AN: Because I'm s*** at keeping promises to myself about writing what I think I should be writing... I've got two scripts to write and edit respectively from a client, and I still have to finish off the next chapter of Next, but instead I figured I'd do a little "P.S" for Letter to a Rock.
Damn you, Rose Tiger, damn you all the way to hell. It's your fault my brain kicked in and said "Actually, there might be a way to expand the story...".
If anyone reviews this and thanks her, I'm-a set Hinata-chan on them and tell her that you're Sas-Uke in disguise! *Glares*
Letter to a Rock: Parallel
Those were the words that sat at the top of the piece of paper. The paper, in turn, sat upon the table that resided in the centre of the kitchen of the small, one-person apartment. Uzumaki Naruto's apartment.
This is... kinda weird, I guess, but its for a reason, 'tebayo! Ah crap. There we go again. That one little phrase I can't help but add on the end of sentences for emphasis... It doesn't even really mean anything. Stupid childhood...
Glaring at the paper for its insolence in showing his words and thoughts back to him, the nineteen year old ANBU grabbed it and channelled enough raw chakra into the paper to make it burst into flames before throwing it into the sink. The remains of at least five previous attempts floated soggily in the water he had ran because he knew how frustrating it was for him to write.
Reports had been destroyed almost hourly because he had screwed up, and wanted to do better.
Snarling a little, then sighing, Naruto reached over and picked up the next blank piece of paper. To get at it, he had to lift the small white pebble he had found earlier that day.
Naruto's eyes glazed over as he thought back, a silly grin finding its way onto his face. He had been taking the time before work to wander the streets of Konohagakure, and had found himself in a secluded little spot near the Chuunin Arena. A small pond dominated the area, and a few trees kept it mostly secluded. He had skimmed a few stones across the surface, child's play when you could put enough chakra into the things to make them bounce a few dozen times more than was natural.
Then he had picked up this one; small, unassuming, almost completely white and perfectly smooth.
He had felt drawn to it, for some reason. He had pocketed it, and forgotten about it until he had entered his apartment.
Naruto picked up the pen again, shaking off his reminiscing, and started to write again.
This is kinda strange, but its for a reason! I... I didn't have the best childhood, and I didn't learn too many great things about involving myself with people or anything... In fact now I look back, I'm fairly sure I was a noisy obnoxious little prick who almost had no chance of being a Ninja at all... but I managed, and used luck to get out of damn near every situation I got my ass into.
Pretty lucky, huh?
Anyhow, I'm writing a letter to you because I don't know what to do, and I need to think things through and lay it all out in my own head. This, writing a letter to a rock, is meant to help... I think? I dunno, I asked Sakura-chan about it and she said that she'd done this sort of thing once to help her out, and she'd told someone else only a few days before to do the same thing.
I wonder how they got on? Hell, I wonder if they started yet? Hah! Probably finished it before I'd even asked Sakura-chan. I hope they got everything thought through that they needed.
Basically, Rock, my problem is this; I don't know whether I like this girl or not. I've never had anyone there to tell me how you're meant to know... I thought I liked Sakura-chan in the sort of way I think I like this girl, but it's different. Sakura-chan always made me feel... well, actually, now I come to think it through Sakura-chan made me get a headache, but that was always because I'd been a very 'special boy', if you catch my drift? Heh, how would you know, you're a damned rock...
I'm getting side-tracked. FOCUS!
As I was saying: I like a girl, but in a different way to how I liked and how I do like Sakura-chan, and I don't know whether I LIKE-like her, or just Sakura-chan-like her.
This is confusing. I think I like Sakura-chan, and have always liked Sakura-chan, because she was like me. Not dumb and noisy, not at first... It was because she was alone too, way back when I first saw her. The same with Him. He turned out to be my best friend and my worst enemy, but I forgive Him all the same... Team Seven, a three-kid team of the loneliest kids in class. I had no family and no true friends, Sakura started out her Ninja life as the lonely, quiet girl until Ino-san got her hands on her, and His entire family was killed pretty much in front of His eyes.
He was like the brother I never had, and I guess in a weird way she is the sister I've always wanted; someone who could put me in my place but love me for the screw-up I was anyhow.
The girl I'm thinking about now... she's different. My feelings for her are different. She...
She's perfection. She's actually way above me in the social class scale, but I guess that's part of her charm... I don't get why I like her, either... She's almost the entire opposite of how I was back when I was a kid. She's still quiet, and gets shy around me when I'm not in my ANBU gear and she can't really tell who I am... or that I spend twenty minutes before and after my shifts watching her from the shadows... Is that creepy? No. No, it's like when I was making Oiroke no jutsu; It's not being perverted or weird, it's research.
So what if sometimes I sit and watch her sleeping for an hour instead of twenty minutes? So what? Who's gonna tell me I'm being a freak, you? Thought not... stupid rock.
I feel this funny twisting in my stomach when I watch her. That never happened with Sakura-chan. And every time I watch her after a late shift and she sits in front of her mirror and brushes her long hair, she hums a little tune to herself. I've never sat so still and so quiet for so long apart from when I catch her doing that... It worries me, almost... I'm so used to being a hyperactive little ball of energy. I calmed down a LOT to make it into ANBU, but she makes me go... very still. I think a lot, too, when she captures my attention like that.
