Sorry for the wait. I get hit with these plot bunnies and feel the need to write out the first chapters to them and that distracts me from this. Anyway, here's the new chapter. I'll be posting this one shot I wrote the other day. If you want to read it now you can visit the link in my profile and go to the Work by Author section.
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto.
Naruto turned over onto his side. He grunted as he pulled the covers tighter. The past week had been uneventful to say the least. He'd been confined to his room while Hashirama worked on finding out if Naruto's report was true or not. Even though Naruto knew the report was correct he still felt uneasy about it.
'What if they don't find them?' He had questioned himself.
'What if Sasuke knew he would go back to the Senju and convinced Madara to relocate?'
That was how his first three days went. He kicked himself mentally to stop second guessing himself. Going over the 'what ifs' never helped anybody and it wouldn't help him. He would just have to trust in Hashirama and his subordinates not to screw it up. The last four days had been spent laying about going stir crazy. His only contact with the outside world was with the servants, and they didn't provide much conversation.
Everything had gotten so messed up. He was familiar with time space Ninjutsu to some extent, but whatever Sasuke did to send them back to this time era sure beat the hell out of any knowledge he had about time space. At first he hadn't thought much of the consequences of time travel, but then his mind started bringing up possibilities again.
He didn't know what would happen because of this time traveling escapade. History already had changed with the Uchiha going to Mizu no Kuni. That wasn't what really bothered him though. What really got at him was the thought that certain people he knew in the future wouldn't be born, or people who weren't supposed to have died will die. The thought of a Konoha without old man Sandaime really made him feel queasy.
Of course his mind decided to throw another screw ball at him. Was this meant to happen? Maybe the Uchiha going to Mizu actually happened, but it failed and they came back to help build Konoha? There was so many possibilities and it drove him crazy thinking about them. It was like trying to figure out why you exist as you and not as someone else.
Most of his days were spent going over what he needed to do. They obviously needed to start the creation of Konoha and gathering allies if they planned to survive against the power of a hidden village. He had no doubt that the Uchiha were already in motion trying to recruit whomever they could to their idea.
Naruto rolled over again and bumped into something. He slowly turned his head and stared straight into the hard glare of Senju Hashirama. Naruto bit back a scream of surprise. 'I didn't even feel the son of a bitch creep up on me!'
"H-Hashirama-sama," Naruto greeted weakly. The glare still held and Hashirama didn't say anything. Naruto felt a cold sweat break out on his neck and back. 'He looks pissed,' Naruto thought fearfully. He really didn't want to fight his way out again.
Hashirama snapped his fingers and before Naruto could react he was bound to the ground by wooden shackles that had formed out of the wooden floor. He leaned down so that his face was hovering over Naruto's.
"You wouldn't lie to me; would you, Naruto?" Hashirama whispered. Naruto could smell the alcohol on his breath. He'd obviously been drinking a lot throughout the day and most of the night. 'Great, he's probably an abusive drunk,' Naruto groaned inwardly.
"Of course not," he answered. He struggled slightly against his holdings and found no slack to work out of. He was stuck at the drunken man's mercy. A sudden thought hit him that sent his stomach on a roller coaster ride. What if they had messed up and didn't find the Uchiha? Was Hashirama here to kill him?
Hashirama slammed a hand hard against the ground. "Don't lie to me!" He bellowed. The Senju pulled back front Naruto and stood up standing over him. "I don't like liars, Naruto." Hashirama said sternly. "Don't ever let me find out you lied to me." With a snap of his fingers the bonds released and Naruto was free.
Naruto rolled to his feet and prepared to defend himself, but stopped when he heard laughter from the doorway. He looked over Hashirama's shoulder. Senju Tobirama was standing in the doorway with a small grin on his face and holding what looked like a clay jug.
"Doing the old 'don't lie to me' gig, eh?" The silver haired ninja said as he walked into the room.
"Sheesh, just ruining all my fun," Hashirama threw a playful glare at his brother. He turned back to Naruto and gave a wide smile. "I was just joking with you."
Naruto scratched the back of his head. 'Fucking odd ball,' he thought while holding back a glare. He could see why many considered Hashirama to be one of the most powerful ninja to ever live. He scared the ever loving shit out of him with that little joke. "Oh . . . it's . . . um . . . alright I guess. A little fun never hurt anybody," Naruto said lightly.
