AN: Hello all I'm back again with a new chapter. Thanks go to everyone who reviewed and everyone who's asked for this chapter over the last few weeks forcing me to write it to satisfy you guys. That said here's the new chap.
He inhaled his body and mind relaxing as the smoke filled his lungs before he exhaled a few moments later allowing the smoke cloud to free itself from his mouth. It had been several hours since his meeting with Haku. In that time he'd been able to sort out all the information he'd gleamed from her mind and come up with a plan, perhaps a shoddy one but a plan none the less. Normally he'd have refrained from scanning her mind like that but her surface thoughts had echoed a bit too loudly when she'd spotted him, and as such he'd heard the thought she had of killing him.
Taking another long drag the blonde allowed his thoughts to fade as the kush worked its way through his system. While some people in the States frowned upon the drug known as marijuana, and commonly referred to as weed he was among the many that didn't. In fact he didn't even consider it a drug, and referred to it as it was, a weed having grown out the way that it is. In truth he thought the plant was a godsend one of the gifts given by the Kami like ramen and the holy log. If anything he felt cigarettes were more of a drug as they were altered chemically and killed people daily, yet they were perfectly legal.
That however was beside the point which was like Wolverine he enjoyed a smoke every now and then though his choice was different. He found that a little weed was the perfect thing to get his mind to relax when he was stressed and as a psychic such a thing was invaluable, even if his psychic powers weren't on the level of the Professor. The best part was that with his regenerative factor he didn't have to worry about any side effects that smoking could cause so he could do it to his hearts content.
Tsunade scowled as she eyed the stack of papers sitting upon her desk. Each of these papers had the red stamp for 'denied' across them, many of them being banishment requests. Despite all that had been done over the past decade in regards to her godson the situation regarding him was still a precarious one. In fact the village was seemingly split down the middle in regards to him. After the Sandaime had forced all shinobi of chuunin class or higher to take a mandatory course on fuuinjutsu or be stripped of their rank the shinobi of the village had changed their opinion finally realizing that her godson was not the Kyuubi reborn or any such nonsense.
Many of them had expressed their guilt the clear exception being the Uchiha clan but seeing as they were all dead they no longer mattered. The fact that he was revealed to be the son of their beloved Yondaime had only increased the guilt that many felt. Some had even gone so far as commit seppuku in an effort to atone for their sins leaving a portion of what they owned to the boy as a sort of reparation. As such it was no surprise that he was held such high esteem among the shinobi populous.
The civilians on the other hand had a complete opposite opinion. They refused to see the boy as anything other than the demon that the Yondaime had sealed away and they wouldn't even entertain the notion of him being the man's son. While Naruto was gone the situation had been aggravating but still manageable with the civilian council trying to strip everything owned by the Namikaze to claim for themselves and the shinobi defending him alongside herself and her predecessor every month.
Now with the boys return the situation had escalated between the two sides of the village. The civilians were of course led by Danzo, Homura, and Koharu or the 'Three Stooges' as she had taken to calling them. The shinobi were led by Hyuga Hiashi, not surprising considering the stance the clan as a whole held for Naruto, Inuzuka Tsume, also not surprising considering she used to date Minato, and Nara Shikaku, which was surprising considering she'd thought he'd consider it 'too troublesome'.
Whatever the case the boy's arrival and his complete overshadowing of the Uchiha survivor had made ripples within the council. The civilians wanted him either gone, or killed and his body experimented on. The shinobi of course wanted to do all in their power to ensure the blonde would stick around along with his friends. Jiraiya had made it perfectly clear how the blonde felt in regards to Konoha during the meeting the other day. While he hadn't said much about the boy's abilities just hearing he could last against Jiraiya in a spar had said enough for many of them.
All in all it was a good thing she gave the boy's team that mission to Nami it would hopefully give her and Sarutobi enough time to deal with the idiots so Naruto could have the proper welcome home that she had thoroughly planned out.
Laura landed softly atop the roof beside Naruto, her nose having easily caught the familiar scent coming from Tazuna's roof. As she sat neither of them spoke Naruto simply passing her the blunt. Without the slightest hesitation the girl brought it to her lips and inhaling, not worried as she knew her system would flush it within the hour. For a while they sat in silence being comforted by the presence of the other.
"When I was little jiji assigned me my own set of ANBU guards. I'd never been liked in the village even from birth so it was a necessity with people trying to kill me. I'd had guards before but these were different, they actually took the time to get to know me instead of just watching me like the others. I guess you can say they became my surrogate brothers and sister and with jiji I had the family I craved." He paused here as he took another hit allowing the smoke to fill his lungs before exhaling a few moments later.
