First, let there be introductions. I am the Biscuit, sometimes known as G.B., often times known as a long winded writer who can upset anyone given long enough time (I take great pride in that fact) Now with the introductions out of the way, let me start with the obvious. This Naruto posting from me is a first. I do many firsts, I have yet to do sequels. I have seen many of the tv series that the americas have hacked to pieces, and I have read the manga all the way up to when Sasuke left Naruto in the valley of the end. I have not seen or read anything about the movies, so tough luck, or find me a script that I can read to add to this later.
Now for the Important part. This Prologue is the introductions, there will be time skips, there will not be any explanations about things that should be known by those who have any kind of information on Naruto or can puzzle it out themselves. I will write a little fact guide at the bottom to explain things that pertain to the story and will not give clues to what I am writing next. Finally, I am also in the process of writing a Ranma 1/2 story, so I will be splicing my time between this and the other.
Disclaimer: Money can't buy me the rights to Naruto, or at least, the money I have cannot buy me the rights. Some people have all the luck...
Notation: This will most likely turn into a Harem fic. Pm if you don't want to review on the story your thoughts, questions, advice. I will answer as much as I can.
G.B.: Start the Prequel Already!
The battle was steadily becoming a lost cause, and he knew it. The Kyuubi no Kitsune was an unstoppable force, and many good families were going to be left without their loved ones before the day was done. He had already lost his wife, but he pushed that to the side for the time being.
Staring from the top of Gamabunta, he and the Toad Boss made their preparations.
"I still say this is a bad idea." Gamabunta muttered from around the large pipe in his mouth. Readjusting the blade hanging from his back, the Toad Boss fidgeted in place.
"Can you think of any way else to stop it, Oyabun?" Gamabunta fidgeted again, knowing that when the man got respectful, he was planning something stupid.
"I'm telling you that it's not going to work." He watched as the Kyuubi gave an ear piercing roar that tore miles of woods up and killed countless more ninja with its attack.
The man sighed as the wind blew through the yellow mane of hair. Mentally prepared, he glanced to a med-nin that had rushed to him with the news that his wife had died in child birth, but that his son had survived. Praying that his son would be well taken care of in his absence, he sent a steely gaze toward the bane of the Fire Country.
"Oyabun." The man began making the first of the hand signs that would end this battle. "It would have been an honor to present you my son. The drinks we would have shared in celebration would have bought a small country."
Gamabunta's scarred toad face crinkled in a wry smile. "Oy, gaki, wait till you see my sons, Gamakichi and Gamatatsu." With strong legs, Gamabunta propelled them toward the flame colored beast, its nine tails whipping around it.
"It would be my honor, Oyabun." He was going slowly through the seals, praying that the chakra he was accumulating would be enough. "When this battle is over, I will make sure to see them."
The Kyuubi's eyes locked onto the approaching Toad Boss, rearing back to prepare a charge.
"It's a promise, gaki." Gamabunta grunted as Kyuubi shot at them, claws ripping the ground up as it charged. "You'd best live through this to see them, or I'll never forgive you." Jumping into the air to avoid the sudden leap from the Kyuubi, the Toad Boss kicked away several of the lightning fast tail strikes that tried to wrap around him.
"Yakusoku." The blonde haired man grinned even as Gamabunta whipped them around to face the Kyuubi who was coming back at them. His hand formed the last seal as his chakra began to flow out and summon the ultimate equalizer. "Shiki Fuujin!"
"He's begun the technique." A masked ANBU operative spoke quietly to the circle of men and women in the room.
The heads of the people turned from the ANBU and to each other, signifying that the discussion had commenced once again. "We all know that sealing a demon in the stomach of Shinigami is an impossibility, and yet he believes himself so powerful as to contain a monstrosity as the Kyuubi?"
"It doesn't matter what he believes." A second voice spoke, this voice slightly deeper than the first. "We were warned of his foolishness repeatedly by the resident Sannin that he would do this, and now when he fails, it will be the death of Konohagakure when the Kyuubi's soul frees itself from Shinigami."
"Then we are in agreement then." A aged female voice spoke up, nearly on the heels of the second man. "For the sake of Konohagakure, we must transfer the soul to an alternate body while sacrificing his."
"Indeed." A man with wired rimmed glassed bridged his hands together on the table before him, peering over his interlaced fingers. "Just as the Sannin surmised, the body of an innocent will have to be used to contain the Kyuubi temporarily before we kill it and the child."
"But where can we find this body?" A younger woman spoke, peering around at her fellow members. "As the Sannin directed, the sacrifice must be a child newly born to be able to hold it long enough for us to kill the Kyuubi."
"With your permission, fellow members of Council." The ANBU spoke up, his head bowed so that his mask would not peer at them impertinently. "Word has recently come to us that there was a child born at the beginning of the fight with the Kyuubi. As it stands, this child was just recently orphaned."
The strain on his body was insane, already an hour had passed and the Kyuubi's soul was almost free of its body. It was fighting as hard as it could to survive the attack, but once the hand of Shinigami took hold, it was a foregone conclusion. Nothing short of the caster themselves being eaten would suffice, even if Shinigami managed to somehow lose its grip. He had even had to tap into Gamabunta's large chakra reserves to keep hold of Kyuubi as his was dangerously low.
With one mighty pull, he felt what amounted to Kyuubi's bond to its body break free and the sudden wrench of the spectral arm that was reaching through his chest jerked all the way up to its wrist back through him. He was going to save his beloved village, but most importantly, he was going to save his son, the hope he and his wife had brought into this world.
He screamed in pain as something interrupted the flow of chakra between Kyuubi and himself. Looking down through the pain, the form of a young child cried out in misery as the hand of Shinigami passed through the child's belly, the spirit of Kyuubi flowing through the child, but not out. As the hand of Shinigami came out of the back of the child, the fingers looked as if they had been cut at before he felt the wrench that spoke of Shinigami taking his soul from him.
He could only manage to look to the side as his body lost strength at the ANBU that held the child to them. The ANBU was looking at him from their mask, emotions hidden behind them, but not their voice. "And so ends the life of the Yellow Flash of Konoha. Hero to the masses, condemner of his bloodline." The ANBU turned on their heel before leaping from Gamabunta's head, avoiding the Boss Toad's tongue.
"I'm sorry, gaki. He was on me before I could stop him." Gamabunta spoke even as he felt him fading from the material world, back to his own.
"Oyabun." He was having trouble focusing his eyes, the life being ripped out of him, he didn't have long before his body followed. "You must…tell…Jiraiya." Before Gamabunta could answer, he disappeared in a cloud of smoke, the chakra holding him to this plane spent. He fell downward toward the ground headfirst, his last thought before his vision fled was that he had failed his son.
He had heard the rumors from his contacts, but he couldn't believe them so easily. It was an absurdity, and just plain crazy for any of them to have attempted to kill the Kyuubi no Kitsune in its den. Worse, they had tried fleeing back to Konohagakure and led the creature of Death and Destruction back to the only place he had even called home.
White spiky hair whipped in the wind as he rushed his way homeward, intent on lending his considerable powers to the fight, hoping beyond hope that he wasn't too late to help his student turned Hogake. The boy was a genius, and he was proud to say that he had taught him most of everything he knows. Now if only it would work the other way so that he wasn't caught so often when he was getting his research done.
Shaking his white, spiky mane as he jumped from tree limb to tree limb, he berated himself. Now was not the time for such thoughts, now was the time for action. As he jumped from the limb, he felt his legs push off harder than he had intended and tried to reorient himself in midair even as mini puffs of smoke from his shoulders brought his attention to his two riders.
"It's good to see you again, Ma and Pa." Jiraiya said as he flipped, pushing off the trunk of a tree to realign himself as his skin developed the trademark warts of his 'sage' form. His feet and hands were becoming webbed as he sped up even faster. "I didn't think I summoned for either of you."
