May 20, 2011: Something wonderful has happened! Kotei-Heika made a music video inspired by this fic! Link on my profile! It's awesome and it's heart-wrenching and it makes my inner ShikaHina fangirl squeal! XD Thank you so much, Kotei-Keika!
The Lunar Eclipse
He had assumed, like everyone else, that he would fall in love with someone like his mother. Someone loud. Someone violent. Someone full of fury. Someone the full personification of his village's "Will of Fire." He had not, like everyone else, expected to fall in love with the moon. Someone quiet. Someone gentle. Someone whose touch was soft and warm and everything he had stereotyped as "feminine" when he was younger.
Someone like Hinata Hyuga.
When he had first met her at the Ninja Academy, she had been like the New Moon. She had been almost non-existent, mere black upon the black backdrop of the night. Stars had outshone her – stars of pink and emerald, of blonde and sapphire. She had been, essentially, nothing, not a presence he, or any of their peers, gave much attention to. She had merely been… there, a nameless and almost faceless figure in their large classroom – her hair fading into the background of the dark, her white eyes a mere afterglow of the dying stars. She had not been someone who had caught his attention.
It hadn't been until years later, during the Chunin Exams, had she let anyone – anyone – catch a glimpse of her shine – a Waxing Crescent Moon. When she had pushed herself up from the floor, doused in her own blood, hair still black like the night and eyes still white like the dying stars… stars that struggled, almost wildly, before burning out at last… When she had met her cousin's glare with a glare of her own, something in her sparked… A star burnt the brightest during death and, just as fast, faded into nothingness. He had thought to himself, then, that she had been naïve to continue a fight she could never win, but understood that, even as a star died, the star's light lasted into decades from afar… It had been unfortunate, regrettable even, that he had been standing too close to hold onto her light for much longer than a flash.
It was only reasonable, then, that she continued to get brighter as the years passed, continued onto the next phase seamlessly: the First Quarter Moon. When her Sun, the great ball of orange-and-blond energy, had left the sky, she had found her own light. She became less of his reflection – less of an echo – and more herself, and began to rival the stars in the night sky. He hadn't missed the way she had danced with the blonde-and-sapphire star, his female teammate, in the Yamanaka Flower Shop, or how she had been able to converse without fault with the pink-and-emerald star, the Hokage's apprentice, in the Konoha Hospital. He had not missed how she had progressed. He wasn't a genius for nothing…
And yet, genius as he was, he had been taken aback by her next phase: the Waxing Gibbous Moon. He hadn't been keeping an accurate account of her travels along the sky. He hadn't expected to find her there… with her sensei… with his recently deceased sensei's lover… Smelling of smoke, solemn from his vengeance, he had visited his former sensei's lover, the red-eyed Venus, to announce that, yes, he had rid of that blasted Akatsuki and that he had hoped to help her in her time of pregnancy. Imagine his surprise, worn from killing another in cold blood and dispirited over his sensei's death, to find her… there. The moon, kneeling beside Venus, ear placed against the woman's swollen stomach to hear the baby with her eyes closed, long hair running like night rivers down along the sofa, and lips curled into that soft, disarming smile. She had been everything he had not been at that one brief moment, everything he had hoped to find after all that death, blood and bitterness – a reprieve, a sanctuary, from being a Konoha ninja. When she had opened her eyes, pupil-less and white and endless, endless, endless… he had felt his breath catch, he had felt like her glow, a glow that had finally learned to outshine the stars in the night sky, was a soothing balm against his scathing wounds. It was as if everything had been alright, that everything would be alright as long as she could look at him with such eyes, such forgiving eyes, eyes that told him that he was still human and life still existed. With one look, one empathetic look, he had finally let himself cry and weep and sob – and promise. He had promised to continue his sensei's legacy.
