Naruto – The Awakening
‘Naruto’ by Masashi Kishimoto
“The Awakening” by Del’Cera Osirin Kusakurin and Ryuuzaki Kusakurin
[SIDE STORY OF ‘THE TALE OF THREE OUTCASTS’]
DISCLAIMER: Naruto, as you may be aware, does not belong to anyone with the name Kusakurin. Pity.
Warnings: Violence, OC
Characters: Haku, Akira, Kenta
Theme Songs: Saya’s Love [Mark Mancinia], Saya’s Courage [Mark Mancinia], Sandstorm [Darude]
A/N: This actually started as a random RP tutorial for Del’Cera – he didn’t know how to role-play and I was bored out of my skull. This is what came out of it with me as Haku and him as Akira [we were mainly in those roles, anyway]. Anyway, this is his first RP, but since he’s a great writer – enjoy!
If you see it anywhere but Rikutsu Kurasu, please inform Ryuuzaki Kusakurin or Aina Kirisaki.
ANOTHER A/N: This is what I like to call the “Akira Gaiden”. It shows how he came into his bloodline, and what exactly happened to make him the character he is in my fic. I won’t spoil anything for you, but I will say that this is where his life decides that it wants to start circling the drain.
The warm summer day in Mist Country was unusual, though the humidity was far from it. Both of the siblings were playing around the village, as they were apt to do when bored, and while it was nothing special, today most certainly was.
“Nii-san! C’mere,” Haku called, waving him over. “Look at what I did!” Pointing at a puddle of water, she grinned widely when it froze at her bidding. “I wanted it to, and it did it! It made ice!” She seemed unduly proud of herself, and with good reason. “Akira-niisan, hurry up,” she told him impatiently. “It’s gonna melt!”
“Alright already, Haku-nee,” Akira called, running over to his sister. “What’s so special that you wanted to– woah.” Akira stopped dead in his tracks, looking at the frozen puddle at his feet. “You did this?” he asked incredulously.
“Mmhmm,” she nodded happily. “See? See? Isn’t it cool?” Watching it with narrowed eyes, she chewed her lower lip and adopted an expression of utmost concentration as the ice formed a small spire and rose roughly a foot into the air before she gave up, falling on her bottom and sighing as it melted. Wiping her forehead, she fell back onto the grass, unaware that the ice was actually not melting, but spreading with the unconscious release of her chakra.
“Umm, Neechan?” Akira asked dumbly. “Why does the ice like my shoes?” For indeed, the ice was slowly crawling up his feet– it was just barely past the soles of his shoes, but already his feet were cemented to the ground. “A little help, please?”
“Huh?” Immediately, her black-haired head whipped up, and her eyes widened. Blinking once or twice, she frowned, and the ice paused and retreated, though it still didn’t melt. It was completely saturated with her unbound chakra. “Why isn’t it melting…?” She poked it after asking this, fascinated by the entirety of this new phenomenon. She didn’t know what it was, or why it was happening, but it amused and amazed her. “I wonder if Mama would know.”
“Yeah!” Akira yelled. “Let’s go ask her!” He ran forward and grabbed Haku’s arm, yanking her to her feet, sprinting for their house, all the while dragging Haku bodily behind him.
“Stop dragging me,” Haku whined, breaking free just in time to get trampled underfoot. “Hey! That hurt!” Glaring at her brother, the girl straghtened her white kimono-styled dress and walked forward slowly and deliberately. Quickly arriving at the small building they called ‘home’, Haku opened the door and followed Akira in, immediately locating their mother – the only one in the house – in front of the stove.
“Mama! Mama!” Akira called, “Haku can– ” he stopped abruptly when he saw his sister giving him a death glare.
“Watch,” Haku said in an excited tone. Raising her hands, she frowned and then grinned when the water in the sink froze immediately. “See, Mama? Look at what I did!”
The woman’s expression turned from one of wonder to that of horror in less time than it took for little Haku to blink.
