First: My amazing beta Ruka-x3 who has helped me out a lot and is my very first beta.
Second: Goes to Crimson Crypt who has answered many question for me that has helped me when writing this fiction.
Last: TannerUzumaki who offered to be my beta but was too late. I would like to thank them just for offering and answering me ('cause no one did at first) and has offered to beta for me in the future.
"You see better people around you all the time. Not to be envious and not to take that out in bitterness is a hard lesson, but you better, because you can't always be Frank Lloyd Wright. You've got to learn to live in it. You've got to stand it"
- Philip Johnson
Semen contains zinc and calcium, both of which are proven to prevent tooth decay and make teeth whiter.
Chapter one: Name; Sasuke Uchiha
"What's going on?
"I don't know."
"Hey, the Uchiha's place has been taped off!"
"So sad, but it was bound to happen sooner or later."
The sound of police sirens filled the late night streets, where many residents were exiting their homes to investigate the scene at the end of the block. Only the blue and red lights could be seen on white cars and if one was lucky enough to see between the crowds, they could see the yellow tape that closed off the Uchiha residence.
Everyone was talking, spreading rumors and being asked questions by police to see what they could have known. Everything the police were told were lies. He just wasn't going to tell them that. What reason was there to fix the rumors when it was already too late? He didn't see the need to.
Sasuke, a young boy no older than six, was sitting on the hood of a police car. He was bundled in an over sized blue coat that hid most of his hunched over body along with his ripped and blood stained clothes. His long black hair fell over his eyes and brushed against his cheeks. When a gust of cold wind blew past him, he held the coat more closely to his body. There was a female officer tending to him, she was a pretty woman, at least that what he thought, and she was kind giving him her coat when he shivered from the cold night air. But, just because she was nice didn't mean he was ever going to answer the questions she asked.
He kept his mouth shut tightly, sure not to let a single sound slip past his lips. When the officers asked if he was cold, hungry, tired, thirsty, or anything else like that, he would answer by shaking his head yes or no, but those were the only answers the police were getting out of him.
"Please son," An older officer tried to coax. He was tall compared to the woman officer and had messy gray hair with a stubbly mustache. That mustache was the only thing Sasuke could look at, it was just too distracting. "Do you know why he did this?" Sasuke gave no answer, not even a shake of the head.
"No use," Said the brunette female police officer beside him. "He's probably traumatized. He might need therapy to talk about it all." The mustached man nodded and left Sasuke to himself. The child scowled at the older women's words. Why would he need therapy?
Sure, he was a little scared by what had just happened but he didn't need therapy just because he didn't want to talk about it. Why would he want to talk about it? Why would he want to relive what had happened only hours ago? Besides, what would they do anyway if they knew; there was nothing left to do.
It was starting to get quieter; many of the neighbors had left the scene when the police told everyone to leave. He liked it that way, quiet. That's how he wanted it.
Sasuke just continue to sit there, waiting for the police to tell him when he could leave, where he would go, and with whom he would stay with. At this moment he had no more family; no aunts, uncles, grandparents, or cousins to live with. He was alone with no family and was most likely going to be sent to an orphanage. And it was all because his brother was driven crazy. Crazy by the pressure their parents pushed onto them. Of course, with Itachi being older, he snapped first; even if Sasuke was being pushed harder to follow in his brother's footsteps.
"Sir," he heard one of the younger police officers yell and came running out of the house. "Mister Uchiha left a will. With it was a note saying who to contact if something was to happen and their children needed a place to stay." He informed the same mustached officer that questioned Sasuke earlier, handing over the folder slip of paper. His beady brown eyes scanned the paper and he nodded to himself.
"Get me a phone, take the kid with us back to the station, and I want someone to track down this man." The officer said as he ushered the female cop to seat Sasuke in one of the police vehicles. "His name's Minato Namikaze. Find him!"
Sasuke waited at the police station for hours, sitting on a hard wooden bench next to a man who smelled horribly of alcohol. The sun was coming up and he felt terribly tired, but he couldn't sleep. Whenever he closed his eyes, he saw red; red blood, red covered knifes, and worse of all, red eyes… He shivered at the memory. The man sitting next to him glanced at the child curiously before shrugging and passing out.
No one had yet to inform Sasuke why they brought him to the station, but he already knew the most of it. To figure out Sasuke's new living arrangements.
