Disclaimer: I do NOT own Naruto. Kishimoto Masashi does…
"as spoken by the Kyuubi or the boss summons…"
-as thought by Kyuubi-
Awakening of the Slumbering Beast
Chapter 9: The Troublesome Threesome: Ero-sennin, Hentai-babaa and the Snake-freak
The moments the words 'Hentai-Babaa' had left his mouth Naruto realized that yes, he was doomed. He had only a moment to contemplate the feeling of déjà vu, from the times Sakura had the same look on her face, before a fist impacted with his face in an earth shattering force. The short blonde was rocketed into the air and flew some twenty yards before his flight was cut short by a fruit vendor's stall… which, while stoutly built, was completely destroyed by the Jinchuuriki shaped missile. With a groan of finality the remnants of the stall slowly collapsed on top of the boy who lay in the rubble, earning a horrified gasp from Shizune.
It was this gasp from her assistant that brought Tsunade back from her righteous anger trip and into the realization that she had just 'Jiraiya punched' a little kid… annoying little kid but a kid nonetheless. She quickly started moving towards the pile of rubble while fervently praying that the brat was still alive. Jiraiya on the other hand wasn't quite as worried as the two women and began to smile even more widely when the rubble suddenly began to shake as the blonde demon vessel started to wake up from his short 'nap'.
Both Shizune and Tsunade had stopped the moment the pile of rubble began to show first signs of movement, both thinking the same thing... -There is no way that kid is still conscious…- …only to be proven wrong when Naruto, accompanied by a hefty cloud of dust, suddenly sat up, then crawled to his knees and finally stood up, albeit a little shakily. The boy then stuck a finger into his mouth, felt around and finally spat out blood and several teeth before turning to smile, if you could call that a smile as good half of his front teeth were missing, at the startled women. "Neh… obaachan you hit pretty hard for an old lady. You should probably watch your temper though, it's not good for your heart to…"
He got no further when Shizune, who'd quickly collected Naruto's missing biting equipment from the ground, interrupted him and tried tell him to open his mouth so that she could reattach the teeth that had been knocked loose. Naruto simply blinked at the woman and asked. "What for? I mean why would I want the old and used teeth when the new ones will grow back soon enough?" The boy looked totally confused when the mednin launched into an explanation about baby teeth and permanent teeth and all that. The boy simply shrugged and said. "Whatever you say…" Then grinned and started channelling Kyuubi's chakra and feeling the familiar itching as his teeth began to regrow from his jaw. With agonizing slowness, the whole process took maybe two minutes, new teeth grew, poked past his gums and finally were restored in their full glory right in front of the two stunned women… and slightly less stunned Jiraiya who was only impressed. Cracking his knuckles Naruto grinned rather menacingly and said. "Now I believe I said that 'Old woman or no I'll kick your ass till you learn some respect'…"
Tsunade blinked, she'd just handed the kid's ass to him and he was coming back for more. Trying to dissuade the obviously suicidal brat from getting killed she asked. "What the hell do you care anyway? For Sarutobi… or especially for the Yondaime… you of all people should have no reason to care about him. Why is the title of Hokage so important to you?"
Naruto suddenly let go of Kyuubi's chakra and the crimson eyes that were locked onto the older blonde turned deep blue. "Yeah well… if it wasn't for the old man I'd be dead now. I would have starved to death after I was kicked out of the orphanage, or killed by someone or I would simply have offed myself to get away from it all." He snorted. "But the old man see, he's the Hokage of Konoha and it's his duty to look after the people of Konoha even if it kills him. When he had the time he would tell me stories about the previous Hokages, Yondaime in particular…" The boys features hardened. "That's when I decided that I would become Hokage too... so that the villagers would have no other choice but to recognize my existence. And when I found the truth I was devastated you know. My personal idol was the very reason people shunned me… I was angry, mad… I felt betrayed. But I had a new reason to become the Hokage… my precious people." Naruto pointed a finger at the woman and yelled. "And for those people I will become Hokage... It's my dream!" With that he charged towards the now distracted Tsunade while starting to form the second stage of the Rasengan in his right hand.
Tsunade barely registered the furious charge, she was still trying to shake the memories of her little brother and her former lover who also had proclaimed that it was their dream to become the Hokage to protect those important to them. She was snapped out of her reverie when she suddenly registered the beginnings of a technique she hadn't seen in very long time. Casting a frown at Jiraiya she decided to stop the foolishness before it got out of hand, a Genin with such techniques could a hazard to himself as well to others. Naruto let out a startled yelp as Tsunade's index finger impacted against the earth in front of him causing a large fissure to form beneath him and causing him to lose his footing making him plummet face first into the crevice.
Even as Naruto was dragging himself back on the street Tsunade was glaring at Jiraiya. "So… Jiraiya. Was it you who's teaching him the Rasengan. You are a fool, only the Yondaime and you ever were able to master that technique. You really shouldn't do things like that… it only gives fools like him weird notions about being able to become the Hokage."
Tsunade was about to say more but was cut off when something solid grabbed her around her head and brought her face to face with a rather vexed Naruto. Brown eyes met steely blue as the boy all but snarled. "It's no weird notion you old hag… I'll become Hokage even if it kills me. And I'll prove it by mastering the Rasengan in three days."
Tsunade just snorted as Jiraiya intervened at this point and unceremoniously plucked Naruto away from the woman. She then wagged a teasing finger in front of the openly fuming Naruto "Brave words from a brat but… a man's word should never be taken back you know."
The blue eyes hardened again with a determined glint while Naruto all but ground out. "I never go back on my word. That's my Nindo."
Jiraiya smiled inwardly, there was a fleeting emotion that was barely visible on the young face of the 50 year old blonde Sannin… emotion that was ruthlessly crushed and replaced by a mask of cynical gambler. Tsunade smirked victoriously at the boy and said. "Three days huh? Well I'll be a good sport and give you a week. If you can master the Rasengan in a week I'll openly acknowledge that you have what it takes to become a Hokage… heck I'll help you and give you a free week of training if you want. I'll even sweeten the deal by throwing in this here necklace…" She shook a necklace that was hanging loosely, and quite provocatively, between her ample breasts. She then jingled Naruto's gama-chan purse that the boy had managed to fill with a little luck, and which she had 'procured' sometime during their scuffle. "If you can't do it however… I'll just take all your money."
Naruto nodded mutely in agreement, got pissed when Tsunade snorted victoriously and was about to do a two-handed Rasengan when Jiraiya grabbed him and shook him slightly. "Master the jutsu gaki… emphasis on the mastering part." He tossed Naruto next to Shizune and pointed the two. "You two get rooms at a hotel. Me and Tsunade have some catching up to do… don't we?" He pointedly ignored glares from both of the blondes and cast a questioning look at the older of them. Tsunade simply shrugged and gave a slight nod to Shizune who grabbed Naruto and began to drag the fuming boy towards the nearest hotel.
Tsunade and Jiraiya had downed their first cups and exchanged some small talk. Jiraiya poured some more sake before saying. "You know you are going to lose your bet?" Tsunade just snorted and downed a small cup causing the white haired man to smile slyly. "If I wasn't a complete gentleman I'd suggest a little bet on the outcome with you going on a date with me as the stake but…"
At that Tsunade actually laughed. "A gentleman? You? Hahaha Jiraiya you old pervert… fine a date says he can't do it. And when he can't then you'll have to take me to gambling for a hmm… week."
Jiraiya took another sip of sake before saying. "You sure?" After seeing a confirming nod he smiled rather saucily. "Don't say I didn't warn you then. By the way… how were Orochimaru-teme's arms."
Tsunade smiled rather grimly. "Sarutobi-sensei went down fighting it seems. Orochimaru's right arm was cut off from the elbow… judging by the damage I'd say Enma-sama took a bite out of him. The left hand was burned inside out…"
Jiraiya smiled smugly before offering some more sake. "Yeah… Sarutobi was able to knock his right hand out because a certain blonde brat burned the teme's hand in the forest of death." Tsunade actually caught a coughing fit as she accidentally inhaled some sake. Jiraiya smirked a bit more. "You know… he even won the Chuunin exams. After that he ripped an enemy Jonin in pieces during the fighting, though he went a little berserk while doing that…"
The blonde Sannin was now eyeing him warily. "Is the nine-tails getting loose?" She asked causing Jiraiya to snort.
