Salutations, my fellow readers and authors! I'd like to welcome you all to my crossover story between Naruto and Zootopia!

Some characters may be OOC, but such is the nature of FanFiction. It is a writer's right and privilege to alter things from the source material to fit their creative needs.

Disclaimer: Naruto is owned by Kishimoto-sama while Zootopia is owned by Disney

Usagi no Naruto

Chapter One: A Change of Pace

'I can't believe I'm going up against the guy that thrashed Lee,' thought a blonde teen dressed in orange. He was seated in the waiting area of the hospital with his gaze unfocused. 'What am I gonna do? I can't beat a guy THAT strong without some intense training…'

It was at this moment that he heard an adult male clearing their throat. "Ahem, Naruto," the man called, making the teen look up and have his blue eyes meet the single visible orb of his teacher, Kakashi.

"Sensei," he greeted, getting to his feet. "I'm glad you're here. I really need your help."

"I'm going to have to stop you there, Naruto," interrupted the man, raising up a palm in a halting motion. "I can't train you for the month since I'll be taking over Sasuke's training."

"But his opponent is that puppet user! All the bastard needs is his fire jutsu and he can turn that puppet into firewood!" argued the Uzumaki. "Please, sensei! I can't face that Gaara guy without some extra training, and you're my teacher!"

The silver haired man sighed at his student. A part of him dreaded having to say this – especially to the son of his late teacher – but it had to be said. "Naruto… It might be best for you to withdraw from the finals."

Blue eyes widened in pure shock, and an intense amount of emotional hurt was projected from their gaze. "W-What are you…? How could…?" He couldn't even form a question, such was the depth of his shock.

"Let's be honest here; you don't have a shot against Gaara. He was able to cripple Lee – who, by the way, had significantly more experience than you – and survive the Hidden Lotus that he used. All you have going for you are clones, and you only beat Kiba because your body decided to pass gas at just the right moment." He shook his head with his eye closed, just so that he wouldn't have to keep seeing the look of betrayal in Naruto's eyes. "You passed the Preliminaries on a fluke. Be thankful that you made it this far; but I don't think you'll be able to go further in these exams."

"But I can beat Gaara if I had someone to help me train!" fired back Naruto, his outburst unknowingly gathering the attention of passerby people. "How could you just tell me to quit without giving me the chance to get better and try? How could you just focus on Sasuke when his opponent will be easy for him to beat?" His eyes narrowed, the blues in them piercing the Jonin and almost making him shudder. "How could you be lower than trash?" he finished in a low tone, and the accusation made many of the eavesdroppers let out murmurs of shock.

Kakashi however didn't care for the question and gave his blonde student a stern look. "Naruto, I am your team's leader and you will trust in both my judgment and in my guidance. And I'm telling you that you should withdraw."

That was the final spark that lit the Genin's fuse. "Screw you, Kakashi!" he raged, eyes flickering between blue and crimson. "If you won't help me try and prove myself than I'll find someone who actually believes in me! It's not like you taught me anything other than the stupid Tree Walking exercise!"

"Now listen here-"

"No, YOU listen, Kakashi!" roared the blonde, surging his chakra and creating an immense pressure from its density. "All my life I've had people spit on my dreams and tell me to just give up! You were supposed to be different than them! You were supposed to actually give a damn about me because I was your student; because I was a LEAF NINJA!" He let his raging chakra die down, but there was still a storm churning behind his glaring gaze. "I can't believe I actually thought you'd be different than them… My mistake," he finished before turning around and walking off.

The frozen crowd quickly parted from his path so as not to accidently spark his anger again. However, a few of the people actually turned to Kakashi with looks of disappointment. Sure, many of them weren't exactly fond of the young blonde because of what he carried, but they couldn't deny that he had a valid point; he was a ninja of their home, training to keep them safe. If no one gave the boy the tools needed to do his duty, then what would he have to resort to? The power of the beast responsible for one of the darkest days in their village's history?

It was a frightening thought, for sure.

