I recieved some messages from people who saw the summary for this story on my profile and asked me to post it so I am. Hope you enjoy.

Disclaimer: I no own Naruto no matter how much I wish I did


Ch. 1: Shadow

The old woman cackled at the boy in front of her, "You think you can fight me boy? My you are entertaining."

"I will fight you if you stay in my way," he told her.

"Just you try it boy. I'll show you what a fool you are. I know all about you. You gave up everything to become what you hate. Attack me and I'll make sure you see just what you gave up for something as pathetic as hate," she told him with a grin. The look in her eyes told him that she was serious and that he also wouldn't like what she would do to him. She was however in his way to what he wanted and refused to move.

"I want that scroll old woman."

"I know you do but I can't let you have it. You see I have a grudge against your master so I can't just let you take this to him now can I. So if you want it you'll have to take it from me. I must warn you though if you try I won't fight you like a shinobi because I'm not one and never have been. I will however fight you like what I am."

"And what are you?"

"Why a witch of course," she said with a smile. Her dark eyes looked into his and sent a chill down his spine. Those eyes seem to be staring straight into his soul and he didn't like the feeling.

"I will have that scroll."

She cackled again, "Then come and take it if you can."

He shrugged and attacked. For the life of him he couldn't explain what happened. All he knew was that he felt unspeakable pain in every part of his body. He hugged himself and fell to his knees with a cry of pain. The last thing he heard before falling into unconsciousness was the old woman's cackling.

He woke up with a major headache. Dark eyes opened slowly and looked around. For some reason he couldn't remember what he was. In fact, he couldn't remember anything. He suddenly stood up and walked over to the water. Looking back at him was a large wolf with bluish black fur. So this was what he looked like. He began to pace as if thinking. Then it stopped and stared in a direction. He felt compelled to run in that direction. After a seconds hesitation it ran without stop.

----In Konoha----

Sakura was walking into the village. The pink haired kunoichi was returning from a training mission with some of the rookie ninja. They were deciding which ones had potential as medical nins and preparing them for the training to come. This exhausted Sakura to no end. The kids had so much energy. She wondered how Kakashi-sensei did it because she knew Naruto was enough by himself but there had also been her and... Her thoughts trailed off. She really didn't want to think about him so she didn't.

Green eyes focused on something on the side of the road. It was a large black wolf and it looked hurt. She rushed up to it and gently placed a hand on it. The thick fur was like silk under her hands. After a quick check she didn't find any injuries so that left exhaustion, malnutrition, and dehydration. The medic couldn't just leave him there but he was too big to carry by herself. A quick glance around gave her a solution. There was a cart a few feet away. It just took a few minutes to get the wolf on it and begin to roll it to her house. When she reached her home she carried the dog the rest of the way. The wolf was placed on one of her guest beds so she could reach it better. She checked it one last time then left the room.

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He woke up in a strange place. That's when he remembered. He had passed out from exhaustion. So where was he now? The wolf sat up and looked around. The door opened and a pink haired girl walked in. The wolf's tail wagged unconsciously. He knew this girl or at least thought he did. Never had he found the scent of sakura blossoms so comforting. She smiled at him, "You're awake. That's good. I was afraid you wouldn't make it for a little while."

The wolf just stared back at her. She chuckled and shook her head at herself, "Ya know if anyone heard me right now they would have me committed for talking to a dog. Now you need a name. Let's see."

She tapped her finger against her chin for a moment. The wolf tilted its head to the side as if considering this too. Sakura suddenly smiled, "I know. I'll call you Shadow. Is that alright with you? You see your fur is so dark it reminds me of a shadow."

He nodded his head. A male voice came into her head, 'That sounds nice.'

"Alright. Shadow it is then. I'm Sakura..." She trailed off as it hit her. The dog had just talked. Her green eyes widened in shock, "Did you just talk to me?"

His tongue rolled out in a canine laugh, 'Not exactly. I'm not speaking to you. More like thinking.'

She stared at him, "I must be losing my mind."

'No you're not.'

Sakura shook her head. He really was talking to her. After thinking about it for a moment she shrugged. Kiba's clan could talk to their canines so why not her with Shadow. He didn't seem to be an ordinary wolf anyway so it could be possible. She smiled, "I guess you're right. Where did you come from?"

'I can't remember.'

"Well you're welcome to stay here as long as you like." His tail swayed in happy agreement. Sakura tilted her head in consideration, "You must be hungry. Come with me and I'll get you some food. What do you eat?"

'Whatever wolves eat I guess. For some reason I can't remember anything before yesterday including what I eat.'

