Threads of Fate
In an attempt to brighten up his sad charge, ANBU Guard Itachi Uchiha leaves a note complimenting her hair. And thus, history has decided to repeat itself. Itachi x fem!Naruto, ItaNaru
WARNING: MASSIVE SPOILERS AHEAD
Omake for Angel-Hime-Chan: Jiraiya Meets Itachi for the First Time
"Ah, you must be Fugaku's boy," the white-haired man with the blatantly fake smile, said, "Please sit down. I haven't been in the village for a while, and there's some news that I would like to catch up on. I believe you can help me with that."
"I would be honored to help you, Jiraiya-sama," Itachi replied, wondering why the revered Sannin had asked for him personally.
"Yeah, I'm sure you will," the man muttered darkly, before smiling again. "No need to call me Jiraiya-sama, kid. You may not know it, but we're almost family in a way. Your mother and I share godparent duties for Naruto."
Itachi nodded, relaxing a little. So he wanted to know more about the blonde Uzumaki? The Uchiha could help him there. "Then please ask your questions."
The first ones were innocuous and relevant for a ninja that had been absent from the village for years.
"Tell me about the Uchiha Clan's coup, and your part in it."
The next few were more personal, but understandable for a famous spymaster like Jiraiya.
"So the presumed Uchiha thought threatening my goddaughter was a good way to keep you in line? How did you respond to that?"
The latter ones were downright intrusive.
"And how much money did you make last year?" Jiraiya questioned.
Itachi's normally unflappable calmness was breached. "I beg your pardon?"
"Your income after taxes," the Sannin said impatiently, "You have the base ANBU salary, which is generous, and a 15% cut of all missions taken. What's your average monthly take?"
The Uchiha Heir's immediate instinct was to refuse to answer, but then his ingrained respect for authority kicked in, and he paused. A mental voice that sounded eerily similar to Shisui insisted that he should respond, and present himself in the best light possible.
"I average six missions a month, with around half being B-ranked and the remainder either A-ranked or, on occasion, S-ranked," Itachi responded slowly. "Uchiha law requires a quarter of pre-taxed payments to be turned over to the clan, but the remainder is placed in my bank account."
"And you've been an ANBU for eight months now," Jiraiya continued, looking over his papers, "I see. What do you have in terms of expenses?"
"I live with my parents, rent-free," Itachi answered, "They cover my food and housing costs. I pay for my shinobi gear and personal effects."
"Then you'll have a nice nest egg ready, in a few years," the Sannin was grudgingly approving, "So you live with your parents now. Do you intend to stay there after you get married?"
"Er, no?" was the answer. "I plan to purchase my own home before marriage?"
"Don't make it sound like a question!" Jiraiya barked, "Your health insurance and death benefits?"
"I have the standard ninja insurance, including death benefits," the dark-haired teen hesitantly said.
"Switch that to the ANBU standard," Jiraiya ordered, "It may seem higher now, but the deductibles will decrease exponentially in a few years, and the payout is much better. Now, where do you see yourself in five years?"
'Why does this feel like a job interview?' Itachi thought, starting to get nervous, 'And why is Naruto's godfather giving it to me?'
"I want to become an ANBU Captain in a few years, but plan to transition to the general shinobi forces before my twentieth birthday," the Uchiha answered, steeling himself. This was a test, and he may not know why Naruto's godfather was giving it to him, but he didn't need Shisui there to tell him not to blow it. "When I become the Uchiha Clan Head, I'll handle Council Meetings and clan-related paperwork, while my father runs the KMPF."
"Do you plan to have children? If so, how many?"
"I would like to have children one day. As many as my wife is comfortable with, I suppose."
"How many sons? How many daughters? What would you name them?"
"I would like one of both, but I have not considered this in detail Jiraiya-san."
"How do you feel about women in the shinobi forces? Before marriage? After marriage? After having children?"
"I believe that kunoichi are just as capable as shinobi, and make a valuable addition to the military forces," the Uchiha was starting to suspect where this was heading, "I don't think marriage should stop them from becoming kunoichi, but they shouldn't be active members, while pregnant. Afterward, their level of participation depends on the kunoichi in question."
Jiraiya folded his hands below his chin, and stared intensely at the dark-haired teen.
With a sweatdrop forming, Itachi continued. "I believe that Naruto would like to continue her career after having children. I'm sure that she'll accomplish that."
