Like a spiral, like a circle, ever a maelstorm.
He runs his fingers over the grooves in the stone. He can feel them watching him, but he has nowhere to go and nothing to do now. His plans are ashes in his mouth. Kakashi gave him his brother's head last month. A last curve- he feels a battle-worn hand upon his head. " It all comes back doesn't it?" She works on their bodies for hours - the next day she turns in her headband and with a flick of pink hair walks away. And then no one is left to carry it on.
He runs his eyes - eye over the little ticks and nicks that spell out battles lost and missions failed except when they spell out missions completed and battles won. He feels the familiar anger and thinks he should feel guilty, but maybe that's just Obito's eye talking or something. He's holding Rin's headband which is stained an ugly brown. - the brown of dried blood and valley mud made with clay and the juices of putrefaction. There wasn't a body just this head band and a blank spot where her name should be going, except for no body and no witnesses and too much convience. He should really walk away, but he can't just turn in his headband - he needs it to cover his eye.
His eyes are fine they were never the trouble it's the mind behind them that always seems blind. Strange he can spot a kunai aimed for him from a hundred paces, but put a time bomb in front of him and ... nothing. No trouble spotting the blood through - it's all over his hands up his arms covering his chest. He should try to sleep, but he keeps seeing that moment when a hand of lightening runs through another boy's chest and it's him ripping Obito's eye from his head because he needs the power to kill a man's specter. He can't get past his father's betrayal, past Obito's betrayal, past his surrogate father's betrayal and he doesn't care about the others - what about him?!
What about him?! It's always Orochimaru this and Orochimaru that and what's he -day old sushi?! Fuck, but so what fame gets you killed and he refuses to die a fucking virgin. Leave that for sensei's favorite little gennin. Its just how dare they laugh when he suggested he wanted to be Hokage especially that old man. And even in his own head it sounds so disrespectful he visibly cringes which of course prompts him to call his sensei an old man at the next opportunity. Because if it's one thing he won't be it's guilty - he refuses to be even when later this among his many misdeeds will be the albatross 'round his neck slowly strangling him.
All muscle - like a snake and twice as fast, his student has become a kind of god among shinobi. He might not be Hokage, but this boy would be even if it killed him. It nearly does when Orochimaru goes gonzo and splits and then there are two and then there are one and then he's leaving. The next thing he knows his student the Hokage is dead and he spends a long doubtful night laughing himself sick because it does it kills him, it fucking kills him. And so long as he lives he never wants to be prophetic again. No wonder he's so baleful when they bring back the body - he always knew the idiot's idea's would get him killed. Doesn't stop him trying to kill the other brat.
Brats, they're all brats, but as a jounin it's important he take on a team. Besides which Kakashi needs the social experience. Too bad they've better things to do then practice as he preaches and so when it all seems to fall asunder he's not too surprise. It doesn't make it any better, but it doesn't make it any worse - now if only he can pull Kakashi away from that damn memorial he'd feel better.
He felt better then ever before, so much power. Surely more then enough to kill that man. Except it isn't even enough to kill one stupid boy, except it does. His hand ripping through the cloth and flesh like a hot knife through butter. And it's bizarre because he thinks of deer and camping with Itachi. So it comes as no surprise to be bone-tired in a little room made entirely of wards and bonds. He remembers anger and fighting and sand and walking. He doesn't wonder why he thinks of gutting deer on a long ago camping trip with a boy he only half remembers. Sakura tells him about the funeral later and he spits in her face. Finally there's anger finally she quits and leaves.
The leaves have turned again - it's autumn and his fate is still in gridlock. October will be here soon which means Naruto should have been fourteen. Uzumaki Naruto, he traces the name and listens to the limp of the man behind him. He still can't detect his chakra and yet he though he could take Itachi. It's kind of funny. Like 3 am surrealism funny. He traces the letters waiting for the scarecrow to speak. A hand on his head. "It all comes back doesn't it." Somewhere inside he hears a hundred birds take flight and die.