Cleaned up errors. Phew, there sure were many. Finally done.
Please enjoy, now you might understand it a bit better :P
Maes Hughes..Yes, Maes Hughes died.
Why did he have to die by the hands of Envy? Why did that bastard have to use his beloved wife, Gracia's face?
He stared blankly on the stars, his mind filled with thoughts.
He saw Elicia before his eyes, smiling at him "Daddy, Daddy! I missed you!" Gone...
"Daddy! Please help me find my ball! I can't find it." Tears in her begging eyes. Gone...
"Maes! Don't brag too much about Elicia or else Roy might fry you!" Gracia would say in a teasing tone with a playful smile. Gone..
"Hughes, stop calling me every night just to brag about your daughter!" Roy would say in an annoyed tone.
Roy, Gracia, Elicia.. Everyone.. Gone.
Tears started to roll down his cheeks. "Why?" He whispered to himself.
He had been sitting outside for a while, leaning up a tree the same way he was sitting in the phone booth before his life had gone to waste.
His blue uniform had blood-stains on it, but there was no wound, no pain. He was a little puzzled about that.. But he didn't care to go and ask anyone how it could disappear just like that. No one was around anyway.
He didn't know where he was either. Hell, he didn't even care. Heaven or hell, nothing mattered anymore! All that he ever cared for and everyone that he loved were gone. He even failed in giving Roy, his best friend, the information he had achieved.
He was a failure.
-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-THIS LINE MUST STICK!-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-
Beep, Beep, Beep, Beep, Bee-KAPAW!
Naruto whacked his alarm-clock. Again. That was the third time he had whacked it since he got it... And.. Well. He got it three days ago.
Stupid Kakashi-Sensei had bought a new one for him when Naruto was late at the training sessions last week.
"Naruto! Why the hell are you so late?" yelled the angry Sakura into Naruto's ear. He winced and held his hands over his ears trying to protect them from damage.
"Sakura-chan you don't have to yell so loudly" said the 12-year-old Naruto in a complaining, yet soft tone.
Sasuke mumbled something about Naruto being a "Dobe" and Naruto then thrown a shuriken at Sasuke, but much to his dislike it were countered with a Kunai from Kakashi.
Sakura Slapped Naruto in the face and told him to be a more mature like Sasuke and that Sasuke could have dodged it any time. Naruto just rubbed his stingy cheek and fixed his gaze to the ground.
He wouldn't let anyone slap him and get away with it. Without an angry comeback. Well except for her.
When Sakura was walking towards Sasuke to tell him how cool he was, like she always did, Naruto glared at him with anger in his eyes.
Sasuke didn't even bother looking at him.
"Well. I'll let you leave earlier today," said Kakashi "But Naruto you stay here. I would like a word with you."
Naruto let out a groan as he saw Sakura and Sasuke walk away. He turned around and stood eyes to eye with Kakashi. Well.. It was more like eyes to perverted book..
"What's the punishment for being late?" he asked in a bitter tone. Might as well get it over with.
"Why were you late?" said Kakashi flipping a page in his book, ignoring the boys question.
Naruto couldn't tell him. He just couldn't!
He looked the other way and said; "My alarm-clock is broken.."
Kakashi turned his full attention to Naruto
Naruto slapped himself mentally. That was a VERY stupid excuse. Training started 2:00 PM for crying out loud!
Kakashi just stared at him with his ever so emotionless eye and finally after a while he said in a dull tone; "Seriously?"
Naruto got pissed. Kakashi-Sensei were always late with the most lame excuses!
Even a little kid 4-year-old wouldn't believe them.
"Kakashi-Sensei! You're always late! And you make up excuses too!" The boy yelled out tramping his foot in the earth with all his might clenching his fists as if he were about to hit him.
Kakashi weren't really that surprised with the sudden outburst, that's how Naruto acts, after all. But still..
"So there REALLY isn't anything wrong?" Said Kakashi with a little bit of worry in his eye (Although Naruto didn't see it).
Naruto just told him the alarm-clock excuse again and after a while Kakashi gave up letting out a heavy sigh. "Alright Naruto. You win. But you had better be here ON TIME tomorrow morning!"
Kakashi said sternly and Naruto turned around quickly without answering his Sensei.
