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NF Fanfic Contest - Contest Entries

Discussion in 'Naruto Fanworks' started by Spectrum, Jun 8, 2007.

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  1. Spectrum Active Member

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    This is the official entries thread for the Naruto Forums Fanfiction Contest. Judging will take place in a separate thread here, and any and all discussion belongs in this thread. This thread is solely for the fics themselves.

    I'll be posting each of the entries anonymously as I get them, and will index everything in this first post by title and theme/prompt as well.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Bonds


    Bonds You Had Broken

    Caught Red-Handed

    Kaleidoscope Eyes

    Ephemeral

    Is That What This Is?

    Life as a Medical Shinobi

    Little Things

    Masked
    1 | 2

    The Cunning Fox

    Voice-an impression of a sign-

    Wish I Could Understand
    1 | 2


    Slice of Life


    Bedtime Story
    1 | 2

    Capturing Emotions

    Life Appreciation

    To Never Be With You


    Duty


    Sharp Teeth
    1 | 2 | 3

    Snared by Duty

    The End

    The Twilight of Destiny

    Under the Skin
    1 | 2

    Where We Stand
    1 | 2


    Karma


    Butterflies and the Artist
    1 | 2

    Karma

    Reciprocity
    1 | 2

    The Nine Tailed Fox Set Free
    1 | 2

    Past


    Bleed the Soul
    1 | 2

    Break the Limit
    1 | 2 | 3

    Could Have Been
    1 | 2

    Cry

    Dosu's Shattered Throne

    Slipping Away

    Third Time's the Charm

    Tobi
    1 | 2 | 3

    Uchiha Story
    1 | 2​
     
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  2. Spectrum Active Member

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    Title: Ephemeral
    Theme/prompt: Bonds
    Characters/Pairings: Uchiha Sasuke
    Word Count: 505
    Genre: Angst
    Rating: PG-13

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    "... Sasuke."

    It was weak but he was positive that he had heard Naruto call out his name, although he was miles back. Sasuke turned around, almost expecting to see his best friend standing there, ready for round two and to fulfill all the promises he made to break all the bones in Sasuke's body and to bring him back to Konoha.

    But all that there's left now is the rain and nothingness.

    Dull, dark eyes scanned the environment, secretly wishing for someone to bring him back. This was his path, this was what he had to do; he had to defeat Itachi. This world wasn't big enough for both of them.

    And yet it hurt so badly to leave everything behind.

    It was four years since Itachi had massacred his clan, since he dyed his hands crimson red with his parent's blood. It had been four years since Sasuke's world shattered, since his hopes and dreams faded, making place for revenge.

    Finally accepting the fact that nobody was coming for him anymore; that he was alone, Sasuke turned around, dropping the kunai that was still in his hand. He sighes heavily before taking a step forward.

    Someday, he'll try to come back to Konoha. He'll see if his house hasn't changed in a few years, if it's still that empty shell where once the Uchiha district was located. He'll be there to see if Naruto is still the same idiot who has surpassed it (although he would never admit it). He'll be watching Sakura as she blooms into a strong kunoichi, like he knew she would become. He'll be there, smiling secretly as Naruto does another attempt to steal Kakashi's book.

    He wished he could be there forever.

    For a second, he stopped, turning around, looking back longingly. Perhaps Kakashi's speech made sense; perhaps he'll never be able to be in peace if he'll continue hunting Itachi, trying desperately to surpass him. Perhaps, he should just let him go.

    "I'll always be with you, like the wall you need to overcome."

    He gritted his teeth so hard that it almost hurt, fists balling as Itachi's smiling face entered his mind.

    Sasuke will always long to be in Konoha; it's his hometown. It's where his family once lived. But he can't stay; Konoha is too tempting. He had been slacking off as it is already. If only he had trained harder; if only he had trained more. Itachi would have been dead by now if he had put a little more effort in training instead of playing around, tending to the gardens of the wealthy women in Konoha.

    "Sorry Sasuke," Itachi said calmly as he flicked his brother's forehead. "Maybe next time"


    "Uchiha Itachi..."
    Sasuke whispered to the rain, Sharingan blazing as he took another step towards Sound. "Next time... I'll kill you. I'll gain power my own way..."

    There once was a lost boy who tried to find his way through the darkness.

    But as he entered Sound, he realized that he would never find the light again.
     
  3. Spectrum Active Member

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    Title: Capturing Emotions
    Theme/prompt: Slice of life
    Characters/Pairings: SakuSai
    Word Count: 1090
    Genre: Slight Romance, General, Humor.
    Rating: T

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    It was his day off today, and all he did was her.

    He takes his brush and swipes it gently, a beautiful shade of crimson red marking the rough sheet. As a flaw appears on the paper, he groans. Another mistake. His unemotional face remains stoic as he grouses to the woman in front of him, disposing another page of his ruined art.

    He dips his brush into the still water, and stares at her. She is moving around, toying with her pen and twirling it around.

    He exhales.

    "You're annoying, stop. I'm working."

    The woman's emerald orbs look up and bore right through him in annoyance, for his words echoes of the past, but he really didn't care. It was already a routine these days. She growls slightly at him, and goes back to her papers.

    "I'm working as well, so you better keep your mouth shut and stick to your own work!"

    Usually she throws a fit, but today she retains her emotions, although hint of malice is implied in her voice. Pulling her light, pastel colored hair behind her ears, she jots down a few more things onto her paper, her brows furrowing.

    The room is quiet now, and they are both at work.

    He pulls his pencil swiftly from his ear, and starts to draw the annoyed woman. After a few seconds of sketching, he sighs, and crumples the paper roughly, the paper resting with his other recent failures.

    She looks up from her papers, a slight smile gracing her face.

    "Bad day?"

    She laughs slightly, trying to hide her (flawless) face from him behind her papers, and he is not happy.

    "Hag."

    She makes a surprised look, but he seems to ignore it. Emotion seeps through the phlegmatic man's words, and she remains quiet, returning to the things she had to attend to once more.

    He looks at her curiously-- for once, she was actually staying quiet. Overjoyed at the fact, yet slightly concerned, he takes one last glance at her and grabs a new sheet, beginning to sketch once more. His hands clenches at the pencil as his movements flow and imitate the woman through the paper.

    The lead is marked onto the tablet as his fumbles around, fingers itching over the pencil, trying to draw the exact curves and lines he had in mind.

    Soon, the lines are drawn, curves are perfected, and he is done.

    After seconds of reconsideration, he finally completes the line art, not a single line out of bounds, nor a hair out of line. He is satisfied. Grabbing the paint brush once more, he dips it into the ink and begins.

    He always starts with her hair and her face, for the way her pale amaranth colored hair matched those emerald eyes of hers secretly enchants him.

    Pink ink flows through the paper, and the brush glides smoothly over her sketched hair. A hidden smile is on his face, and he is satisfied.

    The woman notices this, and drops her papers quietly, curiously walking up behind him to watch. He sees this and spins around quickly, towering over the painting protectively.

    "The artist's eyes only, hag. Not finished," He says, implying her nickname.

    He knows she despises that dreaded nickname, but he delights her torture. She humphs and walks away, glaring at him once again before covering herself in her work.

    Seeing this, he smirks in triumph.

    Taking one another deep breath, he begins painting again.
    ---

    She is curious about the picture, but won't let it show.

    Sneaking a small glance at the man, she fails to see even a glimpse of it.

    Is it a flower?

    An animal?

    She is completely puzzled, and decides to sneak a glance from him. She stands up and dusts her skirt as an excuse, and while on her tip toes, she tries to see even one glimpse of his so-called masterpiece. Almost there, almost there...

    He notices this, and covers his painting again, an eyebrow lifting in amusement.

    "Hag." A fake smile rests on his face.

    Her face heats up, and she sits down harshly, scowling before spinning her chair around to the Godaime's desk in disgust.

    Why is he here anyways? She silently wonders, even though she wouldn't receive an answer.

    Finally, recollecting her thoughts, she sits quietly and grabs her pen, returning to her-- no-- the Godaime's work.

    Although at times, she turns to look at him.

    She looks again, and he is still painting, this time a beautiful shade of celadon staining the brush. She watches in awe as his hands gently flow with the brush, the tip touching the paper delicately; if only he could be as tender in choosing words.

    After minutes of watching him from the corner of her eye, she hears a satisfied sigh escape his lips.

    He is done.

    He holds up the paper gingerly and raises it up, and her eyes follows the picture carefully. They widen in surprise, but she decides not to say anything.

    It is shown to be a beautiful picture, a beautiful picture of herself. The shades of her skin matches perfectly, and it softly blends in with the color in her eyes and hair. She is in complete awe.

    "... done. Now, to hide it." He breathes out loudly in relief, forgetting her existence in that moment in time. She hears this and gives a small, aloof grin.

    She standing up, she takes a step forward, and wonders what will happen next.

    "Well, I like it."

    Her voice stung his ears.

    "Damn."

    He staggers around, covering the picture from her view, but she has already seen it. Gently, she grabs his hands and pries it away from the picture, and holds in stretched out in front of her.

    He's secretly flustered, and she's in obviously in amazement.

    "It's beautiful."

    He turns back around, to hide his face, and she laughs. She sets the picture down on the table, and steps up to him, slowly, but surely.

    Before either of them could realize, she wraps her arms around his back, and rests her head on the crook of his neck. Her position reminds her of her former lover, and yet she doesn't mind.

    "Thank you."

    He holds back a smile to no avail, because he doesn't mind either. Another hint of emotion flashes on his face as he turns his head back and mutters something in her ear.

    "Hag."

    She snarls.

    Of all the places, Sai is there-- it was a start of a very unique relationship.
     
  4. Spectrum Active Member

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    Title: Voice-an impression of a sign-
    Theme/prompt: Bonds
    Characters/Pairings: Team 7, NaruSakuSasu-ish
    Word Count: 501
    Genre: General/Romance-ish
    Rating: G

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Sasuke wakes up to an ordinary day and then he looks at the calendar. It’s July 23 and it is his birthday again.

    Then, Sasuke remembers the last time that he had his birthday, and it was with them-Sakura and Naruto, and how they had an actual little party, with the presents, cards, balloons, and all that stuff.

    Now, those times seem so far off, even if he had left them only a couple of months ago. Even though he feels that he has nothing to do with them anymore, Sasuke can’t help and be nostalgic about it. And then, he wonders if leaving them was the best thing to do. He could’ve gotten stronger in Konoha right? Perhaps their values weren’t as insecure as he though.

    But Sasuke knows that this is the path he has chosen, and he can’t turn back. Still, the feeling doesn’t go away, but Sasuke doesn’t feel like they need to.

    --

    Sakura doesn’t know where this path is leading to. She doesn’t know if all of the bruises and muscle tears and hours of studying is going to get her anywhere.

    Sometimes, she feels like giving up, because she knows that both Naruto and Sasuke are much stronger than her, and she might as well be useless to the both of them. Maybe that’s why Sasuke left, because she couldn’t help him.

    But then, Sakura remembers the reason she is training, so she can help them, and so the next time it is July 23, she can celebrate Sasuke’s birthday with him, as a team. And then, she will see Naruto and Sasuke smiling together once again.

    It would be far sadder to stop walking this path now, so Sakura returns to her training.

    --

    Naruto stands warily on top of the underground compartment. The fear is inside of Naruto, that he is going to meet him again, and he doesn’t know how he will react.

    But he has been preparing for this for a month (for whatever impulsive reason he had), and so, he has no choice to do this.

    So, he carefully climbs down the stairs, towards Sasuke, making sure that no one can hear him. Then, he examines all of the rooms along the dark hallway. All of them are completely empty, with no signs of human life.

    Just as Naruto is about to lose hope, he sees a hidden door in the darkness. He opens it, only to find a small bed and a calendar, but no Sasuke. Now Naruto wonders if he has been wasting his time trying to track him.

    But after looking at the calendar, Naruto sees that the date ‘July 23’ has been circled. This is definitely Sasuke’s room.

    Naruto puts down the small package on Sasuke’s bed and leaves.

    --

    When Sasuke returns from training that night, he notices a small parcel on his bed.

    On the wrapping paper is scrawled, “Happy Birthday, Sasuke”.

    (Even though they are not together, the bonds of Team 7 are still there.)
     
  5. Spectrum Active Member

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    Title: Bleed the Soul
    Theme/prompt: Past
    Characters/Pairings: SasuIno, implied NaruSaku
    Word Count: 1850
    Genre: Angst General Romance
    Rating: T


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------




    Bleed the Soul.




    - -



    Ever has it been that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation.
    - Kahlil Gibran


    ~




    She feels the rain falling upon her, and hears the sound of thunders echoing in the distance.




    Ahead of her, Sakura screams, her emerald orbs enlarging with horror, and at her side, Naruto runs forward, his lips screaming his name, his eyes already turning red.




    She takes off running as well.




    ~ ~




    They never ask why shes there; theres no need to.




    They dont go near her either.




    Neither do they stop and try to shield her lonely form from the cruel drops of rain.




    They knew it all would be pointless.




    She doesnt want any help, because she simply doesnt need it.




    Shes the one whos choosing to do that to herself; shes the one whos forcing herself to mourn over a traitor who never loved her back.




    If she wanted to mourn, to suffer over a traitor like himit was her problem.




    Thats what most people chose to think; but still, some of them couldnt help but feel their hearts constricting with sympathy at the sight of her.




    ~ ~




    There are screams and thunders everywhere.




    But still, the sickening sound that his body makes when falling to the ground echoes clearly in her ears, and it makes her come to a halt.




    Her blue eyes widen as she stares blankly ahead to the body that was now laying backwards on the ground, raven hair starting to become tainted with crimson blood.




    And as she hears Sakuras anguished scream, as she sees his blood mixing with the rain, her body is assaulted with sobs.




    ~ ~




    Shes always the same, always unchanging.




    She still wears purple, and her hair is just as bright; her eyes still that sky-like blue. Shes still breathtakingly beautiful and awfully good at witty comebacks.


    But those who knew her knew better.




    They could see the hollowness inside her eyes; the alluring emptiness in her smile; they could see the void that was eating away at her heart.




    They could see her changes, and no one knew just how badly they wanted her back.




    But they also knew that would be impossible.




    Ino would never be the same Ino she used to be because the heart of that Ino had died along with him.




    ~ ~




    She doesnt know just how long it took her to reach his side, but by the time she gets there, Sakura and Naruto are already with him, the tears leaking from their eyes.




    And just one look at his ruined body allows her to know the undeniable truth.




    Theres Theres nothing that can be done Theres nothing I can do




    She doesnt need Sakuras cries to realize that, but its not until she speaks that the meaning of that knowledge finally sinks in.




    And she falls to her knees at his side, her body being engulfed by an agony so great, that she could feel her heart being crushed by it.




    ~ ~




    It was always the same routine.




    Every year, she would take that day off from her duty, and she would get there early in the morning, and she wouldnt leave until the afternoon was almost over.




    Exactly six hours she would expend standing by the memorial's side.




    The exact six hours Sasuke spent unconscious before finally dying.




    ~ ~




    Shes openly crying now, the tears leaking from her eyes and mixing with the rain, leaving a salty and bitter taste on her parted lips.




    Shes still at his side, but shes refusing to look at him. She doesnt want to, she cant bring herself to look at himshe cant bring herself to see him dying.




    He has been speaking for some time now; Sakura and Naruto openly sobbing or emitting soft and strained laughs at some of his commentsbut she hasnt been listening. Some part of her thought she didnt have any right to invade Team Sevens moment; some part of her knowing that it wasnt her placethat it had never been.




    But other part of her refuses to accept that factrefuses like it always had.




    But she stops sobbing in the moment she hears him saying her name.




    ~ ~




    A lonely tear makes its way across her cheek, but she doesnt make any effort to wipe it away.




    The wind is soft against her skin, but awfully cold at the same time; and for a moment, she thinks she can hear his voicechoked, curt, but oddly soft and awfully low, just like in that time.




    She starts sobbing quietly after that.
     
  6. Spectrum Active Member

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    ~ ~




    “… Ino”




    She tries in vain to not show the surprise that invades her body at hearing her name being whispered by his lips, but she finds that she just doesn’t have the strength to pretend anything anymore.




    Y-Yeah?”




    She curses herself from stammering, for looking weak in front of the only person she never wanted to be weak about, and some part of her scolds her for caring so damn much.




    But she just couldn’t help it.




    Even at the brink of dead, she couldn’t help but want to do her best for him.




    Even in the brink of death—when she knew the only thing that would come after would be nothingness—she still wants to make him realize what has been right in front of him all along.




    “I’m the right girl for Sasuke-kun, Shikamaru! I know that! And some day, he’ll realize it as well, you’ll see!”




    She feels a desperate need to laugh, so she does; and the sound comes out croaked and bitter.




    But it makes him smile.




    Heh.. what’s so funny, Yamanaka?”




    She notices the use of her last-name, and it makes her remember past times, happier times—times when things were easier; times when they didn’t have to worry about vengeance, and killing, and death, and betrayals.




    It makes her remember the times when she would cling to his arm, and would talk about anything and everything that came to her mind, always trying her best to coax at least a single word from him.




    And the memory made her smile, even though the smile came out strained.




