Welcome everyone to my first Fanfic on this website. This was originally gonna be the second story I released but I suddenly felt drawn to this one and couldn't get away from it. Anyways, here is the basic gist of the story.
"What if...it is a powerful phrase that many people use nowadays. But...What If...The Kyuubi never attacked Konoha. What If the Yondaime still exists and is still governing Konoha. What If Naruto had a family to oversee his growth. What If...Naruto was Kyuubi-less. How much different would things be? Would everything still happen like it did when the Kyuubi had attacked? If so, how much differently would things occur. Would this change have durastic consequences on Konoha or Naruto?" Wanna know? Read to find out. That's all I ask for.
Chp. 1 - New Day, Old Habits
BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!
The bane of his existence. Oh how he hated that damn noise. It was just a nuisance. All it does is make a noise in the attempts of waking someone up if possible. But what if that person just turns it off? What purpose does it serve then if the person it is trying to wake up just reaches over and turns it off, or unplugs it, or maybe takes a hammer to it? The person who invented this damn device deserved to shot. It especially had no usefullness in his life.
I mean come on, why have an alarm clock if you knew you were also going to receive a follow-up morning call from one of the assistants in the house. He had gotten into a habit of hitting the snooze alarm about three months ago and was always able to get a least fifteen minutes of extra sleep. Unfortunately though for the poor boy, this didn't last but two weeks after his father became fed up with him waking up late for his morning exercises. A follow-up wake-up call was administered for his morning routine, usually consisting of an elderly man, with long white hair tied in a ponytail style, using a minor jutsu to dump water on the boy's head, effectively waking him up in a foul mood. 'Not today' the youth said to himself, reaching over, turning off the damn alarm, resisting the urge to use it as a shuriken and chuck it at the wall. That would end the pain.
He sat up in his bed and looked around his spacious room, kind of upset with all the expensive, decorative items strewn across it, given to him as a 'gift.' But he knew better, it was only to get on friendly relations with his father in hopes of swinging decisions or favors in their direction. It was disgusting to him. The boy would love nothing more than to spit in those arrogant, smug bastards' faces for the way they used him to get to his father, but he just couldn't do that, that would tarnish the reputation of their beloved clan. Plus, he wouldn't be able to look his mother in the face again. He just accepted it, bowed in thanks, and took the gift and put it somewhere in the vast amount of space his bedroom had.
Desks and tables of elegant design, some engraved with mesmerizing designs, others had magnificent gemstones embedded in them. Scrolls hung from the walls with amazing images painted on them or significant proverbs written on them. He had a dresser with a mirror built into it on the far side of the room, the mirror, as well the dresser, embroidered with amber colored gems, that seemed to shine forever, even with the dimmest of light provided by the moon. His bed was his favorite gift though, for he actually got the most use out of it. The mattress was made up of soft, exquisite material that made it just conform to the users shape, giving both firmness yet comfort. The sheets were thin, delicately made out of silk in a dark orangish-color, and the comforter, which was thick and made especially for the coldest days of winter, was large, covering all of the bed but was currently kicked onto the floor because it made him too freakin hot in the evening and was patched with many diamond-shaped patterns, with the symbol of the village sewn into it. The framework of the bed was four-poster, each post having a large amber-colored sphere at the top, connected to the bed by thick, yet smooth, poles with lightning designs carved into them. The head of the bed, which was littered with pillows, though he only needed two or three to sleep, had the design of the village made by steel and connected to the two head posts. The bed was king size as well, making the young boy feel quite small in comparison.
He heard the familiar, tell-tale sound of a pair of rather large sandals, probably belonging to a rather big man, making their way to his room. The sound came closer and closer, then stopping as the sound reached right outside his room. The boy could see the shadow of the man from through his sliding door, the material on the doors never being thick enough to stop light from being seen either inside the room or outside it, or thick enough to stop anyone from seeing an intruder outside the door. The door began to open and a head popped through the doorway, looking inside to see the condition of the young boy he was told to check up on. He saw the said boy in his bed but instead of still laying down, like he had been numerous times before, he was now sitting up and looking straight at the man. This man seemed to be rather tall, like the boy assumed, his wild white hair finding only some semblance of order in the form of a ponytail-style, even though the hair was still extremely long, shaggy, and looked unbearable. As this man looked at the boy, he realized something was amiss. The boy was smiling at him with an ever-arrogant smirk, two fingers pointing at an area above the man's head. He looked up to the area the child was pointing at, only to be hit from above by a puddle of water, which instantly soaked the man's head and the top part of his clothes. His hair matted down now with the moisture from the water, he raised a hand up and batted some of his bangs out of his eyes and looked at the boy with a hint of annoyance but it was quickly diminished when he saw the boy holding his sides and laughing at him with such glee. 'Eh, it may be a bad way to start out, but at least he won't be such a brat this morning.'
"So you mastered that one, did you?"
"Just thought I'd give you a piece of your own medicine. But yes, I did finally get it mastered." The technique was simple enough, a few hand seals and one would be able to thicken the air with moisture, then condense it into a small, or if you used a lot of chakra, a large, puddle of water that had many uses. The hard part for the boy had not been the whole thicken-the-air-with-moisture thing, it had been directing that moisure while keeping it compressed. Kinda tricky, the boy had to admit, but he had finally mastered it after working on it for a couple of weeks.
