Title: Just As She Remembered
Author: Harmony (Silver Harmony)
Artist: Silver (Silver Harmony)
Pairing: Yoruichi/Soi Fon.
Word Count: Approximately 978.
Disclaimer: Not ours – otherwise this pairing would be canon.
Notes: Post-SS. This has been cross-posted to yorusoi and kurosaki_clinic.
Feedback: Very much appreciated by both of us :)
Summary: Things weren't fully mended just yet.
The next few days could have been more comfortable than it was, and it bothered Soi Fon.
As expected, all those fleeting sideways glances and the small upturns upon the corners of the dark lips only confirmed that Yoruichi had noticed. She always did. In the long, long years of their separation, Soi Fon had almost forgotten how perceptive her mentor was; the Second Division captain had taken many a respectful bow and apologized to her for her attack, and the dark-skinned woman had always patiently accepted it with an amused smile. Maybe the hidden compassion in it was what made Soi Fon want to apologize more.
Only a small handful of days had passed since their battle against each other, but they’d felt like the longest days that the captain had ever lived.
Her subsided anger towards Yoruichi had left behind an odd sensation of unrest within her; she knew that things weren’t fully mended yet. In all the years that they used to be together, Soi Fon rarely had to question herself for the way she acted or what she said, the way she was often doing now. Yoruichi, however, smiled the way she always did. If there was any trace of discomfort between them, she barely seemed to notice.
‘You’re not trying to avoid me, are you, little bee?’ she calmly said one day while walking up to Soi Fon, almost a week after the events of the betrayal.
The captain felt that that was the difference between them. Yoruichi sounded instantly comfortable; her optimism and the obvious undercurrents of playful confidence within her was one of those things that Soi Fon remembered she once loved fiercely about the woman. Little bee. A hundred years hadn’t been enough to weaken the memory of her own unwavering fondness and respect.
‘No, Yoruichi-sama,’ the captain answered mildly, slightly lowering her head once. ‘I’m glad you’ve returned.’
She noticed that her own voice didn’t sound completely at ease, even though she’d meant the words she’d said.
She vaguely wondered if some things had somehow changed back to what it used to be without her being fully aware of it. After all, Yoruichi was here, in front of her, looking down at her with those gleaming eyes and barely-there smile, just like she always used to. It felt a little surreal; it was like erasing the lengthy years of disappointment and hurt and anger, and returning to a time filled with security and peace. The brightness of the catlike eyes and the slight mischief in the faint smile were just as she remembered them.
Suddenly, Yoruichi snorted, interrupting her thoughts.
‘One thing hasn’t changed about you, Soi Fon,’ she said casually, her eyebrow raised. ‘You’re still so uptight and serious.’
The captain looked up at her in mild surprise.
‘Ukitake’s opened up his Division for lunch – I didn’t want you to miss out on all the food. All I’d meant was that I’d been looking for you,’ the dark-skinned woman continued in amusement. ‘You know what this reminds me of? Do you remember when you were first assigned to me, and you couldn’t stop calling me Your Honor and Honorable Master and all sorts of over-formal titles?’
Soi Fon remembered; it must have been the first time that the two of them had spoken together properly. She knew that even now, now that she was calm, she wouldn’t call the other woman any name that held less respect than Yoruichi-sama. She felt her cheeks warming; she thought it was strange that both of them had remembered that, that both of them had held on to the memory of that conversation. But she didn’t say anything.
Yoruichi didn’t seem to mind; in fact, she grinned.
‘It’s okay, though,’ she said softly, reaching out and mischievously nudging the captain’s elbow with her knuckles. ‘I’m glad that some things haven’t changed.’
This was Yoruichi, her Yoruichi-sama. She smelt of warmth and affection and contentment. She was exactly as she was.
‘You haven’t changed that much either,’ the captain answered; she could feel her own lips curving upwards in a small smile. A slight relief surrounded her, and she felt some of her own tension leaving her. It had been a while.
Yoruichi reached out and ruffled the short black hair.
‘…You really have grown.’
‘So have you, Yoruichi-sama,’ answered Soi Fon. Then, suddenly aware at the boldness of her own words, she added: ‘In a manner of speaking.’
‘You’ve gotten a lot stronger.’
‘Not nearly as strong as you.’
It was then that Yoruichi’s eyes sparkled approvingly at her, and Soi Fon could almost feel her own heart beating strangely faster, and her face growing warmer, because it was Yoruichi’s face that filled her field of vision and it was Yoruichi’s familiar smell and consoling reiatsu that lingered all around her. And she had to wonder for a moment how it was that she had ever felt insecure and uncomfortable, because Yoruichi had always been all security and reassurance, and Soi Fon wouldn’t have been safer and more at peace than under her wing. She’d always known that.
In a moment of inspiration, the captain mirrored the other woman’s earlier actions, touching her elbow lightly with her thin knuckles.
‘Anyway... are we going to lunch together?’ she asked.
‘You make it sound like a date,’ Yoruichi chuckled. ‘But let’s.’
The dark-skinned woman spun on her heel and began to walk away, seeming as confident and optimistic as always. She appeared as if she knew well enough that her little bee would follow her, just like she always had, just like she’d always said she would. And she did.
Things weren’t fully mended just yet, but they had plenty of time to make up for the long years they’d lost, and Soi Fon wasn’t going to let a single moment slip by.
Yoruichi reached out and ruffled the short black hair.
Also on dA HERE