Eyes of the Broken Soul –Chapter 5 – A New Leaf

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.

A new chapter opens in Naruto’s life. A time of change and growth is on the horizon now that he has caring souls to help him find his path.

Hope you enjoy the next chapter. 🙂

Chapter 5 – A New Leaf

An icy cold grip began to seep into the body of a small young boy as cool moisture slowly soaked into his clothes. Naruto’s body began to quiver in the ensuing chill, his eyes beginning to open to reveal the dark tattered hallway around him.

“W… where am I?”

The blond slowly pushed his hands against the icy ground and picked his body up from the cold hard floor beneath him. It was completely dark, and the walls were filled with dripping pipes and rusted metal.

Naruto felt his heart fill with a sickening fear as his eyes absorbed the scene around him. It looked too much like the part of his orphanage that the young boy once occupied and the constant dripping of water as it hit the floor filled Naruto’s mind with the memories of his old room, where his daily nightmares tortured his soul.

The young boy’s eyes desperately searched around for a familiar face, anything to make him feel safe and to let him know that this was all just a nightmare. After finding nothing, he slowly made his way down the dark watery hallways, calling out for his sensei with a desperate tone in his voice.

“Iruka-sensei! Where are you?!” There was no answer, only the echoes of his ever-wavering voice as it was carried down the seemingly endless hallway.

Naruto remained silent for a while, hoping… praying that someone would find him and protect him. He just wanted to hear his sensei’s voice, to know everything would be fine, but something pulled nervously at his gut, telling him that this was all terribly wrong.

Suddenly, as if to confirm his instincts, a large growl reverberated throughout the dark hallways, freezing Naruto in his tracks as fear gripped his soul under the terrifying sound.

“W… who’s there?” The boy yelped, stepping back in fear. Again, there was no answer.

Naruto couldn’t help it as his heart began to squeeze achingly in his chest. He didn’t know what to do, he didn’t even know where he was, he only knew that he was all alone again. Just as he was about to fall apart on the spot, a voice suddenly called out from behind him.

“Aw, are you lost little Naruto? Maybe you could use a gentle helping hand.”

The boy shot around to see who had called out to him, but his eyes widened in horror as an all too familiar figure stepped out from the shadows, a figure that had haunted his dreams and tore away at his soul every time he closed his eyes.

“Why the long face? I thought you’d be happy to see me. Perhaps you need another ‘lesson’ in manners?” Naruto felt his heart fall apart in his chest as the words bore into his soul.

It was the same warden that he had hospitalized two nights before.

“No… not you again. No!” Naruto began to step back in fear as the tears streamed down his cheeks. He didn’t want to get hurt anymore, he didn’t want to feel that pain all over again. Why wasn’t Iruka-sensei there to protect him? The boy gave out a yelped panic and called for his teacher.

“Iruka-sensei… please help me!”

The only reply the boy got in return to his pleas, was cruel snicker as it stretched out from the darkness, revealing yet another figure as he stepped forward from the depths of the shadows. Naruto’s face crumbled even more as his gaze revealed the familiar form of Mizuki as he came into view.

“Your sensei isn’t here to save you this time Nine-tailed Fox! Now I can finally have my fun with you.” The boy couldn’t believe what he was seeing.

“Why… why is this happening again? Why can’t you just leave me alone?”

Naruto watched in disbelief as even more figures began to make there way out of the shadows, revealing the ever-hateful stares of the villagers he had been subjected to his entire life. The still growing crowd slowly formed up on the young boy who was now completely frozen in place by his own fear, but despite the instincts telling him to run away, Naruto couldn’t help it as his body began to quiver on the spot, his legs threatening to give way underneath him at any moment.

Suddenly, the same murmured growl he heard before filled throughout the hallway again, shaking Naruto out of his panicked trance. It was almost as though it was calling him towards it, as if willing him to follow its source.

The boy quickly turned his back on the hateful eyes that had long since gathered on him and ran down the damp pathways as quickly as possible, cringing his face in tears as the footsteps of his pursuers filled behind him.

“Come back you little monster!”

“We’ll show you love and comfort!”

“Once we’re done, your sensei won’t even recognize you!”

Naruto didn’t know where he was going or even how far he had ran, he only knew that he had to get away from those that would harm him, but the further he continued down the dark endless path, the louder the monstrous growls became.

After running for what felt like an eternity, he suddenly entered into a large room at the end of the long hallway. It was filled with the same dripping pipes and water-ridden floors as the rest of the labyrinth. Naruto ran out into the centre of the clearing and stopped just in front of a large cage with rusting iron bars.

There in the centre of its massive structure was a small, white piece of paper with a single symbol written on it. Naruto tried to make out what it said, but soon the cries of his pursuers caught up to him.

The blond quickly turned around, only to see the angry mob that had been chasing him file into the room. They slowly circled the young boy and moved to close around him. Naruto, completely gripped in fear and his own tears, collapsed to his knees and covered his face with cupped hands. The cruel snickers of those around him could still be heard as there feet shuffled closer to the boy.

“Please… no more! I don’t… I don’t want to be hurt any more!”

Naruto began to drown in his tears as the dark, menacing figures closed in around him, ready to inflict their cruel tortures once more. However, before the blows could fall, a large rumble suddenly echoed throughout the hallway once more, shaking the very floor on which Naruto knelt and almost causing him to fall over in the strength of its power.

The world around the young boy exploded into flames and then suddenly turned dark again, encasing him once more in shadows and emptiness.

“Aaahhhh!!!!”

Naruto’s eyes suddenly shot open as he launched up from his bed, revealing the morning light around him as he shot into an upright position. The young boy quickly looked around him in panic only to find that he was in his room once again. He held his hand up to his cheek to feel the sweat and tears running over his whiskers, his breathing still held within a heavy pant.

“It… it was just a nightmare.” The boy mumbled softly to himself.

Naruto tried desperately to calm himself. There was no-one trying to hurt him, no dark eyes to tear apart his soul, only the warmth of the still-rising sun and the soft blankets that held him in their comforting embrace.

The young boy slowly moved his feet over the side of his bed and stepped down onto the floor beneath him. His heavy breathing slowly began to lessen, eventually returning to near normal. He was up a bit earlier than usual, but Naruto knew he wouldn’t be able to go back to sleep again after what he had just experienced, so he opted instead to slowly make his way out of the bedroom door and down to the nearest bathroom.

He might as well start getting ready for school.

The blond slowly made his way down the hallway, trying not to make a noise lest he wake Iruka up. He stepped into the bathroom and climbed on a standing board to look into the mirror. His face looked as though a falling tree had just hit him. The boy slowly rubbed the sleep out of his eyes and when he opened them again, a small flash of gold briefly shone back at him.

“W… was that?….” Naruto quickly brushed his curiosity away, after all, his mind was still reeling from the pain and terror he felt in his nightmare.

The boy promptly removed his sweat-logged clothes moments later and stepped into the shower to clean himself up for the day ahead. He didn’t enjoy its tingling sensation this time however, as he had in the past, in fact Naruto could barely even feel the soothing water as it touched lightly against his skin.

