Title: The End of a Dream
Sumary: Naruto had an imaginary friend, a man who was like the sun. That's how it all began. And this is how it ends.
A/N: Slightly AU and a bit angsty in some parts. This one-shot plot bunny distracted me from Tenebroso.
The End of a Dream
As a young child, Naruto had always been alone, even among the other children at the orphanage. While the caretakers did their duty to look after the orphans, they did not lavish affection on Naruto like they did with the rest. Naruto didn't mind too much because he already had a secret friend who appeared in the silvery moonlight while others slept.
He was a tall and handsome man with eyes the colour of the sky and hair as golden as the sun. He would tell him all sorts of stories and teach him how to read and write. His friend also gave him the best hugs in the world that made him feel safe and warm. Naruto didn't mind the loneliness in the day, always eagerly waiting for night to fall so he could meet his friend again.
Naruto couldn't remember the first time his friend came to him. He only knew with a deep instinct that the man had always been there. To him, his friend was as eternal as the moon that hung in the night sky. Though he would be gone when the first rays of the sun crept into his room, he would always return with the silvery glow of the moon without fail. With a child-like faith as unshakeable as the mountain, Naruto believed that his friend would never leave him.
One day, his friend told him, "This will be the last time I can see you." He looked so sad and regretful and Naruto cried. Clinging onto the man's white coat, he pleaded, "Why? You're my only friend." Stay. Don't leave me.
The man enfolded his arms around Naruto, shielding him from the world in his soothing embrace. Stroking his hair, the man sighed mournfully, "I'm so sorry, Naruto. But my time's up… See?"
He held up his hand before Naruto's face and to his shock, the man's hand was translucent, the fingertips already turning transparent despite the moon still high in the sky. Realisation and resignation settling in, Naruto clung on even tighter, his eyes tearing up.
"I'll miss you." He quietly whispered into the man's white coat, deeply breathing in the scent of steel, smoke and wood. He snuggled deeper into the warmth of his friend's body, seeking comfort.
The man didn't reply, only tightening his arms around Naruto and for the whole night, they stayed that way, enjoying their last moments together. Then dawn came all too soon. The man was turning into little motes of glowing light like fireflies. Still embracing Naruto, he kissed his forehead and whispered, "Good-bye."
Then he was gone in a brilliant golden glow. Naruto had to bite his pillow to stifle his wails, loss and emptiness piercing his heart. He was alone.
The years went on and Naruto was an emancipated minor at the tender age of nine. He had forgotten about the mysterious man who had been his only friend, the fond memories blurred with time. Still, he loved looking at the full silvery moon; every fiber of his body strung in unknown anticipation and longing.
The Hokage, the old man with a funny hat, took him to his office and Naruto stared at the Hokage Mountain, fascinated by the faces on the mountain. He pointed at the third face with a beard excitedly, "That's your face up there, jiji!"
"Yes, that's my face up there." The old man smiled indulgently at the young boy. He was very amused when Naruto squinted his eyes and thoughtfully commented, "But it doesn't look very much like you. You look like you're…co-con-sti-pat-ed."
"Quite, my boy, quite." Sarutobi laughed at the boy's frankness.
"Who's the fourth face on the right? He looks familiar…" Naruto's eyes were now staring at the Yondaime Hokage's face with such serious intensity that for a moment, Sarutobi thought he was seeing Minato. Looking at the mountain with sadness, he thought that it was a shame that Naruto would never get to know his father. He wanted to tell Naruto that the man was his father and that he had loved him dearly but he could only say, "That's the Yondaime Hokage Namikaze Minato. He died nine years ago as a hero saving Konoha from Kyuubi."
"Yondaime Hokage was a hero…?" Naruto looked so awestruck that Sarutobi couldn't help but smile. Then he declared proudly, "I'm going to get my face up there like you and him! I'll be the best Hokage ever and a hero."
Surprised, Sarutobi laughed and patted the boy's head, "I'm sure you will. I look forward to seeing it."
Naruto hated history with a passion. It was so boring and meant little to him. He couldn't see why it was so important to remember the dates, who, what and why when it was all in the past lifetimes before him. Nevertheless, he tried his best to pay attention because Sarutobi-jiji would be disappointed if he skipped classes again.
Then Iruka-sensei said, "Open your textbooks to page 40. We're going to learn about the Yondaime Hokage."
