Unbeta-read, no proofers, a spur of a moment thingy, so you know what to expect. Brace yourselves, and enjoy.
Written for the Great Heaven and Earth Fanfic/Fanart Contest II. Just google Narusaku forums, and you will find the location, if you're curious.
It is odd, he tells her one day; with sad blue eyes and a small, heart breakingly empty smile.
The bastard hovers over them, he says, watching, watching, watching..
Then he pauses, as if searching for the right word. A small frown takes over the smile, and he is deep in thought.
His hands folds behind his head, a gesture that, for a long time now, he did not do.
It is a mark of a child, full of innocence and naivety.
And he is not any of them.
Like a ghost, he says suddenly as the word come to him.
Then he pauses again, and agrees to what he says a moment ago.
A friend, a team mate; he continues, before his voice becomes softer. A brother.
Not all vows can be kept, he knows that now. He watches the sky as they walk; the bright blue clear sky.
That is when she stiffens.
He gives no indication he notices, but she knows he knows she did.
She turns to him, but her mouth has yet to open.
She wants to tell him he is wrong.
She wants to tell him that vows can be kept.
She wants to tell him it is not his fault.
But no words is willing to come to her.
In the end, she finally decides, says that he is not the same person she once knew.
He laughs a little; it is almost admonishing, like a laughter from a parent to his naive child who had asked an innocent question.
She wonders if she is being belittled. It is not strange, to be belittled from people, she has her own share of experiences. But it is strange when it comes from him.
Then he sobers. No, he tells her, he has not changed. He is just a realist now, who can see that some things, should not be promised, should not be tried.
She wants to tell him otherwise.
But she has no reply to retort.
He stops walking.
She stops as well.
That bastard is here, he says as he crouches on the soft grass; hands moving to brush away dirt and sand that gathers on top of the stone. It is hardly the appropriate kind of tombstone; there is no name, no mark - just a large stone.
But it is all they can offer to -
the one who caused pain and despair
- that bastard that is five feet under the ground.
That bastard who watches over them like a an invisible hawk, marking -
- them with his hypnotic red eyes.
Isn't it odd? He asks her again, absently. The bastard is here, buried, but no matter where they go, the bastard goes.
Then he barks out a laugh; a harsh, so harsh yet soft, laugh.
She finds nothing to say.
Unbreakable, cursed, he says, this bond is.
His tone is strange, neither poisonous or warm; neither insulting or defensive.
He pauses. Then when he speaks again, his voice is strangely filled with wonder and curiosity.
It's like they are married to his ghost.
Where in reality -
the overwhelming heat, straying hands, clashing tongues
- her fist clenches, stopping the thought.
It is still an incident fresh on their minds.
He turns a little, and gently pulls her down by the wrist. She isn't objecting, allowing herself into his lap.
He is warm.
She remembers, even if she knows it is not the appropriate time and place to do so. Her slender fingers moves to her neck, circling - almost unconsciously - on a bitten spot.
fingers tangling in his hair
He tightens his hold; blond hair tickled her cheek as he leans forward to rest his head on her shoulder - or brings her closer to him, whichever it is.
nibbling, caressing, touching
He's shaking, she notes.
And she knows why.
She turns in his lap, and brought her hands around him; into a tight, firm hug.
He is shaking.
She knows he doesn't want her to see him like this.
And so she doesn't. She will just be there, be with him, murmured nonsense in his ears.
And he cries.
The promise is not broken, she says at last, through his sobs and hiccups, it never is.
He resists a little in her hold upon hearing that, but she doesn't let go.
It is not broken, she repeats.
He begins protesting.
But she cuts him off, relaxing her hold as she meets him in the eye.
He's said it himself, the ghost is still with them, watching over them.
So then, she continues, a little smile on her face, if he is here with them, how is the promise broken?
He has no intelligent reply, even if he continuously says but, but, but.
The promise, she says firmly, is not broken.
But a ghost, he weakly protests, closing and opening his mouth a few times; though no words comes out.
A ghost, she agrees. Who is still here; she pokes his ribs with a finger. In there.
Then she takes his hand, and presses it to her breast. And in here, she tells him; letting him feel her heart beat.
He is at loss for words, staring at her; alternating from her eyes to his hands; a childlike fascination in his blue eyes as he feels the heart beat.
The three-men team lives still, in here. Her smile is soft.
She pauses, and brought his hand to her belly.
And the spirit of the team, she tells him gently, will live on in the little one.
The reactions playing on his face is all that she expects; astonishment, then apprehension, then fear.
She watches, knowing exactly why. But she says nothing.
It was fear not of the child, but fear for the child. The villagers, the kyuubi; what will they -
A turmoil of emotions swirled in his eyes, etching on his face.
But she smiles, milk green eyes all but catching his; a serene, soft glow in them.
It is fading, she notes, the fear in those blue eyes.
Then there is joy and a child like curiosity that shone in his sky blue eyes as he glances down at his hand on her stomach.
A child, he murmurs with wonder in his voice.
He looks up again, into her eyes, somewhat hesitant. An unspoken question is raised.
She almost laughs. He's being silly, and he scowls at her, catching her teasing smirk.
She tugs him down, settling herself in a more comfortable position, and brought the blond head close to her stomach.
He's concentrating now, eyes narrowing with focus as his ears strains to hear. It's not often he concentrates so hard, and she teases him about it, stroking his messy blond hair.
He let out a mock growl at her, but left it in favor of the new life forming in her stomach.
The cerulean blue eyes is filled with wonder again. I can hear it, he says quietly.
A set of heart beat that follows immediately after her own, soft, weak..
...but definitely there.
Well. Not quite what I expected to produce, since it's sort of write-as-I-think-of-next-line-thingy. I'm not entirely sure if the plot is consistent either, since it's a somesort spur of a moment thing. Not to mention I'm not as practiced as I should be in writing in present tense. This counts as my second attempt for a story in present tense, and the first was pretty much a failure. I'm not entirely sure if I should just call this a failure too. -frowns-
But...oh well. Hope it's enjoyable. Comments appreciated. Hit me with whatever you got. I'm bracing myself.