He was currently waiting for his new guardian to show up. Even though, whenever this person did show up, Sasuke wouldn't know. He had never once met this person, yet he had heard the name spoken around the house from time to time. Never had the owner of the name come for a visit, nor had he even seen a photograph of this person his entire life. This person could already be here and Sasuke wouldn't have even known.
Sasuke was getting tired of just sitting here watching officers working and pacing around the station, while pretending like he didn't even notice. He felt awkward, to say the least; he may have acted like he wanted to be left to himself, but in reality, Sasuke really just wanted one person at the moment to take the time to comfort him. What child wouldn't after witnessing the death of their family? But, still, not a single officer in the station had taken the time to even ask him if was going to be alright, or tell him things would get better. No one did anything.
About ten or so minutes later, the loud sound of the police station's doors being thrown open echoed through the building. Sasuke, curious as to who had done so, looked up to see a tall man with messy blond hair in yellow pajamas running through the station. The man didn't even look like he knew he was in the building, he just kept running, dodging everything in his way, until he was nothing more than a flash of yellow. But, when the man spotted Sasuke on the bench, he stopped abruptly then went straight to the young boy. He embraced him in a crushingly tight hug.
At first Sasuke didn't know what he should do. He wanted a hug only minutes ago, but now he just felt uncomfortable. He hesitantly wrapped his arms around the yellow clad man. He could feel him tighten his hold on the boy and the man's body began to shake. It was then that Sasuke realized the man was crying.
"…Y-you look…Ju-just l-l-like her." the blond whispered to the small boy. "I-I'm so s-sorry…S-Sasuke."
Sasuke felt his eye water and he too cried along with the blond haired man, gripping onto his pajamas tighter and sobbing into the man's chest. The older of the two patted down Sasuke's hair as he murmured soothing words to the child, trying to calm him the best he could. When Sasuke didn't stop crying, he didn't release his hold. They stayed like that for some time until the mustached police officer stepped in.
"Mr. Namikaze, I presume."
The blond looked up from Sasuke's shoulder and answered with a shaky yes.
"We need you to fill out some paperwork in my office. As you should already know, Mr. Uchiha had named you as the godfather of his children. We have a lawyer in the back to help with the legal documents, so if you two could just follow me…" The older man turned to walk away, beckoning for the two to follow. Minato picked Sasuke up and carried the boy, still hugged to his chest, while whispering soothingly in his ear.
"It's okay Sasuke, things will get better."
"Sasuke," Minato called softly while turning the car off. When he got no response, he turned in his seat to see the small boy fast asleep in the back of the car. A smile graced his lips at the sight. Sasuke looked so much like his parents. It made Minato's heart sting knowing that his best friends were dead and never coming back. But, for Sasuke's sake, he would learn to cope and comfort the young boy; even if he himself never had a child and had no idea how to care for one.
"Sasuke," he called again. He unbuckled his seat belt and turned around in his seat to shake the young boys' shoulders lightly until he groaned and reluctantly woke up. "Sasuke, we're home." Minato told the boy before opening his then the back door to help Sasuke out of the seat. Sasuke was obviously still half asleep and hoping to sleep again soon, he had had a longer day than most kids would have preferred. At that moment Sasuke was fine just having the older man carrying him to the house until he saw something in the parking spot next to theirs.
"That's daddies!" Sasuke pointed with a huge smile on his face at the police cruiser next to Minato's car. His father was a police officer and always drove his car home. Sasuke was sure it was the same car since it had the same colors as his fathers and his father was the only man he knew who brought his car home. Minato smiled sadly but shook his head no. "Sorry Sasuke, but that's not your father's car." At the new information Sasuke frowned yet again and tucked his head in Minato's shoulder.
"So it's not dad's, then whose is it?"
"Mine." The blond said, smiling. "I'm a cop like your daddy was. We met back during training."
"Oh," The boy said dumbly as his eye lost their small spark of hope.
Minato carried Sasuke into the nice two-floor home and set his small body on one of the kitchen chairs. The blond poured two glasses of milk, and set one down on the table in front of Sasuke as he sat, with his own glass, across the table.
It was quiet for a while; to Minato the silence was awkward seeing as he was always a talkative person, but he just didn't know how he should start up a conversation with the young boy. Sasuke on the other hand hadn't minded the silence all too much. Up until yesterday he had grown up in a quiet household. But he would be lying if he said he didn't want to talk to his new guardian; it would have been a nice distraction right then. Realizing that Minato wasn't going to say anything soon, Sasuke swallowed some of his Uchiha pride and spoke.
