Eyes of the Broken Soul : Chapter 6 – Seeing Eye to Eye

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.

AN: Naruto’s doujutsu training begins, but there is a lot more to the boy’s abilities than meets the eye. Will Kakashi be able to work with him, or is trust simply a shattered emotion hiding in the depths of Naruto’s soul?

Hope you enjoy the next chapter.

Chapter 6 – Seeing Eye to Eye

The warm rays of the early morning sunlight pierced into the window of a sleeping chunin, causing the scarred man to shuffle under its bright gaze. Iruka slowly stretched in his bed and sat up with a deep yawn, stretching out the last vestiges of fatigue in his tired muscles.

The man was already used to getting up at the rising of the sun, as most shinobi were, unlike a certain young boy he knew, but lately Naruto had been waking up earlier than him, mostly because of the nightmares that had been haunting him for the past two nights. Iruka wondered if today would be the same.

They had both been up later than usual as he tried to teach Naruto to read and write properly for the first time and it was a lot more difficult than the chunin originally suspected. Unlike the other training exercises, where Naruto could learn from example, this wasn’t something that could be pushed forward with enthusiasm alone.

There were no short cuts to success when it came to such delicate skills as reading and learning a written language. It was also hard to keep a young boy interested in something that seemed so boring compared to water walking or jutsu training.

The young man sighed at the thought of it and then looked over to the counter beside him, eyeing out the picture of him and his parents that sat peacefully on its surface. It was one of the last reminders of the life he once had before, a life that was suddenly snatched from him in a single night.

Iruka grabbed the portrait and held it close to his gaze. They were so happy before, always laughing and smiling in each other’s company. Both his mother and father had smiles on their faces, so did he. Tears began to form in the chunin’s eyes as the memories of his past life flowed into his mind, but he did his best to hold them in check, lest Naruto discovered his hidden pains.

It was often hard being around the young boy that he had given a home, mostly because the youngster was a constant reminder of the very reason for his parents death. He never blamed Naruto for the Kyuubi’s attack and knew the boy was innocent of the crimes of the beast he contained inside of him, but it was still difficult for him to bear at times.

However, even despite those moments of weakness and pain, Iruka would never abandon Naruto because of that. The mere thought of doing such a thing was appalling for the chunin to even think of. He knew what it was like to be alone and unwanted, and he also knew that the hellish nightmare Naruto had to live through was far worse than his own. Iruka knew the youngster needed him more than anything if he ever wanted to know happiness and he would be damned if he let Naruto down.

“I guess it’s time to check on the little twerp.” He sighed, placing the photo back on its mantle.

They had to be at the training grounds early if they wanted to make decent progress today, besides, Naruto would first need some time to get used to being around Kakashi. He only hoped the boy would be able to work with another stranger.

After giving himself a few more moments with his thoughts, Iruka slowly got up from the bed and neatened it as best he could, before walking out of his room and down the hallway to where Naruto slept. He slowly inched the boy’s door open and peered inside, only to find Naruto still sleeping under the protection of his blankets.

“Well, that’s a good sign.” He smiled inwardly. “I guess he didn’t have any nightmares last night.”

Iruka walked over to the innocent bundle lying on the bed and sat next to it’s side. He quickly pulled the blanket off over Naruto’s hidden face, gaining another disapproving grunt from the boy.

“Morning sunshine! Time to get up!” Naruto just cringed in the light and pulled his pillow over his head, hiding it once again from the piercing rays of the sun. Iruka gave out a sigh and chuckled at the boy’s strange antics as well as his cute facial expression.

“Oh, come on Naruto, don’t you want to train and get stronger?” The boy’s response was a barely recognizable muffle as he spoke through the pillow.

“Iruka-sensei, it’s Sunday. Can’t I just sleep in a little for once?” Iruka playfully pulled the pillow off Naruto’s head, only to reveal a scowling face as the boy pouted in disapproval.

“You know, that look really suits you. You’re so cute when you’re angry.” Naruto’s scowl only deepened further, his arms now folded in complete rebellion.

“Alright, alright.” Iruka laughed in response. “I tell you what, if you get ready quickly I might treat us to ramen for lunch.”

Naruto’s pout immediately disappeared and before anyone could say Ichiraku’s, the boy was already out the door heading for the bathroom. Iruka fought hard to contain his laughter in light of the youngster’s actions. It didn’t take much to get Naruto going, only the mention of his favorite food was needed.

After their usual morning ritual of dressing and eating breakfast, Naruto and Iruka soon found themselves walking into the same training field that they had been in the previous day. Standing alone in the middle of the field, much to Naruto’s quiet relief, was a lone Kurenai. Her face immediately brightened up when she caught sight of the two approaching figures and ran up to greet them.

“Morning guys!” She announced cheerfully.

“Morning Kurenai!”

“Morning Kurenai-sensei!”

Iruka looked down in confusion as Naruto called out his greeting. ‘Did he just call her Kurenai-sensei?’ However, the man quickly shrugged off his thoughts on the matter when he realized someone was missing.

“So, where’s Kakashi?” He asked curiously, searching around for the absent jounin. Kurenai simply pouted in annoyance.

“I’ve been waiting for him for a while now. I wanted to go through a few things with him before you two got here, but it seems old habits die hard after all.”

Iruka gave out an annoyed sigh citing the woman’s explanation, while Naruto inwardly yelped with a sudden sense of relief. Although he understood the importance of his training, he was still unnerved by the masked jounin.

“So, does that mean we can carry on with the water walking excises Kurenai-sensei?” the boy inquired hopefully.

Kurenai  looked down at the smiling boy and replied with a grin of her own, although it felt rather empty. She was glad to see him excited about training with her, but she knew he would have to learn to work with Kakashi if he wanted to progress with his abilities.

“I’m sorry Naruto, but today we’re going to work on your doujutsu a bit. We will just have to wait until Kakashi arrives.”

Kurenai’s heart sank as she watched the boy fall into a frown, but it wasn’t just a disappointed frown. She could see the genuine fear in his eyes, the same fear she saw in him when he first met her. “Damn it Kakashi, where are you?!” Kurenai thought to herself.

If that masked ‘freak’ took much longer, she was sure she would kill him. It would probably make Naruto feel better as well.

‘No, no it wouldn’t!’ Kurenai mentally slapped herself from her silly thoughts.

