"Who's that?"

Her dad blinked at the question and turned to follow her pointed finger. Then he smiled at her. It wasn't his usual happy smile filled with love and care, but a soft bitter one filled with things Kasumi didn't understand.

"That's an old friend." He smiled.

"Oh. From when you were a kid?" She asked curiously peering at the blonde sitting at Ichiraku's Ramen stand.

"No. He's not that old." Her dad chuckled. "He was my student. And your father's student."

"Just like Sakura-sensei?" Kasumi asked wide eyed.

"Yes. She was his teammate." Her dad said softly.

"Oh... Sakura-sensei never talks about that." Kasumi said. "She never talks about before everyone came to live here in Snow. She just sighs and then disappears to hunt butterflies."

"I know. Not many of us like to talk about it." Her dad said softly.


"Because we loved our home before here."

"Then why did you come here?"

"To survive." Her dad said simply. "It was safe here, just like Kumo, where many of our home group also went."

"Oh. Because Konohagakure was destroyed?" She asked thinking of the old village of her father's stories and what was told in her history books to have been the greatest hidden village.

"Yes." Her dad smiled softly.

"Did he go to Kumo?" Kasumi asked referring to the man she'd pointed at. "Is that why I haven't seen him?"

Her dad smiled at her and ruffled her long grey hair, then took her hand in hand and headed for the blonde man. Kasumi suddenly became shy as one sharp blue eyes turned towards them.

"Hello Naruto." Her dad smiled. "Can we join you?"

The man looked at them and stared for the longest moment. Kasumi ducked behind her dad's leg as that lone blue eye gazed at her. She thought he was going to say no but finally he gave a short nod. Her dad sat right next to him, lifting her into a chair beside him.

"Hello Iruka." The man said, voice soft.

"How have you been?" Iruka asked as he waved the ancient stand keeper to get him a bowl for the two of them.

"Good." Naruto said. "Who is this?"

"My daughter." Her dad smiled.

"She does not smell like you."

Kasumi wondered if he was related to Kiba-sensei at the comment but didn't ask.

"Adopted." Dad said simply.

"She smells like...Kakashi."

"That's cause Kakashi is my father." Kasumi said proudly butting in.

"...I do not see him with a woman." Naruto finally responded.

"I wanted a child but I'm sterile." Iruka blushed. "And he wanted an heir, but couldn't care for a child by himself and refused to marry just for that, so we had a surrogate."

"Who was the Surrogate?" Naruto asked.

Iruka glanced at her as she pretended not to listen. She had always asked the same thing but they never told her. Iruka whispered something far too low to hear and Kasumi pouted but Naruto somehow heard.

"Ah. She didn't want to raise her?"

"No. She is in love with Hayate and the have their own child. They grew close over their training and she only agreed as a personal favour to the two of us."

Naruto turned his lone eye back on her and suddenly she felt such a weight on her as she gazed at him. He looked so...She didn't know.

"I should be going." Naruto said softly standing. Kasumi stared at his empty bowl and wondered when he had eaten.

"Stay for a while." Her dad asked quickly.

"I won't. There are many who still hate me."

"I don't hate you." Her dad half pleaded.

"I know." Naruto said softly. "I don't know why but you don't."

"No one blames you either." Iruka said softly. "Many can't forgive you but they don't blame you."

Kasumi wondered what this man had done. She didn't dare ask though. That felt like it would be the worng thing to ask.

"Are you a bad guy?" She asked instead.

"Yes." Naruto smiled at her, his teeth long and pointy. "I'm a demon."

"Naruto." Her dad said in a half pleading half warning tone.

The man laughed suddenly and a smile cut his face. It was small and cold but it was a smile all the same.

"You can't say I'm not." He said.

"Not all demons are bad though." Kasumi interrupted. "You must be a good demon or dad wouldn't like you."

The man stared at her for a long moment. Then he chuckled lowly.

"I must go. Kimimaro and Akira are waiting for me. I just came to check up."

"There are others who would wish to see you." Her dad said softly. "Momichi has expressed an interest more then once and Konohamaru asks after you constantly."

"Not this time." The man said, calmly and dismissively.

Kasumi flinched in surprise as his hand suddenly rested on her head. She looked up into his single blue eyes and watched as he smiled, the locks of his hair clinking together with the beads and bone in them. She didn't ask where his other eye was.

"Never let anyone take advantage of you, child." He said. "Never let them take anything from you. Always be strong enough to destroy those who hurt you."

She wanted to protest the child part but stayed silent under the powerful aura of this stranger her father's knew. These words resonated with wisdom and pain and some sort of sadistic glee.

"And don't mess with demons." He smiled suddenly, lips pulling back to show off his fangs. "Or you'll get hurt."

She watched him walk off laughing. Then she groped for her Dad's hand, her eyes never leaving his back.

"He scares me." She whispered.

"I know dear." Her dad, Umino Iruka, said. "He scares me too. But at heart, he's just a hurt child. Learn from him and the mistakes we adults made; A child is a child and they should never be hurt. For a child's love is the purest of innocence, and their hate is the deadliest of sin."




Finally! Hope you all liked it. And if not, well that's your opinion and I'll ignore it.