That is not dead which can eternal lie.
And with strange aeons even death may die.
- H.P. Lovecraft
"I need your help. Both of you."
Rage and the observer stood in front of him. The observer had a dubious expression on his face as Naruto spoke. Rage was frowning, his hands shoved in his pockets. Naruto bit his lip as he tried to come up with the words to convince them to help. It was odd that it was harder to convince himself than it was to convince Sasuke. The thought made him smile. That's why he was here. He wouldn't be able to 'show' the Uchiha anything without Rage and the observer's cooperation.
"I know you don't like what I did. I'm sorry. Nothing bad happened. If you help me then you'll be making sure nothing happens," this statement was accompanied by a shrug. Rage just looked incredulously at Naruto, seemingly at a loss for words. His hands trembled but he made no sounds.
The observer's voice cut through the tense silence. He took a step towards Naruto and glared at him.
"You're such a child. Do you really think apologizing will make everything better? If so, then you're more of a fool than I thought."
"I'm not a fool!" Naruto objected defensively, "I haven't done anything wrong. I made a choice and everything turned out fine."
"How long have you known Sasuke?" the observer asked suddenly.
"I don't know. I guess since I started going to the academy with him."
"How long have you been his friend?"
"A week. Maybe two."
The observer sighed with disgust, "Did it ever occur to you that revealing one of our most important secrets to someone you barely know was a foolish action? You think 'everything is ok' because he believes you. You're so wrong. Have you even considered the idea that he would tell someone?"
Naruto's eyes widened, "No, he wouldn't tell anyone. Friends don't do that."
"Even if that means keeping secrets from his brother?"
"I-," Naruto shut his mouth as the realization hit home. He'd forgotten about Itachi. The observer was right; he was so stupid. Itachi was smart, Itachi was strong, and Itachi could figure out everything if Sasuke told him his secret. As soon as he figured everything out, Itachi would report to the Hokage. Naruto winced as the Hokage's harsh warning came to mind. One slip of the tongue could bring everything crashing down.
"Exactly," the observer said, driving his point home.
"So what are we supposed to do about it?" Rage asked, "Just sit back and hope that Sasuke doesn't spill the beans? That's if he hasn't already."
Naruto scowled, "He hasn't. He wouldn't have been able to. Itachi hasn't really been doing much besides guarding me and doing whatever while I'm at the academy. If we can bring him here, to our world, then I can convince him not to tell Itachi."
"How? You think Sasuke would pick us over his brother? Unless," Rage smirked, "Are you gonna use genjutsu on him just like you did on dear old Dad?"
That was an option, a tempting one at that. Naruto could imagine Sasuke sitting with him on the beach, blinded to all the secrets of the world. Forever caught between reality and dreams. And why should it stop there? If he could make people become his friends then why stop at one? Other kids could be manipulated into coming here; other kids could fall under his spell. Naruto could see them; all lined up like puppets with fake smiles and glazed eyes.
It was a horrifying image. The fact that he could make it happen so easily made it worse. All it would take would be a massive outpouring of chakra, the dark gift. A chakra veil that covered everything, seized every mind and ripped the soul out. The chakra would spread out in tendrils and then bring him back the minds of the people. The people would be in his mindscape with no control over anything. Naruto would be in control. He could hurt them so badly. He could drive them to insanity or crush their minds. So tempting, so easy. So damning.
He wouldn't do it.
And the only reason why was because Sasuke had believed him. Something Rage and the observer didn't know was that he did have a backup plan. If Sasuke had laughed or dismissed him then that's what would happen. His dreams would become their reality. Because despite his bold words to Gaara, he would choose to become a monster if it was his only option. It was really that simple.
He wasn't going to do that, but what was he going to do? Both Rage and the observer were staring at him expectantly. Rage who was stronger than he was and more willing to kill. Observer who was more logical and knew so much more than he did. Both were better than him in ways. Yet they also looked towards him for his decision. That's right, Naruto reminded himself. He was the creator while these were mere aspects of himself. He was the in between. Neither good nor evil, he was just everything that was left. Just like that, he had an answer.
