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Saturday, January 10, 2009

Naruto - Kunoichi Chivalry

Genre: Futanari, Dickgirl/Girl (Tsunade/Shizune). Doujinshi in english, 25 pages.

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Naruto - Konoha’s Charm

Genre: Hentai, M/F, chars: Naruto and Hinata. English translated doujin, 26 pages. By Black Bookstore.

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Naruto - Ketsu Megaton NIN

Genre: Hentai, M/F, chars: Tsunade and Sakura. English translated doujin, 50 pages. By Toluene Ittokan.

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Friday, January 9, 2009

Naruto - Ketsu! Megaton

Tsunade is the main character here but there is some Anko too. 50 pages in english.

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Naruto - Loop and Loop

Naruto fucking Tsunade. 28 pages in english.

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Apples and Apricots

Language: English
Author: Thorn the Fastidious Cyborg

Apricots and Avocados

Disclaimer: I don’t own Naruto!

A/N: To Biscuit, fellow SuiSasu fan, best crack author I’ve ever had the good fortune to read, and She Who Inspires and is Inspired By Me. Hope you like it!


“I love you.”

“Hmm. I know.”

“More than anything in the world, Sasuke, I love you.

“I know.”

Suigetsu looked through the fire and into his eyes. “Really? Do you know what that means? I love you more than strawberry flavored water and being able to sleep for twelve hours straight. I love you more than sunsets over the sea and moonrises over the mountains. I love you more than the thought of mauling Orochimaru and being able to argue with Karin.”

The darkness of the woods around them was woven like a thick shawl of comfort. The fire coiled and hissed softly in the hearth they’d cleared for it. Above them the canopy was dense with sleeping leaves, but they knew that above that the opaque sky would be studded with embers of opal and peridot. Juugo and Karin had gone scavenging earlier that evening; they were yet to return. Sasuke sat criss cross on one side o the flames, Suigetsu crouched on his haunches on the other side.

Tonight everything was sinister. Tonight even the breeze had malice in it. Tonight the Uchiha’s heart was in a turmoil because tomorrow they would bear down on Konoha and take the kyuubi carrier.

Suigetsu knew Sasuke better than either of them wanted to admit. He saw through the indifferent Noh mask, he saw the lost soul Sasuke had become since his brother’s demise. Thus far the water ninja hadn’t attempted to broach the subject. He was afraid it would lead to tears, and he wasn’t sure he knew how to handle a weak and sniveling Sasuke. He much preferred the strong silent version of battle, or the soft smiling version of private.

A Sasuke in tears did not bode well for Suigetsu’s peace of mind.

But of late his options had been narrowing down. Sasuke had grown more taciturn and sullen with each passing day, ever since Tobi-Madara had sent them out to secure the nine-tails jinchuuriki. Suigetsu knew Sasuke had had a relationship with the boy and he was fairly sure it had been only friendship. It had to be just friendship. The thought of it being anything more made Suigetsu want to kill the blond and use his innards in a pie.

This was all irrelevant.

What mattered was that Sasuke was upset. And Suigetsu supposed it fell to him to set him right. So that was what he was doing now. He had to let his lover know that no matter what kind of hell lay in wait at dawn he wouldn’t have to go through it without Suigetsu’s devil-may-care-but-I-don’t-give-a-flying-fuck company.

Juugo and Karin were just extras. They weren’t going to make Sasuke laugh anytime soon, unless Karin blew herself up. Suigetsu mulled over that a bit. Blowing up Karin—feasible? Nah, Sasuke would just scold him for random murder.

Damn morals always ruined Suigetsu’s fun. Not just in fights, either—Sasuke refused to be touched below the waist until they were eighteen. As if it mattered how old they were when half the shinobi world wanted them dead.

“I know,” Sasuke said finally. He was staring into the fire, but he could feel Suigetsu’s eyes on him. “I know how much you love me. I love you just as much.”

Suigetsu said, “Good,” and got the impression that he’d just missed a crucial moment to deliver some sort of grand dialogue.


The sounds of the forest were too loud. The howl of monkies screeched in Suigetsu’s ears, the whine of cicadas razed his nerves. If only the world would go quiet for a bit, he would be able to find words to alleviate whatever Sasuke was feeling. As it were, he couldn’t even will himself to take the boy into his arms.

Naturally, he blundered.

“Don’t worry about tomorrow. That kid’s not your friend anymore. You left him, remember?”

Onyx eyes narrowed with the sharp sting of memories. Left was a pretty mild term for what he’d done. Heartlessly abandoned hit closer to the mark. At the time he’d been proud of having the strength to hurt a nakama, a friend who was also a brother. Now it made him want to dive into a murky pond and hide in its depths from his own disapproval.

Suigetsu tried again. “You don’t have to do anything if it makes you feel uncomfortable. Juugo and Karin and I’ll take care of it.”

Wrong again. Sasuke squeezed his eyes shut. Suigetsu could’ve kicked himself. Stupid, stupid. Suggesting Sasuke wasn’t strong enough to take out an enemy. Suggesting that all the ordeals he’d gone through had only served to weaken his resolve.

“And in any case—”

“Suigetsu, shut up.”

The words drove into the fair haired male’s heart like a stake, knocking the wind out of his sentence. It wasn’t like he’d never heard that before. But it had never sounded so genuine, or wounded, especially not from Sasuke. Suigetsu got up clumsily and wobbled around the fire to put his arm around the ivory skinned beauty.


Sasuke sighed deeply. “Sorry. Just…let it go. Go to bed.”


“If Juugo and Karin aren’t here yet, they must’ve found a town and stopped over. We’ll look for them tomorrow. Go to bed.”

“And leave you to brood?”

“You don’t trust me to be alone in the dark?”

“Come sleep with me.”

Sasuke pulled the other boy close to his heart and lay back on the abre ground. “Okay?” he asked Suigetsu’s hair.

“No. I mean, sleep with me.”

“I’ve told you before—”

“Yeah, well, I don’t care,” the water lover flared up. He half rose from Sasuke’s chest to glare at him. “I don’t care,” he insisted, “Tomorrow we’re going to do something stupid and insane and painful. You can’t guarantee that both of us will make it out alive. I don’t want to die without…ever…I’m not like you, Sasuke, I can’t use words to tell you how much you mean to me. Ad if I died without you ever knowing what you are in my world, I’d never be able to live with myself.”

Sasuke pushed him away properly and sat up. “I have to capture my best friend tomorrow, and send him to his death,” he said evenly, “And you want me to have sex with you tonight?”

“Don’t say it like its something disgusting,” Suigetsu snapped, “Do you know what day it is, Sasuke? It’s New Year’s Eve. You’re going to start next year with murder, why not end this one with something pure?”

Sex is pure?” the Uchiha said disbelievingly, “Listen to yourself. You sound like a lovelorn little girl pumped up on romance novels.”

“Who made me lovelorn?” Suigetsu challenged, “Forget it. But Sasuke, why isn’t sex pure? How do you know what it is? Its all I can do to show you how much I love you!”

“I know how much you love me!”

“No you don’t!” Suigetsu was frustratingly close to tears, and hated himself for it. “Sasuke, you don’t. Please. Let me show you. It’s nothing to be ashamed of and I won’t let you tell me anything else. I want you, you want me.”

“I’m not ready,” Sasuke said quietly.

“I am.”

“So, what?” the red eyed shinobi snorted, “You’re going to rape me?”

“Don’t throw that word around,” Suigetsu snarled, “Do you even know what it is to be raped? I do. I’ve watched—I’ve been—I’ve seen—in Orochimaru’s experiments—you don’t—don’t joke about that. You don’t know.”

Matte black eyes flashed angrily at him. “You know what, I’m sick of you acting like I don’t know anything!”

“And I’m sick of you acting like the world is on your shoulders!”

“The future of my clan is, and that, to me, is a world!”

Weird. Now Suigetsu couldn’t hear the sounds of the forest at all. All he could hear was his own breath loud in the winter air, his own blood crashing in his ears.

“The future of your clan?”

Sasuke wanted to eat his words. He averted his eyes, darting them around desperately for something safe to look at.

“The future of your—you need to…?”

“There’s no one else,” the Uchiha’s voice was pleading, breaking, “With my blood. When I die…”

“You want to have kids?”

Sasuke flinched. Suigetsu’s world was rumbling with the knowledge that something had gone horrifically awry. “So what am I, Sasuke? I can’t give birth. Or were you hoping that under my dick I’d be hiding a pussy? What am I going to do when you knock up some bitch and run off to raise your brats? Stick around? For what? You won’t even have sex with me. You want me to stay as your lifelong companion even if I have to share you? Only I’m sorry to say I’m not broad minded enough to be able to live like that. I can’t share. So…so…if I’m just someone you’re with for the sake of passing time, if you’ve been telling me you love me to keep me loyal to your stupid cause—”

“Are you crazy?” Sasuke hissed, “I love

“Shut up! How do I know that? Even if its true, how can I trust you? you walked away from your best fried and you were ready to kill your older brother!”

Bad feelings charged the air. Suigetsu and Sasuke were standing now; the latter’s back to the fire. The water ninja couldn’t see his face, but he could imagine how stricken it must look.




“That sounds like a question, Uchiha-san.”

The boy sank to his knees. “I don’t know. Am I supposed to be sorry? I don’t…I didn’t mean have sex with a woman, Suigetsu. How could I? but there are other ways…to have a baby of my genes. I’d meant…that I wanted to raise a child…with you. I thought you’d be angry at me for bringing up children when we haven’t even…I love you. I don’t know what else to say.”

Suigetsu didn’t know either. This was a moment of epic stupidity and yet he’d never been more pleased in his life.

“You want to have kids with me? You really thought that far ahead?”

Sasuke nodded numbly. Suigetsu sat down beside him. “Well, damn. Damn. Damn, I’m stupid. And so sorry! I said…sheesh. That was the worst thing I could’ve said, huh? I’m so sorry. God, can you ever forgive me?”

He heard the smile rather than saw it. “I’ll think about it.”

Suigetsu kissed his fingers. “I’m really, really sorry.”

“Quit saying it.”

“I love you.”

“Hmm. I know.”

“More than anything in the world, Sasuke, I love you.”

It didn’t seem possible for the mood to shift so rapidly back to pleasant, but it was Suigetsu and Sasuke, so maybe it made sense.

“I know.”

“Can I show you how much?”

The world held its breath with Suigetsu, waiting on the Uchiha’s answer.


Deep in the woods, a whippoorwill woke up early to begin its ululating song.


Huh, it’s not very cheerful for a Christmas thing. But…every time I tried to make it funny it fell flat on its face, so I just decided to let the angst monkies do their thing.

Also. I have got to finish a proper lemon for these two one of these days.

Amongst the Falling Snow

Language: English
Author: kodoku na oujo

Blah!! I’m so bad at actually posting these birthday fics ON the people’s ACTUAL birthdays Dx!! I blame my friends for taking up all my free time. It’s only because I’m going back to school on Monday and the feel the need to be with me every second until then. God :sigh:

Oh! How absolutely fitting! Yesterday was Haku’s birthday and it was snowing. I just looked out my bedroom window when I woke up and… Low and behold! Snow! I was so happy for some reason XD. Maybe it is a sign of good luck! Or maybe it’s just Haku’s way of celebrating his birthday. :shrug: I also saw two guys walking together in the snow. :swoon: It was soo romantic XD ha!

Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto. But it used to be mine. Until Kishimoto-sensei won it from me in a poker game. That’s where he got the inspiration for Tsunade. A big-breasted, blonde woman who is horrible at gambling XD ha, ha!

