Title: Wear and Tear
Fandom: Digimon Savers
Author: Nietzsche's Itch
Genre: Romance, Hurt/Comfort
Status: Oneshot, Complete
Note: Also posted on LJ under CobraRenenutet
Disclaimer: I do not own Digimon
Summary: Suguru has returned to them the same as when he left, and Sayuri isn't as happy as she should be about the fact. Spoilers for the end of the series
He hadn't aged a day, and after the initial euphoria at his miraculous return had abated, Sayuri began to be resentful of the fact.
She knew that it was disgracefully petty of her, that behind the facade of the overjoyed, dutiful housewife that had never really given up hope, she was disappointed that he had come back physically unchanged. She had been expecting him to be thin, gaunt, losing his hair, all the normal by-products of simultaneously aging and having your body possessed by a misguided deity bent on the indiscriminate annihilation of two worlds.
Sayuri would have traded one of her own eyes to see a wrinkle on his perfect face, but there were none to be found. It wasn't right that he should come back to them as whole as man who had left. She had changed, and she wasn't the woman he had married.
For the first eight months after the news of his disappearance had reached her, Sayuri hadn't stepped foot outside of the house. She had steeped herself in isolation with only her two young children for company, neither of which were old enough to understand her agony, and one of which was desperately confused by his beloved fathers absence.
Before she had been a social creature. She knew everyone on their street, and three blocks beyond. She chatted to the mailman, the over the phone salesperson, the children at the door collecting for charity.
And then she didn't want to talk to anyone.
Satsuma and Yushima, and possibly the Noguchi's if they could bear to tear themselves away from their own grief, not that she would fault their inability to do so, were in all probability taking her silence and refusal to meet them to mean that she despised them for heading the expedition that broke apart her family. Sayuri didn't blame them, they were victims of misfortune too.
That didn't mean that she could bring herself to care.
She put her best face forward when she finally emerged from the snug, sterile cocoon she had been quietly ensconced in. She was listless, exhausted from the unstoppable frenzy of thought that drove her. Every waking second was spent replaying the day he had left, confident in his safe return, the last game of catch he played with Masaru as Chika gurgled in Sayuri's arms, the last kiss goodbye he gave her, the phone call to relay the tragic news.
They were all she could think of, over and over and over. She could act normally enough so that the unwillingness to engage in conversation, and generally do anything at all could be pinned down to the justifiable depression losing a spouse would incite. For all their unity, she and her husband didn't have any real mutual friends. She had the neighbourhood wives and he had the DATS team. None of the latter group knew quite what to do with the woman they knew so little of, but had known the husband of so well, and the former had given up on trying to talk to her after she went into her self-imposed 'mourning'.
She was numb, and she felt as if she were wrapped up in cotton wool, the visions that haunted her superimposed over the fleeting reality that eluded her, protected from feeling the full burden of any mental or physical pain, viewing everything from the detached point of view of a spectator in a theatre, waiting for the final act, but still thinking about the first, and torn between wanting to go back to the beginning or to hasten the end.
Ironically, the closest anyone came to figuring out that she wasn't in the normal frame of mind for a woman in her position in that time was her own son, who apparently knew her quite a bit better than she had thought, and his muttered remark that 'Kaasan doesn't smile anyone now that tousan is gone' cut through the muzzy haze like a scythe.
And that's when she cracked, and the memories began to clear.
It took another year, and she had many relapses but she could finally see the world in colour again, and not in the black and white, grainy consistency that she had become so accustomed to.
By the fourth anniversary after Suguru's disappearance, Sayuri Daimon was a shadow of her former self, but in her case a shadow was better than nothing at all.
He had walked towards them, emerging from the light like a guardian angel. And he had looked at Sayuri, nodded to himself, and the rush of bitterness she felt at his reaffirming action made her world spin even as she kept an appropriately wide grin on her face. Her cheeks ached that entire day.
Then Masaru left, and for once she wished he didn't take quite so much after his father.
It was supposed to be a happy day, and Sayuri couldn't have been more miserable. She couldn't be the woman he left behind, and she resented him for expecting that she would be.
"Sayuri?" a voice called out tentatively. Sayuri's hands clenched around the mug of tea she held, and she forced a smile before she turned around.
