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16 September 2014 @ 09:44 pm
[one-shot] Little Sister  
Title: Little Sister
Author: b_sim
Characters/Pairings: Hideto, Haido, Ken, Kazuhito
Rating: PG-13... I think?
Genre: Angst
Summary: Hideto learns he has a new baby sister. He just has to see her.
Notes: For people who read Scattered Petals, this one-shot is gonna have a lot of continuity problems. I'm changing a lot of details E.G. Hideto's age when he first went to battle, how many siblings he has, when he met Satoru, etc. FYI he's fourteen in this.


It had been either three of four in the morning, and the room – the one that belonged to his mother’s personal servants – had been completely dark, save for a candle in the corner of the room. Four servants laid on futons on the floor, a baby in a cradle at the other side of the room.

Just earlier that day, Hideto had heard people buzzing about a new addition to the Tengan clan – this prompted Hideto to try and recall the last time he’d seen his mother. Hideto’s memory conjured up an image of his mother, stomach flat, standing under a sakura tree. There was the scent of the cherry blossoms, and a light, cool breeze. It had been a beautiful, relaxing morning, the kind that you were sorry to give up for an afternoon.

That morning had been the same kind of morning, meaning it’d been almost a year already, since he’d seen his mother. Yes, that was more than enough time for her to get pregnant and to have given birth.

After a council meeting that evening, Hideto had approached his father, stiff and tense, and had asked to see his new sibling.

He received a reply in the form of a perfect glare, hot and cold, angry and malevolent. Tengan Kenichi was an old man, and he hadn’t lived this long because of sentiment, he told Hideto. Kenichi had left the hall without another word, brushing past his son.

A week earlier, Hideto had had to be stopped by Ken when he’d held a short sword – Haido’s short sword – to his own neck, unable to bear the burden of hosting an unearthly creature such as a demon. Because of Haido, Hideto’s life was slowly falling apart, and that wasn’t even an exaggeration. Sounds turned to noise, people turned into shapes, emotions melted.

Hideto needed this. He needed to see his new sibling. He needed to see life.

It was with that conviction that Hideto had broken his routine of drinking sake every night, lest the alcohol made him sleepy. He’d waited in his bedroom until all fires in the hallway and in the other bedrooms had been extinguished. Only then did he make his move. He’d silently made his way down the hallways, turning here and there, avoiding servants and night guards whom he was sure had been ordered to keep him away from the Baby Tengan.

By the time he’d reached where his little sibling was being held, his eyes had acclimatized to the dark, and he could easily make out the shape of the cradle, and he crept towards it. As he neared it, he noticed a sign tied to the side of it. It read ‘Himiko’. Hideto felt himself smile as he read the kanji – a sister. He had another baby sister.

At last, he reached the cradle. Trembling hands curled around the edges of the cradle, though stable enough that he didn’t shake it. Then he peeked in.

There she was. Barely a day old and yet already brimming with so much life. Even with her small eyes closed, even when sleeping, little Himiko looked so much more alive than Hideto felt.

Himiko’s breathing was slow and heavy, carrying the weight of life. There was hair growing on the top of her head, growing longer with every passing second in this world. Himiko’s cheeks were red and vibrant – like cherries, Hideto thought, and he brightened up slightly at the thought that it was the first time in a long while that he’d likened something red to something other than blood.

Just then, an overwhelming weight settled over him. Either that or his legs had gone weak, because he felt as though he was about to collapse. His thighs shook, his shoulders were hunched, his breaths, in contrast to Himiko’s, came quick, fast and irregular.

Inside Hideto, something jerked awake. Hideto tightened his hold on the edges of the cradle to ground himself.

Enemy…

“No,” Hideto whispered to the dark of the night, to the darkness inside. Hot, fat tears squeezed their way out of Hideto’s eyes when he closed them. “Sister. Sister. Himiko’s my sister.”

Enemy…

“Family,” Hideto hissed.

Red cheeks. Red. Blood. Blood inside. Breathing? Breathing! Alive. Alive. Alive.

Hideto cursed. When he opened his eyes, he cursed again when he saw a sword coming at him. He fell back with a frightened yell. Before him stood a samurai of the Hojo clan, clad from head to toe in armour, sword raised.

Enemy…

When the samurai swung his sword down again, Hideto rolled to the side to avoid it, standing and then lunging forward. The man went down with a crash – the crash sounded… wooden, some part of Hideto’s mind said, but Haido ignored it completely.

“Enemy!” Haido cried, driving its hand into the samurai’s face, through the helmet and all.

There was a scream – a woman’s scream. It was followed by a few more. And then sobbing.

When the samurai no longer moved, Haido grinned. Then it went back to sleep, content and reassured of Hideto’s and its own safety.

Hideto blinked a few times.

The samurai was gone. Literally gone. In its place, a broken cradle, and little Himiko, cheeks still red and vibrant, though the red was now painted on the surface, instead of shining through her skin like before.

“Himiko?” Hideto whispered. “Imoutou[1]…?”

Someone screamed his name. Someone grabbed him, and the pain shot through his arms. Haido was wide awake again.

Enemy!

This time, Hideto didn’t bother fighting. He closed his eyes and went to sleep, suddenly tired. He supposed it was only natural. The few minutes of happiness his little sister had given him, a derailment of his usual depression, had been exhausting.

The next time Hideto had woken up, he’d found himself in the mansion’s prisons. The guard on duty had fetched Kazuhito then. The older boy looked terrible, with dark eye bags and unshaven cheeks. He sounded even worse. His voice was hoarse and weary.

Kazuhito told Hideto that his imprisonment was for his own safety, because the truth of his little sister’s murder had reached the villagers, and neighbouring towns. If they’d wanted the Demon of Izu’s head before, they were demanding it now.

Hideto didn’t understand.

“My little sister’s murder?” Hideto asked.

Something crossed Kazuhito’s eyes then, and a cold prickling sensation went down Hideto’s back.

“Kazu, please, don’t,” Hideto said, thoughts a mess, words a jumble. “No—I—she… I just wanted… I—I was careful, I didn’t—”

“I’m sorry, Hideto,” Kazuhito said, voice thick, yet frail enough to crack. “I’m so sorry.”

Kazuhito’s retreating footsteps were soft, Hideto thought. Incredibly soft.

No guard returned.

Alone, Hideto thought. He dragged his knees towards his chest. I’m alone.

Not alone, another voice said.

When Hideto closed his eyes, he could still see Himiko in her cradle. But when Hideto closed his eyes, he could also see his own hand plunging into her tiny body.

Hideto sobbed.

Notes: Thoughts?

[1] Little sister.