|01-07-2009, 07:01 AM||#1|
tale of galant jiraiya
Join Date: Oct 2008
Thanked 107 Times in 62 Posts
He didn’t know where the words came from. Maybe some deep corner of his mind, stored away in a memory from when he was so very small and didn’t understand how foolish they sounded.
"I miss you and I'm lonely."
So terribly lonely.
But the words sat behind clenched teeth, held prisoner by tense jaws and years of never saying what he wanted.
What he needed.
Because that would be weak.
And he wasn’t weak. He wasn’t. He just....needed.
Like when he was Kashi-kun and the Hokage was Minato-sensei and he wore only one mask and sensei wore a smile and ruffled his hair no matter how much he’d protested the affection.
And the ache in his chest grew.
From just above his stomach right up into his throat.
A clenching that sometimes took his breath away.
It had started out small. A slight irritation. An annoyance he’d learned to ignore.
But now....he wondered if it was a mild heart attack and fought to keep from pressing his hand against the pain, forcing his breath to remain even.
It always came when he least expected it and right now, here in this place, was the worst possible moment.
Surrounded by his comrades, Anbu who had yet to acknowledge him and his abilities, and by the Hokage, someone he could never disappoint.
No matter what the cost.
Even if the edges of his vision were growing dimmer, a black hole swallowing everything up, and it was becoming harder to breath and the room was tipping to one side and the ache...the pain...was too much.
He wouldn’t do anything that would make those blue eyes look at him with anything less than...less than...what was it he saw there?
Why did it hurt so much to see it now?
Why did it make him want to say those words, those unforgivable words held tight against firm lips?
Lips that even now refused to move for all the pain that was eating away his control.
The only thing keeping him upright and perfectly still. The perfect shinobi. The perfect Anbu. Respectful and obedient and prepared to do whatever his Hokage ordered him to.
Even if he was dying inside.
Wilting away under the gaze of a man who had no idea what he wanted.
What he needed.
And the pain, sharp, like a kunai to the chest made his hands shake at his sides so he clenched them tight and held his breath and the dark void grew until all he could see was those blue eyes looking at him as if he could see right through the masks to his very soul.
To the child inside screaming, "I miss you and I'm lonely."
Screaming so loud he hadn’t noticed the others leave until it was nearly too late to react, to move, to cover up the mistake.
And he ran.
Ran away from the Hokage who was rising from his chair and calling his name just seconds before he disappeared.
Ran away from the screaming child who wouldn’t shut up.
Ran away from the ache in his chest, the pain in his heart that felt like someone was squeezing it, trying to force it to stop beating.
And he didn’t stop until he’d ripped away the armor and masks and found that tiny place in the back of the closet where no one could see him fold over himself and shake with the effort to keep it all in.
Where no one could see how so very weak he truly was when the first tear fell against his will.
Not the ones he tolerated.
And it hurt so much he couldn’t breath.
So much he didn’t hear his name being called. Or frantic footsteps. Or the door open. Or the shifting of someone much larger than he was trying to fit in the confined space with him.
But he did feel the warm hands wrap around his thin wiry arms and pull, gently coaxing, insisting.
Even if his body tensed and tried to curl in on itself and disappear from the world.
The hands never left him.
Carefully, slowly, until he was no longer on the floor and no longer cold and no longer shaking.
No longer alone.
And then the anguish tore from his throat so unexpectedly he struggled.
Trying to escape. To hide.
Anything to make it stop because it was so terribly painful and he didn’t want those blue eyes to see him breaking into a million tiny pieces.
But the hands, the arms, held him tight and close and the warm body rocked them both gently back and forth, and the voice soothed him with words he couldn’t understand because he couldn’t hear them over his own choking sobs.
It was like dying and being reborn again.
Only it was all happening at once.
It was terrifying and confusing.
He was just empty and raw and exhausted and stiff and uncertain and scared.
Scared because he’d let bright blue eyes see him broken and weak and unworthy and he was so sure they would never look at him the same way he didn’t dare open his eyes.
Not when he knew he he’d never see them again.
Those blue eyes, the smiling ones that made everything ok no matter how dark his world became.
They would no longer have any light for him.
Not now. Not ever again.
Not after this.
The panic rose up so fast and hard it brought the bile with it and was burning his throat and somehow it didn’t spill from his mouth because the cool cloth was pressing at the back of his neck and soft lips pressed against his forehead and gentle fingers sifted through wild strands of silver.
It was soothing and he felt the tide of emotion start recede. Slowly. Calmly.
Enough for him to realize he couldn’t remember the in between moments.
When he’d been moved from the closet to the bed.
Or when Minato had left his side to fetch the bowl of ice water and wash cloth.
But he could remember the words that weighed so heavily on his heart. The trigger to his pain.
So he forced his eyes to open. Forced himself to look up into deep blue, darkened by worry and maybe....yes, a little fear. A little sadness. But just beneath the surface he could see the light. The comfort. The warmth. The compassion. The love.
It was all still there. He hadn’t chased it away.
And they didn’t look at him as if he were so horribly wrong.
So against the painful protest of his throat he forced them past his lips.
Those unforgivable words.
The foolish words that he had to say no matter the consequences because they were killing him, eating away his soul and smothering his heart. And he had to trust that he wouldn’t be seen as anything less for what he was about to say. That he wouldn’t disappoint.
"I miss you and I'm lonely."
"I miss you too Kashi-kun." Minato closed his eyes, letting some of the worry and fear he felt drain from his body, pulling Kakashi close again, until the only sound the boy could hear was the deep, strong, even beat of Minato’s heart lulling him to sleep.
It was only then that he allowed his own tears to fall, the ones he’d been holding onto all night, like his breath, full of guilt and fear that Kakashi wouldn’t come back to him in one piece, "Ill never leave you alone again. I promise."
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