Disclaimer: The author does not own Naruto, anything related to Kishimoto Masashi's works and ideas, except for characters, plotlines, or ideas invented by the author.

Rating: T (mild to severe language and some mildly graphic imagery, no overt sexual references or imagery or graphic death as of the writing of this chapter)

Warning: I assume many of you have read Naruto in some capacity, so you are aware of the general background of the story, but if you have not, I highly suggest reading the plot synopsis on the Naruto Wikipedia page. Enjoy!

(Introductory Arc) Chapter 1 – Meet the Uzumakis! A New Saga Begins!

For the most part, a normal day in the Hidden Leaf Village for the young and upcoming ninja hopefuls starts with an early wake up call and breakfast with the family before heading to class for the day. Many families partake in various early morning routines, which may include some light training or a quick chat with relatives over a warm meal. However, there are those certain few who are not inherently inclined to wake up at a reasonable time to start these routine activities of the day, which leads us to the beginning of our tale, the home of the Fourth Hokage.

As the leader of a large ninja village, one might expect that he would be the owner of a decently sized mansion, and while this is true to an extent, Minato Namikaze did not purchase his current home with fame and prestige in mind. Rather, he commissioned the construction of nice home that was accommodating to his small family of three. That's not to say it was a small structure; there was plenty of room for all everyone, with spacious living spaces, a comforting environment, and great bedrooms for the sleep deprived.

Within a dark corner of one of those bedrooms, a seventeen-year old blond boy was fast asleep, no doubt dreaming of his one true love – ramen. He was only partially covered by his bed sheets, with a leg partially hanging off the bed, but that didn't seem to matter to the youth, as evidenced by the sloppy smile on his dozing face. His room was a cluttered mess, evident by the large pile of dirty clothes overflowing from a hamper in the closet and a garbage can that was spilling over with empty ramen cups. The lone clean area in the room was near the bed and window. A cherished family photo stood in a frame on a nightstand by a simple lamp, while a few potted plants rested on the windowsill next to the young man's desk, with various scrolls scattered over it. Barely visible under the documents was a laptop computer, and a cell phone was charging on the windowsill.

As the youth released a loud, rattling snore, the door to his room had slowly opened, and a woman stalked into the room, her face contorting in disgust as she kicked aside some rancid underwear in her path. She had long red hair that extended down to her lower back, an apron fastened over a simple green dress, and smoky blue eyes that narrowed as she surveyed the scene in front of her. As she looked down on the still form of her slumbering son and then at the flashing display of the silenced alarm clock, her eyebrow began twitching in annoyance. "Get up, Naruto," she said somewhat loudly but firmly. The young man in question just ignored the order and rolled over, immersing himself in the much more comfortable covers while murmuring unintelligible words in his sleep. Unfortunately, his attempt to hide didn't work to his advantage. The next request was a couple of decibels louder as his mother repeated her request in an eruption of anger, "GET UP NARUTO!"

The disembodied voice of Uzumaki Naruto floated out from under the pillows, "I don't wanna, Mom…I've got plenty of time to get to the academy…" His voice faded off as he burrowed even deeper into his covers.

Uzumaki Kushina didn't look convinced, and her eyebrow continued to twitch when her son didn't emerge from under the covers, and a soft snoring once again commenced. A moment later, though, she began to smirk as an idea popped into her head. She tossed her hair over her shoulder and closed her eyes in concentration. Glowing chains of chakra shot out of the ceiling, wrapped around her son's arms, and hoisted him out of the bed. The source of the Kongō Fūsa (Adamantine Sealing Chains) was the middle of the woman's back, and she looked smug as her son hung before her.

Clad in only an old t-shirt and boxers, he did not look too happy to be trussed up in his own bedroom. She ignored the evil look he was shooting her way. "If you think you can get a shower, dressed, eat breakfast, and to the academy in 15 minutes," she said pointedly, "you're a hell of a lot better than I am at getting ready. Sasuke was already up and gone 10 minutes ago, you know."

Naruto glared at her through sleep-encrusted eyes and wrenched his arms free of the chains. As they faded from view, the young man fell back down onto his bed and scratched his face. "That's because Sasuke's an overachiever, Mom, and 15 minutes is so much time," he muttered, "You just take so much time because you're a girl…" He finally managed to get out of bed and slowly began to search his room for some clean clothes to wear.

