Summary: ItaNaru. Naruto is the new kid at Konoha Academy of the Arts and he's got some pretty dark secrets. And when his past comes back to haunt him, he won't be able to keep them hidden for very long.
Pairings: Itachi/Naruto, side Kakashi/Iruka, Neji/Shikamaru, mentions of Ino/Sakura, Kiba/Hinata, and Lee/Tenten.
Disclaimer: I do not own the Naruto universe, or any of its characters. I will be taking artistic license and be using lyrics during the story from various artists. None of them belong to me, and none of them ever will.
Warnings: This is a SLASH story, which means there will be guys on guys. There is CHILD ABUSE and threats of sexual abuse. There will be swearing, violence, and mentions of mature content (which means sex people) in this story. Unwritten is likely to make musical mistakes because she's not a musician and never will be. If anything of the above irritates/disgusts you, you're welcome to leave.
NOTE: All of the songs listed or mentioned in this story can be found on a link on my profile. Please don't ask me for them, because I'll just tell you to look there anyways. All files are mediafire, and they all need to be downloaded.
Author's Note: Yes another story –ducks- please don't hit me! I swear I didn't mean to! I tell you, the plot bunnies are out to get me! XD I love musical!Naruto, so I couldn't help myself when this idea came to me. Please enjoy everyone!
"Talking" / 'Thinking' / Letters / "Singing/Lyrics"
Chapter One: Konoha Academy of the Arts
Dissonance: Musical term.Harsh, discordant, and lack of harmony. Also a chord that sounds incomplete until it resolves itself on a harmonious chord.
He who sings scares away his woes. (Cervantes)
Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness. (Maya Angelou, Gather Together in My Name)
My idea is that there is music in the air, music all around us; the world is full of it, and you simply take as much as you require. (Edward Elgar)
Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent. (Victor Hugo)
Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought. (Percy Bysshe Shelly)
Music isn't just learning notes and playing them, you learn notes to play to the music of your soul. (Katie Greenwood)
Play the music, not the instrument. (Author Unknown)
July 29th, 1996
"Everybody's wearing a disguise
To hide what they've got left behind their eyes.
But me, I can't cover what I am
Wherever the children go I'll follow them."
"Kaa-chan?" Uzumaki Kushina looked up from her guitar to see her six year old son staring at her from the doorway. She smiled and hoped that he couldn't see the tear tracks in the dark room. "Why are you crying?" 'But then, Naruto's never been stupid.'
Kushina never was one to lie, especially not to her son. "The lyrics make me sad," she explained as she set down the guitar and opened her arms for Naruto to crawl into. She started to relax when she breathed in the smooth, childish scent of his little body, reassured that she was never alone. She would always have her baby boy.
"Why?" Large blue eyes looked up at her and Kushina knew that she would give in to them, as she always did. It was the curse of all mothers to be so much in love with their child that they could never refuse them anything.
". . . They remind me of someone," she said, trying to be vague and still answer his question. Naruto frowned and she knew that he wasn't satisfied.
". . . Your dad," she said, and hugged him tighter to her chest. She didn't want to think about him, but god, Naruto had a right to know, if anyone had a right to know. He was as much Minato's child as he was hers, no matter how much she tried to forget. Not that it was easy, with how much Naruto looked like him.
"Tou-chan?" Naruto asked, his voice muffled as he pressed his head into her neck. "Why?"
"It reminds me of our relationship," Kushina said and then hesitated. She wasn't sure how much she wanted to reveal to a six year old. But her mouth made the decision for her and she continued to talk. "It reminds me of how it ended."
"Will I ever meet Tou-chan, Kaa-chan?" Naruto asked, and he looked up from her neck with those impossibly wide blue eyes. Kushina closed her eyes, and pulled Naruto close to her again.
"Maybe someday, Naruto. Someday."
September 26th, 2007 (1)
Konoha Academy of the Arts looked oddly imposing in the early morning light. Normally it was a cheerful sight – the building was made of old, dark red brick with none of the sleek silver metal that Minneapolis seemed to be made of these days. It had wide, black iron gates with a fairly long driveway into the huge parking lot and various buildings that held dozens of rooms for classes, practice, and private study. Compared to the modernized Minnesota of today, Konoha was like a look into the past, when mothers stayed home to watch reality T.V. (along with their kids), fathers came home to a wonderful, well-cooked meal, kids listened to what their elders told them, and everything was generally better in the world.
