Title: Realizations

Author: Jasmine Starlight

Universe: Naruto

Rating: T

Word Count: 631

Spoilers: eh…not that many…until the episode where Naruto and Kiba finish their match in the Chuunin Exam and the fights with Sound after that.

Warnings: yaoi

Time Started: 09:35 PM 9/28/05

Time Completed: 10:07 PM 9/28/05

Pairing (s): Kiba/Naruto, slightly though.

A/N: I'm having a really bad week…what the fuck! Is the Hokage supposed to live in Hokage tower?

Disclaimer…love me when I'm gone baby.

Dedication: all my reviewers who help me out of my slumps.

There'd always been something different about Naruto, Kiba, being more socially aware than most people gave him credit for, had picked up on this. Like when playing with Naruto was an unspoken taboo for a reason no one knew and no one cared for that matter.

Kiba had always regarded Naruto as what he seemed to be, the dead last, but when they finally became real ninjas he started seeing past the façade.

Prior to the Chuunin exams Kiba never really associated with anyone outside his cell, he'd heard the rumors about Naruto and incident with the graduation exam, but had written them off as some vast exaggeration.

It was after his loss to Naruto during the Chuunin exams that Kiba truly began to see what Iruka-sensei seemed to see, for all his pranks and procrastination Naruto was invested 100 in being a ninja. Hearing about Naruto's vow to Hinata only strengthened that theory.

Dedicated to forcing people to acknowledge his presence whether they wanted to or not, Kiba wasn't cut from a very different thread but he never knew how much little things meant to the blonde boy.

Like attention from Sakura, or Sasuke or even Kakashi-sensei, it all mattered; Naruto cared for everyone in the village in some odd way, even if that affection didn't seem to be reciprocated. Naruto loved the village in its entirety, prejudices and all, Kiba didn't know if he'd ever be able to do that. Or that he'd ever want to do that.

After losing to Naruto, Kiba, oddly, couldn't find annoyance or venom bubbling up inside of him. It was just humiliation, pure and simple. Not the humiliation of losing to Naruto, which wasn't a bad reflection of his character, it was just the humiliation of just losing period.

Kiba had long since corrected his error of making Naruto the butt of every joke, which was something; he'd done for years. Kiba saw something in the other boy's eyes that day, a shred of the real person behind the big smile and violent colored hair and it intrigued him.

Years later Kiba would pinpoint that day as the exact moment his life became worth living, following the retrieve Sasuke debacle Kiba began to understand the mystery of Uzumaki Naruto.

Kiba had a feeling he'd never fully understand Naruto, who was all violent colors and pent-up emotions. But knowing what he did was enough, coming home to the Hokage's private apartment after a long ANBU mission to smell Naruto (who always made a point to be there when Kiba came back from a particularly grueling assignment) cooking ramen was something that relieved Kiba.

Or watching the contentment present in Naruto's aura as he watched the Academy children play during their break from the occasional tyrant known as Iruka-sensei, or the sadness when he saw another child so much like himself. Neglected and discarded, another orphan from another mission that had gone awry.

Being privy to such genuine emotion made Kiba feel privileged to have realized the true value enigma that still was Uzumaki Naruto. The knowledge that he might never truly comprehend the other boy had never bothered Kiba.

Just another expectation to prove wrong.