Never the Spring

Naruto. Kakashi/Asuma. R. 250 words.

In winter, dawn-weak light casts long shadows like fading bruises.

Never the Spring

In winter, dawn-weak light casts long shadows like fading bruises. Asuma traces the ravine of scar tissue with the dagger’s point of his tongue. He is slow, careful, and makes his way downward to where Kakashi’s lashes lay like frost, pale and shivering. There is heat only with the press of their bodies. Cold air slices in from the edges of the bedding. At this hour there is no exchange of kisses. They share only soft sounds, softer touches, and the knowledge that the sun will rise ever higher and the naked ground will reveal itself from beneath the snow.

In autumn, night air crowds in and clothes become a burden. The dense heat carries the scent of wisteria and with it nostalgia, long-forgotten memories creeping up from the gloom. Slowness reigns and silence beckons. To move too quickly is to court exhaustion. To speak will shatter glass. Fireflies circle and the moon hangs fat and low. The aging shadows are deep, like the curve of Kakashi’s back as he arches, beautifully, into Asuma’s cradling hands. They roll, slick as snakes, and silent kisses blend one into the next as the wind stirs and strips the leaves from the trees.

In summer, noon dust skitters over stone. Storefront banners snap as raucous knots of children run past. The sky is a stretch of blue fading only at the horizon. The sun is a white needle. Kakashi has gone to reopen wounds. His attention on his students, Asuma lights another cigarette.



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