Title: Ad libitum
Pairing(s)
: Mio/Ritsu if you squint.
Rating
: K+
Summary
: Five. Mio draws five lines as intricately as possible with the brush. It's been a while since she's done calligraphy, five years in fact, and she's afraid she has lost her touch.
Notes
: No, this is NOT the sequel to Adagio. This is the result of an idea that prevented me from sleeping. I have several assignments due in a month and I'm going to get sleep-deprived and WTF are ideas coming to me NOW? It's an idea I kind of stole from someone…if you've a NejiTen fan and have read most of the fics that contained that pairing, it's likely you've seen this type of fic before. But it's just the idea, not the whole thing. Well, duh, what am I talking, how can I steal the whole thing…ANYWAY, just read it, yes?

And hopefully, the version you see now is free of typos and mistakes…

ooooo

Five. Mio draws five lines as intricately as possible with the brush. It's been a while since she's done calligraphy, five years in fact, and she's afraid she has lost her touch. But she still stumbles on. The kanji she's working on is one she learnt on her first year of elementary, and it's a kanji she's pretty sure she'll have difficulty forgetting. It's one of the basics. It's as difficult as forgetting the number of lines in a stave on sheet music.

At the last stroke, she lifts the brush and shifts the paper higher. She wets the brush with more black ink and draws four lines. Two lines horizontally and two lines vertically. Add all the lines she's drawn so far and it's nine. Nine. A number that any superstitious symphony composer fears. It marks their last composition and, supposedly, their death. Then again, it's a number that is a favourite in Chinese culture, she remembers, for it's homophonic with the word that means 'longlasting'. Ever the romantic, she favours the latter more.

This kanji means 'well', as in Well the Chinese constellation. A constellation that is part of Suzaku, better known as the Vermillion Bird. It's a bird known to be picky yet noble. And due to its fiery and amber feathers, it's often associated with the phoenix. Revivable.

She shifts the paper higher again.

There are four more lines. Four. A number she knows that's notorious in a few cultures. They avoid it like the plague, even going as far as skipping it or replacing it with a Roman letter on elevators. But four isn't that bad a number, she decides. It's part of a common time signature. There are four strings on her bass to create rhythm. And she has four dear, close friends that enjoy her creations.

She shifts the paper for the last time. She dips the brush into the inkwell and carefully extracts its excesses before holding it over the paper once again.

The last kanji, she reflects. The one that holds the most strokes out of the rest.

She takes her time in sliding the brush across the white paper that it's almost ad libitum, or maybe it is. Ad libitum. At liberty. Ad libitum. Nine letters.

She finally finishes and leans back to admire her handiwork.

Five strokes for 'ta', four for 'i', and another four for 'naka'.




Tainaka Ritsu.

The character for Ritsu, she recalls, means law, rhythm or—she tries not to chuckle—control.

It also holds nine strokes.

ooooo

End

A/N: WHY IS MIO THE ONLY ONE THAT HASN'T RECEIVED A BIRTHDATE? Okay, Azusa hasn't received hers too…BUT! Argh. Can't even throw a horoscope reference in…*grumbles* And yes, yes, I'm still working on the sequel. Don't you worry.

*looks at time, sees it's 4:44, falls facefirst onto bed*