Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto
by Chronos Astral
The blond boy stared at the object in utmost scrutiny, sizing it up and down for anything of interest's worth. His brilliant blue eyes scanned the object meticulously, tilting it about in his hands as if looking for an 'on' button. He didn't see what was so interesting about the item. To him, it looked just like an ordinary glass orb like the one the Sandaime Hokage once possessed, except it was only half the size of his palm.
Naruto honestly didn't know what compelled him to accept this 'gift'. Maybe it was the fact that it was wrapped in a neat little bundle that gave him the impression that it was valuable or important. Maybe it was the way the stranger said that it would 'help' him. Though what assistance it would offer, she did not actually explain to him.
The young Jinchuuriki sighed and set the glass trinket on his table before lying on his bed, arms cradling the back of his head to help him think. It was a strange exchange that was for certain. It might have given truth to the phrase 'do not accept things from strangers'. Being a shinobi was no exception to that principle. In fact, it was all the more important, considering a ninja's hazardous lifestyle. You never know if your 'secret admirer's' bouquet of flowers was wrapped in explosive notes, or if the free samples over at the mall were laced with poison after all. This was no joke either, since it's actually happened to a few unfortunate ninja before.
Yet, there was something about that stranger that made Naruto all the more curious of her 'gift' to him...
The 17-year old jounin slumped as he walked the streets of Konoha, giving off an exhausted and depressed air with each step he took, the shadow of the night reflecting his mood. The majority of the way home was spent that way, hunched over as if the world were weighing down on his shoulders. Though it wasn't like there was any real reason for him to feel that way. After all, he had only recently completed a rather difficult A-rank mission without the need of any comrades to support him. The pay was plentiful and his employers were more than happy with his performance.
It was a daunting task, but easy enough to follow; A wealthy merchant's wife had been kidnapped by a group of low-rank missing-nin, demanding a ransom in exchange for her safe return. His job: Retrieve said merchant's wife, unharmed, from said missing-nin through any means necessary.
He had smirked at the 'any means necessary' part. He liked it when there was no limit to how he was to do his job.
The mission was a success. He subdued all the missing-nin, earning him a good bounty for each one, and returned the girl in one piece into the comforting arms of her spouse, who was eagerly grateful enough to pay him extra for his services.
It didn't take much to see that the two cared deeply for one another. Their bonds were strong, held together firmly by their affection with one another. It made Naruto... jealous, for it reminded him of one of the few things he'd ever wished for.
To be loved like that.
And thus, he trekked the streets of Konoha absent-mindedly, his mind wandering back to the tear-jerking scene of his client reuniting with his spouse. It made him feel empty, in need of that kind of love one day. To hold someone close to him, while that someone held him back. To feel the warmth and touch of another. But would he ever achieve that? Despite the Kyuubi? Somehow, he felt that hope for such affection was lost on him. He was the container of the strongest bijuu in existence after all...
And despite the frog wallet in his pocket stuffed to the brim with ryou bills, he knew that the money could never buy him what he wanted.
Heedlessly, he turned a corner to enter a narrow alleyway, a path he used nearly all the time as a shortcut to his home. Due to his distracted thoughts, he failed to realize that his head was about to collide with a wooden door.
"Ow!" The blond exclaimed in surprise, rubbing his slightly throbbing forehead from the bump he had just received. He looked up to the offending door, studying its fine hardwood carving. Aloud, he said. "Where did this come from?"
He stepped back a few paces to better regard the structure that was connected with the door, It looked more like a small wooden structure covered in an elegant purple cloth to make it appear like it were a tent. It looked rather out-of-place, seeing as it was crammed in an alleyway between two larger buildings.
'This wasn't here before...' He eyed the small structure curiously with a small hint of suspicion. It looked a bit aged, despite him never having seen it before and it smelled odd, like burning incense.
"Come in." A muffled voice called out to him from within, startling the blond a bit. He guessed that the person inside assumed that he was knocking.
