A/N: This my special Valentine's Day One-shot. I hope you guys do enjoy it as much as I did writing it. Feel free to leave a review at the end!
Disclaimer: All rights reserved by Masashi Kishimoto
The evening wind gently caresses the lone figure as he stood still, staring at the carved stone before him, comforting the silently grieving man. He paid no mind to the breeze, however, as it ruffles his unruly silver locks.
No one else was around the vicinity. That's good. He didn't want to endure their looks of pity as he walks by. They all knew that today, he had to be left alone. Everyone knew.
It was their anniversary.
A single, lazy eye drift from name to name, recognition lit when they land on someone he used to know. Friends, comrades, brothers, sisters...family. Some names were faded from age and Mother Nature. Others' were new, fresh and still more would be added; more will follow.
Hatake Sakumo. Namikaze Minato. Uzumaki Kushina. Uchiha Obito. Nohara Rin. Sarutobi Hizuzen. Jiraiya of the Sennin.
Finally, his eye reached near the end of the list of the fallen. There, the last name lied. The most important name of them all: hers.
His fingers lightly began to trace each kanji in a motion that spoke of familiarity, like he had done it many times before.
"So...introduce yourselves. Your name...likes...dislikes...dreams for the future and stuff," Kakashi watched them lazily through his single exposed, half-lidded grey eye. They look like they had potential...well all but one. However, that could be remedied. Maybe. We'll see.
"Um...Sensei?" The pink one spoke. What was her name again? Hanayo? No…Hatsune? Nah…"Why don't you start, so we'll know how it's done."
Che. "Maa...I suppose so. My name's Hatake Kakashi. My likes...hmm...my dislikes...dreams for the future...I have lots of hobbies." Hmm. "Blondie. Your turn."
"The name's Uzumaki Naruto!" The blonde girl started, her striking cerulean eyes glistering brightly. "I like ramen, especially miso ramen with pork cullet. I dislike the three minutes you have to wait for the instant ramen to be cooked. My dream for the future is to be the first female Hokage of Konohagakure! And don't you forget that!" She finished, dramatically pointing a slender finger at the masked shinobi as if it would magically force him to always remember her ambition.
"...Ah ah." Kakashi's grey orbs, a great clash with those unique blues, lingered on the hyperactive girl before turning to the other female of the soon to be Team 7. "And you pinky?"
The night breeze blew her long, golden locks like the waves, which this island is practically known for, that surrounded them. He could taste the thick sea salt in the air even through his facemask as he continued to watch her looking out into the large body of water, unawares of his presence.
With the skills that made him one of the deadliest man alive, he silently took a seat beside her on the rooftop of their client's house, a bit surprised that she didn't jump when he appeared. Not that he'll ever admit it. Not to anyone. Especially not to her. Maybe she did know he was there the whole time. Maybe.
They continued to sit in silent, both staring out into the dark world, which was only lit lightly by the rays of the crescent moon. There wasn't a single cloud in sight. It was like that proverb he had once heard. It went something like "the calm before the storm" or another. Light enough to see what was in front of you not to trip and land rather painfully on your face, but dark enough to be able to commit an assassination under the nose of all of those who continue to sleep away in ignorance of the dark deeds that must be done to keep them safe.
"The moon." He strained to listen to her soft whispers. "It's always there to comfort me when I'm upset."
"...He didn't know."
"I know." There. That chuckling of hers. It makes her sound far too wise, too broken for someone so young. "Still...it hurts."
He's proud of her. She made it to the finals. Hyūga Neji. That's whom she's fighting next. Gods. He wanted to be the one to teach her for the next month. If only Sasuke's opponent wasn't that Sunakagure genin. He has to make sure that Sasuke could survive his battle first. At least he's reassured that she'll make it out of hers alive.
This is weird. What's this annoying ache in his heart? How could he just hand her training over to this man like that? Why does his heart keep aching? No. Naruto don't just agree with him. Don't follow Ebisu.
If only he didn't have to make sure Sasuke survives his battle.
Slash. Stab. Clang.
She went after that jinchūriki. All hell broke loose and she's the one he sent after that unstable shinobi. What the hell was he thinking?