"That's ok. I know just the person to go see. He'll know what to get you."

The wolf jumped off the bed and walked along behind her. Sakura smiled at it then walked out the front door. She only knew one person that would know what to feed the wolf so she headed for Kiba. He was training with Akamaru at his clan's compound. When he noticed her, he smiled and waved. Akamaru barked happily and ran over to her. He was huge now. He placed a paw on each of Sakura's shoulders then licked her face once before backing up again. Sakura was laughing. Kiba caught up to his dog with a chuckle, "Akamaru said hello, Sakura."

"I think I guessed that," she chuckled. Then to Akamaru, "Hello, Akamaru. It's nice to see you too."

The large white dog barked happily then it saw the wolf sitting behind Sakura. It's cool dark eyes watching everything that went on as if assessing the situation. Akamaru sniffed at it then growled. Kiba looked down at his friend, "What is it?"

If dogs could grumble then that was what Akamaru did in response. Kiba shook his head at the dog then turned to Sakura, "He doesn't like your friend."

'That's okay. I don't like him either,' the wolf commented.

Sakura waited for Kiba to say something to that. He was normally very protective of Akamaru. But he didn't even look at Shadow. She blinked when she realized that Kiba couldn't understand the wolf. She pretended like he hadn't said anything at all, "Oh, the wolf. I found him on the side of the road nearly dead. His name is Shadow. I was hoping you could help me feed him."

Kiba looked at the dark animal. Dark eyes looked right back at him. Kiba had never seen a wolf like this one. They normally avoided contact with humans at all. This one seemed to want to stay close to Sakura though he did ignore Kiba and Akamaru. Kiba looked back to Sakura, "Sure. I'll help. Just follow me and we'll see what he likes to eat."

Sakura motioned to the wolf to follow them. He did without hesitation. When they walked into the store room for the dogs that Kiba's clan had, Shadow made a bee line for the meat. He paused to look up at Sakura as if asking permission. Sakura looked at Kiba who nodded. The wolf began to eat. Kiba was amazed when he saw it pace itself. It was almost as if Shadow knew if it ate too much then it would just make things worse. It didn't even get hostile with Akamaru when he got real close. Kiba figured that a starving animal, especially a wolf, would have bitten Akamaru immediately. That was another thing, Akamaru was acting strange. His friend was watching the wolf like a hawk but wouldn't tell Kiba why. It was almost as if his companion was judging the wolf before saying anything about it.

After Shadow finished eating his meal, Kiba packed plenty of meat away for a week, and handed it to Sakura. She smiled and thanked him. As they were walking out of the compound Kiba looked over at the pink haired kunoichi. Worry and confusion had him saying, "Shadow is a very strange wolf, Sakura. Please be careful."

Shadow growled, 'I'm not a threat to her idiot.'

Sakura gave Kiba a smile, "Don't worry. I will."

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That night Sakura was just getting out of the shower. Shadow was lying on her bed when he noticed her. He suddenly shot out of the room like a rocket. Sakura stood there for a moment wondering what had gotten into him. She removed her towel and got dressed in a tank top and a pair of shorts. Shadow peeked into the room a few minutes later. She was sitting on her bed reading some reports from the hospital. When he saw that she was dressed he jumped up and sat next to her. She looked at him.

"Why did you run off?"

He looked at her, 'You weren't wearing any clothes.'

She chuckled, "I didn't know animals were sensitive about naked humans."

'I don't think most of them are. The idiot was right about one thing. I'm not normal.'

"You're right about that but I don't think that's a bad thing. I better finish reading these reports. These will be the patients that'll be in my care tomorrow."

She settled back against the pillows and started reading again. Shadow stayed next to her so that he could read what she was doing too. The two just sat like that for a few minutes until Sakura noticed that Shadow's attention wasn't on the reports anymore. He was looking at the pictures on her dresser and desk. He looked over to her.

'Who are those people,' the voice in her head sounded almost curious now.

"Those are my friends from the village. The first one is of Ino and her boyfriend, Shikamaru. Ino is bossy but she's alright once you get use to her. Shikamaru is the laziest ninja in Konoha but he's also a genius. They've been dating for the last year. It surprised everyone including them."

He looked at the next picture then back at her. She smiled, "That's a group picture of Rookie 9. We were all in the same graduating class at the academy. Because there was nine of us we called ourselves Rookie 9. The next picture is of the Sand siblings. Gaara is the red head. He use to be very cruel but he's changed. He's now the youngest Kazekage in the history of Suna."

