A/N: Well folks, this is my first ever Naruto fanfic! I actually wasn't going to post this, but I decided that I may as well. Here's hoping that you don't find it complete and utter trash. Disclaimer: I am not the dude who thought up Naruto.
If you don't like the AU's where Naruto is a female, then don't read this fanfic. (duh!)
Chapter 1: A Female Hero
The first thing that was quite readily apparent in Konohagakure no Sato - the Village Hidden in the Leaves - on this particular morning was the large monument bearing the faces of the four revered Hokage.
Now, usually this is a large and comforting presence; always there but in the background - the residents so accustomed to the ever-present faces that little attention is wasted on them.
Funny how all this changed in a single morning, because of the actions of a single person.
Citizens of Konoha stood in shock; momentarily frozen in place.
You see, the faces were covered in graffiti – the Shodaime was painted to be looking disapprovingly at his brother, the Nidaime, who appeared to be sleeping on the job. The Sandaime had a substance that looked suspiciously like blood dripping from his nose, coupled with a lecherous expression – he was staring at the picture of a mostly naked girl that seemed to have been scribbled upon the sleeping Nidaime's left cheek. The Yondaime was painted to look more life-like; trademark blonde hair and bright blue eyes taking in the scene with apparent good humour (more like laughing his arse off at the actions of his predecessors).
All shinobi of the village were staring slack-jawed and found themselves completely off-balance.
The question in everyone's mind was who would possibly do this. Surely there was no one who would actually even think of doing this to their beloved heroes and leaders, much less be able to get away with painting the faces when there were at least one-third of the village in full view of the monument at all times.
It was impossible! Yet, it seemed that it had happened.
The aged Hokage looked up from his paperwork apprehensively. That tone usually meant that a lot of extra paperwork and trouble was impending. He calmly extracted his pipe from his mouth, inwardly sighing and inquired, "What is it, Izumo?"
The Chuunin was obviously distressed; his expression would have caused Sarutobi to laugh had the situation been different.
The situation was different, however, because upon looking towards the chuunin and away from the torture disguised as 'paperwork', the Kage had a full view of the vandalised faces. He stared slack-jawed, then blinked. Upon seeing it didn't go away, he rubbed his eyes, only to open them and find that the Kage monument actually had been painted to look ridiculous.
Now, Sarutobi Hiruzen was an old man and had learnt to find humour in most situations. As it was, he found this hilarious; but under the sharp gaze of a chuunin he often thought should learn to be more mature, he managed to stifle this instinct, hiding it with years worth of practised iron-clad self control.
Carefully, he asked, "Who did it?"
Izumo stood there, resisting the urge to roll his eyes, "There is no evidence, but really, we all know that only one person will get accused."
Sarutobi pursed his lips, agreeing with the chuunin. Then he sighed, "Did anyone see her leaving the scene? How can this be a village with ANBU patrols and no one see a person paint the largest thing that is easily viewable by the whole city?"
Izumo stood nervously, "Well, that's the question, isn't it? No one has seen her anywhere near the monument, so she should be fine… but they haven't seen anyone else, either."
Sarutobi sighed. There was only one thing he could do; the council had been at his throat for ages trying to impress upon him that he needed to capture the mysterious prankster of the village – there was a set routine for what had to happen now – the accused was to be interrogated, in an attempt to uphold 'justice' and find the one responsible for the 'crime.' Unfortunately, there was one person that was always accused immediately, so it was his duty to tell the chuunin to collect the suspected 'mastermind' behind the plot.
She would not be harmed, however. The Sandaime actually hoped sometimes that it was her pulling the pranks just for the heck of it – she would get blamed anyway, why not have the fun yourself?
Fortunately (or unfortunately), no one in the village had any inkling as to who may be responsible for them – although they still liked to point to the scapegoat and the one he sees as a granddaughter to be at the heart of the mess. Just like the council.
To be honest with himself, even Sarutobi didn't know who was pulling the pranks; after all the interrogations (no torture, of course) she still had not said anything incriminating – they probably had the wrong person. It had become routine. A bizarre routine, but routine none-the-less.
After all, it would take a highly skilled stealth expert to pull off most of the pranks; and the very best to paint something as large and obvious as the Hokage Mountain in front of a village populated by constantly alert shinobi and citizens.