“No,” she breathed, sinking to her knees. “Not her, too…” Standing up resolutely, she walked over to her daughter and held her by the wrist. “You must never, never tell anyone or use this power around anyone, do you understand?”
“Yeah,” Haku whispered, truly terrified. “I won’t, Mama, I promise.”
“Good,” their mother whispered, shooing Haku and Akira out the door. As it shut, Haku could hear heart-wracking sobs.
“Haku?” Akira asked, stunned by his mother’s reaction and subsequent breakdown, “did we do something wrong?” His young green eyes, normally vibrant and full of life, were dulled by the knowledge that he and his sister had obviously done something bad.
“I don’t know,” she replied softly, looking at him with her wide, dark eyes. “I wish I knew, but I don’t.”
Over the next few days, Haku had snuck out at night. Akira saw her, but didn’t question her random escapades until about the fourth night.
Akira sat on the front porch of their tiny home, waiting for Haku to come in. He saw her sneak up to the door, and waited until the perfect moment.
Her hand was almost touching the knob on the small wooden door when he finally spoke up. “So, Haku-nee. Want to tell me why you’ve been sneaking out at night? Or am I gonna have to guess?”
“Huh?” She turned around, silent on her feet as always, and glared at him, her hand cloaked in the freezing water from earlier as she pressed it to her brother’s throat. It had apparently become a knife sometime in that time. Her kunoichi training was really paying off, it seemed. “Oh, it’s just you,” she sighed quietly, the ice on her hand melting and the water dripping onto the floor. “I… C’mere, Akira-niisan,” the young kunoichi whispered, leading him out the door.
Akira, understandably shaken from his experience of having his sister hold a knife to his throat, followed Haku out into a small clearing near their home. Small trees, not much bigger than saplings, were interspersed throughout, and a small creek lazily wound through the clearing. Smallish rocks, barely large enough to stand on, dotted the creek’s shores, and the call of insects rang loudly in his ears. He knew this place; he, Haku, and their older brother Kenta had played in this clearing for years, until he had gone to the local ninja academy; even then, they still used the clearing as a makeshift training ground– they would not be eligible for admittance into the academy for a month or so yet, but their brother had been training them here, to get a leg up on all the other prospective genin.
“So, Haku-nee, what was it you wanted me to see?”
“This,” she murmured, concentrating and forming a basic hand-seal that he recognized from Kenta’s training. Her lips moved inaudibly as she talked herself through something, forming the chain Tiger-Monkey-Dragon-Tiger-Snake as she did so.
The entire creek froze at her bidding, and part of it rose into the air, forming three mirrors, effectively trapping them both inside as they began to whirl around them. He could almost see her white-blue chakra as it propelled the mirrors through the air.
“This is what I wanted to show you, nii-san,” she repeated proudly, flicking a small wrist upward and following the mirrors with her eyes as they rose and splintered, easily lodging shards of the ice in trees and fracturing branches.
Akira stared, dumbstruck for the second time in under five minutes. “That– that was incredible, Haku-nee! I wonder if I can do something like that?”
Akira began to concentrate, his brow furrowed with effort, his face growing redder by the minute. He tried to will the water to do anything, but it wouldn’t work. Breaking his concentration with a loud exhalation of breath, Akira sighed. “Looks like I can’t. Oh well. That’s a really cool trick, Haku-nee! I wonder if Kenta-aniki would like to see it? I know we told Mama that we wouldn’t tell anybody, but he’s our big brother– maybe he can do this too!”
“Maybe,” she sighed. “Kenta-aniki would be the right kind of person to know about this kind of stuff. He comes home tomorrow, right?” Brushing her loose black hair away from her face, she released her chakra from the ice, and immediately it melted, most of it splashing over her as she walked away. “…And this is why I wonder about myself.”
As Akira followed her home, he found himself wondering what his sister wondered about herself.
“Imoutou, you– you can do this?” Kenta asked, not quite believing what he was seeing. Three mirrors made entirely of ice were slowly revolving around the small body of his sister. He knew that something big was going on when they’d sworn him to secrecy, but he’d never imagined something like this!