He just stood there, quietly, playing back the memories of what he had just experienced over and over again through his own reeling thoughts. He couldn’t help but shiver at how real it had all felt to him, almost as though it was actually happening. Naruto could still feel the icy cold chill that had seeped into his bones and the terrible taunts of his phantom pursuers still rung clearly in his ears.

Naruto just stood there for what felt like forever, his body almost acting on its own accord as he cleaned himself in a mesmerized trance. The sound of running water felt too familiar to his ears, reminding him of the dripping pipes he had seen in that dark nightmare. Once the young blond was finished, he turned off the tap and stepped out of the shower.

Naruto’s hand automatically reached for the towel beside him and he wrapped it around his waist. Naruto plonked his back against the cold wall and then slid down to the floor in tears, gently sobbing away the last remnants of terror that held his heart.

He just had to let it all out, release all the pain and fear he felt inside. For a moment, during his dream, he thought that he was once again consumed by the lonely hell that had trapped him his entire life. The thought of falling back into that terrible pit it terrified him completely.

After a few more moments of crying had passed, Naruto reminded himself that he was still all right, he was still safe in his home. All he had to do was wait for Iruka to wake up so he could reassure himself in the man’s comforting embrace.

Once he had steeled his resolve, Nauto shook of his emotions and raised his head in newfound determination, wiping the tears of relief from his eyes. He couldn’t allow his fears to rule his life. He couldn’t allow his nightmares to bring him down any more. The boy had someone that cared for him and loved him and he had to hold onto that strength in order to continue.

Naruto then stood up from the floor and looked in the mirror again grinning back at himself in reassurance, but it was an empty grin.

“Alright! Today I’m starting my new training, so I have to be at my best.” The boy tried to pump himself full of enthusiasm, blocking out the painful memories with the comforting thoughts of the new day ahead.

He did have a reason to be happy, after all, he did pass his exams. He flashed one more reassuring smile back at himself and then ran to the door with newfound vigor, opening it slowly before darting outside. Naruto quickly ran down the hallway towards the private safety of his room, but before he could reach the door, the boy came to a sudden halt as he slammed into the body of another person, landing on his rear as he hit the floor with a thud.

“Oh… sorry Iruka-sensei I didn’t see….. you….. Kurenai?”

Naruto looked up from his position on the ground as he scratched the back of his head, only to yelp in surprise as the widened eyes of Kurenai stared back at him. The boy noticed her cheeks start to flush red and then suddenly realized he was still only wrapped in the towel around him.

“Er… um… I…” Naruto was at a loss for words, his cheeks flushing a red all their own at the embarrassment of the situation. The jounin watched on with an astonished expression as his eyes began to shine a pure gold once again, only this time she could look into them with no ill effect.

“Um… hey N… Naruto.” Naruto quickly shot up to his feet again and slunk past the dazed jounin, slipping into his room and promptly slamming the door shut. Kurenai could hear the grumbling moans coming from inside his room and let out a small humorous chuckle.

“What’s she doing here?”

The air began to fill with the smell of freshly cooked food as Iruka slowly cooked their morning breakfast. Kurenai and Naruto sat quietly at the table in the kitchen, neither offering a single word in the other’s presence.

They had since gotten dressed and ready and were now just waiting for their morning meal, although their discomfort was not well hidden. Every time Kurenai looked over towards the blond boy sitting across from her, Naruto’s eyes would drop to the table just as quickly and his face began to flush a deep red.

She still couldn’t put her figure on what just happened a few moments before in the hallway. The last time Naruto looked into her eyes with his doujutsu active, an excruciating pain enveloped her and almost crippled her. This time, however, she felt absolutely nothing.

She pondered on it for a moment and then deduced that Naruto’s… ‘attack’ only occurred when the boy was in state of pain or emotional distress. However, what intrigued her curiosity even more was what Naruto might have seen while looking at her through those golden orbs of his.

What kind of vision might they grant him? Hopefully it was nothing too… ‘enlightening’ for the boy.

Iruka happily walked to the table with a light breakfast for the three of them, grinning as he approached. As he handed out the plates of food, he noticed the absent-minded look on the other two faces in front of him. Naruto barely even managed a ‘thank you’ when he was handed his own plate of food, something that bothered Iruka immensely.

Once the chunin had sat down to his own meal he looked up across the table with curious eyes. Naruto just played with his egg, swishing it around with his fingers as though he were lost in a dream. Kurenai, on the other hand, was staring at the said boy with a keen interest embedded in her expression, almost lost in his small visage.

“So… um… did something… happen between you two?”

Both of them jumped in their seats at the sound of Iruka’s words, Naruto almost choking on the piece of toast he was slowly chewing on.

“N… no Iruka-sensei… nothing happened.” the boy murmured, taking a gulp of milk to wash down the debris. Iruka would have believed the boy if it weren’t for the fact that he was blushing furiously and Kurenai’s giggle didn’t help either.

“I guess I’ll never know, will I?”

Once the three of them had uncomfortably finished there breakfast, Iruka helped Naruto pack his lunch and then they all made their way out the door. Kurenai had decided to walk with her two companions over to the academy, passing through the dusty streets of Konoha as the villagers began to set up their stores. After a few minutes they finally arrived at their destination and the jounin waved them off as they began to enter inside.

“I’ll see you two this afternoon!”

Iruka turned and waved back while Naruto shrugged a small, embarrassed smile. The dark haired jounin then watched with a smile of her own as the two turned and disappeared behind the safety of the academy walls. Now all she had to do was visit the library to find out what she could about Naruto’s… unique abilities. The more she could learn, the more she could help the boy in the coming days.

Iruka led Naruto down the bustling hallways and into the familiar classroom that had become like a second home to the boy. It was the only place, other than his new house with Iruka, that the blond felt relatively comfortable and safe in. He slowly prodded over to his usual seat and slumped back into its comforting hold.

Pretty soon, the rest of his class filed in as well. The boy gained a few disgruntled stares followed by some snickering comments. He knew that the fact that he had passed his exam upset some of his more… unpleasant classmates, but he was happy about it nonetheless. Naruto slouched onto his table, resting his chin on his folded arms and waited patiently. Once everyone was inside, Iruka began to speak over their quietening voices.

“Alright, as I’m sure you are all aware by now, there have been a few changes in your class. Those who had failed Wednesday’s assessment exam have already been removed and placed into a new group of trainees. Those of you who are left will now begin the next stage of academy training.”

Everyone, including Naruto, began looking around the room, searching for the missing faces that had now disappeared from their ranks. Naruto was disappointed to see some of the meaner bullies that always teased him still in the room. He was, however, happy to see some of the more familiar faces that also weren’t so bad.

Shikamaru, Ino, Chouji, Sakura, Hinata, Shino, Kiba and Sasuke had all passed. None of them had really ever done anything to harm Naruto before, even though they never really interacted with him either, so the boy wasn’t too displeased that they were still there. Although Ino and Sakura could be really cruel to the blond when they wanted to be, they were still more bearable than some of the other kids.

The rest of that hour was spent in complete and utter boredom as Iruka explained the new weekly schedule to his students. It mostly consisted of more field training with weapons and coordination skills, as well as more advanced theory lessons in class. There was also a mention of some Jutsu and chakra control training that piqued the blond’s interest considerably.