    I was just thinking that this wasn’t how I imagined I’d see you again..”




    He snorts at that, and for an instant, Ino forgets everything about the place they’re in—but then he starts coughing—coughing up blood—and everything comes back to her head way too vividly.




    The urge of running away had never been greater than it had right then.




    But he’s talking again, and his voice keeps her rooted to her spot.




    You always had… bad timing, Yamanaka.”




    His mocking tone brings a bitter laugh back to her lips—but her laugh is cut short by his new fit of coughs.




    She doesn’t know what possesses her right then—but before she knows it, her hand is on his own; grasping it tightly, clutching it with all she’s got; clutching it as if her life depended on it, as if his life depended on it—and for an instant, she’s left wishing it did.




    Shh.. Stop talking, Sasuke-kun. You’ll only get weaker”




    There’s no need for that, Ino.. You know that as well as I do”




    She knows he’s right, but still, she can’t bring herself to say it.




    ~ ~




    She would always bring a pink carnation in her right hand, and she would always grip it tighter when there was only an hour left.




    No one had ever noticed it; and those who did had never questioned why she did what she did—everyone knew she wouldn’t give them an answer.




    Sakura and Naruto always came by that time, each of them holding a flower of their own; Sakura, a Zinnia, Naruto, a Stock. But none of the three would say a word, none of them would break the silence or take their eyes off the monument where Naruto had clumsily carved the name of their friend.




    The name of a traitor whose memory they still held close to their hearts.




    ~



    Unable are the Loved to die, For Love is Immortality.




    ~




    She had lost the track of time after he stopped talking to her and resumed his talk with Naruto.




    The only thing she knew was that she had stayed by his side, holding his hand still, her eyes glued to his face, memorizing it, carving in her heart every gesture, every feature..




    But she raised her face to the sky upwards, allowing the rain to wash away her tearstained face; allowing the rain to wipe out the traces of blood and death from her eyes, even though she knew it would all be futile. Nothing would ever erase from her eyes what she saw that night, what happened in that battle. Nothing would ever be able to stop the moving pictures from replaying again and again in her eyes, in a sickening display of masochism that she just knew she wouldn’t be able to control.




    It was then that she noticed that everything had suddenly became too silent.




    “…Sasuke?”




    ~ ~





    The grip on the carnation tightened, and the pain threatened to overwhelm her, so she shut her eyes close and drew in a deep breath.




    But she couldn’t stop the horrifying shiver that ran down her spine.




    ~ ~




    Ino raised her face in the instant Naruto’s broken voice reached her ears, and her heart constricted painfully when her eyes landed on Sasuke’s face.




    His eyes were closed, his muscles relaxed, his lips shinning brightly thanks to the drops of blood that the rain hadn’t been able to wash away from them.




    “… Sasuke-kun?”




    She heard Sakura tentatively call him again, and she also saw how Naruto turned away, hiding his face and trying to no avail to quiet his sobs.




    SASUKE!”




    Soft, remorseful sobs started to leave Ino’s lips, as she felt how Sasuke’s hand started to slip from her own, and it was just then that she noticed that he had been holding onto it all along.




    ~ ~




    She would always leave as the rain stopped falling.




    She would bend down, placing her flower above the memorial, her fingers lingering for a few seconds longer to softly and longingly caress his name, before she’d finally stand up, turning around and starting to walk.




    At her back, Sakura and Naruto would still be standing, side by side, their hands joined together in a quiet display of support as they both mourned not only the loose of a teammate, of a brother, but of a teacher as well.




    But Ino never turned back to glance at them; she never stayed longer than what she always did.




    There was only so much time she could stand before breaking down.




    ~ ~




    Sasuke.. Sasuke-kun..”




    Stop it..”




    Sasuke..!”




    Stop it, Sakura!”




    “… He’s dead, Sakura. He has been dead from the moment he killed him”





    ~




    - -


    Owari.



    If Love is the cause of a shattered heart, you'll be broken forever.
    -Unknown.




    Meaning of the flowers:
    Pink Carnation: I’ll never forget you.
    Zinnia: In memory of an absent friend.
    Stock: Bonds of affection; You’ll always be beautiful to me.
     
  7. Spectrum Active Member

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    Title: Caught red-handed (ShikaTema)
    Theme/prompt: Bonds
    Characters/Pairings: Shikamaru x Temari, Kankuro
    Word Count: 929
    Genre: Romance + Some Comedy
    Rating: PG

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Temari and Shikamaru were sitting down on the couch staring at the wall in front of them. They’d been like this for about ten minutes. It was the first time that they’d had any time to them-selves.

    “Well, what do you want to do Shika?” asked Temari.

    “I don’t know,” answered Shikamaru, almost seeming as if he was lost somewhere in the wall, “What are boyfriends supposed to do?”

    Looking at Shikamaru as if he’s crazy she says, “Well you’re the guy here.” Then she playfully punches Shikamaru’s ribs.

    “Oh, but you women are so troublesome, you always want something and if a guy does something wrong you get all over us,” Shikamaru said rubbing his ribs.

    Pouting Temari replies, “Well it’s better to be demanding than be dissatisfied. Don’t leave me with a feeling of dissatisfaction Shikamaru… I didn’t invite you over so you can have a staring session with the wall.”

    “Well, that’s just the way I am, I like saving my energy for a fight or a game of Shogi and Go,” said Shikamaru, still staring at the wall.

    “Oh so I’m not worth your energy?” Temari asked.

    “Well it’s not that, but…” he said as Temari grabbed his hand and put it on her leg.

    “Ok, so how’s that? Do you feel like wasting some energy now,” said Temari with her signature smile.

    “Yeah…” Shikamru said. Hmmm, he thought to him-self, maybe women weren’t as troublesome as he thought. Temari’s leg feels real nice, but what do I do now. Arrg I’m thinking too much now! Shikamaru kissed Temari.

    “Oh, ok. That’s more like it Shika! It’s like…” Temari paused, “It’s like when your staring at the clouds. Don’t think about it.”

    Feeling somewhat satisfied Shikamru says, “Your right, this is nice… this is good.” They kissed again. Temari wrapped her arms around Shikamaru and pulled her body closer to Shikamaru’s. Shikamaru started to shift his hand up Temari’s smooth leg and up into her skirt… then suddenly the door clicked open and something crashed to the ground.

    “OH MY GOD,” yelled Kankuro as he entered the house.

    Startled, Temari and Shikamaru look at Kankuro. “Kankuro… what are you doing here? I thought you were off training…” said Temari as she blushed profusely. Shikamaru continued to stare at Kankuro.
    “Temari, what the hell are you doing? Wait… why are you asking me questions?!?! And Shikamaru what are you doing here,” exclaimed Kankuro, his eyes wide open and breathing quite hard.

    “What a drag… I’m making out with Temari and Cat Ears decides to bust in and break it up,” thought Shikamaru. “I’m just here doing what any boyfriend does with his girlfriend,” he told Kankuro.

    “Boyfriend?” said Kankuro as he burst out laughing.

    “What? We’re not a couple,” Temari said as she put her elbow into Shikamaru’s ribs.

    “Ouch what was that for? I thought you said…” Shikamaru was cut off as Temari put her hand over his mouth.

    “Ummm…” Temari said as she blushed some more. “We were just… umm… just… having some fun…”

    “Maybe you should find a better way of having ‘fun’. You know how Gaara would get if he…” Kankuro started to say.

    “Don’t tell Gaara,” Temari pleaded. “Your over-reacting Kankuro, you’re just mad because you only have your puppets!”

    Blushing from embarrassment Kankuro counters, “That’s… that’s not true… I’m seeing someone, I just can’t tell you. Anyway, we just care about you, Shikamaru is trouble.”

    Smirking Shikamaru says, “No, no, you have it all wrong. Temari is the troublesome one here. Just like all women are. First she tells me to be her boyfriend and now she…” Temari covers his mouth again.

    “Well don’t tell Gaara if you won’t tell me who this girl is,” Temari said.

    Kankuro’s face got redder, “Ummm… fine… I won’t tell Gaara.”

    “Good. Now Shika and I are going outside for a little chat… Please try not to follow us,” Temari said as she dragged Shikamaru towards the door.

    Looking at Temari suspiciously Kankuro says. “Fine… whatever.”

    Temari and Shikamaru walked towards the outskirts of town. They didn’t look at each other much, but inside they wanted to embrace and show their passion towards each other.

    “Temari,” Shikamaru said breaking up the silence, “why did you tell Kankuro that we’re not a couple?” Shikamaru thought that she was just being a troublesome women, not that he didn’t expect it from her anyway.

    “Well, I just wanted to protect you Shika. I don’t want Gaara to hurt you,” she told Shikamaru.

    “Oh,” said Shikamaru, blushing if ever so slightly. He didn’t expect that from Temari. “Well… I guess I should be on my way home.”

    Temari grabbed Shikamaru’s hand and said, “Wait… we never really… we didn’t get to spend our time together.”

    Looking up at the reddish clouds as the sun was setting, “No, not really. But we did have a nice stroll just now.” Shikamaru smirked a bit. Temari grabbed him by the shirt and kissed him. Her body was slightly tensed up, but she knew what she was doing. She caught Shikamaru by surprise. “Mmm, that was nice,” said Shikamaru as he smiled.

    Blushing Temari said, “Yeah, maybe the next time we see each other we can do a bit more of that.”

    “Yeah, maybe,” Shikamaru said. Temari stopped.

    “Well bye now,” Temari said.

    “Yeah… bye,” Shikamaru said as he pulled Temari by the hips and laid one on her. “That was a good night kiss, my troublesome lady,” he winked.

    Laughing Temari waved good by and Shikamaru walked off into the distance.
     
  8. Spectrum Active Member

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    Title: Kaleidoscope Eyes
    Theme/Prompt: Bonds
    Characters/Pairings: Sasuke and Itachi (not Uchihacest)
    Word Count: 808
    Genre: Drama
    Rating: PG

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Sasuke looked down at his brother’s body in shock. Although he’d been waiting for this day for years, a part of him had never really believed it would come. And yet it had.

    Even after the mission to the Wave Country, the Chuunin Exam, and three years spent in Sound, this still ranked as the most difficult battle Sasuke had ever faced. He nearly hadn’t survived it. He’d been training relentlessly to beat Itachi since he was eight—but Itachi had spent most of those years trying to become stronger as well. When Sasuke confronted him, Itachi unleashed the full force of his power, and the resulting fight had reduced most of the surrounding area to ashes.

    Sasuke coughed up blood and collapsed to his knees. There was a gaping hole in his midsection—evidence that his brother, too, had mastered the Chidori technique. A muscle spasm in his fingers made him drop his sword. He was fairly certain that his jaw was broken. I feel terrible, he thought. I feel terrible, but…I’m alive.

    I’m alive, and he isn’t. Blood loss was causing Sasuke’s peripheral vision to fade, and all he could see was his brother’s corpse filling his field of sight. I’m alive, and he isn’t. Itachi’s eyes were midnight black, the Sharingan having faded from them as he died. The edges of his Akatsuki cloak had been singed by a Katon jutsu, and there was a wound clear through his torso where Sasuke had dealt the fatal blow with his sword. The flesh around the edges of the injury was blackened and charred by the lightning chakra Sasuke had channeled through the weapon.

    I’m alive, and he isn’t. Sasuke felt a mix of exhilaration, relief, and…disappointment? Why did he feel as though he regretted what he’d just done? He had been working towards this day for years. The dream of exacting revenge against Itachi had consumed his every waking moment, had filled his conscious thoughts while awake and his unconscious ones while asleep. His life had revolved around the bond of hatred between him and his brother.

    That’s it, he realized. His whole life, there had been a deep bond between himself and Itachi. At first, it had been a bond of love. He had adored—almost worshipped—his older brother, had wanted to be like him in every way. If Itachi said something was right, then it was right. If he said something was wrong, then it was wrong. If Itachi wanted to do something, Sasuke wanted to do it too. Then Itachi had murdered the Uchiha clan—but the bond between him and Sasuke had not disappeared. It had simply changed its nature, turning from a bond of adoration and love to one of contempt and hatred. Itachi was still the center of Sasuke’s life, but as a malignant figure instead of a benign one. They were still linked, their souls inextricably bound together by fate and destiny.

    No longer.

    Sasuke was alive, and Itachi wasn’t.

    For the first time in his life, Sasuke was not chained to his brother. The bond of love had been broken on the night when Itachi had taken up arms against his own family. The bond of hatred had been forged on that same night…and now it had been severed too.

    Sasuke’s eyes burned, and he rubbed at them frantically. Am I crying? But no, this was not the sting of tears. It was something entirely different.

    For a long time, Itachi had been not only Sasuke’s brother by blood, but also a brother in spirit. He had been Sasuke’s closest friend. Even when Sasuke’s love for Itachi was transmuted to hate, there was still a bond between them. It might have changed its nature, but the fundamental fact of their connection had still remained. And now, as that last bond finally broke, as the person who had been first Sasuke’s best friend and then his worst enemy died…

    …It happened.

    The breaking of a bond between two souls, the shattering of a link that had endured through love and hate, adoration and rage, across years and miles, was the catalyst. As feelings of loneliness and freedom, satisfaction and an inexplicable sorrow, poured through the younger of the Uchiha brothers, the burning in his eyes intensified to such a degree that he squeezed them shut and groaned in pain.

    When he opened his eyes again a second later, they had changed. For an instant, the world seemed to break apart, pieces scattering and shifting into new patterns like the pieces of glass inside a kaleidoscope. The feeling confused Sasuke, but Itachi could have told him what it meant.

    This was what a person felt like when he awakened the Sharingan’s highest level, its ultimate evolution.

    This was what it felt like to achieve the Mangekyou Sharingan.
     
  9. Spectrum Active Member

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    Title: Life Appreciation
    Theme/prompt: Slice of life
    Characters/Pairings: Ten-ten, Kakashi, Hinata
    Word Count: 1,003
    Genre: General
    Rating: PG

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Days had finally become long and bright in the village. Kohona, like always was teeming with people of all different ways. There was always a few teenagers hanging around the local market, laughing, drinking maybe smoking. They caused a large nuisance to the local marketers, and ever so often Ms Chip would give them an earful as they slunk off.
    Those teenagers were the few that never wanted to become ninja; they had gone to other education schools, where plain English and Maths were taught.
    But they probably never had to use their English to scream at ninjas who had gone off the beaten track to a life of crime and killing, and they probably never had to wrack their brains for the mathematical equations on if it was safe to jump a nearly too wide gorge spurting flames.

    Ten-ten sighed, how she would give anything for just a day to be free from all her ninja duties. As a 16 year-old, she had much more responsibilities for her community then any common citizen, today was the Weekly Hospital Visit for all ninja not on strenuously long missions. Lee sat beside the hospital bed of a small boy of 3, both amazed by a pop-up book one of the other chuunin had brought along. After a few seconds of margined awe, Lee bustled into explanations of the stances and attacks of the standing paper ninjas. Neji had been spending the time since he came to the beds talking to an older boy about how he could get back into training after recuperation from a cliff fall.

    After an hour of talking and amusement, Kakashi poked his head round the door to greet the 3 working nin. He had not been up to much recently, having Sakura the only team member still present in the village. From time to time people laughed and joked about Naruto and memories of his actions. But no one talked about Sasuke.
    He signalled to Ten-ten to come out to the corridor, she closed the book she had been flicking through, put it with the others and then closed the door behind her. Kakashi sighed, his showing eye looking sleepy; someone had obviously just woken him up.
    “Seems Tsunade wants a strong group out to the Sand for a few days”
    Ten-ten seemed a bit taken aback by this, she hadn’t been on a mission for a while, and suddenly they wanted her travelling again.
    “Will Lee and Neji be coming with me?”
    The sunlight in the empty corridor had been drifting through a window at the end. Kakashi tried to stay out of the harsh light as much as possible.
    “No, they’ll be 5 of us, me, you, Hinata and 2 Anbu, we’ll be doing an important delivery”.

    The two walked to the entrance where they both signed out of their hospital duty. The current Chuunin Exams had the streets bustling with unfamiliar faces, some looked worried as they carried new sets of kunai, but the odd genin had an ambitious gaze as they held out a new double edged sword or stretched out their sharp new mission clothes in front of them. The dust kicked up from underneath people’s feet with the sun streaming light in every open area. The two stood waiting across Kohona Square, a marble monument beneath them both, waiting for the two Anbu Tsunade had arranged. After only about 10 minutes two dropped down from a shop rooftop, the smaller of the two carefully holding a dark brown paper package. The two wore black outfits and white shining traditional masks, they bowed.
    “An honour to work with you Kakashi-sempai” The larger one muffled, Kakashi put his hand to the back of his head and gave an appreciative laugh. The two were to be known as Kozue and Jiro.
    Ten-ten couldn’t help but think of a rumour she had heard from Ino that most Anbu couldn’t even remember their real names, let along life before they became so highly ranked. Shikamaru snorted while she had been saying this, loud enough for most people in the Teacher’s Lounge to hear that morning.
    “…So are we ready to set out for the Sand?” Kozue was the taller, and from the maturity in his voice, the older of the two.
    “We are still to meet with Hinata, who should be training at the Hyuuga residence at the moment. It’s only a short walk away” Kakashi still seemed slightly tired, his voice was balanced and easy going, but still stern enough to frighten a few academy students who didn’t know any better.

