Well, I've finally decided to post a fan fiction. I write for the fun of it, and have decided to see what kind of response my work will get. So here goes nothing. Oh, by the way, I don't have a beta so if anybody reads the story and is interested in the position feel free to shoot me a message.
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto, nor do I understand why anybody would think I did. This is being posted as fan fiction after all.
Yugon Tomaru was nervous and worried. But you could hardly blame him for that, not with what was going on in Konoha tonight. He tensed as a figure dropped into the clearing with a sack over one shoulder, but relaxed when he recognized his teammate. She stood at about 5'5" and was clad in standard Kumo jounin attire, navy blue pants and shirt under a dark gray vest that was awarded to ninja upon the rank of chuunin. A Kumo hitaite was attached to her belt, over the buckle. She had a slender, athletic build and a beautiful face framed by jaw-length blonde hair. Her eyes were bright green and darted across the clearing, taking in her surroundings. "Akana, I trust your part of the mission was a success."
The kunoichi pushed an errant strand of hair out of her face before replying, "Of course, the caretaker was a retired chuunin, but aside from that there was no one with shinobi training watching over the boy. It wasn't even a challenge."
"Then we just need to wait for the ambassador to get back. I still can't believe it was this easy."
"Quiet, it's best not to tempt fate." They settled down to wait. They spent half an hour in tense silence, jumping at every snapping twig they heard. Eventually, Akana glanced up at the sky. Taking note of the position of the moon in relation to the stars she determined the time. Reaching her conclusion, she turned to Tomaru. "We need to go."
"Raikage-sama won't be happy about not getting the Hyuga."
"He'll be even less happy if he doesn't get the boy as well. The Ambassador's late and may have been caught. If that's the case then we'll be compromised as well. It's time to go." Tomaru opened his mouth to argue, but ultimately decided against it. Both Kumo-nin took to the trees, leaving no sign of their presence behind.
Three Days Later
Sarutobi let out a sigh. The three days since Kumo's failed abduction of the Hyuga heiress had been the most hectic since the Third Shinobi War. Word of the Ambassador's death had reached Kumo quickly, most likely due to a messenger bird. Despite the circumstances they had claimed that his death was a violation of the Ambassador's diplomatic immunity (which was technically true) and had threatened war if not recompensated. Of course, it wasn't as though Sarutobi could just hand over Hyuga Hiashi, the head of his clan for protecting his own daughter. The crisis had been averted when Hiashi's twin brother had offered to be killed in his place. Sarutobi hadn't liked the result but Hizashi was insistent, claiming that many lives could be saved. It was situations like this, Sarutobi mused, that truly made the office of Hokage such a taxing position.
Now that the crisis had passed Sarutobi decided to pay Naruto a visit. He made a point of spending time with the boy. But when he got to the boy's apartment, something seemed wrong. After a brief moment, he realized that he was sensing a genjutsu. That was when Sarutobi began to get worried. He sent out a pulse of his chakra, dispelling the genjutsu and revealing kindling where the door should have been. His worry rose as he entered the apartment and saw obvious signs of battle. Shuriken were embedded in the walls, furniture was destroyed, and burn marks were scattered everywhere.
He hurried into the bedroom to see Rin sprawled unmoving upon the bed. He felt an initial moment of panic before examining her. Minato's student wasn't dead, merely incapacitated by a powerful genjutsu. He placed his hand on his forehead and dispelled it, causing Rin to bolt upright in bed. She wore a confused look on her face, "Hokage-sama, where am I?"
"I came to see Naruto. Instead I found a battle-scarred apartment, what happened here?"
Rin's confused frown only deepened, "I don't know. I remember taking Naruto to see the parade at the celebration of our treaty with Kumo. Then I came back to put him to bed. Then, then my mind just goes blank."
Sarutobi felt the weight of the world upon his shoulders as he closed his eyes and let out a sigh. "Three days ago," he said quietly, "Kumogakure no Sato sent a delegation to sign a peace treaty with Konoha. Later that night, the Ambassador was killed by Hyuga Hiashi while attempting to kidnap the clan's heir. We never found the two shinobi who accompanied him. One of them must have come here as well, for Naruto. I was too busy dealing with the repercussions of the attack to come visit and I sent Kakashi out with the ANBU to secure the area immediately outside the village. We're the only two who have ever come to visit. They must have taken Naruto on the same night they attempted to take Hinata. And we were more concerned about making sure the other two Kumo-nin weren't in the village than sending out tracking parties to see if they had already fled back to Kumo. They have too much of a head start, there's nothing we can do for the boy now."