One person, however, took particular interest in the argument between Jonin and Genin. A slender brow on her face was raised while her lips tugged upward in amusement at how her brother was beaten. So, she decided to go have a chat with the whisker-faced, blue-eyed blonde.

Her ears twitched when she heard distant footsteps getting closer to the apartment's door. A sigh escaped her when she heard that said footsteps were more akin to stomps; showing frustration and anger. 'What happened this time?' she thought as she jumped down from the foot stool she was using to cook at the stove.

The door to the apartment slammed open, and Naruto stepped in with a deep frown before closing the door just as hard. "Stupid sensei playing favorites…" he growled out as he kicked off his sandals at the doorway.

She sighed again, but this time it was because of what she had expected would happen eventually. When the teen had received his teacher, she had done some digging on the man and Naruto's teammates. With just those initial reports on each member, she made an assumption on how the team's dynamic would play out; and she was sadly correct in that assumption.

Stepping over to him as he sat on his futon mattress, she patted his arm reassuringly. "I'm sorry, Naruto," she said sincerely. "I had a hunch that this would happen…but I was hoping I would be wrong."

He shook his head as the anger in his eyes gave way to betrayal and hurt. "Don't apologize for him… He doesn't deserve it; especially from you."

"So, what will you do now?"

He was silent. He honestly had no clue what he should do. "I don't know…"

Her long ears fell behind her head, showing that his depressive aura was affecting her as well. "You can't just sit here and mope, Naruto. Why won't you let me help you? I…" Her tone lowered to a whisper. "I'm supposed to be your partner…"

He flinched at her question and regarded her as she had her gaze averted. Standing beside his seated form was a gray rabbit that stood like a human would on her hind legs. In fact, her legs didn't have that angled look that natural rabbits had, giving her stance a more humanlike posture. She had a lithe build with a lighter shade of gray fur on her paws and muzzle; more than likely stretching to her underbelly as well.

Her other physical features were a pair of large violet eyes, a pink nose, long ears with black tips, and a teardrop-like tail with gray fur on the top and a lighter shade on the bottom. As for clothes, she wore a uniform that was incredibly similar to Jonin attire in the village; a black bodysuit with a flak jacket in the same shade of violet as her eyes. On the back of her jacket was a paw print of the Rabbit Clan while his red swirl symbol rested on the shoulders of her bodysuit.

She was Judith "Judy" Hopps, a rabbit that was next in line for leading her clan once she was given the position by the current Chief; her grandmother, Rukia (1). Before the Uzumaki became a Genin – or even took the Sacred Scroll – he had come across the Summoning Contract of the Rabbits that was misplaced in the archives of the village library. He had been desperate to try and get down the Clone Jutsu to pass the Academy that he resorted to going to the one place he disliked almost as much as the people who treated him poorly.

It was by pure chance that he stumbled – quite literally – into the scroll before he was kicked out of the library for making an unneeded ruckus. Lady Luck smiled down on him that day because he didn't have the scroll confiscated from him as he was kicked out. Once he had read and signed the scroll, he gave the jutsu a try and summoned Judy inside of his apartment.

Their first impressions of one another were strikingly similar, and it was that they saw the other as a mirror of themselves. Both were underestimated and looked down on – him for being a Jinchūriki and she for being an animal that fell short on the food chain – but both also desired, more than anything, the opportunity to show that they were meant for something more; that they had what it took to be recognized and respected.

After their first meeting, Judy took him to see her grandmother. The elderly rabbit decided to give them both a chance and assigned Judy to be Naruto's partner. If their partnership proved to be successful, than Judy would be accepted as the next Chief and Naruto would be recognized as a member of their Clan; the Usagi.

However, Naruto refused to take Judy with him on assignments, claiming to be worried about her safety. A part of him knew he was doing the very thing that both of them loathed, but he couldn't help his concern for the safety of his first friend. It both touched and infuriated Judy at the same time; but she didn't act on her frustrations and instead offered Naruto some tips and guidance in training. It wasn't much, but it helped him smooth out his rough edges.

