Chapter 1- Shattered Mirrors of the Soul
The life of a shinobi… It was an empty life cycle characterized by constant emotional pain as the assassin gave his being for his state, a tool that lasted only until they were dulled and useless. There was no emotion, no crying for fallen comrades… there was nothing beyond the mission. And once broken, they were discarded like trash.
Naruto didn't understand that, and thus Haku felt it his role to enlighten him.
It was a cold irony. Haku's heart, as fragile as ice, couldn't bear the thought of killing someone he could've called 'friend'. But any weakness was the sign of a dull weapon. Zabuza had no need for broken tools. "You're only worth your use." Those were his words.
Anything was better than the despair of loneliness.
"Is this the first time you've lost a comrade?" Haku questioned from the confines of an ice mirror.
Naruto didn't answer. Instead, he continued to peer down at Sasuke's lifeless body, bewildered and grief stricken by the sacrifice the last Uchiha of Konohagakura no Sato paid.
"W-Why?" his voice echoed shakily, hoping that his silenced comrade might be able to answer.
"He was a shinobi worthy of honor," Haku noted. "He sacrificed his life for you."
"I-I didn't deserve it," Naruto murmured, his golden bangs shadowing his stinging eyes.
Naruto felt empty staring at Sasuke's closed eyes. What made him –the hated container of the Kyūbi—worth so much that Sasuke sacrificed his life for him? How could he throw everything away like that? His dream… tossed aside so that he might save a comrade… It wasn't fair.
Cold tears fell, but Naruto paid no heed to the absence of the comforting warmth.
Haku felt his emotions bubbling over, feeling sorrow for committing such a sin. But he locked his emotions away. This needed to be done. Zabuza's dream was still so far away.
With that, he readied several senbon between his fingers, readying to kill his enemy and his own heart. Slowly, he inched out of the mirror.
A glint caught the faux hunter-nin's eye. Stopping his advance, he watched as a drop of liquid, like mercury or silver, fell onto the Uchiha's shirt. Following the trajectory, Haku looked up to find twin trails of the glistening liquid falling from Naruto's shadowed eyes.
Haku was cut off by Naruto, an unnatural guttural growl rising from his throat. "Shut up!"
S-Something's wrong, he noted.
Instincts, honed by years of living as a fugitive, screamed that everything went to Hell.
It started slowly. Like a drop of rain hitting the ground before the storm. But then the dam broke, a wave of suffocating killer intent flooding the dome of mirrors and scaring Haku back into his ice construct. If not for the safety of his mirror, Haku would've been brought to his knees by rage and bloodlust that would've made even Zabuza weary.
"I'LL KILL YOU!" Naruto roared, raising his head.
Naruto's cerulean irises shattered like a rock smashing against a mirror, the color instantly shifting to reflective silver as cracks webbed out from untouched silvery pupils.
"What the hell is this?" Zabuza wondered aloud. Kakashi maybe…No, it's too strong to be his.
Palatable rage swept across the bridge like a tsunami, suffocating all swept into its wake. Foul chakra followed closely behind, only adding to the oppressive atmosphere.
"Is that Zabuza?" Kakashi questioned, only for the real answer to hit him like an S-rank jutsu.
Shit. It can't be… Did the seal break? Hatake wondered. Briefly, an image of a burning Konoha permeated his thoughts, a memory of a tragedy wrought twelve years ago.
Even twelve years later, the Kyūbi's attack on Konoha was as fresh in his mind as the day it occurred. Every word he'd been told by the Sandaime regarding his sensei's death still echoed from time to time. He prayed to whatever deity might listen that Naruto was still in control.
Extending his senses, he barely allowed himself to relax –he still needed to be on guard; there was still an enemy jōnin stalking the mists.
No, it's alright. Naruto's soul is still intact. Kakashi analyzed. But there's no doubt, it's that chakra. I have to end this…
The battle needed to finish, if only to confirm that everything was under control. That chakra being released had Naruto written all over it.
