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No one would ever expect someone so happy to try to kill themselves. Can he be saved or will he be lost to those that love him? SASUNARU
Behind The Mask Chapter one

Chapter 1

 

Feeling the wind, brushing through his hair, Naruto heaved out a breath and forced his feet to move faster. He wasn’t going to let the Uchiha beat him this time, like he had so many times before. This time Naruto was going to beat him if it killed Naruto to do it. Sasuke Uchiha thought he was better than everyone else just because his father was mayor and his brother was captain of some special ops team. Naruto didn’t care, he was going to put the irritating dark haired teen in his place. 

    “You will have to do better than that if you are going to beat me” Sasuke sneered at Naruto as he rushed past, not even looking winded in the slightest. Naruto growled low in his throat, and pushed himself harder even as he watched Sasuke cross the finish line. After Naruto crossed the line, he bent over his hands on his knees, trying to catch his breath.

    “Give up Uzumaki” Sasuke said looking over at the breathless blonde boy “You are never going to beat me.”

    “That’s right” Sakura, a pink haired cheerleader said as she placed her hand on Sasuke’s shoulder. “Sasuke is the best, you don’t have any hope of beating him.” Naruto frowned and watched as his crush walked off with his enemy. He couldn’t stop the sigh that passed his lips. 

    “Give up on Sakura” Kiba said as he watched Naruto watching the couple disappear. “she’s never going to see you as anything more than an annoyance.”  Naruto groaned, Kiba always told the truth no matter how harsh it sounded.

    “I can’t help the way I feel” Naruto muttered as he finally caught his breath and grabbed his track bag and headed towards the locker room to grab a shower.

    As he entered the locker room, Naruto dropped his bag onto the floor before heading towards the shower. Stepping under the water he heaved a sigh. Naruto was starting to think that there was nothing he would be able to beat Sasuke at, and it annoyed him. Sasuke had good looks, a great family, he was popular, and had the girl that Naruto could only dream about dating, and Sasuke had more talent than anyone he knew. All while Naruto, was fair looking (or so he thought), had a crappy family (he was in foster care, after his birth parents abandoned him) and Naruto certainly didn’t feel talented even though he was good enough to make the track team. He supposed that he should be happy that he was with an okay family that didn’t try to beat him at every chance. The Hanyo family was nice enough, just always busy taking care of the younger kids to notice if Naruto was staying out of trouble or not. At school, Naruto was full of energy and exuberant and always laughed the loudest at the dumbest jokes, but what nobody understood was that that was just part of the mask that Naruto wore. He felt that if anyone knew the real him they would hate him even more than they already did. It was always easier to hide his pain with a happy mask. No questions ever got asked. Though lately Naruto felt like that mask was starting to crack despite the fact that Naruto tried his hardest to keep it in place. No one needed to know his troubles, actually no one, not even Kiba knew that he was in Foster care. He just told them that the Hanyo family were his relatives, Naruto feared he would be made fun of more if they knew that he was in foster care. Although he supposed that fact might not make much of a difference since he was an outcast anyhow. 

    “Come on Naruto” Kiba shouted “your taking forever, my sister isn’t going to wait forever you know.”

    “I’m coming” Naruto muttered climbing out of the shower and quickly drying off before getting dressed and stuffing his dirty clothes into his dress bag. Throwing it over his shoulder, Naruto followed Kiba out of the locker room, and to Kiba’s sister’s car.

    “Hi, Naruto” Hana greeted as Naruto climbed into the backseat, while Kiba took the front. 

    “Hi,” Naruto murmured softly, his eyes meeting the laughing eyes of Sasuke’s. Sasuke sneered at Naruto and turned towards Sakura and said something that made her laugh. Naruto heaved a sigh and turned away, he was quickly growing tired of his rootless existence. 

    “Did you have a good practice?” Hana asked, noticing the black haired boy laughing at Naruto. 

    “He got his butt kicked by Uchiha again.” Kiba said laughing, making Naruto smack him in the back of the head. 
“I’m telling you I’m going to beat him one of these days” Naruto muttered. 

    “Keep telling yourself that.” Kiba muttered “I don’t see it happening. Uchiha is good at everything.”

    “He won’t always be” Naruto said “I have every intention of knocking some sense into him.”

    “Or he’s going to just plain kill you.” Kiba remarked “You know his brother has pretty much taught him how to defend himself, taught him some of that special ops stuff.” Naruto snorted. He didn’t care, he would prove that Sasuke wasn’t the best at everything. 

    A few minutes later, and Hana pulled into Naruto’s driveway. As Naruto got out, he noticed that there was an extra car in the drive, making Naruto wonder who could be there. They didn’t get visitors except from the social worker once a month. 

    “See you later.” Naruto told Kiba and Hana as he turned and headed towards the entrance. As he entered the house, he noticed the guilty on Rei’s face.

    “What’s going on?” Naruto asked frowning, he was getting the feeling that he wasn’t going to like what his foster father had to say.

    “I hate to do this to you,” Rei said “But I’m going to need you to pack your bags, unfortunately you are being moved.”

    “Why?” Naruto asked stunned, he never got in trouble and he worked hard to make good grades at school. “I’ve never been any trouble.”

    “I know that” Rei said softly “You are a great kid, and if I had any other choice, I wouldn’t be doing this.”

    “That still doesn’t answer my question.” Naruto mumbled as he headed towards his room, and proceeded to throw his other clothes and what little belongings he had into a garbage bag. He hoped he would be able to stay in Konoha, he really didn’t want to leave the few friends he had. 

