|Of Lilacs and Ninja
Author: nooziewoozie PM
She still smells like lilacs, though, and something you can’t exactly name—something musky and inviting and frightening all at once. --Minato, Kushina, and meetings over the years. Spoilers for, uh, the identities of Naruto's parents, I suppose.Rated: Fiction K - English - Romance - Minato N. & Kushina U. - Words: 1,162 - Reviews: 12 - Favs: 52 - Follows: 4 - Published: 09-06-09 - Status: Complete - id: 5356436
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Title: Of Lilacs and Ninja
Characters/Pairings: Namikaze Minato/Uzumaki Kushina, along with a dash of Kakashi and Jiraiya.
Rating: Seriously, no sex and/or cursing? Egad!
Notes: It kind of depressed me that, while we have tons of material with which to fangirl the Fourth over, there's next to nothing about Uzumaki Kushina. I mean, hello! This is the woman who gave birth to Naruto, for heaven's sake, and given that she's said to have had the same personality as him--isn't that, in itself, a mark of awesomeness? But, whatever, that's what we have fanfiction for. Please forgive the lame attempts at romance, and don't forget to review!
You're youngish when you meet her for the first time, and in that moment when she enters your field of vision, you're struck by two things: she's bright—so bright that you almost have to squint to take all of her in, long limbs, orange shirt, fire-red hair and gleaming, flinty eyes—and that she probably won't live long.
There is a war raging all around you, tugging you all along in its ruthless tide, and shinobi who dress and act and laugh so fearlessly often don't survive. You hope that when her death comes, it's painless and quick.
You see her again a year later, when you have Kakashi to take care of and hone into a weapon. The entire exercise leaves a sour taste in your mouth; children are not meant to be soldiers, are not meant to curl fingers around the handles of kunai and thrust them into throats and hearts with cruel finality. You cannot begrudge Konoha its solders, but you also cannot help but think that the sight of weapons in Kakashi hands—so small and fine-boned and a few hairline cracks away from being broken beyond repair—is a thing made of nightmares.
She thinks the same apparently, when she brushes her fingers across Kakashi's forehead and frowns. The boy ducks away, of course, but she sets her chin and says stubbornly to you, "That child isn't meant to be a ninja, not yet. You'll destroy him, and so many others like him, you'll see."
You get angry then, because Kakashi's been given to you, and orders have come from those higher-up in the system than you to stabilize the boy, to sharpen the boy, to make him into a tool flawless beyond reproach. What can you possibly do? You're a jounin, and an irresistibly powerful one, but even you cannot buck the orders of the counsel. All you can do is protect him the best you can, but how do you save a child who desires nothing more than to murder his soul?
She tosses her mane of hair over a shoulder. "Climb higher in the system then. Make it so it doesn't happen anymore. I've heard of you, Namikaze Minato, heard that your genius only comes around once a century." She pokes you in the chest with a hand that's wearing fingerless leather gloves and bright purple nail polish. "Use it."
And then she whirls away, and leaves only words—words that ring in your ears for years to come—and the scent of lilacs behind.
You don't understand the weight of the challenge, though, until you've lost Obito and you have Kakashi looking at you with anguished, mismatched eyes and Rin, gentle Rin, lost in the winds of her own guilt, and then all you can do is accept it.
You don't see her again for five years after that, but she does whirl in your life again, and when you do, you realize, suddenly, than her hair has grown well past her hips. It gleams, falls in tendrils across her shoulders and cheeks, and your fingers twinge with faint desire to run through it. You squash it, of course, and ruthlessly, too. She's nothing short of trouble, the breakneck, dangerously reckless kind, and you don't need that in your life. You've heard of her missions, her innumerable close-calls, the fact that she can drink like a man and play poker like one too. (She still smells like lilacs, though, and something you can't exactly name—something musky and inviting and frightening all at once.)
She laughs as you tell her this one night (not the about her hair, or her scent, or anything else you've spent more time than you are comfortable with ruminating on) when you run into her at a Ramen stand, and she bursts into laughter. "We're ninja, you idiot," she chortles. "That's a whole world of opportunity that needs exploring."
When you ask her what that means, she just flashes you a smile full of quicksilver and gleaming teeth. "What I mean is, if it doesn't make you feel like crapping your pants, it's not worth doing at all."
And as you leave her to her dinner, reluctantly, as you have plans to meet with Jiraiya-sensei (you'll probably have to save the old pervert from yet another angry horde of women wielding wet towels and slippers, you think, bemused), you honestly wonder how the hell she hasn't ended up dead yet. You can't help but be grateful, though.
Jiraiya-sensei is the first person to catch on to your little crush, and the man laughs for days. You really want to kick him in the head for it, but you can understand: she's as different from you as night is from day, and spring breezes are from violent hurricanes. She's also a lunatic, Jiraiya-sensei reminds you, but then he scratches his nose with the tail end of his brush and remarks that, despite all of that, she truly is a spectacular kunoichi, and that a bit of lunacy will do you some good.
Kakashi catches on next, but he doesn't say anything. The brat does incline his head, though, and mutter something about whirlpools and idiot sensei before burying his nose in porn he's too young to read.
But you learn to ignore them all, especially as she curls into your chest and lets her hair tickle your chin. She has more layers than you can imagine, more thoughts ghosting through her mind than you can catch and more seasons in her heart than you can fathom. That's alright, though. She's has so many angles, so many dips and curves and slopes, both gentle and steep. You can spend years wandering through the spells she casts on you, searching for the true heart and meaning of everything that is her. In fact, you intend to.
Your hands tangle with hers, and some nights, you can't tell where she ends and you begin, and those are the best of all.