"I told you he was still as disrespectful as ever, Ma." The small toad with bushy eyebrows on his right shoulder grumbled aloud as they rode Jiraiya's shoulders.
"Pay no attention to Pa, dear." The female frog on his left shoulder patted Jiraiya's cheek with a smile. "He's upset that Gamabunta ordered us to come here."
"Gamabunta didn't order me to do anything." Pa muttered, still not happy.
Jiraiya glanced at the two toads on his shoulders. Normally, it wasn't possible for summons to make themselves manifest without the chakra and blood needed to bring them here, which Jiraiya had yet to supply. The only conclusion he could manage was that they were being empowered with someone else's chakra. "Is it Minato?" Jiraiya spoke worriedly, a chill rushing down his back.
Pa grunted. "He tried Shiki Fuujin on Kyuubi." Jiraiya nearly slipped as he landed on a limb before kicking of again.
"A child had Kyuubi placed into it by accident." Ma spoke sadly, pity pouring from her words.
"Where is the child now?" Jiraiya wondered if Kyuubi had managed to break free yet. With a child with undeveloped tenketsu and circulatory system, it would be supposedly difficult for the Kyuubi to break its way free from the child. Of course, seeing as how this would be a first time to seal a Bijuu into someone, it was totally feasible for Kyuubi to simply destroy the child from within and break itself free from the poor soul's mortal coil.
As Konoha was coming into view, he could see the destruction near the hidden village. Many people were gathered around one spot, most likely where Minato had fallen.
"He was taken by a masked ninja." Ma stared at the city ahead of them, Jiraiya turning his own head to look in the direction of the city.
"We'll need to see Sarutobi first, then." Jiraiya muttered as he rushed toward the undefended gates of Konoha, the guards conspicuously missing.
The ANBU materialized from the sudden smoke into the council room, the crying child held in his hands. "Namikaze Minato is no more." The masked person spoke while offering up the child to one of the council members.
Taking the child from the ANBU, they looked down at it with disdain. The seal on the child's belly glowed bright red and vapor seemed to rise upward from it in red streamers. "So this is the seal of the Shiki Fuujin." The council member muttered to no one in particular.
"We should kill the child now, before the Professor hears of this." One of the other council members commented even as the ANBU member seemed to disappear off into the shadows of the room.
"Agreed. If we wait too long, we will be found out." One of the women on the council spoke. "Who will do the deed?"
Before anyone could take a weapon up, the child's eyes snapped open, red eyes glowing balefully at nothing as the seal flared with demonic Youki before spreading outward. The scream from the man holding it was only the first to be heard in the room as the aura of Youki flooded the room, covering everything in its red glow. The bodies of the council members had only moments before they shriveled all at once, eyes sinking back into their heads and bodies collapsing to the ground and both muscle and flesh shriveled away to nothing.
The child seemed to levitate in the air for a moment before the demonic aura slowly carried the child down onto the desk under it, the last of the aura trailing off to nothing as the eyes slipped closed again. Already on the cheeks, whiskers marks began to form.
From the shadows, two people appeared at the very fringes of the room where the candle light could barely reach.
"It is as you thought, Orochimaru-sama." The masked ANBU commented as he peered at one pile of bones and clothes to the next. "The destructive aura of Kyuubi is too much for anyone other than the sealed, much like the ones affected with your own."
Orochimaru's golden slitted eyes gleamed cruelly at the baby crying its heart out in the room, the seal shining brightly on its stomach. "It would also seem that the single Shishou Fuuin is unable to constrain the power of the Kyuubi no Kitsune completely. He would make for an excellent specimen if he wasn't so dangerous."
"What do you think will happen to him?" The ANBU asked, not taking its gaze from the glowing child.
Orochimaru licked his lips, pale skin glistening in the barely shadowed corner they stood in. "His mind will be very unbalanced as he grows up. The Kyuubi no Kitsune is far too powerful a creature to stay sealed forever, and will resent the fact that it is sealed within a body, bound to die trapped within a human."
The ANBU remained silent for a few moments as feet stormed their way closer in the hallway. "And the seal you added?" they asked, wondering at the mind that was behind the Sannin's actions.
"All in good time, Kabuto." Orochimaru hissed before choking in his off sounding laugh. Both he and the ANBU known as Kabuto disappeared as the doors burst open, allowing the third Hokage and Jiraiya in his sage form into the room.
"I think it's a very bad idea, Sarutobi." Jiraiya muttered in the Hokage's room, the now quiet child being held in the arms of the aged Hokage's arms.
The conical hat emblazoned with the kanji for third in red on his hat barely hid his eyes from Jiraiya as he rocked the silent child in his arms. "Minato would not want his child to be hidden in his own village, Jiraiya."
Jiraiya bit his lips, returned back to his human form when the two frogs from his shoulders had returned to their own plane of existence. He leaned against the wall with his arms crossed, a sullen look on his face. "They are not going to accept him." Jiraiya jerked his head toward the window that overlooked the village. "He's the embodiment of everything they lost. No one will accept him and everyone will try to kill him, no matter who's son he is."
The Third stood up from behind his desk and turned to look out across his village with love in his eyes. "They are good people, Jiraiya. They'll come to accept him, you'll see."
Jiraiya stared a hole through his sensei's head, wondering if he was stubborn or mule headed. He certainly wasn't acting very smart, even though he was known as the Professor by reputation. "Have the seals finally settled down?" He asked, changing the subject that had nothing to do with the populous.
The Third turned around to his student and nodded. "I believe so. There haven't been any flare ups as there was when we found him, and the power of Kyuubi seemed to be slowly working into the Naruto's chakra circulatory."
"Naruto?" Jiraiya asked as he lifted up from the wall, walking over to the child to look down into his face once again. "I didn't think he had time enough to name his child."
"It was one of the names they were trying to narrow down from a list of names." The Third smiled down at the child.
"Maelstrom." Jiraiya muttered as he looked down at the kid before looking up at his sensei. "You're hoping he becomes a current that people will be swept up along?" At the Third's nod, Jiraiya scowled at the kid. "You do realize that it has another meaning, this maelstrom." The sensei looked at his student as he continued. "A violently confused state of mind."
The Hokage looked at the child with a frown. "Do you think something else has happened to him to deserve that kind of thinking?"
Jiraiya frowned. "I think I need to speak to my old 'friend', Orochimaru." Jiraiya turned around and walked toward the doorway before turning around and looking at his sensei. "Don't announce anything until I find out for sure."
As Jiraiya left, Sarutobi looked down at the baby with the shock of blonde hair on its head with a sad smile. "You will be the hero of the entire fire country, Naruto. I promise you."
"Orochimaru-sama, you needed to see me?" the small girl standing in the dark doorway that led back into what looked like a sewer entrance called to him. The little six year old with her hair tied back in a small pineapple flair on the back of her head looked at him worriedly, her purple hair and pupil less brown eyes stared at him hopefully and with worship.
"Yes, Anko." Orochimaru hissed as he turned around to the doorway. "I need you to go to the exit with these documents and wait for me. We're going to be leaving Konoha tonight." He held out the documents to her as she came over to him, grunting lightly from the added weight.
"Yes, Orochimaru-sama." She smiled brightly up at him and received a hand mussing her hair before she turned and rushed out the doorway back into the sewery recesses.
Orochimaru took a few more documents from the table in front of him and began a new stack before standing up slowly. "Did you come to say goodbye, Jiraiya? For old times sake?"
"You're involved in this somehow, aren't you, Orochimaru?" Jiraiya stepped from around the edge of the doorway, arms held at his sides as he watched the back of Orochimaru. "Where are you planning on going? You know leaving Konoha without the express permission of the Hokage is like saying you abandon your town."
