A Shattered Demon Child
Lady Tsunade received a message from Kakashi about the events that happened shortly after Naruto left the hospital. The sanin wasn't surprised, however, she was still a little upset. At her desk, she looked at the stacks of paperwork, wanting to avoid all of it and go see how Naruto was doing. She worried for the blond boy as she knew how it felt to lose people close to you, and it was a weight no child should have to bare.
With that in mind, she requested Kakashi to her office first thing that morning. He was only running slightly behind, however, that was to be expected with Kakashi. Knowing him, he was probably worrying about Naruto just like she was.
"Lady Tsuande?" Shizune interrupted, causing Tsunade to pull back from her clouded thoughts and worries.
"Master Jiraiya is here as you requested."
The woman nodded as Shizune opened the door to let the white-haired man in. His face was serious and he was worried. He and Tsuande were both on the same page as she forwarded the information Kakashi provided to the toad sage following the message being delivered to her. She told Kakashi to arrange for someone to keep an eye on Naruto while he came to their meeting in her office.
"Tsunade," Jiraiya greeted, waving his hand at her.
She smiled faintly and said, "Glad you made it. We're just waiting on Kakashi."
The old man nodded and stood in front of her desk. After waiting silently for about ten minutes, a puff of smoke rose in the room and Kakashi appeared before them, looking as void of emotion as ever. His eyes were blank, almost as if he were still having conflicting emotions, but kept a straight face. He walked forwards with his hands in his pockets and stood beside Jiraiya.
"I take it you were informed about the situation?" Kakashi asked, looking over at Jiraiya.
He nodded. "Tsunade filled me in."
The slug sage sighed as she nodded and said, "Alright, now that we're all here, we can begin discussing a plan of action."
The two men nodded and so did Shizune, standing in to aid in any way she could.
"So, Kakashi, you spoke with Naruto and talked with him before informing what happened, right?"
Kakashi nodded. "Yeah, that's correct."
Tsunade lacked her fingers together and asked, "Did you get any answers out of him? What did you two talk about?"
Kakashi felt his body shudder and he said, "I reasoned with him and explained a few things to him. I won't go into detail, however, I got all I needed from him. He wasn't meaning to kill himself, he simply got carried away. When he woke up this morning, he seemed to be calm and understanding. His seems to trust me."
Jiraiya nodded and grabbed his chin. "Yeah, that sounds about like Naruto. He's probably exhausted and too tired to really react in an extreme way. How's he physically?"
"His arms are healing just fine, slower than usual, but there was a lot of damage to be fair. He'll be fine in the next day or two, but in the mean time, I ordered him to stay with me until he was well again. I was going to talk to Iruka this afternoon after the academy lets out. I haven't informed him about anything just yet, I wanted to clarify with both of you before I did so," Kakashi explained.
Tsunade's gaze hardened. "Who's watching him right now?"
"Pakkun is watching him. I let him in on the situation and gave him orders to protect and watch over Naruto."
She nodded and said, "That's probably for the best; any human interaction at this point should be limited until he's recovered. We don't need him spooked or lashing out. Good work, Kakashi."
The jonin gave her a nod and Jiraiya crossed his arms once again.
"So, where do you want to go from here?" the sage asked in a calm tone.
Tsuande looked at him and asked, "Do you have a suggestion?"
He nodded and said, "Well, my little pupil has been wanting to train with me, and I need to conduct my research for my book, so in all honesty, I'm thinking I take him with me."
"For how long?"
"About three years. If he's determined to beat Sasuke and he seems pretty set on finding him, I believe taking him with me will help things move along, and at least then, I can help him get away from his troubles for a time," the sage explained.
Kakashi's eye widened slightly. "Are you sure?"
Jiraiya nodded and said, "Absolutely. I'll do what I can for him."
Tsuande gave a warm smile and closed her eyes. "If there's even a chance it will improve things, I say we go for it. It won't be easy, but in all honesty, that's what you signed up for."
"So, does Naruto know where you are and what you're doing?"
"Yeah. He's not thrilled but he said he understood and wouldn't do anything reckless," Kakashi replied to the Hokage.
Pakkun was trained to deal with these situations, as he had to learn when Kakashi was young. He didn't like the idea that Naruto seemed to adopt similar issues that Kakashi developed at a young age. It had been many years since Pakkun had to deal with this situation or anything similar, but regardless, he knew what he had to do for his master.
Naruto, who was sitting on the bed, picking along the bandages that his sensei wrapped his arms in, was lost in thought. His quiet behavior was making Pakkun worry; this didn't feel right. The blond was anxiously waiting for Kakashi to come back from meeting with Tsuande and Jiraiya. Eventually, Naruto's mind began to wonder into empty thought, seeming lost in space.
"Hey, kid," Pakkun grumbled, trying not to startle the kid.
Naruto looked over. "Hmm?"
