Author: Visions PM
Spoilers for chapters 169-170. Hitsugaya-oriented. "He knows his weakness; it is painted like a stripe on his soul, his strengths like stars. He sees both and does not despair because the stars outnumber the stripe so outrageously that it’s almost embarraRated: Fiction K - English - Words: 919 - Reviews: 21 - Favs: 30 - Follows: 3 - Published: 03-13-05 - id: 2303413
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Hitsugaya knows himself too well.
He knows that a part of him is obsessed with the taste of success, sweet like the astonished gazes of those suddenly realizing that he is a Shinigami captain and more kickass than any kid has the right to be. (Oh, precious memories.) That another part groans at the dullness of endless reports and roars at the thrill of fighting. (Because all little boys like pummeling their enemies with cool swords and he is no exception.)
Hitsugaya knows his heart, mind, and soul. They are all perfectly aligned though sometimes, one or another steps out of line at which point he is forced to smack them back into place, control freak that he is. He can see his flaws and all his perfections, knows the extent of his power and how to increase it because self-knowledge is the key to bankai and it is something his genius discovered a while back when he was trying to figure out his priorities.
He knows his weakness; it is painted like a stripe on his soul, his strengths like stars. He sees both and does not despair because the stars outnumber the stripe so outrageously that it's almost an embarrassment that the latter even exists.
But, he thinks, it's not entirely his fault that it does. (Time is guilty, too.)
The stripe had always been there. That is, Hinamori, the annoying softie. That was the problem, see. Knowing someone your whole life means that their face is in all of your memories, that their presence is something you can never really escape. And whether he looks backward or forward, it makes no difference because she is not a remnant of the past or a figure of the future. She is neither, because he can never forget her or look past her.
It is not love. Hitsugaya does not understand love, does not wonder about the silkiness of her hair or the feel of her skin. He does not take pleasure from the sound of her voice, but growls at her affectionate use of that abominable nickname.
His heart does not beat faster when she smiles, only when she doesn't and out of concern. (But his worry is worth more than a thousand love letters anyways.)
Nevertheless Hitsugaya does wonder what it is about Hinamori that makes him different, what about her makes him forsake his calm at times and what exactly it is that causes him to be frustrated and angry and desperate, all at once. It could be the kindness that prevents her from realizing her full potential. Shinigami though she is, she doesn't care for the work and it shows in all the soft angles of her face. Or her hot-headed emotions that she can never control, being so given to tears and smiles and other signs of weakness.
But it's probably just her foolishness, her heart always so unguarded that anybody can rip it carelessly. (This, above all, infuriates him to no end.)
He also wonders why it makes him feel cold to see her look past him. Jealousy, it might be, but more likely, fear. Soul Society raises the strong and destroys the weak, he knows, and those like Hinamori, teetering on the border between power and meekness, are lost as well. (He cannot let her wander too far away, or she will fall…)
Hitsugaya knows what irks him and what doesn't. Hinamori does both. Hinamori, laughing gently makes him want to grin. Hinamori, joking about his embarrassing moments, makes him blush, makes him want to grow up. Hinamori, gazing blissfully at her captain, makes him troubled, makes his heart disgruntled though he can't understand why.
Hinamori, lying on the ground so still so fragile all in crimson makes him want to scream, makes him sink into hopelessness, sink into a rising rage that craves destruction, the end of everything around him, and fills him with a hatred hotter than fire and more deadly than cyanide. (I will kill you both, he thinks with cold-blooded certainty)
It is only when he falls that he finally realizes that he does not know himself as well as he assumed, because really, he never thought he would be so easily defeated (or that he would break so much over someone else).And when his vice-captain finds him, he is touching Hinamori's cold face, fingertips resting on her cheek
It was not love. How could it have been when he did not know how to love, did not know what the word even meant. He, who was unfamiliar with warmth, and only knew how to shield himself from the world with ice.
It was expectation, he wants to say to Matsumoto's horrified gaze, I thought I could protect her, too.
But the words do not come, they die in a fit of coughing and will never come back (just like her, just like her) and Toushirou lies there instead, bleeding and fading in a puddle of red memories.