"49 S-rank missions, over a few million in village profit and the singular caretaker of two younger siblings. That is what you took away from this village, Hatake."
Kakashi Hatake stood stock-still, his eyes facing forward. He wouldn't dare meet the gaze of the Third Hokage while the man talked. He knew even a single glance would crumple any sort of resistance he had remaining.
"On top of that, we now have a traumatized child who has experienced his first murder at the ripe age of four. A child whose emotional stability is required to hold back a creature who can level this whole village in the matter of minutes." With these words, the older man stood. Kakashi tried his best not to show it but a tremor ran down his spine at the action. With each step that the Hokage took closer to him, Kakashi felt his breath shorten in his throat.
"I should kill you where you stand." Kakashi's facade shattered the moment those words were spoken. The statement came in a whisper, barely reaching his ears yet rattling his soul to it's very core. Against his will, his body twitched. That would prove to be a mistake.
Before the man could react, a fist crashed deep into his lower back. A soundless scream leapt from his mouth as he crumpled to the ground. It didn't take a medical-nin to know that the punch had ruptured his kidney.
"I've placed you on Naruto's guard duty to protect him from situations like this." Kakashi could barely make out the man's words through his own haze of pain. He didn't dare try to get up in fear that another punch would be greeting him.
"Effective immediately, you will be removed from his guard rotation." The pain had lessened up just enough for Kakashi to feel his stomach drop at the statement.
"Your chakra will be sealed and you will be enlisted to do manual labor until I see fit." The older man reached down and placed a hand on Kakashi's shoulder. In an instant, Kakashi felt more tired than he had felt in a long time as the pain came rushing back to him.
"Take him to medical and fix his kidney. As soon as he's able to walk, get him to work." At the Hokage's words, two shinobi with animal-themed masks appeared at Kakashi's side. They picked the man up by his arms, seemingly not too caring of his poor condition, before disappearing from the room in a puff of smoke and leaves. The Hokage soon followed after them, leaving the room in an almost unnoticeable puff of smoke.
Hiruzen reappeared in a dimly-lit room nearly 2 kilometers away. The single other occupant of the room gave no visible reaction to his arrival as they continued to write away at the small journal they held.
"How is he?" The Hokage spoke. The writer continued their task for several more moments before closing the small notebook and looking up at the man.
"He's suffering from post-traumatic stress and undergoing an episode of psychosis." Hiruzen felt his heart drop at his fellow man's words.
"He seems to be seeing images of the boy he murdered." The man continued. "From what I can make out from his mutterings, he thinks the child is still pursuing him."
"Have you tried exploring his mind?" The other man shook his head negatively.
"Exploring the mind of any person going through trauma is dangerous. The mind of a jinchuriki is an even bigger unknown. I wanted to wait for your approval before proceeding." Hiruzen turned his attention to the large window occupying much of the wall to their left. Through the view that the window provided, one could spot a small, blond-haired child sitting in the corner of a small, well-furnished room. The boy's knees were tucked up into his chest as he stared dimly down at the ground.
"Do it. Be delicate but do it." The man nodded his head at his superior's statement. He then stood and walked over to the wall that the room shared with the room the boy was in. A simple touch of his hand revealed a seal that lit up to reveal a door.
Inoichi frowned as he entered the room. His presence hadn't drawn a single reaction from the boy.
"He's deep into his psychosis." The man thought to himself as he walked towards the corner the boy occupied. Even as he closed in on the boy, Naruto gave no reaction to the man's presence. He simply kept staring down at the ground, seemingly ignorant of everything in the room.
"Naruto." Inoichi spoke while standing a few inches away from the boy. The tiny blond gave no response. The older blond's frown deepened but he continued nonetheless.
"I'm going to perform a technique on you. It's to help you feel better, okay?" The man tried to keep his tone soft, knowing that dealing with children can be difficult. Dealing with traumatized children was an even greater task.
The boy gave no response and Inoichi took that as a sign to proceed. With a deep breath, the man braced himself before flashing through a quick series of hand-signs. He didn't even have to think about their order as the technique came as naturally to him as breathing.
"Psycho Mind Transmission." The man settled his hand on Naruto's head and dived in.
You liked it, didn't you? You are a freak.
"I didn't like it. I swear I didn't like it."
Is that how you killed my parents? Did you stab them to death just like you did me?
"I didn't kill your parents!" He screamed. Large breaths heaved out of his mouth for a few moments before he seemed to retract back into himself.
"I'm not a killer."
You're sure about that?
Naruto's eyes flew open as the sight of his fellow orphan's body invaded his mind. The image was as bloody and holes-filled as the blond last left him. Instead of the dead, lifeless stare that would be expected from a corpse, the image of the dead boy held an angry stare.
"I'm not a killer." The boy whispered again. His voice quivered as he spoke. His eyes were slammed shut in an attempt to block out the image of the dead boy.
Over a book. You killed me because I wanted a book. Sounds like a ki-
"You were going to hurt me!" Naruto shouted out in anger. The image of the bloodied boy seemed to drift back at the intensity of the blond's words.
"You were going to hurt me." The boy repeated at a lower volume. "And I don't want to be hurt anymore."
Are you going to do this to everyone that wants to hurt you? Are you going to kill them just like you killed me?
Naruto didn't immediately respond to the apparition's statement. The image of his fellow orphan seemed to hang over his head as the boy contemplated his words.
"I don't want to be hurt anymore." He muttered out in response. At his words, the bloodied orphan didn't respond. Instead, the apparition faded from view, leaving the young child alone once more in dark, seemingly endless void the two had occupied.
"I don't want to be hurt anymore."
