A/N: Yo! Well, my brain's reached a point where it's saturated with ideas for new fics. Namely, I've conceived the majority of a story line for a fic where Naruto goes to the world of Star Wars that actually WORKS, an introduction to a fic with a Naruto x Tayuya pairing, some vague ideas for a Naruto x Kin story line and one that will NOT stop pestering me until I get it done. What's the fic, you ask? A Naruto x Kurenai pairing. Grossed out? Don't be. I actually think if done correctly, it's the most sweet, adorable pairing possible with the current Naruto characters. Their's literally an aura of purity, I guess, that comes from a well done fic with this pairing. Unfortunately, I've narrowed the amount of these types of fics with this pairing down to two authors on Fan Fiction. I'm going to become the third and make the 'Sannin' of the NaruxKure pairing. My brain is struggling to actually get ANY work done on my two current fics. My brain is DEMANDING I get this fic done. I've told you my brain works weirdly, and this is one of the quirks. Once I get an idea of this size for something that I enjoy, such as fic writing, I will NEVER be able to get it out of my head until I put that idea onto paper. My brain refuses to come up with any ideas until this idea is firmly secured on paper. So, I'm going to be writing this Naru x Kure fic. Sorry to all those who were looking forward to my other fics, but remember something: I never leave a job I enjoy doing half done. I may leave it for a while to come back with some new ideas, but to me this is more important right now. If you desperately want to see my other two fics finished now, then I have one last option for you: Send me a PM if you think you're up to it, and I'll give you a general overview of what I was going to do with the story line and I'll let you guys write what you think could have happened. I won't be updating those chapters done by others on my fic, so I'll let you copy the fics to your account and continue them yourself, as long as you put credit for me as the original fic's writer. Still, I promise I will finish them later, however, I have a feeling this fic is going to be my masterpiece. Even more so than the Bijuu series.
NOTE: Based on the analysis of Naruto I've been making, as well as the similarities to my own childhood, I've confirmed that if he was actually taken care of and taught from a young age, he would be a genius on par at the very least with Sasuke, highly likely somewhere in between Sasuke and Itachi's levels of intelligence, cunning and skill. When I was 12 months old, I'd spoken my first word. By 18 months, I was forming coherent phrases of about 5 words or there abouts, so by four, I'd think Naruto could have a decent understanding of basic language skills. Naruto in the canon story never had anyone to 'teach' him. Think about everyone in Naruto's academy class that made it to the Genin teams except for Naruto. Hell, even include Team Gai. They all had at least one person who would train them at some point in time, or at all times. Let's take a random person. Iono, Shino. Shino is the heir to the Aburame clan, and his father from what I can see personally oversaw his training. Not only that, his Jounin instructor, Kurenai would help him as well, and Iruka would have taught him during the academy. Let's take a more obvious example. Sasuke. Sasuke at the early part of his life was taken care of by his clan, and also taught between his father and brother, as well as everyone willing to wait on him hand and foot for being their 'precious Uchiha'. The only person left is Naruto. I can tell that Naruto has the signs of the brilliant mind of a genius that has gone to waste because no one shaped it from a young age. If, say for example, Kakashi or Jiraiya stepped in to train him from the age of about 4, Naruto would be calling Sasuke a 'dobe', especially if Kakashi introduced him to people like Asuma, Kurenai & Gai. Think about it. If he was to receive training from them, he'd have ALL bases covered. Ninjutsu from Kakashi, Genjutsu from Kurenai, Taijutsu from Gai and Armed Taijutsu from Asuma, Konoha's experts in each respective field. Combine that with Naruto's iron will to never give up and each of them training him for 9 years as well as the academy; do you know what you get? You get a super genius that puts Sasuke to shame. That's right; this fic is going to have Naruto as a super genius. If you can't accept my flawless logic from the above argument, then don't read and don't review. Need further proof? 'Rips off his shirt and begins flexing his massive biceps against your face' Then here is your proof! Can you feel the proof in these muscles? 'Flex' Hmmm? 'Flex' Lol, I love Armstrong. He's so funny.
And now, ladies and gentlemen, I bid you welcome to my latest and greatest creation, made with heavy influence from the two best NaruxKure authors on this site, antiassasinguy & cs-ayeka, Kudos to you two! Welcome, people, to Rubies & Sapphires.
Remember, I do not own Naruto. Never have, but I hope to in the distant future. If I did, I'd be rolling around in a mountain of cash gained from Naruto merchandise sales.
'...Human or Lesser Summon Thinking/Small A/N...'
'...Demon or Summon Boss Thinking...'
"...Human or Lesser Summon Talking..."
"...Demon or Summon Boss Talking..."
"...SHOUTING/TWO OR MORE PEOPLE CASTING SAME JUTSU..."
Rubies & Sapphires:
12 Years Ago:
Once, there was a giant fox with nine tails. A single flick of one of those massive tails could cleave a mountain in half and cause a tsunami. This fox was feared by mortals as the embodiment of destruction, the Kyuubi no Kitsune, king of the demons. For reasons unknown, the Kyuubi had set its sights on a hidden shinobi village that was still recovering from a war with another, the village hidden in the leaves, Konoha. The death toll was catastrophic, and it was rising with every passing second. Men and women had blood pouring down their faces, arms, legs and bodies as they tried desperately to give their one hope of survival a chance to finish what he claimed was 'the ultimate weapon'. People screamed out as they burst into flames, were cut in half or just fell to the ground lifeless. Their were shouts from the shinobi, many of which were things like
"Hold it off until the Yondaime gets here!"
At that point, there was a huge flash and a puff of smoke, and when it cleared; there was the king of frogs in all his glory with a sole figure atop his head, his white coat waving in the wind. Now, every single being on the battle field had stopped, including the Kyuubi no Kitsune. Just as the Kyuubi turned to what looked to be a half decent challenge, he was aware of an almighty presence behind the man atop the frog's head, one that even made him wary. One who should not be here. Kyuubi's eyes narrowed.
A bright flash of blinding white light emanated the man atop Gamabunta's head and Kyuubi could feel it. His soul was being wrenched from his body. As the soul finally left, the husk of the Kyuubi fell to the ground lifeless. Elsewhere in Konoha, three males of different generations, one who was going bald with grey hair from old age, a slightly younger man with long white hair and red facial markings as well as a teenager who had a shock of silver hair wearing a face mask were watching as they saw a child with blonde hair who had just been born cry out in agony as an intricate seal appeared on his navel, along with three whisker like marks on each cheek. Back at the battle field, the ninjas started cheering until they saw their fable leader, the Yellow Flash of Konoha drop lifeless off Gamabunta's head, watching in horror as he slammed into the ground, Gamabunta puffing out of existence, his summoner no longer able to tie his existence to this world. Yondaime had 'killed' the king of demons at the cost of his life. Today, the 10th of October would be a day remembered for all history. The day the world's strongest man sacrificed his life for his village.
4 Years Later:
It was the 10th of October; four years after Yondaime had died. Today, the majority of the village had an air of grieving hanging over it. However, at regular intervals, if one was nearby, an area of the village would erupt in severe hatred. If the observer was closer, they could see that a four year old child was the 'cause' of this rise in hatred and anger. Said boy could be seen running for his life, bleeding profusely, covered in grime and a look of pure fear plastered over his face. He still did not understand. From the limited amount of information he was able to find out, a person's birthday was supposed to be one of the happiest days of the year. His birthdays meant nothing but pain, torture, fear and generally getting thrashed within an inch of his life. Today was no different from the last three. Normally, the villagers just glared at him, restraining from any obvious signs of physical assault, however, every year on October 10th, they let go of their anger and beat him practically to death, screaming things like 'revenge!' 'Kill him now!' and the like. Luckily, the past three years, he was saved by an old man in white robes who everyone seemed to respect. This year was different. That man hadn't arrived, and Naruto would not hold out much longer. He'd been running for hours, a highly commendable feat for someone his age. Right now, the only though on his mind was:
'This is it... I can't go on...'
