Alright! It took about two days longer than I wanted it too, but I got chapter five up. Now answer time:
First off let me say that I think it is adorable that some of you assume that Azula's plan is going to go off without a hitch and that she is going to instantly turn Naruto into Ozai the second. Let me assure you right now that it is not going to happen. Yes she is going to change Naruto, but he is going to change her right back. Right now it's far easier to see the changes made in Naruto because of who he is. A ten year old who has been starved for attention for all of his life and will go to almost any lengths to get recognition from others. This makes him incredibly malleable. In contrast Azula has been set in her ways for quite some time now and is a master manipulator. This means that Naruto's changes are going to be happening faster and be far more obvious. That being said Azula will be showing signs of change in this chapter.
Secondly several of you have brought up the question of why Naruto hasn't mentioned wanting to be Hokage. There is a reason why I haven't brought that up just yet. In the beginning of the series Naruto's desire to be Hokage stemmed from his longing to be acknowledged. In other words he figured that if he became Hokage, the biggest, baddest guy in the village, everyone would love him. More importantly they would acknowledge him as a person rather than ignoring him all the time. His whole 'I will be Hokage and protect my precious people' ideal didn't come about until after he met Haku during the wave mission. Until he met Haku, it was purely selfish desire. Because in this story he now has Azula who has not only acknowledged him, but shown him affection and kindness and has offered more emotional support and help than he is used too, not too mention that she is a distant relation, he likely would put his Hokage speal on the back burner unless something brings it to the front of his mind again. DON'T WORRY! HE WILL STILL WANT TO BE HOKAGE! I want you all to know that. It just won't be of any true significance until he meets Haku.
And final answer for this chapter. ahem. To answer the most often asked question I have received. YES AZULA AND NARUTO WILL MAKE IT BACK TO THE AVATAR WORLD. It won't be for a long LONG time though. And no I will not let any details about that leak out if I can help it. I will leave you with this little tidbit for thought. Azula vanished during the battle of Ba Sing Se, that means that there was no one to vouch for Zuko with the Fire Lord, which means he MIGHT not have been 'accepted' back to the Fire Nation. Think of all the changes THAT makes by it self.
On with the story! I do not own Naruto or Avatar: The Last Airbender. This is just a work of fan fiction and I make no money off of it.
Spiraling Flames Chapter Five
Azula paced up and down the living room of the apartment, her eyes to the floor in front of her. Her mind was currently occupied by a daunting and seemingly insurmountable problem, namely the prospect of teaching Naruto Uzumaki about sex. The dark haired girl knew that she would have to teach him about the act of reproduction sooner or later of course, it was after all, essential to her plan. Essential or not, however, it was still a thoroughly embarrassing subject to talk about.
Every part of her mind was currently trying to either find a suitable way to explain the process of sex to the boy, or trying to find a way to successfully postpone the conversation. If she could, the girl would prefer to let the subject go until the boy was much older and then teach him about it only when it became a required step in their relationship. Any chance of that happening was destroyed when the Hokage ordered her to give the boy the talk though. Azula's eye twitched as she thought of the old man's smug look when he had given that order. She briefly entertained thoughts of how that smirk of his would look if the shinobi leader spontaneously combusted into blue flames. Azula felt herself chuckle darkly at that thought.
Theoretical plots of revenge would have to wait, however, as she did in fact have to explain sex to the young blond that she shared the apartment with. Maybe she could give him the same story that Fire Nation parents had told their children for generations when faced with this same problem. She would sit Naruto down, look him in the eyes, and with all the seriousness she could muster, she would explain that their was a palace in the sky, hidden by the clouds. Within this palace were all the babies in the world, and when a young couple were married, a great dragon would find the correct baby for the couple and bring it to them.
Azula nodded to herself. Yes, that would work. Then she would swear Naruto to secrecy about the subject and tell the Hokage that she had accomplished her task. She could then avoid the whole issue until she was well and truly ready for it.
Azula nodded to herself once more and said "Yes, that will work."
"What will work, Azula-hime?" Naruto asked, standing behind her.
