|The Lives We Leave Behind
Author: Klaelman PM
Tragedy struck 20 years ago with the horrid death of a promising young shinobi during the sandsound invasion. Now, a reluctant missing nin is asked by the village he had forsaken to lead them into the uncertain future. NaruIsa, and a bunch of OCs. genfic!Rated: Fiction M - English - Adventure - Naruto U. - Chapters: 7 - Words: 34,336 - Reviews: 60 - Favs: 34 - Follows: 64 - Updated: 03-31-07 - Published: 03-21-06 - id: 2854996
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Well, this certainly took less time than the Chapter 6! But, then, I think it would be just a tidbit unreasonable to make you guys wait that long again. Right? Maybe. Anyway, I dedicate this chapter to Zoorzh, whose enthusiastic exclamation at my lack of abandonation prompted me to grin happily for almost a full twenty minutes while I worked on a good portion of this thing. You all have him to thank for this being what it is, instead of some significantly poorer version submitted several weeks later.
Anyway, this is the first part of a flashback chapter. I also have some omake at the end--a bit of Harry Potter stuff for those interested. It's something that makes me chuckle. I had to!
Naruto pushed through the simple village marketplace, doing his best not to jostle any of the heavy packages some of the people were carrying. He watched as several children chased a dog through the busy street, and as vendors and shopkeepers yelled at them for disturbing their customers. He dodged another small child, a girl, and reached forward and caught her by the collar of her shirt, pulling her back to him. She looked at him in fright, and several people nearby turned to eye the upcoming exchange warily.
Naruto held out his hand and, raising an eyebrow, said "I believe that that froggy wallet is mine." He eyed her as she struggled for a few moments, then sighed and gave him it back.
He took it in his hand and unzipped it with his teeth, then, letting her collar go, he grabbed a few hundred Ryu from the huge wad within. She watched in amazement as he held the bills out to her, then reached out a thin, shaking hand to take it, watching him as though he were going to attack her. Naruto sighed and rolled his eyes, "Well, you look like you can use it more than I can."
She jumped, then, looking around as though someone was going to claim that she had taken something else, grabbed the money and ran into a nearby alley. Naruto watched as her thin body, covered in little more than dirty rags, disappeared into the shadows of the alley, shaking his head. This village, like every village, despite its apparent success, had the ever present vestiges of poverty clinging to its fringes, and Naruto couldn't help but always noticing—all the children, their hungry faces pleading for help, the parents grieving for their inability to provide for them, as everyone around them went about their lives, never seeing them for who they were: unfortunate people who had fallen on hard times.
Naruto felt for them; after all, he knew what it felt like to be abandoned and ignored. Back in Konoha, before he had gone to the Shinobi Academy, he hadn't ever been the recipient of a sign of affection. Oh, he supposed that when he was a baby, someone had probably held him close. Maybe someone even smiled down at him, stroked his face in a loving way, cooed at him in one of those fake baby voices, but as long as he could remember, his childhood was filled with scowls, angry voices and curses. They almost always refrained from violence, but even the threat of reprisal from the Hokage wasn't enough to stop all of them.
He continued on; he was supposed to meet up with Jiraiya by the end of the day in the northern outskirts of this fishing village. He still had three or four hours until sunset, so he intended to find some sort of noodle stand for dinner. The bare thought of noodles set his mind reeling...ramen...it had been...How long had he been traveling with Jiraiya?
Had it really been almost two whole years?
He remembered leaving as though it had been yesterday. Jiraiya told him the day before that he was going on a long trip, and that Naruto would be coming with him. When Naruto started to protest, Jiraiya assured him that he would train him in everything he knew; at that time, so soon after Sasuke's death, little else could have taken him away. Two whole years, and Naruto had learned all manner of things about being a strong shinobi, but the more he learned, the more empty he felt. Seeing so much of the world, being in places where people didn't know who he was, or what he was—it had given him a lot to think about. Far from being the Hokage, did Naruto even want to live in Konoha?
