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Similar Deviations
Once I knew a girl named Eve. She was short and skinny and wore glasses, and everywhere she went she was all elbows. She mispronounced her R's and climbed trees barefoot and saw fairies where others only saw fireflies.
Eve loved to read. Stories clung to her like velvet. Her bedroom was an Eden cast in mint green and populated by books – new books, old books, books with all the secrets of the world hidden inside them.
She brought her love to school with her: sometimes, the teacher would send her out into the hallway for reading during class. Haha, wouldn't want us to actually learn anything in school, we used to joke.
There were those who hated Eve for being the way she was, and she despised them in turn. She hated openly; there was never any secret of her contempt. It was a good system.
Eve loved to create. She wrote and sewed and sculpted, she dreamed up places and people too large for real life. She played and mimicked and invented. She was a stickler for accuracy and a nazi when it came to grammar; she was a magician who could transform the ordinary into whatever she wanted to make it. Some days I couldn't stand being around her. She was pushy and inflexible and pessimistic and wasn't afraid to sulk openly.
She was my best friend.


Eve's hair grew long, and her interests grew with it. She still hated gym class and her favorite book was Gone with the Wind. She insisted that her eyes were gray, even though it was blatantly obvious to everyone that they were blue. She could play the viola better than anyone else I had ever met.
We loved to rail on airheaded girls and testosterone-driven lunks. We didn't agree on everything, but it didn't matter. She defied the stupidity and the hypocrisy with wit and insolence and style.
It felt good to have the world as our enemy, because we were right.



But somewhere along the line, something changed. It crept up on her in tiny, silent steps. It was the kind of change that fooled her into thinking that she wasn't changing at all.
Invisible. Worthless. Deficient. Nothing she did was ever good enough. She knew only a crippling, unfathomable guilt. She chipped away at herself like a marble statue, flake by flake.


And then, one day, she looked inside herself and saw nothing of value at all.


Eve searched for answers. She cut and styled her hair, she played dress-up, she cleaned and sewed and procrastinated and did whatever she could to take her mind off it. But Eve wasn't happy. She was lost.
The problem, she concluded, must be her. And so she corrected the problem.




Now Eve lives in a dorm room, and there is no mint green paint on the walls. There are shelves with books on them, but the books are different. Robin Hood and Redwall have been replaced by Cosmo and Sex in the City.
Eve sits in bed at night and thumbs through the scented pages of her magazines, wondering why she doesn't look like the women in the advertisements. What exciting, glamorous lives they must lead! Dismay is her constant companion. Her legs are too hairy, her arms are too fat. She wants to be petite and cute and coy but she's tall and commanding instead. She's captivating and she doesn't even realize it.
Eve used to listen to classical music and write songs with me in the corn field. Now she gets tipsy and dances to Soulja Boy. She can't understand why guys don't seem to go for her. She dances like the other girls, dresses like the other girls, giggles like the other girls. Something must be wrong with her.
Eve idolizes the very same hedonistic morons she used to condemn, and loves everything she once detested. She adores pink ruffles and wants to be a housewife. She looks around for smiles and approval. She tries to please everyone and fails.
The sorceress has become a maid.


Eve isn't Eve anymore. She reinvented herself in the hopes that this would gain her the acceptance she so desperately sought. Maybe she succeeded, I don't know. I cannot see past the irony of it all: that, in order to avoid rejection, she rejected everything that made her who she was. How can she not see it?


Eve used to hate all the things that were wrong with the world.
Now she just hates herself.


And you know what the worst part of it all is? Now, when she needs me more than ever – now, when she most needs to be supported and reminded of her worth and value – now,
I hate her too.
True story.
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Once, wise men said the Earth was flat,
Now they say a sphere
But I the traveler have seen
A world arranged in tiers.

It’s three steps up and three steps down
With nothing in between
Each step a realm unto itself
One black, one gray, one green.

The uppermost, the sunlit land
Is lush with verdant choir
Babbling brooks and rustling reeds
Birdsongs in the briar.

Down below, the Black Land sleeps
Silent and austere
Into this reverent quietude
All must disappear.

The middle tier, a hidden plane,
Of neither sun nor shade;
A misty, lonely everscape
Where those like me have strayed.

The Gray Land has no native souls
All wanderers are we
Durationless, directionless
Upon this rocky sea.

Gnarled trees and shallow caves, the
Total of existence
Scattered mountains, looming tall, but
Always in the distance.