The elder man who had been the butt of the boy's prank cleared his throat to settle the atmosphere and get the boy's attention. "Come now, Naruto, it's time to begin the morning routine." Though he said this to get the boy's attention more onto the task at hand, he could not help but be surprised at his speed of learning the complexities of certain jutsus. Naruto was like a sponge: he saw something, saw it done once, maybe needing to see it twice, and then he would practice it until he got it to do what he wanted it to do. He was determined and very strong-willed, always going against what was required from him out of his practices. Naruto's father had wanted Naruto's reserves and stamina to be worked on and increased before they taught him jutsus or any sort of technique, but the boy had found a way around it by spying on anybody around the house either practicing techniques or doing tasks using minor jutsus. Naruto was a natural, picking up on the 'Suiton: Water Gathering' jutsu quite quickly. He even had mastered an earth technique that was meant to soften soil for planting, which was how he saw it used. He picked up on it, studying the hand seals, practicing the control and feel of it, and before the old man knew it, the boy had learned this technique as well. He used it on the old man too, softening the soil so much it created a quicksand and he lost his sandals thanks to Naruto, who just promptly laughed at him, saying it was payback for dunking him into the stream the day before, during a chakra control exercise.
Naruto, meanwhile, was mumbling under his breath, as he changed out of his sleek, comfortable pajamas, given to him by a feudal lord from Wave Country, and put on his pure black bodywear which resembled full length body underwear, but this material was made with chakra fused into it, giving the wearer a desired comfort in any condition. If it was cold, the clothing would heat up, and vice versa. Another neat thing about it was if Naruto got soaked from falling into the stream, which he did frequently, it would dry off quickly, not leaving any trace the user was ever touched by water that day. This gift was one that he cherished, because it was given to him by a boy 6 years his elder, who just so happened to be the genius of his clan, Uchiha Itachi. The boy's distant looks and oddly disinterested voice were a bit unnerving at times but he always seemed to be friendly when Naruto was around. In fact, Itachi had helped Naruto learn a small heat gathering jutsu that, once mastered, could be used in a number of ways. Naruto was explained some of it's more advanced uses, like focusing it to such a small yet great degree that it could start a small fire, for camps and such, or you could raise the temperature of other things, like water. He wanted to test it on the stream that he used for his chakra control exercises when it became frigid, so he could heat it up and make it more welcoming to fall in every now and then, but this one was still a bit difficult. He could warm up a certain perimeter around his body but he couldn't control it yet, unlike the water gathering technique. It was going on two months since Itachi taught him that jutsu but he just couldn't get it. That, and he had also spent some of his time mastering the earth and water techniques he could now use.
After putting on the 'bodysuit,' he looked up to the old man, who was a great friend of the family and who was his father's sensei, and who was one of the legendary Sannin, who were supposed to be the strongest team of ninja's in Konoha's history. Naruto felt honored that this man, Jiraiya, had agreed to oversee his training until he entered the ninja academy. Naruto would be turning nine years old this year, and though he felt he could be in the Ninja Academy already, his father, told him he would not have that happen. His reasons? Who knew, but his old man always seemed to have a hidden agenda with everything he did. All of his statements seemed to hold a deeper, hidden meaning, and what the real purpose was behind this was anybody's guess.
Jiraiya did know, though, why the Yondaime had decided against sending Naruto too early to the academy. The reason was two fold. He feared that Naruto might become the victim of possible failure and therefore, ridicule, if he did not pass. The other reason was, if Naruto passed, he did not want his son to be the subject of many comparisons. This was unavoidable, the Yondaime knew it, but if he could prevent it from happening too early, then he was going to do so. The Yondaime actually feared that the seemingly brotherly relationship between Itachi and Naruto would spark Naruto's desire to attend the academy early and try to pass it early, just because Itachi had done the same. Another reason for making Naruto wait was so that he could pass the genin exam with the other heirs to the prestigious clans. Jiraiya was also informed that Naruto was probably going to be enrolled in the Konoha academy, to help build his character. Interaction with other young children like him would do Naruto good, or so the Yondaime believed.
Jiraiya now returning the blond boy's gaze, motioned his head out of the room, which caused Naruto to grudgingly walk to his doorway and towards the meditation garden. This was probably the most enjoyable time in the mornings. He was given the chance to sit down in the presence of such serenity and it calmed him greatly, helping him focus greatly on the day ahead. It was the same old, same old, but at least there were still things that were enjoyable. This was one of those enjoyable activities, the other's being lunchtime and the time he got to himself which he used mastering the few jutsus he knew. Despite how he felt about going to a public school, he envied the children there. The only thing stopping him from not wanting to go was he just did not want to hear all the talk. 'Oooh, look. There's the Hokage's son.' 'Oh, look, there's the heir to the Uzumaki clan.' He heard those words and saw those looks so many times when he would go into the market. The greedy looks on the store owners' faces sickened him, not as much as the political figures' looks did, but it still made Naruto swell with anger. They may have thought that they were flattering him with the title, but Naruto just wanted to be Naruto. Oh well, guess some things can't change.
