Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto or any of it's characters. I do own all of the characters I introduce and the storyline of this fanfic.

This is my first attempt at a fanfic, or any more or less serious writing, so I'm most likely not good at it. English also isn't my native language so I'll probably make some spelling and/or grammar mistakes. I got some ideas for this fanfic by reading other people's works so if something sounds familiar, it probably is. I do not however copy portions from other works, I simply used the ideas and adapted them for use in this fanfic.

Since I'm not a Japanese speaker, I tend to use the English names for techniques I'll most likely also have some of my own later on and I don't want to name them something funny.

I haven't read the manga, so I'm basing on what I've seen in the anime (up to ep. 88) and read in other fanfics. This story takes place around the time Naruto gets back to Hidden Leaf Village after rescuing Sasuke from Orochimaru. I'm a big NaruHina fan, so this will most likely happen sometime later in the story.

Flames are allowed, but be original and use a jutsu to create them ;-).

UPDATE: Thanks for your comments. Because some things were unclear and Naruto was a bit too OOC to my likings, I rewrote parts of the story. I also wrote everything from Naruto POV now. I'll try yo get the next chapter done once I finish my finals (two more to go, yay).
Someone also suggested that I should get a beta reader, so if anyone is interested, I'd be glad to hear from you.

"..." speech
'...' thoughts
line indicates change of scene

Let's get this story going:

A strange man was walking around in Hidden Leaf. He was wearing a black cloak and a black mask similar to Kakashi's. His hair was also the same deep black color. If you didn't look carefully you'd say this man was a shadow. Nobody noticed the man as he was walking around. He was looking for something but didn't seem to find it. He suddenly heard a commotion at the North gate. When he arrived there, a young boy with blond hair and an orange vest came came walking in with somebody on him back. They were both badly injured. He noticed that the villagers were looking at the first boy with hate in their eyes. Over the years he had obtained a keen sense for these things. He glanced at the two boys again. Naruto also noticed the looks of the villagers, but he was used to them. When he looked around, the man had already vanished.


After Naruto brought Sasuke back, things didn't really improve for the boy. Some of the villagers thought that it somehow was Naruto's fault that Sasuke ended up with Orochimaru. His friends and teachers also didn't pay much attention to him. Sakura was always besides Sasuke's bed until he awoke. When he had gotten better, Kakashi started training him so that he wouldn't need to seek power elsewhere. The only person who saw Naruto's pain was Hinata, but she was too shy to do anything about it. She didn't dare to speak to him. Naruto had never felt so lonely.
It was a nice evening and Naruto was taking a walk. He enjoyed the silence. He also like the fact that there was nobody to watch him at night. This was his way to relax. Suddenly he saw Sasuke running away in flash. He was heading for the forest. ,What's that baka up to now? He better not make me have to save his ass again, because I'm going to kick it then, hard!' he though to himself while running after him. Sasuke was running far faster than Naruto and he couldn't keep up. After five minutes, he lost sight of the Uchiha ... and an other Uchiha caught sight of him. "Itachi!", Naruto blurted out.

Sasuke heard his friends voice and instantly turned around. "What's Naruto doing here !? I hope I'm not too late, who knows what he's going to do to Naruto. I wonder why he is after him in the first place."

"So we meet again, boy" Itachi said, while activating his Sharingan. Naruto stepped back, but before he could do anything Itachi had used his feared technique: the Tsukuyomi.

Suddenly Naruto found himself back in Konoha. Everyone was watching him with hate in their eyes. Naruto also noticed something else, they were laughing with him. "Foolish boy", he hear whispering around him. He saw several people he knew among the villagers: Iruka, Kakashi even Sakura. They were all making fun of him. "Did you really think you could become Hokage? Did you really think we would allow it?". Out of nowhere, Sasuke stepped up to him, a kunai in his hand, he gave it to Naruto. "You know what you have to do", he whispered in his ear. "Do it, now", the villagers said in unison. Slowly, they started walking up to Naruto. "Foolish boy, end it now and save yourself the grief." They got closer and closer until Naruto couldn't walk away anymore. Naruto squeezed the kunai, slowly raising it. The villagers kept getting closer. "What are you waiting for?" they asked him with a barely audible voice. Than all of a sudden everything turned black.


Naruto opened his eyes and looked up, remembering every detail, not knowing that it was an illusion Itachi had created. The boy still had a kunai in his hand. He could only think of their eyes and their voices, they haunted his mind. "Awake I see", an unfamiliar voice spoke. Naruto turned his head and saw a man sitting besides him. He was completely dressed in black but that wasn't what caught his attention. His eyes were cold and dark as the night, but there was no hate in them. More like a sort of concern, a look he hadn't seen directed at him in a while. "Who are you?" Naruto asked. "My name is Hannoki", answered the man (A/N: yes this is the unknown man from above). Naruto tried to stand up, but he was still a bit weak and collapsed again.
"Do you want me to take you back to your village?", the man who called himself Hannoki asked.
"No, I don't want to go back there. Not after what happened." The kunai still held in his shaking hand, unsure what to do with it. Even Sasuke, whom he considered his best friend, had betrayed him. Naruto didn't question how he got here, he was just glad he wasn't in Konoha anymore.
"Would you like to come with me?", the man asked.
Naruto looked at the man with surprise, than he remembered why Itachi was after him. "Why do you want to help me?", he asked Hannoki, the doubt clearly noticeable in his voice.
"I like your attitude, you shouldn't just trust anybody. In fact, you should trust anybody at all. However, I mean you no harm. I'm not interested in the Kyubi, but in you."
Naruto was surprised. 'How did he know that?' "So why are you interested in me?"
"A strong teacher will always seek out a strong pupil, someone like you."
Naruto still didn't look convinced.
"Alright, I'll make you an offer: I'll train you for a week. After that, you can leave to wherever you want and I won't try to stop you. However, if you decide to stay with me I'll make you stronger than you can imagine. Stronger than the Kyubi."
His eyes widened. 'Stronger than even the Kyubi? Even the Fourth died to defeat it!'
Hannoki noticed that the boy was in disbelieve. "Take the offer and you'll see for yourself. I'm not expecting you to trust me off the bat."
Naruto stood up, his strength had come back. He had made up his mind. 'What can I loose? Worst case, he hands me over to Itachi. Not that I really care anymore.'
"One more thing," the man said while pointing at Naruto's forehead protector. "You'll probably want to take that off since you're a missing-nin now."
Naruto understood. He took off his forehead protector and made a deep cut in the metal with the kunai he was still holding. Afterwards, he put both away and started following the man.
"We still have to do something about your flashy appearance though" Hannoki remarked.

Author's Notes:
OK, that's it for the updated version. I hope this makes things a bit less confusing and more fitting. I do noticed that it's quite a bit shorter, but I'll try to make up for that in the next chapter. Please review, it's really helping me improve.