I just had a notion to write a story in which Naruto desires peace. Therefore, I began to write the story, so here is the first chapter.
Oh and, I do not own Naruto.
Chapter 1: The Notion for a Change
What was a friend, a brother? Was it someone you trusted with your life? Then if a friend was someone you trusted with your life, how is it that he/she could try to take away that. A life you trusted them to protect. The fact that Sasuke tried to take Naruto's life baffled him. He could not possibly conclude how his life had become in danger of fading away in the hands of Sasuke. Death could have claimed him in the hands of a person he proudly called his best friend, rival and a brother if you might add. It was quiet difficult to understand as to why Sasuke would try to kill him. True, he was trying to force the Uchiha back to Konoha, but that was his mission and something sort of a personal goal for him. Sasuke might not have been able to understand it then, but forcing him back to Konoha was good for him. Was revenge enough to kill your best friend? If Naruto was asked the question, he would have given a resounding no. Never in his wildest imaginations had he ever thought of killing his best friend for any reason, even if that friend tried to kill him. He would never dare to take someone's life, even the life of an enemy.
Well…he had that mentality before the attempt to his life by Sasuke. Now, he did not know what to think, which notion was best to believe, which path to take.
All his life, Naruto had endured pain, hatred and loneliness, things that could break any man. His endurance and kind heart showed just how strong he was, mentally. There is a breaking point that all people have. This was his breaking point, a point of impasse. His mind was nothing but a crumbling skyscraper. Negative and positive had joined and become one, each lost of their path. Limit a border that he had never thought that he would ever reach at his young age. However, here he was, his limit reached. His mind could not function to its level best, the best way to program it so it could compute better was rebooting. Perhaps if he reboots, he could see what the world offered him.
He certainly could not continue on the path that he had been taking after it had nearly cost him his valuable life. Only a fool would continue on such path.
Naruto lay inside the hospital bed, his entire body wrapped up with bandages. This was the first time that Naruto was been admitted to the hospital and not think of running away. Mostly his attempts to run away had proven to be a success. Today, he had no thoughts of an escape plan; he had no sudden notion to escape. It was better for him to just lie down and dwell on his thoughts. There was nothing or anyone that would be waiting for him when he returned to his apartment. His thoughts mattered the most than anything else now. He could care less about anything, for now he just wanted to solve the puzzle inside of his head. His eyes stared at the cold white ceiling unblinking. His injuries were healed, yet he felt no need to leave the hospital. It was almost like he was chained to his bed yet he felt no discomfort.
He had been lying on the bed ever since Kakashi brought him back to the village. After his battle with Sasuke, he had multiple wounds and had used more of the Kyuubi's chakra than his body could handle. Though his body had become familiar with using the Kyuubi's chakra, there was still a limit to what it could tolerate. During his battle with Sasuke, he had used more than his body could handle. Perhaps it had been because he had been angry with Sasuke for trying to kill him; perhaps he did because he just wanted to prove to Sasuke that he was more than just a loud mouth knucklehead. Regardless of his thinking then, the results had been what brought him to the hospital.
When Kakashi brought him to the hospital, he had been unconscious at the time. After the battle with Sasuke that ended up with him defeating Sasuke, he had lost consciousness. He had used three-tails worth of the Kyuubi's chakra. Kakashi arrived at the Valley of the End-where the battle had taken place-after the battle. Sasuke lost consciousness before Naruto. Neither of their health was at risk though. Their wounds were nothing that Tsunade could not heal.
The mission to retrieve Sasuke had been a success but he felt as though something a part of him was missing. Naruto felt as though he had lost a part of at the Valley of the End. That something he had lost was something that had made him smile every day.
The doors to his room opened. Naruto did shift eyes to see who it was. He did not care. Senju Tsunade, the Godaime Hokage walked into the room.
''You are very lucky brat,'' Tsunade said, ''Had it not been for your 'friend,' you would have died from one of those wounds you received to your chest,'' She continued without taking note of Naruto's expression or the fact that he was not listening to her. ''However, using the Kyuubi's chakra as you did was very irresponsible for you. Who knows what could have happened? I know you wanted to bring Sasuke back, but using that much of the Kyuubi's chakra when your body is not accustomed to it might have proved to be hazardous to your health. The Kyuubi might have even tried to take over your body. Moreover, that Uchiha brat is not it.'' Tsunade ranted out.
Tsunade thought he was just at a loss of words, thus she spoke again, ''You should be happy that you completed your mission though.'' She said with a small smile, ''But if you do something so reckless again I will put you in here for a month and after that I will make you do D-rank missions for a year. Do you understand me Naruto?'' Tsunade threatened in a seriously. She knew how well Naruto hated the hospital. He hated even just to step inside the building itself. He also hated doing D-rank missions as he was 'too cool and awesome' for it. 'Someone of his skills and greatness is over-ranked to do D-ranked missions.' 'Yeh, right' Tsunade thought with a snort.
Naruto's eyes continued to stare at the white cold ceiling. He was not listening to what Tsunade was saying. He did not care. He had a lot to deal with in his thoughts. He had a puzzle to solve.
A tick mark formed on Tsunade's forehead, ''Are you listening to me brat?'' Tsunade asked just a second away from losing her temper. She hated it when Naruto did not listen to her when she spoke. It made her feel like an idiot because she was speaking to herself.
