Okaaaay, this is an OC fic. I had been toying around with the idea of an OC from our world being reborn into the Narutoverse for a while now and thought 'Why the hell not?'
This is just the prologue... Let me know what you think :)
I blinked blearily and dragged my feet through the computer lab, a large coffee in one hand and a weighty messenger bag in the other. I'd spent most of the night going over the final preparations for the field test today that I'd only managed to crash on the couch and sleep for two hours. Even with all the makeup piled on my face you could still see the bags. If I wasn't so tired I would have been proud of myself for making it to the office at nine sharp in somewhat working condition.
I gave half-hearted nods to my co-workers who shot me weird glances, unused to my even more sombre morning mood.
I wasn't a morning person.
It took at least five coffees until I was awake enough to hold a decent conversation. And just like flicking a switch, my mood would turn from zombie to hyper. I had heard a few theories – ranging from caffeine overload to satanic possession – that a few of my co-workers had whispered about between themselves. I didn't mind them talking about me like I wasn't there or wouldn't hear anything in the office.
I was damn good at my job and they all knew it. The boss knew it too, which was probably why he put up with my bizarre behaviour most of the time unless the higher-ups came to check everything out.
Then he turned into a pseudo-Nazi and everyone was whipped into meek submission.
I shuffled into my office, stepping over a few scattered boxes filled with circuit boards and solder-wire and slumped into my rickety chair. I nudged the power point beneath the desk with my toe to boot up my impressive display of computers spread across the tabletop and continued to sip the sweet nectar of morning energy.
I had been working for the government for a while now. During my final year of high school I was 'scouted' by the FBI and military. Needless to say I almost crapped my pants when my dad called me down to talk to Agent Cranky and Agent Crankier – both in neatly pressed suits with guns hidden underneath their coats. Hell, they even wore those stupid sunglasses I'd seen in the movies.
My preferred pastime wasn't exactly legal, what with the computer hacking and information gathering and whatnot. I could tear apart and rewrite software by the time I was twelve and was breaching various military, government and major business firewalls for the hell of it at sixteen. The moniker 'Baby Phantom' made me laugh when they told me with straight, stony faces. My dad wasn't as amused…
I had gotten cocky and didn't pull out of a snoop in time and my CPU had gotten tracked. I guess they were impressed with my ability to flit between the cracks and remain unseen. They'd threatened me with a major fine and possible jail time until Agent Crankier provided an ultimatum.
Go to jail or work for them on half-pay, no benefits.
It was pretty easy for me to choose.
And here I was, five years later, no longer looked at with as much suspicion. My good performance record was proof enough. Although sometimes my attitude got me threatened with the long-passed jail time, I would simply remind them of all the good I'd done for them and how their productivity had risen by forty-five percent each year since my inclusion.
There was a knock against my doorjamb, startling me out of my blank reverie. With a slight flush of embarrassment I realised I'd been staring at my log-in page for the past – I glanced at the time – fifteen minutes.
My coffee was cold.
I drained it with a grimace and tossed the cup in the trash beneath my desk before facing Michael, one of my middle aged co-workers who provided for his family and two dogs in middle-class suburbia.
He gave me a sheepish smile, holding up a rather messily packed cardboard box. "Hey, Tia. Do you think you can sort through these for me? They're files on Project Kenny."
I blinked, sleepy mind sifting through the current non-classified projects floating around the office. "Whaa? I thought Sasha was working on it with you?"
"She is," he said, "But she had to go to New York for a meeting and won't be back until next Monday and my wife just called me to say Alice's school called. She had another seizure and it was pretty bad. Another hospital stay by the looks of it."
"Ah." I didn't have much else to say. Michael was a cool guy, pushing through for his family and eldest daughter who had epilepsy. I'd met little Alice a few times. She was a cute, bouncy kid.
I sighed and gestured to a rare blank spot on my table. He put the box down with a grateful smile.
"Ready for the big test this afternoon?" he asked, genuinely curious.
I shrugged and smothered a yawn. I still had two more coffees to go until I could think straight. Even this small talk was zapping me. "More or less. These don't have to be done today do they?" I eyed the box warily. I didn't want to work on a Project solo on a tight deadline. I had enough on my plate.
