Hey FanFiction! This is pain17ification an experimental Naruto/Pokémon crossover idea!
I hope you all like this!
Please note: pain17ification doesn't own Naruto or Pokémon!
Chapter 1: Stepping Out of His Shadow
"Start the test," ordered a woman wearing a silvery blue lab coat. She had brown hair that was curled upward, light green eyes, and an impressive figure. Beneath her coat, she wore a white shirt, a green skirt, and a pair of black kunoichi sandals while her ears held a pair of red diamond earrings.
"Yes, Professor," answered one of the woman's aides.
The man started up a machine that was scanning a creature that looked like a bipedal coconut tree with the three "fruit" having faces. A bright blue light moved around the creature for a few moments while data poured onto a trio of computer screens. The Professor eyed each screen thoroughly, not perturbed by the high speed at which the data was being presented.
After some more moments of waiting, the scan ended and the results printed out beside the leftmost screen. She ripped off the paper and skimmed through the report before nodding with a smile. "No more abnormalities. That's good to see." She set down the sheets and turned to the aide that had initiated the test. "Let the young Yamanaka know that his partner is perfectly fine. They just needed to get used to their evolution."
The aide nodded and left the lab to pass on the message while the Exeggutor was led out of the chamber it was being tested in. The Professor was about to check her computer for any messages when the lab doors opened and a young man rushed in while hastily putting on his white coat.
The young had man red hair that was wild and bushy, untamed as it fell down to his mid-back while being tied around his neck area (1). His eyes were a bright and expressive blue that he had inherited from his father's side of the family while his slightly rounded face and tanner skin tone came from his mother's. Beneath his own coat, he wore a black shirt with a red swirl over his heart, russet orange cargo pants with deep pockets, and black shinobi sandals. Acting as a belt was his recently acquired ninja headband that had a black cloth. The last thing noteworthy about the young man were the whisker styled birthmarks on his cheeks.
"Naruto-kun," greeted the Professor with a smile. "Glad you made it. And congrats on passing." Her smile was joined by a wink. "I never doubted you."
He rubbed the back of his head bashfully at her praise. "Thanks, Professor Juniper. I rushed over as soon as the graduation ceremony was over. Mom wants to go out later to celebrate, but dad was held up by work."
She saw he was fighting a frown and she smiled reassuringly while patting his shoulder. "Well, a Hokage's job is practically never-ending, Naruto-kun. You know this by now."
"I know," sighed out the redhead. "But still, Aunt Cynthia takes time to visit often even though she's busy. She caught me while I was on my way here before she went to go talk to dad."
'More like chew out her older brother for not being there for his own son's graduation,' mused Juniper. "Well, I have some great news for you."
"You do? What is it?"
The way he tilted his head in curiosity nearly made her squeeze him to death. He had an adorable expression just like a Zorua! "I know you've been incredibly interested in Pokémon ever since you first visited my lab as a child. You even come over every day after your classes and shadow me whenever you can." He looked sheepish and guilty at the same time, looking more endearing in her eyes. "I also know that you've been feeling some pressure lately considering who your family is." At this, she saw his shoulder sag in exhaustion and her heart went out to him. However, her smile returned when she held out an approved form. "That's why I've decided to request you as my own apprentice," her smile grew as she finished, "and it was accepted!"
"Wait, what? Really?!" he asked in excitement as he took the form and read it over. Sure enough, it had a seal of approval; though the seal itself was shocking. "Aunt Cynthia approved of this?"
"Well, being the Grand Champion of the Elemental Nations grants her some privileges; one of them being the authority to approve of a form like this for her nephew. No need to ask your father about it now that it's already approved."
"Whoa…" he breathed out, forced to sit down in his shock. "I… I never thought she'd do this for me…"
"I'm not surprised," Juniper said as she sat in a chair next to him. "I've seen how much she dotes on her precious Naru-chan. She wants the best for you, but she also knows how much you want to be your own person. Just be sure to thank her for this because learning under a Professor is a big opportunity, if I may be so humble to say."
He nodded and smiled at her. "I can't wait to get started, Professor."
"Glad to hear it. Now, today I'll give you an improved tour of the lab and introduce you to my aides. Unlike you who will learn from me directly, my aides work for me and the village. They've already found the careers they want to follow. But you?" she smiled. "You're learning from me to find your own path as an aspiring Professor of the Nations. Who knows; maybe you'll find new frontiers to explore and contribute to the rest of the world?"
