A/N: Last chapter of the story! Ironic I write the chapter Shikamaru's Spring Break ends when my Spring Break has just begun. Reviews would be greatly appreciated. I can't improve my work without feedback, after all! Enjoy!
Warning: Shameless fluff. I've never written so much in my entire life. Beware.
Translation: 'A hui hou aku...' means 'Until we meet again...'.
April in Her Eyes –
Sky is in her heart,
rose in her soft, pink lips,
April in her eyes.
The next morning, I woke with the contented feeling that I had never had a better sleep. It was dreamless, and so relaxing I woke up smiling. I'd never woken up smiling before, and I even had a hard time pushing the look off of my face.
Chouji was sleeping in, even when I'd gotten dressed after a shower. That was strange. For the past couple days we had been completely opposite, usually he was the one to wake me up in the morning. But I let him sleep, and that's how I ended up walking down the hall and emerging into the lobby at about eight in the morning alone. It was better than five, but it was still damn early.
I nodded at Choza as he waved a hand over the counter at me. He'd really been great to us this vacation. He lent out breakfast, lunch and dinner, he was always saying hello when we passed. Sometimes I wished my father could be there for me to do the same, but then I remembered what Temari said.
She really had a way of changing your mind, I though, smirking fondly to myself as I walked past the desk.
But then, reminded of Temari, I stopped in my tracks.
There was something nagging my mind...
"Hey, Choza…" I walked over to the counter, and he looked up from his computer.
"Somethin' on your mind?"
"Yeah, can you tell me what something means in Hawaiian?" I asked, leaning against the counter intensely.
He nodded. "Depends if I know it, I'm not exactly an expert on it but I know a majority of things. What do ya need translated?"
I frowned, trying to remember what Temari had called me twice yesterday. "Um…" I snapped my fingers. "Hōkeo."
Choza's eyes widened. "… Hōkeo? Why do you want to know what that means?"
"Long story…" I lied. "So?"
"Well…" Choza tilted his head to the side. "It's means 'Secret love'." I blinked in surprise.
"Secret love. It's a nickname around here, for an object of secret affection." Choza watched me carefully. "You gonna tell me why you're wondering?"
With that I was gone.
There were many things people expected to be done while on vacation in Hawaii.
Snorkeling. Surfing. Tanning. Luaus. Hulas.
Apparently, my idea of spending my last vacation was walking around the town wondering why/how/when/if Temari could fall in love with me in three days. Definitely not the most fun I'd ever had. In fact, it was the least fun I'd ever had. I'd never been so confused in my life. I kept trying to go over the pros of the situation in contrast to the cons.
So we'd kissed. That was pleasant. She was beautiful, which was more than pleasant. Her eyes were by far the most gorgeous things I'd ever had the luck of seeing. She was bubbly, funny, smart, she could always make me smile or laugh. She had a ton of friends, and they could all vouch for her that she was sweet and loyal. She was single, or so I gathered. And she was obviously environmentally friendly, so that meant not only was there a softy hiding behind her bossy figure, she was nonetheless piteous.
The cons were that I'd met her three days ago, she lived more than one hundred miles away from me, and she had just confessed her love to me…without knowing it.
Maybe she hadn't expected me to ask someone so quickly. Hell, I didn't expect myself to ask someone so quickly. Or maybe I was so good at making her weak in the head she just acted on impulse and forgot about common sense. But that would have made me seem full of myself…
Nope. Never had I been more confused in my entire existence.
"Temari, hey, cut it out!"
I stopped walking. Why did only her name send me turning my head wildly over my shoulder to look for her?
Fortunately it wasn't just a misconception. I was walking down a trail near the beach, and I could see in the waves Temari and Kiba. Kiba was floating on his back, wincing as a laughing Temari splashed him, chest-high in the water.
I watched as she avoided Kiba and dived into the water, swimming farther off into the ocean, her head popping up a ways away from Kiba, who had twisted around and tried to dunk her. I watched as she swept her wet hair off of her face. I saw her smile as she laughed, making it seem like the sun had sunk to land on earth. I saw her soft hands that I could still feel on my own.
Her eyes were still the same. Two deep pools of blue, which reflected the sky like the water, connected by an unseen horizon. I couldn't understand why they affected me like this, why she could affect me like this. Those eyes, I could see them all the way from here. I wanted to gaze at them all day, every day for the rest of my life. I wanted to see her skin, all her skin. I wanted to hold her small, gentle, soft hands in my own as if she'd disappear if I didn't. I wanted some sort of embrace from her that would mold her into me. I wanted to kiss her like there was no other reason to live.
