I know it will." Still, there's a small tremor of uncertainty in her voice. "It has to-" "LOOK OUT!" Shu screams as he comes running towards. He races past - Kluke screams as he trips on the pot and spills all of her soup - and after recovering from the stumbling, he's back on his feet and darting away. "DARLING~!" Bouquet rushes past them towards where Shu went. Once they've gone, Kluke clenches her hand into a fist and says, "I'm going to kill both of them." Jiro glances at her, then in the direction of Shu and Bouquet, hears Shu's distant screams, then shakes his head. "If Bouquet keeps hugging him like she does, you'll probably only have to kill one person."
He needs her, even if he doesn't know it. She makes him want to be stronger, want to work harder, want to be better. She motivates him to become something greater. When betrayal has left him hurt and confused, a few simple words from her, and he finds himself again. They come away from the battle victorious, but he's left alone. Except for her. Even though he tries to separate himself from her, she manages to come back and stay with him. A new enemy attacks, and he almost loses her; it very nearly breaks his heart, though he's careful not to let it show. He needs her, but now he knows it.
Shu had just been lying on the beach, relaxing - the last time he'd been at the beach, he'd headed straight for Kluke's and had no time for leisure - when, rather suddenly, a shadow was cast over him. He glanced upwards, and looking down at him with arms crossed was Bouquet (he also noted that there was a mischievous twinkle in her eyes). "What-" Before he could get out any more words, she'd grabbed him by the wrist and yanked him up and onto his feet. Dragging him towards the water, she cheerfully said, "Last time I wanted to swim with you, you were too busy," she said that one word with acid tones, making sure he knew that she hadn't approved of him not spending time with her in favor of seeing Kluke. "But you're not busy now, so we can spend some time together!" Those watching in the distance were only aware of a splash, followed by a slightly shrill scream, followed by that boy trying to scramble out of the water while shouting, "Cold, cold, COLD!!!"
Since the time she had first seen Shu, Bouquet had wondered countless times if she was going to die. She got close on many occasions - some were a little too close for comfort - and sometimes she really did wonder if she'd make it to see their wedding day. But it was for that very same reason that she didn't mind. Being with Shu was dangerous, but also held a kind of excitement and thrill she had never known until she met him. He was the first boy who had ever been truly kind to her, and it would take more than that to scare her away. So, even if she did have to go through a couple (translation: hundreds) of life-threatening situations, she still got to be with her Shu. And she wouldn't trade that away for anything in the world.
And that's the end! ;D Well... I didn't like all of the paragraphs, but I'm quite pleased with how this story turned out. It started by just being a bit of fun, and it turned into something better than what I thought it would be. :) Also, you may have noticed some repetition - usually, that was on purpose. You may have noticed with some of my other works that one thing I love doing is drawing parallels between other things that I've written. Some of those parallels, however, are not always as obvious as they seem... ;) Another thing is that some of these paragraphs may end up being used in future chapters of some of my stories; if that's the case, you can consider this a preview. ;D In fact, some of these actually would have taken place during my stories, but I had no way to fit these scenes in (as such, they ended up here). If you weren't sure about when some of these take place, just ask me in your review - I'll be happy to tell you. :) On that note, I think it's appropriate for me to now ask everyone to please review and let me know what you thought of it. And for the second time, I think that's all I need to mention. Thanks for reading! :D