Hey! And here's a new story! I've had this idea for a while, so I hope it goes over well. Updates may not be as fast as I like, 'cause of school, and other stories I'm working on. But I'll try an update as fast as I can! Hope you enjoy!

No flames people. But reviewing, would be like a give to an aching human soul.

Song of the day: To be Loved by Papa Roach. Rockin' song, and it goes well with the chapter.

Britt: Welcome to the exciting world of, 'Death Laughs'!

Me: My newest thing to add on my incredibly long list of things to do. Ah, well. This should be fun.

Naruto: How right you are!

Britt: Hey, it's our favorite blond!

Me: *nods* Him and Gaara will be joining us for this story.

Gaara: *rolls eyes* Yay...

Me: *sweat drops* Hehe...Anyway, on to the story!

Warning: May contain, gore, violence, mature themes, romance, implications, and possibly yaoi in later chapters. Maybe.

Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto! Now, please lower the sword against my throat.

Fear. The emotion itself was terrifying. But to actually feel it, was horrifying.

To me, the biggest thing I feared, was fear itself. Because fear made people do stupid things; horrible things. Fear was what drove people into madness. Fear is what kept you awake for night and night again.

But what I feared about fear most was what it meant. When I am afraid, it makes me realize just how useless I am. Fear makes people realize how helpless they really are.

But fear is merely a human emotion. Beasts of the night have no use for such feelings. So I guess, that was a relief. Because I did feel fear, so I wasn't a complete monster. I was all too human. No matter what they said.

'They' were the ones who cast me out of society. They were the ones who treated me like filth that wasn't even worth looking at. They were the ones who feared me, because of something I couldn't control. They were the ones who could care less if I died a horrible, painful death.

I was stupid. Stupid for trying to protect them. Stupid for trusting them. Stupid for wanting their respect. Hell, during the war, I fought with all my heart and will to protect them from the Sand and Sound ninja. And the damn ignorant bastards weren't even grateful.

Yet, I still tried so hard to please them. I'd never admit it, but I was desperate for their approval. I wanted so badly for them to acknowledge me and my existence. I wanted them to respect me, I wanted them to like me.

Yes, that was my own childish desire. I wanted to be loved. I wanted to feel the warmth of affection from another person. I craved human contact of any kind. I wanted someone - anyone - to care for me. I wanted it so, so badly that it was sick.

There was nothing I could do to deny it. Just like I couldn't deny the pain I felt when they stared at me with those eyes full of hatred. I tried to avoid their cold gazes as much as I could. I still felt the chill of their stares though. I guess it really didn't matter though. Because I was already so cold.

I had done nothing to them. Nothing, and yet I received such intense hatred and despise from them all. All I wanted was to be noticed, to be loved, to be accepted. All I got was anger, pain, hatred, pity, sorrow, and rage. Such emotions were always thrown at me as a weapon of sorts. And it was destroying me from the inside. But that's what they wanted, wasn't it?

I've tried to forget - ignore - all the horrible things they've done. The assassination attempts when I was younger, made me wake up screaming during the night. Some would beat me for no apparent reason, causing me to weep. They even pelted me with stones, giving ma a complete sense of self loathing.

I'll never forget what they've done to me. Or what they're doing now. Because right now, I'm lying on the floor. struggling to breathe. My lungs feel as though they're about to burst with pain.

The night had been an average one to say the least. I had went to Ichiraku's after being ditched by my teammates, Sasuke and Sakura. I had asked them if they'd wanted to go with me for ramen. But of course, Sasuke refused, saying that he had better things to do. And Sakura had simply replied by saying, ''If Sasuke-kun isn't going, then neither am I."

And so with Kakashi-sensei gone as well, (he had politely declined earlier, saying that he had a meeting to attend) I made a lonely trip to Ichiraku's. Not that I had been expecting anything different. I tried to ignore the pang of hurt that rang through my heart.

I wasn't going to allow myself to be saddened by this! Because things were different now. I wasn't completely alone. I had friends now, precious people. People that I swore to protect. I wanted to protect them from pain, even my own. That's why I hid it behind my mask.

My mask. It was something visible to only myself. My mask was that cheerful smile on my face even when I felt lonely. It was my contagious laughter that rang through the air, even as my aching heart wept with pain. My mask was that part of me that made others around me feel happy.

Because emotions were too contagious. Whatever I felt, they might feel too. I didn't want them filled with bad emotions like fear, sorrow, pain, or loneliness. So, I made a mask that gave them my good feelings like, happiness, joy, and elation.

