Although this story has both Naruto and Naruko tags on it, this does not mean both characters are in the stories. There is only one Naruto and yes, she is female.
Warnings: disturbing implications, course language, potential triggers, genderswitch, SasuFemNaru
Paragraphs in italics – flash backs, lyrics/poems/quotes, dreams, and thoughts
normal – present
Watching the sequence of sounds coming out of your mouth
But the snow is too loud
Follow the hands as they move
Trying to make out your mood
But my brain doesn't want to
Kill and Run - Sia
To Uncharted Realms
1. The Grief
"Naruto listen… I'm sorry. I'm so sorry."
The heavy echo that came with the empty silence frightened him with aching desperation. The windows were closed and the curtains were shut. A cold mug of tea sat on the dusty table, long forgotten. It kept the rich liquid to itself as it stared at the withered flowers across the room, their scattered petals having fallen to the floor long ago. They were no longer a deep lush red, but rather a dull brown; the burgundy more dry and reserved than its original and more natural beauty.
They were crusted and cold. Everything was cold... except for the liquid agony that ran tracks down his face in a molten stream. She held onto him limply... unable to comfort him in his uncontrollable grief. Her own energies were fading against a struggle that was pointless to fight for.
She hoped he realized... that she was grieving just as deeply as he was.
2. The Sadness
He forces her to eat.
For her own good that is.
She hasn't been sleeping, refuses to eat, and has started to ignore him. He knows he's been neglecting her lately, but it's starting to become unhealthy. She's injured, glaring sharpened shrapnel at him when he mentions a doctor and stubborn in home remedies. She's missing work and Tsunade's almost frantic panic on the answering machine sets a dull throbbing in his cranium.
Naruto doesn't want to get better and he knows he's to blame. But he needs to take care of her... needs to show her that he's more than capable. Ever since they were infants, she's always been the one to stand guardian over him, the one who pushed him forward, tried to understand him, comforted him, and always put his needs before her own.
He's practically spoon feeding his angelic counter part, disregarding the density of agony hovering above them.
"Usuratonkachi," he grumbles, struggling to keep back a savage growl at her childishness. She's barley chewing breakfast, her eyes an ice storm, as she directs an unblinking stare at him. It makes him feel so ridiculously sad. So drained and broken at the accusation in her eyes. He tries to feed her, but she won't eat. She won't do anything.
"You did this." she begins to whisper spitefully. "You did this to me."
Sad. Just sad.
3. The Bargaining
The loud noise rang through his ears and like death bells, causing his heart rate to spike. He ran up the stairs, fear pumping through his veins faster than adrenaline...
He begins to shake. Memories he doesn't want to remember swimming like ghosts in her fading eyes. He feels exhaustingly drained. Resting his head against her shoulders he starts to cry in short sobs that squeezed the air from his lungs. His mind was violated with images... scenes and visions that he wants to forget and never remember. He wants these hallucinations gone. He wants her back.
"I'm sorry," he choked out, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I love you," in a never-ending mantra.
He stayed like that for hours, rocking her as the air of her voice whispered into his ear,"you have to let me go, 'Suke."
He would never let go. He didn't care that she was mad at him. He needed her more than the oxygen in the air. Without her, he was nothing.
"I don't want you to let go, but you have to."
4. The Guilt
"You're mad at me. I know it."
The raven started off, staring at his silent counterpart with grief hanging in the air. He was rubbing her soft tan arms, facing her gently as they lay in their bed together. The gravity of the situation had yet to be fully understood. However, whether it was because of pure ignorance or the cold clasp of depression was yet to be determined. Her eyes were closed and her lips slightly opened; her face stained with tear streaks from the night before.
She was ignoring him.
Rubbing her arms more, he frowned at the heat escaping from her. He feared that the warmth of her sun-kissed skin would become as cold and dark as the moon. Pulling her closer, he examined the wound on her stomach, the dirty white bandages needing to be changed.
"Naruto," he started again, begging and pleading for her to respond. "I know you're mad at me, but I need to change your bandages."
Waiting for a few more moments, he sighed, propping her body up on the pillows and reaching into the nearby draw to pull out the bandages. He then, slowly, lifted her tank top, taking the rusted layers off as gently as he could.
Glancing up at her, he frowned as her eyelids opened slightly to reveal a dark and murky blue, the light from the orbs long gone and unresponsive.
