Hey everyone. Thanks for reading my first fanfic. I hope you enjoy.
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto, but I totally own my OC and any jutsu you haven't seen before.
Despair and Departure
The moon shone brightly down upon the Village Hidden in The Leaves. For most of those who lived there, it was a perfect night. But for one certain ninja, it was perhaps one of the worst nights of his life. In a somewhat decaying apartment, a blond, sixteen year old ninja stared at the ceiling above his bed.
How is it possible? He thought. How can a life go so wrong in so little time?
Naruto Uzumaki thought back to the beginning of the week. Teams Kakashi and Kurenai had barely returned from their failed mission to capture Itachi Uchiha, when Naruto was summoned to Lady Tsunade's office. There, he learned that his mentor, Jiraiya , had been killed in combat against the Akatsuki leader.
"What?" Naruto said softly, not quite believing what he had just been told.
"I'm sorry Naruto. I... I wish I hadn't sent him on that mission." Tsunade seemed close to tears, as she told Naruto the truth. She was barely even able to look at him.
Naruto's head was bowed, tears threatening to spill from his eye's. But he realized what Tsunade was feeling as well. He looked up at her, and put on as brave as a face as possible.
"It's all right, Granny Tsunade." He said with as much courage as possible. As she looked up, surprise in her eyes, Naruto gave her a sad smile. "He was a ninja, and did what he needed to do. You were just doing what you needed to do when you sent him."
As she began to cry, Naruto gently touched her shoulder. "Please don't think I hate you. I can't hate you for doing your job."
Tsunade looked at him with gratitude. "Thank... thank you. You don't know what this means." She picked up a scroll on her desk.
"He sent this for you, before he died. I have already looked through it. I hope you don't mind."
Naruto looked at the scroll on the table next to his bed. He had taken it home, and opened the seal written in it. There had been a letter, several books on jutsu's, and a scroll covered in several powerful seals. He read the letter first, hoping for an explanation. In it, he learned about Pein, the leader of the Akatsuki, and his doujutsu, the Rinnegan. He also learned that the scroll contained the yin chakra of the Kyuubi, which surprised him. He never knew he had only half of the Fox sealed in him. But what came next had really floored him. Jiraiya had explained in the last part of the letter that the scroll could only be opened by one who had the blood of the one who had sealed it. Jiraiya's letter revealed that Naruto was the son of the Fourth Hokage, Minato Namikaze. Naruto remembered how he had stared at that for hours. He was the son of the legendary Fourth Hokage. His father had saved the village, by sealing the Kyuubi in him. Naruto understood what his father had done, but it still came as a shock. The letter finally concluded with the instructions on how to join the yin and yang chakra, when Naruto was ready.
That had only been the first day. Two days later, with Naruto still trying to adjust to the fact that he was the son of the Fourth, disaster had struck him again. One villager, an old man, had finally had enough. He hated Kyuubi for slaughtering his son when it had attacked. When he saw the way that Naruto was being treated, like a normalperson, he lost it. He went through the village, yelling "The Kyuubi lives! The Kyuubi lives in that scum, Naruto Uzumaki!" Most of the villagers and shinobi already knew this, and didn't really care. But there were those who didn't know the truth yet. Specifically, nine ninja who were Naruto's friends and allies didn't know. From Naruto's understanding, they were all shocked. Sai and Sakura, having witnessed Kyuubi's power, already knwe the truth, and were unaffected. But from what they had told Naruto, the other's weren't taking the news well. Naruto, assuming the worst, had locked himself away in his apartment for two days. Until that day, the worst in Naruto's life.
"Naruto! Come on, you need to get out of here!" The pink haired kunoichi grabbed her blond teammate, intent on getting him to leave his apartment. Kakashi Hatake, and Sai stood nearby.
"Just leave me alone, Sakura. I don't want to go out."
"Well you're going to, dummy! Get up, and get your jacket on! NOW!"
Naruto sighed, and slipped his black and orange jacket on. "Fine. Just don't expect me to enjoy it."
Kakashi raised his visible eyebrow. "Even if we were taking you to Ichiraku Ramen?"
Naruto gave a little smile. "Well, maybe I'll enjoy it a little."
Sakura shook her head. What had happened to him? She knew he had been through some serious hardships, but he had never acted like this before. It was like he was someone else.
They left Naruto's apartment, and the four of them headed down the street. They had barely rounded the corner, when...
"Naruto!" A green blur appeared before them. . He wore a green leotard, orange leg warmer's, a green vest, a bowl hair cut, and had huge bushy brows.
"Naruto, how are you!" Rock Lee yelled in a very loud voice.
"Lee? Any chance you could quite down a bit?" Naruto stuck a finger in his ear and wiggled it.
"Forgive me. But it is indeed a great honor to be in the presence of such a great hero."
Naruto looked at him in surprise. "Huh?"
Lee looked at him in surprise. "You hold the Kyuubi. You have protected the village from many years. You are a HERO! I just wished Neji and Tenten thought so too."
Naruto shrugged. "I expected that. Don't worry that much." He smiled and smacked Lee on the back. "Knowing you are on my side is more than enough."
