Chapter One

Warnings: SLASH (NaruSasu and KakaIru) and mentions of abuse. If you don't like then don't read.

Disclaimer – I don't own Naruto

'Naruto's thoughts'

'Kyuubi'

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Naruto stared into the mirror, the scars of his life all laid out there on his face. The most obvious of all, the six whisker-like scars from where he was branded a monster by the villagers. Most thought they were birthmarks or marks created by the fox, but no, they were scars carved so deep into his cheeks he could feel the ghost of them on the inside of his cheeks when he ran his tongue around his mouth.

Then there were the invisible scars, the ones no one saw. The ones that had been healed by the Kyuubi until they were no longer there. Only to ever be seen by those who had committed the attacks.

Naruto knew he was weak, he couldn't even fight off some villagers, but they had long since found out his weakness. A simple tranquiliser, like those used on animals, subdued the fox's chakra as well as his own. Also making him drowsy and disorientated. He could often never fight back.

The attacks had happened infrequently, normally once or twice a month but they were coming more regularly, until it had escalated to two or three attacks a week. He was exhausted, as was Kyuubi, who was finding it difficult to keep up the almost constant healing.

The worst of all the scars however were neither physical, nor invisible save for when his mask covered them. Which they did whenever he stepped from his apartment. He couldn't allow for anyone to see his weakness. So he covered his eyes, the most vulnerable part of him, the azure blue that showed so much pain when uncovered. So he shrouded them in a wall of happiness. No one even thought he was anything other than the loveable idiot, that couldn't change, they couldn't' know the truth. They all had to believe one thing. He was everybody's fool.

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"Tch Dobe, you're late again." Sasuke said calmly watching as anger coursed through the usually happy azure blue eyes.

"Don't call me Dobe Teme!" Naruto yelled his façade still firmly in place but inside he was filled with hurt, Sasuke would never think of him as anything other than the idiot. He mentally shook himself for being so annoyed, that was what everyone had to think, whether he liked it or not.

"Shut up Naruto! Don't call Sasuke-kun that!" Sakura screeched, her high pitched voice almost making him wince, thanks to the Kyuubi Naruto's senses were a lot more acute and Sakura's voice was boarder line painful for him.

"But Sakura-chan…" Naruto whined. He briefly wondered if he could get a career in acting, he was good enough at it.

"Shut up!" Sakura yelled hitting Naruto over the head and this time Naruto didn't bother hiding his flinch. She hit fucking hard.

'Why do you take this shit Kit?' A deep voice rumbled in Naruto's mind and Naruto flinched once again, it had been a while since Kyuubi had spoken to him. The kitsune had been busy sleeping.

"Ouch that hurt Sakura-chan!" Naruto complained 'You know why I do Kyuu.'

'You shouldn't have to!' Kyuubi yelled angrily causing Naruto to flinch once more as it instantly gave him a headache.

"I think you might have damaged something Sakura, he's twitching." A voice said from behind them.

"You're late!" Naruto and Sakura instantly screamed at their perverted teacher. Hatake Kakashi, a strange man who wore a mask covering his face and he always carried around an orange book. 'Icha Icha Paradise' it was called. Porn would be another name for it.

"Ah gomen, gomen. I got lost on the road of life." Kakashi said and the team just rolled their eyes. Five years he had been their teacher and he still couldn't come up with any better excuses.

As Naruto thought about it he sighed, had it really been five years. Well, not counting the four years where Sasuke had left and when Naruto had gone of to train with Jiraiya, then yeah five years. He wasn't really their teacher anymore. He was more of a supervisor to watch over them as they trained and made sure that Naruto and Sasuke didn't kill each other.

"Well anyway, we have a mission." Kakashi said suddenly serious. "It's A-rank. We are to escort a feudal Princess and her two children from her Father's home to her husband's home. They are to be protected from bounty hunters and rogue ninja."

"Hai." The three said nodding.

"We meet at the gates in ten minutes." Kakashi said before poofing away. Naruto sighed and began to walk home.

"What's with the depressing mood Dobe?" Sasuke asked wryly and Naruto glared at him.

"Don't call me Dobe!" He hissed suddenly angrier than he had been in a while, his eyes flashing red. He stopped himself short as he saw both Sakura and Sasuke staring at him as well as a few villagers passing by. It was then Naruto noticed how out of control he had gotten. His eyes widened before he ran.

He didn't stop until he reached his apartment. He shut the door with a thud and slid down it. He had never let himself get that out of control before.

'Don't worry about it Kit.' Kyuubi's voice rumbled around Naruto's mind and Naruto sighed. He stood and took a deep breath to calm himself. He quickly shoved a few of his things into his backpack. It wasn't much, a few supplies and a blanket. A change of clothes. Naruto shuddered, another one of that hideous orange tracksuit.

Oh yeah, that was another thing, Naruto couldn't stand the colour orange. He hated it with a vengeance. But it was the only thing the clothes shops would let him buy, they must have hoped that he would be seen easier and therefore would be picked off easier. However they unknowingly helped him with his training. He could now hide in any condition undetected.

Before he left he took a long look around at his apartment. He saw the blood stains on the hard wood floor and on his mattress, there were even a few on the walls. He picked up his backpack and walked from the apartment, not even bothering to lock the door. There was nothing of value actually in there. He hurried to the gates ignoring the glares from the villagers as usual; he plastered a smile onto his face, squinting his eyes shut as he walked with his arms behind his head.