However, now he was feeling all of the guilt of keeping her "safe" rise up to the brim. He couldn't take it anymore, so he reached out and placed his hand on her head. As she turned to meet his gaze, he gave a sad smile to show how sorry he was. No words were needed between them, and she slowly smiled back before giving a single nod to both accept his apology and to show that she was with him all the way.

"We better get going," he suggested as he stood up from his bed.

Due to being a member of a more evolved animal species, Judy's head was able to reach Naruto's chest while her ears were able to brush against the tip of his nose. In short, she wasn't the average rabbit and she intended to make that point clear to anyone who doubted her.

She was the partner of Naruto Uzumaki, and the two of them would reach grand heights together.

"Okay," began Naruto as he jumped across the rooftops of the village with Judy sitting on his right shoulder, "if Kakashi won't teach me how to face Gaara, then I need to find another Jonin who could help me give it a decent attempt."

"That's true. You could still show the judges what you know and then back down after giving it a real effort. After all, a ninja needs to know when to make a tactical retreat," advised Judy. "What about the Jonin who taught Lee? From what you told me about him, he was able to help Lee become a good fighter even with his handicaps."

"You mean Guy-sensei? Well, he is the rival of Kakashi… And you're right about his efforts with Lee… Yeah, I think I should ask Guy-sensei for some help!" he agreed with a grin, changing his course from aimless to designated as he headed for the hospital once more.

After all, it made sense for Guy to be at Lee's side while the Genin was recovering from his match.

"So, he made a stop at his place for a bit before heading out with someone who seriously smells like rabbit," mused Hana as she stood outside of Naruto's apartment complex. With her were her three ninken known as the Haimaru Triplets. All three dogs were sniffing around for a trail before one of them barked, making Hana smirk. "Good boy. Let's get moving!"

Finding Lee's room was easy for Naruto; it was sneaking in Judy that proved a bit difficult. She was rather noticeable for a rabbit, and would most likely have been denied being allowed in due to being an animal. So, much to her embarrassment, Naruto had her tucked inside of his rather large orange jacket as he made his way to Lee's room with a casual demeanor.

Once he stepped inside his fellow Genin's room, his eyes dimmed at the sight. Lee was still unconscious from the fight and was hooked up to a breather with casts on his arm and leg and IVs in his free arm to administer needed fluids. Seated beside his bed was the Jonin Naruto had been hoping to speak to; Might Guy.

Said Jonin turned to see who entered his protégé's room, only to look slightly surprised at the visitor. "Naruto? Not that I don't appreciate you coming to see Lee, but what are you doing here?"

Before he answered, Naruto let Judy out of his jacket, and she smoothed out her clothes and fur with an annoyed grumble. "Well, I wanted to see how he was doing for starters. What did they say, sensei?"

Guy looked devastated at the question and returned his gaze to Lee, eyes already looking ready to shed tears. "They said his chances of regaining his physical condition were extremely low. Lee had his arm and leg crushed by the immense pressure of Gaara's sand. Only a medical ninja with the same skill and caliber as Lady Tsunade would have a chance of helping him recover fully."

The realization hit both Naruto and Judy hard. "So…his career is over then if Tsunade doesn't return…isn't it?" asked the rabbit.

"Yes… I should've stepped in sooner…"

"Guy-sensei, you can't blame yourself for this," cut off Naruto, stopping the man from falling deeper into self-loathing. "You and he didn't know the full extent of Gaara's power over his sand. You can't change what happened in the past, and it will only make you hurt more to dwell on the hardships it brought… That's something Old Man Hokage told me a long time ago."

The man gave a slightly bitter chuckle at that. "Lord Hokage is indeed wise, but it still doesn't help me not dwell on what happened."

"…Sensei, the other reason I came here has to do with Gaara."

That made the man give pause and turn his attention back to the blonde. "What do you mean?"

"What he means, sir," began Judy, earning his attention, "is that Gaara is his opponent in the finals. Now, while he would've been happy to have Kakashi train him…"

"He said I should quit after getting this far," cut in Naruto with a frown, making Guy blink in surprise. "He practically said that he has no faith in my chances and that I passed on a fluke; and that last part is partially true, as much as I hate to admit it."