"Where's your wife?" It was a completely reasonable question. He had heard his parents tell Itachi many times that people fall in love, get married, and only then are they allowed having kids. All of his father's friends that visited were married with at least one child, and they were all around his father's age. If Minato and his parents were friends then they must have been close in age, which overall meant that Minato should be married.
"…I don't have one…anymore at least." Minato said softly. The blonde's eyes were downcast and hidden from Sasuke's view with gold bangs.
"Oh," Sasuke didn't know how to reply. From the way Minato had put it, it sounded like his wife had died. He didn't want to be mean but death was not something he was interested in right now. "I'm sorry to hear that…"
"It's fine." The older man replied. Minato had gotten up from his seat to fix another glass of milk before sitting back down. He was quiet for a while but held a small smile on his face, most likely thinking of his deceased wife. Or at least, that was what Sasuke had thought.
"Um…how did she…die?" Sasuke asked quietly. He took back what he said earlier about talking about death; he couldn't stand Minato silent. The man just had to keep talking for him.
At first Sasuke thought Minato would be sad, maybe even a little mad, that Sasuke was butting into his personal life especially when it dealt with a topic that Sasuke had no business in. The young boy was just about to apologize and tell Minato he didn't have to answer if he didn't want to. But what he wasn't expecting was for the older male to start laughing. Laughing! Death was not a subject to laugh about.
Sasuke had glared at Minato, waiting for the older man to calm himself and explain what was so funny. It took a few moments but Minato did in fact stop. The blond looked at Sasuke with a goofy grin that only confused the boy more. "Sorry Sasuke," He said as the last few chuckles escaped his lips. "But no, she's not dead." He smiled again before his face turn grim and remorse. "She left me…for wanting to wait on having a family right after we got married. It's not that I didn't want one, it was just…we weren't living very well. She wanted a lot of children and she wanted them right then and there but we lived in a one room apartment and she didn't work at the time. We would have been struggling a lot. It wouldn't have been fair for a baby to grow up in such a hard environment." A sad smile graced Minato's face as old memories of his ex-wife haunted him; her long hair, round face, hazel eyes, and the way she yelled in Japanese when she was angry, her verbal ticks when she was nervous, and how she was always energetic about everything. "I just haven't met anybody I could love other than her."
Sasuke nodded, not knowing what else to do when he couldn't fully comprehend Minato's story. He was young and didn't know how relationships were supposed to work.
Sasuke finished his milk before Minato showed him to the guest room that would now be his bedroom. He laid there for a while not wanting to sleep, but with the exhaustion of the day catching up with him, fell asleep nonetheless.
It was early morning in Idaho, where a young Sasuke around the age of eleven was getting ready for school. He was already dressed and groomed with the only thing left to do was wake up his godfather for breakfast. He quietly cracked opened his guardian's door to see Minato still sleeping, softly he padded his way through the room to the king size bed and up to the sleeping face. He gently placed a hand on his guardian's shoulder and rocked the sleeping body awake.
Minato groaned with displeasure as he forced himself to wake up. It was like this every morning, school or not. Sasuke was an Uchiha, it didn't matter if he lost his family three years ago, he still acted like one; quiet, respectful, well-mannered, responsible and reliable. Perfect - in one word. Everything a parent would want, but for Minato – a poor, poor man who would have preferred to sleep in past 5:30 – having a kid that stuck to a tight schedule was tough…especially when it was a strict and early schedule.
"Papa-M, I already made breakfast. Please come down to eat." Sasuke said politely but with sternness in his voice.
Minato tried and failed to suppress the heavy sigh that left his lips as he flopped back down on his bed.
He didn't know how this had happened, how Sasuke had turned out the way he was now. Just a few years ago Sasuke was happy and liked to play like every other child. Now Sasuke's idea of fun was reading, studying, and politics; all well known Uchiha traits. Though it confused Minato how Sasuke became so Uchiha-like when there were no other Uchihas to learn from. In the end Minato settled for it being in the DNA.
Whatever it was, it was slowly ruining his charge's life. He had no friends, saying he couldn't hold a decent and intelligent conversation with anyone. He locked himself in his room and only came out for school and to cook.
Minato rolled his head to view his alarm clock. Sasuke would be back soon to inform him that his food was now cold and sitting in the microwave. Just like every morning. Not that it would matter they wouldn't have even eaten together. Sasuke took all meals to his room and ate while studying instead of staying at the table with Minato.
