Disclaimer: Naruto is property of Masashi Kishimoto. This is merely a fanfic. I repeat; I do not own Naruto or its characters.
Okay! Please enjoy!
From afar, I watched you. With big blue eyes, I critisized your every movement. I cursed you and performed mental raindances on you. I hoped the sky would piss on you just as it had on me. Because I just couldn't understand, within this minimized imagination of mine, why you were so different from me.
We were both alone. You lost your family, and so did I. At least, I think I lost them. I never knew them. But it came down to the same thing; we were alone.
We were both 7-year-old boys, only you had raven black hair and charcoal black eyes. Your skin was just a little paler than mine and your face just a tad more mature.
Your dark eyes were smaller than my bright blue ones and your jetblack hair framed your face unlike my wild blonde locks. You were taller than I was, but I doubted that was the cause for our difference in the eye of judgement.
If you ignored our difference in appearance, brushing aside the whiskers on my cheeks, shut your eyes to our bodies, men might say we were the same. Your eyes held no more pain than mine, I could assure you of that. There wasn't a chance in hell you'd been through more than I had. I didn't care what had happened to you in your life, your pain would never be greater than mine. But mine would never be greater than yours either. Do you know why I know that? Because we're the same. Mine and your pain would always be alike. It would combine and cast our similar shadows upon the bloody concrete we slept on.
And yet, as little we differed from eachother, you were always better.
Always. Always. Always. Always so much fucking better than I was. I didn't know why. I didn't understand. I just couldn't comprehend the reason as to why you were the genius and I the failure. What had I done wrong?!
It sure wasn't your attitude! 'Cos you always insisted upon being the best, being the unsurpassable master. You wouldn't even allow anyone to dare IMAGINE they were better than you. Oh no, who could be better than the best? Right?
You were loved. You were so, so loved. Everybody chased you, begging for your attention. And yet, you turned it down. Almost as though you could hear me thinking, "I wish I had that" and denied it because you knew it'd only make me feel worse. Apparently all that I longed for was still too little for you.
I was hated. By everyone. Mostly people I hadn't seen before in my entire life. Sometimes people I saw at school. Parents of children I thought were my friends turned their kids against me and they started bullying me. Of course, you'd never been one of them; your parents weren't there to turn you against me.
So me, oh foolish me, actually thought you were going to be bullied, too. I mean, we were both alone, right? So why did nobody hate you? Why didn't anybody hurt you or insult you? Why was everyone so mean to me? Why was everybody so kind to you? Why wasn't anyone angry at you for being who you were, just like they were all angry at me for being what I was?
But I guessed it was okay, because since you were alone too, I was sure you would come begging me to be your friend. Because you were all alone and needed the company, right? You were lonely, just like I was. You needed a friend to cheer you up, to keep you happy enough to stay alive. Just as I did.
So then why didn't you? Why were you fine, being on your own like that? Why didn't you want to turn those fangirls into friends? Or those guys that tried to make you laugh about these random jokes they'd heard. Why didn't you try to befriend any of them?
Maybe you saw me peeking from behind my arms, glaring at you as a group of people stuck to you like magnets. Perhaps you heard me muttering to myself that you didn't deserve it. Who knows you heard me thinking how lonely I was. So you decided to grunt and walk away, hands in pockets like usual. Almost as though you were afraid anybody could cling to you otherwise.
I hated you. I hated the air around you, the manner you talked in, even just the way you drank from the fountain. I hated your amazing grades and your given talent. I hated the way you could do things without having to practice them first. I hated your spectacular aim and knowledge of stupid things like history. I hated you for being born with a gift. Something you didn't deserve. Because you didn't cherish it the way I would. If I were you, I'd use your natural talent to help people. I'd become Hokage and help people if I were you.
But I couldn't switch places with you. I was just me. I was the monster, remember? So I decided I would hate you for the rest of my life. That would be the goal, forcing me to strive for better days, pushing me onwards. It would be the only shimmer of happiness all day long. To just know that no matter how great you were, not everybody loved you. Cos I didn't. I might've been the only one, but there was still one person that couldn't bring himself to like you. Me.
So when we were placed in the same team, you could imagine how furious I was. Just the thought of fulfilling missions with you made my stomach churn. Of course that was the moment I decided I would show you that you weren't as awesome as you thought you were, and I was better than you. I would fulfill missions without you, make you look like you were incapable of being a proper ninja. I knew I would fail, but another goal to fight for was just another purpose in life. And as long as life had purpose, I could stay, right?
Thank God jounin teachers aren't like all the rest. They didn't know you, like all the kids in the academy, or the parents of those children. They were too busy with their missions to turn around for a lowly Genin like you. And they don't have any prejudgements either. So whomever our new sensei would be, he couldn't think stuff of me like what a monster I was. And he couldn't think stuff of you like what a genius you were. And Sakura? Well... Sakura was a nice girl, I guess.
I was wrong. So, so, horribly wrong. How could I have lead myself to believe our sensei wasn't going to think you were brilliant? How could I even make myself think, for just a moment, he wouldn't look down at me like a failure? I wanted to cry after that first day of practice. But I wouldn't allow you to see it. So I smiled and laughed all the way through. I kept myself happy with the only goal I had left.
"I'm gonna' become Hokage!"
Of course you guys thought nothing of it. You just thought it was a stupid dream that kept me happy. No, it didn't keep me happy. It kept my standing. It kept me striving. It kept me alive. Because as long as you weren't amazing, loved by everybody, or the most powerful ninja of the village, I had a purpose in life.
