(The theater has been retrofitted to have crimson curtains, chairs, aisles, and guide-lights the color of illuminated blood as the carpeting, ceiling, and walls are pure black)
Hello folks. This is going to be my darkest and most depressing fic, and I plan to make it non-canonical compared to any other fic (set in the original Naruto-verse anyways) I've got out there or in the works, and it's going to be a vastly different story than all the others I've written.
Enough chat, on with the story…
"Get away from me!"
"It's broken…" he repeated numbly.
"Leave me alone!" she repeated angrily.
"You broke it…" he said, eyes becoming vacant as he started at her unfocused.
"I told you to get out of my sight!" she screamed, her fist rising in anger.
"You've finally broken me…" he said as he slumped to his knees, his eyes never breaking the lock with hers.
"And you've finally lost it!" she yelled as she cocked her fist back, never losing aim as she brought it closer to his face.
"It's only a pile of shards now…" he muttered softly, just before her fist connected with his cheek and sent him flying away.
"And you're nothing but a pile of shards now!" she roared as her fist shook from the blow, before she lowered it back to her side as her legs took her far from the scene.
He lay there for a long time in the rubble of the wall, no one having witnessed the event as everyone stayed away from him all the time. Even in school, he was avoided. He barely got out of the school, and that was just because his teacher had taken pity on him and let him squeak by on a loophole. His teammates didn't care about him, and his new sensei did everything in his power to do the absolute least for him, even when he had supported his team for the advancement exams. He wasn't given any respect, and never had anything but hate, distrust, and loathing from those he encountered.
A red glow formed around his body as his eyes flickered open dully. He sat up, a hand crawling up to cover his chest, blood seeping through the black fabric of his jacket as the source began closing up and swallowing the remaining blood on his arm. "It's gone… All gone…" he muttered, standing up and dusting himself off as the glow began to pulsate.
No one was in the street still as he began trudging his way back to his hovel of an abode. All the while, he muttered the same phrase over and over again, about how 'it's gone, never to be whole again…'. He didn't say anything different after he entered his front door, not bothering to close it as he went further into the disheveled space he lived in and fell face-first into his pillow. He would have continued to lay face down in his pillow and suffocate had something deep within himself forced his arm to move of its own volition and move his face to the side and allow his body to breathe unobstructed.
"Can't let you kill yourself, Kit," a voice unlike the one previously leaving his mouth started. "Trust me, there's a lot you have to do, and I'll make sure you get someone much more suited to you…" it finished before leaving his mouth sit still again.
Naruto shot out of bed as soon as he heard the first footfall within his apartment.
"Hey Naruto, you rea-" Kakashi started before finding a katana aimed at his throat.
"Fuck, don't startle me like that Kakashi…" Naruto said lowly as he lowered his weapon. "You should remember that I don't take to intruders lightly."
"Well you should get a new door then," Kakashi responded. "Seriously Naruto, you have to get this place back in shape."
"I don't give a flying fuck." The blonde pulled his black pants on over his boxers, followed by his black sleeveless shirt. He grabbed his shoulder harness and strapped it on, sliding his katana into place swiftly before strapping his pouched belt around his waist. "So, what are you doing here?"
The silver-haired jonin pulled a scroll from his vest pocket and tossed it to Naruto. "New mission. The team's been selected for proctor duty in next month's Chunin Selection Exams."
Naruto promptly tossed it back at his sensei. "Sorry, you know I can't."
"Why's that?" he asked, looking at his student curiously.
"Because I'm not a fucking chunin, retard!" Naruto responded furiously. "Neither is that bitch! We aren't qualified to proctor. If anything, we need to enter the exams, but because that little cock-puppet abandoned us, we're a man short!"
"You know very well the council won't allow you to enter the exams again Naruto. After what happened with Gaara in the last exams you were in, on top of the fact that you nearly killed Sak-"
Again, Kakashi was cut short as Naruto's sword point was a mere centimeter from digging into his throat.
"You know damn well her name isn't to be said in my presence," the blonde seethed angrily. "I still refuse to do anything more than guard duty with her!"