He laughed with her, but she saw the fire in his eyes at the prospect. "I just might, Professor."
She smiled a bit brighter as she gently placed a hand on his back and led him through the halls of the Leaf Village Pokémon Lab. 'I have no doubt about your potential Naruto-kun. I couldn't have asked for a better student.'
"YOU STUPID BAKA!"
That was a cry of feminine rage that was heard for many miles from the Hokage Tower. The culprit of such a vocal outburst was a woman with long and smooth blonde hair that curled at the ends while also covering her left eye. The visible right one was a fierce gold, like her mother before her, and was filled with anger while her arms were crossed beneath her generous bust. She wore predominantly black clothes with the most signature of them being her cardigan that had fur lining her sleeve openings and along the hem.
This was Cynthia Namikaze, younger sister of the Fourth Hokage, Minato, and doting aunt of Naruto Uzumaki-Namikaze. She was giving said elder brother a hard look while her ever faithful Garchomp stood by her side. Beside the Hokage was his own partner which was a Lucario that was colored yellow instead of the natural blue.
"I can't believe you missed your own son's graduation! What kind of example are you setting for Naru-chan with acts like this?! I won't have my sweet baby nephew take after such an irresponsible father like you!"
Let it be known that Cynthia cared for her nephew very much; possibly a bit too much if one asked certain parties. Yes, she doted on him and possibly spoiled him; but sometimes she got a bit possessive of the boy. If one were to ask Naruto's mother, Kushina Uzumaki, how to describe Cynthia's behavior towards the whiskered redhead, said mother would give a single, two-worded definition.
It was a dark secret of the Elemental Nation's Grand Champion, and yet it was one she wouldn't be ashamed to agree with. True, she loved her fiancé very much because he completed her and kept her grounded; but she couldn't deny the bond and connection she felt for her nephew from the moment she laid eyes on him. To her, he was someone she needed to keep safe and close to her breast; both in a metaphorical and sometimes literal sense.
Of course, Naruto never caught wind of anything about the woman's feelings other than immense affection for himself. The way he saw it, Cynthia was just overprotective and spoiling; and he was alright with that. Everyone else, even his future uncle-in-law Itachi Uchiha, found this both amusing and exasperating. The young man was just too oblivious for his own good.
But back to her outburst. Minato gave his younger sister a guilty smile and tried to plead his case. "N-Now sis, you know that I need to finish preparations for the annual trip to the Safari Zone for the graduating Genin. With most of the class consisting of clan heirs, the process has really given me a lot to handle."
"NO EXCUSES, GIRLY BOY!" she yelled dramatically, pointing a finger at his face and nearly jabbing him on the tip of his nose. "Your son was looking forward to seeing his whole family for his graduation and you cooped yourself here in this office without even so much as a quick stop to congratulate him! I was lucky enough to make it in time to catch him in the street before I met up with the rest of you later tonight! If I had missed my Naru-chan before then, I… I…!"
She couldn't finish, for the very thought of being unable to give her own congratulations to her sweet Naru-chan was too much for her! She forced herself to take deep breaths so as not to shed any tears at the image of a "heartbroken" Naruto.
"It's okay, it's gonna be okay. You saw Naru-chan just in time, Cynthia. No need to panic," she muttered while hugging herself, making her brother and the two Pokémon sweatdrop at her antics.
"Look Cy-chan, I'll make it up to Naruto later tonight; I promise. I have the perfect graduation present for him." He chuckled fondly as he looked out the window. "He'll grow up to become a splendid Hokage; just like me."
Cynthia stopped the dramatics at that, settling for a calm face that betrayed nothing. It was a face she wore whenever she was taking things seriously; mainly battles that got her blood pumping. Unfortunately, those battles were much too scarce for her tastes.
"If you say so," she bid before taking her leave with her partner. She had a feeling what the gift was for her only nephew.
And if what she had heard from Professor Juniper while they talked earlier was true, her Naru-chan might not be so happy about it.
"Who's a good girl?" cooed Naruto as he petted a female Zigzagoon who was being looked over by Nurse Joy. The Pokémon Center where she worked at was actually a part of the Leaf Village Lab and Naruto was helping Joy look over some of her patients. Juniper had been called away by a couple of her aides for something beyond him, so she had requested for him to help Joy.
