This way to the Stars

Disclaimer: I don't own anything but my dreams. I pretend to own the stars, until someone else would claim them.

Dear readers:

So! The day had finally come. Masashi Kishimoto had put down his pen and closed the epic journey with the final chapter of Naruto. It had put me in a nostalgic mood and I went back to this story and to my surprise, it had been loved and cried over by many people, who have been both angry and sad that I have decided to abandon the story.

Reading through my writing five, six years ago, I nearly cried with embarrassment and then laughed myself sick afterwards. It's amazing what a few years can do, and how much ones perspective can change. And so! In honor of Naruto finally ending and to pay homage to our favorite blond idiot who had touched our lives at some point or another, I'm dusting this one off the shelf and re-writing it!

I'm going to try to retain the bare bones of the original story, but there's going to be a lot of changes.

This way to the star, folks! Don't get lost now.

-Skye


Chapter 1

"She had to gather her wishes like coins.

She drowned them in a wishing well."

-Clairvaux


"Boy!"

Eyes snapped open as he felt the knee-jerk reaction of fear clenching his stomach. He took a second to re-orient himself as he found himself in an unfamiliar room.

That's right. They had just moved to the city. This was his new room.

"BOY! Get your lazy ass down here right now!"

He struggled to sit up, wincing at the pounding in his head and gingerly testing his legs against the cold floor. He had been unable to find spare sheets last night, and slept without a blanket. And he found out just how cold an attic of an old Victorian house could get.

"I'm coming!" he croaked, stumbling down the steps and into the warmer recesses of the house. It was a beautiful building, and honestly, Naruto would have taken the time to admire the sweeping fa├žade and the winding staircase, if he hadn't had to worry about finding the time to clean it.

The Harunos had struck gold winning a lottery, and no one had been more surprised than Naruto, who found it supremely unfair that such luck could befall on such a rotten family. Immediately, they had used the large sum to move into the city proper, and bought a large property in the affluent area of Konoha.

Naruto had been over the moon. His life with the Harunos had never been very pleasant, and the entire neighborhood avoided him. Thanks to that, he had no friends and his teachers ignored him. Hopefully, in this new place, in a new school, he had a chance of starting anew. Maybe it would be different.

"Yes?" Naruto paused in front of Nana Saya (who he secretly called Baba Saya), the head help of the house.

"Sakura needs help unpacking. Go make yourself useful."

Naruto bit back a sigh. "I'm sure she wouldn't want me mucking around her stuff. Are you sure there isn't anything else I could do?"

He nearly got walloped in the head for that.

For as far as he can remember, Naruto had lived with the Harunos. If he had parents who loved him, he would never know, since the Harunos had never spoken of his parents or ever mentioned the fact that he had one.

The Harunos had a daughter of the same age, and they were brought up together, in a way that was like something out of a social experiment. One was lavished with love and affection, while the other was ignored and left on their own. When he was younger, he remembered wanting to play with Sakura's toys, and badly scolded for it. The moment he was able, they put a broom in his hand and made him work to pay his keep. All his life, he was despised, and Naruto never really figured out why. It was just the way it was.

"I'm supposed to help you unpack." Naruto said glumly, peeking through the door of Sakura's room.

She gave a cursory grimace but pointed to a pile of boxes which he dutifully began to rip into.

"That box contains breakable objects that cost more than your life ten times over." She commented casually. "If I hear so much of a tinker you'll be out sleeping with the dogs."

"Whatever." Naruto mumbled, but noticeably slowed his movements. It was the first day of school tomorrow. He couldn't afford to sleep outside.

"I'm sorry?"

"Yes, ma'am."

"Good boy."

The box was full of junk. Naruto grimaced as his fingers caught on the pointed end of a figurine. These were collecting dust in Sakura's old bedroom and why she had brought them, dust and all, into her very new, brightly lit bedroom was unfathomable.

"Where do you want these?"

"On the shelf."

"You don't have a shelf, Sakura."

"Then you'd better get me one, hm?"

Naruto bit back a scathing retort. Instead, he tried to keep casual conversation since she seemed to be in a talking mood.

"Say, what do you think our new school is going to be like?"

"Very high-class." Sakura gave a smug smile. "You can't possibly hope to fit in."

"Hopefully, we won't be in the same class." Naruto replied sincerely.

"Don't even think about talking to me at school." Sakura tossed her hair. "I don't know you. You don't know me. Let's keep it that way, indefinitely."

"Deal." Naruto replied fervently. "Please don't even look in my direction."

Sakura gave him an ugly glare.

"Shut up and get back to work."

Maybe I pushed her too far, Naruto wondered, as he glanced at the moody expression on her face. Pissing Sakura off was one of Naruto's few pleasures in life, but it never bode well for him.

He ended up working all through the night.

Naruto put down the last of the boxes on his cold floor with a loud sigh. His clock read 3:10 and he ached all over, the headache blooming into an all-out migraine. He dug out a jacket and curled up into the threadbare sheet he managed to steal downstairs. Chills wracked his thin frame as he coughed into his stiff hands.

This sucked.

It was the first day of school tomorrow and he'll be damned if he messes up. It was supposed to be his new beginning. Things were supposed to be different.

He glanced up at the dusty panes of his window and allowed a small smile at the view. He could see the stars.

That night, for the first time in a long time, he put his hands together and clasped it to his chest. He fell asleep like that, as if in prayer, with the stars winking above him and the whisper of a dream long, long forgotten.