Where the Sunflowers face
Pairing: England x Japan (AsaKiku)
Disclaimer: I don't own Axis Power Hetalia.
Hello there, this is Akari, old pen name used to be Asakiku4ever, but obviously there's something wrong with it that I can't log in into it anymore :( So yeah, I have moved to another account.
It has been a while since my last story was written. This time, I want to dedicate this fan-fiction to my friend, Selina. Happy belated birthday, Selina! XD
I intended on making it a fluffy one at first, but I got carried away and it ended up like this OTL. I'm so sorry, Selina.
This story is based on a shoujo manga I read a very, very long time ago that now I have no idea what the title of it is. Not that remembering will help, since from what I recalled, the manga was so old that the cover got torn.
Warning: Character death, I haven't written AsaKiku for awhile so expect lots of OOCness here and there. Also, author is not native with English so there will be some mistakes.
The raven haired boy took in a long, deep breath as he walked out of the car, smiling as the beautiful scenery of the countryside greeted him. This place, ever since his last visit, had changed a lot. But still, its captivating and refreshing nature remained the same.
The familiar path led to the small but cozy house he knew all so well. Knocking on the door, he was greeted with a girl whose hair was the shade of black that just barely passed her shoulder.
"It's you, Kiku-nii!" The girl beamed as she recognized her cousin's face, pulling the other into a tight, brotherly hug. "It's been awhile!"
"Yes, it has been awhile, Sakura-chan." Kiku replied with a small nod. "How is grandpa's condition?"
"He's recovering well." Sakura let go of his brother, leading him into the house. "I think he's going to be discharged from the hospital in two more days, from what the doctor said."
"That's a relief." The raven nodded. "I will come to pick him up with you then."
"Okay!" They stopped at the small room. "You must be tired now; you should go rest, Kiku-nii." Sakura said, sliding the fusuma open.
The raven haired boy placed his things onto the wooden floor, nodding. The girl then closed the door, letting him have his own space.
Kiku surveyed the room that he had been staying every times he visited his grandpa. Even after years, it looked as if nothing had changed at all. Still only a small futon placed in the corner with blankets folded neatly and a wardrobe nearby. Slowly, he unpacked his suitcase and changed out before having a small rest. Sitting on the car for eight hours did wear him out a lot, after all.
The chirping sound of the small little birds blended with the gentle ruffling of the leaves as the wind blew by, created a harmonious chorus of the dawn. Kiku entered the local hospital with a smile, happy to know that he was finally able to see his grandpa after a very long time.
"Mr. Honda? He's in room 2A, on the second floor." A nurse instructed when Kiku asked her about his grandpa's current room. The raven hurriedly ran to where the room was, did not forget to thank the nurse before doing so.
The room was simple, painted in plain white with nothing much for decoration: a wooden table where a tea set and a vase of white lilies were placed, a medium-sized wardrobe and a small bed near the window. On the bed laid a person whose entire figure was covered in a white blanket. Kiku smiled, immediately stepped over and hugged the figure tightly, ready to surprise his grandpa.
"Guess who, grandpa?"
"Is that you, my grandson?"
Wait a minute…. Why all of a sudden, his grandpa's voice sounded so much younger, and why there was a hint of teasing in his tone?
Slowly, Kiku looked up, only to be greeted with the sight of a honey fair haired boy and emerald green eyes. He blinked, staring into the other as if he was alien from outer space.
"What is it, grandson? I can't breathe if you hold onto me like this." The other said, snapping him out of his puzzlement. Embarrassingly, the raven let go of the other, muttering a small apology.
"Oh hey, Kiku!" A cheerful voice called out, which he immediately recognized who it belonged to. Turning his head back to the source of the voice, his face beamed with a bright smile as he dashed towards that person, hugging him tightly.
"I miss you so much grandpa!"
"I miss you too, Kiku!" The old man laughed, rubbing the black strands of his beloved grandson before averting his gaze towards the blond, who was currently watching them from his bed.
