Merry Christmas! And a Happy New Year! Enjoy.
AN: Everyone here should look up "Dead Famous" by Rozefire and "Tales from the House of the Moon" by Resmiranda, NOW they are Inuyasha fics and they are TOTALLY BEEPING AWESOME. They are two of the first ever fanfics I read and as a result I have rather demanding tastes... I feel everyone should be equally demanding, of others and of themselves, this is how progress is made after all. Now on with the show!
Point of contention… can't anyone spell?! Seriously, it's not hard to press the 'abc' button on word if you can't, terms and conditions even states you should at least spellcheck your work before submitting it! Come on people, it's sad and I actually stop reading otherwise decent stories because of how annoying it is.
Naruto was jumping along the roof tops but he wasn't entirely sure where to go. He didn't want to go back to Sarutobi's house because he would end up either moping and brooding or telling Sarutobi what had happened and possibly getting Ino's father in trouble, not to mention probably receiving a well meaning but rather disheartening lecture from the old man which would be well meaning but would do nothing to cheer him up what so ever. Truthfully he wanted to be alone, or even better to be alone and break something, something tough to break.
Idly Naruto contemplated the idea of trashing the face of the Fourth Hokage on the monument but decided against it as he would only be fuelling the view that he was a demon.
Naruto thought back to what Sarutobi had said to him the day he had killed Mizuki, that he would only ever be a monster if he chose to become one, or if he consciously let himself become one and he hadn't done that so why… why was she afraid of him? What difference did it make what he was? Was it not enough to be who he was?
He continued on his random path criss-crossing the village as his tumultuous emotions raged and he had no idea where to go, only that he wanted to get away, he was already away from the Yamanaka's shop but he still wanted to escape, to get away from this place which shunned him, from the people who shunned him.
Coming to the conclusion that he wanted to be alone more than anything else he listened for where there was most sound and went in the opposite direction, so as to be away from anyone.
Inoichi was trying to ignore how his wife seemed shell shocked and instead had to assess the situation, he wasn't sure but he was making the assumption that someone had somehow overheard their conversation, even though they had been whispering lowly the entire time, it would account for why his wife was so shaken up as he had only just mentioned to her about the potential consequences of letting the secret out. Obviously the main source of information would be Ino as she would also have heard whatever her friend had heard and he could make a risk assessment based on that. Of course he would have to be careful not to give any information away. "Ino, what happened?" He had to concentrate to ignore his wife for the moment as she made a rather pitiful sniffley whiney sound as he asked this.
Ino was getting rather annoyed and upset the longer it had been since Naruto had left, she had been really enjoying herself and then her mom goes and does something and he runs off and then her mom decides to get upset, as if it weren't her fault. As such when she answered her father she virtually shouted at him. "Mom just somehow chased Naruto away!" She then looked to her mom. "Why did Naruto run away from you?"
Ino's mom was completely unsure what to do, she figured Ino hadn't overheard their conversation and as such hadn't got an explanation to give to her daughter, plus Inoichi seemed to be far more composed than herself and so she decided to leave it to him to sort this out, even so she looked at Ino and tried to find words to tell her, but she didn't even know what she wanted to express so there she just floundered.
Inoichi however was dealing with a dilemma. On one hand it was beneficial as there had been no secret leakage since it was Naruto himself who had overheard, however it was also Naruto himself that they didn't want to upset by letting the secret out and so in essence they had skipped the middle-man – the rumours or gossip that would have resulted in someone else overhearing – and skipped straight to hurting Naruto's feelings somehow. Of course this meant there was generally no chance of leakage unless Ino knew as well, which he didn't think she did, meaning he could deal with the problem, he just had to figure out how. First make sure Ino doesn't know. "What do you mean your mom chased Naruto off?"
Ino looked back to her dad and paused for a moment. "She chased him off." He just stared at her. "Naruto spaced out and she came in and looked at him and then he looked like he was scared then he ran off and jumped over those buildings." Ino pointed towards the wall of the shop in the direction of the buildings Naruto had jumped onto, assuming her father was capable of figuring it out.
Inoichi made a snap decision. "Okay, honey you stay here, I'll sort this out. Ino sweetie, you come with me."
Ino was about to ask where they were going and insist someone told her what the hell was going on but her father put his hand on her shoulder and they disappeared from the room.
Ino's mom was left on her own in the store, she slowly walked to the back of the store where the flowers were stored and sat down, the shell shocked expression still firmly implanted upon her features, Naruto's face before he ran off replaying through her mind, guilt slowly building within her as she sat there.
Naruto stopped his running on a random rooftop not because he was tired but because the feeling, the need to escape had fizzled down to a feeling of general anxiety, he still wanted to break something but more than that he didn't want to be on his own, he still didn't want to go back to the Hokage's house and the only other friend he had at all really was Sasuke. That thought alone was horribly depressing. He thought back to his team but he barely knew Shikamaru and Anko even less and he most definitely didn't want to see Ino, which sadly left him with Sasuke, if he could find him that is.
Resigned to his fate and feeling too lonely to change his mind, Naruto bounded off to the Uchiha complex in hopes of tracking Sasuke down.
Sesshoumaru was currently frustrated by the entire Inuyasha situation. He was at a dilemma where there was no sure way to test Inuyasha's strength until Inuyasha himself had rectified his problems. It had begun when he had commissioned the forging of Tokijin.
He had happened upon the scene of a battle in which Inuyasha's sword the Tessaiga was broken by the fangs of one of Naraku's spawn. He had then commissioned a blade to be made from these fangs, using his own sword Tenseiga to preserve the life force of the head so that the fangs would retain their power.
However when he went to find what was taking Jaken so long in retrieving his blade he found Jaken to be sliced in two. Whilst he had at first considered leaving Jaken like that if he were so incompetent that he would end up in such a state in the first place he decided that it would not necessarily be fair to do so and it was his responsibility as Jaken's lord to look after him.
Decision made he had unsheathed Tenseiga and revived Jaken. Upon questioning Jaken had revealed that the smith had been possessed by the evil blade he had created for Sesshoumaru, a blade he had named Tokijin.
Promptly Sesshoumaru took off hot on the trail of the smith and his stolen sword, leaving Jaken to reattach his torso on his own.
When he arrived Sesshoumaru witnessed the possessed smith be destroyed under the cutting aura of Tessaiga even while Tokijin itself radiated a greater cutting aura, Inuyasha's body was capable of standing up to it where the smiths had not been.
Immediately Sesshoumaru had retrieved his sword from where it had fallen, gaining the attention of Inuyasha and his band of friends, including Totosai, the smith who forged Tenseiga and Tessaiga for his father. Sesshoumaru had been insulted when Totosai had been presumptuous enough to warn him that Tokijin would possess him, as if he were some lowly Youkai such as the smith who had forged it. Immediately Sesshoumaru had forced his Youki and his will upon Tokijin, bending it to his will and submission.
After that he had attacked Inuyasha, determined to prove himself the greater warrior, to find out if Inuyasha was truly capable of strength on the level of himself and their shared father, or if Inuyasha truly was weak and merely being carried by the sword Tessaiga.
What annoyed him was that since Tessaiga had been broken and mended, likely by Totosai, Inuyasha had either lost the strength to wield it, or something had disrupted the flow of Youki between Inuyasha and his blade, making utilizing any of its abilities extremely taxing upon him, even just it's enlarged transformation which acted like a protective barrier would seem to have been enough to cause Inuyasha great trouble. Regardless of whether or not he could wield the blade effectively he could still wield it and so his own physical performance should be unaffected, all in all that just made things easier.
It was when Inuyasha had thrown away Tessaiga in frustration, choosing to fight without it that Sesshoumaru had discovered his dilemma. Initially he planned to continue with the battle, he could test Inuyasha's abilities and tell whether they were on par with those he had shown previously whilst using Tessaiga or if they weren't, and in doing so but as soon as he had begun to press Inuyasha in battle Inuyasha had begun to be taken over by his Youkai blood, meaning that his mother's side was basically being possessed by his father's strength, as the only demonic power Inuyasha possessed came from his father. As such Sesshoumaru's opportunity had degraded into finding out how well a human male would have performed if possessed by his father's power, something completely worthless to him. As such he had immediately disabled Inuyasha and sought answers.
What he had found in questioning the Bokusenou. What he had found was that Tessaiga was responsible for keeping his father's power under control within Inuyasha and without it he would be consumed by that same power. So Sesshoumaru couldn't properly test Inuyasha with Tessaiga as he was unable to wield it, and he couldn't test him without it was he would just be consumed again and possibly lose his mind.
