Title: True Shinobi
Chapter Title:A new beginning
Summary: AU, Just another 'What-if-Naruto-would-have-been-put-in-another-team' story, but not just some cheap imitation. It will most likely not follow the original timeline.
Naruto starts to realize just what it really means to be a true shinobi and after a near fatal encounter on one of his mission, he quickly starts taking his career as a ninja more seriously. No more idiocy, no more flashy orange jumpsuit and he and his team are going to kick ass! (No insane kyuubi-powers though)
Pairings: Naruto/Hinata, others not yet decided.
This is a beta-ed edition of the first chapter. Not much has changed except for some rephrasing and small corrections.
Naruto woke up in a very good mood. Today he was being assigned to a genin-team, and though he was still a bit tired from his fight with Mizuki, he had managed to get out of bed at 7AM. This gave the young shinobi enough time for a shower, to get dressed, and eat breakfast before he would go to the academy, which was about a 15 minute run from his apartment. There was one little problem with all this though. The clock on his bedside table didn't agree with him, as it showed 8:19AM.
Eleven minutes later:
"YES, I MADE IT!"
Every face in the class turned towards the door and sweat dropped as Naruto leapt into the classroom with a cry of victory, just as the bell sounded, signaling the start of classes.
"Naruto, sit down!" Yelled Iruka frustrated from the front of the classroom.
The energetic blond cursed as he found only one open seat between Ino and Shikamaru. While Iruka had started lecturing about the responsibilities they would carry as genin, Naruto was trying to tune out Ino's and Shikamaru's bickering and failing miserably. When Iruka started reading the list of teams, thankfully they both got quiet.
"…Team 5: Inuzuka Kiba, Haruno Sakura, …"
'SAKURA-CHAN! PLEASE LET ME BE THE LAST!' Naruto yelled in his mind.
"…and Uchiha Sasuke."
"Your jounin sensei is Hatake Kakashi. Team 6: Mey-…"
'DAMN THAT BASTARD! YOU BETTER WATCH YOUR BACK UCHIHA BECAUSE I'LL GET YOU BACK FOR THIS!' Naruto once more yelled into his mind. With his eyes, he was trying to burn a hole into Sasuke's head, a few rows in front of him. Meanwhile Sasuke was trying to get his arm out of an ecstatic Sakura's grip."
"Take that Ino-pig!"
Ino just pretended she didn't hear the girl and focused her attention back on Iruka.
"… Team 8: Uzumaki Naruto, …"
"…, Aburame Shino and Hyuuga Hinata."
'Great, I get stuck with the two biggest weirdo's in the class. DAMN YOU SASUKE!'
"Your jounin sensei is Shiranui Genma. Team 9:…"
Naruto watched his two new team mates. Hinata was red in the face, and putting her index fingers together. Shino never moved a muscle. For all he knew the guy could have fallen asleep behind the collar of his long coat and those sunglasses.
"...and finally Team 12: Nara Shikamaru, Yamanaka Ino and Akimichi Choji. Your sensei is Sarutobi Asuma. That's all! Your Sensei's should be arriving soon to pick you up."
Iruka left the room as the teams went to sit with each other. Naruto and Shino went over to sit with Hinata.
"So…" Naruto started.
Hinata was shyly staring at him, still putting her index fingers together. Shino just sat beside him looking towards the door of the classroom and didn't move a muscle.
'Damn, I'm going to have to get these two to loosen up a bit. Why can't I be with my beloved Sakura-Chan!'
"Hai!" Naruto and Hinata responded while Shino remained silent but nodded.
"I'm Genma, your new sensei. Follow me."
As they got up and followed him out of the academy building, Naruto was trying to decide whether this guy was cool or weird. It was hard to decide. Who in his right mind would stick a senbon needle into his mouth. The bandana and standard jounin outfit looked pretty cool though. Several minutes later they ended up in a nearby park and they sat down on a bench, their new sensei standing before them.
"Welcome to team 8. My name is Shiranui Genma. First of all I want you to introduce yourselves to me. You know, your name, likes, dislikes, hobby's, jutsu you know, your blood type, … Anything you want us to know about you. Remember that you guys and I will be working close together for the next few years, so we need to know a lot about each other. Naruto, why don't you begin?"
'Blood type? I knew it. He IS another weirdo.' He thought, but answered the question anyway.
"My name is Uzumaki Naruto. I like ramen, I hate the Uchiha bastard and my hobby… eating ramen I guess. The best jutsu I know is Kage-Bunshin. I don't even know what blood type I have and I want to become Hokage!"
"M-my name is H-Hyuuga Hinata. I-I like flowers. I dislike rude people. I-I don't really have a hobby. I don't know any special jutsu except using my B-byakugan. M-my blood type is O."
Unknowingly Naruto and Genma thought exactly the same thing.
'That girl really needs to loosen up.'
"My name is Aburame Shino. I use bugs for my jutsu."
"Anything else you would like to share with us?"