But on the morning of September 26th, the rising sun had managed to hit Konoha Academy in a way that made the normally homey building look dark and gloomy. It didn't ease the nerves of the school's newest student, who was standing outside of the front doors, staring at the golden door knocker as if it would magically open by itself. No, Naruto Uzumaki (2) was not pleased with the eerie look Konoha had managed to produce – he'd already been anxious about going to a new school, and this was just making it worse. He did not want to go inside the school, but he had no doubt that if he left he would just be forced to return. With a sigh and a shudder he carefully opened the door, wincing slightly when it creaked on its hinges. He officially hated old schools.
Contrary to its outwardly stately appearance, the inside of Konoha was oddly modernized. The hallways were bright and shiny, reflecting the thick overhead lights back onto the ceiling. Pictures, notices, and school-related things were hung up in certain places on the walls, adding a splash of color. Naruto sighed with relief when he saw a sign labeled Main Office close to the front door – he wasn't sure what he would've done if he wouldn't have been able to find it immediately.
Compared to his old public school, the main office was officially lavish. The carpet was colored a deep green, with the school's official symbol of a stylized leaf printed in the middle of the floor, reminding Naruto vaguely of the Oval Office (3). A long, round desk was sitting in the back of the room, with a pretty secretary sitting behind it, talking on the phone. Off to the side was a door labeled Headmaster's Office, with a bench sitting next to it for the troublemakers of the day to wait in.
Naruto stood awkwardly by the secretary's desk, waiting for her to finish talking on the phone while he took in everything in the office. There were some newspaper clippings on the wall next to the desk – old reviews of Konoha concerts and plays, among other articles. He caught flashes of titles as his eyes moved over the board.
KONOHA DOES IT AGAIN!
Private Arts School astounds Orchestra Hall with its talent!
FIRE BURNS HUGE PART OF ARTS SCHOOL
12 students die, Headmaster promises remodeling by May
SURPRISE! KONOHA CAN SING!
Arts School Choir makes spectacular performance at Orchestra Hall
MUSIC ISN'T ALL THEY CAN DO
Konoha Art Show brings much admiration
LES MISRABLES PERFORMED BY KONOHA
Arts School performs Les Misrables in school auditorium
"Can I help you?" Naruto turned away from the newspaper clippings to see the secretary giving him a smile.
"I'm a new student here," he told her, a hand going to the back of his neck in a nervous gesture. "Can I get my schedule and locker number? And maybe a map?" he added in a little desperately, making the secretary chuckle.
"Yes, I'll get them right away. You would be Naruto Uzumaki, right?" He nodded and watched as she deftly checked her computer. "Hm. Headmaster Sarutobi will want to see you, so you can wait for him now. Here's your schedule and locker number – do you need a lock?" Naruto shook his head and accepted the sheets of paper she handed him. "Alright then. Here's a map – you'll most definitely need it. If you have any trouble at all, let me know and I'll do my best to help. The Headmaster's office is that way." She waved a hand in the direction of the door Naruto had spotted earlier, and he gave her a smile before heading over and slumping into the bench.
Sighing he looked down at the sheet of paper the secretary had given him.
Name: Uzumaki, Naruto
Grade: 11 (Junior)
Division: Music, Piano
Student ID: 691103
Locker Number: 208
Student Schedule (1st Semester)
AP Musical Composition and Theory (7:45 – 8:25) – M. Uchiha (Room A210)
Calculus (8:30 – 9:25) – M. Ibiki (Room A321)
Advanced Musical & World History (9:30 – 10:15) – M. Namikaze (Room A122)
AP World Literature (10:20 – 11:10) – Y. Kurenai (Room A102)
Physics (11:15 – 12:20) – A. Mitarashi (Room A206)
Japanese IV (12:25 – 1:30) – M. Gai (Room A312)
Private Musical Lessons (1:35 – 2:25) – K. Hatake (Practice Room A07)
Naruto blinked and groaned. He was going to have to do calculus in the morning! Why couldn't Japanese have been one of his early classes? Japanese was the easiest class in the world for him – he knew it fluently after living most of his life in Japan. And his first class just had to be Music Theory – he was going to have to think in the morning! Naruto groaned again.