"I think she likes you," giggled the pinkette nurse as she gave the Pokémon a shot. Said Pokémon was purring in delight at Naruto's ministrations, totally oblivious of the shot's pinch. "Ne, Naruto-san, may I ask you something?"
"Sure," he replied, not stopping his petting.
"I was just wondering, why did you choose to pursue becoming a Professor when you have such a pedigree? I mean, your father is the Hokage, your aunt is Grand Champion, and your mother is one of the Land of Fire's top Pokémon Breeders. It just seems odd that you wouldn't become a Trainer."
"Actually, it's because of my pedigree that I don't want to be a Trainer," he answered truthfully, surprising her. "My father leaves a big shadow, Joy-chan; one that I'm struggling to get out of. Combined with the shadows made by the rest of my family, it's practically expected of me to follow in their footsteps. And say that I did and I was incredibly successful. Where do you think others would say I got most of that success from?"
She took a moment to think over her answer. "…They'd most likely say that you got the skills needed because you're related to them."
"Exactly. Most people already refer to me as the second coming of my father. I don't want to be seen as just his son; I want to make a name for myself as something else." He smiled as he scratched the Zigzagoon behind her ear. "I love Pokémon. I love studying them and learning everything I can from them. I could care less about battling with them because I'd rather see them in their natural habitats and without influence from their trainers. So, I've decided to become a researcher and then, hopefully, a Professor."
"I know exactly what you mean," commented a woman's voice. Turning to the source, both Joy and Naruto were greeted to the sight of an Inuzuka girl that had a trio of Mightyena at her side.
"You're Hana, right? Kiba's sister?" asked the redhead.
She nodded with a smirk. "Got it in one. And I understand exactly where you're coming from, Naruto-san. Most Inuzuka become either Rangers or Trainers as they grow in their shinobi careers. I never really had an interest in those careers since I enjoy treating Pokémon and healing them stay healthy. So, I decided to branch out from the norm and became a Pokémon Nurse."
"And how did your family take your decision, Hana-san?" asked Joy.
"Some of them gave me a bit of a hard time, but my mother supports my decision and put the naysayers in their place. She's proud of my choice and how I can help both the village and Pokémon in general."
Naruto sighed. "You got off easy then. Dad's been really pushing me to become a trainer and he keeps going on and on about how I'll be a great Hokage just like him. Mom's more understanding and just gives me a few breeding pointers here and there. To be honest, most of my support comes from Professor Juniper and Aunt Cynthia."
"Well, you really only have to remember one crucial thing," Hana stated as she led her Pokémon out of the lab. Giving him an assuring smile, she finished, "It's your choice to make; not theirs."
Soft humming could be heard as a female teenager with forest green hair and matching eyes browsed through the farmer's market for fresh fruits. She had light skin, a budding figure, and wore black kunoichi sandals, dark brown pants, a light green shirt, and a forest green cardigan over it all while her village headband was loosely wrapped around her neck. As for her hair, it was long enough to reach past her waist and was tied in a braid that rested in front of her over her right shoulder.
A basket had its handle loop resting on her left arm while her right hand held up an apple for her to inspect. "Nice and ripe," she praised to no one before setting the fruit with the others in her basket.
"Cheryl!" a voice called out, making the greenette look up from her basket and try to find the source. "Behind you."
Turning around, Cheryl Kawamura (2) saw that the speaker was a redheaded girl that had tanned skin and an already well-developed figure for someone their age. Her hair had side bangs that reached her shoulders while the rest was tied in a bulb shape that was held up by a large tie that was stylized as a four-petal flower. Her attire consisted of a pair of dark blue boots that had lighter colored tops, some light blue shorts that stopped just above her knees and had dark blue straps that led up to her light blue, long-sleeved top. From her mid-forearms to her fingers were a pair of dark blue gloves while her village plate was stitched just below her left shoulder.
"Skyla," greeted Cheryl with a smile as she and her friend hugged one another. "I thought I would see you tomorrow?"
"I was around," the redheaded girl replied. "I'm going to get some supplies for tomorrow's trip and then visit Aunt Kushina."
"Oh, I'll join you. Just let me finish getting my groceries."
Skyla Uzumaki smiled and nodded as she waited for her friend to finish shopping. She was happy to have someone like her in her life because the greenette was such a compassionate and caring individual. When her late grandfather had passed, only a few people were there to help her get back on her feet, and Cheryl was one of them. The others were her aunt figure, Kushina, and a certain whiskered boy that she cherished.
