Ever since the betrayal, he’s made it a habit to come here. He isn’t sure why but something about the place soothes him, something about the greenery and the quietly trickling water eases all of the confusion.
Sajin likes the large garden with its fresh scents and its aura of peace, even if he knows destruction and war lie just beyond the gates. It makes it easy to pretend, if only for a minute, that everything is as it used to be. Kaname is still there with him and not off finding what he claims to be justice. He finds he can temporarily forget the feelings of betrayal and loneliness.
It’s also the place that he met her.
It surprises him at first, just how much they have in common. They sit next to each other in complete silence, sitting and staring at the babbling stream and not talking. That first day, nothing is ever said. She is the first to leave, he following only seconds later.
It is like that for a week. Sometimes, he arrives first; sometimes, she does. They join each other in complete silence, staring and mediating, thinking and wondering. And then, he is the first one to break the shared quiet. He speaks of Kaname and their friendship. He talks of justice and the lack thereof. He discusses philosophy and strength.
She listens. He supposes that is all that matters. She interjects when necessary, but mostly, she listens. Sajin is glad for it.
The next day it is her turn. He is quiet as she relates her story. Of someone who believed in her, of a dearest friend. Of something that could have been love but might have just been hero-worship the entire time. Of being left behind and forgotten without a warning or word. Of heavy expectations.
For the first time as she speaks, he sees her lips curl into a faint smile. Something that is so rarely seen. And it makes his own heart lighten. It is a beautiful smile, almost innocent with a bare shine of hope. It makes her younger, more like the kind girl he hears rumors she used to be. It makes her honest and sweet. He finds himself wanting to see it more and more.
After that, they meet every day. Sometimes just sitting in silence, sometimes to actually talk. They share their loneliness, their feelings of betrayal. And since her lost one has returned, she can offer encouragement in her own way. She helps him understand his own justice and not what has led Kaname astray. She shows him how to cope.
She doesn’t flinch at his appearance, doesn’t mock him for it. She is one of the few who doesn’t even blink. She touches his arm one day, just to get his attention. He still remembers the warmth of her fingers against his fur-covered skin.
She tells him that she is drawn to the garden for its simplicity and for its reminder to a special day in her life. She enjoys being surrounded by the quiet and calm, a place where there are no expectations.
Sajin simply enjoys being with her.
It’s strange. Before there had only been Tousen, the other captain has always been his only friend. Now, he has her. He is no longer so alone. With Kaname’s treachery came something else, something equally valuable.
But still, who would have ever suspected that he and Soifon would have so much in common? Certainly not himself and certainly not her, he was sure of it.