"Is your schedule that bad?" an amused voice broke into his thoughts and the blond looked up to see an old man staring down at him, his dark eyes crinkling as he smiled. Naruto blinked and then realized that this must be the Headmaster.
"No it's just . . . I'm not much of a morning person, and I have a lot of hard classes pretty early," he said sheepishly, making Headmaster Sarutobi laugh.
"I sympathize with you, Mr. Uzumaki. If you had come earlier in the year, perhaps we could have arranged something, but with your late start your classes are set in stone for the semester. Perhaps next semester you'll have a free period in the morning." Naruto smiled up at the older man, surprised that he was so willing to get rid of Naruto's problem. 'I like him,' he decided as he stood to follow Sarutobi into his office.
The Headmaster's office was just as lavish as the outer office – large windows overlooked the woods surrounding the back of Konoha; an oddity in the Minneapolis region that the school was only able to get because they lived on the outskirts. A large oak desk stood just in front of the windows, on top of the same green carpet that decorated the Main office. Pictures and banners covered the walls. The Headmaster gestured for Naruto to take a seat in one of the two comfortable looking armchairs sitting across from his desk, as he himself settled into the grand arm chair behind the desk. He rested his chin on steepeled fingers and stared across at Naruto, making the blond shift uncomfortably.
"I'm sure you're wondering why I called you in to meet with me, Mr. Uzumaki." Naruto nodded in agreement. "I would not normally do this for a new student, but I believe you to be a special case." The blond's mouth went dry as the Headmaster gave him a significant look. 'Does he know?' he thought in panic. "Jiraiya has told me that you excel in music, and I hope to see you in one of our upcoming concerts. But onto other matters."
"Mr. Uzumaki, I am aware of some of the incidents that you have been involved in previous to coming to our school." Naruto stiffened and Sarutobi tried to soften his voice so the boy didn't run away in panic. "I know nothing of specific details – only the most general things that Jiraiya has told me to keep you safe. Now as your previous guardian," Sarutobi couldn't stop his voice from filling with disdain, "is no longer suitable, you are living with Jiraiya, correct?" Naruto nodded.
"Jiraiya took me in after . . . ." he trailed off, looking uncomfortable. Sarutobi gave him a reassuring smile and Naruto continued. "He took me in and I've been living with him ever since. He's the one who insisted I come here."
"Well, that's wonderful, Mr. Uzumaki. I've known Jiraiya for years, and I'm pleased that he's taken you in. Now – I'm guessing you don't know much about schooling in America, correct? Jiraiya told me you were . . . home-schooled while you were here, and only attended school in Japan before that. I can have someone show you around, if you'd like?"
Naruto nodded gratefully. Even with the use of the map, he doubted he'd be able to get anywhere on time, and having a guide would help a lot. Sandaime smiled and pressed a button on the phone on his desk. "Mrs. McGovern, call for Sasuke Uchiha please. Tell him he's to escort the new student around campus."
He turned to Naruto and, seeing the puzzled look on the blond's face, said, "Sasuke is one of our top students at Konoha. He's in the running for Student Body President, and he is one of the best violin players in our orchestra."
"Aa," Naruto said while inwardly scrunching his nose in distaste. Hopefully this guy wasn't some stuck-up snob . . . .
"Sasuke Uchiha is here to see you, sir," the secretary's voice filtered in and Sandaime smiled.
"Send him in please, Mrs. McGovern."
Naruto turned as the door opened and blinked at the student standing in the doorway. Sasuke Uchiha was good-looking, with dark, spiky hair and black eyes. His uniform was immaculate, and he had a blank look on his pale, sharp face. He gave a short bow to the Headmaster, making Naruto raise an eyebrow. 'That's a Japanese custom,' he thought curiously.
"Headmaster Sarutobi," he said stoically and Naruto sighed. 'Yey. A snob,' he thought in despair.
"Sasuke," Sarutobi answered back warmly. "This is Naruto Uzumaki, our new student. Do you think you can show him around for the day?" Sasuke hardly spared Naruto a glance, making the blond bristle. 'I'll show that little . . . . frickin' arrogant ass . . . .' he thought angrily.