Sarutobi shook himself from his musings and noticed Izumo (im)patiently waiting for his orders. "Fine, go collect Naruto from the academy and bring her to Ibiki."
Izumo grinned a little, delighted at the reprieve he was getting from gate duty – not to mention that the chuunin who got to collect Naruto also got to watch Ibiki try to persuade or trick the answer from the girl.
That was always amusing – after all, seeing the Head of Torture and Interrogation joking around with a young girl is something you don't get to see just anywhere you know.
They (the council) had even resorted to calling an Inuzuka into the short sessions in a last-ditch attempt to read her dishonesty – even Ibiki, HEAD of the ANBU Torture and Interrogation department, master of using the mind of victims against themselves, was unable to conclude that Naruto was, in fact, responsible for the pranks – quite the opposite, actually.
He had concluded in the official report that they (the council) were being stupid in thinking a mere academy student had the skills to perform the pranks, and that she was innocent of them.
Even so, Ibiki didn't mind a little time with the girl who was not fazed by the scars across his face… oh, and the reason that every time a large prank was pulled on the village she was hauled off to the imposing ANBU building. He found her mind fascinating, though no one was game enough to actually go in and check it out – no one wanted to risk stumbling across the fox. Of course, all the higher level shinobi – chuunin upwards – had met Naruto at one time or another, and she had created a reputation for herself due to the strength of her mind and that unwavering tenacity in her beliefs (both practically a prerequisite of being a ninja).
Of course, there were still those who refused to see past their grief, but there were enough sympathisers that she had gained very good ANBU protectors (not that she knew it) who saw to it that none of the more hateful villagers got near her.
Izumo did a mock salute, straightening with a quick, "Hai, Hokage-sama!" And then took off to complete his 'mission'.
Although, he could have sworn he heard laughter the moment he left the Sandaime's office…
Umino Iruka was a kind man.
A kind man, who was delt a hard lot in life.
He had a dazed look on his face as he observed the cacophony that was 'his' classroom, and did a mental checklist. Sakura and Ino screeching at each other, Sasuke narrowly avoiding being man-handled by some fangirls, Shikamaru sleeping while Kiba draws on his face, Chouji not noticing Kiba drawing on Shikamaru's face because he is too intent on his chips, Shino seems to be sulking in a corner playing with his bugs (although it's not certain), Hinata seems to have retreated to the wall to avoid the flying objects... oh look, there goes a desk… AHH A DESK! NOT GOOD!
It was only in this state of disrepair as Mizuki – his former best friend and teacher's aid – had turned traitor to the village and was neutralised by the ANBU that had discovered his plot to steal the Forbidden Scroll from the Hokage's library, effectively leaving him bereft of help... Which brought him back to the rather desperate situation at hand.
He was preparing to employ his infamous 'Big-Head no Jutsu' to get the gaki (oops, future genin of the village – Kami help us) to be quiet, only to be put off-balance when the door to his classroom slid open to reveal a fellow chuunin – Kamizuki Izumo, who seemed to be amused at what he saw as all the gaki (correction, future genin, Iruka reminded himself rather desperately) froze in their places – quite a humorous sight considering Chouji's hand was half way to his mouth, Ino was in the motions of attempting to pull Sakura's hair out… and he didn't even want to try to explain the rather questionable positions that the fangirls attacking Sasuke (sorry, 'declaring their love') had gotten themselves into.
He would only note idly that Sasuke seemed to have taken to sitting on the window sill, attempting to look 'cool' and 'unruffled' even though there was a large rip in the seat of his pants revealing rather embarrassing underwear. The only noise left over was the obnoxious sound of a chair clattering to the floor.
Izumo's eyes swept over the frozen kids (gaki) before they redirected to Iruka, who had the air of a man close to a mental breakdown.
He took pity on Iruka and employed a fraction of killing intent, which caused the brats to scramble to their desks, collecting the misplaced objects scattered throughout the room and replacing them to their original positions, all rather worse for wear. Izumo coughed and turned back to Iruka once again, almost laughing at the mixture of envy and sincere gratitude on the poor chuunin's face.
