The Melody of the Fox

Chapter 42

She'd never noticed how many cracks Naruto had in his ceiling before. There were over a dozen of them, each varying in size, shape, and depth. At some point she'd need to to fill those in since they were a bit of an eyesore, but at the moment, there was only one thing she cared about fixing. As the thought went through her mind, she turned her head to look down at Naruto. His arm was wrapped protectively around her waist, and she could feel his warm breath on the side of her bare stomach as he slept.

He'd come home tipsy the night before, apparently having drunk a lot more than he'd intended to after their argument. She had only been half awake as he stripped off his shirt and crawled into the bed with her, and though she'd thought about kicking him out or moving to the couch, she was far too exhausted to do anything. Now, she seriously regretted it.

She so very badly wanted to be angry with him, she really did, but staring at his sleeping face made it hard. Why did he have to be so goddamn cute all the time?

He stirred as if he'd felt her looking at him, a low groan reverberating in his throat. He then squinted up at her for a few seconds before smacking his lips together loudly to get rid of his cottonmouth, grunting at the bitter taste on his tongue. "Did I get drunk?"

A small smirk appeared on her face at how confused he look. "A little."

He was silent for a short while but then suddenly sat up, removing his body heat faster than she could adjust. She shivered under the cold and wrapped his old blanket tighter around herself. Since she was just in her underwear, it wasn't like she had much else to shield her.

"We need to talk about last night," she mumbled, staring at his back as he tiredly rifled through his dresser.

Naruto sighed deeply. He pulled out a t-shirt and slipped it on over his head. "Can it wait?"

"I'd rather it not."

"Fine," he snapped, shutting the dresser drawer with more force than was necessary. He turned to look at her, leaning back against his dresser and crossing his arms. "I'm sorry."

Tayuya struggled not to lash out at him for his attitude. She knew he was feeling a bit crappy from drinking too much and their argument, but he was really trying her patience. They hadn't even started talking about it and he was acting like a complete prick. "I'm not looking for an apology, Naruto. I want to know if you trust me." He averted his gaze and she felt her anger spike. "Seriously?"

The blond sighed, rubbing at his forehead. "It's not you that I don't trust, okay? It's that Sai guy."

"Never heard that one before," she mumbled sarcastically, burying herself deeper into the blanket.

He half laughed at that, pushing off of the wooden dresser to approach her. "What about you? You don't trust me when it comes to Hinata-chan."

Tayuya frowned. He had a point. They were in the same exact situation if she thought about it, so neither one of them had much of a leg to stand on. "So what are we gonna do about this?" she asked, gesturing between the two of them.

He tightened his arms and stared her down. "I dunno, but I'm not gonna stop being friends with Hinata-chan if that's what you're getting at."

An even deeper frown worked its way onto her face. It bothered her that he thought she'd be so petty about it. Yeah, she wasn't exactly thrilled that one of his friends obviously wanted to fuck him, but at worst she'd just follow them whenever they were alone. Women like that could be sneaky. "I wouldn't ask you to. I know how hard you've worked to make those friends."

He cracked a smiled at her then, the first real one since their fight. "Thanks, Tayuya-chan." He walked over, Her light brown eyes staring straight into his as he approached. He leaned down, his lips inches from hers as if he were planning to kiss her.

She felt her heartbeat speed up at his proximity, and it annoyed her more than she could fathom. Months of making out with him and he still gave her butterflies. It would be so easy just to give in and let him have his way, but it'd be bad for both of them in the long run. She hit him with a pillow and slid out of bed. "Don't thank me. I'm not interested in being that Sai guy's friend because he's creepy as fuck, but if I do decide I want to be friends with a guy, I don't want you to go all alpha male on him like you did last night. Okay?"

He quirked an eyebrow at that but shrugged and nodded. "Okay, that sounds fair. I mean, as long as he's not all over you..."

Tayuya rolled her eyes, pulling a pair of training shorts and a tank top from her own drawer. "Come on, you know I hate it when people touch me. Why would that change now?"

An arm slipped around her waist while she was putting on her tank top, and she froze when she felt the fine whiskers on his chin brush against the side of her neck. "So I guess I'm special, then. You love it when I touch you."

"Stop," she breathed, weakly trying to push his hands away from her hips so that she could continue getting dressed.

He only grabbed her more insistently, pulling her backwards until she was flush against him. "Why?"

