The Melody of the Fox
Summary: Naruto is determined to bring Sasuke back to Konoha. However, someone he didn't expect wants to help.
A/N: I'll try to keep my Author's Notes as sparse as possible throughout the story. My notes will only pertain to the story, or if I'm discontinuing/leaving for more than a month. Really, I don't like it when authors jack up their word count by adding in short skits or answering reviews. However, this doesn't mean I won't answer your questions. Please don't hesitate to ask me something about the story :P. With that said, enjoy the story, and please R&R!
EDIT: It seems that this site doesn't like the characters I use to change scenes. Sorry about that.
Scene change '--------------------'
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto.
"Fuck." Only a few hours ago, Tayuya and her team had been making a mad dash towards Orochimaru's lair to deliver Konoha's precious Uchiha. Only an hour ago, she'd been just about the kill the pineapple-headed chuunin of the Leaf. That is until the sand bitch and her fucking weasel buried her under nearly an entire forest of trees.
"Fucking shit this hurts." Tayuya smiled grimly despite her pain, almost expecting Jirobou to chide her for her foul langauge. They were all dead. Sakon, Ukon, Kidomaru, Jirobou, Kimimarou; she'd felt it when each of them died. She didn't consider them friends, but they were all the foul mouthed sound nin had. All for the precious Uchiha.
"Faggot ass prettyboy." She muttered. Her eyelids felt heavy all of a sudden, and she knew she'd be joining her team shortly in hell. "Too bad I have go out like a pussy." Tayuya's eyes slid shut, ready to accept the cold embrace of death.
"Oi, Kakashi." Pakkun glanced back to make sure his summoner was paying attention. The jounin was currently carrying Naruto on his back, followed by two Konoha medic nin. Naruto had failed to bring back his teammate, and his injuries were extensive; even for the demon vessel.
"Yes, Pakkun?" The summoned dog pointed a paw towards his right.
"There's someone still alive over there." Kakashi cast a lazy glance towards the dog.
"Is it one of ours?" Pakkun shook his head.
"I can't tell from here. We'll have to get closer." The copy-nin shrugged.
"We should at least check it out." He motioned for the medic nin to follow him towards the scent. Ten minutes later, they were standing in front of what used to be a fairly large area of forestry. It seemed as though something had leveled everything within a 100 yard radius of where they stood.
"Kakashi." The jounin nodded and jumped over to where his summon was sniffing around. "It's a girl." She was trapped under a large group of trees; one crushing her right arm, and several over her legs and torso. Kakashi crouched down next to Pakkun.
"She's with the Sound. Her clothes are similar to the ones Orochimaru wore when he attacked the village." The dog grunted.
"So do we just leave her here?"
"No, let's take her in. Maybe Ibiki can get something out of her about Orochimaru's next move." He trailed a lazy eye over the fallen trees. "Everyone stand back." He handed Naruto to one of the medic nin and made a few handseals. "Raikiri!" The jounin yelled, thrusting his chakra infused palm into the trees. They were quickly split and tossed aside, allowing them to reach the fallen kunoichi. One of the medic nin performed a quick examination on the unconcious girl.
"She's still alive, but we have to hurry up and get her back to Konoha. There's not much we can do for her here." Sighing loudly, Kakashi picked the girl up bridal style.
'It's freaking cold in here.' That's the first thought that went through Uzumaki Naruto's head as he awoke from his slumber. He groggily rolled out of bed to adjust the thermostat, only for his feet to touch the cold, hard tile of the hospital room instead of the warm, soft carpet of his bedroom. "What the hell?!" He yelped, quickly jumping back onto his bed. After a few seconds of panic, he quickly realized where he was. White, impersonal ceilings? Check. Cold, hard tile floors? Check. The constant buzzing and whirring of hospital machinery? Check.
He was in the Konoha General Hospital.
The genin sighed and cautiously stepped back onto the floor. 'No use sticking around here, the bastard fox has already healed everything.' he thought to himself. Naruto poked his head out of the door to see if anyone was around before stepping out of the room and making his way down the hall. Before he could reach the staircase that led to his freedom, a small cough was heard from behind him. He nervously turned around to see the Godaime Hokage staring darkly down at him.
"Naruto-kun? What are you doing out of your room?" She questioned in a falsely sweet voice.
"I was...er...gotta go!" The genin yelled before attempting to dash down the stairs and out of the hospital. Unfortunately, he didn't count on a masked ANBU suddenly appearing in front of him and knocking him onto his backside. Tsunade grinned evily before gripping the boy by the back of his hospital gown and dragging him down the hallway...in the opposite direction of his room. Naruto gulped nervously. "Wh-where are we going?"
