Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto or any of the characters Kishimoto Masashi created, apart from the few OC's I've added. Some OC's were created based on ideas others gave me. I will credit those people in the chapter those character exist.

Warning: This story is rated M, and not without reason. I aim for a more realistic take on the Naruto world, rather than the idealistic views which Kishimoto pursued. So there will be death, there will be suggestive themes, and there will be occasions where foul language is used. Though, in a world of trained killers, it shouldn't be too surprising that people get killed, right?

Thoughts: 'Thinking.'

Speech: "Speaking."

Childhood arc

The incident

Alone again, he wandered through the darkness. He cursed the tears that were still in his eyes, even though he had vowed to never cry due to sorrow or anger again. In his six years, young Naruto had gotten used to the way people mistreated him. He had cried enough, and was sick of it. It didn't change anything about his life. Not that the adults openly abused him, at least not usually, but no matter what he did people always seemed to blame him for something he did not do. For some reason, people always expected him to do the worst kind of things. No matter how hard he tried to please other, those eyes filled with hatred and fear kept staring down at him. He never got treated like the other kids. Never trusted. Never cared for. Never loved. He never once got a chance. And why?

Young Uzumaki Naruto did not know why.

All he knew was that the world was unfair. It frustrated him. But he was too weak to make them pay. Too weak to change a single thing about it. Today had been particularly frustrating. Even though Naruto had made a habit out of avoiding people, a few boys twice his age found him when he walked back to the orphanage. It had resulted in a firm beating. Sure, Naruto had tried to fight back, but he was too small. They were older, stronger, and outnumbered him. His powerlessness was enough reason to be angry. Why did they do such thing? There was no reason for such violence. There never was a reason. Not that they ever needed one.

Kids like them just did beat him up because no one would scold them for it. They could do to him what they wanted. And as long as he did not end up too badly injured, the adults would rather approve of their behavior than scold them for it. In some cases, the adults had even encouraged the other kids. Like on his birthday, the worst day of his year.. After all, who would care what happened to Uzumaki Naruto?

He was just one outcast orphan. A child nobody wanted to see. Only the odd old man, Sarutobi Hiruzen, met him once in a while. And young Naruto could not even bring himself to complete trust him.

Covered with bruises, dirt, and some blood, he had dragged himself back to the orphanage. Not that he liked it there, but it was the only place where he could go. With the lack of a better word, it was the place he called 'home'. Not that the word ever had the same meaning it had for other children. There was no kindness for him there, no warmth or care. In fact, Naruto had only been in this particular orphanage for a few months. And he already hated it more than the previous one. He hated it because 'incidents' like today happened with some frequency.

Being relieved that he had finally reached his 'home', happy that he would not need to sleep on the streets again, he only found the warden shouting at him. Scolding him because he was so dirty. Because he was late. Before she shut the door before him, she remarked that if Naruto was acting like an animal, he should live like one. That he should live outside, like the tray dog he appeared to be.

"Vicious old cow," Naruto mumbled.

True, the previous orphanages did not treat him well, but it usually came down to being ignored. At least, until they managed to find (or create) some petty reason to throw him out. But the warden of this orphanage really seemed to hate him. She enjoyed tormenting him as if he had done something to her. As if it was personal. Perhaps that was why she was the only one to volunteer after the last orphanage had thrown him out. No one else wanted him. They called him wild. Dangerous. Only because he had lashed back at one of the bullies that had tormented him in that place..

Finally succeeding in fighting back the tears, the boy sighed wearily. 'Why do they always have to pick on me?' he thought. 'What have I ever done to deserve this?' He felt angry, but ignored the weird sensation that always seemed to follow whenever he became angered. "Perhaps I should just kick them all out of the village when I become Hokage," he mumbled darkly. "Jiisan said people have to respect a Hokage, so when I become Hokage they will stop picking on me."

Lost in thought, Naruto failed to spot the man that was rushing through the dark alley. Nor did the man spot little Naruto, as he was preoccupied with the people of whom he knew that they were chasing him. The very moment the man smiled at the thought that had shaken of his pursuers, he crashed into the boy, losing the bag he was carrying in his fall.

