Notes: Slanted text means it is either a flashback/memory, inner thought, or there is emphasis on that word.
A/N Okay, umm, sorry I took so long. Christmas and all, ya know? Merry Christmas to you all BTW, hope you are all enjoying yourself. Also, sorry for any spelling mistakes, grammar mistakes, or really any type of mistakes you find on there. Np auto-correct means things turn kinda crappy...Anyhow, on with the story!
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
She dashed out from underneath her mountain of blankets and pillows, her hair ruffled and messy. When a tinkling laugh reached her ears, she flinched for a second, before finally realizing who it was.
"Mom!" she said happily, running towards the raven haired women and throwing herself into the awaiting arms. Her mother caught her readily, and nuzzled her face into the flaming orange hair of her beautiful daughter. But the happiness was short lived. Setting her daughter back onto the ground, she stared firmly into the little girls eyes.
"There is something I need to do." Her mother said, her eyes grave. I have to leave for a two week mission, so I'll be gone for a little while, okay? You've got to look after yourself while I'm away."
She didn't understand why her mother seemed to be so scared. Her mother had been away for longer periods of time before, and she had always been able to look after herself. Her three year old face must have shown this, because with a small chuckle, her green eyed Okaa-san kissed her on the forehead.
"I love you." She said. "Don't you ever forget that, you hear me?" her mother said vehemently. She nodded hesitantly, unsure.
With a last parting glance, her mother stood, fully equipped in her ninja garb, a mask hanging from her hip. Before her mother left however, she untied the headband that sat across her forehead, the small, stylized leaf glinting in the moon light. She stared at it for a second, doubt seeming to claw at the edges of her wearied face. But her features quickly hardened.
Darting over to her daughters side, she placed the head band in the little girls hand.
"I'll be back for this. I promise."
And then she dissapeared in a swirl of leaves.
Naruto lay on the bed, his mask cast off to the side. It was only the four of them in the room, Naruto and Team Seven. Sakura, after a quick check over of both Naruto and Sasuke, had assigned them to bed rest. Naruto was unable to object, seeing as he was still unconscious. However, Sasuke refused to do so, and stared stoutly out the window. Kakashi stood by the window, unmoving. Sakura sat next to Naruto's bed, her hand clutching his. It was not something she made a habit of doing at her team mates bedsides. And seeing as she was supposed to be angry at her team mate, even more of a reason to not be there doing what she was doing. However, every time she thought of leaving him, her mind flashed back to last night.
Kakashi came bounding down the stairs, Mrs Weasley in his arms. In a moment, Sakura was by his side.
"What happened?" she asked quickly, hands already outstretched to take Mrs Weasley. Before she could get to her though, Arthur was by her side.
"Wha-wha-what happened to my wife?" Mr Weasley was steadily turning red, his features scared. The bandages around his face and body only made the picture look more terrifying.
"There is nothing wrong with her, she is simply in shock." Kakashi answered, handing Arthur his wife. Mrs Weasley didn't seem to notice when she was transferred, simply choosing to stare blankly at the wall opposite her. By now, the rest of the company had stood, and were crowding around them. Kakashi ignored them, turning to Sakura.
"I have left Fox and Raven to battle whatever it was we saw back there. I trust you can handle the situation by yourself?"
Sakura wasn't really being given a choice, but she nodded anyways. However, before Kakashi could take off, Mad Eye's voice piped up.
"This thing you saw, what did it look like?"
If one could have seen his face, it would have been obvious to see that he was slightly frustrated. However, a quick glance in Mad Eye's direction told him that the man was not simply curious. He seemed to think he had some information that could help them.
"It took the form of dead bodies. Mrs Weasley here seemed to be trying to perform a spell, but every time she tried, the "thing" would transform, taking the place of the other body that was there before it. It took the shapes of people that Molly-san seems to care about deeply.
Mad Eye cast a significant glance in Lupin's direction. He nodded in return. Lupin strode forward.
"I know how to handle it. It is a boggart. Physically, it is harmless. However, if exposed to it for too long, one may just go insane."
Sakura had stopped listening when he had said that he knew how to handle whatever it was.
"C'mon then," she snapped,"Lets not just sit here. Hurry up!"
Lupin did not say anything, simply gestured for Kakashi to lead the way, and then followed. Everyone followed after. Sakura wondered vaguely if she should have stopped them from coming, but quickly dismissed the thought. Lupin himself had said that physically, it was harmless.
Sakura feared what they would see. She feared she would find her two team mates dead. What she saw instead was not what she had expected.
Sasuke lay the the left, slumped against the wall. His gaze seemed a little vacant, only just registering what was happening. A small trickle of blood ran out from his hairline and down his cheek. Sakura had thought that would be the worst of it. But then she caught sight of Naruto.