Stifling a chuckle, his mother said, "Yeah, well this girl is going to give you 5 minutes to get in the kitchen for breakfast before she comes back here and drags you out herself." Naruto just waved a hand at her as he walked by, newly found clean underwear in hand, and his mom ruffled his hair before going back into the kitchen.

The blond teen slogged into the kitchen five minutes later, looking slightly more awake than he did earlier, and sat down next to his father at the table. Namikaze Minato glanced at his son before chuckling to himself and getting back to the morning paper as Kushina laid a plate of eggs and toast in front of the heir to the Hokage.

As usual, the young man was dressed in his usual orange and black sweatshirt and slacks, with the usual weapons holsters and standard sandals. Never one to pass up food, Naruto quickly dug into the meal, and his father commented, "You don't need to eat like a heathen, son. It's not going to do you any good if you choke to death."

Shooting his father an incredulous look, the blond shook his head vehemently. "Yeah, but now I'm getting excited because when I get back, I'm gonna be a genin!" he said in between bites.

The Fourth Hokage chuckled and put the paper down to take a drink of his morning coffee. "Oh really now? You know, I heard that if certain young men did well on their graduation exam, they might get to start learning a new technique tonight."

As he shared a look of knowing with his wife, Naruto stopped stuffing his face and looked up at his father in cautious excitement. "Really?" he asked slowly. When his father nodded, the excited young blond exclaimed, "Yes!" He drank the last of his orange juice in one big gulp and darted to the door, only pausing to place his dishes next to the sink.

"Naruto, you might need to use a tail to get there in time. Your mother wasn't kidding about you sleeping in too long!" Minato shouted after his son, having pushed his chair back into the hallway. He heard a rapidly fading confirmation and shook his head in amused disbelief. He looked at his wife, who had come over with plates of food for the two of them, and said, "He becomes more and more like you every day."

She laid a plate of scrambled eggs and toast in front of him before smacking his arm lightly and sitting down across from him. "You have no room to talk whatsoever," she retorted, "He looks more and more like you every day." He shrugged, a wide grin on his face, and started to dig into his food with a hungry fervor, not unlike his son's. Kushina rolled her eyes and started eating at a slower pace, though not without a smile on her own face.


Outside, Naruto leapt over the wall surrounding his home and was soon surrounded by a reddish-orange cloak of pure, bubbling chakra. His eyes darkened to red and narrowed into vertical slits, while the whiskers on his face grew more pronounced, and his fingernails lengthened into claws. Two ears and a tail of chakra also grew out of the cloak. Inside his head, he heard a deep voice rumble, "So today they're going to let you become a genin. That may be the dumbest thing this village could do with the way you act most of the time."

'Shut up, you stupid fox,' Naruto thought, slightly irritated, as he ran on all fours through the streets of Konoha, 'You have no room to talk about bad behavior.'

As he ran to the academy, he focused his attention to the mental conversation with his host. The landscape of his mind was that of a large field surrounded by rolling hills. Naruto appeared on the head of the giant, nine tailed crimson fox that inhabited those 'lands,' and the fox growled in annoyance. "Watch it, boy. You're just lucky I like you so much," it muttered ominously.

Knowing that the tough guy act that the demon put on was mostly for show, Naruto just laughed in response, but he quickly shut up when the Kyūbi added, "Do you really think that trick you and your father concocted is really going to fool the teachers at that piddly academy of yours?"

Now it was Naruto's turn to roll his eyes, though he couldn't hide the look of worry on his face. 'Of course it is, idiot,' he snapped, 'Iruka-sensei knows full well that because of you,' and here, Naruto kicked Kurama's head a couple of times, inciting a long growl of anger, 'I don't have the fine chakra control to make normal clones, but Shadow Clones are a different story. Besides, they probably just want to see the clones, not the technique used to make them. If anything, they should be happy that I've mastered such a high level clone technique.'

The giant fox snorted at its container's confidence. "Yeah, sure, we'll go with that," the Kyūbi muttered, a few rattling laughs leaving his large throat as Naruto returned to concentrating on reaching the academy in time.

The blond youth skidded onto the academy grounds a minute later, and the red chakra cloak covering him quickly dissipated. He darted into the school and dashed down the hallway until he reached his classroom. Looking around and not seeing his teacher anywhere, he breathed a sigh of relief and collapsed in a pile at the front of the room, earning some snickers from the other teens present.

