"Hey, Shion." Shion didn't even turn her head to look at Naruto come in the door. Her hair was spread about her like a halo: with her long white nightdress she looked like an angel. Except the expression on her face was anything but serene.
"You ok?" She smiled weakly.
"I've been better. How was your day?" Naruto paused as he sat next to her on the bed. There wasn't anything about his day that he could tell her. It all related to Sasuke and he'd made a promise to her: which he'd already broken countless times. Naruto's hand drifted guiltily to the hickey on his neck, hidden by his hoodie. He'd told Sasuke to not mark him but Sasuke had gotten carried away.
"The usual," he lied. "You didn't get burned like Sakura?" He pinched the skin on her forearm between his fingers and she smacked him.
"I told her to put more sun cream on," Shion said reproachfully. Naruto laughed.
"She never listens. She'll look like a lobster for the next few days, that's for sure. Uhm..." Shion knew that sound.
"She told you," she said dully. Naruto had the decency to look sheepish.
"Yeah. She said you'll tell us what it's about later. She only told me you'd had an 'episode' so I could come and talk to you. She said you were upset." Shion didn't answer for a long time. Naruto saw her bite her lower lip and chew on it until it was red. Finally she stopped just when Naruto thought she would bite it off. She turned her head sideways and Naruto almost jumped. Her eyes were red from crying and were again brimming over with tears. Her mouth was also red, raw from her worrying. But mostly it was her complexion...her expression. For someone who had been in the sun all day her face was whiter than a ghost's.
"Naruto, these visions are ruining my life," she sobbed. Her hand reached out to grip his knee and he placed a hand on her back.
"It's ok..." he soothed. She sat up, unusually ungraceful. Her nose was running and her eyes were bloodshot.
"No, it's not!" She shrieked. "I mean after everything...what happens when you all get fed up of me? I don't have anywhere else to go..."
"What do you mean? Your parents live outside the city, not that far away..." His voice trailed off.
"Oh," he said quietly. Shion made a noise like she was choking and rolled over onto her back again.
"So now you know," she said in a lifeless tone. "I lied." Naruto twisted his body away from her and stared at Shion's floor. There was a pink bra underneath his foot. Naruto discreetly tried to shove it under the bed.
"I didn't bring myself here. My parents made me," Shion said casually like she was telling Naruto about something that had happened at school. "The first few times I had visions no one listened to me: I was too young. Ramblings of a six year old don't mean much. Then by the time I was older they started happening more. But my parents still didn't believe me. I went to therapists, doctors, clinics. They were convinced something was wrong with me." Shion laughed at the irony. Naruto did not.
"So that's why a few years back they brought me here. They'd seen Kakashi's advert. Packed up my stuff and left me here while you were all at school. They couldn't take it anymore." Shion's eyes unfocused. She was seeing something that Naruto couldn't. "I guess they never thought about the fact that I couldn't take it either," she said ruefully.
"I'm sorry," Naruto said finally.
"That's ok," Shion gave a one shouldered shrug.
"Did you ever find out why you have these visions? I mean, this isn't..." Naruto caught himself just in time but strangely Shion just smiled.
"Normal? No," she sighed. "We could never find any reason for them. My family – the females anyway – thousands of years ago were priestesses. They were supposed to have great powers of healing and protection. Sometimes they even had visions. My parents dismissed it as ridiculous of course. They were certain I had some mental disease or tumour or something," Shion said bitterly.
"But you believe it, don't you?" Naruto pushed.
"I do. The only thing that kept me going when everyone thought I was a freak was to do research about them: all those priestess, my ancestors. Nobody ever thought they were freaks. But they existed. The most famous of all had my name," Shion said dreamily. "She was supposed to be the most powerful of all. Sometimes I thought...but that's stupid," Shion backtracked hurriedly.
"That you might be her reincarnation," Naruto finished her sentence. Shion dragged her white sleeve across face, rubbing at her eyelids furiously. Streaks of black make-up came away with it.
"Is that stupid?" she asked, sitting up. Naruto shifted so their backs pressed against one another.
"I don't think so. Maybe you were named 'Shion' for a reason." Naruto could almost hear Shion's brain ticking away.
"I should go tell them, shouldn't I?" she said. Her voice had notes of reluctance in it and the standard Shion petulance.
"Yes, you should," Naruto said firmly. She got up and noticed the marks on her sleeve. She would have normally rushed to wash them out: today she just listlessly picked at them before looking up at Naruto.
"Let's get this over and done with," she muttered.
The kitchen fell silent. It was the kind where everyone stopped talking at once. Shion wrung her hands, waiting. Naruto was perched on a chair, rapt. After all he had not heard the details of the vision before. A part of him was grateful it wasn't anything more about him and Sasuke. Like the older boy, he wasn't sure their relationship could take it.
"Another one?" Kiba said finally. "But that's two in..."
"A month," Shion said miserably.
"But...that's never happened before! It's always a lot longer between your...um, vision things," Ino protested. Shion rolled her smudged eyes at Ino's articulacy. Kakashi leaned back in his chair, his visible eye narrowed.
"Shion only ever sees things that put us in immediate harm or are potentially damaging to us, both emotional and physical traumas," he thought aloud. "So maybe the only reason you had another vision is because something has changed...and now one of us or someone close to us has had their future changed?" There was a pause while everyone processed this.