Naruto sat, collapsed onto his knees, facing what seemed to be smaller version of the Kyuubi charging towards him, and Konoha. She saw what appeared to be her body to the right, and Sasuke's body to the left. In fact, she saw many bodies. And eye's. Eye's that glowed in the background, hateful and bitter, and full of a sadistic lust.
But those weren't the eyes that Sakura was currently looking at, unable to tear herself away. She stared at Naruto's eyes, which stilled glowed so bright through the holes of his mask. They stared blankly at the "Kyuubi" in front of him. But through the blankness, Sakura could see a look of overwhelming despair and hurt. A look of tiredness, of sadness, of death. Sakura looked into Naruto's eyes and saw something she thought would never be there.
A look of absolute, and utter defeat. Naruto had given up. And that was not something that was usually associated with him.
Sakura was about to start screaming, shouting at somebody to hurry up and do something. But then Lupin broke off from the crowd, and seemed to whisper something. With a crack, the vile creature dissapeared.
Sakura was just quick enough to catch Naruto as he fell.
Sakura's grip tightened around Naruto's hand. She wasn't letting go any time soon.
"Here you go Dears!" Mrs Weasley suddenly appeared, shoving open the door with her back, and in her arms was a tray ladled with food.
"I've just bought you a little something to-"
But Mrs Weasley didn't finish her sentence. She stopped suddenly, her eyes widening and her mouth opening and closing. She was too busy staring wordlessly at the figure that lay on the bed. For a second, Sakura wondered what she was gaping at. But then with growing horror, Sakura realized that Naruto's face lay uncovered. When Naruto had collapsed, Team Seven had allowed no one but their own to look over Naruto. The wizards had protested against it for a while, before eventually giving in. But now, Mrs Weasley had seen Naruto's face.
"Wha-wha-what is this? He is only a boy!" Mrs Weasley's voice was high pitched and shrill. "He is barely any older than Harry! Maybe even younger! What in the hell was Albus thinking?"
It seemed that Mrs Weasley was quite beside herself, unable to contain her horror. However, it seemed that only she and Sakura were concerned about this revelation. Sasuke seemed to care less, and Kakashi eyed the situation with what might have been amusement. Finally though, when it seemed that Molly was going to collapse, he intervened.
"Molly-san," Kakashi said, his voice low and smooth, "Everything will be explained later. However, for now, please keep this a little secret, alright? Just until my student over there wakes up. Could you do that for us, please?"
Mrs Weasley stared wordlessly at the mask which Kakashi currently wore. Finally, it seemed she came to a decision. Placing the tray of food on the small bedside table, she turned to leave. But she hesitated in the doorway. With her hand on the door knob, not looking over at them, she said;
"I expect answers, as do the rest of us. But this time, we want your real names, and we want to see your faces. No arguments."
And then she left, naught a backwards glance spared for them.
She scavenged around the streets, looking for anything at all that she could eat. Anything to help her survive the week.
"You, kid." She flinched away from the sound of the voice, immediately perceiving it to be an enemy. The voice was that of a mans, so when she turned to face the figure behind her, she was not surprised to find a man clothed head to toe in nothing but black, his face covered from a hood that shadowed his face.
"Kid," he repeated. "What's ye mom's name kid?"
She shrunk into herself at the harshness of his voice. But immediately upon sensing the weakness, her more stubborn side reared it's head, causing her too shake her fist angrily at the man.
"And why should I be tellin you, eh? Creepy old man!"
"I aint no old man, ya li'l brat!" and his face came down to impact on the top of her head. She yelped in pain as the blow impacted with her head, rubbing the abused spot gingerly.
"So" the man said, glaring at her, "you gonna tell me yah name? Or am I gonna hafta ring it outta ya?"
She grumbled softly, glaring up at the man, baring her teeth.
"Me moms name was Ame. And why in the hell you wanna know, eh?"
The old man grumbled softly, before with a slow flourish, he removed his hood. Orange hair tumbled out from underneath his hood, spilling over his shoulders and trailing down his back in a shaggy pony tail. Charcoal black eyes stared out from underneath unkempt bangs, which he irritedly kept blowing out of his eyes.
"Now," he began again,"as I was sayin, before ya rudely went about intteruptin me, I'm your-"
But he didn't get a chance to finish. Because she had recognized him the moment the man had removed his hood. She had seen his face in many of the photo's that used to hang in her house. He was always standing side by side her mother, both wearing goofy smiles on their faces. She had not seen the picture in three years, because they had stayed with the house when her mother had not returned and she had been kicked out.
But she still recognized him.
So it was with no little sense of trepidation that she threw herself into mans arms, her hands wrapping desperately around his waist in an attempt for friendly human contact.
"Dad" she whispered, the tears streaming down her face.
Naruto awoke slowly, groggily. Sleep still clawed at the edges of his mind, but he fought against it.
His hands clawed at his eye lids, almost trying to physically get them too open. He stopped trying to claw at them though when he felt a warm hand constraining his wrist.
