There's a reason I chose to title this fic "He Was the Moon" rather than " He Was Pretty Okay, I Guess." ;)
The tone and style of this fic won't be for everyone, so no worries if that's the case for you. Sounds weird, but it's intended to be read slowly. I think listening to the suggested song really adds more to it, or it did while I was writing. Finally, a quick look into the phases of the moon could be helpful. Hope you enjoy it!
Rating: NC17 (Extremely dark themes, explicit sexual content)
POV: Limited omniscient / third person
Jukebox: "Lost" by Red / "The Diary of Jane" (acoustic version) by Breaking Benjamin; the acoustic version might require some searching, but it's damn beautiful.
"He Was the Moon"
Chapter One: New
She was a ninja, a shinobi since the age of twelve, but she never looked the part: she was always too delicate, too much of a distressed damsel. Yet she had become strong. She pushed her mind and body until she became a master healer and proud kunoichi. Though she gained respect through her hard work and skill, there was one who had never acknowledged her—the one she wanted more than any other to see her true strength.
But he'll never see me, she told herself, because he'll never come back.
Every day she thought of him. Every day she wanted to help him know love again. Every day she wanted to heal him as only she could. Every day she wanted to breathe life into him, to make him feel alive again.
But I'll never have the chance….
On that Moonlit night all those years ago, she had spoken to him of loneliness like she knew it….
She had grown to know it since: there was nothing worse than solitude, for when one was truly alone, the mind was free to travel to the furthest galaxies, the deepest depths of any ocean, the most barren of deserts, the highest of stars, and—of course—the fiery pits of one's own personal, inexorable hell.
She had a routine because having a routine meant no surprises. Having a routine meant things were orderly; having a routine meant she wouldn't have to face new (painful) things. Having a routine meant she had control of one god damn thing in her fucking life. It gave her a sort of flimsy stability (yet it didn't).
Her nightly routine was a multipart ritual: returning to an empty house after training, a hospital shift, a mission; not thinking about him; picking at a silent dinner; not thinking about him; washing the dishes; not thinking about him; locating a change of clothes; not thinking about him; stripping down to take an icy shower in a (forever-failing) attempt to numb herself, to just end her pain for a moment; NOT thinking about him; stepping under the pelting, freezing water; NOT fucking thinking about him; compressing her fists into tight balls; digging her sharp nails into her giving skin; attempting to feel only the continuous current of sanguine flowing over her hands; wanting to focus only on the way her knuckles blanched from the strain; NOT FUCKING THINKING ABOUT HIM; desperately trying to disband the memory of that Moonlit crest as he strode away; frantically attempting to cease the rivers gushing from her eyes; NOT FUCKING THINKING ABOUT HIM; clawing so desperately at the shower tiles as she collapsed under the harsh, spurting water; leaving bloody-red evidence of her failure to NOT FUCKING THINK ABOUT HIM in the form of infinitely long, incarnadine stripes; sinking her teeth into a white knuckle to finally scream nonsense, release her great, ridiculous sobs of anger, self-loathing, guilt, sorrow, and heartbreak (that no one cared to hear); dragging her knees to herself; gripping them in her bloodied, red hands (so sickly fitting); ultimately silencing herself and letting only her tears escape; climbing out of the glacial shower; not thinking of him; throwing her naked, soaking body on her bed, shredded palms to be healed tomorrow (because she secretly enjoyed—loved, couldn't get enough of—feeling the only fucking proof that she was still alive pouring out of her; because she needed to feel the pain she knew so damn well she deserved); finally giving in to her thoughts about him, relenting to another nightmarish yet dreamless night.
It was any other day in her village, as she stumbled home from her medical aide mission. And, as always, she followed her routine, allowing her aching body to yield to the tempting thoughts of him. Only this time, she had done more damage to her hands than usual. The irregular amount of physical pain was adding too much to her overload of agony, so she succumbed, crumpling her stiff, red fingers and allowing her chakra to seep out through the pads of her fingertips. She snorted at herself in bitter amusement.
