In Fire Country, there is no
time beyond the constant war. There is no force but chakra, no spirit but what
drives a shinobi to fight, and the Senju have long since abandoned silly
superstitions like leaving offerings that might be better used to fill a soldier’s
Senju Yuuko was once Uzumaki Yuuko,
though, and she remembers dragons rising from the sea, gold and gleaming in the
sunlight as they left Uzushio’s whirlpools behind them. She was a little girl
then, easily awed, but her mother had rested her hands on Yuuko’s shoulders and
whispered, “Never forget.”
Years and miles from being that
little girl, wed with three strong sons, Yuuko still hasn’t forgotten. She sets
aside her own rice, her own sake, and carries it to the river near the Senju
Clan compound every day. The Nakano is a peaceful river, wide and meandering with
few deadly currents, and she likes to think that the spirit who lives there is
equally benevolent. It would be nice if something was, here in this war-torn
Her offerings are always taken,
and even if her hard, impatient husband scoffs at her and blames it on foxes
and birds, Yuuko knows. She pities him, because he doesn’t, because he has
never seen the dragons in the sea and known
that there was something greater than just himself. But she does, and the
absence of sake, of rice, of good green tea and sweet bean buns, always makes
That’s why, when she learns she’s
ill, that a wound earned defending her adopted clan has left poison in her
blood, the river spirit is her first thought.
Not for herself—Yuuko was raised
on words of caution about bargains with spirits for selfish reasons, cautionary
tales that never ended well for those involved. She’s lived, and she will die,
and there’s no more to be had. This is her lot. But her children are innocent,
young. They don’t deserve the death that will doubtless find them quickly in a
On a clear, cool morning, with the
mist still hanging like a tattered veil across the land, Yuuko sets her
offerings out on the riverbank and waits, kneeling in the wet grass in her best
kimono. Birdsong echoes, then falls silent, and the river dances over the rocks
in the shallows. She keeps her eyes on the water, watching, waiting.
Finally, it stirs. A pale shape
rises from depths that should be too shallow to hold it, shimmering silver and
white traced through with striking red. The sinuous body slides from the
riverbed to curl on the bank before her, and the dragon-god of the Nakano looks
first to her offerings and then to her.
“I would make a bargain,” Yuuko
tells him, meeting ancient crimson eyes with all the steadiness she can gather
into her soul. “For the protection of my children when I am gone.”
The dragon doesn’t speak, just
watches her for long moments that stretch out in the cool morning. Then, careful
and regal, he inclines his head, great neck bending as he reaches down. Red whiskers
touch her long black hair where it’s laid out around her, acceptance and
agreement in one motion, and blue light gathers around him like a sweep of
moving water. Silver scales become pale skin, white mane recedes to white hair,
red whiskers turn to crimson markings, and a little human boy of no more than
four years opens his red eyes to regard her solemnly.
“Thank you for your offerings,”
he tells her, this river god in the body of a child. “I will guard your sons as
best I can.”
No god can protect against everything,
or be everywhere, but like this, maybe at least one of her sons will have a
chance. “Thank you,” she whispers, and reaches out, and he allows her to gather
him up in her arms and clutch him close. “Thank you.”
When she carries him home, no
one in the clan sees anything strange. They smile, comment on how Tobirama has
grown, how handsome he’ll be, just like her other sons, and Yuuko smiles back,
secretive and sly, and thanks them for their kindness.
The dragon-child in her arms just watches,
silent and solemn with the wisdom of an age-old river in his eyes, and Yuuko wonders
how, even hidden with a spirit’s spell, no one else can see it.
He is the god of the Nakano,
carved deep into its bed from centuries of steady flow, but he is not omniscient.
Kawarama and Itama both die too far from the river’s banks for him to reach
them, and for the first time in his very long life, Tobirama knows
They bury Itama while the earth
is still bare and raw over Kawarama’s grave, and Tobirama stands beside the boy
who is his brother in every way that matters, staring at the small grave. He
had felt the boy die, had known when his spirit flickered and faded into death,
and it feels like a betrayal of the woman who acted as his mother. The woman
who was the first mortal in many, many decades to leave an offering on his
banks, to ask a boon, to offer payment for his regard. She had not been
desperate even though she was dying, and her poise and daring intrigued him.
Her last remaining son shares
many of her virtues, and maybe that’s part of the reason Tobirama has come to
love Hashirama the way he does.
When the last of the mourners
leave, the forest is silent except for the distant calls of birds and the quiet
hitches of Hashirama’s breath as he cries. Tobirama reaches for him, curls a
hand around his wet cheek and presses his fingers over Hashirama’s where he’s
trying to hide his tears, but this body is too small, too weak. He can’t comfort
his brother like this.