He had not expected, however, to continue his sensei's legacy well into his love life, to be attracted to a generously-curved woman – a Full Moon. It had been by accident. He hadn't planned on walking in on her training session without prior knowledge – without knowing that she would be naked. Rounder, fuller, she had simultaneously chased all the other stars from the night sky and knocked his breath away in one fell swoop. The way she had danced along the surface of the waterfall, the way the vapour-mists clung to her supple limbs – the way she had pulled and pushed at the water, how the tides advanced and receded at her command… He had understood, then, what the Sirius Constellation and his large nin-dog had meant when he barked about "big boobs" and "small waists." Needless to say, he had ran away on the first night… but that hadn't stopped him from coming back… every night after.
It had only been logical, as he should had known, that her light would begin to retreat after the Full Moon into the Waning Gibbous Moon. It had not, however, dulled the ache when he had heard of her confession to her Sun. It had not, however, prevented the frown from marring his features when he had heard of her love for her Sun. It had not, most certainly not, made him happy to hear of how her Sun had not given her a reply, an honourable reply, afterwards – not even days afterwards. It had been no wonder, then, that her shine had begun to lose her lustre – her eyes that spark he had grown accustomed to searching for. She had not, however, stopped her training sessions by the waterfall.
Despite her loss of light, despite her not being full, it was the Last Quarter Moon that had made him realize that he was in love with her – half in light and half hidden in the shadows. It had all been very chaotic that night. Venus had begun to give birth to her female Cupid and, when at long last, the baby had been introduced into the world, he had slumped against the wall in exhaustion. He had not been with Venus when she had been given birth; that honour had been given, and rightly so, to the moon. Thus, when he had recovered from his anxiety of an unsafe birth, he went to visit the new mother and child, and found himself unable to go farther than the threshold. For there she was, the moon – his moon – holding the baby Cupid in her arms by the window, the curve of her cheek illuminated by the stars. Venus had been fast asleep so had not caught the way he had looked at the moon. She had made him mad, simply loony, that night – her light driving him in a wild stupor. He had not been able to believe the beauty before his eyes that night… and how soft she had been with the baby, and how patient she had been with the child's cries, and how utterly gentle she had been with the fatigued Venus afterwards. He had believed, just as those long years before, that with look from her, from the moon, that everything would be alright and that there hadn't been a need for him to worry. He had known, then, when she had turned to him with that soft and disarming smile of hers – her eyes glittering with the reflection of the stars outside – that he had been in love with her for years.
And yet she had still loved her Sun, even as her light faded and faded and faded into the Waning Crescent Moon, she had still loved her Sun. And he, he who had just realized that he was in love with her, could only watch her from afar. If the orange-and-blond jinchuuriki was her Sun, then certainly he must be her Earth – something that could not be seen by the moon when the Sun was brighter. Earth was a mere shadow beside the Sun. It had tore at him to watch her fade, to watch the Sun avoid her out of cowardice, to watch as the universe shift in awkward motion of knowing that the moon was being jilted. The stars, the planets, the suns, the moons… They had not known what to do as the Sun became their Hokage and the moon was left at the sidelines. He, the Earth himself, had been furious.
Which was why, when the Sun had finally given his answer to the moon, the Earth had anticipated her to hide, to fold back into the background, to be as dark as the night sky – to be that New Moon again. The stars winked and blinked brighter than her. The night sky moved perpetually brighter than her. Hell, even he was brighter than her. It had been even more scathing, more hurtful, when Naruto had appeared in Ichiraku's the next day holding hands with Sakura. Sakura. His damned Hokage hadn'tt even waited a full twenty-four hours before announcing his relationship with another.
Only a star, Shikamaru supposed agitatedly, could keep up with a sun.
He pressed aside the foliage and stepped into the clearing, his expression carefully schooled to a blankness. There was no moon that night, only the stars reflected in the waterfall and the bubbling surface of the river. It did not, however, mean that he could not see the moon.