A dark haired boy seated a few rows up smirked at the sight before him, ignoring the girls surrounding him. "Nice of you to join us, Naruto. Did Auntie Kushina finally manage to wake you up?" he said with a wide grin on his face.

The blond cracked open an eye glared at him with it and snapped, "Shut up, Sasuke." The smirk on the face of the Uchiha teen grew larger, and a content look settled on his face.

A girl with long, platinum blonde hair sitting very close to Sasuke snorted as she observed Naruto below. "Honestly, Naruto, even Shikamaru beat you to class. You're seriously behind the times if you can't get here before him." Yamanaka Ino paused momentarily to send a dirty look to a ponytailed male sitting in the row in front of her whose head was buried in his arms and muttered, "Though…that doesn't seem to have kept him awake very long." A pencil whizzing by her head as she turned to say something to Sasuke caused her to become visibly enraged. She whipped her head back to glare at Nara Shikamaru, who still appeared to be sleeping but was hiding a very small smirk with his arms.

Next to him was a slightly chubby boy who shook his head incredulously at the interaction between the two of them. Akimichi Chōji was well used to the bickering that occurred between those two and tended to tune it out, usually with a bag of his favorite barbeque chips. Therefore, he was content to softly smile as he saw his best friend send a pencil flying in the blink of an eye towards his other childhood friend and to pull out a few more chips from the bag in his hand.

By this time, Naruto had dragged himself up and wandered up to the row behind Sasuke. He threw himself into a seat directly behind his best friend and rested his chin on the desk while looking out over the room with a dreary expression on his face. He remained like this for a few seconds before he heard the light tapping of claws on the floor next to him, followed by the unique sensation of a dog tongue licking his cheek softly. He turned and grinned at the seventy pound white puppy that was inspecting him closely from the floor. The dog was on two legs as he gave the blond youth a look that dared him not to pet his head. As he scratched the puppy's head, he pulled himself up and said, "Hey Kiba, I think you lost something."

Sitting in the back row of the classroom was another young man, wearing a wooly jacket and whose face was adorned by twin red marks. He smirked and accepted the puppy that Naruto held out for him, only groaning slightly from the weight of the animal. "Nah, he was just on sleepy head patrol. He's just as anxious as the rest of us to get through the graduation exam," Inuzuka Kiba said as he flipped over the young pup Akamaru and began scratching his belly. Turning to the youth sitting next to him, he said, "We could all take a lesson from Shino here. He's got relaxed down to an art."

Adorned with a thick cloak and sunglasses even though it wasn't that cold and he was indoors, the shoulders of Aburame Shino twitched in the slightest hint of a shrug, and he said, "Relaxed has nothing to do with it, Kiba. I'm sure we'll all do fine on the exam. Why? We wouldn't have gotten this far if Iruka-sensei didn't believe we were ready for it."

The dog trainer chuckled and shook his head slightly, "Man, I don't think I'll ever get used to how you talk, but I like the way you think," he replied, and Akamaru added a bark in the affirmative as well. In the row in front of Kiba sat another female youth, this one with dark hair that was close to the color of purple in the right light as well as pale eyes. Hyūga Hinata did not say a thing but merely giggled at the interaction of the boys in the class.

Any further exchange was cut off as the door opened again, and an older ponytailed man walked in, clipboard in hand. Looking over the room and finding everyone to be present, he nodded in satisfaction. "Alright, class! I hope all of you are ready for the graduation exam," Umino Iruka said loudly, "Today, you will be asked to produce three clones using the Bunshin no Jutsu (Clone Technique)…"

A snort came from the first row, following by Shikamaru saying in a muffled voice, "This is so troublesome."

Iruka coughed and glared at the boy, whose head was still buried in his arms but was now at least awake. "Shikamaru, if you would please not interrupt me, I'd appreciate it," the teacher snapped.

That got the young Nara to finally sit up and address his teacher. "Iruka-sensei, you've taught us for five years and made us do that troublesome Bunshin no Jutsu like, five hundred times. In addition, we all have abilities and skills that we have learned through our various classes that are much more difficult to master than that E-class technique. Shouldn't you know if we can do the technique by now? And wouldn't it be more beneficial to test us with a more challenging exam?" he countered, "I mean, let's be real here. Naruto has the chakra level of an Uzumaki along with a giant pool of near unlimited energy called a tailed beast in his gut, and he can't even muster up one normal looking clone, but he can do a bunch of difficult techniques. This test makes no sense." Naruto piped up in indignation when Shikamaru began to bash his abilities but quieted down when his better aspects were revealed.

