It was a sunny, happy afternoon at the park, and Yamanaka Ino was happy. Daddy and Mommy weren't here, she was allowed out herself! Sitting in the sandbox, building her sand castles alone, was sorta fun... No stupid Ami annoying her...

Then, she noticed someone... A boy, sitting on his own too, stirring up the sand with his finger and looking sad. Maybe she could cheer him up!

"Anou... Ohayou! I'm Ino!" she said, smiling as she stood near the boy. He looked up and smiled wide.

"I'm Naruto!" he said simply, grinning.

"Wanna make a sandcastle with me?" Ino asked him, sitting down and smiling back.

"Sure..." he said, and the two started work. It was fun, and the two had lots of fun, talking and laughing.

"Ino, you're pretty!" Naruto said, smiling.

"T-t-thanks, Naruto-kun!" said the girl, blushing a little. "And you're handsome!"

It was a nice sunshiney day...


"Ino-chan, never play with that boy again!" Mommy said, shaking her finger. "He's mean and ugly and stupid, and you don't like him! Right, Inoshi?"

"Right," Daddy said from the couch, half-asleep.

Now, Ino was a nice, obedient little girl, but she didn't like people telling her who and who not to be friends with. "Naruto-kun's nice..."

"No he's not! He's awfully mean! How long have you known him?" Mommy asked, glaring.

"How long have you, Mommy?" Ino glared right back.

"I- No buts about it, young lady, you're not going to see him again, and that's that!" Mommy yelled.

"I am too! Naruto's lonely, and he has no mommy and daddy, and we're friends!" Ino yelled, crossing her little arms and stomping her little foot.

"Princess..." Daddy leaned over to his daughter and looked her in the eye.

"No daddy, Naruto-kun's my friend..." Ino was on the verge of tears. "He's nice, and he's handsome, and he's the best sandcastle maker!"

"Well, then, you can go to your room!" Mommy said, narrowing her eyes and leading her daughter away...



By Alden-san



Sometimes... One meeting can change history forever...

"Nyaaaah! Losers!" Ino stuck out her tongue at her sensei and the group that were now surrounding the two, and pulled at her eye, grinning wickedly. She twirled the paintbrush with her fingers expertly, before dumping her paintbrush into the paint, and slapping a streak of blue paint over Nidaime's nose. "Hah! Naruto, how's Sandaime going?" She yelled over at her mischievous partner in crime.

"Heh... I'm working on his eye!" Naruto yelled back swirling the Konoha symbol over their current Hokage's eye artistically. Then, he stopped and looked over to see their teacher standing on one of the roofs.

"You two, what do you think you are doing!?" the Hokage's voice came from below.

"Uzumaki Naruto! Yamanaka Ino! Down here, right now!" he yelled angrily, glaring at both of them out of the corners of his eyes.

"Aik! Naruto, we better go!" Ino said, jumping over and grabbing her friend's hand, yanking him away from perfecting a mole on Sandaime's cheek. Pulling him along, she jumped backwards, watching out for Iruka... And bumped right into him. "Ino... Naruto... Come with me..."

"Iruka-sensei..." Ino grumbled as he led them off. "Whaddaya gonna do to us..."

"I'll deal with you two after class today. Sit there and stay quiet! Naruto, may I remind you that tomorrow's graduation, and the last two times you participated, you failed in every course..." Iruka's voice was strict as he entered the classroom, with the miscreants in tow. Walking to the front of the room, he looked out on the class and announced, "Today in class, we'll be reviewing a form of Genjutsu! All you need to do, is use Henge-no-jutsu to transform into me, the teacher! Haruno, you first!"

A girl, who was known to be slightly pretty, stepped up to the front of the class. Ino winked at her, and she gulped. "Henge!" she yelled, and when the smoke cleared, Iruka-sensei was standing there.

He looked straight at Naruto. "Your turn, Uzumaki!"

"This sucks..." Naruto grumbled, walking towards the front. Ino whispered, "Good luck..." as he passed.

"Here goes nothing! HENGE!" The clouds of smoke enveloped him, and cleared to reveal - a beautiful, nude woman...

Iruka stared at the transformed Naruto, rage covering his face... And the blood from his head shooting out in an enormous nosebleed. Iruka lay on the ground, looking up at the ceiling, his head spinning. Most of his classmates were staring, Ino was cheering, and Naruto yelled, "I call THIS one Sexy no jutsu!"

