Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto, and I make no money writing this fic.
Author's Note: This story is based off of a ghost tale my friend's dad used to tell us. I'm pretty sure he told us the story about the horror of Harmony Hill based off of an urban legend that had to do with a terror haunting the woods. In several different versions there is a "point" of safety. If the person encounters the terror, he or she can escape by going by the safe point. Another reason I think that my friend's dad got this from an urban legend is that at least one of the things that happened in the stories he told us also happened in the movie Urban Legends. However, as far as I know, nothing of this sort ever really happened around my area.
As far as I know, at least according to the anime, Naruto is extremely afraid of ghosts as seen in several of the filler episodes.
Warnings: contains sequences of ghosts, horror, and gore as well as males having sex. Do not read if any of this bothers you!
The Horror of Harmony Hill
The moonlight was barely visible through the trees overhead. As the wind blew, the tree branches swung ominously as a few red and yellow leaves fluttered down onto the car windshield. The dull slap of the wet leaves sticking to the glass startled Naruto.
He sat in the car, the darkness and silence almost unbearable.
"Relax," Sasuke said, exasperated. Naruto swallowed, his entire body tense, his ears alert.
"I am relaxed," Naruto all but squeaked out. Sasuke merely rolled his eyes. They both knew Naruto was lying through his teeth. If there was one thing he feared above everything else, it was anything to do with the supernatural. And as he was sitting at the top of the infamous Harmony Hill at the witching hour with not even the radio on to distract him, Naruto's mind was remembering each and every ghost story he'd ever heard about the place.
The first time he'd heard the stories about Harmony Hill had been from his friend's uncle. In order to impress and strike fear into the hearts of his nephew and nephew's friend, Sasuke's Uncle Madara had made sure to tell the creepiest story he could think of – the local legend of the shapeless horror of Harmony Hill Road. Naruto had always been terrified of things that were supernatural. It was a fear that had kept him from going on many haunted rides and from watching horror movies. Ghosts scared the crap out of him, and he hated how Sasuke's Uncle Madara used to tell him horror stories just to make him squirm.
Naruto's shoulders tensed up as he thought he heard a clinking sound against the side of the car. His breath caught, only to see that it was the wind blowing several branches down onto the car.
The legends went that a nameless thing lived up in the woods at the top of the hill. Only at night, when there were no other cars around, the monster would attack its victim, clawing it with its vicious nails – or even choking it to death.
Naruto swallowed, remembering the vivid imagery Madara had created in detailing the horrible claw marks embedded into the side of the cars, the streaks deep into the metal, claw marks no natural animal could make. The top of the hill was said to be where the monster was most likely to attack – and only until the victim could pass underneath the one way covered bridge at the foot of the hill would the person be safe from the horror once the monster had its sights set on killing its victim.
At first, Naruto had been scared so shitless that he hadn't been able to sleep that night. Later, he realized that none of it made sense. After all – at only six, he had had no idea which streets were which. He paid special attention for a while when his parents were out driving, trying to see if he could read the names of the streets around him. None of them were called Harmony Hill Road. So, he was safe!
A few months after hearing the story, his dad had been taking him and Sasuke out to pizza. On the way home, one of the roads was blocked due to flooding, and so his dad had had to take a detour. They had to zig-zag back around the town, taking an extra half hour longer than usual out of their way to get around the closed road. They ended up on a road Naruto was only used to being on when they went to visit his grandmother. He yawned, stretching, looking out the window as they traveled along the winding back road. His eyes darted by the scenery until they landed on an old covered bridge. The signs "CLOSED" and "CAUTION" grabbed his attention. The signs were plastered on a bridge that had been closed up for as long as he could remember.
"Hey Dad!" Naruto asked.
"Hmm?" his father answered from the driver's seat.
"When are they going to open the bridge?"
His father gave a distracted glance out the window to see what Naruto was talking about before his eyes darted back to the road in front of him.
"That's been closed for years. The bridge needs to be replaced. Apparently some kids caught fire to the inside of the bridge, damaging the boards so it's not safe to drive over. There's been debate between the historical society and the township on how they're going to handle restoring the bridge. Don't know when they're going to re-open it. If it was open, it would be so much easier. I could've just zipped up over Harmony Hill Road and come out this way. It would have cut off a lot more time."
Sasuke and Naruto's heads snapped to look at each other.
"Harmony Hill Road?" they breathed to each other, their minds reverted back to the horror stories of Sasuke's Uncle Madara. It did exist!
Naruto's attention came rushing back to the present when the wind picked up again, more wet leaves and loose branches falling down on top of the car.
"What was that?" Naruto shrieked. Sasuke looked at Naruto nonplused.
"Foliage falling on the car. It's fall. The leaves do that," Sasuke deadpanned. He rubbed his eyes sleepily. Naruto felt a pang of guilt. Ever since Naruto had gotten his driver's license, he had refused to take Harmony Hill Road at night. After the bridge had re-opened, his dad's advice had been right. Using Harmony Hill Road to cross from one end of town to the other was a lot easier – even though the bridge was one way. But the stories from his childhood had been too ingrained into Naruto's psyche to be able to do it at night.
Two months ago his fears had escalated tenfold. The bodies of three teenagers had been found, hanging in the woods with claw marks across their chests, their insides torn open with some of their internal organs missing. His fear grew so great that since then he hadn't been able to use the road at all: not even during the day.
The reports had said that it was a group suicide. The three men had been found hanging with what the press had said were "large gashes from bear claws" on their bodies. Naruto didn't believe it was a bear. He believed Madara's stories. There was something up on the hill, something that could claw its victims or even hang them from trees to die.
