A Haibane Renmei Fanfiction By:
Black Waltz 0
A/N: This is just a quick little drabble I wrote up concerning one of my favorite haibane, Nemu. Next to Reki, she's my favorite character. I guess it's because we share similar employment, and I love to sleep as much as she does. In any case, enjoy!
"861.40… Now, where was that shelf again?"
Nemu held onto the misplaced book with her free arm hugging her middle, the book nestled between the limb and her pink woolen jumper. In her other hand she tried to balance a small tower of unlabeled musty novels, probably over a decade old. They were moth-eaten and in need of some serious repair, just like most of the other books in the library. Passing a table used for people to sit down and read at, Nemu had to crouch a little to deposit the novels onto the smooth wooden surface, for moving any of her arms at all would unbalance her and force her to drop the rest of the books on the ground. They tipped onto the table when she tilted her hand, the small tower collapsing into a little dusty heap. Nemu bit her lip and stacked them back up again, straightening up the ones that had landed spine-first with their pages folded and bent. Most of the books there were dog-eared, having been passed on from owner to owner an untold amount of times. They practically radiated age.
She left them there for now, she would find their respective shelves and reorganise them later, once she got somebody to mend their ripped covers and damaged spines. Nemu turned her other book around, feeling with her fingertips the synthetic leather-like cover, coloured a faded blue. The way the dye had streaked in the past showed that the book used to be a deep navy blue, but now it was a mere shade of it's former self. On the cover was printed the book's respective title, 'The Silmarillion'. It seemed to be some kind of history book, though Nemu did not know or understand the story written within. All the books from the library came from the outside, beyond the walls. It was only natural that they contained information that none of the humans or haibane of Glie knew about. It made the books seem wise and mysterious to her, connections from another world.
"861.40… Is this it?"
Trailing her hand down the yellowed sticker on the bookcase marking the history section, Nemu noted the place where the book was supposed to be and left for a moment to acquire a small stool, standing on it to reach the highest shelf. She had to stretch her arm a little, using two fingers to spread apart a little niche for the book to slide into. It would have been smarter to find a bigger stool, or to place some heavy books on the stool for a little extra height, but the working day was waning and Nemu still had a lot of things to do before she could go back to Old Home. She was in a little bit of a hurry.
Nemu held her breath as she inserted one of the corners of the faded blue book into the niche, pushing onto the spine to slot it neatly in. She was standing on her tip-toes to do this, stretching as high as she could go. The book went in snugly as she pushed, now nestled in with its historical counterparts. Nemu sighed and relaxed, letting her hand fall and curl around her mouth as she let out a dainty little yawn. She knew the sun was going down outside, making the shadows of the walls stretch over the eastern part of Glie like an invisible blanket. Taking a step back, she decided that it was time to complete that filing now, before too many stars came out to distract her from her duty.
The stool Nemu had been standing on was very old. It had been purchased by her a year or so ago from the storage of the junk shop down the road, and though it wasn't a very good quality piece of work, it suited her needs fine. But everything ages and breaks with the passage of time, and this time the stool did, one of it's legs snapping off under the pressure of Nemu's weight. When her equilibrium failed her and she suddenly realised what had happened, Nemu cried out and spaced her hands away from her body, falling backwards without any support. A few books tumbled from their shelves when her back struck the lowest park of the opposing bookcase, hitting her front with a slightly painful sting. They were only small and thin books, but they still hurt. Nemu found herself lying on her back with her head just supported by the bookcase behind her, a sharp stabbing pain striking her nerves every few seconds.
Her head was spinning so much that she barely heard Sumika drop what she was doing and run up to her side, kneeling to wrap one hand around the young haibane woman's elbow and attempting to pull her to her feet. "Nemu, are you alright? Are you hurt?" Sumika asked in a concerned and worried voice, giving Nemu some space to push herself up into a slightly sitting-up position. Nemu tugged her long skirt over her knees and brushed her hair out of her eyes, looking over at the broken stool. She had fallen so quickly that she barely even realised what had happened.
