A/N: Ah, finally! I get to write my first pure Naruto fic. This fic, if nothing else, will be like no other Naruto fic out there. I've worked hard to make this as original as possible. The chapters will be quite a bit longer than my two previous fics, so the updates may be slower. I have enlisted the help of lunarflames to improve my writing quality. Be sure to thank him when you review. Please R & R.

Survival Skills-Prologue

"Damn it! I won't be able to hold this demon back much longer! Hey! Stupid fox! I'm afraid I'm not gonna be able to celebrate your defeat like I planned! Ichiraku's gonna have to cancel my reservations. But I need to fulfill the promise I made to this village and child. It's time to end this! Hey you overgrown guppy, you know what to do, right?"

"Of course I do, you blonde haired urchin." Gamabunta retorted.

The Blonde man's hands went through a set of seals at an incredible rate. "Thanks Gamabunta. Bring my son! Quickly!" An anbu member appeared behind the Yondaime, holding a small blonde baby boy. "I'm sorry I have to do this, Naruto. I hope you'll grow up thought of as the hero that saved the village, since the other half of that team dies tonight.

"Saying your last goodbye to your son? Yes... I suppose you are about at your limit. Humans have such frail bodies, don't they? However... I AM NOT DONE YET!" Demonic chakra exploded around the demon as it charged the menace atop the giant frog.

A grin appeared on the Yondaime's face as he finished the seal and turned to face the demon. ""Heh, you're right on one thing, fox. I'm as good as dead. But... you were wrong. You're done, alright. You can't handle Konoha. And you CAN'T handle ME!" The Fourth Hokage yelled as he grabbed hold of the nine-tailed fox and dismissed Gamabunta. The frog boss bowed his head in respect to the passing of the one man who ever managed to befriend him... disappearing from the Fourth's command for the last time.

A loud grunt rang from the fox as it slammed to a stop. A hand reached through the fourth's body, grabbing onto the demon's hateful soul. "WHAT? WHAT HAVE YOU DONE? I WON'T be bound AGAIN! I WON'T have to escape AGAIN! I WON'T BE CAUGHT BY YOU! YOU. WILL. DIE. NOW!" The Kyuubi's chakra enveloped the fourth's body, burning around the infuriating menace as he screamed under its squeezing force.

The fourth smiled at the demon as the chakra kept squeezing and burning around his body. "This... is my ultimate respect to you... Kyuubi. I made a pact... with the death god. You've escaped him before... but you're ...stuck this time." The fourth's lungs felt like they were on fire... his body screaming from the pain of both demonic and godly origins. I can't trap you... with my dead corpse... but I can... with my son's... living body."

"I warned you Kyuubi... That you would regret harming my village... my people. It's time... for you to meet... Naruto. He will become... the best... even stronger than me... You should... learn from his life... at the very least... to not fuck around in Konoha. The hokage smirked at the trapped demon. He could see in its eyes; it knew exactly what was going to happen. "Shiki Fuin!"

The demon gave a final scream that would sear itself into the members of Konoha for the rest of their lives. The fourth fell onto his knees, placing his hand on the boy's stomach. "Shisho Fuin! Grow strong son... and teach the world around you... the truth of Konoha... Hakke no Fuin Shiki!" The Yondaime saw a tear fall on his son's face as the god of death claimed his prize... without so much as a goodbye.

"The demon is dead!" The cry rose from the crowd.

"My people, it is time for you to meet your savior." Heads turned toward the older man addressing them, "my successor, the Yondaime Hokage, gave his life to defeat the demon." A cry rose, praising the great man's valiant efforts. "But he was unable to kill it." A murmur went through the crowd. "He was forced to seal it inside a baby boy instead."

This brought exclamations from the crowd. "How could a baby contain the power of a demon? He must be killed before the demon escapes!" A voice called out.

"There is no danger of the Kyuubi escaping; the seal cannot be broken." The Sandaime assured the crowd.

