Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto.

The Fox and The Phoenix (Sono Kitsune Oyobi Sono Fenikusu)

Key thinking
"talking"
thoughts progressing into speech"
'substitute for italics'
:scene change: (more for my reference than anything else)
POV

Summary: Naruto's 6 years old, his caretaker, Iruka, was killed by bandits, and he was left orphaned. Well, until a mysterious wanderer appeared...

Chapter One: Dead

Author

:Konoha, Iruka's home:

Naruto wasn't moving, his eyes were puffy, dried tears tracks stained his face, and sorrow was etched very visibly into his small frame.

The crowd were whispering among themselves, which he tried hard to ignore.

"What's that demon child doing?"

"The jounin that had to take care of him was killed I think."

"Serves him right for housing a demon."

"Tch, that damned demon probably killed the jounin himself."

"Yep."

Naruto stood in the doorway of his adopted father's home, trying with all his might not to rush in and attack the ANBU ninja who were taking away 'his' Iruka otou-san under a white sheet stained with blood. The crowd stays a few yards back, giving Naruto a wide berth, but slowly dispersing as the Third Hokage comes out to approach the now crying child.

"Naruto," he says, sighing and placing a hand on the child's shoulder. "Will you be alright?"

Naruto wipes his eyes, whimpering, but looking up at Sarutobi.

"I thi-" he's cut off as he has to make way for the ANBU carrying Iruka's corpse, one of his arms slip off the stretcher from under the sheet to hang limply in the air. Sarutobi tries to turn Naruto where he can't see, but to no avail, Naruto's whimpering turns into screams coupled with heart wrenching sobs as he turns away to bury his face into the Hokage's robes, bawling.

"I-I-...He was the only one who could...-hic-...who could take care of...-hic-...-hic-...me! He was the only one who...-hic-...cared! Why'd they have to...-hic-...kill him?"

Sarutobi sighs, making no attempt to pry the boy from his robes as he pats his head gently.

"I don't know little one, I don't know." he replies, his eyes looking as though they'd spill tears as well as Naruto slowly stops sobbing and lets go of the Hokage's robes and wiping his eyes again.

"Come, let's go on to the tower, I've got paperwork to fill out, and we've got to find you somewhere else to stay, you know." Sarutobi says, smiling lightly. However, Naruto almost starts to cry again, he knew noone else in the village really liked him all that much, but Sarutobi picks up on this too. "Don't worry, it'll be someone as nice as Iruka, maybe nicer."

Naruto's tear streaked face pulled itself into a weak smile as he stared up at Sarutobi, but he shook his head.

"Noone's nicer than Iruka otou-san."

Sarutobi smiles down at him, ruffling his hair and taking his hand.

"No, of course not."

:Hokage's office:

Sarutobi

Well I'd finally gotten the paperwork finished, Naruto was fed and sleeping in the adjacent room, so the only thing left was to find him a suitable new guardian. I go over to look out the window and happen to glance over at the entrance gates to the city, it seemed as if they were having a problem. I was just about to go see to the matter when a messenger nin bursts in.

"Hokage-sama, there's a strange woman at the gate demanding that she be let in! She's threatened to kill the guards if they don't comply, what's your response?"

Yet, before I can reply I hear yelling in the hallway.

"Goddamn you all to hell! Let me go right now, you fucking bastards! I'm going to see Sarutobi-sama and you aren't gonna fucking stop me!" a woman's voice growls as sounds of a struggle rage on in the background.

I had to smile, all these years and she hadn't lost her spirit.

"Miss, please calm down! I'm sure the honorable Hokage-sama will see you shortly! There is no need for this, now please stop before we-!" the voice of the guard is cut off as the door bursts open and I see a woman slamming one guard into the wall, using a subduing taijutsu on the other, and baring a sword at the third.

"I swear, if you ever do that again then you will be nothing more than a stain on the end of my sword!" she growls at them, slowly turning towards me. "Sarutobi-sama, your damn guards don't know an official summons when they see one!"

"Well, it depends on wether or not you showed them an 'official' summons, or one you faked using genjutsu." I reply jokingly, folding my hands together atop my desk. She turns away, scoffing, and I tell the messenger to take the three guards back to their posts.

As soon as he clears the hall and the door is shut she starts yelling at me; I rub my temples and bid her to calm down.

"Please, Naruto is still sleeping." I say and she huffs, plopping down in a chair.

Author

Sarutobi sits quietly, studying the pouting woman in front of him.

She has red hair the color of Gaara's, except there are golden tips at the ends. It's hanging down in spiky locks. Her eyes are a cold ice blue, a bit lighter than Naruto's. She's a few inches taller than Kakashi when standing, and her skin is a bit pale.

"I see the rumors were true, hm Sanziya?"

The woman, now dubbed Sanziya, looks up at him bewilderedly.

"What rumors?"

Sarutobi fixes her with a hard gaze.

"The rumors that you had one of the beasts sealed into your own body. You have some traits of the Phoenix."

Sanziya sighs, nodding her head.

"Yes, I did, but I had to Sarutobi-sama! It would've destroyed the village who helped me when I was hurt."

Sarutobi nods understandingly.

"I suppose you seek renewed citizenship into Konoha then?"

"Yes, I'm tired of wandering for the time being, so I'd like to settle down for a while before setting off again. Besides, I'm broke." she replies sheepishly.

"Alright, this is fortunate, I have a favor to ask of you instead of payment for your citizenship."

Sanziya eyes him suspiciously.

"Alright, and what might that be?"

"There's a boy here who is the same as you, you remember the Kyuubi attacking 6 years ago don't you?"

"Yes, I'd always assumed you'd managed to kill it. I left in the middle of the battle, but I heard about the Yondaime and regretted my decision."

"Yes, well...let's not dwell on the past, the favor I wish from you is to take care of this boy, but he has the Kyuubi sealed inside him."

"Why me? Won't the villagers take him?"

"The only one who really cared for him was killed late last night by bandits, but the only reason Naruto wasn't killed is because he hid himself in the closet. You're the best candidate for three reasons, you're poor, you're in the same state so you know what he's going through, and the villagers shun him because of the Kyuubi."

Sanziya pouts a little at the 'poor' comment.

"Gee thanks, Sarutobi-sama, but why do the villagers shun him? If anything, they should praise him as a hero for having to go through what he did so their ungrateful asses could be safe!" she states, her voice growing in volume at each word as she slams her fist down on the desk.

Sarutobi tells her to lower her voice when the sliding door on the opposite side of the room opens slightly.

Frankly the Hokage was surprised Naruto had slept this long with all the noise as he watches the boy come out, his blanket dragging on the floor behind him and his thumb in his mouth. His hair is ruffled, his eyes are puffy as if he'd been crying in his sleep and he goes over to sit beside the Hokage's chair; looking curiously up at the woman who had awoken him by accident.

Sarutobi smiles down to Naruto, calling in an assisant to come and take him down to the baths.

Sanziya smiles as the assisant walks Naruto out.

"So that's the boy eh?" she asks and Sarutobi nods. "I think we'll get along fine"

Anaki: So that's the first chappie, what do you think?

RC#16: Not bad for an anime you've never written about.

Anaki: Aww, thanks Chibikins! -heart eyes-

RC#16: -sweats- I-I mean it looks like that, but to me it's pure crap!

Anaki: ...-gets mallet and chases-

RC#16: -runs- Ahhh! Review!