Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto but the Plot is mine including some characters you've never seen on Naruto.
Genre: Romance, Humor, Angst, Tragedy, Action, General.
Author's Note: (03/15/07)An out-of-the-blue fiction I started to write years ago where I just ended up putting on hiatus. Re-edited but quality might still be questionable. I simply made akamaru bigger therefore the fighting scene changed. I hope I still gave it justice.
Pairing: Since it's useless to hide, it's primarily Naruto-Ino and a few scattered and hinted pairings here and there.
Summary: Naruto, 17, successful shinobi, acknowledged by most of the villagers. Just when he thought that things were now getting better, he plunges into yet another trouble with the Yamanaka Clan. Traditions to break, friendships to build, Love discovered, truth to unravel. Will he cope up with it all?
It was a fact. Naruto was an orphan and he never knew who his parents were. Upon growing up, having neither a mother nor a father, took its toll on him in a very undesirable way. The best speculation he had heard was that he was the Yondaime Hokage's son. A hypothesis that he would have given anything to be true.
The 'Yondaime'. The man who was placed upon the pedestal and a hero to all. The man, who even in death continued to inspire him and the rest of Konoha's younger generation. The man whose name was never spoken ever again to the younger generation the day he died. The man simply known as the Yondaime Hokage, Konoha's Greatest Hero. This was a tradition upheld even before the pact between the clans was created to form the shinobi village of Konohagakure. A face engraved but a name forgotten.
He wanted to be like him. To surpass him and to protect the people he died to protect. They had the same dream, the same personality but they have never met. To become related to this man would have been a great honor. Yet, deep inside him, he somehow held a miniscule amount of hate to the man. For when he sealed the Kyuubi in him, he also decided his fate for him. A fate he continued to fight until this day. The Sandaime Hokage once told him that the Yondaime did it for his own good. Yet, at times, it was more of a pain than a blessing but he never spoke his mind about it.
As his dream of being acknowledged continued to unfold before his eyes he ended up thanking his destiny for the blessing in disguise that the Kyuubi had brought to him. His beliefs, his dreams, his strength and his character made him who he was. In the end, things went better for him. Then there was Iruka, Sakura, Sasuke, Kakashi, Tsunade, Jiraiya and his other ninja friends and a whole lot of other lists in and out of the village. In the end, what else is there to hate?
At the age of seventeen, he was already deemed as one of the best and accomplished missions with a ninety percent success rate which was almost on par with some of the best Shinobi known the Village. As a Jounin-in-training for the specialized Reconnaissance-Offense Squad, the people of Konoha was once again surprised and once again proven wrong, for nobody believed that a loud-mouthed and still obnoxious at times 'Naruto' would become 'the Naruto' that the Hokage praised, a few feared and all the children loved.
Being the last one to become a Chuunin together with Sasuke at the age of fifteen, he never stopped to train for another year and took the Jounin exam that was held two months after the chuunin exam, leaving Sasuke behind for he was not allowed to take it until he was seventeen. People gaped as he passed the chuunin exam as a black horse and ranked first. For the next two months, he did nothing but take mission after mission to fulfill the required fifteen minimum mission requirements to qualify for the Jounin exam. Then, people's eyes bulged as he sped his way through the Jounin exam in a flick of a finger. Ranking as one of the top ten amongst the many who took the exam.
His record as of this moment was sixty accumulated missions as a genin, making him the only Genin to surpass the previous record of fifty-one missions set by Sandaime Hokage himself. Fifteen missions as chuunin and Thirty-two missions as Jounin.
Naruto continued to maintain his short hair acknowledging the fact that as time passed he continued to look better and better with it as it goes well with his childlike demeanor and mature face. He was garbed with a black body-hugging sweatshirt with orange hems and simple orange line that cut across his chest to the back and Konoha's flak Jacket that he proudly wore. His insignia was engraved on the cufflink that he wore on the sweatshirt's wrist and the Hitai-ate with Konoha's symbol continued to adorn his forehead as though it was his most prized crown. His black pants were also outlined with the same orange hems and outline on the side that was meant to be paired with his shirt and a silver belt to go with the attire.
He must say his life was good even without a real family… So it was fine.
Now, he was reflecting on all of these because his consciousness seems to be fading in and out. Just yesterday, he was sent on a reconnaissance mission with Ino and Kiba. A group of suspicious Shinobi was spotted one hundred miles on the western part of the forest. Their mission was to find out their purpose and leave the scene without being discovered.
