~~~~((~~~((@ Fiore: The Turning Point @))~~~))~~~~
From the memoirs of Chiba Mamoru, as re-told to Pandora Diane Waldron
"Mystery glows in the rose bed, the secret is hidden in the rose." --Farid ud-din Attar, 12th Century Persian poet.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This memoir is based on the plot of the Sailor Moon "R" Movie
Christmas comes early! This is my version of the best story to come out of the Sailor Moon anime series, in my not-so-humble opinion [a woman who calls herself -sama does not suffer from humility : P ]. Yes, [Minako says on cue, "TA-DA!!], it's the Sailor Moon "R" ["R" as in "Romance"] Movie.
I have entitled it, "Fiore: The Turning Point", because to me, it constitutes a turning point in Mamoru's relationship with Usagi. His love for her, in this lifetime, anyway, is relatively new to him, and he is still sorting out his feelings. He is still shy, unsure, and does not really know how to express his feelings. He has been alone a very long time, and hasn't really gotten used to being a "couple." That, I think, explains a lot right there. But by the end of the episode, his love for his Princess is sure and strong, and needs no words to express. His eyes, his tears,say it all. Ahhh, that anime Mamoru...he has the most expressive face in all animation.
But there are those [hi there, Jen-chan from onee-sama!] who disagree with me that Mamoru needs no words to express his love for Usagi. So, here you are...a peek into Mamoru's psyche. I think you will know the gentleman in the tuxedo much better after this. Or my name isn't Pandora [and it IS, legally, unlike those other Net imposters...accept no substitutes /(^_-)\ ]
About Rose Park in Fukuyama, probable R Movie setting:
The city of Fukuyama was completely destroyed in an air attack in 1945. After the war, the city had to be entirely reconstructed, and the residents were left with a terrible sense of loss. It was then that they decided that nothing was more evocative of the concept of healing and rebirth, than roses.
In the spring of 1956, people living in the Minami Park area (now re-named Rose Park) planted about a thousand rose seedlings in the open areas of the park. In time, a thousand bright red roses grew from those seedlings. In 1968, Rose Park won the National Urban Beautification Prize for Excellence. A monument commemorating receipt of the prize stands in the park, inscribed with the words, "Here the flowers of goodwill open." As of 1985, the city of Fukuyama adopted the rose as its official flower, and now it advertises itself as a tourist destination: "the city of a million roses."
If you look at photographs of Rose Park, they look VERY similar to the anime depictions of the botanical garden and greenhouses where Mamoru first encounters the adult Fiore [whose name means "Flower" in Italian]. The "R" Movie plot centers around Tuxedo Kamen's past, and the theme of flowers, death, and rebirth. What better place to set such a story, than in the Japanese "city of a million roses?"
For the curious, who would like to see for themselves the possible connection to Rose Park to the "R" Movie, please surf to the following URL:
Final note: The titles "The Rose Garden" and "Fiore: The Turning Point" in relation to Sailor Moon, and the fan fictions of these titles, are legally copyright of Pandora Diane Waldron. If you wish to quote from them on a web site, or otherwise publish them, please ask permission of the author, by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. If you use them on a web site without the author's permission, that constitutes copyright infringement. I have never said no to anyone yet, OK?
Please e-mail me with your comments. E-mail from our fans is the only *pay* we fanfic authors receive for our hours of effort. So please e-mail me and tell me a little about yourself, what city you live in, and your interests. All of you are roses in MY garden, and I like to *see* your colours.
Pearl Harbour, 56 years ago today...a prayer for peace between us, all over the world, and love. Let us fill our gardens with roses, and not hate and distrust.
Pandora Diane Waldron
Part 1: Rose
The Dictionary of Christian Art defines the rose as:
"A floral symbol sacred to Venus and signifying love, the quality and nature of which was characterized by the colour of the rose. A symbol of purity, a white rose represented innocence (nonsexual) love, while a pink rose represented first love, and a red rose true love. When held by a martyr, the red rose signified 'red martyrdom' or the loss of life, and the white rose 'white martyrdom' or celibacy."
"If the word 'rose' is transposed it reveals 'eros' meaning, love." ---------------from "The Language of Flowers," published 1841.
Rose City Fukuyama: -- A City Developed Around Roses
"Roses are beautiful. The hearts of those who love and raise roses are also beautiful."
When I look back on it, it's hard for me to believe that that day started so innocently. It was just supposed to be a fun trip for Usako and me, to a place that I'd always wanted to see, Rose Park, in Fukuyama. I think you have gathered by now that I am very interested in formal gardens, and especially in rose growing. So what better place to pursue that interest than Rose Park, with its 280 varieties of roses, not to mention many other flowers? And what better time to go than the annual Fukuyama Rose Festival in May. Of course, it is something of a local tourist mecca; Fukuyama now calls itself the Rose City (now you are not surprised why I decided to take this trip, are you?)
