|Bleach fanfic -- Our Reply to Violence (PG)
||[November 8th, 2008, 11:16]
Title: Our Reply to Violence
Genre: Angst, music, catharsis
Characters/ Pairings: Hitsugaya Toushirou, Hinamori Momo, Unohana Retsu
Warnings/ Spoilers: No spoilers, except unless you haven't finished the Soul Society arc.
Summary: Hitsugaya finds a way to reach Hinamori across the latter's comatose
Disclaimer: Kubo Tite owns Bleach; I merely play around with it.A/N: Written for bleach_contest Week#35 prompt: Songfic. I should have been studying, but I went to watch a small performance on Wednesday, and needed to get my longing for music out of my system, so I suppose you can call this a cathartic fic.
Hitsugaya watched Hinamori from the shadow of the doorway, a considerable distance from her bed. From this far away, if he could ignore the ominous oxygen mask, he could kid himself that the girl was merely asleep, exhausted by her duty regarding recent events.
What am I trying to gain by pretending nothing happened? I failed once again to protect someone close to my heart, and bluffing myself otherwise isn’t going to change that fact.
He wanted so much to talk to Hinamori, to apologise for her demise, and swear to protect her. But, he knew, if he were to open his mouth, the first thing that would tumble out was a curse at the former Captain of the Fifth Division, something he doubted Hinamori would appreciate, comatose or not.
With an impatient tch, he turned to leave.
“Couldn’t you… Couldn’t you say something to her?” He stopped in his tracks at the soft plea of Unohana-taichou of the Fourth Division.
“She is waiting for the call of someone who truly loves and needs her.”
There was a soft silence as he considered his answer. Then…
“The way I am right now, I have no words I can say to her... Please excuse me.”
He left, leaving behind a slightly puzzled and disappointed Unohana.
He ran his hand lightly over the dark wood, tracing its curves with his fingertips. The material was cool enough to suit his liking, though not as cold as he would have preferred.
Matsumoto would have a field day if she found this, Hitsugaya thought. It was for that reason he had kept it hidden in his private chambers, taking it out only after putting in place kidou spells that prevented all from seeing or hearing anything that went on in the room.
But now, he contemplated bringing it out, all the way to the hospital in the Fourth Division headquarters. What with having to cover that much distance, it was impossible to hope that no one would see him; he had to decide what he considered more important to him: his reputation, or Hinamori’s health and wellbeing.
He did not even have to think about it; Unohana’s words still rang in his ears: She is waiting for the call of someone who truly loves and needs her.
Hitsugaya shut the lid of the box and pulled it out from where it lay at the bottom of his wardrobe. The only problem now was how to carry it. He could, of course, carry it on hand, but his height (or lack thereof) presented a problem, and would prove cumbersome if he were to flash-step all the way to the Fourth Division. The only other solution was to carry it on his back, on the place where he now wore his sword…
He smiled wryly as he remembered a quote which he had chanced upon during one of his trips to the real world.
Well, if that be the case…
He unpinned the green sash holding his sword in place, letting his zanpakutou fall to the ground, and, with a twinge of guilt and regret, hoisted the box onto his back in its place. Without allowing himself a chance to rethink his actions, he opened the door and retraced the route that would take him back to Hinamori’s ward.
The room was now empty, except for the unwary Hinamori, still trapped in whatever nightmare Aizen had created for her. Hitsugaya paused long enough to stare at her deceptively peaceful face, and to sweep away a strand of stray hair that fell across her face, and then turned away. He pulled a chair up beside his childhood friend, and put his box down gently on the ground beside it. Undoing the security locks, he lifted the lid and pulled his prize out.
She is waiting for the call of someone who truly loves and needs her.
Hitsugaya took a deep breath. The way I am right now, I have no words I can say to her...Instead, let this say the true meaning of my heart.
Slowly, he sat down facing the unconscious girl, and put his bow in his right hand to the gleaming strings. Those words floated to the surface of his memory once more: This will be our reply to violence…
He began to play.
The first chord reverberated in the still air, sawing its way through the thick cloud of death that clung over Hinamori’s bed. He kept up on the attack, following the deep chord with a fast ascending scale, and another chord. His eyes closed, Hitsugaya played from memory, progressing slowly, in accordance to the Adagio tempo marking of the first part of the Prélude for Bach’s Cello Suite No. 5.