Hashirama gave a bark of laughter and clapped his hands together. "That's the spirit!" Hashirama exclaimed while pointing at Naruto and looking at his brother. "Someone who knows how to take a joke like a man!"
Naruto decided not to point out the difference between a joke and what Hashirama did, but held his tongue. "So . . . um, any reason I've been woken up in the dead of night?"
"What? Oh, yes," Hashirama said as if suddenly remember the reason he came to his room. "We got back from checking out your information."
Naruto perked up focused on the inebriated man. "Yes?" He prompted.
Tobirama offered him the clay jug he was holding which was filled with some kind of alcoholic beverage. "Congratulations!" He laughed. "It looks like you get to keep your life."
Naruto gave an uneasy grin and took a gulp of the drink. It felt like icy fire spreading down his chest. He heaved and hacked has the alcohol traveled to his stomach. The two brothers laughed as the red faced Naruto tried to regain some of his dignity.
"That's clean your insides out!" Hashirama exclaimed loudly.
Tobirama took the jug back from Naruto and downed the rest of it. "Tonight we celebrate. Tomorrow we start planning."
Naruto gave a confused look at the silver haired shinobi. "What are we celebrating, Tobirama-sama?"
The happy grins on their faces dropped as if they hadn't just been laughing at all. Tobirama stared into the empty jug and discarded it. "The Uchiha are going to be gaining a lot of power with this village system they're trying to pull off. We'll have to do the same if we want to keep our power."
Hashirama held up a hand to stop any further discussion. "This is a conversation for tomorrow. Tonight we get drunk and celebrate the founding of our village." Hashirama reached under his armor and pulled out a moleskin pouch filled with more alcohol. He offered it to Naruto with a smile. "Drink up, partner."
Senju Kugi wasn't happy. When she took her oath to protect the clan from all enemies she dedicated herself to the perfection of everything she did. 'Instead they treat me like a child!' She raged. 'Me! A child! I'll show them!'
At seventeen she stood at five and half feet, had the silver hair and facial markings of her father and would be considered to be pretty by most if she weren't always scowling. Kugi walked down the hallway like a hurricane. People moved out of her way because they knew she wouldn't.
She came upon the door and glared at it. This was her current mission. She was ordered to escort the guest to the meeting; nothing more. 'I'm more than this. I shouldn't be a chauffeur for some outsider.' Kugi knew the outsider was more than that. She was there when he incapacitated most of the clan with his summoned animal, and that Hashirama had taken an interest in him.
Kugi didn't knock. She pushed the door open and barged into the room. She stopped in her tracks and stared at the blond haired guest. She felt a hot blush creep up her face as she stared at his naked body. He had a towel over his head and was drying his hair leaving his entire lower body exposed.
Before she could back out of the room and pretend it ever happened the blond took the towel off his head and saw her. He stared at her for a second before realizing he was naked. He gave a yelp of surprise and made a dash back to the bathroom.
Kugi quickly exited the room. She could feel her face and ears burning. She kicked herself for not knocking. Her dad always told needed to knock more and that she may see something she wasn't supposed to if she didn't.
There was a rustling sound beyond the door. She quickly composed herself right as the door opened. When she saw him again she felt her blush creeping back up again. She'd never been good with men. Plenty had tried to court her, but in the end she rejected them all. This was the first time she'd ever seen the male organ. She had to admit, deep down she felt a little thrilled at the experience.
She pushed her way passed the blond into his room. She threw a glare at him as he tried to greet her. "I am to escort you to the meeting," she informed him. "Get yourself ready; they are waiting."
Her eyes narrowed at the blond as he hustled around him room gathering whatever supplies he needed. 'Gotta admit. He's rather cute.'
Naruto slammed the bathroom door shut. He took a deep breath to control his breathing. The last thing he expected was for a girl to barge into his room while he was butt ass naked. He wasn't as embarrassed as the girl. He had some experience with members of the opposite sex, so he didn't feel that uncomfortable being naked in front of one.
It just caught him by surprise. The girl was a complete stranger and that made him uncomfortable. He heard the door to his room open and close. He cracked the bathroom door opened and peeked into the empty room. She wasn't in the room anymore. Naruto quickly grabbed his orange and black outfit and threw it on before heading over to the door to let the girl back in.
She still had a blush on her cheeks. He could tell she was trying to act all business and like the previous incident never happened. She once again pushed her way into the room. He only half listened as she told him he was to escorted to a meeting. 'Gotta admit. She's rather cute.' He fought the lecherous grin that he learned from Jiraiya. 'If only she stopped scowling like that.'