"You probably shouldn't be doing that. While the nine-tails might heal you fast, reopening the wound will only delay and prolong the time it takes to heal," Pakkun stated as he jumped onto the bed, sitting in front of Naruto.
Naruto gave him a nod and pulled his knees to his chest.
"Say, Pakkun, is what Kakashi said true?"
The pug tilted his head. "Huh? What're you talking about?"
"Sensei said when he was younger... he was a lot like me. He had similar issues, like mine," Naruto said quietly.
Pakkun gave him a nod. "Yeah, kid. Its true. He was young, and he didn't get over his problems for a long time. After the attack on the village, Kakashi got better. And you now see the Kakashi that grew up, one of the strongest shinobi in the Land of Fire. It wasn't easy for him."
Naruto nodded and said quietly, "I see. That's why he doesn't get angry at me for..."
"Boss does care, kid. Trust me on that."
Naruto believed the pug, but there was part of him that felt an ache in his chest. He had a lot of doubt, and a lot of anxiety to say the least. He wasn't sure what his sensei would tell him when he returned for the Hokage's office. What if... What if Kakashi changed his mind? What if he just wanted to get rid of him, realizing that he wasn't worth helping?
His breathing picked back up, a feeling that was not uncommon to the child. He curled tighter around his legs pressed to his chest as Pakkun noticed his behavior. Pakkun brushed his head against the kids leg, trying to comfort the kid.
Naruto felt the tears well in his eyes as the thoughts came flooding back about the events that had only taken place days ago. He clutched the side of his head, feeling as if the world were going to cave in around him.
I failed, I failed, I failed, I failed, I failed, I failed, I failed, I failed, I FAILED I FAILED I FAILED, Naruto thought to himself over, and over, and over again, losing control of his breathing. His fingernails extended slowly and pressed into his scalp.
"Naruto, you need to calm down," Pakkun instructed in a calm tone.
The boy shook his head and his body began to tremble, consumed by his raging thoughts. Pakkun knew this was bad, in fact, he didn't have long to get to Kakashi if the kid snapped. He tried once again to calm the boy, rubbing his head against his side and his leg but to no avail. He had no choice, he had to get the boss.
"Naruto, stay put. I'll go get Kakashi," Pakkun said, jumping onto the floor. Naruto couldn't hear him, his head was spinning and he was unable to get enough oxygen to his lungs. He was gasping for air, seeming unable to control himself. The dark edges of his vision were closing in, just as he thought they would. Meanwhile, Pakkun ran as fast as he could to reach Kakashi.
Naruto's mind was blank as his breathing died down a bit, causing him to start losing consciousness. He wasn't sure how long he was alone, but it felt like hours.
He tried to move, but not limb would respond, not even a single muscle moved. His body felt cold as he realized he was being lifted up for some reason. His mind began to race again, causing the pounding in his chest to echo into his head. He winced and started having trouble breathing once again. Kakashi's heart dropped as he tried to calm his student, leaning over him and gently holding him still as he laid on his side on the bed.
Pakkun watched with a grim expression on his face. This was a sight he knew all too well, and Kakashi did too. Kakashi knelt down beside the bed to get to eye level with his student. His eyes held a void look as his face flushed red. Kakashi felt the boy's forehead, only to have his theory confirmed; Naruto was hyperventilating, and now had a slight fever. Once again, Kakashi felt his heart sink a bit further, knowing exactly what was going on, and knowing he could only do so much to try and ease the boys mind.
"Should I get Tsunade?" Pakkun asked.
Kakashi shook his head. "No, not right now. I shouldn't have left him alone... Thank you, Pakkun. You're dismissed."
The pug nodded and turned into a puff of smoke. The silver-haired shinobi sighed, sitting properly beside Naruto on the floor. He started stroking his hair, trying to soothe the panic he had. He seemed to start relaxing as his eyes finally slid shut, leaving an exhausted expression on his face as he finally passed out.
Kakashi shook his head once again, trying not to hurt too much for his sensei's son.
Minato-sensei... I don't know if I'm doing the right thing. There's so much I don't know and he won't tell me, but I understand why. You'd know what to do, you and Kushina would both know exactly how to deal with this entire situation, Kakashi thought grimly to himself.
Noticing the small bit of blood in his hair, Kakashi looked at Naruto's scalp to see marks where his nails dug into his skin. The bleeding had stopped and shouldn't be there longer than maybe a day or two, but it was still concerning. His fingers still had dried blood at the very tips of his fingernails. Looking at the boy for Kakashi's angle, his sensei worried. The bags under the boys eyes expressed that he was exhausted, physically and emotionally. His pained expression on his face reflected to Kakashi that he was really needing for someone to get through to him.
Jiraiya was probably the best person to get through to Naruto. After all, he did train the Forth Hokage, the boys father of all people who also could get through to Kakashi.