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[Naruto Fic] Himself

just a tiny introspective piece going way back to the beginning. figured i'd better post it before i forget about it and we have another seven year situation.

By: Ken
Word Count: 918
Began: 03.16.2011
Disclaimer: Naruto is a product of Kishimoto Masashi.
Comments: with Many Thanks to my beta TJ Dragonblade.

Naruto entered his empty apartment with a sigh and hung up his jacket. After a hard day of training, sometimes it was a relief to come home and sit in the silence, but that was rare. Most times the absolute emptiness in his life felt like an ongoing trial, but the jury had already come to a conclusion without anyone knowing what the case detailed. He was guilty. He’d inherited bad karma from some previous life. He was cursed. Naruto was that kid whom no one spoke about or spoke to.

He removed his forehead protector and placed it down with a lingering caress. He didn’t want to be alone today. Today, he wanted to sit at his raggedy table and tell someone that he’d been assigned to Team 7 with Sakura like he’d wanted. He’d succeeded in playing a trick on a jounin. He’d bested a genius like Sasuke, however briefly. He wanted to be looked upon fondly and lauded with praise.

Everything he owned was second hand. There were cracks in his dresser and the paint was chipped. His bed was a little lumpy. Two of the legs of his kitchen table had a wedge of wood beneath them to keep it balanced. The Third had brought him a microwave at some point during one of his many progress reports, and he had a stove, but never used it.

His apartment was full of clutter, but it was never truly dirty; Naruto frowned as he cleaned up the remains of his breakfast. He was bad at leaving things like that out in the morning. Late night practices on his jutsu tended toward oversleeping just enough to make clean up after breakfast the difference between arriving on time and tardiness. He had a pair of cheap chopsticks, one spoon, one knife, one bowl, and one plate to his name. Sometimes he thought about buying another utensil or another dish but knew it would be futile. No one came here but him.

He had finally succeeded in making friends with his teacher, Iruka, but he’d had to mistakenly steal the Scroll of Seals and be hunted by Mizuki like the animal he housed for that to happen. But still, he was grateful. He was really happy. Naruto smiled at the forehead protector he’d placed on the counter while he cleaned. He would shine it after doing the dishes. Then he would take a shower and go to bed early so he would be rested for the training his new team leader, Kakashi, had planned for tomorrow.

But even as he thought he had an arrangement for the night, Naruto was performing the seals -- which were surprisingly easy after years of struggling with this particular technique -- that he had the night before. “Kage bunshin,” he stated. And with a puff of smoke he was staring at himself in bright orange pants, a black t-shirt, and a pleased expression. “Help me clean up,” he told the clone.

“Okay!” it agreed enthusiastically. It went to scrub the meager dishes while Naruto grabbed some polish from under a cabinet to shine his treasured forehead protector.

The clones weren’t exact replicas of their creator, Naruto had realized at some point. They all looked the same, yes. They all had the same fighting ability, true. However, some clones were smarter, some were louder, some were quieter, and some were more argumentative than the original him. Naruto didn’t know if that was normal and he didn’t know who to ask about it. He did know that he liked having someone else in his apartment even if it was just himself.

“Are you ready to take a shower?” the clone asked when it’d finished in the kitchen. “’Cause I can go start the water.”

Naruto grinned. “That would be great.”

After their shower Naruto’s clone tucked him in to bed and then settled beside him because the clone knew without being told that Naruto was lonely. He couldn’t tell it about his day and ask it to sing his praises, because it already knew what happened to them. And he couldn’t tell it his deep dark secrets, because they shared those too. But clones sometimes had something to offer that he was not aware of.

“Tell me a story,” Naruto said.

The clone smirked. “You know we’re not good at things like that.”

Naruto sighed. His self could be very exasperating sometimes.

“Well, talk anyway.”

The clone perched its chin on its hands and regarded the original. “Naruto, you do realize you’re the only one you’re going to spend your whole life with, right?” it questioned.