    A few minutes later, Naruto followed his social worker out the door, avoiding Rei’s eyes as he went. It wasn’t fair that he was the only one being removed from the home, he couldn’t help but wonder where he was going now.

    “Do you know where I am going?” Naruto asked the silver haired man beside him. Kakashi Hatake had been his social worker for as long as he could remember. “and will I still be in Konoha?”

    “Yes, you will be in Konoha and I am pretty sure you already know the man that you are going to be living with.” Kakashi replied and Naruto frowned.

    “Who?” Naruto said wondering just who it could be.

    “Iruka Umino” Kakashi replied, “his foster home hasn’t been open long, but he was willing to take you, even though you annoy him in class.” Kakashi said and Naruto frowned. Iruka Umino taught his math class which Naruto thought was boring so he tried to act as loud as possible and played as many pranks that he could get by with. He had been sent out of Iruka’s class Naruto didn’t know how many times.

    “Great, I’m never going to get to do anything.” Naruto muttered “He’s too strict.”

    “Maybe you should settle down some then.” Kakashi pointed out “He’s not strict without a good reason.” 

    “I can’t help it if I find math dumb, what am I going to use it for after school anyways?” Naruto muttered, inwardly groaning as Kakashi pulled into the driveway of a small blue one story house. Naruto supposed he should be grateful that Iruka was a fairly new foster parent and that his home had just opened, it meant that Naruto wouldn’t have to deal with any other kids at the moment. 

    Naruto sat in the car for a few minutes after Kakashi parked, before sighing and finally climbing out and following Kakashi, with his head lowered. He hated moving days with a passion, it wasn’t fair to him to ask him to continually pack his things because all of a sudden the foster parent couldn’t deal with him anymore, which had happened more times that Naruto could count. He used to believe that he would get adopted, when he was younger. Sadly Naruto had gotten older and no one had been interested in adopting a teenager, which left Naruto to deal with the foster care system.

    “Hello, Naruto” Iruka said as he opened the door for Naruto and Kakashi to enter.

    “Hi,” Naruto mumbled not raising his eyes from the floor, he was feeling depressed over his latest move and both Iruka and Kakashi could tell. They both knew that it couldn’t be easy for Naruto to move, and not have any hope for ever having a family of his own. 

    “I have your room ready for you if you are ready to settle in” Iruka said kindly, hurting for the boy that stood in front of him looking rejected. Naruto was behaving quite differently from the way he acted in Iruka’s classroom. He had expected Naruto to be just as loud and boisterous as he did in class. Naruto looked up at him and gave him a weak smile before following him to his bedroom, his bags dragging on the floor behind him.  

    “Here is your room,” Iruka said opening the door and allowing Naruto to enter the small bedroom, that barely had enough room for the bed, a desk and the dresser. “unpack your stuff, and when your done I will discuss the rules with you.” Naruto nodded and placed his bags on the bed, and slowly started putting them away. It was always the same wherever he moved, unpack and then he would have to listen to the rules. He hated it, he wanted a family, someone who could love him unconditionally, someone who could accept him, someone willing to look past the mask that he wore. So far no one bothered to try to find out who Naruto really was, not even his own best friend Kiba really understood him. 

    Sighing, Naruto stuffed his clothes into the dresser and then stuffed the bags under the bed. There was no point in throwing them away, Iruka would probably grow tired of him soon and have him moved. Naruto didn’t last long anywhere, it was something that Naruto was quickly growing tired of. 

    Exiting the room, Naruto found Iruka in the kitchen standing in front of the stove, stirring something in a pot. Naruto sighed and put his mask back in place, once again hiding his depressed thoughts as he loudly greeted Iruka.

    “What’s for dinner old man? Tell me its ramen” Naruto practically shouted, causing Iruka to wince. 

    “I see you have gotten settled in” Iruka said not thinking that Naruto’s change in personality was weird. “first off I guess we should get to the rules. There aren’t many” Iruka said and noticed that Naruto rolled his eyes.

    “First off, you are not to go anywhere without telling me, and when you do I have to know and approve of who you are with.”

    “I guess I better not go anywhere then” Naruto quipped, he always joked around with Kiba in Iruka’s class, enough times that Iruka had to separate them all the time. “You already know my only friend is Kiba.” Iruka frowned the thought of Kiba and Naruto together only gave him a headache, no good could ever come from those two spending time together. 

    “You are on the track team you should have more friends than him.” Iruka pointed out and Naruto shrugged. He annoyed pretty much everyone on his team, and he had the feeling that Sasuke had told something to them that made the team avoid him. Naruto tried to ignore that fact but it hurt more than he let on. He desperately craved a true friendship, someone that wasn’t afraid to care for him.

    “Anyways,” Iruka said clearing his throat to catch Naruto’s attention. “My next rule is that no one is allowed here without me being here. I know the kind of trouble you and Kiba get up too, I would like for my house to remain in one piece.” Naruto rolled his eyes. Iruka’s rules weren’t terrible, Naruto could live with being lonely. He had survived all his other homes being lonely. 

    “Anything else?” Naruto asked, looking down at the table. 

    “Your indoor voice is to be used at all times while in the house, and out in the yard. I have neighbors that won’t appreciate you being loud.”

    “Is there anything that I can do?” Naruto muttered, annoyed.

    “You can remain on the track team as long as all your grades are good. And you have to stop acting up in math.” Iruka replied “your homework is to be finished as soon as you get home from school. And since I work where you attend school you won’t have to ride the bus to school, I will take you and wait for you after practice.” Naruto nodded and heaved a sigh, before giving Iruka a bright grin and thumbs up before exiting the room and heading towards his new room. He didn’t think he would like it here, Iruka was strict, stricter than his other foster parents had been.

