Author: Annie Sparklecakes PM
KibaSaku. The first time he sees her she is crying and dirty and alone, and Kiba never thinks he might fall in love with her.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Romance - Sakura H. & Kiba I. - Words: 3,149 - Reviews: 65 - Favs: 154 - Follows: 8 - Published: 04-05-08 - Status: Complete - id: 4179622
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
I haven't written a oneshot for myself for so long. It's about time.
Inspired by –bell.esque, who reminded me why I love this pairing, an overload of fantasy novels, Cute Is What We Aim For, and best friend-authors who write the way I wish I could.
Disclaimer: I own nothing someone else does.
Also, I've never written like this before (I hope), and I would love to know what you thought of it!
When they're so young, she still with short hair (that looks so much better on her) and impossibly green eyes the color of the grass in the field where they meet, Kiba finds the girl with her knees pulled up to her chest, with tear-stained cheeks and a voice so sad it breaks his little-boy heart when she says, "Hello."
And he crouches in front of her and asks her why she's crying and she says I'm not, and he says You are, and it goes back and forth, like when he tosses balls for Akamaru and he brings them back, but this isn't fun, and he's a boy on a mission, so he says (impatiently, and she flinches, and he's sad, because this girl is sad and scared and alone, but boys don't feel sorry for girls, so he doesn't say Sorry, and his mother would be so disappointed), "Tell me why you're crying now."
And she wrings her hands together, little hands with the nails chewed off, dirty hands and dirty knees and a dirty face, and it all goes together, and she bows her head (submissive) and bites her lip (cowardly), and when he's getting ready to ask again, she says in a quiet voice, Can you keep a secret? And he says he can, so she says that People don't like me.
And Kiba, who everyone likes, who has a dog, who gets good marks, who laughs and plays and isn't afraid of anything, can't understand, because he sees a pretty little girl with a pretty little voice and dirty hands and so he leans closer, but he still can't figure out why, so he asks her.
She says that her forehead is too wide and, shyly, pushes back her bangs so he can see, and it is, but he doesn't see why anyone would care, so he leans over and raps gently on it and says to wide-eyed incredulity, I like your forehead. Want to play with me?
The little girl is shy, so he takes her by her dirty hands, and even though he gets dirt on his own, he doesn't mind. He introduces her to Akamaru and he teaches her how to play an awkward little-boy version of soccer, and the ball bounces off her forehead when he kicks it, and he laughs.
And at the end of the day she holds his hand until he pulls away because he is still a boy and she is a girl and he doesn't want her cooties, but when he goes home his mother gets mad at his dirty, sweaty hands and makes him take a bath and asks him how he got so dirty and he says he was cleaning and even though his mother says she doesn't understand he doesn't explain that he wiped away stains of sadness on a girl who he wants to make smile, because when she smiles her eyes look more green than red and her cheeks puff up and she looks a little like his sister's old dolls and he doesn't like dolls because he is a boy, but he likes her.
After that day she disappears, even though Kiba goes to the field to look for her. She never comes back, because when he finds her again, her hair is pushed back, and she's sitting with Ino and her friends, and the innocence is disappearing bit-by-bit, but she looks happy, and that's what Kiba wanted, so he doesn't play with her anymore (because her hands are too-clean now) and she doesn't speak to him and they forget each other, but they don't, because Kiba asks Shikamaru what her name is, and he tells her it's Sakura, and that she's Ino's best friend and very smart, and when they start at the Academy, Kiba learns all this for himself, watching this pretty little princess with long hair and clean hands and eyes that never cry.
He watches her fall in love for the first time, with the boy every girl chases, Sasuke, who Kiba used to like because he is strong and smart and civil to Naruto, who everyone's mean to but Kiba thinks is alright, but after this, Kiba hates Sasuke and doesn't know why. But Sakura leaves Ino for Sasuke, and her hair falls back into her eyes without the hairband but now she can push it back and her eyes are clear but they're sad, and her hands are clean but when Kiba finds her sitting alone where she thinks no one can find her in their field, he touches her hands with his dirty ones, and says Hi to her and asks her why she's sad, and she says she isn't, but he says she is and it's like the first time all over again.
Then she blinks her fairy-princess green eyes and they look like they want to cry, and her lip trembles but she doesn't notice, and he wants to stop it, but how? so he doesn't and she says, Can you keep a secret?
And he sits beside her and says that he can and she sighs, seeming to sink back into the grass. Her hair is blowing in the wind and hits him in the face and it tickles his nose so maybe he might sneeze, but then she turns and the strands slip away and the wind stops and there is silence.