He was however anything but relaxed. He had all of his senses alert and ready to stop any potentially dangerous item thrown at him. It wouldn't do for his teammates to see him with a kitchen knife sticking from his side. Heck, he didn't even know if Kyuubi had enough energy to heal him. He had been healing him so often lately. Even now he was asleep in Naruto's mind.

He reached the gates and was surprised to see Iruka standing there.

"Hey Iruka-sensei! What are you doing here?!" Naruto asked a genuine smile flitting across his face for a moment making all of his features making him more beautiful than any being, before it was covered by his usual fake smile.

"Well since the feudal Princess we are protecting has a children Tsunade thought it best that someone with experience with children go too." Iruka said shrugging and Naruto nodded before giving his old sensei a hug. "What is it Naruto?" Iruka asked worriedly.

"Nothing. I just haven't seen you in a while." Naruto said quietly which only seemed to worry his sensei further. Naruto was never quiet.

"Are you sure?" He asked and Naruto nodded pulling away with a deep breath and what seemed to be a great effort.

"I'm fine Iruka-sensei. What would make you think different?" Naruto asked happily however inside he was cursing himself. That was twice in a day he had slipped.

"Aah my beautiful Ruru! I have arrived!" Kakashi proclaimed as he appeared in a poof of smoke.

"I. thought. That. I. told. You. Never. To. Call. Me. That!" Iruka growled through clenched teeth.

"But Ruru… you didn't mind last night!" Kakashi said and Iruka's face flooded with red. Naruto chuckled slightly at the chunins reaction. Iruka hit Kakashi on the arm, hard.

"Not in front of Naruto!" Iruka yelled just as Sakura and Sasuke turned up.

"But Ruru! He already knows. Don't you Naruto!" Kakashi said and Naruto shrugged a mischievous look on his face. He was actually enjoying this.

"I don't know Kakashi-sensei. I've never actually heard that you're together." Naruto said grinning slightly. Kakashi's mouth dropped opened before he seemed to smirk behind his mask.

"Fine." He leapt to the top of the gates before taking a deep breath. "I HATAKE KAKASHI, HEARBY PROCLAIM THAT UMINO IRUKA IS MINE AND MINE ALONE. NO ONE ELSE IS TO TOUCH OR EVEN THINK OF HI-" He was cut off abruptly when Iruka, who by this time was tomato red, grabbed him by his collar and pulled him back to the ground.

After that they all set off. It would only take them half a day to get to the Princess's Father's home, but it would take a few days to get to her husbands home.

They travelled in silence and Naruto couldn't help but notice the occasional looks he was getting from Sasuke and Sakura, it was beginning to worry him. They did not stop for lunch instead trying to get to the Princess's Father's home faster. None of them spoke on the way aside from Kakashi and Iruka who were arguing discretely but Naruto with his enhanced hearing could hear everything.

"I can't believe you did that!" Iruka was hissing.

"I only wanted to show people that I love you." Naruto had tuned out by this point. He had never actually heard Kakashi say those words to Iruka before and with such confidence. Naruto glanced to Sasuke who was looking at him; he had obviously been trying to figure out what was wrong with the idiot.

'Stop thinking like that.' Kyuubi yelled angrily and Naruto flinched as he was unprepared for the booming voice.

'Shut up Kyuu, you'll make people suspicious with the way that you keep making me flinch.' Naruto thought vehemently.

'Sorry for caring about you!' Kyuubi hissed before falling silent.

'Kyuu…Kyuu…Kyuu I'm sorry.' Naruto thought biting his lip slightly, worried that the fox was truly angry at him.

'Of course I'm not truly mad at you Kit.' Kyuubi said soothingly and Naruto sighed in relief. He rubbed his eyes with his hand tiredly not noticing the way Sasuke frowned at the look on his face.

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They reached the Princess's Father's home sooner than expected and they were now standing in the middle of the Great Hall in front of the old Feudal Lord. Next to him sat his daughter, her chin lifted proudly with the baring of royalty. She had long flowing raven hair and honey-kissed skin which suggested that she had spent a long time in the sun recently. She was wearing a blood red gown which made her emerald green eyes glow.

"It is an honour to meet you Hikari-hime. My associates and I shall take the greatest care in protecting you and your children." Kakashi said and Hikari nodded a small smile crossing her features as she looked over the shinobi.

"Thank you Hatake Kakashi. I see such fine Konoha shinobi in front of me that I do not fear for the safety of my children and I." Hikari said graciously.

"If it is convenient we wish to leave at the earliest time possible." Kakashi said and Hikari nodded.

"My children and I are already packed. We shall leave now." She said standing and with a flourish of skirts she had left the room.

"Take care of my child Hatake." The Feudal Lord said and Kakashi nodded. The shinobi bowed before they left to follow the Princess. They found her at the great doors to the castle where a carriage already awaited. She moved into it nodding to the shinobi.

And with that they set off with Kakashi and Iruka at the front of the vehicle, Sakura on top and Sasuke and Naruto behind. They travelled for most of the day before stopping in a small forest clearing for the night.

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I hope that you all liked it. Please review and I'll write more!