The boy mumbled to himself about Kakashi-Sensei being "dumb" and Kakashi just watched him go. He just thought Naruto were being lazy that day and just stayed home.
He was wrong.
Naruto had been late the two following days and came with the same lame excuse.
He told Kakashi that he didn't wake up on his own because he was doing push-ups and other training exercises until around 4:00-6:00 AM.
Kakashi sighed and told him to take it easier and go to bed before midnight.. The third day he gave him that stupid alarm-clock.
That damn sound! It gave Naruto a bad headache.
And he still couldn't go out.. He were late the day before yesterday and yesterday too. Kakashi-Sensei is growing suspicious. He knew that..
Naruto hadn't even tried to explain why, and Sakura and Sasuke had given him some odd glares.
And Naruto barely talked to them.
Luckily, Kakashi-Sensei was sent on a mission so he had a day of.. Then why did he set his alarm-clock to go off?
He just hated himself sometimes..
He sighed as he stood up and walked over to the window.
There they were again today. Sitting on the opposite side of his apartment laughing and talking with each other having dumplings and tea sitting right outside the shop they bought it.
Looked normal but... It's just a stupid act.
Those three bastards were just waiting for him to go out and make a wrong turn into an alleyway or something so that they could beat him up.
Why? Because they all lost someone dear to them in the Kyuubi attack. And they knew Naruto was the container. All adults did.
As to why they had made it a tradition to beat him up around this time every year was because the 'Leader's daughter that were killed in the Kyuubi attack had birthday this month. He knew that because the last time he was caught the 'Leader' had told him that it was his dead daughters birthday soon and that he could only celebrate it by beating him up.
They waited for him all day and only left in the evenings, sick of waiting. Jeez, didn't they have anything better to do?
And Naruto can't just call for help if he were to be caught by these guys. Mainly because everyone hated him and would just ignore the crime and his only 'friends' (The rest of team 7) wouldn't be around.
He knew that. After all, it's a big, big village.
He stared out on the 'Leader' with disgusted eyes. The guy was masculine and ugly. Same goes for the other two.
One of them were bald and had a nasty scar that went through his face. He had muscles, but he were really short which made him look inhuman in Narutos eyes.
The other one had middle long hair and wore glasses he was taller than the other two, but not as masculine.
And the 'Leader' had brown hair and a beard and was taller than guy number one and more masculine than guy number two. Naruto couldn't help, but be scared.
Sure, he could beat them now that he was a ninja, but back when he couldn't he was beaten a lot.. And that's why Naruto have zero confidence when it comes to those guys.
All of a sudden the 'Leader' looked up at Naruto and gave him an angry glare. Naruto couldn't help, but jump back and scream "Aaaah~!" He could have sworn it was the eyes of Kyuubi himself!
He couldn't go out there. No way!
He steadied his breathing and stood up then went to his closet 'might as well change clothes if Iruka-Sensei were to drop by..'
Iruka-Sensei really did come by a lot lately.
He thought to himself that it would be embarrassing if his old Sensei would see him in his pajamas.
He changed clothes into a black T-shirt with a yellow spiral on it and a pair of blue jeans. He rolled them up to his knees since they were kinda big and he could easily fall over in them. Besides it was too warm to walk around in long jeans. He took his forehead protector and tied it loosely around his neck. No wonder Hinata had it that way. It was comfy.
He went to the kitchen to get some breakfast. He opened his fridge and there was an epic scream of "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO" How could it be? He went over to a chair wobbly and sat himself by the table. He laid his head on the table and didn't move for hours.
-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-THIS LINE MUST STICK!-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-
Naruto was hungry. He had no more ramen. He couldn't go out to buy any and his world was going under.
He was siting there waiting for them to go away.
He was talking out loud to himself asking why he had to go through all of this.. He went over to the fridge and drank the last milk he had.
"Great. Can it get any worse?" he yelled, dragging his hair.
He had been waiting for hours and when he went over to the window the 23rd time that day to check. They were FINALLY gone.
It was already 8:00PM and he should be lucky if there were any store open.
Naruto went outside his apartment and dug into his pocket, fished out the key, locked the door and ran out as fast as he could to get his beloved ramen.
