Yep, another one.
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto.
Chapter one: The Boy
The Academy of Ninja in the Village Hidden in the Leaves was split into two sections. They were in truth two seperate building on opposite ends of the village, but they were funded by the same man, Danzo. One accademy, known most for it's prodigies like The Sannin, Uchiha Itachi, and Hatake Kakashi, was teaching children hand picked by the Hokage himself to become ninja, if they accepted of course. The other was what you would call the back up school. It never had produced any ninja of overly brilliant skill, hardly any of it's graduates made it to chuunin let alone jounin, it's teachers were rather lacking in their ability to teach, and all of the occupants either payed for themselves to go or their families did it for them. This accademy also happened to be the one most Hyuuga branch members attended, meaning most of the students had dark hair and white eyes. It was pretty easy to assume, and actually accepted on a whole by the society of the village, that the ones graduating from Academy B becoming a historical name was as unlikely as a civilian walking on water...
But, you know... there was this one guy, a real long time ago...
"Uzumaki! WAKE UP!" Instructor Umino Iruka, normally a worker of Academy A, subbing for a colleague, shouted at one of his temporary pupils. The boy he was shouting at was perhaps twelve, maybe thirteen, had blonde spikey hair, blue eyes( if he ever opened them for people to see), and six whisker marks, three to each cheek. If Iruka didn't know better he'd say the boy was even lazier than the Nara boy in his regular class, but something about Uzumaki Naruto, when he was awake, always seemed to set that theory off balance.
It was definitely not his display of ninja skills. In ninjutsu he barely passed, scraping by with the minimum. Genjutsu he was outright failing, never able to create or disrupt one. They could never accurately test his taijutsu because every time he was sent to spar he was already asleep before his opponent could attack, making him lose every official match. It was... hard to explain really, but it was the way he held himself, the way he looked at you, the way he ate even that gave away something about this boy. Iruka would probably never understand what it was about Uzumaki that marked him as a stand out student, but it was something he would never forget either.
Naruto opened his eyes, looked at Iruka and gave him a kind and apologetic smile, "I'm sorry, Temp-sensei," he yawned rather dramatically, "I'll work harder."
Iruka just gave a sigh of annoyance as Naruto fell back asleep only a few seconds after speaking. Someday he would find out why that boy slept so much... and how he always appeared like he did.
You see another little quirk in Naruto's personality was the fact that he was almost never there when you were looking for him, he was constantly late for roll call, but when you looked for a second time( for example: When Iruka would take roll call Naruto would not be in his seat, but afterwards when he looked over class occassionally during the day to catch eye contact with each student, a kind of mind trick with teaching, he would see Naruto in his seat.) there he was and you would never sense him as he approached that spot.
"OK. Obviously Uzumaki is going last, so who would like to be the first to take the Gennin Exam?" Iruka asked. In truth he'd much rather be giving his own students this test, but since Haruko was away on medical leave he was the only one currently qualified to give the final exam. A few of the more boastful students in this class raised their hands to go first and thus began the exams.
Through out the day as Iruka gave the exam he was slightly apalled at the low standards of Academy B. The tests were the same, but the students were givin' a load more leeway when it came to passing. In genjutsu they had to only make one Clone and they would pass, no matter the condition of the clone. In taijutsu they merely needed to show that they knew the stances taught in the academy not how proficient they were at it, and in ninjutsu they were merely asked to list three jutsu and their basic effects, then perform the seals for Kawarimi, not even use it successfully, to pass that. The sad part was that out of a class of thirty... only three had passed so far.
Finally it was down to Naruto and so far no one else had passed. Iruka was almost tempted to just label Naruto as a failure, knowing there was no way he could learn much being asleep all the time, but he decided to give Naruto a fair chance in the end.
"Uzumaki, wake up, it's your turn to take the exam," Iruka gently shook the boy's shoulder. Naruto woke up again and gave Iruka another kind smile.
"Thank you, Temp-sensei," he walked down to the front of the class a little triedly, looking as if the force of gravity as it was would make him collapse in on himself.
"The first test is Taijutsu. You are to spar with my assistant Mizuki for a full minute so I may analyze your proficiency," Iruka said while gesturing to a silver haired man to his right. Naruto just nodded and turned to face Mizuki. "Begin."
