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[NARUTO] 'The Same Story 1/4 [20_Inkspots]

This fic is technically supposed to be one really long one-shots, but it's split into parts for the sake of Dawn and I's 20_inkspots themes. Eventually, all of this will be combined into one volume for convinience's sake.

SasuNaru, eventual NaruSaku. Tragedy, war, fate and the negative points of having a soul mate.





"I acknowledge it. You are strong. It's because you know the same pain of lonliness that I do. That makes a person strong."


The Same Story
Cephied Variable with illustrations by Kaiousei





ONE; Shimmer




Naurto Uzumaki, Age 8

"Hey ol'geezer, didya find it out?" Naruto always whirls into Sarutobi's office, all bright oranges and yellows and blues and reds. He jumps up and sits on the desk with a sense of smug, self-entitlement and the Hokage's assistant narrows his eyes and none-too discreetly shoves his papers out of the boy's reach.

Not that Naruto would have been interested in any of it.

He's eating a cherry-ice cone and humming while the sticky, red flavouring drips down the front of his brilliantly colored T-Shirt. Sarutobi has no idea what he's supposed to say here; informing young, bright eyed orphans that no parents are willing to adopt him (and, in fact, many of them would rather chop off a limb that have that "damned fox" in their homes) was most definitely not part of the job description.

What is part of the job description is cold impartiality. The Third Hokage threads his fingers together and folds his hands beneath his chin carefully, "Naruto," he says slowly, "Every week you ask, and every week the answer is the same." nothing more needs to be said. Naruto is the swiftest stupid kid Sarutobi's ever met.

His ice cone falls along with his face and shatters- scattered red and white and ice catching the light like broken glass- and he slides off the desk with a shallow nod, biting his lip.

'Sacrificial lamb.' Sarutobi thinks as he watches Naruto's sullen back retreat down the open hallway. 'Naruto, we've done you wrong.'

"Good riddance." the assistant mutters, "There's always some mess left in the office when he barges in."

This is the year Naruto stops believing in happy endings. This is the year he decides to write his own story.



Sasuke Uchiha, Age 8

"... Sasuke, please reconsider! There are plenty of families willing to take you in!" it's a new assistant this week. Some new chuunin exam overseerer. One of Ibuki's personal students. Sarutobi can't remember her name, but he does remember the days when Ibuki's protege's were made of sterner stuff- no half grown kounouchi who simpered over a simple tragedy like mass murder.

But then again, Sasuke has the Uchiha face... the Uchiha eyes. Even at eight years old, he already has the Uchiha charm. Sarutobi knows those types- has taught those types, in fact (fragile little Orochimaru with his inqusitive expression and his endless questions and-). Everything comes so easily to them and yet they work so damn hard....

He holds his hand out for the list of prespective foster parents and finds it to be nearly three pages long.

Arching an elegant eyebrow, he steals another look at the boy slouching in the chair before his desk. Everyone but the Hyuuga clan has put in a request. Sarutobi knows what they are thinking without even having to ask; afterall, it's not everyday one gets the chance to adopt the last blood son of an ancient and powerful clan. The top student of his year, of course.

They are all thinking that maybe he'll turn out to be a genius like his brother.

As far as Sarutobi is concerned, the last thing Konoha needs is another Itachi Uchiha, but unfortunately they'd have one on their hands if this Sasuke situation was not resolved quickly.

Unfortunately...

"No." Sasuke says lowly, "Always no. I said I'm fine on my own."

"But-"

The boy cuts the assistant off before she starts, "I prefer it that way." he nearly growls. And then he stands up, grabs his bag, slings it over his shoulder and slinks away down the open hall, pose every bit as lonely and sullen as Naruto's had been the week before.

Sarutobi doesn't bother to draw comparisons between them. There's a difference between choosing isolation and having it forced upon you, that Sasuke Uchiha- spoiled with his own misery and self pity as he was- would probably never understand.

"What a shame..." his assistant sighs. Sarutobi just grunts and sucks on his pipe. A shame indeed.



Naruto Uzumaki, Age 12

"Hey, you asshole. Wake up." Sasuke's eyes snap open and he frowns.