He never bothered asking what is with the weird team combination and it never mattered to him. Combinations were things in the past. When they were still Genins that never knew the importance of flexibility and adjustments. Like the clothes that they shed as they grew, they all grew out of the confines of their own shells in order to improve more and serve their village better. A little earlier, his team was ambushed and now he was on Kiba's back and being carried back to Konoha. As time continued to pass, he felt his temperature continue to decline. His two comrade's panicked movements were not making things better for him.
"Naruto! Hold on! Don't you die on us, UNDERSTAND?" Ino shrieked for the third time as the gigantic Akamaru leaped from tree to tree with the three Shinobi riding on his back. Everybody was injured much more than Akamaru with Naruto as the worst off. He was sandwiched between Kiba and Ino to prevent him from falling and Akamaru's speed continued to decelerate due to their weight and his own injuries. He was using all his and Kiba's combined Chakra just to support the four of them. Where as Ino focused all her energy in keeping Naruto awake and distributing warming chakra all over his body. She also did not know what to do with him as she only had the standard background of a medical ninja.
Everything was going well, there were no suspicious objects in sight so the reconnaissance team consisting of Naruto, Ino and Kiba continued to push forward to the area where the Shinobi was spotted. Akamaru was no where in sight because Naruto kept him in a distance of two kilometers if in case worse comes to worse. This had indeed become a very good foresight.
Ino was wearing a sleeveless turtle necked fishnet shirt underneath a lavender sleeveless tank top stopping just above her belly button. Black bandage covered both thighs and topped with a matching lavender skirt reaching halfway along her knees. What was once an arm band covering her arms were now replaced with black gloves that she would wear during battles. Her sandals was colored black and had a two inches heals. She was never required to wear a flak jacket owing to the fact that she was a girl and a member of the clan and her Hitai-ate was worn like a bracelet on her right arm. As a woman and an elite newly promoted Jounin, she has to keep her appearance, no matter when and what the circumstances.
It was even surprising for her to be promoted as she's always had the knack of luckily picking the geniuses right of the bat for three Jounin exams in a row. Her skills are exceptional but compared to the geniuses she's still below their level by a notch. Fortunately, she decided to train and ask for Shikamaru's tactical knowledge before the third Jounin exam because her instinct told her that she's still going to be lucky and pick another genius which she luckily did.
Kiba on the other hand was garbed in an outfit almost similar to his previous clothes. A dark-brown hooded jacket over a fishnet shirt and black pants. The only design for his clothes was the white furs that Akamaru has shredded just for him. All his other clothing also had the same white furs on the hems.
He became a Jounin a year later than Naruto but has proven himself a wonderful catch since he started. Kiba and Akamaru's combination were one of the scarier offenses Konoha had to offer. If placed on the battle field damages for the opposing group were as sure as breathing. The only problem was that together the two could equal a bunch of boisterous children playing on the park. It was honestly not a good combination if it was an investigation mission with which Naruto finally found a solution during this mission. Akamaru understood what was required for him as though he were human, a trait for dogs that only an Inuzuka clan member could do.
The surprise attack happened so suddenly that none of them could react. In a split second, the three were tied in a tangled web of thin, clear threads that came out of nowhere. As they tried to move and destroy the threads, it became tighter in a way that it suffocated them.
"Don't move!" Naruto commanded to his two comrades before looking at the tree in front of him with thinned eyes that promised torture, "Show yourselves."
Two shinobi without any identification of their village came out of their hiding place behind the tree leering at them and their fates that currently lay in their hands.
"what can you do being tied to a tree?" The taller of the two who was wearing a blue over coat goaded before he struck one of the thin thread beside him earning them a small cry of pain from Naruto.
"A lot." He told them before looking at Kiba for a signal that states that it's clear to boast. As Kiba smirked at him he looked back to their captors, "Unfortunately, it won't be me who will do the damage."
Akamaru jumped out from above them covering the sun for just a moment in time, fiery red eyes blazed with promise of agony to his master's torturer. In an instant Akamaru was pinning the taller unknown shinobi to the ground with his sharp fangs almost tearing the man's shoulder of his body. The other man leaped of to a tree surprised and scared at the ferocity of the beast in front of him as it threw his companion to a tree with a loud crunch instantly killing him.