Sakura smiled and kissed Lee on the cheek. "This is so great Lee! Thank you."
Lee blushed, blood spurted from his nose, and he fainted. Naruto smiled at a startled Sakura. "You should know better. Let's get him to the hospital."
"No need! I shall help my prized pupil!" Might Guy, Lee's sensei, leapt down, and picked up Lee. It was obvious where Lee had got his fashion sense from. "Naruto, it has always been an honor to be near a hero like you. Farewell, and may the passion of youth flame in you always!" With that, he leapt away.
Naruto smiled. "Maybe this wasn't such a bad idea after all."
Sai nodded. "It is better to have one true friend, instead of many false friends."
Kakashi smiled as he read his familiar orange covered book. "That's true."
Things went up from there. Shikamaru and Choji came up to him.
"Naruto! Why didn't you tell me you were a hero. We could have had a party to honor you!" Choji's stomach growled.
"Which would have been so troublesome." Shikamaru said, before smiling at Naruto. "You know, I always knew you were tough and different. But I didn't know you were that tough. Remind me not to mess with you."
Naruto noted the smile on Shikamaru. "Good idea, lazy boy. So you two don't mind knowing the truth about me?"
"Not at all."
"Cool. Thanks guy's. This really means a lot to me." He hugged them both, and shook their hands. As they left he yelled "Ino a no go?"
Shikamaru turned a shook his head. "Sorry. We'll work on her."
Naruto waved as he turned away, smiling his old smile. He seemed to be coming back to his old self. Sakura, Sai, and Kakashi smiled at each other.
What happened next shattered Naruto's hope at things being all right.
They were almost to Ichiraku Ramen, when they ran into Kiba and Shino. As soon as they saw Naruto, they both jumped back, turned, and ran. Naruto watched them, then looked around. She wasn't there. The one she really wanted to see. His smile slipped.
"Guys, have you heard anything about Hinata?"
The others looked at each other with looks of concern. Sakura finally answered. "She kinda disappeared... after she found out. She's been in her home ever since."
Naruto's face, and heart plummeted. He looked down at his feet. "I...right." He stood there, then looked up with his grin. "Thanks guys, but... I'm not hungry. How about some other time?" He suddenly leapt away before they could answer, and was jumping along rooftops back to his place. Before he had left, Sakura saw the tears that had suddenly began to fall from his eye's.
"Does he...?" Sakura asked out loud.
Naruto had kept to himself afterwards. He sat in his home, and read over the books and scrolls Jiraiya had left him. Then, under the cover of a transformation, he wouldpractice the skills he had learn. But it wasn't enough.Which was why he was laying there, waiting for an old friend. He had told Tsunade of his intent to leave with a friend and trainer for six months. They would train in the forest surrounding the village, where they wouldn't be bothered, but would be on hand if needed. Tsunade didn't like it, until Naruto had pointed out that the training would make him strong enough to withstand Akatsuki. Tsunade had finally agreed.
A shadow knocked on Naruto's door. He quickly grabbed his pack off the floor, and left the apartment. The shadow nodded, and disappeared. Naruto immediately headed for the gate at the southern wall. When he arrived, he was surprised to find both Tsunade and Sakura waiting with his trainer, the shadowy figure.
"Sakura? Granny Tsunade? What are you to doing here?"
"We wanted to see you off. We wanted you to know that you will be missed."
Tsunade nodded. "Everyone who supports you wanted to come, but it would draw to much attention."
Naruto smiled. "Thanks. This really means a lot to me."
Sakura smiled, and hugged him. "Any requests before you go?"
Naruto looked down, unsure. Then he looked up. "Yeah. Can you look after Hinata for me, while I'm gone?"
Sakura sighed. "You like her, huh?"
Naruto looked down again. "I'm sorry Sakura. But the truth is, I've always liked you like a sister. I just asked you out so you wouldn't feel bad every time Sasuke turned you down."
Sakura smiled. "Don't worry. I understand, and I will take care of Hinata, just for you. It will be my way of saying thanks."
Naruto smiled. He shared one last hug with both Tsunade and Sakura, before turning to his partner. They both nodded, and headed out of the gate. Naruto turned as the gates began to close. He saw Sakura and Tsunade wave, just before the gates sealed. He turned to the road before him, and steeled himself. When I come back, I will no longer be a threat to the village. I will be strong, strong enough to protect everyone.
Naruto stepped out, trailing behind the shadowy figure you moved ahead into the forest.
Leaf Ranger: Sorry for the long flashback. It was needed to establish who was on Naruto's side, and who wasn't.
Anyways, it doesn't matter, as I don't plan on using flashbacks that much, if at all. I hope you all enjoyed it, and the next chapter will be out as soon as I finish it.
Shadowy figure: What is up with me not talking? Why didn't you introduce me?
Leaf Ranger: To build suspense. Besides, you are me, just the me in these stories.
Shadowy Figure: Whatever, just introduce me next time.
Leaf Ranger: I will, I will, don't get your panties in a knot. Jeez!
Naruto: You wear panties? (Smirks)