matters of substance

Hisana lies there with her eyes closed as he takes her, unwilling to commit the action of looking at him. Although they are skin to skin, hands to flesh, though she can feel his lips and breath on her face and neck, still she will not look at him; she plays the part of the shy young woman who is new to marriage, letting him take the initiative and behaving as though she knows nothing of it herself.

Byakuya puts aside the records which the family has given to him. They have employed agents to discover her history. They have dug out her past from the slums and gutters in an attempt to persuade him not to do this thing. They throw it in his face like sewage, and in response he closes his eyes to it and chooses to ignore it.

Hisana will do anything to be what he wants her to be, but he never tells her, so all she can do is be all that she hopes he wants her to be. She knows everything that he has gone through to have her, she has seen in his every word and movement how he treats her like a well-born woman, and so she tries to be such a woman, and closes her eyes to her own failures, and closes her eyes to his face, because she has read that a woman of rank would never give herself like a common streetwalker, but would be taken like a prize.

Byakuya does not look at dirty bath water once it has been discarded. He does not pry through the leavings of old wardrobes to see what used clothing looks like once it has been thrown out. Similarly, he does not look at her past. It is past. It has no reality now to him, and none, he hopes, to her.

Hisana doesn't need to see his face at these moments. There is nothing in a man's face that a woman cannot read in her body with her hands, or hear in his breathing, or taste on his skin. If she looked up at him, she is afraid that she would see the withdrawal in his eyes, the judgment on her soul. Her filthy stained soul, the sweepings of Rukongai.

Byakuya has chosen to throw the papers in the fire without looking at them, without even opening them. There is nothing in them which he wishes to see. They have no weight. They are ink on paper, words on the wind, unreal, unnecessary.

Hisana does not need to see him. Truly she does not.

Byakuya has no need to see the information. He knows the truth.