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healing the wounds of the past

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Sasuke and Naruto have known each other for what felt like forever. Basically forever! Not that anyone really understood, of course. Many people hated Naruto, and a lot of them hated Sasuke just because of the clan he was born to. A lot of the Uchiha didn’t approve of the friendship, either. It started rumors, spread lies, shoved their clan’s reputation deeper down that hole of utter hatred.

When they first met, Naruto was being kicked out of a store. Physically kicked, actually, despite the fact he was five.

So Sasuke, being the kind young boy that he was, walked over and helped Naruto up.

"Are you okay? What happened?" Sasuke asked, looking the boy over for injuries. Naruto blinks and shakes his head.


"’m used to it, don’t worry!"

Sasuke pouts. "That's not okay, stupid! You shouldn't be used to that! What did you do to deserve being kicked out of that store?"

Naruto shrugs and scratches the back of his neck.

"You don't know why?" Sasuke was getting angrier—and not at Naruto.

"People . . . just don't like me. I've never actually been in most of the stores 'cause no one lets me. But that's okay! The genin or chūnin guards buy things for me if I ask and promise to go to bed early."

Sasuke puffs up his little cheeks at that. He grabs Naruto's hand and starts walking, "You're coming with me for dinner, okay? My mom won't mind. My dad might, but he won't say anything until he knows if it's okay with my mom or not."

"What? No, it's fine! I was just gonna go—"

"No arguing, and that is that."

In the end, Sasuke’s family was actually okay with Naruto coming over. His dad seemed content—pleased, even. His mother nearly broke a plate when she learned how the two met. She mentioned going to the Hokage, for whatever reason.

Sasuke learned the next day that Naruto was in his class at the academy. He decided to help Naruto with what he didn't understand. It didn't help much but he got a passing grade on his test the next week! Despite the low grade, Naruto was ecstatic! He normally just failed! He forced Sasuke to go out to eat ramen with him in celebration. The old man who owned the ramen stand—Sasuke learned his name was Teuchi and his daughter, Ayame—gave Naruto free ramen when he was shown the passing test. Teuchi seemed happy that Naruto gained a new friend. Sasuke wondered if he was always this nice to Naruto.

He hoped he was.

"Naruto!" Sasuke slammed his hands on the blond's desk, standing in front of it with a small smile. Naruto jumped.

"What? What? Somethin happen?" Naruto couldn't help but grin back at the Uchiha.

"My brother's back from his mission and my cousin's coming over for dinner, so you should too. Can you? Please? Will the guards be upset if you do?"

"What? Of course I'll come, don't be stupid. I’ve always wanted to meet your brother, since I was like four, especially if he's as cool as you say he is. I don't really care about the guards. They can do whatever they want, you'll help me beat them up if they do anything bad!"

"Obviously, idiot." Sasuke ruffles Naruto’s hair. "If they hurt you, my mom would start a fucking riot.”

Naruto's face lights up immediately. Sasuke smiles.

Who'd want to hurt a cute idiot like this kid?

Itachi, later that day, was an overwhelming mixture of confusion and contentment about Sasuke's newfound friend.

Especially when Naruto first meets him.

"'Tachi's one of my guards, y'know." He heard the blond say to Sasuke in the dining room a few minutes after meeting Itachi.

Needless to say, his mother hears too. She tries and fails to hide her laughter.

"That kid's amazing. Reminds me of his parents."

Itachi, only somewhat confused, stares at her.

Shisui shakes his head, "He probably shouldn't know about the higher ranked guards, seeing as the jounin and ANBU guards are the stealthiest shinobi in the village. I hope nobody finds out. They might try to test him and make him graduate. Which would be bad, 'cause he should stay a kid for the next several years. Hopefully, until he's at least twelve."

"Is that even possible for him?" Itachi asks, frowning. "Last week some rich civilian kid broke into his apartment and tried to steal his food and money. I had to stop him and return everything."

Shisui sighs. "That's terrible. We should teach him some fuinjutsu and help him set up seals around his apartment so nobody can get in."

"That's a good idea."

The kitchen goes quiet again, nothing but the sounds of food cooking and kids talking coming from the other room.

"I think your cousin's one of my old guards."

Shisui drops a spoon onto the counter and covers his face with his hands. "Damn this kid straight to hell!"

"Thought you wanted him to stay a kid?"

"Shut up, Itachi, you're like eleven!"

Itachi shrugs. “I mean . . . yeah.”

Naruto squints his eyes at the tomato salad Sasuke forced onto his plate. He looks up at Sasuke. "Are these tomatoes?"

Sasuke nods, "It's tomato salad, I made it."

Naruto grins. "I'll eat it then! Your mom's a good cook but I bet you're even better 'cause you're cool like that."

Sasuke chokes on his breath. "Just eat, idiot! It’s not that deep!" Sasuke shoved Naruto's head forward in his embarrassment, causing the Uzumaki's grin to widen and his cheeks to darken.

One day, when Sasuke wakes up, he hears his parents speaking. They say a name, they say a word, and his tense shoulders drop immediately. He lets out a relieved sigh.


He’s finally dead, and nobody suspected a thing from him.


After all, who would accuse a five year old student of poisoning an S-rank shinobi?