Chapter 1 – Friendship
Kiba Inuzuka was enjoying the park just like every other kid. The sun was beginning to set but he didn't mind. He was only seven after all. Also he was scared of his mother. She told him to stay at that park until she came for him. It wasn't long until she came for him. He and his partner Akamaru happily went over to her. She just smiled and the two began to leave. Out of the corner of his eye, he caught sight of someone from his class. It was Naruto Uzumaki.
Kiba really didn't mind Naruto, unlike the others. Yeah, he was a loser and not all that smart but he always had an escape plan. His pranks were kind of funny too. However, he noticed how alone he always was. He hid it well but there were times that he would see his sad expression. He always wondered why but those thoughts would quickly disappear. Anyway, it looked like Naruto was alone again and he decided to do something about it.
"Hey mom, can we invite that guy to dinner tonight?" Kiba asked, pointing toward Naruto. Tsume Inuzuka looked at the person he was pointing to. She knew of Naruto, mostly due to what he held within him. Unlike many in the village, she never held any type of animosity toward him. He was a hero in her eyes and was disgusted with the way he was treated. She gave her son a smile.
"Why not? Go and invite him." Tsume said. Kiba cheered and made his way over to where Naruto was sitting.
Naruto was a little nervous and cautious as to where he was. He was searching for exits just in case this was another trap. It had happened before and it could happen again. He was really surprised that Kiba asked him to dinner. Everyone usually ignored him or ridiculed him. He didn't know why but it always happened. So when Kiba had to drag him to his home for dinner, he was a little happy and a little scared.
Kiba looked at Naruto and gave him a slap to the back.
"Would you relax? You act like someone is trying to get you." Kiba joked.
"Sorry but everyone doesn't really treat me right. I'm a little on edge about the visit. Not to insult your family or nothing but I keep thinking that this is a trap." Naruto explained bluntly.
"Why would we want to hurt you? You've never pranked the Inuzuka clan. I did like what you did to the Hyūga. That was funny." Kiba said with a laugh. Naruto chuckled and held his nose up as he remembered that day.
"So it was you who did that prank? How you were able to get pass the Byakugan?" a voice asked. The two turned around and they saw a young female. She had long brown hair, which was in a ponytail with two locks of hair framing her face and, large, black eyes. She also was wearing a light shade of lipstick and has the traditional fang-like tattoos like Kiba. Naruto also saw an extra tattoo on her upper right arm that resembles a flower. She was wearing a standard medical uniform. She had softer features unlike Kiba and his mom. It made her very cute.
"So who's your friend runt?" Hana asked. Kiba just sucked his teeth at her.
"Naruto, this is my pain in the butt sister, Hana. Pain in the butt, this is Naruto." Kiba introduced. It earned him a smack to the back of the head. She then looked at Naruto.
"Well at least Kiba has a very cute friend." Hana said. Naruto blushed at the compliment while Kiba gagged in disgust.
"Okay, that's enough horse play. Dinner is ready." Tsume called out. They all made their way to the table where there was a small dinner. Kiba attempted to dive in but he was bopped in the head by Tsume. "Don't be rude boy! The guest gets first." Kiba nodded meekly and served Naruto his food. As they ate, Tsume looked at Naruto.
"So, I heard that you pranked the Hyūgas? I'm curious about that myself." Tsume asked with a grin. Naruto gulp down his food and began to go into a story of how he humbled the mighty Hyūga clan.
Naruto was looking around and saw that people were looking at him and Tsume. After dinner, Naruto was preparing to leave when she offered to take him home. Naruto told her that it was okay but she was very instant. He got the message after her scary smile. Either way, Naruto was worried that someone would try to do something. While he was mostly left alone by the civilians, the drunken ones tend to get ballsy. He did not really know that he was with the ballsiest of woman around. No one had the stones to outright fight Tsume Inuzuka.
"You know, it's really okay. I can finish my way home by myself." Naruto said.
"Why are you trying to get rid of me kid? I think it's sweet that you wish to protect me from the glares of these morons but unlike them, I don't see you as a pain." Tsume said.
"Oh, you saw that huh?" Naruto said sadly. Tsume placed her hand on his head.
"Naruto, you might not understand it now but you are a hero in the making. One day, these people will see you in a positive light. You just have to keep at it. You also have to do better in your studies. As ambitious as you are, I can't serve a stupid Kage." Tsume joked. Naruto was very surprised to hear her tell him that. I was the first time that someone had acknowledged him and his dream. Tsume was a little surprised when Naruto turned away from her. She caught the scent of salt. "Are you crying?" Naruto sniffed a little before facing her. He gave her a big smile.
"Nah, I had something in my eye." Tsume just smiled at Naruto. That must have been the first genuine smile he ever gave.
After that night, Kiba and Naruto began to hang out. Naruto had a running buddy when he cut out of class with and Kiba had a decent sparring partner. They were beginning to become friends in and out of class. However, Kiba began to notice that some of the friends that he made were beginning to distance themselves from him. At first, he just ignored it but he began to notice that everyone was keeping their distance. Even the parents, who he knew, were keeping them away from him.
Kiba was not one to just ignore something like that. He decided to corner a group of his friends. He gave them a frown.