Rose Park symbolizes much more than just a local horticultural showpiece to the people here, though. For it was here on the site of Rose Park, which is not so very far away from Hiroshima City, where the atom bomb was dropped, that the scars of war once also lay heavy on Fukuyama.
In 1945, that same dreadful year, an air raid in 1945 burned everything to the ground, destroying the city. But in 1956, the people of Fukuyama decided not only to re-build their city, but to cover the ugly scars of war with that symbol of life, love and hope, the rose. So here, where there was once nothing but death, horror, now there are flowers. Hundreds and hundreds of flowers. It's such a blaze of colours, it just takes your breath away. Well, it takes MY breath away, anyway. I adore flowers.
And of course, you don't have to persuade most girls about coming to see flower gardens. It was originally supposed to be just a trip for Usako and me. But as soon as Minako got wind of the trip, she told Rei, Rei told Makoto, Makoto told Ami, they all started telling Usako how much they'd all like to see Rose Park, and all of a sudden it was a Senshi excursion. Nobody wanted to be left out. Certainly not Chibi Usa, when she overheard Minako getting all excited about it.
Telling Minako something is like broadcasting it on Tokyo T.V. But please DON'T tell her I said this.
Well, now this quiet little excursion that I'd planned, to get some ideas for my own gardening projects had seemingly grown, without my being aware of it, into the main event of the spring. None of the Senshi could stop talking about it, over tea and cookies at Rei's temple. I honestly don't think Usako was too happy about them all coming along, though she didn't let on to anyone.
For one thing, it would mean she'd have to babysit Chibi Usa at least part of the time, and you know how little kids can get restless on long bus trips. When I found out they would ALL be coming, because they sort of invited themselves, I decided to go on ahead and be there a few hours early, and just meet them all later at the park.
Do you seriously think that Mamoru will get ANY horticultural research done with five excited Sailor Senshi and a Chibi Usa along? No WAY. Now maybe, if it had just been Usako and me, that would have been different. On her own, Usako can be very quiet, and a great listener, and though she makes out like she hates learning anything, when we're on our own together, it's a whole different thing. I like to think I'm a good influence on her, in that way. All Usako needs to be a good student is...motivation. If she hears me saying this, she's gonna hit me with a pillow. So I better shut up now.
On a more serious note, yes, I've since realized, though I suppose I didn't really at that time, that Usako was hoping we could spend some time in the park on our own. That must be why she kept kind of wincing every time Minako or Makoto would get all enthusiastic about what they were going to do, what they were going to see, planning their itinerary.
You know, there was a time when Usako would have just gotten angry about everyone horning in on her plans that way. But it was about then I noticed signs she was somewhat maturing in her outlook, less likely to think of her own enjoyment, and more willing to give way a little so that her friends, and little Chibi Usa, could have fun too.
When I think how often I saw her bite her tongue and look like she was going to burst, when Minako would go on, and on, bubbling away, or Chibi Usa would announce what treats she expected to be bought, and repeatedly ask whether she would be getting any souvenir gifts to take home, it makes me feel all the more bad about what happened later that day.
They all thought it was funny at the time, but they really hurt her feelings. And I think in retrospect, I could have handled this a lot better. I shouldn't just have ducked out because I felt uncomfortable. But you must understand, I am NOT a demonstrative guy who likes to have an audience when I'm with my girl. That's between us, OK? And frankly, I really don't like being stared at, anyway, and never did. I just like to be left alone, I can think much better that way.
Oh, you want to know what I'm talking about, don't you? I'm sorry, I assumed Usako might have told you already about this one. She's never let ME live it down.
We had gone into one of the greenhouses. I was studying some of the unusual hybrids on display, feeling really relaxed and kinda mellow. And then Usako surprised me. She started telling me about the traditional meanings behind the flower names. [Imagine Usako deciding on her own to study something! If I'd been sitting down, I'd have fallen off my chair. But DON'T tell her I said so.] The kind of books I had read gave the flowers' Latin names, preferred soil and sun requirements, and the various breeds available. There was nothing in them about forget-me-nots meaning true love, for instance. [Well, I should have known that something romantic like that would appeal to her. There had to be SOME strong motivation for her to actually remember something she'd learned.]
And the next thing I know, there's Usako, well, ummm, leaning up very close to me, and, do I have to draw you a diagram? No, I didn't think so. That was so like her...so cute, and so impulsively affectionate. But I got an attack of nerves, and before I bent down to kiss her, I took a quick look around, to make sure we were alone. Now, if I had been thinking at ALL, and I suppose I wasn't, when I saw someone playing voyeur just behind the plant shelves, I should have whispered something in her ear to warn her, maybe just take her by the hand, and we could have got the hell out of there. But I didn't, needless to say.