Sesshoumaru considered visiting Naruto to check his progress, to gather more information upon the situation but decided against it, it wouldn't do for Naruto to get attached and it wasn't likely that his training had progressed particularly far as of yet, all that there was for him to do was wait. Sesshoumaru despised waiting for things.
When Naruto arrived outside the Uchiha complex he could immediately tell where Sasuke was, there was a long-worn path of his scent coming from the Academy district on one path, he obviously had no interest in exploring. Tentatively Naruto followed the scent, wary not to disturb the district as he felt he might be disrespecting those who died here if he did. It only took a few moments to tell that Sasuke wasn't in whatever might've been his house as Naruto heard a faint thud coming from what seemed to be a grassy field with some thick trees on the outskirts, possibly going off into forestry. He figured Sasuke had to be over there and training or something, since nobody else's scent was around.
Once he neared the training area he found himself in front of a fairly large solid wooden gate and a large stone wall, obviously the Uchiha's had been aiming for privacy when they had built the place. Naruto had heard the same thud sound another two times as he had neared the place and had determined it to be Sasuke landing after a fairly large drop of some sort. He figured it best to wait for another thud before shouting out to Sasuke, to make sure he didn't distract him, he figured Sasuke wouldn't likely end up hurt if he were startled but he would definitely be more grouchy if he were startled mid-move than in between.
Naruto took a deep breath. "OY! SASUKE!" He waited and after a small while was rewarded by the sound of footfalls crushing the crisp grass. After a small while during which the footfalls grew louder, the gate creaked open to reveal a rather sour looking Sasuke.
"What do you want Naruto?" Naruto didn't really want to tell Sasuke he wanted some company so he didn't feel quite so overbearingly lonely.
Thinking quickly Naruto came up with the perfect solution to his dilemma, he wouldn't answer! "What ya doin' Sasuke?"
Sasuke noticed how Naruto completely and blatantly dodged the question but decided he didn't really care that much, he wasn't in that good of a mood at the moment. "Training"
Naruto was glad Sasuke didn't press his question. "Cool, what kind of training?! I heard you landing or something in there, you jumping around?!"
Sasuke was surprised that Naruto had heard him, he had been the opposite side of the field in the trees that lined the edge and it was a good distance away, not to mention he was pretty damn quiet in all his acrobatics, including landing. He had to be. "I've been training my kunai throwing."
Naruto looked kind of confused. "Huh? But you always get perfect scores, why would you train more at throwing kunai?" Sasuke seemed to grow more irritated, at least that's what Naruto thought he was doing, he still wasn't that good at reading people, even with his sense of smell helping. "Eh, can I come watch or something?" Sasuke decided to ignore his irritation since he could now get back to training.
"Sure." Sasuke promptly walked off, leaving the gate open for Naruto to follow. Naruto stuck his head through the gate and looked around quickly before entering and closing the gate and following after Sasuke.
Naruto caught up to Sasuke but didn't say anything as they walked across the training field, he figured that he could talk or amuse himself once Sasuke was back into his training and thus less likely to stop and throw Naruto out of the field.
Once they arrived at the section of trees Sasuke had been training at Naruto noticed a variety of targets all with Kunai in the centre at various heights around a large tree. The only exception being a target behind the tree which had a kunai lodged in the outer rim.
Sasuke was busy picking his kunai out of the targets, trying successfully for the moment to ignore Naruto and figure out what he was doing wrong, he had not been able to get greater accuracy on the last target behind the tree, his success was a mixture of timing and luck rather than heightened skill. He had to be missing something because the only other alternative was that his brother was that much better than him and that couldn't be possible, it just couldn't.
Naruto walked up to Sasuke. "Hey Sasuke, how come that one target isn't a bulls eye like the rest?" Sasuke paused in his gathering of kunai before resuming.
"The object of this training is to jump from the middle tree and hit each target with kunai whilst falling, the target you mentioned requires throwing one kunai at a steep angle then another to intercept from a shallower angle causing them to ricochet and the second kunai to hit the target. I have not yet completed this training." Sasuke explained the training as calmly as possible, trying not to show how frustrated he was with the entire thing.
Naruto walked over to the target and looked from it to where Sasuke would probably be falling, he could check later. The mentioned tree which mostly blocked the view of the target split near the bottom into two trunks, one of which tapered off whilst the other became more vertical after the split and formed an impressively tall tree. The split had many thick branches going across it meaning it would be very difficult to get two kunai to hit each other as well as hit the target unless you were pretty high to begin with, Naruto looked higher and saw that higher up there was a large gap. Naruto looked at the target just as Sasuke was coming to reclaim the Kunai, he noticed it was embedded with a sideways tilt compared to the direction to the tree, which meant it had come from the side of the tree, not the gap in the middle. As Sasuke stooped down to the target to retrieve the kunai Naruto began questioning him on the training. "Say, where do you jump from up there?"
Sasuke rose from the target, and delayed placing the kunai into his holster, he looked at Naruto curiously before looking up and pointing to near the top of the tall trunk of the tree, presumably he would be falling down the other side into the big gap between the close trees. To Naruto that meant he had ample time to look down and see the target and throw a kunai, but then he had to get one in through the gaps in the branches lower down to hit it, he could see why this would be harsh training, there was no way he could do that… however the kunai should be embedded into the target without any sideways angle if that were the case.
Naruto turned to Sasuke again only to see him about to scale the tree. "Oi Sasuke, how do you do the kunai bouncing thing? Do you knock it round the tree from that side?" Naruto pointed to the side of the tree that the kunai had looked to have come from, it did seem to be the easier of the two sides, though not by much.
Sasuke paused and turned to Naruto, impressed he had gathered that much, he had always thought of Naruto as being rather stupid, perhaps he had been mistaken, if only somewhat. "Yes."
Naruto nodded and paused for a moment. "Come here for a moment would ya?" Sasuke closed his eyes to calm himself, he figured Naruto didn't meant to be irritating and he was normally much calmer than this, it wasn't Naruto's fault that he was so frustrated with this training. He opened his eyes and dropped the foot he had made it up the tree and walked over to Naruto.
Naruto stood in front of the target and beckoned Sasuke to come next to him. He obeyed hoping to get whatever it was over with. Naruto then pointed up at the tree and he reluctantly followed Naruto's gaze. "If you jump from up there, then you can see through that gap there to here, and throw a kunai and then throw one through there, right? I'm not sure but I reckon it'd be easier since you're only knocking it down rather than sideways… what do you think?"
Sasuke stood next to Naruto, momentarily forgetting his presence as he looked dumbfounded at the tree before them. There was no way, in just a minute that Naruto could've figured out how to complete this training where he hadn't, he also didn't want to believe he had been doing it wrong this entire time, however Naruto was right, by removing the sideways plane from the trajectories it would become exponentially easier, the difficulty added by the branches wouldn't be nearly as large. Sasuke turned to Naruto and stared for a moment, before looking back to the tree, then back to Naruto. He paused for a moment, he didn't want to admit it, especially to Naruto but he was grateful for the insight. He decided to try it out before making any thanks or such. "Hnn… I'll try it."
Sasuke quietly congratulated him on his cool composure, he had been practising it for a long time, it was his way of keeping a distance from people, he didn't want to become attached to anyone only for them to die on him again, so he kept his distance, still he always had trouble when he was conflicted or stunned, he had the urge to revert to his younger self and stare in awe at such times, as he had been wont to do at his brother.
Quickly climbing the tree, out of practice and newfound eagerness, Sasuke was quickly at the top and immediately he jumped off, he had always done it this way, preparing to be in the air in practice was foolish as in a combat situation you had to dodge or jump quickly, everything had to be done quickly so he didn't allow himself pauses in his training in such instances, better to get it wrong here than when his life depended on it, he couldn't fume and grit his teeth before trying again if he was dead.
Naruto jumped and jumped from thin air, flipped and landed high on a branch of a nearby tree, in this action gaining more height than Sasuke had gained in his climbing, though it was only for a few moments that he held the height advantage as Sasuke continued his ascent, he was purposefully away from any targets but in a good position to watch, this was entirely fascinating.