She wrinkled her nose and elbowed him in the stomach to make him release his grip on her. "Because your breath smells like stale booze. Go brush and maybe then I'll want to kiss you."

Naruto poked out his lower lip and shoved his hands into his pockets, doing his best impersonation of a bratty five year old. He shuffled out of the room, grumbling playfully about not getting any loving.

Shortly after he left, Tayuya dropped her head into her hands. Despite her 'understanding,' it still bothered the fuck out of her that Hinata would continue to be a part of Naruto's life. She wanted to be okay with it, but she...couldn't. She'd never really had to share Naruto's attention before, especially not with someone who so obviously wanted him. It was fucking maddening not being able to figure out what she should do.

Worse, she didn't have anyone she could talk to about it. Anko wouldn't take it seriously enough, and she didn't trust any of the girls in Konoha since she'd known them for a couple of weeks at most. If only Temari were here she could ask her, but Suna was miles away. Sending a letter would take forever even by bird, and there was nothing like speaking face to face with someone and getting that instant feedback.

As long as she was in Konoha, she was on her own.


For the rest of the day she sat around just thinking. She didn't have any experience in dealing with this type of jealousy and worry, and the more she thought, the more upset she became. She was actually considering just killing the girl to bring herself some peace of mind even though it was possibly the worst plan in the world and a whole new level of crazy. Not only would she not have Naruto, but they'd kill her and everyone who had ever believed in her would be put under scrutiny for trusting an enemy. And she couldn't have that. But maybe if she could hire someone–

"Hey, Tayuya-chan, what do you want for dinner?" Naruto asked, taking a break from his exercising to stare at her. A light sheen of sweat covered his body as he lowered the dumbbells he'd been using to the ground.

Without turning to look at him–because he was shirtless and sweaty and she needed all of the brainpower she could get at the moment–she answered. "Whatever's fine with me."

Naruto sighed at her answer. He had tried his best to engage her in any sort of meaningful conversation, but she wasn't having it. It was obvious, to him at least, that they hadn't fully worked out whatever had been bugging her even though she'd insisted she was fine multiple times. She just kept...staring off into space. Every now and then she'd make a half hearted attempt to read her family's scrolls, but after a few minutes her eyes would drift off into a bare corner and her face would slowly become lost in thought. It was starting to bother him.

"I know we talked about this earlier, but are we really okay?"

She flashed him a small smile, looking away from the wall to meet his concerned blue eyes for a brief second. "We're fine."

Unfortunately for her, he wasn't willing to let it go that easily. "It doesn't feel like we're fine. Is there something still bothering you? About Hinata-chan?" He noticed she bristled when he said her name. Bingo. "Even if she did like me, nothing would ever happen. I don't know what I can say to make you believe me."

Tayuya frowned. It took more effort than she cared to admit not to tell him to shut the fuck up about it. She just wanted to be left alone with her thoughts for the time being. She'd never met a problem that she couldn't figure out given enough time and space, and she wasn't about to let a stupid minor issue like this freak her out.

Still, to actually figure something out, she needed Naruto to stop bugging her every five seconds. It was becoming apparent that as long as she was in the apartment, she wasn't going to get any peace. "I'm going grocery shopping. You want anything?" she asked, suddenly standing up. She grabbed her weapons pouch from the counter and attached it to her hip, checking it to make sure that she had some cash. Until they went on actual missions, she was trying to be as careful as she could about their budget.

Naruto sighed at her attempt to get away. He was annoyed that she wasn't willing to talk to him about it, but it looked like forcing the issue wasn't going to get him anywhere. Frowning, he answered. "Ramen."

She had to laugh a little at that. "Figures. I'll be back in a little bit."

His face dropped as she exited their small apartment. She wasn't being very subtle about not wanting to be around him, which was new for the both of them. They rarely, if ever, got tired of each other during their training trip, and it worried him that maybe she actually was interested in that Sai guy.

A soft knock at the door grabbed his attention, causing him to tilt his head curiously. They only locked the door when no one was home or when they were sleeping, so he didn't understand why she didn't just come back in. Shrugging, he jogged over to the door, opening it to reveal the person he least wanted to see at that moment.

"G-good evening, Naruto-kun!" she chirped up at him, a small, shy smile on her face.

The blond fought down a groan. If Tayuya saw her standing on their doorstep, there was no telling what she'd do. "Hi, Hinata-chan! Did you need something?" he asked, hoping he could get rid of her before his girlfriend returned. He forced a smile of his own that felt incredibly fake, but she didn't seem to notice as her eyes were focused on his chest. Even after all this time she had a little trouble meeting his eyes.