Naruto couldn't help but perk up at hearing his idol being mentioned. He only knew that the Yondaime Hokage had defeated Kyuubi nine years ago on his birthday and that he was the greatest hero ever. He had wanted to find out more about his idol but few people in the village were willing to talk to him and he wasn't allowed to borrow books from the library. He could have asked the Hokage about him but he was too busy these days and he didn't want to go to the trouble of getting past the crotchety receptionist.
Excitedly, he prised open his second-hand textbook to the correct page. It was the first time he had actually willingly touched it and he had never read beyond page ten. As the book fell open before Naruto, he suddenly couldn't breathe when he saw the Yondaime Hokage's colour photo – he looked far different from the face on the mountain (but then again, ninjas weren't sculptors).
He was a handsome man with such piercing blue eyes, hair like spun gold and a face so fair. He was so painfully familiar that his heart ached. Naruto was very relieved that he had taken a seat at the back of the class where no one could see his pale face as he traced the photo with a trembling finger.
I know him. Why does my chest hurt so much when I see his face…?
Deep and primal need consumed Naruto. Greedily drinking in the Yondaime Hokage's handsome face and staring at those intense blue eyes, he was completely infatuated, even more so than with Sakura-chan. He breathlessly whispered his idol's name under his breath as he covetously stroked the line of the man's jaw, "Namikaze Minato…"
Iruka-sensei was very surprised and pleased by Naruto's attentive and quiet behavior in class that day.
Naruto kept his infatuation with the Yondaime Hokage (he dared not even think or call out his real name) under deep wraps and brandished his fake crush (once upon a time, he had wanted to be her prince…) on Sakura like nobody's business. But he still couldn't quite hide his true feelings – they were clear as day in his proclamations to surpass the Yondaime Hokage and become the best Hokage ever. Thankfully, few people bothered to listen and those who listened, never really quite caught on to his unsaid feelings.
"My dream is to be the greatest Hokage!" I want to make the Yondaime Hokage proud of me…
Naruto knew that his feelings were illogical and insane. How he could have feelings for a man who was already dead since his birth? (If he had been alive, he would be thirty years old, thrice his age…) But yet, something deep inside him spurred him on.
It was not the village's acknowledgement he wanted so badly (though it was definitely desired); it was to see the Yondaime Hokage look at him with a smile no matter how impossible that was. Very faintly, he remembered a dream (or was it a memory...?) of the Yondaime Hokage smiling and cradling him in a warm and strong embrace. It always made him want to cry whenever he woke up to an empty room and feeling utterly cold.
Clinging on tightly to the dream/memory, Naruto persevered, determined to become strong enough to make his dream become a reality.
I cannot fail.
Naruto sat in the Hokage Office, deeply exhausted and in emotional turmoil. He had already returned the Forbidden Scroll and Iruka-sensei had been taken to hospital for medical treatment. Now, all that was left for him, was to learn the truth from the Hokage's mouth. He still couldn't quite believe that he was responsible for his idol's death – was he really Kyuubi? If so, he did not want to contemplate what he might do. Nevertheless, he could not help but glance at the portrait of the Yondaime Hokage, his heart clenching as he gazed at the perfect visage with deep emotion.
Misinterpreting Naruto's glance at the Yondaime Hokage's portrait, the Sandaime Hokage said with weary, old eyes, and a voice full of regret, "He wanted you to be seen as a hero. You are not Kyuubi but merely its container."
"…Why me?" Naruto finally wrenched his eyes away from the Yondaime's blue eyes. Why was he selected that night to be Kyuubi's jailor?
"You were the only child born on that night… He had no other choice but to choose you." Sarutobi wanted to tell Naruto all about the struggle he had witnessed and the sacrifice that his parents had done for him. But the boy was still too young and unprepared for the truth.
Naruto bowed his head in silence. When he finally looked up again at Sarutobi, his eyes were alit with blue flame. He smiled with terrible determination, "I'll make him proud of me. He gave me the job of containing Kyuubi and I'm not going to let him down, sir. I'll become a hero."
"You're already a hero."
Naruto smiled wider.
Half a year later, in the aftermath of the Chuunin Exam Invasions, Naruto was solemnly standing at the funeral, his recuperating body still aching with residual pain. The Sandaime Hokage was dead, having sacrificed himself for Konoha's sake like his successor/predecessor Yondaime Hokage had did. There was a certain poignant irony to it and Naruto couldn't help but wonder, Does it mean that I have to die in order to meet you?
