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.