Hinata didn't appear to catch the hint as she twiddled her thumbs for a few seconds before speaking again. "W-well, are you free right now?"

Naruto sighed quietly. On one hand, he was very much in the doghouse with Tayuya over Hinata and probably should have come up with some excuse to end the conversation immediately. On the other, just talking to her surely wasn't breaking any rules. She was his friend, after all. "Um...sure. What's up?"

The girl paused, finally looking up at him with a downtrodden frown. "A-ano...did you forget?" When he cocked his head curiously, she swallowed and continued. "You promised we'd train today."

Naruto blankly stared down at the Hyuuga. To be frank, he didn't remember that at all. He was sure he'd spoken to her a some point during the party the night before, but after chugging two pitchers of beer one right after the other and throwing back a few 'congratulatory' shots, his memories were admittedly a bit hazy. It was very possible that she had approached him about the subject, and even more likely that he'd agreed.

Since he was pretty bored and Tayuya seemed too upset to hang out with him, he shrugged on the inside and widened his smile. It was just training, and he had promised. He was well known for not going back on word; why should he start now? "Oh, right! Let me grab my stuff!" Jogging back into the apartment, he quickly threw on a shirt and picked up his weapons pouch and keys. In no time he was back outside and locking the door behind him.

Which training ground do you want to go to?" he asked, jumping down the stairs three at a time. He hadn't left the apartment all day, and the quickly cooling air felt great on his face.

"U-um, actually, I have to train in a special place. It's outside of the village," she mumbled, faint wisps of smoke slipping from her lips as she spoke.

Naruto shrugged and slowed his pace until she was walking in front of him a bit. "Lead the way."

She led him through town for a good ten minutes until they reached the southern wall, and just when he was starting to worry that she was planning to murder him and cut him up into little pieces to hide the evidence, she stopped at a large lake that was only a thousand or so meters from the entrance.

It was just getting dark, and the quickly setting sun cast a warm glow on the gently rippling surface of the water. A small waterfall on the other side of the lake completed the scene, and it was, in a word, breathtaking.

"Wow, this place is awesome!" he yelled, jumping up into the air. "What kind of training are we doing? Walking on water? I learned that awhile ago, though. It'd suck to fall in, too–it's pretty chilly out." When his question remained unanswered after a few seconds of silence, he turned to look at her. "Hinata-chan?" His eyes widened when he saw that she was shedding her thick outer jacket to reveal a thin mesh shirt underneath, but it wasn't until she began to pull down her pants that his brain finally began to work again and he put a sizable amount of distance between them. "W-what are you doing?!"

Though her cheeks were glowing red, her face was the perfect picture of nonchalance. "Training." With that, she let her pants drop all the way to the ground.

Naruto struggled to keep his jaw from dropping as he took in the thin bikini she was wearing. Her body was toned, and that was an understatement. Somehow she'd managed to grow in all of the right places over the past three years, and her chest piece seemed to whimper in pain as it tried to contain her breasts. Her smooth, pale skin glowed in the sunset, forcing him to keep his attention on her. It was so much different than Tayuya's body. Not better, but...different. It was all he could do to avert his gaze.

This was bad. He knew this was bad. Every bone in his body told him that this was bad. So why couldn't he move? He tried to swallow the lump that had formed in his throat but it felt like it was only expanding, cutting off his airflow and restricting much needed oxygen to his brain.

He was only vaguely aware of Hinata gracefully stepping onto the water, and he certainly didn't notice the smile that flickered across her face at his dumbstruck reaction. She reached her hand out to him, silently beckoning for him to join her.

"I...I can't," Naruto murmured, looking back towards where they came. He felt uncomfortable just being within spitting distance of her, so getting any closer was out of the question.

"I-It's just training, Naruto-kun. There's nothing to be afraid of," she teased, voice light and calm.

He hesitated for another minute, trying to decide what he should do. It bothered him that he was letting her down after promising that they'd train together. He knew firsthand what it was like to be let down by someone he cared about, and he'd hate himself if he did the same to her. Besides, Tayuya herself said that she was fine with them still being friends, and it made sense for her to be in a bathing suit if they were training on water. Sure, it was a little...thin, but maybe it was more effective for whatever she was going to show him. He winced minutely at the thought. Even to his mind it sounded like complete bullshit.