"If he wants to, I'll let him talk to Itachi. If he does, it doesn't matter. I'm not going to let anything bad happen. Even if I have to…" Naruto shook his head and continued, "If he doesn't tell Itachi then we can trust him. I can trust him. I'd have a real friend. Are you ok with that? Rage? Observer?"
Rage scowled at first, but then let out a sigh, "Whatever. Not like we have a choice anyway."
Naruto nodded and turned towards the observer. The other boy quietly stared at him, thoughts hidden behind his calm demeanor. But Naruto thought he saw something. Was that frustration lurking in those violet eyes? Before he could look further the observer closed his eyes and spoke.
"What will you do if Sasuke asks more questions? Will you tell him everything? If the situation goes the other way, what are you willing to do to make sure the Hokage can't control you?"
"Maybe not everything. But…I think I'm tired of secrets anyway. It's all about trust anyway right? This is the start. As for Ojii-san," Naruto pushed down his doubts and spoke seriously, "I'll do whatever I have to. Even if that means controlling him and the rest of this village."
Rage let out a low impressed whistle. The observer just looked frustrated.
"Is that ok with you? Observer?"
The observer pursed his lips, "You don't have to do any of this. You could pretend you were joking with Sasuke. You could wait. It's not necessary bring him here now. Isn't Dad good enough?"
"He's dead. I thought that having him here would be the best thing in the world…but," Naruto forced the words out, "Every time I look at him, all I can see his sadness. He doesn't want to be here. He knows I'm lying. I can't tell him. He hasn't asked about Mom yet, but he's going to. And I don't want to tell him. I don't ever want to tell him about all this stuff I've messed up."
"You won't tell your father but you want to tell Sasuke?"
"Dad would be so disappointed; he'd end up hating me. Sasuke…Sasuke doesn't know me yet. He doesn't hate me and once he knows everything then he'll understand why I did it."
'You don't know that. You just wish it. Just like him. Do you really have to make the same mistake twice?' the observer didn't say. He couldn't. The way Naruto was looking at him, so hopeful and determined. It made him bite down on every single cynical comment. He just looked up at the other blond with resignation.
"Ok Naruto. I'm ok with it. I'll do whatever you need me to."
And Naruto's eager smile in response made him sick.
Naruto put his hand out. The observer laid his on top of it, while Rage slapped his down on the very top.
"Let's do it. We can perfect this genjutsu and become even stronger," Rage said with a grin. Naruto nodded, and the observer was silent. Naruto looked across the circle and stared at the empty space between Rage and the observer. He didn't know why but he felt like there should be another hand on top of his. Another person should be standing with them in this circle.
The observer looked at him and knew. Rage also felt it, but said nothing out loud. Naruto let his hand fall to his side. He heard him. Just a whisper, but he'd heard him. That person from so long ago. The only voice that remained clear while all his other memories were forgotten and blurred.
"It's time for you to wake up, Naruto."
He could sense whoever it was. They were there. Somewhere in the black depths of his mind. He could've called out and extended a hand towards them. He could've searched and found them. But he didn't.
Maybe it was instinct or perhaps it was fear. All Naruto knew was that this person was strong. This part of him was dangerous. They were the key to many things. But Naruto did not want to open the door.
The observer knew what lay beyond that door. He knew so very much and could only do little. This is why his final thought, the one that could have averted the danger, never left his lips.
'Just because you're all that's left doesn't mean you're all that's ever been.'
Sasuke didn't know what he'd gotten himself into.
"Good night Sasuke," his mother called as he walked to his room.
Minutes later, he was lying on his bed, staring up at the ceiling. Itachi hadn't come home as usual. He was probably guarding Naruto even though he could've asked for a break by now. Somehow, the fact didn't annoy him like it usually did.
