"House of Paper: A Mother and Son's Journey"
Disclaimer: "Naruto" and its characters, with the exception of those I've created, are properties of Masashi Kishimoto and by no means will I ever claim them to be my own.
Spoiler Warning: Some of the information in this story should be considered spoiler material as a lot of it pertains to recent manga information. Consider yourselves forewarned.
Author's Note: This story has been an idea of mine for a long coming. Please do note that this is an ALTERNATE UNIVERSE and thus should not be interpreted as cannon material. Thus, there will be a lot of changes and many characters may appear to be OOC. So please, read and enjoy. Do, please, review after reading. I welcome all comments available.
Chapter One: A Mother's Decision
Konan never dreamed of ending up the way she did. Her whole life had been characterized by her association with those that she unwittingly trusted and had faith in. They were supposed to have changed the world, as they knew it, for a better one. Her, her two friends, Yahiko and Nagato; they were supposed to make it happen. They had it all in their sights, their dreams, and their ambition; erase the pain from the lives of everyone who had experienced the horrors that they too once had endured. Yet, it all became all for nothing.
Yahiko, their friend and leader, a man who was determined to become a sort of God in the eyes of everyone who followed him, selflessly sacrificed himself so that she, Konan, could live.
Yet he had another role, one unseen by the eyes of all those that had followed him, Nagato included; one that only pertained to Konan herself.
However brief it had been, the two had shared a night together, one where all their guards and defenses had been lowered as they shared the comfort and unspoken love for each other.
Was it because of her admiration for his continuous strive for a better world for Ame and the neighboring shinobi nations? She wasn't sure nor could she think back far enough to find the moment where that spark was ignited. The end result was the two of them sharing private moments away from the horrors that was their existence in Ame and their ambition to change it all for good.
It had started with him coming over to her quarters and staying with her for long periods. They would stay up late discussing simpler things outside of their plans with the group for the reformation of Ame and the usurping of Salamander Hanzo from power. They talked about plans for the future for themselves and what they envisioned their lives would be. This led to them taking each other into embraces. It became more and more intimate as time passed until one night, a night Konan Hitogawa would never forget. What initiated it, however, was a horrible event where a failed recon unit ended up impaled and placed outside of Hanzo's fortress as a means to gloat and taunt Yahiko's group to try anything further against him.
Yahiko was a mess after hearing the news and then going to help recover the bodies and heads of his former fellow freedom fighters. It was late when he showed up at Konan's tent on the perimeter of their location. Little was said when he came in. He simply looked at her with a haunted expression and was quivering from head to toe.
Konan did the only thing she knew and gave him a reassuring hug. Yahiko, strong as he was, never let his emotions show on the outside and took the moment to bask in the moment of comfort. From there, he gave her a shaky kiss which was the catalyst for the evening as it soon gave encouragement to proceed forward to a more carnal move.
Like a flower blooming, what started from a moment of subtle comfort, became a move to intimacy and the two enveloped themselves into a blend of melding bodies and a maelstrom of kisses, removal of clothing, and intercorsal exercises.
Despite what caused the initiation, Konan would never forget that night as long as she lived. That night led to more of the same as the she and Yahiko found the private comfort and the act what they needed as a desirable distraction from the events that came to pass as the months went by.
Then, Konan's world fell apart.
Early, on a cold fall morning, she had found out from a medic they had, the reason as to why she had been experiencing sickness for the past several weeks. This news would have sent a person rocketing towards the moon and back, but to Konan it was a disaster in the making.
A child. She was going to be having a child in these troubling times.
Konan was confident that Yahiko, Nagato, and her dreams would be coming to fruition. But, no matter how much she had faith, she knew by the time she gave birth it would still be too far into the future and that this child would be born into a hell it didn't deserve.
However, Yahiko was of a different opinion. When Konan told him the news, thinking he would be of the same mind as herself, Yahiko surprised her as he started acting happier than ever than he had ever been as he started spurting off all the wonderful things the two of them having a child would bring and that the child itself was a sign that the tide would turn and Hanzo's reign was at an end. Konan didn't know what to think after that.
He told her that the two of them would keep the child a secret and reveal their offspring as soon as Yahiko's latest plan would bring them closer to defeating Hanzo's forces later this day.
That would be the last time the two of them could be together.
Later that day, on a scouting mission to survey Hanzo's troupes that were settled a few miles away pass a ravine from their campsite; Konan and few others from her group were captured. Her fellow team members where slaughtered, gutted, and their beheaded bodies thrown into piles on the bottom of a rock quarry, where soon Yahiko and his forces came to initiate the siege of Hanzo's campsite. Nearly all of Yahiko's forces were then annihilated as a surprising revelation occurred. Hanzo had recruited the Wark Hawk Danzo and members of his secret group, Ne, to help him eradicate the insurgence of Yahiko and his forces. Barely twenty members survived along with Yahiko and Nagato.
Konan found herself at knife-point, held by one of Hanzo's men, watching helplessly as both hers, Yahiko's, and Nagato's dreams were coming to a crashing end.
Then her world fell apart completely. Hanzo demanded, for Konan's own life, that Yahiko's to be taken instead.
Nagato ignored the demand and talked with the remaining members to try and devise a way out of this and still hold strong.
Yahiko's eyes were solely on Konan, the pain and devastation only readable by peering into those perfect blue orbs of his. He then called for Nagato to stop. He then did the unimaginable. He called for Nagato to come at him and end his life.
Konan cried out for Yahiko to stop and forget her and to keep on pursuing his dream, their dream, for a better future.
Yahiko sadly gave her a smile but continued on calling for Nagato to end his life. Then, he rushed at Nagato, whose shaky hand holding his kunai was frozen as Yahiko grabbed the hand holding it and forcefully plunged it into his gut, twisting it in the process to make the deed done.
