Eyes of the Broken Soul part-2

Eyes of the Broken Soul

Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto, nor am I affiliated in any way with Naruto. I just like the show and mangas so I wrote this fanfic.

Chapter 2 – Iruka’s Decision

The immensely inviting smell of freshly cooked food gently teased the nose of an excited young boy as he and his sensei made their way to Ichiraku’s ramen stand. Naruto and Iruka had spent much of the day wandering around Konoha, first visiting the hospital to check up on the boy’s numerous wounds.

While they were there, the chunin’s frustrations grew to unequaled levels when the nurses refused to give the boy anything more than a simple overview, almost completely ignoring the bruises and cuts clearly visible on his face and arms. After some… ‘persuasion’, however, they were soon checking the boy’s muscles and organs more thoroughly.

It pained Iruka greatly when he received the diagnostics report on the Naruto’s condition. Apparently the youngster had received multiple fractures and lacerations throughout his body and the sheer amount of punctured arteries and bruised muscles tissue was frightening. The fact that Naruto was even able to walk at all was surprising, much less anything else.

Iruka silently considered breaking his promise to the boy about not harming those at the orphanage. In fact, he knew a few certain somebodies who could make their lives a living hell. One Ibiki Morino came to mind as a possible tool for vengeance although the sadistic temptress that was Anko Mitarashi wasn’t a bad idea either.

Luckily for Naruto and for Iruka’s failing heart, none of his internal organs were too severely damaged and it seemed as though, much to the chunin’s surprise, Naruto’s wounds were also healing at a remarkably rapid rate. The boy was given the ‘okay’ for the time being and the two then made their way to their next stop.

The second task for the day was to shop for new clothing for the young trainee. It was painfully clear to Iruka that Naruto didn’t have a single possession left in the world to call his own other than the clothes he was already wearing, so it wasn’t surprising how happy he felt when he saw the youngster’s face light up with glee as he tried on some new outfits.

At first, Naruto seemed to be very shy and even a little afraid. It was obvious that no-one had ever gone out of their way to care for the boy and make sure he received the things he needed, so he was not used to the kind gesture, but after a few words of encouragement and understanding from Iruka, Naruto finally let go of his unease and allowed himself to accept this precious gift from the only one that seemed to care for him.

Now Iruka wasn’t exactly a fashion guru, but he seemed quite concerned when the now increasingly bubbling child came out of the change rooms wearing a bright orange and navy blue jumpsuit. After a carefully conceived explanation about how a ninja needs to remain hidden at all times, he finally managed to convince the blond that it was an unwise choice of colours. Naruto seemed to accept his explanation that “brighter isn’t always better” with careful consideration and decided to stick with his usual white shirt and black pants combo. He always did like those two colours, even though he never had a choice in the matter before now.

When they went to the till to pay the bills, the chunin couldn’t help but notice the growing evidence of tears that had formed in the corners of Naruto’s eyes and the excited smile etched brightly on his whiskered face. He also began to notice the same golden tinge that he had seen earlier that day, only this time there was no sun to blame it on.

He had a bit of trouble with the lady behind the counter, much like he had with the nurses in the hospital, but once again his unusually ‘persuasive demeanor’ won over in the end and he managed to get out of the store with his wallet relatively intact.

After a busy day of shopping and hospital check-ups (and a quick change of clothes) they finally went to lunch as Iruka had promised earlier that morning, which is how they now found themselves here at Ichiraku’s. As they entered into the street-side store, the mouth-watering smells of steaming ramen instantly caught Naruto in its enrapturing trance.

The old man at the counter greeted them with a warm hearty welcome, introducing himself as Teuchi and smiling at the sight of his new young customer. Naruto had never been treated to anything like this in his life before, so it wasn’t surprising to see the sense of wonder and excitement smeared across his otherwise bruised face.

“So, what will it be for the young master today!?”

Naruto’s face shot into a bright grin as the two of them sat in front of the counter, the boy doing very little to hide his obvious excitement. Iruka handed him a nearby menu and let him read it for himself while he looked over his own. Naruto stared at the words with a great deal of concentration moving his mouth as he looked through each line. It was almost as though the mere act of reading took a great deal of effort on his part. Iruka watched on with knotted stomach as the boy’s face grew into a discomforting frown.

“Iruka-sensei…” He finally mumbled, turning to his teacher with shame filled eyes. “I… I can’t understand what it says.”

The chunin felt his heart plummet at the sound of Naruto’s words. Just what the hell were they doing at the orphanage if the boy couldn’t even read properly? No wonder he was struggling so much at the academy, how could he not have seen this sooner?

“Alright, don’t worry about it Naruto. Let me help you there.“

Iruka leaned over to the distressed pupil beside him and began to recite the menu’s contents, helping the boy decipher the words for himself as well as gently correcting his mistakes. After a few minutes of sitting there working it out and a few curious stares from their host, Naruto finally looked up to the old man Teuchi and called out his order.

“I… I’ll have one bowl of miso ramen.” Iruka then quickly leaned over and whispered into his ear again. After giving of a small nod, Naruto rephrased his words.

“Can I have one bowl of miso ramen… please?” The last word was emphasized with an odd smile from Naruto’s part and the old man just grinned in response, as if to silently approve his well-mannered request.

