Could you please write something on Akira's initial and internal impressions of Haise and how she had grown to accept her role as his mother figure?•~• Or some interaction between her, Hinami, Touka, and Kaneki? Maybe even Kimi, because god I love that other anon's scenario and TG's been deprived of its female characters' development.
As an intelligent child, one of the few female investigators of the CCG, and the daughter of Kureo Mado, Akira had heard countless attacks on her femininity. She’d been called cold and sexless. Demanding and uncompromising. An ice princess in one breath, manly in the next, but always ALWAYS uncaring.
(She’d cried about it to her father once when she was much smaller and much less stubborn. He had pet her hair adoringly, gentle like she wasn’t something firm and unyielding, and asked her to list what she cared about...)
Growing up without a mother had taken its toll on her. Not because her father had failed her or any intrinsic need for two parents. Rather, her nature was always attributed to a lack of maternal care.
Well-meaning teachers had offered themselves as mother-figures to fill a ‘void’ in her life. They’d used gentle words: they wanted to correct her behaviour. She could be such a sweet girl if she tried! They wanted to teach her how to be a woman so she could raise children of her own.
(Akira refused to think about children. Would she be able to be gentle? Would she survive this line of work? Would she ever be able to want someone again, knowing what it did to her father, knowing what it did to-)
No one had ever called her maternal. No one had ever wanted her to mother a person. When the prodigal Washuus asked her to fill the void in Haise’s life, knowing about the ‘void’ in her own, she had thought it was a joke.
Just for a moment, she thought they were mocking her.
(It had gripped her heart where all the freezer-burn of her past lay solid and cold. She was a woman, wasn’t she? She should be able-)
However, if Akira had been taught one thing in this line of work, the best revenge for a joke, the best revenge for an unreasonable assignment, was to do it. Do it and be good at it.
So she agreed.
She…had been a fool. Anyone, anything, could’ve been a mother to Haise. He would’ve accepted whatever scraps he’d been given.
She should’ve just given him scraps.
She was a fool.
When she was given Haise (like a gift…or an unwanted pet), Akira had seen an empty shell. Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, Haise aimed to please, but there wasn’t any conviction behind it. He simply didn’t want to be hurt.
It was disgusting. It was pathetic. A monster that caued pain didn’t deserve to avoid it.
She taught him how to use a quinque with a softer hand than Arima, just as intended. Akira was his delicate counterpoint.
She just let her words hurt him instead of her body.
Like an abused dog, Haise always came back. He came back to Arima, too. He brought books, soft words, and tears in his eyes whenever he killed another ghoul in the streets.
She couldn’t take pleasure in his pain, though she wanted to. Instead, she told herself it was necessary. She told herself Haise was a weapon.
She told him that, as well.
Haise was advancing through the ranks at an alarming pace. Her lessons with him no longer needed to be as strict. To fill the time, Akira taught him about profiling. She taught him about how to form logical connections, how to accept wrong conclusions for what they were, how to start again.
When Haise tried to show off his newfound knowledge in their next case, eyes sparkling with the same old ‘does this please you? I hope this pleases you!’ look, Akira felt a sudden pang of empathy. Because Haise was feminine and he was other. Revealing his desire to please…
Needless to say Haise’s suggestions were completely ignored. No one in the room reacted to his speech. They talked over him (like he wasn’t even there, like it wouldn’t effect him, like he-).
Later, Akira taught Haise how to be underhanded. How to behave humbly when necessary. How to be better than anyone and how to own the place he had earned.
They weren’t the lessons her peers said mothers would teach. However, they were how Akira learned to be a woman.
“He’s attached to you.”
The Washuus said.
“Like a duckling, like an animal, like a creature begging for scraps.”
They didn’t say.
(Akira wasn’t a mother. A person would be able to see that)
“Can I have a hug?”
Haise asked, stepping down from the podium after receiving yet another medal (stained in blood he didn’t want to spill, filled with things that didn’t please him, things that pleased his keepers).
She said no, then. It would be cruel to give something once she wasn’t willing to give again. It wouldn’t be right.
(She didn’t want to know how Haise would feel in her arms. She didn’t want to acknowledge that he would let her cradle him, that he took comfort from her presence even when others were willing to praise him)
They wanted Haise to become the head of a squad. Young, inexperienced, naive Haise (not that naive, not that inexperienced, Akira he is not a child). She was meant to guide his way and undermine his ‘emotional concerns’.
“You are good at that,”
“Always quick with a logical argument.”