    They met up with Hinata at the main entrance to the Village, she smiled politely as she saw the four coming but was as shy as ever, flushing brightly when the two Anbu bowed.
    “Kozue and Jiro are coming along with us for safety reasons. A small war is happening between two clans at the moment, just on the border of the Fire Country passage we’ll be exiting through. It’s the quickest and only way we can go with the delivery we have in hand”, Kakashi didn’t seem at all worried, very few people had seen him in tight spots so most naturally thought of him as a tough but carefree nin.
    Ten-ten always took a look around her surroundings before she left a spot, and before they left to scale over to the border, she got a glimpse of a few normal teenagers by the a small broken-down white-washed shop. They looked bored, blank stares across most of them. They were not allowed to be out of the village these few months, too dangerous at the moment for normal youths without a chaperone of ninjas.
    “T-ten-ten!” Hinata shouted over from the other sides of the large gates. The heat was still beating down, and there were trees for miles behind the four. Ten-ten smiled, and walked to the group before they headed to jump the branches, how thankful she was for such an unboring life.


    ---

    Jiro is The Second Male

    Kozue is Tree Branches
     
  10. Spectrum Active Member

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    Title: Wish I Could Understand
    Theme/prompt: Bonds
    Characters/Pairings: Rock Lee, Sabaku no Gaara, Maito Gai, Sakura Haruno. LeeSaku mildly implied.
    Word Count: 2075
    Genre: Drama/Action
    Rating: K+, contains reflections that might not be fully understood by children 13 or under. No coarse language, no sex, violence implied.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Wish I Could Understand

    The green-clad ninja straightened up, looking on his rival turned comrade, who was still resting motionless under the tree. After defeating Kimimaro, both had talked, almost breaking into a row, as the Sand ninja had badmouthed his sensei. Though in his intonation, Rock Lee could sense a hint of the same loneliness he had experienced when he was at the Academy. He rose tentatively, ignoring the sharp pain and the tiredness he felt, and smiled weakly at Gaara.

    - We should go back and report on the mission. I am sure Naruto-kun has returned and Sasuke-kun with him.
    - Hold on ? Gaara?s voice stood neutral, a bit sarcastical- We cannot fly back. I?ll do my best to walk, but allow me to get to my feet again.
    - That?s what friends are for ? Lee?s grin, complete with teeth shining, made the Sand demon container frown. Friends? Wasn?t he aware that he had tried to kill him, not once but even twice?
    - You remember the speech our late Hokage gave us at the Ch?nin exams? He spoke about friendship in battle. So do not worry: I will take you on my back if I need to. Comrades do just that: I am sure you would have done the same for me, if I had ran out of chakra.

    Gaara?s eyes focused on the sand that had covered Kimimaro. He couldn?t understand the joyful statement of his Leaf comrade, yet it sounded genuine. That kid with the bushy brows, odd haircut and old-fashioned style had been the first one to challenge him with no fear, as just another rival.
    He had called him... friend and comrade. His upper lip showed the shadow of a smile. And not just that... he was saying that he, Gaara of the Desert, would?ve acted the same way towards him.
    How thick can one be?

    He closed his eyes. The gourd of sand crashed and turned into an odd chair, with long arms, that resembled an ancient feudal lord?s throne. Gaara sat on it, allowing Lee to take it by the arms and lift it to his back. Lee knew, by past experience, that this was going to be a great effort. Gaara plus the sand were heavy to carry, but he felt so energetic, after the long months without training, that he didn?t even care. Sure, he paused to rest more than usual, but his loud ?Mada mada desu!? was enough to fill him with strength and make him go on the run again.

    Gaara?s normally emotionless eyes were looking at the back of the windswept bowlcut with signs of interest. He didn?t know a lot about Lee, just that he had a nosy mentor and that his kicks and attacks were strong enough to give him serious concerns.
    Just what kept him going?

    After many pauses and the loud ranting on Lee?s part (the last being ?Okay! No more rest! If I stop to rest once again I will blah blah blah blah....? with each blah meaning a hammer-pounding sound on Gaara?s ears) the Sand shinobi saw with relief that the Konoha gates were open.
    ?It?s over? he sighed ?Only need to make it to the hospital...?

    Needless to say, the hospital was in turmoil as they entered. Lee was almost swept into an emergency room and thoroughly told off. Gaara was taken into another room and checked in detail. The young Green Beast was in the edge of the examination bed as he heard Tsunade-sama preventing his sensei (there was no mistaking his voice!) from entering boisterously the medical box. Against his will, protesting and all, the medic-nins got a grudging Lee into bed and off to sleep.

    Sensei is okay... but Sakura-san? And Gaara-kun? And.. and Naruto-kun, I take it you are uninjured and back... with Sasuke-kun, as you promised?

    ----------

    Lee came slowly back to himself. An anxious face looked down on him... his sensei. Gai had been eager to tell him off, but was so relieved to see him...
    - You almost tore my youthful heart, Lee! When I arrived, your bed was empty...
    - Sensei...
    - You fool! Do you know how worried I was?
    - I... I am sorry...

    Blast! Sunset, waves and everything fell over student and mentor, as they embraced, crying out loud. The protests of an angered nurse in the neighbouring box forced them to stop. But, even with his eyes soaked in tears, looking over his sensei?s tight hug, Lee saw a pink-haired head lurking through the half-open door of the room. He gasped, torn between delight and shyness.

    Gai took one glance at Lee, and understood.
    ? Well, remember that the punishment we set before the Ch?nin exams has not yet been executed! Rest and recover, you have the most youthful nurse in Konoha, so don't disobey her! ? He flashed a nice pose and left, the door remaining half-open. Then he stood stock-still in the aisle, arms crossed, looking directly at the pair of them.
    He trusted Lee, but his intuition told him something was going to happen. And his instinct told him, it was not going to be nice.

    -------------

    Sakura?s eyes were wasted by tears. She bravely pretended to be fine, but Lee caught concern and pain in her pupils.
    - Lee-san, I?m happy you?re ok. After this... Sasuke won?t come back ? she sobbed - Naruto is injured, Shikamaru has a broken finger, Kiba is wounded, Chouji and Neji are fighting for their lives...
    - What? Neji? ? He made a move to stand up, but the kunoichi stopped him.
    - He?s in the restricted area, We only have to w-wait. ? she gulped - At... at least you?re fine.

    Lee lowered his eyes. Neji, the prodigy, the invincible... receiving a beating for the second time in less than two months... And Naruto?s promise had gone to waste. Moreover.. Sakura was so sad now...

    It is up to me, now. To help her out. To show her I care, but that I do not want to see her cry.

    He made an effort to distract her, telling her jokes and funny happenings of his team (?... and TenTen threw a kunai at that ninja and his outfit ripped off! We had to cover him before arresting him!?)

    Soon, despite herself, Sakura started to giggle in amusement. Her happiness made Lee happier, too, and he chuckled in response, knowing her pain would be hard to erase, but also that laughter could help a lot.

    -----------

    Gai had sensed the movement well before it happened. That cloud of dust could only mean...
    - Something the matter? ? he said, a warning in his tone.
    If you touch one hair of either of them...

    Gaara?s body had started to form from the cloud. As silent as ever. Yet he was heard.

    ?That busybody...?
    ?He is NOT a busybody! I am grateful with you for saving my life, but PLEASE DO NOT SPEAK of my sensei like THAT!?


    - Nothing whatsoever... he mumbled, as he pushed the door open.

    ?What is a bond? For most people, a feeling that makes you want to protect someone. I wouldn?t know. I only protect myself?

    -------------------
     
  11. Spectrum Active Member

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    Sakura watched Gaara entering. Frightened, she stood up and went to the opposite side of Lee’s bed.

    “This is the Shukaku holder” she thought. “What does he want with Lee? Or does he want to kill me?”

    - Do not be afraid, Sakura-san. He is a friend of Konoha.
    - Why? – Gaara’s eyes fixed in Lee’s beetle-black pupils, staring at his feelings. Again, no fear.- Why are you trusting me? I tried to kill you, I tried to kill her... – he pointed at Sakura.

    Lee’s eyes were now narrowed “Anger... but still no fear”
    - But you did not kill us.
    - I was blocked – Gaara’s voice turned into a hoarse whisper.- By Uzumaki and by your busybody of a sensei... –

    Lee snarled – Refrain from using that expression again, thank you! I do not care if you were blocked or not. You Did Not Kill Us. - Lee motioned Sakura to a stand-up position beside him.

    The pink-haired kunoichi stared at those merciless eyes. She had seen Gai at the door, and felt reassured to speak her thoughts.
    - There is a tale about a little mouse that fell in a trap. He tried to escape, but couldn’t. A lion passed by, had mercy on the mouse and freed him. The mouse thanked him and promised to aid him in times of trouble. The lion laughed. But one day, the lion fell into a rope trap, and who saved him? The mouse he had saved before.

    - You are meaning you are going to save me? – Gaara's mouth twitched as he looked over both of them. Sakura felt sorry she had spoken, and retreated further. – You saw the power of my sand shield. There is nothing that can penetrate it.

    - Gaara-kun, some day we will be able to repay you the favor. Do not ask me when or why, but that day will come. We are comrades, and that is what comrades do for each other, all grudges of the past and bad feelings are forgotten. It is a promise –
    Thumb up, sparkling teeth, Nice Guy Pose, lifetime promise. It was sealed, yet Gaara knew nothing about his promises.

    The Sand ninja turned round and left without any further word. He was impressed at such naïvety. Confronting the most terrible killer in the Exams without even flinching, and now, talking about payback. A ton of guts, but still thick as a brick, that Rock Lee.

    Ah, and here he was, his busybody of a sensei. Waiting outside, so he wouldn’t harm his weirdo of a student again...

    - I suppose your medical check was okay... you’re leaving Konoha now, are you?
    - Yes. Everything is okay with me. – Gaara rarely voiced his thoughts, but he did feel like it - You asked me if something was the matter.
    - Ready to answer?- Gai was defensive, ready to jump at Lee’s room door any moment.
    - I’m just trying to understand... what sharing a bond really is...

    ----------

    As the Sand genin turned on his heels and marched toward the Hospital’s main exit, Gai looked down at the floor, lost in thoughts.
    So maybe he did learn something, after all.

    His eyes fixed over Sakura, who had returned to her seat beaside Lee’s bed, and his pupil. What did they tell him to make him retreat without attacking?

    "Gai, you must remember that, in the world of shinobi, you may find that battles often amount to friendship. And friendship, often, leads to understanding. Putting together dreams, wishes, and struggles is the best way for growth and victory. In the world of shinobi, often, battles are a way of protecting things and people that you love..."

    Gai shook his head. That piece of advice he had heard from his sensei was something he treasured in his heart. But he didn’t feel like repeating that to Gaara. Again, shinobi’s acts are always more concrete than mere words.

    -------------

    Two and a half years had passed since then.
    Shishi, the Lion, had been trapped, but where were Nezumi, the Mice?

    Does someone think... my life is worth saving?

    Gaara, now the Kazekage, opened his eyes with this thought. He had been motionless and lifeless after the Akatsuki had taken Shukaku from him.
    His blurred focus showed him he was surrounded by people. That was new for him. He blinked.

    I am dead and this is heaven, he thought dizzily.
    But no, certainly not, all those people were alive.

    And sure they were. Sakura beside him, checking his life signs, and Lee, a bit behind, loud as always and hooraying as mad.

    Yes. Shishi saved by Nezumi. And it wasn’t, he thought, a matter of repaying a favor. Lee was truly convinced of what he had said, and that every life you save takes you to a better path. Sakura was positively grinning over him, exhausted but happy to see him alive.

    - Everybody... thank you.

    But even as those seemed general thanks, they were clearly directed to four of them. Sakura and Lee, for their commitment, not to mention Gai and Naruto, for stopping him in time.

    In that glorious day, Gaara of the Desert understood, finally and completely, what sharing a bond truly means.
     
  12. Spectrum Active Member

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    Title: Dosu's Shattered Throne
    Theme/prompt: Past
    Characters/Pairings: Dosu, Kabuto, and Orochimaru
    Word Count: 1111
    Genre: General
    Rating: PG-13

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    "Out of my face, you ignorant bastards!" yelled the boy, two men kneeling in front of him. The men were dressed in matching formal uniforms with the mark of the sound embedded upon them. The boy, who was red with anger, was wearing a cow leather vest, much similar to a chuunin's. "I sent you two idiots out to get a treaty with the sand! And what do you do? YOU DECLARE WAR!!!" shouted the boy, still blind with rage. "Young prince... please forgive us! The sand refused to sign! Then they declared war! There was nothing we could do!" pleaded the men, scared looks in their eyes. "I told you not to call me 'Young Prince'" stated the boy calmly, "It's Dosu Kinuata," he said, a malevolent smile appearing on his face.

    "Assistant!" yelled Dosu, looking at a pretty-looking girl in a kimono to the right of him. "Yes, Kinuata-sama?" asked the girl, jumping to her feet and facing Dosu. "Send these two fools to the torture room, I'm sure our 'specialists' can straighten them out there," chuckled Dosu, his eyes narrowing at the two men. "Yes, Kinuata-sama," said the girl, escorting the two men to the chamber. "NO!!" yelled on of the men, struggling to break free of the girl's hold, "Kinuata-sama! Please! Have mercy!" "Assistant..." he said, looking over at the girl once again, "make sure that on gets killed." "Yes, Kinuata-sama," said the girl, taking them both away.

    After the three had exited the room, a man dressed in a sound chuunin vest entered the room. "Kinuata-sama, there have been reports of several sand squads around the area setting up camps," reported the man. "See that they're closely watched over. I want our finest ANBU for this task." "Yes, Kinuata-sama," said the man, bowing and then leaving the room. "So then, kazekage..." said Dosu to himself, "it seems that all the pawns are in place. Now all that's left to do... is wait."

    Dosu got up from his throne and walked to his bedroom. It had a very comfortable looking bed in it, with drapes surrounding the bed. The room is just what you would expect from the Kinuatas, who had just recently created the sound village. Dosu laid down on his bed, and began to plot his battle plans based on different situations. Dosu had been the prince up until his father died, now he was the ruler of the sound until they found someone willing to take his place. But Dosu didn't want that to happen. Every time someone would announce that they were willing to take the position... Dosu would have them assassinated. At one point, people became too scared to take the position, making Dosu the permanent ruler. Dosu fell asleep after finishing his plans, and what a wondrous sleep it would've been... if it were not for the attack.

    Dosu woke up abruptly to loud wailing and sirens. The village alarm! The attack was happening already?! Dosu quickly got dressed and rushed into the main office. "What's going on?" asked Dosu, a hint of fear in his voice. "We have no idea! All we can see is a single boy with a gourd of sand!" shouted the general over the soudn of the buildings collapsing. "Surrender! There's no choice!" shouted Dosu. "We've tried that! The people who were sent to surrender... were killed within 3 seconds!" shouted the man. Suddenly the roof of the building they were in collapsed on top of them, trapping Dosu and the others under the wreckage. Suddenly, Dosu was being covered in sand, and he was lifted into the air. "Sabaku Kyu!" shouted the boy with the gourd as Dosu was lifted into the air. The sand had covered all of his body except for his eye. "Sabaku Sousou!" shouted the boy, and Dosu heard all of the bones in his body break, he fell to the ground... and passed out.

    Dosu woke up shortly after he'd passed out. He couldn't get up at all. He felt an enormous pain throughout his entire body. Also, he couldn't see through his right eye! He looked around with his good eye. All he could see was wreckage. His entire village... had been destroyed by that damned kid!!! He wanted to scream... but he couldn't even speak. All he was able to do was stare at his fallen comrades. He was just about to go back to sleep and die peacefully, when he heard someone coming. "Looks like it's completely destroyed. That's a shame, Orochimaru-sama wanted to conquer this village," said the stranger, walking towards Dosu. "What's this?" said the stranger, looking down at him, "a survivor?" Kabuto put his hand on Dosu's chest and a green light emitted from the hand. Suddenly, Dosu had the strength to talk. "Who... are you?" asked Dosu, looking up at the stranger, "a sand ninja?" "No, my name is," said the stranger, his glasses shining, "Kabuto."

    "Kabuto... why are your here?" asked Dosu, trying to get up, but failing. "You shouldn't move, it could further damage your spinal cord," said Kabuto, looking down at Dosu, "we've come to conquer this village... seems like we're too late," said Kabuto, chuckling a little. "So you're just like the sand... just leave me to die, you bastard!" yelled Dosu with his remaining strength. "No... I think Orochimaru will find you to be an interesting subject," said Kabuto, picking up Dosu and taking him away.

