Sazuka's POV: Age 7
"No!" I scream at the top of my lungs. There is a colossal battle before me, though between who, I do not know. Arms tighten around my waist as I struggle against their grasp. Tears streak down my face as I watch them collide again, and again, and again. Finally, the grip falters and I seize my chance. I run. People scream. The battle draws near as I hurry to someone's aide. Everything grows misty as I feel a sharp pain in my chest and something warm dripping down my stomach. My eyes widen.
"Sazuka! Are you alright?"
My vision returns as I see the look of worry on my mother's face from the doorway. I sigh. Another dream. "Yes mother, I'm alright," I reply softly as I wipe the sweat from my brow, "It was just a dream…"
She walks to the bed and sits down, concern still gracing her soft features. "Was it one of…those…dreams again?" I nod. Lately, I've been having premonitions: dreams of the future. Normally, it's an ability only my mother and older brother Itai possess, but lately I've been having them too…and it's always the same one. The one of my death. She sighs, her shoulders stiffening a bit as she asks worriedly, "Any news of your brother?" I shake my head. He's been gone for three weeks. Nodding that she understands, she rises and straightens out her kimono before replying, "Well, breakfast is almost ready. Please be sure that you eat before heading out, okay sweetheart?" "Okay, mom," I smile at her as she shuts my door. It fades immediately. Itai's been gone far too long for any of his normal missions. I hope he's alright.
2 Days Later
"Ha! Ha! Ha!" I cry with each thrust of my fist. The snow is falling lightly and there is little breeze. It's perfect weather for me to practice my wind jutsu. The only problem is, the bloody wind won't listen! "C'mon, damn you!" I say between clenched teeth, "Move!!" Sighing, I reform my handseal and concentrate on my chakra. "Okay, let's make this one count…" Focusing all of my accumulated chakra to my palm, I thrust my hand to the air once more. Suddenly, a small gust occurs in the direction of my thrust. I smile brightly. "Yes!" I cry with glee, "It worked! It worked! It WORKED!!" "Haha, excellent job, Sazuka. It looks like you're finally getting the hang of it." I freeze at the voice behind me. My smile grows. "Nii-san you're back!" I cheer as I hug Itai's waist. He chuckles as he hugs me back, his larges hands caressing my head as he places his lips on my forehead. "Yes, I'm home, finally," he smiles, "We got caught in a blizzard on the way back and most of us got lost in the mountains. It took us two weeks to find everyone." I pout. "So it's their fault you've been gone so long!" He laughs at my immaturity as I hug him again, "I've missed you Aniki!" "I've missed you too, Imouto. But for now, let's go home. It's been far too long since I've had mother's cooking." I nod merrily at his suggestion. I hold his hand as we make back for the village, blissfully unaware of the troubled look in his eyes.
2 Weeks Later
I cry in my room, staring down at the picture in my hands. Four smiling faces peer back at me through the glass: Me, my brother, my mother…and my father. I sob as I see his face. Father is dead. He died of an unusual illness yesterday morning, right in front of my eyes. The village is holding a funeral for him tomorrow, though I'm not quite sure if I can attend. The pain of his loss is too much for me to bear. Two soft raps on my door pull me from my sorrow. "Who is it?" I call weakly, my voice breaking from my constant sobbing. "It's Itai. Are you alright Imouto?" is the soft reply. I climb out of my bed and unlock the latch, allowing my brother to enter. He hugs me tightly. "He-He's gone Nii-san!" I sob into his shirt as he holds me, "He's r-really gone!" "Yes, I know, Sazuka" he says as he strokes my hair soothingly, "We all loved him dearly." He sits on my bed with me as I cry in his arms. Who knows how long we sat there. Finally, after my sobs are nothing more than hiccups, he speaks, "Sazuka…there's something I need to tell you…" I rub my eyes as I look up at him, my eyes red and puffy, "Yes, Aniki?" He takes a deep breath, his expression worried and confused as he searches for words. I sit up. He must have something important to say. Eventually, he lets out a sigh, his face sorrowful as he whispers, "Mother is going to meet the same fate…soon." My breath catches in my throat at his words. "M-Mother…?" I stutter. The look in his eyes tells me this is true. I have to refrain from crying again as I he holds me close. "H-how long..?" "I don't know for sure," he answers, "but I'm sure it'll be in the next two weeks." The tears fall regardless. Itai knew father was going to die, and now he tells me mother will meet the same end. "W-We have to find a cure!" I exclaim frantically, "We have to save her!" I feel Itai shake his head. "It's too close to the date, Imouto. Her fate is sealed. It…can't be changed…" I shove Itai away, angered by his acceptance of this. "How can you say that Itai?!" I shout as I get to my feet, "How can you be willing to let this happen when there's still a chance she may live?!" He gives me a pained look as he says sternly, "It's not like I want to see mother die, Sazuka! If we don't leave now, we will also die!" I pause at his remark. "L-leave…? What are you talking about Itai?" He grimaces at his slip-up. "We have to leave the village, Sazuka… This sickness will claim us when mother passes over…first you…then me…" He rises from the bed, eyes on me as he falls to meet my gaze. "Come with me Imouto. I have a friend in Iwagakure who is willing to help us…we will be safe there." My wide eyes narrow as his solution registers. "You want to…abandon Mother …" "Sazuka, please don't look at it that way," he pleads. As I look into his eyes, I can see fear. But it's not dying he's afraid of. He's afraid of losing me. That much I can tell. Hesitantly, I back away from him, my eyes reflecting the same fear for him. "Itai…you know I can't do that…" Tears well in his eyes as I stare him down. He chuckles, wiping the tears from his eyes, "Of course…that fact is very well known to me…but I did have…that one shred of hope that you just might come with me…" He stands at full height, his bangs hiding his eyes from view as he says through a surpressed sob, "Goodbye then…Imouto…"
Itai…does not return home again…