He slipped his hands into his pockets and lazily strolled forward, asking himself why he was even bothering with this – with her. He had always wanted an easy, uncomplicated life. She, despite her gentle nature and soft kindness, was just as disruptive and volatile as his mother. She was a Hyuga, for crying out loud! The Hyuga were not going to make his life easier if he… were to catch the moon.
Gulping, nervous and hesitant, he took a single breath before diving behind the waterfall, into that small rock enclave he sometimes saw her hiding in. Breath catching, heart jumping, he stilled when he spotted her. He had known that she would be there, had formulated the exact percentage of her location… but that didn't make him seeing her was any less surprising.
Hinata looked up, her hair heavy and wet from the waterfall, her clothes soaked, her small curvy body trembling in the cold, and she looked just as surprised to see him as he, her. Recovering first, he merely shrugged and took a careful seat beside her. He did not want to come off as being happy for finding her, or even victorious for knowing her best. Her cousin had come to him earlier to ask him of her whereabouts. It hadn't been his fault for not becoming forthright with what he knew…
"I-Is everything alright?" she asked, concerned.
He shrugged again. "Neji was looking for you."
"O-Oh," she said, hugging her knees closer to her torso. She was troubled, not wanting to keep Neji worrying, but also not wanting to face the world… Not when Naruto wasn't hers.
He leaned back and closed his eyes, listening to the waterfall and her breathing. He would never admit it, perhaps not aloud, but even if she was a moon and he was the Earth, he felt like he was the one revolving around her. In the night, in the silence, he could feel his heart syncing up to hers, feel his blood flow to match hers, feel his body unconsciously move towards her…
Choji had once told him that he was whipped, but Shikamaru liked to think that he was merely, and temporarily, being controlled by his hormones. Now twenty, now with her so tall and curvy and supple, Shikamaru cursed his hormones every day. It just wasn't fair how he seemed to be so conscious of her… when she didn't even know he was near.
He sighed to himself, wanting to take out a cigarette, but knew better than to offend her like that. She hated when he smoked in Kurenai's apartment, and always kicked him out when he felt the urge for a death-stick. With the baby around, Shikamaru had learned to better control himself. With Hinata around, he had learned to better behave himself.
"What's wrong?" she asked.
He opened his eyes and sighed again at the shine in hers – that opalescent, almost lavender tinge, of her eyes that seemed to pull him into her gravity. He might as well be a satellite.
"Nothing," he said, shifting uncomfortably.
She went silent then, hair falling over her face like a curtain… like a cloud over the moon.
He frowned, not liking how she was receding into herself again. The moon was too beautiful to be shadowed. "You should go soon." She lifted her head. "The others are worried."
She pressed her lips together and he looked away. The moon was such a tease.
"H-How did you find me?" Hinata asked, eyes cast down and looking so forlorn.
Shikamaru didn't know how to answer her. He could tell her that he had been watching her train – naked – at this waterfall for years. He could tell her that he had been aware of her all habits, traits and whereabouts for a long time now. He could tell her that he was utterly in love with her and that no matter where she was, he could always find her. It was like he had a radar designed just for her – a Hinata-dar.
But, instead, he said, "I didn't. Just stumbled on you."
"O-Oh," she stammered uneasily.
His eyes slid to her, watching her from the corner of his eyes. He felt his heart skip and his stomach take a stumble at the blush on her cheeks, not from being near him, but from being out in this cold waterfall. Disgruntled, and a little shy, he took off his Chunin vest and placed it around her shoulders.
She glanced up, surprised, and he halted.
It should be a crime, he thought, for the moon to be so close to the Earth. It should even be dangerous. One misstep of gravity, and someone was bound to collide into one another. One stupid Sun, and the Earth's shadow was bound to cover up the moon – wholly and without thought…
He let himself sink, let his shadow fall over her, let his lips descend upon hers… and swallowed her surprised squeak with a jostling gulp. She had fought at first, struggled under his hold, and when he had just got his wits back and was just about to pull away, she grew soft against him and opened her lips to his tongue.