Shadow looked at the last two pictures. If Sakura didn't know better she could have sworn he looked sad. She told him about the pictures, "The first one is of Naruto, me, and Kakashi-sensei from about a month ago. Naruto is a knuckle head and you would never guess but he's actually one of the strongest ninja in Konoha. Kakashi is known as the copy ninja because he can copy any jutsu but kekkei genkai. He was our sensei after we graduated from the academy and became genin. The other picture is of Team 7. That was my genin team. It was me, Naruto, Kakashi-sensei, and… him."

The wolf looked back at her with his head tilted to the side. Sakura didn't have to wonder about what he wanted to know. Shadow could talk to her apparently but he didn't say much at all. When he did speak his voice sounded kind of emotionless though some feeling would occasionally slip into his tone. His voice also reminded her of Sasuke's voice. She tried not to think about it. It would only hurt and she was tired of hurting.

She gave a small smile, "I'm sorry. It's been three years and I still can't say his name. You see I love him very much but he didn't feel the same. He cared more about power and revenge then any of us. So he left to join Orochimaru who is an enemy of our village. He left me crying on a park bench and I haven't been able to say his name since."

The dark eyes that looked at her seemed to share her pain. He crawled over to her and placed his head on her lap as if to comfort her. She gave him a watery smile and scratched him behind one of his ears. The medic just relaxed for a moment. When she felt her emotions calm down again she continued to work but Shadow didn't move from his spot until she fell asleep. He laid down next to her and fell asleep himself.

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Sakura was sitting in her living room reading a book. Shadow was curled up at her feet and appeared to be asleep. His ear twitched and he sat up. For a moment he didn't move then he jumped up and rushed to the door. He sat in front of it and waited. Sakura had put her book down to follow him. She hadn't seen him do this before and wanted to make sure everything was alright. Right when she reached the door there was a knock and a familiar voice shouted, "Sakura, open up. It's me."

Sakura gave an indulgent smile and shook her head. Naruto hadn't changed much over the years. He had gotten stronger and maybe even a little wiser but he was still the loudest knucklehead in Konoha. She opened the door to see Naruto standing there with his usual big goofy smile. She smiled, "What is it, Naruto?"

"Me and Kakashi-sensei were going to go train. I came to see if you wanted to come along."

"Alright." She turned to Shadow, "You coming."

In response he stood up and walked past them both. Sakura shut her door and the three of them walked towards the training area. The medic couldn't wait. It has been a while since the three of them had time to train together. This would be the perfect time to catch up and visit with her closest family.

"So Sakura, who's the dog?" Naruto asked her.

Shadow growled slightly in displeasure, 'I am not a dog. Sakura was right you are a knucklehead.'

Sakura chuckled, "He's not a dog, Naruto. Shadow is a wolf. I found him yesterday and he decided to stay with me apperantly."

Naruto rubbed the back of his head, "Sorry, Shadow. I didn't know." The blonde looked at his friend with a thoughtful expression, "Sakura, you seem happier today than you were yesterday."

Sakura considered this, "I suppose you're right. I'm sorry if I worried you guys."

"It's not your fault. He's the one that left and hurt everyone," Naruto almost growled the last part. Sakura didn't have to ask who she was talking about. She also knew that Naruto wanted him to come home just as much as she did.

When they arrived Kakashi wasn't there yet which didn't surprise either of them. He was always late. They would probably have died of shock if he showed up on time for a change. Sakura sat down under a tree to relax until Kakashi arrived. Shadow laid down next to her and rested his head on her lap. Without thinking the medic began to scratch him behind his ears. He closed his eyes and his tail began to sway slowly. Naruto watched them with a small smile. Sakura seemed really attached to the dog. He was glad that she had someone around to talk to even if it was a canine.

There was a puff of smoke in front of the two of them and Kakashi appeared. He smiled at both of them, "Hello. Sorry I'm late."

His two students yelled, "You're always late."

After a moment they all busted with laughter. They had been doing this for years. Kakashi was the first to regain control and he noticed Shadow, who was now sitting up. The animal was looking back at him with those dark eyes that reminded Kakashi of someone. The jonin knelt down in front of Shadow and scratched his ear, "Well, well, who do we have here?"

"His name is Shadow," Sakura answered.

"A fitting name. His coat is the right color for it," Kakashi commented.

"Yeah, it's kinda bluish black," Naruto said.

Sakura shrugged, "I found him on the side of the road. He was starving so I took him home."

"I think that's a good thing. He probably makes a great guard dog and good company," Kakashi said as he stood back up.

The pink haired kunoichi nodded in agreement, "He knew Naruto was coming before I did and he understands me when I talk. Umm, Kakashi-sensei, I think he's talking to me occasionally. When I make a comment or ask a question I'll hear his voice in my head. Am I going crazy?"