"I'm just assuring that I have a place somewhere in case someone tries to kill me." Orochimaru turns to face Jiraiya with a smirk on his pale face, purple lines under his eyes suggesting make up or bags from lack of sleep.
"Are you saying that someone here in Konohagakure would want to wish harm on you, Orochimaru?" Jiraiya commented calmly, without the hint of a mocking tone. "The only one who would have the talent to even touch you is Sarutobi. Now why would he want to hurt you, Orochimaru?"
"The day may come when Sarutobi is forced to kill his own students for the welfare of Konohagakure, Jiraiya." Orochimaru's smirk grew. "That is why Tsunade left Konohagakure."
"Tsunade left for her own reasons, and she had permission from the Fourth to do so." Jiraiya spoke on the heels of Orochimaru, earning a scowl from the dark haired man.
"Then I should be able to leave as well, or would Sarutobi have a reason to prevent me from leaving?" The sneer that was on Orochimaru's face was quickly removed as he spoke, hiding his thoughts on Jiraiya's last comment.
"If you had something to do with that poor soul trapped with the Kyuubi, he would have a reason to hurt you." Jiraiya's left hand made a slight hitch, as if wanting to reach for something, but was restrained. "You didn't have anything to do with it, did you, Orochimaru?"
"I wish I did, Jiraiya." The pale man said as he walked past Jiraiya, black hair reaching to his waist in a straight line barely moving as he slid past into the hallway beyond. "He would have made an excellent test subject."
Jiraiya spun on his heel, hands already in motion as he drew chakra before letting his hands fall to his sides, Orochimaru long gone.
"People of Konoha." Sarutobi spoke up for the assembled villagers, smoke still rising up into the dark skies from the places where the Kyuubi had managed to get to. "Today, we have lost many of our friends and loved ones to a most hated creature. Lives that defended us when there was no hope of survival and gave us the precious seconds needed to stop the Kyuubi from reaching our hidden village of the leaf.
"Even our own Hokage, the Yondaime himself, fell before the power of the demon, but not without a great gift to our village." Many of the people looked up at Sarutobi with curiosity, some with tears still falling from their eyes, and some didn't have any emotion on their faces, too numb to feel. "With a great sacrifice and the loss of his life, the Kyuubi no Kitsune was sealed away within a child for all times, never to walk the lands of men and ninja ever again."
"Know that from this day forward, no one is to speak of the Kyuubi being sealed to anyone who resides in the village of the leaf under the threat of banishment and exile for all times from Konoha." Sarutobi glanced around to his villagers, impressing upon them never to speak of what they were hearing tonight.
"People of the leaf, I present to you the container of Kyuubi, our hero of the leaf." Sarutobi held the child up above his head, watching the faces of his villagers, his family, his students and his children. Eyes that seemed to have lost focus on him looked upwards at the child and gain life that made him shiver. Hands that rose into the air to plead for aid now turned into claws of anger. Voices that had once spoken softly in kindness changed to shouts of rage the instant the child was shown.
Taking the child from the air and ducking him protectively into his robes, Sarutobi turned his body as the first rocks flew at him. ANBU jumped in and protected Sarutobi, knocking debris out of the air even as the people tried to claw their way past the guards to get to the third Hokage. Motioning with his hands, both he and his ANBU guards leapt away faster than the village eyes could follow, leaving an incensed mob behind them.
"You wouldn't listen, would you?" Jiraiya asked sarcastically as he stood in the Hokages window, watching the people tear the streets up in grief and anger, shouting for the Hokage to bring the demon child to them so that they could end its life.
"I thought they would see him as a hero, not as a demon." Sarutobi spoke weakly, hand to his brow as he leaned himself against it. The pipe that he would normally smoke from laying absently in the ashtray before him.
"Those that have lost greatly cannot see beyond their pain." Jiraiya spoke as if reading from a book with great sagely quotes. "What will you do when the ninjas gather together a week from now? What will you tell them?"
Sarutobi sighed greatly, falling back against the back of his chair. "What can I say? They'll hear from the villagers all about the demon child, what else can be said?"
Jiraiya turned from the window to regard the back of the Hokage's chair. "So you intend on telling them?"
"Better it come from me, including the explanation that the child is not the Kyuubi made flesh." Sarutobi opened his eyes and stared at the ceiling he thought he had given up long ago. "I doubt it will make much difference, but I should tell them straight and with as much as we know."
"Including the fact that we don't know if the Kyuubi can even speak with the child?" Jiraiya wondered what had become of the child, and who had the time to put the first seal on him before he could add the second.
Sarutobi sat up and turned his chair halfway so he could stare at Jiraiya with a half hooded gaze. "Some things are too much to know." He waited for Jiraiya to nod before relaxing from his ramrod straight position. "You and I will know the truth, and that is all. Everything that will be spoken of in one week is to be classified as a level S state secret, punishable by death to a ninja of this city. No one will ever speak of the truth to him until I do."
"You know the saying about too many mouths knowing a secret, Sarutobi." Jiraiya crossed his arms in front of himself, staring down at his old mentor.
"I am placing ANBU I trust on him indefinitely, or until I say otherwise." Sarutobi announced, turning his chair back to the table in front of him. "He must live, even if my life is forfeit."
(four years pass)
The night streets of Konoha were as inhospitable as they always were to him, but that was nothing new. He had to get out of the orphanage, away from those that treated him badly. The other kids were not mean spirited per se, they simply emulated the adults that lived there.
The teachers wouldn't answer him if he had a question, they wouldn't change his sheets and kept him separated from the rest of the kids when they could, even going so far as to allow him and only him outside for a break if they remembered him at all. His food was always the worst, green stuff would sometimes grow on it, or small bugs were cooked in with the food. One time he had gotten a bowl of food that looked like everyone else's, but he had gotten so sick over it, he had thought he was going to die.
He needed to eat something that wouldn't make him sick, escaping out of the window of his room and running through the streets as he could, until he realized that stuff was being thrown at him from various people, or he was flat out ignored. He had ducked into the alleys and was subsequently left alone.
Now, he prowled late at night near a noodle shop, hoping that something dumped out would be good to eat. A small girl nearly his own age in brown hair came out and dumped a whole mess of tasty looking noodles into a dumpster and his stomach growled, making him hunch down behind a bag of garbage to avoid her sight. She turned as if never hearing, walking back inside where the light seemed to shine out invitingly from within.
Bolting on his hands and feet, he raced the short distance from the alley back entrance to the dumpster and jumped, barely scrabbling onto the dumpster lip before pulling himself over and taking handful of the noodles before shoving them into his mouth. Dirt from his hands and from the insides of the dumpster hardly bothered him as he ate handfuls of noodles, trying to fill the gnawing pain in his stomach.
He yelped as more noodles landed on his head, throwing himself away from the wet mess that had landed on him. Jumping up and over the scared girl, he bolted down an alleyway, trying to get away from the rocks she would throw at him afterwards. The pain hurt, and the voice told him to avoid those that would hurt him. The voice knew a lot of things, and would talk to him when no one else would.
When he had thought he had gotten far enough away from the girl, dodging down several different back alleys and eluding any possible chance of chase that she could have given him. Some of them were good at following him, a girl of dark hair and red eyes who he had seen working with two others at the orphanage. She had followed him when he had tried to run away from the orphanage in the afternoon some days ago, and was really hard to escape from.
The sudden sound of feet made him drop near the mouth of the alley. Someone was coming, someone in a great hurry to get away. He knew these sounds, they were the same sounds he would make when they would try to hurt him, trapped in the small room with them when they came to do things to him that the voice said was bad. He looked up and smelled the night air, inhaling the scents of male sweat and fear laced with confidence. There was another smell underneath that, female and unconscious.
The voice in his head growled at the smell of the female. It told him to find the smell, to track it. He was scared to follow the voice, he didn't like following the others by his nose, they always would hurt him worse and call him names, but the voice had never lied to him before. He used a garbage can and clambered up onto a low wall, moving across it as low as he could to avoid sight as he tracked the smell.
