I hid in the shadows outside of the window suppressing the giggles that were threatening to pass through my lips. Carefully, and with one eye closed tightly in pre-wince for any sound that might betray me, I slid the unlatched window open, hoping that the old thing wouldn't squeak. It didn't and I breathed out a slow breath not wanting to make any noise that would wake some one up, mainly the person who owned the room that I was sneaking into.

Standing on a crate that I had carried from the shed, I eased one leg over the window seal and down to the carpeted floor below. My lip held tightly in my teeth in concentration I eased all of my weight onto it and then began the task of getting the other into the room with as little sound as possible. The sill reached up and caught my foot and I hopped in place trying to free it wincing with each thump. I lost my balance and toppled to the floor then laid there holding my breath waiting for the lump in the bed to wake up and sound the alarm.

I breathed a sigh of relief as the lump didn't so much as stir from under the covers and I stood up slowly. Moving to the bed I looked down at the pale face of the one sleeping soundly in the darkness. The face was so pale that it nearly seemed to glow and I grinned evilly, or as evilly as my cherubic features would allow. Sometimes being blond and cute had its drawbacks.

Reaching into the back pocket of my jeans, I pulled out an orange permanent marker and uncapped the lid. I saw his eyes flutter briefly and my own widened thinking that I was about to be discovered. I held my breath and waited until he had relaxed once more into his dreams.

I'd snuck into his room numerous times when we were younger, for various purposes, mostly to wake him up and talk to him in the middle of the night when I couldn't sleep because I was worried about one thing or another. But to day I was here seeking revenge for the unforgivable.

Narrowing my eyes and glaring at his perfect features I began to draw on that perfect canvas of his. Occasionally he would twitch or wave me away like a pestering fly but I returned to finish my creation. I felt immense satisfaction one I was done and stood back and surveyed my work, relaxing now that I was finished.

Looking towards the window I could see that the sun was going to be peeking of the ridge of the mountain soon because the night had lightened and a hint of a glow was beginning to form. I flicked on the light of his bedroom knowing that it wouldn't wake him and I was correct as I saw his face scrunch up in annoyance before relaxing again. The orange showed up really well on his pale skin and from the color he would know that it was me who had been behind the handy work of such glorious artwork. My smile widened even further as I pulled my cell from my pocket and pointed it at him. Snapping a quick couple of pictures, I wondered what the fangirl club was going to think when they saw the art work.

The lump on the bed rolled until he was flat on his back and the quilt that had previously been tucked under his chin was pulled to his waist giving me an up close view of his toned torso. For a brief minute or two I could only stare at the hard planes of his sculpted chest. I pulled my gaze away and blinked trying to get my eyes working properly again since they had dried up from not blinking for so long.

Avoiding looking at the bed again I went back to the window and slipped back out it the way I had come. All evidence of a night visitor had been taken care of and put back the way I had found it and I was back in my own room staring up at the darkened ceiling trying to not think about Sasuke and how hot he had been lying in the bed with the covers pulled down to his waist while one arm was thrown over his head. His ebony locks tousled and lying over the deep red of his pillow, his pale body framed by the crimson sheets…

"Baka!" I muttered to myself and rolled over only to come face to face with the devil himself glaring at me from his place of leaning against the wall next to my open window.

"Baka is correct," he said quietly then strode purposely forward to stand over my frozen form. The first thing I noticed (okay, it wasn't the first thing I noticed but it's the most important thing at the moment) was that his face wore a shiny pink hue and the orange was gone. Darn it!

"What did you think you were doing?" he asked and I could hear the anger in his voice. I winced but stared up at him silently my mouth dry. I wasn't sure if it was from the fear of facing and angry Uchiha or from the other feelings that I held for him.

We'd been best friends since we'd met in kindergarten at the sand box when he had stopped an older kid from trying to shove sand into my mouth because I'd refused to be his girlfriend. I gone to him when I was scared that I was bleeding to death when I got my first period and he'd rolled his eyes at me before explaining in exasperation that I wasn't dying. I'd run to him when my mother had died from cancer and cried on his shoulder as he held me, and didn't tell me that everything was going to be okay, just held me in my grief and let me know that I wasn't alone. We'd celebrated together, laughed together, and played pranks on one another (well, alright, I played pranks and he would just glare at me). He'd helped me with my homework when I couldn't understand it, I would stand by his side and stare down any of the raging fangirls that would approach him and protect him from their machinations, he'd dance with me at the school dances and I would keep him distracted from his school work by dragging him to girly movies. He'd watch me with that dark gaze and I'd grin at him stupidly.

