So this is my first Naruto fic. I actually wrote it like 3 years ago but never got around to posting it for whatever reason...oh well.

Anywho, please enjoy! ^^


Sky laughed as she ran down the hall, her waist-length charcoal black hair flowing behind her and her honey colored eyes sparkling with joy. She turned a sharp corner, giggling when she heard the giant white dog chasing her stumble.

"Come on! You can do better than that, Akamaru!"

She received a playful growl in response. Sky loved playing with Akamaru. She had grown up with Kiba and known Akamaru since he was a pup. She was currently playing tag with him, running through the halls on the upper level of Kiba's house. Obviously, Akamaru was it. She rounded another corner, getting ready to run down the stairs, only to see Kiba coming up them.

"Kiba!"

He looked up, surprised. Sky tried to stop, but she was already at the edge of the stairs, and she slipped. Akamaru grabbed the edge of her shirt in his teeth to try and stop her, but she was moving too fast and the cloth ripped. She fell into Kiba and they both tumbled down the stairs. Instinctively, Kiba wrapped his arms around her waist.

Kiba landed on his back with a thud, Sky on his chest. She pulled back a little to look at his face. Their eyes locked and a second later, they were both laughing hysterically.

"S-sorry." She managed to gasp out between laughs. When their laughter died down, Kiba smirked up at her. "I think Akamaru won." He said.

Sky pouted. "What makes you say that?"

Kiba moved his hands up from her waist to her sides, tugging at the torn fabric of her shirt. Sky sighed dramatically. "Fine. Akamaru wins." Akamaru walked over and licked her cheek. Kiba laughed as he stared to sit up, his arms still around Sky's waist.

He paused as he felt the skin on Sky's side rapidly grow cold. Sky winced, her face contorting in pain.

Not now…

Kiba sat up. "Sky, what's wrong" Did you hurt yourself when you fell?" He moved his hand away from the bare skin on side where her shirt was torn. His eyes widened at the sight of a pulsing black mark on her side. It was a small black ring with a black, seven pointed star in the center. The mark had, what looked like, tentacles branching off the ring that seemed to weave in and out of the skin.

Sky noticed what he was looking at and yanked out of his hold, covering the mark with her hand. Kiba stared, eyes wide. Akamaru whimpered. "Sky, is that…a curse mark?" Sky looked at him, horrified, eyes wide in pain, before bolting out of the house.

"Sky!"

~*x*~

Sky jumped from rooftop to rooftop, toward the Hokage's mansion. She kept her hand pressed to her side, her breathing labored. When she reached her destination, she slipped through an open window, slowly making her way down the hall, using one hand to brace herself against the wall. When she reached the Hokage's office, she knocked weakly on the door.

"Come in!"

Sky opened the door to see Sakura, Saskue, and Naruto standing in front of Tsunade's desk, giving a mission report. The four turned to her as she leaned against the doorframe, panting. "Tsunade-sama…" she took a step only to have her body pitch forward. Saskue caught her and gently lowered her to the floor. Naruto and Sakura rushed to her side, worry evident on their faces.

"Sky, what happened?" cried Naruto. "Are you sick?"

Saskue gripped her tightly, his way of showing concern for their childhood friend. Tsunade stood and made her way over to the four, her face serious. "Sakura. You know what this is. Get her file." Sakura nodded and dashed out the door, closing it behind her. "Naruto, close the blinds."

"But-"

"DO IT!"

Naruto jumped up and started to close the blinds. Tsunade turned to Saskue. "You're going to have to hold her still." Saskue nodded and lay Sky down so that her head was in his lap. Tsunade knelt down next to her and used a narrow stream of chakra to cut away the lower half of her shirt, revealing her stomach. Saskue's eye's widened. "Is that…"

"It is." Tsunade replied. "But it's a little different than yours."

"Tsunade…" Sky's weak voice caught their attention and the two turned back to her. Tsunade formed a series of hand signs before placing both of her palms on top of the mark. A pale green glow surrounded her hands. Sky squirmed, but Saskue held her steady. Naruto reappeared next to him, a worried expression on his face.