Izumo was thinking that it was a shame Iruka wasn't able to use killing intent; he was too kind-hearted for that – which was admittedly the reason he had the misfortune to be 'assigned' as an academy instructor. After all, they didn't want to frighten the gaki before they even got to genin level; thus the need to keep away the all-too-often sadistic higher-levelled shinobi… no, those would be saved for the genin teams (cue to cackle evilly in his head).
"Umino Iruka?" He questioned formally… after all, the gaki needed to be under the impression that being a shinobi was a serious job (which, admittedly, it was, no matter what the nut-cases in the higher ranks seemed to give the illusion of).
"Hai. What do you need, Izumo?" Iruka questioned, although he had a pretty good idea.
"Iruka-san, the Hokage requests I collect Uzumaki Naruto for a meeting she must attend."
Iruka nodded amiably. He knew exactly what that 'meeting' entailed; after all, he had been one of the many chuunin to accompany her on occasion – those 'talks' had been taking place for several years, even before he became a sensei to the gaki. "Hai. Uzumaki Naruto, would you please go with Izumo-san?"
When there was no movement from the class, he took another look, eyes scanning for the girl. It was then that it hit him – he hadn't seen her taking part in the madness that had been present seconds before… though if he thought back, he could have sworn he saw her there when he marked the role. In his confusion, he glanced at the role, and upon seeing the tick next to Naruto's name, went back to scanning the classroom.
After a few moments of looking, he demanded, "Have any of you seen Naruto in the past few minutes?"
To his relief, Haruno Sakura raised her hand and nodded. Iruka motioned for her to talk, and she did so in that voice she always used to answer questions – the superior voice that practically proclaimed she thought she was the best kunoichi in the class, "Hai, Iruka sensei. Ano…"
And she pointed reluctantly behind him. Iruka instinctively turned (not all the way around, mind you. He had learnt his lesson a while ago to NEVER turn your back on the gaki, a lesson he had passed down faithfully to all the new instructors for the last few years) and upon seeing the girl a little tick appeared on his forehead.
"NARUTO!" He yelled, irritated.
For where was the girl but sleeping in his chair; face on her hands, eyes closed and everything. She twitched into consciousness, lazily opening her eyes. Her face was blank for a moment as she looked at all the eyes that were on her, then a grin spread across her face, "Yo, Iruka-sensei." She said happily.
Iruka caught the sound of the class stifling snickers, (what put him off the most was the unmistakable sound of Izumo restraining his own, as well) and rolled his eyes. "Naruto, it's nice to see you awake." He said sardonically, "Now, usually I would ask you why you are sleeping in my class and in my chair and so on, but Izumo-san needs you to go to a meeting with him."
Naruto grinned at this information and nodded to Izumo, whose stern expression flickered momentarily to a grin. She stretched her arms and skipped out of the chair, practically bouncing over to Izumo, getting over her momentary disorientation of being asleep.
Izumo schooled his expression, repressing the smile for the sake of the brats looking on with open curiosity, and motioned for her to leave the room ahead of him.
He noted absently that she was dressed in comfortable and appropriate clothes for future missions (something that many of the younger kunoichi tended to disregard in favour of dressing to catch the eye of one of the boys in class) and was wearing loose dark blue pants that were taped off just below her knees with bandages, coupled with a loose orange t-shirt over a mesh shirt with sleeves that went to just above her elbows. There was an open dark blue vest over the orange shirt. Blue shinobi sandals were silent on the hard floor, giving her the look of a serious kunoichi, not a mere academy student; even with the orange that she seemed to treasure.
Admittedly, the class were to be given the 'genin exam' the next day, but it seemed that most of the prospective kunoichi (fine, all excluding that Hinata girl) were taking this as some kind of joke. No matter. They would find out that it wasn't all fun and games very soon.
Abandoning this morbid line of thought, Izumo focused on keeping up with the hyperactive blonde who was running just ahead of him towards the ANBU headquarters. Now, didn't that sentence sound weird? Shaking his head, he repressed a frown. It just wasn't right that an eleven-year-old should know the direct route to the Head Interrogator's office. Well, she would be turning twelve in a few months, but the same sentiment applied.
She was waiting by the ANBU guards when Izumo finally caught up to her, chatting animatedly with them. They, of course, did not say anything, but Izumo could have sworn they were attentive to the little girl. They nodded and waved the two in, and Naruto smiled before shouting a last "ja, hawk-san, lion-san."