The next thing he knew, the other three were free when the beast performed a technique which sent him swirling with his fastest speed cutting through all the threads freeing all the captives.
Kiba thought that things were going their way as his best animal friend used Gaatsuga to free them. He smirked at Akamaru and petted his ears as he saw Naruto try to capture the other shinobi. Ino on the other hand used the bird flying over head to see through the bird's eye the exact number of enemy.
Out of nowhere hundreds of Kunai came out of nowhere giving Ino, Kiba and Akamaru minor damages before they could even retaliate and throw it all of with their Gaatsuga and protect Ino. As Ino fell to her knees she already found out that there were still seven of them hidden all around them not including the one Naruto is fending off.
"There's eight of them in all!" Ino informed them as she threw an exploding Kunai to one direction with an off guard shinobi earning a loud explosion and a fallen enemy. She started counting down, 'Two down. Six to go."
Above them, Naruto glanced over the bushes left and right noting two other shinobi as he dodged his enemy. "Kagebunshin no jutsu!"
Two other clones appeared, one jumped down to his left and the other to the bushes to his right. Both aimed to pursue the hidden enemy and engage in combat.
Kiba and Akamaru on the other hand engaged two other enemies leaving Ino with the last one. He used his beast clone technique, transforming Akamaru into a clone of himself. They all thought they were doing well.
This was when things went downhill and out of control. At one moment Naruto knew that all of them had the upper hand, then the next moment, Ino was shrieking startling him out of his concentration from his own fight. Thankfully, he just killed another enemy with his Rasengan before he looked over at their direction and saw Kiba fall to the ground, unconscious.
THE surprise attack was just fine, he easily caught up with it but the problem started when his teammate Ino started panicking and Kiba and Akamaru fell on the ground unconscious. He had no choice but to dash off to their side after throwing a kunai covered with sharpened wind chakra directly on his enemy's heart. Nine unknown shinobi were after them in total and his last hit reduced it to four.
As he dashed towards them, he saw the remaining shinobi preparing to finish Kiba by throwing thousands of kunai in his direction. Thankfully, Akamaru was there to fend it off but it was not an assurance that none of those kunais can get through seeing Akamaru's damage from the earlier backing-up that he did for them and their actual fight. They luckily engaged the strongest shinobi of the group. Then again, there was Ino on the other side having a hard time fending off her attacker as she was worried over Kiba and Akamaru.
In fairness to her, she was good and probably one of the acclaimed in her clan. She was very good with their jutsus and a prize when it came to spying, investigations, medical support and interrogation all thanks to her clan's mind jutsus and her own personal talent. However, when it came to actual battle she definitely needs some help.
Seeing the situation at hand, he summoned up the Kyuubi's chakra. He definitely didn't want to bring dead teammates home. No. That was definitely out of the question, it even gave him the creep just thinking about it. Covered in chakra, his speed doubled as he disappearing out of his attacker's sight and appearing on Kiba's side gathering him and the gigantic Akamaru and disappearing once again. This time, he appeared just in time to cover Ino up, and in that split second his red Kyuubi eyes gazed directly at Ino. It was like forever, as Ino locked up her gaze on him, the terror visible in her eyes. In his mind entered only one thought, 'That look again.'
Removing that thought in his mind he commanded her, "Guard yourself!"
Then in that another split second he threw her out of the way together with the two on his shoulders. He knew it was very ungentlemanly for him to throw two heavy beings to her. Fortunately, Akamaru can still hold his own and protected both Ino and Kiba using himself as cushion for the two as crashed onto the tree. It was definitely better than to use Kiba as a shield as his back came in contact with a very sharp sword splattering his blood all over.
"Ahh!" He yelled in pain. Ino suddenly looked up from the where they were thrown pinned between two unconscious bodies, in time to see the splattered blood.
"Naruto!" She shrieked with concern stopping suddenly as pain shot through her back from their impact.
Naruto's back ribs were definitely damaged and he knew it but he still had enough strength, stubbornness and will to finish off Ino's attacker in one clean hit in the face. By this time, the Kyuubi's chakra was already starting its healing process. Ino and also the other shinobi noticed this. It was like his back was being heated and the giant wounds slowly closed.
"Monster..." The guy whispered.
