Young Love

He sat on the cold toilet seat with his legs pulled up, pressing them against his chest with his forehead resting on top of his knees. He was hiding the tears that he despised so much. The tears he hated himself for shedding. No matter how much he tried to muffle his sobs, it never worked.

It wasn't the first time, it wasn't the second time, it wasn't even the third time they had done it to him. They really had their knives in him. He couldn't do anything without them being there to breathe down his neck. Always watching him, like a hawk, so they could point out every single mistake he made. They took advantages of every opportunity they got to make fun of him. He couldn't take it anymore, it was too much. But the kids at school weren't the only ones after him, his father was too. The worst part might have been the fact that he didn't even know who he hated most.

"What's up, scarface? You shouldn't be allowed to roam around freely when looking like that, ugly!" that was what Asuma had said. But his scarred face wasn't the only thing they pointed out, frequentely - having a girly appearance both looks- and personality wise were also on their list of things-to-tease-him-about. He was a quiet boy and pretty passive when it came to saying something in front of his classmates. One of his biggest passions were to draw, but even that was a thing they couldn't let him have to himself. They did things worse than just tease him, though, but he didn't like to remind himself of it. Things became a little easier for him if he just forgot about those things or pretended to forget, at least that was what he told himself.

The young boy was so lost in his thoughts that he didn't even notice someone entering the boy's restroom.

The tall, pale boy, who entered, was about to take a leak when he heard sobbing coming from one of the separated toilets. He forgot all about his need and checked the toilet locks instead. They were all green?

He pressed his ear up against the door, which he thought the sobbing was coming from behind. Someone was definitely moving in there. He laid his hand on the handle and pressed it down, carefully. Slowly, pulling it open just enough for him to take a peek through the small crack in the door. He saw brown haired with a high ponytail boy sitting all curled up on the closed toilet seat.

It was him - the one everyone always picked on whenever they got the chance; the scapegoat.

He opened the door a bit more so that he could slide inside the small, green toilet box.

"Are you okay?" he asked, cocking his head and curving his eyes up into a small, pitiful smile. The boy on the toilet wiped away his tears with his white sleeves before even daring to look up at the person who had entered his personal space.

It was him - the popular guy everyone loved and looked up to even though he was different from the others because he constantly wore a mask that covered the lower part of his face. No one had ever seen him without it. He was a few years older than the boy on the toilet seat so why was he asking if he was okay? It didn't seem logical since the older children were the worst when it came to the physical violence.

The younger boy sniffled hard and tried to smile at the silver haired boy.

"I'm fine," he lied, doing his best to sound convincing. He damned himself for forgetting to lock the door and for letting anybody see him in this state – especially that guy.

Snot was on its way out, but he sniffled, intensely, before it could run from his nose.

"Are you sure? Do you want me to get a teacher?" the older boy was worried, he knew the youngster sat in the boy's restroom everyday… Crying… It wasn't hard to miss.

"No, please don't!" he begged, being fully aware that his eyes were about to become blank once again. The oldest peeked out from the separated toilet to see if anyone else was in restroom.

They were all alone.

He looked back at the exhausted boy, whom looked like he needed help. He probably needed a shoulder to cry on, but the taller one didn't want to push him too much. He knew that the little boy would rather be left alone.

"Okay, I won't," he looked at him, cheerfully and didn't leave before the other boy had smiled back at him. He needed a smile to confirm that he was going to be okay.

~O~

"Where have you been all day, didn't I tell you to come straight home?!" the boy's father screamed at him. It wasn't his fault that he was late; the other boys at school had locked him inside one of the classrooms so that he was late for the bus and had to take the next one.

"I'm sorry dad," he whispered with fear in his voice and trembling knees.

"Have you been wrestling in the mud again, your clothes are dirty as hell!" the father smacked him across the face. In fact, he smacked him so hard that the boy was forced to turn his head to the side. He was on the verge of tears.

"I'm sorry dad, I'm sorry," he wept, lowering his head to hide the regularly returning tears from his father. He was afraid to tell him the truth. Afraid to tell him that he hadn't wrestled in the mud, but that it was only wishful thinking. He didn't want to admit that it was the others again. That they had pushed him into a huge pool of mud and washed him with the dirty water.