They stayed at the garden for a little over an hour, until Jiraiya became bored. Naruto however, had not become bored. He already was to begin with. It was just too routine, he wanted something different, something fresh and exciting, something that could actually grasp his interest. "Hey, Jiraiya, isn't it time for breakfast yet?"
"Why yes, it is. Hungry are we?"
"Well, a little. I just want to do something else."
Jiraiya chuckled at the boy before telling him to go ahead and get something to eat. He, himself, was hungry and wanted something bad, but he had to check in with the Yondaime, before continuing with this day's schedule. He was asked to oversee Naruto's training but he really wasn't teaching him anything, so it saved him the bother of having to actually teach, which was something he disliked doing immensely. The Fourth was an exception, though, since he was a quick study. Naruto, just like Yondaime, was a quick study too and could quite possibly gather Jiraiya's interest over time. He also wanted to ask Naruto's father if he was going to actually send Naruto to the Ninja Academy. If so, Jiraiya would miss the brat but would be thankful to no longer doing 'babysitting,' even if he did volunteer for the task. Naruto's birthday would be a few days away, why not give him as a birthday gift the freedom from this routine that the boy seemed to loathe.
(One Hour Later)
Naruto had already finished his breakfast and was just walking around the compound when he happened by his mother, who smothered him in unwanted affection. She was an elegant female, always wearing something beautiful to accentuate her glamorous look. In short, she was divine, a work of art, so to say. She was currently wearing a morning robe with a light pink coloring and a darkish pink color to the decorative flowers sewn into the clothing. It covered her entire body except her feet, in which were covered by thick, cushioned house slippers which helped keep her warm during the cooler months in Konoha. They were white, with pink borders, and though they would seem plain and ordinary to some, to those who knew her they complimented her features. Her skin, while it always looked cold and lifeless, because of its pale complexion, made her look like a doll but it was just another one of those things that made her who she was. Her face was smooth, cheeks rosy, eyes were a lovely sky blue, and her hair was long, going all the way down to the middle of her back, and had a cherry oak coloring to it. Back to Naruto's struggle with her, yes he loved his mother dearly, but her affectionate display was always just too much. After escaping her deathgrip and sweet kisses, Naruto made his way towards his room to gather the essentials he would need for his daily routine. Same old, same old.
After meeting back up with Jiraiya, who had an unusually pleased look on his face, they set off for the local stream where they always trained. The area was surrounded by trees, which they used on numerous occasions for the tree climbing exercise. Naruto had actually landed in the hospital a couple times for using too much chakra to try and stick to a tree. The result, a speeding yellow blur flying through the air and crashing into another tree. Expecting to hear the concerned sobbings of sentimental get-well-soon wishers, he awoke to see his father, who only laughed, not at him, but with him. That was one good thing about his father, he could take any bad situation and seem to find something to laugh about in the end. It also helped that it was contagious, as Naruto had joined in with him. That had been about four months and one week ago and now the tree climbing exercise was particularly easy. It was the annoyingly difficult water-walking exercise that was pissing off the blonde youth. That was why he liked Itachi's training outfit that he had received. So now, here they were, going to that same stream, to do the same exercises, in the same alotted time, all just a boring routine.
When they reached their location, Naruto pulled out of a little sack he was carrying a towel and a handful of shurikens. He looked at Jiraiya, who simply nodded, and walked to edge of the water, taking off his sandals and tossing them ungracefully behind him towards his stuff. As he stepped onto the freezing water, a wave of shivers going up and heading back down his spine, leaving goosebumps in it's wake, he applied a chakra amount and began putting weight onto the foot to see if he had balance. The foot sunk, but only an inch, which gained a smirk from Naruto. So far so good. Applying chakra now into his other foot, he starting putting pressure on that foot when it reached the water, doing everything in his power to even out not only his weight but his chakra too. It was actually working, and he was beyond happy, he was ecstatic, but he had to concentrate or he would sink into the icy river of doom. So here he was, already performing this exercise at the beginning of his day. Not good. Now he was going to become irritated and bored even faster. Usually the annoyance of not getting the hang of the exercise kept his train of thought busy but now he would succumb to his anxious tendencies when he was bored beyond reason. He kept applying and reapplying pressure, evening himself out and staying focused, until he gave a small grunt to get the old man's attention.
"Well, well, well, Naruto. Looks like we finally got the hang of it. I must say I am very, very, very pleased with your progress. You might actually be doing better than your father when he was your age. I'll make you a deal Naruto, if you can sustain that for a full three minutes by the time it is the eve of your birthday, then I will teach you how to perform a more difficult jutsu, okay?"
