Kyuubi no Cabbit
Chapter 1: Meeting your inner demon
Hello, this is just a note saying that neither Naruto nor Tenchi Muyo belong to me. I think that this idea is original, or rather, I don't remember seeing it before. Anyways, please review. While it will not effect my continuation of this story (the second chapter is already started), it is always nice to know that I'm appreciated. As a quick note, this is a highly re-edited version of the original chapter, including a key plot point or two. This is being done in an effort to not accidentally make another Deusexmachingan… I mean Sharingan.
And now I'm editing the thing for persistent spelling mistakes and enhancing some of the logic I've been using but haven't adequately expressed.
Thank you, deitarion/SSokolow for being my beta reader.
In the Hokage's office, the Jounin instructors were meeting to determine who would have the pleasure of torture, er, training (yes, training…) which of the new Genin. While these proceedings were usually very straight forward, recent events had made this year the exception. All of this confusion was caused by one Academy student's desire to become a ninja. One Uzumaki Naruto had quickly become the bane of the team selection crew by technically being dead last in the class, while proceeding to learn a Jounin level kinjutsu, without help, and taking down a Chunnin, all in less than twenty-four hours.
"It is obvious that Uzumaki has far more potential than we ever gave him credit for," started a red-eyed, brown haired kunoichi by the name of Yuuhi Kurenai. "If he could teach himself Kage Bunshin no Jutsu in less than one night, imagine what he could do with the right instructor. I believe that Kakashi is not the correct instructor for Naruto. Hokage-sama, I humbly request that I be allowed to train Naruto."
Hatake Kakashi, a silver haired man wearing his forehead protector over his left eye replied, "His test scores put him on the same team as the Uchiha, and we all know that I am the only one capable of properly training him."
"That is exactly my point," argued Kurenai. "You are going to be too busy with that spoiled brat," here many of the other Jounin gasped at her insult towards the sole survivor of the once great clan, "to offer Naruto the attention he needs. Besides, I think his scores need to be reevaluated. Inuzuka Kiba scored only a little above Naruto initially, but, if you take into account what we now know, Naruto just squeezes past, and onto my team."
"Why do you want to have that trouble maker so much?" asked Sarutobi Asuma, a bearded chain smoker and son of the Sandaime Hokage. "He's just going to make you work harder than you would have to otherwise."
"That's another reason I should teach Naruto. You and Kakashi are too lazy to properly train the kid. Out of all the Jounin here, I think that I am probably the most likely to do as much as I can for my team. We all know that he has an abnormally large chakra reserve. He is going to need to learn chakra control before he'll be able to do anything else. Unlike almost every other Genin, he did not have the benefit of a family to train him during his time in the Academy."
"I still think he should be on Kakashi's team," one of the other Jounin stressed. "We need someone who might be able to stop him if he goes berserk to watch over him."
"I think that the fact that he stole the Scroll of Sealing to learn a single technique, because he was told he would pass by doing so, rather than releasing the seal speaks well of his character," Kurenai insisted.
"No," another antagonistic Jounin refuted, "it just shows how gullible he is."
"He listened to his teacher, like a good student is supposed to," Kurenai started. "Just because one of his teachers was untrustworthy doesn't mean that he shouldn't be trusted." Several of the Jounin shifted uneasily at this point, wanting to mention a certain other student ostracized because of her teacher but refraining because the Hokage was present. "I would rather have a student that is willing to trust me than have a student who would question every method I use or every decision I make. Besides, if Naruto can't be trusted because of who his teacher was, then none of the graduates can be trusted. They all had the same teacher, after all."
"You bring up many excellent points, Kurenai," the elderly Hokage conceded. "Very well, Naruto will be on your team. Is there anything else that needs discussion?" Several of the Jounin broke into grumbles but kept their comments to themselves. They knew better than to question the Hokage's decisions when the concerned the demon brat, at least not to his face. Soon after, the meeting ended and the Jounin either walked or poofed away.
In his apartment in what could only be considered the slums, a blond, whisker-marked, new Academy Graduate was thinking about what he had just learned, against his, and the Hokage's wishes. Naruto had just learned that he had the Kyuubi no Kitsune, the demon that had nearly destroyed Konoha years ago, sealed within him. For a while, he had thought that he was the monster and not just its container, but Iruka-sensei had set him straight. Oddly enough, every time he thought about the demon fox, he felt a twinge in his head and could swear he heard a soft, plaintive "Miya."
"Gah! What was that? Great, now I'm hearing things. I need to think about this more." Deciding that he had nothing better to do with his time, and needing to sort out his feeling, Naruto tried to meditate. Of course, meditation usually works better when it does not involve slamming one's head into a wall, repeatedly, as hard as possible without damaging said wall. Soon the vast number of near concussions caught up to Naruto and he fell to the ground unconscious. The slight dent in the wall was hardly noticeable.
When Naruto looked around, he saw that he was inside what appeared to be the sewer. About four inches of dirty water covered the floor, causing Naruto to scrunch up his nose in disgust. From down the main corridor, the blond heard an urgent, nearly frantic, "Miya!"
"Where the hell am I?" Naruto wondered aloud. Hearing the strange sound again, Naruto decided, "Well, I'm here; I might as well go see what that was." He walked down the passageway until he came upon what appeared to be a large iron gate. Two giant, glowing red eyes stared back as Naruto stared in awe, wonder, and a healthy amount of fear. "Where am I? What is that thing?" Naruto thought, accidentally aloud.
"We are in your mind, brat,"the creature in possession of the glowing eyes answered. Naruto noticed the single piece of paper over the lock of the gate, with the kanji for seal.
Everything clicked into place in Naruto's mind. The door, the eyes, and the seal could only mean one thing. "You're the Kyuubi no Kitsune!" Naruto exclaimed, stumbling back in fear.
The creature just roared in laugher and stepped into the light, saying, "The Kyuubi no Kitsune never attacked this village. I killed the Kitsune almost a millennium ago, before I even became a Bijuu."
"Then what are you?" Naruto questioned. "And how did you kill the Kyuubi no Kitsune? And how did you become a Bijuu?"
"I am the Kyuubi no Cabbit. After my egg fell to this planet around a millennium ago, the Kitsune attacked the village where I was being cared for. I was not personally involved with the battle until the young girl who had cared for me was killed. In my rage, I used my full power and destroyed the Kitsune. Unfortunately, I also destroyed the village." The Kyuubi no Cabbit looked down sadly as he continued his tale. "A natural cabbit can defeat a lesser demon without too much difficulty, and, if enraged, one can destroy an entire civilization. After the battle, I wanted to make sure that the Kyuubi no Kitsune could not come back and harm anyone else, so I merged with it, gaining its powers and attributes. It is a good thing I waited until after I had defeated the beast, or I would have been affected by its personality much more than I have."
"Then why did the Fourth seal you into me?" Naruto asked. If the demon wasn't evil, then why did it need to be sealed?
"Thats actually a rather funny story," the Kyuubi replied. "Cabbits love carrots. We can't get enough of the things. Anyways, I was hungry and the closest carrot patch was on the other side of this village. The villagers must have mistaken my hunger for killing intent and bloodlust and thought I was attacking. They fought back, trying to protect the village from harm. Everything escalated when I tried to defend myself. It was then that I suddenly looked over to see a giant frog coming out of nowhere, there was a bright light from its head, and next thing I know I'm stuck in you. It took me ten years to figure out that I had been sealed into you at the cost of the Fourth Hokage's life."
"Then why do all of the villagers and ninja think you're a fox?" inquired the blond.
"If you remember one thing, remember this: no matter how smart a group is as individuals, people are stupid," the cabbit said sagely. "They looked up the legend of the Kyuubi and only found record of the Kyuubi no Kitsune. Thus, they decided that, even though I look nothing like a fox, I must be one."
"So, now what?" Naruto asked absently.