Once Cheryl finished her shopping, the two headed over to the expedition store. It had a mix of products that were mostly suited for travel in various terrain, but it also doubled as a ninja supply shop. They saw a few of their fellow graduates there already, but only one of them gave them pause before they moved over to her.
Browsing through some camping gear was a teenage girl that had her long brunette hair tied in a high ponytail that poked out from behind her cap. Said cap was white with a red bill and the village's symbol stitched on the front in the same red shade. She wore a sleeveless white shirt beneath a black open vest that had short sleeves. On her wrists were a pair of black arm bands that had a red line around the wrist area while her headband was tied just above her left elbow. Finishing off her look were a pair of blue shorts that stopped at her thighs and a pair of black hiking boots that had red laces and soles.
"Just pick one, Hilda," Skyla teased as they approached the brunette girl. Said brunette jumped a little in surprise before giving her friends a pouting glare.
"Don't sneak up on me like that!"
Cheryl gave an apologetic smile while Skyla rolled her eyes playfully. "Sorry," apologized the greenette. "But still, you should really be a bit more aware of your surroundings, Hilda."
"Well, excuse me for not being on guard inside my home village's walls," she retorted with her own eye roll. "Anyway, are you two ready for tomorrow?"
"Almost. It's why we're here, actually," answered Skyla as she started to grab some supplies. "So, you figure out what you want to branch out in? I'm gonna be a Trainer and challenge the League."
Hilda shook her head in amused exasperation while Cheryl giggled behind her hand. "And then you'll join the Elite Four. We know already, girl. You've said it countless times."
The Uzumaki girl had the decency to look embarrassed as she rubbed her head just like her aunt. "Can you blame me for setting goals and being amped for them?"
"No, but you don't need to remind us about them every day," teased Cheryl. "But to answer your question, I hope to study under some of the village's Breeders and learn their methods and tricks. I want to run a Pokémon Care Center someday."
"Isn't that like the Pokémon Center?" Hilda asked for clarification.
"Not exactly. It will be similar to day cares, but it will focus on caring for Pokémon for extended periods of time," explained the greenette as she picked up a couple of first aid kits.
"What about you, Hilda?" asked Skyla while the three paid for their purchases.
"I want to be a Ranger like my folks," she answered. "The two of them are famous in that community and I want to be just like them."
Her friends smiled at her for her choice, but also because of her circumstances regarding her parents. Hilda was an orphan girl who was nearing the age for entry into the village's Academy before a couple came and adopted her. The strangest thing was that this couple had never considered adoption until the idea was brought up to them by someone; and that someone held a very special place in Hilda's heart.
"So," Cheryl began, "what are you two doing tonight? My parents are taking me out to dinner to celebrate my graduation."
Both Hilda and Skyla exchanged looks before turning to their friend with awkward smiles. "Well uh… We're actually going to the Hokage's family's home," answered Skyla. "Aunt Kushina invited me."
"And my folks were old students of Lord Hokage," continued Hilda. "So, they're going too."
Cheryl looked surprised at that before she schooled herself and gave them a smile that didn't reach as far as her natural ones. "O-Oh. Well um, tell Naruto-kun congratulations for me, will you?"
Both girls blinked before the greenette suddenly had them in her personal space with sly smiles on their faces. Her face heated up when she realized what she had said and she knew she was in trouble.
"Naruto-kun, eh?" asked Skyla. "Got a crush on my clansman, Cheryl?"
"I um… Well, that is… I mean…" The poor girl couldn't form a complete sentence, and her eyes kept looking at anything else but her friends.
"So…? How long?" Hilda continued.
Cheryl was silent for a few breaths, still avoiding their gazes, before the two heard a mumble escape from her. When they urged her to speak up, she answered, "…since the Academy started…"
"That long?!" Skyla questioned in surprise. "A-And you never told him?"
"Well, I… I-I couldn't," lamely answered Cheryl. "I mean, I wanted to – many times – but I just…couldn't."
Hilda palmed her forehead and groaned. "Damn… You too, huh?"
"Eh?" both Skyla and Cheryl asked in surprise.
The brunette shuffled her feet with a sheepish expression on her face. "I um… I like him too."
"Not you too!" Skyla whined before gasping and covering her mouth with both her hands.
