Gift of Fire
By: Black Saint
Hey everyone, I know you're probably wondering, What the fuck is up with you lately? and You've been dropping fics left and right and then you go pick up and another one?. Well, believe me when I say that I've asked myself those same things plenty of times, and I've always come up to the same conclusion… I must be going out of my mind! As proof of that, I'm here in the wee hours of the morning typing the first chapter to a fic I wasn't planning on starting until months later. Regardless, I'm here and I will say a few things about this fic before I get started.
1. This will be a Super!Naruto fic, but unlike my other fics, I plan to go into a lot more detail.
2. Anyone who reads my fics knows that I'm a sucker for Naru/Hina, but I have attempted both a Naru/Harem and a Naru/Haku. So you know that I'm open for more than the normal. As of now, I don't know the pairings other than Naru/FemKyuubi or even if I'm going to have a harem, however, if the possibility does come up, please don't get too offended if your particular pairing doesn't come up. I want this fic to be in both my safe zone as well as a bit more an adventure/challenge for my writing, and above all else, I want it to be fun!
3. This is the last one, more precisely, this'll probably be one of my last fics for a while, so please bear with me if my updates are slow.
Well, I thank you for your time, and it is much appreciated, Now onward towards victory! (sorry couldn't help myself ;P)
Summary: Gifted. A term commonly used with the Hyuuga or the Uchiha, but after one faithful night involving both families, a new name will be associated with the word. That name is Uzumaki Naruto, son of the Fourth Hokage, and inheritor of the Gift of Fire.
Don't own Naruto, never will yadda yadda yadda…
Chapter 1: Fated Change…
'My first month… I can't believe I already got through my first month of the shinobi academy!' Naruto thought happily, as he dug into his second bowl of congratulatory ramen. He was finally taking steps towards his dream! His dream of acknowledgment as a person instead of an untouchable pariah that for most of his life people thought of him as. Looking down at his reflection in the ramen broth, Naruto couldn't help but smile; he had finally taken a step in the right direction!
"Well, who would have thought someone could get so worked up over one month of school; it warms my heart to see someone taking their studies so seriously," Teuchi said from behind the shop's kitchen window. Naruto blushed a bit from embarrassment, and the old man just laughed aloud at the boy's expense before whipping him up another helping of his famous ramen.
Three bowls later, the small academy student got up from his favorite seat in the ramen stand before paying the man in coupons. It was a sad truth, but they were the only way he could afford to eat sometimes. Not that Teuchi and his daughter minded that, hell they would have let Naruto eat there freely hadn't the boy been so adamant about paying.
'He's stubborn and forgetful too… Naruto come back you forgot some of your coupons!" the old ramen chef thought fondly as he hollered after the blond, but it was to late, the boy had already gone speeding off like a miniature typhoon. Pocketing the small crumpled pieces of paper, Teuchi decided to just put it on the boy's tab and call it a night.
The alleys of Konohagakure had become like a second home to Naruto. He not only knew all of the shortcuts through, over, and between them, but they also offered a safe haven from the many cold glares he received when he traveled out amongst the open populace of the village. Today had been a good day in particular, because he already accomplished two of his three needs. One was his full stomach and the second was the fact that he was well on his way towards his dream.
'Now to settle the third thing for today… Pranking," Naruto finished aloud before a devious smirk crossed his features. He didn't know how to explain it, maybe it was embedded in his DNA somewhere or it was his 'desperate cry for attention', but Naruto knew that nothing compared to the adrenaline rush he would feel after pulling a prank on an unsuspecting target.
Perching himself atop one of the shadowy rooftops that oversaw his secret kingdom, Naruto scanned the alleyways below with a truly foxy expression before a flicker of movement caught his attention. Turning his focus onto the scene below, Naruto watched three men in black quickly follow behind the thing that had first caught his attention and Naruto went into what he liked to call his 'prank mode'.
Compressing his chakra into a tight, nearly non-existent ball, Naruto had learned in class that day the ability, which he had perfected over years of pranking and now came almost naturally to him, was something not even most jonin could do with an incredible amount of practice. The thought of him being more skilled than most jonin made him swell with pride and with that thought in mind, he looked down into the dead-end alleyway while formulating a prank to top all of his pranks.
'Now, what should I do? I could drop three trashcans on their heads and call it a night, but that's so boring! Maybe something like a stink bomb, but I don't have the time to prepare one without…Hinata?" Naruto gasped out in mid thought, when he noticed the strange little girl was squeezing herself into a ball in the corner, trying to disappear from the sight of the three men surrounding her.
Remembering the girl from his first day of class, Naruto recalled that she had a timid aura and whenever anyone asked her a question, she became a stuttering heap. In his never-ending attempt to make friends and gain the recognition from everyone around him, Naruto stepped in and answered the question for her despite being completely wrong. The girl's reaction was gracious though, and Naruto figured that she was at least someone that he could befriend.
'What is she doing here? In a dark, back-alley like this? From what I remember, she's the Hyuuga Heiress, closest thing to royalty Konoha has,' and as Naruto recalled silently, he turned a curious ear to the conversation below him,all ideas for making the men his newest victims vanished.
"Well, what do we have here boys? It seems that the little Hyuuga Princess wandered away from daddy's bodyguards and found herself in a heap of trouble," one of the men said, before laughing aloud at his own joke. This guy was obviously the leader, because the other two didn't have the brains to figure out when to start laughing or when to stop…
The leader soon grew irritated and his killing intent began to leak out silently around him, cutting off his companions' awkward laughing in an instance. From above, however, Naruto immediately noticed something strange about the guy as soon as he started leaking his murderous aura.
'What's with this guy? Since when did his aura change so suddenly?' Naruto questioned silently while keeping his eyes peeled on the man in question. For as long as he could remember, Naruto had been able to read the moods and auras of people without as much as a second glance. It was because of this that he trusted Teuchi and Ayame, because whenever he looked at them, all he ever saw was an aura of kindness radiating from them.
However, this guy's aura was angry, chaotic, and positively reeked of horrible intentions. Watching as the aura flared up, Naruto knew from experience that the man was about to attack, so without a second thought, Naruto dropped down on the unsuspecting offender and planted his foot squarely on the back of the guy's head. The dark-haired male stumbled for a moment but his two companions quickly caught him. After quickly regaining his balance, he shrugged off his two lackeys before turning a pissed off glare onto Naruto.
'Where the hell did this kid come from? Hey wait isn't that the Kyuubi brat…How the hell did you sneak up on us?" the man asked, while making sure not to mention the Kyuubi or any of the unusual traits that gave Naruto. The blond just smirked, however, to hide the tightly bottled sense of excitement that he was getting from a job well done.
"I don't know, maybe because you guys' have shitty sensory awareness," Naruto fired back cockily, causing the Hyuuga Heiress to gasp at his foul language. 'Oh yeah, I forgot she's from the 'high society', only time they cuss up there is if someone gets the stick pulled from their asses,' Naruto joked silently as he eyed the three men in front of him.
From what he could tell by just looking at them that the leader seemed to be the only one here with any harmful intent, the other two just seemed to be followers who couldn't think for themselves. True to his assumption, the leader was the first one to try to muscle his way pass him.
"Oi gaki, this has nothing to do with you, the little Hyuuga bitch ran into me on my way home. I don't take kindly to unprovoked attacks, especially when there is no apology involved," the leader said before his two friends backed him up from the side. Naruto stared at the man the whole time he was talking, all the while reading the man's aura as he spoke.
