Koinu: Hello everyone! I'm Koinu, the authur of this FanFic, and I don't own Naruto or Wolf's Rain. But I do own Takai, she's my character, and I don't want anybody taking her without my permision, got it?
The mournful howl of a lone wolf broke the silence of the night. Soon, it was accompanied by the melancholy voices of three other wolves. Takai would have given anything to howl along with those wolves, to fight alongside them, but she couldn't. She had promised them that she would take Cheza to safety. The young female wolf heard gunshots in the distance and prayed that her friends, her pack, were still alive.:Oh please, please, let them come out of this alive. Kiba, Hige, Toboe, Tsume, don't you dare die on me. Remember, Cheza and I will be waiting:
"Takai, I want you to take Cheza and find a safe place to stay." Kiba said sternly. "If anything happens to us, you have to keep her away from the Nobles."
Takai looked around helplessly. She couldn't believe that they were doing this to her. "No…no," She complained, "no, I want to fight with you! Tsume, you're on my side, tell him that I should fight with you!" Tsume just shook his head. Takai looked at the others; they all had sad expressions on their faces. "No, you can't all give up! You can't just say 'look, I'm gonna die' and not do anything about it! I won't let you! I'm gonna fight with you, and we're going to win!"
"Takai, when we allowed you to come with us to paradise, you said that you would repay us somehow." Kiba dropped a sleeping Cheza into Takai's arms. "Well, this is it."
Takai fought back tears as she ran. If she cried she might awake the sleeping Cheza, who was cradled gently in her arms. She knew that there had to be a town somewhere, it was just a matter of time till she found one. Even in her human form, Takai kept her keen ears, eyes, and nose alert to anything that might mean danger, or salvation. After some time, Takai caught a familiar scent, the scent of a metropolis. A smile tugged at her lips despite her fear and grief, and she urged her legs to move faster. Yet, in her haste, she failed to notice a tree root that lay in her path. She tripped over the root, but still managed to turn on her side, sheltering Cheza from harm as she skidded along the ground. Takai fell hard, and by the time she had stopped sliding her whole side was torn-up and bleeding. She cringed in pain as it made its presence known, and gently placed Cheza on the ground beside her. Takai thanked the stars when she continued to sleep peacefully, oblivious to what was happening around her. Sitting up, Takai gingerly placed a hand on her side. Her shirt was torn, and through it she could feel her warm blood as it seeped out of her body, but she was relived to find that she had no serious injuries. "Well… what do we have here?" The masculine voice said from within the shadows. Surprised, Takai whipped her head around to locate the speaker.
"Who are you?" She growled accusingly, her voice dripping with malice.
"It's okay," The voice said, "I'm not going to hurt you. My name is Iruka."
Takai responded with a low growl.
Iruka ignored her lack of a comment. "Can I ask why you're running through the forest at this time of night?" He asked.
Takai's voice became quiet, and she stuttered as she searched for the right response. "My… my clan was attacked… I don't know if anyone else survived… so far its just Cheza, and me…"
Iruka jumped down from his perch in a nearby tree. The sudden motion, plus the sound of his feet touching the ground nearby, caused Cheza to stir. Takai put a reassuring hand on the sleeping maiden's shoulder, who in turn, fell back into a quiet sleep.
"That's too bad…" Iruka said, "Well… I might be able to find a place for you to stay… if you agree to tell me your name."
Takai looked up. Iruka was standing right above her, so close. Was he unable to see that she was a wolf? Was he not able to see the danger she represented? Was he so oblivious that he was unable to see all the vulnerable places he was showing her, those few places that she could have used to kill him in an instant?
"M-my name," She finally stammered out, "my name is Takai."
:Death: Iruka pondered in his head. :Why would her name mean death: He shook his head and pushed the issue to the back of his mind. Lots of people had strange names. Kakashi, for instance, meant 'Scarecrow'. This name was just a little stranger. Sighing, he bent down and picked up the girl that Takai had addressed a 'Cheza'. She was surprisingly light; it was as if the girl didn't weigh anything at all!
"I…ah…" Takai tried to protest.
"Don't worry, I won't drop her." Iruka said over his shoulder. "Now come on, we've got to get you bandaged up!"
Takai let out a sigh and got to her feet, if this Iruka character was going to carry Cheza, then so be it. As long as he didn't try anything, she was more than happy to be burdenless.
Iruka led her through the forest for a few minutes, and Takai allowed her mind to wander. Finally, it landed on the subject of her pack. What she had told Iruka wasn't a complete lie; her pack had been attacked, she and Cheza had fled, and she didn't know if anyone had survived other than the two of them.
Without Takai noticing a small town came into view. She was so caught up in her own thoughts that she nearly ran into Iruka.
"Welcome," Iruka stated, "welcome to Konoha village, also known as the Village Hidden in the Leaves!" He led the way through the village, with Takai following blindly. She had no reason to stay here very long, so therefore she had no reason to memorize every street and alleyway.