Another slash. The ninja didn't see it coming. Twirl. Clang. More enemy ninjas began to fall around him as he continues to bring them down in a deadly, but graceful kata. They never stood a chance. No one ever lived twice to see the same Sharingan eye staring back into theirs. Well. Zabuza was an exception.
Perhaps he wasn't thinking. If she never comes back, that'll be another name that will weigh heavily on his mind. Great. That annoying ache is back. Good Gods he was stupid. Why did he only now realized his feelings for her in the middle of a battle? Why now when he had just sent her out to face her death? Why?
Naruto, Kakashi thought, his kunai stabbing the heart of another faceless sound-nin only for two more to take his place. You better come back alive.
She's crying. She's hurting. The Sandaime's death really crushed her. But what could he do. There was nothing he could say to comfort her. There was nothing he could do to take away the pain in her heart.
Her tears cleverly blend in with the rain as the Gods above sympathize with the ninjas below while they stood in respect for the funeral of their once great leader.
Oh how he wishes he could just gather her into his arms and wipe away those tears. If only he could make her empty promises that everything will be okay.
For now, all he could do is silently comfort her with his thoughts. Wishing that maybe, just maybe, she could read his mind.
Dammit! Itachi's after her and here he is immobilized, trapped in an illusion. Why is he so weak!
If only he could have done something to slow the Uchiha prodigy down. He was the Copy-Nin with the words 'Do Not Engage. Flee On Sight' under his name in the bingo book! He could have least cripple the S-class missing-nins enough to delay any imminent danger that's now heading towards her.
When he gets out of here, and by the Gods he will, he's going to step up his training ten fold. He's not going to be helpless like this ever again! He's going to be someone worthy of protecting those he love and that's a promise.
Three years. That's how long she's been gone. Three years he had longed to see her smiling face again. And now he had his wish.
When he first laid eyes on her again after three years, he couldn't believe his eyes. There stood the woman who stole his heart unconsciously, without even trying, even more beautiful than ever. Eyes turned as she walked pass; head held high resonating grace, power, and confidence. This wasn't the same little girl that had left all those years ago to begin training under the tutelage of the Toad Sannin.
Their eyes met. She smiled at him. He smiled back at her. A silent promise to catch up soon. He was glad that she's back and here to stay.
"Kakashi!" Her voice carried with the wind as she gracefully ran up to him. "I passed! I'm a jōnin now!" Her smile made his heart flutter as she stopped right in front of him.
"Congratulations Naruto" Kakashi smiled down at the twenty-years old woman before him. "I knew you could do it."
"Haha! Of course I could!" Naruto laughed, her charming voice drew him in just a little further. "Who do you think I am? This is Namikaze-Uzumaki Naruto you're talking to mister!" Her hands lie on her waist as she challenged him with her beautiful blue eyes.
"Ah...ah" He chuckled a bit at her antics. Gods does he love this woman. "Shall we celebrate?"
"Yeah! Ramen!" Her eyes lit at the mentioning of her favorite food. "I gotta tell Old man Ichiraku and Ayame-chan the great news as well!"
Kakashi's eye followed the figure of the blonde vixen as she spun on her heels to head to her favorite food stand. When she realized that the silver-haired man wasn't following her, she looked back. Her beautiful golden locks fell around her like a curtain of the finest silk. "Well come on Kakashi! You're paying!"
Her cerulean eyes sparkle with mirth as she resumed her trek to the ramen stand. Well there goes this week's pay. But it's all worth it.
Their evening was coming to an end. They were already in front of her apartment door. Neither knew what to do next as they stared at the floor in silence.
Both said at the same time. A blush rose on her whiskered cheeks. Cute.
"You go first," Kakashi gestured.
"I had a great night." She smiled at him. "Let's do this again sometime. Good night Kakashi!"
Before he knew what happened, she swiftly entered her apartment, leaving the dazed shinobi staring at the spot where she was standing just a moment ago. His right hand slowly reached up to touch the side of the cheek where he had felt her soft lips landed. He could still feel the lingering heat that was left behind from the contact.
"Good night Naruto." A permanent grin made its home on the Copy-ninja's face.