"Of course, Headmaster," Sasuke answered, giving his own inward sigh. 'Why do they always ask me?' he thought, glancing at the new blond boy.
The blond was short and, well, petite. He had golden blond hair that brushed his shoulders, making Sasuke wince. That and his large, cerulean blue eyes was really the only thing that set him apart, in the Uchiha's opinion. 'I don't want to deal with him,' he thought. 'Especially since everyone's going to stare because he's not in uniform.' The new student was dressed in a long-sleeved dark shirt and jeans instead of the school's uniform of a button-down white shirt and black pants with a tie.
"Come with me, Uzumaki," Sasuke said briskly, and Naruto bristled again. 'Bastard.'
"Have a good first day, Naruto," Sarutobi said with a smile. Naruto smiled back and nodded before following Sasuke out of the office.
"What's your first class?" Sasuke asked, not looking back at Naruto as he weaved left the office and started to make his way down the hallways that were now busy with people. Naruto was struggling to keep up with him; the Uchiha was going so fast.
"AP Music Theory!" he said, once he caught up. Sasuke snorted, making Naruto's eyes narrow. "Bastard," he mumbled and Sasuke shot him a glare.
"WHAT WAS THAT?!" Naruto screeched, making all the students walking nearby stop and stare at him. Naruto blushed. Sasuke was smirking.
"Idiot," he repeated more loudly. Naruto's blush turned darker, more out of anger than embarrassment.
"At least I'm not an Ice Prince with a ten-foot pole stuck up his ass," he snapped angrily, making the nearby students murmur among themselves. Who was the kid that dared go up against the Sasuke Uchiha? Sasuke's smirk had dropped off his face and now he was glaring.
"Maybe you should go get a brain before you try to insult me, Uzumaki," he said acidly. "It might make them wittier. Now follow me and stop being so loud and annoying."
Naruto froze at those words, memories rushing past him.
'You're just a burden.'
'Stay quiet, brat, you're too annoying.'
'I'll show you what to do with that loud mouth of yours.'
He shuddered and said, "Don't call me that." Sasuke frowned and turned to see the blond staring at him with serious blue eyes. "Please."
Sasuke's frown deepened, but he didn't comment on the new kid's uncharacteristic new seriousness. "Whatever, moron." He started to move forward again.
AP Music Theory was already crowded with people once Sasuke and Naruto managed to make it inside. There was no sign of a teacher, since second bell hadn't rung yet, which meant all the girls were free to crowd around Sasuke as much as they wanted. The Uchiha glared over his shoulder at his snickering shadow and tried to push his fangirls away.
"Who's the new kid, Sasuke?" A tall teenager with a ponytail of spiked dark hair approached the duo, carelessly shoving away random kids as he did so.
"Naruto Uzumaki!" Naruto answered himself, giving the stranger a grin. He pretended not to notice how the stranger straightened at his name. "What about you?"
"Shikamaru Nara," he answered back lazily. "That troublesome guy's only friend, whether he'll admit it or not," he added in, pointing at Sasuke. The Uchiha just glared at him.
"Wow," Naruto said, widening his eyes. "You must be pretty awesome if you can put up with the Ice Prince . . . ." Shikamaru stifled a snort of laughter, and Sasuke's glare re-focused onto Naruto.
"Better leave while you can, Shikamaru," he snapped. "Otherwise you might catch stupid."
This time it was Naruto glaring, while Shikamaru just gave a weary chuckle. "Hate at first sight," he quipped.
"You got that right!" Naruto chirped, though how he could do so with such an angry glare on his face was anybody's guess.
The bell rang loudly and instantly the room was full of noise as the students hurried to their desks. Naruto, not knowing where he was supposed to sit, was left standing awkwardly to the side, trying to ignore all the curious eyes on him. Finally the teacher came in, papers under his arm and a coffee cup in his hand. Naruto stared. The teacher looked like an older, less annoying Sasuke. He glanced down at the open schedule in his hand. 'M. Uchiha?'
"You're Uzumaki, correct?" he asked Naruto and the blond nodded. Uchiha sighed. "You sit there, next to the scruffy kid with the ridiculous tattoos." There was a noise of protest somewhere in the back of the room. "Try not to annoy me, and we'll get along great. Stop by after school and I can give you notes on what you've missed so far." With that, he continued on his way to the front. Naruto rolled his eyes. 'Looks like bastard-ness runs in the family.'
