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24 April 2014 @ 12:09 am
[side-story] Born in Death  
Title: Born in Death
Author: b_sim
Characters/Pairings: Hideto, Haido
Genre: General
Rating: G
Summary: Monsters are born in death and Mother Nature realises this too late.
Note: Set in the Scattered Petals verse. This is when Hideto is still young (seven years old) and his demon is born inside him because of an accident in the water.

x-posted to scatterpetals.

It was not in the midst of battle that Hideto first met death. It was in the water, when he’d been known by another name – Hidenichi. The oceans that Izu was so proud of almost killed their next lord, the man they would fear for years, and also the man who would bring peace.

Strong waves, a little girl’s toy boat floating out towards the horizon and her foolhardy older brother who knew nothing except honour and a man’s pride. Hidenichi jumped straight into water without a second’s hesitation, remembering only when it was too late that he couldn’t swim, not after only one swimming lesson.

Mother Nature was not on Hidenichi’s side. She summoned strong winds to breed stronger, higher waves. Perhaps she knew something that humanity didn’t. Perhaps she saw something inside the boy that she felt she needed to squish, something that went beyond her laws. Little did she know that her hand in Hidenichi’s drowning was what gave birth to it in the first place.

By the time Hidenichi had been dragged back to the shore by a nearby fisherman, Hidenichi’d already lost consciousness. His absence in his body allowed another side to take his place.

“Young lord!” the man shouted, shaking the boy. His two big hands looked even bigger on Hidenichi’s small chest as he pressed down over and over again, pausing only to breathe into Hidenichi’s mouth. Behind him, Hidenichi’s little sister Hinata was crying. “Young lord, please wake up! Young lord!”

The winds had stopped, and the waves had died. Mother Nature smirked in victory, but paused before relishing in it, for she heard a beat – a heartbeat.

The boy gasped, choking on the water still caught in his lungs. He hacked it all out, and then vomited his breakfast. As he gulped in oxygen in large, heavy pants, his tiny body shook.

“Ani-ue!” Hinata cried. The little girl, only five years of age, ran forward and wrapped her arms around Hidenichi’s shoulders. Then she screamed when she was pushed back with so much force that she was rammed right into the fisherman, who in turn fell back onto his behind.

The both of them stared in silent wonder. A boy Hidenichi’s age (He’d just turned seven this past winter) should not have had that much strength.

Hidenichi glared at them, panting still.

When Hinata called her brother again, it was in a soft, scared whisper that died before it could even get out from her throat. Hinata did not recognise this boy. Her ani-ue was kind and gentle. He’d never struck her before.

This person before her – no, this thing – was the flipside of Hidenichi. Anything that she’d ever seen in her brother, she could not see now. And the things she’d never seen in him, she saw. Anger, desperation, hunger…

Hidenichi’s eyes were bloodshot, his pupils dilated. He was very much awake and aware. But his eyes were also half-lidded. When the fisherman saw Hidenichi’s eyes roll back into their sockets, he darted forward and caught the boy as he fell unconscious again.

When Hidenichi awoke the next day, in the comfort and safety of his room in the castle, the first thing he did was apologise to Hinata, for he hadn’t gotten her toy boat back. He assumed that that was why she was keeping her distance. He didn’t know what had happened on the shore. He only remembered closing his eyes, letting the darkness consume him as much as the ocean did.

And the little girl, upon realising her brother was now back to normal, realising that it was her brother occupying the body, not the thing that had hurt her, decided that she would not tell her parents, or even Hidenichi himself, what she’d seen. It was behind them now. And she would never have to face such a monster ever again, or so she would have like to thought.

In Hidenichi’s body, though, the thing remained. And it would stay there forever. Hinata didn’t have to tell Hidenichi a single word for him to understand that something had changed. But, young and barely self-aware, Hidenichi believed it was due to his near-death experience. After all, his father had told him that “death changes a man”, be it his own or those around him. Hidenichi smiled a little when he thought that the discomfort inside himself, this tangible turmoil, was what made him a man, when, really, it just made him a monster.

In Hidenichi’s sleep, he heard a voice, similar to his own but not quite the same. When Hidenichi woke up, he would have forgotten all about it. Not that it made much of a difference, even if he could remember, for he could never make out what the voice was saying, or if it was even speaking in Japanese.

In the following years, seven to be exact, Hidenichi lived with this burden. In seven years, he would unwillingly and unknowingly trade this burden for a much greater and far more terrifying one.

For seven years, he’d felt it, he’d heard it.

But then he tasted it.

And it was like dying all over again.

Notes: I realise I ended it quite suddenly... But I didn't want to drag this out, since it was only supposed to be a one-shot.