Chapter 26- Seize the Day
"Raido and Kiyoko, I'd like to talk to you."
Kiyoko trembled but Raido pressed into her from the side, reassuring her with his presence as people filed out of the office. Genma walked past them, winking at her and said "Welcome to the village kitten."
When everyone else had left Tsunade turned to them. "I can't help but notice that you two are very cozy. Is there something I should know?" She looked primarily at Raido with this statement.
Kiyoko understood the implication, even if the question wasn't addressed to her directly but she waited to see how Raido would answer.
"Hokage-sama, Kiyoko and I are in love."
Tsunade regarded them, "And you're comfortable with this Kiyoko? You don't feel obligated?"
"Oh no ma'am."
"Alright. I am going to assume that you're both adults and know what you're doing. Raido, does this change your status as a guard?"
"No ma'am. I intend to continue in service to you and the village. Kiyoko understands the ramification of my work."
She looked at Kiyoko, "Is that also true?"
"Yes ma'am. His first duty is to you and the village. I accept and understand that."
"I'm sorry to intrude but I have to know I can depend on my guards."
"I understand." Kiyoko was beginning to like the Hokage. She was dependable and you could trust her to tell you the truth.
"Well then, you can both go. You'll be back on the mission roster in six days Raido."
"Yes ma'am, I 'm looking forward to it."
They exited the room and Genma waved at them as he returned to the Hokages side.
"Did you see them falling in love Genma?" Tsunade sighed.
"Yeah. She's a cute little kitten but she's strong. She knows what she's doing."
"Good. I hope so. The life of a shinobi is a hard one."
Kiyoko and Raido wandered into town and bought bento boxes and then Raido led her up the side of the mountain. As they came to the top he indicated that she should take in the view. She turned and gasped. All of Konoha was laid out before her, she tried to identify some of the buildings, she recognized the Hokage tower just below them but it was harder for her to pick the others out.
"Where are we, Raido?"
"We're on the Hokage monument, the stone faces that look over the village."
Kiyoko's eyes grew wide and she stepped back a few steps. "We won't fall, will we?"
"Relax kitten, I wouldn't let you fall, and I can walk on the cliffs, remember?"
She did remember, she had asked him about all those rumors when they first met. She blushed a little and nodded her head.
"Don't be embarrassed. It was cute." Raido wrapped her in his arms, "just like you are."
"It's so beautiful up here. I can see why you like it so much." She leaned into him.
"Kitten," Raido pulled back a little, "what Lady Tsunade said, did it bother you?"
"No. We had that talk. I was more scared that she might try to tell you we couldn't be together. Why did she ask me if I felt obligated?"
"Well, at first, when you were so clingy, a lot of people worried you might think you were in love with me just because I saved you. But I don't believe that's the case, you're too strong for that."
"I'm glad you know that. I've never felt obligated to care for you. At first, that first time you kissed me I wondered if I just felt that way because you had rescued me but not anymore." She giggled and hugged him tight.
He tightened his hold on her as well. "I was wondering, are you planning on keeping your place?"
She looked up at him in surprise.
"Because I was kind of hoping you might just stay at my place and call it ours."
"Raido! Are you sure? That's a huge step."
"Yeah, I know it is. But I know what I want and I know that I have to seize it today because I might not have a lot of tomorrows." He looked at her sadly.
"So what exactly are you saying?"
"I'm saying that I'd like you to move in with me." He ran his hands down the sides of her face until they cupped her head, then he tilted her head to look up at him and kissed her.
She kissed him back but she looked uncertain.
"If that's not what you want..."
"Oh no. That's not it!" She shook her head. "I was just surprised, that's all."
"Look I'm not suggesting we run off and get married, or start a family or anything. We have only known each other for barely 2 weeks. But I don't want to miss a single day, or night, with you."
She smiled at him, her grin reaching from ear to ear. "I agree. We can deal with the details tomorrow though, right?"
