A three-year-old Naruto Uzumaki sat alone on a swing in front of the ninja academy with tears falling on to his cheeks. He stared at the ground. 'Why? Why do they all treat me so badly?' A shadow appeared on the ground in front of him, and he started to cry harder. 'Why won't they leave me alone?'

The shadow stopped and without looking up, all he saw of the person was their feet. "You okay?"

He looked up and his eyes met the green eyes of the blonde girl. "Yeah."

He forced a smile and knew she wouldn't buy it. "Then why are you crying?"

"Some of the other kids were bullying me, but their gone now. "

Her eyes turned purple. "Those meanies, do you want me to kick their butts?"

He shook his head. "I don't want you to get in trouble because of me." He met her eyes again. "Your eyes are really pretty." The color changed back.

She blushed slightly, but it left quickly. "I'm Ino Yamanaka, what's your name?"

"I'm Naruto Uzumaki. It's nice to meet you Ino."

"It's nice to meet you too Naruto."

"Ino! It's time to go!"

She turned around to see her mom walking over to her. "That's my mommy, I gotta go. I hope I see you again." She turns back to find the swing empty, the only evidence he was even there was that it was moving slightly. "Where'd he go?"

She left, holding her mother's hand as Naruto hid in the tree, watching her go. "I hope I see you again too Ino."


Naruto's eyes slowly open and he yawns before looking at his alarm clock. "Seven-thirty five. Why the hell am I up so early? And what was up with that dream?"


'Why would I remember all of sudden?'


"Oh yeah, I said I'd help her train today. I'm actually really excited about it. Things seem to be going my way a lot lately. Hopefully, my luck isn't like Baa-san, if it is, that means something bad is going to happen soon." 'What was up with her eyes though?'



The day before:

After two years of trying, Naruto finally brought him back. He walked into the village, Sasuke's unconscious body flung over his shoulder, with a smile for ear to ear. When he had gotten through the gate, Sakura was waiting for him. "Naruto, you really did it, you brought him back!"

"He'll be all yours now Sakura, but first, I gotta take him to Baa-san." Sakura followed silently behind him as he made his way to the Hokage's office, unaware of the vicious glares given to him by almost everyone he passed.

When he reached Tsunade's office, he turned to Sakura. "I need to speak with her alone."

She was disappointed, but nodded and sat in a nearby chair. He knocked on the door and heard an "Enter." From inside before going in. Not even looking up Tsunade addressed him. "Naruto, to what do I owe the pleas…" She had finally looked up from her paperwork. "So that's why, you brought him back. Is he alive?"

"Of course Baa-san, but he's going to need medical attention. I had to do quite a number on him."

"Does Sakura know yet?"

"Yeah, she's outside."

"Good, then there's no need to send for her. I'll send her and some ANBU to the hospital, while you give a full report. Would you go get her please?"

"Alright, but be sure to send at least five ANBU and Kakashi if he's not on a mission." She nods.

Naruto steps out of the office as Shizune is coming down the corridor. "Hey Shizune."

She sees the blonde boy waving and waves back. " Hi Naruto."

"Could you find Kakashi and tell him to make a team of five other ANBU and come here. If he acts lazy about it, tell him that Sasuke and I are back. That ought to get him moving. You should check the Memorial Stone first. I've seen him go there quite often." She looked at him suspiciously. "I wanted to know why he was always late."


He had been visiting the Hokage and when he got outside, he noticed Kakashi, who's sliver hair made him stand out, moving through the crowd. 'Where's he going?' A mischievous smile spread a crossed his face. 'I think I'll follow him, Ero-sennin would do anything to hear about it if Kakashi's got a girlfriend.'

He took off after Kakashi, keep some distance between them and using henge every now and then so, he hoped, Kakashi wouldn't notice someone was following him. 'It looks like he's going to the memorial site. If he does got a girlfriend, they have a weird place of meeting.' Kakashi stopped in front of the stone. Naruto had fallen back a ways further, so he could release the henge without too much notice.

As he walked up to him, it seemed that Kakashi didn't even notice. "Why have you been following me Naruto?"

Naruto's jaw dropped. "How did you know? I changed my appearance a couple times and I stayed back a ways."

"I'm a jonin, and I know your chakra signature. After all, you were on my genin team, even if it was only for a short time. So, I answered your question, how about you answer mine."

He starched the back of his head and looked sheepish. "I saw you and I figured you had a girlfriend."

He sighed. "If only that were true. No, I came here for a different reason."

"Really, what?"

"I came to pay my respect to a former teammate and friend of mine, from back when I was trained by Yondaime. His name has been engraved on this stone. He changed my opinion of teamwork and told me the speech I gave the three of you, you know the one."

