A/N: Just another bout of inspiration. Not as great as the last one, but I'm trying to use these to break out of my writer's block. Tell me how it is!

Disclaimer: I don't own Nawrootoe, Sas'kay or Sawkoora. Neither do I condone the pronunciation demonstrated by the dub. I love the manga.



They were both paper cranes, she decided. Both of them were paper cranes without argument and without contestation. She never said so, but behind the smiles and the disapproving glares and the sighs, the wheels were always turning until she decided that yes, they were like paper cranes. The intricately folded paper birds that can stand on their own until a wind comes. The birds that are folded in such a way that their faults are concealed on the inside, because no one likes to see a person's faults just like no one likes to see the white paper behind the colour. But there will always be the angry little boy that will pluck the paper cranes from their seats and tear away the folds until that white paper, those faults, are glaring out at the world and the crane is left with masking tape and shreds, but the whole world can still see the tears that the taped-together wings try to hide -- because tears and tears are spelled the same way and the cranes cry when that angry little boy rips their wings, because they still love him, but they can't make him stop.

They are both paper cranes, she decided. They are shaped as birds, yet they cannot fly. They are made like paper boats, yet they cannot float. One can only suspend them from the ceiling with fishing line to make it seem like their wings could bear them away. They are sturdy in their own right, they could stand on their own until it rains or until their fishing line cord snaps -- is cut, by that same angry little boy that they both love so much that they flap the air with their flightless, paper wings to try and make him see that they won't give up on him -- and then they fall to the ground -- useless. Weak.

They are both paper cranes, she decided. Fold one thousand and a wish would be granted to you. But it wasn't possible for one person. One person couldn't make a thousand cranes and one person couldn't change things and even if one thousand of them banded together, they still couldn't change anything, for what is a thousand flightless birds against a storm that sneers and says weak and dead last and watches passively when his rain and his lightning soil their paper and droop their tails and their heads and their dignity is lost beneath his silent taunting -- that look that says more than any insult he could have passed through his lips. But they still love him, that angry little boy that calls the storm and gives them the look because he made them and he gave them life. He smoothed their folds until they could stand by themselves before his brother made the little boy sad and angry and he blamed it on the little paper cranes he had made from coloured paper.

They are both paper cranes, she decided. They are both paper cranes because, though they cannot fly and cannot swim and cannot grant wishes, they still stand by themselves. They still stand for a chance of hope, however desperate it may be and they are created to comfort and to help that angry little boy up onto his feet again by giving him something to reach for, suspended as they are on fishing line strings on the ceiling. Because they love that angry little boy -- who isn't a little boy at all, but a man only months her junior, brilliant beyond her imagining, but is still angry at his brother and crushing his paper-crane friends who only want to help, and as much as he drives them away and hurts them, they will still love him, because he is his brother and her crush and their friend.

They are both paper cranes, she decided, Naruto and herself -- so difficult to make, but so easy to destroy. Sasuke, the angry little boy that made the coloured paper into delicate, beautiful birds -- whether he intended to or not --, was a paper crane too, she supposed, but a crane of pure black. Because on a crane of pure black, although it is beautiful in its cold, stark beauty, the oddly-done folds show the white paper, the fault, through the brightest.

paper cranes

A/N: Wa! That one sucked. Seriously. I have no idea why I even posted this.