Naruto heard this but never let it get to him. He then rushed again to the other three, killing one… then two and receiving another critical wound on his chest… and then, before he could even kill the last one, the shinobi activated a bloodline limit technique he could not quite comprehend. It was obvious that the man was not the best from the group but this hidden development surprised him and stopped him in just a small fraction in time which was proven to be fatal for him. The man started hitting critical spots in the exact center of his body. He could not move away fast enough due to the sheer speed he was using, all he could do was crash to the man heads on killing him in the process.
Finally, it was all over. He was now lying on the ground relaxing his entire body. He did not even notice how the Kyuubi's chakra immediately receded leaving all his wounds only half-healed. It was already ingrained in him subconsciously that the Kyuubi never lets even one minor wound get past without being healed. So he never even bothered looking or noticing the sudden recession and blamed the pains he felt as an after effect. Although the wounds always get healed, the Kyuubi could never anesthetize the pain from it.
He rolled over facing the sky and after taking in a few deep breaths, he called out to Ino with concern in his voice "Are you three all right?"
"Yeah, we're fine…" Ino answered as she proceeded to check up on Kiba and Akamaru. On top of being a Specialist Jounin, she was also a medic-nin to some extent, at least she knew the basics a quite a few more. Noticing that nothing was definitely wrong and as he saw how Kiba was now slowly coming back to consciousness she left him with Akamaru. For a while, she hesitated to go to Naruto as she remembered the demonic piercing red eyes earlier.
"Stop there. I don't need any treatment. I'm fine." Naruto commanded her then giving her his brightest grin to cover to what he really felt. He knew what was going on in her mind right now. "Just help me gather the bodies together so I can seal them up."
"What?" She looked at him, questioning what he just said. Ino was surprised, seal experts spend the most of their time studying and researching and Naruto never looked like one even for a bit. As far as she could remember, the boy hates studying.
Kiba was already awake but was still disoriented so he just listened to them.He alsostarted asking Akamaru questions that the dog answered with a bark.
Naruto strained himself to stand up, still not noticing that the Kyuubi had stopped healing his wounds for some reason. He continued to take out nine pre-written scrolls from his backpack and glanced up to the two.
"Well, I've rarely been on a mission with other teams than team seven so only a few people know. I may not look like it but I'm a seal expert, though I would rather like it if you two would keep that to yourselves." He said with finality.
"And why is that?" Kiba asked with curiosity after dragging himself to their side. He commanded Akamaru to follow the captains order and carry the bodies back.
"Oh, believe me, you wouldn't want to know. All I can say is, the elders will definitely panic if they find out I'm a seal expert, though Tsunade-baa-baa's fine with it…"
"Is it because of what I saw earlier?" Ino asked in a whisper-like tone. Kiba heard this and curiously looked at peered at the two but never interrupted the conversation.
"Well… yeah…" He answered at last, knowing he can't lie to something she saw too clearly. In addition, she was an expert in interrogation, and this would just drag on if he lied. Not wanting to answer any more questions, he decided to end the conversation by starting to seal the last person that he fought.
The seal that he uses was a variation of Jiraiya's sealing technique which only seals the entire knowledge of the dead person to him only. That jutsu was good since it prevents other ninjas including the one who sealed it from learning the ninjas techniques. It required no scrolls too. However, years ago and after years of troublesome observation and research, he devised a way to seal the dead person's jutsus and other prominent thoughts on its mind to paper scrolls. Though he had no hidden intention, he just realized that it could be useful in the future. So far, he has collected at least fifty of it and half of it really proved useful. Right now, this was his biggest catch.
A few moments later, after sealing the third one's jutsus and thoughts, he felt so exhausted though he did not bother, it usually happen to him from time to time. Right now, he was blaming it on the loss of blood that he had earlier. Kyuubi could heal but not re-supply blood. He could still feel a few pain here and there but the bleeding has already stopped or so he thought. He remained oblivious of the still open wounds on his chest. The other two did not give it much thought either, thinking it was a good thing that the blood flow stopped. The two just watched him in surprise as he continued to seal up the dead bodies.
After sealing the seventh person, Naruto remembered something and looked up to them "You do realize that we failed the mission didn't you?"
Kiba looked away. He knew it was his fault for being too reckless, "Ahh, I'm sorry about that."
"Nah, Kiba, what are you talking about? We did just fine, nobody's blaming anybody."
Ino nodded at that smiling at Kiba, right now, she was seeing Naruto in a new light. Who would have thought the clumsy boy he knew was this reliable? She watched him quietly as he went towards the last two people. Her eyes going wide again for the second time that day.
