Right, this was done on my phone at stupid o'clock so please be a little lenient.

Its an idea that's been floating in my head for a while but only in fragments and I'm not usually all that good at puting fragments together. But I'm being hopeful and giving this a shot! I'm thinking of adding a few more chapters as and when because I think there's a lot more to Naruto than we see in the manga and there's lots of time frames and arcs to look at...

This is my first attempt at self harm in the writing sense and I've tried, very briefly, to capture some of the emotion behind it. It's certainly not comprehensive but I hope that it'll give people who've never experienced it a glimpse of the truth and for those who've been there a big loud "you're not alone!"

If you feel this ought to be M rated, let me know and I'll change it.

Disclaimer:... my names not Kishimoto... draw your own conclusions...

Another day of missions completed and it was time for some food!

"Ne, Sakura-chan? D'you wanna come to Ichiraku's with me? It'll be like a da-"

"Only if Sasuke-kun's going" Sakura interrupted, turning in the black haired genin's direction awaiting a response. Sasuke, however had already begun walking home, clearly displaying his lack of interest in his team mates' antics.

Seeing this, Sakura ran after 'her Sasuke-kun', inviting him on a date but receiving only silence in return. Not one to be deterred, the pink haired kunoichi continued in her endeavours as she and Sasuke rounded a corner and disappeared from view, leaving Naruto watching after them.

Returning his attention to his only remaining team mate, Naruto extended the same invitation to his masked sensei. Minus the date he'd have you know!

"Gomen, Naruto, I have to go report to Hokage-sama. Maybe another time." With that the older man vanished in a puff of smoke.

"Just me then!" Naruto told himself and headed off to his favourite ramen stand.

Walking into his empty apartment later that night, Naruto removed his coat and surveyed the damage his arms had received during the day's mission.

It had been another Pet-Retrieval, nothing exciting or dangerous but the young blonde had learned early on that a branch could be equally as vicious as the sharpest shinobi tool when scraping along soft flesh. The welts and cuts on his arms were merely further proof of this.

With a sigh Naruto headed into the bathroom, removing cotton wool and antiseptic from the cupboard and beginning the regular routine of cleaning his wounds.

As he worked, his mind began to drift back over the day. It really had been typical, Sasuke had ignored him while Sakura reiterated his list of faults and failings, primarily that his name wasn't Uchiha Sasuke. Then, for a change of pace, Sakura ignored him while Sasuke had called him names. Kakashi-sensei had read his book.

This had then repeated itself a number of times in various different orders and with the occasional addition of Sakura teaming up with Sasuke whenever Naruto had said anything.

When he'd suggested they eat together after the mission, all three of them had disappeared almost faster than the poor Jinjuriki could blink.

The villagers...

They were the same as yesterday. And last week. Last year too.

To them he was nothing more than a demon walking unwanted through their streets, polluting and corrupting their homes with his presence.

Hissing slightly as he began cleaning a particularly deep cut, Naruto was dragged back from his thoughts.

Wetting another ball of cotton wool with antiseptic, Naruto let the burning subside before cleaning the wound more thoroughly.

The pain was a welcoming distraction as he rubbed the course cotton wool harshly across the tender pink flesh and the antiseptic sent a fresh wave of fire rushing up his arm.

Soothing, that was what it was.

Naruto opened his eyes and took in the number of scratches on his arms. Too many to count at a glance.


Reaching into the kunai holster strapped to his leg, the young teen withdrew one of the sharp blades and brought it up to eye level.

The dark metal was truly beautiful. Unmoving. Unfeeling. It's sharp, polished edges gleaming in the fluorescent lighting.

Naruto envied this tool. If only he could be as emotionless as this piece of metal, he'd never have to feel his heart withering at the names and insults, the unshed tears that burned behind his eyes eyes each night as he lay in bed.

Drawing the blade across the soft skin of his forearm, Naruto let the familiar feeling begin to numb the ache in his chest but it was over too soon.

Repeating the action several more times the genin felt his inner turmoil begin to settle although it wasn't gone.

Reaching for the antiseptic and pouring it onto the new wounds, a familiar thought crossed his mind. An echo, the faintest whisper that ~this is wrong. Society doesn't accept this.~

Where the thought had come from in the first place Naruto didn't know. After all, he'd never had anyone to say such things to him. The villagers had beaten him regularly during his childhood, told him again and again that he deserved the pain.

As a result this thought had shocked him the first time. Now it merely added to the satisfaction.

This pain, this burn, it was his, his and no one else's. Nobody else had done this to him, even if they did it would never be the same. This pain was amazing, sweet as honey on his tongue and more real than anything any one else had ever done. Unlike any other pain, this pain meant something. Something intensely private. Something he'd been lacking and craving for too many years.


It wasn't about the blood although there was a grim satisfaction to be found in watching the rivulets running across his skin. It was about the feeling. One of the few real things in his life