Snowfall

A Haibane Renmei Fanfiction By:

Black Waltz 0

A/N: This small series is undoubtedly one of my favorite animes of all time. I borrow from it constantly in all my other writings. I knew that eventually I would have to write a fanfic about it, no matter how small or crappy it may be. So, this is a brief tale about one Haibane girl in the midst of winter. This is my first attempt at writing in the anime fandom, so please review and tell me what you think.

xxx

The heavens were a dark cloudy grey, almost murky like a tepid pool of soapy water. Their undersides were like a shade of charcoal grey, the large puffs heaving their bodies across the sky. From this, tiny flakes of pure white snow floated down at their own leisure, coating the ground, the village of Glie and the western woods with a thin layer of frost and sleet. Even the tops of the walls were dusted with this fine white powder, frail and delicate like icing sugar. The villagers brought their pets and washing indoors when they sensed that the snow might thicken soon, not wanting to take any chances. Winter came so suddenly, it was almost as if somebody had blasted a breath of cold air into an otherwise warm room.

Like everything else, the western woods did not escape the snowfall, the tops of the thick leafy trees powdered with the crystalline granules of water. Underneath these trees, the grass was still a dark vibrant green, vines twisting and burying themselves in the dirt, protected by the canopy of green above it. A small path ran through the forest, however, and this bore traces of sneaking snow, entering the deepest part of the woods. There were footprints on this path, left there by the scuffed grass and snow. These footprints led towards a glade, where in the center was an old and aging well, a bucket left idly by it's side. It looked to have never been used in years. Finally, above everything else, a huge wall of solid foundation blocked out everything else, slicing the circular glade in two. The other half was probably on the other side of the wall. No haibane had ever gone behind that wall and had managed to come back.

This made Yuki nervous of it's dominating presence. Her cold breath made a small bit of fog in the air whenever she decided to breathe, the girl watching it and noticing how it looked a little like wisps of burning smoke. She was sitting on one of the thick boughs that branched out from a sturdy tree, rooted at the edge of the glade. Looking up, the canopy stopped at this point, the cloudy sky visible and morosely grey. Yuki sighed and removed her fur cap from off her head, feeling the insulating warmth disappear and the cold sting of the warmth once more. Just in case, she touched a hand to the golden halo floating above her head, checking to see if it was still nice and straight. It always was, pulsing radiantly.

It always seemed to be rather warm as well, no matter what the existing temperature. Yuki guessed that it was made from some kind of phosphorescent metal, though she didn't know what it was. She didn't really need to know anyway, that was the job and responsibility of the renmei, not her. All she knew that it was also a part of her body now. Looking upwards to try and see it for herself, she flicked the side of the halo with her finger, a clear transcendent sound, like the ringing of a glass bell was heard. It made a very pretty noise, she thought.

Now Yuki removed her small grey mittens, one hand at a time, her little fingers and pale hands appearing from underneath the fabric. Yuki had very small hands, fragile, almost childlike in their make. The cold winter snap touched her fingers and Yuki shivered, comforted by the cold. Finally, the haibane girl reached behind her back and pulled off the meticulously knitted grey wing covers, made to keep her haibane wings warm. The cold air tried to now pierce through the charcoal feathers, but they were thick and insulated enough to keep the chill away. Gathering her hat, her mittens and her wing covers into her lap, she pushed them off the tree branch, hearing them drop to the snowy floor below.

It has been one year since I came to the town of Glie… One year since my cocoon was found and my birth. I was born in winter, the season of frost, the season of emptiness and loss…

Yuki cupped her hands in front of her mouth and blew into them, her breath warming up her hands a little. She was wearing thick grey winter gear lined with some kind of grey animal's fur, stitched up in many places because the clothing had been second-hand and fairly warm. The girl had long dark hair that was pulled into a neatly-done plait, secured at the end with a faded blue ribbon. She had blue eyes as well, like a deep ocean, or frozen ice. Her name was Yuki, which in the tradition of the Haibane, meant snow. In her dream of the cocoon, all she had seen was snow, falling from the sky and covering her fallen body in a heavy blanket of white.

She was the haibane of snow, and winter was her element. It was the thing that felt most familiar to her, from her other, distant, unreachable life. The tiny newborn snowflakes reminded her of something she couldn't understand, and it made her heart grow heavy with sadness. Yuki reached her hand out and allowed a snowflake to flutter into it, wrapping her fingers around the crystallized ice. She could feel it melt within the palm of her hand, heated by it's warmth, turning into water and sliding down the side. This was how snowflakes died.

Sliding off the thick tree branch, Yuki hit the ground softly and walked up towards the abandoned well, looking into it. There was nothing there. Sometimes the Toga would hang around here, but not right now. They frightened her slightly, she admitted to herself, and she tried to avoid them as much as possible. Something about their silent ways made her shiver in her soul. Picking up the bucket by the well, Yuki looked into that now, the bottom filled a few inches with fresh snow. Yuki smiled and tipped the snow into the well, tapping the bottom of the bucket a little in order to get every single flake out. There was snow in the clearing, because the green canopy did not protect this measly, seemingly holy place.

Now Yuki looked at the walls. They appeared to be impenetrable, the only way in and out of them existing as the huge gates in front of the marketplace in Glie. They encircled the entire town and the land around it like a fortress, and nobody, nobody, neither haibane nor human knew what lay beyond it. It was where her friend Sora had gone, a month or two ago, silently, in the night. Since then, she had never seen him again.

You're out there, Sora, I know you are. You found your old home and family, didn't you? You shed your halo and grey wings and went back to your land of light…where…you have probably found happiness. I know I should be happy for you… but I… I wish I could have gone with you…

It is these walls that keep us apart…

Yuki hated those walls. They kept her away from everything she wanted to remember. She had fallen in the snow, the snow had fallen upon her, she had dreamed of snow within a dream of creation, and then, she had been left in the isolated snow once more. Her life was snow, created by sad clouds, cried out by the sky, falling upon the unfeeling ground and then melting away without a trace. Yuki just wanted to be buried in the snow once more, low enough, deep enough to be never found again.

And then she just might see Sora once more.

Sniffing, Yuki knelt down and gathered a mass of snow in her hands, the cold turning her hands numb at the touch. Cupping her hands again, she molded the flakes into a snowball and hurled it fiercely at the wall, crying out as she did so. She wasn't allowed to even touch the walls, but this was good enough for her. The haibane girl bent down over and over again, scooping up ice and snow to make more projectiles to throw, her arm beginning to ache from the exertion as she did it again and again and again…

She was sobbing pitifully as tiredness in the cold overtook her and she keeled over onto her front, landing in a strangely inviting drift of snow. Closing her blue eyes, Yuki buried her face in the whiteness and cuddled into it, letting the snowflakes fall on her and cover her once more, just like her cocoon dream. It was cold, but it made her heart feel very warm. She knew that eventually some Toga would come to find her, they always saved haibane at the last minute, but until then, all Yuki wanted to do was sleep.

The snow kept falling like gems of God's tears, this time, with a little touch of tenderness.

-fin-