"My eternal rival really told you to just give up? But how could he just spurn your chances like that?" Guy asked, truly shocked at his fellow Jonin's actions to his Genin.

"If I may offer my opinion?" Judy asked, earning a nod from the green-clad man. "I think that Kakashi wanted to place his efforts on the student that had the most skills out of his team. While it's true that Sasuke has more jutsu and techniques, it's mainly because of the clan he came from and the training he most likely had before and during the Academy. Meanwhile, Naruto here had to struggle to get to where he is now, and Kakashi probably didn't want to spend long periods of time working with Naruto when he had a prodigy to work with."

Guy frowned at this, not liking the probability of the rabbit's opinion being true. "So, you decided to see if I could help you at least have a better shot at surviving against Gaara? Is that it?"

"Yes," truthfully answered the blonde. "It might seem selfish on my part, but I just want the chance to show that I have what it takes to become a Chunin; and if I have to give up, I will. But, I won't do it without giving it a real effort."

Guy nodded at that. "Yes, I can see why you would feel that way." He turned to Lee once more, frowning in thought at the request Naruto was asking. "However, you saw what happened to Lee with my training alone… What makes you believe you'll have a fighting chance?"

"Because like Lee, I believe in the benefits of hard work; of pushing yourself so that you could show a so-called prodigy that you can match them. I've always been a failure; just like Lee…" Guy turned around and saw Naruto's eyes burning with determination. "Let me have the chance to show everyone that we were, and still are, proud failures."

Judy stood at Naruto's side, giving a nod to show her agreement to Naruto's words. With both of them giving such determined gazes to him, the Green Beast of the Leaf couldn't help but give a smile. Like his protégé, Naruto truly was a hard worker and believed in earning your skills instead of being born with them.

'Yes… Like Lee, Naruto will show everyone that he's a genius of hard work,' he mused. His smile grew into a wide grin and he gave the two a thumbs-up. "Yosh! Then I will accept your request, Naruto! I'll help you turn your Flames of Youth into such an inferno that all will be left ablaze by their magnificence!"

The two sweatdropped at his declaration. 'I know we should be grateful that he's agreed to help me/him, but does he HAVE to talk like that?' both of them thought.

Standing across from the window to Lee's room was Hana and her three ninken. Thanks to her heightened senses, she was able to hear everything that had been said in that room. While she was slightly concerned about Guy's influences potentially rubbing off on Naruto, she couldn't deny that the man could help out the Uzumaki greatly.

What really interested her though was the fact that the smell of rabbit from his apartment came from an actual rabbit; and a Summon at that. Thinking of the bond the two shared reminded the young woman about the bond her mother once held with a wolf summon. If the bond were to be nurtured further – with the right guidance, of course – than the Uzumaki would definitely be a force to be reckoned with.

"C'mon boys," she said as she turned away from the hospital. "I need to go speak to mother about this. Maybe she'd be willing to help the kid out." One of the triplets gave a questioning bark, making her raise a brow. "I'm not completely invested in him just yet, Honō. He's just caught my interest."

Honō gave her a look along with his brothers, making her give an annoyed one in response.

"Just let me talk to mom about this and don't give me any beef. Alright Honō?" The ninken nodded and she turned to the other two. "Same goes to you, Aburu and Yakeru (2). I know it's strange to be helping someone associated with our natural prey, but I have a gut feeling about that kid."

The ninken all barked in compliance before they followed their human partner back to the Inuzuka compound. It was indeed strange to them to be helping out a rabbit, but they trusted Hana.

"I'm impressed that you're already wearing weights like Lee," praised Guy the following morning as he stood before Naruto and Judy in a training field. "While not as heavy as Lee's, they still offer you considerable resistance to help in upping your natural speed."

"It was Judy's idea, actually. Rabbits have most of their core strength in their legs, so I needed to focus on that area if I'm going to work with them," explained Naruto.