"Someplace where I can be sure you'll never escape." She answered with a small bit of evil joy in her voice. Stopping suddenly, she threw open the door to an ANBU guarded room and tossed him inside. The Hokage then turned to the ANBU stationed at the door. "Make sure he stays in this room unless I or Shizune say otherwise. Got it?" The ANBU nodded as Tsunade turned on her heel and walked away. "Have fun with your new roommate, Naruto!" She yelled over her shoulder. The blond grumbled as he picked himself off the floor.
"Damn hag, sticking me in a hospital room with..." His eyes trailed over to the other occupant of the room, curious as to who he'd be spending the next few days or so with. The boy's eyes nearly popped out of his head as he got a good look at his roommate. Her long red hair was almost impossible to see under the bandages covering her head, and the large cast encasing her right arm and legs made her look almost like a mummy. However, it was hard to forget the scowl that seemed to permanently mar the girl's face.
"YOU!" He yelled, pointing an accusing finger at his roommate. The girl in question turned away from the window to glare at the loudmouthed blond. What he saw stunned him. Her face was still scrunched up into a scowl, but it lacked any of the fire or malice that was present when they first met in the forest. Calming down a bit, Naruto shook his head in disbelief.
"What are you doing here?!" Instead of answering, the girl turned back to the window. Naruto narrowed his eyes and took a step closer.
"Oi! Say something!" The girl continued to ignore the genin, much to his chagrin. Fed up, he hopped onto her bed and straddled her bandaged legs. "What the hell's your problem?!" The girl snapped her head away from the window and leaned forward to get into his face.
"You want to know what my fucking problem is? Huh?!" Tayuya screamed, struggling against the cast covering her lower body. "I was beaten by a pineapple-headed faggot and his whore of a girlfriend, buried under fifty fucking tons of forestry, told I'd never fucking walk again, and now I have to deal with a loud mouthed shithead who thinks orange is a normal color for a ninja!" Her breathing was labored by the time she finished her rant, and her good arm was grabbing the front of Naruto's hospital gown for emphasis. Unfortunately for both of them, the Hokage chose that moment to slam open the door and stroll inside.
"What the hell is going on in here?! I can hear you two screaming all the way down the hall!" Tsunade yelled, her face pink with rage. Her expression gradually changed from anger to one of mild amusement. "You work fast, don't you kiddo?" Her grin widened as she watched the genin yelp in horror and fall headfirst onto the floor. Tayuya snorted in mild amusement.
"Y-you shut up! It's your fault I fell in the first place!" Naruto growled, rubbing the growing lump on his head. The sound nin's eyes widened in disbelief.
"My fault?! Don't fucking blame me for your utter lack of coordination, dipshit!"
"Says the cripple..."
Throughout the exchange, the hokage's grin grew into a full blown smile. Before she'd been thrown into a room with Naruto, the girl had barely spoken more than two words to anyone. Those two words were 'Fuck' and 'You.' Amazingly enough, she was willingly speaking to the number one surprising ninja. Granted, she was screaming obscenities at the top of her lungs, but it was better than the weak glares she usually sent towards everyone. A plan began to form in her mind as she watched Tayuya bop the genin upside his head with her good hand. If things went the way she planned, she might even be able to kill two birds with one stone! Smiling triumphantly, she schooled her face into an angry expression.
Both teens quickly shut their mouths. Satisfied, she continued.
"I don't care who started what, or what the hell happened. You." She said, pointing at Naruto. "Get in bed." The genin quickly scrambled to his own bed, shooting a quick glare to his roommate. "You. Don't talk him." She said, pointing at the glaring red head.
"I ain't one of your damn grunts, Hokage-sama," Tayuya snarled, adding sarcastic emphasis to her title. "I'll do whatever I damn well please, and there ain't shit you can do about it." The older woman grinned mischievously.
"Oh? Well, as of now, you are hereby instated as a genin of the Leaf. Congratulations." Tayuya's eyes widened in disbelief.
"W-what the fuck?!" She sputtered, jaw nearly reaching the bed. Naruto had a similar look on his face.
"Have you finally gone senile, Baa-chan?!"
"My legs are fucked up! How can I be a ninja with fucked up legs?!"
"She's the enemy! This bitch was one of the bastards who tried to kidnap Sasuke!"
"I won't do it! There's no way I'll join you shitty rats or live in your faggot-infested village! I'd rather die first!"
Grinning on the inside, Tsunade slammed her foot down onto the floor. The whole hospital seemed to shake, and a few screams of bloody murder were heard from the floor below. "Listen up, brats!" She growled, screwing her face up into the angriest face she could manage. "What I say goes! Besides, you don't need legs to work at the Academy."
