Disclaimer: All rights belong to Masashi Kishimoto and Norihiro Yagi respectively.
The Legend of the Faint Smile
By. Astral Miscreant
Rating: T (may possibly change to M in future)
Character(s): Teresa, Naruto, Kakashi, Obito, Kurenai, Danzo, Ilena (cameo), Clare (cameo), and the Konoha Eleven.
Summary: After years of being reborn into the elemental nations and finally accepting her fate, Teresa is given a second chance at living. And that new symbol of hope comes in the form of Konohagakure no Sato's resident jinchuriki by the name of Uzumaki Naruto. However, her path is not an easy one as she must find a way to deal with the impending events of a village massacre, a new adversary, and a possible war, courtesy of a flame from the past in a foreboding mask. Join her as she deals with the new responsibilities of raising the child of prophecy, finding her place in Konoha, and accepting a new friendship with a few old foes.
For so long Teresa of the Faint Smile had forgotten what it felt to be human. To be marred with the eternal cycle of living, breathing, thinking, and learning.
It was an unending cycle, humanity's plight, as it was wrought with the twists and turns of the shortcomings of man. But it was beautiful. The tragedy of humanity was something she had been so fixated on for the very fact that she could not even feel one facet of its intensity. Beautiful, yet, so outlandish.
The idea of man—he who is painted as a nuanced portrait with the different shades and details that made him inherently him, such that it was an elusive concept, such that she had no iota of knowledge of how it was to live or even let live. Teresa of the Faint Smile had been averse to this very idea.
There was no emotion of life, there was no light or darkness—only a plain, grey medium that she had now come to conclusion should be dubbed as purgatory.
For in there, in this purgatory, had she roamed the lands with no purpose in life, with no light nor darkness, only grey.
A colorless portrait of a warrior conditioned to the point where all of the last vestiges of humanity that had once made her inherently her, were cruelly drained from her body—from the very last inkling of black that had once shaded her long hair and now colorless eyes.
A warrior, true and bonafide—moulded from the grit of her monotonous life as she was conditioned to simply act as a tool to kill. That was what she had become.
And for so long she had lived vicariously through the blood that was shed by the very sword that forever melded to her hand like a second skin.
Cold and detached, with no sense of empathy or understanding of the truth of life and humanity—for decades Teresa had wandered her realm like this. It was a shame, really, for someone who was forever tainted with a greying perception in all things that so happened to come across her clouded vision.
Suddenly, the hands of fate, or perhaps God, or Kami, or perhaps even the devil himself—she did not know—had decided to grant her a small beacon of light, one that had scintillated in her grim reality.
This light came in the form of a little girl named Clare.
Perhaps it was always preordained for the circumstances of Teresa's plight to be in the hands of those she had loved the most, for when she loved someone, she loved hard. And by the Lord, she had loved Clare.
She had loved her with all her heart, she loved with every breath, every step. However, her time with Clare had only been but a fleeting moment it would seem, as she was unceremoniously thrust into a different reality—one far from the grimness that she had long been accustomed to.
Death it would seem, was not simply a harbinger of fearful apprehension, but perhaps he was also a giver of new hope.
For, once Teresa of the Faint Smile was cut down from her grey pedestal, death took it upon himself to thrust her into the void of the unending where she no longer traipsed the dilapidated grounds of her purgatory. And she would wander endlessly in the darkness until the hands of fate would finally take pity of her plight.
It was Teresa's tragedy, the story of her life that would be lauded in the theater of war. Men would bow down at the result of this tragedy, women would beseech.
And what was this tragedy? Again, it was the emotion of life, the vivid spectrum of humanity, the very concept she had not been privy to for the longest of times.
Yes, for so long Teresa of the Faint Smile had no knowledge of what it felt to be human. She did not understand how these creatures, so mysterious in their conception, could feel the emotion of life with its many aspects of love, hate, camaraderie, envy, and everything and anything that made man intrinsically man.
Though, the misconceptions of this enigma had been shattered to its core with the coming of her redidivus.
The rebirth of a warrior, through an unlikely turn of events, had forever changed Teresa's perception of humanity.
As it was, after her death, the fates took it upon themselves to bless her with a new beginning—a new life where she would discover the innate humanity that had long laid dormant within the cold, empty shell that she had come to possess.
Through fate's hands had she been thrust into a new reality, the reality of the shinobi. A world where time and space seemed to collapse upon itself with the coming of trained warriors attuned with the ki of the world in all its elements. This was what her life would become.
In the land of the elemental nations, Teresa would be dubbed from thenceforth as a child of Konohagakure no Sato, kin of the Shimura clan, and one of the most gifted warriors of her generation, moreover in the shinobi history in its entirety.
Yes, for so long, Shimura Teresa had forgotten what it felt to be human. She had forgotten the emotion of life, for she was stripped away of that very unalienable right so long, long ago.
But here, in the land of milk and honey, the land where shinobi flourished under the weight of the world, Shimura Teresa saw the portrait for what it was worth. No longer was it greying, no longer was she stuck between heaven and hell. She was alive. And very much so.
The world as she knew it, now seen in eyes more polished from its dulled silver, was a vivid portrait conveying all colors of the spectrum in its entirety.
She saw the earth in all of its beauty from the lush greens of the lands. The endless blue of the sky, the dark cerulean depths of the ocean. The stark contrast of night in all its darkness, the glimmering stars that shone up above. The smiling faces of each and every living person, and above all, the brightness of the sun each time it rose for a new chapter.
She saw it all.
The once fleeting candlelight of life that would forever elude her very grasp had suddenly become tangible and so, Teresa grasped it with zeal.
She looked back at this very moment from the time she had fell in love. It was not something that had happened in the most instantaneous moments, nor was it something that she could ever imagine to find herself doing. Prior to any of this, the closest thing to being in love for Teresa was nearly next to never—and if she were to be truthful, indeed it had never occurred in all her lives. In her old life she had loved many, Clare with that platonic love that any mother could feel towards her child, Ilena with the love for a friend that endured through the hardships of battle, despite the fact that they had left one another on a bitter note.
She fell in love with the emotion of life, like a moth who scrambled to a light, ready to plunge into the brightness that would soon mark its own impending death. Teresa swore it would never happen, she was not keen on tossing the first stone to her own fall to condemnation.
But oh, how she fell.
She fell in love with the light in all his shining glory as he scintillated so brightly like no other she had come across in all her existences.
She fell in love with the very idea of him as her maternal instincts pulled for her to draw closer and closer and closer until she was consumed with his infectious light. She fell in love with him the way a mother were to fall in love with the very first sight of her first child. And it was true for the matter, for Uzumaki Naruto was her very first child to behold in all his glory.
She fell in love with the emotion of life and its light, and in doing so, she grew to love her adopted son with an altruistic and unconditional endearment.
For never in her life would a warrior of her caliber, a woman of her capacity, show even the most transient flicker of emotion. Never had she ever displayed any telltale sign of the idea of love. However...
With the light, then would she see the world in all its beauty. With him would she see the entire portrait.
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, the winds of fate and the love of a child had blew away the tainted shards of darkness that had ingrained themselves in the silver of her eyes.
The world was no longer grey, the swell of emotions she had once been unable to feel would sweep her away in a maelstrom of intensity that she had wished to taste for so long. This was humanity, this was the emotion of life.
And now she was alive.
This is her story...