By: Emo Fox & Kareian
That was the root of Sasuke's suffering.
Rumor had it that Sasuke was insane, a fiend, a demon incarnate.
His eyes the color of blood, his rage worse than anyone could fathom. Sasuke was no longer the little leaf ninja of Konoha with the murdered family. Sasuke had turned face, Sasuke was now a killer, Uchiha Sasuke was now the name everyone feared instead of revered.
At this moment in time Sasuke was outside his most hated village. He had left a trail of death and destruction behind him. Delving in torture and murder, something that gave him a sort of fix, relief. It gave him power, kept him in control even when his mind and his efforts were a little misplaced.
His memories, his heart, his soul, he had lost them on the bloody trail to Konoha.
Sasuke perched in the trees, his blood colored eyes watching the village as it breathed with life. The main gates were shut tight, guards on the outer walls, but from his vantage point he could see beyond them – inside the village, where the chatter of the villagers and the streets of people could be heard and seen.
He licked his lips, face covered with a stolen Anbu mask – the ears of the wolf mold was broken, and blood stained on the muzzle and left eye. His clothes were a tight black body suit – looking like a second skin made of shadow. Loops of coils and belts were around his arms and legs. His headband was around his hips, the metal slouched on his hips, the leaf symbol scratched out viciously.
He flexed his hands, inhaling the sweet smell of the forest, the smell of dirt and humid air. At this moment he was alive, in this fleeting moment he was sane. A twisted horrible smile marred his porcelain face, his dark eyes taking calculation of everyone he could see.
Sasuke briefly wondered if they knew.
If they knew he was coming…
If they knew he was here.
The cause of all his pain…
Of all his suffering…
Was right before his eyes, right in his line of fire.
Sasuke let out a long breath, releasing his sane mind to the madness he so desperately wanted to escape in. It had been so long, so many years he had been lost. Killing Itachi had shown him his true mission, and now he was finally going to fulfill it.
In an instant Sasuke was airborne, hopping expertly from branch to branch in silent haste – leaping on his final step and landing on the village turrets. The guards, alarmed, screamed and scattered – trying to regain themselves, regain some sort of hand in this plot as Sasuke began his attack.
Who was this masked man?
The guards had no idea; there had been rumors of a renegade in a wolf mask attacking people, a few villages over. It had happened so fast, this serial killer coming upon the world in a wave of chaos.
But, never had they expected him here, in Konoha.
Sasuke cut the men down in a rage, blood staining the brick, his clothes, his mask. That sick twisted grin was on the face the men couldn't see – in their dying moments Sasuke stood over them, watching, waiting to hear their last breath.
Then he saw it.
Movement, one had gotten away.
"I thought there were four." Sasuke murmured, the man was shaking, turning to see the flash of blood between the slits of the mask.
"No, please!" The guard scooted away from the death, splattered in his own companions blood.
Sasuke in a flash was upon this man, picking him up by the front of his armor, kunai against his cheek, mask to mask with his prey. "Begging." Sasuke spat, "How brave of a Konoha ninja."
The guard shook, he knew who this was, he knew this was the demon Sasuke. He had tried to run; Sasuke's level of power was beyond any of their own. They couldn't run fast enough, let alone attack quick enough to catch the Uchiha off guard.
Everything was going according to Sasuke's plan. Blood on his hands, heart beating from the kill. Hel licked his lips, enjoying the fear he could almost taste off this man. "Tell your Hokage-sama to meet me here." Sasuke said evenly, his voice low, coated in a dark silk. "If he doesn't, I will kill the entire village in less than ten minutes."
"Not much time." He threw the man from the balcony, allowing him to slam upon the dirt ground – bystanders screamed and scattered, the blood-stained ninja on the turret had caught everyone's attention. "Don't keep me waiting."
Sasuke's tone was even, laced with insanity – smooth, rich and dark.
Sasuke had no idea the man under than mask was his former friend, former comrade. To him he was just another village leader, just another man in his way of fulfilling his mission.
He tilted his head, katana already soaked in blood, tauntingly stretched out in the space between them. He licked his lips, cold calculating red eyes looking at this man before him. He twisted his blade in his hand, taking slow steps around the man that had landed on the gate.
In an instant, without warning Sasuke came upon this man. A flash of movement, a blur, blade a shimmering arc of silver and crimson in the sunlight. He attempted a blow at the man's back, twisting his body mid-air and throwing a kunai at his knee.