Iruka opened his mouth to respond, but knowing he could go on forever and not win the argument, he decided the best course of action would be to continue the exam explanation. Coughing slightly, he stated, "As I was saying, when I call your name, please go next door to begin your exam. First up…Aburame Shino." The named youth quietly arose and followed the exam proctor out of the room, only pausing to glare at Kiba through his sunglasses for the 'good luck' clap on the back he received.

The room slowly emptied over the next thirty minutes, and finally, the son of the Hokage was one of the few people left in the room, leaving him in an increasing state of anxiousness and hyperactivity. When he heard a shout of "Uzumaki Naruto!" from the next room over, he practically shot out of his seat and dashed to the door. When he entered the next room, he saw that Iruka was seated at a table near the opposite wall, along with two other teachers. One was a man named Mizuki, who gave Naruto a slight smile that he returned happily. The other was Hyūga Hizashi, the brother of the head of the Hyūga clan, and his Byakugan was currently activated. The latter also smiled and nodded to the young Uzumaki, who grinned back widely.

Iruka finished writing something down and looked up at the blond boy, who was practically hopping up and down in excitement. "Alright, Naruto, please use the Bunshin no Jutsu to create three passable clones."

The genin prospect immediately brought his hands up into a handseal, with two fingers on each hand crossed, an action that was not lost with the three proctors. "Bunshin no Jutsu!" he exclaimed. With a small "poof!" three perfect clones appeared around him.

Iruka looked over to Hizashi, who examined the three clones for about thirty seconds using his Byakugan before nodding his approval. He then looked to Mizuki who gave an amused smirk before waving his hand. The scarred teacher gave Naruto a knowing look but then said, "Excellent job, Naruto. You pass!" as he smiled approvingly. All four Narutos jumped up and down in happiness and started shouting happily.

"Yeah, we did it!"

"Suck it Sasuke!"

"Hokage seat here we come!"

"Who da man? We da man!"

Sitting on the table in front of the proctors were a few forehead protectors sporting the Hidden Leaf Village's insignia that had not been claimed by recent examinees. Iruka picked one of them up and approached the celebrating blondes. After a few seconds of watching some strange celebration dance, he finally had enough and shouted, "Naruto!" in an attempt to get the original's attention.

They all stopped in mid dance and turned to face the young teacher. "Yeah, Iruka-sensei?" all four of them said in unison.

"Naruto, cut it out. Which one of you is the real one?" Iruka asked exasperatedly.

All four copies of the blond frowned slightly, and three of them disappeared in a puff of smoke, leaving only the original. "You take all of the fun out of things, Iruka-sensei…" he muttered grumpily.

"It's my job," he retorted, "Now do you want your headband or not?" He held out the headband, and Naruto eagerly took it. Within no time, it was securely fastened behind his head. "Now get out of here," the scarred man continued in a joking manner, "Believe it or not, you aren't my only priority today, and I imagine your parents are dying to find out if you passed." Naruto grinned cheekily and all but ran out of the classroom, not noticing the calculating look sent at his back.

When he reached the entrance area of the academy, there were a few people waiting for him. Sasuke was chatting with Hyūga Neji, the elder of the two Hyūga genin. As he approached, both broke out into light laughter at something the young Uchiha had said. His mother was talking with the head of the Hyūga clan, Hyūga Hiashi, who had come to pick up his daughter Hinata, who also passed the graduation exam based on the forehead protector secured around her neck.

Kushina smiled widely when she saw her son running up and opened her arms to allow him to hug her tightly. "I see you passed!" she exclaimed.

"You better believe I did!" he shouted back happily. Pretending to have discovered a great secret, he motioned at Sasuke's headband and added in a loud whisper, "Sasuke didn't pass, Mom, but they felt sorry for him so they let him have a souvenir headband."

Sasuke scowled and retorted with, "At least I didn't pass because I was too ugly and they wanted me out of the room because their watches were quitting on them." Both boys glared at each other for a few seconds before their scowls melted into grins, and they gave each other a high-five.

"Okay, that's enough, boys. Let's get home before you two start fighting again," Kushina said strongly, "Besides, I left your lunch going, and I don't want it to get ruined because you two held me up." Both boys' eyes lit up at the prospect of food, and the red haired woman could only roll her eyes as both started on a mad dash back to the Uzumaki residence. 'I swear, those boys will be the death of me,' she thought as she began to follow them at a more casual pace, pausing only briefly to bid farewell to the Hyūga family.


