Disclaimer: Naruto is property of Masashi Kishimoto. This is a fanfic. Thank you very much.
Previously: "Y-yeah. Bye." He wanted to tell Mikeru he wished him all the best and that he hoped his check-up wasn't for anything serious, but he couldn't. He didn't know why he couldn't tell Mikeru he wanted him to be alive and healthy. He didn't know why he wanted it so badly, either. He just... froze.
"I thought he was alone..." the boy muttered softly, watching the two of them walk away from a distance. "Perhaps... like... like me."
He gazed up at the sky, pensively. In a way, the dark clouds looming overhead, telling him today was going to be a lousy day, meant a lot to him. They immitated and resembled the way life was going to treat him in the future. They seemed like a perfect replica of what was inside of him; gloomy, smokey, darkness. If one were to pull his heart out of his chest, they would find nothing but ashes.
He slid the tin of blood-pills out of his vest and ran over the slightly sharp edges with his thumb. "If I'm good at anything, it's lying..." He sighed and shut his eyes, remembering all the years of neglect and hatred. He remembered the orphanage he used to stay at, where all the other kids treated him like dirt because he was a pureblood. They were the poor souls who'd been abandoned by their families when said purebloods, or at least fullbloods (perhaps halfbloods, but nobody really blamed them cos that's what they were) bit their precious little necks and turned them into vampires. he remembered how whenever he asked about his family, the only response he'd get from the man running the orphanage, was that a pesky, picky, know-it-all spoiled brat dropped him off. When he asked if the person looked like him, the man scoffed and said "not one bit" and that was that.
When people asked him if it hurt not to know your family, he always smiled and said just that, "Not one bit." And yet, in truth, he wanted to nod his head vigorously and tell them about how much it sucked to be aware of the fact that this life is the only one you're getting and you aren't living it the way others do - which is supposed to be the right way. That it's awkward and selfish to say, but that he really did want a good, fulfilled life. But how could he really expect that at this point? He was a freaking vampire for Judy's sake. He didn't deserve happiness.
He popped a pill and swallowed without even thinking about it at this point. It's not like he would die from some drug-overdose; why die of too much artificial blood? Artificial blood is like artificial happiness and yet people are just as happy with both the real and the fake stuff.
He still felt unquenched and unsatisfied, though. But that was mainly cos he's a pureblood. A halfblood could go without a single drop of real blood for months on end. And that was just too unfair.
He didn't even have a family to blame; no-one to point the finger at and say, "You did this to me". He didn't have a creator, he didn't have an older brother to go to for help or guidance. All he had was a shitty Mentor who enjoyed putting him on the spot and making him feel ridiculous and a half-mentor-ish-thing that did nothing but bounce about and suck on his blood.
Okay, so maybe that was a little unfair. Over the years, they had... helped him... right?
"Not really." He smirked for a second, but then the smile retracted and he furrowed his brows a little. "Actually, all they've ever done was get me into trouble."
He sighed once more and shut his eyes again. Every so often, he enjoyed to dream about a family he might have had before they died (or simple walked out of his life?). Sometimes, he'd imagine them to be loud and boistorous, and sometimes they were silent and helpful, like Sasuke described his family. Sometimes he had a little sister. Other times twin brothers. His mother would be blonde and his father would have black hair. Other times, his father would have silver hair and his mother black. But their eyes were always blue. He didn't know why. Probably because he has blue eyes and he wanted it to stay realistic.
The most common fantasy, though, was of a nice enough family, with strict rules yet so many smiles you'd think they were very loose with their words and that they agreed rules were meant to be broken. He'd have a brother with black hair, about his age, perhaps a little bit older. His oldest brother would have silver hair, and he'd have a mother with long, dark brown hair and a father with blonde hair, tied up in the back. Very sophisticated, the way he wanted a respectful father to be. And they would all be prepared to help him, yet they were busy enough with their own lives that they sometimes left him to take care of himself. He'd spend most of his fun time with his black-haired brother. His oldest brother would be out a lot, and he only came home very late, often to talk to his father. And when they were done talking, he'd poke him on the forehead before going up to his room. His mother would be the one to scold him whenever he did wrong, but he never took her words seriously cos she was just that hotheaded. And yet, she would also be the one to sit down with him and translate those French sentences he just couldn't understand. His father would be very busy, but he'd have enough time on his hands to help his son out with whatever was bothering him, if there was something bothering him at all. He would also be the one to pick the right person for him, to give him blood. He would most likely be the one that picked Mitaku.