For company, a walking stick
My friend, my aid, my balm -
Upon its neck I feel the warmth    
Reflected from my palm.

We rarely stop, my staff and me,
We trek and traipse along
For in the Gray Land nobody
Can ever rest for long.

My legs, it's true, are at the oars,
But fate is at the helm
And now and then I stumble up,
Back to the sunlit realm.

Long ago, it was my home, when
Golden were my tresses
And I ran barefoot through the grass
In my flowing dresses.

But travels Gray have ruined me for
This, the highest height -
For I've looked down into the Black
And can’t forget the sight.

I’ll end my journey there, I know,
Not if but rather when;
And sweet, cruel Green will carry on
As though I’d never been.
Inspired by my dealings with chronic illness. 
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Once there lived a hummingbird who loved to gaze at stars.

She breezed through days, awaiting the rolling summer nights, which unfurled like fresh-paved highways.

"Hello, star," said the hummingbird one evening. "You are the loveliest sight in the world."
"I am not a star," replied the tiny light. "The stars are what you see hanging there above you, far overhead. The stars are not real. They are the past, the once-was, the no-longer. I am a firefly. We are the now."
"I never knew," marveled the hummingbird. "Tell me more."

And so the hummingbird and the firefly conversed until the dawn. The next night the hummingbird returned, and the night after, and after again. They talked of air and earth and all between, of stalks of wheat and distant thunder.

"How do you know so very much?" asked the hummingbird.
"It is not I, but the light within me, that knows," said the firefly. "Light knows. Darkness also knows. It is the spaces in between which do not know."
"I, too, wish to know," said the hummingbird.

The sixth night came, and the hummingbird questioned.
"That light you have, oh lovely field star...where does it come from?"
"It is called phosphor, and it is my birthright," answered the firefly.
"Might it be my birthright as well?"
"I should love for you to have it," said the firefly, "but to that question, I do not know the answer."
"Then I shall find out," replied the hummingbird. "In the forest there are caves with yawning mouths and dark bellies. Perhaps they will know."

And so the hummingbird left the field and the firefly. She flew into the heart of the forest, to the glade with the grotto gate.
"Tell me, lightless one," said the hummingbird, "how the firefly's birthright might also be mine?"
"I do not know," the cavern replied. "I am but the mouthpiece of a deeper tunnel, the darkness which lies under the mountain."
"Then I shall ask the mountain," said the hummingbird.

Mountains sleep, and so it took many days for the hummingbird to find one awake.
"Please help me, buried one," said the hummingbird. "How might I glow like the firefly?"
"Ask the light which slips and slides over the forest pool," boomed the mountain. "Only she would know, for she lingers on water, and water fills, but I erode."

The hummingbird found the light in her spring-fed dell, speaking to dewdrops and tender green shoots.
"Share with me, sun ribbons," said the hummingbird, "the secret of the firefly's phosphor."
"Why do you need the phosphor, if you have the firefly?" sang the water's gloss.
"Please, I very much wish to know."
"Your birthright is the seasons. Do you not feel them changing?" And the reflections said no more.

The hummingbird was tired, and so she returned to the field. Nightfall came, but no lights filled the darkness. For it is well known that a firefly's time is brief, and all now lay dead in the soft earth.

Alone, the hummingbird looked up at the sky and saw stars.
"We are not real," said the stars. "We only remind."
"I was not here," lamented the hummingbird. "I wanted my own light, so I left."
"We are not real," they reminded.
"I do not want my birthright," despaired the hummingbird. "I do not want the firefly's birthright. I only want the firefly."
"There is no firefly," replied the stars. "There is only the now. That is all there ever is."
Guess I'm posting writing now? ^^;
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The Ballad of Red Riding Hood

Deep inside the forest,
Along the Appalachian Ridge,
High above Rob Shuman's farm;
And past the Parker's Bridge;
They say you'll find a cabin
Where a hermit woman lives.

They say that once upon a time,
Not so long ago,
She lived alone with just her Ma,
In a house in Nell's Hollow;
And wore a fancy riding hood,
As soft and white as snow.

She was a small and lively girl
And a very pretty child
With a little dimple in her cheek
That showed each time she smiled
She even had her dead Pa's eyes
That glittered grey and wild

Her Grannie lived up in the hills,
In a cabin in the wood.
The girl often came to see her,
Dressed in her white riding hood,
To bring her Grannie cakes and tea,
When her health was not so good.