"Well I think you're full of bullshit. There's no way someone like Hinata would run into someone purposely, and even if she ran into you accidentally, which I'm sure she didn't, she's the type of person that would try to break their back for your forgiveness," Naruto stated defiantly, despite only knowing the girl for a month. Unknowingly to Naruto, his words had lifted the downtrodden girl's spirits and boosted her low self-esteem just a little.
'No one has ever said something like that about me. Thank you… Naruto-kun," Hinata uttered quietly while watching the scene in front of her rapidly unfold.
'That damn gaki is starting to piss me off,' the ringleader thought angrily while looking in the seven year old's eyes. His blue eyes seemed to twinkle with an inner fire like nothing he had ever seen, it was as if the brat's eyes weren't looking at him at all, but through him and into his heart. Little did he know that he was only half right…
Naruto smirked when he saw the familiar sight of uncertainty flicker across his opponent's face and aura. Now that the seeds of doubt were in his opponent's thoughts, the game of deception and misdirection would be all too easy now. Forming a quick seal, Naruto found out from a bit of after school practice that the seemingly impossible Bunshin could easily be done if he just compressed his chakra as he was doing now.
Instantly, ten Naruto appeared each flanking another's back in a bowling pin array. Locking eyes with the leader once again, Naruto's smirk widened as he and his nine other clones charged at the men. Amongst the chaos, Hinata watched silently as the clones danced merrily around the men's blows, all the while taunting the men with their casual attitudes and sly grins.
"What's with this kid? I can't tell his chakra apart from the copies!" one of the less intelligent teens cried out as he swung at another one of the clones. Growing frustrated, the leader found that trying to hit one of the Naruto's was akin to swatting a fly. A fly that was hyperactive, taunting, and knew how to push all your buttons. In fact, the clones were so distracting that neither he nor his companions noticed the near silent poofing of a Kawarimi.
'How could he be this strong after only a month at the academy?' Hinata thought to herself as she watched the clones continue to dance around the bumbling group of men. Letting herself look onwards in awe at the boy's distraction, so much, that all thoughts of escape eluded her until she felt a hand clamp down on her shoulder. Instinct kicked in and Hinata inhaled deeply to scream, but a hand clamped down over her mouth.
"Whatever you do, don't scream," a familiar voice whispered quietly into her ear from behind the trashcan. Looking over her shoulder to confirm on whom it was, Hinata felt a rush of relief when her eyes met Naruto's cerulean eyes.
"Hey, go ahead and use a bit of chakra to escape onto the rooftops, I'll keep them busy while you get away," Naruto whispered before releasing the girl and watching her jump up onto the roofs without any problems. Watching the girl slip out of sight, Naruto turned back to make sure that the three stooges were still busy before figuring out what he should do next.
'Well, it seems it's time for me to make my escape,' Naruto thought as he patted himself on the back for a job well done. However, as soon as he was making plans for his great escape, the chakra supporting the Bunshin unraveled, dispelling all of the clones at once. Turning his attention back to the three young men, Naruto noticed that the ringleader's aura was now a deep rage.
"That's gonna cost you dearly gaki," the dark haired male stated angrily while cracking his knuckles.
"Oh really, so you and your two cronies are gonna teach me a lesson? You couldn't even beat a pack of bunshin before their timer went out," Naruto taunted, trying desperately to distract the teenager somehow so that he could deceive or misdirect him. However, his attempt was to no avail since there wasn't a single flicker of uncertainty or doubt in the young man's aura.
"Tough words for someone who relies on tricks to fight his battles," the teen shot back, now fully focused on Naruto. The blond had no illusions that he could beat three teenagers at once, but if he could manage to distract the leader, then there was a chance he could get away.
"Hey, they fooled you didn't they?" Naruto countered while trying the seals for another Kawarimi.
'If I can just time this right, I may be able to switch places with one of the trashcans behind them and disappear amongst a pack of clones,' Naruto planned as he completed his hand seals, just as the man's foot collided with his stomach.
The loud clank of the leader's foot crashing into the trashcan drowned out the sound of Naruto poofing into existence. Rushing for the exit, Naruto finished the seals for his twenty Bunshin quickly surrounded him.
'I'm home free now baby,' Naruto thought happily, but just as he was about to cross the threshold into the open Konoha streets, he was yanked back in by the collar. Turning his head upward, Naruto locked gazes with two menacing red eyes. Thrashing and twistingwith all his might, Naruto didn't stop struggling even as a rain of blows hit him from all directions.
Finally, after what seemed like an eternity of painful torture, Naruto felt himself hurled through the air like a cheap rag doll before falling into a heap of garage. Bruised, bloodied, and soaked with trash water, Naruto looked up at the three who did this to him with eyes still burning with that great inner fire. Peering directly at the group leader, Naruto made eye contact with the teenager, startling the man with the intensity in his eyes…
'What's with those eyes? Why is it as if he's looking down on me? Judging me?' Hey, stop looking at me like that gaki, before I take your eyes out as well and remember this well, because this is how you will always be, trash at the feet of greatness. Nothing, not those Hyuuga bitch's eyes nor your eyes, can ever compare to the eyes of the Uchiha's Sharingan," the man said while looking down on the boy with a blazing one tomoe Sharingan.
Burning that, along with the pattern emblazoned on the group of teen's backs, Naruto stared angrily at the men's backs as they walked away, leaving him in the trash.
'I swear that all those bastards are gonna pay,' Naruto swore angrily as he pulled his beaten body out of the trash. His anger was rolling off him in waves, and since no one was around to call him monster or demon, he didn't care…
At least, that's what he thought; because little did the young boy know there was another spectator at the show, one with a fully developed Sharingan and an interested glint in his eye.
Just After Dusk…
Naruto sat in the midst of empty ramen cups and dirty clothes going over his plan once again. On paper, it was simple: sneak in, trash the place, sneak out, but in practice it would be a whole other thing; luckily, he had all the right resources. First, he managed to catch Iruka just as he left the academy for the day. Gleaning as much knowledge he could get about the Sharingan, Naruto tried to be as vague and innocent as possible about why he was so curious about it all of a sudden. Iruka was one of the few people that gave off a trusting aura, so lying to him had turned out to be harder than Naruto thought.
'But if he knew what I was planning to do he would go all mother hen on me,' Naruto thought recalling the argument he and Iruka had gotten into over the bruises on his faces and arms. He had told Iruka that it was a bit of new training he was trying out, and he wasn't exactly lying, because saving Hinata had taken every bit of ninja knowledge he had learned to pull it off.
Building off step one, Naruto, with a little fast talking, got Iruka to use his teacher's clearance to pull up a few of the village's maps and schematics from the library. Studying the maps alongside Iruka was tricky, because if he seemed too interested in the Uchiha district's layout, the academy professor would know something was up. So in a round about way, Naruto began formulating the quickest path from his apartment to the Uchiha complex and back.
'Take the alleyways there and the main road back, if someone tries to come after me I can look as innocent as possible,' Naruto reminded himself while changing into his stealthiest set of clothing. Even though he had scored the highest on the stealth portion of the entrance exam in the entire academy, upper classes included, he figured against an enemy that had a world-renowned doujutsu opting for full black apparel would be the best bet.