    "We've arrived," said Kabuto, putting Dosu down in front of a man with snakelike eyes and long, black hair. "Kabuto, who is this you present me with?" asked the man, looking at Dosu. "I have brought you the sole survivor of the attack on the sound village," said Kabuto. "Attack? Someone has beaten us to it? Who?" asked Orochimaru, getting quite angry. "Yes... the sand," replied Kabuto, "I found this boy in the wreckage." Orochimaru got up from his chair and walked up to the boy, he looked him over or a minute. "Boy... what was your role in the village?" asked Orochimaru. "I was... the village leader," said Dosu weakly. He hated to hear them talk about his village as if it was only a small interest. "Well then, what is your name?" asked Orochimaru. "My name is Dosu... Dosu Kinuata. You're Orochimaru, right?" asked Dosu, looking up at Orochimaru, hate in his eyes. "Yes," said Orochimaru, "Dosu... I can give you power beyond your imagination. Together, we can rebuild the sound village... and all you have to do is give me your loyalty," said Orochimaru, a smile appearing on his face. "I accept..." said Dosu, looking up at Orochimaru, "Orochimaru-sama."
     
  13. Spectrum Active Member

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    Title: Third Time's the Charm
    Theme/prompt: Past
    Characters/Pairings: Akasuna no Sasori and Sandaime Kazekage
    Word Count: 802
    Genre: General
    Rating: PG

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    There are words to describe these feelings.

    Frustration. Impatience.

    For far too long, I’ve felt only these two emotions. It is to the point where it almost feels like these are the only emotions that I can ever remember feeling. Why?

    It’s all centered upon one man.

    I need this man. I want this man. He has something that I desperately want. It’s something that I can’t get from anyone else.

    No, it’s not what you think. I’ve long ago freed myself of sexual desire. What I want… need from this man isn’t something that can be so easily given. It’s not so much what he has, but what he can do.

    He has a skill that is so unique, so beautiful, and so powerful, that just hearing his name causes his enemies to tremble in a fear so great that the mere thought of facing him in open battle is laughable.

    It’s a skill that I want.

    Unlike the cowards that tremble at his name, I have no fear of him.

    No.

    What I have is respect... desire.

    But I did not always respect him. There was a time that I in fact thought so little of him and his intelligence that my first time trying to add him to my collection ended so abruptly, that the only conceivable possibility for my failure was my own arrogance.

    His jounin friend drank the poisoned sake that was intended for him.

    He was no fool. He suspected something the moment he looked at the bottle. To this day I still haven’t figured out how he knew.

    Luckily for me, he suspected foul play from the friend sitting right next to him, and not the fiery headed young man on the other end of the food stand. I was doubly lucky, since besides Baa-sama, the knowledge of my transformation, and thus my need to eat being void, is still a mystery.

    She knows how to keep secrets.

    My next attempt at adding him to my collection went far better, but it still left me empty handed.

    I couldn’t believe the luck I was having the day he asked me to join him on a training excursion to the outskirts of Wind Country. This was an opportunity that I simply couldn’t pass up.

    I decided to bring my latest masterpiece along, Hiruko. If my parents saw fit to name me “Scorpion”, I might as well look the part.

    Our eventual sparring matches opened my eyes. This man wasn’t named the strongest Kazekage because of his good posture, set jaw, or authoritative mannerisms. He is relentless. He is powerful.

    Satetsu was the single greatest weapon that I have ever witnessed in action.

    It was on that trip that I realized recruiting him would be nearly impossible. He was a nigh invincible opponent. I had to make so many repairs to Hiruko, I even started to question my own craftsmanship. I came close to nicking him with one of my poisoned kunai many times, but Satetsu was simply the most versatile jutsu I’ve ever seen.

    Empty handed I was to remain… or so I thought.

    The Great Shinobi War was one that Suna was trying to avoid. We were perfectly content to rest on our laurels and allow the other idiot villages to kill themselves off, while our numbers remained strong.

    Alas, that wasn’t meant to be.

    Multiple squads of Konoha shinobi, seemingly all jounin, were sniffing around much too close to our village, and I was a member of the squad sent to deal with them, which Sandaime personally lead.

    Stealth is nearly impossible in a desert. We knew that. They knew that.

    The talk didn’t go well. We met head on like two rabid animals.

    If there was ever a time that I’ve wanted a picture taken of myself, it was then. I can only imagine the expression that was plastered on my face.

    Why was my face contorted like an idiot?

    One of the kunai I had thrown at a particularly large jounin, as a distraction, was deflected by his not-so-large female companion.

    For some strange reason, all of our eyes were transfixed upon the trajectory of said deflected kunai. It was as if time slowed to a crawl while we watched the blade arc directly into the chest of the very man that I’ve been trying to add to my collection for months.

    The man that is the most feared Kazekage, the man that I’ve been obsessing over, the man that I was unable to poison, and the man that was able to defend himself from hundreds of my puppets was killed off by a mere stray kunai.

    Incredulity. Relief.

    The emotions that I’m feeling now are a welcome change from what I’ve been feeling for far too long.

    My collection is complete.
     
  14. Spectrum Active Member

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    Title: Life as a Medical Shinobi
    Theme/prompt: Bonds
    Characters/Pairings: Sakura and Ino
    Word Count: 716
    Genre: Romance
    Rating: PG 13

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    Author's Notes:
    Red text is Sakura talking in first person.
    Purple text is ino talking in first person.


    Sakura and Ino walked through the hospital.It was a busy day for the two medical ninja's.Recently a few ninja's got ambushed while doing a mission.It seems that everytime they try to relax another emergency occurs.

    The two medical ninja's picked up there chart from a table.Sakura looked at her chart and Ino looked at her chart.The charts had there patient name's and what was wrong with them.Ino glanced at Sakura's chart.

    "Hey my patient has the same problem."

    Sakura then looked at Ino's chart. "Yeah we do, so that means we're on the same floor."

    They walked upstairs to meet there patients.When they got upstairs there heard a loud beeping noise from Sakura's patient's room.A bunch of nurses ran to his room.

    "We need a doctor!" one of the nurses yelled.

    Sakura and Ino ran quickly to the room. "He's having a heart attack" a nurse said.Sakura glanced at the moniter and saw that there was small zig-zagging lines.

    "Alright open his shirt" Sakura told the nurse quickly.The nurse did as she was told to do. "Ino move out the way, let the nurses through!" Sakura demanded.

    Ino moved then a nurse pushing a cart of equipment.Sakura get two electrical rectangles. "Clear!" Sakura shouted.

    Not again....

    Watching Sakura take over like that amazes me.Although it sickens me that I can never have the spot light.I've never been a big benefit to any mission i've been on.For examble, the mission I went on to kill the two Akatsuki to kill the two Akatsuki members, I hardily did anything.

    "Clear!..."

    I admit that Sakura is a wayyy better shinobi than me.With all of her training with Tsunade and stuff.Thats why I always made fun of her.She was always better than me.

    I knew I shouldn't have been a ninja.I shouldn't even be here.I should be working at my moms flower shop.

    I wanted to become a medical so I can be of some use. But I am still useless.How many times did I save a life? None.How many times did Sakura save a life?


    "He's alive..." a nurse said.

    Sakura put the equipment back on the cart then walked passed Ino.Sakura put her hair in a ponytail in a nonchalant way.

    "Now lets go see your patient shall we?". Ino didn't reply.She had her head pointed to the ground as if she was having a horrible day.The Haruno put her arm around neck like they were buddies. "You can tell me anything Ino"

    Ino opened her mouth as if she was going to say something but then looked at the ground again.

    "Whats wrong Ino?"

    "Well when you was in there saving that guys life I was amazed how you made it look so easy.I just wish I was a good medical ninja like you"

    Sakura was atonished of Ino letting out her feelings like that. "Well-"

    Sakura was cut-off by anonther loud beeping noise."Not again.." Ino said.

    They ran to the rescue again.But then Sakura stopped at the door."You go in there Ino". Ino ran in the room. "Heart attack right?" Ino asked the nurse.She nodded her head.Another nurse ran in with the same equipment Sakura had.Ino grabbed the two electrical rectangles.The blonde haired ninja rubbed the to electrical rectangles as the nurse opened the patients shirt.

    "Clear!"

    I feel sorry for Ino.I know how she feels to be jealous of somebody else.I'm the jealous type too.Like everytime I go on a mission with Naruto he always ends up saving my life or saving the day as always.

    Everyone depends on Naruto to bring Sasuke back, everyone forgot that we're on the same team.Not to mention the day I died but then got revived by Chiyo.I will never forget that day.

    But you know I'm glad that Tsunade made me her appretice.Helping other people recover makes me happy inside.Thats part of the reason I became a Medical ninja but I still have doubts.I hope thats the same reason Ino became a Medical shinobi...


    The moniter went off again.Ino looked at the moniter and saw straight lines." He didn't make it..." the nurse said.

    "Death at 3:17 PM" Ino said then walked out the room.

    I guess when you have a patient with the same symptoms they still don't make it.This is the life of a medical shinobi....
     
  15. Spectrum Active Member

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    Title: Break the Limit
    Theme/prompt: Past
    Characters/Pairings: Kyuubi(OOC), Naruto (no pairings)
    Word Count: 4336
    Genre: General
    Rating: T

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    They say that there is no life after death, and once
    your body dies that's the end for you.
    In my case, my body died but my soul was placed into another, so I was able to live even in death.

    They say that if you regret things that have happened then your past will come back to haunt you. I regret ever coming near this place, to be forced into a mere mortal and lose my freedom.

    To kill, to massacre, to smell the blood that pours from their pathetic bodies and stains the ground a deep crimson red. I think I liked it because it was the same color as my fur, I love my fur what can I say?

    To slash with my claws and shred human flesh like paper, and then of course when play time is over, to devour their bodies. Thinking back on this, it seems it happened so long ago and was just a passing dream.

    Yes it is certainly coming back to haunt me. The fact that I am unable to do what I like, to act how I want, to be dependant on some dumbass kid to keep us alive. Yes I have plenty to regret.

    They say that history repeats itself, like everything that is, everything that was, and everything that will happen, will end up coming full circle.

    I don't believe in such absolutes, as there can be any number of things that can alter the course of one's path of life.

    Even though I do not understand the range of emotions that flood the human mind, not like I give a rat's ass either, as it's not like I wanted to understand anyway.

    Forced to live in this human, and forced to live with him in this damned human wasteland, has given me unwarranted insight to the workings of the human make up.

    Not to mention it's starting to change me slightly. My perceptions are being colored by this boy who is my jailer.

    I see this place in a different light, and through his eyes do I see the root of all that is wrong with this world. Things that I can clearly see, and that he is too blinded to notice.

    This boy I must say is different from all the other humans. Having lived with him for 16 years, I know him perhaps better than he knows himself.

    This is part of that human insight that I never wanted, but no use bitching about what you cannot change. It's not like I can get rid of it, but maybe I can use it to my advantage.

    The boy wants power, wants to get strong so he can get rid of his enemies, and bring back his teammate that went missing.

    Foolish human! No matter how strong you are, there is always something stronger to block your way forward.

    I know this far better than you do, as I was the strongest demon, I had no equal, and yet I fell at the hands of the leader of this village.

    A human, a lowly mortal man had defeated me. They say humility is good for the soul, but I say whoever said that needs to stop smoking crack and come back to the real world.

    Either that or get his ass kicked so bad that reality sets in to that messed up head of theirs.

    I say that this boy is different because no matter what gets thrown at him, he doesn't give up, and doesn't give in.

    The odds are against him and still he perserveres in the face of adversity. If the one way doesn't work then he tries a different approach.

    He doesn't get so mad easily anymore, and actually thinks things through, so maybe he is finally ready for what I can do for him.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not doing it out of any concern for him, but if he dies I die, and I don't feel like dying just yet.

    My past and his past are intertwined, almost like two sides of the same coin. Things happen that you have no control over, I had no control over having my soul sealed inside this boy, and he had no control over having me sealed inside of him.

    The two of us grew up in the same kind of enviroment, one full of hatred, isolation, and smug bastards full of their own superiority.

    Yes even I had to endure this when I was a kit, you don't just become the most powerful demon overnight. For that reason alone, I will help this boy find his place among his human kind.

    It's strange, that all my thoughts of wanting to destroy him and break free of this prison have gone by the way side.

    Pathetic indeed, but I have been changed by my enforced residence inside of his body. Like I said too, there is no sense bitching about what has been changed.

    If he can handle it, then he will come out on top, but if he cannot then he will die. It's a gamble but if he really wants to be able to protect himself and his friends, then this is the only way.

    If he continues to use my chakra like this, and transform into a mini demon fox, then eventually he will die anyway. So let's see if he is up to the challenge.

    Naruto yawned as he sat up, stretching his arms over his head to get the blood flowing freely. Looking around his apartment, it seemed that something was different than normal. Everything had a reddish tinge to it, the walls, his bed, and even his skin.

    It looked like the room was covered in blood and it was starting to make him sick. Blood was not something he wanted to see first thing in the morning, and certainly not something he wanted to think about either.

    The color red reminded him of that fox, the fox to him symbolized death and destruction.

    ? Oi brat! It's nice to know that you associate me with such things, but put that away for now because I need to talk to you. This has been a long time coming, and before I change my mind we have to get started.? Kyuubi's voice echoed inside of his head.

    ? What are you blabbering on about you stupid fur ball! What has been a long time coming? Change your mind? Talking about things? You never have the time of day for me, save for all your trying to get me to break the seal. Well I don't have any reason to talk with you and I don't particularly feel like hearing anything you have to say, so save it.? Naruto stated bluntly.

    ? Look you stupid mortal, if you want to die so badly, to the point that you will ignore warnings from me, then I will just let you die and then take your body over. Now will you grow up just a little??
    Kyuubi growled at him.

    Naruto thought a moment, and decided to hear him out. He had no intentions of dying, there was too much stuff that he had to take care of before that. Well no sense putting it off ? Okay spill it?

    ? It's as simple as this, if we keep going the way were are now you are going to die. Everytime you get pissed off and transform into my tailed form, you are killing yourself slowly each time. A human wasn't meant to use demon chakra in the first place, but because I was sealed inside you when you were a kit, my chakra influenced yours.?

    ? Your own chakra reserves started to adapt to protect your small body. If they hadn't you would have died the instant that man sealed me inside of you. To counteract the foreign presence within, your own body is constantly rejecting my chakra from combining with yours.?

    ? However when you pull out my chakra to go into the 4 tail form, my chakra overwhelms your body, in a way it's attacking you at the same time. Unless you can convert my chakra to yours and then use it, the more you rely on it in the pure form, the faster you will rush towards your grave.?

    ? In order for you to fullly utilize my power, with no danger to yourself, is to confront me and engage in a battle to the death. You will have to put your life on the line, to subdue the demon within, and make that become your power.?

    ? If you succeed, then you will have all my power and abilities at your disposal and I will cease to be no more. If you fail on the other hand, we will both be torn to bits, and disappear from the face of the earth. So as you can see failure is not an option, but it's up to you.?

    ? Do you have what it takes to meet this challenge?? Kyuubi asked of Naruto.

    Naruto was at a loss for words, and for him that was something rare indeed. A fight to the death eh?
    Put my life on the line, just for this? Well if what the fox says is true, then I have one foot in the grave already.

    Nothing ventured, nothing gained as you don't advance through life hesitating at little things like this. Hesitation in situations like this, mean that you will die anyway, for those who lack determination, fall by the wayside.

    Taking a deep breath Naruto said to Kyuubi ? Bring it on Demon Fox, let's go all out and hold nothing back!?

    ? Well said boy but remember this: fear, doubt, and hesitation, those things are worthless and for you to come out on top, those three words must never enter your mind. You must keep your goal in sight at all times, and never falter from your path. Make no mistake, the minute you feel fear, the second you doubt yourself, and the moment you hesitate you will fade from the face of existance. Make your way to a secluded area where nobody will find you.?

    With that said the voice of the fox was gone, and Naruto mentally prepared himself for this. Why waste time worrying about what could happen, when the stakes were at the all time high? No looking back, no second thoughts, and most of all no failure. Naruto got up to get dressed, but this time he was wearing something a little different. A white t-shirt, a pair of black shorts, and his leaf headband.

    Heh heh they probably thought all his clothes had the color orange on them, but he kept something like this to show another side of him. The time for change was upon him, and that time was now.
     
  16. Spectrum Active Member

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    Opening the window, Naruto darted outside and towards the forest, ready for what was to come.
    Reaching his destination Naruto came to a full stop. He looked around and thought that this was a good place. This was the exact same spot where he became a genin, and it seemed fitting that his next change would come here. Exhaling slowly, he sat down by a tree and waited for the fox to come to him.

    Thinking to himself Kyuubi wondered why he was doing this. He had no interest in the world of the humans, he could care less about those stupid Akatsuki bastards, well maybe he cared a little about them.

    After all they wanted to extract him from this brat and use him for some means to an end, and he was sick of being used.

    Bah he blamed it on being sealed inside this boy for so long, if you think about it, both him and this boy are being used.

    If this worked then the boy would be free to do what he wished, and new doors would open diverting his path to the one of his own choosing.

    And then maybe, when the past meets with the present and influences the future, it will be something that can be remembered without pain.

    ? Brat are you ready? The time is upon us and soon you will face one of life's greatest challenges. I say again do not flinch from this, you have chosen it yourself and cannot place any blame upon others.?

    ? I'm ready to go, let's get started already, nothing is going to happen if we put it off.? Naruto said.

