I do not own Naruto and the characters in the Narutoverse. They belong to Masashi Kishimoto.

They waited until they were out of earshot. Naruto could feel his heart racing as he anticipated the thing Sarutobi-ojīchan was going to discuss. His birthday next week.

The mayor spoke, "I'm sending you out of the city next week. And until we're sure it's safe, you cannot come back."

Naruto's stiffened, eyes wide with alarm. He was sending him away? "Na-nani? I can't leave, what about my school?" This was what Naruto was afraid of. Being sent away to live alone, completely. All for the sake of everyone's safety, people who didn't even know his real name and others who didn't know him at all. He needed to protect the citizens of Konoha, it was his responsibility now.

"I will handle that. You don't have to worry about your expenses, I'll take care of everything. What you need to think about is your safety. Be on your guard at all times." Sarutobi-ojīchan started to walk away.

"Hold on! Ojī-chan!"

The mayor halted but remained unturned.

Naruto's chest was already too tight. He was panicking inside. His voice was weak. "Just how long do you think this fake vacation's gonna last, dattebayo? I mean, I can't just leave right away on such short notice. What about Sasuke, Sakura-chan, and all my friends?" He lowered his head, his face falling, "I mean, I'm sure one of them will try to reach me. And it's not like I can lie to them for so long." He hated lying to them. He was already lying about half of his existence.

"They won't contact you."

Naruto felt a stab in the chest. His head shot up and stared at the old man's back with widened eyes.

"Like I told you," he continued, "I'll take care of everything."

It was too much. It was dreading. What if he was never to come back? What if he was not allowed to see his friends again?

His friends' images came into his mind. No. I can't lose them. I just can't.

"Well . . . what about Konohamaru?" Naruto tried once more. "I made a promise—"

"Naruto." Sarutobi-ojīchan cut him off. "You have to leave. There's no other way around it."

Accepting defeat, Naruto conceded with a frown, ". . . I understand." But still.

He was losing everything. His hands fisted to his sides and they shook with both frustration and fear.

Dammit, he hated his life.


This is my first official published fiction but it's actually a sort of "snippet" from something I've been trying to work on for a while now. Just wanted to post some previews. So obviously, there will be more. I'll decide if the story I'm working on that's mostly personal and I don't share with is actually worth sharing. So . . . someone has to let me know. Starting with this. If you read it, thanks. If you like it, say something, if not, ignore.