Warning: Boy Love. Hey. Guess what? It’s finally CANON Boy Love :drool:. So if you read the series, you can’t complain about this particular pairing. Because their love is REAL!! … In the Naruto manga. Oh but, uh… There are little hints of other Boy Love that ((as to my current knowledge)) isn’t exactly canon… YET! XD ha

This is the end.

That child. I’ve never seen such fury and rage emerge from anyone before. That appalling chakra that spewed forth from his body and manifested itself in such a terrifying image.

A physical form to his rage.

We were gauged in combat against one another. Battling upon an unfinished bridge. There were others with him, but the child had forgotten them all when his anger and hatred took over.

All except the one that had fallen. That raven-haired child who fought beside him in an attempt to defeat me. That was that the child could think of as he attacked me in a fit of rage. He was consumed by the pain of having his fellow comrade die in his arms all in an effort to save him.

Such selflessness.

How I wish I could have been in that child’s position. To die in place of your most precious person.

But now I see that I am fated to die at the hands of this young child—Uzumaki Naruto. His wounds have all healed miraculously and this new strength that he had pulled from deep within himself is too much for me. That immense chakra is too much for me to withstand for very long. His movements are so quick. Quick than my own.

And then one hit from his fist sent me hurdling through the air, through my own ice mirror. I felt my body land harshly against the surface of the unfinished bridge, the material of my clothing tearing from the friction and my mask scraping across the concrete surface beneath me. Eventually my body stopped and I ignored the pain that coursed through my very being.

For I knew it would all be over soon.

I rose to my feet and looked onward at my soon-to-be killer. His red eyes ablaze with hatred and fury. Red? I could have sworn that they were blue moments ago. It would seem that more than his attitude has changed when he was overcome with that intense and horrible chakra. Either way it did not matter. Red or blue. What different did it make.

As he came forward, with a terrifying speed, my gaze rose upward toward the dismal sky above me. I felt the mask upon my face crumble and fall in piece along my feet, but I ignored it and let my thoughts travel back to the only memories that brought me comfort.

Memories of him. Of my master.

Momochi Zabuza.

My precious, precious person.

But I am pulled from my thoughts when my inevitable death never came. I shift my gaze only slightly to see that a fist had stopped right before my face, taunting me so with its sweet promise of death. He said something to me, but I did not bother to strain my ears to hear him and instead I ask the one thing that occupies my mind at this moment.

“Why did you stop?”

He says nothing.

“I murdered your comrade… Your beloved friend… And you still spare me?!”

I saw him turned to look upon his fallen comrade’s corpse before his struck me, with only a fraction of the power the attack held previously. I fell backwards against the bridge and felt my mouth fill with blood, the dark liquid dripping down from my lips and pooling into a puddle beneath my head.

But I was still alive.

How could such a young child be so cruel?

I rose slowly to my feet and continued to speak to him, to reveal to him the true cruelty that he was performing by sparing my life. That he had taken away my dream from me; that he had left me with nothing; that he had made my existence, with his own two hands, empty and meaningless.

By defeating me he had taken away my sole reason for living, for Zabuza-danna has no use for a weak shinobi.

And that’s what I was. Weak. Defeat by a mere child. How could I possibly be of any use to Zabuza-danna now? His tool was useless and he would no longer want me.

But I wished that it was not true.

Even as I tried to explain all of that to Naruto, I knew that he would never be able to understand how I felt. And my suspicions were proven correct when he was unable to see how Zabuza-danna could be precious to me.

Such a child.

He knew nothing. Nothing about Zabuza-danna. And nothing about me.

And so I told him. Using what would hopefully be the last minutes of my life. I told him about my past; about my parents; about my kekkei genkai; about accepting the fact that I was not wanted and completely alone in this world.

A saw a spark of familiarity flash across his face, and I knew I was finally getting to him. Finally making him understand my pain and anguish.

A memory of me and Zabuza-danna flashed through my mind, bringing tears to my eyes. I did not bother to wipe away the warm liquid that leaked from my brown orbs as the memory came to an end, though it still lingered in the confines of my brain. My gaze wandered down to bridge’s surface and the true horror of my fallen dream crashed down upon me, weighing down my heart and soul as if it were a physical burden resting on my shoulders.

Forgive me… Zabuza-danna…” I thought in my mind with a sullen expression etched onto my face. “… Your tool has failed you.”

And that is when I asked Naruto to take my life.

It must have been the hardest thing that a child such as him had ever been asked to do. Even as a shinobi. He did not move nor speak for a long time, and my patience were wearing thin. And when I pressed him, he said the cruelest thing I have ever heard.

“Your boss must like you for more than just that… Right?”

I could not stand to look him in the eyes. Those deep, blue eyes that almost seemed more terrifying to me than the vicious red eyes that he had been sporting previously during his fit of rage. Such sickeningly innocent and naïve eyes that always meant for the best, but seldom realized how unkind his words and actions could be.

The words hung around my head for quite some time as I stood there, pondering the possibility that there could even be a ray of truth behind them. For in all the time that I had been with Zabuza-danna, right at his side, I had never had the courage to even wonder if I was more than just… Just his tool.

I pleaded to Naruto yet again. Trying to make him see that there was no other way for me to continue on with my life now that I was useless and unwanted once again.

And to my relief, he accepted my last wish and prepared to take my life.

“You…” I started, hoping to ease his pain even the slightest. After all, he was about to rid me of all my pain. It was the least I could do for him. “I hope you find you dream.”

He turned back to the body of his fallen friend. “He… Sasuke had a dream too…”

He must have been speaking of the raven-haired child that lay still and cold. The one whom I had murdered. I wondered momentarily if that was Naruto’s pitiful attempt to force remorse and sorrow out of me for my actions. But he once again pulled me from my thoughts as he continued to speak.

“If we’d meet some other way, someplace else, you and me would probably have been friends.” The hand that held his kunai shook with his conflicting feelings.

I thought about the idea… and silently agreed.

A look of determination crossed his young features and he charged toward me, as if he had forgotten all his previous inhibitions about his current task. His body was hunched low to the ground as he swiftly moved closer and closer to his target… me.

“Thank you.” I whispered, hoping that he would hear me. It really did not matter either way, but it would have at least eased my nerves if he knew that what he was doing was truly what I wanted.

I prepared myself for the oncoming strike that would end my life, my body motionless as Naruto came ever so closer to me. A roar ripped passed his lips, but I did not react to the loud battle cry. My mind and body had already shut down, awaiting the inevitable.

It was not until his weapon was inching from piercing my body that I was pulled from my trance-like state and forced harshly back into the reality that was facing me. I quickly pushed Naruto’s arm away and forced it down toward the bridge beneath us, my eyes charged with a renewed sense of determination that I had thought had left me entirely.

Zabuza-danna was in trouble. And he needed my help.

“I’m sorry, Naruto!” I said in my haste, ignoring his obvious confusion to my contradicting actions. I had no time to calm his mind. With Naruto’s wrist still firmly in my grip, I used my free hand to quickly make a few hand signs. “I can’t die yet!!” The stern whisper escaped from my lips before I disappeared from his sight, leaving nothing in my wake but a cloud of smoke.

Then, only seconds after Naruto vanished from my sight, the only that registered in my mind was pain. Sheer, agonizing pain. The one call Hatake Kakashi was only a few centimeters from myself, his face full of shock and horror.

It did not take me long to catch on to the situation.

I coughed up the blood that filled my throat, hoping to take in a few remaining breaths with the last of my strength. My eyes gazed deeply into the older man’s terror-filled orbs without any sign of fear. My rage was too strong to even fear the infamous Sharingan eye that filled the void where his left eyes should have been.

My shaking arm rose slowly, each movement more painful than the last, until it lay loosely on the arm that had pierced its way through my chest. Once I felt I had a firm grip, I brought up my other arm, just as slowly as the first, and grasped tightly at the material that hung around the silver-haired man’s arm. And then, with my final breath, I uttered my last words. “Zabuza…d-danna.”

I heard his voice. Zabuza-danna’s voice. But I could not understand his words. My mind had already started to fade into the dark void. But just hearing that familiar and lovely voice that I had memorized warmed my heart and brought a peaceful smile to my face.

And I felt truly happy. I was able to die, fulfilling my dream.

I was able to be of some use to my most precious person even after I had been defeated.

Everything around me grew cold and dark and I knew that this was it. My life had ended.

The last thing I saw was the terrified face of Hatake Kakashi, but it did not matter in the least. For my last thoughts belonged only to my master. To my Zabuza-danna. Of happier times that we had shared. Or at least they were happier to me. Then again, any moment I shared with my Zabuza-danna was a happy memory.

My body felt numb and I feel as if my heavy eyelids have been shut, though I do not personally remember closing them myself. But I really don’t care. My life is ending. I never knew it would drag on so long. Though I can no longer hear, see, or feel, I am still aware somehow.

I idly wonder how much time it will take before my consciousness completely fades away into nothingness.

In all my time pondering what death would be like I never fathomed that I would be forced to linger in this dark purgatory all alone with the only noise being my random thoughts. Though, they may not be sounds at all, just my mind playing one last trick on me and my newly deaf ears.

I felt so cold.

It was like my body is lying still amongst the newly fallen snow, the white flakes falling slowly to the ground and gathering around my motionless body. But I feel no snow against my flesh and I am unsure if I am lying down or still standing as I was when everything faded into black.

Suddenly, there was a noise. Not just my thoughts, which I thought were sounds floating around in my head, but an actual sound. Somehow it is familiar to me, but all I wanted now is to rest and so I did not strain my mind to remember.

And then, there was warmth. I believe against my face, but my senses were so dazed that I could not be sure.

The same familiar sound flooded my mind yet again, but I could still not bring myself to summon the strength to actually comprehend the words being said. Instead I settled with just allowing the familiarity of the noise and warmth to fill my heart and my mind. At least I will leave this world with such wonderful thoughts and sensations coursing through me.

And then, the warmth faded and all that is left is the cold.

But I feel oddly at peace and I let my mind travel even further into the darkness that consumed me. I was just so tired and felt no need to prolong my existence any longer.

As I left this world, I felt as if I was leaving this world without any regrets. But that was wrong. For there was only one regret. Only one.

I only wish I knew how you truly felt about me… my Zabuza-danna.

Maybe in the afterlife, if such a place even exists, I could ask you. When you soul and mine are reunited once again.

For I would willingly wait for you Zabuza-danna. As I did years and years ago. Amongst the falling snow.

Awww! So cute :huggles story:. XD ha! I hope you enjoy it! Even though it’s not very original. The cutest of the story should make up for that, right? :silence: RIGHT?! :freak out:

Skipping Class

Language: English
Author: SilentThunder23

Original Series: Naruto/Naruto Shippuuden.

Story Title: Skipping Class.

Summary: One-shot. Naruto and Sakura get caught out by Kakashi for ‘skipping’ class. Modern High School AU.

Character/s: Sakura, Naruto and Kakashi. Temari shows up at one point, others are mentioned.

Warning this piece of writing may contain mentions of pairing preferences that you as a reader may not agree with; no offence is intended by anyone that supports any pairing a character may talk poorly of. It’s simply meant as a joke, shipping wars aren’t serious business people.

Naruto and Sakura sat on the seat waiting for their train to arrive, the Haruno was a little nervous but it wasn’t noticeable to anyone around them.

“Damn train takes forever,” the blonde muttered as he stared at the platform in front of him.

“Yeah,” the pinkette replied.

“Well it’s not like you two could go back to school or anything like that,” a third voice interrupted from behind the pair. Both turned their heads to see a familiar teacher.