His sensei didn't say a word until he put his sword again. "Look, I know you don't like-"
"Hate fits the context better…"
"-Working with her, but you're just going to have to live with it. The Hokage-"
"Fucking drunk. Sometimes I wish I'd never convinced her to come back to the village and take over as Sarutobi's replacement…" the blonde interjected as he absentmindedly fingered the necklace around his neck.
"-may be, however, willing to see about addressing this if you stop being so childish…" Kakashi trailed off, leaving the suggestion hanging in midair.
Naruto pulled a bottle of juice out of his fridge and drank from it quickly before facing his sensei again. "Me, childish? Fuck me! I'm the fucking mature one on the team now!" He took another drink and grabbed a donut from the cupboard, taking a bite out of the jelly-filled pastry. "Shit, you're always reading porn no matter what's going on, and now that bubble-gum cunt thinks she's tough shit just because she's a full-fledged medic. I'm the one carrying out the majority of our fucking missions, I'm the one who brought an alliance with Kusa into being, I'm the one who saved the Kazekage's ass when Akatsuki came for his fucked-up psychotic carcass, and I'm also the one who actually prevented that same nutjob from destroying us during the last exams when Orochimaru attempted an invasion! I'm the fucking last person on our team who needs to grow up!" He scarfed down the rest of the donut and chugged the rest of the juice before tossing the bottle into the sink. "But if that old drunk wants just a bit of lip-service so I can get the fuck on my own in this damned village, I'll just shut up and oblige her this once."
Kakashi looked at his student with a weary eye, never having heard him change his mind so quickly and adversely. "Are you an impostor? What'd you do with the real Naruto?" he asked jokingly, his visible eyebrow rising.
"Don't fuck with me, sensei…" Naruto said as he left the busted front door. "Are you coming, or am I making a solo appearance in front of the Lady Drunkage?"
"I'm coming…" Kakashi replied with a sigh, head shaking slightly as he followed the blonde.
Moments later and there came a knock at Tsunade's door. Upon getting the go-ahead to enter, Naruto and Kakashi calmly stepped into the office to find Sakura standing before the large desk, always riddled with stacks and piles and mountains of paperwork, with Tsunade sitting in her large chair with one hand cupping a sake bottle and the other cupping her throbbing head.
"What is it now?" Tsunade asked without lifting her gaze.
"Hello Lady Hokage," Naruto said flatly. "I've come to request a change of assignment."
Upon hearing his voice being so full of restraint and respect, the village leader immediately shot up out of her seat, almost dropping her bottle of alcohol as she used that arm to point accusingly at the ninja behind Sakura. "Who are you? What's your mission? You've seriously blown your undercover mission by taking over Naruto's place and not heard how he treats me!"
Sakura nodded dumbly as she eyed her long-time teammate. She didn't see anything different physically about him, but there was a certain air around him that was making his presence much different than he had been in the last few years.
"Look, I'm here to get something done and out of the way. After that, I'll trash-talk you all you want. But right now, just bare with me, alright?" he asked with a slap to the forehead.
"This better be worth my time brat…" she responded in kind. "What's so important that it's caused you be polite for once? You're not wanting to go after that traitor again, are you?"
"Fuck no! If I go after the Uchiha again, I'm not going to be returning without him, whether it be on his own two feet or merely his head in a sealing scroll is up to him." Naruto held the mission scroll in front of him and opened it up. "It's about this mission. We can't be proctors, simply because we aren't chunin. I've come to request that we get a third member so we can finally take part. After we pass, I'm requesting a change of squad detail."
"The Council feels it would be better for you to be proctors than participate," Tsunade responded flatly. "I can't do anything; ever since the invasion and Sarutobi's death, the Council's had more to do with the shinobi forces than they were meant to. I'm sorry-"
"I could give a flying fuck at a rolling donut about the Council!" Naruto said firmly. "I honestly don't care what they say! You are the Hokage! You are the person in charge of the ninja of this village! Either you start fucking acting like the boss and take the reins from them, or you can kiss my ass good bye as I leave the gates!" He pointed a finger at her just as she opened her mouth to retort. "And no, it's not a threat; if you don't start being a real fucking leader, I promise I will leave. And you know just what leaves with me if I go…"
"Naruto!" Sakura and Kakashi both exclaimed simultaneously as Tsunade groaned and covered her face with both hands.