"Don't cry like a little boy, go to your room! There won't be any dinner for you tonight," the father pointed him in the direction of his room. He did as his father told him and the father followed him to his room and closed the door behind them, locking the door so that no one would ever know of the things his father did to him when he had been a naughty boy. The farther looked down at his son with disgust written all over his face, asking him to turn around and drop his shirt. He did as he was told - as always.

Then the father took off his belt.

"What's up with that scar?"

"You look like a freak!"

"Yeah, freak!"

"Maybe you should buy some new clothes!"

"A hair cut would be a better idea!"

"Oh no, are you crying again?"

"He is! He is crying like a baby boy!"

"Cry baby, cry baby!" all the boys laughed at him as they pushed him around the circle they had formed around him in the schoolyard. All the teachers were at a meeting so the children had to look after themselves, at the time.

"You will never become a shinobi when you can't even throw a kunai knife properly!" all of their words bore into the young boy's heart like a wooden stake.

"Please stop," he whispered, but not loud enough for them to hear. He closed his eyes and covered his face with his arms when they began to spit on him.

"You're worthless!" one of them shouted just before pushing him to the ground. He scratched his knee and the left side of his head on the asphalt. All the boys laughed hardly when they saw the injured boy crawl in front of their feet. He looked pathetic and he knew it.

They began screaming all the different nicknames they had given him over the past years while stepping closer and closer, making the circle even smaller. Soon, it was too small for him to move and he was forced to stay on the ground.

"Please stop… Please stop!" he cried, sitting on his bloody knees with a lowered head and his arms still covering his face. All the voices made him go crazy, he couldn't separate them from one another. It was like they melted together.

"Stop it!" someone suddenly yelled out of nowhere. The bullies got pushed away one by one, some of them even fell to the ground. The victim just sat on his knees, not knowing what was going on around him. He couldn't understand why there weren't any spitting, kicking or yelling anymore? Slowly, he removed his arms from his face and raised his sight.

Two big feet stood right in front of him. He was afraid to look up, but did it anyway. An older boy stood right above him, looking down at the youngster, whom looked lost and washed out. The boy with the silvery hair took the other boy's hand and dragged him to his feet.

"Are you okay?" it seemed to be his standard opening phrase.

"I'm okay," the younger boy whispered, tears still running down his cheeks.

"You don't look okay... Come with me," the oldest boy took lead and headed for the boy's restroom. The youngster didn't dare to do anything else than limp after him.

They both got inside the restroom and the tallest closed the door behind them. The whole scene reminded the young boy of his father. He was still sore from the last time.

The stronger boy took a good look at the worn out bullying victim before saying anything.

"Your knee," he said, pointing towards the left knee. The little boy looked down in confusion. The knee of his pants was ripped open so the scratch on his knee was exposed. He looked up again with a terrified look on his face.

"My dad is going to kill me," he whispered with tearful eyes.

"No, he's not. It wasn't your fault," the older boy said, once again trying to sound cheerfully. He didn't know that the younger boy didn't dare to tell his father the truth and that his father didn't care if it was his fault or not anyway.

"Wait here, okay?" the beaten boy nodded and followed the pale boy with his eyes as he left the restroom.

He was alone now. If the bullies came back, they would pick up from where they had left and no one would be there to help him.

He limped to the mirror and looked at his own reflection. The asphalt had scratched the left side of his face, badly. He ran a finger around the bleeding wound. It hurt and he made a face. What was he going to tell his father?

Someone began to open the door of the restroom, slowly. He turned his gaze towards the door in a split second, but couldn't see who it was. He wasn't going to take any risky chances,so he jumped as fast as he could on one leg into one of the separated toilets and locked the door. He sat on the toilet seat with his closed eyes and his legs pulled up under his chin. He heard a few steps coming closer and closer. The person stopped right in front of the door. Someone tapped it, carefully.

"It's just me, you can come out," the voice sounded sweet and caring, not something the boy was used to hearing.

Even though he was sure who it was, judging by the voice, it still took him some time to man himself up and unlock the door.

He pushed the door without getting off the toilet seat and right in front of him stood the older boy with a rag in his hand. He sent the shorter boy a smile before turning around. Was he about to walk away? The scared boy wasn't sure if he should get up and follow the other boy, who was now out of sight.

But then the water was turned on.

The youngster was too curious so he got up on his feet and peeked out. The other boy stood at the sink, wetting the rag. He turned off the water again and went back to the toilet.

