Sado goes through his yogas and himself. Spoilers for everything in the manga, including Hueco Mundo. Also, someone uses the f-word.
CHAPTERS/ONE SHOT: One-shot
GENRE: Self-Exploration (?)
SUMMARY: Sado goes through his yogas and himself. Spoilers for everything in the manga, including Hueco Mundo.
NOTES: For my old Speech Communications teacher, Mrs Daniels. Have fun being fired. Even you said it was a long time coming. We miss you so much! Also, a nod to my AP Lit teacher Mrs Massie and the novel 'Siddhartha'. Now you can never say I didn't learn anything in your class.
When the sun began its ascent into the sky, lighting the sleepy clouds, the town of Karakura was at a complete standstill. The only lights turned on were streetlights and a scattering of porch lights, looking like fireflies in the rolling morning mist. On this particular morning, the sunrise was around four o'clock and no one was yet awake, everyone choosing to sleep into what they deemed the appropriate hours for a proper morning. Even the shinigami who were usually on patrol in the wee hours were at that moment crashing on Keigo's couch. No souls were stirring - none except for one.
In a forest on the outskirts of town, in a grassy clearing near a small clear lake, a young boy was standing all alone. One would not tell just by looking that the boy went to the local high school, for he towered over his peers at around a height of six feet and a half. Toned muscles were obvious under his smooth brown skin and he wore a mop of dark brown hair. The fabric of his black t-shirt rippled slightly as he stretched his arms out from his sides, leaning his head back ever so slightly. The fish in the pond seemed to swim closer to the edge to get a glimpse of the exotic beauty of Sado-san.
For a long time, Sado Yasutora had come to this place early every morning to stretch himself out. He had discovered it during a routine hollow fight, a small crater on the other side of the pond the only mark of its presence. It was here that he also performed his yoga. The Buddha called this yoga the raja/, a yoga for both the physical and mental aspects of the being, also known as the yoga of Zen. But Sado was no practicing Buddhist, no simple /samana spending his days in a saffron robe silently begging for scraps with a wooden bowl. Sado was just a normal boy from Okinawa, a Japanese-Mexican who could see the spirits of the dearly departed - and that was as close to 'normal' as he was ever going to get. It suited him just fine.
The first position was /tadasana/, or mountain pose. Sado stood in one place very still, then separated his feet apart enough that he still had balance, keeping his back straight as possible. Looking ahead at all times, he moved his head to the right, back to the middle, to the left, back to the middle - keeping his body in the same position, never over stretching his neck. His head went down, back to the middle, went up to see the sky, back to the middle. The muscles in Sado's neck began to ache, but it was a good ache, one of gain.
Next, he did a simple stretch - still in tadasana/, he touched his toes, touching one foot with both arms stretched, than the other. As he moved, his gaze fell upon his arms as they tensed and relaxed with his motion, muscles taut from hundreds of mornings like this one. Sado's /abuelo had said he had a beautiful body, a strong body. He should use it to protect, not fight.
'Not fight?' The thought halted the yoga for a few seconds. As he continued to stretch, reaching up and down in repetitive motions, he considered that phrase. A long time ago, it would have been easy for Sado to walk away. But now, with everything that was on the line - how could he not raise his right arm in combat? As he thought this, his right arm raised slightly in the air, an unconscious movement, and Sado had to mentally force himself to go back to the basic routine.
He had to fight - circumstances prevented him from staying a pacified self. There were hollows and arrancars around every corner, sensing the thickness of his reiatsu, wanting to eat him up with his friends, his allies. Images of Ichimaru and Aizen appeared in his mind's eye. "I'm not one of you," they seemed to be saying. "I am above you and I will crush you." Without his glasses, Aizen looked less sympathetic, more sinister. To Sado, the figures of the two men loomed over him with a suffocating presence.
Sado breathed in, breathed out, keeping a constant stream of air. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. Over and over. His eyes closed and he could feel the sunlight warm his skin, a soft prickling feeling that was at first discerning then comforting. The arms of his abuelo seemed to wrap loosely around his torso, and a breeze entered his ear and asked him, why do you fight?
