Oh wow, Kait actually wrote something on time for once.
Here’s day 10, everyone. I tried not to break hearts, but that’s what words are built for. Enjoy <3
The flowers are blooming, for the very first time.
Yellow tinted hyacinths, clustering in their bright bulbous bundles. White chrysanthemums and daffodils, planted side by side. Pockets of dusty pink gladiolus and blue hydrangeas lie with petals peeping up to the spring sun, while snapdragons and statice blend and weave, the light breeze rustling tiny leaves. And amidst it all, 10 proud white lilies, arranged in what could vaguely be called a table setting.
“D'you think they’d like it?” the shorter of the two suited men asks, voice unsure in the stillness of the countryside.
“Of course,” the taller reassures his companion, voice but a murmur. “It’s beautiful, Eggsy.”
Eggsy shrugs noncommitally, hands thrust deep into his pockets. No words are said, but communication still passes between the two men, silently, with nought but a glance and bodily posture. The walk over had been hushed, with little talk. But any noises from the brand new manse and all it’s bells and whistles, hundreds of feet behind the men’s backs were inaudible. This little field, at the very back of the property, was a tiny slice of quiet, far away from the chaos and fanfare. So the owner of each lily could sleep, undisturbed in the dark soil.
“The statice are for remembrance,” Harry ventures, gazing out into the field, framed by classically worn wooden fences. “And the snapdragon for graciousness and strength.”
“The King Protea, interesting,” he adds, looking to the younger man. “Yet I cannot think of a more appropriate flower to summarise Kingsman, as an organisation. Daring, resourcefulness, diversity, courage; and transformation. Especially when it’s planted so near to the daffodil, which conveys chivalry and regard.”
“It means eternal life, too.” Eggsy’s tone is so quiet the elder man almost misses it, the blond staring hard at the flowers ahead, jaw twitching.
Harry laid a gentle, cautious hand on the other agent’s back. “Yes, Eggsy. That too.”
“You’ve captured it all so magnificently. I never expected flower arranging to be up your alley, but as I once said-”
“Full of surprises, I know.” Silence, with the noise of far off civilisation is the only thing heard for some moments, as both men remember. The days of toil in this very field, digging and planting, sweating and bleeding to come home covered in earth and mulch and pollen. And similar days of watching from newly glassed windows at a tiny figure in the distance, shovelling as though he could burrow his way to the centre of the earth, refusing any and every offer of help. A silent conversation that this place they stood upon was not for newcomers; only for them, the two men of flesh and blood. And the flowers, fertilised with the ashes of a victorian era mansion, a tailor shop, and each Kingsman Poppy Adams had blown to kingdom come. Including the one whose country roads had taken him home, finally, to the bittersweet chords of John Denver.
“Th’ chrysanthemums are for loyalty, love for a cause.” Eggsy’s speech is tight, as though his throat is constricted. “Gladiolus for faithfulness, an’ honour.”
The younger man swallows hard, and Harry looks on with concern, maintaining his gentle grip.
“And the hyacinth, Eggsy?”
Tears finally shine in Eggsy’s eyes, his broad, stocky frame shuddering with suppressed sobs. He hurriedly wipes the back of a hand across his eyes, as his voice breaks. “For forgiveness.”
There’s a soft comforting mumur from Harry, and Eggsy just crumples inwards, like a marionette with strings cut. Strong, capable arms hold up, and close, and Harry leans his chin on Eggsy’s head as his young love muffles his raw, bloody grief, own hand clamped to his mouth. No words need to be said to express the rough-hewn, primitive pain the younger Galahad feels, the tremors of which wrack through his body. Harry already knows. The silent blame, the tidal waves of self-loathing, the sheer, spiking sorrow and violent smog of anger, all inbound and withheld. Because he lived it all, every last drop, twenty years ago. When his slight of hand, his lack of vigilance caused the death of a young man, whose ghost he saw in Eggsy’s face every single day.
“Was distracted,” Eggsy croaks with anguish, tears sheeting down his face, hand fisting in the fabric of Harry’s bespoke. “I shoulda checked the fuckin’ cab the second I got t’ the lake- I shoulda been focused, I shoulda just stayed there, I was so fuckin’ selfish when I coulda saved them-”
“Enough.” Harry’s sharp tone slices clean through Eggsy’s sob-laced apologies. Through the grey shadows that seemed to cling to Unwin’s back everywhere he went, that had broken his new marriage and pentultimately break the man himself. But Harry had pulled him from that icy lake of isolation once before. And he would do it again and again, for as long as it took.
“Enough, Eggsy,” the older man caresses his partner’s soft hair as a fresh wave of tears beset the blond. “You have well and truly atoned for every single one of your sins, with this garden.
"Roxy, Arthur, Percival, Merlin,” Harry gestures with an arm to the bevy of bright, growing flora that lay before them. “They all rest easy, beneath their beautiful garden you created, just for them. And each and every one of them knew it was not your fault.”
A gentle, kiss is laid upon a crumpled forehead. And Harry holds on steadily, firmly, as Eggsy’s tears water the flowers blooming for his fallen comrades, in the soft breeze of a quiet green English field.