"My wing… hurts a little bit." She confessed as she leaned forward, allowing Sumika to see that her left wing was indeed twitching quite a bit, a few grey feathers scattered around Nemu's body. It looked like it had been bent backwards a little too much for comfort when Nemu had struck the floor. Not too serious, but still painful nonetheless. Sumika was glad that Nemu didn't knock the bookcase over when she hit it, or it would have meant a mountain of reorganising for them to do for hours on end. Nemu reached her hand around and grasped her shoulder, groaning.
"Don't worry about it." Sumika told her calmly, "You'll be fine. Stay here until you feel a little better and the colour comes back into your cheeks, and I'll go and make you some tea. I've been told that you should never move a victim of shock until they can move by themselves." Standing, Sumika picked up most of the books that had been shaken from their shelves and disappeared around a bend, heading towards the common room where she could make up a pot of her special herbal tea. Nemu watched her go and smiled faintly. If there was one thing about Sumika that she loved the most, it was her ability to never get flustered over anything.
The pain in her wing was going down now and was becoming nothing more than a dull ache, relieving her somewhat. Nemu sighed and placed her hands in her lap, noticing that there was one small little red book sitting there with it's cover looking up at her with a silent kind of welcome. It didn't have a title, and the width of the book was extremely thin, as if it only had a few pages inside. Turning the book over several times, she saw that it didn't have a number either, or any kind of label at all. It was an unmarked book, one she had never seen before. Nemu opened it, wonder what it was about.
The sun had gone down just a little while ago and it made the room quite dark, but a few lights nearby and the warm light from her halo made it easy for Nemu to read by, taking her mind off her pain by focussing on something else. Something inside her told her that this book was unlike all the others, it held a special quality, an essence of something inside. It didn't have any proper pages, just leaflets of handwritten text slotted between the book's red covers. They looked like letters, very, very old letters. Some of them were so old that the text had faded away with time, and sorting through all of them, Nemu could only find one that she could properly read.
My name is Sora. It means sky. I have had this name for four years now, though I know it isn't really my real name. I was called Sora because in my cocoon dream, I was lying on the green grass in a field somewhere, with my hands behind my head. I was staring at the sky, a beautiful cloudless sky. The sky seemed like it was part of me, and that I was a part of it. It's the only thing I can remember from before I became a haibane, and before I was swallowed by the four big walls that surround this town.
I am so sick and tired of those four restricting walls.
There's something thudding within my chest, something that hasn't been there before. It feels like I am being pulled away from this town, and I can admit that before I would have resisted the pull, because I would have hated to leave all the kind wonderful people of Glie behind.
But I can't ignore the pull any longer.
I've stayed here long enough. I love all my friends for being so nice to me when I had nothing else, but now I feel free enough to do what I need to do and go where I have to go. I know my family still might be alive out there, somewhere beyond the walls. And I wanna go back and find them, and show them that I am still alive.
Tomorrow, I will go over the walls and leave this place behind, and I will do it without regret.
My Day of Flight has come.
Sumika appeared with a tea-tray, containing a pot and two small china teacups. Steam was rising from them, and Nemu could smell the heartening scent of Sumika's herbal tea. "Don't worry about the rest of the work tonight, let's just take it easy for now. We can worry about the other stuff later." The senior librarian cocked her head slightly and smiled, noticing that Nemu's hand was hovering over a thin red open book in her lap. "What's wrong?" She asked, "Did you find something interesting?"
"No. Not quite. Not really." Nemu answered as she closed the small book gently, her eyes looking down at it with an emotion that she just couldn't describe. It was a very precious book indeed. Taking a bit of time to stand up and using the bookcase behind her as a momentary support, she fit the book back with the others, not caring where it went. This wasn't a book for humans, but it also wasn't a book for haibane. It was a book for nobody, or perhaps, a book for everybody.
A book that held the ending of one world, and the beginning of the next.
At least, for one distant, and perhaps, one very special life.