He looked up at the Hokage Monument, easily picking out the Yondaime's head despite the heavy rain that blurred his vision. As Konohamaru sniffled beside him, Naruto found that he didn't really have an answer to the question. Frighteningly, he also discovered that he didn't really mind dying for Konoha if there was even the slightest chance he could see him. Never mind that it was zero now that he knew the consequences of using the Shiki no Fuin (but was it really zero?)
This would come back to haunt him as he faced Tsunade a month later. He was speechless with fury as the old lady belittled the Hokage role. How dare she mock Sandaime (and Yondaime as well)? How dare she? Naruto couldn't believe that this woman was supposed to be the next Hokage.
Yondaime, what would you think of her?
When all things were said and done and Tsunade finally agreed to become the Godaime Hokage, Naruto grudgingly conceded that she would make a good Hokage, Konoha's stalwart protector and healer now that she had regained her fighting spirit. He also knew that he still had a very long way to go before he could even think about becoming Hokage – he was still too weak and inexperienced. He was not even a Chuunin.
But still, it was good to see Tsunade smile for real. It was a very pretty smile and she was actually pretty cool. (Her fighting prowess was totally awe-inspiring.) Lacing his hands behind his head, Naruto smiled to himself in quiet satisfaction.
Hey Yondaime, I mastered your Rasengan in only a month and won Tsunade's necklace. Are you proud of me?
A gentle breeze blew, ruffling his hair like a caress.
Naruto didn't like to think about the Valley of End and Sasuke's defection too much because it was too painful to remember Sasuke's mad eyes and his lightning encased fist plunging through his chest. But, he had the feeling that it isn't the first time that he has lost someone so important and precious to him and that loss had been even more painful. A sharp ache in his chest throbbed and Naruto thought that it was probably a good thing that he couldn't remember who that person was because he surely would have gone insane.
The ground was hard underneath the sleeping bag and Naruto crawled like a caterpillar to move onto grassy ground, away from the fire, hoping that the grass would be softer. With Kyuubi inside him, his body was always warm no matter what and where, so he didn't have to worry about the cold. It also got him away from Jiraiya's loud chainsaw snores.
Lying underneath the night sky that is dotted by millions of glowing stars, Naruto was amazed. Away from civilization and light pollution, the sky now revealed its secrets before him. Naruto wondered if the Yondaime had also marveled at the sight when he was as young as him, travelling with Jiraiya as his apprentice. (He feels a sense of wonder and pride that he was literally and metaphorically following in Yondaime's footsteps, winding and sure on the paths before him.) He smiled and whispered to Yondaime, "I'm getting stronger. I hope you're watching me."
No one answered but for a moment, it seemed like the stars winked at him.
When puberty finally struck with its sneaky, insidious ways, Naruto had a hell of a time. He kept tripping over his feet and bumping into trees, walls and doors as he struggled to regain his coordination. His voice also jumped like a mad toad from high to low and back again as he spoke, causing him no end of embarrassment. Jiraiya laughed himself sick at his apprentice's plight and Naruto made a mental note to himself to get blackmail from Tsunade-baachan on Ero-Sennin; especially his own adolescent trials. After all, they had been on the same team for years. (He tried not to think about the parallels between the Sannin and his team.)
All in all, puberty is a trying experience but he took it in stride, knowing that all his friends were surely going through the same troubles and that it was a natural part of life. Naruto definitely enjoyed his new height and greater physical capability he now had. Hah, he was no longer the little runt! But there was one aspect that was deeply personal for him.
Naruto was very lucky that Jiraiya was kind enough to give him some privacy despite his constant ribbing over what kind of girls he liked. It would have been difficult to explain that he had increasingly vivid and detailed dreams about Yondaime Hokage doing things to him instead of women (Not to say that he didn't dream of them. He did occasionally dream of them with generous curves and all, but they were always faceless and blurry.)
After all, he wasn't exactly quiet and Jiraiya was a really good shinobi with excellent hearing despite his vices and appearance. He also had been Yondaime's teacher years ago, meaning that he could probably easily decipher his former student's name amid Naruto's soft moans and boy, wouldn't that make for an interesting conversation in the following morning?
However, despite the privacy Jiraiya gave him, Naruto was still paranoid. He always made sure to stifle his noises by using noise-cancelling seals he learnt behind Jiraiya's back. Jiraiya still hadn't found out about those and he planned to keep it that way.
Somehow, Naruto had a strange feeling that if Jiraiya knew of his dreams, he wouldn't take it well. Not because of the fact that he was dreaming of another guy (Jiraiya was actually pretty open-minded about homosexual relations despite his proclaimed love for women and being the author of a popular heterosexual-oriented series) but the fact that it was Yondaime Hokage.