Iruka stood shakily, and yelled "HOW BIG OF A FOOL ARE YOU! You waste all of your skill and talent inventing these stupid tricks!" His eyes shot to Ino, who was giggling quietly. "Class dismissed!" he yelled as the bell rang, and yanked Naruto and Ino from the room.

"Ino, I'll be calling Inoshi-san for that trick with the monument, don't see that I won't. Meanwhile, you two will spend the rest of the evening wiping all of the paint off of the Hokage monument!"


Naruto stopped to catch his breath. Iruka said, "Naruto, Ino, you're not going home until there's not a scrape of paint on this monument!"

"Hm. There's nobody for me to go home too, anyways..." Naruto grumbled. Ino looked at him, feeling that pang of guilt she always got when he mentioned his lack of parents. No kid should have to live like that...

"Naruto... Ino..."

"What?" Naruto asked, looking up.

"Once you guys finish up... I'll buy you guys some ramen. Ino, your parents have probably finished dinner up by now..." Iruka said, feeling guilty. He knew, oh so well, that Ino's lack of dinner wouldn't be an accident.

"Hell yeah!" Both yelled, suddenly working faster. Ino's belly grumbled, and she worked hard to uncover Nidaime's nose.


Ino hadn't ever had a passion for ramen when she was young. It wasn't often served at her home, and when it was, her mother mixed in a lot of icky spices she hated. She'd grown up disliking it... 'til Naruto treated her to some of Ichiraku's pork ramen. That had changed her viewpoint forever. Now, she gobbled enough to rival Naruto.

"Hey, sensei, this is awesome!" Ino cheered, smiling a lot.

"Yeah, Iruka-sensei!" Naruto yelled.

"Why did you pick that particular spot to deface? You two DO know who the Hokages are, right?" Iruka asked his students, looking at his students askance.

"Of course, we're not stupid, sensei! The Hokage's are the leaders of the village, the best of the best!" Ino said. "It was the Yondaime Hokage-sama who saved the village from Kyuubi! And Sandaime..."

"Then why?" He looked at Naruto, whom he knew thought of the idea. Ino... Wasn't the type to pick somewhere like that, really...

"Cause I'M gonna be the next Hokage! I'm gonna surpass every one before me, and the whole village will have to kiss my ass!" Naruto said, his eyes full of determination. Iruka realised that this was the thing that mattered most to Naruto, really. His dream....

"By the way... sensei... Can I wear your head protector? Pleeeease!?" Naruto held his hands out in a begging position and shot Iruka his puppy eyes.

"This?" Iruka's hand moved to his head protector. "Naruto... This is a sign of adulthood. If you're ready, you'll get one tomorrow..."

"Why tomorrow, sensei?" Ino looked over at Iruka over her second bowl of ramen (With whole-wheat noodles - She was on a diet!).

"Because... With luck, you two'll graduate tomorrow!" Iruka smiled. "Now, we better get you two home, it's getting dark..."


"For your final exam!" Iruka shouted to his class, standing at the front, "You must each generate a bunshin! Wait in here until your name is called, then come into the next room, where Mizuki and I will tell you whether you pass or not!"

'Bunshin... Damn, that's my worst skill...' Naruto thought, groaning. Ino patted him on the back, saying, "We went over these only two days ago, Naruto. You'll do fine..."

Of course, Ino didn't voice her fears about his graduation, remembering that his bunshins had been horrible, and the successes he got were mere flukes...

"Uzumaki Naruto!" Naruto stood, and Ino did too.

"Hey, Ino!" said one of the few left, "You weren't called!"

"I'm going in with him! I'm next, anyways!" she yelled back, and walked up tot he door with Naruto.

"You that loser's mommy now? Heh... Baby needs his mommy to come along?" Most of them laughed. Ino swore under her breath, told Naruto to 'ignore those idiots', and opened the door.

Iruka and the teacher's assistant, Mizuki, sat at a double desk with a bunch of head protectors in front of them. Iruka raised his head and opened his mouth when Ino entered, but when she sat down and Naruto stepped up, he desisted. He closed his mouth and nodded at Naruto.

Naruto scrunched up his face, and yelled, "Okay! Here we-"

POOF! The burst of smoke, similar to that of the henge, enveloped Naruto. When it disappeared...

Naruto stood there, with a copy of himself standing there... Problem was, it was without arms. Naruto winced, then looked hopefully at Iruka.

