That Certain Light
Summary: How do you survive, when you only have one other person in the world? How do you live?
Disclaimer: I don't own Blood+, or any of the characters used in this piece. Possible spoilers for, like, everything, so beware.
It was dark and warm and comfortable, and Saya was at peace with herself. She had let the pressures of living among others drop from her mind like dirty clothes, letting the mindlessness of her hibernation slough away at her consciousness. She dozed lightly, waking momentarily to shift positions or reach out and graze the mind of the one person who would stay with her—he promised—forever: Hagi, her friend, her confidant, her Chevalier.
She didn't know how aware he was of their connection, but on some deeper level of her spirit, the instinctual part of her that whispered dark secrets to her as she slept, she knew that their relationship existed beyond that of mere master-servant or friend-lover. They had forged a bond of blood and tears, a bond that time and distance could not erase.
She had discovered this several cycles ago— if, while she was sleeping, she wished to reach out to him, she could, if only with her mind. Traveling along the strand of fate that threaded between them, she could touch his mind, look through his eyes, feel what he felt, taste what he tasted, smell what he smelled.
She wanted to know what he was doing. So she reached.
It wasn't instantaneous, the connecting: it was like traveling through layers of mud from the bottom up, heavy at first, lighter the harder she pushed—and then she was there, and she was assaulted with noise and flavors and life.
He was in Prague right now (the paper he was reading was in Czech and thus utterly incomprehensible to her) and it was drizzling, and he was sitting in a café, from the smell of rich-brewed coffee and the feel of a warm mug against his left hand. He breathed deeply, turned to the windows, and stared through the rain-patterns to the streets and the cars and people.
Good, she thought. She liked that he didn't just sit around gathering dust while she slept. She liked that she didn't have to order him to do something with his life (what was left of it—she knew she destroyed and took and never gave back, but she was too selfish to let him go completely).
She didn't like that she wasn't a part of it most of the time. She didn't like that no matter how hard she fought, her own body betrayed her.
She didn't like that she couldn't stay by his side forever the way he stayed for her.
But she wasn't going to hold him down, hold him back from growing with the times. Her own long-life was a mere trifle in the face of the guilt she would face if she didn't relinquish her death-grasp on him a little. And she did grasp, tightly—she held on so tight that death itself couldn't get in through her embrace.
Live, Hagi, she whispered along the unyielding string binding them together, live, so I can sleep without regret.
In her mind's eye, Hagi's rain-splattered reflection cocked its head slightly, as if listening to something far-off and distorted, before nodding and returning to its paper.
Good, Saya thought one last time, before allowing her immortal sleep to take her once more.
Snow was falling, and still Hagi waited. It fell in clumps around him, melting as it landed on his face, his lips, his eyelashes, as he stood in front of the building. Silence surrounded him, impaling him with pointed emptiness, because she was asleep, and he was alone.
And still the snow fell.
He had traveled; he had fulfilled the only part of his promise that he would ever fulfill. He had gone to Europe and Asia and America and the Philippines; he had gone to South America and Australia and even to Antarctica, just to be thorough. And Hagi was thorough, if nothing else.
He had watched people live and die fruitlessly, animals go extinct, and nations rise and fall. He stood by as technologies advanced and world wars came and went. He saw the pain and destruction that the human race thrived on, he marveled at their ability to sow even more devastation than any monster was ever capable of, and he wanted nothing to do with them.
So Hagi waited. And waited, waited, and waited, patiently, peacefully, as the sun waits for the moon to rise before retiring to bed, as the world waits for the dust to settle before renewing the struggle for life. He waited and watched and contemplated in calm repose.
For, as Hagi knew, he might as well be a stone. His soul was an ancient standing stones of years past, and was incapable of movement without the intervention of a strong tempest of wind and rain.
She was that tempest, and his saving grace. So he waited in limbo, dreading the storm, yet rendered motionless by the calm before it.
The snow kept falling.
Hagi didn't move.
The first time he saw her, young and scared and feeling very alone in the world, Hagi's first thought was okay, I think I can be her friend. She looked just as lonely as he felt, sitting outdoors and spreading birdseed on the ground in front of her. There was a very obvious lack of birds. Hagi saw this, and pitied her.
The second time he saw her, Saya opened her mouth and destroyed his first impression of her. Spoiled brat—mean—old—hag—the names built up in his mouth like poison, and all he wanted to do was spit them out at her, but he couldn't, wouldn't, because then he wouldn't be any better than she was. He wouldn't fall that far, he swore to himself.
The third time he saw her, she was crying in the sitting room. She didn't see him, busy as she was wiping the tears off her cello with one hand, the other clutching at a broken bow.
Maybe that saying about first impressions really was true. Maybe she did need a friend.
As many regrets as Saya had, as many actions she dreamed of taking back, as practiced as she was with shame and guilt—she found it incredibly difficult to constantly regret having Hagi stay with her. She would never forgive herself for making him what he was, of course, but she would not deny to herself that she found some measure of relief in knowing that he would be there to greet her whenever she came out of her slumber.
When she woke this time, she remembered everything. She perched on the steps outside her vault and watched the cloud move across the sky. The trees were gold and red and orange, and the contrast against the gray buildings that had appeared over time hurt her eyes. In the distance, she heard a school bell ring. As the children rounded a corner and came into view—ah.
Things had changed just enough to be interesting.
She didn't know where Hagi was, or when he would return, but she would wait for him to find her.