Return To Innocence
Chapter Six: The Other Side Of Me
By: Wolf of the Mist

Disclaimer: Naruto belongs to Masashi Kishimoto. I own nothing but the idea for this story.


"ZABUZA!!!"

Zabuza sighed. He hadn't even made it though the door before he was accosted. He calmly pulled out his pass and handed it to the fuming teacher.

Iruka-sensei snatched up the pass and read it quickly. "You're off this time, but DO NOT be late to my class."

"Feh!" Zabuza muttered as he took his seat in the back, glaring at the two kids that dared snicker at him.

Iruka then turned toward the student standing in the doorway. "You must be my new student. We don't really have assigned seats in this class, so just sit anywhere you like."

Haku quickly glanced around the rather large class and noted that the only seats that were unoccupied where the four around Zabuza in the back so he decided to take one them.

Class was relatively quiet as Haku listened intently to his sensei's lecture while Zabuza stared off into space only half listening. Before they knew it the class had ended.

"Remember, you will be having a group project coming up so keep that in mind!" Stated Iruka-sensei as he tried to keep his students organized the last second before the bell rang.

Haku quickly left his seat as the bell rang, he noticed however that Zabuza had yet to move from his seat. He paused for a moment before continuing on toward his locker.

As soon as everyone was clear of the classroom Zabuza sighed and mentally counted down, '3…2….1'

"ZABUZA-ONIISAN!!!" Two little spiky-haired kids launched themselves through the doorway, throwing their belongings to the side and latched onto him with death grips.

Zabuza looked down at the two children clutching his legs and he couldn't help but smirk at their enthusiasm underneath his mask. "And what have you two brats been up to lately?"

The yellowed hair one spoke up first, "We haven't seen you in forever oniisan!!"

Zabuza ruffled both boys hair, "I've been busy lately." The boys giggled. It was then Zabuza noticed the bandage on the younger.

"Naruto?" Zabuza questioned, motioning toward the bandage.

"hehehe" Naruto scratched the back of his head, "Well you see oniisan, that bully Sasuke was making fun of tousan and I told him to stop but he wouldn't so then I shoved him, and then he came back later with his older brother, Itachi. Itachi grabbed me and put my hands behind my back and then that jerk Sasuke punched me in the face." Naruto grabbed his brother shoulders. "But it was lucky for me that Gaara was there to help me out. We totally whooped them! Hehe" The boys laughed.

Zabuza smirked, these brats were already getting into fights and winning. "Gaara, it's a good thing you were there. You must always support your brother no matter what and fight for what is important to you, but next time Naruto" He ruffled the boy's hair "You need to keep your guard up."

Naruto beamed. "Of course oniisan! I won't let those jerks get the best of me again! I'll get stronger. So strong that they won't even be close to me!"

"Zabuza gets a hug before me." Iruka came up to them with a mock hurt expression on his face.

The boys broke away from Zabuza and flew into the other man, "Tousan!"

"And how are my boys today?" Iruka smiled down at the two and then noticed Naruto's bandage. "Naruto what happened?"

As Naruto relayed his story Zabuza could see the worry in the older mans eyes. Iruka scolded Naruto and Gaara for fighting but then he hugged them and told them he was glad they were not seriously hurt.

"I'm going into your school tomorrow and having a talk with your teacher. Itachi is 10! He has no business fighting with 6 year-olds!"

"Don't worry tousan! Kakashi-oyaji took care of it already. We were in the principals' office and he wasn't going to let us go until one of our parents came and talked to him, so we called Kakashi-oyaji and he came and got us."

"Yep that's right." Kakashi stood in the doorway with his hands in his pockets.

Iruka regarded Kakashi and then turned to Zabuza, "Do you mind watching them while we talk Zabuza?"

"Feh! Liked I'd say no. Common' you brats." The two boys ran after him picking up their back packs and soccer ball.

Zabuza made his way to his locker and begun putting his things away as he listened to the two boys chatter while passing the ball between them.

"You know oniisan, Gaara has decided what he wants to be when he grows up!" Naruto stated as he passed the ball back to Gaara.

"Naruto! You said you wouldn't tell!" Gaara whined.

"Oniisan doesn't care! Do ya?! You're proud of what ya want to do, aren't cha? I don't see the reason you want to keep it a secret."

Zabuza shut his locker and looked down at the two boys, "Naruto, if your brother told you not to tell anyone then you shouldn't or he won't tell you anything again."

