A/N: Well, I read chapter 511 (spoilers in this story for you who haven't read it yet - and if you haven't, may I suggest that you do), and ever since then my mind has been replaying the scene between Yahiko and Konan. Not only am I elated to find an actual canon pairing, but what happens in 511 only makes their relationship throughout the manga more beautiful and tragic then it already was. I must say, I've come to absolutely adore all three of the Ame Orphans and find them to be three of my favorite characters. The few panels showing how Yahiko and Konan cared for each other drilled itself into my brain until finally I was inspired to write this fic. Those panels truly did tug at my heart, and I hope that my story does justice to what was drawn.
A Delicate Moment
Yahiko was too headstrong; he didn't think before he got into fights and because he didn't think he got himself injured frequently. He was a marvelous fighter, but Konan wished that he would wait just a second or two longer before he made the decision to jump right in. It would give her one less thing to worry about – and they wouldn't be wasting so much money on medical gauze.
Konan pulled two large rolls of gauze from the drawer, carrying them over with ointment Jiraiya had left them specifically for battle wounds. Yahiko sat on the floor, his top off, grimacing as his fingers traced the cuts he had received from a skirmish they had found themselves involved in earlier that day. Nagato was nowhere to be seen; his hop-in card was turned frog-facing forewords. He hadn't said where he was headed, even when Konan had asked him. He just insisted that he needed to get out.
Yahiko's wounds probably made him nervous – Konan knew that it disturbed Nagato to see either one of them in pain, that her friend could not stand when he failed to protect them. He troubled her greatly; Konan tried hard to understand the quiet boy that had become her companion, but sometimes Nagato was too distant and no matter what she did she just couldn't reach him.
She decided to wrap up his middle section first – Yahiko's back and chest had taken quite the beating. Konan could recall the sound of his voice cry out in pain as he was struck by kunai; but he didn't cry out long, his hand automatically moving to the areas were the kunai had hit and throwing them to the ground. She shuddered; she hated the noise of his pain.
Glancing upwards, Konan saw distance in Yahiko's blue eyes. The warmth and enthusiasm that radiated from his face were gone; he was distant too, just like Nagato, his mind lost somewhere Konan could only wish she could reach. Biting her lip, she returned her attention to his body. She supposed it would be okay if she just started, not wanting to yank him from his reverie. If he noticed her then fine; if not, she would tend to his wounds like old times and then they'd move on.
Konan reached for the ointment, her eyes gazing at Yahiko's body. Her vision strayed on his chest, his toned abs; although she had been the one to bandage both him and Nagato in their youth, both boys had been asking for her assistance less and less as they grew older and Konan was not as accustomed to the site of their partially naked figures as she used to be. But today was different – Yahiko's injuries were too severe and he needed the extra assistance.
Konan had agreed to help a little too quickly.
Heat warmed her cheeks and she cursed herself silently as she dipped her fingers into the cool ointment. Her attraction to Yahiko, first blooming in their youth, had only grown as they grew up; no matter how hard she tried, Konan could not erase the image of Yahiko from her mind. His personality charmed her, his speeches inspired her, and his passion for saving the world from pain moved her. Try as she might, her crush on him would not lift. Knowing the dangers of loving a teammate, Konan chose to keep her secret to herself, admiring and longing for Yahiko from afar. Sometimes she would wish he would catch her gaze lingering on him, sometimes she wished he would notice the signs, but he never seemed to realize anything at all.
The only one she ever thought might have caught on was Nagato. He was perceptive, or at least when it came to her, and sometimes she would catch him watching her. His gaze was always blank, but his expression showed confliction, and in those moments Konan felt that Nagato knew it all, that he was aware of her feelings for Yahiko and might do something about it. But then she reminded herself that it was Nagato – he wouldn't say anything, he wasn't like that. When she caught him watching her, despite her initial alarm, Konan would smile brightly at him. Nagato's eyes would widen and he would drop his gaze, and it was all over. Never a word was said between them in these awkward moments.
Her hand quivering subtlety, Konan pressed her fingers against a wound on Yahiko's chest. He didn't flinch; his gaze flickered to her momentarily. She gave him a slight smile and went to work spreading the ointment across his body. Warmth encased her as her hands traced over Yahiko's chest to his back to across his stomach; his skin was smooth savor the areas that were scarred, his muscles taut against her fingers. Konan wondered vaguely if Yahiko could feel her warmth and if she would faint from the heat of being so close to his body, but she composed herself and reached for the gauze. Spreading it out on the ground, she tried not to look at Yahiko as she wound bandage around his stomach.
It was harder to resist as she went up higher – wrapping the rest of the bandage around his neck, she realized how close she was to his face. Konan was thankful that her blush never grew darker than a faint pink or else Yahiko might grow suspicious.
Pulling away, Konan dipped her fingers into the ointment and focused on Yahiko's face. She was temporarily startled to find a pair of bright eyes boring into her; Yahiko's face was expressionless but his eyes were swimming in confusion. She didn't say anything, reaching her hand to his forehead to disinfect a cut he had received there. Quickly grabbing the gauze, she wrapped it around his forehead, fumbling slightly as she tried to tie the ends together.
"Are you alright?"
Konan almost dropped the gauze into Yahiko's lap. It had been so silent, and she had been so lost in her thoughts, that Yahiko speaking had truly terrified her. She bit her lip and put on a straight face before leaning away from his head, her expression questioning.
"Yes, I'm fine. You just startled me."
Yahiko raised one bright red eyebrow but said nothing. Trying to make her movements seem more natural, Konan reached once again for the ointment. All that was left were his arms. One bandage on the right, one bandage on the left, and then she could stop embarrassing herself in front of her oblivious teammate.
