This is a small one-shot. It will only have two parts.
It's connected to my other fic "Phoenix Rising" and also included in the plot, but I want to know how it stands as a separate story (it's the Memory Special chapters) in subtle differences.
Keep in mind that Naruto is not the most patient person, this story shows a bad side of him.
And yeah! The title is a reference to the song from Naruto OST.
Kuso means "Fuck it" or "Damn it" or "Shit"... you get the idea.
I hope you like this.
Sadness and Sorrow
悲しみと悲哀 (Kanashimi to hiai)
Months after the Fourth Shinobi War, October 19th
"Five miles towards west!"
The large group of ninjas jumped quickly through the large branches of the trees. The moon above them was the only source of light on that cold autumn night.
A pack of dogs led the ninja group, running on the floor with their noses on the lookout for any known odor. After all, this was a search mission.
Haruno Sakura jumped from branch to branch next to her sensei, Kakashi. Both exchanged glances occasionally and nodded before concentrating on the way forward. That mission meant too much to them...
The dogs stopped and the group jumped in front of them.
"We've reached the village" Pakkun said, turning to Kakashi.
Everyone stared at the ruins of which once had been a beautiful village at the foot of a mountain. The houses still smelled of ash and smoke despite having burnt for almost three months. From what the ninja could observe, less than ten houses were still standing.
"Pakkun? Can you smell them?"
The dog shook his head sadly.
"Nothing... I can't smell Naruto or Sasuke..."
Sakura lowered her eyes, but didn't make a single sound. That didn't mean anything, she thought, after all… they had been there a long time ago. Obviously, their scent would have disappeared.
"Keep looking" Kakashi ordered. The dogs disappeared immediately in all directions. "Kiba! Think you can find some clues? "
Kiba jumped from Akamaru's loin and looked around with a concentrated expression.
"Even if they were here, it's been months" Kiba said. "The odds of finding a trail are virtually nil."
"Unfortunately, this is the last place we know that Naruto and Sasuke were seen" said the copy ninja. "There are no more tracks, so we must content ourselves with this village. Hinata... I know that it is unlikely, but..."
"I understand! Byakugan!" the young kunoichi cried, looking for signs of life and chakra through the village.
Sakura remained quiet, staring at Hinata as she searched for the slightest sign of Naruto's presence. The search party included her, Hinata, Kakashi, Kiba, Neji, Shikamaru and other ninjas who had made a point to come in search of Naruto... alive or dead.
"Not dead! He cannotbe dead!"Sakura thought. The idea that Naruto had left alone to fight and eliminate Sasuke was... unthinkable. What he was thinking? Why didn't tell her?
The answer was obvious... he didn't want her to intervene or to see what would happen. Naruto, like always, was thinking about her happiness. He didn't want her to see her two teammates fight to death. Or to see the man she loved die.
"But you didn't have the right to keep me in the dark, Naruto! I'm not the same innocent little girl you knew when I joined Team 7. I changed. I am a ninja. And... Even I understand what needs to be done. Sasuke-kun… is not coming back. "
Hinata's white eyes widened and she gasped. Sakura turned to her comrade.
"What did you see Hinata? Was it Naruto? Was it Sasuke-kun? "
Hinata shook her head.
"There are two people living in this village… but they are not ninjas..."
"Survivors?" Neji asked.
"That's weird" Shikamaru continued. "Sasuke didn't let anyone live in the other villages."
"We'll have talk to these people," Sakura suggested promptly. "They may have information on what happened!"
Following Hinata, the group moved quickly through the streets until they found a half burnt destroyed mansion.
"They're in there," Hinata said.
Kakashi moved slowly, ever mindful of a trap or a surprise attack. However, a scrawny boy came out of the mansion and stared at the Ninjas.
"Hello" Kakashi greeted carefully.
The boy didn't answer. He was pale and his eyes were blank and surrounded by dark circles.
"He looks like a zombie. This child was obviously traumatized by something… or someone" Kakashi thought. "Do you live here, young man? Are you staying in this house?"
The boy continued to stare at Kakashi as if he couldn't really see him.
"Kosuke!" a woman exclaimed, running out of the mansion and pulling her son against her. "Stay away! Don't you dare touch him!"