For each full moon her Grannie
Went outside at night;
Stood out in the dark and cold,
Her grey eyes glowing bright;
She changed from a woman to a wolf,
And roamed until first light.

And so the girl was sent to help her
Until the moon's demise,
Serving her exhausted Grannie,
When she was too tired to rise,
For the girl was never frightened of her
In either wolf or woman's guise.

It was a cool September day
The sky a hazy bland;
Dressed in her white riding hood,
With a basket in her hand,
The girl set out for Grannie's house
Across the hilly land.

She hiked into the mountains,
With the sun upon her hair;
Skipping over rocks and stones,
And breathing summer air;
But when she reached her Grannie's house
She stopped in her tracks to stare.

Hawks hovered high above it,
And blood ran beneath the door;
Inside there stood a huntsman,
Looking down upon the gore;
A fur-clad huntsman gazing,
At the corpse upon the floor.

It was the body of an old wolf;
Lean and and pearly grey;
The girl gave out a small shriek,
And stared on in dismay,
For it was her own dear Grannie
Who on the cobbles lay.

She fell beside the body,
And began to cry:
"Why'd you kill my Grannie?
She never hurt a fly!
What'd she do to merit death?
Answer, stranger! Why?"

He said "I am a hunter,
And slaughter's what I do.
Long ago I killed your Pa,
And now your Grannie, too,
And when at last you come of age
I will hunt for you.

"Your Ma may not have told you,
But I can see it in your wild eyes;
Your blood betrays your secret
With a trait you can't disguise;
Yes, soon you too will prowl
Beneath cold and moonlit skies."

The girl stared on in horror,
As he stripped her Grannie's skin,
Severed her gray, noble head,
And carried them off with him;
She watched him go in silence,
But burned with rage within.

So she took her Grannie's rifle,
And filled it up with lead;
She raced after that huntsman,
And shot him through the head;
Oh, she took her Grannie's rifle,
And shot the huntsman dead.

She stole her Grannie's head and hide,
And left the hunter in the wood;
Took his prize to Grannie's house,
And buried her as best she could,
Then headed home, in bloody clothes,
And her blood-red riding hood.

And when she got back home again,
She hugged her ma and cried:
"I fin'ly understand, Ma,
Just how my Daddy died;
And now I've shot the huntsman,
Who took poor Grannie's hide."

She closed her eyes and swallowed,
Spoke the words she feared to say:
"How long do I have, Ma,
'Till the full moon has its way?"
"My dear, you only have until,
Your very next birthday."

So on her fourteenth birthday
Just as the first snow fell
The girl packed her belongings
And kissed her Ma farewell
She was a lonely little figure
With a sorry tale to tell

She moved into her Grannie's cabin,
And they say she lives there still;
And on the night of a full moon,
She roams the shadowed hill,
Hunting now with teeth and claw,
She stalks her frightened kill.

Prowling in her wolf-skin,
She climbs the mountains high;
Howling to the white moon,
Her head raised to the sky;
Screaming to the bright moon,
Until her tears run dry.
Here it is ladies and gentlemen. I have finished it at last. And yes, my warnings of its morbidness were not exagerated. I think my little sister would be horrified if she found out about it :rofl:
Anyways, my twisted, morbid version of Little Red Riding Hood. I swear I'm never going to see "to grandmother's house we go" the same way again....
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Transformers: We Came in War

Indiana

 

For Tyra

Setting: Sometime during the Bay films

Characters: Optimus Prime

 

We came to this planet because ours was gone.

The quest for power consumed our home.  The need for domination destroyed us.  Still we live, and yet there is a piece in each of us that has been decimated forever.  We will never recover what we have lost.

I look down upon this planet, and I wonder why we try.

It is evident by now that we have lost the capacity for peace.  War follows in our wake.  We came to retrieve the AllSpark, which has long since been lost, and we are still here.  All that came of attempting to revive our planet was the relocation of the war from our planet of death to this planet of life.  There is so much life on this planet.  All of it we have sworn to protect.  This is the promise we have made to them.  But the promise would not need to have been made if we had never come here.

I have seen these people come together to battle things far greater than themselves.  I have seen them come together in the face of incredible hardship.  I have seen them rebuild with the determination that only comes when things are at their worst.  But that is not all I have seen.

