Fandom: Shaman King
Challenge: Giftfic for tbird_lizzy
Disclaimer: I own none of the characters. Surprised?
Notes: Aha. Sorry?
A Day of Snow
When winter blew thick and white into the hills of a small town in Germany, no one was more pleased than small Eliza above the young baker's shop. She did not often go outside and instead would watch the cobblestone street beneath her window; to see the stones vanish under a great blanket of snow was something so terribly exciting she felt as though she would burst. Her mother, though, came to the room and chased her back to bed for fear of her catching a draft from the cold glass and the crack her father had fit with a wedge of wood and a rag.
They did not have much money to spare after the medical expenses. Eliza, you see, was very ill, so much so that she could not be let outside and she could not do many things other children take for certainties. Eliza could not run, or jump, or do anything to strain her heart and nerves. She spent many of her days in bed, reading, or looking out at the people down upon the street. This is why she was so very excited to see the snow; any change was a thing of great wonder for her, and winter made her think of small birds, having flown away, settling into deep warm nests to wait for spring.
(In many ways, Eliza too waited for spring, though it was a very different spring than you or I might hope for.)
It was not until she had eaten her breakfast that Eliza remembered she would not see her friend today.
Around the hour Eliza woke, a young boy known as Faust, same as his father and grandfather, turned over in bed. If Eliza had been delighted to see fat snowflakes covering the streets, Faust did not like the snow at all. He sat up in his small bed and reached for his glasses, without which he could not see anything in particular. He looked out the window again, as if hoping perhaps his bad eyesight had invented the snowfall; the snow had not disappeared. Disappointed, Faust looked down at his hands and then turned back to his bed, away from the window.
Beneath the covers Faust could not say he was unsurprised; snow is not uncommon in Germany, especially to the north. But he was not happy, and it is true that this had every bit to do with the girl Eliza living above the baker's shop, for he had become friends with her the past winter, after the snows had receded. She had smiled at him from her window, and given a small wave, which was far more than any other child, boy or girl, had done for him.
(Perhaps she had seen a small boy her own age, and her heart had gone out to that figure in a coat one size too large, with a book one year too old for him. Perhaps she had simply wanted to greet one of the many people she watched over the days; perhaps she thought in her heart he was waiting for spring as well.)
Even during school when he had barely enough time to walk from his house to the schoolhouse, Faust had made certain to pass under her window.
He felt it was terrible that he not do so today.
Have you ever been alone?
Perhaps you will understand why it is Eliza, certain Faust (being a small boy her own age) could not make his way through the snow, waited by the window through the morning and then lunch, and the long stretch of afternoon as the snow thickened and the sun faded. Perhaps you will understand why Faust, who had no other friend but a sick young girl trapped behind a sheet of glass, pulled on his boots some time after lunch and left to pass Eliza's window so he might wave his hand at her a little and maybe come in for a warm bun or two to say hello.