Again, a sigh was heard from Minato as he rolled over in bed and covered his face with his blankets. He decided then and there that Sasuke needed a better, more fun filled life.
When Sasuke was fifteen, he had returned home from school one day to find Minato already home. It was uncommon for the older man to be home at that time unless it was one of his days off.
Today was not one of them.
Curious, Sasuke walked two times as fast as usual on the walk to the front door. When he got to there, he vaguely noticed the plaid curtain missing from the glass window in the door and the windows within the front of the house. He also noted the unfamiliar truck parked by Minato's cruiser. When opening the door Sasuke was met with boxes upon boxes filling the corridor.
At first Sasuke was at a loss of words, he called out his guardian's name but there was no reply. That confused him even more. Whenever Minato was home he would have greeted Sasuke at the door with his usual violent hugs, but no, today he was nowhere to be seen and he didn't even yell a 'hello' from somewhere else in the house.
Sasuke dropped his book bag by the door, between two cardboard boxes.
He carefully maneuvered his way through the box like maze until he reached the living room at the end of the hall.
The scene living room made Sasuke want to gasp. The dark blue leather couch was missing along with the green plush arm chair that Minato fancied so much. The mahogany wood desk was in pieces and the TV was sitting in the corner of the room with the stand disassembled behind it.
"Minato," He called out. A muffled grunt and crashing sounds from the back porch answered him and Sasuke immediately went to open the sliding glass door. Minato stood there, arms full with tools, rags, and other odd items that he was trying hard not to drop, while he worked a cardboard box open with his foot.
Sasuke could only raised a fine brow at his godfather before closing the door again and walking to the kitchen. Crashing echoed from outside and the sound of the back door being opened with Minato's grumbling curses sounded throughout the house. The blond dragged himself to the kitchen to glare at his unhelpful god child.
"You know," Minato started, sitting across from Sasuke. "Most people would have helped in that situation."
"I'm not most people," Sasuke replied pouring a glass of tomato juice. "What's going on anyway?"
Minato chuckled nervously, rubbing the back of his head in habit. He avoided making eye contact and instead, found a crumb on the tablecloth very interesting.
The older man wanted to flinch at the sound of his name. It was ridiculous that a fifteen year old boy could sound like a strict and impatient father when he wanted to be. He was impossible to lie to and Minato knew that whatever he said, Sasuke wouldn't believe him. So when it came down to it, telling the truth was the smartest idea…even if Sasuke almost murdered him for it.
"We're moving to California, for my new job." Minato said, chancing a glimpse at Sasuke for any reaction. None, so he kept talking. "Near Venice Beach, the police force there is starting to struggle. A few of their best officers have retired and there are too many newbie's out there to do the job right. Since I have some of the top records here, I'm the best option to send down there. It's good pay, much better than it is here, and there is a good school close by. I already found a condo, beautiful one at that; large with spacious rooms, own bathrooms, glamorous looking, but at a decent price, surprisingly. It has a sauna in the back of the lobby!"
Sasuke said nothing.
Minato froze, staring at his charge. He didn't think Sasuke would agree to the move so easily. He was sure the boy would throw a fit of some sort. What teenager wouldn't when being told they were moving from the town they lived in since birth?
"…A-are you sure?"
"Yeah," Sasuke said, taking a long gulp of his juice before getting up to rinse out his glass and put it in the dish washer. "I never really liked it here anyways. I lived in Idaho my whole life but I have nothing special here to hold on to. The only important thing that's happened to me here is my parents' deaths but that's not the best memory."
"What about your friends-"
"What friends?" Sasuke sat back down at the kitchen table and broadly played with one of the napkins that sat in a pile on the table. "When do we move?"
"Monday, so next week, that will give me enough time to get you enrolled in school and everything."
Sasuke nodded. "Okay." He sat up from the table, grabbing an empty box by the door, and fled up stairs to pack his room.
Sasuke, age nineteen, walked down the ocean front of Venice Beach, CA. Since he moved there four years ago, his life had brightened. He had made a few friends. They were smart and quiet people, mostly. He had graduated high school as valedictorian, and was now registered in an online college. He never liked the idea of large crowds of people and his grades were good enough that he could work without a professor at his side, though Minato didn't believe that. He had offered an old friend of his to move in with them, no rent as long as he over saw Sasuke's studies; but other than that, moving to California was by far one of the best things to ever happen to him.