Konan had Yahiko's right forearm wrapped up quickly and professionally. He was still watching her closely, his eyes still questioning, yet he nor she would speak. Konan had him hold out his left arm so she could inspect a rather large wound near his elbow and then lathered it up with ointment.
She was almost finished wrapping gauze around his arm when Yahiko winced in pain.
Konan stopped, her hand clutching a piece of gauze. She looked at Yahiko with surprise. His teeth were clenched and his eyes were shut, his breathing short. It had been a very long time since she had bandaged him, and she surmised that, in her sudden hurry to end their awkward activity, she had probably pulled too tightly on the gauze. Loosening her grip on his elbow ever so slightly, Konan wrapped the rest of the gauze around his wrist.
Konan allowed her eyes to drift up to Yahiko's face. She was almost afraid to look at him, not wanting to see his brow furrowed in pain or any sign of anger on his features at her minor mishap. When her eyes finally drifted from his arms to his face, she found him looking at her with the pain she had not wanted to see. Her heart lurched in a mixture of sadness and longing and she frowned slightly. Her whole countenance was suddenly overcome with her sorrow and she felt a strong desire to make it right. Konan opened her mouth to apologize but no words would come; feeling like a fool, she closed her mouth and flushed at her idiocy. Her eyes were still on Yahiko's face; she watched as he watched her, and when she said nothing he began to open his mouth to speak.
But no words came from Yahiko. His lips were only slightly parted when he froze, his blue eyes widening as he stared at Konan. An expression of comprehension dawned across his features and he gaped even more, but still he could not say anything.
It was in that moment of Yahiko's sudden change that Konan realized what it was he had come to understand. She froze herself, feeling more self-conscious and anxious than she ever had in her entire life. Yahiko knew. He had figured it out. He finally realized Konan liked him. Feeling woozy and unsure of what to do, Konan chose to sit still. She wasn't sure what Yahiko would do next – would he act like he hadn't had a sudden epiphany? Would he flat-out reject her without ever hearing a confession spill forth from her lips? Would he question her? Konan breathed slowly and kept a straight face. She waited, her heart pounding.
Yahiko lowered his left arm slowly until his fingers ghosted Konan's leg; he rested his hand against her thigh, clenching at the fabric of her robe. Konan's cheeks tinted pink as she realized that, while lowering his arm, Yahiko had moved closer. Her mind was buzzing – was what she thought was happening really happening? – and she began to lean in towards him as well, her lips parting and her eyes closing slowly.
The last image Konan saw before she shut her eyes was of Yahiko's face, his lips parted and his eyes brimming with the same desire she had been enduring for years. They paused, only inches from each other, before Yahiko closed the gap by pressing his lips against hers.
He did not press hard; instead, he was uncommonly gentle, almost shy even, in the way he touched his lips to hers. His hand, resting on her thigh, moved towards her waist until he had his hand resting on her hip. Everything about his movements were slow – slow and gentle, as if he were afraid that one wrong movement would shatter this delicate moment between them.
When Yahiko finally pulled away, Konan felt as if her heart had imploded in her chest. They stared at each other, Yahiko looking dazed and Konan completely drowning in happiness, her body desiring Yahiko's touch but her mind telling her not to press her luck. She had finally gotten something she had only ever entertained as a mere fantasy, and she knew that she should not do anything to frighten Yahiko. Konan could see that he was lost in thought, but she still could not reach him and she did not want to make any wrong moves.
Silence filtered between them; there was no sound in their little hut except the soft patter of rain on the roof, the windows, the grass, everywhere around them. Konan's gaze drifted towards the closed door; it had been a while since Nagato had gone out. He would probably be returning soon; it was the afternoon, and Konan assumed their dinner hour was swiftly approaching and that Nagato would come back wanting food. She began to get up, her eyes searching for the medical gauze and ointment.
Konan was barely in a crouch position when she felt a pair of strong hands grasp her wrists. Gasping, Konan's head shot up. Her eyes met Yahiko's intense stare. His eyes were wide and earnest, his expression pleading. "Don't. Not yet."
Her thoughts knocked out of coherency by Yahiko's action, Konan spoke the only thing that entered her mind. "Nagato…"
Yahiko shook his head. He gestured to their hop-in cards, Nagato's frog still facing forewords. Taking it as a sign that Yahiko truly believed that Nagato was nowhere near returning, Konan lowered herself back to the floor. Yahiko knew better than she did what Nagato did with his spare time, and so she would trust his knowledge.
They gazed into each other's eyes. Yahiko looked as if he wanted to speak to her; his face was overcome with an expression of extreme tenderness and his eyes shared with hers the longing that, Konan realized suddenly, they had both been feeling for each other for a very long time.
But Yahiko did not speak. Instead he pulled Konan into an embrace, his arms slipping around her back as she rested her palms on his gauze-covered chest, and then Yahiko kissed her again.
As the two teammates began to share intimate desires with each other, the rain continued to fall outside. It fell upon the roof protecting their heads, the ground were they walked and often spared, every inch of the land they called home and were so fond of. The rain wet everything in sight, all that they knew – except for a thin, pale boy with plum colored hair.
Nagato stood outside of the hut under the small awning which shielded him from the rain. His back was to the entrance and his arms were folded across his chest. He listened to the silence behind him, which was occasionally interrupted by the sound of soft words or a sigh of pleasure. Nagato lifted his head to gaze at the rain as these sounds graced his ears, and he smiled.
Thank you for reading! Please leave a review - I'd really appreciate to know how I did with this one!