Slipping on the pants and shirt, Naruto wrapped his forearms and shins with black gauze before pulling his hood up. He was dressed in the classic ninja attire, only armed with the set of kunai he had received when passing the academy entrance exam. Despite being armed, he wasn't going there to fight anyone…
'No these kunai have a much bigger part to play in this revenge,' Naruto thought as he carefully placed the few bottles of spray paint he had been saving into his outfit's hidden sleeves. Grabbing his black rucksack, Naruto then double-checked every detail of his plan down to the proverbial 'T', before making his way to the door and once he gripped the handle, trepidation finally set in.
'Once I set foot out of this apartment, there's no turning back,' Naruto told himself, as a final desperate ploy of his forgotten conscious. Leaving well enough alone was his safest and most secure bet, however, if he did that then he wouldn't be Uzumaki Naruto! Reaching up to his hood, Naruto pulled the thin flap of fabric across the lower half of his face covering it behind a black veil before stepping through the threshold and into the night…
'I finally did it! I finally hit all the bull's-eyes on Itachi-nii-san's shuriken course,' Sasuke thought proudly as he made his way home in the night. It had been a month since he had started the academy and he was already improving rapidly. He had been faithfully working on his shuriken skills as his brother instructed and it was only a few days ago that his father had actually acknowledged him.
'I'm a man now, and a full-fledged Uchiha capable of using the Goukakyuu no jutsu (Grand Fireball Technique). 'Father realizes that now and even said it! He even said'… "'As expected of my son'", Sasuke thought, uttering the last part ever so quietly as he rounded the corner into the Uchiha district. He was late, and the full moon sitting on the horizon was proof enough of that, but he was sure that his mother wouldn't mind it this once, not after she heard what he accomplished…
Whipping out his shuriken, Sasuke decided that one more volley wouldn't hurt and that it would only take a second to retrieve the lost projectiles after thrown. Scanning the area around him for suitable targets, ones worthy enough to test his skills, Sasuke spotted four telephone polls surrounding him from all four of the cardinal directions.
'Okay just like Aniki did it,' Sasuke chanted before launching two shuriken in opposites directions. The first volley's trajectory was aimed wide flying directly in between two poles, however Sasuke was done yet and with unparalleled precision he fired off another volley aimed directly for the first set. The second set of shuriken flew twice as fast as the first and in perfect timing the metal stars collided with the first set altering their trajectory drastically so that instead of flying between the poles they all veered directly into a pole.
Thunk, thunk, thunk…
"Naruto!" Sasuke exclaimed aloud when his gaze met that of the blue eyed shadowy figure, illuminated by the pale glow of the moon sitting on the horizon behind him. He knew that his aim was true, as he had spent much the last week breaking down the technique into a science before practicing it enough to make it almost instinct, and the blond served as a perfect explanation as to why his last shuriken missed.
'I knew there is no way I could have missed. I would have known it before I even released the shuriken, but why is it that Naruto is dressed that way?' Sasuke asked before his eyes trailed after his quickly disappearing classmate. However, little did the boy know that there was another speculator watching the show, one whose eyes glinted crimson before disappearing from the scene.
'Shit, shit, shit! I can't believe someone already saw me, and by a person who recognized me no less,' Naruto cursed internally as he hid in the shadows of one of the buildings.
'I suppose it would happen eventually,' Naruto figured once his heart stopped racing. Everything had been going smoothly; he had managed to stay hidden from the patrolling Anbu on the rooftops by using the alleys as he planned. However, once he reached the border of the Uchiha District would the true test of his stealth begin. The closely packed building resided in the heart of the village and the alleyways that formed because of them now became a place with wider, fenced paths, completely void of all sense of cover.
In short, it was the virtual no man's land for a street rat like him…
He had taken a gamble and lost, but there was one bright side. 'Sasuke may have recognized me, but from what I know of the Uchiha clan, they don't live in one compound like the Hyuugas do, but more like have their own living district. Sasuke's father is the head of the clan, so he must live in the head's home. Now assuming that Sasuke doesn't feel the need to tell his parents that he's seen me near the complex, I'll just have to hit his house last and I may still be able to pull this off,' Naruto figured as he went over the timing in his head again. The times were all figurative, but if he didn't run into too many difficulties, he estimated that he would be finish with his revenge just before the sun rose.
'Plenty of time for Sasuke-chan to fall asleep and for me to finish,' Naruto assured himself before breaking into his first victim's room. Opening his black rucksack, Naruto couldn't help but smirk when he opened his sleeping victim's drawer and started filling the bag up with the man's wardrobe.
I have to make sure to thank jiji-san for getting me this bag, Naruto noted as the seals on the bag began to glow ever so lightly. He had gotten the bag as a birthday present from the Hokage, and it was specially sealed so that it was connected to its own summon storage system. It's intended purpose was for Naruto to store all his valuables if he ever was forced to move, or more realistically, flee his home but for now it was filling a slightly more juvenile role. Stuffing the bag with the man's clothes, Naruto chuckled as he put the underwear into a separate compartment and made his way to the next house, all the while leaving a trail of clean clothing behind him.
'Okay now for the hardest part yet… The Head's house," Naruto whispered aloud before entering the building. He had a few close calls that night touring through the Uchiha Complex, but luckily for him, he wasn't just stealthy, but sly as a fox as well. That night alone, Naruto couldn't count how many times the Henge, Bunshin, or Kawarimi had saved his ass.
'But I do feel sorry for the guy I switched with when I ran into the Chunin walking in after duty,' Naruto thought as he recalled the scene of a very tired shinobi walking into his bedroom to see his brother and wife in the same futon. Luckily, for Naruto, he had gone with his first instincts and used a replacement instead of a transformation. Otherwise, he may have ended up thrown against the wall by one pissed off husband.
Putting the thoughts of domestic violence aside, Naruto made sure that his chakra hadn't expanded from its compressed form. 'Because, the last thing I need is to be caught here with a trail of the clans' clean clothes behind me and all of their underwear in my backpack,' Naruto commented as he entered the first room.
The first thing Naruto noticed was the room was empty, which was then followed by the thought, 'How can someone live in here?'
Surveying the room right and left, Naruto stared at the room in disbelief. It wasn't that the room was dirty; no, it was quite the opposite. The room was so clean that there were hardly any signs of life. Hadn't it been for the neatly tucked futon in the corner and the perfectly arranged cases of kunai and shuriken beside it, Naruto would have mistaken the room for a storage room or guest bedroom.
Quickly putting aside the weird feeling he was getting from the room, Naruto quickly went to work; making his way over to the closet where, once again, everything from the shirts hanging on the hangers to the row of drawers on the bottom were neatly arranged. Taking an armful of shirts and pants from the closet, Naruto threw them haphazardly on the ground in an attempt to show some semblance that life resided in the room. Now with his own lifestyle preferences abated, Naruto went to the underwear drawer to acquire more 'supplies' for his master plan.
Opening the drawer hastily, Naruto was shocked when his eyes fell on a single splash of color out of the nearly monochromatic bedroom. Plucking the orange book out from between two fan emblazoned briefs, Naruto immediately opened the brightly colored book to find that his name was the first thing he saw.
'I'm definitely going to read this now,' Naruto thought to himself before pocketing the brightly colored Icha Icha Paradise in one of his hidden pockets before leaving the room in a mess.
Once all traces of the blond were gone, a figure appeared from its hiding spot along the wall. Casting his eyes over the messy floor in disgust, the man resisted the scowl that was itching its way across his face and instead turned his attention to the figure that was appearing before him.