"What are you looking at, brat?" He growled, in which the other just simply shrugged. Kiku looked at both of them before quietly dragged his grandpa out of the room, muttering another apology to the blond.
"You seem to dislike him?" The raven asked when they were now both outside.
"Yeah, who doesn't? That kid is a brat." His grandpa grunted. "He's always rude towards me."
"He is? He seems fine just now."
"Ah, Kiku, you can't let that good-looking appearance of his fool you! That kid is a brat, I told you."
The raven didn't reply then, but still turned his gaze towards the room that started to fade as they turned the corner. "Let's just ignore about him for now." He smiled, leading his grandpa home.
But unlike what he said, Kiku somehow just couldn't ignore it. For some unknown reasons, his mind was occupied with the images of the blonde.
"Hello there, grandson. Getting lost again?"
The blond lifted his eyebrows; there was a slight hint of amusement in his face despite his sarcastic tone.
"That's not it." The raven said, taking a seat near the other's bed. He didn't get why, but his feet just seemed to grow their own mind and he ended up dragging him here.
Not that he really minded. Something about this blond just left him curious.
"I just suddenly want to see you. Is there anything wrong?"
The blonde blinked at that, staring strangely into the other's velvet chocolate marbles. They looked so genuine, a proof that all of his words were truthful.
"No… But…" The blonde rubbed his head in an awkward manner as he tried to find the right words. "It's just… Strange. Most people don't want to talk to me."
"I'm not counted then. What's your name?"
The blond was hesitant at first, but decided to proceed with an answer.
"My name is Arthur Kirkland."
"I'm Kiku Honda, nice to meet you." The raven said, giving his hand out. Arthur still stared at him oddly before finally grabbed his hand in a tight, friendly shake.
"You're a strange kid."
"Is that so?" He pondered before finally replied with a wide smile. "Let's be friend, then."
Because you're also a strange kid.
The summer wind carried the youthful days away in a blink of a moment. Before they knew it, the two had become best of friends. Every day, it was a familiar sight for all of the workers in the hospital to catch; the sight of a raven haired boy carried some books or beverages, dashing to the room of one certain honey blond haired. The nurse who had been taking care of Arthur for years was more than happy to know about their close relationship, to know that Arthur finally managed to have a friend of his own. And so, she was very thankful towards the raven whose name was Kiku Honda that had successfully opened up the lonesome blonde.
"I brought you some granita, Arthur-san!"
The door of his dull room opened, revealing the oh-so-familiar boy whose figure was cast in a brilliant sunlight of the day. The blonde placed down his book, turning his attention to the new comer.
"You're here again… You're here almost every day. Don't you have anything better to do?"
Kiku didn't answer, just placed the two cups on the table. He had gotten all too used with the blonde's attitude. Despite his seemingly irritating words, deep inside, Arthur was a very nice and kind person.
"I don't know what your favorite flavor is so I just pick the same as strawberry, mint." Kiku said, picking up a small cup that was filled with crushed ice and covered in strawberry syrup.
"What is this?" He raised an eyebrow at the offered drink, making the other's chocolate orbs widened a bit in surprise.
"You mean you have never eaten this?"
"No." The blond shook his head in reply.
"It's very good, try it!" He took a mouthful spoon of crushed ice and held it up to Arthur. "It's the ideal dessert in these hot summer days."
Arthur took a gulp at the spoon, feeling the cold ice melted sweetly with strawberry syrup in his mouth; a smile formed his lips.
"It is, isn't it?"
And they, together, once again had an enjoyable day, talking about everything. From trivial stories like Kiku's small dog, Pocchi, just had four little babies to stories about their thoughts, their lives' worries. Time, when we wished it to just stop, passed away so quickly.
Like that cup of granita we never wanted to finish, still always ended up melting away. How fragile time was, how fragile life was.
"Hey Arthur, tell me. Are you a foreigner?"
Kiku asked one day, as they were both silently watching the rain, a habit they both shared. The sky was wrapped in a cold grey color. Small droplets hit the ground, creating small pitter-patter sound.