His pursuers noticed instantly when the boy stumbled and ran blindly down a side alley. The pack smiled as they saw the boy crawling up against the far wall. It was a dead end. Today, they would finally get their revenge against the 'demon'. They proceeded forward and began laying into the child, kicking, punching, and hitting him with implements. The boy was dead, and everyone knew it.
Not too far by, one of Konoha's most famous Jounin was just coming back from his mission, hoping to enjoy the festival when he sensed a massive amount of hatred nearby from a large group of people. He stopped on a roof and saw that there were people laughing manically, shouts of things like 'demon' and other rather unusual sounds. The Jounin narrowed his one visible eye when he though he picked up another sound. The sound of a child sobbing. The sound was extremely faint, but it was coming from the group. The silver haired Jounin jumped down from the roof and walked up to the crowd, raising his voice so they could all hear him.
"What exactly is going on here?"
The group stopped and turned to him smiling.
"We're finally getting our revenge on the demon! Kakashi-San, Yondaime-Sama was your Sensei, why don't you finish off what he started?"
Kakashi's eyes narrowed before he realised who the child was. He quivered in barely suppressed rage as the people moved out of the way, making a path for him until he saw what he confirmed as the worst possible situation he had feared. The child was lying in a foetal position against the wall, barely clinging on to life. Kakashi noticed the shock of blonde spikes, blood pouring from extremely deep wounds and three tell tale whisker marks on each cheek. He ran to the boy, checking his vitals, seeing he was alive, if only by the skin of his teeth. He got up and released such a large amount of killing intent at the mob that the majority of them fell to their knees, bringing up the food they had consumed at the festival. Kakashi had already revealed his Sharingan and couldn't take it any more.
"What the hell do you think you pieces of trash were doing? He's a four year old HUMAN CHILD for Kami-Sama's sakes! Are you so cowardly that you, full grown men, both civilian and ninja, had to form a MOB to do this? Get out of my way now before I have Hokage-Sama execute all of you for treason of the highest order!"
The few men that were in Kakashi's way managed to crawl out of the way. Kakashi turned back and picked the child up, who prepared for the final blow from his assailant, but it never came. Naruto managed to open a blood splattered eyelid a crack to see that it was not the old man who saved him, but a man with silver hair and a mask. Kakashi felt the child stir slightly and looked at him, his visible face contort with worry.
"Naruto? If you can hear me, hang in there! I'm getting you to the hospital."
Naruto nodded ever so slightly, and closed his eyes. He didn't know who this man was, nor at the moment, did he care. He had found the second person who actually cared about him. Little did he know, soon enough, he was going to find a whole group of people who he would soon grow to care for.
About an Hour Later:
Kakashi had dropped Naruto off at the hospital and had to force the staff to take care of him with threats. The staff knew that Hatake Kakashi never made an empty threat, so they quickly got to work. Kakashi, in the mean time, stormed up to the Hokage's tower. He wanted to know things. And if anyone got in his way, so help them Kami, they were as good as dead. He met the ANBU at the door, who made to block him, but he glared at them.
"Get out of my way. NOW."
Unfortunately for these two, the man standing in front of them, while off duty, was still their superior officer. They stepped aside and Kakashi slammed the Hokage's office door open so forcefully that the hinges were barely holding the door up. The Hokage looked up from his desk at the fuming Kakashi. From his experience, few things made the normally cyclopean Jounin this angry. Kakashi stared at the old man.
"I think you had better explain yourself. You told me four years ago that Naruto died from the Kyuubi's influence after the sealing. Do you know what I just found? I found Naruto beaten to within an inch of his life by a mob of civilians and Ninja. Start talking old man."
The Hokage's secretary was shocked. No one had ever talked to her superior like this before. The man didn't even call him Hokage, let along Hokage-Sama. Sarutobi sighed, taking a drag of his pipe and massaging his temples. This was going to be a long day...
2 Weeks Later:
Naruto had been discharged from hospital, and he started walking forlornly back to the Orphanage. He really didn't want to go back, but he had no home. As he walked out into the bright midmorning sunlight, he saw a figure leaning against a post, looking directly at him. Naruto flinched until he realised who it was. His eyes widened as the figure continued looking at him in a semi lazy expression. One he would come to adopt himself.
"Hey, aren't you that guy who saved me?"
The figure got up and walked over to Naruto, bending down to put his face level with Naruto's. Naruto was unsure about what to do. Not even the old man Hokage bent down to talk to him unless he hugged him. Naruto saw that the teen (Kakashi was 18 at this time) had covered his left eye with his hitai-ate. However, his visible right eye was crinkled in what most would associate with a warm smile. Kakashi looked at Naruto lazily.
"That's me. How are you feeling, Naruto?"
Naruto wasn't sure if this was some kind of trick or not, and he was scared of him slightly. Kakashi sighed and shook his head.
"It's been that bad, huh?"
Naruto looked at him questioningly.
"What's been bad?"
Kakashi looked back at him, a rather saddened look on his face as he stared at Naruto. Naruto had learnt what the majority of body language meant out of necessity. A few people had tried to be nice to him before to lure him in before they tried to make him 'disappear'. Naruto saw that this wasn't just sadness. It was a mixture of things. Sadness, pain, and most of all, regret. The man looked up at him.
"I meant that you're life's been painful, hasn't it?"
Naruto nodded slowly as Kakashi put a hand on his shoulder. When Naruto flinched, he took his hand away.
"Sorry, I didn't mean to-"
"No, it's ok. It's just..."
"An automatic reflex?"
Naruto raised an eyebrow at the man. He'd never heard of these 'automatic reflex' things. He was only four, after all. Kakashi sighed deeply.
"An automatic reflex is something you do without thinking. For example, if someone threw a punch at you, you would most likely throw your hands up to block without thinking, right?"
"That's an automatic reflex."
Naruto thought about it. It made sense. Naruto nodded again.
"Yeah it was..."
Kakashi sighed and stood up.
"So, where are you off to, Naruto?"
Naruto looked up at him.
"I'm going back to the orphanage..."
Kakashi looked at the boy. He was still in the orphanage? No one had adopted him yet? Once Kakashi remembered how he found Naruto, it actually wasn't really surprising. Kakashi watched as Naruto looked at him.
"Ano, thanks for saving me mister..."
Kakashi smiled at him.
"It's Kakashi, Naruto. I'll be seeing you around, ok? If you need anything, just ask the old man."
Naruto nodded and began walking off in a daze towards the orphanage, having no idea that Kakashi was secretly trailing him. When Naruto walked up to the front door, Kakashi was shocked when he saw a group of boys slightly older than Naruto saw him and made their way over to him, starting to push him around. Kakashi frowned at this. One of the boys kneed Naruto in the stomach as Naruto fell to the ground and the boys sneered at him. Kakashi was about to go help him when a matron came out, seeing the boys covered in mud, scrapes and bruises. The matron looked at them.
"What on earth happened?"
The boys looked up at the matron, fake hurt plastered all over their faces.
"He came over and started pushing us around while we were minding our own business."
Kakashi smirked. Surely they couldn't get away with-
"I should have known he would do something like that. The 4 of you get inside and go wash yourselves. As for YOU."
She stared at Naruto.
"What do you think you're doing? The boys did nothing to you! No lunch for you! Now get inside!"
Kakashi frowned. The boys had been playing a game with a ball in the mud, and their appearance was their own fault. Naruto had done absolutely nothing to the boys, yet he was blamed as if it was an everyday occurrence? Kakashi wasn't going to tolerate this. He 'poof'ed to the Hokage's office with a personal request that he would not take 'no' for an answer to.
Naruto was woken up early by a wooden cooking spoon being slammed over his head. He shot up, staring at the matron, who glared at him.
"I don't know why anyone would, but you've been adopted. Get your things and get out."
Naruto paused for a minute, trying to process the sentence.
The matron sneered.
"That's what I said. Now get moving!"
Naruto jumped out of bed, packing the few clothes he had. All of his possessions that he ever had were quickly confiscated. Once Naruto had dressed and packed his only other set of clothes, he walked past everyone to the front desk, to see who had adopted him. When he saw who it was, he was floored. It was the masked man! Naruto's mouth dropped open as Kakashi held up a hand lazily, crinkling his one visible eye in a smile.
