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#1 [Private] A Meeting in the Gardens on Thu Nov 01, 2018 2:51 pm

Willow jolted up in the chair in his quarters as a single, large knock on the door took him completely off guard. He fumbled, taking a deep breath and standing up out of his chair before walking to the door. He slowly opened the door with a single, swift motion and found... A letter? Odd, that. Willow bent over and picked it up from in front of his quarters, his gaze staring at the pale envelope as he carefully turned it over in his hands. Willow stepped back inside his quarters and quietly closed the door behind him.

He sat back down and opened the letter, taking a moment to read it through. Once he was done, Willow set the letter down with a small smile on his face and headed out of his room as he begun to trek to his destination. The instructions on the brief letter had been clear and precise, Willow had no trouble going where he had been directed to go without it. After a bit of walking, he finally came upon the door that was his destination, slowly opening it and stepping through it to a lush garden of color.

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#2 Re: [Private] A Meeting in the Gardens on Mon Nov 05, 2018 4:52 am

It was a beautiful day and she knew of a small sapling that she just had to spend some time with. He was new and it seemed that the first time they met Nakita was lounging about. She was a real pest, that spider bitch. Anyway, Selica decided that she would sit down and have a chat with him. However, she would do it in a place that nobody would dare come, her own personal garden. Her green eyes would sparkle with excitement as she would write him a letter. She sat on her knees in the middle of her garden as she would instruct him where to go. When it was done, Selica would hand it off to a venus flytrap, which would in turn deliver it however it wished.

She would await the sapling in the garden as she looked over her bushes of roses. Their stems lined with thorns that were as sharp as she could imagine. Their colors were of pink, red, and white all speckled amongst the green background of leaves. Her red lips would form into a joyous smile as she ran her fingers along the soft petals that only seemed to hug her skin. After a while of waiting, she would hear a door open and her green eyes woild set sights on her prize. The woman would step towards him using her Sonido to stop right in front of him in a moment's notice. "Hello, my dearest Sapling. Welcome to my garden," she would smile at him in delight.

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#3 Re: [Private] A Meeting in the Gardens on Tue Nov 06, 2018 4:36 am

Willow took a step backwards in surprise as Selica suddenly appeared before him with the usual static-like noise that accompanied the use of Sonido. He blinked, twice, then returned his foot to it's previous position, his cheeks tinged a light pink with embarrassment at having been caught to unawares. Quite frankly, he had been expecting lady Selica to be sitting at a table with chairs, the entire set of furniture made of carefully coaxed and naturally interwoven branches. From what he new of this particular Espada, that had been his expectation. However, it occurred to him as he always referred to her plants as "Her children," and it would be odd if a mother sat on her children, to say the least. All these thoughts and more spun in his mind as he offered Selica an easy smile in turn, followed by a small bow.

"Allow me to apologize for my earlier behavior, you took me quite unawares. And, if I may, your garden is as lovely as I anticipated, though..." Willow raised his head, nervously glancing around at all the plant life. Every now and again they seemed to overlap with burning trees, the roaring of flames filling his hears. Willow shut his eyes tightly and shook his head. No, those were just memories and delusions. Hallucinations and tricks of the mind, nothing more. "...Well, I admit I'm... a bit surprised you invited fire-using Arrancar such as myself to such a beautiful garden, full of life..." Willow's voice trailed off, and he began to look a little uneasy as he shuffled his feet absentmindedly from time to time.

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#4 Re: [Private] A Meeting in the Gardens on Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:01 am

The woman would look at him a bit confused as he stepped back with an expression that looked somewhere between fear and surprise. Her head would tilt to the side as she would look at the boy who seemed to be taking everything in. She would find herself standing straight as she would lean semi away from the boy. Finally, the sapling would smile in return to her and Selica would begin to listen to his words.