"Yes, why do you ask that?"
Kiku opened his mouth, wanting to ask where the other's parents were, but decided to push it away and proceeded with another answer.
"Your name is hard to pronounce."
"But I think you can do it quiet well. It isn't correct yet, but better than most people here."
"Maybe that's because I study in the city."
"Tokyo. Have you ever been there?"
"No, but I have heard about it." Arthur shook his head; his eyes still did not leave the window as cold droplets hit it. He wanted to open it and let the beautiful yet cold water touched his hand, but knowing that the nurse would scold him for that, he didn't do so.
"Come to my place sometimes, then." The raven suggested with a smile. "I'll be happy to have you as my guest."
The blond widened his eyes a bit before nodding. A small but genuine smile graced on his lips as he leaned on the cold glass surface, his eyes looked as if they were seeing another scene instead of the gloomy, rainy sky; something much brighter and much warmer.
Kiku could feel his heart skipped a beat at that, as if something just wrenched it so tightly, so tightly that he wanted to cry.
Words of promise, fragile as they were, always scared him like that. It gave him hope of the future, something that wasn't there yet and unstable, something that could be changed.
Something that was insecure.
"Are these sunflowers?"
Arthur couldn't help but laugh at the sketch in one page of Kiku's notebook. The raven pouted, crossing his arm with displeased.
"Yes. And what's wrong with that?"
"Hey, don't sulk." Arthur patted the other's head slightly. "But this sketch just looks so funny. I don't think this is how sunflowers actually look like."
"I'm not sulking. And it's not my fault; I've never seen sunflowers before."
"They don't have any in Tokyo?"
"Maybe." Kiku said; a thoughtful look crossed his face. "I've never seen them though."
"Hey… It would be nice, huh? To watch the sunflowers in full bloom with you, I mean." Arthur closed the notebook and handed it back to Kiku, who seemed to be deep in thought.
"Ah! I have an idea! Wait for me a bit!" Kiku suddenly shouted, happily ran out of the room; a bright smile shone on his face at his new found idea. He was so happy that he was particularly hopping all the way, humming a happy tune as he did.
Finally arriving at his house, the raven called out to his grandfather, who was now sitting at the balcony with Sakura, drinking their tea.
"What is it, Kiku?" He asked, staring at his over-excited grandson questioningly. It wasn't often to see the raven like this.
"Where are the sunflower seeds you brought home the other day?"
"Them? They are in the cupboard, I guess. What's for?"
"Nothing, grandpa." Kiku opened the cupboard, trying to find the thing he was looking for. His eyes glittered with unspoken happiness as he gathered the small black seeds in his palm, dashing out of the house once again.
"You're going out again?"
"Yes, see you later grandpa." He said without looking back, speeding up as a vision of a beautiful sunflowers garden in full bloom flooded his mind. A warm sensation built up inside of his chest, making his lips could not help but curve up in a smile.
Passing the familiar corridor leading to the familiar room, he was ready to storm in to the blonde's room and told the other about his idea as a strange sound made its way to his ears.
A small, broken cough, as if it was being suppressed.
And he stopped.
Kiku stood frozen at his spot. He did not know why, but something inside of him kept him from going into the room. And for some unknown reason, his hands started to tremble slightly. Gathering all of his courage, he peeked through the wooden door to see what was happening inside of the room.
Chocolate orbs widened at the scene he saw, and his breathing almost stopped.
On the bed, Arthur was coughing hard; his hand was covering his mouth in order to lower the cough but couldn't get the job done. There was a crimson liquid on his palm, which did not go unnoticed by the raven.
"Ah… This isn't good…"
Kiku turned on his heel, running out of the hospital at full speed, completely ignored the black small seeds that had dropped and spilled all over the cold ground. His mind was unable to think straight; all he knew was that that he needed to get to somewhere else alone immediately. Tears started to drop from his eyes. One, two, three… and then it became unstoppable.
Why did my chest grow so heavy when I saw that scene…?