One Day Later
Tomaru and Akana were glad to be close to Kumogakure no Sato. The early portion of their flight from Konoha had been tense as they expected ANBU pursuit. However, they never sensed any signs of pursuit. Not that they let that make them careless. They had kept up a frantic pace as they made their way back home. Rounding the last bend in the mountainside, they were shocked to see the Raikage waiting for them along with the usual chuunin guards.
The Yondaime Raikage was an imposing figure, solidly built at standing six feet two inches tall. His intense blue scrutinized them from under the brim of his Kage hat and his black beard was flecked with gray. His voice was soft, but was so commanding that everyone always seemed to stop and listen when he spoke. "I see the two of you have made it back safely; I've heard that the third of your number was not so lucky."
"Raikage-sama, he was five minutes late to the appointed meeting spot. We assumed that he had been caught and our position was compromised. We felt that returning to Kumo with the boy was our best option."
"I would have done the same in your place. The third member of your team was killed by Hyuga Hiashi as he tried to escape the clan's compound. I've been in contact with the Hokage and managed to make a small diplomatic issue out of it. They have pledged to send us the body of Hiashi as recompense. I find it more likely that we'll get his twin brother Hizashi, who has been branded by the Caged Bird Seal. Luckily, however, the contingency plan succeeded. We may not get the Byakugan, but now we'll be able to create a new kekkai genkai. Tomaru, you may return home. Akana, follow me and bring the boy. It is time to begin the ceremony."
He turned and strode urgently into the village, forcing the shorter kunoichi to hurry to keep up. "Raikage-sama," she asked as they navigated the streets, "won't we have to worry about Konoha trying to take the boy back?"
"I doubt it. As the container for the Kyuubi he was hated by most of the village. Even though the Hokage seemed to like the boy public sentiment will undoubtedly make it difficult for him to mount much of an effort to retrieve the boy, especially if it could lead to violence. He just won't have the support for it. Also, I managed to maneuver Konoha into making a concession to us. This leaves them in a rather poor position to try do demand custody of the boy even if the Hokage can get support for the move." He stopped outside of a building that was a simple stone dome. "We're here."
Wordlessly the two stepped inside. The room was bare, without a single piece of decoration or furniture. The Raikage pressed a panel beside the door and a portion of the floor slid over, revealing a circular stairway that wound into the ground. The stairs opened into a large underground dome. A complex series of seals was engraved on the floor and a pair of pedestals rose from the floor in the center of the room. There were sixteen shinobi waiting for them, eight of the finest medic-nin and fuinjutsu users that Kumogakure had to offer. One of them looked up as the two newcomers arrived.
"Is that him?" he asked, pointing towards the bag cradled in Akana's arms. Wordlessly, she handed it over. The man set it on the ground and removed the child within. He was a boy of two, with tanned skin and unruly blonde hair. There were three whisker marks on each cheek. The shinobi had heard that his eyes were blue, but couldn't tell as they were shut due to the boy's genjutsu-induced slumber. He nodded in approval, "Bring her out."
Another shinobi stepped forward holding a young girl. She was also asleep, and was dressed in a simple white robe. Her long blonde hair hung down her back in a ponytail and her features had a distinct feline cast to them. The two shinobi brought the children to the center of the room, where they removed their clothes and placed them on the pedestal. Taking out brushes and ink, they proceeded to spend half an hour writing a complex series of seals on the children's skin. As they worked, they revealed another seal on the belly of each child, the seal that kept the bijuu they held at bay.
When they were done they stepped back and formed a ring around the seals along with six other shinobi. As one, they raised their hands and began a long and complicated series of hand seals. The sequence was one hundred and seventy-two seals long, and they all had to be performed in unison. It had taken hours of practice to get the timing down perfectly. Two minutes later, the sequence done, the eight shinobi kneeled down and slammed their hands onto the floor of the cavern.
