Don't Panic

I believe I am in Hell, therefore I am.
Arthur Rimbaud

Chapter One:
It's Just the End of the World

Naruto sighed as he closed the cupboard doors. "We're out," he said.

Sakura's head snapped towards him. "Again?!" she cried. "Already?"

He nodded warily. "Even though it's just the two of us, we eat a lot. Besides, we didn't take much the last time." He sighed again. "It's my turn, right?"

Sakura nodded slowly. "Yeah, since I went out a last week."

"And you didn't take everything, right?" Naruto asked.

"No," she replied. "There's still about half the store left."

Naruto breathed a sigh of relief. "That's good." He thought for a moment. "We haven't visited them in a while, either. Maybe I should go say hi."

Sakura looked worried, but Naruto smiled reassuringly. "I bet there are still some flowers around here, eh?"

"Probably around back…"Sakura watched as Naruto made his way to the door. "Be careful, alright?"

Naruto stopped for a moment, and nodded without turning around. "I will."

He was gone before Sakura could say another word. She sank into a chair in the kitchen of the little house, and stared at her medical textbooks strewn across the table. Fat lot of good they've been, she thought bitterly. But she had to occupy herself somehow, so she picked up an open book at random, and began to read the words which were already etched into her brain.

"Chapter 14: Infectious Diseases. A disease spread from one organism to another, usually through saliva, bacteria, or blood contact…"

Naruto shouldered the bag full of food, then surveyed the rest of the store. Nothing was broken, which was a good sign. There was still plenty of food left, so they could come back when they ran out again. The small, white, one-story building was still strong and sturdy, with its metal door and its boarded up windows. The frozen food had been thrown out long ago, when the power was cut; but that still left most of the food. He closed the door behind him, making it sure was completely secure, and locked it.

Their system really sucked.

Whenever they ran out of food, one would have to leave, while the other sat back at the house, worrying, waiting, wondering if they would ever come back.

Naruto cringed at the choice of words.

Today it was his turn. Sakura had found the abandoned store a few weeks ago, one of the only buildings still standing. Before that, they had simply gone out looking for food in random houses, which was even more dangerous.

Naruto came to his destination, and halted, putting his bag down. In front of him were a dozen or so crosses; some were blue, others their original wood colour. They had painted the crosses with the bucket of paint found in that same store. The blue were the ones whose bodies they found; the others' graves were empty.

Most of the crosses were blue; so Naruto went to those first. He'd been there so many times, he didn't need to read the names scratched into each piece of wood.

He knelt down in front of the first blue cross. "Hey, Bushy Brows," he said softly. "Have you been good?"

Naruto examined the soil surrounding the wood; it seemed undisturbed. He patted the dirt around it, and felt it to be solid. Satisfied, he moved on to the next.

Two crosses were placed purposely side-by-side; for the two cousins. He knelt down between them, and checked the dirt around them too. The names were becoming hard to see; he dusted them off, though it wasn't much help. But he could still make out the name of Hyuuga.

When he finished with the blue crosses, he went to the four brown ones. It was here he would place the flowers, to those who had yet to be found. If there were flowers on the others' graves, he wouldn't know if they had tried to escape; they would cover any evidence of disturbed dirt.

He knelt again to the first cross he came to. Its flowers were wilted and dying, so he tossed them aside, and replaced them with the flowers he had found behind the house.

The plants had long stems with small, fat, shockingly blue flowers. "These are nice, don't you think so?" Naruto whispered. "Don't you think so, Iruka-sensei?"

He placed the flowers on the cross, and moved on to the next. Sighing, he patted the next cross. "We saw you again today, Sai." He shook his head in exasperation. "When are you going to stop running?"

Still shaking his head, Naruto touched the next cross. "And you," he exclaimed, "I haven't seen you since that day, Shikamaru!"

He lingered at Shikamaru's spot for a minute longer before turning to the last cross. It was a little farther away from the rest, and it was completely blank; no name, no date, nothing.

Naruto sat in front of this cross, resting his head against it. "I don't know where you are," he said softly, "but you better not make us write your name here."


His head whipped around to the forest; it wasn't too far away from the graveyard, so Naruto could easily hear the snapping of twigs. He could make out a tall, slumped figure deep in the forest, slowly coming towards him, with the determination of an animal locked onto its prey. Without a second thought, Naruto hastily stood up, went to where he dropped the bag of food, scooped it up, and ran. Never looking back, he went as fast as his legs would carry him, ignoring when they screamed in protest halfway back to the house.

He passed quickly by his now-familiar route back home. The quickest way was to cut through the back part of the Academy, a place Naruto would like to avoid. But in his blind desire to get back to the house, he went anyway.

Every window in the building was broken; the glass smashed from the inside. The doors that were left were scratched and worn down, turning the once friendly structure into a menacing, God-forsaken wasteland. The doors and walls were spotted with old, dried blood. Naruto couldn't help but slow down as he, once more, took in the condition of the one place he truly wanted to be. He winced as if the sight had dealt him a physical blow.

There was a loud crash inside the Academy, and Naruto swore. He picked up the pace; passing the cracked Stone faces which were ruined beyond recognition.

Except for the second last one, which was in pristine condition; that of the Yondaime.

When Sakura heard the sharp rap on the door, she instantly jumped up to open it, until she remembered her agreement with Naruto; so she waited another minute. When the second knock came, slower than the first, she ran over, and yanked open the door.

Relief flooded over her. Naruto looked a little worse for wear, but he seemed alright. He was panting heavily, eyes wide, and silently came into the room, dropping the bag of food on the table.

She took in his condition with worry. "You met one, didn't you?"

Wordlessly, he nodded.

"Did you get to see…who?"

He shook his head. "Too far away, and I didn't really want to stick around." Naruto plopped himself down onto the chair of the kitchen, the first room to come into from the door.

Sakura dug through the bag, and suddenly stopped. Picking up one of the packages, she laughed. Naruto looked around as Sakura said, "Did you even look at what you picked up?"

In her hand was a carton of instant ramen.

Naruto stared, stunned for a second, then broke out into one of his wide, foxish grins. These days, he hardly ever smiled like that.

Sakura gasped softly, then pulled out another carton of ramen. Naruto laughed. "Well, now I know what we're having for supper!"

Naruto went over to the cupboard and grabbed a bottle of water. Opening the package of ramen, he poured some into both packages. He then put them both in a pan, placed it on the stove, and stared at it for a second.

"We need…a fire ball…"he trailed off. Ever since the day of the attack, all the power had been cut off—therefore, no working stove or microwave. They had long since ditched the microwave, and used it as a weapon. Who would have thought that microwaves explode when they come into contact with the undead?

Naruto looked up at Sakura with a look of insecurity—something rare of Naruto, even in these times.

Sakura just smiled weakly. "It's alright, Naruto. We'll find him." She sounded more confident than she felt.

He just nodded, and looked back at the ramen, his appetite suddenly gone.


So, I'd really like some feedback here! Should I continue? (Ah, I'll probably continue anyways, but if you like it, or even hate it, LET ME KNOW!)


Well, another story! A little bit odd, but hey, we'll live, right?
And just for the record; this is NOT a NaruSaku fic. It's NOT!
I'm also very sorry if anyone got 2 emails again! I put it up way too fast! I'm sorry!