[r]ating: ESRB Rating of T for Teen
[t]heme: ten for ten #5: gravity
[p]airing: twisted NejiTen
[s]ummary: He is carving her, slowly, day by day, into something perfect.
[n]otes: yeah, it took me FOREVER to upload all this. Whoops.
I am a constant satellite
Of your blazing sun
I obey your law of gravity
This is the fate you've carved on me
--Vienna Teng, "Gravity"
Circles upon circles upon circles. Everything is a circle. The coin of the sun, the wheel of the sky, the ring of trees that surrounds their clearing, the roundness of her body, the clockwork patterns of their movements.
That thought pleases him. In the beginning, she tried to attack him in lines, while he countered in circles. Now, though, she has become used to circuitous attacks. She is a more than satisfactory sparring partner, unconsciously tailoring herself to his fighting style, becoming more satisfactory each day.
She takes small, slow steps around him. She grips her swords loosely. Ready to change her position at a moment's notice. It's a good decision, a good grip.
She does not warn him before attacking. She simply springs forward, the blunted swords slashing out. He counters with bare hands. Chakra just barely strong enough to protect him forces back her steel.
Light flashes. Soundlessly, she whirls away from him.
As if he pulled her on a string, she whirls right back. She spins like a top. He can barely see her for her movement. She's all steel and circling swords and every now and then flashes of white, burgundy, tanned skin or brown eyes.
The Hyuuga like round things. The root movement of their fighting style is circular. They move across their floors in a spiral. There are no hard angles or straight lines. Their sanctuary is a place of soft, round, soothing white.
Even consigned to Branch, he is the epitome of Hyuuga. He appreciates her circular rotation, the easy gyrations of her hips as she seeks to entrap him in a poor position. He appreciates every curve of her body.
His appreciation does not lead him to hesitate. He cups his palms and strikes a blow just hard enough to make it clear who won this round.
She stumbles backward; her own palm curving to touch the place that he knows will be bruised. Her eyes drift closed, lashes a dark semi-circle against her cheek. They flutter back open.
He stops the chakra flow. Watches.
She nods. "Yield."
In reply, he nods once.
They walk back to the village in silence. He takes one side of the path. She takes the other, unconsciously standing well clear of him.
She doesn't even notice it. He knows she doesn't, because her posture and body language all remain the same. Her loss does not bother her in the least. The minor injury doesn't even bother her.
Nevertheless, she remains on the other side of the path home.
Even when they enter the city proper, she stays an arm's length away from him at all times. He takes a step toward her, almost certain of what will happen.
As he expected, she takes a step away from him. She doesn't even pause her speech to do so.
It isn't until after he stops abruptly, half-turning to view something without the Byakugan, that she allows him to come closer than an arm length. He takes several steps to catch up, tells her what he saw. He deliberately lowers his voice and steps close to her, ostensibly to make sure their conversation is private.
She knows it is Hyuuga habit. A Hyuuga does not simply disclose what he sees. Certainly no Hyuuga publicly uses the word 'see' or 'watch'. Sight is something they do not speak of blithely. For some, it is so obvious that it does not merit mention; for the rest, it is a deeply personal topic. (He has never told her which type he is. For now, that's none of her concern.)
So when he obliterates his usual space cushion for a minor observation, her eyelashes flutter only a little. She shifts her focus to something else for half a second.
When they change the subject, she looks avidly at him.
That is as it should be.
They part ways shortly after that. She will walk to her home, and he will return to the Hyuuga Compound.
It was a satisfactory day, he thinks. She did not move in a straight line even once, today. It only proves that he could not make a better choice. The more time she spends near him, the more inclined she becomes to move in circles. The more signs of approval he shows her, however subtle, the more she craves it. Every time she strays, she returns. Even wounded and subconsciously wary, she must eventually spiral toward him again
He is carving her, slowly, day by day, into something perfect. It is painful, it hurts her, he knows it does. But she never complains, she never flinches, she never runs away. She orbits him, revolving around him in paths she would never understand. Paths she cannot escape and would never try to.
Circles upon circles upon circles, he thinks. Someday, he will lead her in spirals to his room; lay her down on the white bedspread covered with white circles. He will cup his palms and skim every curve of her body. When they tire, he will run his finger in circles along the flat disc of her stomach and kiss her until she thinks in circles.