As soon as Sasuke had left the tree he twisted his body and threw the first kunai at the hardest target whilst he could still see it, though there was no way to get a kunai past the branches, he could see the tree it was against and so he could aim the kunai correctly, he quickly threw more kunai, using the momentum of his arms to spin him in his descent, as he turned full circle he glimpsed the target through a small hole but that was all it took, with more skill than someone his age had any right displaying he threw a kunai through a small gap through which he couldn't see the target, he then landed with a dull thud on the floor just as a light 'tink' sounded off behind the tree he was next to, followed quickly by a dull thud as the kunai embedded into the soft wood of the target.
Naruto quickly jumped down and ran over to the target, overtaking Sasuke who had paused to check he had not missed any of the other targets before checking the last one. Of course he hadn't missed but there was no excuse to become lax. He rounded the tree to see Naruto grinning at him and pointing at the target, which had a kunai embedded deep into the centre. A small smile appeared on his face. This was definitely a good moment, this had been one of his brother's hardest training exercises, he had admitted such himself. To be able to complete it first time upon realizing his error was a great boost to his confidence. It might have even been beneficial to have been completing the training wrong, for it had felt natural and almost easy to perform the manoeuvre in comparison to how difficult it usually was, which meant it was possible his skill level, at least in this one specific area of kunai throwing, was greater than that of his brother. This would be the first time he had surpassed his brother, the first of many.
He turned to Naruto, unable to hide the pride and happiness he was feeling, completely caught up in the relief from his previous frustration, the pride he was feeling. He didn't really care if he was going against his own oath and not keeping Naruto – who came under the category of everyone – at a distance, he just thanked Naruto, who deserved it for his help. "Thanks, Naruto." It wasn't just this training either, he realised he had been presumptuous that once he had found a way to complete the task that was it, he had not continued evaluating the situation. To survive in a high level fight one had to continuously evaluate everything, making assumptions and especially sticking to them was dangerous. This was something he already knew but it's always hard to put knowledge into practice, this was a good reminder.
Naruto smiled, he could tell how happy Sasuke was, he smelled happy, he couldn't quite associate any specific emotions with it, it was just happy, all things happy, right there. He was glad, he had felt so rejected only a short time ago and now he had helped Sasuke and he knew Sasuke was grateful, which meant he was accepting of Naruto. Naruto no longer felt lonely, so he smiled. "No problem."
Sasuke went to the target and grabbed the kunai before walking off and going about gathering the other kunai. Naruto happily followed him. Out of no where Sasuke began making conversation, something highly unusual for him. "So why are you here anyway?"
He continued collecting Kunai for a while before realising that no answer was forthcoming. He turned around to see Naruto who had apparently been gathering kunai as well but he had frozen dead, staring at Sasuke, the kunai he had gathered had clattered to the ground next to him.
Naruto had gone from happy to frozen with fear in an instant, he really wanted to tell someone, anyone what had happened, he hoped for them to console him and say it's okay or… something, anything but he was so afraid that if he told Sasuke that Sasuke would react the same way, reject him. He didn't really care if it was fear or hatred or anger or whatever, it was the rejection he feared. He could handle Sasuke hating him for something he had done, something he himself had done to Sasuke or which Sasuke hated him for but he hadn't done anything to deserve the hatred and rejection he was constantly subject to, had been killed over, he didn't know what to do.
After a while of Sasuke looking at him Naruto decided to just tell Sasuke the bare minimum for now and go from there, he could always tell if Sasuke were to react negatively, he would smell it. He found it saddening that he couldn't distinguish properly the happy emotions but could quite clearly distinguish the smell of most negative emotions. "I had a… confrontation with Ino's mom earlier, I thought I'd come pester you for a bit or something." Naruto looked at the ground, only just noticing the kunai he ha dropped and casually picked it up, doing an excellent impression of someone who was talking about something which wasn't all that serious.
Sasuke of course didn't fall for it, he knew something really bad had happened, or something which had deeply affected Naruto, because people don't just drop stuff they're consciously holding for no big reason, if he were surprised he would've noticed he dropped it and at least looked towards his hand or the kunai, but Naruto hadn't noticed he'd dropped the kunai, which meant it was something big. Of course Sasuke knew a lot about 'big' thing's and so he wouldn't press, even if he couldn't possibly imagine what Mrs Yamanaka could do that would affect Naruto like that, she was pretty harmless not to mention disgustingly nice and affectionate.
Naruto noticed Sasuke looking at him expectantly, he figured Sasuke was interested, even if only because he couldn't figure out why Naruto would have a confrontation with Ino's mom, he decided to test the water's though. "You wanna hear about it?"
Sasuke turned to continue gathering his kunai. "You obviously want to talk about it." Naruto could tell he was covering up his curiosity, it endeared him that instead of saying how he was curious he said how Naruto wanted to talk about it. Obviously it sounded on the surface that Sasuke wasn't particularly curious but it also sounded like he cared about how Naruto was feeling, which Sasuke hadn't probably realised. Naruto smiled slightly. "I… She found out about… this." Naruto grew his nails into claws, an action which was almost subconscious now and flexed them at Sasuke to emphasise the point.
Sasuke raised his eyebrow as he turned and saw Naruto flexing his claws at him, obviously referring to his bloodline. "You had a confrontation about your bloodline?"
Naruto looked down at his claw and watched them shrink to nails, then grew them, then shrunk them before looking up and replying. "It's not really a bloodline." Sasuke was definitely interested now. Not only because he had no idea what Naruto was on about, or because it was information about Naruto's abilities which had interested him for a while now, but he was interested in bloodlines in general, being the bearer of one himself he made it his business to know such things. Sasuke walked over to Naruto and sat down on the log the target Naruto had retrieved a kunai from was rested against. Idly Naruto sat next to him and looked at his claw for a few more moments, Sasuke kept quiet, it was obvious that Naruto was having a hard time with this.
Eventually Naruto looked up at Sasuke from his claw and stared at him for a moment. "If I tell you this, you can't tell anyone, ever." Sasuke was about to question why when Naruto continued. "I mean literally, it's the law, you can't on penalty of death."
Sasuke froze with his mouth open. 'What the fuck?!' After a moment he closed his open mouth and not trusting his voice entirely as he was still shocked at Naruto bringing the death penalty into this, with deadly seriousness, he merely nodded. How in the hell could a confrontation with Ino's mom be related to the law and the death penalty?
Naruto looked at Sasuke for a moment before looking back at his claw as he began talking. "On the day I was born, the Fourth Hokage sealed the Kyuubi into my stomach, the seal manipulated my chakra coils and my soul, binding my chakra and my soul to the Kyuubi's so it couldn't escape, ever." Naruto paused and Sasuke was too shocked to do anything else than listen. "The Old man…" Sasuke probably wouldn't know who he meant by that. "Uh I mean Lord Hokage… made some rule or other that nobody was to talk about it, though people tended to just make up excuses to legitimise being mean, though it wasn't ever too bad, over priced banana here, no shopping in that shop, don't go in that alley, nothing major…" Naruto sighed and paused for a long moment. "Nine months or so ago, I was murdered by two ANBU and Mizuki, they hated me because of the fox. Lord Sesshoumaru resurrected me but in doing so some of the Kyuubi's power stayed with me."
Naruto looked at Sasuke, whose mouth was once again open and his eyes were wide, he wasn't exactly surprised to see such an expression, he would be surprised too. "As a result, I'm not exactly human anymore. That's why I have claws and stuff." Naruto flexed his right claw at Sasuke in a mock clawing gesture. Sasuke immediately shut his mouth and raised his eyebrow, looking at Naruto incredulously for how stupid he looked with his dejected expression and half-hearted mock-clawing.
Sasuke evaluated the situation. This was all very shocking but it was all past-tense and didn't affect him at all, as such he could mull over the implications at his own leisure, nothing about Naruto had changed since moments ago and as such his opinion shouldn't change, though he would factor this into his evaluations of the blonde's fighting capabilities. He decided to offer some comfort to Naruto, though he wouldn't do so directly, heaven forbid. "So… She's angry at you for not dieing?" Sasuke asked Naruto incredulously, causing Naruto to stop his ridiculous clawing action after the third swipe.
Naruto raised his own eyebrow as Sasuke's facial expression settled into his customary smirk whenever he had done something clever, though he wasn't exactly sure what clever thing Sasuke had done, he did a lot of clever things so Naruto knew the expression quite well. "I uh… I'm not really sure, I bailed pretty fast." Sasuke looked at him questioningly. "Hey after being murdered for this shit you'd be jumpy too!" He quickly defended himself, not wanting to seem weak or wimpy in front of Sasuke.