Azula jumped about a foot off the ground and gave a yelp of surprise. She had been so involved in her own thoughts that she hadn't heard the blond boy walk into the apartment and up to her. Azula fought down the blush she felt trying to rise on her cheeks.
"Oh, it's nothing Naruto. How was your day at the academy?"
Azula watched the boy's face gain a pensive look. "It was alright I guess. Most of the kids in my class seemed to be afraid of me, but they didn't tease or make of me."
Azula nodded. That was exactly how she had expected things to be for the young boy.
"But I also think I may have found a friend!" Naruto said excitedly.
That statement made the older girl blink. "What?" she asked.
Naruto smiled happily. "Remember how you said that I would eventually find those who respected me for my power? Well I think I may have found one today!"
Azula's eyes narrowed. "Explain what happened please, Naruto." She said, her voice taking a calm tone.
Naruto launched into an explanation of his encounter with Sasuke, telling her what the boy had said and how he had wanted to train with Naruto. He also explained how Sasuke had treated him up until this point. By the end of Naruto's tale Azula was certain of one thing, Sasuke Uchiha could be trouble. Azula had made the mistake of assuming that all of the children Naruto's age would be afraid of him, she hadn't counted on someone like Uchiha being part of the equation.
When she had told Naruto that he would find those who would respect his power she had said it a way to console him, and had hoped to provide those people in the form of herself, her father and the Fire Nation as a whole. Yet, despite the odds, Naruto had managed to find such a person here in Konoha.
The more bonds that Naruto formed within Konoha, the harder it would be to convince him to leave with her. Of course Azula was under no delusions that she would be able to keep the boy from forming any bonds at all. When she first began to form this plan she had known that she and Naruto would possibly be in Konoha for some time before they were able to leave to her world. In fact her plan counted on the fact that she would have enough time to develop her own bond with the boy to a significant degree before they would have the opportunity to leave. In that same amount of time in was expected for the boy to develop bonds of some sort with at least a few others. In light of what she had learned from Kakashi about inter-dimensional jutsu and how long she might be here, it was simply impossible, inconceivable really, for him not to form bonds with others. Azula had hoped to be able to limit those bonds, and control them to some degree, however.
This is the reason why she was so worried about the Uchiha boy. According to Naruto the Uchiha was the top student in his class, and was extremely popular with other members of the class, despite his lack of social interaction. Many of the girls in Naruto's class apparently idolized the boy, and if they saw their idol interacting with Naruto, there was a chance that they would overcome their fear of Naruto and approach him, as the Uchiha had done. This meant that Naruto would potentially form even more bonds than he otherwise would, some of those bonds would possibly be formed with girls. Azula's entire plan involved Naruto bonding, and eventually loving her. She had to be the only girl who he loved, who loved him, who could love him. If he suddenly formed bonds with other girls, then her whole plan was in potential danger. What was worse she could do nothing to keep Naruto from befriending the Uchiha, not without raising red flags as to her intentions. If she forbid, or tried to keep Naruto form being the boy's friend, he would want to know why, and she had no good excuse to provide him with.
So she would have to let the two bond, even encourage it. She supposed she could monitor how their bond grew, if she too 'befriended' the Uchiha boy. Yes, that could work. If she was close to both of them, she could keep an eye on what people the Uchiha drew towards the two of them, specifically any girls. She would then be able to determine if the girls were getting close to Naruto in a romantic sense and if they were she would drive them off. Oh yes, she would do everything in her power to keep them from Naruto's heart. Spirits help the ones who threatened her plans, for unimaginable torment and pain would be rained down upon them.
"Umm Azula-hime, are you okay?" Naruto asked, worry and a slight amount of fear in his voice.
Azula blinked, being brought out of her thoughts. "Yes, everything is fine" she said. "Why do you ask?"
"Umm...well you have this really scary look on your face and your hands are covered in fire." He said pointing at her hands.
Azula looked down in surprise to see that she had balled her hands into fists and summoned blue fire around them. She quickly let the flames dissipate and blinked. That was odd, she didn't usually loose control of herself like that, was she truly that angry that her plan was in danger?