Still, Naruto said nothing making Tsunade lose her calm as another tick grew on her forehead. She clenched her fists and began to take giant footsteps towards Naruto. She was going to beat some sense into him. Even if she had to break a few bones, she would do it as long as it got her the results she needed. She could always heal him anytime she wanted. She was the best medic in all the elemental nations after all.
Tsunade came into a complete halt as soon as she saw the look on Naruto. She had never seen him like this before. He was not even looking at her. She could conclude that by his look, he had yet to acknowledge her presence. His eyes that used to be full of life and happiness had none of that. They did not show much in terms of emotions but she could see that deep inside those deep blues. She could perfectly see, a child who has seen more than he should at his age, a child who has carried a yoke too heavy for him. Tsunade could see a child that was tired, tired of everything, a confused child. Never had she seen Naruto like this. Nevertheless, she supposes it was understandable considering what he has gone through in his young life. If being hated by all the villagers for something he had no control over was not enough, Sasuke added to his woes by piercing his chest twice with an A-rank jutsu, designed for the sole purpose of killing. Even she could never be the same if someone she considered as a brother tried to kill her, not once but twice.
Given the situation at hand, Tsunade had no way of helping Naruto. He was close to her as her son. However, even with their relationship, she could not help him. She had no way of coping with difficult situations. When her heart was burdened with issues, her way of coping was getting drunk. Getting drunk was not something she could advise Naruto to do. Something that involved sake was out of the question and unfortunately, sake was her stress reliever.
''You are free to go. All your injuries have been healed, there is no need to keep you here.'' Tsunade said in a low tone. She spun around slowly and left Naruto alone. She just hoped that Jiraiya who had been 'listening' could be of help to Naruto.
Naruto said nothing as a sign that he acknowledged her words. In truth, he did hear her. He just had many thoughts that disarmed him of the ability to speak.
Jiraiya appeared out of nowhere and sat comfortably at the window just as Tsunade had left Naruto alone. Still Naruto did not react to Jiraiya's presence. His eyes just continued competing in a stare contest with the ceiling. Status of the competition-so far has been a stalemate.
Jiraiya looked at Naruto sadly. It pained the self-proclaimed super pervert to see Naruto in a way he was. Ever since he had come to know the boy, he had always seen him smiling despite everything that he faced daily. Naruto was just a child, like any child, he needed love and comfort from family. To get through the hard times he needed his parents to be there for him for emotional support.
Like Tsunade, Jiraiya had no way of trying to make Naruto smile. If he was burdened by problems, he went away to do his 'research,' to be more precise, peeping. It was his way to cope with the hardships of the life as a shinobi. When one is a ninja he/she experiences a lot of pain, most commonly because of the loss of loved ones. Being a shinobi was a lot more burdening that most people thought. People take it lightly, but the decisions that shinobi have to make may drive a non-shinobi insane due to their weight. Even some shinobi lose their sanity because of the weight of the choices they have to make.
Nevertheless, unlike Tsunade, Jiraiya was willing to try something. He might not be best suited for this kind of situations, but he had lived many years and experienced many things to learn a few things or two. He had a way with words given his age.
''If you want to talk to someone you know I am here for you Naruto.'' Jiraiya said after a long deliberation in his head.
Naruto remained as he was, his eyes never leaving the ceiling
Jiraiya sighed, that was not the way to start the conversation. He had been listening when Tsunade spoke to Naruto. Tsunade had spoken, but Naruto did not respond. He just stared at the ceiling like a cold frozen lifeless corpse. 'If he did not respond to Tsunade, what made me think that he would speak to me?' Jiraiya thought with a sigh.
''Naruto, I know it must be hard for you accepting that Sasuke tried to kill you,'' Jiraiya said his eyes leaving the blond, ''But you have to accept it. Sasuke tried to kill you and it was not because he was not thinking straight or under the influence of the cursed seal like some people might say.'' He said being honest with Naruto. It might be harsh but it was the truth and for Naruto to move on, he had to accept it. ''Sasuke was never your friend to begin with. Someone like him did not even deserve your friendship. You should just forget about him and focus on your own life.'' Jiraiya advised Naruto calmly.
Naruto remained as he was. He heard Jiraiya. Nothing Jiraiya had said had yet to come across his mind.
Jiraiya knew that Naruto was hearing despite his lack of answers, "Do not make the same mistake twice and let Sasuke in again. He will surely try to kill you again, and next time he might succeed.'' Jiraiya warned looking back at Naruto, "Do not let this get to you though. You still have many friends and your entire life ahead of you.''
After a few seconds of silence, Jiraiya spoke again, ''No matter what Sasuke says to you. Do not listen to him, you did the right thing forcing back to the village and it was your mission to do so.'' Jiraiya really hoped that Naruto was taking his words to heart. Sasuke was not a mentally stable person. He was out of control and needed real help to deal with some major issues that run rampant within his head. If Naruto did try to befriend Sasuke again, the Uchiha was surely going to try to kill Naruto again given the chance.
Jiraiya smiled proudly as a thought sneaked into his head, ''I am proud of you as my apprentice for beating the Uchiha. It does not matter if you used the Kyuubi's chakra or not, what matters is that you...'' Jiraiya trailed off upon seeing Naruto move.
Naruto slowly made his way out of the bed. Jiraiya just watched him curiously. Naruto walked out of the room without even sparing Jiraiya a glance.
Jiraiya stared at the door with a single thought running through his head, 'Did he just use the door?' He thought to himself. From what he had seen so far and what he heard, Naruto had never, not even once used the two to leave the hospital. Perhaps it was because he usually ran away. Nevertheless, even when he was given permission to go, he never used the door. It was always the window for Naruto.
