A/N: Written for the Hanakotoba Challenge in the Prince of Tennis forum: Pointless but Original Talking. A challenge issued in the PoT forums, and I answer with a Nabari no Ou fanfic. Of course. XD
Flower Chosen: Red spider lily
This fic has no pairings, though feel free to imagine a YoitexMiharu one if you want. Doesn't go past what happened in canon. Also, this is set in mangaverse. Also contains SPOILERS for anything post-Chapter 50.
Disclaimer: I do not own Nabari no Ou.
"I remember...what I did now..."
--Nabari no Ou, Chapter 51
Miharu spent an awful lot of time staring at his left hand.
It was an unhealthy fixation, by all accounts. Often would his friends catch him in his moments of idleness, eyes caught by his own limb, fingers outstretched and palm bared to his sight. The creases and fleshed stitches of his hand crawled along uninterrupted, pale skin luminated by whichever light he stood near for his examination. Miharu felt it was not just habit that drew his eyes to his hand, but a sense of something missing, a loss that echoed hollowly in a memory the shinrabanshou had stolen away.
No, not stolen--taken. Taken, after Miharu had so easily--was it easy? Or had it been difficult?--handed it to the Fairy, begged her to rip it from him. No hole could be felt in his memory; the past remained an uninterrupted stream of sequence, but Miharu knew the loss was there, felt it in the pit of his soul, the smallest glimmer of an attachment that could only hurt but never be remembered.
Miharu couldn't let go, not completely. He didn't want to remember, but he hadn't wanted to erase every shred; he wanted the attachment but not the memory, thinking it would hurt less. (Did it hurt less? How could he possibly compare the pain of knowing why it hurt versus not knowing?) The shinrabanshou followed the will of the person who held it, so was it possible to control it without some degree of selfishness? Because Miharu knew how selfish his wish granted was. How he had made a promise he couldn't keep, followed through with it but not all the way, burned a loss in every person he had met with "that person" so that all those who he knew shared that missing piece of memory they hadn't even realized.
Flowers were slammed into his outstretched hand.
Miharu blinked out of his examination-induced stupor. The stem of light green balanced precariously on his palm, threaded between his ring finger and thumb. It was thin and ramrod straight, scraping like hard plastic against his skin. The flower itself was soft spikes of vibrant red, reminiscent of a spider with hundreds of thin legs that brushed against his exposed flesh. The inside petals were darker, thicker, curling inwards as if to shield something but the center remained empty.
He looked up, staring into Raimei's smiling face. The samurai stepped back, looking satisfied with herself as she surveyed the boy before her. "Pretty, aren't they?" she announced. She held a bouquet of them in her hands, unpackaged and fresh. She paused, gazing at the boy expectantly, so Miharu nodded in acquiescence--yes, they're pretty.
Raimei, seemingly satisfied, continued on brightly. "A lot of them grow around my family's home. I was sent into town to buy some kitchenware, since Gau said Raikou couldn't do it 'cause he buys the expensive stuff and wastes all our money. Then I figured I could drop by and see how you guys were doing, but since I don't have the money to buy any gifts, I figured--"
Miharu's eyes had drifted back to the flowers.
"--and they were just there, and they are pretty, so I decided it couldn't hurt to pick some--"
He knew them. He was sure of it.
"--and I know boys don't usually like flowers, but you lot should just be grateful I got you anything at all! Besides, these are red spider lilies, and they--"
Yukimi-san talked about them once, Miharu remembered. Back when they had been part of Kairoushuu, his sister had brought in a bouquet for decoration. The sight of them had sent Raikou fleeing from the room. Miharu hadn't asked for an explanation, but Yukimi-san was a pretty good fountain of useless knowledge, of which he would sometimes share with his young charge.
Miharu remembered--what a precious thing, the ability to recall those memories--sitting on the floor of Yukimi-san's apartment. The older man had been on the computer, lecturing tone coloring his voice as he explained the spiky red flowers that dwelled within a crystalline vase set in front of the boy.
--"Red spider lilies. They're a poisonous breed of flora, often used in the feudal times by the villagers to keep pests out of their homes. They would spread the juice around the perimeter of their dwelling places; it would act as pesticide." Yukimi explained tirelessly, eyes riveted to the screen of his desktop. Miharu was laying on his stomach on the floor, head propped in his hands as he stared at the flower vase blankly, idly listening to the soothing tone of Yukimi's voice. A figure in black lay curled up next to him, knees pressed to a pale face, dark eyes shut with black hair wisped against the head.--
Miharu remembered how cold the floor had felt beneath him then, alone on its expanse as he was. How his body had ached, how his attention had been on the petals of vicious red as Yukimi-san's voice sought to drown him. Could remember the sterile smell that had wafted up from the bouquet, barbarically clean and robbing the apartment of warmth.
--The floor was warm, and Miharu and the figure brushed against each other in a comfort neither sought yet both, perhaps unwillingly, appreciated. Forearm to back, yet Miharu never glanced over and the figure never moved. The scent of warm lemons pervaded the air, evidenced by two mugs of steaming hot lemonade left near their close forms, courtesy of Yukimi just minutes previous.--
"They say they're pretty popular in America!" Raimei explained brightly, Miharu's transfixed state going unnoticed.