"Both of you…?" Cheryl asked in whispered shock. "B-But why?"
Skyla sighed softly as she sat on a nearby bench. Her friends joined her on either side as she gathered her thoughts. "It…all started during our first year at the Academy. I was always made fun of for being an airhead with my head in the clouds." She played with one of her bangs as her eyes grew distant and lost in the memory. "My hair was also something that was teased about. Aunt Kushina actually told me that she's surprised that I was called a tomato head like her at the Academy. But unlike her, I didn't have the courage to stand up for myself and just said nothing."
"I see where this is going," cut in Hilda with a small smile that was joined by Cheryl. "Naruto-kun stood up for you, didn't he?"
Skyla smiled and nodded. "Yes, he did. He ran them off and made sure they didn't do it again. He then said that our hair color was awesome and that my head wasn't in the clouds; I just had sky high goals." Her smile grew softer as she kept playing with her hair. "After that day, we became friends and he always supported me in everything I tried to do. He never stopped believing that I could do anything I set my mind to, and I found myself wanting to stand beside him as he excelled."
Cheryl put an arm around Skyla and hugged her with a smile. "I started to like him when I first saw how he treated Pokémon. He was so kind and caring, and he had this smile that lit up everything when they got close to him. He actually got me interested in Breeding when he introduced me to Lady Kushina and she gave me one of her personal notebooks. And then, when I first started out in the Academy, he was by my side just like he was with you, Skyla-chan, and I felt more sure of myself."
"Damn," Hilda said with an amused look, making both of her friends turn to her. "He just helps everyone, doesn't he?" She turned to them and smiled before continuing, "You want to know the single reason why I like Naruto-kun? It's because he helped me find a family in Kakashi Hatake and his wife Rin."
"He did?" Skyla asked in surprise. "I always wondered who it was that convinced them, but you'd never tell us."
"Because I didn't want to put him on the spot like that. He gave me the one thing that I had always wanted, and I could never repay him for that." Her smile grew as she wiped her eyes. "And ever since then, I found myself falling more and more in love with him."
All three girls had smiles on their faces as they thought about the whiskered Uzumaki that had changed their lives. But, the good feeling couldn't last as they all felt an awkward tension in the air.
"So…" began Cheryl nervously.
"What do we do now?" finished Skyla, looking to both of her friends with all of them looking unsure.
All of them were silent, trying to think of something to say in regards to the question and issue at hand. Finally, it was Hilda that answered.
"…I don't know…"
It was later that day in the evening that we find Naruto sitting outside in his home's backyard. Tables had been set up with plenty of food and drinks for the guests and the young Uzumaki smiled at seeing his family all together. His parents were having a discussion with his godparents, and he saw that his godfather had said something inappropriate since his godmother whacked him upside his head. Beside them were their partners which consisted of his father's Lucario, his mother's Ninetales, and his Godfather's Politoed that was seated on top of his godmother's Metagross.
Off to the side was his Aunt with her Garchomp. She had her arms linked around her fiancé's while the two spoke to Professor Juniper. Beside Itachi was his Honchkrow that regarded the Uzumaki and tipped his hat-like head to the boy in greeting. As for Juniper, she had her Volcarona hovering beside her while enjoying a sitrus berry.
His pseudo brother and sister – who also happened to be married to one another – were talking to his godmother's niece and apprentice, Shizune Kato. Kakashi had his loyal partner Manetric at his side while Rin was joined by her Meganium and Shizune held her Roserade in her arms. They were all enjoying a dish of sake as they talked, smiling all the while.
As for Naruto, he was seated between Hilda Hatake and Skyla Uzumaki on a porch swing. "So, are you two excited about tomorrow?" he asked them.
"You bet I am!" Hilda replied with an eager grin. "I can't wait to get my partner and start my career for real!"
"Me too! I hope I find a great Flying Type," Skyla continued, looking up at the night sky. "I just want to go up there, touch the clouds, and finally say that I made it; that I can do anything."
Her friends smiled at her wish and Naruto patted her shoulder, making her blush. "You'll get there, Skyla-chan." Her blush grew while Hilda pouted a little in jealousy. "As for me, I don't know what kind of partner I want. I mean, it's not like I'm-"
"Everyone," called out Minato, unknowingly interrupting his son. "Can I have your attention, please?" Once everyone turned to face the man, he gave his partner a nod and the Pokémon left in a burst of speed before returning with a wrapped parcel. "Son? Come here, please."