I have seen what destruction those great battles leave behind.  I have seen those trials break those who were once indestructible.  I have seen those who are left forgotten once the foundations of the future have been laid.  We may well end up destroying this world as we have done our own.  And though I wish no further harm on these people, who have been kind enough to let us into their home, I regret that we must continue to stay.  Departure is no longer an option.  We have left our mark upon this planet, a mark that will never be erased or forgotten.  And though we will uphold our promise, I cannot honestly say anything good will come of it.  Our presence will only continue to bring ill fortune.  It is a terrible thing to be both the sword and the shield.

There are those of us who know only devastation.  Those of us who remember only devastation and suffering.  I wish to end that for those of us that are left, so that we may all know peace and stability.  I fear I will never bring it about, for each time it is within our grasp some new strife befalls us.  It is at times like these where the burden I bear is heavy beyond all measure.  These people have their own wars to win, and I have forced them into mine. 

I cannot restore my planet.  It is beyond saving.  But this one is not.

As much as we are to blame for putting the humans in harm’s way, our presence here can also be seen as a light in the dark.  We are a living example of what corruption can do to a society.  We must show them that war solves nothing.  Peace is neither glorious nor profitable.  It is a long and sometimes arduous endeavour.  But for all the time that peace takes, it leaves behind what war ravages.  Structures made with damaged foundations fall, as do peoples brought under sway by violence.  Unrest dominates governments forged of iron fists.  Progress is best made slowly and steadily. 

We must teach them to fight only as necessary.  To never crumble when things are at their most desolate.  We must teach them the lesson we failed to learn before it was too late.  I am Optimus Prime, and I send this message to anyone who, as I have, falters in their resolve against the dark.  Know that your goal is noble, and worth fighting for.

Author’s note

I’m sorry if this sucks.  I haven’t watched Transformers in a really long time.

So yup saw the RAoK contest and said whoo let’s do this bro and now she’s done and wow is stuff outside my fandom hard to write.

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Chapter 1 ~ Black, silver and green

:pointr: Chapter 2 ~ Of blood and silver  
sharquelle.deviantart.com/art/…

Don’t you just hate it when one of your favorite NPC’s is destined to die? And don’t you just hate it if you’re 'forced' to team-up with a side you don’t want to join? Well, I did, and since I cannot change the game; I changed the story :-) The result is a cocktail; a mixture of Bethesda’s creativity, blackberry, my own creativity, honey, my frustration with the storyline and (Cough the lack of) character development, spiced wine, many hours of work and a touch of nightshade... perfectly safe, I assure you!

Disclaimer Lore: 
You might recognize a lot of details from the game and the lore. Matters that are not provided by the official lore I made up myself and are based on information that actually is available. Some details, certain dialogues and characters have been altered to better fit the story. I write everything in such a way that would make it still readable and enjoyable for people who have never played Skyrim, or any other TES-game. So even though this is officially a fanfiction, I have aimed to write it as a fantasy story. Descriptions of races, locations and canon lore will be provided in the story in an informative yet immersive way. 

Disclaimer Content: 
As the story progresses you will will see my links to the so called 'uncut' version of certain chapters. Those versions do contain explicit material. The standard version can be suggestive at certain points but won't face you with anything 'shocking' and is safe to read for both teens and adults. The 'uncut' chapters are not suitable for minors, due to explicit content. Choose the style you prefer, or the version that you are allowed to read according to your mature content settings. grin wink  

:heart: I love your fav's!
:heart: I love your comments! 

Especially drawn for this arc in the story is this commission 'poster' by ChloexBowie Showing Aronansa, Mercer Frey, Brynjolf, Vex, Delvin Mallory, Isgrod, Vipir and Maven Black-Briar.
Aronansa Poster by ChloexBowie
Especially drawn for this chapter are these pictures of Aronansa and Mercer, by ChloexBowie
Feeling Lucky? by ChloexBowie Valenwood Firefly by ChloexBowie Dual Wielding by ChloexBowie

Many thanks to the amazing ferret82 for helping me in my quest to kill typo's and grammatical scr*w-ups! :tighthug:

Aronansa, the story and the scenes as they are written © Sharquelle  
Skyrim, Mercer Frey, Vekel, Brynjolf, Vipir, Delvin Mallory, Vex, Tonilia, Vald © Bethesda
OMG watch that o_O -below- 
OMG - Watch that -reverse- Copyright Statement 2 by SophibelleOMG - Watch that 
OMG watch that o_O -above- 
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He loves me not, he says with blushing cheek.
He'd rather die a fiery death than kiss
A girl with zero sex appeal, a geek
(he says it twice for extra emphasis).