"Hey!" Her voice snapped at him. "Are you listening to me?"
"Oh – uh – sorry, let me grab my stuff," he said trying to cover up his lapse in attention.
By the time they made it to the meeting Naruto and Kugi weren't on speaking terms. He'd tried to talk to her, but she snapped at him to keep his mouth shut. Naruto's eyes narrowed at the back of the silver haired kunoichi. 'What'd I ever do to her?'
He never realized just how large the hollowed out tree that the Senju used as its headquarters was. They had been walking for a about ten minutes through a maze of corridors with no end in sight. The hallways were eerily quiet. It spooked him. Usually, quietness in an active place meant something was happening.
They soon found themselves in front of two large doors. The doors were decorated with elaborate carvings of great ninja battles and planets and seals. There were so many carvings he couldn't see them all. He noticed that circling everything in a ring were eight animals, each with a certain number of tails. A looked at the biju carvings in surprise. He had forgotten about the Shodai's abilites with taming the biju. For some reason the Kyuubi was absent from the carvings. He didn't have any more time to think it over as Kugi bumped his shoulder roughly.
"Listen closely," she warned. "This is a meeting between some very important people. You don't speak unless you are spoken to, and when you do speak do not insult anyone in this room."
Naruto nodded in understanding. He felt butterflies in his stomach at what waited on the other side of the door. Kugi pushed the door open and they both walked in. It was a large spacious room. Fire torches lined the walls; which he found to be odd seeing as how they were surrounded by wood. Naruto did a quick count and counted twenty-one people in the room not counting himself and Kugi.
The people were divided to opposite sides of the room. The men were seated on their knees; they occupied two sides of the room leaving the center of the room empty except for a single man dressed in the most expensive looking clothing. The man wore a large black ceremonial hat and sitting cross-legged on the floor.
Naruto instantly knew the man was the Daimyo of Fire Country. The man looked up at Naruto and Kugi as they entered the room. "Is this the boy?" Someone asked.
One of the men on the left side of the room stood up. It took him a second to realize it was Hashirama. He wasn't in his usual red armor; instead he was wearing silk robes. Naruto noticed that the men on the left side of the room had the Senju double trident embroidered on their clothing. The men on the right side of the room all had the markings of nobility. 'The Daimyo and his advisors.'
"Naruto," Hashirama called to him. "Sit by me." There was an empty pad next to Hashirama and his brother. There were a few exclamations of surprise from the Senju men. No one but the Daimyo and Tobirama ever sat next to Hashirama.
Naruto felt the pressure of their eyes on him. He looked down at his own tattered clothing and then at the rich silk clothing of the others. It made him feel like a hobo. He heard a quiet snort behind him. He looked at Kugi who was eyeing his clothing with obvious amusement. He glared at her and started to cross the center of the room.
A vice like grip clamped down on his shoulder causing him to wince in pain. He spun around and looked at the offending person. Kugi gave him an irritated look. "You never walk across the Daimyo's path," she whispered.
He didn't respond as she guided him around the sitting Senju men to his spot next to Hashirama. The Senju leader looked at his clothing with a hint of disapproval. He gave him a look that told him they would speak later.
One of the Daimyo's advisors stood up. He was an old man with thinning white hair that was covered by his ceremonial hat. He was a heavy set man and had an pompous aura about him. "We are here today at the behest of Hashirama-san. We thank you for your honorable treatment." He gave a polite nod at the leader.
"What I, and I'm sure a lot of us here would like to know is why," the advisor said. "It's not every day that the Daimyo's presence is requested," he said throwing a hard look at Hashirama. Naruto could hear the emphasis on requested. He suppressed a snort. Knowing Hashirama he probably demanded the meeting. "Please enlighten us on what is so urgent."
Hashirama stood up and took the floor. He bowed to the Daimyo and his advisors. "My lords and fellow clansmen," he said in a grim voice. "I have some news and a proposal for your consideration. Not too long ago my friend to my left uncovered some disturbing findings."
Naruto could see political posturing when he saw it. Hashirama was doing his best to make the speech grab their attention. He saw Tsunade and Kakashi do it many times. He watched at Hashirama told the room about the Uchiha's plans for a village. The reaction they showed wasn't what they expect. The advisors and the Daimyo just shrugged the news off.
"What does this matter to us?" One advisor said.