After a few minutes, the green glow faded and Tsunade drew back. Sky relaxed and slowly opened her eyes. "Thank you, Tsunade-sama." Tsunade gave her a small smile. "You can thank me after I've cured you." Sky gave her a tired smile in response.

"Sky…" She looked up at Saskue. "When did you get…"

"The curse mark?" He nodded. "Three years ago."

"That's the year you had your S-rank mission." Naruto said solemnly. Sky nodded. "What happened?"

"It's an S-rank mission, Naruto." Sky looked over at Tsunade. "It's classified."

Saskue and Naruto looked at Tsunade. "Come on, Granny Tsunade! Tell us what happened!" Naruto was serious. Tsunade closed her eyes and sighed. "It was Orochimaru." She said softly. Everything in the room seemed to freeze at the name. Sky stared blankly at the ceiling as Tsunade continued. "Sky was sent on a mission to gather information on his activities. He had been acting up a lot and we wanted to know why. She came back alive, but…." Tsunade trailed off.

Naruto frowned. "But what?"

"I'm slowly dying." Naruto and Saskue looked down at Sky, eyes wide. "I wasn't privileged enough for him to flat out kill me or for him to give me the kind of mark you have, Saskue." She said, her gaze still locked on the ceiling. "But I was interesting enough to become one of his little experiments. His curse mark is slowly killing me." Everyone was silent. The tension in the air was thick; you could cut it with a knife. Naruto clenched his fists and growled, "Can't you do something, Granny Tsunade?"

Tsunade sighed. "I've been trying. Sakura, Shizune, and I have been trying to find a way to remove the mark for the past three years."

"And?"

Tsunade shook her head. At that moment, Sakura walked back in, a red folder in her hands. "Tsunade-shishou, here's the file." Tsunade took the folder from her and started skimming its contents. Sky slowly sat up, her muscles stiff. Tsunade closed the folder, a solemn look on her face. Sky closed her eyes. "Not long, is it?" she asked.

"No."

"How much time?"

"At most….five months."

A sad smile made its way to her lips. "Huh. That's more time than I expected." Naruto was shocked. He stared at Tsunade. "In five months, Sky is gonna…die?"

"Yes, you idiot." Saskue growled. Sakura put a hand on his shoulder. "Sky?" she asked. Sky nodded. Sakura grabbed her arms and helped her stand. Tsunade stood and looked at the boys. "The information about Sky's condition stays in this room, understand? The only one outside this room who knows is Shizune." Naruto and Saskue nodded as the stood.

"Actually…" Tsunade turned to Sky. "I think Kiba saw the mark." Tsunade stared at her as she explained what happened at his house. When she finished, Tsunade sighed. "Well you have two choices." She said. "You tell him or you don't. I leave the decision up to you."

~*x*~

A week later, Sky sat on a bench in the park watching the clouds. She'd been avoiding Kiba since the incident at his house. She didn't want to tell him, but she didn't have time to beat around the bush. So she called them to her favorite park. A cold, wet nose nudged her knee and she looked down. She smiled. "Hey, Akamaru." She pet his head. "I missed you guys."

"Then why have you been avoiding us?"

Sky looked away from Akamaru and saw Kiba standing a few feet away. She looked away. "I was scared." Kiba raised an eyebrow. She pat the space on the bench next to her, and he walked over and sat down. "You saw it the other day, right?" Kiba shot her a look. She lifted up the side of her shirt, revealing the curse mark to him. "My mark." Akamaru whimpered and placed his head on her thigh. Sky stroked his fur, soothing him. She took a deep breath; she owed Kiba an explanation. She told him as much as she could about her S-rank mission three years ago. When she finished, she sighed, resting her head on Kiba's shoulder.

"And?" Sky looked up. "You wouldn't just tell me that. There's a reason."

Sky smiled sadly. "You know me so well." She looked at her hands in her lap, silent. Kiba, seeing something was bothering her, placed his hand over hers. "Hey, you can tell me." He said softly. She flashed him a weak smile and took a deep breath. She had to tell him.

