Mars was the first one to approach Mercury when she arrived on the training grounds. Though their elements countered one another's, she liked the gentle look in the red-haired woman's eyes immediately, despite their unnatural colorings. There was a certain type of compassion there, a gentle kind of acceptance that made Mercury immediately feel welcomed.
When she met Venus next, she was immediately intimidated by the power the woman seemed to emit. Right away Mercury could see why the blonde with her golden eyes was the head of Selenity's armies and the leader of the Senshi as well. Venus was beautiful and cold. The woman had an unnerving gaze that seemed to penetrate her to the core of her being. Mercury was shaken when Venus smiled at her, a smile that changed her entire expression and enchanted her in an instant.
Mars was the first one to teach her to hold a sword. "My mastery is in the bow," the red-haired woman told her with an apologetic smile. "But I have heard that combat are not your specialty."
"No, not particularly," she admitted a bit shakily since Venus was observing them from afar.
"Don't mind her," Mars assured her, correcting her stance with precision that belied her earlier words. "She just wants to know how to plan your training schedule."
"How long have you been training?" Mercury asked cautiously.
Mars smiled slowly at this. "How long have you been learning science and strategy?" Mercury blinked. The words were surprising because, up until then, she had not been thinking of her own worth as much as how wholly unprepared she was for the duty put before her. She had compared herself to what Mars and Venus could do, or at least she heard a lot more than she has seen but from what she had already seen none had failed yet to astound her.
"You'll learn it," Mars assured her when she was out of breath and feeling weak. "Because you must, and also because you can."
Later, Mars taught her to meditate in a room full of strange purple flowers, cupped in vibrant green.
"What is this place?" Mercury had asked with fascination written plainly on her face. "What are these plants?"
"Violets, a flower from Earth," Mars said with a smile at Mercury's excitement over the discovery. "We have put magick in the room to help them grow and to make sure the scent is not too overpowering. It helps, I've discovered, to surround people with living things when they are in need to get in touch with themselves."
"The color of royalty," Mercury murmured in awe as she caressed a blossom and cradled it in her hands.
"That you are," Mars answered with a sad little smile as she watched the other innocently touch one flower and then another. "Now, let us concentrate."
Years later, Mercury would remember the day and hate herself for loving those two women so easily in the beginning, more than she would ever admit. That flower and that color left a stain in her mind, a symbol of her youth and naivety. But like blossoms that were left in the cold reality, it quickly faded and broke apart - an illusion that fell to pieces over the things that should never have been mixed.
January 2006 theme for sm-monthly: Purple