Disclaimer: No matter how much I wish it, I do not own Naruto. I also make no profit from this and all I write is done so for fun.
Warning: This story is rated M for a reason, and will contain character deaths and violence. It's about a war after all.
After the Rain
Naruto never thought she would end up in the past. Not even the one who caused her to go back had anticipated she'd be dragged along for the ride. The Kyūbi had been trying to save himself - not her. She'd once said that the hero always arrive late, but this was quite the opposite. Naruto would be very, very early this time.
Chapter One – Freak Accident
"When the tree leaves dance, one shall find flames. The fire's shadow will illuminate the village, and once again, tree leaves shall bud anew." - Sarutobi Hiruzen
No trees grew on this elevation of the mountain. It was above the tree line, which meant only grass, moss and a few hardy bushes thrived in those rougher parts of the landscape. Spaced evenly around the terrain were gigantic boulders protruding from the ground, convenient for concealing opportunities if the need arose, though Naruto did not bother with hiding herself. Instead, she sat visible out in the open on a rock, staring uncertainly over the edge of the mountain.
Naruto was a small girl with spiky blonde hair falling in a knotted mess to the middle of her back. Her blue eyes and whisker marks usually made her stand out from the crowd when travelling through villages, but it had been a while since she had been in one now. She hadn't seen a bed or mirror in months, and was clad in dirty clothes - random garments stolen from unsuspecting civilians hanging their wash out to dry. It had been a moral line the blonde had initially struggled to cross, until the need for survival had kicked in.
She guessed her current activity could be classified as spying, except Naruto didn't mind it if her target spotted her. They often said she lacked stealth, but even Naruto knew when to hide or not.
The man she was watching was walking along the stream without a care in the world. Where he was headed or where he came from was a mystery. Naruto was still shocked she had ran into him so randomly in the middle of nowhere.
Their current location was somewhat of a mystery to Naruto. The last couple of months had blurred, and for all she knew she could be in Otogakura as likely as Kirigakure. It was hard to tell in these mountains between two different nations.
Naruto wasn't a quitter though, and she knew where she wanted to go now. At the very least she'd try to find a way to get there.
But if she got there, it wouldn't surprise her if they kicked her out again - but what else could she do? Her legs were so short, her physical condition was pathetic, and she was finding it difficult to recognize anything in the past few months she had been wandering through the wild.
Had that much really changed?
Looking down at the man still unaware at the prying eyes evaluating him, Naruto decided that yes, a lot had indeed changed.
It had been pure coincidence she spotted him too. Naruto had been evaluating how dangerous it would be to take a swim in the stream, but had noticed the waterfall not far away. To make sure it wasn't dangerous she decided to walk over to the edge to look down the waterfall. At first the huge drop made her head spin, as it was much higher than Naruto had expected. But then she noticed that at the foot of the fall was a person. She had studied him for several seconds, fining the figure oddly familiar, and as the pieces clicked together she felt her mind explode.
Now, she sat on the stone in the middle of the stream. It was a larger boulder sticking up from the water only a couple steps away from the roaring waterfall, but Naruto no longer felt any nerves about the drop.
The current was uncontrollable here; it was so close to the waterfall you had to avoid this section of water if you didn't want to get sucked down into the abyss. But it was also the best place to get a overview of the valley below, so Naruto thought it an excellent observation spot to sit and plan what to do next.
Maybe she could just go down and ask? Even if the man no longer knew her, surely he would at least point her in the right direction?
He was walking away from her, so if she was to act it had to be soon. The man was a lot faster than she was, at least in her current condition, and the worst that could happen was to be sent away.
Was there one thing she was sure of than it was that the man would never hurt a child. Especially a child that is lost and alone.
Mind made up, Naruto stood swiftly, trying to figure out what to say when she approached him. Her eyes were still following the small form from afar as she stepped sideways to get out of the stream.
She shouldn't have done that.
The stone had been filed down by years of passing water; slowly grinding it smooth. Her foot lost traction the moment it rested against the slick surface, making it slide to the side and off the rock entirely, and then she was falling. The world tilted and suddenly Naruto was under water. Her body jostling around like a rag doll.