"Yes dear?" she asked, and Suguru flinched. She couldn't see why, she was acting as if the past decade had never happened when all she wanted was to scream her throat raw at the futility of it all.
"Can I talk to you for a minute?" he asked softly. His pleading tone saddened her, but she hardened her heart. Turning back around, she picked up a glass from the wash basin and began to dry it automatically.
"Of course. What would you like to talk about?" Sayuri replied coolly. She stared ahead out of the window as she dried, and she could tell from Suguru's ensuing sigh that he had not tried to approach her, and was still hovering near the door.
"I want to talk about us Sayuri" he said, keeping his tone carefully neutral. She snorted disbelievingly.
"What's there to talk about Suguru? You're back. Everything's just perfect again" she returned coldly, and Sayuri barely managed to suppress the involuntary gasp as he slammed his fist down on the table behind her.
"I haven't been gone so long that I don't know when you're angry with me Sayuri!" he shouted, although his voice was raised not in anger, but hurt. He didn't understand why she was treating him this way.
"You've been gone long enough" she spat, dismayed at having let her mask fall. Now he knew she was furious.
"Well I'm sorry. Having a power crazy computer program under the delusion its a God possess your body really screws with your schedule" he snapped sarcastically, his confusion melting into exasperation with Sayuri's intractable behaviour.
"Having a husband disappear on me leaving me to assume him to be dead while I raised our two young children on my own screwed with mine a little more" she hissed, and the stunned silence that followed satisfied the sadistic side of her.
"Sayuri...I meant to come back. You know that" he said brokenly.
"Yes you did. You even promised Masaru you'd play with him when you came back. A man to man promise, as you were so fond of saying. But promises are made to be broken aren't they?" she whispered, her voice cracking a little. Her eyes stung.
"All I can say to that is that I didn't know I wouldn't be able to keep those promises" he burst out, trying and failing to comprehend the basis for her fury.
"Then why can't you forgive me for it?"
"THAT'S NOT WHAT I CAN'T FORGIVE YOU FOR!" Sayuri shrieked at last, and the glass she was holding shattered under the pressure exerted upon it. Sayuri yelped as shards embedded themselves in her skin and blood bubbled from numerous, tiny wounds. Suguru was at her side in an instant. Sayuri closed her eyes. Just for a minute, she would pretend that nothing was wrong.
They found themselves sitting at the table soon after that, Sayuri's bandaged hand resting gingerly on her knee. Suguru was giving her a grim stare across the tabletop. She met it with one of her own and he closed his eyes.
"Just tell me what it is that I've done, so I can fix it?" he begged wearily.
"I've changed...and I don't mean how I look Suguru" she added, seeing that he would protest that her looks were the same as ever, and she had just grown beautiful. She knew this, and she knew he would be sincere, but it wasn't what she needed right now.
"How have you changed?" he asked simply. There it was, the unfailingly altruistic nature of a man who made it his mission to help all those he could. He would listen, and at least try to understand.
'Take a breath Sayuri'
Suguru remained silent throughout her stilted narrative, wordlessly fetching water when her throat dried up, tissues when her helpless tears had rendered her sleeve sodden and pulling her to him when she was so tired that she couldn't sit up straight in her chair anymore.
"I knew you wouldn't be the same" he confessed quietly "I just didn't know how much you had changed"
"Well now you do" she muttered into his shirt. He sighed.
"I don't expect you to be the same" he reassured her.
"I'm not the woman you married. No matter what I told the children I had given up hope of ever seeing you alive again. I'm a bitter woman now Suguru. Don't let this false smile tell you any differently" she said tiredly. He tilted her chin up so that she could look him in the eye, the same eyes that had first caught her interest in an almost forgotten time.
"I've changed too" he told her seriously, and for the first time she saw two gray hairs she hadn't before, a tiny scar just under one ear and the chalky tinge to his skin.
"Yes, you have haven't you?" she murmured.
I want to forgive you
"Come on a date with me?" he blurted out.
I want to get to know you all over again, the new you and the new me
I want to fall in love with you all over again
"Still have a passion for old western films?"
"Any preferences in leads?"
"...green eyed, brunette and recklessly throwing himself into danger"
"I think that can be arranged"
And to think, that this was going to be fluffy and turned into an angst fest. Shame on me.