Naruto was his friend. Originally, he'd only befriended the blond to keep him from spending too much time with his brother. Sasuke had been serious when he told Itachi it felt like him and Naruto were more like brothers than him and Sasuke. Now, Naruto had actually become his friend. He didn't know how or why, but it happened.
The blond was actually fun to be around once he stopped acting all meek. The quickest way to get rid of his shyness was to race him. Being one of the fastest kids around was something the Uzumaki took pride in. More often than not, Naruto beat him. Badly. Sasuke could actually use one hand to count all the times he'd beaten Naruto.
The two had fallen into a routine. Things were good. Then everything changed four days ago.
Sasuke frowned in the darkness. Naruto had become even more quiet than usual. He'd stare off into space and shut everything out. When Sasuke finally got through to him, the blond would just smile and say everything was ok. It irritated the hell out of him.
It was worse when Naruto snapped out of it himself and began asking strange questions. Sasuke closed his eyes and thought about their conversation from a couple days ago.
Said boy jumped, and then gave the other boy a cautious glare, "What is it Naruto?"
"Have you ever made your brother really mad at you?"
Sasuke snorted, "Itachi doesn't get mad. He gets all quiet and ignores me. Why you are asking anyway? Is he mad at you? What've you done now Naruto?"
"Hey! I haven't done anything at all," Naruto protested, "I just wondered is all."
"Yeah right. Who's mad at you then?"
Naruto's expression became guarded, "No one. Don't you believe me?"
"No. You're a pretty bad liar," Sasuke answered. He frowned as a brief ironic smile flickered across his friend's face.
"You're wrong. I think I'm a very good liar."
"Huh?" he asked, but Naruto wasn't really there anymore. After his last statement, he'd turned away. Now the blond stared at the chalkboard with glassy eyes. Somehow, Sasuke felt very far away from Naruto even though they sat next to each other.
Sasuke punched his bed in frustration. What the hell was really going on? Why did everything have to be so complicated? Sure, he knew about Naruto's world inside his head. Sure, he had believed the blond. However, neither of those things helped at all. It was as if he had a bunch of pieces to a puzzle only to find out each piece came from a different puzzle.
First, he knew that Naruto had created some world in his head. Second, his friend had some kind of split personality thing going on. Sasuke wasn't quite sure, but the way Naruto would switch from quiet and calm to cruel and loud was unnerving. Third, he knew Naruto was afraid of something. That something he was afraid of made him keep secrets and stay away from everyone. Lastly, Naruto had decided to trust him and tell him a little bit about what was wrong.
Why? Sasuke ground his teeth. There was the thing that kept bugging him. Why him out of all people? When Naruto had told him, he hadn't known what to say. It wasn't a matter of believing him or not. Sasuke had heard about the weird things ninjas did. What Naruto described wasn't impossible.
No, the issue was more of a 'what the hell do you want me to do about it' sort. Sasuke hadn't known what to do. He was interested in the mindscape thing so he'd said 'show me'. He didn't expect Naruto to say yes. He never expected the blond to trust him like that. Sasuke had never told Naruto anything important about himself like that.
"Welcome home," he heard his mother say. His father grunted in reply. There were soft footsteps and even softer whispers that Sasuke couldn't make out. A door slammed shut and everything was quiet again.
Father, Sasuke turned over and lay on his side. His father was even more disapproving lately. Nothing Sasuke did made him as good as Itachi in his father's eyes. Itachi was the genius, Itachi was the heir, and Itachi was the one who would always be better between him and Sasuke. But, Sasuke thought, he's also the one who plays with me, the one who taught me how to throw shuriken properly, and the one I look up to.
This was it exactly. He kept these secrets. His own problems in his life. The kinds of things he didn't tell Naruto. The way his father always looked over him. The way Sasuke couldn't stay mad at his brother for very long. The fact that despite being best in class, no one acknowledged him for it, no they said it was 'expected of Itachi's little brother.'
