Life is a Sum of All Your Choices

Fate - the universal principle or ultimate agency by which the order of things is presumably prescribed; the decreed cause of events; time

Destiny - The fixed order of things; invincible necessity; fate; a resistless power or agency conceived of as determining the future, whether in general or of an individual.


Ichihara Yuuko, to many people's disbelief, does not believe in fate or destiny.

Oh, she believes in hitsuzen alright, some things are just inevitable after all, but fate, destiny? Those things are just words used by people too afraid to take responsibility for their own actions.

She knows it's a hard thing to understand. The concepts of fate, destiny, and histuzen are just so abstract after all, how can anyone comprehend the enormity of them? They are so undeniably similar that they are easy to confuse. Indeed people had been interchanging them for thousands of years.

But Yuuko knows. She acutely, indubitably, decidedly knows. And knowledge is the second most precious commodity in the world, right after life.

So when people ask, is this fate?, when they meet her, she laughs at them and shakes her head.

"It might be Hitsuzen." She tells some of them. "Or maybe you walked in here all on your own." Because sometimes that's all there is to it. Not everything is inevitable after all, just some things.

"Choice," she tells Watanuki, smoke dripping from her lips with the words, falling heavily to the ground rather than floating lightly into the air, as though the weight of the topic affects the weight of the smoke. "Choice," she tells him, "is perhaps the single strongest factor there in deciding our lives."

"I thought that was hitsuzen?" Watanuki asks, confused, but not really. He's long since learned when to think about what Yuuko says and when to just listen. Now is the time to listen.

"Hitsuzen is the single strongest factor in deciding yours and mine's lives, which happens occasionally, but for most people, it's choice." Yuuko takes another drag off the pipe and exhales, the smoke tumbling from her lips like sin itself. "Do you remember that first woman?"

She doesn't have to say anything else. Watanuki will never forget that first woman. Watanuki will never forget any of them.

"She died, because she couldn't break her habit. She couldn't stop lying." Watanuki speaks softly, bitterly.

Yuuko sighed deeply, dregs of the smoke from her lungs twirling and twinning in the air.

"You say she couldn't, I say, she choose not to." Yuuko sets the pipe onto the low table before her and reaches for the sake bottle. She bypasses the small dish for it completely and takes a huge gulp. It burns past her throat, down her esophagus, into her stomach where it curls up like a small animal, soft and warm.

"Choice, Watanuki is very important." Yuuko admonishes when she finally pulls the bottle away from her mouth. "Hitsuzen is hitsuzen, some things are just inevitable, you and I meeting for instance. It might have happened differently, it could have happened a hundred different ways. But still, it was only inevitable." Yuuko smirks at him. "But choice is also very powerful." She leans back against the look sofa and closes her eyes. That small, warm animal in her stomach becoming a snarling, raging beast in her head.

"So, what, there is no destiny?" Watanuki scoffs.

"Frightening isn't it?" Yuuko smirks

And it is, it is, but Watanuki merely scoffs again before heading towards the kitchen, mumbling about drunk and crazy slave driving women.

Yuuko's laugh follows him out.

Yes, choice is a powerful thing. Yuuko hopes she makes the right ones.


Author's Note: First in my new xxxHOLiC collection. Very Yuuko-centric. The next won't be.

All titles will be taken from various quotes, this one comes from Albert Camus.