Konan cried out loud and in pain as she felt her soul and heart crumble.
Everything went black as she passed out from her mental and exhausted anguish.
When she recovered, she found herself being carried back to the campsite by a bloodied Nagato. No words were shared as she was too emotionally and physically exhausted to ask about the events that took place.
When Konan awoke, she asked Nagato a reprieve but promised to return to help continue helping him making Yahiko's and their dream a reality. Months passed as she traveled. She had no place in mind to travel to but settled to stay in Takigakure as it was there she blacked out. It was also there where she had given birth to her son.
What could have been the happiest moment of her life turned into a deep abyss of regret and sadness. Looking at her child, she saw the tracers of both Yahiko and herself. His hair was a faint dark blue like her own, but his eyes, they were Yahiko's.
Konan cried, she cried long and hard as she glimpsed at her child cradling it close to her chest.
Her mournful whispering only served to make her ach even more.
Her eyes fluttered open, coated in the dewy tears that continued to cascade down her cheeks, she saw the blurry image of a man standing in the doorway of her room in the hospital she was in. Wiping away the tears she took another look at the individual and her body tensed as she soon recognized him.
A tall man, big in build, he had snowy-white hair that was spiky and long as it came to a stop to the small of his back. His eyes were outlined in red, a huge scroll came strapped to his back and a kanji for "oil" was adorning the plate strapped to his forehead. His eyes which were known for their mirth were now in shock as he looked at her, his mouth gaping in shock.
"Jiraya-sensei." She said, emotionlessly.
"Wha…What are you doing here in Taki?" He asked as he approached her bedside, sitting in a chair adorning the bed she was in.
She turned away from him as she looked out the window of her room. Her thoughts came to Yahiko as another stab of pain struck her emotions and memories came hurtling at her of her, Yahiko, and Nagato training under Jiraya of the Sennin; the man sitting next to her.
Jiraya, sad that she was ignoring him as it has been over ten years since he had last seen her and her two friends, his other two brief students; sighed and then looked at the wrapped up bundle that lay in her arms, sleeping soundly.
Jiraya smiled as he put a finger to the side of the child's face and stroked it.
"I see you became a mother, Konan. He's beautiful."
Konan turned back to Jiraya and then looked at her child in her arms.
"Who's the father?" Jiraya asked, seeing as he had her attention again.
Konan then cried again and was unresponsive for five minutes. When she stopped she calmed herself by breathing deeply and then looked outside the window once more before looking back at Jiraya who had a look of sympathy on his face as, it seemed, he had correctly surmised as to the fate of the father.
"Why are you here, Jiraya-sensei?" She asked.
Jiraya folded his arms and smirked. "Nothing much. Just been visiting my spy networks before heading back to Konoha to report back to the Yondaime."
Konan nodded, still looking out the window. Her thoughts went back to Nagato and how long she had been away and her desire to return.
"What's the tyke's name?" Jiraya asked, still looking at the bundle in her arms.
Konan, once again, looked at her child and shivered. She would have to name it. But that wasn't enough; she would have to raise it as well, wouldn't she? But without Yahiko…
She shivered, again, and then thought about what kind of future her child would have with her as she continued on with Nagato in the pursuit of their dream to wrest the control of Ame away from Hanzo. That was no life for a child, nor would she be actually be able to raise it as she would be in a continuous life or death situation. She sighed as she realized what she had to do.
She turned and looked at her estranged Sensei. At another time she would have yelled at him for abandoning her, Yahiko, and Nagato; but instead, now, she would be asking him for a favor.
"Jiraya-sensei, I need you to take this child."
Jiraya's eyes widened. "Excuse me?"
Konan sighed as she then began to explain to him what has happened since Jiraya had left her and the others those ten years ago. Jiraya listened intently, never interrupting and when Konan had finished he gave her a hard look.
"You realize Konan-chan that this dream of yours is near impossible."
Konan looked away from him. Jiraya continued.
"We were nearly defeated by Hanzo when you three met us. Now you tell me that Yahiko's dead and most of your forces are wiped out. Are you really so dead-certain enough to believe you can succeed?"
Konan turned on him and glared at him. "You weren't there for us when we needed you the most, don't try and make it sound like you know us or what we're capable of."
Jiraya sighed as he rubbed the back of his head. "Fine, I'll stay out of it and let you do what you think must be done. But I must disagree when it come to your child. He'll need his mother."
Konan looked down at her son and shook her head. "No, he won't. I'll only bring him more misery as I don't know when this war with Hanzo will end. He's better off being raised in a loving environment where war isn't ever-present. My…darling Naruto deserves that, at least."
Jiraya looked at her with wide eyes.
She nodded. "It was a name from your book that Yahiko said he liked the most. He was courageous and never gave up. Just like Yahiko…" Konan's parched eyes began to fill with tears again as she clutched the sleeping babe to her chest and started to rock herself back and forth. When she stopped and calmed herself, she took a deep breath as she handed the baby to Jiraya.
Jiraya first stared at Konan for awhile before setting his eyes on the child she held out for him.
"Konan…I'm not able to take care of a child, you realize. If this boy would come with me, most likely he'll be placed in an orphanage."
Konan nodded, "As long as he lives and never sees the horrors that are apart of my world, it'll be fine. As long as he gets a life he should have, it'll be fine."
Jiraya closed his eyes and sighed as he reached out and took the child and held him to himself. He looked down at the sleeping babe and gave a faint smile. It looked so peaceful and so much like his mother.
"Konan, when should I tell him about you and Yahiko?" Jiraya looked up only to notice that Konan was no longer there and that the window was open. Looking out, he saw the faint image of a person with paper wings flying out toward the horizon.
To be continued…..
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