Taking a deep, calming breath, he stepped out onto the water with her. "So...what now?"

Pleased that he'd joined her, she closed her eyes and took a deep breath. She slowly began to spin, chakra swirling around her in translucent tendrils. Her body was perfectly balanced as she twirled, and before long, she was spinning so fast that she looked more like an oversized Rasengan than a person. Eventually she slowed into a stop, panting lightly as she shot him a proud smile.

"Y-you try now, Naruto-kun. Release only a small amount of chakra from your fingertips and use it to propel yourself in a circle."

"Um, okay." It took a few tries, but eventually he was able to spin on the surface of the water. It felt a little weird for him to be doing what felt a lot like ballet, but once he managed to gain his balance, it turned out to be surprisingly fun. He could feel both his control and balance actually getting better–not that it was bad before, but any little bit helped.

"Hey, can this be used as a technique?" he asked, struggling to keep himself from falling over as he spoke.

Hinata nodded–or at least he assumed she did since he couldn't exactly see her while she was spinning. "U-um, you're actually using the Kaiten."

At that, Naruto finally lost his balance and sank into the water. He came. "What?! Really?!"

She laughed at how much he looked like a drowned fox but nodded. "It's how I learned it. Once I perfected it here, doing it on land was much easier!"

The blond grinned widely. With his chakra capacity, he could extend its diameter to who knows how far! Now extra motivated to learn, he hopped back up onto the surface of the water and began to spin again.

He was having so much fun twirling and laughing on the lake with Hinata that he quickly lost track of time. At some point during the evening the sun had been replaced with a full moon. "Shit," he hissed, realizing how late it had gotten as he came out of his spin. He wasn't an expert in reading the stars, but if he had to guess, they'd been out there for at least three hours. "I've gotta go!"

"W-wait, Naruto-kun!" Hinata stuttered, trying to slow her own Kaiten so that she could stop him. She'd gotten so caught up in training that she hadn't even had a chance to really talk to him.

"Sorry, Hinata-chan! Bye!" With a final wave, he sprinted full speed for the village.

He hoped that Tayuya hadn't returned yet, but he wasn't holding his breath. The store they usually shopped at was only a ten minute walk away, so unless she'd slipped on a puddle, cracked her head open, and was currently in a coma, he was screwed. He hadn't even left her a note or anything. After living alone for thirteen years and then always having her around, he'd never had a reason to tell anyone of his whereabouts. His mind ran through every possible excuse he could think of as he ran, but none of them were even close to being believable. She was going to kill him.

It was almost five minutes later when he finally made it home, and just like he'd expected, Tayuya was waiting for him. She was casually reading a scroll at the kitchen table when he walked in the door, and she only looked up at him when he approached the table where a plate of warm food awaited him. She didn't look particularly angry, so he decided to take that as a good sign.

"You made dinner? Thanks!" he exclaimed, plopping down in the chair opposite her. It was a dish she'd never made before, and not for the first time, he wondered exactly what else she could do that he didn't know about. He was starving from training, so he didn't waste any time digging in.

"This is awesome!" He finished the food as fast as he could, finding the awkwardness to be nearly unbearable. She just kept staring at him, not saying a word and not moving. Feeling the awkwardness in the room slowly increase, he quickly found a way to leave. "I'm gonna change clothes." He heard a slight intake of breath and instantly knew that he wasn't going to be able to just gloss over the whole thing like he'd hoped.

"So where'd you go?" she asked, finally speaking.

He noticed that she seemed as uncomfortable about asking as he did about answering, so he decided to just tell the truth and hope that she didn't ask too many questions. "I was training. I just sort of felt like letting off some steam."

"Until ten at night?"

Naruto shrugged, already starting to get annoyed with her questions. "I lost track of time."

"Why are you wet?" Her mind concocted all sorts of scenarios. Maybe he'd showered to get rid of evidence, or worse. She was trying her absolute best not to sound like a crazy, possessive bitch, but he was making it extremely hard with how evasive and he was being. He was usually so open about everything.

"I was training on water. And why do I have to tell you where I am all the time? What happened to trusting each other?"

Tayuya bit the inside of her lip. Now she was getting angry. As he raised his voice, she found herself matching him. "Is this how it's gonna be now that we're back in Konoha?"

Naruto sighed and ran a frustrated hand through his hair. "I was only gone for a couple of hours. It's no big deal!"

