Walking through the forest surrounding the Konoha, I have the feeling I am being watched. As I reach the spring I am headed for I bend down to run my fingers through the crystal clear water pooled below the trickling spring. Crouched here I stay perfectly still and strain my ears for signs of the follower. I needn’t have tried so hard, for a second later a panting Sakura stumbled out of a tree on my left. She quickly picks herself up and gives me her usual dazzling smile. It does nothing for me. She is the same as every other air headed fan girl in Konoha.
“What do you want Sakura?” I am not in the mood for this. I just want to be alone.
“Oh, well I was just, er, spending some time with, er, nature when I noticed you here. Isn’t it a lovely day?”
Sakura gives me another smile which causes me to wonder what Naruto would do if Sakura ever confronted him with that smile. Ha! As if Sakura would ever confront Naruto with anything more than a fist.
I glance up at the sky. It’s laden with heavy black clouds tinged red in the sunset.
“Hn.” She should really think before opening her mouth, “You should go home Sakura, you don’t want to mess up your hair”. I know it’s harsh but if she hangs around much longer I know I’ll say worse.
She looks hurt but turns to leave anyway, “I suppose I had better, my parents will wonder where I am… Well, erm, don’t catch a cold Sasuke.”
I turn my back on her and don’t bother to watch her leave. Instead I kneel by the pool and watch the reflected clouds move across a blood red sky. If my parents were alive they would worry about me being out this late. It’s not safe to wander in the forests surrounding the Hidden Village of Konoha. But I can not summon up great fear for ninja assassins. Being the strongest ninja of my year I am certain I can ward off any attacks or flee any stronger ninjas than myself.
However the idea of fleeing is not one that appeals to me. I am an Uchiha. Almost the last Uchiha, and I am determined to make myself the last by killing my brother.
No! Why must my thoughts always return to Itachi and that night? I do not want to dwell on it any further yet I always do. That night I was a coward, I fled from my family home, from where my brother stood cleaning his sword over our mother and father.
I stare into the water. A pale boy stares back at me with jet black hair and hollow black eyes. This is the face they all love and the face I hate. The face I must wear every day. The face that resembles his. This thought angers me and I allow my eyes to bleed to the Sharingan. Now the face that stares back has vivid red eyes, eyes with two black marks beside small black pupils. Two black marks. I am not my brother, yet. When my Sharingan eyes swirl with a three-pointed shuriken I will be more like my brother than ever. Yet that is what I seek, the mangekyou sharingan, then at least my eyes will be complete. I will not so easily be satisfied. I will not be complete until Itachi’s blood is on my hands.
Suddenly those piercing red eyes are shattered by raindrops. Releasing my Sharingan I lift my face to the skies and allow the cool rain to sooth my body.
Night has fully claimed the forest before I finally summon the will to move my tired limbs. I have trained all day in the forest, as usual, watched for half of that by Sakura from a nearby tree. A few times I sent a kunai her way, seemingly by accident, just to make her scarper, but she always returned. By sundown I had decided I am indeed as accurate with a shuriken as the previous day and so I headed off at top speed for my favourite thinking place, hoping to shake Sakura off. But she has proven that she is getting better at tracking than she used to be (probably from all the practice of stalking me) and she eventually caught up.
As I near my home I hear the familiar shout of, “SASUKE! SAAASUKEEEE!”
I groan as I recognise the voice, turning around I scowl at the spiky haired blonde running towards me.
“What, Naruto?” I snap. I have had quite enough of the annoying Sakura today without having to deal with Naruto too.
“Erm, I got a favour to ask you.” Naruto admitted sheepishly.
I notice that Naruto is barely out of breath. How typical, this guy never seems to run out of energy.
“You know what the answer will be” I reply coolly. I hope he knows by now not to mess with me.
“Okay, okay, just hear me out. I’m in a bad position right now. You know how strict the lady that owns the apartment I stay in is and how she has that really rigid 9pm locking the doors curfew thing going on don’t you?”
Uh oh I see where this is going. He’s locked out and needs a place to stay.
“Oh no you are not staying at mine!”
“Aw, come on Sasuke it’s just for tonight. And I’ll be really good I promise! I’ll be really tidy and…” (He can see the scepticism on my face and is thinking fast). “Oh, oh! I’ll cook you dinner! I’m the best ramen chef ever!”