“W-what the hell are you doing here?” the blonde questioned staring at the older man. Sakura just stared at the older man in disbelief.

“Well some people had called into the school complaining about two high school students hanging around the train station, I didn’t have a class so I came to see which two students it was,” he replied in a bored tone.

“D-don’t worry, uh, we’ll be off soon and, well, then there’ll be no more complaints,” Naruto informed the teacher as he looked back over to the platform before grabbing his bag and pulling the pinkette along behind him as he ran off towards a train. “Well look, here’s our train, we’ll see ya later Kakashi-sensei.”

Kakashi frowned beneath his mask as he watched the two students disappear on to the train.

Naruto and Sakura sat on the seat waiting for their train to arrive neither seemed concerned about the fact they weren’t currently in school.

“We need hobbies, you know, something to do one the train and such,” the blonde commented looking over at the pinkette.

“Yeah, we should go shopping after Christmas,” the pinkette replied, “you know, using the money we get for Christmas.”

“Yeah, good idea, hopefully your dad won’t try to take control of your Christmas this year,” Naruto replied.

“Yeah, he’s very bad at choosing gifts, and cooking, and decorating, and basically anything to do with Christmas other then celebrating it.”

“Maybe he’s so bad with all those things because he skipped classes in high school,” a third voice interrupted and both students turned to look at the man with a bored expression.

“Are you stalking us or something?” the pinkette questioned.

“Well I believe more complaints were sent into the school about a couple of students, so I came to see what it was and I find you two again.”

“Yeah, right,” the blonde simply replied. Both students stood up as the train arrived and walked off towards it.

Kakashi frowned beneath his mask as he watched the two students disappear on to the train.

The redhead stared at his wife with an angry look as he stood in the way of her exit.

You can’t do this,” he told her as he continued to block her exit, “I can’t believe you did this.”

I didn’t do anything wrong,” she simply replied.

You didn’t do anything? Well maybe that’s the problem, you slept in this bed with me for the past three months and never once thought to tell me you were pregnant with someone else’s child,” his voice raised to a yell as his blonde wife took a step back from him. “Were you just going to pretend it was mine or were you going to leave me for him?”

I told you already, he left as soon as he found out I was pregnant,” the blonde retorted as she narrowed her eyes at the older man.

Let me guess, you didn’t tell him it was his child,” the redhead yelled, “You were just going to pretend it was mine.”

I was going to do it because I love you,” the blonde yelled back.

The hell you do, you don’t-

“Interesting book your reading,” a voice commented from behind the blonde and the pinkette. Sakura freaked jumping out of the seat and landing on the cement in front of it. Naruto looked up from his DS to stare at his friend before returning to his game.

“Are you familiar with the book, Kakashi-sensei?” the blonde questioned while the pinkette glared at the older man.

“I’ve read it before, not my kind of book, doesn’t have enough romance,” Kakashi replied and neither Naruto nor Sakura dared to question what he meant by romance.

“Not my kind of book,” Naruto replied as he saved his game and packed his DS away in his bag.

“What do you want?” the pinkette questioned as she stood up, placed a bookmark in he book and place the book in her bag.

“Why do you always skip this particular class?”

The blonde practically froze for a few seconds before looking up to see if his train has arrived. The two students let out to rather unnoticeable sighs of relief as the train pulled up to the platform.

“Sorry Kakashi-sensei, you’ll have to ask the question some other time,” the blonde commented as the pair walked quickly towards their train.

Kakashi frowned beneath his mask as he watched the two students disappear on to the train.

I love you, more than anything,” the red haired woman yelled as tears ran down her face. The dark haired man turned back to face her with a smirk on his face.

You really are annoying,” he told her before turning to walk away.

Leave and I’ll scream,” she yelled to him before he was suddenly standing behind her.

Thank you,” he whispered before-

“You have a very strange choice in novels,” the older voice commented and the pinkette turned to glare at him.

“Did you have to interrupt, I wanted to find out whether Saria realised that Simon was a tool and went to be with Nathan,” the pinkette finally commented while glaring at the man.

“What if I told you that Saria ends up with Lee and Nathan ends up with Hannah,” Kakashi replied as the blonde near by continued on with his game.

“Ugh, I didn’t want Nathan to end up with Hannah, there are so many better fits to go with her, Lee could’ve worked well with Teagan but Teagan also worked well with Nick but I also liked Nick with Hannah, and don’t get me started on how much I like Shia with Tamara over Indigo,” the pinkette frowned for a long moment.

“Don’t worry Sakura, he’s pulling your chain, the first book doesn’t end with any couples, you know that,” Naruto commented. “Nathan and Saria is the best couple, Teagan should get with Kane, now that my friend would be a good couple.”

“That would be a pretty good couple,” the pinkette commented.

“We just have to wait another month for the second book to come out,” Naruto replied.

“Come on Naruto we’re going to miss our train,” the pinkette commented as the blonde followed after her.

Kakashi frowned beneath his mask as he watched the two students disappear on to the train. “Those two are very strange,” he muttered to himself as he turned to head back to the school.

“Where’s Naruto?” Kakashi questioned as he stood next to the pinkette sitting on a bus stop bench.

“That way,” she told him pointing towards the blonde talking to a blonde haired girl.

“Are you stalking us?” the pinkette questioned, “there’s no other way you could’ve known we were here.”

“Some teachers from Suna High called Konoha High to complain about two of our students hanging out here,” Kakashi replied in a bored tone.

“Yeah, don’t be late then, the trailers are the best part,” the blonde called back to his friend as he walked towards the two people at the bus stop.

“Yeah, I’ll see you there,” the blonde replied as she walked back towards her school.

“I think you two should be heading back to school,” Kakashi stated with a serious expression.

“No,” the pinkette replied.

“Give me one good reason,” the older man replied.

“Out bus is here,” Naruto replied as he pulled Sakura on to the bus with him.

Kakashi frowned under his mask as he watched the two take a seat together on the bus.

“Yeah, hey bus driver, that guy at the stop isn't going to get on,” Sakura yelled to the front of the bus. With that the bus pulled away from the stop.

Naruto and Sakura sat at the train station waiting for their train; Naruto was reading some book while Sakura was playing a DS.

“You’ve swapped places today,” Kakashi commented and the two just turned to stare at him. Naruto packed the book into his bag while Sakura saved her game and packed the DS into her bag.

“Why do you keep coming here if you’re not going to do anything?” Naruto questioned.

“Why do you always skip this particular class?” the older man replied.

“Touché,” the blonde muttered.

“Okay, I guess your going back to the school then, you know, the school doesn’t take kindly on ditching classes.”

“Shikamaru sleeps through all his classes and Kiba skips all the time,” Sakura replied.

“Well, I’ll just take all the information I’ve gathered back to the school then,” Kakashi causally commented, “I’ve seen you ditch this same class every week for the past month and a half, I want to know why.”

“Maybe we just ditch for that sake of ditching and this just happens to be the only time you catch us,” the pinkette retorted.

“Look, there’s our train,” Naruto commented as the pair stood up but when they turned back around to pick up their bags Kakashi was holding them.

“You two are coming back to school,” he turned and started walking away.

“We don’t have a class,” the pinkette commented, “Or to be more correct, we turned up to the first four lessons and no teacher turned up.”

“Yeah, Me, Sakura, Kiba, Ino, Shikamaru, Chouji and a bunch of others just started ditching,” the blonde commented.

“Oh, I knew I was forgetting something,” Kakashi muttered as he continued walking off with the bags. “You might want to grab your friends I’m sure they’d hate to miss out on their literature lesson.”

Naruto and Sakura just stood perfectly still for a moment before looking at each other in disbelief.

“You’re fucking kidding me,” Naruto muttered.

“He forgot about our class?” the pinkette questioned.

“Who cares about that, he just told us to go find the others, I don’t even know like half of the class,” the blonde replied.


Author’s Note: Crappy one-shot is crappy. I did not where I was going with this when I started and when I finished I was like, "uh, what the hell just happened?"

We, Who Are Shaped by Pain

Language: English
Author: broken-Angel-requiem-Soul

We, Who Are Shaped by Pain

My DateMe entry for January Contest: Memories. The idea just came to me. Somehow this seems to go outside my confront zone...


A word that can send shivers down the spins of many civilians, and prolong the anxiety of young academy students. But do they know what that word means? How can they say that they know -- that they are Shinobi -- when they haven't experience it?! The pain, the frustration, the emotional detachment!

The death of those you love...

"We are-"

He remember, as if too clearly, the first day that he met the girl. It was at the park when all the children that actually had the courage to disobey their parents to talk to him left. She was the only one there, and was sitting on the swing, crying.

"Oi!" A young Uzumaki Naruto said. "Why are you crying?"

"M-My o-onii-san left m-me h-here." A soft, meek voice answered.

"Don't cry. I'll be with you till then!" The blonde said as he took a heroic pose, which made his companion laugh. "There we go!" He announced, "Whats your name?"

"H-Hyuuga-a H-Hinata"

"Well, Hinata-chan. I'm Uzumaki Naruto! The future Hokage, believe it!"

Naruto had to laugh at the ridiculousness of how he acted back then. But he wondered if he had known what was laid for him in the future, would he had been so lax in the past? If he had know the lives he had to take, would he still wanted to be a ninja? If he had know what fate had destined for him be, would he still be here?

Fate and destiny, huh? That a something that Hyuuga Neji had sported for a while.

"-gathered here today-"

"Oi, everyone, settle down...." Iruka-sensei said getting more anger tick marks on his face at the rudeness his class displayed. "I said BE QUIET!!" He finally scream, and was pleased at how the class immediately shut up to pacify him.

"Iruka-sensei, what are we doing today?" Sakura piped after a couple of seconds of silence.

"Glad you asked. Today we are working on chakra-" he was cut off by his students groans and anger marks started to appear again. "Ahem. We're working on chakra manipulation."

"What?" Naruto yelled, "You mean more reading and statius?"

"It's called statics, dobe." A cool, indifference voice corrected.


"Enough, both of you. And no Naruto, no reading required today. All you need is a leaf."

"A leaf?" Several of his students repeated; some thinking that he'd gone crazy.

"Hai. The point of this exercise is to gather enough chakra in your hands to move the leaf. Like this," Iruka put a green-yellow leaf in the center of his palm, and his students watched curiously as it began to turn in a rapid, clock-wise circle. "Now, after I hand you a leaf, I want you to try this. Don't worry if your leaf spins in the opposite direction, its just the way your chakra coils are formed. Alright, start."

The academy teacher had to sigh when Kiba exclaimed he had move the leaf off his hand, and told the Inuzuka to close the window next to him. Looking around he was pleased to noticed that one his students already got the hang of it after three minutes. He wasn't very surprised to see that she was the first one, afterall chakra manipulation is important to her clan."

Taking another look around, he saw that most students weren't even putting very much effort into it. Maybe they needed some encouragement or deflated pride? Whichever worked.

"Oh, it seems like one student already got it. Congratulations, Hyuuga Hinata. Since you got it under five minutes, you are excused from the test." His students looked at the Hyuuga girl and then rapidly turned to their sensei once his words set in.

"Test? What test!?"

"The test I decided to have you all take. But I'm sure that since Hinata-san here made it, so can you. So for the people who manage to do it within the next 25 minutes is also exempted from the test!" Iruka had to laugh behind his hand, when he saw the looks of determination on his students faces. He was so going to share this with the other teachers in the Teachers' Lounge.