"ALRIGHT! You have yourself a deal!" But Naruto's boisterous response of glee had disrupted his train of thought and he fell into the frigid waters beneath him. It was like a bolt of lightning had struck, mind you he had never felt a bolt of lightning before, but Naruto was positive that this would feel relatively the same. The shockwaves that were rippling through him were so painful that he felt like he couldn't move. It was so cold that his bodysuit wasn't working strong enough. He felt like he was blinded, but he knew instinctively where to go and that was up. After struggling with his muscles to move, he made his way to the top. Upon reaching his objective, he gasped for air like it was a lifeline, which it technically was at the time. After pulling himself out of the water by reaching the edge the stream and onto solid ground, he coughed a little before hugging his knees to his chest and shivering. Collecting his thoughts, he let go of his knees, performed the necessary hand seals, molded his chakra, and activated the Katon: Heat Gathering jutsu. Instantly his body become surrounded by an enveloping warmth that soothed his body and unnumbed any frozen limbs. He could now hear Jiraiya laughing derisively at him, and turning to him he saw Jiraiya doubled over in laughter. Sending the old man a death glare, he realized that he saw something out of the corner of his eyes. The movement was brief and sudden but very noticeable. Is that a something? Or a somebody? He chose to wait and see if he saw it again and, now feeling rather hot, disspelled the Katon jutsu, very proud of himself for making it work correctly for the first time since he had been taught the technique. He turned back to the water, ready to practice the exercise and stay afloat this time.
Walking to the edge to the stream again, he looked at the water trying to judge just how much chakra he would have to use in order to make the Katon jutsu work on the entire stream. He decided to not try it and just practice later. If he used too much, he might make the water boil and then if he fell in he would melt. The image was unpleasant so Naruto just settled on using it the way he had used earlier just in case he fell in again. As he started to step in, he thought he heard something again. He ignored it and waited till he was on the water to see what the commotion was all about. As he gazed around, he noticed Jiraiya's laugh had dimmed down and now had completely stopped, and when Naruto looked in the direction Jiraiya was looking, he turned to look in the same direction. What they both saw, and what threw Naruto off, was a young girl in a light blue kimono, with long indigo hair (well, long for a small girl), and eyes that were a mystifyingly white color, looking at them while sitting on the bank. Naruto's mouth hung open, really out of surprise that someone else was here but also from embarrassment that this girl might have seen him make an ass out of himself just a moment ago. She was staring at him as if he was the most interesting thing on the face of the planet, which sort of unnerved him, leaving him even more puzzled about why he felt that way. Jiraiya's footsteps could be heard as he walked towards the said girl who was on the other side of the stream.
"Oy, young one, might you be Hinata of the Hyuuga clan?"
"H-Hai, I am. I hope I am not interrupting anything...am I?" As she said this, Naruto felt something tug at him, like he was desperate for her to not leave. Her appearance was the first non-routine thing to happen in the past month or so. He was also desiring some form of companionship on his own age level. Itachi's visits were always welcome because he was as close to his age as it could get when all Naruto did was these stupid exercise regimens. He walked down the stream till he was close to the girl's location, then took a good look at her. Well, no matter if he hated the reactions he received after he usually introduces himself, an introduction was in order.
"Hi, my name is Uzumaki Naruto."
"Y-yes I thought you were. I hope you don't mind that I am here. I can leave if you want me to." She failed to look him when she spoke, her head looking to the side, eyes averted so that she would not even look at him. He wanted to nip this in the bud, but Jiraiya did it for him.
"Nonsense, my dear. We were just going to take a break in another hour. You're welcome to stay until then and I and my young ward here can treat you to lunch, if you would like?"
A vein popped on Naruto's head. 'Young ward?' "Yeah, stay here with us, you can even join in if you want. It gets boring being out here without anyone else. So what is your name again?" The girl, still looking down at the ground, as if afraid the ground was going to part underneath her sending her to a bottomless abyss, began to slowly raise her head and eyes to Naruto. He almost could not believe what he saw. The girl, while not as 'elegant' as his mother, was still pretty. Naruto liked to use that word more than cute, because he thought the term 'cute' was a derrogatory term used on people who were more mature to see it as a compliment you would give to a child of five years or younger. The term 'pretty' was a more definite explanation on how one would see someone else, plus it was a term used specifically on girls so it just seemed appropriate at the moment.
Her hair, while short overall, could be considered long on her small body and had a glow to it, as it seemed to shine in the sun. The indigo blue, which seemed very faint and hard to notice, actually shined when the sun beamed on her hair. Her bangs looked like they might be unruly, despite the fact that they looked like they were well treated and tended to. She had two bangs come down the sides of her head that were long enough to go past her ears to halfway between the bottom of her ears and the jawline. The skin complexion was of a pale white, but did not look so doll-ish like his mother did. Instead, coloration of the skin was actually a creamy white, which was enhanced by the seemingly obvious fact that her skin was smooth. Naruto figured it was obvious because it just seemed like you could see it as clear as day. And even though the kimono she wore was covering up most of her body, Naruto believed that she was small and frail. It was when she looked him right in the eyes that he saw that he had made a miscalculation on the appearance of her eyes. They were not pure white like he originally thought but had a light purple color to them, like lavender. She had no pupils in those eyes but the lavender areas seemed to move around like a pupil would so he just figured that was how her eyes worked. When she spoke, he snapped to attention, slightly startled for he had been wrapped up in his mind taking in the appearance of this young girl. He had not been wrong about her though. She was pretty.
