Scarred Fox of Mahora
Summary: An eight year old and severely mentally scarred Naruto gets landed in the Negimaverse. Will he heal? And how will class 3-A react to a child with an actual people-phobia?
Disclaimer: I don't own anything.
Naruto curled tighter into a ball, trying to lessen the repeated impacts.
His breath was coming in ragged hisses, he couldn't see anything but the blotches of blurry color that exploded across his retina, he couldn't hear anything above the uneven thumping of his own heart, he tasted only sticky iron, he smelled only blood, and he felt nothing but pain.
Pain, upon pain. Pain that never went away. Pain, inside and outside. The pains were different but present all the same. Naruto's world was filled with nothing but pain.
Pain and fear. Terror at the realization that the thumping of his heart was growing quieter, terror at the realization that he was dying, terror at the thought that he wouldn't survive.
Naruto's life wasn't the best of lives, certainly, but he wanted to live. He wanted to live. He wanted to breathe, he wanted to drink, he wanted to laugh, he wanted to cry, he wanted to scream, he wanted to love, he wanted to be loved.
Few things can truly compare to humanity's need to survive. The pure unquenchable will to live.
And so, as cruel faces twisted into a mockery of pleasure continued attacking an innocent child in their eternal quest to find someone to blame, Naruto reached out and grabbed on to the tiniest glimmer of hope.
The voice that sounded like a monster, the voice that whispered of safety, the voice that roared in outrage at his treatment. The voice of a demon.
The twisted faces in the crowd had barely enough time to blink before their lives ended, their very souls being used as fuel for something that shouldn't have been possible, something that not even the Kyuubi should've been able to do.
But in strange times, even death might die, and when the Kyuubi leaped for safety, the world twisted underneath them. And when they landed, it wasn't there anymore.
The last thing Naruto saw before losing consciousness completely was a rugged-looking man dropping his cigarette as his eyes widened in horror.
The Kyuubi, on the other hand, merely whimpered as the connection to the world that always forced a bijuu to reform after the death of their host was suddenly cut off.
It was at this moment that the greatest of the bijuu realized that perhaps it would be best to make absolutely certain that its container never died. Because the Kyuubi had lived long, and had really been planning on living for a long time yet. And now its life was forever tied to that of a mortal child.
Ironic, perhaps, that the greatest of the bijuu would manage what none of the others ever had, and actually kill itself.
Takamichi T. Takahata frowned as he listened to the nurse that was currently explaining all of the child's wounds.
He didn't know where the blond boy had come from, suddenly dropping out of what almost looked like a tear in the world, but it was clear that he was human, and that he was young. Barely Negi's age if he'd have to guess, though the malnourishment that the nurse spoke of might disprove that.
Regardless, that a boy of such a young age was exposed to what sounded a lot like something an angry mob would've done, made Takamichi feel a great desire to turn an angry mob into a very dead mob right about now.
The dean had of course been called, what with the boy's strange entrance to Mahora. So had Evangeline, as a protector of the barrier, though the blonde vampire was glaring at a wall with the unseeing eyes of someone remembering unpleasantness. There were others there, a few of the magical teachers, some independent contractors, like Mana. But there weren't many.
The boy wasn't a danger to anyone, at least for the moment. Hell, the boy was barely clinging to life, and if the nurse was to be believed it would take him weeks to get enough feeling back into his limbs that he might start relearning how to move.
Sighing heavily, Takamichi wondered what would become of the small boy.
Would they find someone to adopt him? Would they leave him in an orphanage? Would they transport him back to whence he came? Would they drag him into a class somewhere? Would they simply let him go off on his own?
He doubted that the dean would do anything less than everything in his power to let the boy live a normal life. Or as normal as his life was ever going to become with the memories that would almost certainly haunt him.
Should they erase his memories? Perhaps, but it would be best to at least wait before attempting it, drag the boy away from the brink of death, before digging around in the boy's mind.
He briefly considered if he should tell Negi about this, but shook the thought off. Negi might be intelligent, but he was still young, still innocent, there was no need to taint his belief in humanity any more than necessary.