He moved down the wall a way till he couldn't go any further on it before jumping back down to the ground and moving onward, keeping as much to the shadows as he could. The voice told him to hide and he ducked behind a small bush at the corner of a compound, staying hidden from the lights on the building ahead of him. The scent of the man was coming closer, and he smelled even more of fear than before as his breathing picked up.
He jumped over a wall not too far from him, a man with a white something that looked like a sheet or cloth, the boy couldn't tell. His clothing was all in browns and dark earth colors after a rain, making it hard to see him if not for the mask that was on his face and head. He held an unconscious little girl under one arm as he turned toward him, starting to run his direction.
The voice growled again in the back of his head deeply, and his nails lengthened. He could feel anger at the man and he crouched on all fours as the man came closer. He had felt like this before when the voice would speak to him, telling him to hurt those that hurt him, calming him when his fingers sharpened and his teeth grew. He had been scared of those that took care of him, but this person was someone he didn't know, this was someone he could hurt without getting hurt back.
The girl seemed to come to as they were nearing him and struggled, her arm came up and grabbed hold of the hand that was holding onto her yukata and obi. The man looked down just as the boy jumped, blonde spiky hair rippling in the dark just barely catching the man's gaze as he whipped his head around and tried shouting in fear.
Dropping the girl, he gripped at his slashed neck, ripped open by the boy that was biting his shoulder and shredding his arm and chest with his fingers. The red eyes that were shining at him as his vision blurred with pain of a boy with three dark parallel lines on each cheek spoke of madness and feral born rage. He collapsed onto his back, nearly pinning the girl as the boy sprung off of his chest, his vision gone and with it, his life.
The girl got up and made to run away from the man who had kidnapped her until her father appeared before her and wrapped a protective arm around her as he gazed at the fallen body and at the boy nearby. Bright blonde spiky hair with three facial marks on each cheek in the shape of whiskers could only be one boy, though it was told to him by the branch house that his eye color was blue. The ANBU presence that surrounded the boy a second later only confirmed to him who the boy was.
"Did you kill the spy?" Black hair drifted with the wind as his pale iris less eyes stared at the blonde boy.
"Forgive, Hiashi-sama," an ANBU with a falcon's mask spoke, placing hand to heart and bowing slightly to the man, "Naruto only speaks with the Sandaime." His metal chest plate didn't seem to gleam in the night, but still somehow drew the gaze of all around him.
Frowning down at his daughter who hung on his yukata, he looked back at the ANBU. "We will accompany you to the Hokage's tower then. I have some questions that need to be answered."
Nodding, the masked man looked down at Naruto. "Naruto-san, it's time to go see jii-san."
Naruto's face turned up to the masked man's, his fingernails shortening at the name of the Sandaime. His eye color changed back on its own as Naruto hunched back over onto his hand and feet. Sniffing the air, Naruto took off on his own, the ANBU disappearing after him.
The Hokage walked into his office where Hiashi had been patiently waiting, his eldest daughter sitting nearby, eyes looking down at the floor in shame. "Naruto tells me you had a visitor in the middle of the night, Hiashi."
Standing from his seat, Hiashi turns to Sarutobi. "I have just been told that it was the same man who came for peaceful negotiations from Kumogakure."
Sarutobi sighed as he sat behind his desk. The agreement from Kumogakure had been too forth coming, and he knew it. Negotiations were just long enough to get the ink wet on the paper and them to be welcome into the village so they could get close to their target. Rumors had come to him that the Kumo were interested in the Hyuga bloodline, the Byakugan. He never imagined that they would stoop so low as to send in an emissary to sign a peace accord they had no intention on going through with, and now that their man was killed, they would want blood for blood.
Hiashi frowned as he sat down next to his daughter who had still not looked up from where she sat. Sarutobi walked around the desk, shadowed closely by a dirty looking blonde haired boy. Sitting in his seat, Sarutobi looked over at Naruto and patted his head. "You're getting better at walking on only two legs, Naruto. You'll be walking around like everyone else soon enough."
Naruto's face brightened under the old man's hand as his hair was mussed up.
Sarutobi noticed the young girl looking shamefaced at the floor out of the corner of his eyes. "Naruto, please take little Hinata outside and show her your favorite spot, would you?" Sarutobi motioned to the girl in her seat next to Hiashi.
Naruto turned to her, looking blankly at the girl that had not acknowledged that anyone had spoken to her. Looking back at Sarutobi who merely smiled and nodded to him, Naruto walked around the desk of the Hokage and to the side of the little girl. He looked at the pale eyes of Hiashi who frowned at him before looking back at Sarutobi who merely smiled at him before he reached over and jerked lightly on the girl's sleeve.
As if being woken up from a deep trance, she jerked up and looked around. Naruto had stepped back from the girl reflexively and looked at Sarutobi once again, unsure what this meant.
"Hinata." Hiashi spoke softly, getting the attention of his daughter. "Go with this boy for a moment, I will be with you shortly."
Hinata's face winced at the tone her father spoke with before she nodded with a sniffle. Sliding off of the chair she was in, she bowed to the boy before her. Naruto, never having anyone but the masked people jii-san spoke to bow to him, was unsure what to make of this and looked to Sarutobi for guidance.
"She's trying to be nice to you, Naruto." Sarutobi offered for the blonde haired boy, who turned and peered at her again unsure. Taking it as a good sign that she hadn't struck him yet, Naruto scented her discreetly before stepping up next to her and offering his hand.
Hinata blinked, looking at Naruto as if confused by his actions. With a weak smile on her face, she reached out and took his hand, squeezing it in her small one. Naruto turned and headed out of the room, closing the door behind the both of them.
"I don't like that demon being with her." Hiashi grumped, crossing his arms so that his hands slid up his sleeves.
"He is not a demon." Sarutobi growled, daring Hiashi to say otherwise.
"He killed a man tonight, a trained and skilled shinobi." Hiashi pronounced, ending the debate.
Sarutobi sighed as he leaned back into his chair. "That was unfortunate, but you would have most likely done the same once you had caught up to him."
"It is proof enough that the boy is dangerous." Hiashi continued, unrelenting that Naruto was a demon and was going to make Sarutobi see it if he had to brow beat him into it. "The man's throat was ripped out by a child of four."
"Which brings us to the problem." Sarutobi pulled out his pipe from somewhere up the sleeve of his robes, packing it with a practiced grace before lighting it. "Kumogakure is not going to be happy that their emissary was killed in Konoha, worse, they will ask for repayment for the life lost."
Hiashi frowned darkly as he thought on this. "They will most likely ask for another Hyuga, and we will most likely have to give them one."
"Unfortunate as it is, that is the most likely outcome." Sarutobi took a drag from his pipe before letting out the thick white cloud of his tobacco. "Kumo gets exactly what they want, and we get two dead bodies instead."
"If only I had gotten to him sooner." Hiashi muttered, getting a raised hand from Sarutobi.
"You would have been hard pressed to bring him down without killing him, regardless." Sarutobi sighed as the smoke from his pipe began to relax him. "Ibiki would have most likely needed to kill him anyways, after he had pumped him for everything he could."
Hiashi stood up from his seat. "If it is a foregone conclusion, I will inform the heads of the Hyuga's and prepare them." Turning for the door, Sarutobi called for him to wait as he hit a button on his desk.
The masked form of an ANBU materialized at the shoulder of Sarutobi. "You summoned, Sandaime?" They bowed behind him, fist to chest.
"Send Yamato and Kakashi for Naruto, then send for the leaders of ANBU to meet me here in ten minutes time." Sarutobi ordered, never looking at the masked figure behind him.
The wind picked up and leaves blurred around the ANBU before they disappeared.
Naruto clambered his way out of the top of the roof through the trapdoor. Making sure his footing was good, he turned around and reached back down into the trapdoor and helped Hinata out onto the roof next to him. The girl was scared, fear etched into her face and eyes as she looked around in confusion, but she never complained or spoke. Sliding the tile back into place, Naruto took a seat on the roof and stared out across the city as the girl sat down next to him.
The girl fidgeted in place and played with her fingers as she averted her eyes from the boy. This was the first time she had been allowed outside of the Hyuga compound, let alone left alone with a boy. She glanced from time to time at Naruto from the corners of her eyes as the boy simply watched the rooftops and the stars above.
"A-ano…" Hinata's soft and hesitant voice broke the silence between them as she tried to talk. "I…I w-wanted to say…" She was scared what the boy would think of her if she spoke in an improper way. Hyuga's were strong, they didn't need help, and yet, she had needed his help tonight. "Arigato gozaimasu." She trailed off, blushing in shame at her weak attempt to talk.
Naruto looked over at her, confused. He tilted his head to one side as he peered at her, confused. "Arigato?" he spoke quietly, nearly as quiet as Hinata.
"Yes?" Hinata blurted, unsure what the boy wanted. Her eyes turned to his, looking hopeful and worried at the same time.
Watching her a bit longer, waiting for the voice to speak to him, he asked, "Arigato?"
"Are you two behaving?" Naruto jumped to his hands and feet in a second, turning to face whoever had snuck on him whereas Hinata gasped in fright and tried to hide behind him. A silver haired man with a metal plate on his headband stared at them from the top of the tower, the headband cocked over his left eye as his Jounin vest bent slightly in the wind. "I was told to come get you two and bring you back inside. The Hokage is done talking to Hiashi."
"Jii-san?" Naruto asked, coming out of his crouch slightly and looking warily at the silver haired man.
As if unsure whether the silver haired man was telling the truth or not, Naruto kept himself between Hinata and him as his hands worked at the tile, opening the trapdoor back inside the building. Taking Hinata's hand while keeping his eyes on the silver haired Jounin, they descended back into the Hokage's tower. The silver haired Jounin waited patiently as they disappeared back into the building before sighing and taking his hand out of his weapon pouch.
"That was exciting." Yamato commented. He appeared from below the roofline, walking upright as if the wall had been the floor. "It's hard to tell what Naruto is thinking and how far under the influence of the Kyuubi he's become." Kakashi physically relaxed as he turned to look at Yamato, his ANBU mask firmly in place. The hawk features turned toward the trapdoor, "He can find his way into any place, can't he?"
Kakashi turned his one eyed gaze to the trapdoor. "It's the fox in him, most likely. He'd make a good ninja, if it wasn't for the demon inside of him."
"It'll make him a better ninja." Yamato spoke, catching Kakashi's eye. "The demon will keep him alive by any means necessary."
"Even sacrificing his teammates to survive?" Kakashi glared at Yamato.
Yamato shrugged. "It will be hard enough getting him to be around others. Someone should start teaching him now that everyone will not hate him for being the container."
Kakashi frowned. "Come on, The Hokage is waiting for us."
(six months later)
The beginning of spring was normally a somber affair, kids running back and forth in the fields of the city parks or learning their first lessons on how to be a ninja, if the path of a ninja called to them. Naruto, having escaped the grounds of the orphanage once again, was roaming around Konoha, learning the town. He was making his way through the various back alleys wearing the brightest orange clothing one could possibly wear in terms of pants, a white shirt with a red spiral that tapered off up toward his face making it even easier to spy him.
The girl with the brown hair set up like mouse ears on her head had gone outside to the park and allowed to train. She had been getting lessons from the teachers at the orphanage and been told that she would make a hard working kunoichi when she grew up. This wouldn't have been anything to Naruto except that he had watched her knock flies out of the air with little rolled up pieces of parchment four seats in front of her.
The ANBU that Sarutobi had told to teach him stealth thought that he had been joking when he had mentioned it and told Naruto that his eyes must have been playing tricks on him. He was following her to prove that her aim was as good as he had seen, he'd prove it even if he got yelled at.
The girl dressed in a pink top and dirty green leggings stood on the edge of one of the training grounds the grown ups used. He had seen them come here and beat on the logs or walk up the trees, the voice said they were learning to be strong, but wouldn't tell him how to do it. He watched the little girl only a year older than him focus on the log many feet away from her and reached behind her to her satchel he had seen her carry around with her. Pulling several wooden kunai out of it, she threw them as hard as she could toward the log.
Her aim was deadly as it flew, every kunai hitting within the same spot as the first when it hit, but because of their wooden edges, the weapons bounced from the log and landed in the dirt. The girl grinned and chuckled proudly to herself as she ran over to the fallen kunai and picked them up before running back toward the spot she had started at. Halfway back, she rolled and tossed at the same time, two wooden daggers hitting the log nearly blade to blade as they bounced against the log. She jumped from the ground and spun, flicking first one, then a second kunai behind it so that one couldn't be seen from in front or behind. The daggers hit the exact same spot, falling on top of each other on the ground.
Grinning to herself as she rubbed her knuckle under her nose, she flicked the last kunai toward the log, watching as it spun end over end before somehow finding a groove in the log and sticking for a brief second. Naruto watched her silently for over an hour, the voice in his head watching with him. She would sometimes practice her runs and throws, feints and flicks of her wrist, even one time she threw one in the air and fired the four she had in her hand as fast as she could before ducking down, one leg out and catching the tossed kunai behind herself before throwing it forward.
Naruto's inner voice growled out a warning to him, and he turned his head to the side where several older boys had come into the training yard with their hitai-ate headbands on their heads. They seemed to have only eyes for the girl as she threw her practice weapons at the practice log.
"Hey, little mouse." One of the boys called to her, making her aim go off as she tossed the last of her wooden kunai that nearly hit Naruto instead.
She spun on her heel, reaching into her satchel held behind her and a momentary look of fear crossed her face before she grit her teeth at the three boys who had come up from behind her. One took a kunai from the leg holder he had on and twirled it from the eye catch on the bottom.
"I didn't know vermin came out during the daylight?" One of the boys jeered as he moved around the brown haired girl on her left, the second boy moving around to her right to trap her from running from them. "Want me to show you how you're supposed to throw a kunai, little mouse?"
He threw the kunai at the girl, intent on scaring her into crying out, but something blurred between her and the knife, impacting with a wet sound and a low growl. A boy in short, spiky blonde hair had jumped in front of the brown haired girl and wrapped the girl up in front of him, the blade sticking out of his right shoulder as blood turned the color of his white shirt crimson. He turned his head to the boy who had thrown the blade and growled as menacing as he could as intent to kill seeped from him, his eyes flickering between his normally bright blue to a burning crimson color.
"What the hell, Gaki!" one of the other boys shouted, pointing their hand at Naruto. "We were just going to scare her! Now, you've gotten us all in trouble for hitting you!"
Naruto released the girl, reaching back over his shoulder to grab hold of the kunai and rip it free from his shoulder. As the blade left his body, his eyes settled on red and a blood red haze began to emanate from around him. The boys took steps back from him as the intensity of the killer intent doubled.
As Naruto stepped toward the boy who had thrown the dagger, he was knocked on his face from behind by a fist to the head.
The boys felt the killer intent die out abruptly while the girl in the pink and green stared down at Naruto's back. "What the hell are you doing here? You're not supposed to be off the orphanage grounds." The girl glared hotly down at the prone Naruto who had lost the red aura and lay still on his stomach, face down.
"O-oy…" The young boy who had thrown the kunai tried to speak, earning a hot glare from the young girl.
"If your Jounin instructor had been here to see you picking on someone weaker than you, they would have been ashamed of you." The girl's finger came up and flicked at him, taking him to task with her voice and her gaze. "What kind of ninja teases little children anyways?" Harrumphing loudly for a little girl, she grabbed the back of Naruto's collar and drug him toward the bushes away from the three stunned boys.
Once they had disappeared into the bushes and were out of sight, she dropped Naruto onto the ground and started fussing over him, trying to wake him up. "Oh, I'm so sorry you got hurt, what should I do?" Her menacing attitude had turned abruptly into a worried frenzy as she shook the boy's good shoulder.
Naruto leapt onto his hands and knees in an instant, making her shout and fall back on her behind, making Naruto jump back from her.
"Jeez, give a person some warning, will ya?" She rubbed her backside gently from where she had hit before looking at Naruto. "Are you ok? We need to get you some help for that shoulder."
As she got back onto her feet, Naruto stepped warily back from her.
"Hey, I didn't mean to scare you or nothing, I was just concerned for you is all." The girl raised her hand up toward him and he cringed back from her before his nostrils flexed over and over, the sound of him scenting the air audible between them.
Moving carefully forward, Naruto scented her hand before moving in closer and inspected her. She stood almost the same height as he did if he stood on his back legs with brown chocolate eyes that looked concerned at him. She smelled of worry and fear, but not for herself, and of soap that was still on her skin, though mixed with her own scent now from her training.
Reaching behind him, Naruto took something from the back of his pants, placing it in the girl's outstretched hand before rushing off through the bushes. She called out to him, trying to stop him, but watched in disappointment as he disappeared. Looking down at her hand, she realized that the wounded boy had handed her one of her wooden kunai she had left without.
Wondering who the boy was, she gripped her kunai and held it close to her chest.
He ran back through the alleys, heading for the dumpster with the noodles in it. He needed some place to heal, some place to get away from those eyes that looked at him with something other than hate. He couldn't have someone look at him like that, someone who looked at him with something under than hate. He didn't know how to deal with something like that, and he needed to go some place that no one else would find him at.
The dumpster came into view faster than he thought he had been from it and he jumped onto the can next to it before grabbing the edge and lifting himself over the lip. The can fell over with a crash and rolled away after he jumped off of it, but he didn't think about that as he pushed himself into the furthest corner of the dumpster.
At first it had been little Hinata who had tried to come see him at the orphanage, that had been something he would not soon forget. Not a week after saving her from the kidnapper, she had come to the orphanage with an escort who looked like her father. He had been abused that day especially hard when he was brought back by the ANBU, the teachers and the caretakers making sure that he didn't forget any time soon not to run away from the orphanage again. She had taken one look at his swollen face and bloody clothes and had fainted dead away, a menacing tone from the man next to her to the caretakers that the Hokage would hear about this was all he managed to listen to before the man picked poor Hinata up and leave.
They had beaten him again, soon after the man had left with Hinata, the ANBU only showing up with the Hokage afterwards. Because of some innate healing, he had been perfectly fine when the Hokage had arrived, his swelling had disappeared and the only sign that he had been hurt was the bloodstains still on his shirt. The Hokage had been livid, fired the entire staff and had brought his own people from the tower to take over until new staff could have been instated.
They had only been a little less exuberant in teaching him his place.
Before she had passed out, he had seen her eyes. Eyes that made him feel something other than hatred for everyone around him, eyes that seem to see through the pain to something inside of him that he was scared to think about. He had seen those same eyes on the brown haired girl when she had tried to help him, tried to make him feel better. The voice in his head despised those eyes, the ones that made him feel weak and soft inside. It had told him to hate everyone and everything, that no one would come to like him for as long as he lived.
A sound from outside of the dumpster aroused his senses and the voice in the back of his head finally got through to him that he was in danger of being caught. Trying to jump over the edge of the dumpster and away from whoever it was, his foot caught the edge of the dumpster and he fell badly to the ground, his head bouncing off the concrete and making his head spin painfully.
Someone helped him up as his vision dimmed before totally blacking out.
He woke some time later, he didn't know when. The voice in his head never was concerned about time, only that the sun was down and the smells of food were nearby. He opened his eyes weakly, groaning as he tried to sit up, only to get slapped with a face full of vertigo. The sound of someone getting up and running out of wherever he was made his head throb and he groaned inarticulately.
He opened his eyes slowly, working his eyes to come back into focus from the bleary vision they were giving his brain. He was in a room somewhere, lots of the noodle smell was floating from the door that was open nearby, the only door the room had from the look of it. The sounds of feet were coming back from the hallway and he tried to get up again, only to nearly get sick.
From the doorway stood a girl that was older than him by a few years. His nose was already trying to scent everything out and smelled a similar scent behind her, but masculine and older, most likely a man who raised her. The girl had brown hair that fell behind her to her shoulders, her clothes were that of the villagers, though she wore a pair of pants with lots of stains on them underneath the apron with the sign of a bowl and steam coming off of it in red paint.
Behind her came an older man wearing a yellow hakama, his brown pants less stained than the girls and his apron spotless with the same symbol of it. His hair was slightly brown with the few fringes of gray forming along him, making something in the back of Naruto's head identify him as just like Jii-san.
"I see you're awake." The old man spoke kindly, being quiet for Naruto's sake after the fall he took to the ground. "We were worried that you had hurt yourself."
Naruto didn't say anything, though his eyes watered as the headache made his whole body ache.
"Are you the boy that was hiding in our dumpster?" the little girl asked, sitting in front of the old man with a wondering look on her face. Naruto tilted his head and winced at the pain's slight increase. "Why were you hiding in our dumpster?"
Naruto didn't want to answer them, words never seemed to get him much except punished. He opened his mouth hesitantly, expecting any moment to get beat for not responding fast enough when his stomach growled in hunger.
The old man smirked. "Ayame, go get him a bowl of miso noodles, will you?"
The girl politely nodded and smoothed her pant leg as she stood before turning and rushing out the door back toward the noodle smell. Naruto winced as each step resounded throughout his head.
"You'll have to forgive Ayame's desire to be helpful." The old man spoke kindly, seeing Naruto jerk his head with the girl's retreating steps. "Ever since she saw you running off down the alleyway some time ago, she's been wanting to see who you were in person." The man smiled before he scratched behind his head, making a tiny bow to the child. "Where are my manners? Allow me to introduce myself. I am Ichiraku Teuchi, and I own Ichiraku Ramen shop."
As he finished introducing himself, the girl, Ayame, walking back into the room holding a bowl of miso ramen and placed it before the boy. Placing a set of chopsticks on the bowl, the girl moved back from him and smiled brightly.
Naruto eyed the bowl with obvious hesitation. He was hungry, but they had given him food, people he didn't know and didn't trust. In all honesty, he didn't trust anybody, so why should they be any different from those that he did know?
He took the chopsticks carefully, eyeing the two before him before sliding the bowl next to him and finally into his lap. Dipping the chopsticks into the noodles, he waited for the voice to advise him briefly before his stomach overrode his safety.
The taste that flooded his senses drove away any thoughts of bad people as he swallowed whole the noodles in his mouth. He dug into the bowl of food before him voraciously, stuffing his mouth full before swallowing and not even bothering to try and chew. Once the noodles were gone, there was a moment where he frowned at the bowl before tilting the bowl back and draining the warm miso.
"It seems he was more than just hungry." Teuchi chuckles as Naruto places the bowl on the ground and grins brightly.
"Arigatou, Jii-san!" Naruto exclaimed brightly, a wet smile covered with bits of noodle and miso on his face.
Teuchi grinned softly. "You should thank little Ayame here." He gestured to the girl. "She's the one who found you out back and helped you out."
Naruto turned toward the girl who blushed lightly at him. His brain didn't work as the voice spoke something in the back of his head. Someone who had helped him instead of hurt him, someone who had taken care of him instead of abandoned him. It was a strange feeling that he had never experienced before, something that warmed him inside but didn't make any sense to him.
"Arigatou, nee-san." Naruto bowed to the girl awkwardly, never having a reason before to bow to someone, though having seen many adults doing the same for others.
The girl smiled at him. "Just call me Ayame. And you are?"
Naruto sat upright and looked at Ayame confused for a moment before smiling brightly. "Uzumaki Naruto."
(two years, six months later)
They say the first year in ninja school is hell, but it's nothing to surviving the kids who attend it. Naruto was the rumor of many of the kids, least of all the flower girl, Ino. Though he wouldn't speak to anyone, it was to the extreme pleasure of Ino to see what she could say about him that would get him to react.
She had first tried various names, all of which Naruto ignored. It bothered her that she couldn't get a reaction out of the blonde haired boy no matter what she said. She craved for attention from those that were her own age, and not being able to get Naruto to look at her irked her.
The more she tried to find out about Naruto, the more frustrated she got. The teachers at the school would say nothing about him, saying that she should stay away from him. The students didn't know him, and they listened to the teachers when they were told to stay away from the blonde boy. She had followed him a few times and seen that he lived in an orphanage not too far away from the school, but even they wouldn't tell her anything about Naruto.
The only person who would speak to Naruto, even though Naruto wouldn't speak back with them at school was Kurenai sensei. The black haired, red eyed woman who taught the genjutsu classes would speak to Naruto often, usually after school. She had first assumed that it was to help Naruto out with his genjutsu training, but after awhile she wondered.
She followed Kurenai sensei and the rumored dead last of the school to a training area one day to see what she did with him. It wasn't fair that a student got special treatment from the teachers and she wanted to see if he really was learning anything at all. Instead, she saw Kurenai sensei sitting down under a tree while Naruto wandered the training ground for awhile before settling into a patch of grass that gave him good cover. He soon lay down and hid himself in the grass where Ino lost sight of him.
Wondering what this meant, Ino decided to walk out into the training ground and pretend to see Kurenai sensei. When she would walk over toward her, she'd conveniently walk over and surprise Naruto at the same time. The first part went as planned, she walked out in the field, reaching for a weapon in her satchel at her hip before calling out to her sensei and walking in her direction. As she approached Naruto's hiding spot, her plans suddenly went out the window.
Naruto leapt out of his concealment, a snarl jumping out of his mouth as he pinned Ino to the ground. He crouched over her, staring balefully down at her with his blue eyes before Kurenai's laughter made him turn his head around and look behind him.
"Alright, Naruto. You scared her enough, now let her up." Kurenai smiled with a light smirk.
As if a well trained animal, Naruto shifted off to the side and sat back on his haunches, hands and feet firmly planted on the ground, but his eyes still on Ino. Ino sat up, glaring at Naruto before getting up and dusting herself off as if she had not just been knocked down to the ground by the very person she intended to scare.
Walking over to Kurenai, Ino stopped in front of her and bowed. "Hello, Kurenai sensei."
"Hello, Ino-chan." Kurenai smiled before shaking her head. "You never seem to listen to me when I tell you that I'm a little older than you and only a substitute until your teacher returns back from her mission."
"You teach our class, so you're our sensei." Ino smiled brightly, admiring the woman that sat in front of her.
"I specialize in genjutsu, which is the only reason why I was allowed to sub for anyone, especially at 13 years of age." Kurenai smiled as she watched Naruto come over and sit down beside her.
Ino eyed Naruto who lay down against Kurenai, curling his body up and eyeing Ino for a moment before closing his eyes. "Excuse me, Sensei?" Kurenai looked fro mNaruto to look at Ino. "Why are you letting him do that?"
Kurenai turned back to Naruto and ran her fingers through his blonde hair, a smile barely held on her face. "I saw him one day getting beaten for no reason, and by a bunch of students in our very class. He didn't so much as grunt when they hurt him, just took it all in silence." Ino gawked at Kurenai while Kurenai continued. "I asked around about him and no one would tell me anything, only that nobody loves him or cares about him and what happens to him is only for the best."
"That's…" Ino didn't exactly know what that was. How could people just be mean for the sake of being mean?
"I asked the Hokage and he asked me to look out for Naruto while I was here at the school." Kurenai turned her head and looked at Ino. "He doesn't have anyone, not even friends to talk to, except for the owner of Ichiraku and his daughter."
Ino knew what that was like. Except for Sakura, she was only noticed when she started a rumor, or when she tried to get people's attention by making them angry. Bullying only worked so far until someone called your bluff though, and Sakura was the only person who wanted to be with her willingly, without getting her to go along with whatever she wanted.
"Kurenai sensei." The red eyed chuunin looked up at Ino. "Do you think I could be Naruto's friend?"
Kurenai smiled up at Ino. "I'm sure you could be, Ino-chan." She patted the spot next to her, inviting Ino to sit down next to her. She waited until the blonde girl took her seat before she leaned back and continued to stroke Naruto's hair. "He reminds me so much of Anko-chan who they just found." She thought to herself as she looked out of the corner of her eye at the sleeping boy. "What happened to her to make her as strange as she's become?"
"Ino, slow down, will ya?" The pink hair, green eyed girl panted as Ino ran ahead of her, her hair done up in a ponytail today as she ran along in her new blue ninja dress for kunoichis.
Both were panting as they slowed down near a dirty apartment complex. "I can't…believe…you're that…out of shape." Ino gasped inbetween words as she tried to get her breath back.
"You're one to talk." The pink haired girl panted as she bent over, her hands on her knees were the only thing keeping her upright. "You said we were coming to meet a friend and you run the entire way here?"
"Oh, be quiet, Sakura and follow me." Ino complained as she took her friend's hand and drug her into the open area of the complex.
The place was run down and dirty in places no public area should ever be. The dirty green walls of the outside building were covered in…something…while the bushes looked like out of control trees and the grass was a jungle where any manner of creature could have been living in it. Ino looked disgusted at the place while Sakura glanced around, feeling slightly ill.
"The friend you want me to meet lives here?" Sakura barely spoke above a whisper, trying to be quiet so as to avoid offending someone and their living arrangements.
"He just moved in." Ino muttered, looking around for the apartment number, then heading over to the stairs that led to the second floor.
"Wait, did you just say 'he'?" Sakura pulled Ino to a stop, giving her friend a sly look. "I didn't think you were interested in boys, Ino-pig."
Ino glared at her friend. "I don't you not to call me that, Billboard Brow." Grabbing Sakura's hand before she gets even more pissed off, she drags her up to the second floor and down the walkway before she finds the right door. Knocking on the door, she waits a few moments before knocking even harder.
"Is your 'friend' even home, Ino-pig?" Sakura commented sourly as she stared around at the filth the place was in.
The door unlocked from the inside with an audible sound, cutting off Ino's retort. The door cracked slightly, a bright blue eye peeking out from between the space of the door and the doorframe before it opened widely, showing a sleepy looking Naruto. He eyed the pink haired girl suspiciously before smiling to Ino. "Ohaiyo, Ino-chan." Naruto hid a yawn behind his hand before he scratched his head. "Is it time to go out and gather more flowers?"
"Actually, Naruto, I wanted to bring my friend over today and introduce you two since you're both my friends." Ino smiled brightly as she pulled Sakura in front of her.
Sakura frowned at Ino before she turned to Naruto. "Hajimemashite, Naruto-kun. My name is Haruno Sakura."
Naruto bowed to her before looking over his shoulder. "Do you two…want to come in?"
Ino grinned at Naruto. "I was wondering if you were going to ask. We want to see our new friend's home." Stepping in past him, Sakura bowed to him before stepping in past Naruto only to nearly bump into Ino.
