~Lori's POV~

It had been a week since I had gotten out of the hospital and Shika and I had confessed our feelings for each other. All of the other ninja had to go back to their normal routine, which meant that the Sand Siblings had to head home.


"What do you mean, you want to live in the Sand Village?" I had screamed the night before they were set to leave. Ryu looked serious for once, so I immediately stopped my ranting.

"Well," he explained, counting on his fingers, "For one, I like the weather over there. I'm sick and tired of getting wet all the time. Dust and dirt is for me." I glared him down, and he went on explaining. "I also like the way that they run things in Suna. You can be brutal and ruthless and not get punished for it. The Hokage already ran my ass down after reading my records."

"Continue…" I murmured, knowing that the way he worked would hurt the Leaf Village a lot more than it would help. The Sand Village would actually benefit from his high energy.

"I also want to do it to help you and the Sand Siblings. Gaara needs me. You know that. With me around, he can sleep as much as he wants. I can also help him learn some control so that I can leave him and he would still be able to manage. If Gaara is okay, then I know you will have a lot less to worry about." I nodded again. Even though part of that explanation was just trying to win me over, it was all true.

"There is also the fact that I've already gotten a pretty bad vibe coming off of the Leaf and Sand shinobi when they are around each other. I can help with relations between us. Fifth and most important is that Kankuro and Temari still need to learn that Gaara isn't a monster. And if they are so freaky about him, the whole village will probably need to be whipped into shape." There was the twitch that he always does when he is nervous or lying.

"Oh. Okay. I'll just have to tell Temari that she isn't the most important reason that you want to go and live with them." Ryu blushed a bright pink as he protested, and I knew that he actually was falling for her.

~End Flashback~

"I packed all of your stuff: an extra shirt, pants, kunais, shurikens, underwear, loads of rice cakes, food money and some money for rent and stuff." I said happily as I passed Ryu his pack. He, Shikamaru, Temari, Kankuro, and Gaara were in front of the gate.

"Aw, Rain, why do you have to embarrass me so much?" he commented, snatching the pack from my hands. Both of the older siblings stifled giggles. Gaara's eyes wrinkled with mirth, though his mouth didn't even twitch.

I grabbed Ryu in a big bear hug and cooed like a mother duck, "Oooh, my baby brother is growing up so fast. Look at him, going to live on his own three days away from his sister. It makes me so sad!" Fake tears burst from my eyes as said brother turned purple.

Shikamaru tapped my shoulder and said lazily, "Um, he can't breathe."

I dropped Ryu and he croaked out coarsely, "I'll have you know that I am the older one, thank you. Even if it is only by five days."

I turned to Kankuro and Temari, handing them a list as long as a dictionary. "I don't trust him doing anything for himself. So could you help him find an apartment so he isn't cheated? And he can't cook worth a crap, so could you check up on him and make sure he hasn't starved. But he can clean dishes. He can help you with that. Oh, and before I forget, he can't…"

Temari clamped her hand over my mouth. "Don't worry about him, Lorraine. We can take care of him fine."

Kankuro whispered, "Yeah, Temari will help him out with anything he needs." We both collapsed in a fit of giggles as the obviously soon to be couple reddened and protested. Then I went over to the youngest of the trio.

"That was what I was forgetting!" I pulled a teddy bear out of bag that had a note attached to it with the bold letters TWIN on the front. "It is from Little Shiro. His mom and dad wouldn't let him get up early enough to meet us out here, but he wanted me to give this to you."

He gently took it from my hands and looked at it before putting the bear on the rope that held the gourd to his back. "Tell him I said thanks," Gaara murmured, and I wrapped him in a hug.

"Gaara-kun, take care of yourself and my little brother." The sand swished around me for a moment in about as much of a hug as he would ever give. Then he started to head out the gate. His siblings followed.

Ryu came up to me again and pulled me into an embrace. This time, I saw some actual tears build up in his eyes. "Don't be jealous of the moon, Consamin'ara. You can come and see me all the time. It is only three days away. And I'll come check up on you often, don't worry." He blinked the tears away quickly and gave me a swift peck on the cheek before rushing off to catch up.

Shikamaru came up behind me and wrapped an arm around my shoulders before asking "What does jealous of the moon mean anyway? You said it before you left, but I never figured it out." I laughed, pushing him away.

"Well, it is actually pretty simple. The moon, which is always waxing and waning, symbolizes happiness. The clouds that are jealous are the little annoying or sad things that happen in life. When the moon is around, the clouds cover them up because they are envious, and we can't see it. But the phrase literally means that when there is a chance for happiness, some stupid little things makes us sad and ruin it. So we shouldn't let silly things ruin happiness for us. Get it?"

Shika palmed his forehead and sighed, "Yeah. I don't know why I didn't before. You know, there is also another way you could think of it," he said as we turned to go back.

"And what is that, Mr. Genius?" I scoffed.

He looked up at the sky and the clouds that were overhead. "Even though we can't constantly see the moon, it is always there, whether it be covered by clouds or waning. So even though it doesn't seem like there is any chance for happiness, there always is."

I laughed again and he gave me an inquisitive look. "Oh, I just think it is funny that you actually took the effort to think about philosophy of all things. That's all." I grabbed his hand and pulled him towards our places. "Let's go play some shogi. I have to beat you one of these days."

Hmm. I pondered, looking at his face crinkled cutely in concentration while trying to decide his next move. Even though it doesn't seem like there is any chance for real happiness, there always is. I wish I had found that out earlier. Oh well. Better late than never.


Authors Note: This is the end people! It makes me sad because Jealous of the Moon was my most popular story, but that's okay. I'm just happy that I finished it after all of this time. If you want to see how rough the original version was, you can look on my Quizilla account on my profile page. It really sucked. My first attempt was 4 years ago. Holy shit, how time flies.

If enough people ask for it, I'll write a small couple chapter thing on how Lori effects (or is it affects?) the Shippuden Arc. I can tell you one thing, Sakura and Chiyo won't be the ones who kill Sasori, so an epic fight scene between the Master Puppeteer and the…. Dragon of Konoha will take place. (Do you think that nickname is too presumptuous? Give me some more ideas or some feedback! I never got to do any cool fight scenes, which are my favorite things to write… what a shame!)

There might also be a future future time skip in the making as well. But, that won't even be a possibility unless I get at least 50 total reviews for this story and 20 requests for the Shippuden version. (These can be combined, but I won't accept 10 'Woohoo, that was awesome. Do more!'s)

Thank you for enjoying my story, and I wish all of you a lifetime without jealousy of the moon.