Elegy

ii.

Perhaps he should be happy that they're getting back into routine, but he isn't really (or maybe he just can't remember how to be enthusiastic, considering the long years he has spent walking alone, waiting for the war to end - for a promise to be fulfilled). They lived everyday in routine before, and now they are starting the cycle again: training in the morning until one of them bleeds; scouting in the afternoon, listening to news and gossip for where they might find the enemy next.

Saya has cried herself out, her eyes taking on a newfound hardness, her grasp on the sword more ruthless, but somehow less purposeful. It's not worry exactly that he's feeling, as he watches her slice her blade through the air in graceful curves. It's just that she's different, more now than ever before, and it's unsettling in its way, although he will certainly get used to it in time (because they have all the time in the world, at least until the battle is over).

She does not mention Kai, or David, or Joel; she does not say anything about comrades or family or friends. She does not smile, or maybe she has forgotten, the way Haji almost has – but he was never very good at it, anyway. Sometimes he catches her staring at the jewel in her sword, her eyes faraway and agonized, remembering a time she can never return to; a memory so precious she does not want what's left of it to be harmed in any way.

It isn't her memories of the Zoo, certainly. That's where all this trouble started, after all. But Haji doesn't like to compare decades – as long as he can be with her, it doesn't matter. He plays his cello for her on those nights when she can't sleep, remembering that it was once she who played this melody. She listens with ears that don't seem to hear – the only thing she is searching for is that song, that aria: Diva's voice beckoning her to retribution and revenge.

He helps her dress in the morning, lacing up her collar and sometimes even her boots. Gratitude is a dry breath that has long expired between them. If he can do even the littlest thing for her, he is satisfied, with or without acknowledgment. Sometimes, however, he can't help but feel upset about his weakness. He can give her blood and he can take any number of wounds and cuts for her sake, but he can't make her happy, and he never will.

"Saya," he says one day – she is looking at herself absentmindedly in the mirror, almost as if she has only just registered how long her hair has grown – "Saya, is there anything I can do for you?" Because she has not been asking lately. Because she has not beenspeakinglately. She looks at him, and the weight of the world is in her eyes. He almost drops to his knees; he cannot believe that burden.

"You do everything for me already," she answers, surprised at the sound of her voice – it has grown rough and scraped, like a tarnished sword. "And that's more than I deserve." He kneels by her side as she curls up in silence, and this is routine as well – he holds her hand as she trembles with the effort of not crying, of not crumbling under the pressure of all the trouble they cannot escape.


A/N: Thanks for reading. Comments would be greatly appreciated. :D I'm not too sure about how I did Hagi's voice, but I tried. xx;; This may serve as a prequel for another short Hagi and Saya fic, but we'll see how that goes.