Naruto's clothes dropped to the floor as Kakashi continued smiling. Naruto was in shock. Not only had he been adopted, but it was by the man that saved him. Kakashi's eyebrow raised as he saw Naruto's reaction before his visible eye once again crinkled into a smile. Naruto slowly picked up his things, begging, hoping for this to be real. Kakashi led Naruto out the door and down the streets to an apartment complex. Kakashi le Naruto into the front door and up three flights of stairs to a door. Kakashi stopped at the first door out of the stair well that had the numbers 3:01 on it. Kakashi fished a key out of his pocket with practiced ease and opened the door in one swift motion. Naruto looked around at his 'new home'. It was fairly devoid of colours for a home. The furniture was mostly washed out maroons, browns and whites. However, it still somehow retained a feeling of warmth to it. Kakashi closed the door behind him and went into the kitchen. Kakashi came back out a few minutes later to see Naruto still standing at the door, a large amount of uncertainty in his actions. Kakashi raised an eyebrow.
"Are you going to keep standing there? This is your home too now."
Naruto looked up at Kakashi, tears forming in his eyes. Kakashi smiled as Naruto charged at him and latched onto his leg.
"Thank you, Kakashi-San!"
Kakashi just smiled at the mass of blonde hair that had found a nice place to attach itself to on his leg.
"No problem Naruto. Let's get you to your room."
Kakashi led Naruto to what appeared to be a spare bedroom. After Kakashi had insisted Naruto take a shower, they shared a small breakfast before Kakashi looked up at the clock on the wall and then back at Naruto, specifically, his clothes.
"Naruto, we really need to get you some new clothes. How about we go and get some?"
Naruto waited for a moment before nodding slowly and Kakashi smiled one of his lazy smiles that the majority of people found highly irritating, but Naruto considered very cool. Kakashi led Naruto out of the apartment, down the stairs and out into the morning sunlight. Kakashi led Naruto down the streets, acutely aware of the people glaring hatefully at Naruto, and then at Kakashi when Naruto clung to him. Kakashi stared coolly at them, almost daring them to say something or make a move against him or Naruto. Once Kakashi got to a clothing shop, he opened the door and walked in, followed close behind by Naruto. The woman behind the counter smiled at Kakashi, but then glared at Naruto, who tried to ignore her when Kakashi spoke up.
"Is there a reason you're staring at the boy I've adopted like that?"
The lady glanced at Kakashi in confusion, looked back at Naruto then, at Kakashi again, muttering something under her breath. Kakashi smiled his irritatingly lazy smile, but Naruto detected there was something else to this smile.
"I'm sorry, I didn't quite hear you. Could you repeat that please?"
The lady looked up and without thinking began to say what she had mumbled.
"I said who would adopt that filthy-"
She didn't get to finish as she found that Kakashi was no where to be seen. Naruto was staring wide eyed at a spot just over her right shoulder when she heard a sweet voice laced with copious amounts of venom.
"I agree, he is rather filthy at the moment, which is why I'm shopping for new clothes for him. However, I know you were going to add something rather unpleasant to it. Remember the rule?"
The lady nodded slowly as Kakashi smiled and reappeared at Naruto's side, motioning him out.
"I'm sure there will be other stores that will be more than happy to serve us without me having to do something similar. Naruto, let's go."
Naruto nodded dumbly and followed Kakashi to another store. When Kakashi pushed the door open, the man behind the counter smiled.
"Kakashi-San! Long time no see! What's been happening?"
Kakashi smiled lazily at the man. This is normally where Kakashi came to buy his ninja attire.
"Yo! I need some gear."
The man laughed, still not having noticed Naruto behind Kakashi.
"Well, take a look around. Looking for anything in particular?"
Kakashi 'hmm'ed as he looked at a non descript section of the ceiling, before smiling and putting a hand on Naruto's shoulder.
"I'm looking for some clothes for my friend here."
The man looked at Naruto and his eyes widened, but not in hate but surprise. The man stared at Kakashi.
"Kakashi is this..."
"Naruto? Yeah, it is."
Naruto looked at the man, waiting to see his reaction. The man stared at Kakashi before looking at Naruto, shaking his head.
"Man, I heard you died on the day you were born. Well, the fact you're actually alive is a shock, to say the least. Don't worry, Naruto. From what Kakashi has told me, I can tell you're not what the others make you out to be. Hell, I think you're a better person than the majority of people in this village. If you ever need clothing or anything, just come here, alright?"
Naruto was shocked. There were people who would treat him nicely, hell this guy was even treating him with... RESPECT? Kakashi smiled as the guy got out from behind the counter and rubbed his hands together.
"Well, are we looking for anything in particular?"
Kakashi 'hmm'ed again before smiling.
"Let's see what Naruto wants."
Naruto didn't get it. Why were some people being so nice to him? He was never given a choice in ANYTHING before. It was a very foreign concept to him. When Kakashi nodded, Naruto started looking through the racks of clothes. Kakashi came beside him and helped him, giving him advice on what to choose. Naruto eventually, with rather subtle persuasion, settled for a skin tight black long sleaved shirt, full length black pants and several other things, such as a ninja utility belt where he could attach all manner of items onto as well as several pairs of boxer shorts and some black ninja sandals. Kakashi insisted he get at least two pairs of everything but the sandals and belt, so Naruto reluctantly agreed. With these items purchased, they went back to the flat, where Naruto watched as Kakashi chucked his old clothes into the bin and smiled at Naruto's gob smacked expression.
"You're not wearing those anymore. They're not even clothes."
Kakashi got Naruto settled in and made lunch for the two of them.
Nearly 1 Year Later:
Today was October 10th. Naruto's birthday. In the past year, Naruto had stopped being so shy and had taken an instant liking to Kakashi. He literally took Kakashi on as a role model, thinking Kakashi was the coolest thing since sliced bread. Naruto woke up, remembering what day it was and tried to make the world swallow him up. He may have been with Kakashi for practically a year, but he had still not had a birthday with him, so he was still slightly fearful. After about 5 minutes, Kakashi came in after knocking on the door.
"Rise and shine, Otouto."
That was another cool thing. Kakashi didn't lord it over Naruto like he'd heard several people said their fathers did to them, he treated Naruto more as a younger brother, with the best parts of what Naruto guessed were paternal instincts thrown into the mix. Kakashi noticed that Naruto had waved of fear rolling off him.
"Something wrong, Naruto?"
Naruto let out a tiny squeak and Kakashi realised what was wrong.
"Still worried that what happened the last four times will happen again?"
The fear increased, indicating that was exactly what Naruto was worried about. Kakashi smiled.
"Don't be. While you're here, no one's going to chase you except if we decide to play a game of tag."
Naruto's fear stopped and Naruto froze for a second. Kakashi was slowly training Naruto to be a ninja. Kakashi had played 'games' with Naruto that were actually designed to help him improve his senses and all around basic skills. Tag was one of them. Kakashi would always start as 'it', while Naruto would go and hide, learning quickly how to keep him hidden, as well as figuring out ways of creeping to avoid detection. These skills would prove to be absolutely invaluable when Naruto became a ninja for when he needed to use stealth to avoid detection by enemy ninjas. Kakashi was mildly surprised at the knack Naruto had for it. Naruto quickly figured out that staying in one place for the entire game was a very bad idea. He saw that Kakashi used a methodical searching pattern that would find him sooner or later. Naruto had figured out that it was best to wait until Kakashi had done a large section of the 'battlefield' first before he moved to an area Kakashi had already covered by sneaking around him when he was patrolling one of the far streets away from where he was. Another one that Kakashi played with Naruto was Shougi. After being taught the basic rules of it and getting a very raw idea about the amount of strategising that needed to be put into the game when playing a good player, which Kakashi proved to be surprisingly adept at, Naruto became a player with standard ability.
Naruto slowly took a peek out from under the sheet of his fuuton and saw that Kakashi was smiling with his hands behind his back. Naruto's danger sense told him that Kakashi had something behind his back, so he hid again, much to Kakashi's surprise, until he realised how his hands were positioned.