"Revenge," I muttered finally able to move and I sat up in bed, scooting so that I could lean back against the head board. I folded my arms across my chest and pouted at him.

"Revenge?" he asked. My chin raised a bit as he asked that question. How could he ask that? It was simply unforgivable that he didn't know what I was talking about.

"Yes, teme, revenge! You gave away your nine-tails plushy to the church donation box!"


I glared in a killing rage and was sure that my eyes turned a deep crimson which didn't affect him any.

"So! S-So! We won those at the fair last year!" My voice was beginning to get louder than the whispers that we had been talking in previously.

"Sshh," he hissed. "You'll wake your dad!"

I leaned forward but kept my voice low, but just barely. "So you weren't supposed to give them away, we were to keep them forever and then give them to our kids when we got together for play dates!"

Sasuke paused and his dark eyes grew intense at that last bit of my sentence and I wasn't sure why. I waited for a response and after a minute I grew impatient, and a little…it wasn't uncomfortable as that I grew a little…uneasy with the way he was looking at me.

"What?" I asked. The question roused him enough that the intense look went away and he seemed to give himself a mental shake.


I rolled my eyes at the non-answer before I remembered why he was there in the first place. "The nine-tails? You gave it away!"

"It was just a toy and I'm not going to keep it so that it could grow mold, or bacteria, or something as it sits around collecting dust and being useless." His answer hurt me a little and he must have seen it in my eyes because he sighed. He sat down on the bed then shifted around so that he was leaning up against the head board also, his arm settled onto my shoulders, and he pulled me into him so that my head was pillowed on his shoulder the way it had at least a million other times. But this time, my heart began to pound in my chest and I felt my chest grow tight, and things low in my belly seemed to pull causing me to shut my eyes briefly.

"I know that it was just a toy, but it was also a memory," I tried to explain as I relaxed against him.

"The memory is still there, Naruto, and we have picture to remind us of that time."

"I know but I still…I guess, I just didn't want to loose it and the toy brought back that happy memory each time I look at it or hold it, and I wanted you to feel the same way."

I didn't need to look up at him to feel him smirk, but I did feel the snort that he let out. "I don't need the fox to remind me of those feelings." He said simply but didn't elaborate. He words made me feel better and I grinned then looked up at him.

"I still have your picture and I'm going to print it up and hang it all over the school!"

I opened my eye and trembling looked around me in terror, all I saw were the white walls and all I heard were the bleeping of machines. I shook with fear trying to find him, to see where the next attack would be coming from and then I heard the keening from a distant person. My head pounded as if someone was trying to break out from the inside, I couldn't seem to breathe right because of the ache deep in my chest. My whole body was simply full of pain and I wanted to tell the person who was making that wretched noise to shut it! That it would bring only pain and misery if she didn't keep quiet.

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry, please, I won't do it again! Please…" the words broke off when I realized that they were coming from me. The scared, awful, pleading sound, a sound that I had made on more that one occasion, the sound that told him just how weak I was.


I jumped and wanted to cower away from whoever had spoken to me, but I forced myself to turn my head and look at the one who was talking. The woman smiled kindly at me but I could see the pity in her eyes, a look that many had given me in the past two years. I looked down feeling the hot shame that came every time I saw that look, the knowledge that they knew, and the inescapable fact that they couldn't help me any more than I could help myself. I was trapped.

"Naruto, I'm Doctor Sannin," the woman said matter-of-factly as she came to stand next to the bed, reading the machines and checking the IV. She held a clip board in one hand and lifted it to write on with a pen that she took from the white coat she wore. Once whatever she needed to write was written she turned and gave me her full attention.

"Naruto, do you remember what happened?" she asked and I shook my head.

Yes, I lied, well in general I lied because I knew what had happened but I told the truth too because I really didn't know what had happened. Confused yet? Let me clarify.

I knew that I had been beaten, again, but the details…I didn't know.

