Finally, a new chapter for something.
Chapter V: Prepared by the Perv
Naruto tensed. His face and torso were glowing with sweat, which meant it was lucky he was just wearing an old vest instead of his favourite shirt.
His hands tightened. He readied himself-
And struck, a roar escaping his mouth.
Jiraiya easily brought his fist down on Naruto's head, sending the boy crashing down to the ground.
"Damnit!" Naruto yelled, one hand rubbing his forehead.
"Would you start thinking?" said Jiraiya, irritated. "You're a short kid, what do you think you'd have to do when you're going close-quarters with a tall opponent?"
The two were both in the Team 7 training area.
Naruto scowled, as Gamasenshi watched from a safe distance, noisily slurping down a pot of instant ramen as he watched.
"When will you learn?!" demanded Jiraiya. "You have to think for yourself here!"
"Come on, give me a break here!" said Naruto, still in pain.
"You're a ninja," said Jiraiya. "You need to follow your own intuition and think for yourself! If you don't think, you'll never last a second in actual battle!"
"Why can't you teach me some cool jutsu or something?"
"Because it's no good having a "cool jutsu" if you can't handle it!" growled Jiraiya. "This exercise is supposed to teach you something!"
"See! You're still not thinking!"
"Fine, it's to teach me how to think!"
"Wrong!" said Jiraiya. "I think you know how to think, even though you don't show it. This is about thinking under stressful circumstances- in a fight. If you can remain calm, you can remain strong. When they say shinobi should have no emotion and show no emotion- what they mean is that shinobi shouldn't be ruled by emotions!"
"Stop saying think-" Naruto was cut off as Jiraiya slammed his fist down onto his head again.
"You're small and fast- be agile. You're the sort of guy who can take a lot of hits- but still, it's something you should avoid. Use whatever advantage you can get."
"Right, keep attacks low then," said Naruto, as if mentally noting this.
"No." Jiraiya shook his head. "Once again, you're not thinking. You have to be unpredictable, and you don't what the opponent getting used to your attacks. That's where that taijutsu of yours comes into."
"It's fast and unpredictable," said Naruto, grinning.
"Right." Jiraiya smiled, pleased that his student was finally putting two and two together. "It's not the best taijutsu in the world- I know of a number of better ones, but the fact that you can do all those crazy twists and flips means your opponent never knows what's going to come next. It's still quite impressive, how a kid like you made that."
Gamasenshi looked up from his ramen, croaking angrily.
Jiraiya didn't need a translation from Naruto to understand the amphibian. "Right, a kid and toad."
"Can't you just teach me the way you fight?" asked Naruto. "We're kind of similar, we both fight with toads-"
"You can't just do that, Naruto," said Jiraiya. "We are similar in some aspects- but we're different in even more area. Physically, we're completely different. So for that reason, if you ever hear someone say they have mastered a taijutsu style that someone taught them, they're wrong."
"The only person who could've actually mastered it is the original creator, right?"
"Exactly," nodded Jiraiya. "People naturally change things to fit them. Even Sharingan users will change what they copy into something they can use more easily. But people in general don't like changing to fit whatever they've got. The most they ever do is when they get something that's too big for them and say "oh, I'll grow into it"."
"Well, you look all stressed out. I think I'd better help you unwind."
Naruto blinked. "I think I heard you wrong-"
"Come on, I'll take you to this bathhouse. It's in this town outside the village, but it's still close and I've made sure you won't get in trouble for going there."
Naruto sighed. "It's going to be a shared bathhouse, isn't it?"
"Well, what if it's full of old fat blokes? Or old fat women?"
"Ah, now that's where my handy timetable is!" said Jiraiya, taking out some paper from his pocket. "With several contacts of mine, I've discovered that the old blokes go to the bathhouse in the morning! The old women go there early afternoon! And the chicks show up just after the water is given its mid-day clean!" He inspected the timetable. "And come on! They should be getting in the water right now!"
"So, you're a ninja then, right?" asked the attractive brunette.
What had possessed Naruto to consider not going along with Jiraiya? Jiraiya wasn't even with him; he was in the furthest corner away from him in the spring, talking to a dark-haired girl that the other girls had pointed out as being "easy."
