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Incoming by Uchiha_Kima

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Chapter notes: Er...chapter 1...yay!
“Incoming” – Chapter 1

Hmm…another fanfic. I like it though. The theme of the story will be based off of AFI’s “Prelude 12/21” (Is that the real title?) If you don’t know the song, go into YouTube and search for “AFI Incoming”. A lovely vid from Rubix89 (a totally awesome movie maker) should and will show up, unless your computer (or iPhone) has serious YouTube problems…

No, this is not an angst fic. It will have angsty themes, emoness, and dark premonitions, but it will also have sarcasm, maybe an ounce of OOC if I really want to have it, and definitely sugar-induced and/or hilarious, written-while-I-was-still-half-asleep moments. You have been warned, readers. You have been warned…

Disclaimer: No, I don't own any of the Naruto characters in this story. I do, however, own Ava.

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A dark, cold, wet forest. It was raining hard and the animals were in their dens, nests, and burrows. The nearby city was alight and abuzz despite the cold rain of November. The cars played the melodic and…slightly nerve-wracking song of late traffic and road rage. The bright lights of clubs and restaurants attracted customers, the yuck of the city air was drained away by the scent of rainfall, and a filled up Starbucks lay on every corner, the people happily conversing inside. People were bustling about, going home from a long day at work, going out to a local club, eating food at a nice restaurant with a friend or loved one…

“Leave me alone!!”

…or in my case…

“You can’t run forever, Ava! You know I’ll find you!”

“I told you to leave me ALONE!!!”

…running for my life.

Now you might be thinking, “Running for your life? That is SUCH a lame plot.” Well…it is a lame story plot, but it isn’t even the half of it. This was my brother I was running from. My nasty, conniving, EVIL older brother. He was five years older than me and he was such the attention hog…not to mention he beat me senseless with my teddy bear every chance he got…that was when we were kids. Mom died in a plane crash and dad, who was on the same plane, died a week after he got to the hospital. I was only thirteen, my brother was eighteen, so I lived under his “guardianship”. That was two years ago, two years of pain and suffering. It hurt to even see my brother. That’s why I’m running. To hide from him, to escape in some way. To a place my brother would never find me.

Remembering what happened made my skin crawl, even under all the goose-bumps. The rain stung like knives on my skin, my hair was blown back and felt frozen in place, my feet were heavy, my eyes burned, and my legs felt numb. Despite all these factors, I press onward. The forest was my home away from home. I would always tell my brother I was going to be late at school for a play, for soccer practice, for whatever and then hide in these woods, navigating an escape route.

Well, even through this rain, the path was a clear as day…a foggy day in San Fran on the Golden Gate, but day nonetheless. I could easily avoid the trees with my small, sporty frame and leaping over large roots, rocks, or holes was no problem for the smallest and lightest 2-mile-running track star at school. Ava, the “tiny-track-titan” as the kids at school called me. Yeah, I say kids because I couldn’t get a friend if I tried. I guess I’m either too shy or too afraid they’ll recognize the glint in my brother’s eyes when they meet him.

Low branch and I duck. High root and I sail over it. I was getting close and the rain finally started to calm, not because of the rainstorm, but because I was in the thicker part of the forest. It was my secret haven on my days off and I knew I was close to escape. The ground here was harder, it felt like my school’s track ring, and it wouldn’t keep any footprints, the grass was deeper and nobody would be able to see whatever there is of a print, the mud, though, could prove problematic. My feet made that sucking sound when I pulled them from the muck, but I kept moving. No mud in the world could stop Ava Woods, the tiny-track-titan of Evergreen High School*, from escaping.

“...Almost...” I breathed, having not heard my brother’s footfalls for a quarter of a mile. I’ve run distances like this before: coach would have me run a half-mile warm-up, do some stretches, full-mile practice, do exercises, two-mile competitive run, do team running exercises, and a half-mile cool-down, topped off with a final round of stretching. It’d take two hours of practice, then I’d have to go. Not home, but I’d still have to leave. I dabbled in my mom and grandma’s secret stash, only about ten dollars weekly out of who-knows-how-many thousands, and I’d stop in on one of the many Starbucks for a nice, warm hot chocolate with whipped cream after practice. I’d leave for four hours on Saturday and Sunday to do my workout in the park, then my exploring of the forest, and then I’d have to go home to get a shower and a shopping list. It’s only fifteen minutes to get clean, five more to take inventory and enough of my brother’s work money to buy food and supplies and then I was outta there.