"I'm Hyuuga Hinata. Pleased to make your acquaintance, Uzumaki Naruto."
"You don't have to be so formal around me. You can call me Naruto. I'd actually appreciate it. Saying ones full names shows that you have a deep respect for or hold with high honor, the spoken person. Would you mind if I called you Hinata?" Her mouth seemed to drop in surprise of his statement, which raised Naruto's interest of her. Is she surprised that I spoke like that or is it that I just want to call her by her first name? Did I insult her? Wait a minute, Hinata, that sounds a bit familiar. Come on Naruto, think! Hinata...Hinata...Hyuuga Hinata...THAT'S IT! She's the eldest daughter of the head of the Hyuuga's, which makes her the heir. Crap, I probably did insult her. "I apologize if I insulted you, I meant no disrespect."
"Y-You don't have to apologize, really. I do not mind i-if you call me by my first name, s-since you have said I can do the same, N-Naruto."
Naruto, meanwhile, was a bit speechless. Hinata was the exact opposite of her father. He remembered seeing the head of the Hyuuga house, Hiashi was his name if he was correct, when he was little with his father and his father made him bow to Hiashi out of respect. He wondered if she was made to do those things as well, if she was as displeased about traditions and the sort being forced onto her. He realized that he had been on the stream for quite a while now, and he was shocked that he hadn't fallen in yet. What the heck? I've never stayed atop the water when my attention is not focused on the task. He turned his head towards Jiraiya, grinning a sly fox-like grin. Jiraiya, in response to the look, took in Naruto's presence and understood what the grin was about. Naruto had been on top of the water for over three minutes, closing in on five minutes actually. He couldn't supress a small chuckle as he looked at this boy who had inadvertently won the bet they had taken up. "Alright, well Naruto, seems you win. Congratulations are in order, but I think a simple break will do. When you get back..." he cut off right there for he did not know whether or not to start the boy on such a difficult exercise or to go ahead and teach him the technique. "How about this, I'll do one of two things when we get back from this break. I will teach you either a new jutsu, like I promised, or I can teach you a new chakra controlling exercise which, let me explain the benefits before you say you don't want this, will assist in three stages of combat. It is very complex and difficult but if mastered, can lead to the use of one of your father's trademark techniques. Choose."
Naruto, who had made his way to land, not noticing it was on Hinata's side of the stream, was going to just choose the jutsu at first until Jiraiya explained the chakra-control thing. If Naruto analyzed both scenarios, he would come to the conclusion that whether he chose one or the other, he was going to have to dedicate a great deal of time and effort to the study of either one. He wanted desperately to learn a new jutsu but this chakra control exercise sounded, if it would lead to the use of one of his father's more powerful techniques, like it was a special gift. He just didn't know which one he wanted. Wait a minute, even if I choose the exercise I can still learn the new jutsu because he owes me a jutsu. It was part of the bet. Hehe, awesome. "Alright then, I choose the chakra control exercise. But I want to make clear to you, old man, that you still owe me a jutsu as part of our bet."
"NARUTO! Learn to treat me with respect, baka, or I won't teach you anything period, understand?"
"Y-Yes, Jiraiya-sensei. I promise."
"That's better, and don't worry, I'll teach you a jutsu, a good one too, when you are ready. But for today, we will dedicate the rest of the day to learning this new exercise alright? Good, then I say we go ahead and get lunch." It was about 11 am but Naruto would take it, a break was a break. Plus, he hadn't really been all that hungry when he first woke up so he only ate a couple bananas. He then realized that he had forgotten about the young girl, who he was standing close to. He turned to look at her and noticed she was fiddling with her thumbs. She actually looked to be doing this in a nervous manner, although he could be reading too much into her behavior. As a matter of fact, he just met her, so it wouldn't matter if he could not read into her behavior, since he wouldn't know if he was right or not. A thought then popped up into his head and he cleared his throat. The girl, Hinata, jumped a little, startled by the sudden noise Naruto made.
"Ummm...hey, Hinata, would you like to join us for some lunch?" He didn't know why, but he wanted her to say yes. He felt like he'd be hurt if she said no and that confused him too. He looked at her expectantly, hopefully, awaiting her response.
She looked up at him, saw the look in his eyes, and couldn't help but get that same feeling she would get in other situations similar to this one. Hinata was just a good-natured girl, who always wanted to please everyone around her, especially her father and his company, and she couldn't stand to displease anyone. The look in the blonde's eyes was one of those looks that made her feel guilty if she were to disagree or give a response that would displease anyone, and so she knew she was going to say yes. The only difference this time is that she actually didn't mind. This boy seemed different from all her family members or the kind of guests you would expect a 'royal' or 'noble' family/clan to receive. All the young children who would visit during those times would either be intimidated by her eyes, which always hurt her, or would be so stuck-up and snotty, that they would want her to do things they wanted to do. If she didn't do exactly what they wanted to do, they would throw a temper tantrum, run up to their mother's or father's and complain against her, which would have an end result of her getting berated by her father for embarrassing him and the clan. This boy, Naruto, however, seemed different. He asked her, instead of demanded, if she would accompany him and his mentor for lunch. While she didn't know why, she would be happy to accept as long as she didn't get in the way. Again, her side of not wanting to displease them or being a burden on anyone interfering with what she actually wanted to say. "I'd be delighted." Just say that.