Meanwhile, the remaining students had finished their graduation exams, and the proctors had convened in the main conference room of the Hidden Leaf Village's administrative building, minus Mizuki who had an errand to run. Minato joined Iruka and Hyūga Hizashi in sitting around the overly large table. Iruka opened a folder and handed a piece of paper to each of the people in the room. "Here you are, Yondaime-sama. The list of academy graduates and the new class of genin for this year." Hizashi was already examining a folder similar to the one Iruka had just handed Minato.

The blond Hokage examined the list of graduates, and a large grin broke out on his face as he saw both Naruto and Sasuke's names among those who graduated. "This looks like a good batch of new genin. Are there any major surprises among those who graduated or who did not graduate?" he asked the proctors.

Both of them shook their heads, and Hizashi added, "Not at all, Lord Hokage. We might need to move a few of the graduates around here and there, but overall, the proposed teams that we compiled last night should work out well."

Minato nodded with satisfaction and laid the list on the table in front of him. "Excellent. Iruka, Hizashi, if you could, make any adjustments you see fit with the teams, gather up the jōnin instructors, and give them their team assignments by the end of the day." Both teachers nodded and took their leave after gathering up their things. The blond Hokage picked up his own documents and walked upstairs to his office, immaculately organized compared to the chaos that resulted from the 'cleaning' done by his wife and son. After a few moments, he seemed satisfied with the placement of the files, so he pulled out a tri-pronged kunai from a pouch and was gone in a golden flash.

A few minutes later, the door to the meeting space slammed open, and Mizuki stumbled in, starting to apologize but stopping once he saw that no one was in the room. Instead of growing scared at the thought of punishment for missing a rather important meeting, the silver haired chūnin sneered and quietly shut the door to the conference room. A moment later, the door opened, and Uzumaki Naruto emerged. Carefully looking around, he saw nothing out of place, and he headed for the stairs that led to the lower, more secure levels of the main building of Konohagakure.


45 minutes later, two young teens and the head of the house rested comfortably in the living room of the Uzumaki household, their stomachs bursting at the seams from all of the food they had eaten. Minato was propped up in a recliner, looking rather comfortable. Sasuke and Naruto didn't even get that far and were sprawled out on the shag carpet. Meanwhile, Kushina was in the kitchen, quietly shaking her head at the sheer amount of food that the men had inhaled for lunch and the subsequent amount of dishes that were left over. "They could at least have offered to help me with these," she muttered as she picked up a random piece of china and began to work.

"Now that was a good lunch," Minato breathed carefully. Content grunts from the two boys, slightly muffled by the carpet, indicated their similar approval.

A previous conversation came to the forefront of Naruto's mind, so with some difficulty he rolled over onto his stomach to ask, "Hey Dad, when are you going to give us our graduation present? You said you'd teach us something new if we graduated." While he didn't bother moving from his comfortable position on the floor and kept his eyes shut, Sasuke's ears were also trained on the elder blond.

Minato opened his mouth to respond, but he was interrupted by a new arrival. An ANBU agent clad in a cat mask and a tan coat suddenly teleported into the living room, nearly stepping on Naruto. As the younger boy started squawking angrily, the masked man hurriedly knelt down in front of the village leader and exclaimed, "Lord Hokage! We tried to stop him, honestly we did, but ten minutes ago, your son absconded with the Scroll of Forbidden Techniques! We need to find him immediately. Do you know where he might be?"

Evidently almost being stepped on didn't qualify as being recognized as well, as Naruto quickly leapt to his feet, got into the face of the ANBU agent, and indignantly spat, "Excuse me?!" Sasuke merely rolled his eyes, while Minato's expression was a mix of surprise and embarrassment at his son's actions.

When she heard all of the commotion, Kushina had poked her head into the room, and with a puzzled expression, she said, "Jaguar…while I fully believe my son would do something like that…"


"There's no way he could have taken that scroll. We've been with him for the past hour."

The ANBU agent codenamed Jaguar had recoiled slightly at Naruto's exclamation, and with the addition of the redheaded woman's comment, it finally seemed to hit him that Naruto wasn't the true culprit. Even with the feline mask adorning his face, everyone in the room could tell he at least had the decency to be embarrassed. "Yes…well, I understand that now, Lady Uzumaki, but there was someone in the scroll library taking that scroll, and my patrol identified him as Master Naruto." He turned to Minato, who was sitting in his recliner, and said, "Just as a matter of protocol, I need to search his room and the home. Lord Fourth, you are welcome to join me." Minato nodded tersely, and the two disappeared up the staircase. Kushina returned to the kitchen, absently waving a sudsy dish around and sending small soap bubbles flying everywhere.