"Or even this weekend, if we want."
They sat down next to each other and both stared off into the distance. Kiyoko looked over Konoha, her new home. From this high up all she could see was rooftops, treetops and the tracks of the streets as they made their way through town. "I guess I hadn't realized how big Konoha was."
"Yeah, it's not a small town. But it's not a big city either. I like it."
"Have you lived here all your life?"
Kiyoko realized that she really didn't know that much about him. "Do you, I mean, are your parents still alive?"
Raido looked at her, "No, they aren't. My parents both died in the ninetailed fox attack. My mother was a chunin, and my father was a jonin."
She leaned into him and held his arm, "I'm sorry. How old were you when that happened?" She shook her head, "I don't even know how old you are now." She smiled.
"I'm thirty-five now. I was around twenty when the attack occurred, I think." He stared off into the distance as if remembering things he hadn't thought about in a long time. "But that was a long time ago. And now I'm here, with you."
"You're older than I thought you were. You don't look that old."
"I'm old am I?" He tickled her, "I'll show you old." He tickled her again and then pushed her down on her back and leaned over her to kiss her, letting his hand run down her side as he did.
She wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him down on top of her so she could kiss him again, giggling as she did. They lay there like that kissing for a few minutes and then Raido rested his head on her shoulder and simply lay close to her.
As the sun was beginning to set Kiyoko nudged him, "Did you fall asleep?"
He shifted, "no, I was just enjoying the feel of being close to you and the view of the village. Did you?"
"Nope. But I am getting hungry."
They sat up together, Raido reaching for the bag that held their bento boxes. He handed one to her and opened to the other for himself. They ate quietly, both of them enjoying the peace of the view and the quiet of the evening. Kiyoko gasped as she watched Konoha light up little by little as the night set in. "It's so beautiful!"
"I know. That's why I wanted to show it to you."
They had finished their bento and cleaned up, gathering everything into the bag they had brought from the store. Raido stood and offered Kiyoko a hand to stand up. "Are you ready to go home? To our home?" He grinned at her.
"I am." She grinned back, wrapping her arms around him as she came to her feet.
He hugged her back and whispered, "I can hardly wait!"
She blushed and leaned up to kiss him.
They walked down the mountain quietly, Raido guiding her in the dark places so she didn't trip. When they got to the bottom he fell in step beside her. "So have you thought about starting a family?"
She looked up at him in surprise. "I thought you didn't want to?"
"Well, I don't, not tonight anyway. But we should talk about our expectations at some point. I mean, I don't even know if you want to have one."
"Do you?" She watched his face. She knew that she would stay with him regardless of his answer. She did want children but if he didn't she was sure they'd work it out. She loved this man so much that she couldn't imagine life without him.
"I think so, yeah. Especially, with you. I had never really thought about it before but our conversation about you moving in got me to thinking. And yeah, I can see myself being a dad someday. What about you?"
"I think most girls want children. As long as I can remember that was my goal in life. I'm glad you do too. I like the idea of being a mom someday and having little Raido's and Kiyoko's to chase around. Would you guide your sons to be shinobi like you?"
"And my daughters too. Some of the bravest shinobi I have met have been kunoichi."
She hadn't thought about that but in this village even the women chose that path.
"I wouldn't force any of them, but I would encourage it. Anyway, I'm not ready to start tonight. We have to lot to learn about each other first."
"I agree, I don't feel any great need to start today," She shyly glanced up at him, "although I don't mind practicing." She blushed a deep red at the innuendo and looked away.
Raido laughed out loud. "You are such a flirt! But I'd have to agree with you." He reached out to grab her hand.
They were walking through the market district as they spoke, it was quiet this time of night. Most people were either eating in a restaurant or home by now. But as they came upon the ramen stand there were three men standing outside of it having a discussion. When Raido grabbed her hand he realized he no longer had her attention. She had stopped and was staring at the three men in front of them.