'That's my boy.'
Words that were never said to him.
'Sorry Sasuke, Maybe another time.'
And who knew when that time would come? Everything seemed so distant now. Had his family always been like this? It was like they were treating each other like strangers. His mom subtly hinted at ways to make himself stronger, which would in turn make the clan stronger. She didn't baby him as much, telling him things like 'Itachi wouldn't whine about this.' Itachi had always been a little distant from their parents. The only ones he ever opened up to were Sasuke and Shisui and lately, he hadn't been talking to either of them.
And his father was more obsessed with the clan than ever. The clan, the clan, the clan, it was always the clan that came first. Since Itachi was the heir to the clan and a genius, then his father would always be more interested in him. Being second was something he'd either have to get used to, not likely, or prove himself to be just as good as Itachi, which would be hard.
Is this what growing up feels like? Sasuke thought sleepily as dreams took him. He never remembered them when he woke up. Just flashes of intermingling colors and vague sensations. More often, he didn't dream. But this night, this dream, was so astoundingly different, that it burned into his mind for the rest of his life.
It began in darkness. Sasuke was falling. He couldn't see anything around him. It wasn't scary or unpleasant. He had a vague feeling of where he was, but didn't question it. Such things didn't matter.
Dreams are short. Most people have several before the night is through. Sasuke's was already coming to end. If left uninterrupted, he would have hit the 'ground' in his dream and continued into another. But that's not what happened.
The voice was so jarring, so disorienting, that Sasuke nearly woke up. It was only the foreign chakra gripping him that kept him asleep.
Sasuke looked around warily, "Who's that? Who's there?"
Somewhere below him, he spotted what appeared to be Naruto. His form was blurry and seemed far away. He looked like he was floating in the darkness, compared to Sasuke's falling form.
"Sasuke. Come on already. Follow me," the other boy urged him.
"How?" he asked, "I'm falling."
"No you're not. Look below you. There's a path. Walk on it and follow me. He's waiting for you."
Sasuke looked down. Sure enough, he'd stopped falling. He was now standing on glowing line that cut through the shadows of his dream. The path was a myriad of reds and blues that mingled into purple occasionally. Stranger still, were the black darting shadows that writhed throughout the trail.
"Stop taking long. We don't have much time to do this. Stop being a slowpoke," Naruto scolded, then his tone lightened, "Come on. I'll race you to the end."
With that, the orange-clad boy took off down the pathway. Sasuke hesitated. He took a step forward gingerly, making sure that the path wasn't going to send him sprawling into the abyss again. It held and that was all the incentive he needed to go sprinting after Naruto.
It was weird. In real life, running tired him out. Here, he felt like he could've gone on running forever. It was simply matter of will. If he wanted to continue like this, he could. Sasuke realized. He willed himself to go faster and soon his feet were gliding along the path after Naruto.
Despite everything, Naruto always stayed one step ahead of him. His form was still blurry. Sometimes he would flicker and become see-through like a ghost. Sasuke had the sudden urge to reach out and touch him to see if his friend was really there. He tried, but Naruto was too far ahead.
Sasuke grimaced. It was his dream right? Things he wanted to happen were supposed to happen. So how come Naruto was still faster than he was? It didn't make any sense. Faster, Faster, Faster he urged himself silently.
His arms pumped violently and each step soundlessly pounded against the ground. The trail's soft glow cast light trails along his form as he moved. Sasuke knew anyone else would see him as a blur at best. He was so fast, so close, he could do it. Naruto turned around, hair obscuring his eyes, and smirked at him. With a growl, Sasuke reached his hand out, intending to seize a hold of his blond friend-
-just as Naruto vanished. As if he was never there in the first place.
