Marluxia on the subject of gifts.
The first had been rose, sweetly flushed with the bloom of youth and glorious in her beauty. Her dreams of romance, of a beautiful and elegant stranger who would sweep her off her feet and carry her off to a fairytale castle had been fulfilled much sooner than she had ever suspected.
The second had been a young lady noble and regal, stern and fragile as the blooms of chrysanthemums in September. He had grown for her vines with which to climb the walls of her luxurious prison and a pumpkin carriage - wasn't that how things were supposed to go? - to carry her to freedom.
There had been the girl who sought wisdom, quick and brilliant mind flashing in all the hues of the iris. He had given her tomes and tomes of knowledge both mundane and forbidden, and when books were no longer enough, taken her to walk the spaces between the stars.
Her movements had been swift as the wind and her knife deadly as the belladonna. Practiced at games of stealth and cunning, she had soaked up his gifts of poison and pain until none of her enemies remained.
Dandelion. She had not been beautiful by any stretch of the imagination, but the energy with which she moved and the open friendliness in her smile transformed her into something extraordinary. With a simple gesture he had made her harvests of wheat and honey the talk of the entire village.
Jasmine. A poor girl who had moved with all of the grace and poise of a dancer. He had taken her to a stage where her gifts could shine, and called for her an audience that had showered her with fame and wealth.
Poppy, tulip, violet, lily, lavender, azalea . . . the names were countless, and even he did not remember them all.
And still he did not understand them, the fickle creatures who never seemed to be satisfied even though he'd given them the world and more besides. When the wonder faded they looked at him with apprehension and mistrust, and no matter how many gifts he gave them it would never be enough.
Like the long ago child with a favorite pet or toy, he would whisper to them softly, beseeching them to stay. I will do anything, give you anything you could ever want. Just stay with me.
Sometimes they would nod, eyes hidden beneath long lashes and unwilling to meet his gaze. Sometimes they would even remain with him for a day, two days, a week longer. But always, one morning, he would wake and they would be gone. And still he did not understand.
That didn't matter anymore, he supposed. Though their fine voices had been taken by the transformation, now they danced for him and for him alone. And he did not have to be careful, for they were no longer fragile blossoms, even if the scent of daffodils and lilies, roses and carnation and violets bled from them still.
Walking amidst his garden, Marluxia continued to ponder, even as he prepared new gifts. Perhaps someday, one might be different.