“Of course you can little one. What can I get for our other guest?”

“Oh, I’ll just have one bowl of pork ramen please.” Iruka responded just as politely.

Teuchi smiled in approval once more and then turned to see to their meals, but just before he made his way to the back of the stand he caught sight of the bruises around Naruto’s eyes, which he had only just noticed despite the boy’s efforts to hide them from view.

“What happened to you little one? Looks like you’ve been roughed up a bit…” He gulped uneasily, gazing intently at the soiled face before him. Iruka opened his mouth to answer the man’s question, but Naruto quickly cut him off before he could speak.

“Oh that. Well you see… I… I just got into a fight at school that’s all. Nothing to worry about.” Teuchi still seemed somewhat uneasy, but the old man’s face seemed to relax a bit at the boy’s explanation, before he once again turned to get their food. As he walked to the back of the store, he called out to Naruto once more.

“I hope you showed the other kid not to mess with you again!”

“You bet ya!” Naruto grinned in reply, trying to sound as reassuring and as genuine as possible.

But as Iruka continued to gaze at him, he noticed the boy’s face fall back into a frown soon afterwards, clearly betraying the truth of the matter to anyone who might have seen his expression.

‘It must have hurt for him to have to lie like that, just to keep those around him from worrying.’ Iruka thought quietly to himself.

The man then began to wonder just how many times Naruto had done the same with him in the past and he silently cursed himself for his own negligence on the matter. He couldn’t help but feel guilty about the way Naruto had been and that he had never taken notice of it before.

After a few more minutes had passed by, two steaming bowels of ramen were placed in front of the two waiting guests. Iruka shot Naruto off another small glance, to which the boy gave a polite ‘thank you’ to the store owner. The chunin then followed with his own ‘thank you’ and they both got stuck into their meals.

It seemed as though the useless bags of meat at the orphanage hadn’t taught the boy anything about proper manners or etiquette either and his lack of reading skills showed their neglect more than anything else. Another thing that shocked the chunin watching over him was how fast Naruto seemed to shoot through his meal, gulping it down at an alarming rate as though he hadn’t eaten in days.

It wasn’t long before the bottom of the bowl became visible through the pool of soup that remained behind, which Naruto promptly finished of with a satisfied gulp as he drank it down.

“That was the best food ever Iruka-sensei!!” The boy boasted happily, slapping a grin on his messy face as he emptied the bowel and placed it back down on the table.

Iruka giggled at the sight of his ramen filled cheeks and his warm smile. It almost completely hid away the bruises and marks that covered him… almost. The man then picked up a nearby serviette and rubbed Naruto’s face clean, extracting a small giggle from the ticklish endeavor as the cloth brushed up against his whisker marks. The chunin’s face then brought on to a more serious expression.

“So… Naruto, what exactly did they feed you at the orphanage anyway?” Naruto’s eyes lost their glimmer once again as the memories of that horrid place filled his mind, something that made Iruka almost immediately regret his question.

“Well, sometimes they would just give me leftovers after everyone else had finished their own food, that was if I was lucky. The rest of the time I just got moldy bread that was already a week old.”

Iruka felt his stomach knot sickeningly once more, almost opting him to lose the food he had just eaten moments before. Oh yes, he would definitely be talking to Anko, there was no doubt about it. Ibiki could torture what was left of them after she satisfied herself with their screams. Revenge would be sweet indeed, but before Iruka could delve any deeper into his sadistic thoughts Naruto called out for his attention again.

“Um… Iruka-sensei, can… can I have another bowl…. please?” The chunin gave off a warm smile and nodded in approval, much to the boy’s obvious glee.

Iruka was starting to wonder if bringing Naruto to lunch was such a good idea after all. Eight bowels of downed ramen later, he found himself checking his wallet to make sure he had enough money to pay the ever growing bill, but seeing the glow on Naruto’s face erased all doubts from his mind, it was all definitely worth all the trouble.

He had never seen Naruto so happy before, like a child smiling on his birthday after receiving the gift he had always been waiting for. It was disturbing how so simple an act could bring the boy so much pleasure. After a few more minutes and two more bowels of ramen, Naruto patted his stomach in satisfaction and once again thanked their host.

Now that their meal was finally over Iruka took the presented opportunity to ask Naruto about the events of the previous night.

“So Naruto, you were going to tell me what happened, you know with the warden at the orphanage.” Naruto gave out a deflated sigh and scratched the back of his head in thought.

“Well, it’s like I was telling you. That big man came into my room and started to beat me up. It happened every night so I wasn’t really surprised to see him, but that still doesn’t make it any easier you know.” Iruka nodded his head in quiet understanding as the boy spoke, gently coaxing him into continuing.

“So, when I thought he was finally finished with me he walk out of the room to leave, but then he just came back again in with this thing in his hand that he was going to torture me with and I guess I kinda freaked out. After that, when I looked into his eyes, he started going crazy, falling on the ground and screaming.” Naruto’s tone began to sink into a near whisper as he continued.

“It… it looked painful. Like he was being tortured or something….” The boy then paused for a brief moment, pushing back the stinging sensation that had suddenly began to burn in his eyes before finally finishing.

“…Anyway, that’s when they threw me out onto the streets and told me to never go back.”