    ? Alright here we go..just remember go without hesitations, doubts, or fear, and come out alive, you got that you damned kid!?? Kyuubi looked with amusement at the boy and then slowly began emiting a red hued aura.

    Gaining darker color by the second until it covered Naruto's entire body in the crimson blaze and then promptly he vanished.

    Naruto came to and viewed his surroundings finding nothing famillar to him at all. It seemed like he was in some sort of open plain with nothing surrounding it on either side.

    Bare and without any life it seemed an empty desolate wasteland. ? Where am I?? Naruto wondered softly trying to find some clue as to where he was.

    Then he could feel something coming towards him, a malicious mass of energy that radiated the intent to kill.

    ? OH SHIT!? Naruto yelled and at the last second dodged the blazing fireball that narrowly missed his head.

    Mocking laughter could be heard, sharply he looked up and his thoughts froze before he could give them voice.

    Standing about 10 feet away was the demon fox. Completely covered in a crimson shroud, and his 9 tails lashing about behind him.

    Staring at Naruto with a smirk of supreme arrogance and superiority he said ? What's the matter little boy? Is this all you can do? Is this all your talk of winning this battle has given you? What a disgrace! How low you have fallen Master Naruto? The word master was laced with heavy contempt.

    Naruto couldn't understand what was going on here, why would he call him Master? Something was wrong here, very very wrong. He didn't feel any different, but putting his hand upon his stomach he noticed that he didn't feel the seal there anymore.

    Panic set in as he realized that the fox was no longer sealed within him. Frozen with indecision Naruto made no moves, and in one instant the fox was in his face, slashing him with deadly claws across his arm. Blood splattered the ground and all went white.

    Naruto could hear a voice calling him and he tried to find the source of it. When he couldn't find it, he thought that he was going insane.

    ? Naruto remember this well, fear doubt, and hesitation will bring about your end. The minute you feel fear, the second you doubt yourself, and the moment you hesitate will your very existance be wiped from the face of the earth. Fight Naruto, do not give in, and do not give up for the instant you do, all that you hold dear will crumble and fall. Show your determination, face your enemy, and give all that you have to win.?

    Now he remembered, this was the battle to the death that the fox talked about. As was said, the moment he hesitated, Naruto was struck down by the claws of the Nine Tailed Demon Fox.

    Failure was not an option, hesitation would cause his death, and there was no way in bloody hell that he was going to fall here!

    Glowing with a bright blue aura Naruto focused his chakra around his body. Brighter and brighter it shone, as if to shame the sun with it's brilliance.

    Looking up into the shocked face of the fox, Naruto shoved his arm forward and let loose with a famillar cry ? RASENGAN!?

    It was completely different than the normal variety, as it gave off a slightly greenish tinge, and Naruto threw the ball of light directly at the demon in front of him.

    Startled with the unexpected attack it struck home, ripping through the demon's body spraying everything with the crimson fluid, and carrying his body back with such force that he smashed into the ground 20 feet away.

    Staggering to his feet, the demon fox barely stood without toppling over, and to put it mildly was in rough shape.

    His forepaw and arm was gone, his fur was singed in many places and there was blood running out of his mouth and various other places on his body.

    He glared at Naruto who was standing there holding his arm and panting heavily. When Kyuubi slashed through his arm, he nearly took it off, it was only still attached because Naruto had dodged at the last second.

    This was impossible! This pathetic mortal was able to cause this much damage from a single attack?

    Maybe this kid had improved more than he thought.

    Which would make this next attack extremely interesting. I told you that you would have to put your life on the line Naruto, that hesitation would lead to your death. Let's see if you remember my words as this is going to decide if you fail or come out on top.

    ? Not bad mortal, it seems as if you have some fight left in you after all. This is the end however, for you will see that all you do is meaningless. You will die here and now, and all that you hold dear will wither and fade away to nothing! I will spill your blood, rip your body to shreds and you will live long enough to fully appreciate the consequences brought about by your stupid actions!? Kyuubi raged at the form of Naruto that was staring at him.

    Naruto was strangely unafraid, and knew that those were no idle threats. Kyuubi had told him before they came here, that he would have to put his life on the line. Failure was not an option so he would just have to counter the attack with the strongest attack he had at his fingertips.

    Convert Kyuubi's chakra to his own, transform into the 5 tailed fox, and unleash a wave of compressed chakra. This would take everything he had, but this was not the time to hold anything back.

    ?Let's go all out? I had said to Kyuubi and for me this is pulling out all the stops. If I use my own chakra to transform, then I should be able to condense it to use a fully powered Rasengan in that form.

    No time like the present to get started, gathering chakra from the demon Naruto instantly turned it, from the angry red, to the calm blue of his own and quickly changed forms.

    The demon fox was almost upon him, so Naruto hoped that this would happen fast because if it didn't he wouldn't make it in time.

    Naruto now in full 5 tailed form, gathered chakra yet again and solidified it, just as the demon fox reached him and thrust his arm out. The two forces clashed, swelling up a massive outbreak of powerful chakra, rising up to cover the entire area with a brilliant light, and then it exploded.

    Flinging Naruto back the one way, and throwing Kyuubi the other, they lay where they landed.

    Slowly getting up Kyuubi was panting harshly and staring at the still form of Naruto with an unreadable expression on his face for once. He still couldn't believe it, the brat had actually used his own chakra to transform into the 5 tail form.

    Not only that, he had used more chakra conversion to create a Rasengan that could stand up to his pure demon chakra and stalemate it.
     
  17. Spectrum Active Member

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    Smiling slightly Kyuubi allowed himself one laugh. Even though he didn't like him, he had gained a grudging respect for the brat. Naruto had actually pulled through, learned to convert demon chakra to his own and had used 5 tails without losing his sanity.

    Before Naruto couldn't even go the 4 tail without becoming a mindless beast, and now he could use the 5 tails no problem.

    With this my power will merge with his and all my abilites will be his to control. I will cease to exist on my own, and become a part of him.

    Could be worse I suppose, but this way Akatsuki cannot extract what doesn't exist anymore. All that was, and all that is, and all that will be of the two beings called Kyuubi and Naruto have altered their path.

    The actions of one person can change the lives of everyone they touch. Their aspirations, dreams, ideas, and their way of life are affected by everyone they come into contact with.

    Such was the way with me, this boy, and the entire village of Konoha. I never would have thought that I would have gone so far for a mere mortal boy. I had held myself above all creation, thinking that I was some sort of god, heh what a sad joke, and it seems that the joke is on me.

    If you are unhappy with your life, change it under your own power, which is exactly what Naruto has done. His past was full of unhappy experiences, the cold anger of those who lived around him, the hate and ignorance that makes up most of the humans in this stupid village.

    He rose to the challenge, to change how they perceive him, to see him as a human boy with as much right to exist as they do. His past was a way to always remember that whatever he might become in the coming years, that your future is not written in stone. Life is what you make of it, not what that life makes of you.

    Past events, or history is not always destined to repeat itself. The effects of it on the present always keep it current and that is why these humans learn of it. To prevent tragedy, pain, and loss from happening again, that is why the past is important to those living in the here and now.

    “ So long boy it's been a slice, but it's time for me to leave you now. You will grow strong and learn from your mistakes I hope. Act like yourself for a change and drop the stupid act.”

    “ Life will bring about many changes as you live it, and when you have lived as long as I have, that is a lot of changes. Take care of yourself you damned brat, and if I find out that you aren't keeping up on your training, I will come back as a ghost and kick your sorry ass. You may not notice this, but you are a living example of how actions of the past come back to haunt you in the present.”

    “ Your Hokage sealed me into you, dies and leaves the burden upon someone else to carry. Then in turn the villagers look upon you as a disease plaguing the earth. The actions of me that day, automaticly transfer to you as my container. Already your life is changed forever and you have just been born.”

    “ This is why it is important to realize that your actions affect everyone around you. So become a man that lives his life with no regrets, and never look back on your decisions. Don't cause too much trouble for those who follow you, and embrace the future that you will create.”

    “ Enjoy what you have been given and never take it for granted. See ya sometime down the road....Naruto” Kyuubi's voice faded from within Naruto's mind.

    Naruto opened his eyes and looked around, finding himself back in the forest laying on the ground.
    His arm was covered in dried blood and claw marks, and the dull pain that racked his body was present too.

    Sitting up he glanced around and felt something weird, so he glanced down at his stomach and found the seal had disappeared. He could no longer feel the presence of the fox in his body, and knew that he had merged into him.

    Calling forth some chakra, Naruto was startled to notice that it was a pale green color and not his normal blue. Smiling softly he let it fade away and stood up. All this was the result of what happened a long time ago.

    A demon fox attacked a human village, was sealed into a baby human boy, and then the one to seal it away dies. The one who lives is forced to take up the burden, and endure what life throws at him. Which just happened to be that fox combining with his being, and fading away from existing.

    To break the limit of the human capacity by merging with a demon..what an interesting idea.
    Yeah right...messed up logic from a worn out ninja from Konoha, I need some ramen.

    “ Later fur piece, let's hope that it doesn't repeat itself...that would be sad” Naruto said to the sky as he ran off towards the old man's ramen shop.
     
  18. Spectrum Active Member

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    Title: Snared by Duty
    Theme/prompt: Duty
    Characters: Neji Hyuga, Hinata Hyuga, Hiashi Hyuga.
    Word Count: 780
    Genre: General, Angst
    Rating: Universal.

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    “There will come the day when you will have to decide; to choose to follow the path that was laid out for you since birth, or to stumble from it as no other has done before. As the moon swallows the stars, and the wolf howls its sorrowful ballad; the time will come that fate will be decided. Both the main house and the branch house will become entwined as one for their first and only brief moment. As blood stains those around; the death of one will save the other. Thus the prophesy of what is to come will be, whether wanted or not.”

    The young boy sighed, turning away from the speaker, his purple-blue eyes blinking coldly. He had heard it so many times before that he could repeat it word for word without hesitation. His brown thick hair fell across his face, hiding his expression, as he stole a glance at the girl who was sat next to him. His eyes swept hungrily over her; noting the way she hunched protectively inwards with her eyes staring blankly at the floor. He hurriedly averted his eyes when her glance happened to flicker upwards questioningly onto his face. “Pathetic.” He thought to himself, as he buried himself deep within his thoughts.

    “I hope you two are both listening!” Their teacher; a stern man who took his job as leader of the Hyuga clan very seriously, suddenly snapped. “It is very important that you both understand your destinies very clearly! The future of this clan, this nation of people, lies in your hands!” He barked, frustrated that neither of his students, who had heard their “destinies” countless times before were listening. “Neji!” The teacher barked, singling the twelve-year boy out. Neji raised his eyes to meet that of his teacher’s, giving him a cold impassive glare that seemed to penetrate. A look that the teacher ignored, equally coldly. “Your role Neji?” He promptly asked.

    Neji answered swiftly, his face remaining passive as if someone had etched his delicate features out of marble and had forgotten to portray emotion. “My role is to protect Hinata Hyuuga, member of the main family. As the branch family member, my destiny is to protect her with my life. That is my duty. To live, to survive, until my time is needed, upon which, if need be, I will sacrifice myself for the benefit of the main house.” He replied, repeating the rehearsed statement that was required of him.

    The teacher nodded his approval, and repeated the question to Hinata; the girl next to Neji. However, Neji did not wait around to hear her reply. Knowing that he was now free to leave, he turned and left the building quietly. After all; he knew what her reply would be; it would be the same as it always was.

    Once outside, Neji frowned; staring up at the cold blue moon, he shivered involuntarily; “This clan’s future lies at the expense of my own. But what choice do I have? It is my destiny, no, my duty to place all I have before Hinata.”. Neji’s heart clenched as this truth pierced his mind.

    ~~~~~~~~

    This is one of Neji’s childhood memories; a short flash back at a typical day in the life of a Hyuga branch house child. You see, normally when people look back at their childhood memories; they smile, perhaps even laugh at the recall. But not Neji; for a vast majority of his early years he was left confused and torn over his father’s death and his duty to the main house. No-one notices the silent child in the corner; the child begging to be comforted but not knowing quite how. And so, months and eventually years past and Neji grew up; into a summarily cold teenager who kept his thoughts and dreams close to himself. He did not really understand the point in his actions or decisions; why would it make a difference what he did if his path was already laid out for him?

    ~~~~~~~~~

    Until the day came; the day when a bubbly blond haired boy pierced his foggy heart with a glimmering arrow of hope. Naruto; the confident boy who at the cheunin exams cleared the mist from Neji’s eyes and made him see that destiny is a path one makes for oneself, not one that is already pre-mapped. And, like a white dove gleaming in the golden sunlight, Neji’s heart flew to places he never before envisioned, let alone dreamed possible. Yes, Neji did have a duty to perform, but he would never again forget that his duty would not be the rule of his life.
     
  19. Spectrum Active Member

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    Title: Cry
    Theme/prompt: Past
    Characters/Pairings: Sasori
    Word Count: 812
    Genre: General
    Rating: T

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    Shinobi don’t cry.

    Shinobi rule #25 states that no matter what happens true shinobi must never ever show their emotions. The mission is the only priority. Carry that in your heart and never, ever shed a tear. It was a rule that all shinobi followed, and only fools broke it. That was what his parents had told him, and so he had taken it to heart. His parents had never cried. They had always had control over their emotions, their bodies, even when not on a mission. They were shinobi, and they were strong, and he had always wanted to be just like them. He wanted to make them proud to say he was their son. So he would never break the rules.

    That was why he’d been ashamed, when the man came to the doorway and told his grandmother the news, that he hadn’t been able to stop the tears that flowed down his face. He had broken rule #25, just like that. His grandmother hadn’t said anything when she saw, just looked at him with that distant, unreadable expression before turning away.

    Shinobi don’t cry.

    His grandmother hadn’t cried. She had stood there like she always did, as if the man had told her that there was going to be a large sandstorm that day, and when she thanked him and bid him good day her voice had been calm and level and completely under her control. She was a shinobi, and at the time he’d thought her the strongest one in the entire village. The one the Kazekage would ask in person for assistance in a battle, the one who held the title ‘Puppet Master Chiyo’. She had taught him how to fight, and had echoed his parents’ rules about shinobi.

    That was how he discovered that he was weak. Because he could not stop the tears, even though he hated them and told himself they were useless. He was weak, because his body did not listen to him when he told it to stop crying. Because it refused to obey his will. Bitterly, he thought that his parents would never have lost control like that. A shinobi always had control over their body.

    Shinobi don’t cry.

    It was what his teachers and his classmates had told him, in voices that were sometimes disdainful and sometimes mocking, when they saw his red eyes the next day. And he knew what they were thinking, as they looked at the evidence of his tears.

    He was not fit to be a shinobi.

    He trained, and he ruthlessly forced his body into obedience. He trained his face to look completely emotionless; he taught his eyes not to cry. He told himself that he was a shinobi, like his grandmother and his parents. But it was not enough. Despite his best efforts the tears still escaped, when he was caught off guard and his control slipped just a little. He told himself it would never happen again, throwing himself back into his training, but he knew he couldn’t say that for certain.

    Shinobi don’t cry.

    His puppets never cried. His puppets were beautiful and deadly and they never shed a single tear. They weren’t capable of crying. Sometimes he thought his puppets were better shinobi than people were. Sometimes he thought they were much better off than people were. They couldn’t cry and they couldn’t feel pain and they were never lonely because they had each other and their master.

    His puppets always obeyed him. They moved where he wanted them to move and did what he wanted them to do, and they never ever betrayed him. Puppets were a lot easier to control than humans. If his body was a puppet instead of human it would never do anything he didn’t want it to do, and he wouldn’t be weak anymore. He would never break the rules ever again.

    Shinobi don’t cry.

    It had been painful, more painful than anything he’d ever experienced, but he endured it. And the tears had fallen against his will, but he didn’t care about them anymore. Because soon he would never feel pain ever again, and soon the tears would be gone forever, and he would finally be a true shinobi. Because puppets made better shinobi than people anyway and because they were really better off than the humans.

    And he had seen his face in the mirror, still flecked with blood from the transformation, and thought it the most beautiful thing he had ever seen. It was a puppet. As beautiful as his other puppets, and as deadly, and completely under his control. And he was no longer the weak child who could not stop crying because his parents wouldn’t be coming home again. He was Akasuna no Sasori. He was a shinobi, and now he was a puppet. And he would never cry again.
     
  20. Spectrum Active Member

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    Title: Is That What This Is?
    Theme/prompt: Bonds
    Characters/Pairings: N/A
    Word Count: 768
    Genre: First Person Point of View, Reflection- Naruto
    Rating: N/A

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    Is that what this is?
    It keeps me from sleeping. It keeps me sitting here, waiting for a shooting star – like a chance to wish for something I can't make happen on my own. I wait and wait. I wait and watch.

    Staring up at the stars, every night. Watching over her. Wishing out for you.
    She says a secret prayer each night. Holding onto a picture of who we used to be. She falls asleep holding it tight. I see her, sometimes she's at the windowsill- sometimes she made it to her bed.
    She's resting. That's good. She spends all her days training. Always brutal training. That old granny doesn't let her rest. Looking at her sleeping now, I know granny's helped make her strong.
    Will you ever know how strong she is now? That deadly strength of hers, heh.. still holds our picture softly.

