(A squad of odd-looking penguins with peg-legs and fanny packs scramble around the stage with frantic actions of construction equipment)

Hello and welcome everyone! This is my newest project, quite a bit different than either Beyond the Darkness of Fate and Fluter & the Misfit.

How you ask?

This is a NaruAyame, and there will be minimal character death, unlike my first story and will take place in the same world as canon unlike my second fic.

(I grab a penguin as it runs by, it's peg-legs still flailing as I hold it up in the air)

These little buggers, if you haven't heard of Disgaea, are called prinnies. They're essentially immigrant workers trying to pay off their sins from past lives with either an equivalent number of good deeds or a loosely comparable amount of cash earned from grunt work at low pay. They carry a small arsenal of interesting weapons, and do a nasty little trick when you throw them. Watch!

(I throw the prinny I had grabbed at a group of six other prinnies slacking off at the far end of the stage; the resulting explosion from the impact destroys that part of the stage floor)

They go BOOM!

Alright, enough of that for now. Let's get on with the first chapter for Noodles and Ninja Wire!

(Another group of five prinnies scramble past me with a sign saying the following:)

Dsiclaimer doods! Djinn doesn't own Naruto, and if he did, we'd end up being the kid's summons and get thrown around more than kunai doods!


[-]

"There he is, get him!"

'Why are they doing this?'

"Get the demon incarnate!"

'Why me?'

"We're gonna get you, you little shit!"

'I didn't do anything to them!'

"You can't run forever!"

'Someone help please!'

A young child, barely four years to the day, was having to run from a large mob of drunk and aggravated villagers, some carrying weapons while others torches. His unruly and messy blonde hair kept getting in the way of his eyes, making it hard for him to avoid running into most everyone's legs in his attempts to run for his life. His blue eyes darted every which way for a place to hide, not having any idea as to why the old ladies at the orphanage had suddenly taken everything he had, which was not much to begin with, and just thrown him out on the street the way they had just a few hours before. His clothes were already ripped and torn in places from having gotten out off the clutches and grasps of those that were chasing him, some of them barely missing him with a knife or piece of broken booze bottle. His blood was staining the white shirt he wore, his pants having only a meager piece of rope keeping them on as he had to run barefoot after the ladies took even his shoes.

Indeed, Naruto Uzumaki didn't understand why everyone, even the kids his own age, despised him the way they did. For the time that he could remember, Naruto was envious of all the other kids he'd seen get adopted by people, always wanting someone, anyone to adopt him and give him something better than a creaky cot under a leaky spot in the coldest room of the shabby orphanage, rags for clothes and rags for blankets. His daily meals were almost as bad as his living conditions, sans the greatly anticipated visits from Ojii-san.

But things had changed today after Naruto made his way into the crowded dining room earlier that day. The old fat woman in charge of the whole facility had pulled him forcefully out of line for food by the scruff of his neck and towards the front door. When they got there, her assistant promptly removed Naruto's shoddy shoes, took his thin jacket and opened the door which he was promptly thrown out of by the woman in charge. She yelled at him to never return and go die in a gutter for all she cared.

It was fine for him despite having just become homeless, up until about the time the sun set. That's when the adults started to notice him as they came out of the bars, the smell of cheap alcohol very fresh on their breaths. Upon them catching sight of him, Naruto froze. Never in his short life had he seen someone with so much rage before, and especially never coming at him with a weapon that made the cook's large kitchen knife seem like it was meant for spreading butter on bread. Before he knew it, a knife had been sent his way and barely missed due to the lack of proper aim in the thrower's regard. The young child soon let out an ear-piercing scream and dashed as fast as he could with such small legs away from the bad people that wanted to hurt him.

Naruto had been able to evade them so far, but the distance him and the mob kept shrinking as time went on. His body was almost at its end as he turned another corner and found himself face to face with a girl no older than him accompanied by what Naruto could only guess to be her father. He barely had a moment to spare them a second thought as he turned back and found the first of the mob only ten yards away.

Without a word, the young blonde decided that he only had one chance if he was going to live through this. With the same amount of concentration when using it on the Old Man, Naruto turned his only move on the man with the little girl. "Would you please help me and protect me from the bad people?" he asked, eyes growing large and watering slightly.