The room went dead silent.
Naruto immediately began laughing at the grief-stricken face of the former sound nin. Predicting this, Tsunade grinned.
"And you will be her escort."
This time, Naruto's face paled in disbelief. "Nani?! But I have to train to bring Sasuke back!" The hokage shrugged with indifference.
"Oh well. Looks like the Uchiha is screwed, then." Sighed the older blonde. Tayuya cracked a small smile.
"Literally." Her smile became a giggle, and before long, she was cackling wildly at the vivid images that passed through her mind. The blonde genin looked confused for a few seconds before his face contorted in horror.
"EWWWWW!" While both genin were occupied with their own amusing/sickening thoughts, Tsunade took the chance to slowly slip out of the room. Not long after, Tayuya stopped laughing long enough to wipe a stray tear from the corner of her eye. She looked around the room and noticed the missing presence of the hokage.
"Oi, where'd the bimbo go?"
Outside of the genins' room, the hokage hummed a happy tune to herself. Just as she was about to head down the stairs, a blur of pink appeared from her right.
"Tsunade-sama! Naruto's gone! He's--"
"In room 223. You should pay him a visit. He needs all the support he can get right now." She said, chuckling lightly. The genin tilted her head in curiousity before nodding and running off toward her teammate's new room. Oh, this was going to be good.
"NARUTO! There you are! I've been looking all over for you!" Sakura yelled, throwing the door open. Both occupants stared in surprise at the pink-haired genin.
"S...Sakura-chan..." Naruto stammered, lowering his head to stare at his hands. He bit his lip before speaking again. "I'm sorry. I didn't keep my promise. I couldn't bring Sasuke back." His teammate shook her head and smiled weakly.
"Don't worry about it, okay Naruto? Next time...next time we'll do it together!" Naruto snapped his head up in shock before a small smile stretched his way on to his face. Unfortunately, the moment was ruined by the other occupant of the small hospital room.
"Pfft. There's no way you fuckwads could ever hope to match Orochimaru in battle. That bastard's freakin' invincible!" Sakura glared at the girl, just now noticing that there was someone else in the room with them.
"Oh? And how would you know that?" Tayuya chuckled pitifully to herself.
"I used to se--" Naruto sprang up and clamped his hand over the former sound nin's mouth. Shortly after, she took a large bite out of the offending appendage.
"Ouch! That hurt!" Tayuya snorted in indignation.
"Serves you right, bastard." While the blond nursed his currently throbbing hand, his teammate shook her head and turned towards the door.
"I don't know who you are, but Naruto and I will bring Sasuke-kun back." She glanced back at the foulmouthed genin with contempt. "Believe it." She slammed the door on her way out, leaving both patients in mild shock. Tayuya blinked a few times before turning back to the window. The sun would be setting soon, and she'd finally be able to get some sleep after a somewhat stressful day.
"Oi!" Of course, she spoke too soon.
"What the hell do you want?" Naruto scratched the back of his head in embarrassment. In all of the chaos that had ensued within the last couple of hours, he'd forgotten to ask.
"Ah...er...what's your name?" Tayuya narrowed her eyes.
"Why the fuck should I tell you?"
"Hey, I don't care either, but if I'm going to be wheeling you around all day I'd at least like to know the name of the person who's stopping me from training!" Tayuya snorted and turned back towards the window. After a few seconds of silence, she glanced at him out of the corner of her eye.
"...Tayuya." The blond genin smirked a bit at his roommate.
"Uzamaki Naruto. The man who's going to become the Hokage."
Tsunade sat at her desk, furiously signing and stamping her approval on a large stack of forms sitting on the edge of her desk. It was well past ten, and she'd usually be passed out in a drunken stupor by now. However, thanks to her 'genius' plan, she was stuck alone in the brightly illuminated office, working harder than she ever had in her two months of being the hokage. 'Kami, what the hell was I thinking?' she thought, sighing as she signed off on another release form. 'Turning a ninja from an enemy village into one of our own? I must be losing my mind.' Most of her complaining was due to the paperwork required to perform such an action. Not only did she have to instate Tayuya as a genin of the Leaf, but she also had to drop all charges against her for the attempted kidnap of Sasuke and the assisted murder of the Sandaime Hokage. She could only hope that the council would see her reasoning. Surely a ninja of the Leaf would give up information if their home was in danger of attack, right? Pairing the girl up with Naruto would only speed up the process. He had a certain knack for getting people to see things his way.
"Tsunade-sama! I thought you finished all of your paperwork for the week?" Shizune asked, startling the older woman out of her thoughts.
