A/N: Just watched Carrie! The old version that is, and then the newer one, which I preferred. A wonderful movie to be sure, if a bit old. By the end, I actually felt a little sorry for the poor girl by the end. She just wanted to be normal. To have a life if you will. Given how cruel the world was to her, and what happened...well, if you don't believe me, watch both movies for yourself. Anywho, I watched the movies. Both of them. And then I had the most curious dream. And no, before you say anything, I'm not crazy! Well, not much at any rate.
Said all that before right? Right. Anywho, at the behest of many, many MANY people, I decided to continue! Once more, this was born from the desire to see a happy end from the girl who never got one...and I say otherwise!
Regardless, I worked terribly hard on this. Now, off we go!
I sincerely hope you enjoy the continuation of this story! There will be one more chapter after this, thus concluding the story, covering prom and epilogue, depending on whether things truly turn to daisies for our duo...and we wrap up the story here! MASSIVE FLUFF INCOMING! And I credit the movie: All Star Superman for one of the ideas used here...
"For every broken day I lived; for every miserable moment, I smiled; for every shattered home; I loved!"
Happily Ever After
Carrie wanted to die.
Her stomach roiled in a storm of nervous nausea, clouds like jagged lightning flashing in and out of her mind as she struggled not to bolt from her place outside the cage. To bring her powers under control. Her fingers, normally so certain, so sure, fumbled loosely at the hem of her dress. Not the one for prom of course, that was tucked safely away in a closet back at Naruto's place. No, she was feeling nervous, anxious, terrified even, for an entirely different reason.
Because, for once in her life, she was wearing actual clothes. Good, decent clothes, not the ratty hand-me-downs Mamma used to make her wear. Mamma, who no longer lived. Her life had been turned upside down by one boy, a boy she was now living with-though they certainly hadn't done anything untoward-and a boy, currently, had left her waiting up on the sidewalk in a rather muggy afternoon.
In a skirt.
She'd wanted something nice to wear, so, in a rare moment of imp she'd bought, a nice little red miniskirt and blue top just bright enough to be daring, but not bold enough to attract unwanted attention. She was used to long dresses and thick jackets, but Naruto had been vehement in telling her to pick out something she liked.
Speaking of Naruto...where was he?!
First date, he said. Break the ice, he'd said. Have some fun, he'd said.
Late, she said!
"Oops, am I that late?"
"Where do you even come from?!" Carrie yelped aloud as a faint popping sound rang in her ears; in the next instant the very blond she'd been thinking of was standing beside her. Despite her own misgivings her eyes roamed over him, his simple, faded jeans, dark shirt emblazoned with a strange red swirl at the center, and over all that, an equally crimson coat. Just simple casual wear. No grand statements of power followed; just an easy, happy grin on those whiskered cheeks and it was the same smile that made her heart race.
"Sorry, sorry." he beamed, scratching the back of his head. "I got lost on the road of life."
"Nevermind, just an old joke from my teacher. Missed you!"
Strong arms closed around her in a fierce-if somewhat brief-hug, leaving her spluttering in surprise. Naruto was a happy guy, but he usually wasn't so forward with his affections. And what was that stain she saw on his cheek? Carrie did a little waffle deep within her mind, before finally choosing to ignore what quite possibly might be blood on her best friend's face.
"Right, then." he beamed, pulling away. "Ready for the date?"
Her heart leaped!
"W-We're really doing this?"
"Of course!" he took her by the hand and led her away, ignoring the strange looks received by everyone as he did so. Carrie felt her heart soar. She wasn't about to die from embarasment, quite the opposite; she felt as if she could leave the ground at any moment and float into space. Theirs was a winding path throughout the day; first Naruto treated her to an exorbiant lunch, then he insisted on buying her new clothes of her choosing despite the ones she'd already bought earlier.
And, then, out of the blue, he took her to the factory. It was the same, abandoned park where they'd first trained and many days since; it felt like an eternity ago now. So many warm memories here. But it also brought a burning question to the forefront of her mind:
"Why are we here?"
"Oh, right, riiiight, I never mentioned this part, did I?" Naruto muttered. He looked at her, beaming. "Well, it was a spur of the moment thing, really. It also has ties to why I'm here. But first, a history lesson!" he did a little spin, drawing a giggle from her. "My...ah...benefactor sent me here to take care of something. By now, ya've probably realized I'm not entirely ordinary. I've been around for awhile, but not in the traditional sense; I made a mistake and got myself flung to this era by mistake. I never had a chance to properly tell you before. Crazy, right?"
