What: They visit the Hall of Mirrors. And talk. And look in the mirrors.
Where: Hall of Mirrors.
Mood: Regretful, vague amusement.
Hiei looked at the great hall of mirrors, and closed his eyes. He could almost hear Mukuro's voice in his ears, still shouting at him to get out of the way. He sighed, and noticed the other person here. He couldn't have been much more than a boy... Hiei regarded him with a calm stare.
Naruto turned to look at the newcomer. "Um....hi. Are you Hiei?" he asked.
Hiei nodded. "You are... Naruto?" Yes... very young. He wondered what could have brought someone of this age here.
"The one and only," Naruto replied with a grin, hand behind his head.
Hiei raised an eyebrow, looking back at the building in front of them. "Well... shall we go in, then?"
Naruto sobered. He nodded. "Right. Let's go," he said, stepping through the door.
Hiei followed, looking around. It seemed to be a large area with various mirrors of many shapes and sizes with places for sitting and viewing them. "So what brings you to the afterlife at such a young age, Naruto?"
Naruto stared around at the mirrors, a little awed. He shrugged. "Beats me. I was eating ramen, then keeled over and found myself on that huge metal contraption they called a train." He turned to his companion. "What about you?"
Hiei smirked a little at the thought of dying while eating and then sobered. "I was protecting someone from a political asasination."
Naruto sweatdropped at the smirk. "Lucky. At least you died in a fight. I got no idea what happened to me." He thought for a second. "That's one of the things I'm hoping to find out here....." He paused. "How do you work these things, anyway?"
Hiei sat down in front of one, and blinked. "Maybe it will be easy for me..." He took off his bandana, revealing his jagan. He stared deep into the mirror, and let out a tiny gasp, before looking up again. "Just look into one and concentrate on who or what you want to see."
Naruto stared at Hiei's third eye. "Whoa....is that some kind of kekkei genkai? Like Sasuke's Sharingan?" He was curious, and willing to wait a minute or two to use these mirrors to satisfy that curiosity.
Hiei laughed slightly. "No. It's artificial. Far superior to one of those 'sharingan' or 'byakugan'..."
"Oh..." Naruto stared a moment more, before shaking his head. "Right. Mirrors." He sat down in front of one. "First things first--show me Sakura." The mirror flickered, and showed an image of a pink-haired girl in red, crying in front of a grave. Upon closer inspection, that grave's headstone read, "Uchiha Sasuke". Naruto snorted. "Figures. She's crying over Perfect Sasuke."
Hiei wasn't speaking, just staring at the figure in the mirror. It was Mukuro, staring at a picture of Hiei. He had never seen anyone look at something relating to him with such sadness and loneliness. It almost hurt to look at her. Next he flicked to an image of Kurama, who was sitting in the woods looking stunned, his normally perfect hair tangled and a bit dirty.
Naruto was focused on his own mirror. "Okay....what about Iruka-sensei?" The mirror's image responded, showing an older ninja, a horizontal scar across the bridge of his nose, sitting on a rooftop, staring into space. He looked like he'd seen better days. Naruto shook his head. "Kakashi?" The mirror changed again, depicting another older ninja, his headband over his left eye, and the rest of his face masked. He was seated at a table, fingers steepled, a pensive look in his eye. Naruto shrugged. He could be thinking about anything. He just hoped, in a strange, selfish way, that Kakashi was thinking about him. Naruto stared at the mirror again, wondering if it could show him how he had died.
"Fine. Yuusuke now." Hiei said, and the mirror changed to a scene of a young demon-looking teen, with a bottle of alcohol, sitting in Raizen's former bedroom, looking distant. "No change there." Next an orange-haired teen, sitting in a room with a slightly shriveled old woman, speaking softly. Another scene, with a blue-haired spirit crying, with a teenager with a pacifier in his mouth tried to comfort her. And finally... Yukina. Crying uncontrollably, she had a picture of Hiei in front of her. Someone had obviously revealed the fact that Hiei was her brother from her actions. A small pile of tear gems was at her feet, a pile in the snow. Hiei looked away from the mirror, all three eyes closing, tears starting to form.
Naruto was about to experiment, when he noticed his companion's state. "Hey....I know this is a pretty dumb question, but are you okay?" he asked, honestly concerned.
Hiei opened an eye, wiping the tears away, catching the tiny gems that formed in his hand. "I'm fine." He snapped. "Yes, dying is perfectly fine with me, especially when I expected to go somewhere else."
Naruto backed away a step. "Okay, okay." He turned back to the mirror. Can it show me what killed me? he wondered.
Hiei smirked. "Anyway." He turned back to the mirror, watching Mukuro again. She was going about her usual duties, but it was obvious that it was with a heavy heart.
Naruto's mirror flickered, showing a ramen shop, but it changed, depicting a member of the village Naruto had seen around sometimes... Naruto frowned in confusion. What? So the ramen killed me, but so did this person? That makes no sense! I'm dead! Naruto thought. Why do I still have to figure this stuff out? Don't I get any peace at all?!
After a few long moments Hiei tore his gaze from the mirror and looked over at Naruto. "You look like you're having a headache."
"Naw, what gave it away?" Naruto replied, scratching his head. "I can't figure out how I died!" The mirror showed the images of the ramen shop and the person again.
Hiei got up and looked at the images. "...Can you really be that slow? You died after eating something, is that not correct?"
"Yeah...." Naruto nodded slowly.
"Does it not occur to you that he may have done something to your food?" Hiei tapped his foot impatiently.
