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[Princess Tutu, Mytho/Rue] Flower Crowns

Title: Flower Crowns
Fandom: Princess Tutu
Pairing: Mytho/Rue
Rating: G
Warnings: Maybe kinda creepy in the second part? Otherwise none.
Summary: A young Rue discovers flower language and decides to give a message to her Prince. And thus begins their tradition of communicating through flowers.
Notes: gemkazoni's Secret Santa gift for Christmas 2010! (...Yeah, I'm late again.) Hopefully the style I used isn't too hard to follow. Merry Christmas--and happy birthday, too!

I.
“Flowers are used in a secret language, you know,” the florist told her customer as she arranged a bouquet of flowers in her shop. With quick, skilled hands she gathered roses and lilies in a carefully proportioned bunch, patiently working until they formed a delicate dome of petals and leaves. “It was what made me interested in flowers as a girl. With the right combination of flowers you can communicate anything you desire, from anger to joy to love. Like this bunch here: white lilies for purity, red roses for love, together representing the pure love of a young bride. Which is why this will make a perfect wedding bouquet.” She smiled, pleased as the eyes of her customer lit up and immediately ordered a bouquet of lilies and roses for her upcoming wedding.

Unknown to either of the two women, a young girl with hair like crow’s feathers watched from the doorway, her eyes lighting up as much as the bride. A secret language, a message meant only for her prince…the idea captured the mind of the girl who had just named herself Rue. Even after the princess returned to her father, she couldn’t stop thinking of it. Her father had told her that she and the prince were destined for each other—so who better than him to receive such a message from her? But not roses and lilies. No, she didn’t want a message that someone else would give to their groom, and she wasn’t a bride. Not yet.

Thus began her task to discover the perfect message to give to her Prince. On the first day she snuck into the book store and dug through the old books until she found one that taught the secret language of flowers. She sat down and looked through each and every entry until she found the ones that would communicate the perfect message for the Prince, then memorized their names and how they looked. One of them she could find at the flower shop. The other she’d have to find in a pond. The florist had so many flowers that she wouldn’t notice if a few went missing, right? The next day she snuck out to the shop and, one by one, pulled out flowers from the display until she had enough. The other flower she needed was easy to find at the bank of the river, where the water was the shallowest. She had to shoo away a small group of ducks that were trying to eat away at the roots of the flowers, but eventually she was successful in getting what she needed. After all, a crow wouldn’t give up so easily to something as silly as a duck, even one that was trapped in an ugly human body.

Now that she had her materials, all she needed to do was to put it together. Should she give him a bouquet? No, what would the Prince do with that? If she wasn’t a bride, he certainly wasn’t—and if she gave him something to carry there was a good chance he’d set it down and forget it. (Without his heart, her Prince had a tendency to be somewhat absent-minded.) If a bouquet wouldn’t work, then what would? He was a Prince, so…a crown. Yes, a beautiful crown of flowers, since he’d lost his old crown. As soon as she thought of the idea her heart warmed. It was perfect.

And so it was that the next time they met, the little princess shyly approached the heartless prince with a crown of threaded-together flowers. “My Prince…” she spoke hesitantly, two of her fingers rubbing along the veins of a leaf growing out of a stem. “I made you a crown. The crowfoot—“ She reached out and touched a white petal. “—Means ‘I’m very thankful.’ And the lilac means…well…that when I saw you I lo…” She swallowed, flustered. “It means that as soon as I saw you, I knew you would be my Prince.”

The prince looked at her with empty golden eyes, his reaction (if there was any) unreadable—but he still obediently bent down and accepted the crown placed on his head. She didn’t need him to smile or respond. All that mattered was that he took it as his own, and the sight of her prince with the lilacs and crowfoot tangled in his mop of white hair made Rue smile.

II.

