AlexandriteSky: As I always say in the beginning of my stories, this is yaoi! No likey, no read! Thank you, and enjoy!

Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto


"Congratulations on passing the ANBU exam, Uchiha-san." The attendant said in a monotone voice, her head bowed slightly as she spoke. "Though you are most likely already aware of this, the next few hours will be of utmost importance to the rest of your life. I will be your guide to the Nursery, where you can choose your very own Anima. This will be your first, and only, visit to the Nursery. The partnership between an ANBU and his Anima is a life-long bond that can be severed only by death. Please keep this in mind while making your selection, Uchiha-san."

Sasuke's head dipped in acknowledgment as she led him through a hallway that was so white that it almost blinded him. He felt out of place, covered in the grime and dirt that came with passing the gruesome exam. His weapons were covered in blood, and they hung loosely at his side as proof of his hardship. Even the attendant was donned completely in white – her uniform seemed to blend into the very environment, causing him to stand out even more.

His heart pounded anxiously against his chest as his lips tightened to form a straight line. The woman was right: he didn't need any reminders about how important this moment was. As a descendant of two former ANBU members, he knew only too well the importance of choosing a suitable Anima. The process was similar to a samurai choosing his blade – no matter how skilled the samurai was, without a good blade he would always be beaten.

The woman led him through what seemed like a maze, opening door after door that all seemed to lead to the same hallway. Sasuke's sense of direction was completely thrown off, and he began to feel rather agitated as the woman opened yet another door that seemed to lead to nothing.

"Is there any characteristics you are looking for in particular, Uchiha-san?" the attendant spoke at last, breaking the tense silence that had consisted only of Sasuke's padded footsteps and her rather loud ones.

"It must be strong." Sasuke replied without hesitation. "It must be very strong."

If her face hadn't been so stoic, Sasuke could have sworn that the woman was trying not to smile. "That is what everybody looks for, Uchiha-san." She spoke slowly in an infuriating manner. "Is there anything else?"

Sasuke shot her a piercing glare that immediately wiped away the amusement from her eyes. "There is nothing else other than strength." He spoke quietly, yet his words echoed with a certain authority that made the attendant shrink away from him. "Strength is the only thing that matters in this world. Without it, you become subject to the whimsical means of others, like a marionette dangling on strings."

"Do you see those people, Sasuke? Do you see how they're suffering?"

"It's because they're weak. Only the strong survive – the weak perish because the world has no room for their existences."

"Make room for your existence, Sasuke. It's the only way to keep on living."

"We're here." The attendant came to a stop at last, halting before a large wooden door that looked different than all of the others. Seals completely surrounded its border, but even they couldn't hide the powerful aura that emitted from behind it. Sasuke swallowed thickly, his eyes trained on the door as the attendant muttered an incoherent incantation under her breath, her finger tracing some unknown pattern in the air. The seals glowed slightly before dimming, their power momentarily suppressed.

"Welcome to the Nursery." The woman bowed as the doors opened behind her.


"Oi, the doors are open!"

"Somebody else must have passed!"

"Come on, come on! One of us is going to leave today!"

Naruto looked up as a horde of excited figures ran past his cage, some of them in their animal forms and some of them not. His lips spread in a toothy grin as he watched them push at each other, all of them desperate to greet the newcomer first. It was a funny sight, and he never tired of it.

"Yo, fox-face. What are ya laughing at?"

Kiba stretched out in front of the metal bars, his tail waving lazily behind him as his eyes stretched in a wolfish grin.

Naruto motioned towards the squawking animals with a jerk of his chin. "They're so unbelievably desperate to become weapons. It's kind of funny."

Yellow eyes followed his gaze before turning back to stare at him levelly. "We're not all like you, fox-face." The wolf spoke calmly. "All of us dream of the outside world and being useful to the one who will command us for the rest of our lives. We yearn for somebody to give us a reason for existing."

The blonde-haired teenager crossed his arms with a scowl. "The outside world isn't everything you guys hype it up to be. Here, it's quiet, and peaceful. There are beautiful things out there, but there are incredibly ugly things as well. I'm content with just knowing of both of them and staying here to rot."

His friend gazed at him before looking away. "Fuck you're depressing to talk to sometimes." He muttered before getting up. "I'm going to go meet with the newcomer. It might just be my lucky day."

Naruto watched as the wolf pattered out of the room, his eyes narrowed slightly as he moved to the very edge of his cell.

"Kyuubi, I give you one last order."

"Don't you dare fail me, my love, my vassal."

His scowl deepened as he reverted to his fox form and then curled into a tight ball, his tails covering his face. Perhaps he was a coward. Instead of fulfilling his master's last wish, he was here nursing his wounds. However, he wouldn't get very far in the first place – an Anima without a master was completely useless once it was shoved out into the outside world.

Naruto fell asleep, dreaming of the cerulean sky.


AlexandriteSky: Thank you so much for reading, and please leave a review letting me know whether or not this story should be continued!