"You think I'd let him run loose if there was a possibility that the seal would break. The seal has finally become active and is draining the demon into the boy…" The old man drained his cup and filled it again. "It would seem that our dear team mate Orochimaru had his hand in the Kyuubi's attack as her last memories before being awakened recently were being summoned to this plane and then being hit by a jutsu that made her insane with pain by a pale, dark haired and yellow eyed guy." He shrugged. "Whichever way it is the nine-tails seems to be rather bent on vengeance… to the point that she has given part of herself to the seal and to Naruto."
Tsunade just gaped and then mechanically drained her own cup before suddenly smiling again. "That changes nothing though… I'll admit that I might have underestimated the gaki but nine-tails or no, there's no way he'll be able to perform the Rasengan by the end of the week."
Jiraiya shrugged at this and waited until Tsunade sipped some more sake before saying. "Oh the boy can already do the Rasengan…" Smirking he watched as Tsunade recovered from another coughing fit and the sake vendor dried himself with a look of disgust and continued. "Lets see… it took him a few hours to get the first stage, few days to get the second and about three weeks to get the third stage." Being the 'gentleman' he poured some more sake to Tsunade. "But mastering the jutsu… well… he'll do it or get himself totally banged up trying to. He would be dead from chakra exhaustion a hundred times over already were it not for the nine-tails but hey… if you have a near infinite well of chakra in your belly why not use it." With smile he rose and tossed some money on the counter before leaving the stunned female Sannin in the stand… Jiraiya began to hum as stream of rather caustic curses began to rip through the night air.
Naruto was busy poking his teeth in front of the mirror. He'd had his teeth knocked off on an occasion but this whole new thing with the seal and the Kyuubi made them grow far faster than ever before. Usually it had taken a night's sleep to grow a replacement set… in wonder he channelled some chakra into his teeth and made them grow into fangs, and making Kyuubi laugh a bit at his antics. He was busy brushing his teeth when there was a demanding knock on the door. Grumbling to himself he quickly spat out the toothpaste and hastily rinsed his mouth some water before answering the door. He nodded in recognition of Tsunade's assistant Shizune.
She looked decidedly uncomfortable as if she was doing something wrong. "Look Naruto-kun I… please don't think that Tsunade-sama is a bad person. She… she used to." When Naruto, who was still slightly pissed at the 'old hag', snorted she began to yell. "You don't know a thing about her so don't act like you do…" At this point the dark haired woman noticed slight tensing of the boy's muscles and calmed down. "I… sorry for yelling it's just that she wasn't always like this. She used to be more like you I guess until…" Shizune shook her head as Naruto cocked his head curiously as if waiting for her to continue.
The story of Nawaki, Tsunade's brother and Dan, her lover and Shizune's uncle shocked Naruto to the core. Where he'd been rather vexed with the blonde he was now more understanding. Tsunade had lost the only thing Naruto held dear in life, her precious people. He did, however, chuckle when Shizune mentioned that Tsunade's necklace was cursed and then proceeded to explain. "Shizune-neechan if I believed in curses I'd be dead a thousand times over." He then patted the woman on the shoulder. "I think I can understand obaachan a little better now… still I'll kick her ass if she doesn't apologize for insulting the old man or Yondaime."
The mednin blinked at the boy who continued. "You think she's the only one who's had it though? True I've never lost anyone I care about… well there's the old man but he isn't dead and obaachan better damn well fix him up. See until recently I've never even had anyone to care for…" Seeing the uncomprehending look in Shizune's eyes he peered at her curiously. "Moshimoshi? Hello? Uzumaki Naruto here? You are from Konoha right?"
Shizune just blinked, there was something skirting at the edges of her memory but she wasn't quite able to remember what. Naruto on the other hand just smiled. "Eh… well let's elaborate. The day I was born the Yondaime Hokage sort of sealed the Nine-tailed demon fox into me… you know I'm that guy. And as the wonderful result I've been having sort of a shitty fourteen years of life so far." Naruto scowled. "You know the kind of being tossed to the street from the orphanage when I was seven, being driven out of pretty much every shop, playground and so on… The joys of living a life of the Jinchuuriki."
The woman gasped and tried to think about something to say but only a weak "Eh… Naruto-kun... where are you going?" came out.
The boy was already half out the window when he glanced over his shoulder. "I'm going to train… look after Akai-chan for me will ya." With a burst of speed he was out of the window and out of sight before Shizune even made it to the window.
The mednin scratched the back of her head before wondering out loud "Who is Akai-chan anyway?" only whirl around when a soft voice said. "Ah that would be me I think…" Shizune blinked several times before squealing "Kawaiii…" and cradling the small fox that had apparently left for her care.
None of them noticed Tsunade who was quietly weeping on a nearby ledge.
Few days passed and Tsunade and Jiraiya seemed to be avoiding each other. It was on the third day that Tsunade heard a loud "Kuso!" coming from a ramen stand. She cocked an eyebrow at the familiar voice and peered though the curtain, her eyes widened as she watched Naruto trying to eat with hands that were shaking so badly he was barely able to hold the chopsticks… and it wasn't just his right hand but both, forcing the boy to slurp the ramen directly from the bowl. The Sannin frowned -By the gods… how hard has he been pushing… hard can you push to make the coils in your hands to clamp up that bad.-
After Naruto had suffered the indignity of being unable to consume ramen rapidly enough he had paid his two bowls and moved down the street to an okonomiyaki stall were he'd ordered a dozen stamina okonomiyakis to go and proceeded back to his training spot with the nourishment that wouldn't require as much manual dexterity as eating ramen for instance. Unbeknownst to the young blonde he was quietly shadowed by Tsunade who was feeling more than slightly curious about the fierce determination that seemed to mark this newest Hokage-wannabe.
Back at his clearing there were about half a dozen or so trees that had been partially drilled through with what Tsunade surmised were Naruto's attempts with the Rasengan. She frowned slightly and almost stepped from her hiding place as Naruto once again began to force chakra into his hands that were shaking like a leaf in a whirlwind. With a loud yell of frustration Naruto gave up and whacked his hands together while cursing profanely before sighing and taking a deep breath. Tsunade's eyes narrowed as the boy then walked to a nearby stream, stepped on its surface and carefully, with his shaking hands, deposited a leaf on his forehead. -He's combining water walking and the academy leaf floating technique to train his chakra control while waiting for his hands to recuperate.- That's when she noticed something odd that she'd first dismissed as a trick of the light… a tendril of blue fire snaked randomly around Naruto's body as he stoically stood in the middle of the stream while floating a single leaf some ten centimetres above his forehead.
Silently the woman continued her vigil, only to be astonished at the sheer stubbornness of the boy. After a few hours Naruto had barely moved and was still standing in middle of the stream with only the profuse sweating as proof of his exertion. And as the boy finally moved to the riverbank he simply dunked himself into the icy stream, swam back to the shore and examined his hands for a few short moments. With a grunt of determination the boy then began to form a Rasengan in his right hand… and then in the left as his right hand began to shake after half dozen intense tries… and then the process of water walking began anew. Only several hours after sundown did Naruto finally collapse leaving Tsunade to wrestle with her own consciousness in the dark…
Next morning when Naruto woke up he was tugged into a green coat that definitely wasn't his. Carefully the boy surveyed his surroundings before sniffing the coat and thinking. -Second thoughts Tsunade-baachan?- Then the boy flexed his fingers and smiled. "Yosh! Time to train! I'll be like the spirit of youth." Then he blinked and thought. -Crap… that was a bit too much like Lee.- Regardless he devoured what was left of his Okonomiyaki, thought briefly about a certain Hyuuga girl before standing up and again focusing chakra to his palm. -Three more days to get this damn technique. I won't lose… I can't lose… even if just for the old hag's sake-
The week drew close as Shizune, who had gotten rather anxious about the young boy, went looking for him. Akai-chan led the mednin unerringly to the clearing where they both stopped to survey what appeared to be a battle zone. Stones had been overturned, trees blasted into splinters with only stumps remaining as evidence that they had ever existed. Amidst all that carnage Naruto was snoring away, carefully tugged into a familiar green overcoat. Shizune's eyes widened as she muttered. "Tsunade-sama…" With only a small fox as a witness she gently lifted the exhausted teenager and headed out of the demolished clearing.