The tall man holding the hand of the little brunette felt a tugging on his arm as his daughter tried to reach her hand out to Naruto, almost as if she could sense exactly what he was talking about. Looking from his daughter to the blonde child and then the direction from which the boy appeared, Teuchi Ichiraku made the single-most influential decision after having asked his late wife to marry him.

"Of course, let's get you out of sight."


[-]

Since that night, the Fourth Anniversary of the Defeat of the Kyuubi no Kitsune as well as the loss of the Yondaime Hokage Minato Namikaze, Naruto Uzumaki had been secretly living with the Ichiraku Ramen Stand owner and his only daughter Ayame. The boy would sneak out of their house every morning before day break to create the illusion he was living on the streets while returning to the small modest home every night around an hour before sundown to keep out of the sight of the mobs and the occasional ninja seeking to harm him.

This routine was his own idea, as Naruto was adamant in not being the cause of any harm that may have befallen the only other people in the village aside from Ojii-san to show more than anger towards him if the villagers found him residing in their abode. Everything ran smoothly, even after Naruto started attending the Academy for Ninja Candidates at the age of seven and a half alongside Ayame.

Naruto convinced Teuchi to give his okay to attend the school after pointing out that he wouldn't always be there to provide a safe-haven for the blonde night after night. Naruto wanted to be able to provide and protect himself when the inevitable occurred, and it surprised the ramen chef when his own daughter threw in with their discrete house guest, saying that she wanted to gain at least some of the basics even if she failed to graduate.

Ayame had already set her life to follow that of her father in the running of the ramen stand, but she secretly always wanted to perform at least some of the stuff that ninjas were acclaimed to do. She never put forth any real effort into the classwork unlike her friend who was lucky if he ever got a moment of the teacher's attention, instead focusing more on the limited fundamentals of standard taijutsu and weapon practice. Over the four years mandated for basic education in the ways of the shinobi arts, Ayame had managed to assist Naruto in most of the stuff they were taught in the classes while still keeping up the disguise that Naruto was a mere homeless kid only trying to make his own way in life.

When it came time for their graduation exams, Ayame and Naruto both agreed that it was not necessary for her to pass since she really only took the classes to help Naruto out and to give her some semblance of how to at least defend herself. So, when she failed to perform to par with the rest of the class, Ayame paid no mind to it as her father nodded his head to her while they waited for Naruto.

Naruto on the other hand was devastated when he failed. He and Ayame had been working on his weak points every chance they got even at the risk of someone finding out their ruse so that Naruto could try and master the most difficult of the jutsu. The written exam wasn't that much of a problem for him as he and Ayame were always studying before heading to sleep each night, and his aim and accuracy with kunai and shuriken were both fairly decent; his taijutsu may have been a tad messy but it got the job done. His transformation was fairly advanced for his age group considering he'd somehow managed to actually create his own variant of the basic version that turned him into a blonde bombshell, which he'd subsequently called the sexy jutsu. His substitution was sub-par but his worst jutsu of all was the clone but no one could figure why it utterly failed nor did most anyone care enough to think about it.

That was what it all had come down to was the damn clone jutsu. Naruto had no idea why his clones, when he actually got them out, were at best laid out dead on the floor with a deathly pale complexion and sticking their tongues out. The clone jutsu was the last part of the test, and for some reason the most important to succeed at. When he made his clones, Iruka sighed and scratched his name from the list on his clipboard while Mizuki guided the downtrodden blonde out of the room. Even through the doorway, Naruto could hear Mizuki trying to argue Naruto's small success in at least making clones to Iruka in order to pass him by, but the scarred chunin wasn't going to listen to his grey-haired coworker's reasons.

The only solace Naruto got from that day was that he had another two attempts at trying to become a genin before he would either have to give up and find another way to live without fear or leave and join another hidden village.

"Well, I've got two more tries at the Academy to become a genin in Konoha before they're going to ban me from becoming a Leaf ninja," he said lazily over his meal in the Ichiraku dining room that night. "If it weren't for the fact that the principal knew that the clone was my worst jutsu, I'd have passed today..."

"Don't worry Naruto, you'll get it next year," Teuchi said while taking a bite of his own meal.

"Yeah Naruto-kun, I'm sure you'll make it before then. No problem." Ayame saw him just poking at his meal and prodded him in the forehead with her chopsticks, getting a playfully lazy swat from his chopsticks in response. "C'mon, cheer up! How about we go get you some new clothes or something?"