Gamasenshi had stayed outside; apparently you weren't allowed to bring "pets" in. And Naruto was currently with a brunette and redhead, both of which seemed very interested in shinobi and their lifestyles.
"Yeah, I'm still a genin," said Naruto. "But I've been entered up as a chuunin."
"Oh, when did you become a genin?" asked the redhead.
"Not even two months ago," replied Naruto.
"Wow!" said the brunette. "You must be a prodigy then, right?"
Naruto laughed nervously, rubbing the back of his head. "Well, I've been called the number one surprising ninja a bunch of times. So, well, enough about me, what do you two do?" He asked quickly, changing the subject.
"Hey, brat!" Jiraiya and his companion walked by, apparently leaving the springs. "I'll see you in a couple of hours!"
Naruto shook his head in disgust at the idea of Jiraiya getting some.
"Actually, ninja-kun, do you know any of those cool techniques?"
"A fair few," said Naruto.
"What are they?" asked the brunette.
"Well, I summon, use Shadow Clones, and I can use a Fire Technique."
"You really are a prodigy!" said the redhead.
"Er, well, not really, I suppose-"
"And humble too!"
"So, what about Konoha?" asked the brunette. "I've only been there once. Are there any secrets?"
"Wait, what?" said Naruto, suddenly suspicious.
"You know, like secret passages. I love adventuring in places like that."
'Secret passages? This sounds weird, better go...' Naruto decided in his head.
"Can't really think of anything like that- er, I need to go!" Naruto climbed out of the hot spring, a towel wrapped around his loins, but the girls followed, towels wrapped around them.
"Wait a moment!" They cried, latching onto him. "Why don't you come with us for a moment?"
Naruto's eyes nearly burst from their sockets.
And two smoke bombs suddenly flew through the air, past Naruto. The women were immersed in smoke- and as it cleared, it revealed it was sleeping gas, and the two lay asleep, their towels loosely wrapped around them.
Naruto's first instinct was to panic. His second was to wonder whether the towels might fall off. His third was wondering whether someone might be about to kidnap them.
"Calm down, brat." It was Jiraiya, who had miraculously gotten back into his clothes in a matter of moments.
"They were foreign ninja. They were interrogating you- and then they were going to kill you."
"What?" said Naruto, stunned.
Jiraiya kept his eyes on the sleeping women. "The girl from earlier was after my head. It's not the first time a kunoichi has used their looks to get past my guard."
"Wait, how did you figure out all that?"
"After I subdued the one from before, I checked their belongings they'd left in the changing room (Naruto muttered "pervert" at that point). I couldn't find any proof of their village of origin, but there were weapons, poisons, and messages instructing them to interrogate and kill Konoha ninja. I found Konoha headbands- apparently, we're not the first they've gone after."
Jiraiya turned away.
"Get dressed. Don't worry, I've contacted the authorities and ninja passing through the village, they'll handle them- and make sure old Sarutobi-sensei's notified about this."
Later that day saw Naruto and Jiraiya bonding over a lunch of ramen. They'd also proceeded to tie each other's feet to the stools so neither could run off and leave the other to pay the bill. Gamasenshi was there too, himself perched on the counter, head lowered over his own food.
"So brat, Kakashi's entered you up for the Chuunin Exams, right?" said Jiraiya.
"What are your chances then?" asked Jiraiya. "You checked out the opposition yet?"
"Er, I know there are loads of teams entered from Konoha- and there's this one team from Sand."
"They're really weird," said Gamasenshi, looking up from his own ramen. "Ain't that right, captain?"
"Yeah- they're pretty weird," said Naruto, turning from toad to toad hermit.
"What about them?"
"We bumped into them the other day. One of them was trying to beat up Konohamaru-"
"Isn't that Sarutobi-sensei's grandson?" interrupted Jiraiya. "Heh, not too bright, these Suna-nin."
"Yeah, well, that one looked like a reject from a comic convention, and he carried this big bandaged thing on his back. There was this blonde girl with this bigass fan, and the weirdest creep was this sunken-eyed nutcase who kept threatening to kill his teammate."