"Well, because I am sealed in you, if you die, I will die. Therefore, I am willing provide you chakra whenever you really need it and will heal you must faster than I have been; unless I feel you deserve the pain. I will not allow you to use me to show off. Besides, you need to learn much better chakra control so my chakra won't burn you out. In order for you to be able to ask for chakra without being in a near death experience or unconscious, I would like to set up a mental link so we can communicate at any time," the Kyuubi explained.
"What would you get out of this?" Naruto asked suspiciously. "Are you trying to take over my body or anything?"
"All I would get out of this arrangement, other than constant company, is the ability to see, hear, taste, smell, and feel everything you do, unless you purposely block me. I would also be able to take control of your body if you lose consciousness, not including natural or medical sleep, until you would naturally regain consciousness. This is more of a defensive measure than anything, because I don't want you killed if you pass out in the middle of a battle. You would also be able to give me control of your vocal cords if I am ever needed to speak to others to explain anything. Do you agree?"
"But why are you being so nice? You must have an ulterior motive," Naruto insisted, showing that he had once gotten really bored while stuck in bed with nothing but a dictionary for company.
"Alright, the truth is that I'm going carrot crazy," the Kyuubi admitted. "I feel like I'll go insane if I don't get to taste any soon. That; and I'm male with normal male urges. Now that I'm stuck in you, you're my only hope at getting anything even slightly resembling little cabbits. Also, being stuck in a cage without even a book to read gets boring extremely quickly. At least I can have some fun messing with you."
"Sure! What do I have to do?" Naruto readily agreed without thinking about any other potential drawbacks to this plan and not understanding the implications of some of what the Kyuubi said.
"I need you to come up to the cage so I can look you directly in the eye and form the link."
Naruto cautiously walked up to the cage to stare into the Kyuubi's eyes. When he finally got his first good look at the Kyuubi, he fell over laughing, pointing at the cabbit and shouting, "Usagi!"
"I am not a rabbit, damn it!" the Kyuubi growled, before initiating the process that would irrevocably link their minds.
"So, now that we are linked and all, what should I call you? I can't really call you Kyuubi all the time. People would probably think I'm either going insane or about to destroy the village."
"You can speak to me mentally; you don't need to actually talk. However, the name I have taken for myself is Kyu-Ohki. Now that that's done, it's time to get your ass moving so you can get your registration picture taken."
Finding himself suddenly back in his apartment, Naruto looked at his clock. "Crap! I only have a few hours before my appointment!" he exclaimed. "I need to get ready!"
He reached towards his face paint kit when a growl stopped him, "Don't even think about it. I will not have my container look like a complete fool."
"But it was going to be great!" Naruto whined.
"I know you want to be acknowledged, but being known for being an idiot is not the way to go," Kyu-Ohki calmly explained. "The small oval gem on your forehead will be hard enough to explain without adding to it."
"What gem?" Naruto looked in the mirror, and, sure enough, there was a small red gem in the center of his forehead. "Where did this come from?"
"The gem is a side effect of using some of my Masu to allow your body to better handle my chakra," Kyu-Ohki explained. "Unless you'd rather burn out your chakra coils the first time you use it."
Mollified for the moment, Naruto cooked his morning ramen. "Why does ramen take so long to cook?" Naruto asked, saddened by the three minute wait.
"Couldn't tell you, kid. What I do know is that you are going to be eating more than just ramen from now on." Kyu-Ohki paused for a moment as Naruto screamed in anguish before continuing, "You're skin and bones, kid. You need to eat better. Ramen may be cheap, but it doesn't have the nutrients you'll need to grow stronger. Speaking of which, you will also need to get some weights to train with." Naruto finished eating his ramen in silence before leaving to have his picture taken.
After having his picture taken, Naruto brought his registration papers to the Ninja Academy to turn in to the Hokage. When the old man looked at the papers, he blinked and commented, "I'm impressed, Naruto. I expected you to have painted your face in some absurd pattern or some such nonsense."
"See, I told you the paint was a stupid idea," interjected Kyu-Ohki.
"Shut up, Usagi," Naruto muttered under his breath, unfortunately still loud enough for the Hokage to hear.
"Stop calling me a rabbit! And talk to me IN your mind! The Hokage heard you."
"Are you calling me a rabbit, Naruto?" questioned the Hokage with a raised eyebrow.
"Oi! Kyu-Ohki, what should I tell the old man?" Naruto silently asked franticly.
"The Hokage and Umino Iruka are the only two I trust at the moment. You can tell them the truth, but you must not do so unless you are in a properly secured area, like the Hokage's office."
"Old Man," Naruto began, "I'll explain everything to you and Iruka-sensei later, in your office. It concerns an S-class secret." Naruto only hoped that the Hokage understood the reference to his tenet and would wait before asking any potentially awkward questions.
Before the Hokage was even able to reply, the door was slammed open and a young boy of about six years old, wielding a shuriken, ran into the room, shouting, "Fight me, Old Man! The title of Hokage will belong to me, Konohamaru!" Unfortunately, his attack was doomed to failure and he tripped over his own scarf. He immediately groaned in pain and asked, "What was that? A trap?"
Following him into the room was his private tutor. The bespectacled special Jounin quickly looked around the room and cried, "Honorable grandson, are you alright? Also, there are no traps here." When he saw Naruto, he thought, 'It's that kid. The Kyuubi no Kitsune. The dropout I hate the most.' He hid his glare at Naruto by adjusting his glasses.
Konohamaru looked at Naruto and claimed, "You! You must have done something. I'm the Hokage's grandson; you have to apologize to me!"
Naruto picked the boy up by his shirt and exclaimed, "I don't care if you're the Hokage's grandmother!" He then hit Konohamaru on the head, dazing him slightly. The instructor looked on in shock and rage while the Hokage looked slightly upset yet slightly happy, as if knowing that everything would work out for his grandson's benefit, or at least hoped it would.
When the boy regained his senses, he looked up at Naruto with admiration, and said, "You're strong! I want you to teach me how to be strong like you!" Now the Hokage was almost beaming at the pair while the instructor was appalled.
"Naruto, Konohamaru, you are dismissed," the Hokage stated. "Ebisu, please stay for a minute."
"Come on, Naruto," cried Konohamaru, having picked up the name from the Hokage. He dragged Naruto out of the room while Ebisu looked on, angry that the demon brat was being allowed to corrupt the Hokage's grandson.
"What do you think about young Naruto, Ebisu?" the Hokage asked, already suspecting the truth and merely stalling so Naruto and Konohamaru could escape for the time being.
"I feel that the dropout should not be allowed to corrupt the minds of our youth," Ebisu growled. "And I would appreciate it if you would allow me to save my charge."
"Did you know that Naruto was able to not only steal the Scroll of Sealing, but also learned Kage Bunshin no Jutsu in one night? Would you call that dropout material?" the Hokage asked, wanting to waste some more time and to see Ebisu's reaction to this little tidbit of information.
"But the fox can't even pull off a basic bunshin!" Ebisu exclaimed before he could catch himself.
"Naruto is not the Kyuubi. You know that as well as I," began the Hokage. "As for not being able to perform a bunshin while easily using kage bunshin, it is rather simple. Naruto has an abnormally large chakra reserve for his age, and he has had no one to teach him proper chakra control. I already suspect that his henge is far more powerful than most Chunnin can manage, simply because he is not aware of what its limits are. With normal clones, however, too much chakra will over load them, causing them to be deformed. Since kage bunshin use so much more chakra, he cannot overload them. Once he learns the proper chakra control, he should be able to perform what most of us consider the easiest jutsu."
"Hokage-sama, I believe you have too much faith in that brat," Ebisu stated. "Now, may I be dismissed so I can continue your grandson's education?" At the Hokage's nod, Ebisu would have sprinted from the room if he was not trying to keep hold on his dissipating air of dignity. Once he made it out of the building, he made his way to the top of the Hokage's tower so it would be easier to spot Naruto and Konohamaru. Spotting the two, Ebisu jumped into the air, disappearing from sight five feet off the roof.