She wasn't sure what was up or down, and in her panic she opened her mouth to gasp in unreachable air, but only received ice cold water instead. The currents in the stream dragged her along and she was too weak to fight its might.
Naruto really shouldn't have done that.
Hatake Kakashi was annoyed.
He was a boy of eight with spiky silver hair and black narrow eyes, and was known by those who met him as a broody and unlikable child, which he made up for by being pretty talented for his age.
His current mindset wasn't out of the ordinary either, as a lot of things annoyed Kakashi if he was being honest with himself.
He categorised and noted a number of annoyances, from small to big offences. From the next door neighbour who played music loudly on the radio at two o clock at night every Thursday and Saturday, to people doing their kata's wrong, to the taste of fried eggs. Why did people do that to eggs? They were so delicious when boiled. So, to Kakashi, frying eggs was the same as abusing them.
He also had a strong disliking to unnecessary things and activities. Such as horsing around when you could be training; and if you were a civilian, you should be studying.
Kakashi believed in discipline and duty, which meant people should aspire to do something productive instead of wasting time. Especially when those who were lacking wasted his time for their own entertainment; yeah, he had little patience for such.
But more than anything on his endless list of annoyances was his dislike for rule breakers.
A person who disregarded the rules was like a plague to him, and always would be. As far as Kakashi was concerned; If it was in the instruction book, it was there for a reason.
"Weapons (kunai, shuriken, sebon etc.) are to be maintained with mission ready condition in mind at all times in case of emergency."
"Medical personnel are prohibited from being in a romantic relationship with their patient."
"Professionalism required while on duty."
Kakashi's golden rule was; 'always follow the rules.' Simple but effective, and it covered a lot of bases even though the rule itself was just a short phrase.
Many saw it as a rigid mindset, but Kakashi was not one of them. He found relief in the carefully written guidelines, because as long as you followed them you couldn't do anything wrong, which was the only path to being a true shinobi. A ninja of the village hidden in leaves.
So when other people broke the rules Kakashi so carefully followed, it annoyed him.
Like right now.
The nurse tasked with checking up on him had spent ten minutes chatting with the healer about his newborn baby. The woman had been fetching bandages for Kakashi when the healer arrived, and so the nurse had stopped to talk to the tall man.
Which meant that instead of treating Kakashi like her job description demanded; she favoured flirting with a married man, gullible to her advances.
'Unacceptable.' Was what ran through Kakashi's mind.
It showed the nurse's true nature as a being of poor work ethics, distractive, undisciplined and unprofessional. Not to mention her impromptu chat-break was affecting him. He had a strong urge to remind them to get back to work before he reported them for neglecting their patient in favour of flirting.
But eventually the pair parted ways and the nurse finally got back to what she was supposed to be doing. She finished the check-up and then cheerily dismissed him fifteen minutes later. Kakashi didn't bother to wish her a good evening.
Right now there was also another annoyance even greater than rule breaking. Namely his newly acquired sprained wrist and concussion. Which translated into "no training" for a while.
It irked the hell out of him; since he almost mastered his lightning affinity before this freak accident just had to happen.
As the nurse sent him out Kakashi started planned his training regime around the newly acquired injury, taking into account the physical limitation to allow for a smooth recovery. He decided to focus on chakra exercises for the next few days until he was able to do more strenuous exercises. Hitting up on the books at the local library didn't sound bad either, and could help him expand his ninjutsu repertoire.
He was so caught up in his planning that Kakashi failed to see who was walking towards him until they were no more than a couple of steps apart. Rearranging his new training agenda and his dislike for the nurse's behavior made him forget who was waiting for him.
'Stupid.' He scolded himself.
Not only had he forgotten something so important, but it would behoove him to always stay aware of his surroundings.
No decent ninja would drop their guard and allow someone to come this close to you.
Kakashi made a mental note to train on his awareness along with chakra exercises.
In front of him stood the Third Hokage, Sarutobi Hiruzen. Though not a tall man he was widely regarded as the strongest ninja in the village. His face had started showing a few wrinkles and a few strands in his hair had started paling as the year passed, but otherwise the man was as active as ever. 'The Professor' they called him, because he could use all the techniques in Konoha.
Kakashi was unsure about that though. There were many secretive clans in Konoha. One example was the Nara who never taught their clan technique to others, so how could the Hokage have learned it?