“You’re not gonna tell Mama, are you Kenta-aniki?” Akira asked, worried. If their mother found out…
“Did you guys already tell her?”
His two younger siblings (whom he treated as if they were his own children) nodded, and Kenta smiled softly.
“Then I don’t see why I have to tell her something she already knows.” He knelt down until he was almost eye-level with the two children, and spoke softly to them. “Now, Imoutou, don’t worry. I bet you’re thinking this is something bad. You know how I can tell?” At the children’s confused negatives, he laughed– a cheerful, warming sound. “‘Cause I’m special too.” With that, he pulled a crumpled take-out receipt from his pocket, which promptly folded itself into a small butterfly and flew around the two kids. “And Otoutou, if you ever find anything strange happening around you– anything at all– you tell me, okay? Mama and I will help you work it out.
“Now go on– Mama said that she was making your favourite for dinner tonight.”
At the children’s delighted whoops, Kenta smiled, and followed them home at a slightly more sedate pace than they took.
The next few days were more akin to one giant blur. Every day, Kenta and Haku went to the forest clearing to train her to control her powers. Akira would tag along, content to merely spend time with his older brother– who had recently been on an extended mission and had been away from home for weeks– but he secretly wished that he could do something like them. However, as a strange sort of compensation to his childish mind, he began to call her ‘Aisu-chan’ when they were in private. Kenta had quickly taken up the nickname as well.
None of the three noticed an old man who almost always seemed to be taking a walk near their clearing.
It had been three weeks since Haku discovered her abilities, and she had become rather proficient in using them. She was currently up to a grand total of eight mirrors with no noticable strain on her body. Every day, Akira did his best to copy what his sister did, but it was no use– he just couldn’t do it. Even after his sister explained to him exactly how she felt when she was manipulating the water, he couldn’t make it work. Finally, he and his siblings came to the agreement that he just couldn’t do what they could. He said it didn’t matter, but they all knew that, deep down, he wanted to have a bloodline too.
Two weeks after Akira’s revelation, Kenta decided to take Haku and Akira out for dinner, as a way of congratulating them for their acceptance into the Ninja Academy. On the way to Haku and Akira’s favorite restaurant, they noticed an old man walk into the bar their father tended to frequent. Thinking nothing of it, the three continued on to the restaurant, Akira silently chuckling at the man’s funny hairstyle.
After the trio had eaten their fill, they began the walk home. As they walked back, they saw the same old man stumble out of the bar. They heard somebody yell, “Hey, Gatou! You forgot your wallet!” and the old man swayed his way back through the door. Ignoring it, the siblings kept walking, soon making it home. They walked inside, and looked for their mother to tell her that they were home. Seeing nobody in the living room, they walked into the kitchen to find a sight that would come to haunt their nightmares for the rest of their days.
Their mother lay on the floor in a pool of blood, numerous stab wounds covering her body, and their father standing over her, a bloody knife in his hands, alcohol on his breath.
They had known their father to be a drunkard, which was the main reason that Kenta became his younger siblings’ main father figure, but he had never been violent until now.
“You stupid bitch!” he yelled, badly slurring his words, “you lied to me! You said you were normal, not a fuckin’ freak! You know how I know? ‘Cause a guy at the bar saw you! And now look what you did! You made me kill you, you freak! And now I gotta take care of the younguns, ’cause they’re tainted with your freak blood!”
“Mama?” Haku whimpered, still in shock from the sight, not quite believing that their mother would never get up.
“Huh?” their father grunted, finally looking up and seeing his audience. “Well lookie here! The younguns decided to make my job easier! Now stand still you freaks, and it won’t hurt. Too much, heh,” he slurred, taking unsteady steps toward the children.
Kenta recovered first and ordered the others to run. Haku instantly obeyed and ran out the door into the evening, but Akira was frozen. he was not, howver, frozen with fear as Kenta believed. Instead, Akira was frozen inside his mind– the sight of his mother had awakened something within him. Something deep; something primal. Kenta yelled at Akira to move, but the boy seemed paralyzed, their father still running at him. The older man brought down his knife, in a perfect position to pierce Akira’s flesh and end his life in one sharp blow, but something happened.