She reminds me of that girl I thought I saw, so many years ago... dancing on a lake, and making the water orbit her in little streams that reflected the moonlight. I was completely speechless then...
It was probably a dream, though, thinking back on it.
I really am lucky, I guess... if He had succeeded, I might not be around to adore- wait, uh...Adore?
Do I really adore her? Is 'adore' too strong a word? Not strong enough? Er... Ano...
Screw it! Uzumaki, stop getting sidetracked!!!
If He had succeeded, I might not be around to... to...
Uzumaki Naruto snarled at the paper in front of him, grabbed a fistful of blank sheets and shoved enough chakra into them that flames flashed around them and they turned into ash immediately.
"If He had succeeded, I might not be around to adore her. Love her. Like her? Worship her?"
Naruto tapped the end of the pen against his chin thoughtfully, eventually settling the nib back against the paper.
If He had succeeded, I might not be around to adore her as much as I do now.
Maybe I should explain? Hmm...
Uchiha Sasuke, my best friend, near-brother, and enemy. He left the village when we were twelve to learn how to be a Ninja with Orochimaru, the most corrupt and evil of the Legendary Sannin. Tsunade was Godaime Hokage, Jiraiya was a pervert, and Orochimaru had a thing for little boys. I'm fairly sure he did, anyway... Why were almost all of his staff guys, and why did he keep switching his soul into the bodies of girls?
Sasuke ran from the village of Konoha, and helped wage war against us. I beat his ass into submission and dragged him back, like I promised, and after a little while... Sasuke fulfilled his wish, sort of, and kicked his real brother's ass. Then the life he had lived turned out to be... well, not helpful.
He'd lived in dangerous situations for too long, been consumed by vengeance for such a long time he didn't know anything else... One day he just snapped and tried to kill me.
Nearly managed it, too. And then an ANBU blew his head up.
I can't say I blame ANBU-san... he or she did the right thing... It took me a lot of soul-searching, but they did. Sasuke was a danger to everyone and everything, and he hadn't even succumbed to his Cursed Seal. If he was paranoid enough to have become so strong he could nearly kill me without boosting his power, imagine if he'd gone insane enough to use the Seal? I can't tell you what might have happened, but I'm sure he would have become as insane as Orochimaru...
ANBU-san did Konoha a favour by blowing Sasuke's head off.
That's why I joined ANBU myself, in a round-about way... I wanted to know who had killed Sasuke so I could thank them for helping me. For stopping him before he became a problem we, as a village, couldn't handle.
But then I found out the ANBU who'd done it had left only a week later, taking retirement from the ANBU corps and simply... moving on to do whatever we do when we leave. Probably take on a Genin team, like Kakashi-sensei did. Eventually.
Well, that was a good little tangent.
The girl I adore is very nice, as I said. Kind, gentle, but with a fire hidden inside her that she keeps tamed, but burning so very brightly for anyone who bothers to look hard enough. I looked hard, and I was almost blinded... That's why I adore her. I'd probably call it 'love' if I knew what it felt like to love someone.
I've never been in love before...
Well, anyway, thank you Rock. You've helped me out a lot, but I've got to head off to work now... Or rather, I've got to head off and check on the girl of my dreams before I go to work.
Arigatou gozaimasu, Rock-san.
Naruto smiled behind his ANBU mask at the concentration the girl was showing. She was sat at her bureau, the mirror in front of her revealing how her hair fell down in front of her face. It also showed him that she stuck her tongue out and to one side when she was trying very hard to write well.
He tried so hard to find it humorous in some way; he just found it cute.
When she had finished, the girl had folded the sheet of paper and set it down on her bureau, then stood and left the room swiftly.
Naruto almost fell off his perch when he saw what she had used as a paper-weight.
A rough, grey stone. A rock. Like Rock-san.
Naruto wasted no time in swinging himself through the window of Hyuuga Hinata's bedroom and snatching the letter from underneath her Rock-san. He unfolded it and speed-read the words as fast as he could without them seeming to be a jumbled mess, and froze.
This letter was about... him. And Him. And Hinata-chan.
Naruto would have read more, but heard footsteps down the corridor. Without thinking of the consequences of possible discovery, and still clutching the letter, he crossed to Hinata's open window and launched himself out of it, running off hurriedly before he could be discovered.
While he ran, he could swear he heard a girl shouting "Oh balls!".
Three days. That's how long it took Uzumaki Naruto to memorise every subtle curve, every dot of punctuation, every single crease that was on that piece of paper that his Hinata-chan had written.
She had been the ANBU to kill Sasuke, because she had been doing to Naruto what he had been doing to her ever since.
She loved him, and had done for the longest time...
And he didn't care she'd killed his best friend. He couldn't bring himself to do it.
He was writing an ANBU report when he felt the need to write a letter back to her.
Still wearing his Bird mask, and still sat in his small office in the hidden ANBU headquarters, Naruto grabbed a fresh piece of ANBU-marked paper and began writing. He spoke to himself as he wrote.
"Hyuuga-sama, Uzumaki-san has been informed of the contents of your letter to Rock-san..."
AN: Don't think I've forgotten. YOUR FAULT, Rose Tiger. Yours.
Hinata-chan, sic 'er!