Whenever he was around the area, he felt a horrible chill, something unmistakably evil. And what scared Naruto the most was that there was no human way to fight something so unknown.
All of his friends had laughed at him, telling him he was crazy. While large bears weren't common for their area, they weren't that uncommon either. Earlier that week a large bear had been spotted nearby and killed. Many assumed that it had been the creature that had taken large bites and chunks out of the bodies. As far as Naruto knew, bears didn't eat humans. Then again, as Sasuke pointed out (having read it from the newspaper report), the bear hadn't really eaten them, just clawed at them. If they had food in their pockets, the smell alone could have interested the bear enough to pick through their hanging bodies. What didn't convince Naruto was that the claw marks had happened before the men had died. If it was a group suicide, wouldn't they have noticed a bear around? Not to mention, wouldn't they have only had a few minutes, at most, left alive after they had hung themselves?
Something about the report was too fishy for Naruto's taste.
Even though Sasuke had heard the same stories growing up, and even though it had been his own Uncle who had told him the horrible legends, Sasuke still seemed unfazed. Naruto envied how calm and collected Sasuke sat, completely composed. Naruto had asked if Sasuke would come with him to prove that there really wasn't anything spooky up in the area. Instead of laughing at him, Sasuke had merely nodded.
Despite being scared out of his wits, Naruto felt slightly calmer knowing Sasuke was with him. His best friend hadn't laughed, and hadn't even complained that he was interrupting his sleep to more or less hold Naruto's hand through his fears.
So that was why they were sitting off the side of the infamous Harmony Hill Road.
Clink, clink, clink.
Naruto's entire body tensed. That didn't sound like leaves falling on the car. It didn't sound like branches hitting it either.
For a moment, Naruto felt like his heart stopped. He waited for Sasuke to come up with a logical and very calm headed explanation for the sounds.
"What was that?" Sasuke asked, looking over at Naruto. Naruto felt his insides go cold. How could Sasuke not know what those sounds were? Sasuke could pinpoint everything.
A black mass of something darted in front of the car. Silence reined for a second before there was another screeching noise from the back of the car like something was dragging a metal rake across the trunk.
"Let's get out of here!" Naruto yelled, freaking out. Sasuke didn't need telling twice. Just as he was about to turn the key in the ignition, the dark mass was in front of the car. The whole car rocked forward as the thing smashed the plastic headlights followed by shattering the glass bulbs.
Naruto's eyes popped as he saw something black darting by his window. Sasuke turned the key in the ignition. It choked and sputtered for one horrible moment where Naruto thought that the car wouldn't start. The engine turned over and revved to life. But the momentary relief he felt was punctured by the squealing of the tires on the wet and very slick leaves that covered the ground. The car swiveled feebly but refused to move forward.
For several minutes Sasuke tried and failed to get over the wet foliage. Naruto's stomach clenched in fearful agony as they did everything they could think of to get the car moving over the wet leaves. Finally, Sasuke turned off the car. They waited in tense silence.
"I think it's gone," Sasuke said, his eyes darting around the car.
"Whatever 'it' was! But we still need to get the hell out of here!" Naruto added.
"I'm going to put the car in neutral. Then I'm going to get out and push."
"What? The fuck you're getting out of the car! Whatever's out there could kill you. Don't go!" Naruto pleaded. He gripped Sasuke's arm.
"Look, it doesn't seem to be around anymore. But I don't want to stay here either. No offense, but I don't think you're in any mental shape to get out and push. Just angle the car away from the leaves, and we'll be able to get out of here. We're on a hill, one person can do it," Sasuke said, his hand already on the door.
"No! No fucking way. I'm going to call my dad. Hell, I'm gonna call the police. Something freaking attacked your car! Our headlights got busted. They probably at least have a baseball bat – if the thing is even human which I doubt!" Naruto shrieked. Sasuke rolled his eyes.
"Obviously it's human. Just make sure the car doesn't start sliding."
"Sasuke, don't," Naruto pleaded again.
"Don't be such a scaredy cat," Sasuke said, and he smirked. And in that moment, Naruto could see the fear in Sasuke's eyes. Sasuke had gotten scared from what had just happened, and in his way, he wanted to face his own fears. Even so, Naruto couldn't stop looking at Sasuke, fearing what might happen to him.
"Just – just come back inside if you see something," Naruto urged.
"I promise I'll come back," Sasuke said.
"Be careful," Naruto whispered. The slide of the locked doors clicking to open sounded loud inside the car. Sasuke got out and shut the door. Naruto slid over the middle console, his heart hammering in his chest as he looked out the driver's side to see Sasuke. Looking out the back, Naruto watched as Sasuke pushed several times, his feet sliding on the leaves. Finally, after Sasuke got his footing, the car started to slowly move forward down the hill. It began to roll, and once they got over the leaves, Sasuke motioned for him to put on the brake.
Every nerve in Naruto's body tensed up as he slid back over to his side, waiting for Sasuke to get into the car. When a few seconds turned into too many seconds, Naruto turned to look back around.
Sasuke was nowhere in sight.
Naruto began to freak out, looking around into the darkness. He was sure Sasuke wasn't playing a joke on him. He was also sure with every fiber of his being that Sasuke was in danger. Reaching into his pocket, fumbling, Naruto did what he felt he should have done right away and dialed 911.
"What is your emergency?" the cool, calm voice of the operator came over the phone.