Sasuke slowed down, trying to understand what had just happened. One second, Naruto had been within his grasp, and in the next, he was gone. He came to stop and looked around warily. It was still dark all around, but darkness doesn't mean emptiness. Sasuke felt as though something was watching. Its presence weighed down on him. For the first time that night, Sasuke began to feel afraid.
"Come on Sasuke! You're so close. The exit is just ahead of you," Naruto's voice rang out. Sure enough, a little ways away from where he stood, a door materialized. It was simple black one, with a white frame. Relieved, Sasuke began to move towards it. Abruptly something grabbed his ankle and he fell flat on his face.
Sasuke yanked at his ankle in an attempt to get back up and something yanked back. With a growing sense of fear, the Uchiha turned around to see what had grabbed him. A strange black tentacle was wrapped around his ankle. It appeared to rise out of the path like some plant gone horribly wrong. Sasuke could only stare as the colors drained out of the path and left only an unforgiving black.
Two more tendrils rose from the ground and wrapped around his wrists. Sasuke screamed as they coiled tighter and tighter. The tendrils began to retreat into the ground, forcing him to witness the nightmare taking place underneath him.
Directly under him, shadows gathered quietly. They combined and created a rough circle around Sasuke. A large horizontal slit split the circle in half. He watched as more tendrils emerged and weaved back and forth to a non-existent current. Gently, they pulled at the circle's sides, dragging them outward and revealing the terror within.
The tendrils held onto him firmly, making sure he didn't fall into the newly created void. Thus, Sasuke was forced to stare into it. What he saw could only be described as the mouth of some hellish wormlike creature. The first thing he thought was 'there are too many teeth!' There were rows upon rows of them. They gnashed and grinded, all too ready to tear into flesh and bone. The teeth shone glaringly bright against the thing's undulating mass, each wreathed in incandescent flames.
Sasuke didn't struggle. He knew one wrong move could send him down the creature's gullet. Beneath him, the thing stopped gnashing its teeth and opened wide. The mouth had expanded to the point where it was like a gaping chasm ready to swallow him whole. But he didn't think about that. Something made him stare into it. For some reason Sasuke gazed into the depths of the abyss and he could not look away. There, deep within, lay the true horror and it opened its eye and stared back at him.
It was utterly silent as the two examined each other. In this moment, Sasuke realized one thing. Some things are not to be looked upon by humans. This was clearly one of those things. Yet he couldn't look away, no matter how much he wanted too. It held a spell over him and would not even let him scream in protest.
It was indescribable. This thing was terror personified. It was beyond good and evil. It was beyond comprehension. If asked, Sasuke would have said it was like the immense darkness between the stars waiting to engulf the universe in a sea of horror and despair.
His clan's Sharingan was similar to the way the thing's eye looked. However, this eye had several ripples spreading out from the pupil. Each ripple had three tomoe, for a grand total of nine. The ripples spun faster and faster, making the eye look like a hurricane. If the tendrils hadn't been holding him up, Sasuke would have fallen in due to sheer dizziness. As the eye swirled, the thing made a connection between its and his mind.
And in that moment, Sasuke felt so small. Ideas and emotions that he could never understand flowed into his brain. Next to this thing, he was so insignificant. It could drive him insane with a thought and destroy him completely with another. It gripped onto his mind and forced him to realize how expendable he was. That he was truly just a pawn in this creature's complex machinations. The whirling of the eye slowed and then came to a stop. Just like that, the brief connection was severed.
Sasuke shuddered, finally releasing the scream that had been held captive. This thing was a demon. A great nameless fear that was older than time itself. Nothing could stop it; much less understand its goals. And the worst thing about it was that the demon wasn't even truly awake!
Just like Sasuke, it was dreaming. It was healing from some attack on it from long ago. Compared to its old glory, the thing before him was weak. But it was getting stronger. Slowly, it was reforming, getting closer to consciousness, and already moving its various schemes into motion.