'Damn' Genma thought, 'Their characters are so different but their skills are almost exactly what I'm looking for.' Although it wasn't official, his team was supposed to become a reconnaissance-specialized team. Hinata's byakugan and Shino's bugs would be great for tracking. His weapon skills and Hinata's jyuuken would enable them to take out an enemy quickly, if the situation required it. Naruto's elusiveness would allow him to move around unnoticed more easily. The boy's stamina and his kage-bunshins combined with Genma's trap making skills would allow them to fight of possible pursuers when retreating.
Genma knew a lot about Naruto's elusive skills first hand. As a chuunin less than a year ago he had chased the boy many times with several others, and still he managed to stay out of their hands for long periods of time. They always caught him in the end though, but with a little training, he was sure he could get him up to a level where most chuunin would never be able to track him down. In his mind, Genma was still trying to figure out if that would be a good or a bad thing.
He didn't know a lot about the other two, though he knew that in the Aburame and Hyuuga clan, kids started training at a very early age. Hinata's jyuuken compared with older and more experienced Hyuuga would probably be considered quite pathetic, though compared to other genin her techniques would look nearly flawless. Shino most likely had lived with bugs since shortly after he was born and thus should already work very well together with them. Combine that with several years of training as a kid and you had a well accomplished shinobi already.
What this team would need to work on would be teamwork and maybe even more important than that was strategy. Considering the Aburame clan's specialization in data gathering and silent assassination, the kid probably had already been taught the basics but the other two members of his team had most likely no experience whatsoever. This was a must though, for a reconnaissance-specialized team.
Overall Genma was quite confident. Inthree months time, the teams would be evaluated and only three of the eight teams would be allowed to continue as active genin. The other 5 teams would be disbanded and most of those wouldn't be allowed to continue as shinobi. The few that would be allowed to continue, would probably end up somewhere in administrative functions. The teachers weren't allowed to tell their teams about it though.
"So now we know a bit about each other, we can get to the next part of today's activities: you guys need new clothes."
"WHAT! No way!" Yelled Naruto.
"W-Why Genma-sensei?" Hinata asked sounding disappointed. She really liked these clothes.
Shino's eyebrows even twitched.
"Shino is the only one on your team that has a suitable outfit, but even he could do better. Hinata, you need clothing that would allow you more free movement. Naruto…Do I even need to explain? If those flashy clothes could talk they would be screaming 'Here I Am! Kill Me!'. I won't let any of my students walk around like that. Your clothes should help you blend into your environment, so around Konoha darker colours and greens would be most suited. They should also allow you completely free movement. Hinata, that sweater does allow a lot of movement but not enough. This is something very important for you, considering your best skills right know are based on taijutsu. Buy something that would be more appropriate. The same goes for you Naruto. Besides I don't want you guys to look like academy students. You're a shinobi now, so dress like one. Shino, the only thing I would like you to do, is wear darker clothing."
Shino and Hinata nodded, but Naruto was still complaining.
"I don't care! Why do I need to 'blend into my environment'? If someone sees me, I'll just kick their ass! Besides, I don't see how Shino's clothes allow any free movement at all."
"Naruto, shinobi don't just 'kick their ass', Ninja are supposed to be stealthy and hard to spot. On several of your missions in the future you might be gathering data or you maybe even have to assassinate a person several years from now. On those missions you will be forced to remain unseen. Being spotted on such a mission would mean ruining the entire mission, plus you would be putting yourself, and more importantly, your team mates in danger. Do you want to be the one responsible for getting your entire team killed, just because you want to wear flashy clothes?"
Huffing childishly but conceding at the same time, Naruto sat back down on the bench he was currently standing on.
"Also I know Shino wears those clothes to get full use out of his family's skills. In his case his bloodline abilities are more important."
Genma watched Naruto. The boy tried to hide it, but Genma saw that his words had a deep impact on him. This happened quite often when kids came from families with no ninja as a parent. They imagined the life of a ninja as always doing 'cool stuff', fighting bandits and the like. For these kids, the confrontation with reality was often quite hard. Many of them never even considered that their job could involve killing another person. Naruto seemed to handle it without to much trouble, as far as he could see.
One hour later:
Naruto, Hinata and Genma emerged from one of the better shinobi supply shops in Konoha, where they met up with Shino, who had gone home to put on one of his other outfits. He now wore a dark-grey, nearly black coat, instead of his light grey one and pants in the same color. Naruto wore a black long-sleeved stretchy shirt (like Lee's outfit, but just a shirt) with a black mask attached to it for his lower face (like Kakashi's). Next a simple dark grey cotton sleeveless vest and dark grey pants. Naruto insisted that the pockets of the vest and pants had orange lining though. He also wore his forehead protector as a belt now. The metal plate was put on a black piece of cloth, instead of a blue one. Hinata wore a black and grey fishnet shirt (also with a fishnet pattern mask) and a similar vest like Naruto's on top of it. She also wore simple dark grey pants. The lining of her pockets was plain white though. She wore her forehead protector the same way as Naruto did.