When Naruto opened his eyes, it was to the surprised faces of many a nurse.
He shouldn't have been conscious quite yet. In fact, they'd been counting on him being unconscious for at least a few more days. The fact that the first thing he did was struggle into a sitting position was enough to make them call in the dean. Because the boy shouldn't have been able to manage that for another month, if he was lucky.
Their curiosity over his odd ability to heal himself far beyond what should've been possible was put somewhat on hold as they realized that the second thing the boy did after opening his eyes to the world was to try to run.
It wasn't the attempted escape of someone that disliked hospitals – heaven knows that they'd gotten more than a few patients like that in the past – but rather that of someone finding themselves face-to-face with monsters in a far-away place.
It was disheartening to see such terror in someone so young.
So, whilst nobody knew for certain what the boy had been exposed to, it was quickly decided that it would most likely be best to simply erase his memory completely. Give him a fresh chance at life. The dean was especially perturbed as the boy's reaction to magic was to try to escape faster.
Regardless, their decision proved... impossible.
No matter who casted the spell, no matter what variation of the spell that they used, no matter how much power they poured into it, the boy's mind never budged an inch.
It shouldn't have been possible, and yet it'd happened.
By now, there were a lot of questions on where someone like him could've come from. A child that had been severely injured falling out of a rip in the world, healing at a pace that reminded the assembled more of Evangeline's regeneration than anything human, and with a mind that couldn't be touched by magic. Add on to that, the odd aura that one of the teacher's had managed to pick up – similar to that of a demon, yet oddly distant – and you had a very intriguing person in your hands.
Many tried to calm the boy. Grandfather figures were shied away from, big brother figures was responded to with flinches, mother figures brought naught but terror. It was as if the boy had nobody left to believe in.
Finally, at their wits end, they let Evangeline into the room. Not to comfort the boy, but rather because she was used to deal with people who were terrified of her, and the rest of the staff wasn't.
Yet, the moment the Dark Evangel crossed the threshold, the boy who'd crawled into a corner and refused to budge, looked up with a slightly confused expression.
He didn't scream. He didn't flinch. He didn't shy away from her.
She blinked at the odd reception in comparison to what the others had been given.
Then she met his eyes.
Not Human, they seemed to say. Not Human means Not Pain.
And in that moment, for the first time in a longer time than she could remember, Evangeline AK McDowell cried for the suffering of another person.
Naruto wasn't sure what it meant, but he was warm in the golden-haired Non Human's arms.
She was crying. Though for what, he didn't know.
Naruto didn't cry. He wasn't sure he remembered how to. There was no reason for him to cry, since no matter how long he did so, nobody would be there to comfort him.
Instead he slowly, awkwardly, put his arms around the Non Human in turn. He wasn't sure if he was doing it right, he'd never really had a chance to practice doing this. Contact without pain, such a foreign concept.
Perhaps the Non Human noticed his problems, because she cried harder.
It was at this moment that a very strange thought occurred to Naruto.
She was crying for him. For his sake, she was in tears.
That made him feel warmer, yet it made his chest clench painfully. He wasn't really sure what that meant, but he was used to pain, and he'd suffered worse. So he simply ignored it, and allowed the Non Human to sob into his chest.
When she finally calmed down, her tears drying, she told him her name was Evangeline.
It was a strange name, Naruto thought, but she was Not Human so perhaps different rules applied to her name?
"Naruto." He responded with a voice cracked from lack of use and sore from screaming, introducing himself to someone else for the first time in his life.
Takamichi was seriously confused.
He'd known Evangeline for a long time, and he'd never seen her as the type to show pity regardless of the cruelty that she saw. She might, potentially, lend a helping hand to someone, if she happened to be passing by anyway, but to suddenly start crying and hug a small child that looked to be in pain?
It was absurd.
Yet, watching the boy's awkward attempts at comforting the crying vampire, he found himself wondering what the boy could've seen in her to allow her so close. Surely not that she was similar to him in age, they'd tried that already – with an illusion, but still – and he doubted that it was something to do with her simply being too pretty to fear.