"Easy for you to say; even if it did escape, you don't have much to lose." Another voice yelled, which was met with murmurs of agreement. "The boy must be killed to protect the village!" This exclamation was met with a cheer.

"I was afraid this might happen." The former hokage muttered to himself. To the crowd, he called out, "Is there nothing I can do to dissuade you from this course of action?"

"We can't afford to let him live!" The answer resounded throughout the crowd.

"Then I ask but one favor of you. Let me be the one to perform the act. I feel that I am partially responsible for causing him this hardship."

A series of mutterings went on within the crowd. "Fine, we'll allow you that. Just make sure you get the job done." The answer came.

"I'm sorry to have to do this to you, but I think this way will be best for everyone involved, but especially you." The older man told the day-old boy once he was away from the crowd. Eventually, the pair came upon a huge complex on the edge of the village. "I pray that you will be safe here. The guards at the gate looked surprised, but parted for their unexpected guest. "Good sirs, I am looking for Hizashi-sama. Do you know where I might find him?"

"Sarutobi-sama, he will most likely be taking care of his young son. They reside in that house over there." One of the guards said, pointing to a house towards the center of the complex.

"Thank you. I will be sure to mention your vigilance to Hiashi-sama." The older gentleman walked toward the house he had been directed to by the guard.

"Thank you, Sarutobi-sama."

The Sandaime walked up to the door and knocked softly but firmly. Hizashi opened the door, wondering who could possibly be visiting on a day in which so many people had died. He was surprised to see the Third Hokage at the door, and further surprised at his unusual request. "Hizashi-sama, there is a matter of which I wish to speak to you in private."

"Of course, Sarutobi-sama, please come inside." He let the older man inside, "Would you like me to take your coat?"

"Ah, thank you for the offer, but I shall decline. I don't plan on staying long. I'm going to go straight to the purpose of my visit. Would you be willing to adopt a baby boy?"

Hizashi was shocked; he was trained not to be surprised by anything, but even his byakugan couldn't have seen this coming, "Wha-?" was his intelligent response.

"His parents were killed by the Kyuubi, and he has no other relatives." The Sandaime explained.

"But I already have a son." Hizashi was still trying to recover from the shock.

"That was one of the factors that led to me choosing you for this mission. Although this boy is just over a year younger than yours, just so you know."

"Why me? Why can't he go to an orphanage like the other parentless children? Anyways, I'm sure there are plenty of other people who have young children." Hizashi asked, puzzled by the man's statements.

"Perhaps, but his parents were great ninjas, with a lot of enemies. I can think of no other family that could protect and train this boy better than yours."

"Why don't you go to the main family then? I'm sure he'd be better off there."

"That may be so, but he'd also be more in the public spotlight. I would prefer he remain hidden from the outside world for as long as possible, to reduce the risk of someone associating him with tonight."

"I understand, Sarutobi-sama, but I don't know what my brother will say about it. He's quite strict about tradition and all that."

The older man chuckled, "That is true; don't worry about him. I will discuss this matter with him if you accept. One last thing: this is an S-rank mission, and you will be paid likewise. You will receive a sizable monthly stipend to pay for food, clothes, housing, training, and the extra work a second child will require."

"Honey, what's going on out-Oh! Sarutobi-sama, to what do I owe the pleasure of this visit?" Hizashi's wife, Yamashita, walked into the room.

"Dear, he has a mission for us, although it is optional."

"A mission? What kind of mission?" The young lady was confused.

"How would you feel about having another son?" Hizashi asked carefully.

"Huh?" She was completely lost now, "What are you talking about?"

"Sarutobi-sama has come to the conclusion that our family is best suited to take care of a baby boy left parentless by the Kyuubi." Hizashi explained.

"Sarutobi-sama, would you mind if we discuss this matter in private for a few moments?" Yamashita asked politely.

"Not at all." The gentleman replied.