The Sannin raised an eyebrow. "My goddaughter wants to be the Hokage. How do you feel about women that outrank their husbands in the ninja forces?"
"Jiraiya-san," Itachi really needed to put a stop to this, "I'm not sure what rumors you've heard, but I assure you that there's nothing between your goddaughter and I."
"That's not what your best friend told me," Jiraiya countered.
'Shisui, I'm going to skin you alive,' the dark-haired teen thought. "My cousin was lying, sir."
"Didn't I tell you to stop being so formal?" the white-haired man scribbled something down in front of him. Itachi's excellent vision allowed him to see the words 'poor listener' on it.
"How much sexual experience have you had?" Jiraiya asked, out of nowhere.
Itachi almost choked. "Excuse me?!"
"No girlfriends? Oral? Not even a handjob?" the Sannin looked disappointed as he read the answer in the teen's blushing face. "Well Naruto will be pleased, at least. Here, catch!"
Itachi's hands came up on reflex to grab the book thrown to him. His long association with Kakashi Hatake and the lurid orange cover told him that he was holding Icha Icha. The Uchiha Heir almost dropped it, at the realization that there was porn in his hands. "Jiraiya-san?"
"We'll start off with Chapter Two first," the white-haired man instructed, taking out his own copy and giving a perverted giggle, "You're not who I would have chosen, but Kami knows that Kushina would have adored you, and Minato would have respected you. You're the type of man that he could have trusted his little girl to."
"Thank you?" Itachi didn't have any romantic intentions towards Naruto, but he couldn't deny how flattering it was to know that the Yellow Flash would have accepted him as the blonde's boyfriend.
"Now, as you can see from the look of rapture on Moriki-chan's face, a woman loves to have her clitoris stimulated…"
'Then again, maybe this is an honor that I can do without,' the dark-haired teen thought, as Jiraiya started to talk about bondage ropes, safe words, and whipped cream. It was too horrifying not to listen to. Yet strangely intriguing…
Omake for Aile d'Argent: Naruto's Birthday
Naruto Uzumaki's birthday was coming up, and Shisui Uchiha was having a panic attack.
"You want to give her what as a gift?" Shisui demanded, staring at his remarkably naive and embarrassingly oblivious younger cousin.
"High quality kunai polish," Itachi answered, looking rather pleased with himself, "The brand that she currently uses doesn't dry quickly enough, and slips through her hands. Since Naruto's accelerated healing makes it difficult to form calluses, she'll need better polish to account for the weakened grip."
"As I suspected, it doesn't sound any better the second time around," the messy-haired Uchiha groaned, "Itachi, you know what Naruto is, don't you?"
At the younger teen's puzzled tilt of head, Shisui held back a second groan. "A girl, Itachi. She's a girl."
'And one that has the misfortune to be attracted to a romantic idiot,' he mentally added.
"And do girls not require shinobi tools?" Itachi questioned, an eyebrow raised challengingly.
"Of course, they do! But you're always buying shinobi-related gifts for her, and while I'm sure that she appreciates it, a birthday gift is supposed to be special," Shisui argued, "I'm not saying that it can't have a utilitarian purpose, but it should also be something pretty, that she can show off. Girls love to show gifts off."
"I have never seen Naruto brag about them," the Uchiha heir said doubtfully.
"That's because she hasn't had many gifts to brag about," Shisui mentally calculated the time available before October 10th. "Okay, so you need to purchase something suitably attractive and feminine, but also appropriate to her age. No makeup or elaborate jewelry, and I'm vetoing all flowers until we have a full account of her allergies. There's nothing more embarrassing than giving an armful of lilies to a pretty girl, and then having her face turn into a puffed, sniveling, and rash-filled terror, as she attacks you. Or so I've been told."
"Are you sure Naruto wouldn't want the kunai polish?" Itachi asked hopefully. The blonde took her training rather seriously, and the Uchiha didn't want her to get hurt from using slippery kunai.
"We'll add that to the gift," Shisui allowed, "Now come on! Kusa has the best craftsman, and if we can get a short-term B-rank mission there today, then we'll be back with plenty of time before her birthday! You can consider yourself very lucky to have your older cousin here to guide you, Itachi."
"I still think my kunai polish gift is a good one," the other teen mumbled, but followed behind.
A few days later, they were settled on the floor of the Uchiha living room, where Mikoto had insisted on throwing a small party. With bellies full of cake and other sweets- or, in Sasuke's case, fresh tomatoes and onigiri- they were ready for the birthday girl to open her presents.