"What the.." As he tried to get up he looked at the little boy who was now glancing at him. "Dammit, get lost you darn mongrel!"

His body hurt from the collision, especially his ribs as he was kicked there earlier that day. But Naruto did not mind this pain. Yet another person to shout at him. Another person who hurt him. When did it ever end? He snapped.

The anger he felt before was nothing compared to the rage that now pushed away every other thought he had. This smothering emotion which flooded his mind. Somewhere in the back of his head Naruto wondered why his whiskers itched so much, or why he senses suddenly improved so much. All those thoughts were drowned in his blood red rage. 'No more. No. More. I've had enough!'

The man felt the boy's chakra spike. 'Impossible for a mere child, unless…' the man realized what the boy must be. Sure, it worried the man for a moment, but Naruto was no match for a fully trained jonin. The man just knocked him out, before more of his chakra would leak out. The boy might be too weak to stop him, but his chakra could give away his position to the man's pursuers. And even though he was confident he could beat just about everyone in one to one combat, he was literally is the center of the enemy's village. Combat would equal suicide right now. Combat would mean a failure of his mission.

An angry Hyuga Hiashi ran towards the place where the kidnapper was last sighted. No one would kidnap his daughter and heir and get away with it. As he got near, he activated his byakugan once more, and spotted two members of the police force waiting for him, and several others spread out in the area.

"Where is my daughter," he angrily demanded to know from the most senior of the two. Composure be damned, Hiashi had more important things to worry about right now.

"H-Hyuga-sama, we apologize, but the person who kidnapped her slipped away after he.." the man stuttered, before being cut off by a nearby blast.

Hiashi ran off before the agent could finish his sentence. "Incompetent idiots," he growled. If only the kidnapper had not used those explosives to attack the Hyuga compound, more of his clan members could have tracked the kidnapper down, rather than clearing the rubble and search for survivors. If only he had been home, then he could have protected his family.

'Now is not the time for guilt,' Hiashi reprimanded himself as he arrived at the scene of the latest explosion.

In the narrow alley, the blast they had just heard had ripped right through two of the nearby buildings. But there was no one to be seen. Not a trace, even with his byakugan, could be found. "A distraction," the Hyuga growled. "Seems like 'head ninja' is not just an empty title," Hiashi already knew who had taken his daughter. His earlier suspicions must be right. "Damn that treacherous village!"

Naruto's head hurt. It felt like someone was still using a hammer, or a similar heavy and blunt object, and pounded it into his skull. Aching and disoriented, it took the young Uzumaki a few seconds before his eyes got used to the darkness. Where had he gone?

What he saw was some old room, part of what looked like a derelict building. The building was in an even worse condition than the abandoned shed next to the orphanage. And they had told him that the shed had been abandoned for six years now, an eternity to a young boy like him. But somehow, this building was even worse.

Trying out his body, Naruto regained some feeling in his limbs, and started to look around for a way out of this mess. Last thing he remembered was walking into a strange man, and that this man had attacked him. A kidnapper? It made no sense to him. People would beat him up, yes, but kidnapping had never happened before. Unless.. 'He carried something. Perhaps his target was not me?' Naruto looked at his side, and his suspicions were confirmed. Next to him was a girl of his own age, tied up and gagged so tightly that she could not make a single sound. Let alone move a muscle. Her eyes spurred wide open when she noticed that Naruto moved.

He froze for a moment. Looking right into her eyes, Naruto was confused by what he saw. She had eyes which Naruto had never seen before. Even though tears fell down from their corners, Naruto thought that the pure white eyes were the most beautiful eyes he had ever seen in his life. So pure, so innocent, yet at the same time they seemed to pierce right into his soul.

Numbed from the kidnapper's hit, Naruto tried to get up. Much to his surprise, he was not even bound. Apparently, the kidnapper had never suspected that Naruto could recover that quickly from the blow.

The kidnapper stood at the doorway, thinking how he could escape. Catching the heir of the Hyuga clan had been his primary objective, but he smiled at the thought of how his village would reward him when he returned with a jinchuriki as well…

'Raikage-sama should reward me richly for this.. But first I need to get out of this place. Their security is better than I had anticipated. This closed off temple was a stroke of luck, but I need to figure out how to get across the walls without being noticed first..'