The woman was dirty and her clothes looked ragged. But the more worrying was the look of despair and madness in her hollow eyes.
Kakashi stepped back and raised his hands, trying to appease her.
"We come in peace" said the copy ninja. "We have no intentions to hurt you. We came to this village to investigate what happened."
The woman's shoulders stopped shaking, but she remained suspicious.
"Investigate? It's been months..."
"I know. But unfortunately, we only find out that this had been the last village attacked recently. "
The woman looked at the ninjas behind Kakashi frowning.
"Who are you?"
"Shinobi of Konohagakure" said Kakashi. "We came looking for the person who did this."
Something went off in her eyes as she hugged her apathetic son.
"It's too late..." she moaned, beginning to cry. "He came and killed them all... he destroyed everything..."
Sakura's heart ached as she saw the anguish in that woman's face. She didn't need to ask who was responsible for this massacre, nor the previous ones. Sasuke had become a madman out of control. So filled with hatred and thirst for revenge that he didn't hesitate to ruin the lives of hundreds of innocent people.
"It was just a kid... how can a kid be so monstrous?" the woman continued, sobbing. "As soon as he came to the village he killed a group of old men who only asked him who he was... that was it! Then... he killed everyone... he destroyed our homes, our stores, our crops... I lost my parents, my sister... he killed my husband... and... and... beheaded my oldest son... "
All ninjas were silent when the woman fell to her knees and wept bitterly. Sakura's and Hinata's eyes were filled with tears, while boys seemed sorrowful.
"How did you two survive?" Kakashi asked softly.
She took several deep breaths before he could respond.
"A blond boy... he... he saved us. Me and Kosuke. He stopped the killer from killing me from the back... he told me to run away... "
Everyone was tense and alert. That was the information they had been looking for months. They had found that Naruto and Sasuke had been in this village.
"Ma'am, this is very important," said Kakashi. "The blond boy who saved you... he fought with the other boy? They fought here? "
The woman sniffed.
"I'm not sure... I just wanted to escape and save Kosuke. But I think I heard screams and explosions... "
Kakashi nodded. Naruto and Sasuke had fought in that village.
"When did you two return to the village?" the white haired ninja Asked.
"The next day... at noon... no one was here. I... came to bury my husband, my son, my friends... this village has always been my home... and now we lost everything. "
Kakashi asked Hinata to help grieving widow and her son. If the woman had any family left they would take her and the boy to them. Those two could not stay living here anymore, alone in the ruins of what had been their home.
Besides that village, there was no record of an attack. That meant the fight between Sasuke and Naruto had stopped the attacks. Obviously this raised other pertinent questions: if there was a fight, who won? Who lost? Who died? Did Naruto kill Sasuke? If so, why didn't he go back to the village? Was he injured or could have he died as well, as he said he would? Or if Sasuke had killed Naruto, why had he stopped the attacks?
"Where are you two?" Kakashi asked, investigating and looking for signs of an intense battle and noticed that he was walking away from the village.
Kakashi followed the cut trees, the craters on the floor and shattered the rocks until he reach a small valley. To his surprise, the valley was unscathed; it was as if the battle had ended when they arrived there. He investigated the entire valley, but didn't find a single clue about what happened on that fateful night.
He was about to return and focus on the village when something dark on the floor caught his attention. Kakashi approached that, at first glance, was a perfect circle of scorched earth and dried leaves.
"This was not made by nature," the copy ninja concluded, kneeling and removing the dead leaves. To his surprise, right in the middle of the circle of scorched and barren earth, a small plant was born, it's only two leaves were small and light green.
Behind Kakashi, the sun came through the mountains and the dew that covered the small plant flickered.
Hardly anyone would recognize the famous international criminal now.
Unlike what happened over the past 10 years, Sasuke didn't wake up thinking about revenge, power and death. In fact, when his onyx eyes opened slowly, trying to adapt to the morning light, he concentrated in the sunshine coming through the window and the small grains of dust that sparkled in front of him. Although his movements were clumsy and difficult to control, as is normal in a three month old baby, he tried to grab the grains of dust and sunlight with his little and almost translucent hands.
He was oblivious about his past, his Uchiha legacy or the complete absence of all his former power. After his final fight against his former teammate and the surprising interence of his deceased brother, Uchiha Sasuke's mind and body reverted back to a pure white canvas of a newborn infant, devoid of any memories or corruption. In a way, Sasuke had turned back into what he deeply was inside: a child who craved for a parent's love, pride and acceptance.