Naruto had never received many gifts while growing up, so she reacted to each gift with genuine thankfulness. After setting Shisui's shogi set aside, and hugging him in thanks, she picked up a small box wrapped in ocean-themed paper. Itachi's graceful lettering on the side caused her blue eyes to widen, and there was an increased gentleness, as she unwrapped it.
To Naruto: I hope that this is the first of many future birthday wishes to come. Your friend, Itachi.
Inside was a finely carved hair comb made of rich auburn lacquered wood. Painted on the top was a delicate swirl of blue and white flowers. The bottom caps of the comb's teeth glistened slightly, and Naruto recognized that they would be hollow, for her to fill with a poison or paralytic. The gift was practical and useful, but also beautiful and feminine.
"Oh, what a thoughtful gift!" Mikoto exclaimed, "Would you like to me to put in on you Naruto?"
The blonde nodded jerkily, surprised pleasure thrumming inside of her as the dark-haired woman unpinned her blonde hair from its pigtails, and pulled it into a messy bun. She could feel the slight weight of the elegant hair piece against her head, and tried to meet Itachi's gaze, so she could convey how absolutely wonderful his gift was.
Only Itachi was looking away, the barest hint of a frown on his lips. And when Naruto's eyes moved the smug, messy-haired Uchiha to the cannister of kunai polish also in the wrapping paper, she understood why. Itachi Uchiha was brilliant and sweet and could make her heart flip over without even trying, but he was not a romantic.
"This is a great gift, Itachi!" Naruto chimed, trying to gain his attention, "I love the kunai polish!"
There were several exclamations of surprise, though Shisui's indignant 'excuse me?!' was most memorable. The Uzumaki ignored this, and her flushed cheeks, as she reached forward to hug the dark-haired teen.
"My hands can't form calluses well, so having good kunai polish is really important," the blonde babbled on, "I've never tried this brand before, but I'm sure that it'll be just what I need. It's very thoughtful of you to look out for my safety, Itachi!"
Then, because it was her birthday, and she wanted to give a gift to herself, Naruto leaned up and quickly pressed her lips to Itachi's cheek. After that, Mikoto's excited squealing and Sasuke's fake retching made the rest of the present-opening somewhat anticlimactic.
Omake for Kathleen: Itachi Handles the Kids
Hikaru Uchiha was a very sweet and well-behaved boy, which was why it was so strange to see him scowl down at his breakfast this morning. Then again, the meal was his Father's decent omelette and rice balls, rather than his Mother's delicious homemade ramen.
"Does Mom have to go on the Suna mission?" Hikaru whined, putting a forkful of egg into his mouth.
"Hikaru, Uchiha do not speak when their mouths are full," Itachi reminded him absently, and then paused. The dark-haired man grimaced. He was turning into his father.
"Dada more!" At fourteen months old, Kurama Uzumaki was a little genius that could almost speak in full sentences and understood that her father was fully wrapped around her little finger. Also wrapped around that little finger was her godfather, the Kyuubi. "Wanna have more!"
"Why does Kurama get to have pudding for breakfast?" Seichi, his second born child and the only one to inherit his maternal grandmother's violet eyes, asked, "I want pudding for breakfast too Dad."
"Seichi, Uchiha do not whine," Itachi said reflexively. Then he cringed.
"You sound like Grandpa Fugaku now," Hikaru pointed out, and then bit into a rice ball. Itachi sent his eldest child a baleful glance.
"Hikaru, why are you so upset this morning?" his Father asked. When he saw the guilty shift of his eldest son, he knew that he would have to press on. "Hikaru?"
"Hikaru-nii got detention today!" Seichi tattled gleefully. "Hey- Dad!"
"Seichi, you shouldn't have answered your brother's question, and Hikaru, don't hit your younger brother," Itachi reprimanded, putting another spoonful of vanilla pudding into the easily pleased Kurama's mouth. Honestly, sometimes he wondered why his sons couldn't be as peaceful as his Kurama-chan. He also wondered where the younger sibling hero worship was; Seichi certainly didn't treat Hikaru, like Sasuke had treated him.
"Hikaru, how did you get a detention?" This was surprising too- his son had inherited his respect for authority and academic drive, rather than Naruto's.
"Threw a paintball at the sensei's face," Hikaru ducked his head down, and his cheeks reddened in shame. "I just wanted him to stop kissing up to me because of who my family was."
