What can I say? I wanted to pick up two tropes( Mokuton and a de-aged character) that have been written about to the point that everyone involved wishes to weep, and try and write something...different. I don't know if I'll be able to execute it the way I wish to, but it should certainly be...fun to read. Either due to the story, or due to the circus of watching a writer and his plot spectacularly implode. Either way, it'll be eventful.
This will be a non-canon AU. So, not everything works the way it does in the manga or the anime. Especially not the characters. If you have a problem with that, I recommend you read my other work 'After The Fourth'. That's a lot more serious and dark, and everyone's mostly in character.
Secondly, Naruto will have Mokuton in this. But he won't have the Kyuubi. I'll also not overpower him. I've seen so many promising stories fizzle out half way through due to how strong the protagonist is, and I'm terrified of taking this in that direction.
Konan will be about fourteen years younger and Naruto about five years older. Itachi will be his actual age. Essentially, they'll all be the same age.
This story starts out fairly light, but it will get darker as it progresses. It's a pity fanfiction only allows you two genre tags, because this story will span across several genres. Humour is a prominent element, but there will be arcs entirely devoid of it later on. But 45,000 words in, this story is still pretty lighthearted.
Disclaimer: Naruto and all its characters are the exclusive property of Masashi Kishimoto. This is a work of fanfiction. I own nothing except the OCs.
The Girl from Rain
Namikaze Naruto had always known that he was different.
Well, yes, he was the Yondaime Hokage's honourable son, but not that kind of different. No, this was a different kind of different. Five year olds were supposed to be fluffy. Five year olds were supposed to be adorably stupid.
Naruto would rather die than be called the former and no one had accused him of the latter.
"My hip and cool son will become Hokage someday, dattebayo!"
His father, on the other hand-
He sighed. To put it bluntly, Minato Namikaze was an idiot. A genius at some things, yes, but still, an idiot.
The man woke before the cheeriest of crowing cocks. And then, he stood atop his house and woke the entire village, screaming that his son would be Hokage someday. All this while doing back-flips and chewing on poorly prepared pork ramen like a coke crunching chipmunk.
Naruto shuddered. He had a feeling in a parallel universe somewhere far, far away from where he lived, he would be like his father.
"…HOKAGE!" streaks of insanity coloured Minato's tone now. He was making frantic pelvic thrusts with the zeal of a mad man searching for release.
Naruto snorted. There was no way he would be Hokage. None at all.
To begin with, the pay was shit. Really, really shit. Minato's pay lasted them for about three weeks and three hundred bowls of ramen. The 'honourable' Hokage was often reduced to a sobbing mess after this, curled up in a fetal position and begging his sweet Kushina-chan for pocket money for ramen.
Then there was the paperwork. So much paperwork, that the village hidden in the leaves was less leaf and more paper. Minato had smirked when he had first heard about the paper work and promptly resorted to using shadow clones. It had looked like a stroke of genius. For about twenty four hours, that is. Then, the calls had come in.
Iwa had called, wondering why Minato had sent a proposition to wed and bed the Tsuchikage's dead dad. They had pointed out, rather kindly, that while Konoha were a bunch of fucking tree huggers and log lovers that routinely debased the dead, Iwa's skeletons were best left buried.
Then next week, Kumo had called, wondering what Minato meant when he sent them passionate love letters praising the Raikage's adorable asshole. Or at least Bee had. Ai had locked himself up in a room, paranoid and far too afraid of Hiraishin and a violated asshole to function properly.
Suna had not called. They were too poor to have a telephone. They had sent an envoy instead, ensuring Minato that his accusations of the Kazekage being a weed smoking weirdo aligning with snake pedo were baseless. Minato was still not done apologizing for that.
And thus, the experiment with shadow clones had ended. The paperwork piled up. The Hokage wept and cursed and swore vengeance and bloody murder. But the paper had stayed still and studiously ignored him.
So no, Naruto didn't wish to Hokage. It just wasn't going to happen. He didn't wish to be Shinobi either. There were better things to be in life. Like a wandering writer who wrote best sellers. Like dad's sensei. That Jiraya dude. The one with the face paint and the frog dance. He still hadn't figured out why Kaa-chan had flipped out and lost her shit the first time she had found him reading Icha Icha. He loved reading. And he thought it was decently written. Or at least the twelve pages he had managed to read were. The grunts and the moans seemed out of place though. He still didn't know what they meant and no one would tell him.
Anyway, Konoha would still stand with one less child soldier. His father, of course, would not hear of it. The man loved Konoha. But Naruto knew that if push came to shove, his father would listen to him. He was a fluffy, adorably stupid twenty five year old. And he loved him enough to let him live his life the way he wanted. Kaa-chan did not want him to be a shinobi anyway, so everyone was happy.
"He's back at it again, isn't he?"
Naruto shrugged. His mother had snuck up on him. She was seven months pregnant. Her belly was swollen and she looked like a bloated balloon. She played with him less and had to waddle around from time to time. But he was happy. He'd have a sibling. He'd be the best big brother ever, Shinobi or otherwise.
"He loves you, Naru-chan," she said as she ruffled his hair.
"I know," said Naruto, swatting her hand away and sticking out his tongue. "But does he have to embarrass us this way everyday?"
She laughed. It was a beautiful sound that reminded Naruto of sunshine and spring, and all the hope it brought along.
"He just likes making the villagers think he's insane," she said with a wink. "They all love him for that. And I do too."