"Sit, please," he asked, calmly, and the boy did as he was told The older boy got on his knees in front of the other, "This might hurt a little," he began to clean the wound on the boy's scratched knee. The little boy closed his eyes with pain and clapped his teeth together. His knee was smarting.

After that, the pale boy cleaned the wounded side of the youngster's face. The young boy looked at the other in confusion, but he was too busy to look the young boy in the eyes - he was concentrating on cleaning the wounds.

Why was he helping him? The boy didn't understand. He had no reason to. He was older, cooler and popular. All the things he wasn't himself.

Their faces were close… So close that they could feel each others breaths.

"Done," the older boy said and looked at the younger one, who was staring at him. The oldest sent him a smile. The younger boy couldn't get out of his trance, he kept staring at the other, who just laughed softly and stroke the smaller ones cheek, making him snap out of his trance, instantly.

"You better get out of that shirt, it's dirty and there's blood stains on it," the youngster looked frightened at the other boy. He couldn't take off his shirt in front of him. He didn't want him to see… He didn't even want to think about it.

The oldest waited a minute or two, but then he got impatient.

"If you're not going to take it off, then I will," he grabbed the bottom of the other boy's shirt and pulled it over his head in a jiffy. The young boy felt naked and he got up on his feet and covered his upper body with his arms and blushed.

"What's wrong?" The older one asked, but didn't get an answer. He couldn't understand why the younger boy would want to cover his body. It was not like he was fat and filled with stretchmarks or something. A little skinny if anything.

He took a closer look at him just to find out that the younger boy's body was completely battered. He grabbed him by the arm and turned him around, not asking for permission. There were bruises all over his bony back. It looked like someone had whipped him with a belt or something.

The young boy turned to face the other boy again.

"Who did this to you, was it those bullies?" the young boy shook his head and the other sank a lump in his throat. He wouldn't normally have the guts to ask, but this time he did.

"Was it your father?" yes, the pale boy had heard the rumors that were going around. The younger boy bit his lower lip and a tear ran down his cheek, "Oh… I'm sorry… Here, you can have mine," he tugged his shirt over his head and handed it to the youngster. The young boy was stunned to finally see the face of the other boy and he almost didn't dare too look at his face. He hesitated for a moment, but then the older one nodded in approval, and so he put the shirt on.

"Tha-Thank you… Ka-kashi " he stammered, looking down at the floor. He couldn't thank him enough, he had been kinder than anyone had ever been to him and he didn't even have a reason to be it.

"No problem, Iruka," Iruka looked up instantly, how could it be?

"H-How do you know my name?" he asked, surprisedly. Kakashi smiled and came closer.

"Why wouldn't I?" Iruka felt five warm fingers between his own. He sent the other boy a questioning look, but Kakashi just leaned closer and whispered in his ear: "Don't be ashamed of how you look… I think you're beautiful."

Iruka couldn't believe his ears. The pretties boy he had ever seen was telling him that he was beautiful. He had always seen himself as ugly because that was what the other children had told him... But it was all a lie.

He was normal... He wasn't a freak or any of the other things they called him. He was just Iruka – a normal looking boy with a noticeable scar on his face.

Kakashi smiled and this time it wasn't only with his eyes. His facial features were so soft, but very manly. That smile was about the most genuine smile anyone had ever given Iruka.

He admired Kakashi's looks, but he didn't know if it was his charisma, his personality or his actual looks that made him beautiful, but he definitely was. He then noticed that the older boy had a small gab between his front teeth.

"I won't let them hurt you ever again," Kakashi said and grabbed the mask, which was attached to the shirt he had given Iruka and that hung loose around his neck, with his free hand. He pulled it up over the bridge of Iruka's nose, covering the long scar and some of the wound on the side of his face, "You need this more than me," he said with a caring tone in his voice. Iruka didn't know what to say, but he was grateful. So grateful.

Kakashi sent him one last smile before he turned around and tugged Iruka's hand.

They walked out of the restroom... hand in hand.

The End…

Thank you for reading
I hope that you enjoyed it^^!

(If this fic seems familiar to you, it is because I first wrote this fic with wrestling characters.
It is now updated, improved and with Naruto characters instead. This is not an exact copy of my original fic – some things have been changed!)

Well, not much left to say but please review and I'll see you all soon :D!