"Sorry, Naruto, I forgot how adept you were at ready body language at your age. I don't have a weapon in my hands. I'll leave what I have in my hands here for you."
Kakashi slowly walked forward and placed the objects on the ground and stepped back. Naruto slowly took a peek again and what he saw dumbfounded him. It was several brightly wrapped packages with a card on top. Naruto very slowly pulled the covers up a bit more and saw Kakashi smiling at him with a genuine smile.
"Happy birthday, Naruto."
Naruto stopped, his brain trying to process the words.
Kakashi looked to see Naruto was looking at him, in a desperate, pleading look that practically shattered his heart.
"Yeah, happy birthday. Forget about the past Naruto, look towards the future. People who are stuck in the past will never be able to see what is in front of them, and they will miss many golden opportunities."
Naruto couldn't take it anymore. The tears he had been holding back for 5 years came unbidden as Naruto jumped out of bed and tackled Kakashi to the ground, sobbing into his chest. Kakashi just smiled as he hugged Naruto.
"No problem Naruto..."
Naruto's tears came for another half an hour, until the heaving of Naruto's small chest finally slowed to a stop. Naruto slowly pulled himself off Kakashi and smiled sheepishly, while Kakashi's eye crinkled. Kakashi got up and pointed to the presents.
"Go on, open them."
Naruto went to the presents and looked at the card, which had 'To Naruto' scrawled on the front. Naruto opened the card to see that not just Kakashi, but several others had signed it too. Naruto looked over each of the messages. Naruto read each of the messages.
'Naruto-Kun, your fiery passion of youth burns brightly! Use my gift to enjoy the spring time of youth to the fullest! Maito Gai.
'So, you're 5 now, eh Naruto? From the times I've seen you; you look like you'll grow up to be a great man. If you ever need a Shougi partner or some lessons in armed hand to hand combat, come and see me. Sarutobi Asuma.'
The next one was one he was not expecting. At least, not in the form it was.
'Happy fifth birthday, Naruto. You're growing up fast. When you get older, make sure you don't let Kakashi turn you into a pervert, or I'll personally nail him up to a post and make him watch as I burn all of those little orange books of his. Yuuhi Kurenai.
Happy fifth birthday, Otouto. I know how much you idolise me, so I decided to get you a special something-'
The ink here looked kind of smudged, kind of like Kakashi had been moved forcefully while writing, as if someone had hit him over the head. Naruto continued reading.
'Despite the fact that Kurenai thinks it's one of those little orange books, I'm actually going to give you something better. Happy birthday, Naruto.'
Naruto looked at the card, his chest swelling in happiness. He had only met each of the others several times, but they, like Kakashi had said would be, were nice people. Naruto had taken an instant liking to Kurenai. Even though Naruto had heard that she was Konoha's 'Ice Queen', she seemed pretty normal to him. Kurenai actually thought he was rather 'cute' to use the word she had used. Naruto had to agree with Kakashi that Gai was weird, but Asuma was a cool guy. The fact that they had sent him birthday presents caused the feeling in his chest to swell to the point it hurt. Naruto reached forward to a particular present that was wrapped in green and orange 'Take a guess who's that is...' Naruto pulled off the paper to reveal a pair of odd objects that looked like they had layers of lite weight metal formed in ridges and two straps coming down off each one. In the bottom of the box was a pair of similar looking ones that were shaped slightly differently, but apart from that were the same. They weight about as much as a pair of full soft drink cans each. Naruto looked up to see Kakashi smirking.
Naruto nodded and put them down gently as he went for the next gift which was wrapped in black and white stripped paper. Naruto took the paper off to reveal a book, titled:
'Shougi and You; a General Introductory Guide.'
Naruto had seriously wanted to get a book that taught him the basics of the game. Naruto had sort of gotten the hint that Shougi was originally more than just a board game that old geezers played to pass the time. Naruto put the book down and went to open a box wrapped in scarlet red paper to see a book that he had not expected to get.
'Ninjas for Dummies; A Crash Course Introduction to the Basics of Being a Ninja.'
Naruto was secretly aspiring to be a ninja like his Aniki, which Kakashi very easily picked up on, but kept silent about it. Now, there was one present left. Kakashi's. Naruto reached towards the silver wrapping. Naruto undid it slowly to reveal a piece of cloth. When he pulled it out of the wrapping paper, he realised what it was. It was a face mask. Naruto's eyes widened and he looked at Kakashi who was smiling. Naruto got up and hugged Kakashi while smiling.
"Thanks, Kakashi-Niisan... This is the best day ever."
Kakashi smiled as he saw Naruto look over his presents.
"Put the mask on."
Naruto looked at Kakashi, then the mask in his hand before his grin widened and he put the mask on, looking back at Kakashi, his eyes closed in a smile that reminded Kakashi so much of his younger self. The rest of the day was very easily the single most fun day Naruto had ever had. This was something that he was ALWAYS going to remember.
Three Months Later:
Naruto had read both books he got for his birthday thoroughly. Kakashi had even taken Naruto to each of his friends for some slight introduction into each person's specialty. Kakashi had broached the subject to his friends the day after Naruto's birthday, and when they saw Naruto, they smiled. Asuma made a wisecrack as per usual.
"So, Kakashi. How far have you gotten Naruto into the Icha Icha series?"
Naruto and Kakashi raised an eyebrow at Asuma while Kurenai smacked him over the head, causing Kakashi to smile and sit down with them. After some small talk, Kakashi introduced the idea of training Naruto in the bare basics of each area. The others shrugged. Teaching him the general basics of chakra control, one jutsu each, or in Asuma's and Gai's case, teaching Naruto how to throw shuriken and kunai, as well as some basic Taijutsu moves wasn't all that bad of an idea. Naruto was really happy. Some people were finally seeing that Naruto wasn't a demon incarnate, but someone worth training. Naruto learnt a basic part of each area, such as Kawarimi no Jutsu, Henge no Jutsu and some basic Taijutsu moves, as well as Shuriken and Kunai practice. All of Naruto's Sensei's were shocked at how quickly Naruto picked each part up. Within a month, he had mastered both Kawarimi & Henge, as well as having a decent amount of skill in throwing weapons and his ability to learn Taijutsu was beyond what Asuma and Gai had expected. All three Jounins and one Chuunin 'Kurenai was still Chuunin at this point in time' decide to teach him some slightly more advanced things. Kakashi could see that Naruto's chakra capacity was already that of an upper level Genin, but his chakra control suffered directly because of it. Kakashi introduced Naruto to the idea of walking up trees with only his feet. Naruto had been dubious at first until Kakashi did it like it was the most normal thing in the world. Kakashi had gone over the mechanics of how it worked until Naruto decided to give it a try. Naruto had made it about half way up the 50 or so meter tall tree before the bark cracked and repelled him off it. After about three or four goes, Naruto had made it to the top, with a very impressed Kakashi standing at the base. The training that the Jounins and Chuunin administered on Naruto gradually got tougher as the months went by. Gai had showed Naruto that the training weights he wore could have their weights adjusted to whatever weight Naruto wanted by pumping an appropriate amount of chakra into them. Naruto experimented, pumping just a small amount of chakra into the forearm guards, which increased the weight by a small amount. Gai told Naruto, taking out the 'flaming passion of youth' stuff that he should wear the weights at all times except for when he showered and slept, and every time he felt his body become use to the weight, to increase it. Gai had told Naruto that this would increase not only his youthfulness, but would even make him into a great example to all people who were enjoying the springtime of youth. Kakashi translated this into an increase in agility, speed and strength and stamina capacity.
One Year Later:
After the first year of training, Kakashi had given Naruto five pieces of paper, telling him to channel chakra into each piece. When Naruto got to the second piece, the paper burst into flames, much to Naruto's dismay. Kakashi had smiled and motioned Naruto to keep going. The next piece of paper that reacted to Naruto crumpled, and Naruto moved onto the last card, where the card reacted again, being sliced cleanly in half. Kakashi shook his head in pure disbelief.
"Naruto, you have three elemental affinities already. The three main types of elemental jutsus that would be best suited to you would be Katon, Raiton and Fuuton."