Naruto had to laugh at how naïve they were back then. When things were so simple and the only choices you had to make was to do your homework, or participate in the lesson. Instead of wondering if you will live to complete the mission, or to disarm or kill. Nothing really lasts forever, and the kids who aspire to become Shinobi will learn, in order to learn the arts you will give your humanity up.

And even then, there's no guarantee that you'll make. As an older, more experienced ninja, he felt like a croupier; watching as novices bet their lives on missions and take in the money if they were successful.

"-to grieve the death of a very talented Shinobi,-"

"Oi! Hinata-chan! Don't give up yet!" Naruto yelled to the stage beneath him, watching as his friend struggle to get up.

"I... won't give up!" Everyone that heard the comment and knew the girl was astonished at how the Hyuuga girl face became fierce with determination. They became speechless as they watched her and her cousin fight each other in a graceful dance of chakra.

Kurenai was perhaps the most shocked; this was a side of her student that she has never seen before. But the shock didn't hinder the fact that she was one of the proudest of her student. 'There might be a place for her in the Shinobi world if she keeps this up.' She thought fondly.

"Ah!" Hinata yelled as her cousin final hit knocked her off her feet, with her blood spraying the air...

"-Hyuuga Hinata." Naruto finished, watching as Shinobi walked to her grave dropping a white rose on it. Hinata had been dead for three days and Naruto had decided that it was time to start burying their dead, despite the fact that he knew their enemies wouldn't wait.

War never waits for those who died to be given a proper funeral. It was time to get back to their stations.

He watched as those Kunochi who had cried dried their tears and left. He wonder if those tears were real or was it just the body reacting to such crucial times?

"Hokage-sama," Naruto turned to the ANBU that requested him, "they're getting closer."

"Aa. Tell ANBU squads 8 through 12 to get to Alpha point B and C." Looking at the grave once more, he disappeared in leaves.

He was intrigued to know if any other Shinobi remembered their past.

If you ask Shinobi if they had the chance to relive life would they still want to become ninja, most would say, "I don't know,". To them their past was nothing more than a burden; something to cloud their mind and hesitate their actions. And also they couldn't remember their own childish laughter. They've forgotten what it is to be a kid, only knowing the arts for which they trained in for years.

To be a Shinobi is to be a savant of death.

I'm disappointed at the ending. I lost my momentom at the last flashback. Sigh. Well, what'd ya think?

A ShikaSaku love story

Language: English
Author: Breanneeeee

“I hate him so much. He makes me want to go...I don’t know, Shoot myself in the head.” A young pink haired girl complained to her best friend, Trisha. Trisha had two traditional buns in her hair, and was extremely good with a sword. Trisha giggled, she was on the phone with her boyfriend, Neil.

“Trisha, are you listening to me? I’m trying to tell you how much I hate that jerk.”

Trisha rolled her eyes,“ Yes Suzie, You hate him, he hates you, You were born enemies, I know, I know. I’ve heard it all before. It’s not that bad, Its was just a joke you know. It wasn’t that bad.”

“But Trisha, it was horrible.” whined Suzie.

“Of course it was, Just terrible.”

“But it was, I tell you. He just came up to me, tapped me on the shoulder and when I turned around, he kissed me. On the lips! And...” She hesitated, “I liked it.” she finally announced bravely.

“Just wait one minute Neil, You what?!?” Trisha asked, exasperated.

“Well I kind of , maybe liked it. Yeah, yes I did like it! So what if I did?” asked Sakura.

“That is it, Miss Haruno. You are going to march over to his house right now, and tell him how you feel about him. That is obviously why he kissed you today, and if you liked it, you’ll have no problem with telling him you like him. Neji dear, I have to run, I’ll call you later. We are taking a stroll down to Shikamaru’s house.” Tenten finished with a loud intake of breath, that made Sakura’s mouth fall wide open.

“No, really it’s alright, We don’t have to go anywhere!” But it was no use, Tenten was already pushing her out the door, and down the long hallway of Sakura’s house.

When she got to the fence in front of Sakura’s house, Tenten started to complain about having to get off the phone with Neji, and how it was snowing abnormally.

Sakura wasn’t listening. A couple of times, she thought about running into the traffic, but just as she would start to veer away, Tenten would grab her arm and pull her along the sidewalk. So she was stuck going to his house. What was she going to say to him? They had been enemies since grade one. They couldn’t possibly go out now that they were in grade ten together.

Finally, they got to Shikamaru’s house, Tenten knocked on the door, muttered something that Sakura didn’t hear, and walked down the walk way.

A minute later, Shikamaru Nara, all six foot of him, was standing at the door.

“Sakura? Sakura Haruno? At my house? Where is Chicken Little, the sky must be falling!” He said, ducking out of the way as if something was coming at him from the sky at forty miles per hour.

“Oh, can it Shikamaru. I’m only here because Tenten down there,” She threw her thumb over her shoulder and pointed at Tenten who was leaning against the fence behind her. “made me come. I don’t have a good word to say to you about what happened today. Rather, what you did today.” replied Sakura.

“Ah yes, I see. But Sakura, my dear,” He said finally, stepping out of the doorway, letting the door close behind him, and reaching out to take her hand. “ Is there anything you would like to do to me? Because I’m open to just about anything.” Shikamaru finished, his usual grin still on his face.

“As a matter of fact, there is. “ Sakura said, looking down at their fingers, which were now entangled in his. One by one, she took her fingers out of his, and reached up and slapped him across the face so hard, he stumbled backwards.

“That was not what I had in mind.” he said, holding his cheek, which would now have a hand print across it for a while.

Tenten was standing down by white fence,, listening to the conversation, which was going absolutely nowhere. Sakura was wagging her finger in Shikamaru’s face, going on about how he should not have kissed her, and she didn’t like him like that. Tenten decided enough was enough. She stood her ground, and got ready to run if need be, took in a big lung full of air, and yelled, “Well, maybe you shouldn’t have liked it when he kissed you today either.”

Sakura now stood with her mouth hanging open, gawking at Tenten who was running down the street. She was about to take off after her, when he grabbed her arm. She turned and looked at him, thinking in her head, I’m going to get her later.She snuck a glance at Shikamaru’s smirking face. “ Sakura Haruno, Do you like me?” Sakura solemnly shook her head. “Well, I’ll tell you what, I like you. End of story.” She looked up at him and smiled. He trailed his hand from her arm to her hand, and said “ Would you like to come in for some hot cocoa?” And for once in her life, she said yes.

Teddy Bear

Language: English
Author: Suigintou no Yoru

Well… I thought I give this a go… Enjoy!

I don’t own Naruto. Tis’ a pity.

Oh… I’m so nervous… What should I do?

It’s the first day of school, and (almost) all the girls are crowding around the school gates, waiting for him to come.

There are so many of them… What should I do…?

I tightly held the little teddy bear in my hand… Something I made for him during the holidays. I hope he accepts it, but the other girls have presents too…

I’ve always loved him since I was young. Ever since that time when I was five, he saved me from a bully. I was grateful to him at first, but I started to develop feelings for him later on. It has been ten years since then.

I’ve always wanted to tell him how I feel, but there are many girls following him around… I can’t get close to him. And besides, there’s no way he’d like a plain, boring girl like me. And besides, who’d fall in love a girl with PINK hair, anyway? I mean… It’s kinda weird…

I can hear the girls squealing now. He must be near. I can hear them now.



“Back off, girl, he’s mine!”

“Stand back, bitches! Sasuke-kun is mine and mine alone!” I recognised that voice as Karin’s. She was always dressed like a slut, acts like one and even talks like one. Not surprised if she IS one, after all. I men, I saw her making-out with a boy from the neighbouring school the other day.

“Get away from me.”

“Awwww, don’t be so mean, Sasuke-kuuuunnnn.”

“Back off.”

“At least accept my little present. I bought it juuuuuust for you.”

“Don’t want it, don’t need it. No thanks.”

“Sasuke! Take mine!”

“No, mine!”

“Mine’s better!”

“Well, mine’s more expensive!”

“Mine’s more meaningful!”

“Mine’s bigger!”

“Sasuke-kun! Mine’s better that the rest!

“I said I don’t want anything. Now get out of my sight.”

I saw the group of disappointed fan girls dissipate. Soon I found myself standing alone facing him. I blushed lightly.

“U-Um… I better be going now.” I turned to leave, but he grabbed my wrist to stop me from leaving.

“U-Um…” I tried to say something. “Is something the matter?”

“Is that… For me?”


“That bear. Is that for me?”


“I’ll accept it.”

“Eh?” I stared him blankly, despite my embarrassment.

“Your gift. I’ll except it.” I handed over the small caramel-coloured bear. He inspected it closely before slipping it into his pocket.

“You made it, didn’t you?”


“This… bear. You made it, didn’t you?”

“Um… You don’t have to take it… if you don’t want to.”

“I want to.”


“You’re Sakura, right?” I nodded.

“Thanks for the gift.”

“Um… No problem… I’d better be going…”

“Oh, and… would you like to join me for a movie this Sunday?”

A smile lit my face. I was overjoyed! Uchiha Sasuke… THE Uchiha Sasuke asked me out!

“I’d love to.”

Yes, this is finally the non-angst fic you were waiting for, GG! Any comments? Sorry it’s a little short, coz, it's our half-year mark into our relationship! (We got together on 10th July) Apparently, he hasn't ask me on a date yet. And I'm not complaining, coz my b-day's next week! (See my point...? Maybe not.)

Please Review! I beg of you!

Leave Your Ghosts Behind

Language: English
Author: Serendipity1

Title: Leave Your Ghosts Behind
Author: Ivy-chan
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 781
Characters: Sakura
Summary: Sakura has learned how to bury her friends and her past, but can't quite seem to let them go.

Sakura buries her dead like an expert, in the end. She lays them to rest with quiet prayers and carefully-chosen words in public, and with clenched fists and cold eyes and chakra unleashed like a tidal wave of earth, at the moment of their death. She can still see them bleeding at her feet and under her hands, their pulse fading to nothing, and their chakra bleeding out and dissipating into the air like fine mist.

She is the last of Team Seven.

Sakura has seen Kakashi crumble and fall to the ground, his neck broken, his smile leaking trails of crimson. She buries the body of Pain who killed her sensei- opens the very earth with her strength and crushes him in its chasm, breaks him to pieces.

It’s not enough to save Kakashi-sensei. It’s not enough to help her own sense of bloodlust, even with bruised fists and sorrow-bruised eyes and chakra draining from her like tears. Her former teacher’s last act is to try and offer her his eye: his sharingan, as if the Uchiha have benefited from it at all. She doesn’t want sharingan. The last living person in that bloodline had used it to sieze Naruto’s mind up and rip it to shreds from within.

She still sees Naruto in the hospital room he’s stayed in for what should be three years now, dull-eyed, unresponsive, slow-moving. Dead in every way that matters.

He smiles at her sometimes. Mostly he just sits, a living receptacle to the power that once laid waste to Konoha and once saved it. They daren’t kill him: not without another container, and Sakura is the only one who knows the seal. It’ll be her choice one day, ripping the last of his life from him along with the fox, damning another child to the altar for them.

(is it really worth it? is it really? )

But she remembers seeing it once, crouched in the prison of Naruto’s body, wide and terrible and dark. Power like vast oceans, crushing, relentless. Invincible. The babies in the nursery watch her with wide, trusting eyes, and she understands now, too late, the Yondaime’s choice. (understands but won’t follow in his footsteps, her child will carry no curse.) Naruto, unknowing, continues to watch the sky outside his window as if it presents an escape. Perhaps it does, for him. She envies him that.

