Eyes of the Broken Soul: Chapter 1

Read Chapter 2 here.

Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto, nor am I affiliated in any way with Naruto. I just like the show and mangas so I wrote this fanfic.

This fanfic and the ideas therein do belong to me, ‘Tenrai Senshi’. If you want to use it in any way shape or form, such as uploading it onto another site, you’ll need my permission first. All original characters also belong to me and may not be used without my permission.

Warning: Naruto is a bit OOC in this story due to circumstances explained, most notably in the earlier chapters. Some of the other characters may become OOC as well, mostly due to different circumstances taking place, but that isn’t 100% certain yet. If you don’t like it, don’t complain because I’ve already warned you.

Plot summary: This story is about a young Naruto who lives a life of constant abuse at his orphanage because of the Kyuubi sealed inside him, never knowing why he was hated. However, one night, during one of his many violent encounters with a hostile caretaker, the boy inadvertently activates a hidden Kekkei Genkai that hospitalizes one of his wardens. After being kicked out of his only home due to this incidence, Naruto must now deal with the after-effects of having lived a life in isolation, not to mention the secrets of his newly discovered abilities.


AN: Hey WRA, it’s been a long time since I have been on, mostly because of how busy I have been, but I think it’s finally safe to say that I am now back and ready for action, and what better way to return to the chaotic halls of our favorite blog than with another fanfic I have been trying to write?

*Hears cricket chirp while audience stares at me questioningly.* O_o

Okay… so maybe there are a few better ways, but this will have to do for now. In any case, I know I uploaded another fanfic a while ago on WRA, that focused on an interesting idea with the likes of some of our favorite Akatsuki members, but this particular story, was actually one of my first ever written and it was also based on a similar underlying message. In fact, my other fanfic “The Hope of a New Dawn” is actually based on this one in some ways, mostly with regards to the themes involved.

Because of how important it was and still is as a stepping stone in my writing, I wanted to share it with you all. It’s also very personal to me, in many ways…

Anyway, here it is! ^ ^


Chapter 1 – Nightmares and Loneliness

They say that when someone is sad, or when the heavy burden of grief claims their heart, the arrival of rain is a welcome solace to hide the tears that fall from their eyes. Storms that bring life-bearing water to the very earth below also hold the great promises of new beginnings, fertility and times of joy. Yet, even still, one cannot deny the harm and destruction they are capable of causing just as easily.

For some, such a passing is seen as a blessing, for others an inconvenient curse, but for one boy in particular, not even the rain that fell endlessly passed his solemn and empty gaze could hide the tears that fell just as quietly from his eyes, as he watched such a storm billowing outside his window. For his eyes had carried all the evidence of his emotions of the weight that pressed heavily against his heart, emotions that were rooted in the grief and sorrow that mercilessly clung onto his very being.

A flash of bright light momentarily illuminated the night sky, pulsing through the darkness and painting the clouds above with a smear of white and silver, before letting out an angry roar in the wake of its passing. A deep, heavy breath broke the otherwise eerie silence that followed only moments later, before finally releasing itself from strained lungs in the guise of a shuddered sigh, the hint of a dreaded emotion catching painfully in a child’s heart as it sank with the knowledge of what was yet to come.

For Uzumaki Naruto, the storm only served as a fleeting distraction from a life cursed with silence and pain, and it was all he could do to sit quietly upon a tattered bed next to a hazed window, his dampened blue eyes longingly searching the world outside for any distraction they could afford. However, even the mesmerizing trance that the dancing flashes of light offered him could not distract his thoughts from the overbearing cold that wrapped around his body and soon he was shivering from the damp and icy chill that seeped into his skin.

Naruto brought his legs up to huddle his knees closely against his chest, before hugging them tightly in an attempt to stay warm. Any blanket that might have been afforded to another child of his age by the grace of a loving parent, was notably absent from his hold, and only the warmth of his own body and the thin, torn clothes that scantly covered him, provided any protection from the unforgiving elements. He was somewhat used to living under such harsh conditions, so he tried to adapt as best as he always had, but that didn’t make it any easier for him to bear.

This was his hell, his empty world of broken dreams and unrelenting pain. Naruto never knew why he was treated differently from the other children in his orphanage, or why he was never given the affection and care that his fellows were so freely blessed with. He never knew why he couldn’t feel the warmth of a simple hug, or the soft whisper of a gentle voice as it told him that he was loved. All he ever knew was the cold and unforgiving glares of darkened eyes as they regarded him with a bitter malice and loathing discontent. The same eyes that mercilessly bored into his soul every time one’s gaze drew onto him and the same eyes that watched him cry out in pain every time their owner saw fit to inflict against him whatever cruel torture they could muster.

He never knew why he was hated so much, or why the caretakers of his orphanage treated him with such cruelty. They even denied him the simple comfort of having company by isolating him in the farthest and most run down side of the building that he reluctantly called home. All he knew was that this was his reality and it was all he could do to simply survive it as best as he could.

Another brief flash of light momentarily interrupted Naruto’s deteriorating thoughts, before drawing his otherwise unfocused eyes back to his window once more. A happy couple could be seen walking merrily passed his view, comforted in one another’s arms as they walked under the shelter that kept them from the torrent of rain. Even though it was faint, the young boy could just barely make out the exuberant laughs that carried across the air as they continued happily on their journey, and a tight squeeze shared between them as they wrapped their arms around one another easily betrayed the love they clearly shared.