They were not gone long, as Minato and the ANBU agent returned a minute later with the scroll in hand. "Well, apparently the impostor decided to plant this in Naruto's room while we were either eating or digesting," Minato said grimly. He turned to the ANBU and asked, "Please tell me you managed to get a hit in on him before he got away?"

Everyone in the room heard the agent chuckle, and Naruto knew that under the mask, he was smirking as he said, "Yeah, I did. He tried to use that Oirike no Jutsu (Sexy Technique) that your son invented awhile back, but I like to think that I have more willpower than that…"

Naruto and Sasuke shared a skeptical look as they remembered some of the more perverted men of the village who had fallen victim to Naruto's favorite pranking technique, and Naruto added dubiously, "Sure you do, pervert."

Jaguar coughed and continued, "…so when he dispersed that, I launched a good kick at his head that he tried to block with his wrist. Needless to say I heard a nice crack before he dropped a smoke bomb and escaped."

The Fourth Hokage sighed but nodded in approval. "Well that at least gives us a place to start. I wouldn't worry about it too much, since we have the scroll back, but assign one of your teams to the hospital in case our boy tries to get treatment. I still want him brought in for questioning." Jaguar nodded curtly before disappearing silently. Minato slumped back down into his chair, the forbidden scroll having been propped up against the table next to him.

After a few seconds, Minato hopped to his feet and looked at the two young men in the room with him, whom were now both sitting up. The look on his face indicated that he had just come to a great revelation, and both boys looked back at him in confusion. Hoisting the scroll into his hands, he said, "Are you ready for your graduation present?" Naruto's face broke out into a huge grin, and the young Uchiha, while trying to retain a face of neutrality, also had a small grin on his face. "Technically I shouldn't be doing this, but I know Sasuke is dying to learn the Shadow Clone Technique, and Naruto can help with that while he upgrades up to the Multiple Shadow Clone Technique. If you two want, as soon as I find Mizuki and get his report on the graduation exam, we can go and practice until dinner."

The Hokage's son was quite literally shaking with excitement, and even Sasuke had a grin of pleasant surprise on his face until everything that his father had said had processed. "Wait, Naruto knows how to make Shadow Clones?" he asked, a slight frown appearing on his face.

Minato deferred to his son, who now had a peeved expression on his face. "How else did you think I passed the graduation exam?" Naruto exclaimed indignantly, "That dumb fox's chakra won't let me make any normal clones, so I had to fake it. They just said I needed to make three clones, so I did it. Just not exactly what they wanted."

In his head, he heard a low growl of, "Watch it, idiot. I'll show you what it means for me to mess around with chakra." His complete ignorance of it only served to make the fox angrier, giving its container a good amount of amusement.

Naruto's housemate shook his head in amazement. "Only you would think to do that," he said ruefully.

"Don't let him claim all the credit, Sasuke. I might have helped him a little bit," Minato added, "Now, let's get going to Mizuki's place. Hopefully this won't take too long. I was planning on having a short day today." With the scroll in his hands, he walked to the front door and opened it, allowing his two sons to walk out before he shouted back into the house, "Kushina, we'll be back in time for dinner, alright!" Hearing an affirmative response, he followed his sons out the door.

While Minato and his wife did not have any desire to have a giant mansion for fear of losing track of a young and mischievous Naruto within, they did have a decent amount of money saved up, so the home that they had purchased was in one of the newer housing developments in the village. Ninja whose income was lower usually opted for the cheaper apartment style housing that was scattered around the village.

That is where the three men of the Uzumaki household were now standing. Minato pulled out a small pocketbook and flipped to a certain page, confirming the location of Mizuki's place. He turned to the two boys and said, "You two can stay down here. I'll be back in a second…"

He was unable to complete that line of thought, as an explosion ripped through the upper levels of the building. A figure shot out of the smoke and down onto the street. The ANBU agent from earlier landed on the street opposite of the figure from the new arrivals to the scene.

"What's going on here, Jaguar?" Minato shouted across the street.