He was shaken from such depressing thoughts by a scuffle that seemed to have broken out in a side street. No one else seemed to notice, but Naruto attributed it to his own fine tuned ninja senses—it had been little more than a quiet grunt and the sounds of someone dragging something, but it was loud enough for him to hear. He followed his ears until he reached the alley, where he found...nothing. He looked around, not noticing anything, and turned to leave before a glint caught the edge of his vision. He turned to look, and saw it. Where the alley met its end, and turned into another alley, was a glint of a gem, fashioned as an earing.
He stepped over to pick it up, looking at it curiously, since it seemed to be free of the dirt and grime of the alley around him. He looked down the next alley and was outraged at what he saw. A girl, wrapped in bandages, was being dragged down the alley by her arm by several heavily-muscled men; she was unconscious, and blood was slowly seeping out from under her black hair and dripping to the ground.
He could smell it.
It made him angry.
Naruto growled out loud. One of the men turned at the noise, only to receive a shuriken to the forhead; the force of it cut through his skull and wedged itself partway through his brain. A look of surprise was frozen on his face as he fell backwards to the ground. The two other men turned with scowls on their faces, only to have them replaced with looks of shock at the brutal death of their buddy. Their enraged faces focused on Naruto.
The one that was dragging the girl dropped her arm, and the two stepped around her towards Naruto was standing, unaware of his increasing rage. Naruto wanted these two to feel pain, to suffer for this, this...well, he knew that whatever these men had intended for that girl could not be good, and he would not let them do it. One of the men pulled out a battered old kunai, and Naruto dimly thought in the back of his mind of how the relatively thinner design clearly indicated it as coming from the nearby Water Country.
Naruto raised his hands, and brought them together in a short series of seals that made the men pause in their advance and look nervously at each other. He could tell that they felt uneasy about their chances against a ninja. Well, he thought, I'll show them something to be afraid of! "Kaze Tsurugi no justu!"
A small blast of chakra-laced wind blew through the alley, kicking up some of the dirt that coated the ground. The men shielded their eyes, then turned to see the kid—ninja—holding his fist away from his body, apparently empty. Then, rushed at them, almost faster than they could see; the one holding the kunai held it out to try and block whatever he was doing, and the man felt a gust of wind hit him in the chest and knock him back into a wall. He gasped out, catching his breath, and looked down at his hand—and watched as the end of the kunai slid off, falling to the dirt with a soft thud.
He turned to his right, just in time to see the enraged, red-slitted eyes of the ninja as he thrust his hand towards his chest and feel the pain of something thrust deep through his chest. He coughed up blood and looked down to see a swirling sword of air ripping through his stomach, sending agonizing pain through his body before tearing out through his side in a spray of blood that covered the side of the building he was pushed up against. His face was frozen in shock as his limp body fell to the ground.
The one still standing was pushing himself against the opposite wall of the alley in terror, having just witnessed the brutal disembowelment of his buddy. He wanted to flee, to run from this terrible, hideous ninja—who could do such a thing—
He gasped as the ninja spun around and flicked his sword so fast that he couldn't even see his fist move. He breathed in and out, wondering at what the ninja had in store for him, but all the ninja did was stand there, calmly watching through those terror-inducing red-slitted eyes of his. Suddenly, he started to fall; he tried to move his legs to steady himself, but they weren't responding, and he fell to the ground with a sloppy thud. He pulled himself up with his arms, his strength quickly leaving him, and looked down long enough to notice that the lower half of his body had fallen in the opposite direction before his mind slipped into shock.
Naruto released the jutsu and turned to the unconscious girl whose forehead was still dripping blood, though not as much as before. He opened her eye and saw that it wasn't dilated. Well, at least she doesn't have a concussion. He looked around at the carnage surrounding him. Can't leave her here. He snorted at the obviousness of the thought. Naruto picked her up under her knees and shoulders and leaped onto the roof, leaving the disgusting scene for someone else to find.