This is it. Today's the day he's going to ask her to marry him. Gods, it was nerve wrecking. He could face a whole army of Iwa-nin and it still wouldn't have made him lose his nerves like this.
What if she says no? They all told him to relax. Said that she'll say yes because she loves him just as much as he loves her. But what if that wasn't true?
Gods. This must be what Minato-sensei felt that day. Breathe Kakashi. She loves you. She really loves you. Perhaps she loves you. Maybe she loves you...this is nerve wrecking.
"...Kakashi!" He shook out of his stupor to see her gorgeous blue eyes staring up at him in confusion. "What's wrong? I've been calling out to you for a while now! Is everything alright?"
"...Ah yeah." Kakashi reassured her however it didn't seem as if she believed him. He wouldn't believe himself if he was the one questioning him. "Everything's fine."
Before she could open her mouth to retort at his obvious lie, he took her left hand and slip a simple sapphire stone ring onto her ring finger.
The sight of the ring stopped her in her tracks as her mouth fell in a stupor and her eyes opened wide. She blinked up at him then back down to the ring. Tears began to fill the gorgeous blue eyes. Her teeth bit hard on her lips, slightly drawing blood, trying very hard not to cry. She stared into his grey eyes as he watched for her reaction with nervous anticipation. She nodded.
"Yes. Yes. Yes..."
"Congratulations my Eternal Rival!" His best friend came up to him, his signature grin present on his face. "You are a very lucky man to have captured such a blossoming, spirited woman!"
Kakashi nodded his head and muttered out a 'thank you' to the bolstering Konoha's Green Beast, ignoring the strange nin as he burst into laughter and saying something about being 'hip and cool'. By then he had already turned his attention back onto the smiling blonde, the one person that seems to be his only focus that evening, as she greeted another one of their guests. A small smile graced his features, lost to those not close to him, as he watched his blushing bride laugh at whatever it was he didn't care.
He was a very lucky man indeed.
She looks so beautiful standing there, speaking to the hundreds of shinobi that had gathered one last time to hear their leader's words of encouragement. This was the final battle. This battle will be the determining factor to end all future wars. Their enemy was coming and fast.
Her words lit the fire in each person's heart. He could see it in their eyes. They're all willing to follow her to death like he would. This is the Will of Fire that their country prides in. They were going into battle to protect their home, their future, and their beliefs.
And they were going to make it out of this alive.
Why did it have to end like this?
They were aiming at him! He was the one that should have been hit! Not her...Why?
Her body started to shiver as life began to slip away from her once powerful form. He held her closer to him, trying to pass on his body heat to keep her warm. The Kyūbi needs to do something about her wounds. It stopped healing like it used to. Damn fox! He's supposed to be saving her not letting her die like this.
"Shhh Naruto save your breath. Help is on the way."
Cough. Cough. Blood hit the sides of his covered cheeks. "Haha...Kakashi. It's too late for me." Cough. "You know that." Cough.
No. No she can't die. She just can't! "No. Come on love just hang on...help, help is coming soon! It's almost here! Don't. Don't leave me! I don't want to be alone again..."
"...Kakashi," The cerulean eyes that had captured his heart the first time their gaze met began to close itself from the world. "...I love you...goodbye."
Hatake Namikaze-Uzumaki Naruto.
Such a mouthful. But it suited her. Konoha's Number One Unpredictable Ninja. Her death that day had fueled a rage in every heart of each Konoha shinobi, which had won them the war. What a bitter ending.
A silver ring on his left ring finger glistens as the moonlight reflects off of the metal. His fingers memorizing the beautifully carved name. Remembering each stroke that shaped the name of the woman whom he gave his heart to. Where it never left her even after death had parted them.
Today was their anniversary and he is here celebrating it with her like every year before.
"Naruto," Kakashi whispered his eyes now closed off to the world around him. He could feel the lingering caress of the wind against his cloth-covered cheeks where her hands used to comfort. "I love you...wait for me..."
A/N: I hope you guys enjoyed that. This story was inspired by the song "Utsukushī Omoide" by Monkey Majik. It means "Beautiful Memories" and I thought it was a perfect setting for a beautiful love story. Till next time.