Disclaimer: The only Naruto I own has already been digested.
After much deliberation, I have decided that this story is in desperate need of a rewrite. If you haven't figured it out from my profile name, I smoke beans... a lot. Because of this, I have a tendency to screw up my stories because whenever I am on the 'beans', I can't cycle through all of the ideas flowing through my head. I had actually meant to write two stories, and I was going to publish the other one, but I got a little, uh, on second thought, I'd rather not say exactly what I did, and mixed them together, a little bit, sort of. My friend, shadowtrayster, pressured me to try again, without smoking beans this time. I respect his judgment and extreme writing skills, so I'll give it a shot, but don't be surprised if I screw this up again.
Beansmoker: (Eyes beans next to computer nervously while sweating profusely) Without any further adieu, (I must not smoke the beans, I must not smoke the beans) I present my freshly edited, (I wonder if anyone will notice what I changed), fresh, brand camel-spanking new, first chapter.
Without Uzumaki Ch 1:
'Why Yondaime, why? Why did you sacrifice yourself without hesitation? Didn't you know that I was more willing to put my life on the line for this village than you? I would have gladly used that jutsu to defeat the Kyuubi. You shouldn't have died. It should have been me.' Sarutobi was sitting at his brand new desk in the Hokage Tower, shedding his share of tears for the former Hokage, who more than deserved them. The Yondaime's desk had been removed the day before, only three days after he had died. The villagers were desperate to return the village to the way it was. So desperate that they had replaced the man who had saved them all with the man who had wished he had died instead. In his mind, Sarutobi believed that he was no longer fit for the job. That's why the headdress that he had been so proud to call his own back when he was Hokage, sat on the desk in front of him unused. He no longer had any desire to put it on. 'It still belongs to the Yondaime.' Sarutobi thought. 'I shouldn't wear it until his funeral.'
A high-pitched noise broke the Third Hokage from his thoughts. The old man, who had passed his prime years ago, looked to his right where several baskets had been laid in a row. In each one was a baby, children that were orphaned by the Kyuubi attack, and needed a place to stay. Sarutobi volunteered to watch them himself, since all of the orphanages were gone, stomped into dust by the Nine-Tailed Fox. One of the orphans in particular was special. One with blond hair and blue eyes, a rarity in fire country. He also happened to be the one that was crying.
Sarutobi took a milk-bottle out of his desk, and brought it to the baby boy. As he fed the child milk, he carefully examined the seal on his stomach. It was clearly visible, even though three days had passed since the Kyuubi attack. 'Until that seal disappears, I will have to keep Naruto here. I can't let anyone discover what is sealed inside of him. If that happens, all that remains of the Yondaime's legacy will be lost.' He picked Naruto up and carried him to his desk, where he pulled a shirt onto him. 'This should at least keep prying eyes from getting an unfortunate glimpse of the seal. All that is left is to wait until it disappears entirely. Then Naruto will be safe.' The Hokage set Naruto back into his crib, just as he heard a knock on the door.
"Who is it?" He asked loudly. "I am busy in here! I have much paperwork to handle, and no time for interruptions!" The Hokage ended the statement with an audible 'humph!'.
"I am sorry Hokage-sama. I tried to tell them that you wouldn't want to be disturbed, but they won't listen." The Hokage recognized this as the voice of his personal assistant. He had placed her in charge of keeping unwanted visitors out, so he could wait for the seal to disappear. When she talked again, her voice was much quieter, almost a whisper. "They have weapons, Hokage-sama. I think that they mean business. All of them are waiting outside the tower."
The Hokage snatched the hat off of his desk. 'This might be serious.' He thought. He walked over to the window in his office, placing the cap on his head. 'I guess this means that I am officially the Hokage now. I must not show any weakness in front of these youngsters. Time to show them that the village is under my control.' The Hokage threw the door open. "Where are they, Ai?" He said, expecting to see his assistant on the other side. To his horror, she was much further away, being held in an arm lock by a single person who was part of a crowd that looked like it was made up of every male in the village that wasn't a ninja, and even a few females. "What's going on…" The Hokage started, before he felt himself being grabbed by the shirt and shoved into the door to his office. Instinctively, his hand shot for his kunai holster, but just before he drew it in order to kill his assailant, he realized that whoever it was was talking to him.
"Move out of the way! I've come here to put an end to what the Yondaime started!" The Hokage looked down at the person who was still holding his shirt and realized that it was none other than Hyuuga Hiashi.
