This content is intended for mature audiences.
or, enter your birth date.*
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!