"I-I-I'd like that...unless I'd be a bother or-"
"Nonsense young one. I will escort you and my young apprentice to a place of your choosing." Jiraiya said, cutting Hinata off. He gave Naruto that 'Be-respectful-and-ask' look, which Naruto knew what that meant. I'm supposed to be a good boy now and ask where she would like to go, as well. Damn manners. "Yeah, where would you like to eat? Jiraiya will treat us." The mischievious grin he gave Jiraiya made the man gulp and causing a giggle to come from the girl, who tried to stifle it. After recovering herself, she cleared her throat and said she doesn't mind anywhere and Naruto responded to that with a hopeful look to Jiraiya. He sighed before agreeing to go to the boy's favorite place, 'Ichiraku's.'
On their way out of the little clearing back towards the city, a man with white eyes and a robe with a bandage tied over his head came stumbling out from some trees. "Ah, so this is where you are Hinata-sama. Come, let's not disturb these men." He made sure to be polite about the addressing of her company when he saw that the men were the right hand man of the Hokage and the Hokage's son, Naruto. He bowed respectfully before Jiraiya raised his hand and protested Hinata leaving. "I assure you that her company is appreciated as she and Naruto here have become quick friends. Would you mind if we stole her for a little while longer so she can enjoy lunch with us? I promised to treat her and I don't like to go back on my promises."
Naruto had no idea where all this horse crap was coming from that seemed to be spewing out of the old man's mouth like a virus of lies. The man, while faithful, was anything but trustworthy, and quite frankly should be condemned for some of the things that Naruto had caught him doing when he was supposed to be taught by the old geezer. Also, what was up with all the talk that he and Hinata were now friends? That wasn't something you just push on to others too easily as it could give people the wrong impressions. Naruto found no faults with the girl but the title 'friend' was just too quick to throw on them since he had just met her. Naruto thought that Jiraiya was trying to do him an unnecessary favor until he saw for himself, out of the corner of his eyes, that she was visibly tense and almost shuddering. He actually became worried for the girl, fearing she might break out into hysterics. Is it the sight of this man? Or possibly out of embarrassment?
"Hmm...fine. I will report to Hiashi-sama of your location, okay Hinata-sama?" She snapped up, one of her hands clenched and going close to her face. He could see she was biting her lower lip visibly and her head was leaning down but not so much it hid her eyes, which looked like she was panicked. He barely heard her respond with a simple "hai" before the man left. How he had heard her from that distance when he could barely hear her from this short of a distance was beyond him. Now that he was gone, she seemed to loosen up a little but he felt a little sorry for her. In short, to summarize everything that he had seen her do and if he had to make a simple assumption/diagnosis of what it all might mean, then he would have to say she was horrified. The question was 'why,' and he wanted to know. His curiosity getting the better of him, he decided to ask her of what that whole situation was about but backed down. That could come later, he decided.
"Are you okay, Hinata? You look like you're scared or something." He saw her jump a little, still troubled, and that troubled him. "You know, if he has done something to upset you, you can let us know."
"N-No, it's not l-like th-that, Naruto-kun." Her face flushed a little as she realized she just called him in a gesture that symbolized comfort around one another. Why did he seem so friendly to her? She was unsure but just wanted to get off this subject. They had just met and besides, the subject was family related.
Jiraiya, quick on perception of the atmosphere, now without the presence of that man who he assumed was from the Hyuuga Branch family, decided to save Hinata some embarrassment. He told them both to come on so they could get their lunch. When they reached the restaurant, he went ahead and let the kids order and then made his. The food served here, ramen, was one of Naruto's most favorite things in the world and when they came here, Naruto would always beam. So happy just to eat noodles, Jiraiya swore the boy needed more enjoyment in his life. He watched as the girl, who was being quiet and seemed to be quite shy and timid, unnatural characteristics for a Hyuuga he noted, just sat there, picking at her food until Naruto broke her out of her trance, asking simple things. Naruto may be a grump when he is doing the training but he was more than bearable when outside of the training.
Naruto found himself very compelled to stop the girls moping, which she seemed to be doing since she hadn't eaten her ramen yet and was just sitting there poking it. He decided to break the silence and asked her simple things. The rules of etiquette always stated that when speaking to someone formally and trying to get to know them, ask questions if nothing seems to work. He asked her her age, what her favorite color was, her favorite hobby and then if she planned on being a shinobi. The answers, in order asked, were eight going on nine, purple, spending time in her family's garden and, surprising to him, yes. He knew the Hyuuga's were revered for their uncanny fighting style and were therefore fierce warriors. But Hinata didn't seem to have the qualities one might assume you needed to be a fierce warrior. He had learned though that looks could be deceiving. Realizing that she was eight years old too, he smiled at her heart-warmingly, saying that they both were going on nine and mentioning his birthday was on the tenth of October.
"Oh...that's a few days away."
