Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto or The Brave Tin Soldier, which this story is based on.

The Cursed Konoha Ninja

There one were three-and-four hidden ninjas, all of them were trained together and they all came from the same village. They wore uniforms of back with gleaming headbands gleaming with a leaf. The first things they hear upon leaving the school was "shinobi" uttered by their hokage. They were his army, to protect and guard him always. They were all alike with their animal masks and dark hair, except one who had shocking blonde hair and whose who was cursed with as a demon vessel, this one stood out above the others.

The village in which the cursed ninja lived had many clans; the mightiest of this clans was the Uchiha clan. The clan had an entire district and through the gates trees, roads, and houses could be seen. It was all pretty but the prettiest thing was the youngest Uchiha who often stood longingly at the gate, looking at the ninjas; he was trained as a ninja but not permitted to fight due to a curse. He was lovely with his dark hair and eyes, and pale skin; he was a prince among the village

The cursed ninja knew this and thought that the prince must be like him; a demon vessel, "That is the mate for me," he thought; "but she is too grand, and lives in that grand district, while I have only a barrack with my brethren, and there are so many other shinobi. But I must try to make his acquaintance."

Then he climbed the wall of the Uchiha district so that he could get a better look at the prince, who continued to look so forlornly out of its gates. When evening came all the ninjas were ordered to return to their barracks. The people of the village held a festival and began to play and dance throughout the night; but only the cursed ninja and the Uchiha prince did not attend. The ninjas wished to go but they were not permitted, their barracks locked so that they would remain their throughout the night. The cursed ninja never took his eyes off the Uchiha prince for even a moment.

The clock struck twelve, and with a sadistic smile, from the gates sprang a snake. "Cursed ninja," said the snake, "don't wish for what does not belong to you."

But the cursed ninja pretended not to hear.

The next morning the cursed ninja was sent on a mission. Now whether it was the snake or some other enemy ninjas, the cursed ninja was ambushed and left to die. It was a terrible ordeal and he hid himself to keep safe. Many of his brethren searched for him but they could not find him. If he had called out, "Here I am," it would have been alright but he was too proud to do so as a shinobi. Eventually he fell unconscious.

Presently it began to rain, and the drops fell faster and faster until it was a shower; this caused the cursed ninja's body to become cold. When it was over two men happened to pass by and one of them said, "Look there is a fallen shinobi; he ought to be sent for a proper burial."

So they made a raft out of wood and vines and set the cursed ninja on it, and then sent him sailing into the ocean. The two men waved farewell as the raft disappeared, hidden by giant waves caused by the recent storm. The raft rocked up and down and turned itself round sometimes. The rocking caused the cursed ninja to slowly begin to awaken.

After sometime the raft was sucked into a current lead into a cliff on an island. "Where am I now? And where am I going?" though he. "This is the snake's fault, of that I am sure. Ah. Well, if the Uchiha prince were only here with me on this raft, I should not care for any darkness.

Suddenly there appeared a great fish-man, who lived on the island.

"Have a passport?" asked the fish-man, "give it to me at once."

The cursed ninja remained silent, clinging to his remaining kunai tighter than ever.

The raft sailed on and the fish-man followed it. How he did gnash his teeth and cry out to the frogs and fish, "Stop him; he had not paid the toll, and has not shown his pass!"

But the current rushed on stronger and stronger. The cursed ninja could already see daylight shinning where the tunnel ended. Then he heard a roaring sound terrible enough to frighten the bravest man. At the end of the tunnel the water fell off a cliff in a huge waterfall. He could do nothing to stop it so the raft fell over the edge and tore as it fell. The cursed ninja fell farther, and farther until he hit the water. All the while he though of the Uchiha prince whom he should never see again and the words of a song sounded in his ears —

"Farewell, shinobi! ever brave,
Drifting onward to thy grave."

As the cursed ninja sank into the water he was immediately swallowed up by a great fish. Oh how dark it was inside the fish! A great deal darker than in the tunnel and narrower too, but the cursed ninja continued firm, and lay till gripping his kunai.

The fish swam to and fro, making the most wonderful movements, but at last he became quite still. After a while, a flash of lightning seemed to pass through him, and then the daylight approached, and a voice cried out, "I declare here is the cursed ninja."

The fish had been caught, taken to a market and sold a ramen vendor, had it delivered to his kitchen and sliced it open with a large knife. Since the cursed ninja had been a regular costumer he recognized him immediately. He helped the cursed ninja get cleaned up, patched up his wounds and sent him back to the soldier barracks. Everyone was actions to see this wonderful shinobi who had travelled inside a fish; but he was not proud.

They placed him back on duty, and —how many curious things do happen in the world!— there he was in the very same village which had sent him on his mission, there were the same people having their fun, and the same district with the elegant Uchiha prince at the gates; he still looked sad and still had the mark of the curse upon him.

It touched the soldier so much to see him that he almost wept tears, but he kept them back. He only looked at him and they both remained silent.

Presently one of the snake's, who wanted the Uchiha prince for himself, ninjas came upon the cursed ninja while he was watching the Uchiha prince and pierced his heart with a kunai. He felt his life's blood bleeding out of the wound and with all his strength headed into the Uchiha compound, which at the same time went up in flames.

Inside the doorway the Uchiha prince's eyes widened as a blade ran him through, the blow dealt by his very own brother. With tears streaming down his face, he turned to face the cursed ninja who had managed to crawl towards him. For the first time ever they embraced as the flames burnt higher and brighter.

The next day when the other ninjas came to look for any survivors all they found of the cursed ninja was a charm with a spiral on it. Of the Uchiha prince only a pendant with a red and white fan on it.

END

A/N: So I saw some fanart of an anime depicting a scene from this story, but I can't remember which anime. It kinda made want to write this; so I did. About curse; I needed a reason Sasuke couldn't join all the other ninjas and it seemed to make the most sense. Also the ninjas refer to themselves as shinobi, because that's the way I wrote it