"Yeesh," said Jiraiya, slurping down some noodles. "Sound worse than my old team, and we had Orochimaru in it."
Jiraiya was speechless for a few moments. "Seriously, you don't know?" He asked, and after Naruto shook his head, he was speechless again.
"Er, ero-sennin? You still alive?" asked Naruto, waving his hand in front of Jiraiya's face
The cursed title "ero-sennin" was enough to break Jiraiya out of it. "Stop it with that stupid ero-sennin! It's Jiraiya!"
"So, who is Orochimaru, anyway?" said Naruto.
"Old team mate of mine," said Jiraiya. "Once renowned as the Snake Sannin and one of the Leaf's finest, he turned traitor on us and is now doing god-knows-what. Most likely small boys."
It was Naruto's turn to be speechless. "I'm gonna pretend I didn't hear that last bit," he decided. "So, anyway, what about training?"
"I'm not teaching you any more ninjutsu until you've actually learnt to think-"
"Stop with all the thinking!"
"-and until you've got a decent grasp on your chakra control. Seriously kid, I've seen academy students in their first year with better chakra control then you."
"Well, yeah, but I've got a lot more chakra then them," grumbled Naruto, finishing his ramen.
"Hm. Maybe I should take you on a training trip somewhere after the exams. I know, to the Land of Earth! They've even stopped beheading boys with blonde hair and blue eyes!"
"Their way of saying "things can only get better". Oh wait, now I remember. They've started stabbing their hearts instead."
"What do they do to toads in this place?" asked Gamasenshi cautiously.
"Never mind, I'd find some way to disguise you," said Jiraiya cheerfully.
"Yeah, well, strangely enough, I'm not entirely keen on going to this place."
"Come on!" urged Jiraiya. "We could go to the village, and just shout "it's the ghost of the Yondaime Hokage", and they would all just be running for miles!"
"That's not even-"
"We could rob their empty houses they leave behind."
Naruto grinned. "Even their ramen stalls?"
"Especially their ramen stalls. And their bars."
"Then we have a deal!"
The two stood up triumphantly, kicking back their stools, only to fall over as they realised they'd forgotten they'd both tied the other's feet to their stool.
The next day saw the two (and a toad) meet once again at the Team 7 training ground. Except this time, Jiraiya was carrying an unusual scroll- not the one on his back, but a second in his hand, nowhere as large, but still quite sizeable.
"What's that, ero-sennin?"
"It's Jiraiya!" Jiraiya smacked Naruto into the ground, and waited for the blonde to pick himself out of the ground. "Remember what Bunta told you? It's a Transformation Scroll, it'll help him to take the form of a human so he can teach you!"
"Wait, he?" said Naruto. "You mean you're not going to-?"
"Yeah, sure," mumbled Naruto, before he suddenly thought something. "Hang on a minute, how can a Transformation Technique work here? I mean, then, he'd be hit once and would turn back, wouldn't he-?"
"Alright, I lied before. But that was probably because you had just landed on me after Bunta disappeared and my head was hurting. You're heavy for a small kid, you know that?"
"Spit it out!"
"It's not an actual Transformation Jutsu. It's seals. Seals to shrink, compress- and actually change. It temporarily will actually give Bunta a real form. Well, being hit will still lower its duration quite a bit."
"Er, what does duration mean?"
"A period of time."
Jiraiya unravelled the scroll. He bit his thumb, and wiped the blood on the scroll. He twirled it- and his hands managed to flash through seals whilst holding the scroll, before he slammed it to the ground.
There was a human-sized cloud of smoke- and Naruto was greeted to the sight of Jiraiya standing on a man who was lying face down in the ground.
"Get your fat ass off me Jiraiya!" yelled the human who was undoubtedly Gamabunta.
'Hm,' thought Naruto. 'Better go with calling human-Gamabunta Bunta, it's probably more polite than saying human-Gamabunta. Right, Gamabunta equals big toad, Bunta equals human. I can do that.'
Jiraiya hopped off Bunta's back.
"Jeez, you need to go on a diet, you fat bastard!" Bunta climbed to his feet, letting the three look at his human shape.
