To Everything There Is A Season
Disclaimer: Naruto and all related enterprises © Kishimoto Masashi, the Shueisha Publishing Co., Studio Pierrot, etc.
Spoilers for Chapters 328 & 330.
Lyrics credit the Holy Bible, Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 and Pete Seeger.
In the same universe as An Interesting Egg, There's A Sucker Born Every Minute and Change Is Inevitable.
This has not been beta/proofread.
"To everything there is a season…" "Hm?" Genma plucked the senbon from his mouth and twirled it in his fingers.
A nervous habit.
"Nothing. Just an old proverb from a far away place." Shizune mused softly. "It states that there is a time and place for everything. Asuma-san, Kurenai-san…" Her voice trailed in a watery smile as she looked down at the stone monument overlaid with flowers. "They understood and accepted this. They were… are… very brave."
So many of her generation, overwhelmed and traumatized by loss. Some, a parent; many both. And still others, whole families—lost in the conflict and inevitability that was the ninja path. It was no surprise that very little of her generation had yet to set down roots; plant the seeds for the next generation that would care for the village.
But to everything there was a season.
A time to break down, a time to build up.
A time to time to kill, a time to heal.
"A time to die, a time to be born. A time to plant, a time to reap…"
"Mm." Genma acknowledged, allowing Shizune to talk her thoughts aloud.
"Kurenai-san… she came to see me the other day. She and Asuma-san… she is expecting."
Genma stilled. A shaky hand returning the senbon between his teeth. The medic-nin looked over her shoulder and chuckled.
"Are you really surprised?" she flashed him a patient smile and turned back to the monument at their feet.
Asuma and Kurenai—it was no secret. The irony of it all is what picked at Genma. After three years, why now? A father that will never know his child. A child that will never know its father.
A gentle hand glided across his check and plucked the senbon from his mouth.
"To everything there is a season," she answered gently, knowing the path of his thoughts having taken the same path herself numerous times.
"It doesn't make sense. It isn't fair. It just is. A time to break down, a time to build up. A time to kill, a time to heal. A time to die, a time to be born." She recited the words in a soft lilting melody.
"We mustn't fear death or life, Genma. There's too much at stake to simply stop."
As too many of us have.
She thought of Kakashi-san, Tsunade-sama and all the others who were too afraid to plant and reap the glorious fruits that waited if they just allowed themselves to take that step forward.
Shizune twirled the senbon in her hand before placing it gently in Genma's larger palm.
"Asuma and Kurenai… they weren't afraid." She whispered her tone laced with regret… envy?
"Shizune…" Genma reached for her hand, but she stepped aside.
"I have to go." She said quietly. "Tsunade-sama is expecting me."
Genma nodded silently; at a loss for words, and fearful of damaging the tenuous calm between them and watched her walking away.
------------"Shiranui-sempai…" Izumo stammered in a hushed tone. "What are you doing here? Do you have any idea what the Hokage would do if—"
"Izumo," Kotetsu stopped his colleague. "Let him."
Izumo's shoulders slumped in acceptance. The events of the past few days weighed on him—weighed on all of them. Sarutobi-sempai and Kurenai-sempai…
Izumo's back straightened. "Yes." He nodded fiercely. "Go to her sempai!"
The senbon user shook his head and chuckled. Like anything short of a sudden attack from the Akastuki was going to keep him from his goal.
Kotetsu shook his head and expelled a long-suffering sigh as he dragged Izumo to the other side of the administration buildings' long balcony and back to their posts.
"Ahii!" The medic-nin startled. "Genma! What are you doing here at this time of night?" She demanded in a harsh whisper. "If Tsunade-sama—"
"I don't care about that." The usually composed ninja growled, causing the medic-nin to pause.
He took that as invitation and stepped through the shoji doors and into Shizune's private quarters.
"I've been so stupid. We've been so stupid. This is so stupid." He sighed in frustration trying to formulate the words he wanted to say.
Shizune relaxed and cocked a quizzical brow. "That was very… eloquent."
"Don't tease." He chided gently, his brow set in a determined furrow. He placed his palms over her shoulders and pulled her towards him.
"Yes, Genma?" She looked up with bewildered eyes waiting for him to voice what was on his mind.
"I love you."
Her lips opened and closed on a silent breath.
"And you love me."
She blinked back tears.
"We've been so stupid." He muttered softly.
Shizune shook her head, utterly confused. Her mouth opened to question him and he stopped her words with his mouth over hers.
"Genma?" She breathed when he finally pulled away.
"Asuma and Kurenai." He said in explanation.
"They weren't afraid."
"No." She smiled tremulously.
"I don't want us to be afraid."
"No." She sobbed, shaking her head and smiling through the tears that fell freely now.
"A time to weep…" he recited another line from the proverb she spoke at the cemetery as he wiped her cheek.
"A time to laugh…" she finished.
"A time to hate…"
"A time to love." She whispered against his lips.
To everything there is a season.