Fandom Category: Naruto
Fic Title: Diem Ex Dei
Author: Finnimbrun / hieronymousb
Rating/Warning(s): T. Character death, violence
WIP?: No. Completed MC.
Why This Must Be Read: The road to hell, as they say, is paved with the very best intentions.
This is, hands down, one of my favourite stories in the fandom and is basically my headcanon of Pain and Konan before the series starts, and everything that shapes them. The language is glorious (not a hyperbole), the loss of innocence and plunge into violence handled with amazing intensity, and just the sense of doom and war. As for the Konan/Pain relationship... this is the story that convinced me of them. The sense of longing is slow and aching, making its resolution all the more satisfying.
It is like this:
He is smiling. His eyes – eyes like she has never seen before or since, and will never see again – are glinting; she has pushed his black hair back, tucked the stray strands behind his ears.
There is sunshine behind him. Their friend is laughing, nearby; rough, boy's laughter. It is that rare time of year when the dry season comes to Rain Country, when the storms go south to visit the desert.
She smiles a little, and chews her lip. He looks nice, she thinks. Awkward and shy; his sleeves are a little too long, and his hair still hangs in that way that tends to make him look even smaller, more distant, but there is something healthy about the world today. She can see it in his eyes. His face has colour, and birds are singing in the sky.
For a few weeks, the land is green and pure. They walk together, all three of them, but she and he – when Yahiko is not looking, curl their smallest fingers together, and grace each other with secret looks, and both are unsure of what they are implying, but they are willing to assume it is nothing but play.
They share a language of smiles and laughs, theirs alone.
The air is fresh. The world is newly born. They have been trained now. They will be all right. The children walk and breathe in the air and forget the hunger which has tormented them.
The sky is so bright. When she looks up, white butterflies have risen.
(From what land did they come, those butterflies?)
She opens her mouth, but does not speak, and finally – with the kind of jerky movement which suggests he has been planning this all along and has just now worked up the courage to act on his desire – he grabs her hand.
Their eyes meet. On days like this, they can allow themselves these cautious hopes.
And, without words, they tell one another of their dreams for the future – for a future.