"Understandable. Now, I can tell just by watching you stand that the weight isn't really bothering you as much as it no doubt did when you first put them on. So, we'll be increasing the weight before starting your conditioning."

Judy took this moment to ask, "What about his taijutsu? I know that there are kicking maneuvers in your Heavy Fist style, but Naruto needs to focus primarily on kicking. He's not at a level yet to start learning Rabbit Style taijutsu."

"I believe I may have a solution for that. Young Naruto was quite the prankster before he became a Genin of our village, and he gave plenty of our ninja a good chase during his escapes. With how well he knew the streets of the village, I'd say that shows a high level of reactive thinking."

Let it be known that while Guy was usually an exuberant man who gave off the impression of being somewhat dim, he was definitely no slouch in understanding and developing physical regiments. With his observations of Naruto in his youth, the man was able to quickly figure out that Naruto was an on-the-fly sort of planner. He took in a situation mentally and his brain responded to it by coming up with the best sort of reactive actions and plans. He was the opposite of a Nara in terms of planning, but he was by no means less effective with his way of thinking.

"Naruto, when you move with your new weights, I want you to come up with new ways to go through your laps with every circuit. I want to see how fast you can come up with a different approach to something while also building you up physically."

The blonde nodded as he put on the new weights Guy had offered to him. Taking his stance, he went through the first lap in the traditional manner of running. As he approached the start of the second lap, he moved into the trees and began to use the branches to swing and move about. On the third lap, he did basic tree hopping. On the fourth, he switched it up and began to kick off of the trunks of the trees; which actually made the lap go by quicker.

Guy and Judy watched the entire time and while Judy was impressed with her partner's quick planning, Guy had a grin on his face that would make one believe the man had scored a big win; and they wouldn't be entirely wrong. Guy saw potential in Naruto before, but with his adaptive mind, he saw that potential increase greatly. A part of him wished that he had chosen Naruto for his team a year before when the boy failed for the second year in a row, but the other part was pleased things came out the way they had.

'Oh Kakashi, my narrow-minded rival, you certainly missed a diamond in the rough with this boy,' he mused with his grin still in place. "Alright, let's move onto the next exercise!"

Tsume Inuzuka, leader and spokeswoman of the clan, was sitting in her living room with a sake dish on the small table before her. Her brows were furrowed in thought while her eldest child and only daughter sat across from her. Next to her was her ninken Kuromaru who had been gifted to her by her late father when she became a Genin.

"I know this sounds strange mother," began Hana before the woman interrupted her.

"Not just strange; it's practically unheard of. We're connected to dogs and wolves and we hunt rabbits; not help them. I'd have less issues believing your findings if you said it was because of his condition," Tsume said while hinting at the Kyuubi. Her daughter was old enough and observant enough to figure out the mystery surrounding Naruto early on; something that made the woman proud.

"I know, but I can't help but see the potential he has going for him; even if he has our prey helping him. You know he beat Kiba in their Preliminary Match."

"More like humiliated him," commented Kuromaru with an amused snort that was matched by Tsume. "But still, you do have a point about the pup. Considering who he smells like, I'm not surprised that he has the potential you've seen."

Tsume nodded absently while Hana looked confused but said nothing. "True… Well, if you're asking for my blessing to give the pup some pointers then just know you don't need it. You're a grown woman, Hana, and you're free to make your own choices in life."

"You and Kuromaru are the only people that say that, mother. We both know that the others in our clan are still disgusted by me," cut in the young woman, and Tsume nearly growled at the reason for her comment.

Years back, before Hana's birth, Tsume had a contract between herself and a single member of the Wolf Clan; the Ōkami. As she grew with her partner and Kuromaru, she and the Ōkami became close and eventually gave into their baser desires. They had mated once and that led to her pregnancy with Hana. However, her fellow clansmen saw this as an affront on life and denied Hana as both an heiress and as a member of the clan. It was only thanks to Tsume literally beating the crap out of anyone who spoke of banishing Hana that the woman was allowed to keep the clan name.

