|The Aging Process
Author: blue meridian PM
600 word Hakkai drabble. A little slice of You Live, You Learn.Rated: Fiction K - English - Words: 735 - Reviews: 2 - Published: 11-01-04 - id: 2118381
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: If you seriously believe that I own Saiyuki, you probably don't know enough about it to be reading this or any other Saiyuki fic. Just a thought.
Warning: Unless the action of sorting cards offends you, there's really nothing in here to be worried about.
A/N: Man, I haven't written in a loooong time. I am so very ashamed. So here is a little scrap of drabble for you.
-The Aging Process-
Hakkai shut the door behind him and breathed in the silence of the room. There was the cheerful, if manufactured, scent of the cleaning solution he had used to scrub the kitchen counter, the stubbornly clinging aroma of last night's dinner, and the permanent smell of Gojyo's cigarettes. Hakkai reflected that it really didn't smell like silence at all.
He set down the small paper bag he was carrying on the floor, and then his body followed suit. Sitting cross-legged, he languidly pulled out the contents of the bag, as if he had an infinite amount of time. Carefully, he laid out a stalk of celery and a scratchy satchel of onions (provisions for tonight's dinner), and finally a curious deck of old cards. Absently crumpling up the paper bag and laying it aside, he reached for his last acquirement. With gentle fingers he slowly unwound the rubber band keeping the cards together, the stretchy cord snapping off abruptly once it had been uncoiled. Regarding the aging stack pensively, he began to sort out the cards to make certain they were all there.
Nine of hearts. Four of clubs. Queen of hearts. Two of spades. Seven of spades. Eight of diamonds.
He had bought the deck in a tiny shop with dust swirling visibly in the few streaks of light coming through the small windows, an attic-y sort of hole-in-the-wall Mom-and-Pop store, to mix metaphors. Fittingly, and elderly couple had smiled up at him from behind the wooden counter, wrinkles running pleasantly along their soft cheeks and sunlight flashing warmly off the older woman's glasses. Hakkai had smiled and greeted them politely, and then looked down to immediately discover that well-worn deck of playing cards. He had bought them without even thinking about it.
Hakkai ran his finger over the next card, a two of diamonds, and turned it over. The design on the back was a vague sort of inking of the ocean. Hakkai himself had never been to the ocean, but he found lakes peaceful and appealing despite his aversion to other forms of water, and smiled fondly at the image. He continued sorting.
King of clubs. Nine of spades. Five of hearts.
His eyes glazed over as he listened to the sound of the cards being pulled from the deck and set into their respective piles. It was something of a hybrid between a plip, a splat, and a thunk, as if sounds had taken an interest in cross-breeding. His hand slowed almost imperceptibly as he realized that the noise was none too dissimilar to that of rain hitting the ground outside. Mouth parted slightly at this new consciousness, he listened thoughtfully as he finished going through the deck. As the last two cards were set down (a three of diamonds and an ace of hearts), Hakkai bent his head, as if in prayer.
He thought of the ancient woman's smile from behind the chipping counter, trembling in the fleshy, age-dimpled corners, but still steadfast and faithful. There had been a genuine belief in life there, despite everything.
Hakkai stared at nothing, his vision dreamily blurred. With a discreet sigh, he pushed the cards into a disorderly pile and then straightened them into some semblance of organization. He tapped them against the floor to get them all even, the slight tut-tut like two droplets falling from a leaf onto the roof. Dividing the battered cards into two piles, he shuffled them deftly, the noise reminiscent of a sudden attack of heavy rain. Or of a semi-automatic.
Hakkai flinched, breathed out.
He set up a game of solitaire.
A/N: Man, that was a little too much action for me. I might have to go drink some overpriced tea in an affectedly philosophic way and break out the Enya.