Naruto's soft transition from sleep to full wakefulness was interrupted as his sleep addled brain registered the fact that he was laying on a soft surface. With a yelp he bolted upright and tossed the bedding off himself… along with startled Ton-ton and very irritated Akai. The boy blinked a couple of times before hopping out of the bed only to come face to face with a very perplexed Shizune. Naruto simply dismissed her startled questions about his seemingly miraculous recovery from severe chakra exhaustion and coil overcharging with a slight wave of his hand and said. "A nights rest is all it takes when you got a demon tugged away in your gut." Then he looked about and asked. "Where's the old hag anyway… she's due some serious attitude adjustment today."
With a sudden realization that she was late Shizune jumped towards the window and yelled. "You stay here Naruto-kun." Only to be stopped when a kunai imbedded itself into the windowpane right in front of her face." There was Jiraiya, Mt. Myobukugama's holy master Sennin, looking decidedly miserable as he was barely able to lean against the wall.
Naruto naturally took in his sensei's sorry state and started yelling. "Aaaah Ero-sennin… what the hell are you doing all wasted? I thought that a boozehound like you could at least fight off a hangover." When Jiraiya managed to croak out that Tsunade had poisoned him the blonde exploded again. "You've got to be the lamest Sannin around… all you do is talk all day about how great you are and there you go and get drugged. Sheesh…" Then he suddenly stiffened and sniffed the air tentatively. "We've got company… I know this guy too… that guy from the exams who was working with Orochimaru-teme… Yakushi Kabuto."
There was a slight scuffle of movement as the traitor took off after noticing that he'd been detected. Jiraiya only nodded towards Naruto in appreciation before turning to Shizune. "Now what did Orochimaru offer… whatever it is we need to stop this now." The dark haired woman only nodded and said "There isn't much time, I'll explain on the way."
They were still some ways from the castle where the meeting was taking place when a massive shock shook the trees Naruto, Shizune and Jiraiya were using to speed towards the meeting place. Shizune and Jiraiya both sighed in relief when Naruto commented. "Sounds like obaachan said 'NO!'" Moments later there was another heavy crashing sound followed by an ominous silence. Pressing forward even faster the trio soon arrived at the site of the recent battle. Jiraiya only laughed out loud at the sight and was about to say something when Naruto suddenly bolted forward on all fours, stopped to sniff at the top of the wall and bounded forward. "Oi Ero-sennin… they went this way."
Unfortunately they were somewhat delayed since shinobi don't walk exactly on the ground but rather favour moving forward with leaps and bounds. As such any change in direction threw Naruto, Ton-ton and Akai off since they had to reacquire the trail whenever there was a change in direction. Naruto just cursed "The wind has taken all the lingering smells off from the air so shut up and let us do this." at Jiraiya who was trying to make them go faster. Regardless they found the fighting soon enough as Naruto's and Akai's keen ears began to pick up the sounds of ground being demolished.
No sooner than they made their entry to the battlefield did Naruto come face to face with the traitor Kabuto and saw the other traitor Orochimaru, this caused his and Kyuubi's anger to boil, standing some distance behind him. That was when Tsunade decided to have another go at Kabuto only to be immobilized when Kabuto slashed his own wrist spraying her with the blood and knocking her back with a well placed blow. The Kyuubi growled in Naruto's mind as the boy's nose twitched at the curious smell of blood. "Careful kit… this blood reeks of demons. There is a lesser yokai somewhere not too far removed in this one's family. When you hit him make it count… he might be able to regenerate almost as quickly as you do."
Naruto acknowledged the demon's warning and glared at Kabuto who smirked at him. "You think that making scary faces is going to faze me? Naruto-kun you are nothing more than a cute little Genin in the wrong place at the wrong time. You rely on that monster that is in you but still here you are nothing but an insect that will be crushed if it makes too much noise." The young man then pushed his glasses higher up his nose and continued. "If you try something… I'll…"
Naruto just smiled impudently "Yeah, yeah four eyes… You'll kill me in a most horribly terribly excruciating manner conceivable. And before you go talking about monsters you really should check your family tree… half-breed." The boy grinned as Kabuto's eyes widened. "So why are you working for that bastard anyway?" He then made a rude gesture. "Maybe it's because you like boys hmm? I mean Ero-sennin here swears that Orochimaru-teme has a thing for sweee-eet little boys… now that I think about it he was all over Sasuke-teme too." He shrugged at Kabuto who was now developing a slight twitch. "Who am I to judge though… I mean what you and him do at night is your business but hey." He then pointed an accusing finger at the older boy before saying. "Not that it matters because you betrayed the Leaf and for that I'll kill you!"
Ignoring Jiraiya's shout Naruto burst forward and created several Kage Bunshins on the run. He was following Kyuubi's advice and hadn't negated his weights in his initial rush. Four clones surrounded Kabuto as the real Naruto jumped into air and drew in a breath while flashing through several hand seals before yelling 'Katon: Hosenka no Jutsu' and breathing several small fireballs towards the Otonin. Kabuto was surprised but far from being in danger. He swiftly sidestepped and grabbed one clone with his good hand and used it as a shield as he quickly moved behind another clone which he destroyed with a well placed kick while the Katon jutsu minced one more clone that was no in the line of fire. Naruto sniffed in annoyance and moved in an attempt to get a blow to Kabuto's right side that was left vulnerable due to the rather deep cut in his arm.
The blow connected but so did Kabuto's and both combatants were sent flying back to their respective directions. Naruto landed rather softly as he was caught from flight by Shizune who used the opportunity to spit several needles towards the momentarily distracted Sound spy and actually managed to imbed both needles securely into his thigh. Kabuto who was still reeling from Naruto's blow winced. -Shit… those are probably poisoned too… I've got to hurry.-
As the eye-glassed boy retreated next to his master and began to heal himself Jiraiya turned to Naruto and Shizune. "Shizune you take care of the guy in the glasses… I'll deal with Orochimaru." He only briefly glanced at Naruto who was nearly jumping out of skin. "And before you even suggest it brat you will be guarding Tsunade, Ton-ton and your cute little pet fox. These guys are whole another level and while both of them underestimated you at first they won't make the same mistake again. Even that glasses guy is probably at Kakashi's level."
Naruto was about to object but a stern look from Jiraiya quieted him. He huffed instead and acknowledged the old man with a slight nod before making several clones and moving into a better position to cover the older blonde. Or that was his intention when Orochimaru, with Kabuto's aid summoned two huge snakes and Jiraiya, still in his debilitated state, summoned Gamakichi instead of Gamabunta. Naruto would have laughed out loud had it not been such a serious situation… as things stood he simply rushed next to Jiraiya, bit his thumb and flashed through the required hand seals while pulling out Kyuubi's chakra. There was a yell of 'Kuchiyose no Jutsu' as a huge cloud of smoke obscured both Jiraiya and Naruto from view.
Orochimaru cursed as the huge pipe smoking toad yelled. "Orochimaru… you bastard. Where's your little pet Manda… I have a bone to pick with that little serpent and I'm in a need of a snakeskin wallet." Gamabunta then turned his eyes upwards as there was a slight scuffle on top of his head when Jiraiya without much ceremony tossed Naruto down and yelled. "I'll take care of Orochimaru-teme you look after Tsunade."
There was a wailing yell of "Daaaaammmnnn you Ero-sennin… you could have said 'Thanks' at the least.." as Naruto pretty much rolled down Gamabunta's back. The boss toad chuckled "Ha Jiraiya I see the brat is here too… you owe me one heck of an explanation after we stomp that bastard."
On top of the two snakes there was another kind of conversation going on. "Kabuto you kill that assistant woman and that damn Kyuubi brat while I delay that old fool and Gamabunta… As long as Tsunade stays out of the fight we should have no trouble even with that damnable toad." Kabuto simply pushed his glasses up again and nodded before leaping down to engage Shizune.
The snakes lunged forward and Gamabunta bellowed as he met the slithering mass head on. Unfortunately for those on the ground the clash of these massive summons was akin to a natural disaster. Gamabunta had the advantage of mass both relatively, he was the gama-oyabun after all, and literally as one huge toad did outweigh two massive snakes. However the snakes had a two-to-one advantage which they, under Orochimaru's directions, used for the full extent. Jiraiya did try to level the playing field with his 'Doton: Yomi Numa' (Swamp of the Underworld) but due to the drug Tsunade had slipped him he only managed to slow down one of the snakes.