Hell, the only thing he could think of was the fact that this was the first one entering the room that wasn't human.
Takamichi's unlit cigarette fell from limp lips as his eyes widened in horror.
Could the boy actually be so terrified of humanity that he'd rather be in proximity to a vampire?
Glancing over at the dean, he found him with a frown on his face, obviously thinking something along the same lines.
It wasn't in any doubt after their first meeting, but Naruto was placed into the care of Evangeline.
Hopefully, he'd recognize Chachamaru as Not Human as well, which ought to help him get along with the gynoid. Though, she'd probably have to seal away Chachazero to keep the small doll from ranting about blood and destruction. The boy didn't seem like he'd be able to handle that.
In fact, as they made their way towards her cottage, Naruto holding on to her sleeve in a white-knuckled grip that might've seriously injured a normal person's fingers, the boy was using her as a shield of sorts. Someone to hide behind when he spotted people in the distance – he had pretty good eyes for that sort of thing, too – and at the same time his guide towards a place where he wouldn't be surrounded by Humans.
On a purely aesthetic basis, he looked adorable. But that didn't really make his situation any less saddening.
What had this boy done for humans to respond by forcing him to fear them so badly?
She supposed that it might be related to the demonic aura that seemed to be leaking into his own, but in what way? Was he merely something different for them to turn on, or was there some other reason?
Chachamaru wasn't sure of what to make of the blond boy that her master had brought home.
First she'd been worried that her master had gone off the deep end and started to kidnap children, but after comparing her behavior with that of the Iincho of 3-A, it was deemed highly unlikely.
Chachazero however had ignored all possible implications about their Master and proved herself to be quite enthusiastic about greeting the boy with her usual spiel of destruction and mayhem.
The clearly startled boy looked at the doll oddly for a few moments, before almost shrugging, shaking off whatever impact that the demand for blood and destruction had caused.
That was odd.
Not even Takahata-sensei could fully suppress how uncomfortable he was whenever her 'elder sister' started in on her rants, and yet this young boy didn't seem to have much of an issue with it at all.
Her master looked equally confused, but allowed it to slide with nothing but the slightest of frowns.
The blond boy's name was Naruto, and he seemed... uncomfortable with Chachamaru's presence.
He could shrug off the rantings of a homicidal doll, he clung to her undead master with the desperation of a drowning man, and yet he was clearly uncomfortable with her own unobtrusive presence.
It took her much calculations and observations before she realized the reason.
She wasn't Not Human. She just wasn't Human. Her existence did not reject humanity, it did not superimpose itself over their image. In the cottage, she was the closest thing to a human that the boy could find. And he was clearly not comfortable with that.
The realization awoke a strange mixture of signals inside of her. The gears in her chest 'hurt', and her targeting system kept looking for hostiles despite how there obviously weren't any. At the same time, she felt... warm, at the thought of almost reaching humanity.
Naruto had been surprised by the small doll that shouted of death and blood and battle.
He had never seen a talking doll before. It was... unusual.
Still, it's shouting sounded... restrained. As if it did so mostly to shock its audience and laugh at their faces. It was something that he could understand. Naruto had been pretty good with pranks, once. Before the strange world, and before the warm Non Human took him away from those who wished him Pain.
The fact that his subconscious found her similar to an immense fox, that he'd once seen in his dreams hidden behind bars, didn't really register. Nor did he bother registering the Killing Intent that she aimed at him, because on that same subconscious level he knew that he'd stood before a creature infinitely more horrifying and found it sympathetic – if a bit bloodthirsty and generally cruel.
His meeting with the taller girl with green hair was a bit odd though.
A part of him screamed that this was a Human and that he needed to get away from her because she'd bring him Pain. A part of him soothed him saying that she wasn't Human, and that the Non Human next to him wouldn't let her bring him Pain. She'd told him so, after all.
In the end, he found himself cautiously wary of her presence.
Eva sighed as she sat down on his bed.
He had been having nightmares, waking up screaming several times, and he hadn't even considered finding comfort in another.