The worst part of it all, though, was when Iruka mentioned that they would be holding sparring matches between the students once a week, starting from the next week, in order to compare each pupils individual advancement.

The boy’s heart began to sink at the thought of it. He knew some of the other boys in his class looked at him with disdain and would relish in the chance to hurt him if the opportunity presented itself. After all, he was the shortest (and weakest) in the group and his status as an orphan seemed to give them reason to dislike him, or at least that’s what he thought.

Once his chunin sensei had finished explaining their new regime, he sat at his desk and pulled out a box from underneath its surface. Inside was a pile of books filling it to it’s surface.

“Alright, these are your new theory books that you’ll be studying from during this stage in the academy. All the lessons we learned here in class will need to be studied further at home if you want to really get on top of your shinobi skills. If you have any questions, feel free to approach me or one of the other academy teachers and we’ll explain everything you need to know. There are also training rooms available in the afternoons for extra practice if you feel the need to hone your abilities. Each of these will have a present instructor for further guidance and to make sure nothing goes wrong. You will be given passes to these facilities on Monday.”

After the scarred chunin had finished his long-winded presentation, gaining a few muffled yawns from some of the more disinterested learners, he motioned for his class to come down and collect their books. After that was finished, class went on as usual.

Iruka had spent most of the day going through theory lessons. He knew that starting the physical training straight away was not a particularly good idea and it was already Friday as well. That could all start the following week. The scarred chunin looked on with a discomforting frown as he watched his blond haired student become lost in a fixated gaze.

He knew Naruto would struggle with the reading, but the boy would normally at least pay attention when Iruka spoke. Something was bothering the young blond, he could see it in the boy’s face. He seemed… detached almost, the same as he looked when Iruka found him sitting on the swing outside that day he came in with after being kicked out of the orphanage. It was a troubled look, one that usually hid a deeper problem the boy had bottled up inside.

The sensei looked up at the clock on the wall and sighed in relief to see that their time was almost up. At least he could ask Naruto now and find out what was wrong. The chunin turned to his class and closed the book in his hand.

“Alright class, we’ll call it a day for now. I expect you to study the first chapter on advanced battle formations over the weekend. I might be holding a spot test on Monday.” The chunin only got a few disgruntled moans from his students, which he promptly brushed off.

“Have a good weekend and remember what I said.”

Everyone began to file out of the classroom, leaving behind a lone Iruka and Naruto. The blond boy didn’t even move from his desk to hug his sensei today and Iruka began to grow worried. He walked up to where the boy sat and placed his hand on Naruto’s shoulder.

“Hey kiddo, something eating you?” Naruto snapped out of the trance that held him in its grip and looked up to his frowning sensei.

“I… I was just thinking that’s all.”  He croaked in response.

The chunin could feel a bit of unease emanating from Naruto’s touch, after all, the blond couldn’t hide anything from his sensei as long as he could still come into physical contact with Naruto and Iruka was starting to appreciate that part of the bloodline. He tugged the young boy’s hand and motioned him out of the chair.

“Come… lets go for a walk outside.”

Student and teacher slowly made their way out of the door and into the academy playground, seating themselves on the swings and swaying next to one another. Iruka knew when the boy was troubled, he could see it just by looking in his eyes as they followed the ground in despondence.

“Naruto… what’s going on? I don’t need to be touching you to know something’s up. You do know you can trust me right?” Naruto slowly nodded his head and looked up to meet his sensei’s eyes.

“Last night… I… I had a dream, well at least I think it was a dream. It felt so real that I’m actually not sure any more.” Iruka followed his student’s words closely, giving his undivided attention.

“What kind of dream was it?” The boy began to cringe as the memories of what he saw came rushing back to him.

“I… I was in this dark sewer that had all these pipes running around it. While I was there, I heard this growling sound that was really freaky and…” Iruka placed his hand over Naruto’s, holding it in order to feel the emotions running through the boy’s touch.

“I was just scared…” Naruto continued reluctantly. “I thought I had been abandoned again. I thought you had left me.”

The chunin quickly stepped of his swing and knelt in front of Naruto. He could feel the building tension flowing from the boy as he continued.

“Naruto… you know I’d never leave you right? I would never do anything to hurt you like that.” Naruto nodded with a shallow expression. “So… what happened then?”

The blond drew a deep breath, shuddering in a slight quiver as he exhaled.

“I saw the same warden that used to beat me… and Mizuki as well. They had a whole lot of villagers with them and they were chasing me through the hallway. I’ve never felt so scared in my entire life.”

Naruto’s eyes began to water up, but the boy quickly pushed the tears back. He was tired of crying all the time, tired of allowing his pain and fears to conquer him. He gave himself a moment to recover and then bravely continued.

“While I was running from them, I came into this big room that had a giant cage in the middle of it. There was this white piece of paper on it with something written inside, I couldn’t read it of course. That’s when the others caught up to me and started to surround me. They were… they were going to hurt me just like they always did, but before they had the chance there was a sudden load roar and then I woke up again.”

As Naruto explained his entire ordeal, Iruka could feel the boy’s emotions shifting from one form to the other. At first, there was a lot of fear and pain, but when he described the large room there was more awe and confusion than anything else. After that, it was full-blown terror again when the boy described the rest of his dream before waking up. The chunin squeezed the blond’s hand in comfort, reassuring him that everything was alright.

Something bothered Iruka about this dream Naruto described, but he couldn’t quite put his finger on it. The chunin couldn’t help but wonder what was written on the piece of paper that the boy had seen. It was at times like this that Iruka cursed the fact that Naruto hadn’t been taught to read properly, however, the man quickly shoved his thoughts aside and then pulled the boy into a hug.

“Don’t worry Naruto, it was just a dream, nothing more. I wouldn’t let something like that ever happen to you again if I can do anything about it.” Naruto relished in the comfort of his sensei’s hold. The feelings he felt coming from the man’s touch told him that Iruka meant every word and it was somewhat comforting to hear.

“I know Iruka-sensei, it was just scary without you there beside me.”

The chunin shrugged slightly, realizing just how dependant Naruto was on his constant presence. He would have to teach Naruto to be more independent, something his former hosts had never been able to achieve, but he wouldn’t rush it lest he do any more damage to his already isolated soul. Suddenly a voice called out behind them.

“I thought I’d find you two out here.”

Both Iruka and Naruto quickly shot around from their embrace and looked up to see a smiling Kurenai looking down at them, holding some notes in her hands. Standing next to her was a taller, masked man with a headband covering his one eye and silver hair spiking out from the top of his head.

“Kakashi Hatake?” Iruka managed to voice out, despite his surprise. The said man raised his hand in greeting as the chunin called out his name.

“Good to see you Iruka. I see you’re still managing to survive life in the academy.” Kakashi’s eyes then wondered over to the blond boy beside him.

“Ah! And I suppose this must be the young Naruto Uzumaki.” The said boy quickly yelped in panic as the man’s attention shifted to him and moved to hide behind Iruka, causing Kakashi’s one visible eye widened in surprise at the awkward reaction. In response to the awkward situation, Kurenai simpply placed her hand on his shoulder to explain.

“He’s… not very good with strangers. You know… what I told you about Mizuki and all.” The masked ninja nodded his head in understanding. He wouldn’t press the issue any further.