"What the hell do you want." he grumbles, rubbing the back of his palm across his sore eyes (always so sore these days. Sensei would say he was using his Sharingan too much, but-) "Kakashi told you to go home hours ago."

"Hmph," Naruto flops down beside the dark haired boy and pulls a dirty, porcelain flask out of his bag,

"He told us to go home- I don't see you going anywheres either."

Sasuke's frown deepens and he attempts to peer over Naruto's shoulder without making it obvious what he is doing. Naruto flashes him a dazzling grin and presents the flask- "It's sake!" he announces proudly.

Sasuke turns his nose up in the air and snorts;

"Not like I care."

"Yes you do."

"No. I don't."

"Oh, come on Sasuke-kun." Naruto mocks, whining, "You can't tell me you've never wondered what it tastes like! Besides after all that shit we went through in the Mist we deserve to celebrate." carefully, the blonde unscrews the cap and takes a deep wiff, "Ugh." he recoils, "It smells like dog piss."

Nevertheless, Sasuke watches in guarded fascination as Naruto tips back the bottle and pours the thick liquid down his throat. His throat moves once, and then he's coughing and sputtering and swearing under his breath.

"You moron," Sasuke snaps and grabs the bottle from Naruto's hands, "Don't tell me you stole it."

He might be attempting to answer, but Sasuke can't make out any coherent words between the sound of Naruto's esophagus turning itself inside out. Tenatively, Sasuke eyes the bottle and takes a deep gulp. He swirls the drink in his mouth a few times- and it burns his throat, the roof of his mouth, his eyes.

Pressing his eyes shut, he forces it down and clamps one hand over his mouth to keep it from coming back up.

"I hate you." Naruto coughs.

"This stuff tastes horrible." Sasuke informs his companion once the sake is safely burning a hole in his stomach lining.

"Yeah." Naruto coughs one more time and, after a moment, holds his hand out, "Dammnit, give me another swig."



Sasuke Uchiha, Age 13

Sasuke's been different since the chuunin exam. By different, Sakura would say that he's almost too the same. Exactly the same, but more so. If that makes any sense. He won't talk to her on his thirteenth birthday, which isn't so unusual, she supposes, considering he wouldn't talk to her on his twelfth birhday either. Or his eleventh for that matter. This is her fourth year of neatly wrapped birthday presents going un-opened and she'd like to admit how much it hurts. Sasuke Uchiha is hardly the easiest person in Konoha to shop for.

So Sakura hardly expected him to accept her gift, and she did expect him to be different after the exam, knowing what she knows about him. The shock comes when he doesn't make the transition to frothing lunatic that she has been half expecting. He trains his chidori with Kakashi-sensei, he eats ramen with the team after practice, he calls Naruto a moron under his breath and sometimes, he isn't a complete asshole to her. She wishes that she didn't still treasure those moments.

On the afternoon of Sasuke's thirteenth birthday when Sakura should have been giving him a home made lunch and a carefully wrapped, carefully chosen present threaded with three flowers, she was instead sitting on a bench with Naruto, eating ice cream and waiting for Team 10 to make their characteristically tardy apperance.

"You know, it's Sasuke-kun's birthday." she says quietly, and Naruto bolts upright in his seat.

"Are you kidding me!?" he exclaimes, and Sakura gives him a curious, sideways glance.

"No."

A strange look comes over Naruto's face and his chocolate ice cream begins to drip down his wrist (that careless messiness, really, is what frustrates Sakura most about Naruto), "Well." he murmers, "I've got to go kick his ass."

Sakura furrows her brow and tries to decode Naruto's particular brand of logic, but he's already on his feet, bounding down the narrow street.

"Wait!" she calls, "He's not in the mood for-" Naruto's gone, "... company."

With a hearty sigh, Sakura shrinks in her seat and stares at her ice cream. Strawberry pink, like everything else about her. Sometimes she wishes she were a boy too. Maybe then she wouldn't feel so left out all the time.