The young man had an unsure look on his face as he got off of the bench. He approached his father while thinking about what could possibly be in that wrapping while Cynthia frowned as she had already figured it out. "Yes, dad?"
Smiling down at him, Minato grabbed the parcel from his Lucario before holding it in front of his son. "In celebration of your graduation, and to prepare you for your future," now Naruto was frowning, figuring out what the gift was, "I want to give you this." He pulled off the wrapping in one smooth motion, presenting a blue and black egg to his son. "Inside of this egg is a growing Riolu, and I want you to have it-"
"So I can be just like you?" interrupted Naruto, surprising many of the guests while Cynthia sighed softly and Juniper closed her eyes in anticipation. "So that I can follow in your footsteps and become the Hokage just like you?"
The blonde Hokage looked confused at his son's sudden irritation. "Well, yes," he answered as if it was completely fine. "You're my son, and I want you to grow up and be the best you can be."
"So long as it's under your terms, right?" fired back Naruto. "Well let me ask you something dad; what if I didn't want to become Hokage?" Minato's eyes widened. "What if I don't want to be just like you and wanted to be something else?"
"Why wouldn't you want to be Hokage? It's a great honor!" argued the boy's father, now frowning.
"Because it's what you want for me! You're turning me into you when I want to be me!" He pointed at the man angrily and continued, "I'm always stuck in your shadow, being seen as the Hokage's son and your second coming! Well, not anymore! I want to be my own person, and to do that," he moved over to stand next to Juniper, unsealing his lab coat and putting it on, "I'm going to become a Professor! I want to see all kinds of Pokémon and study them, learn from them, live by them! I can't do that by becoming your clone!"
Kushina was torn. She wanted to support her husband, but she knew that Naruto wanted to be something else and she wanted to support that too. She didn't want to dictate how he took his career, and by the looks of it, Naruto felt that Minato was doing just that.
Minato turned his gaze to Juniper, frown deepening. "You put these thoughts in his head?"
"No, I didn't, and I'd appreciate you not accusing me of such talk. He showed interest from the very moment he stepped foot in my lab; I saw it clear as day. And every day since, he's visited my lab and watched me, picking things up along the way until I finally decided to actively teach him." She pulled out her rolled up approval and tossed it to the man. "That is proof of Naruto's acceptance as my apprentice. Your son will become one of the Elemental Nations greatest Professors; that I promise you."
His eyes widened at the seal that approved of such a notion. "Cynthia… You…?"
She just smiled and pulled away from Itachi to stand behind Naruto, putting both of her hands on his shoulders. "I've always said that I wanted the best for my Naru-chan. If the path of a Professor is what he wants, then I'll support him fully, 100%." Her smile was replaced by a frown as she continued, "You've made a name for yourself, Minato-nii, and I'm happy for you. But, you can't force your own success onto your child who will thrive in other fields. I won't stand by and let you turn him into you; I've already had to live through that with you."
"You had no right," he shot back angrily. "He's my son, and I will decide what's best for him."
Naruto glared at his father at those words. "Then I'll renounce your claim," he declared, shocking everyone. "If you say you have the right to decide what's best for Naruto Uzumaki-Namikaze, then I renounce my Namikaze name! I'll just be Naruto Uzumaki, and there's nothing you can do to change my mind!"
At that proclamation, he broke out of his aunt's grip and stormed off, leaving the home and the shocked group behind him. The ones who broke out of it first were Hilda and Skyla, who rushed after their friend and crush. Cynthia and Itachi were next, and the Uchiha simply gave his fiancé a knowing look and nod. She smiled back and pecked his cheek before she too took off after the redheaded boy, telling her Garchomp to wait for her.
Everyone else eventually broke out of their shock and Kushina rounded on her husband with a fierce look that made him sweat nervously. "We're going to have a talk; now."
"Damn that man!" growled out Naruto as he sat in front of his secret grotto behind the Hokage Mountain. Inside of said grotto was lush green, a lake about thirty feet in diameter, and a single cherry blossom tree growing out of the lake's center. Occasionally, one would see a couple of Pokémon moving about the grotto before disappearing.
