Hello!!! :D I bet NONE of you were expecting I would ever update this story again, but here it is - updated one year, nine months and four days later! I uberly, uberly apologise for this being so late, but I hope I have written a chapter that has spiked your interest in this story once again. Enjoy guys, I hope I've done you justice! (No pun intended) and I look forward to any abuse you wanna throw at me for being so late :P xx
Naruto was lying on his bed, looking out of the small window towards the gate. Today was the day that Izumi was coming to visit him and he was thoughtful as well as excited. He could be bringing good or bad news and he wasn't sure if he was ready to hear whatever information Izumi had for him.
What had happened in the months that he had been in prison? What had happened to his family? What about his parents' funeral? They had to have had the funeral by now - and he hadn't been able to see them a final time.
There was a flush sounding somewhere in the distance of Naruto's conscience and Sasuke walked out of the toilet and sat on the chair, looking up at Naruto. The blonde had healed well since his bust up with the seniors a few weeks back; the two of them had also been getting up to some little bust ups of their own which resulted in more pleasurable activities.
"Naruto? You ready? We have to go down to breakfast soon. Didn't Izumi say he would turn up around ten o'clock?"
Naruto said nothing for a while before sighing and sitting up, swinging his legs over the side to where the ladder was. He remained hunched over slightly, as if there was something on his mind. Which there was.
"Yeah I know. I'm just nervous to know what he's going on with my family that's all".
Sasuke nodded. "I'm sure it will be good news".
"Don't your relatives come to visit you?"
Sasuke looked in to Naruto's eyes for a few seconds, doing some soul-searching before replying; "My brother is dead. My parents tend to visit me on the anniversary of his death as well as my birthday and my conviction date - which is actually coming up soon. Though if something comes up regarding the family in like press or anything like that, they also tend to stop by and tell me that I'm worthless and horrible. My mum has to force my dad to see me as he doesn't want to".
Naruto looked saddened by what his jail mate had confided. He jumped down, wincing slightly at the tingly feelings in his feet from impact and walked up to Sasuke and gave him a kiss on the cheek.
"Maybe one day we will actually be able to understand one another when we hear these small stories", he smiled weakly. Sasuke gave him a chaste kiss on the lips to confirm.
The sound of the locks turning reached Naruto's ears and the blonde pulled from the Uchiha to walk closer to the door, ready to be taken to the dining room. Sasuke followed suit and the normal transport ritual began.
Prison had become a lot more bearable the past few weeks for Naruto. He was sleeping better, though still on the tablets, on pain medication for the wounds he had sustained from the seniors - who had had their sentences extended for their indiscretions - and he was also happy chatting to the friends that he had made. But the most important and happiness-increasing change was that Sasuke was such a hot and caring jail mate.
Though the one thing that still bothered him was that neither of them felt open enough to tell them the reasons behind their respective crime.
Three people were dead because of them.
From both points of view, they weren't psychotic that they just picked people on the street to murder. From what Naruto had deduced, something that struck fear and anger so badly in Sasuke made him kill the person that evoked those feelings. And he knew that the anger and horror of his own mistake resulted in the deaths of two people.
And now they were both in prison. The same prison.
Naruto sat amongst the rest of his fellow prison mates, chatting about various things. But even they could tell he wasn't as upbeat as usual, his usual cheerful disposition had turned in to a despondent mood as of late. It had been decreasing slowly as the visit approached.
"So Naruto, you have your visit today?" Kiba asked him.
"Yeah I do, I'm happy about it but I'm so worried, I can't help it".
"Well, when you get there, I'm sure you will be happy that he has come - even if he may have bad news".
"What kind of bad news are you expecting?"
Naruto took a breath and decided to get the feelings of his chest, regardless of the consequences. He knew he would regret it, but it was time to start opening up. Therapy was encouraging it.
"My family to be dead".
There was silence as the look in Naruto's eyes told them all that he was not joking. All of them wanted to say something, wanted to comfort the blonde. Had this information anything to do with why he killed two people?
"Why…?" Kiba looked dumbstruck.
Everyone else remained silent.
