Title: Pain
Author: Simply Kelp
Pairing: intended as Nagato/Yahiko, but it could just be friendship.
Rating: pg
Summary: Pein vaguely remembers Nagato: some snivelling creature from his past. vague Nagato/Yahiko, or friendship.
Disclaimer: It doesn't say "Masashi Kishimoto" on my underwear, that must mean that I don't own Naruto... merde.
A/N: Ever since I read Pein's history, I've wanted to write something about Nagato, and Yahiko. I'm not sure I've done them justice, but I rather like it.

---

Pein vaguely remembers Nagato: some snivelling creature from his past. He does not think often of his past-- not when his future is creeping so slowly to fruition. He must focus all of his attention on hastening his plans.

But sometimes, when everything is running smoothly, when Konan alerts him that they are ahead of schedule, when his subordinates do not fight incessantly, when everything seems good-- if only for a moment--, Pein's mind unconsciously wanders to his disjointed past. And he remembers: he used to be Nagato.

But he pushes the thought from his mind. There is so much to plan, so much to do, so much to-- He must make the world know true pain to bring peace. Pain. Only then can one appreciate the importance-- the dire, and pressing necessity-- of peace.

This desire blazes in the pit of his stomach; a great fire, consuming all in its path. Emotion, thought, memory, all are left scorched, and black with soot in its wake. All but that name. And it comes like a clap of thunder:

Yahiko.

The name feels foreign on his tongue; the tongue, he remembers, that belonged to the name's owner. It seems wrong to think of Yahiko. A shared smile, whispers in the night while Konan sleeps nearby, a peal of laughter, the feel of his skin: those are not Pein's memories. Yet they come; like the name, they come unbidden, and unwanted, and unforgivable.

He no longer is Nagato-- he never was Nagato. That monstrous past of his is but a fantasy, dreamt by a mind left tired, and hazy from overwork. When he rouses from these waking dreams, he suppresses the constricting feeling in his stomach. That is not pain, he tells himself; God does not feel pain.

---

Thank you so very much for reading this. I hope that you liked it. If you have time, I would love to hear what you thought.