So why the constant stares? I ask. He lies.
He hates the sight of me, he quickly shouts –
Without the scorn his panicked oath implies.
The dissonance contributes to my doubts.

Alone one day, he smiles at me; I gasp.
A joke? A lapse of judgment? Or perhaps
A glimpse of truth at last within my grasp!
I kiss his cheek and watch his walls collapse.

A victory for me, like striking gold.
For him, a death by kisses hot and cold.
My friend bet me 5 bucks I couldn't compose an anime-themed Shakespearean sonnet, complete with iambic pentameter, in under an hour (long story). Well ha! The joke's on her, because I totally did it. I call it, "Ode To The Tsundere". 

That'll be 5 bucks please! $$

EDIT: Are you serious? Are. You. Serious. 8 years on deviantart, and THIS is the submission that gets me a DD? Wow. Just...wow. Did NOT see that one coming. Glad I didn't bet anything on it ^^;
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She walks on to the bus with a gentle step,
Her elegant face framed in beautiful patterned silk,
She sits down in the back of the bus and people scurry away,
Men ignore her, as woman with unveiled heads mock her discreetly,
They think she's ignoring them so they speak louder and louder,

She remains steadfast and cheerful,
Her eyes always glistening with happiness few dream of,
Her smile still warm and peaceful,
Not a thought of ill will or intent,
Despite the fact that many suspect it,

Joy remains on her face, with a twinkling in her eyes,
The men who ignored her get off a their stop,
The women who mocked her get off at their stop,
And finally she get's off, unfazed and with a spring in her step.



Update: Now available in French Hijab traduction Elle monte dans le bus d'un pas léger,
Son visage élégant encadré d'un beau foulard à motifs en soie,
Elle s'assoit à l'arrière et les autres passagers s'éloignent rapidement,
Les hommes l'ignorent, pendant que les femmes non voilées se moquent discrètement,
Ils pensent qu'elle les ignore alors ils parlent de plus en plus fort,

Elle reste inébranlable et joyeuse,
Ses yeux toujours brillants de bonheur qu'elle imagine,
Son sourire toujours chaleureux et paisible,
Pas une pensée de mal intentionnée ou de méchanceté,
Malgré le fait que beaucoup pense que c'e


I was inspired to write this because on the way home yesterday I saw a beautiful woman on the bus in a Hijab. She was sitting alone in the back of the bus peacefully and her outfit was very beautiful. Luckily nothing like this was going on but I've seen others with who wear Hijab be treated like this, which is sad because it really is just an article of clothing and one that some people look really beautifully in I'll add.

I'm not Muslim*, anyone who reads my journals pretty much knows I'm an agnostic atheist, but I do have enough respect for other's faith to learn about them and even outside of that I still like Hijab. Hijabs are beautiful article of clothing, especially with some of the patterns they're being printed with. I'd consider wearing one myself, plus that way I'd something to keep my hair out of my face. Which can get really annoying.

The alternate title for this is "Hijab of strength" but I decided simply Hijab was a better title for the top at least. Originally I had her having been listening to music the entire time but that felt wrong to me like I was implying the only reason she was so strong and steadfast against the bigotry was because she couldn't hear it and while it was kinda "ha ha, those bigots wasted their time" type of thing. I felt the better stronger message is that she stood against off of their ignorance and hate and remained as unaffected by it going on to the bus as coming off.

* And I recognize hijab/headscarf aren't only for Muslims either.
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"Longshot! Give it back!" Smellerbee cried trying to snatch her sweet bun out of my grasp. She was only seven though, and short for her age, whereas I was nine and more than a head taller. She loved me though, even with all my teasing. I found her, cold and half starved, when she was six, after she had lost her home. I had brought her here, to Jet's forest, and we have lived together ever since. Jet, as the oldest, always took care of food for us and sometimes managed to snag treats like candies or sweet buns.


"Why don't you two just go and get married," Jet teased, making a kissy face while he watched the two of us run through the trees.  Smellerbee glared, she was clearly annoyed with both of us. It must be hard being the only girl. Finally giving up on trying to reach the sweet bun, she pounced and did the sweeping kick Jet had shown her, instead;  knocking me off my feet.