Deeper into the recesses of the boy's mental space, a separate occupant was observing the interaction between the boy and his 'ghost'. Two dark red-eyes peered from behind a massive gate.
"This is the result of the peace you so desperately fought for, Father." A gruff voice echoed through the massive room.
"Humans truly are pathetic. I will never know what you saw in this species." The voice huffed out before the eyes closed. A few silent moments passed in the room before the eyes opened once more.
"Hmm." The noise carried with it a curious tone as it echoed through the room. The eyes drifted downward to the water-covered floor of the room to see the faint reflection of a sun shimmering in the liquid. Contained within the sun was a single magatama that flashed a bright yellow before disappearing along with the sun.
"Father?" The voice mumbled out. After a few moments of silence, the voice released a laugh as the eyes closed once more.
"I'm not sure if you know what you've just done."
"It's not promising, Hokage-Sama." Hiruzen frowned as his subordinate spoke. The two men were back in their isolated room after Inoichi's brief dive into Naruto's mind.
"The boy is in a deep episode of psychosis. He is imagining the corpse of the child he murdered taunting him. His grip on reality at the moment is tenuous at best and non-existent at worst. I wouldn't expect him to be responsive for at least the next week or so."
If it was possible, the frown on the older man's face fell even further. He glanced over to the glass to see the boy still sat in the same position as earlier before. Not a thing had changed since Inoichi had entered the room.
"Did you happen to have any encounter with the Kyuubi?" The platinum blond shook his head no.
"I attempted to inspect the mental aspect of the seal but was unable to proceed much further than the boy's psychosis state. I didn't sense the beast's presence in the area that I wa-" The man's words came to an abrupt halt as a loud smack echoed through the room. Both men, despite their accumulative decades of training, jumped at the noise as they looked for the source. They quickly found it as their eyes simultaneously landed on the one-way glass in the room.
Naruto Uzumaki, the same boy that Inoichi had just claimed wouldn't be responsive for at least a week, was standing at the one-way glass. It was clear that he was the origin of the smacking noise since his hand was still attached to the glass. Despite it being a one-way glass, both men felt as if the boy could see them both. His eyes drifted between the two, never settling on either for too long.
If all that wasn't enough to surprise the two men, the new object present in the room sure did. Hanging just slightly behind and above the boy's head was a single small black sphere. Despite the wall separating the two groups, both shinobi could feel the massive amounts of chakra that the sphere held.
"I may have … misspoke, Master Sarutobi."
It had been a whole month since that day. The moment that Naruto became responsive, a series of tests were conducted on him. Inoichi conducted another psychological evaluation of the boy while Hiruzen's most trusted medics inspected the boy's body.
While the boy had been perfectly fine physically, his mental state was a completely different story. His responsiveness was not a sign of a clean psychological bill of health. The boy's experience in killing left him scarred. Two hours after his reawakening, Inoichi diagnosed the boy with PTSD and a gluttony of anxiety based disorders.
Despite the boy's growing list of mental disorders, Hiruzen found the orb that had appeared in the midst of Naruto's episode was much more of a conundrum. Besides knowing that it held a disturbing amount of chakra, nothing else could be deduced from it's presence. It didn't help that the boy was fiercely protective of the orb and it seemingly felt the same towards the child. The two were undoubtedly linked and any attempt to separate the two would result in harm. The old man still had chakra burns from his first and last attempt at doing so,
With all this came a change in life for Naruto. His existence from the orphanage was wiped away from the memories of most. The Yamanaka were to thank for that. The boy he had murdered was "adopted" by a family that lived on the outskirts of Konoha.
Naruto found himself placed in an apartment under the guardianship of the Hokage's elite guards. Throughout the day, the ninja would make themselves visible to cook and clean the living quarters while also providing the boy with some sort of social interaction. The group didn't speak much but considering the boy did the same, it was a workable situation.
The night had come on this particular day. The ANBU had gone through their usual routine of cooking dinner for the boy and sitting with him as he ate. They couldn't remove their masks so dinner was a bit of a strange affair. Three adults in masks watched in silence as the blond ate. Dinner was a silent affair as Naruto's mind seemed more occupied than usual. The ever-present black sphere hung over his head, seemingly serving as yet another watcher for the boy.
After the lackluster dinner, the blond quickly retreated into his room. The boy's room was the one place where the Hokage's observation came to an end. Despite their best effort, no ANBU could make their way into the bedroom. If any effort was made to pass through the door or window, the sphere hanging over the boy would assault any infiltrator. Moving at speeds that were difficult for even the ANBU to follow, the ball would slam into any assailant. The attack had the capacity to cause harsh bruising and even break bones.
After the first few days in the apartment, the ANBU and the Hokage quickly got the message that the boy's room was off limits to their eyes. A compromise was made and a simple observation seal was grafted into the child's room. The seal would alert the guards if any other person but Naruto stepped into the room.
Night overtook the Konoha quick and left the small blond sitting in his bed. Despite the lack of lighting, the boy's eyes seemed locked onto the black sphere as it sat inches away from his face.
Without any prompting, the sphere began to morph. Almost as if an invisible hand was molding clay, the sphere compacted and contracted for a few moments before turning into a star. The star existed for a few moments before morphing again. This time it changed to the shape of a flower. The flower stayed static for a short while before growing and blossoming as if it was a living thing.
The blond's eyes remained locked on the orb as it proceeded to go through dozens of shape orb continued changing for a full five minutes before finally settling into its final shape.
"No one is going to hurt me anymore." The child muttered to himself as he plucked the jet-black kunai from out the air. His head finally met his pillow as he laid down for the night, clutching the kunai tightly against his chest while mouthing soundless words to himself.
AN: I made a new discord server. Server code is uwDbA84u. Hop on in if you want.