"Fine, fine. But!" Tsunade finally said. She pulled a drawer open and lifted a thin folder out of it and held it up. "You only get this one chance! You will receive the person inside this folder as your teammate, and if you fail to pass the Chunin Exams this time, you agree to never threaten this village like that again and hereby forfeit all rights to further chances of promotion. Do we have a deal?"
Naruto nodded his head as he ignored the glares his 'teammates' were giving him. "I don't have much of a fucking choice any way I look at it. Who's our newest member to the 'pariah' squad going to be?" he asked calmly.
"Someone you yourself have met before Naruto," Tsunade smiled wickedly in response. "In fact, you yourself were the one who brought her to the village…"
Kakashi and Sakura both looked at Naruto and then at Tsunade with ever-shrinking eyes. "You can't mean… her?" they asked in unison again.
"Shit, thought she was killed during an ANBU interrogation!" the blonde said excitedly. "I totally forgot about her! Where the hell you been hiding her?"
Tsunade flipped the folder over her desk to have it land in front of Naruto's feet. "Actually, Shizune's been the one keeping her under control all this time. The Special Interrogation squad got everything they could from her during her initial recovery so Shizune's been keeping her occupied with rehab and such in the Hokage Mansion. She's just about ready for active duty now."
Naruto picked up the folder and opened it, seeing a picture of a very pissed-off redhead staring holes into the person having taken the picture. "Heh, just as pissed as the day I brought her through the village gates I see! How recent is this?"
"Fucking bitch took it this morning!" came a new voice from the sliding glass door, an even more pissed-off version of the pictured kunoichi standing in the opening. "I see you're not worse for wear, you fucking blonde tree-rat."
"Good to see you too, Tayuya..." Naruto replied with a dark cheeky grin. "-chan."
"Don't start it here you two!" Tsunade warned. "Tayuya, I see you're on time."
"How couldn't I be? That bitch assistant of yours nearly fucking threw me out of bed and screamed at me twenty minutes ago about this meeting!" Tayuya shot back as she closed the door swiftly behind her. Her hair flopped about in a long braid with her movements, her old Oto attire replaced with a full body mesh-suit, a black tube-top leaving little to the imagination about her ample cleavage and her cargo shorts seemingly loaded to the brim with equipment as her old black sandals remained the same. "So what's the big fucking deal? Not like I've really got anything to do now that I'm off therapy finally." She then caught a flying object Tsunade threw at her, unwrapping it to be a Leaf hitai-ite on a black cloth.
"Congratulations Tayuya, you're officially a genin of Konohagakure," Tsunade said cheerily. "And as for your team, here they are! I was originally going to wait to place you until the next round of squads were formed, but a more… opportune arrangement came up!" she added oh-so-sweetly.
"You can't be serious!" Sakura screeched as she pointed at Tayuya, the redhead slipping the cloth around her neck and tying the knot firmly behind her neck. "I've seen the reports! She helped kidnap-"
"Assisted his escape is the correct wording…" Tayuya added as she flipped the pink one off openly.
"-Sasuke-kun! She nearly killed Shikamaru!" Sakura went on angrily.
"Are you sure this is a wise idea, Lady Tsunade?" Kakashi asked cautiously.
"Honestly? I think I may lose my job. But it's gotten to the point where I don't think I should be Hokage, shouldn't have been to begin with!" Tsunade said as she threw her hands up in the air. "But this evens things out for your squad, and now Naruto finally gets someone on his team he'll be able to work with somewhat. But enough of that; as of now, you three are now registered for the upcoming Chunin Selection Exams, so go and train hard."
"But Lady Hokage-" Sakura started before Tsunade cut her off this time.
"Look, either shut up and deal with it or go chase after your fucking crush for all I care Sakura. The three of you are relieved of missions until after the exams excluding emergency situations. Dismissed!"