The couple walked into the next room. "Well, what do you think of the mission?" Hizashi asked his wife.

"I don't know; this is all very sudden." She responded.

"Well, I don't mind taking on another son, but it's up to you." Hizashi said.

"Hmm…how old is this boy?" She inquired.

"About a year younger than Neji."

"A year? That means he couldn't be more than a couple of days old." Yamashita thought again, "Do we know who the parents were?

"I'm afraid not, although Sarutobi-sama did say that they were exceptional ninjas."

"Well, I was hoping for a daughter…but I suppose I can handle another son."

"Great! I'll give him to you now, and then I'll go talk to Hiashi-sama about this." The Sandaime's voice came from the other room.

"I thought we were supposed to be discussing this matter in private!" The young couple yelled back.

"What good does it serve to become hokage if you can't use your mad hokage skills every once in a while?" The older man said with a smile, as the pair reentered the room.

"Well, can we meet our new son now?" She asked.

"Of course." The Third Hokage took a bundle out from under his coat. "His name is Naruto. You three get acquainted; I have a conference with the chief that I must attend." One of the greatest ninjas the world had ever known walked through the Hyuuga complex whistling. He made history that night, becoming the first person to ever survive after publicly whistling in the Hyuuga compound.

"Look, dear, he has some sort of seal on his stomach." She pointed out.

"Hmm, this seal is unfamiliar to me. I don't think we should mess with it for now. We'll ask Sarutobi-sama about it when we get the chance." Hizashi decided.

Just then, said person rushed back into the house. "I forgot to tell you. The seal on his stomach was a parting gift from his parents. Don't tell anybody about it, and don't try to alter it in any way, under any circumstances."

"Hai, Sarutobi-sama." The couple responded. "His name will be Hyuuga Omiyage Naruto, for he is a gift to the Hyuuga clan." Sarutobi smiled at these last words he heard from Yamashita.

The Sandaime Hokage left the young couple to fuss over their unexpected family member, and went straight for the Hyuuga Headquarters. "I'm here to speak with Hiashi-sama." He told the guards. "It's a family matter."

"Of course, Sarutobi-sama. He's in his office."

"What brings you here, Sarutobi-sama? I only wish you could have seen our complex during a happier time." Hiashi greeted the older man.

"As do I, Hiashi-sama. I only came to notify you that your brother and his wife have accepted a mission." The Third said.

"Why are you telling me this? They take missions all the time." Hiashi inquired, confused.

"This is not just any mission. This mission involves raising a child."

"Neji? How is raising their son a mission?" Hiashi was used to knowing everything that went on in his territory; he was not used to having to ask for information.

"Their mission is to raise a child, but the child is not Neji. They have agreed to adopt Naruto, whose parents were killed by the Kyuubi."

"Sarutobi-sama-" Hiashi tried to interrupt, but the Sandaime held up a hand to forestall any questions and continued.

"His parents two of our top ninjas, and they made a lot of enemies. I have determined that your brother and his wife are the best suited for this mission. They have their own son, so they have some experience. They are Hyuuga, so I know he will be trained and protected. But perhaps more important than that, they are of the branch family; therefore, they will be able to keep him hidden longer than perhaps anyone else in the village. This is of extreme importance: I don't want anybody to know about him for as long as possible." The Third Hokage finished.

Hiashi thought for a minute. "I'll agree to this arrangement on one condition: the boy will be treated as one of the Hyuuga; he'll be given no special treatment." Hiashi said firmly.

"I would expect nothing less. Although, you must remember that he is not Hyuuga. He will require slightly different training, and he is not to have a branch family seal placed on him."

Hiashi pondered this for a moment, "Fine, I agree. From this moment on, Naruto is a member of my brother's family." He concluded.

A/N: What do you think? I welcome any suggestions given in reviews. Be sure to also include a huge thank you to lunarflames, he's helping to improve this fic in ways most of you will never know. Now, please review.