Hanzo staggers back to his room and sits down on the futon, oh the barracks wasn’t terribly large, and honestly he couldn’t even sleep with his legs stretched out here, not without knocking something over. But, it was nice to have a place that was his.
Today…last night…it had been a failure. There was no other words for it. He had not been prepared, he had made assumptions that he shouldn’t have. If he had been faster, stronger, then a loyal Crane would still be with them.
The coldly rational part of his mind that speaks in her voice tells him he’s being foolish. That it didn’t matter how fast you were when everyone was focusing fire on some one else. That he had done everything that could be expected of him.
But, the Daidoji protect. That had been the first lesson his father taught him. They are the defenders, the strong backs of the Crane. That restless knowledge tore at him. Choices had been made, but that changed nothing.
But they change everything Hanzo-kun her voice spoke
He takes off his eye patch, the smooth silk of the bands contrasting with the rough emblazoned leather that made up the front. Looking at it, he remembers her words.
You would make a good Scorpion Hanzo, hiding all your pain and doubt behind that mask of stoicism…and using your scars to chase people away.
At the time he had told her that she was wrong, that he chased no one away, that people had simply moved on while he had taken the time to adjust. Oh he had always been…different. Too tall for a Crane really, no one had made him feel excluded, but every time he bumped his head on a too low door, or had to sleep in a place too small for him, he felt apart. The eye, the scars had just made it more noticeable. People didn’t like looking at him in the eye, they saw his scars and size…and assumed he was some lost Hida. Had his resistance to letting others in, made him blind to to things that he could have stopped? Was it his responsibility to atone for?
Hanzo continues to rub the patch of leather with his thumb. If he had had both eyes, would Kakita Hajime still be amongst the living? If he had had both eyes, would she have been willing to carry on their affair?
It was pointless to dwell on what ifs. But, as Hanzo let his head rest against the wall, that didn’t stop him from doing that. The Daidoji protect, and if he was going to do that, he had to be better than he was. He couldn’t allow himself to be distracted by fake dreams any more.
Hanzo puts the eye patch back on, there was training to do.