Incidentally Jiraiya didn't do any favours to those on the ground as the snake caught in the large swamp trashed about and would have flattened Tsunade had not Naruto, who was still somewhat disoriented from his rapid descent from Gamabunta's back, sprang forward and tossed the woman at Shizune in a desperate attempt to save her life. The gamble worked, but with a price. Naruto was hit by the snake's tail and got slammed hard into the ground while Shizune was distracted from her fight with Kabuto.
As a result the dark eyed woman, who landed rather badly in an attempt to keep her mentor from harm, got hit several times by Kabuto. The traitor smirked as Tsunade's assistant spat out a mouthful of blood while her mentor looked on, in her blood induced shock. -Help her! Help her!- Was the only thought running through Tsunade's mind as she tried to fight the effects of hemophobia. She looked over to Shizune, being brutally toyed by the eye-glassed traitor. From there her eyes drifted to Naruto, who was laying in a shallow depression his impact with the ground had caused. One of the legendary Sannin tried to move, she tried to will her body to strike at the smirking menace that was torturing her own assistant… and soon would torture the boy whose spirit so resembled that of her own brother and that of her lover.
This internal struggle brought attention to her though. Kabuto, albeit carefully, closed in on the mentally crippled Sannin. The young man smirked before saying. "Ah… so you are truly so weak Tsunade-sama… and to think I once looked up to you. Even the now deceased Kyuubi brat showed more guts. I hear he didn't freeze on the mere sight of blood after all. With that, and a snort of disdain, the traitorous shinobi slammed his fist to Tsunade's face. "So weak… I expected more from one of the legendary Sannin… more so from the legendary Tsunade-hime, the queen of medics." Kabuto sneered as he kicked at the downed woman at the ribs and then hit her on the face to break her features once and for all, only the blow was never delivered.
Tsunade was still in a blood induced shock, she tried to break out when her apprentice and companion Shizune was being beaten… she tried to break out when she, herself, was beaten. She could clearly see each and every blow that landed, she was also burned by the realization that were it not for her hemophobia, that she could stop each and every one of the blows directed at her student… She winced, expecting a blow that never landed. Tsunade blinked… there in front of her eyes was Kabotu's fist, being held by a clawed hand… That was when she recognized the voice that cheerily asked. "Oi Obaachan… you need any help?"
The spy sneered and brought his other hand in a low sweep and batted away both the Sannin and the Genin. Kabotu sneered again as he faced Naruto. "Naruto-kun… seriously you are a nuisance and I will kill you. You should contemplate on the wisdom of your actions… A mere Genin is not expected to make tactical decisions but as he advances in rank he'll be forced to evaluate the conditions on a battlefield. And as you aspire to become a Hokage you should start now by realizing that your opponent overpowers you in every aspect and as such should understand that your dream will die here with you unless you run… run away far and fast without turning to look back."
Naruto, who had been checking on Tsunade and Shizune, suddenly glared at the traitor with his crimson eyes while snarling to reveal fangs glistening with saliva. If the traitor was intimidated, however, he didn't show it. Kabuto once more corrected the position of his glasses and sneered. "And those looks… they will get you killed even if you survive the day. Besides with that dislocated shoulder of yours…" The blonde shook his head ruefully at this making the glassed boy laugh out. "Don't try to fool me Naruto-kun… I am after expert in medical ninjitsu. Your shoulder is unusable and judging by the bloody foam that seeps from your mouth every now and then I'd say your ribs are broken and pressing against your lung… This is the very reason you are so different from Sasuke-kun… he, unlike you, has natural talent and the brains to realize when he should cut his losses and run… you on the other hand are a no-talent bum who's relying on the nine-tails to get him out of trouble."
Naruto on the other hand just gave a one-sided shrug before saying. "My shoulder isn't dislocated… if it was I'd be able to pop it right back in… Been there and done that you know." He seemed to stare into the distance for a moment. "It was my tenth birthday, and the tenth anniversary of Kyuubi's defeat, when a bunch of drunken villagers decided to teach 'the bastard fox' a lesson. I tried to go to the hospital afterwards but the lady in the reception threw me out and threatened me with fines if I came back with my head still attached to my shoulders... good thing I saw this movie where the guy popped his shoulder back into its socket." He then poked the right side of his torso before wincing. "I think you are right about the ribs though… so a broken shoulder, few broken ribs and a badly turned ankle. Not a very fair fight but since I'm such a good sport I'll give you a chance to run…"
Tsunade gasped and tried to say something when Kabuto all but screamed. "That's it brat I'll kill you… I'll do it slow so that you will see the true meaning of suffering."
As the traitorous mednin closed in on Naruto the boy spoke to the woman behind him. "Oi Tsunade-obaachan… hope you got that necklace handy because you are going to lose our bet…"
Meanwhile Gamabunta had managed to trap one of the snakes under his webbed foot and had just brought his tanto down on its neck, decapitating the snake and causing it to vanish in a burst of smoke. The two Sannin were exchanging blow for a blow as Jiraiya's drugged state was offset by Orochimaru's lack of arms. The two men were eyeing each other when Kabuto's scream drew their attention. Orochimaru chuckled as his minion charged towards the obviously hurt Naruto… soon however the chuckle died on his lips and it was Jiraiya's turn to chuckle.
Naruto prepared to meet the charge head on as he pointedly ignored Tsunade's pleas to stop, runaway or save himself. His crimson eyes were a sure sign that his system was brimming with Kyuubi's chakra, enhancing muscles, senses and flooding his body with endorphins. Kabuto smiled victoriously as his blue glowing hand began to drive towards Naruto's left and disabled side… a smile that faded as the hand was grabbed by an ethereal tail composed of chakra. His eyes widened as they met Naruto's crimson ones as the boy grinned menacingly while using another tail to grab Kabuto's other hand.
Kabuto was quick to compose himself after a third tail slammed against his head… the blow didn't even daze him much. "So Naruto-kun… this is how you were able to defeat the Hyuuga during the finals. Chakra tails, and here I thought you simply used Kyuubi's chakra to keep him in the air. Still… what are you going to do now? You can't beat me unconscious nor can you strangle me effectively… and you are losing strength rapidly due to your injuries." He then leered. "And the best part is that you can't even form seals for any jutsus because your left hand is unusable."
The blonde Jinchuuriki spat out some bloody froth before offering a fanged grin. "Just to prove you wrong I'll show a jutsu that was created by the Yondaime-Hokage… it was one of his prized jutsus." He then turned his head to Tsunade. "Oi baachan you looking?" Kabuto's smile faded slightly as the third tail moved around his upper torso… it faded completely as Naruto held out his hand and a small rotation of chakra began to form on it… the rotation then grew in speed and in force causing violent buffeting of winds around the boy until a sphere of spinning chakra was formed in his hand. Naruto smirked at Kabuto's stunned expression. "You were saying something about no talent and inability to use jutsus."
With that the boy lunged forward while using his tails to pull Kabuto towards him and yelled out "Rasengan" before thrusting the glowing ball of chakra into the traitor's gut. Naruto's opponent had, however, been preparing since the first swirl of chakra had appeared and had begun to gather his own chakra into his abdomen… the two chakras fought for dominance but inevitably Naruto's Kyuubi boosted chakra won and the Rasengan began to drill into Kabuto's stomach. The spy's eyes widened suddenly as Naruto's right hand began to burn and tendrils of the blue flame were sucked into the spinning ball… he had been certain that his regenerative abilities would let him take any technique but with fire…
Kabuto screamed in pain as the now flaming ball of swirling chakra penetrated into his stomach, a scream that suddenly became a gurgle as he spat out blue, flaming blood. Naruto winced at the sight but kept his concentration on the blue fire that was eating the traitor from inside and showed his hand further into Kabuto. With a look of disgust he wrenched his hand back away letting the Rasengan dissolve as Orochimaru's henchman fell to his knees and then sideways to the ground. With a look of determination the blonde kept the fire going until the back of Kabuto's clothing began to blacken.
Tsunade was watching in terrified fascination as Kabuto got hit by a stable Rasengan and as the Rasengan itself began to burn with the blue flames Naruto somehow summoned. She couldn't turn her eyes away as the dying man began to cough out burning blood that continued to burn on the ground. Finally when Naruto let go of the fire it winked out of existence and the blonde staggered backwards before retching loudly. The retching turned into a fit of coughing after which Naruto spat out a mouthful of blood and collapsed right next to Tsunade, who suddenly had a flashback from a rainy clearing where her fiancé also spat out some blood before dying in her hands. With a strangled yell of "Nooo" the blonde woman flashed through hand seals and whispered "Shosen Jutsu" (Mystical Palm Technique) while placing her blue glowing hands on Naruto's chest. The blonde Sannin furiously pumped chakra into her technique while yelling. "Don't you die on me you damn brat… I'll beat the living shit out of you if you do."