Arms were raised level to shoulders, elbows bent at a 90-degree angle. They swung back and forth in a graceful arc, feet planted firmly on the ground, never moving. 'Why do I fight?', Sado asked himself. There were names he could cite: Ichigo, Orihime, Rukia, Keigo, Karin, Kon. There were incidents, too: The parakeet's soul, Rukia's execution, the arrancar assault on Karakura, the kidnapping of Orihime. But they were just words and, without anything behind them, were meaningless. Was there anything behind those words? That seemed to be the question. What did it mean to him? Sado could feel an answer forming, on the very outer edge of his mind, worming its way in. But it was unclear, fuzzy as his early memories in Okinawa, with the same lack of clarity and depth. There were words, voices, bodies. In the swirling maelstrom of unwed thoughts and ideas . . . there was a face.
/Abuelo/. The kind face beamed back at Sado from an unknown place. Strength seemed to vacate his body and Sado slumped to a sitting position in the grass, blades of green tickling his skin like a fine powder. Thin trickles of sweat ran down his arms, like he had just been sprinting. 'I realize it now, my /abuelo/,' he thought, 'I'm fighting for myself.'
All this time, Sado had been fighting for himself? 'No, nothing that shallow,' he concurred. 'Not myself . . . more like my self.' To look into his /abuelo/'s face again and feel like he had accomplished something with his life - that is what he was fighting for. 'For pride,' he thought, but it was Ishida's voice.
Ishida Uryuu. The last of the Quincy. If anyone knew about pride, it was him. His whole life was a battle to bring back said pride to the Quincy tradition, its way of life. Every time he shot his reiatsu bow and arrow, it was another show of power, a display of what his kind could do. Sado did not have a 'kind' to fight for - he was not a Quincy, shinigami, hollow, vizard, or arrancar. But he was something - and it was that status of 'something' that he fought for. To be Sado Yasutora.
'Who is Sado?' his mind asked again, this time in the voice of Urahara. The man Sado came to when he was at his weakest, feeling like he could not stand and fight alongside Ichigo and the others any longer. Urahara Kisuke. He had taken Sado and quickly whipped him into a more formidable shape. 'What was that shape?' The shape of a well-muscled Mexican teenager, Sado's shape. A mold made only for one person.
'Is Sado alone?', and this time the voice belonged to Rukia. This question, at first, scared Sado. Was he still alone? He could not protect Orihime against Ulquiorra or Yammi. Ichigo seemed to have discarded him as a partner. The others never seemed to care. 'Whose thoughts are these?' Even if these thoughts were true, Sado would do anything for those people. Ichigo, Rukia, Orihime, Ishida; all his friends, his allies, his beloved ones. His abuelo would approve of such friends.
He felt a slight tug at his reiatsu and for a moment, it felt like the clearing at the pond was populated by them --- from his school friends to the captains and vice-captains of Soul Society, even the odd vizards, led by Shinji Hirako. Sado knew, in that moment, that they were what he fought for. Everything he did, every action, was centered around them.
Sado let a small smile tug its way upon his face as he laid down in the grass, immersed in the green stuff. As he watched the sun rise higher in the sky, his right arm crossed over his chest protectively, there was a sense of completeness. The blue sky brightened at the arrival of the morning. clouds parting to make way for the shining star.
This sight was quickly obscured by the face of a scowling redhead. "Are you gonna daydream all day or are we gonna go to class?" Ichigo demanded, impatiently shifting his books from one hip to the other.
Sado slowly stood up and retrieved his books from the nearby bushes, still smiling.
Ichigo noticed. "What are you smiling about, Chad?" he asked as they made their way out of the forest.
The taller man looked at Ichigo and patted him on the back. "Maybe when you are older," he said cryptically.
"What the hell does that mean? Hey! Don't just keep walking like something just didn't happen, cause something so did happen! . . . Dammit, I'm talking to you Chad! CHAD!"
Sado just kept walking with that smile on his face, as if he were smiling inwardly. Ichigo trailed behind, grumbling something about Chad acting like he was the 'fucking Buddha'.