    Those stars go on forever I swear. Perfect glimmers of silver shining out from a dark and deafening sea.

    He's going across the rooftops again. First the academy, then the hospital, yeap- to his position atop granny's tower. He'll sit and watch the trees just like every night. His eye of insight looking out for movement amongst those leaves.
    Slight breezes keep his attention - except on occasion, he'll watch a leaf that's been blown off it's limb- tatter and flip in the wind as it carries it to the ground.
    I know he tried hard with you. Maybe it was because you both have the eyes or maybe it's because of something from before we knew him. Or maybe because you're a genius and we were his first team. Maybe he thinks of you when he's watching the leaves fall. Like a leaf he couldn't catch and save from floating away? His tree is sacred to him. Too many broken branches. Too many dead leaves.
    Oh, he's up again. Dashing back across the rooftops to meet up with Mr. Troublesome, looks like they're sharing the watch tonight. You never see Shikamaru running unless there's something worth running for. Judging by his casual stroll, it another non-interesting night.

    Don't you ever miss the quietness of peace?

    You'd probably get bored.
    I'd probably get bored, too - but on nights like this, watching the stars- watching everyone, seeing Ino sneak into Sakura's room to make sure she's covered warm.. she always puts the picture back on the dresser carefully before she sneaks back off to join Chouji watching the fish.
    Nights like this, I can feel home. I can feel family. I can feel family so much that I can feel what is happening.

    Sensei's back on granny's roof... now just staring at the stars, too. I wonder what he's thinking about. I wonder if he's thinking about you, too. Wondering if there was something he could have said. Could have done. To stop you from doing this. To save you, perhaps?
    Something I didn't say when we fought at the waterfall.. something I didn't say after you found my demon sealed within? To keep you from leaving.. to get you to come back.. to revive the family that is here- all around me.

    Is there anything that could have been said?

    Is there anything you could have said to him to stop him from killing them all? Anything you could have done to keep him in your life? To keep all of them in your life? To have that family still, today?
    Is that what you would think, sitting on that pier after class every night? Watching the sunset reflecting on the water. Reflections of so many colors, each one reminding you of what he did. Is that what would keep you there for hours into the dark of night? The feeling of knowing it had all fallen apart and you didn't have any answers?
    Or knowing that if you had even just one answer, one small glimmer of hope- that you'd have chased it into the darkness- given everything you had- just to save them all. Including Itachi?

    Staring up at these stars, I see it! A shooting star- like it was sent- just for me!
    I grab out to it, like if I might be able to catch it, wish it true and have everything be right again.
    And.. it's just too far away. It's impossible to reach. It slides down the other side of the sky, taking a wish to have my family back again- as we were- with it.

    You'd have called me stupid if you were here still.

    Is that what this is?
     
  21. Spectrum Active Member

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    Title: Bonds You Had Broken
    Theme/prompt: Bonds
    Characters/Pairings: Slight SasuNaru/NaruSaku
    Word Count: 1495
    Genre: Tragedy; Friendship
    Rating: PG-13

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    For the bonds that we found broken, tossed to the graves of the people we once loved, we run. In this life, this unforgiving world in which we live, the bond that holds us, keeps us in place, is everything. For something so sacred to be tossed aside, we must weep. How can you escape the destiny of which you knew there was no way out? How can you fly on a broken wing, chained to the ground where you have thrown those forgotten bonds, or so you wish? You can not. No matter how hard you try to run from them, they always return. They were the only ones. The ones you loved. The ones you trusted. The ones you left forlorn for your own greeds. And yet, they still chase you. They still love you. You are their everything, though you wish it not. Before the fog fades and you see clearly the blood you've shed and taken, you deny all that was once known and take up your sword against those who oppose you. What have you to live for now? What do you see in the path you've chosen. This is what they ask in the back of your mind, always seeking the answer you will never give. The grief of something broken and forgotten can never leave, because you haven't truly forgotten. If you had, would you still fight to run from them? These bonds you've sworn you have broken, which are lying behind you, they are still attached. And now as you lie alone on this cold hard earth, do you remember? Do you remember the smiles and laughs of comrades fallen? Where will your dream end and delusions begin? Go, find answers to the questions you once asked as a naive child. Find them and come back to this spot, asking yourself if what you have done is truly what you wish. Have you finally broken the bond, or is it just the spirit that you fear? The one that lies before you knows not of trivial things, but contains all the answers you seek. Had you seen this before, he would still be alive, and you would still smile. Put back your sword, boy, and walk down this path. You know not where it leads, for the sun has gone out long ago, and you are the one who destroyed it.
    _____________________________________________________________________
    Sasuke's eyes rested on the boy beneath him, seemingly a pile of blood drenched clothes. The smile that once rested on this face was gone, discarded. His bright azure eyes now pale, the color almost gone. The shallow breaths coming from the boy almost made something tug at his heart.
    He held the bloody katana tighter in his hand as the image of an older Sakura came into view. She screamed, falling before the boy.
    "Why?! Why did you do this?!! He bore you no grudge, so why do you wish to kill him?!" Her tear stained face looked up at Sasuke, crying harder because of the cold, hollow look in his eyes. He didn't look sad at all. He didn't show anything. It didn't seem like he even had a soul anymore.
    "Hn. Why do you care about him so much, Sakura?" Sasuke asked, placing his katana back in it's sheath. "You never did before."
    "SHUT UP!" she screamed at him, shaking her head. "I did care! And you did too! What has happened to you Sasuke-kun? Why have you changed so much?"
    "I haven't changed, Sakura, you have. As well as Naruto." Sasuke stated in an emotionless voice. She didn't know how much his insides we screaming, and how hard it was to make himself seem so stoic when all he wanted to do was cry.
    Sakura took Naruto in her arms, sobbing into his clothes. Sasuke merely watched her, feeling his insides twist. His eyes widened as he heard a voice. It was merely a whisper, but it was definitely there.
    "Sakura..chan...don't.. cry..."
    Sakura looked up, seeing a weak smile on Naruto's lips. He was still alive. She could still save him!
    Naruto's head fell to the side, dull eyes on Sasuke. Sasuke felt his heart breaking, as well as his resolve.
    "Sasuke... won't you.. come.. back..?"
    Sasuke didn't even notice as something wet slipped down his cheek. "Naruto, I..." All he had wanted since the day he found out that Naruto and Sakura were searching for him was to come back, but he couldn't do that. If he did, Orochimaru would come after him. He might even kill some of those close to him. He didn't want that.
    "Please..." He could hear Naruto's voice weakening.
    "Sakura." Sasuke said, looking over at her.
    She looked up at him with cold eyes. "What."
    Sasuke paused for a minute, before closing his eyes. "Heal him."
    "Wha-"
    "Now." Sasuke cut her off. "If you're such a good medical ninja, heal him."
    Sakura let a small smile slip onto her face. "Right." She set Naruto down, carefully taking off his jacket.
    Sasuke watched as she gathered her chakra in her hand, and carefully moved it over the sword slashes. He sat down with a sigh and continued to watch for the next couple hours until she let out a sigh and wiped her forehead.
    "He should be good for a little while.." she said softly. "He's asleep now, but I need to get him back to the hospital..." Her eyes traveled over to Sasuke, who was still sitting completely still a few feet away. "Sasuke?"
    "What." he said harshly, looking up at her.
    She cringed slightly. Why..I mean.."
    "Why did I do it?"
    She nodded nervously. Sasuke crossed his arms, closing his eyes. "I don't know."
    Sakura's eyes widened. "What do you mean, you don't know? You have to have had a reason! I mean, one minute you're trying to kill him, and the next you're telling me to save him!"
    Sasuke clenched his teeth. "Do I need to have a reason?" he asked, glaring at her angrily. "Do I need to have a reason for feeling everything I did was wrong and that I had to fix something?!"
    "Sasuke-kun...." Sakura whispered, looking at him sadly.
    Sasuke stood up, walking towards the blonde laying on the ground. Sakura quickly took Naruto into her arms, looking up at Sasuke as if she were afraid that he would hurt him again. Sasuke bent down, taking Naruto from her arms. Sakura gasped, reaching out to grab Naruto. She watched as Sasuke looked down into the face of the man she realized not too long ago that she loved. She didn't want Sasuke to hurt him ever again, yet she couldn't force herself to move.
    Her eyes widened as the wind whipped past her suddenly, making her wonder if what she was seeing was real.
    Sasuke reached up with one of his hands, wiping a stray strand of hair out of Naruto's face. His gaze softened slightly, eyes resting on the other's closed ones. I just wish I would have realized it so long ago... he thought, feeling his heart beat faster. I just wish I would have seen.
    He looked down to Sakura. "Come on."
    She tilted her head slightly, confused. "Huh?" she asked.
    "You said we have to get him back to the hospital in Konoha. We'll take him there."
    "Sasuke-kun.. does that mean..?" she said, jumping up from her spot, with a look of pure surprise on her face.
    Sasuke just smirked. "Let's go."
    _______________________________________________________________________
    So little boy, have you become a man? Will you find the sun and put it up again? Will you turn away from the path you once chose and collect the shattered pieces of those around you? This is where the truths lie and the fake scene falters. When you had it all, you thought it was taken, but truly, all it did was open a path for a new everything to enter. So the bonds you have "broken" and the life that you "left" has stayed and waited for the fog to lift and your eyes to clear. You never really left it at all, you just tried to run, to fly with chained wings. And as each day passes you can ask if what you've done was right and if you may return with the torn soul you have now. You can wonder if the path home ever truly disappeared through the years, or if it was just covered by the blanket of the night's sorrow. But if you move, letting yourself follow your heart and not your mind, you may find the path was always clear and the light was always shining. The bonds you had "broken" will put you back together and the ones you loved will stay there forever. And so we ask again. Little boy, have you become a man? Will you save the bonds lying so delicately in your hands?
     
  22. Spectrum Active Member

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    Title: The Cunning Fox
    Theme/prompt: Bonds
    Characters/Pairings: Kyuubi
    Word Count: 524
    Genre: Horror/drama
    Rating: PG-13

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    "Hmmmm" The deep and dark grizzly voice sighed after the claws of the unholy beast stopped clashing against the metallic bars that have imprisoned the demon for so long. The carnage it created all those years, that evil still fresh in his mind, seemingly impossible to escape as if built into his very soul. "Kyuubi….." he said slowly. It was his name, or at least it was what the humans called him even though it didn't matter in the slightest to him. "How long has it been since I've felt the freedom to roam and do what I please". The mere thoughts of a demon would render even the strongest ninja insane. They were designed that way, and for the life of the village Konoha, couldn’t understand why.

    The mind of demon was no ordinary thing at least no more so than essence of those who govern the flows of good and evil. If he could express it in way it would be concentrated chaos, and unlike the villagers, it was his understanding that he existed only because he had to….and nothing more. Yet here he was trapped within a mere child, and an arrogant one at that. The fox smiled greatly. “At least this one is interesting”. Kyuubi detested the weak, and at the very basis of this medium that he was sealed to, was a weak child, but to him so was everyone else. He had tried multiple times to destroy the seal but failed.

    Over the time he has been sealed he has already grasped the smallest bits of freedom. This process allowed the child to become far stronger than he could ever imagine. Kyuubi also felt more alive every time he gave Naruto more and more of his power, which in turn gave him more and more control. Maybe that was the most dangerous aspect about himself being sealed, not his strength or cunning intelligence, but his need for horror and combat, it kept him patient. He understood the relationship well, and he had no preference in which he killed. As long as he stayed in this body he was safe from most other fates; after all, this boy seemed to write his own fate because surely this child should be dead.

    The taste of flesh was tempting him at every corner. It dawned on him, maybe this was his purpose? Kyuubi let out a soft but horrific laugh, the thought amused him so. What reason could fate have? Sure there are better ways to go about it. He wasn’t going to let it bother him, for whatever reason he was still alive, and he could still feel the wonderful pains of being a demon that only a creature like himself could fully appreciate. Kyuubi just sat their waving his tails staring at nothing, lost in his demonic thoughts, His eyes wide open. “One day I will be free, even the one who imprisoned me knew that” he thought to himself. “I’ll take this as far as it goes” and with that he laid down back in to the dark cage, his eyes slowly closes as everything faded into nothingness.
     
  23. Spectrum Active Member

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    Title: To Never Be With You
    Theme/prompt: Slice of life
    Characters/Pairings: Naruto/Hinata, Sakura
    Word Count: 1228
    Genre: Romance, General, Drama.
    Rating: T

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Sitting here on my window ledge I can see the rain falling and hear the pitter patter sounds hitting the ledge. It looks so gloomy and during times like this I wish I had someone, much like the people I see walking the street with their spouses. Holding the umbrellas over their gals head, whispering sweet nothings in the girls ear, which causes her to giggle kind of makes me jealous and sad. Especially when I see the idiot blond who I love walking with Hinata, the nicest girl you could ever meet. She’s so nice… so why is it that I hate her so much. I guess it’s not hate, more of envy than any thing else.

    I sit her now knowing that the way he use to look at me is the way he now looks at her. I wonder what it is that he’s whispering in her ear. Then again I don’t want to know. I’d rather be in her place. I remember when I rejected him for that date six months ago. I didn’t respond in the tone that I did when we were twelve, no I just simply told him that I liked him as a friend and nothing more and that my heart was and will always be with Sasuke.


    I was lying to myself; I didn’t realize that until the day he told me about Hinata. My heart shattered into a thousand pieces.


    Flashback…


    "Hey Sakura-chan, you won't believe it! Me and Hinata are going out together," said Naruto happily.


    "Yeah that's great Naruto, I could always tell Hinata liked you," replied Sakura smiling.

    Speaking with much joy in his voice,"I never thought she'd ask me out.”


    Pausing once he noticed Sakura’s reaction, “Are you sure you're okay with this Sakura?," Naruto asked worried.



    Giving a slight smile, "Yeah I'm okay with it. Why wouldn't I be?," she replied uneasily.




    "You don't really seem happy about it. You sure everything is okay?” asked Naruto once again.



    Punching him in the arm playfully, "Yes now please go away, you're getting really annoying".



    Naruto waved then ran off. When he got a distance away, he yelled out, "Hey Sakura-chan. Me, Hinata-chan, and Lee are going out tomorrow; Do you want to come with us!?," he asked.




    "No thanks, I'm busy. I have to go to work tomorrow," she said softly.





    "Okay then, I'll see you some other time," Naruto said running off home.





    Sakura was still shocked by the news. She was glued to her spot. “Am I jealous? I feel all mad inside. But it's not like I don't like Hinata or anything. Hinata's one of my best friends, so why do I feel like this? It's not like I have feelings for Naruto, I just like him as a friend. If that’s true then why… then why do I feel like crying?”


    When Ino placed a hand on her shoulder, Sakura was jolted from her thoughts.


    “Forehead girl, why are you looking in that direction? Are you expecting Sasuke-kun to come, or are you waiting for Naruto?” Ino asked teasingly.


    She glanced at Ino with glossy eyes. Blinking twice she smiled, “Ino-pig, don’t make me laugh. Sasuke is the one for me. It’s Sasuke, okay Ino?”


    Ino put her hands up in defense, “Okay, Okay don’t have to get defense Forehead girl. Let’s just go shopping already.”


    Sakura nodded. Her thoughts were on Naruto. “Naruto…I … I…”



    Ino broke her from her thoughts, “Today forehead.”



    Sakura looked in the direction Naruto ran toward. She walked away bottling up all of her emotions.



    End of Flashback…


    I watch them as they walk thinking of what could have been what will never be. The one I love I have pushed away. Time is something I wish was flexible like that of a leaf, but like a river that follows a set path, its not. So I sit here watching waiting for the day love finds me. It found me once, I just didn’t know until it was to late.
    ------------------------


    Walking through the streets in this pouring down rain with the girl that I love, I can’t help but think about Sakura-chan and her expression. She was sad when I told her even though she put on a happy face. I know its Sasuke she wants and it has always been Sasuke. I knew it from that time I saw her hug him in the hospital when Aoba-chan healed him. I knew then that the one I loved would never love me back. Cursed, that’s what I thought about myself. I love and don’t receive love, I protect yet I am feared and hated, the one I consider my brother and best friend is the one who takes me to death’s door. That was until Hinata-chan came into my life. I may have been cursed, but she is the one person that erases away all of the pain in my life.


    Her smile, the slight pink in her cheeks when I say, ‘I love you Hinata-chan’ just makes me happy to be here. Sakura-chan is also dear in my heart which is why I will go to the ends of the earth to bring Sasuke back. She deserves to be happy with the one she loves and I will see to it that she is. I can’t help but stop and look at her window as we pass by her place.



    I know my Hinata-chan wondered why we stopped so she asks, “Naruto-kun, why did you stop? Its raining and I don’t want you to get sick; we should head back to your house already.”




    I want to tell here why we stopped but all I tell her is, “Just give me a minute Hinata-chan, just a minute.”





