Disclaimer: I do not own this series. Don't confuse yourself into thinking I do.
Warnings: Set after chapter 302 of the manga –vague spoiler alert. Also, this is unbeta'd and relatively unedited. Deal with it.
A/N: These scenes are in chronological order. This may either clear things up or confuse you further.
Naruto laid on the single bench bolted into the stone wall. It and the chains secured the same way into the rock above him were the only things in the tiny cell.
He wasn't sure how long he had been locked in there, but was thankful for the bars on his cell that allowed him a small glimpse into the hallway beyond. If nothing else, he could watch the shadows flicker across the wall.
Even though he was sure that they were slowly driving him mad.
Sakura and Yamato weren't in this prison area, he knew that much. He didn't know if there were cells anywhere else in Orochimaru's hideout. He was pretty sure that his two teammates had gotten away safely, anyway. It would explain the foul mood his captors had been in when he first found himself in this predicament.
Naruto hadn't seen Sasuke at all. From the moment they snuck into Orochimaru's lair after Sai up until now.
He was so close, but he was failing.
He had seen Kabuto a few times, and Orochimaru –both of whom had asked him some strange questions (the weird ones were more recent in coming, he thought, but couldn't be sure –time was distorted) some were about Sasuke, some weren't. They wanted to know a lot of things, but he had nothing he could tell them even if he had wanted to.
He didn't answer their questions about what Konoha knew, mostly because he didn't know what Konoha knew.
Sometimes he would just talk about a completely different subject and they would get mad and frustrated, but they didn't really do much. Nothing that wouldn't heal by the next morning, and he had strong endurance. At least physically.
Sasuke narrowed his eyes at the blonde who was staring blankly at him, or rather, through him. Is he even awake?
He had heard of people who were capable of sleeping with their eyes open, but he doubted Naruto was one of them.
The blonde had to be awake -his eyes followed the shadows that flickered on the walls and across him from the torches that were hung along the corridor. Naruto's expression, however, remained blank, not bored, but empty. The blonde seemed completely unaware that he was even there.
Sasuke wondered if Naruto was fully conscious. Sometimes injuries or mental strain could induce a trance where the eyes could move, they could even see, but the images didn't really register in the brain.
Naruto appeared relatively uninjured, but who knew if his clothes were hiding bruises and marks? He didn't know what Orochimaru and Kabuto did when they questioned Naruto.
"Idiot," Sasuke called out, wondering if his voice would trigger a response.
There was none.
He shouldn't care, he had left Konoha behind for his ambitions, but Konoha followed him.
Kabuto walked up to the cell that contained Naruto. He had been receiving some rather odd reports from Sasuke. When he stopped in front of the stone bars that someone must have painstakenly chipped away at to create, Naruto's eyes focused on him.
He smiled genially at the captive, unafraid of attack, since the young Konoha nin had been rather thoroughly sealed to the point of being as weak as a small child.
"Naruto-kun. How are you feeling?"
The blonde shrugged, leaning against the wall, sitting up as his legs swung back and forth, hanging beneath him on the bench.
"What do you want?"
"I want to talk with you," Kabuto replied, maintaining a pleasant expression.
Naruto's eyes widened, before narrowing angrily.
"I don't know what I could possibly say. I haven't seen him for years."
"He hasn't come to visit you since you've been here?" Kabuto asked, an eyebrow rising.
Naruto's legs stopped swinging as he focused an intense gaze on the medic.
"Has he been allowed to?" To the blonde, it would make perfect sense for Orochimaru to forbade it, lest he run the risk of Sasuke losing focus due to a reunion with former teammates. Naruto hadn't even seen Sasuke when he had been captured.
Kabuto gave him a strange smile before walking away.
Naruto gazed at the ceiling. If Sasuke were allowed to come visit him, would he?
Would you come and talk to me? Would you try to explain yourself? Probably not. Or would you belittle me for getting caught?
Maybe Sasuke would try to use another chidori on him, provided he hadn't gotten the mangekyo sharingan yet, but he'd have to be the closest person to Sasuke in order for that to happen, and after three years of separation, he didn't think that was the case.
He couldn't even say himself that he and Sasuke were still friends. Granted, he knew why Sasuke had gone to Orochimaru, and he understood it at least a little, but that didn't mean he agreed with it.
Sasuke had made a choice, and he chose Itachi.
Is it too much to ask to see him again?
He maybe didn't really consider Sasuke a friend anymore, but he had once considered him a brother, and he was pretty sure that brother's still cared for one another even after years of quarrel. He knew that somewhere, Sasuke still loved Itachi. Just as he knew that Itachi loved Sasuke. Itachi wouldn't have left him alive, he wouldn't have given him a reason to live, otherwise.