"Oh, sorry, I was just thinking about something that made me a little upset. Anyway, I think you should agree to train with the Uchiha, it will help you grow in strength and having another ally can't hurt. I would like you to introduce him to me as well, I want to make sure he is being honest with you."
Naruto's face quickly gained a smile, at the fact that Azula seemed alright with him befriending Sasuke. "Okay!" he said. Continuing on his happy mood, he asked "So how did your day go Azula-hime?"
Azula's mind was once again brought back to her meeting with the Hokage and she fought down the slight blush that threatened to appear on her face. She looked down at the younger boy and thought about the task she had been given. While it would be easy, and tempting, to pass off the conversation or dodge it, it would not be helpful to anyone in the long run.
"My day was eventful, Naruto." Azula said. This earned an inquisitive look from the boy but he remained quiet and waited for her to continue.
"You see, I was called to meet with the Hokage today, he wished to speak to me about several matters, two of which involve you."
Naruto blinked. "Me?"
"Yes you. One of the topics was a task that I am to perform as your acting guardian." Azula said. "Tell me Naruto, do you know where babies come from?" She asked, hoping that maybe, just maybe he already knew.
The younger boy's eyes squinted in concentration, as if trying to remember the answer to a question on a test Finally after what seemed like hours, but was really only moments, Naruto looked up at the girl and said "Nope."
Azula felt that small ray of hope she had been holding on too vanish. "I see." She said. "Well then lets go sit down and I will tell you where babies come from." She led him over to the kitchen table where they both took a seat across from each other, with Naruto looking at her attentively.
Azula looked at the young boy, and took a deep breath and prepared for the plunge into what would, undoubtedly be, one of the most awkward conversations she had ever had.
"You see Naruto, when boys and girls reach a certain age they begin to change."
"Change?" He asked. "Like they look different?"
"In some ways, perhaps." she said. "Now please refrain from asking any questions, until I am done with the explanation."
Naruto nodded in acknowledgment, and Azula continued her talk.
It took over half an hour to get the entire explanation of what changes happen to boys and girls, and then another half hour to inform the boy why they were relevant to where babies came from. Naruto's expression through the hour had gone through several phases. First he had shown looks of attentiveness and thoughtfulness. Those had evolved into looks of disbelief and then slight horror when she had explained the concept of a period to him. Finally his face became a mask of red when she began to explain sex to him. By the end of the hour long talk the both of then were sitting rather quietly across from each other, in various states of embarrassment.
The moment of silence was broken when when Naruto raised his hand, as if her were in a classroom. "Umm Azula-hime...I have a question."
"What is that, Naruto?" The princess asked.
"So when you mentioned that we might get, um, married...does that mean that we will be doing that?" He asked, in a quiet, and rather shy voice.
Suddenly Azula found herself experiencing something completely new to her. She saw, in her mind, an older version of herself, laying on her bed in her room in the fire nation palace, next to an older Naruto. Azula had never taken the time the really think about what the blond would look like when he reached his late teens, she knew that he would likely be attractive, but she hadn't ever thought about the details of what that attractiveness would be like. Her subconscious apparently had, however, because the man in vision was in one word, gorgeous. He was decidedly taller than her, had messy golden hair, that was long enough to reach his jaw line and had deep soul piercing blue eyes. His body was that of a bender who practiced regularly, that is to say, well toned and muscular, but not bulgy or disgustingly big. He had slightly darker skin than the Naruto she knew, showing that he spent a lot of time in the sun, and it made the whisker marks on his cheeks standout in a very interesting ways.
She watched the scene in her vision unfold, as the older Naruto, gently pushed her older self's hands above head using one hand, and moved his other to steady himself as he leaned in towards her face. Just as his lips were about to reach her's, Azula managed to wrench herself from the vision and reality came crashing back to her. She felt her face burning all the way up to her ears, and knew that she was sporting a heavy blush.