Whatever had been done to the boy, neglect had clearly taken part in it. He didn't understand how to comfort people, or how to reach for comfort himself, he didn't understand why he should cry, and he didn't comprehend kindness.
It reminded her a little bit of what she might've been if she hadn't known anything but the struggle to survive. She could still remember her childhood, though blurry from the time passed and full with holes, her childhood had been a simple one, an ordinary one. It was her second birth that brought her the name of the Dark Evangel simply for staying alive.
No, she remembered kindness, she remembered touch, she understood why people cried, and she knew how to reach for comfort. She'd just been forced to outgrow the need a very long time ago.
But he needed comfort, he needed to truly understand what it was that had been denied him, and so she sat at his bedside, her hand gently brushing his face, smoothing out his frown, and letting him rest peacefully.
Negi wasn't sure what Takamichi had meant when he'd told him that Eva was taking care of someone and would therefore be excused from classes for a little while.
Eva might be kind of nice in her own way, but to leave someone in her care? It sounded like a recipe for disaster. And yet Takamichi had explained that she was the only one who could do it with an absentminded scowl on his face.
Either this meant that whoever was in her care couldn't be trusted and so they dropped them on Eva for her to keep in line, or it meant that they were somehow in need of her expertise. Considering that Eva's expertise was related to dark magic, dolls, ice, and vampirism, Negi was understandably worried about her new charge.
Still, he had been scheduled to receive training in her resort, and since he hadn't been informed that it had in any way been canceled, he would be dropping by her cottage. If she told him to get lost, he'd leave, if she told him to get started on more of her torturous training, he'd train.
He appeared at his master's home with a slight wariness, and Chachamaru let him in after a brief blink that most likely signified immense calculations of probability.
He found Eva on the couch, reading a book.
Next to her, almost, but not quite, sitting in her lap, was a blond boy that looked a bit younger than himself.
Negi felt his jaw drop open as he realized that Evangeline was actually reading the boy a story of some sort. And if her occasional prodding was any indication, she was at the same time trying to teach the boy how to read.
This was absurd, but the truly awe-inspiring part was that she did it all with the gentle tone of a mother, something that Negi had been absolutely certain that the vampire would never be able to replicate.
He wasn't entirely sure how long he stood there, but when Eva finally noticed him – or bothered with reacting to his presence – he was somewhat startled by the flinch of the blond boy, almost as if he was afraid of him.
Which was even more absurd, because the boy wasn't scared of Evangeline, and Negi was like way nicer than she was!
Naruto wasn't certain of what to think of Negi Springfield.
He was Human, yet he obeyed the Non Human.
Naruto had much easier to understand the 'resort'. It was cool. Really really cool. And it contained non Humans slightly more removed from humanity than Chachamaru was. It was a good place, even if trying to understand the mechanics of being smaller and having the experienced time sped up, really gave him a headache.
The Human worked very hard. Throwing arrows of light into the sky, blowing things up, running from Eva, fighting against Eva, letting Eva suck his blood.
Naruto couldn't really understand the Human called Negi Sprinfield, who would talk about the Non Human attending his class, and how the rest of the class missed her. It was strange, to imagine a Non Human going to school.
Regardless, as long as he was here, he was safe. Eva had said so, after all. So the Human couldn't bring him Pain here.
Maybe he should train too?
Eva smiled, a small but true smile, as Naruto asked to be included in the training.
He wanted to become stronger, and he seemed... wary, yet accepting of Negi's presence.
He wasn't beyond help, he could still be taught to view Humans neutrally, though she supposed that he would never trust one without knowing them first.
Negi also responded positively to receiving a training partner, although in his case it might simply be an attempt to limit the amount of time that Eva could spend pummeling her apprentice into the ground.
Negi wasn't sure how he felt about Naruto.
On the one hand he made Eva act all oddly – kind, gentle, patient, accepting, sad – and on the other hand he acted oddly himself – flinching at touch, his back never against Negi, only acting fractionally warmer to Chachamaru, yet believing himself safe in Eva's presence.