Upon landing Sasuke would crouch out of the way of a defensive assault, his red eyes seeing everything before it happened Â– and in that movement he would slash at the man's legs, hoping to literally cut him down.
The fox growled and spun out of the way of the kunai throw to the knee. He used the scabbard to the katana to block the down thrusting katana that Sasuke was using.
The blood splattering down to land on his mask.
The blood of his comrades.
The blood of his ninja...
He knew that Sasuke had an advantage over him, the damn Sharingan seeing a few seconds ahead, showing the Uchiha what his next move would be.
Kicking out, he attempted to knock the Uchiha off balance.
He knew that Sasuke would try and take his legs out, but the man would have to catch him first, especially since Naruto had mastered the Flash step, making him nearly untouchable.
"What do you want, murderer?" Naruto asked catching Sasuke's katana briefly in the duel.
"To murder you."
Morbid humor in his tone as he easily avoided Naruto's attempt keeping one step ahead of the swift fox.
They were a match.
Move for move, blade to blade.
Sounds of metal hitting metal rang in the air, sounding like a chorus of cackling birds. One step after another they engaged in this heated dance.
"Upon your death, the village will fall." Sasuke said, his tone dark -- in that instant he made a bold slash at the fox's neck as the Hokage-sama jumped back.
The fox's eyes went wide at the swinging blade that was coming for his neck. He knew he wouldn't be able to get back in time, not enough to avoid serious damage from the blade.
"Hokage-Sama!" A new voice screamed, a woman's voice, one wearing a rabbit mask. Sakura moved quickly, reaching for a kunai and throwing it towards Naruto's moving back foot... if she could get him to slip and fall faster...
The fox felt the kunai slip under his foot, forcing him to throw up an arm, the blade slicing cleanly through the bandages around his arms, revealing black summoning lines on his arm. The tip of the blade caught the cheek on his mask, not enough to cut through the plaster, but enough to shatter some of it.
Naruto landed hard on the wood, he didn't care that some of his face was exposed; Sasuke would never know from a small glance that it was the Uzumaki.
He knew that voice.
His blood colored eyes looked down at the female at the base of the wall. She was looking up at them, standing at the ready.
Sasuke licked his lips, a smirk on his lips -- dark eyes falling then on the man who was now on his back.
"That your woman?"
Who was this man?
He scraped the blade against the ground, the hiss a grating sound. He slowly walked towards the man on the ground who was trying to regain himself, get on his feet.
"Lucky she saved your ass, hm?" His voice was deep, almost seductive in it's crazy undertone.
Sasuke dived for the man again -- blade at the ready, like a striking bird going for the kill.
Naruto rolled to the side, evading the stab downward. Rolling back slightly, he caught Sasuke's hands before the man could pull the blade from the wood. Quickly moving his feet he planted them into Sasuke's chest, launching the Uchiha backwards into a wooden pillar.
Getting to his feet the fox looked down to Sakura, his red eyes catching her ready orbs. He couldn't tell her to leave, this was Sasuke...
Hearing running feet the fox turned back to the Uchiha, awaiting the next attack that would come for him...
Sasuke had recovered his blade from the wood, his red eyes raged now that he was back on the attack.
He had let his guard down for a moment -- but it wouldn't happen again. Nothing as foolish as being kicked would happen again.
The pain, he didn't feel it.
His eyes coated over his brain, his body. His one goal was all he cared about, the wounds he may suffer, the pain he may have, he wouldn't feel or care about it.
His eyes made him a machine.
One built only for death.
He launched himself into the sky, hiding for a moment in the blinding light of the sun before he was upon the kitsune again -- blade once again hoping to bite flesh -- to draw blood.
He almost was an obsession.
Time had passed yet not a drop of the Hokage's blood had been shed, it was almost driving him insane, he wanted to see his life's energy -- he wanted to take the first wound, wanting to cut, to destroy him.
It was a carnal need.
Naruto cursed as he continued to dodge the damned blade.
How long could Sasuke go on for?
The man was going crazy...
He was getting faster, his move erratic, and dangerous…
Naruto was getting tired, having to try and out wit the Sharingan was getting difficult. It had been too long since he had been in a real fight against a real enemy.
Blocking the blade, the fox spun and ducked under another attack, reaching out to try and drag the edge of his own Katana across Sasuke's back.