He was clad in the haori he wore as a toad, as well as dark trousers. His chest was clearly visible, the "kimono-jacket" doing little to cover his torso. Unkempt black hair covered his scalp, and numerous seals and markings were painted across his skin.
And there was that scar over one eye, a sword at his belt, a stud on his tongue- and finally, the pipe.
"Yo, Boss Toad! You look awesome, sir!" shouted Gamasenshi.
"Why, thank you," said Bunta cheerfully, smoking his pipe. "I do look quite good, don't I?"
"Damn toady," muttered Naruto, glaring at Gamasenshi.
"Well, see you, I'm going to get drunk," said Jiraiya, walking away.
"Jiraiya, get back here!" said Bunta. "You ain't going anywhere, got it?"
The Toad Hermit grumbled, walking over the log that both himself and Naruto had once been tied too. He leant against it, gesturing for Bunta to continue.
"Naruto, are you ready?!" Bunta growled. "Are you prepared?"
"Yes sir!" Naruto jumped to a salute.
"Good! We will then commence- the drinking to finalise our contract!"
"Eh? I thought you were going to train me!"
"Yeah- after the drink," said Bunta. "Jiraiya, fetch the booze!"
"Since when did I become the servant here?" grumbled Jiraiya. "I'm the Toad Hermit for God's sake, what do I have to get some respect?"
"Hey, Bunta, I'm not old enough to drink!" Naruto shouted.
"Did you just call me Bunta?"
Half an hour later, the group had finally stopped fighting long enough to start training. Or Naruto's training, at least.
"Naruto, this is one of my favourite techniques," said Bunta. "Behold- Water Release: Bullet Technique!"
Bunta pressed his hands together in a Tiger Seal, before he inhaled. And he spat out a sphere of water, blasting it across the area, until it smashed into a tree.
"Wow!" Naruto said, eyes wide. "How do I do that?!"
"Step one, keep hands in Tiger Seal."
Naruto did so. "Check!"
"Step two, inhale and keep the air in your lungs!"
Naruto managed to mumble "Check" as well as he could.
"Step three, begin swirling the saliva in your mouth!"
Naruto opened his mouth, eyes bulging. "What? Saliva?"
"Where else are you going to get the water from, idiot?" snapped Bunta.
Jiraiya lazily looked across the clearing, tipping back his sake. "This is so much more fun when it's someone else Naruto's annoying."
"My mummy told me I was a pretty girl," said Gamasenshi, having drunk a bit too much of Jiraiya's sake, and had forgotten that Jiraiya wouldn't understand him anyway. "I hear it's amazing when the famous purple stuffed worm in flap-jaw space with the tuning fork does a raw blink on Hari-Kari rock. I need scissors! 61!"
Naruto and Bunta both looked over, having heard and understood (using the word "understood" lightly) Gamasenshi's words.
"Well," said Naruto, looking back at Bunta. "That's about the most sense he's made all day."
Naruto blinked. "That's a lot of people."
Team 7 entered the hall, crammed to the pack with genin, each doing their best to look as menacing as possible.
And suddenly, they heard a cross between a squeal and a scream, and something blonde and purple assaulted Sasuke.
"Er, who is she?" asked Naruto.
"I don't know," said Sasuke, looking very irritated by the squealing girl latching onto him. "But I swear if her hands go any lower, I'll snap her wrists."
"Ino!" shrieked Sakura in anger.
Ino reluctantly dislodged herself from Sasuke, glaring at Sakura all the while. The rest of Team 10 arrived on the scene.
"Huh, so you guys got nominated as well," said Shikamaru dully. "How troublesome."
"Oh look, the idiots are here," said Naruto cheerfully.
"Little bastard," grumbled Shikamaru.
Chouji said nothing, content to eat his snacks.
"Well, looks like we're all here," said Kiba, as Team 8 arrived on the scene.
Akamaru's face twisted into a frown as the dog glared at Gamasenshi who responded in kind.
"You guys are here too?" said Shikamaru.
"So, all us rookies are here," said Kiba. "Wonder how far we'll get...eh, Sasuke?"
"We did a load of training," said Kiba. "We won't lose to you guys."
