Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto or it's Characters. Naruto © Kishimoto Masashi.
My Scattered Heart.
It was a windless day when I heard the news.
A Jounin I did not recognize arrived and walked silently as he approached my sensei. The man's face was grim with despair. Probably informing him of our losses in the war that had no meaning to me. My sharp ears could not pick up the quiet conversation they were having. It was too muted and their words did not carry over in the air. I didn't care about their conversation. Nearly each one was as meaningless as the next. But still, Sarutobi sensei's face looked pained. Almost as if he was stabbed with a sharp knife in his gut. Did he lose someone close to him? A relative or friend that wanted him notified?
Sensei turned his sad gaze towards me. I have been staring too much. I tightened my eyebrows as turned away from him. I still had Kunai practice, and I can't be seen slacking next to my teammates. Ah, my teammates, Jiraiya, the no talent shinobi whose doomed to be arrested for his future occupation as a peeping tom, and Tsunade, who is doomed by her arrogance to grow old and die alone. I can already tell what the rest of their lives are going to be like. It was something I didn't need to relate myself to. I am the only one that stands out as a true shinobi. It's amazing they even became Genin when they were six years old, along with me. It's been three years since I was joined with them, and I still do not understand the driving forces behind their thoughts.
I felt the presence of my mentor and sensei standing behind me. He was motionless, I could not even hear a hint his breathing. Complete silence and foreboding existed behind my back. I gripped the kunai in my hand tightly, because this news that sensei had just received, was intended for me. My breathing was becoming uneven, as I tried to focus on the sunlight that illuminated the grass before me. Both Jiraiya and Tsunade paused their kunai practice to stare at my still figure. I don't know what felt more heavy, their stares or Sensei's. I turned around to face him, with my eyes, still fixated on the ground.
Someone I know...? I thought quickly to myself.
I'm still a child, but I know a lot of people. None of them were too close to me though. There were only two I could think of. It could be either one or the other. But I would never want it to be either of them. Those two people are too precious! Either of them, it would destroy me. My heart.
I saw strange blobs fall from my face, they bended the blades of grass as my vision blurred. Tears? My hands, balled as fists were tight and nearly bloodless. Of course, I'm stupid if I imagine that I couldn't lose them. But, which one was lost? I brought my gaze up to Sarutobi sensei's face. His eyes were intense with despair. He seemed, horrified. My eyes widened with fear as no voice could escape my mouth to speak. I could barely stand at the news from our silent conversation. He said nothing.
Just as I was about to collapse, Sensei collected me with his dark arms and carried me on his back. I knew it. He would take me there, to where they were keeping one of my parents. But who died? My mother? It couldn't be her. She is the most warm and kind woman who ever grace this village. Or this part of the world for that matter. Calm and beautiful, there's no possible way for me to imagine the rest of my life without her comfort and support. I couldn't imagine life without my father either. He is one of Konoha's most valued Jounins. Strong, quick, intelligent. I gained some of his features, his eyes and hair color, but it was mostly my mother I resembled. The paleness of her skin and the grace of her movements. But to claim that I captured anything from those two perfect people, would be an arrogant overstatement.
No matter how I grew up, I could never equal either of them.
Sarutobi sensei stopped infront of a pair of black doors. We were in front of one of the buildings that housed the corpses of our dead who have died in battle. I could not help but gasp in horror when I knew I had lost one of them! I held on tightly to Sensei's back. It was something I could not bring myself to abandon at this moment. My eyes were wide as the doors parted from each other. Which one?! I thought to myself furiously! Which one have I lost? I shut my eyes and buried my face into Sensei's back as he entered the building with caution.
Mother... or Father..? My thoughts are in a messy haze. Is it despair that I'm feeling? I'm definitely unhappy, I know that! My eyes were hot with fresh tears. More and more, the seconds stole from my heart. There was a foul stench in the air. The smell on the rotting dead. I shivered nervously as I felt the fingers of my right hand being touched by Sensei's hand. My head shot up.
I fell onto the ground when I saw the horrid sight! The dead faces of both of my parents. My dead mother and father have been murdered..! I couldn't breathe, or close my eyes! I found my mouth feeling hot and full, before vomiting on the cold ground.
"..why..?" I was breathless.
"Why?!" I squealed in a high pitched voice.
Sensei watched me as I twisted on the ground from pain. He was completely wordless as he watched me. He could say nothing in response.
The first week of life without my parents, I did not spend alone. There was someone always with me, always present as a companion, but none of them could comprehend my anguish and pain. I don't know what I want. Do I want to be left alone, or do I want to be surrounded by people and their voices? As silent as most people were to me before I lost my parents, they couldn't stop talking to me now. When I imagine what I would like, I believe I would prefer that silence.
I couldn't hide. Not from the death of my parents or from the people who now paid too much attention to me. The only one who seemed to understand was Sensei himself. He was also a boy who lost his parents at a young age like me. He understood that he didn't need empty words, or comforting things that are said from the top of one's head. The only sounds I wanted to hear, were the sound of breathing, and the beating of a heart. The sound of someone, alive. The warmth of someone in proximity. In truth, I wanted to reach beyond the depths of death, to give my parents that ability to live again.