Yes.. When he thought about that life, about going to bed in a house big enough to contain a family, filled with precisely those family-members as he slept peacefully, he couldn't help but smile. It warmed his chest in all its glory but a dream is just a dream and once he realizes this, the warm glow makes place for the smokey absence of a heart once more. Once he realised he was still himself, still alone, still without a family... it just wasn't describable; the way he understood that no matter what he did, the chances for that life were already gone.
The problem was just that he knew he couldn't do anything to change it. He couldn't create his parents, or go back in time. Even if he were to get adopted now, it wouldn't be the same thing. It just didn't count. Not anymore. It was far too late for that.
He concentrated on the dark clouds above him. The cold gust of wind didn't fase him, didn't reach his senses at all. He knew, for sure, that the air was present. He knew, judging by the darkness, that it should be cold. But he just didn't understand those matters anymore. Actually, he never really did.
He always felt cold. So, infinitely cold, that if one were to bring him to the hot springs, the water would fizz and smoke on his skin.
The halfbloods always said that it felt like dying, only for the rest of their vampire lives. Which is why they called it long-term dying syndrome. But cold wasn't the only thing that came with long-term dying. The feeling of panic resided in your body for the rest of your damned life, as well. The softest of sounds could awaken your paranoia and keep you alert.
Naruto sighed and shut his eyes. In his head he could hear a familiar piano-tune and realised it was the same song that kept repeating in his mind all week long. He just couldn't recall the name of the song, or the band for that matter.
"I bet you're so sick of hearing it, you don't really want this, you don't really want this," he muttered under his breath, quite clearly for someone whose first language wasn't English.
He cracked open an eye to find Sakura coming to sit down beside him.
"What's up?" she asked, pulling her skirt over her knees and resting on her hand-palms.
Naruto propped up on his elbows and replied, "Nothing much. You?"
"Really? Cos I thought you were having throuble concentrating on your test after seeing Sasuke like that, and that you left class cos Itachi-sensei told you you needed some blood-pills..."
God damn it, she's good at analyzing situations, Naruto thought, sighing.
"He doesn't hate you, specifically, you know."
"Sasuke? Hmph. Not like I care."
"Really now?" She grinned cheekily at him and flipped over onto her stomach, folding her fingers underneath her chin.
"Well, in case you were interested, I heard him mutter something along the lines of 'Stupid dobe' before. So, he does worry about you."
"Worry? Why should he? I'm not worried about him. Not at all."
"Cos you're friends," she backfired, snorting.
"Well sure we are, but we're guys, we don't worry."
"Of course you do. If he were to go missing, you'd worry about him, wouldn't you?"
"Well, maybe I would, a little. But I wouldn't just randomly worry over someone. That's for girls."
"Oh really?" She raised a brow.
"Yeah. Anyway, what brought you out here?"
"I'm just trying to let you know that it's the Mentor's banquet at six."
"Be there, Naruto. No chickening out. We're all celebrating our Mentors and thanking them for their hard work. You'd better have the courtesy to show up."
"Or what? You'll filipendo me off this planet? This isn't Harry Potter, Hermione, there is no Avada Kadabra that ends it all."
"Fine, Naruto. Whatever you say. I just want to make sure you're gonna' show up. It'd be a shame for Yamato-sensei to be met with disappointment at his first private banquet."
"Yeah, yeah. I'll show up; I promise."
"Okay. See you later then."
She got up and pulled her bag over her shoulder, leaving at such a fast rate, she was probably unaware of it herself.
So... how do I sneak out without being noticed by the fifth-graders or the teachers? Naruto thought, evading every student that happened to pass by him in the crammed hallway. The lunchbell rang five minutes ago and all the students were making their way either outside or to the cafeteria.
And furthermore, how the heck do I get back without anybody seeing me? At what time will I come back? Would it be smarter to just wait for first period to begin? But what if someone reports me as 'missing' to Tsunade-sama? Could I be able to make them believe that I was at the toilet the whole time? And what if someone does catch me trying to go outside? What'll my excuse be then? 'I'm sorry, I thought it was dinner time'? I am sooo screwed either way! FUCK.
"Naru-kun? What'cha thinking so seriously about?"
