Light footfalls rustled the carpet of leaves in the deepest part of the forest. It was unnaturally cold. The trees were so old here that the weight of the moss and leaves on the ground kept the underbrush from growing. The moon was breaking through in a welcoming light that dappled the ground playfully.
Hatake Kakashi took in none of the beauty as he flew past the trees, stance relaxed and eyes alert.
Behind him, Sarutobi Asuma, Shiranui Genma and Ebisu followed, their long strides matching perfectly. They had run quite a distance and Kakashi was beginning to believe they were looking in the right place. A tingle passed over him, familiar but very out of place. Instinctively he issued the signal to halt.
Asuma came aside looking at him questioningly.
"The Yondaime's protective barrier seal," Kakashi informed him and shook his head in surprise and something akin to pain.
"Hokage-sama is almost on his own ahead," Asuma said, as if that explained everything.
Kakashi nodded. He had returned from his ANBU mission, slaughtering missing Nin of the mist, to find an urgent summons.
Kakashi said aloud, "Only minimal chakra, anything excess, even emotion, will be detected and you will be fried immediately."
They took off again.
"I do hope the brat is worth this trouble," Ebisu breathed in annoyance.
Brat? Kakashi was surprised.
"He is, Ebisu," Genma chastised in a serious tone.
Kakashi frowned but didn't comment.
"There," Asuma said and stopped.
Naruto rested his head against the rough rotting wood on the side of what appeared to be a half-collapsed tent. A muddy robe covered him, but he didn't have the strength to adjust it to not press against him so tightly. He closed his eyes. An Owl hooted loudly on a nearby branch, startling him.
Naruto had felt worse, but not for quite so long. His whole body burned and ached abominably and his left leg twitched ever so often of its own accord, and the pain spiralled in and out, taxing him. Maybe if he got cold enough he would go numb, but right now the cold only brought on more burning agony.
He carefully tried to listen to the Owl and not to dwell on something other than the blur of desperation, screaming and pain that constituted the last few hours. Exhaustion overtook and he slept.
"You are late," the Hokage greeted them, sending a spiral of smoke into the air. Hyuuga Hizashi stood well behind completely hidden in the dark.
"Hokage-sama" Kakashi bowed with the others.
The Hokage was seated on a tree stump, around a roaring fire, he gestured with his hand that they should all sit down as well, as if meeting his Shinobi out in the forest, in the dead of the night was perfectly normal.
Kakashi however frowned; it would not do if the Hokage simply left the village when there were foreign dignitaries present. Not to mention the Kazekage and the Mizukage. They were here for the festival celebrating the Yondaime's life and his sacrifice. The festival lasted 3 days and Konoha had thrown open its gates welcoming all to celebrate with it.
The Yondaime was their leader. Their protector. Their god. He would live forever.
"I left the village for a very good reason Kakashi, I am sure you heard about the riot at the festival?"
Kakashi had in fact heard whispers on his way back home, he dismissed them however as another normal drunken brawl.
"What started out as a normal brawl ended with close to eighty men, Shinobi and civilians alike, dragging a five year old boy by his legs out of his fifth storey apartment and beating him to near death," The Hokage's eyes blazed with sudden anger.
It didn't make sense. Why would any Konoha Shinobi or civilian injure a fellow citizen?
A child no less...
Then it clicked.
Unless it is that child… Kakashi suddenly went stiff with fear.
"Uzumaki Naruto..." he rasped.
Kakashi had all but forgotten the child. He was fourteen when he first laid eyes on Naruto and still felt the absence of his master keenly. One look at the blond bundle and the pain returned tenfold. He completely removed the child from his mind, immersed himself in ANBU, telling himself he cannot possibly look after a baby when he himself was only fourteen, besides there were more qualified people present.
The Hokage nodded, "The incident occurred near the Hyuuga compound" he said, gesturing towards Hizashi , "Naruto was rushed to the hospital. Within the hour rioters followed the child there and managed to break his leg again, destroying half the hospital. They were in the process of skinning him alive when I found them," the Hokage paused to take a swig.
He was watching Kakashi intently.
Kakashi was shaking now," Hokage-sama, how?"
"I can stop people from talking about the Kyubi, Kakashi, but I cannot stop the fear, uncertainty, anger and terror of everyone who has seen and lost someone in the attack. The child is healing now, but I am afraid is …" the Hokage sighed and continued," perhaps we must leave this discussion for another day. Now, the reason you all are here is because… well, I have a favour to ask of you."
"A favour...as in not an order you're giving us outright?" Asuma asked hesitantly.
The Hokage smiled mildly."No. It's not an order."
"What is it?" Hizashi asked
"I want one of you to adopt Uzumaki Naruto."
please review..im not too sure about this story..so encourage me.