The brightness in one little spark...
Author: Grasshopper (A.K.A. The Undertaker's Muse)
Rated: PG-13 (subject to change)
Series: White Flag, Book I
Warnings: Drama, angst, romance, shounen-ai, het.
Spoilers: Up through manga chapter 233, but I'll pick and choose things from later events when it suits my needs.
Timeline: AU from mid-way through chapter 233 onward. I'll play with future events at my own discretion, kukuku...
Pairings: Book I is mainly character building for future Sasuke x Hinata and Gaara x Naruto. Expect Kakashi x Iruka and Lee x Sakura to varying degrees, though.
Summary: The brightness in one little spark...
Author's Notes: ...because we all have to write our own versions of the way the whole "Sasuke-in-a-barrel" thing ended, hehe. Well, here we have it - the start of my first Naruto epic. One that will, eventually, feature several of my favorite pairings in this fandom and present them in believable - or at least entertaining - ways. The actual SasuHina and GaaNaru won't come into this until books two and three, so don't expect major bits of that in this. In fact, Naruto won't even be a big player in this book. Book I is mainly about Sasuke and Hinata evolving as characters, in addition to highlighting the changes others go through in the time between manga chapters 238 and 245. When I finally bet to books two and three, expect more characters and pairings to be introduced, though the focus will still be on SasuHina and, to a lighter degree, GaaNaru. Hopefully, by the time this series is finished, the Grassy will be able to write combat scenes with some degree of skill. ^____^;;; I kind of suck at that, as my primary genres are romance and angst, not action.
Disclaimer: All things Naruto belong to Kishimoto Masashi. The title and summary come from "I've Seen It All" by Bjork & Thom Yorke. All that the Grassy can lay claim to is the plot.
I've seen it all, I have seen the dark,
I have seen the brightness in one little spark.
I have seen what I choose and I've seen what I need,
And that is enough, to want more would be greed.
I've seen what I was and I know what I'll be
I've seen it all, there is no more to see!
"I've Seen It All" by Bjork & Thom Yorke
Prologue: What You Have Become
"Man is the only creature who refuses to be what he is." - Albert Camus
In hindsight, Uchiha Sasuke knew, his entire life after the Uchiha clan's massacre had been spent in an ultimately futile quest for power. None of the jutsu he'd learned over the years - not even mastering the Chidori - nor the time spent pushing people away had prepared Sasuke for the harsh reality of his life to smack him between the eyes like it had when Naruto had won their battle, despite implementing the devastating effects of Orochimaru's curse seal.
Uchiha Sasuke had become Uchiha Itachi. By using others to gain more and more strength... By turning his back on the village he'd been trusted to protect... By being willing to kill the boy he'd come to think of as another brother, as a twin... He had become the same as the man he loathed - and loved - more than anything else.
Just. The. Same.
Closing his dark eyes to block the slowly falling rain from irritating them further, Sasuke thought of the motionless blonde several feet away from himself. Uzumaki Naruto had done some amazing - and frightening - things during their battle. Amazing, because he was witnessing something he knew no one else could do. Frightening, because he didn't understand how the boy who had always been dead last could be so powerful.
At the time, he'd only wondered how he could gain such power for himself. Now, he pondered how that kind of power would go to his head. What would he do with it? How would he manage to control it? When would he lose control, as he most assuredly would?
...who would he hurt in the process?
A shudder wracked the prodigy's battered body, though whether it was from the chilly rain that fell or from the spasms of pain that ran through his sprawled limbs Sasuke didn't know. He was useless at the moment, but Sasuke wasn't certain as to what he would do if he did manage to get up off the ground. Would he run to Orochimaru like he'd previously planned? Would he check on Naruto to make certain the moron would survive? Would he just remain where he was for lack of better - or more easily decided - options?
That was the problem with having one's life turned upside down, he concluded, now ignorant to the harsh rain stinging his skin and the sharp rocks beneath his body. Focusing solely upon the battle waging within his mind and long-ignored heart, the "last" Uchiha continued to ignore his surroundings.
When a person was forced off the path set for themselves - in his case, a mindless pursuit of power and revenge - they were then faced with the horrendous consequences of their of actions. Now that he wasn't off chasing more and more power - now that he had to think - Sasuke was forced to deal with betraying the teammates he'd come to think of as friends...as family...as well as the village he'd grown up in, but couldn't quite think of as "home" anymore.
If Chichiue saw me now, what would he say? Would Hahaue look at me in that way she always did when she was disappointed in me? How would Aniki - the one that trained and loved me - react to my being so weak?
So lost in his own thoughts and failures, the dark-haired genin never noticed when Hatake Kakashi found them. Nor did he notice when he was slung over one of his sensei's shoulders, Naruto over the other. By the time the three had made it back to Konoha, even his mind had long given way to unconsciousness, as per his injured body's demands.
The young Uchiha knew nothing of Kakashi's immense disappointment and guilt, nor of Umino Iruka's protective rage and worry, nor of a Hyuuga heiress's caring and concern toward two of her former classmates. Neither did he have a clue that the events set in motion by his attempted departure had a pink-haired kunoichi both concerned for her teammates and infuriated by her own weaknesses.
If he'd known, maybe it would have pleased him to see that some things in his life were the same even as others continually evolved. Or perhaps he would be worried for his future now that he'd been reclaimed by the village he'd tried to leave. Then again, he may have chosen to just ignore it all the way he always had in the past.
Not that any of those things mattered at the moment, however, as the boy in question was too lost in unconsciousness to either know or care about the people and events around him.
To Be Continued