The Third had been visiting someone when he spotted Kakashi being brought in by the nurses, and after a few short sentences were exchanged had decided to wait for him afterwards.
Which was weird, as the silver haired youth could count on one hand how many times he had personally met with this man.
The entrance ceremony to the academy, the night his dad killed himself, his graduation exam and when he'd once ran into him in the bookshop.
To Kakashi, this hospital visit fell under the category of wasting time, even though he himself was a patient. He couldn't fathom why the Homage of all people would take the time to wait for his appointment to be done. Not that he would ever dare tell the man that.
Earlier; before the whole unprofessional display from the nurse, the nurses had stopped to greet the Third Hokage too. For some reason the nurses didn't want him to go home unsupervised and spoke to him about that, which was idiotic, since technically Kakashi was an adult.
He had passed the academy exam a year ago when he was seven, almost to the day, and should be viewed as an adult. If you were licensed to take lives, you really should be allowed to decide what was best for yourself too.
The argument between him and the nurses dissolved when the Third Hokage kindly told them Kakashi was a responsible child who knew his limitation, and that he himself would make sure he did as told. Which translated into that the Hokage would come by, or send someone by his house until his prohibition was over.
So now they were walking together through the hallway to the main entrance while the Hokage spoke with him. Mentioning casually how Kakashi shouldn't press himself too hard. Since if the injury had been any worse it would have warrant him bed rest instead of the next few days of boredom.
At least he should have a supervisor to oversee his training when doing new and dangerous techniques.
Kakashi barely managed to not roll his eyes.
Who exactly would look after him?
His dad was dead. He had been for years now.
He had no friends; none that he could stand talking to at least.
And he hated his current team. They were all older and kept saying he was a stuck up prodigy. It wasn't his fault they didn't follow the rules and couldn't distinguish between work and private affairs.
As they came into the entrance hall of the hospital, the main doors opened with a bang.
A woman followed by a dark haired man came hurrying in through the door, followed by a stumbling boy a couple of years younger than himself.
"Kagami-san, what are you doing here?" Asked the Third and gestured for Kakashi to wait. Abidingly Kakashi stopped, since Hiruzen was supposed to escort him home and he really didn't have a choice in the matter.
"My cousin; the birth has started!" The man exclaimed. His face was white as bleached sheet and panic was radiating off his voice and body gesture. "And her husband is on a three day mission. We didn't expect the baby to be born in another three weeks. He left yesterday and should be back by tomorrow, but I think his child will come before then." He explained quickly as a nurse came hurrying over with a wheelchair.
The woman was flushed from pain, making what Kakashi thought had been a pale complexion sweaty and pink. Her long dark hair was thrown back in a messy bun and her maternity dress was wrinkled.
Kakashi suspected he'd seen her before. He had definitely seen Kagami before and it was around the Uchiha district based off his memory.
"Of course. This was an unforeseen development. I do apologize for sending Fugaku-san away on that mission, in hindsight it would have been better if he had remained the village for the birth. Is there anything I can do for you two, Kagami-san?" The Sandaime asked politely while the woman moaning in pain was rolled away by the nurses. The stressed man was torn between sprinting after the nurses or to answer the Hokage.
"Could you please look after my son? He's only five, and this isn't really where he should be. Or maybe someone else could?" he asked, and it was clear he was impatient.
There weren't many people who would dare ask the Hokage if they could babysit their kid. That was what probably made Kagami fumble with his request.
"Of course I will. You can pick him up at the office later, or I'll send someone who's more suited to look after him if it gets too late. I just have to escort Kakashi-kun home first." He said and gestured to Kakashi.
He felt his cheek heat up under his mask. Kakashi hated the feeling of being taken care of. It brought back unpleasant emotions.
"Thank you so much Hiru- eh, Hokage-sama, I would normally never ask bu-" At that moment an ear splitting scream came from the hallway and the man hurried off without finishing.
The Third Hokage watched Kagami run off after the nurses. He then bent down to the child and gave him a warm smile.
The boy had unruly black hair and long eyelashes. He was a very cute kid and was smiling broadly up at the Sandaime.
