Timeline: current canon (SPOILERS for the latest chapters)
Summary: After the battle against Pain is over, Naruto muses about the secrets learnt and the goals set.
Disclaimer: Naruto belongs to Kishimoto Masashi.
A/N: Pointless and so sweet it’ll make your teeth hurt. And Sasuke is kind of hogging the spotlight again. Now I understand why Naruto used to accuse him of this in the beginning.
Dedication: heltja! I think I missed your b-day (in terms of the gift). Well, here it is. Also, to help you deal with uni stress. That relates to one of my comments about believing in you.
In this white wave I am sinking in this silence.
In this white wave,
In this silence,
Delirium feat. Sarah McLachlan. ‘Silence’
When it’s quiet, he likes to imagine himself sitting in a cozy room on a light summer day, listening to the gentle rustling of curtain lace in the wind. He finds it much easier to be still now.
“Where do you go when you drift off like this?” Sakura wonders.
Naruto’s mouth twists upwards briefly. He hasn’t told anyone yet. He is afraid to tell. Every time he allows himself to think about it, to ponder, to try to figure things out, tears prickle in his eyes. He could probably tell Sasuke. It wouldn’t be a one-sided conversation anymore because losing people is something Naruto knows only too well now. Yes, perhaps they could talk. Sasuke would tell him about his brother and his parents; Naruto would speak about Pain and Ero-sennin and… Dad.
But Sasuke is not here yet. He is still lost, now with a price on his head; that’s why Naruto merely smiles and shakes his head. It’s not that she wouldn’t understand. He just wants Sasuke to be the first to know.
The room that he envisions is not large, but spacious. Summer wind roams it freely, carrying the heady scent of flowers and the faint aroma of bakery. It may be coming from a block away – or from the other room.
“She didn’t cook. Your mother. Nothing beyond cup ramen.”
Naruto laughs quietly. No one ever told him anything about her; no wonder he keeps getting the picture wrong. Then again, to think that the Fourth did all the cooking in the household is odd.
“You’re not really here, are you?”
“I am here as long as you want me to be.”
There is a movement to his left; a fleeting touch of hand upon his hair. Almost like wind. Naruto closes his eyes and remembers all the solitary hours of childhood he would spend lying about in the tall grass, waiting for something to happen. He never dreamt exactly of having a father, much less such a legendary figure for one. In his dreams, his parents were mere shadows waiting on the edge of the giant sea of people who he wanted to acknowledge him. But he has gone from being Naruto the orphan, the outcast and the dropout to being Naruto the hero, the friend and the son. Nothing will change that now. He is not alone anymore.
“You told me you believed in me,” he whispers under his breath, “and that gave me strength.”
Bathing in the gentle warmth that splashes all around him in soothing, invisible waves, he wonders if Sasuke has anyone to believe in him. Perhaps, after all, Naruto has had it easier.
“He has you,” the rustling voice whispers. Naruto tilts his head until it seems the back of his head is touching somebody’s shoulder.
He imagines the day he will tell Sasuke about his father. At first they will fight, of course. Then he will make Sasuke look at him and listen to him and remember that they are friends. He hopes that by this time Granny Tsunade will already have woken up. As for Danzou, well, he has to go. And when Tsunade wakes up she will pardon Sasuke for good. Just beating him senseless will be enough of a punishment, right?
And then, when all is said and done and Sasuke is free and has come home, they will talk.
“I found my father,” Naruto will say along the way.
“He is the Fourth Hokage.”
And Sasuke will probably keep silent like he always does and maybe smirk a little. That’s so much like him.
Naruto squints in contentment. The ghostly fingers sift through his hair. He always had a clear picture of every dream he dared dream. He always looked into the future, not letting himself breakdown and start moping about what was lost in the past. And he sure as hell isn’t going to stop now!
As long as he has the world to believe in him, he is unstoppable. As long as Sasuke has Naruto to believe in him, he can be saved.
In the corner of his mind, a quiet voice rustled:
“I’m proud of you, kid.”
June 30, 2009