Naruto sighed and returned to watching his father's rant. Maybe his mother was right. Maybe there was hope for his father after all. The man had managed to somehow become Hokage. Maybe they'd make an adult out of him yet.
His sandals left deep indents in the soggy sludge. It took some effort to maintain his footing. Each step was laborious as he waded through the knee deep slush. Mud clung to his clothes, as if the murky streets and the mushy swamps of the land of rain wanted to devour him whole. His hair was a grimy mess; flecks of thick, semi solid substance turning white to brown. It was as if nature itself had decided to take a shit on him.
But the filth on his clothing did not matter. His soul felt far, far dirtier. He had let his students down. He had left them to fend for themselves in these fearsome plains that knew no mercy. He had left them with an ideal of peace in a soulless graveyard that swallowed up starry eyed idealists and then spat out what remained. Ame had never known anything other than war and bloodshed. And that's how it would remain. Nagato and Yahiko had lost their lives for nothing.
He had gone around asking. He had desperately hoped to find them in one piece, alive and unhurt, with welcoming grins plastered on their faces.
He couldn't even find their corpses. And the locals said they were dead. People had seen it happen. They had gone up against Hanzo, and Hanzo hadn't even done them the courtesy of a decent burial. They were gone and they had taken any hope of peace in this Godforsaken land with them. It was a shame. The entire cycle of hatred was a shame. That war orphans that aspired for peace in their homeland were broken and then left to rot was a shame.
It had stopped raining. Jiraiya wondered if the heavens were mocking him for his folly. He was a failure. He had lost Orochimaru to treason. He had lost his students-well, there was Minato, but Minato was an exception- to his stupidity. And the woman he loved was a broken hearted wanderer drowning herself in sake to forget her sorrow.
He was tired. He was hungry. But there was no inn to be found for miles. He would return to Konoha tomorrow, with a broken heart and bitter memories. He was done with Ame. He did not wish to set foot on this accursed land ever again.
The faintest flickers of fading sunlight broke through the overcast skies as he trudged along. Evening would soon turn to night. The swamp grew thinner as he walked. His feet still squished against the sludge and sunk into it from time to time, but it was better than it had been about an hour ago.
His eyes fell upon a speck in the distance. There, about half a mile from where he stood, was a hole ridden tin shed. Or something that looked like it, anyway. A shelter of sorts, he supposed, for whenever the elements got far too harsh and one had no home to go to.
Homelessness and poverty were common place in the land of rain. It was less so the closer one got to Amegakure, but he was about a hundred miles away from the Shinobi village. The Shinobi lived in luxury and the citizens in squalor. Hanzo's doctrine demanded such rigour. This was just another area that had fallen prey to war and famine. This was just another den for the homeless and the condemned and the hopeless.
He moved towards the shelter. He had nowhere else to go for the day. Spending the night at a shelter seemed a far better prospect than spending it in the muck filled trenches that littered the land or the potholes that pockmarked the ugly terrain.
His brow furrowed as he entered. It was…empty. A couple of moth infested blankets lay about five feet from where he stood. This place seemed capable of accommodating four…maybe five people. It came as a surprise to him that there was no one here. Perhaps, they had chosen to spend the night elsewhere instead. Or perhaps, there was no one else quite like him, caught in the middle of nowhere between a town and the border.
A gentle cough brought him out of his musings. He looked down and found himself staring into a pair of brownish orange eyes. They stared back at him in sadness and perhaps, inquisitiveness. It was a look that seemed out of place on the face of a girl who could not possibly be any older than Minato's brat. Her skin clung to her bones. Her hair, wet, violet and untamed, framed a sunken face that spoke of poverty. She would be pretty, if it weren't for the fact that she looked as thin as a skeleton and about as alive as one.
She brought her palms together. He watched, amazed, as paper meshed together and twisted and turned from a bland sheet without form into a perfectly crafted crane. Kekkei Genkai, he thought. She held it out to him.
"For food," she said, and the hope in her voice broke his heart.
"Where are your parents?" he asked, even though he could guess.
She shrugged and pointed upwards. It was as if she couldn't bring herself to say the words.
He took the crane, gently, carefully, and pulled a ration bar out of his pack. He handed it to her. It was a tasteless thing; a mass of dried raisins and dull granules of protein and nutrients hastily prepared to optimize performance. Most children would take half a bite and spit it out. Most adults would take one bite and spit it out. Most animals would take two before throwing up.
But she gobbled it down greedily as if it were the tastiest delicacy ever prepared. Uncaring that she was accepting such garbage from a stranger. Uncaring of the world around her. Uncaring of manners or etiquette.
Jiraiya of the Sannin considered himself many things. A super pervert. A fucking failure. An idealist with a brain the size of a peanut and a libido the size of a mountain. But a heartless monster, he was not.
And he'd be damned if he left a rare kekkei genkai wielder rot here in the land of rain. Or worse, be found by Hanzo. Twenty, even ten years years ago, he would have taught her himself and hoped she'd be able to bring peace to Ame. But with what had happened to Yahiko and Nagato, he would rather die than let another orphan go the same way.
He would take her along. He would take her to Konoha.
A/N (13th November, 2017):
Now that I look back at this, this is pretty bad. As are the first seven chapters. They're dire. There are patches that are half decent, but nothing all that good. I intend to re-write them at some point.
The story does get better chapter eight on, in my opinion. There's still a lot of stuff that's barely palatable, but it's better than this, at least.