"Has the boy been detected yet?" the figure asked, as its form flickered slightly in Itachi's eyes. Itachi felt slightly insulted when he realized that his companion was projecting his form from a remote location and that the man didn't trust him enough to meet him in person…
However, given the man's history, his trust in humanity had died along with his mortality when he plucked his brother's eyes from their sockets long ago.
"No Madara-sama, the boy is how you stated; crude as a neophyte shinobi with his execution, but cunning and perceptive as well, however, there is one exception to the information you presented to me. The boy is able to suppress his chakra to almost absolute nothingness, and had it not been for these eyes, I doubt I would have been able to react in time when he opened the door on me," Itachi reported, having bowed down to one knee while talking to the man.
"Raise my apprentice; I feel as though the boy's appearance is an omen and an ill omen at that. A fox's best traits are its cunning and trickery and this boy has obviously been blessed by the Kyuubi itself, otherwise, how would he be able to use such advanced abilities? I believe that now isn't the time to act, as acting against a fox in the midst of its vengeances has never been a wise decision," Madara uttered softly, staring the Uchiha in the eye. In the depths of the boy's obsidian gaze was the roaring flame of ambition, a trait he and his brother shared before he took his brother's light.
'His ambition will be the death of me… So now is not the time to proceed with our plan, patience will be our reward tonight in hopes that we will achieve victory another day," Madara finished aloud, talking to both himself and his young apprentice.
"Hai Madara-sama, I will keep an eye on the young fox for the time being. His involvement tonight was not unwarranted and I will see if I can play it to our advantage," Itachi replied before the flickering being in front of him disappeared, leaving only a residue mist of chakra in its wake.
Activating his Sharingan anew, Itachi disappeared into the walls as well, returning to his duty of monitoring the young fox once again.
A little ways away, Naruto crept up to the next room, unaware of the conversation that had transpired only a few feet behind him. However, scheming Uchiha were the last thing on his mind, instead Naruto's sole focus was his next victim. Sliding the screen door ever so quietly, Naruto entered in the likeness of a wraith by not once making a sound. However, as he made his way to the closet, Naruto peered down towards the futon to see whose room he was pillaging only to find out that he was in Sasuke's room!
A sudden wave of anxiety rushed over him as he looked down on the peacefully sleeping boy. 'Do I owe him this one passover? He has never been truly spitefully toward me, and it's because of him staying quiet that I even got this far,' Naruto reasoned as he stared down on the sleeping Uchiha. His morals were warring once again with his natural prankster, citing that Sasuke had inadvertently protected him from being found before his plan even got started. However, the more mischievous side of him took no prisoners and Sasuke would just have to be a 'causality of war'.
'Besides, a prank has never hurt anybody,' Naruto relented before swiping the boy's underwear, but it was just as he was about to move towards the boy's closet for more 'ammo' when genius struck him mid-step.
"You better appreciate this Sasuke, I'm cutting you a break," Naruto said, barely above a whisper as he dug in his backpack. Searching in the nearly limitless space seal inside his rucksack, Naruto didn't even bother suppressing the incredibly maniacal grin before stuffing his 'break' into Sasuke's empty drawers.
"There's your passover Sasuke, enjoy!"
Unfortunately, Naruto's jocund whisper was just loud enough to stir the unconscious Uchiha, and in a groggy voice Sasuke asked, "Passover… what are you doing here Itachi? Did you wander into my room by accident again?"
'Kami-sama! I barely managed to get that henge off in time,' Naruto ranted mentally, not trusting his voice to persuade the young Uchiha that he really was his brother. Nodding shakily, Naruto thanked Kami that it was dark; otherwise Sasuke would have seen his, otherwise aloof brother, sweating like a hog next in line for the slaughter.
"Whatever, hurry up and get out of here Aniki, or I'll tell mom you were trying to scare me with the 'eye stealing oni' bit, again," Sasuke sleepily threatened as he rolled over and went back to sleep. Letting out a breath, Naruto didn't release the henge until he was safely out of Sasuke's room and at his final destination.
'The Uchiha Council Chamber, the room where all the ordinances of the clan are passed down from leader to follower, from elder to newborn,' Naruto mused, regurgitating Iruka's exact words from earlier that day. Upon entering, Naruto realized it was less secure than expected; perhaps because he was in the heart of the Uchiha Complex, the proverbial belly of the beast or because Naruto had gotten the guard that was supposed to be on duty knocked out for 'sleeping' with his brother's wife, not that he knew that of course.
Opening up his backpack, Naruto commenced in laying out all the clothes he collected in his little scavenger hunt around the compound. Noting the practically sweaty smell emitted from all of the clothes, Naruto figured that the dirty clothes somehow mixed with the clean ones for hours, giving them that hauntingly disgusting aroma.
'Smells like shinobi's feet mixed with sweat and grim… Absolutely perfect," Naruto finished aloud as he spread the clothes out all over the council chamber, making sure to leave no cushion, mat, or table unmarked.
'Now for the icing on the cake,' Naruto added as he made his way outside. Catching the time out of the corner of his eye, Naruto saw that he had about twenty minutes before the sun would rise and the Uchiha would start their day.
Acting with cautious haste, Naruto hurried to the main courtyard, all the while digging into his backpack for the side compartment that housed their underwear. Finding the spot just as he reached the main courtyard, Naruto dumped the underwear out in an unceremonious way, causing a foul smell to linger in the air. Like before, the dirty clothes had mixed with the clean, resulting in a foul smell. However, this smell, being the combination of the sweatiest part of the human body along with the thinnest piece of clothing worn on the body, was by far the foulest. The smell was so strong that only a description such as sweaty balls left out on a hot summer day, or an eleven on a scale of one to ten could attempt to describe the rancid odor.
'Dear Kami, what have I unleashed?' Naruto asked humorously before pulling out a stack of explosive notes that had the kanji for 'dud' slapped over the seals in bold red ink. They had been sticking to his clothes after the bastard Uchihas threw him in the garbage, and Naruto found it only fitting that they got back to their rightful owners.
True to their labeling, the explosive tags were defective and once ignited what should have resulted in an explosion, was only a feeble sparking, barely large enough to match that of the weakest Katon jutsu. Therefore, instead of blowing the pile of fetid clothes to the sky, Naruto supposed the Uchiha would have to settle from picking their clothes in a cloud of rancid smelling smoke.
Leaving slowly burning stacks of explosive duds on the large mound of clothes, Naruto turned and left. His righteous crusade for justice was complete and with just enough time to spare for him to make it to class on time.
Fugaku was dreaming; and dreaming was a rare luxury to the aged and battle weary Uchiha Head. Maybe, it was because after awhile, the images of battles and bodies would all fade into black as the mind tries to repress his guilt manifested in gruesome images of his past, or maybe it was just because he had achieved everything thing he wanted and there was hardly anything that carried his fancy long enough to become a dream. However, the fact still remained that one the most influential man in the Uchiha loved to dream, and now a foul smell was interrupting one.
Slowly opening his eyes, Fugaku grunted when the first rays of the sun's light hit his eyes. The man surveyed the room squinting, trying his hardest to detect the source of the offending smell.
'Cherry blossoms, no that's Mikoto. Fresh pine, no that's the new flooring, and sweaty shinobi…,Kami not again,' Fugaku thought as his eyes landed on the flickering light behind the door panel that blocked his room from the main courtyard. Hurrying out of bed, the man made his way to the door with his startled wife behind him. The sounds of coughing, arguing, and general chaos filtered into his room through the anti-sound seals placed on the door panels.