Naruto nodded in understanding, having already learnt about each of the five major elements and the basic theories of major elemental combinations to make sub elements. A few were known, such as Mokuton and Hyoton. However, from the elemental affinities that Naruto had, there were no known sub elements he could think of. Kakashi had begun teaching Naruto a basic Katon jutsu called Katon: Housenka no Jutsu. Naruto had learnt it surprisingly quickly, and at the end of the day, Kakashi gave Naruto the next day off to do what he wanted as long as he came back at diner time.
Naruto was walking down the streets, just looking around at everything in general. Naruto had, at Kakashi's suggestion, started growing his hair a bit longer. By now, Naruto had something that was half way between a miniature mullet and frullet combo 'A frullet, as its name might suggest, is a mullet... But at the front.' and a mop 'a mop makes you look like exactly that. A mop.' However, Naruto had tied this back in a small pony tail. Naruto was still wearing all black, as well as his utility belt, shin/forearm guards and ninja sandals. Naruto heard kids shouting in the distance, so he went to check. When he got there, he saw a group of kids pretty much his own age having a rather heated argument. Naruto went up to them.
"What's wrong, guys?"
Everyone turned to the new arrival with a lazy look in his eyes.
"We're trying to play ninja."
Naruto's eyebrow rose. His curiosity was being sucked in.
"Ninja? What exactly do you do in this?"
The other kids gave an 'eeeh?' but one explained it to him.
"Well, you divide the people playing up evenly, and both teams have to hide. The first team to lose all of its players loses the game."
Naruto nodded slowly.
"And how does a team 'lose' a member?"
The kid that started talking to him continued. It seemed he was the leader of the group.
"Well, when one person tags another team's member, that person who got tagged is out of the game."
"So it's basically team tag?"
"Alright, so what's the problem?"
The kids all looked at one particular boy who was rather large, which Naruto vaguely recognised to be from one of the middle clans of Konoha.
"The team that gets this guy automatically loses. We have an uneven number if he plays."
"Why does the team that gets him automatically lose?"
The boys smirked.
"He has no idea how to hide at all. He also is to slow and he gives his position away when he moves."
Naruto looked at the boy in question.
"You're an Akimitchi, right?"
The boy's eyes widened as he nodded. Naruto turned back to the other boys.
"According to your rules, yes, whichever team he would be on would lose. However, this is nothing more than a game of team tag. If it really were a game of 'ninja', once one of the other team's members has been spotted, you would have to not just tag them, but force them to submit. What do you think would happen in the real world if you ambushed another ninja, jumped out and 'tagged' them? They'd laugh at you and kill you. If you added a second rule that forced the other team to make your members submit by force, then you could call it ninja. If that rule was added, I'd be willing to say whichever team had him would be guaranteed victory."
They all looked at this kid in shock. One of the kids smirked.
"Why would the team win?"
"Because, the Akimitchi aren't known for their stealth. They're known for their power. I'd say that boy would have about ten times as much chakra as most of you. Once you had an opposing team member cornered, he could literally kick them to the other side of Konoha."
The boys looked at this new kid in fascination. He was smart, no doubt about that. Naruto turned to the Akimichi who looked on the verge of tears. Naruto looked back at the others, deciding that a reciting of a line from his aniki would suit the situation.
"Never underestimate an opponent. There are no weak soldiers under a strong commander."
Naruto turned to keep going. Little did he know that the situation was being watched by quite a number of people apart from the boys that were involved in it and were quite impressed by the boy's level of knowledge for a six year old. Naruto started walking up towards a stairwell that led to the top of a building that he sometimes liked to look out over Konoha from. He hearted footsteps from behind him and saw the Akimichi and another boy running up to him. Naruto turned to them as they came up to him, smiling. The Akimichi talked first.
"Thanks for that. Those boys are always telling me I'm fat or I'm slow."
"I think they have no idea about what they're talking about. By the way, I never got your name."
The boy smiled.
"Chouji. Akimichi Chouji."
Naruto turned to the other boy.
"I saw you there too. Could I get your name?"
The boy nodded.
"Shikamaru of the Nara clan."
Naruto nodded and extended a hand forward.
"Naruto. Uzumaki Naruto."
Both boys shook his hand and they continued walking up the last of the stairs to see a much larger man with a huge mane of red hair sitting on the bench. The man turned to them and smiled.
"Chouji, Shikamaru. Who's this young man you've brought with you?"
"Hey dad. Well, this is Uzumaki Naruto. He just came and defended me against those kids that always call me fat."
The man looked to Naruto before smiling.
"Thank you for that, Naruto. I happened to hear the entire conversation. You're very intelligent for a six year old."
Naruto smiled at him.
"Thank you. But what I said was just the truth. Akimichi specialise in power, not speed from what I've read. Also, calling that game 'ninja' was a stupid idea."
The man chuckled.
"Your logic was completely sound, there's no need to justify it."
Chouji sat next to his dad, while Naruto took a spot next to Chouji and Shikamaru took a spot next to Naruto. Naruto's stomach growled as he smiled sheepishly, scratching the back of his head.
"I wouldn't be able to get-"
Chouji smiled and pulled out a bag of potato chips, breaking the seal and letting Naruto pick the chips out of the bag. Naruto took a few while Chouji offered some to Shikamaru, and they all started munching on them. Chouji turned to Naruto.
"Naruto, I haven't seen you around before. Are you new to this village?"
Naruto shook his head.
"I was born here. Until the age of four, I lived in an orphanage. A few weeks after I turned four, someone adopted me. He's really cool. His name is Kakashi."
Chouji's father turned to Naruto in interest.
"Kakashi? As in Hatake Kakashi?"
"That's him. He's a really nice guy. I've met a bunch of his friends, but I don't have any my own age..."
Naruto looked down to the ground, rather saddened by the fact. Chouji smiled at him.
"Want to be my friend?"
Naruto looked up at him happily.
Chouji nodded and Naruto smiled.
"Sounds like fun."
Shikamaru smiled as well.
"Well, if Chouji's going to be your friend, then I might as well too."
Naruto couldn't get much happier. He smiled at Shikamaru and the boys continued to eat chips and chat with their new friend/friends well into the afternoon.
Several Months Later:
Naruto had become fast friends with both Shikamaru and Chouji, quickly finding out that Shikamaru was a VERY good Shougi player. Naruto's relationship with his Sensei's had also come along dramatically. Especially Kurenai. Most of the others noticed that Kurenai was starting to 'melt' as they called it, which usually earns them a glare when they mentioned it. Naruto had even gotten to the stage of calling her 'Kurenai-Chan'. Kurenai liked Naruto because he was so bashful around her. All she had to do was put her face close to his and stare at him, or smile at him and he would look at the ground and blush, scratching the back of his head at the same time. Kurenai actually found this quite cute, but she would never let the others know. At times, she even called him 'Naru-Chan' which practically made him faint. By now, Naruto had already mastered several Ninjutsu from each element. He'd lapped up Kurenai's Genjutsu lessons and he was also becoming very competent in Taijutsu, adopting some of the Gouken, or Iron Fist style into a mix of other various fighting styles that each teacher had. Kakashi was especially helpful with the styles he had copied with the Sharingan. Over the next two years, Naruto's unique Taijutsu style had a massive number of flaws in it, until he individually worked the kinks out of the vast majority of the style. All of his teachers commented that his style needed a new name. So Naruto got thinking while continuing to learn from his Senseis. Eventually, he settled on the name Kageken, or 'Shadow Fist', due to the style mainly relying of excessive agility to keep the enemy on their toes, constantly appearing in their shadow and a decent amount of power so that a lot of powerful hits could be made in a short amount of time. The one downside to this is it required a huge stamina capacity to use to its full potential. However, for less serious occasions, or if he was running low on stamina, Naruto could sacrifice the power and use the speed for much longer. By the end of that year, Naruto believe he was ready for the academy, however, Kakashi said to wait until next year. Naruto agreed, as if he entered now, he would not be able to be in the same class as Shikamaru and Chouji, who had come over to his apartment to play quite a number of times. Shikamaru had proven he was Naruto's equal in Shougi. Shikamaru had never met some one who could play Shougi as well as Naruto, and was shocked at the boy's level of knowledge and foresight. During the next year, Gai decided it would be interesting to see if Naruto could open his Celestial Gates. Naruto had not too long ago enquired as to the mechanics behind the Raikiri, to which Kakashi had told Naruto that it relied on complete activation of the body, which was then concentrated into the thrusting arm. The theory behind temporarily opening the Celestial Gates used the same principle in a different manner. Unlocking the gates required activation of the body, or more specifically, certain parts of the body. When Gai gave Naruto the theory behind the gates and told him to try it, Naruto wasn't able to do it, which was no surprise. However, when he came the next day after having studied all the scrolls on the gates he could, believed he could open the first one. When Gai instructed Naruto to try, Naruto began to concentrate his chakra to his brain where the first gate was located. Naruto felt a surge of power, unlike anything he'd ever felt before. Gai's eyes widened as the ground under Naruto began to crack as red chakra leaked out of Naruto and formed a massive aura of chakra that gave off a feeling of pure utter dread to everyone who felt it. Within no time at all, Kakashi and the Sandaime Hokage were at the field, inspecting Naruto as he sat, panting on the ground. Kakashi looked at Naruto, his face full of worry.