Naruto released a heavy sigh, desperately trying to relieve his built up tension in any way he could manage. Iruka simply drew his hand up onto his chin in thought, trying to put all the pieces of Naruto’s story together and decipher what had happened.

From what he could tell of Naruto’s description, the man that had attacked him seemed to suffer from the effects of some sort of genjutsu, but Naruto had never mentioned forming any of the hand signs that were essential to casting one. Besides, the young shinobi in training hadn’t even managed to master the Bunshin no Jutsu, much less a jutsu that required extremely precise chakra control beyond that of most academy students. The only other thing that could explain what happened was if it was cast by the effects of a doujutsu, which would explain why the warden only reacted after looking into Naruto’s eyes.

There was only one problem though, doujutsu were only found actively as rare bloodline traits among specific clans and the only two bloodlines in Konoha that contained them were the Uchiha’s Sharingan and the Hyuuga’s Byuakugan. The latter couldn’t cast any known genjutsu, which only left the Sharingan as a possibility. Iruka knew that Naruto wasn’t an Uchiha and there were no other known great doujutsu’s, other than a rumored fable, which could explain this phenomenon.

There were minor examples of lesser doujutsus known throughout the world, but those normally came about after members of the greater clans broke away and watered down their bloodline with mixed breeding. Even still, none of those said eye techniques could ever cast a genjutsu of the magnitude as the one Naruto had described.

Not to mention there was still the matter of Naruto’s contact with him at the academy. The feelings Iruka had conjured back then were definitely not his own and he suspected Naruto’s physical touch had something to do with it.

“Naruto, did you notice anything odd when you looked into the man’s eyes? You know, like anything out of the ordinary.” Naruto gave some thought to his sensei’s question before answering.

“Yeah, things did seem to look a little different. When I looked at him, it was like everything was clear to me, clearer than they’ve ever been before. It was almost as though I could see inside of him, you know, all the feelings and the pain. He seemed… sad almost, like he had lost someone close to him long ago.”

Iruka nodded his head in thought. Everything Naruto described sounded like the effects a doujutsu might grant. Normally those who wield their power are given an enhanced perception of the world around them.

The Byuakugan gave the Hyuuga the ability to observe their surroundings in a 360-degree radius without any obstruction and it also allowed them to see another person’s chakra flow and tenketsu points. The Sharingan allowed it’s users to read another person’s taijutsu, genjutsu and ninjutsu without fault and also allowed them to counter or copy such techniques accordingly.

Both of those examples, however, were more physical manifestations of enhanced perception. What Naruto described was… something else entirely. The chunin brushed off his thoughts on the matter for the time being and stood from his chair, before handing over the bill to their grateful host and walking Naruto back into the street. He was deeply troubled by the intriguing puzzle he had stumbled upon, but he also knew that he would not be able to find any answers on his own. He would have to see the Hokage and explain the situation as soon as possible.

“Alright Naruto, thanks for telling me everything you know. I realize that it must have been hard to repeat all of that but I promise I’ll try to figure out what’s going on.”

Naruto gave a solemn nod as the two made their way down the dusty street and then looked up to his sensei with grateful eyes.

“Iruka-sensei… why… why are you doing all of this for me? I mean, all my life everyone else has just treated me like dirt. It’s like they think I’m a monster or something, but you… you’re so nice and… kind and…”

The boy’s eyes then began to swell up with tears again, but he desperately tried to push them back away from view. This only prompted his teacher to put his arm around Naruto’s shoulder before pulling the boy closer to his side and holding him tightly. The chunin began to feel his emotions stir once again as he embraced the boy once more, forcing him to push back the tears that suddenly stung at the back of his own eyes.

“Naruto, I don’t know how to explain the actions of others, but I do know that what they did to you was wrong. No-one deserves to be treated like you were, no matter what people think they see in them. Do you understand what I’m saying to you?” Naruto simply nodded in understanding.

“Th… thanks Iruka-sensei.”

Iruka then ruffled up the boy’s hair a bit, gaining another quivering chuckle from the blond as his tears slowly dried away.

“Good, now, lets go see the old man and get this matter resolved once and for all.” With that, the two made there way over to the Hokage tower, walking closely in one another’s comfort.

Iruka would be damned if someone attempted to harm the boy on their way. Heaven help the poor soul who tried to take advantage of such an innocent child. The cruel stares of the villagers around him were only met with Iruka’s own murderous glare and the amount of killing intent that radiated off the protective father figure was unnatural for the usually kind soul that was Iruka.

He only hoped that Naruto hadn’t noticed what was happening around him. Naruto’s own body, however, began to quiver in fear much to Iruka’s painful discomfort. His anger and frustration quickly fell away again only to be replaced by concern.

The strange thing was that as soon as Iruka let go of his tensed emotions, Naruto’s quivering began to lessen as well and abruptly ended all together. It was almost as though his reaction was caused by the chunin’s own feelings at the time.

Iruka simply brushed off his curiosity on the matter for the time being and willfully refocused on their task. The two of them entered into the front entrance of their destination soon afterwards and walked down the busy hallway to the room in which the third resided. As soon as they arrived at the said door, the ANBU immediately greeted the chunin.

“Iruka-san, you’re here. Hokage-sama has been waiting for you two, he told us to let you inside as soon as you arrived.” Iruka face immediately filled with surprise and confusion.