    Laying down on the bed, Naruto stared up at the ceiling, with his hands underneath his head. How long would it take Iruka to get tired of him. He knew the man was already tired of having him in class? How much longer would it take for the man to have Naruto removed from his home. Tears filled Naruto’s eyes and he blinked them back, he wouldn’t cry now, it wasn’t worth it. 

    Hearing a knock on the door, Naruto heard Iruka answer it and then an annoying voice at the door. Naruto scowled and sat up, silently listening. An older deeper voice was saying something that Naruto couldn’t hear. Deciding that whatever the conversation was, it wasn’t important he lay back on his bed. Naruto was fifteen and had been in the foster care system since a week after his birth, according to Kakashi, Naruto had been found slowly starving in a basket left on the side of a road. Kakashi had also told him that it had been a miracle that he had survived since it looked like his mother had just given birth to him and left him. Naruto often wondered why his parents would do that. If they hadn’t wanted him, couldn’t they have just taken him to the hospital or something? 

    Naruto had been living with Iruka for a couple weeks, and so far things had been okay, he stayed out of Iruka’s way as much as possible. Trying to prove to the man that Naruto was worth keeping, that he wouldn’t have to give up on Naruto. 

    “Naruto, can I speak with you?” Iruka called out after Naruto had finished eating breakfast.

    “What do you need?” Naruto asked, a bad feeling filling him, he really didn’t like the tone of Iruka’s voice. 

    “I have some news.” Iruka said softly “Your mother has been found and she wants you to live with her.”

    “She abandoned me” Naruto said “she shouldn’t be able to get me back.” 

    “Your right” Iruka said nodding “But the state seems to think that you would be better off living somewhere close to her.”

    “So I’m moving again.” Naruto growled, anger fueling him. He didn’t want anything to do with the woman that was supposed to have given birth to him. She had left him to starve to death on the streets, she shouldn’t be allowed to be near him. 

    “I don’t want to leave.” Naruto said “I like it here. I have track and I have Kiba, I don’t need anything else.”

    “Actually you don’t have track” Iruka said “you failed two of your classes so your coach called me to tell you that you were off the team until your grades improved.”

    “Does anyone think that maybe the grade situation would be because of the turmoil of having to move all the time?” Naruto shouted, anger filling him. He couldn’t lose track, it was the one thing that kept him sane, even if he had to fight with Sasuke every second of practice.

    “Calm down Naruto” Iruka said “My neighbors are going to be upset.”

    “Screw them being upset” Naruto shouted again and turned for his room “I don’t want to leave.” Tears poured down Naruto’s eyes as he grabbed his backpack, wiping wildly at his eyes, not wanting anyone to see him crying.

    “When am I leaving?” Naruto snapped, as he exited his room.

    “After you get home from school. Kakashi will take you to Suna.” Iruka replied.

    “Why should I have to give up everything, it’s taken me forever to earn for someone that never even wanted me?” Naruto murmured walking past Iruka, his eyes focused on the ground. He didn’t want to leave, all he needed was here in Konoha. He thrived with Kiba, and even the rivalry with Sasuke made him thrive. He needed them to feel like he was someone worthy of friendship and kindness. 

    “I’m sorry, Naruto, I know how much you’ve been through. And I know its not been easy.” Iruka said.

    “Which is why you continue to yell at me in class.” Naruto muttered.

    “If you would stop acting like a little child maybe I wouldn’t have too” Iruka said, feeling annoyed. 

    “I’m not a child” Naruto snapped back, his mind racing with thoughts.

    “You sure are acting like one,” Iruka said.

    “I’m losing my home again” Naruto said “I think I have a right to be upset.”

    “You knew as well as I did that this placement wasn’t permanent” Iruka snapped “none of your placements are, maybe you should think about why that is” Iruka stated harshly, not seeing Naruto flinch. Not knowing that those careless words would cause Naruto to make a decision that he never thought that Naruto would make.” Naruto bit back his response and remained silent the rest of the way to the school. 

    Once there, Naruto threw himself out of the car and stormed towards the Throwing his bag, on the locker room floor, Naruto went in search of a custodian, he knew they would likely have what he was looking for. He just hoped that they wouldn’t ask any questions. When he found them, Naruto quickly made up an excuse, saying that he needed it for a project. When the rope was in his hands, he headed out towards the football field, where he climbed to the top of the bleachers. Tears formed in his eyes as he tied one end of the rope into a noose and the other end, he threw around the railing. Placing the rope over his neck, and climbing over the railing. Naruto wondered if anyone would care about what he was about to do. Not likely no one wanted to be around him, not even his foster parents. Taking a deep breath Naruto released it slowly, before releasing his hold on the railing, allowing his body to drop, his neck snapping, leaving him gasping for air and barely conscious. What he didn’t know was that a certain raven haired boy had witnessed Naruto’s jump and already had the paramedics on the phone as he yelled at his teacher that Naruto needed help, before disappearing out of his class room and racing towards where the blonde boy was hanging. 

    Sasuke made it up the bleachers in a record amount of time, he grabbed the rope and began heaving with his all his might, he didn’t even look when he felt another person began pulling as well, once, Naruto was close enough, Sasuke leaned over and pulled the limp body over the railing. Sasuke really didn’t like pale look to Naruto’s skin, nor did he like the blue tinge to Naruto’s lips. 