"What are you trying to do, Hiashi?" The Hokage asked. "Is there a reason that you are pointing a blade at me?"
The Hyuuga looked the Hokage right in the eyes, his own eyes already in byuukugan mode, veins popping out all over the Hyuuga's face. "You know what this is about, Hokage-sama! I know that you are protecting the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox!" Hiashi spit out the –sama like a curse-word.
The Hokage couldn't stop sweat from pouring out of his face, but it only made him look guilty of the crime that the Hyuuga just accused him of. 'Shit! He knows.' The Hokage decided to buy himself time to find a way out of this situation. "What do you mean? The Demon-Fox is dead, how can I be hiding him?"
"You think that you can pull the wool over all of our eyes, don't you Hokage-sama? Of course I know what happened." Hiashi put down the Hokage so that he could point at his eyes. "These eyes see everything that happens in this village. I know that the Yondaime failed! I know that he couldn't find a way to destroy the Kyuubi. I also know that the Shiki Fuujin that killed him and supposedly defeated the Kyuubi, was actually meant to seal it in a human so that it would finally be vulnerable. Finally, I know that for some reason that you have decided not to announce, you are harboring the child inside of your office as we speak. You have been checking on that seal of his every day since the attack, so that makes me think that you are trying to find a way to hide the fact that that child is a monster!" Hiashi pointed his knife at the Hokage. "Move out of the way so that I can finish the Kyuubi off. If you do, I will be willing to pretend that you weren't protecting it."
The Hokage shook his head slowly, "I'm sorry but I can't do that."
Suddenly the crowd grew violent, shaking the pitchforks and torches they brought with them in the air. "Treason!" one member of the group shouted. "Our own Hokage has betrayed us!" Another one cried. The shouts of "Treason" and "Betrayal" continued to grow louder as the crowd grew so violent that they started to lay waste to everything breakable within their reach.
"SILENCE!" The Hokage screamed. "DESPITE WHAT YOU MAY THINK, I AM STILL THE HOKAGE! I WILL HAVE ORDER IN MY VILLAGE!" The crowd actually quieted down, when the sky suddenly grew cloudy and lightening bolts shot down from the sky in response from all the chakra that the Kage was releasing. "Now, you didn't let me finish. I can not allow any harm to come to Naruto Uzumaki. Contrary to what you all believe, attacking and killing that boy will not end the Kyuubi's reign of terror. According to the Yondaime himself, killing Uzumaki will most likely…" The Hokage pulled out his pipe and lit it. He took a few puffs, leaving his sentence unfinished.
"What? What will killing him do?" Hiashi asked.
"Why, it would release the Kyuubi into this village once more." The Hokage said while continuing to puff his pipe.
You could hear a pin drop through the complete silence that started when the crowd realized what they had almost done.
The Hokage started to turn around to return to his office. He mentally sighed, 'Damn, that was really close. Good thing I went to acting school like the Yondaime suggested, or I would have never been able to sell a blatant lie like that one.' Right before he finished stepping through his doorway, the Kage felt a hand on his shoulder. He slowly turned to see Hiashi, his byuukugan still active. 'Shit! I forgot that the Hyuuga were natural lie detectors!'
"I see your point, Hokage-sama. Due to the nature of sealing techniques, it is possible that the Kyuubi could be released if its container is destroyed."
The Hokage tried not to let the surprise show on his face. 'He actually believed me! Maybe the Hyuuga are all hype after all.' Outside of his head, the Hokage was still puffing his pipe calmly.
"But," Hiashi continued. "Konoha still has no desire to harbor a Demon within its walls."
Members of the crowd had a mixed reaction to this statement. Some remained silent, still processing what would have happened if they had killed Naruto and released the Kyuubi. Others had new life breathed in them when they heard the man that organized the riot speak again. These members of the crowd grew rowdy again. "That's right! We don't want a goddamn demon living among us!"
Hokage tried to stay calm, using the pipe more like a stress ball than a smoking utensil, pouring all of the tension he was feeling into his smoke rings. "What are you suggesting now, Hiashi?" he said in his calmest voice.
"Why, exile of course! He can be some other village's problem."
'Shit, hadn't been expecting that one.' The Hokage thought. "That isn't going to work either! Do you think that there is a village that would be willing to accept Naruto at a time like this? Tsuchikagure, Sunahakagure, and even the Hidden Village in the Clouds all have their own demon problems to deal with. They would never willingly accept another demon into their villages, and if we sent Naruto to them without revealing what he was, that would start a war! Is that what you want, Hiashi? Another great war!"