Sasuke, she has killed with her own hands. She doesn’t remember much of it, to tell the truth. What she remembers is only pain, flashing images, a haze of anger, a scream of loss and outrage. Sai’s severed hands in her lap, cradled gently, (he’s an artist! how dare you ruin his hands! and it’s odd she screams this when she should worry more about his severed head,) ink running across stone, and her fingertips gently finding Sasuke’s heart and bursting the aorta. All her memories begin and end with blood now. Sakura wonders if this is how Tsunade felt.

The girl who once cried freely, loved openly, and bled so easily is folded away and placed in the cupboard with all childhood things. She takes her out for company sometimes, shakes her out and dusts her off and has nice conversation with Ino or her parents. Sakura never comments about Team Seven, not in polite company, not in friendly company, and not even in her own. Words can’t touch the memories, reminiscing can’t bring back the dead.

She has all their hitai-ate in a box lined with black silk in her room. Sakura takes them out sometimes, traces the scratches, wonders at the scars in the metal. And asks herself the questions she can’t bring herself to voice.

They bring her the robes of Hokage when Tsunade slips away quietly in her sleep. That was always Naruto’s dream, not hers. It’s the last irony. She accepts- it’s fitting. Konoha is a broken village now. Even the mountains have fallen.

Sakura wears them to visit Naruto in, the next time she visits. It’s a touch cruel, a touch desperate. He smiles at her without a trace of recognition.

“This should be yours,” she tells him, demanding him to understand, “It’s always been your dream.”

“Dream,” Naruto echoes. There’s the barest hint of a shudder in his voice, and he turns his head quickly away. Sakura gives up the ghost and leaves. She’d like to say she never looks back, but doesn’t fool herself for an instant. She is good at being capable, at being sensible, at knowing when what is through is through. Sakura is an expert at burying her dead- but she’s never learned the knack of letting go of the bodies.

Bitten Off Chocolate

Language: English
Author: Murasaki Kaida

DISCLAIMER: I don't own Naruto, unfortunately.

NOTES: I've been writing so much humorous HidaTema stuff lately that I think I've started to lose track of what they'd actually be like in the canon verse. So I'm trying my hand at what I could easily see becoming the dark relationship between Hidan and Temari, with just a twist of psychotic romance. When I say dark, I mean DARK. The timeline skips around a little, but this is on purpose - I always find that skewed sense of time can add an edge of confusion and insanity.

Many thanks to Rel, whose attention and encouragement keeps me writing and striving to be better.

No beta but myself for this one. For some reason this story feels very personal, and I'm guarding it's contents like a rabid Cerberus.

It’s strangely beautiful, Temari decides. Like how when a vase breaks, after you get over the shock of the noise you can stare at the pretty shapes the china has made. The smooth curves that still try to follow the vase’s shape, and the quiet viciousness of the edges, dusty and exposed like bitten-off chocolate.

It’s the crack of dawn, and the sun hasn’t appeared above the barricades surrounding her village yet. The darkness of the sky is receding, becoming pink and orange and yellow like old bruises. The minimal light casts long shadows, and the night’s sandstorms have whipped scratchy grains over the crime scene and the body.

It’s a woman, Temari notes. A woman whose hair is only a few shades darker than her own. It spills across the sand like escaping liquid, tinged pink and red at the tips. It looks like tendrils – living, moving tendrils.

There are red marks around the neck. The body’s upper half is exposed, the small breasts bare. A pike had been speared the through the heart – hard enough to lance into the ground upon exit of the body.

It pins her in the middle of a bloody circle.

“Jounuchi Hirano.” The medic nin coughs into his hand and looks at Gaara. He kneels near to the body, but outside of the circle. None of the nin surrounding the scene have dared to step over the dark, crusted line. “Age twenty. Civilian. Cause of death...well, it could have been strangulation or the chest wound. I’ll have to do some tests.”

She was beautiful, Temari thinks. Even in death. The stab of envy she feels, low in her stomach, grows when she looks at first the red marks on the neck, and then pike through the stomach. It should have left blood. Should have been a mess. But someone had lovingly wiped the blood away from the wound, leaving Jounuchi-san’s tanned skin bare for the sand.

Blood would have splattered – landed on the breasts, the stomach. Droplets on the face.

But the body is completely clean, but for the grains that dust over it.

Temari steps forward, her toe almost on the line of blood. The nin around her tense and watch, as though to step on the spilled lifeforce would be to trigger a mass of exploding tags. It makes her want to. It makes her foot twitch forward a tiny little bit.

She stares at the symbol that has been carved into the chest. The circle with an upside-down triangle, so neatly done and so carefully positioned so that its lower swell fits snugly between the body’s breasts. The triangle looks like a piece of broken vase. She wants to touch it – to feel the smooth curve as it tries to keep shape and the jagged edges.

Like bitten-off chocolate.

“This is the fourth one this month,” Kankurou says. His voice quavers a little, and Temari looks over at him. Perhaps it is the shadows as the sun begins to rise, or shadows from his black cat hood, but he looks a little green. He looks at Gaara, and then Temari, a muscle in his jaw twitching.

“One every week,” Gaara murmurs, not looking away from the body. “On the same day. And yet no one sees or hears anything.”

The cluster of nin surrounding the scene look at him in horror, their faces pinched. One freshly promoted chuunin, who is standing at the back of a group of men and staring at the bloody circle, runs away and vomits. Temari watches him and can’t remember a time that she’s been swayed by the death of just a name and a face.

Temari looks at the body. The flesh of the stomach is dappled and marked, speaking of childbirth. The bare feet that peep out from the hakama are slender but well-worn on the soles. The body is imperfectly perfect, in its petite jagged-edged beauty.

Just like the other bodies from neighbouring villages, in the circle of murder growing ever closer to Suna. Until now.

“No signs of...of sexual intercourse,” the medic says, looking ill. “N-no signs of struggle, either.”

Of course not, Temari thinks. And then, these medics were sent to Konoha to be trained by the Hokage and Haruno Sakura – I thought they’d have more backbone.

“How is it doing that?” A nervous jounin asks, pointing at the ground. “The sand should have blown around by now. But the circle’s still there. How...?”

“I don’t know,” Gaara says, and like a dam breaking, all the nin in the nearby area take a step back. The air becomes noticably more panicked. While they’ve been able to believe that the Kazekage was controlling the sand to keep the crime scene intact, they’ve been able to put some level of something...humane to this moment. Something in their control.

Temari watches them pale, and their reactions interest her. It would be the normal reaction to something like this, she knows, even as a ninja. It makes them healthy and good people. It makes them involved on a justifiable level.

“This,” Gaara says – and the loudness of his voice surprises Temari. She twitches and watches her brother with wide eyes as he steps to the side of the body – one foot bypassing the circle – and kneels alongside it. Her stomach clenches and the urge to drag Gaara away is so strong. Too strong.

She could do it. She could pull him away and he probably won’t struggle. Not physically. But she’d damage his reputation as Kazekage, and damage him – and that was the whole point, wasn’t it?

She’d trade her sanity in for Gaara, even if it meant letting him near such things.

As Gaara reaches out towards the body, Temari winces. She knows that to protect someone sometimes meant that you can’t protect them from yourself. Or the things that you cause.

Gaara touches the lines of the symbol on the body’s chest. “What is this?” He asks, his dark-rimmed eyes narrowing. “This is new. This wasn’t on any of the other women.”

Women? Temari’s eyes narrow. Yes, she supposes they were all women. Imperfectly perfect and with jagged edges. She clenches her fists and her nails make little cuts in her palms.

“I don’t know, Kazekage-sama,” the medic replies, and the other nin echo him. “It looks like a symbol of some type. I’ll see if I can research it. And...since this is like what’s happened elsewhere...I’ll send the symbol to neighbouring countries for information.”

Once it reaches Konoha, it’s all over. The thought is so sudden and desperate that Temari tenses, before she forces her muscles to relax.

Too late. Gaara looks up at her. “What’s wrong, Temari?”

Everything’s wrong. I could help. I could tell. I could make all of this stop if –

“Her stomach. She has children.”

- I wanted to.

Her eyes widen. Gaara probably thinks it’s because of the hand of comfort Kankurou puts on her shoulder, or a strange display of feminine sympathy. No. I do want this to end. This. The dead and the dying.

But part of her knows that it is the price she has to pay.

Maybe that is the message. Maybe that is why Jounuchi-san looked kind of like her. Why Jounuchi-san has that symbol carved into her.

“Take her in,” Gaara says, rising. With a small burst of his chakra, he sends the cursed sand away. The ninja all around step back, watching the dark grains get sent from the village and over the barricades. Two nin struggle to remove the pike from the ground and the body. When at last it’s tugged free, the body and the weapon are taken away, leaving only some more stained sand and the faint shape of where the body had lain.

“ANBU?” Gaara asks.

“Investigating,” one of the jounin replies, sweat beading along his forehead.

“Go,” the Kazekage intones. “Investigate Jounuchi-san and any connections she might have to the other victims. Inform...her family. Keep a look out.”

The nin all nod respectfully and take off. Temari can feel the air get thicker as she’s left alone with her brothers.

“I don’t understand it,” Kankurou says. “It’s sick!”

“It’s deliberate,” Gaara says. As the sun rises higher, the light warms his face and it takes Temari’s breath away. He’s always been the epitome of everything she’s feared and everything she once had to live with in a cell of nastiness and lies.

He’s like a rising sun, really. Whenever he reaches his high point, he warms her and gives her life. When she thinks about it, she and Gaara are broken pieces. They kept the right shape and had rough edges.

She looks at Kankurou. He is like the glue that holds them together. The most rational one of all of them.

Temari looks at Gaara. No. Gaara was becoming better. He was becoming part of something whole again. She feels awed by him, watching as he sends the rest of the sullied sand away without twitching a limb. His dark-rimmed eyes turn to her.

She feels wracked with guilt and jealousy.

“This has been enclosing on us for a while now. And now it’s hit us.” Gaara stares at the spot where the latest of his people has been slaughtered under his nose. “The same story every time.”

“The same time and method,” Kankurou echoes, pulling his hood down and rubbing his temples.

“All women,” Gaara nods. He begins to pace. “All young and all killed in the same way.”

“Except for the symbol.”

“Except for that.”

Temari’s head spins. She braces herself against her fan.

“Cleaned of blood,” Kankurou says.

“Laid out carefully in a circle.”

“Almost routine.”

Gaara stops pacing and stares out towards the barricades, his profile calm but his eyes glazed with something that Temari hasn’t seen since Shukaku has been extracted.

“Not routine,” he says. “More like ‘ritual’.”

Temari’s blood runs cold. Kankurou gapes and clenches his fists, but she feels everything loosening in her body like a tripwire. She has to put a lot of her weight against the fan to remain standing. The world seems to dance in front of her eyes at someone else’s command – all specks and static and loud humming.


She jerks. Both of her brothers are staring at her now, and she somehow wonders if they can see it. The taint on her soul. The seed still between her thighs.

“Why don’t you go and write a report?” Gaara asks. “We will inform the elders and begin looking for information on the symbol.”

Of course, Temari thinks, they would give her a way out. They don’t want her to feel like a weak little woman, and god forbid she must look like one. She straightens and straps her fan to her back. In her mind’s eye, she imagines what the body had looked like when it still had pumping blood and eyes that could see.

She wonders if it’s heart had quickened when it had seen the one that had killed it. If it’s lips had been wet by his kiss when he seduced it. If it’s core had become damp with longing when he had led it away by the hand.

Temari nods and leaves her brothers there, contemplating the sand, as she speeds away.

Had it thought he would touch it? Had he bared it’s breasts when it was still breathing, looking at him with admiring eyes? Had he teased it? Smiled at it?