The place could barely be called livable in the living room was any indication. The couch looked like it had been shredded by some pack of wild animals, the carpet was threadbare in places, there were holes in the ceiling birds could fly through without touching their wings on either side, and there were panes of glass missing from many of the windows. Looking into the kitchen just from where they stood, they could see where patches of tiles were either broken or missing.
"You live here?" Ino couldn't imagine going a single night in this place. It had to be drafty beyond anything she had ever heard of.
"This place is a dump. There's no way you're living here." Sakura walked into the living room and began inspecting everything with a critical eye.
"I live here." Naruto answered wit ha smile on his face. The girl's turned to him disbelief written plainly on their faces. "I like it better here than back at the orphanage."
"If this is better than the orphanage, then the orphanage must have been the outer circle of hell or something." An inner representation of Sakura commented in her mind.
"How long do you intend on staying here, Naruto?" Ino asked, shivering as she looked around the place and thought she felt a cold chill run across her arm.
"As long as I can." Naruto replied happily as he walked over and flopped onto the couch. "No one comes here and yells at me, so I could stay forever."
"Well, who takes care of you? You certainly can't be taking very good care of yourself when you're here in this place." Sakura asked, gesturing to the apartment.
Naruto cocked his head to the side as he looked at Sakura. "No one comes here, just me, but you guys came here so someone else might."
"Uh, yeah," Sakura obviously was getting a little freaked out, "anyways, me and Ino-pig really need to get going, but thanks for letting us see your place."
Ino glared at Sakura who was staring firmly back at her. Nodding her head shortly, Ino smiled politely to Naruto. "Make sure you take good care of yourself, Naruto-kun. As a ninja, you have to make sure you take care of your health."
Naruto sat up on the ruined couch and smiled at Ino, nodded firmly. "I'll take very good care of myself, Ino-chan. Believe it!"
Waving bye to Naruto at his doorway, Ino and Sakura walked off and away from the complex before Sakura turned on her friend. "He can't be for real, can he? He's got to be out of his mind to be living in a place like that."
"Whether he's for real or not isn't the point, billboard brow." Ino growled at Sakura. "He's living on his own in an apartment that should be condemned and tore down. Do you know what kind of person that makes him?"
"Yeah." Sakura answered immediately. "A crazy one. If you think I'm going to be his friend any longer than I have to be, then you're crazy too, Ino-pig."
Sakura walked off down the street, leaving Ino behind to fume at the back of her best friend. Sometimes, it was so hard to be her friend, but then again, she could understand what she was talking about. Naruto didn't honestly understand that the place he was living in was little better to living out on the street, and the stipend he was getting for being a student for the ninja academy was paying for that place? Ino shook her head before heading home, hoping that there would be some way she could make Naruto see what kind of bad deal he was getting.
(four years later)
Naruto had tried last year to graduate early, hoping to get onto a genin squad and make something of himself, proving to everyone that he wasn't just a dobe, a dead last. Stealth was the only thing he had managed to pass, which had hurt, but couldn't have been helped. The training he had been getting from the ANBU assigned to him had stopped during his eight year, and he hadn't seen them since then. Kurenai sensei would have been the person to go to for lessons, but she had been needed to help with her friend, a girl named Mitarashi Anko.
He had seen the weird pineapple haired girl once. She had stared at everyone hatefully, even going so far as to throw a kunai and cut a guy's cheek before appearing behind him and licking at the blood that was trickling from the wound. The voice in his head had thought that she was something else and he had to agree, though he wondered if the voice didn't mean something else entirely.
The brown trench coat she wore looked heavy as all hell, and the skimpy full body fishnet and micro mini skirt she wore underneath it were a pervert's fantasy. Maybe that was why she threw the kunai.
He bumped into someone in front of him, a boy in a blue top with a red and white fan in the middle of his back. He was about to apologize for bumping into them when the person turned around and addressed him. "Oy, dobe. Watch where the hell you're going." His coal black eyes stared him arrogantly in the face, black hair combed carefully on his head to give him a well kept look.
"Who the hell are you calling a dobe? Who the hell are you?" Naruto's patience was running infinitely shorter these days. With Ino and Saukra chasing after some guy who lost his whole clan from one person slaughtering them all, they pined over him and wanted to be the one who made the poor person feel like he wasn't as alone as he had heard.
The boy glared at him before snorting and turning his back to him again, Exposing the white fan with a red circle around the upper top of it. "Uchiha Sasuke, and don't forget it." The boy began to walk away into the academy, hands in his white shorts as he scowled at everyone that crossed his vision.
Naruto adjusted his orange coat and dusted his orange pants, grumbling under his breath. Tenten, the girl from the orphanage with the buns of hair shaped like mouse ears, had been about the only person he could train with after school, but she was going to graduate this year and needed all the time she could get in to graduate. Hinata had developed a case of fainting every time she got near him, making it impossible to train with her, Sakura and Ino pined over some new kid coming to the academy today, and now he bumped into someone who rubbed his nose in being the dead last of his class. As if Kiba wasn't bad enough for doing stuff like that.
"Kill him. Stab him in the throat from behind." The voice in his head whispered. For awhile now, the voice had been getting louder and louder until he could even hear when the voice slept in his head, which disturbed him slightly.
Walking into the classroom, he noticed Kiba in his parka talking to his little white pup and partner, Akamaru. Thanking whatever Kami was watching out for him for at least this bit of good fortune, he moved to his seat in the middle of the classroom and sat down. He watched as Ino and Sakura tried to push through the doorway at the same time, fighting with each other and shrieking their pet names for each other at the top of their lungs before bursting through the doorway and headed for their seats, never taking a breath as the shouting continued.
A few other students walked into the room before the 30 something image of their teacher walked in. With brown hair tied back like the Anko woman and a scar over the bridge of his nose that ran from under one eye to the other, many of the student referred to Iruka sensei as the class dolphin. "Ok, class, settle down." The kind voice called out before getting an angry look on his face. "Shut Up!" Iruka shouted, his head looking like it had grown to four sizes too large for his body. Everyone quieted instantly.
"I have an announcement today." Naruto groaned silently to himself. Announcements were never good, they usually involved Naruto getting blamed for someone else's practical jokes. He had thought about committing such deeds, but he didn't want the town to hate him even worse than what they already did, and he didn't want Teuchi and Ayame-chan to get less business because he frequented there. "We have a new student today joining our class. Please, come in and introduce yourself."
Naruto lifted his eyes and waited, only to growl in his throat as the boy he had bumped into outside of the school walked in. He gave everyone a glance over, getting the girls to squeal in delight and the guys to groan in disgust. "I'm Uchiha Sasuke. I'll be in this class till I graduate." He turned to Iruka and asked, "Can I get my seat now?"
Iruka blinked at the boy before nodding his head. "Of course, your seat will be…" Naruto was getting a bad feeling as the voice started whispering urgently to kill the boy now before he pissed it off any more, "next to Uzumaki Naruto. Naruto, please raise your hand."
It sucked to be right…
Yes, it's nearly canon, I know this. Normally, Naruto didn't kill the kidnapper that nearly took Hinata, Ino wouldn't introduce Sakura to Naruto and Anko and Kurenai wouldn't be only 6-7 years older than Naruto. I would have added a mention about arranged marriage for the Kazekage and Yondaime of Konoha right after the fight with Kyuubi, but that would lead somewhere awkward later on. The first official chapter will start at the end of the school year when Naruto is 12 and the canon line was supposed to pick up, so now that the history/backstory is written, the rest can begin.
Kyuubi no Kitsune - Nine Tail Fox Demon
Shiki Fuujin - Corpse Spirit Sealing
Yondaime - Fourth Fireshadow
Sandaime - Third Fireshadow
ANBU - Elite Ninja protecting the Hokage, like the president and his secret service
For any other questions, comments, information - Go to www dot leafninja dot com They have many diagrams, skills, and biographies. That site is not owned by me, but is well done and should be used as a source of information for anyone who is still confused