“Hurry up, Shisui!”
Shisui watches Sasuke wait ahead, as impatient as he’s always been, and he can’t help the grin tugging at his lips.
Konoha is as lively as he remembers, and the farmers market is just the same. Earthy smells, bread just made, fresh fruits and vegetables. People haggling and children laughing, running around from stall to stall. Some stand to the side to talk, others sit on tables under large tarps, waiting for food or taking a break.
It’s a good thing to come to, first time in the morning. He didn’t really have anything to do there, but Sasuke insisted he had to accompany him because his brother was working, even though Shisui knows Sasuke is more than capable of going on his own, has done it ever since he found independence was being self reliant and Itachi couldn’t be around all the time. Shisui’s missed his baby cousin too, so he didn’t put that much of a fight to begin with.
That’s why when Shisui’s ears pick up on a name he hasn’t heard in a long time his attention is instantly hooked, and when he looks up with slightly widened eyes and catches sight of her, he internally panics.
He doesn't know what to do. His first instinct is to flee; after all, before he left, he hadn’t seen Kiharu in weeks, when he started avoiding her after their break up.
Does he go and talk to her? She’s right there. Does he avoid eye contact? He can’t leave. It would look too suspicious, not to mention Sasuke will immediately protest because Shisui promised.
Before he can act on any of his ideas, Sasuke spots her too, and before Shisui can avoid it, he calls out to her.
Shisui freezes in his spot.
Kiharu turns around in confusion for a moment, until she sees Sasuke and recognition dances on her face. But then her gaze slides to him and her eyes widen in surprise, before her face settles on an unreadable expression that Shisui can’t help but feel a pang on his heart at.
He used to be able to read her. He still is, he thinks, and that’s how he knows she’s thinking the same, and she doesn’t want him to read her.
After a few moments in which she seems to weigh the pros and cons, she makes her way over and greets Sasuke with a warm smile, and then Sasuke’s running to the market stands, leaving them behind in a tense ambience. When she looks up at him, her smile slowly disappears. Suddenly, it feels as though the world itself is holding its breath.
“Ki-chan…” he breathes, feeling dazed.
“Shisui,” Kiharu inclines her head, eyes soft.
They stare at each other in silence, and Shisui takes her in.
She’s as beautiful as he remembers. Slightly tanner than the last time he saw her, and her hair is pulled in a high ponytail, bangs held back with a few colourful pins and a flower behind her ear. She looks just as small and sweet, but her face has lost her childlike youth. Instead there is a wisdom that didn’t used to be, and Kiharu has always been more mature than most girls her age, but now she seems more aware of what life has to offer. Shisui would know; he’s been traveling around the world.
She also looks tired in a way he’s only ever seen a handful of people look like, as if the weight of the world rested on her shoulders, and Shisui can’t stop the worry that washes over him, weighs him down as it travels through his body and settles in his belly.
He wants to know if she’s okay, to ask if everything’s going well with the bakery, if something happened to Hitoshi or if her parents are alright. And for a moment he almost does. But then he remembers he doesn’t have the right to, that he’s not allowed to do that anymore.
He lost that privilege years ago.
“You look good,” instead he says, because she does, and hopes his eyes can show his truthfulness.
She eyes him carefully, regarding him with an almost wariness, before her eyes soften. Shisui feels like he’s missing something.
"I am good," Kiharu agrees.
He doesn’t know what to say, after that. There’s a little voice in his head that sounds terribly like Obito, saying, it’s funny, isn’t it? How you used to be so close, and always knew what to say and how to do it so that she would laugh and you would stare and feel your chest rip open and flourish. How when you were together it was the time of your lives. Her smile, your eyes, her soul, your heart. It’s funny, isn’t it? That now you can’t even find the words, can’t seem to get rid of this choking silence.
He opens his mouth to say something, anything, just to make her stay a little bit longer, when someone calls out her name. They both snap up to the sound, and all noise comes rushing back.
The young man who called out to her has a big scar across the bridge of his nose, and the sight of it tugs something at his memory, but Shisui can’t quite get a grasp of it. He’s also holding an arrangement of flowers, what seems to be a single rose amidst peonies and carnations, and Shisui thinks it’s pretty, but he can’t understand the sudden rush of nostalgia that it brings.
“I’ve got to go,” Kiharu tells him, and Shisui feels his face fall. Something he can’t read flashes in her eyes, but is gone as soon as it appears, and Kiharu turns around. She stands there for a second before she leaves to catch up with the boy, and Shisui watches her go, his heartbeat a melody of yearning and homesickness.
It’s only fair, to be the one to see her walk away, when he made her go through it when he left her five years ago.