"So...you mean before Shion had the vision, one of us wasn't in danger. But then something changed and now it's different," Shikamaru dumbed it down for Kiba and Naruto who had identical faces of confusion.
"Exactly. The things Shion sees always come true," Kakashi said grimly.
"But they can't be prevented either!" Shion burst out. "Telling you all won't help! Something bad will happen and there's no way to stop it! We don't even know what it is!" Ino laid a hand on Shion's shoulder.
"No, but we can all be careful, right? If it changed so suddenly maybe it can change back," Ino suggested. Shion furiously brushed Ino's hand away.
"God, why aren't you getting it?" she demanded, storming out. Kakashi rubbed his neck.
"I'm getting too old for this," he complained. Naruto got out of his chair and slid out of the kitchen after Shion.
He rapped his knuckles on her bedroom door but there was no answer. He risked Shion's anger and disobeyed a direct order by opening it to check inside. No Shion. That's when he knew where she'd be.
She was perched on the edge of the bath. Her long blonde hair hid her face but Naruto knew what kind of expression would be on her face. He'd seen it only minutes before, as she'd rubbed her eyeliner all over her face.
"It's not your fault. Stop feeling guilty," he said abruptly, sitting next to her. She sniffled pathetically.
"It is. It's these bloody...whatever they are."
"Visions," Naruto said wearily. He'd heard this too many times before. Shion had a great many names for her...gift.
"No, visions, proper visions are a little bit more than...seeing a mobile phone or a bathtub. Two people on a living room floor. People who have actual visions can usually stop people they care about getting hurt."
"Maybe you can." Shion snorted derisively but he cut her off.
"No, maybe you really can! C'mon, listen to me. I've been thinking about this since I broke up with Sai. Maybe you're not thinking about the bigger picture, just worrying about the nitty gritty little stuff."
"You're not making any sense," she said, reaching for the toilet roll and pulling off a chunk.
"I am. Shion, think about it. You seeing that phone was what gave me the idea to check Sai's messages."
"But you got hurt. He cheated on you and you found out in the worst possible way..." Shion murmured.
"Instead of what? Getting in really deep and finding out an even more brutal way, like them in bed together? Or that he'd done something even worse? What if you had that vision because if you hadn't I might really be in danger? Sai's not a nice guy. Something bad could have happened to me. But it didn't. My heart got trampled on a bit but I'm ok now." Shion still looked doubtful but there was something shimmering in her eyes. Hope. That it wasn't her fault. It wasn't a curse.
"But what about..." Her face fell as she remembered the time one of her visions had resulted in death.
"I've been thinking about that too. But...Shion, I don't think you were meant to save Asuma," he said gently.
"But Kurenai's all alone...and Shikamaru blames himself." Naruto winced. He remembered the funeral too well. Shikamaru's pain had been so great that he'd locked himself in his room for days. He hadn't spoken, hadn't slept. The only thing that had been able to save him was the child in Kurenai's womb: half of Asuma.
"I know. But what I meant was the person you were meant to save wasn't Asuma...it was Shikamaru." Seeing her face blank Naruto pressed on. Shikamaru didn't blame Shion so she should stop blaming herself: after all, if he was right Shikamaru was here because of her.
"If you hadn't had that vision and told Kiba, Shikamaru would have just gone by himself to that house. Shion, he's a kid! There were three men in there with guns and knives...do you think he would have made it out alive? I know Asuma's dead and you feel bad about that but the guys were caught and that wouldn't have happened if Kiba and Shikamaru hadn't known where to send the police to." Tears threatened to fall over Shion's eyelids and she pressed her eyes shut in an attempt to stop them.
"That's just two examples, Naruto. You don't know that the rest of my visions have been like that." Shion began stripping the toilet paper into tiny strips and letting it flutter to the floor. Naruto raised a hand and stroked a strand of hair away from her face., like she was a small child.
"I bet if you think about it, in all your visions, you've saved somebody. Maybe not the person you thought you were supposed to...but somebody." Shion sniffed and then smiled.
"Naruto? Thank you." He wrapped an arm around her and looked over his shoulder into the gleaming white porcelain bowl behind them.
"Maybe by giving us the clue about the bath one of us will do the right thing and find somebody when they really are in danger, or something. You know?" Shion smiled sadly.
"I hope so. But you can't explain the vision I saw of you with that guy on the living room floor." Naruto cut her off again, this time with a confused expression on his face.
"What do you mean? I was kissing Sasuke on the kitchen floor," he insisted. He remembered the tiles pressing into his back, Sasuke's hips pushing against his own but Shion was shaking her head before he'd even finished his sentence.
"No, it was definitely a living room floor. There was a dark blue carpet and a sofa behind you. He was underneath you and you were holding him...cradling his head actually." Naruto bit his lip. Sasuke's parents' house had a white carpet. The vision took place in a place he hadn't visited yet. Sasuke liked blue: maybe his apartment?
"So...the vision you had hasn't happened yet." Shion let the last of the tissue paper fall from her fingers.
"I guess not," she said and they watched the tissue fall to the floor.
"So what does it mean?"
But Shion said nothing.
Yes, mostly filler. And shorter than usual. But yay, Shion! ~big Shion fan~
I don't like the first part. Was it ok?
I managed to dump some back story and pretty serious hints in there too. Actually, go me.
Also, thanks for all the love guys. Things were kind of bad this morning – people yelling – and reading all your reviews made me feel so much better.