Hello everyone and welcome to my newest fic. I originally planned on holding off on this story for a while longer, but I just couldn't resist. My brain was just overloaded with so many ideas for this I just had to start writing before I lost them. Well anyway here's chapter one please enjoy! (I don't own Naruto!)
Petals & Thorns
Chapter 1: Wandering Souls
He didn't understand no matter how hard he racked his brain on the questions that plagued his mind ever since he could remember. Why was he hated, why was he shunned, why was he feared, and why was he alone. This is what was running through the mind of one Naruto Uzumaki as he set quietly on a swing outside the ninja academy.
He had a defeated expression on his face as he swung back and forth on the swing, while watching parents escort their children from the academy. His face contorted with a mix of anger and jealously as he observed the happy exchanges between parents and children.
Acceptance was all he had ever wanted; he figured that wasn't too much to ask for. But he never got it and he knew if he wanted it he'd have to work for it.
He figured if he became a ninja, one of great stature willing to put his life on the line that people would eventually come to respect and acknowledge his worth. But his progress in that dream wasn't turning out as simple as he would have thought. His grades where well below average, his Genjutsu abilities were non existent, his Taijutsu skills where piss poor, while his Ninjutsu was negligible at best.
Now as much as people believed Naruto was no idiot. He knew all his flaws were not that of his own doing, but rather that of his teacher's poor guidance. He recalled how his teachers would always have him practice with poorer quality weapons, and administer him harder test then his fellow classmates. And how his teachers would purposely ignore his questions during class.
Sighing to himself Naruto stood up from the swing and began to walk away from the academy. He had no clear destination in mind as he wandered aimlessly through the village. He eventually found himself in one of the many training grounds used by the Genin of the village.
Figuring he had nothing better to do he decided to do some training. His teachers may have not been willing to teach him properly, but that was no reason not to work as hard as he could on his own.
Spying a punching post he soon went to work on it. He began to punch the training post relentlessly to vent out all his anger and frustration. His knuckles were soon bloody and raw from the beating he was giving the post, but he pressed on willing himself to bare the pain.
While this was going on he never noticed the small dark blue haired girl watching him from behind a tree a short distance away. Her face portrayed a mixture of admiration and sadness as she watched the blond pound away at the post.
Forty minutes later Naruto stopped his brutal assault on the post. He observed his throbbing hands carefully. The skin was completely torn from his knuckles, and blood was leaking from his heavily damaged hands. He simply shrugged knowing that his hands would be as good as new in the morning, so he decided to head back to his apartment to get some rest.
Along the way Naruto was met with the usual glares and snide remarks he had come to expect whenever he was in the presence of the public. Not being in the mood for any derogatory comments the villagers were throwing him, he slipped into an alleyway to avoid the bulk of the villagers.
Content with the thought that he'd be able to make his way home without anymore trouble he continued on his path.
His plans soon came to a screeching halt when he noticed two people come stumbling out the back door of an apparent bar. They were both wearing leaf headbands with standard chunin vest. To say the men were tanked would have been an understatement.
The men grinned when they noticed Naruto alone in the alleyway.
"Well if it isn't the demon spawn himself" one of the men muttered. While his comrade simply stared at Naruto with a look of pure loathing and disgust burning in his eyes.
Naruto simply kept walking too tired and frustrated to stick around for their taunting, and crude remarks.
Angered by being ignored, one of the men sprang forward and grabbed Naruto by the wrist and twisted it tightly. Causing Naruto to yelp in pain.
"Let go, you're hurting me" Naruto cried out in desperation.
Naruto's please only caused the man to twist harder, to the point were Naruto's wrist was close to snapping.
Naruto was staring at the man in horror. Never before had he ever expected or been attacked by a member of his own village. This was foreign ground to him and he didn't like it.
"So you want me to stop huh?" the man asked sarcastically. "Well tell me something demon did you think to stop when you were mercilessly slaughtering our family and friends!?"
Naruto stared at the man with a mixture of fear and confusion. He had no idea what this man was talking about. "P-please I didn't do anything." Naruto pleaded with the infuriated chunin.
"Is that so?" The man says while giving Naruto's wrist a final twist snapping it in half.
Naruto screamed in pain when he felt the bones in his wrist separate. The man's comrade was also staring in disbelief at what he'd witnessed. "That's enough Hotaka; you know we can really get screwed for this."
Hotaka glared at his comrade before his delivered a solid punch to Naruto's face sending him crashing hard into the ground. "Fine" he grumbled "I've had my fill anyway." He says while walking away leaving Naruto a hunched over heap on the ground.
Naruto felt tears well up in his eyes, and not because the pain. Physical pain was something Naruto could endure. But the emotional heart ache he felt was mounding.
