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Sunday, July 6, 2008

His Heart

His Heart
Author: Curlybear

It was calm and peaceful. The sky was ebony and the stars had once again awoken from their slumber, lighting up the sky with radiant light. In Hidden Leaf one could hear the crickets singing their beautiful songs. However, this was not what kept a certain youth awake.

He was exhausted. But for some reason, his body would not welcome slumber. He was ensnared in a deep pensiveness. Thoughts were swirling through his mind and his heart felt heavy. He vaguely crept out of his bed and approached the mirror that was leaning against the wall. His tears sparkled in the soft moonlight as they fell from his empty, sapphire eyes. He stared at his face. It had been a rough day and he was aching all over from the extensive training he had gone through.

A small group of people had glared at him with hateful eyes. They whispered amongst themselves. It felt like a thousand knives had pierced his fragile heart. For some reason, it hurt so much today. It did not seem like anyone cared… Sakura and Kakashi did not even execute a single movement…

Today, he felt like everything had crumbled. He felt isolated, and a harsh pain swirled within him. He raised a tired hand to wipe away the dancing tears. Loneliness had struck his heart… It felt very familiar. He had experienced this feeling many times before, but not for a long time. Why would this feeling never go away? Why did it always come back?

He could not bear to stay in the cold and lonely house for one second longer. It only strengthened the pain. He gently opened the window and leaped out, landing gracefully on the green grass. He immediately began to run… Nothing really mattered at that very moment, so he increased his speed…

He ran through the dark town. Houses and stores were locked securely and everyone had gone to bed. The bustling night life had ended and the dusty streets were merely deserted. He did not know where to run to; he only knew that he had to… He closed his eyes, letting his heart guide him instead…

After running for quite some time he stopped, feeling a change in his surroundings… The air was clearer here and the ground was soft and comfortable. His heart was racing and he was gasping for air. Opening his eyes, he scanned the area, and smiled weakly. His heart had brought him to a familiar and special place.

It was here he debuted as a genin. He thought of that hard, yet great day, where he learned what it truly meant to be a hero. He turned to observe the unique stone, which was actually a memorial for those who had died bravely to protect the village… It fascinated him, in many ways… Risking your life for somebody else was probably the bravest and noblest act he knew of. It hurt him to think of his friends dying; even Sasuke… He did not want anyone to risk their life for his. He could take care of himself, he added mentally.

Suddenly the comforting wind began to blow. It affectionately caressed his face and he closed his eyes, enjoying the soft breath of Mother Nature. He adored the wind, for it soothed him. Suddenly, he reopened his eyes after realizing that the soft wind was carrying the scent of a man. He was not alone. He turned around, with a hard and searching glare.

'Where is he?'

He remained calm, yet his heart was beating extremely fast…

”Yo, Naruto…” He heard a familiar voice utter. He turned around, slightly startled.

"Kakashi-sensei…!" He cried with surprise. Realizing that he was safe, he lowered his guard. He relaxed his body, his heart. The shock was still evident on his face though.

"I am impressed. You sensed my presence well." The man admitted with a warm smile. Naruto said nothing nor did he return his teachers smile…

"What are you doing here?" Naruto asked loudly. A bewildered look graced his features.

"I have come to see my friend…" He muttered softly. Naruto’s cerulean eyes widened.

'Is this the reason why he is always late?'

Kakashi interrupted his thoughts by placing a hand lightly on his shoulder.

"So, what are you doing here?" He asked, tonelessly. Naruto shifted his gaze to the ground, before closing his eyes. He felt anger conquer him.

"It does not matter." He replied, reluctantly.

"Naruto…" Kakashi whispered as he removed his hand from and sighed heavily. Naruto was desperately trying to hold back the tears…

"I know what you are feeling, Naruto." Kakashi uttered. His exposed eye was hard. Naruto shot his head up, meeting Kakashi’s gaze. Narutos face was plastered with confusion.

"How would you know? You don’t care…" Naruto yelled, his voice shattering like glass. Kakashi’s eye widened slightly, for he was shocked by this statement.

'Have I really been too distant?'

