The Dragon Festival

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The Dragon Festival

Post by Batsu on Mon Dec 24, 2012 6:31 pm

It was the morning of the Dragon Festival. A tradition that the Village of Fallen Rains had started way back when the village was first founded. It was similar to the other village's Christmas, but because the Fallen Rains was surrounded by spirits, the Dragon Festival was in honor of all the spirits in the forest and the souls of those already departed. It was a time of celebration and remembrance. Everyone always joined in. The mornings were so live with people, but the night, oh the night brought about both people and spirits. The Dragon Festival could also be seen as a time of peace. It also brought travelers into the village to join the celebration.

Felix however, was not as eager to attend tonight's Festival. The twenty-one year old had seen this festival over and over again. What bothered him most was that he'd met a water spirit as a child and it had not been the least bit of friendly. Felix often had a lingering fear that it would cause the village harm, or approach him during one of the Festivals. He knew he was too old to be paranoid like this, but occasionally he'd get a weird feeling, like something bad was going to happen. Sighing, he tossed a rock down the dirt path that led to the porch, blinking when it came rolling back. He looked up and gave a smile. "Hi there, long time no see, how was your trip?"

Mekko gave a rather happy wave as she ran up to the silver haired man. "Silver Rabbit!" She gave him a cheerful hug, that nearly cut off the chuunin's oxygen. "It's good to see you too. My trip went well, I brought back a lot of stuff. It's so different on the outside," she mused happily as she spun in a circle. Felix had often wondered if she spun like that because of the days that Madness had kept her locked up in Kokuboro's Pass. That was nine years ago. Mekko was now fifteen and much happier than when she was younger. Her and Felix had formed a sort of sibling friendship since then.

"Well, I'm glad you enjoyed yourself," he said with a nod. Mekko responded with a nod herself. "I did indeed and I hope to see you at the Dragon Festival tonight, it is the only reason I came back so early," she said. "I am looking forward to celebrating with the spirits tonight and of course, lighting the lanterns for my father's soul." Her eyes became softer with the hint of tears. Felix understood her sorrow. Mekko had lost her father some time between her disappearance and her return. While Felix had never met his father. He gave another sigh. That was the only reason he'd continued to attend the festivals, in honor of his father. "Hey, don't look so sad, I'll be there," he promised. Mekko gave a devious smile. "Good, because I bought a new Kimono and it's awesome." The young girl quickly hurried down the path. "I have to go get ready and let my mom know I'm home, talk to you later."

Felix waved goodbye with a smile. "See you later," he called after her.

The night came swiftly. The darkness was lit by stars and the many lights in the streets. So many people, so much food, and so many little children running around in kimono's and mask. Felix smiled as he watched them. He himself was sitting alone near one of the less busier shops. He'd already met up with Mekko earlier during the festival, now he was just chilling alone. Maybe he'd go find his mother, she was somewhere out there, shopping as usual. Felix swore that she was the only person that saved up just for this Festival. The house would be filled with mask and nicknacks before the night was over.

It wasn't long until the village elders called for the music to start playing, bringing the dragon out into the streets as everyone began to break into a simple traditional dance. Felix gave a grunt, that dragon looked nothing like the one he'd encountered nine years ago. When someone put their hands over his eyes, the silver haired ninja went very still. He went to turn his head, but someone spoke. "Neh Felix-kun, aren't you going to ask me to dance?" Felix smiled and pulled his 'attackers' hands away from his eyes, looking up to see Meridian looking down at him. "I don't dance," he said with a shrug. Meridian clearly wasn't taking that as an answer. She slowly walked around to the other side so that she could face him.

"Oh come on Felix, it'll be fun," she said. "Please?" Her bright blue eyes were pleading as she waited for him.

Felix carefully looked her over. She was wearing an orange and white kimono that made her eyes shine even brighter. "Fine," he said as he got up. He took her by the hand and spun her once. "You look nice tonight." Taking her by the waist, the two of them fell into step with the music. Felix however, was making it clear with his movements that he did not want to dance.

Meridian giggled at his reluctance. "You look nice as well," she told him. "By the way, the Dragon Festival is a day to have fun, so have fun silly," she told him. "It's not every day we get to spend time together like this you know. Besides Mr. Kuryama-san, we're suppose to be making memories to last a lifetime tonight, or have you forgotten your promise to me," the orange haired female asked as she spun away from him, disappearing into the crowd.

Felix sighed. "Why are you calling me Mr? I'm not much olde-hey, where are you going?" Felix hurried after Meridian, trying not to lose her in the crowd. When he caught up to her, she was holding onigiri with pickled plum. Felix swore she never stopped teasing him with his favorite food. Today was different though, she had only one onigiri. "That's cruel Mer...."

The blue eyed girl smiled and took a bite of the onigiri. "I don't see how you like this, it's so sour," she said as she handed him the rest, which he happily took a bite out of it. Taking her hand, he started towards the other side of the village where the lantern lighting had begun.