The last thing the timid blond needed to see was her losing her cool in front of him. It had taken a lot to gain the boy’s trust and she didn’t want to throw it away by intimidating him.

Suddenly, as if to rescue the woman from her quickly deteriorating thoughts, Kakashi puffed into view with a burst of white smoke, almost giving the three a heart attack as he appeared before them. Naruto almost verbally yelped before jumping behind the protection of his sensei.

“Good morning everyone!” Kakashi was only answered with a light wave from Iruka and a cold hard glare from Kurenai. Naruto, however, was surprisingly absent from from his view, citing his untimely and rather sudden arrival.

“Damn it Kakashi Hatake! What took you so long!?”

Kakashi winced in fear when she said called out his name with what could be considered a aver ‘dangerous’ undertone. You knew you were in trouble with a woman when they called out your full name like that. Kurenai herself was about to smash her fist into the jounin’s face, but quickly brought her frustrations under control. The masked jounin who had gained her hidden wrath could only offer to calm her down with whatever means possible.

“You see, I saw an old lady…”

“Oh not another one of your lame excuses again.” Kurenai cut him off. “Lets just get on with this. The sooner we start, the better for us all.”

Kakashi sighed in disappointment, he had thought of such a good excuse as well. The masked jounin then recomposed himself and searched around for the boy he was going to train.

“Where is that kid?” He mumbled to himself, wondering if Naruto had even come at all. It was at that moment that he then caught sight of the two small quivering legs that hid behind Iruka, causing him to frown in dismay.

‘Oh boy, this is going to be a long day, isn’t it? Perhaps I should make my entrances a little more subtle in future.’

Iruka also felt Naruto’s hands holding tightly onto his vest from behind, with him trying to hide away from Kakashi’s prying eye. He gave out a deep sigh that seemed to match the expression of the masked jounin across from him, and then stepped aside for the boy to face his new ‘teacher’. Naruto, however, simply motioned to follow the man’s movements like a stubborn shadow, but a firm hand halted him in his tracks before the action could continue.

The chunin then knelt down beside the boy and whispered into his ear.

“Naruto, remember what we talked about. This man is here to help you so that you don’t accidently activate your powers. I need you to try and see if you can work with him, but you don’t have to touch him if you don’t want to, alright?”

Naruto just took a deep breath and then slowly nodded.

“Good, now say hello to Kakashi.” The boy then looked up at the masked jounin, taking a deep gulp in prepareation as he did so. He was somewhat intimidated by the man’s tall figure and his outlandish appearance, but he somehow found the courage to speak up.

“G… good morning K… Kakashi-sama.” Naruto’s voice was a trembling whisper as he greeted the wide-eyed jounin but Kakashi managed to smile under his mask nonetheless, although his stomach grew sick with the realization of how scared Naruto really was.

“Good morning Naruto-kun.” He replied gently, his usually lazy undertone replaced by an unusual calmness that surprised everyone else present.

“As I’m sure you know by now, my name is Kakashi Hatake and I’ll be training you to use your doujutsu.” Kakashi tried to sound as cheerful as possible in order to ease the tension, but Naruto’s expression didn’t change.

The boy simply held desperately onto his sensei’s hand, unwilling to let go in the presence of this other jounin. Iruka himself was now growing upset in light of such a reaction. He was tired of feeling the same fear coming from the boy’s touch all the time. He just wanted to take it all away, to remove the doubt in Naruto’s heart and free him from his fear driven isolation.

The chunin silently cursed the ones that did this to him, the ones that placed so much distrust in the heart of such a young child. Kakashi began to notice the growing animosity filtering through the wind and quickly moved ahead with his plan.

“Alright, if you two don’t mind, I’d like to have a word with Naruto alone.” The said boy almost visibly jumped at the suggestion, before turning to his sensei with pleading eyes that begged him not to comply. Unfortunately, Iruka had no choice but to approve. Naruto had to be able to work with Kakashi one-on-one and they couldn’t interfere.

“Alright Kakashi, well be right here if you need us.” Kakashi then motioned with his head towards the embankment, prompting Naruto to head to the waters edge. After a reassuring squeeze of the boy’s hand from Iruka and a warm smile from Kurenai, the youngster eventually complied and headed off. The masked jounin then turned to the other two and spoke once more.

“Don’t worry, I know what I’m doing. I just need to talk with him and open him up a bit.” With that, Kakashi turned and walked after him, heading to where Naruto now sat at the waters edge.

The young boy simply offere to slowly run ran his hands through the soft long grass as he waited in a nervous silence, trying to ease away the built up tension that he felt inside. It was very strange, but for some unknown reason it seemed to help him relieve the emotions he had been holding.

Perhaps the grass itself absorbed some of his feelings as well. The boy’s wandering thoughts, however, were quickly shattered as Kakashi quietly sat down next to him, staring out onto the shimmering river that stretched out before their gaze. He made sure he was far enough from the boy so as to not startle him, but not too far. The jounin sat just out of arms reach.

“It’s beautiful isn’t it?” He offered softly. “The way the morning sunlight reflects off the waters surface. It’s relaxing to watch, but most people never find the time to notice it anymore.”

Naruto just remained quiet despite the words offered to him. It was indeed beautiful to see the rays of light dancing of the wavering ripples of the river, reflecting back into his endless blue eyes, but he was too nervous to really enjoy it as much as he would have liked. Kakashi noticed the boy’s unchanging expression following his futile attempt to break the ice and and he quickly realized that he would have to try harder to gain Naruto’s interest, let alone his trust.

“Naruto, I know you don’t trust me at all and I can understand why, but I don’t expect you to grow close to me like you have with Kurenai and Iruka. I just want to help you as best as I can, I ask for nothing more than your cooperation.” Naruto turned to face the speaking jounin with heavy eyes.

“But… how do I know you wont try to hurt me?” Kakashi’s answer was swift.

“The fact is you don’t know.” He said bluntly.

“I could be just like Mizuki and I could turn on you just as quickly as well, so you’re right to be cautious around me. However, what we both do know is that there are two, people who would do anything to protect you, standing right over there behind us. If I tried to do anything to hurt you, I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t just stand by and watch. I wouldn’t really stand a chance against both of them.”