“The… Hokage was expecting us?” But he quickly shook it off and bowed politely as the ANBU opened the door.

The two of them then walked inside with a frightened Naruto still under Iruka’s arms, who never let go of the boy once as they made there way to stand in front of the most powerful figure in Konoha. The said man looked up from his paperwork and gave off a relieved smile.

“Ah Iruka, I’m glad you could make it.” The old man’s eyes then resettled onto the boy hiding under Iruka’s arm, who flinched slightly under his gaze. “And I see you’ve brought Naruto with you too. That is good.” Iruka quickly gave a respectful bow and then prompted Naruto to do the same.

“Lord Hokage, you were expecting us?” The old man grinned at the obvious confusion on the chunin’s face. Naruto looked equally baffled and a little bit intimidated by his presence as well, but a quick flash of a warm smile from the old man quickly erased some of the boy’s fears.

“Well, when I heard about the orphanage kicking Naruto out because of him hospitalizing one of their wardens, I naturally became concerned. Then I received a report from the academy that one of my best teachers just upped and left a class unattended. It didn’t take long for me to put two and two together so I knew I would be seeing both of you soon.” Iruka seemed to blush in embarrassment.

“I… shouldn’t have left like that, my apologies…”

“There’s no need to apologize” Sarutobi cut him off. “I can understand your concern and have already explained the likely situation to the academy officials. So now, what is it that you wanted to speak to me about?” Iruka prompted Naruto forward, nudging him closer to the desk at which Sarutobi sat.

“Naruto, can you please tell the Hokage everything you’ve explained to me so far?” Naruto took a deep gulp and after a few reassuring squeezes on his shoulder from Iruka, he began to relate the story of the previous night once again.

The third seemed to react in a similar manner as Iruka had, nodding his head in silent understanding as Naruto explained and questioning him every so often. After another daunting retake on the terrible events that had transpired the night before, Naruto finally finished with a wavering sigh and a well-hidden sob.

“So, that’s how it happened” The Sandaime sighed, pushing into the back of his chair.

“Naruto, I would kindly ask that you step outside for a moment so that your sensei and I can speak about this matter.” Naruto nodded reluctantly, not wanting to leave the protection of the only one who had willingly cared for him. He then slowly headed out the door, leaving his two seniors to their privacy. Once he had closed the door behind him, Sarutobi returned his attention to Iruka once more.

“So Iruka, judging by the look on your face, I’m sure you have come up with your own theory about what happened last night.” The chunin nodded in confirmation.

“Yes, that is correct. I suspect that the warden fell into a genjutsu of Naruto’s making, but we both know that academy students of his level don’t have the chakra control to handle such advanced techniques.” Sarutobi took a puff from his newly lit pipe, allowing the taste of flavored tobacco leaves to linger on top of his tongue for a few moments before releasing it with a deep sigh.

“Do you think the nine-tailed fox has something to do with this?” Iruka shook his head, much to the aging Hokage’s relief.

“No. From what I can tell by Naruto’s explanation, as well as my own observations of the boy’s behavior, I suspect an advanced bloodline may be involved.” Sarutobi’s eyes widened in surprise at that, his intrigue now reaching new levels altogether.

“An advanced bloodline you say?” He asked curiously.

“Yes, I suspect it may be a doujutsu related bloodline of some sort, although I’ve also noticed a strange sensation when coming into physical contact with Naruto as well. The only problem is, I haven’t heard of any other doujutsus outside of the Sharingan, Byakugan and Rinnegan and the third one is only rumored to exist as a legend.”

The Hokage then stood from his desk and walked over to where the Iruka was sittuated.

“Just because we haven’t discovered something yet, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. There are many hidden bloodlines that we still don’t know about. Entire generations of clans have often passed in and out of existence without anyone ever learning their secrets, so it is a possibility for Naruto to hold such heritage as well. I will get Kurenai to have a look at the boy. If this was indeed a genjutsu of some sort, she may be able to uncover how it was executed. In the mean time, I want you to prepare Naruto for his return to the orphanage. I expect…”

“WHAT?!” Iruka cut him off abruptly.

“Are you really going to send him back there after what they did to him!? How can you even think that!?” Sarutobi shot Iruka a deadly glance, instantly silencing his protests in their tracks.

“Iruka, I know how you feel about this matter and I understand your concern, but I won’t have Naruto living on the streets. It’s simply too dangerous for a young boy his age, especially considering his status and the hatred directed towards him. As much as I hate it as well, there is simply no one else in the village that will take on the boy and I cannot force another family to care for him. It is the only place I can keep him under some form of surveillance. I’ll try to keep tabs on him for safety reasons but we have no other…”

“No!” Iruka interrupted once more. “We do have another choice. I can’t allow Naruto to live on the streets either, but I won’t see him back at the very orphanage that made his life a misery in the first place. It will tear him apart, having to go back there after all these years of torture at their hands.”

The Hokage raised his eyebrows curiously, wondering what it was that Iruka had planned for the boy. The chunin’s eyes quickly hardened their gaze thereafter, clearly displaying his newly formed resolve as well as the iron will that had now settled into his heart. He had made his decision, he knew what he had to do.

“Naruto… he can live with me. I’ll take care of him from now onwards.”