* * *


He had turned Sakura away politely, but with Naruto he decides the best approach is to slam the door in the blonde's face. Naruto is at the window by the time he turns around, "I thought you might do that." he says brightly.

'Oh right.' Sasuke scolds himself, 'Those damn clones of his.'

"Grab your stuff and lets go."

Sasuke folds his arms across his chest and stares incredeously, "Get out of my house."

"Okay, but you're coming too."

"Naruto, get out of my house."

"No way! Sakura-chan told me it's your birthday, so I'm going to kick your ass. Now grab your stuff and lets go!"

Naruto is making less sense than usual, which is an accomplishment considering.. Sitting there in the window, his back lit by the midday sun and his hair shimmering all sunny gold and his damn eyes sparkling... too much about Naruto is shiny and garish and sun-like. Sasuke wants to pound his damn face in.

"What? Are you afraid that I'll actually do it this time? Poor wittle Sasuke-kun all alone in his house on his birthday- what's wrong? Are you afraid that your beautiful face is getting wrinkles already? Or are you just scared that I'll beat you so hard you might get some bruises that will tarnish that lovely, milky-pale skin of yours? The girls will be so disappointed, Sasuke-chan! Who wants to date someone who isn't prettier than they are?"

During this triade, Sasuke calmly knots his forehead protector in the back and collects his bag. As Naruto reaches the last, shrilling note of his taunt he finds one "milky-pale" hand planted firmly on his chest as Sasuke shoves him out the window.

He watches the blonde dangling clumsily from the window sill for a moment before he gracefully leaps from window to rooftop, calling back over his shoulder: "Hurry up, moron!"

And Sasuke smiles.

* * *


Three days later, Sasuke hears Itachi's name for the first time in years. He smiles again, but it's a very different sort of smile.



Naruto Uzumaki, Age 14

On his fourteenth birthday, Naruto wakes up to the autumn chill because he forgot to close his window (good thing Jiraya didn't catch that, or Naruto would be in for a lecture the length of Mist's coastline).

Shuddering, he drags himself out of bed and pulls the window shut. In the half light, he curls up against the wall and stares at the Inn's unfamiliar ceiling.

On his fourteenth birthday, Naruto wakes up with Sasuke's name on his lips.






Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
tyr
Feb. 16th, 2006 03:54 am (UTC)
(That quote on the cut is from Sarah McLachlan's Vox! *u*)

Very pretty story. And that illustration illustration has wonderful contrast. Well done! *yaythumbs*
tyr
Feb. 16th, 2006 03:55 am (UTC)
(>_> Geez, repetitive, aren't I?)
cephiedvariable
Feb. 16th, 2006 04:06 am (UTC)
OMG! YOU RECOGNIZED THE LYRICS REFERENCE! I THINK I LOVE YOU! ♥ ♥ ♥

As popular as Sarah McLachlan is, VERY few people seem to know any of her music released before 'Surfacing' except 'I Will Remember You' and sometimes 'Into the Fire'. Which makes me emo since I'm more partial to her first three albums. *sigh*

Vox is one of my favorite McLachlan songs and I love those lyrics DESPITE THE FACT THAT THEY DON'T REALLY MAKE ANY SENSE.

But anyways, you are totally the coolest person ever. And thanks for the compliments! XD And I love the picture myself, as well. kaiousei is an amazing artist in all respects, but I think her coloring is the most fantastic part of her drawings. ^__^
tyr
Feb. 16th, 2006 04:24 am (UTC)
OF COURSE I RECOGNIZE THE LYRICS BECAUSE I AM, LIKE, A DIEHARD SARAH FAN! *__* AND I LOVE YOU TOO FOR LOVING SARAH AND VOX AND EVERYTHING. XDDD! Have you heard the Bloom remix of that song? *_* ♥

I love her earlier albums as much as I love recent ones like Afterglow, because her voice used to go up SO HIGH and sound so pretty. And now, when her voice goes low, it's utterly orgasmic.