"When the mark completely covers my body…I'll disappear."

Kiba stiffened. "What do you mean?" he asked slowly, not entirely sure he wanted to hear the answer.

"I'll…die."

Silence. Kiba stared at her, eyes wide in shock. Akamaru sat in front of Sky, watching her in confusion. Receiving no response, she continued, eyes downcast, hands clenched tightly in her lap. "Tsunade-sama has given me about five months until…" she trailed off. Looking up, she forced a smile. "That's all!" She said in a falsely cheerful tone. She got up and started to walk away; she couldn't look at Kiba anymore, she didn't want to see the shock or hurt in his eyes.

She was stopped when a strong pair of arms wrapped themselves around her waist. She felt Kiba's warm breath on the back of her neck. Finding her voice, she whispered, "Could you not tell anyone? Only five other people know. I don't want it to be common knowledge." His arms tightened around her and she gasped, finding it harder to breath. "Is that all you're thinking about? Keeping it a secret?" Sky stayed silent. Kiba spun her around to face him. "Well?" His gaze was hard; she couldn't look him in the eye. He gripped her shoulders tightly. Sky leaned forward some so that her head rested on his chest.

"No…" she whispered softly. Kiba relaxed his grip. "I think about everything else all the time." Sky looked up to meet his eyes. "How can you even ask if I don't think about it?" Without even realizing it, she had started crying. "I'm leaving everyone behind. I'm leaving you behind. I know that I'm dying Kiba. Do you know what it's like to walk around knowing you have time limit?" Kiba shook his head, a worried and guilty expression on his face. Sky had completely pulled herself out of his hold, holding his eyes with her teary gaze. "It's scary Kiba." Sky looked at the ground. "I don't want to die."

After a moment of hesitation, Kiba stepped forward and wrapped his arms around her. She reacted instantly, her hands clutching the back of his jacket, burying her face in his chest. She cried silently while Kiba stroked her hair, soothing her.

"If I hadn't seen the mark, would you have told me?" he asked softly when Sky had calmed down.

"I don't know." She replied, her voice slightly muffled by his jacket. "To be honest, I didn't know how to tell you."

"Is this why you've been retired from missions?"

Sky nodded. "Using chakra makes the mark spread faster. And Tsunade-sama wanted me nearby; she's been trying to find a cure."

"Who else knows?" Kiba asked.

"Shizune, Sakura, Naruto, and Saskue. Naruto and Saskue found out last week by accident. Everyone else has known since it happened."

Kiba sighed. "This is why you're at my house all the time, isn't it?" he asked his voice barely above a whisper.

Sky nodded. "I think the only reason I go to my house is to shower, sleep, and change clothes." She sighed. "It's really quiet at home." She said softly, her voice laced with loneliness.

Sky's parents had died ten years ago when she was only eight. She had no siblings, so she lived alone. In her situation, Kiba wasn't at all surprised that she avoided her house. "Then why don't you move in with us?" Akamaru jumped up and barked his approval, wagging his tail enthusiastically. Kiba knew his mom and sister wouldn't mind. Sky had been his best friend since they were four. When her parents died, his mom took care of her.

Sky pulled away to look at him. "Really?"

"Yeah. You know Mom sees you as a second daughter. She wouldn't mind. And Hana would be thrilled." Sky threw her arms around his neck, making him stumble back a step. "Thank you!" she exclaimed.

Kiba smiled and took her hand. "Come on. Let's go get your stuff."

~*x*~

"I'm home!"

Hana walked around the corner. "Kiba? Where have you been? Oh, hi Sky" Sky smiled and waved. "I've been helping Sky pack." Kiba replied.

"Pack?" Hana asked raising an eyebrow. She looked at Sky and noticed she held a suitcase before looking back a Kiba, a questioning look on her face.

"She's moving in with us." Kiba said, answering his sister's silent question.

