This story involves a very different version of Naruto. He has an empathetic ability as an additional result of the influence of the Kyuubi.
Naruto Uzumaki was eight years old. Naruto Uzumaki was full of hatred. This was not to say that the child could understand the concept of hatred. To ask him outright how he felt would yield the simplified answer "Angry." He was angry at the villagers. He was angry that they were angry at him and couldn't leave him alone. He was angry that they hurt him, a lot. He was angry that he wasn't big enough to change anything. On this fateful night, the anger would spill over, with far-reaching consequences.
One survivor of the day the Nine-Tailed fox destroyed a large section of Konohagakure had drunk themselves into an enraged stupor, and the eight-year old orphan had the misfortune to be passing him by. In his mind, the veteran nursed a deep-seated grudge against the beast, and had transferred it to the living prison, the mere sight of whom sent him lunging at the boy with a bottle. Naruto had nimbly dodged, taking satisfaction in seeing the short-sighted drunk eat the dirt as he missed. In fact, he had hit the ground hard enough that his two upper incisors, loosened from years of poor dental hygiene, snapped free of his Maxilla and leaving him with two bleeding holes in his mouth. In an impressive demonstration of sensitivity, the man howled in pain despite the effects of three bottles of a-hundred-and-twenty-proof liquor.
"Damn demon! You'll pay for that!"
"Shut up and leave me alone, fat mouth!"
In hindsight, that was not the smartest thing for Naruto to have done. The man chased after him, joined by similarly single-minded villagers along the way. Naruto stayed ahead through a combination of extreme frustration and an intimate knowledge of hiding spots and shortcuts. Inevitably however, the chase ended with Naruto cornered in an alleyway with more than thirty angry and (for some) severely inebriated villagers.
"You'll die today, demon brat!"
Naruto snarled at the hated epithet. "Leave me alone!"
The villagers paid no heed and advanced. Naruto could begin to make out the individual faces of his tormentors, and in each one saw how much he hated them. Unknown to his conscious mind, he instinctively began channeling chakra in a visible manner for the first time.
"I said-" he snarled once more as his chakra flared from his pores, taking on a purplish-black hue, and causing the villagers to stop in trepidation. "LEAVE ME ALONE!"
"The demon is breaking free!" a woman could be heard to scream.
The last thing Naruto would remember of that night was a thickset man throwing a badly formed punch at his face.
Hiruzen Sarutobi massaged his temples, wishing he could remember where he put his pipe and weed as he listened to the Commander General of the Ansatsu Senjutsu Tokushi Butai explain what he had witnessed, while in nighttime civilian dress. Events had snowballed thanks large part to the resentment of the villagers that his late-would be successor had given his life to defend, against his son no less. It was only luck that the sole surviving student of the man had happened upon young Naruto and put an end to the violence.
And to make things worse, I will have to deal with the Council demanding his head in the morning. Why oh why can't these people see reason? It isn't like the truth is beyond their capacity for understanding.
"Thank you Inu. You are dismissed for now. It may be necessary later for you to reiterate your account to the Council later. I would advise that you seek treatment for those marks on your arms."
"Hai." And the silver-haired shinobi stiffly marched from the room. Clearly the night had gotten to him.
The reinstated Sandaime Hokage sighed and turned his attention to the preliminary reports from the hospital. A grand total of ten people were hospitalized this night. Six villagers by Naruto's hand, three as a result of Inu's attempts to stop the incident, and Naruto himself, who was under observation by Tora and Tenzo and being closely examined by Inoichi Yamanaka. That last item had been at his own order. If he knew Inoichi as well as he did, the man should have finished by now.
In answer to those thoughts, the blond mind-walker was escorted into his office by his secretary, who withdrew after a short bow.
"You look like you've aged a good deal since I ordered you to examine the boy."
Inoichi managed a humorless smile. "I imagine that I don't look as bad as I feel," he threw out as he ran a hand through his hair.
"And how do you feel?"
The interrogation specialist grimaced. "I have never been so thoroughly ashamed to be part of Konoha. They treat Minato's son like dirt. Frankly speaking, I'm surprised Naruto didn't break earlier. In fact, it would have been better if he did because-"
"-his chakra coils would not have developed enough to enable what happened, correct?"