Reluctantly sliding the door open, the Uchiha Head nearly gagged when the thick layer of dark smoke hit his lungs full force. It was indeed the smell that had been burned into his memory by one of the Yondaime Hokage's more notorious pranks.
'Who the hell? Why did someone burn malodorous clothing in the main courtyard?' Fugaku asked angrily, as he activated his Sharingan and cast his eyes over the smoky pit that had once been his atrium. Finding no strange chakra signatures through the smoke, Fugaku began to entertain the thought that this was no accident and rather a strategically thought out attack on his clan. From there, a magnitude of thoughts began surging forth for the recesses of the Head's mind ranging from as for as, 'is this a declaration of war' and, 'who could have possibly been brave enough to attack the Uchiha?'
With that thought in mind, Fugaku returned to his room and retrieved his formal robes; he and his family would be taking a trip to the Hokage's office…
Iruka surveyed the rows of students before him noticing not one, not two, but three anomalies happening all at once. Blinking once to make sure he wasn't dreaming, Iruka let out a sigh when he realized that he indeed had a seemingly calm and quiet Uzumaki Naruto, sitting in his seat peacefully while reading a small orange book that he pulled out once he completed his quiz.
'This can't be happening. I'm not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, but a docile Uzumaki Naruto is like the Kyuubi becoming Fire Country's Nation mascot!' Iruka ranted silently while letting out another sigh. Not only was Naruto acting strangely, but also both Sasuke and Hinata were out at the same time. It wasn't much of a connection, but as it stood, both clans heavily endorsed the ninja lifestyle for its members, and they would promptly inform the academy if one of their own were going to miss a day.
Iruka wasn't a stupid man, and so the gears in the chunin's head began to turn.
'This is too strange; something must be up, but what?' Iruka asked yet again, eying Naruto curiously as the boy's face turned from tanned to red and back again. Ignoring the chromatic changes in his favorite student's pigment, Iruka tried to connect the dots on what could possibly be going on, all the while hoping that Naruto's behavior wasn't somehow linked to this anomaly.
"Iruka-san, I am here to retrieve one Uzumaki Naruto," said a voice from the doorway his and as Iruka turned, all he saw was a porcelain mask. Recognizing it as an Anbu mask, all thoughts of Naruto's innocence went flying out of his mind and he realized that whatever Naruto did was much more serious than he could have possibly thought.
Judging the man's shift in demeanor from behind his mask, the Anbu agent gave his condolences to the academy teacher in hopes to calm the man's nerves. "Do not worry Iruka-san; Uzumaki-san will not be harmed. However, he must come with me to the Hokage's office to answer a few questions on his location last night."
Gliding through the room, all eyes were on Naruto as the masked man made his way towards Naruto. He was the shinobi elite, master of his given profession, and one of the Hokage's personal soldiers, hand selected for his prowess in the shinobi arts. However, even for someone as skilled as him, predicting Konoha's most unpredictable ninja in training was still an impossibility as the Anbu's hand reached for Naruto's shoulder the blond boy 'popped', giving off a large flash of light.
'When did he manage to complete a bunshin?' the man thought frantically as he switched to his other senses and searched out for the blond boy. The chaos of the panicked students made using his sense of sound and smell useless and in a last ditch effort, the Anbu focused his chakra awareness to its maximum potential only to find that the boy was still untraceable!
'Nothing… the boy completely vanished,' the Anbu added as his disorientation from the improvised flash bang faded. Realizing that he had underestimated the child, the Anbu quickly switched into mission mode where he began to critically analyze the situation and devise a quick and efficient solution to the problem.
'The target is capable of a heightened level control over the bunshin jutsu, and capable of easily creating distractions from the said jutsu…,' the man started as he went into autopilot while scanning the class from behind his porcelain mask. Naruto had disappeared and, with no visible change in any of his surroundings, other than a few knocked over desks from panicked craze, he didn't have much of a place to start looking from.
'Well, all the windows and door haven't been opened or closed, so its safe to say he's still in this room,' Anbu listed off as he slowly began quarantining the room, breaking it into logical zones despite the chaos. This, which would have taken a normal shinobi several minutes and giving his enemy ample time to escape, was done in seconds and with a surprising flash of killing intent the whole room went still.
The students' stared wide-eyed at the man as they stood paralyzed in fear, long after he suppressed his monstrous aura. It was as if he had snuffed the energy out of all of them, leaving them as frightened as deer in front of a Katon jutsu. However, even after his little demonstration, Naruto still hadn't surfaced.
'The boy is good, to say the least. I had planned to use enough killing intent to freeze the boy up long enough so that he would appear from wherever he is hiding, without causing most of the students to vomit or, Kami-forbid, succumb to their darker impulses,' the Anbu commented, not wanting to be the one to explain the Hokage why a child took their own life to free him or herself from his killing intent.
Sighing, the Anbu showed his first visible sign of frustration when he marched up to the nearest student and began to inspect him thoroughly with all his senses. The process was quick, given how unskilled the majority of the students were at concealing their chakra from him, so the Black Ops agent knew that as soon as he encountered the slightest resistance, he would find his target.
Meanwhile, Naruto stood on the far side of the room cloaked as Hinata, thanking Kami for the fact that the girl was tremendously shy and hardly noticed by anyone in the class. Spotting Iruka assisting a pale looking kunoichi, who just lost all of her breakfast thanks to the Anbu's display, Naruto looked over his options as time slipped away ceaselessly.
'Now what do I do?' Naruto asked, slightly shaken from the Anbu's previous display. For once, the glares from the villagers helped him, since he was now the gripping feel of killer intent, had almost become second nature to Naruto. In fact, it was because of that constant barrage of murderous intent that Naruto was able to suppress his own, and now, this ninja version of cat and mouse was heating up. Naruto began to formulate a plan of escape from the top of his head, realizing immediately that in his current position, he wouldn't be able to escape undetected.
'Slash that, I doubt I will be able to escape from here undetected even if I was two classrooms down. This masked guy is just to good, but if I were able to get to the window…,' Naruto thought as his natural cunning began to fill in the blanks between getting from point 'A' to point 'B'.
Subtly, Naruto brought his hands together, feigning hand seals as the shy and defensive mechanism that Hinata hid behind when she was nervous. Releasing just enough chakra to alert the Anbu, he would have to time his jutsu just right and in perfect secession if he would have any hope of making to the window and out of the classroom.
Activating his Kawarimi just as the Anbu's descending hand touched 'Hinata', Naruto dropped his Henge and switched places with a chair from the opposite side of the room. The masked shinobi followed the trail of chakra that the jutsu left over to Naruto's current position in front of the window, with the rising sun to his back. Smirking in almost a poetic way, Naruto brought his hands together for his most practiced seal.
"Now its time for the show! Oiroke no jutsu (Sexy Jutsu)!" the young blond called as his disguised form shifted into the one described in the new book he was reading. The Anbu agent couldn't help but stare at the long legs, slender waist, and large bust that were now provocatively placed in front of him instead of Uzumaki Naruto. Feeling his defenses crumble and his strict moral code fall victim it is instinctual obligation to ogle the ravishing young lady, Anbu flew backward when the blond bombshell gave him a wink and a kiss putting the shinobi elite out like a light before escaping through the window.