The raven stopped his track, wiping the tears that were now wetting all over his pale face. Somehow, he felt as if he had seen the scene that was supposed to be kept unseen.
"You don't come to the hospital today?"
"No, grandpa." The raven answered with a soft, force smile as he gazed into the hot summer sky. The sun was shining brightly, way too bright for his liking. Kiku felt as if the radiant light could blind his brown eyes if he stared at it any longer.
"Are you two fighting?" His grandpa raised his tone, anger at the thought. "If that kid bullies you, tell me and I will teach him a lesson."
"There's nothing like that between us." He gave a soft chuckle at how worked up his grandpa appeared to be before a thoughtful look took over his face again.
"I think I need a small walk to clear my mind."
The countryside was always so peaceful and quiet, unlike the busy atmosphere of the city; a gentle gust of wind lightened his mind as he entered the market. Even though it was supposed to be the most crowded part of the area, there were still not many people around.
A sweet, inviting smell made its way to his nose, getting the raven's attention. Kiku walked over a small bakery, which just served a freshly baked batch of rolls.
"Oh, hello there. You're Kiku Honda, aren't you?"
A voice said from behind, startling him. Turning around, he could see a lady with wavy auburn hair smiling at him, and Kiku immediately recognized who she was.
"Elizabeta-san. What a pleasure meeting you here."
He replied with a polite bow, greeting the brunette. The woman, Elizabeta, was the nurse that was in charge of Arthur at the hospital. She was a nice and considerate person, and had always treated Kiku well.
"It is. You're not visiting Arthur today?"
"Ah…" The raven flinched at the topic, but tried to keep his composure. "I just want to go for a walk here, to change the atmosphere. I've been visiting him so much recently."
"Are you two fighting over something?" The other gave him a skeptical look, in which Kiku just shook his head with a reassuring smile. He couldn't help but feel funny how both of his grandpa and Elizabeta got the same idea about this matter.
"No, nothing like that happened between us."
"That's nice to hear then. Tell me if something is wrong between you two, okay? That kid…" Her voice suddenly softened, and a sad look crossed her face. "He may seem ruthless and irritating at times, but he's just… lonely."
"Yes, he's very lonely. His parents… were all gone in an accident when he came to this place to visit a relative. That kid… He's always been weak with his lung disease, and is a loner that has no friend. That is, until you come." The brunette smiled, looking at him with a look of gratitude.
"Me…?" He asked in a tone of slight surprise.
"Yes." The brunette nodded in confirmation. "Thanks to you, that kid has got a friend and has opened up himself. I… I am very grateful for everything you've done to him, Kiku."
"No, that's n-"
"Please." She held his hands up, and her voice started to lower as small sobs could be heard. "Please continue on doing so, because…" Tears started to well in her eyes and before she knew it, she had cried. "Because his time is about to over."
Kiku widened his eyes at that. That last sentence made his entire world shattered and all the beautiful visions of them in the future gone. In that moment, he felt as if he was dead and he couldn't hear anything or see anything. Thousands of thoughts flooded in his mind, and his vision became blurry.
The raven didn't know when Elizabeta had let go of him and excused herself, nor did he know since when he had came to here, a small bank of a river. As his brain finally registered his surrounding, Kiku could feel his legs went numb and he unconsciously fell onto the soft grass.
This can't be…
You have promised to come to Tokyo with me…
He held his legs up to his chest and buried himself into them as he let trails of tears fell down his face.
The gentle sound of the river as water flowed gently tried to soften him, but couldn't get the job done.
Arthur turned to look at the new comer, greeting with a smile. The other sat on his bed, right next to him. A warm smile was on his face as he leaned and let himself fall onto the blonde's shoulder.
"I…" The raven bit his lips, trying to find the right words. "I'm going to leave tomorrow."
Taking in a deep breath, he turned around to look at the blonde, face-to-face. "That's why…"
"Today is goodbye."
Arthur widened his eyes, staring into the raven next to him. There was a painful second of silence as they just stood, looking at each other without a word exchanged. It wasn't because there was just nothing to say; it was because everything said just meant nothing now.