So even though I was disappointed, I forced a smile upon my face as I walked to my favorite ramen stand. And a genuine smile was placed upon me when I saw that Iruka-sensei was there! My first precious person. The first one to see me as something other than a demon.

He bought me ramen while I told me about my battles with other ninjas and foes. He laughed whenever I exaggerated parts, and I got annoyed when he didn't believe me. ( Is it so hard to believe that I defeated Zabuza with my sexy-jutsu? It could happen!)

I chatted happily, even when I felt the icy chill go up my spine from the glares behind my back. I could even sense their cold eyes without turning around. Iruka-sensei praised me for growing into such a strong shinobi. And as much as I wanted the praise, I didn't feel like I deserved it.

If only you knew, sensei. How much pain I feel inside. How much I truly hate myself. I don't deserve your praise, I'm just a freak.

The thought stung, but I knew it was true. While I cared so much for others, I loathed myself so much. All the years of everyone else hating me, made me hate myself as well. Hate myself to the point where it was too much to bear...

No! Don't think about that with Iruka-sensei right here! Forget about it; as long as you have them you have a reson to live. If anything; forget it for them.

Yes, that's right. It would be utterly disgraceful to think of such things with someone so precious to me right next to me. So, I gave the brightest smile I could and thanked him for the compliments.

That night I left the ramen shop alone, as usual. Wanting to avoid the glares and whispered insults beneath the bright night lights of Konoha, I decieded to head into the forest for a nighttime stroll.

It wasn't unusual for me to do such a thing. The outskirts of town was my only sanctuary from the hostility of the civilians. While I could got to my small apartment, it was too quiet there. The forest felt so much more alive.

I figured I might as well camp out for the night, which was something I did often. No one knew though. But why would they? If I never tell them, they'll never ask. Not even my closest companions ever wondered what I did in my spare time. Never bothered to ask either.

Tonight though, felt like any other night. I felt lonely and tired, so I wandered around aimlessly, completely oblivious to my surroundings. That was probably my biggest mistake.

But I never had my guard up at all times. I shouldn't have to in my own village. I did though. There always seemed to be an exception for the beast of Konoha.

The night was completely silent. Which is what made it so eerie. No sound of a babbling creek, no wolf howling in the distance, no ruffling of leaves through the air. The darkness seemed to have muted the world of any sound.

The silence shattered when I felt a burst of pain stab right through my chest. I fell to the ground with a strangled scream, grasping my aching wound. To my dismay I felt a warm, crimson liquid on my hand and the metallic taste of blood rise in my throat. Someone had run through me with a sword.

Not just anybody though. A ninja. While I was used to getting beaten, taunted, even spit on by villagers - no ninja had ever attacked me out of nowhere so close to home.

I groaned in pain, as I batted an eyelid to get a glimpse of my attacker. I expected the worst. A foreign ninja here to kill innocent villagers. A Sound ninja seeking revenge for their leader. A bounty hunter after the Kyuubi. In any of the cases, I was prepared to defend his village no matter what.

What I wasn't prepared for was to see the mask of a Konoha ANBU standing before me, bloody kantana in hand. My heart stopped beating as my worst fear was realized.


A Konoha ANBU had attacked me. Stabbed me, and with a blow like that, intended to kill me. Now ANBU just didn't get up and kill whoever they felt like. Someone ordered him to do so.

But...isn't the hokage in charge of the ANBU? Tsunade would never...They wouldn't...No, they couldn't....

A sharp kick to my side announced the presence of yet another ANBU. I hissed as the a loud crunch of my ribs cracking filled the air. My eyes now squeezed shut in pain, I couldn't see my attackers. But I could feel two...three ninjas there hovering above my fallen form.

"W-what....a-are y-you....d-doing?" I gasped finding it harder to breath. The wound in my chest was now burning accompanied by a broken rib or two.

''We were sent here,'' A baritone voice began, ''to kill you. Those were our orders.''

No...NO! My mind screamed as the truth hit me like a hard slap to the face. Which is exactly what I received.

"W-hy...?" I tried to asked, but was knocked to floor by a harsh punch to the gut. It felt as if steel had ripped through all my intestines.

''Quiet, demon. Trash like you does not deserve a merciful death.'' A frighteningly soft, female voice spat.