After Konohamaru pulled Naruto out of the Academy, he convinced Naruto to teach him a jutsu to beat his grandfather. Of course, Naruto chose his Sexy no Jutsu. Thus, they were wondering around looking for practice material. Naruto pointed out a pretty young woman in a blue kimono and said, "Can you henge into her?"
Konohamaru nodded and used henge. When the smoke cleared, there stood an ugly, obese version of the woman wearing a blue kimono. "How's this?" he asked.
"Well, the clothes are right," Naruto replied hesitantly.
Unfortunately, the woman took offense to being, in any way, compared to the younger boy's henge. After beating Naruto into the ground, she turned to Konohamaru, now back in his normal shape, and, with a smile, said, "Next time, try to do cuter henge of me, okay?" Konohamaru could only nod in shock, not really hearing what she had said.
"Wow, and I thought you usually had to actually do something to get hurt," Kyu-Ohki commented. "Because I don't think you deserved that beating, I'll get you healed right up. You should be back to normal within ten minutes."
"Thanks, Kyu-Ohki." Naruto got back up and led Konohamaru to their next research spot, a book store. "Come on, all we need to do is sneak past the clerk, and we'll be set," Naruto instructed, sneaking in a rather obvious manner. When they reached the magazine racks, Naruto selected an adult one and opened it. He and Konohamaru drooled over the nearly indecent pictures until a shadow fell over them.
"I told you that there is no browsing in the store, Naruto!" the shop keeper exclaimed before giving Naruto a black eye.
After escaping from the deranged shop keeper, the apparently masochistic blond led Konohamaru to the women's bathhouse. "This is the last place! Let's put our spirit into it!" Naruto exclaimed.
"Roger boss!" was Konohamaru's reply. Both boys used henge to turn into girls. Naruto became a cute blond with twin pigtails, and Konohamaru became a rather overweight fish lipped female with only one patch of hair on the top of her head. The two boys disguised as girls entered the bathhouse.
Much screaming followed immediately. One old lady shouted, "Naruto! You again?!" After much violence, Naruto exited the building. While Konohamaru was completely unharmed, Naruto had been beaten into a pulp.
As Naruto led his student into the forest to finish his training, Kyu-Ohki chose to comment, "Don't expect me to help you heal any faster than normal this time. You deserved that beating."
When they reached the clearing in the forest they planned on training in, where they would likely remain undisturbed for some time, Naruto grumbled, "Why am I the only one getting pounded?"
"I'm sorry," started Konohamaru. "It's because I'm the grandson of a Hokage."
"Don't worry about it. The preparation for the Sexy no Jutsu is complete. All you need to do is practice. Okay, the basics are big breasts, thin waist, and big bottoms."
"Roger, Boss!" exclaimed Konohamaru. "Henge!" He became a fat girl in a bikini.
"No! Do it more slender!"
"Roger, Boss! Henge!" He became a thin, though rather ugly, girl.
"No, more beautiful."
"Roger, boss! Henge!" He became a rather beautiful girl. "Is this it?"
"That's a great start. Let's take a break." The two boys got drinks from a vending machine and sat down on a log to rest. Naruto finally took the opportunity to ask, "By the way, why are you so obsessed with the old man Hokage?"
Looking down sadly, Konohamaru answered, "Grandpa gave me the name Konohamaru. He took it from the name of this village. But even though it is a name everyone should have heard many times, no one calls me by that name. Whenever anyone sees or calls me, they only see the grandson of a Hokage. No one recognizes me as an individual. I hate that. So I want the title of Hokage right now. Then they would have to recognize me!"
"You're an idiot. Who would recognize a kid like you? You're just a spoiled brat. A Hokage needs to be strong and hard working. There are no shortcuts in training. Anyone who tells you otherwise is either stupid or trying to make you weaker in the long run."
Ebisu took that moment to arrive, saying, "Honorable grandson, do not listen to him. He failed the Genin exam three times and only passed on a technicality. He knows nothing of being Hokage. I, on the other hand, have trained many Hokage candidates!"
"And how many of those candidates have made Hokage?" Naruto interrupted, pointing out a very valid argument.
"I hardly see how that is relevant. Now, come along, young master."
"No!" Konohamaru shouted. "Naruto is a better teacher than you have ever been! Henge!" He transformed into a tall, sexy brunette, wearing nothing but conveniently placed wisps of smoke.
"What an obscene technique!" the bespectacled bastard of a teacher declared. "Only a deviant like Naruto would come up with something like that! It may work on lesser men, but I will not be affected by such temptation!"
"Oh yeah?" shot back Naruto. "Take this! Kage Bunshin no Jutsu!" Nearly a hundred copies of Naruto filled the clearing.
"I'm a Special Jounin! Even with that many shadow clones, you still can't defeat me!"
"Just watch!" shouted all of the Naruto. "Henge!" Smoke billowed out of the clearing from all of the transformations. When the smoke cleared, each clone was in the classic Sexy no Jutsu. They dog-piled Ebisu and started to rub against him, moaning. Finally, the pressure was too much for him to take, and he flew backwards from the force of his nosebleed. All of the extra Naruto were dispelled and the original stated, "And that is my Harem no Jutsu!"
"Thank you for all of your help, Naruto!" Konohamaru said enthusiastically.
Naruto started to walk back towards the village before turning around and saying, "No problem, Konohamaru." With that, Naruto left the clearing with a backwards wave.
Later that evening, Naruto was outside the Hokage's office waiting for Iruka-sensei to arrive so that he could explain what had happened with Kyu-Ohki. He was sitting on the far side of the room from the Chunnin guards because they were glaring hatefully at him. Instead he chatted idly with Sandaime's secretary, who had just started working in that capacity after the last one refused to admit Naruto solely because he was 'below the Hokage's notice,' something the Hokage had not appreciated. The new, much younger secretary, Saotome Hikari, was much more open-minded. While she knew about the Kyuubi, she could easily see that Naruto was not the monster so many thought he was.
"So you managed to sneak into the scroll vault, steal the Scroll of Sealing, and get away from both the Jounin and ANBU?!" the secretary exclaimed after hearing Naruto's tale about finally becoming a Genin. "And then you learned a kinjutsu and defeated a Chunnin, all in one night? That is quite impressive. If you managed all of that, we need you as a ninja! You're perfect for infiltration." Privately, however, she was thinking, 'Though, you should lose the orange jumpsuit. It just screams "Come kill me!"'
"Thanks, Saotome-san," Naruto replied, bashfully rubbing the back of his neck.
"Please, call me Hikari, Naruto-kun. Saotome-san makes me sound old!"
"Hai, Hikari-neesan," Naruto instantly amended, deciding that the young secretary would be his sister from now on. The barely twenty year old secretary and single child was flattered to be considered anyone's sister, especially as she had not even really done anything to earn such a compliment. She immediately decided that Naruto would be her little brother. Not knowing the effects of his words, Naruto started another story, "And today I taught Konohamaru my Sexy no Jutsu to help him against the old man Hokage."
Now Hikari was suspicious. She had heard about this technique, and the effects it had on perverts. Thus, she asked, "How did you teach him that jutsu?"
Innocently enough, not really understanding why what he had done was wrong, Naruto answered truthfully, "First I had him try to henge into a pretty girl. He didn't do so well at that. Then I took him to a bookstore so he could get some inspiration. Finally, because we were kicked out of the store, we went into the women's bathhouse disguised as girls. They kicked us out, but Konohamaru had seen enough to work with to learn the jutsu with some practice."
While somewhat appalled that Naruto would peep at women, Hikari knew that he was not a pervert, rather he just did not understand the meaning of privacy and decency because he had never been taught properly. Thus, she decided to remedy this while sating her curiosity about his disguise, wondering who he had copied. "Can I see your disguise, Naruto-kun?"