"I wouldn't do that Naruto-kun. You'll just end up hurting yourself." Naruto didn't even need to open his eyes to see the eye smile that he knew would be present.
Naruto shook the hand off, and rose up off the bed, blinking rapidly. Slowly, things began too focus, and Naruto could just make out the figure of Sasuke in the corner opposite him, and Kakashi standing across from him. Naruto blinked some more, trying to find his pink haired team mate. Naruto found himself very surprised to see her snoring softly in a chair which was perched closely to the edge of his bed.
Huh. Well how about that.
Naruto went to awake his pink haired team mate, but this time was stopped by Sasuke's gruff voice.
"Don't. She's hardly slept lately. Let her be."
Naruto felt his brows furrow. Hardly slept? Why? Naruto was just about to question Sasuke, when loud voices were heard from the other side of the room. The voices were gradually rising in pitch, becoming more heated and angry. Naruto recognized many voices behind the door, but the most prominent would have to be Harry's. Naruto just had enough time to shove his mask onto his face when with a sudden, loud, bang, the door was shoved open, a livid Harry marching through, followed by equally angry fellow Hogwarts students. They were followed closely behind by a rather guilty looking Mrs Weasley, who for some reason kept glancing at Kakashi, mouthing the words, "I'm sorry" repeatedly.
But Naruto attention was quickly diverted when Harry's hand was pointed at him, and with a voice like spit fire, whispered;
It was with no small amount of surprise that Naruto felt his mask dislodge from his face, and fly into the waiting hands of one, Harry James Potter. Naruto hands shot after the mask, trying to catch it before it left his reach entirely, but it would seem that he was out of luck. But what surprised Naruto the most was that Harry didn't seem very surprised at all. Instead, a look of both betrayal and anger had settled onto his face, leaving it to look quite demented. But that was all quickly smoothed over, covered by a mask of controlled fury.
"Now," Harry said, voice seeming to leak malice malice, "Explain."
Naruto had never been more reluctant to do so in his life.
"You know," her father said, swinging a chair around to face her, in which he promptly sat in, "I gave you that name for a reason."
She looked up at him expectantly. But stopped when she caught the scent of alcohol on his breath.
Damn, he's been drinking again.
Usually, off the drink, the man was as pleasant as can be. A caring father, loving husband waiting for the return of his wife (something she thought would never come to pass) and a man with a good, steady job. He was honestly delightful to be around. But when he was drunk, when he allowed him mind to become intoxicated, he changed. It was almost as if some kind of depression that he'd been hiding for years would suddenly surface, and find form in words. Harsh, biting, hurtful words. But words all the same. It wasn't as if they could hurt her.
"Oh," she said slowly, trying to be careful, "And what reason is that?"
His head lolled to the side, his hair falling in front of his face. However, soon he began to laugh. It started as a small chuckle in his chest, which quickly built into loud guffaws of laughter. A manic edge had now entered into the laughter, and she felt herself growing weary. Soon however, he stopped, but a smug smirk still managed to stay on his face.
"Because the Sky can never hold onto rain like the way I can. Me, Chikyū. I wanted to make sure from the start that she would never grow more attached to something other than me. So I named you the Japanese word for Sky. Because the sky can only hold rain for so long, until eventually it falls, and is then soaked up by the earth."
She started to shake, the tears falling unwillingly down her cheeks.
"Wha-what are you saying?" she asked, her voice nothing but a quiet warble.
Her father, Chikyū, leant forward, trying to stare her directly into the eyes.
"I'm saying, Sora," he said, drawing the words out slowly, seeming to relish in her pain, "that I never planned for your mother nor I too love you for very long. I knew she'd leave you eventually. But I also knew a guilty conscience would one day bring her back. So here I wait, in return for your mother."
She didn't believe it, couldn't believe it. But...it was the only explanation, wasn't it? She herself had always wondered why her mother had never returned. MIA the Hokage had said she was. But an inkling inside of her, the more pessimistic part of her her, knew that wasn't true. Her mother wasn't MIA. She was AWOL. And she'd left her only daughter behind.
She didn't notice when the tears stopped coming, nor when her father slumped into a drunken state of sleep, snoring loudly. She was stuck in thought, the thought that her father was right.
Because even she, Sora, had to rain eventually. And when she did, when she lost her grip on her mother...
She'd be alone.
Notes: Okay, first off, this is all Google translator, so if I get it wrong, please don't blame me XD
MIA-Missing in Action
AWOL-Away without Leave.
A/N Okay, so lots of people were commenting on how much of a dick Harry was being. But I think some of you forget that at this moment, Harry's emotions are influenced greatly by Voldemort's, because of the Horcrux inside of him. So yeah, Harry is being rather angry and annoying, however, that was how he was portrayed in the book, angry and hurt and very angsty because of all the emotion he was siphoning off of Voldemort. Anyhow, hope you liked the chapter.