Naruto felt a bit more relieved when he heard those words. He knew Iruka and Kurenai would protect him if something went wrong, he could feel it.

“Alright… I’ll try, but…”

“I know, I know…” Kakashi cut him off. “I wont try to touch you at all. Besides, for our training, physical contact wont be necessary.” The man then turned to Naruto and smiled under his mask. He was making progress, even though it was very slow.

The boy’s eyes even began to fill with a bit more promise as their gaze reflected with a brief flicker of hope, but even still, they were still little more than empty shells. After a few more moments of silence, the masked jounin stood to his feet and motioned for Naruto to follow, which the boy did with a little bit less reluctance this time.

The two then made there way to the centre of the field under the careful watch of Naruto’s other two senseis. After coming to a standstill on the grass, the jounin turned to face his new pupil.

“Alright, I’m going to show you something now, so pay careful attention.” Naruto nodded and watched as Kakashi removed the forehead protector that covered his left eye. The boy’s eyes widened in surprise as the Sharingan was revealed underneath its protective shield.

“Wow…. that looks so awesome!” Naruto’s face suddenly shifted from a look of fear and nervousness to an expression of awe and excitement, but his voice still trembled with the slight hint of nervousnes.

“Is… is that the Sharingan?” Kakashi nodded his head.

“It does look pretty awesome, but I heard your eyes look very cool as well when you activate your doujutsu.” Naruto’s face semmed to lighten up at the compliment, however it quickly tightened in thought soon afterwards.

“But…” He mumbled curiously. “… how are you gonna teach me to use my abilities if you don’t even know how it works?”

“Well, I may not know how your abilities work, but I do know how doujutsu’s work in general. All you have to do is look for the same things you saw when you first activated it.” Naruto scratched his head in confusion at that.

“Um… what do you mean by that? When Kurenai-sensei was helping me, she made me try to feel the same emotions that I felt when I activated it before.”

“It is true that bloodlines are often activated in times of emotional distress…” Kakashi confirmed, nodding his head in thought. “… so Kurenai’s idea wasn’t entirely innacurate. However, normally once a person has activated a bloodlimit for the first time, they should be able to do it willingly from then onwards. All they have to do is search for the same results they felt the first time they did it.”

“But I still don’t know what I’m supposed to be looking for.” Naruto wined. The jounin across from him simply sighed in despondence. He would have to simplify it even more for the boy to understand.

“Alright, in the case of a doujutsu, when someone is using them it normally gives them an enhanced vision of some sort. Like how the Byuakugan allows the Hyuuga to see a person’s chakra flow. All you have to do is try to remember what you saw when you activated your bloodline and look for the same thing again. Do you see what I am trying to say?”

Naruto then nodded his head in understanding, it was finally beginning to make sense.

“Good, now what did you see when you looked through your doujutsu?” Kakashi watched on as the boy thought long and hard about the question. His facial expression contorted into a look of confusion as he tried to remember what happened.

“It’s… it’s all really strange. I can’t really remember all that well, but I do know that when I looked at everything… I don’t know it just seemed like everything was clear to me.”

“Clear… how?” Kakashi inquired curiously, his intrigue now becoming more apparent in his otherwise nonchalant expression.

“Like… like I could understand everything. When I looked at my warden, it was like I could see inside him, all of the emotions he was feeling. I could see who he really was deep inside and some of it was really scary.” Naruto’s voice then dropped to a near whisper.

“Some… some of it was really sad as well…”

The jounin listening was somewhat disturbed by what Naruto was describing. To see a persons emotions was one thing, but to see a persons very being was another completely. The masked shinobi had an idea of what Naruto was really witnessing but he had to make sure before he jumped to conclusions.

“Alright then, now I want you to take all of what you just described and try to find it again. Look around and try to look for the same things you saw before.” Naruto complied and did as Kakashi requested. He slowly scanned the surrounding area, trying to rediscover the same images he had seen in his memories. Kakashi watched on with a keen interest, waiting to see if his plan would work.

About an hour had passed since Naruto began his training exercise and the boy was now beginning to grow rather frustrated. He still wasn’t able to activate his doujutsu yet, much to Kakashi’s growing dismay and his own wavering doubt. Kurenai and Iruka continued to watch the two from under a nearby tree, waiting in silent anticipation as Naruto reattempted his exercise once more.

After a few more minutes of trying, the boy collapsed to his knees in defeat.

“I… I’m never gonna get it.” He mumbled sourly to himself.

The boy couldn’t help it as his chest tightened in agony, citing his frustration at having made no progress at all. All the feelings of worthlessness and grief began that he had felt only days before, no began to flow precariously back into his heart. The sounds of the cruel and degrading taunts of his wardens rung clearly in his ear as the memories of his failures flashed through his mind.

“They’re right about me, I… I’m just useless a useless pile of trash after all, I can never do anything right.” Iruka was about to move over to the boy, but Kurenai’s hand quickly halted his advance.

“Don’t. Naruto has to deal with this himself. Only Kakashi can help him with this training now.”

The scarred chunin was surprised at first by the intervention, but even still he reluctantly sat down again, watching with a heavy heart as Naruto continued to crumble on the grass. Kakashi slowly made his way over to the boy and knelt down in front of him.

“Naruto, are you alright?” Naruto didn’t respond, his eyes just remained locked onto the ground beneath him as the evidence of his emotions began to fall from his cheeks.

“Naruto… look at me please.” The jounin tried again. Naruto took another deep breath following the jounin’s request and then slowly lifted his gaze once more, revealing his saddened expression once more as well as his reddining eyes which held the pain of his heart. However, Kakashi could only stare in surprise at the sight that caught his stare, something that Naruto noticed with a great deal of unease as the jounin’s visible eye widened.

“What… what’s wrong?” The boy mumbled nervously. However, Kakashi did not respond, he was simply too caught up in the astonishing gaze that met his own. There, staring back at the masked jounin, were the same golden eyes that Kurenai had described before.

“Naruto… what do you see right now?” Naruto was confused by the sudden and rather abrupt question but he quickly realized that things did, in fact, look different to his eyes.

“I… wait does this mean?…” Kakashi quickly nodded his head.

“Try not to lose it now.” He ordered firmly. “Just keep focusing on whatever it is you see.” Naruto did as the jounin said and started to look everywhere around him. His eyes widened in surprise as he took in his greatly enhanced surroundings, gasping for what little air his lungs could hold.