Leaving a class full of traumatized children in his wake, Naruto laughed aloud as he took to the streets and headed for his back alley kingdom. 'If they want me, they'll have to catch me first,' Naruto thought merrily before submerging himself into the shadow of the day…
The stage had been set and the chase was on…
Not So Shortly Afterwards…
It had been the longest and most drawn out chase that Naruto had ever led anyone on, it had gone from the back alley slums of Konoha all the way around to the still seething Uchiha District before finally ending at the sight of Naruto's last nefarious plot.
'The Hokage Monument…,' Naruto thought as his eyes shifted from side to side, slanted with a cautious, yet cunning light. The boy passively eyed each of his pursuers, making sure to note each one's strengths and weaknesses for future reference, just in case they had to catch him again.
'Not that they'd volunteer, unless ordered by the Hokage himself,' commented Naruto, merely staring clearly into each of the exhausted eyes of his pursers. They all had the same look of irritated awe while looking at the slightly winded child, who had led them on a death marathon worthy of Maito Gai himself before finally being cornered, or so they thought…
In a flash, Naruto's hands came together in the ram seal, and on reflex, all of his pursuers covered their eyes. Over the course of the grueling ordeal, Naruto had used that seal for a plethora of things; examples including multiple bunshin, flash bang bunshin, and his personal favorite, the Oiroke no Jutsu; it was needless to say that the retrieval team had become weary of the boy's jutsu.
'Being confused, blinded, and blasted away by your own sexual fantasies come to life would do that to you,' Naruto thought jubilantly, before slipping out of yet another attempt to capture him. If it were up to him, this chase would go on all night, and with the sun still high above his head, it didn't look like they would be stopping anytime soon, or so he though…
Just as he was making his dashing escape, a hand shot out and grabbed his collar, yanking him cleanly off the ground and two feet in the air where the boy struggled humorlessly against the man's impossibly strong grip. Watching the boy continue to struggle despite its futility, the man sent a heavily suppressed dose of his killing intent directly at the blond in hopes to knock him out. The wave of emotion only served to draw Naruto's attention up to the porcelain smooth dog mask the Anbu Commander was wearing.
Paying no heed to the prestige of his captor, or the graveness of the situation he was in, Naruto continued to struggle much to the awe of men and women surrounding him and even more so to the man holding him. The temporary shock wore off before both his peers and captive noticed, and with pinpoint precision, the Anbu agent pricked the back of Naruto's neck in one skilled motion before the boy's world went black and his body went still.
'There's no way I should have needed to use such a technique to subdue a child! The killing intent alone should have been enough to knock out a Chunin if directly aimed at them, but this kid just took it as if it was a light tap on the shoulder!' the Dog Anbu commented as he slung the six year old culprit onto his shoulder's before turning his gaze to his relieved comrades.
"I had to put done my Icha Icha for this? All of you need to go back to the basics if you had so much trouble catching this little guy," the Anbu Commander barked out, much to the chagrin of his peers. In truth, had the boy not been in such an open area, or distracted, the Anbu doubted that even he would have been able to catch the blond, assuming that he upheld the pretense of bringing him back unharmed.
'Well so much for my 'break', Naruto and Kasumi will have to wait for later, as I'm positive the Hokage will want to see this kid now,' the Anbu added with an invisible wince before disappearing in a Shunshin to the Hokage's office. Hopefully the Hokage was in a good mood; otherwise, Naruto may be in for more than the usual ass chewing and community service.
The Hokage's Office…
The Hokage was in no good mood. Hell, one could venture to say he was in a bad mood; however, a bad mood would be putting it lightly. No, a bad mood would be another stack of paperwork to complete or someone cutting into his 'private' relaxation time with his copy of Icha Icha Paradise, the Golden Collector's Edition. Those would have been bad moods; however, this was something far greater than just a bad mood. Someone had broken into the Uchiha Complex, vandalized the place, while at the same time humiliating almost every individual residing in the estate with the space of a night and he had a sneaking suspicion he already knew who the culprit was.
'Kami Naruto, why did you have to pick the Uchiha of all clans! I mean any other clan would have been fine and probably would have laughed it off as a particularly unfunny joke, but the Uchiha! The Nara, the Yamanaka, the Akimichi, the Hyuuga… well maybe not the Hyuuga, but any of the others would have been fine, but the UCHIHA!' The Hokage thought bitterly as he met the angry gaze of Uchiha Fugaku for the umpteenth time in the space of ten minutes.
The tension in the air was palpable, and the Hokage was sure if he had been anyone other than Sarutobi Sasuke, the Legendary Professor and Hero of the Second Shinobi War, he might have met an unsightly end at the hands of the angry Sharingan Lord. However, that did nothing to settle the hostile atmosphere. Fugaku was angry, not just because his house and home had been broken into and defiled, but because the Hokage had explicitly stated that the culprit would not undergo any physical harm.
'The old man is too soft! The boy may be the prison for that thing, but there is no reason that he should get off with an insignificant punishment unlike the rest of us, especially for an action as inexcusable as this one!' the clan lord thought, rattled at the fact that the blond menace would yet again get off without so much as a scratch. He would see to it that he got his just retribution, and even if it took deliberately disobeying the Hokage himself, but the blond boy would know what it truly meant to cross the Uchiha.
The near silent sound of someone exiting a Shunshin drew Fugaku's attention away from his thoughts. Analyzing the charka signature that was subtly filling the air with the Anbu Commander's arrival, the clan lord didn't need his Sharingan to know that this man's reserves were truly massive. However, despite the man's impressive chakra supply, which he could even go as far as to say it was near a Kage level, Fugaku found that it was nothing in comparison to the amount of charka that the young blond being held up by his collar possessed.
Naruto saw the Uchiha's scrutiny and quickly regained his composure. Within moments, the incredible supply of chakra pressure had left the room, leaving an empty vacuum in its wake. Fugaku just watched the boy with thinly veiled surprise. A second ago, he had almost as much chakra as the Hokage, in his prime, and now he was registering as nothing more than a newborn baby.
'No, that isn't right either. Even newborns have a chakra signature of some sort, but this boy… This boy has none! How is that possible? Even full-fledged jonin can't completely seal off their chakra signature and those that can, have either the bare minimum amount to be jonin, or they are chakra manipulation experts. This boy is neither, and yet he mastered such an advanced level of chakra manipulation that seems to be all but innate to him,' Fugaku deduced from just a few moments of problem solving. He could easily say that breaking down problems and rebuilding them into logical conclusions was his greatest skill, despite the years of being called a shinobi genius and his near legendary prowess on the battlefield. However, in spite of all of that, he could not figure out why this child could perform a technique no one his age, or even a decade older than him could, or should be able to perform.
The man's data crunching brought him back to the subject at hand when he recalled why he was here in the first place, and righteous fury that accompanied it. This child had somehow gotten into his home, and destroyed the place. Although reconstruct would be a simple matter of paying the right people to replace or rebuilding everything properly, the financial figures needed to back the projects would be far from it.
The damage from the fire alone would cost hundreds of thousands of ryou from the clan's treasury to repair the ancient wooden fixtures and architecture; in addition, there was the added expense of replacing the vast majority of the clan's attire. Not a pretty sight considering that most of it was custom made from special ceremonies and tailored to be some of the finest gear the great village of Konoha had to offer. All an all the boy could probably spend his whole life working the highest-class missions and never fully repay the debt, given the village's current state of prosperity.