"That's not what's bothering me. What bothers me is that you just disappeared without telling me anything. What bothers me is that I'm stuck here sitting on my hands by myself wondering where the hell you are. You have S-ranked shinobi after you. What if something had happened?"

"Nothing's going to happen!" he yelled, surprising them both with the loudness of his voice. He forced himself to calm down, crossing his arms and taking a deep breath. "But if it'll make you feel better, from now on I'll report to you before I do anything."

"That's not what I want, Naruto." Her eyes narrowed, and she swallowed the thick lump that had formed in her throat. No fucking way would she give him the satisfaction of even shedding a tear. "I just…" she paused, closing her eyes briefly before continuing, "I just want you to be able to trust me. Is that too much?"

Naruto blinked. He couldn't understand what she was so upset about. Obviously he trusted her since she was the closest to person to him. Hell, they lived together. "What's wrong with you? Why are you being so...stupid?"

Her eyes flashing, she shot up from her seat, chair falling back against the hardwood of the ground. "Stupid? You're calling me stupid now?"

"Don't twist my words. I'm saying what you're doing is stupid."

It's the same fucking thing. So that's how it's gonna be."

The blond rubbed his forehead, trying to stem the headache that was beginning to bloom behind his eyes. He was fed up with trying to calm her down. If she wanted to fight, then he'd give her what she wanted. "Yeah, Tayuya, this is how it's gonna be. That's what you wanna hear, isn't it?"

She didn't even look at him, eyes focused on a spot off to his left. It pissed him off that once he decided to fight back she suddenly chose to ignore him.

"Isn't it?" When she again refused to meet his eyes, he stood up. "Tayuya-chan, answer me."

She continued to stare at the wall, counting backwards from 100 in her head because she was so fucking close to knocking him out that it actually scared her. Her hands shook with the effort of holding herself back. God, if she was the same person she was three years ago...

"Tayuya!" He yelled. He felt his anger bubbling under his skin. First she tries to control his life, and now she doesn't want to talk to him? Fuck her. "I wish I'd never said a fucking word to you at the hospital." As soon as the words left his mouth, he regretted them. It was like having an out of body experience–like he was observing some evil, twisted version of himself from afar. He saw the shock on her face and the moisture in her eyes and felt like the biggest jerk in the world.

All of his anger immediately vanished, replaced by the deepest regret. He moved to hug her, to plead with her to forgive him, but she roughly pushed him away, sending him sprawling over his chair and onto his back. He'd forgotten how strong she was. He was on his feet in milliseconds and tried again to calm her down. "Tayuya-chan, I didn't–"

"Don't fucking touch me, asshole." Her voice was low and cold, making his heart leap into his throat.

"Tayuya–"

She shoved him out of the way and stormed into the bedroom, grabbing her pack–that she luckily had put off unpacking all the way–and nearly ran towards the front door.

Alarmed, Naruto tried to jump in front of her. "Where are you going?!"

"What does it matter to you? Are you worried that I'm too...too stupid to take care of myself?" She was always just a little bit quicker than he was and slipped under his arms without too much trouble. Her hand was on the doorknob before he could turn around.

"Tayuya-ch–"

she slammed the door hard, rattling the entire apartment and cutting him off before he could even finish saying her name.

It took him a second, but he eventually managed to force his legs to run to the door and open it, only to find she'd disappeared from sight. A wave of anger rushed through him, and he slammed the door closed hard as he could. He'd fucked up, and worse, he deserved it.

"No!" He yelled as he punched the door, reveling in the sting of his knuckles. "No, no, no, no, no!" With each word he launched another fist at the door, each blow more powerful than the last until he punched a hole through it with a loud crack. For the first time in his life he was thankful that he didn't have any neighbors as one of them surely would have raised an alarm by now at his tantrum.

He tried his best not to cry, but he couldn't stop frustrated tears from sliding down his cheeks and onto the floor. He didn't know how this had even happened. Just a day ago they were doing perfectly fine, and because of one stupid asshole that he didn't even know, he'd let himself get overly jealous and lose the person he loved most.

Thinking back on their fight, he couldn't believe half the things he had said. That wasn't him. None of it was. She hadn't done a thing to deserve any of it, but he'd been seeing red ever since the guy had appeared. It didn't make any sense. He'd thought the Kyuubi was trying to help him with Tayuya, not break up.

"Don't blame this on me," a voice echoed in his head, and Naruto grudgingly accepted that it was right. The Kyuubi hadn't said a word during the fight. Usually when he got angry the demon started calling for blood and guts, but the fox had been strangely silent for the past ten minutes.