"Hai. The damage would have been significantly less."
Sarutobi laced his fingers together and rested his chin on them. "What have you uncovered?"
"The boy's mind is filled with hatred. It caught me off guard at first. I thought that maybe the Kyuubi was responsible. It wasn't. It was all just from the treatment piled on him by the village. Kicked out of the orphanage, mistreated by virtually everyone who comes into contact with him since he was born. The only good memories I could uncover involved you, Hokage-sama."
Sarutobi closed his eyes for a moment. How I wish that those moments with me and him were not the only ones he had…
"Naruto has no conscious memory of his actions. I can testify personally to that effect if need be."
"You will have to live up to that very soon. If I know those fools on the council, and I do, the summons for the meeting should arrive shortly."
The secretary from earlier tentatively eased open the door, holding a scroll.
"How much more proof do we need? The demon must be killed before it does this again!"
Shikaku Nara, the Jonin Commander, groaned to himself and his friends as they listened to the latest of the many rants calling for the death of Naruto Uzumaki. Really, these meetings served little purpose than to deny people sleep and waste their time. If the villagers didn't have the troublesome and pathological need to blame an individual for the attack eight years ago, this incident they were meeting on wouldn't have happened in the first place. A pity the troublesome dolt and others like him couldn't see that.
"Your proof," Fugaku Uchiha, head of the Police Force, replied. "is an occurrence resulting from an unprovoked assault on the boy by citizens whose judgment was severely impaired with alcohol. The boy was defending himself."
"The demon was breaking free!"
"Ah," Hiashi Hyuuga cut in. "so you imply that the judgment of people untrained in the arts of sealing, let alone combat, carries more weight than the report of a highly trained and decorated shinobi? A shinobi who remains the sole living student of the late Yondaime?"
The civilian sputtered indignantly.
"W-well no, but-"
"-but there is enough of this foolishness," Danzo Shimura, one of the three Konoha Elders snapped. "The boy has been examined by seal experts and Yamanaka-san personally and the Kyuubi is most certainly not breaking free."
"Frankly," Shibi Aburame commented. "I must question the wisdom of the village's citizens in general for believing that the best method of 'getting rid' of the Kyuubi is to repeatedly and deliberately antagonize its perceived avatar. Is not a demon one to seek vengeance for such offenses?"
That caused a great deal of nervousness on the part of the civilian council members, the Nara Clan head was amused to see. And it would only get better, for him. It would be become worse for them.
"As Danzo-sama said," his blond friend announced. "I evaluated Naruto Uzumaki when the boy arrived at the hospital. I am shocked, quite frankly, at the damage to his mind you and others like you have inflicted on him. You took it upon yourself to torture a child! Can you blame him if he hates Konoha enough to want to see it disappear?"
"He is a demon! We can see it! Why can't you?"
The Sandaime Hokage spoke for the first time in the meeting. "Perhaps it is because we understand that appearances often have little to do with the truth of matters." He glared at the civilian council member. "Your actions are despicable. Your victim is eight years old. You have been treating him this way since he was born. His life is a sacrifice to keep the Kyuubi safely imprisoned. His very existence ensures that you and your families do not suffer the wrath of the beast a second time! Your attempts to kill him would have negated the Yondaime's sacrifice and you would once again be at the mercy of the demon! Does the will of the Yondaime mean nothing to you?" He rose from his seat as the temperature of the room seemed to drop a number of degrees. "Do you have so little faith in him that you would dishonor his memory by attacking a child he wanted honored as a hero for his part in stopping the Kyuubi?"
Any remaining confidence the civilian leader had, Shikaku was glad to see, disappeared under the verbal assault of the most powerful man in the village. He decided it was his turn to speak.
"Hokage-sama, clearly returning Naruto to the streets is out of the question if he will continue to suffer the same continued treatment. What will be his future living arrangements?"
"That remains to be decided. I imagine that the wisdom of this Council could aid me in forming a solution."
Inoichi gestured. "If I may, hokage-sama, I suggest placing Naruto under the supervision of the Hyuuga clan."
There was silence. Hiruzen frowned in thought. "And your reasoning?"
