Title: My Lost Dreams
Characters: Obito and Rin
Notes: For the kink Bingo prompt 'Flogging.'
Summary: Sometimes dreams can break your heart all over again.
Obito knew, from the moment he woke, that something was off. There were many indicators that could have brought this to his attention. It could have been the cold stone against his cheek and torso, bare when he didn't remember undressing. It could have been that his arms were looped around a bounder, tied, but still oddly comfortable in spite of his nakedness and the cool cave air around him. It could have been any of those things.
But, in a way that only dreams captured, that only the subconscious would do, what first drew his attention was the soft, gentle sweep of careful, delicate fingers carding through his short hair. After that was the humming in a high, soft beat that both familiar and heartbreaking to him. Rin's voice. It was only then that the other details, the unimportant ones, flit through his mind, pulling him forward to the sense of reality.
Even suspecting it was a dream, temporary, fleeting, he wouldn't let go of it. He would see what Rin wanted, because she never came to him in his dreams, much as he wished she would. She was always momentary, distant. She walked away from him and smiled, but never got close enough to speak to. And this? This was unlike any of those dreams, and he didn't understand, not yet, but he wanted to. He wanted to know what had brought her to him, but he was almost afraid to move, or speak, lest she turn and walk away, leaving him in a too-familiar cave, bound to a rock he instinctively knew had been the one that tore him from her.
Why had she chosen this place? Why this stone? What was she trying to say? His breath caught as he bit back the questions, but it was enough to bring a pause to the humming, to still her fingers in his hair. And then? Then she did something she hadn't done in over ten years in these dreams, that she'd avoided as she smiled secretly, but never ever did. She spoke.
"Obito." The tone was casual, the one she always used when she was just a little amused, but trying to be stern. "I know you're awake Obito, so you can stop pretending."
He didn't try to keep up the charade, and slowly, he cracked his eyes open, staring at the stone in front of his face. It was only when she moved her hand away that he turned his head, suddenly frightened she would be gone before he could... he didn't even know. Just that she was be gone, most likely.
The panicked motion brought her into his line of vision, where she was leaning over, a small smile on her face as she put her hand on top of his head instead, clearly trying to reassure and calm him. "It's okay, Obito, see? Isn't it better not to hide from me?"
He gave a shaky nod under her hand, careful not to dislodge it even as he felt his throat locking with tears. She was here, but he didn't understand why.
"Oh no! Obito, that wasn't the reaction I wanted at all but..." She sighed, setting something down out of his line of vision and moving her other hand to run a finger down his cheek, brushing away the tear that had escaped. "This is why I've been avoiding talking to you you know! You already hurt enough!"
"Don't go!" The words were an immediate plea when she made to take her hands back, because he knew if she left she wouldn't come back to him, that this dream might be eaten by daylight, and the idea was unbearable. "Please. Please, Rin."
She gave a soft sigh, then leaned down and kissed his forehead, her smile turning sad. "Okay. You don't need to cry just now. I just... needed to talk to you, to try to help you, because watching you... You hurt so much and that hurts me too, standing back, but... you know I wouldn't like what you've done, don't you?"
Though the tone was gentle, it still made something crack inside, a quiet confirmation of something he'd already known. "Rin?"
"You killed a lot of people who didn't do anything to you, to Konoha." Her fingers, previously stilled, resumed their slow petting. "You killed your family Obito. Sensei, Kushina, your cousins. So many others. Even going to Mist, and doing what you did... You caused the deaths of infants, and why? For me? Why would I want that Obito?"
It made him want to look away, and he never looked away from Rin when she was speaking to him. Never. But, how could she meet his eyes? How could he meet hers? "Rin, I'm going to fix it."
She slowly shook her head, sighing softly and shifting her position, hugging him around the shoulders so the cloth of her mission clothes pressed against his skin before she pulled back. "You can't fix it. You can try. I want you to try, but you can't make it all better." She shifted back, crouching so they were eye to eye, with her side leaned up against stone. "You can't make me all better."
What could he say to that? If she'd been watching, she knew all about the plan. Didn't she have faith in him? Have faith that everything would be okay? Didn't she see what he was going to do? Once more he was rendered speechless, and this time it was more than one tear that escaped him as he shook his head, wanting, needing her to understand. But no words would come.