The ground rumbled as a tremor shook the dream world. The demon looked up at him and Sasuke felt like ice was running through his veins. The ground trembled again and its eye widened. It contracted and widened its mouth as if trying to speak. Seemingly frustrated after getting no results, the demon stopped.
"I," it hissed. The softly spoken word caused the entire place to shake and shudder.
And Sasuke's screams couldn't drown it out.
It seized whatever limited knowledge of human communication it had and forced out the simplest of its thoughts.
And it was a sound like the end of the universe. As if reality itself had been torn asunder.
And it surged forth from the depths of the abyss. The surrounding fangs tore into it, but it continued on anyway, ichor running in silvery trails down its form. The tendrils threw Sasuke away roughly, allowing the demon to emerge. The boy landed a little ways away with a crash. He sucked in a few ragged breaths and then let out a low groan. When he looked up, the thing was already looming over him.
Its form constantly shifted, flickering, branching, expanding, and mutating as it pleased. It wasn't quite made of the stuff of life, but rather some odd combination of flesh and shadows like darkness made real. The demon had no mouth or any real facial features besides its eye. The eye itself flowed with the changing of its shapes, but always kept its sight on him.
"Why?" Sasuke whispered, "Why are you doing this?"
There was a moment of silence as the demon appraised him. Then it violently shifted and struck out at the boy with a humanoid like arm. The arm wrapped itself around his throat and squeezed. Sasuke did everything he could, even going as far to bite down on the appendage, but it wouldn't let him go. It raised him up in the air, so that they were eye to eye.
"What do you even want!" he asked, no longer a whisper but a hysterical scream. It quaked as the answer shook the air.
The word tore through reason. Sasuke felt a pressure begin to build up at his temples. The grip around his throat tightened. Was this really what he was going to die for? The 'nothing' this creature sought? Sasuke had the sudden urge to laugh and he did. The sound of it ricocheted into the darkness.
This was so stupid. The most powerful creature ever, and all it wanted was 'nothing'. Sasuke bit down on his lip to keep from laughing anymore. His head hurt like hell and his thoughts were all jumbled. Just being in the demon's presence this long was driving him insane.
The creature released him, letting him crumple to an unsightly heap on the ground. It gave him one final glance before turning away, disinterested. It was silent as it disappeared into the surrounding blackness. Sasuke watched it go. When it finally was no longer visible, he curled up and shut his eyes. His throat was raw from screaming and his head felt like it might burst. So he laid there, quiet, trapped between a dream and a nightmare.
He opened his eyes and saw that the path had lit up again, much more intense this time. He closed his eyes to shut out the light. There were footsteps and a choked gasp. Someone gently picked him up and began walking. Sasuke hung on limply, not really concerned. He heard the clicking of a door as it was unlocked. The person holding him hesitated briefly.
"I never meant for this to happen. I'm sorry Sasuke. Really I am. I never thought that thing would go after you or that it even existed outside my own mind," the stranger gulped, "But I'm gonna protect you from it, like I do for Naruto. Because you're my friend."
With that, the person carried Sasuke through the door and into the light.
"Is he ok?"
A door had appeared and Sasuke had haphazardly fallen out of it, unconscious. Naruto and Rage stood over him, while the observer stayed off to the side.
"Yeah, looks like he got stuck. Started to have a nightmare just as he was getting close. Weird, that's never happened to Iruka," Rage shrugged.
Naruto stiffened, "You never should have abandoned him like that anyways. We're lucky that he got up and opened the door. If something bad had happened-"
"But it didn't did it?" he smiled, "You told me to make sure he didn't see me anyway. Well at least not enough that he could realize that I wasn't you. So when he got close, I left so that he wouldn't find out. Unless you want him to?"
"Get out of my sight."
Rage quirked an eyebrow, "What'd you say?"
