Disclaimer- I don't own Naruto, and I'm glad I don't, otherwise I would be the result of the terrible fillers that are playing on TV right now, and all of you would kill me…
Summary: October 13th has never been kind to Naruto. But what if this time he gets a gift he will never forget, and finds out that miracles aren't always what one expects them to be.
AU (alternate Universe) there will be OoC through the story on some characters.
Shift in Time or Seen
Well worn ropes swung back and forth under the wet branches of the academy's only standing tree. It was a cold and dreary night with large dark clouds pouring their tears upon the colorful village of Konoha. This was the kind of weather one would want and expect to have on the saddest day of the year; and for Naruto, it was the perfect weather for his Birthday – Cold and unkind.
October the 13th had never been a happy day for Naruto, far from special; for today was the day the boy would be constantly reminded of his cruel ties with the demon fox, Kyuubi; and often, his mind was not the culprit. Many times drunken and angry villagers had used this day as an excuse to abuse the boy mentally and physically, and despite the Hokage's attempts to stop this, the bitter villagers would use harsh, demoralizing words and bats, buckets, even kunai if available, to destroy the younger boy's already lacking self-confidence. Some beatings were so harsh, they had left him to the brink of death, of course, that was when he was younger; he could at least defend himself a little now.
Through all of this, year in and out, Naruto always kept hope that something special would occur, and despite all the troubles this day brought, he naively continued to leave home and wait at the Hokage's tower, were his dreams had told him his 'miracle' would occur. Not that his home was safe or anything, either place it brought him "a world of pain," as the 12 year old had put it.
"Maybe I should go," The blonde spoke, his voice frail and tired. It had been yet another discouraging birthday for the boy, and the usual cheery kid seemed almost dead to the world. This, however, was not due to the bumps and bruises on his body; it was not because of the cuts and scrapes on his face, nor his feeling of being alone; but because of the disappointed of having to wait yet another year to receive his 'gift'.
The old swing creaked as Naruto jumped off, leaving an echo to fade in the rain. It was late, and Naruto figured that the festivities had died down enough that much of the crowds had gone home. If that were the case, then he would be able to get back to his home without getting involved in anymore fights. After all, Naruto wasn't as careless as many believed, for he did live a difficult life, and many times, carelessness was not an option to survive.
The boy wrapped his arms around his chest to warm himself and walked to the academy's main gates. Pausing for a moment, he surveyed his surrounding before walking out. Being a ninja, one always needed to stay alert, and though he was not the best at it, he knew at least trying wouldn't hurt.
Deciding the roads was clear, Naruto trampled outside. His wet, muddy shoe's left prints in Konoha's currently mucky roads. The rain had taken its toll on the streets, and all the grime made it more difficult to lift ones feet and walk. For Naruto though, that didn't matter, home was quite far away and complaining would only make the trip that much longer. 'At least,' he thought, 'I'll get to pass that place one more time.' Naruto's apartment was on the other side of town, and to his pleasure, the Ichiraku Ramen Stand was right smack in middle of his journey home. Whether it was open or not, he wasn't sure. Since he could remember, the Ichiraku would usually stay open on this 'mourning day', but he did remember some instances when the restaurant was closed. More importantly, the Hokage's tower was also on his way home, and it gave him the chance to check just one more time.
The boy slowly made his way down the quiet roads of Konoha, and as suspected many of the people had gone home, and the few who had not seemed too tired to instigate anything with the fox boy besides the usual glare here and there.
Naruto grunted, "They'll never stop," he murmured, glaring at the ground. He attempted to suppress his disgust, but his grudge against many of the villagers made it extremely difficult to do so. Patience, though, is a virtue, and something that Naruto had been taught through experience, even though he did not always practice it. He did, however, know when to practice self control, and this was one of those instances when it was best to withhold from the selfish desires of contempt and revenge, "Maybe someday," the boy sighed.