“Well, what is it? What can you see?”

“It’s all so… different.” The boy mumbled softly in reply, somewhat in awe. “It’s like everything is more alive, like I can see their energy flowing inside of them. Even the grass and trees are glowing inside.”

Naruto then turned his head to look around him, his mouth gaping open in complete amazement. It was like the whole world suddenly looked more vibrant and colourful, like a painted canvas drawn from the imaginings of someone’s dreams.

The boy looked around for a bit longer before slowly turneing his eyes over to Kakashi again and looked carefully at the man. The jounin’s gaze locked into Naruto’s own golden eyes, seemingly lost in their endless beauty an he could easily see his own reflection shining back at him. It was everything Kurenai had described and much more.

The jounin’s face, however, fell into a frown as Naruto’s eyes began to widen and the boy began to quiver violently.

“Kakashi-sama?…. Nghh!!!!!” Naruto suddenly winced in anguish as the boy’s eyes locked with Kakashi’s own, causing the jounin to grow concerned as he began to keel over his knees as if afflicted with some unknown pain.

“Naruto! What’s wrong?” He yelped, as the boy collapsed to the floor with an resounding cry.

“Aaaahhhh!!!!!!” Naruto began holding his head his hands and screamed out in anguish. The masked man watching quickly ran up to his side as he cried out on the soft grass, his tears beginning to flow down his whiskered cheeks.

“Make it stop! Please make it stop!!! I don’t want to see anymore!!!” Kurenai and Iruka quickly rushed up to where the boy lay in the moments that followed and soon all three were hovering over his squirming body.

“Naruto!?”

Iruka quickly turned Naruto over onto his back and sat his head into his chest allowing him to lie in his lap. He gently swayed back and fourth with Naruto in his arms while the boy continued to murmur some incoherent words through his sobs. After a few moments of panic and a few reassuring words from Iruka, his breathing began to lessen and his shaking subsided. Iruka could feel a massive amount of dread and panic flowing from the boy’s touch, more so then he had ever felt before then.

“Naruto… what happened to you?” Naruto slowly looked up to see his sensei staring back down at him, his gaze still filled with a hidden dread of the pain they had just witnessed.

“I… I saw someone dying Iruka-sensei.” He choked out. “It… it was a boy like me, only he… he…”

“He had black hair?…” Kakashi finished the boy’s words words. The others looked at the masked jounin as he cringed in obvious discomfort.

“Alright, I think that’s enough training for now.” He finally continued, somewhat solemnly. “Kurenai, Iruka, I need to talk to you two right away.”

Kakashi then picked himself up off the floor and walked away from the still shaken Naruto, with Kurenai followed soon afterwards. Iruka gently removed the quivering boy from his arms and lay him down on the grass.

“I’ll be back right in a minute alright? Just wait here for me.” Naruto gave a heavy nod and then watched as Iruka walked over to the other two. The three then moved out of ear’s range once again.

“What… what was that? What happened?” Kurenai whispered, now growing increasingly panicked about what she had just witnessed. Kakashi simply turned to face the other two adults, his face clearly ridden with the unmistakable evidence of pain and sadness.

“Naruto managed to activate his doujutsu.” He breathed heavily.

“He saw something that he wasn’t supposed to when he looked into my eyes… an old wound of mine that has never really healed. I… I think we should take a break for a while, Naruto will need it after what he’s been through. Whatever vision Naruto gained from this doujutsu, it was obviously still too dangerous for the boy to handle. We’re going to have to teach him to control it as soon as possible to avoid any further incidents like this.”

The three of them looked back at the said boy as he quietly sat on the grass. The tears were still flowing from his eyes, soaking the white shirt that clung to his chest as his knees hugged up against his body. Iruka’s heart began to tear apart inside his chest. Every time they tried to help Naruto, they only ever succeeded in opening up more scars to torment the boy.

Whatever this doujutsu was, it was a complete enigma. They had to train even more with it if they ever wanted to figure out its mysteries. The scarred chunin decided it was best to hit the ramen store now. Once the boy had calmed down, they would be able to talk to him about what had happened and maybe discover what it was that he really saw.

“I think we should go get lunch now. We can carry on training afterwards.” Both Kurenai and Kakashi agreed with Iruka’s plan.

The chunin then ran off from the two of them and over to a nearby Naruto. The others watched as he knelt down beside the boy and held him in his arms. It was sad to watch Naruto still crying on the man’s shoulder, relieving the pain and grief he felt inside. For a boy like him to witness a persons death, even if it was only a memory, was too much for such a young mind to handle. Kakashi felt a knot form in his stomach as he looked at the blond boy.

‘Obito… was it you he saw in my eyes? Will my past nightmares ever remain buried?’

Both jounin made their way over to where Iruka and Naruto sat. The man was still trying to subdue the boy’s distraught tears, although the blond was starting to calm down somewhat. The chunin looked up to his two companions and then back down to the kid in his arms.

“So Naruto, wanna go get some ramen now? I did promise you some this morning.” Naruto took a deep, shaky breath and then nodded quietly in Iruka’s arms while trying to force a teary smile.

“Alright then, lets get going kiddo.”

With that, the chunin helped Naruto off the grass and led him away from the training field. Kurenai and Kakashi were following closely behind, watching as the boy leaned his head on Iruka’s side. The man put his arm around Naruto’s shoulder and pulled him closer.

They still had a long day ahead of them. It wasn’t nearly over yet.

The shuffling of busy feet and hard working hands sounded briskly throughout the stalls and shops that littered Konoha’s streets as four quite souls walked down it’s dusty paths, silhouetted in the increasingly heated midday sun. Kurenai and Kakashi watched carefully from behind as Iruka held Naruto closely under his arm. The chunin slowly stroked the boy’s back, still trying to ease the pain and fear he felt inside the blond’s agonized heart.

“Is it… always like this between them?” Kurenai looked over to the masked jounin as he quietly murmured his questioning thoughts. She could see the pain still evident his expression and she knew it definitely had something to do with what happened a few minutes earlier.

“Yea, I guess it is.” She responded, just as softly.