"Sure, Hikari-neesan!" Naruto exclaimed happily. "Henge!" Out of the smoke appeared the pigtailed, female version of Naruto in his orange jump suit. "What do you think?"
"You make a very cute girl, Naruto-chan," Hikari laughed. "Now, I want you to understand, girls don't like it when boys look at them when they're bathing. They usually violently punish any boys they find peeping. Please don't do that again, okay? I don't want you to get hurt if you can avoid it." Naruto nodded and Hikari rubbed his head. Seeing that Iruka was approaching, the secretary continued, "Why don't you change back now, it's time for your meeting with the Hokage."
"Hai, Hikari-neesan. Kai!" Naruto said, to dispel his henge. Oddly, nothing happened. "Kai! Kai! Kai!" Naruto repeated frantically, trying to return to normal and failing each time. At that moment, Iruka arrived at the scene. "Iruka-sensei, something's wrong! I can't get rid of my henge!"
Iruka looked shocked, which is not that surprising, considering henge was one of Naruto's best techniques. "Are you sure that you're dispelling it correctly?"
"Of course I'm doing it correctly! I use henge all the time!" Naruto exclaimed. "Watch! Kai!"
When nothing happened, Iruka sighed and confessed, "I have no idea what could be wrong. Maybe the Hokage knows. He is called the 'professor' for a reason, you know."
"Speaking of which," Hikari interjected, "the Hokage will see you now. Naruto-kun, feel free to stop by and talk with me anytime you want. You are much more interesting to talk with than the guards."
"Hai, Hikari-neesan, I will. Thank you."
"Come on, let's go see the Hokage now, Naruto," Iruka said before mouthing the words 'Thank you' to Hikari over Naruto's head. He then led the currently female Naruto into the Hokage's office.
Looking over an exceedingly large stack of paperwork, the bane of all Kage, the Sandaime could only blink at Naruto's appearance before asking, "There is a good reason you decided to come to a serious meeting looking like that, correct?"
"Hai, old man," Naruto began. "I can't change back."
At this point, the Hokage was rather skeptical, as this could easily be a prank. "Could you try to dispel the henge again, please?" Naruto did so, failing once again. "Hmm, have you tried using another henge?" he suggested.
"That's a great idea, old man!" Naruto exclaimed. "Henge!" he cried, trying to return to his normal form. Instead, when the smoke cleared, he was completely the same as before.
"Hmm, that is odd. You seem to have done everything correctly. I'll have to think about this later. For now, let us discuss the matter you mentioned earlier today."
"Well," Naruto began, "to begin with, I've met the Kyuubi." Here he had to pause for Iruka's and the Hokage's outbursts. "He isn't even a fox, and he said that he wasn't even planning on attacking Konoha."
"What do mean it isn't a fox?" The Hokage asked. "There is only one Kyuubi, the Kyuubi no Kitsune, and many of the villagers saw it attack and kill many of our shinobi."
"Well, he claims that he was hungry and wanted to get to our carrot patches, but everyone mistook his hunger for bloodlust. As for him not being a fox, you have seen actual foxes before, right?" Naruto asked. When both the Hokage and Iruka nodded, he continued, "Did the look anything like a rabbit?"
"Of course not," Iruka replied. "The two look nothing alike."
"Exactly," Naruto agreed. "Then why did you claim that the Kyuubi was a Kitsune? He is obviously a rabbit or something similar. He calls himself a cabbit."
"You've actually talked to the beast?" the Hokage demanded.
"Yes, I have," admitted the blond girl. "Would you like to? I can give him control of my vocal chords, if you want."
"No, that is not necessary. We wouldn't want to risk the beast getting free," the Hokage stated.
"Like that would happen." Kyu-Ohki muttered within Naruto's mind.
"Actually, Kyu-Ohki can only take control of my body if I get knocked out or something."
"What!? How did that happen?" both the Hokage and Iruka exclaimed, as both had seen Naruto knocked unconscious in the past.
"Well, when I talked to him earlier, Kyu-Ohki suggested it, so I wouldn't be killed if I was knocked out in battle. He also did something to me so I could handle his chakra better. That's what caused the weird red thing to grow on my forehead."
"Naruto," the Sandaime began, "have you asked the Kyuubi if what he did would have any side effects that you didn't know about?"
"Hang on; I'll let him answer for himself."
"Yes, there was a side effect I didn't mention to Naruto earlier. Mwahahaha!" Kyu-Ohki said, in a deeper voice than Naruto's normal voice. He then laughed evilly, as if enjoying Naruto's discomfort.
"What did you do to him?" Iruka demanded.
"Nothing that will harm him." Kyu-Ohki began. "He is just going to have some rather interesting abilities."
"Does this have anything to do with why Naruto is stuck in his henge?" the Sandaime Hokage asked.
"Yes, it is but the first of his new abilities, called Masu Henge no Jutsu. It will allow him, or her, as the case may be, to become, to he genetic level, whoever he disguises himself as, to the closest possible approximation. The only limits are bloodline limits, which I believe that he will be able to copy after ingesting a large amount of blood for me to analyze before they can be copied. It would require enough blood to make the process unpractical, however. No matter what, a few genetic markers will remain, but they will hardly be noticeable."
"Does that mean I'm really a girl right now?" Naruto asked in a panic.
"For the time being, yes, you are completely female. Also, you can no longer use a normal henge to assume humanoid forms," Kyu-Ohki explained. "Naruto, you will have to increase your chakra control substantially before you will master the Masu Henge or even begin to learn your other abilities. Hokage, Naruto should also begin weight training; however, he has yet to find a shop that will not over charge him for sub-par equipment, let alone anything that would help him become stronger."
"Is this true, Naruto?" the Hokage asked, appalled that so few villagers could see the truth.
"Well, there was this one weapon shop that used to help me a lot, but then the owners asked me to stay away, saying it was bad for business," Naruto replied. At that moment, what Kyu-Ohki said finally sunk in. "What do you mean I'm stuck as a girl?!"
"You inadvertently used your new jutsu, but you don't have the control needed to use the technique purposely," Kyu-Ohki stated.
"See, it isn't so bad," Iruka said soothingly, trying to comfort the distraught neo-girl while completely forgetting his own hatred for the Kyuubi. "All you need to do is train a little more. If that's everything you needed to tell the Hokage, let's leave, and I'll buy you some ramen." This immediately lifted the young girl's spirits, but the Hokage stopped them.
"Naruto, I would like to perform a few simple tests in order to tell if your new abilities are a bloodline or if they will only work for you," the Hokage explained. "Can I perform these tests?"
"Sure, Old Man," Naruto consented. "What do I need to do?"
"I am going to need you to let me draw some of your blood. After that, the tests will take about half an hour to perform. I'd like you and Iruka to wait outside until I finish the testing."
"Sure thing, Old Man," Naruto replied, rolling up a sleeve. Sarutobi retrieved a needle attached to a vial and jabbed it into Naruto's upper arm after disinfecting the area. When the vial was filled with blood, he removed the needle and dismissed Naruto and Iruka for the moment.
When they reentered the atrium, Hikari greeted them, "So, Naruto-niichan, how was you're meeting with Hokage-sama?"
"It's not quite over yet, Hikari-neechan," Naruto admitted, sheepishly. "The Old Man is checking to see if I have an advanced bloodline." Hearing this, the two Chunnin guarding the Hokage's office turned white at the implications of that single sentence.
"Well, if you do have a kekkei genkai," Hikari started, "please don't let it go to your head, like most of the others do."
"Others?" Naruto asked innocently.
"The Hyuuga and the Uchiha are both well known for their doujutsu. The Hyuuga have the Byakugan and the Uchiha have the Sharingan. Both clans have a bit of a superiority complex."
