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Monday, May 26, 2008


author's notes at the end of the story - contains explanations, in case you don't understand the story

disclaimer : NARUTO and all the characters and stuff related to it, are not mine.

don't forget to write a review after reading this!


by anata

I hate Rudolph the red nosed reindeer. I hated - no ... I was jealous of the fact that he was a social reject that had eventually managed to gain the other reindeer's acceptance. Why the stupid reindeer? Why not me? I don't have something as stupid as a red nose. Oh wait - yes I do. I have these weird lines on my face. They sure as hell won't wash off no matter how hard I scrub, and believe me, I've tried. Stupid, useless marks - maybe they're tatoos? Sigh, at least Rudolph's nose was able to save the day. I ... well, I haven't been able to do much on the ' saving the day ' department. I try, I really do, but being 8 years old, it's really hard.

Did I mention that I hate Christmas too? You would too if you never got any gifts, if you spent Christmas just watching other kids spend the day with their families, eating and having fun. Note the key word - FAMILIES. Just for the sake of attempting to feel what Christmas is, every year, I make a Christmas list. I don't ask for much. I don't need much, and I know that it's unlikely for me to actually get what I want. But every year, I still write. As expected, every year, my hopes are dashed to the pieces. Who cares? It doesn't matter. I sure as hell don't. ... no wait. I do. I just have to believe that I don't, but It gets harder lying to myself year after year.

A few more days to go before Christmas. I can practically feel the excitement running through the veins of all my classmates. Bright lights adorn the store windows everywhere. Flashy displays of toys and gifts are everywhere. Even Hokage-sama got into the spirit of Christmas by swapping his normal head gear with a Santa hat. Everyone is so happy. Why can't I be as well?

This sucks. Grade two sucks. I hate feeling sorry for myself.

Today is actually the second to the last day of classes before the break. I guess I should be relieved. I can finally get out of the stuffy classroom and spend time doing what do I do every Christmas break. Feel lonely. Eat tons of ramen and hope I still fit in my orange jumpsuits when school starts. Cry. Wait! Did I say cry? Men don't cry; therefore, I don't cry either. My eyes just get really red and puffy as I blow my nose occasionally. I just can't wait. Really.

I looked at my Christmas list one last time before crumpling it into a ball and throwing it into the wastebasket. It would be best if Iruka didn't notice that I hadn't been paying attention to his and some other teacher's joint lecture on how to transform into a Santa lookalike, and instead, I had been scribbling down my pathetic dreams on a piece of blue scrap paper I had found on the floor. It had something written on it, but based on the dirty and crumpled appearance of the paper when I found it, I assumed it was garbage. Maybe I should have put it in the recycling bin instead of the trash can. I could have at least saved a tree, seeing as how I can't save lives as efficiently as most can. By 'most', I'm referring to Mr. Perfect himself - Sasuke.

Whoops. Iruka is asking for a volunteer for a demonstration in relation to the lecture. I had better sit up straight and pretend to actually be paying attention, so that he won't pick me. I wonder who the poor sucker will be? Please don't let it be me. Why the hell would I need to learn to look like Santa Claus? I wonder why anyone would want to look like some fat hair old man wearing red clothes? Really, orange is a much better color for clothing.

Anyway, I don't find Sasuke handsome or anything like that. Actually, I even spent years wondering why the hell do the girls find him so attractive. He has skill, talent, and all that - but to me, he has always been nothing but an annoying pain in the ass that was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. But then again, who am I to judge him. At some point in my life, I realized that I never really hated him. I just wanted to be HIM. He never asked for his amazing abilites, nor did he ask for the girls' adoration. He was given the blessings, and he worked hard to develop them. Surely, I can't blame him for that. Sasuke had managed to transcend the 'Rudolph' image. As for me ... I don't quite know.

One thing I do know is that school is my saving grace. More specifically, the people in the school are the ones who prevents me from losing hope, from giving up. They may not know it, but my classmates and teacher are the only links between me and the world. They remind me that I am still alive. Outside school, all I have is myself. I may be only 8 years old, but I'm not stupid. I never understood why the people in town ignored me. I never realized how much they hated me, to the point of silence. Silence, compared to beatings, may sound like nothing. But really, silence is painful. It hurts to be ignored, and in a way, it hurts more than any physical torture possible. That is why I appreciate my schoolmates. Even if they think I'm annoying, even if they call me names or hit me occasionally, I am grateful for all of them - Shino, Sakura, Shikamaru, Ino, Choji, Hinata, Kiba ... even Sasuke.

Speaking of Sasuke, I wonder why he's skulking around the classroom? There he goes now crawling on the floor. Doesn't he know Iruka is in a middle of a lecture? Maybe Sasuke's brains fell out or something for once. Ha! I wish. Now that I think about it, he looks as if he were looking for something. Strange.

