Welcome to my first fic! Enjoy it or don't my dinner taste just as good either way. Please read and review.

On another note, I don't own Naruto or anything else I might allude to in this story. If I did own Naruto, I would make sure that none of my characters were genderly confused.

A short blond boy was running away from a large village as fast as he could, a large scroll attached to his back. He had a smile plastered on his face. He may have failed the genin test, but Mizuki-sensei had given him a way out. After all, how hard could it be to learn a single jutsu? There was no way that he couldn't finish in time. He looked at the map Mizuki-sensei had given him. At the break-neck pace he was going he would be there with plenty of time to spare. Maybe he would have time to learn eight or nine jutsus. That would be awesome! Having arrived at the place marked on the map, he pulled the scroll off his back. With his ridicules grin still on his face he opened the scroll. A thought forced it's way into his head. It wasn't quite foreign, but it clearly wasn't his own.

Read them all first, then try and learn one. That way, even when I have to give it back, I can still try and do the other ones! Continuing to grin, he opened the scroll and began the most serious cramming session of his life.

"It's all over…" Iruka had finally found the young boy. Why did he have to pull something like this? This exceeded some stupid prank; this was a serious offence! So it was a bit of a surprise when Naruto seemed completely unabashed at being found.

"Got me already? You're quick, sensei. I only learned one jutsu. But I did finish reading the scroll. There is some really cool stuff in here!" Iruka could only stare at the boy, puzzled. Didn't he realize how much trouble he was in?

"So, Iruka-sensei, I show you my amazing new jutsu and I graduate, right? Once I learn a jutsu from this scroll, I pass, right?" Again, the chuunin was reduced to staring blankly.

"Who told you that?"

"Mizuki-sensei! He gave me a map, told me where to find the scroll, when to be here and everything! So do I show you now?" This snapped Iruka out of his stupor. Why would Mizuki say something like that? There was no reason, unless…

"I see you've found our little hideaway," a voice from above snickered. Suddenly, a small shower of shuriken started to rain down. Iruka looked on in horror as they flew at Naruto's unprotected back. Worse, Naruto didn't seem to realize the danger he was in. It didn't even look as if he had realized the Mizuki had showed up yet. Iruka had to take action. He grabbed an orange clad shoulder and thrust it out of the way. Using his other hand, Iruka pulled a kunai from his vest and began to deflect as many of the stars as he could. Despite his best efforts, several shuriken had found their marks; one in Iruka's defending arm and two more in his poorly defended legs.

The treacherous nin hopped down from his attacking position. He threw his head back, laughing. He seemed to be enjoying himself immensely. He began to remove a rather large throwing star from his back. A demon star that when place right could easily remove a man's head.

"Naruto, the scroll please." Iruka's eyes widened.

"No Naruto! Don't do it! He's a traitor! Give him nothing!"

Mizuki chuckled. "Naruto...even if you've read what's in there, it won't mean anything. I can show you what it means..."

Iruka clenched his fists. "Naruto, don't listen to him!"

"Say Naruto...I just thought of something..."

"He lies, Naruto!"

"We didn't teach you what really happened twelve years ago, did we? When the demon fox attacked? So you wouldn't know, would you?" Naruto began to feel a sinking feeling in his gut. What did this have to do with anything?

"What do you mean?"

"He lies, Naruto!"

"Shut up, Umuino! You've said that already. Now, going back to our history lesson, something happened, Naruto. Something big. So big that, since then, it has been taboo to speak of it, epically to you. Would you like to hear what it is?"

"Naruto, run!"

"What is it? What couldn't I know?"

"Oh, nothing important. It's only that you are the nine-tailed demon fox, Uzumaki. You are the Kyuubi!" Mizuki tilted his head back, showing his maniac smile yet again. The look on Naruto's face was so pleasing. How good it made him feel to know that he was the one to break this boy.

Naruto stood, shocked. That can't be right. How could it be? He wasn't a demon. He was Naruto. Just Uzumaki Naruto. Nothing more…

"Haven't you ever wondered why you are hated, Uzumaki? Why know one will look at you without picturing you as a corpse? It's because you were the one who attacked our village twelve years ago! You killed our people! You kill Iruka's parents and left him an orphan! He hates you! They all hate you! They hate you for what you did and what you are!"