My body convulsed in harsh fit of coughs that ripped through my throat, causing blood to spew from my chapped lips. As soon as the fit ended I tried to lift myself off the ground, only to be smashed into the dirt by the foot of the third ANBU.

''Don't fight us. It's useless anyway." His voice was dark and monotonous. Almost emotionless. "Just think of this as a blessing. Death shall be our gift to you.'' He said in a tone akin to comforting. And although his voice frightened me the most, I almost felt sorry for the man. His voice sounded so cold it was almost sad. Maybe I could've helped him. If he hadn't been ordered to exterminate me.

Even with his words, I still tried. Tried to get up, tried to break free. It was utterly useless in the end. They kicked me repeatedly, until my bones were dented and cracked. They punched me until my bruises turned a deep purple and slapped me 'till my skin went numb.

I'm...I'm going to die. Aren't I?

I cried out multiple times. I begged them to stop. My body twisted in agony and my bones were crushed to bits. My mind started to go blank and my thoughts became dazed.

"N-no..." I managed to whisper. But to my dismay, it came out as nothing more than a hoarse sob. I realized that tears had involuntarily slipped through my eyes.

I'm so weak...So pathetic....I can't even save myself. If I die, who will protect the ones I cherish? My mind cried. But then, another voice in my head cried out:

But aren't the ones I care about the ones torturing me as we speak? Isn't this the village I tried to protect?

Another choked sob pushed its way through my throat. I wept silently, unable to cry properly with the searing pain coursing through my veins. A kick to my leg caused a sick crunch to vibrate through the night air. But, it didn't hurt as much as it should have.

I've gone numb. I can't feel their hits anymore. So...why am I shaking like a leaf in the wind?

I had barely registered that the beating had finally stopped. Until one of them knelt down beside me and tried to take my pulse. The feeling of fingers pressed against my throat was enough of a jolt for my eyes to snap open.

At first, I couldn't see anything and thought I'd been blinded. Then I realized that the blood was dripping down my face and over my eyes. I blinked once, trying to get a clear view. Gathering the last bit of my energy, I blinked once more, and finally saw a hazy figure in front of me.

He was fairly tall, even when kneeling. Maybe about the size of Kakashi-sensei. He wore an ANBU mask resembling a wolf. There was a bit of flat, white hair sticking out from the top of his mask, but that was the only clue to his identity. Other than that he was just another cold face, just like the two behind him.

When I glanced up at the other two standing above me, my body convulsed in a shiver. I could feel their cold gazes even without seeing their eyes. Seeing me shiver, the man apparently saw that I was indeed still alive, and stood up.

Strange...I didn't feel his cold eyes.

''He's still alive. But in the state he's in, he won't make it through the night.'' He stated.

''What if someone comes looking for him, or stumbles upon him?" The woman asked.

"Tch. Do you honestly think anyone would help the little monster, let alone come looking for him.'' The last man replied with a sneer.

His words sting. They hurt so bad, because they're so true...

My eyes clenched shut, not wanting to see their faces. I was already chilled to the bone. And I felt weak enough as it is. I didn't want them to see the despair in my eyes. I would not give them the satisfaction.

If I was going to shatter, I was going to do so alone on the cold, forest floor, in the silence of the night. The ANBU's earlier words rang in my head. "Death shall be our gift to you."

Perhaps this is a blessing. A way to end my suffering. I could give up now. I wasn't with my valued sensei, or my precious friends. No, I was completely and utterly alone. Free to die in peace without making a scene.

Will they weep for me? Will I even have a funeral, or will they simply bury me in the forest? Or dump my body in the river? Who will mourn my death? Will anybody?

"Let's go.'' The deep, baritone voice ordered. I inwardly released a sigh. They were leaving. Maybe, just maybe, I could survive this. Somehow I might be able to find the energy to move, if my wounds heal fast enough. Then I could-

''May hell have no mercy on your wretched soul...'' It was the woman. Her voice was so soft, like the ripple on the surface of a pond. But below those ripples and word was pure malice.

All my thoughts of living disintegrated with those words. Not an ounce of guilt in her voice. Their footsteps reverberated through the forest, echoing through the silent night. Only when I heard their steps flee into the distance, I began to cry.

My loud, agonizing scream pierced the air, breaking the silence that blanketed over the land. With the last bit of my energy ripped from my sore throat, I layed there in despair.

The warm tears rolled down my cheeks mixing with the warm blood. In contrast, the tears almost felt cold against the crimson liquid. Why was my blood so warm anyway? I felt colder than a snowflake in blizzard. Shouldn't my blood be the same?