"I know what you intend to do, and I have faith in you. I know you can do it... but I'm not sure it's the right thing. I never wanted what you plan to do. That is, what you plan to do to you. But I know I can't convince you, not like this. I know my words won't be enough because you hurt so so much on the inside..." She smiled, but it was incredibly sad now, solemn. "So I'm not going to use words."
When she moved this time, she pulled fully away, collecting something from the ground and padding out of his line of sight, a soft swish of leather on stone the only clue as to what she'd collected. He tried to follow her with his eyes. She was, however, very quick to use a hand, gently pressing his cheek back to stone in denial.
"Just close your eyes, okay? I've... never done this before, so I need to concentrate. I just think it will help you. Especially because it's me doing it, alright?" Did she sound a little nervous? He was sure she sounded a little nervous, but when she moved her hand, he forced himself to stay still. He didn't have enough confidence that if he looked now she would vanish, and it pulled obedience from him.
Then again, Rin had only ever had to ask him something, and he would do it. Even now, a lifetime away from her, it was still like that.
The next touch wasn't hands. No, it was the smooth sensation of leather, dozens of strands of the material, and she ran it down his back, taking a deep breath even he could hear before it was gone again, returning with a sharp sting. Testing.
It took him a minute to realize that she had some kind of flogger, and it took a great deal of willpower not to crane around and check. Rin was... beating him? But... not.
He didn't even understand what this was, but the sharp stinging flick had a noise to it, a heaviness that was catching his attention as his mind spun in a circle that was filled with not knowing how to feel. In dreams, wasn't there supposed to be no pain? Because as the strikes got carefully, if slightly clumsily, harder, it did start to hurt, making his breath hitch into the silence between swings. It hurt, but he still didn't look, didn't try to vanish her, because if she was dong this...
If his sweet compassionate Rin was doing this, then he must have done something truly terrible to warrant it, because Rin never hurt anyone. The thought was enough to finally draw a sob from him, a sound that made her motions hitch, like she intended to stop, but she didn't. Instead she picked up her pace, working her way carefully from shoulder, to hip, to what was reachable of his backside and the soles of his feet. All of his skin stung, but instead of stopping she slowly worked her way back to his shoulders, catching at his sides, the backs of his arms.
By the time she finally stopped he was well and truly crying, not from the pain. Physical pain was nothing. No, he was crying because she had felt she needed to do that. He couldn't even apologize because he still didn't think he was wrong, and they both knew it. He wanted to apologize, wanted to make it better, but the only apology he would be able to give was to keep going. And he knew she knew.
When the hollow clatter of a handle and leather hit the ground, he finally twisted, terrified that he'd banished her, but before he could open his eyes, when did he close them? He didn't remember closing them, but before he could open them, she was there, her clothed body pressed against his bare, red hot back and bringing the sting to something worse as she hugged him, her arms going around his shoulders, one getting between him and stone across his collarbone as the other ran down his arm to rest with her fingers curled over his bound wrist.
Her tone, when she finally spoke, was rough with her own tears, so soft, and so very helpless. "I'm sorry, Obito."
He didn't even have to think, shaking his head as he struggled to breathe, to stop the tears enough to be heard. "No. No, never apologize. Not to me. I failed you."
Her hold tightened, and she shook her head in turn, kissing his temple before easing away. "No, you didn't, Obito. Someday you'll understand. At least, I hope you do."
As her touch pulled away, he made a mournful sound, turning to try to look, to see her one last time, even if it was through a sheen of tears. "Rin? Rin, please don't go! I'm sorry! I'll fix it, anything, just please!"
There was one last, fleeting touch on his hair, a soft sigh. "I'm so sorry. Goodbye. Please... Please just be happy. Be the good person I know you are."
And then, the touch was gone, and when he twisted it was from dream into reality, the motion sharp and near violent enough that it sent him falling from his bed in a heap.
She was gone.
She was gone, and he knew instinctively that even the dreams with secretive smiles wouldn't happen again.
He didn't even try to pick himself up off the ground as he put his face against the mattress and sobbed, so glad that Deidara was occupied elsewhere.
He just didn't have the heart to say the words 'Tobi is a good boy'...
Because Obito certainly wasn't.