Her stomach clenches. Had it laid down in the circle willingly?

She hopes not. Because if it hadn’t, then it kept a difference between her and them. And it means that she doesn’t have to hate any of them.

She lays on the futon and feels his fingers running through her hair, his warmth spooned against her back. His fingers encounter all tangles and separate them, prying the blond strands apart. She turns to smile at him over her shoulder. His grin is slow, and his eyes glittering like amethyst.

It’s a delicate little dance and she sometimes wonders what would happen if one of them were to stumble and fall.

She lies awake at night hearing the desert dogs howling and watches the almost angelic shifts of his face as he sleeps naked beside her.

Temari used to fight, once upon a time. There used to be a clear line between right and wrong. Just like there used to be a clear line between love and hate. She has given him everything and every part of her, but she wonders if it will ever be enough. And she wonders if he still plans on taking her sanity without bothering to ask for it.

He devours her fear and surprise, delights in her twisting face and the power of leashing her to him with every bit of shock he instils in her. He pushes between her legs, in places where they could easily be seen, and all the while he stares at her – branding her with his eyes and lips.

As he thrusts into her, his strong arms supporting him and silver strands hanging in front of his hooded eyes, his lips draw back from his teeth. His rosary swings against her chest. Every pump of his cock is a stamp of possession and she wonders when she, the sister of the Kazekage, began confusing obsession with something more.

He’s beautiful beyond compare and she aches for him – she is beginning to think that she loves him more than she’s actually capable of. He who outshone everyone else...he who grounded her...he who tamed her.

He’s insane and rough and cruel. He’s never sorry when he gets carried away and bruises her wrists and thighs. He acts like he’s sorry – he says the words and makes the gestures. But he’s marked her again, and she can see past his apologies to the mocking look in his eyes. He admires the bruises he leaves on her skin – he touches them not with regret but with reverence.

They live in secrecy. A morbid affair between the dregs of a once proud kunoichi and a religious madman – and yet his mark on her seems so clear that every day she fears and anticipate a spotlight falling on their sins.

Can people see him on her? Smell him on her?

Can they tell sometimes as Temari stands there and tries to hide her flush that his seed still stains her inner thighs from a frantic rut stolen in the midnight hours?

She touches his silky silver hair and he gives her a considering, amused look. Sometimes he smiles – a true smile. He only ever smiles for her but it’s always gone in a flicker and he’ll be smirking once more, waiting for her to stumble and fall.

If it happens, he’ll see it.

He’s everywhere.

She can’t even consider hiding from him like she had after their first time, in Rain Country. She’d been able to hide when he was closing in on Suna, leaving sacrifices and terrified nin in his wake. He’s always here now. He’s always watching, and sometimes she imagines that she meet his eyes when she looks into the shadows of every nook and cranny in her village.

He’s loose here, where him and his people had taken something very precious to her. And she remains silent.

Would they ever believe that she’s capable of deceptions?

“You okay?” Kankurou narrows his eyes at her. “You’re...different.”

Kankurou watches her now too, and she wonders if he sees the brand on her. That fiery brand he imprints into her every night that he slips beneath the covers of her futon and settles into the cradle of her hips. It makes her proud and panicked and lonely as she smiles at her brother and says her excuses. His new girlfriend appears to slip an arm about his waist, and the smile freezes on Temari’s face.

What’s it like to love in public?

What’s it like to know the difference between love and something...else?

And all the while, from his hiding place, she feels him watching her.

Is she as obsessive and cruel as him? The thought makes her pause beneath him, and his eyes flick to hers as he stills his thrusts. “...Suna?”

He won’t even say her name.

Are they both lost in something they never planned for?

He doesn’t look lost. He looks like he has a purpose, a plan. He’s so focused on something she can’t see that it scares Temari. It reminds her that what she feels has to be kept hidden from him, because he was Akatsuki and he was – is – a murderer and he will probably hurt her.

But she can’t stay away.

No, he’s not lost. She can see even as her orgasm pulls her beneath the tide that he’s not melting away as he comes, gripping her wrists so tightly that her hands go cold. It’s more like he’s shedding a skin, getting rid of something he doesn’t need anymore. His hipbones grind into her as he holds himself there, and he feels so hot inside her, flooding her womb as he shakes and drops onto her in a mass of sweat and harsh breathing. Temari feels him gasping into her neck, fanning the damp skin there, and she smiles to herself.

She really does feel something for him, and this...this hiding of his face, this little show of weakness...

It makes him seem more accessible somehow. She could spend hours thinking on his reasons for doing the things he does, and she’s not sure she’d ever understand. His mind is so far out of her reach – out of everyone’s reach – with the pure insanity and religious fanaticism that comes so naturally to him. And as she stands at her window, staring at the sunset each evening with her head cocked to the side, she doesn’t know if she feels lucky that he chose her or if she’ll be the next one pinned to the ground by a pike.

How it started, she can’t remember clearly. It had something to do with Shikamaru, and something to do with Gaara.

There was a point when, no matter how much progress he made, Gaara still scared Temari. And it always upset her, because Temari knows that blood is blood and everyone in Suna is responsible for the way Gaara is. She never wanted to be scared of him, and to her, her reactions didn’t make any sense.

She didn’t know who she was digging up in Shikamaru’s forest, because he never told her who was there. She didn’t stop to think that there might be a reason he’d never mentioned whoever was yelling loudly from beneath the dirt and the leaves, because she was angry with him. She wished it was Shikamaru and Ino in this dirt grave she was uncovering, wished it with all her heart. She’d always watched Shikamaru, watching him and wanting him.

He hadn’t noticed, and he’d gone for that anorexic little slut instead.

She’d uncovered the grave as much out of spite to the one who’d unknowingly jilted her as out of curiosity.

Temari still feels sick when she remembers what she uncovered that day, and what it started.

She wonders if she’d have been relatively normal by now, if she’d just ignored his bitching from deep within the ground in the Nara forest.

But she’s also happy. Because when she found him, something resonated within her.

She was scared of him.

And it made sense.

Hidan is killing people in Suna and Temari knows she should tell. Everyone is at risk from this beautiful demon – the bastard she saved. Temari’s always been equally as disgusted by him as she feels she can’t live without him. He’s the one she feels can treasure her jagged edges without getting cut. He’s the one who looked at her and thought she was beautiful as a broken piece.

She’ll never tell him how much she relies on his attention, of course. But she has the horrible feeling that it shows.

She’s not sure it’s for his sacrifices anymore, either. He’s killing her people – her brother’s people – and she thinks it’s because he likes to see the colour leave her face. He’s often spoken about sacrificing her to his God, about how he’d love to see the life slip away from her eyes.

She should tell not just for Suna’s sake, but her own. It’s her duty as a ninja to report this, and yet every time she rises from the chair in her quarters to do so, she freezes.

Everyone would know that she’s lied. That she’s fucked him and wanted him and loved him. They’d all know and she’d become a traitor, a bitch, a whore. Her brothers...they wouldn’t be able to look her in the eye again. She’d probably even be exiled.

But she hates herself. Because that’s not the reason she’s hesitating.

Every time the beast...the beast who calls himself Hidan...touches her, her skin prickles and the threat she feel chokes her as he smirks down at her with his amethyst eyes. It’s all she can do not to shake, and she’s amazed that no one in Suna has managed to detect his evil chakra yet. She feels sure, whenever he corners her in her rooms and runs a hot, earth-shattering path down her neck with his mouth, that someone has to sense him soon.

Kankurou. Gaara.

Whenever she thinks of the brother she used to fear and now sees as the sun, Temari feels sick. Sometimes, when Hidan touches her and puts his hand to her throat, telling her how he’d like to strangle the life from her, she thinks of Gaara. And she finds the strength to pull away.

One night, Temari watches Hidan pull on his pants. They’re too small for him, and his hipbones are clearly visible above the waistline. His scythe rests against her wall, and the robe he’s used to replace the Akatsuki one is flung haphazardly on the floor.

His silver hair is perfectly in place. He doesn’t look at her.

“What did you think, when you killed Jounuchi Hirano?” She asks.

He doesn’t look at her – simply sits down on the end of her futon to pull on his sandals. “That her name?”

Temari feels the sweat drying on her skin and feels coated in dirt. She swallows. “How did you do it?”

He rests his elbows on his knees and looks at her. His face is so beautiful that it makes her heart ache. Her body sings for him – he plays her like she’s an instrument. Something he puts down again after every song. Every time. “I showed interest in her. Her husband didn’t fuck her anymore and she’s a sucker for a pretty face.” He snorts, his deep voice purring. “She didn’t need any convincing, seriously.”

Temari pictures the body, living, as it looks at Hidan in wonder. She feels cold and angry and all at sea. She stares at him with hard eyes and waits for him to continue.

He laughs, an edge of hysteria to the sound. “I kissed her on her lips. I told her she had the power to make me very fucking happy, if she’d follow me. She took my hand...” He holds his large hand up and closes it. “And she let me lead her out. No one saw a fucking thing, seriously. No one cared.”

No one cared.

“I took her outside, and I walked her to the place I’d made the circle in.” He smiles, the memory a fond one for him, and Temari can’t believe he’s just fucked her - sweated on her, kissed her, come in her.

“I put my hands around her neck and I squeezed – squeezed like my fucking life depended on it.” He laughs softly, and begins to crawl up the futon towards her. He smells like blood and her bath products, tinged with the desert scent that clings to everyone in Suna. His eyes are shadowed and his mouth twisted.

Temari gasps when his hands lock around her neck. They’re large and manage the task easily. His fingernails dig into the nape, beneath her loose hair, before his fingers tighten. She chokes, staring at him wide-eyed.

She doesn’t know when she became so weak, but she has the feeling that it’s been happening for a while now.

“I used a paralysing jutsu and put her down on the floor, my hands still round her scrawny fucking neck.” He tightens his grip and Temari gags, her fingers scrabbling uselessly at his hands. “I was thinking of you the whole time, Suna. I was thinking of this and it was making me fucking hard, seriously.” The pressure increases and Temari goes into a blind panic, her air cut off so suddenly that her limbs flail like fish out of water.

She thinks of Gaara and thinks of the body. She knows she should have told and wishes that she had, even while she knows that she never will. When she looks into his face, she just knows.

And so does he.

Hidan laughs wildly, his eyes wide. Temari can see all of his teeth, his grin is so broad, just before the black spots start taking over her vision. Her lungs are burning and her neck hurts. She doesn’t know which part of her feels like it’s going to burst first, her chest or her head. She grips his hands and tries to choke out a plea. Hidan shakes her so that her head flops around.

“I jammed the stick through her like she was fucking butter, and I made Jashin-sama soooooo proud!” He cackles.

He lets go of her so suddenly that she falls down and forgets to breath for a moment. After several frantic beats of her heart, she inhales sharply and begins to cough. Hidan’s straddling her, his body shaking with excitement and his cock hard against her stomach. When she looks at him, she can see his eyes fixed on the bruising that has to be around her neck.

“When it’s you, I’ll make it good,” he breathes, his eyes wide as though he’s been filled with incredible realisation. “I’ll make it fucking perfect, seriously.” He pauses. “Unless you kill me first.”

Temari stares at him. She’s tried that before. She tried it many times after first digging him up. She wonders if he truly wants to die – wants her to kill him. She wonders if part of him sees her as the only one capable and, if so, if she really had to be his biggest disappointment. She’s inexplicably hurt by him. By everything to do with him. When she looks at him, she wonders if that’s all he wanted all along, even though she knew that he never wanted anything else.

