I'm not sure if anyone who used to read this story is still around or even cares but as I browsing my old email accounts I found the one I was using for my nearly forgotten fanfiction account! I was reminded of this story I wrote god I dunno how many years ago and after I came and read it...I was so nostalgic I went through my old notebooks to see if I had written anymore. (I thought I had) and turns out that I did!
I wrote four more chapters and a couple of rough draft summaries of where I wanted the story to go...I had originally intended to let this story die on Chapter Ten and leave it in that sort of tied up leave em wanting more type of ending but I thought that since all the reviews were asking for more I could at least type up what I had written and post it on here for any lingering fans of the story.
WARNINGS: Deals with abuse, poverty, some intense language
DISCLAIMER: I don't own Naruto or any characters blah blah blah...
*Also this chapter was super long originally I shortened it (cut out the entire first two weeks of Naruto being in New York) because I found it dull and pointless. ANYWAYS, the chapter may seem rushed and I didn't really edit anything so it's not the best. At all. But if you can get past the rough bits, I hope you enjoy some brooding Naruto torture-esque reading!
Dark alleyways, dirty concrete, and run down hovels are not exactly what Naruto was expecting to see when he landed in New York. From TV shows and movies he had expected to see classy women shopping on one side of the street, distinguished business professionals on the other side, and a Broadway musical number going on in the middle.
Naruto glanced around again at his surroundings, back in reality. The dark looks from a shady character to his left spurred him to move on quickly. Stepping over the suspicious sidewalk stains he nearly leaped the four steps to Iruka's sister's apartment building door. After living for two weeks in New York he still felt like the same frightened and lost boy he was in Konoha.
Impatiently Naruto pressed the buzzer one more time, bouncing his legs to keep his body warm. New York in the winter was chilly to say the least. What was taking Iruna so long? She never left him waiting outside the apartments…if you could call where she lived an apartment. Naruto swallowed figuring that she must be busy or detained by her "loving husband" which probably meant she was on the floor with a new bruise she would be covering up with the meager amount of makeup she could afford. Naruto cringed thinking of what the brute would say to him when he heard that, once again, Naruto had no luck in finding a job and hadn't at least stolen something for the family, as was apparently his duty.
Not for the first time Naruto wondered what Iruka would do if he knew about his sister's situation. Would he come bursting in and try to save her like Sasuke tried to do with him? Guiltily Naruto had often wished he never left Konoha as he lay on the dirty cold floor in Iruna's three room apartment, but one quick mental image of Sasuke watching him board the plane erased that wish almost instantaneously. Naruto decided he was in his element like it or not. In all actuality Iruna's place reminded him of his old apartment…but worse. And her husband reminded him of-
Thankfully the clicking of the magnetized door interrupted his thoughts before he could finish them. Yanking the door open and letting it slam behind him Naruto suddenly wished he was back outside in the freezing cold as he sullenly climbed the rusty stairs to the apartment door. Carefully opening it Naruto took in the usual stench of boiled cabbage and beans. Iruna was cooking dinner, or had been before she was interrupted. Iruka's older sister came out of the small bathroom, eyes red, and gave Naruto a wane wobbly smile.
"How was the job hunt?" she asked putting on her best cheerful voice, turning away from him to hide her face.
"Not great," Naruto muttered trying not to focus on the living tragedy that was in front of him.
Looking behind the frail woman's form Naruto noticed Iruna's oversized lump of a husband shifting in his chair across the room. If the man wasn't spending all his money on alcohol, drugs, and whores the family would be much better off. With all the money they would save they could probably afford a different and less hazardous apartment.
As if reading Naruto's thoughts the man took a swig from the bottle he was gripping on to for dear life and narrowed his beady eyes in Naruto's direction.
"What use do we have for you if you don't bring in money," his voice made Naruto shudder. "Might as well throw you out on the street with all the other trash out there or maybe we should just set you up on the nearest corner. You'd probably make a little money with your face, huh pretty boy?" He chuckled at the last statement nearly choking on his next gulp of his cheap vodka.
Naruto ignored him, turning his back to the disgusting man and trying to help Iruna finish dinner ignoring Iruna who was busy trying to push his hands away.
"Don't turn your back to me you lil' shit!" Iruna's husband roared. Naruto whirled around to see the man struggling as if he was going to get up out of his chair but his drunken fat body was resisting his efforts to stand.
Naruto opened his mouth to respond, for the past two weeks he had taken this man's abuse and hadn't said a word because of Iruna's protests, but his temper had reached its limit. Iruna desperately gripped his arm and Naruto turned to look at her sunken and suddenly wild looking face. One gaze into her sad eyes was enough to make Naruto instantly forget his sharp remark.
Iruna hurriedly piled a plate full of the precious meat loaf she had scrounged together for the besat before rushing over to her husband's side.
