Disclaimer: I do not own Smallville or Naruto; Smallville is owned by Warner Brothers television and its creators Alfred Gough and Miles Millar and is based on 'Superman' created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, the Manga series' Naruto' is owned by its creator Masashi Kishimoto and all characters featured in Naruto are the property of said author, all Smallville characters are owned by DC comics.
This work is strictly for Fan enjoyment and no profit is derived from it.
Fanfiction Written by; Dean Donnell.
A couple of days after Clark had brought Tayuya to Konoha her fate was decided by the village council.
Tsunade had managed (with great difficulty) to convince the council to forgo execution or imprisonment, however, the council was adamant that some form of punishment be applied for Tayuya's past actions;
And so she was confined to the village until the information she had provided could be verified, and banned from ever being a kunoichi again.
On the plus side, now that Tayuya wasn't a prisoner anymore Tsunade was allowed to use healing jutsus to repair her broken bones and her other injuries, and so Tayuya was now able to get around, albeit on crutches, she was still staying in the hospital for the moment seeing as how she wasn't yet fully recovered, but there were no ANBU guards on her ward now.
Tayuya's physical injuries were healing well; it was her emotional state however that was of greater concern, the argument she got into with Temari shortly before the sand Kunoichi left for Suna hadn't helped matters either, harsh words had been said between the two of them;
There was one small mercy in the form of Shikamaru not holding a grudge however, when Tayuya had asked him why he wasn't still angry with her his reply had been a typical Shikamaru response.
"Holding a grudge is too troublesome," he had told her.
Her depression hadn't been apparent as Clark carried her back to Konoha, at least not to the worrying extent it was later, it was only after she had given up Orochimaru's secrets as she had intended to that she seemed to lapse into despair, but it became truly noticeable after she was told that she wasn't allowed to be a ninja anymore.
She would often be seen in the garden out the back of the hospital during this period, seeking comfort by the koi pond.
Clark and some others including Naruto, Hinata, and Shizune had attempted to lift her out of her dark mood, but to no avail, she had even stopped cursing for the most part, which to anyone who knew her would ring some serious alarm bells.
By the fourth day Clark had convinced Tsunade to return Tayuya's flute to her, but even that didn't seem to lift her out of her depression.
Nearly a week after Tayuya's admittance Naruto, and a girl named Haruno Sakura had left the village along with a Sannin named Jiraia to act upon the information Tayuya had given them regarding Orochimaru's base in the Land of Rice Paddies, they had confirmed that everything Tayuya had told the village was true-.
-However, Jiraia's report also mentioned that they had missed Orochimaru by just a few hours.
When Tayuya heard that Orochimaru had gotten away her depression had gotten worse.
Just over a week after her admittance however it became apparent just how bad Tayuya's despair had become.
Clark was headed toward Tayuya's hospital room, he was accompanied by Sakura (who surprisingly didn't hold a grudge against Tayuya for her part in Sasuke's abduction) and Hinata, once again they hoped to try and lift her out of her depression, as they entered however the room was empty.
They began searching around the hospital, trying to find out where she was, but nobody seemed to know, after a while they bumped into Shizune.
"Shizune," Sakura called out "we're looking for Tayuya, do you know where she is?"
"I haven't seen her since early this morning," Shizune replied "to tell you the truth; I'm starting to get worried."
"Us too," Sakura replied, concern furrowing her brow, missing nearly all morning, not good.
It was Clark however who caught on first, his face taking on a look of horror as he realized what was happening and hoped he wasn't too late to prevent it.
"Oh no-oh god no," Clark became frantic, he needed to figure out where she had gone now "think Kent, think," he told himself "where would she-the koi pond, of course."
Clark took off in a blur of super speed, praying he wasn't too late while Sakura, Hinata, and Shizune headed after him as fast as they could move.
A haunting melody sounded through the garden from the near the koi pond, a melody played on a flute that was a young girl's most treasured possession, every note reflecting the sadness of the one playing the music, Tayuya.
Finally she stopped playing, putting her flute down on the bench beside her she reached into the back of the trousers she was wearing and pulled out the kunai she had concealed there, she had palmed it off of one of her visitors early this morning, the fool had never even realized it, she eyed the weapon thoughtfully for a moment.
Well, she thought tiredly may as well get it over with.
Grasping the kunai with both hands, she held it so that its point was toward her chest, one quick stab and it would all be over.
"Sorry Clark," Tayuya whispered sadly "there are some people even you can't save."
Then she stabbed in hard.
However, before the fatal blow could land both of Tayuya's wrists were seized simultaneously in a grasp that was gentle and compassionate, yet strong beyond measure, stopping the momentum of the blow instantly as a sudden gust of wind blew her hair around, she looked up to see the face of the person who had saved her.
"You're not one of those people Tayuya," Clark told her, conviction strong in his voice.
"I have no reason to go on living," Tayuya told Clark, pain obvious on her face "for years my only purpose in life was to serve Orochimaru, then when he cast me aside, betrayed me my whole purpose for living was ripped away from me, for a while I had another purpose, getting back at him, but now I can't even do that, the bastard got away and I have no information to share on where he went."