The seals instantly began to glow white. It started at the edges and worked its way inward, traveling up the pedestals and into the seals on the toddlers' skin. The children began to glow as well, Yugito's glow was a violent purple while Naruto's was red. Slowly, their auras were leached by the seals. They were funneled down the podiums and ran through several seals on the floor, intermingling as they went.
Eventually, they began making their way back to the two children. The colors had changed, that much was obvious as the auras crept back up the podium. Yugito's was now a vibrant yellow-orange while Naruto's was slate blue. The aura's reached the children once more, and began creeping over their skin. As the aura's crept forward, all of the seals they touched disappeared. Eventually they completely encompassed the children, leaving them unmarked. Even the seals that had contained the bijuu were gone.
Then the auras began sinking into the skin, forming a complex series of tribal markings. At the conclusion of the ritual, the markings faded from sight. The ritualists collapsed in exhaustion, then signaled that they were finished. Immediately, the medic-nin rushed forward. After clothing the children in simple white robes they began performing diagnostic jutsu. After several minutes of tests they conversed quietly amongst themselves. When they were done, the Raikage walked over. "Well?"
"The ritual was a success Raikage-sama. The bijuu are gone, most likely sent back to the demon plane for now. And the kekkai genkai seems to have been formed successfully. The children are in fine health and there are no undue signs of strain on their chakra coils."
The Raikage let out a breath he hadn't realized he was holding, "And their chakra capacity?"
"As you know, Yugito was chosen to contain the Nibi because she had naturally high chakra reserves. I suspect it was the same in the boy's case. The sealing of the bijuu caused an increase in their reserves in order to allow them to contain the youki. Since then they have been growing at the same proportion as that of an average child and will likely continue do so. However, due to their higher chakra capacity their growth will dwarf that of other children if measured on an absolute scale. Currently, they have low-jounin level reserves."
"Very well," he raised his voice so it echoed throughout the chamber, "I would like to thank you all. You have performed admirably and the village will prosper from your actions. The surname of these children shall now be Araiki, and they will help found a clan that will strengthen our village." He handed Yugito to the medic-nin who had spoken to him. "You will return Yugito to her home. The rest of you, except for Akana, are dismissed." The assembled shinobi bowed out of respect before filing up the stairs. Soon only the Raikage, Akana, and the young boy remained in the room.
"Raikage-sama, I assume you have another task for me." In truth, Akana wanted to go home and sleep. The mission had worn on her both mentally and physically. But she was determined not to show that in front of the Raikage.
"You are correct," he turned and held the boy out to her. "I want you to raise the boy, his name is Naruto."
Akana stood for a moment in mute shock. "Are you sure, wouldn't it be best to raise him with Yugito?"
"No, I want them to grow close over time of course. But I do not want them to view each other as siblings. I have had my ANBU observing the female jounin of this village for the past few months. Based on their information I have determined that you are best suited to raise the child. Besides, I have heard that you were considering adoption."
Akana's hand unconsciously moved to the scar on her hip as she mulled over the Raikage's statement. He was right. After that wound she had been told that she would be unable to conceive her own child. She had been considering adoption, and now was as good a chance as any. She reached forward with trembling hands and gathered the young boy into her arms. "I accept Raikage-sama."
"Good. You will receive a stipend to cover his living expenses, as well as any equipment he needs. He will begin his training at age four along with Yugito. Since they are the first to have their kekkai genkai they will work with many jounin of the village to unlock it, and to discover a fighting style that suits it. And one more thing. If you see anyone attempt to harm him outside of training sessions or tests, even myself, you are authorized to use as much force as you deem necessary to protect him."
"Very well, you are dismissed." Akana bowed, then turned and ascended the stairwell. Once she had exited the building and its restricting seals she raised one hand in a basic seal and returned to her home through a quick series of shunshins. Deciding to pick up baby supplies tomorrow, she tucked Naruto into the bed in her guest room. Touching a finger to his forehead, she dispelled the genjutsu and allowed him to sleep peacefully.
She stared down at him tenderly. "Araiki Naruto, my son." She leaned down and kissed him lightly on the forehead, "Sleep well little one."
Well there's the prologue, hope you guys enjoyed it. I'll try to update in about a week.