"Yamato-sama," the boy exclaimed, "what're you doing here?"
"In the hallway? What everyone else does in the hallway. What's up with you? You seem absent."
The usual bubbly-hyper-overdose Yamato was gone and was replaced by the Yamato he'd only seen once before; the serious, concerned one.
"Up? Nothing. I-uh, need to go to class, see ya'!"
"It's lunchtime; there are no classes." The serious look on the man's face was replaced by a deviously mischievous one and he asked, "What're you hiding?"
"Me? Hiding? Nothing! Why would I be hiding something? I mean, the only suspisious thing I ucould/u be hiding is a bad report card or something and we won't get our report cards for quite some time, so..."
"Hm. That's true. Well, I'll let you off the hook for now, but if you're still in trouble by the time it's the Mentors' party, you could always ask me for help, you know. I mean, I haven't been here for long and I don't feel like I deserve to be part of some kind of celebration yet."
"You? Of course you deserve to be part of it!" Naruto said, clapping the man on the shoulder as he tried to pass him by. "You're one of the best Mentors alive! Well, I've got to go now, see you!"
Too close. Way too close, the blonde thought, managing his way outside without bumping into anyone like Sora or Kakashi.
By the time it was six p.m., Naruto was worn out from stressing and panicking so much. Nevertheless, when Neji asked him if he was 'coming or not?' he nodded and followed the boy to the Vampire lounge which used to be the one of the Music rooms. There weren't many people there yet. Only charges. They all sat patiently in their loveseats, talking quietly amongst themselves as though they hadn't the slightest idea at all what was about to happen.
Naruto spotted the girl with the blue-ish hair, who'd told him about Kalika-sama, sitting in one of the corners, twidling her thumbs around the ring she'd removed from her middle finger, going through the loop absentmindedly and tracing over the little diamonds with her thumb. She seemed nervous.
He walked over and sat down beside her. Startled, she looked up quickly, realised it was him, blushed, and looked back down, trying to greet him properly without sounding anxious. "Hello, N-Naruto-k-kun." Well, at least she got the 'hello' out without any difficulties.
"Hi. Everything alright?"
Naruto was confused for a moment. "Who else?" he asked, though it was meant to himself. And yet she seemed a little disturbed by it and appeared to insult herself in her head for being so stupid instead of yelling at him, outraged that he could treat a lady that way.
"I'm- I'm fine, thanks. You?"
"I'm alright." He shrugged and slumped a little further back in the leather corner sofa, trying his best to look at ease so perhaps Hinata would relax a little as well. He was sure her Mentor wouldn't want to make her uneasy and the way she kept looking anxiously from left to right sure wasn't the thing Mentors went for when they were hungry.
"So, Naruto-k-kun... a-about Ka-Kalika-s-sama..."
"It's solved. Don't worry."
"Y-you figured it out?"
"Yup." Damn. I was actually planning on asking her to help me figure things out, but I really don't want to make her worry any more than she already is. She looks like she's about to faint.
"Oh. Good.." She sighed a sigh of relief just when all the other charges started filing in, some dragging along their Mentors.
When a good bunch of the older, wiser vampires were in the lounge, the charges all shouted together,
"HAPPY MENTORS' DAY!"
Naruto only caught sight of Yamato, who scanned around the room looking... nervous? Wow, first time I've seen him looking like he'd rather be run over by a train than be here. Better help him out... "Yamato-sama," he called out, hoping to catch his attention. Luckily, Yamato was saved by Kakashi, who walked in just then and tapped his shoulder before walking towards the young blond.
Hinata quickly brushed some imaginary dust off her skirt and pointed at her Mentor, saying, "Oh, there's my Mentor, gotta go," and hurried off after Naruto nodded and said goodbye.
Before she disappeared out of sight completely the lights were suddenly turned off and he could barely make out the outline of his fellow vampires, mostly thanks to his pureblood powers. He was sure that the halfbloods couldn't see anything at all, what with the way this place was redecorated (thank you, Ino and Sakura) for them to not be able to see anything.
Before he even really took notice of it, he could feel the sagging of the corner-couch he was on and realised his Mentors were on either side of him. He felt someone's hot breath in his neck and since it most likely wasn't Kakashi-sama, with his mask and neverending peppermints, it was probably Yamato, whose breath smelled like pine trees, for some odd reason.