The pale glow of the moon was the only light illuminating the night. My body lay still, unmoving in the midst of a cool breeze that swept through the air. It might have looked like some grotesque piece of art, if anyone stumbled upon such a scene.

Numbness began to claim my senses. I wouldn't be awake much longer. Fuck, I wouldn't be alive much longer. I was going to die. Well....At least I'll go peacefully...

The bitter sarcasm would've caused me to smile, had I been able to move my lips. I had only but a short time left to live. What to do? There was no chance to relay words to my loved ones. There was no strength left in me to say any last words. How should I spend my last aching breaths?

Suddenly, a thought came into my mind. Should I do that? It would make sense I guess. But...would it even make a difference? Then again I'm dying, aren't I? Oh, screw it! I might as well... And so, for the first time, in a very long time, I did something.

I prayed.

I prayed for anything I could think of. For everyone I cared about. For everything I believed in. The last time I prayed, I had been five. But then, a nunat the orphanage had cruelly slapped me and said: "Kami-sama doesn't listen to the likes of you!" Well, I hoped he was listening now.

Kami-sama....I'm sorry. Sorry for whatever sins I've committed in life. I ask for your forgiveness, but...

I'm not going to beg for my life.

...I don't regret all the bad things I've done. If I had a reason to do it and I believed in it, then I'm not sorry.

It's not so bad to confess.

My life has been so very painful. I only hope I can find happiness in the next world. Maybe I'll be lucky enough to make it to Heaven. Then again, maybe I deserve Hell. If so, please let my body burn quickly in the fire of my sins. At least then I'll be warm...

It feel good to let it all out. I wonder if he's listening...?

Such agony people must endure in life. Why do we do it? Perhaps, the next world is something much greater? Is it to prove to you our worthiness? Or are we fighting for something else?

Was I expecting an answer? Truly I must be going insane. Maybe it's the blood loss.

I've committed horrible crimes, and I don't mind atoning for them. I knew the consequences of taking a life, and I've taken many as a shinobi. So maybe it's too late for forgiveness....But, it's not too late for others.

My last wishes. Who knew death would make me all sentimental?

Forgive them, Kami-sama. Forgive Sakura for her vanity and for ignoring the world for one simple boy. She really is a caring human being. Forgive Kakashi-sensei for his past, present, and future mistakes. He tortures himself enough. Forgive Iruka-sensei....for being too kind. Keep him safe.

Forgive Tsunade too. She's lost so much, and now she's losing another person to that cursed necklace. Forgive Ero-sennin too. For being a perverted old man, and his past mistakes. He was the closest thing I've had to a grandfather. Forgive Konohamaru for anything he does in the future. He's a good kid.

Forgive Neji for what he's done to his cousin. He lost his father; that's punishment enough. Forgive Hinata for her weakness. She really is strong, I know she is. Forgive Lee for trying so hard to defy the laws of nature. Ah fuzzy brows, if only I could laugh.

My body won't move. I'm losing time.

Forgive all my friends, for ignoring my existence at one time or another. Forgive the third hokage for letting me live such a life. He tried to help me, he tried. Forgive the ninja who looked down upon and called me scum. They know they are wrong. At least they should.

People have done bad things to me. But let's forgive them anyway.

Forgive my idol, the fourth hokage. He made a horrible mistake sealing the Kyuubi within my infant form. Please Kami-sama, tell me he had a good reason for doing so. He was a great ninja, he doesn't deserve to feel guilt for such a thing in death. Even if he should. And forgive the ANBU that beat me tonight. The one that spoke in that emotionless voice. I almost pity him.

Forgive....Uchiha Itachi. His name just seemed to come to mind. Even though I hate him for what he did to Sasuke, I feel bad for him a little. Killing his whole clan, must have left him with some sense of guilt. There must have been a reason for that too; he couldn't be that heartless. I guess you should forgive him too.

Gaara...Poor Gaara. Forced to suffer so badly like myself. If anyone deserves a better life, it's him. Please let him find friends in life and sanctuary in death. He is a perfect example of an innocent soul corrupted by evil and darkness. Like me I guess. We are both jinchuuriki, tortured and alone. Forgive him for everything.

Sasuke....My favorite rival, my best friend. Although he's treated me terribly, he was one of the first to acknowledge my existence. He even recognized me as his rival. We'll never admit, but we truly were alike. And we did care for each other. We were best friends. Forgive him for beind driven by intense hatred. Forgive him for letting himself be contaminated with revenge and cruelness.