He groaned, eagerly prying her mouth open to taste her. She was so warm – hot – and pliant against him that he felt like the centre of the universe and every star, planet, sun and moon – one singular moon whose brightness blinded him – spin and spin and spin around him. He felt his heart at his throat when he finally drew back, their breaths clouding and mixing between them. Disoriented and very much sated, he placed his forehead against hers and felt something hot sear through him when she couldn't meet his eyes, face red and shaking.
She was beautiful.
He licked his lips and gave an awkward, leaning back from her to get some air. "I think…" He faltered then, trying to compose himself. "I think we should go."
She didn't speak, but nodded unevenly.
He moved first, finding enough purchase in the rock to stand, carefully offering her a hand. Unsettled, and a little bit thrilled, Hinata took his hand and let him lift her up. It was all surreal as they both moved to leave, only for her to stumble and him to catch her before she met the ground. Both blushed when their bodies fit into each other, their heat radiating and reverberating between the two of them like a burning, bright star.
He let her go, fumbling with his hands, and neither of them spoke when they stepped out from behind the waterfall. Without even a "goodbye," they separated to go their different ways, their hearts pounding in their ears and unable to find enough oxygen to breathe.
Shikamaru could only hope that he hadn't screwed it up…
And he hadn't, because the next night… there was a Blue Moon. Perhaps not the moon in the night sky, but certainly the moon dancing naked under the waterfall. Once again, he found his spot by the tree and settled beside it to watch her. She was shining more brightly than he had ever seen her, and he couldn't help but feel like it was because of him. He always wondered if she knew… knew that he had always been watching her…
"Hinata?" Naruto called out.
She startled, her water jutsu fell into the river haphazardly like pelting rain, like thousands of falling and shooting stars. Immediately, Shikamaru moved, skidding across the river to pull both him and her to the rock enclave behind the waterfall – just in time to avoid their Hokage who came clamouring into the clearing in search of her.
One arm around her waist, a hand over her mouth, he whispered into the shell of her ear, "Shh, quiet."
Hinata stilled, her vision adjusting to the darkness to meet him in the eye. She swallowed, hard, as he placed his body between hers and the waterfall, as if to hide her from their Hokage – the Earth moving in front of the Sun. They waited, with baited breath, as their Hokage stumbled around the river in search for her, only for his endeavour to end up to naught. Finally, after what felt like hours, Naruto left.
Breathing a sigh of relief, Shikamaru lifted his hand from her mouth and asked, "What did he want?"
Hinata, cheeks painted in red, did not look at him when she replied, "H-he's b-been apologizing to me… f-for…"
He nodded, not wanting her to explain any further for he knew just how painful it must be for her to talk about him. Drawing back, he suddenly realized that she was naked and wet and underneath him! Jumping away from her, he fumbled to hide his face behind his palms, embarrassed and ashamed. He didn't know what, exactly, had made him hide her from Naruto, but he was beginning to suspect that he was a rather possessive man.
"S-Sorry," he stumbled out.
Hinata drew herself into a ball and stuttered, "I-It's o-okay."
They sat there in uncomfortable silence, not knowing what else to say. It was highly inappropriate for Shikamaru to see her naked and highly inappropriate for Hinata to continue to be naked when she could easily get dressed.
Deciding such, she scrambled to stand and made for her clothes-
"Hinata!" Naruto called out again.
Shikarmaru's hand shot out on its own and took a hold of her wrist, pulling her onto his lap and safely away from Naruto's sight. There was a squeak, a groan, and he rolled her onto her back so that he could press himself onto her. Her breath hitched, and so did his, and he sank into her – his lips fitting oh-so-perfectly against the crevices of her own. Just like the night before, she opened for him and he tasted her again. Just like the night before, his shadow slid over her.
Her arms wound around his neck and her fingers found their way into his hair just as his arm wound around her waist and his other hand slid up her naked thigh. She felt very much woman underneath him, writhing however slight and pliant against him.