Naruto also didn't have any magic, yet never seemed truly awed at its existence. As if he'd always known that it was there, just not that it would cause quite that big of an explosion.
He was timid, yes. He hid behind Eva, yes. He was awkward at social interaction at the best of times, certainly.
But blow something up, and his eyes would fill with the same slightly dementedly glee-filled sparkle that Negi had seen in his own mirror-image. The boy liked flashy things, the boy wanted to grow stronger, the boy refused to give up, and there was something horribly wrong in the boy's past.
Negi remembered how he himself had acted after he'd been saved by his father as the demons attacked his village, and the terror-induced paranoia that he remembered had left him jumping at shadows for years afterwards, shone through even brighter in Naruto's body.
Naruto wasn't certain how he was still alive, he didn't trust people, and yet he seemed impossibly calmed by Eva's presence.
Finally, Negi managed to work up the courage to ask his master why.
"I'm Not Human." Eva commented in a voice filled with bitter irony. "He has nothing to fear from me. You, on the other hand, are Human, you he will fear."
"Wha-? What do you mean?" Negi frowned in concentration.
"He wasn't attacked by demons, boya. He was hunted down by Humans." She chuckled darkly at Negi's horrified look. "He doesn't want vengeance though, he doesn't even seem to comprehend the concept. He just wants to be away from Humans." She paused, scratching her chin. "I think he wants the power simply because he doesn't want to be defenseless, rather than to use it in order to lash back." She shrugged. "I suppose that might make him inherently better than me."
This was the moment when Negi truly realized for the first time in his life that humanity didn't consist completely of nice people. And perhaps, some of them could prove far crueler than the Undead Mage herself had ever been, when given the chance.
Nodoka, Asuna, Yue, Konoka, Setsuna, Ku Fei, and Asakura. Seven girls, all made their entrance in Eva's resort at once. Searching for their teacher and an explanation for his exhaustion.
Thankfully, Naruto spotted them from far away and fled to a safer distance.
Not quite so thankfully, he was still spotted by the enthusiastic members of 3-A, who would've immediately hunted him down to get an introduction, if Eva hadn't mercilessly blasted away anyone attempting to approach him.
"What the hell was that for you damn chibi!?" Asuna proved the problematic aspect of her ability once again by suddenly finding herself without clothing. She wasn't pleased.
"Don't get close to him. Don't touch him." Eva growled out in a voice that forcefully reminded all those present that there was a reason for her name inspiring fear in so many.
Needless to say, the girls were confused.
"He has a phobia for people." Negi tried to explain, hoping to convey the point of staying away from the blond boy without his students getting themselves blasted away a second time.
"A phobia for people?" Nodoka could almost understand that, as she was generally very shy around people, but this was a bit extreme.
"He has had some issues with Humans before." Eva stated in a voice that spoke of exactly what she wanted to do to those people. "He seems to have developed an instinct for recognizing Non Humans as a result. Which is why he's here."
"Eeeeh?" Asuna clearly didn't believe the vampire.
"Just stay away from him." Eva snarled at her in response, her voice tinged with Killing Intent. "It was bad enough trying to get him to become 'neutral' towards the boya, I'm not going to try introducing him to groups of Humans anytime soon."
"Excuse me Evangeline-san, but why is he staying with you?" Setsuna phrased the question everyone wanted to ask in a far more polite fashion than some of those present would've done.
"I'm Not Human. He's not scared of me. Hell, he's not scared of Chachazero." She frowned a little at that. "But he's still wary around Chachamaru, and he'll avoid Negi if at all possible." She paused as everyone stared at her in disbelief, before stating in a tire voice. "Setsuna would actually scare him the least, I think. But you're still far too Human for him to trust you."
"Wait, he's not scared of the homicidal doll, or the undead vampire, but he's scared of Negi?" Asuna couldn't quite hide how ridiculous she thought that was.
Eva sighed. "I don't think a Human has ever been kind to him." She sat back down, content with the girls not rushing after Naruto, and knowing that he would be putting more distance in between them. "He doesn't even understand the concept of kindness." She frowned. "All I know is that he dropped out of nowhere, virtually into Takamichi's arms, beaten to a pulp. In fact, his injuries were fairly similar to what the victim of an angry mob might experience."