There was a slight twitch before Naruto opened one eye and glared at the woman. "Keep it down will you baachan, I'm trying to recover here." Then the boy winked and said. "Besides it's not like I can die before I become the Hokage, get your necklace and get that week worth of training you owe me." Tsunade just let out a choked mixture of crying and laughing and continued to fix the tear in Naruto's lung…
Orochimaru wasn't indeed smiling as Jiraiya commented. "Ooh I bet that hurt… looks like your little boy-toy is down for good." The perverted Sennin turned at his former team mate before smiling grimly. "Not that you really need to dwell on it… I'm sure you'll reunite with him in the hell I'll send you in a moment."
Had Jiraiya know what was going through Orochimaru's mind he wouldn't have wasted time on gloating. The snake Sannin narrowed his eyes as Tsunade began fervently heal the boy. -That damn brat… not only does he have Kyuubi's power but that bastard Yondaime's abilities it seems. Even the Sharingan is powerless against the 'Hiraishin'… I will have to kill him now or he'll become a nuisance… too bad that I can't use his body because of the Kyuubi.-
With that he sped past the now startled Jiraiya while condescendingly yelling. "I'll finish you later fool… but first I'll get rid of the brat before he reaches his full potential." Jiraiya cursed and launched after his former team mate, only to be grabbed by Orochimaru's freakishly elongated tongue and smashed to the ground below.
Tsunade on the other hand took a deep breath and relaxed. She'd healed the damaged lung and temporarily fixed the ribs. The boy needed a lot more work but the immediate danger had passed… his shoulder needed fixing and the ribs needed to be set and bandaged… not to mention that the brat needed about a week in bed to recover from extreme chakra exhaustion. She smirked at Naruto who was staring at the clouds before unclasping her necklace and slipping it around Naruto's neck. The boy raised the necklace and stared at it before saying. "Ero-sennin said this is valuable enough to buy several mountains… I've been thinking… maybe mountains of ramen?" Before sighing in a content tone as he began a nice daydream about mountains of ramen.
The dream was rudely interrupted as Akai yapped a warning about Orochimaru's attack. Naruto winced as he sat upright only to be pushed aside by Tsunade who tried to throw herself in way of Orochimaru and his Kusanagi sword that was being pushed out of his mouth by a snake. Blood splattered everywhere as Tsunade cursed, she'd been pulled aside by a chakra tail and now Naruto stood there, with the long blade protruding from his back. Orochimaru smirked as the Jinchuuriki tried to form another Rasengan, only to fail when the legendary sword twisted slightly in his abdomen. The smirk turned sour, though when there were two distinct flares of killing intent… one was from Tsunade who was stalking him with death in her eyes, the other was coming from the boy who was now leaking out crimson chakra in alarming quantities… in fact the wound began to close around the sword even as Orochimaru watched. Only thing that saved his head was a swift pulling back, even so the Sannin didn't escape without damage as powerful claws tore their way along his cheek and cleanly ripped off his lower jaw… along with severing the snake that was still holding the Kusanagi no Tsurugi. The snake user had no time to dwell on the pain as the full force of Tsunade's fury slammed into his already abused face and sent him flying good fifty meters backwards.
Blinking the daze out of his eyes Orochimaru noted that his imminent death was postponed as Tsunade had immediately turned her focus on Naruto, who had taken several staggering steps before collapsing to the ground. A short victorious smile, or what would have been a smile had Orochimaru still had his jaw, vanished as he noticed Jiraiya slowly stalking him while Gamabunta demolished his last remaining snake summon. Cursing to himself Orochimaru decided that if he wanted to continue his existence he'd have to escape… with a hate filled glare the snake Sannin seemed to sink into the ground leaving a cursing Jiraiya behind.
Shizune had woken only moments before and had been rather stunned by spectacle of Naruto ripping off Orochimaru's jaw. When the blonde collapsed however, the medic in her took over and the dark haired woman started towards the boy completely ignoring her own wounds, which were serious but not life threatening. Tsunade was already working on the boy and barely acknowledged her assistant as the two began a desperate battle to save the boy's life… not only was the wound severe but there was a great probability that Orochimaru had poisoned the blade.
As Jiraiya made his way to the two mednins and his downed apprentice he simply asked. "Is he going to be all right?"
Tsunade didn't even look up from her healing as she simply answered. "The brat is going to be the Rokudaime Hokage… he can't die on some god forsaken field in middle of nowhere."
Jiraiya suppressed the sudden urge to laugh and nodded. "Well… the teme ran away." He then motioned Akai. "Come on furball… I need your nose, we'll find that bastard and string him up for this."
It was almost an hour later when a grim looking Jiraiya returned. He answered Tsunade's question with a slight shake of his head and looked over to see Naruto being closely monitored by Shizune. The blonde Sannin made a face before summoning a slug, on which she gently deposited the unconscious Naruto. As the three adults, two pets and the summon carrying Naruto made their way towards the town and their hotel Tsunade said. "He'll live… it was a close thing for a while but there was something, probably the nine-tails, that aided our efforts. The wound is already completely closed and we fixed his shoulder… we still probably need to set it better once we get him into a bed. Then there are signs of prolonged chakra exhaustion… I'd say he's been running on pure determination for the past few days."
Jiraiya just shrugged while turning the Kusanagi sword in his hands. As they finally arrived at the hotel he ignored the two medics who were making sure Naruto was resting comfortably and began to draw a complex pattern of seals on the floor. It was only when Jiraiya imbedded the Kusanagi sword in middle of the pattern that Tsunade asked. "Jiraiya, what are you doing?"
The white haired Sannin just ignored the question as he flashed through several hand seals before placing both hands on the pattern. The Kusanagi began to flash as the sealing pattern began to get sucked into the sword and a sheath began to appear around the blade. As the sealing was complete the sheathed sword fell to the floor with a clatter. Jiraiya turned to Tsunade and smirked. "I found Orochimaru's corpse… or as my little furry friend there said it was the corpse but it wasn't. There were also some shackles and smell trail of few other people on a clearing not too far from our little team get together. Akai-chan here said that the corpse didn't have a 'snake' smell while the shackled person's scent had changed to more snakelike."
Tsunade frowned at this as Jiraiya continued. "As for the sealing… Well it should make it a little harder for our dear friend to summon his kitchen knife again. As long as the sword remains in the sheath it can't be summoned unless you undo the sealing pattern I used… and since no-one other than me knows that particular pattern…" He then craned his neck towards Naruto. "So… if he's alright you think either of you could fix me up. I sort of busted a rib and my leg is broken I think."
Shizune smirked as Tsunade simply punched Jiraiya on the head and yelled. "You idiot… why didn't you say something before and went on running around with a broken leg." She then checked Jiraiya's swirly eyes and commented with an evil laugh. "Well my special Jiraiya sedation methods still work it seems."
Naruto, for his part, was being yelled at. In the little corner of his mind where Kyuubi resided the demon fox was somewhat irritated. "You moron… getting in front of that sword like that. Are you trying to get us killed?" Unfortunately for the demon fox her host was also somewhat miffed as the boy yelled back. "You are one to talk… you kept pushing more chakra through the seal than I needed… I was borderline berserk the whole time."
As a result the two settled for a glaring contest that lasted for some time until they both grinned almost simultaneously. "Ah what the hell kit. It's not like we died or anything, just try not to do that again. The big breasted woman is mending your shoulder right now so we might just as well rest and enjoy ourselves."
Naruto blinked in surprise. "You can actually tell what's happening on the outside?" Then it was Kyuubi's turn to blink. "You mean to tell me you can't?" When Naruto shook his head the fox grinned. "Well I've been thinking that you are ready to start learning about the pranking… err practical uses of illusions, specifically kitsune illusions. But I think we'll start with expanding your awareness somewhat… now sit down and try to relax."
For the second time in as many days Naruto's transition from sleep to full wakefulness was interrupted by the realization that he was sleeping on something soft. With a startled gasp he once again sat upright only to cause Shizune to stumble from her chair. The dark haired mednin's eyes were as wide as dinner plates as she mumbled something along the lines of "Impossible recovery… even with the nine-tails."