It was just a silly game, when I think back at it. A new toy to keep me entertained. A new level to keep me interested. And as long as my mind was prickled, how could I help staying alive? How could I help wanting to breathe and walk and talk? Of course the villagers loved to put a stop to that, but I guess that was just their way of finding new games to play.
Oh and guess what. Sakura wasn't as nice as I thought she was. I mean, it wasn't like I doubted she'd be one of your fangirls, but I figured she might listen to what I had to say just once in a while. I mean, I was her teammate, right? Just once, one time in the week, I wanted her to listen to me. If it was just a "good-morning" or a "Wow, Sakura! That was amazing!" I just wanted her to hear it. So she could turn around and smile. Acknowledge my existence. But she didn't.
So I thought maybe sensei might listen to me. Naturally I couldn't tell him what a great job he did at something, or talk to him about ordinary stuff. He was a jounin, for Lilly's sake! So I went up to him and asked what every other Genin asks their Jounin instructor. "Hey, sensei! I was wondering; could you give me some extra training, please?"
At first I was too afraid to ask. I figured he'd have some sly reply like, "Sorry, Naruto, I have to train Sasuke." So I turned away. But when he asked me what the matter was, I packed up enough courage, telling myself I was worth it, worth asking the question and worth getting a Yes. I went out and asked him.
Stupid, stupid, stupid me. I could've known. I should've known. I DID know.
"Sorry, Naruto, I have to train Sasuke."
I just smiled. "It's alright, sensei! Some other time!"
I knew the next time I'd ask him the question, I'd just get the same answer. It was normal that he had to train you more and give you more personal one-on-one time to practice the Sharingan your family's bloodline passed down. It was only natural that he thought you were just too amazing, too talented, too great, too whatever you were to ignore and treat like some normal Genin.
And then you had the Sakura-issue, too. Sakura had superb chakra control and a natural knack at Genjutsu. Sensei liked that. So whatever time he didn't spend on you, went to Sakura.
"I hope you don't mind, Naruto," he'd say then.
I'd just crack up the brightest smile I had in storage and say, "Me? Why would I mind? Of course I don't mind!"
And when you guys turned away, heading to your special training spot, I'd cry out, "You just watch me! I don't need your training to become Hokage!"
The three of you would turn back around and smile, already casting away my voice in your heads, forgetting what I'd just said. Just tossing me aside like trash. It was fine, though. I'd gotten used to that kind of treatment over the years...
And then you left. One day, you just turned around and walked away. Just like that. You wanted more power. I couldn't believe you just turned your back on all you had. I actually started to wonder whether you came over my house at night, listening to me as I talked to myself in my sleep. Perhaps you saw me crying in a corner one sorrowful night, explaining to myself that it was all just one big game. One big set-up. Everybody hated me because that was the rule of the game. You were the king and I had to climb my way up to the top to beat you. I actually believed I could turn a black pawn white.
Sakura was heartbroken, of course. Sensei appeared to have lost all essence in life. I mean, whatever essence was left in his. I went after you, trying to retrieve whatever goals I had left. After all, how could I surpass what was no longer there?
But you'd turned your back on Konoha long ago. I tried to bring you back, telling you that everyone was waiting for you and you were being an idiot. You told me it was none of my business and used typical words like "idiot" and "dobe". So I told you to fuck off of course. No, I didn't. I told you not to be so selfish. You replied with angry words like "how would you know, fool?!" or "you don't know anything!"
But the words that ended my patience were the following.
"You have no idea what it's like to lose those precious to you! You've been alone all along!"
What did you mean by that, anyway? That your pain was graver than mine because you LOST people? Well how 'bout not even knowing that you're human, because apparently you're a monster, and the fact that you don't have any parents just proves the point? Have you ever felt the pain of not knowing where you belong? You knew who your parents were, you know where your home is. You know where to go to when you're sad. I don't even have a home that's mine, I don't have a bloodline to use, or a name to call myself. I don't have a picture or a note. I have nothing. You have everything.
Cos when you say you lost everybody, I don't know if you were just too naieve or just too snobby to realise... you had everyone. You could build up a new family... everybody loved you.
I had nobody. Everybody hated me.
YOU HAD THE CHANCE TO MAKE A FAMILY, YOU JERK!
It breaks me down to bits and pieces to just know that you got every chance I fought for day in day out and you just threw them away like dirt. I was dirt in your eyes. How could I surpass those I couldn't convince? How could I be better than you if I couldn't make you believe I was? I could only know I was better than you if you said I was. And now you were leaving.
No, not leaving. Gone.
That day was the first day sensei held me in his arms. Granted, I was unconscious and broken-down. Alright, I might have been full of wounds and incapable of walking back to the village myself. Okay, it was his duty to bring the two of us back. But still, it was the first time he did. You were gone. How else could he fill the gap?
So throughout the years, I chased you around. Don't think I didn't, because I did, often, consider taking my life. Admitted, Iruka-sensei swarmed through my head, pressing a feeling of guilt against my chest. But the lump of pressure in my throat was one of anger. Bitter, bubbly, anger. I wanted to kill everyone for treating me like trash.
So I had a new goal. A new reason to stay alive.
And throughout those years of so-called 'determination', I held up a constant smile, convincing the world I was that person. After all, I was just a dobe, right? Just that random idiot.
But there was an older tale that travelled along the villagers' lips.
Because after all that and more... I was a monster.
Just your nine-tailed demon monster.
And monsters enjoy performing the act they know best... Murder.