    “You still haven’t beaten me loser.” Sasuke said as he formed a fist with his hands and began doing chest compression's while Gaara began breathing, for Naruto. “You told me, that you were doing to beat me! You can’t do that if you are dead!” Sasuke couldn’t help but wonder why Naruto would have done something like this. The boy was always so happy that he was the last person that Sasuke would ever suspect of being depressed. 

    “Come on idiot!” Sasuke shouted as Naruto’s chest remained still. “I’m not letting you die like this!” Sasuke closed his eyes, his heart beating faster as he realized how close Naruto truly was too dying. “I know you think I’m better at everything!” Sasuke said “Not even close, I suck at allowing people to get close to me, while you allow anyone and everyone to drown in your warmth!” 

    “You can let go now” someone said from over Sasuke’s shoulder and he looked up to find two paramedics with a gurney right behind him. Sasuke moved and watched as the medics took over Naruto’s treatment. What had happened for Naruto to do this? Sasuke thought as he watched as Naruto was moved to the gurney, his head flopping limply. Sasuke watched with shock as the medics placed a medical collar around Naruto’s neck. 

    “Someone should probably call Iruka and tell him what happened” he heard someone say, and Sasuke was shocked to find a small crowd of students and teachers were standing around them.

    “Why call his math teacher?” Sasuke asked numbly “Why would Iruka need to know.”

    “Because Iruka is Naruto’s foster father at the moment.” Sasuke heard someone reply and that answer only fueled Sasuke’s shock even more. He hadn’t known that Naruto was in foster care. He didn’t think anyone knew that little fact about Naruto, what had happened for Naruto to end up in the system Sasuke wondered as he watched Naruto’s body disappear into the back of an ambulance, the sirens wailing as the vehicle pulled away from the building. Sasuke can only stand there and stare as it disappears, he can hear quite cries of those around him. He couldn’t help but wonder why they were crying now, when no one had really gone out of their way to be nice to Naruto. 

    “Come on Sasuke” he heard someone say from behind him “We have to get back to class.”

    “Screw class” Sasuke finally breaking out of his shock, he headed towards the parking lot. “I’m going to the hospital to make sure he lives.” 

    Arriving at his BMW, Sasuke pulled the keys out of his pocket and unlocked the car door, climbing in Sasuke put his seat belt on before starting the engine and roaring out of the parking lot. He didn’t care if got in trouble for leaving school like this, he just wanted to know how his teammate was doing. 

    It took Sasuke thirty minutes to get to the hospital, once he arrived he found that Iruka was already there waiting, with his head in his hands, his shoulders visibly shaking. 

    “Iruka?” Sasuke asked softly, placing his hand on the older man’s shoulder. Iruka looked up and Sasuke could see his red rimmed eyes.

    “Have you heard anything?” Sasuke asked softly and Iruka shook his head. 

    “What are you doing here?” Iruka asked after a moment.

    “I found him” Sasuke replied “I watched him jump,” just remembering the way Naruto’s body had jerked when he fell made Sasuke want to throw up. He didn’t know if Naruto would be able to survive this or not. “Why would he have done this?” Sasuke asked staring down at the tiled floor still feeling confused. He had thought that he had known Naruto well enough, clearly he was wrong.

    “We got into an argument.” Iruka said softly “I told him some things that I probably shouldn’t. I should have known he was upset, but he acted like he was fine.” 

    “I’m coming to find that he is a damn good actor” Sasuke said “I think he had a lot of people fooled. No one could see through his act.” after that silenced reigned as both Sasuke and Iruka were lost in their own thoughts, guilt eating at the both of them as they wondered what they could have done to prevent this. Iruka thought perhaps he could have fought harder to keep Naruto in Konoha, he knew how often Naruto got moved, he could have made sure somehow that Naruto could stay with him.

    Sasuke on the other hand was wondering if he had been a better person if he would have seen the signs that something wasn’t right with Naruto, Sasuke thought if he could have been a better person he could have seen through the lies. 

    “Family of Uzumaki Naruto?” a voice broke through Sasuke’s and Iruka’s thoughts. Iruka stood up, and Sasuke followed him, not caring that he wasn’t family.

    “How is he?” Iruka asked, fearing that Naruto had already been taken to the morgue. But surely since it had taken forever to find something out, then Naruto couldn’t be dead could he?

    “He’s not good” The doctor replied sadly, “his neck broke in the fall, at this point we are not sure if he survives if he will even walk again.”

    “Will he live?” Sasuke asked not liking the news about Naruto not walking. 

    “I’m not sure, he’s on life support for now, but that can only keep him alive for so long.” the doctor replied sadly, he hated seeing cases like this. Most of the times when the people were in Naruto’s condition they didn’t survive, but the doctor wasn’t about to tell them that, it wasn’t anything they needed to hear. They deserved to believe that the boy had a chance at survival. 

    “Can we see him?” Iruka asked, still not quite over his shock over Naruto’s suicide attempt. The doctor nodded, and Iruka and Sasuke followed him down a hall and threw a door. Naruto lay nearly naked on the bed, his chest bare, while a sheet covered his lower half, a tube was taped to Naruto’s mouth, that lead to a machine that slowly hissed air in and out, forcing air into Naruto’s lungs. Sasuke stood there for a moment staring at his teammate before reaching for the trash can and heaving his lunch into it. He hadn’t expected Naruto to look like this, it was so much worse than Sasuke had been expecting. 

    From beside him, Sasuke heard Iruka give a small cry as he moved forward to grab Naruto’s hand in his. Holding Naruto’s hand to his mouth, tears fell from Iruka’s eyes.

