Am I ever going to finish a story? Oh well. Here is my newest story, Zurui!

Disclaimer: If I owned Naruto, don't you think I would be rich and I wouldn't be writing this disclaimer, would I?

Summary:

Uzumaki Naruto. Known for his smiles and carefree attitude. But on Uchiha Itachi sees past his mask and makes an offer. What will become of Naruto? Major OoCness.


Uchiha Itachi, age eleven, walked down the street of a dark alley. As an ANBU, patrolling was something that was usually given to beginners, but Itachi couldn't argue with the Sandaime's orders.

It was nearing midnight, getting closer by the second, as Itachi walked. He heard crying in the corner and walked towards the cries. At exactly midnight, Uchiha Itachi found a young boy that would change his life forever.

"Excuse me," Itachi said, shaking the young boy gently.

The boy shivered at the touch. Itachi looked at him closely. With the bright blond hair, stunning blue eyes and the whisker marks on his cheeks, Itachi knew immediately who this was. It was Uzumaki Naruto, the Kyuubi vessel.

Itachi was one of the few who knew this boy was just the vessel, not the Kyuubi itself, even though he was just eleven.

"Who are you?" Naruto spoke, snapping Itachi out of his thoughts.

"I am an ANBU," Itachi replied.

"Are you here to kill me?" Naruto asked. "Because if you are, go ahead. Nobody likes me in this village. They are always calling me names, like demon."

Itachi was amazed. What had this boy been through? The Sandaime always said that the boy always had a carefree attitude and could brighten any room. Yet here he was, ready to die. 'He wore a mask,' Itachi realized. Itachi knew of masks, both physical and mental, because he too wore them.

"I am not here to kill you, Uzumaki Naruto," Itachi replied.

"How do you know my name?" Naruto asked.

"The Sandaime speaks highly of you," Itachi said, looking into Naruto's eyes. He saw that Naruto was scared, unhappy, worried, but above all, confused. He understood why.

"Tell me Naruto, how old are you?" Itachi asked.

"I'm five," Naruto said. "Well, I'm five today. It's October tenth. The worst day of the year for me."

"You wear many masks, Uzumaki Naruto," Itachi said suddenly.

Naruto looked up, surprised. "How did you know?"

"Because I too wear many masks. I never thought that I would meet another one like myself, especially here in Kohona. I guess I was wrong."

Naruto's eyes flashed silver. Itachi activated his Sharingan, trying to figure out what just happened. "Naruto, why did your eyes turn silver just now?"

Naruto's eyes widened in surprise. "I don't know. It only happened once before when I first looked at the Yondaime's face in detail. That was about three months ago. The Sandaime was with me and he saw it. Now tell me how you are making me answer your questions."

Itachi laughed. It was his first real laugh for a while. "I'm not doing anything. I guess you just trust me."

"How can I trust a person that I haven't met before?" Naruto asked.

"It's just a feeling," Itachi replied. "Now tell me why you are out here."

"The orphanage threw me out again. They said I caused too much trouble. I haven't done anything wrong."

For some reason, Itachi was angry. How dare an orphanage throw a poor child out, Kyuubi vessel or not! The Hokage was definitely going to hear about this.

"What's your name?" Naruto asked. "You know mine, but I don't know yours."

Itachi smiled. ANBU weren't supposed to give their identities away, but he felt that he could trust Naruto. "My name is Uchiha Itachi."

"Itachi-san," Naruto began. "What are you going to do with me?"

"I am going to leave you at an apartment that I rented. Then I will pick you up in the morning and we will go see the Hokage."

"Arigatou," Naruto replied.

"Naruto, I want to be your friend, and if the Hokage allows me, your teacher. Come on Naruto." Itachi picked up Naruto and helped him balance. He then used the Shunshin no Jutsu (Body Flicker Technique). He and Naruto disappeared from the night.


"Naruto, you should wake up," Itachi said, gently shaking Naruto as he did when he had first found him last night.

"Huh, where am I?" Naruto asked, getting up. He was lying on a bed wearing the blue shirt and shorts that he was wearing when Itachi found him.

"You are in my apartment, remember?"

"I was wondering. Why do you have an apartment. Don't you live in the Uchiha district?"

"I do, but I come here to get away from the arrogance of some Uchihas," Itachi replied.