Hashirama knows what he is, or
at least suspects. The Uzumaki blood is strong in him, close to the surface,
and Tobirama can sense the touch of a nature spirit in his chakra, like the
bite of fresh sap in the open air and the green of new leaves in spring. The charm
Tobirama laid on the Senju Clan to twist their memories has always slid off Hashirama’s
skin like raindrops on glass, but he’s never asked Tobirama directly about his
presence. Here and now, Tobirama hopes that it won’t frighten him or drive him
away, but he can’t leave things as they are.
This human form is awkward even
after eight years wearing it. As a dragon, as himself, he’s far more capable of
offering a moment’s comfort.
The sweep of blue light
illuminating the forest pulls Hashirama from his grief. His head snaps up, eyes
widening, and he whispers, “Tobirama?” in confusion, but he doesn’t back away.
Tobirama meets his eyes, level
and reassuring, for half a moment before the full change takes him, and
answers, “It’s all right, brother.”
The light flickers, fades. Hashirama’s
eyes are wide, full of wonder even as tears trickle down his cheeks. He stares
for a moment, then reaches out, and Tobirama dips his head, brushing small,
callused fingers with his long whiskers. Hashirama’s face twists up, more tears
breaking free, and with a muffled sob he throws himself forward, clutching at
Letting out a quiet huff, Tobirama
curves his long neck around, surrounding Hashirama as best he can. He closes
his eyes, letting his own grief fill him as Hashirama cries quietly, no Butsuma
here to reprimand him for the show of emotion. There’s grief in Tobirama as
well, deep and dark like a forgotten well, and he thinks of warm, kind,
cheerful Itama, so desperate for a world at peace, and mourns.
It won’t happen again. Tobirama swears
that to himself. Hashirama at least will survive, even if Tobirama has to
permanently shed his human skin to see to it.
Not only for the Lady Yuuko. Not
only for a promise made on a riverbank, or offerings left where other mortals
had long forgotten. For the sake of a boy with a forest in his soul, a kindness
Tobirama can hardly fathom. For Hashirama, who dreams of peace and happiness,
and stands apart because of it.
Tobirama is the god of the
Nakano, set in his ways. But eight years as a brother to a human boy with the
sun in his smile and that’s no longer all he is, or all he can be. Like a new
path carved into the earth, he’s growing in small ways, in streamlets and shifting
banks and calm shallows where rapids once flowed.
Change is natural in a river’s course. Tobirama wonders
when he forgot that. Wonders when, exactly, Hashirama was able to remind him.
Hashirama meets a boy on the
banks of the Nakano, a boy with wild black hair and sharp black eyes and dreams
of peace to match his own.
There are eyes on them, he
knows, but doesn’t mention it to Madara. Smiles, and laughs, and hopes his
little brother sees that there’s a chance for strangers to meet and become
friends, because Hashirama worries for Tobirama. He seems lonely sometimes,
ancient and aged and so separate from the rest of the world with his cleverness
and sharp tongue and watchful red eyes.
But Madara can be a friend, is a friend to Hashirama, and maybe he
can be one to Tobirama as well.
Madara waves as he leaves,
running swiftly back into the trees, and Hashirama waves back, grinning after
When he turns, it’s little
surprise at all to find a young boy with white hair seated on the bank beside
him, watching the retreating figure with some strange assessment in his gaze.
“I like him,” Hashirama says,
not quite stubbornly, but with the warning that he can be. “We’re going to be friends.”
Tobirama glances sidelong at
him, the faint edges of a smirk on his lips. He scoops up a handful of jagged
rocks from the bank and cradles them in his hands for a moment, then tips them
out at Hashirama’s feet. They spill over his sandals, no longer jagged but
smooth and worn to perfect roundness.
“You don’t even know his clan
name,” Tobirama says, as though the stones aren’t already his answer, as though
he can’t see Hashirama’s spreading grin.
Hashirama ignores the grumbled
words, lunging forward. He trips over his own feet, stumbles, and when Tobirama
rises to catch him with a startled expression, Hashirama snatches up his little
brother in a tight hug.
“I love you, Tobirama,” he
whispers into soft white hair.
There’s a pause, a quiet huff. Small arms wrap
around him in return, and Tobirama hugs him back.
His tears were overflowing over his cheeks when he held her for the first time. She was so small and fragile compared to his big and calloused hands. These hands that had fought with gods held now his crying daughter. Himawari was the perfect name for her. His friends teased him that his daughter could make him do anything. He would argue if it wasn’t true. His little princess has him wrapped around her little finger with her laughs and sweet voice.