"Yeah but my birthday just becomes a quick suck-up day for any arrogant asses who would love to become noticed by my father. All they do is spoil me and give me a fake smile, wishing me an insincere happy birthday, and then look towards my father for some sort of sign that he is satisfied." He took another slurp full of noodles and gulped them down hungrily, surprised with just how hungry he was.
"Hey, Hinata, didn't you say you were turning nine as well? Are you going to the Ninja Academy?"
"H-Hai. Father is sending me there to get assistance in my training." Naruto felt she was lucky but the way she looked said otherwise. Jiraiya, after hearing her say she was attending the academy, was starting to put things into place. For a Hyuuga to attend the Academy, instead of staying home and learning all there is to know about the Hyuuga techniques, meant that that person was seen as inferior. He secretly felt very bad for the girl. The nervous tendencies, the fidgeting, it was all a sign of having an inferiority complex.
"Umm...a-are you going to attend the Ninja Academy as well, N-Naruto-kun?" Naruto almost choked on the rest of his noodles at the question, as well as the -kun suffix. He wondered if he should add the -chan suffix to her name, just out of respect.
"Well, I don't really know. My father didn't let me attend it when I wanted to a year or so ago so I'm not really sure where he stands on it. I might but then I might not." Jiraiya did his best to keep a straight face as he did know what the Yondaime was thinking. Hinata, however, ended up sulking again. Naruto did notice but not the exact reason why. Does she feel sorry for me? Pleeeeeease don't let that be the case. After they finished their ramen, Naruto having more than just one bowl, they all decided to head back to the stream. Naruto found it kind of curious how Hinata was still following them. They had treated her to lunch but that was all she would want to hang around for.
When they reached the stream, Jiraiya decided to give Naruto a moment to do whatever he wanted while he went to check in with the Yondaime and get a scroll or two from the family library. He invited Hinata to stay if she wanted as he left. Now they were left alone and the silence seemed awkward and deafening. The only sound that could be heard was that of running water, which was quite noisy and would be distracting if he were trying to meditate. He just sat there, not knowing what to do.
"Hey, Hinata...chan, I'm gonna start getting warmed-up before he returns. If you want to stay you are more than welcome to but once he gets here I'm gonna be totally focused on this new thing he's gonna teach me."
"O-Oh, okay Naruto-kun. Ummm...w-what is...why are you doing such complex exercises at your age?" When Naruto gave her a confused look, she sucked in her breath and tried to get herself ready to continue. "I only ask because w-walking on water isn't a simple thing to master. It isn't something someone of our age sh-should be expected to do."
"It's something that I do. I've been taught all these exercises to help with my chakra control because my father thinks that with great control, everything else will be easier for me. So I've been working on all these things since I was five and I haven't stopped since." And so he went into explanations as she asked him more questions, she seeming to get over her shyness around him and he getting more comfortable and actually not caring that he was explaining all these things to her. From his exercises, to his jutsus, to his bodysuit, to personal interests. He was finding the prospect of them being friends a lot more likely now. He totally forgot that he was going to warm up before Jiraiya returned but he didn't care, he was having fun.
Jiraiya was now inside of a rather tall and large looking building, the office of the Hokage. It's massive structure allowed for many offices to reside in the building with many people who could assist the Hokage from anything between simple paper work to diplomatic issues. Some people were filers, others were accountants, some ran errands, many were assistants, and the rest were guards. Not that he really needed any but it was just customary. As Jiraiya climbed the flight of stairs to the top floor where the Hokage's office resides and reached the door, he requested his presence with the Yondaime and got the nod from the two men at the door. One was a young man with wild spiky hair going every which way with bandages on his face and the other had a tooth pick in his mouth and had a nagging cough. Jiraiya found it curious that you would have a tooth pick in your mouth while you tended to cough. Wouldn't you be afraid that you'd swallow the damn thing? Oh well, if the guy wanted to be stupid then it wasn't his right to tell the guy otherwise. If the guy wanted to be dumb then it wasn't his right to get involved.
Jiraiya opened the magnificent doors and walked into the spacious room. Big potted plants were in each of the corners of the room, filling it with a heavenly forest aroma. On one side of the office there was a bookcase filled, in alphebetical order, with all the political and ninja issues from the past 100 years or so. On the other side was a simple little night stand with a couple candles on it, as well as what looked like to be an incense stick. The Yondaime always did appreciate the finer arts to meditation and relaxation. Speaking of the said man, he was behind his desk, which would appear normal to the naked eye, but to the trained eye it looked illustrious. It was made with marvelous craftsmanship, the desktop smooth and still remained looking gorgeous since the Yondaime didn't scratch it at all surprisingly. Behind the desk sat the blonde-haired, blue-eyed Hokage, father of Naruto. His dark green ceremonial robes with black designs all around it gave him an ominous look. Girls might think it handsome on him, but to his opponents and to those who knew him, the robe symbolized his confidence and his love of his village and his desire for the village to be seen as itself and not the representative of the Fire Country.