"But aren't you an Uchiha?" Naruto retorted.

"Do you always make things hard for people or is this another mask?" Itachi asked.

"Maybe, maybe not," Naruto replied.

"You're annoying," Itachi said. "Get up and get dressed."

"I have nothing else to wear," Naruto whined.

Itachi threw a bag at Naruto. He quickly caught the bag and opened it. Inside were some clothes. Naruto looked at Itachi, confused.

"I bought those for you. Put them on and we will go see the Sandaime."

"Okay, Itachi-san," Naruto replied. Itachi poofed out of the room.


After ten minutes, Naruto came out of the apartment. He was wearing black pants, a red armless shirt, and had tied a black bandanna to his right arm.

"You ready?" Itachi asked.

Naruto smiled. "Hai! Let's go see Ojii-san!"

'Another mask,' Itachi thought. 'He wears it when he goes anywhere and everywhere.'

"Another mask?" Itachi asked, voicing his thoughts.

"Find out at Ojii-san's office! Let's go!" Naruto took off for the office.

'How does a five year old have so much energy?' Itachi wondered, taking off after him.


"Hokage-sama," Itachi said. He had chased Naruto, but ended up losing him in the streets.

"Did you need something Itachi?" the Sandaime asked.

"I would like to take an apprentice," Itachi replied.

"Who?" the Sandaime asked.

"One of smiles, who hides behind a mask. Who seems innocent, but has never been. Who has lost himself in his masks. That shall be my apprentice," Itachi stated.

"You speak in riddles, Itachi. Who are you speaking of?" the Sandaime replied.

"I am speaking of," Itachi said, but he was interrupted by an ANBU who had entered the room.

"Sandaime-sama, we can't find Uzumaki Naruto anywhere," the ANBU said.

"What do you mean you can't find him?!" the Sandaime screamed. "You must find him immediately or the consequences will be dire!"

"Hokage-sama, I am right here," Naruto said, coming out of his hiding place.

"Hokage-sama? You never called me that before." The Sandaime took out a kunai. "Who are you and what have you done with Uzumaki Naruto?!" The Sandaime threw the kunai at Naruto, but it was caught by Itachi.

"Why did you catch it?" the Sandaime asked, getting suspicious.

"I don't want you to kill my apprentice," Itachi replied with a smirk.

Itachi's words came back to the Sandaime. 'The one who hides behinds masks. Itachi was right. Your carefree attitude was fake. A mask.'

"I can't allow this," the Sandaime said.

"Hokage-sama, please." It wasn't Itachi who spoke, but Naruto. "I want to be his apprentice. I want to let go of my past and become someone new."

"But you were to go to the Ninja Academy next year. Can't you wait until then?"

"The Academy won't be able to unlock his true potential," Itachi said. "I can. Can we compromise?"

"Depends on the compromise," the Sandaime replied.

"He will become my apprentice," Itachi stated. "Next year, he will also attend the Academy, but after his day at the Academy was done, he will continue training with me. Does that work with you, Hokage-sama?"

"If Naruto agrees to it." The Sandaime was hoping he wouldn't.

"I agree. Today will be the end of the Uzumaki Naruto that you all know and love."

"Really?" Itachi said. "What mask are you leaving?"

"The mask of smiles."

"The perfect mask to leave behind. The mask that everyone sees you by will be gone. Shall we begin your training?"

"Hai," Naruto replied.

"Itachi," the Sandaime said. "Will you stay for a minute?"

"Of course," Itachi said to the Sandaime. To Naruto he said, "Meet me at my apartment. Then we will go get supplies for your training."

"Hai," Naruto said and he ran out of the office.

"Itachi, when did you meet Naruto?"

Itachi looked the Sandaime in the eye. "I met him last night, at exactly midnight. He was kicked out of the orphanage. Don't you have a festival to go to? Ja ne." Itachi poofed out of the office.

"Naruto, I hope this proves well for you. For a five year old to the apprentice of an ANBU…What did Itachi see in you?" the Sandaime questioned, but he received no answer. He sighed it was time to go to the festival.


Next Chapter: The Demon's Reasons

The first training session, Naruto gets kicked out of five different stores, Itachi threatens civilians and Kyuubi came to be sealed!

Read and Review!