"Naruto!" She shrieked, again, for the second time that day. Scrolls clattered all over the ground.
Kiba who also saw Naruto's limping body and caught him before he hit the earth.
"Oi Naruto, get a grip on yourself! What happened man?" Kiba asked and Akamaru was barking as if asking the same question.
Ino instantly checked him up, and her eyes went wide the third time after her diagnosis. She looked up at Kiba worriedly, "We need to get him to Konoha fast! His blood… it's cooling up and is coagulating!"
"Hey! What do you mean? Don't use that medic term on me!" Kiba snapped back.
"His blood is becoming solid and is literally cooling up at an impossible speed! If this goes on for another four hours, we'd be left with nothing but a dead body!"
"Shit! Can't you do something about it?" Kiba muttered.
" If I could, I wouldn't panic you know!" She snapped.
"Oh great." Carefully placing Naruto on his back. "Ino, carry all the belongings and don't ever leave even one scroll! We're going at full speed back home!"
"Alright" Then Ino just remembered that her summons were falcons. 'Damn! What an important thing to forget!'
"Kiba, go on ahead I'm going to summon some falcon to send for some medic-nins." Kiba agreed and launched off. Ino bit her fingers, formed some seals and called out, thinking of the fastest falcon, Miku. "Kuchiyose no Jutsu!"
A tiny falcon was summoned and looking at Ino's relieved look, it seems she called the right one. "Miku, go and fly directly to Konoha and look for either Sakura or the Hokage, this is an emergency and ask them for medic-nins or themselves as soon as possible, tell them that Naruto is in critical condition. The faster you do it, the bigger reward you get later, deal?"
"Oh yeah! Got yourself a deal there, missy. Reward, here I come!" Then the falcon flew of in the speed of sound.
Ino then continued to gather all their belongings, never forgetting the scrolls Naruto just used. It could be useful as he used it to the one that did that particular jutsu on him. Who would have thought that, that particular jutsu was fatally dangerous?
"WHAT happened to Naruto?" Sakura asked worriedly, she just met up with the group of four only stopping for some leverage and as she turned back and followed beside Ino. A few minutes later three more medic-nins came into view.
"Could you check up on him as we go?" Ino asked and not waiting for an answer, she continued to tell her what exactly happened while Sakura was then beside Kiba inspecting Naruto as they went. She thanked the gods for the Kyuubi this time, as she observed how it was fighting off some of the blood coagulation though it couldn't really stop the rapid clotting. It was good enough that it was slowing it down even to an unnoticeable level.
"How many hours have passed?" Sakura asked Ino her heart speeding rapidly from worry.
"We've been running for almost three hours!" Kiba interrupted " and we still have another two hours to reach Konoha."
"Hell!" Sakura cursed, there was no more time and this was a new case, they would need Tsunade's guidance. She knew what had to be done. "Give him to me!"
"What?" Kiba asked. Everybody stopped on their track, surprised at her demand.
"Well, I could get him there faster than you Kiba. That's all I'm saying and we don't have enough time."
"You can't carry him! He's heavier than you!" Kiba answered back.
"Just shut the hell up and give him to me! He's in a very critical position and the more time we spend standing here the more time Naruto looses in his life. Also, give me those scrolls" Sakura snapped.
She took Naruto's limp body, pulled out a string and tied Naruto to her body in an instant then took Naruto's backpack from Ino. Everybody just watched her thinking that she's gone crazy, of course they knew about her inhuman strength but she was never that fast. Sakura on the other hand concentrated all her chakra on her foot, strengthening it. She used the tree trunk as leverage and after two foot taps to the tree she launched herself forward like a canon through the air higher than the trees to avoid crashing to it. On the place she last stood, the tree was now lying on the ground half of it pulverized and the six shinobis she left behind was too surprised to move for a moment. They followed afterwards still at their top speed but they really couldn't catch up to Sakura and from time to time saw pulverized stones, grounds and trees indicating that the scary kuniochi just passed by.
I simply made akamaru bigger therefore the fighting scene changed. I hope I still gave it justice. THIS IS THE ONLY CHAPTER THAT I HAVE EDITED THEREFORE AKAMARU IN THE OTHER CHAPTERS MIGHT SEEM ODDLY SMALL OR INEXISTENT TO YOUR LIKING.