"I miss Ino," she says, and Kiba doesn't know what to say but he does know one thing and that is that even fake smiles are better than her real tears because she's like a little doll, pretty and fragile and made of glass, and if she cries she might shatter, and he can't pick up the pieces, because he's not strong enough to hold the shards without cutting his hands, so he says, She misses you too, because he knows she does, just like he did when she left him. And then he asks, Do you want to play?
Her hair falls in her face when she runs, so he ties it back with a strip of cloth, a makeshift headband and her forehead is open to him to rap his knuckles against, so he does, and she laughs.
What's your name? he asks even though he already knows, but he wants her to say it, so she does. Haruno Sakura, she says, Yours? And he says his name is Kiba, and she shakes his hand like a grown-up, and they both pull away covered in smudges of dirt.
Sakura studies very hard and sometimes when Kiba is playing with the other boys outside, he sees her still inside, reading from a textbook, and he feels proud that she is so smart, because he thinks she will go somewhere great, but he's also sad, because he sees her staring out the window sometimes with her hand pressed against the glass, and she looks lonely, but she shouldn't, because Ino might be gone, but he is still there.
He thinks she will become something incredible, not a fighter, because she's still a little girl at heart and her heart is on her sleeve and so he can see it for the almost oblivious innocence it is. She's a little pink princess who stutters and cries and giggles when she thinks no one (else) is watching her, and she can't fight because she's not strong.
But one day, he stops inside the almost-empty classroom on his way outside, and she's flipping through pages and writing down equations, the kind of thing no normal girl could understand, but Sakura, he knows, isn't normal, she's extraordinary, and when he leans over her shoulder to read her neat printing, she jumps in surprise, her little body knocking against the table, and her knee hits the underside.
She winces but doesn't say anything, because she's trying to be brave and strong and smart and pretty and she pushes her long hair back, and Kiba wants it short again, a pixie-cut for a pixie-girl, but he doesn't say so, because he doesn't really care about hair as long as it doesn't get in the way, and anyways, she can do what she likes, he just wants to know why she's sitting alone inside when it's so pretty outside, and she says that if she goes out she'll melt, but then she smiles, casting bottle-green eyes to the floor, and says, quietly, Can you keep a secret? and he says Yes, and she bites her lip and her face is turning pink like her hair, but she tells him,
"I want to be a kunoichi."
And she's smart and beautiful and she wants to be brave but she'll never be strong, and if anyone doesn't belong out in the field, it's the girl with the broken laugh and impossible dreams, because they will only shatter, and she will disappear.
Kiba has always liked Naruto, even though most people don't seem to, because he might be loud and obnoxious but he isn't a bad guy, and Kiba only hates the bad guys, so he doesn't hate Naruto.
Naruto likes Sakura a lot, and when they're put on the same team, he is thrilled, but it is also a team with Sasuke, so Kiba knows Naruto is headed for heartbreak. Even so, when Naruto confides to Kiba about how Sakura treats him, even though the blond doesn't seem to understand her cruelty, Kiba is infuriated, and can't believe that Sakura, who once was covered in dirt and tears and told him secrets and who he thought was magic, fantastic, could be like everyone else.
He tells her this, catching her on her way home from training, and watches as her expression crumbles, finding a sick satisfaction in twisting the dagger into her, and her fake smile shatters, and her eyes are bright and wide with pleading sadness, but Kiba will not care, will not fall for her candy words, because he thought she was different, but she isn't, and he says this.
The next day he trains with his teammates, and one of them is Hyuuga Hinata, who reminds him of Sakura when she was younger, with fumbling hands and soft shyness, but Sakura had ragged edges of despair and defiance rolled into one, and Hinata is reserved and hopeful and dark-haired and pale-eyed and like the negative of a photo of pink-and-green Sakura, Sakura who he won't speak to again, because a rose has thorns, but sakura aren't supposed to.
But the next day Naruto tells him Sakura treated him to ramen because he had no money, and Kiba wonders if he might've been wrong, when he finds her, and he waits for her secret, but it never comes, and she looks right through him, and it hurts.
Kiba was always afraid Sakura would shatter if she had to go through more pain because her heart is so weak and open and easy to take and break and throw back in her face, and that is exactly what Sasuke does. He stands behind Naruto while he reassures Sakura, and she presses her hands together, and squeezes her eyes tight and tears crawl down her pretty little face and her short-again hair sticks to her cheeks and she looks so small, folding in on herself, and she looks like she did the first time he saw her, like a wilted little flower with too much loneliness, but now she has Naruto and Kakashi and she has him, so why does she need Sasuke? It makes him mad, because she doesn't see him, her green eyes are for only one person, and the dream-girl has her head in the clouds and he belongs down on earth.