By now, most of the girls had tears in their eyes. It was sad to hear such a story, even if you couldn't truly relate to it.
"Anyway, everyone they sent in to talk to him scared him senseless. Finally, they called me in since I'm used to dealing with people who are afraid of me." She sounded caught between amused and bitter at that. "But he wasn't scared at all. They'd tried everything to calm him down and failed, I entered the room and he looked more curious than anything."
She omitted how she'd actually cried once she'd realized why, she had a reputation to consider after all. But by the time she'd reached how it was a marvel that he understood the language well enough to speak it, how seemingly bizarre it was that he even knew his own name, and that she'd been trying to teach him how to read by using bedtime stories – best to get that out in the air before Chachamaru or Negi put some much sweeter spin to it – the girls accepted Naruto's distance.
They still looked like they really wanted to hug him senseless, and then bawl into his shirt a bit, but they would let him keep his distance.
A non Human, five Humans, and one odd Human.
The odd Human was loud though, so he didn't really think her oddness was a good thing.
The non Human was close to especially one of the Humans, and so he wasn't sure if she could be trusted as much as Chachamaru. Betrayal was common place amongst Humans after all. Everyone brought Pain with them sooner or later. A non Human so in touch with a Human would be dangerous.
Still, they kept their distance after Eva talked to them. They couldn't bring him Pain in here. Not with Eva still here.
When the time came to sleep, Naruto found himself once again by Eva's bed.
He wasn't entirely certain why or when it'd seemingly become a routine that the blonde Non Human would read a story to him until he fell asleep, but that was alright. It felt nice.
When three slimes and a demon followed a former enemy into Mahora in their quest for Negi, Naruto got to watch the fireworks with Eva.
They stayed far away from the fighting, and Naruto wasn't scared of it for some reason, had actually never been scared of battle. It almost seemed to be in his blood, a warrior despite his fears.
Of course, there was no way he was getting involved in the fighting since there were far too many Humans present. He didn't mind Negi any longer, the boy was... pleasant enough to be around, but that didn't mean he would trust him with his back anytime soon.
He found himself oddly jealous though, as he watched the not Human with dog-ears laugh with him, fight with him, struggle with him.
For the first time since he'd accepted his situation – to be hated by all Humans, to be betrayed by all Humans – he found himself lamenting what he'd lost. He found himself wanting something more.
Eva carefully noted the flicker in the boy's eyes, that flicker of want, that flicker of hope, that flicker of despair. She understood. She hoped that he'd heal, and that perhaps one day he could meet the madness that was Class 3-A with little more than an obvious flinch of discomfort.
He was someone who liked people. He had a heart bigger than most.
What must've been done to him for even he to close himself off from the world... it didn't bear thinking of.
A/n: I started writing this because I thought that it'd be interesting to see how this Shy!Naruto would fit in with Negi(Polite Friendly), Kotaro(Rough Friendly), and Fate(Cold Detached), as well as how the Kyuubi might affect Naruto when it tries to turn him and it immortal. Then I got distracted by writing a sweet Eva and trying to understand just how the mind of an absolutely Fractured Person would view the world.
I'm still fairly pleased with the result, though I couldn't convince myself to write anything to string the next few snippets of potential futures together. Hopefully, they'll be enjoyable anyways.
XXX(Introducing Hakase Satomi)
Naruto wasn't sure what to think of Hakase Satomi.
She was Human, but didn't comprehend things like a Human. Her... personality, was Non Human, even if her existence was not.
To Naruto, this made her very confusing. She was a Human, and Humans brought Pain. Yet, she rejected all that was Human in favor of all that was Non Human.
He couldn't classify her.
A part of him tried to convince him that this was all a ruse, and that she was merely a very sneaky Human attempting to get closer to him. But Naruto didn't like that part of him, and if he expressed it, that part of him would usually make Eva sad, and Naruto didn't want that.