The dreams always started out like this; Naruto would find himself in a flat grassy field that shimmered golden-green in the sun. The field stretched to the infinite horizon and was covered with small flowers of all imaginable colours that glowed with their intensity. The cloudless azure sky was vast and endless above him. It felt as though time did not exist in this place.
But the best part was seeing Yondaime Hokage, Namikaze Minato (only in his dreams, did Naruto feel capable of calling the man by name), welcoming him with a warm smile, his white coat almost glowing in stark contrast with the golden field. Naruto could never quite remember or understand how he managed to walk all the way from his original point into Minato's embrace without having his weak knees give out on him.
It felt so natural and easy as Minato gently cupped his chin and raised his face to kiss him. His lips were warm and smooth against his and Naruto easily lost himself in the languid kiss, reveling in the intimate contact and the warmth of Minato's body against his. One of Minato's hands slid under his shirt and his mesh-armour, trailing fire against his naked skin and he arched helplessly into the caress, moaning into the kiss and wanting more.
As if he could read his mind, Minato would divest him of his clothes with surety and ease of hand, lavishing loving kisses to each new inch of exposed skin, his gentle hands hot against his sensitive body. Naruto loved it, the feeling of being so cherished. His fingers fumbled as he undid the clasp of Minato's white coat. He felt like he was floating as he pushed the coat off the man's shoulders and it floated down onto the field.
He didn't resist as he was lowered down to the ground onto the white coat. Minato settled between his legs, his frame blocking out the sun as he kissed Naruto again. Minato's hands were confident as they stroked his body. When they brushed against his sensitive spots, a burst of pleasure caused him to moan into Minato's mouth. Heat pooled in his groin and he ground himself against Minato's hip.
Minato's chuckles were rich and smooth as he finally gripped Naruto's need and stroked, causing him to yell. His noises were silenced by Minato's mouth and he clung on tightly as he was pleasured with long, firm strokes. His head spun as he soon came with a whimper into Minato's hand. He felt so light that it felt as though Minato's warm weight was the only thing that kept him grounded.
But it wasn't over yet.
Knowing what happened next and desiring it, Naruto rolled over onto his knees and hands. He willingly spread his legs. Soon, Minato's fingers slick with his seed entered him. Since it was a dream, pain was negligible or completely absent. As such, it was not long before a flushed and moaning Naruto was ready as he rode Minato's fingers. Minato removed his fingers before pressing himself to Naruto's entrance, kissing his nape as he did so.
Naruto whined as he felt Minato enter him, splitting him into two, stretching his hole further than his fingers did earlier. The sensation was intense, almost painful but he still craved it, wanting more. His body flushed with heat as he eagerly pushed back against him. Minato's lips felt soothingly cool on his skin as he leisurely ravished him with long, deep thrusts that never failed to drive him mad with need.
Pinned beneath the man's weight and experiencing such pleasure given to him by the person he loved for almost his whole life, Naruto never wanted this to end. Minato completed him, filling the void in his heart and giving him a sense of belonging. Since this was unfortunately only a dream, there was no scent from the smooth white cloth beneath his cheek but he imagined that Minato smelled like a combination of steel, wood, blood (all shinobi smelled of it) and perhaps a faint hint of spicy cinnamon. He didn't know why he chose cinnamon but he thought it fit.
Naruto keened throatily when his hips were raised higher and his legs nudged further apart, allowing Minato to penetrate even deeper, pressing against a spot inside him that made him see stars (he knew how good that felt in reality because he'd experimented with his own shadow clones a few times in secret). He bowed his head and shoulders, and rested his sweaty forehead on his forearms as he struggled not to come too quickly with shallow and quick pants.
Minat's arm looped around his waist and his hand fisted around him. He gave him clever and wicked strokes of his hand. Naruto groaned, throwing his head in abandon and Minato took advantage, nipping and licking his exposed neck. His pleasure was reaching his peak, his body trembling and tightening around Minato's length. He both wanted and rejected it, desiring for release but also not wanting their time together to end.
But Minato would not be denied and his thrusts were relentless and ruthless, forcing breath out of him in whimpers. He was inexorably brought closer to climax. Naruto begged him to stop half-heartedly but Minato only chuckled and kissed him again to silence his protests. He was completely at Minato's mercy and there was nothing he could do about it and he did not even want to resist.