Naruto shakily lifted himself to his feet, and whipped the tears from his eyes. He didn't have time to waste on crying. It was painfully obvious to him that no one wanted him there apart from the villagers those men had made it clear. Stealing his nerves he knew one thing for certain…It was time to leave.
A boy no older then eight stared in pure shock and horror as he entered his home to the sight of his maimed mother. Blood coated the walls and floor were his mother lay slain.
The small boy with delicate features slowly walked over to his mother while frantically calling out her name. She remained unresponsive to the boy's calls. He knelt down next to her and began to sob.
A moment later a man walked into the room. The young boy instantly sprang up at seeing that the man was his father. "Father" he called out. "It's mother, I just found her like this you have to help me!" The boy shouted in desperation as tears poured from his eyes.
The boy's father stared at him with an unreadable expression, before he pulled out a knife that was coated in blood. "I'm sorry Haku" the man whispers in a tone full of remorse and regret.
Haku's eye widened when his father lunged for him, with the large blood stained knife in hand. Haku managed to dodge the strike that was intended to end his life. Haku then quickly scurried away in hopes of escaping his father's advances.
In his desperation to escape Haku tripped over a bucket of mop water causing him to fall and the water to spill out on the ground.
His father took that moment to make another lunge for him. Haku shut his eyes and braced himself for the pain that was sure to come. Haku then felt warm liquid hit his face but he was surprised to not feel any pain accompanied with it.
Slowly opening his eyes he stared in disbelief at his father's body that now had a large ice sickle protruding through his chest.
Naruto was in his apartment packing up the few things he thought he would need for his trip. His luggage consisted almost entirely of cupped ramen. Apart from that he packed a few sets of extra clothing and what ninja gear he had at his disposal.
'That's it maybe if I leave this place I can finally find somewhere where no one recognizes me.' Naruto thought as he finished packing his rucksack. 'Then I'll finally be able to make some friends, and possibly even a family…'
Even though he wasn't sure where he could go after fleeing Konoha he was still content with the thought that a better future awaited him outside the walls of Konoha. With a final glance at his surroundings Naruto slung his rucksack over his shoulder and exited out his apartment.
Deciding that his run in with those two drunken ninja was just a stroke of horrible luck he choose to once again sneak through the alleyways. He wanted to slip out the village unnoticed so he figured that was the best way to do it.
As he neared the east gate he allowed a small smile to grace his lips, seeing that the chunin guards that usually were stationed there where apparently on break.
Figuring he should make his escape before the chunin returned he made his way for the gate.
"N-Naruto" a quiet voice called out to him.
Naruto not really recognizing the voice slowly turned around. Their standing before him was a small girl his age with dark blue hair and pale lavender eyes.
Naruto cocked his eyebrow, as he remembered that the small girl was a classmate of his. "Hinata" he asked hesitantly, for he wasn't entirely sure if that was the girls name or not.
When she nodded Naruto continued.
"Uh what are you doing here?" Naruto questions.
Hinata just stared at him quietly while she observed his crudely wrapped wrist, and bruised eye. "I-I n-noticed you looked hurt, you are okay a-aren't you?" she asked while twiddling her fingers.
Naruto was deep in thought as he eyed Hinata carefully. 'Why would she care if I was hurt, no one else would?' Deciding it would be rude for him not answer her he put on a fake smile and spoke. "I'm fine Hinata, nothing you need to worry about."
Hinata nodded before she noticed the rucksack on Naruto's back. "A-are you l-leaving s-somewhere?" she asked nervously.
"Actually yeah I'm leaving the village for awhile."
Hinata's eyes widened "b-by yourself?"
Naruto nodded "yeah, but don't worry I've been living by myself since I was six so this is no big deal."
Hinata had a solemn look on her face. "B-but where w-will you go?"
Naruto shrugged "I haven't figured that part out yet, just making my way one step at a time."
"Oh" Hinata says with a look of dismay on her face. "W-well I h-hope you'll return soon." Hinata says with a blush creeping up on her face.
Naruto stared at Hinata with a confused expression on his face. "I don't understand you actually want me to come back?"
Hinata began to twiddle her fingers faster "w-well I would m-miss you" she chocked out in an almost inaudible tone.
Naruto's eyes widened before an ear splitting grin etched his face. All his life he longed to be wanted, and he knew then and there that he'd treasure that feeling forever. "Thank you Hinata and I'll definitely come back soon that's a promise." Naruto says with a reassuring smile. Before he takes off through the gate and into the forest.
Hinata watched him fade from view with a bittersweet expression.