She looked around and noticed Naruto staring at her with an expression that was half questioning and half nervous. Azula figured that he was probably waiting for an answer to the question that had summoned the vision she had briefly experienced. She cleared her throat softly before answering him.
"Well, yes, Naruto. We would eventually do that." she said, avoiding the word 'sex' and using 'that', instead. "We would be expected to produce an heir, and as such we would need to do that. It is also an act that, I have been told, can strengthen the bond between two people who love each other." That was how her mother had put it anyway.
"I-I see." The boy said, looking away slightly.
Azula could swear she saw steam coming out the blond's ears. "Well, in any case we have other issues to discuss as well." She said.
"Like what?" Naruto asked quickly, happy to get away from the previous subject.
"Well for example the fact you have a birthday coming up." The girl answered.
At the mention of his birthday Naruto gained a rather forlorn look. His birthdays had never really been fun, or even really resembled birthdays. To him they were just another day where people ignored him or scorned him. Truthfully he preferred the scorn, at least then people acknowledged that he was there, that he existed. Many people ignored him all the time, but it was especially painful on his birthday. To have your very existence be disregarded, to be treated as if her wasn't there, was never there, on the day when his existence was supposed to be celebrated was something that truly left deep wounds on the child's mind.
Azula watched Naruto carefully, gauging his reaction. After a few moments she decided on how best to handle the situation. She drew in her breath and put her best scowl on her face before saying, "Well to tell the truth I'm rather angry that you didn't tell me about it before."
That got the boy's attention. He looked at her as if he had just been smacked. "What? Why are you angry Azula-hime?" he asked, worried he had done something to jeopardize his relationship with the dark haired girl.
Azula leaned back in her chair, folded her arms and closed her eyes. She sat there a moment, giving off her best 'I'm mad at you' aura before speaking. "Well, where I come from, it is a custom to celebrate the birthdays of those who are close to someone. I understand that such a tradition is also held here in Konoha. How am I supposed to celebrate your birthday if you don't tell me about it?" she asked.
Naruto was stunned. "Wait, you're mad at me...because you didn't know I had a birthday coming up and that meant you couldn't celebrate it?"
The princess opened one eye and looked at him. "That is what I said, yes." she stated.
When Naruto heard this he hopped out of his chair, calmly walked around to table to Azula, and gave her a hug. It wasn't a desperate hug, like the one he had given her after his fight with Mizuki, but a warm and soft hug, one that was full of meaning and emotion. It was an embrace that showed all of his heart to the older girl.
"Thank you, Azula-hime." He said quietly.
"You don't need to thank me." She answered. "Like I said, it's a custom, something expected, everyone does it for those who are close to them."
"Still, thank you." Naruto said. "Only Hokage-jiji, Iruka-sensei, and the Ichirakus have ever really celebrated my birthday. Now I have someone else who wants to do it too, it means a lot to me."
Azula was genuinely surprised by his words. On the surface it was just a simple thank you, but there was also something deeper about it. She sensed a maturity in the words, that she had not seen in the boy before. It was too expected she guessed, one did not live the life Naruto lived without growing up at least a little faster than other children. Even knowing that the intensity of the words struck something inside her, bringing forth a...feeling of some sort. It was an alien emotion, something she could not readily identify and she wasn't at all sure that she liked it. So rather than dwell on it she changed the subject.
"Alright, that is enough of that. It is time to begin afternoon training. Also, I believe that we agreed that you would begin teaching me how to use chakra today as well." Azula said.
Naruto let go of his embrace on the older girl and nodded. "Right. I'm still not sure how much help I will be, but I'll try to get you the basics, Azula-hime."
It only took a few minutes for the two to reach the training ground down the street from where the lived. The small area had quickly become they place where two spent the majority of their time together. It was also one of the places where to two were most often able to be alone. Azula was not sure if this was because the Hokage had ordered the other shinobi to avoid them while training, or if people simply avoided them due to Naruto's status as a pariah. For all she knew it was simply an area that was overlooked for better, more suitable, training areas. No matter what the reason was, it allowed the two of them to train and talk in a comfortable area that offered a small modicum of privacy.