    “I’m so damn sorry Naruto.” Iruka sobbed “It’s my fault you are like this. I never should have said what I did. Please come back to me so that I can make it right. I promise I won’t let them move you from Konoha!” silence and the hissing of the ventilator was the only answer that Iruka got. 

     

    TBC? Please feel free to tell me what you think!

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                                                                               Chapter 1
A cold harsh rain fell leaving all those unfortunate souls that were caught in it, drenched. A soaking wet Neko made his way from doorstep to doorstep, hoping to find a shelter from the storm. So far though most of the owners either literally kicked him off the door step or shooed him away, forcing him to look for shelter elsewhere.
The neko's previous owner had decided that he hadn't wanted a younger Neko with so much spirit after the Neko had destroyed the living room along with a priceless heirloom. While trying to avoid the beating from the owner's son. Priceless heirlooms had been shattered as the Neko had jumped over the couch to avoid the belt that had been directed at his naked back.
While the owner had never been outright cruel, the Neko had liked him well enough. The owner's son Menma, however, could be downright vicious in his treatment of the Neko. The blonde haired cat had done his best to avoid Menma but it wasn't always possible to stay out of his way. Like this time, the Neko had been napping when Menma had found him and had kicked him as hard as he could in his ribs. Tears had filled the neko's eyes as he ran and tried to escape. However, there was no escape from Menma when he was bent on harming something. The 18 year old was fast and could easily catch the young Neko.
It was only after Menma had whipped the Neko bloody that the owner had walked into the room to find a vase broken, that had the owner grabbing the Neko by his collar, and ignoring the neko's wounds, stripped the neko of his collar and tossed him out into the street.
The Neko found himself without a home or food. The Neko found out that the people in Konoha weren't always friendly. In fact the young cat found himself at the mercy of Konoha's citizens. Some of them were like Menma and would kick him and beat him bloody. The Neko never fought back fearing that someone would hand him over to the Hokage to be executed. He might not have much to live for but he didn't want to be put down. Although with the way things were going now, it might have been a mercy to put him out of his misery.
The young Neko found himself sitting in front of a doorway, trying to protect himself from the cold rain. He might have fur on the lower half of his body but that didn't meant that he didn't ever get cold. As he sat there the neko couldn't help but hope that no one was home. He had been beaten at the last place he had tried to seek shelter. The neko's ears flattened against his head and he wrapped his tail around himself. The half starved neko made for a pitiful sight. He had clearly lost a lot of weight from his weeks on the street, you could clearly see his ribs. His shirtless torso was covered in black and blue bruises, some darker than others because they were new. His back was covered in open wounds, blood slowly leaking from them. The blood dripped down onto his fur covered bottom half. The neko was like a centaur, part human part cat instead of horse, his lower half and his ears were that of a cat.
Hearing the door open, the neko felt the sharp bite of a belt against his back before he even had the chance to turn around. A few seconds later he felt a sharp kick to his ribs, reminding the neko that his ribs were still sore from Menma's beating.
"Stay away you filthy animal" the man yelled in a harsh voice, before glaring at the cold neko and turning and reentering his apartment.
Tears welled in the neko's eyes and he couldn't help but wonder if he would ever find a home with someone who was kind and who wouldn't abuse him. He supposed it was too much for him to ask for since it seemed like his lot in life was to suffer.
With a saddened heart, the neko started towards the village gates, despite the fact that rain was still pouring down. He didn't think he would ever find anyone in Konoha that was kind, they all seemed bent on abusing the homeless neko.
Shivering under the harsh beating of the rain, the neko headed into the forest knowing he would likely be able to find shelter in the trees. Concerned with only getting out of the storm, the neko didn't see the metal trap, until he felt the bite of metal teeth in his soft fur around his ankle. The neko yowled and fought against the trap, only for the teeth to bite harder, tearing into his flesh and muscle, causing excruciating pain. The neko continued to struggle even as the rain stopped and the moon starting rising in the sky.
The neko yowled loudly hoping that someone, at this point, he didn't care who could hear him. The neko could feel the blood drip from his injured foot and he cursed whomever had left the trap here. He had no way of knowing whether anyone would come and check if they caught anything or not. For all he knew he could have stumbled upon a trap that had been forgotten. After several minutes of calling for help, The neko gave up and lay down in the mud, though with every movement pain would shoot through his leg.
The neko whimpered in pain as he thought that there was no one alive who would even care about what he was going through, no one cared about the homeless neko period. It made the neko wonder if he would die a slow and painful death here, lost and alone in the woods.
Several hours later, the neko's foot had gone numb and it made the neko wonder if anyone could fix the damage that had been caused by the trap, even as he lay there he could still feel the sharp bite of the metal teeth, that almost seemed like it was eating his way through the neko's foot.
Suddenly the neko's ears twitched as he heard footsteps approaching him from the west, away from the village. The neko couldn't help but wonder if it was the hunter that had set the trap or just someone who was returning to the village. He found that he didn't care, he would take his chances even if it was the hunter.
The neko yowled loudly hoping that whomever was coming would hear him and would be willing to help. The neko kept his crying up until he saw a man come through the bushes and when the man saw him he came right over. The neko sniffed not smelling any kind of strange scent.
"Please help" the neko pleaded, pain ringing in his voice. The man looked at him kindly before kneeling down beside him and placing his fingers on the trap. The neko watched the man, who had dark hair pulled back away from his face and a scar across his nose. Whomever he was, he had kind eyes and the neko couldn't scent any ill intent on the man's part.