"I'm not going to tell you how and why, I-I'm not ready yet", Naruto spoke quietly to the shocked group of guys before him, "But I…I-I am so, so scared". The blonde refused to cry in front of them, he didn't even think he could. He looked at all of the prisoners surrounding him, taking in their reactions. Kiba looked down at the table, his eyes hazy in thought; Gaara and Kankuro looked at each other sadly and then turned to look back at Naruto. Neji wanted to say something, and he was mouthing wordlessly to himself as he tried to find the right words. Shino and Shikamaru looked as impassive as always, though Shikamaru's jaw twitched at Naruto's statement, and Shino's features tautened. Lee touched Naruto's shoulder to try and empathise.
Naruto didn't want to look at Sasuke - who knew what he was thinking? He refused his eyes as they tried to dart to the raven who was sat within grasp. He heard a chair move and he saw that Sasuke had gotten up and walked away to where Kakashi was standing - chained up, he moved on. Naruto was speechless.
"What the fuck?" Kankuro shouted, he flung his arms in the air in frustration.
"Why'd he just walk off?" Kiba asked.
Naruto said nothing for a while - not until he could no longer withstand the seven sets of eyes burning in to him.
"I haven't told him about the reason why I killed two people".
"Why not?" Neji asked, words allowing themselves to form now.
"Because I haven't. And he hasn't told me the circumstances surrounding his own crime. It's a two way streak and I don't think either of us can find it within ourselves to talk about it yet".
"Well its not like you haven't got a while before you do. Then you will be able to understand one another and be happy for the next decade or so", Kiba smiled.
Naruto shifted his gaze away from the others once again. He hadn't told anyone about the appeal of his sentence; it was hard to say it - not because he knew they would be happy for him on the outside; but on the inside, who knew what they would be feeling? He finally had met people who were interesting; who were worthwhile, and treated him with kindness and care - you know for a manly bunch of criminals who he only saw at meal times.
Everyone continued to talk and eat, though the conversation was not as happy and bubbly as it usually was due to Naruto's anxiety that he had shared and Sasuke's sudden decision to leave. He knew that when he got up and left them at that moment, that they would talk about it. He bid them goodbye and walked over to Iruka and asked him to take him to Sakura to talk.
"Well, I shouldn't. But seeing as you are in her care and you aren't like other criminals here who are such… anywho, I'll take you to see Sakura", Iruka smiled which made Naruto smile as well.
The two walked along for a few minutes until they reached the infirmary and Sakura welcomed Naruto as he walked in. He had begun to start opening himself up with therapy recently; to Sakura and Hinata, not with the other therapy sessions. He needed to talk more or he would become insane - and the person he felt he could talk to the most was Sakura seeing as she was the one who helped him to start voicing his worries in the first place.
The pink-haired nurse was finishing up some reports as she smiled and greeted him, welcoming him over to his favourite bed where he sat and talked to her - and was a patient in a few times as well. There was no one currently residing in the sickbay, something that Naruto had noted was quite a normal phenomena. He sat down, took a deep breath and explained his problem to her.
"Well, its natural to get edgy about these kinds of things. You both are keeping really big secrets so you don't want to talk about it until you feel the time is right. And you both understand that - its natural. But that statement that you said probably completely threw him. One, you admitted your fear in front of all of you instead of him first which may have made him feel a little inadequate. And two, also, because something so horrible happening to you is more than he can stand, especially seeing as he doesn't know the circumstances behind it".
Naruto nodded thoughtfully. What she said made sense. They didn't know these reasons about the other. And he had sprung his worries on Sasuke too quickly. Naruto bit his lip and nodded again. He thanked Sakura for her advice and then continued to talk to her about other things, trying to calm his mind from his meeting with his brother - something Sakura was well aware he was worried about.
After a further fifteen minutes, Iruka knocked on the door and told him that it was soon to be ten and that he was to take him down to the interview building.
The interview building was separate from where the prisoners were held because of the enforcement of protection of the population. Naruto had to be chained doubly so, according to Iruka as it was a time that many inmates tried to escape as they entered the outside.
Naruto had not been on the outside for a very long time, and enjoyed the feel of the fresh air on his face, and the sensation of it in his lungs so thoroughly that he asked Iruka if they could slow down so he could savour it.
"Iruka, if I tried to run now, what would happen?"
"Well, the consequences are very severe - some sentences have even been extended when people caused harm to officers. Are you thinking of running?"
"No; I'm paying for my crime and I know that its what I need to do. I just haven't been outside in so long, I miss the freshness of the air. The air in the prison can't even be called air - its so stale in comparison".