This had been Itachi's final hope, to give his brother what he had taken from him when he decided to stop his family's selfish and foolish plan. All he could do before going to the afterlife, was hope he everything ended up okay and the person he had entrusted his beloved little brother would be able to give him what he needed the most.
Meanwhile, still lying on his pillows and now tired of the sunlight, the baby focused on admiring his own hands, observing their form and touch as if he was seeing them for the first time. But even that couldn't entertain him for long.
He felt alone. There was an emptiness inside him that could not be filled. For some time, the baby knew there was something very important missing. He knew there was something missing in his life and had to find it. She had to be with him. He needed her.
His mother. Instinctively, he wanted his mother with him... where she was supposed to be.
A stomachache made the baby wail and his face flushed with the effort as he emptied his bowels in the diaper. Soon after came the discomfort of having all that crap under his bottom.
No more holding on, Uchiha Sasuke, Team 7 former member, former leader of Taka, former extraordinary ninja and genius... cried loudly because he needed his diaper changed.
Naruto growled and turned on his futon, trying, unsuccessfully, to ignore the sound of crying. Finally, finally he had managed to fall asleep after Sasuke had woken up crying because he was hungry. Naruto had risen, prepared a bottle with formula and gave it to the baby who had been his best friend. But Sasuke didn't stop crying after drinking milk and Naruto had to rock him and walk around the house for twenty minutes until the little raven fell asleep.
Only one hour had passed, dammit! And Sasuke was crying again!
Groaning as he stood up, the blond came out of his room and opened the door to the next room. They had turned Fukasaku's living room into Sasuke's room because it was the warmest room in the house and closer to the bathroom.
The cupboards were filled with diapers, clothes, towels and medicines that cost a painful fortune to Naruto. Sasuke slept on a small futon but full of blankets, sheets and pillows because there was no money to buy him a crib.
The baby continued crying and waving.
"I'm coming... I'm coming..." Naruto groaned, feeling his eyes sore and swollen and his head heavy due to lack of sleep.
When he approached Sasuke, he smelled it.
"Oh, shit!" Naruto muttered, picking up the baby with a frown and taking him to the bathroom. "Don't look. Don't look. Don't look. "
But of course Naruto looked and shuddered.
"What the hell are you eating, Sasuke?" the blond growled, too tired to care about the angry tone of voice.
The baby continued to cry, even when Naruto gave him a bath and put a clean diaper. Lately, Sasuke was more irritable than ever. He wept for everything and anything and it was almost impossible to make him stop.
Deep down, Naruto was hoping the jutsu ended as soon as possible so he could get his life back. Fighting a crazy Sasuke was better than this.
After dressing Sasuke and wrapped him in a warm blanket, Naruto looked at the baby with a sorrowful expression. It was hard to believe that he had spent the last three months with Sasuke... because that baby was nothing like Sasuke! He wasn't able to look at the baby without wishing that the Sasuke he knew, who was his best friend, turned back into who he was. But up until now, he hadn't the slightest hint about the jutsu that Itachi had used.
On the other hand, Naruto was tired and sick of the situation. He didn't leave Mount Myōboku for two months and the last time he only went out to buy more baby stuff to Sasuke! There was nothing left but to take care of the baby Sasuke. And how the little devil showed him his gratitude? Cried, screamed and vomited on Naruto as if on purpose.
The blond was sick of this. He wanted to sleep a whole night. He wished he could go back to Konoha. He wanted to go eat at Ichiraku Ramen. He wanted to go on missions with his team. He wanted his life back.
He wanted Sasuke back. He wanted the arrogant, competitive and grumpy boy back. He wanted his best friend back.
The baby appeared to finally grow tired of crying and ended up falling asleep slowly in Naruto's arms, who landed him carefully on the futon. On tiptoe, the blond left the room and walked to the kitchen where the frog couple greeted him with little enthusiasm. When Sasuke awakes, everybody awakes.
"How is Sasuke-chan?" Fukasaku said.
Naruto grimaced and grabbed a carton of milk. The old toad had slept badly, but Naruto looked awful. He was pale, his eyes were red and swollen with dark circles around them.