Continuing with the changing, his breath hitched at the sight of the hole gaping in her stomach, the blood a crusty brown and the skin a sickly purple.
"It's not your fault," she finally coughs in splinters, her entire form heaving. "S'not your fault."
But the maggots of guilt eating away at both of them only screeched in protest.
5. The Anger
Blinking slowly, the raven woke up groggily, eyes refusing to open after his dreams had been plagued throughout the night with the same scene over and over again. He senses his counter-part shifting and immediately hummed in disparagement of her frigid skin. She's like the sun; an eternal heat force that never ran out. For her skin to feel so thick and cold makes him uncomfortable. It was as if life itself was escaping her and that was impossible. His stubborn blonde must have simply left the window open again despite the fact that he always tells her not to. Muzzily, he blinks in reality and stared at her dull blonde hair. It was losing its shine more and more every day.
"Dobe," he mutters affectionately, "come 'ere."
She doesn't respond and rolls over away from him.
She was still ignoring him, becoming withdrawn from life itself. She had even stopped eating, something that he thought would never happen. The thought begins to slowly enrage him. The cold shoulder, the miserable shell that she has become, and the pathetic laziness that she's enshrouded herself with... he's fucking had enough.
He forcefully rolls her back towards him, shaking her violently with hidden weeping. He wants her to respond; smack him in the face and call him out for being a bastard. Instead she takes it, eyes half lidded with sleep and cracked, dried lips partly opened as she refuses to breath.
Until… she finally spoke in a mighty exhale that flabbergasted his senses.
"It's not your fault."
He shakes her silly, throwing back his fist to beat some logic into her, before letting it fall limply to his side.
He's so damn raged, because it is.
6. The Depression
He doesn't remember how many cigarettes he's smoked. Hell, smoking isn't even his thing... it's hers. Of course, he's always been a casual smoker around her, but she was the bulk buyer of deleterious substances. She loved the thought that her life would forever be her own hands. If she wanted to take it away, it was by her hands. She obsessed over the control she felt when inhaling those sickly sweet toxins and feeling them eat away at her system through her blood. He's never been so metaphorical and to him, a smoke is a smoke. It never gives him the same rush that it gives her. He doesn't feel anything.
Except her soft skin, slick against his own that's more of a kissing prayer than a reassurance.
Smoking is probably the one thing she hasn't become lethargic in, so it only comes naturally when he tilts her head back and shot guns her the wholesale of toxins in a withering kiss. Yet she's not giggling, laughing, or inhaling the air deeply until it hurts. She just stares. Right through his soul as she refuses to even let the smoke live. It doesn't do acrobatics and dances that it usually does, simply slithering out of her like a snake without a purpose.
He doesn't believe it's real. In fact... what is real? With his body falling apart beside Naruto's very own, the guilt is the only thing that keeps him weighed down. The raven finally stops existing. Just like she has and the only thing keeping them both above the tsunami was the burden of consequence.
7. The End
Itachi had never felt such an ominous presence in the air of the apartment and too be honest, he would have called... in fact he did but his tenacious little Otouto(1) has refused to speak to him for two weeks counting.
He knew the current situation for the two of them has been rough, but at this point it wasn't a familial concern that had him coming today. It was dread. Something wasn't right... he knew that Sasuke was desperate to fix their situation to the point of taking ridiculously extremes, but that wouldn't fix anything. He needed to think this out better, as the younger was already worrying everyone.
Whatever had kept Sasuke away from the University for an entire two weeks had his frantic friends threatening to call the police, but that would only irritate the already irritable raven further. He knew his brother liked his space, but could he blame him for being worried? The best course of action he came up with was to check up on them... wishing that this was all some big prank and that everything truly was fine.
Then he would only have to give them a lecture in the most violent and cutthroat way possible for scaring the shit out of him.
Knocking for a third time in the last ten minutes, Itachi stared at the old wooden door in anxiety. Technically speaking, they could have left. Still...something felt wrong... terribly wrong.
Without a second thought the elder Uchiha pulled the spare key from under the mat, fumbling through the lock on the door to be greeted with sheer horror.
Paling, bruised skin; rotting flesh, a sea of precious, precious crimson and an overwhelming stench that made him drop to his knees and hurl. His brother only clutched his possession harder; furious tears running down his face in a crazed ire.
"Get OUT!" he screamed in a frightening boom. "Get the fuck out RIGHT NOW! I SAID GET OUT!"