Naruto once again arrived at the Hokage's towers. He looked up and cursed, "Stupid dream, I never should have believed what that fox predicted," He pouted and turned away, "He's the reason people hate me, and here I am believing him?" the boy snarled, "How stupid am I?"
The blonde turned and walked on, arriving at the alley he normally used as short cut home. It was the older and dirtier section of Konoha, where the thieves and drunks usually stole or begged for money. This was not really a place children should have been, one would argue, but with no supervision, this had been the hotspot for kidnappings of all sorts. Luckily, most of the responsible parents had kept their children in check.
Naruto didn't waste time entering the alley. What was once a calm drizzle had turned back into a downpour of rain, and the boy's already soaked body was getting even wetter. Tired of the rain and with home being only blocks away, Naruto began running through the alley, trying to get home as fast as possible. It wasn't the most brilliant idea; in fact, it was probably kind of…
I didn't take long before Naruto face was plastered on a trash can lid. He put his hands to his head and moaned in pain…
Surprised to here a different voice, Naruto snapped his head towards its source. To his astonishment, a little girl, no older than seven, lay flat on the floor. She had short brown hair reaching down to her shoulders, and bright green eyes. His surprise deadened when he saw her condition. Her clothes were ragged and wet, and she looked malnourished and unhealthy.
The young girl slowly picked her self up from the floor until she was seated. She looked up and was startled to see Naruto looking back at her. He carefully got up and approached the girl. Seeing his advances, she quickly withdrew, pushing backwards until a wall blocked her from going any further.
"A-Are you alright," The boy inquired, flustered at fact that she had jumped away so quickly.
The younger girl looked back at him, seemingly searching him for any signs of danger. "You-Your not—gonna take me back," She paused, watching his movement, "To the orphanage, r-right?"
Her face darkened, "They hate me," she snarled, tears forming in her eyes, "And-and I don't know why." Naruto's face immediately softened, and he gazed at her with a look of understanding.
"How long have you been alone?"
"I… Don't know," she stumbled.
"Here," He offered her his hand. She looked at him questioningly, "You'll get sick if you stay in the rain," He gave her his special grin and she immediately took his hand. "Come, I'll carry you," The boy said warmly, carefully putting her on his back, as to give her a piggy-back ride. The girl put her hands around his neck to secure her place, and he marched off to his home.
The Sandaime watched the blonde boy intently through his seeing glass. He had known how the villagers treated the kid on this day, and ever since the first time the villagers almost killed the kid; he made sure that it would not happen again. He could not, however stop all the attacks, even with his own skills, he couldn't be there to protect Naruto, for during the day he had meetings and celebrations he was required to attend as the Hokage. He did at least send Anbu to look over the boy, but often; they would just watch the kid get beaten. But to his credit, he did make sure that the kid got home alive, even though that was not saying much.
This topic, however, was not on the old man's mind. The strange happenings that had just occurred between the young girl, whom the Sandiame did recognize, and the supposed-to-be hero of Konoha, intrigued him to no end. For one, the girl should not have been left behind by her traitorous family, and two, even then, there should have been no reason for the orphanage to place the blame of her families misdoing on the young girl to begin with.
She was, after all, to young to understand the crimes of treason placed upon her families head, and adding to that, the young girl should have been placed in the care of a close friend, or caring family. Why she ended up in the orphanage was a mystery to even him.
Even more discomforting was the fact that the fox boy seemed to know about the Kyuubi. It had come by surprise when he heard the boy speak of this "prediction" as a trick by the, "Stupid fox," as Naruto had put it. When and how he had found out about the fox had become an enigma of its own. If someone were leaking this information, it would not only endanger the hopes of decent future for Naruto, but also put a target on his head. There were many tribes and villages willing to risk life and limb to use boy as a weapon, and if he fell into the wrong hands, the consequences would be unimaginable. He was almost sure that there were more ways to crack the seal than the jutsu written in the secret scroll.