Fiscal matters aside, there was also the problem of security that needed to be addressed. This child had broken into his home, the famed Uchiha Complex, home to the Sharingan, and the proverbial belly of the beast to all the enemies of the clan and Konoha; and he had done it without detection! The feat alone is outlandish, and something that not even the most hardened of S-ranked nukenin would attempt, no matter how drunk off power they were. However, if news of a child doing it with only one month of official training under his belt, the consequences it would bring would be far greater than a bruised ego or wallet for the Uchiha. Now with all that said, anyone with half a brain cell could see that this wasn't just the Uchiha's problem, but it was the entire population of Konoha's problem…
Activating his Sharingan, Fugaku wasted no time in turning the famed scarlet orbs onto the youth to persuade the boy to spill just how he managed to do the impossible; but just as he was about to enter the boy's mind and plant the first suggestive compulsive, a triad of terrors hit him.
The first was the Third Hokage's killing intent. Years of battle hardened Fugaku into a tactical mastermind who could face down some of the strongest enemies the shinobi world had to offer without even batting an eye. However, staring down a Kage he had known all his life to be the strongest man in the village, bar the Fourth, was simply too much to handle. Compounded with that, was the Anbu Commander's formidable killing intent, which was combined with the intense glare from his partially hidden Sharingan eye; Fugaku could only stare into Naruto's impassive eyes, the blond's charka signature hidden from the world and mind completely sealed behind an unreadable mask.
'Who is this boy?' Fugaku asked himself rhetorically, knowing that even though the boy imprisoned Konoha's greatest monster that alone didn't explain so many of the cryptic traits the boy possessed. Honestly, the inability to read the child's mind shook him just as much, if not more than the Hokage and Anbu Commander's combined killing intent.
"My apologies Hokage-sama, Anbu-san," Fugaku stated cordially, attempting to bring some semblance of order back to himself and the meeting. He needed to regain some sort of control over the situation; the boy was guilty, that much was certain; he just needed to be patient enough for the boy to slip up and the Hokage to see through his act.
'Now its only a matter of time, nothing can go wrong…,' Fugaku began contently in his head before the oaken double doors of the Hokage's Office opened, revealing the two Anbu guards stationed in front of the office, as well as the culprit behind the interruption.
'-Now… Why would you decide to show up, now of all times Hyuuga?" the Uchiha head spat angrily to his former teammate and rival. For all his calculatory power and deductive reasoning, Fugaku couldn't figure out for the life of him why his archrival was now standing in front of the Hokage, juxtaposed to him.
"I simply arrived at the predetermined time I set up with the Hokage himself. A problem arose last night, well before you decided to barge into the Hokage's office unannounced. Unlike you,however, I decided to alert the Honorable Hokage-sama that I would be dropping by to discuss the next course of action," theHyuuga Head stated while only sparing a simple glance towards his archrival, targeting the man with his piercing pale eyes. Like the Uchiha's Sharingan, the Byakugan was a mark of greatness for all who possessed it, as well a curse for the many who weren't privileged to rule it. Hyuuga Hiashi was one of those privileged few who ruled over the Byakugan, and with that power came two responsibilities.
First and foremost, his duty was to seek out and destroy anything that may harm or bring harm to the clan, while at the same time, search for anything to extend the clan's power. This was the only 'true' law of the Hyuuga so to speak, but Hiashi held a second truth dear to his heart. A law imparted to him by his deceased younger brother, a death that haunted him as if he had killed him with his very own hands. However, from that guilt came his second, self-imposed, truth…
'Defend my precious people even if it costs me my life.' Hiashi stated firmly, passing the message through his eyes to the black-haired man beside him. Not scared at all by the look, the Uchiha wasn't cowed or frightened by the look, but instead grew much more serious than before. There was something about the situation he didn't know about, and something told him we was about to find out.
"I'm guessing that either we are involved somehow, or the Hyuuga have a message that they need the whole village to hear, otherwise it would be well within my rights to ask them to leave," Fugaku stated as he threw the Hokage a pointed look. The old man relented on his killing intent and sighed, knowing that as soon as he spoke that this situation would get even more complicated. Growing grave faced, the aged shinobi cast his eyes at the two Anbu at the door silently signaling for them to leave.
The two oaken doors swiftly closed, sealing the Uchiha and Hyuuga in a room to sort out there differences…needless to say that they were in for a long day. With the doors now shut and confirmation from the Hokage, Hiashi began to explain just why he was here at the same time with the Uchiha.
"Yesterday, at approximately an hour before dusk, one of our branch family members was assaulted while making their way back to the Hyuuga Complex. I have significant reason to believe that the assailants were of your household," Hiashi stated shortly. The Hyuuga Head spoke plainly and pulled no punches, a trait that had long since developed in the wake of his wife and brother's deaths and leaving him the burden and responsibility of running the clan on his own.
Fugaku, having dealt with the man in front of him for several years, had never once been so furious at his Hyuuga counterpart than at that very second. "This is inconceivable, totally preposterous! How dare you accuse one of my own without evidence, in front of the Hokage himself no less! Hyuuga, you have said some abhorring things to me, but this one has to be the lowest! You would dare excuse my clan with such slanderous accusations, just to get ahead of my clan in the eyes of the Hokage; Hyuuga that is beyond forgivable!" the Uchiha Head finished coldly, glaring darkly at the pale man before him. Had Hiashi not been a Hyuuga and a clan lord himself, he would have feared the dark-haired lord's gaze. However, years of staring down: tyrants, nukenin, and worst of all, power-hungry bureaucrats as refined his sense of self to such a fine point that nothing short of Hokage conniption, could cause him to bat an eye.
"Are you quite finished, or will you go on longer making a fool out of yourself? What with you spouting slanderous accusations, and other foolish anger driven words, I was beginning to think that I would never get to finish the rest of my case," Hiashi countered coolly, throwing the Uchiha's words right back in his face, and literally dousing the Uchiha's righteous fire with a few chilling words. Watching the figurative flames dying down into angry embers, Hiashi waited silently for the angered man's compliance before continuing.
"As I was saying, I have reason to believe the assailants were of the Uchiha, because the one assaulted was my daughter." Hiashi stated tensely. The room temperature dropped a few degrees just by the man's tone. The veins around his eyes began to bulge as telltale sign of his anger and habit of dealing with those things personally.
"Hinata would not lie to me, not after what she's been through," the man uttered with genuine regret. He had isolated himself from his eldest after his wife died and poured himself into being the perfect Hyuuga Head, in hopes that his daughter would grow strong on her own and not ever be subject to pain of the likes he felt when he lost his Hitomi (*). That plan backfired and instead of making the girl strong, it pushed her further into her shell, so far, that any attempt he made to coax her out was met with fear and doubt.
'That was my second great failure… I will not make a third!' Hiashi vowed to himself while letting the weight of his words settle on the Uchiha in front of him.
"Well, I can't argue with your source, but isn't it possible that someone tried to kidnap your daughter again? I know the wound is still fresh, but I wouldn't put it past the Cloud bastards to try again," Fugaku offered clearly, avoiding a direct confrontation with the pale man. It wasn't that he was afraid, no his years of war and life or death battles saw to that, but in the long history of rivalry, he grew to understand and even tentatively befriend the Hyuuga Head, assuming their interests didn't clash. In those long years, he could easily name the three things that the proud man truly regretted. One was the lost of his brother, two letting his wife die despite him doing the best he could to keep her, and third one was isolating his daughter. The first two were in the past, but this last regret the man could still fix and Fugaku knew that Hiashi would die before he let harm come to his daughter again.
Smirking at the thought, Fugaku could see why Hiashi was acting as he was, cold and detached, because if he hadn't, he doubt that there wouldn't be an all out war between the two clans at the moment.
