welcome, lovelies, to this grand adventure! before we begin, i have a couple of things to say...

note i - please remember that this is a fanfic, i cannot make it as accurate as i'd like to because i have not been in any of the situations i am placing these characters in. i've literally based half of the beginning of this off the shawshank redemption (sweet-ass film, if you haven't seen it, go watch!).
note ii - this is probably one of the fics i am more serious about for now, however, updates will not be as often as i'd like due to chapter lengths/my other fics. i do intend to finish it, but please don't hound me if updates are slow!
note iii - i really hope you enjoy yourselves here; i don't know what to expect for further coming chapters... this baby's writing itself.
disclaimer: naruto is not my property. alright, you ready? let's gogogo!


One: Oto Juvenile Institution.

Juvenile Hall: the place where uncontrollable children are sent when they find themselves in deep trouble with the law. The building looked bleak, a tall, flat walled, grey painted zone of unfriendliness. Choked anger seemed to push itself against the barred windows as the inmates watched the truck roll up across the gravel and two mean-looking guards in their black and purple uniforms pulled a handcuffed youth from the innards of the automated-prison-mobile.

The rows of teenagers watched with curiosity as the boy was marched forward, his head was down but a ray of bright blonde spikes stuck out for the juveniles to speculate at.

"Well?" A girl shouted from across the hall, the rows of dark cells housing almost three hundred teenage girls lay opposite the boys' seven hundred. These were the dormitories belonging to the inmates of Cell Block B of the Oto Juvenile Institute – the largest in the continent. "Who's here?"

"It's a dude—" A brunette boy shouted back, then he faltered, "—Uh, well, it's a dude or a dyke – I can't really tell from so far away." A couple of the teenagers laughed harshly.

The blonde girl who had questioned the hall in the first place flicked her long ponytail off her shoulders and stepped back from the bars, folding her arms across her chest and smirking, "Oh, that's real cute, Kiba."

"Yeah, Almost as cute as you, baby!" The boy responded, a wide grin splitting across his face as he swaggered up to the bars of his cell, red tattoos catching in the light as he stared at her whilst she blushed and pulled the dull grey cuffs of her Oto overall-style uniform over her fingertips and giggled at the remark whilst the boys wolf-whistled and whooped at the brave remark.

"I'll kick your ass, Kiba, don't think I won't, 'cause I will." The blonde called back once the noise died down.

This was met by a roar of banter from the boys' side as Kiba chuckled loudly before yelling back, "Lookin' forward to it, Ino!"

The gate to the hall whammed open and a hush fell over the teenaged inmates as the silver haired captain of the guards marched his way into the huge hall, his dull grey eyes glaring at the rows of teens as he made his way further in, beside him, the new, spiky haired blonde was stepping slowly and with a proud swagger; his tall form fitted newly with the dull grey overalls of the institute. He'd tied the arms of his overalls around his waist displaying a bright orange wife beater and muscular, tanned arms. He followed the captain up the metal stairs and along past curious eyes to a cell right at the end of the first level. He entered it silently until the screech and clang of the metal bars told the hall that it was closed and that the blonde teenager was officially an inmate of the Oto Juvenile Institute and that he would be for a whole year.

The captain of the guard smirked pitilessly at the blue eyed boy before turning on his heel and making his way slowly past the first row of boys and out of the hall, but not before shouting, "Lights out in an hour." Two metal clangs were heard before a collective sigh broke out among the cell rows. The blonde haired male looked dully around the room before he actually realized where he was. He took note of the posters already plastered against the wall, the bare floor and the box of cigarettes atop the single window sill as well as the… bunk bed… and the dark haired boy sitting with his back against the wall on the top bunk, a single cigarette between his lips and a black clipper in his hand.

The blonde stared at the dark haired boy. The dark haired boy glared back. "…The fuck are you supposed to be?" The teen muttered at last, the words faintly muffled by the still unlit cigarette between his thin, pale lips.

"My name's Naruto Uzumaki." The blue eyed boy responded, his voice unsure at the unfriendly, hostile way that the boy with the strangely dishevelled black hair had spoken to him. From outside of the three-walled cell, more jeers and roars of laughter could be heard from the teenagers outside, "Who are you?"