When they were picking out clothes, Naruto had been complaining a lot, although less than he would usually have. It was probably just force of habit.
When Genma told them to buy the shirts with the masks, Naruto had started complaining about it as well.
"Since the mask covers your mouth and nose, it makes it easier to hide emotions and intimidate your opponents. It's also used to hide scars or in your case those whisker marks."
When Naruto thought about it, it made a lot of sense, and now maybe some of the villagers wouldn't recognize him. Plus, it made him look pretty damn cool. Hinata was less pleased, since she had nothing to hide but agreed with her sensei's decision anyway. Genma spotted that something was bothering her though.
"Hinata, you need to wear one as well because Naruto is wearing one. A skilled opponent will always study his targets before moving in. If an enemy is hiding something, it makes us instinctively more wary of this person, so you would automatically be looked at as the weakest of the team because your two team mates hide their faces. This would make you the prime target should an enemy try to surprise us."
After that, they both agreed that on missions and during training they would wear their masks. Naruto added silently, more to himself, that he would wear the mask most of the time he was in public as well.
Genma had also bought the three of them each, black fingerless gloves with a small metal plate on the back of the hand (again, like Kakashi's) as a sort of graduation present.
The rest of the afternoon was spent going over each one of their techniques and skills. Genma then gave them advice on how they could use their jutsu with maximum effect and how to further increase their skills. Next he taught them about techniques that could complement the jutsu they knew very well. Before the sun set, they spent about an hour practicing the tree walking exercise for the first time to train their chakra control. Shino was the only one who had made significant progress by being able to run up the tree about 15 feet high. Hinata and Naruto only reached little over 9 feet.
After their training, Genma told them to meet him at the bench in the park at 9 AM the next morning. After that they all went their own way. Shino and Hinata returned home, and judging from Naruto's cries of "Ramen! Ramen!" he would be heading towards Ichiraku's. Genma just sat down in the middle of the clearing where they had been training. He went over what he had learned about the kids today. Shino was at the moment the most skilled one of the team. He seemed to pretty good when it came to taijutsu, had a wide range of techniques to use with his bugs, and was great when it came to strategy, considering he was only genin level. He also seemed to listen very carefully to every word spoken to him, although it was hard to tell with those sunglasses. Naruto, while loud and obnoxious, seemed to be very eager to learn new jutsu. Combined with his incredible stamina this was probably one of his major strengths. His chakra control sucked though and his attention wandered quickly when he started going into more theoretical matters. Hinata was probably the weakest of their team right now. While she controlled the byakugan decently, and her taijutsu moves seemed nearly flawless, she didn't have the advanced chakra control required to make her moves effective. Also her speed, reflexes and stamina would need to be worked on.
But right now the thing he found most important was their teamwork. Shino only seemed to speak when necessary, Hinata was to shy to voice her own opinions, and Naruto seemed to talk all the time without ever saying something useful, often annoying his team mates. He figured he would first of all encourage them to spend more time as a team outside missions and training so they would each pick up some of each others habits and become close friends. During training and missions he would try to make Hinata speak her mind by asking for her opinions, try his very best to engage Shino into small talk about subjects that had nothing to do with their current activities, and to find a way to keep Naruto quiet. Telling him to shut up every time he got too loud and annoying probably wouldn't work. He figured Naruto was perhaps unconsciously just trying to get some attention, as he knew the boy had already lived alone for the bigger part of his young life.
For the next hour, Genma kept thinking of idea's on how he would approach each of his students in their teaching. He figured he could try keeping Naruto concentrated with the promise of some new jutsu. For Hinata's training, he was going to make sure she trained and sparred often enough with Naruto. Maybe it would loosen her up a bit and work on her stamina. Shino's case would need many more hours of thinking, but Genma called it quits. It was time he got something to eat and went home. It was already past 11:30PM.
Meanwhile at Naruto's apartment
As Naruto closed the door, he pulled down his mask and took of his vest. The smile he normally wore in public had slipped and a deep thoughtful look on his face stared back at him trough the mirror beside the door. His sensei's words had made him rethink his view of a shinobi.
'Will I really have to kill? Assassinate even? Had the old man Hokage killed and assassinated? Of course he had, he was supposed to be the strongest shinobi in the entire village, so did that mean that the friendly and kind old man had killed dozens of people in cold blood?'
Naruto had also noted that the people on the streets no longer looked at him with those hateful eyes. This was probably only because they didn't recognize him, but that didn't matter to him. Several people even greeted him. People that he knew, that had yelled various obscenities at him over the past years.
Several minutes later, tired and confused, Naruto crawled into his bed, still pondering Genma's words.
So what did you think of the first chapter? Like it? Hate it? Was it awesome or should I never touch a keyboard again:-D Read and review please! No flaming or insults, but criticism is much appreciated.
All hail my new beta reader ZeroArk!