"I see you've come to realize the complexity of the situation," Hiashi stated calmly, the cold fury in his voice dying down to a chilly breeze. Neither man would never truly like one another, but as far as understanding went, they were as readable to one another as two open books.
Humoring the notion for a moment, the Hokage couldn't help but find the statement true and with a flick of his wrist he motioned for Naruto to come forward. The blond timidly stepped forward, knowing for the myriad of emotions just displayed that this had blown far out of the proportions of simple revenge. Meeting Hiashi's stare and Fugaku's glare, Naruto just watched passively as the two men went back to discussing the situation with one another before it finally found its way towards his involvement.
"So you're telling me that your daughter was cornered by one of my younger, more passionate, kinsman before this boy here came to her rescue and fought him off just long enough for her to escape?" Fugaku asked skeptically.
"Precisely only it wasn't just one, there were three, otherwise how else do you figure a junior member of your clan manage to subdue and replace her caretaker without her noticing?" Hiashi replied. Implications aside, both clan lords knew that the Hyuuga were stronger in both numbers and general power. Really, the only way the Uchiha even contended with them was the sole fact that the Hyuuga stalemated themselves by only teaching their main branch the full teachings of Jyuken. Add to the fact that with the main to branch family ratio being one to three, only a quarter of the clan had the potential to fully master the art. That left the Uchiha just enough room to prosper, seeing as an experienced Sharingan wielder's only competition was either an experienced main house member or a full-fledged jonin.
"So the story goes three on one, I'll believe that given your preparations to insure nothing like the botched peace signing ever happens again, that it would take more than one junior member of my clan to defeat your daughter's bodyguard as well as the element of surprise, however, how could this boy do what your guard could not?" Fugaku instigated subtly, the slight nuance in tone signified his partial acceptance of the idea. However a more rational side of his brain wanted proof.
"I never said the boy won, but from my daughter's account, he did stall them all the way up until the point where the ringleader of this soon-to-be-punished group activated his Sharingan, and apprehended the boy in the midst of his escape," Hiashi clarified, knowing that Fugaku could fill in the blanks from there.
Given Naruto's pranking precedence and current standing with the younger generation, Fugaku had no doubt in his mind that the boy had bitten off much more than he could chew when he was caught. Knowing a humiliating defeat such as that one would be unforgivable in the mind of the young blond, the Uchiha Head peered into the young boys eyes again. A glimmer of light caught Fugaku eye's as the roaring blaze that represented Naruto's indomitable spirit pushed against the confines of the blond's mortal body and threatened to engulf the Uchiha leader whole. He had, without a doubt found his proof onto who vandalized his home, as well as the disturbing fact of why he did it. The thought, however, took a back seat to another emotion, one of great relief…
It was a refreshing experience for an old, retired warrior such as him to see one so young with so much fire within him. The mere sight of it alone brought up a wistful bubble within the clan lord's chest, silently reminding him of two of the greatest people that he, and the world for that matter, ever knew.
'The boy certainly does resemble them, both of them. I wonder… how Minato would react if he were here?' the Uchiha asked himself knowing that the fair and just Hokage would have only one option available to him.
"Hokage-sama, now that I fully understanding the situation, all my personal charges will be dropped, however, I doubt my clan will feel the same," Fugaku announced stoically. Neither his face nor his aura betrayed him, but on the inside, he was fighting against himself. His clan would want revenge, they taught him that, and he knew his clan would lend a hand to those who they favored, and utterly destroy those who crossed them. There was no getting around that fact; it was as immovable as the Hokage's Monument itself.
"To remedy the situation I propose a compromise, however, I feel neither I nor Hiashi can completely oversee its drafting as it will hold no standing within our opposing clans. Therefore, the decision must fall to the highest authority in Konoha's shinobi forces," Fugaku stated before casting a glance to his leader. What he said had been true, like the Hokage before him, he commanded the full respect and loyalty from his forces, and those who didn't comply met his full, indignant fury.
"I see…," Hokage replied simply whilst taking in a deep breath, filling his aged lungs with the rich, Kusa imported tobacco from his pipe. As any true leader, all he had was an ultimatum, one that could ostracize one, or both, of the arguing parties and create an even large schism between the two.
'I need to be fair to both parties, while at the same time consider the circumstances that pushed the boy to act,' the Hokage thought to himself before coming to a decision. Exhaling a plume of smoke, the Hokage called upon his weathered voice in the wake of the noxious air and pulled both the clan lords' attention to him once again.
"Taking into consideration all of the events that occurred, I feel that we are indebted to Naruto for not only stopping what could be the largest civil dispute since Madara's Uprising, but also showing us how complacent we have became. To be able to sneak into the Uchiha Complex and vandalize that place shouldn't be an easy task, especially one that an academy student can complete," the Hokage stated before pausing and casting his gaze on his audience. Both the clan lords' were listening intently, while Naruto sat in the side of the room, smug over hearing his accomplishment verbally.
"However…," the Hokage continued, "Naruto's actions were unsanctioned and treasonous at its worst and cannot go unpunished. Therefore, when tallied against the benefits of this incident, I can only see one fair and just verdict. The Hyuuga will choose the boy's punishment and method in which he can pay back all the damages he caused to the Uchiha. The guidelines should be reasonable enough so that the boy gets the best protection as he serves off his time as well as fairly compensate the Uchiha for their loss," the Hokage finished.
Thus the moods quickly changed, the two stoic lords suddenly became animated once again, hammering out the details for Naruto's work contract while the now silent boy sat on the sidelines completely dumbstruck. The smug smirk had been completely wiped off his face and it took a few seconds for his mind to reboot and figure out why he was being punished now of all times. He had done the right thing! The Hokage had said it, albeit for the wrong reasons, but it was the right thing.
Casting his gaze towards the old man in hopes of an answer, Naruto only found the man's humored expression and he realized that he wasn't getting out of this.
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(*) Hitomi- Hiashi's deceased wife and mother to Hinata and Hanabi, as I see her, she is a gentle soul from which Hinata draws her soft-spoken nature, in contrast to the fierce determination she exhibits when pushed to the limit, which she gets from the old Hyuuga Head himself, lol. Her name means 'pupil of the eye', and I'll leave it up to you on how symbolic or important that may or may not be.
A/N: Sorry for the delay, but I have been having many, many changes in my life and I hate to say it but fanfic can't be my main passion; it just can't, not with college and my whole life ahead of me. Though with that said, I can still say this: I will try my absolute hardest to deliver chapters whenever I get a chance, this I swear, but for now, just tell me if you like it or not. I certainly do and I am optimistic about this one, although I doubt I'll finish anytime soon.
Not to be confused with chakra since a chakra signature is an individual's fingerprint that can be used to identify them for those who are truly a master of the art. However, in Naruto's case, which is extremely special, he already has a heighten level of control over his chakra signature because of his ability to mask and manipulate his aura, which can be considered the same thing as killing intent which is just one's aggressive use of their aura. Whether or not this plays a significant role later is up for debate, but if I'm telling you all this, then that should be hint enough. Well good day and goodnight (I can finally get some sleep).
P.S. DOAD fans, please bare with me here. That fic is not dead, just in deep hibernation. I will be resurrecting it and like a bear coming from its sleep, it will be hungry, so get your reviews ready (and flames if you must) and I will get it to you as soon as I can, but until then tell me what you think. Peace and 'til next time…