So, I'm really, incredibly sick, I feel terrible. It's probably the flu or something (I really hope it isn't mono), but I don't have the energy to work on my current story, and I really wanted to write a Oneshot, so here it is! I'm not really a big fan of Chizuru, so hopefully she turned out okay in this story. I was going to write an OC, but I figured that if I did, my natural instincts would kick in and I would want to develop her, but then it would turn into a multi-chapter story, which I don't want to happen. Writing a Chizuru and a Oneshot fanfic was a challenge for me, but I took the challenge, and hopefully I didn't completely botch it up.
I hope you guys enjoy this! I love sad endings! Actually, I think I have a disorder, and it's almost like it's physically impossible for me to write a happy ending (believe me, I've tried many times). I might be kind of crazy because of my fever, but I hope you guys won't question my lucidity when you read this! Enjoy, and review!
Waiting For You
The young girl laid on the futon, her back pressed against the hard, muscular chest of the man she loved. She listened peacefully to the melodious sound of the rain hitting the clay tiles on the roof of the inn they were staying in. She took a deep breath to steady her nerves before addressing the heavy subject hanging over them. Turning around, her large, chocolate eyes met his dark-blue ones, which, at that moment, were filled with endearing love.
"Saito-san, must you go back into battle?" She questioned.
The man sighed and his eyelids slowly shut. "Yes. The Aizu have been far too kind to me, and I believe that my duty lies with helping them achieve their aims."
"But please, Saito-san, I don't want you to go! You could die!" She clutched his arm as if to force him to stay.
"Yukimura, this is something I must do. If not, my soul will never be free. Besides, I don't know any other way to live other than as a samurai and a warrior."
"You could live with me! We could be a family!" She cried.
"I'm sorry, but please try to understand. This is my way of life." His eyes open, and deep within them, Chizuru glimpsed the myriad of emotions weighing down his heart: love, confusion, timidness, sadness. "I promise you though," he continued, enveloping her small, thin fingers with his large hand. "I promise to come back to you after I manage to hold back the enemies at Bonari Pass, so stay here, and wait for me"
Chizuru pressed forward. "You promise to return? You won't die? But the enemies' weapons are far more advanced and superior!"
"You don't trust me?"
"I am the captain of the third division." He whispered. "I won't die so easily. I promise."
Her eyes filled with tears, and she blinked rapidly to keep them from sliding down her face. "I understand. I will wait here for you. You must return! You must!" The stubborn tears escaped from the corner of her eyes.
"Yes." He let go of her hands. "Now, let's sleep. I must rise early tomorrow morning to lead the soldiers in Aizu."
Chizuru turned her back on him and closed her eyes. She let the steady sound of falling rain and the feeling of Saito's warm body on her skin soothe her into a fitful slumber.
She awoke to a dazzling sunlight and the sound of birds chirping. Momentarily, she forgot all her worries, smiling at the beautiful morning. Suddenly her contented grin disappeared and she bolt up in her bed. "Morning!" She gasped. Terrified, her brown eyes wandered to the spot Saito had occupied the previous night - the spot that was now empty. She desperately grabbed at the empty sheets and pressed them to her face. The faint scent of Saito still lingered on them, but the heat from his body had vanished, and they were cold. "He left without waking me!" She gently sobbed into the blanket. "He's gone!"
With arms like lead, Chizuru folded up the futon and stored it away, then she knelt by the solitary window, her hands clasped in prayer and her chocolate-brown eyes shut tightly. She recalled the past few years when she had been under the care of the Shinsengumi. Originally, Saito had explained his actions to save and protect her as his 'duty.' But over the years, she noticed her own feelings growing for the lonely, loyal man, and when they had become too much to handle by herself, she selfishly pressed them on him. What she had not expected was for him to be so accepting. She assumed she would have to leave him after being rejected, yet, somehow, Saito felt the same way as she did.
Chizuru remembered the night, not too long ago, in the forest, when he had kissed her for the first time. If she concentrated hard enough, she could still feel the warmth of his soft lips brushing against her own. He tilted his head to the side to deepen the kiss, and several strands of his long fringe fell across his cheekbones and brushed against her face. His hands, wrapped around her, traveled up to her neck, and the cool hand against her warm skin sent shivers down her spine. The blood rose to her cheeks as she pressed herself harder against his lean body, but somehow, the distance between them was still too far. Her fingers tangled in his hair as she desperately clung to him, her lifeline. Then he broke away, both of them panting hard.
So immersed in thought, Chizuru hardly noticed the sun climbing high into the sky. She forgot everything, even her own hunger, thinking only of her man. The sun had just sunk behind the horizon and rain had begun to fall again when a voice sounded outside her room. "Madame, there is a letter for you."
Chizuru tore herself away from her reverie, and stood on numb feet to open the door. One of the employees in the inn handed her the missive, and with a polite bow, she excused herself. Chizuru closed the door, and with shaking hands, she clumsily but carefully opened the crisp sheets of paper. With bated breath, her large, brown eyes began slowly scanning the ink printed onto the paper.