Hahahaha! Iruka thought Sasuke was volunteering! This is hilarious! I should have started watching the demonstration earlier. There's Iruka, although it's hard to tell it's him since he's now all fat and hairy. There's Sasuke as well, now transformed into an ELF, complete with the pointy ears! Boy, Sasuke sure looks upset. He's even digging through the garbage to look for it. Anyway, he seems to have found whatever he was looking for ... and there's the other teacher, Kakashi-sensei I think? Good lord, Kakashi-sensei is sitting on Iruka's lap and asking for some 'sugar'. What the hell is that? We're too young for that sort of thing, I mean, we're just in the second grade! It must be the Christmas spirit, right?

This is one of those moments in my life that I hope will remain in my memory for a long time. It's a time when I can laugh - really laugh, and feel somewhat happy. Too bad I'm very forgetful.

Tomorrow is the last day of classes for this year. Tomorrow is the day people will give each other presents. I, of course, will get none, just like all the previous years. I'm used to it already. I spend every year hoping against hope that maybe someone will give me a gift. It doesn't matter how small a token - just to show that they care about me even a bit. Hope is really overrated. This year, I want it to be different. I know I won't get anything, but I want to give something to my classmates to show them that I appreciate them. I will give without expecting anything in return. As I said, I hate feeling sorry for myself. So, I might as well do something about it.

Hmmmm, I wonder if I have enough money to buy something decent for them? Maybe they like ramen as much as I do. With my current shopping budget, let's just hope that they do.


The next day, I came to school early, armed with a bundle of gift-wrapped cup noodles. . I wanted to be the first one there, just to make sure that no one actually saw me putting the gifts on their desks. What would they think? How would they react? With utmost care, I gently set down a package for each and every classmate. I made sure to buy an extra one for Iruka. Beef, chicken, seafood, pork - I didn't quite know what flavors they preferred, so I just crossed my fingers and hoped for the best.

I decided to sit on my favorite swing while waiting for everyone else to arrive. It would be useless and boring for me to just sit in the classroom by myself. So I sat there, allowing the gentle breeze to sway me just a bit, in order to pass the time. My feet can't reach the ground yet, while I sit on the swing, so I have to content myself with the wind. One day, when I'm tall enough, I will swing high into the air. I will soar into the sky. But not now.

In less than an hour, the moment of truth, and possibly major humiliation, would arrive. I should be feeling nervous, but instead, I felt a sense of happiness. It was fleeting, but it felt nice. For all I know, my gifts to them would merely be discarded or set aside. Did that matter to me? I have to admit that it does, but I would accept it.

By the time I got back to the class, practically everyone was there. Each and every desk had a number of presents, with Sasuke's desk containing the most impressive mound of gifts. Of course. I didn't dare look at my own desk. With a deep breath, I walked hesitantly into the room. Everybody was staring at me. I wonder why. I doubt my gifts had much, if any, impact at all to them. So why are they all looking at me as if I had just sprouted fangs and claws?

When I got to my desk, I realized why.

On my desk was a cage. Inside that cage was a bunny. An orange bunny, painted with a mixture of food coloring and water. I was almost too afraid and excited to believe that I, Naruto, had actually received a gift. I felt a certain sense of awe, by just looking at it. Who would possibly have given me a gift? I felt happy - truly happy. For one moment in time, I felt accepted. I forgot all my thoughts about hating Rudolph and Christmas. Heck - I love Christmas now!

Tucked under the cage was a piece of paper. It a crumpled blue paper that was all too familiar. As my trembling hands held it up, I reread what I had written on it just the day before. 'All I want is a friend. Just one would be fine.' Beneath my messy handwriting was a short note : 'I want one too.' There was no name written. The handwriting used was unfamiliar.

Who could have picked it out of the garbage bin? Why would it have been picked out? There were so many questions running through my mind, when suddenly, I remembered. Yesterday, I had noticed that there was something written on the back of the paper. I quickly turned to the back of the paper, my eyes scanning what was scribbled there.

What was written there was : 'I should save my lunch money so that I can buy mommy, daddy, and Itachi Christmas presents.'


I never did figure out who gave me the bunny, nor did I figure out who Itachi was.


author's notes

( just in case you didn't get it ) :

1. this fic is in naruto's point of view

2. he's only 8 years old ( so it's a bit AU since the setting is a few years back )

3. nope, this is not yaoi or shounen-ai ( i love yaoi, but i didn't feel like incorporating any romance here )

4. so it's not a romantic fic ( but there's a very teeny implication of kakashixiruka )

and in case you read the fic and are wondering :

1. WHO gave naruto the gift? ... it was sasuke

2. WHY is it sasuke? ... sasuke was digging through the garbage because he was looking for the blue

piece of paper, and what is written on the back of the paper ( ... buying presents for

itachi and parents ) indicates that it's sasuke's paper

3. WHO is itachi? ... sasuke's older brother ( so this fic is set before itachi murdered sasuke's family )

REVIEWS would be lovely. - anata

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