Hana's lips curved into a grin the covered her whole face, a childish gleam shinning in her eyes. "Yes!" she exclaimed, jumping up and down like a little girl before rushing forward and glomping Sky. Sky laughed as Kiba watched the whole exchange, smiling. Akamaru tugged Sky's suitcase from her hands and gave it to Kiba. "Come on, sis. Let her breath!" he said seriously, though the laugh in his voice ruined the effect. Hana pouted and, reluctantly, let go of Sky. "You can hug her later; she lives here now." Kiba continued.

Hana clapped. "I can't wait to tell Mom!"

Kiba rolled his eyes at his sister, a smile on his lips. He reached out and took Sky's hand. "Come on, Sky. Let's go put your stuff in your room." Sky followed Kiba and Akamaru upstairs, Hana's call that dinner would be ready soon following them up.

~*x*~

Another week went by, and Sky quickly adjusted to her new home. It was morning and she walked downstairs in a skin-tight, long sleeve, black shirt with a turquoise blue tunic over top and a pair of black pants. She glanced at the thermometer and frowned slightly at the warm temperature it displayed. She sighed mentally over her decision to use clothes to hide how far her mark had spread, knowledge that, besides her, only Tsunade knew.

She walked into the kitchen and looked through the pantries. Finally settling on something, she grabbed the ingredients she needed and started cooking. A little later, Kiba and Akamaru shuffled in, following their noses into the kitchen. Kiba thumped down heavily on a chair wearing only a simple T-shirt and shorts.

"Goo' Mornin'." He yawned.

Sky smiled and placed a plate of pancakes in front of him and Akamaru. They both perked up slightly at the sight of food; Kiba staring at the stack of pancakes. "How long have you been up?" She shrugged. "About an hour, I guess." She turned back to the stove. "Do you guys want and bacon?"

"Uh…sure?" Kiba said, still a little surprised that Sky had made breakfast.

Sky pulled a pack of bacon out of the fridge and started frying it up, while Kiba and Akamaru started attacking the pancakes. A few minutes later, Hana walked in and smiled. "Awwwww, Sky! You made breakfast!"

"Yep! I'll make more because Kiba and Akamaru ate all of it already didn't they?"

Hana rolled her eyes. "I don't think I have to answer that question."

"Hey, we were hungry and you weren't here." Kiba said defensively.

"That doesn't mean you can eat it all!" Hana exclaimed, glaring at her brother.

"First come, first served!"

Sky laughed as she place a plate of bacon and another plate of pancakes on the table. She turned off the stove and put the pans in the sink before sitting down next to Kiba at the table, where she saw that the boys had pretty much devoured the first plate of food.

"I take it you like it." Sky said, a small smile on her face.

Kiba nodded as Hana started eating. "It's delicious, Sky." Hana said. The four ate breakfast slowly, enjoying each others company. Their conversation only being interrupted by the sound of the front door opening and closing.

"I'm home!"

"Sounds like Mom's back from her mission."

Hana's statement was confirmed when Tsume walked into the kitchen. "Something smells good. Is there any left or did Kiba eat it all?"

"Hey!"

"Tsume-san!" Sky threw herself at her adoptive mother, wrapping her arms around her waist. "Sky! What are you doing here so early?" Tsume asked, surprised, returning Sky's hug with just as much enthusiasm.

Hana smiled at her mother. "She's living with us now."

Tsume's lips curved up in a grin. "Really? What made you change your mind?"

Kiba glanced at Sky from the corner of his eye, wondering how she would answer. His mom had offered to let Sky move in many time before, but Sky had always turned her down, saying she had to take care of her parents' house. Sky smiled, though Kiba could tell it was slightly forced. "It was just really quite there." She said softly. "And I practically lived here anyway, so, why not?" she asked her voice taking on a more cheerful tone. Kiba released a breath he hadn't realized he'd been holding. He wasn't sure how his mom would react if she found out about Sky's condition.

Tsume merely smiled at Sky's response and ruffled her hair. "Well then, welcome home, kid."


So there's the first chapter! Love it? Hate it? Let me know!