"My friend is missing! We're up on Harmony Hill at the top between Mill Road and Church Road. We were, uh, parked. And someone started to attack the car! Now they've kidnapped my friend!"
"Hold on, hold on. Calm down. What happened exactly?"
Naruto began to all but hyperventilate as he waited for the car door to open, for Sasuke to finally get back inside, even though he knew Sasuke wouldn't be coming back. He tried to tell the person on the phone what had happened, making sure that the woman believed Naruto, that what he was saying wasn't a prank.
The dark shadow darted by Naruto's window again, and he screamed into the phone. There was a bang to the window. Naruto blanched, thinking he saw Sasuke's face for a moment before he realized no one was out there.
Where was Sasuke? What was happening to Sasuke? Surely he would have screamed if he was hurt? Naruto almost would rather have heard Sasuke screaming than to hear complete and utter silence.
Tap, tap, tap. He looked around the sides of the cars, hoping to see Sasuke tapping on the door to let him in, but Sasuke was nowhere to be seen. That was when he realized it was coming from on top of the car.
"It's attacking the car again, right now!" Naruto wailed, freaking out.
"I'm sending someone now!" the woman said. "Stay on the phone with me. What do you see?"
"Where's Sasuke? Sasuke's not back!" Naruto moaned.
"Stay in the car, just stay in the car. Help is on the way. Tell me what you see."
Naruto shakily explained he only saw a black shape.
"And there's a tapping on the roof. Oh God, what if he's on the roof?" Naruto whispered. He moved forward in his seat and turned his head to see if he could see anything on the top of the car. Naruto squinted his eyes. "There's something on the roof," Naruto whispered into the phone.
The tap, tap, tapping from the roof finally stopped. The silence stretched for over a minute.
He got closer, pressing his face almost to the windshield so he could look.
And then he wished he hadn't.
Naruto began to scream.
But the thing that was hanging over top of the car came thudding down on top of the windshield, splintering the glass into fragments. The weight made the glass cave in enough to hit Naruto on the head, small pieces of glass shattering around him. For a moment the impact of the windshield dazed him.
But then another sudden force of impact to the car had him lurching forward, his already dazed head slamming into the dashboard as the world went black.
Naruto woke up screaming.
His memory relived the moment he saw Sasuke's body hanging over the car, his eyes wide and fearful. And lifeless. Naruto began sobbing as he realized that the tapping he had heard had been Sasuke's feet as he had dangled overhead, his life slowly ebbing away from him.
Naruto should have done something. He could have done something. If only he had had enough courage to get out of the car, he could have saved Sasuke. He could have prevented Sasuke from dying.
His eyes darted around the room he was in, realizing that he seemed to be in a hospital, his mother and father sitting next to him.
"Oh Naruto!" Kushina murmured as she all but threw her arms around her son. Naruto let the tears fall freely as his mother began to cry with him, her hands smoothing down his hair comfortingly.
"Sasuke," Naruto choked out.
"Oh baby, I'm so sorry. The police showed up in time to save you. They said they caught something in their headlights trying to get into the car to get to you. But Sasuke didn't make it. They're looking...they're looking for the sickos who killed him."
The words were little comfort. He had hoped his mother would say something to let him know Sasuke was okay. To let him know that Sasuke had survived – somehow.
"It's all my fault! I was scared of the stupid place, and I wanted to get over my fear. Sasuke was only there with me because I asked him. And then he got out and I couldn't – I couldn't get out of the car – I did nothing," Naruto began to ramble in his guilt.
"Son, there wasn't anything you could have done. And if you had – you'd probably be dead now too," Minato spoke. The relief in his voice that his son wasn't the one dead was evident in his voice. And for a moment, Naruto almost hated his father for being relieved that he was alive when he should have been the one to die, when Sasuke should be the one to still be alive.
"We heard the 911 tape recording. She told you to stay in the car, Sweetie," Kushina added, as though she were proud of him for listening to the 911 operator. But Naruto knew better. He should have gotten out. If he had been outside of the car, both of his parents would have come looking for him, the consequences be damned.
He should have done the same for Sasuke. And he told his parents as much.
"Sasuke wouldn't have wanted you to. He probably didn't scream because he didn't want you to be hurt too," Minato pointed out reasonably. But Naruto didn't care.
"It's all my fault..."
Naruto wanted to say more, but his voice caught in his throat, his eyes going wide. Standing next to his father, looking quickly at Minato before looking at Naruto, stood Sasuke. Their eyes met for a second – or eternity. Naruto blinked – and Sasuke was gone.
Naruto swallowed, shaking his head.
Naruto had to see several doctors and speak with the police before he was released from the hospital. There was no lasting physical damage to his head. The safety glass from the windshield had thankfully left only minor cuts on his face. He had a mild concussion from where he had bashed his head against the dashboard. Thinking of the figure of Sasuke he had seen in his hospital room, Naruto wondered if he had hit his head harder than the doctors had said he had.
Then again, the doctors seemed to expect him not to be stable after the ordeal. He had to see several therapists and other like doctors after the mental trauma he suffered. It was difficult reliving what had happened to the police, but thankfully they had already gleaned a good deal from the recording of his conversation with the 911 operator. Naruto was told that they had found footprints – other than Sasuke's, around the car. They believed it was someone trying to frighten anyone who was doing just what he and Sasuke had been doing – trying to see if there were any truths to the rumors of haunting and act them out. The police said that the man had set up a rope over top of the car. It was very likely the black mass Naruto had seen dart upward by his window had actually been the perpetrator lifting Sasuke's body from the ground to dangle over top of the car.