"Well, that's a good bunshin... If your opponent was convinced you had your arms amputated..." Iruka said, annoyed and disappointed. "Fail."

"But, Iruka-sensei!" Ino yelled, standing and glaring at her teacher.

"Yeah, Iruka! This is his third time, and he almost managed it! There were a few flaws, but... Couldn't we give him a break?"

"No, Mizuki. I don't believe that merits a passing grade. He only produced one, and it wasn't even well-made. The student is required to make three bunshins, well. With all due respect... Naruto's performance doesn't merit a passing grade."

Both Ino and Mizuki starting arguing with Iruka, both talking too fast to be heard., as Naruto slipped out the back door. Iruka held up his hand, and said, "Ino, your turn."

Ino swung her head, annoyed, and created three perfect Sexy Bunshin no jutsu's, and ran out of the room whispering, "Ass..."

Iruka's eyes widened, and he had to stick a finger from each hand into each nostril to avoid losing blood. Mizuki just looked awkward, saying...

"I guess that's a fail, then, too..."


"Naruto! Naruto!" Ino chased after him, walking quickly and grabbing onto his shoulder as he walked away, swinging him around. Naruto's eyes were filled with tears.

"Ino... You shouldn't keep failing because of me..." he said, wiping tears from his eyes and looking at her.

"I got him back. Iruka-sensei's an ass, so I won't mind coming back next year to torment him... With you there, it'll be fine. You'll pass with flying colours next year!"

"Yeah right... I'm completely useless... I failed three times this year, three times! We're gonna be a year younger than everyone there, if you survive your dad! Three times, Ino! He'll go insane if you failed it again!" Naruto looked at her angrily. "Why did you do that!?"

"Because, being a genin wouldn't matte if you weren't there with me, Naruto. You're like a brother to me," She said, smiling. "A younger brother, 'course..."

Naruto smiled sadly. "You'll still..."

"So'll you, I'm going to do whatever you do. I couldn't stand not having you around... And whatever Sakura say, she likes you around too," Ino shrugged, looking at her longtime friend. "We'll pass next year, and you'll start your path to Hokage then. First step, right? You've only walked up to the stairs, 'til now..." Ino leant back on the tree, her ponytail blowing in the wind.

"Well... My dad yells if I'm not home within an hour after school, so... Ja ne, Naruto!" Ino saluted, and walked off.

"Ja ne, Ino..." Naruto whispered, heading home himself...


"Hey, Naruto!" Naruto heard a voice from behind him, as he walked along the road. Mizuki was down the hill, waving. "Over here!"

Naruto nodded, and headed over to his teacher, sitting down beside him on the grass. "What, Mizuki?" he asked, annoyed.

"Iruka-sensei... He's a really serious guy, you know?" Mizuki looked to Naruto, who nodded. "His parents died when he was young so everything he's accomplished, he did it without them. He's had to work to become as strong as he is, and he's had to be real hard on himself, for discipline.

"So? What's that got to do with me, Mizuki?" Naruto asked. Mizuki bristled at the lack of an honorific, but continued,

"You remind him of himself. He thinks he's helping you, you know, helping you get strong. As strong as he made himself be. Try to give him a break, okay? One orphan to another?" He looked at Naruto hopefully.

"I really wanted to graduate, though..." Naruto whined, looking at the ground.

"I guess there's no choice then... Let me tell you a secret, 'kay?" Mizuki turned to Naruto and started talking. Naruto's eyes widened with glee, and he ran off...

"Heh heh..." Mizuki rubbed his hands together, and headed off to go make some tea.


Naruto crept into the Hokage's yard, trying his best to walk silently. Then, a figure appeared in the dark. "What are you doing in my house, Naruto-kun? It's late..."

Naruto swore, then... "Behold, Harem no jutsu!"

Bloods spurted, and the Hokage fell to the ground. Naruto looked behind him. "Ino, you watch him, okay? Mizuki said it was in here..." Naruto went into a room, and soon came out carrying a large scroll. "Let's go!"

Inonodded, and followed. The two bounced from house to house, until they reached the forest. Finally they stopped, and Naruto said, "Mizuki said this spot helps you train easier. Learn these skills, and we'll pass for sure!" Naruto said. Ino bit a fingernail.

"Are you sure this is... okay? We just stole from the Hokage, isn't that punishable by execution or something?"

"It's fine, Mizuki said so!" Naruto pleaded. Finally Ino gave in. "Soo... What's first? Kage Bunshin!? Umm... Naruto... We're gonna have some trouble..."