It was so quiet in that hospital room that Naruto could hear the beat of his own heart in his ears, could hear Hinata’s long, slow breaths as she slept. Twilight bathed the room in gold light, the kind that warmed every surface and lasted for only a moment before cool blue light would sink in.
In his hands was the most beautiful and precious weight, a bundle so small and fragile he often found himself holding his breath. She slept peacefully, swaddled in a blanket and tucked up against his chest and as Naruto smoothed a hand over her incredibly tiny body, he felt overwhelmed. He sat, he hummed, and he marveled.
She was so small. His hands were big enough to cradle her. And if he wasn’t careful, his hands were also big enough to crush her. He took down gods, gentled demons, ended wars, harnessed the power of natural disasters right into the center of those very palms but never had he been more vibrantly aware of the power of his hands until now. Now, when this new life was sleeping so soundly and trustingly in his embrace.
He was always praised and valued for his strength, his abilities, his measure of destruction but it was here, in the quiet of the hospital room and with the simple gesture of cradling his newborn daughter, did he realize that this was what was worth celebrating.
A finger brushed against his whiskered cheek and he looked up to see Hinata staring sleepily, contentedly at him. Her lavender eyes darted down and she smiled at the sight of their daughter sleeping so peacefully before gazing up at him again.
“You’re crying,” she whispered, a thumb brushing over his cheekbones and Naruto was surprised to find she was right. He hadn’t even noticed, hadn’t even realized the overflow of his emotions until now.
A whimper interrupted them and they both immediately looked down to see the bundle starting to fuss, tiny arms rising above the blankets and small hands curling up into fists. Her face, smooth in sleep, started to scrunch as she began to cry.
Naruto rocked her back in forth in his arms as he hummed to her, deepening his voice so she felt the vibrations of his song through his chest rather than heard it. His eyes never left hers and his hum broke as his breath caught in his throat when she turned to face him, sky blue eyes meeting his own. She blinked curiously at him before slowly quieting and drifting off to sleep again.
“You always did have a gift for growing things,” Hinata teased him softly. “Look how she turns to you.”
For sunflowers turned to face the sun, and Himawari never looked anywhere but him. Cool blue light crept into the room, signifying the coming of night and even though the room became a little colder and a little darker, Naruto never felt warmer or fuller than in this moment.
Hinata placed a hand over his and when Naruto looked at her, she shared his smile, tears collecting in the corner of her own eyes.
Yay mini prompt!! The missus shaving Harry's peach fuzz in her tiny apartment :)
Harry was sleepy. Stumbling, mumbling, words like honey, extra cuddly, sleepy. Bags dropped by the front door, shoes kicked off soon after that. Six weeks away and he was finally back where he was meant to be.
“You know, we can go home to your house, if you want?” you said, locking the front door and hanging up your keys.
Harry threw himself down on your bed stomach first, immediately with a grunt muffled by the pillows.
“Ahhh. A real bed,” he lisped, snuggling down. “This is home. Your blankets smell good.” A few more moments, and he would be asleep, he knew it.
“C’mon, big boy. We’ve gotta take your pants off.” You heard a snicker into the pillow and you slapped a palm across his bum teasingly. “Not for that, you big goofball. You’re not awake enough for that. It could end badly.”
“Hey!” he yipped. “I could…wake up a little. Gimme a minute.”
“Turn over,” you coaxed, squeezing his little love handles until he giggles and rolls over onto his back. You reached up to undo the button of his jeans, lips setting into a hard line when all you’re met with his skin and the beginnings of coarse hair below the waist. “You’re not wearing underwear, you cheeky bastard.”
Harry snickered. “There’s no room,” he slurred with a smirk.
“I’m sure,” you mumbled, yanking his pants down to his thighs and pulling them all the way off, tossing them behind you. “I should be used to it by now.” You crawled up the bed to curled up next to him. “At least now you’re letting everything breathe. I was thinking about maybe having kids someday, so I need them to work.”
“Hey,” he drawled, peeking over at you. “With me?”
You shrugged, and he put an arm around your shoulders. “I’m considering you, yes.”
“Thanks,” he mumbled, nudging his chin against your cheek.
“Do they not have razors on tour?” you teased, feeling the brush of fine, slightly whiskery hair rubbing against your cheek.
“Took me a long time to grow this,” Harry pouted, running his fingers over his chin. “Suppose I should shave it.”
“I’ll do it,” you offered. “We could do it in the morning, but I can do it.”
Harry raised a suspicious eyebrow. “You can do it? You wanna shave my face?”