"Hello there, is it alright if you spend the evening with me?" The oldest man amongst them asked kindly, and took the boy's hand. The kid eagerly latched on.
"Hallo Hokage-sama!" The boy chimed in a high innocent voice. "My dad tells me you are a really strong shinobi! I want to be like you one day!" He cried out as he started bouncing up and down. Hiruzen laughed while Kakashi observed the kid.
"I'm sure you will be a fine ninja one day boy, but first you have to introduce yourself properly to our third company. You don't want to be rude now do you?" He asked while gesturing to Kakashi.
The Hokage seemed happy to talk with the boy who smiled sheepishly.
"I'm Uchiha Shisui!" The boy said and looked over at Kakashi while pointing. "Who're you?" He questioned him.
The pre-teen with gravity defying hair looked skeptically down and replied in a voice so monotone and uncaring you'd think he was talking to a brick wall rather than a human being. "My name is Hatake Kakashi."
"Are you a shinobi, Kakashi-san?" the boy asked eagerly.
"Yes." Kakashi replied shortly.
They continued the walk again towards Kakashi's residence. The boy had latched onto the Third's left hand with Kakashi on the other side. Hiruzen glanced over at the older boy before focusing back on Shisui again.
"Are you excited about getting a cousin, Shisui?" The Hokage broke the silence by questioning the youngest of the group. "I know Mikoto have been very excited about the baby." He continued with genuine curiosity. Shisui smiled even wider, his chubby cheeks puffed up until his eyes were forced shut.
"Yeah! I wished he could be named Hashirama or Tobirama! They were brothers once long ago. But uncle says that it isn't fitting. I disagree though, Hashirama was the strongest ninja ever, and Tobirama was also super strong. I know that is true, since dad told me the story and I know it really well. Dad called them the Senju brothers. But uncle and aunty are naming the baby Itachi instead. It's alright, but not as awesome. I would want to call my brother Hashirama, but I don't have a brother. Since mum has never had another baby in her tummy after me, I never got a brother. So since he's my cousin he'll be like my brother." He rambled seriously, saying 'brother' so many times Kakashi lost count.
"And when he grows older, I can teach him all sorts of cool stuff, because I'll be a ninja then you know." he explained excitedly while Hiruzen laughed in response.
Kakashi finally, at that point, lost interest in their conversation and instead started concentrating on remembering chapter twenty one from the book; 'Lightning, and the road to become an elemental affinity master.'
The Hokage led them onto a side street as they came closer to Kakashi's one bedroom apartment. "Have you started the academy yet, Shisui-san?" He wondered when the boy stopped his rambling to take a big gulp of air between sentences. Now he was talking something about activating his Sharingan.
"No, not yet Hokage-sama. I'll start when the Academy opens!" He said eagerly.
This offhanded comment made Kakashi remember the day's event. He knew that most of the pupils he'd started out with would have recently graduated, just a couple of days ago in fact.
He was aware of this since he had been summoned to the Hokage's office that morning to be told of the new team he would be placed in. Apparently the Hokage was under the impression Kakashi needed to be on a team with people his own age.
Stupid really, they'll just hinder him.
Their sensei was someone named Namikaze Minato. He thought he'd heard about him once but couldn't recall exactly where or from whom.
His two teammates would be Uchiha Obito and Nohara Rin. Both were people he'd met before and gone to the academy with for a couple of years. When he was six, he skipped a year after his father's death, and graduated early when he was seven.
It worried him to be on the same team as Obito. He was such a loud mouth and dead clumsy; it would be hard to do missions when his teammate would undoubtedly screw things up.
Rin was kind enough and seemed to follow the rules better. Even though she was friends with that idiot, at least she didn't show up late for classes every day like Obito did. However, Kakashi had never gotten the impression she was very talented in anything other than medical ninjutsu.
He let out an audible sigh at his misfortune. In two weeks, there would be an official team meeting and he was required to go meet his new team. The healer demanded that he at least rest but he was always a punctual person and would not miss this just because of a sprained wrist. Besides, it should heal enough by then to be functional if the team decides to do any physical activities; even if it was a good excuse to not meet his team formally.