"He cannot wake up crying again," growled the blond. "He can't."
Shima approached the table and landed a platter with seasoned flyers on the table.
"I know it has been difficult..." Shima said, trying to cheer Naruto up. "But it will improve. Older babies tend to sleep all night. "
Naruto looked at her with an angry look.
"I don't want him to be an older baby! I want him to go back to normal! "
"We know, Naruto-chan" Fukasaku continued. "But the jutsu is very difficult to find. And even if we find it... there is the possibility we won't be able to reverse it. "
The teenager's blue eyes widened in panic.
"What are you talking about? Sasuke will stay that way forever?" Naruto muttered, with a mixture of fear and exasperation.
"No! Of course we will be able to reverse the jutsu. There is always a solution to everything" retorted Fukasaku. Naruto couldn't hear that the jutsu could be permanent. The young man was too frustrated to even consider it.
The three began to take their breakfast in silence, occasionally yawning. Shima stood up to grab a plate but slipped and the plate fell to the ground with a bang, crushing into pieces. Naruto and Fukasaku looked, wide-eyed, to the door and listened.
Luckily, Sasuke didn't woke up and the three breathed with relief.
"YO! Good morning!" Gamakichi exclaimed cheerfully, opening the door.
From the living room, a moan quickly turned into screams. Sasuke woke up.
"GAMAKICHI!" the three screamed in fury, making the young frog retreat in fear.
"Eh ... Oops..."
Gritting his teeth, Naruto stood up, prepared a bottle and headed back to the room where Sasuke continued to yell. Carefully, Naruto picked up the boy and tried to calm him by rocking him back and forth and pressing him to his chest, but nothing seemed to work. Sasuke kept yelling and gesticulating, like he was possessed by a demon.
"Sasuke... stop..." the blond said, taking the bottle and closer to the baby's mouth, but Sasuke looked away and continued to scream."Stop screaming. I 'm just trying to help. "
The baby screamed louder and waved his arms as if trying to escape from Naruto grasp.
You're not hurt are you? Scaredy-cat.
"This isn't Sasuke ..."
Naruto you are one of the one's I want to fight the most.
"This is not the friend I knew."
I will acknowledge that you are strong. Because... You are someone who knows the same pain of loneliness that I do. And… That pain makes a person stronger.
"You're not who I wanted to save."
The baby hit the bottle with his right arm and it slipped from Naruto hands, crushing on the floor and soaking the carpet with milk.
For Naruto, that was the final straw.
"SHUT UP! CAN'T YOU SHUT UP FOR A DAMN MINUTE?"
The shock silenced the baby and he got very still in Naruto's arms. His onyx eyes were wide with fright.
"I'M SICK OF THIS AND I'M SICK OF YOU! YOU'RE NOT SASUKE! "
"Naruto-chan!" Fukasaku shouted.
Naruto paused and looked at the door, where Fukasaku, Shima and Gamakichi looked at him with eyes full of concern. Realizing his anger, Naruto landed the baby on a cushion and ran out the door before he said or did something he'd repent. He stood beside a tree and gave it a punch, causing the plant to break in two.
"Kuso..." Naruto muttered, breathing heavily.
"Naruto-chan" Fukasaku said, following his apprentice.
Naruto glanced at the frog but quickly looked away.
"Sorry, Jii-chan Sennin."
"You're very tired and this is very frustrating for you" Fukasaku said softly. "It's normal that you are angry."
For some time neither spoke. Until Naruto could take it no more.
"He's not Sasuke anymore... he's not the Sasuke who I wanted to save. I can't look at him... it's too hard. I want the Sasuke I knew back..."
"I know ..." the old frog murmured, moving closer to Naruto. "Why don't you take a break?"
Naruto blinked and looked at his master.
"What you need is a little vacation and rest for a while. What if I transported you to the Kenkyū village? It is a peaceful place but fun as well. It also has one of the largest libraries on jutsus. Perhaps you can find something there. "
Naruto sat on the floor.
"But... what about..."
"We take care of Sasuke-chan" Fukasaku assured him with a smile. "I think me and Kaa-chan can handle it."
"Of course! You can go peacefully. You can stay there as long as you need."