"But I like my orange jumpsuits just fine..." the blonde whined as he hugged his arms around himself, trying to keep the clothes-snatchers away.

Ayame giggled as she poked his shoulder in the middle of the red spiral. "But Naruto-kun, orange isn't exactly the most stealthy of colors for a ninja to wear; especially not with how much of it you wear."

"I have to agree with her, Naruto. Orange isn't the best color to wear when you're trying to blend in with the crowd and gather information or sneak up on someone to assassinate them," Teuchi commented with a lopsided grin.

Naruto looked down at his orange jumpsuit and pulled the jacket out from his body with one hand while thinking. After a couple moments of pulling it out and releasing, the blonde looked at Ayame and asked, "How are we going to afford it though? You know my track record with getting a fair price in the village is..."

Her father placed his utensils on his plate while standing. As he made his way to the hanging cupboard on the wall, he answered Naruto's question. "That's easy Naruto: ever since Sarutobi-sama learned about how we provide you with food and a place to stay at night, he's been secretly slipping us funds from the village vaults to help out with our expenses. And since you're not a very picky person about food and never asked for anything much, the money's just been piling up and up." He pulled a keyring with a wide variety of keys from his pocket and selected one which he then inserted into the keyhole of the cupboard. Pulling out a box from the back of one of the shelves inside, Teuchi sat back down and bit his thumb enough to draw blood. "Every yen the Hokage's given us to provide for your needs have been stashed in this box which was made by the sealmaster Jiraiya and given to the Hokage as a gift. Sarutobi did everything short of threatening to burn down the ramen stand if I didn't take his generosity for caring for you."

Teuchi smeared the blood on the top of the box and held his thumb there as a seal glowed on the lid's surface. After a moment when the glow died away, there was a hiss and a click as the ramen chef lifted the wood and pushed the opened box towards the whiskered boy. "Everything there is rightfully yours Naruto. We've only needed to spend a little bit here and there when the slow times came around at the stand, but other than that and the occasional gift, that's everything that's been slipped to us from the village account books."

The blonde could only stare with eyes the size of dinner plates at the amount of money within the box. Resisting the urge to pull out the cash and looked over at Ayame. "Well, that covers the issue of cash; now how am I going to score a fair price?"

"You managed to pull off the transformation without much trouble right?"


[-]

The next day found Naruto and Ayame walking through the market section of Konoha, Ayame in her cream-colored shirt and black capris with the shinobi sandals she'd been accustomed to wearing throughout the last four years as Naruto walked under the guise of a genjutsu making him look like a non-descript brunette with a blue shirt and black pants and sandals. Luckily they'd been able to cover the characteristic whisker marks with the help of another genjutsu Ayame was able to apply over his transformation.

Naruto walked beside his oldest and only friend, hands in his pockets while he fiddled with his bulging wallet. 'Geez, can't believe Ojii-san managed to slip Teuchi nearly five million yen over the last eight years!'

"You remember what we talked about, Daisuke?" Ayame asked with a glance at the 'brunette' beside her out the corner of her eye. They'd come up with his alias after dinner the night before while Naruto was examining exactly how much cash he had to work with, seeing as how it would be pretty dumb to go through the trouble of making him an entirely new persona and give him away by calling him by his real name.

"Yeah yeah, only getting some new threads; weapons can wait for later." 'Daisuke' was decidedly going to be a pissy bastard, an attitude no one would expect from the village's punching bag.

After several minutes of perusing the windows of the ninja supply shops, Ayame was about to drag her old friend into one but found great resistance when Naruto froze. She looked back at him with a confused look on her face but waited for him to answer rather than ask the obvious question.

"The girl at the counter, she's one of the kids from the class that I'm gonna be joining next year. Name's Tenten if I remember right," 'Daisuke' said in a lowered tone.

Ayame released his arm and placed a hand on her hip as she looked him over critically. "And what's so bad about that?"

"If I buy clothing from here under this illusion, she'll put two and two together when classes resume a month from now! Last thing we need is for people to ask questions, especially my own classmates!" he responded, his dark blue eyes turning slightly darker.

Ayame stood there speechless for a few moments. 'He's never thought of something so thoroughly before... When did Naruto-kun actually start thinking like a ninja?' "Okay, fine. Let's find another shop fast or else I'm gonna drag you in there if I have to."