"Naruto, what just happened?"
Naruto looked up at Kakashi and then at the old man Hokage.
"Well, I opened the first gate, and then this... Red chakra poured out of me. Gai-Sensei tells me that red chakra shouldn't come out until the third gate is opened..."
Kakashi looked at the Hokage worriedly, who looked at Naruto.
"Naruto, did you feel anything unusual about the red chakra?"
"It felt both foreign and familiar at the same time... But the chakra was full of hate, anger and bloodlust... I've never felt that much of it before..."
Sarutobi nodded slowly, taking this in. Naruto looked up at them for an explanation.
"Aniki? Old man? What happened?"
The old man rubbed his temples and directed everyone back to Naruto and Kakashi's place where they all took a seat. Kakashi prepared some tea for the four of them while the Hokage thought about where to begin.
"Naruto, do you remember your birthday?"
Naruto nodded slowly, having no idea where this was going.
The Hokage nodded.
"Do you remember the story about the Kyuubi?"
Naruto nodded again.
"Yondaime defeated it, didn't he?"
The Hokage didn't nod or shake his head, but took a puff of his pipe.
"Defeated is the right word. Technically, the Kyuubi is still alive, but only in a spiritual sense."
Naruto frowned. He didn't like where this was going. Not one bit.
"Then that red chakra was..."
The old man nodded again, a Kakashi handed a mug to the other three and sat down next to Naruto with his own.
"Yes, that Chakra was Kyuubi's. Naruto, a being such as the Kyuubi could never be fully destroyed by a mortal, however, the Yondaime used a special jutsus that ripped the Kyuubi's soul out of it's body, killing it in a physical sense, and the soul was sealed inside a newborn child. The Yondaime's wish was that the child be viewed as a hero; the jailor of the most powerful demon to ever walk the earth, however, people quickly started circulating rumours that the child was not the jailor, but the Kyuubi himself. The rumours were completely unjustified, but the rumours continued to spread. To save the child, I was forced to pass a law that the people who knew were forbidden to talk about it, especially with the child's generation in the hopes the child could at least gain some friends with people his own age."
Naruto shook his head slowly. It all fit. Every single thing. The hatred he received from everyone, the reason no one adopted him until Kakashi did, and the reason why the people feared and hated him.
'God dammit, why was I the one?'
Naruto looked up at the Hokage.
The two simple words had severe implications, but Kakashi looked at the Hokage and nodded. The Hokage turned to Naruto and began the final part of the explanation.
"Naruto, despite the fact that Yondaime used you as the container, there were very good reasons. I trust your sense of judgment will enable you to use this information wisely. You were the only child born on that day, and even if another one had, the Yondaime would not have dared ask for the other one. He wanted his own son to bare the burden and surpass him."
Naruto just shook his head. The Kyuubi made sense, but now they were trying to insinuate that he was the Yondaime's son? This was stupid.
"Do you seriously expect me to believe that? Why not leave me a note, a picture, SOMETHING to say I'm sorry!"
Naruto was known on his feet, tears threatening to spill from his eyes. Gai looked at the flor while the Hokage rubbed his temples but Kakashi picked something out of his pocket and handed it to Naruto. It was a picture of the Yondaime, looking forlornly over a child who had a tuft of blonde hair. Standing with him were three others. Naruto recognised two of them instantly. One was the Sandaime, while the other was a teenage Kakashi. Naruto stared at it before Naruto flipped it over and couldn't hold the tears back. There was a message on the back addressed to him.
'I'm sorry, son.
Your old man, Arashi.'
Naruto collapsed onto the chair and sobbed, the picture clattering out of his hands. At that point, there was a knock on the door, and Gai went to see who it was, surprised to find Kurenai and Asuma at the door looking very worried. When they saw Naruto in tears, they could guess what had just happened. They came in and closed the door. Asuma nodded to his father, the Sandaime, while Kurenai's maternal instincts took over and she hugged the sobbing Naruto. In all the years she'd known him, she'd never EVER seen him cry. Kurenai noticed the picture on the floor and grimaced. She was not the least bit surprised at Naruto's reaction to the photo. Knowing that Naruto had just been told who his father was, the Kyuubi explanation would have come too, which would explain why they felt the Kyuubi's chakra. Naruto just leaned into Kurenai's chest and sobbed for the better part of an hour while everyone in the room looked extremely downcast and for good reason too. Eventually, Naruto stopped crying and Kurenai let him go. Naruto looked up at her, his cheeks puffy with crying, but the hint of a smile playing across his face.
Kurenai smiled as she hugged Naruto again. Naruto finally realised where exactly he was located. Right in between her sizeable cleavage. Everyone could detect Naruto's embarrassment as Kurenai let him go, trying to keep herself from blushing. Asuma and Kakashi smirked. They were definitely not going to let Naruto live this one down. This was fuel for taunts and the like that would last for years. After several hours of explaining to Naruto that he was forbidden to tell anyone outside this room any of this information, everyone except Naruto and Kakashi left, Asuma giving Naruto a knowing smile, which turned Naruto bright red. Once the door shut, Kakashi turned to Naruto.
"So, what was it like?"
Naruto looked at Kakashi in confusion.
Kakashi's visible eye crinkled as he smiled in that lazy fashion.
Naruto flushed again as he crossed his arms while Kakashi just continued smiling at him.
Kakashi chuckled at the name and decided to eat out tonight before getting an early night. He took Naruto to a place that Naruto had recently come to enjoy. Ichiraku Ramen. They both sat down and greeted the owner.
The man smiled at the boy.
"Ah, hey there Naruto. I see you've brought your brother with you this time. What can I get for the two of you?"
Naruto jumped in with his favourite order.
"One Large Miso Pork Ramen with a Boiled Egg please, Ojiisan!"
The man turned to Kakashi.
"And for you?"
Kakashi smiled at the man.
"One Large Miso Beef Ramen please."
The man nodded and got to work.
"Coming right up!"
After they had both eaten, Naruto and Kakashi paid and walked back to the apartment. The 'day of reckoning' as Kakashi called in jokingly was close at hand. Naruto was about to enter the academy.
At the Start of the Next Year:
Kakashi had walked Naruto to the Academy where he quickly met up with his two friends Shikamaru and Chouji, who had come with their parents. The boys greeted each other while the parents did the same. They turned to the Hokage as he addressed them, welcoming the students to the academy. Most of the parents were listening, but the children, being their age, let their minds wander. The majority of the children's eyes ended up on Naruto and Kakashi, while Naruto was specifically looking at a Raven haired boy and a brunette who was most likely his father. Both of them had the Uchiha family crest on the backs of their jackets. It was clear the father did not want to be there, and he proved it when the second the speech finished, he turned and left his sone there. The other parents and their children walked inside to sign their sons or daughter's name off on the list that the head teacher had. Once it came to Naruto's turn, the man looked at Kakashi and smiled.
