Trapeze

Chapter 35

Disclaimer: Don't own, let's leave it at that.

Thanks to YukiKitsune95, Brittnay (guest) , Fernlight, Kyoichi Amaya, and itachiluv18 for reviews. Thanks to Kasai no Oni, Buddhistguy77 (for Acrobats), NagariMitsukari12, jade2000, wolfs rain lover123, .94, paint-reality, Peach-Tree187, and for favorites.

Brittany: I'm glad you like my story enough that you couldn't stop reading! You don't know how happy that makes me feel! Hopefully you'll continue to like Trapeze. ^^

YukiKitsune95: Bad bad lazy Kitsune's laptop. How dare you make your owner suffer! lol sorry XD Sugar rush...

There cannot be a crisis this week, my schedule is filled! And surprise! More Itachi POV later on in the chapter! You get to see his side of the relationship, isn't that something?! :DDD

vvv

A week passed, a long week full of nosy people asking me questions about Itachi and my relationship. I diligently ignored each one, or I tried to, but it was hard when fangirls kept asking how good Itachi was in bed. It didn't help that all my friend and family seemed to enjoy teasing me ever chance they got. Even those who hadn't listened to the rumors before, like Sasuke, took pleasure out of making me blush. The only upside about the whole thing was that I didn't have to keep denying anything was going on between Itachi and me. Itachi had taken care of that when he kissed me in front of everyone who cared to look.

By the time the sun rose on Monday, nine days since Itachi kissed me in the park, I was already at the hospital, trying to catch up on my work there. In those nine days Mitsuko had successfully passed her Chunnin Medical Exams and took on a more responsible role at the hospital. It felt strange not having her following me around the sterile halls; half the time I found myself looking over my shoulder to tell her something only to discover that she wasn't there. The other medics made a great deal teasing me about me missing my shadow. I smiled each time, remember how many people called Mitsuko my shadow when she first started training at least until everyone found out how outspoken she really was. I sighed, feeling strangely alone without my former student by my side, laughing over my lame attempt at jokes, or teasing me about Itachi. Without Mitsuko I was done with my morning errands before ten in the morning, but it wasn't as entertaining as it was when I had Mitsuko to keep my laughing.

With two hours to kill before lunch time I decided to visit Ruri. According to Lady Tsunade, Ruri had awoken briefly while Team Ame was on their trial mission. So far she hadn't done so again. I slid open the door to her room and couldn't help but smile at the sight of Arashi sleeping in a chair, both his hands clutching Ruri's right one with his head pillowed between his arms. I checked Ruri's vitals and placed one of the many blankets around Arashi's shoulders. It was clear that he had been there since sometime last night. Though he and I didn't get along, I thought his singular loyalty to his girlfriend was sweet, and it reminded me of the time I woke to Itachi sitting beside me when my mother skewered my leg. I nibbled at my lip as I looked out the window, my relationship with Itachi was timid and had been dragged on for months, but I still didn't know what to make of it. A small frown puckered at my brow, soon I would have a definite answer. I wanted to hear it from Itachi's lips himself, instead of just leaving me to interpret the signs myself.

vvv Itachi's POV vvv

"Oh man... Oh man oh man oh man oh man! What if I screw up? What if she turns me down? Itachi what the hell am I going to do?!" Shisui babbled, pacing back and forth in front of me. I braced my foot against the trunk of a tree and shot a look at my cousin as I yanked the kunai I had thrown earlier out of the wood. Though seeing Shisui in a panic was annoying, I was secretly glad that Shisui was too preoccupied with asking Hana to marry him to tease me about kissing Tora in public. To say Shisui was overreacting would be an understatement. I was mildly worried if I would have to sedate him just to calm him down. Shrugging I turned back to the task I was focusing on, "If she went out with you this long then she probably won't turn you down." "THAT'S NOT HELPING!" Shisui yelled, I had to struggle to keep from laughing at his red face.

Pulling the last kunai from the tree I turned to Shisui, "Hana didn't hesitate when you asked her out, you both hardly fought, and she genuinely seems to care for you." I tried to sooth him, but Shisui started pacing again, "What if she was only acting like she loved me so when I did ask her to marry me she could laugh at my face..." He said to himself, eyes sharp and crazed. I gave him a look of exasperation, "Now you're just being absurd. Hana is not that cruel... or she didn't think you would ask her to marry you right after you asked her out." I pointed out. "Are you saying she wouldn't marry me?!" Shisui snapped at me. I couldn't help but roll my eyes, sometimes my cousin acted too much like a woman, "No." "Then what are you saying?" He growled at me, his fists clinched tightly by his sides. "I'm saying that what you are foolishly suggesting is like suggesting Tora asked her father to cut her face, just so I would feel sorry for her."