8. The Acceptance
She's dead, she's dead, she's dead and he doesn't think he remembers what it means to function.
He loves her... so... so, so much and he doesn't want to let her go. He can't.
Because she's dead.
And so is he.
9. The Denial
Itachi keeps calling but he doesn't want to talk.
He doesn't want to listen to his brother's impassively frustrating voice. He doesn't want that condescending bastard to keep disturbing them. His worrying tone is only freaking Naruto out because she's sensitive... especially to their situation. She doesn't want help and neither does he. They can make it on their own without the hate and finances of their families.
Itachi calls again... can't he tell he doesn't want to talk? Naruto needs her sleep. She needs to rest. How else would she get better?
Itachi won't stop calling and Naruto begins to whimper. He only shushes her and continues a steady rocking motion. They've both been plagued with nightmares for the past few days and getting any decent sleep was hard.
She needed her sleep. How else would she get better?
And fuck can't Itachi get the fucking hint? They don't want to talk to him. They don't want him disturbing her.
After all, with so much distraction, how else would she get better?
10. The Beginning
He was at another early morning drop; rubbing his cold fingers together as he checked over his shoulder anxiously.
He wanted to get this over with as soon as possible. Orochimaru had promised him that the money for this gig would be good. Also, he needed to get home to his warm cup of coffee, a mountain of studying, and the most beautiful woman in the world.
His girlfriend wasn't exactly aware of how he was getting all this money lately, but she didn't need to. He knew it'd only make her pissed and that's not the point. She assured him constantly that it wasn't emasculating for him to continue his education while she worked full time to support them both.
That wasn't the case... he was just sad.
Sad because the woman he loved more than life itself had always taken care of him. Hell, since they were children Naruto had his back a hundred and fifty percent. This time around, it was too much. He had been disowned by his father after the sudden death of his mother and the financial blow had been... extreme. They had both been full time University students and living on their own, supporting themselves, and having enough money for school was proving to be intense.
He had faith that they could do it. She thought otherwise.
So she had given up her dream of becoming a police officer ... the job both her parents had before they were killed... claiming that his business degree would get them to places beyond imaginable. She claimed that she didn't mind dropping out to work full time, as long as he got to full fill his dream.
"Once you becoming that massive business tycoon, then you can pay for me to go to University."
That wasn't an option.
This time, he was going to put his needs aside for hers. He was going to show her that they could make it and that they could both reach their dreams simultaneously. He was going to show her just how capable they could be. He just needed to finish this drop as soon as possible so he could get home for good. He had already told Orochimaru that he wouldn't be able to continue selling drugs like this. Despite the creep's displeasure, he should have understood from the very start. Sasuke wasn't going to stay
Hearing his phone ring, in a panic he answers it without a second thought, hoping to any god out there that it wasn't Naruto...
"Let me remind you, Sasuke-kun, that once you're in, you don't ever get out."(2)
His blood runs cold at the quick message and he realizes exactly what's happening.
"Don't fucking touch her," he whispers as a growl requires attention he doesn't possess. His legs are moving on their own, running from the drop towards their apartment in lightning speed. His heart pace quadruples as adrenaline starts screaming through his veins. Dread is telling him that he's too late, but he refuses to listen. He's going to get home. He needs to get home.
The sudden earthquake of sound echoing through his apartment complex is enough to break his heart.
She's lying on their kitchen floor like a butchered animal with limbs stretched in snapped positions and a nerve ratting hole is gaping through her stomach as the gateway to the afterlife. He runs through the crimson liquid that's trickling into a river separating them. He cradles her in his arms, running a trembling hand through her sunshine waves of hair that halo around her pure features.
"S-Sasuke," she gurgles as he presses down on the wound.
"Don't move so much... I need... I need to call the police!"
She weakly moves her head in protest and the dull ringing in his ears is coming to a screeching halt.
"Stay w-with me."
"Don't speak!" he cries in panic, fumbling with for his phone... where the fuck is it?
"I-I love y-you..." she forces out before letting out a barrage of deathly coughs. "J-just p-promise you won't l-let g-go... o-okay?"
He couldn't even if he tried.
(1) Otouto – little brother in Japanese
(2) Sasuke-kun – Japanese honorific. Informal; used for males usually by a superior.
Musical track list for this story: : / www . youtube playlist?list=PL5koNmywK7akkpSywokQ4GvjMxe_BXTPN (just take out the spaces)