"Please darling, he meant nothing by it," she whispered her voice shaking. Naruto's heart clenched at the scene unfolding before him.
"I'm sorry, sir, I was simply trying to help. I figured I could help around the house for now at least," Naruto said meekly but loudly enough to drown out whatever the man was going to say to Iruna.
Her husband's gaze shifted back to Naruto and held his eyes for a moment before Naruto looked down at his feet. Grabbing his fork he jammed a piece of meat into his mouth before answering with his mouth full of half chewed food.
"You're a worthless piece of shit boy and don't your forget it," he chuckled again, "watch yourself or you'll be out on the street fighting for a piece of trash to eat. Which is about what I'm eating now!" the man's rage shifted back towards his usual victim as Iruna took a step backwards. "Is everyone in this house useless? Boy can't get money, the bitch can't cook, what's next?!"
Iruna said nothing but walked meekly backwards to the corner of the room that served as her kitchen. Looking at Naruto she grabbed another plate off the counter.
"Will you go get the children, Nartuo, I've got their food ready," Iruna was just trying to get rid of Naruto before the man said worse, but Naruto didn't see why. The apartment was so tiny he could hear everything that went on, as could the children, there was no hiding what their father did to their mother no matter how hard she tried to protect them.
But Naruto simply nodded, not wanting to upset the poor woman anymore than she already was, and stalked to the bedroom at the back of the room. There was only one bedroom and one bathroom and a small living area where Iruna lived, but the children were usually back there playing with what they called toys or desperately trying to figure out their homework usually to no avail.
Opening the door Naruto smiled down at the two kids who were both bent over with their toys. Iruna had two kids, a girl and a boy, named Katy and Thad. Katy was eleven and Thad was eight, and both knew too much hardship for their age.
"Come on kids, your mom has food ready for ya!" Naruto noticed how fake his happy voice sounded and was reminded of Iruna.
Both kids looked up at the blonde. Neither of them looked ready to get up. Katy cocked her head to the side,
"Are they done yelling?" she asked him seriously, "we can wait a little longer."
Naruto's eyes stung but he kept up the façade that Iruna had so desperately built around the children's lives.
"I'm sure they're done," Naruto said reaching his hand out to pull the young girl to her feet. "Now come on and eat before it gets cold."
In all honesty there wasn't much to get cold, Iruna had put as much food as she could on the kids plates but there was still next to nothing. But the children did not complain and ate in silence as their father drank away what little the family had at the end of the table. Naruto looked down at his own plate; Iruna had tried to give him a little extra he noticed. He also noticed that she was standing watching them with no food of her own.
Picking at his plate Naruto sat in silence in the corner and watched the children eat as well. They at slowly trying to savor their beans and boiled cabbage for as long as they could. Eventually their father stood and waddled out of the door, probably to get more alcohol; Naruto stood and helped the children to their "beds" which were really just piles of threadbare blankets and small makeshift pillows in the corner. After they were laid down, Naruto made his way quietly over to stand where Iruna was scrubbing the pot and plates with all her might.
After waiting a moment for the kids to fall asleep Naruto looked up at her.
"I'm going to try to find some way to get money, Iruna," Naruto nearly whispered. "I want to be able to help out, I am trying."
Iruna didn't look over at him and she took a few moments before she answered.
"Naruto you're a guest in this house," she said with a weak conviction in her words, "you don't need to help us out. He just…get's stressed about money. Pay him no mind. I'm only sorry…well, I wish Iruka had someone else who could help you out."
Naruto opened his mouth to ask her, ask her why she stayed with him. Why did she put herself through such abuse? Why did she let that man come back into the apartment every night? Why did she let her children live with a man like that? But instead he merely pushed his plate towards her.
"Here, I know you didn't eat, Iruna."
"Naruto I'm not hungry, you need that food," Iruna's pride, or what was left of it, was obviously wounded.
"I've already eaten today, I got something while I was out," Naruto lied hoping his churning and empty stomach would stay quiet. "Please eat; I don't want the food to go to waste."
Iruna said nothing and continued washing the dishes, Naruto pushed off the counter he was leaning on and moved over to the trash can. Grabbing the can he walked out the door and down the stairs. Opening the building door he made sure he left the door propped open slightly so he wouldn't have to buzz in and risk waking the children.
Walking over to the dumpster he let out a deep sigh as he dumped the can. He rested for a moment looking up at what he could make out of the stars. He tried to think of something, anything he could do to make his life better, Iruna's life better, but try as he might he couldn't think of anything that could get him out of the mess that was his life. Bitterly he imagined Katy and Thad, growing up in this environment and becoming victim to the vicious cycle that was poverty. He could only pray that Thad wouldn't turn out anything like his sorry excuse for a father, and Katy would find someone who truly loved her and protected her.