I spent most of my time in the wake of their death, at their graves. I stared for hours at the letters in their names. I touched the engraving as I longed for the warmth of their skin. Their scent, the sound of their voices as they spoke. I wanted to return everything that was stolen from them. The must be a way to do that, I thought to myself desperately. It seemed like my last true memory of them was the dark colors worn at their funeral. The two portraits of their smiling faces, side by side. Their smiling faces, didn't exist anymore.
I heard clumsy and loud footsteps approaching me. I knew who it was from the first step. It was, my shadow. He has been following me around ever since he found out that my parents had passed. Of all people, I hoped he would leave me alone, but that thought seemed impossible. How was it that someone with such poor skills as a shinobi track me so easily?
"What do you want, Jiraiya?" I sighed without turning to look at him.
"Oi, Orochimaru, you've been out here for too long. I was wondering.. if you wanted to come eat something with me?" He asked me with an unsure tone in his voice. If he didn't really want to ask, he shouldn't have bothered coming out here.
I took in a short breath of air into my lungs. I held in for a few seconds before saying, "I'm not hungry."
"That's not true!" He shouted at me! Where was his anger coming from? Should he be offended by me when it was his own half heartedness that brought him out here?
"You've been out here for hours, and I know that you didn't eat breakfast this morning. I let that slide, but you're going to be eating dinner with me!" He continued to shout from behind my back. I didn't care what he was saying to me. I did not want to eat. Not when they couldn't.
"You're too noisy." I said while turning around to look at him.
He lunged at me and hit me hard in the stomach! That idiot! Can't he see that I'm mourning the deaths of my two most important people? Why is he releasing such anger upon me? I'm the one who should be angry and outraged! He has no right to be angry with me!
"What do you think you're doing!? You idiot!" I screamed at him as my fist made brief contact with left side of his face.
The both of us wrestled each other on the ground, our small hands at each other's small throats. I could feel his pulse with my palms. The air, shifting back and forth within his throat as he struggled for air. I was also enjoy that struggle for air. Our fight only lasted a few moments as we were broken up by some well timed kicks by Tsunade. Of course, Jiraiya was kicked to the other side of the cemetery as I only went flying a few yards away.
She was cradling a large bento box in her pale arms, that was balanced on top of a thick brown blanket that was folded into a square. Her eyes were slightly wide, with anticipation. She basically had the same idea that the white haired idiot had. But she admittedly was much more thoughtful than he could ever be.
"I heard," She began to speak nervously. She was flush with embarrassment for some reason as she spoke. "I heard that you were out here, so I brought some things."
I picked myself up from off the ground. I walked towards her and when I was close enough, I collected the things she brought for me.
"Thank you..." My voice could barely be heard.
It seemed like she was able to hear my voice despite it's faintness. She immediately left my side and marched over to where Jiraiya was. I couldn't help but feel a tinge of anger when I saw her kneel down to by his side. She always paid a great amount of attention to him, though I knew he didn't deserve any of it. Even with all of my talents, it seemed like she barely admired me.
I returned to the patch of grass in front of my parent's graves as Tsunade dragged Jiraiya back to the village. Another act of kindness towards me on her part? I did not want to think to much of it.
The orange-red tinted sun was on it's way to the horizon as I wrapped myself up on the blanket that Tsunade had left with me. It sort of smelt like her. I chuckled to myself humorlessly. She didn't care for me that much. I think I actually frighten her. I remember the fear that was present on her face when we first met. But I never thought I was ugly, not with the face my parents had given me. She may find my eyes odd and foreign, but I think her blond hair is an odd trait, especially since neither her mother or father possessed that unique hair color.
I thought about the different traits other children received from their parent, their facial features, hair color, skin color, body type. I quietly ate the food Tsunade had left me. I didn't care much for the flavor, but it did appease my empty stomach. I nibbled at bits of rice and meat while humming to myself. I felt as if I was being watched from the nearby trees. It's most likely true. I couldn't feel who exactly was nearby watching me, but whoever they were, they weren't present for long.
I was surrounded by the darkness of night. I hid my face under the blanket so it would not be exposed to the cold night air. I eyes were closed as I tried to focus on the faces of my parents. The shape of their features, every sound I ever heard them make. Every moment... it seemed like those memories of them were already escaping my mind. I don't, want to lose them like this. Where can they exist if I stop thinking of them?
My mouth opened to gasp for a quick gulp of air as I was surprised my something touching my shoulder! Jiraiya again? That idiot! I thought harshly.
"Orochimaru-kun," Said the voice of Sarutobi sensei, "it's time to go home."
His voice was as warm as ever. It possessed an overwhelming feeling that seemed to take over me. Deep, familiar, containing an understanding of my pain, his voice offered me a kinship that I did not have with anyone else. He picked me up, like he's done before in the past couple weeks, and carried me back to the village in his arms. I never enjoyed treatment like this, but I wouldn't do anything to prevent it right now. Sensei is the only adult left that cares for me. But, I know he isn't a replacement for my lost parents. And in a few years, I will no longer be a child that he can care for.
I bit my bottom lip, and tasted the salty blood that fleshed out. This blood, their blood... I was making a silent prayer, that I would be strong, and beyond the need of others. Beyond the reaches of even death. And somehow, the living blood of my parents will enjoy that eternity.