"Victory is mine!" she cheered as she took the bun from me before I had time to react. With a grin she bit into the bun and danced out of my reach.


"I'm bigger than you; I could have beaten you up if I wanted!" I cried as I rolled over and got up, making a swipe at her feet. I would still talk sometimes then and I always said the same thing when she annoyed me, but I never acted upon it. The way she looked at me I knew she looked up to me, in more ways than one.


"Come on you two, finish up and let's get practicing," Jet said, rolling his eyes at us. "We have to train." Despite the constant training at the end of the day we were still just kids. Sometimes I wish we could go back to those days, when we still didn't know all the horrible things in the world, and Bee's eyes still shone with hope and innocence.


*****


One day after I had turned seventeen, the two of us were walking back to the little home we shared in Ba Sing Se. I looked over at Bee and it was as though I was seeing her for the first time.  She wasn't the little, annoying girl she used to be and there were still times I could catch a glimmer of the light she used to have in her eyes. Jet used to tease us about getting married; he'd never believe that I had fallen in love with her. In some ways, even I couldn't believe it. Thinking back, how could I not have fallen in love with her sooner? Bee understood me in ways no one else did.


We slowly started to get closer.  It was new, exciting and terrifying all at once. Those days were some of the best days of my life though.  I wouldn't trade a single one of them for anything. When we had our first argument as a couple, I was more scared than I had ever been in my entire life. Even more than when I lost my family,  more than when Jet died or more than when the Fire Nation came to Ba Sing Se during the comet's arrival. I can't even remember what the fight was about, but we both stormed off our separate ways. I climbed onto the roof and watched the stars, while she slammed the bedroom door.  My heart pounded, sitting up there alone. What if she left me over this? The very thought terrified me down to my core. I stayed outside all night long, paranoid that the moment I went inside she'd tell me she was leaving, or worse - she'd already by gone.


*****


It has been a few years since then and here we were, sitting at The Jasmine Dragon, Iroh's tea shop drinking the best tea in all of Ba Sing Se. I had gone over this moment so many times in my head, wondering what would be the right thing to say. Should I be romantic; spontaneous?  I didn't want to be cheesy, or feel embarrassed.  In the end I decided to just be me.


I love you, Bee. Will you marry me?


She smiled and touched my hand. "I love you too, Longshot."


I held back a sigh, of course she wouldn't recognize what I was saying.  It wasn't exactly something I had said before now. I moistened my lips, I was actually going to have to speak.  Though I didn't have a problem with talking, I had gotten so used to not needing to because she knew me so well.


"I have asked you so many ways in my mind, but it's time that I actually say the words out loud.  I can promise you there will be rough times,  I can promise that some days we may wish that we hadn't ever decided to do this, but more than that I can promise that if I don't ask you this, I'll regret it for as long as I live. Because I know, part of me has always known that you are the only one in the world for me, Bee. I am who I am because of you and everyday we're together is the best day of my life. You're my best friend and my lover. Bee, will you marry me?"  I held my breath, waiting for her response. The tea shop had gone quiet and from the corner of my eye I could see the Avatar's group sitting with Iroh, watching us.


"That's the most words you've ever said to me," she whispered. I gulped, scared that maybe I had acted too soon, that she was going to say no. Instead, she leaned over the table and kissed me. When she pulled away she only whispered one word, but it affected me more than anything else in the world.


She had said 'yes'.

Written up quickly last night to enter :iconsmellershot-fans:'s Valentine contest as well as be a fluffy Valentine ish story in general. So it's just a quick little drabble about Longshot and Smellerbee's lives together and is not related to my other story Tigerswan

Preview image belongs to :iconshira-chan: and is [link]
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“It’s a subtle form of torture that Tsunade-sama taught me. It’s useful in interrogation. As you know, prisoners from enemy villages won’t talk, so what you do is remove their ability to talk.”

“How do you do it Sakura?” Ino asked, very curious.

“I’d show you but I don’t have anyone to practi-Naruto! Naruto, come here for a minute!”

“Hi girls, what’s up?” Naruto said, walking over to the girls, who were sitting on a park bench.

“Naruto, I need your help. I need to show Ino a jutsu.”

“Oh no! You hurt! Get some other sucker!” Naruto said, shaking his head and hands.

“Please? I promise it won’t hurt!”

Naruto looked very suspicious. “Promise?”