The Uchiha Patriarch blinked. "Strange. Your mother gained her first detention the exact same way."
"Really?" Hikaru immediately perked up. He loved both of his parents, but it was Naruto that he idolized. Itachi didn't mind; he shared his son's opinion.
"Hm, your Uncle Sasuke got his first detention after he defended your mother from a rumor," Itachi continued, "Uncle Shisui received his first one for putting sneezing powder on the chalkboard erasers."
Seichi looked impressed. "And what did you do, Dad?"
"I listed to my senseis and followed the rules," Itachi responded, "I graduated early, at the top of my class, and didn't receive a single detention in my entire academic career."
Hikaru was disgusted. "That sounds so boring, Dad. You really are like Grandfather Fugaku."
Itachi cringed. Again.
Omake for NostalgicBeauty, Kitty Kat Vixen, and Sakiraa-chan: Itachi and the Art of Jealousy
Naruto Uzumaki grew up to be a frankly stunning young woman. The characteristics that she had so despaired of in her younger years, from her neon yellow hair to her eerily bright eyes to the whisker marks on her cheeks, had matured into an exotic beauty. Her features remained distinct and striking, but she was more at ease with them now that she knew they resembled her parents. And when people as attractive as Minato Namikaze and Kushina Uzumaki had a child, then it became unsurprising that their adorable little girl would grow up into a breathtakingly beautiful young woman.
This was an open secret around Konoha. Another open secret? Itachi Uchiha had recognized that beauty as early as when Naruto was seven. And should anyone else comment on it, they would be faced with a pointed gaze from one of Konoha's most powerful and intimidating shinobi.
Konoha knew this. Taki did not.
Now the sixteen-year-old Jounin was on a diplomatic mission with her boyfriend in Takigakure. Itachi was currently overviewing evacuation protocols, while Naruto had agreed to check over their defense seal structure, and offer any suggestions about improvement. They couldn't allow a Konoha Jounin to do this alone of course, so a Taki ninja was assigned to help her around.
He was a dark-haired teen named Takeshi, and he was rather interested in the exotic blonde.
"So I've heard that you visited Takigakure before," Takeshi said easily. He was a handsome young man, with a friendly smile and kind brown eyes. "Did you like it?"
"I did!" Naruto replied exuberantly, "The underwater cave system was incredible, and the little shops tucked into the wooden nooks of the village are charming. You live in such a beautiful village."
"Well, all of mother nature could fade against a woman's natural beauty," the dark-haired man said easily. "But I'm sure that you're aware of this."
The blonde was oblivious to this. "I'm not sure I can agree with you. The waterfalls, fresh springs, and wildflowers make this the perfect location for a thriving wildlife. One of my best friends, Shino, might have fallen in love with Takigakure in his last visit… or maybe that was Fu?"
"I'm glad that he has something to bring him back to my fair village," Takeshi commented, leaning closer and looking hopeful, "I wonder if someone else could be the same draw for you?"
"Oh, Fu and I are friends too," the Uzumaki assured, scanning the seal-inscribed walls, "Can you bring me to the western walls? There are linking seals here, but I need to see the other end to make sure they work properly."
"Of course. You're very talented with fuuinjutsu," Takeshi tried, making the blonde duck her head down modestly, "Natural talent or hard work?"
"A little of both, but I was mostly lucky to have such a great teacher," Naruto answered.
"Oh, beautiful, smart, and modest," Takeshi teased, grasping his chest, "Anymore, and I think I'll fall head over heels, beyond any medic-nin's power."
"Huh? Are you sick?" the blonde Jounin panicked. The Takigakure shinobi had to quickly assure that he wasn't, in fact, dying.
The rest of their talk progressed like this. Takeshi would hint towards more than platonic feelings, while Naruto would happily respond to the strong overtures of friendship. By the time the seals had been checked and they had reassembled at Shibuki's home, the dark-haired Tokubetsu Jounin was despondent from the unintentional rejections.
He decided to try one more time. "Naruto Uzumaki, I think that you must be the most beautiful woman that I've ever seen."
Before she could reply, another voice interjected. "I agree."
Takeshi's mouth dropped open when the Ryuujin no Kage, Itachi Uchiha, slipped past him, and put his arm around the blonde's waist. Naruto Uzumaki lit up when she saw the older man, and Itachi offered the gaping Taki ninja a mirthless smile. Then he leaned forward and gave her a kiss that was most definitely not platonic.
