|How Things Could Have Been: Fragments in Time
Author: Jin Hikari PM
A series of oneshots from all over the timeline of the original work that serve to add more development to Naruto and Sasuki's relationship. FemSasu.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Friendship - Naruto U. & Sasuke U. - Words: 3,535 - Reviews: 4 - Favs: 18 - Follows: 19 - Published: 07-06-11 - id: 7154002
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Yes, I'm back. Unfortunately, not with something that progresses the plot of HTCHB...wow, upon making that acronym I'm really glad there's no I in there. I'll let those that are good at word jumbles figure it out...
Anyways, I was going through Things the other night, and realized that Naruto and Sasuki's relationship was a bit rushed, so I thought I'd make up a few oneshots that added more development when the inspiration struck me, but didn't necessarily have to be incorporated into Things' timeline.
Hope you enjoy!
"Why….why did you ask me to come here with you…to the festival tonight?" He stuttered. Sasuki frowned a bit in response. Why had she invited the blonde? Was it pity? No, that wasn't it. Maybe it was just because of the Massacre, and her head just wasn't feeling quite right at the moment. But then, why did she feel so much better now than she did just a day ago?
"I really don't know. I guess it just looked like you needed someone. I was…afraid, I guess. You came back so beat up, and you didn't even care." Naruto nodded slightly as if to accept the response. Then he stood up and proceeded towards the stairs.
"I better get going. School tomorrow and all that. Don't wanna miss another one of Iruka-sensei's lectures, now do I?" the blonde joked. Sasuki jumped up to follow him and they both proceeded to walk back down.
"Naruto…you shouldn't let what Sakura and Ino said get to you. They just…don't know you," she offered. Naruto smiled and nodded.
"I usually don't. After a long time of hearing the same thing over and over, you just stop hearing it, you know what I mean?" He asked. Sasuki nodded, and the two were wordless the rest of the trip back.
They crossed the gates, and went their separate ways. Naruto towards his "dorm" at the boy's side and Sasuki to hers. "Naruto, wait," Sasuki said, turning at the last second and grabbing him by the wrist. He looked at her quizzically for a second before she leaned in and kissed him lightly on the cheek.
Naruto stood there, slightly stunned at Sasuki's, in his opinion, rather sudden action. "Thanks….for tonight and all, it was fun," she said, "Oh, and….Happy Birthday, I guess."
She tried to pull away, run before the blonde could say anything, but he'd worked her wrist into his gentle but firm grip. "Sasuki…what was that?" the Uzumaki asked, his voice low with surprise. Uchiha Sasuki had just kissed him, Uzumaki Naruto. Regardless of the location, a kiss was a kiss. Did the words Uchiha and kiss even belong in the same sentence without some sort of negative context in between them?
"What are you talking about, it was just a kiss, don't make too big of a deal out of it. I can't remember a birthday in my entire childhood where a family member wouldn't do that if they say me."
"Yeah, but aren't we supposed to like, I dunno, hate each other?" Naruto shot back.
As far as his understanding went, not much had changed from a few days ago when they were busy trying to beat the crap out of each other. Okay, so a lot had changed. Uchiha Sasuki had no one left, and a part of that made Naruto feel the urge to be around her, to shield her from the same pain he had gone through. He wasn't afraid to be…nice.
"I never saw it written in stone that the Uchiha and the Uzumaki were in eternal conflict, so saying that we're supposed to hate each other is just an opinion. Things change, people do things for reasons that they don't understand in the slightest. It's only upon reflection that our intentions become clear, so let's just stop worrying about all the 'I hate you and you hate me' drama and let things happen naturally, alright?" she stated
Naruto nodded, he totally understood what she meant. Did birds ponder why they flew? Did fish ponder why they swam? Sure, people asked questions about the big important things like the universe and the meaning of life, but who cared if Uzumaki Naruto and Sasuki Uchiha, a couple of orphans that had yet to make the smallest impact on the world, wanted to spend a night together without being at each other's throats?