'This is serious, I must go see hime.' Jiraiya thought disappearing in a puff of smoke.
Naruto stepped out of the hospital room. Jiraiya spoke, he heard him. It did not change his train of thoughts. His thoughts had been continuing as they had been before Jiraiya showed up. Nothing Jiraiya had said made any difference to his train of thoughts. It was as if the sannin never spoke to begin with. Perhaps it was just because he just wanted to listen to his thoughts alone. Maybe it was because he was tired of doing what people always told him to do and he just wanted to try things his own way. He just wanted to compute things on his own, without anyone influencing him. Over the past few years, he always had the Sandaime, Iruka and Kakashi-sensei to help him deal with some issues. The Sandaime and Iruka were a big part of his decision-making. The life changing decisions he to make were under the influence of what the Sandaime or Iruka have had to say to him.
Now he just wanted to deal with things himself
Naruto's footsteps came into a complete halt. His eyes narrowed at the door on his right. It was open and he could clearly see the occupant of the room.
Sasuke glared at Naruto murderously. If looks could kill, Naruto would have been on the floor dead by the fierce glare Sasuke went him. The glare was fierce enough to send chills on anyone's spine it was directed. Unlucky for Sasuke, Naruto just did not care. Sasuke was radiating a murderous aura upon seeing Naruto.
He had never so much hatred towards a person. He had always hated Itachi more than anything. He devoted his life to kill Itachi, because he hated what his brother had done. He hated Itachi for killing their parents. Even the mention of the man's name was enough to put him on the edge. His hatred towards Itachi burned inside his heart; it was alive and fed on his emotions. However, the hatred he felt for Naruto did not compare with the hatred he felt for Itachi. It was most infuriating because he could not move a muscle to do something to the blond. His body was wounded, and his chakra was sealed, if that was not enough, he was chained to his bed.
Anger boiled within him creating illusionary steam blowing out of his nose and ears. Sasuke was beyond angry. Naruto was the reason his chakra was sealed, he was the reason he was chained to the bed, he was the reason there were ANBU's guarding him. The ANBU did not even blink while they watched him. They did not want to the Uchiha to escape. Given the chance, Sasuke would surely try to defect again. He had done it once he could do it again.
Naruto had stood in his way for power, his way for revenge. It was unforgivable in the eyes of Uchiha Sasuke. He could not forgive Naruto for standing in the way of the one thing that meant life and death to him. He had thought Naruto would be able to understand since he knew loneliness. In some sense Naruto was like to him, so he thought Naruto would be able to understand what revenge meant to him. However, he was wrong. The dobe did not understand him at all. Sasuke had cursed himself for thinking that Naruto would understand him. Naruto never had any parents to begin with; he never had anyone taken away from him. Naruto did not have his brother kill their parents just because he wanted to test his strength. Naruto was unlike him, they could never be alike.
He was not stark within Konoha, hawks watching him 24/7. Naruto was to blame for all this
Sasuke felt his pride damned, degraded by the fact that Naruto had achieved the feat of stopping him from defecting by defeating him. Naruto, the dead last of their academy class had defeated him, Uchiha Sasuke, brother to Uchiha Itachi and a genius on his own right. Naruto had achieved that feat even when he was using the power Orochimaru gave him. Even his Sharingan had fully matured and yet he was unable to defeat Naruto. Naruto had used some orange-reddish chakra to defeat him, but that did not matter. A defeat was a defeat regardless of how it came. Naruto had done something never in his life had he thought the idiot would be able to do. It baffled him how an idiot, loud mouth knucklehead like Naruto could defeat him, an Uchiha. He was more skilled than the idiot, he was special, and he had a bloodline superior to any. Naruto had none, he was not even skilled and yet he defeated him.
The fact that Naruto defeated him was unacceptable.
Bubbles of anger danced in the inside of his mouth, disarming of the ability to utter words of hatred. He wanted to yell at the blond, rip him to shreds with his bare heads. The fact that the blond was standing in the passageway, eyes narrowed at him without care enticed him to murder the blond with his eyes and thoughts.
Naruto engaged the gears and began to move forward. He did not say a word to Sasuke as he felt. The fact made Sasuke angrier than he had been.
Sakura walked out of Sasuke's room seeing that Sasuke was glaring at someone. She saw Naruto walking away, ''Naruto wait up!'' She called out.
Naruto did not stop to listen to what she had to say.
Sakura increased her pace and walked up to Naruto. Naruto was walking at a rather comfortable pace.
''I heard from Tsunade-sama that Sasuke-kun tried to kill you.'' Sakura said walking beside Naruto.
"I am sure he did not mean to. Sasuke-kun would never do something like that if he were thinking straight. He was not thinking straight,'' Sakura said believing in her own words. She did not believe that Sasuke could try to kill Naruto when he was thinking straight. Naruto was his teammate they were like family. Family did not try to kill each other. Although she could never admit it to anyone, Naruto was close to Sasuke than she was.
''Well anyway I just wanted to thank you for keeping your promise to bring Sasuke-kun.'' Sakura said with a genuine smile as she came to a halt.
Naruto just walked away without saying a thing, not a damn thing
Sakura stood still watching naruto with a confused look spreading across her face.