Naruto could merely nod dumbly. There was no "person." There was something out there: something with inhuman strength that lifted Sasuke from the ground. He winced, remembering how he thought he had seen Sasuke's face by the window before he heard the tapping on the roof, the tapping which turned out to be Sasuke's feet as he hung helplessly above the car.
Over and over again Naruto relived what happened. Only dully did he realize he was finally out of the hospital in his parents' car on the way home. However, it was like a veil lifted over his head as they drove on the road that Harmony Hill Road came out onto. His head lifted automatically as they drove by the bridge.
Just as he turned his head away, he caught a glimpse of person with familiar black hair sitting on top of the bridge. Naruto whipped his head around, looking back at the one way exit from the road, only to see nothing. Tears streamed down his face as he waited to wake up from this nightmare.
It felt like every time he closed his eyes all Naruto could see was Sasuke's face. He remembered seeing Sasuke's face as he looked at him for the last time before Sasuke left the car. If Naruto could draw, he would be able to draw every minute detail of the way Sasuke's face was set in determination, his shoulders set.
Each time he thought of what happened, it would trigger other memories. He would remember times he had long since forgotten. Games that they had made up during the summer sprang to mind. Sleep overs and times they had gone to the movie; every day things. It would have been pleasant enough if the fond memories didn't become tainted with the horrible nightmares Naruto had.
All he could think about was Sasuke and how he had failed his best friend. Everyone told Naruto it wasn't his fault. Everyone told him that they would catch the bastard who had killed Sasuke.
When Naruto tried to explain that it wasn't a person but a thing, everyone told him it was his mind's way of coping with the horror of what happened. No one blamed him. They thought that how he had acted was admirable.
At least, that's what they told him. Naruto wasn't sure he believed them. He was sure they were just trying to make him feel better. The only thing that would make him feel better is if he had Sasuke back, and he would never have his best friend back no matter how hard he prayed or wished for it to be so.
Naruto hated that no one blamed him. He hated how everyone said that Sasuke wouldn't have blamed him. That didn't matter. Naruto blamed himself for what happened. The whole reason they were there had been for Naruto. Sasuke had agreed to go with him when everyone else had thought it was a stupid fear. And what had happened? His worst fear had become an even more horrible nightmare.
The morning of Sasuke's funeral, Naruto hadn't had the usual nightmares about Sasuke, though Naruto figured that had to do with the fact that he hadn't been able to sleep. When seven in the morning finally rolled around, Naruto got up out of bed and headed downstairs. Not eating anything over the past several days had finally taken its toll on Naruto's stomach which was growling at him.
At the bottom of the stairs, he saw his mother already awake, busy working on what looked like a scrap booking project. The normalcy of the action banished all thought from Naruto's head. He walked forward, looking to see what she was doing.
Their coffee table was littered with pictures – pictures of Sasuke. Many of them also had pictures of Naruto in them. He blinked, looking at the photo memories displayed before him. His eyes darter to his mother. Her eyes were red and there were tears streaking down her face. She would smile at some of the pictures before placing others aside.
It struck Naruto that he wasn't the only one grieving Sasuke's loss. Sasuke had been like another son to his parents. For some reason, seeing his mother just as upset about Sasuke's loss made his own pain more bearable.
"What are you doing?" Naruto asked.
Kushina looked up, startled. Hastily she wiped the tears from her face.
"Naruto! I didn't hear you come down the steps." She smiled at him in that motherly way. "Mikoto called me last night, asking if I had any pictures of Sasuke. As you know, Sasuke isn't...wasn't...very photogenic. She asked if I could put together a poster of any pictures I happened to have of Sasuke to show at his funeral."
For a moment, Naruto couldn't speak. His eyes were focused on all the pictures. The largest was a picture of him and Sasuke at their high-school graduation. Sasuke had this smug, proud look on his face while Naruto's own smile seemed to be wide enough for a toothpaste commercial.
His eyes darted to a picture of them when they were eight. It was a Halloween picture. Sasuke wore a cool vampire costume while Naruto had dressed up as a Jedi from Star Wars. Naruto's hand was digging through Sasuke's candy. Naruto swallowed, remembering how Sasuke didn't like candy, and how Sasuke gave most all of the things he didn't like to Naruto.
There was a more recent photo that Naruto was surprised to see his mom had. It was a picture of him with Sasuke at their university mess hall. Naruto thought his friend Ino might have taken it. Then he realized his mom must have printed the picture off of facebook. She had a habit of printing out any pictures she liked from his friends' profiles that had him in it. Naruto couldn't help but laugh at the look on Sasuke's face in the picture. It was one of mild amusement and exasperation as he looked at the four bowls of the cafeteria's ramen in front of Naruto.
All the happy memories – the Christmas pictures, the photos of them playing outside by the pool, in a pile of leaves, having a snowball fight – felt like a sick joke to Naruto. He would never have this with Sasuke again. Sasuke would never finish his college career. They would never get a chance to go to all the places they had once dreamed of going together.
It just wasn't fair. And it was all Naruto's fault.
Out of the corner of his eye, he saw one of the photos move. It was one of Sasuke and Naruto, lying out in Naruto's yard with their friend Shikamaru. They were all staring up at the clouds, pointing out different shapes and things that they saw.