“Naruto has lived a difficult life so far, from what I can tell, and has only recently found someone to love him and protect him. He hardly ever travels far from Iruka’s side so far as I have seen and is almost always in his arms if the opportunity allows it. I guess being alone and isolated for so long, with no-one to love and comfort him, has made the boy terrified of losing contact with the only one who ever tried to help him out of that nightmare.”

Kakashi didn’t even try to hide his anguished sigh. Hearing Kurenai say those things made him feel a sickening knot form in his stomach. The way Naruto clung so desperately to Iruka’s side was almost heart breaking to watch, but the jounin was beginning to understand why he acted that way. No doubt Naruto was feeding off his sensei’s comforting emotions, trying to recover from the ordeal the boy had just been through, an ordeal Kakashi himself had never really gotten over in all these years.

Just then, as if to rescue the jounin from his deteriorating thoughts, the ramen stand they were headed towards suddenly came into view. The old man Teuchi burst into a massive grin as he saw the approach of his favorite customer, but his smile soon soured when he saw the distressed look on Naruto’s tear-drenched face.

“Ah, it’s good to see my favorite customer back here again!” The old man grinned as they walked into his stall, trying to sound as cheerful as possible. Naruto managed a brief smile at that, much to Teuchi’s relief, but his face still marked heavily with the evidence of his pain.

“And… I see you’ve brought a new friend as well.” Kakashi just waved as he and Kurenai followed into the store.

Kurenai had already been there once with Naruto and Iruka so she needed no introduction. The old man forced a smile as the four sat down and then asked for their orders. By now, Naruto was able to make out the words on the menu and he quickly ordered his meal in a polite manner.

A few minutes later saw Naruto almost returning to his normal self as he happily gulped down one bowel of steaming ramen after another, much to the surprise of the masked jounin that sat nearby. Although Kurenai and Iruka were now used to the boys veracious appetite, the copy ninja was becoming deeply concerned by this clear defiance of the laws of nature, gravity, displacement, energy and overall general physics.

‘Just where the hell does all that food go to?’ Kakashi mused silently to himself, looking over the short and somewhat scrawny figure that was Naruto.

He had seen the boy’s somewhat frail physique the previous day during the water walking exercise and it looked as though Naruto hadn’t been fed a decent meal in years, or ever for that matter, but here he was loading more ramen into his small frame than an Akamichi could possibly hope to match.

Almost equally surprising, and much to the disbelief of Iruka and Kurenai, was that Kakashi himself, in his own defiance of the laws of physics, had already finished his own bowel of ramen before they knew what hit them and neither of them had even seen him remove his mask to eat.

‘How the hell did he do that!? No jounin is that fast… are they?’

Teuchi simply opted to watch with a growing smile as he saw the young blond’s face slowly begin to light up with glee as he ate, finishing off his seventh bowel of steaming goodness, only this time the gesture was moregenuine than it had been moments before. It seemed the boy’s favourite food was all he needed to help cheer up, although Iruka’s presence most certainly helped too. Once Naruto was finally finished with his food, he looked up to the old man serving them with a massive grin.

“Thanks Teuchi-sama! That was great!” He boated gleefully. Kakashi felt a sudden lump form in his throat as he heard the cheer an Naruto’s voice.. After seeing Naruto so upset before, it was relieving to see the young blond smiling so wildly again. Iruka was about to hand over the bill when the masked jounin noticed his actions and quickly interceded.

“I’ve got this one Iruka.” He eye-smiled, handing over the money in Iruka’s stead.

The young man smiled in return while Naruto looked up at the taller figure with forlorn eyes. As the youngster scanned over the image of the silver haired jounin, he couldn’t help but cringe in discomfort. He didn’t know what he saw when looking into the Kakashi’s eyes, but he somehow knew it must have been a deeply painful experience from his past. Naruto wanted to ask what happened, but eventually decided against it. Some things were better left buried and some things were just too painful to remember, Naruto knew that better than anyone else.

After giving their thanks for the meal, as well as a generous tip, the four of them finally said their farewells to a grateful Teuchi and slowly headed out the ramen stand. As they stood on the side of the dusty streets Kurenai eventually spoke up to break the looming silence.

“So Kakashi, you mentioned yesterday that you may have a solution to increasing Naruto’s training speed. Mind telling us what it was?” Kakashi motioned his head towards Naruto, causing the others to look over in the blond’s direction.

The boy gave out a deflated sigh, he knew that meant it was time for the adults to talk privately. He slowly walked away from his three teachers, kicking the dust beneath his feet as he went. Naruto made sure not to wander too far though, knowing all too well about the ever present dangers of being amongst the villagers that hated him.

“So then, what is it?” Iruka murmured, turning back to face Kakashi.

“I’ve decided to teach Naruto the Kage Bunshin no Jutsu. It should help him immensely when it comes to learning faster and with some luck, he may even be able to catch up to the rest of his class.” Both Kurenai’s and Iruka’s mouths seemingly dropped to the floor.

“You’re gonna what!?” they both shouted in unison, causing a curious Naruto to look over at the three. Both of them knew what the jutsu did and it’s ‘unique’ benefits, but they also knew the high risks involved with such a high level technique.

“You do realize that that’s a kinjutsu you’re talking about here. It’s to dangerous to just go teach to anyone you fell like. I mean how do you even know it in the first place?” Kakashi gave out a deflated sigh, he knew Iruka would drill him for this.

“My sensei was the one who created the technique in the first place…” Kakashi retorted. “… and he managed to teach it to me before the risks were discovered and it was declared a forbidden jutsu. The main repocussions involved are the high amounts of chakra it takes to use it as well as its high stamina consumption, but Naruto seems to have an abundance of both at his disposal. This means that the only real threat is the physical strain on his body.”

“So you really think this is a good idea? I mean Naruto is still quite young, his body may not be able to handle it even if his chakra levels can.” Kurenai mused.

“I agree” Kakashi replied. “But he should be able to create two extra clones of himself without any real problems. Besides, things have become a lot more complicated now.” The other two stared at the masked jounin in confusion before he continued to explain.

“Whatever insight Naruto’s doujutsu gives him, it seems to carry as much risk as his physical touch, if not even more. Judging by what happened this morning, we have to get it under control as soon as possible to avoid further incidents and this is the only way to do it.”