Her head bobbed. Crazy indeed.
But those I'd once served in the past had descendants you see and they recognized me from the old books. Took me in; brought me in from the cold, I suppose you could say. See, the shinobi aren't as dead as you may think; oh sure, there are less of us now that all the bloodlines have been diluted and whatnot, but chakra still exists. Others know of it, and they want it for themselves. In the past, some defected and as a result, those with latent abilities started springing up all over the place. People like you."
"In short, a rather annoying American businessman, Hargensen, thought he could mass produce it. I put a stop to him." Hargensen. Why did that name ring a bell?
"You mean killed." Strange, how that word no longer bothered as it once had.
He blinked. "Yes. Is that a problem?"
Once she would've squirmed under that gaze.
Now? She smiled. "No. Just curious." God almighty, he really had corrupted her, hadn't he? Completely and utterly. She could barely remember the time when she'd been a sad, frightened, misunderstood girl, beaten and tormented by all her peers. Now? Now she felt strong. She could toss a flatbed with a thought, flatten anyone who provoked her...and yet here in his presence-with those bright baby blue eyes staring down at her, she felt like she could conquer the world.
"Which brings us to the penultimate part of this date; that is, the second to last." He bounced on the balls of his feet, dancing away from her. "It had to be out here because; lets face it, if we did this in broad daylight in the town, people would start freaking out." Still smiling, he beckoned her forwards, extending his hand. "Have you ever wondered what its like, to be a God?" It was almost childlike, that gesture, and it set her cheeks to flaming all over again.
Despite this, she deadpanned. "You're not a God, Naruto."
"No," he acceded, "I'm not. I'm not immortal; I won't live forever. But I'm close enough." a hand dipped into the pocket of his coat and withdrew a small vial from within. Its contents were an odd reddish black, but she thought she saw a line of azure there, staining the ruby. "Trust me?"
"What is that?"
"I'd call it a superpower serum, but we both know that'd be too cliche." he grinned, swirling the contents in hand. "This is, essentially, me. The very essence of my being, broken down and distilled into a liquid form. All my abilities, all my powers, all of my unique talents, comprised into a single, safe formula. Now, if someone were to ingest this, what would happen? If I gave it to a normal person, the effects would only last for twenty-four hours, maybe less. But for someone who has that latent potential already unlocked...? I think it'd last forever.
A thought floated it across to her, letting the corked vial land neatly into her hands.
"Happy birthday," he chirped.
"My birthday isn't for months." she murmured.
"Consider it...an advance, then."
"You want me to drink this." it was not a question. Was he trying to drug her? Had it been a trick all along?
"Its not poison." he insisted, stepping forward to cup her cheek. "I just want you to see if not, I can always find a way to reverse it." those rough fingers stroked her face, soothing. "I've been around for ages, watching as every one else changes, while time moves by at a crawl for me. You'd be amazed by what I've learned how to do. Carrie, I want to share this with you. Please. Believe in me."
He stepped away, looking like a kicked puppy.
Uncorking the vial, she held it to her lips. It smelled...she wasn't sure what it smelled like. A rich, heady, unidentifiable scent wafted over her nose. Then, before she could come to regret it, she poured it down and did a quick swallow. Huh. It tasted like fruit juice. Not the red-blue blood she'd expected it to be at all, rather-
That was her next thought as the power burned through her, awakening every cell, activating at once. Her body bent double with a gasp. An unpleasant tingle surged in and out of her blood, lasting for all of a moment's time before dissipating. When she looked up everything seemed sharper somehow, clearer. There was no pain, just...a boundless energy. Was this how he always felt? She bounded from one foot to the other, unsure of what to think, what to feel, what to expect.
"Is it working?"
Naruto grinned. "One way to find out."
Carrie dithered, a sudden bout of anxiety overtaking her. What did he want her to do now? Her nervousness must've shone through, because he reached for her palm once more.
"Do you trust me?" he asked.
"I said; do you trust me?"
She eyed his hand warily. "Yes...?" Her hand curled around his, fingers clutching tightly. Naruto grinned, his eyes flashing red.
"Then don't let go."