Soon afterwards, a single, small hand found itself firmly pressed against the icy window that tickled against its palm, a hand that reached out longingly for the warmth that met its owner’s sight only to find coldness in its stead. A few drops of water trickled against the floor moments later and soon the vision that met Naruto’s vision began to warp and fade altogether, his view now impeded by the salty evidence of emotions that welled up in his eyes. Even despite his best efforts, Naruto could not stop the tears as they slid down the side of his cheeks and over the fine whisker lines that marked them, nor the heavy sob that unexpectedly wracked his body.

‘Why… why can’t I just touch them?’ The boy thought quietly to himself, in between a deep heave. ‘Why can’t I feel that warmth…? I just want to… I just…’

Naruto simply squeezed his eyes tightly in anguish, ridding them of any remaining tears that might have otherwise still clung to his vision, before shaking his anguished thoughts from his mind. Unfortunately, they would not be the last tears he would shed that night, nor would they be the easiest to bear.

It wasn’t long before the door to Naruto’s room suddenly began to stir before slowly creaking open, an expected arrival and a curse to the boy’s life, one that he knew would soon bring him pain.

Startled from his trance, Naruto quickly jumped up from the bed that had provided him his only comfort, his eyes now widened with the evidence of fear and panic, before he backed slowly up against the nearby wall. Both of his hands soon found themselves pressing tightly against the cold surface that met his back, almost as if to brace him or simply keep him steady, and shortly afterwards his gaze was caught by another imposing figure as it entered into his view.

“Good evening Naruto-kun,” a heavy voice sneered pompously. “I’m sure you know why I am here, so there’s no need for any formal introductions, not that you would understand such civil exchanges. Let’s just get on with it then, shall we? I am feeling rather tired tonight…”

Naruto simply whimpered in fear as he regarded the colossal tower of a man that addressed him, knowing all to well what would follow soon afterwards. It was the same thing that happened every night without fail and this night wouldn’t be any different from the others. As if to confirm his fears of what was to come, or merely to taunt the flow of his tears, the warden in front of him began to crack his knuckles into his hands, causing them to pop loudly into place as he prepared himself for the night’s ‘lesson’. It was all Naruto could do to close his eyes as tightly as he could in preparation for what would follow, while trying desperately to hold his own body from collapsing under his precariously shaking knees.

‘Please, please don’t let it last long. Please let it not hurt too much…’

All that followed was an eerie silence and for a moment, even the sound of the falling rain outside seemed to fade into nothingness, almost as if time itself had frozen in place. Then, it finally came, and the first blow fell mercilessly from a cruel fist as it slammed into the side of Naruto’s face, sending his quivering form crashing to the ground with a heavy thud. At first, there was no pain, just a tingling warmth as it spread through the area of impact, but unfortunately for Naruto, the reprieve was short-lived.

It wasn’t even moments later, before the boy’s cheek suddenly felt like it had caught on fire, as his nerves began to relay the pain. Naruto simply writhed in agony as he lay there on the damp wooden floor that held his form, hissing through teeth that still clenched tightly in agony. However, even despite his pain, he still dared not open his eyes for fear of an even greater reprisal and the child did his best to hold back any screams that would have otherwise brought satisfaction to the ears of his tormentor.

“I see you want to do this the hard way,” Naruto heard the same gruff voice chiding again, followed by an amused chuckle. “That’s perfect. It makes the game that much more fun for me when I get to test how long your will can hold out.”

From that point, there was no longer any offer of restraint and Naruto couldn’t even tell one blow from the next as they continued to rain down without remorse. The boy didn’t even know how long it was before he started screaming, or whether he had simply been doing so from the start, all he knew was that even his cries for mercy did little to stem the tide and soon he no longer had the strength to even scream anymore.

Then, just as suddenly as it started, it was over, and the clammy sounds of retreating footsteps signified the end of Naruto’s torture. The only other evidence of the fact, was the cruel words that carried across the air.

“Well, it looks like we’re done for the night boy. I’ll see you again tomorrow night, same time, hahaha, same place.” The room then fell into an eerie silence once more.

It was only a few minutes later that Naruto even dared to finally open his eyes again and even then, it took all the strength he could muster. Soon afterwards, once he had given himself some time to test his own mobility, he propped himself up as best as he could with shaky arms, noticing, with great concern, the blood that marked the floor where he lay and the evidence of his beating that marred his body.

“Man, he really didn’t hold back this time,” he choked out shakily, although it was more of a strained whisper. “How am I ever gonna explain this to Iruka-sensei?”

Naruto then steadied himself upright until he was in a more supportive sitting position, before letting out a shaky sigh of relief. It was over, he had survived another night.

He just continued to sit there in silence for a few minutes, his body in too much pain to move even if it was only to lie down again. He didn’t know whether he wanted to cry or just sleep, or whether either would provide him any comfort. All he knew was that he could feel a heavy pain hitting the center of his chest, almost as though a clamp had gripped his heart and begun to squeeze tightly.

Unfortunately, the moment of peace was short-lived and another creek from the doorway alerted Naruto once more, drawing his now bruised eyes back up only to see his tormentor entering the room again. This time, however, the man brandished a new toy to amuse himself with, a wooden plank that was covered in a mess of barbed wiring, no doubt another tool to implement some sickening form of torture.

“Well, hello again,” the man called out mockingly. “I thought, seeing as how you handled that last session so admirably, that I’d leave you with one last gift for the night.”

Naruto felt a hitch catch in his breath as he watched the man swing his new weapon about in an almost exuberant manner, and the pain in that caught in the boy’s chest only squeezed that much tighter.

‘No… not again…’

The young blond didn’t even notice the tears that slipped down his face, nor the way his heart began to race frightfully, pounding desperately hard against his chest. All he could see was the figure of a monster before him, moving towards his position like a scavenger raiding a carcass.

‘No, please… no more… I can’t take any more…’

Then it all became a haze, as images and colours blurred together and sounds devolved into nothing more than a violent ringing in Naruto’s ears. All that remained were his emotions, raw and turbulent, as they burned throughout his very being.

“NO MORE!”

Following Naruto’s rasped cry, eyes that were once a deep blue colour began to shine a soft gold, peering radiantly out onto the darkness and locking their gaze with the very figure that regarded him with so much contempt. Naruto simply continued to stare blankly, unaware of his own vision, emotions, or even his thoughts, unaware of the screams that began to reverberate across the room as the man in front of him began to cry out in agony.

The weapon that the warden had once held in his hands had no sooner fallen to the floor, when their own followed shortly afterwards. The man then began to writhe and squirm where he lay, as if tortured by some hidden assailant.

“Gaaahhhh! Make it stop! MAKE IT STOP!”

The agonized cries soon brought Naruto back to his senses and the golden hue of his eyes quickly returned to their normal blue shade once more. It was only then that the boy noticed, for the first time, the dilemma set before him.

“W-what happened?” He gasped in shock. “What’s going on?”

Naruto then pushed himself off the floor and steadied himself on his feet, fighting against the overwhelming pain that wracked his body and the shaking of his legs. Whether the man deserved what was happening to him or not, Naruto just couldn’t bear to watch him crying out in so much agony, and so he began to limp his way out of his room, before entering into the dark and empty hallway outside.

“Someone help!” He cried out desperately, in an attempt to garner some aid as he continued to move slowly. “Someone! Anyone! I don’t know what happened!”

However, even despite his efforts, his injuries were simply too great to ignore any longer and soon Naruto came crashing down to his hands and knees. The sharp pain in his chest began to rise once more, only this time it was far more severe, and it was all the young blond could do to place his hand over his heart, before squeezing it tightly and scrunching the fabric of his shirt in an attempt to find relief. His breathing became heavier, the pace faster and darkness began to follow shortly afterwards.

‘Why does it hurt so much? Why is this happening?’

The last thing Naruto saw before his world was consumed by shadows, was a pair of dark blue high-heeled shoes clambering towards him. Then, nothing…

“So, it’s finally happened huh? I knew this little monster would do something like this sooner or later. We should have gotten rid of him sooner.”

The dark world that engulfed Naruto’s senses slowly began to peel away once more, his sense brought back to him first by the dull throbbing pain in his forehead and then by the malicious voice that caught his hearing. As his eyes finally began to open to reveal the damp tattered room around him once more, the boy’s gaze was met with the visage of one of the officials that ran the orphanage, whose words had pulled him from the darkness.

Her long blond hair and deep green eyes quickly identified her and the mere sight of such a presence only served to cause a lump in Naruto’s throat. Her stare was filled with the same cruelty and arrogance as the rest of them, holding the subject of their gaze with nothing but discontent. This wasn’t the first time Naruto had met her either. She would often show up after one of his many ‘accidents’ or when he tried to resist a beating. He knew her only as Mikoto-san, having never heard her last name mentioned out loud, although he suspected that she would strike him even if he ever simply bothered to utter her name, even if only as a whisper.

“It seems you’ve caused us a bit of trouble” The woman began again, once she noticed the fearful blue eyes staring back up at her. “Your little stunt back their has landed our dear warden in hospital, apparently comatose. He suffered from some sort of severe trauma and they aren’t even sure when or if he’ll wake up.”

Naruto felt his heart sink at her words.

‘Did I cause that?’ He thought bitterly to himself. ‘No, I couldn’t have. I wouldn’t hurt someone like that… I…’

“So, what do you have to say for yourself?” Mikoto’s voice interrupted once again, bringing the youngster back from his thoughts.

Naruto simply looked up to meet her hardened gaze as she stepped up to the bed he now lay upon, before letting out a deep sigh. He already knew he would be blamed regardless of what he said and he knew the punishment would be severe. However, even despite that, he still tried his best to explain, even if it was to ease his own conscience more than anything else.

“WELL!”

“I… I don’t know what happened, I swear!” Naruto began uneasily. “One minute he was standing in front of me and the next he was on the floor, screaming. He…”

“Enough!” The boy was cut off before he could even finish his words. It was almost as though the woman before him never intended to give him that luxury in the first place and if the look on her face was anything to go by, she was definitely angry. Naruto couldn’t help his shaking.

“I don’t know who you think I am or if you just think I’m just plain stupid, but this charade has gone on long enough.” Mikoto continued in the uneasy silence. Naruto then watched in fear as the woman marched over to his door, before turning back only to finish speaking. “This will be the last time you are given the chance to cause any more harm. The Sandaime may have placed you here in this orphanage out of compassion, but I can no longer allow a monster like you to live in our presence.”

Mikoto then walked out of the door and disappeared into the darkness, only to be replaced by two tall, heavily built men. Naruto simply gulped in dread as the two figures made their way over to where he was lying, before hauling him out of the bed with little care of being gentle, despite his wounds.

“Wait, what are you going to do to me? Please don’t hurt me,” The blond pleaded desperately. His words only seemed to fall on deaf ears, his question remaining unanswered.

It wasn’t long before they took him out of the room that had been his home for as long as he could remember, dragging him down the dark and musty hallways that held all the memories of his life up to that point and finally arriving at the front doors that led into the street outside. The two men wasted little time in their disposal and soon Naruto found himself being brutally hurled out into the rain and mud, his body only coming to a halt after sliding some distance through the grimy mess.

“Get lost and don’t ever bother coming back, monster!” One of them shouted out after him just as Naruto managed to find his feet. The moment was short lived, however, as a small ruck-sack was tossed out just as recklessly as the boy before it, hitting the young blond soundly across the head and bringing him back down into the mud again.

Naruto could still hear the sounds of laughter filtering through the wall of rain as the two men closed the doors behind him. Once they were gone from view, the subject of their humor finally began to pick himself up again, managing just barely to find his balance as he knelt there in the seemingly never ending storm. He took a quick glance at the backpack just a short distance to his left, which now made up the entirety of his possessions, and let out an anguished groan, his hands balling into fists at his sides.

“Why…?” Naruto choked, trying to make sense of his predicament. “Why do they keep calling me a monster? What did I do to deserve this?”

If anyone was looking, they would have never known that Naruto was crying as he sat there hopelessly, with the rain that washed over him perfectly disguising his tears. Only his reddened eyes would have given away any evidence of the fact if one looked closely enough, and even that was hardly noticeable passed the swelling bruises that marred his face. The rain was a surprising comfort in this time of turmoil and despite the cold it brought with its downfall, for some reason, Naruto was glad for its presence.

After giving himself some time to calm down, the youngster finally managed to push himself back up onto his quivering legs. He wasn’t sure if it was the cold that made him shake so much, or simply his own weakness, but it didn’t really matter anymore. Naruto then retrieved his belongings, which had surprisingly been spared from being contaminated by too much dirt and began to make his journey away from the orphanage one step at a time.

He wasn’t sure where he was going or if he even had any hope for a future now that his only home was taken from him, all he knew was that he felt exhausted and sleep was the only comfort that remained an option to him. It took some time but Naruto finally stumbled upon a dark alleyway, its narrow passage devoid of any other company or life that might have made his night that much more unforgiving.

Pleased that he was alone, he limped over to a nearby dumpster, before sinking down into the crevice it formed where the steel structure met the wall. He then shoved his backpack into the corner for use as a pillow, before resting his head down against it and closing his eyes. Naruto could still feel the remnant pain in his chest, but he was too tired to even care anymore.

‘I guess… I guess this is my new home.’ The boy thought bitterly. “No. I don’t have a home anymore. I don’t have anything…’

After that, he finally slipped into a fragile slumber, his body still shivering from the cold that seeped into his bones. It was the only movement that betrayed any signs of life in the child as he lay there in the unforgiving storm, a life that was on the verge of a great change that even Naruto could have never imagined.

Dawn…

As the last few vestiges of storm clouds finally began to break away from the skyline, the radiant rays of morning sunlight that hid behind their curtain of darkness were finally able to shine through for the first time. As if to greet the new found blessing of light and warmth, birds began to frolic and sing merrily, filling the air with their cheerful calls and bringing with them a sense of calm and tranquility.

The rain that had fallen the night before began to dry away as well, with the muddy, drenched roads quickly turning to dry dust over the window of only an hour or two. Even the darkened alleyway that held a small, sleeping figure curled up in its shadows, became drenched in the first rays of hope after a short time and soon Naruto’s body felt the warm touch of a gentle comfort caressing against his skin. Moments later, as if to answer an unspoken call, two blue eyes slowly began to peel open, revealing to their owner the promising sight of a new dawn as it greeted his tired and hazy vision.

“Am I… still alive?” Naruto croaked weakly. He had half expected to never wake up again, given his condition and the harsh elements he had to endure.

Somewhat relieved that he was still, in fact, in the world of the living, Naruto then began to stretch himself out as best as he could, reviving his tired and aching muscles. It was quite painful, considering his injuries, but he was surprised that he could even move at all. Once he had woken himself up somewhat, he then moved to stand to his feet, before dusting himself off from the now dried dirt stains that marred his otherwise white shirt. It was still torn and tattered from the treatment he had received the night before, but the blood that had previously stained it had mostly been washed away by the rain, with only small traces still barely visible.

That didn’t mean it would be alright to be seen in the less that presentable attire though, especially if he had the intention of going to the academy that day.

And so the boy removed the effectively ruined article of clothing, drawing it off from his back before holding it out in front of himself to better inspect. Even he noticed the dejected sigh that instinctively escaped his lips at the mere sight of it. There were tears and frays all over the fabric, in fact it would be more accurate to say that it was hard finding a decent patch of fabric in between the tears. One particular gaping hole was big enough for Naruto to stick his hand through right to the other side.

Sighing, the blond then turned to retrieve his backpack, which would have held what little change of clothes he had. However, much to the youngster’s distress, the corner near the dumpster that the item had once inhabited as his nighttime pillow was now empty of his belongings.

It had been stolen. He hadn’t even been on the streets for more than one night and all his belongings were already gone. All Naruto had left were the clothes that he had worn through the night and the marks that his caretakers had made sure to inflict on his body. The young blond could feel a bitter taste forming in his mouth and the evidence of tears welling up in his eyes, but he quickly shook them away, knowing all too well that they would do him little good at that time.

“I guess I’ll just have to go to the ninja academy like this then,” Naruto sighed, before redressing himself with the only shirt he had. “I wonder what the others will think when they see me like this. They probably wouldn’t even care.” He then made his way out of the alley and towards the ninja academy where he was taught.

Having lived in the orphanage all his life, Naruto was never really allowed to go outside into the village alone. He was simply confined to the most isolated room in the building and mostly forgotten, save for his nightly visits. The only other time anyone came near him was when he was given his daily meal, and even that was barely sufficient enough to nourish him properly.

The only circumstance under which he was allowed to leave the orphanage, was to attend the academy for his schooling as a shinobi, and even then his wardens would often attempt to delay his efforts in that regard, often keeping him locked away as long as possible without overdoing it so as to alert anyone to their actions. Of course, Iruka, their class teacher, had always dismissed the boy’s late showing as Naruto simply trying to be disruptive to his class and it hurt the youngster to think that the man felt that he was nothing more than an inconvenience. Even still, he never told anyone the truth about his plight, mostly out of fear and shame. Naruto just wasn’t sure if he could ever live with the knowledge of his peers seeing him as a fragile child whose only purpose was to exist for the sick enjoyment of those around him. He felt ashamed and weak and he never wanted anyone to see him that way.

The academy provided his only real reprieve from a world of pain and isolation. His hopes of becoming a strong shinobi who people would respect and be proud of were, really, the only dreams he had left and he most certainly wasn’t going to let them die now, especially after he had already lost everything else.

It was only after a few minutes of walking through the mostly deserted village streets, that Naruto finally found himself looking over the comforting site of the academy grounds. He was particularly pleased that he hadn’t bumped into any disgruntled villagers on his way there, but that fleeting thought didn’t delay his journey into the safety of the walls before him.

Once he was inside the bright halls, it was almost as though a heavy burden had been lifted off of his shoulders. All of his fears, all of his tension and even, in some ways, his pain, began to melt away, replaced by a familiar warmth that only this place afforded him. He felt relieved for the first time in hours and it was a welcomed comfort indeed.

Naruto knew that, even here in this place, there were still those that regarded him with the same cold and uncaring eyes that he was subjected to at his former home. However, for some reason, such gestures didn’t bother him as much. That was mostly due to the fact that no-one in the academy had ever physically harmed him or even approached him for that matter. Perhaps it was because of all the numerous shinobi that filled the building, or the watchful eyes of Iruka himself that had stayed their hands. He knew that it was the third Hokage that insisted he be allowed to train at the academy in the first place, so he assumed that any misconduct, especially from the very ninja that served the old man, would be dealt with harshly.

Right now, however, the halls were mostly empty. Due to the simple fact that Naruto no longer conformed to the rising times of the orphanage, he had arrived unusually early on this particular day and even when he finally found himself inside the very classroom in which he was taught, there wasn’t a single soul in sight.

“I guess this means I’m here first.” The boy mumbled aimlessly to himself.

Naruto took a moment to survey his surroundings, ensuring that no-one had somehow eluded his notice. Once he was satisfied that he was indeed alone, he moved over to the isle where he had sat every day and plonked down in his own seat. Letting out a deep, tired yawn that he didn’t know he had been holding, the boy then rested his head against the solid wooden desk, with his fatigue once again unexpectedly catching up to him. It was a miracle that he had made it to the academy at all, with the injuries and stress his body had incurred, and so it was only natural that he soon found himself the victim of his own exhaustion, as sleep claimed him once more.

Minutes later, unbeknown to the quietly sleeping youngster, the academy grew lively with the shuffling of feet and noisy chatter as students began to make their way to their classrooms. Silent whispers began to carry across the air as Naruto’s own class began to fill as well, but he simply remained blissfully unaware of the curious stares and pointing fingers that directed their way to his slumbering form. Once the others had settled down around him, the class teacher himself finally made his way inside, before calling it to silence and drawing everyone’s attention to the front.

He was a fairly gentle looking young man, with dark brown hair tied up into a pony-tail above his head and a clearly defined scar running across his face over the bridge of his nose. Known to Naruto as Iruka-sensei, he was the only figure in the boy’s life who did not seem to hold any malice or loathing for the youngster. As such, he was also the one man that Naruto admired the most and the one he aspired to gain acceptance from.

“Alright, good morning class.” The young man began, drawing everyone’s attention to himself. “As you all should already know, tomorrow we are going to hold another important assessment exam to measure your skills and ascertain whether you are all ready for further advancement into the academy’s training regime. Those who fail the exam will be held back for further training so that they can catch you up with the rest of the class.”

Up until this point in the academy, the students had mostly been restricted to more basic jutsu , as well as standard combat forms and strategies. An assessment exam would be held once every six months to record the progress of each student relative to the expected parameters of advancement and those who failed to reach that would be held back for additional training until they were ready to move on.

Some of the jutsu that had been learned up until that point included the henge, kawarimi and bunshin techniques, the last of which Naruto himself had particular difficulty with. This was mostly because they were the safest to use for the younger students and their far smaller chakra reserves, not to mention they held the least risk of causing damage to either themselves, or those around them.

Once Iruka had finished explaining the finer details of what was expected of his charges and the consequences involved therein, the sounds of muffled complaints could easily be made out spilling across the room, with many of the students less than happy about the prospect of an examination of any kind. One particular youngster, a boy with hair similar in style and colour to his teacher, could only sigh despondently, before voicing his own complaints in a less than conspicuous manner.

“Man this really bites. Tests are troublesome as it is, without all the added pressure, but mom would kill me if I didn’t pass.” The youngster then caught notice of the sleeping blond in the very next row in front of him, causing his eyebrows to raise curiously as he regarded the unmoving form.

“Well, I guess Naruto won’t be passing then,” he remarked bluntly once more. However, it was then that he noticed the tattered state of his fellow student’s clothing, causing his curiosity to grow that much more. “I wonder what happened to him.”

“Isn’t it obvious Shikamaru?” Another voice broke out, drawing the said boy’s troubled gaze over to the blond girl seated next to him. Seeing that she had his attention, she simply continued in her rant. “He’s probably been playing some kind of prank again and just got himself into trouble,” the girl announced in a ‘matter of fact’ tone. “It serves him right if you ask me, I’m glad he’s not going to pass. At least we’ll get rid of the dobe now.”

Shikamaru simply shook his head despondently, before muttering something about troublesome girls under his breath. “We don’t know that for sure, Ino,” he finally retorted. “Maybe we should tell Iruka-sensei…”

“Tell him what!” The girl snapped back, stopping the Nara in his tracks.

“Yes, what is it you want to tell me?” Both students turned to the voice that had interrupted them, only to see Iruka glaring impatiently in their direction. He had noticed their idle chatter from a mile away and was beginning to grow irritated by the interruption.

“Well, that idiot Naruto is sleeping in class again!” Ino began. “He’s always going to be a dead last if you ask me, especially if he can’t even keep his eyes open during class!” Everyone turned to the subject of her words only to see Naruto’s motionless figure as he continued to slumber away. It was all Iruka could do to hold back the twitch in his left eye.

“Oooh! That boy is going to give me such a headache!” The young man growled.

Iruka then proceeded to march angrily up towards to Naruto’s row, before walking over to the blond’s location. He was just about ready to swat the boy on the back of his head, but a second glance quickly brought is attention to the tattered and torn shirt on Naruto’s back, as well as the lingering evidence of what looked barely visible blood stains.

Suddenly, Iruka’s fury began to melt away and a subtle feeling of dread quickly rose its place. The chunin hastily strode passed the curious Inuzuka that sat next to the subject of his concern, before placing his hand on Naruto’s shoulder and giving him a gentle shake.

“Hey, Naruto, it’s time to wake up now,” he offered gently, his tone far softer than even he himself expected.

The chunin’s attempts to wake him, however, proved to be fruitless and Naruto simply remained unmoving despite his touch. Small fits of laughter began to resound amongst the other students watching, their amusement regarding the situation quickly becoming apparent. Seeing that his first attempt was too gentle, Iruka then tried it again, this time shaking the boy more vigorously than before in a desperate attempt to break his sleep.

After a few more strained tugs, Naruto’s eyes suddenly shot open, before he yelped out in panic and fear, lashing out in defense in the process. Luckily for Iruka, his reflexes were honed for such unexpected attacks, and his speed and training allowed him to easily catch the youngster’s arm in mid flight, avoiding the impending blow. Naruto quickly realized where it is that he was and whom it was that he had almost struck, and couldn’t help it as his own voice began to stammer precariously.

“I-I… I’m sorry Iruka-sensei. I didn’t mean to…”

“That’s all right Naruto,” Iruka cut him off, trying to subdue his panic. The chunin then took a moment to regard the figure before him, noting with a great deal of pain, the bruises that rounded Naruto’s eyes and dotted across his cheeks. The blond was brimming with cuts, scratches and angry red marks that looked as if they were the result of some severe impact. Even the arm that the young chunin held firmly in his grasp was marked with the same evidence of Naruto’s trauma and it only served to cause Iruka’s expression to fall into a heavy frown.

But what caused his heart to sink the most, were Naruto’s eyes. The boy’s blue orbs were filled with an incredible amount of fear and panic, more so than Iruka would have ever imagined seeing in them, and he could even notices the unmistakable traces of guilt and shame as well.

“Naruto… what happened to you?” The scarred man gulped nervously. Naruto’s eyes simply began to well up once more following the question, despite his best efforts to remain calm. However, before he could even answer, another voice called out from behind, breaking the silence that had since befallen them.

“Yea, what happened dobe! Get run over by a stampede! Or maybe the little prankster got caught with his own medicine!”

The rest of the class simply burst out laughing following the tasteless jab, causing Naruto to jump from his seat, before running out of the classroom as fast as his feet would allow. Iruka could only watch with a cringe as he disappeared into the hallway, his hands covering his face to hide the bruises of his shame and no doubt his tears as well. Such a lack of compassion only made the man that much more upset and soon his concern grew into a terrible anger.

“Alright, that’s enough all of you!” He growled darkly, silencing the class with his surprising change in demeanor. “If I hear another word about this from anyone, that unfortunate individual will have detention for the next week. Got it?”

Iruka didn’t even wait for an answer, nor did he really care for it at the time. All he cared about right now was Naruto, and so he quickly followed the boy’s trail into the hallway, leaving the rest of his stunned students behind. He never noticed the pair of pale lavender eyes that followed him as he exited the room, nor the deep concern that inhabited their gaze.

Iruka had searched the halls desperately for almost half an hour, with no success in finding his missing student. It was only a while later that the man finally found himself stumbling upon the large doors that led outside to the school grounds at the rear of the academy, the only place he had yet to sweep. And, as luck would have it, just as he made his way outside, the young chunin noticed, with a great deal of relief, the tell-tale mop of golden-blond hair glistening in the sunlight, betraying the location of their owner as Naruto sat quietly atop a nearby swing.

The youngster had not yet noticed his arrival and simply continued to rock himself gently back and forth, but Iruka could already clearly make out the expression of sadness that marred his features despite the distance that separated them. The teacher took a moment to draw a deep breath, one that he held in his lungs for far longer a time than what was natural, before releasing it in a heavy sigh. He then made his way up to Naruto’s side, before seating himself on the swing beside the boy and drawing Naruto’s attention to his presence.

There was a brief moment of awkward silence shared between the two, only interrupted by what sounded like heavy sobs coming from the younger, with neither one speaking a single whisper. It was only a few minutes later before Iruka finally broke the quiet with heavy and solemn words.

“They hurt you, didn’t they?”

Another, somewhat heavier sob was the only response the man received, but it was all he needed to confirm his suspicions. Having received his answer, Iruka quickly moved from his position on his swing and knelt down in front of Naruto, gaining his eyes in the process. Looking into the deep blue orbs, they were filled with so much pain and suffering that the chunin almost couldn’t believe that he was looking at the same boy he had always seen before. The feisty blond had always seemed so cheerful and exuberant during class before, with more than his fair share of mischievous flair that did well to increase Iruka’s pain-killer consumption throughout the year.

But the scarred chunin understood right there and then, that this was not the same Naruto he had come to know. In fact, he was almost certain now that he had never really known Naruto at all to begin with and that the grief he saw staring back at him through saddened blue eyes at that very moment, was the real boy he had never managed to see before.

The man then did the only thing he could think of at the time. He moved his arms around Naruto’s back and pulled him into a tight hug, causing him to slip off the swing that had held him up and bringing him to his knees as he was held tightly in stronger arms. Naruto himself flinched at the sudden and foreign turn of events that he now found himself swept up in. Iruka could feel the boy’s body stiffen in his grip, almost as though he was startled or frightened, but before he could think on it, the blond spoke up in his stead.

“I-Iruka-sensei…. w-what are you d-doing?” Naruto stammered uneasily, unable to discern his sensei’s actions.

“What do you mean, what am I doing? I’m giving you a hug. It’s what people do for someone they care about when they want to comfort them.” Naruto’s eyes only widened at the man’s words, while the tears he had tried to hold back before finally allowed themselves to fall. Someone cared for him. Iruka cared for him. It was something he had never truly felt before, but the comfort and warmth the man’s hold brought him was worth more than he could ever imagine.

Soon, the youngster’s head was buried completely into his teacher’s shoulders, relishing in the embrace offered to him as he released all of his emotions in that single moment of weakness. Iruka, all the while, simply continued to hold him tightly, stroking his back in a soothing manner in an attempt to ease his tension and guide his strained breaths.

“That’s it,” the man offered gently. “Just let it all out. I won’t let go until you’re ready. Just take as much time as you need.”

It was only then that Iruka noticed something that he had otherwise been unaware of up until that point. For some reason, he could feel his own emotions beginning to stir as well. The feelings were foreign to him, almost as though they weren’t his own, and the chunin silently wondered if they somehow belonged to the boy in his arms. However, he quickly shook off his thoughts on the matter, saving them for a later and less desperate time to address the issue.

Once Naruto had spent all of his emotions, Iruka finally allowed himself to pull away from their hold, watching silently as he gave the child a moment to wipe away his puffy eyes. For a moment, he thought he saw what looked like a flash of gold flashing in the child’s otherwise blue irises, but he simply brushed it off as a reflection of the morning sunlight playing tricks on his mind.

“So, are you feeling better now?” The chunin inquired, once he was sure Naruto was ready to talk again. The blond nodded his head silently, for a lack of any better response. After all, he had to admit, he did feel a bit better.

“Good,” Iruka sighed. “Look Naruto, I’ll talk to the Sandaime and see if we can resolve this issue. If your caretakers at the orphanage have been mistreating you, then we need to handle the situation as soon as possible and deal with those responsible.” Naruto just shook his head in silent disapproval.