'You meet an amazing girl, and she happens to be the girlfriend of a monster of a ninja,' Takeshi sighed, depressed, 'Itachi Uchiha is one lucky man.'
Had Itachi Uchiha cared to listen then he would have agreed.
Omake for Moon Phoenix Yukira: Naruto and the Art of Jealousy
Girls were unusually clumsy around him. Itachi was well aware of that. His mother had raised him to be a gentleman. Itachi abided by that.
Therefore, when an unfamiliar woman slipped on perfectly level ground, Itachi didn't second guess his reaction. His arms flashed out to gracefully catch the falling figure, his hands moved to steady her position, and, with an indifferent face, his head nodded absently to accept her simpering gratitude. He moved on. Life moved on.
Naruto saw that action. It was not unfamiliar to her, but she did not move on.
The dark-haired man was puzzled when he saw that his girlfriend was upset. He asked her what was wrong; she refused to answer. He used all of Shisui's tried-and-true apologies: flowers- her favorite blue forget me nots and white lilies- chocolates, and jewelry. He took her to Ichiraku Ramen, but she insisted on paying for her own share.
That was disturbing. Naruto never refused free food.
"Can you at least tell me what I did wrong?" Itachi asked. "I can't change my behavior, unless I know why you're upset."
Naruto gaped at him. "I- you- ugh, you're so frustrating!"
He had thought that their weekly date would be canceled as a result, but she was opening her apartment door when he called. Itachi's ink-toned eyes rapidly shifted into the Sharingan when he saw her. His girlfriend was usually well-dressed when they went out, but this was an image that he wanted to keep perfectly emblazoned in his mind.
An orange-gold cocktail dress with a tight bodice, sweetheart neckline, and sheer back. She chose to compliment it with the golden necklace that he had bought her recently and the ear studs from their first anniversary. When Naruto saw the Sharingan appear, a smug grin crossed her face.
"What do you think?" The Uzumaki gave a twirl. Itachi paid very close attention.
"You look beautiful," Itachi said, because it was true, and a gentleman wouldn't relate the other words crossing his mind.
Naruto bit her lip. "Better than the woman that fell on you last week?"
"What woman?" the Uchiha asked. It seemed like the right answer, because she beamed, pulled him closer, and drew him into a brilliant kiss.
Then she stepped back, and a sheepish expression crossed her face. "I'm sorry for acting so silly for the last few days."
"It's fine," Itachi assured. He was mostly just relieved that the strange mood had passed. "Why don't we skip the dinner reservations and stay here? I can cook you a meal instead."
"That sounds like a good idea." Her eyes were lit up in mischief, "But after that look, I think I need you to do something else for me first."
There was another girl and another slippery step. Itachi caught her before she fell. Then Naruto was there, to slip a delicate pale-gold hand into his own, and smile at the other woman. The Uchiha could barely respond to the posed figure or gushed thanks, as his attention shifted to the warm, lithe body pressed to his side. Itachi was dragged away, and life moved on.
Then Shisui made an offhanded mention about the amount of Valentine's Day chocolate that Itachi received- even now- and Naruto was inexplicably upset again. The Uchiha wondered if maybe he should have offered to share the sweets instead.
This is a celebration for Threads of Fate surpassing 1k reviews! I had a lot of great inspiration from the readers for these omakes, and while each suggestion could have written one of their own, I had to narrow it down to five. Still I think they turned out well, and I'd like to use some of the other ideas for another omake celebration later on- when I reach 1,500 reviews *hint*hint*.
Once again, thank you to everyone for reading, following, favoriting, and reviewing Threads of Fate. I hope that you'll continue to follow the story of Itachi and Naruto, and everyone else that's becoming precious to them, like Shino, Hinata, and Shisui. And strangely enough, Hiashi too, who's another reader favorite. Also, I've received a lot of kind words about my story so far, and I've tried my best to respond to them, but there are some readers that use blank accounts.
So, to Hima: When I write these stories, I like to think of my characters as fully-fleshed individuals with secret hopes, fears, loves, hates, and ambitions, that I- as the writer- am privileged enough to peek into. None of these characters start off as detailed and thorough as they currently are, but as the story unfolds, they each develop quirks and habits that come to fully characterize them. It makes them feel real to me, and it makes it easier to fall in love with a character as his or her life unfolds. I'm glad that my readers get to follow that journey with me, and that they (for the most part) like the characterizations that I've made for the virtual equivalent of these ink-and-paper lives.