However, in return the Ōkami had been chased off and eventually killed while Kiba (who was born from a designated member of the clan) was named heir. Members of the Inuzuka – even Kiba on occasion – spoke badly of Hana for being a halfbreed and she didn't react to them out of anxiety for what could happen. Even Tsume rarely reacted to such actions; though she did make sure to discipline her son about them, as was her right as his mother.

Hearing about her son being beaten because his senses were thrown off by a fart of all things was a real kicker to her and she and Hana had some fun throwing that in the boy's face. It didn't hurt that it helped Kiba, who had started to become pretty cocky and arrogant, learn some semblance of humility.

"Ignore them, Hana. What you choose to do and who you choose to help is your business. No one has any right to stop you; certainly not me. Besides, I think that you'd be a good mentor for the pup. Just try to keep the triplets from eating his companion."

Hana nodded with a smile. "I will. Thank you for your approval, mother."

Naruto was panting hard as he ran up and down the stone steps that lead to and from the top of the Hokage Monument. His leg weights had been increased once again and a heavy pack in the stylization of a tortoise shell was on his back. It made sense due to Guy being able to summon a large turtle (which Naruto had met when it stopped Lee from using the Lotus on Sasuke).

Racing past him, for the umpteenth time, was Judy who was breezing through the exercise; even with the personalized turtle shell pack. "C'mon, Foxy!" she teased as she passed him. On her return trip, passing him yet again, she continued, "Pick up the pace!"

"Damn rabbits and their leg strength," he grumbled as he pumped some chakra into his legs to help ease the growing soreness and help him finish the exercise strong. When he reached the top of the monument for the twentieth time, he was almost gasping for breath and steadied himself with his hands on his knees. "All…done…"

Guy nodded at that. "Yes, I'd say you did well with this exercise," he began in a calm tone of voice before his eccentric nature took hold. "But, by the end of the month, I want to see you go through it with the same amount of YOUTH as Miss Hopps!"

Naruto's head slumped as a small dark cloud of depression hung over him. "Yes, sensei…" he sighed out, showing how he was dreading what crazy exercise would be thrown at him next.

"For now, go home and rest. We'll go at it again tomorrow," stated the Jonin before dashing off in a blur of motion.

"I think I might be dead on my feet by the time this month's over," groaned out the Uzumaki as he took off the shell and sealed it away. He had been told to keep the leg weights on constantly while taking them off to get used to the speed boost every few hours. He still had around one more hour before he could stretch his legs again.

Judy also took off her shell and Naruto sealed it for her. "You're just saying that because no one pushed you this hard before. It's good to see your limits and try to break past them. It gives you something to strive for."

He sighed, but nodded in understanding. It was true that his limits had been raised throughout the past four days under Guy's physical training. He was faster, his legs were stronger, and his already high stamina was being pushed further. However, there was one thing that he felt was playing a factor in his training.

"Judy," he said suddenly as the duo made their way down the steps at a sedate pace.

"What is it?"

"…I think I should try and talk to the fox."

She stopped on her current step, eyes wide and nose twitching in anxiety. It was understandable since foxes were natural hunters of her species; be they natural or evolved rabbits. "Are… Are you sure that's necessary?"

He gave her an apologetic look at the nervous question. "I know how you feel about this, but I can't help but think that the fox is unknowingly helping me get stronger. How else would you explain Guy increasing my weights three times in these past four days?"

"Maybe he's just pushing you further?" she tried to reason, but it sounded slightly desperate.

"That would be a good reason if he didn't already warn me about overstressing my muscles with too much weight. If you want, I'll try and talk to it in another room-"

"No!" she cut off, jumping in front of him with a fierce look. "I won't let you try and handle this yourself! I'm you're partner, so I'm with you." She poked his gut and finished, "To the edge and back, remember?"

He smiled gratefully and nodded. "To the edge and back… Let's get back home so that I could try and talk to Old Fuzzy. Thank the kami that the Old Man took care of that seal Snake Face put over mine. I don't want to know what would've happened if I tried to talk to the fox with it still on me."