Today was different, though…I got home after practice and my brother was there to meet me. His face was etched in anger and my hope of escape was nil at the time. I cautiously said hello, trashed my Starbucks cup and headed upstairs. There was something wrong with him today, usually he only greets me angrily when he…well…maybe I’ll tell you about it later…let’s just say it’s when he’s mad at his girlfriend. Today though…he seemed extra angry. Did they break up? I gulped and quietly locked my room door. I turned on the shower, not bothering to turn it to warm, and quietly pulled out my dad’s big old duffel bag. Inside was already a bunch of my emergency supplies: a blanket, a small but warm sleeping bag, dried and non-perishable foods, many sets of underwear and bras, several shirts, pants, shorts, my two favorite Naruto sweaters, solely because I'm a fan of the show, my favorite fluffy jacket, and my baby blanket my grandmother made for me. Inside my baby blanket were two pictures: one of the day I was born with my mother, my father, and lil’ ol’ bald, fat and wrinkly me. The other picture was of my parents’ wedding night. I promised my dad and lifeless mom I’d protect these with my life.

“…good girl, Ava…be strong for us…okay?”

“Yes dad…I…I promise.” I struggled so hard to hide my tears…

“That’s a good girl…I’ll miss you…and your…brother…be careful…Ava…I…love you…”


Those were his last words and they were forever burned into my memory. I took a deep breath and snapped from my reverie when my brother knocked on the door. Hard. This would be the perfect time to escape. I threw on one of the sweaters and a pair of pants over my track clothes. I opened my window cautiously and jumped in surprise when my brother knocked again. It was harder this time. Boy, he was MAD. I grabbed the duffel bag handles, took a deep breath and jumped out of my two story window, onto the neighbor kids’ trampoline, my bag landing after I did. I dropped to my knees and cushioned my fall as best I could. When my fall finally caught up with me, I heard a smash of splintering wood.

“He actually broke my door down!” I said in a hushed whisper. I scrambled off the trampoline and bolted over the neighbor’s fence, dad’s bag smacking into my back every third or fourth step. The last thing I heard from my brother was him screaming my name at the top of his lungs. He’d better not catch me tonight; I’d never be able to walk again! I pelted down the secret pathways I found along the road and made my way to the park. I took a small breather and some sips from the water fountain. Overhead, I heard thunder and rain began to pour down. I sat myself on a bench under a tree and set the duffel next to me. It was okay, everything in it was still in one piece…except for maybe my potato chips.

“That…was too close.” I said. I had originally planned to go at about midnight, when my brother would be asleep; I’d never be able to sneak out, so taking the trampoline would have happened anyway. Thinking over my options, I fingered through my stuff and found the large wad of money safely secured in my supplies bag. I soon caught my breath but nearly lost it again when I saw a car drive up to the park. It was my brother’s. Now, our park is probably very different from yours: it was built on a hillside and follows all the way to the foot of the small not-quite-mountains-but-more-like-really-large-hills mountains near the city. My vantage point was almost at the top of the hill, but I’d recognize the scar on the side of my brother’s car anywhere.

“He’s at the bottom, I’m almost at the top…let’s bolt, Ava!” I said to myself as I shrugged on the bag and ran up the remainder of the hill. My brother was almost half way up the hill, but he had absolutely no endurance. I’m forever thankful he had a bad case of asthma*. Even so, he had long legs and could use them! My rpm may be higher with shorter legs, but his strides are at least twice as long as two of mine. Good thing the forest gives me cover and a series of difficult obstacles.

This is where I met you, right? Well, from here on, I’ll try to save memories for a more convenient situation, rather than when I’m running for my life. Anyway, yeah. My secret haven.

On a sunny day, my haven glowed green with the light pouring through the leaves and the moss and grass reflecting their chloroplastic health (A/N: Yes, I just made that word up.), but today…it was dark, gloomy and the only light around it came from the moon above and the glow from inside the cave-like root system of my favorite tree.

“Wait a minute…glow?” I had to have a double take. “It’s never done that before…” Despite my being a high school student and a fairly smart girl, curiosity got the better of me. I gripped the duffel bag handles tighter as the bag rested on my back. I took several steps forward and crouched before the “cave” entrance. “To be or not to be, that is the question.” As Shakespeare’s Hamlet once read. “In all respect, Shakespeare…” I said looking longingly at the seemingly growing glow, “I’ve got ‘to be’ in order ‘not to be’.” I reasoned, eagerly going forward into the light. Now, every dramatic movie involving death has some sort of ‘don’t go to the light!’ theme , but I say: to heck with it! I'm just dumb enough to go for anything my brain says to!

“Ava!” it was my brother. Oh shit. He’d find me if I didn’t hide! I started scrambling towards the light. “Ava!” it was him again. I nearly cried I was so scared. Yes, he has that much of an effect on me. I stuffed myself further in, backing away bit, by bit, by bit, by…hey wait…I don’t remember the “cave” being this deep…

“What the-?”

