A/N: I'm back. I really need to thank the reviewers once more. Honestly. Woah. I have NEVER gotten 20 reviews that fast, EVA. And I don't want it to stop. I have to say, that I'm pleased with the fact that my story is keeping you guys satisfied. It means I'm not totally hopeless……I think. Erhem.
Anyways, pairings have been decided. No love triangle, just like I planned. Sweet SakuNaruIno. Now, I won't write SakuIno. NO. I don't write Yuri. Which is why I specified NaruSaku + NaruIno. The pairings won't play too much of a role in the coming chapters because…well, Naruto's growing up! XD
Now, after my crazy ranting, please enjoy Chp 3.
Disclaimer: Any lawyer that dares utter a single word about me owning Naruto, well……you guys decide something bad to happen to them……
I Will Believe
Chapter 3: Family
"Hey…why are you alone?" The girl asked curiously as she watched the blond boy sighing on the swing all by himself.
"Huh? Oh, I uh…you see…I……" He looked at her, hesitating whether or not to tell her.
"Well?" The girl smiled a little, putting on a gently expression as she waited patiently for him to answer.
"I have no friends. No one likes me. That's why." He mumbled, not wanting her to see the pain behind his eyes. He quickly faked a grin, "But don't worry, I'm alright……"
The girl pouted and placed her hands on her hip, "But you're not!"
The boy looked at her, surprised, "What……"
"Everybody needs friends! Come on! Let's play together! I'm Ino. You can call me Ino-chan. I'll be your friend!" The girl smiled widely as she held out her hand, genuinely accepting the boy.
The boy looked shocked for a moment, before his lips quivered, "You…you want to be…my friend? Really? You would do that?"
The girl gave an enthusiastic nod, "Of course! Well, what's your name?"
The boy finally smiled, but this time, with a few tears in his eyes as he spoke out loud, "I'm Naruto. Nice to meet you…Ino-chan!"
Kit, you really need to do something about this dreams of yours……
WHOA?! KYUUBI?! What the……
Yep, and you need to do it fast. I know how much she means to you, but can't you see that pushing people away is not the solution?
I'm NOT pushing people away. Least, I'm not doing it on purpose. I'm not…I'm not strong enough. I can't protect those that are precious to me.
Well, then I'll just have to make sure you train harder now don't I? I refuse to let my vessel drown himself in misery. I'll never live it down……
Ok……whatever. But, yeah, should I up my gravity capacity?
Hm…well, currently, you're undergoing level five. I reckon you could jump straight to eight today. We need to focus on getting the styles right.
Sure thing……alright, time to wake up and get some training done!
It's been two months since Naruto last got the scrolls from Sandaime Hokage. He has currently mastered the genjutsu Akiraka Jiseki (Clear Trace) and he had been so kind to 'decorate' the Hokage monuments using that jutsu that even the Anbu had no idea who had done it. Kyuubi had done his part by teaching him gravity seals. Level one is the basis for all shinobi, meaning they train under normal gravity.
Everyone time you increase your level; it doubles the gravity field, forcing your muscles to adjust. Normally, this would be suicide training, however, with Kyuubi's healing factors, it worked wonders. No longer were there baby fat on Naruto's face, his arms and legs were much more muscular than before and he had found that it even helped with his chakra control exercises a lot.
Kage Bunshin had been an immense help. Naruto had figured the trick behind it very quickly. However, it was by pure luck that he stumbled upon the god-like opportunities this technique presented.
Naruto had summoned a Kage Bunshin to keep him company as he began his training. He would spar with the other 'him' as he worked through all the styles of taijutsu, one by one. Ryu (Dragon), Tora (Tiger), Kijuuki (Crane), Hebi (Snake), Shishi (Lion), Saru (Monkey), Washi (Eagle), Kujira (Whale) were the basic styles. The advanced section, or basically, the styles that mix up all the above mentioned into four more complicated and powerful styles would be Ryuusei (Meteor), Tsuki (Moon), Taiyou (Sun), and finally, Tentou (Heaven).