Iruka stood from his haunches and walked over to the two of them, much to Naruto’s growing discomfort. The last thing the boy needed now was another unknown variable to worry about. Naruto didn’t know if he had it in him to allow another person to touch him again and he was pretty sure this Kakashi wasn’t there to arrange a camping trip.

The three moved away from the young boy, once again stepping out of the reach of his ears and then began to speak. Iruka was the first to talk.

“So, I assume you brought Kakashi here for a reason Kurenai?” He whispered harshly, although not quite as softly as he might have intended.

Both jounin listening could hear the anguish in the chunin’s voice as he spoke, along with an unmistakable tone of discontent. It was obvious that the man wasn’t very happy with the fact that Kurenai may have let Naruto’s secret out. “Don’t worry Iruka, I didn’t tell him anything specific about Naruto, I only told him that he had a problem that needed solving. I wanted to gain your approval first before we tried anything.”

“It’s not my approval you need to receive. Naruto’s the one that has to deal with the pain of dealing with these emotions, how do you think he’d feel with another stranger around? What is this about anyway?”

The mask ninja looked between the other two in complete confusion. He had no idea what was going on, only that he had been asked by Kurenai to assist her with a certain task that had been approved by the Hokage.

“Look Iruka, I did some digging around at the library to find out what I could about Naruto’s… condition, but as I expected, none of the official records have any information on his ‘you know what’.” Iruka’s eyes sank in disappointment, he was hoping to get at least some clue to Naruto’s abilities. He was about to respond when Kakahsi interrupted them.

“Look, I’m sure you two have a lot of issues to deal with right now, but I still don’t know what this has to do with me.” Kurenai looked over to Iruka as if to ask his permission to explain. The young man reluctantly nodded his head in approval, prompting the woman to continue.

“Alright Kakashi, the fact of the matter is that Naruto seems to be the holder of an advanced bloodline the likes of which we have never come across before. The reason I didn’t tell you at first was because we needed to make sure you could be trusted with this information.”

The masked jounin’s visible eye widened in surprise. “So… I guess that does explain all the secrecy. What kind of bloodline is it exactly?”

“It’s… a doujutsu, but there also seems to be some physical traits to it as well. I’m sure you’ve heard about the two people that have found there way into the hospital?” Kakashi nodded his head.

“I’ve heard some things here and there, but I usually don’t regard gossip with much weight. That still doesn’t explain why I’m here though.”

Kurenai then let out a deep sigh and began to tell him what she knew. She told Kakashi about her own observations when working with the boy, as well as his described encounters with Mizuki and his abusive warden. Iruka would bump in every now and again to add his own two cents or to correct Kurenai on some details.

She then explained her own experience when she had locked eyes with the boy. Kakashi listened with a keen interest, nodding his head in fascination and trying to sort through all the information.

“So, you felt the effects of this doujutsu, what do you think happened to you exactly?” Kurenai thought on her answer for a moment.

“Well, I guess you could say the attack was neither chakra related or completely physical either and it definitely wasn’t a genjutsu. The truth is I don’t actually know what happened, only that I could do nothing to stop it. Judging by what I felt and saw, I’m assuming that Naruto is able to draw on the emotions and pain he’s built up inside and release it all at once, transferring it to whoever his eyes are locked with.”

Kurenai then took a moment to pause in thought, before continuing once more.

As for the more… physical… side of his bloodline, it seems as though whenever Naruto touches another person, he forms a strange chakra link with them. Any emotions he is feeling at the time flows freely between himself and the person he is in contact with. Unlike the doujutsu, however, only the emotions he is feeling right at that point in time are transferred and nothing more.” Kakashi nodded his head in understanding. Although it wasn’t much information to work with, he would have to make do.

“So then, what are your plans?”

Kurenai removed some of the notes that she was carrying and handed the other two each a copy.

“I’ve devised a training schedule with the third that may help Naruto deal with his abilities as well as improve his general performance in the academy. It has all already been approved by the Hokage, so you don’t need to worry about any conflicting schedules.” Each of them took a brief moment to look through their respective sheets before Kurenai continued.

“Kakashi, you’re the only doujutsu user in Konoha that doesn’t officially belong to any clan and as such you’re also the only one we can trust around Naruto without fear of hidden agenda’s or political backfire. I want you to try and help him learn to control his doujutsu and perhaps learn how to activate it at will. They may be different, but your experience with the Sharingan means you’re the closest chance we have at understanding Naruto’s doujutsu at all. I know I can’t force you to do this, but he’s just a young boy who really needs our help.”

The masked carefully considered his fellow jounin’s words. He looked up and over to the young blond sitting on the swing. He looked so sad, so vulnerable and something else caught Kakashi’s eye. The copy ninja let out a sigh and then nodded his head in approval.

“I won’t sit and watch as a child of Konoha suffers. We have to look after our future and this one is special as well. I’ll do what I can.” Kurenai burst into a grateful smile and then turned to the other male.

“Iruka, I think you should continue to help Naruto with his reading skills and other studying. The quicker he learns what he needs to know, the easier it will be for the rest of us.” The chunin seemed to accept his role with no complaints. He had intended to help Naruto in those regards in any case.

“What about you? What will you do?”

“I’ll be going through advanced chakra control exercises with the boy. We’ll start with the tree climbing and water walking exercises and then once he’s got those two down I might even move him on to minor genjutsu training to help improve his skills.” Iruka looked at the woman with bewildered eyes.

“But, shinobi normally only undergo that kind of training after they become genin. It’s too advanced for a kid Naruto’s age.”

“We have no other choice Iruka.” Kurenai responded.

“If Naruto shares his feelings through touch, it may become dangerous for him if he comes into contact with a particularly nasty person. I’d hate to think of what consequences might arise from that kind of exposure. If I can get him to suppress his chakra flow willingly, he may be able to limit the amount of emotions that travel between him and the person he touches. It’s for his own safety.”

The other two seemed to silently agree, although they knew the road ahead of them would be hard for them and especially for Naruto. After going through the rest of the details of their newly formed training schedule, they finally finished up with their long-winded conversation.

“Alright, since there is no school for Naruto until Monday, I guess we can begin his training tomorrow. The sooner we start, the better. Besides, it will give Kakashi some time to get to know Naruto and hopefully earn his trust as well.”

“So, we’ll be seeing each other tomorrow morning then” Iruka murmured in despondence. The others agreed to that plan and then finished the conversation there.

The three of them bid farewell to each other, Kakashi disappearing in a puff of smoke and a wave while Iruka and Kurenai made their way to a impatiently waiting Naruto. The boy looked particularly upset by the fact that they were talking about him behind his back again, but a promise to visit Ichiraku’s soon had him smiling again.

Kurenai chuckled at the instant glee on the boy’s face. It was so magical when he smiled, and it was enough to brighten her day completely, no matter how bad it had been. The three then made their way out the academy grounds with Naruto once again under Iruka’s arms, heading off to the boy’s favorite ramen stand for their evening meal.

The scarred chunin sighed as the comforting emotions flowed from Naruto’s touch and into his heart, it seemed as though the boy was feeling better already. They would start training Naruto properly from tomorrow onwards, he only hoped it would be enough to prepare him for the trials that awaited him.