"I hope I'm not too forward in asking you to my dorm then. Not for anything serious…I just want to talk a little bit," he said whilst scratching the back of his head.
Sasuki stood there for a second. He just wanted to talk? What could they possibly talk about? They'd already covered almost everything that seemed important that night. Well…not everything. She nodded, and with her question in mind she followed him slowly, noticing that he'd never let go of her hand. A slight blush crept up her cheeks at the contact, but mentally she brushed it off.
When they arrived, Naruto opened up the door to his room and straightened out the sheets on one part, making a place for her to sit down. She nodded; her weight pressing against the somewhat lumpy mattress. The blonde sat down on the side of the bed by the metal bars that marked a sort of headboard and sat cross-legged.
"Alright, I know you have a lot of questions. Whether they're about me or about anything else, I want to hear them. If I can answer them, I will. After all, I've always thought that the best way to get to know someone is to figure out their curiosities. That way you learn what they're interested in."
Sasuki nodded, glad that he'd let her speak first. "Sounds good, but only if you do the same for me later."
Naruto nodded, waiting for her to begin.
"So why is it that the villagers hurt you yesterday? And why did you say they'd try it again today?" she asked. Seeing how people reacted around the boy was one of the reasons that she'd invited him to the festival, and she'd been less than enthusiastic about the results. Not only did the villagers all glare at him with hatred, but they felt insulted whenever he was good at something. The least of her worries, though still prominent, was the way that he allowed his fellow students to pick on him.
"The villagers…they see my birth as a reincarnation of the Kyuubi. I was born the day that the Yondaime killed it, and these whisker marks aren't helping my case either. They think…they think I'm some sort of monster or demon. Why should I be alive when so many people died that day? I guess that it's just easier for them to take out the pain of loss on me than to have me around as a constant reminder and not be able to do anything about it."
He hated lying to her. Sure, it had the truth in it. The villagers did think that he was the Kyuubi. However, the real reason behind it was something that he wasn't ready to tell her. Not yet.
Sasuki took a second to absorb what Naruto had told her. Naruto was nice, kind, he had feelings and care about people at least enough to think that their opinions mattered. She'd seen the hurt in his eyes when Sakura and Ino were picking on him, and she'd seen his emotional distress when he'd come back to the orphanage so beat up. The look in his eyes was so utterly human that she had no idea how anyone could see him any differently, until she realized that she was probably one of the only people in the village that had seen him that way.
Sakura and Ino were decent enough to know not to kick an already downed opponent, and the rest of the villagers probably dispersed so quickly after a beating that they couldn't see the battered and broken child through their rage –filled eyes. That vulnerable, defenseless, broken Naruto was hers.
She mentally chided herself for what the words could mean if taken out of context, but at the moment she really couldn't bring herself to care too much. She got to see a side of him that no one else did, another cheesy line that somehow fit their story. However, what did he know about her besides the things related to her being an Uchiha? Now that she was the last of her clan, she was obviously an individual. So what did he think?
"Oh…I would never treat you the way they do…you know that, right?"
"Of course," his answer came within milliseconds of her question. He had moved a little closer to her, barely an inch, but still very noticeable to Sasuki. She blushed a little at his quick response, deciding to go along with her plan of letting things flow naturally and asked the risky question.
"So…what do you think…about me, that is?"
The question nearly sent the young blonde into shock. What did he think about her? He wouldn't dare repeat his thoughts from earlier that day, but perhaps he could still get his point across.
"You know, back when we fought, I only ever did it because you were privileged. You were the great Uchiha, the top of the class, the girl everybody wanted to be friends with because she had everything. A good family, strength, intelligence, and I hated it. You were so much larger than life that it seemed impossible to see eye to eye with you without a step ladder. That and you just seemed so proud about it."
Sasuki looked silently at the boy. He was right. She'd been spoiled rotten, and if anyone knew what she was on the inside, it was Naruto. He could see her so clearly that sometimes it was scary. "I'm…sorry. I know I was a terrible person, but…"
"Hey now, let's not start beating ourselves up. I hid my training from everyone. That spiraling orb of chakra from tonight is something I've been working on for years. I never used my taijutsu to its full strength, and I pull pranks and act like an idiot all for the attention. If you were a terrible person, I was an attention whore.