The man drug the soft part of his fangs over Naruto's flesh, causing a shiver to run up the teen's spine. Then , all of a sudden, Kakashi-sama was behind him and pulled his arm over his shoulder, relishing in the soft, white flesh of his arm, before pressing his sharp fangs into it and breaking the skin with ease. Naruto held his breath, realising all too well that Yamato was going to want to have a drink too. But the man was slower at this than Kakashi, and seemed to care more about what Naruto thought of him, too.
He pressed his lips against his neck and breathed against the throbbing veins, giving his skin butterfly kisses with his long eyelashes. It came to the point where Naruto just got so impatient that he wanted to get it over with and used his sharp nail on his index finger to make a cut on his neck.
Apparently, Yamato really was just trying to get Naruto to want to give his blood willingly, because he immediately dove in and sucked at the cut as though his life depended on it, finding a position for his hands by putting one against Naruto's chest and one on the backrest of the couch, which Kakashi was standing behind.
Naruto could hear the moaning of other charges all around him, and the soft mutters of names being called. He made a mental note-to-self to never forget the fact that Kurenai-sama called Kiba 'Ki-chan' and that even Neji moaned when Gai revealed his 'youthful powers' and went at it at full speed. He could hear the man say several times, though, that if Neji felt like it was enough, he simply had to tap him on the shoulder or something and the man would back-off.
Even Sakura seemed to be having a good time, and she was just supervising. It must have been odd for her, to have the principal as her Mentor, but that was only because Tsunade used to be a teacher here, whose rank got moved up by the previous principal, Sarutobi-sama. And since they already made the bond, Tsunade didn't want to break it, so she just stayed Sakura's Mentor. It probably didn't make it any less weird, though.
Meanwhile, he only felt hungrier by the moment, and wondered how the other charges managed to pull through with a smile on their face. It was then that Kakashi opened his mouth and pushed a bloodpill in, still feasting on his arm. Naruto's vision blurred and for a moment he thought it was the bloodpill, but then he realised it was Kakashi, who now had his teeth in his neck as well. For others it must've been either a very odd, or a very erotic sight, the two older vampires biting into the same charge's neck.
He, on the other hand, realised now why the other charges were moaning. It was like the best high ever. It was the kind you get when you're out running really long and you suddenly feel a burst of power and energy; that kind. It took over his entire being and clouded up his mind, making it feel as though he were looking through a puddle of rainwater at the world. He was there, but not really, and all the pain had gone. He felt the slow surge of to-and-fro movement as though his body were the shore and his blood the ocean, and he wondered idly if this was what it felt like to bond.
"Mou! Naruto could at least help us clean up!"
"Relax, Ino, he's just tired-out. You only have one Mentor to please. He's got two."
"Yeah, yeah, Shikamaru, defend the guy with the special powers."
"I'm not defending him cos he's a Pureblood, I'm defending him cos nobody wants to take on your rage."
"Jeez, all I said was that he could HELP OUT. I didn't tell him to die or anything."
"Guys, guys, please stop fighting," Chouji cut in.
"Hn. He's such a dobe."
"Sasuke-kun? Where were you, I was looking for you the whole time!" Sakura cried out.
By this time, Naruto had awoken and felt his head spin mercilessly.
"I was here. The couch in the back, by the window. Which you covered very well, might I add, Sakura-san."
The girl fainted and Naruto realised Sasuke probably only added that last bit to get her off his case.
"You up?" he heard, and felt someone go through his hair in a patting motion.
His shot up instantly, which wasn't a very good idea since everything was whirling around like it were a kaleidoscope in the hands of a little child, and he had just enough strength to distantly identify the person as Yamato.
"What the hell?" he asked, shocked. "What happened? What time is it?" OH FUCK! Kalika-sama! But wait.. If everyone's still here, it can't be too late.
"Relax, it's only eight p.m."
"Eight p.m..." he repeated, standing up and leaving.
"WHAAAAT? Hey! HEY! NARUTO, COME BACK HERE!" Ino shouted.
Shikamaru sighed, wiggling his pinky finger in his ear. "Told ya'."
- "Shut up , Shikamaru."
A/N: OKAYDOKAY guys, since I decided to try and continue this story on deviantart, I thought I might as well upload some more chapters on for you guys :) Hope you guys are happy with it ^^