He quickly made his way to the back of the room, brightening when he saw a scruffy looking boy with upside red triangles on each cheek.
"You're who he was talking about, right?" he asked, sliding into the seat next to the boy. He gave Naruto a disgruntled look.
"Yeah. Kiba Inuzuka – and my tattoos are not ridiculous!" he said gruffly.
"Putting words in my mouth, man," Naruto said, with a smile. "My personal opinion? Not as cool as some, but pretty original, as tattoos go. I've never met anyone with the guts to put them on their face either, so that makes them pretty cool in my book."
Kiba scratched his cheek sheepishly. "Sorry. Mr. Uchiha has had it in for me since day one. And his student worker isn't any better," he muttered.
Naruto tilted his head. "Student worker?"
"His nephew, Itachi Uchiha. Sasuke's older brother," Kiba said with a sneer.
Naruto made a face. "Is this place overrun with Uchiha's or something?!"
Kiba gave a bark of laughter. "Not really. There's only the two older Uchiha's and Sasuke left over."
"Hm? What happened to the rest of the family?" Naruto asked curiously.
Kiba gave him a look. "Didn't you hear about the Uchiha Fires of 1998?"
"I wasn't in the country at the time," Naruto said dryly.
"Eh? Really? Where're you from?"
"Japan. Now, what happened?"
"Jeez, you're a persistent little bastard, aren't you?" Kiba rubbed the back of his neck hesitantly. "Well, I probably shouldn't be telling you this . . . But it's not like you're not gonna hear about it sooner or later anyways. The Uchiha's died in a huge-ass fire in 1998. Sasuke and the older Uchiha's were the only survivors because they were out that day."
"Inuzuka, Uzumaki, quiet back there!" Madara had finally decided it was time to start class. Kiba hunkered down in his seat, while Naruto rolled his eyes and bent to grab his supplies from his backpack.
'So, Sasuke's family is all gone then, right?' he thought to himself, his eyes drawn to the youngest Uchiha despite himself. 'Maybe I can excuse his bastard-y behavior. But just this once . . . .'
By the time it was the final period of the day, Naruto was tired and irritable.
He hated school. Never again would he roll his eyes when he overheard a high school student complain to his friends about having to go to school. He sympathized. Immensely.
The hallways sucked. People kept stopping every five seconds and plugged up the hallways until Naruto was squeezing through wherever he could. Lunch sucked as well – the food line was so long that Naruto didn't even bother to go through, instead just grabbing something from the vending machines. Since Naruto was "the new kid" he had nowhere to sit, so he just picked a random open place, munched as fast as he could and got out of there as soon as possible. He had a ton of work to catch up on, and his teachers were crazy. Thankfully it was finally the end of the day, but now Naruto was going to be in the class he'd been dreading all day.
All of the Practice Rooms in Konoha were on the first floor, and Naruto's was in the A-wing. He'd found it easily enough, despite Sasuke ditching him after 4th period, saying that he knew enough about the school to get by on his own. Naruto snorted as he pushed open the door – Sasuke was just a lazy bastard that was all.
The practice room was small and compact, and it was filled by the large piano standing in the middle of it. On the walls there were posters of famous composers – Chopin, Mozart, and Beethoven – probably meant to inspire the students that entered. A large file cabinet was tucked into the corner and had a laptop computer on top of it, but other than that the room was empty and bare. Naruto frowned and quietly set his backpack by the door before going to the piano. Cautiously he pulled out the bench and sat down, placing his hands on the cover of the keys, and memories overwhelmed.
'Naruto, that was wonderful! My little Mozart . . . .'
'He's a demon . . . how can he play so well?'
'Play me some more, boy, and I might make your punishment easier . . . .'
'No, stop, no!'
Naruto sharply pulled away from the piano, breathing hard. He stood and turned away from the instrument, starting to pace. 'How did I think I could do this?' he thought in panic. 'I haven't touched a piano since . . . . well since him and now I can't even open the cover without memories overwhelming me! And soon a teacher's gonna come in and expect me to play for him, and oh my GOD I can't do that!'