The boy with the dark hair eyed Naruto cautiously; one slanted, black brow was still raised above the other suspiciously at this intruder. His obsidian eyes seemed to be analysing every little detail of the boy before he slowly began to relax back against the wall. He sparked his lighter in front of his face, letting the tobacco and paper product protruding from his lips catch a light, drawing the fumes into his lungs and then breathing out slowly, his eyes closed. "My name is Sasuke." He said quietly, his tone still hostile but not as terribly unfriendly as before. He seemed to have realized that Naruto was no real threat to him and settled himself on his stomach, finger and thumb holding onto the cigarette whilst he watched Naruto lower his belongings onto the bottom bunk. "What'd you get thrown into this hovel for?" The boy asked after a period of uncomfortable silence filled with nothing but the sounds of the teenagers outside and his own breathing.

Naruto appeared to be examining the posters on the wall with mild interest. He whirled around, seemingly surprised that the unfriendly teenager was actually speaking to him. "Nothing big, but for some reason my parents freaked out and decided I needed to be rehabilitated… I don't really remember what I did but they keep telling me it's for the destruction of property."

"Specifically…?"

"A science lab at school – it was totally blown to shit!" Naruto chuckled sadly, raising an arm to rub the back of his neck and watched an interested smirk slide across the dark haired boy's lips. Apparently he liked stories of violence and destruction. The blonde continued, "I don't remember what happened. It must have been out of rage or something but they're telling me that I flicked every gas tap on throughout two classrooms at the end of the school day – nobody even got hurt – and I wouldn't have done that if it were me…"

"You told me it wasn't a big deal," The dark haired boy smirked, propping himself up on one elbow. The bunk bed squeaked, "You blew up your school, man."

Naruto shook his head before folding his arms and leaning against the wall, "Well, what are you in for?"

The smirk slid from the pale boy's face and he rolled over onto his back, stabbing his cigarette out against the not too distant ceiling and twisting it a few times, "Well," he began, "I'm in here for multiple arson attacks. They almost threw me into a nuthouse, thought I was some kind of pyromaniac; tell you the truth, I'd rather be here than anywhere else right now."

There was a short silence before the blonde said in a slightly embarrassed tone, "Arson? I'm sorry, Sasuke, I'm not that smart at all; I don't know what that means…"

The dark haired boy sighed, "Arson is the act of maliciously burning another's house or property." After another blank look he rolled his eyes and drawled in a bored voice, "I set three of my school libraries on fire."

"Oh, damn!"

"Yeah. Fuckin' school." He muttered sourly.

"Why?" Naruto questioned brightly.

Sasuke didn't respond for a long time. The blonde gave up and stepped forward, picking up the stack of clothes with the beat up pillow and scuffed, but thankfully clean comforter he had received on his way in. He dropped the ugly grey uniforms to the floor whilst he spread the blanket out and dumped his pillow at one end of his bunk. He then picked up his clothes and opened a drawer of the single chest in the tiny room. Not surprisingly, the drawer was already filled with the same uncomfortable looking grey uniform.

"Sasuke, where should I put my—?"

"Underneath that one." Sasuke's voice drawled, "Just move whatever's in it out and drop it in the top one…"

Naruto nodded, getting onto his knees and pushing the top wooden drawer partially closed before pulling the bottom one open. There wasn't much inside it; just a few more lighters and boxes of Malboro— "Dammit, if they threw you in here for arson why do they let you smoke so much?"

"They don't." The dark haired teen replied as he rolled over onto his side to face the blonde once more. He hung his arm down and let it swing from side to side - his dark eyes followed its path lazily, his fingers occasionally making patterns.

Confused, Naruto raised an eyebrow as he picked up the rectangular boxes with both hands, "So?"

Sasuke brought his arm back up, folding both of them and resting his chin on his interlaced fingers he said in a factual tone, "There's always one person who can get you things, don't you know that? You just have to know who…"

The blonde teenager grinned with his eyes closed as he dropped the little boxes and the lighters into the top drawer. He placed his clothing into its place and pushed the little space closed. He then stood up and paced the small cell. After a short while, he stopped and sat down on his bunk mattress, the metal squeaking at the impact. He stared at the dent that Sasuke's unmoving body had caused in the mattress above him and coughed lightly to clear his throat.

Above him, Sasuke was staring at the ceiling. Naruto was his first bunkmate since he'd been here. The dark haired teenager had only been institutionalized for about a month, but he already knew everything there was to know about the institution itself. He knew who the right people were and who the wrong people were. He knew the everyday timetable off by heart:

07:00 – Wake up.
07:10 Clean up.
07:30 – Breakfast.
08:00 – Lessons.
10:00 – Break.
10:30 – Lessons.
13:30 – Lunch.
14:00 – More lessons.
16:00 – Free/Counselling time.
18:00 – Dinner.
18:30 – Cell/Free time.
22:00 – Lights out.