The early morning sunlight swept through the windows of the Hokage tower, as it’s glorious golden form slowly climbed over the glowing horizon. Inside his office, an old man slowly contemplates the young boy whose life seems to be filled with both dreadful pain and wondrous opportunity.

Sarutobi knew that however Naruto turned out, whether it would be good or bad, it would now depend on those that had sworn to protect and care for him. The old man had been visited by Kurenai the previous day, whom had proposed a training schedule for the boy to develop his skills and learn to control his bloodline. Of course, he approved it without any hesitation and now Naruto had three shinobi ready to assist him with the trials that he faces.

There was only one thing that bothered the old man about all of this. He already knew about the Yondaime and his greatest sacrifice for the village, the remaining legacy that still walks the earth today. The loss of Minato Namikaze’s own life was nothing for the young man to bear in comparison to the sacrifice of his son’s happiness, after all,  by sealing the Kyuubi into Naruto, he had also sealed the boy’s fate in a struggle against hatred and cruelty. Sarutobi already new that Naruto was the fourth’s son but there was something amiss in his mind.

What the third couldn’t figure out was the fact that neither of Naruto’s parents had never shown any signs of the bloodline the boy seems to posses. Sarutobi had spent much time with his successor (and predecessor) and had met his wife Kushina Uzumaki on numerous occasions as well, but neither had ever confided in him about any clan secrets that might suggest such an ability.

Not to mention the fact that both of them had never shown any physical traits to suggest that they held it as well, such as Naruto’s emotional link formed through touch. There was only one other person who might have known about such a secret, one person who was closer to those two than anyone else.

“Perhaps it is time to call him back? If there were any secrets in that family, he would be the only one to know about them.”

The cold damp touch of dripping water slowly fell from the ceiling, soaking into the body of a young boy as he lay on the water-ridden floor. Naruto slowly woke up in its icy embrace, once again finding himself in the same ruins that had haunted his dreams the night before. The young boy sat up in a sudden panic, realizing that the cruel villagers that hated him so much might once again try to harm him in, but he only found himself back in the large room that he had run to before.

“What… what is this place? Why do I keep coming back here?”

Naruto slowly picked himself off the cold hard floor, holding his arms around himself in a warming hug as he shivered in the damp of his clothes. He looked around him, his eyes stumbling back onto the cage that he had seen the previous night.

He knew it was all a dream, or so he thought, but what he couldn’t understand is what it’s significance was. Why did his mind want to subject him to the coldness and cruelty he had experienced throughout his entire life all over again? Perhaps Naruto himself didn’t think he deserved the love and kindness he was now receiving in the arms of someone that cared for him. The boy’s thoughts on the matter, however, were promptly shattered when his eyes caught sight of the white piece of paper in the centre of the cage.

“I wander what that means?”

Naruto walked up to the white sheet, his eyes once again scanning the symbol it held on its surface. He tried to read what it said, but found himself unable to do so. Suddenly a large rumbling growl sounded from inside the cage, causing Naruto to step back in fear.

“W… who’s there?” Before anyone could answer, the boy’s world once again fell into darkness, enveloping him in the embrace of its hold.

Naruto’s eyes suddenly shot open once more, revealing the warm comforting rays of the early morning sunlight. He picked himself off his back and sat up in his bed, rubbing his eyes of the sleep that held them down.

“It… it was that same dream again.” The boy could still feel the cold that had seeped into his body and the fear that had gripped his heart.

Whatever this dream was, it wasn’t natural in any sense of the word. Before he could think on it any longer, his door suddenly began to creek open, revealing a tired Iruka as he walked inside.

“Morning kiddo, it’s time to… oh, I see you’re already awake.” Naruto looked over to his smiling sensei, but his face couldn’t hide the emotions he felt inside. Iruka immediately noticed the concern on his student’s expression and walked over to the side of his bed, seating himself next to the panic stricken Naruto.

“Another bad dream?” The boy just nodded.

“It… it was the same place that I saw last night, only this time there was no-one chasing me. I also saw the same cage that I found the last time. There… there was something inside of it, something big.”

Iruka placed his hand on Naruto’s shoulder, squeezing it gently. He was trying to feel for any emotions that would help him out, but he only felt the same thing he had already seen on Naruto’s face.

Fear, the sickening embrace of pure terror, It was terrible to know that the blond was so easily gripped by its cruel embrace.

“Look Naruto, we’ll figure out what this dream is, but you mustn’t let it scare you too much.”

“Alright Iruka-sensei, I’ll try.” Iruka smiled at that and scruffed Naruto’s hair, gaining a small chuckle out of the boy and a newly formed grin.

“Now come, it’s time to get ready. We’ve got special training for you today.” Naruto’s eyes shot straight into a look of glee.

“Really!? What kind of training?! Will I learn any powerful jutsu, like… like shooting giant fireballs out of my mouth?! Or maybe I can make a massive tidal wave out of water!” Iruka just laughed and stepped up from the bed.

“Well, you’ll just have to wait and see wont you?” With that, the chunin walked out of the door with Naruto shooting out behind him.

It was going to be a long day for the two of them and they had to be ready. Naruto ran off to shower with a newfound enthusiasm, completely forgetting the dream he just had or the worries of his heart. Iruka, in the meantime, prepared their morning breakfast as he usually did, only this time he found his thoughts wondering on the dream Naruto had described.

Once the two of them were at the table and eating, Naruto’s face fell into a stern look.

“Iruka-sensei, who was that man we saw yesterday, the one talking to you and Kurenai?” Iruka looked over to the curious boy and gave out a deep sigh. He knew Naruto would be a bit less than enthusiastic about another stranger coming into his life.

“That was a very powerful ninja named Kakashi Hatake. He’s well known throughout the village of Konoha and his reputation has even spread through to the other countries as well. He’s known as the copy ninja, because he has replicated over 1000 jutsu from other ninja in battle using his Sharingan.” Naruto went into a look of awe, but then fell back into a more concerned expression.

“So, he has the Sharingan. I thought only the Uchiha could use that.”

“Yes that’s true, but he managed to acquire his through… extenuating circumstances. I’m not actually sure what happened, but I hear it was a tragic tale.” Naruto nodded his head in thought.

“So… then, why were you two talking to him?” Iruka put down the piece of toast he had in his hand and placed his fingers between one another. He knew Naruto wasn’t going to like what he was about to tell the boy, but better he knew sooner than later.

“Look Naruto, I won’t lie to you. The fact of the matter is that we believe you hold an advanced bloodline. We also think it’s a doujutsu of some sort which is how you did what you did to Mizuki and your warden.” Naruto’s eyes widened in surprise.

“You… you mean I have something like the Sharingan?”

“Yes, I believe that’s the case, which is why I’ve called Kakashi out to help you. He needs to teach you how to learn to use your doujutsu without hurting anyone.” Naruto’s eyes began to sink at the sound of Iruka’s words.

“But Iruka-sensei, I don’t want to learn from him, I don’t want to even go near him. The only ones I trust are you and Kurenai-sama. I don’t even know him.”

Iruka just gave out a deep sigh. It was going to take a lot of convincing to get Naruto to go through with this training.