"Probably best not to dwell on that," advised the rabbit with a slight wince as she once again matched her pace with her partner's. "You may descend from a nation of seal masters, but never forget that fuinjutsu is the most difficult art to study under; let alone comprehend."

"I know," he assured her. He had finally confronted the Hokage about his surname and how his swirling symbol was seen on standard Leaf uniform. What followed was the admission that Naruto did in fact come from a clan; though they and their island nation had been wiped out during the previous war.

He was also allowed to have a scroll that held some detailed information on the Uzumaki. It wasn't much, but he at least knew now that his clan were sealing experts, they had a higher degree of chakra capacity and potency, and that one of his parents had to have been an Uzumaki (though he obviously inherited the hair of the non-Uzumaki parent).

"Hey…I think I have an idea for my match," he said after a moment of thought.

"And that idea is…?" pressed Judy.

He held a thoughtful look on his face before shaking his head. "I need to talk to the Old Man about it first before it think about it any further. Until then, let's have a chat with Old Fuzzy…"

Hana frowned as she watched Naruto and his rabbit companion from a rooftop across one of the village's many streets. Her vantage point gave her a linear sight of the Genin's window, and so far he had done nothing but sight with his arms crossed while glaring at his stomach.

"He couldn't possibly be trying to talk to that creature…could he?" she asked herself in a low tone. Her ninken all gave unsure whines at the question and she shook her head. "I was just thinking out loud, boys. I wasn't expecting you to know."

After reassuring her partners, the halfbreed Inuzuka returned her focus on the blonde Uzumaki. She blinked in surprise when she saw his body, as well as the body of the rabbit girl, outlined in red that pulsed every few seconds. Rolling her eyes, she huffed and rested her head in her palm.

"Of course something happens when I turn away…" she grumbled, waiting for the duo to wake up from their obvious trance.

"…You have rabbit ears."

Judy had to stifle a laugh while the Kyuubi sweatdropped. "Really? The first thing you EVER say to me is THAT? What are you, an idiot?"

He shrugged. "Maybe. I've been called that a few times, so I have to be an idiot to one person or two at least."

"He's got a point. After all, he's MY idiot too," agreed Judy, nudging Naruto's side playfully.

The fox rolled its eyes and rested its chin on its forelimbs. "So…you have something that you wanted to speak to me about."

"I just wanted to know if your chakra was helping my muscle growth. I've been using leg weights, and-"

"Yes, I know that, already. Through your eyes, I have a view of the outside. It's better than just watching these bars for however long I'm stuck inside you."

Naruto nodded, showing he understood the fox's plight.

"As for your question, my chakra is aiding you slightly; I won't try to deny that. However, you're actually wrong about it being able to heal you."

Naruto rose a brow at that while Judy threw out a guess. "His Uzumaki genes, huh?"

"Correct, bunny."

"Rabbit," corrected Judy with her nose twitching in annoyance.

"Same difference, and you assume I care about your personal feelings on this. I honestly could care less," shot down the Bijuu in a blasé manner. "Anyway, my chakra is only advancing your own chakra's natural ability to heal you. It's true that Jinchūriki have some form of regenerative power from us Bijuu, but the Uzumaki had superior self-healing; even if they were a halfbreed like yourself, boy."

"So, my muscles get stressed from the training, but they naturally recover quickly because of my potent chakra. Did I get the gist of it?" Both the Bijuu and his partner nodded. "Alright, thanks for explaining that to me, I guess. I've got another question though."


"How come you seem so…apathetic about me talking to you? I'm surprised you're not roaring at me and blaming me for keeping you locked up."

"Compare your lifespan to mine; even if yours is slightly above average due to your blood. Do you think I would really be concerned about waiting for your life to run out? An opportunity to free myself will present itself to me in time; so, I just have to be patient and observant before taking advantage of that eventual opportunity."

"…What if you made a deal with Naruto?" suggested Judy.

"And why would I do that? I don't care about what he's planning to do or what happens to him unless it involves me personally."