“I promise.”

Naruto nodded and Sakura stood with a smile. Looking at Ino, Sakura motioned to Naruto’s neck.

“The idea is to relax the muscles in the throat, that way, the subject can’t talk.”

In that moment, Naruto realised what she was going to do, and tried to back away. She was too fast however, and struck him gently on the throat, releasing a small amount of chakra.

“And now, he can’t speak.” Sakura said, dusting off her hands dramatically.

“I can’t?!?”

Sakura frowned at him. “You shouldn’t be able to…did I mess it up?”

Naruto opened his mouth, furious. “I can’t!”

Sakura blinked, Ino blinked, and Naruto blinked. His hands went to his throat, coughing urgently.

He opened his mouth again, intent on asking her what the heck she’d done to him. “I can’t!” He frowned and tried again. “I can’t I can’t!”

“Nani?” Sakura asked.

“I can’t!”

“You can’t what?”

Ino frowned. “I don’t think he can say anything other than ‘I can’t’. Naruto, try saying ‘I want ramen’.”

Naruto grinned. “I can’t!”

“Try anyway!” Sakura snapped.

Naruto smacked his forehead then glared at Sakura. “I can’t!”

“Naruto, where’s Ichiraku Ramen?” Ino asked, being more helpful that Sakura.

Naruto pointed in the direction of his favourite eatery. “I can’t.” He said.

“I guess that means ‘that way’.” Ino said.

Naruto grinned and nodded furiously. Sakura tapped her chin.

“I’m sorry Naruto, I don’t know how to reverse it.” Naruto pouted pitifully. “But Tsunade-sama might, I’ll go find her!”

And before Naruto could say anything…not that he could…she left, trying to escape his wrath. Ino looked pityingly at him.

“So, where ya headed?” Ino teased.

“I can’t…” Naruto mumbled, pointing towards the training grounds.

“I’m sorry, what?”

Naruto scowled and waved his hand at her dismissively, breathing out angrily. He began walking away, before breaking into a run, before leaping onto a rooftop and jumping from building to building, heading to his training ground.
--------------------
Naruto was throwing angry punches at a training post, trying desperately to relieve his anger. He kept trying again and again to say any words besides ‘I can’t’ but to no success. He found that the words would form in his head, he’d hear them on his tongue, but when he opened his mouth and spoke, the only two words that came out were ‘I can’t’.

“N-Naruto-kun?”

Naruto froze in his physical and mental exercises. Why was Hinata here, why now?

“Ano, c-can I talk to you, or are you t-too busy?”

“I can’t.” He said without thinking about what that would sound like to her…but he soon realised.

“O-Oh…” She stuttered, and her could practically feel her flinch. “G-Gomen…g-gomen nasai for interrupting you.”

Realising how much that probably hurt her, he whirled around and ran over to her, grabbing her shoulders and making her look at him. She looked a little confused.

“N-Naruto-kun? Did…did you change your mind?”

Good, a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question. He nodded his head, then looked at her expectantly, waiting for her to continue.

“I…I’m sorry f-for doing this now, but…but I have to say this now, be-before I lose what little courage I have,”

Naruto frowned slightly, tilting his head to one side in confusion. Hinata couldn’t help but smile at that sight, she thought he looked so cute. Without hesitating, she reached up a hand and cupped the side of his face. He looked surprised.

“I…I have t-to say this now Naruto-kun. Now…or I’ll r-run away again.” She took a breath, looked him in the eye, and continued. “Na-Naruto-kun…for the l-longest time, since the Academy, I’ve admired you.” A small blush was creeping its way into her cheeks. “B-But that grew. I’ve seen what a g-good person you are N-Naruto-kun. N-Naruto-kun, I…I…I’m…” She screwed her eyes closed and grunted, gathering her courage and scolding her timidity. “Naruto-kun…I love you.” She breathed out in obvious relief. “Naruto-kun, I’m in love you, I always have been, from the very beginning. Before the Akatsuki, before I found out about Kyuubi, before you left, before…before becoming Genin.”

Naruto was frozen outside, but inside, everything was moving. His heart was pounding, his stomach turned, he became breathless, and his mind was whirling. He suddenly became light-headed when he felt soft lips press against his. It was a short kiss, but it threw him out of the loop.

“You…you’ve been f-flirting with m-me lately. O-Onegai, t-tell me I wasn’t reading the signs wrong. Tells me you weren’t leading me on. Onegai, t-tell me you m-meant it.”