Naruto had to admit that the idea was very tempting. He was so tired... so filled with frustration. Maybe it was better to back off for a while until he could think straight.
And get away from Sasuke.
"Okay, Jii-chan Sennin. It's a good idea."
In Fukasaku's living room, the infant was placed once more in his cozy futon. He was alone again and, despite being comfortable, having a clean diaper and a full stomach he couldn't feel at ease. That person, who he vaguely recognized as the one who took care of him most of the time, had screamed at him. And he felt his anger; he knew that anger was directed at him.
"Eeeehhh... Uuuh..." gasped the baby, this time silently.
The tears rolled down his pale cheeks and Sasuke felt a new and unknown emotion that broke his small and confused heart.
He felt hated.
Naruto could not believe what his eyes saw. It was a huge city, full of shops, gardens, fountains and people. Hundreds of people...
Damn, he missed being with other human beings.
With his backpack, the young shinobi went to the first motel he found and rented a room with the hot spring baths and meals included. When he got to his room, Naruto wore a kimono and lay on the floor, stretching and yawning.
One of the maids knocked on the door and asked if he wanted his meal. Naruto readily accepted and ate the delicious food. After months of eating insects, the human food seemed heavenly to him.
After eating, the blond closed the windows and lay on his futon. Seconds later he was asleep.
3 days later
"I'm bored" Gamayuri said with the yawn. "There's nothing to do here."
Gamaru gazed at his girlfriend with an angry look.
"You've already said it... three times."
"And I'm still bored" she shot back, turning her back.
Gamaru shrugged. When a fly landed on a rock near the lake where they were resting, he got it with his tongue and ate it. He was about to depart in search of more flies when the sound of the foliage made him turn around.
"Guys!" a small frog exclaimed, approaching them. "You won't believe this! I have news! "
"If you found another mushroom that looks like cat I don't want to know, Gamajun!" Gamayuri muttered with contempt.
"It's not that!" Gamajun said. "Those old geezers brought humans here again."
The eyes of the two frogs widened and stared at Gamajun.
"You sure?" Gamaru asked.
"Of course I am. I saw them! Fukasaku brought that blond human again, but this time he also brought another human. "
"More humans?" Gamaru repeated, not hiding his resentment.
"The blond kid left" Gamajun continued. "But the old geezers are with the other human. Want to see? "
Gamaru and Gamayuri acceded and followed Gamajun through the giant leaves.
Unlike the other frogs, they were not part of the toads that were summoned by ninjas. And they were proud of it! Who the humans thought they were to treat them like pets and how use them for their stupid battles? The toads were superior to humans in every way.
"There!" Gamajun said, pointing to a clearing.
The three frogs hid behind plants and observed Gamakichi and Fukasaku speak by the lake. Near them, Shima sat on a rock beside what looked like a basket.
"I don't see any human" murmured Gamayuri.
"You sure you were not dreaming, Gamajun?" Gamaru whispered, turning to his companion.
"Of course not... look now!"
The three frogs observed Shima open her mouth and, with the tongue, remove something from the basket.
"Is that... a human baby?" Gamaru asked, astonished.
"See! I said they had brought another one" Gamajun shot back with haughtiness.
"What are they going to do now? Are they gonna teach the humans senjutsu as soon as they are born?" Gamaru muttered, full of anger and contempt. "How could they? This is outrageous!"
"So... cute!" Gamayuri squealed.
The two frogs stared at her.
"That baby is so cute!" Gamayuri continued. "I want it!"
"You heard me, Gamaru. I want that baby. What a cute little thing!"
"Are you crazy, Gamayuri?"
"It'll be a great pet" Gamayuri said. "Think about it, Gamaru... we could tame it. Like the humans have done to us. "
Gamaru was about to fight back, but it was kind of a good idea. They could take it and train it to serve them. That baby fitted perfectly. Their own human pet.
"If you want it my love, then that is what you'll get" said Gamaru, making Gamayuri smile with satisfaction. "Gamajun! Get ready! "
"Huh? For what?" the little frog asked with some doubts. He didn't want to fight Fukasaku or Shima, he didn't have a death wish.
"You'll be the distraction."
Both Shima and Fukasaku were worried about Sasuke. Since Naruto left, they had effectively taken his place. Sasuke was clean, clothed and well fed even though it was only possible to touch him with their tongues. However, both knew that the baby was not well.
