paper jutsu

time ticks away

Konoha is quiet in the pre-dawn hours. Somehow it doesn’t look like a village that is fighting its way out of the dregs of a world war - it’s a beautiful sort of brittleness, the village breathing collective in sleep, slow and easy. Resting. Waiting.

Sasuke wants to burn it. He’s standing at one of the massive windows, and for a moment, the urge to set the building on fire, to destroy it, rails at his self-control.

The Hokage’s office is as papered with protective jutsu as he remembers, even more so now, than it was the last time he saw Naruto in it, three months ago. Or nearly thirty years into the future, depending from what angle you looked. It didn’t really matter, he supposes. The air is the same. Nitrogen, argon, oxygen. Inflammable. The wards do evaporate rather quickly when one knows how to dispel them - and Sasuke knew a lot of things.

Like how the Yondaime’s security detail rotated into place one hour after he came in. Nobody would check. (Not even after, the ANBU having been taken care of.) They could have a nice little chat, and maybe all the black, bitter things boiling at the back of Sasuke’s throat would still, even just for a little while.