Naruto remembered that day. He and Sasuke were twelve. They'd had a sleep over at one of their other friend's houses (he was more Sasuke's friend than Naruto's). They'd played a lot of stupid games that night at Suigetsu's house, one of which being Truth or Dare. Naruto's face flushed, remembering how he'd been dared to kiss Sasuke. Of course he hadn't backed down from the challenge and had kissed him.
Naruto remembered how after that time, both of them had ended up "experimenting" with kissing each other until Sasuke's brother Itachi had walked in on them. They had been so utterly embarrassed that neither of them had spoken about it ever again.
Frowning, Naruto watched as another picture moved slightly. It was as though an invisible hand had reached into the pile and was pulling certain pictures out of the collage. This was another more recent picture. Naruto couldn't remember the date, but it was a picture Naruto had posted online from his phone. It was of just Sasuke. He was sitting, looking at nothing in particular, but Naruto had thought he seemed so peaceful and had quickly taken out his phone and snapped the picture.
"I have some more pictures upstairs that I didn't post that I can print out," Naruto said. Kushina looked at him, smiling at him gently.
"If you feel you're up to it. Do you want me to make you something for breakfast? Maybe some tea at least? You don't look like you slept. Get a bite to eat and go lay back down. The funeral isn't till this afternoon you know."
Yes, Naruto knew that. But he didn't think he could sleep. It hurt knowing that Sasuke wasn't sleeping. That he was gone forever.
"Breakfast sounds good," Naruto said, trying to return his mother's smile. It didn't work. Instead, he walked over to her and wrapped his arms around her. "I miss him so much," Naruto whispered, tears still streaking down his face. His mother put her arms around his shoulders, gently stroking his hair.
"I know you do. I miss him too."
"But I bet, wherever the bastard is, he's grinning down, thinking how sappy we are. You know him," Naruto said, trying to keep his tone joking. His mother gave a weak laugh at his failed attempt at humor. He turned around, smiled, and headed back for the steps. Just as he was about to reach the first step, he felt like a foot came out and tripped him. He stumbled forward, banging his knees on the steps.
"Naruto! Are you okay?" Kushina asked. Naruto didn't get up. Instead, he turned and sat on the steps, feeling slightly stunned.
A picture from the pile slipped down to the ground. The color drained from his face. It was a picture of Sasuke and Naruto with their wrists, knees, and ankles wrapped in a ridiculous amount of ace bandages. They had been eleven at the time the picture was taken. He and Sasuke had spent the day tripping each other and the afternoon pretending to bandage up each other's hurts.
His knees throbbed dully, but it was the strange feeling in his heart that hurt.
"Y-yeah. I'm fine."
Several weeks had passed since Sasuke's death. Naruto found himself feeling like a completely different person. He was known to be the guy who laughed easily, who always had a smile on his face, who wanted to be around lots of people, making sure he was the center of attention.
Now, all Naruto wanted to do was to stay in his room by himself. With everything that had happened, he felt he could no longer face the people he loved. He had never thought himself to be a coward, but when push came to shove, he had been. Everyone kept telling him it wasn't his fault. All of his friends knew that he was a "phasmaphobia" and that his greatest fear was of ghosts and creepy supernatural things.
But Naruto was never one to admit defeat either. Yet he couldn't wrap his mind around the fact that Sasuke was gone. It was the ultimate defeat. What could he do to bring Sasuke back? Nothing. There was nothing he could do. The helplessness of the situation ate away at Naruto.
Really, he was trying to act normal for his friends and family. But he couldn't look at his parents knowing they would have done what he couldn't. He couldn't face Sasuke's parents and brother, knowing that it was his fault that Sasuke had died. Naruto knew Sasuke's father, Fugaku, wanted nothing to do with him, probably ever again. But since Sasuke's death, it was like both Itachi and Mikoto Uchiha wanted to see Naruto more, They no longer had Sasuke, so they were latching onto Naruto to help them through their grief.
After Sasuke had died they had given most all of Sasuke's belongings to Naruto. They'd given him all the money in Sasuke's bank account, his DVDs, his books, even his fucking bedroom sheets. Everything. They even repaired Sasuke's car. Naruto had asked why they hadn't sold it, and they said that they couldn't bear to part with it – not when Sasuke had died on it. Of course, they hadn't wanted to keep such a painful reminder and had given it to Naruto. That had been Fugaku's doing. Naruto was sure it was as a reminder to make Naruto feel the responsibility of Sasuke's death. He supposed that Fugaku blamed him – though he never came right out and said it. It actually made Naruto feel better, knowing at least someone else realized it was his fault Sasuke was dead.
Mikoto and Itachi, on the other hand, kept calling him and checking up on him frequently to see how he was doing and if there was anything they could do for him.
Perhaps it was supposed to be comforting, but it just made him feel even guiltier.
And the dreams Naruto was having...Naruto didn't know anymore which were worse; the dreams he had where he relived seeing Sasuke's lifeless body hanging above the car, or the other dreams that had popped up with the memories of their childhood.
Naruto's mind kept going back to the day when he'd been dared to kiss Sasuke. He remembered the following days where the two had curiously and hesitantly explored each other. Looking back on it, it was really all inexperienced innocent things.
But the dreams Naruto was having now were anything but innocent. He woke up at night screaming Sasuke's name – either from fear or from guilty pleasure.
The dreams always started off slow. They would kiss softly, hesitantly. And then they would begin to do things they'd never done in real life. The hand jobs and blow jobs he'd receive in his dreams felt so realistic that he would cum before he'd awake, but he swore he could hear Sasuke talking to him, telling him to just let everything go, that everything was fine, to stop worrying. And in those dreams, Naruto could do that.
