Fandom: Kazemakase Tsukikage Ran
Pairings: Gen or Ran/Myao
Word Count: 690
Disclaimer: If I owned it, it would be angsty.
Summary: The wind always leads Ran back to the same place again.
There are few constants in Ran’s life: the sun rises in the east, sake is delicious, and Myao is the happiest person that she has ever seen. The ronin needs these certainties, few though they may be; Ran needs to know that some things in this world are fixed, no matter how much she enjoys her wandering.
She follows the wind, chasing the breeze wherever it decides to take her, but somehow her steps always lead back to Myao again. It's actually a little strange how often the two women run into each other since Ran never tells Myao where she's going and yet the ronin never questions the way their paths entwine. Because she doesn't need to know why fate has decided that they should walk together, all Ran needs to know if that Myao will greet her with a smile every time.
Which is why the ronin panics when she's met with tears instead. She doesn't know how to deal with a Myao who isn't happy even if happiness would make no sense right now. Because the other woman had come searching for a friend and found only sorrow, Mei's heart twisted far beyond repair.
She hadn't been strong enough to withstand the trials that she'd faced as a child, falling ever deeper into corruption and justifying her weakness with the unfairness of her fate. But her friend's treachery does nothing to lessen Myao's grief at Mei's untimely ending and Ran knows that it may be a long while before the other woman's heart is light again.
Indeed the ronin is far too familiar with the sting of betrayal and the weight of regret is the heaviest to bear. However, while Ran buries her pain in the call of the road beneath her feet and the burn of sake in her blood, Myao has a stronger heart than that.
Myao will not need to turn to crutches in order to win this battle; she will face her struggle head on and she will conquer it. But this does not make it easy and this knowledge does not ease the ronin's need to help. Ran wants to help; she wants to do something and yet she just stands at Myao's back impotently.
Her friend has been sitting on the riverbank for the last two hours, arms around her knees as she stares into the water flowing by. She isn't crying anymore, those tears have long since faded, but somehow her dry gasps are more heartbreaking than her wild tears had been.
Ran takes one step forward before hesitating again, not sure if Myao would welcome what comfort she has to give. The ronin has already done everything she could to keep reality from encroaching on Myao's sorrow, making arrangements to bury Mei's body and ensuring that the town officials wouldn't bother them. But with the practicalities taken care of, all that's left is to ease the other woman's heartbreak and Ran is far less practiced at this sort of thing.
Less practiced and yet ever willing for Myao's sake.
“I'm sorry,” Ran finally whispers, sitting down next to her friend and bumping their shoulders together companionably. “I'm sorry that things turned out like this.”
Myao doesn't answer, just lets out a strangled cry and throws herself into the ronin's arms. Ran nearly topples over at first since she definitely wasn't expecting this reaction, but she recovers quickly, pulling the other woman closer and stroking her back with one firm hand until Myao's shudders ease.
It's strange how natural this feels, how perfectly Myao fits into Ran's arms, and she wishes that it hadn't taken such tragic circumstances to lead them here. Her friend deserves better; she deserves sunshine and warm summer afternoons, fields of flowers and useless layabouts to beat up when she wants to have some fun. Myao deserves everything and Ran is going to see that she gets exactly that because the ronin's heart is finally clear. Even if she never tells the other woman how she feels, Ran knows how much Myao means to her and in this moment, knowing is enough.
So she returns her friend's embrace, holding the other woman tightly and settling herself more comfortably on the ground. Ran will stay here as long as Myao desires, all night if necessary, and the ronin will support her as best she can until the light returns to those brown eyes.
After all, the ronin may not be good with emotions, but she's persistent and she cannot hold back a fond smile as looks down at the woman in her arms. I'll be here for you, Ran promises, raising one gentle hand to stroke Myao's hair. I will ease your sorrow as long as I can until the wind carries my feet onto another path once more. But our separation will not be forever because I swear that I will always find my way back to your side again.