A few moments later and a couple blocks away, the two finally found another supply shop. Inside they came across a larger selection to choose from than any other store they'd looked at yet. Without any inclination of being found out, Naruto and Ayame set about the store to find the blonde a new look to replace the atrocious orange jumpsuit.

Within an hour, the two of them had amassed several outfits with colors of crimson, dark blue, black and dark grey pants and shirts, Naruto deciding to swap out the usual blue shinobi footwear for black pairs while whimpering mentally at the lack of orange. Just as they reached the register to pay for their selections, a pair of chunin entered with scowls on their faces.

"Hey! What do you think you're doing in here, demon brat? You're not allowed in this shop!" shouted one with a mob of black hair. His partner sneered when he saw Ayame back up. "So it looks like you've started to chase the girls in the village now have you?" he added as he pulled out a kunai.

"Kai!" shouted his partner with short brown hair and a mark on his left cheek as he dispelled the two genjutsu Naruto was hiding under.

A puff of smoke later and in the place of the nondescript brunette from a moment stood a blonde kid wearing a bright-as-day orange jumpsuit with blue eyes and whisker marks.

When the clerk behind the counter regained her senses, she pulled out a short sword from underneath the counter top and raised it above her head as she screamed for help. "Help, the demon-reborn's trying to steal from me!" She yelled out as she brought the weapon down towards Naruto's head in an attempt at slicing his head in half. Ayame stood there speechless as the chunin that had dispelled the disguise tossed a couple kunai while his partner charged the blonde with a dagger. Naruto was just standing there, his head down at the turn of events.

'Why can't anyone just be nice to me? What did I ever do to them to be treated like this? I hate it, I hate it, I Hate It, I HATE IT!'

Within the span of three seconds, Naruto used one hand to catch and consequentially snap the clerk's sword halfway to the tip, used the broken sword's tip-half to deflect the thrown kunai and caught the arm of the chunin with his other hand. He looked the shaggy chunin in the eyes as he dropped the sword blade to the ground and grabbed the wrist of the larger man's arm and pushed it back away from him. "I never did anything to you! Why does everyone treat me like this!" he asked through gritted teeth.

The chunin still at the door pulled out another kunai as he rushed Naruto from around his partner. He thrust his kunai out from behind his partner in an attempt to land the weapon between his ribs but his weapon found its tip in another body than that of its original target.

Naruto looked on in horror as Ayame had stepped in the way of the kunai meant for his lung. His strength faltered just enough for him to lose his balance and get tossed to the floor by the first chunin. The second one gripped his kunai handle and shoved the girl off it forcefully, sending her to the ground in a lump next to Naruto. The clerk had since left her store in hopes of getting ANBU in there to finish the demon off and thus missed what happened next; something that those present would never forget, especially young Naruto Uzumaki.

At seeing his only friend his own age in the entire world getting in the way of a blow meant for him and treated like a mere piece of trash, Naruto completely lost his marbles. He stood up from the ground while the two chunin readied their weapons again to strike him down hopefully for the last time. He hunched over as his hands clamped over his ears, his voice hoarse as he started muttering something the two chunin couldn't hear.

Before either of them could react, the boy was starting to ooze a red mist from every pore of his body. He let his hands fall to his sides as he calmly stoop up straight and faced the two shinobi with closed eyes. When he opened them a moment later, you could almost smell the faint odor of feces in the room as Naruto stared both men dead on with slitted red eyes.

"I just came in here wanting to buy some new clothes at a reasonable price since no shop in this whole village gives me a fair deal, and just as I'm about to be done and leave, you assholes come here and injure my only friend!" he roared in a raspy voice, his hands flexing as his fingers seemed to sharpen into points while his teeth started to poke out his lips.

There was a pair of clatters as both ninjas dropped their weapons and started backing away in fear. Never had they expected to see the reincarnation of the Nine-Tailed Fox, let alone within their own village walls. Both attempted to flee but then found the blonde had somehow moved to be blocking their way out the door.

"Don't think you're going to get away from this place on your own!"