Naruto forced himself to stop pacing and take a deep breath. 'Remember what Jiraiya said. It wasn't natural, what he did, and other people won't do that.'
Trembling slightly, Naruto turned and slowly sat back down at the piano. Before he could think he flung the cover up, revealing 88 white and black keys. 'Play something, Uzumaki. Anything to stop the memories.'
Hesitantly Naruto reached out a finger and plunked a note – middle C. The note filled the air and suddenly all he wanted to do was play. He hit another note and another until a tune filled the air, the notes familiar and comforting. This was something his mother had taught him to play, all those years ago when she'd been alive and they were happy. He opened his mouth and the words to the music spilled out:
"Oh Danny boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling
From glen to glen, and down the mountain side
The summers gone, and all the flowers are dying
'Tis you, 'tis you must go and I must bide.
But come ye back when summer's in the meadow
Or when the valley's hushed and white with snow
'Tis I'll be here in sunshine or in shadow
Oh Danny boy, oh Danny boy, I love you so."
The song was an old, Irish folk tune that his mother had loved despite the sad story behind it. It was one of the first songs she'd taught him when he started to play piano.
"And if you come, when all the flowers are dying
And I am dead, as dead I well may be
You'll come and find the place where I am lying
And kneel and say an "Ave" there for me.
And I shall hear, tho' soft you tread above me
And all my dreams will warm and sweeter be
If you'll not fail to tell me that you love me
I'll simply sleep in peace until you come to me.
I'll simply sleep in peace until you come to me."
Naruto smiled as the last note hung in the air. This was easier than he'd thought it would be. He started to play another song, another one of his mother's favorites, and smiled. He could do this.
"Would you know my name
If I saw you in heaven
Will it be the same
If I saw you in heaven
I must be strong, and carry on
Cause I know I don't belong
Here in heaven"
Eric Clapton had been one of his mother's favorite singers, mainly because of his accomplishments on the guitar. She'd been the one to teach him the simpler, piano version of her favorite song, Tears in Heaven. It had been the last song she'd taught him before she died.
"Would you hold my hand
If I saw you in heaven
Would you help me stand
If I saw you in heaven
I'll find my way, through night and day
Cause I know I just can't stay
Here in heaven
Time can bring you down
Time can bend your knee
Time can break your heart
Have you begging please
The instrumental on the piano sounded eerily similar to Clapton's guitar break, and Naruto attributed it to his mother's musical talent. She'd taught him all she knew and in his eyes she was the goddess of music. Whatever she'd said about it was law. Naruto smiled as his fingers danced over the keys; he knew better now, but he missed the simpler times when you could listen to someone without questioning them.
"Beyond the door
There's peace I'm sure.
And I know there'll be no more...
Tears in heaven
Would you know my name
If I saw you in heaven
Will it be the same
If I saw you in heaven
I must be strong, and carry on
Cause I know I don't belong
Here in heaven
Cause I know I don't belong
Here in heaven."
"Well," a voice said from the door, "Jiraiya didn't exaggerate, for once. You're not half-bad kid."
Naruto whirled around on the piano bench so fast that he fell off of it and onto the floor, banging his leg and elbows in the process. Memories flashed past his eyes and instinctively raised his arms to shield his head.
'Ah, such lovely music. But now it's time for some other entertainment, wouldn't you say Naruto?'
'You have such talent boy . . . . It's despicable.'
'You've grown up nicely, haven't you? Maybe these meetings should be used for something more . . . enjoyable?'
'Your music will always belong to me. Whenever you play, all you'll think of is me, Naruto. Me.'
Naruto whimpered when he felt hands wrap around his biceps, forcing his arms away from his head. He curled into himself but didn't move; he always hated it when Naruto moved.
"Kid?" a voice said and Naruto looked up warily to see two dark eyes looking down at him. Naruto blinked. Those eyes weren't amber. He wasn't there. And suddenly his relapse left him and he remembered where he was and that he wouldn't get punished here. Jiraiya had promised him and if there was one person he trusted in the world it was that old pervert.
"Sorry," Naruto said shakily, getting to his feet. He looked up at the man and blinked when he caught sight of the full mask covering the bottom part of his face and the eye-patch covering his right eye. To add to the oddness, the man also had silver hair that spiked in every way, defying gravity in a way that reminded Naruto of his own hair when it was short and more defiant.