-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-THIS LINE MUST STICK!-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-
Naruto was running for his life. They were after him.
He couldn't afford to stop even though his ankle was killing him and he had almost no more energy to run anymore. Besides his ankle, his whole buddy was hurting.
He tried to press on the wound on his right shoulder and stop the bleeding. This had been going on for at least three hours, this crazy game of tag.
He had just stepped out of the building and they took him by surprise. They had been waiting by the entrance and blocked his way.
One of them had come sneaking from behind and slapped his hand over Naruto's mouth so he couldn't call for help as they pulled him away.
An alleyway.. They threw him to the ground and Naruto lost his breath. They started to hit and kick him. Naruto screamed out in pain but what hurt the most was the evil words coming from their mouths.
A kick to his gut and Naruto flew into the brick wall.
A hit in the face and he could feel everything shaking.
They spit on him and kicked various places.
'Someone will come! Sakura or Sasuke! Iruka-sensei!'
"Where's your friends now?"
'They will come. Wait and see' Someone dragged Naruto up by his hair.
"If they're going to come and help you, why aren't they here already then?"
Naruto didn't want to hear it. He shook his head like it would keep the words out.
"Maybe they're just pretending to be your friends?" the leader said smirking.
Naruto's eye's were starting to water. But he was determined not to cry! After all, that's what they wanted him to do, right?
And they didn't know anything. He had friends. He did! And it wasn't their fault. They didn't know what was going on. They didn't know he was in danger. If they knew they would definitely come.
The baldy stomped on his ankle and Naruto couldn't help but let out a cry for help and scream in pain. He heard it crack. 'That guy must weight three tons!' Naruto thought.
Then the tallest one took out a knife and handed it to the 'Leader'.
Naruto's eyes widened at the sight of the 'Leader's' eyes. He saw it. He saw the hatred and disgust in his eyes. And then Naruto knew that he would kill Naruto. He just knew it.
He had to get away.
And Naruto did everything he could to get away.
He made a shadow clone and made it attack them from behind.
He wished he could have made more than one, but he couldn't concentrate his chakra into it.
While they were busy with the clone, suprised and confused, Naruto ran as fast as he could.
Away. Away from them.
And it became a game of hide-and-seek
Naruto had been hiding and as soon as he heard them approaching he ran away.
He had tried calling for help, but no one wanted to help or even hear him.
Iruka lived in the other end of Konoha and the hokage building were too far away.
So Naruto was aiming for the gates. He knew that they were open just enough for a human to pass through.. And he knew that the ninjas that were guarding tonight would be sleeping.
He just had to watch out for the trap they had set up to wake them if anyone entered or left the village.
He was close to the gates when they got him.
Naruto were dead tired and his ankle were going numb too. He heard them come from behind. He hid behind a trash can and thought that they went past him, but the 'Leader' had spotted him and stayed behind.
He sneaked up behind Naruto and stabbed him in his right shoulder and yelled; "You can run, but you can't hide, Demon!" Naruto screamed in pain and struggled to get up and run, but as he got ahead the tall guy got to him before he could get out of the gates and tackled him down to the ground. Naruto hit his forehead.
He felt blood running down his face. He felt dizzy and lightheaded. He was sure he was going to die. They got him.
Luckily the guy that tackled him was an idiot and, by accident, hit his head too and had gone unconscious. The others had yet to catch up to him. 'Time to run away!' Something screamed in his head. He shakily released himself from the tall man's loose grip, then Naruto just ran as fast as he could to get to the forest, hoping that they would never find him there.
He didn't set off the trap. Fortunately.
-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-THIS LINE MUST STICK!-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-
There he sat. Not believing that he could possibly be there.
He'd been thinking a lot about it, and came to the conclusion that he had gone to hell.
Why did he come to that conclusion again? He heard a scream in the distance. It sounded like a child. Screams of a suffering child. His own personal hell.
'Elicia ... Gracia...'
He felt so depressed. He had only cried a little a while ago and he had enough tears to still go on. But he just didn't want to..
He knew that it wouldn't help and he would just feel worse. If that was possible.
Another scream could be heard. It was filled with pain, anger and sadness. And a lot of fear. The scream died out. He was sure that whoever it was, he was dead now..