Finally, they started working to learn the skill...


6 hours later...

"Iruka! Naruto has stolen the secret scroll!" Mizuki pounded on Iruka's door. Iruka opened the door. "Now he's gone too far..." he muttered, and headed off, thinking, 'He'll be in the forest, that's a ways away from the village..."

He sped up, and landed in the forest. Suddenly, he stopped and fell over, looking into the clearing. There wasn't one, but TWO people there, trying out ninjutsu with an open scroll! Naruto and Ino! Iruka stood, and headed over.

"Naruto, Ino, what are you two doing here? And with THIS? You guys..." Iruka looked to Naruto for answers.

"Iruka-sensei, you gotta see the technique we learned, you'll HAVE to pass us now!" Naruto was smiling, giving his teacher the thumbs-up.

"Where did you get that scroll? Why?" Iruka looked to his students.

"Mizuki told me, and I got Ino to come! He told us about the scroll, and this place..." Naruto stopped as a hand shoved him away.

"Iruka-sensei!" Ino screamed as their teacher flew backwards, punctured in several places by shuriken and kunai and stuck to a tree. Mizuki was kneeling on a tree, looking down on them, with some huge shuriken on his back! Looking quickly to the scroll, she threw a kunai towards Mizuki, kicked it to roll it up and send it into the air, then shot it into the holder. She grabbed it, only to see Mizuki coming towards her. She ducked and jumped to Naruto. "Naruto," she said, breathlessly.

"You two, protect that scroll with your lives! If Mizuki gets his hands on it... It has a forbidden jutsu in it, Mizuki just wants it for himself!" Iruka yelled, struggling to remove himself from the tree.

"Naruto, there's a jutsu in there that you'll never understand unless I teach it to you! Do you know what really happened twelve years ago, almost the night you were born?" Mizuki yelled, standing up in a tree. "I'll tell you what really happened to the Kyuubi, and not even blondie here knows! There was a decree, about then, not to talk about it!"

"About what!?" Ino demanded, looking up at Mizuki. "I think you're lying!"

"The first clause of the decree was that it was to be kept completely secret, especially to you, Naruto. Because, the decree..."

"NO! Don't you dare Mizuki!"

"The decree was that nobody was to tell you that you ARE the Kyuubi itself!" he screamed at the boy. Naruto stepped back, looking at Mizuki, stuttering,

Naruto stepped back, looking at Mizuki, stuttering, "What the hell are you talking about!?"

"He's probably lying, Naruto..." Ino said, but that wasn't comforting, because her eyes were wide as she stepped in front of Naruto. "Shut up, you filthy liar!"

"Why do you think everyone hates you? Why do you think you have no parents? You're the demon, bound into that form by our beloved Yondaime Hokage..,. And that scroll is the instrument of your bondage! If he told the truth, even Iruka would tell you he hates you! You killed his parents!" Mizuki yelled.

Naruto stepped back, falling over. Ino glared at the man, and smirked. "And what am I, the reincarnation of the Great Tsunade? Don't make me laugh, sensei," she spit out the word like a curse. "The little kids might like your scary stories, but us big kids that know the easter bunny isn't real aren't that easy to fool!"

"You think I'm lying, Yamanaka? You think I'm not telling the truth to that monster in boy's form, eh? The reason you don't have a grandfather, and you stand there defending him?" Mizuki stared her down.

"You might fool Naruto, but you can't fool me by throwing around my grandfather's name!" Ino stood up to him... But Naruto had seen the truth, and the hate, in Mizuki's eyes. He turned, and ran.

"Naruto!" Iruka yelled, pulling himself from the tree and rushing off, into the tops of the trees. Ino followed.

"Now, I just have to get rid of the girl!" Mizuki yelled, running after them. With a small poof, he changed his form, and quickly caught up to Ino, trying to catch up. "Ino, Mizuki's after the scroll! Give it here, before he catches up!"

Ino leapt towards him, and he smiled... Until she ducked down and connected the bottom of her foot with his jaw. Flying back, off the tree, he landed with a crash, while Ino stopped on the ground gracefully, sliding onto her knees. He looked at her. "Ino... How..."

POOF! "How did you know I wasn't Iruka?" Mizuki asked, standing slowly.

"Because I am..." Iruka stepped out of the trees behind Ino, looking at Mizuki. "Game's up, Mizuki. I'm taking you in!"