AND WHO REALLY CARES WHETHER OR NOT THE LYRICS MAKE SENSE OR NOT IN RELATION TO THE STORY. 8D I myself have a horrible habit of naming drabbles after random Sarah songs when I'm braindead. XD

And you are totally the coolest person, too! XP

I look forward to seeing more fics and art from the two of you! :D
cephiedvariable
Feb. 16th, 2006 04:40 am (UTC)
YAY! I literally grew up on Sarah's early music (being that my mom's a big fan and she grew up in the city where I live), which explains why I like it best. But really, I just love all her music equally and DID NOT EVEN KNOW THAT THERE WAS A VOX REMIX ON 'BLOOM'!!!!!!!!!!! Between that and the GORGEOUS remix of 'Fumbling Towards Ecstacy' I've heard from that album, I might actually have to go and waste my money on it now. XDDD

SEE, THE LYRICS MADE SENSE IN RELATION TO THE STORY BECAUSE I WAS LISTENING TO THE SONG AT THE TIME. THAT'S ALWAYS HOW IT WORKS! Sarah's music really IS excellent for yoinking random titles/lines. For some reason, no matter what I'm writing be it fanfiction, original, fantasy/sci-fi or real life melodrama her music NEVER fails to inspire me. The ultimate cure for writer's block? Pop in a Sarah McLachlan CD of course! XD

I surmise it's most likely because her music is so dark. I'm continuously surprised at how popular she's become with all the pagan and homosexual undertones in her music coupled with the disturbing themes of violence, rape, suicide and, like, bondage in her lyrics.

EITHER WAY, I'M GLAD. BECAUSE SHE'S AWESOME. *nods*

And, uh < /fangirl>.
tyr
Feb. 16th, 2006 05:19 am (UTC)
Sarah McLachlan - Vox (Tom Middleton remix, from BLOOM)
I'd upload the whole album for you to share the Sarah love, except I'm on spasmodic wireless. ;_; HOPE YOU ENJOY THIS ONE.

It's so fantastic to meet other young people who love Sarah's music! In the lineups to her concerts, I always feel like I'm the youngest person in line, even though I was... 17(?) at her last concert in Vancouver. *_* Sarah is also the only celebrity I have a poster of in my room and the rest are all Naruto.

And it's TRUE; her music is amazing inspiration. ♥ *LOVES HER SO VERY MUCH*

She wrote lyrics involving bondage? 8D Which one?? Even though some of her lyrics are controversial, there's no denying she is a genius songwriter/singer/musician AND a super generous person. She inspires me so much in so many ways.

< /offtopic> XD
caitlin_chan
Feb. 16th, 2006 12:10 pm (UTC)
This inkspot = love! (Even though my ultimate Naruto OTP is still Gaara/Naruto ;P )

Very well written; good spelling, good grammar, good characterisation-- my three standard requirements. ^^ Very nice art that makes me sad (because it's, y'know, sad).

I love how Naruto mocks Sasuke with all the cliched phrases you seen in fic. XD Wonderfully hilarious, I was laughing quite hard.

Then I read the last section and nearly cried. < /sappy fangirl>
akari_hayashi
Feb. 22nd, 2006 01:18 am (UTC)
Woo, very nice. Cute interactions between the two. I'm not really a reader of Naruto fics but this is nice.
taes
Mar. 3rd, 2006 01:08 am (UTC)
I am completely stalling from doing homework, and your lovely story offered a nice, long distraction. XD I enjoyed that, and it was well written too! That's hard to find, sometimes...

Interesting turn on events, but still a lovely IC-ness that makes me smile. Your word choice definately makes the piece flow nicely, and the whole...mm, I dunno, sequence of things leads to a very nicely done story. Not overdone, but not unemphasized, either.

In any case, I liked the raw emotions, the stilled feelings, and the interesting faces that the charas show...your style is simply written (or so it reads), but it suits your words, and the plot...

Well done, and thank you.
(Anonymous)
Mar. 3rd, 2006 01:08 am (UTC)
P.S. (still Taes, but too lazy to log in)
found your name on the nsn_roundrobin, to get a feel for what kind of writing you do. :)
gonrie
Mar. 9th, 2008 06:05 pm (UTC)
That was sooo...just so damn great! Hope you'll do more SasuNaru, you're really good!
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )