Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto
Children of all ages played in the grounds of the orphanage under the careful eye of the people who ran the building. Two women stood on guard in case anything was to happen to the children in which they would step in and ensure that the commotion stopped before anything truly began; as was the case now when they saw a young blonde haired kid getting tackled to the ground by a child who was merely a year older. Yet they waited for half a minute as they watched with sadistic satisfaction as the blonde haired kid's head was slammed into the ground in the tussle repetitively. A punch to the face sent droplets of blood to land on the blades of grass nearby. It was at this point in the brawl that the tides of the fight began to turn as the blonde managed to push the kid on top of him to the side before rolling on top, pulling his fist up ready to strike. Yet the blow never landed as his wrist was caught by one of the staff members who had been watching the scuffle.
"Naruto, go to your room this instant, you should know better than to pick fights," said the lady, her voice tough and stern as Naruto looked up in disbelief.
"But he started it," argued Naruto but it was all for nought.
"And what have I told you about lying, I saw the whole thing, now go to your room!" she exclaimed, her eyes cold and hateful which caused tears to form in the child's eyes. With a huff he stormed off, doing his best not to cry in front of his colleges, it wasn't the damage that made him want to cry but the constant hating that he received. He didn't know why everybody picked on him, it was so unfair. His room wasn't even a proper room.
While everybody else got a nice cosy room he got a minute little storage cupboard barely big enough to fit the sleeping bag he slept on every night. Naruto rubbed his eyes with the back of his sleeve once inside, making sure that he was out of sight of the other children before doing so. Yet he wasn't so lucky to avoid the eyes of everyone. Turning his head, he found himself looking at three men, each wearing black business suits and sunglasses despite the fact they were indoors. It looked like they had been discussing some sort of business with the lady who had been managing the front desk, most likely to adopt a child. It didn't really matter to him though, he had seen hundreds of people walk through that door looking to adopt children, but never once was he ever given a second glance.
"Boy, get over here," said the stern voice of the middle man. Naruto looked around nervously for a moment before pointing at himself as if for reassurance. Receiving a nod, Naruto nervously stepped forward, wondering what it was that this man wanted with him. As he came to a standstill he couldn't help but feel intimidated by the three men, each of them unmoving yet their posture gave an air of power that was frightening to the young boy.
"C-can I help you?" stuttered Naruto as he swallowed nervously.
"What's your name boy?" asked the middle man once more.
"Uzumaki Naruto," answered the blonde kid solemnly, as if his name had some sort of curse around it that would now send the man's attention elsewhere. Yet the three men remained as they were, which caused a small amount of worry to form within Naruto. Even when the bigger kids picked on him he had never felt so intimidated.
"This is the one we were after," said the middle man once more, the two men by his side not even flinching with this new development. "Bring out the forms so I can adopt Naruto."
"Are you sure sir?" asked the clerk, unsure if the man knew exactly what he was doing. "We have a vast number of other better children that are up for adoption if you care to have a look." There was no movement from the man in the centre except a quick flick of the head which caused the man to his left side to pull out a wad of notes from his suit and place a handful on the table. "Actually I believe Naruto here would be the perfect choice," said the lady as she slid the cash off of the desk and started pulling up the files necessary for the adoption. Naruto however was completely baffled by the sudden change in the lady's attitude, for as long as he remembered she had always told customers that he was the last person they should ever adopt. The quick change in personality while frightening also brought on a sense of curiosity as to what had occurred.
"Renku, go with young Naruto here to collect his gear," instructed the man who was soon to become Naruto's adoptive father.
"Yes boss," said the newly identified Renku. He was a tall stout man that towered over everybody else in the room by a good foot. His black hair was sleeked back into perfection while a tiny amount of stubble had begun to form on his chin. "Lead the way kid."
