Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto.


There is an empty room in Konoha. Once, it was meant to be a nursery.

A layer of dust is on everything. If anyone were to open the door, the hinges would creek from disuse. Not that anyone has disturbed it. The rug was once made of bright colors, but they have faded because of the sunlight filtering through the grimy window.

The dresser is full of clothing of all colors. Shirts, pants, and cute little hats, never to grace a small head. A blanket rests on top, white with red flames. It had been quite the novelty, a gift from a young medic-nin.

A cradle rests in the center of the room. Empty and unused, it has sat there for years. There are sheets in it, laying to welcome a new life, to envelope it in kindness and love. They were white, once.

A stuffed dog sits on the dirty windowsill. It is somewhat lopsided and doesn't sit straight. It's expression is utterly bored, and the teeth are just slightly too large to be considered cute. It wears a blue jacket, and a painstakingly accurate headband is stitched on its head, sewn by hands more experienced with a kunai than a needle.

Next to the dog is a set of orange goggles, more of an homage than anything else. Maybe the baby would have used them when he was older. But they gather dust now, forgotten.

Once, this room was filled with happy noises. Diapers were stored in the closet, with several comments that maybe there were enough all ready. Once, a woman sat in the rocking chair in the corner, reading to a child that couldn't yet hear her. Once, a man stood by a window all night, worried that he might wake to find the cradle empty or the rug wet with blood. Once, or maybe twice, an ANBU team would be run ragged with drills, until even the most cynical of strategists was certain that this baby would be as safe as was possible.

Once this room held love and joy, and oh so much hope.

But now, this room is forgotten, its inhabitants ghosts of memories. There is no family to welcome a baby home. The blanket will never keep anyone warm through the night. The rocking chair will never hold a parent late into the night as they beg the baby to sleep. There will be no feedings, no friends cooing over the cradle, and no ANBU vigilantly guarding the window. No child will hug the dog tight in a nightmare, and no child will grow into the orange goggles. There will be no playing with blocks or temper tantrums or books read to tatters. The window will never be broken, and nothing will ever be spilled on the rug.

There is an empty room in Konoha. Once, it was meant to be a nursery.


Comments and critiques are greatly appreciated.