Izumo was caught off-guard when they replied, "Ja ne, Naruto."
'Well,' Izumo thought to himself amusedly, 'you encounter something new everyday hanging around Naruto.'
A/N: Ok ok, I know from experience that lots of people don't like femnaru fics, ect ect, but you know what? I don't give a damn.
I am doing an AU here peoples, and mostly writing what I myself would enjoy to read. There are going to be a lot of changes that I think would have happened had Naruto been a girl, so there WILL be characters that act differently from what they did in the canon version.
I'll even explain my reasons for some things, before you ask the more obvious questions.
1. A big thing that is probably bothering you guys (that you encountered first) was the whole Naruto being blamed for pranks but not being proved to have done them.
Now, I am operating under a few different assumptions here. (Changes because Naruto is female). Firstly is the fact that if you see the canon, the males are extremely sexist. This has worked for Naruto in the fact that more people were actually willing to see the little girl – they do not accept females in general as threats unless they are mad, and a little girl is the least thing they would be afraid of; not to mention they assume Kyuubi was male, so her being 'different' in their minds (even sub-consciously) is a point in her favour.
Another thing is that have you noticed that females are more likely to find ways of doing things from a sideways direction, instead of headfirst; they don't immediately resort to using fists as is the male approach to a lot of things in their early years. So, this Naruto resorted to trying to find a way to do things for herself; using her brain to do it – canon Naruto took the bull approach and tried to combat everyone at once, which was too much as the group mentality would take over, so ones that may have sympathised reacted the same as the group to avoid being ostracised from society.
I bet canon Naruto had a brain – especially because he can read and write when no one would have taught him – but (in my opinion) he repressed his intelligence because it was hurting him – it is easier to actually be oblivious to the reactions of people than suffer through it… and he got so used to forcing himself not to understand that he buried his own intelligence and awareness to social situations (thus his obliviousness to Hinata) permanently.
ANYWAYS, this female Naruto has a brain and somehow learned to read (like the canon Naruto did; I think it was a side-effect of Kyuubi) and found a way to sneak into the biggest book place she could; the library - (or found a sympathiser that would let her in). Anyway, she used this from a very young age, and in this way you can imagine she learnt a lot; which she then took to the practise field – because, honestly, she had nothing else to do due to the lack of parents ect, and it is a hidden village so the most prevalent job is being a ninja, so naturally, so would do this.
Now, canon Naruto's (really major) problems were chakra control, a lack of information and no social interaction. This Naruto, being female, had naturally better chakra control but also started the tree climbing and water walking exercises from a much younger age – when she had less chakra, meaning it would be easier to control it, and since she gained control before it got too big, she is able to have great control – after all, jounins are able to control their large capacities because they learnt control before it got large.
Because of the looks she got from society, she was always seeking a way to get away from them, which brought her to the library, where she learnt a lot. She learnt stuff like how to cook for herself, and used henge to shop properly. So, she was able to care for herself, but she was still hated. So she, in true Naruto fashion, decided to adopt the saying 'don't get revenge, get even' and pulled pranks on the worst of the whisperers. She just did it with much better plans and a (basic) grasp of genjutsu. They got progressively larger, which allowed her to test her stealth abilities, and she managed to stay undetected, even from the ANBU guard (because they seriously didn't suspect a little girl of being able to think of some of the pranks, much less execute them. Remember, a major weakness of ninja's is the tendency to underestimate the opponents, unless they are given evidence that contradicts with this view).
The first time she pulled a prank on one of the council, the member demanded that Sandaime find the perpetrator. Now, she was only about 5, but the council member was adamant she had done it somehow. So, she was taken to talk with Ibiki (the only interrogator Sarutobi trusted not to hurt her), and garnered herself a friend – after all, Naruto has always had the personality that gets into the hearts of people. She started to play bigger pranks to talk to her 'Ibiki-nii', which meant different chuunin were forced to attend with her (a sneaky idea of Sandaime's) and she garnered herself some friends/sympathisers. So, she had more people to talk with, although most of the citizens she interacts with are still out of the loop and haven't had contact with her, so they still hate her.
Well, that's why she sees Ibiki, and why she wasn't been caught – after all, canon Naruto was still able to finish his pranks before getting caught, so this Naruto was able to finish the plans and get away.