Hughes stood up and looked around. He could hear someone approaching him.
By instinct, he went into offensive mode, preparing for the worst thinkable monster to come at him.
He drew out one of his knives and as soon as he saw the silhouette of something in the corner of his eye, he charged.
-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-THIS LINE MUST STICK!-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-
Naruto screamed out in pain. His ankle had been twisted a second time. He was scared that some of the bad guys would hear him and just bit his lip instead.
'If I keep on screaming they will find me!' Naruto knew that.
He thought he heard something move a little deeper into the forest, hoping that it would be someone willing to help. So he struggled to get to his possible saviour.
He saw a man standing with his back on Naruto, looking around. Naruto was about to call for help when he realized that he had a weapon in his hand he pulled out a kunai from his pocket as a reflex and when the man charged, Naruto countered the man's attack.
But Naruto could barely stand due to the pain in his ankle, lost his balance and fell backwards.
He looked up at the man, who seemed really confused and shocked.
Naruto's eyes shined with fear.
'Crap' Naruto thought 'I'm so dead! He has blood all over him! Who knows if he just killed someone?.. Or maybe he's just hurt?.. And what's up with that uniform?'
Naruto's head was about to explode with thoughts as to where he could possibly come from. The village? A ninja from another country? But he didn't seem to have a forehead protector.
Who was this man?
-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-THIS LINE MUST STICK!-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-
Hughes was in shock. He prepared for the worst, and it turned out to be a boy...
The kid was laying there on the ground. Frozen.
Hughes looked into the boy's eyes and saw an incredible amount of fear flashing in them.
What should he do? He could have killed the boy! If the boy hadn't been able to defend himself... He knelt down to the boy and examined him a little closer.
Yellow hair, Blue eyes, a little guy, some odd whisker marks on his face, and.. What's that? Blood was flowing out of a wound on his forehead. Did he do that to the boy?
No, he knew he didn't scratch him with his knife or anything.
Hughes moved closer to see that there was a strange hole in the boys shirt, the area around it seemed like it had another color.
He touched it gently and felt some thick, hot liquid on his fingers, but the boy yelped and moved away from him. Hughes then grabbed the boy's arm and dragged him closer. He tore off the boys T-shirt and gasped when he saw the deep wound in his right shoulder.
"Kid! How did you get this wound?" He asked in a worried and harsh tone. He pressed his palm onto the wound and tried to stop the bleeding.
"Huh?" Was the only thing that came out of Naruto's mouth. He was confused and didn't know what the guy was going to do. Hurt him or help him?
"Who did this to you?" He asked a little softer knowing that the boy was unsure about his intents.
"Uuh.. Th-There's some guys that is trying to kill me.. But they usually just beat me up every year.. Never tried to kill me.. Before anyway.." Said Naruto very quietly trying his best not to show any emotions in his voice. But of cause he failed.
Hughes looked the boy over for more injuries. He could see that his ankle was in a pretty bad shape and his body was full of bruises.
You see, Hughes loves children. And to see a kid beaten like this by adults..
You wouldn't want to be that adult.
Anger was shown in his eyes. Naruto could see that. But now he knew that it wasn't directed at him. The guy didn't have any evil intents. So he relaxed a bit.
"What's your name?" Asked Hughes.
"Uh.. N-Naruto.. Naruto Uzumaki." said Naruto a little unsure.
Hughes forced himself to smile at the boy "So, Naruto, where did you come from?"
Naruto were kinda worried now. The guy was obviously NOT from the village. If he were, he would have recognized the forehead protector around his neck. Naruto panicked and struggled and tried to have the man let go of his arm. But he just tightened his grip.
"What's wrong?" He asked a little concerned about the boys reaction.
"Who are you? What do you want from me? Let go! You're not from the village!" Naruto yelled at an unbelievable speed at the man, who barely caught a word of what he said.
"Slow down, little guy, I just wanted to know where you come from. Surely, there must be a hospital in your village." Hughes said softly.
Naruto just stared at the man. "Oh.. You want to take me to the hospital.." He said under his breath.
"I'm from Konoha, the village hidden in the leaf, and I'm a ninja. I can get there on my own!" he said proudly.
He was getting sick of this guy. He was too kind.