“Naruto, I know he is a stranger, but he’s also the only one who can help you control your abilities. Do you want someone else to get hurt?” Naruto’s face cringed at the sound of his sensei’s words and tears began to fall onto his cheeks, causing Iruka to regret what he had said.

“Naruto… ”

“I didn’t mean to hurt them…” Naruto cut him off. “I… I never wanted to see someone go through that kind of pain.” Iruka stepped up from his chair and walked over to where the boy sat silently, his face ridden with the guilt of what had transpired. He then placed his hand on Naruto’s head and pulled it towards himself, holding the boy closely.

“Naruto… I know you didn’t mean to hurt them…” He whispered softly, offering what comfort he could. “… and I’m sorry if it came out that way, but we need to do this for your safety and everyone else. Do you understand?” Naruto pulled away from the hug and gave a heavy nod.

“Good. Kurenai and I will be with you the whole time so nothing will happen. You don’t even have to touch Kakashi either if you don’t want to, you just have to listen to what he has to say and follow what he tells you.” The boy then let out a wavering sigh and then continued with his meal, which both of them promptly finished moments later.

After they had finished their meal and packed their lunch, the two set out of the house together, walking through the increasingly busy streets of Konoha towards their destination.

Iruka led the boy to a training field usually used by the newly appointed genin teams. There was a small tranquil river that flowed past an open stretch of grass with trees dotting here and there. It was a nice quiet field for them to use and it was also far more secluded than the other training fields scattered around Konoha. They didn’t want Naruto’s secret getting out to the village after all.

As the chunin approached the open clearing with Naruto under his arm, the two jounin waiting for them slowly came into view. Kakashi, whom Iruka was surprised to see on time for once, was reading one of his ‘Make out Paradise’ books while Kurenai proceeded to glare at him with cold, beady eyes. As soon as they noticed the other two approaching figures, Kakashi quickly put away his novel and stood up from his position against the nearby tree.

“Good to see you two finally made it.” He offered gently, trying to sound as friendly as possible.

Naruto, however, simply cringed at the sound of the man’s voice and quickly moved behind the protective shield that was Iruka. He knew he would have to train with the masked figure, but he still didn’t like the idea of being so close to someone he didn’t even know.

Once they had closed the distance between them, the three adults shared their greetings with one another while Naruto remained just out of reach.

“Hey Naruto! How are you doing this morning?” Kurenai smiled, walking up to the timid boy.

She quiuckly knelt down in front of the blond and held his hand in her own. She was the only person other than Iruka who he allowed to touch him. Not even his classmates could get near him. He gave her an awkward smile and then lifted his eyes to meet hers.

“I… I’m doing fine thanks, and you?” He responded politely in return, remembering the manners Iruka had taught him. Kurenai simply grinned at the gesture, knowing full well of the source of Naruto’s manners.

“I’m great, because today I get to spend time with my favorite boy.” As soon as she said that, a burst of warm emotions flowed out of Naruto’s hand and into her own, replacing the anxiety she could feel up until now. He let loose a massive grin, she had called him her favorite boy and he could feel her sincerity through his touch.

“Alright, I’m sure Iruka has told you what is happening today, am I correct?” The boy gave out an approving nod. “Good, I’ll be training with you first. What I’m going to be teaching you is some advanced chakra control exercises that normally only get taught to graduating genin so you better be ready for a rough day.” Naruto jumped up and down in excitement.

“Yes! This is going to be so cool! Maybe then I can finally learn some awesome jutsu!” Kurenai had to quickly calm the boy before he got too carried away in his thoughts.

“No Naruto, you won’t be learning any ‘awesome jutsu’ just yet. This is to teach you how to control the flow of you chakra towards different parts of your body for effectively.”

“But if I’m not doing any jutsu, why am I learning it then?” Kurenai stood to her feet and then walked him ever to the nearby tree.

“Naruto, have you ever noticed what happens when you touch someone? You know… like any strange feelings coming from them?” Naruto thought about the question for a while.

“Well, yea I did kinda. Every time I touch someone, it feels weird sometimes, like I can feel what they are feeling almost. I think they can also feel what I’m feeling as well which is why I don’t like touching people. But…. doesn’t that happen to everyone?”

Kurenai’s eyes widened in surprise, much like the other two listening in on their conversation.

“What do you mean Naruto?”

“Well, I’ve never really touched anyone for very long before, so I just thought this must be what happens to everyone else as well.” Kurenai felt sickened inside. The boy had been so isolated up until now that he didn’t even know about the interactions between other people.

“No Naruto. This kind of thing doesn’t happen to other people. You’re the only one I know who has this effect on others and I think it has something to do with your… abilities.”

“You mean my bloodline?” Kurenai nodded her head slowly.

“I see Iruka has explained everything to you already then. That’s good to know.”

“But Kurenai-sama, I still don’t know why you’re teaching me these things.” Kurenai tried to explain as best as she could so that Naruto would understand.

“Alright, when you touch someone you seem to form a chakra link with them. This is how your emotions flow into them. I’m trying to teach you how to control your chakra so that you can hopefully suppress this flow at will. That way, you can protect yourself from everyone else around you that would try to use your emotions to their advantage. Do you understand?” Naruto looked a bit confused, but he nodded anyway.

“Good. Now I’m going to teach you how to draw your chakra into your feet. The feet are the hardest parts in the body to focus your chakra, so if you can do that, anything else should be much easier. We’ll do this by having you use the chakra molded at your feet to tree climb and water walk.” Naruto’s eyes once again fell into a widened sense of excitement.

“You mean… I’ll be able to walk on water?!”

“Yes, but that’s a little but more difficult that tree climbing. First, I want you to try and focus your chakra to your feet and the use it to grip on the surface of this tree. Lets see how high you can walk up the side without falling.” Naruto looked over to the said tree and then back up to Kurenai.

“Um… how… how do you mold chakra properly?” He mumbled sheepishly. There was almost an audible gasp between the present shinobi.

“Well… I kinda now how to do it, but I never really got it right.” Kurenai slapped her forehead in disbelief.

A kid that had hospitalized two people and almost took out a jounin with a single glance didn’t even know how to mold chakra properly. This was going to be a long day.

Iruka and kakashi watched on with keen interest as Naruto went through his training exercises with Kurenai. The copy ninja eventually resigned to reading his usual book while Iruka watched on with a nervous lump in his throat. They had been there for a few hours already and the sun was slowly making its way to the centre of the sky.

Naruto had managed to begin molding chakra after a few basic lessons from Kurenai. Although he was no-where near sufficient at it yet, she decided that the tree climbing exercise would help him get that out of the way far quicker than academy basics. The truth is, he wasn’t actually doing to bad, much to the ruby-eyed jounin’s surprise.

He even managed to run half way up the tree’s length at one point, before falling to the ground. Luckily, she was ready for such mishaps and promptly caught him before he hurt himself. After a few more attempts, Naruto finally collapsed to the soft grass in exhaution, panting heavily from the strain on his burning lungs.

Kurenai walked up to where the boy knelt and sat down beside him.

“Well done Naruto, you’ve done better than I expected on your first day.” The said boy looked up to her with grateful eyes and a massive grin. He never received praise from anyone, so it was music to his ears whenever he heard it.

“Thanks Kurenai-sensei.” Kurenai’s eyes widened.