"Oh...sure," said Naruto nervously, "This way." Walking down the lonesome corridor listening to the heavy footprints of the giant Renku was ominous to say the least, as if Naruto was being stalked by a monster of some kind. "Here's my room," said Naruto as he opened the door, revealing the tiny living quarters that had held him for the last few years. If Renku was disgusted by this scene his face didn't show it, he face was like that of a statue, chiselled and unwavering.
"Is there a bag we can use?" asked Renku looking down at the small form of the blonde haired boy.
"Hold on one second," said Naruto as he started running through the corridor before coming to the kitchen. He knew his way around the area pretty well as he often snuck in here to get a late night snack since his meals always seemed smaller than the other children's. Reaching into a drawer, he pulled out an unused garbage bag and quickly made his way back to Renku, not wanting to keep the man waiting.
It didn't take long for the two of them to pack Naruto's gear, or at least the stuff that was worth taking with them. As they met up with Renku's associates it was just at that time that they had finished filling out the final form. "Thank you for your business," said the clerk with a polite bow.
"So...are you my new dad?" asked Naruto to the man who had been signing the papers, his eyes full of hope of actually being part of a family once more.
"Call me Boss kid, everybody else does," said his adoptive father, being somewhat cold yet more comforting than the adults Naruto had previously grown up with. A smile crossed Naruto's face just from the thought that somebody was socialising with him in a way that wasn't abusive or threatening.
"Sure Boss," said Naruto, more cheerful than he had been in years.
"Renku, take Naruto here to his new home, try not to get into too much trouble on the way," said Boss as he turned and walked out the door. "I've just got some business to take care of in town."
"Got it Boss," said Renku as he slung the garbage bag filled with Naruto's essentials over his shoulders while Boss and the other man who had come in with the two of them walked out of sight. "C'mon squirt, let's go."
Stepping out the front door of the orphanage was one of the grandest experiences Naruto had ever had, a feeling of freedom washed over him, it was as if the air felt fresher on this side of the wall. The look on Naruto's face didn't go unnoticed by Renku but he remained silent, allowing the blonde to enjoy this moment for as long as he could. He waited for nearly a minute before deciding to speak up. "You going to watch the sun set or we going to get you moved in?" he asked in a slightly teasing manner despite his face remaining passive.
"So how far away is this place?" asked Naruto, wanting to get as far away from the orphanage as possible.
"It's far off in the Eastern suburbs of Konoha," explained Renku as the two walked side by side.
"So how long will it take to get there?" asked Naruto, finding himself full of questions he wanted answered.
"As long as it takes to get there," said Renku with a mild chuckle as Naruto pouted at the answer. It didn't take long for the two of them to leave the property that the orphanage was built upon before making their way through the busy streets of Konoha. Naruto continued to look around at the surroundings in awe; everything just seemed so new and fresh. Off in the distance he could see the Hokage monument, the four greatest ninjas of the village watching down on the citizens protectively. A smile graced Naruto's face as he pictured his own sculpture sitting up there, his eyes watching all those who lived in his village.
"Don't get lost now," said Renku as he guided Naurto towards a back alley and in an instant the friendly atmosphere he had seen moments before vanished. The sun seemed to be blotted out from the tall buildings that towered above him. Sitting against a nearby wall was an elderly beggar; her hair was gray and wild, as if it hadn't come into contact with water for months if not years. At the sound of footsteps she lifted her head, hoping that a spare coin would be chucked her way. Naruto freaked out slightly at this at the sight of one of the lady's eyes having glazed over like a thick mist. Yet seeing that it was Renku standing above her she dropped her head once more, not able to muster the courage to ask the tall man if he had any spare change.
"I don't like this shortcut," said Naruto as they came to the end of the alley.
"Get used to it kid, cause this is no shortcut," explained Renku. Now that they had come to somewhat of an open area, Naruto was quick to survey his surroundings. Unlike the other part of Konoha which had been full of people, this area was rather desolate of life. In a corner several men gambled with dice, one man losing several thousand ryu in a single moment, his moans of disappointment easily penetrated the otherwise soundless pavilion. There were several teens huddled in a corner, as if they were part of some gang. When they looked at Renku and Naruto, the younger boy swore that he saw glimpses of desperation in their eyes, a wild look that said they were willing to do anything for some quick money.
Naruto turned his sight away from them as he and Renku passed the teens and Naruto turned his attention to other areas as if trying to figure out if there was anything else worthwhile around. That was his biggest mistake as he heard the sound of light feet running towards him but before he could turn around to see what was going on, a hand was slapped onto his mouth as he felt the cold metal of a knife being pressed against his throat. "Give us your money or the kid gets it!" threatened one of the teens, Naruto unsure which one as he was currently trying not to have a panic attack at the thought that he could die at any given moment. Renku turned around slowly, his emotions still unwavering as he looked at the teens before looking at Naruto.
"What makes you think that I care what happens to the brat?" asked Renku which made Naruto's eyes go wide in shock. "However I'm sure if Boss found out what you were doing to his son no matter how much money I gave you it wouldn't cover your hospital bills."
"Boss' son?" repeated one of the teens.
"Can you imagine what it feels like to have a single bone broken in three different places?" asked Renku as he stepped forward ever so slowly, his aura becoming more menacing with every passing breath. "Now imagine that not with a single bone, but all of them. Splintered, fractured, wounds that would haunt you for the rest of your life. Several years from that moment, after the final surgery we would find you once more, just to do it all again, cause Boss is not a forgiving man. So if you know what's good for you, get the knife away from the brat."
By this stage the teens were sweating bullets, all of them knowing a few of the vendettas that Boss held. With that being said, they knew it was a list they never wished to be a part of. Slowly, the knife was removed before the teens bolted away, fearing for their life as Naruto rubbed his neck, still in shock over how close he had been to death. As his senses slowly came back to him, he looked up at Renku with saddened anger. "Why would you say that you don't care what happens to me? I could have been killed!" exclaimed Naruto, his emotions overflowing at this point.
"Because if I said that I did care, there would have been a higher chance," explained Renku, this answer though only served to confuse Naruto. Adjusting his grip on the garbage bag that hung over his shoulder, the thug decided to give Naruto a quick lesson in what had just happened. "There are several things you're going to be learning over the next year or two and you'll need to learn them quickly if you want to survive. A couple of these lessons include never showing your emotions, and negotiations, both of which I used just before."
"Negotiations?" repeated Naruto slowly, not quite sure what the word meant.
"Simply, talking with risks attached," said Renku breaking it down as simply as he could. "Just then, I negotiated with your life on the line, most negotiations though are over money contracts and things of similar nature. If when I'd been threatening those teens, some emotions slipped and I didn't sound or look as threatening as I did, then they wouldn't have been scared off and you would be dead in a pool of your own blood."
"So you do care about me...but if you had said that you had...I'd be dead," summarised Naruto, realising just how scary the world was outside the orphanage walls. Somehow getting told off everyday didn't seem like too much of a hassle anymore.
"If you wish to believe so," said Renku as he turned his back on Naruto, the blonde boy pouting at the lack of information but decided not to try and pry anything else out of the man. They travelled down several more alleyways, each with their own set of characters and buildings before they finally stood in front of a single store...or something along those lines, Naruto wasn't quite sure. There were no signs or anything that explained what the place was but even Naruto could tell by the structure that this wasn't a house.
"Welcome to your new home brat," said Renku, gesturing for Naruto to enter. That one word though was unfamiliar to Naruto; 'home' was a strange term to get his head around. Nevertheless, putting on a brave face he pushed open the door and walked inside. He wasn't quite sure what he had been expecting when he had walked in, but a woman who was completely naked was definitely not on his list.
"Sorry cutie, you're way too young to be in here, let alone ride the ride," said the brunette as she shooed Naruto back towards the door, not really caring that she wasn't doing anything to hide her appearance from the child.
