The girl worked somewhere on the same
street as his shop and walked by every morning with a coffee in hand. There had
been a day, months ago, when he’d just finished cleaning up a spilled bouquet.
She’d been walking by and he offered her the flower. It had been empty
flirting. She was pretty, he’d been standing there with a flower in hand and
she had made eye contact so he’d given it to her.
It had become a tradition. A little
thirty second conversation every morning when he offered her some flower he’d
chosen for her. He’d pick them out the night before while he was cutting the
new stock or first thing in the morning when he was arranging the bouquets that
would go out to be sold as-is. Sometimes it was something cheap and simple like
a daisy or a bit of baby’s breath but sometimes he’d find a rose or a heavy
headed gardenia that would catch his attention and he’d set it aside for her.
Sometimes she would ask questions and
he’d get an extra few seconds with her as he talked about zinnas and she spun
the bloom in her fingers. Other days she would ask him to tuck it into her
hair. She always gave him a smile like he was the best thing she could imagine.
She wore tight jeans that hung low on
her hips, shirts that slipped sideways off her shoulders when she moved, boots
that looked like they’d be hard to walk in. Her hair was a brilliant white that
had to come from expensive dyes. She had tattoos along her shoulders and the
little pieces of her back he had seen. Bright colours in geometric patterns.
She even had marks on her face that should have looked ridiculous but somehow,
she made it elegant. She was gorgeous.
He would drop hints, flirt a little
harder some days than others but she wasn’t interested. She smiled and laughed
and was so happy to have a flower but he couldn’t get any flash of real
interest from her. He could have asked her out but doing that when she wasn’t
interested would mean losing this adorable little morning ritual. It didn’t
need to be romantic to be good. It made her day and it made him smile and those
two things were enough.
“How do you take your
coffee?” she asked one morning as he tucked a pink rosebud into her hair.
“Or tea? Or orange juice?”
“I like my coffee black, with
lots of sugar,” he said, “Why?”
“I’m going to bring you one
And she did as she promised. She
showed up the next morning with a coffee cup and somehow that became part of
it. She would linger by his door, drinking her coffee while he finished setting
up the displays and wrapping the bouquets.
“Where do you work?” he
“I’m smart enough to figure out
that much, thank you,” he said. “I meant which shop.”
“I work at the tattoo parlour on
the corner,” she said.
Fora little while, it was enough to
have those few minutes in the morning where they would trade a flower for a cup
of coffee and she would make conversation about nothing and everything.
“Where are you from?” he
asked one day.
“I’ve got an apartment near the
park,” she said.
“I meant. You’ve got an accent,
did you grow up here?”
“How long have you been here?”
“Three years,” she said.
She was spinning the flower he’d given her between her fingers. It was a little
uneven so it had gone into a discard pile but she liked anything that wasn’t a
solid colour and the sunset pinks and oranges were the type of thing to make
her smile. She had been thrilled by it but now she fiddled with the stem enough
to make him worry that she would break it.
“Do you like it?”
“Some parts,” she glanced
up at him and he let himself imagine for a moment that it meant something but then
her gaze moved on, “I miss home.”
“Somewhere that doesn’t exist
“Are you a refugee?”
“I suppose I am, yes,” she
She didn’t expand or explain and the
conversation had moved on and she was on her way to work before he could figure
out how to phrase it to dig for more information. He wanted to know everything.
He wanted to know her favourite colour and whether she was ticklish and what
her opinions on politics were and whether or not she liked mushrooms on her
pizza. He was falling for her a little harder every time they spoke.
That was what made him more daring.
She hadn’t responded to any of his verbal flirting so he started flirting a
little more physically. She hadn’t said no but she also hadn’t said yes so he
tried to be as reserved as he could be. He touched her hand when he took the
cup of coffee and he played with her hair as he tucked the flower into it.
She didn’t say a word about it but
this she returned. She tilted her head and leaned in when he touched her hair.
She caught him by surprise one morning when she showed up a little bit early
and she reached around him to put the coffee on the table in front of him so
for a brief moment, she had her arm around his waist. She would cross her arms
and mimic him when he stood considering a bouquet that didn’t balance the way
he wanted it to. Sometimes she would get a little closer and stand right at his
shoulder so they were almost touching.
“Can I ask your advice?” he
said one morning.
“Of course,” she said.
“I want to ask out this girl but
she only seems interested about half the time and I don’t know if asking her
out will just ruin a perfectly good friendship,” he said.
She looked at him and he held her
gaze until he was very very sure that she understood what he was asking.
“She’s probably just a little
socially inept,” she said.
“That could be it.”
“You should ask,” she said,
“Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”
“You think so?” he asked.
He finished tucking the flower into
her hair. Ok, he stopped playing with her hair. The flower was in place long
before he stepped back.
“Do you want to go to dinner
He laughed and she caught his face in one hand and turned his chin up so
she could kiss him.
the actual premise that I didn’t write: Instead of getting sealed into the Castle of Lions, Allura gets launched out in an escape pod of some kind that crash lands on earth. She’s stuck trying to get by and trying to figure out how to get home. Unfortunately, humans haven’t invented deep space travel and Earth is so isolated that even the deep space trade caravans don’t stop there. So she’s trapped and stranded but at least the guy who gives her flowers in the morning helps keep her sane.
From their expressions at the top I get the feeling they
both know exactly the kind of strain this is putting on Kuromama. He’s
reluctant to ask her to do more – to ask her for anything with her current level of health – but she cheerily
insists on it because it’s what she does. For everyone’s safety, they both need her to do her magic, even if he
doesn’t want her to get any sicker than she already is. By the middle panels he
looks like he’s resigning himself to it, and she’s trying to alleviate his guilt.
And I LOVE this interplay between them. It’s gone so quick, blink and you’ll miss it, but it’s such a
lovely little interplay of thoughts and feelings between them that doesn’t even
necessary reach the dialogue that they’re saying out loud, and yet it all points to just
how open they are to one another.
I love all this, but I’m increasingly convinced that this
might just be the last time they see each other, and that makes it so much more
tragic in so many ways. Because if Kuropapa had followed his original intention
they wouldn’t have even had this
final meeting, and this last glimpse of their relationship would never had had
the chance to shine through. I don’t know if this IS their final meeting, or if
the blessing she gives will change things for the better or worse in the pages
to come, but I think it speaks volumes as to just how much their duty pushes it’s
way right up into their relationship and forces them into actions they
otherwise wouldn’t have picked for each other.
Because with this conversation they become ‘the priestess’ and ‘the protector’ instead of two people who love each other dearly, and they both know that this
very well might be the roles they ever get to play.
And yet they do it anyway, because they must. Because of
COURSE they do, because it’s who they are – even if it’s not all of who they are. They’re united in this cause, and being on the potential brink of death doesn’t change that even slightly.
And as gorgeous and amazing this all is, Kurogane’s face
perfectly sums up all my feelings about what is happening.
BECAUSE WE ALL KNOW WHAT’S JUST AROUND THE CORNER.
I'm one of those shaladongs you're talking about. But I also ship klance, you idiots. We're allowed to like other ships that don't include Shiro. You're all stupid if you think shaladin ships are pedo. They're not. Shidge is ok if Pidge is aged up, along with Plance.