This was a place Naruto had found one day after being sent away early by Juniper. He had nothing to do and decided to explore beyond the mountainside. He had stumbled, almost literally, upon the grotto's entrance and found it to be a peaceful and beautiful space. He wanted to keep it safe and hidden, so he only told his three friends and his aunt about it. He would've told his parents, but a part of him wanted a place he could go to think without them trying to bring him back home.
Much like the situation he was in now.
He stared at his reflection in the lake, sighing as he tried to quell his anger. He knew his father meant well, but the man kept trying to decide things for him when he wanted to be the one to make his own choices. It saddened him that his father just wouldn't understand, but he wasn't planning on taking back his words from before. He would renounce his Namikaze name and keep his mother's clan name.
Besides, just being Naruto Uzumaki sounded more…natural in his opinion.
"Naruto-kun?" called out a familiar voice, and he turned his head to see Cheryl entering the grotto. The girl had a concerned look as she approached him, sitting down on the grass beside him. "Are you alright?"
He turned back to his reflection with a thoughtful frown on his face. "…Not really. I had an argument with dad in front of everyone and said I was renouncing his name."
She gasped softly at that. "But… But why?"
"Because he was trying to decide everything for me. You know I've wanted to be a Professor for a long time now, right?" She nodded. "Dad just won't accept that and keeps trying to push me to be a Trainer and then Hokage, just like him. I don't want to be a Trainer, though; or the Hokage. I just…" He sighed, body sagging tiredly. "I just want to be myself; not the Hokage's son."
"Naruto-kun," Cheryl began, scooting closer to him so that she could embrace him, "you are someone else other than the son of a Hokage." She gently grabbed his chin and had him face her, letting him see her assuring smile. "You're my friend, the friend of Hilda-chan and Skyla-chan, and someone I look up to." His eyes widened slightly at that. "Seeing you constantly stand tall, never backing down or giving up, helps give me the strength to do the same. You help me want to be stronger so that I could stand next to you, and not just stare at your back as you charge ahead."
"Cheryl-chan…" he uttered softly.
"There's also one last thing that you are," she continued before she gather up all of her courage and leaned in, capturing his lips with hers and leaving him frozen in shock.
Slowly, he relaxed and began to kiss back, making her heart soar as she pulled him further in to deepen the feeling of her first kiss. However, she was too lost in her euphoria to notice that their moment had been noticed by her friends. Said friends looked jealous, but they shared a look and agreed not to give into such feelings.
However, that wouldn't stop them from talking to Cheryl so that the three of them could come up with some solution that makes them all happy.
Behind those two was Cynthia who was torn on how to feel. She cherished her Naru-chan and a large part of her felt that no girl would ever be good enough for him. However, at the same time, she knew that girls would start to see him in such a light and she couldn't deter him from experiencing such things; it'd make her seem dictating like Minato was.
So, she would simply watch those three, making sure that they would prove themselves worthy for her Naru-chan's heart.
Back with the kissing teens, Cheryl finally pulled back and smiled softly, her eyes showing great affection and care for the redheaded boy in front of her. "You're also someone very precious to me, Naruto-kun. And no matter what anyone else says, I will always support you; just as you've always supported me."
His eyes stared deep into her own, getting lost in the green pools she proudly had. Slowly, a smile formed on his face and he nodded once. "Thank you…"
"Anytime, Naruto-kun. I just hope that one day you can accept and return what I feel for you." She stopped him before he could say anything, smiling in understanding. "You don't need to answer now; I can wait. But," she gave him another peck on the lips and gave a playful wink, "don't make me wait too long, ne?"
He rubbed his head with the bashful grin she loved so much. "I'll uh… I'll try not to, ttebayo."
She giggled at his verbal tic before leaning her head on his shoulder. She wanted to enjoy this while it lasted, for she knew she would have to talk to the others about it and how they felt as well.
It was around an hour later that Naruto made it back home with Cynthia. After the kiss, he and Cheryl simply sat together in comfortable silence before his other two friends showed up.
The two made sure he was alright and offered their own support, which he was grateful for. Not long after that, his aunt entered the grotto and said that she had to take him back home before his mother got too worried. So, after making sure to walk his friends home, he headed back with Cynthia and returned to the sight of everyone else in the living room.
"I'll see you off tomorrow, Naru-chan," bid Cynthia before she hugged her nephew and left with Itachi and their Pokémon. Said Uchiha simply patted the boys shoulder with a supporting smile.
"Good luck, Naruto," he said before leaving, earning a smile from the boy.