This was the routine that every boy and girl in the Oto Juvenile Institution was forced to abide by. Fortunately, free time was stretched pretty widely and the majority of the time the kids were all together. Though he'd never show it, Sasuke preferred it that way. He'd rather be around people than be left with his memories. He had eleven months or so to go of rehabilitation within these walls. There was always the possibility of him setting something on fire if he wanted to, just to blur the memories, but he wouldn't. He knew that the warden would send him to a mental institution otherwise.

Orochimaru, the warden of the institution, was a tall man in his early fifties. He was very slim and fragile looking, his cheek bones appeared hollow on his ghost-like features. He had always taken a strange liking to Sasuke – but Sasuke had never liked him. The man was vicious and brutal. His guards were on the very tenterhooks of abusing a fair majority of the youths within the centre. It was best to keep your head down and out of the way. Sasuke wondered if Naruto knew this already.

"S-Sasuke?" The blonde murmured at that moment, a little awkwardly, as if he were afraid to speak.

"What?" The raven haired teenager grunted.

"The people here – like us – who… who's in here that's worth talking to…? Like what kind of people should I keep away from; who's good, who's bad?"

Sasuke furrowed his dark eyebrows for a moment, his eyes still fixed on the ugly ceiling above him. "Well," He said eventually, "There's Neji Hyuuga, he's a karate black belt who lost his shit with his uncle; there's Sui – Suigetsu Hozuki – he was in a gang and knifed someone, but he's… adequate enough. And Kiba Inuzuka – he's an arrogant prick but, well, that's him. He's madly in love with this girl, Ino."

"Ino? Doesn't that mean pig… boar or something?" Naruto's voice travelled to the teen above him who snorted in amusement.

"Yes, but if you want to keep your balls, it's probably wiser not to say that to her." Beneath him, Naruto shuddered, Sasuke continued, "Ino Yamanaka… she never really said what she's here for. I've not spoken to her much. There's also Karin, we don't know her last name. She's a twisted, sadistic bitch."

"What did she do?"

"She was a bully and it wound her up in here. She was thrown out of so many schools; her father didn't know what else to do."

"Damn…" Naruto muttered, "So many crazy bitches."

Silently, Sasuke agreed. "The worst out of the girls is Tenten. I'm not even sure she's sane. In the time I've been here, she's punched Kabuto twice and stabbed a guy in the hand with a fork."

Naruto whistled lowly, "That great prick who calls himself 'Captain of the Guard'?"

"Yes." Sasuke said, "That one."

"Was she punished?"

"Yeah, I… I'm not actually sure what her punishment was. All I know is that she was raging for weeks afterwards. Her friend Sakura is just as bad. Kid arrived here with bright pink hair – I don't even know how it's still pink – dressed like some rocker babe from the eighties. I mean, she's cool but she won't say what she's in for. We heard she threatened Orochimaru when she got in."

"Oh shit, Sasuke, these girls are worse than us."

Sasuke shook his head to himself and uttered a, "Hn," before continuing, "Lastly, there's this girl Hinata – same problem as Neji. She lost her shit and attacked someone. She's… way too quiet. I don't know what it is. She's quiet and she always tries to look after everyone. It's like she's weirdly innocent."

"So she isn't crazy?"

"Not from what I've seen."

"Oh," Naruto seemed to sigh with relief, "Thank God for that. All these girls you've described sound so… out of control."

"They aren't. They walk around like they're hot shit but the moment I walk around the corner they're basically on their knees."

"Beggin' for the dick." Naruto added with a wink and a grin.

Sasuke's mouth parted in distaste. He knew that he was attractive, he knew that these rebellious girls had all set their sights on him, but he knew that each of his friends had grown a liking to them, which was why he hadn't made any kind of move as he might have in the past. But as far as he was concerned, Sasuke was the balls of the institute. The girls wanted him. Some of the guys wanted him. He was pretty sure Orochimaru wanted him. Sasuke had them all wrapped around his finger and he could get them to do anything for him if he wanted – but he didn't. And he earned respect from how cool and collected he was. Or something like that. That was the way he liked to think it was.

