Title: The Jealous Narcissus
Pairing:Howl x Sophie, what else did you really expect from a Howl's Moving Castle fanfic?
Rating: T (for safety reasons)
Summary: A jealous wizard is scarier than a narcissus one. And well, Howl is both.
The Jealous Narcissus
Howl loved Sophie Hatter. He didn't love her because of her outer appearances. He wouldn't have fallen in love with her if appearances were his criteria, she was an old lady for heaven's sake. However, she gave him a reason to live, and that is why he will love her. She is his life. He truly loved her.
So, it frustrated him deeply when he saw men loitering around her for merely her beautiful appearances.
She was an attractive woman, he knew this from the first moment he laid eyes on her. Sophie has become remarkably charming after she had turned back into her original age. She was confident, and most of all, loved. Howl's love for Sophie made her blossom into a handsome, rare flower. She was an one-of-a-kind. She was polite, conservative, and yet, she succeeded in capturing the eyes of a few men while walking down the street. Sophie wasn't the most beautiful lady in the world, but she was considerably handsome.
While Howl would be doing his business outside the castle for the day, Sophie would work inside the castle, which she transformed the largest room into a flower shop. The flowers in her secret garden were just too beautiful and plentiful for her to keep for herself. A majority of her customers were female, but of course, there were a few exceptions always lingering about to catch her eye.
"I'm trying to buy a gift for my grandmother, it's her birthday soon."
"Oh, well. Congratulations to her. How old will she be?"
"Near eighty now." The age reminded Sophie of her days as an old lady. She missed those days, but she loved these days as much for her time with Howl and the family were just as fun.
"She'll love a good bouquet of flowers."
"I think that as well. Do you have any recommendations on what kind of flowers the elderly would like?"
"The old like flowers in general. Anything will be fine." She would know. She had been one.
"Then I'll just take a bouquet of roses," the man handed over a gold coin and Sophie smiled. She quickly entered the living room and called for Markl.
"Markl, could you get me some roses?" She yelled, and received a faint reply back. It was probably a 'give me a second, Sophie' or something near the lines of that. The little boy came back in less than a minute with a fresh batch of roses. He has grown taller over the months. But to Sophie, he was still little Markl.
"Your son?" The male customer asked. Markl looked up to see the customer's face.
"No, but he's like my son," At Sophie's reply, Markl felt a sense of pride and comfort. Yes, Sophie was like his mother. Howl was still his master and teacher, but much more father-like now. This kind, wonderful, sensitive lady was his mother.
"Oh, no father?"
"Not yet." Sophie replied as she handed the man the bouquet.
"Would it be too much to ask for a dinner tonight?" The man finally got to what he wanted all along, a dinner with her. Her face turned pale. Was she hearing things? This man just asked her out on a dinner date! She panicked. Oh dear, she thought to herself, I've never been in such a situation. She has dinner with Howl and the whole family every night, so there has never been a situation where a man personally asked her out for dinner.
"I'm sorry. I'm afraid dinner's not possible." Sophie refused his offer as politely as possible. Markl sneered at the male customer. That's what he deserves for trying to lay hands on Sophie, the young boy teased the man to himself. Markl may be young, but he was smart. He noticed the increasing number of male customers in the store. Howl, of course, had yet to notice it. He's out for most of the day and Markl considered informing Howl of the men near Sophie, but he decided that if he doesn't want a serial murder case on the newspaper headlines anytime soon, then Howl should stay clueless about this issue.
"Is there a specific reason?"
"I have a family inside there I need to cook for," she flashed an awkward smile. Obviously, Sophie wasn't feeling comfortable.
"It's just for a night." The man was persistent. Markl gave a low, faint hiss. The man placed his hands on Sophie's arm as she was handing him the flowers. Master Howl would murder you if he saw this, Markl growled inside his head, Okay, I need to tell Master about this tonight.
"I'm sorry. Would you refrain from placing you hands-"
"Or how about a cup of tea right now?"
"Excuse me, I need to-"
The man pulled Sophie's hand with force. She stumbled and dropped the bouquet. Markl gasped. Should he do something? He has learned a few spells from Howl, even though his master has stressed that he never used them on humans unless it was an emergency. The young boy was torn apart. He grabbed onto Sophie's other hand and pulled her back.
"No-" he whined like a child, "Don't take Sophie."
"Kid, it's only for a cup of tea, she'll be right back. Just keep an eye on the store, would ya?"
Markl tugged Sophie's hand harder. Don't go, Sophie! He mouthed to her. She obviously would prefer not to go either. Markl prayed that someone would help them right now. Please, someone!
"The lady said she doesn't want your company."
A deep voice of a man rang through the nearly empty flower shop. Markl looked up, and thanked God. A tall, slim, raven-haired man entered the shop. He was casually, yet well-dressed. Something about this man was intimidating. His surroundings, his aura seemed to be threatening the male customer. He was a beautiful man, but his eyes were fierce as a beast charging towards his prey.
Markl smiled happily, it was his master. Oh, now you're dead.
"Who may you be to talk to me that way?" The male customer angrily glared at Howl. The young boy holding Sophie's left hand snickered, He just doesn't get it.