But now she's been rudely awakened from her fantasy, and her eyes aren't shining, because now maybe she's realized that her precious Sasuke-kun was just an illusion, he was never her prince, he could only be her tragic hero.
But even if her eyes are open now, they're shiny-shimmering with tears, and Kiba hurts, because he always hated when she cried, and when the group starts to walk away from her, he slips away briefly to go back, and he holds her hand, folds his fingers around hers, and she looks up, teardrops twinkling on her eyelashes, and he tells her to close her eyes, he lifts them off and holds the tears on his finger, and when she opens her eyes, he fists his hand so she won't see.
Can you keep a secret? It's her line, and it feels foreign in his mouth, but not bad, more like he's carrying a piece of her, like he's unlocking something so he can understand her, and he can almost hear the click, but that click is just her voice saying Yes, so Kiba tells her that he's sorry he ever hurt her, and she's not shallow, and Sasuke is a moron for leaving her, and she smiles only slightly, but it might be the most he sees out of her for a while so he takes it and then, on impulse, he scoops her up into his arms because he thinks she needs to feel whole again, so he'll fill in her missing gaps until Sasuke comes back.
Sasuke doesn't return for a long time and while she waits, Sakura trains, learning to smash things and mend things and she's a paradox in and of herself, but then, she always has been, a broken girl under a beautiful glamour, layered with attitude and bitter love. She isn't the same as she was when he left, but she isn't worse, either. She's just grown up, and one day he finds her on the bridge, looking out over the shimmering water, and he steps up beside her, because they don't talk much, but there is always something of her that belongs to him and vice-versa.
She gives him another piece when she says Can you keep a secret? And this time he doesn't hear the meaning behind the words, the Don't tell anyone, he hears her meaning, the Hold on to it and never let go, and he says, "Always."
She is silent for a moment, and her short, spiky hair flutters in the slight breeze, and when he looks at her hands, the nails are cut short, and they are calloused but soft, killer-healer hands, like the rest of her, and she is the only girl he knows that can be everything. When he was little, he thought her secrets were leading up to something, something like I'm magic, because he always thought she might be something out of a fairy tale fantasy, but she never said it, and he stopped believing in them, but he still believes in angels.
He wants to hear something, but he gets nothing, so he nudges her to go on, and she opens her mouth, closes it, traps the words, opens it again, says, "I don't love Sasuke," and looks at him fleetingly like she's waiting, but he doesn't know for what.
So he waits for her to go on, and she does, saying how Sasuke is the world to her, but she's grown up, and she knows that she doesn't love him anymore, but as she speaks her expression is downcast, and he feels like he failed somehow.
Naruto doesn't love Sakura anymore, but he still knows her, so Kiba doesn't doubt him when Naruto says that Sakura is in love with him. Kiba doesn't want to believe it, but Naruto says that Sakura asks their teammates about him, and she smiles to herself when they pass their team on the training grounds, and Naruto says that if Kiba hurts Sakura, he'll smash his head through a wall, but Kiba is busy thinking about her little hands and long legs and soft everything and the Is she an angel?s over the years.
When he sees her, he knows she knows he knows, so he doesn't pretend because she sees right through him anyways, and he kisses her, on the corner of her mouth, and she says, Can you keep a secret? in a voice that, this time, wavers, and he holds his hand out to her, and she looks at it, confused, so he says, All of them, and she understands because what he means is All of you.
She starts with her favorite color which is blue, and how she loves to dance and finishes with why she became a kunoichi, because Ino was going to be one, and that she thinks Naruto is going to be Hokage, not because he thinks he is, but because he's a hero.
And he listens to the words tumble out of her little mouth and watches as her secrets spill out and add to his image of her, an angel-fairy-princess-healer-killer-dirty-faced little girl with tears and too much love to hold inside, and he understands her, knows what her final secret will be, so he doesn't let her say it.
Can you keep a secret? he asks, and she says she can, so he says, The first time I met you, I thought you were beautiful.
And now? she asks. Now, he says, I think a lot more about you, and the double, triple, so many meanings are clear to her, and she folds her hands in her lap, so he picks one of them up and kisses it, leaving a mark only he'll ever see and remember on her clean white skin.