I decided to stage a retreat. But I didn't tell Usako. She still had her eyes closed, waiting for the kiss, and didn't realize I had already gone outside. And apparently, when she finally looked up to see where I had gone, the girls poked a caterpillar at her. Rei said later [and this WAS mean-spirited, really] that she looked like a crab scooting backwards so fast. I AM guilty that she scraped her legs on the concrete floor because she was so startled.
So I was just standing outside, thinking, <SIGH> it's going to be one of those days again, when they tease Usako, and I really don't wanna be there when the inevitable explosion comes. Then she'll be asking me to take her side in the argument, how mean they were, and, oh, how DO I get myself into these situations? God, how I hate confrontations.
This nice relaxing outing at Rose Park was just not turning out at all like I planned. Feeling depressed, I stared out across the thousands of multi-hued roses, as if those flowers would somehow tell me the right thing to do.
And suddenly, there's a veritable blizzard of pink petals coming from above. And I feel--strange, uneasy. A vague sense of doom. I get these flashes of premonition sometimes. Usako and Chibi Usa apparently didn't sense anything. They were just sort of blissed out by the beauty of it all, and they were dancing around as these petals whirled down.
All at once, someone is standing there. Something in the way he is standing is familiar to me, something in the way he is looking at me, brings back a sensation of almost painful memory. Then as he says my name, I realize it could only be one person--Fiore. Fiore, who I had thought was just the dream of a very lonely boy, who had imagined he had had a friend with him in that awful, sterile hospital. But here he was, not looking really all that different. I guess I hadn't changed much either.
Fiore was reminding me of a day I am unlikely ever to forget--the day I had brought him the rose, the day he'd had to leave forever how he was just getting more and more ill in the hospital environment, and he just had to get away. But I wasn't really listening to him so much as I was reacting to something in the atmosphere, which had suddenly become charged with tension. I don't know if it was coming from Fiore, or maybe from a certain blonde odango atama, who had just appeared at my elbow, and was clutching my arm very possessively. Now it's funny, I usually hate girls grabbing my arm or touching me, but with Usako it's...different. Always has been, even before I really realized how I felt about her.
I was realizing just then that Fiore was also reacting towards me...possessively. I became aware,with a growing sensation of shock, that the handshake of greeting had been prolonged well beyond politeness....that Fiore had still not let go of my hand. I heard Usako say indignantly, "He's MY boyfriend!" And before I could figure out what on earth was going on between those two, Fiore darted out a hand and knocked Usako to the ground. I was horrified, and I still find it difficult to talk about. I made sure Usako was all right, and tried to comfort her, but I really was still too numb with shock to react properly -- I felt as if I were in a living nightmare.
I just don't think I could have explained to her in a million years what Fiore had meant to me, once. My only friend in the world. And now I was not a small boy any more, and yet for Fiore, I could see that for him, no time had passed at all. He thought it was still him and me against the world. Them and us. But I had long outgrown resenting the world for what had happened to me.
Somehow, though, I didn't realize at first consciously, what it was that had already changed inside me, which had not changed in Fiore. I know what it was, now. I was...LOVED, something Fiore had never really experienced. Fiore and I had been like two unhappy refugees, just trying to survive. So unlike the warm, secure, good feelings I would feel whenever I was around my Usako.
God, why couldn't I tell her that, then? I don't know. I was still confused, sorting out my feelings. And what I saw in Fiore saddened me, made me want to recoil. He was so full of anger, in a way I had not remembered him to be. But how could I feel a sense of recoil from Fiore, who had once been my only friend in the world? And not so long ago, I myself had also been angry against the world, and lonely. Perhaps it was I who had influenced Fiore in the way he seemed to feel towards the world...an unpleasant thought.
But if I WAS responsible for the kind of person Fiore had become, then I could not run away from that responsibility. If he was not too set in his distrust of other people, then it was my personal obligation to try to undo some of the damage that a small, unhappy boy, Chiba Mamoru as he was, had inadvertently caused. I did not know how I was going to do this, but I had to try.
The seeds of distrust, planted so long ago in childhood, had taken root in Fiore. But not too deep, I hoped. Not too deep to transplant them into better soil.
I decided I needed to get away by myself, to think about things. I didn't know what I was going to do about Fiore. I didn't want to hurt him, but I had to somehow let him understand that Usako was in my life now. Really, I just have the worst luck. How DO I get myself into these situations?
TO BE CONTINUED IN PART 2: A Sticky