Shisui went from panic to sly in three seconds. He grinned at me, "Yes... about Tora..." I mentally kicked myself, it was extremely stupid to remind my nosy cousin about Tora. I kept my face blank as I looked at him, "What about her?" I asked calmly. Shisui began tapping his fingers together, that infuriating smile still in place, "What's this I hear about you kissing her publicly?" A small sigh escaped me, "Why does it bother you? You were never interested in any other girl before her." I said flatly. Shisui snorted, "Because the girls you were with before were just fangirls trying to pass as normal. Tora is... different." I crossed my arms and raised an eyebrow, curious of what my cousin thought of Tora, but I wasn't about to ask. Shisui, sensing my unspoken question, continued, "She's, I don't know, good for you. Tora isn't completely enamored with you, she isn't after you for bragging rights, or your good looks. She-" I cut him off, "I get it." I said shortly. I had been curious about what Shisui thought of Tora, but I didn't want to hear it, for whatever reason.

My cousin grinned at me, "Awww... do you wish she was a mindless fangirl? Or an actual human being?" Shisui teased sarcastically. I glared at him and opened my mouth to respond when the subject of our conversation said behind me, "Who's a mindless fangirl?" Both of us looked so see Tora standing under a tree, her head slightly tilted in curiosity. Shisui cleared his throat, "No one. I was just formulating a theory. Nothing that would interest you..." Tora's orange eyes narrowed a fraction in suspicion and I reminded myself to kill my cousin later, "Shisui's panicking about asking Hana to marry him." I said to change the subject. As predicted, Shisui flew back into a blind panic, ranting about how he knew Hana would turn him down if he asked. Seeing my chance for escape, I grabbed Tora's hand and lead her away, pressing a finger to my lips. She gave me one of her crooked smiles, but it didn't reach her eyes. I wondered why.

When we were alone I cupped her face and leaned down to kiss her, but she didn't react. Tora just stood there stiffly, her usually soft lips tight and unmoving. I pulled away, frowning a little, "What's wrong?" Her beautiful orange eyes searched mine, as if trying desperately to find an answer to a question I didn't know. Tora opened her mouth, "What am I to you?" She blurted out then turned red. Inwardly I found her caution and shyness sweet, that a girl exposed to the world's cruelty over and over again could still be so innocent. Still my frown deepened, I had thought I made it clear yesterday that I considered Tora my girlfriend, could she not see that? I knew I shouldn't be angry, it was illogical to be angry at a simple question, but I couldn't help it. I tried to mask my feelings, but Tora saw them for her own eyes sparked with anger. "Hn." I said, stalling so I could think of an answer that wouldn't provoke Tora.

She was provoked anyway, "'Hn'? Is that really all you have to say?" The nineteen year old snapped. I towered over her, "What do you want me to say?" I growled lowly, I wanted Tora to admit to it, to admit to her feelings. Tora didn't answer immediately, her expression was carefully guarded, something I knew she picked up from me. Sometimes I missed the fifteen year old girl whose every emotion shone brightly in her eyes, not the reserved girl in front of me. I could tell she was making an effort not to calm down and knew I should do the same. After a moment, she finally said "I don't care what you say... what I want to know is where I stand with you. Because I don't know if you actually like me or if you're just playing with my emotions!" Mentally I sighed, I should have seen this coming. I knew Tora was uncertain about many things, and I was positive that our relationship was at the top of her list. I exhaled slowly, letting my anger go with the breath.

I took a step closer to her, my hand grazing against her rigid scars, "I would never play with your emotions, Tora." I said softly, trying desperately to smooth things over. With my previous girlfriends, I just let them believe what they wanted; but Tora was different. I wanted to protect Tora from more heartbreak, knowing she had suffered enough throughout her short life. Tora didn't soften, not yet. I leaned down until our faces were inches from each other. "Don't you understand, anata? Don't you know how much I care for you?" I whispered, my lips ghosting over her scars. A small shuddering gasp escaped her lips, I could see her eyes widen and couldn't help the small smile pushing at the corners of my mouth. I moved to softly press my lips to hers. "What do you want me to be, Tora?" I murmured against her slightly trembling mouth. "I-I want..." She trailed off and I pulled away to watch her. Her cheeks flamed red, but she swallowed her shyness to say, "I want you to be my boyfriend!" She said quickly, the words crashing into each other, before burying her face in her hands in embarrassment.

I couldn't help but chuckle softly at Tora's bashfulness. I gently took her wrists and pulled her hands from her face, but she wouldn't meet my gaze. I skimmed her right cheek with the back of my knuckles, slowly pressuring her to look up. When she finally did lock eyes with me, I leaned down at kissed her again, "Done. Anything else?" I asked playfully. Tora threw her arms around my neck, her shyness forgotten in her moment of joy, "For you to kiss me again." She whispered in my ear. I was only too happy to obey.

^o^

Oh mai gawd! Oh mai gawd! Oh mai gawd! Oh mai gawd! Oh mai gawd! Oh mai gawd! They're finally officially together (Well they were in the last chapter, but now it's official official...)! SQUEEEEEEE. *uncontrollable fangirling* lol is it bad when the writer gets this excited...?

Anata- basically means 'my love'

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