Okay, I was thriving over writing something, anything, ANBU based last night, even though it was midnight. I managed to pull this out. I was going to include a last part about when Naruto discovers that the person all along was his sensei, but I was tired and just went to sleep. Interpret it how you want. I don't really care that much, it's a one-shot as far as I'm concerned.
It appeared one dark night from seemingly nowhere.
A white mask, a body growing and thriving merely around it, sitting by his windowsill, their identity and presence hidden from the world. The moon, shining brilliantly on the mask, refusing to touch the dark cloth and spraying hair, not obligated to give them color or recognition of any kind.
But his eyes still found the figure there in his house. Wondered a million things as to why and how.
Mostly why though.
He moved forward, staring with bright wide blue eyes, and paused to gather his thoughts. Finally, he spoke.
"Who are you," Naruto asked.
Silence was all he was given in return and his eyes furrowed. Not only were they suddenly inside his residence, but now they had the dignity to play mute.
Naruto was torn from yelling at the stranger or embracing them. On the first logical hand, he could fly off the handle, ordering them to leave. He could, no, he certainly would approach the mysterious figure and let him have it. No one entered his home without permission or a well-prepared bucket of water teetering above the doorway. At least he could've had booby traps, whoopee cushions, and a wide assortment or pre-made spitballs if the person had the damn gall to knock on his door. How dare they sneak into the prankster's lair without any warning!
Then there was the other option. Naruto wasn't just a prankster, he was an unloved, lonely one, burdened with glares and vicious remarks wherever his feet lead him in the damn village. No one wanted to be near him, that creature, as they would say. Cruelty without reason, they only way he could get people even this close was through punishment of horrible deeds. Maybe that was what the person was here for, the end it all.
Maybe Naruto wouldn't mind so much. All he wanted was someone to come near him, maybe hold him in their arms without threats and snide looks, for the real love he saw given to kids, despite their behavior, everywhere.
His thoughts fueled the silence between them.
"What are you doing here," He finally muttered quietly, daring to disrupt the closeness by stepping forward.
The mask only stared at the blonde. Not with accustomed viciousness. Not with pity or sadness, hanging overhead like a gloomy soft rain. Not even with glee.
The mask stared with nothing to offer or hold on to.
Naruto's head swam with confusion. Apparently, a man- a being of some kind, he couldn't exactly dub the body attached to the mask as his fellow kind- coming to his corner window without anything to give hold or take couldn't exist in his mind without throwing away many of his own set laws. No hate. No love. Nothing. Why would there be nothing? Why would anyone do this? Why?
And Naruto realized he had spoken this inquiry aloud, snapping his mouth shut in unease of disturbing the atmosphere and continued to try his best to observe closely for a historical moment in his life. Nonetheless, light refused to touch them and his eyes couldn't penetrate the pure darkness enveloped around the accented mask. Not a sound. Nothing. The being didn't even have a scent, or, at least he could pick up.
It finally dawned on him the possibility that there wasn't someone there or they weren't alive, that he'd been talking to a figment of time and space or his own despair and desperation for acceptance. Maybe they didn't even exist, that this isn't real at all. The mere chance that this being was the only thing that was in existence was pushed aside though, for his world, as painful to accept as it was, didn't involve being of this caliber in his mind and there was no way he could form a foundation of living a lie of agony for these years.
Naruto knew there was only one way to find out. And like hell was he going to flee of fright and if he had to struggle and fight, damn it, he would because this was his reality and this being was threatening the structure of it.
Cautiously, he pushed forward, clothed feet touching the ground and vibrating, echoing forever, in the depth of quietude. Softly, tap by tap, he made it to arms length of the creature. Still without a sound from the being, a single motion, light refracting.
Naruto extended his small hand, fingers wriggling with anticipation of knowledge, of the thought that this piece of perfection of such unknown and immeasurable solitude was in his grasps.
And just as his hand barely grazed the cold glossed mask, it disappeared from reach, fading, literally, into the shadows and darkness of the night, leaving nothing in it's wake.
No matter how hard he searched and how difficult it was to grasp in his child-like mind, Naruto found nothing; and he came about recognizing that figure as nothing of anything possibly capable of carrying a title or name.
It didn't end there.
Naruto was startled just as he was the time before when he found the figure again. Mute, despite similar and different questioning. It didn't want ramen or acceptance or a knuckle sandwich. All it would was sit and watch him from the black corner. He was sure it watched him; despite the depth of emptiness, he felt the cold eyes fixed to his every gesture, sometimes forcing him into a fit of shivers. It would leave as mysteriously as it came every time around the same time as if it was merely routine, like it had always been routine. It never was routine though, especially since he was the one doing something, anything, different than the last they met. It waited and saw everything capable of him- Naruto's cursing, binging on ramen, practicing ninja skills, even weeping uncontrollably in his woe.
Always there, always silent, always nothing. Naruto almost considered him to be some sort of friend, a comfort that he wasn't just ranting and raving to himself, he wasn't always by his lonesome in a world of unforgiving people.
Then, there was the day it ended.
"I won't be coming back."
The voice startled Naruto deeply, he shot up from his tangled mess of blankets in bed. His head swiveled this way and that, looking for anyone there, anyone who created sound, especially, one that was so bitter and serious. He probably would've never ever found the voice if it hadn't been for a single major detail.
The figure behind the white mask was standing by the window. And it was there, barely there, a small tint of light that penetrated and revealed an outline, a true outline, of the being.
Man. This was man.
And Naruto stared at the person for the longest time, stuck between shock and the inability to form words from his mouth. It was just as well something he couldn't accept. This masked person of complete nothingness wasn't able to speak, or move from any other position for that matter. There was no possible way even if hell froze over.
This… this was why he accepted it. Because he couldn't accept it and that was the real recognition between the silent figure crouching in the corner to the tall man standing with all his glory. The alarm dissolved away, replaced with confusion and concern as always.
"Why?" He asked again simply while frowning, squirming from his previous position onto his feet.
The man stared for a few quiet moments further, savoring, so it seemed, the same scene daily laid before him. Then, in an instant, he disappeared. Not by fading into darkness again, but in a quick flash and wisp of scentless smoke, his image fading from memory and existence as Naruto only smiled sadly.
Naruto knew he would miss the figure, now the man, who hid in the shadows of his room.