Title: What She Cannot Afford
The Editor From Hell: cynic_in_charge
She never misses her target until Temari blows her fierce winds. They are nothing compared to the gusts that fate sends her way.
She does tarot readings every day. She finds, over and over, the card that stares her in the face is Judgement. Yours or mine, she wonders as searches for the outline of his face. She never finds it.
Her heart twists into a knot when Ino knocks on her door. They're home, she says. Instead of throwing on her jacket and sprinting toward the hospital, she invites Ino in for tea. Ino is all at once incoherently babbling in her arms, and the warm tears that fall onto her wrist are a painful reminder that her own eyes are dry.
IV. Interlude 1
Chouji is getting stronger every day. I think Shikamaru might like that Sand girl. She saved his life, you know, so I guess I have to be thankful, but I don't feel like being thankful. I feel like telling her that she doesn't belong here. I hate being nice but he smiles at her sometimes and I don't want to be selfish. I never did share anything well.
Have you seen Neji?
V. Interlude 2
It is impossible to share anything with destiny.
She writes him letters that she'll never send. I'm sorry, she writes, and crosses it out because he would see right through the words as he would through her empty gestures. You make me weak. The words seem inadequate despite their truth and they, too, are marred with a black line.
I think about you every day, she writes, and hates herself for it.
He corners her when he is healed and demands an explanation for her absence. She has nothing to offer him.
Her pride and strength are all she has left, and slowly, slowly, he is stealing those, too.
When he kisses her, the ground is taken from beneath her feet.
Let me be your strength, he says, and lays his bare forehead across hers.
She doesn't have much of a choice.
I'd love some constructive criticism and all that junk, but only if you feel like it. XD