"Well, Naruto, I don't need to know what happened but I can give you a general layout of your injuries. You've suffered trauma to your head which had left you with a sever concussion, so you've been unconscious for a while. Your right arm is broken in two places and your left has suffered several fractures. Both of your legs are broken in a couple places and there are several small hairline fractures, your left is in worse condition than your right because it looks as if someone ran it over with a car. Your ribs are broken and one of the bones pierced your lung. You have internal bruising and swelling as well as several contusions and cuts on the rest of your body. Your face is mostly swollen which is why you can't open your eye right now. You will have some scarring on your cheeks but plastic surgery should get rid of most of the scars though and until the swelling goes down, I'm keeping you here in the hospital.

"Since its procedure, I have notified the police of your condition and since you have woken up they have several questions for you." She looked at her chart again.

"You were brought here nearly a week ago and you've been slipping in and out of a coma, this is the first time that you've been fully conscious. So things are looking up right now. And, Naruto, if I may be so bold as to say, I fully recommend that you tell the police. You won't survive another beating." If she smiled again or not I didn't see it because I was still looking down at my hands, seeing the deep gashes in them along with the scratches and bruises.

She pulled a syringe from her pocket and inserted the needle into the drip tube of the IV and injected it with something.

"It's a pain killer and will help you to rest better, it isn't enough to put you under since the police are waiting outside to question you but its enough that you won't be in constant pain," she explained efficiently then giving me a once over she turned and left the room.

Before the door could close fully, it was opened again and a man and woman stepped into the room. They were dressed in casual clothing and I wondered at it, but only dimly. They too looked at me with pity. I wanted to scream at them and tell them that I didn't need their pity and I most certainly didn't want it.

If my jaw hadn't hurt so much I would have ground my teeth together. It may have had something to do with the pain killer that the doctor had given me and I was beginning to feel that uncaring stage of the drug. It was beginning to make it so that I wasn't bothered by the pain.

"Uzumaki Naruto?" the man asked. I nodded slowly trying to focus on the slightly blurry faces of the two, both at the same time.

"But its Oto, Oto Naruto," I corrected.

"You're driver's license states that you're still Uzumaki," the cop said.

"It does?"

"Yes." He was beginning to study me like a bug under a microscope. The woman was hanging back just observing the byplay between her partner and me.

"And you are?" I asked, my head feeling slightly foggy as I concentrated of them.

"Oh, sorry," the man muttered them slipped his wallet out of his pocket and slipping it open. I barely registered the seal that he was showing me. "I'm Detective Morino, and this is Detective Fuuma."

Morino was a tall man with thick bulky shoulders, not the bulky-fat type cop but one that was solidly built who worked out regularly at strenuous exercise. He was bald, wore a skull cap and his face held two scars that looked like they have come from a knife. Fuuma on the other hand was short, thin, and had carroty hair. The hair was long except for the top layer that was pulled back into a pony tail that spiked into the air, and a fringe of bangs that hung in her eyes and she constantly swept them aside in irritations, like they had just recently grown too long and she hadn't had time to get them cut.

"Well, Naruto, let me tell you about what we know so far. We know that you've been beaten pretty badly, and you were found unconscious last Wednesday in the middle of your driveway. Your house has been vandalized and your husband is missing."


A/N Published without the Authors Notes so I had to go back and fix it. Also had to fix the little time skip, I hope that you all saw that!

Do you people know how hard it is to sit down and write something AND then publish it for your enjoyment!(and I'm not talking about the people who review because I think that you guys are awesome) I look at the traffic and upwards of three hundred people have read the stories but maybe 1 percent of them have reviewed! Its terribly frustrated especially when the first chapter is getting over a thousand hits. I'm not whining but it would help to have feed back on the story.

Well, now that I've competely turned you people off. I hope that you like th beginning of this. I'm not sure where I'm going with this or even if I'll get there. I've got a couple of chapters written but I'll be updating this slowly and hopefully regularly.

Please leave a review, and if I'm able to, I will reply. Let me know if you liked it, what you liked, or anything you want to add or even see. Although I don't guarantee that I'll use it, but ideas don't hurt! I've had several good ideas brought to my attention and I'm sorry that I haven't/didn't use them but thank you for them!

Lots of angst and fear written into the next chapter with a possible cliffy! Stay tuned!