"S-Stop!" she squeaked.
He did, quickly pushing himself off of her. "S-Sorry."
He wasn't, but it was the thought that counted.
He placed his back to her, pressing his face into his arms, letting the cold fabric of his clothes to cool him off. He was so ashamed of himself. It was like he had had no control over himself. For all his 200-plus I.Q., he sure was stupid all of a sudden. He shuddered to think what his mother would do to him if she were to find.
He shuddered to think what Hinata would do after this night. If she were to hate him… His heart clenched at the thought. This was why he should have never fallen in love. It was so troublesome!
"Sh-Shikamaru?" Hinata called warily.
"L-Let's just…" She couldn't even finish.
He mentally scolded himself and knew that one of them should leave first… He also knew that he had to be the one to leave first if he wanted to salvage the situation. Without another word, he was ready to stand when he felt her move first.
He stiffened as she hurriedly passed him. She was fleeing from him. Mortified, Shikamaru could only watch her naked backside as she-
"Wait!" he cried out.
She jumped, scared.
He slapped his forehead, a sound and action she didn't miss judging from the way her lips curved upwards.
"Wait," Shikamaru tried again, this time more softly. "I…" He took a breath, not looking at her even as he felt her eyes on him. He could at least give her some modesty, given their situation. "I really like you."
He heard her gasp.
"So…" he trailed lamely. Love was definitely troublesome. "Go out with me?"
He waited, afraid to breathe or move or even think. One slight misstep, and she may run from him forever, hide in the farthest corner of the universe – blending into the black night and being shadowed by the stars around her… Never again. Shikamaru refused to go back to those days where he hadn't been able to see her, hadn't been able to know her.
"Okay," she said.
Shikamaru jolted, unintentionally looking up and then quickly looking back down when he remembered (and saw) that she was still naked. "Wh-What?"
Hinata shifted bashfully and repeated, "O-Okay. I'll… g-go out on a d-d-date with y-you."
"Really?" he breathed incredulously.
She smiled. "Really."
When next he looked up, she had stepped through the waterfall, her eyes like moon stones glittering in the stars – and then she was gone.
Shaking, disbelieving, he finally reached into his pockets for a cigarette. With trembling hands, he lit it up and took a long, satisfying drag. It all seemed like a dream… In fact, when he woke the next day, he thought it was a dream, but he did not miss the way her cheeks stained red when they crossed paths along the streets of Konoha, or the way she shivered when their shoulders accidentally-on-purpose brushed… or how he knew that he could kiss her without reserve.
Again, he had assumed, like everyone else, that he would fall in love with someone like his mother. Someone loud. Someone violent. Someone full of fury. Someone the full personification of his village's "Will of Fire." He had not, like everyone else, expected to fall in love with the moon. Someone quiet. Someone gentle. Someone whose touch was soft and warm and everything he had stereotyped as "feminine" when he was younger.
Someone like Hinata Hyuga.
And he certainly hadn't expected to move Time and Space every time he was with her. He hadn't expected the moon to fall into Earth's gravity every time they leaned towards each other. He hadn't expected the moon to be hidden by the Earth's shadow every time he cradled her close. He hadn't expected there to be a Lunar Eclipse every time they kissed.
But it made sense, he supposed as he moulded his mouth against hers and eliciting a moan, he was a very jealous man. It was only right for him to hide his moon from other men as much as possible, and what better way to do so than to use his best element – the shadows to her brightness?
When I was writing this, it felt a little like writing "The Hyuga Garden" again, except this being more intimate and sensual.
I have to admit, this does NOT satisfy my ShikaHina fangirl. I really think there should be more of this pairing cause it'd be really, really CUTE! I sorta want to write another fic about this pairing, this time multi-chaptered, but I really want all my attention on "The Hand of Lady Hyuga." Sigh. Oh, well.
I hope you liked it, and thanks for reading!