The streets were dark since the sun had already set hours ago. The only light was from the half moon above and the soft glows from windows. There was a sole lamp post further down the street that illuminated an intersection. Shisui and the Hokage still chatted happily with one another as Kakashi's apartment came into view.
With a bow to the Hokage and a wave to the little boy he left them for the night, determined to find some book about concussions the next day.
There had to be something he could do to accelerate the healing process. Kakashi would need to be in top form during the team meeting.
Jiraya thought he might be close to Kumogakure. The scenery suggested it, but he was not entirely sure since it was a while since he last checked a map.
His old map had been taken away by the wind while he was asleep about a week ago. That or an animal ate it.
The tall white haired man was currently trying to return home to Konoha after a long trip abroad. He used his time exploring places, gathering information of what was occurring in the other nations, and editing his book 'tale of the gutsy ninja.' He was still writing the last couple of chapters, but he knew where he wanted it to go, he just needed to word it right.
Jiraiya had to be careful these days though. For a few years now he'd been listed in the bingo book of all the other Four Great Nations except the Land of Fire. It was a result of a clash he and his two teammates had with Hanzo a while ago, which had earned him an S class bounty in the damn book.
These days he went by many titles. Such as; 'Jiraiya The Toad Sage', 'One of the Legendary Sannin', or his personal favourite; 'Jiraiya The Gallant'.
He also had a few nicknames used at a more personal level. Such as 'Pervert', 'Dirty man' and his least favorite; 'Stalker.' He didn't stalk anyone. Jiraya might be a frequent visitor at certain hot springs, but there wasn't a specific person he ever targeted.
Today though, all those worries had fled his mind. It was truly a beautiful day after all, and contrary to his female teammate's belief, he could enjoy more than spying on women.
He had a sense of peace as he walked alongside the river bank. While he was heading homewards, he wasn't really in a hurry, so he let himself be drifted off his path every now and then.
As his mind drifted to his old team mate Tsunade and wondering what she might be doing, Jiraya watched the roaring waves of the river.
Not far up the terrain was a high waterfall, and the stream around here was dangerous since it ebbed out in another waterfall further down.
He found it fascinating how powerful the water could be, and the many different substances water could take. Like ice, liquid, fog, and snow to name a few examples. As he speculated over this he couldn't think of anything else which could compare to water.
If there was, he hadn't come across it in his life. Natural water was as mysterious as chakra, except it minded its own business and didn't need to be influenced. From the moment it was created it just acted however it wished to in harmony with the rest of nature.
It broke down rocks, altering landscape and nurturing life. What on earth would they have done without water?
He smiled a bit while his eyes wandered while his mind vaguely registered something underneath the wild water stream.
Something bright and yellow that didn't fit what you usually observe when looking at a river.
He looked back to the spot again, and saw an object being dragged fast with the stream's current underneath the water.
It took him half a second to realize it was a person; a very small person.
On autopilot he found himself summoning one of his most trusted summon.
A toad appeared in a cloud of smoke right where the palm of his hand had just been. "Gamahiro! There's someone in the water. I need your help to get them out!" He found his voice steady and sure even though a flicker of panic was blooming in his stomach.
Almost before he finished speaking, the toad was in the water, swimming after the fast moving body in the river.
The Toad Sannin ran after while keeping to the shore, the current was lethal to get mixed into and Gamahiro had enough saving one person at the moment.
Whoever this was must have fallen in and gotten dragged underneath the water. Gamahiro broke the surface, and on his shoulder was a small creature with bright long golden hair, lying lifeless like a rag doll. "Get the girl here!" He shouted and the frog came at full speed towards him and laid the girl on the ground in front of him.
Wasting no time he started CPR. The girl was just a small kid. She didn't look to be older than five years old.
She also wasn't responding. Her face looked pale as he breathed air into her lungs, forcing her to breathe before resuming compressions. After the fourth set of compression and CPR, the girl finally started coughing.
Water gushed from her mouth as she threw up the substance which been blocking her lungs. He felt his shoulder sag in relief as wide blue eyes fluttered open and stared at him in shock.
The girl coughed again and rolled over on her stomach to continue emptying her air pipe of moisture. Watching her writher on the ground, he opened his backpack and took out his blanket so he could wrap the poor girl in it.