I loved her. And of course, the one romantic word that came out of my educated mouth the moment I realized it, was a word that could go down in history as the most idiotic excuse for bittersweet simplicity ever spoken.
I didn't care how many people were staring when I finally slammed into the counter of Akimichi's. I was panting, out of breath from running all the way there from the beach. It was about nine in the morning now, and as I leaned against the counter, giving breathless glares to those that glanced at me, I slammed a hand on the counter to get the man's attention, who popped up from behind it in surprise, flipping through some papers he'd been bending down to put away.
"Shikamaru, hey. Something…wrong?" He looked me over as I gradually caught my breath.
"Choza…how…" I gulped down some air and calmed myself. Maybe running there wasn't the best thing to do. "…How do you say 'I love you' in Hawaiian?"
He blinked. "Um…why…?"
"I just…wanna know," I said lamely, straightening up and wiping my forehead with my sleeve.
His eyes widened. "…Wait a minute…" He suddenly grinned. "It's Temari, isn't it?!"
"Would you just tell me?!" I demanded sharply. Not admitting anything, but not telling him his hypothesis was incorrect.
He chuckled. "You say 'Aloha au iā 'oe'," he said calmly. "Think you can say it?"
I frowned. "Aloha au iā 'oe," I repeated out loud.
"Boy, don't say that straight to my face," Choza said.
I laughed guiltily. "Sorry, forgot what it meant."
"Are you joking?"
So she wasn't at the beach. I'd checked, going straight back there. This left me with the question where the hell was she now? How could she and Kiba leave in the short time I'd been at Akimichi's?
Well, running was out of the question. I'd gotten enough exercise for the morning. But walking through town looking for her or anyone that knew her was good enough. It was all that was left.
I wished I knew where she lived. The town was small, and apparently everyone knew everyone, but people might have gotten suspicious if I asked what her address was.
Fortunately, I spotted two people that didn't get suspicious about anything; Neji and TenTen. I stopped in the middle of the sidewalk when I saw them. They were at a coffee shop, sitting across from each other at a table, each with a coffee. They looked genuinely happy, smiles on their faces. Neji was laughing at something TenTen had said, which put an amusing pout on the girl's round face.
For sure, I got it through my thick skull at last, they were fucking flirting.
"Hey; Neji, TenTen…"
They both looked up when I walked over to the gate they sat inside. TenTen smiled. "Hi Shikamaru!"
"What's up?" Neji asked politely.
"Either of you seen Temari…?" I asked carefully, and I noticed beneath the table their arms angled strangely; they were holding hands beneath it.
TenTen frowned, concentrating. "Hmm…wasn't she at the beach with Kiba?"
"No, she's not there anymore," I said, trying not to be impatient.
"Well, then I don't know where she is. Sorry!" TenTen said, giving me a guilty smile.
"That's alright." Before I left them completely, I said over my shoulder, "Enjoy the date."
Satisfied with their blushes, I walked away with a bit of a smirk on my face. But that couldn't calm my troubled thoughts. I wanted to be just like them, with Temari. They were open, they didn't care who saw them, if maybe they were a little embarrassed when the topic was mentioned openly. They looked happy, and sweet, and like they just belonged together.
They were in love, too.
I chuckled under my breath grimly. How ironic. Maybe if I wasn't so naïve and had realized it sooner, Temari and I could be like that as well. Maybe there would have been more time for us to spend together. But now, there were only two days left, and here I was walking around town carelessly…
Damn it! Where was she?! I knew I would be able to recognize her! I could recognize her eyes anywhere, her skin.
"Oh, hey! Shikamaru, there you are!"
I turned around in surprise and saw Temari walking over to me, smiling.
Of course. She was the one to find me. Maybe that's how it was meant to be.
She was holding something in her hands, but I didn't really care. I just looked at her face. I opened my mouth to say something, anything, when she walked up to me, but she suddenly put her hands on my shoulders, and I paused. "Turn around!"
I blinked in surprise. "Huh?"
She sighed, exasperated. "Here." She walked around me so she was standing behind my back, then I felt something slipping around my neck. I looked down and saw a couple spiral shells threaded along a thick, braided rope-like black thread, about as thick as yarn. I turned around to look at her, raising an eyebrow. "It's already finished?"
I noticed the blush on her face as she looked off to the side shyly, hands clasped behind her. "Well, I was going to finish the others, because I started on them first, but…I…couldn't think about anyone but you…"
I blinked in surprise, but smiled fondly. I let my fingers drift below her chin, tilting her surprised face up so I could lean down and press my lips to hers. She wrapped her arms around my neck and I placed my hands on her waist, feeling her body press to mine, which felt amazing mind you. I could feel her heart beat, fast and steady, and my pulse raced to match hers like music, like the songs of the birds.