"Ah, Kakashi-San. This must be Naruto, correct?"
Kakashi nodded. The Chuunin looked at Naruto smiling kindly. Naruto noticed the man had a very tanned face with a scar running across the bridge of his nose.
"Welcome to the academy, Naruto. I've heard a lot of positive stories about you. I look forward to teaching you."
Naruto nodded and as his name was ticked off, he was directed to a classroom. Kakashi walked him to the classroom door and as he walked in, the formerly rowdy class calmed down again when they saw the newest father/son couple walk in. However, the 'father' was extremely young, and while they did both look similar, even their facial expressions were a carbon copy; the age difference was far too small for the man to be Naruto's father. Naruto turned to his family and waved goodbye.
"I'll see you tonight, Niisan."
Kakashi waved and walked out of the classroom. Naruto turned back to the class, noticing Shikamaru and Chouji smiling at him. Naruto smiled back and took a seat beside them, completely ignoring the fact that the majority of the classes eyes were on him. Naruto took his eyes off Chouji for a moment and saw one of the girls. She had a rather feisty look in her eyes. Naruto ignored it and looked forward to see EVERY single girl in the class was looking at him in much the same manner. Naruto knew that look. It was the look a predator gave its prey. Naruto smiled and sweat dropped. Waving his hands dismissively in the air, Naruto spoke out loud for the class to hear.
"Sorry, ladies, I'm taken."
There was a unanimous groan from every single girl in the class room. Naruto smiled as the boys sweat dropped. Shikamaru looked at Naruto.
"Since when did you get a girl?"
Naruto smiled lazily.
Shikamaru mumbled before he spoke loud enough for the people around him to hear.
Naruto's eyes crinkled into a smile. The last of the people were coming into the classroom. Naruto noticed a boy with a mass of brown spikes, sunglasses and a trench coat. No one moved up for the boy, but Naruto moved up to make room for him. The boy took the spot with a slight nod.
Everyone else turned to Naruto, thinking he was picking a fight. The boy looked at him with an eyebrow raised.
"Did you just-"
"Read your body language? Yeah."
Shino nodded and continued looking at the boy. Naruto smiled at him.
"You wouldn't happen to be from the Aburame clan, would you?"
The boy nodded slightly again. Naruto smiled.
"I always thought having bugs as a weapon would be an interesting way of fighting."
Most of the people looked at Naruto like he was crazy, but the Aburame heir just raised an eyebrow. Naruto smiled.
"I do my research. The name's Uzumaki Naruto."
Naruto extended a hand, as did Shino after considering it for a second.
"Shino. Aburame Shino."
They let go of their hands and they noticed that the last student had entered the class. Most of the students looked at the boy suspiciously, but Naruto moved up again to make space for the boy who took the seat. Naruto could tell from the red facial tattoos and the dog with him that this boy was an Inuzuka. Naruto smiled as he held up a hand in greeting.
"Yo! You're an Inuzuka, right?"
The guy nodded, flashing some slightly longer than normal canines, which most of the others flinched at, but Naruto's group kept on looking at their new guest. Naruto stuck out his hand.
The guy accepted his hand.
Naruto looked at the small dog on top of Kiba's head.
"What's your companion's name?"
Kiba was shocked. Naruto wasn't looking at the puppy as if it were just a puppy, but as if it were almost human. This boy understood the Inuzuka's connection with their partners. He was definitely something else.
"His name's Akumaru."
Naruto waved at the puppy, who gave a bark in greeting. Naruto looked at their group of five before their instructor walked in. It was the Chuunin who had the scar across his nose. He looked at the class, rather surprised at the quietness. He usually had to tell them to keep it down before he started the lesson.
"Well everyone, from today for the next five years, you will learn the basics of being a ninja and to prepare you for the outside world. I'm Umino Iruka, or to you, Iruka-Sensei."
The day pressed on and quickly drew to an end Naruto's group of five made it to the front door of the academy to see that the parents were waiting for them. Kakashi waved to him and Naruto waved to his new and old friends as he went to his brother.
5 Years Later:
It was the day of the Graduation exam. Naruto's group had gotten together one night a week for the last few months to discuss what the exam could be, and how to study for it. Kakashi had hinted at them what the exam most likely consist of, and when Naruto heard the word 'bunshin', he sighed at the distant memories of his first few weeks at the academy. Kakashi had quickly found that Naruto could not do a regular Bunshin if his life depended on it. It had to do with the sheer amount of chakra he had. Naruto had figured out that the only way to do any Bunshin was to learn a higher level one, one that required a large amount of chakra. Kakashi had decided that teaching Naruto the Kage Bunshin was his best bet. Kakashi was not surprised when Naruto did it successfully on the first try. So when Naruto was required to do a Bunshin for the first time at the Academy, he made a Kage Bunshin, completely shocking not only the entire class, but Iruka as well. Naruto looked up at Iruka and explained.
"Since my chakra capacity is so big, it's physically impossible for me to do a regular Bunshin. So Niisan taught me the Kage Bunshin."
Iruka nodded dumbly as Naruto had returned to his seat, getting a high five from Kiba, a nod from Shino, a 'troublesome' from Shikamaru and some chips from Chouji. Since then, everyone in the class wondered how strong Naruto truly was. When Sasuke had inquired, Naruto told him bluntly.
"A ninja never reveals his true strength unless necessary."
That answer had got Sasuke fairly riled up. The class progressed through the years, and Naruto was always number one in everything by a mile. On the day of the Graduation exam, Naruto walked into the room, greeted his friends and took his usual place. Iruka informed them that the first test of four was a written. A lot of students groaned as the papers were handed out. They were told not to turn them over until the rules were explained and no questions were allowed to be asked. When Naruto got his paper, and the order was given to begin, Naruto turned the paper over and stared. This was NOT a set of questions a Genin should be able to answer. Hell, high Chuunins would have difficulty. Naruto looked around and saw that everyone was doing fine. Naruto looked questioningly at Iruka who smiled. Naruto's eyes narrowed.
'He set this up!'
Naruto looked at the ten questions on the page and proceeded to try and remember what the answers to these were. He'd either heard the answers or had been quizzed on them before at some point. Now it was all a matter of remembering. Naruto began to write the answers down and finally got to the tenth question, which he narrowed his eyes at.
'10: Shinobi Rule # 25: A Ninja must keep his emotions in check at all times and put the mission first. Do you support this rule, or do you think it should be redone? Provide a reason for your choice, and if you chose to reconstruct it, provide the reconstructed version.'
Naruto sighed. This was a damn difficult question. However, Naruto got the feeling that if he got this one right, the others wouldn't really matter. Naruto had long ago heard this rule and thought it was absolute garbage. He had even constructed his own version. Naruto wrote his answer carefully.
'I believe that Shinobi Law # 25 needs to be reconstructed. The current law suggests all emotion is taboo and that humans are mindless killing machines. No matter how much you suppress a person's emotions, you will never truly kill them completely. If you do manage to, they are no longer human. The rule should be reconstructed to say: A shinobi will face situations in his life that will destroy the souls of most men. At times like these, he must steel himself, no matter how hard it may seem.'
Naruto put down his pen, quite pleased with himself. He looked at the time. Less than 60 seconds to go. Naruto counted down until the seconds hand reached the 12 and Iruka called for the class to put their pens down. Iruka collected the sheets, stopping when he saw Naruto's. Naruto looked up at him lazily.
"Any particular reason you gave me a test that the majority of Chuunins could never answer, Iruka-Sensei?"
Naruto was aware that the entire class was staring at him. Both Shikamaru and Kiba, who were on either side of Naruto boggled at the questions. Kiba, being the loudest one of the group, expressed the group's opinion.
"What the hell? What kind of questions are those? Reconstruct the 25th Shinobi law? Naruto, you actually answered that?"
"Who ever made that rule was an idiot. No human can be turned into a mindless killing machine without losing their humanity."
The others stared at Naruto who was lazily staring at the board. Iruka straightened the papers on his desk and then looked up at the class.
"While the next two stages are being done, the papers will be marked. Everyone, please follow me to the training field."