The kidnapper was a shinobi from Kumogakure. The Shinobigashira, or head ninja, of Kumo, ranked second only to the Raikage himself. Acting as a diplomat, the man was attending the signing of the peace treaty between Kumo and Konoha. Once he saw his chance, the man had grabbed his opportunity at night to execute his real mission.

His masters from the hidden cloud village had preferred capturing the byakugan over an unstable treaty. Though the girl he had captured was far too young to give birth, she had been of the strongest blood within her clan. And of the main bloodline, one untouched by that accursed seal of theirs. The Kumo shinobi knew that a decade of patience was worth the price of obtaining one of the strongest dojutsu that existed. Once she would be of age, they would make sure she produced enough children. Kumo would have access to the byakugan within several generations.

And with the loss of their jinchuriki, Konoha's position would be damaged too much for them to afford a war with Kumo. It would be more likely that the other nations would tear apart Hi no Kuni, in its weakened condition. 'Even that peace-loving old fool of a Hokage would not be able to prevent their downfall,' the jonin smirked.

But first he needed to get out of here first. After knocking out the jinchuriki, the man had rushed towards the wall that surrounded Konoha, but security was too tight for him to escape while carrying both of his captives. Their response time was faster than anticipated. But luck was at his side once more, when he saw the sealed off old temple.

Oddly, the jonin had not noticed the temple the day before, when he had been watching for possible escape routes. But across the bridge that spanned over the small lake, there had been the decayed building where he had found shelter. The ruin seemed to be an old temple, and it was conveniently located to the side of the mountain that backed Konoha. The temple was located at a small plateau that had been cut out at the foot of the mountain. From here, it was not even that far towards his left that the man from Kumo could see the gigantic stone face of the former first Hokage.

'Now what.. How can I get out of this?' Naruto thought, pondering on what he could do best now. He noticed that his kidnapper was looking the other side, so getting away on his own wouldn't be that hard. 'But that girl… should I abandon her? I don't even know who this guy is, or why he took this girl away. Clearly, he is on the run from someone, so he probably is not an ally of Konoha. In that case, maybe I should go with him.. Wherever he's going, it can't be much worse than this place, right? But that would mean that I would abandon this girl to whatever fate is waiting for her in the place this guy is travelling towards. I can't let that happen, can I? Should I really risk my life for someone else? For someone I don't even know? Or should I make a run for it?'

Naruto looked at the pure, white eyes. She was strange, Naruto noticed. Most children around him seemed to hate him, he could... he could feel their hatred towards him. He could describe the sensation, but he knew it when he was near someone who had strong negative emotions. And in his case, this applied to nearly everyone. 'But this girl.. Why does she feel so innocent? Abandoning someone like her would make me the bad guy. Think, Naruto, what would Jiisan do?'

Looking at him, with her eyes wide open, it was as if she saw his dilemma. It really seemed as if she looked right in his soul. Naruto shuddered a little when he saw her frightened stare. He knew she saw his dilemma. And a single tear was her answer to his doubts. One tear which answered all of Naruto's questions. Careful not to make a single sound that could notify their currently distracted kidnapper, he dragged the girl away to another room. Naruto found himself lucky that she was gagged, or she likely would have drawn the kidnapper's attention. Not that he could really blame the girl for being panicked. After all, she would probably be some spoiled kid. Because she would have to belong to some rich clan if someone wanted to kidnap her like this.

After he had dragged her to the other room, he started looking for a way to barricade the room. Or to escape. Naruto did not know what kind of knots the kidnapper had used, but he could not untie the girl. And the debris in this room was useless. Nothing was sharp enough to cut the ropes.

"Stay quiet," he whispered in the girl's ears. "Don't move. I'll look around."

The white-eyed girl paled even further, and nodded. Though, Naruto could see she did not like it that he left her there. But he couldn't drag her around either..

Naruto was lucky that the wind caused the old wooden building to make enough sounds to mask his own slip-ups. Though he had practiced his silent movement for most of his short life, as he always tried to avoid drawing anyone's attention, Naruto could not avoid a few accidental creaking sounds.