My dearest Chizuru,
If you are reading this letter right now, Lord Katamori has been kind enough to fulfill my final request of him. I hesitate to write your name as 'Chizuru' rather than 'Yukimura,' but I feel it appropriate to do so. As you might know, I am not one who easily expresses his emotions with words, and I hope you'll forgive me for that. You have no idea how much I wished to tell you these words from my own mouth, but alas, I cannot. I write this letter as I gaze upon your peaceful, sleeping face. How I long to hold you in my arms one more time. I'm sorry I can't keep our promise. My one regret is that I left without hearing your voice. I'm sorry I will not come back to you. I wanted to stay with you, to grow old with you, and to watch our children be born. But my heart lead me to the Aizu. The way of the sword is the only lifestyle I know, and I fear that you would never be happy with that life. You have my word though, every moment I still breath, I will never stop thinking of you.
I'm sorry for breaking my promise with you, but I hope that you can move on without me. Thinking back on it now, I realize that I have never spoken these words to you, but you must know, that without a doubt, these words come from the depths of my heart. Chizuru, I love you. I love you. I love you! I would say it a thousand times, no, a million times if I could! I will love you forever. Though my body may be gone, my heart will always remain with you. My last wish is for you to be happy. Never forget that you are the most beautiful when you smile. So please, be happy, and never forget that I am always watching over you.
I love you, Saito Hajime
Clutching the letter to her chest, Chizuru let out a long wail. He was gone! Gone forever and never to return to her side again! How could the world be so cruel? Without bothering to change, she ran out of the inn and into the forest nearby. "Aizu, Aizu is on the other side of this forest!" She thought wildly to herself. "Saito-san, Saito-san!" The tumultuous rain pelting to the ground drenched her to the bones in a matter of seconds. She scrambled through the trees as fast as she could, her hair sopping wet and matted against her face, clutching Saito's letter to her heart. The branches of the trees tore at her pink kimono and her white hakama. Salty tears unceasingly streamed down her face, but she didn't bother to wipe them away. The dark, vortex-like night didn't aid her in finding the way through the forest. But by some miracle, as if Saito himself were guiding her, the number of trees diminished, and she was out of the forest. Down the trail, she could make out the large gates - the entrance into Lord Katamori's domain.
Panting, she approached the gate, her letter still clutched tightly in her small fingers.
"Who are you? What do you want?" The two guards by the gate eyed her disheveled state warily.
"Please!" She implored. "Please do you have Saito Hajime's body?"
The guards examined her closely and saw the desperation in her eyes. "He was brought back earlier today. He died bravely."
Chizuru almost felt her heart give out at the news. She grabbed the arm of the guard closest to her for support. "Please let me see him!"
The guard shook her away. "Who are you!" He demanded.
"Yukimura!" He exclaimed in surprise. Then he turned to the man next to him and they shared a nod. "Fine." He acquiesced. "I'll take you to Katamori-sama." He pushed open the heavy, wooden gate and lead her through the small town to the large tower directly in the middle of all the houses and shops.
With a heavy heart and tears brimming in her eyes, she climbed the stairs to the top of the tower. With each step she took, it felt like she was dying a little inside. Finally they reached the top, and the guard pushed open the door. "Katamori-sama, I've brought someone to see Saito-dono." He lowered onto his knees and Chizuru followed suit.
"Stand." A relatively high voice commanded. Chizuru looked up to see a handsome man looking at them soberly. He was standing next to a body stretched out on the floor, covered with a white blanket. "You may leave." He nodded at the guard, and with one last bow, the man who had escorted her left. "Yukimura Chizuru." He greeted. "Saito mentioned something about you." His head dropped. "He was our bravest warrior. The best we could have asked for, and I am indebted to him forever. I made sure to recover him from the battle field." He indicated at the corpse lying prone on the ground next to his feet. "I shall leave you two alone. Tomorrow, he will be cremated." With a heavy sigh, he stepped out of the room and shut the door behind him.
Very slowly, Chizuru crawled forward until she hovered over the white sheet covering the man. With halting fingers, she pulled the top of the sheet back to reveal his face, pale, serene, and very much gone from this world. "Saito-san." She whispered, her index finger tracing his visage, as if to engrave the features into her touch. "Saito-san." Her fingers lowered to pull the sheet completely away, but she decided against it. She didn't want to see the wounds decorating his beautiful body. Large, fat tears spilled from her eyes and splashed onto Saito's face. With trembling hands, she brushed them off of his waxy skin.
She leaned down and pressed her lips to his gently. She let out a sob. They weren't the warm, tender lips that she remembered. They were hard and very cold, like ice. The tips of her fingers fluttered about his face as she cried out. "Saito-san, Saito-san!" She pressed her cheek to his muscular chest, now separated by his clothes and the sheet. With glazed eyes, she looked up at her beloved. "Why? I wanted you to stay! I wanted us to grow old together, to have a family together! So why did you die! I've never said it to you either! I love you! I love you, Saito-san! Hajime!" Her voice broke. "Hajime! She screamed. "Why don't you understand?! All I ever wanted was for you to be by my side! I was happy with just that! But now you're not there! How do you expect me to continue living like this?!" A hiccup escaped her mouth. "Please come back to me, Hajime, I love you!"
She thought she saw his eyes flutter and her heart lifted for a moment, but closer investigation revealed it to be a trick of the dim candlelight, and her heart sunk once again back into the abyss. Lifting her head up, she closed her eyes and kissed him a second time. She pretended his lips were still warm with blood, and she imagined his arms circling around her, pulling her closer. Her lips parted and she murmured against his mouth. "This is my last promise to you: I will be reunited with you once more, my love. And this is my last wish: wait for me."