Waking Up Starstruck (2016-10-12)

It doesn’t take much, just a slipped word or two. Drained and distracted and done–just… done.

If it had been something like, “This isn’t right,” maybe that could have been waved away. Right can mean unjust, wrong does not necessarily mean incorrect. “This isn’t right” doesn’t have any additional, damning, connotations.

“This isn’t how it’s supposed to be,” could be interpreted in a different way, too. An acceptable way. One that wouldn’t reveal her secret.

Instead it had been, “I don’t remember this happening,” and that, well, that’s the problem right there.

Telling people has never been an option for her. Not a viable one, anyway, dismissed immediately as soon as it flitted through her mind–

They’d hate me. It’d be a betrayal. They’d lock me up. I can’t do anything. They’d never look at me the same way.

Keep it secret, keep it safe.

–and so she shoved it in a dark corner of her mind, at the very bottom of a heap of other troubles and doubts and secrets. No taking it out to peruse, no brushing off the dust and considering, no daydreams about what if. Just cold, straightforward no.

But maybe, if she thought about it, when everything is over, when it no longer becomes relevant.

Maybe.

Telling her family seems almost blasphemous, no matter that home has already been proven less than sacred.

She knows there is a strain in their family. Knows it’s mostly because of her–her recklessness, her paranoia, her secrets–but it’s not something she inflicts purposefully.

She knows they’ll love her regardless, knows that they won’t turn from her–knows, in a way, that it would make them safer. Strategy only works when there’s information to plan on.

But it wouldn’t be the same; no longer daughter, no longer sister. A stranger living in their house.

That’s what scares her the most.

It can’t be Sasuke.

God, no, that wouldn’t work out well for anyone. It would break their trust, break their friendship, break him.

I guided you down the right path won’t matter–not when the first part invalidates the second.

I guided you. Might as well be I manipulated you, I tricked you, I controlled you.

If she told him, what would he hear? A chain of people using him for their own ends–Danzo, Itachi, Orochimaru, Obito, Madara–a chain only prevented because she got to him. Took his leash and kept it for herself.

She did it for his own good. Oh, yes, isn’t that what they all say? Make him safe, make him stronger, make him happy, make him blind to the truth.

No, it could never Sasuke.

Maybe Kakashi, if it were just them. She knows he’d never do anything to hurt her.

But she also knows that most of his life has been cultivated around the loss of Obito, and to find that Obito had been alive all along–that she had known about it her whole life–well.

He would forgive her, maybe, but he would never forget.

Some things are better left unsaid.

If. The foundation of all regret, if.

If she had done it sooner. If she had said something earlier. Acted differently, made those changes.

If.

So much of Ino’s life changed because of her. Wounded, strained, broken. If only she had–if only there was–if only–if.

If she had told Ino earlier, it might have been fine. But that door has closed, now, and she can only think: if.

If ever. If anyone. Maybe, possibly. Not now, but one day.

In the future, when everything has been resolved, no clouds or blood moons on the horizon.

It would be Naruto. Of course it would. Who else could it be?

~

A/N: A little disjointed and not exactly shipping, but honestly what I think about the matter of Shikako telling someone the truth?

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