“I don’t like ramen you loser” I remind him.
“Er… well I can cook other stuff!”
“The answer is still no Naruto!”
“Aw! PLEASE! Sasuke! Come on, we’re supposed to be a team. We have to look after each other!”
This is really low, pulling the team act on me! But all the same it has me thinking about Kakashi’s latest lecture on teamwork. I guess I should let him stay over. How much damage can one night do?
Letting my annoyance show plainly on my face, I frown at him and say “Fine! But if you think you are coming anywhere near my kitchen you can think again. I’ve seen the state of you apartment and it’s the worst in the kitchen!”
“YES! Thanks man! I owe you one!”
“You sure do!” I mutter as I unlock the door to my place.
It’s as blissfully clean and tidy as when I left early this morning (I don’t think I could bare living in a pigsty like Naruto’s). But my peaceful thoughts are short lived when Naruto comes charging past me to flop on the black leather couch without taking his shoes off! I see red! Kicking my own shoes off, I stomp over to the couch and grab Naruto by the collar of his ridiculous orange jumpsuit. I drag him, squealing, off the sofa to the doorway where my shoes are and hiss in his ear in my most deadly voice.
“This is my house and you live by my rules. And rule number one is to take your shoes off at the door. You shall proceed no further than this line (I motion towards where the wooden flooring ends and the carpet begins) with your shoes on. Do you understand me?”
“*Cough* Yes *splutter* Sasuke”
“Good!” With that I deposit him on the hard wood and stalk towards the kitchen leaving him rubbing his neck.
Standing in the sparkling clean kitchen I listen to my stomach rumble. Hmm I hadn’t really noticed how hungry I am. I bustle around the kitchen temporarily forgetting about Naruto, lost in the simple pleasure of cooking. I soon find myself humming away. I only stop when I hear badly smothered giggles from the other room. Frowning I dish up and take the rice dish into the living area where I have a table setup behind the couch. As we sit down to eat I catch Naruto wrinkle his nose a little. But the memory of last time he crossed me is obviously still fresh enough in his mind to stop him mentioning the lack of ramen. Running a tentative hand across his neck he gives me a falsely sweet smile and thanks me. This unusual show of manors shocks me a little; I must have really hurt him. I’m struck with a sudden urge to apologise.
“Er, Naruto” I mumble “Sorry about before. I overreacted a bit; it’s just been a very long day.” This is so unlike me.
“Erm, okay Sasuke. You didn’t really hurt me.”
That settled we eat in silence and when we are finished I tidy the plates away quickly not trusting Naruto to help. I probably needn’t have worried as I doubt he’d ever offer to help cleaning up.
“You’ll have to sleep on the couch Naruto, but I have some extra blankets.” I hate entrusting even my couch to him but it seems a bit mean to make him sleep on the floor.
After he’s settled with the spare blankets I head for the bathroom opposite my room down the corridor. I wash my face and catch my reflection in the mirror. I scrutinise my reflection telling myself over and over ‘I am NOT Itachi’!
Maybe I’m getting a little obsessive; I have to keep telling myself that I am Sasuke not Itachi recently. But it’s hard when my father always hoped I would grow up to be like Itachi. Well he did before Itachi murdered the entire clan, except me. Why did he spare me? I ask myself for the millionth time.
Putting this question out of my head I leave the bathroom and cross to my dark bedroom closing the door on the snores already issuing from the living room.
Finally! I can’t help thinking as I remove my various weapons and clothes and climb into bed. Peace at last! As I lay there in bed with the moonlight shining through the ever open window I feel myself drifting into sleep.
I fall straight into that now familiar dream. I’m running through the forest I know where I’m going because I’ve been here so many times before. I reach the pool I knelt by today. But it is different now. The full moon makes the water sparkle and the pale skin of a beautiful woman light up. She is standing naked in the pool with the water up to her waist. She turns slowly, the water swirling around her and my black eyes are locked with her pale lavender ones. She slowly lowers herself backwards into the water so that only her milky white shoulders and her bob of shining black hair show. She lifts one hand gracefully out of the water inviting me to swim with her.
Chapter notes: [Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto or any characters from that series]
This is my first fanfic so please be nice!