"Okay, I've had enough of this. Why in the hell are you guys avoiding me? What have I done to you?" Kiba demanded.
"Look, it isn't that we don't what to be your friends Kiba but it's who you're hanging with." One of them said. Kiba was confused until he got what they were saying.
"What's your problem with Naruto? He's a decent guy." Kiba said.
"Come on man, do you know that he's bad news. Every adult tells us that he's dangerous." Another guy told him.
"How the hell do you know?!" Kiba growled. "You don't know the guy! If you sit with him for just minute, you see that he more than just a dope! You're just making judgments because a few adults told you to?"
"Hey man, you wanted to know why we are avoiding you and we told you why! You want to keep hanging out with the loser then that makes you a loser too!" the third one said.
"What did you call me?" Kiba spat.
"Just stay away from us Inuzuka. If you're friends with Naruto Uzumaki, then you're no friend of ours." The three boys walked away from the enraged Kiba. He couldn't believe those guys would just stop being his friend because of Naruto. What was their issue with him? Unknown to him, Naruto had heard the argument between them. He felt bad for Kiba and it was something that he was worried about. While it was fun that he had a friend in Kiba, he knew that if he associated with him there would be trouble.
That's when Naruto made a choice. While it was something that hurt, he knew that it was the right decision.
Tsume was relaxing, enjoying the sun that was shining down on her. She had no missions to do and was glad for the quiet that she and Kuromaru could have. That's when she saw her son. She could see that he was angry because he tossed his bag to the ground. It looked like he was having a problem with something or someone. With a sigh, she decided to deal with it.
"Kiba, that's enough! I've warned you about those bad words!" Tsume shouted at him. Kiba cringed and looked her way. She gave him a look and Kiba quickly calmed down. "Now, what's your issue this time?"
"It's Naruto. He's beginning to act like those idiots I use to call friends." Kiba said with a sigh.
"What do you mean?" Tsume asked.
"A couple of the guys I knew started to avoid me because I was hanging out with Naruto. We got into an argument and they called me a loser. The next day, Naruto started to avoid me too. I tried to cut him off but he's too crafty. I thought that those punks said something so I went after them." Kiba said.
"So that's why you're late?" Tsume asked. Kiba just looked down at his feet. "Don't worry about it. I won't punish you this time. However, I don't want you to be angry at Naruto. As dumb as it sounds, Naruto was trying to protect you."
"What are you talking about?" Kiba asked curiously. Tsume thought for a second before speaking.
"Naruto carries a burden, something he had placed on him since the day he was born. This burden has caused the village a lot of pain and everyone see Naruto as the scapegoat. It is one of the reasons he is all alone and we people do like him." Tsume explained.
"But, it was placed on him at birth right? So he never asked for it? It's stupid to blame Naruto for something that he did not ask for." Kiba stated.
"Exactly. I'm not one of those people because Naruto is just a little boy who wants to be acknowledged. He hides a lot behind that happy mask of his." Tsume said.
"So, what do I do? I really don't care about those guys but Naruto is cool. I don't mind having him as my friend. I don't care what the people say." Kiba said. Tsume smiled at her son's words.
"Well then, you better show him that you don't care what people say."
Naruto couldn't believehis luck. He didn't even know why these guys were chasing him. He did have some fun and made them mess up during the chase. However, that had just come to an end. Naruto was cornered and the three were closing in on him. He prepared to fight them off but the numbers were against him.
"So you think you can send Kiba after us just because you can't fight your own battles?" the leader sneered.
"I didn't send Kiba after you. He was just being a good friend unlike you. I ignored him because you jerks decided to leave him out in the cold and I thought it would make things better for him. Guess I was wrong because, you guys remained the same assholes as before." Naruto spat. This enraged the three and they prepared to charge. That's when the leader was tackled from behind. A small white puppy latched on to another's leg. Kiba straddled the leader and raised his fist.
"If you mess with Naruto, then you mess with me!" Kiba shouted and decked the guy. The last remaining bully managed to grab him and hold him. The leader got ready to get up and attack but he was punched in the jaw by Naruto. Kiba threw his head back, making the boy release him. He then tackled the guy and began to wail on him. The ruckus could be heard from the street and some just watched as the fight continued. It finally came to a close when the cops arrived.
Kiba and Naruto were in a cell together. They sat across from each other, not speaking. After a few moments, Kiba looked at him with an angry face.
"Well, don't you have something to say to me Naruto?" Kiba demanded.
"Look, I just didn't want you to get into any more trouble. I know that people don't like me and I didn't feel right that you were losing your friends because of me. I thought that I was doing you a favor." Naruto explained.
"I don't care what they think. You're a cool dude. Yeah, you're a little slow but you're a good guy. If they can't see that about you, then I don't want them as my friend. Besides, who am I going to bail with during Iruka's boring lectures? Not those guys, they're too chicken to do it." Kiba joked. Naruto chuckled and looked at Kiba. He then stuck out his hand at him.
"Friends?" Naruto asked.
"Friends." Kiba answered and took his hand. They shook and laughed. That's when they felt the cold hand of death grab them. They slowly turned to see Tsume standing by the cell. Her arms were folded and she was tapping her foot. Even Naruto knew that this meant trouble.
That night, neither boy could sit down properly.