Adding to his troubles was the fact that all three Sannin had disappeared from the village, including one that had directly turned against Konoha and promised to destroy the village. The justsu obsessed traitor offered much more danger directly than any other possible threat. If Naruto were to fall into his hands, there were never-ending possibilities for which the evil Sannin could do with the boy. Also, if his memories didn't deceive him, the snake Sannin had had an eerie infatuation of the Uchiha Clan. With the recent slaughter of the family, the only survivor, Uchiha Sasuke, had also become a large liability. His lust for revenge upon his brother Itachi had made him power-hungry; and if the snake Sannin were to get a hold of the Uchiha, the Sandiame believed the boy could and would be easily manipulated.
Unfortunately, this dilemma didn't end there. Graduation exams would take place in the next week, and it was his duty to decide the team structures. Assuming the Uchiha did pass the test, and it was almost certain that he would, finding two partners that could open him up from his shell, and be qualified shinobi, would be almost as difficult as keeping him safe. There was, at least, a talented group of future genin this year, and he was almost sure he could pick out one person to go with the troubled boy. Then there was Hatake Kakashi, who possessed the Sharingan eye. Assuming the lazy Jounin would actually show up, there was the chance that this teacher could help Sasuke develop his sharingan, and further more, give him a lesson about life. The only problem was that by giving the selected team this Jounin to focus on Sasuke, the others would undoubtedly be under trained or if lucky, just feel left out.
The Hokage tapped his smoke pipe on the table before grabbing Naruto's personal file of the desk. Scanning it, he got up from his chair and walked to the window. This would certainly be an interesting end of year, and the Hokage certainly did not have his hopes up. He took his eyes off the folder and look towards Naruto's home.
"What will you do, Naruto, with the daughter of one of the most traitorous families in Konoha's history?"
Naruto's struggled to get his keys out of his water-logged jacket, and his frustration was apparent when he cursed at it. After fiddling around a little, he was finally able to get the door open and usher the younger girl in. He threw his jacket on the ground and pushed the girl towards the kitchen.
While lighting a match, he walked towards his small stove and lit it, "This will keep us a little warmer," he spoke. The little girl just nodded, and went to sit on the only chair in the room.
"The bathroom is right there," he started, pointing towards first of to doors in his apartment, "Go and turn on the shower, and I'll be right there with some," he paused and scanned her body, "cleaner clothes."
"Okay." The girl nodded obediently and left towards the door.
Naruto sighed and turned his attention towards his cupboard. He was sure the girl was hungry, and he hadn't eaten much during the day either. He reached up and pulled down his last two cups of ramen, then set them on the counter; filled a pot with water, and put it on the stove. He then left to his room to get the girl some clothes.
Naruto heard the girls scream and rushed to the bathroom, "Are you all right?" He questioned.
"The water is too hot," She pouted.
"Oh, there's a trick to this," He told her, " This cold nozzle is broken, so you have to push into it to turn it," He mused, showing her exactly how to turn the cold water on, "It's a little difficult at first," He smiled. He put his hand in the water to feel the temperature. Deciding it was just right, he withdrew his hand and returned his attention to the girl, "There yah go. It won't stay hot for very long, so you should bathe quickly. If you need me, just call me." With that he left the girl to her privacy.
Returning to his room, Naruto looked for some suitable clothes. Being his age, he really didn't have much to offer the little girl, that and he really didn't have much for himself either. He went through his drawer until he found and old shirt he'd been given not long ago. It had a small spiral on the back, and red sleeves. If his memories served, this shirt had been given to him by the Hokage, when the old man had come to check up on him. Naruto had never worn it because he didn't want to harm his first gift, so he set it aside. Coincidently, it was just large enough to act as a gown for the little girl, and some old shorts he had kept should have been just small enough to fit her. He also picked up some socks. The floor was to cold to walk on with out them.
"Her clothes are pretty roughed up," Naruto spoke to himself, "I'll have to buy her some news ones tomorrow. I doubt she'll be comfortable in these," he contemplated. 'I can't afford this… But I can't just leave her out to dry, I don't want her to live like I have, it wouldn't be fair.'
