Taisetsuna : Precious
A Naruto Fanfiction by Aoikami Sarah
Kakashi leaned against the wall outside his daughters’ room and took a deep breath. “Are you sure you don’t want to watch the movie with us?” he asked again.
Yami nodded but didn’t take her nose out of her book ‘Hidden Weaponry for the Modern Kunoichi’ by Hyuuga Tenten. Her eyes carefully studied the text and avoided his.
“Ok… It’s really funny. You’re gonna miss out,” he added as he walked back to the living room. He knew it was no use dragging his sullen daughter back into the light, but he could at least try. Oururi and the other two girls looked to him as he entered, but all they got was a shrug.
Just as they settled in to watch their movie, the doorbell rang. Hikari thrust her finger up to the side of her nose, but was too late. The others had beaten her to it. “Why am I never not-it?!” she groaned and trudged to the door. “Hai…?” she asked slowly as she yanked the door open. For a second, the look on the young man’s face startled her. “Ga… Gaara!”
Just as quickly, the look faded. “I’m sorry to call so late in the evening. Is Yami at home?”
“She’s grounded,” Hikari said, blinking at him.
He deflated. “Oh. I see. Could you tell her I came by?”
“Oh, Gaara,” Kakashi drawled from behind Hikari, his face mask back in place and a bowl of freshly popped popcorn under his arm. “Please come in. Hikari, see if your sister will see Gaara.”
Hikari furrowed her brows but did as her father asked. “Never let me see Sasuke when I was grounded,” she grumbled under her breath. She let herself into their room and leaned against the door. “Yami?”
“Please leave me alone, Hikari.” Yami clutched her book.
“You should come out and see the movie.”
Yami glanced over to see that Hikari was looking off at a poster of the star of the latest installment of Come Come Violence the Motion Picture. “You know, we’re trying to help you. But you need to try too.” After thirty seconds of silence, Hikari sighed and reached for the door handle.
“It’s hard,” Yami whispered. “Sometimes, I can’t explain why I’m sad.”
“It’s hard on us too, because we don’t know how to help you.” Her voice trembled, but Hikari sucked in a deep breath and staved off the tears. “Anyway, Gaara’s here to see you,” she added quickly.
“Will you see him?”
Yami stammered and rubbed the cover of her book. “I… I can’t. No. I can’t.”
Hikari sighed and went to convey the message. In the relative silence that followed, Yami rocked back and forth a little, clutching her book like a security blanket. “I can’t. I’m too... No. I can’t. He’s probably ashamed of me like everyone else is.” There was a knock on her door. “Go away, Hikari. I said no.”
“Yami?” a muffled but deep voice asked from the other side. She dropped the book and scrambled to the door. Hovering her hand over the handle, Yami hesitated. “I know the marketplace isn’t open at this time of night, but…”
Her heart skipped a beat. “You don’t want to see me,” she managed to mutter.
“Yes I do,” his voice dropped to a whisper just loud enough that she could hear it through the door. “I didn’t just come to Konoha to train. As soon as I awoke I remembered your promise. You said you’d be there. When I realized how much time had passed, I worried that you might have forgotten me. I wanted to see you. If it wasn’t for you, I can’t say what would have happened to me. And now I want to see you ever more. Imagine my surprise when I saw the girl who’d been brave enough to treat me, the Terror of the Seven Deserts, just like any other person suddenly throwing her life away! I know that you’re unhappy. I don’t know why but you helped heal me. Let me help heal you.” He paused and listened. “Yami?”
On the other side of the door, Gaara hung his head. “I’m only here for another two weeks so…” before he could finish his sentence the door swung open. Yami stared at his feet and slowly forced herself to look up. Relief danced across his eyes. “Would you like to go for a walk?” he asked.
“I’d love to,” she whispered back. They met no interference as they walked through the living room. Yume realized the situation and looked to Hikari. To her relief, Hikari gave her a pleased, closed-eye smile. Kakashi and Oururi nodded to Gaara, giving their approval and the two headed out into the early Konoha evening.
Three Years Later…
Once every year for one month only Gaara was allowed to visit the Hidden Leaf. After he left the first time, it was arranged that Yami could visit the Hidden Sand for one month. They were only apart for five months out of the year. On Gaara’s third trip to Konoha he had at last become totally comfortable with accessing his locked-down power. He passed the Jounin exam along with the three Hatake girls. After a large celebration dinner at Kakashi and Oururi’s apartment, the young people went for a walk. The three couples diverged as soon as they hit the ground floor. Naruto and Yume headed for his place, Hikari and Sasuke to the Uchiha property and Yami and Gaara wandered the quiet residential streets somewhere in-between.