He was the Hokage indeed, but even the previous ones did not ever dress in an attire unfitting to his ninja background. The Third Hokage, Sarutobi, wore the ceremonial garbs and robes when it was appropriate but he always dressed in ninja attire: sleek body underwear, protective bandages and pads, vests, and holsters. Sarutobi was ready for a fight if it ever came. But the Fourth had scrapped that, going in a different direction. When he was first named as the Hokage, he wore the ceremonial red and white hat and robes, but he quickly discarded them, preserving them in a container for the next Hokage but he decided to wear dark green clothing, symbolizing he was the Hokage of the Hidden Village of the Leaf, not the Country of Fire's symbol of power. The Yondaime's love for his people could only be matched by his pride of his village and his ninja heritage. He instead now wore clothing of a style that suited the Hokage of the Leaf, dark green smooth, yet sleek, clothing that had the designs of the leaf drawn into the material. On the back of the robe he wore, Jiraiya was pretty sure there was a dark red swirl going in a counter clockwise direction. Jiraiya walked up to the desk and took a seat in one of the chairs, knowing that his-at-one-time pupil would have him sit to talk about matters.
"What is it that you wish to report my old friend. What news do you feel you need to tell me that can't wait till my off hours." His look was not one of annoyance or aggrivation and his words didn't carry that sound either. It was more of a curiousity than anything else.
"Well, I just wished to inform you that Naruto has succeeded with the water walking exercise, effectively completing the regimen you gave to me for him to follow. He is now at a level probably far beyond than that of any young child his age."
The man before Jiraiya smiled in satisfaction, pleased with his son's progress. "He's come along better than I did at that time. Was that all you wished to tell me?"
"No. What I really wanted to tell you was that I had made a bet with the little brat because he was so confident that if he could remain on the water for a full three minutes by the eve of his birthday then I would teach him a new jutsu. Well he agreed and set off to try and maintain his balance but we had an unexpected visitor. The eldest daughter of Hyuuga Hiashi, Hinata. Her presence, I thought, might have distracted Naruto but he remained on the water while looking at her and even speaking to her, for over three minutes."
Yondaime just laughed, as if he wouldn't expect anything less from his son, the number one was unpredictable ninja. His son disliked the fact that at a very young age, he was put on this training schedule, but he knew that Naruto would appreciate it in the long run. The news that Hyuuga Hinata was there instead of at her family's house concerned him a little but he decided to leave that issue to her family. It was not his business, just like it wasn't the Hyuuga's business to get involved with his Uzumaki house/clan. The Yondaime tried to piece out the puzzle that was lain out before him and he wondered if it was her presence that really assisted in Naruto defeating Jiraiya in the bet. He asked Jiraiya to give a more detailed description of the day, which Jiraiya reluctantly did, and he soaked up all the information. From Naruto's mastering of the water jutsu, to the use of the fire jutsu, to walking on the water, to the girls presence, to Naruto's reactions to the girl (which amused him), to Jiraiya's giving Naruto a choice (which he made a mental note of the fact that Naruto had decided to learn the chakra control exercise since he knew that Jiraiya would still have to teach him a jutsu), to the Hyuuga Branch family member appearing (Hinata's reaction to the man disturbed the Hokage greatly), to lunchtime (a chuckle escaped him when he heard of Naruto's enthusiasm for Ichiraku), and now they were alone in that clearing. Apparently Jiraiya was here to request the use of an important scroll containing the notes the Yondaime had made on the chakra control procedure and what the steps were. He complied with Jiraiya's request, calling out to one of the guards stationed outside, someone called Hayate, to go to his house and get his wife to give him Scroll #3. They waited for a few minutes as he went back to some paperwork until a loud 'POP' was heard with the familiar scent of smoke that marked the return of ANBU members.
Hayate handed Yondaime the scroll, who pointed his index finger and touched a mark on the rolled-up parchment, which made the whole thing glow bright yellow, and then unraveled. The Yondaime smiled at Jiraiya, telling him he could now unroll it freely and read it as well. Jiraiya figured that it was a double layered seal placed on the scroll. You might be able to break one level of the protection, which was keeping it rolled up but you couldn't read it unless you broke the other one. And Jiraiya was pretty sure that the Uzumaki Hokage had made it so that you had to deactivate both at the same time or you just weren't going to get it. His pupil was always wiley and he would expect nothing less from him. He rolled the scroll back up, said his good-bye, and made his way out the door, leaving the Yondaime to his thoughts. Hmm...if he is at this level already then he might be able to master it faster than I did. The girls presence seems to have a positive effect as well. Maybe it is time that Naruto learns how to be a team player. I hope you will be happy with your gift Naruto because I'm giving you what you want.
So what do you think huh? This chapter is just an introductory chapter, as are the next two. But if you can get past those two chapters then the story takes a more interesting spin. If you have questions, feel free to message me or make them apparent in reviews. Reviews are welcome, as are constructive critism that can help me on my writing. I'm not afraid to say I'm a rookie but just because this is my first story does not mean it wont be good. I've made a layout of the story and even I am surprised with how I tie up loose ends later. P
So anyways, here's a preview for the next chapter.
Naruto suffers through his most precious day. Can anything bring him around?
Sounds lame at first but I felt the need to show you 'why' the Naruto in my story hates his birthday so much. Give it a shot?
Till next time.