"Who cares. I'm sure you can fight them off as usual." Another said with a laugh.
The Daimyo didn't say anything. He looked at the hard face of Hashirama and nodded in understanding. With a clap of his hands the room fell quiet. "Let Hashirama-dono finish," he said quietly.
Hashirama gave the Daimyo a grateful nod and continued. "This isn't just the Uchiha," he said. "Our latest reports have confirmed that they have already gotten two clans in Mizu no Kuni to join them." He paused to let the information sink in. Some of the nobles looked unsettled, while some still looked indifferent.
"The world is changing!" His voice cracked like a whip. "The days of alliance wars is coming to an end. Soon this land will be fighting wars with giant armies from these Hidden Villages. We cannot sustain if we are a fractured country! We must create our own village to protect our land!"
His speech was getting through to most of them now. All he needed was to drive the point home. "We have reports that the Daimyo from Tsuchi no Kuni has granted the clans in their country permission to begin creation of their own village.
This was news to Naruto. 'Shit, things are really spiraling out of control. Konoha was supposed to be the first hidden village with the others following after!' He looked worriedly at the thoughtful looking Daimyo. 'What if he rejects the idea?' Naruto swallowed the reason he agreed to it in the original timeline was because it was Madara and Hashirama together making the proposal. He would just have to hope that Hashirama can pull it off.
The noble that first spoke stood up once Hashirama sat down. "Let's say we agree to this proposal what would this village of . . ." he trailed off unsure of what to call it other than village.
"Konohagakure no Sato." The words left Naruto mouth before he could stop himself. He berated himself for speaking out of turn.
"Village Hidden in the Leaves," the advisor mumbled to himself as he tested the name out. He looked back at Naruto and gestured to him. "Who is this man? He sits next to you like an equal!"
The clan leader cleared his throat and put a hand on Naruto shoulder. "He would be the co-founder of Konohagakure no Sato," Hashirama announced with mischievous grin. "That is, if you agree with the plan."
Naruto's eyes widened as he stared at the black haired shinobi. That was the last thing he expected. He could believe just how screwed up everything became. He'd basically taken Uchiha Madara's spot in the creation of Konoha.
"Very well," the noble said. "As I was saying; how would the Konoha function? What would its power be?"
Hashirama stood back up when the noble sat down. "I am going to turn the floor over to Naruto for this question."
Naruto gave a panicked looked at Hashirama. He wasn't prepared for something like this. Hashirama saw the look in Naruto eyes and knelt next to him and whispered as quickly as he could. "They need to see you. You are co-founder; they won't accept just my word on this. We need to be a united and confident front."
Naruto cursed the man. He could have at least given him time to prepare a something to say. Instead he just dumps this meeting in his lap at the last second. He stood up and looked at the awaiting nobles and Senju clansmen.
He looked back at Hashirama who was grinning playfully at him. 'Oh, that son of a bitch,' Naruto thought as it occurred to him why he was doing this. Hashirama was testing him. He wanted to see if Naruto was worthy of being co-founder of the village. He didn't know what would happen if he failed. He certainly didn't want to find out.
"My lords and fellow shinobi," he said shakily. He cleared his throat to cover up his nervousness and continued. "As Hashirama-dono said," he said looking at the clan leader. Hashirama's grin widened and his eyes twinkled as he watched Naruto. "The world is changing and we need to change with it."
He racked his brain for what to say. The best he could do was try to remember what the original village had. "You asked what the role of a hidden village would be," he said looking at the advisor. "As we envisioned it; the hidden village would represent the countries military power. The village would be governed by what is called a Kage, in our case the Hokage. The Hokage would rule over hundreds and thousands of shinobi."
"The village would also hire its services to anyone that needs something done and can pay for it," he said.
The lead noble stood up despite the fact that Naruto still had the floor. It was a sign of disrespect and it wasn't lost on Naruto that he had a lot to do before he had the respect of these people. "How much power would this . . . Kage have?"
Naruto paused for a second and looked back at Hashirama. The clan leader was looking at Naruto. Hashirama didn't know the answer to this and he hoped Naruto could give a satisfactory answer.
"The Hokage and the hidden village," he began. "They must have complete sovereignty."
"Preposterous," the noble said indignantly. There was a few more exclamation of anger from the other nobles. "The Daimyo is the only sovereign power in the land."
Hashirama started to get up to stop Naruto from continuing, but Naruto threw him a look and he sat back down. "I understand that, but there needs to be compromise here. The Hokage and the Daimyo would be equals, but the Daimyo would have overall power over the country . . . except for Konoha."