Clark looked up, noting the arrival of the others as he gently took the kunai from Tayuya and set down well out of her reach as he sat down on the bench beside her; finally he spoke.
"So seek a new purpose," Clark suggested "I may not know you that well Tayuya, but I know enough to know that giving up like this isn't you."
"Seek a new purpose? How the hell am I supposed to do that Clark?" Tayuya demanded hotly "I've been banned from being a fucking shinobi."
"In this world- yeah," Clark agreed "but there's always the world I come from, my world could always use some more heroes."
"A hero? Me?" Tayuya asked bitterly accompanied by a laugh of despair rather than humor "with my past? We aren't all perfect like you are Clark."
"Perfect?" Clark asked with a raised eyebrow "you think I'm perfect?"
"How are you not perfect?" Tayuya asked bitterly "you're powerful, selfless, smart and heroic, I feel like trash compared to you."
"You know how kryptonite affects me right?"
"Yeah, you told me a few days ago."
"Did you know that there's more than one kind of kryptonite?" Clark asked the troubled young girl.
"No," Tayuya replied "I didn't know that."
"Well there is," Clark assured her "do you want to know how red kryptonite affects my kind?"
"How does it affect you?" Tayuya asked; her curiosity getting the better of her.
"Like a drug," Clark replied "a really bad drug, it removes a Kryptonian's inhibitions, it makes us extremely selfish and rebellious and a real danger to everyone around us, I've been on that stuff before, and what it brought out in me-."
"But that doesn't compare really," Tayuya replied "you were under the influence of a drug; I had all my wits about me when I chose to serve Orochimaru."
"Maybe," Clark admitted "but I was the one who chose to put that ring on, knowing how it would affect me, because I needed to feel better, do you know how I first learned of my Kryptonian heritage?"
"No, I don't," Tayuya admitted.
"From messages left to me by my biological father Jor El," Clark replied "one such message left in the ship that brought me to Earth said 'on Earth you will find the humans, they are a flawed race, shot through with weakness, rule them with strength my son' it seemed to me to be a directive to conquer, which was something I didn't want to do, but Jor El kept pressuring me to do as he said."
"What happened next?"
"It turned out that the message was a test, to see if I would reject the conqueror's path, which I did," Clark told Tayuya "but I came to believe in the process of this that destroying the ship was my only option, I won't go into detail as to how I did that, what I will say is that it resulted in an explosion that left my mother seriously injured, she was pregnant at the time, finally able to conceive after years of not being able to," Clark's voice became rough with sorrow at the memory "she lost the baby."
"Clark-I," Tayuya found herself unable to think of anything to say for the first time in her life "oh god."
"That's not all," Clark added "It was this mistake that left me so depressed that I made another terrible mistake, I put on that damn red K ring. After that I went on a crime spree for three months in Metropolis, broke in auto teller machines and stole all the money, ripped off more vault doors than I can count, hurt dozens of police officers who tried to stop me, it's a miracle nobody was killed."
"Or something of the Clark I know still inside," Tayuya suggested with a weak smile "obviously you came back from that though."
"I did," Clark confirmed "but not without help, my father risked everything to save me, in order to do so however he had to temporarily take on the powers of a Kryptonian, and this placed so much strain on his body that he suffered permanent damage to his heart."
"That was what claimed his life," Tayuya realized.
"In the end, yes," Clark confirmed, rolling up his sleeve a little to show Tayuya the watch he wore "this wristwatch is all I have left of him, just as your flute is all you have left of your mother, he died ultimately because I made another terrible mistake, I'm not perfect Tayuya, but you don't need to be perfect to be a hero, heroes aren't made by the powers, or your past, it's the decisions you make now and why you make them that determine who you are, heroes are made in the moment."
"Do you really think I have what it takes to be a hero?" Tayuya asked; desperation plain in her eyes.
"I know you do," Clark assured the young girl, placing a reassuring hand on her shoulder "I believe in you, ultimately however it has to be your choice, as long as you're not going all dark side, or trying to kill yourself I promise that whatever choice you make you will have my full support for as long as I can give it."
Tayuya just sat there for a moment, looking down, her face hidden, her shoulders shaking slightly, her hands fisted in her lap, as Clark looked closer he saw that drops of moisture were appearing on her hands and the legs of the trousers she was wearing.
"Tayuya?' Clark asked, trying to get his head around what he was seeing, he reached over and gently turned her face toward him.
Tayuya was crying all right, the tears were plain in her eyes, Clark was dumbstruck, this was something he'd never seen her do before; she immediately turned her face away again, hiding her tears, clearly ashamed of them.
"It's okay," Clark assured her gently "you don't need to be ashamed, this doesn't make you weak, it just makes you human."
Then Clark did the only thing he could think of to do next, he embraced the troubled girl and tried to console her as best he could as she wept against his chest, openly, no longer trying to hold her sorrow inside.
How long has she been holding all this inside? Clark wondered as he tried his best to comfort Tayuya years probably.
After a while Tayuya's tears were finally spent, and as she calmed down Clark let her go, she looked at him gratefully.
"What are friends for?" Clark replied simply.
"Oh- by the way Clark-."
"Could you make sure that kunai finds its way back to Naruto, I'm sure he wants it back."
This story will be continued in 'Seizing the Future'