|Happy and Bright
Author: BC PM
Naruto and Kakashi ponder the Uchiha.Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Angst - Kakashi H. & Naruto U. - Words: 1,489 - Reviews: 5 - Favs: 21 - Follows: 2 - Published: 03-24-10 - Status: Complete - id: 5839910
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Summary: Naruto and Kakashi ponder the Uchiha.
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto. I don't profit from publishing this story.
Warnings: pointlessness, kinda OOC
A/N: It's short, it's pointless and moody, so don't crucify me, please! I don't plan on writing into Narutoverse – there are people who do that much better than I ever could, and I don't have the time, anyway. This was just a graphomaniac accident. Nevertheless, enjoy.
Happy and Bright
Kakashi doesn't exactly stalk Naruto, but he had reasons to be concerned, especially since he has found out that the brat wakes up in the middle of the night drenched in cold sweat and with the need to scream so bad that he completes the signs for Privacy Jutsu, bites onto his pillow and lets out high-pitched, keening wails. And so, part of the time he would otherwise have spent talking to Obito is now dedicated to watching his wayward former student descend down the all-too-familiar spiral of depression.
Naruto stands on top of the Fourth's head, staring at – or over, or beyond – the village of Konoha, though his eyes are ever drawn to the void of humanity that is the abandoned Uchiha complex.
Kakashi, as per usual, lands on one of the lowest branches of a nearby tree. Only the slightest rustle of leaves sounds as he relaxes in the crouch, his book covering half of his already halved scope.
"Bastards, all of them Uchiha." Naruto's wide grin becomes somewhat spasmodic, more like a baring of teeth. His eyes are closed against the glare of the sun, and everything is bright, bright on this happy and bright day. "It makes me want to hate them so bad…"
It's little wonder that after what he'd been subjected to as a little child, Naruto fears hatred so much: has a terror of feeling it, actually, since he's managed to twist his psyche into believing it was acceptable for him to be subjected to it. It's morbidly amusing, how someone as happy could have so many issues.
If nothing else, it is a glaring example of Kakashi's hypocrisy: he should have bothered to look underneath when he had first gotten his genin team. He can't begin to guess if he could have averted some of their losses, but knowing he hadn't tried is what bothers him most.
"You know what I'm talking about, ne, Kakashi-sensei?" Naruto inquires mock-cheerfully.
Kakashi says nothing.
Naruto's levels of unpredictability have their own unpredictability. They are fluid and keep shifting constantly. From ridiculously complicated schemes that win battles against s-class missing nins he goes to badgering Sakura and getting bopped on the head with the fist that turns rocks to mush. Kakashi himself, at times, has to admit to being stumped by the young man: Naruto's underneath the underneath sometimes has other underneaths underneath it, but in other instances the depth isn't there at all.
He flips a page. The kanji sit in neat columns, up to down and right to left, and he knows the story by heart, would know it even if he hadn't read it so many times. He could just as well recite it in his head and always turn the leaf at the proper spot, without even glancing down. Damn eidetic memory. Damn Sharingan. Kakashi has long since stopped carrying Icha-Icha Paradise around to read it in the public; he mostly just has it to convince the public that his mind is being otherwise occupied and to 'please' fuck off.
"How can they do it to us?" Naruto asks, with definite undertone of screaming inside his head. "How can they make us care for them so crazily and just leave?"
Kakashi scoffs, softly enough that the breeze ruffling the grass covers for him – not that it matters, because Naruto knows he's there and neither of them feels playful enough to pretend otherwise. It is a sad, sad day when Uzumaki Naruto doesn't feel up to concealing solemnity.
Naruto sighs and opens his eyes, blinking a few times before they adjust. He stands uncharacteristically still, but even so an observer can see he's trying to swim so hard in the current and drowning, because strength is being sapped from his limbs. Kakashi has no solid ground for him, not even a piece of wood for him to hold onto and catch his breath; he's been talking to Obito – and that messes with his head, yes, he should remember he's been pretending to talk to Obito – ever since Obito died, and he hasn't learnt anything, anything at all. So much time gone into stabilising himself enough to function through a day of socialising, and he has nothing to show for it. What socialising?
He can kill a man in so many ways that he's stopped counting them, but that's the only connection with other human being he ever feels – that moment when he's turning them off, shutting down the systems, abolishing the chakra coils.
"Is it a bloodline limit, do you think?" Naruto asks.
The wind is picking up, especially here on top of the hill, and Kakashi absently pushes a strand of silver hair to the side. He doesn't read, doesn't watch, and doesn't really listen. Why is he here again?
"A side-effect of Sharingan, maybe?" Naruto muses. "The high and mighty Uchiha looks at you with those whirly eyes and you're bewitched – you can never break free. They own your fucking soul."
Kakashi doubts it. Obito hadn't activated his Sharingan until the very last moment. Although… maybe it was instinctual. Maybe Naruto is the only one thinking unconventionally enough to uncover the Uchiha's true insidious plot: to make everyone love them. Certainly, that would explain why Kakashi cannot get rid of the phantom of his erstwhile teammate, or why Naruto (and the whole rest of the village from little girls to old council members) have become so ethereally attached to an arrogant, insolent, antisocial, dismissive and fratricidal avenger with a delusion of grandeur.
Amidst the stirring jets of air – Kakashi belatedly puts into perspective the fact that wind is Naruto's element – the brat steps closer to the edge of the abyss. There's not much reason to be worried; Naruto could jump off and not land with a splat in some back alley of Konoha, and even if he did mess up and create a crater upon impact, the fox would just put him back together. If a chidori to the chest didn't finish him, Kakashi kind of doubts Naruto has the skill to commit suicide even if he would try. Which he wouldn't, because he is fucked-up in the head like that.
"It rips me apart," Naruto says plaintively, half-syllables carried off as the air swirls and dances. "Sometimes it gets hard to breath, and I have to get away and put it all into this box inside my head, right next to the Fox. The worst thing is that I don't know how to get rid of it. In a few years I'll be like you, late all the time. That's not unpredictable at all."
Kakashi flinches, and stashes the book in his pocket. He knows it by heart, anyway. All excitement's been drained from it. Everything is bright, bright grey.
"Is that it?" he mutters. It's one of the dozens lines he has at the ready, tailored to the situation and meaning the exact same thing: nothing at all. It's empty like Kakashi on the inside; it's layers underneath the underneath the underneath and never reaching anything substantial. It's all fake. He's human on the outside, perhaps, but the inside has been yanked out and filled with so much crap accumulated over hours of one-sided dialogues with a memorial stone.
Kakashi hops off the branch. He lands softly, barely leaving imprints in the soil, and straightens.
Naruto turns to face him. Funny, it occurs to Kakashi, how annoying this boy's enthusiasm for life was from the start, how much Kakashi wished the kid would just stop and think and get real. Now, after Naruto has finally asked himself 'why' and has come to the inevitable conclusion that there is no answer, he's become just as empty as Kakashi.
Were he able to actually invest himself into a feeling, Kakashi might hate himself. As it is, he bears the flat blue stare (so unlike Minato-sensei) with a casual shrug.
Naruto shakes his head and turns to face the expanse of clear, cerulean sky. "It's enough to look at you, and I can tell it never stops."