""You bitch! You fucking bitch! I... I can't.. I made a mistake. I..... this was a mistake, I should've just stayed away and accepted you were dead!"
Had Tsubine not hurt her, there might have been a slap. Had this not been Erika, there might have been a slap. Had she not been right, there might have been a slap. Tsubine winced at the words, letting her dau—Tsubine didn't deserve the right to be called Erika's mother right now. She watched as Erika ran off, knowing that the pain she had caused was simply too much for her. She frowned. It was not the most pleasant of experiences—seeing someone you love run away from you. Tsubine didn't know if it was better to let Erika go or to chase after her. Would Erika prefer..."You shouldn't be thinking whether or not you 'should.'"
The voice came from within. It was someone she knew well, someone who explained the world in ways Tsubine hoped to one day be able to. Sōtsume Kōshin was the only person who had Tsubine's ear like Midori did. After all, she was Tsubine's Zanpakutou. "Erika, your adopted child, is hurt. It is a mother's duty to help a child when they're hurt, no matter if the child wants the help or not."
Tsubine's mouth drew into a line. She didn't know if that was the right choice. "Tsume, I don't k—" "Trust me on this. Go to her. Give her a bit of time, but go to her."
Tsubine sighed as she agreed.
Tsubine searched with a meandering path. She wasn't trying to hurry along to find Erika. Erika needed time to herself to parse the information given to her. And yet, Tsubine walked with a brisk pace. She wanted Erika back. There was no doubt in that. Her Zanpakutou spirit made one thing clear. Erika was not to be left alone forever. Tsubine was going to have to be a mother to her and that meant sometimes forcing yourself back into their lives. It meant being the one to take action.
It wasn't until Tsubine heard that Midori had made an appearance due to a scuffle (rumors spread surprisingly fast) that she had a destination in mind. Despite being in the Seireitei for only a day, she was able to lock onto Midori's Reiatsu far more easier than before. As she neared her best friend, Tsubine stopped. The other Reiatsu near... it was... Erika's? Yes, no doubt. The two were near one another too. Tsubine concealed her Reiatsu more than before, edging closer until she heard Erika's voice. She was beneath them, behind Erika and probably within the very edges of Midori's vision.
Tsubine heard it all. Well, all being Erika's last rant. It was enough for Tsubine to understand the gist of what was going on. Tsubine didn't appear behind Erika to give her a hug like before. She knew how that'd end. "Erika."
Tsubine called out, her arms crossed to comfort herself. "Love is cruel. It is capable of bringing about the worst pain you can think of. It is capable of ruining people. People die because of it. It hurts. At the same time, love is capable of bringing out the best in people. It's capable of causing someone to wake up, smiling and laughing every day. It's capable of bringing people so close that they are inseperable."
Tsubine would hold up a hand to any interruptions, even from Midori. "I would not love you the same as I would love a child born from myself. I would not love you the same as I love any other person I adopted, and I wouldn't love two children born from me the same."
Tsubine sighed and looked at Erika, sadness but no tears filling her eyes. "Leaving you was a mistake, Erika. Just the same as it was leaving Midori. I won't regret leaving, but I will say that the way I did it wasn't right." "But you need to understand something."
Tsubine inhaled deeply, her reiatsu flowing out slowly. It was an enveloping thing, like a mother's hug in slow motion. "I never stopped loving you. I made a single mistake when it came to you. I should have thought you more as my child than I did. I knew it would hurt you, but I also thought you had grown more than you had. I thought you would do fine without me. I was wrong."
Tsubine was not shying away from that barb towards her daughter. Erika had not shown the maturity Tsubine had thought was in there. "Midori obviously said something to you before I got here. She's better at the talking things out part of... emotional help."
Tsubine sighed. "It's the one part of motherhood I do not care for because I am so bad at it."