"Well, the Junior Division get to go outside every so often, its just the area is being tarmac-covered and managed better. You may see it at some point, but maybe you will have left prison by then when you win the appeal".
"I highly doubt that I will win the appeal - who is going to let someone who murdered two people on the streets to roam again?"
"Well, its not like I'm saying there won't be restrictions, because there will. I'm just saying that the law in this country very much considers what is best for the family and the children involved. And in your case, you have a lot of family members".
"Yeah…" Naruto avoided talking to Iruka after that last comment. He was going to have to focus all his energy so his emotions did not run riot when he saw his older brother. After all, it had been months and he had missed him so much. Izumi was the last person to see him before he committed his cardinal sin.
Iruka told Naruto that as Izumi was family that they would be allowed an interview room as opposed to talking over the phone with see through plexiglass windows blocking the inmate from the visiting. Naruto was thrilled that this was allowed and was getting more and more excited at the prospect of seeing his brother by the minute; the anxieties slowly subsiding as the excitement increased. He was practically skipping as he reached his interview room.
Naruto stood outside the room and watched the door open; inside was a twenty year old guy with spiky blonde hair, chewing some gum. He had the exact same blue eyes as Naruto and was wearing a bright green baseball cap turned to the side and mismatching clothes. He turned to see a blur of grey jump on him, hugging him.
The two brothers hugged each other, Naruto wanted to cry from the relief of seeing him alive and well. After several minutes, they sat down at the table and started talking.
The interview room was so plain and dull, with just a table and a few chairs inside. There was a window that mirrored their image which was the advantage point for officers to monitor the interviews, in case things got out of hand or people tried to sneak things in. Both Naruto and Izumi were unimpressed with the décor quite obviously.
"So…moment of truth. How are they?"
Izumi took a deep breath. It looked like he didn't want to say anything about them at all "All I know at the moment is that Taya and Kirashi are going to be fine. As for Eve and Ellie I'm unsure and for Rikku's case, she is in critical condition".
Naruto took the information in; it wasn't good, but it also wasn't the worst news he could hear. Everyone was still alive, at least for now.
"Two down, three to go then I guess", Naruto commented sadly.
"What about Mum and Dad?"
"We had a simple funeral for them - only me and a few other guests were there though. However when everyone is free from their restraints we will have another ceremony for family only".
"That will be good. I do want to visit them".
"Speaking of visits - one of the main reasons I need to talk with you is the upcoming appeal of your sentence. It should be in about two months time as we've taken the quickest slot that will allow us to put together a complete case of why you should be able to come out of prison".
"Really? That short?"
"Yeah. I can't handle this on my own; I am worrying out of my mind!" Izumi's breathing began to quicken and Naruto rubbed his back to calm him down. Izumi suffered from panic attacks when he was under immense stress and if there was ever a time for it to happen, this would be the time. "Your in prison, our other siblings are in hospital and our parents are dead. I spent a while arranging the ceremony for our parents and talking to this lawyer for your case. I'm trying to look after my daughter as well and maintain Kirashi because he is awake and wondering where you are".
Naruto put his arm around Izumi and told him everything was going to be okay. Kirashi, like several other members of their family, was born with a few problems. After his birth, their mum got quite seriously ill so Naruto was the one who looked after him the most, read him stories, changed him, fed him as well. He was also the first to notice that he wasn't able to speak very well for his age. Naruto went with Izumi to the doctors and he was diagnosed as having Asperger Syndrome, Aphasia and Developmental Dyspraxia. At the same point, Izumi was treated for his panic attacks - their mum suffering from being very ill was the first time he ever had them - and Naruto was also explained to about his ADHD. A lot of their family members had issues with their health but they were a happy loving family so it was never a big issue. But Kirashi was only able to communicate with Naruto well as he had been looking after him the longest. That made Naruto happy he was so important, but he knew that his younger brother was going to be disadvantaged his whole life and that made him sad.
"Well, tell him that I'll be along to see him soon if he's a good boy. And if there is any way that I can get out of here and visit him, I will".
"Okay then". Izumi rested his words for a minute or so to get his breathing under control. "Now, if we are successful with the appeal, there is no doubt that your life will be restricted. But we can use this to our advantage if you immediately agree to these kinds of things - it'll help the case. With things such as tagging and house arrest for example, are you okay with these?"
"Yes, absolutely. Anything to look after the family. Don't worry Izumi, we are a strong family - we'll all pull through", Naruto replied, smiling weakly.