He walked back to the bathroom and knocked on it, "Here are some clothes for when you're done," he shouted through the noise, "Put them on and bring me your old ones as soon as you get out," he finished.
Hearing the response he left to finish their dinner. Naruto grabbed the old rocking chair in his room and left to the kitchen. The water had finished boiling, and all he needed to do was add it to the ramen. He turned off the stove, went to his sink, and poured in the water. He then closed the seal as to let the noodles cook and sat in the rocking chair he had set next to the small table. 'What should I do with her' he asked himself.
He had thought about going to the Hokage to ask why the little had been mistreated, but the thought of talking up to the Sandiame was quite intimidating and whether he liked it or not, the old man could kick his butt. The orphanage was not an option either. The girl had already run away from there, and if she was anything like him, he wouldn't doubt her doing it again. Plus, if he did that, the girl would lose what little trust she already had for him; and to Naruto, that was definite no. 'I guess I'll have to keep her here for a while,' he thought, 'I'm sure if I pass the test this time, and I can support her until I find some one nice to take her in.'
The whole situation was troublesome in his mind.
Naruto heard the floor creak, and it wasn't long before his new housemate arrived in the kitchen. She tossed her clothes in pile near the door, and at Naruto's motion went to sit beside him in the only other chair.
"This is all I've got, so I hope you like ramen," He spoke softly, smiling at her.
"I've never tried ramen," She returned.
"Heh, then today is something to be happy about eh?"
She wrapped some of the noodles around her fork and brought the flavored juice to her mouth. Instantly, her face lit up, and she dove for more.
"Eh—I see you like it, hehehe," Naruto laughed, he smiled sheepishly at himself, 'And everyone says otherwise, Hah, shows them!' Naruto thought, wallowing in his own self contentment.
"It's--slurp--very--mmmm--good," She spokated (Note: I couldn't think of anything better to put / ). She finished the cup so fast that even Naruto was gaping at her.
"Ummm… you want some more?" He motioned towards her.
Naruto took his Ramen and poured it into the girl's cup. 'I think she needs it more than I do,' he thought.
"So, what's your name?"
"Ummm," She whispered, casting down her eyes. Naruto seemed to regret his asking her name, and quickly helped her out.
"Uh, my name is Uzumaki Naruto," He peered at her, "Future Hokage of the village of Konoha!" He exclaimed, raising his arms above his head and flexing his muscles, "HAHAHAHAHA!"
"Tee hee," she giggled at his antics. Surprisingly, for the first time since she'd been placed in the orphanage, she felt comfortable around someone; she'd felt genuinely happy. 'Maybe—he won't be like all the others' she looked up and smiled. It was her first smile since meeting Naruto, and maybe, she decided, it wouldn't be the last. She took her cup and finished her food.
"My name is Kiseki,"
"Kiseki—it's a nice name," He muttered almost pensively, the smile returning to his face.
"It means," She looked up and spoke more confidently, "Miracle."
"Miracle eh, well its ni—ugh!" In a quick motion Kiseki had risen from her chair and thrown her small arms around Naruto. She didn't say a word, but her feelings were clearly displayed as quiet tears fell from her eyes.
'May—Maybe, she won't be that troublesome after all."
End Chapter One.
So, I've seen so many "Somebody takes Naruto in," fics that I decided to put a twist on it and have Naruto take somebody in instead. I think it'll make for and interesting story. Don't worry, I'm not a huge fan OC's either, but seeing so many lately, I decided to try my own. One that won't be some mary-sue that gets the best of everything. Anyways, comments, concerns, hatred, flaming, is all welcome! I hope to hear from you guys, oh and I apologize for not writing the next chapter of When Did You Change, I'll get that written ASAP. Thanks.
By the way, I think the story is reletevaly error free, but if you happen to find one, please email me about it so that I can fix it. Thanks!