Painted Red (To Fit Right In), (2017-04-04)

Naruto looks at her, head tilted to the side. He’s not smiling, but his face is still a comfort nonetheless–things went to shit when he was gone, and she knows his presence doesn’t automatically mean things will get better, but it’s a gut feeling, a visceral reaction. Naruto is here, he’ll do his best to keep all of them safe.

Optimism for the end of the world.

“Well, what do you want to do?”

She didn’t think much of it, at first.

Hostilities between the villages had already been increasing, war councils and updated procedures already in place. Fast tracked promotions, and greater interest in an otherwise dying science.

A buffer nation being attacked would cause concern even without totality of the destruction, the mystery of the circumstances.

She thought it was a logical progression of international tension; she thought it was natural.

It could not be further from that.

Sasuke had been on bodyguard duty when things finally came to a head.

Without a Hokage, there’s no one to hold him to that.

Without a Hokage, there’s no one to to relieve him of it, either, he’d argue.

“Don’t worry about me,” he would add, even in the early days when she was more dead weight than help, life energy pulled out of her and slow to replenish. He was taking double watches, kept running perimeters, running himself ragged.

It was just the two of them, then, surrounded by the shades of what used to be home.

In her old world, there had been plenty of media surrounding the idea:

The end of the world. The fall out of a major disaster. Post-apocalyptic survivors trying to scrape out an existence.

She believed, maybe, in her most paranoid yet fanciful imaginings, that it would be Edo Tensei. She knew that there was a very real possibility that zombies could happen because they had already happened, there was a technique to make them happen. It was why she had squirreled away notes on it, why she kept at her fuinjutsu studies–driven less by her original wonder, and more by a preparatory fear.

She was right about the what.

She was wrong about the how.

They are in Sora-ku when Kakashi-sensei finds them, along with a horde of mindlessly aggressive ex black marketeers.

It’s not as if they’re particularly hard to fight–nothing on the caliber of the reavers made from shinobi stock–but despite the seeming abandoned state of the city, there are many of them. Empty skyscrapers a good place to hide a community of smugglers and criminals, like maggots infesting the corpse of a fallen animal.

For a second, she thinks Kakashi is one, too. Stops a beat too long and nearly gets bitten for it, but his movements aren’t jerky and uncontrolled–somehow, impossibly, he’s still himself.

“I was just in the neighborhood,” he’ll say with a shrug, as if he weren’t sent to the frontline and unheard from for months. As if they weren’t miles out of the way from Konoha.

He doesn’t hug them back, but he doesn’t eel out of it, either.

She shut the gate, hijacked the ritual, blew up the foundation.

Jashin could not enter. Could not come to their world and consume it in its entirety the way the cultists had planned.

But that doesn’t mean nothing had come through.

Aggression and suffering and pain. Bloodlust threading through the air of an already highly militaristic society.

There wasn’t so much another world war as it was a world riot, a rampage.

She was immune (hello little god) because she had been at ground zero, she had been the last sacrifice, she had been the key.

Only inside her own mind does she think maybe a quick destruction would have been better than this.


A/N: … I guess, just some quick thoughts after reading some zombie things which led me to remembering this anon’s ask and, surprisingly, this cute post about how different MBTI people say “I love you.”

Team Seven’s MBTI designations I did over here, but basically I was working with:

Naruto – E(N/s)FP
“well what do you want to do?”
“i picked these for you”
“stay there, i’ll come get you”

Sasuke – IS(T/f)J
“don’t worry about me”
“i’m proud of you”
“that’s okay, i bought two”

Kakashi – IST(P/j)
“stay over”
“you might like this”
“i was just in the neighborhood”

(Kakashi’s is so perfect for him, I’m dying).

I did want to include Naruto’s “Stay there, I’ll come get you,” but I figured him showing up even though he started halfway across the world with Jiraiya is enough?

Uh. Sorry about the whole melancholic mood lately, y’all, it’s that time of year and work has been brutal. :/

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