Hiashi smiled. "I think that you forgot a village, Hokage-sama."
The Hokage's concentration finally broke, he put his pipe out and stuck it back in his pocket. "There is no way that I'm sending Naruto to Blood Mist Village. They'll rip him apart there!"
"Oh?" The Hiashi said. He seemed to be enjoying breaking the Hokage's will. "You almost sound worried about what happens to that Demon-brat? Are you sure that you are really interested in the safety of this village? Or do you secretly have an agenda that involves that Kyuubi-brat? Don't tell me that you are planning to benefit from the Yondaime's death."
The Hokage glanced out of the corner of his eye at the crowd of people outside his office. He couldn't spot a single person who's arms weren't crossed, with their teeth pulled back in a snarl. Even his own assistant. They looked like a pack of violent hounds, and if the Hokage didn't give into their request, they would definitely riot. Hokage didn't have the manpower to stop something like that, especially with seventy-percent of his ninja in the hospital due to the Kyuubi attack. He looked up at the night sky, as a rain drop fell from the heavens and touched his nose. "Very well, Hiashi. You win." The Hokage said, allowing the confidence he had been displaying up until now to dissipate for the first time.
"Oh, come off it, Hokage-sama." Hiashi said. "I don't win, we all win!"
The crowd cheered madly at the second part to this statement.
"So, how will we go about delivering the child to the Hidden Village in the Mist?" Hiashi said happily.
The Hokage whistled and two ninja suddenly appeared to his right and left. They were none other than Kakashi, the current ANBU-captain, and Kurenai, the only other available ninja at the moment. The Hokage turned around and faced the two ninja he had just called. "Go pack, I am assigning you a mission. Bring enough clothes to last you for a week, and enough food to last the two of you and one other for that much time."
"One other, Hokage-sama?" Kurenai asked.
"You will be delivering a baby to Kirikagure. I will be sending a request to the Mizukage to transfer the boy into his village in as little as fifteen minutes by carrier pigeon. He should get the message in two days, so by the time you get there everything should already be set up. Now start packing, and return here once you are done."
"Hai, Hokage-sama!" both ninja said before beginning a teleportation jutsu to bring them to their homes. Right before Kakashi left, the Hokage grabbed him by the shoulder.
"Wait for one moment Kakashi, there is something else I want to send with you." The Hokage said.
Kakashi stayed put as the Hokage went back into his office. Minutes later the Hokage returned, supporting a large blade in his hands. It was completely devoid of any special decorations or markings, but Kakashi could feel great strength emanating from inside the sword. It was also quite large, several times bigger than the type of sword that most ninja preferred, but not so much so that it couldn't be swung with just one hand if you were very strong. In other words, larger than a ninjato, a small sword often wielded by assassins, but smaller than a Zanbutou, the large horseslayer that samurai used against horsemen.
"What's that, Hokage-sama?" Kakashi asked respectively.
"This is one of the seven swords of the Mist. It was one of the spoils that Konoha received for defeating Kiri in the Great War that proceeded the peace that we have now. I want to send it back with Naruto. It's his sword now, I hope he makes good use of it." The Hokage said. He handed Kakashi the sword. "Make sure that while you're packing, you figure out how you're going to carry this. It's a bit heavier than it looks."
Kakashi tied the sword and sheath to his back, before teleporting away.
The Hokage gave Hiashi one final glance before walking back into his office. He stopped briefly before closing the door, "I hope you're happy now, Hiashi."
Hiashi smiled. "Very."
… The next day…
Kakashi and Kurenai both departed from the village, carrying a baby and one of the seven swords of the Mist. Neither ninja understood exactly what was going on, but they would see this mission through no matter confused the things that they were delivering made them. They didn't waste any time with idle chit-chat, since the words "move with utmost haste", and "don't let anything distract you from your primary objective", were underlined several times in the mission scrolls they had been given.
Naturally, Kurenai had the baby, which she had placed in a special baby harness that was strapped to her stomach. It allowed her to feed Naruto and change his diaper while running at full sprint.
Kakashi was carrying the sword, which wasn't that heavy once you got used to the weight. This was obviously an easier job than changing a baby's diaper at thirty miles an hour.
The two ninja opted to move towards their target on foot until they reached the water. Then they waited for a special passageway to open that only Kirikagure's allies could use. It led underground, allowing a well-trained ninja to travel to Mist Village underground instead of waiting for a boat to come and take them there. For ninja that were chuunin and up, sprinting was faster than using a boat.