"I'm Kakashi Hatake," the man told him, eyeing him curiously. 'Or at least, I think he is,' Naruto thought. 'He still looks indifferent. How can he be apathetic to everything?' "I'm your new piano teacher."
"Oh," Naruto said. "I'm Naruto Uzumaki. Obviously. Um, I'm really sorry about this . . . ."
"Don't worry about it," Kakashi said with an eye-smile. Naruto wondered if he was really smiling underneath his mask or if it was all faked to convince Naruto everything was fine. Kakashi gestured to the piano. "Sit down, play something else. Do you know anything classical?"
Naruto hesitantly sat down at the bench. "Yes," he told Kakashi quietly. "I know a lot of classical music." He did his best not to think about how he'd acquired that knowledge. It would only bring more flashbacks and embarrassment.
"Play me a piece. You can play modern songs quite easily, but you may need to work on your classical." Naruto wanted to laugh at the man. 'Jiraiya didn't tell him anything,' he reminded himself. 'He knows nothing about you.' It was an oddly liberating thought. Naruto sighed and turned back to the piano, placing his hands on the keys. The flashbacks were faster this time and easier to deal with. He managed to shake them off without raising Kakashi's suspicions, or at least, he thought so. His new teacher was a hard person to read. He carefully thought on what he wanted to play and placed his hands on the keys, taking a deep breath.
Kakashi watched in interest as his newest student played Chopin's ninth nocturne flawlessly, slim fingers dancing over the keys. He was very good – he even had his eyes closed as he played, leaning forward and back as the music crescendoed and decrescendoed. It reminded Kakashi very much of when he saw one of the Uchiha's play, only with quite a bit more passion than either of them were capable of drawing up for music. When the last notes filled the air, Kakashi gave a low whistle. Naruto looked up, startled.
"Good," Kakashi told him. "Very good. Where did you learn classical music?"
Naruto stiffened. "My previous guardian had a fascination with classical music," he said quietly. "He taught me many pieces."
"Hm," Kakashi said, eyeing Naruto's tense posture. 'There's a story there,' he thought. "Well, you should think of joining the orchestra. They're looking for a good piano player."
Naruto tensed even further. "No."
Kakashi raised an eyebrow. "Oh? Why not? You could get some attention that way, maybe get yourself booked somewhere . . . ."
"I can't, Mr. Hatake," Naruto said stiffly.
"Call me Kakashi, kid," the older man told him. He eyed Naruto for a minute before shrugging. "Alright. You don't want to do it, I can't force you. But you should still consider it. Now, let's work on another piece . . . ."
Naruto didn't leave school immediately after the bell rang; instead he headed out of the music division and into the literature division. He wanted to speak to Jiraiya for a bit before heading home, and then he had to meet with some of his teachers to discuss the work he'd missed because of his late start.
Naruto really had no idea where Jiraiya's office was and was cursing the old pervert under his breath when he came upon a tall student that looked like he was a year or so older than Naruto. The blond raised an eyebrow when the student turned and he could make out pale, aristocratic features framed by long black hair and jet black eyes. 'Another Uchiha,' he thought. 'Didn't Kiba say his name was Itachi?'
"Excuse me," he said. Itachi turned and Naruto was slightly disturbed by the blank expression on the Uchiha's face. "Do you know where Jiraiya Sannin's office is?"
Itachi considered him for a moment. "Down the hall, first door on the right. Room C201," he said calmly.
Naruto grinned at him. "Thanks!" he said and headed in that direction. Since his back was turned he didn't notice the speculative glance Itachi gave him as he walked away.
Naruto found Jiraiya's office easily enough and stifled a laugh when he saw that his guardian was reading a porn magazine and ignoring the stacks of papers that needed to be graded on his desk.
"Ero-Sennin!" Naruto cried, the Japanese nickname rolling easily off his tongue. It had been amusing when he'd told Jiraiya exactly what it meant.
Jiraiya jumped and turned to Naruto with a murderous expression. "Brat! Jesus Christ, can't you knock or something?!" he asked irritably, closing the porn magazine and bookmarking it with his finger.
"Nope," Naruto said with a teasing smile. "I'm hoping that one of these days you'll get a heart-attack and drop dead so you'll leave me with all your money."