"Who may you be to talk to my lady that way?" Howl replied with fury in his eyes. The male customer shivered with fear. The raven-haired man. The silver haired woman. The rumors were true. This was the Wizard Howl he was talking to. And it was true that he was lovers with a human lady. He has been flirting with a wizard's woman! Will he be cursed for all eternity? Or worse? ...Killed?
The man ran out of the store.
"I guess he won't be coming back." Howl snickered together with Markl, who he high fived.
"You just scared him off! What if he tells the whole town that the flower shop is ran by the monster wizard and his human slave?" Sophie angrily crossed her arms.
"He won't be telling any rumors. I think he'll be a bit too frightened to do anything of the sort." Howl grinned, "Markl? Could you give me and Sophie a moment? We need to talk." The boy nodded and exited the shop into the main house. Howl sighed.
How long has this been going on? Who is that man? Why was he holding your hand? There were so much he wished to ask. But there was one he wanted to ask the most:
Do you no longer love me?
Life would be over if Sophie no longer loved him. For she is the reason he's living now.
"How long has these been going on?" Howl attempted to calm himself down.
"This is the first time someone has actually asked me such a thing," Sophie looked at her feet. This was certainly...awkward. Howl has never been this serious ever since the war has been over, "I notice some people staring in the streets, but I've always thought that I was just being paranoid."
Why is this the first time he's heard of this?
"Why was he holding your hand?" He could feel the anger inside him rising.
"He was asking me for tea, and I refused, so I guess he thought using force would work," Sophie was as timid and petite as ever. Any man could push her around.
Howl was furious. He did not want to be seen as possessive. He loved Sophie, and he wanted her to be his, but that doesn't mean he didn't want her to have freedom. The free-spirited, strong willed Sophie was the person he loved. But every time, the thought of a man looking at her and wanting her made him boil with hatred. Was he being overly possessive? What would Sophie think of this? Would she be disappointed in him?
Would she no longer love him?
He held her in his arms.
She whispered his name faintly, but he couldn't hear it.
"Would you no longer love me if I told you that I don't want other men looking at you?" He whispered as well, just audible enough for Sophie to hear it. She gave a pleasant smile and dug into his warm arms.
"Howl, I will always love you, no matter what you think and do." She whispered into his ear. He held her tightly. He could not explain in words how happy he was. Her one sentence put him into an everlasting world of bliss, "So, I think you can have a bit more faith in me."
"I think so as well." He grinned with pure bliss on his face, "Sophie?"
"I just want you to know that I love you too. No matter what you do."
"Of course I know, Howl. If you've loved me when I was an old lady, I think you'll love me forever no matter what," she gave a comforting smile.
"True," Howl grinned again as he felt Sophie's lips touch his.
"What do you think they're talking about?" Markly asked the elderly Witch of the Waste, "Do you think Howl's angry at Sophie?"
The elder laughed, "Howl angry with Sophie? I'd understand if he was angry with someone else, but Sophie? He'll get mad at Sophie the day Calcifer dies out."
"Hey!" Calcifer yelled from his fireplace, "What's that suppose to mean? Are you implying something here?" The grandmother threw a log at Calcifer, certainly her way of saying 'shut up'.
"Boy, it's up to you to protect Sophie. Howl's busy many days of the week. You're going to have to protect Sophie with all you're might if you don't want the wizard to kill someone in the near future," the old lady snickered.
"Why don't they get married? It's been almost a year now since Sophie's curse has been broken. Don't they want to get married?"
"Boy, marriage is just a fancy way to say that 'we love each other'. Tons of people get married and end up unhappy and broken. The two don't need to get married to prove that they love each other. They'll get married when the time is right. When they do, you can expect a little sibling, Markl."
She chuckled happily.
"Isn't it amazing how love can change people? Who knew, the narcissist Howl would fall in love with a human girl. And on top of that, he's jealous..." The grandmother pulled out another cigarette, "Love is truly amazing. I wish that handsome Prince Justin would visit some time soon. I would like to see more drama around this house. Imagine, a good-looking prince in the house, competing for the lady's love with the wizard Howl...Yes, better than those operas they make these days..."
"Granny, now you're acting creepy. We all know you fancy young, handsome men."
"Hush, child," The old lady chuckled quite happily, "You should grow up soon, I'm sure you'll end up quite charming as well." Markl shivered at her words and ran towards Calcifer, as if the fire would give him protection.
"Hey, you two!" Calcifer angrily shouted towards the couple in the store, "Get a room, would ya?"
If Calcifer wasn't mistaken, he certainly heard a certain click and the door open and then close.
I think it got a bit dirty at the end. Haha, well, can't help but put a dirty joke in there.
This is my first Ghibli movie story! I'm so excited! Hee hee. Last weekend, I watched HMC (again) last weekend. I swear, I've watched that movie AT LEAST thirty times. Yeah, once you watch a movie thirty times, you kind of want to have a sequel. So, since we got no real movie sequel, why not a fanfic?
Please review! Ghibli movies are so amazing! I think I would like to write something about Spirited Away next time...