The bitter, invigorating smell of burning tobacco drifted around the office of the third Hokage as the old man pulled another deep draw from his smoldering pipe. He slowly rocked into the back of his chair, allowing his tired thoughts to run through the disturbing conversation he just had with Iruka. The old man knew how the minds of people worked and also what they were capable of and there were a few things that troubled him about what he had just learned.

For one thing, the potential discovery of a new bloodline in Naruto Uzumaki could have dramatic consequences for the young boy’s life. If anyone learned that he contained such a bloodline many would call for the boy’s death, fearing what he may use it to achieve. Some may even seek to use him for their own purposes or try to incorporate him into their own clan’s bloodline as well.

Neither one of these events boded well for someone so young and vulnerable, especially after everything he had been through already. Add to that the fact that he was also the sole container for the very monster that almost destroyed their village and you have a recipe for disaster.

It was a grave situation indeed. It was highly likely that word of the hospitalized warden would leek into the village, causing panic amongst it’s occupants as well as more nightmares for Naruto. There was nothing the old man could do to prevent it from happening, no matter how many procedures he put into place to stop it. Even though the laws that kept Naruto’s identity as the container for the monster fox had been honored, people still found a way to get to the boy where it hurt the most.

Nothing the Sandaime said or did would change that fact. Sarutobi could only pray that Iruka knew what he was doing by taking on such a burdened soul. The chunin’s own life would now be in danger as well if anyone sought to harm Naruto.

Sarutobi slowly pulled himself up from his desk and walked over to the nearby window, looking out over the entire village as the last remnants of sunlight slowly faded from existence to make way for the night sky. He knew the academy was holding an assessment exam the next day to see which students would be allowed to advance into the next stage of shinobi training and he wasn’t sure if Naruto was in the right emotional state to complete it. If what Iruka had told him was correct, the neglect he received his entire life so far had a massive effect on his schooling as well as his relationships with those around him, the latter of which he didn’t have until the recently forged one with Iruka. It had only been a few minutes since the two had left the tower, but he could already feel his stomach knotting in discomfort.

As the cool night sky slowly descended over the village of Konoha, two pairs of shuffling feet slowly made their way down her relatively empty streets, wandering almost aimlessly in silence. Naruto wanted to ask Iruka what he had spoken to the Hokage about, but he knew that it was probably for the better that he didn’t know straight away. The boy allowed his thoughts to wander on everything that had happened that day, from his first hug with Iruka to the precious gifts he had received on the man’s behalf. His life had taken a turn for the unexpected and he wasn’t quite sure what to make of it now.

On one hand, he was now free from the prison that was his orphanage, finally free from cruelty and beatings that he was forced to endure every night. However, on the other hand, he would now be forced to endure a different kind of danger all together in the lonely darkness of Konoha’s streets. He would now have to learn to survive on his own, learn to endure the cold whether and harsh elements with nothing more than the clothes on his back to protect him.

The young boy looked up to the darkening sky only to shudder in discomfort, noticing the rain clouds that had already begun to gather over the village.

“Well… it looks like I’m gonna get wet again tonight.” He sighed, looking back down to the dusty path beneath him.

Naruto began to mentally prepare himself for the long night ahead, at least he wouldn’t be beaten any more. The rain was a small evil to suffer if it meant saving himself from the pain of the cruel wardens. Iruka eyes soon wondered over at the slouching form beside him and he quickly placed a reassuring hand on the boy’s shoulder stopping Naruto in his tracks before stepping out in front of the blond. Naruto’s eyes locked with his sensei’s face, filled with surprise and curiosity as the man crouched down in front of him.

“I… Iruka-sensei, what’s wrong? Why are we stopping? If you want to go now… I understand.” Iruka took a deep breath in preparation for what was about to happen and then looked into Naruto’s blue stare, searching inside his heart for the words he needed to say.

“Naruto… I… I don’t want to see you living on the streets anymore, it’s just not right that a kid like you should have to stay out in the cold. I’ve decided… well actually I wanted to know… if you’d like to live with me?”

Naruto’s eyes widened in complete shock at the sound of what he just heard. He felt his heart plummet in his chest as he tried to digest exactly what Iruka meant by that. Inside his normally blue orbs, a glimmering shine of gold momentarily flashed back at his chunin sensei. Iruka, noticing his surprise, quickly continued to explain.

“The third Hokage has already given me permission to take you in, I just need your permission first. So, what do you say?”

As Iruka’s hand continued to squeeze the surprised boy’s shoulder, he began to feel his emotions stir once again. Except this time he didn’t feel any pain, fear or sadness. This time he felt warmth, like a sudden glimmer of sunlight had brushed against his body, gently caressing his soul in it’s promising warmth and light. He also felt a bit of uncertainty, as though Naruto’s mind was trying to tell him that this was to good to be true.

“Iruka-sensei… do you… do you really mean that? C… can I r… really come live with you?” The chunin nodded with a warm smile, which quickly prompted the boy into tears.

“But why? Why would you do that for me? No-one else ever wanted me… so why?” Iruka took another deep breath before explaining.

“The truth is, Naruto, that you’ve become an important person to me as well. I cannot watch as one of my precious students lives a life of pain and loneliness any more. I would be happy to have you in my house…”

Before the man could finish his sentence, Naruto threw his arms around his sensei, squeezing as tightly as his small quivering body could manage. The surprised chunin took a moment to gather himself from the sudden burst of emotions he felt coming through Naruto’s touch and began to return the hug with all the love and warmth he could muster.