“Kurenai-sensei?” She inwuired curiously.

“Well yea…. you are teaching me after all aren’t you?” The woman chuckled at that.

“I guess you’re right.” Kurenai felt like she was about to explode. Not only was naruto willing enough to trust her now, but he even considered her his sensei as well.

“All right then, take a fifteen minute breather and then we’ll get back to work. After we’ve done the tree climbing a little bit longer, we’ll move on to the water walking exercise. Naruto grinned again and then nodded in approval.

“He’s doing quite well.”

Iruka turned to look at the masked jounin beside him as he spoke. Kakashi had momentarily closed his book and was now watching Naruto with an intense focus.

“Yea, I guess he is. It’s amazing what a little attention and care can do for a child like Naruto. He just needs love and support, something his caretakers never succeeded in giving him.” Kakashi smiled under his mask, a fact that was made evidant to Iruka by the shape of his eyes.

“I guess once Kurenai’s done, I’ll begin my exercises with the boy. I wonder how Naruto will take to me training him.” Iruka’s face fell into a frown.

“Kakashi-san, please don’t take it personally if Naruto doesn’t trust you immediately. He’s had a hard life so far and I personally can’t blame him for being so cautious around others, especially after Mizuki’s betrayal.” Kakashi nodded his head in understanding.

“Don’t worry, I understand completely.” He offered in response. “I’ll do my best to help him where I can and maybe after some time, he’ll come to trust me as well. Besides, he has two very protective shinobi watching over him in case something goes wrong.

Iruka leaned back into the tree that the two were sitting under. His doubts about allowing Kakashi to train Naruto were quickly falling away. He didn’t know why, but it seemed the masked jounin held a great deal of care for the blond boy. Perhaps there was something more going on than Iruka knew about.

Another hour had passed since Naruto had his short breather and continued training. The four of them had since eaten lunch, Naurto quickly gulping down the food Iruka had packed for him with a massive smile on his face.

The midday sun gently caressed the faces of the four that were held in it’s promising light. Naruto had made more progress than anyone could have ever imagined despite his setbacks. The boy who couldn’t even mold chakra before had already managed to make it half way up the tree on more than one attempt using nothing but his feet to grip it’s surface. Although he was by no means elegant in his form, he did it with a childish enthusiasm that was as fun to watch as it was for him to do.

Once they had finished their meals, Kurenai led the boy over to the nearby river with Kakashi and Iruka following closely behind them. The copy ninja kept a bit more of a distance, knowing Naruto would be uncomfortable if he stepped to near.

“Alright, I think we’ve had enough tree climbing for today, so lets try a little water walking.” Naruto’s eyes answered Kurenai with a look of excitement. After all, it’s not every day a ten-year-old kid got the chance to walk on water. Before they began,, however, Kurenai offered to explain the details of water walking.

“Now look Naruto, water walking is a bit different from tree climbing and quite a lot more difficult as well. The one you’ve been doing so far requires you to focus your chakra flow to your feet in a constant flow in order to grip onto the surface you desire. It doesn’t require near as much control as water walking though, because the amount of chakra you use is consistent.” Naruto tried to follow as closely as possible, although it did still confuse him slightly.

“However, when you’re walking on water, you have to release a precise amount of chakra based on your mass in order to keep yourself from sinking. The amount released is directly proportional to the weight and pressure applied. If you release too little chakra, you’ll obviously sink, release too much and the water bellow your feet will be disrupted and you’ll lose your balance. Get it?”

Naruto nodded in understanding and then made his way over to the water. Suddenly, standing in front of the moving stream filled the boy with a sense of dread. He took a deep gulp and the walked over towards the water’s surface. Iruka immediately recognized the boy’s body language as a sign of trouble and began to grow nervous.

“Oh Kami, don’t tell me he…” Before Iruka could act, Naruto stepped out onto the river and promptly sank beneath its surface with a splash.

Kurenai let out a small chuckle, he was a little bit hasty in his approach, but most kids his age were. She was going to warn him to take off his clothes first, but she never had the chance. Her humor soon disappeared though when the boy didn’t resurface, prompting Iruka to quickly jump into the river after him.

“Naruto!!!”

The other two jounin quickly rushed up to the water’s edge and looked on anxiety, waiting for something to happen. An eternity seemed to pass before Iruka finally emerged with a shaken Naruto on his back, swimming to the embankment as the boy coughed some water out of his mouth.

Kakashi and Kurenai quickly rushed up to their side as the scarred chunin placed Naruto on the ground and rubbed his soaking back and patting it every now and again to remove the last vestiges of water in his lungs.

“T… that was close, too close for comfort.” Naruto was a bit shaken about the experience, but he eventually managed to recover to his feet.

The other three remained silent for a while until Iruka finally spoke.

“Perhaps we should hold off on the water walking for now. It seems Naruto here doesn’t know how to swim either. It’s too dangerous to continue.” Kurenai’s face fell into a heavy frown.

The more time she spent with Naruto, the more shortcomings she noticed in the boy’s life. He had endured so much neglect and only now were the consequences starting to show. Now, when Naruto was trying so hard to turn his life around for the better.

Kakashi himself couldn’t help but cringe at the thought of it. Kurenai had explained the sittuation to him, but he never imagined it was this severe. Kurenai was about to respond to Iruka when Naruto interrupted.

“No… I don’t want to stop.” The three adults looked over to the sopping boy with surprised eyes.

“I have to do this. I have to learn and become a better shinobi, otherwise I’m never going to be able to get people to acknowledge me.” Iruka closed his eyes in thought following the boy’s words.

He knew there were very few things Naruto wanted in life and one of them was a family and home. The other was to become a shinobi and prove his worth to the world around him. If anything, the boy definitely deserved any help they could give him.

“Alright.” The chunin finally replied with a grin on his face. “We’ll stay and watch you the whole time in case anything happens, but I think you should take your clothes off before you ruin them.” The boy shot into a grin again.

“Yes Iruka-sensei!”

Naruto removed his soaked T-shirt and sandals and stripped down to his shorts. He then walked up to the waters edge once more, this time with Iruka standing nearby at his side, and tried again.

After a few more minutes, and a few more rescues on Iruka’s part, Naruto was finally starting to get the hang of feeling the waters surface. Kurenai helped him the entire time, giving him tips on how to feel his chakra on the tips of his feet moving between him and the water’s surface.

The boy could manage one or two steps forward before falling again and the woman was starting to pick up a pattern in his mistakes. After Iruka pulled the boy onto shore once more, she walked over to the two and prompted for a short break. After about five minutes, she led him over to the river herself and stepped out on the water in front of him.

“Naruto, I want you to hold onto my hands and follow what I do alright.” Naruto nodded his head and then took Kurenai’s hands. He slowly stepped back onto the river and then stood in place.

“Now, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, standing still is actually quite easy isn’t it?”

“Yea it is, but why is it so hard when I try to walk?” Kurenai smiled down at the boy. At least he could see that something was wrong.

“When you begin walking, all of your mass shifts to one leg at a time, which is why you seem to be struggling. What you need to do is compensate for the added weight and pressure by increasing the amount of chakra flow to the foot that is still touching the water and then evening it out when the other lands again. Then you just swap it to the other foot and visa versa.”