"Thanks Naruto. I need your support and your reassurance on this. How is prison life holding up anyway?"
Naruto lifted up his uniform and showed him the scars from his first day in prison.
"Fucking hell! Naruto?! What the fuck?! What did you do?!"
"Pranked a guard".
"Naruto you absolute idiot!"
"Hey its not my fault!"
"I know, I know. You know, everyone in this family thought that you grow out of this attention disorder of yours - but apparently around seventy percent of symptoms continue in to adulthood. I guess I can't really blame you".
"Well, I'm going through therapy again, but it's a little more successful this time as I think its about time I open up about myself. But I'm on sleeping tablets to help me sleep restfully, made a few friends as well. Things are bad but I'm going to survive - even if I do end up serving my entire sentence".
"Well, hopefully I'll win the appeal, and you'll be out within a matter of months".
"Better than in a few dozen years".
"True. My jail mate's been here for nearly a year and a half now".
"Really? What's his name?" Izumi looked very interested.
"Uchiha? The prestigious family? I don't remember much about the case but it had something to do with a feud in the family and something to do with a murder. Have you asked him about it?"
"No. We made a silent pact not to talk about our situations until we were ready".
"So he knows nothing about our family situation?"
"Wow. So, do you like this guy then? Usually you would beat info out of a guy if you didn't get your own way".
"Ooh shut up!"
The brothers chatted for another half an hour or so, Naruto explaining to him the situation with the seniors, the depths of therapy and how crazy some of the people were, as well as informing Izumi about all the people he had met since his arrival - including about Sasuke. Before long, Naruto had to bid his brother goodbye.
"Goodbye Izumi - hope to see you again soon".
"Good luck Naruto. Don't worry - I'm working hard on this appeal".
They hugged again and more than anything, Naruto did not want to let go. Being in his brother's arms made him feel safe, reminded him of home and it was a feeling he had missed and desperately longed for. Soon, Naruto used all his strength to make himself let go and was led out by Iruka, Izumi sat down on the chair; Naruto caught a tear tricking down his older sibling's face. It was when Naruto reached the stretch of the journey that was outside that he started to cry. He stopped, feeling the tug on the chains scratch his skin but he didn't care. He needed to let it out before anyone saw him.
"Hey Naruto? Here", Iruka handed him a tissue from his pocket. "I know you want to stay out here, but you aren't allowed to stay out here too long".
"I know, I know. Its just, my older brother. I miss him already".
Iruka said nothing but allowed the blonde a few more moments of silent crying before he could lead the blonde away.
It was a long journey to the cell in Naruto's mind. The evidence of his tears was still on his face and he didn't want to let Sasuke see them.
They had not seen each other since their first visit to the dining room. Naruto wondered what he was going to say to him when he got back.
If he was there.
Naruto watched the locks turn and the door open; he immediately walked straight in to the bathroom, not looking to see if Sasuke was even there or not, never mind what he was doing. He remained in there for several minutes, before he heard a distinct voice call his name.
Cautiously, the blonde opened the door of the bedroom to see Sasuke looking straight at him, sat on his bed.
"Hey you okay? First meeting is always emotional".
Naruto nodded and before he could shut the door again, Sasuke wedged a book between, to force him to come out.
"Are you not going to speak to me now? How was your brother? And…your family?"
After much silence on Naruto's part, looking up in to Sasuke's eyes that were usually so cold, to see them so soft, Naruto had to say the positive. "Taya and Kirashi are going to be okay", Naruto whispered.
"T-that's good! Right?"
"My sister Taya and my brother Kirashi are going to be okay", Naruto reaffirmed the statement, "Of course it is".
Sasuke looked happy-confused as he smiled at Naruto.
"Listen I know you don't know the full story and maybe I was out of line for dropping a bombshell on you earlier, but trust me, that's great news. Its some of the best I could hear. My brother Izumi is fine, he was giving me an update on my family and their condition".
Sasuke decided not to ask any further on the statement. He smiled, knowing that he would talk when he was ready.
"Right, I'm going to lie down for a bit", the blonde said as he climbed up the ladder. "I will see you later". Naruto rested on the mattress and stared up at the bland ceiling and smiled. He looked to the picture to his side and wished with all his heart that he could good news again soon.
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Reviews! Beezelneff has been dusting the corner of the library where the notes and chapters of this story lie, but he would love any addition to the collection :D xx