Sasuke cocked his head to the side, he obviously couldn't relate but he was pretty sure Naruto was right, if he were ever to be murdered for something similar he too would be jumpy when confronted about it. He thought for a moment, Naruto said the Kyuubi was dead, so she had no right hating him, well less of a right since Naruto wasn't ever the raging terror that Kyuubi was. "Shouldn't she be thanking you, since its dead? It is dead, right?" Naruto nodded. "So you basically died and took the Kyuubi down with you?" Naruto nodded. Sasuke leant back slightly and put his hand to his chin. "I would've thought you'd get more respect for that."
Naruto looked at him incredulously. "Oh yeah, and chick's dig half-demon's."
Sasuke's trail of thought derailed immediately at Naruto's comment. He still knew of some girls talking of how hot and powerful the Fourth Hokage had been and how they would 'so do him' and such. If he could get even a small amount of the same thoughts to be held by girls their age about Naruto, maybe he could get some if not all of his fan girl's to chase after Naruto instead of him!
Naruto was getting a little disturbed at the maniacal expression blossoming on Sasuke's face. "Uh… Sasuke?"
Sasuke's eyes immediately focused on Naruto, he wasn't sure how he was going to do it without facing the death penalty, but it was an idea and it was worth a shot. "Say Naruto, let's go hang out in town for a bit?"
Naruto looked at him puzzled for a moment before shrugging. "Okay."
Sasuke resisted the urge to rub his hands together and chuckle and say 'Excellent'. This was all too easy.
Inside the Hokage's office, Inoichi and Sarutobi were discussing the events that had transpired within the flower shop, Ino had been made to wait outside.
Sarutobi was currently troubled, he had been worried about Naruto for some time but it was difficult as Naruto seemed to be purposefully keeping his distance from Sarutobi. He had heard from Naruto had a good time he had whilst he was at the Yamanaka's and he was worried how he would cope with this, even if Mrs Yamanaka came to accept Naruto he may remain withdrawn from her or possibly the entire family. "So you say you suspect Naruto heard your conversation but you're sure Ino didn't?"
Inoichi nodded nervously, unsure of the severity of the situation, his wife already knew of the Kyuubi within Naruto but would this count as a new breech of the law? "Yes, we were in a secluded part of the house and were also whispering, the boy must have exceptional hearing." Sarutobi nodded, he himself was unsure as to the exact extent of Naruto's hearing but he was certain both his auditory and olfactory abilities far surpassed anyone else's within the village.
"Very well, I'm glad you came to me with this. I will talk to Naruto about this later though I suggest you and your wife seek him out yourselves, don't worry you aren't in any trouble assuming you and your wife remain favourable to Naruto." Inoichi nodded, they had gotten off lightly, this served as a good reminder of how precious information could be in a ninja village and that one couldn't be too careful with sensitive information. "Would you please bring Ino in now?"
Inoichi nodded and got up and retrieved Ino. Ino had gone past irritation and pacing as they had been in there for a while now, even her worry about Naruto had fizzled down and she was mostly bored, so Inoichi found her sitting slumped in the chair counting the tiles on the floor which needed repairing. "Ino." Ino looked up at her dad. He motioned with his hand for her to enter. She did, a little confused at how serious her dad seemed, she figured it must be serious rather than just being anxious about upsetting the Hokage through Naruto, so she delayed her questions for now.
As she entered the Hokage stood up and gestured to one of the seats in front of his desk, she quickly went forward, bowed and sat down. Sarutobi sat down and looked at Ino with a rather gentle smile on his face, making her more at east, she didn't even notice her father enter the room. "Miss Ino, it is good to see you are well." Ino smiled, she didn't get that he really meant it, seeing as she had Anko as a teacher. "Earlier today Naruto overheard a discussion about him between your mother and father, concerning his abilities." Ino nodded. "This is still a sensitive subject for Naruto so I will respect his privacy and keep his secret and I would ask that you not press him for information, he will tell you when he is ready." Ino nodded, still a little scared, even though she wasn't being told off or even in the wrong, she was still anxious in his presence, he was the most powerful ninja in the village for heaven's sake, she couldn't help but wonder exactly how quickly he could kill her if he wanted to.
Sarutobi didn't let his smile falter at how nervous Ino was, he never liked that but it did mean she respected him and his authority, so he had had to get used to the younger ninjas especially, being so nervous around him. He stood and the two Yamanaka's followed suit. "Well then, thank you for coming, I will speak to Naruto later and he will be ready for training tomorrow." He said the last part specifically to Ino. Both Ino and Inoichi bowed to Sarutobi before leaving. Sarutobi sighed and began constructing what he would say to Naruto later, already feeling guilty that it had come to this between the village he loved and protected and who he considered to be their hero.
The entire way into the centre of Konoha Naruto had been pestering Sasuke, trying to convince him that they should most definitely get some ramen, he seemed to have forgotten his recent indifference toward the stuff, falling back into his habitual reverence and attempting to force his opinion upon Sasuke. Of course Sasuke only ate things which at least resembled healthy and nutritious and as such Naruto's 'persuasive' arguments had all failed. Instead Sasuke decided they should have a look at the weapons shops, Naruto didn't really mind this idea even though he protested on principle, he did find anything sharp, pointy and shiny to be of special interest to him, though he couldn't figure out why…
Sasuke however was secretly spying his surroundings, attempting to find flocks of girls he could force Naruto to walk past. He knew that Naruto didn't know the location of every weapons shop in Konoha and as such couldn't call him on their route through town, meaning to Naruto it would be a 'coincidence' that they would be accosted by Sasuke's fan's. So far there had been little success so Sasuke had taken them to an actual weapon store, this one was one of his favourites as their ninja wire was top notch.
Upon entering he went straight to the ninja wire section, obviously he preferred the stuff with resin on it to aid in conducting fire techniques, though he also liked the look of the razor wire, though he didn't want to try that out just yet as he didn't fancy losing a finger or two by accident.
Naruto however went straight to the swords, they were all far too long for him at his present stature but they were so shiny and cool and… shiny! He was broken out of his reverie when a voice from the back, linked to the footsteps Naruto had ignored in his awe of the swords, called out to him. "Oy. What do you think you're doing here?"
Naruto turned to the man, who was giving him a disgusted look. He was at a complete loss as to what to do, how to react. Normally he'd just run off, possibly crying depending on how harsh the shop owner had been but now he knew why and he knew it wasn't fair. They owed him so should he step up and challenge the man? Should he step down and hope for the best? Luckily for him Sasuke responded whilst still looking at the wire. "I'm looking at your wire, do you have any with that new teflon coating and the fire resin?" Sasuke finally turned from where he was looking for said item amongst the many rolls of wire attached to the wall to see the man looking at him in confusion. "You know, so that if someone survives being burnt the wire will still be useful." The man blinked for a moment.
He glanced at Naruto. "Ah I believe we do have some of that, expensive stuff but I'm sure that's no problem for you, but could you just wait one moment sir?" Then he turned to Naruto. "Get lost, you're not welcome here."
Naruto took a step back at the hostility displayed by the man, it was all quite depressing, he couldn't really be bothered to get angry at him as he normally would as his depression from earlier that day was still in the back of his mind and it only took that not so gentle nudge to bring it forth. Before Naruto could do anything else however Sasuke had already acted. "Why, pray tell, are you being so hostile to my friend here?" Sasuke sauntered towards the counter behind which the man was looking at him in confusion. "It's especially rude since he's of nobility, you can tell by the clothes." Sasuke waved in Naruto's direction. "So your reason had better be especially good." Sasuke paused and raised an eyebrow at the man. "It is good, right?"
Naruto stared at Sasuke in shock, what the hell was he doing? The man however was in turmoil, he didn't know what the state of the law was now after nine months ago there had been a ruckus where Ninja had gone around the village informing people that the Kyuubi was dead and that it was now basically treason to insult the ex-container for the demon. Of course he knew, being the clever man he is, that this was just a ploy by the demon in it's plan to kill them all and he would make sure not to help it by supplying it with weapons. However what that basically meant is that where one death penalty had gone another had replaced it and now he didn't know what to say, especially to one of his most valued customers.
Sasuke went there quite often to purchase new wire, since his old wire tended to warp and break under the stress of his fire techniques and now that he was graduated he would be using up supplies in missions and such at a greater rate, not to mention being the shop the last Uchiha went to for all his wire needs was a boon for business. "Well?" Sasuke prodded seeing as the man had spaced out.
