Sometimes, when they were alone and it was dark, they would curl up together, whispering words that they didn't need to say. When it was cold outside and the rain fell, they would sit and watch it, arms wrapped around one another. Sometimes one of them would try to say something actually important, but always pushed it back.

They were wrong.

They were in secret.

They didn't touch in public, didn't acknowledge each other besides friends. They hid it behind laughter and smiles, not even making suspicious eye movements for fear of being discovered.

Even in a village full of companions they are not safe.

Every once in a while, someone will give them a strange look if they hug too long or laugh too loud, trying to cover up the awkward silence of a comment. In those few terrible seconds, their hearts beat wildly, flinging themselves in and out of their chests, but they remain calm, ignoring the glances. Sometimes they wonder, so what, who cares?

But they know who cares.

The ninjas care.

It is an unspoken rule to keep quiet about what you are if you are "wrong." They understand this and know what will happen if they step out. They have seen people, women especially, since it is less plausible for many, stripped of their headbands and thrown away, exiled in disgust. They find it wrong, terrifying; it could happen to them. But they will face it when it does; if it does, they tell each other resiliently, even though it aches to say it. They miss holding hands, kissing in back alleys in other villages. They know that the dangers are higher now, since they could almost be considered traitors for the things that they have done, even if it is in secret. Once they almost got their entire team killed, jumping to save each other.

But it doesn't matter. Not to them.

One day they will walk together, smiling and acting like the lovers they are.

One day, they know, they will pay the ultimate sacrifice to get there, to find their way to that place where they can. They don't fully understand it, but they know it will happen; they can feel it. Team suicide is not uncommon; in order to protect a secret, members will often die together. They can do it, but for different reasons.

But they didn't intend it this way. They couldn't see the future. They didn't know how they would reach it, who would get them there.

But this is before that, before they even realized that they would. For now they are just content to sit, watching the rain, knowing that their lives are slowly coming undone.


They know the word. They understand what it means. But they have never used it in reference to themselves. They are almost afraid of it.

One of them breaks the subject, her voice full of bittersweet laughter as she talks.

"Lovers. That's what we are. Do you ever think about it that way? I like the word so much better than girlfriend. That's so general, and it's rough. It could mean anyone; someone who you've just met, someone who you have known all your life, someone who is just a friend. I don't think that's what we are."

She lapsed into silence again and wrapped her arms around the snowdrop—her snowdrop, part of her thinks protectively—placing her rosette head on top of the other girl's dark hair.

"We are permanent."

Her companion said this, strength in her voice. They both know it; a kind of twisted Romeo and Juliet, but deeper, much deeper. They knew they were in love; the tragic story could have simply misplaced an emotion in the two characters' mind. They knew what they felt was real, because they were real; the pain and scars told them that, the hurt and fear kept them standing, balanced dangerously, on that threshold of sanity.

The sakura blossom smiles as they lay their heads together, watching the rain fall.


People describe them like that: beautiful. They don't know about the pair, about how beautiful they really are, in moonlight and rain and sorrow and silence. They are simply referring to their looks, which are considered extraordinary.

"It's amazing that they haven't found men to suit them yet, there are so many," they overheard a woman saying to her friend, gossiping as they hung laundry. "Personally, I would have…" Her voice faded away and they never learned what she would have done, but somehow both felt guilty as they walked along, as though they never should have heard those words.

"It's alright," the dark-haired one, the snowdrop, would whisper when they lay together at night, fighting fears that no one else knew about. "It's alright."

Sometimes they would cry, holding each other. They were afraid. For their future, for themselves. What would happen when it was realized? Both came from respectable clans, one much less known than the other, but still respectable. What would happen when someone finally realized?

"Can you believe Haruno and Hyuuga?" The woman would be saying to her friend when it was discovered. "Together? Them?" And both she and her friend would shudder and maybe even ward, because this was a new and evil concept to them, one that they hated.

But it isn't evil, they would whisper in their heads as they lay in bed in the dark, hearing each other's breathing and heartbeats. It's perfectly natural, why can't they see?

Because the people couldn't. They didn't want to see what they didn't like, what they weren't comfortable with. So they thought up other things about them, things that were wrong in every single way, because they weren't what those people wanted, they were what they wanted and that was all that mattered.

So the people called them beautiful, without knowing what they were.

And they agreed.

Can't Catch Us

Sometimes they felt as though they were being watched, followed by their own demons.