A week later, and both ninja arrived at their destination. They had made it just in time. Kakashi whipped out the scroll that outlined their mission one last time. "Alright, we are supposed to deliver the child and sword to the Mizukage, or the person that he arranges to meet with us and take them. After that is done, we can leave." Kakashi started to roll the scroll back up, but Kurenai stopped him.
She pointed to the bottom line of the scroll. "You missed this part. Make sure that you gather the replacement child from the Mist-ninja. Replacement child? The Hokage didn't mention that to us."
Kakashi just shrugged. "Well it's written in the scroll, so we have to handle that as well." He took the scroll back from Kurenai and rolled it back up. "Let's go."
Kurenai and Kakashi took their first steps into the Hidden Village of the Mist, but found that it was surprisingly quiet and still within the village's walls. Kakashi scanned the area but could find no signs of life anywhere. It wasn't until he turned around that he realized why. 'I forgot that they must have been waiting on us to arrive since they received the message from the Hokage.'
An entire crowd of mist-ninja had appeared behind Kakashi and Kurenai, barring them from leaving the village. Kakashi willed himself to keep his hand from shooting to his kunai holster. He knew that if he showed any signs of hostility, the mist-ninja would cut him down.
One of the ninja separated himself from the crowd of mist-ninja, stepping away from the group and stopping only a few feet away from Kakashi and Kurenai. "Are the two of you the ninja the Hokage sent? The ones who are delivering Kirikagure a brand-new tool of war?" His face was wrapped in tape, only leaving his eyes and hair visible. He looked somewhat like a mummy, and judging from the position of his cheekbones, he was smiling.
Kurenai stepped forward, Naruto still strapped to her chest. "Hai!" she yelled while saluting the ninja in front of her. "My name is Kurenai, and that's Kakashi. We are here to see that this child, Uzumaki Naruto, is successfully transferred from Konoha to Kiri." She removed Naruto from the harness and held him so that the ninja could get a closer look at his village's new ninja.
"So that's the Kyuubi's container." The mist-nin said. "Well, I am the captain of Kirikagure's ANBU, Momoichi Zabuza. The Mizukage has sent me here to accept this child and the sixth sword of the Mist in his stead, in addition to…" Zabuza snapped his fingers.
This caused one of the other mist-ninja to step forward, carrying what appeared to be two toddlers in his arms.
"Seeing that Konoha receives this child in return for Naruto."
"Very well." Kakashi said. "Let's trade then."
Zabuza took Naruto, and a second mist-ninja took Naruto's sword.
Kakashi was left empty-handed after giving up Naruto's sword. Kurenai was forced to take Naruto's replacement, but she let out a squeal when she discovered that this new child had two heads, and one of them brushed against her face. "What is this thing?" she squealed. "I mean," she took several short breaths. "Why does he have two heads?"
Zabuza shrugged. "We don't know. We found him digging around in a dumpster like a raccoon. We just call him Sakon, and we call his extra head Ukon. From what we've discovered so far about him, we've determined that the extra head his part of an ancient bloodline. We assure you that he will become extremely powerful if you make sure to train him in the use of his extra body."
Kurenai looked at the child she was holding in her arms very closely. "Extra body?"
Zabuza bowed. "You'll see in a few years." He motioned towards the ninja behind him, and they formed a path for Kurenai and Kakashi to leave through. "If you don't have anything else to give Kirikagure, I think that our business here is concluded."
Kakashi bowed as well. "See you later then." Kakashi started walking. "Come on, Kurenai."
The pair from Konoha left Kirikagure, and reentered the tunnel that they came to Water Country through.
Kurenai turned to Kakashi, still carrying Sakon and Ukon in her arms, since she couldn't fit him in the baby harness, with the extra head in the way and all. "Do you think that Naruto will be alright in that village?"
Kakashi shook his head. "I doubt it, but you shouldn't worry. He's survived worse already."
Kurenai didn't understand what Kakashi meant, but she kept on walking.
So began Naruto's life as one of the Seven Swordsmen of the Mist, and so ended his life as a Konoha ninja.
Whew! I really didn't think that I'd be able to get through that chapter without smoking... Give me a second. Pulls out lighter (Time to reward myself. Cue Popeye Music.)
Yeah. These beans always hit the right spot. What the hell is this shit on my computer? Better delete this and get back to smoking. I'll just hit this button right here. Hmm. Why does the delete button have "submit" written on it? Whatever. I'll just hit it anyway.