Title: Guilty
Author/Artist: Miranda Panda-chan
Pairing: a hint of SasuSaku
Fandom: Naruto
Theme:
culpa
Word Count: 963
Disclaimer: I own nothing.

A/N: The first in my one-shot collection. Read at the bottom for the full details.


I stared at the once successful and bustling village. It's a Ghost Town now. No one but renegades and wild animals live here, and very few even travel in this direction anymore. But it's because of how many deaths occurred…how much blood was shed…the stains unable to be washed away even after all these years. People think it's bad luck.

But I don't.

After all, I used to live here.

The mountain that outskirted the village with the Hokages' faces carved into it is nothing but rubble. Crumbled rock that occasionally causes landslides when it rains. The memorial stone is in pieces, too. Nothing has been left standing except for, ironically, the Ichiraku Ramen.

I come here every chance I get, after all, I'm nothing but another civilian now. A nameless face among thousands of others. I'm no one special any longer. Just Uzumaki Naruto, the manager of that one weapons store down the shop, right next to that flower shop owned by the strange girl with pink hair that talks to people that aren't really there.

Poor Sakura.

He was surprised she'd lasted this long. She was fairly sane, not the usual crazy type. She just talked, chattering endlessly on about whatever was on her abused mind. It was mostly directed to either Kakashi or Ino, sometimes Shikamaru or Tsunade, maybe Neji even more infrequently. She sometimes likes to talk to Sasuke, the only imaginary person that she speaks too that isn't dead…yet.

It killed me to know that even after Konoha's destruction he wouldn't just stay with us. We might've been able to forgive him. Forgive him for the treachery he'd committed against Konoha and her people.

But no, he stayed with Madara to conquer the world or something stupid and arrogant like that. What a bastard…

I growled at the thought.

People around our new village, the civilian village think we're absolutely nuts with the stories we tell.

After all, no one our age could've actually been involved in the Konoha Massacre. Much less survived. Only shinobi participated in that war. Which is a lie, civilians were murdered just a mercilessly as us shinobi were. They just stood a lesser chance of evasion and attack.

We only survived by sheer chance.

We survived because Sasuke had let us.

We survived because he loved Sakura.

Just like Itachi had let him live because of his love for his brother.

I looked around, stepping over some mossy rocks that used to belong to my apartment complex as well as Sakura's old one before she moved. The Uchiha compound, her home before the massacre, is looming nearer, nothing but a pile of rubble with the gate still half-way intact. The silence around is enough to drive a person crazy, I notice, as I continue my walk. At least the stench of burnt flesh, wood, and smoke are all missing, as well as the scent of decay that permeated this place for years, still does but not nearly as strong.

I cringe as I notice a rotted corpse in Neji's clothes. I shudder, closing my eyes and trying to calm myself down as I walk away as fast as possible.

The bodies weren't moved…we didn't have the peace of mind to pick up our slaughtered friends. I was somehow comforted at the idea that his blank white eyes had rotted a long time ago. I doubted I'd be able to come back as often as I do if their eyes still looked at me with fear, accusation, blaming me for their deaths…for not being able to save them…

I look at the remains of the academy, the swing there is broken, the wooden seat swinging in the wind, held up by only one thin-bare rope. The other side is snapped near the tie on the actual branch. I place the flowers that I'd brought at that swing before sitting down beneath the tree. I hold back a small sob as my eyes look to the rubble and see Konohamaru's scarf from underneath a giant boulder, his broken goggles spattered with blood a little ways away laying on the dead grass.

This would never have happened, I shake my head in denial, wishing it had come out some other way.

Wishing that our family and friends hadn't died without us.

Wishing that it wasn't all our fault.


A/N: Alrighty—so I really have been wanting to start a one-shot collection and I would love to do requests. Seriously. Would adore you if you would give me a request via email or pm. The only limitation to this is: I can't use Akatsuki characters, or at least no one that isn't Itachi. I'm good with everyone else. I have to know the character to write about them…heh heh. So yea. PLEASE REVIEW!

The one and only

Miranda Panda