The man snapped his attention to Sasuke and immediately began attempting to form a coherent response. "Ah well, you know, he's…" The man stopped himself, he couldn't say that, what could he say?
Sasuke didn't let the man continue. "Ah tut tut…" Sasuke waved his finger side to side in a very patronising gesture. "Aren't there rules against that? Why, isn't the penalty rather… severe or something?" Naruto stared at Sasuke, what the hell was he doing, was he… standing up for him, for Naruto? He couldn't bring himself to stop Sasuke, even though he was adamant that he should, he just couldn't bring himself to prevent this from happening, to prevent someone standing up for him, him.
The man went pasty white and stilled impressively, how could Sasuke know that, he wasn't allowed to know that by the very same knowledge that he knew, which he shouldn't! He decided blatant lies would be the best option to get out of this one. "Ah Mr Uchiha, Sir, I believe you have me mistaken!" Sasuke raised his eyebrow as the man floundered for more to say on the subject, obviously knowing he had to justify that statement by saying what he really did mean, which would be hard as he had to make something up to replace what he had actually meant and make it believable.
Sasuke decided he had toyed with the man enough. "It is obvious what you meant." The man stilled in his stuttering, Sasuke began towards the door. "I wonder how scandalized everyone will be when they find out that you threw me out of your store, and with such vile language as well…" Sasuke then turned and finished leaving, the man staring after him. Naruto was looking between Sasuke and the man, clearly astounded, he was about to make after Sasuke when the man dropped from his stupor and sped after Sasuke, managing to get in front of Sasuke just as he was holding the door open and about to exit.
Panting a little, as it would seem the man didn't often use such speed and as such was wholly unprepared for it physically, the man tried to diffuse the situation, he pulled a reel of wire from a pocket in his overalls. "Now, Mr Uchiha, Sir, don't be too hasty. Here, that wire you were looking for, on the house, to make up for offending you, sir." The man was practically grovelling to Sasuke and it was rather sickening to see a grown man act as such.
Sasuke considered the wire for a moment before turning to Naruto. "Naruto, are you any good with fire techniques, or wire?" Naruto shook his head slowly, pretty sure he had told Sasuke at the academy how he couldn't do any ninja techniques, though wire sounded quite interesting. Sasuke looked back to the man. "What use is this?" The man looked to the wire and back to Sasuke and back to the wire, clearly dumbfounded. This was top quality wire, very few places in the entirety of Konoha had access to this stuff, surely having itfree would be a good peace offering? Sasuke continued. "You not only insult my friend, and myself by proxy, but then you apologize to me and attempt to bribe me to save your reputation, do you think so little of me that I would be so dishonourable as to accept this?" Sasuke stepped forward.
Truly, Sasuke didn't really care about the smith's perceived insult to himself, nor did he really care that the guy didn't like Naruto, it was why he didn't like Naruto that got him. Though normally that wouldn't get him going, and in fact it hadn't, but Sasuke was nothing but an opportunist, he could be angry at someone and cheer Naruto up at the same time! This was the Uchiha Sasuke golden opportunity to save face whilst also being a good… dare he admit it to himself? Friend… He knew all about how this was the number one store to go to for ninja wire, he also knew this wasn't the case four years ago until he had taken to the art of ninja wire to supplement his fire techniques, it didn't take a genius, even if he happened to be one, to connect the two. As such Sasuke thought the man owed him a little and he was willing to collect in order to cheer Naruto up, as such he felt no guilt about the massive guilt-trip slash black-mail tirade he was going on.
Naruto chose this moment to try and interject. "Sasuke, it's okay, really…"
Sasuke whirled on Naruto, it was tempting to lecture Naruto about not taking crap like this from anyone but that likely wouldn't help towards cheering him up. Sasuke silently turned around after having an idea, he faced the man. "I believe some of your finest razor wire would go a long way towards making Naruto feel better, don't you?"
The man quickly caught on, happy to save his business's reputation, as well as escape a possible charge of treason. "Ah yes, one of our specialties, I was just thinking the same thing, heh… heh." He quickly scampered off before returning with a spool of rather sparkly wire, though it wasn't sparkly for any wholesome reasons like being polished, the sparkles were more to do with the many fine indentations and edges marked into the wire which gave it that razor cutting edge which would slice through even the user's hands if he let it slip along the wire, though Naruto still thought it was pretty.
The man stopped himself just before going to hand Sasuke the wire and instead went towards Naruto and shakily held the wire out. Naruto, rather befuddled at the entire situation just went along, accepting the wire he looked to the man, who seemed rather scared at the moment, and that's without his ability to smell how scared the man was. "Ah… uh… thank you." Naruto graciously accepted and fumbled for a place to store the wire, eventually ending up hooking it to his sash with the rather handy belt hook that was attached to the spool, he marvelled for a moment at the ingenuity.
It took that long for Sasuke to exit the shop and be standing outside waiting for Naruto. Naruto looked up and found this out, he quickly dashed to the door. "Oy wait up!" He paused at the door and turned to the smith. "Uh… thanks for the wire." He then quickly ran out of the shop and caught up with Sasuke.
Sasuke was scanning around looking for some of the girls who usually threw themselves at him, he was convinced some of them were under orders from their parents to do so, which was highly disturbing, though from their behaviour it didn't seem they minded, those under orders would be harder to fob off on Naruto but the others he had a good chance, maybe he could get one of the leaders after Naruto, then some sheep would follow, yes… He was brought out of his musing when Naruto overtook him and stopped in front of him. "What?"
Naruto half-heartedly glared at Sasuke. "What was all that?!"
Sasuke raised his eyebrow at Naruto whilst composing his response so as to not damage Naruto's cheer any further. "He was dangerously close to breaking the law and incurring the death penalty, was he not? Not only that but his entire reputation is based on the fact that I buy my ninja wire from there. I think telling him off and getting some free wire is the least of his worries in comparison to his reputation or his life." Sasuke continued scanning around, after a moment he spotted a group of girls out shopping behind Naruto, excellent.
Naruto didn't really feel up to arguing, especially when he couldn't quite convince himself that what Sasuke did was wrong, at all, though he knew the last part was blackmail. Speaking of which, why the hell did Sasuke get that guy to give him some ninja wire, he didn't have any idea how to use the stuff and Sasuke gets him some razor wire… That's definitely going to end well. "Say, why razor wire?"
Sasuke turned from glaring in the girls direction, hoping to either kill them or gain their attention via said glare, there was no way he was walking over to them, that would most certainly end badly. "Normal wire isn't used for offensive techniques on its own, it's used for traps or binding enemies. To use wire offensively you need fire or lightning techniques though the second was known to use water techniques." He turned his attention away from Naruto again.
Naruto decided to rephrase his question. "Okay… why wire at all?"
Sasuke didn't bother turning back towards Naruto. "You can't use ninja techniques anymore, only bloodline abilities. That doesn't mean you can't use weaponry and such, wire is good for traps and back-up plans, razor wire is good for traps and offensive attacks and backup plans. There are Jounin level ninja whose entire fighting style is based on wire."
Naruto stared at Sasuke dumbfounded with his mouth in a small 'o' shape. He began to focus on his hearing when he noticed several voices all repeating Sasuke's name in hushed tones somewhere behind him, before he could turn and investigate however a shrill cry resonated throughout the area. "Hi Sasuke!"
Sasuke grimaced as Naruto winced in literal pain from the cry. Naruto was internally reminded of Ino's infatuation with Sasuke, which reminded him of the Yamanaka's, so he became subdued by the time the girl's arrived. Only one thought went through Sasuke's mind however as the girls loomed closer. 'The harpies are descending'. He also had to concentrate to fight his fight or flight instincts.
Once they arrived Naruto was shunted off to the side by the girls, though he made no move to protest, he couldn't really find it in him to bother.
Sasuke watched Naruto allow himself to be pushed out of the way as if he had been expecting it, and he probably had, it happened at the academy fairly often before he disappeared. For the first time in probably ever, Sasuke grew angry with his fan girls, rather than the standard 'Leave me alone, I wouldn't care if you died' annoyance he usually felt towards them. He was still thinking tactically though so instead of shouting at them, which he had recently discovered felt really good, he would handle the situation in a manner which wouldn't lead to them having negative feelings towards him or possibly Naruto. So he ignored them as he usually does and walked over to Naruto, brushing past two girls rather rudely as he did so.