"Really?" Naruto asked. "The only Hyuuga I know seems really nice, but she is a bit weird and shy."
"A shy Hyuuga?" Hikari asked incredulously. "I've never heard of such a thing!"
"Ah, yes," Iruka began. "Young Hyuuga Hinata does not seem to share the arrogance most of her clan displays."
"Well, I'm glad that there is at least one human being in the Hyuuga clan," the secretary stated firmly. The trio continued discussing bloodline traits for another twenty minutes. Looking down at her desk Hikari noticed the small blinking red light. "Hokage-sama is ready to see you now."
The two ninja entered the Hokage's office once again. "So, what is it?" Naruto asked.
"Congratulations," announced the old man, a slightly lecherous smile gracing lips. "You are the founder of a new kekkei genkai. I think that it should be called Masu, after that technique you used earlier, Masu Henge. You are free to go now." Smiling happily, Naruto dragged Iruka out of the tower and towards the ramen stand.
After they left, the Hokage shook his head and muttered, "Naruto, one of these days, you're going to give someone a heart attack."
"Hokage-sama," Hikari said as she walked into the office and closed the doors behind her. "I would like to adopt Naruto."
"I'm sorry, Hikari-san, but you know that Naruto cannot be adopted. It was all I could do just to keep him alive, and the Council forced me to make it so he could not be adopted, just to allow that much. If he could have been adopted, he'd have had a family years ago."
"I know," Hikari muttered dejectedly, "but I see him as the little brother I've always wanted, even if I've only just met him tonight."
"Hikari, you may not be able to adopt him, but that doesn't mean he can't be your brother," the Sandaime said soothingly. "Now that he is a shinobi, he has more freedom on where he can live. If you and he wish it to be so, there is no reason he cannot live with you."
"Oh, thank you, Hokage-sama!" the young woman exclaimed happily, hugging the older man.
"I'm just glad the Council overlooked that loophole in the law," the perverted Hokage muttered, enjoying the hug the woman was giving him.
After a short jog, Naruto and Iruka arrived at Ichiraku Ramen. It was more a stand than a restaurant, with one line of stools set up in front of the counter. When the owner, Ichiraku Teuchi, saw the two coming, he smiled and said, "Iruka-san, I wasn't aware you buy food for cute young women, is there something we need to tell the Hokage about?"
"Who are you calling a woman, old man," Naruto came close to snarling.
"Naruto-kun, is that you?" Teuchi's daughter and assistant, Ayame, asked, surprised by the whiskered girl.
"Hai, Ayame-neechan. It's me," Naruto admitted.
"I'm sorry, Naruto," Teuchi started. "I didn't recognize you. Why don't you drop the henge so you don't confuse anyone else?"
"I want to," Naruto grumbled. "Damn new bloodline limit."
Taking pity on the young blond, Ayame went around the bar to give Naruto a sisterly hug. "Don't worry, Naruto-kun, I'm sure you'll figure it out soon"
"So, Naruto, what can I get you?" Teuchi asked. "The first one is on me."
"Could I try a carrot ramen and a miso ramen?" Naruto asked.
"Carrots are a very unusual topping for ramen, but I'll see what I can do," said Teuchi as he entered the back of the stand so he could prepare the ramen. A few minutes later he came back out with the two bowls of ramen and set them down in front of Naruto, with a teasing, "Here you go, young lady."
Naruto glared at the man before saying, "Thank you for the ramen, but don't expect me to do anything for you, perverted old man." With that, she started to eat, starting with the carrot ramen
"Carrots, carrots, carrots," the demonic cabbit sang happily into Naruto's head. "I haven't tasted carrots in soo long!"
"This is pretty good," Naruto commented as she finished eating the first bowl. She then slurped down her miso ramen. "Thank you for the ramen, old man, Iruka-sensei. I should probably get going if I'm going to get up early enough tomorrow."
"Oh, Naruto," Iruka began, "You might want to come earlier than usual tomorrow. That way, even though people will probably wonder who you are, you won't cause too much of a scene. Then again, I suspect that a few will be able to figure it out on their own." After that final piece of advice and all of the farewells were exchanged, Naruto headed back to his apartment in the slums to get a good night's sleep.
Naruto got up earlier than usual the next morning, in order to follow Iruka's advice. After narrowly avoiding a very uncomfortable day caused by drinking sour milk, courtesy of Kyu-Ohki's quick warning, Naruto headed out to the explanatory Genin meeting after putting her goggles on. After about three blocks, Naruto remembered that she was now officially a Genin and should be wearing her forehead protector, so she ran back to her apartment to get it. She put the forehead protector on properly, on her forehead, and adjusted it in the mirror until it looked right. Unfortunately, she spent a few extra minutes posing in the mirror before leaving once again. A run in with Konohamaru attempting to use a disguise sheet, sideways, slowed her down even more. Thus, she arrived at the Academy at the same time she would have had Iruka not given his advice. Even though Naruto was still female, the young boy easily recognized her, as it was the same form she had used to sneak into the girls' bathhouse with him. He assumed Naruto was just pulling a prank and demanded that she fight him, right before he tripped over the edge of the disguise sheet. Naruto, however, declined by stating she had a meeting to go to.
Admittedly, she was not late to the meeting, but more people were already there than she had wanted. As she sat down at an empty table, people began to look at her in curiosity. Her more sensitive hearing picked up some of what was whispered, such as "Who's the babe?" and "Did she graduate early?"
One of the new shinobi, Nara Shikamaru, was among the first to figure out what was really going on. The skinny, pineapple haired youth was credited with being the smartest yet laziest student in the class. He walked up to Naruto and asked, "What are you doing here, Naruto? This meeting is only for those of us who graduated."
"Can you not see the forehead protector? From today on, I'm a ninja too!" Naruto explained, before realizing that Shikamaru had recognized her. "Ano, how did you know it was me?"
"You're so troublesome, Naruto," the lazy boy commented before explaining, "How many people, other than yourself are blond, have whisker marks, and wear an orange jumpsuit everyday? Add to that your apparent habit for using henge to turn into a female you, and it is easy to see through such a disguise. Drop the henge, it's too troublesome."
"I wish I could," Naruto muttered under her breath. "Damn new blood limit."
Another individual who knew that Naruto was actually Naruto was Aburame Shino, a ninja who used kikaichu bugs that lived in him feeding off his chakra and wore an extremely high collared coat and dark sunglasses, who had sent one of his kikaichu insects to examine the new kunoichi. Upon learning that her chakra was a perfect match for Naruto, yet her smell was definitely female, Shino merely raised an eyebrow and thought, 'Out of all shinobi, only Naruto would be able be able to accidentally make himself female.'
Hyuuga Hinata, the pale eyed and pupil-less heiress of the Hyuuga clan, had originally been happy when she saw the bright orange jumpsuit, thinking that Naruto had managed to graduate. When she realized that it was a girl wearing the jumpsuit, she was crestfallen. Knowing Naruto's predilection for pranks, however, Hinata tried one last test. Her hands flew through a practiced set of hand seals and she softly said, "Byakugan," activating her blood limit. Veins bulged around and in her eyes as colors inverted and she began to see the chakra around her and in her classmates. Looking at the blond, she was upset to see that no chakra was being used to support a henge. She then noticed how easily she could see the girl's chakra coils. With her relatively poor ability using the Byakugan, especially from across the room, that meant that the girl's coils must be incredibly large for her age. The only person Hinata knew with coils like that was Naruto, leaving the poor Hyuuga completely confused.
The last individual who, technically, figured out the ruse was Inuzuka Kiba. When he saw the new girl, he liked what he saw. Taking a quick sniff to judge if she was already taken, he was surprised by how strongly she smelt of Naruto. The only explanation he could think of as that she was Naruto's sister, which made no sense, as Naruto was an orphan with no family. Because he was confused, he sent his dog to take a closer and more detailed smell. When he found out that the girl's scent was too close to Naruto's to even be a sibling, Kiba went into denial. He could not believe that the babe before him was Naruto. It was simply inconceivable. As such, he did what he normally would, and went over to flirt. "Hello there, gorgeous, I'm Kiba. What's your name? I want to howl it to the moon!"