To be wholly incapable of healing the wounds that matter—how useless medicine is! How useless I am…
It was just too ridiculous, and she couldn't control her outburst. But her laughter quickly corroded to the opposite, and her hot tears lulled her into a black, motionless state she had grown to call sleep.
And he was there, sitting stoically on her windowsill; he was there as plainly as the big, blinding Moon behind him, silvery shadows cavorting across his pale features, illuminating them in the most ethereal, godly way. His long, midnight locks merged perfectly into the night sky, but his skin! Oh, his skin—it shone so brightly, so beautifully that he must have been crystalline, a solid diamond before her. The exterior of his long body was so unreal and angelic, but his shadowy, stone eyes! They held such suffering and fire and hate and passion and sanguinary intent! Yet he sat in a tranquil posture: a knee propped up on the sill, the matching elbow resting atop it.
He just stared. She just stared.
He made no move. She made no move.
And then he smirked; when his lips crooked into that deadly gesture, her breath left her body behind in the dust. Her spine lifted her shoulders mechanically as a hand clutched thin sheets to her breast, instinctually anchoring herself to this world. She blinked at him, gasping silently.
His smirk grew. Her disbelief grew.
And then she stopped blinking, stopped for the fear of winking it all away.
But he vanished.
A choked, silent scream; a limb extended in longing.
But he gracefully, elegantly reappeared in front of her with a gentle gust to tousle his hair, crouching before her, smirking as a single rivulet followed gravity's will down her white cheek. She inhaled a ragged breath at his proximity. A long, marble finger as cold as ice followed the wet trail to her chin before sweeping it away, leaving a searing trail of steaming frost in its wake. She shook. Her disbelieving eyes widened, widened until they were the same as the Moon. His crooked smile lifted upward again.
…I've finally lost it. I'm crazy.
His expression showed he could read her thoughts.
I am insane….
And then she was angry, angrier than she had been in years.
I'm crazy? I'm fucking crazy?!
And she resorted to her lovely habit: she made a move to tear her (forever) sharp nails into her palms. But he was too fast for her—always had been and always would be. He caught her frozen fingers in his and shook his head with a mocking grin so much worse than those years before.
And she glared at him, glared at him for all she was worth. Then that same, bizarre laughter resurfaced. What a terrible hallucination this is! …And I've fucking had enough. "Let go," she hissed, fighting hysteria. "Vanish!" She attempted to rip her hands from his steel (yet gentle), burning grip and failed. I could shatter his bones like ceramic if I wanted…. So why…? Her voice was a venomous whisper: "I said, let go, damn it! Vanish!"
And he did. He was gone as silently as he had come.
Silent screams took her. She brought her quaking hands to her face and pulled viciously at her hair, her eyes stricken, wide, and wet. Her body constricted and crumpled as gravity felled her once more.
Her trembling lips formed the words, "No…no…no…no…no…no…" The near-silent utterances reverberated in her mind, creating deafening echoes of impossible volume. "...No...no...no..."
Again, she had lost him.
As always, she was lost in him.
So I've been away from this site and Naruto in general for quite a while. I recently got all sentimental about Naruto and decided to go out on a limb here and give "HWM" and Damned and Damask (and maybe a few of my other deleted fics…?) another shot. So if there are a few people finding themselves thinking, "Wait a minute! This fic seems pretty familiar…."—you've got an epic memory!
Now I'd like to ask your thoughts on "HWM"! Worth my revisiting the other chapters and finishing it up, or just leave it be? "HWM" started off as an extremely long oneshot but grew into a short story as I was writing it, so the chapters would be relatively concise. We're talking about five or six chapters—maaaybe a few more (still short story length). This is probably my all-time fave of the fics I wrote way back when (mainly due to the crazy-different style I can run with here…and the ending), so I hope you guys like it too!
Your thoughts and opinions are appreciated, so I hope you will take the time to review.