Naruto supposed his mind was trying to block out the horrible tragedy with something that was pleasurable. But the guilt he felt thinking about Sasuke like that – well, he didn't need any more guilt than he already had. It felt like all he felt any more was guilt.
Guilt for how he couldn't stop thinking about Sasuke so intimately.
Guilt for how he made his friends and family worry about him.
And above all, guilt for letting Sasuke down.
It was eating him alive to the point where he couldn't live with himself any more. He had to act. He had to do something. He couldn't let it stand as it was.
He had to go back to Harmony Hill and face the horror there – even if it meant his death.
Naruto waited till well after his parents were asleep before leaving. He made sure to take Sasuke's car, the car where everything had taken place to head to what could be his final destination. He felt as though perhaps he had been supposed to die that night. If he was meant to die the second time he wouldn't go without fight. He would do what he could to avenge Sasuke's death.
When he drove up the road in the dead of night, all Naruto could feel was a deep rage. The fear he felt was nothing like the anger, the hate, the hurt in his chest. He wanted someone to hurt. He wanted to kill something. He had no idea what he was doing, but he wouldn't be a coward. He wanted to stop hating himself and start living again.
Parking away from any area that would be hard to get out of, Naruto got out of the car and began to rant and rage at the world.
"Come and get me! COME ON!" Naruto yelled. "I'm right here! What are you waiting for?" Naruto screamed. He pointed to his chest. "I'm all by myself! No one else up here! COME ON!" Naruto yelled.
He whirled around, looking at the tree line. Clutching at the baseball bat he'd brought with him, he waited, yelling and screaming again.
"What? Are you a coward now? Where are you?"
Naruto knew he was acting crazy. But that was fine. Maybe he was suicidal. He didn't care at this point. Ever since Sasuke had died he hadn't been himself. Maybe he was supposed to have died with Sasuke. He felt that was what was supposed to happen. Without his best friend, he was lost. How was he supposed to be Naruto without having Sasuke?
Naruto let out a deranged laugh.
"WHERE THE FUCK ARE YOU? COME ON! COME OUT AND TAKE ME TOO!" Naruto's voice was hoarse from screaming. Tears streamed down his face, and he let them fall. Taking a deep breath, Naruto screwed up his face, waiting. Where was the thing? He had never believed it was something human to begin with. It was there; it had to be. His gut instinct had always told him it wasn't human. But now a trickle of fear began to well within him. What if he was wrong? What if the entire thing had been a sick human joke?
What if the person – or people – had run from the location with the police looking for the culprit?
What if...what if he couldn't find a way to get to Sasuke? What if he couldn't do anything to get over his fear?
The thought of being left alone, the thought of being left behind was overwhelming.
Naruto waited. He let the silence fall around him. He waited, desperate to see the black shape dart around him. Instead: nothing. He heard nothing, saw nothing.
But he didn't want to give up. Without Sasuke...Naruto had feared death, but now he feared life without Sasuke. It just wasn't fair.
Naruto got back in the car, his jaw clenched. He really didn't want to kill himself. It would be one thing to die fighting the creature that had killed Sasuke, but another thing entire to take his own life. Naruto wasn't like that. Wild thoughts formed in Naruto's head. What if he were to do something like run into a burning building and save someone's life? Risking his life to save someone else's, could that make up for something?
Or maybe if he were to become one of those paranormal specialists, or something, and fight demons and all that kind of stuff he saw on TV?
"Stop being stupid."
Naruto froze. That was Sasuke's voice. He turned to his head to the side. The car door had opened silently. Naruto hadn't even heard it. He turned his head a bit further. This time, he saw Sasuke standing there in the doorway. He wore all black; a tight-fitting black turtle neck, a black jacket, and black pants. Naruto couldn't stop staring, wondering just how crazy he had gone.
"Move over. You're in no state to drive," Sasuke commanded. Naruto felt his mouth go dry. Wordlessly he climbed over to the passenger's seat. With the effortless grace Sasuke had always seemed to possess, Sasuke got into the car, shutting the door behind him. Naruto stared at Sasuke sitting next to him. He watched as Sasuke turned the key into the ignition.
The engine rumbled to life in the newly restored car. Sasuke's hands caressed the steering wheel before he turned to look at Naruto.
"Put your seatbelt on, idiot."
Naruto didn't move. Instead, he continued to stare at Sasuke.
"You're not real," Naruto breathed.
In response to his disbelief, Sasuke punched Naruto across the face. Naruto's head whipped back, but he stopped short of slamming his head into the side window. Looking down in disbelief, Naruto saw Sasuke's hand holding his shirt which had caught him from causing more damage to his head. Sasuke roughly pulled him back into his seat before letting him go.
"Was that real enough for you? Put your seatbelt on." This time Naruto did as told. After he put his seatbelt on, Sasuke began to drive. Naruto wondered if he had hit his head harder than he thought when he'd slammed his head on the dashboard. "You're not crazy," Sasuke murmured.
"What? You're a mind reader now that you're a ghost?" Naruto asked, watching the road as they traveled down Harmony Hill Road, heading for the bridge. Sasuke merely chuckled.
"I'm not a ghost." Even though he'd just laughed, his voice held no humor.
"But you are a mind reader?"
"No. It's just easy to read your face."
"Are you alive?"
"Not sure. As far as I know, you're the only one who's been able to see me."
"That makes me feel so much better." After a moment, Naruto's curiosity got the better of him. "How – how did your survive?"