Ryu, Tora, Shishi, Washi focuses on strength and power.
Kijuuki, Hebi and Saru focuses on fluidity, flexibility, technique and speed.
Kujira focuses solely on defense, stamina and to train one's mind.
Ryuusei is a combination of Tora, Washi and Saru.
Tsuki is a combination of Shishi, Kijuuki and Kujira.
Taiyou is a combination of Washi, Hebi, and Ryu.
And Tentou, combination of Ryu, Kijuuki, Kujira and Tora.
Tai Chi Juusan Shiki, combines speed and agility, with strength and defense, totally different from the original Tai Chi fist. Chapter one clearly states that to master all the styles would be foolish, for one's body, can only adapt to so many types of trainings, and if beyond a certain point, muscles will contract and relax at the most inopportune moments, and eventually cause the whole body to break down.
The final four styles act as a guideline, to show the combinations possible. And it is highly recommended that one trains in no more than four styles at the most. However, there has yet to be one to master the Tentou style, for within it, contains the essence of all aspects of combat.
And of course, Naruto, being his stubborn old self, immediately decided to train the Tentou style. And so he started straight away, carefully reading up the positions and ways to use the strength.
Currently, Naruto had no problem with Tora and Kujira, seeing that his stamina was off the charts and his strength was good enough, to say the least. However, Ryu proved to be challenging as it used more than just power. It required precision, accuracy and above all, control. Kijuuki was even harder. Control was the main issue. Fluidity was ok-ish for Naruto, and speed was acceptable. Today, he was working on Ryu no Kamae (Dragon Style), and his clone was helping out, when he accidentally used too much power, smashing the clone into another tree, causing it to go 'poof' in a cloud of white smoke.
Naruto sighed as he walked over to the tree and look at the damage he caused. However, before he even reached there…… 'Huh? What…oh, so that's why I blasted him off. Sigh…control went off on that strike……WAIT A MINUTE! How did I know that?!'
And then came the brilliant discovery. Kage Bunshins (Shadow Clones) transfer whatever information they gained during their existence to the user once they are dismissed. And this……if used for training……WOAH.
And so, Naruto began. He first created five clones, getting three of them to work on the Kijuuki no Kamae, whereas he himself and the other two continued to go crazy over the frustrating Ryu no Kamae. Five clones became ten, ten became twenty, twenty became fifty. And in just two months, Naruto was able to efficiently train alongside fifty clones, gaining an immense amount of knowledge, every time they disappear.
The rush of information to his head was handled by Kyuubi, preventing the data overload from affecting his nervous system. It had sorted out everything as quickly as it could, and soon, Naruto found that he was on the verge of mastering Tentou Style. And he wasn't exactly surprised.
What's more, Kyuubi had informed him that the pinnacle of taijutsu was to be able to use one's chakra nature to help him out. As for Naruto, Kyuubi had merely smirked and guffawed before telling the kid to leave him alone and hurry his training. Oh, surprises, surprises……
And so, he trains eight hours a day. Eight times fifty one gives four hundred and eight hours a day. And four hundred and eight times sixty one days? Twenty four thousand eight hundred and eighty-eight hours……yeah. That's a lot of training done in a mere two months. His usually crappy chakra control has been refined by Kujira no Kamae to the point where he could stick himself onto surfaces and not slip. Now, that worked brilliantly on the Hokage when he walked into the office via the ceiling……
His chakra capacity increased daily, and having the gravity seals on was just an added bonus in his training regime. The calories he burnt off due to training……he got them back by eating at least ten bowls of ramen at Ichiraku everyday. His allowance from the Hokage increases over the years until he is deemed able to make a living for himself, i.e. when he becomes a genin.
There was one place however, that he would visit quite frequently. The Hyuga Manor. And here he was again, back at his second 'home', as he would call it. He had just finished a day of training and had decided to drop in for a visit. The Bunke (Branch Family) guards knew him well and treated him as an equal. Now that, coming from the 'almighty' Hyuga clan, as Naruto would call them, was a big thing. However, Naruto detests the laws implemented on both the Soke (Main family) and the Bunke members.
In his opinion, the seal was just downright cruel, and the main family members have to train themselves to the point of exhaustion just to make sure they do not dishonor their clan. However, not once did Naruto voice his opinions, but everyone could see his apparent disapproval whenever he's visiting.
Like right now, as he passed by several rooms, the intense training undergone by the members could be seen clearly. It was unnerving. And how some even have the nerve to blame it all on fate. Urgh…that just totally puts me off……
He had seen Hyuga Neji, who had ignored him from the start, determined that he, Naruto, was a mere weakling who had chanced upon an opportunity to rescue 'Hinata-sama' and therefore had the backing of 'Hiashi-sama', and it was all because of fate. Honestly, Naruto had never heard so much bull-crap from anyone since he was born. After that speech, Naruto could only stuff his fist inside his mouth, to prevent himself from screaming out in rage at the pure stupidity and cowardice that this guy was showing.
And the way he was treating Hinata and Hanabi was no better. He treated them like dirt. Manners, yes he has them, but his glare was enough to show that whatever polite terms he had used were totally insincere. He could not understand why Hinata just had to be so kind, and poor Hanabi, not even understanding why her cousin was so angry. She was still a toddler, yet already, she was beginning to train under her father.
He had heard something about how Neji's father died, but never ventured on any further, upon seeing the hurt in Hiashi's eyes.
Naruto sighed as he shook his head, Damn I think too much……oh here we are.
And sure enough, there he was, standing outside the room, waiting for permission to enter. Which of course, he got within a second but that's beside the point.
"Come on in Naruto-kun."
Naruto obliged and quietly slid open the door. Hyuga Hitomi was thirty-one years old, with long flowing navy blue hair tied up in a white ribbon. Her skin was silky white, something that Hinata picked up. Her eyes were kind and her touch was always gentle. She was the most caring person Naruto has ever known, besides Sandaime-jisan of course. She wasn't stiff and strict like Hiashi was half the time, no; she genuinely cared about people's well-being.
She treats Naruto as a son, and that is something Naruto will never forget. Whenever he had troubles, he confided them to her. She was one of his precious people, definitely. Hinata and Hanabi would follow close behind, especially Hanabi, who had taken to him immediately, grabbing his blond hair and giggling as she played with it. Hinata was like a younger sister to her, and he swore that he would protect her if anything ever happened to her. One thing that never changes for Naruto is the fact that he always keeps his promise.
And because of that, he has gained the trust of the Hyuga sisters and their parents. As he was indulged in his train of thoughts, Hitomi smiled and said, "So, what brings you here Naruto-kun?"
He snapped out of his trance and gave a tired smile, "Well, something's bothering me………"
Hitomi knew that smile. It was his 'god damnit, life sucks' smile. If you could even call that a smile. She sighed and motioned for him to come closer, before hugging him gently and listening to his woes.
Naruto had told her before, those dreams he had. She and all the other parents knew the truth behind what he did, and wanted to explain to their own children, but Naruto shook his head, telling Hitomi that it would just make things worse. The problem with Naruto is……he thinks about the others too much. Not just that, he rarely cares about himself. So selfless, so gentle and caring. You wouldn't expect such quality in a boy at his age.
"Naruto-kun, why don't you accept Ino as your friend once again? I'm sure she'll forgive……"
"No. I…I can't. Last time we were friends, those chuunin were about to beat her up as well. I like her Hitomi-sama, I really do. But……and Sakura-chan too……I…I can't do this to them. This is my burden, so I'll carry it myself. This is my story, and no one else can change it but me. I'll do whatever I can to protect them, even if it means that they'll end up hating me……I'll do it."
Naruto's eyes shone with such determination that Hitomi couldn't help chuckling at. He's so much like him……like they said, like father, like son……..