Judy rushed to Nick’s apartment as soon as she saw his message on her phone. He was sick, and with him being a fox, a simple cold could turn disastrous if not treated right away. She was carrying three plastic bags filled with remedies and food for Nick to try. It was a good thing that she didn’t have to come in to work that day. She climbed the metal staircase of his apartment complex. He lived in the most shady part of town, and Judy hated it. There was trash tossed about, vagabonds living in unsanitary conditions and shifty mammals peering out of broken blinds in their homes. Judy quickly located his apartment, and upon entering the cramped studio apartment cringed at the mess that greeted her. Locking the door behind, she saw unwashed clothes carelessly thrown on the wooden floor. The smell from the dirty clothes was horrendous to the point that she had to cover her nose to prevent herself from gagging.Making her way to his kitchen, she saw dirty grimy pots on his stove covered in grease, and stacks of unwashed dishes left on the counter next to the sink. The garbage was filled to the brim with fast food containers and packaging from microwavable meals. Judy couldn’t believe that he lived this way. She opened the door to his bedroom, and was immediately met with the sound of coughing.
She found Nick on his bed, buried under a pile of thick blankets. His eyes were closed, making her believe he was asleep. His face was flushed all the way up to his ears, and his breath came out as a wheeze. He let out a set of harsh coughs, causing Judy to quickly come up to him.
“Oh Nick, your cold is worse now…” She said gently. Setting the bags aside, she placed her paw on his head. She pulled away as if she had touched a hot stove. She dug into her bag and took out a washcloth, walked into the messy bathroom next to his room, and ran cold water over the cloth.
The moment the cool washcloth was placed on his head he let out a soft sigh.
He was sweating profusely, covering his pillow with sticky sweat as a result of the amount of blankets on top of him and his fever. With a toss, Judy removed the thick sheets. She grabbed a clean thin sheet from his closet and placed it down near his feet. She shook her head, finding him still dressed in his pants, Hawaiian shirt and tie. The smell of B.O stung her nostrils, making her retch. She opened his dresser beside his bed and found a clean blue pajama shirt.
“This will do.” she smiled, and gave him a glance. All she had to do was unbutton his shirt and give him the new- she suddenly wrung the shirt in her paws. A small blush grew as she thought about it. Undressing Nick? That seems a little….intimate.She shook her head. No, it’s not that weird, I’m just taking off his shirt. It smells! I can’t just let him continue wearing it.
With a deep breath and a clear head, she sat down at edge beside him, her fingers going to work. The buttons were easy to undo, though propping him up long enough to get his arms out of the shirt took some effort. Laying him back down on the bed and tossing his shirt to the floor, Judy realized that his torso was fully exposed, and her cheeks heated up at the fact. She placed her paws over her eyes instinctively.
Ugh come on Judy… She mentally told herself. You can do it, it’s not like you haven’t seen him shirtless before.
With a breath, she lowered her paws. She grabbed his pajama shirt and slowly put in his arms. It was like dressing a large doll, seeing as his arms laid limp for her to put in his sleeves. She tossed the thin sheet over him, covering all of him except his head and neck. She removed the wet washcloth and placed a paw on his forehead, feeling that his temperature had gone down a little bit.
Nick’s eyes opened halfway, and he peered up at Judy. She sweetly smiled down at him.
“Hey Nick, how are you feeling?” She whispered, running her fingers down his cheek. He stared at her as if he had never met her before. She raised her brow. “Nick…you okay? Are you hungry? I can make you some soup if you want.”
He blinked slowly at her and smacked his dry lips.
“Are you thirsty?” She asked, leaning down closer to him. “Does your throat hurt? I have some medicine.”
He closed his eyes, letting out a soft wheeze as he shook his head at her.
“No?…what do you want? I’m here to help, you know.”
He opened his mouth slightly. “S-soup…”
“Got it.” She placed the washcloth back on his forehead and left his side,grabbing one of the plastic bags and setting it on the kitchen counter. She had to vigorously scour a few pots to boil the broth and cook the noodles. In between the prep time she began to clean his disgusting studio. Like her fellow rabbits, Judy had a knack for cleanliness, and seemed to have an instinctive compulsion to fix anything that was out of order.
Sometime later, she admired her masterpiece, wiping sweat from her brow. The floor was shined, free from garbage and clothes. His shirts were washed, folded, and neatly put away, and the dirty dishes had been washed and put away in the cabinets. She even had had time to wipe and dust his furniture, making sure everything had a “shine” once he woke up.
She poured the vegetable soup into a small bowl, followed by the thin noodles. She carried the hot bowl underneath a cool plate to Nick.