Then he jumped. "Up, up, and AWAY!"
"OH MY GOOOOOOOOOD~!"
The words gusted out of her in a terrified aqueal as he thundered upward, a single leap carrying them both from the earth. Soil burst around her and the air itself seemed to keen in surprise, wholly intent on tearing her away from the one thing holding her up. She felt his arms move, the strong notes of his muscular limbs, wrapping tightly around her torso, holding her tight against the storm-
And then it stopped.
"Pretty neat, eh?"
Fearing she might fall at any moment, Carrie dared to look down, and what she saw there took her breath away.
She was looking at the earth.
Naruto's violent leap had taken them clear into the outer atmosphere; leaving her staring down at the blue jewel of the planet, hanging there below them. It was...beautiful. No other word could possibly hope to express the sheer majesty of the moment, the realization that they were doing something that required a space rocket and many, many, many gallons of fuel, to achieve. She could see the continents, the seas, she could see all of it, and it was just...wonderful.
Then she looked up.
Space stared back at her, countless stars made inumerable against the inky backdrop of eternity. Impossible to fathom, yet ever present.
There, abov it all, Naruto shone like a flare for her, his body pained golden and white against the sun, balls of liquid blackness hovering over his back. He beamed down at her. Beautiful, isn't it, eh?" his voice thrummed slightly as he spoke, addressing her and the majesty of the stars.
And then he let go.
...and didn't fall.
Instead she hung there, levitating. No thoughts were needed; her body simply reacted to the danger and planned accordingly.
She realized that her own body was glowing, the same, molten-white gold as him. There were different symbols there, too, but she couldn't bring herself to read them. Her reflection shone bright in his eyes, her hair an eerie, molten gold as it swayed behind her, her body radiant in its brilliance.
"I...what...you...how?!" she sputtered. Then she realized something else. "You!" the sheltered girl's finger thrust itself into his chest as she floated forwards, "You DROPPED me!"
"Only because I knew you wouldn't fall." he countered.
"I could've died!"
"Your body's already learning how to control its new power." Naruto answered. "What, did you think I wouldn't account for that?" Her mouth was still opening to retort when she realized he spoke the truth; instead of an empty gap in her head there was knowledge; information and instinct that hadn't been there before. As if it had always been. She knew how to create something called a Rasengan. How to walk up walls. Walk on water, hey! He'd been telling the truth!"
Then he grinned. "Catch me if you can."
"Get back here!"
Another sonic-boom and she were gone, cannoning back to earth.
They alighted effortlessly together at the town's outskirts, well away from unwanted eyes and prying neighbors. Within minutes, they were back at the very shop she'd been waiting at hours before. It was only then that Carrie truly realized how late it was; the sun was just beginning to sink over the horizon, the skies turning dark as the eternal orb sank out of sight.
"Nice date, huh?" Naruto hummed, holding her close.
"That was...I...mean...you feel like this everyday?!" she guffawed, laughing, her tongue loosened by the excitement.
"Pretty much, yeah."
"You're crazy, you know that?"
Naruto laughed, then; a laugh that didn't patronize or demean her; just a simple noise of amusement that told her he was happy to be here. Thank God. Carrie knew in her heart her once faltering self-esteem improved by the day, but she didn't think she could handle a blow like that. Naruto was her friend, but she was beginning to want more than his friendship, and quite frankly, she didn't know how to tell him that. He seemed like a nice enough sort-and that was really the only reason she was going to the prom at all-but some tiny kernel of her soul still wondered if it was all an act-OW!
Those thoughts came to a crashing halt as he firmly flicked her in the forehead.
"What was that for?" she whined rubbing the small red welt he'd left her.
"For doubting yourself. Telepath, remember? How many times do I have to tell you?" This time, that smile had an edge to it, a fury burning in his eyes. "I'm your friend, Carrie. I will never betray you-never abandon ya-unless you want me to. Don't believe me? Take a peek." She felt his mental walls recede, and shrank back. The thought of touching another's mind was as foreign to her as the idea of walking on water. Perhaps had she known he could do just that, she might've been a little less tentative.
"Carrie," he soothed, "Its alright. I want you to see. You should be able to do it properly, now."