Inevitably, Naruto would come with Minato's name on his lips, his body shuddering and clenching around him as he spilled his seed onto the white coat. He felt Minato's groan as he bit his shoulder. His grip on his hips became bruising as he thrust quickly and deeply into him a few times before coming into him.
Naruto would wake up at this point to a lonely bed and stained bed-sheets. His semen would already be cold and drying in sticky flakes on his skin, making him crinkle his nose in disgust. He focused on his disgust, not wanting to feel the hollow pain in his chest and regret that he'd never had the courage to tell Minato in his dreams that he loved him. (It was ironic, wasn't it? That he could have wet dreams about him but not be able to confess.)
As Naruto slipped from his bedroom to the bathroom to clean up, he did not realize that he had forgotten to put up his silence seals last night. He had been too tired from his training to remember.
Jiraiya looked rather uncomfortable as he faced Naruto, causing him some concern. He wondered what could cause him such discomfort, bar an angry Tsunade. His heart stopped when he finally heard his teacher speak bluntly, "You've got to stop thinking of Yondaime Hokage like that."
Shit. Jiraiya knew. But how did he know? Had he found about the silencing seals and bypassed them? Covering up his queasy fear, Naruto innocently asked, "What do you mean?"
JIraiya leveled a wry look at him, "You weren't exactly quiet last night and the walls are thin at the inn."
Naruto's eyes widened as he recalled with mortified horror that he had forgotten to put up the seals last night. Of all the-! His heartbeat accelerated and he bit his lip.
"I… I didn't want you to find out…" He hesitantly said, knowing that it was futile to hide it any more from his teacher. Jiraiya nodded sympathetically, "I know."
The old man cleared his throat and continued, "I could care less which way you swung but the Yondaime Hokage Namikaze Minato is off-limits. You have to stop thinking of him in a…sexual manner."
Naruto was relieved and confused at the same time. He bristled self-defensively, "Why? It's not like it's going to happen anyway, considering he's been dead since my birth. You should be more concerned if I was having fantasies about Uchiha Sasuke instead."
"…Point. But that's not what I was driving at. The Yondaime Hokage is seriously off-limits."
Jiraiya looked exasperated and it only heightened Naruto's defensiveness. He was also hurt that Jiraiya disapproved of his choice when he had such feelings for so long. He could not imagine giving up on his feelings for Minato even if they were doomed to never be reciprocated due to the fact that Minato was dead. His tone was sharp as he argued, "Why is he off-limits? You have to give me a good reason."
Jiraiya quickly answered, "He had a fiancée whom he loved very much. She was a very pretty and powerful woman, you know. Why dream of someone who wouldn't even feel an iota of attraction for the same gender like you, even if he was alive?"
"…So? It doesn't mean that I can't fantasise, right? You fantasise about being with lesbians, come on." Naruto narrowed his eyes, suspecting that Jiraiya was hiding something from him. He was also unconvinced by the weak reason he was provided.
"Give me a better reason, Ero-Sennin." Naruto crossed his arms and looked at Jiraiya sternly, unwittingly resembling his father. Jiraiya groaned and ran a hand over his face, not looking forward to the inevitable blow-up. But for Naruto's sake, he had to tell him the truth before his ill-fated infatuation got too far out of hand. From the sounds of it last night, it was already pretty serious which suggested that Naruto had been feeling this way for a significant period of time. How had he never noticed it during all these months? Naruto was really good at keeping secrets.
"…You're not going to like what I'm going to say next."
"Spill it. I can't already be more embarrassed than I currently am."
Jiraiya sighed heavily. Then he said slowly and clearly, "Naruto, the reason why Namikaze Minato is off-limits for you is because he is your father. He was engaged to your mother, Uzumaki Kushina and they are your parents."
Naruto stared at him in utter dumbfounded silence. His jaw had dropped open as he struggled to comprehend what he had just heard. It was too surreal and he wondered if he had been put under an auditory genjutsu. Blinking rapidly, he very quietly said, "Oh."
Jiraiya let out a sigh of relief when it looked like Naruto wasn't going to overreact as he sat with a blank expression on his face. But he had done it too soon. The next thing he knew, the world had exploded in burning pain and all he could see was red malevolent chakra.
"Tell me, kid, why do you want to be Hokage?"
"Because I want to be a hero. Just like…"
"The Yondaime Hokage. I want to be like him."
"He's the strongest Hokage I know of."
"Yes… but why him?"
"…I don't know. It just is. He's always been my goal."