Kuroha took a deep breath and relaxed.
As he exhaled, he closed his eyes, letting out all of his rage and stirred up emotions, becoming calm.
His black hair faded to white, his sharp yellow eyes softened to gentle mix between red and pink, and he became Konoha once more.
His hand reached out and grasped the knob of the door, and with a turn, he opened it and pushed inward.
He stepped into the front room of his house, glancing down to slip off his boots. He heard nothing in the kitchen, so he assumed that his mother Shion was still at work.
"Onii-sama?" He heard a quiet voice chime.
Turning, he laid eyes on his younger sister, Mary. Her pinkish red eyes, the same color as his own, gazed up at him for a moment before a small smile alighted to her face, and her hair quivered in happiness.
"Welcome home." She said, her pale hands folded in front of her.
"Hello, Mary." He greeted in a voice as soft as her own. He was much more passive and calm now, contrasting to earlier when he was Kuroha.
He watched as his sister's hair stilled. Being one-fourth Medusa, Mary had inherited the powers of one, which was obvious by a simple glance to her hair. It wiggled when she was happy, jumped when she was scared, and hung limp when she was sad or disappointed. Sometimes, if they watched a movie together, it would wrap around her during the intense scenes, almost like a protective cocoon.
Konoha was brought out of his thoughts when he heard his sister's voice speak again.
"Mama said that she's be working late again, so I made some food." She smiled brightly at him. "I made some negima for you!" Then she slightly blushed, looking off to the side. "It isn't very pretty, but…I hope you like it."
He blinked, his mind processing her words. He reached out a hand and softly ruffled her hair. Their mother, Shion, constantly worked hard at her job to support her family after her husband had left her, their son and their baby several years before. It wasn't uncommon for her to work late nights to make ends meet.
"Thank you, Mary." He said, heading to the kitchen.
The table was already set, and together they sat down.
"Itadakimasu!" They chimed quietly, and set to eating.
Knowing of her brother's humongous appetite, Mary tried to cook a lot of food. He devoured it all and was still hungry afterwards, but he didn't mention that to her. His sister had worked hard, and hardly ate anything – contrary to her brother, she had a small appetite.
"Thank you for the food." He said as he helped her wash the dishes afterward. "It was good."
She gave him a smile. "I'm glad you liked it."
Afterward, he quickly ascended to his room and shut the door.
He walked over to his computer, a heavy-duty device set up with duel monitors, courtesy of his good friend, Kisaragi Shintaro.
He pressed the power button, and waited for a moment as it booted up. As soon as it did, he was greeted with the wide smile and bright-blue eyes of Ene. She was perched on the edge of his task bar, swinging her black pixelated legs back and forth.
"Hello~, Konoha!" She yelled happily. "I'm glad you're finally here! I waited a long time for you!"
"Oh." He responded, a bit startled to see her here. "Hello, Ene. Did you…need something?"
"Yep! Master wanted me to tell you great work on the job today, and that he has another one for you next week!" She chirped, waving her baggy sleeve-clad arms for emphasis.
"Okay. Is he going to send it to me?"
"Nope, I already downloaded it for you, you just need to read up on it and delete the file like I told you! Got it?"
He nodded. "Yes."
"Good! I'll see you later then, bye Konoha!" She responded, and with a flurry, she dove into a folder and was gone.
Konoha paused for a moment after she left, his mind processing all that had just happened. After a moment, he looked at his computer monitor and clicked open the file that Ene had given him.
One thing that "Kuro" disliked about being Konoha – his mind seemed to work a lot slower. He felt his mind move in an almost morose state, and his head felt empty as if he'd forgotten something important that he could never remember no matter how hard he tried.
When he was Kuroha, he felt like he was untouchable. His nerve endings tingled with power waiting to be used, his eyes were sharpened to intricate details, and his body felt poised, ready to run, jump – just do something, like a gun waiting to be fired.
Originally, there had been no Kuroha. He was just Konoha, the gentle giant in a family of Medusas, the only one so far to lack power. But then, on his sixteenth birthday, it happened. He didn't know how. All he knew was that suddenly, the snakes were there, and he could talk to them, communicate with them, and move with them. He awakened a new side of himself, and he'd never been the same since.
No one in his family was aware of this new side of him. Shion was at work all the time and Mary was too dense to suspect anything. The only one who knew was his friend Shintaro, who had accidentally left Ene inside his computer as a mistake.
When Shintaro found out, he didn't blab to anyone, as Konoha had feared he would. No, instead he'd introduced Kuroha to the Mekakushi Dan, a gang that was located downtown. He'd only been introduced to a few members, starting with Dr. Tateyama Kenjirō, who, despite being a higher up in the gang world, was relatively kind. He met Tsubomi Kido and Shūya Kano, the detective duo who were constantly bickering between one another. He met Takane Enomoto, a vessel that Ene could use to make herself human for short periods of time. Lastly, he met Amamiya Hibiya, a spoiled yet very mature twelve-year old who apparently went way back with Shintaro. The people he met were only a small part of the overall gang, but they handled things in this part of town.
He was accepted easily enough, and not only did the extra money he obtained help out his family tremendously, the gang also gave him something to do, a special way to burn off the energy he always acquired as Kuroha.
He'd mostly learned how to control his changes between Kuroha and Konoha, but sometimes he was helplessly thrown into change when he was least expecting it.
He had considered telling Mary, but he feared his sudden change from passive Konoha to darker, more aggressive Kuroha would scare her. Logically, he supposed it was only a matter of time until she found out, but he hoped to keep it a secret for as long as possible.
At times he felt Kuroha struggling to come out, wanting to handle the situation in a different way Konoha did. And sometimes, he felt both sides of him in perfect sync, striving towards the same goal. That was when he could best control both sides. Switch between the two instantly, even. It was a wondrous feeling.
Examining the contents of the folder, he read that they were planning on holding up a large department store. The owner had failed to pay a debt he owed to the gang.
He slowly read through the contents of the file, memorizing them. Afterwards, he permanently deleted the file, just like Ene had told him.
He yawned, stretching his arms over his head. It'd been a long day.
He changed and climbed into his bed, falling asleep not long afterwards.
In his dreams, the Snake was there again. Watching.
Look at you, it snickered. Thinking you can control it.
Ah… what an ugly tale.
This here is my second fic for this fandom, an AU, as you've probably already noticed. This idea just came to me one day, and I had to write it down. Hope you enjoyed!
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