He wondered how Sasuke was doing.
Sasuke was back again. He had lost count of how many times he had been to see the blonde. He didn't even bother to say anything anymore. He never got a response.
Naruto was sitting up on the edge of the bench, feet firmly planted on the ground, elbows leaning on his knees, watching a beetle crawl across the floor.
He watched it too.
It crawled between the bars and he wondered if Naruto wished he could be that bug just so he could leave.
The blonde watched the beetle as it turned and moved down the hall beyond his range of view from his spot on the bench.
"Good morning Naruto-kun," Kabuto greeted.
"Is it morning?"
"He's currently sparring with that Sai character."
"Why doesn't he come to see me?"
Kabuto shrugged, a grin on his face.
Sasuke glared at the occupant of the cell. Naruto was studying the rust on the chains.
Why was he always so idle in there? It didn't suit him. Or rather, it didn't suit Sasuke's memories of him.
He walked up to the bars that separated him, for the first time. He had always kept his distance before.
No response, no reaction.
"Answer me," he demanded, voice deadly.
Naruto continued to stare at the chains.
"LOOK AT ME!" he shouted, hands gripping the bars tightly.
Naruto studied his hands. They were dirty. His nails had grown long.
He wanted to bathe.
Funny he should be concerned with hygiene. He should be trying to figure out how to escape.
Maybe he could ask Kabuto next time he came if he could have a bath. He didn't even see Orochimaru anymore.
He had never seen any guards.
His food only came when he was asleep, and the dishes removed then, also.
It was as if he and Kabuto were the only people left alive.
He was beginning to look forward to when Kabuto would come. Even though the medic visited unpredictably and usually for not more than a minute or two.
He needed a nail clipper. The thought of biting them off when he could see how dirty they were bothered him.
Kabuto and he had strange conversations, or whatever dialogue that short would be called. They usually confused him.
They almost always talked about Sasuke.
Sasuke found himself staring into that cell almost every morning and every night.
He didn't know why.
Most often it was after he sparred with Sai. Sai liked to talk about Naruto.
He wished Sai would shut up.
Kabuto visited Naruto everyday. Always during his break in the mornings when he was free from his duties. He usually spent about half an hour to an hour with the blonde.
They didn't always talk the entire time during their meetings, sometimes Kabuto would spend more time just observing the blonde.
He usually avoided the subject of Sasuke, and most of the time, Naruto did too. It was coming up more often, though.
When Sasuke was brought up –typically by Naruto, it was only very briefly. Maybe a minute or two.
Then Naruto would almost always change the subject again.
Otherwise, they never talked about anything of consequence. Idle subjects, really, but Kabuto found it relaxing –being Orochimaru's right hand man did not allow much chitchat about everyday, useless things.
Orochimaru grinned at the Konoha nin maliciously. Who would have figured the little brat that Jiraiya had taken in would have caused as much distress as this without even trying?
It was certainly amusing.
With the seals he had placed on Naruto, the shinobi had no chance for escape. He didn't recall any reports of the boy even trying.
He wondered what would happen if he let the brat out? Free to roam around? Supervised by Kabuto…
"What's so funny?" Naruto asked, more disinterested than interested, but the cell was boring.
Kabuto watched as the young shinobi stretched his hands over his head, before walking along the corridor again. He half expected the boy to run around wildly, poking his head into every nook and cranny.
Instead, he had adopted a slow pace, hands in his pockets as he looked at nothing in particular.
Kabuto had not expected this general indifference to surroundings.
As if sensing he was on the medic's mind, the blonde turned around and looked at him.
"How long did it take to build this place?"
Honestly, Kabuto had no idea. Orochimaru had the cave carved out to his own preferences without ever mentioning anything about to Kabuto. The medic had no clue it even existed until they arrived there for their temporary settlement.
He had originally suspected that Orochimaru would have Naruto killed before they moved on, but as he watched the blonde, freed from his cell and waiting for an answer, he began to doubt that. For some reason the snake of the Legendary Three had taken an interest in him. Orochimaru had always found the boy amusing, but this… he wasn't sure.
Sometimes Orochimaru liked to fuck with people, and it seemed like he was using Uzumaki Naruto to do it.
"Orochimaru-sama built it without my knowledge. I don't know how long it took."
"Sasuke… is he a prisoner here too?"
"No, he can roam freely about the hideout," Kabuto said, having expected the inevitable topic.
"He can't leave though."
