DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE
RATING: R to NC-17
PAIRINGS: SasuNaru, KakaIru, and others, mentioned LeeSakura
DISCLAIMER: I do not own Naruto or any of its characters. Also, to be on the safe side, a lot of the elements of this story were inspired by Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away which I obviously also do not own as I'm not currently filthy rich.
FULL SUMMARY: Independent artist, Naruto Uzumaki lets his curiosity get the better of him and finds himself trapped in the spirit world for a year. Bound to serve an arrogant spirit named Sasuke Uchiha, Naruto slowly finds himself warming to the strange world he's trapped in as he makes friends and starts to develop strong feelings for Uchiha as well. However, things are brewing in the spirit world and Naruto's new friends are smack in the middle of it. When the time comes, will he make the choice to leave like he is supposed too, or stay and help like he wants too?
AUTHORS NOTE: Yes, I know. I'm starting another fic when you all want me to work on updating Alliance. I will be working on that as well but I just really wanted to start a new story as well. Now, just in case you can't tell by reading this; the story was inspired by watching Spirited Away one too many times. However, this is not a movie fusion as I am going to be using my own plot devices and endings; but there are elements from the movie that you may recognize. I'm freely admitting it so no one can cry foul on me for stealing ideas. That said, I hope everyone enjoys the beginning of the fic.
The town was coming into view as he walked. A gust of wind blew by and Naruto Uzumaki shivered. Japan was having a strangely warm late October but the wind was still cold; especially on the open highway road that he was currently walking beside. A car honked obnoxiously at him as it sped by and he scowled at back of it and muttered, "Bastard." That honk had interrupted his favorite song on the iPod he was listening too. Why did drivers feel the need to honk at people who were on the sidewalk and out of their way? It was so annoying.
Although, now that he thought about it, he probably looked pretty strange walking on a highway. His blond hair and bright blue eyes probably didn't help either; they were probably thinking he was American and detested him just for that. His black and orange sweatshirt probably didn't help matters either. He probably could've waited for the taxis to arrive like everyone else on his broken down tourist bus had but Naruto just didn't see the point in waiting for an overpriced cab to charge him for a distance that he could've walked. Maybe the other passengers had money to spare but he was artist; that meant he watched every penny he spent.
Besides, this gave him a chance to get a lay of the land and town before the Halloween celebrations started to kick in later in the day. His friend, Sakura Haruno, had arranged the trip for him after his constant whining of lack of inspiration in the city. It wasn't the first time she had done so for him. The woman was an agent of sorts for artists and Naruto was one of her biggest clients as well as her best friend. If he didn't have art work for her to sell to interested clients then her business suffered. She had suggested going to the town after seeing a brochure for it and Naruto said yes right away. Not only could he maybe get new ideas for art but it would get him away from his friend for awhile too.
He loved Sakura, really he did, but she had the tendency to be a bit of a nag. Her latest nagging now included his love life, or lack there of. Ever since she had gotten married to Lee in the past year the woman seemed determined to find Naruto a boyfriend; preferably a permanent one. It had gotten so bad that she even set him up on a blind date; something he had yet to forgive her for.
'It's not like I'm a monk or anything,' he thought in annoyance. 'I go out! I have sex! Okay, they're only one night stands and I haven't in about a month, but still...where does she get the idea that I'm lonely?'
He did admit that he sort of wanted a relationship like Sakura and Lee's...well maybe not exactly like theirs (the way they cooed at each other sometimes made him want to yak). But it was difficult finding someone who wanted a relationship with an artist who kept a crazy schedule; didn't make as much money as people thought; and had his little personality quirks as Sakura liked to refer to them as. Plus, he was picky about the guys he dated to begin with.
The town was now a few blocks away from the look of things and as Naruto got closer he noticed a gap in the thick forest that lined the highway. He paused and stared in surprise at the path that appeared there. It was narrow, but it was there.
'Weird place for a path' he thought and eyed it curiously. Paths always led to interesting places in his experience. Especially the random ones like this. He glanced at the town and back at the opening which was practically begging him to explore it and then made his decision. 'The town's not going anywhere and I've got a few hours till dark.' With any luck, he could make a few sketches or get ideas for paintings.
The path turned out to be longer then he thought. It winded here and there through the thick forest which was a multitude of colors thanks to the fall season. Naruto had been about to turn around when it opened up to a small clearing in the forest. In the center of the clearing stood a large stone dragon sitting on a pedestal. The dragon's wings were spread out and it reared back on it's hind legs and bared it's fangs as if warding off someone.
Naruto stared at the statue and admired the craftsmanship. He had never really had a talent for sculpture or anything like that but he couldn't help but admire people who did. Especially when it was ancient looking work like the dragon. The blond rummaged through the blue duffel bag he carried with him and brought out his sketchbook and a pencil and sat sketching it for a few minutes.
When he was done, Naruto headed towards the late afternoon light that was filtering through the trees behind the statue. He squeezed through a small opening in the trees and then gaped at the sight before him. Instead of more trees or another clearing of sorts like he had been expecting the forest suddenly stopped and opened up to a large grassy field that circled around a large round hill. On the hill was what looked to be a small village with a wall around it and in the very back he could make out a tall tower of sorts. "Wow."