Mizuki jumped at Naruto with a powerful left hook. Naruto blocked, grabbed his wrist, locked his right leg with Mizuki's left, pulled his leg out from under, and he shoved him backwards while still holding his wrist so he could twirl him around so he was on his back on the ground, his head at Naruto's feet, and Naruto's left fist six inches above his throat. While both teahcers stared at the boy, stunned at his level of skill, Naruto backed away from Mizuki to allow him to get up.
After the shock did wear off, Mizuki approached Naruto more cautiously in his attacks. Unfortunately the results were almost exactly the same.
"Time," Iruka said after two more successful groundings from Naruto, "Congratulations, Uzumaki, You passed this portion with the best scores." Naruto smiled sheepishly as he gave Mizuki a hand up.
"Stop, sensei, you're emberassing me," he said while rubbing his head.
Ignoring the comment Iruka moved on to the next test.
"For ninjutsu Mizuki will throw a blunted kunai at you and you will need to use the substitution jutsu in order to avoid any damage... Now!"
Mizuki gave Naruto time to form the hand seals necessary then threw the kunai. Next thing he knew he was hit in the head with the blunt kunai. It took only a few seconds to realize Naruto had replaced himself with Mizuki, a rather impressive feat.
"OK... For the second half of the ninjutsu test you need to name three jutsu and their affects," Iruka said.
Naruto gave a small grin, being a ninjutsu freak if he said so himself, "Chidori, the one original jutsu of Hatake Kakashi, created through his affinity with lightening chakral Chakra is focused to the point of visibility to those without dojutsu like the Sharingan or Byakugan then converterd to lightening nature and thrust at high speed into the opponents torso. An assassination technique, A-Rank." The teachers were stunned that he knew about that technique, but the boy ignored it an continued, "Edo Tensei: Kuchyose no jutsu. A technique researched by Orochimaru of the Sannin. It was developed to try and revive a person from death for a short period of time to fight for the user, provided that the user give a sacrifice of earth, clay, and a virgin to the Shinigami. Summoning technique, forbidden." Their looks of shock deepened that the mention and explanation of that technique, but still Naruto continued. "Finally, Kawarimi," the two teachers face planted, having leaned forward hoping to hear the secrets of another powerful technique, "The user creates a limb of chakra that grabs something or someone nearby and replaces the user with that object at speeds faster than the eye can see. A smoke bomb is normally used to confuse the oponent and leave them open for a few seconds."
After a few seconds to regain composure Iruka stood up straight and cleared his throat, "And finally Genjutsu. You merely need to create a bunshin." Naruto nodded, did the hand seals, focused his chakra, and three perfect bunshins popped into existence. Compared to the taijutsu and ninjutsu tests those three mere bunshin were nothing, but they alone would have made him top of his class.
Iruka cleared his throat once more and picked up a spare head band, "Uzumaki Naruto, congratulations, you are now a ninja of the Leaf Village. And on another note you are the are the rookie of the year of this class. Unfortunately you are the fourth to pass the test making it so that the three man team structure might be a little... put off this year, but I'm sure we'll find a way around that." He shook Naruto's hand, who gave him an appreciative smile and pocketed the headband.
As Naruto went to leave Iruka stopped one last time, "And Naruto... Do try to stay awake on missions." Naruto just gave the chuunin a wink and left the room.
---- The Hokage's office that night ----+
Iruka had just finished explaining the skill assessment of Uzumaki Naruto and the problem with the teams. The jounin that were there to pick the teams seemed rather surprised at the ability shown in an Academy B student.
"Hmm, this is a rather annoying problem. Perhaps one of you would be willing to take an extra student?" Sarutobi had turned his attention to the jounin. For a moment no one spoke up, and Sarutobi feared that prejudice against the Kyuubi container mixed with the fact that he was from Academy B were putting off their willingness to let him join one of their teams. However one did speak up.
"Hokage-sama, if I may make a request?" Only one ninja in the world had that kind of smooth drawl.
"The third member of my team, Sai, though well trained, is a member of the Root ANBU, and forgive my paranoia, but I do not trust him. Would it be OK to replace him with this..." He looked at the name on the file in Sarutobi's hands, "This Uzumaki?"
"Hmm, I do not see any problems with it. I will inform Danzo of the change in plans. Iruka, if you would please tell Naruto to be at Academy A tomorrow?"
"Of course, Hokage-sama," and Iruka left to follow his order.
---- The next day at Academy A ----+
At the main academy Things were just beginning to kick off. The final two students that were supposed to show up finally did.
