Afraid of the Dark

Fourteen A

Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto or characters thereof. All rights go to Masashi Kishimoto.

There is nothing quite like being dragged into the core of your own being. Every memory, dream, thought, emotion...It all flies past you and, if you blink, you'll miss every second of it. You then feel so empty and alone because there is nothing around you except an inky black that stretches on for what you only assume is forever. You feel small and insecure and cold.

I couldn't hear anything except my own breathing and I was getting close to hyperventilating. Kristopher's voice echoed around; each word that danced in my head had an extraordinary mocking tone to it that slowly set each nerve on fire one by one. I was angry. I had given up on them so many times but they had never ceased to remind me who was really in control. I was never in control. They constantly reminded me that I was a stranger in my own mind.

One can only go so far before they completely get fed up with something. I had finally hit my point. Sky and Jay were laughing loudly, letting it bounce around the empty cavern they had trapped me in. I was fairly sure I knew a way out, though. I closed my eyes and focused. I brought up a memory about my birth mother and the day she had left me at the orphanage. I completely immersed myself in it, to the point where I believed I was there and I was the little boy being handed over again.

That was where it had all began for me, after all. She had been convinced that I was too odd for her and she didn't want me. I could feel everything I had that day. I loved her, I hated her, I was betrayed, ashamed, scared, angry, confused, and vengeful. I turned around and saw Jay, Sky, and Kristopher standing behind me. They smiled at me, nodding as if they approved. That's when I knew. I finally understood.

I had created them. I had unleashed them upon myself that first day at the orphanage. All of my negative emotions had bottled up and became something tangible, something that could take a hold of me and overwhelm me. They were my own punishment, so that I would never be hurt again, so that I would never fall victim again. But it completely backfired. Their tangibility became something that was to be feared, something that ran my life instead of the other way around. I had created my own downfall.

Silently, I turned to the mother in my memory and looked her square in the eye. She backed up, frightened, as I knew she would. And then I said the words that I never believed I would ever say: "I forgive you. I love you."

There was a moment of stillness. The entire memory froze and I pictured her surprised face. I captured that image in my head and then blinked. Slowly, everything drained. It was like a painting being washed away, gradually being sprayed off a canvas. Everything blurred and the colors started combining until it was all one ugly brown that pooled beneath my feet. As everything drained away, the inky black returned and enveloped me in it. It was suffocating as it pressed down on and slithered inside me. Then the black changed. It became reflective. But in the mirrors were Jay, Sky, and Kristopher. They were painted black, white creating the bones on their skins. Their eyes were a deep violet that stared at me from every angle.

I stood frozen, not sure what to expect and how to defend myself from it.

But there was no defense from what happened. Sky reached over and wrapped his arms around me, falling into me and vanishing. It was a physical hit that shook me. I took a step back to try and regain my balance. Jay put each hand on a shoulder, leaning close and sinking into me. I stumbled back again, hitting the mirror behind me. Kristopher stared at me, eyes dark but as if he was accepting his fate.

"Hidan," he whispered, his voice jarring me unexpectedly. "You little monster. You will never be rid of me. I am your punishment. I will always be there to remind you of your mistakes and future failures." He smiled widely. "So enjoy your silence while it lasts…" He didn't touch me. He just waved. And then I was the monster in the mirrors - everywhere I turned, I was staring back at myself.

I opened my mouth to scream when I was shaken rather violently and stared up at my mother. She was sheet white and looked terrified. "Hidan? Are you all right? What happened? Do I need to call someone?"

Slowly, I shook my head and groaned slightly, resting the palm of my hand against my forehead as a dull throbbing took up. "I'm okay… I…" Frantically, I turned my eyes to her and studied her carefully. "Are you okay? Did I say anything odd?"

A sort of relieved smile made its way onto her face. "Hidan, you say the oddest things. But you didn't say anything just now. You...vanished. Suddenly, you weren't saying anything or responding to me…"

I threw my arms around her and hugged her tightly. "Good. I'm glad you're okay…" Then I let her go and sat back, feeling beyond drained. "I think I need to go lay down…" She nodded and ushered me upstairs. Once I was in my room, I looked around and then ran to my bed. I frantically started pulling the drawings off the wall and throwing them to the ground, tears in my eyes. I didn't quite feel free but there was a sense of normalcy. When my wall was empty again, I sat back and stared at the blank canvas in awe.

I couldn't remember the last time I had ever felt this way. I had always been so paranoid and scared and there had never been a moment when I hadn't felt like I was running from myself. And now I was alone. Not truly, of course. But it was the best illusion I had ever created. However, now that I understood why Kristopher, Sky and Jay had existed, I could work on fixing myself fully.

As I let exhaustion take over, I lay back onto my bed and let my eyes close. When I finally drifted off, I had the most rested feeling I had ever felt before after sleep and had not dreamt once.

XxX

My hands were sweating. Literally sweating. I wiped my palms on my jeans and knocked on the front door. I had never been so nervous in my entire life. I wanted to turn around and run off. But before I could even command my feet to move, the door opened and Kakuzu was glaring down at me. "What," he stated, his voice rough as though he was having a hard time getting any words out.

I felt sick to my stomach now. "I needed to talk to you," I told him as confidently as I could. He eyed me a moment and then stepped out, closing the door behind him and crossing his arms over his chest. I took a deep breath. "Look, I'm not here to tell you that the voices and the rape and all that was a joke - because it wasn't. I told you those things because I trusted you. I thought that you would be able to help me. Obviously, I was wrong on both accounts. And so I apologise. But… Kakuzu, I love you." I swallowed hard, afraid of those words, but I had to continue. "You were my savior, in a way…"

He interrupted me with a hand. "I didn't dump you because you're crazy or because you ended up in juvvie over something that you couldn't really control, Hidan," he said, as if annoyed that I was missing his point. "It was the lack of motivation to get help for yourself. How am I supposed to be in a functional relationship with someone who doesn't want to help himself? And then you blacked out and one of those voices started screaming at me. That was a bit irritating as well." I stared at him blankly, stunned that I didn't remember that last part. I would have dumped me too if Kristopher had yelled at me. "So don't go apologising over stupid things. I was actually impressed that you trusted me enough to tell me everything. But when you told me how long you've had those problems and you've been hiding it from your mother? I couldn't take that. What you should be here for is to tell me that you're going to get help for yourself. I can talk to you if that's the case."

As he stared at me expectantly, I rolled his words around in my head. The smile that brightened my face was the most painful smile I had ever put onto my face because it was the truest and widest one I had ever had. "Yes, I am getting help. I told my mom and she's willing to help me get to therapy and take care of everything. You don't hate me because I hear voices?"

Kakuzu simply scoffed and pulled his scarf away from his mouth, leaning over and kissing me deeply. "Moron," he muttered against my lips. "You are probably the easiest person to hate I have met since Deidara and now I know why. But I don't hate you." He followed this with a swift smack upside my head. "I was miserable this week. So I'm taking you out tomorrow night. No arguments about that."

I laughed, relieved and overjoyed. "No qualms whatsoever."

A/N: And I finally have this out. o.o This has taken me way longer than it should have. I just was having such a hard time not interrupting the flow of the story but still have what needed to be said put into this chapter. It was just slow-going. I hope this acceptable… Please review!