Sasuke nearly dodged the attack, wheeling back on the fox in a blur of movement. However, the kitsune had caught the top of his shoulder as Sasuke had moved.
The cut mildly deep -- an arc of blood splashing across the Uchiha's vision in his turn. The copper smell of blood assaulted his senses -- but it wasn't the blood he wanted.
He was failing.
He couldn't fail.
He was so fucking close!
Sasuke's mind was delving deeper and deeper in darkness, into madness. His obsession was causing him to be sparratic, like a tornado of attacks and movements.
He wanted blood, he wanted death, he wanted to kill this bastard so he could destroy everything that caused him pain!
With an animalistic cry he lunged at the fox, aiming a strike for his face -- wanting to cleave his had in two, wanting to end this so badly, wanting to just smell blood -- see death.
Naruto's eyes widened as the man --if he could still call Sasuke that-- rushed him.
Throwing his body to the side, the kit felt the tip of the blade cut into his skin, cleaving the mask in two.
The sharp edge dragged down the left side of the kits face, barley nicking his eyelid, as the blade dragged from the top of his head down over the three scars on his cheeks to the bottom of his jaw, where it dug in deepest.
Stumbling backwards, the blonde threw a hand to his face, covering the wound, his face bowed.
He was completely exposed now.
Hearing the blade on the move once more, Naruto looked up quickly, he threw his own katana in an arch across Sasuke's chest, creating a twin wound on the man's chest as he did his back.
It didn't help slow the blade that impaled itself in Naruto's side, breaking through the armor and piercing his flesh.
The kit's breathing caught in his throat, a gurgling gasp noise escaping him as Sasuke pushed the blade up to the hilt.
Naruto couldn't move...
All he knew was pain, the sharp, nauseating pain running from his stomach through his abdomen down into his legs and up into his chest, freezing his body. A cold sweat broke out over the kit's over heated body, his limbs slowly starting to shake as blood flowed too easily from the wound, soaking his clothes and forming a puddle underneath his foot.
He couldn't hear Sakura's shriek down below…
All he could see were the damned demon eyes of the man he once called his best friend..
Sasuke stood there, over this dying man.
…and then he saw...
The mask was pieces at their feet, Sasuke's own wound deep, but he was unbothered. The blood was mixing together on the brick arc.
The madness flew from his eyes as he caught sight of the man's scarred face.
His breath was in his throat and for a moment sanity graced his eyes. He knelt, momentarily caught in a memory, of a time long past.
…of a time when he still had a heart.
Naruto's eyes were closed, blood was on his mouth, face, and pooling under him from where the katana was lodged.
He swallowed thickly, the smell nauseating him. Why now, why did he care now? He had shut that piece of him away, locked it deep inside himself.
Why did he care?
Sasuke took off his mask, his face impassive as he looked at the immobile fox, his red eyes a little softer than before for a moment.
In that gracing moment of sanity...
Sasuke began to feel the pain of his own wounds.
His chest wound was deep, carved from his shoulder to his side. On his knees, he was bleeding like the fox, together in their pain.
He heard Sakura screaming... But it just didn't register.
He should get up.
Finish the village that destroyed his life.
His legs wouldn't work.
His body wouldn't respond like it had before.
It was like...
He just shut down.
"Naruto..." His voice was foreign, not mixed with madness, almost... almost remorseful as he reached for the fox's face, to brush his fingers on his cut cheek, feeling the hot thick blood.
Sasuke's head swam, memories, thoughts, everything just hurt his head -- demanded his sanity and it hurt.
He didn't want to think...
Didn't want to think of the man he had let into his heart long ago, of the man who was now dying from his own blade.
"Naruto..." Almost anguished, Sasuke's eyes flickered -- red to black, and back again.
Darkness claimed him.
Okay the story is kind of in role-play structure, paragraphs being responded to by another but we tried to make it flow, as we normally do. I play Sasuke/Sakura/and Tsunade as well as random ninja. Kareian plays Naruto/Kakashi/Sakura/Tsunade and random ninja. Soo… yeah, hopefully the structure doesn't bother you too much, I think it flows quite well anyway.
I tried to edit, I might have missed some things… but yeah.
Did you like it or hate it? This is still a role-play in progress, so chapters will come up as we finish/edit them. Please tell us what you think and we'll see you next time!