“She told me that flowers are used in a secret language, you know,” Mytho said matter-of-factly as he brushed Kraehe’s black, crows-feather hair.
The Princess’s eyes glanced up at her mirror to watch his face as she responded with measured calm. “Oh, did she?”
“Yes. It reminded me of when you were a child and made those misshapen flower crowns for me.” He chuckled as if he’d just told a joke, his red eyes sparkling with a dark sense of humor. “In a way, that Freya is quite similar to how you were then. A pure-hearted maiden frolicking in the flowers whose heart is only just starting to be tainted by darkness.”
It took everything that Kraehe could do to suppress her frown at that comparison. “I’m surprised you remember that. You were always so absent-minded without your heart.”
“Well, thanks to you and your father, I’ve changed quite a bit.” He gracefully set down the brush so that it rested on the vanity without a sound. “I remember many things. I even remember that book you stole from the shop about the flower’s meanings. There were all sorts of feelings expressed by the flowers listed.” His mouth curved into a smirk as he walked over to a withering bud of a rose resting in a vase. “Yellow tulips for ‘hopeless love’…”
She turned to watch him as he pulled the rose out of its vase. “Pomegranate for ‘foolishness’. And Rue…”
Her eyes widened as he reached out and crushed the petals of the flower in his hand. “Rue was for ‘disdain.’” He opened his hands and let the petals fall to the floor. “Funny how even in that language the truth behind people’s quest for ‘love’ comes out, don’t you think?”
It took all of her willpower not to show an outward reaction. She had a feeling that was what he was hoping for. “Is there a point to all this?”
“Not much of one,” he said in a sing-song tone that was anything but sweet. He returned to behind her chair and reached down, wrapping his arms around her shoulders. “I was just thinking, we’re so much better the way we are now, than the days when you were “Rue” and we played at childish games. Don’t you agree?”
His tone chilled her heart, but she responded “Yes, of course,” with an empty smile.

III.

“Flowers are used in a secret language, you know.” Prince Siegfried paused for a moment, reaching up to carefully adjust his crown, a soft smile of remembrance on his lips. “At least, that’s what was said in this other kingdom. You don’t happen to know of any books we might have in the library on that subject, would you?”
The librarian bowed his head in reverence, although there was a small smirk on his lips as he adjusted his glasses. “My Prince, I assure you—I have been the guardian of this library since before you were old enough to read. I know every single book we have contained in this library, and I know exactly where the book you seek rests.” With those words, and an overly-extravagant bow, the librarian took the Prince over to the section on plants and gardening, pulled out a dusty, worn book and placed it in his hands. “If Your Highness would also enjoy a book on the history of the Kingdom, or philosophy on how to rule….”
“No, no politics, sir,” Siegfried responded quickly, taking the book with a grateful smile. “This research is important for now. But…I may stop by later, once my other business is taken care of…?”
That seemed to satisfy the Librarian. “Yes, of course. Please come at any time!”

As soon as the library’s door closed behind him, Siegfried let out a quiet sigh. The Librarian was part of the group of staff members and advisors who had served the Kingdom for ages and had a very precise idea of how a Kingdom should and shouldn’t be run. At first, Siegfried had welcomed their advice, grateful to not feel as though he was ruling the Kingdom alone. Although he still loved the old men dearly, he was starting to realize that it was draining to be told what to do all the time when you had a heart with its own ideas. It didn’t help that all of them had a different idea on how a Kingdom should be run, and all of them knew that theirs was the best idea.

The months since he’d returned to the story with his Princess in hand had been a rush of excitement and newly-felt emotions. He felt joy on returning to his kingdom, pride at seeing his people band together to rebuild…but anger at the damage the Raven had caused, and sorrow that so many lives had been lost to the attacks, including his parents and loyal knight. A lot of work had been done, and still more work was left to do. There were meetings to attend, plans to go over to rebuild the kingdom, pleas to neighboring kingdoms for help in their efforts, and speeches and appearances to give to rally the people together and instill within them the warm hope that had saved him during his fight with the Raven. To an extent, he’d been prepared for this when he returned home. He’d grown up with the knowledge that as a Prince, his life wasn’t his own, but his Kingdom’s, and that one day he would grow up to become a ruler and leader.

Rue, on the other hand, had been somewhat unprepared for what her new life would bring her. She hid it well—she was, after all, a trained performer. On the surface it was easy for her to make appearances to the people, to meet and greet the nobles of the land, to stand by his side during speeches and wave to the admiring eyes of the subjects. But Siegfried had spent enough time with her that now that he had a heart to understand emotions, he could see how tired she truly was. To make matters worse, as the months dragged on the meetings only seemed to increase in number. There were some days where he’d barely speak to Rue at all as they were rushed along to make their scheduled appointments, and others where they had plenty of chance to speak, but with an audience of servants, staff, advisors and nobles.

Siegfried could remember that these days sometimes happened. He knew that as a child some days he’d rarely see his parents. But he could also remember that they had always placed importance on spending at least some time together as a family—even though it made them seem “odd” to other nobles and royalty. When he was sick, his mother would come to check on him with one of his favorite books in hand. When their duties kept them apart, his father would make a point of scheduling a day that they could simply enjoy each other’s company. In his mind, the Prince could think of no better role model than his parents for how to be a ruler.