”That is not true…” Kakashi paused. He wanted to reach his students bruised heart. Naruto felt it sink.

"You are sad, right?" Kakashi asked, seriously. His gaze remained glued on Naruto’s distant face... Naruto could not continue to endure nor betray his emotions, and he was having difficulty holding back the tears. He would lose the battle soon… Naruto looked away, not wanting to show him this.

A ninja must possess a heart with no emotions.

He clenched his shaking fists with anger. Had he not said that he would walk a different road?

"Sometimes, it is okay to let everything out.” Kakashi whispered. Naruto did not react to his words, even though he felt his heart lighten.

"I apologize for not being aware of your feelings. I am your teacher, and I should have realized." The man said, deeply. Silence filled the air and Kakashi felt like his words had not washed away the hurt in his heart. Kakashi’s and Naruto’s hair danced in the free wind. His silver coils of hair danced, and Naruto’s golden locks swayed.

"Thank you, Kakashi-sensei…" Naruto said quietly, his voice breaking. He still did not look up. Kakashi understood what he was trying to hide.

"Let it out. Even a ninja has the right to cry; the strongest too…" Kakashi said, boldly. His words held truth and passion. Naruto finally faced his teacher, revealing a pair of tearful eyes, concealing the blueness. They glistened like stars. Naruto surrendered.

Tears streamed down his face vividly. He cried softly, but it was not unheard.

Naruto widened his eyes as Kakashi outstretched his hands and pulled Naruto close to him, letting him lean his tired head on his shoulder. One hand was on his golden hair, the other was resting on his back.

This was unexpected of Kakashi.

Naruto did not reject though and felt at ease. His heart felt like a free feather and most of the pain was shattered. Slumber seemed to be catching up with him though. His eyes were suddenly heavy and gradually, his vision darkened.

He could not make out the words that his teacher said before he slipped into a pleasant dream…
Kakashi was still holding Naruto in his arms. He looked up at the old sky which was painted with a thousand, twinkling stars. The crescent moon rested on its back, illuminating a blue light. The undying wind blew softly through the night. His thoughts were broken by a sleeping Naruto. He heard heavy breathing and a little snore. Kakashi sighed with relief.

'He is totally worn out.'

Kakashi gently hoisted Naruto up on his back up. He felt his sunshiny hair tickle his neck. It was time to take his student home. He approached the memorial, and took one final glance.

"Later, Obito." Kakashi whispered with a bittersweet smile. Then he left quietly.

Walking back, he thought about his students: Sasuke, Sakura and Naruto; they were so special and unique, especially Naruto. He had experienced so much rejection and pain, yet his smile always prevailed. He did not deserve that kind of treatment. He possessed many good qualities, like kindness, bravery and enthusiasm. He could be stubborn and impulsive, but that did not matter. His hyperactive behaviour lifted Kakashi’s spirit, even though it could be quite annoying.

Kakashi was feeling rather tired too.

He approached Naruto’s house and noticed that his window was wide open. The white curtains fluttered like angel wings. Kakashi squinted, registering that there was an entrance. The door was most likely locked. He jumped swiftly in the air and landed perfectly on the window ledge. He crept in carefully; making sure Naruto would not awaken.

Ramen cups and assorted weapons were scattered all over the floor. Naruto had probably trained before he left. Kakashi closed the window behind him and approached the bead. He carefully placed Naruto’s sleeping form on it with heed, gently placing his head on the pillow. Kakashi smiled weakly. He was relieved to see Naruto with a peaceful expression on his face. This filled his heart with joy.

Kakashi pulled the covers over him. He looked very vulnerable. It made him think about how fragile humans were. It made him think about his promise; He would never let anything happen to his comrades.

'I’ll protect you.'

Kakashi closed his eyes.

’Naruto, I am sorry for not always being there. I should have done more. I promise I will…From now on.’

Because… Naruto inspired him to act on his emotions, to listen to his heart, instead of abiding to rules. He reminded him of his virtues, and taught him how to value a smile.

He took one last glance at his student…

‘I promise…’

And his heart smiled.

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