So here it is… the beginning of my new story, The Fool's Journey. The chapters of this one are going to be relatively short, but if I've done my job right, they'll be good. :o Like it? Hate it? Tell me why in a review!

Chapter Title: 0. The Fool
Chapter Warnings:
Mentions of suicide.

believe, beLIEve, believe

A man stands on a precipice, hands shading his eyes as he gazes out over the horizon. He does not know what to expect, but he is ready- with his trusted partner at his side. There is an ocean of possibility before him. All he has to do is jump.

believe, beLIEve, believe

To the fool,

This is a story that begins with the end.

My end.

The answers are all there.

Open your eyes, and you will see; listen, and you will hear; reach out, and you will feel.

Go willingly to The World.

For me.

Love, Sasuke

Tears like crystal raindrops cascade from cerulean irises, rolling down the hills of tanned cheeks. Uzumaki Naruto clutches the heavy parchment of the letter like a lifeline in shaking, trembling hands. The only thing that keeps him grounded in his sorrow is the heavy oak chair beneath him.

His beloved has been dead for ten days. He is hurt. His stomach churns with grief as the shores amidst a monsoon as he thinks that it has been ten long days since Sasuke was found dead, lying on his bed drained of every last drop of life supporting ruby fluid. And now, just as the wounds to his broken heart have begun to glaze over with the start of healing, this letter (Naruto presses it to his face and it smells so much like him) tears him open again.

Naruto takes a deep, shuddering breath and stands. The chair makes a heavy, discordant screech against the white tile floor. He does not need to be grounded. Right now, he needs to float endlessly in the mute blackness of the recesses of his mind. He needs to escape.

Because he does not understand.

Naruto paces the length of the atypically immaculate kitchen and pauses at a tiny window above the sink, still clutching the silky smoothness of the parchment (so much like his skin) and it is the only thing that keep him sane.

The curtains are a happy, vibrant blue pinstriped with sunshiny yellow. In a flash of crimson anger, Naruto tears them down, dirtying the floor with pristine shards of drywall and coating the shiny chrome of the sink with powder snow. The curtains fall to the floor with a clatter and the resonating ring brings him out of his trance.

Naruto breathes heavily, his hands melding into fists around the thick page.

He does not understand.

"What answers do I look for, Sasuke?" he shouts at the window, now free to let in the sun's rays, a bright antonym to his mood.

Naruto falls to his knees. The pain is too much to bear. But bear it he must, because he needs to understand.

He reads and rereads the words. What does the letter mean? Is it a suicide note? A farewell?

But no, that can't be right. If this was Sasuke's way of saying goodbye, then why did he write "Go willingly to The World?" What did that mean?

Naruto lays down on the tile, cool against his hot skin. He can taste the salt from his tears on his tongue, and he shuts his eyes and imagines the taste of salt on alabaster skin after a long night together.

"Sasuke," he whispers as he focuses on the dancing patterns of light behind his eyelids. He holds the letter close to him, and breathes in the lingering scent deeply.

He can picture his former lover's face as clearly as if he were right in front of him. The inky blackness of raven hair. The eternity of grey eyes flecked with tiny specks of amber, only just noticeable from up close. The deep redness of lips just as passionate as their color.

He cannot think right now. He is tired, his head hurts, and he feels so empty.

Go willingly to The World.

Just as Naruto begins to slip over the edge of sleep, he is jerked awake with such ferocity it is difficult to believe that such a ripple had been brought on by one little word.

It had come to him suddenly, quietly. But once it was there, it bloomed in the blacks, blues, and purples of a bruise, steadily tainting the image he had imagined.

Just six letters that brought the acrid taste of bile to the back of his throat and left him scrambling for the sink, stomach heaving.

"Tell me I'm wrong. Please," he pleads with no one in particular, no longer clutching the letter and staring at it in horror, as if it had burned him.

He takes deep tremulous breaths that steadily increase in speed until he is almost hyperventilating. He sinks into his grounding chair once again. Now, the depths of his mind is the last place he wants to be. Tanned fingers wrap around the green barrel of a pen and Naruto reaches for something- anything- to distract him. He begins to doodle aimlessly, not caring as his palms drag across wet ink and leave imperfect stains on the page.

He tries his best to stay away from anything that will remind him of that word, but as he draws in the roof of a house, a shaky line trails off and almost subconsciously, he begins to write.




Naruto shuts his eyes to the sight, but his hand is moving of its own accord- almost as if it is being pushed along by a force invisible to him.




Slowly, reluctantly, he opens his eyes, knowing that he cannot avoid the idea forever. The word stares at him unwaveringly, and Naruto is almost surprised by its appearance.

For me.

Naruto stands abruptly. It's awful, and disgusting, and horrifying, but in his heart, he knows it is true. Sasuke did not die by his own hand. And this letter, he thinks, is Sasuke trying to tell him to bring him justice. To find his murderer.

Naruto walks briskly to the door and slips into his shoes, doing his best to ignore the coat he left beside the door, and sets out with conviction. He knows what he must do.

Sasuke had always been the smart one. When Naruto could not figure something out, he would bring the problem to Sasuke, and together they would have an answer in no time.

That was no longer of option, of course. But Sasuke had learned from somewhere. It would be settling, but Naruto would visit the next best thing.

believe, beLIEve, believe

That's all for now. If you want more, review! :D