He made a mental note to bring his painting supplies here next time and walked towards the town. After hopping over the rocks that formed a strange looking circle around the town's wall, Naruto headed towards the large double doors he saw and pushed through them, to find that no one was there.
The blond frowned and looked around the street he was in. There was not a soul anywhere. It was like a ghost town or something. 'There's got to be someone here' he thought as he wandered around.
"Hello!" he shouted at the top of his lungs.
After shouting a few more times, he concluded that he was indeed the only one here. 'What the hell is this place anyway?' he wondered, his mind whirling with all sorts of possibilities. Sometimes having an imagination like his wasn't always a good thing.
Wherever he was, the architecture was fascinating. He found himself getting caught up in drawing the colorful buildings instead of wondering where all the people were. The architecture was an odd mixture of styles, though Japanese was the chief style of course. Then there was the fact that they were all painted in a variety of styles including different motifs on the walls, as well as bright colors for the buildings. He spotted some buildings that were painted bright pink! It was as if someone had told the tenants to do whatever they wanted to the buildings without care for design. It delighted Naruto to no end because it meant none of the buildings were the same.
Soon he came to what looked to be the town square. It was starting to get really late but after spying a large road that seemed to lead somewhere, Naruto decided to look down there and then head back to the town. He could always come back tomorrow, the blond told himself. The road led to the back of the town and west to the tall tower like structure he had seen from the hill. It appeared to be on separate land from the rest of the town and was connected to it by a large bridge. Naruto got to the center of the bridge and looked down below it to the grassy field. Then he heard a loud gasp behind him and turned in surprise to stare at the most gorgeous guy he had ever seen.
All right, maybe that was an exaggeration, but the guy was still pretty hot. He was tall and broad-shouldered with dark black eyes and black hair that framed his face and stuck out in the back and made his pale skin look almost translucent. His clothes were a bit on the odd side though. A white kimono-like shirt hung loosely around his frame, showing off a well muscled smooth chest and held by a gray obi belt. Black pants hugged his legs and were rolled up to reveal comfortable looking black sandals.
After Naruto finished gawking at him (and mentally drooling), he finally noticed the katana sword that was strapped to his belt and the almost predatory way the man held himself and swallowed. He didn't even know the man's name but already he knew one thing: the guy was dangerous.
'Okay, keep calm, Naruto' he thought, now looking warily at the man. 'Don't tick off the hot guy with the sword and you're okay.'
"Um, hi!" he said and gave a wave. 'LAME, Uzumaki, LAME.'
"How did you get in here?" the man said, staring at him in a way that made Naruto feel even more uncomfortable.
"Um...the door was open?" he said sheepishly. Feeling irritated with himself for thinking that even the man's voice was sexy. 'I really need to get laid.' Obviously the fact that this man was effecting him so much was proof that he hadn't had sex for longer then he thought.
"You shouldn't be here," the man's voice interrupted his thoughts.
"What? Hey, it's a free country buddy," he said. 'Who does this guy think he is?'
"Get out of here now before you're trapped!"
Naruto stared at him in bewilderment.
Realizing he wasn't going to get anywhere with the guy, Naruto shrugged. "All right, all right. I'm going. Don't have to be such a jerk about it." It was getting dark anyway.
He walked back to where he came from and glanced back at the bridge only to find that the guy had disappeared. "Weirdo," he muttered. 'Why is it always the hot guys who have issues?'
When he reached the square, Naruto paused and then frowned. "Oh, no," he muttered. 'How do I get back to the entrance?!' He had taken so many twists and turns that he didn't remember. 'Stupid, Naruto!' He should've noted landmarks but he had been so caught up in his art that he hadn't paid attention to the way he was going. He glanced up to the sky and started to panic when he saw that the sun was starting to set. 'At this rate I'm going to be walking back in the dark!'
He spotted the wall up ahead and then decided that he would head to the wall and run along it to find the entrance. As he ran, it started to get darker and when he glanced up a dark blob was starting to form. He dodged it and started to notice more on the way. 'What the hell are these things? Never mind, I don't want to know!' Right now he was just going to concentrate on getting to the forest before dark. He didn't know why, but he suddenly felt that it was imperative that he get out of there before the sun set.
Finally he saw the doors to the entrance and ran through them and down the hill only to be stopped by a large body of water. Naruto froze and stared in horror at what seemed to be a large lake surrounding the town where the field of grass had been earlier. He rubbed his eyes and opened them again to make sure he wasn't seeing things. No, it was still there. He gazed across it and could see the town that now looked further away then ever before all lit up in the dark.
'Okay, no need to panic. Just because water appeared out of no where and there are strange blobs behind you is no reason to panic' Naruto thought to himself. He started looking for a way to get across the water but after running along the shore for about an hour he finally gave up and sat heavily on the ground.
"I'm trapped," he said to himself in horror.
"I tried to tell you to get out while you could." He turned and saw the man from before, standing behind him and looking down at him with a frown.
He stared up at the man and then blurted out angrily, "Who are you? Where am I? What the hell is this?!"
The man sighed. "My name is Sasuke Uchiha. You're in the spirit world and I'm afraid you are going to be stuck here for quite awhile."
Naruto stared up at him helplessly and thought, 'holy shit'.
TO BE CONTINUED...
AUTHOR NOTES: Please review! Flames due to yaoi will not be accepted however.