A long, introspective look at Sasori's life, from his perspective and the perspective of the woman who raised him. It kinda gets disturbing in some parts, and much of it is my guessing at Sasori's motives and desires. Anyway, hope you enjoy :D
It's hard to tell when Sasori discovered that Chiyo had been lying. That there was no new mission. His parents were dead- they were never coming back.
Was it a month? A day? A week?
Whatever it was, he waited too long. Each restless night was one too many. He would hear the door open, only to find that it was only his grandmother coming home, or her brother Ebizo coming to visit. To rush out in the dead of night, because of some rustling noise outside his bedroom window (a stray cat, a scrap of paper). It became too much- he hated the anticipation, despised the false promises and fake hopes (they offer little medication to his sadness. Little to assuage his fears).
He decided, one day, that he hated waiting more than anything else.
(And that people who made others wait were the worst kinds of people.)
"Grandma Chiyo?" he said one day, his voice so quiet that at first she doubts he even spoke.
"Yes? What is it?"
"…Mother and father aren't coming home, are they?"
(The words cut Chiyo like a knife. Sasori's voice is bitter, more so than a child's voice has a right to be.)
Chiyo isn't sure of what to say. But she doesn't have to; her horrified face says more than enough. (Her eyes are filling up with tears.)
Sasori shakes his head slowly.
"It's okay, Grandma. There's no reason to be sad." (trying to be strong. Trying to be brave. Mother and father wouldn't want me to cry.) "I'm gonna miss them a lot…" (His voice cracks, and he begins to sob.)
It's at this point when he breaks down. he clutches at his grandmother's shirt, burying his face in the safety of her shoulder. Then, his small voice muffled by the fabric, he screams. An loud. anguished cry of the pure, unparalleled grief of a child.
All Chiyo can do is hold him as he wails, helpless to do anything to ease his suffering as he screams until his throat is raw.
("It hurts, Grandma Chiyo. Everything hurts.")
There is nothing she can do.
Nothing she can say.
The damage has been done.
Chiyo awakes to the sound of a raging sandstorm. It has painted the world in its dreary color, the wind howling.
She jumps as she feels something small and warm crawl in beside her.
A mess of soft red curls pokes out from above the covers.
"What's wrong, Sasori?"
(The child is trembling. Fresh tear tracks line his face, soft brown eyes alight with fear.)
"I'm scared," Sasori whispers. (Soft. Brittle.)
Chiyo knows the feeling well. She hugs Sasori tightly until the tremors leave his tiny body.
(So young. So sad. His eyes look haunted.)
She remembers many years ago, when her son was tormented by nightmares or sandstorms. She clutches her grandson tighter. (It's hard to let him go in the morning.)
Sasori likes to sit alone at lunchtime, preferring to work on his puppets rather than playing with the other children.
They look at him and laugh at him. They call him strange and break his puppets. ("Stop! Please stop! You don't understand! Those are important to me!"
"What a baby! Smash 'em up!")
(Some other children hold him down. He can't fight as they smash months' worth of work to pieces.)
"I'm home," he says, walking into the house (it's not a home, not anymore) with his usual melancholic expression.
"How was school?" Chiyo asks. (Her tone is too bright. Too happy.)
"…None of the other children like me," Sasori says, his tone matter-of-fact and monotone.
(She looks concerned. He simply looks bored.)
"They broke my puppets," Sasori continues, pulling the remains out of his bag. The slightest bit of sadness tinges his voice. "I tried to fix them. But I can't. I just can't."
It hurts more than he wants to admit.)
Chiyo's face is lined with sadness. She kneels down to his level, looking him in the eyes.
"Sasori, you know you can't fix everything."
(His eyes narrow at this. He will fix everything. He'll find a way.)
…He still sleeps with his mother and father puppets.
He knows they're not alive. He knows they never will be. (He also knows that, at almost thirteen years old, he should be above such childish things as sleeping with dolls.) But, without them, he is plagued by horrid nightmares. (Dreams with visions of his blood-soaked parents, and a huge silver wolf with sharp, white fangs tearing out their insides before leaping to attack him as well.)
And (as strange as it may sound) it is comforting to have them there. It doesn't matter anymore that they don't have a will of their own. (Because he can make them embrace him if he wants them to.) He can reach out and touch them, draw them close and cuddle them (almost like they're still alive, Sasori thinks bitterly.)
Except…when he cries out for them in the night, ("Father! Mother! Save me!) they do not answer. They cannot answer.
(They keep Sasori waiting. For the reply. For anything.)
And that is something that he hates.
It is around his thirteenth birthday that the girls of the village begin talking about him.
("Do you like Sasori-kun?"
"Sasori-kun? He's handsome, but he always looks so sad."
"Sasori-kun? He just creeps me out.)
He has become handsome. He looks much like his father, but with a softness to his features that could only have come from his mother. He is tall and slender, his skin still pale despite the blazing sun. his hands are delicately built; with long, nimble fingers that are perfect for his craft. He possessed a beauty such that many turned their heads as he walked by, as if to confirm to themselves that he is real.
He joins Sunagakure's puppet brigade, and, for a time is lauded as a genius: a prodigy, and a natural at his art. He creates many of the puppets that are used by the brigade, filling them with weapons and poison. He gains admiration from many villagers. The ones who openly mock him grow fewer by the day.
But then, he changes.
He discovers a way to make a puppet out of a human corpse.
His first human puppet is a kunoichi who had been killed on their last mission. (She was around nineteen- a pretty girl, with long black hair and soft, blue eyes. A pity that she had to die.) Her beauty would be forever preserved- a work of art to be admired forever.
He looks at himself in the bathroom mirror.