Naruto moved faster than both chunin could think, letting this strange feeling empower him beyond anything he'd ever felt before. He ran at the two with his hands pointed for two jabs. He was about to sink a hand into the throats of both chunin when he felt a pair of hands on each shoulder trying to restrain him. He struggled against the cloaked ANBU with everything he was feeling, which was actually enough to surprise the two elite ninja when he actually broke free and launched off their chests with strikes landing in the foreheads of the chunin between him and Ayame.

The two ninja that had started the whole mess fell to the ground unconscious as Naruto somersaulted over their collapsing bodies and landed next to Ayame. He knelt beside her as more ANBU and an elderly man entered through the doorway to the shop, gently picking up her body in his arms.

"Naru-Naruto-kun..." she said weakly as she looked through blurry eyes into his calmingly blue orbs, the red mist having dissipated along with the other physical changes he had undergone only a few moments ago. "Are you al-alright?"

"Yes Ayame, I'm fine but you need to keep quiet and save your strength. We need to get you to see a medic before that wound gets infected or something," he said with a strained voice, tears dripping onto her face as he did the best he could to keep from bawling at seeing her still alive.

ANBU surrounded the two of them as the old man with the grey beard and a pipe stood behind Naruto, a single ANBU hefting the chunin over his shoulders and departing for the hospital.

"Naruto-kun, what happened in here? Why did you attack those chunin just now?" the old man asked in a gruff voice.

Naruto refused to let his eyes stray from Ayame's face in fear of her falling unconscious as he replied. "Old Man, Ayame-chan and me were just trying to buy some new clothes here, we had a couple illusions on me to keep people on the streets from giving us a hard time. Just as I was about to pay for the stuff, those assholes came in, dispelled the two genjutsus and the clerk freaked out." He picked Ayame bridal style and turned slowly so as to not aggravate her wound, his gaze hard as he looked at the departing ANBU. "The clerk pulled out a sword from the sheath attached to the bottom of the counter as one chunin threw a couple kunai at me as his partner charged me with a dagger. Just as their blows were about to hit their marks, I snapped. I don't know how I did it, but I managed to fend off all three attacks in only a few seconds. And that's when the one who threw the kunai charged in behind his partner, trying to catch me off guard with a kunai aimed for my lung out of my sight. Ayame here took that blow for me though, and that's when everything turned... red."

The clerk from moments ago returned to the scene with a mob behind her, each one armed with anything they thought would work in harming Naruto. "There he is, the demon brat! Get him!"

"SILENCE!" yelled the Third Hokage, turned abruptly to face the insuing mob. "You all know the law! And as such, you all know the punishment!" He removed his hat and robes, handing them off to an ANBU as the others surrounded Naruto and Ayame. "Before you are all sentenced, do you have any proof to your claims that these two were in any way going to harm you or steal from your shop, Tsukino?"

"Lord Hokage, he should have been put to death the day he was reincarnated! And how could he have paid for all those clothes," she pointed at the numerous piles of clothes on the counter by the register box, "when he's got no money? He and his little whore were going to kill me and steal everything they could before leaving my shop in a heap of rubble!"

"Enough of your insolence!" Sarutobi roared out. He looked over his shoulder at Naruto as he spoke next. "Naruto, how were you going to pay for that much clothing? I know you get little money from doing the chores at the Academy as it is, and you spend most of that on your ramen."

Naruto would have scratched the back of his head had he not been holding Ayame in his arms, an ANBU having lifted up the side of the girls shirt and applying a salve and some bandages to the weapon wound. "Ya see Old Man, I kinda found this box of money that had a seal of some kind on it. After talking with Iruka-sensei about it, I found out it was a blood seal. So when I opened it last night, I found a ton of money inside with a note saying that it was from my folks, their life savings and that it was all they could do for me after they'd passed away during the Kyuubi Attack. So I talked with Ayame-chan, and we decided to go shopping for new stuff with me disguised to prevent any trouble..."

"Liar! You were never born, you're just the second-coming of the-"

The woman would have finished her accusation had she still had a skull to her neck. But the grey-haired leader of Konoha had other plans. These plans seemed to be cleaving her head off with a sword through the hinge of her jaw and cleanly slicing backwards until the majority of her head fell to the floor as her body slumped over, blood pouring out over the wound with her tongue flopping a bit. As her head came to a stop, her eyes were frozen in widened shock while looking in Naruto and Ayame's direction.