    I want to tell her that I’m looking at my first love and that I’m thinking about what could have been and what will never be but I don’t. Instead I just make a silent vow to bring back Sasuke and say goodbye to the love that I’ve had for Sakura. I still love her with all my heart and maybe if I didn’t find happiness with Hinata I would still be asking her out. Now that I think about it, I would have stopped because I know her heart is with Sasuke and will always belong to him. I just wish she would have given me a chance. Well it doesn’t matter, I can’t live in the past and think about what could have been and what would have been. It wasn’t meant to be and that’s fine.


    Looking into Hinata’s beautiful pale lavender eyes I’m not mad in the least. Sakura and I will never be more than friends and that is more than enough. We will always be friends and I will always love Sakura-chan. I just hope you find what I found with Hinata Sakura and again, I will bring Sasuke back.


    Hinata tapped me once more, “Is everything alright?” she asks in a concerned and sincere tone. That’s what I love about her, always worrying about others and never herself. She is one of a kind, truly she is.




    Nodding, “Yes, let’s go watch this movie.”


    She grabs my arm gently and we walk away. As we walk I say one final goodbye to my first love, forever and always.
     
  24. Spectrum Active Member

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    Title: The Twilight of Destiny
    Theme/prompt: Duty
    Characters/Pairings: None
    Word Count: 713
    Genre: War
    Rating: T

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    “Finally the time has come” whispers the Kazekage standing on top of the balcony of his office watching the moon rise to the skies. “Tomorrow is the day where we the citizens of the Land of Wind shall fight or die on this ground, the fate of many shall rest on the upcoming battle” Everywhere there are signs posted requesting all sand Shinobi to converge and meet out and face the invaders. A flash appears behind the Kazekage with news. “Baki what is the status of our forces?”, “They are assembled and ready to fight to the death with their Kazekage.” Gaara smiling yet so sad knows that some of them will not return. “Baki, tell them to wait for my arrival” bowing to Gaara “Yes Kazekaga sama”. Gaara staring over his village “Now the time has come”. Every sand shinobi is gathered in front of the village. Then a whispering murmur among the sand shinobi’s as they look behind and the Kazekage walking towards the front with his sand siblings Temari on the Right and Kankuro on the left. Upon arriving Gaara turns to face his people, “Shinobi of Sunagakure! Tomorrow we will stand here to fight for our very survival. An enemy from a foreign nation has come to destroy us all and wipe us out from the face of the earth. They come thinking we are weak and ready to surrender, however that will be their undoing! We the shinobi of the Sand are now standing at the twilight of our destinies. It pains me to know that my family that is my village, will lose some faces tomorrow night yet in this final hour of destiny let us not mourn them, instead let us celebrate their sacrifice and keep their memories alive. Though I want all of you to know that I shall be the first to attack and I shall be the last to leave the battlefield. This is our home! Today is the twilight of our destiny and tomorrow we shall drive them from our lands or die trying making every inch of our sacred land very costly to the enemy. Now my family, my comrades till death takes us we shall not give them one inch and we shall not take one step back!”. Riled and inspired by this heartfelt speech as one they all cheer “Hail the Kazekage! Death to the invaders! Fight!”, with that they stand ready for war as the morning sun takes it’s first steps into the sky. Marching in mass the enemy has arrived, the Shinobi of Iwagakure led by the Tsuchikage himself has come to conquer Sunagakure in revenge for it’s defeat during the third great shinobi war along with Konoha. Now as the two armies face off in the distance a great sandstorm kicks up and swallows the two armies, the visibility is poor yet the Sand shinobi stand strong behind their Kazekage. The Two Kages march forward to each other to discuss terms, facing each other with a menancing glare both offer their terms of surrender. “Gaara of the Sand, surely you know that your sand shinobi cannot beat my rock shinobi. So why don’t you spare us a bloodbath and just surrender Sunagakure to our rule” Gaara not flinching one bit replies “We the Shinobi of the Sand have come here for one reason to destroy the enemy and drive you all from our land. We will never give up our freedom! So your words are wasted here, for we shall settle this once and for all in the way of true shinobi fight with blood and war as my duty as the Kage of the sand requires so I shall see you on the battlefield.” Knowing the meeting is futile both Kages return to their lines, readying to attack. “Shinobi of the sand! Now the time has come to show the enemy the full might of our village!”, on the other side the rock ninja have also prepared to attack “Let us drive these weaklings to the ground and take this village as ours!” Riled both sides now charge against each other. “For the sand!”, “For the Rock!” and in an instant their destinies have been decided. Yet the accounts of this great battle have been lost to history and no records are left as only the beginning is written and not the end.
     
  25. Spectrum Active Member

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    Title: Uchiha Story
    Theme/prompt: Past
    Characters/Pairings: Uchiha Shisui and Uchiha Itachi
    Word Count: 3,550
    Genre: General
    Rating: T

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    ?Hrmph, you got good shuriken skills, I?ll give you that.?
    Shisui Uchiha and Itachi Uchiha were in the forests on the outskirts of Konoha as they normally were after their respective missions, practising and trying to out do each other in the way that close friends often do. Their friendship was based on that, pushing each other to reach their maximum potential and their rivalry kept them close together. Shisui was slightly older than Itachi and knew that Itachi?s capacity was growing beyond his own. His rapid progress through the academy and his entrance into the ANBU confirmed Itachi?s father?s boasts. Even so, there was a level of pride Shisui felt that his own clan was as strong as ever and still considered one of the most respected throughout Konoha and far beyond its tranquil borders. Shisui himself was also extremely skilled and highly regarded within the clan and amongst the elders it was felt that his influence on Itachi was positive and together the two would become the most talented members of the clan. However, the two young ninja were changing and the eventual fallout would have repercussions that no one within the village could have predicted.

    ?They teach you that in some special ANBU training lesson?? Asked Shisui in a mocking tone.
    ?No, it was simply something that I reworked from the training in the academy?. Itachi gave off a wry smile as he had the distinct feeling that Shisui was becoming jealous of the praise that he was receiving from not only the clan but from many other respected ninja in Konoha.
    ?OK Mr Big shot, time for us to head back, it?ll probably be dark by the time we make it to the village anyways. You up for a trip to the tea house? It has been a while since you?ve had some free time, we might as well chill for a little while.?
    ?Sure, I suppose we can do that.?

    The pair walked in a relaxed manner through the forest under the last remaining light of the day. They said very little throughout the journey back to the village but both still felt that their close bond was still apparent despite the fact that they were starting to see less and less of each other. By the time they made it to do the village gates night had emerged and a light breeze picked up and the silence was broken by the rustling of countless leaves.

    The tea house was fairly crowded, currently Konoha did not have any major conflicts with the other ninja villages and because of this the general mood of the village was one which was promoting indulgence. There was a slight din caused by the talking of the patrons of the tea house and upon their entrance they looked at the Uchiha with respectful eyes. They managed to get the last remaining table and waited to be served.

    ?So, how is young Sasuke doing? I heard he is doing quite well at the academy, although I suppose that should be expected.? Before Itachi could reply a ninja approached him and who was a member of his former class and interrupted the conversation before it began.
    ?Itachi! Do you remember me? It has been a while since I?ve seen you, I heard you made it into ANBU that is incredible for one so young I hope one day I can be as talented as you are, although like when we were in class together no matter how I practised I never could be even compared to someone such as yourself. Anyways it was nice seeing you again, make our village proud!? during that brief interjection Shisui ordered them some tea and surveyed the room, noticing all of the appreciative glances that Itachi was getting and for the first time became quite annoyed with the situation in which he was finding himself. He was ambitious and was starting to believe that he would need to do something drastic in order to surpass Itachi.
    ?Thank you for such kind words? Itachi said, bowing his head slightly. The conversation regarding Sasuke then resumed and other idle chatter passed through the time that they were there.

    After some time had passed they both agreed that they had to go home, they each had missions the next day and needed to be prepared for action. The walk back to the Uchiha compound wasn?t a long one and there were still people milling about in the streets including other members of the Uchiha clan. Upon their arrival into the compound itself the pair was greeted by their respective fathers who had finished their duty at the police force for the day.
    ?Still inseparable I see.? Itachi?s father said with a warm smile. ?I suppose not everything has to change with our advancement in rank.? Shisui quickly added whilst his father motioned him over in order for them to walk together back to their houses. ?I will see you soon, Shisui.? Itachi said and waved slightly.

    During the night Shisui couldn?t sleep after hearing what his father had to say.
    ?Listen closely, I?ve just been having a rather serious discussion with Itachi?s father and it seems that he is rather concerned with the behaviour of the boy. For the sake of the clan it is important to tell me if you, someone very close to him have noticed anything strange??
    ?Certainly not, he is still the same Itachi, to me anyway, I haven?t noticed anything at all strange, perhaps he is just a little tired, it must be very difficult in the ANBU.?
    ?That may be the case, but the clan is entrusting you with the responsibility of keeping a very close eye on him and watching his movements for anything that you find suspicious. I know he is your closest friend, but the clan has to be put ahead of everything else.?
    Such a conversation wasn?t something that he was expecting and Shisui was confused about what to make of all of this. He felt that he knew Itachi and believed him to be an upstanding member of the clan and from what his father was saying it seemed that many believed him to be an actual threat. The only way that he could get to the bottom of this was to talk to Itachi himself.

    His head was spinning and needed some fresh air so decided to go for a walk through the now chilly streets of Konoha. All sorts of emotions were running through his mind and he could not wait to find out what Itachi had to say about the matter. He decided to go to a small clearing outside the Konoha gates where the two used to play to sit down and take stock of the situation.

    Upon his arrival however he could make out the figures of three individuals, one of which being Itachi. Shisui decided to make himself as inconspicuous as possible and approached the trio with caution; he needed to find out what this apparent meeting was all about.

    It seemed that one of the individuals conversing with Itachi had a giant tail and was shaped in an unusual way. Shisui hadn?t seen anything like that before and was wondering where that ninja hailed from. Shisui edged ever closer and was horrified to find out that the legendary ninja Orochimaru was with the unknown ninja and was dressed in similar attire, a black cloak with red clouds on them. Realising how grave the situation was Shisui wondered if he should contact someone from the village, but considering his current predicament he was also worried about whether or not he would make it out alive if the was spotted. He decided that he should get closer and remain in that position until the trio dispersed. Getting close enough to hear but far enough away to run should the situation require.

    ?What are we are trying to achieve is something that we know you want to be apart of and the how requires skill, which we don?t think you have enough of, despite your blood.? The mysterious ninja said. ?There is away to become more powerful, we know that your clan has a great secret, what that is we don?t know, but where it is located is something we can tell you. Within the Nakano Shrine exists a secret location underground, within it you will find the strength to join our organisation.? Orochimaru said, his voice giving Shisui chills but looking at Itachi it was clear that he was not fazed by those in front of him. ?I will do what is necessary.? Was all that Itachi uttered and started to walk away from his two acquaintances. The two other ninja also began to move away from the scene and Shisui became relieved but to be on the safe side decided to stay a little while and think about the new developments. What would be his next course of action?

    There were so many implications from this observed meeting, Orochimaru was the most wanted ninja not just for Konoha but many other villages and it was clear that his partner was of a similar level. That meant that Itachi was involved with S rank criminals and by the looks of things wanted to join them and would betray the clan in order to become involved with them. Although, with this information Shisui himself could become stronger, surpassing Itachi and thus becoming the most respected youngster in the clan.

    After much deliberation Shisui felt that he had to put away his friendship and personal feelings towards Itachi and treat him as an enemy. The only way to defeat him would be with the aid of the mysterious secret held within the Nakano Shrine. Shisui knew that time was of the essence and even if there was enough time to train there would be no guarantees that he would be able to beat Itachi, his best opportunity would be to learn the secret and lure him to a location outside of Konoha and to defeat him. Ensuring that he did this by himself was a priority and personal pride rather than sense made him come to that decision.
     
  26. Spectrum Active Member

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    The best time to enter the Shrine unnoticed would be during the day as all Uchiha had their duties to attend to so in the evening the Shrine would be in use for one reason or another. However, Shisui had his own missions also so getting out of them without arousing suspicion might prove difficult. The best thing to do would be to complete his tasks as quickly as possible which would give him some time to locate the entrance, considering it was underground Shisui felt that it wouldn’t take too long to find.

    Luckily enough his team was given a low ranked mission for the day and was completed in a prompt fashion. Shisui took this as a good sign and rushed as fast as he could to the Shrine, keeping a look out for anyone that might approach it. Once inside he did the most logical thing and started to systematically look under the mats in the main room. After what seemed like a long while Shisui found a wooden panel that was different to the others encountered and with a little bit of effort removed it to find a small passage seemingly leading to another room. It was dark but Shisui was prepared and carried down a small lamp. Considering that there was no way for him to go down and replace the mat and piece of wood he needed to be fast so he was nervous with his actions. Once inside the room he found candles that could be lit and once he did that a scroll which was already laid out could be read. Shisui wondered about the amount of people that knew about this place and then started to read the scroll.

    Its contents did indeed reveal the path to a great power but the path was one which shocked and astounded Shisui and made him stumble backwards upon reaching the conclusion of the scroll. He reread it just to be sure that he understood its contents. But there was no mistaking it, the path to this power wouldn’t be something that Shisui could do easily or perhaps even at all. He quickly blew out the candles and rushed out of the secret room and after putting the main room back to normal ran back to his house, breathless and confused.

    He was always taught that the sharingan was complete once it had three tomoe but now things had changed. The sharingan in the eyes of Shisui was now completely different after learning about how to extend its power and the dark secret behind the purpose of the doujutsu that the Uchiha clan possessed.

    Could he actually do what was required to gain the power? His once closest companion may not know about this and if he did know what would happen? The Itachi that Shisui once knew wouldn’t be able to do such a thing and Shisui felt that he should just come clean and talk to Itachi and the elders and get to the bottom of everything found within that room. But that was impossible; Itachi clearly had changed and for whatever reason wanted to leave the clan in order to join S rank criminals no less. But what about the clan and its original purpose and the power of it, was it hidden in order to keep the clan from destroying itself? Such an answer wasn’t so farfetched; Itachi’s actions would be able to confirm this because it would be only a matter of time before he himself knew, if he didn’t already. Shisui’s world was quickly unravelling and he felt lost and confused with no one to turn to.

    Over the next few days Shisui kept to himself and carried out his duties as he normally did and gave false reports to his father regarding Itachi, saying that he was behaving normally. In reality he avoided Itachi as much as he could and only really saw him during family gatherings. During those days Shisui did a lot of soul searching and his thoughts were changed by what he saw of the clan. He spent a lot of time walking in Uchiha territory and observing members of his clan, his family, his blood. These people were not like those of the past and all they wanted to do was to ensure the safety and wellbeing of others. They were happy, they smiled and greeted each other warmly in the street; they helped one another in daily activities and were there for each other when they needed help the most. There is no way Itachi could do something that would hurt the clan, Shisui thought this with a judgement which was clouded without the real understanding of his closest friend. Unbeknownst to Shisui the bond they once had was no longer there and Itachi only saw Shisui as the pathway to his own greatness.
    Shisui eventually decided that the only thing to do would be to talk to Itachi, this would occur earlier than he anticipated. On the night of a meeting of many of the Uchiha family would be attending Itachi met Shisui whilst he was on his way to it. ‘Shisui, I know we haven’t spoken lately and that there is a meeting to attend but I have to show you something, this is important and we need to go now.’ ‘Where will we be going?’ Shisui enquired and started to feel a sense of warmth as he knew the answer would be the Nakano shrine and that he would finally be able to unburden himself from all the thoughts he’d been having over the past days. ‘The Nakano Shrine, it isn’t too far and I doubt our presence will be that sorely missed at the meeting anyway.’

    The path to the Shrine went through very familiar territory; the pair had explored the forests surrounding it and had fished and swam in the river close by. All of those times Shisui thought to himself, he hoped there would be more good times.

    The Shrine was deserted, which was expected and before Itachi could enter it Shisui felt that now was the time to come clean and say everything.
    ‘Itachi, stop, I can’t take this any longer. I’ve been asked to keep an eye on you and that day you spoke with Orochimaru and that other person I was there, I went to this shrine and I’ve seen what the scroll says, you don’t have to show me. But now you need to forget those guys, we’ll tell the clan and the village and drive them off for good.’
    Itachi, who had his back on Shisui turned around and began to speak, ‘I already know, Orochimaru knew you were there also and I believed that you would look at that scroll and then come straight at me.’
    ‘Why would I do such a thing? Power is meaningless if you can’t use it to protect those that you care about.’
    ‘Hrmm, I guess we are different in how we view the clan.’
    ‘Look, I know you’ve apparently been acting strange and that was why I was asked to look at what you’ve been up to but it’s ok, you can tell me, you must be feeling like I did when I found out. Really, everyone won’t mind, let’s just go back to the meeting and everything will be fine.’
    ‘I’ve lost all hope of that pathetic clan, people just hide behind the name, the inherited abilities and never strive for anything more, we’ve grown weak. On this course we’ll eventually grow powerless, it has gone as far as it can go.’
    ‘What are you saying? The clan has done everything for you, trained you and your brother, your parents have been there for you, what more do you want? If it is strength we can help you.’
    ‘Yes, you can.’
    Itachi threw a shuriken so fast that Shisui barely had time to dodge it. Itachi had a menacing look to him and it was clear that he meant business.
    ‘What are you doing?!’
    ‘Think about it, I knew you had seen the scroll and yet I still brought you here, for me to reach the heights…I have to kill you.’
    Shisui was completely stunned at this, his vision had been blurred up to this point and he believed that things were they way they used to be, he knew he was in grave danger but there was no way that he could escape, fighting was the only option.

