A stranger crossing her path, a figure wandering the opposite direction than her, but as lost in mid-desert, as lost through life, it seemed.
Why hadn't she attacked this pretentious prick immediately after he had had the unbelievable nerve to so nonchalantly state who he was and what he had done? He had actually been taking pride in his accomplishment. Why was she still here, looking him in the eye, feeling irate at his careless smirk, but still unwilling to disintegrate him on the spot? The simple fact that it was this guy made insignificant the crucial character of his deed, rendered her unable to think of what he deserved to receive.
He was too appealing to the eye, had too much of a dreamer's look about him for her to be able to attack. Instead, she was slouching under the burden of guilt for her inability, for having these forbidden and surreal thoughts.
You don't know me, do you? he had said, his tone amused, playful even. But I know you, mmm. He had glanced slyly at her, trying to provoke her before even offering the reason why she should dislike him. Some while ago, I was sent to capture your brother... and succeeded.
His look said one thing: 'Yes, that was me. Now... get angry at me. It will be entertaining.'
And she had held her ground.
You're unappealing when you're silent, he now continued to tease, after she had been frozen in thought for too long. Beauty... he paused to intensify his gaze, to make her feel even smaller than she already did, ...is in that one moment of explosion.
Temari's bottom lip twitched, sound almost escaped her. But she postponed for yet another moment, inhaling a long, silent breath through her nose. The warm desert air filled her lungs, seemingly retrieving a measure of her lost sense for her.
Beauty is in that one moment of explosion.
Was he right? Would she be beautiful if she allowed her emotions to burst, and screamed at him that she didn't WANT to attack him, but at the same time she hoped he would DIE by himself, without that intervention? Did she even care about being beautiful?
Temari looked at his shuffling strands of silky blond hair, at the sparks flickering in the one eye she could see of him, at how lively he was. If anything, she felt inspired by this man. Inspired by how wrong it was to think well of him.
I'm sorry, Gaara. But you're already safe... It doesn't even matter anymore.
She felt too tired for this.
Beauty... she said, exhaling her breath slowly, steadily, without fuss. ...is an illusion.
With those simple words, she turned her back on him and walked off. Nothing complicated about those moves. She hadn't even removed her fan, her muscles hadn't even tensed for the slightest moment. For once, she had thought taking action pointless, impossible.
Was she selfish for wanting to remember a man instead of someone's death?