First off, I've been busy squeezing out some content between classwork and I've finally made some leeway. It doesn't help much that I have been hospitalized for about a week now. Haa~ Oh well. Anyway, on with the story.

Legend:

"Why me?" - Normal talking

"Why then?" – Whispers and Voices from memories. Includes flashbacks.

'Why us?' - thoughts

"Why you?" – Empowered beings.

[Why here?] – Mechanical Voices and radio devices.

"Why now?" - Skills or Techniques

Disclaimer: I do not own any series that happens to be mentioned either through content or through passing. They belong to their respective owners and publishers, which I am not a part of. This is fanfiction, not something to be paid for.


Prologue: A Friend

Everything that happens causes a split in the path the future will take. So many things are thought to be written in stone.

But they are not.

It was so simple to believe that everything could follow the same path without any consequence once something so simple had been changed. The only things that never changed were the choices one made or the decision they could make, but they were free to choose how they followed those decisions.

There are some things that will remain the same. The evils of the world will always be there, and there will always be those who cry for help when they are no longer capable of pushing back.

- EDS -

Did he do something bad?

Was he scary?

Why didn't they like him?

These were the abnormal thoughts of a four year child as he stood alone in a park. He knew nothing of friendship, and even less of love. The child had no ideals of fame or grandeur. He knew nothing of the world and didn't want a lot. He just wanted a friend.

Day in and day out, he saw the children play and laugh as they ran around or tossed a ball to one another but never to him. They merely ignored him while the adults glared at him or watched him like wild animal. Their eyes showed clear disinterest yet wariness, undecided on whether he was dangerous or just not worth their time.

In utter ignorance, he knew nothing of the definition of their stares or the cause of them. The little boy only knew they hurt. He knew not the reason they hurt. He didn't bleed. He had not fallen.

So, why did it hurt so much?

With saddened sapphires growing tearful, he could only watch as the kids were lead away when the children finally noticed him. Their eyes were curious. Filled with an innocence neither he nor they knew anything about.

Who was this boy?

Why weren't they allowed to play with him?

If he's a mean boy, then why play with him?

And with this action and inaction, the process of discrimination had begun to solidify in the hearts of the newer generation. Those who learned from the actions of their parents would avoid him to please their parents. Those who wanted to hold on to their friends would act like them to avoid losing them. In doing so, an innocent boy was cast aside and looked upon with seeds of disgust and hatred.

Why did it hurt to see their eyes?

Why did his little chest feel so strange?

Why didn't they like him?

Why was he alone?

WHY?

He sniffled as tears began to stream down his whiskered cheeks. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe tomorrow they would play with him. Maybe he could finally see what they enjoyed about playing together.

Maybe he'll finally find a family.

The little boy knew nothing of the world. He never thought they would just be avoiding him. He never understood why the kids who spoke to him in the orphanage would be adopted and taken away shortly afterward. He had no idea of the adults seeking to isolate him as though he were a deadly poison. They thought they were protecting the child, uncaring of the feelings they encouraged in the younger generation. Unfeeling of the harm they caused such an innocent little boy.

It would be their regret when light finally dawned upon them the consequences of their actions. The price their village would pay, not through blood or hatred, but one of a lost potential.

After all, you never know what you have until it's gone.

- EDS -

The sun was touching the horizon. It was time for him to go back to the orphanage now.

That meant today was just another failure for him. He succeeded in nothing. He could not find any friends and he did not find out why those people had such mean eyes. So, with a sigh, he began to walk down the gravel road at a brisk pace with a sad frown. He would try harder tomorrow, but he doubted it would help any.

The kids were getting meaner.

They would even be so bold as to push him from time to time. Maybe, just maybe, he should stop trying. Something in him told him it was wrong to keep trying. All the same, something said he shouldn't give up. The power of one's mind is a powerful thing, but it would still need direction.

Clink.

Startled, the boy turned to face the source of the sound. It was a cat. A cat with smooth, pristine black fur and a large black bow tied to the back of its neck there by two tassels tipped with a single white fur ball on each. Elegant and unnatural. These are the words he would one feel best to describe how he felt about meeting this cat. The feline's beautiful coat shined against the light of the setting sun and its unnatural red eyes gleamed like rubies. They seemed to glow in a way that pulled his attention, but it was so very simple in the mind of a child.

"Pretty."

The boy said as he stared into the eyes of the cat as it seemed to appraising him with abnormal capability. He was too young to know that such profound experience in the eyes of an average cat is impossible. Cats are smart, clever, but they shouldn't look upon someone with eyes like this. Even so, this moment in time was the point of divergence.

"Hi, I'm Naruto!" He was excited! Maybe now he could have a friend. The black cat continued to watch him, undaunted as a weird sensation passed through the both of them.

Nothing would remain the same under the twinkling eyes of the heavens