“Hitsugaya-taichou! Please stop! You are disturbing the patient’s rest.” Without opening his eyes, Hitsugaya knew from the reiatsu that the intruder was a member of the Fourth Division, which ran the hospital. He ignored the frenzied medic; it would be uncool to stop now, before he had finished expressing what he had wanted to say to Hinamori.
“Hitsugaya-taichou!” Now the source of the reiatsu grew closer as the medic moved forward to intervene. The Captain of the Tenth Division frowned. He did not want to hurt this shinigami, who was, after all, simply doing his job. And besides, that would interrupt his music. What did this gentle, battle-inexperienced soul plan to do to oppose him anyway? Pondering the problem, he inadvertently prolonged a trilled note.
“Let him be, Yamazaki,” another voice called softly. Hitsugaya, recognising it to be Unohana’s, relaxed, and continued his playing.
“It’s alright. He knows what he is doing... Come with me…” Footsteps were heard as the reluctant Yamazaki retreated on his captain’s orders. Unohana smiled quietly to herself as she backed out of the room and closed the door behind her, just as Hitsugaya reached the end of the first, melancholic part of the Prélude.
Darkness, black and suffocating as velvet, surrounds me. How long have I been here? I cannot remember, nor do I know how I came to be here. I only recall waking up, alone, weapon-less and naked. Not that it mattered, though; it is so dark, even if I were to raise my hand to a distance an inch from my eyes, I would not be able to see it.
But I am not alone in the dark now. Subtly, music calls to me from beyond the darkness, and begins to form a thread of light that swirls around me like dancing fairy dust. I follow the thread with my eyes; the light continues out into the distance, tracing out a winding path, and yet, as far as I look, though I cannot see where it leads, neither can see where it ended. Hesitantly, I walk down the path of light and music…
Hitsugaya increased his pace slightly as he began the second part of the Prélude. This half of the piece was less heavy, and more energetic, filled with staccato phrases and quick successions of slurred notes. Pouring his heart into it, he used the music as a tool to fight the despair and hopelessness he felt, as well as an outlet for the anger towards the Fifth Division captain that boiled within him.
Hinamori… You’ve been dozing for far too long now. Time to wake up. We need you here. I need you here… With great gusto he pulled his bow across the strings, creating a flowing stream of music, woven from the unspoken words in his mind, words he dared not say, for fear that they would come out all wrong.
This will be our reply to violence…
Hitsugaya did not open his eyes again until he had ended the piece with a C major chord. Thus it was only then that he noticed Hinamori had woken and was watching him.
She smiled at him weakly. “That was wonderful, Shiro-chan,” she murmured, her oxygen mask muffling her words.
Embarrassed, the Tenth Division Captain coughed and turned away. “Glad to see that you’re up,” he said briskly, to cover his awkwardness. “I-I’ll get Unohana-taichou. She’ll want to do a checkup for you…”
He hurriedly replaced his cello into its casing, closed the box, and slung it over his shoulder. As he was about to leave, Hinamori caught his hand in her cold, weak one.
“What’s there to thank, baka?” Hitsugaya retorted, still slightly red in the face. “Hurry up and get well, you hear me?”
Giving her hand a brief squeeze, he let go and moved towards the door. Opening it, he found Unohana standing just beyond it, a soft, maternal smile on her lips.
The least you could do was pretend you weren’t waiting outside all this while, Hitsugaya thought, though he bit his lip to keep himself from speaking aloud.
“Hinamori’s awake,” he muttered instead, moving aside to let her into the room.
Unohana patted him on the shoulder as she passed him. “Thanks to you, Hitsugaya-taichou. I believe we can now expect a speedy recovery for our patient.”
“Yeah, that’s good… If you would excuse me…” He slipped through the door before the other captain could reply.
He had no doubt that word of Hinamori’s miraculous recovery, and the method with which it was achieved, would spread like wildfire across the Sereitei, but he no longer cared about rumours or snide remarks. In fact, he felt much more cheerful now, and, he suspected, not just because Hinamori Momo no longer dwelled on the border of life and death.
He had played to his heart’s content, and now, finally, it at peace.
This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before.
-- Leonard Bernstein (1918 – 1990)
: Adagio - a tempo marking that literally means "at ease"
: trilled note - a music technique that consists of rapidly alternating between two adjacent notes on a scale
: staccato - a music technique that involves playing the indicated note or notes in a detached and distinct manner
: slurred notes - a music technique that involves changing from one note to the other without break or pause in between
: C major chord - a chord is a set of three or more different notes that are played simultaneously. In the case of C major, the notes are C, E and G.