#21—violence; pillage/plunder; extortionRating:
All characters are the property of Kaori Naruse. I claim none, I merely borrow them and take them to yummy shoes sales and put them through the horror of finding the perfect strappy sandal.Summary:
The view was lovely. Himeno would have loved it…
The panorama was beautiful.
The canopy of sky was painted in brilliant pinks, oranges, reds, yellows, fading into the dark blue, black, violet of the night, casting a few final shadows on the ground below. And there were so many trees, swaying in the breeze; it was soothing to look at, like the hum of a mother’s lullaby.
Himeno would have loved it.
Hayate’s forehead dropped into his palm.Himeno…
Himeno was gone.
It seemed so wrong to him that such a beautiful person should be torn away in such a callous, violent way. She shouldn’t have had to go like that—it was just a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and like that she was gone forever.
Hayate shook his head angrily as he thought of it.
All it took was for that driver to fall asleep at the wheel for a few scant seconds, and the car ran up onto the sidewalk, right into a crowd of people. And Himeno—beautiful, caring Himeno—was caught up trying to get a five-year-old child out of the way of danger. That was all it took, and when the vehicle actually hit the building, she was trapped between the front of the car and the brick wall.
And it hadn’t been instantaneous. She had lingered, splayed out on the hood of the offending car, gasping for air while arriving paramedics and rescue personnel and dozens of by-standers looked on helplessly. It hadn’t taken very long, really, but it was too long for her to be in pain like that.
He hadn’t been there. But he had seen the pictures—he had demanded to see the pictures.
There had been so much blood…
Hayate really didn’t remember much of the funeral. He had still been in so much of a daze, walking through this fog of grief and disbelief and blatant refusal to accept. If he stayed numb, he didn’t have to actually acknowledge the barrage of feeling. Not-feeling was easier.
Not-feeling also meant that he didn’t have to decide if he had forgiven the driver yet or not. The driver of the car had walked away virtually unscathed, save for the usual minor cuts and bruises.
After it was over, he remembered someone handing his young daughter to him. Little Sakura had slept through most of the service; at only a year old, she probably wouldn’t even remember her mother when she grew older. But now she was awake, and pawing at her father’s hair for attention. Daddy was holding her, but Daddy really wasn’t paying attention to her, and that was not at all satisfactory.
“Hayate,” he faintly remember Sasame’s voice speaking to him, “I know it hurts. I know better than almost anyone how that feels. But you have a daughter. Sakura needs you—you have to wake up, for her sake. She needs you now.”
Sasame. So calm, so level-headed.
Hayate’s first reaction had been anger—there was no way the Knight of Sound could possibly understand how he felt!! Then he had stepped back and thought about it: Sasame had lost Takako for how many years, partially by his own hand in helping to seal her. Knowing she was alive, but being unable to see her or be with her…that couldn’t have been easy, especially when he couldn’t grieve openly about it.
But the anger had returned. Takako was always alive inside Fenrir. That meant that there was always a chance that she could be freed, brought back. Himeno was gone for good, no if’s, and’s, but’s, or maybe’s about it. No, Sasame didn’t know how he felt.
Hayate inched closer.
He hadn’t kissed her goodbye that day. Sakura had been demanding attention, and Himeno had laughed at her daughter’s attempts to pull on Daddy’s hair as she called out that he was leaving. He always kissed her goodbye, but that time, he hadn’t.
She never came home.
His toes were hanging over the edge now. One more step, and…
Hands clenched into white-knuckled fists at his sides. Just one more step, resist the urge to use his magic, and it would be all over. He could go be with his Princess. Hayate closed his eyes, and lifted one foot to take that final step…
…and he saw Sakura. Their daughter, just over a year old. Looking up at him with crimson-colored eyes that were undoubtedly inherited from her mother. Waving a fist at him to demand Daddy’s undivided attention. Gurgling angrily in protest of some undesired action.
Just like Himeno…
She had just lost her mother. If he disappeared, too…
The wind suddenly picked up, rushing past him in a harsh gust, threatening to push him back from the cliff. Several dry leaves scratched against his skin, and his long dark hair whipped around him fiercely, lashing painlessly at his face.
His foot came back down onto solid ground, and he stepped back.
He shouldn’t be here. He should be home with his daughter. Friends. Family.
They were hurting too, though they hadn’t lost a soul mate.
Part of him was still screaming at him to just do it, to throw himself over that edge and be done with this pain. If he did, then he could be with Himeno…but then his daughter would have no one.
“All right,” he murmured, “you win.”
As suddenly as it had risen, the wind died back down to a mere breeze.
Startled, Hayate looked out towards the view below him—the trees really were beautiful—but there was nothing to explain where the wind had gone. But it was a fierce one, nearly knocked him back…
…away from the edge.
…no. No way. It couldn’t be. That was something that only happened in movies.
Hayate’s vision blurred ever so slightly, but nothing escaped; he would not cry now. But the shakiest of smiles inched its way onto his face. He took a deep breath and let it out.
And as the wind continued on its journey, Hayate could have sworn he heard her laughter.PS. Two couples, sixty stories, and I hadn’t killed anyone off yet. And Hayate/Himeno just happened to be next up on my “Things to Write” list, soooooo…yeah. Don’t kill the author!! I bruise easily!!
This…came out sort of weird. It ended up kind of stream of consciousness. Hope you liked the new one anyway, depressing as it was. Thanks again, everyone! Much love!!