Naruto seemed to like the idea of Hinata. Sasuke had to admit, she was the one diamond in the rough; she was the embodiment of innocence, though it was clear that she had one big secret – something she didn't want to tell anyone. And she'd been in here longer than most of the people he'd mentioned to Naruto… except Karin. Crazy redhead had to have been in here before time began, she was so expert with the ways of the institution. She was the one who had taught Sasuke how the place worked. She had pointed out the faggots so that he wouldn't be attacked by them in the middle of the evening. She'd introduced him to Cheeseburger Choji – the lardass who could smuggle almost anything in because of his size. Karin had also been the one to introduce Sasuke to Shikamaru, the brains of the smuggling operations and a master at chess whom even he was yet to beat.

Unfortunately, as the girls within the institute began to notice Sasuke more, Karin had stopped being his friend and began continually trying to get him alone. He'd passed off any kind of connection they had and kept himself to himself. The guys, Suigetsu, Neji and Kiba had all grown closer to him, though. The four of them were what would have been considered 'the popular boys' back when the only prison they belonged to was high school. The boys were always kept company by the girls, Hinata, Karin, Sakura, Tenten and Ino during meals and free time.

Sasuke was pretty sure something was starting to blossom between Kiba and Ino; their flirting every single night across the bars, the way they always seemed to disappear somewhere together during free time – it was suspicious. Sasuke smirked to himself at the thought of what kind of mischief those two might have gotten up to together. Ino was such a hardass, it was hard to picture her letting Kiba anywhere near her without bitchslapping him backwards eight to ten metres.

Suigetsu and Karin had a love-hate thing going, too. One moment, he'd be talking to her as if they were friends, the next they'd be bickering and by the time they made up they were near enough to tearing each other's clothes off. Seeeeeriiiious amounts of sexual tension, right there.

Neji and Tenten seemed to already have a thing, nobody in the whole institute needed to ask. They were constantly together when they weren't locked away from each other. They were either freakishly solid best friends or they were dating. Nobody dared to ask Tenten, though her girlfriends probably knew. Neji barely talked and when he did it mostly consisted of sly remarks and grunts.

…Neji and Sasuke had a lot in common. In fact, Sasuke didn't even know why he was talking to this new boy so much. Perhaps it was something to do with the fact that he hadn't spoken to anybody properly in so long.

Back in the free world, Sasuke had an older brother. The two of them used to do everything together until he left for university. Since he'd left, everything had started to get to him more and more. He had no real way to let it out. To this day, he had no idea why he kept on burning down those school libraries. He could never explain it. His brother had tried to write to Sasuke as frequently as possible once he'd learnt where their old man had sent his little brother but, well, he must have been busy. Sasuke had received one letter since being here, and that was on his entrance.

"LIGHTS OUT!" The command sounded very suddenly and very loudly from the central hall beyond the cell bars. The noise outside had died down… Sasuke hadn't noticed. He'd been so deep in his thoughts that he must have missed it all. The light outside the cell bars vanished and the colossal bird cage was left in a soft, whispering quiet. The sound of squeaking bunks echoed from all around, even his own cell, as Naruto pulled his comforter over himself. Sasuke slowly began to follow suite, his mind elsewhere for now.

Not another word came from Naruto on his first night. He appeared to have fallen asleep instantly. A series of soft snores followed the first ten minutes of total silence within the hall. Sasuke, too, soon drifted off.


At seven, the steel bars of the cell doors screeched open and the inmates sleepily trampled their way out of the dark spaces, rubbing sleep out of their eyes and trailing down to wherever it was they were supposed to be dragged down to wherever it was that they were to "clean up". Sasuke was wearing his grey prison overalls with the arms tied around his waist in the same style that Naruto had had his yesterday and he wore a plain, navy blue t-shirt underneath. He'd slept in it. He was expecting a new set of shirts today after the showers. Whatever.

Naruto appeared to be falling over his own feet. He wore the same white plimps as almost every single person locked inside the great prison ward did. He also had on his favourite orange t-shirt whilst his uniform was, once again, tied with the sleeves in a knot around his waist.

The sea of teenagers traipsing from the ward was amazing; there were so many kids stuck in this joint – each with their own crime, each with their own time.

Naruto ended up almost jogging after Sasuke so as not to lose him. "Don't talk to me." The dark haired teen muttered.

Well, it was the morning. But not wanting to get on anybody's bad side in a prison filled with violent teenagers, Naruto did as he was told. Sasuke probably just needed a cigarette. Then he'd be a happy bunny.