He would speak an apology to her as he would bow before her leaving her to smile in amusement. "You're as dear as I knew you would be. Don't apologize. I should be the one apologizing to you. I was too excited for my own good and didn't take into consideration your youth," her smile faded into a frown of slight concerned as he looked around. Green eyes would notice the emotions stretched across his features and his reaction to whatever he was seeing. It seemes that his mind was elsewhere while also with her. Selica had never experienced such a problem, but she had seen it many times before. Selica would sigh as Willow voiced his concerns, although not clearly. In this moment, she would find herself forming a large, blooming rose flower in her palm as she would hold it out to the boy.

"If you would trust me and know that you're one of my children now, I would like for you to set this rose aflame. Your fire won't hurt me I've seen much more powerful fire users than you," Selica would say lightly as she would smile and hope he would be able to follow her intructions.

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#5 Re: [Private] A Meeting in the Gardens on Wed Nov 07, 2018 7:54 pm

Trust. The word, the embodiment of the concept in its entirety seemed to wash over Willow then in a sudden moment of reflection. When was the last time he'd trusted anyone? When was-
[He looked down at his hands, they were black and charred and gnarled as the flames ate him alive. He tried to scream, but he couldn't. The fire had taken his voice and replaced it with ash and smoke. His hearing began to deteriorate, and his eyes they-]

Willow snapped back into focus, looking at the rose with clear apprehension. He reached out, his hands shaking slightly as he took the plant with a grip so gentle it was clear he feared breaking it between his fingers. It had been countless years since he'd trusted. Not since he was human. But now? He was Arrancar now, something More than what he once was. He was stronger than when he had been... Something Lesser, a being not strong enough to stop its own demise.

Willow took a deep breath, and exhaled as he held the rose between his fingers. He focused on it, drawing upon the flame that remained within him from death, and set it to burn in a small and gentle fire.

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#6 Re: [Private] A Meeting in the Gardens on Thu Nov 08, 2018 5:27 am

Selica watched the fear in his eyes as he seemed to be seeing his own delusions yet again. Her eyes would stay firm on him, but calm as she seemed to be gauging whether he would become a danger or not. He spent a few moments staring at his hands. What was he seeing? What had he done that looking at his own hands caused him such pain and agony. She knew of the things her hands had done, but she never once regretted anything. So, what caused him to feel this terrifying regret.

He would finally snap back into reality as he shakily reached for the small flower. It was beautiful and vibrant. It was soft and innocent. It was fragrant and delightful. However, it would slowly begin to burn away. The petals would recoil into themselves as the orange flame would turn the plant into ash inch by inch. Selica would find herself feeling guilt and fear as she watched the flower fading away before her eyes. It always hurt her drastically to lose a child of hers, yet she knew this was an experience they could have together. Finally, the ashes would pile in Selica's palm as she would find herself gently smiling.

"It's always a difficult sight watching something so small and fragile die without being able to stop it," the woman would say softly before a small bud would rise from the ashes of the previous flower blossoming into a precious bloom more beautiful than the last. It held more volume, more color, and more radianting beauty. Selica would smile at it before looking to Willow. "Everything around you I created of my own power. Everything around you is a proof of my strength and my existence. No matter how many petals you burn or stems you snap, a blossom more beautiful than before will take its place. As long as I'm around, you can't harm my children, you can only make them better, even if they have to go through a little fire first," she would find herself holding out the bud to Willow. Whether he decided to take it or not was his choice. He could keep or or he could leave it in the garden.

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#7 Re: [Private] A Meeting in the Gardens on Fri Nov 09, 2018 3:00 pm

Willow paid close attention to the small pile of ashes in Lady Selica's hands as she used her abilities to make a new flower grow from the ashes of the old. She spoke soothingly to him, seemingly trying to make him feel more at ease. Willow reached out and carefully took the new plant in his hands before taking a deep breath.

Willow then slowly lowered himself onto his knees, the small plant in one hand while his other scraped a hole out of the dirt. He placed the bud into the earth, scooping the soil back over the open hole and slowly standing back up. Willow offered Lady Selica a small smile while dusting dirt off of his hands. "Thank you, Lady Selica. I... Feel a little better now."

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