“Am I like...bitten-off chocolate?” She wheezes around her wounded throat.

Hidan stares at her. His eyes are hard, like jewels, and his grin frozen like a gargoyle’s.

He stands up and begins to laugh – hard, barking laughter. His body shakes with it as he pulls on his robe and grabs his scythe. He looks at her.

“You’re a fucking madwoman, you know that? Bitten-off chocolate. The fuck do you think you are – a candy bar? You’re a nut bar, I can tell you that much, seriously. Geez.”

The slamming of her door should have made her heart stop. For a moment, it felt like it had made her head stop. She should tell Kankurou. Tell Gaara. And yet her body knows that she won’t before the ability to think properly returns to her. She stays there, huddled naked on the futon, sitting in the wet patch.

She wonders what body he is picking up now. If it looks at him with wide eyes, and if his lovingly reverent look will truly be false – a ruse.

She stares at the place that he’d stood, somehow stunned to no longer see him there, and touches her throat.

She thinks of Jounuchi Hirano.

And feels jealous.

The Moonlight Smile

Language: Indonesia
Author: Karupin.69

A/N Hem, kali ini pairninngnya NejiTen. Sekali-kali pairing lain ah, masa SaiIno mulu =p Genrenya romance nih, gak ada humornya sama sekali. OOC pula. Hoho. Happy reading ;)

Disclaimer Yang nggak tau, pasti nggak lulus TK. -ehem- Oke, Kishimoto Masashi.

The Moonlight Smile

Neji merogoh kantung celananya untuk mengambil kunci apartemennya. Seteleah mendapatinya ia membuka pintu kayu yang berderit ketika dibuka. Kemudian meraba tembok dalam kegelapan untuk mencari sakelar. Lampu menyala, terlihat sebuah sofa tua yang kainnya sudah bolong-bolong sampai busanya kelihatan berdiri dengan lusuhnya di tengah ruangan yang kecil, ruang tamu apartemen Neji.

Di sana hanya ada sofa, kemudian meja kecil yang penuh tumpukan buku yang diberi tanda oleh kertas-kertas di halaman yang penting—dari sini terlihat sekali bahwa Neji merupakan orang yang rajin belajar—dan beberapa kaleng soft drink kosong. Ruang tamunya memang tidak seberantakan kamarnya. Yah, maklum lah. Anak lelaki. Semua orang pasti takkan percaya bahwa yang tingal di sini adalah seorang Neji Hyuuga yang anggun. Bahkan Shikamaru sempat mengira bahwa tidak hanya dia saja yang tinggal di sini. Tingkat keberantakannya hampir selevel di bawah Naruto, sih.

Ia meletakkan tas ranselnya ke sofa dan menyeret dirinya ke kamar mandi. Ia memutar keran wastafel, namun tidak ada air yang mengalir dari sana. Ia mencoba membuka keran bak mandi, tidak ada juga. Kemudian ia baru ingat bahwa dia belum membayar biaya air untuk bulan ini. Ck, beginilah derita seorang mahasiswa malang yang tinggal terpisah dari keluarganya.

Neji kembali ke ruang tamu, duduk di sofa, dan merebahkan dirinya setelah membuka sepatu kedsnya. Ia sempat berpikir, menyesal juga ia menolak tawaran pamannya untuk dibiayai. Tapi bagaimanapun juga, ia samasekali tak ingin merepotkan keluarganya meski ia tahu harta keluarga mereka lebih dari cukup jika hanya untuk membiayai perkuliahannya.

Namun, sekali lagi, Neji tak ingin merepotkan mereka. Ia sudah kenyang dengan kenikmatan dirinya selama masih tinggal di Hyuuga Mansion, lebih dari cukup malah. Dia ingin merasakan bagaimana rasanya menjadi mahasiswa biasa—kost, kerja part-time, tinggal sendiri, belajar mandiri, dan mencoba untuk tidak menggantungkan dirinya pada orang lain.

Ternyata begini, menjadi orang biasa. Tinggal di rumah seadanya, makanan seadanya, belum harus bayar sewa ini itu. Akhirnya ia mengerti bagaimana gigihnya Rock Lee berlatih karate demi mendapat beasiswa untuk belajar di luar negeri, bertanding dengan lawan-lawan yang tangguh agar cita-cita gurunya tercapai.

Segala sesuatu memang butuh pengorbanan, Neji.

Neji berjalan ke arah dapur, membuka kulkas yang ternyata isinya tinggal sebuah telur dan dua kaleng jus jeruk. Apa-apaan ini? Seingatnya, kemarin isi kulkas masih penuh. Pastilah semua makanan diembat olah Naruto dan Chouji saat mereka main kemari tempo hari. Tapi tepat sebelum perutnya keruyukan, ia mendengar pintu kayunya diketuk.


Tidak ada jawaban.

Neji perlahan membuka pintunya, kemudian melihat sesosok yang amat dikenalnya, namun sedikit berbeda dengan terakhir mereka bertemu.


Seorang gadis beambut coklat seleher yang potongannya mirip anak lelaki itu mengangguk, kemudian tersenyum dan mengangguk.

“Halo, Neji. Lama tak bertemu.”

Neji menoleh pada belakang punggung dirinya, mendapati ruangan yang sangat berantakan untuk seorang gadis yang akan duduk di sana.

Sepertinya jangan di sini, batinnya.

“Bagaimana kalau kita ke taman?”

Matahari sudah menenggelamkan dirinya di ufuk Barat, kemudian langit menjadi gelap dan dicahayai oleh bulan. Sungguh beruntung, malam ini tak berawan. Jadi bintang-bintang terlihat sangat jelas.

Di taman, sepertinya masih ada seorang bocah lima tahunan bandel yang sedang bermain ayunan. Ibunya sudah merayu atau melakukan hal apapun agar anaknya mau pulang, tetapi sepertinya si anak tak mau menurut. Terlihat dari gelagatnya—menggeleng-gelengkan kepala sambil berteriak.

Pemandangan tersebut sudah terlihat saat Neji dan Tenten hampir mendekati taman tersebut. Dengan Neji berjalan di depan dan tak lupa kedua tangan dimasukkan ke dalam saku, Tenten mengikutinya dari belakang.

“Huatchi!” Tenten bersin, Neji mendelik ke arahnya.

“Kau tak apa?” katanya sambil membuka syal biru dongkernya dan melingkarkannya pada Tenten.

“Trims,” sekilas, Neji melihat pipi Tenten merona.

Tenten yang kasihan pada si ibu, langsung menghampiri si ibu dan anaknya dengan berlari kecil. Neji mengikutinya dari belakang.

Tenten. Wanita ini tidak banyak berubah, matanya, hidungnya, gaya berpakaiannya—kaus, cardigan, skinny jeans, dan tak lupa sepatu keds kebanggaannya yang sudah sering Neji lihat sejak zaman SMA. Yang berubah hanya gaya rambutnya saja, tak ada lagi dua cepolan di kepalanya—yang berarti tak bisa diejek ‘panda’ lagi oleh Neji—dan malah potongan rambut anak lelaki. Sungguh mencerminkan dirinya yag tomboy itu. Oh, dia juga bertambah tinggi…

…dan cantik.

“Halo, adik manis…” Sapa tenten setengah membungkuk agar bisa sejajar dengan adik kecil itu. Bocah lelaki itu cemberut, membuang mukanya ke samping.

“Nak, ayolah pulang, sudah malam.” Si ibu berkata dengan pelan. “Tuh, malam-malam begini bukan anak-anak yang main, tapi kakak-kakak!”

“Iya dik, sekarang sudah malam, dengarkan kata ibumu. Ayahmu menunggu di rumah, kan?” bujuk Tenten. Namun sepertinya tidak berhasil. Si anak tetap saja cemberut. Tangan dilipat di dadanya. “Nggak mau! Aku nggak mau pulang sebelum Mama bilang kenapa Pakkun dikasiin ke orang!”


“Aduh Konohamaru-chan, itu kan gogoknya galak, belum disuntik rabies. Gimana coba kalau kamu digigit? Nanti Mama beliin gogok yang baru aja ya?”

Si anak tampak berpikir, “Nggak mau, nggak mau gogok! Pinginnya babi! Nanti kalo Kono punya babi, mau dikasih nama Ten… eh, Tonton!”

Si ibu cengo. “I, iya, boleh deh.”

Si anak yang dipanggil Konohamaru pun sekarang nyengir lebar. Senyuman Tenten saja sampai kalah lebarnya dengan cengiran bocah itu.

“Nah, gitu dong dik, harus nurut sama Mama! Nih, kakak kasih permen,” kata Tenten samibil memberikan permen Dolia rasa mint beberapa bungkus pada anak itu.

Konohamaru semakin senang, “Iya, makasih Tante! Yuk, Ma!” katanya sambil menarik ibunya. Si ibu menundukkan sedikit kepalanya tertanda terima kasih. Tenten melambai pada mereka dan tertawa.

“Ada-ada saja… Pasti Pakkun yang itu, kan? Ckck… Lagipula, mengapa harus 'Tante'?” Tenten menggeleng sambil tertawa.

Neji mendekati Tenten, “Kau belum berubah, ternyata.”

Tenten memiringkan kepalanya pertanda tidak mengerti.


Sesaat, mereka saling tatapan, namun mereka segera menyadari perbuatannya, kemudian Tenten mengajak Neji untuk duduk di bangku terdekat. “Du-duduk yuk?”

“I-iya…” Neji menggaruk belakangnya.

“Dari mana kau tahu alamat rumahku?” katanya sambil menatap kolam yang dihiasi dengan riakan air mancur.

Tenten mencoba tersenyum, “Hinata,” kemudian Tenten berdiri, dan bergerak mengitari kolam yang berbentuk lingkaran itu. “Kenapa memang? Kau tidak senang aku datang menemuimu?” Tenten duduk di sisi kolam, kemuadian memainkan tangannya ke dalam air.

Neji menatap Tenten dengan alis berkedut, “Tidak, tentu tidak.”

Tenten tersenyum dan mendekati Neji, “Kalau begitu, mengapa kau sedingin itu padaku? Kau marah ya karena kau tak kuberi kabar?”

Tadinya Neji ingin menjawab ‘Ya’, namun kata itu ia telan saja dan malah melontarkan “Tidak.”

Ya, ya. Sebenarnya Neji sangat kesal mengapa Tenten tak pernah menghubunginya selama beberapa tahun ini. Tenten hanya mengirim e-mail tiga bulan sekali, itupun kecil kemungkinan. Tenten sebenarnya sibuk kuliah, lagipula jauh, di luar kota. Neji menunduk, segera menghentikan pikirannya itu.

“Bagaimana… tunanganmu itu?”

Tenten diam sebentar, “Oh, maksudmu Kosuke? Dia baik-baik saja… awalnya memang agak canggung, sih, tapi hubungan kami semakin membaik. Toh kami sekarang sudah lumayan dekat. Tapi aku tidak tahan dengannya yang mesum itu… hii…” Kata Tenten sambil menduduki dirinya kembali di sebelah Neji dan bergidik.

Neji agak canggung juga mendengarnya, “Oh, begitu. Lalu, apa dia tidak marah kau menemuiku? Kita kan…”

“Tentu saja ia tidak marah.” Potong Tenten. “Dia bukan tipe orang yang akan marah begitu saja. Tepatnya sih, dia memang tak terlalu peduli padaku.” Tatapan lembut Tenten memaksa Neji untuk berpaling padanya, Tenten tersenyum lagi, “Padahal, aku pergi menemui mantan pacarku.”