His hand stopped dead, half a meter from Akira’s body.
Suddenly, with a strange, squishy, ripping sound, the hand separated from the arm and simply floated in the air for a moment, blood rushing from the wound.
Everyone stood stock-still for a moment, before their father yelled something unintelligible and ran into the living room. Grabbing a katana from the fireplace mantel, one that had been in the family for generations, he charged at his sons, but, suddenly, a knife embedded itself in his forehead and chest, sending him crashing to the floor instantly.
Kenta simply stood there for a moment, his arm still extended from his throw, before sucking in a deep lungful of air and letting it out in one long breath. Turning to Akira, he shoved aside his grief and his guilt, focusing only on escorting his brother to safety.
“Otoutou,” he called, walking up to Akira, “come on. We have to leave. If father found out at the bar, then other people know too– they’re gonna be here soon.
“Akira?” he asked after recieving no response.
Stepping in front of his little brother, he found that Akira’s eyes had gone unusually dull, and were fixed on the hand still floating in front of his face. Kenta reached out to put his hand on Akira’s shoulder, but he felt something grab his arm. It felt like a hand, but when he looked down, he saw the small boy’s hands balled at his sides.
‘Invisible arms?’ Kenta thought, ‘is that a bloodline trait?’
“Akira, come on, snap out of it! We have to get out of here!”
Akira’s eyes quickly flashed up to Kenta’s face, before dropping back to the hand, before the life returned to them. All at once, the hand dropped from the air and the invisible hand let go of Kenta’s arm, before he broke down in tears.
Kenta quickly comforted the crying boy while leading him out of the house.
“Kenta-aniki, why’d Papa do that to Mama? Why’d he–” Akira couldn’t continue as his tears began to fall anew.
“Akira-kun, Papa was one of those people who don’t like people like us. Those people don’t like us ’cause we’re special, and a long time ago, a bunch of special people helped out in a big war. They don’t like us because of that.”
“But, but why?”
“I don’t know, Otoutou. I just don’t know. But I do know that we need to leave right now. Because, if we don’t, a bunch of people like Papa will find us and hurt us.”
“O– okay, Kenta-aniki.”
“Good boy,” Kenta said, ruffling Akira’s hair. They quickly ran into the woods near their house. Unfortunately, the old man down at the bar, the same one who told Akira’s father of his wife’s secret, had convinced a group of people to hunt down ‘those freaks’. That mob had decided to start their search in the woods near Akira’s little shack. Haku was lucky– she was gone before the mob arrived.
Kenta and Akira weren’t as lucky.
They were surrounded in a forest clearing, and the mob slowly closed in, waving all sorts of weapons. Kenta quickly drew two book-shaped objects from his pockets and threw them in front of him, sending paper in an arc. It quickly dropped a handful of people, before more closed in. Slipping on his knuckledusters, his favorite weapon, he charged the mob, taking out numerous people in the blink of an eye. Meanwhile, Akira took in the sights of the battle, and his eyes began to dull. Suddenly, one man exploded from the foliage and caught Kenta in the back of the knee with a rather large stick. The makeshift weapon broke, but it still drove Kenta to the ground. Another man had a sword and swung in down on Kenta’s helpless body, but both were surprised when Akira suddenly jumped in the way. The sword severed his left arm, but the man’s head suddenly detached itself from its body. At the gruesome death of their comrade, the rest of the mob charged, and were cut down just as easily– the invisible arms apparently posessed superhuman strength, and easily severed limbs and swung fallen weapons. The mob’s numbers quickly dwindled, before one heavily wounded man ran from the clearing back to the bar in town. He knew what to do– he would get a bunch more guys together and they would take out that ‘freak’ from a distance.
Meanwhile, Kenta finally managed to get to his feet– a rock had hit him in the diaphragm when he fell and knocked the wind out of him.