"But what if the deal made helped you get free sooner?"

"Judy?!" Naruto cried out in shock. "If the seal is removed, I'll die!"

She turned to him with a slight frown. "You're saying you can't figure out a way to stay alive afterwards?"

"Of course I can't! I haven't studied seals any farther than storage seals and a simple explosive tag! Do you realize how long it'd take for me to figure out a way to deal with a seal that the Fourth Hokage made?"

"I know it'll take a while…but nothing worth striving for is meant to happen in an instant; you have to work hard for it." She gave him a supportive smile as she finished, "And there are few who work as hard as or harder than you, Naruto."

"I suppose in exchange for this hypothetical seal that the boy has yet to even BEGIN planning for, you would like for me to offer him some of my chakra?" assumed the Bijuu.

"Only in emergency situations," assured Judy. "Naruto isn't the type to abuse something, and he sure as hell won't abuse your chakra. I've read up on you, and I can tell your chakra has been abused enough already by Madara Uchiha."

"Bastard deserves worse than whatever killed him if you ask me, but I can see the value in your words, bunny." Crimson eyes locked on to surprised blue ones. "Boy, I'll give you some of my chakra, but only if the situation is desperate enough by MY point of view. Am I clear?"

He had to mentally reboot his brain before nodding firmly. "Crystal clear, fox. I give you my word on this."

The fox grunted before offering its humanlike fist to the Uzumaki. "Then we have a deal, boy."

"I'm not just some boy, fox," shot back the Genin before he pounded his fist against the larger one before him. "I'm Naruto Uzumaki, and don't you forget it."

Unknown to Naruto, the Bijuu used their connected fists to take a deeper look into the mind and being that was the young teen before it. It happened in an instant, but the fox had seen everything it needed to see. 'Perhaps there was some truth to the Old Man's words… Maybe…' Outwardly, its muzzle curled into a smirk followed by a short chuckle. "I'll see if I could remember a pipsqueak like you, boy. But since we're going to be working together in a sense, I suppose it wouldn't be fair not to return your gesture."

"Wait… You mean you're gonna tell me your name?" Judy was just as surprised, but she said nothing.

Rolling its eyes, the beast replied, "Don't be so shocked. Like you and the bunny there, I too was given a name by the one who made me. And that name was Kurama."

"Kurama…" Naruto said, testing the name before grinning. "Alright then! Looking forward to working with you, Kurama!"

"Thank you for giving us a chance," added Judy before both of them left the seal.

Resting its head down once more, Kurama closed its eyes and hummed in thought. "Let's see if you're the one Hagoromo spoke of, Naruto Uzumaki…"

Hana stifled a yawn as she continued to watch Naruto and his rabbit companion. It had been close to an hour since they had entered their trance, and her body was shutting down from the lack of activity. "C'mon, do something," she pleaded.

Her pleas were heard, thankfully, and she saw the two blink back into focus before talking to one another. While she couldn't really read their lips (or the rabbit girl's muzzle) she was able to see that both of them looked rather pleased and relieved about something. The talk with the beast must've went surprisingly well for them.

"I should ask mother what to do now that he's made solid contact. Maybe she'll have some better insight on this," mused the Chunin as she and her ninken left for home.

Five days and nights had been spent. She still had time to speak to the Uzumaki before the Finals.

1~ Yes, this is a slight cameo for Rukia Kuchiki from the Bleach series. After all, she was a fan of a rabbit themed character AND has violet eyes too!

2~ Each name of the Haimaru Triplets is associated with fire in some way. I'll let you guys look them up for yourself.

And there's the first chapter of the new crossover! I hope you all enjoyed it!

I also hope you guys don't mind the obvious pairing that will be Naruto and Judy. It's similar in nature to the pairing in my Kouma Shōkan story, and that pairing has been largely accepted by my readers. I just hope this is equally approved of.

Now, Naruto will have ONE other bloodline besides his Uzumaki blood. I'll give you guys a SINGLE hint about it for you to try and guess: it is a mix of Earth Chakra and a second element!

Until next time!