Naruto. Just Naruto. Nothing more. Not a demon. Just Naruto….

"Have you wondered why they hate you? Why you've always been on the outside? It's because you're a monster! You killed the Yondaime! It was you! You killed our hero! You're a monster! Just a savage mon…" Mizuki's rant was cut off as a kunai flew at his head.

"Naruto, I want you to run. Run to the village and tell others where we are. What are you waiting for? Go!" Iruka had stood up and was preparing to fight. Naruto was his student and he would be damned if he let anything happen to him.

Naruto. Just Naruto. Nothing more. Nothing less. Naruto. Naruto. Naruto…

"Come with me, Naruto! Together, we can destroy Konoha and all the people who scorned you! With the help of that scroll, we can kill all those who hate you!" Mizuki began to advance towards the frightened boy. Another kunai stopped his advance.

"You're fight is with me, Mizuki." Iruka had walked in between the two despite his freely bleeding leg. He glared at the traitor with all the hate in his body held. Mizuki smiled in spite of this.

"You don't belong here, Naruto. You don't need to be surrounded by people that despise you. Come with me and destroy Konoha! We will be hailed as heroes! Think of it, Uzumaki. Think of what we could do. Just give me the scroll, and we can do anything!"

"Naruto is not the demon you think he is! He is not the Kyuubi. He is my student and friend, Uzumaki Naruto! Don't you dare forget that, Mizuki!" Mizuki couldn't help but laugh.

"Your friend? Please, he killed your whole family!"

"He didn't do that! That was the Kyuubi, and Naruto is not the Kyuubi! They are two different minds!"

Naruto. Naruto. Naruto. Uzumaki Naruto. Just Naruto. Just Naruto. Just Uzumaki…

"Naruto is a kind and loving person! He doesn't want to see the people close to him to be hurt! He isn't a monster like you, Mizuki!"

"This is getting tiresome. I think I'm going to kill you now." A large blade of metal flashed threw the air followed by a distinct whirling noise. The demon shuriken was heading straight for Iruka's neck and there was no way for him to avoid it and it was too strong to block. Iruka willed his weakened legs to move, but they remained frozen, blood trickling down.

I am Naruto. I am Naruto. I am Uzumaki Naruto. I am Uzumaki Naruto! I am Uzumaki Naruto and I am not a demon! Iruka-sensei, I am Naruto!

Suddenly, Naruto appeared in front of Iruka. Iruka stared in shock as the giant shuriken drove itself into Naruto's small body.

"Naruto, no!" Suddenly, Naruto disappeared in a puff of smoke. As quickly as the one disappeared, countless more appeared around them. And all of these Narutos had the exact same expression; malice towards a certain traitor chuunin.

"No one hurts Iruka-sensei. If you even try, I'll kill you!" With that, numerous blond boys charged the shocked man, beating him into the ground. Iruka stared in shock. Those were all solid clones. He had to smile at his student. Had he now surpassed him? It was quite possible, and from the looks of Mizuki, it might just be the case.

"Oi! Naruto come here and close your eyes!" Naruto complied, but it couldn't be more obvious that he hated being left in the dark. He felt his goggles being lifter off his head and some else replacing them.

"Okay, open your eyes." Naruto opened them and saw something strange about his teacher. He placed it in a second. His headband was missing. Naruto's hand shot up to his forehead and felt the cold metal plate. His smile grew as he leaped at Iruka.

"Iruka-sensei!" Iruka winced a little, but hugged Naruto gently. Things were going to be alright.

"As touching as this is, I'm sorry to say that I'm going to have to interrupt." Iruka's eyes darted towards the source of the words. What he saw made his blood run cold. Standing there was a tall, young, and pale man with a straw hat, garbed in a black cloak with red clouds covering it. On his head he wore a headband similar to Naruto's except that the leaf symbol had been crossed out, signifying that he was a missing nin. What had scared Iruka was not the clothing, oh no. It was the man's whirling red eyes. The Sharingan. That meant it could only be one man.

"Uchiha Itachi…" Iruka spoke with a mixture of awe and fear in his voice. The pale man smiled slightly. Apparently he had left an impression when he left Konoha.