Sadly, the building was rather small, with a few small rooms and one large room in the back. That larger room was strange… not in the first place because of the strange sensation Naruto felt when he set foot in the room.

He looked around and felt confused by what he saw. "Masks?" Naruto mumbled under his breath. On the wall at the back of the room there was a small platform, and on the wall, below the decaying curtains that were hanging above, Naruto saw the strangest masks he had ever seen. 'Those masks feel… weird. Why were they abandoned in this run down hovel?'

Naruto focused on one particular mask that drew his attention. All the masks were like the faces of demons, some broken, but most whole. Most demonic faces looked either angry, vile, or as if they were suffering from terrible pains. The one mask which drew Naruto's attention depicted a horned demon who smiled. Not an innocent smile, but rather a mischievous smile. As if it was taunting all it could see.

Though he did not know why, Naruto grabbed the mask from its standard on the wall. The mask was not made out of metal or wood. It felt remarkably light. 'Bone?' Naruto thought. He had seen dog carrying those things, and this felt very similar. 'What is this place? And on the back of this thing… writing?' Naruto saw some strange drawing on the inside of the mask. It almost resembled some kind of seal, like the ones he had seen in the old man's office. Only, the weird thing was the spiral in the center of the drawing. It was the same symbol as Naruto could see on the top of the wall, on the place where the old mothy curtains were attached to the wall. 'What is the meaning of that spiral-like symbol?'

The head ninja had seen enough. Though the wooden construction looked unstable, the stairway was the only pathway to the top of the mountain he could see. It was worth the gamble. The Konoha shinobi would be searching in different directions, so the chances of getting away would be highest if he fled across the mountains. Going back through the village would be a no-go.

"I should strap that girl to my back, she is my primary mission.." the man mumbled to himself. He knew he had an impressive enough physique to carry two children, without being slowed down too much. The jinchuriki brat could just be carried along in the bag he had used for the girl earlier. If he somehow got into trouble, he could always drop the brat from the mountain. He had heard that, upon death, the creatures sealed inside a jinchuriki would break free. And a rampaging demon would form the perfect distraction in case of trouble.

"What the.." the man cursed after walking back into the forsaken building. The children were gone. He punched the wall near him. "Of course he would heal quickly, he has a damn demon inside him! Stupid! I should have tied that accursed kid when I had the chance!"

With the mask of the mischievous demon in his hands, Naruto was sneaking back to the room where he had left the white-eyed girl. Then he heard shouting. "Damn, he found out," the child muttered softly. "What should I do now…" Naruto had not found a single thing that he could use to untie the girl, other than a few splinters of the wooden building itself, so he wanted to return to her and try to look if he could find some other way out of their predicament, but it was already too late. Though, perhaps.. If the man started to search in the building, Naruto could grab the girl and drag her out through the now unguarded front door?

'It is the only way out of this building, so if I move quick enough, it should be possible!'

Naruto remained careful, not wanting to be spotted by the man, and hurried to the room where he had left the girl who had shared his fate. But, again, Naruto was too late. The man had already found the girl, and looked quite stressed.

"Of course.. That brat would leave her behind while he looked for a way out," Naruto heard the man talk to himself. "Stupid," the man cursed. "And now he probably slipped away.. Damned monsters. They're all the same."

'Shit! He found her. I suppose I could hide myself, and let them go…' Naruto shook his head. He knew the man was bad news, Naruto never knew why he could do it, but he always felt if people wanted to mistreat him. That was how he managed to escape the worst people. And this man had definitely no good intentions. This man felt worse than usual. And whether it was aimed at him or the girl, Naruto could not say.

But Naruto knew could not abandon the girl. The sight of those white eyes looking at him, filled with fear, but also with a glimmer of hope, haunted him. She trusted him, he was the only hope she had. Naruto looked down to the mask. 'Perhaps I can scare him? And follow up with a hit.. If I hit him between the legs, I might buy enough time to grab the girl and get away.'

Naruto looked around, and between the debris he found a chunk of wood large enough for him to use as a club. Nervously, Naruto waited till the adult was turned away from him. For some reason, the man was busy with the girl's ropes.