Naruto’s stomach lurched, he knew what he wanted to answer, but he knew what was going to come out. It was the complete opposite of what he wanted to say, and when he said it, he’d lose her forever. He opened his mouth, unable to look at her, knowing her expression would tear him in two and haunt him for the rest of his days.

“I can’t.” He whispered.

He felt Hinata become rigid against him. She dropped her hands and stepped away. Unable to ignore her, he looked up, and the sight broke his heart.

She had tears in her eyes, and for once she hadn’t turned red, her face had become pale. Much more pale than it had ever been. She was breathing rapidly, swallowing hard every few seconds, begging herself, imploring herself, not to cry. The sight caused something to snap inside of him, and he stepped forward, but she stepped back.

“I…I…I…g-gomen, I have t-to g-g-g-go.”

And she did, she turned tail and ran, hands covering her face as the tears started flowing. Naruto too, felt like crying. The one person that loved him, that truly accepted him, and he’d made her cry, made her run away.

Suddenly, a thought hit him. Tsunade-baa-chan! She’d fix him, and then she’d help him explain things to Hinata. He ran off towards the Hokage’s Tower, hope rising in his heart.
--------------------
“Gomen Naruto, she’s left. She’s on a mission in Suna. She has a meeting with Gaara-sama.” Sakura said, looking regretful.

Naruto groaned out in anguish. By the time she got back, it’d be too late, he’d have lost Hinata forever.

“Naruto, gomen nasai.”

He wasn’t listening…he was running away. Heading towards Hinata’s house, hopefully where she’d be. He’d try to explain, without words, what he really wanted to say.
--------------------
Hinata lay on her bed in tears. She was mortified, absolutely mortified. She’d told him, and he’d rejected her. She thought she’d read his signals right. He’d been laughing and flirting for weeks, she thought he had some sort of attraction for her. She had put it all out there, and she’d been denied.

The door to her bedroom burst open, and there stood Naruto, panting heavily and face remorseful.

“I can’t.” He said.

Despite it all, Hinata felt herself frown. “Nani, did you want to rub it in?”

He stepped back, slightly shocked, but ran forward to her when she began crying again. He took her by the shoulders and looked her deep in the eyes. With what he hoped were eyes full of reciprocation and happiness, he spoke again.

“I…can’t.”

“Onegai, leave me alone. I…I don’t want to hear that anymore.”

Naruto shook his head and shook her gently, trying to get her to pay attention. He cupped her face with both hands, and kissed her soundly on the lips, pouring love and promise into the kiss.

“N-Naruto-kun?” She asked, tearing away from the kiss.

“I can’t.”

“Then onegai, d-don’t kiss me. It confuses me.”

He kissed her again, much more passionately though, plunging his tongue into her mouth. After pulling away, short of breath, he spoke again.

“I…can’t…” But this time, he patted his throat.

Finally, Hinata realised something was wrong. “N-Naruto-kun, is…is something wrong?”

“I can’t!” He implored.

She frowned. “Naruto-kun, what’s the Hokage’s name?”

He grinned, she had finally realised it. He kissed her soundly again, pulling away quickly to answer her.

“I can’t!”

“You can’t speak!” He nodded, repeating the words again. “E-Except those two words, you can’t speak?”

Naruto nodded. Hinata’s heart suddenly fluttered, and she prayed dearly the kisses weren’t just a method to get her attention.

“Naruto-kun…please…reject me.” She held her breath.

He smiled fondly, caressing her face, wiping away a stray tear that made a path down her face. “I can’t.”

She smiled, and he returned it. Leaning forward, he kissed her again, and again, it was passionate. In the small moment when he had to pull away for a breath, he said it again.

“I can’t…”
I CAN'T...stop writing these. I'm in the NaruHina zone.

Even I don't know which one I'll write next. Won't be out for a few days, Uni work, social life, that sort of thing. I take my notebook with me wherever I go, so if an idea comes, I write it down.

Most of the time it's on the bus.

Inspired by that old chain email "You're not pretty...you're beautiful. I wouldn't cry if you left...I'd die" etc.

This is for the 100 Themes Challenge (Though, as of yet I haven't linked them ANY of my work...I'm a bit lazy, but I will eventually.) This is No. 73: I Can't.

I give permission to :icon100themeschallenge: to use/display this story.
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