My eyes are becoming heavy. My senses are fading. No, I've gotta hold out. I have to finish this!

I don't understand this world, perhaps I wasn't meant to. I can't help but feel regret. I had suffered alive, in agony and loneliness. But now that I'm dying, I feel regret. Maybe I could have done something if I was alive. Maybe I could have made a difference...

Darkness is surrounding me. I ignore it.

Oh well....I hope somebody can give hope to this god-forsaken world. But, Kami-sama....If it's not too much to ask, could I ask for a favor? When I die, can I see my birth parents? I never got to meet them...I always wondered if they really cared about me. What if they weren't dead though, and merely abandoned me? I'd rather they be dead and loving, than hateful and disgusted. Ah, but that's just another one of my selfish desires, isn't it?

Hmm...I never really had a family though. Close, but not really. I wonder what it felt like...To be lov-

Darkness consumed me before I could finish. My senses were overwhelmed in the numbness that had claimed my body. My breath stilled as the blood continued to leak from my frozen body onto the forest floor.

As my consciousness fled I couldn't help but have one last thought. A voice in my head, maybe a memory. A small, innocent voice whispering: "I think I want to live..."

Too late, I guess. Darkness fell over me like a soft blanket of comfort. I welcomed it with open arms, my pain had gone numb long already. I smile inwardly, feeling the reaper's scythe hovering above my head. The blade was so close, hanging there, waiting to reap my tired soul.

I could feel the presence of death. It took it's time, teasing me, hanging me over the edge of a cliff, but not letting me fall. Do the dead feel pain? Kami, I hope not.

Then it happened. Fate, apparently, had a change in plans. Now maybe I was simply insane, or maybe it was real. Either way, I could have sworn that I saw Death...smile at me.

Before he disappeared in a black mist. And I could hear his quiet chuckle, like the sound of blood dripping or knives clashing. For as soon as he left, my numbness subsided and the agonizing pain returned to my body.

Without even a chance to scream, I blacked out instantly. Death spared my life. And then he laughed.

But whether he was laughing at me, or the world, I wasn't sure...

Two cloaked figures had been traveling in the forest. Their intentions were anyone's guess, but they were most likely not honest men.

They were traveling back to their hideout after performing their mission. It had gone without a cinch and their leader would be pleased.

As they passed through the forest nearby Konoha, a sound caught their ears. An agonizing scream, leaving the lungs of someone obviously in a vast amount of pain. Then utter silence flooded through the forest once again.

One of them, with a smirk, asked to see what the noise was. Curiosity was too much to bear for an outgoing man like himself. The other, though much younger, much more mature, was skeptical.

Usually, he would deny it without hesitation. But this time...felt different. To the others surprise - and excitement - he permitted.

And after about ten minutes or so of traveling in the direction of the scream the smell of blood hit their senses. Hurrying before the faint scent became lost, they followed it.

And of course, that led them to the body. But certainly not the body they expected. What they found was a familiar blond ninja laying in dirt and blood. The twelve-year-old genin, lay there lifeless. Bleeding from a fatal wound in his chest and bruised and battered on all sides, he was a poor sight.

The younger one knelt down to check his pulse. To his surprise, the blond's heart continued to beat, as if to defy the people who had tried to murder him.

But, this was no ordinary boy. He was the vessel of the Kyuubi no Yoko. The very boy their group had been meaning to capture. And here he was, lying helpless with nobody around, even though so close to his village.

It's almost sad. Pitiful really. The younger one thought.

Nonetheless, the taller one grabbed the young boy and carefully lifted him onto his back. He was no good to them dead. They'd have to keep him alive.

An so, the pair, and the wounded boy, left into the night. Sadly, no one would notice the young ninja's disappearance until well into the next day.

Well, that was the first chapter. Don't be expecting chapters that long every update. I don't even know how I wrote this!

A few notes:

-There will be a few, not many, OCs in this story. Only a few will play important roles though.

-This takes place after the chuunin exams, and after finding Tsunade. However, Sasuke never went off to join Orochimaru. This makes it easier for my plot to fit. There maybe possible spoilers if you haven't been reading the manga or following the series.

If you have any question, leave it in your review. Ah what the heck, review for just the hell of it! Oh, and in light of the upcoming holiday, Happy Skanksgiving- I mean, Thanksgiving! Hehe...

Hope you enjoyed!