Whisky Lullaby/by kikofreako

I was riding in the car the other day, and heard a song for the first time. Team Eight angst hit me like a truck! So I don't own Naruto and I don't own Brad Paisley's lyrics. (Please read them; they do contribute to the storyline!)

--

"Let's cram the freaks together onto one team. That way, they'll find strength in each other that they never knew they had!"

"Yes! The team will become a close-knit camaraderie and we shall save them from the horror of being alone."

"You're brilliant, Hokage-sama! Nothing can go wrong!"

That's how Kiba had always imagined how it must've went when Team Eight was formed.

They would fit together like pieces in a puzzle, right? Like in a shoddy TV sitcom, where all of life's problems could be solved in thirty minutes or less. As if.

Screw them all.

--

Kiba couldn't exactly pinpoint when Hinata had started to fall apart, or if she had really been whole in the first place. There had been fresh hope in the beginning, hope for unconditional love, fairy tale endings, best friends forever complete with the cheap necklaces that were two pieces of a heart and when you put them together they became whole. Except now, Kiba was standing alone with his piece and there was nothing to pair it with.

Kureani had been a new jounin, and seen Hinata's suffering and pain, and tried to help her, tried to be the mother she had never had. It would work a few times, and there would be a little spark of hope, but it would quickly be extinguished as Naruto turned a blind eye or someone made a rude remark. Like a fire, when you almost had a flame, but then it fizzled and you were left with two warm sticks to work with, try to start from scratch and begin anew.

She had not been very emotionally secure, that's what they had said at her funeral, right? Kiba thought back, remembering the white roses that had been scattered everywhere as if the spirit of Hinata was watching over them, yay happiness and who cares that she's dead? Certainly not Naruto; he proved that every time he kissed Sakura, touched Sakura, showed that he loved Sakura and would never love anyone else, especially not a girl with purple hair and a stutter.

The rumors flew, but no one knew how much she blamed herself

For years and years she tried to hide the whisky on her breath

She finally drank her pain away a little at a time

But she never could get drunk enough to get him off her mind

Until the night...

Shino was the one who had found her, lying amid a stack of neatly folded and sealed papers, not a drip of wax out of place. She had looked almost ethereal, Kiba would have betted, candlelight adorning her pale face and the shining blade of the kunai knife that had pierced her heart, buried alongside the one that Naruto had unknowingly given to her when he proposed to his pink-haired goddess.

She put the bottle to her head and pulled the trigger

And finally drank away his memory

Life was short but this time it was bigger

Than the strength she had to get up off her knees

Everything had been neat, very neat, Shino had informed him, voice deadpan and monotone as if reading a mission report. The letters had been stacked neatly in alphabetical order, starting with Aburame Shino and ending at Yuhi Kureani, tied up with scarlet ribbon and sealed with pearly white wax. The pencil was laid beside the papers, point dull from so much writing. On her other side had sat the document that officially turned the responsibilities of Clan Heir to Hyuuga Hanabi. By her head was an empty glass and a half-full bottle of red wine and in her hands was a snapshot of the man she could never have with the woman he had always wanted.

We found her with her face down on the pillow

Clinging to his picture for dear life

We laid her next to him beside the willow

While the angels sang a whisky lullaby

--

Kiba couldn't exactly pinpoint when Shino began to fall apart, or if he had really been whole in the first place. There had been fresh hope in the beginning, hope for unconditional love, fairy tale endings, best friends forever complete with the cheap necklaces that were two pieces of a heart and when you put them together they became whole. Except now, Kiba was standing alone with his piece and there was nothing to pair it with.

He never noticed the looks Shino had given Hinata behind his sunglasses, or how his hands tightened into fists every time Naruto came by. Kiba wondered, how long had Shino felt this way about her? How blind had he been?

And Kiba wasn't even the one wearing sunglasses.

Others cried over Hinata's death, dealt with their pain and got over it one way or another. Shino never could get over it.

She put him out like the burning flame of a midnight cigarette

She broke his heart– he spent his whole life trying to forget

He finally drank his pain away a little at a time

But he never could get drunk enough to get her off his mind

Until the night...

He didn't bother with the pomp and circumstance like Hinata had because he didn't care. Shino had lost his will to care when they closed the lid of her casket. In his hand, he had held an empty bottle of vodka. Tests confirmed that it had been laced with items the kikai would not think dangerous: painkillers, Tylenol, ibuprofen, sleeping pills. Bottles were strewn about the bathroom floor, not one capsule left for Kiba.

He put the bottle to his head and pulled the trigger

And finally drank away her memory

Life was short but this time it was bigger

Than the strength he had to get up off his knees

Shino had torn off a piece of notebook paper and wrote, "I forfeit. My trump is gone." in red ink that Kiba knew was not red ink but red blood. It was tacked onto the wall above the bed that he had been slumped on, finally giving up and conceding the final victory. No hysterics, the room wasn't trashed. Kiba realized then that Shino had in fact loved her.

We found him with his face down in the pillow

With a note that says "I'll love her 'till I die"

And when we buried him beneath the willow

The angels sang a whisky lullaby

--

Kiba couldn't exactly pinpoint when the team had began to fall apart, or if it had ever really been whole in the first place. There had been fresh hope in the beginning, hope for unconditional love, fairy tale endings, best friends forever complete with the cheap necklaces that were two pieces of a heart and when you put them together they became whole. Except now, Kiba was standing alone with his piece and there was nothing to pair it with.

And he wondered if the knife in his hand was a good piece to complete his own.

--

I've made myself cry, methinks.

Liked this story? Review and tell me what you liked. Hated it? Review and tell me what you didn't like. Criticism makes me happy, because it helps me to get better.

Akiko