He tried his best to not listen to what the girls were saying to him or arguing about amongst themselves, though sometimes it really was quite hard, such as one argument he overheard that because he was now a ninja he should be starting to sire his heirs or something like that, he stopped listening promptly. Luckily most of their voices were the same incessant high pitch as each other and so they all blended into one large screeching annoyance rather than anything intelligible for the most part.
Having pushed past the girls to get to Naruto, he roughly pushed the other boy's shoulder turning him so they were face to face, also causing Naruto to look up at Sasuke. Sasuke jerked his head slightly towards the direction they had previously been going. "Come on, you'll need a guide to the basics of using that wire." And began walking off, pausing after a few steps for Naruto to catch up, which he quickly did.
After a few moments walking with Sasuke and trying to comprehend the entire girl's situation, who he had noticed were trailing behind them, Naruto gave up. He couldn't quite grasp not revelling in the attention they were giving Sasuke, even if they did so in a rather high pitched manner. "Hey, Sasuke." Sasuke looked at him as he kept walking. "What about them?" Naruto jerked his head backwards lightly to indicate their small crowd of followers.
Sasuke looked back at them, unintentionally causing them to think that he was interested in them, some even got the impression that he was being noble and hanging out with the loser some thought to have dropped out of the academy, so he couldn't stay and spend time with them. Sasuke looked back towards Naruto. "What about them?"
Naruto paused for a moment, he was about to say something when one of the girls shouted out to Sasuke. "Sasuke! Why not ditch the loser and come hang out with us?!"
Sasuke stopped walking and turned back to them. Naruto muttered to him. "Not how I would've phrased it but… yeah." Sasuke only spared him a glance before glaring back at the girls. Secretly pleased at how this was going.
All he needed is to act like a bit of an ass and get Naruto to stick up for the girls, then slip in some hints of their friendship and how Naruto's sponsored by some Lord and presto, he should be free. Of course the part Sasuke was most looking forward to was obviously the acting like an ass part. "Do I know any of you?"
Naruto stayed back, figuring Sasuke was going to be giving the girls some attention, he didn't really mind, Sasuke had already stuck up for him earlier after all.
The girls didn't really get the obvious hint that he didn't care enough about them to remember them, even though they had mostly gone to the same academy. In front of the group was a rather pretty and lithe looking girl in rather flamboyant and unprotective adaptation of ninja apparel, a black skin-tight long-sleeved top with a pink kimono styled top over it held together at the waist and stopping just below, having a rather low cut, she also had a matching pink skirt in the same material. She straightened out her shoulder length dirty blonde hair as she stepped forward to speak for the group. "We went to the same Academy, Sasuke! Well, except for Megumi." Here she pointed to a girl who was presumably named Megumi. "She went to the North Konoha Academy." Spokesperson girl then proceeded to clasp her hands together in front of her in a rather cute gesture, though it was completely lost on Sasuke, as these girls, he thinks anyway, had been doing these kinds of things in front of him for ages and it was just annoying rather than cute to him. "Do you want to come and spent some time with us Sasuke? You don't have to spend time with the loser if you don't want to." Of course Sasuke presumed that somehow this girl had figured that she was being generous and rescuing him or something from spending time with Naruto, someone who he felt could actually understand him, also someone who was worth spending time with, also someone who was a decent ninja.
Not someone who probably didn't graduate, Ah, a perfect avenue for Sasuke to begin upon. "So, how many of you have passed your instructor's exams?"
The girls all went suspiciously quiet at this question. Sasuke made a rather loud huff and turned to go, remarking over his shoulder. "Not worth talking to."
Mostly due to the arrogance Sasuke was displaying, but also due to the scathing nature of his comments, Naruto found himself wanting to stick up for the girls, even though they had treated him so poorly only moments before hand. "Hey Sasuke, that's not fair. Those exams are really hard!" Of course Naruto hadn't experienced any test from his Jounin instructor and had assumed Sasuke meant the Genin tests administered by the Academies, which he had failed in the past, but which weren't actually hard at all even for these girls. Luckily for Naruto, everyone assumed he was referring to the tests administered by the potential Jounin teacher's and so nobody thought his comment was strange at all.
Sasuke smirked on the inside. "You're sticking up for them." It wasn't a question and Naruto didn't answer. "Why would you stick up for them when only moments ago they brushed you aside, called you a loser." Naruto lowered his head, not really having a comeback for that. Sasuke turned to the girls. "How can you call him a loser when you can't even become Genin. Lord Hokage himself administered Naruto's Genin test, hell he lives in Lord Hokage's house! Not only that, he's got a Lord sponsoring him." Sasuke paused for a moment, considering for the first time actually how impressive all of that was. "Well?"
The girls stayed silent, so Naruto decided to try and defend them, though his heart wasn't really in it anymore. "Don't be so harsh, you know I failed the Genin exam twice before…" Sasuke looked at Naruto with his eyebrow raised, obviously questioning. "I took it early, twice."
Sasuke silently stared at the girls, praying they'd feel ashamed and ask to spend time with both him and Naruto.
All the girls were in fact, feeling ashamed of how they had treated Naruto, especially so when it was pointed out to them how callous they had been and how casually they had done it. The same spokesperson-girl gathered her courage and meekly spoke to the boys. "We… then maybe… could we… all of us… spend some time together?"
Sasuke again smirked on the inside, perfect. Outwardly he kept up his grim façade, not wanting to show any happiness at spending time with the girls lest they think it's because of them spending time with him, not them spending time with someone that was not him, which happened to be the case. He looked to Naruto, who looked unsure, so he decided he couldn't really be bothered to be subtle anymore, all this acting and being in the girls presence was annoying him, so he decided to just be blatant, though under the cover of a plausible reason, of course. "Naruto you talk to the girls. I'm going to get that instruction book on wires." Sasuke immediately turned and headed towards a shop he frequented for instruction scrolls for ninja techniques or training techniques or anything of the sort. They had been selling him things that should only be sold to qualified Genin for a long time now, and recently thins only Chuunin should have access to, now that he was an actual Genin he wondered what he could get out of them. It was not likely that he would return very soon.
Naruto turned from looking at the girl in a rather dumbfounded manner to see Sasuke already heading off, he could faintly smell the annoyance that Sasuke had been giving off when he had been standing there, so he decided to let him leave. There was also this other scent, which was stronger than annoyance, but Naruto had no idea what it was so he left it for now. He turned around to the girl closest to him, the one he had mentally dubbed spokesperson-girl and introduced himself, easily masking how nervous he was and coming across as completely calm and confident, he thought Sesshoumaru would be impressed or proud of him. "Hi, my name's Uzumaki Naruto, nice to meet you."
Of course all the girls knew who he was, though they rarely paid him any attention, now that Sasuke was gone and they were stuck with Naruto, who they felt guilty about insulting, and as such weren't necessarily averse to spending time with him to make up for it. It didn't take long for them to notice the new clothes Naruto sported, very regal, obviously something to do with the lord who was apparently sponsoring him. His hair also looked eerily reminiscent of the fourth Hokage's hair, though a little shorter, and though he had been dead for their entire lifetime many of the girls still harboured strong attractions towards the man.
Seeing as how Naruto had spoken to her and had introduced himself, spokesperson-girl introduced herself back, noticing Naruto's rather attractive features and his regal outfit for the first time due to Sasuke's absence, also feeling the attention of all the other girl's on her, she blushed as she spoke. "Hi, my name's Chloe. Nice to meet you too."
Sasuke entered the weapons shop and found that instead of the usual shop attendant manning the counter his daughter was there. Her name was Tenten and Sasuke remembered her name because she was better at throwing weapons than him, though that may not be the case anymore, Sasuke silently thanked Naruto. He made his way to the area of their scroll collection which dealt with wire, he was surprised to find that the manual on razor wire was restricted to Chuunin and above access, he reached for the scroll regardless.
Tenten had followed Sasuke as he had entered, she was debating whether or not to goad him on how she was better than him at something, it amused her a lot though he had been getting better rapidly so she was nervous that one day she would goad him only to find herself being the one shown up, she didn't get a chance to however when Sasuke reached for a high shelf containing a Chuunin level scroll. "Hey Sasuke, I know you're a Genin now and all but that's a Chuunin only scroll."
Sasuke calmly turned to her, still holding the scroll he had withdrawn. He looked at it and then to her before a plan formed in his mind. "This isn't for me, go get your dad, I'm sure he'll let me have it once I explain it to him."