Dry coughs came out of his mouth, causing him to weakly lift his neck in the hope of catching his breath. His head fell back on the pillow with a plop.
“Nick, I made you some vegetable soup.” She said gently, and he gave her the biggest scowl he could muster in his condition, which more resembled a small frown”, as he dislikes vegetables. She knew he hated eating vegetables, but when it came to a cold, helping him get the proper nutrients to aid his recovery was of the utmost importance. “At least try it…I promise you’ll like it.”
She stirred the soup with a silver spoon, making it cool enough for him to drink. She inched the spoon over to his mouth, making him sip the liquid. He swallowed and immediately began coughing. He made a retching noise, making her fear that he might discard his stomach contents all over the floor. She let out a sigh of relief once his head fell back on the pillow. She had to make him eat and drink plenty of fluids. She had always known that he had a weak immune system, but this was the first that a cold had left him weak and vulnerable. She gave him another spoonful and he took it willingly. He drank about half of the soup until he couldn’t lift his head anymore.
Judy set the soup aside and removed the washcloth.
“Get some rest, Nick…I’ll check on you later.” She pulled away from him, only to feel a weak hold around her wrist. She stopped and whirled back to Nick, wondering what else he might need. He glanced at her weakly and opened his mouth.
“…I love you.”
Judy eyes widened and her jaw suddenly went loose, resulting in a slight gape. On very rare occasions, depending on the mood of the situation, Nick uttered those three words to her. This was the third time that he had ever said it. She closed her mouth and placed his paw back on the bed. He closed his eyes, drifting off to sleep, failing to notice her small fingers stroking at his whiskers.
“I love you too….” she replied with a small smile.
dedicated to @obsessivegeekgirl13
who requested it, I hope you like it, and sorry for the long wait!
thank you obsessivegeekgirl13
for being my editor! ^_^
I've sorta has this headcannon that Felicity's pretty protective of her feelings, so in the aftermath of Oliver's death, she kinda shuts down when someone tries to talk to her about it, and even when Oliver comes back. Its not until a something happens and Oliver confronts her about it that she has a massive breakdown... is this appropriate for a drabble?
Well this got away from me. Not sure this is what you wanted… Sorry?
* * * * *
Like everything I’ve ever known,
You’ll disappear one day
So I’ll spend my whole life
Hiding my heart away
* * * * *
The first week is nothing but a blur of pain and confusion.
She remembers locking herself in the bathroom and screaming because it hurts so much she was sure she was dying. She remembers forgetting to eat for so long that she passed out. She remembers begging Diggle, Roy, anyone, to bring him back. Pleading with them to just bring him back to her because she can’t do this without him.
And then there’s a moment of clarity. Where everything goes still and the whole world fades back into nothing. And he’s there, and he’s angry, furious. He yells at her to live. To fight. To survive.
And so she does. For him.
But she knows that she won’t survive if she lets herself feel it for even a second longer. So she shuts it away. Locks her pain into a little box behind her heart, and tosses the key into the ocean.
Haru convinces Sousuke to get a cat with him, and while Sousuke's initially kinda "meh" on the idea, he quickly warms to it when he's petting and cuddling with the disgustingly cute cats at the local cat shelter.
Oh my goodness! I mostly used this as an opportunity to make fun of Sousuke, but what’s new? I spent a while looking at different shelter animals, and they’re all so adorable. I based their cat after one cute little guy I saw!
It had been a long argument.
After they’d closed a deal on their own small townhouse, Haru had immediately shown interest in getting a cat, sending pleading looks in his boyfriend’s direction whenever the opportunity arose (which, unfortunately for Sousuke, was often).
Sousuke, though, had been skeptical. Cats are messy, and have generally tended to dislike him. He’d been scratched in the face one too many times as a kid to really enjoy their presence. Plus, Makoto and Rin already have three of their own, and he has no desire to become the creepy overly-obsessive cat owners that everyone in the neighborhood avoids.
No. Everyone in the neighborhood would likely avoid them for other reasons, but he draws the line at cats.
However, Haru refuses to be placated by Sousuke’s suggestions that he just go play with Makoto and Rin’s cats, and in the end, there’s never really any question as to who is going to win the argument.
Haru always gets his way somehow, much to Sousuke’s annoyance.
LOOK AT WHAT I DID FOR YOU I HOPE YOU ARE HAPPY (CATMILLA FIC)
You can’t breathe. Blood is swimming through your mind and Carmilla is thrashing in it, fighting and twisting even as it pulls her down. The little girl is there too, smiling and pushing her fingers through Carmilla’s dark hair. You tremble. The blood is sweltering, and it is taking her from you. Oh god, oh god, you remember her pale unmoving frame.