Equilibrium

Deep into the woods, in the middle of a nostalgic cherry blossom glade, stood the captain of the second division, commander of the Special Forces, Soi Fon, inhaling deeply and sweating profusely from her exertion.

Her usual stoic impassivity had melted away, along with the steely glare that intimidated anyone who was unfortunate enough to be subjected to it, giving in to the tsunami of bottled up thoughts and feelings.

Raising her wakizashi to eye level, she bent her knees slightly, and exhaled slowly.

Then as if one some unspoken signal, she started to move, just as the wind picked up. Her short sword gleamed as it cleaved through the air with a speed that would've outmatched even the most powerful and quick and cunning of foes. Her arms, torso and legs all one blur of movement as her feet danced across the whispering grass and her blade slashed. Gleaming like liquid silver, it screamed with the wind and left air rents with it passed as it bit into the flesh of imaginary enemies.

The intensity that emanated from the petite, lone figure moving deftly was only a fragment… only a droplet that boiled from the deep black cauldron of her brewery of emotions as she slipped from one sinuous form to another, with a fluid grace that only an eternity of constant practice could achieve.

You left me.

You promised…

But you left.

You left.

To be so easily abandoned…

Like I was nothing.

Was I worth nothing?

Was I worth nothing at all… to you?

I knew I shouldn't have trusted you.

I knew I shouldn't have depended on you.

Because I knew that one day you would let me down.

I always knew that it would eventually cost me so much pain.

Yet…isn't any amount of pain worth pleasure?

You, of all people, should know… would know…

I knew. I shouldn't have.

I shouldn't have exposed myself.

Shouldn't have weakened.

Shouldn't have fallen.

But I did.

But you don't care… do you?

You don't care at all…

Someday…

When I find you…

When you meet again…

You will pay.

For leaving me.

A cherry blossom petal floated down lackadaisically, swishing through the air, leaning from one side to the other as gravity slowly pulled it down. But it caught the undercurrents of her bitter rage, and wafted upwards in a gust, only to be torn into two by the deadly blade, guided by a deadly hate.

She barely hesitated as she spotted the two near perfect halves flutter; the veins of what was once whole… ripped apart… torn… it slowly fluttered to the ground, offering no resistance to the whirling currents that controlled its fate.

A perfect paradigm of her heart.

How could you leave?

She had spent many a night, feeling so lost, betrayed and alone. For the first couple of years, she would go out at night and search the whole of Soul Society, digging through the deepest, darkest and most dangerous corners of their world for hints… She had to do something, even if each time she had found nothing to explain why she had left. And every single night, she went back to her quarters with empty hands and an empty-heart.

The tears she had shed afterwards, when she realized there was nothing left of her for her, turned into drops of poison and blossomed into hate; the hate that she nurtured caringly, finding comfort and release in her confusion.

Expelling all shreds of weakness she found, she trained and fought with a single minded intensity throughout the years since her wordless, mysterious departure. Vowing to one day become powerful enough to overcome everything that had once overcame her. Vowing to one day surpass her… to catch her and drag her back to make her pay for her thoughtless actions.

This was her life.

She needed the calm, to balance the turmoil.

She needed to hold on, to let go.

She needed to hate her, to love her.

She needed to ensure her victory, to accept her defeat…

The blade fell point first, its tip buried in the grass as she dropped to her knees. She leaned heavily upon it, her slim fingers curled around the hilt so tightly that her knuckles were white. Her breath come in short bursts as sweat trickled down her body. Her muscles trembled, her heart a flutter, her limbs weak.

Slowly, she pulled her sword from the ground, and slid it in its sheath. She rose from her ground with a sigh and headed out of the woods. Pausing as she rested her palm on the bark, feeling her hand press into the supple and strong wood as she closed her eyes, regaining her composure before she stepped back into the world of order.

She made her way back to Seireitei, her blank, emotionless mask and false façade back in place.

She glided through the dark, silent streets and drank in the fresh, frigid, night air. She tilted her head towards the heavens to bathe in the pale moonlight as she breathed.

Then she continued.

Her footsteps echoed loudly in her ears.

She paused in the corridor as she passed; peering into the room where Yoruichi's empty throne sat. Her heart rose and lodged in her throat; her eyes brimmed with tears, and clouded her vision.

The pain she tried so hard to swallow each day in senseless labor, because she could dive into the repetitiveness and numb herself to escape reality, rose again.

Feeling overwhelmed, she couldn't bear it anymore.

But she had to.

Why did you leave?

Why?!

Without her, she was nothing.

Without her, her life meant nothing.

Even if the life with her was more pain than pleasure… it didn't matter.

None of it mattered.

Only she did.

She didn't want to admit it, because it made the pain so much more real. But she desperately wanted… and needed her.

Turning away and sliding the door shut, she closed the door to the past; heading towards her room.

Stripping off her clothes, she stepped into a hot shower and was momentarily able to wash all her thoughts away.

But as she stepped out, she was hit by the cold, cruel reality once more.

All this… all for you…

Pulling a plain, black, silk dress over her head, she then slipped beneath her covers.

Her head sank into her pillow and she closed her eyes, sighing.

The time would come soon enough…

She would wait patiently, as she did for the past century…

She would wait… no matter how long it took…

She would wait for the day where she would capture her … and never let her go.