Tenten paused for a moment but acquiesced eventually. Sasuke hoped that once Shin was here his daughter would go off to do something else so he might get access to some better scrolls than previously, though with what he was planning he figured Shin would likely ask Tenten to leave anyway, though after that he probably wouldn't be too generous for a while. Sasuke found an interesting scroll on trapping enemies with wire using Shuriken and Kunai, this too was restricted and he resolved to have it soon, there was a section in the Uchiha library on using the Sharingan to similar effect, but he didn't have that yet so he would practice the normal technique so that he could easily adapt to the more advanced Sharingan based version once he was able.
Sasuke turned when he heard the door at the back open and saw Shin walk out and look at Sasuke quizzically. "Well then, what's so important you had to get Tenten to fetch me from the workshop?" Sasuke waited for a moment and luckily Tenten didn't seem to be returning, excellent. "I would like this scroll." Sasuke showed the scroll to Shin.
Shin raised his eyebrow. "I know I let you get away with having advanced scrolls every now and then but this is a little much isn't it? Besides razor wire is nasty stuff, you should probably stick to that fire wire stuff."
Sasuke shook his head. "It's not for me, it's for Uzumaki Naruto." Shin raised his eyebrow and stood still for a while. Sasuke figured he was caught up between refusing and trying not to answer why he would be refusing. "You know the Kyuubi is dead and you're alive, I think you owe him at least one scroll, don't you?"
Shin literally froze. There was no way Sasuke should know that, how the hell did he know? He decided not to risk an answer which would provide any more information to Sasuke than was necessary, in fact he decided to find out just how the hell Sasuke knew that. "What do you mean the Kyuubi is dead, it's been dead for years. What does that have to do with Naruto?"
Sasuke rolled his eyes and grabbed the wire entrapment scroll. "I'd like this one for me." He put both scrolls on the counter. Shin just stared at him expecting an answer and expecting that his glare would gain one, Sasuke didn't seem to be of that school of thought however. "Am I paying for both or is that scroll going to be a gift for Naruto?" Sasuke pointed to the razor wire scroll.
Shin shook his head and began to speak when Sasuke quickly shushed him. Shin's immediate reaction was to clam up and look around for Tenten, however Tenten wasn't around. When he looked back Sasuke had almost finished counting out the money for both scrolls, Sasuke looked up at Shin as he finished. "Be careful what you say now, there's a law or something, right?" Sasuke smirked at Shin as he put the money down on the counter.
Shin's anger began to grow as Sasuke's cocky behaviour got to him. "What the hell kind of stunt are you trying to pull here boy?" He grabbed both scrolls and put them angrily into a drawer under the counter and slammed both hands down, making a very intimidating picture in doing so.
Sasuke was actually fairly intimidated but didn't dare show it, instead he kept up the attitude which he termed superior or of the moral high ground, but that Shin had labelled cocky. "I'm sure you know that Naruto was murdered nine months ago." Shin froze, standing up slightly straighter but no longer intimidating at all, his mouth agape as it was. "You specialize in kunai and stuff, right? What do you think the chances are that he was murdered with one of your weapons? And you don't have an excuse to hate him anymore, the Kyuubi's dead." Shin retreated from the counter top beginning to sputter though nothing particularly coherent came out.
Eventually after some time to compose himself Shin decided to attempt to deny one or more of the accusations at once, as that was obviously the best option. "I didn't… I would never… It's not…"
Sasuke had actually gotten ahead of himself, he only wanted the scroll for Naruto and maybe to make it so Naruto could get higher level scrolls here too, he figured drilling into Shin's head that he owed Naruto would do the trick, god knows he didn't owe Sasuke anything but he still gave him special treatment so why not Naruto? It made perfect sense in his head but Sasuke got carried away when Shin shouted at him and shouted back. Sasuke decided that if he left Shin long enough to compose himself, he would retaliate, so he decided to keep up the offensive. "I wonder, has Naruto ever come in here, asking to buy something?" It was a perfect way out, if he said yes and he sold Naruto stuff, then Sasuke could just say well now he's killed the Kyuubi Shin owes him extra or something, so give him the scroll and if he says yes but he didn't sell Naruto stuff then instant guilt trip and if he says Naruto didn't come in at all then he can say Shin should start acting grateful.
Shin however didn't answer at all, which was a possibility that Sasuke hadn't accounted for, he just stood there staring at Sasuke. "Well?"
Shin turned his head to the side and spoke. "Get out, Uchiha."
Sasuke however smirked, that came under category number two, which was the easiest to deal with, though he had been expecting a straight answer. "Ah I see, I wonder what Lord Hokage will think about that, hmm? You know Naruto's living with him now?" Sasuke walked up to the scroll shelves and pulled out another copy of each of the scrolls he had picked out before, he walked over to the counter and put them down.
Shin stared blankly at the scrolls now on the counter, not entirely sure what to do. He looked at Sasuke and after a long moment spoke in a rather subdued voice. "It's bad for business… ya' know, sellin' stuff to the kid…"
Sasuke snorted, now sure of his victory. "If it was me I'd get strong and kill everyone who was alive because it had happened to me, because if they're not grateful for being saved then they deserve to be un-saved." Sasuke looked at Shin who was looking down in shame. He took out enough money for his own scroll and put it down and took both before walking off. "I'll tell Naruto you insisted he have this for free, a gesture or something."
Shin watched Sasuke go, completely torn on what to do, what the hell do you do when some annoyingly smart kid comes in and points out that you've participated in mistreating a kid whose been proven innocent now? Not a lot you can do. Idly he worried over how terrifyingly good at manipulating people Sasuke had become already.
Sasuke arrived back to where he had left Naruto with the horde of banshee's to find them no longer present, well that wasn't entirely true, he could still hear the wails of the banshee's. Looking around he found them not far off on a small patch of grass, all the girls were standing around muttering to each other or looking impressed or squealing whenever something dramatic happened, all their focus was upon Naruto and Chloe going through what he recognised as a ballet routine. Well Chloe was going through the routine and Naruto was copying her as best he could, which was worryingly impressive, considering Sasuke felt it safe to assume he had never even attempted ballet before.
Coming up with a suitably witty insult, Sasuke walked towards them, as soon as the girls surrounding Naruto and Chloe noticed him they parted, though they were still focused on the performance. Sasuke quietly contemplated that his plan was most likely a success. He threw the scroll to Naruto, who heard the paper being tussled by the air as it passed through it and quickly stopped his routine as he was using his hands for balance then snatched it out of the air before it could hit him. "Hey Sasuke, took you a while."
Sasuke shrugged. "I thought you wanted to save princesses not be a princess." Naruto growled whilst the girls giggled. "Shin, the guy in the weapons shop over there." Sasuke pointed to a sign above the crowd in the street they were next to. "Said that scroll was on the house."
Naruto looked at the scroll. "Wow, awesome! Hey this says it's for Chuunin only!" Naruto looked at Sasuke pretending to be scandalised but inside he was giddy.
Sasuke looked off to the side and shrugged, showing his own Chuunin only scroll to Naruto. Some of the girls 'ooh' and 'aah'ed at that, since the boys had only just become Genin.
Chloe went over to Naruto, grabbed his hand and lifted it up as she bent down to read the title of the scroll. "Wow, you're learning to use razor wire? Isn't that ridiculously dangerous?" She looked up at Naruto with concern.
Sasuke smirked as all the girls attention was focused on Naruto, he quietly slipped out of the ring and into the crowd on the street, planning to get Naruto some more fan girl's very soon.
Naruto smiled sheepishly and scratched his head. "Yeah, but don't worry I heal really quickly so even if I cut myself it doesn't really matter."
Chloe gaped at him for a moment as did other girls. One bold girl stepped forward and asked. "What do you mean you heal quickly?"
Naruto looked at her. "Ah I'll show you, hey Sasuke could I… Sasuke?" Naruto looked around, Sasuke must've gone off somewhere, he could find him later. "Ah he must be off getting more scrolls, anyway, watch." Naruto had been planning to borrow a kunai from Sasuke as he didn't fancy elongating his nails in front of the girls he'd only just met. Instead he grabbed the end of the razor wire that was poking out of the spindle and jerked his fingers across it and off the end. All the girls gasped as he opened his fingers showing fresh blood.
Chloe rushed forward and grabbed his hand whilst getting a tissue out of her pocket. "Oh my god! Why did you do that?!" She quickly set about cleaning his cut up and wrapping it in the tissue, she was planning to get a plaster out after she was done but she was stopped as Naruto's other hand gently grabbed her own.
