Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto. Satisfied?

. . .

Wait into Never

. . .


He was a stoic, cold-hearted person, too dense and narrow-minded to see anything other than training. She had never seen him smile. Not once. The closest thing to one that she had seen was that omniscient smirk he always wore before he finished off his opponents. Yet, she felt herself falling for him and his anti-social ways, though she would never admit it aloud. Her self-consciousness and fear of disappointment prevented her – she would rather dream than be disillusioned.

Her body froze as she stared, eyes widened with disbelief.

No, she would wait for the time when he would finally begin to open himself, be it even a little. Until then, she was content with fooling herself into believing that she was satisfied being just a teammate, a training partner.

It took all her years of training to hold back the tears that threatened to fall and control her rabid emotions.

After all, she wasn't in any rush. She was patient. And she would continue to wait until the right moment, holding her desires within.

The kunai she held dropped to the forest floor, forgotten.

. . . . . . . .

"Two unidentified members of the Akatsuki were reported to have been spotted in the outskirts of Fire Country. We have no information regarding their purpose in the area."

Tsunade clasped her hands over the bottom of her face, narrowing her eyes. "Call in a team for reconnaissance, Shizune. They are to assess the situation and report back immediately." She paused a moment in thought. "In addition, send a combative team for assistance."

"Another team?! But Tsunade-sama, we're still short enough on shinobi as it is! Is it wise to deplete our defenses?"

"We're dealing with two members of the Akatsuki, and we don't know what they're capable of. Confrontation may be possible. Sending a reconnaissance team on a mission of this caliber without proper backup would be akin to suicide."

. . . . . . . .

Chaos encloses her. A myriad of ruined scrolls, a menagerie of weapons . . . kunai and shuriken, scythes and sickles mingled with one another, littering the fallen forest. Scattered craters, decimated trees, large areas of barren land. Of scorched earth. Of his ashes.

Slowly, she overcomes her shock, stumbles to them, and crumples, head bowed over, trembling fingers clenching ashes and charred soil. Its putrid scent reaches her nostrils, but she can smell none of it. She is numb to the sweltering heat of the explosions, just like her body was numb when she saw the condensed bomb fall upon him. She is blind to Lee, who is unconscious from the agony of losing his legs to the living bombs, just like she was blinded when the clay flashed before detonating. She is deaf to Sasori's call for Deidara to pull back because there is no longer anyone worthwhile left to face, for all she can hear are the never-ending booms that continue to echo in her ears.

Gone. He can't be gone! He was the best genin in their year! A prodigy. A genius. The first in their year to become a jounin. He always knew when she needed him, always had a solution. But when his life became threatened. . .

Helpless. . . That was what she felt when his beaten-down body, rotating in his Kaiten, became lost in the flash of light and roar of wind. And this is how she feels as she realizes her fatigued body is unable to follow after and defeat the retreating figures. She is too weak to avenge his murder.

She desperately wishes to be with him. She cannot wait any longer now that his physical presence has been robbed from her. But not only is she too weak to avenge him, she is too weak to chase after him. She longs for the courage to retrieve her fallen kunai and follow him into the afterlife. She gasps for air and notices she has been crying when drops of salted tears find their way onto her tongue.

"Please," she hears herself whisper an incomprehensible sob. But the bulkier of the two figures seemingly hears and turns back.

He shuffles around the battle-scarred forest until he is in front of her fear-ridden body, which trembles from the sudden, cold anticipation that overtakes her anxious form. His wooden tail creaks as it swings around and forces her face upwards. She tenses as she senses those glassy eyes scrutinizing her.

"So you wish to die?" Sasori asks coldly.

Her throat releases a muffled sound of fear, but her eyes betray her true thoughts. She can somehow sense him smiling from beneath his mask, and suddenly, her body is overcome with the oddest sensation. The thought of defending herself never occurs to her. She is too overwhelmed with joy at the prospect of being reunited with him.

Moments later, Sasori completes his jutsu, and the kunoichi falls into a wooden heap. Her doll-like eyes still filled with the same deceptive hope.

"I never was one for happy endings."

. . . . . . . .

A/N: So I suppose this isn't as crappy as the first version, but it's still pretty much rubbish. I still need to iron out some things, add in more detail, make it less random... Speaking of random, did anyone notice the irony at the end?

Anyway, this is shameless advertising, but if you want to read something way better in literary merit than this and less random, check out my Gintama one-shot which should be up. It's called End of Illusions.

Thanks for reading and please remember to review!

-Chairo Mori