Toushiro x Hyorinmaru. Short.
The Importance of a Name
There's a look in your eyes like black holes in the sky
We'll bask in the shadow of yesterday's triumph,
And sail on the steel breeze.
Come on you boy child, you winner and loser,
Come on you miner for truth and delusion, and shine
As Hyorinmaru saw the ice crash around the two of them, and heard the boy cry out his name one more time, something inside of him ignited. The air was alive with pieces of ice, and it seemed to fall in slow motion as everything in his head clicked. It made sense, all of a sudden, like the final piece of the mystery that had been haunting him had been laid into place. He could see what the picture was; now, he knew the truth.
He was a zanpakuto.
He savoured the two words, tasted them on his tongue like a long-forgotten delicacy, and remembered.
And he was moving before he even realised that he was, and he caught the frail body of his master- his owner, his user, his protector, his companion- as it was falling from the sky. He felt like his body might rip apart in joy, then melt back together with his master, to create one whole being. This was right. He pulled the boy closer to his body, letting its warmth soak through him.
The boy's voice was like falling water, awakening every part of him in a cool crescendo.
They reached the ground, and the spirit sunk to his knees, still cradling the boy against him, like he would never let him go. They were meant to be together, the two of them- how had he not seen that before this moment? How had he forgotten this which was so strong, so defining, so true?
Toushiro reached up, and touched the cool plane of his zanpakuto's cheek. His fingertips felt the cold, and traced the lines and contours of his face, trying map it all in his mind, in case he was lost once more.
"Do you remember me?"
The spirit's voice broke with emotion as a thousand more memories – and he thought there could only be so many – were re-invoked by the words.
"Yes. Yes, I remember. I remember now."
His master pulled himself up, slightly, so he could look at the new face of a creature he knew as well as he knew himself. Or, at least, as well as he thought he knew himself: there suddenly seemed to be a lot more to what he was than what he originally thought.
"I was… your eyes. They looked right through me, like you had never known me. They were empty. Void."
"I'm sorry, my master."
His voice spoke many other things, guided along by the tenderness of his feelings. Toushiro's hand fell back to his side, curling around the hilt of his sword, and he rested his head in the crook of his neck, his lips touching the skin, surprisingly warm, surprisingly solid, real.
"When we first fought…"
"Against the hollow with the three horns. You still have the scar."
"On my left leg."
"You were careless. I scolded you."
Toushiro smiled against his zanpakuto's skin, as Hyorinmaru crossed his legs underneath him, so he was sat, with the boy in his lap, propped up by the strong embrace of his arms.
"And all the times I was scared-"
Hyorinmaru touched his mouth to his master's forehead, and murmured his reply against it.
"And we talked, for hours-"
"And when you came to me in dreams, before I knew your name-"
He closed his eyes as Toushiro's arms wrapped around his neck, pressing his slight torso against the spirit's frame.
"I was waiting, I was waiting for so long for you to see me…"
He felt a sigh against the warm part of his neck where his master rested, and pulled him even closer.
"I'm sorry, Hyorinmaru."
"No, that is for me to be."
Toushiro was stroking this new skin with his fingertips again, stroking the hair that spilled down the strong back, feeling it all, trying to memorize every part of this moment, in case he too forgot.
"It felt so wrong, with your voice not in my head."
Hyorinmaru felt Toushiro pull back, so that they could stare at each other levelly. Their eyes met, healing rifts of separation, and as the spirit moved to kiss his forehead again, his master tilted his face upwards, so that their lips met, cool and pliant, amidst the falling slivers of ice that caught the moonlight like diamonds. Hyorinmaru pulled the small creature that was his heart against his body, as if trying to sink back down into him. He muttered words against Toushiro's mouth, like prayers to provenance.
"I was incomplete, when I did not know myself; because I did not know you."
Toushiro pulled back, and stared into eyes that were at the same time entirely alien and entirely familiar.
"You are me, Hyorinmaru."
The spirit smiled.
"And I am you, Toushiro Histugaya."