"Don't be foolish, brat," the man said, hearing someone enter the room. Naruto froze as the man stood up and turned towards him. "What the.." The head ninja had heard the kid. He was sure of that. But he saw nothing. "What kind of joke is this? Dammit, I hate these demonic freaks!"

Not that Naruto understood anything of what was going on. He felt his heart thumping, for a moment he had lost all hope. But the man looked straight at him, but did not seem to be able to see him. The mask suddenly felt heavy though, as if it drained Naruto from his energy. Without further hesitation, Naruto jumped forward, stabbing his improvised wooden weapon into the man's stomach.

Sarutobi Hiruzen realized his age began to slow him down. In the middle of the night, an anbu shinobi had informed him about the attack on the Hyuga compound, as well as the chase that was currently going on.

"Hokage-sama," a boar-masked anbu bowed as Hiruzen reached Konoha's outer wall.

"Report," Hiruzen ordered.

"There are no signs that anyone has passed the walls," the anbu said quickly. "Someone has attacked the Hyuga estate during the night, and kidnapped the heir of the clan. Hyuga Hiashi has given chase, but most of the Hyuga are occupied with the danger done because of the explosion."

"Do we know who is behind it?"

"No, Hokage-sama."

Another anbu jumped down. The grey-haired shinobi panted as if he had been running at full speed. "Hokage-sama… The seal on the Uzumaki shrine was reported to be breached."

Hiruzen blinked for a moment. "That is not too far away from the place where the kidnapper was last seen. You people continue the search, I will go to the temple myself," he ordered. "Move out."

Kumogakure's head ninja was furious. He heard someone move around, but could not see a soul. And then someone stabbed him. Invisibility? He had lost patience. A man of his stature did not take it well when a mere child was playing trick on him. No, he was far too proud for that. 'Did the brat get some weird power from the demon he carries?' Whatever was there, he would kill it. "No more playing around. Visible or not, you'll die! Raiton: Mahi no Hado."

Naruto did not understand what the man had done, but some kind of shock wave suddenly hit him. Every hair on his body stood out, and his mouth suddenly was as dry as if he had not had anything to drink in days. The demonic mask broke into several pieces when Naruto fell backwards, with his limbs moving uncontrollably. But there was no pain. Only a burning sensation, as if something in his stomach had caught fire, and the fire spread through his body.

Grabbing two of the largest pieces of the now broken mask, Naruto tried to get up again, but his body failed him. The last things Naruto saw before losing consciousness were the kidnapper move towards him, and then seeing same man falling to the ground after something, or someone, else burst into the room.

Then all vanished in the darkness.

Author's notes:

Welcome everyone! This is the first fanfiction I have ever written, so I will warn you in advance that there is something called a learning curve: the quality will improve the further the story progresses. But I do aim to edit these earlier chapter, raising the quality to current standards!

As the summary implies: this is a story focusing on Naruto and Hinata. I prefer a slow development between them, rather than giving you the whole deus ex machina approach in the first chapter. After all, this story starts at the very beginning, with them as children. That doesn't imply that this story will be 'innocent'. Also, there is a small deviation in comparison to canon, as the kidnap event happened a few years earlier in the manga. But for the sake of the story, I took the liberty to move it a few years. It wouldn't make much sense to have a three year old Naruto being able to stall the kidnapper, would it?

As I said at the start, this story isn't going to focus on the childish idealism which the original story opted for. So 'my' Naruto will be darker than the cheerful and naive boy from the manga, which will fit as his childhood is different in this story, and he will not find the need to wear a 'mask' like he did in canon. For instance, 'my' Naruto will not call the murderer of his parents 'the coolest guy'. This is in part caused due to our friend neighbourhood fox, the Kyuubi, who will cause more problems as the story unfolds. Naruto will have an interest in his clan's legacy, and as such fuinjutsu will be his main weapon. So, even though I am roughly following original storyline early on, the story will deviate more and more as time progresses. Then again, if I all I wanted was a repeat of the manga, I would read the manga rather than visit a website filled with fanfiction...

Anyway, I hope you will give my story a chance. And if you do, please take the time to leave reviews. Every writer can use constructive criticism and/or encouragement.



Raiton: Mahi no hado = Lightning release: Wave of paralysis

Edited: 19/11/15