The boys and girls seemed to separate at the bottom of the hall, the girls stepping out into the corridor led by a force of guards armed with painfully heavy looking batons in case violence were to break out. The boys split in the other direction, led by the same heavy-looking guards. Oto Institute did not fuck around with letting unruly kids get away with things.

Naruto had heard stories about youth institutions. He had heard that they were violent and that teenagers were always mistreated. He had heard that fights broke out almost every hour of the day and that bad behaviour merited cruel punishments. However, Oto didn't seem that bad so far. In fact, every single teenager he had witnessed so far appeared to have his or her friendship group and stuck with them.

God, it was like school

It was ten past seven in the morning. Sasuke hadn't slept properly all night. He couldn't really sleep at Oto; it was rare that he'd ever get a full night's worth. He couldn't get to sleep when he could hear the teens whispering things to each other from across their cells. He couldn't get to sleep because some dickhead always had a torch or light on. And whenever he managed to close his eyes and drop off, the bunk bed on which he slept gave him the most uncomfortable feeling that he was falling, and he'd jerk awake a lot.

Although, there were some nights where exhaustion would just overwhelm him and he'd sleep peacefully from the free association time all the way to seven the next morning.

He now stood barefoot in a dark blue shower cubicle. He wondered if the girls' showers were pink or red or something, because it was just so stereotypical. The dark haired teen removed his clothes before stepping into a lukewarm shower. He shuddered, hurrying as fast as he could to cover his body in stiff soap and shampoo and condition his untameable black locks of hair.

Goddamn, why were the showers always so cold? He dreaded to think what they'd be like in the winter. There was very little heating and next to no insulation in the whole building. Maybe the body heat and energy from the many adolescents would heat that great, empty hall… but Sasuke doubted it.

He hit the switch to turn the jet of warm-cool water off and whipped a plain navy towel from where he'd left it hanging atop the cubical door. He wrapped it around his waist, took a deep breath and shook his head quickly in a vain attempt to shed any excess water from his damp hair.

He was quick to change into a fresh set of clothes and back into his plimps before making his way out of the showers – quickly, before the homos decided to look at him funny again – and straight to the dining hall. Something nagged at his conscience. Perhaps it was the new kid he'd left behind. He shouldn't leave him pray to the other guys. Ah, he was a big boy. He could look after himself. Besides that, Sasuke was starving.

He mooched into the cafeteria with his face set in a totally passive state. He headed straight to where he grabbed one of those stupid, plain grey-blue trays with the stupid little sections on them to fairly proportion meals before sliding it along to collect whatever was warm. His very bones were basically beginning to freeze from that icy shower and the fact that his hair, though spiking annoyingly as it dried, was still pretty damp. He dropped into a seat beside a girl with pink hair.

She seemed to freeze for a second before glancing unsurely at him, her also faintly damp strands of short, choppy hair was brushed out of her eyes by her long, skinny, pale fingers as she stared at him. This was Sakura Haruno. She was wearing her Oto uniform correctly, although the buttons on the upper part of her ugly, grey overalls were only done up half way, exposing a regular, black tank top and a set of awesome boobs.

She coughed, her lilting voice breaking the silence between the two of them, "So, we heard you were landed with the new guy."

Sasuke swallowed his carefully chewed bread roll subtly. Couldn't she see that he was trying to eat? The last thing Sasuke wanted was to make conversation with anyone, especially not before having a smoke. Gosh. None-the-less, his mother's words echoed in his mind from way back before he even knew what he needed to be nice to girls for, "always give a girl a proper conversation so that she knows you're not just a pretty image of your mom and dad, okay, Sasuke?"

Sasuke inwardly rolled his eyes whilst outwardly he nodded blankly, not even turning to look at Sakura.

The pink haired girl was used to this. Sasuke wasn't the best person in the world for holding conversations. He had made it quite clear that he wasn't here to make friends: he was here because his parents had forced him in here and all he wanted to do was be alone with his thoughts. Sakura was his friend though. He didn't know it – or maybe he did, but he'd never admit it - but Sakura was one of his best friends.

Finally, the dark haired boys' chapped, apricot lips parted and a couple of words fell out in the deep, silky but still hoarse from not being used during the night voice that could only have belonged to Sasuke Uchiha, "Yes, his name's Naruto."

"Naruto?" Sakura responded immediately.

Sasuke merely nodded before returning to his breakfast.

A loud crash and a shout indicated the first fight of the morning. The Uchiha never raised his head. He just listened whilst Sakura commentated in her ever excited voice. Ugh, how could anybody have the energy to be excited in the morning? And this early too. "Oh holy shit, holy shit, holy shit! It's that weird kid Gaara."