Haise was worried about children taking on his life. He was worried about the bias they’d face, the othering they would experience, and the risk to their health and safety.
He said to her, ranting like he so often did (pacing the length of her office whenever she let him in),
“Her family basically sold her! Her mother is using her! She doesn’t want to be doing this! It’s cruel. It’s wrong.”
Every word hit Akira like a physical blow. Could Haise recognize that because of his experiences with her? He was highly empathetic, but bad at visualizing contexts he hadn’t experienced.
“Perhaps this is a good thing.”
She argued back, mouth moving on autopilot as her mind whirled with horror,
“She can leave that family situation behind and be resituated in a new one. If she doesn’t do this, her mother will simply sell her elsewhere.”
Haise fixed her with an unnerving stare. He rarely got stubborn (not with her), but he often had to…reorganize ideas in his head. Change the meaning of what somebody said to prevent conflict. He always looked particularly mutinous when doing so, making her uncharacteristically nervous in the meantime.
“I’ll replace her mom then.”
Haise finally mumbled. He glanced at her, reading every little twitch of her face (she hated that she knew, she KNEW, that Haise could see through her, see that she-), and his voice gained confidence:
“I’ve been taught by the best, after all.”
As the guardian of the Qs, Haise caused a lot more trouble. The blankness she had first seen in him was fading. He was still meek, still eager to please, but…he had opinions.
Or maybe he always had opinions and she had been too uncaring to notice (no, that wasn’t true, she had been unwilling to see because that would mean-).
Haise had enemies now. Enemies that weren’t entirely based in his ghoul-nature. Oddly, when Haise employed her lessons on diplomacy (or destroying your enemies by just being better) he no longer looked to her for approval. She could see the way his shoulders shook, though. She could see the fear trembling down his arms and into his hands.
She wanted him to look to her.
Squad 1 talked too much shit. They were preventing the Qs from growing into all they could be. They were making her fail at her job.
Yeah, that’s why she backed Haise up. That’s why she lectured him after.
No other reason.
Haise kept falling apart at the seams. It was obvious to her that one day he would crack. As much as she talked about profiling, excelled in it, she continued submitting half-truths in Haise’s file.
There was another person in Haise’s head who wasn’t another person at all.
He was afraid of them. Haise knew that his life was a lie. He knew and he still…
He still cared. Anyone could’ve taken her place, but he cared about her. He cared about Arima. He cared about his stupid ‘kids’ and the fact that they called him Mom and called her Grandma when they thought she wouldn’t hear…
(Haise wasn’t an empty shell. He was a person. Fuck)
She’d always known that Haise was Centipede. She’d never been able to hate him with any kind of fervour (he’d killed her partner, damn it) because of Amon’s strange attachment to him. She hadn’t liked him, though. She hadn’t told him a single thing about Amon.
She hadn’t thought he deserved to know (she hadn’t wanted to be vulnerable).
But here and now, when Haise was doubting his very personhood, she couldn’t deny him this little window into her life.
She gave him the journals.
Do mothers cry with their children?
Do they draw support from their children?
Do their children recognize the sadness within them?
Though he liked to pretend, Akira knew Haise wasn’t taking his medication anymore. She knew he was trying to learn more about the monster inside his head. That he was desperate to be stronger.
She taught him about the justice Amon tried to instil in her.
She hoped it would be enough.
Haise had adopted a ghoul. Of course he had.
Haise stepped off the podium, eying the medals around him with distain. Urie wanted to be promoted so badly, but all the others seemed to shy away from the idea (at least some of Haise’s children took after him).
He spotted her, his fluffy hair swinging as he walked towards her, and Akira tried not to smile (she’d styled it herself. It reminded her of when her father fixed her up for school photos). His eyes sparkled, though not in the way they used to (he knew she was pleased now).
He asked her for a hug.
She didn’t refuse.
Do mothers fear for their children?
Do they agonize over their choices in raising them?
Do they change for them?
Haise’s past was hunting him. He’d had friends once. Friends who ddin’t want to let go/
Akira accepted the idea so readily that she was startled awake much later. Ghouls shouldn’t have friends…shouldn’t have family…shouldn’t have people still looking for them.
She went to see the ghoul Haise had adopted. Akira was troubled by the girl, the one who had defended his life but still called him ‘big brother’ as if he were unchanged.
“He’s not who you think he is.”
She had told the girl, letting a cruel smile (half-hearted, warmer than it should be, God why?) cross her face. The girl cocked her head in consideration, then sighed at Akira’s expression,
“I know he’s not my big brother. He has pieces of him though, like the books he brings me or the way he says my name. I’m willing to take him however he is.”