We just stood there kissing each other in the middle of the sidewalk like a year-old couple, and when we parted I murmured, "Thanks. I love it."
She smiled and settled her head against my chest as we held each other tightly. I didn't care who was staring. It didn't matter. Only she mattered, right then and there, and I'd never been happier because I had her.
"Aloha au iā 'oe…" she whispered suddenly.
I frowned, remembering Choza saying it earlier, then I smiled. "I love you too."
She was silently content for a while, but then realization hit her, and she glanced up at me in confusion.
I laughed a bit. "Choza gave me a lesson in Hawaiian," I explained.
Her eyes changed in horror. "I-I'm sorry!" she said, suddenly taking her arms from around my neck and starting to back away. "You weren't supposed to-!"
"Hey, wait a minute…" I said, and I tightened my arms around her, pulling her close to me. I leaned down and kissed the bridge of her nose. "Did you hear what I said or not?" She was staring at me, eyes startled and confused, and I smiled. "I love you too…" She blinked, eyes swimming with some sort of realization and emotion. I furrowed my eyebrows. "And I'm not your hōkeo or whatever it is anymore, okay?"
She slowly gained a smile, and soon she was giggling. "Okay!"
I was reminded briefly of Neji and TenTen, before leaning down to kiss her again knowing this was us.
Whoever came up with the 'time flies' theory was a genius. Time was like a damn bird, and I wanted to just shoot it down so it never flew again.
The two days I spent with Temari was like sunset to me. I wanted time to stop forever. We'd gone around, spending time with my friends and her friends. We had a couple outings with Neji and TenTen, which were pretty fun. We spent a night in her bedroom, which resulted in the disappearance of our virginity, something that was somewhat unintended, sort of un-regrettable, and certainly going to be unspoken of around our friends and family. We also got to show off a bit in front of Shiho, who seemed to have this lethal wrath that she took out by stepping 'accidentally' on an innocent, passerby lizard's tail.
But nothing, nothing, lasted forever in my life. And so I found myself, way, way too soon, standing in front of Akimichi's, staring at the same old taxi cab that had brought me here. Chouji was inside, very tired since it was about four in the morning. Neji and the others had left an hour earlier than us. TenTen and Temari had come with Kiba, to say goodbye, and so I'd gotten to experience Neji and TenTen saying their own sort of farewell before he climbed into his own cab with a sugar-high Naruto.
The others had all been excited that Neji and I had each found a girlfriend in Hawaii. In their words, not only were they both hott, but it was something to brag about back home. While we honestly could have cared less about those factors.
Chouji had been extremely amused when I'd told him. He thought it was the best thing in the world, though, and I doubted he'd ever shut up about it until he got some new bit of news about me some day that he'd drop when something happened to him that I could use as perfect blackmail material.
"Will staring at the taxi teleport you home?" TenTen piped up, interrupting my thoughts.
I gave her a glare, and she skipped away with a giggle. I sighed, and Temari smiled sadly. "Hey, she has a point. We can still talk; we have each other's cell phone numbers, so you don't have to worry. You gotta get in already." But she definitely wasn't letting go of my hand.
I glanced down at her. She was beautiful. Another white flower was in her hair, which was down and contrasted well with the petals. "You know, I feel like I'm five, but I don't wanna leave," I said with a grim chuckle as I faced her directly and pulled a strand of that hair away from her face.
She stood on her toes to kiss me gently. "I know," she said softly as she wrapped her arms around my neck and watched me. Then, she seemed to remember something. "Shikamaru, you know what 'Aloha' means, here?"
I tilted my head to the side. "Hello and goodbye?"
She nodded, smiling. "Aloha means hello, goodbye, and it's also the word for love." I was surprised. I didn't know that. "Here, when you say 'Aloha', you're saying goodbye. But you're also saying you love them. And you're saying hello to their memory, and to the chance to see them again." She suddenly took the flower from her hair, and placed it in my hand, wrapping my fingers around it. "We'll see each other again."
I took the flower and opened my palm, gazing down at it. It was gentle, and breakable. Fragile, and beautiful. It held a promise, and that promise would never be broken.
"I love you," I murmured.
"I love you too. Go on."
I let my hand stray on her face for a while, memorizing her eyes as she smiled and waved at me, and then I turned my back on her and walked over to the cab.
I would always remember the feeling of her hands in mine, the feeling of her lips on mine, the feeling of her making love to me. I'd always remember those eyes, the way I could free myself from the world through them, to the April sky.
And I'd always remember her voice saying she loved me, goodbye to me, hello to me. I could hear her call it over to me as I climbed into the cab, before I closed the door on the world that consumed me in colors.
A hui hou aku…