But that was a lot to ask for in their situation. Shaking himself out of his broodings Naruto noticed how quickly time had passed, the streets were completely dark now. Grabbing the can he turned and briskly walked back to the apartment building. The door was wide open now, Naruto noticed, as he walked through and closed the door behind him. Someone had come through while he was immersed in his own thoughts.
A loud thud came from above his head as Naruto started up the stairs. It didn't take long for Naruto to realize it was coming from Iruna's apartment and he made his way up the stairs as quickly as he could fearing the worst, images of someone attacking Iruna or the children flashing in his mind spurring on his movements but also filling him with dread and fear.
Fumbling with his keys he unlocked the door and pushed it open taking in the scene before him. Iruna was lying on the ground, a hand on her bleeding nose, her husband standing over her his face bright red and breathing heavily. Naruto glanced over and saw a shattered plate lying beside Iruna pieces of food littering the floor.
"…I can't afford my drink and I come home to you eating?!" the man was trying to catch his breath, his face glistening with sweat. "I knew you were hiding food bitch!"
The pieces clicked in Naruto's mind, the food he had offered to Iruna had caused this. He had caused this.
"P-please, I'm not hiding-" Iruna struggled to stand up, neither of them had noticed Naruto had entered the apartment.
"What else are you hiding, STEALING?" he was in a drunken rage and he lurched towards Iruna gripping her hair and yanking. "Thief! I give you what you need and you dare steal from me? You're a stupid fucking whore-" he slapped Iruna, almost falling over from the force the resounding sound of it spread across the apartment.
As he reared back to hit her again, Naruto snapped. Before he even knew what he was doing Naruto had leaped forwards and slammed into the larger man. Surprised and caught off balance the man stumbled once before falling face first into the dirty concrete floor. Naruto grabbed Iruna's arm and pulled her off the ground. Iruna looked at him with a mix of relief and horror and surprise.
"Don't touch her again," Naruto seethed stepping in front of Iruna. "You think you're a big man? Hitting a bleeding woman on the ground?!"
The man hadn't moved since Naruto pushed him to the floor but now he struggled, violently, and stood shakily once again. Turning around, his face crimson with fury, his eyes zeroed in on Naruto a burning hatred with unmasked intention burning a hole through Naruto.
He was sputtering something but Naruto couldn't make sense of it, not that he was paying attention. All his rage towards the man, towards his situation, towards everything that had ever happened to him seemed to unleash at once all directed towards this low life.
As he made towards Naruto, everything went red for a moment as Naruto lashed out throwing a left hook as hard as he could ever imagine doing in his life. His fist met the man's face square on the side of his nose. A loud cracking sound snapped Naruto out of his rage, he wasn't sure if it was his finger or Iruna's husband's nose that made the sound, probably both.
The drunken idiot dropped instantly to the ground a pool of blood pouring from his nose. Naruto stepped back and finally realized he had been holding his breath. Taking a deep breath he tried to calm himself down, his eyes still glued to the heavy man's body lying motionless on the ground. A piercing shriek beside him caught his attention.
Iruna rushed to her husband's side squealing incoherently as she pushed on his back desperately. Finally, after what seemed like hours, the man took a breath and shifted on the floor. Iruna turned to look at Naruto.
Naruto took a step back, shocked at the woman's face. Iruna looked betrayed, shocked and above all furious.
"What the hell do you think you're doing?" Iruna demanded her body shaking. "Who do you think you are?!"
"I…I was trying to help you! I was trying to help them!" Naruto was searching for the right words his mind racing as he tried to understand what was happening. "He was attacking you!"
"You had no business doing anything at all!" Iruna was worked into a complete frenzy. "You didn't help, you've done nothing but make things worse since you got here!"
Naruto stepped back in disbelief as everything seemed to haze.
"You are a GUEST in this house, and you attacked him like a wild animal! You almost KILLED him!" Iruna was still squatting by her husband's side, swinging her hands wildly. Her voice seemed to fade away as the world went into slow motion. Naruto stopped thinking, trying to understand, trying to fix what happened, what was happening.
Turning on his heel he ran, he ran hard and fast exploding out of the apartment building and on to the street. It was snowing, something in the back of his mind registered that as he ran blindly, his feet felt numb as he flew along the street tripping over trashcans and sliding on the wet pavement. He didn't know where he was going he just knew he was going and never turning back.
Running headlong in New York isn't a good idea, Naruto tripped avoiding running into a group of people and was almost run over by a cab, turning he tried to evade a group of trashcans but failed, flying head over heels he landed roughly on the concrete, and finally rolled to a stop.
Everything went white as Naruto lay there staring into nothing. He felt like everything stopped but was going so quickly at one time. Drifting through consciousness he wasn't sure how long he had laid there before the white haze he was floating through faded into complete darkness.
I hope you enjoyed this chapter...I'll at least post the rest of what I had handwritten, if people want more I have a sudden urge to continue writing chapters if people would enjoy them...but no promises!
Who knows, I might just disappear for three years or something...