Date: March 5, 2013
The news of Uchiha Fuyu's death spreads within Konoha as expected and extends to the furthest ends of the village. It comes as no surprise that Hinotori has heard and comes to see if it's really true. He finds himself in the Hokage's Office where Hashiramako is standing at the door preparing to leave. A simple statement is all it takes before both hearts give way to describing all that was lost in their lives and ultimately building a stronger bond as nephew and aunt in their moment of grief.
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"To Lose is to Gain"
Hokage's Office - Hokage's Lookout
The atmosphere in the Hokage's Office is placid. There's no excitement, but also no gloom, simply peace. There is a change to this place, however. Some flowers are sitting in a window basking in the sunlight. They were a mixture, those that were for mourning and others that were a celebration of friendship. It should be no surprise that something like this would be handled in this way. The grieving was silent and kept to the self for now by Hashiramako. She was in another part of the office before she came stepping into the area ready to leave the office entirely. She wasn't one to just sit around here, after all.
Having heard rumors of Fuyu-sama possibly being dead, that just couldn't be, she was a powerful shinobi, one who helped Hinotori even more so. No she isn't gone, he would've known wouldn't he? Hinotori flickers towards the Hokages office, bypassing teh two guards, Sharingan activated if they decided to give him ****. They didn't, instead they open the door for him. He allows the Sharingan to fade from his eyes, "Aunti…..Lady HOkage, please tell me she isn't gone." he says looking to his aunt. The only woman in the world who knew him well enough for him to be calling her his aunt even though she isn't Uchiha, even though his parents didn't like it. But still, his hands balled into fists, looking to the Hokage.
Hashiramako stood at the door, looking right at Hinotori as he deactivated his sharingan. She supposed she should have seen this coming, but she didn't. Perhaps she was concerned with her own grieving to the point that she wasn't able to focus entirely on what was going on around her. She tried to hide her grief, looking back to the flowers that were in her window before drawing her attention back to Hinotori with clear sorrow in her eyes, even if it didn't show on her face. "I'd be lying if I said she wasn't…" She replied to him solemnly.
Seeing the sorrow in Hashi's eyes, then her words he lowers his head. "**** it." he nearly growls. His fist clenches up, then he moves forward to hug Hashiramako. "Why didn't you tell me or she told me was going on some **** insane mission, I would've went, you know I would've." he says to her. He didn't like this, it didn't feel good, it hurt. Another person close to him he's lost, but Fuyu-sama, she was finally opening up, finally seeing him in a different light, something he's been wanting from her fo ra long time and now she's gone. "What happened?" he asks as he lets his aunt go, looking into her eyes, his jaw set.
Hashiramako opened her arms and embraced Hinotori as he came forward to hug her. She inhaled deeply and sighed the breath out. It wasn't clear and anyone focused enough would realize that it was slightly broken at times. The clear sign of someone who is either beginning to or ending a cry. For her, it was holding back. She didn't want to cry. She couldn't. It wouldn't be right to and she felt Fuyu wouldn't approve. She gave up her life willingly to the cause.
"It wasn't for you to go, Hinotori…" She began to explain. "We went on this mission because it was required of us to go. If you had gone….Fuyu would have been incredibly disappointed. She left to protect us all from that threat…even me," she started. "It wasn't anything /I/ would even want you to go through or endure… It involved that man. The one that attacked this village. That threatened my home and people," she remarked with a certain disdain in her voice.
"What happened is that Fuyu did what she felt was necessary to protect us against him. I know we gave him a challenge…"
His eyes narrowed, he remembered the mask man that Hashi had to fight and now he's taken Fuyu from him. He almost lost his aunt but he's lost Fuyu to this ****. His mouth closes as he listens, "But I could've helped, I could've helped you both, you keep telling me we can't fight alone, not all the time, why was this different?" he asks. He is trying to hold back his own tears, why is he losing people close to him again, the fear of losing again. Like in teh clan wars, no….
But then hearing Hashiramako, Fuyu would be pissed with him there, especially in the sorry shape he's in he would've only been a liability, an inconvience that would need saving, time over and over again. Tightening his fist, he could feel his nails bitting into flesh as he Hashi hasn't let him go yet. He holds on to her, pressing his face against her neck as he takes calming breath. "I can't lose anyone else…." he says tiredly. "I'm tired of losing people I love, and care about. I know this is the world we live in, I know this is what it means to be a shinobi, but…." he lets out a tired breath.
"I want to train under you, I need to. I want to train with Daisuke in his speacial training. I can't keep being as I am."
