Sunlight, warm air, and a dose of water a couple times a day finally coaxed them out of the safe earth. After their fright, with the fall and the crack and the strange, muffled shouting outside the earth, with the jostling and the sense that their well-packed shelter had suddenly become loose and unstable, it had taken a lot of coaxing. But now that they were out, they were quite glad they had done it. It was much warmer, and more exciting, outside the safety of the cool dirt. It would have gotten too cramped inside there, anyway, before long. After all, there were three of them!
Three unopened blossoms, three seedlings dangling from their strong, supportive vine that fed them: that's what they were. They didn't know their names, or what they would turn into, or even what they looked like now-- they didn't even know what genders they were! But they knew they were three and they were together-- for now. For they also knew that siblings or not, their paths were not the same.
One of them liked the one who rescued them, but not just because he'd rescued them. He checked on them every day, just as the sun was coming up to warm them and make their leaves stretch up towards it. He talked to them a little-- how else would they have known it was he who saved them?-- and watered them, and made sure they were doing all right. His had been the first voice they'd heard, the first mind they'd sensed, after they finally poked out of the earth. One even thought it had sensed his relief and pleasure before they, themselves, actually felt the sun, but when the first tendrils of their vine sprouted. It meant, to him, that they had not been harmed by their rough treatment, before.
Today he came to talk to them in the middle of the day, which was a little unusual, but they didn't mind.
"Well, I did it," he sighed. None of them could answer him, but he continued, anyway. "I let Golden of Autumn have it."
None of them were quite sure what that meant, but they waited patiently. He would explain, hopefully.
"She wanted it so badly, so I just let her have it," he continued. "All this trouble-- yours and mine-- just for a title. Kind of stupid, I guess."
He was still annoyed, they could tell. Whatever a title was, it had been hard for him to give up. They rocked a little in the breeze, and the one that liked him tried to rock a little more, towards him. It wanted to say "it's okay! you're okay! we love you!" but it had no voice, and for all their rescuer and guardian was powerful in many ways, he couldn't receive what little they could send from inside their blossoms.
The vine trembled a little, something warm and soft pressing against it almost fondly. His annoyance turned into a sigh, and that warm-and-soft thing pressed to each of their dangling resting places gently, to stop the motion. "Maybe now she'll be happy, hmm? And I have more time for my rocks." He knew earth and stone, and loved earth and stone-- well, so did they! Earth was what they lived on, and stone was what supported them. "At least you three survived well enough. Hopefully, anyway... we'll see when you're born. Or hatch. Or bloom," he chuckled softly, and left them with their first watering of the day.
Of course they had survived well! All thanks to him, the one that liked him thought to itself.
Another of them preferred another, one who found them on accident, who had little concern for them beyond distant curiosity, and who wore power like an aura. She was stronger and bolder than the one who rescued them, this one thought, and though she was not as passionate, she was far more intelligent. Not everyone liked passion, after all. She came by once, saw them, and paused there for a long time. There was a hissing about her, in her mind and even, they fancied, that they could hear through their enclosing leaves and petals.
When she came by again, there were three others with her: two like her, with minds that felt fuzzy with thoughts and feelings and restless energy-- though not nearly so much power!-- and one with no mind, but a nimbus of encasing energy and a link to her. "What is it?" one soft voice said. Male, nervous, and weak, but also gentle and loyal.
"Haven't you heard about the Four Seasons' little contest?" the second other one laughed. Female, bright, and abrasive, but also loving and energetic.
"This is the more quiet result of that contest," the strong, powerful one said calmly. "Creatures born of plants. Not much is known about them, and this is the only source of them at the anory-- perhaps anywhere. I must admit to being intrigued."
The one who liked this one pushed its mind out at her, trying to be noticed, trying to catch her attention and prove that it was worthy of her interest. Whether or not this one was, like their rescuer, deaf to the psychic call, she did at least come closer, and the silent third thing with her tipped water into their earth at her bequest: it clicked and clanked and ground together with each movement. It was under her power, that they could not see but could sense, because it was magical.
She did not stay long, but they all heard her tell her companions, "I will be curious to see what comes out of those little pods."
The one who liked her delighted quietly in the promise of her return.
The last liked someone else entirely, two someones, in fact. But they were two someones so connected that it could not possibly like the one without liking the other. They were drawn by curiosity, not by accident, and though one kept his distance, the other came right up to them and touched their swaying petals.
"They're soft," the smaller one said, and her voice was gentle. All three of them basked in the strength of her mind, but as two had already tentatively chosen favorites, it was only one who responded with a silent purr.
"It's hard to believe that something like you is going to come out of those," the other commented. He was also gentle, but his gentleness was tempered with a fear and watchfulness that she didn't have.
"Come touch them, 'Stars," the first coaxed. "You won't hurt them."
"You don't know that," the second chided quietly. "You can touch them for me, dear."
"You worry too much," the first sighed, but there was affection in the sound. "I like them." The soft touch came again, stroking the one who felt most drawn to her. The other two were briefly jealous, but they had their own favorites, even if neither of them were quite like this one.
"Perhaps we can come back again tomorrow," the second suggested, and his mind was loving. "Would you like that?"
"Oh, very much!" the first said. "We can see how quickly they grow, and maybe, too, how they hatch-- or... whatever a plant does."
The first's mind was smiling, and the gentle touch stroked along the vine again. "It's almost like they're listening to us, like they're thinking in there already, even though they're so tiny."
"Could you hear, in your egg, before you hatched?"
She giggled. "Not much. Maybe I'm just imagining things.... Come on, Yesinal will wonder where we are."
The touch left-- the two of them left-- but they left with the promise that they would return. The one who liked them was pleased.
They would be able to bloom soon.
The Sythyn and Llyr aRraanor are the creations of CacophenyAngel. Do not use without permission.