Gulping, she reached out with a psychic tether, fumbling for the presence that was the blond's mind. She wasn't reaching for his memories she tried to tell herself-just the knowledge he was allowing her. Besides, surely he wouldn't leave himself that open? For him to trust her that implicitly would mean-
Voices assaulted her like waves beating upon the shore.
You killed them all, Naruto!
Desperate and gasping for air, she shunted the negative emotions aside and looked deeper. And there, there it was. A powerful series of emotions overlapping it all, a fierce desire to keep her safe. He'd been right, that anger wasn't directed at her, but at those who had driven her into this secluded mindset. No, now she felt something else, something even more powerful. Love.
It slammed into her like a wave, violently ejecting her from his mind. By the time she'd realized what she'd seen Naruto was groaning, rubbing painfully at his head.
"Bit of a headache, there."
Carrie colored. "Sorry...
"Nah, its good. I just wanted you to see the truth."
And then, just like that, the edge softened.
"And on that note, I have one last present for you before today ends."
Carrie blinked. She didn't see anything beyond the people in the street, and even they were departing. What could possibly...?
In the distance, she heard a squeal.
"Do you remember Chris Hargensen?" he whispered in her ear. At her baffled silence, he continued. "That terrible, annoying, bitch with all the depth of a shallow puddle? The one who humiliated you, demeaned you?" She knew that tone, that tone was nothing good, and it sent subtle shivers of delight and dread shooting down her spine. "The stupid slut that's been missing for oh, I don't know...a few days now?" Oh-dear. Carrie recalled what he'd done to her mother, and while she was thankful for that, she still wasn't certain she liked that eerie, gleeful tone in his voice.
"What are you talking about...?"
"Well, I was going to wait until prom to do this, but...eh, I'm impatient." his eyes swung out onto the street, where the curious squealing sound was coming from. "If the lady would be oh-so-kind as to direct her eyes to the corner of fifth and broadway...?"
Another squeal sounded, disturbingly like a human in distress.
Chris Hargensen came tearing around the corner in a rather..questionable getup.
Her face painted pink, her body wrapped in a pig suit, she hastened forward on all fours, much to the disbelief of all those present. Oinking, squealing sound issued forth from her mouth, most of it unintelligent gibberish that made little sense, but in the same veins, got the point across. It wasn't long at all before people had their phones and camera's out, gleefully documenting the scene with the same vindictive glee that had once been unleashed upon her in the locker room.
Carrie balked at it all. "What have you done...?" she whispered.
"A pig is a pig." Naruto hummed, watching her shrieking form recede into the distance. "She currently thinks she IS a pig, and the very hounds of hell are at her heels, intending to pick her dry. She'll be running around in that suit until the illusion wears off, her hands and feet bleed to death, or, someone stops her. Preferably, I'm hoping for the former. With dear old daddy dead, I'm willing to bet she'll never live this down...and this'll haunt her until the end of her days."
It was vengeance, retribution, pure and simple. And couldn't help herself.
She laughed. So did Naruto. She laughed even harder.
Mirth bubbled out of her, the laughter she'd never allowed herself to ever know springing forth in an instant. She wasn't laughing at Chris she told herself, she was laughing because it was so damned funny-okay yes, he was right, she was laughing at Chris. And so what if she did? If anyone on this earth deserved to be broken for being so cruel, it was Chris Hargensen. It felt good, knowing that someone had struck back at her, knowing that someone, that Naruto, was looking out for her.
Then, inexplicably, he quieted. He was looking at her strangely now, most strangely indeed.
Carrie blinked, heart stopping as his hand reached down to cup her cheek. "What are you-
His lips touched hers.
It was a surprisingly chaste kiss all things considered; Naruto didn't push nor did he probe, his mouth simply molded against hers softly, lingering there. Gently, delicately. Just like that. Her first kiss and she...she...she liked it! No, like wasn't strong enough. She...she...SHE...!
All at once a thousand firecrackers erupted in the back of her skull, filling her vision with stars. Her body took over, her hands flinging themselves around his neck, violently yanking his mouth down to hers when he tried to pull away for fear of upsetting her. She wasn't having it! Her tongue tangled with his, her body pressing him against the nearest wall. Years of repressed feelings, of passions she'd never known, never been allowed to know, washed over her and drowned all hopes of resistance.