"And?"

"And a blonde kid. What the fuck? That's the new guy! Sasuke, get a leash on your friends, man!"

"Hn," The Uchiha smirked a distasteful smirk, "that's really funny." He said sarcastically. However, his dark eyes shot up and zoned in on the chaos immediately. He almost groaned when he realized that Sakura's words were true and that Naruto was one of the two involved. The oddball, Gaara was holding one of the food trays above his head offensively and Naruto was holding his out in front of him, his big eyes wide and apparently very, very sorry. Sasuke made a sound of disgust using his tongue against his teeth, "What a pair of losers." He muttered. His eyes watching as Naruto appeared to run straight into a guard who had come to see what all of the commotion as about.

He knew he shouldn't have left that dobe alone.

"Ever the cheerful one, Sasuke," the light-hearted voice of Suigetsu joked as the white haired male slid onto the bench beside him and Sakura.

The dark haired teen didn't respond, he just continued to watch the scene escalate across the hall. Sakura shook her head and commented on how it would have been smarter for Naruto to keep his head down today. "I don't know," She said, "but speaking from experience, getting yourself into trouble when you're new in an institution probably isn't the wisest decision."

"He's being let off, look." A new voice said. Sasuke recognized the low, know-it-all tone to belong to Karin, the fiery redhead with a temper hotter than the sun and colder than dry ice. He watched as Naruto appeared to sigh heavily and Gaara skulked away out of the light from the huge, double glazed glass windows from which the early morning light beamed in. The blonde then made his way around to queue for his breakfast.

"Eventful breakfast." Sasuke commented dryly.

"Oh, Sasuke! He looks so lost," Sakura said, "call him over."

The Uchiha didn't look Sakura in the eye. He just raised an eyebrow before murmuring, "No?"

"What's his name?" The little pink haired girl asked.

"Naruto, his name is Naruto. And he is a 'he'." Kiba's voice put in from somewhere off to the left as he and Ino slumped onto the bench opposite them, the joke from the night before coming back to a faint giggle from the group settling itself along the tables.

Sakura jumped up eagerly, "Oi, Naruto, get over here!" she called, waving. Sasuke turned to tip his chin up when Naruto's eyes landed on him questioningly as if to say, 'Yes. Just come here. Before you embarrass yourself anymore. Now.'

The blonde glanced around the hall before sauntering in a much more dignified, less lost-looking direction towards the bench around which eight teenagers had gathered to eat their breakfast. He surveyed his cellmate, Sasuke, who surveyed him right back with dark, serious eyes almost completely hidden beneath his choppy, inky bangs.

Beside Sasuke was a girl with bubblegum pink hair – possibly the brightest thing beside his own hair in the whole of the gloomy prison – and bright green eyes. She waved him over with a friendly smile on her face. Naruto, however, knew better than to let a pretty face get to him. Beside her was a girl with fiery red hair and piercing, pupil-less, scarlet eyes behind thick, black rimmed glasses. Then beside her was a boy around Sasuke's age with straight, completely white hair. He looked up and greeted Naruto with a 'yo'; Naruto noticed his eyes were a crazy purple amethyst colour and his own blue orbs shifted, not maintaining eye contact as he set his tray down opposite the white-haired teen.

"You're the new kid!" A brunette teen chirped beside him. Her hair was pulled up into two tight buns making her seem fairly innocent, but the dull glint in her eyes let Naruto know that she was not to be fucked with. None of the girls were, from Sasuke's speech about them yesterday. He nodded quietly.

It was unusual for Naruto to ever be this quiet. Outside of the institution, Naruto Uzumaki was the biggest loudmouth amongst free men. He had a brilliantly loud, continuous laugh – but here… Naruto kept his head down, his scarred face almost parallel to his tray of grim looking oatmeal. Who the fuck still ate oatmeal anyway. "Don't you talk?" The brunette girl tried again, in a quieter tone.

"Yeah, he talks." Sasuke answered for him. Naruto was faintly grateful, even at the bluntness of his cellmate's voice.

"Tenten," A deep, commanding voice murmured to the brunette who was leaning almost far too close to Naruto for his own comfort, "let the boy breathe."

"But Neji, I want to say hi!" The girl whined, whirling in her seat to the mature-looking male beside her. Neji had long, dark –chocolate coloured hair which was pushed back and off of his face by a plain white headband. He was looking seriously at the little brunette girl with the two buns on either side of her head through pearly, shockingly ghost-like and pupil-less eyes.