Jiraiya stood at the top of a tree, looking around the outskirts of the village where he had told Naruto to meet him. He hadn't told Naruto exactly where he was going to be, because he had wanted Naruto to practice the use of his senses to find him. He had hidden himself under a fairly strong genjutsu he had fashioned for this exact purpose; it would prevent Naruto from being able to see or hear him, but otherwise did nothing to prevent him from smelling him. Jiraiya was fairly certain that, if he trained enough, Naruto could easily outstrip the Inuzuka's own abilities to advance their sense of smell.
Jiraiya frowned; the sun had almost set, and he hadn't yet seen Naruto set foot outside the village. It was possible that Naruto had left the village at another location to try and circle around on Jiraiya, but that was the beauty of the spot he had picked. Jiraiya had to stop himself from patting himself on the back as he caught sight of a small blur almost a mile away. Naruto, he smirked. And waited for him to find him.
Waited some more.
Jiraiya had gotten sick of waiting. It had been almost a half hour, and still nothing—not even movement from the bushes indicating the light settling of a chakra-enhanced foot on a branch. He decided to go look for his wayward apprentice; it wasn't impossible that something had happened to him, but Jiraiya was fairly certain that any event of that sort would be accompanied by at least some explosions. He left from his treetop, the genjutsu fading away with his focus, and moved in the direction of where his student had gone. He'd be damned if he let Naruto get away with this; he didn't know what had kept Naruto from following his teacher's orders, but it had better be good.
He came upon a small clearing, where he saw Naruto staring in confusion down at something on the ground. He could make out a still form on the ground, a girl, from the length and style of her hair—long, dark bangs flowing over her shoulders, with shorter, spiky hair covering the rest of her head. He couldn't see her face, since it was turned away from him, but Naruto was clearing staring down at it. What could he be confused about? Jiraiya decided to step out from the surrounding trees, making enough noise to let Naruto know that he was coming. Naruto turned a frown to the interruption, his face relaxing somewhat when he recognized his teacher.
"Naruto, what is this? I told you to meet me in the north half an hour ago." He stood at the rim of the trees, waiting for Naruto to explain what kept him.
Naruto's frown deepened before he spoke again. "Well, I was looking for dinner—" his stomach rumbled loudly at the thought, and he blushed and scratched the back of his head, "Well, I was gonna, but then I heard this noise in an alley, so I went to look, and I saw this earing, and then there were these guys, big guys, and they were dragging this girl," He motioned down at her, "down the alley, so I...well..." He looked uneasily off to the side. Jiraiya waved away the explanation and Naruto continued, "Well, they had hit her on her head, so I thought that I'd bring her here and wait 'til she woke up. I was trying to clean her up a little, you know wipe away some of the blood, and I took off this bandage that was covering her face, and..." He waved his arm at her. "What is this, Ero-sennin?"
Jiraiya frowned and walked over to where he could more clearly see her face. His eyebrows shot up in surprise when he saw what it was that Naruto was talking about; where he had indicated the bandages had been, the skin was oddly green and...scaly. He looked her over, and took notice of other places where she had been bandaged. Her arms were both covered with them, and her neck, stomach and right leg, from what he could see, were also covered with them. Naruto and Jiraiya glanced at each other, Naruto's face conveying confusion and Jiraiya's a solemn, dawning comprehension.
He had no idea who she was, but he thought that he might have an idea as to what had been done to her.
Hoowah!!!!! Isa's intro! Since it's roughly a year after they meet in the anime, I'm holding that Anko's investigatory assignment went along already--and that, without Naruto getting Isaribi sent to Konoha, that she never was. Thus, tada. The next one should be up...whenever.
Small note: Since I've found a reliable translator, you should be seeing japanese translated justus. Kaze Tsurugi no jutsu means 'Air Sword.' The tsurugi is a japanese broadsword, and if you didn't pick it up, well...it's made of wind, here.
Beep. Boop. Boop. riiiiiiiing.
'We're sorry, but the Nextel subscriber you are trying to reach cannot be located. Please hang up and dial again.
:Voldemort glares at his phone in an overpowering rage, throws it at the wall and follows it up with a slew of Avada Kedavra curses.:
"MALFOY! GET ME A NEW PHONE, DAMNIT!"
HAHA! I like it.