This time, the situation was a little different from normal, however, as instead of Azula giving Naruto explanations and training exercises, it was she who was doing the listening. She stood in front of the young boy, paying close attention to what he was saying.
So far he had explained to her that chakra was the mix of spiritual and physical energy that the body naturally produced. He also explained that not a persons ability to use chakra was dependent on the size and state of the their chakra coils. He went on to say, that they would likely have to build her chakra coils up quite a bit before she could even think of using her chakra in jutsu.
"Alright, Azula-hime, put your hands together in the ram seal, like this and focus on your internal energy." Naruto said, demonstrating the ram seal for the dark haired girl as he did so.
Azula did as he instructed and reached inside her mind to try and draw out the chakra in her body.
"Well, do you feel anything?" Naruto asked after a few moments.
Azula hesitated, taking a moment to think, before answering. "I think so. I'm not sure if it's my chakra, but I feel a slight stirring sensation, as if a gently flowing...thing is moving inside my body around my stomach."
Naruto nodded. "That sounds like chakra alright. Try to draw upon it, if you do that it should feel like your connection to it is getting stronger and you should be able to pull it up into your chest area."
Azula concentrated on the feeling in her stomach, but no matter how she focused she couldn't make the chakra respond to her wishes. After a few minutes of trying she sighed and let her hands fall to her sides and looked at the younger boy, waiting for her next instructions.
Naruto saw Azula's actions and recognized that she hadn't been able to fully draw on her chakra.
"Don't worry Azula-hime, lots of people have problems with it at first. I remember a bunch of my classmates took weeks to really get the hang of it. Some of them couldn't even feel their chakra the first few times they tried."
Azula nodded in acknowledgment. That did make her feel a bit better about the whole thing. She was a prodigy in fire bending and had always excelled with little to no effort, so the idea that she hadn't been able to do so in this situation was a little disconcerting.
"I will try to keep that in mind, Naruto." She said. "Now before I continue trying to access my chakra, we are going to work on your training. So far I have been quite pleased with your progress in your bending. You really do have a natural gift for it, but that doesn't mean you can be lax in training. That is why I will begin instructing you in the more defensive forms of fire bending."
Naruto blinked a little at that, he had thought that fire bending didn't really have defensive moves, unless dodging counted.
Azula saw his confused expression and a small smile appeared on her face. Most people failed to realize that fire bending did have defensive techniques. They were few and far between, but they were there.
"Alright, I will demonstrate the first move for you." She told him. "I want you to send an attack at me."
Naruto nodded and got into his bending stance. He took a deep breath and shot a strong, fast punch towards Azula. As he did so, a stream of bright orange fire shot out from his fist and headed for the dark haired girl. As the blast approached her, Azula brought her arms together in a circling motion, just as the fire reached her.
Naruto watched in excitement as he a short burst of flame erupt from Azula's own arms before she continued the circling arc her arms had been moving in, and as her arms finished the tight circle the blast of fire he had launched at her vanished.
"That was so cool, Azula-hime!" He shouted. "You blocked my fire, with fire of your own! Are there any other defensive moves I can learn? Oh, is there a way to take my opponents fire and send it back at them?"
Azula shook her head in answer to his question. "No, Naruto, that isn't possible. As fire benders, we use our own power to block that of others, we do not redirect attacks back at our opponents. That is something only water benders can do. Of course, that doesn't mean that we are limited to only blocking fire, with enough strength behind it, that move I just performed can even shatter boulders before they reach me."
The ten year old frowned a bit when he heard that he wouldn't be able to steal fire from his opponents attacks and send it back at them. Still he could see how this circular motion for blocking could be used to great advantage. It easily allowed the user to stop incoming attacks head on and left the user in position to launch a strong counter attack immediately. When he saw Azula perform the block, he counted at least four counter attacks that she could employ off the top of his head.
For two of them stayed in the training ground until the sun set, each working on their prospective exercises. By the end of the training session Naruto had the circular block consigned to muscle memory and Azula informed him that the two would begin to use it in spars in their next training session. Naruto had once again proven that he did indeed have a natural talent for fire bending. By contrast Azula had managed to make no progress in her chakra exercises at all, something she found rather infuriating. That anger did not deter her from seeking to learn how manipulate her chakra, however, and Naruto assured her that she was still doing far better than many people did when they first began.
On another note, Azula was happy to see that her efforts in persuading Naruto to pay attention in his classes since she arrived had born fruit. In fact if it were not for her encouragement, she suspected that he would never have known all that he did about the chakra network and how it worked. That would have made learning how to use this new power far more frustrating than it already was. Still, it was a noticeable change from how he had behaved when she first met the boy, and the thought she had already had such an effect on him brought a smile to the girls lips as the two walked back their apartment.
Naruto arrived early to the academy the next day. He was earlier than he had been in his entire time attending the shinobi school in fact. He didn't do this on a whim, however, he had a purpose. He knew that Sasuke usually arrived early, and he wanted to have a chance to speak to the Uchiha before class began.
He wasn't disappointed when he walked into the classroom, quickly spotting the dark haired boy sitting by one of the windows. Naruto walked over to where Sasuke was and took the seat next to him. The two sat there in silence for a few moments before Naruto spoke.
"I thought about your offer yesterday. I think your right, it would be good to train with someone my age, and besides we might become really good friends." He said, in an optimistic tone.
Sasuke looked over at the blond and gave him a smirk. "I knew you would agree. It just makes too much sense for us not to train together."
Naruto nodded in agreement. "Also Azula-hime wants to meet you."
That got Sasuke curious. Why would the girl, this other Uzumaki that was supposedly a princess from another land want to meet him? Was it because he had offered to train with Naruto, and possibly become his friend and ally, or was there some other reason? In the end he guessed it didn't really matter, he had wanted to learn more about the girl and this was the perfect opportunity to do so.
"Alright, I'm free this afternoon. We can begin training and you can take me to meet her then if you want." Sasuke said.
"Sounds good to me." was the only reply that Naruto gave, and the two returned to sitting next to each other in a comfortable silence.
As the minutes dragged on the classroom slowly filled with the other students that were in the class. Naruto noted that the other kids had gathered in small groups and had begun whispering, which actually made for a rather loud, and annoying, noise. They all seemed to be discussing him and Sasuke. It seemed that idea of the most talented and popular kid in their class suddenly sitting next to the class clown and village pariah was a little hard for some of them to understand.
As more students arrived more whispering ensued, and Naruto felt his eye begin to twitch in annoyance. Just as he was about to stand up and shout at his classmates to shut up, a girl broke off from one of the groups and walked over to where he and Sasuke sat. she was a plain looking girl with brown hair and no real distinguishing features, but Naruto recognized her as being part of Sasuke's so called fan club. The girl stood there for a moment looking nervous and a little scared, before looking at Sasuke and speaking.
"Um, Sasuke-kun...why are you sitting here?" She whispered.
Sasuke looked up at the girl with a bored, yet somehow demeaning expression on his face.
"This is where I have been sitting since the year began, why would I suddenly sit somewhere else?" He asked, his tone reflecting the same boredom that his face showed.
The girl looked even more nervous, and flicked her eyes towards Naruto briefly.
"Well, you know, HE is sitting there too." She whispered, bring her hand up to cup around her mouth, as if that would keep Naruto from hearing her.
Naruto himself, was torn between feeling hurt that she and everyone else were afraid of him, annoyed that she acting this way, or angry because she seemed to thing that he wouldn't be able hear her. Before he could react to all this, however, the girl began speaking again.
"It was horrible, what he did to Mizuki-sensei. My mom said he must be some kind of monster to do that to his own teacher." She said again, still whispering.
As soon as the words left her mouth Sasuke's bored expression turned into a a glare that made the girl recoil slightly. His next words were spoken in an angry tone, that was loud enough for the entire class to hear.
"You think he's a monster now? What a joke! I have seen what real monster looks like. I watched as a real monster killed everyone I ever loved, and after seeing that, I'm pretty sure that I know what a monster looks and acts like. I'll tell you right now that Naruto is no monster. So what if he accidentally hurt Mizuki-sensei? So what if he put him in the hospital for a few weeks? That doesn't make him a monster, it just makes him strong. You asked why I'm sitting next to him? It's because I would rather keep the company of someone who is strong and reliable than weakling like you that think one incident during a sparing match makes someone a monster."
As Sasuke finished his little speech the girl looked like she was about to cry. She quickly turned her face away from the dark haired boy and ran off to join the group she had been with before. The class was completely silent for all of five seconds before erupting into even more whispers.
Naruto looked over at the Uchiha with a stunned look on his face. He hadn't expected him to defend him like that. He was sure of one thing now, he and Sasuke would be great friends.
Before anything else could happen in the class Iruka walked into the room and told everyone to take their seats. Once everyone was in their spots, he began that morning's lesson, which turned out to another boring lecture.
After the lecture Iruka took every one outside and announced that they would begin taijutsu spars. He would call out the name of a student and ask that student to step into the small ring where the sparing match would be held. He would then ask if anyone wanted to volunteer to be their partner, if no one volunteered he would select someone to be the students partner on his own.
Iruka continued down the list, calling out names until he reached Naruto's name. As Naruto stepped into the ring, Iruka waited for someone to volunteer to spar against him.
The chunin liked Naruto a lot, and knew that he wasn't a bad kid. When he had first met the blond he had hated the boy, but as the years went by he had begun to see that he was just a lonely child. He had come to enjoy the boy's pranks and jokes and had begun to care for the boy. When the accident with Mizuki had happened he had worried that it would destroy what little peace Naruto's life had. It seemed his fears were right as he waited for someone to volunteer to spar against the blond.
Before one or two people would always step forward to spar against Naruto, if for no other reason than that they thought they could win against the dead last of the class. Now, however, it seemed that his spar with Mizuki had instilled too much fear in the other children.
Just as Iruka was about to call on someone to spar against Naruto, someone called out.
"I'll spar against him."
Sasuke Uchiha stepped into the ring with Naruto, earning a few gasps from the other kids.
Sasuke felt the urge to face palm. He had already proven that he wasn't afraid of Naruto, yet people still seemed surprised that he was willing to spar with him. The idiocy of the masses never ceased to impress him.
He heard Iruka call out for the two combatants to get ready, and he and Naruto got into their respective stances. Sasuke saw Naruto get into a stance that he had never seen before. He had been in his own spar when Naruto had been sparing against Mizuki so he hadn't gotten a good look at what Naruto had done, other than the fact that he had used a fire technique of some kind. Could this stance be part of a taijutsu form that allowed him to defeat Mizuki?
Sasuke hear Iruka call out for the two to begin and rushed at Naruto. Even if this was a new taijutsu form, there was no point in hanging back and letting Naruto get the first strike in. As he got closer to the blond he sent a punch at the boy's face. Naruto side stepped the attack and Sasuke saw him launch a kick at him out of the corner of his eye. He spun around and used his momentum to knock the kick away from him with his right arm, while at the same time bringing his left leg up to send his own kick at the Uzumaki. The kick struck the blond in the torso and he staggered back a bit, allowing Sasuke to take up his stance once again.
Naruto stared at the dark haired boy across form him. Sasuke was good, that was certain. Naruto had been using his fire bending with out summoning up his fire, making into his own taijutsu style. He had hoped that by using an unfamiliar style he could catch the Uchiha off guard and end the match with in the first few exchanges of blows. It was clear though that this would be far more difficult than he thought. They had only exchanged a few blows and already he could tell that the dark haired boy would be able adapt to his new style with ease. He would have to press the Uchiha hard if he wanted to win this.
So he rushed at Sasuke, much the same as the Uchiha had done to him only moments before. He sent a powerful punch at the dark haired boy's chest, which was blocked with ease. He followed the punch up with another aimed Sasuke's face, which was again blocked with ease. In defending his face, however, Sasuke had momentarily left his torso open to attack and Naruto sent a strong kick to the boys stomach. Sasuke let a grunt of pain and stumbled backwards, tripping as he did so. This ended with the Uchiha on his back, and Naruto saw an opening to finish the match and rushed forward.
As Naruto got close to Sasuke, however, he spun around on his back, swinging his legs around him and kicking Naruto's feet out from under him. As Naruto fell to the ground Sasuke rose to his feet, before all but tackling the blond. He placed his left arm on Naruto's chest just below the neck to keep him from getting up, and held his right hand back in a fist, ready to strike.
Before the spar could continue any further though, the two boys heard Iruka call the match with it ending in Sasuke's favor. As Sasuke stood up he offered a hand to Naruto, helping him up.
"I was right." Sasuke said. "You are strong. You almost beat me. If I hadn't caught you with that last kick I think you would have won."
As the two walked back to stand with the rest of the class Naruto heard even more whispers break out, but there was something different about the whispers this time. As they passed a group of girls he managed to catch a bit of their conversation.
"But Sasuke-kun seems to like him. So that means he can't be all bad. What if our parents are wrong?" one girl whispered.
"That's right." said another. "And he just proved he is strong. I heard Sasuke-kun say that he could have won if he hadn't gotten that last move in."
The first girl nodded. "Me too. Oh, and remember that girl that was with him the the other day? She said that she was related to him somehow, and the Hokage said she was a princess. Maybe that means that Naruto is a prince?"
Iruka called the class back inside before he could hear more of the conversation. The rest of the day proved to be rather boring, as Iruka had the class do more reading and listening to lectures, but the whispering kept up until class let out for the afternoon. Of course, Naruto also noticed that a few of girls in the class had begun sneaking small glances at him and had strange gleams in their eyes, that made him feel uncomfortable to say the least. He wasn't sure why though.
Once the class was released Naruto and Sasuke made their way out of the building and along the streets of Konoha, Naruto leading the way to the training ground where they were to meet Azula. Once they had gotten there he saw the the dark haired girl was already waiting for them.
"Azula-hime!" Naruto called out in greeting, as he walked up to the girl.
"Hello, Naruto." Azula said, once the boy reached her. "I assume this is the friend you told about yesterday." She motioned to Sasuke who was standing behind him
Naruto beamed. "Yep. This is Sasuke Uchiha. Sasuke this is Azula-hime."
Sasuke stepped forward and bowed to the girl. "It's very nice to meet you." He said.
Azula gave her own slight bow and said. "It is nice to meet you as well."
Sasuke looked up at the taller girl for a moment before speaking again. "Naruto told me you wanted to meet me. Why?"
"I did, yes, but that conversation will have to wait for a little while. It seems we have an uninvited guest." As soon as Azula finished speaking she sent a short burst of blue fire at tree to the right of the small group. The tree didn't catch on fire, but it did make an 'Eeep' sound.
Naruto blinked. Since when did trees 'Eeep'? He got his answer when a small shape fell out of the tree and landed in the bushes, making an audible 'thump'.
The grouped walked over to where the figure had fallen and looked as a girl lay in the bushes, an expression of slight pain on her face. She was a small girl, with short blue hair in a hime style cut. She wore short tan pants and white coat, along with blue shinobi sandals.
Azula, who stood in the front of the group gave a positively menacing smirk. "Well, what have we here?" She asked as she stared down at one Hinata Hyuuga.
The small girl looked up at the Fire Nation princess and uttered a single sound.
Well there you have it, chapter five. I actually had to cut it's length about to about half of what I originally wanted, if I was going to make the deadline I gave my self for posting this. Never fear though, many things will happen in the next chapter. For example I WILL have Naruto's birthday the next chapter. You also get to see how Sasuke and Azula get along, you will see how Hinata reacts to Azula and how Azula reacts to Hinata. I have also finally decided on the genin team placements! You MAY get to see that next chapter. Anyway I hope you all enjoyed this chapter as much as the others. As always please review and let me know what you think and what I can do to improve.