my first one-shot! completed in a day...i'm on a roll!
disclaimer: i do not own NARUTO
Ansatsu Senjutsu Tokushu Butai
The mask-covered figure stopped in his track to look at the two guards on duty. Recognising the Fox mask as one of Konoha's ANBU, they nodded and let him back into the village.
Soaked in blood and reeking of death, the figure swiftly made its way to the Hokage's office. It was in the middle of the night but he was immediately let in after knocking once on the office door of the Godaime. Afterall, she was expecting him.
Looking away from the window which she had been staring at anxiously the whole day, she turned to face him and regarded his appearance. The straight stance, the impassive aura and the blood-soaked uniform. Her heart broke a little.
She cleared her throat, "I trust that there's no trouble with the mission?"
"None at all,"
"Good. I expect the scroll with the details of the mission on my desk by tomorrow nightfall,"
She nodded. The attitude of the ANBU in front of her was breaking her heart into pieces. What she wanted to see wasn't this, not the emotionless persona of an ANBU. She wanted the bright sunny boy back now. But she knew it was not possible. He would take awhile to recover from this. His first assassination mission.
She paused, "Are you hurt?"
That's not what she wanted to ask. Are you alright, Naruto? That was what she wanted to ask. But she couldn't. Not when she was the one who gave him such a mission.
"You may leave, then," The ANBU gave a short bow and disappeared into the night.
Tsunade reached down and took out a bottle of sake. Looking at the way he had acted just now, she really regretted her decision.
But it was necessary if Naruto wanted to be the Hokage. He could not forever be coddled, he needed to know the harsh reality of being a true shinobi. Needed to know how this kind of mission was sometimes necessary. That no amount of persuasion or argument could deter an employer seeking to hire shinobi to kill others.
It was a mission far from pleasant but it was vital. She just hoped Naruto would be able to understand and would hopefully, eventually forgive her.
He stepped into his apartment and without removing anything, headed straight for the shower. He turned on the water and that was when everything fell apart.
The white pristine porcelain mask that was splattered with drops of innocent blood fell onto the bathroom floor with a clatter. He dropped down onto his knees, his hand covering his face.
Blood, so much blood.
He struggled with the ivory plates on his chest, trying to remove them.
Murderer. Murderer. Monster.
Salty streaks of tears mixed with the water from the shower head. The warm water from above him soaked the standard ANBU uniform he was wearing. Mutely, he stared at the drainage hole. The red swirls of blood mixed with the colourless torrents of water. He watched as the blood was diluted before the colour faded to pink. It was washed down into the drainage pipes in an instant.
"Don't kill me please, don't ki - ARG - " The limp body fell to the ground.
Naruto clutched his head desperately.
"It's an assassination mission. Are you sure you want to accept it?" Tsunade sternly asked the figure in front of her, "Wiping out a whole village. Are you sure you can handle that?"
"Yes, Hokage-sama. It's my duty as an ANBU to serve this village. I will not disappoint you,"
"Stop it, stop it, please,"
"Mommy mommy!" The small child shook her mother's dead body repeatedly.
He stood over the child, his katana raised.
"Why?" The child weeped, "Why did you kill Mommy?"
He brought the katana down.
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry!" Naruto cried out in anguish, the voices in his head never stopping.
"It's a peaceful village but the customer wants it wiped out for some political reason. His exact words were 'to not leave anyone alive'. Are you clear, ANBU Fox?"
He grabbed the walls of his bathroom futilely, trying to find something to hold onto. Anything.
"Please! Just kill me! Don't take my children, they're innocent! They're still so young," The woman was on her knees, pleading with her soon-to-be murderer, "Leave them, plea - " Her words were cut off as the katana went through her heart.
"I - I," He curled into a defensive ball in the corner of the bathroom, the water still raining down on him.
He pulled at his uniform, finally tugging it off. Staring at his skin, all he could see was blood, blood, blood and more blood. He ran his fingers across, trying to remove it. Scrubbing and scrubbing. But it was no use.
"Get it off, get it off," He murmured desperately.
Red welts appeared as his scrubbing got more and more furious. His nails broke skin and more blood appeared. His blood this time.
But even as he watched, his wounds healed before him, leaving in its place smooth and flawless skin.
"Why? Why I can't I get it off?!"
"Mommy! Daddy! Look at my work!" A small girl clutched a piece of drawing and ran up to her parents.
"Oh my, that's wonderfully drawn, darling," The mother bent down and praised her daughter.
The daughter's smile widened and she looked proud of herself.
In the shadows, ANBU Fox deemed them as no threat and moved on to observe the other villagers.
"I looked so pitiful now," Naruto half-laughed, half-cried, "Teme would tease me again if he knows,"
Shakily, he stood up, "Sakura wou - Sakura-chan would probably punch me and then screech at me...and Kakashi, Kakashi-sensei would look at us in amusement...look at me like I'm still such a child,"
"Run, run! The monster is coming! Run for your liv - " The man was cut off as a kunai found its way into his chest.
Loud screams sounded and there was a pandemonium as everyone rushed to get their children and to run off. To run away from that shadow that would eventually claim all their lives.
"I - I should start writing the mission report now," He mumbled to himself, reaching out to grab a dry towel.
Still shaking and shivering, he continued his monologue with himself, "It's not even cold. Why am I shivering?" He found his table and sat down.
"Scroll...scroll," Unsteadily, he reached out for an empty scroll.
He was careless. If he hadn't hesitated with the first one, the rest of the village wouldn't have been alerted. Then there wouldn't be so much trouble.
And he would not have to hear all these voices now.
He paused as he took up the brush. His breath came out harshly and he dug his fingers into the table top.
"Stop it, please! Just stop," He drew in a shaky breath and allowed the first word to flow from his brush.
For a while, he concentrated on the facts and details of his mission. He was Fox again, not the cheerful boy known as Uzumaki Naruto. He remembered what happened to each and every one he killed, the way he killed them. He wrote down the conditions of the night, the situation of the village before the assassination.
He paused for a while, "More like total annihabiliation," He murmured.
The sounds and images assaulted his senses once more, leaving him gasping for breath. He willed them down, trying desperately to keep it in. He needed to finish the report. Tomorrow. Tomorrow then he would allow himself to remember.
He did not think he would be able to meet up with the old Team Seven tomorrow.
He calmed down again and finished the report, tying it close. Getting to his feet, he made his way to his bed and without pulling anything on, collapsed onto it in a dead sleep.
That night, he did not have a peaceful sleep.
"Help! Someone, please help us!"