The mob of people waiting outside had been quite noisy up until their quote-unquote leader lost her life unexpectedly. This caused them all to flee, several of them having dropped their 'weapons' in disregard to flee before they too were put to death.

Sarutobi sighed as he traded the bloodied sword for his formal Hokage attire as Naruto, still holding a now slightly conscious Ayame, stepped from the circle of elite shinobi. "What happens now, Ojii-san?" he asked, affixing his gaze on the man's face to keep from peeking at the late shop clerk's corpse.

"Right now, we need to get the two of you back to your home. Make sure to leave enough for your purchases and then some for cleaning products for the owner of this shop on the counter," Sarutobi said as he relit his pipe.

Naruto nodded as he let Ayame down, the girl having developed a healthy blush unknowingly at the closeness of her and Naruto. They stepped to the counter where one of the masked ANBU had taken the time to bag all the clothes that had been there for them. Each took four bags, Naruto having to wait a moment while making sure to leave enough for everything they took and a generous tip left over for the troubles of the shop. He picked his bags back up and followed the Hokage out the door as the ANBU scattered to their usual hidden formation around the three as they made their way back to the Ichiraku household.

Teuchi ran out of the house just as they arrived, worry written all over his face upon seeing the hole and accompanying blood on his daughter's shirt. He was relieved though to see the bandages on the wound when he rushed over and immediately lifted the hem of her shirt. "Oh my god, you're both okay! When I'd heard that Tsukino was forming a riot to kill someone, I feared the worst! Thank you so much for bringing them back, Lord Hokage!" he said as he hugged both Naruto and Ayame into his chest and flung them about wildly.

"Now now, let the two breath Teuchi! I understand your worry but there is a matter the four of us must discuss inside. There are ears everywhere," Sarutobi said in a hushed tone.

Naruto and Ayame plopped down onto the comfortable couch at one end as Sarutobi took the lazy chair Teuchi normally used, the ramen chef taking the last spot on the couch next to Ayame. "Shall we need anything, Lord Hokage?"

"No, the ANBU will take care of it." Sarutobi put his pipe away as he leaned forward on his elbows with his hands coming together for his chin to rest on. "Now, Naruto and Ayame, I'm sorry that I had to illustrate that display in front of the two of you this afternoon," he started while holding a hand up at Teuchi's inevitable interruption, "but some things have happened in the village that require a certain level of secrecy. What I'm about to tell the two of you is ranked a SS-level secret. To protect this secret, no one that was old enough to remember the events that took place during and subsequently afterwards were forbidden from telling this to anyone who was below the age of five at the time or born after October tenth over twelve years ago. The penalty for breaking this law, as you saw earlier, is death."

Naruto and Ayame looked at each other for a moment as Sarutobi and Teuchi shared a sidelong glance. The two kids seemed to almost be talking mentally to one another as the two older men just waited for them to speak.

They didn't have long to wait as the blonde and brunette turned to the Hokage with determined looks.

Naruto was the one to speak first. "Ojii-san, for as long as I can remember and probably even before that, virtually everyone in this village has treated me like crap and I've never known why. The night I was thrown out of the orphanage by that old hag I was chased around every block of Konoha by mobs and I could have easily died if it weren't for Ayame-chan and her father giving me a place to sleep safely at nights. Ever since, I've been playing the homeless prankster and going to the Academy with Ayame to learn to at least protect myself from the villagers while I came back here every night and got a good meal and a warm place to sleep."

He stood up from the couch and threw off the jacket he was wearing, tossing it at the doorway to the main hall. "Every time I went to get clothes or equipment, I was either flat-out refused service or sold the shittiest merchandise at three times or more than normal! Teuchi was the only restaurant that would serve me, and all but Iruka-sensei could give less of a damn about me! I'm so tired of this cloak and dagger stuff about my past, why everyone treats me like I kicked their damn puppy! I want to know why so I can stop caring about what other people think, so Ojii-san, please tell me why it is everyone in this place fucking hates me!" He finished his speech as he slumped to his knees, his head lowered and hands covering the silent tears that came unbeckoned.

Ayame knelt beside Naruto as Sarutobi looked at Teuchi. "I've already given him the money that you've slipped us to provide for him. Like I told Naruto last night, we only used a little during slow times at the stand or to get him a gift every so often. That was the money he was going to use to pay for the clothes he and Ayame went out to shop for."