"Not today Makina, this brat's here for the long run," said Renka as he stepped through the door. "Boss just adopted him."
"Really," said Makina in surprise as she walked to a nearby table and grabbed a dressing gown, finally deciding to clothe herself. "I didn't know Boss wanted a kid."
"I didn't know you had any customers today," said Renka showing the first bit of emotion Naruto had seen of him so far, the lifting of a single eyebrow. For the young child though this was something he had to take note of because it ruled out the possibility of the tall man being an expressionless robot.
"No customers so far, hence why I wasn't afraid to strut my stuff," said Makina playfully, sticking her tongue out at the tall man like a child would.
"Renka, what stuff was she strutting?" asked Naruto of the bodyguard. Of all the questions that the young boy had asked, this was the one that left the bodyguard stumbling for an answer, having no real clue how to go about telling Naruto things like that. Thankfully he was relieved of such duties as Makina knelt down beside the young boy, patting him lightly on the head.
"You don't need to know for a few more years yet, but if you ask some of the other ladies nicely I'm sure they'll get a laugh out of telling you," said Makina struggling to suppress a giggle, knowing what the response of some of her work colleges would be like.
"Anyways, Boss should be back soon so would you be kind enough to show Naruto around while I dump his stuff in his room," Renka asked.
"It's not like I've got anything better to do," said Makina as she got to her feet. "C'mon kid, I'll show you around."
"I do have a name you know, it's Naruto" said the blonde starting to get fed up of people calling him 'brat' and 'kid.'
"Na, kid's good enough," said Makina sticking her tongue out at Naruto much like she had to Renka. Unlike Renka though Naruto took the liberty of sticking his tongue out straight back at Makina to which she lightly bopped him on the head.
"What was that for?" he asked as he rubbed the sore part.
"Cause I felt like it, c'mon already I'll show you around," said Makina as she gestured for Naruto to follow her, the blonde doing just that which in turn left Renka to his own devices.
It would be later that afternoon when the Sandaime Hokage found the time to meander down to the orphanage, his paperwork finished for the day. As he walked along the path, he took the time to enjoy the scenery and enjoy the fresh air that was so much better than the stale smell that wafted around his office. He did his best to visit the orphanage on a weekly basis to bring some joy to the young children there, more importantly though to see Naruto and make sure that he was getting treated fairly. Even though he always said that everything was alright he could always see that the boy was lying just to make sure that the Hokage didn't have to worry about anything. This in turn only made Sarutobi more worried.
Stepping through the doors, he gave a polite wave to the young woman at the desk. "Ah, Hokage-sama, what a pleasant surprise," she said with a smile and a small bow of respect.
"I thought I'd spent enough time in the office today," said Sarutobi as he shared the smile that the administration clerk had given him. "Is Naruto around? I want to speak with him before I see the rest of the children."
"Actually, Naruto was adopted today," said the clerk with a smile. An intrigued look fell upon Sarutobi's face as he opted to not worry about whether or not the woman was smiling because of they were in a good mood or if it was because Naruto was gone. He wouldn't even had been surprised if both options were connected with one another. "I have the forms here if you wish to have a look."
"Thank you," said Sarutobi as he took the forms from the clerk, quickly sifting through the information before coming to the name of the adoptive parent. He hid the fact that he could instantly tell that it was a fake name, nobody that he knew of in Konoha had the name of 'Peter James.'
"What did these people look like?" asked Sarutobi, hoping to get a little more information. He was quickly gifted with a list of details ranging from what they were wearing to their size and even how they combed their hair. "Thank you," said the wise man as he returned the papers. "I'll be seeing the rest of the children now."
As Sarutobi walked towards the outside area where he knew a majority of the kids would be playing, his mind processed all of the information he had been given and instantly knew who it was that had adopted the blonde haired boy. The question was though, what plans did the Yakuza have now that they had adopted Naruto into their clan.
Hope you enjoyed.