"When the land is threatened the Daimyo would be able to call on the Hokage to assist in protecting it," Naruto reasoned with them. "You can turn us down, but remember, the world won't take pity on you. Soon, other villages will start popping up and they will get greedy and move into Fire Country for more land. It will be then that you will remember this meeting. Think hard on this!"
Naruto turned his back on the still standing advisor showing him the same disrespect. He had never felt more drained in his life. Politics was not his thing.
The advisor opened his mouth to reply when the Daimyo raised a hand. The counselor sat down as the Daimyo stood up.
"My friends," he said in a soft voice. "I have contemplated your plan and I agree with you reasoning. Konohagakure no Sato will be given a lease on which to build their village. The Hokage will have equal power over its village as I would over the country. In return they will act as my military arm and pay taxes for the land. The Daimyo will have the power to appoint a Hokage, but also has to be voted in by his ninja. As my first act, I nominate Hashirama-dono to be the Shodai Hokage."
The news was like a tidal wave of relief. Naruto felt elated that Konoha would go on to exist in this timeline. He looked over at Hashirama who was taking the nomination in stride as he accepted it. He knew the wood user would be voted in by his people.
The Daimyo and his people exited the room followed by the Senju clan elders. The only people left in the room were Hashirama, Tobirama, his escort Kugi and himself.
Hashirama stretched his arms back and sighed as his joints cracked. "You did well, Naruto," he said. "For a second I thought you were losing control of the room, but you pulled through."
Naruto scratched the back of his head and laughed. "It's a gift."
Tobirama, always the level headed one, moved the conversation along. "We have a lot to work on," he said. "We have to start sending emissaries to the other clans. We must convince them to join us."
"The Nara and the Hyuuga are a must," Hashirama said aloud to himself. "The Hyuuga will be easy. They'd rather die than join the Uchiha. The Nara have a ton of land and have a habit of producing high caliber ninja."
Hashirama went quiet for a second as he went over the plan. "I'll go to the Nara. They bring a lot more to the table so I'll handle them. Tobi, you'll go and talk to the Inuzuka. Their influence will hopefully get their allies – the Aburame– to join. Naruto, you'll go to the Hyuuga. I'm hoping their hatred for the Uchiha will overshadow their pride."
"What about me!" Kugi asked excitedly.
Hashirama looked at the silver haired girl and thought for a second. "You'll go with Naruto and guide him to the Hyuuga. He might need a familiar face to get an audience."
Kugi stared at the black haired man for a second before turning red with anger. "I can do more than that! Don't you need someone to go talk to the Yamanaka or something?"
"Kugi!" Tobirama snapped. "Do as your uncle says!"
Kugi looked down at the ground in anger. "Yes father," she grounded out through clenched teeth. Sometimes she hated them. They treated her like a child. Her father was the worst. Ever since her mother died he refused to send her on any dangerous mission, and her uncle wasn't any better. During the last conflict with the Uchiha she was forced to stay at the back of the lines to tend the wounded. She knew she was just as strong as any other clan member, and she knew her uncle and father knew it. That still didn't stop them from being over protective.
"Good," Hashirama exclaimed loudly. "We set out tomorrow for our destinations."
Naruto turned to leave when Hashirama called out. "Hey Naruto, why didn't you wear the clothing I sent with Kugi?"
"Uh . . ." Naruto looked at the seething girl. She averted her eyes when he looked at her. "Sorry about that. They didn't fit."
Hashirama rubbed his nose. "Huh, looks like the servants messed up," he said while giving Kugi a stern look. He figured that she forgot the clothing intentionally as revenge for them making her do menial work a servant could do. He didn't call her on it though. If Naruto wanted to spare the girl embarrassment he would to.
The two brothers left the room leaving Naruto and Kugi alone. "You didn't have to do that," Kugi mumbled.
Naruto laughed. "If I'm going to be traveling with you for a couple days I'd rather not have to sleep with one eye open."
"Well . . . thanks anyway," she said before leaving Naruto standing alone.
'Cute girl. A little childish, but cute.'
I hope Senju Kugi is characterized good enough. I'm avoiding Mary sue. She's nowhere near as powerful as Naruto, Hashirama or Tobirama. She'd make a good Jounin though.
The creation of the hidden villages is getting underway. There will be some big changes coming up. Stay tuned for them.