Naruto didn't have time to comment on this as he was suddenly smothered in a fierce hug, from which he only got out after some severe struggling. He was then smacked on the side of the head rather savagely as the now enraged Tsunade was towering over him. "You stupid, stupid brat… Don't you ever dare to do something as foolish as going against someone like Orochimaru alone. You could, YOU SHOULD HAVE DIED!!! If it wasn't for the nine-tails…"
Naruto on the other hand was getting angry and stood up on the bed just to be on the eyelevel with the ranting Sannin. Pointing an accusatory finger at Tsunade he yelled. "OI! You're one to talk you hypocritical old hag… going against Orochimaru and his butt-buddy with your irrational homophobia."
"Homophobia?" Asked both mednins at the same time.
Naruto waved his hand in the air. "Yeah you know… fear of blood." He was somewhat perplexed as Tsunade suddenly laughed out loud and hugged Naruto lightly as the boy continued "Sheesh some ninja you are obaachan… you are almost as lame a Sannin as Ero-sennin is. I mean he did get poisoned by you so you probably are a little cooler but still pretty lame. I mean come on… blood." Shizune snickered as Naruto was again smothered in a fierce hug by the blonde Sannin.
That was when Jiraiya, who was somewhat jealous about all the hugs, made his presence known. "Hmm I think it's hemophobia brat… And while I'm happy to see you growing up and all that shouldn't you maybe cover yourself up before Tsunade-hime decides to deck you for flashing a couple of beautiful girls."
Several things happened simultaneously. Shizune giggled at Naruto who turned red and let out a "Gah." as he realized that he was only wearing his boxers as he dove for the cover of the sheets. Jiraiya let out a "Gah." as Tsunade's fist slammed into his stomach doubling him over, then he let out a "Guh." as the blonde Sannin continued with and elbow to the top of Jiraiya's head and yelled. "Pervert!"
After the pervert had been dealt with and Naruto was safely beneath his sheets Tsunade turned at the boy. "Now our discussion isn't over but I concede your point that it might not have been the wisest thing to do… but enough of that now. How are you feeling?"
Shizune giggled again as Naruto poked his ribs, his shoulder and then his gut where the Kusanagi had pierced him… when he got there a loud rumble was emitted from his stomach and the boy looked at Tsunade with eyes brimming with tears. "I'm staaarrrrviiiing…"
Jiraiya who was picking himself from the floor was about to say something but Tsunade beat him to it. "Okay brat… because I'm feeling jubilant due to your extraordinary recovery we'll go get whatever you want… my treat."
Her old team mate just snickered as Naruto beamed before shouting. "Raaaaameeeeen!"
Tsunade shrugged before nodding and thought. -He's a pretty nice kid after all, considerate too… He could have asked for some quality sushi or something and all he wanted was some ramen.-
Tsunade's smile had turned into a frown and then into a near tearful expression of abject horror as Naruto had polished off his sixth and seventeenth, respectively, bowl of ramen. Shizune on the other hand watched in amazement as the boy ate, ate and ate… and ate. After she finished her second, and last, bowl she turned to Jiraiya and whispered. "Where does he put all that ramen… it should be physically impossible to eat that much." Jiraiya just shrugged and smirked at Tsunade's expression as Naruto ordered yet another bowl of pork ramen.
The following morning Jiraiya grumbled as the sound of yelling woke him into a slight hangover that was reminder from last night's celebration. He sighed in irritation as Naruto and Tsunade were facing off with both having their chopsticks on the same piece of fish. As he plopped down on the place next to Naruto the boy yelled. "Old hag… I need the fish because I'm a growing boy…"
He was about to say more but Tsunade cut in while tightening her grip on the fish. "Gaki… is that a respectful way to address your new Hokage-sama… hmm that sounds about like right Hokage-sama or maybe Tsunade-sama. Even Godaime-sama would do."
Naruto snorted and tried to tug the fish towards himself. "Hah… lets get some things straight here. I'm letting you be the 'Hokage' for the sole purpose of keeping the chair warm and the paperwork in order till I take over. So in fact you should call me Rokudaime-sama… besides what did I tell you about your blood pressure. As a mednin you should know that old people should avoid situations in which their blood pressure rises."
Shizune just sighed as the two blondes continued to fight over every piece of food on the table, never mind that there was more than enough of everything. The fight only stopped when Jiraiya patted Naruto on the shoulder and said. "So my boy… you mastered the Rasengan then? So what would you like to learn next… you need but to ask." The boy stared at him as if he'd grown another head so Jiraiya elaborated. "Well… I had a little bet riding on your ability to master the Rasengan too. And guess what? I won… I won a date." The old man began to sob. "A date with the epitome of beauty and the only woman in the all the shinobi countries who has resisted my manly charms and turned me down time after time."
Naruto, with a fishtail sticking out of his mouth, turned towards Tsunade and yelled at her. "And here I thought you had standards and then you go out with Ero-sennin…"
Tsunade just groaned and hid her slightly flushed face as Jiraiya began to develop a slight twitch before a sly smile crept across his face. -Why not poke a little fun of the brat while we're on the subject of love…- He then ruffled Naruto's hair before asking. "So… have you written your sweet little Hinata-chan?"
Now it was Naruto's turn to become flushed as he was suddenly the two sets of critical eyes that were sizing him up. He stammered something as the two women began to shoot questions like "Ooh you have a girlfriend? What's she like? How long have you been seeing each other?" and so on.
Jiraiya, ever the gallant, took it upon himself to answer these questions and produced Naruto's photo album from his sleeve. "Ladies, ladies… I'll answer all questions in my apprentice's stead. Here have a look of a very cute moment these two shared in the aftermath of the recent Sound attack." The old pervert smirked as Naruto tried in vain to get his photo album back and smirked some more as the women giggled at the picture of the foxboy and Hinata snuggling while asleep. Jiraiya then patted his 'apprentice' on the shoulder again and said. "Have no worries my dear boy… despite the horrible slander you sometimes direct at me without thinking I'll help you when it comes the time to deal with her father. I do, after all, know Hiashi pretty well…"
At this Tsunade's attention was focused on the two males. "Hiashi?" She asked. "As in Hyuuga Hiashi, the head of the Hyuuga clan?" As Jiraiya nodded fervently she smiled rather wickedly at the embarrassed looking Naruto. "You do plan a head brat… I mean deciding to become the Hokage and now wooing the daughter of the Hyuuga head. You'll go far as a ninja I think… I just hope you won't take up gambling."
Naruto just shook his head before saying. "Nah… no challenge there. I mean after Ero-sennin used all my money on sake and loose women I found a copper coin and decided to slap it in the machine. I won three times in the row and had my gama-chan full of Ryo."
Tsunade's eyes widened as she suddenly reached over the table and 'acquired' Naruto's froggy-purse, opened in and began to cry rivulets of bitter tears causing the boy to sweat drop as Shizune whispered. "She's had a little bad luck with gambling recently."
Naruto was whistling a happy tune, sure he'd been almost ready to become a Nukenin when the debate on what he should buy as gift for Hinata had reached its peak. Naruto had been perplexed about the whole notion of buying a gift but Tsunade and Shizune had convinced him that it was expected. He'd then suggested some training equipment but the frosty glares he'd received had clearly conveyed that anything related to being a shinobi was out of the question. The debate had raged on for more than half a day as the women had dragged poor Naruto around the town and from shop to shop. Perfumes, treats, tea, stuffed toy animals and tee-shirts had been suggested and turned down until Naruto saw a nice cream coloured kimono with plenty of indigo and several rather intricate floral patterns.
The women had argued that, while nice and made from local silk that was renown around the ninja countries, the kimono was still most likely vastly inferior to that the Hyuuga wealth had procured for the heiress. Naruto had just shrugged and commented on how it would look nice on Hinata on some festival or the other… he was actually secretly hoping to take Hinata to the Tanabata festival that he'd never personally attended due to being the shunned 'demon boy'. Jiraiya had been interested in the idea, although with a little personal modification, and had promptly dragged Naruto to a very racy lingerie store… After he'd been pounded to patty by Tsunade the two women had finally settled on the kimono.