Like any other day, Jiraiya burst through Tsunade's office through the window. Tsunade was used to Jiraiya's 'unique' way of entering her office, but sometimes it just annoyed her. She could not understand why he would choose to use the window when the door existed. No matter how many times she has told the perverted sannin to use the door, he continues to use the window. Even if she closes the window, he breaks it just so he could enter. It was often disturbing because normally she would be taking a nap. When Jiraiya budges in the office through the window, he disturbs her naptime. She could also be doing something private, that she does not want anybody to see. Even if she locks the door, she cannot keep Jiraiya out given that he never uses the door.
Tsunade sighed tiredly. Despite being annoyed by Jiraiya's behavior, there was an important issue they had to deal with, ''How did it go?'' She asked leaning back to her chair. She would need to be leaning on something due to the weight of the subject at hand.
Jiraiya looked at the village of Konohagakure no Sato through the window. His eyes went to Tsunade, ''Still the same as you left him.'' He replied with a frown. He did not like the mental state of his student.
Tsunade nodded, ''How bad do you think it is?'' She asked in a low tone.
''Sasuke's attempt on his life hit him hard. I never thought I would see him like this. Sasuke must have meant a lot to him and Naruto must have trusted him. With Sasuke's attempt on his life, he betrayed his trust.'' Jiraiya replied his eyes going back to the streets of Konoha. Having someone, you trusted betray you was one thing that was heartbreaking, even for him. However, he was experienced and it would not affect him as much it would to Naruto given that he was still just a child.
''Do you think he will be okay Jiraiya? I can't bear to see him like that.'' Tsunade said sadly. As any mother, she could not handle seeing Naruto in the condition he was. She wanted to see him smile and laugh, call her ba-chan, do all the annoying things he did. She could contend with that, but what had become of Naruto due to Sasuke's actions, she could not contend with.
''Don't worry hime he will be fine, he just needs time to deal with all the issues and he will be back to his happy self again.'' Jiraiya said trying to sooth Tsunade's worries. Despite saying it like he believed Naruto would return to normal, something inside of him was telling him otherwise.
''I hope he does go back to his usual self soon.'' Tsunade stated with a worried look on her face.
Jiraiya nodded, ''We have to do something about Naruto and Sasuke. They can't be allowed to be near each other or another battle might be ignited and if that happens someone might die given both their current mindset.'' Jiraiya said looking at Tsunade. If they two were not separated and Sasuke was outside the hospital, he would surely try to get back at Naruto for standing in his way of revenge. Given what had happened, Naruto would certainly not wait for Sasuke try to kill him again.
The mention of Sasuke's name made the Godaime Hokage's blood boil. She never did like the Uchiha brat. Moreover, for him to attempt to kill Naruto was pushing her buttons, ''That brat,'' Tsunade said under her breath, ''If it went for the damn council fools I would have ripped his body to pieces the moment Kakashi brought him back along with Naruto.'' Tsunade said with clenched fists. He really wishes she could go into the hospital and beat up the Uchiha until he was nothing but a bag of meat.
''Don't think of things like that hime...you might end up doing it and you know that it won't end well.'' Jiraiya stated. He knew from experience about Tsunade's temper. If she kept herself in the company of such thoughts and Sasuke were to come in her office, she would certainly break every bone in his body.
Tsunade sent Jiraiya a narrowed look. She knew he was right and she hated it when the pervert was right. Thinking those thoughts about the Uchiha brat was surely not going to do her any good or Naruto. The council to be precise-the elders-would certainly be pissed if she did something to their precious Uchiha. She was certain that the elders did not actually care for the boy but rather his bloodline, the Sharingan. That was what made them tolerate the Uchiha's spoiled behavior. Sasuke was needed for the restoration of the Uchiha clan, which was now near extinct.
''I guess you are right,'' Tsunade conceded with a tired voice.
''I have thought of something that will help Naruto clear his thoughts and make him stronger.'' The moment those words left Jiraiya's mouth, Tsunade had already given the perverted sannin her full attention. ''You are aware that the Akatsuki is after Naruto for the Kyuubi. Naruto can be captured at any time if he does not have someone capable of fighting off S-rank criminals.'' Jiraiya paused for a moment. Tsunade nodded in understanding of Jiraiya's words. ''Naruto also needs to train so that he can be able to protect himself against the Akatsuki.''
''What are you suggesting Jiraiya?'' Tsunade asked. She did have a guess as to what her former teammate was trying to say.
''I want to take Naruto on a three-year training trip. I will train him so that he can be able to protect himself against his enemies, whist also protecting him the Akatsuki,'' Jiraiya said, ''And fresh air from outside of the village will be good for Naruto given his current state of mind. Going into a place that he is not familiar with will give him the best atmosphere to think clearly.'' Jiraiya added selling the idea to Tsunade.
Tsunade took a thoughtful look on her face as she dissected Jiraiya's words. She could trust Jiraiya with Naruto's safety. The pervert was the strongest in the village; he could handle S-rank criminals on his own. Naruto needed the training; his current skills were quite pathetic if she were to be honest. Without the Rasengan and the Kage bunshin, Naruto had nothing. Kakashi never trained the boy, something she needed to discuss with the jounin when she does see him. Getting out of the village would definitely be the best option for Naruto. New faces and environment will certainly give the blond new experiences different from the village.
However, there was another thing that could put all that into jeopardy.
Jiraiya was often irresponsible. He could not be trusted to always keep an eye on Naruto. He was prone to leave the blond and go away to do his 'research.'
''You have to promise me first that you won't leave Naruto alone to peep.'' Tsunade stated looking at Jiraiya with a serious expression on her face.
''Hime, I have told you many times that it's not peeping, it is called doing 'research.'' Jiraiya said 'correcting' Tsunade on her error for calling his precious research peeping.
''If you can't promise me that, then you can't take Naruto. I can always have Kakashi and some trusted ANBU train him here inside the village.'' Tsunade said with a hidden smirk. That was always an option, but Kakashi had to be forced to do it given that he had been Naruto's sensei for months and he never taught him anything other than tree walking exercise.
''Fine, I won't leave him alone to do my research.'' Jiraiya said in a defeated tone.
Tsunade smiled, though she knew Jiraiya would never stop peeping. He had been doing it as far she could remember her younger days. ''When do you plan on leaving?''
''Two days.'' Jiraiya replied
''I will get the paperwork signed. I just hope that you don't plan to turn him into a pervert like you.'' Tsunade finished with a glare leveled at the sannin.
Jiraiya smiled nervously. It had crossed his mind and he would never miss the chance if it came.
Before Jiraiya could replay, the doors to the office opened. Shizune walked into the office carrying a load of papers. Tsunade immediately glared at the stack on papers Shizune was holding. ''Tsunade-sama, the elders are calling for you at the council chambers for a council meeting.'' Shizune said placing the heavy load on top of Tsunade's desk.
''Who called the meeting?'' Tsunade asked taking her eyes off the paperwork.
''I think it was the elders. The clan heads are already present at the chambers. You should head there now.''
Tsunade sighed getting up from her chair, ''Let's go Jiraiya and see what those old fools want.'' Tsunade commanded.
''Who called this meeting?'' The Godaime Hokage demanded as she burst into the chambers where the shinobi council and the elders waited for her. Hiashi Hyuuga, head clan of the Hyuuga clan; Nara Shikaku, head clan of the Nara clan and the jounin commander; Inuzuka Tsume, matriarch of the Inuzuka clan; Inoichi Yamanaka, head clan of the Yamanaka clan; Chouza Akimichi, head clan of the Akimichi clan. Aburame Shibi, head clan of the Aburame clan; Homura Mitokado, Koharu Utatane and Shimura Danzou were there the retired shinobi. This entire people including the Hokage formed the shinobi council. Civilian council members were not invited given that they had no say in shinobi matters.
Tsunade took her steps and sat at her seat with Jiraiya closely behind her. Nobody would tell him to leave the council chambers even when he was not a member. He was the strongest in the village, and most important a sannin. That gave him privileges that other shinobi did not have.
''So?'' Tsunade barked narrowing her eyes around the table to look at each council member. The clan heads shifted their eyes towards the elders prompting Koharu to speak up.
''Tsunade, it was us who called this meeting.'' She said.
''How many times have I told you to adress me with proper respect?'' Tsunade asked rhetorically while glaring daggers at the retired ninja. ''I am the Godaime Hokage, and you will address me Tsunade-sama or Hokage-sama or I will have you thrown out of the council, is that understood?'' Tsunade said leaking a bit of her killing intent directed at Koharu to get her point through.
''You can't do that.'' Koharu stated in defiance. Not even the hailed Yondaime Hokage could get them out of the council no matter how many times he wished he could. Tsunade was not smart as Minato Namikaze, thus where Minato failed she was bound to fail.
''Yes I can and I will if you continue to show me that blatant lack of respect!'' Tsunade stated in a firm tone making it clear and believable that she could get rid of the elder from the council.
''Very well, Hokage-sama.'' Koharu said not directly looking at Tsunade. 'The younger generation has lost respect to their elders' Koharu thought. Tsunade was inexperienced and needed guidance from her and the other elders to lead the village to success...well that was according to her own belief.
''Good, so why did you call us here?'' Tsunade asked pleased that she got the foolish old council member under control.
Danzou narrowed his eye slightly without anyone noticing. If one could look at him on the outside one would think that the old war walk was not even thinking of anything. His expression was blank...as always, body language showing nothing...as always. Deep inside, he was thinking and plotting for his next move...but first thing first. Tsunade was developing a backbone, with the way she was handling things now it would not be easy to manipulate her. Nevertheless, Tsunade was Tsunade, 'she is bound to make careless mistakes due to her short temper and the emotions that hinder her from doing her job' Danzou thought with an inward smirk.
''We called this meeting to discuss Uchiha Sasuke and Uzumaki Naruto.'' Homura stated looking at everyone within the chambers.
Tsunade sighed with a grim expression spreading across her face. She could not be cheerful about the subject of the meeting. The meeting was bound give her more work to do and more matters to solve.
''As you are all aware Uchiha Sasuke, has recently attempted to flee from the village, but thankfully he was brought back to the village.'' Homura continued.
''Our children almost died trying to bring back and I heard he almost succeeded in killing his best friend.'' Tsume commented. She could care less about the Uchiha. Her son, Kiba was at the hospital in a critical condition because of him.
Her words earned a few nods from clan heads, which where blissfully ignored by Homura as he continued, ''We must do something about him or he will try to leave the village again given the chance. As you all know we cannot afford to lose the Sharingan.'' He said making it clear that what was important in Sasuke was not the boy himself but his doujutsu and the fact that he was the only one present that could produce more Sharingans.
''I suggest we lock him up in a cell. A prison sentence is what he deserves for trying to betray the village and join a traitor who led an invasion against us.'' Hiashi stated with an impassive expression on his face. His nephew was lying in the hospital at ICU because of Sasuke. He had nothing against the Uchiha but his actions had led to his nephews' condition. It was also the right punishment for him given that he tried to betray the village.