And that was why he approached one of the servants with a message. “Please inform the Princess and her handlers that in two days time I need to have an audience with her in the gardens for the entire day. Alone.”
The servant blinked and hesitated, unsure of what he’d heard. “The entire day, my Prince?”
“Yes. And also let her handlers know that I apologize for the short notice.” Before the servant could respond, he grinned and held up the book on flower meanings. “If you’ll excuse me, I have some research I need to attend to.”

Over the next day, in between the meetings and plans, he read the book cover to cover, taking notes on any flower of interest. He had to find the perfect meaning for his message to her. After all, she’d given him so many and never gotten a response back. That was simply unfair. Finally, just in time for their meeting, he created the perfect combination of flowers for her.

Siegfried was so excited when they met in the palace gardens that he was grinning ear-to-ear like a little kid. He sat on the edge of a fountain and kept his hands behind his back, hiding the flower crown as Rue turned the corner, holding up her skirts to keep them from being stained by the grass. “There you are!” She said in something of a scolding tone—but nonetheless with a smile on her face. “What, what’s with that grin? Are you scheming something?”
“Do I look like I’m scheming?” he answered as innocently as he could.
“You’re not very good at hiding your emotions.”
“I don’t want to be,” Siegfried responded simply.
Rue made a show of rolling her eyes, then approached the fountain and sat down at his side. “So, why did you want to meet? And what’s that you’re hiding behind your back?”
For a brief moment Siegfried worried that he’d ruined the surprise, but he cleared his throat and continued on. “Well, first of all, I’ve been thinking that we haven’t spent enough time together lately.”
“I understand you have to work.”
“I know you do, and I’m grateful. But I don’t want to neglect you in the process. I may love everyone, but…you’re the one I chose to love the most.”
Rue blushed. “Well, I…see. I love you, too.”
“I know.”
“And what was the second thing?”
“It’s your crown. I’m not altogether certain it suits you.”
She raised her eyebrows. “What’s so wrong about it?”
“It doesn’t really say anything.” He took the crown of flowers out from behind his back. “This conveys much more of a message, don’t you think?”

She gasped softly in surprise, quiet for a second as she searched for a response. “I didn’t think you remembered me giving you those.”
“Of course I remember! How could I forget?”
Rue smiled fondly. “You were always forgetting things without your heart.”
“Well, I have it back now,” he said firmly. “And now that I have it, I want to be able to tell you how I feel.”
She reached out and touched the crown. It was made of four different flowers of red, pink and white, tangled together into something of a mess. It was obvious that he’d never made one before, but to Rue that only made it more endearing. “You feel things in rather wordy messages, don’t you?”
“Did I use too many?” Siegfried asked with a frown. “I was worried it might be too much, but I couldn’t figure out what flower I should take out…”
“It’s fine,” she said with a tone that almost made her sound like she was laughing. “So what does your message mean?”

With a smile, he reached out and placed the crown of flowers on her head. “The white periwinkle is for the pleasure I find in the memories we share. The roses, for the love I feel for you. Sweet alyssum, for your worth to me beyond your beauty. And stephanotis…for wedded bliss.”
That only made the blush on her cheeks stronger. “Mytho…you said we couldn’t get married right now. That the Kingdom needed the money spent on the ceremony to rebuild.”
“I did, and it does. But…” He reached out and smoothed her hair, making sure the stems of the flowers didn’t get tangled within it. “I don’t want to make us wait, either. So I thought…we could have the priest marry us in a small ceremony, just to make it official. And once things are settled in the kingdom, we can have a big ceremony for the kingdom with all the pomp and circumstance of a royal wedding. What do you say?”

Siegfried could feel his newly-formed heart warm at the sight of his princess’s smile. “Yes!”

Comments

mangaka_chan
Jan. 6th, 2011 04:06 am (UTC)
Daw, I didn't expect Mytho to ask Rue to marry him at the end. Very nice plot wist there. ;)
haleysings
Jan. 6th, 2011 04:09 am (UTC)
Aw good, I'm glad you think so! ^^ I actually hadn't planned on it when I started out, but I realized halfway through writing it that I wasn't sure if they were married or not, so...I thought that'd be a good way to address it in the story. (Plus I stumbled upon the meaning for that flower and...yeah.)