My second, multi chaptered Naruto fan fic and my fifth NejiTen. I know I already have one going but I'm seriously having trouble deciding where to take that fic. So, to help me get over my writers block, I decided to go ahead and start on a fic I've wanted to write for a long time. It's loosely based on the book 'Bud, Not Buddy' and takes place in Flint, Michigan during the American great depression. For those of you who are not American or just really hate history, the great depression was a period in the 1930's when the stock market crashed. These were some of the hardest times in American history and many kids were left in orphanages while there relatives left to find work in other cities. Since, the 'main characters in school' idea has been done to the death, IMO, I decided to do a different kind of AU story, although with so many fics on the Naruto site I wouldn't be surprised if this type of fic has been done already. Now we only start out with six characters but more will come and go as the story goes on. Anyway, please review and remember that comments, suggestions and constructive criticism are always welcome!
"Ugh, I cannot take another minute of screaming from those babies" Kiba growled from the bottom bunk of his bed as he and the other three teens tried to sleep which was made nearly impossible due to the constant crying of the younger children in the neighboring rooms.
"It's troublesome, but what are you going to do?" his friend, Shikamaru sighed from the top bunk.
"I don't know. Go over there and have Akamaru bite em maybe?" Kiba said flashing a grin that was visible even in the dark. "That ought to shut them up"
"Bitting innocent children?" a bored voice said from the opposite side of the room. "You've hit a new low Inuzuka"
"Oh lighten up Saskue" Kiba said continuing to grin while petting his sleeping dog.
"I still don't know how you manage to hide that thing in the orphanage despite the strict 'no pets' rule" yet another voice said from the bunk above Saskue.
"With all these new kids arriving the adults have been so busy I'd be surprised if they did manage to find him" Shikamaru yawned.
"Speaking of new kids, I heard we got a couple new ones yesterday" Kiba piped up.
"We're always getting new kids" Shikamaru mumbled.
"More babies?" The boy above Saskue asked.
"Two of them are but ones a girl, I heard one of the adults say she's fourteen, makes her the same age as you, eh Neji?" Kiba said.
"Hn" Neji answered simply and Kiba turned his attention back to his dog.
"Why do you do it Inuzuka?" Saskue asked.
"They barely feed us here and yet you always save enough for 'that'" he said motioning to the dog. "And with new kids arriving every day, the portions just keep getting smaller"
"He has a name you know" Kiba growled "Akamaru is family to me, you know, ever since my sister…" he stopped short and sighed while silence filled the room, even the crying children seemed to quiet down a bit.
"She'll come back one of these days Kiba" Shikamaru said at last, breaking the silence.
"She'd better" Kiba mumbled. Kiba's sister had left him at the orphanage and headed out west to try and find a job. She'd promised to come back but as the years wore on, Kiba was starting to have his doubts. "What about you guys?" he asked suddenly "You guys have any family left?"
"If we did, do you think any of us would be here?" Neji asked, his white eyes narrowing.
"I think I have a brother" Saskue shrugged deciding to ignore Neji's comment. "My parents never really talked about him. They said he was up in New York somewhere"
"No, it was just me and my dad until he died" Shikamaru sighed "Choji and Ino were just like family to me, then they were adopted."
"Yeah, they always go for the pretty ones" Kiba chuckled, upon getting no response from the other two her frowned. "Oh come on, even Naruto was more fun that you three"
"Ow, that cut me deep" Saskue said sarcastically.
"It has been pretty boring without him around though" Shikamaru sighed.
"I still can't believe what happened to him though" Kiba said shaking his head "He gets taken into a perfectly good foster home, gets three square meals a day, then gets into a fight with there kid and goes on the lam"
"Didn't you see those guys?" Saskue asked with a raised eyebrow "Mr. Pein and Mrs. Konan are not exactly the kind of people I would want to be living with. And there son, Hidan? He was a total brat. I can't really blame him for running"
"Where do you think he is now?" Kiba asked curiously.
"Probably running around town trying to find food" Shikamaru yawned again as the children in the other room finally quieted down and fell asleep.
"At least he took a step in the right direction" Neji spoke up calmly.
"Seriously Neji?" Kiba asked in a loud whisper. "I mean yeah this place is no picnic but at least we get fed and old man Sarutobi…"
"He does his best to try and care for all the kids here but this is Flint! There are about two hundred orphaned kids here, mostly babies and more coming. You said it yourself, we just got a few new ones today, it won't be long before this place is full" Neji said sitting up while his voice slightly rose in volume.
"Yeah, yeah I get the point. What do you propose we do about it Mr. Genius?" Kiba asked while raising an eyebrow.