Sakura went to speak more, but was forcefully dragged out the Hokage's office with a hand covering her mouth by Kakashi as Naruto and Tayuya held the doors open. "Thank you, Lady Tsunade!" he responded lazily and with a fake smile before the doors blocked his eye contact with the woman they all called leader.
She struggled against her sensei's grip all the way down the stairs until they exited the building. "What was that for, Kakashi-sensei? You can't just let this happen!"
"Look Sakura," Kakashi started, looking out the corner of his eye only to find Naruto and Tayuya sizing each other up with their eyes, mentally sighing in relief that he hadn't heard that slip-up. "It's honestly time that you and Naruto move on. You can't just sit around as genin doing all the first-years' work, and technically the majority of our missions we shouldn't have received due to your rankings. It's past time you two advance to the next level, and now the chance has arrived with Tayuya's assignment to the squad."
"But sensei, why can't we just let things be?" she whined. "We all know we're more than strong enough to be chunin!"
"Just shut the fuck up and suck it in, pinky!" Tayuya snapped as she stepped to the other side of Kakashi. "I don't like being a fucking prisoner of war, but at least I'm rolling with the punches!"
"You shouldn't have been allowed to live after what you did!" Sakura screamed. She pulled a kunai out of her supply pouch and lunged for Tayuya's throat. "DIE!"
Next thing she knew, Sakura was face-to-face with Naruto as Kakashi had grabbed her by the hair on the back of her head.
"Control yourself Sakura!" Kakashi commanded as she struggled to get out of his grasp. "You can't let the actions in the past guide your future decisions!"
Naruto merely stared her dead in the eye as Tayuya smacked him in the back of the head.
"Don't act like you're my fucking guard-dog, blondie," the redhead hissed as she stepped around him and got right into the other kunoichi's face. She looked Sakura straight in the eye as she spoke. "Listen here, bitch. I may have helped that little prick get the fuck out of here but I don't really care. What's done is done! You have to live with it just like I've got to live with the fact that shit-face here," jutting a thumb back at Naruto, "decided to bring my broken crippled ass back here instead of just letting me die in peace where the Sand bitch and that shadow-using dickhead leveled an entire forest on top of me."
Sakura fell limp in the jonin's grip at hearing this new tidbit. She landed with a thud after Kakashi released her hair, her eyes slowly traveling to Naruto who now stood to Tayuya's left.
"You… were the one… who brought her here?" she asked dumbly, her eyes almost pleading to him for a negative response.
The blonde crossed his arms over his chest as he gave her an uncaring nod. "Yeah, so I brought her back. I didn't do it for the 'glory of bringing back a prisoner' or to get a bonus in my pay for that fucked-up mission I foolishly requested. I did it purely for the fact that Tayuya and me are so much alike."
Sakura just sat there, looking at him with her eyes now void of all life.
"Naruto, why don't you and Tayuya go train or something?" Kakashi said, quickly catching Sakura's limp body before she smacked her face to the ground in front of her.
"Sure…" he responded. He turned away and started walking. "C'mon Tayuya, let's go someplace else or something."
"Pfft, fine…" the redhead said with disgust. She followed the blonde down the street.
Kakashi waited for them to be out of sight before he hefted Sakura over his shoulder. "Things are going to be very difficult…" he grumbled to himself as he headed towards Sakura's house.
"So was that just a pile of shit you spewed back here to Pinky, or were you spilling the truth?" Tayuya asked as the two of them sat down at the Ichiraku Ramen counter.
"I haven't lied to anyone in this village for five years now," Naruto responded flatly as he got Teuchi's attention. "Three pork ramen for me, and…?"
"A chicken ramen if ya got it," Tayuya finished.
"Coming right up, Naruto!" Teuchi replied cheerfully.
"Is he always that cheerful?" the redhead asked bitterly.
Naruto shrugged and leaned forward on his elbows against the counter. "I've gotten used to it; this place is the only one willing to serve me, so I just deal with it."
She raised an eyebrow at this. "You're kidding, right? So all you eat is fucking ramen?"
