4/8/04: OK, a couple of months ago, I discovered, 15 minute ficlets, an LJ community. The idea is, they post a word, you take it and fic with it for 15 minutes and then post what you wrote. It seemed like a really neat idea. So, here's my first contribution. ^_^ It's set in X's CLAMP universe, but to say more than that would give away spoilers. Let me know what you thought!

6/7/06: And a brief addendum... This little blurb ended up spawing a rather large continuation (which I will finish someday, Seimei, honest!) which is one of my favorites that I'm currently working on. However, the initial ficlet can stand on its own, so for now, I'll let it. ^_^ Enjoy!

The word (#49): Spring
by Renee-chan

Spring. A season of birth, of regrowth, of awakening. So why is it that it makes me feel so very dead? Is it perhaps the barrenness in my own soul? The arid soil of my mind where nothing green can ever grow? The inner grave where my innocence, my emotions, my very self now lies? I don't know. Perhaps I never will.

People have tried to take hoe and spade to my inner desert, tried to water it, force it to bring forth life. No one has yet succeeded. I love no one. I care for no one. I don't think I even can. Ice cold beauty. Untouchable and untouched. Forever pristine and perfect.

Perhaps that's why this child intrigues me so. In him I sense that same pristine perfection, that same porcelain white beauty. He is so young, so very innocent... I want to possess him. I want him to be mine and mine alone. I want to pour my soul into his and in so doing have a form of bitter company in the graveyard of my heart. I want to see that innocence corrupted, soiled, darkened by blood.

I want to make him my successor.

The thought is a shock to me. No one has ever been able to pull such a feeling of desire from me. No man, no woman, no child. I don't understand it -- is this what it means to feel? This uncertainty, this lack of confidence, this total void where control once was?

I see now. I have always known why the Sakurazukamori must be emotionless, passionless, empty and devoid of human desires. One can not do what I do and be human. I have also known why the Sakurazukamori must choose their own successor. For who else would recognize the potential in another to be what we are? Who else would be able to hone and refine such a being?

But now... Now I understand why the final step in becoming the Sakura Barrow Guardian is to slay the one who taught you. It is because in finding your successor... you begin to feel. The barren land of your soul begins to flow with water, begins to lay the seeds that will eventually blossom into spring. And in teaching your successor, grooming him to take your place, you take his emotions into yourself, like sucking the poison from an infected wound. And when he is finally pristine and as barren as you once were... what else can he do but slay the one who has become the receptacle for his emotions? What else can he do but destroy the one who is no longer worthy to guard, no longer worthy to bear the name? There is no other way for such a training to end.

I see this. And now, after all my time as Sakurazukamori, I finally understand it. I want this child. I think... I think I may even want to love him. And that will come with time. And as my own love grows, his will diminish until he feels nothing. Nothing for me, nothing for those around him... until it is his own time to feel what I feel.

But for now... I smile and crush the camellia blossom that I have been idly twirling between my fingers. The child had been sitting with his mother at the site of a fresh new grave -- not one of my making, but appropriate none the less. Now he sits alone. His mother, though her body remains, is no longer by his side. He is afraid. He shakes the woman's body, pleading with her to open her eyes. Begging for her not to leave him.

There will be no answer from her.

In her stead, I drop lightly down from the branch upon which I have been perched and settle down beside the child. A light brush against the woman's dead soul as it passed into the sakura told me the one thing I needed to know.

I brush my hand against the child's cheek, inadvertently smearing blood across that porcelain whiteness to mingle with his tears. I smile and kiss his forehead, "Seishirou-kun... Would you like to play a game...?"

R-chan: *chuckles* OK, show of hands... Who thought this was Sei-chan's POV until they hit the last 4 paragraphs? *eg*

Teenage!Sei-chan: *hand goes up*

Subaru: *twitch*

Teenage!Sei-chan: *innocent look* What?

Subaru: *heavy sigh* Just... never mind.

Teenage!Sei-chan aside to Adult!Sei-chan: You were right, he is fun to play with!

R-chan: *snickers*

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