Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto
Naruto's eyes winced as they opened, the harsh sun's rays trying to invade through his eyelids. As his vision became more focused, he could feel a substantial amount of pain forming in the back of his head. He tried to lift a hand to rub the sore spot, however his arm was incapable of moving. Looking at it, he found himself tightly tied to a tree with a thick strand of rope which was wrapped around his shoulders to his elbows, allowing his forearms to still have some form of movement.
"Look who's woken up," said someone nearby, alerting Naruto that he wasn't alone. Looking up, he found himself facing the three bullies he had found picking on the young girl with dark blue hair a week ago. "We were beginning to think that we'd killed you with that hit to the back of your head."
Naruto snarled at the situation, here he was, seven years old and tied to a tree with to current way to get out while three bullies stared him down with a pile of rocks littered at his feet. He was starting to realise that this may have been another one of those days that he'd end up getting mistreated at the hospital. "What do you want?" asked Naruto, trying to sound as if he still had some power in the situation. His response didn't come in words however as one of the bullies picked up a rock and threw it at Naruto, hitting him just above the right eye.
Naruto grimaced through the pain as he felt blood trickle down his face as a flurry of rocks soared his way, most of which hit their target. A couple of minutes later, when the deed had been done, the bullies looked over the scene they had caused. The kid's head hung loosely while it looked like he gripped something with dear life in his right hand. Part of his hair had turned red from blood which dripped slowly into the grass below him. Sneering, they stepped forward to further inspect their prey. "Bet that teaches you not to mess with other's business," said one of the bullies as the ringleader grabbed Naruto by the hair and lifted his head up. What they expected to see was a broken boy sobbing his eyes out, they did not expect to see a snide smile across the boy's lips.
"Is that all you got?" questioned Naruto, scaring the bullies to a certain degree. They thought they had defeated the boy both mentally and physically but it seemed that the job was only half done. The reason behind this was not a pretty one however, this treatment seemed mild in comparison to some of the beatings he received from drunks and adult civilians.
Regaining his composure, the ringleader sent his spare fist careening forward, striking the boy across the side of the face, snapping his head to the side. His smile disappeared however as the boy raised his head once again to look him in the eye. Despite being more powerful and having dealt more damage, somehow the kid thought he was getting beaten. With a cry of rage, he drove his fist into the boy's stomach, sending a mixture of bile and blood to escape Naruto's lips.
Naruto's head remained down for half a minute and the bullies had finally thought the boy had cracked before Naruto's foot rocketed up and buried itself right between the bully's legs. An overly high pitched scream escaped the boy's mouth as he dropped to the ground holding onto his jewels as if his very life depended on the swift recovery he needed. The other two, after seeing their leader downed, charged at Naruto and rained a platoon of punches and kicks at the immobilized boy. One sickening crunch followed by a flow of blood indicated that Naruto's nose had been broken.
"What's going on here?" shouted a voice from nearby, alerting the bullies that someone else was in the vicinity. They found a girl standing there, from the looks of her just younger then what they were if only by a year. Her brown hair was tied up in two buns while her brown eyes were focused directly on the bullies in front of her as a scowl spread across her lips. She wore a pink blouse which didn't have any sleeves while she had jade green pants covering her legs. In her hand she carried a wooden Bō staff with an intense grip which looked like splintering the weapon if she wasn't careful.
By this time the leader had recovered from his life threatening injury to look at the intrusion. "Look missy," he said slowly, still reeling from the pain. "This little punk deserves what he's getting, don't come..." He was cut off however as Naruto leapt at him from behind and drove the bullies face into the ground.
"Didn't expect that did you?" shouted Naruto as the bully rolled over, allowing Naruto to deal two blows to the boy's face before he was pried off by his allies. Naruto did what he could to fend off the two bullies but he was taking more damage than he was dealing. The ringleader looked like he was ready to join in the brutality before he took a large blow to the top of the head as the girl's weapon descended down on top of him. He turned around in anger before the staff hit him across the side of the face, knocking him to the side.
Seeing his friend in danger, one of the two bullies attacking Naruto broke off from the assault and went to help. This was not the smartest of choices as he was unarmed and unskilled against fighting someone with a weapon. After having said weapon thrust into his stomach he immediately regretted the decision. As he dropped to his knees he felt the wooden staff crack along the side of his back causing him to yell out in pain. This in turn distracted the final bully, allowing Naruto to capitalize and drive a vicious uppercut to the boy, sending him to the ground.
Naruto stood upright, his face mangled and bloodied with swelling in multiple areas but still the victor of the fight. The young girl came and stood next to him as the three boys made their escape, running to safety as quickly as they could with tears streaming down their eyes. Once they were out of sight, Naruto dropped to the ground and leant against the tree he was tied to earlier. "Are you alright?" he asked the girl compassionately.
This was not the first thing she expected to hear from someone who looked like they had just stepped through hell. "I should be asking you that," she said dropping her staff to the ground and looking at the battered boy closely. Naruto flinched out of instinct, it wasn't often that somebody got this close without malicious intent running through their mind. "Are you okay?" she said as she noticed his reaction.