"How could I forget, it was the first bit of advice you gave us. 'In the world of the ninja, those who violate rules and laws are called trash. However… those who don't take care of their comrades are worse than trash.'"

"I'm surprised you memorized it word for word Naruto."

"Give me some credit, I absorb the things I think are important like a sponge."

Kakashi smiled under his mask. "This particular teammate, whose name was Obito, saved my life twice, and gave his own to protect me. My team was similar to the one you were on. The biggest similarity is that the crushes going on within our teams. Obito liked Rin, the girl on our team, who turned him down every time he asked. She liked me, but I didn't care at all."

"It's just like how our team use to be." He had a sour look on his face.

"I come here everyday that I'm in the village."

"So this is the reason why you're always late."

"Yes it is. I don't come here only because he saved my life, but also because he gave me a final gift before he died." He turned away from the stone and waved to Naruto as he walked away.

Naruto went up to the stone and his jaw fell again as he stared at the name of the only Obito on it: Obito Uchiha. He turned to watch Kakashi leave and smiled before paying his own respects and leaving.


"Alright, I'll be right back." As Shizune runs towards the door, Naruto turns to Sakura.

"If you wanted to know so bad, you could have just asked him."

"You know he would have either lied or have done something to avoid the question. Anyway, Baa-san has a job for you. Follow me, she explain while we wait for Kakashi." She stood up and followed him back into the office.

"Sakura, I want you to go with the ANBU to the hospital and treat Sasuke. After that's done, I want you to stay and keep an eye on him. Don't let him leave the room, understood?"

"Yes ma'am." Sakura wasn't able to contain her glee and was all but jumping up and down.

It was then that Kakashi made his presence known. "Nicely done Naruto, you're probably the only one who could have done it."

"Is your team ready?"

"Yes, they're already at the hospital."

"Be sure to restrain him when you get there so he can't do jutsu, he's going to be pissed when he wakes up." Naruto had a fox-like grin. 'Especially after what I did to him!'

Sakura ran up and hugged him. "Thank you for keeping your promise."

Naruto looked down at her, a little surprised. "Don't I always?"

"Yes you do, but still, thank you Naruto."

Kakashi picked up Sasuke and Sakura followed him out. Tsunade looked Naruto straight in the eyes. "You don't seem very happy."

He looked down. "Really?"

"HELL NO! You brought him back and got some attention from the girl you like, you should be as ecstatic as she is!"

"Used to like, I realized exactly how she feels about me. She loves that asshole and nothing will change that and I am glad that I brought him back. Not only for her, but for a reason of my own." She looked at him surprised. "Where else am I going to find someone who can keep up with me?"

"That's s good point. The two of you have always seemed evenly matched. Which rises the question, how did you beat him?"

Naruto's smile returned. "I used three tails of chakra against his second level curse seal. He used it too early in the battle and grew tired quickly. In a last ditch effort; he used his corrupted Chidori, which I countered with my Rasengan. Because he was tired, mine was stronger and the resulting explosion knocked him out. I've kept him tied up the entire trip back, but I'm starting to get worried, he's been out for a few days now."

"Are you sure?"

"Yeah. I'm positive because I haven't slept since the fight."


His smile vanished. "When I first found out I was on his team, I ambushed him and tied him up. Then I took his appearance to find out what Sakura really thought about me."

"You did what?!"

"I know it was stupid. But at the time, the only people to care about me were old man Hokage, Iruka, and the old man and Amaye from Ichiraku Ramen Bar."

"So, what does this have to do with you not sleeping?"

"Sasuke got free using a jutsu and got me back. I just didn't want a repeat of last time."

"I see. As for why he been out for so long, it's probably just his body recuperating after the stress he place on it in your fight."

"I hope so, Sakura would never forgive me if he doesn't wake up."

"Regardless, you've earned a month off, and I'm going to pay you a month's wage for an ANBU because you accomplished something that they couldn't." He smiled again and she reached into her desk drawer. She pulled out a large pouch and handed it to him. "You've earned every cent, but don't spend it all on ramen and be sure to get some rest okay." He nodded and left, but not before saying something that Tsunade would have probably knocked him through a wall for, if she had been able to catch him.

He walked with his hands behind his head and a giant smile on his face. He was met by the usual glares, but even they couldn't dampen his mood. As he passed them, he could hear them whispering to each other, but he continued on his way to a small training ground on the outskirts of the village.

When he arrived however, he found that someone else was already there.


Ero-sennin- I'm not sure what this means, but he's referring to Jiraiya

Henge no Jutsu- Transformation Technique

Chidori- One Thousand Birds

Rasengan- Spiraling Sphere