Neji agak tercekat mendengar kata ‘mantan pacar’. Namun ia hanya diam, kembali menundukkan wajahnya.

“Kau ini, jahat sekali.” Tenten menyenggol siku Neji. “Bukannya menanyakan kabarku, malah menanyakan kabar tunanganku yang aneh itu. Apa kau telah berubah kiblat menjadi gay? Haha, tidak, kan?”

Mau tak mau Neji menaikkan ujung bibirnya, merasa bahwa Tenten sedang menghiburnya yang tengah tertunduk lesu ini.

“Ya, ya, maafkan aku. Bagaimana kabarmu?” Selalu seperti itu. Neji memang agak lemah terhadap wanita. Itu dia yang membuatnya tak tertarik pada wanita seperti lelaki kebanyakan. Tapi bukan berarti dia gay, dia hanya tak punya waktu untuk memikirkan makhluk manis bernama wanita. Dia kurang klop dengan wanita. Padahal, dia sendiri tidak tahu bahwa di belakang sana banyak sekali cewek-cewek yang mendirikan fans club dirinya.

Tapi hal itu tak berlaku untuk Tenten. Entah mengapa, Neji merasa nyaman jika berada di dekatnya. Apa karena ia sudah melawatkan banyak waktu bersama Tenten, Rock Lee, dan yang lainnya pada masa-masa sekolah dulu? Apa karena Tenten memang tipe perempuan yang berbeda dalam arti positif di mata Neji? Kenyataannya, keduanya menamg benar.

Tenten, Neji, dan Rock Lee. Merupakan tiga sekawan yang sulit dipisahkan. Meskipun sifat Neji dan Lee yang seperti langit dan bumi, serta Tenten si penengah yang bijaksana, mereka tetap bersahabat. Ketiganya sulit dipisahkan. Sehari tanpa Lee, sepi sekali rasanya. Sehari tanpa Tenten, guru Gai pasti repot untuk melerai adu mulut Lee dan Neji. Sehari tanpa Neji, segala kegiatan mereka pasti kacau karena tak ada mandornya. Jadi intinya, ketiganya saling membutuhkan.

Sampai SMA, mereka selalu bersama. Lee akhirnya telah meraih kemenangan masa mudanya, kerena dirinya telah mendapatkan hati gadis berambut pink bernama Haruno Sakura. Teman-temannya yang lain pun sama, ada Sai dan Ino yang-selalu-kompak dengan memakai atasan—er, tengahan serba terbuka, kemudian bocah Uzumaki yang akhirnya bersanding dengan adik sepupunya.

Namun malang bagi dirinya. Tenten, dengan senyumnya seperti malaikat yang selalu melekat di hati Neji, harus meneruskan usaha keluargnya, Panda Corporation, dengan cara menjalin hubungan dengan perusahaan lain dengan cara menikahkan kedua anak mereka. Pernikahan bisnis, yeah.

Padahal, Neji belum sempat mengatakan ‘suka’ pada Tenten walaupun kedengarannya akan sangat menjadi aneh, Tenten keburu dijodohkan—dan bertunangan dengan orang yang samasekali tak ia kenal. Ya, aneh memang, seorang Hyuuga Neji yang pendiam-serius-berwajahdingin seperti itu malah berkata soal cinta. Untung saja Sasuke berada di luar negeri, jadi tak ada yang bisa menyaingi wibawanya. Oh, kecuali dengan anak pindahan dari Suna yang tak beralis itu. Musuh abadinya.

Tapi toh, Neji rela kehilangan imejnya sebagai lelaki pendiam-serius-berwajah dingin demi Tenten. Selama sebulan mereka sempat pacaran. Meski agak canggung, sih. Bayangkan saja, sudah bertahun-tahun mereka sahabatan, tiba-tiba mereka pacaran. Waktu sahabatan saja sudah canggung, apalagi saat pacaran...

Maka dari itu, Tenten memutuskan hubungan mereka dan berkata bahwa ia akan berusaha untuk klop dengan calon suaminya. Neji sedikit kecewa, namun begitulah kenyataanya. Kenyataan bahwa dia menjadi sebodoh ini gara-gara cinta. Tahu bakalan menjadi seperti itu,lebih baik ia tak usah mengatakan ‘suka’ pada Tenten.

“Kau tak lihat, apa?” kata Tenten dengan nada riangnya seperti biasa. “Tentu aku baik-baik saja! Aku sehat wal afiat, lho. Justru kau yang bertambah kurus. Apa kau makan dengan benar?”

Ya, ya. Hal inilah yang membuat Neji menyukai Tenten. Tenten sangat perhatian pada neji, bahkan melebihi perhatian Hinata padanya. Tenten tahu, bahwa dalam rumah tangganya, Neji bisa dibilang menjadi pilar utamanya. Peran dia sungguh besar. Belum lagi dengan otak encer Neji yang dalam beberapa tahun lagi, pasti dia akan menjadi direktur hebat Hyuuga Corporation. Maka, Neji disuruh sekolah, menuntut ilmu setinggi-tingginya oleh keluarganya agar bisa menjadi direktur yang handal. Sampai-sampai ia tak pandai mengurus dirinya sendiri. Kalau saja Hinata tak mengantarkan makanan padanya—ketika ia masih tinggal di rumah—maka Neji akan terus duduk di depan mejanya, menghadapi layar komputer sambil memakai kacamata minusnya.

“Apa, makan? Um, yah, begitulah.” Kata Neji asal. Padahal Neji sendiri sudah lupa dengan menu makanan empat sehat lima sempurna dan gizi-gizi yang diperlukan tubuh. Dia asal makan saja. Ditraktir ramen oleh Naruto, dia tak bisa menolak. Makan bakso pinggir jalan bersama Chouji, pun tak apa-apa. Bahkan makan nasi padang bersama Kiba di warung sebelah komplek pun ia mau-mau saja. Lupakan gengsi, ingatlah perut. Yah, meski ia tak yakin bahwa asupan makanan yang ia makan itu sehat-bergizi atau tidak.

“Hm, aku tak yakin. Kau pasti makan sembrono, gara-gara diajak makan dimana saja oleh Chouji atau yang lainnya. Yaah, sayang sekali aku kuliah jauh dari kalian, jadi aku tak bisa mengawasimu.” Tenten tersenyum lagi sambil mengayun-ayunkan kakinya seperti anak kecil.

Sekejap, Neji merasa kupingnya panas. Ia tahu wajahnya memerah karena menyadari bahwa Tenten masih memperhatikannya. Tapi untung, cahaya minim di taman membuat semburat merah yang mampu membuat semua cewek jatuh hati karena keimutan Neji ini menyembunyikannya.

“Hn, ya, trims. Ternyata kau masih memperhatikan aku juga, ya?” Neji berdiri, kembali meletakkan tangannya di kedua sakunya dan menadah ke langit. “Kupikir, kau sudah tak peduli lagi padaku. Seperti matahari yang sudah tak peduli lagi pada manusia di Bumi dan menelantarkan bulan begitu saja. Kehilangan cahayanya.” Neji mulai bersikap sok dramatis dengan menunjuk bulan. Ia menatap Tenten dengan senyum mengambang di wajahnya. Dan untuk pertama kalinya, tatapan mereka berdua terkunci satu sama lain.

“Tentu saja aku masih memikirkanmu,” Tenten ikut berdiri, kemudian melingkarkan lengannnya pada pinggang Neji dari belakang. Neji merasa jantungnya berdebar lebih kencang dari tadi, tapi dia tak menghiraukannya. Bukankah begini rasanya berada di dekat orang yang disukai?

Katanya sih begitu.

“Tentu saja, Neji.” Tenten menenggelamkan kepalanya di punggung Neji.

“Karena aku masih mencintaimu…”

Sekali ini saja, Neji ingin waktu berhenti, dan kalimat terakhir Tenten barusan ingin ia terus menerus sampai suaranya habis.

Karena aku masih mencintaimu…

Tenten dapat mendengar detak jantung Neji yang semakin kencang, kemudian terkikik di balik punggung besar Neji.

Semilir angin malam berhembus, dingin, namun menyejukkan. Rambut gondrong Neji yang diikat bergoyang, rerumputan bergemerisik, meninggalkan suara merdu di malam hari yang menentramkan hati. Belum lagi gemercik air mancur, suara burung hantu yang ikut menyanyikan nyanyian malam. Damai, dan menyejukkan.

Tenten menutup matanya, begitu pula Neji. Perlahan, Neji menggenggam tangan Tenten. Tenten merasa seperti tersengat listrik cinta ketika tangan mereka bersentuhan. Kemudian Neji berputar, dan memeluk Tenten dengan erat. Tangannya ia lingkarkan di pinggang Tenten, dan Tenten sendiri melingkarkan lengannya di leher Neji.

Keduanya bertatapan, kemudian menutup mata dan saling menekankan bibir.

Kecupan itu berlangsung cukup lama, Neji dan Tenten saling menjauh dan membuang mukanya masing-masing. Malu memperlihatkan wajah merah mereka.

“Ma-maaf…” Tenten memulai duluan.

Neji menggaruk kepalanya lagi, kemudian ia tertawa. Tenten sampai bengong melihatnya. “Ne-Neji?”

“Ha? A-ah, tidak… aku hanya ingin bilang, aku… aku juga masih cinta kamu.”

Tenten menutup mulutnya dengan tangannya, kemudian loncat kegirangan lalu menyerbu Neji. “Haha, terima kasih!”

Neji hampir jatuh tiba-tiba dipeluk Tenten seperti itu, tetapi toh ia akhirnya mengelus kepala Tenten dan mengecupnya. “Hei, hei, mana cepolmu, Panda?”

“Ah, begini. Kemarin-kemarin rambutku kena permen karet, tidak bisa dihilangkan, jadi kupotong saja sekalian.” Jelasnya. Neji mengangguk, kemudian merangkulnya seraya kembali berjalan ke apartemen bobrok Neji.

“Yah, tak apalah.”

“Eh, ano, tapi aku bawa ini, kok!” Tenten mengambil bando dengan hiasan kuping Mickey Mouse dari dalam tasnya, lalu memakainya. “Lihat, seperti aku yang dulu, kan?” katanya dengan senyum lebar.

Neji tersenyum melihatnya, kemuadian mengacak-acak rambutnya. “Kau ini, dasar. Ayo, temani aku belanja camilan dan bantu aku bereskan apartemen bobrok itu.”

“Dengan senang hati!” katanya sambil meninju udara.

Seketika, mereka lupa status masing-masing. Lupa akan status Tenten sebagai tunangan Kosuke. Lupa akan tugas-tugas Neji yang menumpuk saking senagnya mereka saat itu. sampai-sampai mereka tidak menyadari bahwa di balik pohon ada beberapa orang yang mengintip mereka.

Chouji menangis sambil mengunyah keripik kentangnya, “Ya ampun, so sweet banget…”

“Huah, merepotkan. Kenapa harus mengintip begini, sih?” katan Shikamaru sebelum menguap dan mengorek telinganya dengan kelingking.

“Wah, harus ngabarin si Teme, nih!” kata Naruto semangat. "Woi Chouji! Jangan dorong-dorong dong! Barat tau!"

“Hei, hei, harusnya kan kita bikin tugas di rumahku, kenapa jadi begini?” kata Shino sambil membetulkan kacamata hitamnya. Sudah tahu malam hari, kenapa harus pakai kacamata, sih? Hitam pula.

“Aah, udahlah, sekali-sekali nonton romansa gratisan dong! Siaran langsung pula!” timpal Kiba. “Ya kan, Akamaru?”


Akamaru pun sampai setuju.