Mizuki smiled horribly. "Very noble, Iruka. Saving your parent's murderer... What if we let him live?"

"Then he'll be able to tell everyone about this, so they can be ready for you... Cell and all," Iruka said, wincing at his wounds.

"Naruto and I are two of a kind. Both of us can obtain limitless power using it... The demon in him hungers for that kind of strength. You were right to fear and despise him..."

"The demon you're talking might be like that..." Ino looked into Mizuki's eyes, and stood.

"But not Naruto... Not the boy..." Iruka stepped up beside her, laying a hand on her shoulder. "For him, I have not hing but respect. He's an excellent student. He works with all his might, but sometimes he's so awkward, clumsy... A screw-up... People and shunned him. And it's given him empathy. He knows what it's like to be in pain... To depend on one person's kind thoughts and words most of his life, and that, only in the day. Living on his own has given him a sense of maturity no others in our academy can boast of. That boy is no longer your Kyuubi!" Iruka shouted, looking Mizuki straight in the eye. "He's a citizen of Konohagakure Village... Uzumaki Naruto!"

Mizuki snorted. "Awww, how cute. Well, I guess I'll take the scroll now, Yamanaka. You don't want to deal with me, I'm on a much higher level than you... Hand the scroll over,a nd I might spare you."

"Hmph... I can take a weak bastard like you on any time!" Ino said, talking more confident than she was. Slipping off the scroll, she handed it to a protesting Iruka. "Sensei, you're injured. I may not have graduated, but I can at least take him on..."

Ino shot forwards, ducking under his arm to deliver a kick to the stomach. Knocking him over, she stood over him with a kunai in her hand. Plunging it down, she... stopped. Mizuki had pulled a huge shuriken from behind his back, and had slashed it across her back. Ino fell with a scream, and he stood over her, slashing the shuriken down. Ino screamed, and two points dug into the ground, one on each side of her neck. The edge between came to rest on her neck. She pounded her fists against his legs, but he just dug his knee into her chest, and laughed sadistically.

WHAM! A fist connected with Mizuki's face, and a foot knocked the shuriken from Ino's neck. Naruto landed, sliding on the ground, and stood. He looked at Mizuki, shaking with anger. "If you touch Iruka-sensei or Ino, I'LL KILL YOU!"

"Naruto?" Ino looked up at the boy's face, calm but angry, a cool fury.

"Naruto, Ino, get out of there!" Iruka yelled, taking a step forwards.

"Loudmouth brat! I can kill you with one hit!" Mizuki almost screamed, taking a step towards Naruto.

"Bring it on! Anything you throw at me, I'm gonna shove down your throat!" Naruto made a sign with his hands.

"Try it, little kitsune!" Mizuki yelled, laughing. "You'll regret it!"

"Oh yeah? KAGE BUNSHIN NO JUTSU!" Naruto yelled, activating a jutsu. The forest was suddenly filled with Naruto's. One stepped forwards. "You were gonna kill me with one punch, right?"

Mizuki stepped away from the speaker and fell over, looking around him frantically. 'How did he...!?'

"If you're not gonna... One punch, right? Here goes!" ALL of the Naruto's, maybe a hundred of them, readied a punch... After ten or twenty minutes, all of the Naruto's disappeared except one, and Mizuki was a beaten heap on the ground. "I guess... I guess I overdid it a little, eh..." Naruto shuddered.

"Must have been exhausting..." Iruka said. "Naruto, come here. I have a present for you..."

Ino sort of faded into the background, watching it unfold. She'd finally seen the technique they'd mastered USED. She watched Naruto close his eyes, and Iruka hand him... His forehead protector!?

"Congratulations, graduate... And Ino? That little trick in the test was a fully fledged bunshin, even if it was a bit different from what was expected. Come on over here!"

Ino walked, limping a little, over to the two. She sat down n front of her teacher expectantly, knowing what would come next, and smiled.

"Now... how about some ramen, to celebrate?"

The reply was a unanimous 'HELL YEAH!'

-Chp. 1 End-


Authors Note

Okay, so the first chapter's done... it's pretty faithful to the first chapter of the manga, I think. Quite a bit is quoted straight from it... I hope you liked it! Enough to read more? I'll try to divert more from the manga... Especially since the Ino/Sakura/Sasuke/Naruto thing's a bit more complicated... A few flashbacks explaining their current situation better... Is this believable, and non-plageristic?

Ja ne!