"Gah!" Naruto exclaimed, propelling himself backwards, away from Kiba. "What the hell kind of question is that?"
Before Kiba could answer, two girls rushed into the room, shouting, "Goal!" Naruto looked at the pink haired kunoichi with hearts in her eyes, as Haruno Sakura was her crush, not that she would even give Naruto the time of day. The other girl was Yamanaka Ino, a blond girl with blue eyes that seemed to be missing the pupils. The two girls were adamant Uchiha Sasuke fangirls, and obsessed over him like most of the other girls in the class, not to mention the village. In fact, only Hinata seemed to be spared this affliction in their class. Sakura and Ino immediately argued about who had gotten into the classroom first, trying to determine who would sit next to Sasuke. The Uchiha sat at the end of a table, making it impossible for two members of his fanclub to sit next to him. Ultimately, Sakura won and Ino sat next to Shikamaru dejectedly.
Finally, everyone had arrived and been seated. Iruka stood at the front of the class and announced, "Starting today, you are all official ninja, but you are all still Genin. It will only get harder from here. You will all be separated into groups of three, in which you will perform missions under a Jounin instructor. We've arranged the teams so that their combined skills would be equivalent. I will now announce the teams." Because no one really cares about the first six Genin teams, they will be skipped. "Next, seventh group. Haruno Sakura, Inuzuka Kiba, and Uchiha Sasuke." At this point, Sakura cheered and lorded her spot with the black eyed and cold hearted Uchiha over Ino. "Next, eighth group. Hyuuga Hinata, Uzumaki Naruto, and Yamanaka Ino." At this, Hinata nearly fainted in joy, even though she had not seen Naruto in the room. This increased her earlier suspicions concerning the new blond.
Ino slumped forward in defeat and groaned, "I'm with Naruto."
"Next, tenth group. Aburame Shino, Akimichi Chouji, and Nara Shikamaru." The last three Genin simply accepted their group. "That's it. I'll introduce the Jounin in the afternoon. Meeting adjourned until then!"
Wanting to get to know her teammates, or rather Hinata, better, Ino walked over to the shy girl and asked, "Do you want to eat lunch with me? It would probably be a good idea to get to know our teammates better."
"H-hai," stuttered Hinata, surprised that anyone would want to get to know her. "We should in-invite Naruto-kun as w-well."
"I guess you're right," Ino admitted. "I wonder where he is; I haven't seen him all day."
"Ano," Hinata started, pushing her fingertips together nervously, "I th-think he's the new girl."
"Nani?!" exclaimed Ino before she walked over to her fellow blond and asked, "Are you Naruto?"
"Hai," Naruto muttered, sad that she had not been placed into a group with Sakura.
"Come on, we're having lunch together," Ino all but ordered. She led the trio up to the roof where they sat down and started to eat their lunches. Once they were settled, Ino turned to Naruto and demanded, "Why are you disguised as a girl?"
"I'm not," Naruto replied sadly.
"You sure look like a girl from here!" Ino shouted.
"Ano, Naruto-kun isn't using h-henge at all right now," Hinata ventured to state.
"Nani?!" Ino shouted even louder. "You mean he's really a girl? How can that be?"
"It's my new blood limit," Naruto admitted. "I need to learn a new type of henge before I can change back to normal."
"Just how complete a change is it?" Ino wondered.
"It is complete, all the way down to the genetic level," Naruto confessed. "At least that is what I've been told."
Across the town, two individuals were standing in the kitchen of Naruto's apartment. One was the Hokage and the other was Yuuhi Kurenai, Naruto's Jounin instructor. "So this is Naruto's home?" the red eyed woman asked, mostly to herself.
"Naruto has had a bit of a change, and is continuing to change. I wish you luck. It is not going to be easy teaching him at the moment," the Hokage told the rookie Jounin. "He will likely need your help and understanding over the next few months. Also, he has informed me that he has difficulty getting equipment of even fair quality. This could prove detrimental to his performance on your team."
Kurenai looked over at the table where a carton of milk sat. She picked it up and looked at it, saying, "This milk expired quite some time ago. He's lucky he didn't drink it."
"Indeed," replied the Hokage. "You should probably get going soon if you if you plan on meeting your team on time." Kurenai nodded and disappeared in a swirl of leaves. The Hokage sighed before getting a broom to sweep up the leaves. It would not do to let Naruto know that he had had visitors. "Why does that jutsu always produce leaves, even when it's done inside?"
Back on the roof, the tree girls were continuing their conversation. "So Naruto, why are you so annoying all the time?" Ino asked. When Naruto refused to answer, she rephrased her question, "Why are you always pulling those stupid pranks?"
"It was the only way to get anyone to acknowledge my existence," Naruto answered, her emotional shields lowered more than usual due to the last few days.
"Naruto-kun," Hinata murmured, somehow low enough that Naruto did not here.
"What do you mean no one acknowledges your existence?" Ino asked.
"Once I get back to normal, you'll see during our missions," Naruto said miserably. "People cross the street just to avoid passing me on the sidewalk. Others just pretend I'm not even there. I have never been allowed into the Konoha library without at least Chunnin accompaniment and a note from the Hokage. Most store owners won't even let me shop in their stores. Hell, most parents tell their children to stay away from me. I'm sure yours did, Ino." At this point, Naruto was close to sobbing, and Hinata finally worked up enough courage to give the whiskered girl a comforting hug. Likely the only reason she could even do that much was because Naruto was currently female.
"You're right," Ino said slowly, calling up a distant memory, "my parents did tell me to stay away from you when I tried to make friends with you, right before I met Sakura. They said you were dangerous and that I should find a better friend than a mon…ster? Why would they call you a monster? I mean, sure, you are really annoying, but your pranks never even hurt anyone, right?" Naruto could only shake her head, starting to cry even harder. "Come on, you can tell us. We're your teammates; we won't leave you over something stupid. Right, Hinata?"
The pale eyed girl hugged Naruto fiercely, for her, and said, "I'll never l-leave you, Naruto-kun."
"I c-can't t-tell you," Naruto sobbed. "It's an S-class secret. Even i-if I did t-tell you, y-you'd probably h-hate me."
"I could never hate you, Naruto-kun," Hinata said firmly and without stuttering, surprising Ino. Naruto turned slightly in Hinata's hug in order to properly return it.
"Thank you, Hinata-chan," Naruto whispered into Hinata's hair.
Looking at the position of the sun, Ino said, "Come on, Naruto, let's get you cleaned up. You wouldn't want to meet our Jounin instructor with tear tracks, would you?" The naturally-female blond helped the other two girls get up, and she and Hinata quickly ushered Naruto into the girl's bathroom so she could wash her face and pull the hair that had gotten loose back into her customary pigtails.
"Thank you," Naruto said thickly as the trio headed back into the class rooms. They made it just in time for the last three groups to have their instructors announced.
"Team Seven, Hatake Kakashi. Team Eight, Yuuhi Kurenai. Team Ten, Sarutobi Asuma. Please wait for your instructors to arrive and pick you up." With that, Iruka sat down at his desk to wait for the first eight Jounin to arrive. He had absolutely no intention of waiting for Kakashi.
"Team Eight, follow me," called out the red eyed Jounin as soon as she entered the room. When three girls stood, she had to do a double take and check for a genjutsu before leading her team out of the room. She led them out of the academy and to a relatively secluded training area. "Before we start with introductions, I would like to know where Uzumaki Naruto is and why I have an extra girl here," Kurenai demanded.
The whiskered girl raised her hand, saying, "I'm Uzumaki Naruto, and I'm a girl right now because of a blood limit that has just manifested."
