"I'm not going to lose you damnit!" he yelled as he clutched her shoulders tightly.

It was the first.. and last time she'd ever seen him panic. Fear pouring from his features. For every one of the hundreds of spells, the medical knowledge, and the countless hours of training he'd spent the last few years doing… it was all useless.

"S…stupid… men d-don't…cry.." she tried to chide him, but the blood in her mouth kept her speech slurred. If one thing was odd about the situation, it was she didn't feel pain. She'd always been around death, most of them slow and painful. She'd always thought it would hurt… but her body felt numb more than anything.

She inhaled to say something else, but her breath caught in her lungs and she coughed heavily for a while. The blood splattering on his face with each heave didn't even faze him, his eyes only broke with her face long enough to blink more tears away. This wasn't suppose to happen.. it was suppose to be just another trip between the villages. He'd been stupid… unprepared… over-confident… and now the one person he cared about was paying for his mistakes.

He'd used up all the energy he had on very limited supply of healing jutsu's, but there were limits to what they could heal… no matter how much chakara was poured into them. He no longer even had the strength to try and make it to the nearest town. Weak and useless. He couldn't help her, or get her to someone that can. Forced to watch her skin drain of color, hear her breaths becoming more labored, and feel her body get colder.

"W-why'd you do that?" he said in a voice horse from the screaming before, "I could have-"

"don't.. give me… chivalrous bull..shit…" she couldn't help but smile ever so slightly at his expression.

"Saved by a woman… I…" his words failed him, all he could do was wrap himself tightly around her shoulders to muffle another sob.

"and.. don't thank.. me either, I did it because-" her reasons were cut off by more coughing as yet more blood pooled in her throat.

He reached down for one of her hands and squeezed it tightly, as if to force her to feel it. Leaning up to face her as he brought it up between them. Her hand was cold, but she did weakly wrap her fingers around his, trying to smile happily. He absently kept rubbing her hand between his, feeling the ring that he'd given her heat up… but not her flesh.

And there he sat with the body of his lover at his lap, the blood around them already cooled in the fading light. He had tried to keep her awake by recounting stories of their past, but after a few minutes he found himself now asking for her forgiveness over and over again.

"love you…" she said below a whisper, but he heard it clearer than anything else that day.

And like that… she was gone.

Her hand fell limply out from between his and hit the ground. He bit his bottom lip to try and contain himself, easily piercing through his own skin until he let out a choked out scream of agony that resounded around the forest. He stayed there, unmoving, all night until he had the strength to carry her back home.

During this whole time, a figure watched him from the treetops. Even though his hands were stained with the very blood that covered the boy, he too cried. "Forgive me," he said almost to himself, "but for the good of the village…" The man's words sounded hollow… even to himself.

--

sigh… that's it. I just needed to get that out of my system, not the best work I've done I know.. but… well I just had to put it on paper.

-Hokata Yuy