gift!fic for: Kiki, who is one of the sweetest people I have ever had the pleasure to know. Happy Holidays, my dear. I hope you're having fun in Japan!
summary: A quiet moment where it is just Her, just Him—but not really, because it could never be just him—just their world, in the hours between twilight and dawn.
notes: An experiment. I seem to be doing that a lot. DDD:
disclaimer: phwee! Naruto equals not mine.
They sit in a rosewood chest underneath her bed, inlaid in not silk, nor satin, but Memory, and lacking the effects of Time. It is its own universe; a castle in timber, its constituents the same and—
It is Precious.
She takes them out one night, between the constant stream of missions, and the busy days at the hospital, and tea with Ino, and sparring with Naruto, and the chasing down of Kakashi-sensei
(because really, really, he is getting too old for hide-and-seek, and is going to get a check-up that damned terrifying?—really
a quiet moment where it is just Her, just Him,
(but not really, because it could never be just Him)
just their world, in the hours between twilight and dawn.
No lives at stake, no Naruto to rival, no Ino to contend with, no small deaths—
Just them, under what's left of Moonlight.
She takes them out, piece by piece, their tangible History.
(The rest is in their hearts, their minds, their little scars, and they are not ready for that, not yet)
There are pictures. One with Team 7, before everything began, before he became Leader,
(She supposed that merited a capital—She's not quite sure, but she loves him all the same)
before he went back to Lazing Around,
(growing steadily more depraved as Time went on, and really, really—reading to the orphanage? What is he thinking, and won'tsomebodyplease think of the children?
And He stops her flailing fists with one hand, and stares her down.
"You're ruining it," he says, beautiful and strong and just—not just—Everything, and she pauses.)
Before he left.
Before she got strong enough to help bring him back.
There a few scattered pictures of her with Ino, all blond hair and blue fey eyes, and she sometimes wonders why he didn't choose her.
("She's not annoying," he says, with a little smile, and she forgets her next question.)
A few with him—P.A, or Post Assbow—and she looks at those fondly, rubbing her finger over the whiskers of Naruto's cheeks.
("I hope our child is like him," she'll say one day, nonchalant, and despite himself, he'll drop the knife he'd been cutting tomatoes with)
Then, there are the letters.
A few were unsent,
(a silent cacophony ofSasuke-kun pleasepleaseplease come back I need you and I wish I were enough, please tell me how to be enough—)
a few were unopened,
("you'll know when," he says, a smile not on his lips but in his eyes, and she wonders whether it really was him she saw, walking down to the jeweler's lane)
Most were ordinary.
(I packed you bento, Sasuke-kun. I notice you don't care for the store-bought that Kakashi-sensei sometimes gets us, once every blue moon.
I had to leave. Mission. Don't worry. Get tomatoes for when I get back, and put them in my fridge.
Thanks for sabotaging my date last night, asshole. Don't think I didn't hear you and Naruto snickering in the bush behind my table. Jealous, are we?
Don't flatter yourself. He was annoying.
Really, Sasuke-kun. If you wanted a date, you should have just asked.
Pick me up at 8?
(Yes, and yes, and yesyesyes, but it would not do to seem so excited, to be so happy so instead he writes—)
Don't be late.)
And she treasures the letters, the words, the letters, because really, that's all she needs. It's the little moments, the process, the being, that matters more than their end.
And she looks at him, green eyes bright and clear, and he thinks perhaps—
(I love you., even if I can't quite say it, yet. I will. I will.)
She tucks them away, letters, photos, lists, all of Them in paper-form, keeps them safe in a world of their own, and falls asleep content.
Happy Christmas, m'dear. Take care, and hopefully, will talk to you soon!