Jiraiya snorted. "So that's why. Too bad for you that I'm hardier than that, kid," he said. He leaned back in his chair and eyed Naruto curiously. "So what're you doing here? School's out for the day."
Naruto leaned on the wall and grinned at Jiraiya. "Don't you wanna know how my day went, Ero-Sennin?"
"Don't call me that you brat!" Jiraiya said with a glare. Then he sighed. "Fine, give me all the details," he said in resignation.
"The Uchihas are all bastards!" Naruto started out, waving his hands in the air. "Sasuke has a pole stuck so far up his ass it's a wonder he can walk, and Mr. Uchiha is slave driver! And I just met Itachi – is he always so emotionless?"
Jiraiya laughed. "Figures you'd hate the Uchihas," he said. "They're the complete opposite of you, Itachi and Sasuke especially. And yes, Itachi is pretty apathetic. But he's not that bad," he added, a thoughtful look on his face. "Emotionless yes, but he's not as much of a brat as his brother is."
Naruto sighed. "Well Sasuke-teme abandoned me after fourth period – he was supposed to show me around – and so I made it on my own from there. Is every teacher in this school crazy?!"
Jiraiya laughed again. "Yeah, pretty much. Who do you have?"
"Uchiha, Ibiki, Namikaze – he was out, though, so we had a sub – Mitarashi, Kurenai, Gai, and Kakashi," Naruto listed off. Jiraiya cracked up again and Naruto glared at him. "It's not funny!" he cried. "Ibiki has to be the scariest teacher I've ever seen, and even worse he teaches calculus! Mitarashi is creepy and has a snake fetish, and Gai-sensei tried to smother me with the power of youth!" Naruto sounded creeped out. "Only Kurenai, Kakashi, and Namikaze's sub were remotely sane. And Namikaze may be just as crazy as the others and then I'll only have two sane teachers!"
"Nah, Minato's okay compared to who you have," Jiraiya said, chuckling, "and Kurenai's one of my best teachers. Kakashi, though . . . I never thought he'd be considered sane."
"Compared to everyone else he's pretty damned sane," Naruto grumbled. He hesitated and then said, "He saw one of my . . . relapses." Jiraiya stiffened.
"Did he say anything?" he asked worridly. "Are you okay? Do I need to cancel the class?"
"No," Naruto said, smiling at the older man's worry. "I think . . . I think I'm going to be fine with it. I actually played in front of him," he sounded amazed. "I never thought I'd be able to do that."
Jiraiya smiled. He'd grown very fond of Naruto and he was happy that the blond was doing well at Konoha. 'Kakashi was the best choice,' he thought, watching Naruto's amazed expression. 'He'll be able to help Naruto move past this.' And if there was anything in the world he wanted most it was for Naruto to be able to heal.
Author's Note: Yeah, I'm starting yet another story. But I have high hopes for this one – I love musical characters, and writing musical!Naruto makes my day. Konoha Academy is somewhat shaped after my own high school – at least when it comes to scheduling and room division. And that thing with the students stopping every five yards to talk – yeah that happens to me. Every day. It's so annoying. Anyhow, now that I've babbled myself out, please leave a review and tell me what you think!
(1) Yes, this is set in Minnesota. The reasons for this are numerous, but the mains ones are that I live in Minnesota and, therefore, know the area pretty well, and that the SPCO (St. Paul Chamber Orchestra), which is considered to be one of the best orchestras in the nation and even the world, is there. Minnesota is a comfortable place for a setting for me, and it has a diverse and active musical community, so obviously it was my first choice for writing an AU story. The date is also because of comfort – I can write 2007 better than say, the 1990's (for HP) because I've lived through it.
(2) Yes, the dreaded Americanized name. Unfortunately it's needed, as Naruto currently lives in America. I wish it could be the Japanese way as much as the rest of you –sigh-.
(3) The Oval Office; the US President's "office" has a large embroidery of the official seal in the middle of the floor.
Songs Used in this Chapter (in chronological order): Abandoned Love (Bob Dylan), Danny Boy (Irish Folk Tune), Tears in Heaven (Eric Clapton), and Nocturne no. 9 (Chopin). If you want to have a listen, there's a link in my profile to a page with media files.