Fandom: Fushigi Yuugi [Watase Yuu]
Pairing: Hikitsu x Okuda Takiko
Notes: Written for the 15minuteficlets community. The challenge is for the word snow.
"Why is the snow white?"
"Hm?" He absently replied.
"Snow." She sighed exasperatedly. "You know, the stuff that falls from the sky down to the ground. The cottony-like thing that comes out when it's winter."
"Oh." It was the only word that came out of his mouth. "What about it?"
"I just wonder... Why is it white?"
He gave her a half-smile. "Why do you ask such silly questions?" A light hit on his head was her reply.
She rolled her eyes and sighed. "I was just asking. Fine, I'll just shut up." She crossed her arms over her chest and leaned back against the same tree, her shoulders barely touching his. "Ever since I was little, I've always wondered about it. I asked my father even, and I got a scolding for my troubles." She laughed shortly and once again grew silent.
He glanced at her, while noting the strange tone of her voice. Patiently, he waited for her next words.
"I hated winter. It was snowing when my mother died from coughing blood...and my father left me so he could go to China. That bastard..." She ended in an angry whisper and looked down on the ground. "I was only five years old."
A hand found itself placed over hers. "I'm sorry."
"Don't be." She exhaled sharply and grabbed her hand away. "Don't be." She repeated softly. "It was in the past. Forget it. But thanks for the concern."
Ignoring the sarcasm in her voice, he replied. "Miko-sama, we are your seishi. Your well-being is our business."
"I know that." She snapped bitterly. "But it doesn't give you any right to butt in. And it's Takiko, not Miko, for crying out loud. Really, there's no need to call me by an honorable title. I'm just your normal teenager here who was sent to this forsaken land the summer season forgot about."
"Why are you so angry about?"
She fumed. "Oh, no. In fact, I'm feeling so happy right now I wanted to kill someone. Namely a weirdo named Hikitsu." She looked up at the sky again and watched the snow fall. "I hate waiting." She complained. "When will Tomite-baka and Hatsui-san come back? I'm so hungry. And you people sure picked a depressing place as a stopover."
The silver-haired seishi sighed. Self-control was one of the qualities he possessed and that he was proud of, but with the dark-haired girl it was a different story. All she did was sulk and whine, and unfortunately for Tomite, he was the constant target of her bad temper. The younger boy, being equally impatient, would retort back with insults. Hatsui, on the other hand, was lucky to be in their Miko's good graces. The soft-voiced telepathic seishi was the one who calmed the usually infuriated girl, and talk reason to his fellow seishi.
Still... He looked at the girl sitting beside him, muttering to herself. She didn't speak much, but he could tell she had a hard life. The way her voice would be lined with hatred when she spoke of her father was proof enough. She was not aware of it, but he would hear her crying softly in her sleep.
This girl...Okuda Takiko...their Genbu no Miko...tugged at his heartstrings.
It was then that he silently vowed to himself to protect her forever.
"Oh, I know." Her voice broke through his wandering thoughts.
"What is it?"
"I now know why the snow's white. It's because it covers everything...the hurt, the pain, the hate...until you don't know they exist. All you can see is nothing. But you can still feel them deep inside." Her chocolate brown orbs met with his. "Now I know why I hate winter. It's just an illusion."