Shikaku nodded, ''I agree with Hiashi, Sasuke's attempt to betray the village could be counted as treason, given that he was going to join Orochimaru, an S-rank criminal responsible for the death of the Sandaime and the invasion we are still recovering from.'' Shikaku stated.
''If his actions are seen as treason then execution awaits him.'' Inoichi commented.
Tsunade and Jiraiya had smirks on their faces. They liked what the head clans where saying. Neither of them would have any problems with having Sasuke charged for treason. What the clan heads were saying was making Tsunade cheerful.
''We cannot afford to take such extreme measures against the boy. It is indeed true that he tried to betray the village but that was under the influence and manipulation of Orochimaru. As Homura has said, we cannot afford to lose the Sharingan. We need the Sharingan to strengthen our military power.'' Koharu objected. The Sharingan was a powerful weapon that they cannot afford to lose if they want to remain as the strongest hidden village in the elemental nations.
''What do you suggest?'' Tsunade asked for the sake of it.
''I suggest a more lenient punishment. We should lock him up in a cell for six months and then let him out then train him to get the power he needs so that he does not attempt to leave the village again. We all know that he attempted to leave the village for the sake of power.'' Koharu stated with a calm look on her face.
''No, we cannot treat the brat like a spoiled brat. Sasuke is no different from any other shinobi of the village, thus he cannot be treated differently. The favorable treatment is what turned him into what he is right now.'' Tsunade stated firmly.
''I agree with hime, we cannot allow him to think that he can get away with anything. An appropriate punishment has to be sanctioned. Though I agree with you on one point, the Sharingan is indeed a powerful weapon we cannot afford to lose.'' Jiraiya spoke for the first since arriving at the chambers.
Danzo smiled inwardly, Jiraiya had just given him an opportunity to play his card. Danzou cleared his throat getting the attention of the rest of the council, ''I have a suggestion that will please everyone.'' He stated getting everyone to be interested to what he had to say. They all knew the old war hawk was always scheming something. It was obvious that the old war hawk was prepared for this. It was certainly interesting to see what he had cooked up this time.
''Give the Uchiha to me. I can train him and give him the power he desires, and in return I will turn him into a perfect weapon for Konoha that will never betray us.'' Danzou said with a hidden smirk. His face remained blank, as it had been as if he did not say a thing. While inside he was planning to turn the Uchiha into a perfect weapon for himself.
'And a perfect weapon for yourself' most of the council members thought eyes looking at Danzou.
Tsunade thought for a moment, ''That could work. I have no doubt that you can turn him into weapon for Konoha…but like all shinobi you train, they turn out to be loyal to you to the end.'' Tsunade commented not hiding the fact that she knew that his ROOT was still active. The ROOT where highly trained and could be useful in the future which was why she had not done anything against it.
''But having Sasuke locked up at your ROOT bases will not give him a chance to escape.'' It was a risky move to allow Danzou to have Sasuke but it was the best given the current situation. It will also leave her without to deal with Sasuke.
''My training will also teach the boy proper manners.'' Danzou added trying to make things to his favor.
''If there are no objections, I will allow Danzou to train Sasuke.'' Tsunade said looking around the table to see if the was an objection.
The clan heads said nothing. If Tsunade was allowing Danzou to have Sasuke, she must have a plan cooked up. Homura and Koharu had no objections.
Seeing no objections Tsunade spoke again, ''I will allow you to have Sasuke under one condition.''
Danzou narrowed his eyes at Tsunade
''You are only training Sasuke to become strong and loyal to the village. You will return him under my control after you have finished training him and you will give me monthly reports about his progress.'' Tsunade stated firmly.
Danzou nodded, he was fine with the conditions. He had expected her to say something like that. He would have been a fool to think that Tsunade would leave him unchecked and allow Sasuke to work for his ROOT. ''Good, I think that's all for now.'' Tsunade stated.
''Hokage-sama,'' Koharu said, ''There is another issue that needs to be discussed.''
''Which is?'' Tsunade asked impatiently.
''The Kyuubi.'' Danzou replied he desired to have the Kyuubi under his control. With Sasuke and the Kyuubi under his control, he would be unstoppable. He could picture himself sitting at the Hokage's seat with his weapons kneeling beside him.
''You mean Naruto, right?'' Tsunade said dangerously looking at Danzou. Danzou nodded in return.
''There issue with Naruto has already been solved, so there is no need to discuss it.'' Tsunade stated dismissively.
''Will you tell us what you have discussed and with whom?'' Danzou asked.
''I have discussed Naruto with Jiraiya. Naruto will leave with Jiraiya for a three-year training trip.'' Tsunade responded.
''That is a logical solution; Jiraiya-sama is the strongest and the only one capable of protecting Naruto. The training trip will help Naruto become strong so he can be able to protect himself in the future.'' Shikaku commented.
Tsunade nodded, ''There will be no other thing to be discussed about Naruto. I have made a choice and it will not be changed.'' Tsunade stated firmly with a fierce glare daring anyone-Danzou-to say otherwise. ''Good, this meeting is over, you are all dismissed!'' Tsunade said dismissing everyone.
Danzou left the chamber with a calm look on his face. Despite not being able to get the Kyuubi, but he would wait. He had not come this far because he was impatient. Patience was virtue he knew it. He would get as hands on the Kyuubi...or so he thought.
''That went well that I anticipated, and you are handling the elders way better than sensei did.'' Jiraiya commented after everyone had left the chambers aside from him and Tsunade.