Yamanaka Ino and Haruno Sakura. Of course the argument between the two of them over who got there first soon evolved into a full blown fight over who got sit next to Uchiha Sasuke. The empty seat directly to his right was soon the prize of a number of girls in the class, making the small brawl escalate into a full blown battle.
Finally, at it's end, Sakura was the winner. She turned around to claim her prize only to find it occupied by some kid in a dark grey-blue long sleeve shirt, wearing a black vest, urban jungle cammo shorts that went just past his knees, a pair of sandals, and a mop of blonde hair on his head. The kid was sleeping rather serenely too.
Sasuke was glaring at the sleeping boy. Where the hell did he come from? I could swear he wasn't here just a few seconds ago.
"Hey!" Sakura yelled at the sleeping lad, yet not waking him. "Move out of that seat! I want to sit by Sasuke-kun!" Sakura gave him a few seconds to move and when he failed to do so, or even to wake up, she decided force was necessary. She cocked her fist back and drove it at his skull... only to hit the wood of the desk. If one were wondering what happened to our somewhat narcoleptic hero one need only looke at the seat next to the Uchiha and see him laying reclined.
Everyone who had been watching blinked once, twice, and a third time. Not a single one of them had seen the boy move.
Sakura ignored that in favor of trying to hit him again, this time going to punch his chest. Once more her fist only met wood, this time on the back of the chair, the boy having slumped to the side. People thought that perhaps he was secretly awake... until he fell completely over onto the ground, breathing rythmically.
Sasuke, having enough of the situation, and being rather curious about the boy's presence, pushed on his shoulder with his foot.
"Hey," he drawled out in his normal monotone, "Wake up."
The boy groaned a little and opened his eyes for the world to see a pair of the most stunning blue eyes that the ikes of which had not been seen in over three thousand years.
"Good morning," he said and covered his mouth with his left hand as he yawned.
"Why are you here?" Sasuke got straight to the point, "Only the students who graduated to ninja are supposed to show up in this class room today."
Naruto lifted himself into the seat he had occupied while sleeping before answering, "Temp-sensei asked me to come here instead of my regular class. And besides, I did graduate," Naruto pulled his black clothed headband from his pocket momentarily then put it back and leaned his head on his desk.
"Why don't you wear your headband?" Sakura asked, genuinely curious. It was to her understanding that wearing the leaf headband came with great honor, that it was rather... stupid to have it yet not wear it.
"Eh?... Oh, yeah... I just don't. Don't need a cap to be a bottle, don't need a headband to be a ninja," He said tiredly and yawned again.
The students stared at him a little more. What he had said was weird... but also made sense. They were about to ask him another question, like how he got there, but Iruka chose that moment to come into the classroom. After getting everyone settled down he gave them a speech that Naruto slept through.
Naruto only woke again when his name was called in team placement.
After hearing her name called out to be in the same team as Sasuke, Sakura would normally have jumped up and boasted to her rival, Ino, about how the machinations of true love had shown her favor, but she was currently still too preoccupied with the newcomer. She only knew his name because Iruka had called it out.
Sasuke too was curious... at first. He had figured that the kid had snuck in when he was paying attention all that much, his guard being slack in the classroom. He'd just have to up his perceptual training and remember to never let his guard down. There was nothing special about this kid, nothing at all. And even if there was, not like he could compare to an Uchiha anyway.
After a brief lunch break, all the teams began to leave one at a time until only team seven was left. The wait that was legendary to other universes, was in actuality only twenty minutes.
The lazy, one eyed jounin walked in and looked at his team. Uchiha was glaring, Haruno looked ready to start screaming at him for being late, and Uzumaki was asleep. He shrugged.
"My first impression of you all is... you're idiots," Uchiha's glare intensified and Haruno's joined it, "Meet me on the roof in two minutes." Kakashi poofed away.
Sakura and Sasuke stood up to make their way to the roof when Sakura paused.
"Sasuke-kun, should we wake Naruto-san up?"
"If the loser is going to sleep let him sleep, not like anyone like him is going to make much of a ninja anyway," Sasuke was judging on what he'd seen of the boy so far. No one who slept that much could amount to much of anything so why bother? Sasuke walked up to the roof, no longer giving the boy the honor of having his gaze upon him. Sakura, after a small debate with her inner self, followed after him.
Immagine the shock of both Sakura and Sasuke when they saw Uzumaki Naruto laying on the roof top before their sensei, as deep asleep as he was in the classroom not a minute ago.