"In answer to your question, it's the only sour thing I like. I actually prefer cake, but never over onigiri with pickled plum." He gave a smile at her surprise. "Didn't peg me for a person with a sweet tooth?" When she only shook her head, he gave a small laugh. "Don't panic, I don't have one, it's only every now and then." He handed her the onigiri, but she didn't take it, instead Meridian simply took a bit out of it and continued walking.

"Felix, who are you lighting your lantern for tonight," she asked. "If you don't mind me asking." It would be the first time they'd ever attended the Dragon Festival together. They'd been together for several months now and both of them were hoping that it would last a lifetime. So she figured it would be a step towards becoming closer to him.

"My dad. He passed away a little before I was born," Felix said. "What about you?"

"My uncle. He passed about three months before I met you," she said as she took hold of his arm. "We're going to light our lanterns together, okay?"

Felix nodded and pulled the last bit of the onigiri into two parts, popping his half into his mouth and the other half he ever so kindly placed into Meridian's. He'd purposely given her the sour part, so that she tightened her grip on his arm. Felix gave a small laugh. Upon making it to the lanterns, the two of them grabbed a single lantern and wrote the name of their loved ones on it. Then, together they lit the lantern and watched it float into the sky. Taking a seat on the ground, they leaned against each other and watched all of the lanterns litter the sky.

"Ah, I wondered where you two would be," a female voice said behind them. Felix and Meridian turned around looking like two children caught in the act. Felix was the first to speak.

"Hey mom," he said as he stood up, pulling Meridian with him.

"Hello Felix, hello Meridian," the older woman greeted. "How are you two doing this night?"

"We're fine Mrs. Kuriyama," Meridian said with a smile.

"Oh Meridian, you and Felix have been together for almost a year now and it doesn't look like the world can separate the two of you, feel free to call me Mom." Felix turned his head up to the sky embarrassed, which ended up with Meridan shoving him in playful anger.

Felix smiled. "I'll see you at home Mom," he said as he gave Meridian a light push and then took off towards the meadows. He couldn't help but laugh at how surprised Meridian had been when he'd pushed her back and his mother's laugh was comforting as well, considering that she often got a bit emotional during this festival.

Meridian chased after Felix. It wasn't fair that he was faster than her. He was a ninja, so he had to be quick and agile. When he stopped to let her catch up, she tackled him. Of course her weight didn't match his, but her silver haired companion fell back into the grassy meadows. His bright blue eyes shinning as bright as hers. "Why'd you fall," she asked with a giggle. "You could have caught me," she mused. When Felix shook his head no, she laid her head on his chest. "Your heart is racing," she whispered. "As if you're nervous, or scared."

Felix shook his head. "No, I'm happy. My heart beats in excitement because I'm with you," he said. He placed his hand on her back and looked up at the stars. "Not because I'm scared or nervous. Not when I'm around you I'm not."

Meridian looked up at him. "I get scared when you leave," she said quietly. "Sometimes I wonder if you'll ever come back and I miss you an awful lot when you're not here."

Felix looked at her. "Don't worry, nothing's going to happen," he promised.

"Felix, I wish this night could last forever," the orange haired girl spoke with a smile. "I wish we could have the Dragon Festival every day. That way you could stay with me forever," she whispered. "That way, you would never have to go on another mission."

"Forever is a long time," the silver haired chuunin replied.

At that Meridian got up. "You don't want to spend forever with me," she asked with a raised eyebrow.

Felix chuckled lightly. "Meridian, I'd love to spend forever with you. You mean the world to me. I've never cared for a person as much as I do for you. It's only been ten months, but I feel like it's been so much longer. Meridian, I love you now and always. You'll always be in my heart and soul, no matter what happens. I don't need an eternity to love you."

Her blue eyes sparkled as she laid back down. This time, with her head on his stomach as she too looked up at the stars. "You leave for your transfer mission tomorrow, don't you?"

"Yeah."

"I'm going to miss you."

"And I you."

"Before I fall, too fast...," Meridian started to sing. When she'd finished, she was in tears. Her blue eyes glossy, for she couldn't stop crying.

Felix listened as she sang her song. When she was done, he sat up with Meridian in his arms and wrapped her in a hug. "You don't have to say goodbye," he told her. "I'm never going to leave you. I promise. So stop with the sad songs, okay Meridian? I'm coming back." The younger girl still couldn't stop the tears as she buried her face into his shoulder. It broke Felix's heart to see her like this. This would be his first transfer mission and he'd be gone for at least two years. The Stealth had requested their help about an issue with the Gears, so they would have to travel to the Stealth, meet with them, then head for the Gears which was very far away. Felix was excited at first, but now he wasn't so sure. He didn't want to see Meridian crying.

"How do you know," she asked through her sobs. "How do you know Felix? Don't make promises you can't keep."

Felix ran his hand through her hair. "This is a promise I will keep until the end of time. Besides, I can't go out there and die, I plan on marrying you when I get back."

That stopped the tears. "Don't play with me like that," she huffed.

