A break from my usual "OC reborn as an OC".

Disclaimer: Naruto is the intellectual property of Masashi Kishimoto. I guess.


The first time he opens his eyes and truly sees is two years after his birth.

He's balanced on the hip of a woman he knows instinctively to be his mother (not his mother who has been forgotten by all but himself) and pulls emptily at her silky black hair.

She smiles down at him as she gently removes his hand from her hair. He doesn't particularly mind and is more focused on how familiar she seems. Eventually, however, his train of thought is interrupted when she boops him on the nose.

(Boop is an adorable word that makes him feel nostalgic and wistful at the same time.)

He smiles and laughter bubbles from his mouth, unbidden as his mother whispers to him words he only hears peripherally. The incessant feeling of recognition still squirms uneasily through his head, but he ignores it in favor of stroking his mother's hair. It's soft. Comforting.

(It's unfamiliar but not unpleasant.)

His mother's smile grows as she continues to walk, all the while entertaining him with small comments on the way to wherever it is they're going. He has an inkling of a feeling that this isn't the way things should be but he ignores it and keeps his eyes trained on his mother's breathtaking smile.

She eventually stops her chattering but shows an equal amount of affection without speaking and he relaxes.

For a moment, he wants to understand that but the thought is washed away in a torrent of breathless love and joy.

As focused as he is on his mother and her affectionate attention, he is also distinctly aware of the moment they enter a decidedly different district of town. They pass through gates (two men standing guard) and walk among many homes. They all share a similar style but he is only aware of that peripherally.

As focused as he is on his mother's affectionate and distracting doting, he notices that each and every person within shares very similar features. The thought crosses his mind that this 'compound' must belong to a really large family. That makes perfect sense so his wariness is ignored.

When he and his mother enter the largest home, they are given a sideways greeting by a stern-faced man. Though, while the man's face is stern and creased by stress, the two-year-old can see a softness (locked away and deeply hidden) in those pitch black eyes. Recognition flits through his mind once again but it's irrelevant.

Another younger male comes from deeper inside the house and his love is written clearly on his face compared to the father. If the boy's face wasn't marred by two heavy creases beneath his eyes, then the toddler would've lived the smallest bit longer in ignorance.

As it is, with his attention drawn away from his mother (She'll die) and towards the face of his brother (He'll kill them) he's panicking.

When his father turns his back and the wretched uchiwa is exposed, he's on the verge of tears.

The first time he opens his eyes—

(The first time wakes up—)

—and truly sees—

(—and truly remembers—)

—is two years after his (re)birth.

Then all is nothing and the world goes black.