He tried to get up and was happy that the guy let go of his arm. Naruto pressed his palm onto the wound, grabbed his t-shirt and when he was about to turn around, he fell forward onto the man knocking them over.
"Ow, ow, ow.. You sure you can get there on your own, kiddo?" Hughes said a little teasing. He knew this was going to happen the moment Naruto got up.
Naruto just groaned.
Hughes picked the boy up, one arm under naruto's armpits and another under his knees, and noticed that the boy weighed next to nothing. Didn't he eat properly?
Naruto pointed the direction of the village and Hughes started the walk. He was too exhausted to even try to get out of his grip.
The first few minutes were kinda awkward. Naruto were embarrassed and Hughes had no idea how to ask the boy about how he could have been chased around a village without being noticed. Without being helped.
"Why didn't you run home and told your parents about this?"
Naruto looked away. He didn't want to talk about that. And he couldn't trust the guy.
Hughes were utterly confused about everything. The kid walking around with weapons, he was a 'ninja' and.. And he had whisker marks.. What the hell?
"...What's your name?" Asked Naruto.
"What's your name?" He asked again a little louder this time.
"Oh that's right. Maes Hughes. Just call me Hughes." He said. With a genuine smile, hoping to gain a little more trust from the boy.
They reached the gates. There were only two guards and they were fast asleep.
"Why is there guards here?" Hughes asked frowning.
"That's because we need to know who enters the village. What if an enemy were to enter?" Said Naruto, then he mumbled about 'The guards being useless'.
Hughes didn't know what to say. It just seemed ridiculous. A thousand people travelled in and out of central every day. The military didn't bother checking whom all those individuals were.
Naruto told him about the trap those two usually set up. Easy to avoid.
"Alright in what direction is the hospital?" Hughes asked.
Naruto guided him to the hospital. But Naruto hated the hospital so actually he guided the man to his apartment.
When they reached the destination Hughes gave Naruto an unsatisfied look which Naruto returned with a 'I don't care' look on his face. Hughes just sighed and went inside. Hoping that Naruto's parents would take him to a doctor.. Afterwards he would scold the parents for letting Naruto be out late at night, carry weapons and seemingly not feeding him properly
Naruto was so damn hungry. And tired. And he was in pain.. And he was.. Scared.. He was fishing for his keys and that Hughes guy were just behind him. Waiting patiently.
When Naruto finally got his keys out he locked up the door. In a slow pace. He had to make up a plan. Should he push the guy down the stairs? Or maybe just look behind him and say that the guys that had been chasing him were climbing the stairs so that he would turn around and then Naruto could slip inside?
Naruto was trying his best to make up a plan, but before he even had time to react the man had leaned forward and opened the door in front of Naruto.
Naruto just stared into his apartment with wide eyes. 'Shit! When did he..?' Hughes pushed him inside.
Hughes saw how small the apartment was. He also saw that the boy didn't move and carefully pushed him inside and stepped in as well, closing the door behind him. No one seemed to be home. And he doubted that there could live three people in this place. He looked around. He was standing in a hall. A very small hall.
Naruto were forced to go farther into the apartment since the two of them couldn't be in the hall at the same time.
Naruto threw of his black ninja sandals, trying not to scream when removing the left sandal because of his damaged ankle, and untied his forehead protector and was now just standing in his blue oversized jeans. Blood was flowing out of his wound. But he didn't care.
He never had the time to get his t-shirt on and Hughes was holding on to it.
Naruto was in his kitchen and.. Well it was a mess.
Naruto isn't exactly the boy to clean up after himself. After all he was still just a child.
Empty ramen cups everywhere, dusty cupboards, a fridge, a table with four chairs and some of his clothes were spread out in the kitchen.
The room with most space in his apartment, and it was still kinda small...
He wanted something to eat.
It's not like he doesn't have any more food in the fridge. There is a lot.. Of vegetables. And some fruit.
And Naruto won't eat that. EVER! This is why he had to try to get some ramen.
Stupid Kakashi-Sensei always came by with some telling him that if he wanted to become stronger he should eat veggies. Naruto would always just throw them in the fridge to make Kakashi-sensei happy and decided to get rid of it later.. He just always forget it.