"That's not what it means to be a shinobi," Hashiramako stated to Hinotori sternly. She pulled his face away and held it gently in her hands. Her eyes focused in on his and she let the majority of her gaze say what was in her heart, even as she tried to convey it in words. "Shinobi shouldn't just live to die. That is not the shinobi way. That's not /my/ shinobi way. I resolved that deep within myself when I was young." She looked towards the window to the flowers resting there. "Shinobi do not live to die. There is more to our lives than that. We live to protect. Think of the wars. That is the mentality that drove shinobi to slaughter themselves endlessly for years on end. Because we felt that we were doing our job as tools. To die for our comrades. Who are we protecting if we're dying everywhere? Nothing!" She shouted, drawing up all the emotion from her youth up into this very moment.
"Children died, forced to fight because we lived to die. That was the error in our perceptions and our judgements," she clenched Hinotori in her arms just a bit tighter and her armor creaked as a result. "I know exactly how you feel… I lost people I loved too. Many people. My own brother… My only brother. Forced to battle and was killed…" Her voice weighed heavily with sorrow, anger, and pain. "Forget those thoughts. This isn't what it means to be a shinobi…" She allowed him to rest his head once more as she relieved her grip. "The world we live in is the one we make of it. If we want these things to end, then we must change them."
He's almost forgot that, almost forgotten what all they've fought for, sacrificed as a people. But the pain hurts, it drains him too much sometimes. When Hashiramako pulls his face from her, HInotori tries to turn away from her but that wasn't going to happen because she guides his head back making him look at her. His eyes water up, and as Hashiramako speaks to him, he feels her pain as well, something that he's not before, he feels the conviction of her words as she speaks to him. "But…" he is cut off as she continues to talk to him, to get him to understand. He didn't know how she truly felt until now and as she pauses to take a moment, all Hinotori can do is blink.
When she hugs him tighter, so does he hug her even tighter, burying his face into her neck holding on to her as if she is his anchor to the hear and now, to keep him from falling into darkness, it may have been why she spoke truth to him. As she continues to tell him that she lost loved ones, family members, her brother. He could hear her sorry, anger and pain, he only grips onto her tighter now, not caring about the pressing of her armor into him. "Alright…" he says in a whisper, "I will not stop fighting or give into despair, but I need your help to not fall….." he trails off. Love is a powerful impact one that has always driven Hinotori, which is why he isn't like all the Uchiha, he's caring, outgoing and have always, always been there for others and risked his lives for their so that he didn't have to see them suffer. Now it's him who needs someone.
Hashiramako had since drawn away from the window and the flowers rested within the sill back to Hinotori. She cupped his head in her hand and kept her arm secured around him while he took all the time needed to grieve. When he began to speak, she withdrew only enough for him to have the room needed to voice himself and breathe. A smile parted her lips, one that was filled with pride and love for Hinotori and Konoha. That will that was filled with fire, momentarily snuffed and now re-ignited caused the tears she was holding back to fall from her eyes. They weren't many, though they made her feel alive as she felt that her well had run dry and she hadn't anymore to spare. Knowing that she was neeeded and was depended on for guidnance was enough to strike the ground and break apart the earth to allow the spring to fill the void left behind.
"I will help you not to fall. I promise this to you, here and now…"
The connection he feels with Hashiramako, only shows that he needed to come here, to allow himself to finally grieve but also to help the Hokage as well. His heart did hurt, it's been far too long for Hinotori to finally allow himself to be the one who needed someone to help him, but still be able to help another. He needed teh time adn is very grateful to Hashi as she is his anchor in this life and time, but unlike the relationship he has with hsi family, this one was different and even now he is and feels like he is growing in a way he can't understand. But to his surprise as Hashiramako looks into his eyes and speaks to him and tells him she will be there for him, promises to guide him and be there, it's all he needed before he just buries his face into her neck. "Thank you auntie, thank you very much. I love you with all my heart." he tells her.
She lowered her head, resting hers against Hinotori's as he found his way back into her neck. Hashiramako would breathe deeply, her chest rising and falling slowly in contrast to her nephew's sorrow. So much has been lost between the both of them, both knowing the pain of absence of life in their lives and yet, it is from this absence that love still manages to show forth from a seed planted in the hardened soil of the shinobi heart and shrouded in clouds of darkness. Still, the waters are pure that fall from these clouds within these two and love drinks it all in to offer forth a medicinal nectar to quell the sorrows, numb the pain and secure its roots to provide a foundation to stand on in times of weakness. "I love you with all my heart too, Hinotori."