When he was not crying, Sasuke moaned all night. He had also seemed to have lost his appetite and willingness to play. The frogs knew he didn't like being touched by them, because the toad skin is cold and clammy. Sasuke needed to be touched by another human being, someone who could give him warmth and affection. But for now, there was nobody.
With each passing day, he seemed unhappy. It was as if he knew he had no parents. He knew he was an orphan.
And maybe… just maybe, he missed Naruto. Even though the infant didn't know what the blond was to him yet.
Sasuke woke up and started moaning in the basket. With her tongue, Shima took the baby and tried to move him up and down, but Sasuke continued to whine and moan.
"Shh! Shh! Don't cry, little one" Shima said with some difficulty by having her tongue on the child's abdomen.
Unfortunately, Sasuke would not calm down. His dark eyes were sad and tearful and his lips trembled. Shima knew the baby wasn't able to form a bond with them no matter how much they tried. That baby wanted his human parents. He needed to touch another human being and form a bond with it, or else he would never feel loved. He would never cease to feel alone.
Fukasaku and Gamakichi were training on the lake to relax a bit when a ball broke in front of them in a cloud of smoke.
"Tou-chan! Gamakichi!" Shima shouted, landed Sasuke in the basket and jumped in the direction of her husband.
When the cloud dissipated, and Fukasaku Gamakichi were covered by a viscous purple goo and glued to each other and the floor.
"But what the hell is this?" Gamakichi growled, trying to free himself.
"Ow! Sit still, Gamakichi "Fukasaku said.
"But what happened?" Shima asked, approaching them.
"I do not know..." said the old toad.
The sound of laughter of derision made the three frogs look up, noticing a dark green frog on top of a giant leaf, pointing to laugh at them.
"You guys are slow," the frog joked. "I don't believe the great Fukasaku-sama fell for a prank so simple."
"Gamajun!" Gamakichi shouted. "You bastard!"
"Well, well ... I thought the son of Gamabunta was more insightful" continued Gamajun. "You must be even dumber than your retarded brother."
"What did you say?" Gamakichi roared. "Don't you dare insult the Gamatatsu or I'll kill you!"
"Hmpf" snorted Gamajun before disappearing in the middle of the leaves.
"Wait, you coward!" Gamakichi tried to jump behind him, but was still glued to the floor and ended up falling on top of Fukasaku.
"Gamakichi! Calm down! We must free ourselves of this goo first "Fukasaku said.
"I'll help you," Shima said, throwing water over the two frogs until they were free.
"Don't mind him, Gamakichi" Fukasaku ordered. "That is exactly what he wants."
"He insulted me and my brother!"
"I know. But he doesn't deserve your attention. Forget him and..."
Shima's shriek made the two toads shut up and both ran towards her.
"Kaa-chan! What is it? "Fukasaku said.
Shima pointed to the empty basket where Sasuke had been.
Someone had taken the baby.
"Holy crap! Shut it up!" groaned Gamaru, looking at the crying infant Gamayuri was carrying.
"I… I can't… It doesn't obey me!"
The young couple entered their cave and placed the baby on one corner, where he continued crying.
"You're the one you said that you want it. So shut it up! It's giving me a headache."
Gamayuri told the baby to be quiet, like she was training a dog. But the baby didn't obey, he was terrified and cold and those two beings were scary.
Suddenly, Gamayuri backed away from the infant, covering her nose.
"EW! Gross! I think it crapped itself!" she shrieked. "I don't want it anymore. It's not cute… it's horrible and disgusting!"
Sasuke cried even louder as the frogs yelled for him to shut up and how disgusting he was. He didn't understand their words, but he felt their anger at him and how much they were repulsed by his presence.
Where was his mother? He wanted her to protect him. He wanted her… he need her…
Feeling scared and unloved, the child cried in despair.
Gamaru couldn't take it anymore. He grabbed a solid thick leaf and rolled it up. Then, he moved towards the baby.
"You wanna cry?" asked the frog. "Then I'll give you a good reason to cry, you disgusting thing! This will teach you not to crap on my floor!"
Gamaru took of Sasuke's shirt and started to hit him with the rolled up leaf.
Thanks for reading! Please let know what you thought! ^_^