That was true enough. Not without supervision, but Sasuke's case would be more like parole then.
"There's only one person that's allowed to come and go as he chooses."
Even Kabuto needed permission to leave.
"So we're all prisoners, then," Naruto concluded.
Blue eyes processed this information, before turning back around and walking away.
Sasuke was frustrated.
He had avoided Naruto's cell for a few days, now.
It hadn't helped.
He might have broken Sai's nose in their last sparring match. The Konoha 'Roots' shinobi wouldn't shut up.
Orochimaru walked by the empty cell, grinning at the bars that, for the time being, imprisoned nothing.
Kabuto frequently took Naruto out.
It was almost as if his prized medic was becoming attached. Or maybe Kabuto's interest was purely medical, since he had taken to studying the blonde daily.
Kabuto had mentioned keeping a journal on it.
The young artist looked surprised to see Naruto.
"What are you doing outside of your room?" Kabuto asked. The dark haired young man was kept locked in his quarters when they had no use of him.
"Orochimaru-sama let me out," Sai smiled.
Naruto noticed Sai had two black eyes. His nose was slightly swollen. He didn't ask about it, but he was a little curious.
"Can you draw me a picture?"
Again, the artist looked surprised.
"No," he answered, smiling.
Naruto looked unaffected by the reply.
"Have you seen Sasuke?"
Orochimaru watched as his future vessel fumed. Sai had cheerfully mentioned running into Naruto.
Immediately, the artist had the Uchiha's attention.
"He didn't mention you at all," Sai lied.
Apparently the young ANBU had no inhibitions when it came to touchy subjects, and making them worse.
Sasuke started to walk away, expression cold, eyes furious.
"He wanted me to draw him a picture."
Naruto was in his cell, waiting for Kabuto. The medic took him out sporadically.
He had seen Sai.
The other boy hadn't said much to him.
Their conversation consisted of two sentences.
Sai had not seen Sasuke.
He had wanted to ask Sai for a picture, but Sai had walked away.
Kabuto brought a sketch pad and a pencil.
He had handed it to Naruto, wordlessly.
"What do I do with this?"
"What would I draw?" Naruto asked.
"Whatever you want," Kabuto answered.
Naruto looked at the sketch pad, wondering where it had come from. He woke up to find it on the bench next to him. He didn't remember falling asleep.
Kabuto must have left it.
It would pass time.
There was only one thing he could think of to draw.
Kabuto showed up as he was almost finished.
"I see you decided on a subject. May I see?"
"I'm almost done," Naruto said, filling in the shadows on the skin, adding to the spike of the hair.
The image of Sasuke stared blankly back at him. He had not drawn a background, had not added any other details, just having drawn Sasuke against the stark whiteness of the page.
His former teammate the sole image.
He handed it to Kabuto.
"Who?" the medic asked.
Naruto gave him a strange look.
Naruto stopped at a door.
"I want to go in there."
The Sound nin opened the door and went in, Naruto following.
Sasuke and Sai stopped their spar and looked at the pair.
"Naruto…" Sasuke said, his voice barely traveling to Kabuto's ears.
The blonde looked at Sai.
"What are you doing here?"
"I'm sparring." The young ANBU was expressionless.
Naruto looked confused.
"With who? There's no one here."
Orochimaru looked at the piece of paper Kabuto had handed him.
"What is this?"
"Naruto drew it."
"Did he say what it's supposed to be?"
"Yes. It's Sasuke."
Orochimaru's sharp eyes shot to the medic. A smirk slowly spread across his face as he set the paper on the table beside him.
The snake sennin stood from his seated position and walked out of the room, Kabuto following him. Sasuke waited until they had left and walked over to the table, picking up the paper.
Sai watched as the sharingan user grew still.
The picture slipped from numb fingers, floating to the ground at Sai's feet.
A drawing of a memorial shrine rested on the ground.
A/N: Usually I write crack. This is not crack. It's not even supposed to be funny (so it's a bad thing if it makes you laugh… at me).
In case anyone is still confused, Naruto remembers things a little differently than they happened.
I'm pretty sure I completely made up the disorder being suffered. However, if I had to classify it (despite it probably not existing) I would call it a dissociative disorder (I may be wrong because I'm not actually a psychiatrist, gasp!) related to amnesia or fugues. Also, I'm not sure if the title "Psychosis" is technically applicable, but eh, I like it.
My tooth hurt, so I took a couple codeine tablets then I wrote this so I don't know if it makes too much sense (although it isn't supposed to be clear cut), but that might've helped in writing Naruto for this fic.