“I’ll take that as a yes then…?”

Naruto just silently nodded on his shoulders while the tears continued to stream from his eyes, being unable to find any other words to express himself in his failing voice. However, words were no longer necessary, Iruka could already feel what was going through his heart. The pain and grief he felt earlier that day was now replaced with a sudden spurt of warmth and appreciation unlike that he had ever experienced before.

“Oh Naruto, I just wish I could have seen what was happening sooner. I could have stopped it before it went to far, but now I’m going to do everything I can to fix that mistake.” Naruto didn’t want to let go of the embrace, he didn’t want to leave the comforting arms of his sensei, even as the small trickles of rain slowly began to form around them, gently caressing their bodies with their cool, massaging tingle. After a few minutes of warm embrace, Iruka reluctantly pulled out of the hug and locked gaze with the boy’s tearful eyes once again.

“I think we should hurry home, we don’t want you catching a cold now do we?” Naruto nodded silently, still unable to find his voice, only this time with a newly reformed smile spread clearly across his face. He then gently took hold of Iruka’s outstretched hand with his own small fingers, squeezing tightly in the fear of letting go.

The light drizzle that tickled against them soon grew into a heavy downpour as the two proceeded to run through the streets as fast as their feet could carry them, desperately trying to avoid getting soaked as they made their way from cover to cover. Naruto seemed to be lost in the excitement of all his emotions and the seemingly fun game they were playing. The boy even managed a few joyful chuckles every time they quickly sprinted through a small stretch of rain to the nearest shelter, slowly inching their way closer to home.

That’s when it hit Naruto. Home, he was finally going to have a home.

It was something the boy had always dreamed about during his hellish days at spent in his prison. He would always watch as one of the other children made their way out of the orphanage with new parents holding their hands, wishing that someday, someone would find it in their hearts to come and save him from his nightmare. Now, all his prayers were finally coming true and the tears of joy in that found their way into Naruto’s eyes were only hidden by the rain that gently washed over his face.

After a short while, the two finally arrived at a house that sat further down on the outskirts of the village, removed slightly from the other cluttered buildings that crowded the rest of Konoha. It was Iruka’s family home, once belonging to his parents before they tragically died. It even had a small garden surrounding it, neatly closed of by a low standing wooden fence. Naruto, however, didn’t really have time to admire the exterior of his new home as he was quickly rushed up to its entrance.

Iruka grabbed a key from his pocket and proceeded to unlock the door, flashing a quick smile down towards the excited boy beside him. He then opened the entrance and turned on the light, revealing the inviting interior for his pupil to see. Naruto felt his heart leap into his throat as his eyes wondered around the spacious interior, he had never been so excited in all his life. He just wanted to burst into the room and explore every inch of the house, but before the boy could even move Iruka prompted him into taking his muddy footwear off at the doorway.

The chunin sensei helped Naruto undo his black sandals and then took his hand to show him around the house. He could feel the rush of emotions running through his own body as Naruto looked with amazement into each room, first exploring the living area and then the kitchen and bathrooms.

The house was decently sized for all intents and purposes, sporting three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living area, a kitchen and even a small study. Although it was by no means a mansion, it had the makings of a nice family home, which it most certainly was at one point in the past. After a few more gasps of wonder and some unintentional squeezes from Naruto’s hand, Iruka finally led the boy into one of the larger bedrooms.

“This is my room…” He murmured softly, watching as Naruto’s eyes explored the walls and floor around him. “It used to be my parents before… well, before they died a few years ago.”

Naruto’s eyes rose up to meet his sensei’s noticing the way Iruka’s own gaze seemed to fall into a blank stare as the memories of his parents began to revisit him once more. The chunin quickly shook off those feelings, however, when he noticed Naruto’s growing discomfort.

“Hehehe… well I guess I should show you your…”

“Was it hard?” Naruto cut him off. Iruka scratched his head in confusion, trying to decipher the boy’s question. “You know. When your mom and dad died, it must have been really sad.”

Iruka didn’t know what to say or how to explain it, he just continued to stare at the longing blue eyes that locked in his gaze. There was a brief moment of silence before Naruto turned his head to face the ground again, speaking once again in a near whisper.

“I… never knew my mom and dad but I always wondered what they were like. I always imagined them being kind and loving, like the ones I used to watch walking down the side of the street by my room. In my dreams, they would be holding me in their arms and telling me how proud they were to have me as their son.”

Iruka began to notice the tears falling down the side of Naruto’s cheeks, but he didn’t have to see them to know what Naruto was feeling inside. The boy let out a few drawn out sobs and then looked back up again, meeting Iruka’s gaze once more.

“If I ever had the chance to meet my dad… I’d have wanted him to be just like you Iruka-sensei.” The chunin felt his heart disappear into his stomach as his eyes widened in surprise. He gave off a warm, grateful grin that was soon matched by Naruto’s own growing smile.

“Come…” Iruka whispered softly. “There’s one more thing I need to show you.”

He then led Naruto out of his room and down the hallway once again. After taking a few steps further towards their destination, they arrived at one last door that Naruto hadn’t seen yet. iruka then let go of the boy’s hand and placed his own hand on Naruto’s back, urging him forward.