Why did everyone have such creepy eyes in this prison, though, why?

Naruto's blue eyes scanned further along the table as he took a subtle search along the bench. Past Neji, his eyes locked onto a tanned brunette as he picked up a piece of toast. He began to munch on it with alarmingly sharp canine teeth and ravenous, dark brown eyes. It was then that Naruto realized that the boy had a set of tattoos… on his cheeks. His defined cheekbones stuck out at desirable angles along with his strong, prominent jawline that could have rivalled even Naruto's; but the strange thing was that the tattoos on his face looked more like war paint than anything else. They were just two simple red fangs. Naruto pulled his curious eyes away from them when the brunette boy seemed to feel his intrigued gaze and turned to peer back at him with a single eyebrow raised.

"Naruto—is that your name?" The pink haired girl piped up opposite him.

A blonde on the far side beside the boy with the tattooed face rolled her eyes and clicked her tongue impatiently, "Duh, Kiba just said that."

"I know! I just wanted to make sure. Gosh, Ino…" The girl with the pink hair hissed back viciously before returning to fold her hands politely in front of her untouched breakfast and smile at the new inmate. "My name is Sakura Haruno. How are you?"

"Pleasure to meet you, Sakura Haruno," Naruto suddenly felt his face split into a grin at the kindness shown by this 'young offender', Sakura, that Sasuke had warned was a crazy-as-fuck-run-for-the-hills bitch. "My name's Naruto Uzumaki. I'm good thanks, and you?"

"Good to hear. I'm, well, imprisoned; it doesn't give one the most buzzed vibe, to be honest. Did you sleep okay? The first night here's always rough…"

"I slept great!" The blonde grinned widely again. Sasuke had slid his fingers into the spaces between his other fingers and was now resting his chin on his intertwined hands, listening to the exchange between his new cellmate and Sakura Haruno with something like faint interest.

"My name's Karin." The redhead beside Sakura announced, her voice was hard – she looked hard. Her hair, now that Naruto was closer to her, was messy and mused on one side, yet it was totally tidy and properly brushed on the other. Maybe she was the crazy one that Sasuke had mentioned had been here for longer than any of the others. He nodded his awkward 'hi' to her before waiting for the next person to introduce themselves. "Sui?"

"Whaddup Naruto. My name's Suigetsu Hozuki; Sui to everyone else."

"'Sup."

"MY NAME'S INO!" The blonde girl that Sakura had hissed at so menacingly before called down the table with a cute wave, her baby blue eyes sparkling in the morning's bright light as they caught it.

"I'm Kiba Inuzuka." Kiba shot two fingers off the side of his brunette mess of spikes in a salute.

"—oh… my surname's Yamanaka…" The blonde added as an afterthought. Naruto smiled and nodded at both of them.

"Neji Hyuuga. I have a cousin, her name's Hinata Hyuuga, but she's not here this morning, she's usually with us too."

"N-No, Neji…" A tiny, huffing voice murmured right at that moment from behind him. Naruto glanced up at the girl who had made the sound. Ah… so this was Hinata Hyuuga. The girl wore her prison jumpsuit correctly with the regulation pair of white plimps neatly; her long, plum-violet hair trailed down her back almost to her clearly curvy and her bangs were cut immaculately, framing her tiny, pale face with a short blush painted against its flawless canvas. Hinata seemed to share those same, ghostly eyes with Neji, but hers were darker and framed by brilliantly long, dark lashes. "I," the girl began, "I was in the sh-shower for longer than I had, um, expected—"

"Understood, sit down. Meet Naruto, he's our new inmate."

"Hey," Naruto waved at her casually, smiling kindly at the stuttering girl.

All of a sudden, her face turned bright red. She whirled around on her heel and disappeared into the crowds of teenagers a moment later. Naruto's mouth dropped open. "Did… did I do that?" He questioned to the group. They all shook their heads with the collective answer of 'no'.

"She's so cute when she meets cute guys, how cute."

"You said cute three times, Tenten." Sasuke told the funny girl with the buns.

She narrowed her eyes, "And what?" She hissed at him dangerously.

Sasuke shook his head, not an ounce of fear showing as he drawled, "It's annoying."

Tenten twitched at him, her eyes narrowed intensely and her lips curved upside-down in a terrifying scowl – but then, all of a sudden she seemed to forget about Sasuke and whipped her head around to smile at the newcomer. "Hi Naruto, my name is Tenten."