"Ok then, Naruto-kun. Well, do you feel better now?"
Naruto grinned and gave a big nod, "Yup! Arigato, Hitomi-sama."
Hitomi sighed and gently tapped his forehead, "How many times have I told you, there is no need to call me 'sama'. I'm not THAT old you know."
"Well, Obasan isn't any better in my opinion……ow! Hey!"
"Baka…" Hitomi then took out a brush and began to gently comb his hair, "Naruto-kun, I've always wondered……what having a son was like……"
Naruto froze, his heart threatened to stop beating any moment……Is she……
"I would like……you to become my son……even if we're not related by blood, I would still like to be able to call you my 'sochi' (son), do you……accept me……as a sort of……surrogate mother? Can I…have the honor of you calling me your hahaoya (mother)?"
Naruto began to tremble, he was just about to speak, before Hitomi spoke once again, "No, Naruto-kun, I know what you're thinking. You told me once that you do not want to be adopted, and that you like the freedom you have, and I agree with you and respect your decision……but don't you think that even the mightiest of birds, would need to return to their very own nest to rest their wings?"
Tears were threatening to fall any second, he bit his lips, "But…but……the council……"
Hitomi shook her head, "You are not of the Hyuga Clan, they can't do anything about it, we can't adopt you, even though I've been trying for years to be able to do that……but, that doesn't mean I can't love you as a son now, does it?" She smiled warmly.
"Besides, I'm sure Hinata would like to have you as a brother. Hanabi too. They adore you Naruto-kun." Hitomi now, "Come on, Hiashi, say something."
Naruto whirled around, shock evident in his eyes as the leader of the Hyuga Clan, Hyuga Hiashi was standing right there, smiling slightly, "What is your surname Naruto?"
Naruto raised an eyebrow, before answering, "Uzumaki, sir."
"Do you have any blood relationships with the Hyuga Clan?"
"Have you been taken into our custody?"
"Not that I know of……"
"Well, then, I don't see anything wrong with that. Now, come on Hinata, Hanabi, say hello to your new brother." Hiashi stepped aside, revealing two girls who smiled brightly before dashing into the room and latching themselves on to Naruto, "Onichan! (Older Brother)"
Naruto gave a slight yelp at the sudden weight increase on his body and fell onto the floor, with Hanabi giggling non-stop, cuddling him like her teddy bear, whereas Hinata merely hugged him gently and gave him a genuine smile.
Hitomi and Hiashi laughed at the scene before them, especially when Hanabi began to plait Naruto's spiky hair. It was hilarious, in the end, Naruto had allowed her to do it. However, whenever his gaze met with the two of them, a mutual understanding was established.
We love you Naruto-kun, as much as Hinata and Hanabi. Never ever forget that there will always be ones who care for you. Never forget that.
And even though it might not have seemed very special to the Hyugas, seeing how they were already treating him as a part of the family, Naruto had found something precious once again. He had four more precious people to protect……and that made him happy to no end……
So what do you say? Be friends with me?
A-a-arigato…Naruto-kun, can…can…will you be my friend?
Yes, yes I will. But not yet. I will train to be stronger, until I'm sure that I can protect you, but for now, please…forgive me……for not being able to return your friendship……
Well, how's that? Hope it went pretty well. And NO, Naruto is NOT adopted into the Hyuga. Simple as that. He will NOT get trained in Jyuken, or given special Hyuga rights or something like that.
And no, he'll not become so strong over one night that he will own Kakashi during the genin test. He will become progressively stronger. And no bloodlines or anything like that. Any other questions, just review.
And once again, sorry if the pairings didn't suit your taste, but I hope you'll still continue on with this story, even if the pairing puts you off a little. Thx. Oh, and I'd be immensely pleased if I changed your views on certain pairings. If you don't believe that I can pull it off, fine. But for reference, check out my oneshots.
Anyways, yeah, that's the gist of it. I hope you guys enjoy it as much as I do. XD