So, with careful wariness, Naruto followed her.
Hakase worked with Chachamaru sometimes, met with Humans sometimes, but no matter what she never seemed to reflect their behavior, despite their proximity to her. She was untouchable.
When she finally found him spying on her, she looked at him like a puzzle, before shrugging and going back to her research.
He wasn't sure how long he watched her working, but when Chachamaru finally arrived to take him back, it was already dark outside.
Once they made it home, Eva explained the concept of 'curfew' to him, since apparently she didn't want to send off Chachamaru to pick him up every time he decided to stick around in Hakase's lab.
Hakase noted neutrally that the blond boy was following her.
She wasn't sure why he was doing so, and she didn't particularly care, as he wasn't interfering in what she enjoyed doing. Namely, with her experiments.
She doubted that the boy was actually Eva's little brother. After all, Evangeline was a centuries old vampire, which meant that her parents would've long since been dead and buried. Therefore, they were at the very least not brother and sister through blood – even if they shared the same hair color. It was however possible that the girl had adopted him somehow, though how that would work, and why she would do so was something of a mystery. Perhaps related to his trauma.
It didn't matter.
Hakase was currently working on a dozen different projects, most of which would've made the other members of the Science club's heads spin. Except for Chao, but she was special so she didn't count.
When Chachamaru suddenly arrived at... whoa, was it that time already? Man, she really should make herself some kind of alarm clock one of these days. Anyway, Chachamaru carefully escorted the boy away, meaning that he must've been watching her work for hours.
Hakase shrugged, before turning back to her work. She still had a few hours before there was any immediate need for sleep, she could totally finish what she was doing before then.
XXX(Introducing the Narutaki twins)
Naruto didn't like the twins. They were Humans, and there were always two of them. Almost identical, but not quite. It made him think that a third one was hiding somewhere, waiting for him to lower his guard.
They didn't seem particularly fond of him either, even if they did stick to Negi a lot more than what Eva said was 'normal behavior'. Maybe it was because they couldn't prank him.
That was a different reason that he didn't like the twins. They were... frustrating.
Naruto knew pranks, he understood pranks, he could remember endless variations of pranks. Their repetitive and unimaginative attempts paled in comparison, and yet they were so revoltingly smug about them.
Chachamaru had tried to tell him that what he felt about their pranks was 'professional pride', but whilst he was sure that his pride might be part of his dislike for them, there was something different there too.
A sad, empty, hatred.
He watched them. Smiling, laughing, joking, pranking, playing. Never serious, never afraid, never hated, never ignored.
He watched them, and he hated.
Naruto wasn't entirely sure what it was he hated; if it was them, or himself, or where he'd come from, or his situation. It was all a horrible jumble of Bad stuff. But he knew that it came when he watched them, and he hated that feeling of hating, so he would avoid the twins when possible.
Eva called it 'jealousy'. The hatred of watching another's happiness whilst knowing that it could never be yours.
Naruto wasn't sure what he felt so jealous of, they were horrible at pranking. Useless, really. Yet the feeling never left him, and it always lingered, sad and broken and angry.
The twins didn't like Naruto.
It wasn't that their pranks didn't work on him – though that was certainly annoying – but rather that when they failed, he looked at their attempts as if they were pathetic.
They might be idiots, they might be childish, they might be annoying, and they might not understand everything, but they were proud of their pranking prowess. And Naruto acted as if they were amateurs attempting, and failing horribly at pretending, to be professional.
Which is why their attempts never truly ceased. Prank, upon prank, upon prank. They would catch him, they would humiliate him, they would show him that they were worthy of their title as pranksters.
Sure, they understood that Naruto was uncomfortable with people. His reaction to Ayaka being one of the most glaring proofs of it. They'd all been shocked when instead of hiding behind Negi – which probably wouldn't have done much, come to think of it – the blond boy had curled up behind Eva.
A glaring Eva who looked like she was inches away from hurting someone.
It was only after Naruto had been explained as being the scary girl's little brother that people finally accepted her protectiveness of him. And after hearing of his phobia, it was unanimously decided to allow him to keep his distance.