2. Now, I just want to say something about the village's reactions. I know a lot of AU's have Naruto being physically abused (in very grisly ways if she is a girl) as I'm sure you noticed. Well, on this one I am with the canon on this subject – they DO NOT touch her, as they are afraid of her (despite this they give her scornful looks and hate her, just like canon) They may throw the odd thing at her, but that never gets her.
Now, this is a very bad thing because even though she has friends (although most are much older than her) she has never really had human contact in the form of affection… or she hasn't had much. Now this is due to a few reasons, one partly being that I have rectified a huge stupid thing in the canon version that I find totally illogical – that Naruto doesn't have any kick-arse power to use. I mean, come on! Naruto is the Jinchuuriki of the freaking Kyuubi! Shouldn't that mean he gets the best power? (Or at least a cool one). Even if his seal is better, it still doesn't explain that he doesn't get anything to stop attacks, only to heal them. But whatever. So yeah, you will find that out later (it is not very original, but I like the idea).
Did you know babies actually need physical contact and affection to survive, beyond what is necessary? Well, yeah the absence of the childhood affection is bad, and adds to her suffering (and was bad for canon Naruto).
3. Now for her character/personality. I will remind you that this is an AU, so she will be different to canon Naruto. She is still pretty hyperactive, (something unavoidable with all that chakra) but she is also very quick with a brilliant mind (something I actually think the real Naruto has; the repression I bet he was doing of his intelligence probably stops when he needs it to survive – the basic human survival instincts are to protect themselves with all they can – thus the brilliant on-the-fly plans – it is actually just the self-imposed mental block disappearing for those moments.)
Now, this Naruto was not put in the academy early, so she didn't fail 3 times before passing, this is her first time.
Oh, Naruto is also more mature than your average kid, because she grew up so fast because of her experiences; as I said about the canon Naruto suppressing, she is different as she didn't just ignore it, so I think that she has a right to be more mature, after everything she has experienced.
5. The Mizuki thing – I find it impossible that the ANBU didn't know what he was going to do – I think there were probably ANBU tailing the canon Naruto that just turned a blind eye, or didn't care enough to look. A big difference in this fic is the pranks and general attitude towards them – they have no idea who is doing it, so naturally after living through a few years of this, they are more alert, meaning they will pick out threats easier. Also that Naruto has had direct contact with the ANBU, and that she is a 'weak' girl (no one has noticed the before-mentioned ability of Naruto's, because they are still pretty oblivious towards her and the ones that may have noticed haven't done anything to activate it in their vicinity) so they try harder to protect her, and I mean, come on! Mizuki wasn't exactly ever quiet about the whole 'I hate Konoha' thing, and any properly trained ninja could have picked out his unusual behaviour.
6. Moving on. One thing I want to impress upon you is that there aren't a lot of friends that Naruto has, and almost none of them are seen with her out in public, so she is basically alone, just with a few people who do talk to her when they encounter each other.
7. Now, Naruto's scores at the academy: firstly, she refused to go to the specialised kunoichi classes (like flower arranging and so on) and no one was able to convince her to go – so they just left her alone to attend the shinobi classes.
Her taijutsu sucks, not because she doesn't have physical strength, but because of the whole academy teachers not willing to teach a 'demon' self defense thing, so she didn't have anyone correcting her stances. Due to the reading, she is very good at ninjutsu and is able to perform the higher-ranked genjutsu (because she would overload the lower ones), and she actually snuck into a few of the shinobi libraries to get techniques and stuff to practise, so she has a variety of those (including a very forbidden favourite technique of canon-Naruto's in his early genin days). But she is playing it out average, because she thinks/knows that the civilian population would not like her being good.
Plus, no one has asked or realised that she is better than she appears – would you go tell people you are stronger than you appear when you are a shinobi; when the element of surprise is practically a prerequisite?
8. Just to clarify, Naruto has the same dreams and the same determination; just because she isn't naïve like the canon Naruto doesn't mean she doesn't have the same goals. Oh, and she loves Ramen.
9. For everything else, you'll just have to wait and see XD.
Well, this is the end to what has to be the longest A/N ever written so I'd like to say Ja ne. (and no, I didn't just write this fanfic so I could complain about how Naruto is short changed and talk about my theories.
P.S: If you find a huge mistake, just tell me and I'll fix it up.