She was now slowly getting to her knees before staring back at him with wild eyes, clearly in shock. "Am I dead?" Croaked the girl. Her voice sounded sore from all the coughing and hacking she just did. All the while she was looking around, as if expecting to see the gates of heaven located nearby.
"No, Gamahiro here managed to get you out of the stream in time. What happened to you?" He asked looking at her with furrowed brows and handed the girl the blanket. Without a word she accepted it with a nod, before following the river with her eyes; finally landing on the waterfall in the distance.
"I… I fell..." Said the young girl looking up at the thunderous water. Jiraiya followed her gaze and felt himself choke a little. She fell from up there? How had she not been crushed?
"What on earth are you doing all the way out here anyway, gaki? Where are your parents? Are you a fugitive?" He asked still marveling over her narrow escape from death.
She didn't reply right away, and Jiraya looked back wondering what was stopping her. Her eyes had turned glossy, and she was looking downwards to hide her face.
"I'm alone." She muttered seemingly finding the ants walking in row on the ground immensely interesting.
"Oh… How did you end up here then?" He asked sensing they were reaching a touchy subject.
"I walked." She replied silently. Jiraiya was getting very annoyed at her lack of detail and having to force the words out of her.
"And where did you walk from and how long have you been out here in the wilderness? This is no place for a young girl like you." He said while forcing his voice to stay calm and reassuring.
"I'm not sure where I started, but I've been here for a while… Months." She said still watching the march of the ants. Jiraiya looked closer at her. He had been so focused on saving her he hadn't taken notice of the state she was in. Her clothes were stained even after the bubble bath she'd been in, and ripped up badly. She was also very thin.
His memories went back to Amegakure, and the three orphans he'd met there. The toad sannin felt his heart fill with renewed compassion for the lost girl. They didn't say anything for a while and Jiraiya continued studying her.
He noticed the way she talked, it had been with a clear pronunciation and maturity he rarely came across in people so young. She was alone but still had survived by fending for herself for a long time. And she seemed utterly lost.
More lost than Nagato, Konan and Yahiko had ever looked. They had belonged in Amegakure, they had fought to survive and hoped for a better future.
This girl however, seemed beyond hope where she sat with her hands in her lap. The blanket draped over her shoulders and was dripping with water.
She had the face of someone who had nothing.
"You didn't jump, did you?" He asked quietly, placing his hand to her shoulder, making her look up and pay attention to him again.
The idea that a young girl around five was trying to end her life made him sick. What had the world turned into?
At once she looked at him with startled eyes, finally some life came back to her as she shook her head as carefully as she dared, water splashing all over Jiraiya. "No, of course not. I was swimming in the river trying to clean some of the dirt off. I thought I was far away enough not to get caught in the stream, but I stumbled and was dragged down the waterfall." She answered with wide doe eyes and an earnest voice.
Jiraiya sighed in relief. "You're a tough one, aren't you? How on earth did you survive out here?"
She shrugged, but still didn't meet his eyes. "I'm not sure. I've eaten what looks edible, that's why I kept to the river since fish seems like a safe thing to eat if you heat it up.. The only reason I started was because there… There was no one left and I was alone… I was trying to find them, and then I realized I never would." Her voice grew softer and softer the more she talked, and Jiraiya had the urge to give her a hug, tell her everything would be all right, since he'd look after her now.
He tried to shake that thought off, but it stuck like glue. "My name is Jiraiya, what are you called, gaki?"
For a moment the girl scrutinized him, and slowly a change lit up in her.
The transformation from the frail lost girl, to a child filled with life and mischief was instantaneous and marvelous to behold. Her eyes sparkled, her wide toothy smile took up half her face and her cheeks puffed up. It was like looking at a completely different girl then the one she'd been five minutes ago.
"I'm Naruto, dattebayo."
On training ground eight in the Hidden Village of Konoha stood a fresh new genin team ready for their first assignment as official ninjas. All three children were eager for what was to come while their teacher looked as if he'd rather be anywhere but where he was.
One of the Genin was a young girl with short, mauve colored hair, tied into a spiky ponytail. The messy bangs which had escaped the restriction of the hair tie fell onto her brown eyes, but not enough to obscure her vision of their sensei instructing them.