Naruto was still smiling somewhat about the events that followed. He'd been rather horrified at the cost but decided that it was worth it… luckily he'd been able to recuperate the losses at a gambling parlour where Tsunade had decided to gamble some. It had taken three hours before the 'Legendary Sucker' had stopped glaring at the boy who'd raked in cash after winning three out of four bets.
That had been two days ago and now they were only a day away from Konoha as they'd been making good speed. As they stopped for the night Tsunade suddenly asked. "So Naruto-kun… you grew up in an orphanage?" As the boy nodded the woman continued. "So… how about that we go to the archives once we hit Konoha and find out who your parents were? That is if you want to."
Naruto just nodded dumbly before giving Jiraiya a concerned look. The Gama Sennin just smiled and said. "Look Naruto… I know it's supposed to be a secret but she's the Hokage for pity's sake. Besides she needs to know anyway." The blonde mulled it over before pulling out a curiously engraved kunai and twirling it around his finger while looking expectantly at the old man who tossed his hands in the air and laughed. "Sure brat… I think it's time I get an update on your progress anyway."
Both mednins were rather mystified by this behaviour and watched as Naruto took off with a whoop of joy and ran some twenty meters away from their campsite before turning and lazily tossing the kunai in their general direction, enough on the side to be safe. The boy then simply disappeared before reappearing in a yellow flash… and a loud yell of "YEAAAAGH!" All the adults present blinked once to clear their eyes from the afterimage of the flash to see Naruto holding a kunai in his hand… from the wrong end.
Jiraiya simply covered his eyes and began to laugh as Tsunade rushed over to Naruto and, after bopping him on the head once for being so reckless, began to fuss over the wound. The boy simply brushed her off as the wound was very shallow and the yelp had been more from the shock than anything else. After he wiped the excess blood away the blonde reached for his pouch and produced a jar of salve that he generously applied to the wound. Both Tsunade's and Shizune's eyes widened as the wound healed right in front of their eyes… without giving the boy a chance to object they grabbed the salve and huddled together near the fire to examine it. Naruto just blinked a few times before shrugging and going over to Jiraiya and tuning out his lecture about how. "You shouldn't be such a show off…"
Some half an hour later the jar was tossed back to him as Tsunade said. "So brat… seems like you know who your parents were then?" As Naruto nodded Shizune cut in. "So are they Naruto-kun?" Now it was Shizune's turn to get bopped on the head, albeit much more lightly than Naruto or Jiraiya, as Tsunade admonished her assistant. "Shizune, Shizune how many times do I have to say 'Pay attention to the details!' if you didn't realize that the brat there showed us a pretty good version of the famed 'Hiraishin no Jutsu' and if you think back you would notice that he can do the Rasengan, not to mention that he's got blonde hair, blue eyes and a cheery demeanor."
Shizune blinked a few times as the pieces fell together in her mind, then her head turned towards Naruto in a snap while she asked. "You mean… the Yondaime and... and… Ayame-chan?" Naruto noticed that Jiraiya suddenly started looking very, very scared as he made several warding signs with his fingers and started to back away from Naruto very slowly. Shizune was still intently staring at him and asked. "Naruto-kun… you are the son of the Yondaime and Ayame-chan?" Now the boy noticed that Tsunade was backing away from her assistant and nodded nervously. "That means that… that…" The dark haired woman jumped across the fire and began hugging Naruto like a plushie as she cooed. "Aaah Naruto-kun… you are the dear nephew of my sweet Kakashi-kun."
Jiraiya and Tsunade sweat dropped as Naruto began to turn blue from asphyxiation while Shizune was hopping around the campsite like a little girl on a sugar high. With a wince of sympathy, as Naruto managed to draw a breath before being hugged tight again, Jiraiya turned to Tsunade and asked. "She's still not over it?" Tsunade just stared at the sight in horror before shaking her head nervously and saying "Seems not."
The following day they were up at dawn and started quickly towards Konoha with Naruto now rather relaxed around Shizune. Apparently the woman had calmed down after Naruto had promised to tell her everything about her 'Sweet Kakashi-kun' and she'd been very cooperative when Naruto had admitted that Kakashi was his sensei in addition to being his uncle.
Sakura was having another bad morning on what was probably going to be a bad day. Sasuke hadn't woken up yet, the missions they got were no better than the usual D-rank missions they'd done before team seven's mission to the Wave Country. Not to mention Naruto wasn't around to cheer her up and now that he wasn't on the D-rank missions she began to notice that despite all the goofing up he'd done he'd also done brunt of the work. She sighed. -Even Kakashi-sensei is away, always busy doing some crazy A-class missions and stuff because we are short on manpower. We got a day off and I can't even pick a fight with Ino-pig since she's like all 'Naruto-kun this' and 'Naruto-kun that'. Hinata is probably going to use the Hyuuga fortune to hire an assassin to go after her soon… I just wish the blonde moron was here… Aahhh isn't that Naruto?-
Sakura suppressed the first urge to shout out as Naruto seemed to be keeping some weird company. An old man with white hair and creepy facial tattoos that somehow reminded her of Kiba, a dark haired woman who was practically hanging onto him and a busty woman who had 'hooker' written all over her. She frowned. -What is that idiot doing now? Is that old man the pervert who writes Kakashi's books? OOH I'll kill him for this.- Suddenly 'inner-Sakura' gasped in horror as the dark haired woman gave Naruto a big hug and then sleazy one gave him a kiss on the cheek and then sent him away with a slap on the butt.
Sakura fumed as she watched Naruto walk away with a big smile on his face and was about to pounce on her team mate as the boy suddenly stopped and waved at someone. Deciding that her vantage point wasn't good enough Sakura used a tree as a springboard and jumped at the nearby rooftop. From there she could see the person Naruto was waving to and sighed. -Oh great… just great timing Hinata. And there she goes getting all red on the face and poking her fingers together. And then Naruto will say something and she'll get even redder and then he'll touch her forehead to check for a fever and she'll faint.- Sakura paused momentarily as a image of Naruto molesting unconscious Hinata came to her mind. Both Sakura and her inner-self screamed -SHANNARO I'll kill him if he as much as looks at her.- Then she gasped as Hinata suddenly sprinted towards Naruto and jumped to hug him fiercely. -Now they are hugging… and now they're talking and now… yes some kissing and is that her tongue?- Suddenly Sakura blinked -Tongue? They're using tongue…- while inner Sakura yelled. "Hot dang… what a Casanova."
Naruto and Hinata were thoroughly enjoying the hug and the kisses afterwards when a loud yell of "Naruto you PERVERT!!!" shook them from the bliss. Naruto only had time to recognize the face of his attacker before a fist smacked right into his gut, followed by an elbow on the top of his head. Sakura was about to do more, like kick Naruto in the groin a few times for taking advantage of Hinata, when the girl in question managed to stop her. With an imperious smile she pointed at the dazed Naruto and said. "Hinata trust me when I say it… this sleaze bucket was trying to take advantage of you."
She pointedly ignored Naruto, who'd by this time picked him up from the ground and tried to object. "See Hinata, this miserable excuse for a boy was just getting some quality time from his little harem." Hinata's eyes widened as she shot a disbelieving look at Naruto who stared at Sakura as if she'd just said that the moon was made out of cheese. Naruto blinked several times and then fell with a thud when his pink haired team mate continued. "There was this brunette that was making all lovey-dovey eyes at him while hanging onto him and then there was this shameless woman with obviously fake breasts, dubious character and low moral standards who like kissed and groped him and all that. Not to mention there was this sleazy looking old man with tattoos under his eyes… I think he's a pervert who writes the infamous 'Icha Icha Paradise'."
As Sakura stopped to draw a breath she noticed that her speech didn't have a desired effect as Hinata was struggling to keep her mouth from twitching at the mention of the 'sleazy old man'. Naruto on the other hand had no such compunctions and he began to laugh so hard that tears came to his eyes. When he finally managed to regain his wits he smirked at Sakura. "Hehee… Sakura-chan I'm sure that the Godaime-sama would be interested to know that you consider her a 'Shameless woman with obviously fake breasts, dubious character and low moral standards'." He then winked at Hinata and continued. "You were right about all else except the fake breasts… I think they are real… at least Ero-sennin said they are and he's reputedly the only man alive who's peeped on her and lived."
Sakura scowled. "Oh get real Naruto-baka… there is no Godaime-Hokage and even if there will be she or he certainly won't be like twenty or something."