"Nah, only when I eat outside my pigsty of an apartment. I usually get someone to go grocery shopping for me rather than deal with the looks everyone shoots at me or bothering to use a genjutsu." He handed her a pair of chopsticks before taking his own and snapping them apart as Teuchi returned with their orders. "Given that you've been under Granny Tsunade's care for so long on top of having been a part of that snake-fucker's village, I'm sure you know why I live like this."
Tayuya slurped up a large amount of noodles with her first go at the food. "So you're saying this village in it's fucking entirety hates you for that god-damned burden in your gut eh? That's just fucking retarded."
Naruto looked meekly into his first bowl for a second before commenting. "I honestly just don't fucking care any more. I just want something, anything, that's better than bowing down to someone who can't respect me, ya know?"
"Preachin' to the fucking choir," she said through another mouthful of ramen. "Look at my last damned employer!"
"Wonder if he's managed to take the cock-puppet's body yet…" Naruto asked softly at the reminder of Orochimaru. He put his first bowl to the side and immediately dug in on his second, his new teammate pushed her empty bowl away with her chopsticks crossed over the top of it.
"Who knows and who fucking cares? By now, anything's possible with that homo," she said as she put her coins next to her bowl and turned her stool around so she could lean back on her elbows while Naruto continued with his food. "So where to next?"
He swallowed the large mouthful of toppings from his bowl as he thought for a moment. "Up to you really. I don't care where, as long as I don't have to deal with some people…"
"I know, huh?" she snorted. "Say, know where I can find a place of my own? The hag's kicking me out tomorrow, since I'm active-duty now."
"Could always move into the building I'm at," he said as he placed his second bowl on top of the first. "All the other tenants moved out of it during the reconstruction of the village after the invasion. I think it's technically been labeled as 'abandoned' since then, but we should check with the Drunkage first."
"Does the roof leak?"
"Only during the rare three-day rain storm, if you got my kind of luck."
"Rats or other such shit?"
"Not even a fly, thankfully."
"And you said there's just you living there nowadays?"
"Yeah. Not even a hobo or missing-nin from another village lives there."
"Well, then whoopty-fucking-doo, hello neighbor!" the redhead said mockingly. "I don't give a rat's ass about paperwork. If no one's living there, I'll just move right on in. Wanna go get the few things I've got at the hag's mansion when you're done shoveling that down?"
Naruto simply nodded as he chugged down the entire bowl before putting it on the pile, adding his own coins to hers between the four bowls themselves. "Let's head back to her office then. I think she's only gone through two bottles by now."
The two of them headed back to the Hokage Tower just in time to run into Kiba, Shikamaru and Neji coming out of it. Akamaru promptly started barking at Tayuya as she and Naruto came closer, with Kiba's hair almost standing fully on end. Shikamaru merely sighed and dropped his head as Neji's eyes bulged from his Byakugan.
"What the fuck you freaks looking at?" she asked with arms crossed menacingly over her chest.
"You shouldn't be here!" Kiba shouted, pointing a finger at her.
Neji stood his ground as he kept his gaze fixed on her. "Indeed, you should actually be dead by all rights. At the very least-"
Both ninja as well as the nin-ken went silent as Naruto pointed to the redhead's hitai-ite bearing the same symbol as theirs.
"That's gotta be a damn fake!" the Inuzuka heir exclaimed. "No way would Lady Tsunade let someone like her be a ninja of this village!"
Naruto growled as he pushed Kiba almost to the ground with Shikamaru moving willingly. "We don't have time to bicker with you, dog-breath. We have business to deal with."
Tayuya didn't give them a second thought aside from flipping them all off as she followed the blonde inside.
"Shikamaru, I thought you said Temari killed that bitch…" Kiba asked with narrowed eyes.
"I said it looked like Temari's last attack killed her," Shikamaru corrected lazily. "Neither of us were nor are medics so we couldn't tell without actually touching her. And besides, I wasn't about to go poking an enemy kunoichi to see if she's alive, a forest's worth of lumber piled on top of her or not."
