Dawn

AN: I could be patient and wait for canon to disprove everything next week, or I could indulge my Konan fascination with a speculation story XD. It's a bit weird, but I couldn't help but think that Pein (Nagato)'s bloodline works in a way similar to Orochimaru's soul-switching technique.

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She sits calmly at a table, a single sheet of white paper lying flat down on it as her blue hair falls into her eyes. The morning in Amegakure has been nothing but uneventful, and she has always been an early riser, unlike Pein. There's sun filtering in through the window, and she briefly closes her eyes, absorbing it like the creation that she is about to make. She is twenty three, but she feels like a child again for an instant. She always feels like a child before she adds the routine burden of each day.

There is a body in the street. There is a body in the street and Konan feels her eyes grow wide as she stares at it and tries to keep breathing. There is blood, far too much blood, around a familiar orange-colored head and she sinks to her knees, thin, calloused fingers clenching the fabric of her well-worn training clothes.

Thin, calloused fingers nimbly fold a crease, perfectly symmetrical and measured like everything else she does.

The rain is falling, and she starts to cry.

Another fold, made with a rigid firmness as her heavy lidded eyes narrow and a frown makes its way to her pretty, if stern, face. She can't help but wonder, as her fingers crease and flex with the paper far more easily than with hand signs, if the sky above their village is ever going to stop its tears.

All she remembers is seeing Nagato, kneeling before her and tilting her chin up with two fingers, ringed eyes dry.

"We don't cry anymore."

The paper is flipped over, and spruced almost lovingly despite the hitch in Konan's breathing.

She doesn't know if Nagato is the one that killed their beloved Yahiko, but she doesn't want to know the answer. Because if that is the case, then Konan has lost two loved ones; both, in a manner, to Orochimaru's influences.

It is creased again, and she's beginning to see the final shape.

She's young, but she's strong and all she can do is wipe away the tracks on her cheeks that could have been hidden by the rain.

It's finished.

Thin fingers release the fabric of her clothes to make a hand sign, and there are now flowers flying over a grave that Yahiko will never get.

Her hands calmly and precisely begin to readjust the blue hair, the style no longer like a child's, but like a lady's, as she secures the origami flower she has just made. It is only paper, but it feels like lead.

She hears footsteps, and without a word she glances up and notices that Pein has just left his bedroom, and he doesn't give her a look of warmth, but she feels his care even still. She nods in greeting, he returns it, and cautiously sits down next to his reserved companion.

She knows that every day she should be feeling awful, horrendous guilt, but she can't. It's beyond her capacity, as fleeting as the rain drops that fall from the sky. This is the best way, the only way, and a feminine hand calmly settles over Pein's.

In this way, she loses no one as Yahiko stares at her with Nagato's eyes.

In this way, they sidestep death in a way their families could not. In this way, they play God.

He has her, and she will have this creation that is not one, but two, people. That is Yahiko in flesh but Nagato in spirit. And this is all they need to keep the skies from falling. They don't cry anymore and from now on there will be no more graves to cry over.