"The point is we both ended up being more than meets the eye. As bad as I feel about it, the massacre gave me a chance to understand you better. It probably let you see me in a new light, too. Otherwise, we would have never ended up like this. You're headstrong, demand a lot out of yourself, and are determined to meet your goals. I admire all of those but…you're hell-bent on doing it alone. Even I needed help from Hokage-ojiji on more than one occasion. I…I want to help you. Whether it's becoming strong enough to kill Itachi or doing it with you, I want to be there for you. We've both felt loneliness, and maybe that does give us a certain bond, but the point is we don't ever have to feel that pain again if we stand by one another. I'm willing to be with you, I just need a yes or no on your part."
Sasuki was taken aback at his words. He wanted to be there for her? To help her achieve her goals? How was it that a boy she had only associated herself with for the past two days was so dedicated to helping her? And shouldn't she be offended? An offer for help just meant that the volunteer thought you were weaker than they were. She should have just said 'shut up,' but instead she mumbled out a "Thanks," under her breath.
A flash of color and dim popping noise followed by what sounded like the fizzling out of flames sounded in the air. "Oh wow, I must have forgotten about the fireworks. Come on," Naruto said as he pulled her up the fire escape of the dorm building. Soon enough they were sitting on the roof of the tallest structure in the encampment, watching the show. Well, Sasuki was watching the show. Naruto on the other hand was too busy observing her expression at the light show.
She'd started out bored, like usual, but as the fireworks went on her features softened. A small smile adorned them as the finale rolled around, the technicolor lights in the sky reflecting off of the pale skin of her face. Naruto's ears seemed to have toned out the loud explosions that were so close to him and his companion as he looked at her. His stomach was tying itself in knots, and he couldn't explain any of it. He liked being around the Uchiha, and not for any reason like their shared pain. That could only explain an understanding of the other's emotions. No, it was her calm demeanor that could explode into flaming passion without warning that intrigued the blonde. Her confidence and determination were two of his favorite qualities from the girl.
Sasuki turned her head as the last of the lights faded from the sky, the smell of soot burned into the air and smoke floating into the atmosphere. "That was pretty fun, I guess," she said with a shrug and a smile. Naruto nodded, still observing the girl.
"So what now? I really don't feel like hitting the sack just yet," the boy asked. Sasuki stared up into the sky and pondered his question for a second.
"Well, there's not much else to do around Konoha at night. I mean, unless you want to train together it's not like we can just tell stories under the moonlight."
"That's a good idea. I'm sure you've got your fair share of Uchiha family lore, and I could always work something up," the blonde replied. His smirk forced the girl to form the same expression, and she decided that it wouldn't be that bad.
"Alright, fine. Just the one story though. Let's see…alright, this was one of my favorites growing up," Sasuki said. Why she'd felt inclined to add the factoid escaped her, but she continued anyways. "Long ago there existed two forces in the world, both inclined to good and evil. The good was a man, the founder the ninja way, the Rikudou Sennin. Opposite to him was a great and powerful force known as the Juubi, the ten tailed demon rabbit," the girl was cut short by the blonde's laughter.
"Ten tailed demon rabbit? Are you kidding me with that shit? No great and powerful evil creature would ever be a rabbit," he stated harshly, clutching his stomach as he laughed. Sasuki was quick to hit the boy over the head, which quickly shut him up.
"Anyways, the Juubi no Usagi appeared one day and began to attack the planet, threatening to destroy the Earth with its mighty power. The Rikudou Sennin swore he would save the people, and he did. They say that aside from inventing all Ninja Techniques through the use of the four great Doujutsu, of which one was the Uchiha's Sharingan, he specialized in sealing jutsu. When he faced the Juubi, he split its soul from its body after many intense days of battle. He locked the malevolent body of the creature in orbit above the earth, where dust and rock formed around its massive body to create the moon. Then the soul, pure chakra, was split into nine separate entities known as the Tailed Beasts.