“Go ahead, open it.”

Naruto took a deep gulp and then placed his hand on the doorknob. He gently turned it and heard a click as it opened, revealing the interior inside. Naruto slowly entered into the room to see a small bed standing in the left hand corner next to a large window. There was also a wooden shelf next to it and some cupboards on the wall to his right. Iruka followed in behind him and put his hands on the boy’s shoulders, gently squeezing them as they stood there in silence.

“This used to be my room when I was just a boy. I have so many fond memories in this very place. Now… now it belongs to you Naruto.”

Naruto felt a warm sensation fill in his heart as he looked over his new room. He slowly made his way up to the bed in front of him and ran his fingers through the soft blankets that covered its surface. It was nothing like the cold, damp, tattered prison he used to live in at the orphanage. It felt safe and warm, like he had always imagined a real home would be. Iruka himself couldn’t help but smile as Naruto jumped up onto his bed, letting his feet dangle off the side as they playfully swayed back and forth underneath him.

The boy then looked back up to his sensei and boasted the biggest grin he could muster, playfully bouncing up and down on the soft mattress he sat on. It was then that Iruka noticed that the bruises that once circled his eyes were now barely visible under the warm, artificial light that bathed them. The chunin walked up to Naruto and knelt down in front of him, inspecting his whiskered face with a smile and then sighing in relief.

“So, what do you think? Like your knew home?” Naruto’s answer came in a wordless form as he leapt from the bed and into Iruka’s arms, almost toppling over the stunned chunin. Naruto’s excited chuckle was muffled out as he dug his head into Iruka’s shoulder and soon the boy was once again allowing himself to happily sob in the man’s arms. He still couldn’t believe what was happening, still wondering if it was just a cruel dream sent to torture him as he slept next to a dumpster, but somehow he knew it was real. For the first time in his life, Naruto felt like he had the family that he always wanted.

“T… thanks dad.” He mumbled as his body shook with brief sobs. When he felt Iruka jump slightly he realized what he had just said and quickly pulled away from the hug.

“I… Iruka-sensei, I’m sorry… I didn’t meant to…” Iruka put his finger on the boy’s lips to silence him and smiled warmly. He then placed his hand on the boy’s cheek and gently stroked it.

“It’s alright Naruto. If you really want to, I don’t mind if you call me dad.” Naruto pulled back slightly, leaving the reach of Iruka’s hand.

“I… I don’t think I should. I mean you’ve already done so much for me already, I don’t want to make you do something for me that you can’t.”

Although it pained Naruto inside, he could feel Iruka’s discomfort when he mentioned the word ‘dad’. He knew he couldn’t ask Iruka to be his father if the chunin wasn’t ready for that. Maybe he would never be ready. Iruka just nodded uncomfortably in understanding and then stood up to his feet once more.

“I’ll… go and get us both some dinner. Why don’t you get a feel for your new room in the mean time?” Naruto silently nodded in approval and watched as Iruka made his way out the door, before gently closing it behind him. The boy then walked over to his bed and jumped up onto its surface again, before looking out the window as the rain continued to fall outside.

Iruka slowly made his way towards the kitchen, desperately trying to shake off the terrible guilt he now felt pulling at his heart. The boy wanted a family so desperately that he called his sensei ‘dad’ without even realizing it. It pained Iruka to even think about the loneliness Naruto must have endured all his life to have brought him into such a desperate need for acceptance. At least the chunin had the memories of his parents to comfort him and keep him going, Naruto had nothing except for a desperate dream. The only memories he had, were those filled with pain and sadness and he could not turn to them for comfort.

Only his dreams of the future gave the boy any hope, a future that Iruka wasn’t sure he could grant Naruto, as much as he wanted to see him happy. The boy was so desperate to find a father figure to hold onto, a role model that he could follow after and look up to and Iruka simply didn’t now if he was the right person to fill that important role.

The man willed himself out of his negative thoughts and set some water to the boil, while pouring two sachets of noodle soup into a cup for him and Naruto. Once the kettle gave off its sharp whistle, signifying that it had come to a boil, he poured the hot water into the mixture and then carried it off to Naruto’s room.

Naruto was sitting quietly on his bed with his legs huddled up against his chest, watching outside the window as the rain continued to fall past it in an endless downpour. It was the same thing he used to do when he was living at the orphanage and with it came an sudden sense of overwhelming dread. He couldn’t help but feel a sickening fear filling his body up with a paralyzing tension. Every night one of the wardens would come into his room and beat him. Every night he would scream out with pain as he drowned in his own blood and tears.

Right up until last night, that had been his life, his hell… his reality and now he couldn’t help but feel like it was going to happen all over again. He was so used to it happening by now, that the boy half expected someone to walk through the door right at that moment and start torturing him.

Just then, as if to taunt his fears, the door began to slowly creek open. Naruto instinctively jumped up from his bed and quickly stood against the wall as he had always done before, cringing in fear as two feet slowly stepped inside.

When Iruka finally came into view, Naruto felt his heart drop and he began to quiver violently. Iruka caught sight of the boy’s panicked eyes as he pressed himself against the hard surface behind him, while he whimpered silently in his fears.

“N… Naruto… what’s wrong?”