As much as Iruka hated to admit it, Kakashi did have a point. Although the Kage Bunshin no Jutsu did have risks, they were problems they at least knew about and could effectively work around. Naruto’s bloodline, however, was still a mystery and such mysteries could be far more dangerous.

“Alright, it’s decided then. We’ll go through with the Shadow Clone Jutsu training.” Both Kurenai and Kakashi nodded in a final agreement. They then turned to retrieve Naruto once again, only to find the boy wasn’t there anymore.

“N.. Naruto? Naruto!!!!???”

A cruel snicker echoed throughout the walls of a dark tattered alleyway, piercing through the heart of a young boy as he slowly backed away from the large shadowy figure of the drunken man standing in front of him, his eyes filled with dread at the thought of receiving another beating.

The young boy had heard a commotion coming from around a nearby corner from where he stood and had decided to investigate, much against his better judgement. Apparently the burly man had been thrown out of a nearby bar and was now taking his frustrations on the surrounding debris, that is until he caught sight of a better opportunity for relieving his built up anger in a certain young boy.

Naruto tried to run away, but the man had cornered him off before he could even get far, forcing him back into the dark alleyway.

“Please, don’t hurt me… I didn’t do anything” Naruto yelped, stepping back as the man walked towards him, his eyes dark with a sadistic glint.

“Oh how… ‘hic’… sad. The little demon is crying for mommy to save him.” The man then swung his massive hand without even thinking for a second, causing it to collide into the side of Naruto’s cheek and sending him hurtling to the floor.

“Hehe… ‘hic’… now that felt good.”

“Nggghhh!!!” The young boy yelped in pain as he held his throbbing cheeks, but he quickly got up to his feet soon afterwards.

Naruto then backed up against the cold hard wall as his instincts always told him to do and closed his eyes in preparation for the ensuing abuse. He couldn’t help his body’s quivering as he felt the man’s shadow falling over his vulnerable form, while his nose filled with the stench of his attacker’s breath as it oozed with the bitter smell of alcohol.

The boy tried to call for help, he tried to scream the words that clung to the back of his throat, but his fears held his voice shut as his body quivered violently in terror.

“I guess today’s my lucky day.” The man snickered cruelly, slamming his fist into his hand in preparation for the beating. “I get to have fun with the little monster.” Naruto took a deep, wavering gulp as he felt the man raise his fist to strike.

“Take this… ‘hic’… you little shit!” However, before the drunkard’s blow could land on its mark, a small thud was heard in its place.

Naruto froze in his sandals as the subtle sound reached his hearing, not knowing why he hadn’t been struck yet. He then carefully opened his eyes, whose vision had since been blurred by the haze of water that collected in them, only to see a fist clenched firmly in front of his face with another hand holding it firmly from reaching him. The boy looked up to see his rescuer thereafter, finding the face of the masked jounin who had halted his attacker’s advance.

“You’ve made a very big mistake!!!” Kakashi growled, throwing so much killing intent into the air that it was almost tangible.The silver haired jounin’s only visible eye was filled with an endless amount of burning rage, so much so that even Naruto didn’t dare to gaze into it.

“Why are you protecting this little monster?! He’s nothing but a…” The man soon found out the consequences in his poor choice of words as the enraged copy ninja grabbed his throat and promptly slammed him into the opposite wall, eliciting a sickening crack as his head hit against the hard surface behind him.

“Agghhh!!!!”

Naruto watched on in complete shock as the jounin effectively knocked the man into unconsciousness with a single, hardened blow, before the crimson evidence of blood began to fall from the back of his head and down the wall he was held against. Kakashi then let go of his grip and let the body fall limply to the floor, crashing into the dust with a heavy thud.

However, Naruto, having fallen into a complete state of shock by now, quickly sank down against the wall he was leaning against and slowly sank down onto he floor, releasing the tension of what had just happened through the tears that finally managed to fall. Kakashi turned around to face the sobbing boy as he sat on the floor, walking up to Naruto to check if he was unharmed.

“Are you okay?” He gulped nervously, reaching his hand out to touch the boy’s shoulder.

But the youngster immediately noticed his advancement and quickly pulled away from his grasp, still holding his hands up to his face as the tears poured over them. The masked jounin pulled his hand away again, realizing that Naruto didn’t want to be touched by anyone he didn’t trust. Kakashi was relieved, however, to see that Naruto only had a red bruise on his left cheek. Most of the damage, no doubt, was psychological.

Just at that moment, Iruka and Kurenai charged into the alleyway, franticly searching for the lost boy. The chunin’s face went pale when he caught sight of a crying Naruto sitting on the floor only a small distance away from a large unconscious man.

“Oh no… what have they done this time?” The young chunin quickly ran up to the boy and fell down into a crouch beside him, offering his support immediately.

“Naruto, what happened? Are you alright?” At the sound of his sensei’s voice, Naruto quickly looked up from his tears and leapt into Iruka’s arms, crying on his shoulder as he held on for dear life.

“I… Iruka-sensei…” The boy mumbled, not letting go of the man. Kuenai walked over to the blank, expressionless face that was Kakashi and then looked down to the unconscious man beside him.

“W… what happened here?” Kakashi snapped out of his daze and looked over to the red-eyed jounin that had addressed him.

“Naruto was about to be attacked by this drunk when I found him.” He sighed disdainfully. “If I arrived any later…” The copy ninja’s visible face fell into a heavy cringe, emanating with the frustration he felt inside.

“How… how can they do this to someone so young?” The jounin’s voice was filled with a deep anger that threatened to tear apart anything that it fell upon.

The two then watched as Iruka tried to release Naruto’s hold on him, but the boy didn’t want to let go. He eventually resigned to picking Naruto up off the floor and carrying him in his arms back to the training field. The boy just held on to his sensei’s jacket as tightly as he could, not wanting to leave his defensive shield of protection. Kurenai began to follow soon afterwards, but then realized Kakashi was still standing in place.

“Aren’t you coming?” she murmured, gaining the jounin’s wavering attention.

“I’ll be with you guys soon, I just have a special delivery to make for Ibiki.” The woman just nodded her head in understanding before turning to follow Iruka. Kakashi then turned back to the unconscious man laying on the floor.

Elsewhere in the dusty streets of Konoha, a lone wandering Anko felt a sudden chill crawl up the base of her spine her spine, causing her to shiver giddily as it tickled her nerves.