He may not have gone outside much and the beach they lived by had way too many people on it, but his condo was nice and the few friends he had made were almost always over; Shikamaru, came in with the third highest grade of their graduating class even though he slept through every class, had declined college even with his grade and had decided to instead work at his Fathers' pharmacy stacking selves… Even though he thought it was 'troublesome'.
Next was Neji, who came in second between Sasuke and Shika. He and his younger cousin, Hinata had both come from a wealthy family back in Minnesota, but had moved to California together after the death of Neji's father. Sasuke couldn't really understand how he became friends with Neji; the two had argued more than anything, but he figured it was their negative attitudes and the fact that Sasuke had lived a very wealthy life before his parents' died… not that he wasn't living well now. Ever since Minato had cracked the Kyuubi case, they were living a lot better.
Hinata was a different story. Sasuke couldn't really call her a friend. She was Neji's shy baby cousin with little friends of her own. Neji invited her everywhere and she was just used to tagging along; it wasn't that Sasuke disliked Hinata, she was one of the only girls that didn't fawn over him, it's just she was too quiet and kept to herself most of the time. It was kind of creepy. Ironic, Sasuke being creep out by a quiet person.
Though, no one was as much of a creep as Sai - Sasuke's 'best friend'. He was always around, somehow, and always got into Sasuke's condo. Sasuke would wake to find Sai sleeping in his guest room, or at the kitchen table eating, or in their shower… Sai was also quiet like his other friends, but also unpredictable. He was an artist that was way too fascinated by the human body and 'dressed to impress'. One day he would dress head to toe in black one day and rainbow the next – costume makeup and hair dye. He would usually sell his ink paintings on the boardwalk; where Sasuke and Sai were at this very moment. They were heading to Sai's spot on the Oceanfront, under a shady tree and next to a retired fisherman who always glared at them and complained about today's youth.
Sasuke was walking through a maze of people, shopping and walking all around them, while trying to balance an arm full of canvases; some clean and some with dried ink already on them. Sai was having a much easier time carrying a book bag filled in caped ink, brushes, colored pastels, note books, a few frames, and an ink stamp that he used to sign all of his art – Which Sasuke believed looked very much like a penis - not that it bothered him or anything. He already knew Sai was openly gay. The only problem he had about it was the fact that Sai would give him many unwanted details.
Sai was talking, more than ever, about some store further down the boardwalk. Sasuke was only half listening but heard Sai mention a book they had from the icha icha series that Kakashi liked so much; he also said he met the writer of said book inside the store. Sai asked the writer if he owned the store but he said no, but he did say he came in for a visit since lived close by. Though, Sai was mainly talking about the cute little teenage boy working there. This boy was apparently muttering to himself in Japanese thinking no one would understand him. Unfortunately for him, Sai was fully Japanese and knew the language perfectly.
As they were about to approach Sai's tree, someone a few feet ahead of Sasuke, squealed and started yelling. He couldn't see what was going on, but he saw people in the crowd being pushed to the side. Incoherent yelling and grunts could be heard.
Suddenly someone ran right into Sasuke, a large surfboard hitting him right in the face.
"Gomen! Excuse me! Sumimasen!"
He looked down at the unfamiliar words to see blond hair pushing past him. He followed the small, thin figure, noticing it was a teenage boy maybe a year or two young than himself, with blond hair, wearing nothing but lime green swimming trunks.
"Muri shinai de!" Sai called out beside him. Sasuke assumed, with Sai only knowing two languages that the other boy was talking in Japanese as well. The boy turned around, his pink and green surfboard hitting another person in the face, was smiling a breathtaking smile at them and waving while running backwards, seemingly uncaring of everyone he was hitting.
"Gomen, Arigato!" He said loudly before turning back around just in time to run right into another teenage boy, this time with brown hair and tattoos on his face.
Sasuke couldn't help it. He watched as the blond smiled even more before hugging the brunette boy and stealthily placed a kiss on the other's cheek. The brunette laughed before taking the blonde's surfboard under one of his arms and the blonde's hand in his own before walking away together.
"Damn," He looked over to Sai who was frowning beside him. "That was the boy I told you about. It looks like he already has a boyfriend." Sai sighed before continuing to his tree and began setting up. Sasuke stayed where he was for a little longer, staring at where the blond had been, before shaking his head clear of thoughts and joining Sai under the tree.
A/N: I got the Japanese translations from several websites and friends so I think they are all right
-Gomen = sorry
-Sumimasen = excuse me
-Muri shinai de = take it easy / don't kill yourself
-Arigato = Thank you
-Kuso = shit