That meant little, however. Naruto was a jinchūriki after all, and jinchūriki were dangerous for a well defined reason.
"Zabuza, can you hear me? I'm a little pressed for time," Kakashi announced, hoping Zabuza took the bait. "I understand it's not your style, but how about we end the fun?"
He released a breath he didn't know he was holding as Zabuza's voice reverberated through the mist. "Show me what you've got Copy-Cat!"
"Good," Kakashi said, hoping small talk might keep his mind off the proverbial exploding tag that was his troublemaking student. "I see you're as eager as I am to finish this."
"If only because I didn't know you had a little monster like that with you," Zabuza retorted.
Kakashi pulled a scroll out of his vest, throwing into the air and dabbing his thumb with blood. Gravity took a hold, bringing the scroll back into Kakashi's hands where he unfurled it and drew his bloodied thumb across it.
"Now, now," Kakashi playfully chastised, "no need to insult my student."
The scroll near instantly rolled itself close as Kakashi flashed through a set of hand seals. "Kuchiyose: Doton: Tsuiga no Jutsu!"
Sakura realized something was very wrong the moment the rage hit her. Unaccustomed to such intense projected feelings, the pinkette doubled over to dry heave.
Looking over at Tazuna, she saw the bridge builder fairing as well as her. The old man looked as sick as Sakura, supporting himself on his knees.
"W-W-What's going on," he mumbled out.
Sakura merely whimpered.
Not even a ninja and he could sense it…
What was happening? Were Sasuke-kun and Naruto okay? Or was this caused by that fake hunter-nin? So many questions, each only serving to deepen her trepidation.
Tazuna felt even less comforted knowing that even by shinobi standards this wasn't natural.
For a fraction of a second, Haku locked eyes with Naruto. He stared not at the cerulean accustomed to the go-lucky blond but at the gaze of his own broken reflection. There was something both mystifying and disconcerting to see his own likeness in his enemy's eye.
Offhandedly, Haku pondered only one question: What kind of monster have I awoken?
Crimson chakra exploded out of Naruto, arcing into the air in a spiral torrent, gouging cement as it circled around its host. A torrent of wind roared to life, scattering the mists and giving a clear view of the picture. Even more menacing, the head of a beast momentarily materialized in the foul chakra, staring down at Haku like a predator eyeing its victim.
H-How can this be? Haku questioned, panic and fear overtaking him like wildfire devouring the brush. Chakra isn't visible to the naked eye! And it's so foul… This can only be the chakra of a monster.
The chakra receded back into Naruto, though that did nothing to tame the rage and bloodlust. Once the foul energy reentered Uzumaki, he slowly began standing, changing. His hair became messier, his nails extended and sharpened, and his birthmarks became more defined; the dozens of needles piercing his being felt out as smoke wisped into the air from the healing wounds.
Haku tensed as Naruto turned his attention onto his mirror. He's attacking!
With an unnatural burst of speed, Naruto smashed through the ice mirror like it was paper, a trail of silver light emanating from his alien eyes. But Haku was marginally faster still, able to jump into the safety of another mirror just as the attack connected. Even that haven was destroyed seconds later as Naruto rocketed from the other end of the mirror dome into it, scattering frozen ice about. Haku barely escaped out of a shard large enough for his body to shoot out of into another mirror.
"S-Such strength…" Haku muttered between heavy breaths.
And the killer intent… The last member of the Yuki clan couldn't grasp words to define its intensity.
Yet, there was also that strange kekkei genkai. What were its capabilities? How was it used? Why wasn't Naruto using it? There were so many questions but no answers. It was a wild card that served to only tip the scales in Naruto's favor, but its workings remained a mystery.
For that reason, this fight had to end now.
With a flash of his mirrors, Haku aimed to pierce the jinchūriki with a multitude of senbon. But it was a vain effort as a second later Naruto roared, sending out a concussive wave that misplaced the needles piercing him and cracked the mirrors.
"What are you?" Haku asked, panic beginning to spread. He blocked my attack with pure chakra!
For a brief second their eyes locked, hidden stormy grey hidden meeting shattered silver.
And then… an anomaly.
Flakes drifted from Naruto's eyes, catching the sunlight as they drifted to the ground and disappeared, like the shattered pieces of mirror falling away from a broken frame. Beneath the silvery shards was the crimson of an immature Sharingan, a single tomoe in the right and two in the left, though the reflective pupil remained.
T-This can't be happening! Haku mentally screamed.
There could only be one implication of such a sight. The mere thought was enough for a shiver to run up Haku's spine.
But he wouldn't back down. Not as long as he faithfully served his master.
Steeling himself, Haku launched towards another mirror to ready a counterattack, but suddenly jerked to a stop as a crushing grip snatched his ankle from midair. Haku had less than a quarter of second to gaze downward towards his opponent's crimson sight before Naruto swung him over his shoulder into the concrete. The faux hunter-nin gasped as air escaped his lungs and his ribs cracked.
Just as he feared; the fake Sharingan worked as well as a natural one.
It was only a second of respite before Naruto swung Hack back over, this time brutally smashing the taller boy's back into concrete that cracked from impact. Haku sharply gasped as he felt several vertebrae crack, igniting pain all over his body. With a roar, Uzumaki swung his opponent into the air, inadvertently sending Haku into the confines of an ice mirror.
Upset at the loss of his quarry, Naruto leapt after, smashing the mirror but barely missing Haku who leapt out. The enraged jinchūriki made to follow having caught the movement with the faux Sharingan, but Haku flashed his mirrors and stalled his advance.
"Shit…" Haku muttered as he shakily stood.
His sense of taste was encompassed with the flavor of a blood; his damaged ribs made it arduous to catch any air; the cracked vertebrae were making movement hampered, but not impossible –if anything, it just hurt.
But Naruto wouldn't offer him any reprieve. Crimson light trailing his eye's movements, the younger boy smashed through the ice. Acting on instinct, Haku countered by rocketing out of a shard down towards Naruto, but the blond leapt out of the way in a midair spiral.
Once his toes graced the cold ground, Naruto pushed off the ground with movement laced with heavy chakra, claws pulled back for a strike capable of disfiguring.
Shit, I can't retreat! If Haku turned his back here, even a glancing blow would be debilitating.
Haku formed a half hand seal and swung an arm to meet the attack, a blade of ice extending from his wrist.
Hyōton: Hyōshōken no Jutsu! Haku mentally exclaimed.
Sword met claws in a stalemate, but Naruto pushed into the attack, his nail tips a mere inch from Haku's face. But Zabuza's accomplice dug his feet into the ground with chakra, an act that almost broke his ankles from the sheer force of Naruto's attack. Mustering what strength remained at the bottom of the well, Haku pushed back.
As Naruto pushed into the blade, ignoring the gouge in his hand, his eyes shifted. The Sharingan stopped spinning and shattered, paling until those broken, reflective irises returned.
For not the last time, Haku wondered what this kekkei genkai was truly capable of. Though, a second later, he'd regret such a thought when the shards fell away again, this time revealing stormy gray.
His own eyes.
In the span of a second, frost covered Naruto's fingers followed closely by water in the air condensing into icicle-like claws. They grew fast enough to force Haku to leap away to prevent getting stabbed.
The retreat, however, was the wrong move as Naruto suddenly flared his chakra, scattering the mists, and jumped after, slipping past Haku's guard. The older boy dodged the initial ice claw stab, earning only several gouges on his mask, but received a left-hook glowing with obscene chakra levels that sent him straight through one of his diamond-hard mirrors, skipping across the ground like a rock across water.
The boy's mask slowly crumbled as he demurely rose. Looking towards his adversary, he watched as his remaining mirrors, bereft of the chakra that fed them, crumbled as the demonic boy eyed him with something akin to murder with his stormy-colored eyes, his body shadowed from the light behind.
Zabuza… Haku thought miserably, I can't… defeat this boy. I am…
He watched as Naruto dug his ice claws into the ground and charged at him, raking the concrete as he dragged his weapons behind him. Haku closed his eyes, awaiting death as the last piece of his mask fell away.
Sakura almost got whiplash from how fast the air changed. One second, she felt like she was dying from all of the killer intent, the next she felt a heavy weight come off her shoulders. The change was so significant she actually stumbled.
"Holy shit, what was that?" Tazuna almost yelled. "You're a shinobi, right? Do you know what that was?"
"N- No," Sakura shakily answered. "I've never felt anything like that."
Whatever it was, Sakura hoped she'd never see it personally.
When the pain never came, Haku slowly opened his eyes to see Naruto's ice claws shatter and fall to the ground, leaving his hand a foot away from his forehead. Looking towards the blond's face, his messy hair shadowed his eyes, but the mercurial tears once again rolled down his face.
"Y-You're from that time…" Naruto muttered.
"Why did you stop?" Haku questioned. "I killed your friend. So, why can't you kill me?"
Haku's answer was a left uppercut that sent him to the ground. It was nothing compared to that last hit he'd taken, but it was enough to jar a couple teeth loose.
He stayed on the ground for several seconds before rasping out: "You're going against everything that you were taught as a shinobi."
"I don't care!" spat the blond.
Haku slowly rose, spitting pooling blood from his mouth. His eyes caught Naruto's and he could see the irises again taking up their shattered mirror appearance. To Haku's utter astonishment, the shards of mirror comprising the irises fell away again, this time revealing the crystal-blue Naruto was associated with; the pupils, though, still retained the reflective surface.
"You… You have a kekkei genkai… like me," Haku muttered as he stood to his full height.
Naruto shook his head, throwing the silvery tears everywhere. "No, I don't."
"But you do. You used my Hyōton and the Uchiha's Sharingan," countered Haku.
"What?" asked the bewildered blond. "But I'm not an Uchiha! Or related—"
"I guess you too have little understanding of what you're capable of," Haku interjected. "It'd be more accurate to say you copied our abilities."
Naruto was silent. "Is that even possible?"
Haku's face fell into a sad smile. "I don't know either. It's difficult to comprehend what you're capable of. But really, your eyes are beautiful, if a little disconcerting."
"Thanks… I guess."
For Naruto, the situation was difficult to swallow, if only because there was so much to take in. Sasuke was dead, Haku was defeated, he used the Kyūbi's chakra, and suddenly he was being told he had a kekkei genkai (and why he was being complimented for his eyes was a little beyond him). Any other person might've been foaming at the mouth from brain overload.
But he could worry about his personal issues later. Right now, a broken enemy stood before him; the confrontation had yet to end.
Haku had been dreading what was coming, but it was a necessity. "Still, you should kill me. It's only right as a shinobi. Too many make the mistake of letting their enemy leave only with their lives."
Naruto's face screwed into anger. "Screw that!"
"But can't you understand that pain, of being alone, unneeded, not having a dream… the pain of simply being alone?"
Naruto took an uneasy step back as Haku named his the deepest scar of his heart with such ease.
"…What are you trying to say?" the blond stumbled out.
Haku painfully smiled, framed by the blood seeping from his lips. "Zabuza has no need for a weak shinobi. You have taken away my reason to live."
Anger once again bubbled over. "Why! How can you serve a scumbag like that? Why is he your only important person!"
The fake hunter-nin sighed. "You know, I had other people close to me long ago. My parents…"
With a sigh, Haku told his life story, how his father feared him and his mother and tried to murder him, only to die by his own hands. Then he went on to explain how he wandered the land as nothing but a common orphan until Zabuza found and trained him.
Naruto stood silent as he digested everything, pondering how they could be so alike.
"Maybe we could have been friends under different circumstances," the blond finally said.
Haku gave a soft, kind smile. "Maybe we could have been. Before I ask of a favor from you… Your eyes… what is that dōjutsu you used?"
Naruto was abruptly reminded of his own issues. "I don't… I don't know. How could I have one?"
"Look at your tears," ordered Haku, still donning his soft smile.
The blond obliged and wiped a tear away from his cheek. Holding the droplet near his face, he saw what could've passed as mercury or even liquid silver. Curious, he ran the fluid between his fingers. The liquid felt cold, but yet smooth –almost pleasant—to the touch.
He back towards Haku who still wore a sad smile.
For not the first time in his life, he couldn't prevent himself pondering who his parents were. If he had kekkei genkai, that meant he had a clan, right?
"Your eyes, they're very beautiful." Before he could delve too deeply into ponderings, he returned to reality thanks to Haku's compliment.
"Thanks," said Naruto slowly. He'd take Haku's word for it; it wasn't like he could see them right now.
"Now about that favor… when all of this is done, I have a scroll with all the techniques I invented at our hideout. It's about a mile outside of town," the older boy explained.
"What's this favor?" the jinchūriki asked with caution –ninja didn't just hand over scrolls with valuable techniques without good reason.
Haku's sad smile was the only warning Naruto had. "I want you to kill me."
The blond blanched and quickly retaliated, "No way! I won't do it!"
"Please," Haku pleaded, almost begging. "I have no reason to live. I am but a broken tool, and Zabuza doesn't have need for a something that is of no use to him."
"There… There has to be another way," Naruto futilely suggested, hoping he could change the boy's mind.
Haku wouldn't take no for answer. "I wish there was another way. I'm sorry that you have to stain your hands with my blood."
"Is…Is this the only way?" the whiskered blond tried to reason.
"Yes," was unhesitant answer.
Silver tears fall as Naruto pulled a kunai out of his pouch with a twirl and gripped it. He closed his eyes as he charged for the smiling boy, but instead of piercing flesh as he had been asked, he opened his eyes to see Haku stopping him with a senbon whilst performing a single half seal.
"Forgive me, but my master has one last use for me. If I had any last wish, it'd be to keep those beautiful eyes of yours safe," with that, he delved into his ice mirror and disappeared.
When Haku was finally seen again, he was no longer among the living.
When all was said and done, Zabuza killed Gato using a kunai held between his teeth, his arms useless thanks to wounds incurred from his earlier battle with Kakashi Hatake. In the end, Zabuza's life was forfeit to the Shinigami when the mercenaries struck back, stabbing him with a veritable armory of weaponry. The small army of men had then turned their attention onto Team Seven, but the villagers –led by Inari—had arrived on time.
As the villagers rejoiced, Naruto faded into the background away from the crowds and his teammates.
Amidst the cheering and the laughter, he stared into a puddle of water, examining his eyes. His irises retained the crystal-blue he was used to, but his pupils maintained the mirrors they transfigured into. Channeling chakra into his eyes, Naruto's irises shattered and paled into broken mirrors.
It was humorous in an empty way to see his own reflection in his eyes.
Cutting off the chakra, he watched the shards of mirror within his irises fell away to reveal cerulean underneath.
If I had any last wish, it'd be to keep your beautiful eyes safe. Haku's last request reverberated loudly in his mind.
Naruto looked over his shoulder spying Sasuke being supported by Sakura, both retelling their accounts of the battle, though Sasuke looked like he wanted to be elsewhere (a bed while sleeping maybe?). Looking elsewhere, he found his teacher also being accosted by several villagers, though his face was hidden by his signature orange book.
Good. Only the dead knew of his eyes.
To Naruto, his eyes were a revelation, proof that he wasn't just a nobody –albeit, a nobody with a demon bound into his gut. And he desired so much to declare it to the world. To proudly announce to the world that he wasn't just an orphan anymore, to brag that his eyes were cooler than Sasuke's, and to show the ninja world he had the makings of a Hokage in his genetics.
But Haku's last and only request bound his ego like a chain stays a dog from roaming rampantly.
Looking up at the sky, watching the setting sun, he pondered.
Even he, despite being the dead-last of his class, knew the value of a Kekkei Genkai that copied others. It was the equivalent of a priceless treasure among shinobi. What was to stop from someone from plucking his eyes out of his skull for it?
Naruto tore his gaze from the evening palette and stared at his reflection in the puddle of water, once more staring at his silvery pupils.
"Haku, I promise I'll protect these eyes," Naruto pledged.
With that oath, the ninja world would never be same.
Kill Joy no Jutsu (A.K.A. Author's Note): Welcome everybody to my newest story. Yes, this is another 'Naruto can copy Bloodline Limits' fic, but before you all shake your heads, please note that I'm not like other authors who have tried this concept and failed to deliver because of various issues. I will not make Naruto god-like, I hate it when authors do that and this limit will have major weaknesses that will be explored later on in the fic.
Pairings for this story (and I cannot stress this enough) are unconfirmed. I want you all to enjoy a story with character development, not watch tonsil hockey like it's ESPN. Relationships with Naruto will develop, I can promise you this, but they will be slow and won't be confirmed. Now, there are a couple of relationships I will put in here for your enjoyment, but don't expect any twelve-year-olds to begin having make-out sessions.
Now that we're past the pleasantries, I'll be posting any original jutsu, Limits, etc. down here for you guys to read up on and get more in depth information about whatever it is I'm trying to explain.
Now, please remain seated throughout the entire performance.
Update 6/23/12: It's hard to believe I posted this story almost five years ago. It's been quite the ride to this point as an author. Now, my abilities as a writer are a far vast gap compared to the original chapter. Not only that, the Naruto manga has come a long way since I posted this and I want to incorporate some of that new material.
Anyways, compared to the last version of this chapter, I tried to flesh out more of the thoughts and feelings of the characters and tried to bring some of the scenes to somewhat resemble the original manga, which I've reread recently. Some of you who are veterans of this story should recognize some of the differences, I hope (it has been a while since I last updated…).
Going on… I added a jutsu not originally included in this chapter, and I also translated them. Originally, I kept everything English, but I figured it'd be fun to at least see some Japanese. Please keep in mind, though, that I'm still a rooky at this.
Also, for more shits and giggles, I'll include a music playlist for each chapter. I listen to music while I write, and if you're curious about what I like to hear, well here it is… after the forbidden scroll of jutsu.
Beyond that, I'm sorry for the poor quality of the next chapters. I haven't gotten to fully updating them yet.
Forbidden Scroll of Techniques:
Kuchiyose: Doton: Tsuiga no Jutsu [口寄せ・土遁・追牙の術] — Summoning: Earth Release: Tracking Fang Technique
Ninjutsu – B-Rank: A high-grade tracking-offensive ninjutsu where one calls upon ninken with a summoning, so they can tail the target from undergound and assault it simultaneously with their fangs.
Hyoton:Hyōshōken no Jutsu [氷遁・氷晶剣の術] – Ice Release: Crystal Ice Sword Technique
Ninjutsu – Kekkei Genkai Technique: An ice technique created by Haku. It creates blades of ice attached at the wrists that extend past the hand; size can vary widely, according to purpose and desire. The ice itself is as strong as steel because of the chakra fed into the weapons.
Skilled users can launch the swords from the wrists like missiles, making this also a useful long-range attack if backed into a corner.
Lithius Osmius's Playlist:
Shattered Eyes main theme: The Clincher by Chevelle
Naruto (with Kyūbi chakra) vs. Haku: Bring Them to Light by Apocalyptica
Naruto and Haku's after battle meeting: In Between by Linkin Park
After battle: The Hard Way by Fort Minor
Shattered Eyes end theme: Here Me Now by Framing Hanley