"You mean.....he poisoned me?!" Naruto asked, shocked. "That....that....grr!" he exclaimed furiously.
Hiei put a hand on the other's shoulder. "It's not like you can do anything now..."
Naruto wore an expression of shock, horror, and anger. "I can't believe....someone would do that!" He clenched a fist in helpless fury.
The demon laughed. "Of course someone would! Especially if you are well known... these things happen. So I suppose yours could be called something of an assasination as well."
Naruto growled again. "I guess....but why did they do it then? Why not when I was a kid, or when the demon was--" He cut himself off, shaking his head. Behind him, the mirror flickered and, unnoticed, depicted an elderly man in a wide hat, adorned with the kanji for "fire".
At this, Hiei perked up. "Demon?" This was an interesting turn of events. Other demons were usually no cause for any interest, most of them, anyway, but this seemed like an unusual case.
"Yeah...." Naruto shrugged. He was dead, so it didn't really matter who knew, he supposed. "The kyuubi no kitsune." His next words sounded like a recitation. "'The fourth Hokage sacrificed his life to defeat the nine-tailed demon fox who attacked us, saving our village.' Sounds real nice, doesn't it, but what really happened was, the demon was sealed into me."
Hiei smiled slightly. "I think I've heard of that one. I actually knew that demon. He was actually pretty tolerable when he wasn't angry."
"Seriously?" Naruto raised an eyebrow. "He scares the crap out of me...."
"You just need to know what he wants and not get in his way. Same with most demons. Including me." Hiei actually smiled, baring his tiny fangs.
Naruto blinked. His eyes went wide. "You're a demon?!"
Hiei stopped smiling and shrugged. "Yes. What of it?"
Naruto blinked again. "You....don't exactly look it...."
"Shall I teleport for you? Or maybe make fire? Or summon the black dragon from-" Hiei looked at his arm and groaned. "Great. It's just a tattoo now."
Naruto shook his head. "Nonono, I believe you, it's just, the only demon I've ever met is the one sealed in my stomach....and he nearly destroyed my home... Well, former home," he added, looking away.
Hiei shrugged. "We're not all horrible. Sure, most of us try to take over the human world at some point or another, but that's fairly normal."
Everything hit him again....he's dead now....someone killed him....all his training, all his dreams, were for nothing....becoming Hokage had seemed unreachable before, but for the first time in his life--well, afterlife--it actually was. He heard Hiei's comment, and brought himself back to the present. He raised an eyebrow. "....it is?" He shrugged. "O-kay, then. Suppose it's not that much worse than what some ninja do...."
Hiei made a face. "Humans can be horrible. And I know that even without watching that tape."
"Yeah...." Naruto agreed, sinking into his own thoughts.
Hiei sat down in a chair near Naruto. "You're upset that you died so young, no?" He asked quietly.
"Well, yeah," Naruto replied. "Who wouldn't be?" There's an underlying emotion, though, that Hiei might pick up....more than simple annoyance at his death....
"What else is wrong? Is there some unrequited love?" The demon smirked. Love... the closest he ever got to that was attatchment. It couldn't be called 'love' for Yukina, more of an extreme sense of duty.
"Nah. Well, there was, but that's not what I'm bummed about," Naruto replied. He wasn't sure if he really ought to open up to this person--demon, he reminded himself. But....he was a pretty nice demon....nicer than most humans had been to him.....
Hiei sat back in his chair. Something was wrong and he wasn't going to leave until Naruto talked. He didn't quite know why he was doing this - boredom, maybe. There wasn't much to do here.
Naruto spoke again. "You remember how I told you the Kyuubi was sealed in my stomach? I was a baby at the time....my parents were dead....and everyone I lived with saw me as the fox itself... Those who knew, anyway," Naruto said with a hint of disgust. "They weren't allowed to tell anyone who wasn't alive at the time, but the idea that I was to be generally stepped on and made fun of got across."
Hiei narrowed his eyes. "I was thrown off of the floating island where I was born. I had to turn to crime and murder to survive. By the time I made it back to the island, my mother was dead. I never knew my father. I have... had? Have a sister. Whom I can, and never will be able to, tell that I am her brother. It seems someone told her... I didn't want her to have to know."
Naruto listened. He'd been treated like dirt in his village, but to be completely abandoned....? He couldn't imagine it. And his sister.....he had a sister....who never knew he was his sister....that must've been hard, too... "Heh. Sucks to be us," he said finally, with a grin.
Hiei nodded slowly. "I suppose. But then again, it doesn't really matter anymore. Now that we're dead... what do we do?"
"Beats me," Naruto shrugged. "There seems to be a whole lot of nothing going on around here."
"I know..." Hiei thought for a minute. "I... maybe we should ask someone else. We never seem to get tired or hungry here."
"Yeah...." Naruto nodded. "I don't intend to spend the rest of eternity bored. Maybe someone who's been here a while could give some ideas....?"
Hiei nodded. "Yeah... you go do that..." He glanced over at a mirror again.
Naruto stood. He figured he'd been here long enough, saw what he came here to see, and it was time he was going. "You staying?"
Hiei didn't look at Naruto. "Yes I am."
"All right. It....was nice meeting you, Hiei." He grinned, and offered a hand.
Finally, after an awkward moment, Hiei extended his hand. "Nice meeting you too, I suppose, Naruto."
Naruto shook it. Grinning, he exited the mirror-house, and took off across the lake at a run, headed back to the section of this bizarre world he called home.