Felix started to laugh. "I'm serious," he told her. "We're going to get our own place, get married, have like twelve kids, and live happily ever after, okay?" Meridian turned her head away from him, clearly thinking that he was joking. Felix however was not joking. When he'd first met Meridian at that hospital by accident, he'd known she was the one. He'd know that she was going to forever be apart of his life. On the fourth month that they'd started dating, Felix had put in for a transfer mission. He knew that they brought in a butt load of money, and it would be the only way he could afford to buy a house and a ring for the girl he was madly in love with. "You don't believe me, do you?"

Meridian shook her head no. When she looked up, her tears were gone. "Not a chance, Mr. Kuriyama," she said stubbornly. She then reached into her shirt and pulled out a tiny golden locket. "Here, keep this and bring it back. It's important to me, so don't go getting yourself killed and losing my locket," she said with a frown. "It's a good luck charm."

Felix looked at the locket and then opened it. "How long have you had this," he asked curiously. It had a picture of the two of them.

"Why does it matter," Meridian countered.

Felix sighed. "Why are you so difficult," he asked as he slipped the locket on and fell back into the ground.

Meridian giggled. "It's because I love you Felix J. Kuriyama." She folded her arms on his chest as she laid her head on her arms.

"Where did you get a J from? I don't have a middle name," Felix said a bit confused.

"I know you don't, but it sounds catchy," Meridian said with a shrug. That made both of them laugh.

"I love you too Meridian," Felix said.

The orange haired girl smiled. "You hold your head up to the sky...," Meridian started into another song. This one a bit happier than the previous one.

Felix gave a grin. "Feeling better," he asked.

"Very much so Mr. Kuriyama." She stuck her tongue out at him and then giggled happily. "You'd better come back in one piece."

"I will, only if you stop calling me Mr. I am not that old. Twenty-one is young and you're not too far from it," Felix reminded her.

"Fine, fine...Felix-kun." Meridian quickly got up and ran down the hill away from Felix and towards the water. She knew he would chase after her. After all, he wasn't fond of her calling him 'Felix-kun'. She gave a giggled as she watched him scramble off the ground and head towards her. "Neh Felix-kun, you don't like me to call you that?" She skipped along the water's edge and then started into the water. She started to swim further away from the edge, leaving Felix starring out across the water at her.

"Meridian," he called. "Meridian, quit playing, come back to shore before you catch a cold," he called to her with clear panic. His blue eyes scanned the water as if he was expecting something to form from it.

Meridian shook her head. "How about you come in," she asked. "The water is far from cold, or else I wouldn't be in here." She couldn't see that Felix had turned paler than the moon. When her silver haired love didn't join her in the water she sighed and started to swim back to the shore. "I thought you'd be happy to jump in after me. Your mom says you were an excellent swimmer when you were a child," she said when she was closer. "Why the change?"

Felix hadn't told anyone about the accident nine years ago and had made Mekko swear to never tell anyone. It was their secret and theirs alone. "I...I just don't care for the water anymore," the silver haired man said as he turned away.

"Felix," Meridian called. "Please, don't do that."

"Do what," Felix asked.

"Walk away."

"I'm not...I just don't think we should be playing around in the water this late at night. Besides, you're going to get sick."

Meridian was silent for a moment. "If you're going to marry me, then you'd better get in this water," she said. "If I get sick, so are you."

Felix didn't want to play this game. He hated the water. As a child, it was the only thing he loved, but now it was a constant reminder of the nightmare he'd gone through. Felix turned and looked at Meridian. "Please don't."

"Don't what," she asked as she swam out of range as he approached her.

Felix sighed. "Meridian."

"Felix," Meridian sighed back.

Felix's shoulders slumped as he reluctantly got into the water. A shiver ran up his spine, not from the cold, but from fear. His heart pounding, he was glad when Meridian came closer to him.

"It's okay," she told him in her soft voice. "You're going to be fine. You always have been and you always will be. The water doesn't control you, you control the water," she told him as she ran her fingers through his silver haired. "It glows under the moonlight," she whispered.

"You glow under the moonlight." Felix was trying his best not to be fearful. Meridian was right, the water didn't control him. He was older now, stronger.

"You're so sweet," Meridian whispered to him. "Let's get out of this water before we catch a cold."

Felix blinked when he saw how far they'd come out. They were in the center of the lake. "Thank you," he replied.

"Anything for you Felix," she told him as they swam back.

When they were on the shore, they headed for the nearest hotel. Felix had promised her that he'd stay with her tonight and neither of them wanted to be at their parents house. It was the Dragon Festival and this was supposed to be a night to remember. Changing out of their wet clothes they climbed onto the roof and watched the remaining lanterns in the sky together.

Felix was laying on his back and Meridian was next to him, her head on his chest and his arm wrapped around her shoulder as they watched in silence. This was truly a night to remember.

________________________________________________________________________
"The white soul can't protect you forever and the Flower will soon wither. The dragon knows the truth, and when the spirit of the water strikes it deal, darkness will rise and humanity will weep." ~Uriyuu
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Batsu

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