Then the class stripped Negi, laughed about it, got in trouble for it, and proved themselves to be accepting of Naruto's chosen distance.
That didn't mean that the twins wouldn't prank him though. Even if, admittedly, they'd been somewhat nervous of what Eva might do to them if she found out about it. Turns out, she didn't care, as long as they didn't involve being surrounded by people. Apparently she didn't want his phobia to resurface.
Either way, the twins had come up with the decisive plan of setting up pranks around his sleeping form. It wouldn't involve people, and everyone knew that a recently awoken person wasn't nearly as perceptive as they ought to be. No way was he going to be able to avoid it.
So, they made their way into his secluded room, carrying buckets of paint, lots of string, some balloons, and a whistle. And found a boy whimpering in terror at dreams that they didn't know of.
That made them pause.
They didn't like Naruto, they wanted to prove their prowess at pranking, and they were scared enough of his big sister to keep from going too far, but that didn't mean they wanted to watch a little kid crying in his sleep whilst begging for mercy.
Exchanging glances, Fuuka shrugged and Fumika nodded.
And so it came to be that they tried to comfort their sleeping enemy. His whimpering quieted, his tears stopped flowing, his face relaxed, he slipped deeper into sleep.
But by then, they didn't have enough time to set up their pranks, and so they hurried their way out, cursing silently that the boy had to look so horrifyingly adorably vulnerable when he slept.
Neither of them knew that Naruto's dreams of flight and terror had been replaced with angry Humans being caught in pathetically unimaginative pranks.
But they were confused, that when next he avoided their traps, when he foiled their attempts, he smiled, his lips twitching upwards in a decidedly amused way. Then he mused somewhat loudly on how it could've been done better, all the while pointedly ignoring their own presence.
First, they were offended that he thought that he could give them pointers, that he would actually mock them in public. But then his eyes swept over them, and they saw it in his eyes. A challenge, to reach further, to become better. A challenge, to them as inexperienced students from a master of the art.
When he left, his steps a fraction lighter than they'd ever seen them, Fuuka looked at her younger sister, and as their eyes met they both realized something for the first time.
If they succeeded, they were going to have Evangeline as their sister-in-law.
And it'd be worth it.
A/n: Trying to consider what kind of pactios to grant the twins, I finally decided on something like distorting Reality, and distorting Illusions. In large part due to Naruto becoming part-kitsune because of Kyuubi trying to stay alive.
Below is what I could imagine them being especially useful for.
XXX(Twins with Pactio facing off against Tobi)
Both of the twins knew that it was an enemy the moment they saw him. And from the instincts honed within Eva's resort, their artifacts distorted him before he could speak. Only, he was already distorted, and the distortion was slamming into their own in a very unsettling way.
His distortion spoke of fire, of souls, of horrible agony, of defiance of death. It was to distortion what insanity was to the mind. It was poison and disease, it was absolutely revolting.
Their distortions fought, battled each other, and canceled each other out.
But Naruto was there, and he would protect them. That they knew.
The first moment that Naruto turned his violet eyes towards the man in an orange mask, he knew that this was an enemy. For the silent instincts of the Kyuubi were no longer silent, no longer subtle. They roared. Like an ocean crashing down from the heavens, like a fire devouring all in its wake, like storms rippling never-ending across the sky, like the very earth tearing itself to pieces, the sound deafened him.
Violet eyes glowing eerily, Naruto the Kitsune raised his hand against the masked Uchiha, and he spoke with a voice distorted by hatred and power and unbridled fury, for this man had come here, this man had followed him, and his existence threatened his precious people.
And he burned, his distortion unable to steal him away from the blue flames of fox fire; he burned, the sound of his screams devoured as greedily by the demonic flames as flesh and bone; he burned, silently, mercilessly, until there was nothing left but dust that scattered in the wind.
By the time the others arrived at the scene, they found a blackened crater, and Naruto gently rubbing Fumika's back with Fuuka keeping her sister's hair out of the way as she emptied her stomach once more.