Kakashi spoke up to him next. "Is Hilda home?"
"Yes. Aunt Cynthia and I walked her, Skyla, and Cheryl home after they found me. She's waiting for you two there."
Rin smiled gratefully before she hugged her surrogate little brother. "Thank you for that, Naruto. We'll see you tomorrow, okay?"
"Sure. Thanks for coming, Rin-nee, Kakashi-nii."
The couple smiled as they left. Tsunade and Shizune then left next, making sure to hug the boy and offer their support. Although, Shizune seemed to have this knowing look on her face that almost made him blush. How she could tell when he was hiding something, he'd never know.
"Well kid," Jiraiya began as he and his partner stood up, "I'll be looking forward to hearing about your progress. If you ever need anyone to be on the lookout for things, you know who to call."
"Right. Thanks, Perv."
"That's Super Perv," corrected the man with a laugh as he left, ruffling his hair on the way out.
Juniper was the last to approach him, placing a hand on his shoulder. "I'll see you in the morning, Naruto. You have a big day ahead of you, so make sure you get plenty of rest for it."
"I will," he promised with a smile. "See you then, Professor Juniper."
She nodded before leaving. Now alone with her husband and son, Kushina beckoned him over to the couches, and he sat across from them. "Naruto-kun… First off, I want to say that I'm very proud of you for being able to study under Juniper. Not many people have that privilege since most mainly become her aides."
"Now, I just have one question." He nodded for her to continue. "Is this truly what you want?"
"More than anything," was his immediate reply, showing his determination.
This earned him a smile from his mother. "Then, I promise to support you. You've set a great goal for yourself, sweetheart. I want to see you succeed."
He nodded gratefully, fighting tears at her words and promise. After all, when an Uzumaki made a promise, there was almost nothing that would stop them from seeing it through. He then turned to his father, who had his eyes closed in silence ever since he had returned home.
"Your mind's made up?" he finally asked. "There's nothing I can do to convince you otherwise?"
"Nothing," firmly replied Naruto.
"I see…" The man sighed before finally opening his eyes. "Then…I'm sorry, son," both his wife and son looked to him, "but, I can't support this. I've always wanted to have you follow in my steps and take after me. Seeing you choose this… It's not something I can accept right away," he said honestly, though he knew it would hurt his family.
Kushina frowned at him in disappointment while Naruto looked hurt. "I understand," replied the teen as he stood up from the couch. "I'm going to bed. Goodnight."
He walked past his parents and only Kushina took note of the tear that rolled down her son's cheek. Her heart ached at that as she watched him head up the stairs, never turning her gaze away from them even when he left her sight. 'I'm so sorry, sweetheart,' she mentally cried, fighting her own tears.
"I need to get back to the office," Minato said as he stood up and put on his coat. "I still need to finish sorting out some last minute files for tomorrow."
When he leaned down to kiss his wife, she moved her head away and stood up in one fluid motion. Without a word, and without turning to look at him, she and her Ninetales – who she had nicknamed Kurama – headed upstairs and the last thing Minato heard was their bedroom door closing.
Sighing, the man and his Lucario left his home in a yellow flash. He needed something to distract him from the guilt that was tearing at him. But, to him, what hurt the most was losing his dream for his son and his son renouncing his name. That "pain" overshadowed his natural guilt.
At least, that's what he tried to convince himself.
1~ His red hair is styled like N from Black/White Version
2~ Cheryl's last name is the last name of her Japanese voice actress. I gave her that name to give respect
And here's the end of the first chapter! As you can see, Naruto's relationship with Minato has been strained pretty badly. Think about it: how would you feel if your parent/guardian decided your future for you, and then didn't even try to support or accept you if you wanted something else in life?
You'd feel hurt, right? Well, that's how Naruto is feeling. Hopefully though, the three girls who want to be with him – along with his mother, his new teacher, and his Grand Champion of an aunt – will be able to help ease that pain.
Also, I have already decided on ALL Pokémon for EVERY character in this story! Also, there will only be, at most, twenty characters from the Pokémon series in this. So far there are the five Professors, Cynthia and the Elite Four (who will be introduced in time), Nurse Joy, and the three girls paired with Naruto (Cheryl, Skyla, and Hilda). That's fourteen so far with, at most, six more joining.
So, no suggestions for pairings or Pokémon choices, okay? I got it ALL handled!
Until next time guys!