|Snow, Ice, and Irises
Author: Kurai Himitsu PM
Ugliness lies beneath the white, and there is withered things as well. [Vig][Aayacentric]Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Angst - Ayame S. - Words: 894 - Reviews: 7 - Favs: 2 - Published: 10-07-06 - Status: Complete - id: 3187415
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: This came to me after reading the first chapter of volume 13. I hope you enjoy it!
Disclaimer: Don't own, not making any money!
Warnings: Very slight shounen-ai, if you squint, child abuse
Main Characters: Aaya-centric
Additional Notes: The poem is not mine; it's from an old poet, Saigyou
Snow, Ice, and Irises
sono no kuretake
I should have known today would be another replay of that day so long ago. It was foolish of me to think otherwise. It wasn't as if she ever cared about me, especially after that day. After the day she realized I wouldn't bring her any higher position in the family, nor any new income, she ceased to see me as a human, as her first-born son. I was worthless, she said, a good-for-nothing. Some memories are clear as crystal, some are hazy as fog—but I only have one memory that feels of ice. It was long ago; I'm sure she's forgotten it. I haven't. I never will. On that day I ceased to be a human to her, and she ceased to be anything resembling a mother to me.
It was cold that day and I'd been kept late at school—I remember I was in elementary school. I think I was seven or eight. In any case, it had begun to snow and I was shivering in my heavy coat as I began to make my way in the direction of the estate from my school. The world looked as though it had been sapped of color, as though someone had spilled white paint everywhere: it was beautiful and I enjoyed myself for a time, running and playing with my shadow in the soft blanket of flakes. However, being the snake has its disadvantages, and sensitivity to temperature happens to be one—before long, I was stumbling, my feet numb, the snow no longer beautiful, but deadly.
Somehow, I must have gotten lost—or perhaps everything looked so different because of the snow that I had taken a wrong turn—and it seemed I wandered for hours, growing more and more worried as the light faded from the sky, the air becoming colder and more frigid. Soon I was only staggering, searching for somewhere warm—I eventually found a dead-end alley with old rags and such piled in the dirty corner. It looked like a lifesaving refuge to me. I crawled in under the rags, pressing myself into the corner. I was still cold, but the rags took the edge off the chill. The night dragged on, and I drifted in and out of consciousness. The next thing I can remember was lying in a bed in the estate's clinic. Tori was leaning over me, Gure next to him, and their faces had twin looks of worry and anxiety. Gure spoke first.
"Aaya! Thank goodness—you're all right!"
"We were worried," said Tori as he and Gure crawled onto the large bed. "You were screaming when they carried you in."
I was too tired to talk but Gure must have seen it in my face, the question. "Kazuma-dono found you and brought you back—it was really late."
Tori was on the verge of adding something, but he never had the chance as she swept into the room like a tsunami. She pulled me from the bed, ignoring Gure and Tori's yells and my own screams, her undercurrent vicious and far too strong for any of us to stop. "You little bastard," she'd hissed, her voice like waves crashing into jagged rocks. "You cost me fifty thousand yen! Fifty thousand!" She was wild-eyed as her thin fists came down on my back, my arms, my legs… "You worthless piece of shit! Good-for-nothing snake!"
By then, Kazuma-dono and the family doctor at the time had restrained my mother as Gure and Tori helped me out of the room, to Tori's room a little ways down the hall.
The bruises my mother gave me that day eventually faded and she forgot me, having nothing more to do with me. I wonder if she even remembers. Gure and Tori are still wary when they approach the subject of my mother. Personally, I don't think about it much. It was painful, but even that has faded with time. My only regret is that I couldn't save Yuki from the same fate.
I came today, not only to shield Yuki from our mother, but to confront her, to see if she had changed from that woman of twenty years ago. I should have known better.
"Heaped with snow,
bamboos in the garden
bend and topple—
flocks of sparrows hunting
for another roost."