Sunset, With Rose (ECFH)

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Sunset, With Rose (ECFH)
Date of Cutscene: 25 July 2016
Location: Earth Court Frat House
Synopsis: Some welcomes are more awkward than others.
Cast of Characters: Kunzite, Fiore, Mamoru Chiba

"Hello, Fiore."

Someone's put a chair out beside the potted rose. It's a little small for Kunzite's frame, but he folds himself into it anyhow; Mamoru's spending time on the balcony means that it's already set far back enough from the railing to accommodate his knees. He looks out over the city. The plant's view, if it had eyes.

Maybe it has something good enough.

Maybe he should be calling it he.

"I'm glad you're here," he says. The tone of the words is flat, but they're not actually untrue. Perhaps the rose will be able to tell the difference. "I wish we could have done better by you. Maybe one day we'll be able to. In the mean time ... I hope you understand that you're welcome here, and that we'll do the best we can for you."

Neither thorns nor leaves answer, of course, except a slight rustling in the afternoon breeze.

The quiet only stretches so far before Kunzite speaks again. Quieter, this time. Lower in pitch. "You were there," he says. "When he was young. We were supposed to be. But we were children. We couldn't cross the distance. Couldn't reach him. You could. You did."

He bows his head for a moment; glances sidewise at the plant through the screen of his hair, but it's barely more than a blur through the white.

"Thank you." The words are low. Insufficient. "Neither of you should have had to be alone. And for a little -- you made it so that you weren't. Thank you."

How does one show gratitude to a flower?

How does one apologize to a flower for failing it? Worse, for the risk taken in trying to win it the chance to remain? He's grasped his error, there; spoken about it with Endymion, with Mamoru. There will be no more such experiments. The cost of a mistake is far too high. He won't risk Agera's path. But he still took far too great a chance ...

... and it was Fiore's choice to take the chance given.

He doesn't know how to balance that. In the end, he falls back again to what he said at first. "I'm glad you're here."

He doesn't speak again after that. But he sits in silence on the balcony with the plant till the last of the sunset has died, till roses are liable to sleep and breathe and wait for the light to come again.

Mamoru joins them well before the sun touches the horizon, and stays the whole time. And never needs words at all.