*surprisingly spoiler free*
Author’s Note: If you’ve seen the films mentioned above, you’ll remember the significance of Hijikata’s letter. If you haven’t, that it is significant should prove obvious in my prose. However, I find that when watching Hakuouki, especially the movies, something even more significant jumps out at me. Hence, “What’s in a Name?”
He calls her Yukimura on a whim, at first. He uses it without thinking. Keeping distance. Polite and removed. Formal in all the ways that he is not, with his demonic prose and striking disposition. Those bastards, he thinks fondly, have taken her intrusion far too lightly.
But he hears it every day. “Chizuru.” “Chizuru-chan.” Even “Yukimura-kun.” Those slightest hints of familiarity, they mock him with the knowledge that he will never take such liberties with her.
Even when he grows to trust her, there is something far too innocent in there, something far too fragile to touch and damage, to risk breaking…
But then, the first time he calls her Chizuru, this too is far from planned.
After all, some things just slip out in the heat of battle, especially when that battle is against a monster like Chikage Kazama.
From this point on, he’ll use her name, but only in sparing moments, and never when he feels that overwhelming need to keep his distance. Because when he calls her “Yukimura,” he’s a warrior, but when he calls her “Chizuru,” he’s a man. He comes to realize that you can’t plan out these things, these things that slip out when they feel natural, and even when they don’t.
But in privacy, within his books of tatami snow and silken moonlight, she is only known as a thousand cranes, and somehow, this is how he thinks of her when he begins the letter, “To Mistress Chizuru Yukimura…”