“Oh… now I see! So that’s why I keep falling over when I take a step.”

“Yes that’s right. Now, the timing is a little bit tricky to get used to, but that’s why I’m here to help you. I want you to follow my movements whenever I take a step backwards. When my left foot moves, your right foot will follow and when my right foot moves… well you get the point. We’ll do this slowly at first so you can get used to the timing and then we’ll speed up as we go.”

The other two watched on with bated breaths as Kurenai’s new exercise began. At first, Naruto stumbled a bit, but Kurenai’s hold on his hands quickly helped her correct him before he fell in the water. Naruto didn’t seem very confident either, because his eyes never once left his feet.

The boy simply continued to carefully watched as he took each step, trying to compensate for the weight when one of his feet left the water. Kurenai could fell the mixture of emotions running of his touch. There was a bit of nervousness and fear, but there was also unyielding determination as well. The boy wouldn’t give up until he got it right, no matter how long it took.

Eventually after walking for a few more minutes, Naruto’s confidence in himself began to grow.

“Kurenai-sensei, how am I doing?” He whispered softly, looking up so his eyes met hers. She quickly responded with a bright smile and a promising glimmer in her eyes.

“Why don’t you look around and see for yourself?”

Naruto was a bit confused by her question but when he took a look around, he couldn’t help but gasp surprise. They were all the way into the middle of the river, far from the land on either side. The surprised boy looked back to the shore they had walked from to see Iruka waving over in their direction.

“Hey kiddo! Looks like you’re getting the hang of it!”

Naruto grinned and waved back at his sensei before turning to face Kurenai once more. The smile that flashed from his face was as bright as the midday sun.

“I’m doing it Kurenai-sensei! I’m really walking on water!” Kurenai could feel the raw emotions that came from Naruto.

She felt so much happiness coming from him and a great deal of pride as well. Pride… had Naruto ever been proud of himself before? It didn’t matter right now though because the boy was practically bursting at the seams with it.

When she locked into the boy’s gaze, the same golden eyes she had seen before began to shine back at her. This time, she allowed herself to be captured by their endless beauty, that supernatural gaze that was staring back at her. It really was something else.

“Come kid, lets see how much further we can go.” Naruto responded with a massive grin and the two carried on with their training.

Iruka watched on with a giant smile of his own. His heart skipped a beat every time he heard Naruto giggle playfully as the two walked in each other’s hands over the running stream. It was like a game to the boy, like a child basking in the wonder of the world around him.

“You should be proud of him. After everything he’s been through, he still somehow finds the strength to face his fears and persevere.” Iruka looked over to Kakashi, who had long since abandoned his book in interest of the scene they were witnessing.

“I… I am proud of him and I’m sure his parents would be too.” Kakashi nodded, he could tell Iruka meant every word of what he said. The chunin had never been so proud of someone in his entire life. The way Naruto faced his fears of drowning and stepped back onto the river with a determined heart was enough to bring the chunin all the happiness in the world.

After a couple of more minutes had passed, Kurenai and Naruto eventually made there way slowly back to the embankment, although it was in fact quite a bit faster than it took them to get out in the first place. After they finally touched solid ground again, Naruto let go of Kurenai’s hands and ran up to his sensei, before throwing his arms around the scarred man who was already kneeling to greet him.

“Did you see that Iruka-sensei. I was really doing it! I was really walking on water!” Iruka could feel the excitement and happiness flowing from the boy’s touch.

“You did great Naruto, you did wonderfully.” Iruka grinned in reply. “I’m so proud of you.”

Naruto felt his heart skip a beat again. To hear those words coming from the one person that meant the world to him was a wonderful thing to hear. “Now, I think you better put your clothes back on. It’s getting quite late and we wouldn’t want you catching a cold now would we.” Naruto quickly rushed off to collect his now dry shirt and sandals. He quickly slipped them on and then made his way back to his sensei.

Iruka ruffed up the blond’s hair in approval and then walked to the side with his other two companions to discuss the day’s results.

“So, it seems as though he’s getting the hang of it” Kakashi murmured, waiting for Kurenai’s own analysis.

“Yes he is, but we’ve still got a long way to go before he’s able to water walk without assistance. The tree climbing still needs work as well, but least he’s making good progress.” Kurenai then turned to Iruka, who was still glowing in the pride of Naruto’s achievements.

“So tonight you’re going to go through reading lessons with Naruto am I correct?” Iruka nodded.

“Yes, but first I’m going to take him out to Ichiraku’s for some ramen to celebrate his success today. What about you Kakashi, when are we going to start Naruto’s doujutsu training?” Kurenai sighed in despondence.

“I was hoping we could start that today, but it took a lot longer to get into the chakra control training then I thought. Even if we all help him, I’m not sure if he’ll be able to learn quickly enough to catch up to the rest of his class, especially considering how much missing ground he has to cover. After all, only one of us can teach him at a time.” Kakashi placed his hand on his chin in thought.

“I… may have a solution to that problem, although it’s not exactly an ethical one.” The other two looked at him with curiosity engraved on their faces. “But first I’ll have to work with him and see if it’s even possible. We’ll start Naruto’s doujutsu training tomorrow morning. I’ll explain what I have planned then.”

The other two approved Kakashi’s plan and then bid farewell to the disappearing jounin. Kurenai and Iruka then walked back over to Naruto who smiled at their approach.

“Hey you two! So are we gonna do some jutsu training soon. I bet I could create a fireball the size of your house Iruka-sensei!” Iruka giggled at the boy’s excited words and then placed his hand on the Naruto’s shoulder.

“You mean our house don’t you?’ The boy grinned in return.

“Yea!”

After bidding a final farewell to Kurenai, the two of them made their way over to Naruto’s favorite ramen stand. By now, the boy had become Ichiraku’s number one customer and he was always welcome in their doors. Iruka would begin their reading lesson that night in order for Naruto to catch up on one of the many skills he was neglected as a child. They could do some swimming lessons later.

Iruka inwardly giggled at his own thoughts of Naruto learning to walk on water before he could even swim. It was like learning to run before you could even crawl. He also couldn’t get the thoughts of his eventual revenge out of his mind. Oh how Anko would enjoy her visit to the orphanage, he would need to arrange their meeting very soon.

“I wonder if Kurenai’s also having these thoughts as well?” The man thought to himself, chuckling as he walked.

It wouldn’t surprise him if she was.

Naruto’s training has begun and Kakashi hatches a new plan for the boy’s progress.

I have to admit that this chapter was difficult for me, so I hope it turned out alright. Well, I hope you enjoyed that chapter! 🙂

~ by Tenrai Senshi on August 4, 2009.

4 Responses to “Eyes of the Broken Soul –Chapter 5 – A New Leaf”

  1. first! XD

    omg, it took me a long time to finish reading this. >.< well, its awesome as always, ten! 😉 woo-hoo! btw, kurenai is mine! <33

  2. lol. I like it long. ^ ^

  3. Ok Just got done reading chapter 5. ANd it was awesomeness. I also like the fact kakashi was in it. I havent been able to read often so i have to get to chapter 6 and seven another time. Still i have to say good job tenrai. Your fanfics i enjoy and they really help me to widen my vocabulary.

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