“Ava!” it was my brother again. He sounded like he was half a mile off. Was it the cave that demented the sound? Nonetheless, he seemed further away and I took a deep breath. I moved to lean back on my hands and found there was no ground beneath them. I felt like I was in slow motion: falling back into a who-knows-how-deep pit in the back of the “cave”. I couldn’t right myself either, like my body wanted me to fall. Maybe this is what happens right when a person jumps, either for fun…or to their death…

I screamed in terror as I realized the hole was deeper than anybody I knew was tall. It was deeper that two of those people, no! Three! I could feel that falling sensation you get sometimes on a plane or when you’re dropping from a decent height, it gripped me so much that, combined with the fear, panic, and immense exercise I had…I fainted…

Next thing I know, I hear birds chirping and something small and light-weight lands on my face. A leaf? A butterfly? I open my tired eyes and…it isn’t a butterfly, it’s a bug yes, but it’s…a beetle. I close my eyes so as not to scare it and set my hand on my face in front of the beetle. I feel it crawl on my hand and I open my eyes again. I look around as I sit up and see that I’m in a forest a lot like home, but the trees were a different species and these bugs certainly weren’t the same as home. The beetle was fascinating: large, dark green multi-faceted eyes set in a dark brown beetle head, six armored legs, what looked to be a collar of light brown colored shell around its “neck” (because insects don’t actually have those), and a dark brown segmented thorax. It was so intriguing, I didn’t see or hear the person coming up behind me. I just stared admirably at the beetle.

Ahem.” Someone cleared their throat behind me. I could swear I leaped five feet in the air. I spun around, casting off my insect friend and taking a defensive stance. My duffel bag sat on the ground in front of him and he was mostly covered in shadow. I could make out a hooded coat, with something high-collared beneath it, and I would have made out this person’s face if the collar and a pair of sunglasses didn’t obscure my view. “Who are you?” He asked plainly. Something wasn’t right…this guy bundled up like an Eskimo, in this lovely late autumn weather no less, asked questions like an interrogator, and his voice sounded like sex…why did I just think that? Bad brain! Bad!

“A-Ava. Ava Woods…” I answered nervously. I could see one of his eyebrows arch.

“You’re first name is ‘Woods’?” He asked, a millimeter of amusement peeked through. There was that voice of sex again…maybe I should have this guy talk more…

“No, no…my last name is Woods. Ava is my first name.” I said, pouting slightly. Reasoning this guy was no threat to my health, I relaxed a bit, but maintained caution, ready to bolt at a moment’s notice. “So who are you, Mr. I-dress-up-like-an-Eskimo-in-autumn?”

“Aburame Shino.” He answered. Goddamn that voice of his…wait a minute. That name was freakishly familiar…I know it…damn you brain farts! Wait...no way...this guy can't possibly be him!

“So…you introduce last names first here?” I asked awkwardly. He nodded. I looked around again and recognized many of the plants and flowers to be Asian species of plants. “Shino” took a few steps forward into the meadow and into the light. He turned just ever so slightly and then, I saw something horribly familiar, barely hidden beneath his hood: it was a Konoha shinobi forehead protector. The gears stopped turning and my brain froze.

...

‘Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore.’

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Well, that’s chapter 1. What do you think?

If you really liked it and want a chapter 2, review or message me. I’ll take one as a minimum for now, but maybe more if my story gets popular.

Oh! Did you watch that vid by Rubix89 yet? If you didn’t, you should. If you did, yay!

I have lyrics! (I don’t know if they’re right. I took the lyrics by ear.)

“This is what I brought you,
This you can keep.
This is what I brought you
May forget me.
I promise to depart,
Just promise one thing,
Kiss my eyes and lay me to sleep.

This is what I brought you,
This you can keep.
This is what I brought you
May forget me.
I promise you my heart
Just promise to sing,
Kiss my eyes and lay me to sleep.

Kiss my eyes and lay me to sleep.

This is what I thought:
I thought you’d need me.
This is what I thought
So think me na´ve.
I promised you a heart,
You promised to be.
Kiss my eyes and lay me to sleep.

Kiss my eyes and lay me to sleep.

Kiss my eyes and lay me to…sleep.”

A short song, yes, but well worth a listen. So, did you notice the little asterisks I put in the story?

Here’s what they were:

*Evergreen High School – To my knowledge, there is a college named Evergeen, but not a high school. If there is, I better find a way to avoid a lawsuit…hmm…

*asthma – Yes a common affliction, but I asterisk’d this because I want you all to know I have nothing against asthmatic people, for I am asthmatic too because of my eczema. You’d be surprised how many people will grill you for having a disease written up in your story with just the slightest unkind meaning behind it.

Yeah, that's it. Hope to see you guys soon! :)
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