Naruto turned on him, snarling, "I said get out of my sight! I don't need you if you want to hurt my friends. He never would have seen you. You were just angry like always and wanted to get some stupid revenge on me for telling him in the first place. Well guess what Rage? I can get angry too! "
"Why do you even give a crap about him anyway? He's weak. Look at him. Lying in the dirt like a worm. You should kill him and the rest of the village. We've sacrificed enough for them. If you'd had your way, then they would know all our secret sand all of our weaknesses. They'd know everything, and don't tell me they wouldn't use it to their advantage."
"Killing people isn't the answer to everything Rage! It's wrong and it can break you in the worst ways. Why do you think you exist, the observer, or even this freaking world? Killing just makes people monsters. People like Gaara. I'm not a monster and I don't want to be one."
Rage threw up his hands in frustration, "But I am a monster! I like killing. I like the feel of blood on my hands. I love the fear of Iruka-sensei when I torture him. And as you like to remind me, I am you. You know you want these things too Naruto."
"Be quiet," Naruto's tone turned icy and his mouth was set in a firm line. Rage tried to make a sarcastic reply but found that no sound would come out of his mouth. He settled for glaring at the other boy.
"You will leave. When I need you, I will call and you will come," Naruto looked at him with disgust, "Now go."
Rage trembled as he struggled to control his anger. He cast one last hateful look towards Naruto, before vanishing. Naruto shook his head and turned to face Sasuke once more. His friend was stirring.
"Time for me to go too?" the observer asked quietly. Naruto spared him a glance and simply nodded. The observer also began to disappear.
"Good luck. I hope this was worth it Naruto," and with that, he was gone. Naruto knelt besides Sasuke. He stared at his hands, remembering how once upon a time they were covered in blood. How once upon a time there had only been one of him. How he was once just a boy who was lonely and missed his dad.
"I'm not Gaara. I'm not evil right? Maybe some small part of me wants to do awful things, but I'm not doing them. Isn't that all that matters? So long as I've got friends and I don't do bad things then I'm not a monster. Right Sasuke?" Naruto whispered softly.
Sasuke didn't hear him, but he mumbled incoherently. Naruto shook his shoulder to wake him up. The Uchiha opened his eyes and sat up. He blinked a couple times and rubbed his eyes.
"You made it," Naruto smiled, "This is my world."
Sasuke paused and looked around. An expression of awe covered his face. Naruto had spent some time changing his world before he'd brought Sasuke into it. An aurora of lights now hung in the sky, casting multicolored shadows across the sand. Giant frothy waves crashed into the shore, no longer black but blue. The two boys were in front of a pier where a simple sailboat was docked. On the side its name, The Raven, was inscribed. Sasuke tried to get up, but stumbled. Naruto caught him and helped him get to his feet.
"Careful. Something weird happened to you when I was bringing you here. You remember anything?"
Sasuke frowned," It's fuzzy. I can't really remember much. I was just scared and then nothing."
"Do you know what you were scared of?"
"Nah, but there was this voice. I think," he hesitated, "I think it was you. I don't remember what you said but that's the last thing I remember."
"Weird. Maybe you heard me just now or something. I'm sorry that it happened like this. It was supposed to go smoothly. It won't happen again."
"It's fine. So this is your world huh? Impressive. What are we going to do? Or what can we do, I guess."
And Naruto could only grin, "Anything Sasuke. We can do anything."
IT waits, dreaming of things to come. Unconsciously IT mumbles bizarre words. Words that send humanity into chaos. The little minds can't comprehend it. The truth that light and darkness are intertwined. However light cannot exist without darkness. Darkness can exist without anything.
IT writhes, IT writhes. Connections are being made. Lines have been crossed and then obliterated for forever more. IT senses the beating heart that is life. IT knows that one day that heart will stop. IT will rise that day.
IT yearns, IT yearns. IT has only one goal. Nothing. That beautiful void from whence it came. Nothing. When all was one and one was IT. Nothing! How IT longs to go back to those days. That is what IT dreams of even now.
Soon, that dream would be reality.