spinastoryshallwe: (why hugging what)
[personal profile] spinastoryshallwe
I'm in Sword Hell! That is literally the point of this! But, second person rambling fic-thing re: Kashuu Kiyomitsu and memento mori

Memento Mori. The Saniwa, your current master, said it meant "remember death". Maybe for humans it could also mean "remember that you will die", but you are swords. Your memories are built on deaths and fighting, those of you that were used. The memories that stayed are full of deaths that are not your own.

Until it was.

Swords do not die like humans do.

You had been around for something like 180 years when you broke protecting that person.

And here, at this citadel, with all these swords who were used, and lost, or kept as treasures, you have human bodies. Everyone has a different real body here, but the spirit is the same as you all were before you were lost. And, your spirit from back then—it had hurt. You had hurt.

The others never bring it up in so many words. You broke during the Ikedaya Incident—you met Nagasone Kotetsu and Izuminokami Kanesada for the first time at this citadel. You don't think about how they act like they knew you before. You aren't sure any of the other swords realize it, when they group you all together as the Shinsengumi swords—yes, you were all owned by the Shinsengumi at one time or another, but you only served them with Yasusada and Horikawa. You were not an old sword when you broke, only forged in 1684, but you are far older than both Nagasone and Izuminokami—or at least, that's what you'd say if you hadn't broken. Who cares that you were 180 back then, before he was forged, when Izuminokami at least isn't lost in this year of 2205. Now, even that young sword who was forged after you broke has been around for more years than you had been at that time. You would have been 531 or so, if you hadn't broken at any time. You think he is about 338 now—you don't think about how most of those years he was alone, without the one he was made for.

Others are lost, in the ocean or fires or raids. Others are in museums. You'll never ask Horikawa or Izuminokami what it was like drowning or alone in a museum, only to be taken out on the day their old master died. At least you know what happened to them, unlike so many of the others.

You first met Nagasone and Izuminokami here, but you knew Kondo and Hijikata, fought alongside them as one of that person's swords. In that way, you knew them from before. You swords all share traits with your former masters after all.

Swords do not die, but Yasusada still looked like he saw a ghost when you saw him again.

Swords do not die. But they break, and they rust, and they melt.

Swords cannot save their masters from anything apart from other swords; Yasusada still wants to save that person, but the first thing you looked up in this body was what happened after that night.

You cannot save anything apart from the history the two of you shared with that person. But that person abandoned you back then, when no one could repair you. You don't know how he felt about it—you don't know how Yasusada felt either. It's another thing you'll never ask.

Yasusada reminds you so much of that person already—he dresses the same, took on parts of his personality, and already brings it up so often. Him up so often.

If Yasusada asks about that night, you'll answer, and maybe ask something yourself. Until then, it's just another thing that all of you in this citadel don't mention.

Kashuu Kiyomitsu is a broken sword. But you are more human now than you have ever been in the past. Humans can, do, break, but they are not swords. They can heal, instead of just waiting for a smith to repair them. They can help others heal, using words too. Not all wounds are physical—there are things to recover from in all your pasts apart from the battles you were used or seized in.

You are no longer just that broken sword from the Ikedaya Incident, no longer just one of Okita Souji's swords.

And still, you are not human; you are a sword.

You are no longer just a Shinsengumi sword. The Shinsengumi ended four years after you broke; you were a Shinsengumi sword.

You are not just a sword—it will take time, but you can heal. These invisible wounds might hurt less with time. Memento Mori—remember that you will die.

Unlike some of the others, you already have. You don't think you will ever forget that. You will not forget death, and you will not let these swords break. You were more than enough, even if there is a voice that tells you "only in that".

The Shinsengumi thought it was an honorable death, to die in battle. To not turn back, even when your sword breaks or your commander dies. That was where you were used to the best of your ability. That is where you broke.

You know that person died of illness, and that Yasusada was with him that entire time. You know, but you will not say that it is a worse or better death than yours was. You didn't "die" when you broke, after all. No, you died later, when that person put you away for the last time after no smith was up to the task of fixing you. Whether you were melted down or just left behind no longer matters to you. That is what killed you. You were abandoned by Yasusada too, even though he has no fault in it. You couldn't hold anything back then, not like you can now.

You and Yasusada are similar, in a way. You were both with that person until the end—but you were with him until your end, while Yasusada stayed until his. He was left all alone then, just like you had been some four years before, from what your Saniwa knows about that person's history.

There are more similarities between you and him, but even now you won't acknowledge them.

You are all swords. You all have wounds to heal from—some are just more obvious than others. No one brings them up, not even the ones who share the same wounds.

And isn't that worry about what happens after you die, what would happen after you changed something, why are you like that, how would that timeline go down—isn't that the most human thing about all of you apart from your current appearances?

You are Kashuu Kiyomitsu. A broken sword, a child from the riverbank, a red rose who bloomed by the water. A tsukumogami that has been granted a human body. You are not human, but you are no longer just a sword to be swung by those who love you enough to keep you even though you are difficult to handle.

So remember that you will die, but don't fear it. You already died once, and even though you're now plagued by this fear of abandonment, you are still the same as before. Remember death, remember that all things die, and make sure that it is not you who will meet their end by a blade on this day.

You are still a sword before anything else, but it is not the only thing that you are. You wonder when the others will realize this, if they haven't already. There are ways to heal without going to the maintenance room; by talking, if your Saniwa is to be believed. You don't know if talking to the other Shinsengumi swords will heal or hinder most.

You aren't sure how to talk about that time to someone that wasn't there—Yasusada surely has his own problems from that time though, and you aren't sure if asking Horikawa would send him back to before he was brought here.

You don't want to find out if Nagasone and Izuminokami know you merely from your absence—but who else could you talk to about that time? Yasusada is the only sword who shares a similar history that you know about—but while he was discounted, you are from the riverbank.

Kashuu Kiyomitsu—the red rose that bloomed by the water, the child beneath the river, the child of the riverbank, the hard to use sword loved by Okita Souji alongside Yamatonokami Yasusada, the first sword brought to life by this Saniwa.

Remember death, and do not change the past.

The Kashuu Kiyomitsu who has the right to scold Okita is the one from that time, not you. Your master is the Saniwa, and your job is to protect history.

Even when, especially when, it's hard.

You will never forget Imanotsurugi's cry when Iwatooshi told him to get out of the way.

(You never want to hear a similar cry from Yasusada, or the others, but this mission might mean attacking your former masters.)
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