Day Three of Grief
Maia lay in bed curled up, solemnly looking out the window. The sky was a clear blue and she could tell the air had a chill to it, signaling November was coming soon. Looking down, she noticed the pain in her wrists and legs had begun to heal. A tear ran down her cheek, remembering who put the pain there. He had also left a scar on her heart that would never heal.
“Ishi?” In only a few seconds Kakashi entered. He hadn’t left her side for more than an hour as she grieved in their house since they came back to the village Maia appreciated that greatly. The look of worry on his face quickly turned to a look of surprise.
“You’re up.” She gave a slow nod.
“I want to go outside today. I need to go to the memorial stone.”
“The therapists at the hospital said you should stay in while they treat you, honey. They say even the stone could trigger your PTSD. And you're still very weak. You should take a few more days to regain some strength.”
“I’ll be okay. Even if it does, I just need to go.” He nodded, understanding.
“I’ll go get Sasuke.”
The chill of the mid-noon air pierced their skin as they approached the clearing where the memorial stone lie. Kakashi held her arm to keep her from falling over, while Sasuke held their flowers.
“It was nice of you to get these... Did the two of you already pay your respects?” Kakashi smiled.
“We’ll both be paying our respects like this for a long time.”
Sasuke had also been visiting quite often, tending to her while her fiance was gone. As they approached the stone, he held her free hand and rubbed his thumb over it comfortingly. Then he handed her her bouquet.
“Thank you again, for everything. If you ever need anything, just ask.” Maia nodded in thanks.
"The same goes for you." She took a deep breath and set the red roses on the stone along with Sasuke’s black ones and Kakashi’s blue and purple bouquet for Rin and Obito. They stood in silence.
“Itachi…..” Tears of numbness flowed from her eyes, streaming down her face. Now she understood how he had been able to cry without making a single sound. The two men tried to comfort her with a pat on the shoulder and a squeeze of the hand but they knew the pain she had been put through would take years to heal. Maia felt weak, despite her friend’s words of support that she had grown strong from enduring everything and making it out alive. Itachi had gone through so much more incomprehensible pain and yet here she was, tears pouring down her face even through she had a life left to live.
The birds chirped in the surrounding trees peacefully as the rest of the world went on, unknowing of the hero who had selflessly given his life, heart and soul to keep it safe, in hopes that it would one day find harmony. Yes the village and the world would go on, celebrating the arrival of Naruto as their new Hokage, and eventually their lives would return to what they had been before. But for her, nothing would ever be the same.
They stood there in silence for an hour, thinking of the memories they would continue to cherish every day of their lives, because memories were all they had left. Maia thought also of Kabuto, who she still loved as her brother, but held off on mourning him too fully for now. The thought of him dying at her hand still made her sick. She would bring lilies for him later. Finally, Sasuke lifted his head.
“I have to go. Sakura is probably wondering where I’ve gone off to.” The other two nodded their heads.
“Are you ready, Maia?” Kakashi asked.
“I am.” She closed her eyes, paying her final respect for the day.
'I hope that you’ve found your Heiwa…. Anyone who knows anything knows that you deserve it most.'
The three very emotionally scarred ninja turned and headed out of the clearing. They would continue to make tributes like this for a very long time to come. They said their farewells to Sasuke.
“Say hi to Sakura and Naruto for me!” She waved.
“I will!” He shouted back, waving his hand. Kakashi wrapped his arm around her waist, both out of affection and physical support.
“You know something?” She turned to her fiancÚ. I think I see why people visit the memorial stone so often. When I was there, I almost felt as if he was too, watching over us.” Kakashi sighed.
“I know the feeling.” They left the clearing and made their way home, unaware that overhead, a crow was circling in the clear blue sky.
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Story notes: It's Itachi's Birthday! I like to make tributes to my favorite characters in Naruto on their birthdays, and for this one I decided to go against the Mind of Illusion, Eyes of Truth storyline and skip way ahead to Itachi's tribute. It has three spoilers in it, but once again, I am only up to date with the anime so my guesses for the ending are just guesses.
Chapter end notes: Well...I cried writing that a few times. Itachi's character died years ago and I still get super sad. There will be more Mind of Illusion Eyes of Truth chapters coming out as soon as I can get them out! The main story line will continue. I just wanted to throw this tribute in there for Itachi's birthday.