Naruto wanted to hit it, but knew it would cancel the jutsu. This clone was one of the more philosophical ones. “Don’t be depressing.”

“I’m not.” The clone looked hurt. “I’m just saying, make sure that you are someone you’re going to be proud of even if no one else is.”

“I don’t understand things like that,” Naruto whined.

The clone laughed at him and reached out to ruffle his spiky blond hair.

“Deep down you do,” it stated, then shifted on the bed so that it could lie down beside the original and look him in the eye. “Let’s be awesome tomorrow.”

The clone smiled.

Naruto responded in kind. “Yeah,” he agreed and closed his eyes.

Tomorrow he would give it his all. And tomorrow night he would see what part of himself came out to keep him company in his empty apartment.


( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
May. 5th, 2011 04:02 pm (UTC)
Naruto holds very strongly to the #1.5 spot on my list of favorites for this fandom, so i try to do him justice. thank you for reading as always ^_^.
May. 5th, 2011 07:44 pm (UTC)
This was wonderful, my heart aches from reading this, it's so sad and yet so hopeful ; ; I think you brought Naruto's personality out perfectly, I could imagine it so well! :)
And I love your style of writing, it's great! <3
Keep it up, I'll gladly read more of your fanfics :D
May. 7th, 2011 03:56 pm (UTC)
thank you so much for reading. i'm glad Naruto struck you as in character. i look forward to your thoughts on anything else i happen to produce. ^_^
May. 5th, 2011 07:49 pm (UTC)
This is really such a cute fic. I've always wanted to read something when Naruto uses a clone to keep him company. It's nice to actually see it :)

I like what you did with the clones though, that each of them had a different thought process but at the same time are all a part of him.
May. 7th, 2011 04:11 pm (UTC)
i'm happy to have been of unwitting service. thank you for reading.

Naruto is capable of deep insight, cunning, wit, tactics in in battle . . . lots of things. you just don't see them all the time. its almost like he rejects and compartmentalizes any part of his personality that would make him unhappy -- as seen when he tells Jiraiya he would rather be a fool than someone who gives up on his friends.

with the clones i thought to bring out those lost and repressed bits. and then the idea was confirmed during Naruto's leaf training in shippuuden. because after one had managed to cut the leaf a little, he said "of course, i'm the smartest me." ^_^
May. 6th, 2011 12:51 am (UTC)
Heartbreaking, without being angsty. Awesome work.
May. 7th, 2011 04:12 pm (UTC)
thank you so much for reading!
May. 6th, 2011 05:26 am (UTC)
Oh God ;_________;
May. 7th, 2011 04:13 pm (UTC)
*hands tissue* its ok. we know it gets better . . . kinda.

thank you for reading.
May. 6th, 2011 05:44 am (UTC)
The mood here is a really fine line between depressed and optimistic, and it's so very very Naruto to find any way he can to keep his spirits up and not give in. It's an awesome little character study. ^_^
May. 7th, 2011 04:18 pm (UTC)
i think there's more coming. the Demon whispers of all kinds of conversations Naruto could have with himself. they are Not Good but i think writing them could be really interesting.
May. 10th, 2011 01:42 am (UTC)
Well, my curiosity is piqued. Reading them could be very interesting, I'd think, so if you do end up writing more, I'll look forward to seeing them.
May. 6th, 2011 09:46 pm (UTC)
“Let’s be awesome tomorrow.”

The good kind of tears down the side of my face!
May. 7th, 2011 04:19 pm (UTC)
thank you for reading *hands Kleenex* i'm glad you think its good.
May. 7th, 2011 08:11 pm (UTC)
I'm not really capable of writing good reviews so all I can say is this:

BAWWWWW T_________T
May. 8th, 2011 05:16 am (UTC)
what are you talking about? that was an awesome review. i'm pleased you felt his anguish and hope you felt his optimism at the end too. ^_^. thank you for commenting.
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )