Well, It's been a super long time since I've updated. Like, the whole summer plus two months.
I am sorry.
And if you are still here, I would love for you to read this chapter, as this is my favorite chapter so far.
I have read through it countless times and edited and then re-edited it because this was such a hard chapter for me to do. A lot goes on in it. And that means I'll have to re-read it again to make sure I tie up all loose ends from this chapter. My life is so hard. So I hope you enjoy it, even though its length is rather short...sorry, you honestly deserve better.
Disclaimer: I obviously don't own Naruto. Just Sen and her story.
Thank you to the following people who have reviwed/added my story to their alerts and/or favorites:
TeamWorkIsKey (her lovely review inspired me to write another chapter, so all of you better be thanking her for getting me out of my "no one likes my story!" funk. thank you~)
Thank you! *bows head*
Naruto was definitely in Sen's personal space.
She stalked forward, incensed, with her customary crease in between her dark eyebrows.
"Sen! Hey Sen! SEEEENNNNNNN!" They had literally just started walking when this basket case of a ninja had decided on pestering her.
"What." Sen calmly replied. Just containing her anger in that one word made her insides feel as if they were ballooning in and out in a constricting pattern. Sen glared incredulously down at Naruto.
Naruto's eyes revealed a flash of confusion before the same goofy grin was again plastered upon his face. "Gosh…you really are bipolar, aren't you?" Naruto grinned wider. Sen's fist cracked.
" Naruto. Shut. Up." Sen's glare intensified at the offending boy. Naruto took a small step away from the fuming dark beauty, a little taken aback at her almost random mood swing.
Sen turned away from him, completely disgusted with the way things were turning out and her own inability to pull off her deeply-calculated plan.
Sen wondered why, out of all the years she had firmly kept on this dour mask, it had actually almost come off. Was she becoming a little too comfortable with her new-found teammates? Certainly not, she hated all of them. But then again, Sen couldn't hide the undeniable fact that she had cracked a little back at the Hokage's place…it's just that…Naruto just reminded her so much of…
Sen couldn't quite place who he reminded her so much of. It was someone. Definitely a human. A human with the same intensely expressive eyes that showed so much yet showed so little. With the game goofy grin that left her with the feeling of euphoria, yet also pissed her off at the same time. With the same, oddly colored hair that existed without dye nor jutsu.
All of these fogged memories left Sen with the familiar haunting unsettled feeling in the pit of her stomach… it was almost nostalgic even…déjà-vu. She had gone through this several times, remembering but not remembering to the point of insanity.
These days, it wasn't uncommon for Sen to lie awake, usually into the early hours of morning, trying to recall what couldn't be found and put her mind at ease. Some nights she wouldn't even sleep, as she would be too enthralled, too obsessed with putting a name to the face that haunted her every being. Tossing and turning and straining, Sen never once gave up. Never could give up.
She had definitely been closer this time, to remembering the one she had forgotten. It was right there, in the palm of her hand, so close to touch but too far to see.
But like so many other times and sleepless nights, the memory was indefinitely lost once again.
Sen shook her head and sighed in exasperation which caused a few strange looks from her teammates.
She could have practically touched the silhouette of the unnamed person who liked to jump in and out of her thoughts at the most inconvenient times. Sen decided that whoever it was would have liked the way this unfortunate series of events annoyed her so. They probably would have laughed maniacally at her struggle to remember them and failing each and every time. They were also most likely as sporadic and annoying as the memory itself.
It was a little unnerving to think about, as Sen usually wasn't one to judge before she actually interacts with another person such as herself (though she would usually come to the fast conclusion that they were incompatible in the first ten seconds) but something told her that these ideas of no-name's personality were more fragments of lost memories. How else could they have gotten into the depths of her mind, only to re-appear, with what little memory she currently possessed?
Sen curiously peeked up at Naruto through her long dark lashes to meet round and very blue puzzled orbs peeking back at her. Sen hoped that looking at his face again might trigger some memory, or at least a fragment of one, that would ultimately help her remember the one person she had once presumed was just a reoccurring case of déjà-vu.
"What's wrong with you, Sen?" Naruto looked up at her, his expression the quintessence of worry. She almost smiled at Naruto's innocent sincerity, but turned away again, deciding to not look back.
Trying to find something to settle her gaze upon, she then somehow found herself staring at the ominous Uchiha fan swishing back and forth with Sasuke's each calculated step. It seemed to hypnotize her, the swishing of the delicate fabric and the wash of the colors, making the fogged, unnamed person that much more untouchable and that much more forbidden. Sen frowned.
"Nothing." Sen replied earnestly, still in the middle of a slight frown from being in deep thought. She was trying to be as deliberately vague as possible in high hopes for him to catch the "leave it be" hint, as he was now doing the opposite of helping Sen recollect her memories. But this was Naruto and he was definitely sure to not let this go. It was worth a shot, at least.
"Sen…" Here we go…
"Naruto, just leave her alone. You're both annoying me." Sasuke said through gritted teeth, obviously irked by Naruto and Sen's mostly one-sided chatter.
To Sen's surprise, the blonde nuisance actually ceased in his attempt to make Sen respond with a legible answer.
Sen paused in her forced trudge. She openly stood, aghast, with her feet planted firmly on the lumped, dirt road; all the while glaring at the retreating fan hoping it would somehow catch aflame.
It wasn't that Sen hadn't liked the fact that Sasuke had gotten Naruto to finally shut up, she was actually quite pleased, she just hated the fact that it was Sasuke who had been the one to step into her blonde of a problem and ultimately solve it. Sen could have just as easily shut him up; she didn't need the stupid emo's help. She didn't need anyone's help.
"Are you coming?" Sen snapped out of her thoughts to meet very annoyed and very dark eyes glaring into her own. She hadn't even heard Sasuke's padded footsteps when he had turned around and walked back to stand before her. Sen's eyebrows creased into a frown. Damn Uchiha…
Sen brushed past Sasuke and stalked ahead. She glanced at the raven boy out of the corner of her eye as she did so.
Sen scolded herself as she watched Sasuke calmly turn around and begin to walk again, with a blank look that seemed like he was concentrating on something far off and unreachable.
This entire encounter was childish. She thought. If I'm going to follow through with my plan, these really need to stop.
When the Uchiha's deep eyes met her own, she realized she had been staring longer then what was necessary. She blushed, embarrassed that she had been caught, then glared to hide it.
What was that? Sasuke pondered to himself. Everything about Sen and her interactions with other human beings utterly confused him.
Sasuke recalled back to before they left the Hokage's place. Sen had acted so differently; it had kind of scared him. He thought she had finally snapped and gone into crazy-town-land. That would have definitely held him back from reaching his goal if he had to deal with an emotionally scarred ninja tagging along.
But emotionally scarred ninja or not, Sasuke was definitely interested in this girl. Not in the romantic sense, no, definitely not, he was just…curious. He wondered what could have possibly made her behave the way she did; sometimes happy and teasing, other times the complete opposite. He also wondered why she acted so much like him when she wasn't being snarky or sarcastic. Could her entire clan have been annihilated, too? So far, Sasuke had heard nothing of the Tatsuki clan. The name didn't even sound remotely familiar in the slightest. But he had also not heard of another massacre other than his own clan's. So, if it wasn't that, then could something much worse have happened to her?
Sasuke scoffed silently at this. Nothing could possibly be worse than having your entire clan killed off. By your own brother, nonetheless.
So Sasuke put his ridiculous thoughts aside and settled on zoning on the tiny ripples in the gleaming, crystal-blue puddle up ahead.
Sen had been engrossed in a quiet nibbling session on a stubbed nail when they attacked. She had been entirely lost in thought, as her frustrations from before had continuously plagued her thoughts without waver.
It was her thumb nail, if she could accurately recall, that she had been letting her frustrations out upon. She remembered which nail it was only because one of the two ninjas had sliced the thin, pale skin open close to where she had been quietly nibbling with this claw thing he had on. And it had gone straight into her shoulder.
They had come out of nowhere; Sen hadn't even been able to detect their presence, as she was much too absorbed in the nonsense that was Sasuke and biting her nails, a habit she was way too fond of to get rid of just yet, even as much of a distraction it had slowly been proving to be.
Sen wouldn't be able to recall what happened in between her getting stabbed in the shoulder and the ground suddenly being extremely close to her face, if you were to ever have enough curiosity to ask her.
There was a sharp pain exploding all through her head. All thoughts from before were temporarily abandoned as Sen tried to force her frazzled mind to focus on the present. But to no avail could it have worked; she was already more than half gone without hope for return.
Sakura was shouting in her face to get up and Naruto was frantically running around shouting something about his hand and Sasuke was…he had a sad, sad look that flashed for a brief moment in his eyes. That had confused her even more. Not wanting to think about it too much, for she had already thought a little too much that day, she made a fast decision to just let the looming darkness envelope her hazy vision.
Everything felt slow and lazy. Colors melted together and urgent voices turned into incoherent humming.
Sen let herself relax into the buzzing concussion she felt creeping up from the back of her neck. It was warm. Red. Reassuring.
Sen was dying.
But she felt strangely okay with it.
Being in this black, dark abyss was, after all, better than being alive and having to breath, roam, and face the problems of her corrupted world.
It was a fitting end for her, Sen decided; the predator being killed by the prey. Because, to Sen, everyone was her prey. It was almost too ironic for Sen to bear, as she let out a final breathless laugh that was quiet and choked off at the end. She smiled weakly.
See you in Hell, Father.
See what I mean? A lot happens...I decided to venture a little out of the whole Naruto plot word-by-word because I thought it was a little boring. It was getting old to me, at least. So, I made poor Sen get hurt. And now she's probably dead. My bad.