"I've had worse," said Naruto putting on a brave smile but the blood stained teeth only seemed to scare the girl slightly. He reached around and grabbed a nearby branch and placed it in his mouth. Before the girl could ask him what he was doing he grabbed the edges of his nose and shoved it back in place, an agonising pain erupted from behind the branch which muffled a majority of the sound. The girl was starting to worry about this boy as he took the branch from his mouth and chucked it to the side. She was wondering if her father's choice of moving here was the right one. They sat there in silence for a while before Naruto put his hand forth. "My name's Naruto, Uzumaki Naruto," he proclaimed proudly.
"Tenten," replied the girl taking the offered hand. "How did you get out of that rope?" she asked.
"Before you got here, those jerks were throwing rocks at me and I managed to catch one of them after it hit me in the shoulder," explained Naruto with great enthusiasm, as if this was his greatest escape of all time. "When they were up close and distracted, I cut myself free, pretty cool don't you reckon?" he asked with a smile, careful not to show his teeth.
"That's impressive," said Tenten honestly, she didn't know if she would have what it takes in order to remain calm and think of a way to escape in that situation. "Why were they doing that to you?"
"I think it's because I stopped them from picking on someone a week ago, but pretty much every person who isn't a ninja tries to hurt me in some way," he explained modestly. Tenten could see the sadness in his eyes as he continued. "I don't have many friends and my parents died when I was young, I don't..." He was cut off however as Tenten embraced him in a comforting hug, tears swelling in her eyes.
"It's okay Naruto, I'll be here for you," she said softly, causing Naruto to extend his arms around Tenten and hug her as well. Meanwhile a young girl with dark blue hair, heir to the Hyūga clan was looking at the situation from behind a tree. Hinata had seen the entire event unfold but had been too scared to do anything about it and when this girl had appeared and helped the boy who had saved her she hadn't been happier. Seeing the two hugging one another, she figured that now would be a good time to leave in order to ensure that her guardian didn't call for a search and rescue party. Although she couldn't help but wish that she had had the courage and strength to help the boy and be the one receiving the hug, even the thought of it brought a slight tinge of red to her cheeks.
As Tenten and Naruto broke the hug, they got to their feet, preparing to leave the forest. "So where are you from Tenten, I haven't seen you around?" asked Naruto curiously.
"My father is a merchant and we've been travelling as long as I can remember," explained Tenten as she bent down and picked up her staff. "He wants to settle down now and find a permanent spot to sell our gear."
"Sounds great," said Naruto as the two left the forest, only for Naruto to receive a swift slap across the side of the face from a frantic woman.
"You demon, how could you do that to my son?" shouted the woman at Naruto as he tried to figure out what just happened. She was about to deliver another slap when Tenten leapt in front of Naruto, shielding him from harm. "Get out of the way!" shouted the woman hysterically.
"No," proclaimed Tenten boldly, Naruto meanwhile couldn't believe that he was being protected from harm from his new friend. "You're son and his friends were attacking him while he was tied to a tree, he deserved what he got."
"You're lying; my son would do nothing of the sort," shouted the woman. Naruto wanted to speak up but he knew that whatever he said would be called a lie as always. Who spoke up next caught him completely by surprise.
"She's not lying," said Hinata shyly in just an audible tone. "I saw the whole thing, they only acted in self defence," she said pointing at Naruto and Tenten. The lady looked at the children standing up to her, while she didn't mind getting into an argument with this brown haired girl, however she knew the blue haired girl was the heir to the Hyūga clan. If she kept this up she knew that if the actual clan got wind of this it could spell disaster. With an audible growl of anger, she turned around and walked over to her son, cooing the boy and making sure his injuries were fine.
Hinata walked over to where Tenten and Naruto stood before introducing herself. As she did so, she was unaware that her father had watched the confrontation from a hidden location. Hinata's guardian was just about to go and rescue her before she could interact further with Naruto before Hiashi placed a hand out and prevented him from moving further. Before he could ask for an explanation, Hiashi told him to watch from the sidelines and bring his daughter home in time for dinner. The guardian nodded in understanding before moving to get a better vantage spot. Hiashi couldn't help but wonder if this boy's impact on his daughter would help her grow a backbone and it to the clan heir she was destined to be. He turned and made his way back to the Hyūga compound, intent on telling the family that his daughter was now permitted to have contact with the Uzumaki boy.
"Thanks for helping us there," said Naruto smiling in a way that his teeth weren't shown, he didn't want to scare off his friends anytime soon.
"I only did what was right," said Hinata bashfully as she looked at the ground, tapping her forefingers together nervously.
"It really helped, that lady looked like she wanted to strangle me," said Tenten. She then turned to Naruto and was about to say something before she noticed something. "Didn't you have a cut above your eye?" she asked confused.
"I thought I did, I think the first rock they threw cut me there," said Naruto as he poked the spot which had been cut with his fingers. "Guess it was just my imagination."
Tenten and Hinata shared a look with one another before looking back at Naruto. There was a line of dry blood from just above his eye but there was no wound from which it had emerged. Deciding to put it to the side for the moment she focused on the mess that was Uzumaki Naruto. "I guess we need to get you cleaned up," she said looking at his face. She then turned her attention to Hinata. "Want to help?" The Hyūga heiress promptly fainted.
Thought I'd have a go at a Naruto story and see what would happen. Hope you enjoyed. Please review.