Category : Stories
Sub Category : Romance
| | "In a wild world, there is no more desperate a creature than a human being on the verge of losing love." | |
She sat by water's edge, toes dipped beneath its cold surface — slow, melodic hums drowned out the still silence that surrounded her peaceful posture.
Seated on top of the wooden dock where algae plagued its entire structure, she waited patiently for his return.
In the distance, rays of light crept against the waking land and seeped through the crystal waves. Stars were seen from the night before, and the moon lingered within the plum colored sky a while longer. All was calm and tranquil, not a gust of wind dared to rustle the tall grass or knock the willows' branches aside. Blood-orange irises stared across the clashing waters, quietly contemplating how long it's been since her arrival at the lone dock. Soundlessly reminiscing his presences beside her own — holding her tight in their youthful days, whispering sweet dreams for a better future in one another's ears.
Such innocent times shared between the two, it's a shame how her heart felt heavy with him away; the feeling annoyingly obvious whenever she was alone.
Gazing down from the stars to watch the fish gather below her feet that danced with the currents. She smiled in content, noticing their frighten twist and turns — questioning whether to nibble at her bare toes or swim away. Her obsidian locks that gleamed blue in the dawn's light was pulled into a single plait, tied with a blue ribbon at the end and wild strands curled to frame her soft features.
There weren't enough words in the world to describe her gentle beauty in his beady eyes.
Because, even from afar, she left his heart beating faster than the thought of death gripping at his throat. "Kumi. . ." He breathed out, completely awestruck when her orbs met his. The air around them froze, and time slowed down considerably. There he was, she thought amazed to see his tall stature through the willows' branches.
"Kisame - "
She paused, taking in a shaky breath.
I can't believe he came. . . he actually came! Before she could even process what was happening, her eyes were tearing up with delight and immediately ran towards the willows' edge. Secretly wishing to jump into his arms where he'd catch her and twirl them around as the willows' vines would dance in the soft breeze, then they'd slowly come to a stop, him leaning in to steal a kiss — what a hopeless wish though, just another dream that's better off left forgotten.
It'll never happen, she thought sourly.
Her scrambled steps in his direction slowed considerably, fiery eyes stared at the typical Swordsmen attire she was so used to seeing by now. But what through Kumi off, was the blotches of red staining his uniform. Perhaps, he just arrived from a mission? The question came and seemed reasonable enough — then why was her stomach curdling like there was more? "Kumi, nice to see you dressed in something a little different." He spoke first, breaking the sudden tension with a dry joke as he referred to her charcoal-colored flank jacket, leather black skirt and bare feet. She chuckled lightly, folding her hands behind her back and smiling widely. "You're one to talk — you just come back from a mission or something?" Asking playfully, she watched the corners of his lips twitch upwards as if he was holding back his famous grin. "Something like that. . ." He answered with a mysterious glint in his beady shark-like eyes.
Taking a step forward, he strolled to stand before her.
Kumi's heart was racing, she felt her face grow hot, and suddenly, she feared he'd see the embarrassing blush spreading across her usually pale cheeks. But he noticed, and in turn, a massive toothy grin was sent her way as a taunting tease. "Let's go sit, Kumi-kun." He mocked the honorifics knowing she disliked them greatly, then purposely brushed his arm against hers and sauntered towards the lonely dock surrounded by gentle weeds and calming waters. The scene was tempting, even watching his back turn away from her and to the ocean, she just wished it could stay this way a while longer.
"Ya' know, Kisame-kun, " she mocked back, being sure he saw her cheeky grin. "We haven't been here in what feels like an eternity. You never come to see me anymore!" He rolled his eyes at her pouting expression, "It's impossible to believe you're apart of the infamous Undertaker Squad." With raised brows, she quickly adjusted her slump posture to stand a bit taller. But it's not like she could stand his hight if she prayed with all her might, the best she'd get was to his shoulder — and that was on her toes. "Yeah, right, you're just jealous you can't carry out my important task." A smug look on her face seeing as his own brows rose, "Must have taken to many blows to the head, " he muttered lowly, stopping in his tracks to rap against her Kiri headband that was tightly wrapped beneath her navy-blue braid. "You've gone mad if you think I'm jealous over some hunter-nin job." He finished, towing over her shorter figure. Kumi would have trembled in fear from witnessing his cruel smile and taunting eyes gazing down upon her like prey, but she's known him since academy age — as he was greatly recognized for the boy who caught Fuguki Suikazan's attention and last to enroll within her class.