“More now than ever I don’t want to go home,” Gaara whispered as he raised Yami’s hand to his lips.
“Much as I love my family, I wish I could go with you.”
“So why don’t you?”
“I’m a Leaf-nin, Baka,” she sniffled.
“If you could become a Sand-nin, would you?”
“Would I?!” She laughed. “In a heart beat if it meant I could be with you.”
Yami stopped walking. “Gaara,” she whispered. The shy smirk on his lips told her he wasn’t joking.
“Yami, will you change your allegiance, come to Suna Gakure and marry me?” he asked again. “I know it’s a lot to ask, but if we are to be together then…”
“Yes!” Yami shouted and threw her arms around his neck. When they were done embracing, Gaara pulled a bottle rocked out from under his shirt. “What on earth is that for?”
“I promised Naruto I’d tell him how it went,” Gaara lit the fuse, held it up above his head and the small firework shot up into the night sky.
“It’s a nice night, isn’t it, Naruto?” Yume asked as they stepped out onto the balcony of his little apartment. A solitary firework popped a few blocks away just above the line of buildings in a purple spray of sparks.
“Yes!” Naruto shouted.
Yume took a step back.
“I mean, oh yeah, it sure is Yu-chan!” Naruto sucked in a deep breath and tried to find the words, but his girlfriend’s mind was elsewhere.
“Do you think Yami-chan will go with Gaara to the Sand one day?”
He almost choked. “Well, I guess so. You guys were all born there and we’re all pretty close with the Kazekage and Hokage...”
“She doesn’t care very much about Konoha,” Yume pouted.
“Do you mean Konoha or you?” Naruto wrapped his arms around her. “We should probably just be happy that she’s not miserable anymore, ne?”
“Oh, I am happy for her!” Yume cried, blushing a bit in embarrassment. Naruto kissed her and she relaxed.
“I’m having some loyalty issues lately too,” he explained. “I can’t decide if I love you or Konoha more, which is a problem for a future Hokage. I’ll probably become Rokudaime in another 10 years or so and if my heart is still split between the two I just don’t know what I’m going to do,” he said sort of absently. Yume stared at him, a look of worry spread across her face. “But you know, I was thinking if I’m going to protect Konoha forever and always I should probably make the same promise to you so you’re both even. Konoha and you I mean.” More blinking and wonder from Yume. “Will you let me protect you forever and always, Yume?”
The poor girl had lost the power to speak but she did express her consent and another bottle rocket went whizzing into the air.
“That’s the second one,” Hikari commented. Her legs dangled off the edge of the dock out behind the main house. She leaned against Sasuke, whose arms were laced around her middle as he sat behind her. “Whassamatter, that make you nervous?”
“Your pulse raced with each little pop. Were you burned by fireworks once or something?”
“No,” he scoffed.
“Or is it a signal of some sort? That second one looked like it could have come from Naruto’s place…”
“Don’t be ridiculous,” Sasuke mumbled as he clumsily got up and walked a few paces toward the house. Before she could question him again, he balled his fists and looked up at the enormous, darkened house. “It’s way too big,” he spat out and cursed himself under his breath.
“What is?” Hikari asked suspiciously.
Sasuke nodded up at the Uchiha main house. The rest of the complex was utterly silent, having gone uninhabited for over 13 years. “It’s big and lonely.”
“So move,” she sighed and stood next to him, arms folded looking up as well.
“I can’t do that.”
“It’s my place. I don’t want to move.”
“Then what do you want to do? Complain about it forever? You know what this place needs?” she asked, a sort of spiteful tone in her voice as if the next line was going to be ‘a wrecking ball’.
“People…” Sasuke repeated.
A grin formed on Hikari’s face. “I know you had this all planned out and what not. Sorry to spoil it. Boy, being the third guy down the line must have been tough…”
“You knew?!” he cried, all that tension he’d built up spilling out before its time.
“No,” she grinned. “But now I do.”
“Hikari…” he growled.
“I make you crazy, don’t I? Why would you ever want to put up with someone like me forever?”
Finally, something easy. “Because I love you,” he said simply. “Please be my wife. Help me bring life back to my House.”
The third firework zigged up from the little dock, reflected in the pond and somewhere in the distance Sasuke was sure he heard someone shout ‘congratulations’.