Gaara juggled the ball with himself and looked at his oniisan. "It's ok oto. I was planning on telling you anyway." Gaara continued juggling. "I'm going to be a professional soccer player!" He lifted the ball up in the air and kicked it with all his might forward.

Naruto yelped as he dove to the side, dodging the flying object. "Oi Gaara, I'm not Kakashi-oyaji! Don't kick so hard!"

Gaara rubbed the back of his head sheepishly. "Sorry about that, I got worked up oto. I'll go get it!"

Gaara ran down the hall in search of his lost soccer ball. He came around the corner and noticed that it had become lodged between some trash cans. Gaara pushed them aside and retrieved his prize. "Gotcha'!"

Suddenly there was a loud crash. Gaara looked up and saw a boy being shoved into a locker by three others.

"It's your fault that demon attacked us!" One boy shouted as he punched the kid in the stomach. The kid collapsed against the lockers.

Gaara seethed in anger. Zabuza-oniisan had always told him never pick on people weaker that you or those that didn't fight back. The boys in front of him were doing exactly that. "Hey!" He yelled out causing the boys to look at him. "You better stop that!"

The boys laughed. "And what if we don't? What are you going to do about it half-pint?"

Gaara placed his ball on the ground and glared at the boys. "I'm warning you."

"Oi, Ginta he's warning us. Maybe we should go change his diaper, he's probably about to wet himself. Run along home if you know what's good for you brat." A boy mocked.

Gaara didn't wait a second more before he kicked the ball as hard as he could. The ball found its intended target successfully knocking the wind from his lungs.

"Yosh!" Gaara cheered, however his victory was short lived as the two older boys moved toward him.

"You're going to pay you little brat!"

Gaara turned and ran back the way he came. As he turned the corner he shouted "Aniki!"

The boys were almost upon him as he made the final turn. Luckily for him Zabuza had run when he heard Gaara's yell. The boys saw Zabuza coming toward them and beat a hastily retreat back the way they had come.

Gaara stopped as he met up with Zabuza and Naruto.

"Oniichan what happened?" Asked Naruto.

"Those guys were picking on someone, but then I told them to stop and they came after me! Hurry, that other kid is in trouble." He tugged Zabuza sleeve to usher him down the hallway.

Zabuza nodded and allowed himself to be lead by Gaara. Whoever it was that dared to attack him was going to get retribution. He cracked his knuckles.

He turned the final corner and came into contact with the same boys who had pushed Haku off the ropes earlier.

"Ku ku ku. Luck doesn't seem to be on your side today does it?" He grinned devilishly at the boys who cowered in fear.

"Please don't hurt us!"

"Too late for that, scum." He reached out and grabbed the closest guy and flung him across the hall into the nearby trashcans. The other boy tried to flee but was tripped up by Naruto who stuck out his foot.

"It was Ginta, wasn't it" Zabuza said evilly. "You would think you'd have learned your lesson by now, but it doesn't appear so. Maybe another session is in order."

Zabuza drew his fist back and connected with Ginta's stomach repetitively. Zabuza then picked up the slumped boys body and threw it to the side. "Unless you want more pain, I suggest you apologize and get the hell out of here."

Ginta stuttered an apology before he scrambled down the hallway, desperately trying to get away from Zabuza as fast as he could.

Naruto stuck his tongue out at the retreating boys figure. "That'll teach ya not to mess with oniichan! Hehe! Right Gaara?" Naruto turned around to find Gaara beside a slumped figure against the lockers. He ran over there to help him stand.

"Whoa, let me help ya!" He ran over to help the boy up. At least he thought it was a boy or maybe it could have been a girl. Naruto shook his head; it must have been a boy because he was wearing a boy's uniform; no matter how long that kid's hair was he decided, it was a boy. Or maybe…no. It was a boy.

Zabuza turned around to face the two children helping the figure up. He couldn't believe his eyes at first until the figure spoke.

"Well you seem to be bailing me out of a lot of trouble today Zabuza-san."


Authors Notes: Sorry about this taking forever. What has it been three years? I'm horrible. This has actually been written in my notebook for quite some time I just never typed it up on my computer. The whole Gaara beating up those guys with a soccer ball was totally stolen from Detective Conan. I just couldn't help it! Anyway here is the next chapter! Hope you enjoyed it. I've also re-edited chapters 1-5.