AN: This fanfiction is rated M for mature themes such as violence and bad language as well as sexual abuse, rape and possible character deaths in later chapters. It starts off a little slow, but it WILL descend into a dark pit of despair and madness. Just a warning. :) Please turn back if you do not wish to read that kind of fiction.


Cloud Cover

Prologue

"Our character...is an omen of our destiny, and the more integrity we have and keep, the simpler and nobler that destiny is likely to be."

~George Santayana (1863 - 1952)


"Is that him?" one kid whispered.

"Yeah, that's him. The traitor." Came the reply. It was said with so much malice and little attempt to avoid being heard. The small blonde boy barely noticed it at the time as he trailed behind a tall, stern man. Still in shock over the death of his parents, the voices seemed to pass over him, the sounds as meaningless as waves crashing on rocks. It had all happened so fast. One minute life was smiles and sunshine, the next darkness and cloud, and Naruto, only 5 at the time didn't understand the events, why he was here, nor why every kid at the home had immediately taken a strong dislike to him. All he knew in those first days of being there, was that he was not welcome.

"It was his parents, wasn't it?"

"Yeah, he's the reason we're here."

The children continued to whisper as he was lead upstairs and shown to his new room in this strange stone building.

The sun shone brightly from a clear, blue sky onto the blonde boy as he sat at the edge of a copse of woods within the fenced area, digging at the ground with a stick. The great stone building loomed nearby, children running about the courtyard.

A group of boys came nearby, their football rolling past his tree into the copse, missing him only by a few inches. It began with yelling at first.

"Go get the ball, monster."

"Fetch it, freak!"

Naruto got up and ran in to get the ball. It had rolled under one of the bushes. He knelt down and dragged it out as the branches tried to hold onto their prize catch. Standing up, he found the other boys barring his way. They had followed him in. There were three of them. One stocky older boy. He had the look of a kid who would either become extremely fat or extremely well-built. The other two were leaner, faster. All three were looking at him in disgust.

"You shouldn't be here, you know." said the stocky boy.

"Yeah, run away, already!" added the second.

"You should've died like your traitor parents." whispered the last, his words hanging in the quiet air.

The blonde boy held out the ball, but no one moved to take it, so he started to walk past the boys back into the courtyard.

"Hey, give us back our ball!" yelled one of the leaner boys, his freckled face was screwed up in anger as he grabbed it from Naruto and shoved him backwards.

The blonde boy growled angrily.

"Leave me alone!" he yelled, barrelling into the freckled boy who gave a shout of surprise and fell backwards onto the grass. He let out a cry and lifted his arm. There was blood on it, just a small scratch, but he looked enraged.

"You'll pay for that." said the stocky boy and he gave Naruto a powerful shove. The small boy fell to the ground, and the next moment he was being hit and kicked , surrounded by the three boys in the quiet of the trees, the only sound heard were his cries.

"Grab his arms." yelled the stocky boy, and the other two pinned him down obediently.

Naruto struggled, kicked and yelled, but stopped when the older boy pulled something metallic and silver from his pocket. A penknife.

"Lemme go!" he yelled in panic. "Lemme go!"

Even the other two boys looked nervous as he held the knife near Naruto's face.

"You're going to pay for what you and your parents did. What was it they were called? The Fox Unit, right? Let's see if their son likes being a fox."

Naruto said nothing, his breath coming out in short gasps of fear as he felt the metal press to his cheek. Then he began to scream as it was dragged across his face.

"Shut him up." said the older boy.

The freckled boy looked uncertain, but he covered his mouth with his hand, while the stocky one continued dragging it across his face. Once, twice, three times...Naruto began to lose count. Wet tears from his lashes mixed with the blood on his cheeks and dripped onto the ground. He'd stopped crying out, biting down hard against the pain.

It finally stopped and the boys let him go. He got on his knees and curled over, touching his face and then withdrawing his hands with a whimper as he felt the sticky blood. The boys looked slightly guilty as they watched the pitiful figure on the ground.

"Shut up, crybaby." said the stocky boy. "Monsters don't cry."

"We should get out of here." said one of them. He sounded a bit scared.

They started to back away out of the shadow of the trees.

"You deserved it." hissed the stocky boy before he turned and followed after the other two.

Later, Naruto went crying to the home director, Tsuyoshi...only to find that neither he nor any of the other adults cared in the slightest. Instead, the home director just pushed him away and told him he'd better get used to it or get fast. He did send Naruto to the nurse who coldly checked him over and stitched the fresh scars on his face, muttering under her breath. There was one word which Naruto had caught.

"Monster."