Anko held her new forehead protector carefully in her hands. While their sensei asked them to prepare themselves, she was thoroughly studying how blank the metal looked. There was not a scratch or sign of wear on the silvery surface, nor on the cloth it was attached to.
Curiously she started to muse on how long that would last.
Ninjas lived a rough life, and she couldn't remember ever seeing a forehead protector this untouched. Even the academy teachers, who rarely went on missions, never had headbands this clean.
Maybe it was a test? How long could you keep your headband scratch free? Probably not, but Anko swore she'd make it her personal challenge.
Because of their sensei's busy schedule, they were the first genin team to start active duty. Usually all teams had two weeks after graduating before officially starting their shinobi career. Anko wasn't so sure if this was for the sake of the eager genin, or for the tired academy teachers who needed a breather in between classes.
However, Anko and her two teammates had barely been graduates for little more than fifteen hours, and were already meeting up with their new sensei ahead of everyone else in their graduating year.
Gently tying her forehead protector around her head, she looked up at her new teacher.
Her two teammates stood next to her looking nervous in his presence. Understandable, the man was a legend after all. He had probably killed more enemy ninjas then all the people Anko had met in total.
Who could have guessed Anko could be this lucky? To have one of the legendary sannin as their sensei? She had always been serious with her studies; it was the one aspect of her life where she truly put in the effort. It had also paid off, since she managed to graduate top of her class. She didn't count that bastard Hatake who'd graduated early; he was a puppet more than a ninja anyway.
Orochimaru held out the two scrolls and explained in a bored and slithery voice how today's agenda would go, why it was so, and the consequences of not following through.
They were all surprised to learn they were not genin yet. First they had to pass this surprise test it seemed.
Their teacher had given out the two scrolls to each of her team mates, leaving Anko without one. The test was that by the end of this hour, the two who still had a scroll was allowed to stay. They would then have to hand them back to him, and if the scroll was damaged they could also fail.
Her team mates were holding on to the scrolls for dear life now, sending nervous looks in Anko's direction. They both knew how merciless she could be when there was something she wanted. There was also no way in hell she'd fail today. The two she had been teamed up with was both weaker than her.
No way would she lose.
Looking away from the two scrolls being placed carefully in her teammate's pocket, she studied Orochimaru's appearance.
He was clad in the standard Konoha uniform all chūnin and up was allowed to wear. The green vest with black ninja pants with bandages wrapping around the shin down to the ankle and standard open toed shoes.
His long black hair was laid tidy behind his shoulders, and his pale skin contrast almost painfully against his hair colour.
She also noted that his headband was unscratched.
There wasn't as much as a smudge on it. Maybe the headband was new, but Anko doubted it.
"You spilled carrot soup on my gama wallet! How could you!?" Shouted Naruto as she half ran to keep up with the tall man currently holding her only remaining possession; besides the clothes she wore.
"It's a wallet! A damp wallet as well, it was an accident, and it's not like you can't wash it off, gaki!" He shouted back with heat.
"It's about respect, Ero-sennin! You just spilled soup on my wallet, and not just any type of soup, but carrot soup! I hate carrots!" She fired back, and Jiraiya could have sworn her eyes glittered dangerously.
"It's a piece of stained fabric, baka! It's not like I stole your wallet! Not that it would have mattered if I did, there's nothing in it!" he retorted back.
They continued bickering while they walked at a slow pace through the green growing landscape. Jiraiya had, after a few hours of getting to know each other, offered the girl to accommodate him on the road, which the girl had agreed to since she had nowhere else to go.
He was starting to regret it though.
The girl might have been in a very depressed mood a few days ago, but she was now recovering greatly. This had caused her true colors to shine through, and Jiraiya wasn't sure if he liked her attitude at all.
Naruto was loud, outspoken and had very little respect for her elders. This he discovered within few hours of travelling with her.
'Ero-sennin' she had dubbed him, and the name stuck with her. Who had such lack of decency to call him, the Toad Sannin, such a thing?
It was probably one of the more unique nicknames he'd been given, and while it might be true, it also embarrassed him that a child at her age had picked up on his less than flattering hobbies.
"Be thankful I put up with you, brat. I'm a great shinobi and you should respect your elders!" He stated with a nod, his hand folded while they walked over the grassy field of the northern fire country.