It was stupid, they would tell themselves as they sat together, loving each other's company. They shouldn't be afraid.

But they were.

They were so terrified that sometimes it was all they would do to keep from running, from turning and throwing themselves away from the things that plagued them. In those times, they would shake and cry, huddling in the pool of light that was their own glow. They would recover, groping their way to the calm, but they were still afraid.

Not gonna get us, one of them would say at night, her smile warm and cruel at the same time.

They can't be caught.

They're just too fast.

Soon It's Gonna Rain

One of them, the rose, hums the song as she looks out the window to see the other training. She can hardly wait; when it rains, they can be safe. When the moon was full or dark, they were safe.

Soon it's gonna rain,
I can see it
Soon…I can tell
Soon…what're we gonna do?

She can sense the storm, way out on the horizon, inching its way closer to the village holding the quenching drink that leads them away from insanity, away from longing. The sound of rain falling always awakens her to herself, stealing her away from the dark that sunshine brings.

She is a tree, the trunk and the roots and the blossoms. She needs water to thrive.

So when she whispers "Soon it's going to rain," the snowdrop merely smiles, looking out to the horizon with hope in her pale eyes.

All of One Piece

They are in pieces. They can feel the change disrupting the earth beneath them, sending stones falling around them.

They lose their grip, their eyes become wild, and soon some people begin to think, although only in fleeting, of their strange behavior. Could it be that they have been found? Everyday is a living nightmare.

And then, one night, when the moon is dark in the sky, they let it loose, allowing their hearts to falter as they imagine what could happen. It is there that they find the remedy.

The take knives and cut their arms, vowing on their blood that they will not let the fear take them and control them. They have seen it before; that will not happen to them. They bind themselves with their love, now they bind themselves with conviction. They will outlive this battle; they will win this war.

It doesn't matter now, how hard they are hit, how easily they are broken.

They are all of one piece.

Sounds of Silence

The moon is full as they lie there, bodies soaking it in. They seem silver, statues of the most dangerous beauty, seductive to even the most abstinent. But they do not know it. They are listening to the sounds of silence.

They can identify their love, their fear, their anger, their pain, in this void of quiet. They can find themselves, bound by the oath, crisscrossed with scars that tell their tale. They can find the moonlight, the lack of it, the rain, old crushes and heartbreaks. They can find every moment between here and infinity, taking it all in with a huge sucking breath, as though they want to swallow the world and take everything with them.

They can find their teammates, their friends, their families, everyone in between. They find the faces of people the only met once, even in passing by, mysterious and imprinting. Are they the same to others? Of course they are, but it is odd, somehow, as though they always expected to find themselves spinning at the center of everyone's universe, like the brightest suns. But even discovering this, they are not shaken; no, it strengthens them, giving them hope. Maybe they can become things that everyone has heard of, that everyone remembers subconsciously just as they do in this silence. That hope is huge, filling up their hearts with new confidence.

They can live.

They can love.

And all because of the sounds that they found within the silence.


This last dance is for them, a waltz in diamond shoes.

They twirl across the floor, graceful as can be, their faces shining as much as their dresses and jewels. Skirts swirl and swish across the polished marble floor; it is strange to see two women doing this. But they are. They do.

There is no one here to stop them. They spin around the ballroom, elegant as angels in their clothing, relaxed and confident. They can do this dance, even when the room begins to fill. They continue to minuet until the song ends and another begins. People continue entering, but they are not interesting, they do not matter, only the dance and their fingers clutched together matter.

They dance on, even as other people join them on the floor, their bodies working in perfect harmony.

After a while, what seems like an eternity to the lovers on the floor, the people begin to leave, melting into the shadows until they all disappear and their song begins again, sweet and mournful, full of regret and sad happiness as they waltz in their diamond shoes, never, ever stopping.


It is raining.

But this time it doesn't matter, because they know what will happen. They have found the way to perfection, to finding happiness. They do not care anymore what anyone thinks, because it couldn't matter less. Not even when they catch looks, not even when people stop talking to them, as they eventually will. Maybe someday they will understand. Or maybe not.

It is raining.

They cry, that night, cry and laugh and talk and sing, their love shining up through them like a beacon in the dark. It is obvious, to them at least, that they will go the distance, that they will find a way to trap the monster and tame it, letting it fall through the door and enter their world, allowing it to see the depth of their emotions.

It is raining.

And it is the most beautiful thing.