Hughes had taken of his military boots and went over to Naruto. His eyes widened. How could his parents let him live in this kind of environment?
It just made him angry.
Naruto limped over to a chair and sat down.
What should he do? How was he going to get that guy out of his home?
He rested his head in his hand and faced down. His shoulder had stopped bleeding after 20 minutes of pressure, but his forehead was still bleeding, he ignored the pain and just waited for the kind man to leave.
Hughes watched the boy as he sat by the table with his back on Hughes. Naruto's feet didn't reach the floor and he just looked so small. And he was small. How old was he? He never thought about asking him when he carried him home...
Naruto didn't answer. He thought that if he ignored him he would leave.
Think again, Naruto!
Hughes went closer to him and asked him; "Do you have any first-aid equipment somewhere?"
Naruto just pointed in the direction of a door that was in the right side of the apartment. Hughes went in there and revealed a bathroom.
There was a toilet-seat, a sink and a shower. The shower had 50% of the space. Above the sink there was a mirror-door cabinet.
Hughes opened it and found a lot of bandage and a bottle of something to clean the wounds. 'The kid must get hurt a lot?' He thought to himself as he took some of it and went back to the boy.
Naruto was so tired. But he wouldn't go to bed before Hughes had left.
His eyes were only half-open and still dropping.
He had closed his eyes completely, but he was still conscious.
'I'll just rest my eyes a little..' But Naruto was disturbed by a hand grabbing his shoulder (the unwounded one) and Hughes telling him to wake up. Naruto opened his eyes and found himself on the floor. How did he end up there? Oh, maybe he did fall asleep and lost his balance...
Hughes was holding his upper body up straight and told Naruto to stay like that so he could wrap some bandage around his damaged shoulder. He had already cleaned the wounds.
Hughes had some trouble since the boy was too tired to hold his arms up into the air, but after some struggle he succeeded. Next was his ankle. And then his forehead. He fixed up his ankle quickly. A few days and it would be as good as new.
"Hey kid." Hughes said in a soft tone working on his forehead.
"What?" Said a very tired Naruto.
'I know he is tired. But I have to know.'
"Where is your parent's?" he asked finishing the treatment.
Naruto looked at Hughes and Hughes saw a wave of emotions in his big blue eyes. Hughes understood. Naruto had no parents.
He looked at the boy. A sympathetic look. Naruto's eyes started to water. He turned his head away and tried to wipe the tears away with the back of his hand, but there was a lot of tears running down his cheeks.
"Why do yo-you even care?" He said in a shaking voice. His throat felt very dry at the moment..
Before Naruto understood what happened, two strong arms was wrapped around his tiny body. At first he struggled to get away.
But he knew he wanted this hug a lot. Screw acting tough.
So he buried his face into Hughes shoulder and cried. Grabbing onto Hughes uniform. Hughes rubbed his hand in circles against Naruto's back, whispering comforting words into the boy's ear.
"It's going to be OK," He whispered in a soft tone "I won't leave you like this, Naruto."
After a while the boy had cried himself unconscious, and Hughes sighed exhausted after all that had happened that day. He picked him up and went to the only room he hadn't been into.
It looked like he had been making his clothes fall like money-possessed men throw their money up in the air to let it rain down on them. Besides clothes there were even weapons, scrolls and ramen cups on the floor. Actually, Hughes couldn't see the floor..
He put the sleeping boy on the bed and discovered a pajamas and.. A funny hat..
'I can't let him sleep in a pair of jeans. He could catch a cold'
So he changed Naruto into his pajamas and, just for the fun of it, put on the funny hat on Naruto's head. He smiled at the sight. He was so cute.
He folded Naruto's t-shirt and jeans and went over to a chair in the corner of Naruto's bedroom and placed the clothes gently onto it making sure that the t-shirt didn't touch the cloth on the chair, else it would get bloody.
He went back to Naruto's bed and moved away some of the clothes and made sure that there weren't anything disgusting on the floor before he sat down.
He looked at Naruto's sleeping face. He felt somewhat protective towards the boy. He wanted to get to know him. He actually felt a little surprised when he caught himself in not thinking about what he had left behind because of this kid.
That's when he realized.
Naruto needed him, and he needed Naruto.
So, did you guys like? =3