The Hyuuga prodigy released his bloodline and shook his head. "When word of this spreads, there's going to be a lot of trouble for whoever brought her back, and even more for the Hokage since she's made her a Leaf nin…"
The three of them plus a flustered Akamaru went on their way to serve their patrol duty while Naruto and Tayuya roughly shoved their way into Tsunade's office.
"Hey Granny!" Naruto shouted as he kicked the door open. "We need just a moment of your time real quick."
"Watch your mouth you little brat!" Tsunade roared from behind her mountains of paperwork.
"Hey kid, are you ever going to come on that training mission with me? You really need to know the things I have to teach you," said the white-haired sage standing in front of the desk. Upon seeing Naruto's companion, the 'professional' façade fell away to his natural one: the super-pervert.
He slinked up with his pen and notepad out right up to Tayuya. "Why hello there miss, would you be interested in doing some... private modeling?"
Next thing Jiraiya knew, he had a black sandal shoving itself into his sternum and sending him straight out the sliding glass door to the balcony outside the office.
"Nice one…" Naruto said as he watched Jiraiya's body skip over the next few buildings and disappear to the street a half-mile away. "That had to be at least seven skips!"
"While I admit it's impressive, it was still unnecessary for that. But Jiraiya did have it coming…" Tsunade sighed. "Well, since you've managed to interrupt his constant attempts at getting into my pants, I'll look past the disrespect." She stood up and looked at them from over the excessive amount of paperwork. "What do you need, brats?"
"Wait, you're just going to start lumping the two of us in the same category all of a sudden? What the fuck?" Tayuya shouted as her right thumb jutted at Naruto. "I've gotta be at least a couple levels above him!"
Tsunade couldn't help but laugh at this. "You should look more closely at it, Tayuya. Naruto there is the only person aside from Shizune that I actually treat as human. So if... Nah, I'll just sit back and enjoy the mayhem while you destroy your brain trying to figure it out," she responded with a dismissive hand motion at that idea.
Tayuya glared at the older woman and moved up to get a real answer out of her before Naruto held her arm firmly back.
"Look, we just need the rest of Tayuya's stuff from the Hokage Mansion," he started calmly. "She said you were going to have her find a new place anyways, and that's why we're here. I'm the only person in my apartment building, so she's going to move into one of the vacant units."
"But why? There are a lot of better places, and with someone actually taking care of them too!" the blonde woman retorted. She looked the two of them over. "Well, if you two want it so badly, then I'll just have the place put in your names. You'll be able to do whatever the hell you want with it then. Sound good?"
Tayuya looked at her curiously. "What's the catch… I don't think you'd be willing to just give us an entire apartment building because it's that easy, you're getting something out of it aren't you?"
Tsuade smiled darkly. "Only thing I get out of this is the Council off my back. They've been trying to evict Naruto from that place for years, but now that he'll be co-owner, they can't touch the place!" She moved around the desk and sat against the edge of it as her arms folded under her cleavage, causing it to seem fuller than normal. "Anyways, I'll have the paperwork ready tonight for you two to sign. As of midnight, you two will own that building, and can do whatever you want with it, no limits."
Naruto took this moment to interject. "Does that mean we could completely remodel the place if we felt like it…?"
"If you want, you could tear the entire building down and rebuild it as you want, no questions asked." She reached into her pocket and pulled out a card and pen, quickly jotting something down on the card before holding it out to them. "Here, I'll even spot you some remodeling expenses until you two can afford to take care of it on your own."
Tayuya grabbed the card and looked at it. "A bank account number?"
"Yes; just take that to the President of the village's bank a couple blocks south and let him know how much you need and show him that card. Just remember, everything you take out of my account has to be repaid eventually," Tsunade answered sternly.
"We'll keep that in mind!" Naruto called back over his shoulder as he and Tayuya bolted from the office, not wanting her to suddenly say it was all a joke.
Tsunade sadly smiled at their retreating forms. "I hope you'll finally start going back to the boy I heard so much about from Sarutobi's letters by me doing this Naruto-kun…"
Hope you've enjoyed this little tidbit as it stands...
...Next chapter, prepare yourselves for a very dark and sadistic side of reality...