Thankfully Michael shook his head as he headed towards the door. "Nah. Doesn't have to be done until Friday."
I slumped in my chair. I had three days to finish the Project. Plenty of time. I made a shooing gesture, making the man laugh. "Have no fear. Tia is here to save your ass again. Tell Maria and the kids I say hi!"
"Will do!" And with that he disappeared, leaving me to work.
My hand reached out to pat the usual space I leave my coffee, only to groan in realisation. I'd run out.
My head met the desk with a loud thunk.
"It's too early for this shit."
Come five in the afternoon I was riding comfortably in the back seat of an SUV with Sara, one of the higher-ups I'd collaborated with on this Project. It basically combined the effects of an EMP and computer virus, sending the data through either wireless satellite connection or a circuit plant to disrupt any and all software. It didn't simply shut it down, it infected and spread and could be tracked back to mother boards and main consoles. Depending on the height of danger and whereabouts, the software could potentially shut down an entire city as big as Los Angeles with little effort.
Or a heavily fortified bunker filled with weapons.
It was dangerous, especially since most things ran on electricity nowadays, whether on closed or open circuits.
My hand slipped down to touch the locked briefcase resting on the floor at my feet which contained a tough-case laptop and the prototype. I'd worked too hard for this project to fizzle and die now.
Sara caught my eye and gave me a small, dry smile. It wasn't a comforting gesture since Sara was a stickler for the rules, wearing the uniform of her station with pride and just a hint of smugness. Even now I could see her mentally burning my casual appearance and nose piercing. Plus it didn't help that Sara was a bit of a bitch even on a good day. She was no doubt one of the ones who thought I was nothing more than a criminal after everything I did in my youth. Nice people in the office were few and far between.
Oh well. After today I'd return to my office and Sara to hers and I never had to see her again.
I didn't know how right I was.
Sara turned back to the tinted window, watching the passing scenery with little interest. "So, are you sure everything is prepared?"
I resisted rolling my eyes. That was the third time she'd asked me that. "Yes. This is my field, Sara. I know what I'm doing."
Sara sniffed, muttering something that sounded suspiciously like 'doesn't look like it' under her breath. I silently bristled. Just because I worked in comfortable clothes and expressed myself with piercings and extroverted behaviour didn't mean I was incompetent. I released a breath to calm myself. I told myself it was just the stress from the last few weeks and the looming demonstration had put me on edge. That was the only reason I was getting agitated so quickly. It had nothing to do with Sara's Princess Bitch-face Syndrome-
"Good. I'd hate for the Generals' time to be wasted by a simpleton's electronic toy."
-okay, maybe she had a lot to do with it.
"What the hell is your problem with me?" I snapped, my glare frosty. Sara simply raised a perfectly sculpted brow in mocking question. "I've been nothing but nice to you throughout this whole process and you've been nothing but a frigging pain in the ass. I know I'm not up to your stupid standards or whatever but can you at least be a decent human being and treat me with a little respect?"
By the end of my spiel I was huffing and red faced, Sara simply looking at me with a blank mask. I felt my ire grow as her lips twisted into a small smirk and promised myself I wouldn't punch her, no matter what.
I wouldn't sink to that level.
… I hope.
"I'm surprised you understand what half of those words mean," she sneered.
Oh, fuck it.
I dove across the seat and tackled her against the car door, thankful that it was locked. I'd hate to have this fight move outside and onto the tarmac of the freeway. She screeched at me, calling me crazy and I snarled right back, calling her a bitch. Her nails raked across my neck but I didn't care. All I wanted was to smear her stupidly perfect makeup and pull her stupidly perfect blonde hair and mess up her stupidly perfect uniform.
If there were any room to pull over, the driver would have; whether to watch the fight or break it up, I wasn't too sure.
Apparently he'd been too distracted by the fight happening in his back seat to notice the small Honda parked on the side of the freeway with its hazards on. With a cry and a jerk of the steering wheel he sped across three lanes of traffic to sideswipe another car, sending us careening out of control.
My eyes met Sara's and for a moment we understood each other. We were both terrified.
Metal crunched, glass shattered and the world was spinning as the car flipped end over end, debris scattering across the road like fallen skittles as I was tossed about like a rag doll.