"My name's Iruka" the man said softly as he opened the trap after several minutes and he lifted the badly injured limb out of it. "I'm not going to hurt you." the neko could feel the man's eyes taking in the sight of his scarred back. Iruka turned his gaze back to the neko's lower leg, the trap had nearly taken the foot off, and it seemed like it was going to be a miracle if it could even be fixed. If he took the neko to Tsunade though who knew maybe she could fix it. "I'm going to help you" Iruka said standing up and gently taking the young neko with him. The neko cried out in pain as Iruka hit his injured paw.
"I'm sorry" Iruka apologized as he wrapped his vest around the neko hoping it would bring some warmth back into that frail body. He walked towards the village gates knowing his boyfriend likely wouldn't like that he was going to be late, but seeing as how Iruka couldn't have left the neko suffering throughout the night, his being late couldn't be helped.
"I'm going to get you some help, you won't have to suffer much longer." Iruka said quietly, knowing that the neko had to be in an extraordinary amount of pain at the moment.
"Do you have a name?" Iruka asked quietly, wondering how someone could let a creature this young get in the condition that he was in.
"Naruto" the neko replied "though my owner never called me that. Usually he called me stupid or loser."
"I have a feeling your owner wasn't very nice" Iruka said from between clinched teeth. How could someone allow such a gentle creature to suffer the way this one had? Iruka was worried Naruto's back paw would have to be amputated because it was clearly in such a shape that Iruka wasn't sure was possible to fix. He didn't want to have to put the young neko to sleep either because it was clear that once he was fixed up, that he would make a fine breeding partner. Iruka didn't think he had ever seen fur as blonde as this young neko's. Iruka was sure that once all the mud and blood was cleaned off it would be absolutely beautiful. It made Iruka wonder if Sasuke, his neko would be willing to accept this one as a mate. He doubted it, his black cat, Sasuke hated anyone that wasn't, Itachi, Kakashi or Iruka.
A few minutes later Iruka passed the village gates and found himself entering the veterinary practice that Tsunade owned. She spotted him a minute later, as she had been at the receptionist desk.
"What happened?" she asked taking in the bloody paw and the body that had clearly been badly beaten.
"I found him stuck in a trap" Iruka replied "from the looks of it, he had been out there for hours."
"Bring him on back" Tsunade said as she lead the two to an examination room. Iruka placed the frightened neko on the table before gently running a hand over Naruto's ears. "She's going to help you." Iruka said soothingly wondering what had made the young neko so fearful, had he really been beaten that much?
Iruka watched as Tsunade gently poked and prodded the injured paw. He had the feeling that she was going to suggest that Naruto be put down and Iruka didn't want that. He wanted the young neko to live to find that not everyone was out to hurt him.
"His paw is badly broken and will need surgery to repair" Tsunade said "to be honest with all the muscle and nerve damage I'm not sure that it can be fixed." Iruka frowned clinching his hands into fists, he wondered who he was going to have to kill for allowing this to happen to this neko.
"To be honest I'm sure it would be better to put him down to end his suffering." Tsunade suggested, hating how much it would hurt the kind younger man, who didn't like to seem any kind of creature suffer.
"Is there anything that you can do besides put him down?" Iruka asked quietly.
"I can try to put a cast on it, but to be honest I don't have too much hope of that working very well."
"Do that please" Iruka pleaded, unsure of why he wanted this neko to survive so much. He only knew that he couldn't allow the neko to be put down.
"I'll see what I can do, but if you take him home, keep him away from Sasuke."
"I know he's not going to like me taking in another neko but he will get over it." Iruka muttered and exited the room so that Tsunade could work on Naruto. A few hours later, Iruka was called back into the room.
"I've put a cast on it and for now it looks like it might help Naruto heal. But I am afraid that eventually we might have to amputate it. There was a lot of damage caused to that leg, he may not be normal for a long time."
"I will do whatever I can to help him" Iruka said softly relieved that she hadn't just gone on and put him down.
"Normally I would suggest leaving him here and letting him recover but I happen to know this neko's previous owner, whose son just so happens to work here." Tsunade said "I've loaded him up with pain medication so he probably won't wake up for the rest of the night. Keep him away from Sasuke and he might actually stand a chance at recovering." Tsunade said, Iruka nodded and bent down and picked up the sleeping neko, taking extra care not to hit his injured foot.
"Tell me how can someone who abuses his own neko work around animals?" Iruka asked "why is even allowed to be around here."
"His father is a very powerful man and the son hides his evil very well." Tsunade replied, as she put some more pain pills in Iruka's pocket.
"Take care of him, Iruka" Tsunade said softly "it looks like Naruto has suffered more than he ever should have."
"You don't have to worry" Iruka said softly as he exited the building with Naruto. It only took five minutes for Iruka to reach the apartment that he shared with his boyfriend Kakashi, and two neko's Itachi, and Sasuke. Iruka knew that Itachi would be fine with another neko around the place. It was the incredibly territorial Sasuke they had to worry about. His younger neko was more moody than any person that Iruka had ever met. Sasuke didn't like any other animals around Iruka or Kakashi, and with his sense of smell there would be hiding the fact that Iruka had found another neko.
As he entered the building, he found Kakashi sitting on the couch watching tv.
"I thought I was going to have to cone find you, you were taking so long to return" Kakashi said as he frowned at the bundle in Iruka's arms.
"He was badly injured and I couldn't leave him." Iruka said when he saw the direction of Kakashi's gaze. Before Kakashi could reply, an angry sounding voice came from the stairwell.
"Why do I smell another animal in here." Sasuke said as he started down the stairs, his brother following him, before he paused at the bottom of the stairs and glared at Iruka. "Who the hell is that and why is he here?" Sasuke demanded his black ears flattening against his head.