"I didn't. Not really. But I had promised I would come back. When that...that thing got a hold of me, I'd never been so scared in my life." Naruto's chest constricted, hating to relive that night. "But what scared me most of all was if that thing got you too. I had promised I would come back to you. And I meant it. But how would I be able to come back to you if you were dead? I would sell my soul to prevent that from happening."
Naruto closed his eyes, imagining what he would have thought in Sasuke's place. Had Sasuke really sold his soul to return to him?
"I'm sorry. I – I didn't – I should have come out to help. I –"
"Your dad was right," Sasuke interrupted.
"I was there, in the hospital room. Your dad said I probably didn't scream because I didn't want you to die. So for you to be out here, screaming your head off, looking for death, pissed me the fuck off."
The rest of the drive, Sasuke didn't speak. Naruto asked him several more questions, but Sasuke refused to speak. All Naruto could do was chalk everything up to a weird dream. Naruto was unsurprised when Sasuke pulled up in front of Naruto's house. They sat in silence for a moment.
"I need the car," Sasuke said, finally. It wasn't what Naruto had expected him to say.
"I have some things I need to take care of. Actually, more like things I need to figure out. You can't come with me," Sasuke spoke.
"I'm not sure if this is real or not, but either way, I'm not letting you leave again," Naruto said, crossing his arms.
"I promised, didn't I? I promised I would come back. And I did. Get out of the car. I promise, again, that I'll come back. Then you won't be able to get rid of me."
"No. Wherever you're going, I'm coming with."
Naruto sat straight in his seat, refusing to budge.
His car door opened, and for the second time that night, Naruto was surprised to see Sasuke holding the door open. Naruto whipped his head around, noting that Sasuke was no longer in the driver's seat before looking back at Sasuke who stood by him.
"Get out, or I will drag you out."
"Sasuke," Naruto pleaded. There were so many questions that he wanted to ask, so many that he didn't even know where to begin. He looked at Sasuke, trying to make him understand that he didn't want to leave Sasuke again: that he would gladly go wherever Sasuke was going so he could be with him.
"I promised I would come back – I promised that to you. I swore I would, but I swore I would do a few other things too. Now I need to do things you can't do with me. But you'll see me again. I promise."
Naruto didn't want to leave the car, but he found himself getting out of the car anyway. He stood face to face with Sasuke.
"What are you going to do?" Naruto asked. At this, Sasuke gave a strange, sadistic smirk.
"That night I swore I would get my revenge and kill the thing that killed me."
Naruto didn't know what to say as he closed the door, watching as Sasuke got back in the car, driving away into the night.
The next morning, Kushina knocked tentatively on her son's door.
"Honey, I don't want to alarm you, but I wanted to tell you before you saw it; someone stole Sasuke's car," Kushina said quietly, calmly. Naruto rolled over on the bed. His fingers traced over his tender jaw.
"Sasuke took it. I'm sure he'll bring it back."
"Naruto, sweetie. Sasuke – Sasuke passed away, remember?" Kushina reminded him quietly. Naruto didn't know what to say without sounding crazy.
"The car will be back. Don't worry about it." Kushina closed the door, not saying anything else.
Three days later the car returned. Sasuke stayed for breakfast. Minato couldn't understand why his toast kept mysteriously disappearing, but as Naruto was laughing out loud for the first time in weeks, he just grinned and went along with it.
Naruto looked at Sasuke who merely shrugged and said, "You're still the only one who can see me."
It became common for the car to disappear and reappear at times. His parents didn't understand it, but stopped asking about it when all Naruto said was Sasuke was using it.
Even after having Sasuke "back" the dreams refused to stop. He couldn't help the childhood memories. The more he didn't want to think about them the more they came. But the dreams, the caresses, the intimate touches, the whispered confessions made Naruto sick to his stomach feeling as though he were violating Sasuke's memory. He had failed Sasuke in life by being unable to muster the courage and get over his fear to save Sasuke, now, as Sasuke's body lay cold in the grave, all Naruto could think about were warm hands on his body.
And that was what he got. The dreams would usually turn into the insane reality Naruto's life had turned into.
Sasuke's body hovered above his own. There were little things that made Naruto think that Sasuke might be real, like a ghost or spirit or something haunting him. Not necessarily alive, but real enough. The car would come and go for starters, and the little things Sasuke did, like taking his father's toast and moving pictures here and there happened for too often to just be a coincidence. But how it was possible didn't make sense, and Naruto was sometimes afraid to ask Sasuke.
And if Sasuke wasn't real, Naruto felt so selfish for wanting to remember Sasuke in such a disgraceful manner than the way he had been when Sasuke had been alive.
"Sasuke," Naruto moaned. Inhaling, Naruto caught a whiff of Sasuke's shampoo, the deodorant that he used, and the familiar feel of his hands on Naruto's body. The hands traveled up the sheet covering his body, slowly pulling the sheet down away from his naked torso. His mouth pressed warmly against his. First the sheet left Naruto's body followed by his boxers which slid over his leaking cock.
"Lift your legs," Sasuke's murmured huskily. Naruto listened to what Sasuke told him to do, lifting his legs so his boxers could slide all the way off.
The weight that settled over Naruto, smelling like Sasuke fresh from a shower, like the times Naruto had been over at Sasuke's house and he would come back into his room wearing nothing but a towel, smelling clean and warm made Naruto's body react. The mouth at the corner of his neck and chin felt warm and moist, startling Naruto at how good it felt.
