In the moments after her confession she could've swore the world stopped. There was only her and Ryoka in that moment, no beach, no sea, no Mizukage or Chuunin Exams. There were only two girls near each other, one that was infatuated with someone so far out of her league that even thinking about it drove her crazy. Then, the world seemed to turn again as a deep breath filled the air. Shouko hesitantly pulled her face out of her knees to look over at her crush, her sensei, her Kage. All of these titles meant little to her, Shouko would've felt the same no matter what rank or class Ryoka was, no matter what hand life had dealt her. Her soul was everything Shouko wanted to be near.
The deep breath came before the moment that would forever take Shouko's breath away. Hands somehow soft even after years of ninja work touched her face and her eyes widened in surprise, "Ryo-"
It was a dream. It had to be a dream. Their lips were pressed together now and Shouko's mind went completely blank. She melted into the kiss, into the dream she had carried since their first meeting, into the goal that had motivated her for the last many months. She put all of her pent up anxiety about her feelings into the kiss. She put all of herself into the kiss. Tears started to fall as an unexplained happiness exploded within her. It was all so unbelievable, things like this didn't happen to her. She wasn't ever the main character or the centerpiece, but in this moment she was.
All too soon the warmth of Ryoka's lips left hers and she slowly opened her eyes in gleeful shock. That shock turned to confusion turned to worry when she saw Ryoka snap her hand to her mouth and tears begin to from in her eyes. She didn't know what she had done so wrong, but seeing Ryoka that way was one of the most crushing scenes she could imagine. Her tears of joy dried up and turned to tears of concern as she shifted forward in the sand, getting closer to the person who had stolen her heart. She wrapped her arms around Ryoka, and placed a kiss on her shoulder, "Please, please don't say that. Please don't, I can't stand to hear you talk like that. I'm the stupid one for putting you in this position. I shouldn't have said anything. I'm sorry."
Hands moved from hair to Shouko's shoulders as Ryoka faced her again. Her face was an ever changing dance between anger and sadness and it broke Shouko's heart. She didn't understand the position she had placed Ryoka in, it was so selfish of her. The order that was given was one that didn't need to be said, but it almost made her smile despite the moment. "It's more than an order,"
she tenderly reached out and lifted Ryoka's face to hers, "it's a promise."
She leaned forward and kissed Ryoka again. This time it wasn't as passionate or needing, but it was tender and thoughtful. It was a kiss that cemented her promise and resolve.
Pulling herself away reluctantly for the second time in so few moments, she wrapped an arm around Ryoka's shoulders. "I've never seen you cry but I hate it. I'm sorry that I'm so selfish. I put you in a position I can't possibly understand, but that's why...that's why I'll win. I'll be strong enough for you, and for everyone else. I'll be your light, and you can be mine. There's nothing that says a story can't have two main characters. I can't wait to write my story with you, if you'd let me."
She softly massaged Ryoka's arm, rocking slowly in the sand as she began to hum
a tune. It was the same song they had both sang the last time they had been on this beach together.
"I hope you didn't think I'd forget it."
she laughed softly as she continued the song.