"Ow, don't do that!" She swatted his hand away then quickly crossed her arms in defiance, "It's not 'some hunter-nin job', Kisame, it's really important tracking down rouges of Kiri."
They stayed silent, seconds turned into minutes with their eyes locked — Kumi daring him to say another word as her loyalty belonged to Kirigakure and nothing could waver her, not even him. The thought was sickening, he knew that, because now, he knows better. Trust and loyalty, actions so deeply respected within their world — wasn't true, none of it was, his previous mission proved that. The look in his eyes darken and a chill ran up her spine, she unexpectedly felt a tingle of fear for the man in front of her. They were talking like old friends do – she felt happy just seconds ago for having his attention locked on her – but now, she has this unwanted urge to back away.
What happened? She thought, breathing in to calm those nerves and gut-wretching instincts to run from this obvious hunter as she felt like prey in his unwavering gaze.
"Kisame, is everything alright -"
"I did something, Kumi, something I'll secretly regret until the day I die. . . And I'm okay with that."
He turned away, walking over the wooden boards of the dock and sitting at the edge where he patiently waited for her to join him. And she did, just like their younger years, sitting on this exact dock where Kirigakure's mist narrowly touched the sacred waves and ancient willows. Her head tilted slightly, curious by his puzzling words, "What are you talking about, Kisame?"
"I'm talking about my mission, Kumi."
Hearing her name like that left her mouth dry, it didn't sound right. She swallowed her sudden fears, silently praying her voice wouldn't quiver in the slightest.
"What, what was the mission?"
Their eyes met again, fire meeting water, and in the end, mist canceled them both out. He sighed, looking away from her questioning gaze and into the ocean's waves. Fish of different colors and sizes flashed against the sun's glow, but one caught his eyes, a newly born nurse shark.
He would have laughed if it wasn't for a memory still fresh in his mind and continuously playing on repeat to torment him some more.
Penance comes at a price, he kept reminding himself.
She felt clueless though, this undying feeling to help a friend seemed hopeless to fulfill, all she ever wanted was to be his equal. The reason why she fought so damn hard to obtain outstanding grades during academy years, why she trained ruthlessly throughout her pathic lifetime, and why she fights for a village that could care less whether she returns alive. But with him, she began believing there was more to life than follow orders and hope you don't disappoint your superiors if you come home at all. And she wasn't going to let him suffer alone, it wasn't right, not when she worked so goddamn hard to reach his level. It was now or never, she reassured herself with enough courage to usher a field mouse out from its burrow.
"Kisame, look at me."
The girl's voice was stern and determined to get her point across, which did its job seeing as his head turned ever so slowly to meet her fiery eyes. He noticed how her face scrunched up with said determination — always expressing more emotion than any shinobi raised within this bloody mist. He admired that about her, but always silently wondered how long she would survive in this merciless world without him around to protect her.
"You're a stupid fool."
This caught him off guard, he truly expected encouraging words of kindness or small acts of affection, simple gestures — simple, just like her. But this seemed foreign, even for her. Kumi was a kind-hearted woman with a powerful personality that would leave people baffled and craving more, she was physically strong and outstandingly clever — she was, truly, the embodiment of perfection. So hearing her agitated voice cut through the air sharply surprised him, to say the least, and when she gripped the collar of his Kiri uniform. She left him in a newfound shock as he was quickly pulled forward, nose to nose, a deep frown etching her fine features.
"Kumi, - " he started, but she cut him off briskly, "No, you listen to me!" A finger was shoved into his face, her point easily made for him to zip his yapping trap.
Through the thickening silence, he swallowed loud, their eyes connected and he watched the stern, hard look — disappear, replaced with worried concern.