"What with that look?" Kiku tugged on Arthur's shirt, laughing half-heartedly. "Why so serious?"
"Today is the last day, that's why… That's why… We should be happy." He trailed off; the last part went almost inaudible.
And then it broke.
His brows furrowed and his smile turned painful as tears started pouring out of his amber orbs; he could no longer control himself.
"Ah… What is this…" He said between his sobs, trying to wipe away all the tears. He did not want to act so weak like this; not in front of Arthur at least.
But he could no longer control this overwhelming feeling in his chest. It just hurt so much.
"I… I want to be happy around you… For today, at least… I…" No, these tears just could not stop. They were too stubborn and did not obey his will. No matter how much he tried to suppress, they still kept on flowing out.
"Kiku…" The blonde stared at the raven haired friend who was crying uncontrollably in front of him. And in a blink of a second, his body instinctively moved on its own.
It was a soft, chaste peck and time seemed to stop between them. Kiku widened his eyes when he felt the other's lips on his.
Oh how perfectly their seemed to fit…
And he could think of nothing then, completely lost himself in the sweetness of the other.
"Hey… Are you okay?" It was only until that familiar, husky voice of the blonde called that he finally snapped out of his dazed state. Staring into Arthur's emerald eyes, Kiku suddenly felt a warm, gentle fire lit inside of his heart.
One, and then two, he could hear the soft thumps of his heart as it skipped.
"Kiku?" The other asked again, concern in his voice. Did he overdo it?
"Yes?" The raven asked, finally able to make out a coherent word.
"Oh, you were so off that I thought there was something wrong with you." The other rubbed his golden locks. There was a small smile on Kiku's face, and Arthur could feel something stirred inside of his stomach.
"What with that look, Kiku? Or have you fallen for me?" He grinned. It was intended to be a joke.
But the answer was not.
Arthur was caught off guard by the reply from the raven. He stared into those beautiful, he realized, brown eyes and felt his face heated up.
"Ah… What is this… Really…"
He sat in the car, staring as the familiar scene he had gotten used to passed by. Soon, the place was only a small dot and disappeared completely out of his view.
The trip, then, was dull and covered in complete silence.
"This is goodbye…"
He shook a silent tear at the thought. Why did everything have to end so soon?
3 years later
"This place hasn't changed at all."
The boy with raven hair stared at the same spot he had arrived to three years ago; a sad smile formed on his lips.
"Maybe I should… go there and visit him…"
The familiar path led to the place where he knew so well, and he stopped at the small hospital where he had spent the entire time of one of his summer. His face saddened at the memories as he knew he could no longer return to those beautiful times.
"Ah… Cheer up…"
As he was trying to regain his composure before entering the place, a small pat was placed on his shoulder.
"Oh my… Is that you, Kiku Honda?"
The raven turned around to look at the one who just called him, and his eyes widened at the recognition.
Elizabeta had changed a lot during these years, she was taller and her hair was longer; the look on her face, though, was still kind and gentle as the first day they met.
"Yes… But I'm too late now…" He said, bitterly.
"You don't have to." He shook his head. "Faith is just so cruel…"
They both sat in silence as they both let themselves drown in the recollection.
"Ah, right!" She suddenly shouted, startling the raven. "I just remember that I have something I must show you!"
With that, the brunette grabbed the other and dragged him towards a small land behind the hospital. Kiku was confused, but decided to just follow.
"Here we are!"
His eyes widened when they stopped; the breath-taking scenery appeared in his vision.
A field of sunflowers lively bathed in the brilliant sunlight, sprouting with their full energy. Beautiful golden petals danced in the wind. It looked as if the place was decorated with the light of the sun from the sky, thought Kiku as he held his breath, completely stunned at the enchanting scene.
"Beautiful, isn't it? Arthur grows them."
"What?" He turned to look at the brunette with surprise.
"Arthur told me he found some of the sunflower seeds scattered on the ground outside of his room so he picked them up and grew them at the empty land behind the hospital. But…" The brunette lowered her voice. "He didn't make it."