''Yes it did.'' Tsunade said with a small smile, ''That is because I am unlike sensei. Sensei cared too much about what they thought and allowed them to make some decisions for him.'' Tsunade stated.
Jiraiya nodded in agreement. The Sandaime had allowed the old fools to dictate most things under his watch. He even allowed Danzou to do as he pleased. ''I'm surprised that you allowed Danzou to train Sasuke knowing that he might try to make the brat loyal to him.'' Jiraiya said, ''Are you sure that was a good decision?''
''It was a risky move, but I doubt that even Danzou will succeed in making the brat his personal weapon. He might get the brat to stay in the village, but controlling him. I doubt that will happen.'' Tsunade said not knowing how right she was.
The following day
Naruto sat alone at the Hokage's monument overlooking the village. His eyes seemed like they were looking past the village of Konohagakure no Sato. His eyes were not looking at Konoha, but past the village, himself. He was looking at himself through the village. A mirror of himself reflected at the end of the village showed a rather gloomy image of him, one that was like an alien that would scare those that knew him. It was not every day that the happiest person in Konoha could turn out sad. It was something that would surprise even those that hated him. People expect to see Naruto grinning from left to right. Even though it was often called annoying, it was what people expected from Naruto. Anything less than that was shocking.
Naruto had not seen any of his friends that were at the hospital. He did not even go to get some ramen. The ramen stand was the place he always went after leaving the hospital. However, Naruto was not functioning as he normally did. His ways were lost, some forgotten some he just did not care.
Kakashi appeared via shunshine and stood beside Naruto. He did not have his usual orange book within his hands. Kakashi lacked even his usual eye smile. His right eye seemed unfocused; one could very well tell that the jounin was not having the best of days. The jounin looked as if he had been crying and had not slept in a while.
Kakashi had been having an emotional turmoil. The emotional turmoil was breaking him because he felt guilty to what happened to Naruto. He was the one to have taught Sasuke the jutsu he used on Naruto. The jutsu was created for killing. He never thought that Sasuke would use his signature jutsu on a teammate, especially Naruto. If Naruto had been killed, he could have as well committed suicide, as he would not have been able to live with himself. Naruto meant more to him than Sasuke or anyone that was alive. He might not have taken the time to train the blond, but that did not mean that he did not care for the blond. Naruto might not know it, but he was like his little brother, given that Naruto's father was his sensei and had been like a father to him. Naruto's father had even taught him his prized jutsu, the Rasengan. It was just a sign of how close he really was to Naruto's father. The fact that Naruto did not know his father did not ease his turmoil's.
Naruto eyes stayed on the reflection of his self as if he did not acknowledge Kakashi's presence. That man was an emotional wreck, he had his own problems to deal with, and he did not need to add to what he already had.
''Naruto,'' Kakashi said bringing out all the confidence he could so that he would be able to say what he wanted to say, ''I'm sorry for what Sasuke did to you. I should have never taught him that jutsu. It is my fault for teaching him, I just never thought he would use it on you.'' Kakashi said sadness, guilt and regret dripping from the tone of his voice.
Naruto stood and turned around to face Kakashi. Kakashi could clearly see that he was looking past him.
''Guilt, regret, have none of that.'' Naruto said in a monotone voice before walking away.
The words danced inside Kakashi's head. He could not understand what Naruto meant by his words. Was Naruto telling not to regret teaching Sasuke Chidori? Was he saying that he should not feel guilty for Sasuke's actions? If that was it, did Naruto not find him guilty for Sasuke's actions? Was Naruto telling him to be sad for what Sasuke did to him? All the questions left him confused. He could not understand what Naruto meant. To understand he would have to find someone who could help him.
Later that day, Icharaku ramen
Naruto was having his lunch at the ramen stand. He was eating his ramen at a rather comfortable pace. He was not devouring it as he normally did. He was savoring it. This caused both Teuchi and Ayame to stare at him with wide eyes.
''Naruto is everything alright?'' Ayame asked her tone down.
Naruto just shook his head and continued to eat his ramen. He was not going to lie and say things were fine when they were not. He was not all right and he would say he was not all right. Saying he was fine when he was not did not help at all.
Father and daughter stared at Naruto. They had never seen him like this before. Even when he was not having a good day, he would lie and say he was fine. This time he actually made it clear to them that he was not all right. The fact that he was not even smiling or replying made them worried for the blond.
''Is there something we can do for you, Naruto?'' Teuchi asked looking straight at the blond.
Again, Naruto shook his head, but this time he shook it negative.
Before Teuchi could say anything, Jiraiya appeared beside the blond via shunshine. The white haired sannin sat on a chair beside Naruto.
''Can I have a bowl of miso ramen please.'' Jiraiya stated looking at Teuchi. Teuchi nodded and went away to the kitchen with his daughter.
Naruto continued to eat his ramen as if Jiraiya was not even there.
Ayame brought Jiraiya his ramen and the sannin began to eat. The ramen stand with greeted with a few minutes of silence. Naruto had nothing to say to Jiraiya, Jiraiya was just trying to see if Naruto would say something first.
''I'm taking you on a three-year training trip.'' Jiraiya said breaking the silence. He had just said it, thinking that it might cheer the blond. However, Naruto did not even pause, or blink at his words.
After finishing his ramen, Naruto stood up and turned his back to the ramen stand. ''I will be waiting for you at the gate.'' He said walking away from the ramen stand.
''You want to us to leave now?'' Jiraiya asked.