Akira let out a strange moaning sound, and suddenly collapsed, surrounded by dead bodies. Kenta quickly looked around, forced two blood-clotting pills down Akira’s throat, and tried to find the boy’s arm. He knew how to reattach limbs, but he couldn’t help if he didn’t find Akira’s arm.
Ripping a long strip from his shirt, Kenta quickly bound Akira’s shoulder, before trying to walk. His leg gave out from under him, and he looked down, spotting the culprit– a rather long knife was sticking out of his thigh. ‘Somebody must’ve thrown it when I wasn’t looking‘, he thought. Pulling it out, he watched a viscous liquid drip from the blade. ‘Shit! Poison!‘
Kenta quickly bound his leg, and hefted Akira onto his shoulder before leaping into the trees, wincing every time his right leg hit a branch.
Kenta looked around desperately for a clearing. Running through the woods was taking its toll on him, and if he didn’t find somewhere to hide soon, Akira would never make it.
“You stupid, stupid kid,” Kenta muttered as he leaped from tree branch to tree branch, thankful that this particular skill had been taught early at the academy. “Why did you have to jump in front of that? I don’t care if you DID manage to take out that whole mob yourself– you can still be hurt. What would Mama say if she saw this?”
Just as he began to break down at the thought of his now-deceased mother, Kenta spotted a clearing that worked nicely for what he wanted. Leaping down to the earth, he laid his wakening brother at the base of a tree, collapsing next to him.
“Kenta-aniki?” Akira asked, still groggy from a combination of shock, blood loss, and exertion, “Where did my arm go? Did it decide to run away?”
Kenta cursed. Of course his little brother would have to wake up NOW, right when it was about to get to the most painful part. “Akira,” Kenta began with a sad expression, “I want to help you. I really do. But do you remember that time you broke your leg?”
“Yeah,” the little black-haired boy replied, tripping over his words in his state of semi-awareness. “The doctor said it healed wrong because Tousan didn’t take me to the hospital fast enough and they had to break it again.”
“Well, Otoutou, this is kind of like that. I can fix your arm, but it’s going to hurt a whole lot. I’m going to have to stitch it on. I can tell you right now that it won’t be any fun at all, but you DO want your arm back, right?”
“Yea– Yeah, I do, Kenta-aniki. I trust you.”
Kenta smiled softly at the look in his younger brother’s somewhat-dull green eyes– even after killing so many people, Akira was still so innocent, so naive. Focusing himself on the here-and-now, Kenta gathered all the chakra he could. He would only get one chance at this. He created a small paper saucer, much akin to those used to drink sake, a long coil of paper thread, only a little bit wider than human hair, and created a paper needle. After unwrapping Akira’s wound he then focused the remaining chakra into his hands and, with the proper seals and control, siphoned all the remaining chakra he had into performing the only medical jutsu he knew– a medical jutsu, unique to Kirigakure, that was made for situations exactly like this. It removed any and all infections from Akira’s gaping shoulder, and left the wound covered in a soft orange glow. Kenta idly noticed that the blood-clotting pills he’d shoved down Akira’s throat earlier were doing their job and keeping him from losing too much blood before he buckled down and got to work.
“Akira-kun,” Kenta said, “I told you– this will hurt. A lot. So bite down on this, okay? I don’t have any painkillers on hand, or I would give you one of them. I’m so sorry, Otoutou.” With that, he created a thick roll of paper and gave it to Akira who promptly bit down. Now came the hard part.
First, Kenta threaded the needle with the paper string. Then, with a sickening pop, Kenta dislocated his own shoulder before making a thin paper blade, almost like an elongated scalpel. Slowly, carefully, Kenta removed his left arm from his body, doing his best not to scream in pain. He’d given Akira most of his paper, and used the last of it for his blade. Biting his lip was the only thing that could keep him from crying out.
Once his arm flopped uselessly to the ground, he carefully picked it up with his right hand. He walked over to Akira and told him to brace himself against the tree. The boy complied, and Kenta shoved the ball of his left shoulder into the socket of Akira’s. There was a sickening, grinding, scraping noise as Kenta’s larger arm tried to fit into its new, smaller home, but, with the help of the orange glow, he finally got it in place. Even though Kenta’s medical jutsu was helping to dull the pain, Akira bit down to the gum in the wad of paper.