Naruto had to suppress another wave of laughter before he managed to say. "But Sakura-chan… Tsunade-obaachan is like reaaally old. He's as old as Ero-sennin or something because they were like team mates and the Hokage-jiisan's students and stuff."
Sakura's already grim visage darkened as she thought she was made fun off. "Look Naruto… no way was that Tsunade-sama who is one of the legendary three, who were Sandaime-sama's pupils. I mean she would have to be at least fifty and besides that old guy there…"
Hinata couldn't keep it down anymore and she began to giggle at the perplexed Sakura. "Ano… gomen Sakura-san but that man with white hair and tattoos under his eyes is indeed Jiraiya-sama. One of the Sannin, the Toad Sennin and…" She was cut off by Naruto who continued. "A super pervert by his own words, author of the best selling smut series 'Icha Icha Paradise' and all around disreputable person."
He then took Hinata's hand and said. "Tsunade-obaachan has a henge that helps her from escape from her gambling debts or something. But she really is the Godaime-Hokage as me and Ero-sennin… that's what I call the old lech Jiraiya, went to find her and bring her to Konoha to be the Hokage." Naruto nodded furiously as he began to get excited. "Yeah and you shouldn't piss of obaachan because she's like really strong for an old lady… she levelled a whole castle with one punch and man did she deck that bastard Orochimaru when he came looking for trouble. Yeah and I kicked his ass too, ripped off the jaw from his face."
Sakura, her anger now forgotten, and Hinata were both listening Naruto with and expression of wonder on their faces when a small whistle came from behind them. Naruto waved his hand and yelled. "Ah Kakashi-sensei… good thing I saw you first thing. I need to know where my new home is since you said that I had to move and stuff."
Kakashi was looking just as bored as he usually did and only lifted his eye from the small orange book to wink at Naruto before saying. "Mmmhh well I don't have the keys with me right now but Hinata knows where the place is so she can take you there. There's a spare key on top of the second beam to the right from the door… you should be able to find it pretty easily, especially if Hinata uses her Byakugan." The Jonin then turned a page on his book before asking. "So you ran into Orochimaru again? How did it turn out?"
Naruto practically jumped at the question. "It was totally awesome… First I had to fight this traitor dude from the Chuunin exams… you remember him right. The guy with the glasses and the weird info cards Yakushi Kabuto." Kakashi's eye narrowed slightly as Naruto continued. "At first we just got both hit and all that but then Orochimaru-teme summoned some big snakes and Gamabunta had to fight them and one almost hit obaachan but I got her out of the way… then the snake hit me to the ground and I broke a shoulder and couple of ribs that poked my lung so I sort of frothed at the mouth." Kakashi was now scowling behind his mask. "Then I took this Kabuto guy on and used this cool new jutsu I learned, the Rasengan, and busted his ass but for good."
Kakashi, his book forgotten, stared at Naruto with an eye filled with wonder along with the two girls. Then the boy continued. "Then this traitor Orochimaru comes along and tries to impale me with his sword but then obaachan jumps on the way and I sort of pushed her out of the way and uh…" He floundered with the words for a while. "Uh the sword sort of went right through here and out from here I think." There were five collective blinks as the others present sweat dropped as Naruto showed where the sword had been. "But then totally trashed him and had he not been so darn fast I would've decapitated him… but only got his lower jaw."
Suddenly Naruto was dangling from Kakashi's hand. "You moron… you trying to take someone on Kabuto's level is one thing but trying to take one of the Sannin on one-on-one is absolute madness."
Naruto just shrugged as he was being shaken and then gave a foxy grin at Kakashi. "Neh… Kakashi-sensei… I probably should warn you that there's a new Jonin in town and this particular Jonin is after your heart."
Kakashi just shrugged as he dropped Naruto and seemingly focused on his book again. "Well… that happens you know. I'm pretty famous and ranked pretty high in the Bingo book so occasionally some people come on and challenge me to make some name for themselves…"
Naruto's foxy grin turned wider as he commented. "But she isn't after your heart in that way… she wants to win your heart for herself." This drew Kakashi's attention and a slight snort from Sakura who obviously thought the whole thing as flight of Naruto's imagination.
Kakashi looked somewhat interested now, sure there were fangirls but most of them were not shinobi and those few who were, were not nuisances. A new player on the field could make his days bit more tedious but still, whoever she was, she'd give up sooner rather than later. Feigning disinterest he casually asked. "So… who is it?"
Naruto smiled even wider making Kakashi's sixth sense tingle. Then the boy made the single hand seal necessary for henge and transformed into a woman with dark hair and eyes. Sakura gasped as she immediately recognized the woman that had been hanging on Naruto. Kakashi, on the other hand, immediately backpedalled away from the likeness of Shizune who was now staring him with big eyes and a blush. Then the mednin's likeness yelled "Kakaassshiii-kuuuuun my daaarrliing love!" and jumped over to hug the frightened Jonin.
With a chuckle Naruto dispelled the henge and dropped down from Kakashi who was on the verge of having a apoplectic seizure. Raising a trembling finger towards Naruto the Jonin asked. "Shi… Shizune… she's back in Konoha? And she's not over her crush yet?" As Naruto nodded his sensei began to mumble. "I have to hide… I have to get home and lock the door and never come out."
Naruto put on a face of false apology when he said. "She knows where you live… and where you eat, shop for food and where and who you usually hang with." He then cried several crocodile tears before sobbing. "I'm sorry Kakashi-sensei but… I was young and I needed the free ramen coupons."
Kakashi wasn't listening for any apologies as he began to wonder out loud. "Hmmm maybe I'll hide out at Gai's… she'd never look me there. Gai was always begging her out on dates but she was too interested in me to give her the time of her day… that's what started his ridiculous challenges in the first place." Suddenly he became aware that he was ranting there, in the middle of the street and gave Naruto a harsh glare. "We'll talk about this later… I have to split… see you all." With that the Jonin disappeared in a puff of smoke leaving the three Genin staring at the cloud.
It was Hinata who broke the silence. "Ano… Naruto-kun did you really get impaled by Orochimaru?"
As Naruto nodded she paled and then hugged Naruto fiercely while trying to keep tears from falling while Sakura nodded in understanding. "So that's why you were away for so long… you got so badly hurt and took most of the time lounging in some bed while recovering… Naruto you jerk!"
Naruto just tried to comfort Hinata and scratch the back of his head at the same as he looked somewhat sheepish. "Actually Sakura-chan… that was like four days ago."
The scream of "WHAAAAT?" startled birds from trees on a three block radius.
Mkay… that's all for now folks.
A question that I have: Does anyone know what Gamabunta actually wields… I mean it could be tanto, or a wakizashi for all I know.
Well… other than that I should probably explain why this update is the first in only like 6 months. The reason, dear readers, is that my hard drive died taking with it 3 completed chapters (40k words) and the revised (Spellchecked, fixed the persistent vowedwowed issue and the whole oneechan/imoutochan with Akai) chapters 1-8.
Now this definitely sucks but when you think that I also lost almost 150gigs of other stuff. (Among that bunch of rare manga that's never been published in English and was a pain in the ass to find as scanlations.)
Anyway… the worst part was redoing this chapter. You have read the Yondaime Hoka… err the 4th rewrite of this chapter as they always sucked when I compared them to the dear memory of the original. As things were I was again trying to write during the holidays when the FFnet's email daemon finally woke from his long slumber and started shipping stuff back to us and lo' there was this diligent reviewer CRaZY TeDDy who reviewed every chapter and then asked for some more. So I finally snapped, whipped out the sixpack and then started writing, and writing, and writing.
Originally this chap was supposed to be the whole making the bet with Tsunade, then training some and fighting with Kabuto and Orochimaru but it seemed a bit too action oriented so I decided to add the whole return to Konoha into it to add some humour or something.
Well I hope it was worth the wait and I'll try to whip out the next chapter ASAP, which could be sooner or later depending on which way the mood swings.
Featured in the next chapter!!! Kakashi on the lam, Sakura on the rampage, Sasuke doing the emo thing and Naruto eating ramen. Will Hiashi walk in on our hero and Hinata? And what about Naruto's new bachelor crib... What horrors await Iruka who tried to blackmail Naruto before he left Konoha. And what about Konohamaru... and when will the winter start? I mean come on it's like January and it's raining water on the NORTH side of the arctic circle.
Regardless… Ta ta and happy beginning of the new year and all that.