Naruto turned around and faced Jiraiya. He gave Jiraiya a look that clearly said, 'I thought my words made that clearly obvious.' He gave Jiraiya the look and turned around again walking away.
''Fine, I will go to see Tsunade-hime first,'' Jiraiya, said more to himself that Naruto. He looked at Ayame and saw the worried look on her face.
''Do not worry, he will be alright. When he gets back to the village, he will be back to his cheerful self.'' Jiraiya said to Ayame trying to sooth the teen's worries.
''I hope he does.'' Ayame said sadly.
Jiraiya smiled before a realization dawned on him, ''That damn brat he left me with the bill!'' Jiraiya yelled particularly to no one. Naruto had left without paying for his ramen, which meant he had to pay. He hated paying bills he hated using his money. It was why when he was travelling with Naruto while they searched for Tsunade; he used Naruto's money to pay for the bills.
25 minutes later
Jiraiya appeared at the large gates of Konohagakure no Sato in a swirl of leafs. He had gone to Tsunade to get the documents for him and Naruto. The documents would help them for when they visited other villages and for when they returned. The Hokage signed the documents. The documents also acted as proof that they were indeed at a training trip, should someone question their disappearance.
Jiraiya saw Naruto leaning against the wall with his hands in his pockets. He noticed that Naruto had not changed his clothes and was not even carrying a bag for his things.
Naruto walked forward passing Jiraiya. Jiraiya just turned around stared at Naruto's back, ''Naruto, where is your bag? You cannot go on a training trip without packing a few essential things.'' he said.
''I have nothing to pack; therefore I have no need for a bag.'' Naruto replied monotonously as he continued to walk away from the gate.
Jiraiya sighed and followed Naruto from behind. 'This is surely going to be long three-years if he does not change quickly' Jiraiya thought looking at Naruto.
Three days later
Naruto lay in a bed at a hotel. They were at a small town they had come across. Jiraiya had tried to hustle money from Naruto to pay for their rooms. However, Naruto had told the sannin that he had no money to pay for a hotel bill. Jiraiya paid, albeit sadly seeing his money 'leave' him.
Nothing much had happened since the left Konoha. They just walked in silence. Jiraiya had tried to start conversations, but found it hard to maintain a conversation given that Naruto did not want to talk. He just wanted to travel in peace without any trouble.
Jiraiya looked at Naruto, ''I am going to see my spy contact. Stay here and do not go out. If you are hungry eat here at the hotel.'' Jiraiya said, ''I might return tomorrow but do not worry. If there is anything summon a toad to inform me.'' He finished his instructions and left the room.
Naruto narrowed his eyes at the door after Jiraiya had left. Jiraiya had yet to tell him how they were going to train. He had never even mention a word of training. It was always like this with Jiraiya, he favored peeping than training him. Jiraiya had only taught him the Rasengan because it was the only way to get him to accompany him in his search for Tsunade.
Naruto thought for a moment. When Jiraiya was training him before the chunin exam finals, he never trained him to better his skills. The sannin had only gotten him to sign the summoning contract. He never trained him in anything else, other than chakra control exercises and learning to use the Kyuubi's chakra. In some sense he was like Kakashi, the only difference was that Jiraiya had taught him a few useful things. However, they all favored something else other than training him.
During his time with Jiraiya, the sannin had always spoken about utilizing the Kyuubi's chakra. It was as if Jiraiya thought he was nothing without the Kyuubi's chakra. Controlling the Kyuubi's was most likely what Jiraiya was going to teach him for the whole three years. Naruto remembered correctly, the sannin had already started training him in using the Kyuubi's chakra.
He was surely not going to train the way he wanted and his jutsu arsenal would not increase if he stayed with Jiraiya. The sannin had introduced him to water walking. He had yet to perfect the exercise. Chakra control exercises were certainly, what they would do first, and with Jiraiya, it would take a year for the exercises to be completed. If he were being honest with himself, he would say that his ninjutsu arsenal was pathetic. All he had was the Rasengan and the Kage bunshin. Take that away and he had nothing, he would be just as useless as Sakura. Naruto wanted to increase his own skills. The Kyuubi's chakra would act as his last resort of triumph card.
Staying with Jiraiya would certainly do him no good.
Without another thought, Naruto walked towards Jiraiya's bag. He opened it and took out his training trip documents. He folded the document and pocketed it without a second thought.
Naruto walked out of the room calmly using the door. He even used the door leaving the door. He was in no hurry or afraid that Jiraiya would catch him. Naruto knew that Jiraiya was getting drunk somewhere with women he paid. It would take a day or so for the pervert to return. When he did, he would not find him. He did not need to leave a note behind saying that he had left, Jiraiya was smart enough to know that he left on his own.
Two days later
He had no idea where he was going. He just ran through the fire countries forest. He would figure out where to go as soon as he was far away from Jiraiya. Years of experience in hiding from ANBU's after he had done a prank to the village would certainly pay up in getting Jiraiya off his back till he found a place to hind.
''Hello Naruto-kun.'' A voice said from behind Naruto forcing him to come into a halt.
Naruto was cursing himself because someone had found so easily. It had not been even three days since he was on the run and now he was already found. He looked at his jumpsuit and cursed it, remembering what people had said about it. 'Maybe it does give away my position easily.' Naruto thought to himself as he turned around to see who had found him.
Well that was it. Unlike the other story I removed this one will not be removed, it is far too interesting for me to do so. I have already began with the second chapter, should be posting it within a week or so.