“Ooohhh! Is someone thinking about me?” she murmured to herself, before taking a bite off her dango stick. “I… haven’t felt a chill… like that since standing… in front of Orochimaru for… the first time.” She murmured, as she chewed on her meal.

The truth is, there were three people in Konoha who know had Anko on the brain. The sadistic jounin was about to get a lot of ‘special’ requests in the next few coming days.

Iruka and Kurenai eventually found themselves walking back into the quiet safety of their private training field, the said chunin still carrying a panic stricken Naruto in his arms. After making there way back into the middle of the secluded area, the man gently let the boy down onto the grass underneath the shade of a nearby tree and sat himself next to him, letting out a deep breath as he did.

He then turned to look down at the boy sitting next to him with concerned eyes.

“Are you alright?” He inquired gently, putting his arm around a still shaking Naruto. The boy just gave a small nod before leaning his head against his sensei’s chest.

“I… I’ll be fine.”

Iruka could feel Naruto’s emotions slowly coming back under control. He gave a deep sigh of relief and squeezed the boy in comfort. Naruto had cried far to many tears today… far to many. The chunin was just about ready to kill every villager in sight, in fact the only thing stopping him from doing just that was the fact that he knew Naruto wouldn’t approve of such an action.

“Naruto, if you like, we can stop the training for today and continue tomorrow. What do you say?” Naruto just pulled of Iruka’s chest and sat upright, looking down at the grass as he thought about his sensei’s proposal.

“No Iruka-sensei. I have to carry on training, otherwise I’ll never get better. I have to catch up to the rest of my class if I ever want to become a shinobi.”

Iruka could feel a sudden spurt of determination flowing from Naruto’s touch and then smiled. It seemed the boy was adamant, despite what he had just been through. Kurenai herself found her lips etching into a grin, but it was a somewhat sad and empty one. It was hard to truly smile after seeing the boy she cared for in so much pain.

“Alright Naruto, if that’s what you want. Kurenai and I will always be here for you the whole time.” The boy looked up and smiled at his two precious people, the only two who were ever allowed to touch him.

“I know…”

“It’s good to hear you’re ready to continue, because it’s time to teach you something even more exciting.” The three sets of eyes immediately shot up to see Kakashi sitting on a branch above them.

“How long have you been waiting there?!” Kurenai scowled, her eyes drilling into the masked jounin. Kakashi jumped off the branch and landed smoothly in front of his companions.

“I just got here now, if you must know. Now, Naruto, if you don’t mind, can you please meet me in the centre of the field again?” Naruto reluctantly left the safety of Iruka’s arms and complied, walking away with a heavy sigh. Once he left for his destination Kakashi turned to his companion’s and spoke again.

“Once we have this jutsu down, I think one of us should also start Naruto on self defence training as well, perhaps some taijutsu to begin with. He’ll have to be able to protect himself when we’re not around to look after him.” The other two nodded in agreement and then watched as Kakashi moved over to where Naruto stood.

The masked jounin could see the nervousness in the boy’s body language as he approached, realizing Naruto was still in shock after what he had just been through.

“So, are you sure you’re ready to continue our training?” Kakashi murmured as he stepped up to the blond. “If you want to stop for now I understand completely.” Naruto took a deep gulp before answering.

“Y… yes Kakashi-sama, I’m sure.” The jounin shrugged at the boy’s formal use of words, but knew it was only because Naruto was still intimidated by him somewhat, but he knew what he was about to say next would cheer Naruto up considerably.

“Good, because now I’m going to be teaching you a new jutsu and a very high level one at that.” Kakashi’s one eye looked carefully over the boy, waiting to see his reaction and, as expected, Naruto’s expression blew up into the very embodiment of excitement. He knew that would put a grin on the eager youngster’s face.

“R… really?! What is it?” The jounin simply smiled under his mask, having successfully baited his mark.

“It’s a very advanced form of the replication jutsu you were learning at the academy. It’s called the Kage Bunshin no Jutsu.” Naruto’s eyes went wide with excitement and anticipation, but then quickly lost their sparkle as a sudden memory came to mind.

“I… I already tried to learn that jutsu, but I couldn’t read the instructions on the scroll” Naruto skulked as he recalled the night of Mizuki’s betrayal. Kakashi was surprised at first, but then remembered what Iruka told him about Naruto stealing the scroll of sealing on Mizuki’s behalf.

“Ah yes, that may be true, but this time you won’t be reading anything. I’m going to be showing you how to do it myself.” Naruto’s face lit up once more at the sound of Kakashi’s words. Suddenly this day got a whole lot better for the boy.

The next few minutes were spent with Kakashi explaining the ins and outs of the Shadow Clone Jutsu, as well as its advantages and risks. The boy listened with complete attention, his eyes not once leaving the jounin instructer as he demonstrated the poses and hand seals. After all that was said and done, Naruto began to attempt the jutsu for himself.

Naruto had now spent hours trying to activate the Shadow clone jutsu, but there was still no luck. The boy was slowly beginning to run low on chakra after many repeated attempts to master the skill and his self confidence wasn’t fairing much better either. Kakashi watched on with a heavy expression and an even heavier heart as the boy tried over and over again, while helping him out when he saw a mistake in his form.

He would have tried to help the boy settle into a better standing position and posture to make better use of his vast stamina reserves, but he knew Naruto wouldn’t want to be touched so he had to resort to visually showing the blond what he could.

After a few more unsuccessful attempts, Kakashi eventually raised his hand to call for a stop. He could see Naruto was close to pushing himself over the edge and he didn’t want to be on the receiving end of his two protectors’ wrath if something happened to the boy.

“Alright Naruto, that’s enough for today. We can try again tomorrow after school.” The said boy quickly threw his hands down in frustration. Even with Kakashi showing him how to do it, he still couldn’t get it right.

“Why… why am I so useless!?! Why can I never get anything right?!” Naruto shouted angrily. Iruka and Kurenai heard the commotion from where they sat and watched on with heavy hearts. Kakashi looked over to the boy with saddened eyes.

“Naruto… that’s the orphanage talking now isn’t it?’ The said youngster just flinched as the words struck at his core, before looking up to the man with a sudden flicker of hidden pain reflecting in his eyes.