She read him like a book, always has.
Her grip on his stained fabric loosen considerably, but he didn't make any attempt to back away. Too mesmerized by her eyes that told stories beyond comprehension. In fact, he caught himself inching forward and immediately paused when his irises dashed towards her quivering lips – an unclear desire to kiss them – but then she spoke, "What did you do. . ." a shaky breath came with those barely audible words, yet he caught them, and finally took the chance to lean away to stare off into the water once more, allowing her hand to drop in her lap. She knew though, she knew he did something regrettable for this unappreciative village — now all he had to do was say his goodbyes to a close friend and leave.
"Tonight, " he took the time to meet her eyes for what feels like his last time. "Fuguki dies." Air seemed forbidden as she completely froze and all she could register was how his eyes said it all — he wasn't lying.
He's actually going to do it, he's going to kill a member of the seven swordsmen, Fuguki Suikazan, his own personal teacher.
During their genin years, Kisame would joke on occasion how he wished to strangle his sensei after a hard day of training. But now, now he was really going to do it. This was almost laughable, how ironic, if they were told this back then — they would have surely laughed and mocked the person while wiping uncontrollable tears from their eyes. Of course, that was then, and this is now. Things have changed under their noses, an undesirable change at that.
"You're going to leave afterward, aren't you?" She knew the answer before the question could form, but perhaps hearing the words would calm this storm of emotions which antagonized the fire in her soul. "Yes." It didn't though, instead, the dark clouds that purposely hung over her head and the rain that dared to break her dam grew larger than it should have — she just felt nagging numbness in her heart, attempting to deny their time together now, would be the last. Then another thought arose; he'd be hunted down as a rouge and killed on the spot if ever found. "Then, " her breathing was ragged but she forced herself to soothe her storm. "When it is done, run. Run far and leave no trace, they'll send undertakers after you."
Though he already understood this, he nodded nonetheless, appreciating her support and stood from the edge of the dock. Hoping to finish the job alive and possibly unscathed.
"And Kisame, " he stopped from taking his first step off the lonesome dock and into the tall grass, her back was still turned from him. He assumed she was watching the waves crash against her bare feet, too afraid to meet his eyes most likely. "This will not be the last time we meet." Now it was his turn to freeze at her cold words, Kumi never lied especially because of her respect for the future Swordsman — so why would she lie now?
"I'll keep them off your trail for as long as possible, but if anyone is going to kill you, it'll be me."
This time she finally looked over her shoulder, eyes fresh with tears and a burning promise scorching their gaze. He had to watch the willows and turn away again to not get caught up in her ragging irises, just another thing he loved about her.
"You better keep your promise, Kumi, you of all people know how I hate liars."
She knew he was grinning even out of her line of sight.
"I never lie, " also turning to stare out across the water, she continued, "but when we meet in battle, I hope you'll be ready."
It was quiet and Kumi almost assumed he left or simply didn't care to answer.
". . .I'm always ready."
It hurt to know that those were his words of farewell, but that's all it really was. Not a goodbye, but a farewell. They'll meet again, whether it kills her to do so — this wasn't their end, there was a future written in the stars, whispering stories of their reuniting.
Farewell, for now, old friend.
* * *
→ Kumi, means Forever Beautiful
Author's Note; Okay there are a few things I might need to clear up and point out. Nothing big, but enough to have you shouting "Ohhhh!" At your phone, haha.
THEIR RELATIONSHIP; Kumi and Kisame have a very friendly relationship where they care deeply about one another, almost romanticly, but neither bothered to really share feelings — seeing as they're quite comfortable with their relationship as is.
HER NAME; Next, is her name. I don't really expect anyone to put my stories or their characters together, and that's alright! But for some who are interested, a few body parts of Kumi are used to create Azumi [a cadaver in the short story, Red Leaves] which is why their names are so similar when pronounced, or even spelled. It also foreshadows Kumi and Kisame's battle, and what happened. Just pay attention to timelines by usually what they're wearing or simply side characters and setting.
That's all, thank you so much for reading! Please correct any noticeable mistakes, positive or negative criticism is always appreciated! :)