Naruto’s quivering legs gave way underneath him and he collapsed to the floor in tears, prompting Iruka to quickly place the warm cups of noodle soup down and rush to his side. As he crouched down next to Naruto he put his hand out to grab him, but the boy quickly pulled away with a panicked yelp.

“No… I don’t… want to be… hurt any more, please… don’t hurt me…!” Naruto yelled, sinking his face into his knees. Iruka moved closer again and placed his hand on Naruto’s back, gently stroking it in reassurance.

“Naruto, I’m not going to hurt you. No-one is going to hurt you any more, you’re safe now. I wont let anything happen to you.” Naruto rocked back and forth in his sobs, his quivers slowly lessening as Iruka’s hand rubbed against his back. It was almost as though he could feel his sensei’s sincerity, because very soon he was desperately holding onto the chunin once more.

Iruka gently swayed from side to side as Naruto rested in his arms, desperately trying to calm his nerves. After the worst of it was over, he picked the quivering boy up from the floor and placed him on his bed before walking over to the shelf to fetch the soup. He walked back to the bed and sat down at its side, handing Naruto his own cup.

“Here, have some of this. It will help make you fell better.”

Naruto held the soup in his shaking hands and gave himself a moment to calm down, slowly sipping at the warm broth to help ease his nerves. After a few more agonizing moments had passed and a few more spoken words of reassurance from Iruka, the boy finally regained his grip on reality. His quivering began to lessen and his tears were pressed back into his eyes. Iruka looked at him with a saddened expression, one that hid the excruciating amount of fury he held inside.

He was almost afraid to touch the boy again, not wanting to pass his hateful emotions onto the already tortured soul. If it weren’t for the fact that he was hosting an exam the next day, the chunin would have been leading an entire squadron of sadistic, murderous ninja over to that damned orphanage. Surely Anko knew some friends that were just as psychotic as she was, or at least half way there. The chunin once again had to brush off his plots for revenge as Naruto finished slurping down his soup.

The boy gave another murmured ‘thank you’ before Iruka took his cup from his hands. This was going to be more difficult than he originally thought. Naruto had a lot of emotional scars to work through and they weren’t just going to disappear overnight. Iruka would have to be there for him every step of the way if he was ever going to recover properly and live a decently normal life. He only hoped it wasn’t too late for the boy to find the kind of happiness he yearned for so desperately.

The man walked off to the kitchen and placed the dirty cups into the sink. He then made his way back into Naruto’s room to find the boy already covered under his blankets, facing out the window again as he lay on his side. The chunin walked over to the boy and sat on his bed once more. He then began to gently stroke Naruto’s back, trying to search for any emotions that would tell him what the boy was feeling. Much to Iruka’s relief it seemed that’s exactly what he felt… relief.

Having reassured himself of Naruto’s stability, he began to pick himself up to leave for his own bed for the night, but before he could move Naruto quietly called out to him.

“Iruka-sensei, do you think the exam tomorrow will be hard?” Iruka gave out a deep sigh. At least the boy’s mind was now on something other than that blasted orphanage.

“I’m not sure how difficult it’s going to be but I do know that you need to get some sleep if you want to do well.” Naruto nodded his head in understanding and then whispered one more time.

“Iruka-sensei… can you… I mean if you don’t mind… please can you wait here until I fall asleep?” Iruka placed his hand reassuringly on Naruto’s shoulder, squeezing it gently.

“Sure thing kiddo.”

Luckily for Iruka, it didn’t take long before exhaustion had its way with Naruto, quickly pulling him into the trance of a deep sleep. Once The chunin could see his breathing steady, he gave a muffled yawn of his own, signifying his increasing exhaustion.

‘Who ever thought that looking after a kid could be so tiring?’

Iruka then carefully got up from Naruto’s side, making sure not to wake the boy in his moevements, and made his way back to his own room, gently closing the door behind him once more on his way out.

Once he was finally able to reach the comfort of his own bed, Iruka found that he could hardly sleep at all. There were too many discomforting thoughts flowing through his mind and they were all definitely about Naruto. The third Hokage was going to send Kurenei to inspect the boy, but Iruka wasn’t sure how cooperative Naruto would be with a complete stranger.

Another thing that bothered him was the fact that bloodlines are often only activated when their holder is subject to severe emotional distress or physical pain. He just hoped that genjutsu master wouldn’t subject Naruto to any more stress in order to uncover his secrets.

Iruka tried to brush off his feeling and inner turmoil and closed his eyes to sleep. It was going to be a big day tomorrow and he had to be well prepared for the coming exam.

AN: I know the first few chapters of my story will not be very action packed, but I assure you there will be more of that later on. XD

And yes, I do realize that Naruto is very OOC right now, but I think my reasoning behind his current behavior is obvious enough. (How would any kid act, coming from the same situation?)

Anyway, hope you enjoyed it! ^ ^

Credits:

Writer – Me of course!!! XD

~ by Tenrai Senshi on July 7, 2009.

6 Responses to “Eyes of the Broken Soul part-2”

  1. Interesting this looks. who would have known tenria had a good imagination under his worthyness.

  2. well put together. i have to give him that

  3. me of course means tenrai is the writer duh.

  4. omg, ten! ur fanfics are so long, yet so good! XD

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