Carrie left earth and went to heaven, then came back down again, all in an instant. It felt as though here feet were leaving the floor, but that didn't make sense-
Carrie didn't realize she was floating-really, physically floating!-until Naruto tugged her back down to earth, restraining her uncontrolled psychic burst. She landed on her feet and in his arms, her had burying itself deep into his arms.
"Hey," he said softly, "Don't go flying without me."
Carrie colored, her head resting against his chest.
...I don't want to go to prom anymore."
She could see at once that her words had floored him, but she hastened to explain. "Not like that! I just realized...I've been trying to live up to what everyone thought of me, and going to Prom was just...well, it was the same. I'm tired of being what everyone wants me to be." Her hands tightened around his. "I want to be my own person. The one you've shown me I can be."
A blink followed. "I'm...surprisingly alright with that."
"Good." Carried beamed and squeezed him tightly. "Now...can we go home?"
"Home is where the heart is, but hey, sure...
She had all she wanted right here. And only a few years later...
...she had even more.
(Ten years later...)
Naruto grunted in surprise as a flying piece of wood unexpectedly slapped him in the back of the head, sending him stumbling forward onto the front yaed. Carrie noticed it idly as she exited the car, the distant sound of a child's laughter a balm to her senses and a boon to her soul. A bag of groceries shifted in her hand, three more carried aloft behind her with a mental flick of her mind.
She had it all. A white picket fence and everything. Freedom to use her gifts without ever being condemned for them.
Life in Japan was a strange thing even after all these years; but the Japanese government had been true to their word. When Naruto had returned she'd gone with him...and never left. And why would she? With nothing but pan and misery at her back, no relatives and nothing left for her in America, she'd jumped at the chance for a fresh start.
Currently, that fresh start was beating the tar out of her husband.
"Alma," she sang loudly, "Wha
She laughed quietly as she lifted her squealing daughter into her arms, dark tresses spinning wildly from the game. Her child-hers and Naruto's-giggled happily and nuzzled into her chest, pleased with her progress for the day. Her eyes glanced back and mentally lifed her doll at a glance, sending her favorite toy shooting her into her arms. She hummed at the eight-year old's antics. Naruto?
Not so much.
"Okay, okay," he moaned from his place on the ground, "she got me, now can I please-NOPE!"
When Naruto tried to get up again Alma flattened him with a glance, knocking the air out of him with a dull wheeze. "Alright baby girl, that's just mean...
"It's cuz you wanted me to wear orange!"
"Whaaaaaat?" Naruto whined, clutching at his chest. "What's wrong with orange? Orange is a perfectly acceptable color for you to wear! Orange is coooool!"
"Nu-uh!" she scowled, her little face turning amusingly petulant, "My turn with mama!"
"Aw, but what about Daddy? You're hurting his feels...
She seemed to think about that for a minute...then she tugged him to his feet.
"Hugs." she demanded imperiously, with all the regality a child could muster
Naruto boomed a laugh and grabbed her tightly. "Yes, your highness!"
Carrie's free hand formed a tent over her mouth, desperately trying to stifle her own giggle.
Before Naruto, her life had been a blank space. Empty. Hollow. Meaningless. She'd been cast adrift with no sail, no anchor. But no longer. Now, she would live. Naruto was both sail and anchor, there to guide her, and always here to steady her...no, perhaps that wasn't quite right. He was the wind in her sails, the color for her blank space. Because it was blank no longer; her very existence was full of life, light, and color. And all of this, from a mere five words spoken to her, ten years ago. Yes...
Life was good.
She was a blank space no longer.
A/N: And there we have it. A happy-or is it?-ending for the girl who never truly had one, now with a husband and a child of her own. Boom. Everything she never had, all wrapped up a neat, if very crazy bow. Its been an emotional roller coaster writing this little tale, and I thank all who have stuck with me through thick and thin for this story!
Yes, yes, yes, I ruthlessly manipulated the plot, as well as Naruto's abilities, to give give Carrie a much-needed friend, and, finally after so long, a happy ending! Sue me! I LIIIKE HAPPY ENDINGS! And remember, Naruto is a good soul, always willing to help! Even if he's been catapaulted forward in time...and now this tale has reached the ending, just as I planned. Take that, all ye naysayers and flamers and haters and all around jerks who said I don't finish my shit.
Just did! And it was a blast =D
So...in the immortal words of Atlas dear readers, for the last time in this happy tale...
...Review Would You Kindly? I'll be seein' ya around, folks!