"Humpf', what does that have to do with ruining my wallet?" She muttered under her breath. "And where are you taking me?" She added for the fourth time.
Jiraiya had been uncertain where he should take the girl. Bringing outsiders to a Hidden Village was never an easy feat. But the girl was so small, and something made Jiraiya feel that the girl would be a great asset to Konohagakure.
She was brave, fiery and apparently completely unaware with what she could do. It had started when Jiraiya had asked Naruto in all honesty where she got her name from. It was a unique name after all, he'd thought it up himself when visiting the Ame orphans and he was greatly shocked to meet someone with that name. Especially a girl, since Jiraiya personally thought it went better with a boy.
Naruto had flushed slightly, and she said she wasn't sure. It was just the name everyone she once knew called her by.
The Toad Sannin hadn't really expected more of an answer than that; it wasn't uncommon for kids to not put too much thought into names. If you've heard a name your whole life, you never realize if the name is unusual to anyone else.
He then started telling her he was writing a book and that his main character had the same name as her. At first she'd been very pleased. But when he had made a comment about how it was a very unfeminine name and his character fitted it better, Naruto hadn't been too pleased.
It led to a wild chase, where Naruto managed to get a hold of his bowl of soup and threw it surprisingly accurately towards him. It wasn't a perfect throw, the little girl wouldn't have hit him even if he'd stood still since she was far away. Only a ninja would've made the shot, and maybe if she was a bit older and trained a bit more in the ninja arts.
Naruto had gotten visibly angry by the result of the throw, so instead she'd gone after him on foot. Jiraiya had laughed until he noticed what she was doing with unwaveringly fault and determination pouring from her. The girl had chakra, a lot of it, and when she ran at him, she was pushing it out through her feet in wild bursts.
It was not controlled at all and not a mistake someone with ninja training would do. This made him aware of just how much chakra this little girl probably had and at such a young age. He was intrigued by that idea, and wondered if she, while wondering in the wildness, had started doing it as a way to survive. Many people started using chakra in times of need, especially when your life is on the line. It was particularly common amongst children since they do not know how to control it properly yet.
He was very impressed, and started wondering if maybe the girl could be of some asset after all. When he had asked her about this she didn't understand at first, but when he specified what she had been doing she had looked horrified. Her face was an open book, and it was obvious she hadn't been aware of the chakra she was releasing when she was running at him.
Jiraiya didn't know, and never would, that Naruto was horrified for a different reason. The fact that her chakra control was apparently so poor she couldn't keep it in check anymore.
Looking at her, all he saw as her stubborn and sunny personality. Naruto also had those oh- so familiar eyes. The idea of leaving her to fend for herself was unbearable. He really only saw one option for what to do with the blonde.
"Oy! Did you hear me, Ero-sennin? I asked where we are going, dattebyo!" Exclaimed Naruto with a growl. Her arms folded and her sky colored eyes glinted dangerously.
Jiraiya rolled his eyes but a small smile lifted the corners of his mouth. Her temper, while annoying, was also a little endearing. "We're going home to my village, Naruto."
To be continued…
Author note: Thank you so much for reading!
There will be deaths in this story, but with that said I'm trying to write something a little lighter than my other stories. Especially 'Second Wind' which turned out darker than I'd anticipated. I don't want as much angst, though I can't make any promises. Sometimes I just type and the angst filled words just forms themselves. I think it's mostly when I'm depressed about school work...
There will be some AU in this story. Not a lot but I have plaid with the characters age. Like Kakashi who is nine but still genin. It just doesn't make sense to me what they're talking about him making chūnin as a six years old. In the manga he clearly took the exam together with Obito and Rin, and I guess they were around eight-nine? I'm going with that in this story at least.
To clarify ages in After the Rain:
Minato 23 (fourteen years older then Kakashi, Obito and Rin. I think that's a good sensei age.)
Kakashi 9 (Still genin, but not for long)
Naruto 6 (Sixteen years old turned six by time travel)
Itachi 0 (Just born in this chapter)
This chapter has been beta's by AnjoRemix. Who also helped me tons on this first chapter that just didn't want to work. I'm calling you AnjoRemix the great, because that's what you are.