"Alright, I'll believe you, for now. The Hokage wasn't kidding about needing luck with you. Anyways, I'll introduce myself first. My name is Kurenai Yuuhi, and this is my first team as a Jounin. I am a genjutsu specialist. I like shochu, vodka, salted octopus, and drinking a glass of wine at night. I dislike cake, perverts, and those who don't give people a chance. My dream for the future is to make you three into the best kunoi- I mean shinobi you can be. Sorry about that, Naruto. Why don't you go next? By the way, the Hokage wanted me to tell you that the Law doesn't apply to you and that you would know what he meant."
"If I could, I'd like to go last, Kurenai-sensei. My introduction might take a while."
Kurenai nodded. "Alright, Ino, why don't you go next?"
"Alright. I am Yamanaka Ino, and I have just become a Genin. I like flowers, small tomatoes in pudding and Sasuke. I dislike annoying people and forehead girl. My hobbies are star gazing and helping my mom out in our flower shop."
"Hinata, you're next."
"I am Hyuuga Hinata, and I am a Genin. I l-like…" she looked at Naruto and pushes her fingertips together nervously, "senzai, and cinnamon rolls. I dislike the C-caged-Bird seal and the separation between the M-main and Branch houses of the Hyuuga clan. My hobby is flower pressing."
"Alright, Naruto, it's your turn now."
"Kurenai-sensei, can you make sure no one else can hear us?" Naruto asked. Kurenai nodded and placed a powerful genjutsu over the group. "Thank you. What I am about to say is an S-class secret. I am Uzumaki Naruto, and I am the container for the Kyuubi that is thought to have attacked twelve years ago." Now Naruto had everyone's complete attention. "The truth is that the Kyuubi no Kitsune has been dead for over one thousand years. The demon that nearly destroyed Konoha long ago was the Kyuubi no Cabbit, and it was acting in self defense do to a very large misunderstanding. I hope you don't hate me now. I just thought you should know the truth." Naruto finished sadly.
"You aren't the demon, are you?" Ino asked, cautiously.
"No, Naruto is not the Kyuubi, merely its jailer," Kurenai supplied. "In fact, when he stole the Scroll of Sealing, we thought he was trying to release Kyuubi because of how the village treated him. Even the Hokage was worried. Even after he found out the truth, he still didn't try to get revenge. Instead, he returned the scroll, having only learned one technique, the Kage Bunshin no Jutsu. That is why Naruto graduated."
"In that case, I see no reason to hate you," Ino stated resolutely.
'Naruto-kun really is strong,' Hinata thought to herself. Instead of saying anything and risk it coming out stuttered and sounding fearful, Hinata warmly hugged Naruto again, with a slight blush that both Ino and Kurenai noticed.
"If I thought you were a demon, I would have never requested you be put on my team. You're just lucky that learning Kage Bunshin no Jutsu and beating a traitorous Chunnin was sufficient to bump your scores up enough to qualify for my team." The other two girls were shocked by that revelation. "If you were on your original team, you'd still be waiting to be picked up."
"But Kurenai-sensei," protested Ino, "You picked us up an hour ago!"
"Yes, but then, Kakashi is always late. Now, on to more business. It is time for you to take the test to see if you are ready to be Genin," Kurenai stated.
"What?!" Naruto exclaimed. "But we already graduated!"
"True," Kurenai said, "but that was to see if you had the skills needed to be Genin. Out of the twenty-seven graduates, only nine are allowed to become Genin. Now, normally this is done by pitting you against one another to see if you can put aside your own wants for the good of the group. I believe you have already demonstrated that, but I still need to evaluate your skills, so you'll have another test. We're going shopping."
"How will shopping be a test?" Ino asked while Naruto was already mentally considering this test a failure.
"Specifically, we'll be shopping for Naruto, as he needs better gear than what he has. He will be paying for everything, of course. The larger problem is that most stores won't allow Naruto in. That is your task. First, to get new clothing for Naruto that is both functional and tasteful, and second, to get him higher quality equipment."
"What's wrong with my clothes?" Naruto demanded. "I like them!"
"In the village, nothing," Kurenai admitted. "However, on a mission, wearing bright orange is the same as waving around a banner and yelling 'Here I am! Come kill me! I want to die!' You need clothing that won't stand out quite as much. Actually, it might be best for you continue to wear your jumpsuit while in the village, so no one becomes the wiser."
'Clothes shopping for Naruto-kun,' Hinata thought to herself, trying not to blush.
"Well, get a move on! You only have until the stores close." Kurenai prompted.
"Naruto, do your kage bunshin have the same problem with henge that you do?" asked Ino.
"I don't know," admitted the whiskered girl, "but there is one easy way to find out. Kage Bunshin no Jutsu!"
A single shadow clone popped into existence and cried, "Henge!" When the smoke cleared, a perfect copy of Ino stood before the group.
"That's perfect. We'll have one of your kage bunshin disguised as the normal you and start causing mischief outside whatever store we go to. Then you, with your whiskers hidden with some of my make up, will sneak into the store. Hinata will act as a lookout with her Byakugan while the two of us help you pick out clothing. Your stuff fits the same in both forms, correct?"
"H-how did you come up with such a c-complex plan that quickly?" Hinata asked.
"Dad forced me to hang out with Shikamaru too much. Shogi is about the only thing he does other than sleep. Some of his strategic mind must have rubbed off on me. Now, get over here, Naruto!" Ino pulled Naruto down in front of her before reaching into her hip pack and pulling out a makeup kit. A few moments later, all evidence of whisker marks were removed from Naruto's face. "There we go, all set to start. Let's head to one of the better shinobi shops."
The trio of girls made their way to one of the best ninja supply stores in Konoha while the kage bunshin followed by a few dozen meters. As they approached, they stepped into a nearby ally to allow the clone to do its work. The real Naruto pumped more chakra into the clone so it would survive long enough to do its job. The clone made its way into the store, dropped its pants, and mooned the owner. Pulling its pants back up, the clone stuck its tongue out at the manager and sped off. The manager stood there fuming for a second before telling the cashier to watch the store and dashing out the door in pursuit.
"Phase one complete," Ino stated. "Now we have a diversion and an alibi. I wonder how much of what we're doing is actually illegal."
While Hinata stood there in mild shock at the idea, Naruto just scoffed. "Worse comes to worst, just claim you don't remember what happened and blame me. No one would question you."
"I c-couldn't do that to you, N-Naruto-kun," Hinata said quietly.
"Right, we're in this together," Ino agreed. "Now, let's move while we have the chance!" The three girls stealthily made their way into the store, which was easier than expected because as soon as his boss left, the cashier took out and began reading a little orange book. Heading over to the clothing section first, Ino started to pull out random clothing before turning to Naruto and asking, "Why do you always wear the same clothes? Do you really like them that much, or were they the only thing that the stores would allow you to get and you grew to like them so you wouldn't mind as much?"
"How do you figure me out so easily," Naruto whispered. "This is the only style and color I've been able to buy since the first time I tried to become a Genin."
"Naruto-kun," Hinata breathed sadly.
"The only reason they would want a ninja to wear bright orange is…" Ino began before it hit her. "Those bastards are trying to get you killed! Like Kurenai-sensei said, wearing that thing is like asking to be killed."
"So, what colors should I wear," Naruto asked.
"I'd say darker colors, like blues, grays, and black. Maybe some green. If you actually like orange, a little bit probably wouldn't hurt. I mean, we do wear a shiny piece of metal at all times in highly visible places." The other two girls blinked a bit, suddenly realizing that the very thing that identified them as shinobi could cause them to lose their lives. "So, do you have a preferred style?"
"Can I get stuff like what I'm wearing now?" Naruto asked. "After wearing it for so long, I think other styles wouldn't feel right. We already know that it'll fit both my forms, so it'll be easier to get the right size."