"Oh, uhm...just catching up on a few things I missed last week. Go on home, I'll be there soon." Shizune narrowed her eyes suspiciously at the Godaime Hokage. She never willingly did paperwork, and judging by her disheveled appearance, she'd be working for Kami knows how long. Shuffling closer to her mentor, she attempted to take a look at the large stack of papers strewn about on the large oak desk.
"What's this? You're adding a new ninja to the ranks? Who?" She asked, trying to read the name haphazardly scribbled on the form. Her eyes widened in disbelief as she realized who it was. "Tsunada-sama! You can't be serious! Are you aware of what you're trying to do?!" The hokage rubbed her temples, absentmindedly reaching for her hidden bottle of sake.
"Yes, I'm serious, and yes, I know what I'm doing. You have to trust me." Her apprentice stared at her with doubt. Sighing, she continued. "I paired her up with Naruto-kun. You've seen what he can do for people; I doubt this girl will be any different. She knows the location, layout, and overall population of the Sound village, how strong their shinobi as a whole are, and maybe even what Orochimaru has planned in the near future. Can we really afford to pass this chance up?" Shizune hung her head in defeat.
"I...I guess not. I still don't like it, though. What if it doesn't work? What if she hurts Naruto-kun in the process?" Tsunade waved her hand dismissively. It was just like her apprentice to look for the bad in everything.
"Don't be so pessimistic. Everything will work out in the end, you'll see." The young medic-nin bit her lip in worry.
"I hope you're right, Tsunade-sama."
"Naruto?" A young man poked his head into the room. A large scar was visible across his nose, and his long brown hair was bound into a tight ponytail on the top of his head. Umino Iruka had just returned from his mission early that morning and arrived at the hospital just as visiting hours began. Of course, he made a quick stop at a certain ramen stand; a fact that didn't go unnoticed by the genin in question.
"Iruka-sensei!" A yellow blur tackled him around the waist, nearly spilling the contents of the small brown bag in his hand. "Is that for me?" He asked, eyes wide and shining. His former teacher couldn't help but to laugh at his childish antics.
"Sure is! I figured you'd be tired of the hospital food by now. Though it's gotten better since Tsunade-sama arrived, it still has a slightly chalky taste." A snort was heard from the other side of the hospital curtain.
"You can say that again." Iruka lifted an eyebrow in confusion.
"Naruto, you have a roommate?" The genin stopped drooling and glanced towards the curtain separating him from the recently instated genin.
"Oh, yeah. That's just Tayuya. Me and her are gonna be helping out at the Academy for awhile." Iruka shook his head.
"She and I. I swear, they should add an extra year to teach you all more than basic math and grammar. You never know when it could come in handy on a mission." The man gave the bag to an eager Naruto, watching as he immediately pulled the plastic cover off of the container and dug in with the wooden chopsticks provided. After inhaling a sizable amount, he sighed and grinned widely.
"Ahh, I forgot just how good Ichiraku's could be!" Iruka chuckled and patted the boy on the head. The teacher's face suddenly turned deathly serious as he seated himself on a stray chair sitting near the bed.
"Naruto, are you alright?" Noticing his serious tone, the blonde stopped slurping the noodles long enough to crack a wide foxy grin.
"I'm fine, Iruka-sensei. I heal really fast, so I should be out of here by tomorrow." Iruka nodded, satisfied with his answer.
"I'm glad. I'd better get going, I have quite a few tests to grade before class tomorrow. See you soon!" He said, waving on his way out. Naruto simply nodded and finished drinking down the ramen's broth.
"So who was that fucker? Your jounin-sensei or somethin? Sounds like a weakass." She asked, pulling back the curtain with her good arm. Naruto scowled at her.
"Take that back! Iruka-sensei's stronger than you'll ever be!" He yelled, dropping the empty bowl onto the white tiled floor below. Tayuya's normal scowl deepened in response.
"The fuck I will! What're you gonna do, kick my ass and make me take it back?!" She snarled. 'Who the hell does this guy think he is, ordering me around like I'm some punkass Leaf shinobi.'
"You're just jealous because you don't have anyone who cares about you at all!" He shouted, the words flying out of his mouth before he could think. As soon as he said them, he immediately regretted it. Tayuya's eyes were wide with shock, and her jaw hung limply at the hinges. She soon recovered and turned her head away from him.
"At least you're not the spineless fucker I thought you were." Tayuya joked, her voice carrying a slight waver. 'Damnit! Why the hell am I showing weakness? It must be this shit they're feeding me; it's bad enough to make anyone cry' she reasoned to herself. Naruto stared at her for a few more minutes before settling down into his bed. He was still a bit tired from his fight with Sasuke, even if he did heal faster than humanly possible. He'd apologize later; as soon as he woke up.