She sounded far more mature than her face implied. Akira squinted at her, scrutinizing the tired tilt of her shoulders and the heavy bags under her eyes.
“I don’t want to be here.”
The girl said,
“But I don’t regret what I did.”
When Akira left the ghoul’s cell, she let the hatred bubble up inside of her. How could this girl have no regrets? She’d saved somebody who replaced the person she loved. She’d gotten thrown in jail. Haise could barely look at her.
(Akira had regrets)
(She had many regrets about Haise)
(A softer hand than Arima’s wasn’t actually soft)
(Haise should have trouble looking at her)
The girl exclaimed a week later, dropping her book in surprise. Akira schooled her face into something chilly and turned to the guard.
“Leave us for an hour. I have some questions that relate to the current case.”
Akira ordered the guard, dismissing him easily as he barked,
“Yes, Investigator Mado!”
Once he was out of sight, the girl made a high-pitch sound. It was strangled and cut-off (filled with dismay and…rage?).
She choked, gaze roving over Akira’s face. Akira nodded and opened her mouth to speak when the girl interrupted,
“He was married. I saw his ring on the riverside. Are you his daughter?”
Akira left without a word.
Shirazu died and Haise left the Qs. There was something deeply wrong with him, made all the more obvious by his failure to visit his ghoul (the one her father had been-). Her mind was a constant snarl of worried thoughts and possible outcomes.
She couldn’t calm down. She couldn’t be rational.
That was why she went back to Cochlea.
“You killed my father.”
“He killed mine.”
Akira stormed away.
Fueguchi was asleep when she came next, late into the night, so Akira simply left.
She returned with a book and placed it in the guard’s hands. She said it was from Haise (it should’ve been).
“My mother wanted me to live. Living isn’t an affront to human existence. I eat to live, but my family never killed anyone. Your father didn’t need to kill mine to live.”
Fueguchi said in leu of a greeting.
“Ghouls killed everyone he ever cared about. Ghouls kill and eat people every single day. Their existence necessitates suffering.”
Akira responded, crumpling the paperback she’d brought with her. It was part of the book subscription box that was still delivered to the chateau, though Haise was no longer there to receive it (she’d called him a few times, but there was never any answer).
“Your father cut off my mother’s head after she surrendered to him. He did that in front of me. He made her think she could say one last thing to me, then interrupted to kill her. What is suffering, Investigator Mado?”
Fueguchi questioned, her soft tones somehow lacking in the condescension Akira kept expecting to find in them. It reminded her painfully of Haise, causing her to snap,
“Well, your friend killed him, so I guess neither of us have parents now. Both of them died in the mud. Maybe that’s suffering.”
As Akira swept out of the room, she heard Fueguchi whisper,
“Yeah, maybe it is.”
“Big brother was a human once, you know.”
Bile rose in Akira’s throat, violent and thick, making her to stagger from Fueguchi’s cell. Haise had always been a half-ghoul. Though there was research based off of-
Akira didn’t go back.
Rushima was a mess. Cochlea was a mess.
There was, indeed, something wrong with Haise.
God, she HURT. Everything hurt and Amon was there and he was changed and Seidou was there and he was changed even though she’d been pretending not to know because he hadn’t wanted her to see and she hadn’t wanted the CCG to know-
Fuck, fuck, fuck why did she save him why did Amon want to save them, why was Kaneki Ken what he was and when would her friends stop leaving her-
What is suffering, Investigator Mado? What is suffering? What is it? What?
It’s right here. It’s right now. It’s losing and losing and losing-
It’s a mother and her child (Mutsuki and Haise, herself and Haise, why damn it why). It’s a realization made too late (h-u-m-a-n). It’s too many words left unsaid (love), too many assumptions made too early (hatred), too many errors (death), God had her father been a murderer-
Darkness. There was only darkness. Akira was going to die. She almost wanted to.
She deserved to go to Hell if what she suspected was true.
She could hear Fueguchi’s voice sometimes. She could hear Hai-
He still called her mother.
Fueguchi called her grandma.
They thought she didn’t deserve to die. Seidou was clutching at her hands. A ghoul was trying to heal her and she didn’t have all the data. She needed to be better. She needed-
“When we all thought he was dead, I waited for him. Sometimes that is all you can do, Investigator Mado. You wait. We all lose things, humans and ghouls, and we lose them because of each other. You don’t have all the answers now, but…we are willing to wait for you if you are willing to wait for us.”
If there was a reason for all this, Akira was willing to wait for it.