Sara had a degree of protection with her seatbelt on. I'd unbuckled mine so I could claw her face off. Now I was severely regretting it.
My world was pain, exploding and blindingly white as my limbs whipped about without any control. My throat was sore from the screaming and I simply hurt.
Then, after an eternity of being torn apart, there was blissful non-movement and somehow I was still alive.
Concussed, bleeding and no doubt broken but still alive.
I wasn't sure how long I lay there for, face pressed against the roof of the car amongst the glass and… was that a piece of the dashboard?
My eyes registered blurry movement beyond the confines of the car, my ears registered sirens and crying and my body registered numbness slowly changing into a frigid coldness. My tongue felt heavy and I couldn't say anything, couldn't cry out and tell someone – anyone – that I was still there and that I was okay and God, I'm so sleepy, I really need a coffee right now.
I drifted off into the darkness and it felt good. There was no pain here and I felt so at peace as I simply floated. I sighed in relief. At least it didn't hurt anym-
Electricity arced across my skin and my mouth opened in a silent scream. My heart thudded painfully in my chest for a spluttering few moments and I was aware of how heavy I was and I could feel something wrong despite the breath rattling inside of me. My eyes, which had opened for a split moment, made out the frantic yet composed faces of two uniformed paramedics hovering over me. Their lips were moving but I couldn't make out anything above the high pitched ringing in my ears.
Then the weight lifted and my eyes closed and I was floating once more.
I felt a few sporadic sparks but after the eternity of pain I didn't want to go back there, to where it physically hurt and it was at that moment I knew I was dying.
Panic set in but I knew it was too late. I was too far gone to be saved.
The darkness seemed to glow and its fingers snagged me to pull me deeper and I couldn't do anything but let it.
I floated and felt a single tear escape my eye as I closed my lids for the last time. I still had so many regrets.
I hadn't visited my parents' graves in over a year. I hadn't travelled like I wanted. I'd never get to show off that stupid Project I'd worked so hard on for the damn government. I'd never know if Sara or little Alice would be okay. I hadn't wanted to die, but I hadn't really been living either.
I didn't have anyone important in my life so I simply drifted through the years, doing as I pleased but there was so much more out there.
Realisation shot through me like a bullet and my heart ached in my rapidly numbing chest.
I… I don't want to die…
Please… God, I… I'm sorry but I…
… I don't want to die…
Whoever said death was blissful deserved a kick in the balls, I decided. It wasn't so bad at first since I spent so much time floating. It was warm and comforting, like a hug from a parent, and so blissful…
Until the darkened space seemed to shrink more and more until I could barely move, and the walls contracted around me, squeezing and pulling and uncaring if I wanted to stay there or not.
There'd been no light at the end of the tunnel for me, simply an endless black that didn't really look, feel or smell like anything in particular. I'd thought I might have been sent to Hell, considering I didn't have the best track record when it came to being on my best behaviour but the scenery – or lack thereof – didn't change.
It was still black.
It was still warm.
But now it was suffocating and unbearably hot and I could feel it twisting and pulling and yanking and then the cold came. The difference was so sharp and painful I couldn't help but cry out. Then my senses came alive.
Well, almost all of them.
I could smell something comforting, feel something warm wrapping around me and it seeped into my bones, instantly calming me. I could hear a soft cooing sound that, weirdly, made my muscles limp with contentment.
But I couldn't see a damn thing. The darkness was still there, and for some reason I knew it shouldn't be.
It should be bright and colourful and wonderful but it wasn't.
But I couldn't think about that right now. The warmth surrounding me disappeared and my body was lifted like a feather towards something else warm. I could smell salt now, and hear sniffling.
Crying? I thought but that thought soon fled as I realised how hollow I felt. I vaguely realised I was hungry and started to whimper, the cooing sound returning but this time deeper and more masculine.
I had no idea what was going on. Something rested in my palm and I curled my fingers around it, words being spoken softly around me and again I was passed over to something – no, someone – who was warm and smelled familiar and good. I instinctively curled towards the scent, relaxing instantly and I slipped into a peaceful sleep, memories and rational thought retreating behind a wall of fog.
Lemme know what ya think! :)