Chapter one

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No one see's what mine eyes see.

The blood and pain of the path stretched out before me,

Shattered and broken, this is the place where I dwell.

My own little personal hell.

No one sees what mine eyes have seen,

The broken stairway to heaven and destroyed dreams-

Her voice was so much clearer tonight, Naruto thought as he sat in the tree branches above the new and inproved team Kakashi. Keeping watch for any enemy shinobi that might be on the prowl in the darkened shadows of the woods just beyond the dying glow of the camp fire below.

You're sad. He pointed out as the soft feminine voice in his head fell silent.

Not really, Came the slow reply as he tipped his head back to gaze at the moon's silvery light through the tree limbs overhead. Tired...mostly. She finally said as he narrowed his azure eyes at nothing in particular and stared a hole through the leaves.

His long blonde bangs falling in his eyes slightly as he slowly and carefully- so as not to wake Sai, Kakashi or Yamoto who were all sleeping right under him- leaned his back against the tree trunk and began to calculate how much time he must have left.

By his calculations, he didn't have much longer. Niether of them did.

Naruto Uzumaki's time as a leaf village shinobi was to be notoriously short lived due to a jutsu that he had created as a child. Already he had been showing signs of losing himself. The chakra fluctuations, fainting spells, dizziness and vomiting he had been experiencing before he had taken this mission were all tell tale signs.

So was the faint bluish green markings that had been appearing on his body. The ones that stregnthened the jutsu's hold on his mind and body.

That's to be expected I suppose. Naruto thought with a tired sigh. He was starting to feel exhausted, his eye lids drooping a bit. It was only when he almost fell out of the tree that he managed to shake himself awake enough to right his balance so that his teammates could continue with their rest undisturbed. I'm getting tired too. He finally confessed as he squirmed a bit on the tree branch before stilling completely.

Are you scared? She asked. Her tone colored by concern.

Naruto blinked then closed his eyes and pictured her in his mind. It took very little effort due to their bond, and soon he found himself standing in the inner sanctum of his own mind across from a sixteen year old girl with features eerily similar to his own. The shape of the eyes, the lips, shape of her face, height, a petite build that was more along the lines of Sakura's- the color of their hair was similar though hers was longer in the front and back.

The front tips falling around her jaw while the back fell almost to her waist.

Today she was wearing all black with the exception of her skirt which was the same violet color of her eyes with black stripes going diagonal across it. She looked at him, her violet eyes wide with surprise upon seeing him as he slowly moved, closing the space between them as he asked her, Are you scared?

She looked down and sort of shifted back and forth as he came to a stop directly in front of her and studied her appearance for a moment before reaching out and gently, oh so gently- as if she were made of spun glass, touched his fingertips to the bottom of her jaw and tipped her head back so that he could look her in the eyes as he asked, Well? Are you scared?


Bending down a bit, Naruto growled, Liar. As he wrapped his arms around her and dragged her against his body to give her a hug. It wasn't much. And he kept the contact as brief as he could only because he could feel himself starting to drift off to sleep again and knew that he would get into trouble if he stayed much longer.

Abruptly letting her go, he stepped back and ran the knuckles of one hand along the soft curve of her cheek. His expression gentle as he said, I'm sorry to cut our talk so short, but I can smell that the sun is starting to rise. And that means the others will be awake soon.

She gave him a sad smile that looked just a touch...lonely to him. But nodded her head in understanding. Okay.

I'll see you again soon- He promised as he started to turn away. This time he got no reply from her. Only a sense that she would stand there and wait forever for him to keep his word if she had too.