(Two weeks later)
Haku was trudging through the snow at a slow pace. His skin was dirty, and his clothes were torn and tattered. His body was close to its limits, for he had been surviving off mere scraps for the past two weeks. His sprits soon soared when he noticed a village coming up ahead.
He figured that would be his best bet at finding something to elevate his hunger. Picking up his pace he headed into the village. Once he got there he wandered through village asking everyone he came across if they could spare something for him to eat.
After thirty minutes of failed attempts, Haku had decided to settle for what he could find in a trash can. While he was digging through one of the dumpsters behind a bakery shop he heard the sound of something growling behind him.
When Haku turned around he was greeted with the sight of a ravenous looking dog staring dangerously at him. The dog bared its sharp teeth threateningly at Haku.
Haku leveled the dog an equally dangerous glare. He was not ready to surrender a potential meal to the likes of a dog. "I implore you to leave." Haku says to the dog only making it advance closer.
The dog then leapt at Haku, but was caught by the scruff of the neck.
Haku stared bewildered as a boy about his age with blond hair stood there holding the dog. The boy then let go of the dog and punted it a good distance causing it to yelp and run away.
"You alright?" the blond boy asked as he watched the dog disappear from view.
Haku nodded "I thank you for your assistance" he says before returning to digging through the dumpster.
The blond boy eyed Haku carefully "you know I have something that would taste a heck of a lot better then what you're going to find in that dumpster."
Haku turned around with apprehension on his face. "You mean you would spare me some food?"
The boy nodded "Of course assuming you don't have a problem with ramen."
Haku had genial smile on his face. "Anything will suffice, thank you very much."
The boy grinned "well follow me; I have my camp set up just a short distance away from this village."
Haku nodded before following after the blond boy.
Once they were nearing the exit of the village the blond turned around to address Haku. "By the way what's your name, I mean I need something to call you after all."
"It's Haku and yours?" Haku says filling a bit ashamed for not asking it sooner.
"My names Naruto, Uzumaki Naruto believe it!" Naruto says loudly with a bright smile.
Haku smiled as well "it's very nice to meet you Naruto."
Along the way Haku and Naruto passed by a tall man wearing bandages over his face, but what really caught their attention was the massive blade he had strapped to his back.
Haku observed the man carefully; there was something about the man that caught his interest. Just as Haku was about to open his mouth to speak to the man, he was cut off by Naruto's voice.
"Now that's one kickass sword." Naruto says as they pass by the bandaged man.
The man gave them a quick look over before he continued on his way. Obviously disinterested with the two boys.
Haku stopped and watched as the man as he disappeared from view.
"What's the hold up Haku?" Naruto shouted noticing that Haku has stopped following him.
"Oh sorry about that" Haku says before running to catch up with Naruto.
Sarutobi was pissed to say the least, Naruto had been missing for two weeks and no one had thought to inform him.
He was currently pacing his office trying to figure out how the boy managed to escape unnoticed.
Sighing to himself he set down in his chair and lit his pipe to help calm his nerves. After a moment he hit his intercom to call his assistant. When she entered he ordered her to retrieve Hatake Kakashi.
Five minutes later a Ninja dressed in standard Anbu attire and wearing a dog mask walked in and bowed respectfully. "Yes Hokage-sama you requested me?"
Sarutobi nodded. "Yes we have a situation that I need you to handle immediately."
"What are my orders?" Kakashi asked plainly.
Sarutobi took a drag of his pipe before speaking. "You are to find and retrieve Uzumaki Naruto."
Kakashi eyebrow raised under his mask. "Uzumaki Naruto, he's missing?"
"That's correct he fled from the village about two weeks ago. I'm not sure where he could have gone but you're one of the best trackers we have. I expect you to have located him within a week you are dismissed."
Kakashi nodded before he disappeared in a cloud of spoke.
A boy set hunched over in a small dark prison cell of sorts. He had shoulder length white hair pulled into a lose ponytail with pale skin. His eyes were emerald green and he had peculiar red markings on his forehead and below his eyes.
His face had a look of melancholy as he picked at the wall with a knife that looked to be forged from bone. The small white haired child was roused out of his picking at the wall when the door to his cell opened.
His eyes stung from the bright light hitting them when his cell opened.
A man entered with the same red marking on his face as the boy, though he didn't have white hair. He grinned toothily at the small boy. "We have need for your skills Kimimaro" the man says bluntly.
Kimimaro slowly lifted himself into a standing position and turned to face the man. Kimimaro's face had a blank expression as he stared at the man. "I understand" he replied dryly.
Well that's the first chapter so let me know what you all think. From there I'll decide if this story is worth continuing or not. By the way just so you know I've changed Haku's and Kimimaro's age for this story their both eight as of now while Naruto is seven. Any way please review and until next time peace.