"Naruto-k-kun," Hinata began, blushing. "I t-think you look g-good in that style."
Ino just sighed. "I was hoping to get you into something more fashionable, but, since we have a time limit, we'll go with that for now." She reached into the back of Naruto's jacket and checked the size. Moving quickly, she found more jumpsuits of the same style but in different, more suitable, colors. "Good, we've got the clothing; now, let's get the weapons and the weights."
The headed over to the hardware section of the store and looked at the shuriken and kunai available. When Naruto saw the prices, she pointed to the most expensive and exclaimed, "Are those prices right?"
Hinata looked at the price as well as the associated kunai and mentioned, "N-no, Naruto-kun. They're actually a l-little lower than I'd expect."
"Nani?!" the orange-clad girl nearly shouted. "But that's less than half of what I paid for mine!"
Ino was once again shocked and appalled by the villagers' behavior. "Naruto, those are the best kunai available. Mostly just the larger clans buy them." Suddenly even more suspicious, she asked, "Can I see one of your kunai?" When Naruto handed her one, she pulled out one of her own and pressed the blades together with all her might. When she pulled the blades apart, there was a noticeable notch in Naruto's blade while Ino's was not even slightly marred. "It's just as I feared. Naruto, your kunai are of the lowest quality I have ever seen. They really do want you dead."
"I knew my kunai were bad," Naruto admitted, hanging her head sadly. "But I had no idea they were that poorly made. And I never imagined they were overcharging me that much." After a few moments of looking at the various pointy objects, Naruto's head snapped towards the door, and she announced, "I just felt my kage bunshin disperse! We need to hurry." The trio quickly picked up a few braces of medium quality kunai, around what Ino used, and made their way to the weight systems. After checking how much money Naruto had compared to what her purchases would cost, they decided that the special chakra powered weight vest would be best. Rather, Hinata decided that they would get three of the pricey yet excellent training weights, and declared that she would pay for all three herself.
The three vests used a seal on the inside of the back to store chakra and to exert weight evenly over the body, providing a better workout than normal weights alone. The vest was held closed with a zipper, allowing it to be removed relatively quickly. As the weight they exert could only be adjusted by the person whose chakra had been attuned to the seal, tampering was next to impossible. Additionally, the seal was only active when being worn by the person it was attuned to, which would allow others to carry it easily if the wearer was injured in battle. When not being worn, the seal passively stored the chakra, so that it would be ready to go the next time it was worn. The only real design flaw with the vest was that the amount of weight could only be increased and never decreased. The higher than normal price was the only thing that stopped most ninja from using them. Luckily for the team, Hinata was normally extremely frugal, considering her rather large allowance. The three vests would barely make a noticeable dent in her personal bank account.
Finally, with all of the purchases selected, they made their way to the cashier. "Are you set with everything? The man asked, his nose buried in the little orange book, the pervert.
"Yes," Naruto said. "I'm ready to be rung up."
Without really looking up from his book, the cashier rang up the total and stated the price, still not looking at his customer. After Naruto paid, Hinata placed the three vests on the counter. "I-I'd like to buy these, p-please. C-could I also h-have them set to my teammates and m-myself?"
Now the cashier looked up. It was not often that a single chakra weight vest was sold, let alone three to the same person. Seeing the Hyuuga heiress, he snapped to attention. "Of course, Hyuuga-sama. Allow me to do that right away." Hinata sighed, disliking the way the cashier changed his demeanor upon learning who she was. She quickly wrote a personal check to pay for the vests. "Now, I need the three of you to channel a small amount of chakra into the seal to set it to your chakra and add the initial weight. It should use about the same as a single bunshin."
Hearing that, Naruto started to sweat. She could not channel just enough chakra for a bunshin; she always far overshot the mark. "Ano, what happens if we use too much chakra?" she asked, nervous that she might cause the seal to explode or something equally unpleasant.
"No worries there," the cashier laughed. "The worst you can do is cause the vest to become too heavy for you to move in. The seals can easily support several tons, though I've never heard of anyone using that much." Reassured that she wouldn't destroy Hinata's gift, Naruto was ready to begin. The three girls channeled their chakra as they were told, Naruto using the smallest amount of chakra she could at the moment. "Let's see, the light tan vest (Hinata) currently weighs twenty pounds. The purple vest (Ino) weighs twenty pounds as well. The orange (Naruto) vest weighs…" the cashier stared in shock. "I said a bunshin! You used enough chakra to make this vest weigh one hundred pounds! Don't you know how to do even that right?" Granted, the cashier was an academy dropout, so he at least knew some of what he was talking about.
"I can't use bunshin," Naruto admitted. "I have to use kage bunshin instead."
The cashier just gaped, knowing that there were two main problems with that statement. First, kunoichi typically have relatively small chakra reserves and exceptional control. Second, kage bunshin used insane amounts of chakra, so even most Chunnin did not have enough for a single kage bunshin; the academy usually requires at least three viable clones. Three kage bunshin use more chakra than a Genin should ever have. "How many can you make at once?"
"Um, I kind of lost count around one hundred…"
As the cashier began to hyperventilate, the three girls donned their new vests and slumped slightly under the weight. Naruto, on the other hand, almost crashed to the floor. Knowing that Naruto would never be able to carry her bags while getting used to the vest, Ino picked them up and walked towards the door. "Come on, Naruto, we need to get back to Kurenai-sensei before she fails us!"
As Hinata helped the weighed down blond to the door, the cashier could only mutter one thing, "If management finds out about this, I am so fired."
The three girls slowly made their way back to the training ground where Kurenai was supposedly waiting. Indeed, when the arrived, she was leaning against a tree. "You all did fine, except for one part," Kurenai began. "Naruto, where are your weights?"
"Ano," Hinata began timidly, "I b-bought three chakra weight v-vests for the team."
"I see," Kurenai stated. "I was sure you would pass when you were here earlier, but now I know you three will make a great team. Now, you three have a choice to make. You can both take Naruto's stuff back to his apartment and then do two laps around Konoha to adjust to the weight, or you can take a lap around Konoha and let Naruto bring his new gear back by himself. By the way, how much weight are you starting with?"
"Ino and Hinata-chan both started with twenty pounds like they were supposed to," Naruto stated. "But, even though I channeled as little chakra as I could into the vest, I still ended up starting with one hundred pounds."
"The Hokage wasn't kidding about you needing chakra control. So, what is your decision?"
"I think I speak for Hinata as well when I say we'd rather help Naruto than get out of doing an extra lap," Ino declared. Hinata nodded her agreement.
"Alright then, after your laps, you are free to go. Be here by seven o'clock tomorrow morning for your first mission. Naruto, orange will be acceptable if you wish to continue wearing it in the village. Dismissed." The three girls jogged off, with Ino and Hinata carrying Naruto's purchases while the second blond led the way back to their apartment. Kurenai poofed her way to the Hokage's office and announced, "Team Eight has passed. I would like to start them on missions tomorrow. I also have some disturbing news regarding Naruto. It appears that the shops of the village are conspiring to get him killed by only allowing him to buy brightly colored or horribly inferior equipment. As a high note, the girls took the news about Naruto's tenant surprisingly well."
"Yes, well, Hinata has always admired Naruto for his strength, so this probably only deepened her feelings, and Ino always did try to befriend outcasts," the Hokage commented.
"She mentioned having tried to befriend Naruto in the past, only to be stopped by her parents," Kurenai added. "I think hearing it from Naruto almost immediately after learning that he could actually tell people helped her acceptance a lot, though he never did say much else about himself."
"Ah, yes, I told you to tell him that because he had already told the girls that he had a secret, and was not sure if he could reveal it."
"Well, in any case, I have high expectations or the team. Hell, the girls even decided to take an extra lap around Konoha over abandoning Naruto while wearing twenty pounds of new weights."
"Yes, those three will go far," the Hokage agreed.