AN: Edited a bit. =) My thanks, Wroathe, for some good advice. Took me a while to remember to fix it, though. D:

He wishes she was paper-and-silk, like her scrolls and her clothes and his female family members at the estate. Simple and fragile and never dangerous (because what harm does a paper cut do?).

She is light and energy instead, just like the sunlight glinting off of her blades, capricious and oh-so-hard to catch. A ripple in the water that just ebbs away as he beckons it closer.

She giggles and teases and prods gently with her calloused fingers at those old open sores. And he's never quite sure how to block, because no one does it like her, and she does it differently every time, and it's an enigma.

His equilibrium is off, he knows, and he's forever falling around her. Falling for her, it feels. She makes the ground shift under his feet, and his stomach lurches, and if this is what it's like to be in love, he's not sure he wants it.

Her wings are never clipped, and she's always free-free-free, floating like a butterfly, stinging like a bee. He wonders where she gets that confidence. That devil-may-care attitude, because she's dancing on the clouds as if they were solid.

And he envies that.


She wishes he was cotton-and-steel, like his clothes and his discipline and the reliable feel of fabric wrapped kunai in her fingers. Malleable and tangible and never fighting against the world (because materials are docile and easily molded).

He is chakra and force instead, an echo of the attacks of his clan, like living energy that can make your life hell if you lean too close. A burst of pain through your heart when you try to embrace it.

He shifts and fights and slams his anger, his feelings into her body until she can't feel anymore. And he's not even attempting to, it's just something that happens, but he manages to tear her apart even if he's not trying.

Her feet carry her away by their own volition, making her run away. Running away from him, she knows. He shoves her away from the wonderfully steady ground and throws her into the air where her head spins and her lungs burn as she tries to get oxygen.

His feet are always firmly planted on the ground, and he's constantly drawing strength from the earth, knowing just how to hold his advantage. She wants to know where he gained that power. The will and the strength and the force, because he doesn't change for the world; it shifts around him.

And she wishes she could be that.


Their worlds slide past each other's and clash into each other's, and he forces and she flies and they just can't seem to get things right. They're always wishing, straining, clashing, falling. And somehow they always pick up the pieces. They start anew.

So once more she throws kunai into soft vulnerable flesh and he forces his way through the most impenetrable of rock with a mere burst of chakra. They each are perfectly accurate. Somehow, though, it seems like they just keep missing each other, like something's not correlating properly.

But she can't keep her feet on the ground long enough to do anything. And he's still fighting back that old, old anger. Because she's not paper-and-silk, and he's not cotton-and-steel.

Something, though, something small is shifting. They can feel it. They won't admit it. But it's there, the tension and the motion underlying every action. Something vibrates and shifts under them, and it feels like the earth itself is being rent in two.

Things fall apart. And they fall together.