Sarutobi closed his eyes and let out a deep sigh, resisting the urge to reclaim his pipe and light it with fresh tobacco. "Alright then Naruto, but are you sure you want to know his secret Ayame? Once I start, you'll be bound just like your father to not breath a word of this to anyone but the three of us and only in complete privacy." When the young girl simply nodded her head, still kneeling next to Naruto with an arm over his shoulders and patting his farm shoulder gently, the Third Hokage sighed again. "I'll put it simply Naruto, none of the sugar-coating since you've suddenly matured greatly."

"Naruto, twelve years ago, when the Nine-Tailed Fox attacked our village, you've been told that the Fourth Hokage took a fatal blow from the demon as he dealt his own against it. The truth is that, despite what everyone says, it's impossible to kill a demon lord or tailed beast as we call them, so the Hokage, Minato Namikaze, used a forbidden jutsu to give up his own life and call forth the God of Death to seal the Kyuubi's soul inside a newborn infant at the cost of his own life. That newborn was his own son, a child whose umbilical cord was just severed and whose coils had not fully formed. Naruto," he stood and walked to the boy and placed a hand on his shoulder while kneeling before him, "you were the infant that Minato, my successor, used to save this village from the wrath of the demon. You are the sole legacy and heir to the Namikaze clan."

Naruto slowly looked up into the old eyes of the Hokage, a strange look in his eyes that no one had ever seen before when it came to the blonde. He looked almost... content, reserved.

"So, everyone thinks of me as the demon reborn? No one recognizes that I'm just the casualty of Fate in this fucked up play of living marionettes?" he asked somberly. "And that's what caused me to lose it this afternoon against those chunin, after Ayame-chan took that kunai blow?"

The leader of the village could only nod, never having witnessed such an attitude in the boy like this before. He was secretly hoping that Naruto wasn't going to let his anger at finding out about his past destroy him and unleash his tenant, like what intelligence reports he had of the Kazekage's son doing on a simple whim.

Ayame and Teuchi were surprised at hearing Naruto speak so... maturely at this, especially Teuchi. The ramen chef thought for sure that Naruto would have blown a fuse upon hearing that he had been arbitrarily sacrificed to save the village by his own father and never got the respect he deserved for keeping the demon at bay all this time.

When Naruto got up, Ayame stood along with him. She stayed in the front room however as he signaled everyone to stay as he vanished into the hallway. Everyone could hear the rustling of bags and clothing from the opened bathroom door echoing through the hall as Naruto was apparently changing. They then heard another door open not far from the bathroom and the tossing of clothes onto the hall floor came to them. Moments after the thud of clothing upon wood floor stopped, Naruto reentered the room with every single orange jumpsuit he had owned in his arms, including the pants he'd been wearing only a little while ago, and dumped them on top of the jacket he had discarded earlier. He took his place at Ayame's side once again and looked at them before speaking once more. "Fine, if they can't deal with what I keep inside me, that's their problem and not mine. I don't care anymore about what they say! I'm Naruto Namikaze, not a fucking furball that was stupid enough to attack us and even stupider for getting itself sealed into an infant!"

The three other people in the room could tell by his disregard for what had become his trademark attire that Naruto was serious now. No longer was there any speck of orange to be seen, and he had even tossed his old goggles into the pile at the doorway. Now, he was wearing black cargo pants, black sandals rather than his old blue ones, a dark grey shirt with a black flak vest over it and black bands that covered his lower arms from wrist to almost the elbow. He had also somehow managed to calm his hair down enough to angle towards the back of his head which allowed more light to enter his blue eyes.

"From now on, I'm not hiding anymore. If people think they can walk all over me and come after me because they think I'm the Kyuubi and not the one holding it back, then I'm not gonna be responsible for my actions. I'll not let them treat me like a piece of dog shit they can just wipe off the bottom of their shoes. From now on, I'm Naruto Uzumaki-Namikaze."


[-]

Hope you all enjoyed this first taste of this particuliar train of thoughts. I'll update this one as I can, but no guarantees on regularity as I start college classes in less than three weeks. Plus, I still have my three other stories that I need to keep working on.

And make sure to avoid flying prinnies on your way out as you leave your reviews!

(Prinnies go flying everywhere around the stage and booms can be heard as some explode on impact.)