"Wha... but he... how...?" Sakura adequately voiced the thoughts of both her and Uchiha. "Sensei, when did Naruto-san arrive?"
Kakashi looked up from his little orange book, then down at the sleeping blonde and shrugged, "I dunno... I was reading my book. I would assume he came with you."
"Hn," Sasuke almost glared at the sleeping boy.
"No, we just left him in the class room a minute ago," Sakura said.
"Hmmm," Kakashi rubbed his chin, "Well, whatever. Let's introduce ourselves, shall we? Tell me your names, likes, dislikes, hobbies, and dreams for the future."
Sakura frowned a little in thought and said, not without good reason, "Sensei, can you introduce yourself first? We don't even know your name."
"Sure," he flipped his book shut and put it away, "My name is Hatake Kakashi, my likes are things that I find pleasant and don't like things I find unpleasant, I have a few hobbies... I never really thought about my dreams for the future."
The two currently concious students looked at him with something akin to annoyance and exasperation combined. He just smiled.
"Now you," He pointed to Sasuke, deciding not to wake the sleeping student till necessary.
"Hn. I'm Uchiha Sasuke, I don't really like anything and dislike a lot of things, I have no hobbies and no dreams. My ambition... is to kill a man and revive my clan," Sasuke finished, and though the world outside of his head would never see it, his inner self(yes he has an inner self) was congratulating him on how cool he made that look.
"Ok, you next," he pointed to Sakura.
"I'm Haruno Sakura, I like... My hobby is... My dream is... I dislike Ino-pig," she said something in completion at last after staring at Sasuke three times.
"That's not nice, Haruno-san," said the voice of one now awake Uzumaki, "Calling Ino-san names behind her back."
"Finally awake are we?" Kakashi asked the young blonde, "Well, you're just in time to introduce yourself. Tell us your name, hobby, likes, dislikes, and dreams." Naruto smiled... genuinely, much to the surprise of Kakashi. He of course knew what the young blond contained. All the jounin did. He just didn't know how the kid could smile so honestly after the life he must have led.
"My name is Uzumaki Naruto, I like ramen and Ayame-chan, I dislike thunder because it disturbs my sleep, my hobby is kenjutsu, and my dream is to be as great a person as I can be," he lay back down as he spoke.
"What kind of stupid introduction was that?" Sakura asked aloud. She would have continued if a light snoring hadn't interrupted her. She growled angrily, taking him sleeping as ignoring her rudely, and tried to hit him. She met the same results as before when he first appeared in the classroom and hit the cement of the roof top.
"Hmm," Kakashi sounded, "Well, if he wakes up I'd like one of you to tell him to meet us at Training Ground Seven tomorrow for your first mission. I'll explain the details then. Show up at six A.M. or you will be sent back to academy, understood?" With that the copy cat ninja poofed out.
Sasuke imediately stood up and began to leave.
"Sasuke-kun, shouldn't we wake him up and tell him where to go tomorrow?" Sakura asked. Even though she had tried to hit him, more than once, she didn't really feel comfortable leaving the guy without at least some info.
"If he doesn't show up tomorrow then that's one less piece of trash slowing me down. Let him rot," Sasuke said with a sneer. Sakura, not catching the veiled insult directed at her and the rest of the world, decided that Sasuke obviously meant something along the lines of , 'We don't need him, he'll interfere with our time together.'
Sakura isn't stupid people... she's just caught a very idiotic mental disease that goes by the name Fanatic. It's severity of damage upon the human psyche is determined by gender and strong feelings. And trust me, Sakura got off lightly.
---- the next day, Training Grounds Seven ----+
Sasuke and Sakura had shown up at exactly six in the morning expecting their sensei to be there, thinking that something important must have held up their sensei the day before. They truly didn't care, or know for that matter, that their third team mate had shown up and was sleeping in a tree nearby.
"Where's sensei? He told us to meet him here didn't he?" Sakura said aloud, not truly a question one would answer.
After the initial question she decided that she should bug Sasuke for a date until she could break him down into agreeing. Luckily, for Sasuke or Sakura I'm not quite sure which, Kakashi decided not to be too late today and again only made them wait twenty minutes, so Sasuke didn't quite get to the point of snapping.
"You're late," Sasuke deadanned.
"Well you see this black cat crossed my path so I had to take the long way around to get here," Kakashi said while giving them a look that his students would learn to associate with amusement.
"Whatever. Let's just get this over with. I'd rather spend my time training than participating in some meaningless mission," Sasuke said in his normal tone while Sakura practically drooled about how cool he was.