                                                                               Chapter 1
A cold harsh rain fell leaving all those unfortunate souls that were caught in it, drenched. A soaking wet Neko made his way from doorstep to doorstep, hoping to find a shelter from the storm. So far though most of the owners either literally kicked him off the door step or shooed him away, forcing him to look for shelter elsewhere.
The neko's previous owner had decided that he hadn't wanted a younger Neko with so much spirit after the Neko had destroyed the living room along with a priceless heirloom. While trying to avoid the beating from the owner's son. Priceless heirlooms had been shattered as the Neko had jumped over the couch to avoid the belt that had been directed at his naked back.
While the owner had never been outright cruel, the Neko had liked him well enough. The owner's son Menma, however, could be downright vicious in his treatment of the Neko. The blonde haired cat had done his best to avoid Menma but it wasn't always possible to stay out of his way. Like this time, the Neko had been napping when Menma had found him and had kicked him as hard as he could in his ribs. Tears had filled the neko's eyes as he ran and tried to escape. However, there was no escape from Menma when he was bent on harming something. The 18 year old was fast and could easily catch the young Neko.
It was only after Menma had whipped the Neko bloody that the owner had walked into the room to find a vase broken, that had the owner grabbing the Neko by his collar, and ignoring the neko's wounds, stripped the neko of his collar and tossed him out into the street.
The Neko found himself without a home or food. The Neko found out that the people in Konoha weren't always friendly. In fact the young cat found himself at the mercy of Konoha's citizens. Some of them were like Menma and would kick him and beat him bloody. The Neko never fought back fearing that someone would hand him over to the Hokage to be executed. He might not have much to live for but he didn't want to be put down. Although with the way things were going now, it might have been a mercy to put him out of his misery.
The young Neko found himself sitting in front of a doorway, trying to protect himself from the cold rain. He might have fur on the lower half of his body but that didn't meant that he didn't ever get cold. As he sat there the neko couldn't help but hope that no one was home. He had been beaten at the last place he had tried to seek shelter. The neko's ears flattened against his head and he wrapped his tail around himself. The half starved neko made for a pitiful sight. He had clearly lost a lot of weight from his weeks on the street, you could clearly see his ribs. His shirtless torso was covered in black and blue bruises, some darker than others because they were new. His back was covered in open wounds, blood slowly leaking from them. The blood dripped down onto his fur covered bottom half. The neko was like a centaur, part human part cat instead of horse, his lower half and his ears were that of a cat.
Hearing the door open, the neko felt the sharp bite of a belt against his back before he even had the chance to turn around. A few seconds later he felt a sharp kick to his ribs, reminding the neko that his ribs were still sore from Menma's beating.
"Stay away you filthy animal" the man yelled in a harsh voice, before glaring at the cold neko and turning and reentering his apartment.
Tears welled in the neko's eyes and he couldn't help but wonder if he would ever find a home with someone who was kind and who wouldn't abuse him. He supposed it was too much for him to ask for since it seemed like his lot in life was to suffer.
With a saddened heart, the neko started towards the village gates, despite the fact that rain was still pouring down. He didn't think he would ever find anyone in Konoha that was kind, they all seemed bent on abusing the homeless neko.
Shivering under the harsh beating of the rain, the neko headed into the forest knowing he would likely be able to find shelter in the trees. Concerned with only getting out of the storm, the neko didn't see the metal trap, until he felt the bite of metal teeth in his soft fur around his ankle. The neko yowled and fought against the trap, only for the teeth to bite harder, tearing into his flesh and muscle, causing excruciating pain. The neko continued to struggle even as the rain stopped and the moon starting rising in the sky.
The neko yowled loudly hoping that someone, at this point, he didn't care who could hear him. The neko could feel the blood drip from his injured foot and he cursed whomever had left the trap here. He had no way of knowing whether anyone would come and check if they caught anything or not. For all he knew he could have stumbled upon a trap that had been forgotten. After several minutes of calling for help, The neko gave up and lay down in the mud, though with every movement pain would shoot through his leg.
The neko whimpered in pain as he thought that there was no one alive who would even care about what he was going through, no one cared about the homeless neko period. It made the neko wonder if he would die a slow and painful death here, lost and alone in the woods.
Several hours later, the neko's foot had gone numb and it made the neko wonder if anyone could fix the damage that had been caused by the trap, even as he lay there he could still feel the sharp bite of the metal teeth, that almost seemed like it was eating his way through the neko's foot.
Suddenly the neko's ears twitched as he heard footsteps approaching him from the west, away from the village. The neko couldn't help but wonder if it was the hunter that had set the trap or just someone who was returning to the village. He found that he didn't care, he would take his chances even if it was the hunter.
The neko yowled loudly hoping that whomever was coming would hear him and would be willing to help. The neko kept his crying up until he saw a man come through the bushes and when the man saw him he came right over. The neko sniffed not smelling any kind of strange scent.
"Please help" the neko pleaded, pain ringing in his voice. The man looked at him kindly before kneeling down beside him and placing his fingers on the trap. The neko watched the man, who had dark hair pulled back away from his face and a scar across his nose. Whomever he was, he had kind eyes and the neko couldn't scent any ill intent on the man's part.