Briefly, he entertained the thought. 'Well it's not like I have anything better to do...' With a shrug, he stepped up to the door and turned the handle, letting the creaky hinges swing the door open and entered the passage. Immediately, a blinding light assaulted him from within, leaving him disoriented and temporarily blinded. He instinctively put his forearm up to his face to shield his eyes while having his free hand hover readily over his kunai pouch.
"There will be no need for weapons here." The same voice from before, only this time much clearer, beckoned to him from the light.
Slowly he lowered his forearm, eyes squinting and trying desperately to adjust to the utter radiance. The room was entirely a bright white that looked to be stretching on into infinity. The light wasn't coming from one source, more like it was everywhere. Startled, he looked behind him to find the same brown wooden door he had entered from, looking out-of-place as it stood firm despite the lack of any visible wall to support it. He swiveled his head back to the source of the voice, barely making out the silhouette of what appeared to be a young woman. From what he could see through the blinding glare of the room, the woman had a few traces of red in her hair and dressed in an elegant though foreign looking robe.
The figure approached him calmly and slowly, as if unfazed by the luminous surroundings. Naruto tensed at the movement, his hand moving closer to his kunai pouch.
"Calm down, now. I'm not here to hurt you." She said, in an oddly calming way that seemed to echo pleasantly through her lips. Naruto's tension melted slightly, his muscles relaxing little by little.
Trying to sound respectful yet still on his guard against a potential enemy, he inquired. "Who are you?"
From what he could see, the woman had smiled ever so slightly. "Such a prude young man. Aren't you supposed to introduce yourself first?"
Hesitantly, Naruto replied. "My name is Naruto."
"Uzumaki Naruto, correct?" She let a small grin grace her shadowed face at the boy's somewhat annoyed expression.
His eyes narrowed and his scowl deepened. "What was the point of introducing myself if you already know who I am?"
"Manners. Even as a ninja, it is always important to have manners especially when talking to a lady." She wagged her finger playfully at him as if giving a lecture.
Naruto felt himself getting annoyed. "What's your name then?"
Again, the woman grinned. "It's a secret."
"I thought it was customary to introduce yourself." Naruto deadpanned.
"I know. Didn't mean I went by that rule though." The stranger broke in a giggle fit as the blond boy's head met the nonexistent 'floor' in a facefault. "I'm sorry. I haven't had a good joke at someone else's expense for a while now."
"Well I'm glad to be of entertainment to you, miss." He said sarcastically, picking himself up from the 'floor'. For what appeared to be a near-celestial being, what with the whole bright light and overshadowed face and all, you'd think she'd be a little less... eccentric.
"Ah, yes. I digress. I suppose you're wondering about all this," She gestured the infinite white void around her. "And what I'm here for."
Naruto dropped his forearm to his side, his eyes having adjusted slightly to the light though still squinting a little at the effort. He nodded to her, pulling his hand away from his weapons pouch to show that he trusted her. For now.
The still partly concealed woman put a finger to her lips in thought. "Where to begin...?" She trailed on in her thoughts then said. "Ah, yes. I hear you've been having a few problems, Naruto-chan..."
Naruto twitched at the nickname. "Problems? I don't have any problems." He said dismissively.
"On the contrary. From what I've hear, you're feeling quite lonely." She clarified.
The blond scowled, a little suspicious as to how exactly was she informed of this. "I'm not lonely. I have plenty of friends."
"But you don't have that 'special someone'," The girl stated bluntly, bringing about a wince of hurt in the boy's face. Her eyes softened at that. "We all want that kind of love at some point in our lives, Naruto-chan. There's no shame in that."
Naruto crossed his arms over his chest. "Why would you want to know?"
"Because I'm here to help with that."
Naruto's eyes widened at what she had said, which was a bad idea since his eyes had yet to totally adjust to the light. Taking a moment to soothe his eyes of their momentary blindness and wait for the woman to stop giggling at him, he asked. "You're here to help me get a girlfriend?"
"Not exactly." Naruto deflated a little at that. "But there is a chance that it will help you out with that and more."
"R-really?" All skepticism around the stranger had vanished as he saw that she was really going to help him.