"He then gave his incredible powers, the four great Doujutsu, to four separate families that before then had been nothing but beggars. He never gave rich aristocrats his secrets, because they were corrupt and selfish. Instead, he sought out the pure-hearted children to pass his abilities on to, to those with less evil intentions, he gave the greater powers. Finally, before he could find a pure heir to pass on all the abilities in greater strength to, he died. The people determined that since they no longer had a protector, they would fight against the threats themselves."
Naruto couldn't resist cutting in. "But that was the Rikudou Sennin's greatest mistake. He left the Tailed Beasts uncontrolled, and those with enough power sought to use them as weapons of war. Without a supreme and benevolent power in their world, all fell into chaos. War waged, blood fell like rain, and those who were once pure-hearted bore offspring of incredible greed and bloodlust. The world fell apart."
Sasuki looked at the boy in shock. She had thought that she was done with the story after that and that everyone lived happily ever after. Though, if the myth was true, then Naruto's account would be a much more reliable ending. "What makes you say that?" she asked. Naruto smiled wide at her.
"I'll tell you a story Hokage-ojiji used to tell me before I went to bed at night. Around the first turn of a century since time had begun to be recorded, the nine tailed demon fox attacked and laid waste to Konoha. Hashirama Senjuu, the Shodaime Hokage, did battle against it time and time again, each time he drove it off, but could never mortally wound the beast. Then, a small clan from Uzushiogakure came to the man. They were powerless aristocrats from a powerless nation, but they held an amazing secret. Their vitality and chakra were special in a certain way that allowed them to contain the tailed beasts, turning them into things called Jinchuuriki. The current clan head sealed the Kyuubi within herself. The Shodaime promised to the woman that her and her clan would be welcome in Konoha at any time, and so the newborn Konoha and the small Uzushio formed an alliance of sorts. But during the second great Shinobi war, they were all but decimated. Not a lot of people know much about the clan, Hokage-ojiji says he doesn't even remember their name anymore, but the story is all true."
Sasuki remained silent, thinking about the two separate stories. There was just too much time and too many unknown factors between them to link them in any possible way. Perhaps what happened in the past would always eventually be forgotten in some form or another. "You said something about Jinchuuriki…do those kinds of people still exist today?" she asked.
Naruto's heartbeat became erratic at that question. He wasn't ready to tell her the truth about that, not yet. How would Sasuki react to his situation? Would it be positive at all? He could see her now; fear in her eyes as she ran away from him screaming that he was some sort of monster.
"As far as I know they do. Otherwise we'd have gigantic animals with lots of tails attacking everyone," he replied with a shrug. He could at least tell her a half truth for now.
"I'd hate being used like that, though I couldn't say no to that kind of power," the raven haired girl said. Naruto sat up quickly and grabbed her by the shoulders. A wave of shock coursed through the girl at his brash actions.
"Don't think like that. Having a monster sealed inside of you is the kind of fate I wouldn't even wish on my own worst enemy. I know you want power Sasuki, but promise me that you won't sell yourself to a malevolent or cruel source that offers it to you. It would get inside your head, try to corrupt you in ways you can't even imagine, and it could do it with enough persistence," Naruto blurted out.
"But I won't, because things like that only happen in stories," she replied. Gathering all her nerve and checking the area to make sure they weren't being watched, Sasuki wrapped her arms around Naruto's neck and hugged him. It barely lasted half a second, but in that time the knots that had been tying themselves into Naruto's gut returned full force.
"I should get to bed. Thanks for the story Naruto. And Happy Birthday again," Sasuki said as she hopped down off the roof. Naruto looked at her as she walked off towards the girls' dorms. The blonde raised his hand to his stomach, gripping the area where the central part of his seal was located tightly.
"Yeah, just a story…"
Well, there's the first of many to come. Expect a Things update real soon guys! Happy Summer!