A Simple Act of Kindness
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto.
It was a cool, calm night in early autumn. The shabby neighborhood seemed almost angelic in the soft orange glow of the streetlamps, the rough corners of the tumbledown houses smoothed and the discolored walls made uniform.
Suddenly, the peaceful silence was broken by the sound of yelling and screaming from a particularly derelict building. The shouting in the house rose to a crescendo, then there came a smack, as though someone had been hit. A small, blonde boy stumbled out of the dingy dwelling, clapping a hand to his face and fighting back tears. On his cheek there was a bright red mark quickly turning into a bruise. A shout followed him: "Get the hell away, and never come back!" The sound of a woman sobbing carried out through the windows.
The small six year old shuffled down the street slowly, tears now streaming unchecked down his face. Finally, the child reached a small, dilapidated church. For what it lacked in looks, it made up for with peace and quiet. The interior was shaded and blissfully silent, the priest having retired to his house for the night.
The young boy entered with a sigh, shoulders visibly sagging in relief. He hobbled to one of the front pews and sat down gingerly. Letting himself take in the peace and quiet of the area, he breathed the incensed air deeply. Closing his eyes, he began to pray.
"Dear God, please help Mommy and save her from Daddy… send a guardian angel to help her like my guardian angel helps me. Please make Daddy stop hurting us and doing bad things to us. Let someone be nice to us and save us. Amen."
After saying this small prayer, the child felt a deep peace descend over him. He felt his head growing heavy, and before he knew it, he was sleeping peacefully in the small sanctuary.
"Hello?" called a soft voice from above him. The boy felt his eyes snap open, and sat up quickly, heart beating faster with fear. There was a man leaning over him, a concerned look in his mismatched eyes. He had long white hair that was spiked up over his head, and was holding an old and tattered bible.
"Who… who are you?" the blonde asked, unable to hide the tremor of fear in his voice.
"Just a visitor." answered the man, smiling slightly and kneeling down so he could look the scared child in the eyes. "Who are you?"
The small boy gulped, twisting his fingers together nervously. "N-Naruto." he said, stuttering.
"Naruto, eh? Why are you here, all alone?"
The concern in the man's face was so genuine, the child felt himself unconsciously letting down all his barriers to the outside world - the world that wasn't ravaged by hate and tears and pain. He couldn't help replying in a small voice. "My Daddy told me to get out of the house. He didn't want me to ever come back."
At this, the strange person's eyes widened. The small boy cringed, unsure at the man's reaction - was he mad? Did he say the wrong thing? Would he get hit for his answer?
But instead of offering violence, the man stretched out a hand to the child. The blonde flinched away, but the stranger was undaunted. "Come with me then. I'll give you a place to sleep for the night, and we can talk to your dad tomorrow."
The boy's wide, blue eyes looked at him incredulously. "Are you… are you sure?" he asked hesitantly, afraid this magical opportunity would be snatched away as soon as the man regained his senses.
"Of course I'm sure." replied the man, smiling and taking the child's hand once more.
The boy flinched again, but didn't pull away this time. "Are you my guardian angel?" he asked, blue eyes shining up at the stranger in wonderment and awe.
"No, no, I'm far from that." the man replied, with a lopsided, slightly bitter smile. "I'm just a friend."
"Are you sure?" asked the child, still gazing at him with adoration in his eyes. "You seem like one to me." He got up gingerly, his hand still in the stranger's, ready to leave.
"I'm sure." replied the man, smiling for real this time. He couldn't help feeling touched at the boy's amazement at a simple act of kindness. The tears prickled at his eyes as they left the building, their hands snug together, to find a new and better future.
A/N: I got the idea for this fic by reading Rasengan22's story called 'Pumpkin Patch.' (it's in my favorites) Don't ask me how I got this melancholy piece out of a cute, happy, uplifting story - ask my cute little plot bunnies. I hope you enjoyed!