“I’m sorry, Otoutou,” Kenta said softly, “I know it hurts. I know it does. But it won’t hurt for much longer, I promise. Just remember, pain always goes away eventually.” He idly wondered if the words sounded as hollow to his younger brother as they did to him.
Kenta then picked up the needle and began the long, painful, tedious process of stitching his skin to Akira’s. The medical technique would help ensure that the veins, connective tissues, and other such necessities were melded together, but it could do nothing for the skin while it concentrated on fighting infection and healing the nerve and tissue damage. Kenta’s heart broke as he watched his brother whimper every time the needle pierced his skin, but both boys stayed strong throughout the painful process. Finally, he was done, and Kenta removed the wad of paper from Akira’s mouth.
“Kenta-aniki, it hurts! It hurts so bad!” Akira whimpered. “Make it stop! Please!”
Kenta’s heart broke anew as he heard the deperate pleas but knew he could do nothing about them. “I know it hurts, Otoutou. I know it hurts like nothing you’ve ever felt before. But you’ve gotta be a big boy now, okay? I know something that will help with the pain. There should be a plant over by that big tree there with a bright pink flower. Get me three of them, and one that’s got little purple ones. There should be a whole bunch.”
Akira nodded and scampered off, his new arm waving limply at his side. The boy hurried back to where Kenta was lying, and held up the plants. “Good, Akira. Pull the flowers off the pink ones and the leaves off the purple one. Good job, now put them in this little dish here.” Kenta motioned to the small saucer next to him. Akira complied, and Kenta picked up the saucer and put the mixture into his mouth. He carefully chewed up the plant parts and mixed it with the blood and saliva in his mouth. Spitting the new substance out into the saucer, he handed it to Akira. “Drink this, Akira-kun,” he said, “it will help with the pain.” Akira smiled tearfully and, completely trusting his brother-turned-father-figure, he downed the mixture. It burned its way down his throat, but once it hit his stomach, he began to feel better almost instantly.
“It worked, Kenta-aniki!”
“I’m glad, Akira-kun. Can you do something for me?”
“Otoutou, I want you to dig through my pocket– there should be a receipt from that restaurant I took you to in there.”
Akira did what he was told, not even noticing that he had used his left arm to do it, and fished out the receipt. Holding it in his hands, he looked to his brother. “Now what?”
“Do you remember that butterfly I showed you two back when you told me that Haku was special?”
“Yeah. What about it?”
“I want you to imagine that receipt, and then imagine it turning into a butterfly.”
“Okay, Kenta-aniki, but I don’t this this’ll work,” he trailed off uncertainly, but closed his eyes and began to imagine anyway. He felt something change, and looked down at his hands, which were now holding the wings of a small paper butterfly. Cocking his head quizzically, Akira looked at his big brother. “How did I do this?”
“I gave you my abilities, Akira-kun,” Kenta replied. “I won’t make it out of this clearing, Otoutou. I know I won’t. I’m not strong enough anymore. So you’ve got to go on without me. Now, I want you to get some paper, and keep practicing. Try to make it happen faster and faster, and try to do it with your eyes open. Once you get really good, it will seem like the paper is acting on its own. Now, Akira-kun, go. Hurry up. And, if you ever… see Haku again… tell her that… I love her as much… as I love you. Now go! I promise… I’ll see you again… someday.” Kenta’s point was emphasized by the shouting Akira heard in the distance. The mob must have closed on them! Akira didn’t want to leave the only real father he’d ever had, but he knew his brother would never lie to him. If he said they’d see each other again, they would. Taking one last look back at his older brother, Akira watched him walk up to a tree and slump to the ground, close his eyes, and take a quick rest before the small boy turned around and ran through the dense foliage.
It would only be years later that he realized, as he looked back at the memory of that moment, he had watched his only true father die right before his eyes.