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Title: Flower Petals
Author: Maia/[livejournal.com profile] maia_cyllene
Characters/Pairing: Balsa, Jiguro
Warnings: Spoilers for who Jiguro is
Posted to: FF.net | [livejournal.com profile] moribito
Author’s Notes: Many flowers have five petals, hence the title and the format of five drabbles. If I continue this, it will be in the format of five snippets of someone in Balsa’s life (not necessarily Jiguro). Secondly, I feel like I lost the flow of it by the end but I am my own worst critic, so my opinion is not to be trusted. Please read and review and let me know your thoughts on it.


Index

Chapter 1 | Chapter 2




Jiguro


*


Balsa’s first memory of Jiguro was from her fifth birthday. Much to her mother’s dismay he had given her a rock, but she was fascinated with it. It was worn smooth from the wind and the rain, and beneath a crack in the polished surface bits of mica glittered back at her. Kanbal was composed of harsh, rocky landscapes, but from observing her own rock she began to take notice in the different compositions of the terrain and learned to see the beauty that was there for those who knew how to look.

*


Balsa’s second memory of Jiguro was from her mother’s funeral. Feeling overwhelmed by the crowd that had invaded her home, she fled. Her father was busy with the guests, but Jiguro had seen her leave and, for reasons of his own, followed her. He was not a man of many words, but the few he used he employed effectively. He convinced her to come back and she learned about respecting the dead, no matter whether you had known them in life or not.

*


Balsa’s third memory of Jiguro was from the first time he saved her life. Balsa had always been rather fearless so when she dared to get an eagle feather she complied readily. Having no way to get the feather from the eagle itself, she had chosen to get one from its nest instead. Said nest had been located on a rocky outcrop half way up a mountainside. The children of Kanbal were as nimble footed as their goats so the slope itself presented no problems. But on her approach to the nest, the eagle returned and attacked her. Jiguro had been the one to rescue her and the one to chastise her, and she learned that recklessness was not the same as bravery.

*


Balsa’s fourth memory of Jiguro was from a spear dance. Living in the capital as she did, seeing men participating in spear dances was common. But she simply disregarded it as part of the background, not finding it particularly interesting. One day though, the familiar face of Jiguro caught her eye and she stayed to watch. His opponent had been much larger than him but seemingly within moments he had bested him and she learned that size did not necessarily grant an advantage.

*


Balsa’s fifth memory of Jiguro was from a day that started out like any other. Her father had kissed her goodbye with the sad look in his eyes that was becoming more apparent everyday, before heading off to the palace. She had done her household chores, then settled herself in the window with a book as she did not feel like wandering about today. Eventually the book was forgotten, as she got lost in a daydream. She was brought out of her musings by the sound of someone coming down the path. Thinking it was her father, she ran to open the door for him but froze at the sight of the two guards. They had advanced on her by only a couple of steps when they crumpled to the ground, revealing Jiguro behind them with his spear stretched before him. He had approached her then, and taken her hand, carefully leading her around the corpses before breaking into a run. And she learned that trust was a fragile thing and even her own countrymen had to earn it.

Date: 2009-03-01 08:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sunlit-earth.livejournal.com
Sorry I'm late, but just wanted to say that this was pretty awesome :) I like how Jiguro was a presence in Balsa's life even before he saved her, and the subtle effects he had on her. Also liked how she "learned that recklessness was not the same as bravery" and how we can see how even as a child she could be brave but hot-headed.

I really love the "flower petal" idea too, it feels deep. ;) I hope you're still working on the next chapter (I'm a slow writer, too, so I understand lol), good luck. :)

Date: 2009-03-02 02:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] maia-cyllene.livejournal.com
Thank you for the review and there is no need to apologize. I believe the phrase is "better late than never", and I really appreciate each and every review I get (especially since the reviewers in the Moribito fandom never do reviews that only consist of "UPDATE NOW!!!!" ^_^).

I'd like to think that Jiguro and Balsa had at least a passing familiarity with each other since her father was his best friend, but it's really all speculation.

I had started a second chapter with Torogai, but I hit a block part way through and now midterms are killing all my creative juices. I have not given up on it though. I just have no idea when I will finish it. :(

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