Finally, Iruka stopped in front of a small building.
"Here we are." He said as he somehow opened the door without dropping Cheza. He led the way through house and stopped before small room. "This is the guest room," He explained, "bathrooms' right down the hall." He then set Cheza down on the bed. "I'll be back in a sec, I'm just going to get some bandages for your wounds."
Takai sat down on the end of the bed where Cheza lay, contemplating what to do if Iruka suddenly decided she was a threat and tried to kill her.
:No: She thought. :I don't think he would have lead me all the way here if he was just going to kill me. But… If I had to… it would be but a simple matter to kill him:
Just then, Iruka walked back into the room, carrying some bandages.
"Here," He said as he handed her the bandages, "You can go clean yourself up in the bathroom, unless yo-."
"I'm fine." Takai interrupted. Walking by him she accidentally brushed shoulders with Iruka. She felt him shiver at her touch, but continued to stride down the hall towards the bathroom. After entering, she shut the door behind her and locked it. Taking off her shirt she washed her side with some water from the faucet and then wrapped the bandages around her torso tightly. She then splashed some water on her face to get rid of the sweat that covered it.
Finished, she lifted her head and caught sight of her reflection in the mirror. Staring back at her was a young girl, maybe only fourteen or fifteen years old. Her hair was an unruly blond mess, and her blue green eyes reflected the fear and anguish she felt inside. Despite herself, Takai chuckled. Of all things, why did she have to be cursed with having blond hair? Because of it, no one took her seriously. Why couldn't it be the glossy black color of her fur when she was in wolf form?
Replacing her shirt, Takai stepped out of the bathroom and quietly walked back towards the room where she was staying. Somewhere in the house, she was able to hear Iruka mumble something about seeing Lord Hokage. Silently, she opened the door to the bedroom. Upon entering, she was able to tell that Cheza was awake.
"Takai?" The maiden asked softly.
"Do you think the others are okay?"
Takai paused before answering. "I bet their fine. It'll take more than a few Nobles and their armies to get rid them. Now get some sleep, it's… well… jeez, I don't even know what time it is!"
Cheza smiled weakly, and lay back down on the bed. Takai waited till the maiden's breathing had become slow and even before she moved out of the doorway. Seeing that there was only one bed, Takai lay down on the floor next to it and curled up. But, even though the house was warm, she still felt cold without the bodies of her friends around her. Somehow, about a half-hour later, Takai drifted off into an uneasy sleep.
The next morning Takai awoke to find Cheza gently stoking her head.
"Good morning!" Cheza said happily.
"NO! FIVE MORE MINUTES!" Takai complained.
"Good, your awake!" Iruka said, popping his head into the room. Takai cursed under her breath and would have thrown something at Iruka if she had anything to throw. "There are some clothes for you in the bathroom, but you can wear what you have on if you want." He then left. Grumpy from waking up, Takai pulled herself off the ground. She then walked to the bathroom with Cheza following behind her.
Closing the door behind her and Cheza, Takai notice the cloths Iruka had been talking about sitting on the counter. She sifted through them, ignoring anything that looked like a dress, and finally picked some baggy camo pants and a blood red shirt. She also grabbed a shawl for Cheza. After dawning her new outfit, she and Cheza walked out of the bathroom towards the front door, where Iruka was waiting for them.
"Okay, now that you're ready, we're going to see the Lord Hokage about your situation." Iruka said. Once again, he then led the two girls through the city. Eventually they ended up outside a large building. The three of them entered, with Iruka leading the way, and walked down a corridor until Iruka stopped outside one of the doors.
"Um, Iruka," Takai started, "is it okay if Cheza stays out here? She gets upset easily, and she was asleep for most of the time, so… um…"
Iruka gave her a skeptical look, but then shrugged his shoulders.
"I'll be back soon, 'kay?" Takai said to Cheza. The girl shook her head, smiled, and then sat down in one of the chairs that lined the corridor. Takai winked and followed Iruka into the room.
"Hello Lord Hokage," Iruka said, "this is the girl I was telling you about before."
"Takai, I presume? Yes, I've heard a lot about you." The Lord Hokage said. "Now, what brings you to our village?"
Takai took in a deep breath. "Well, like I told Iruka, my clan was attacked and-." The Hokage cut her off.
"Show me your true form." He demanded.
Takai pretended to be confused. "I don't know what you're talking about-."
"I'm not blind, girl, now show me your true form!" The Hokage said in a louder voice.
Takai sighed. "Fine." She said quietly. She dropped the illusion, and there she stood, a large, midnight black wolf. She cast her golden eyes to the ground, yet kept her muscles tense and prepared to make a run for it. Suddenly, out of the corner of her eye, she spotted a kunai coming at her. She tried to dodge, but it found a home deep in her shoulder. Wounded, Takai fell to the ground, whimpering, while lying in a pool of her own crimson blood.
Suddenly, Iruka was standing over her, another kunai dangerously close to her throat.