    Shisui had no idea about just how powerful Itachi was, despite himself being somewhat revered in the clan the gap in skill between the two was immense and it didn’t take long for Itachi to be in control. The fight had caused them to move from the shrine to the river close by, at that point Shisui found himself exhausted just trying to counter the sheer amount of jutsu that Itachi was performing. After a short time and a few precise blows later Shisui was on his knees with nothing left to give.
    ‘So this is it then, you are just going to kill me so calmly?’ Shisui said, with blood dripping down his face, struggling to breathe, in this condition even if Itachi didn’t finish him off he would eventually die from the wounds he had suffered.
    ‘The time we spent together will not be forgotten, since it was important to me. Thanks to you the clan will be no more, now I will have the power to finish it once and for all. You were fighting to protect them and look at you, if you want strength you must shed everything, I am the proof of that and I will continue on this path.’
    ‘You mean that you want to destroy the clan? But why, you will have the Mangekyo, just go, leave them.’
    ‘This clan is finished just as you are, goodbye friend.’

    Itachi thrust his sword through Shisui’s heart which caused blood to gush out of his mouth, he soon collapsed face first into the dirt. Itachi could feel his new found power and considered that the way things had gone he was right, if the clan was the path to strength surely Shisui would have won. Itachi used skills learned in the ANBU to clean up the corpse and then floated it down the river, he knew it would be found but that didn’t matter anymore.

    In the end Shisui didn’t understand his friend, things changed and the person he thought he knew no longer existed. After that night the clan was wiped out and everything that Shisui and many others believed in evaporated, the secrets of the clan now in the hearts of only two, as for the rest the truth was spared but still, despite all of this there is still hope left for the clan, perhaps one day it will return.

    THE END
     
  27. Spectrum Active Member

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    Title: The End
    Theme/prompt: Duty
    Characters/Pairings: No pairings
    Word count: 652
    Genre: Adventure/drama
    Rating: K

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    It was raining that day. Water poured all over rain country, proving why such a title was given to the nation. But what was more remarkable was what happened at Flood City that day.

    All the water that covered the city could not put out the massive fire that was growing in the harbor. A single yet immense ship had caught on fire and was becoming a danger, yet countless people were aboard, fighting no matter how bad the scenario was turning into.

    “Naruto, Sakura, we have to leave now, this place is burning down fast” said Kakashi as he pointed towards the dock. Naruto wanted to protest, feeling that he had to make sure that all of this ended tonight, but was prevented from saying anything by the voice of another. “Don’t worry, I’ll take care of the leader.” Naruto turned around to look at the man and challenged his abilities, not wanting to leave the world’s fate in his hands. The man just tugged on his mask, turned toward the burning vessel, and said, “Those who don’t follow the rules are trash, but those who abandon their friends are worse then trash, right Kakashi.” Before anyone could respond to this odd yet catchy phrase, the mysterious ninja had disappeared into the flames, making the copy ninja all the more eager to get his team off the ship.

    Chunks of the boat were falling all over now, making the location even more hazardous to be at, yet one man was slowly trying to make his escape. He was beaten up, his ship was going down, and his plans were all ruined, yet he refused to surrender. The escape boat was inches from his reach when a single kunai landed at his feet. “So you have come to stop me as well, eyy…Tobi?”

    Before anyone could tell, two swords clashed and the S class criminals were at it. “You betrayed us, you took their lives to make that demon,” said Tobi as he tried to hack off his former leader’s head. “It was a necessary move for the organization,” stated the leader. Tobi stabbed forward as he replied, “Its my duty to make sure that you never make it out of here alive.” The leader deflected the thrust and flew upward, asking “why go so far for men as dammed as we are?” Tobi went through a long series of seals while holding clay and quietly said “a promise, right sempai.”

    The leaf ninja had gotten to higher ground and watched the ship as it went up in flames. Naruto and Sakura were huddled together, wondering what was happening out there on the water, while Kakashi tried to see the fight with his famous left eye. They were all startled when a large demon like creature made of clay appeared out of nowhere and started to grow in size. Before the two could ask their sensei about it, Kakashi had grabbed his students and darted across the city.

    A mile later, Kakashi stopped, put his 2 students down, and oddly covered his ears. As Naruto and Sakura started yelling at him to explain, a massive, ear-piercing explosion went off, leaving the two dust covered teens to just mumble “oh.” The entire harbor was blown to nothing, not even wood left to prove that it once existed. “This will be known as the day that Akatsuki was disbanded forever.” Lamented Kakashi as he recalled the many people who had died in helping accomplish this feat.

    It had been a month since the incident and life seemed to be returning to normal. Naruto was healed and begging Sakura for dates, Lee was back at his crazy training, and Shikamaru found a new shogi partner in Shino. Kakashi would be found visiting the memorial and thinking of his lost friends. Unbeknownst to them all, a lone mask wearing man stood proudly on the 4th’s monument head thinking “Its great to be back.”
     
  28. Spectrum Active Member

    Messages:
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    Title: Slipping Away
    Theme/Prompt: Past
    Characters/Pairings: Sasuke, Naruto, Itachi mentioned, Sakura mentioned, some NaruSasu
    Word Count: 609
    Genre: Angst/Romance
    Rating: PG-13

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Uchiha Sasuke had slipped away.

    Uchiha Itachi had been the reason for that.

    Uzumaki Naruto is slipping.

    That’s because of Uchiha Sasuke.

    Every time it rains, the blue-eyed blond is thrown back in time to the day he lost the closest thing he had ever had to a best friend. (But is that all that Sasuke was?)

    Every time it snows, he gets lost in the memory of Sasuke’s body turning cold, those lovely silken eyes closing, that day on the Bridge in the Wave Country. (No. Sasuke was not just a friend.)

    But worst of all are sunny days, because there aren’t any painful memories to fall back into. There’s only the sickening reality, the gaping hole where Sasuke had been(belonged?), where he isn’t anymore. (But then, what was he?)

    Sakura-chan is coping, slowly healing herself from her heartbreak. But she has a family, a best friend, and people that would gladly die for her. (Not a friend. An enemy?)

    Naruto has lost that same person. His most precious person. Someone who was his best friend, his greatest rival, the person who would have died for him, the one who nearly had.(No, that doesn’t fit either. Not an enemy.)

    But now, it doesn’t really matter anymore. Because it’s all in the past, and now, Sasuke stands before him.

    Now, they stand, facing each other again. The Valley of the End is a fitting place for their final battle, because of its links to a past that tears the heart and breaks the soul a little with every step, every jutsu.

    Sasuke smirks. The sentiment in his eyes is clear: “You’re going to die here, and I don’t care.”

    Naruto scowls. His eyes reply, “No, I’m going to bring you home, even if it kills me.”

    They fight. It seems an impossible stalemate, just like their last battle here. But now, they are older, and more deadly. Both have an ambition that they must complete, but Naruto alone is willing to throw that away, just to bring the traitor home.

    Then, Sasuke allows the cursed seal on his neck to spread and solidify. When the wings burst from his back, Naruto has already unleashed the third tail of the Kyuubi no Kistune.

    They stand across from each other, Naruto forming a Rasengan, and Sasuke, a Chidori.

    They rush forward, but this time, there’s no headband on Sasuke’s head to scratch, and both fatal jutsu find their mark.

    Life-blood splatters the shores, and all traces of the demonic chakras that both had been exuding just moments before are gone. Into the past.

    Lost in each other’s embrace, Naruto rests his head on Sasuke’s shoulder and coughs out the words, “Always knew…you’d be the death of me.”

    “Hey, you know?” Sasuke runs his fingers through Naruto’s hair as he speaks.

    “What?”

    “I love you, dobe.”

    And then, that whispered confession is in the past as well, as Death wraps them into her embrace, the last a man will ever know.

    So it began here, so it ends. When the group from Konoha reaches the scene, they will find a macabre display of blood and death. But some, who will know what to look for, will see the signs of a simple truth that had been the cause of this from the beginning.

    That truth is this: “Uchiha Sasuke and Uzumaki Naruto were impossibly intertwined, like two threads, twisted and knotted until there’s no way to tell where one ends and the other begins. Such a bond is impossible to track and impossible to see.”

    But it is only in the past that this bond becomes noticeable, because it cannot be changed.
     
  29. Spectrum Active Member

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    Title: Karma
    Theme/prompt: Karma
    Characters/Pairings: OC and
    Spoiler:
    Orochimaru
    (spoiler tagged because there's a rather nasty twist at the end - it's better if you don't know what's coming)
    Word Count: 960
    Genre: general, horror
    Rating: PG

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    Karma


    The gathering clouds cast a drifting shadow over the red twilit sky of Konohagakure, like a livid bruise blooming upon battered flesh. A storm rages. Raiden's drums rumble a dire warning as white lightning crackles along the linings of the clouds overhead, and the six winds of Fujin howl about the mountains and bend the trees to breaking point.

    A shadow slips into the village; up and over the south wall in one fluid movement.

    I cannot be seen. It is imperative that I am not seen...

    Mikaboshi quickens his steps, ducking into an alleyway out of sight of a passing couple who laugh and screech as they attempt in vain to avoid the sudden downpour. The water dragons shake the heavens and fat droplets of rain plummet towards the earth in great, wavering sheets, churning the ground underfoot into a mire. Despite the almost cathartic release the arrival of the storm has provided for the churning, boiling sky, an oppressive heat pervades.

    No one in their right mind would be out in such weather. No one should have been out in this weather; but such was the innocent, instinctive doggedness of the people of the Leaf. While the lanterns swung wildly in the wind, children splashed in puddles. Old women haggled at the market stalls. A clutch of solemn looking men brought their shougi boards out of the rain and under an awning, defying the elements with casual indifference. Street vendors continued to serve their particular delicacies, piping hot and fresh from the pot. Old women haggled in the market stalls, where the mingled aromas of spices, tea, leather and honey infused with the smell of lightning and stratosphere to create another which was at once familiar and otherworldly...

    Such was the innocent, instinctive doggedness of the people of the Leaf - a quality that once filled Mikaboshi with a sense of pride and belonging.

    But no more.

    Konoha is dead to me now. After this, I can never return...

    For not more than a day ago, Mikaboshi had killed his companion, Hyuuga Hayato, in cold blood for a handsome fee. Now the deed was done, and all that was left for him was to gather his possessions and flee to his providers - the elders of the Hidden Cloud. Despite the storm, however, the accursed villagers would not leave the streets! Their brazen defiance was costing him time - time he did not have!

    Ah, well. As long as he stayed out of sight, he would be content to wait. They would be worn down eventually, as sure as the wind and rain, in time, erode even the loftiest of peaks.

    And so he sits.

    And he waits.

    And as he sits, and as he waits for the sky to darken, he ponders upon the nature of his friend's demise. He is sure he will remember it for a long time to come willing or no.

    It was strange...

    A kunai to the throat - that was all it had taken - and how the mighty had fallen. Hayato had sunk to the floor, his knees giving way underneath him as the gurgling, shuddering throes of death took him. He had laid Hayato down then on the grass, blood already soaking through his gloves and drying under his fingernails, smooth, dark and rich - staining everything it touched. A curious tableau presented itself then before his eyes and the sight of Hyuuga Hayato writhing in pain at his feet banished every futile deed he had ever dared under the thumb of Konohagakure, and with that revelation, he had smiled as he had watched his comrade die. Hayato's pale eyes were open, lashes beaded in silver tears, pleading for something - arms already fallen away onto the ground, ponderously heavy. A final, rattling gasp for air, and he was gone.

    One door closed and another had opened. Yet Mikaboshi had felt nothing. Absolutely nothing. Though that was not wrong, surely? He had been raised a ninja, after all. Fulfil your mission at all costs. Do not let others stand in your way. Emotions are a weakness. That was what he had been taught, and as a jounin, was he not meant to set a good example?

    But no matter, for midnight has come and gone, and the streets are beginning to clear. The oppressive heat has lifted and a chill wind now howls down the streets, rattling roof-tiles and battering against window panes. The way lies open. Time to move.

    With a small smile, Mikaboshi emerges from the shadows and makes to creep down the little street that leads to his home. Within a matter minutes, he will be leaving the Hidden Leaf for good. The thought cheers him and, perhaps due to his high-spirits, he becomes careless, forgetting to mask the sound of his footfalls upon the wet ground.

    From the second floor window of an apartment building across the road, a pair of yellow eyes the colour of bitter wine watch his progress, unblinking. The splash of each eager footstep carries on the wind towards keen and curious ears, and at the sight of the lone jounin, a pale finger rises to trace the outline of thin lips, curved upwards in a predatory smile. They whisper, "you will do nicely."

    Outside, Mikaboshi fumbles for his keys, his hands slick with blood and wet by the driving rain. There is a rustle behind him - a dry noise like smooth scales on grass - but he does not hear it, for the wind is howling and the rain is pounding upon the rooftops.

    He does not see him until it is too late.

    There is a scream, cut off abruptly by a sickening crunch.

    Then silence.
     
  30. Spectrum Active Member

    Messages:
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    Title: Reciprocity
    Theme/prompt: Karma
    Characters/Pairings: Shikamaru, Hidan
    Word Count: 1959
    Genre: Horror, Action
    Rating: R

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I take another drag from my cigarette as I scan the newspaper for a topic relevant to my interests. Dissatisfied with the lack of a good headline, I throw it back onto the table and gaze outside at the scenery. I smile as I look out at the land, reminding myself that it is finally mine.

    The Nara land. Inherited from my father, the land contains arable ground and a lush forest populated by woodland creatures, mostly deer. Though I am sad that my father died in a brutal accident out in the forest barely a week ago, I smile with glee that the clan is finally my own, and I can finally settle down as a full fledged Jonin and Hokage advisor.

    Even at the young age of twenty seven, I am already set to retire. I suppose it is my shinobi career that is to thank for my success in life. A beautiful wife, three adorable kids, and a high ranking reputation among the village.

    I look across at my beautiful wife who smiles back at me, offering a toke of marijuana. I politely decline and rise, walking towards the door.

    ?Jeez, Yoshino, don't let Naruto see you smoking that,? I say, laughing as I adjust my leaf green Jonin vest.

    I walk out the door and breathe in the brisk morning air, setting my course for the Hokage mansion, where my good friend Uzumaki Naruto resides. As the head of the village, he rules peacefully and has led our village to prosperity. Not to gloat, but we are the richest, most powerful, and most connected village of the main five.

    It only takes me a short amount of time to reach the Hokage mansion. I greet the Hokage's personal guards, Kamizuki Izumo and Hogane Kotetsu, and ascend the spiral stairs to the Hokage's room. Opening the door, I am relieved to see the faces of Naruto and his wife Sakura, who also acts as his personal assistant.

    ?Shikamaru!? Naruto calls, ?It's been a while.?

    He gets up and rather than shake my hand as I wish for him to do, hugs me. I return it weakly and once he releases me from his iron grip I clear my throat.

    ?Hokage-sama,? I start, but Naruto cuts me off.

    ?C'mon, call me Naruto. Ditch this formality crap.?

    I nod and continue, ?Naruto, as you know my father has passed away a week ago, and his funeral is set for today at noon. Would you be able to postpone any strategy talks until his funeral is over, at about three or so? I'll try and get back as soon as possible.?

    ?Take as long as you need,? Naruto says, ?I postponed the talks in advance. We don't have anything major to discuss, anyway, so I'll just contact you if I need anything. However, I will hold off for a few days.?

    I bow and thank him, and walk out of the building. I then start walking towards the funeral home to wait with my children while my wife gets ready, but halfway there a sight stops me.

    My son is laying spread-eagled on the ground, a pool of blood and a crowd surrounding him.

    I push my way through the crowd to the forefront and kneel down beside the blood. I place my finger to the blood, a sticky trail left behind when I retract my finger. It is still warm. Keeping my emotions in check, I search around desperately for any traces of a trail. Seeing none, I drop to my knees and start to feel tears sting my eyes.

    ?Shikamaru!? I hear my wife call, ?What happened??

    Once she pushes her way through, she places her hand over her mouth and her face goes white instantly. It only takes a few seconds for her to faint, a few people catching her.

    ?Shikamaru...? a person beside me says, placing his hand on my shoulder, ?Oh my God...?

    Fighting the tears, I look to the source of the voice, Akimichi Chouji. I get up slowly with his help as he and my former teammate who is standing beside him, Yamanaka Ino, embrace me.

    ?Look, if there is anything we can do, just tell us? Ino says, starting to cry herself.

    I shake my head weakly and get myself out of the hug. My eyes go wide as I remember my other two children, and I run to the funeral home as fast as I can, Ino and Chouji on my trail.

    It doesn't take me long to get there, and the sight inside causes me to become nauseous and I vomit onto the floor. The fourteen people that were inside, of which all were my family, are left scattered dead across the benches and the floor. I place out my hand to stop Chouji and Ino from entering, and finally pass out into Chouji's arms.

    ~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~
     
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