"Uh… hi, Tenten."

"You have to go and make Hinata be more cute, okay?"

"…Wha—" Behind Tenten's buns, Ino was over-exaggerating a nodding motion and shaking her head as if to say, 'don't say anything else, just say you'll do it oh my god we'll all die if you don't', "WELL," Naruto said, his blue eyes snapping back to meet her hazel ones, "I'll do my best."

"Yay~" Tenten cheered in a childish voice. She seemed to have the mind of an eight year old. Naruto was sure that she could be a lot more serious; she must have just been having a funny morning. He guessed that like himself, she might have ADHD for which she needed to be prescribed medication to calm the fuck down.

His mind travelled back to the girl with the plum coloured hair – Neji's cousin. Hinata. Why had she reacted that way to him? Did he do something wrong? Did he look at her in a bad way or…? What had he done? The Uzumaki boy folded his arms whilst he thought. He had barely even touched his food. His eyes glanced up to one of the four digital clocks in the hall displaying the time. At eight, lessons would start… that was in ten minutes. Naruto groaned. He was so bad at school stuff. He barely knew his times-tables and his vocabulary was terrible. And with people like Sasuke, who appeared to be incredibly smart, likely to be in his classes, the blonde inmate was sure he would make a fool out of himself.

"Sasuke, you look so tired, sweetie, did you sleep properly?" Naruto heard Sakura's voice say softly to his cellmate who was sat opposite him. Naruto pretended to be very interested in examining his oatmeal with a spoon whilst he earwigged their conversation.

Sasuke sounded uncomfortable when he responded, "I can't sleep most nights," his voice said slowly, "it's too bright, too noisy."

"Noisy?" Sakura's voice questioned.

"You can hear everybody whispering; the sounds bounce off the walls."

"Oh, honey, why don't you ask Itachi to bring an iPod the next time he visits?" Why was she calling him 'sweetie' and 'honey'? Was she just one of those girls who were motherly enough to get away with it or were her and Sasuke something more? Sasuke had mentioned how he tended to push most girls away – he didn't seem like the type to be comfortable with those kinds of pet names. He was too closed up.

If Sakura and Sasuke had something going on, Naruto would be so bummed out. She was really cute. Like, really cute. And she seemed like she was nice too, even though she seemed to have balls of steel (Naruto recalled the way Sasuke had described how she had tried to intimidate the warden, Orochimaru, on her first day in Oto Juvenile Institute).

"Nah…" Sasuke responded without a further explanation. "Don't look at me like that."

A giggle sounded from Sakura at Sasuke's faintly annoyed tone, "Sorry."

"I'll catch it up, I always do." The dark haired teen responded quietly after a pause.

"I don't want you to end up with those migraines you used to get all over again, you know? It wasn't—"

Sasuke hushed the pink haired girl with a nudge. Clearly, that was something that he did not want discussed in front of other people.

Migraines? Sasuke didn't sleep properly… sometimes it really got that bad? Naruto had heard of nervous exhaustion, but he didn't think someone like Sasuke would end up with such painfully serious consequences from not sleeping properly. Damn, it must have been tough for the Uchiha.

Naruto wouldn't mention it to Sasuke – eavesdropping wasn't something he usually did. It was just that he didn't really know anyone yet and Sasuke was the person he needed to know the most about since he would be living with him for the next year. That was a viable excuse, right?

"Ugh, it's eight already?" Kiba's voice groaned as all around the hall, teens began to pull themselves out of their seats and file out of the dining hall, solemn glares plastered to their incredibly bored looking faces.

Naruto stood up and stared at Sasuke who stared back. "I'm going to follow you around today." The Uzumaki boy said.

"Oh." Sasuke didn't sound surprised at all. Emotion never sounded in his voice.

"Because I don't know where I'm supposed to go or anything." Naruto admitted quickly, glancing back down at the table as they began to file away from the bench.

Sasuke just grunted his response, "Hn."

Well, as long as Naruto was sure not to get on his bad side, Sasuke had no problem with the boy tailing him for the day. At least until he learnt the daily routine. Sasuke, honestly, did prefer being alone, and now that he had a cellmate, he was sure not to receive as much spare time as he usually had to think, to reflect… so as soon as the kid new the routine, Sasuke wouldn't be his lead anymore. He decided that right then and there as the group trailed out of the dining hall and across the grounds of the prison to the first classes of the day.


note: thanks for reading! please review, and i'll see you all next update. c: