Puppets Do Not Breathe
“Don’t you even know what a family is?” Sakura shouts at me, the wound on her side fully healed and her anger boiling up out of her. Family never had any use for me, so what did it matter? I retort back to her something about what a shinobi should be: a feelingless tool for someone else’s use. Yet, I wasn’t so sure if I believed my own words.
It was true what I told the girl, though. Puppets do not feel. That’s the reason why I became a puppet in the first place. They do not need food or drink, sleep nor activity, air nor feeling. Puppets do not need much in general, perhaps a little repair once in a while. I would never feel pain, which would never stop me from a fight. If I felt that my current body had sustained too much damage for the fight, I could always switch to another one without worry. I could always make repairs and replacements later. As long as I had my original body, I didn’t care. . . and even that itself was a preference and not a need.
A puppet like myself feels nothing and needs nothing.
Pain and pleasure are nothing.
However, a puppet like myself can think.
We need to in order to survive.
Thus, I can remember.
Right now, I choose to remember how familiar this position is that I am in. I knew Chiyo-baasan had planned something in her fading moments of poisoned life, but I did not care. My parents are by my sides, myself between them, as we had been before. I suppose it was fate that my parents were to kill me. . . but I do not care.
I remember when they left for the mission out of the village - how long they were away - and how much I wanted to see them again. Chiyo-baasan showed me how to play with small dolls with my chakra to pass the time, and then she opened up her puppet workshop for my use. This, of course, was after my parents died. I knew that they were dead when Chiyo-baasan came to me the night she found out of their deaths. She claimed that they were on another mission, but I knew better. Chiyo-baasan could never keep anything from me. Her eyes told me everything, even the moment that I knew my parents would never come back. Thus, when I was allowed to make my own puppets, I made two: a female puppet and a male puppet. I just wanted to see them again so badly. . .
Once the bodies were completed, I dressed them in my parents’ old clothing and dragged them into my room. I had to fiddle around with them for a while before I could use each one, but I didn’t care. My mother and father were there with me, and I lost myself to them. With my mother on my right side, and my father on my left, I had them embrace me. Their smells surrounded me - dessert winds, spices, perfume - as did their touch, and I closed my eyes, pretending for a moment that they were here and that we were a family again. . . and. . .
And I forgot the strings.
They both fell violently, crashing down and breaking. . . as did my world.
They were just puppets.
Parts of them had been broken, others simply twisted out of proportion, but they were not real. I repaired them after a time, improving their parts and then putting them away. I threw myself into the workshop after that, working tirelessly and mindlessly at making puppets. I had nothing else except my puppets, and thus I perfected everything, anything that could be improved. Sunagakure rewarded me for my efforts, calling me a genius in the art of puppetry. They asked me to begin programs and squads for puppet users and to ensure that there would be many more grand puppet-users like myself in the future. I complied and began those groups, but it wasn’t enough. I would soon age and pass away, forgotten in time. My parents had died, and no one remembered them, why should I be any different?
I began experimenting with my victims during work, taking their bodies and trying to find a way to preserve them so that they would never age. . . a way to find immortality. Eventually, I discovered a way to turn humans into puppets. It would be tedious and painful, but it would work. I began to turn myself into a puppet, beginning with my arms and legs. I was better for it. It would never matter if my limbs were destroyed. They could be forever replaced and repaired. However, I could not make my body a puppet without help, and I did not trust anyone in their skill nor ability to keep a secret.
That’s when Akatsuki came to me.
Rei-dono was the one I trusted with the operation. I gave him the instructions and details about how to make a body into a puppet, and he agreed to help me. He was the only one I trusted at the time, and he successfully delivered. He even made my heart a secure box in case it ever needed to be moved. After I figured out how to move my own body, I left Suna and became a member of Akatsuki.
I just never imagined that I’d be dying in this body.
Chiyo-baasan said that she was using a reincarnation technique when she saved Sakura. It was a technique she developed when in case she ever needed to use it for me. Chiyo-baasan said that she would have to give up her life to save Sakura’s. I know that the Konoha girl and Chiyo-baasan have not known each other that long, probably just for this mission, and they will never see one another again. Then why was Chiyo-baasan willing to give up her life for that little brat’s? It didn’t make sense!! Granted, Chiyo-baasan did not die, but it did not matter. She saved someone she hardly knew for no reason. She would rather save a young girl than her own grandchild. I suppose it was somewhat reasonable. I had kidnapped and killed the Kazekage, but I thought she felt that blood was thicker than water. . .
I suppose, since I do not have much longer to live, I should give the girl what she wanted about Orochimaru. Thus I tell her about the spy I’ve had following the snake and about the place where my subordinate was supposed to meet me. She can know all she wants from there, and I don’t care anymore. . .
Because I felt something. . .
Disgust. . .
Maybe. . . it wasn’t because I was a puppet that I no longer could feel. . .
Maybe. . . I just shut it all out. . .
Maybe. . .
~ Owari ~
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Chapter notes: Disclaimer is in the summary.
A/N: Well, I finally had the gall to post this. I wrote this fic right after I saw the 28th Shippuden episode, and it came out beautifully. The words flowed smoothly out of my fingers, and I went into hours of depression writing it. However, my work was not saved.
My computer did not save my work.
Thus, it took me a week to get the courage to re-write everything. Obviously, it's not as good as it was the first time, since I don't know exactly how I wrote it before. Still, this gets the basic messege and feeling across.
Please rate and review.