Naruto flipped the bird at Kiba. "Go to hell Kiba, Sasuke might lose, but there's no way you could beat me."
A grey-haired nin wearing glasses approached. "You guys- you should be more quiet. You're rookies, right? Screaming like schoolgirls- this isn't a picnic. I'm Kabuto- but have a look around."
The Rookie Nine looked around, seeing some very angry looking genin.
"Everyone's tense. Try not to cause a scene."
"Er, Kabuto-san," Sakura started. "Is this your second time taking the exam?"
"Seventh," replied Kabuto. "I haven't wasted my time though." He removed a pack of cards from a pouch. "Nin-info cards. They contain four years of data. Over two hundred cards. Any requests on anyone?"
"Yeah," said Sasuke. "Gaara from Suna and Rock Lee from Konoha."
"Gaara's a creepy guy, and Lee beat up Sasuke," Naruto added.
Kabuto removed two cards from his deck, dispelling the genjutsu on them to show Gaara and Lee. "Lee's a year older then you. He has impressive taijutsu, his sensei's Maito Gai. He was held back a year to train for the exam so he this is his first time."
"Don't be so impatient. Gaara- I don't have much on him. But he's completed a B-rank mission- and it seems he completes all his missions without getting a single scratch on him."
Kabuto put his cards away, drawing up to full height.
"Many outstanding genin from the hidden villages are here to take the exam. Well, the Hidden Sound was created recently and is quite small, so we don't know much about them and their abilities- but the rest of the hidden villages are filled with talented genin."
"So, all the people here-" Sakura was cut off by Kabuto.
"Are the best genin the Elemental Countries have to offer."
Sakura glanced at Naruto. 'Wow, even someone as hyper as Naruto looks nervous- I'll better cheer him up.' She rested a hand on his shoulder. "Hey, Naruto, don't-"
Naruto suddenly jumped into a kabuki pose, Gamasenshi posing with him as he hopped onto the blonde's shoulder.
"Listen up, you morons!" Naruto started hopping on one foot to the right with one hand held in front of him outstretched. "I shall tell you my true identity!" He stopped hopping, changing his pose again. "I am the man who has no equal in the North, East, South and West, not even in the heavens! The blonde toad-tamer, hermit-in-training! Women fall over each other for my devastating good looks- even a crying baby would stare in awe at my power- the great Naruto!"
"Croak! That's right!"
For several minutes, there was a stunned silence.
And then a boy with very bad hair and a Sound headband started laughing. "That's the gayest thing I've ever seen!"
Naruto's eyes narrowed- and in a flash, he was standing in front of the boy, pulling him up by the front of his shirt. "What did you just say?"
"Let go of me you dumb fu-"
Naruto threw the guy into a wall. "My name is Uzumaki Naruto- remember it!" Naruto quickly added a few lines he'd heard on tv. "Pray that our paths do not cross- for I will cut you down." And for extra emphasis, he lowered his head so there was more shadow on his face and he raised his clenched fist.
Once again, there was silence, before the genin broke out into whispers.
"That guy is so cool!"
"He's the epitome of masculinity!"
"Wow, he's hot!"
"I wish I was him," said Gaara, much to the shock of his teammates. "I'll just have to settle for killing him instead." That didn't shock them.
"What the hell?" said Sakura to the rest of the Rookie 9 and Kabuto. "That's- that was- just really stupid! It's so stupid, even Naruto must have learnt it off someone even stupider!"
There was suddenly an explosion of smoke.
"Attention genin!" shouted a bandana-clad, scarred, gravelly voiced middle-aged man called Ibiki. "Welcome, to the first portion of the Chuunin Exam. I am Morino Ibiki, the proctor, and currently-" His eyes glinted as his mouth formed a vicious smile. "Your greatest enemy."
Naruto sat in a corner, drawing circles on the ground as tears fell down his face. "That entrance was way cooler than mine." He sobbed.
And yeah. That was what you waited for.
Ironically, I wrote this months ago and didn't bother to upload it at the time, so I guess I should've edited it more.
I know this chapter focused a bit too much on Naruto hanging out with Jiraiya, but the two are just so funny I can't resist.