Naruto Gaiden

Chapter one

'Sometimes life just sucks'

This was the thought of one Hatake Kakashi as he left the Sandaime's office. The copy-nin had just failed another hopeless Genin team. You'd think after failing over ten teams the old man would have gotten the message, Kakashi didn't want to teach. The cycloptic Jounin turned another page in his infamous orange book, marked it, and then put it away, too irritated to even enjoy the beauty that was 'Icha-Icha Paradise'.

Making his way through the streets of Konohagakure, he passed by the academy, deciding to stop by for old times sake. He smiled as he watched the students bicker in the area below, remembering how he and Obito would bicker constantly, or rather Obito would yell, cuss and gesture at him, and he reply with a sarcastic comment, which would cause the Uchiha to break into a swearing marathon.

Kakashi chuckled, then left the area, suddenly remembering to pay his last respects of the day at the memorial, so he walked there, nostalgia setting in.

En route to the memorial, he was paused as he heard the unmistakeable sounds of a child crying. Deciding to play the good Samaritan, he followed his ears to what appeared to be a blond haired youth that was rubbing his arms, what looked like bruises covering them.

"You okay there kid?" he asked, his eye half shut.

To his surprise the kid jumped up with a look of outright terror on his face and ran away as if Kyuubi himself was after him. As the Jounin tried to gather himself one thought struck out in his mind;

'That kid's face looked familiar…'

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Naruto ran, he ran till his legs were sore, till he couldn't run anymore, of course by this stage he'd cleared half of Konoha, and was already in another training area, which fortunately was empty.

That man…he was a shinobi…right Ni-san?

Not just any shinobi kit, his chakra levels tell me he was a jounin, that's the elite class on ninja in this village.

Naruto shivered, 'I was right, he could have killed me without blinking', he sat next to a tree and curled up, closing his eyes.

Why won't they just leave me alone…why won't they listen?

I'm sorry kit. The Kyuubi said sadly, Had I not attacked, maybe you'd have lived a happy life…with your father.

Naruto shook his head.

It's not your fault, and it's that weird man with the cloud jacket's fault he smiled; Besides…I never knew my papa…but at least I have you…

Slowly, a red outline covered the boy, as nine astral tails wrapped around him in a warm embrace.

And I you.

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Kakashi had wrapped things up at the shrine, gotten something to eat, purchased the latest edition of Icha-Icha Paradise and soundly trounced Gai in a game of old maid, leaving the taijutsu specialist doing one-hundred, single handed, handstand push-ups.

'Wonder if that kid was alright, those bruises looked nasty…' her shook himself, 'what am I worried for? He probably ran home to Mama to kiss it better.'

Passing a happy family, returning from a trip to the supermarket he smirked, 'If Obito could hear me now…ye god's I'd never hear the end of it!'

Passing Kurenai and Asuma at a restaurant he decided to stop by for a chat, the red eyed kunoichi was concerned about the upcoming jounin exams, as she'd be competing for the first time against other hardened Chunin and wasn't particularly looking forward to it.

Asuma, on the other hand, was quite certain she'd be fine, and pointedly told her and Kakashi so.

Pulling out his recent purchase, Kakashi was about to read when he was interrupted by a loud yell.

"AH! Kakashi! My eternal rival!" Gai yelled, appearing from a cloud of smoke, "Let us continue with our youthful challenges to prove once and for all who is superior!"

"Hmm? You say something?" Kakashi replied, idly turning the page, causing the taijutsu specialist to break down in tears.

Asuma sighing as he patted the poor man on the back, "There-there, let it all out…", whilst Kurenai shot the book in Kakashi's hand a glare. Sensing the red-eyed kunoichi's bloodlust slowly rising, Kakashi decided to leave, marking his page for future reference.

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Entering his bachelor's apartment, the Jounin promptly got ready for bed, after replacing his older novel with his recent purchase in his weapons pouch.

That night, the citizens of Konohagakure fell asleep; each one with dreams of a better day comes the dawn.

The Hokage had nightmares concerning mountains of paperwork.

Kakashi dreamed of his days with team Arashi.

Guy dreamt of Taijutsu battles and flames of youth.

Asuma dreamt of…stuff.

Kurenai dreamt of burning the writer of the Icha-Icha series, whoever he or she was, on a bonfire of their own smutty work..

Ebisu had one of his closet-perv dreams that he'd promptly forget come dawn.

Sakura and Ino dreamed of getting married to Sasuke.

Choji dreamed of a mountain of his favourite foods.

Shikamaru dreamt of clouds.

Shino…lets just say he dreamed.

Kiba dreamt of fighting hundreds of enemies he could beat with one blow.

Hinata dreamt of her mother.

Sasuke dreamt about his brother's death at his hands.

All of the rookies slept relatively peacefully that night.

All but one…

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Naruto sat, huddled in his shabby apartment, the blanket pulled over his knees, which his head rested on, listening.

There were no noises tonight, no footsteps, and no angry voices; even so, he couldn't fall asleep until he knew he was alone.

An owl screeched, Naruto flinched, and then relaxed, by a hair.

'I hate this place.'

I know kit…but you shouldn't blame them, Humans fear what they don't understand.

Naruto sniffed and curled into a ball, an astral projection of a fox the size of a large horse wrapped around him, tails acting like a blanket, and flank a makeshift pillow.

When will they leave me alone? he asked. Kyuubi sighed.

Let it be for now kit, he whispered, nuzzling him, you need you're rest.

Naruto yawned and, after a moments shuffling, began to snore.