Yenn had long struggled with the hopelessness that came from the tragedy that had befallen her since her unfortunate birth. She had left her existence in the hands of fate and through the repeated violent lessons of her parents had learned not to fight back. Her current mood had shifted from bravado to quiet confusion and in a way was the very core of poetic irony.
Not so very long before, Yenn had been assigned to her first mission. A fresh genin, timid and reserved, she had gone along to bring a serial killer to justice. She had been unwilling to actually end her own life, though placing herself in harm’s way was both a compulsion and a potential relief. During that first mission with what would become her husband, she had willingly stepped in front of a sword blade. No flinch of defence, no fear or urge to flee. She didn’t even attempt to fight off the man who was intent on ending her life.
She just. . . sighed.
She closed her eyes and breathed a sigh of relief as she knew that her pain would be over finally. It was a bittersweet moment for the young woman, and one that had not escaped Tamwyn’s notice. In a way it had been that single moment - the point that stretched into infinity where Yenn had tried to throw away her life - that had led to the relationship between her and Tamwyn. She hadn’t died of course, the sword had never touched her skin. Only because Tamwyn had noticed and chosen to save her.
Fate had stepped in once again and decided she should live.
And now, in the present, was where the beautiful tragedy of her life came full circle. Her first mission since the death of her love and she was faced with another blade, another chance to stand up and fight. But this time there was no Tamwyn to save her.
Yenn just. . . sighed.
As Change pulled the giant saberstaff from the earth and began to advance on her while spinning it, Yenn didn’t move. It was not defiance that set her feet in place, it was a willingness to die. The blade he wielded was far larger than her and she doubted it would take much for the mysterious man to slice her in two. This time though, through some twisted sense of courage Yenn didn’t close her eyes. She looked passively, with acceptance
, at the spinning blade and the man who began to circle her. She spoke no words, she didn’t have to. Her eyes would convey her resignation well enough without language to muddy up the message. Had she spoken aloud she would have said something to the effect of ‘Go on then. Kill me.’
She even considered speaking up for a moment, but as Omi moved he began to speak and the quiet resignation she had felt was interrupted by a metaphorical stab straight to her heart. ”I can tell you've lost someone dear to you. Someone who meant the world to you....”
Her expression twisted as Omi’s words dredged up her hastily repressed grief. “No. . .”
It was a plea, she was begging
him to stop right there, to save her the pain of remembering. Her surrender to the whims of fate had calmed the thunder clouds overhead and a light rain had begun to fall, making the leather of her clothes slick and the fur and feathers droop with water. Now though, the skies opened up and a cold and cruel rain began to pound mercilessly onto the mountain as she struggled to breathe beneath the weight of her broken heart. She attempted to follow his movements, turning awkwardly as he circled her and gasping as pain flared in tandem with the memories that had surfaced.
His eyes. . . yellow and full of light and passion. The way he had looked at her, as though she were the only thing in the world worth looking at. She still dreamt of those eyes, and she both loved and hated that she could remember him so well. He had been her rock, the one person that truly believed in her. That cherished and cared for her, that had gone to incredible
lengths to make her feel loved. He had made her feel safe
. For years she had hid from the world, from people
. She knew, instinctively, that people were dangerous and only caused harm. She had even been afflicted with an unconscious need to be apart from people. Her sleepwalking into the woods outside of Kumogakure had left Tamwyn freezing and sleepless on many a night as he followed her out to try to keep her safe. ‘Safe from what?!’
She screamed in her mind, a hollow question that she already knew the answer to. Safe from herself”You grieve them...and now you wander this world like a lost child. I know who you are Yenn and I know what you've been through. If you remain as you are...in stasis....you will die both spiritually and physically. You must embrace change. You must be willing to look beyond what's left to you.”
Yenn was confused and disturbed. ‘How does he know-’
Her words were only in her mind, outwardly the noises she made were unintelligible whimpers and wails of anguish. Every time she tried to form a coherent thought it was quickly interrupted by yet another painful memory. She was now clutching at her sides, her gloved fingers digging into her flesh as she tried to contain her emotions. As Omi spoke of her dying, she would nod emphatically. She agreed wholeheartedly, and the truth was that she wanted
to die. She always had. She didn’t want to have to keep waking up, keep moving forward. Not when every waking moment was an exhausting continuation of the eternal struggle with her demons.
~~~‘Get up! Now!’
A swift kick to the ribs was all the further motivation it would take to convince a young Yenn that her father was serious. Pain flared as his foot impacted with her side, but pain was nothing new. Everything hurt, all the time.
Fresh lightning shaped scars screamed at her at this new injury, and all she could do - all she ever did
- was whimper. ”I’m going to stand with you. I’m going to help you and in every conceivable way I can.”
And then he put his hand in hers and went with her into the storm. She had screamed and sobbed, dared the storm to strike her down and Tamwyn had stood by her through all of it.
Horrors viewed through monitors, the fall of Moonspire. Tamwyn was at her side once more. She had been pregnant then but she didn’t know it - neither of them did until after the meeting in the throne room. That day had been simultaneously nightmarish and heavenly. So much death and amidst all of it had been the news that they were going to be parents. Like so much in her life it too had been bittersweet.
The day she learned of his death. Shock. That was all there was at first. So many questions left unanswered, so much of their future obliterated. Her shock had turned to vicious rage as she rained destruction down around her. It was only
the thought of her children that stopped her. The children Tamwyn had never seen
All this and more spiraled through Yenn’s mind as Omi continued to speak, every word opening a wound she thought had healed. Or was at least so buried that it would not be thought of again. The icy rain whipped against her, stinging her face as she looked up at the sky. She was no longer focusing on the man with the saberstaff. Her violet gaze was drawn to the dark thunderclouds that had gathered above them. Thunder rumbled and shook the air, lightning cracked and hissed across the sky. Every memory was more painful than the last and her tears of agony and rage mixed with the rain on her cheeks. Her hands clenched into fists and she would sink to her knees, raising her hands to the sky just as she had done on that first day when she had met Tamwyn. . . .only his face!”
Her voice rose high above the storm as she screamed with fury. Bolts of lightning crashed violently around them as she roared into the tempest. Her outstretched hands had curled into claws and she would slam her palms onto the ground as she sought to draw the lightning to her. Her eyes sparked as she looked towards Omi again, her face twisted with anger and agony. Each word she spoke would draw another bolt of lightning down, an ear splitting ‘boom’ sounding as each bolt made contact with the earth. Bits of scorched dirt and rocks sprayed up as the force of the lightning shattered and burnt where it touched. “I don’t want it! I don’t want any of it!”
Her voice was broken and raw from her tears and screams, and she was torn between wanting to curl up on the ground and die and lashing out at the only available victim. Uncurling her fingers from the earth she would rip off her gloves and toss them aside, revealing raised lightning shaped scars that travelled under her sleeves. She held her hands up towards the man and raised her voice again. “I never wanted any of it! Please! Make it stop!”
She didn’t even know what she was asking him to stop - her memories? Her life? The storm? Her words would devolve into sobbing as she clutched at her temples, vainly trying to make the memories cease.