The stranger let out a mysterious smile and put her hand behind her back, retrieving a small bundle wrapped in fine blue and white cloth. She held it out for him to take, which he eagerly did.
"Arigato!" He thanked her earnestly, protectively holding onto the gift. His hand was about ready to dart over to the fabric when the woman interrupted.
"Don't open it yet, not until you get home," There was something cryptic in the way she had said it, but Naruto didn't seem to catch it. "You'll ruin the surprise."
Naruto frowned in dissapointment, but complied nonetheless. "Umm... What is it exactly?"
He was answered by the woman taking hold of his shoulders and briskly turning him about to face the door.
"Make me proud..." She whispered close to his ear, before shoving him into the door that had somehow opened by itself.
A flash of light later, he was back in the alley from whence he came, stumbling into the dark which fiercely contrasted to the blinding illumination from a while ago, which disoriented him for a moment. Naruto whirled his head back to face the woman and impolitely demand what she did that for.
His eyes only met the other end of the shadowy alleyway.
And thus, here our hero was, lying on the bed in the sanctity of his home, a little upset with the unextravagance of his gift. Another defeated sigh escaped his pouting lips as he surveyed the empty apartment room. There was lonely silence that permeated through the cold night air. The curtains barely fluttered in the wake of the wind. And yet it held testament to the loneliness that gripped him. He was the only one there.
Depressed, the Jinchuuriki of the Kyuubi no Kitsune and Konoha's Number One Most Surprising Ninja, drooped his eyes in an expression of solemnity and pain, before drifting away into what he hoped was a dreamless sleep. He had nothing against dreams at night, but every time he awoke in the morning, it reminded him of what he didn't have.
As the blond fell into a deep slumber, the glass orb began to glow a subtle blue and white.
Is that what was happening right now?
He wasn't sure but...
Naruto slowly lifted his eyelids open, trying to overcome the bleariness of sleep. In all honesty though, he didn't feel tired at all.
He blinked a few times, trying to make sense of his surroundings. He was somewhere not unlike that surreal room he had visited before, except it wasn't as blindingly illuminated and was a slightly darker shade of white. Strangely, he didn't feel any air or wind around here. Hell he could barely feel anything.He wasn't even aware if he was breathing or not.
He wasn't even standing on anything. From his previous assumption, he was indeed, actually floating. After a few moments of trying to gain some sort of balance, he gave up and settled to just let his body hover that way. 'Weird...'
'Wait... Where are my clothes!?' It was at that moment that Naruto realized he was nude, and immediately attempted to cover himself, despite no-one else being there.
So in summary, he was in an unknown infinite void, defying gravity as he drifted in the air, defying the natural human need for oxygen, and completely nude. He surmised a conclusion.
He must be really, really, high.
'Hmm... Didn't know that being high would be this trippy... This must be some high-grade crap.' As he mulled over the possible quality of whatever hallucinogen he may have inhaled by accident, he failed to notice a figure materializing from behind him.
Hail to you, Scion... A genderless voice that sounded like it had spoken a thousand tongues at once, greeted Naruto, his native tongue discernable as the loudest amongst all the echoing words.
Naruto pivoted himself to face the source (considering that he was floating in nothingness, it was quite the feat). The figure was cloaked in a robe of white streaked with black runic patterns, its face hidden in the shadow of his hood. The humanoid personage looked corporeal, to the point where he looked nearly translucent. Notably one of the man's/woman's/entity's hands bore no skin or muscle, only a skeletal, animated hand. If that wasn't odd (and borderline creepy) enough for him, the being appeared to be standing upside-down whilst tilting a little to the right.
Once more, the being spoke in a flood of tongues, in a voice comparable only to that of a god.
Welcome to the Celestial Plane of Dreams, Scion.
Naruto blinked. 'Oh yeah. It's official. I'm high alright.' And he mentally vowed never to accept strange gifts from corporeal strangers living in a really bright white plane of nothingness ever again.
This idea just came out of nowhere... Seriously, sometimes I have trouble figuring out how my own mind works. I doubt my sanity.
Leave a review of what you think. I have plans for this one.