(He is handsome. Beautiful. Soft, youthful face and wide, pretty, long-lashed eyes. Carefully crafted, it seemed, from the finest materials in Heaven.)
Then he remembers his grandmother.
(Shriveled. Old. Borderline senile. But, if her brother is to be believed, she was once beautiful, like himself. but time had taken it from her. As it would take it from Sasori.)
Sasori was once afraid of death. But at that moment, he is terrified of growing old. Of becoming ugly and wrinkled, with nothing but old photographs and faded memories to remind him of what he once was.
There had to be another way.
(Sasori was a genius, after all.)
Sasori begins to mutter to himself. to mumble about art and immortality. The people of Suna do not admire him anymore.
(They fear him.)
They talk about him behind his back as he walks past. Women frown and use words like "That poor boy," and "That troubled child."
Men scowl and say things like "Madman," "Psychopath," and "Danger to everyone."
Sasori is polite enough to pretend not to hear these. Instead, he turns toward whomever was speaking, giving them one of those smiles that didn't reach his eyes.
(A hollow smile. Cold. Empty.)
Once he finds a way to truly become his art, he will be the one mocking these pitiful, shortsighted fools.
(That night, in his dream, he slays the wolf with white fangs, and then moves on to the rest of the world.)
Sasori is sitting outside, watching a line of ants march by.
"What are you doing, Sasori?" Chiyo asks.
"These ants hurry everywhere. They never seem to stop or rest. It's as if they know how short their lives really are. I wonder…would they move so quickly if they knew that they had all the time in the world?"
"Or perhaps they simply don't like keeping others waiting. Yes, maybe that's it."
Chiyo shakes her head and goes back inside.
(Chiyo doesn't know what to say.)
He'd done it. He'd done it!
There was no need for Suna anymore.
He sealed away his puppets in scrolls one by one, stopping at his parent puppets.
(He doesn't need them. He'll never sleep again.)
He takes his puppets and his tools and flees somewhere in the middle of the desert. Hiding in a cave, he lays out all his tools, casting the jutsu he would need. One that would use his chakra to keep him alive, even while he gutted himself to achieve immortality.
The first cut hurts. Hurts more than he thought it would. Blood pours down his stomach as the scalpel slices into his soft abdomen. He bites his lip to keep from screaming.
(First, clean out the organs. Then, drain the blood.)
His breath is heavy. He feels weak.
(How long did this jutsu last? If he took too long, he would die of blood loss.)
His breathing halts once his lungs are gone.
(Make sure that the flesh won't decay. Then fill it up with the weapons you want.)
…It feels like an eternity, but it is finally done. Sasori slides the container holding his heart into his hollow chest cavity just as the jutsu wears off. He collapses in a puddle of his own blood, smiling inwardly at his success.
Then the world goes black.
Two Suna Jounin find a bloody mass with short red hair, mangled almost beyond recognition. But then they pick out features, the beauty that lay underneath the gore.
"Well, looks like Chiyo's brat finally bit it, doesn't it?" One says contemptuously, nudging the mass with his foot.
(Sasori is conscious now.)
"Yeah. Too bad, huh?"
"Bad nothing. Now we've gotta haul his sorry ass back to the village."
(Sasori kills them both before they notice he's holding a katana.)
Chiyo walked down the streets of Suna in deathly silence. The villagers whispered behind her back as she passed.
("Did you hear about Lady Chiyo's grandson?"
"Who, Sasori? What happened to him?"
"He ran off. Just up and disappeared in the middle of the night."
"Really? That's terrible.")
Chiyo tried to pretend not to hear.
"Lady Chiyo must be terribly upset."
"Why should she be? You saw the boy. He was mad! I say good riddance."
("I hope he starves to death out in the desert.")
Chiyo bit her lip, fighting back tears. She went into her house and locked the door.
She sighed deeply, sliding down the wall and onto the floor.
It seemed like she could still hear his voice echoing off the walls of the now empty house."Grandmother, look what I made! Isn't it neat?"
A tearful smile crossed her face at that memory. Of the life that lit up in the child's eyes. The pride of having created something special.
She forced herself to stand and walked into Sasori's room.
The bed was neatly made. All his puppets were gone, save for the puppets he made of his parents so long ago.
Sasori smiles in his 'parents' embrace, until the illusion is shattered, and his little world comes crashing down again.
Chiyo picked the puppets up, held them close, and cried.
Sasori climbs out of Hiruko, shaking the sawdust of the recent mission out of his hair.
(He'd need to repair Hiruko soon. Damn Deidara and his explosions.)
He remembers the date. November eighth…his birthday.
He is thirty-five years old today.
Ignoring Deidara's pointless chatter, he goes into the bathroom to look in the mirror; to see the face he came to know so well. He has to be sure. He has to check.
No…he hasn't aged a day. Still just as young and perfect and beautiful as ever.
This was true art.
(This was immortality.)
Death felt strange as it crept upon Sasori.
(Funny. He never thought he would ever die.)
Strange, but not unpleasant. It's arms circle around his chest. (He knows his time is short.)
He never really grew up, did he? He spent his whole life running from death. Being afraid of it.
Never truly wanting to grow up.
(Never wanting to die.)
But there was no escaping it now. Death is coming.
He thought he found his Neverland. A place where sadness did not exist. Where children never had to grow up. Where he never had to grow up. Never had to face his paralyzing fear of death.
(Never had to face his parents, and explain to them the things he had done.)
It's only in death that he realized there was nothing to be afraid of. There is no point in being afraid- after all, everyone will die someday.
(Ring around the rosie, a pocket full of posies, ashes, ashes, we all fall down.)