"Spread your legs wider," Sasuke instructed. Before Naruto had a chance to comply, warm hands were placed on the inside of both of his thighs, spreading his legs slowly and lewdly apart. A few quick strokes to his dick had his groin twitching expectantly.
Naruto waited, closing his eyes. His ass twitched in time with his cock. He both loathed and loved this moment. The pain was far too realistic for it to be just a dream. He deserved the pain.
The feel of slightly slick skinned pressed against his cheeks, spreading him wider before it shoved its way inside him slowly.
"Faster," Naruto breathed. "Harder."
The phantom above him obeyed, mercilessly. The pain vanished as he rocked his hips upward, wanting to be as close to this illusion as possible. He wanted the pain as much as he wanted the pleasure, but both never seemed to last long enough. Sasuke pressed his mouth hungrily against Naruto's. It felt like the air was being sucked out of his lungs, like he couldn't breathe. Naruto didn't want to breathe, letting his phantom take his life.
If the specter in the woods refused to kill him, then perhaps it was the job of Sasuke's ghost to claim his revenge against his friend, the friend who hadn't be able to help him. After all, Sasuke had said he had to exact his revenge.
Naruto felt this was almost worse torture than being killed: the pleasure when he felt he deserved nothing but pain for all the pain he'd caused to Sasuke and his family.
But the times when Sasuke's body laid spread before him, when Naruto was thrusting into his friend, when he saw the look of pure bliss made Naruto feel ecstatic, that he could do this for his friend. That somehow he was able to touch Sasuke, to make him feel some sort of happiness. The feel of Sasuke's body around his as he kissed, touched, and marked Sasuke's body as his own brought Naruto a semblance of peace only Sasuke could bring.
It had been over five months since Sasuke had "died" and just about four months since Sasuke had started coming to him every night. Naruto had done his best to get on with his life. It was as though he had a small part of Sasuke with him. He had thought he would do anything to have Sasuke with him, but this was torturous. Sasuke couldn't talk to anyone else. Sasuke could move things, but no one but Naruto could hear him. Again Naruto wondered if this was Sasuke's revenge, haunting him with such a deep, dark secret that he wanted to share, a secret that no one would believe.
But Naruto would rather die than let Sasuke go.
"Is this how it's always gonna be?" Naruto asked one night, Sasuke lying next to him. "Will you ever – can you ever, you know, get your body back?" Naruto had asked a few months previously, and all Sasuke had said was that he was working on trying to figure things out.
"Do you remember how that thing that attacked us tried to make us scared first?" Sasuke asked.
It was something that Naruto thought he would never forget.
"Yes, I remember."
"It was what you would call a fear demon. It fed off fear. However, demons aren't supposed to be so blatant on how they go about feeding off human emotions in the world of the living. When that happens, a new demon has to take his place. Usually when a fear demon goes too far, he is killed by another demon."
Naruto's body tensed.
"You lost me. I'm confused," Naruto said. Sasuke sighed, and he almost sounded embarrassed as he continued to explain.
"When that thing – when that demon killed me – I promised to come back and kill it. But I also promised to come back to you. When you die, and the last thing you do is make a promise like that, there is a way to come back to the world of the living. You have the option to come back as a demon."
"Like, make a deal with the devil?" Naruto asked, mortified.
"Something like that," Sasuke murmured. Naruto wasn't sure if he wanted to know the details.
"So...what are you saying? Are you saying you're not a ghost? But a demon?"
"I'm not the same kind of demon as the thing that killed me was. He was full of hatred. He fed off of fear. Some demons feed off of other things."
"What? Like toast?" Naruto asked dumbly, thinking about how Sasuke seemed to enjoy stealing his dad's toast in the mornings.
"No, not like toast you idiot. Emotions. I feed off of lust."
"Basically I'm what people would call an incubus. Except that I'm not feeding off the emotions of lots of people. I'm feeding off of your lust for me. That's what's keeping me here."
Naruto felt his chest tighten.
"So...so if I were to stop this – if we were to stop – you would die…permanently?"
"No, I don't think so. We had a strong bond before I died. That kind of love would keep me around because I promised you and you alone that I would come back. The lust just makes it easier for me to feel energized."
Naruto let all the information sink in. The horror that had killed Sasuke had been a demon. But now Sasuke himself was a demon, a demon who fed off of lust and love. He would have found it strange if he hadn't already come to terms with the fact that he was screwing the ghost of his best friend.
"I still don't understand what that means for us."
"It means I will always be by your side. From now on till your dying day, you are what keeps me alive – as long as you still want me to be." Sasuke's words finally began to really make sense to Naruto.
For the rest of his life Sasuke would be by his side, just as Naruto had hoped for. He had hoped and prayed that Sasuke in some way would come back to him. And now he had. Sort of. And he would be with Naruto until his dying day. Yet no one else would see Sasuke. No one else would be able to know this kind of secret.
It was already killing him to know that he couldn't tell Sasuke's friends and family that he was alive – to a certain degree. The two of them would never be able to have a normal life. He would never have wished this on Sasuke. Perhaps, when push came to shove, it would have been better if he hadn't made Sasuke promise, if he had been able to let Sasuke go. In the end, perhaps this was a bigger curse on him than anything else.
But that was it, wasn't it? Even through death, Naruto would never be able to let Sasuke go. What he truly feared was Sasuke leaving him. For the rest of his life, he would have his own demon to deal with. Literally.
"I can live with that as long as I live with you."
Hmm. What do you think? Is it a happy or unhappy ending? Tell me your thoughts. ~ Jelp