"I'd like to begin as well, but it seems we're missing-"
At just that moment, Naruto turned over on his perch and fell out of the tree onto his face... and yet remained asleep.
"OK, we can start now," the look of amusement again as he pulled two silver bells on red strings from his pocket, "Your mission is to get one of these bells from me. If you succeed, you get to remain a gennin. If you don't you go back to the academy. You will need to come at me with the intent to kill or you will fail. And just so you know every single team has to do this when they first become gennin... sixty-six percent of all applicants fail...Begin!"
Immediately, Sasuke and Sakura disappeared into the surrounding foliage. Naruto however stayed where he was, snoring peacefully. Kakashi raised an eyebrow at him. He picked up a stick, long and narrow, walked to the sleeping boy, and began poking him at random points, watching curiously as Naruto reacted subconciously to different pokes.
Now, let's pretend that Uchiha Sasuke is half of the genius everyone seems to believe he is and say that with the clues given he figured out the purpose of the test. He immediately sought out Sakura, to spread the word of teamwork. He found her rather easily.
"Sakura, I need your help," He said as he sat beside her, staring out at Kakashi.
"What do you need, Sasuke-kun?" the girl asked, desperate to do anything that would please Sasuke.
"I figured out the test," when he was sure Kakashi hadn't spotted them yet he turned to face the pink haired Haruno, "It's teamwork. If you think about everything he told us you'll see it for yourself, but the main clue was the percentage of failure. Sixty six percent. It doesn't match up to the rules of the test and the number of bells," He looked back out at Kakashi and, seeing that he was still poking their third teammate, continued, "I'll distract Kakashi for a bit, I want you to grab Naruto and get the hell out of there, I'll meet you in the alcove by the stream in ten minutes."
Sakura nodded and got ready to move on Sasuke's command.
Sasuke moved into Kakashi's line of sight and glared at the jounin.
"Hmm, the Uchiha first then... sounds like fun. Let's start with Taijutsu shall we?" The two of them burst into a match of hand to hand combat that, had she not been busy pulling Naruto awayand too the meeting point, Sakura would have been awed by it.
After a small amount of time Sasuke broke off the match and retreated into the folliage with a smirk.
"Hm, wonder what that was about... oh well," Kakashi went back to reading his book, seeing as Naruto had dissapeared from his sight.
It took another thirty minutes before any of his students would appear again and again it would be Sasuke to arrive in his sights.
"Haven't we done this before?" Kakashi asked him.
Sasuke didn't answer, instead he launched into an attack, and just as Kakashi was throwing him off for the third time in their little brawl he called out.
"SAKURA, NOW!!" Kakashi looked behind him to see the pink headed girl coming at him. He dodged out of the way of her and made to strike her on the back of the neck to knock her out, but his hand went trought her body and she poofed out of existence.
While he was distracted Sasuke pulled on a nearly invisible wire with as much force as he could. A body came racing out from under the bushes and rammed into Kakashi's legs causing him to fall. Sasuke reached for the bells as fast as he could, but Kakashi was faster and threw him off... just in time to feel something plucked from his hip.
He turned around to spot the one who took the bells and saw Sakura skidding to a halt looking down towards his feet.
"Nice bells... can I have them sensei?" Naruto asked while holding the two silver bells by their strings.
Sakura, Kakashi, and Sasuke just sat there and looked at Naruto like he had a second face.
"What?" Naruto felt a little emberassed by all the attention.
Thinking quickly, before Kakashi could snatch the bells back from the sleepy thirteen year old, Sasuke said, "Actually, Sakura and I already had a claim on those bells, Naruto, but if you give one to Sakura I'll let you have the other." He hoped to god that this worked.
"... OK. Here you go Haruno-san," and he tossed her a bell then pocketed the other.
Kakashi sighed almost dissapointedly. Now he had to pass the three of them for showing at least some amount of teamwork each.
"Well, I guess this means you guys pass. Congratulations," Kakashi didn't really sound like he was in the mood to congratulate them.
"Yay. Now back to nap time," Naruto said, and seeing as he had never really moved from his position of laying down, just closed his eyes and difted off to sleep.
"He's kind of weird," Kakashi said mainly to himself, "Anyway, Meet me at the Hokage tower at eight A.M. tomorrow for our first real mission."
---- Chapter end ----+
A/N: Well there you go, the first chapter is nice and ready. Hope it was enjoyable.