"In the event that Naruto snaps again, there is the matter of damage control. He would need to be restrained either physically or mentally. Mentally is out of the question, if I read the report Kakashi Hatake filed correctly. I am the most knowledgeable in my clan's techniques, and I am not certain if I can subdue him at all. Hatake-san used a mid-ranked genjutsu against the boy and it had no effect. Stronger genjutsu would run the risk of destabilizing his mind even further. The only way he was able to restrain the boy was by forcing his way through the aura of chakra surrounding him and physically knocking him unconscious. The Jyuuken of the Hyuuga clan would be best for incapacitating him as they would be able to easily penetrate the chakra shroud and disable him if need be."
Danzo furrowed his brow. "You mentioned damage to the boy's mind. Would that also need to be dealt with?"
"That would require people around him to not be hostile to him. It would simply be a matter of finding guardians willing to treat him like a human being instead of a demon. That would be something for Hiashi-sama to look into."
Sarutobi looked at the clan head. "Hiashi?"
Hiashi nodded. "If necessary, I would look after the boy personally."
"Very well. If there is no other issue of serious import, let this meeting be adjourned."
Naruto woke to find himself once again in the hated hospital, sitting across from Old Man Hokage.
"How are you feeling Naruto?" the elderly leader asked.
Naruto's eyes flashed with hate. "Why can't they leave me alone? I didn't do a thing to them!"
The hokage sighed. "They can't see the truth. You have to understand that you represent something they don't like. They see you as the source of their pain."
The blond boy bared his teeth in a snarl. "That's not a reason to do this to me! I didn't do anything wrong! They attacked ME!"
"Naruto!" Sarutobi raised a hand. "I am not holding you responsible for anything. I am just trying to answer your question. They just don't know any better."
"Well you're the hokage! Why don't you MAKE them know better?"
The hokage closed his eyes to ward off the incoming headache. "If only it were that easy Naruto… I came to let you know that you will be adopted by a clan. It is for your safety. They will make sure that you don't get attacked by the villagers anymore."
"Really old man? Says who?"
"I do. Naruto, don't you trust me?"
"You told me that the villagers would change, that maybe they might stop treating me like this! What about that, huh?"
"Very well. Have I ever done anything to hurt you?"
"Well I assure you that won't happen. You can trust me on that."
Naruto took a good long look into the Sandaime's eyes. The hokage did not look away, knowing that Naruto needed visual assurance. The hatred slowly melted away, to be replaced by a tentative hope.
Naruto finally let tears form. It was just so unfair! He hadn't done anything! Why…
"Naruto, come here…"
The young boy and the old man shared a hug, the old man cursing himself that he couldn't do more for him.
Hinata Hyuuga's first experience outside of her clan compound was not shaping up well. She sat on the swings near the academy desperately wanting to be anywhere else but right here listening to the three bullies in front of her.
"Aww, the rich girl is crying! Whatsamatta, want daddy to help you?"
Naruto walked by just then, passing through the playground as a shortcut to the Hyuuga compound under the Sandaime's instructions. This didn't go unnoticed.
"Hey demon boy!"
He looked up to see three children by the swings looking at him. He glared and raised a balled fist with the longest digit extended.
"Go die in a hole, fathead!"
"What was that?" the three kids walked away from Hinata, who looked on in worry. The bullies were going to beat him up!
"Go. Die. In. A. Hole. Fat. Head. Am I going too fast for you?" Naruto braced himself.
"Your fucking dead, demon boy!"
"No don't-" Hinata cried in protest as the tallest of the bullies threw a punch at the blond whiskered boy. Then things happened.
Naruto caught the boy's fist with his right hand, and dug his nails into the fist. His rage boiled over again and he instinctively channeled his chakra. "You first," he growled as the boy screamed at the burning sensation on his hand. Then he quickly let go and hit the larger boy in the stomach hard enough to fling him back five feet. The other boys were stunned. The blond turned his attention to them. "You want some too?"
The bullies ran, screaming in fear, while Naruto glared at their backs for a good minute until they were out of sight. "Stupid people just can't leave me alone…" he muttered as the chakra cloak dissipated. He never once noticed the Hyuuga heiress watching him with wide eyes on the swings as he resumed walking toward the Hyuuga compound.
More to come. Please Review!