--Like a lullaby with no words, Miharu felt comfortable and lulled to sleep. He twisted on to his side, back to back now with that figure, arms stretched and prone in front of him. The palm of his left hand lay face-up, so that sunlight struck the scar that marred the pale flesh.--
"We can't eat them though." Raimei sounded distinctly unhappy about this. "Gau tried to, the idiot, but luckily Raikou saw and stopped him. Ugh, sometimes the way those two act...makes me feel like I'm intruding on some couple's honeymoon!" She stuck her tongue out playfully. Miharu smiled slightly at her, amused despite his reminiscence.
--"People normally don't give these to others, though. They symbolize death, in some respects. I guess that sister of mine thinks my apartment has a bug problem." Yukimi snorted. "More like a brat problem, if you ask me." he muttered. The words lacked venom, of course, but Miharu smiled at him sweetly anyway--the older male stiffened, eyes going back to his work. Miharu went back to looking at his palm, relaxing in the warmth of the body next him as he did so. He brought his palm closer to his face, examining the pale marring. The figure next to him uncurled slowly, languidly, bringing their backs closer together.--
"Oh! They have a meaning too! Now what was it? Raikou told me..." Raimei mused.
--"Miharu." The voice was soft, light as a feather that brushed across skin but was stained with something dark that shouldn't be there. Miharu knew this, because the figure's soul was so pure, but it was weighed down by all the blood. Miharu moved closer; spines aligned, pressed flush against each other, warmth seeping from underneath clothes that still could be felt by both. Miharu closed his fingers over his scarred palm. "Red spider lilies," Yukimi continued on, having not noticed the two's interaction, "Means--"
"Lost memory." Miharu and the memory of Yukimi's voice stated.
Raimei froze, staring at Miharu as her thoughts and words sputtered to a stop. The boy's eyes rose to meet his friend's, and he gave her a small smile. Raimei looked away; there was something in those eyes that she couldn't bear to look at, something she knew she couldn't fix, that her sword couldn't bring to justice. (For how do you avenge something you had no idea was lost in the first place?) Her throat suddenly felt dry, and she became uncomfortably aware she had treaded somewhere in the conversation that she probably shouldn't have.
"The red spider lily," Miharu went on, in that same unaffected tone he often used with those around him, before--before. "Means lost memory."
"...Oh." Raimei managed out.
The door to the living room opened, Aizawa's smiling face being admitted into view, followed by the rest of the unofficial research team for sealing the shinrabanshou. The immortal looked inordinately pleased at the sight of the two, striding forward practically radiating amicability.
"Raimei-san! You came to visit?" Aizawa greeted cheerfully. Raimei turned to him with a matching grin--as if the awkward tension she had experienced just seconds before was never there in the first place--marching over and throwing their share of her gift bouqet to both Aizawa and Thobari-sensei. "Here's your gifts!"
"Ehh? Even for me, Raimei-san?" Aizawa grinned, pleased.
Shiratama scoffed. "Aren't those poisonous?"
"Shut up, you stupid furball!" Raimei snapped defensively.
"Raimei, you're causing a ruckus again." Thobari-sensei sighed, moving aside to allow the others in. He glanced over at Miharu, who remained still, staring at his own flower with thoughtful, idle eyes. Moving over to the boy, he made sure to keep a warm smile on his face; he recognized that look. It was the same expression Miharu wore when he was trying to remember "that person" but could never quite catch even the shadows of those banished memories. It was a horrible look, one he fully loathed.
"These don't really grow around here, do they?" Thobari-sensei mused, absently patting Miharu on the head. "Do you like them, Miharu?"
--"Thank you, Miharu...for never letting go of my hand." The snow stung because their wounds were too fresh and the numbing was slow, but Miharu still couldn't really feel any of it through the sheer fear that gripped him. The fear of losing his precious person blanketed his mind in a horrible shock, practically forcing his body calm when he knew he was slowly losing it. "I want you to grant my wish...so that you can smile and laugh in the future."--
"What do red spider lilies mean, Thobari-sensei?" Miharu asked, turning innocent eyes up to the older male so that he couldn't be denied or avoided. Thobari-sensei stuttered, at once both wanting to flee and answer immediately. He shifted uncomfortably under Miharu's unwavering gaze, looking away as he--however reluctantly--answered in his best lecturer's tone.
"'Abandonment', 'lost memory'," Thobari-sensei replied, finally meeting Miharu's eyes. "Or 'never to meet again'."
Miharu looked back down at the flower, holding it by the stem to face the crimson spikes more clearly. It smelled sterile, unwelcome, horrible.
--"Maybe that person is living and you'll meet again somewhere."--
No, Miharu decided. He didn't like these flowers one bit.
"I erased...a person..."
--Nabari no Ou, Chapter 51
A/N: Because, really, you can't have a happy fic post-Chapter 50. At least one concerning Yoite. -sniffle-
Anyway, this was my first fanfic for this fandom, so feel free to criticize away. I -heart- reviews, so please drop some.