He–and he alone–had hurt Tayuya, and that was the thing that made him feel the worst.


Though the street below her still had a few people milling about, the rooftops were thankfully clear of shinobi, allowing her to sprint across the village at a rapid pace. She was trying not to cry, but she could still feel the tightness in the backs of her eyeballs and knew that the slightest push would put her over the edge.

Three years of friendship ruined in one fucking day. It had happened so fast that she still hadn't come to terms with it. She hadn't even found out what he'd been doing, but deep inside, she knew that it had something to do with Hinata. It was the only reason that made sense to her. She strongly considered changing directions and heading up the hill to the Hyuuga mansion to 'talk' to the girl, but as her destination came into view, the fatigue she felt from the day's stresses began to catch up with her.

She landed in front of the door and raised her hand to the dark wood slab, hesitating for only a second before knocking. She was just beginning to worry that they weren't home when she heard the door unlatch and slowly creak open.

A shock of wild purple hair appeared in the crack, and the woman sleepily rubbed her eyes. "Taya-chan? What are you doing here? It's almost midnight."

"Can I stay with you for just one night?"

Anko stared down at the girl, taking in her haggard appearance. Tayuya's eyes were slightly bloodshot and her nose was bright red, causing the woman's face to settle into a frown. Though she wasn't really expecting to find any, she quickly checked her over for any cuts or bruises to make sure that she wouldn't have to kick a certain jinchuuriki's ass. A small breath of relief escaped her to find that she seemed to be in perfect shape–minus the crying. "Yeah, sure, of course," she said, stepping back into the apartment so that the girl could enter.

"Do you want some cocoa?"

Tayuya scoffed. "I'm not a kid." In a smaller voice, she continued. "Yeah, I do."

Nodding, Anko quickly moved into her kitchen and put the kettle on. She wanted to immediately start grilling the redhead but decided to give her a little time to compose herself while the water boiled. She handed her a mug of the steaming liquid, smirking when the girl burnt her lip trying to drink it too fast. She waited for her to get a few swallows down her throat before speaking.

"What happened?"

"Remember what I said about not telling you a thing anymore?" Tayuya mumbled halfheartedly around her mug.

Anko rolled her eyes. "Fine, then don't tell me. I'll just guess. Basically, you and Naruto are having a hard time adjusting to life together in Konoha, you had a fight, and now you're here."

Though surprised, Tayuya just shrugged noncommittally. It was almost scary how easy it was for Anko to understand her.

Noticing her shock, she cracked a small grin. "I'm in torture and interrogation, it's my job to read people." What she didn't say was that even if she hadn't been trained it was obvious enough what had happened. She scooted herself closer to the girl and wrapped her up in a hug, combing through her deep red hair with her fingers. "Boys are stupid, Taya-chan, and Naruto especially. You'll be alright."

She relaxed under Anko's comfort, and before long, she felt herself begin to yawn. "Can I just sleep on your couch or something?"

"Are you sure you wouldn't rather sleep in my bed with me?"

Tayuya blanched. "I've seen you drag two guys home from our parties. I'm sure."

The woman shrugged. "A girl's gotta fuck. And I changed the sheets!" Tayuya's face didn't change, so she stood up and stretched, arms raised towards the ceiling. "I'll bring you a pillow and blanket. The bathroom's the door in the corner, and feel free to eat the leftovers in the fridge if you get hungry."

"Thanks Anko," she mumbled, head dropping sleepily into her chest. She sniffed loudly, trying to stem the tears that were still trying to slip past her eyelashes.

Anko sighed and held her tighter, resting her chin on the girl's head. "I'm sorry."

The redhead looked up at her confused. "For what?"

"I'm sorry that you fell in love."

And it was then that she fully broke down. They were simple words–and something that she already knew–but she couldn't stop herself. She felt pathetic for crying over a guy...but it wasn't just a guy. It was Naruto. He was her best friend, the one who'd always believed in her when she didn't even believe in herself. Shit, he was her family. For him to say that he wished she were dead…it just reminded her too much of her grandmother, but she'd had a reason for saying it.

It felt like hours before she tired herself out, but eventually, she ran out of tears. She barely remembered Anko sliding a pillow under head and throwing a blanket over her, and she was fast asleep by the time the woman turned off the lights and left the room.

AN: I've forgotten so much about the Naruto series, holy crap.