"My name's Iruka" the man said softly as he opened the trap after several minutes and he lifted the badly injured limb out of it. "I'm not going to hurt you." the neko could feel the man's eyes taking in the sight of his scarred back. Iruka turned his gaze back to the neko's lower leg, the trap had nearly taken the foot off, and it seemed like it was going to be a miracle if it could even be fixed. If he took the neko to Tsunade though who knew maybe she could fix it. "I'm going to help you" Iruka said standing up and gently taking the young neko with him. The neko cried out in pain as Iruka hit his injured paw.
"I'm sorry" Iruka apologized as he wrapped his vest around the neko hoping it would bring some warmth back into that frail body. He walked towards the village gates knowing his boyfriend likely wouldn't like that he was going to be late, but seeing as how Iruka couldn't have left the neko suffering throughout the night, his being late couldn't be helped.
"I'm going to get you some help, you won't have to suffer much longer." Iruka said quietly, knowing that the neko had to be in an extraordinary amount of pain at the moment.
"Do you have a name?" Iruka asked quietly, wondering how someone could let a creature this young get in the condition that he was in.
"Naruto" the neko replied "though my owner never called me that. Usually he called me stupid or loser."
"I have a feeling your owner wasn't very nice" Iruka said from between clinched teeth. How could someone allow such a gentle creature to suffer the way this one had? Iruka was worried Naruto's back paw would have to be amputated because it was clearly in such a shape that Iruka wasn't sure was possible to fix. He didn't want to have to put the young neko to sleep either because it was clear that once he was fixed up, that he would make a fine breeding partner. Iruka didn't think he had ever seen fur as blonde as this young neko's. Iruka was sure that once all the mud and blood was cleaned off it would be absolutely beautiful. It made Iruka wonder if Sasuke, his neko would be willing to accept this one as a mate. He doubted it, his black cat, Sasuke hated anyone that wasn't, Itachi, Kakashi or Iruka.
A few minutes later Iruka passed the village gates and found himself entering the veterinary practice that Tsunade owned. She spotted him a minute later, as she had been at the receptionist desk.
"What happened?" she asked taking in the bloody paw and the body that had clearly been badly beaten.
"I found him stuck in a trap" Iruka replied "from the looks of it, he had been out there for hours."
"Bring him on back" Tsunade said as she lead the two to an examination room. Iruka placed the frightened neko on the table before gently running a hand over Naruto's ears. "She's going to help you." Iruka said soothingly wondering what had made the young neko so fearful, had he really been beaten that much?
Iruka watched as Tsunade gently poked and prodded the injured paw. He had the feeling that she was going to suggest that Naruto be put down and Iruka didn't want that. He wanted the young neko to live to find that not everyone was out to hurt him.
"His paw is badly broken and will need surgery to repair" Tsunade said "to be honest with all the muscle and nerve damage I'm not sure that it can be fixed." Iruka frowned clinching his hands into fists, he wondered who he was going to have to kill for allowing this to happen to this neko.
"To be honest I'm sure it would be better to put him down to end his suffering." Tsunade suggested, hating how much it would hurt the kind younger man, who didn't like to seem any kind of creature suffer.
"Is there anything that you can do besides put him down?" Iruka asked quietly.
"I can try to put a cast on it, but to be honest I don't have too much hope of that working very well."
"Do that please" Iruka pleaded, unsure of why he wanted this neko to survive so much. He only knew that he couldn't allow the neko to be put down.
"I'll see what I can do, but if you take him home, keep him away from Sasuke."
"I know he's not going to like me taking in another neko but he will get over it." Iruka muttered and exited the room so that Tsunade could work on Naruto. A few hours later, Iruka was called back into the room.
"I've put a cast on it and for now it looks like it might help Naruto heal. But I am afraid that eventually we might have to amputate it. There was a lot of damage caused to that leg, he may not be normal for a long time."
"I will do whatever I can to help him" Iruka said softly relieved that she hadn't just gone on and put him down.
"Normally I would suggest leaving him here and letting him recover but I happen to know this neko's previous owner, whose son just so happens to work here." Tsunade said "I've loaded him up with pain medication so he probably won't wake up for the rest of the night. Keep him away from Sasuke and he might actually stand a chance at recovering." Tsunade said, Iruka nodded and bent down and picked up the sleeping neko, taking extra care not to hit his injured foot.
"Tell me how can someone who abuses his own neko work around animals?" Iruka asked "why is even allowed to be around here."
"His father is a very powerful man and the son hides his evil very well." Tsunade replied, as she put some more pain pills in Iruka's pocket.
"Take care of him, Iruka" Tsunade said softly "it looks like Naruto has suffered more than he ever should have."
"You don't have to worry" Iruka said softly as he exited the building with Naruto. It only took five minutes for Iruka to reach the apartment that he shared with his boyfriend Kakashi, and two neko's Itachi, and Sasuke. Iruka knew that Itachi would be fine with another neko around the place. It was the incredibly territorial Sasuke they had to worry about. His younger neko was more moody than any person that Iruka had ever met. Sasuke didn't like any other animals around Iruka or Kakashi, and with his sense of smell there would be hiding the fact that Iruka had found another neko.
As he entered the building, he found Kakashi sitting on the couch watching tv.
"I thought I was going to have to cone find you, you were taking so long to return" Kakashi said as he frowned at the bundle in Iruka's arms.
"He was badly injured and I couldn't leave him." Iruka said when he saw the direction of Kakashi's gaze. Before Kakashi could reply, an angry sounding voice came from the stairwell.
"Why do I smell another animal in here." Sasuke said as he started down the stairs, his brother following him, before he paused at the bottom of the stairs and glared at Iruka. "Who the hell is that and why is he here?" Sasuke demanded his black ears flattening against his head.

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lizupton1988
Liz Upton
United States
I am a self published author

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The1andonlyRaven Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2017  Student Traditional Artist
Thank you very much for the watch :) it is much appreciated.
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