The 'training field' was actually a very spacious area around the back of the academy used for shuriken and kunai practice. Iruka called them out alphabetically, starting from 'z' and ending in 'a'. Apart from Yamanaka Ion, it put Naruto first. Although not as blatant as the first test, this gave everyone else except Ino an edge over Naruto. They would be able to see what he could do and then try and better him. After Ino, Naruto stepped forward, taking the designated number of shuriken out of his pouch and taking aim at the straw dummy that had several targets on it over vital points. Naruto was allowed to throw up to eight shuriken, as long as it was in one throw of each hand. Naruto slipped the shuriken into the spaces between each finger and thumb with practiced ease and took aim. Naruto was aiming to get every single vital point with one shuriken. Naruto stated his targets for everyone to hear, as the rules asked.
"8 targets. Liver, Lungs, Spine, Sub Clavicle Vein, Jugular Vein, Brain, Kidneys, Heart."
Everyone murmured amongst themselves. Naruto was going for an absolute perfect score, which had not been attempted since Hatake Kakashi did the exam. Iruka motioned for Naruto to go when he was ready. Naruto closed his eyes and focused for several seconds. Everyone was dead silent as Naruto concentrated. He snapped his eyes open and launched the 8 shuriken at the same time. The shuriken spun in the air, letting out the sound of metal cutting air at extreme speed. The eight metallic implements of death struck their intended targets dead centre, and everyone was speechless. Naruto had just done something that had not even been attempted for the last 14 years. Naruto turned back to Iruka.
"It kind of helps to be trained by the last person to do it."
Naruto walked back to his little group, receiving pats on the backs, and girls swooning over him. Sasuke went next, still extremely peeved at Naruto's skill, going for only 5 targets, getting every one of them. The rest of the test went without incident, and they were moved to the final two tests were on. They lined up for the Henge test, again going by reverse alphabetical order. Naruto went second and saw that the class was watching expectantly. The corner of Naruto's lips twitched as he saw something the rest of the class did not. Iruka was wearing a small knife strapped to his leg, which the table hid from view. Naruto didn't even form the seal he was so familiar with the jutsu. The cloud of smoke expanded off Naruto to reveal a perfect copy of Iruka, knife and all. The students were commenting about the knife being incorrect when Iruka sighed.
"You even saw the knife, eh Naruto?"
Naruto released the Henge and nodded. After the test was done, the scores were announced for the written test. Naruto had not surprisingly come first, Sasuke second, and Sakura third. They were told to move one person at a time into the next room for the Bunshin test as their name was called out. Naruto was unsurprisingly called first, as it seemed this time it was not going via any order in particular. As he walked into the room, he felt his chakra affected just barely by something. Looking around the room, he saw nothing suspicious and put his fingers together, to dispel the Genjutsu.
Iruka sighed. That was the final hurdle that the Hokage had ordered placed for Naruto. Naruto was home free once he made the two Bunshins. Naruto looked at Iruka and formed the seal.
"Kage Bunshin no Jutsu!"
The room filled with smoke and when it cleared, the room was filled with... Naked busty blondes. They smiled and made very provocative poses at Iruka and Mizuki, whose eyes widened and they flew out of their chairs, leaving twin trails of blood ejecting from their nose. Little did Naruto know that several others were watching him that were not inside the room. The Hokage had past out from nose bleed, watching from his crystal ball in his office, while Kakashi and Asuma both fell unconscious for the same reason, using camouflage jutsus to hide themselves just outside the window. Naruto laughed as he dispelled the clones and the henge on himself.
"Judging by the fact that I single handedly knocked out two Chuunins, two Tokubetsu Jounins, and most likely the Hokage at once, I think I deserve this. Naruto picked out a hitai-ate that had long black pieces of cloth attached. Naruto looked at them on the ground and suddenly, Naruto had a plan. He whipped out his trusty digital ninja camera and took a few shots of both the Chuunin. He fastened the hitai-ate around his head and went back to the class, opening the door, where everyone looked at him expectantly. Naruto scratched the back of his head, smiling sheepishly at them.
"I think I went a bit overboard... They're both currently unconscious from blood loss caused by an overload of perverted thoughts."
They stopped for a moment before Shikamaru's head slammed onto the desk, Kiba started howling with laughter, Chouji smiled, and Shino raised BOTH eyebrows. Naruto waved at them.
"Good luck guys... Assuming they ever wake up..."
Naruto left the room while the others went to see if what Naruto had said was true, and sure enough, both Chuunins were against the wall with twin tails of blood leading from their nostrils. Naruto went outside and pulled out his trusty, all purpose digital ninja camera again and snapped some shots of both Kakashi and Asuma, promising himself to show them some time later before he created a Kage Bunshin to wait for him in the room the graduates were supposed to wait in while he snuck into the Hokage's office to take several pictures of him as well. He got back just in time to replace himself with his clone, just as Sasuke entered the room, scowling at Naruto.
Later that Afternoon:
Both Chuunins had eventually recovered and finished off the rest of the examinees, before they walked into the room, glaring at Naruto who smiled innocently at them. They stood in front of the class.
"Congratulations to those here who have passed. We will now announce the top three rankings for the exam, the year and the academy class, as well as Rookie of the year. First place for the exam, Uzumaki Naruto. Second place, Uchiha Sasuke. Third place, Haruno Sakura. First place for the year, Uzumaki Naruto. Second place, Uchiha Sasuke. Third place, Yamanaka Ino. First place for the class, Uzumaki Naruto. Second place, Uchiha Sasuke. Third place, Yamanaka Ino. Rookie of the year is Uzumaki Naruto. For the rest of you, the total results will be posted in the reception of the academy. I would like all of you to report back here at 7 am sharp so that I may assign your teams. Again, congratulations on passing."
Iruka left the room, giving one last good natured glare at Naruto before the class got up to leave. Just as Naruto was about to leave the row, he was stopped by Uchiha Sasuke. Everyone in the class stopped at this. Naruto's lazy expression turned to the Uchiha.
"You could have just called for me if you wanted something, Sasuke."
"Shut up. Fight me."
Naruto pushed Sasuke aside and continued down the isle and was about to walk out the door when Sasuke taunted him.
Naruto smiled at him, but his interior was not happy. He would show the Uchiha why he was the rookie of the year, and not the Uchiha.
"Of someone who lost to his brother and ran, screaming like a baby? No, not really."
Everyone sensed the temperature in the room drop by several degrees as Sasuke charged Naruto, only to get slammed into the wall. He stumbled back up and prepared to attack again until Naruto slammed him back onto the ground and twisted his arms behind his back, stopping him from doing any seals, keeping his knee in the small of his back to make sure he wasn't going anywhere.
"I won in two moves, Uchiha. You let rage and hate overcome you. You are weak. You know why you are weak? It's because you lack love and compassion for others. Remember that well, Sasuke."
Naruto let Sasuke go and continued out the door as Sasuke stared at Naruto. Sasuke hadn't received such a beating since his brother killed his entire clan. His brother had told him that he needed to hate and detest him, while Naruto told him to have love and compassion for others. Considering that Sasuke had been practically five years younger then, he'd gotten beaten in two moves. Five years on, Naruto had beaten him in two moves. His confused mind made the only logical conclusion it could. Naruto was stronger than Itachi. It was completely inaccurate, but it was the logical conclusion that most people would draw in that situation. Sasuke slowly got up and began pondering Naruto's advice. He continued home, not aware of his surroundings in the least. When he got to the Uchiha Manor, he stopped, looking at the symbol his older brother had cracked with a Kunai many years ago.
"Love... And Compassion..."
Sasuke walked into his house and continued pondering this.
A/N: I definitely have to say, this is by FAR the longest introductory chapter to any fic I've ever written. Again, kudos to antiassasinguy & cs-ayeka for giving me the inspiration to write this fic. Also, big thanks to X DarthMonkey X for the modified 25th shinobi saying. Sorry if I kinda stole it, but it's a damn fine rework of it. Props go to you for that! If you have any friendly comments, please post them. No friendly equals Bannination from reviewing my stories. Until next time, my avid readers!