"Who… No… What are you!" He yelled. Behind him Takai could hear Cheza banging on the door. The flower maiden obviously knew that Takai had been injured.
"I am a wolf," Takai managed to say, "my name is Burakku Takai, but those of your kind who have wished to kill me and gotten away alive know me as 'The Black Death', since attacking me or the people I love usually means the death of the attacker." Takai growled menacingly. "But I guess you figured that out when I told you my name was Takai, the Japanese word for Death." Takai paused for a moment. "And by the look on your face, you've figured out that my last name means death."
"Iruka, calm yourself." Lord Hokage advised. "Indeed it surprise's me that Takai is a wolf, seeing as her kind is supposed to be extinct, but I still wish to ask her something."
Takai was allowed to sit-up, yet she still kept her ears pinned flat against her head and lifted her lip in a threatening snarl. But she kept her attention on the Hokage, to hear if what he had to say was worth letting him live.
"I was wondering if you would like to enroll as a student at our ninja academy. I don't think Cheza has much of a future as a ninja, but you… I believe that you have potential." He looked at her hopefully. "What do you say?"
"Well…um…" Takai was taken a-back, and as of that moment didn't have the slightest idea of what she should say. She looked at Iruka, who, by the confused look on his face, didn't seem to have any idea that this was what the Hokage had been planning. "I guess so… but," Takai got to her feet and looked the Hokage straight in the eye, "if my friends come for me, then I will leave, no matter what you do or say to stop me. I will not be imprisoned here!"
"Then it's settled. Iruka, find this girl a place to stay and then give her a tour of the village." The Hokage said, smiling.
Takai changed back into her human form. She gripped the kunai in her shoulder with her left hand, and with a sudden jerk, pulled it out of her shoulder. Without anything in its way, her blood flowed freely and was soon dripping down her arm and making it's way down her back. Without instruction, she turned and followed Iruka as he continued out of the room.
Almost immediately upon exiting, Cheza confronted Takai about the wound.
"You're hurt! Here, let this one heal you…" Cheza said in a worried tone.
"I'm fine Cheza." Takai said as she held Cheza back. "It's nothing serious, really, I'm fine." She gave Cheza a small smile to show that she was telling the truth. She looked to where Iruka had been only to see that he was already a ways away. "Wait up Iruka!" She yelled as she took Cheza's hand and started running. When they finally caught up, Iruka turned to the two of them.
"From now on you will address me as 'Master' or 'Sensei', got it?"
Cheza and Takai stopped, baffled by his sternness. After a few seconds of blank stares being exchanged, Takai smiled a cocky smile.
"You're going to have to put up with Sensei, cause I refuse to address anyone as Master." Takai clenched her fists, but not in rage. "I'm no dog! Got it!" She glared at him, but mischief played in her eyes, making it seem as if she where just toying with Iruka. Suddenly a dripping sound could be heard. Startled, Takai looked down at her arm and saw her blood running down it.
"Takai!" Cheza screamed as she ran over to Takai's shoulder and began to heal it. She was soon finished, but Takai gave her a stern look.
"You didn't need to do that you know." Takai said wearily. She saw a vein appear on Cheza's neck and became worried.
"Oh… that… sorry." Iruka interrupted.
Takai turned to look at him. "It's okay, I've had worse. And it's not like you were really trying to kill me… right?"
Iruka chuckled. "No, I guess I wasn't." With that he turned away and started leading the way through the village again. This time though, Takai paid more attention to it. But it wasn't long before her keen ears caught the sound of angry voices. Trusting her instincts, Takai stuck her leg out, just in time to trip a boy clad all in orange.
"What the hell?" The blond haired boy yelled. He then looked up, his blue eyes landing on Iruka. "Ahhhhh, Master Iruka! It wasn't me, I swear!"
"Naruto…? What exactly did you do this time?" Iruka said to the boy.
Soon an angry looking man came into view.
"Hey you! Get back here and pay for that Ramen!" The man yelled.
"Naruto!" Iruka sounded angry. Naruto bowed his head, mumbled something about how life wasn't fair, and then went over to the angry man.
Iruka shook his head. "When will he learn…?" he sighed. He then turned to the two girls who seemed befuddled by the whole situation. "Shall we continue?" He said to them. Takai shook her head in agreement, while Cheza continued to watch what was happening to the boy named Naruto.
Eventually the trio ended up in front of an empty house on the edge of the village.
"After you." Iruka said quietly. Takai pushed open the door to reveal a living area. Beyond the living area was a kitchen, and there were also two main hallways leading from the living room to other parts of the house.
"This is cool." Takai said as she looked around. She then looked back at Iruka who was standing in the entryway.
"School starts Monday so I'll be back later with some supplies for you and to give you a tour of the village. But for now I'll give you some time to get settled in.
Takai looked at him and smile, maybe the humans' here weren't so bad.
"Thank you… Iruka Sensei!"
Koinu: So, how'd ya like it? Please review, and thanks for reading.