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Beginning of the End
by dunlunicor (dunlunicor)
at October 20th, 2008 (09:06 am)

Title: 100.001 - Beginnings and 100.003 - Ends: Gaara 
Author: dunlunicor
Fandom: Naruto
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Angst, Romance (if you squint)
Summary: (Please don't hurt me, but I just HAD to combine these two!)  
Wordcount:  (later, I have to go to class)
Disclaimer: If any of them belonged to me, they all would have been obviously gay long before the Shipuuden. 
Claim Code: theuchihaclan1.

I've never really thought about a beginning.

Mostly because I never had one.

The child I might have become was swallowed up by the monster I contain even before he had a name, a face.

And who knows anything about the Shukakku's beginning? Was it even born? Were any of the Bijou?

If it has any kind of beginning, it hasn't told me.

Not that it doesn't speak to me; it's voice has become a part of the white noise of my life, a constant chant in the background, eager to kill through me, to see the crudest, cruelest violence.

I used to comply, to believe that the Shukakku was the only being on earth that I could trust. Once my semblance of a childhood was broken, the lie revealed, I killed, truly believing that it was the only way to defend myself.

Now, more and more, I question that.

Can I survive if I don't do what I was put into this world to do?

I can see that Naruto has survived without killing, and the demon within him is more fearsome, more powerful than mine. How has he managed to control it? How does he stand the whispering voice?

Naruto Uzumaki...I'd like to be able to talk to him someday, to not be matched on the battlefield.

But there is someone else that I would like even more to talk to, someone who I think might have the answers I'm looking for. But how could someone ever forgive a person who was nearly his murderer? Who almost snatched away the one thing that had any meaning for him?

Rock Lee could never forgive me.

I am watching him now.

He is swimming in the river, even though it's 6:00 am on the first day of November, and the water is only a few degrees above freezing...

He's so wrapped up in what he's doing that he doesn't even notice me standing by the shore, where he left his clothes. I notice that he didn't leave his weights. Regardless, he swims across the water at a speed usually reserved for professional athletes, and he swims, predictably, against the current. He turns about half a mile down river, accelerating rapidly as his speed combines with the current. When he reaches the shore, he finally sees me.

His eyes harden.

It's that look.

Normally, when someone looks at me that way, I kill them. That's the look of someone who hates me, fears me. Someone I must kill to survive. But for some reason, it brings up something else -- a reaction I haven't had in years.

My throat closes up; my stomach knots, and my mouth goes dry. Then the stinging, blinding ache behind my eyes, the heat in my cheeks.

I start to cry.

His expression changes instantly, and he pulls himself out of the water, dripping and turning the shore to mud. I have fallen to my knees, fistfulls of grass coming up between my fingers. And then I feel a hand on my shoulder, a hand that slides around, supporting me, and another arm around my waist, coming between my gourd and my back, somehow warm despite the temerature of the water. A cheek, pressed softly against mine.

And a voice, a whisper, so firm that it drowns out the Shukakku's chant, "I do not know exactly what is wrong, but I promise you I will do my best to make it okay."

I feel his lips turn up against my neck, and, for the first time since childhood, I feel it, a genuine smile, creep across my face.

Because now, I have a beginning.

And maybe, if I'm lucky, it will be the beginning of the end.