"Well I know what I'm going to do" Neji said climbing down from the second bunk and gathering the few items he had from the small table that lay in between the two bunk beds.
"Neji…are you crazy?" Shikamaru asked still retaining his bored tone, yet it was obvious he was seriously questioning his friend's sanity at the moment.
"If there's one thing my father taught me before he died it was never to become a burden to others and that's all I've become while I've been here" Neji said, his white eyes narrowing.
"Where are you going to stay?" Saskue asked skeptically.
"Well that is the problem isn't it Uchiha? What I know is I'm going to find Naruto first, the kid will get himself killed if he stays out there much longer"
"Hey, you're not going out there alone" Kiba added quickly.
"Does that mean you're coming with me?" Neji asked with his usual calm and collected tone. Kiba let out a dog like laugh.
"Yeah, fine I'm in. If my sister ever does show up, well she won't find me here"
"I'm coming as well" Saskue said as he also stood up and started to collect his things. "I'm not about to let myself be outdone by you two" The trio then turned to Shikamaru who simply looked back at them with a bored expression on his face.
"Troublesome" he muttered before sighing "I guess I'll come as well" he climbed out of bed and gathered his things as well. "So what's first fearless leader?" Shikamaru asked Neji.
"Since, when did I become the leader?" Neji asked.
"Well this little scheme is your idea" Kiba smiled.
"Fine, follow me and keep it down" Neji said silently opening the door.
"Hang on!" Kiba said suddenly from his bed. Carefully he picked Akamaru up and cradled him in his arms before giving a nod of approval. Neji nodded back, and the four walked out of the room.
"Were do we head first?" Saskue asked cautiously.
"The kitchen" Neji whispered creeping across the wooden floors of the nearly silent orphanage.
"You know if Iruka catches us we're never going to get out of here" Kiba said with a smirk as the group rounded the corner and crept into the dining room. "How are we supposed to get into the kitchen again? I thought they keep it locked."
"Apparently everyone's figured it out except you" Saskue said smugly as Neji opened and slipped through the window where the cafeteria cooks served the food.
"Okay, head for the cupboards" Neji said silently.
"And just what do you think your doing" a female voice said suddenly from behind the group. Instantly everyone (minus Shikamaru) spun around to see a girl of about fourteen years standing there with her hands on her hips and a raised eyebrow.
"Haven't seen you around here before" Shikamaru said calmly "You must be the new girl"
"Isn't it a little late to be breaking into the kitchen?" she asked. "I think I recall a few rules they told me about this kind of stuff"
"We just need the food we would have been served for breakfast tomorrow and then we're be going, we don't want any trouble…" Neji said waiting for her to finish the sentence with her name.
"You're going on the lam?" the girl said instantly perking up and a smile rushing to her face "Cool, I'll come to" Neji just stared at the girl not believing that she would actually volunteer to run away with them. If he'd asked any other girl at the orphanage to accompany them they would have instantly rejected his request and possibly have told on them.
"I don't think…" he began.
"Don't think what?" she smiled sitting on the table and letting her legs swing back and forth "I'll be able to handle myself out there because I'm a girl? I'm a lot tougher than I look" she smirked.
"You're not coming" Neji stated firmly.
"Hey, I'm running away from this place either way. I never stay in places like this for long. So you guys can either let me join you or go out into the streets of a major city not knowing what to expect and probably get yourselves killed" Kiba scoffed at the last part and the girl shot him a look. "How many of you have actually ridden the rails to another city?" she asked skeptically. Kiba just gave another dog like grin and raised his hand. The girl just rolled her eyes. Neji sighed and looked back at the others who shrugged as if to say 'sure why not?'
"Fine, you can come with us. Now Kiba, get the cupboard open we've wasted enough time."
"It's locked" Kiba growled in frustration turning around. "What do we do…" he stopped as he heard a clicking sound. The girl smiled as she stood next to the open cupboards holding a small metal wire.
"Just get some fruit and put it into one of the paper bags, and let's get going" Neji said sternly.
"Pff, you're welcome" the girl smirked at him.
"What's you name?" he asked coolly.
"Tenten, and you are?"
"Huh, weird name" she smiled.
"Hn" he said simply, this girl was definitely a strange one.
"Okay, we're ready" Saskue said as he and Shikamaru finished storing the food.
"Then lets go" Neji nodded as the group slipped back out of the kitchen, through the halls, and out the door into the warm night time air of Flint.
So what did you think? Sorry if the first chapter was boring, the story will get better I promise. Anyway, please review and I hope to get the next chapter up after I've updated my other fics!