“It doesn’t matter any more,” he mumbled meekly in response. “They kicked me out last night, so I won’t be going back in any case. I have no-where to live anymore.” Iruka’s eyes dropped at the sound of his student’s words.

“W… what happened? Why did they kick you out?” This time, Naruto had to think on the question for a moment. After all, even he wasn’t sure what had actually happened that night.

“I…. I don’t really know.” He finally managed to respond. “They… they said it was something about me putting one of the wardens in a coma. I think they mean he’s sleeping and he can’t wake up. You see, while he was beating me up something happened…”

“What!” Iruka growled, interrupting Naruto as he spoke.

He had already suspected what had happened if the evidence of Naruto’s wounds was anything to go by, but hearing the words drip from the youngster’s own lips suddenly made it feel that much more real. Infuriated, the chunin quickly rose to his feet, fully intent on storming over to the orphanage right at that very moment to give its residents a piece of his mind.

“When I get my hands on those filthy bastards, I’m gonna…” However, before he could even get far, a small hand suddenly gripped his arm, causing him to turn back only to see Naruto staring longingly back up at him.

“Please, don’t Iruka-sensei,” the blond pleaded desperately. “I think I’ve done enough damage already. I don’t want anyone else to get hurt because of me and all it’ll do is cause more trouble anyway.”

Iruka couldn’t quite believe his ears as he regarded Naruto’s request, in fact it was hard for him to conceive the thought that the boy could be so merciful after what he was put through. However, Naruto’s pleading eyes finally won over his conscience in the end and he quickly calmed down. A heavy breath was the only evidence to give away his overwhelming frustration.

“Aright… alright. I won’t do anything, yet.” The last word was emphasized heavily on Iruka’s part, although Naruto didn’t seem to notice the fact. “How about I take you out for some ramen so we can talk about what happened? Then you can explain everything from the start.”

Naruto gave a silent nod of approval regarding his teacher’s suggestion. He then took a hold of the hand that Iruka offered him, before being led off the field. Iruka didn’t even go back to his class to explain what was going on and, at this point in time, Naruto was the only one he was concerned about. He couldn’t help his wandering thoughts as he continued to relay everything he had learned so far.

What could such a young child do to put a grown man in hospital so easily? From what Naruto had told him he was comatose, no less. He also pondered about the sudden sensation he felt when hugging the boy and what had caused him to feel those foreign emotions. He would have to find out what he could and talk to the Hokage about this new development as soon as humanly possible.

However, first he would have to get Naruto some new clothes and check his wounds.

Next Chapter.


AN: Well, that’s it for now. I know its a bit different from what people may expect, especially in Naruto’s character, and it starts off really dark, but it will get better and more uplifting as it progresses. If you all enjoyed it, I will upload the next chapter in a week’s time. If anyone wants to read my other fanfic previously uploaded here, just let me know and I will try and find the link again.

I hope you all enjoyed it. ^ ^

P.S. In case anyone is wondering, I will be back on the Naruto anime breakdowns starting this week coming.

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~ by Tenrai Senshi on November 9, 2010.

10 Responses to “Eyes of the Broken Soul: Chapter 1”

  1. Welcome back Tenrai! ^_^

    Great fanfic…
    By the way, I think I read it some time ago on your fanfic page.

    First!

  2. 2nd!

    wow, i haven’t seen a fanfic in so long…

  3. Good job Ten!

  4. finally!! u have no idea how long a waited for it. and its beautiful ToT
    update i say!!

  5. I second that notion NTG @_@

    PS. Hurry up with that new chapter you said you’d have done 4 months ago ~_~ 😛

  6. alright time to read X_X

  7. *Wonders if Ahsan has finished reading yet.*

    Perhaps, it was too much for him. Lol! Anyway, thanks for the comments guys.

  8. Oh god..Tenrai.. T_T This is the first time I’ve read a fanfic. I generally avoid them but I got curious. I had every intention of quitting after I catch a glimpse but I just couldn’t resist reading it all the way through. You know, there are times when things are particularly bleak and exhausting, that I curse the very existence of NGO’s such as the one I work for. But then comes with surprising clarity the very picture of the child you just described, the reason why I took this job in the first place. Children in want of education, dreaming of a future different from the impoverished ones they have, children who still suffer from barbaric ways of discipline, children who are abandoned, unwanted, a mistake, children who have never known love and acceptance. Yes, I’m getting quite sappy but Ten’s fanfic reminded me all too well that December, the month when I’d get to meet all these children again, is just around the corner; the month which, despite being an adult myself, I curse all other adults who caused all this needless suffering.

    I know this is a Naruto thing but I hope that those who get to read this fanfic would think twice before they ever treat street children and orphans like social pariahs and lepers much in the way this Naruto and the original one got treated. Tenrai, I enjoyed reading your work. It was dark, morbid, very very raw, and absolutely beautiful. I look forward to reading your next installment of the series.. 🙂

  9. @orangeorange87

    Thank you very much. I appreciate your feedback and I am glad you took something meaningful out of this story, even if it is just a fanfic. Every story has some form of meaning to it to someone, even the writer.

    Thank you for taking the time to read it.

  10. i couldn’t actually -.- my laptop “had” a problem that its back light used to go out suddenly and pressing it near the base of the screen would restore it …. i just pressed a little too hard and am now staring at a broken LCD :/

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