“I…….” Naruto was at a loss for words. The boy looked down at the ground and just continued to stare solemnly at its unmoving surface, as the painful thoughts of his caretakers’ cruel taunts flowed into his mind. Kakashi knew he hit a sore spot, but Naruto needed to hear this for his own good.

“Naruto…” The silver-haired man continued. “The reason you’re always being held back is because you don’t know how to believe in yourself anymore. Those bastards at the orphanage have taken that away from you as well as many other things.” Kakashi then knelt down in front of the boy and locked his eyes with Naruto’s.

“I know what they said was cruel and sometime’s you may even think they were actually telling the truth about you, but they were not right about you at all. I want you to know that you are definitely not useless, you’re not any of those terrible things they made you feel like at the orphanage and you are most certainly not a monster.”

Naruto felt his heart being pulled inside as listened to Kakashi’s speech. The memories of Iruka’s words of kindness flowed into his mind.

“Naruto isn’t a monster, he’s a special boy who I’ve come to love and acknowledge.”

“Naruto… It’s not about what’s in here that’s important. It’s about what’s in your heart that determines you who you really are deep inside.”

“You did great Naruto, you did wonderfully. I’m so proud of you…”

The boy felt a well of emotions filling up inside his body. He knew Iruka cared for him. He was the first person to really believe in the boy and he would always tell Naruto he was proud of him. It was the type of thing he always wanted from a father and he wasn’t about to disappoint the man that held him in such high regard.

‘Iruka-sensei, you’ve always believed in me. I won’t let you down know.’

Naruto then wiped the tears from his eyes and nodded in understanding, the boy knew what he had to do. He couldn’t allow the cruelty of others to bring him down, he couldn’t allow them to rule his life and determine who he really was inside. he looked up from the floor with newfound determination, staring into the eye of his instructor.

“Kakashi-sama… if you don’t mind I would like to continue the training.” Kakashi smiled as he saw the newfound determination in the boy’s face and a glimmer of shimmering gold in his eyes. He then stood up again and nodded his head in approval.

“Alright, then lets do this.” Naruto slammed his palms into each other once more and made a single seal. A sudden spike of chakra began to flow around his body, moving the grass apart under his feat. Kakashi, Kurenai and Iruka were all surprised by the sheer amount of chakra he still managed to radiate despite his severe exhaustion. “Kage Bunshin no Jutsu!!!”

A large puff of smoke erupted into the air around the boy, causing Iruka and Kurenai to stand up in anticipation. Kakashi’s own heart froze in place as he waited for the haze to clear. When it did, an astonishing sight was met before their eyes. There, standing next to Naruto, was a picture perfect copy of the boy, fixed in the exact same pose as he was.

“Naruto!!! You did it!!!” Iruka yelled, pulling the boy out of his trance. Naruto looked over to his side to see another Naruto staring back at him in confusion. His face suddenly began to light up as he realized what he had just accomplished.

“I… did it… I really did it!” Naruto quickly leapt into his newly formed copy’s arms and the two identical twins began to jump up and down in excitement.

“I did it, I did it, I did it!!!” The other three watched with lifting spirits as the two boys danced in a circle, jumping up and down on the spot. Kakashi just laughed at the sight of it. One smile from Naruto was enough to lift your heart, two was that much better.

“Alright Naruto…” Kakashi giggled. “It’s time to dispel your clone.”

“Hai!” Naruto did as Kakashi requested and held his seal to release his jutsu. Once the other Naruto disappeared in a puff of smoke, the boy turned to Iruka with massive grin on his face.

“Go ahead.” Kakashi sighed, knowing what was coming. Naruto didn’t even hesitate to comply and quickly ran over to his sensei. He leapt into Iruka’s arms and squeezed as tightly as he could.

“I did it Iruka-sensei! I completed the Shadow Clone Jutsu!” The chunin felt a rush of emotions flowing into him as the boy began to quiver in his arms.

“I… I really did it…” It was almost as though the boy were still trying to convince himself of his own achievement.

“Yes Naruto… you did do it and I couldn’t be more proud of you.” Naruto then pulled out of the hug and gave his sensei a teary grin. He needed to hear that, he just needed to hear someone else say it, just so he knew it was really true. With that, Naruto’s eyes began to fall dark and he soon collapsed unconscious onto the floor.

“N.. Naruto!” Iruka yelped as he watched Naruto hit the ground with a thud.

“Don’t worry, he’ll be alright.” The panicked chunn looked up to a smiling Kakashi.

“He’s just passed out from exhaustion that’s all.” The jounin continued. “Trying to create a Kage Bunshin so many times was taxing for him and he’s probably diminished his chakra supplies. Take him home and get some rest, he’ll need it after today.”

Iruka let out a deep sigh of relief and then picked Naruto up off the floor.

“Kakashi… I just wanna say… thanks… for your help.” He offered gratefully. “You don’t know how much this means to me… and Naruto.” Kakashi gave off an eye smile and waved the chunin off.

“I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ll see you two tomorrow after school then.” With that the jounin disappeared in a gust of wind and leaves.

Kurenai smiled as he vanished out of sight. The masked freak was slowly making it from the ‘people she must kill’ list to the ‘just barely tolerable’ list. She would still have to see about those books of his though.

“I guess there’s no studying tonight then.” Iruka sighed as he looked down at the unconscious body in his arms. Naruto’s face was so peaceful as he lay there quietly, almost completely at ease. It was almost as though he were still smiling in his sleep, remembering, with pride, what he had just managed to accomplish.

The chunin then carried the young boy home in his arms, waving off Kurenai as they parted ways. Although it had been a very rough day for Naruto, Iruka had a feeling it turned out alright after all. The look on Naruto’s face was one filled with hope and achievement. He was so very proud of the boy he came to think of as his son. Now he just needed to contact a certain sadistic kunoichi to set up a long overdue meeting.

Notes:

“Kage Bunshin no Jutsu!” = Shadow Clone Jutsu!

Credits:

Writer – TenraiSenshi

~ by Tenrai Senshi on August 14, 2009.

2 Responses to “Eyes of the Broken Soul : Chapter 6 – Seeing Eye to Eye”

  1. awesomeness as always! 😉 kurenai=mine, kakashi=mine. 🙂

  2. AWESOMENESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I really enjoyed this chapter tenrai and look forward to reading chapter 7. please continue to write ^_^

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