"Don't worry." He gently eased his hand out of the tissue she was still holding. "Look, see? Already gone."
"Wow." Chloe iterated quietly, her sentiment was echoed by all.
A brown haired girl in a pink top stepped forward, her eyes sparkling. "That was so cool! What else can you do?"
Naruto grinned and looked over to a small tree growing out of the edge of the small grassy area. "Check this out…"
It was late when Naruto finally returned to Sarutobi's manor, he had spent the entire day with the girls fooling around. As soon as he had demonstrated his energy whip on a tree they had squealed so loudly his ears had rung for minutes. They had played hide and seek for a while before everyone decided Naruto was cheating somehow, which lead to him telling them about his senses, which lead to more squealing.
When he had shown the girls his extra jumping technique they had been awed, and had thankfully held back on the volume of their squealing, though squeal they did. Chloe had insisted that he should learn ballet, specifically from the same school as her, because it combined with marital arts and his extra jumping would go really well together.
It was at that point that Naruto finally noticed a smell coming from the girls, it had been faint but it had gotten stronger over the day he realised, especially strong from Chloe, but he had no idea what it meant, only that it had gotten stronger still when he had agreed and found out where and when the ballet classes were.
Not long before he left to go home, or rather they left to go home as they had curfew, the girls – under the leadership of Chloe – had voted to re-name Naruto's extra jumping technique, since he was outvoted unanimously his extra jumping technique was now called the 'Spirit of the Air' technique, a name which sounded far too fluffy and un-cool for his tastes. He vowed to think of something even cooler than extra jumping, so cool that they would vote for that instead.
His walk home had been in a slight daze as each girl had given him a hug before departing, beginning with Chloe, who very tentatively approached Naruto, who looked at her with a small amount of trepidation as she did so, not really understanding what she was up to, and her nervousness due to the fact that Sasuke refused to let them touch him whenever possible, especially refusing any hugs. Though once she had initiated the hug, and he had hugged back gently, all the other girls gained confidence and queued up for their turn, it was a new and unique experience for Naruto. All his life physical interaction consisted of neutral or negative situations, being told off, being handed stuff he had bought, being patted on the head for doing something silly, but never anything so warm and comforting. He definitely wanted more of those 'hug' things.
From the front door he could smell a conflagration of inviting fragrances he associated with the kitchen and more specifically roast dinner, something he was quickly becoming addicted to. He quickly dashed to the kitchen, slowing down once he entered so as not to knock anything, especially not any of the precious food. Even the vegetables were so delicious, though most of them had been roasted in the juices of the animal – a large section of pork today – that the meal was based around.
Finally letting his concentration slip away from the deliciously roasted meat before him Naruto spied Sarutobi sitting across the table from him smiling at him warmly. "Hey Old man!"
Sarutobi smiled wider for a moment before replying. "Hello Naruto, you seem rather chipper." He then dug back into his plate, he too greatly valued a roast dinner, though already his love was surpassed by Naruto's growing addiction.
Naruto smiled as he sat down and began loading his plate, actually starting with the vegetables, something which again caused Sarutobi to smile, for he had finally gotten rid of Naruto's phobia of vegetables. "Yeah, I helped Sasuke with some crazy hard kunai throwing exercise and then we went into town and I got some razor wire from a shop and then we met some of Sasuke's friends and then he got me a manual…" Naruto paused as he gobbled up an entire potato, covered in gravy. "… for the wire and…"
Sarutobi interrupted him. "Naruto, it's not polite to talk with your mouth full."
Naruto swallowed before continuing. "Sorry. Anyway after that Sasuke disappeared and we played hide and seek and I showed the girls my awesome abilities and I'm going to get ballet lessons to help my Taijutsu and they gave me these 'hug' things." Naruto made air quotes as he said the word 'hug', he then ate a bit of meat. "This is awesome Old man!"
Sarutobi merely nodded as he chewed on a bite of his own meal. He had had to quickly get used to Naruto's excited babble, whenever something good happened to him things came out of his mouth in what could only be described as a constant stream of thought. He had also definitely picked up on Naruto referring to these friends of Sasuke's as 'girls' meaning he had spent a lot of his day with a group of girls. Sarutobi had a feeling that Sasuke had disappeared so as to offload these girls onto Naruto, though that was anything but a bad thing.
Sarutobi swallowed his mouthful and decided to bring up the topic of his earlier meeting with two of the Yamanaka's. "Mr Yamanaka came to see me today." Naruto stopped eating and looked up at him, his face as schooled as he could get it, though Sarutobi could tell he was nervous. "He was concerned that something or other at their house had upset you." He paused and ate a few carrots, so as to ease the tension, letting Naruto know it was nothing serious as he was still eating so casually. Naruto understood the gesture but didn't make any move to loosen up. Sarutobi continued after swallowing. "He assures me that their shop is still open to you any time you want to visit and that they were just a little surprised is all."
Naruto didn't answer for a moment. And Sarutobi didn't begin eating again either, waiting for Naruto's response. "I could smell it, she was afraid of me."
Sarutobi smiled warmly at Naruto. "She probably was Naruto, afraid that is. There are many sources of fear though. Perhaps she was afraid of she or her husband facing treason, or perhaps she was afraid you would get the wrong idea and hate them for talking about you, hmm?" Sarutobi went back to his food, sure that Naruto's fears were sufficiently assuaged.
Naruto wasn't quite ready to keep eating yet. "But…" He also wasn't entirely sure what to think or how to ask about it either.
Sarutobi smiled. "You have team training tomorrow, I'm sure you can ask young miss Yamanaka about it then, she seemed quite concerned about how you ran off when I saw her earlier today."
Naruto immediately perked up, though it was hard to tell, Sarutobi was nothing if not observant. "Really? She was?"
Sarutobi idly nodded and hummed an affirmative as he chewed his food. Naruto smiled lightly and got back to his own food.
That night an ANBU appeared in Sarutobi's study in a poof of smoke, Sarutobi didn't give any reaction, as if he had been expecting such a sudden intrusion. The figure wordlessly put down a folder next to the piece of paper Sarutobi was writing on and stepped back to wait for his Lord's instructions. Sarutobi quickly finished off the document he had been working on and grabbed the folder. Within was a summary of Danzou's activities, both those he had willingly participated in under supervision and those he had been 'allowed' to do 'privately' but which had also been reported in great detail. There was also some information Danzou had provided which was meant to be a summary of the reports from his spies.
Danzou's general activities were very standard, day to day maintenance of the ANBU corps and other such activities, however his secret activities were rather more disturbing, he had apparently created an underground training facility and it was operating at optimum capacity. Luckily the supports in all the rooms weren't covered and were made of wood, so Sarutobi's spy had no trouble making detailed observations of their movements and activities as well as spying in on their plans for the future, all of which was summarised inside.
There was nothing particularly detrimental to Konoha at a first glance, however Sarutobi was no fool and he knew Danzou very well, if left to continue Danzou could single handedly cause the downfall of Konoha the way he was going.
Also the information he had been given was a bastardization of a report he had from Jiraiya four years ago on a group called Akatsuki which at the time had included Orochimaru. He knew this as the report claimed Orochimaru was still a part of said organisation where as Jiraiya's latest report stated otherwise. He would have to thank Jiraiya for being too lax to date his reports or anything so formal. Danzou must've taken it, as the most recent available and thought it was somewhat recent.
Sarutobi turned to the ANBU and sighed wearily. He then stood up and faced the man, staring directly into the eyes of the mask, he spoke with all his authority as the Hokage, this was serious. "Commander, assemble two ANBU of your choosing and… dispose of Danzou. You have one month, I want no evidence at all, he must disappear. Is that understood?"
The ANBU was a little shocked, though after gathering the information his Lord had just read over, he had suspected this as a possibility, though he thought it to be of the more remote possibilities. Still, as a professional he gained his composure almost immediately and saluted. "Yes Lord Hokage, as you wish." He then vanished from the room, a puff of smoke and an open folder on the desk the only evidence of his presence.
Sarutobi lit his pipe as he all but fell back into his chair, his eyes glassy. He murmured to himself between puffs. "I'm sorry old friend, you have gone too far this time."
Anyone interested in being my Beta reader? PM me with your e-mail address, I'll send you my word document of all the past chapters (or you can just go on whatever) to look at, it still has quite a few typos here and there which need fixing but I really can't be bothered /