The cat-masked ANBU turned and saw the village leader and waved frantically, just as the mysterious person began to emerge from the crater. "Lord Hokage! I found the intruder from earlier! I received a report from one of my patrols of someone with a broken arm clearing out their living space, so when I went to investigate I discovered it was…"

"Mizuki-sensei!" Naruto exclaimed in shock, interrupting the ANBU agent before he could finish. All four males observed as the silver haired man, armed with two large Fūma shuriken in a back holster and favoring his arm, emerged from the crater. Blood trickled down his head as an audible growl escaped from his lips and he examined his surroundings. His broken wrist was somewhat stabilized by a makeshift splint, and he was now wearing his bandana-style forehead protector.

"Damn, this is not what I needed," the chūnin instructor growled. Turning to the source of the one who had called out his name, his eyes widened as he saw the Fourth Hokage standing along with Sasuke and Naruto, and he started to carefully weave signs in order to not aggravate his arm. "I need to act fast!"

Acting quickly when he saw that, Jaguar shouted, "Hold it!" as he finished a quick string of handseals, ending with "Raiton: Shichū Shibari (Lightning Style: Four Pillars Binding)!" Because of his impaired arm, Mizuki was unable to finish his own technique in time and was trapped by four rock pillars that shot out of the ground around him. Electricity sparked to life between them, forming an electric cage around the criminal. The feline-masked ANBU agent then quickly reversed his signs into a different string, exclaiming, "Yaekōin (Multilayered Restraining Seal)!" simultaneously slamming his left palm into the ground. An array of seal marks jumped across the ground and wrapped around the lightning cell, effectively sealing off Mizuki from the outside world.

Unfortunately, the criminal was undeterred. As he finished the string of signs, he pulled one of the shuriken off of his back, bit his tongue, and wiped some of his blood on the weapon. Immediately, he was soon holding a chakra-empowered blade.

Minato's eyes widened when he saw this, and he thought, 'Mizuki shouldn't be capable of a technique like that!' Out loud, he shouted urgently, "Jaguar! Get my kunai in the air!" The ANBU agent nodded, and as he pulled out one of Minato's special three-pronged kunai, the Hokage began to form a swirling sphere of lightning based chakra in his hand.

"Naruto…is that…" Sasuke asked, a look of shock and amazement crossing his normally stoic face.

"Yeah…my dad's Rasengan (Spiraling Sphere) technique…" Naruto responded, "He only pulls that out in special situations…"

Mizuki heaved the glowing shuriken at the 'ceiling' of the cage, and it sliced through the tendrils of lightning like they were nothing. He leaped up and grabbed the shuriken, only to be hit in the shoulder of his good arm with a kunai. He had no time to react as Minato warped up, the kunai in hand, and shoved the sphere into Mizuki's chest with a cry of "Raiton: Rasengan (Lightning Style: Rasengan)!" The sphere erupted into a swirling cacophony of lightning, but Mizuki didn't appear to be phased by it. Instead, his body began to melt into sludge and shot onto the surprised Hokage, wrapping around him and restricting all movements. He fell to the ground hard and stayed there, unable to move as the mud hardened into a hard cocoon.

"Lord Hokage!" Jaguar cried out. He made an attempt to jump towards his trapped leader, but a kick to the back sent him to the ground, and he was trapped by two chakra-fueled kunai that impaled his palms.

"That's payback for my arm, you bastard," Mizuki muttered darkly, having been hidden amongst some shrubbery since the explosion. He walked away from the downed ANBU after spitting on his face and slowly approached the trapped Hokage, who was unsuccessfully trying to free himself from his dirty restraints.

"Why, Mizuki?" Minato exclaimed urgently, "What happened to make you want to steal the scroll and betray the village?"

The silver haired chūnin continued to slowly walk over, not saying a word, until he was standing right over the Hokage. He looked down at the trapped man for a moment before he pulled out another kunai, wiped some blood on it, and infused enough chakra to double the length of the blade. "Because I got a better offer elsewhere," he muttered ominously he reared his good arm back and prepared to ram the knife into the Hokage's chest.

"Not so fast!" a voice behind him shouted angrily. Mizuki spun around and saw Naruto and Sasuke flying through the air towards him, both armed with their own kunai and both looking ticked off.

Momentarily caught off guard, the traitor recovered and shouted with a sneer, "Sen'eijashu (Striking Shadow Snakes)!" If possible, Minato's eyes widened even more when he heard the name of that technique, but he couldn't do anything as snakes shot out of Mizuki's sleeves and trapped the two surprised teens back to back in a tight coil. Naruto was lucky to get a shot off with his kunai, but it missed the rogue and bounced off of one of his father's restrictive coating. Other than a small dent in the cocoon that quickly refilled, it didn't appear to cause much damage.

"Damn pests…" Mizuki growled, ignoring Naruto's exclamations of his hatred of snakes. He turned back to the trapped Hokage, a sinister grin spreading across his face. "Now, let's try this again." His good arm swung the kunai downwards one more, but he was once again interrupted, this time by the arrival of another to the scene.

"Hakke Kūshō (Eight Trigrams Empty Palm)!" Hyūga Hiashi shouted, as a blast of pure chakra shot out of his outstretched palm and hit Mizuki right in the chest. As the traitor crashed through the wall of a nearby building, the Byakugan user knelt down and started to channel chakra into the mud cocoon surrounding the Hokage. Before long, he was able to cut away enough of the sludge that Minato was able to slip away, and with nothing to bind, the mud melted into a pile of dark liquid.

Accepting the proffered hand, the blond rose to stand with his friend. "Thanks, Hiashi," he breathed in relief, "Not to sound ungrateful, but what are you doing here?"

"Neji, Hinata, and I were at lunch nearby, and we heard the explosion when we were about to head home. I sent the two of them home while I came to see what was going on," he explained. He then smirked, "Besides, there's not much these eyes don't see." Minato just nodded knowingly and released a small chuckle.

Hearing a light rumbling, both turned to look across the street, where Mizuki was trying to dig himself free from the rubble. Finally he was able to yank his leg free of some plaster, and he did not look happy. "I'm really starting to get tired of all of these interruptions…" he growled. With his good arm, he made a half-tiger sign.

Minato and Hiashi were about to carefully walk towards Jaguar to try to free him, but the pile of sludge shot up around them and threatened to engulf them. Minato, thinking fast, threw his kunai away and warped to it, and while Hiashi was trapped, he didn't appear to be too concerned about it. As the Hokage landed near his ANBU commander, the Hyūga leader burst out of the cocoon as he expelled chakra from his entire body, looking rather smug.

Meanwhile, the look on the rogue's was that of complete surprise and fear, and he apparently decided that escaping with his life was better than fighting to the death because he made a leap for the rooftops, but a kunai was thrown right in his path, and the Hokage was soon behind it. Minutes later, an unconscious Mizuki was tied up and leaning against the wall. Standing over him, Minato was joined by Hiashi and his head black ops agent, whose hands were wrapped up in some gauze. "Alright, that's taken care of. Jaguar, I trust you can take care of him from here?" he asked of the injured agent. The ANBU nodded and started talking on a headset, asking for a prisoner transport team, while the turned to the head of the Hyūga. "I appreciate your help, Hiashi. I shouldn't have let it get that far."

"It was no problem, Lord Hokage," Hiashi waved him off, "We would do it any time." He motioned for Minato to move away from the kids, whom he had freed after Mizuki had been neutralized, and once they were far enough away, he asked in a serious tone, "Were those snakes I saw?"

Minato nodded, though his face didn't express any worry. "Yeah, but I wouldn't worry about it. Ibiki will get anything out of him that he knows. That old snake wouldn't risk coming back here." Hiashi looked satisfied and bid his farewell to Minato and the two boys. Minato turned to the two and asked, "Well, are you ready to learn some new techniques, boys?" The grins on their faces gave him his answer all too quickly.


AN: Well, I hope you enjoyed the first chapter of a hopefully epic saga. Please review and stay tuned!

A bit of information about how this story will be carried out:

-As you can tell, this is an alternate reality where Naruto has a family and Sasuke isn't left on his own. The presence of Minato and Kushina will have a cascading effect on the other characters in the story, and I will be explaining how they came to survive as it becomes relevant.

-The characters themselves are quite different in one major sense. I always thought that the characters in the series were way too young, and I have made an effort to correct that here. The age of the ninja in Naruto's graduating class is 17, allowing for realistic dating and dealing with the situations of the ninja world (therefore making Neji/Lee/Tenten's class up one to 18).

-I will make every attempt to address as many comments as possible that you wonderful readers leave me, but I will steadfastly refuse to address any inflammatory comments, as well as anonymous comments. If you don't like the story, get over it and read something else, don't waste my time or yours.