'I already told you that you're not crazy,' Shadow commented to her. She looked down at him then back at Kakashi.

The jonin looked at the wolf then shook his head, "I don't think so. He looks very intelligent for a wild animal. It's possible that for some reason he can talk to you. He could probably even talk to the rest of us but for some reason chooses not to. We'll see. In the mean time, let's get some training done shall we."

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Over the next few days it became obvious that the wolf was there to stay. You didn't see Sakura without Shadow close behind her. It got to the point where no one even bothered to question it anymore. She even took him to the hospital with her. For his part Shadow seemed to like her but was reserved with anyone else. Sakura still wondered about the talking thing. Kakashi had told her and Naruto to keep that bit of information to themselves for now. He wanted to do some research and see if he could figure out what was going on. As far as they knew only the dogs and wolves that worked with Kiba's clan could actually talk. Then again Kiba himself said that Shadow was a strange animal and his clan made a habit of talking to their animals. If he called Shadow strange then there must be something really different about the wolf.

She didn't know what was different about him but she was grateful to have him around. There were times she would find herself asking for his opinion. The first time she did it she had laughed at herself because how in the world would he know. To her surprise he had answered her in his own way. Before she knew it she was having conversations with him even though he didn't speak. It was almost like he had expressions that told her what he was saying. His movement also helped with conversing with him as well. No one found this strange mostly because they also thought Shadow was an odd wolf. He was also very attached to Sakura.

Shadow really earned his place in Konoha about a week after Sakura had found him. Shikamaru had been placed in charge of another mission and he had requested Sakura as the teams medical nin. They were going on a recovery mission and there could possibly be fighting. Shadow refused to let her leave without him. Since Sakura said that he wouldn't be in the way Tsunade and Shikamaru agreed to let him come without a fuss. The rest of the team consisted of Naruto, Neji, and Hinata.

The mission was to retrieve a prisoner from a group of sound nins. They had captured a Konoha ninja to get information from him. Their job was to save him. Because Shadow was coming with them anyway Shikamaru decided to put him to use. He knelt down and held something that belonged to the shinobi prisoner to the wolf. Shadow sniffed it carefully. When he was sure he had the scent memorized he sat down and stared at everyone.

"Alright, let's head out," Shikamaru ordered.

"Right," everyone said at once.

They found the enemies camp with very little trouble. Shadow had followed the prisoner's sent until they were close enough for Neji's and Hinata's byakugan lead them right to it. The team backed up a few feet so that they could talk. They would have to attack the camp. It was the only way to save the shinobi. Sakura would stay back so that she could treat any injuries they developed during the fight. Everyone agreed and then got into position. They attacked the camp at the same time. One of the sound ninja's somehow managed to get away and was heading right for Sakura. The medical nin was treating the guy who had been captured and had her back turned to the sound nin. She had no idea that someone was coming up behind her. The sound nin decided to use Sakura as a hostage to get him and his team out of there. He had almost reached the pink haired girl when Shadow suddenly attacked him. The wolf fought fiercely to protect the girl. He probably would have killed the shinobi that had dared to attack Sakura if the girl hadn't intervened.

"Shadow, that's enough," Sakura ordered. The wolf stopped but he didn't let his guard down. He watched the sound nin with his teeth bared and low growl emitting from deep in his throat. Needless to say the sound nin decided it would be best if he didn't move.

The Konoha shinobi took the sound nins back to their village for questioning. They were held in a high security prison until they had the chance to talk to them. The team went to bed and the leaf ninja was taken to the hospital.

After that day, no one even questioned Shadow's presence on a mission. He was the perfect protector for Sakura and he had proven that he would protect her. That secured his place in their lives forever. Sakura herself never even considered going on a mission without him again. Shadow seemed perfectly content with the arrangement. Sakura got him a Leaf Village headband to use as a collar. It surprised everyone to find out that she used the one that had belonged to Sasuke. No one objected though. As far as they were concerned Shadow was now an official member of the leaf village shinobi.

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One day Sakura had fallen asleep early because she had just got off of a long shift at the hospital. The moon was rising when Shadow suddenly got up. He didn't know where he was going but he knew he had to be somewhere. When he reached the training area his dark eyes focused on the full moon above him. Suddenly a whimper escaped him and he laid down on the ground. The whimpers and yelps of pain increased then began to change into cries of pain from a human. There on his hands and knees where Shadow had been, was a man.


There it is. The very first chapter. I hope you enjoyed it. I'll get the second chapter posted as soon as possible. Please let me know what you thought of it.