❯ Yin and Yang – Yin and Yang ( Chapter 1 )
Author’s Note: This is very much an experimental piece, but the idea wouldn’t leave me alone as I wrote more and more about Mikage and Teito. This is mostly just an exercise in getting down thoughts about their characters and their relationship. Somehow it ended up being from Teito’s perspective. Spoilers for Mikage’s fate, but that’s about it. All the characteristics of yin and yang come from Wikipedia.
Disclaimer: I do not own 07-Ghost. I’m trying to find my own personal Mikage, though.
Yin and Yang
They were opposites, he and Mikage; opposing ends of the human spectrum. And yet, against all odds (and perhaps laws of physics), they had come together. They were best friends, light and dark, warm and cold, yin and yang.
Yin and yang describe opposing qualities in phenomena.
If humanity could be considered a phenomenon, he and Mikage would epitomize opposing qualities. Mikage was outgoing, friendly, and kind. Teito was introverted, solemn, and irritable. Mikage was the type of person others were instinctively drawn to. He had charisma and had no trouble sharing his love of life with those around him. Teito, meanwhile, tried his best to keep others at a distance. His childhood was spent in slavery where the word love had never entered his vocabulary. Where Mikage could brighten a room by entering it, Teito was like a storm sweeping across that same room. But the strength of Mikage’s light could disperse the clouds. Mikage was energy personified while Teito felt routinely drained.
It is impossible to talk about yin or yang without some reference to the opposite: yin-yang are rooted together.
Once he had accepted that Mikage was going to be a part of his life—no amount of effort on his part could keep the blonde away from him for long—he stopped minding Mikage’s constant presence. The other boy was a constant support that, much to Teito’s surprise, felt natural to stand side-by-side with. It wasn’t long before he began seeking out Mikage’s presence on his own. From roommates to best friends before Teito realized it, he and Mikage earned stares as they walked down the halls together. Whispers about them were easily discernable, but Mikage never cared. He was just happy that Teito had accepted his friendship.
It wasn’t long before it became common knowledge around the Academy that the two boys would inevitably be somewhere together. To look for Mikage was to look for Teito and to look for Teito—not that anyone had much cause to do so—was to look for Teito. Their peers joked that they should be one entity on their class roll. Mikage had snorted and proceeded to throw something at whoever made the joke—but Teito saw he had been smiling as he did so.
Yin and yang transform each other.
Mikage, he decided, had been put in the world to teach others about love and life. Before Teito had realized it, the blonde’s friendship had irrevocably changed the slave referred to by number into a human being—Teito Klein. A few kind words and a genuine smile directed at him had caused something within Teito to shift. Teito began to see subtle changes within himself the more time he spent with Mikage. Though the new feelings he was experiencing were strange, they weren’t unwelcome. The ice around his heart began to melt from Mikage’s warmth.
Teito often found himself wondering what Mikage gained from their friendship. With everything Mikage did for him, what was he doing for the blonde? Mikage, he realized, had come down to earth in a sense since they had become friends. Though he was always bouncing with energy, he became more focused, both in studies and battle the more time he spent with Teito. And, Teito noticed, he became more resolute in his determination to join the military for the sake of his family. The once seemingly uncontainable Mikage began to channel his energy and became a better student and friend for it.
Yin and yang are balanced: yin-yang is a dynamic equilibrium.
He and Mikage were constantly in balance, as if their souls were on a set of scales. They complemented each other, and a shift in one would lead to a shift in the other to compensate. If Teito were in a bad mood—a frequent occurrence—then Mikage’s perkiness would balance out the pair (often earning him a half-hearted smack from his downtrodden friend for his trouble, but Mikage knew never to take it personally). In the rare instances that Mikage was down, Teito’s worthless attempts to cheer him up would usually bring him out of his funk. If it was Mikage, Teito didn’t mind being laughed at.
Their natural equilibrium also allowed them to fight in tandem with a synchronicity unmatched by their peers. In the Academy, it was often whispered—because no one wanted to admit aloud that a former slave could become a somebody—that the combined force of Teito and Mikage would change not only the military, but the world. One was not nearly as strong without the other; they caught each other when they fell, never missing a beat. Watching them together, whether in life or in battle, was like watching a dance; a dance in which the footwork of both partners was flawless and even an error was nearly impossible to miss because they covered themselves expertly and without effort.
Because they arise together they are always equal: if one disappears, the other must disappear as well, leaving emptiness.
Mikage’s death left a gaping hole in his very being. Mikage was his light in the darkness, his warmth in the cold, and his love when there was nothing but hatred. His soul couldn’t find balance without its partner. When his best friend had returned to the king of heaven, he had taken Teito’s heart with him. In its place, there was nothing but cold emptiness. There was no warmth without Mikage. There was no light without Mikage.
There was no Teito without Mikage.
And as if sensing the imbalance his absence caused, Mikage’s soul had returned. Through Frau Mikage had come back to Teito. And though it could never be the same, Teito thought he might find some semblance of balance again. Mikage would not let him curl up and die. He had returned through death to make sure his lessons of life and love were not forgotten. And for that, Teito was thankful—because of that, Teito continued to exist.
Yin is receptive, yielding, negative, and nurturing. It is associated with night, valleys, rivers, streams, water, metal, and earth.
He was yin to Mikage’s yang. Teito was negativity personified, driving people away from him without conscious effort. He was darkness, having lived a life of amnesiac slavery, never knowing who he was or what his dreams meant. A slave couldn’t be dominating; rather, it was a survival mechanism to yield to the master, to be receptive to their demands and punishment. Though he had graduated from slavery and moved into the military academy, he had retained those traits; they had become ingrained in his personality. It was this that, despite his attempts to keep Mikage away from him like the rest of their peers, brought Mikage so close to his heart. He was receptive to Mikage’s loving nature, and, as light needs darkness to shine against, he nurtured Mikage’s warmth and brightness, allowing him to shine even brighter.
Teito was grounded, like earth. Where it seemed natural for Mikage to fly, Teito remained on earth, waiting to support Mikage when he came back down. He was the constant where Mikage was the wildcard, solid as metal but receptive and flowing like water.
Yang is active, dominating, positive, and initiating/creating. Yang is associated with day, mountains, hills, fire, wood, and air.
Mikage’s yang balanced his yin. Mikage was positivity personified, drawing people to him without conscious effort. He was light—Teito’s light—bringing life into the world of night. He was warm, his inherent goodness burning brighter than any fire; he had succeeded in melting the ice around Teito. Mikage was always moving, always searching, always teaching, always learning; a seemingly endless bundle of energy that never exhausted itself. Teito often found Mikage’s extroverted nature dominating and overbearing, but would never change that about his best friend. Without his charisma, his ability to create light in darkness, to ascend mountains and fly without wings, he would not be Mikage; he would not have reached Teito’s heart and would not have been able to balance him so perfectly.
Yin-yang is unique, however, both in its dynamic nature and its broad application to the natural world.
Perhaps their Academy peers would be right in that the combination of Teito and Mikage would change the world, if not in the expected way. When Mikage had returned to him even after dying, Teito knew nothing could ever come between them. Their bond was one that transcended the inevitable. They were the perfect balance in a world that had lost direction. In a world of lies, they would find the truth. In a world of hatred, they would share their love. Mikage had taught Teito about life and love. Teito took those lessons to heart and meant to share them with the world. No matter what Teito learned about himself or his past, he knew things would be alright because his soul mate, his balance, his opposite, his root, his best friend was there with him.