"He didn't make it... Arthur passed away just a month before the sunflower's blooming season. This garden is looked after by me since then. He said he wanted you to see this when you returned."
Kiku stood frozen at the word, a mix feeling of both happiness and sadness arose in his chest and clenched it painfully; so much that he found it hard to breath.
"He… wanted me to see this when I returned?"
"Yes." The brunette nodded softly. "He said he believed that you would definitely return."
Kiku could feel something wet that was urging to leave his eyes. Caressing the golden petals that resembled the honey blond locks of a certain someone, a bitter smile crossed his lips.
"What a pity… If only Arthur could see these sunflowers… How beautifully have they bloomed…"
What a pity… If only they could see this scene together, it would be more than just happy, wouldn't it?
What a pity… If only they could meet each other once again…
"Have you fallen for me?"
It was not 'maybe', it was, and would always be 'exactly'.
I wonder if you also feel the same… You never tell me your answer after all…
"He said that he had found it." The brunette whispered quietly, snapping him out of his thought.
"Eh?" Kiku turned to look at the woman, confused.
"He said he had found the most beautiful sunflower, so there's nothing for him to regret."
"… Ah" He bit his lips, trying to draw back a cry but could no longer do it. His vision became blurry as he turned his back against the brunette, didn't want to let the other know he was crying. Even so, Elizabeta could still see the trembling shoulders of the raven and immediately took the hint. She didn't say anything; just let the other drown into his own thoughts.
One of the golden petals that were carried by the wind fell softly onto his palm. Kiku smiled, a genuine smile that was mixed with tears of both pain and happiness, and gently kissed the fallen petal.
Thank you for everything you've done for me up until now, Arthur.
Maybe fate is cruel and does not let us be together in this lifetime, but I believe that we can reunite sooner or later.
Because our love will never die. And for that reason, you too, will continue on existing; here, in my heart. Please, watch over me. And then, when the time comes, I will come and see you again.
I love you, forever.
5 years later
"Ah, your bouquet is beautiful as always, Kiku! Thank you so much, I'm sure she will like it."
"I'm glad if she likes it." The raven smiled at the customer as he handed him over the beautifully decorated bouquet of roses.
"I shall take my leave now. Bye, Kiku!" The man said as he stepped out of the store, waving at the other.
"Goodbye. Please take care."
The raven stared at the velvet blue sky as he heaved a sigh. It was once again quiet and empty in this place.
Many years had passed since that fateful summer, and every single trace of memories were still imprinted in his mind vividly, as if it was just yesterday. He had now opened the small flower shop and earned a good reputation around. Even though many seasons had come and gone, until now, he still didn't fell in love again.
The doorbell rang, notifying the arrival of another customer. The raven snapped out of his flashback, averting his attention back to the reality.
"Welcome, can I help you…." His eyes widened as the figure of the customer appeared in his view.
"… Arthur-san?" He whispered in disbelief.
Because the man that just entered his shop looked exactly like Arthur Kirkland with honey blond hair and beautiful forest green eyes. He stood frozen; too shock to say anything despite the mix feelings that were running in his vein.
"I'm looking for some sunflower seeds. Do you have any?"
The other didn't reply, still too stunned. Was this all a dream?
"Hey, you're okay?"
"Ah…" He gulped, trying to act as normally as he could. "P-Please wait for a moment, mister… Uhm…"
"Arthur. Arthur Charles."
"Eh?" He blinked at the name. Was fate playing a joke on him?
"Please wait a moment, Arthur-san…" The name rolled off his tongue so comfortably and it felt as if those days had returned.
Maybe it's alright to believe such magical myths like afterlife really do exist, huh?
Ah… This is longer than I have intended. And the omake just suddenly popped out of my mind LOL.
Anyway, thank you for reading and I would be happy if you can take some of your precious time to leave a review. Oh, and once again, HAPPY BIRTHDAY SELINA! (though it's a bit late now OTL)