"Kakashi hasn't changed a bit since then. He was always this laid back guy but he took the time to teach me how to read and write. Yugao-nee-chan she always made sure I had food to eat, always. Tenzo-nii he was always quiet but he showed me how to use a kunai so I could protect myself in the off chance they weren't around. I looked up to Itachi the most though, cuz unlike them Itachi was still a kid.
He was always willing to talk with me and he listened I think he was the only one who truly understood the way I saw the world was different than how everyone else saw it. He was always smiling when we were together and told me of the wonders he saw it made me want to be a shinobi if only so I could see some of the things he did. Itachi, he detested violence though and he loved his brother always saying he'd introduce us one day. He always told me that I shouldn't hold grudges, that one day people would wake up and finally see the truth, that it was always darkest before the sun rose. He truly believed that people could change. The last time I saw him I told him that one day I'd become Hokage that way I could show everyone the way we saw the world.
No matter how I look at it, how many times I run it through my mind it doesn't make any sense. Something's stinks about the whole situation. Itachi doing something like killing members of his clan and torturing his brother is like Kakashi without a book or a world without ramen, it's just wrong, unholy even. There's more to this than what's known and I'm going to find out the truth even if I have to track him down and beat it out of him."
As the blonde finished his rant Kakashi who had been listening from a bedroom window unknown to both of them narrowed his exposed eye finding the logic in the blonde's words. He made a mental note to clue in both Yugao and Tenzo upon returning to the village he was sure between the three of them they'd find something. As if to confirm his resolve hidden beneath his hitae-tae his single Sharingan eye spun once before settling back down.
Alex frowned as he walked through the village near Tazuna's home. At the moment he was guarding Tsunami as she went food shopping, though by the looks of things he had serious doubts of her finding much. As he looked around the village he couldn't help but be reminded of New Orleans after Katrina hit. Sure there was a surprising lack of water covering the ground but the place still carried the feeling of despair that he'd seen on the newsfeeds.
Many of the homes he found were in disrepair showing an urgent need for maintenance while others were boarded up completely. Tazuna had already explained to him how Gato had seized the homes of some people so it wasn't much of a surprise but it still caused him to grit his teeth in anger. Turning his gaze away from the scene the blonde took several deep breaths to calm himself and causing the heated feeling within his hands to fade. Glancing back at Tsunami he couldn't help but wonder how she dealt with all of this but refrained from asking the woman and instead concentrated on protecting her, his thoughts could wait until later.
The diminutive man that was Gato stormed towards his destination along with the two thugs flanking him acting as bodyguards. As they reached it the man threw the door open with all his might, which wasn't much. Despite this he got the reaction he was looking for as the man on the cot before him turned his attention to him.
"You failed! First your little stooges and then you yourself. I'm paying good money and I expected results not to see a bunch of baby demons get their asses handed to them by a couple of kids and a one eyed man!" exclaimed Gato as he marched up to the man.
Before the diminutive businessman could say anything more he found himself freezing as the man before him turned a glare onto him that nearly made him piss himself.
"You may be a client Gato but I have yet to see any actual payment. As such don't think you can talk down on me like your pet thugs or I'll have to put a stop to it, by relieving you of your head."
The man's voice was gruff and deep and his eyes promised pain untold to the businessman. He was Momochi Zabuza, one of the Seven Swordsmen of the Mist, nicknamed 'Devil of the Hidden Mist' and A-rank nuke-nin. With his message delivered the man turned his attention away from Gato and his thugs for something more important, like looking at the wall.
"One more chance you hear me. After that I'll find someone who can do what you can't." threatened Gato as he moved up towards Zabuza reaching for his face.
Before Gato could get close enough to touch he was intercepted and a loud cracking sound echoed around the small room. Between the two men stood another figure dressed in a pink kimino of all things with flower designs upon it, the same person who'd been speaking with Naruto earlier that day.
"Don't touch Zabuza-sama with your filthy hands." Stated the figure with a feminine tone of voice.
Cradling his now broken wrist Gato glared at the girl before storming out of the room with his two thugs following him.
"You didn't have to do that Haku, I had it under control." Said Zabuza revealing a kunai he'd had in his hand under the blankets.
"I know, but you'd have killed him and for the moment he still has his uses." Explained Haku calmly.
"There is another team here from Konoha. I ran into one of them who said they were merely passing through here back home but I doubt that part." Said Haku after a few moments silence.
Zabuza scowled at the news from Haku. For the last few years Konoha had been proving that it still held the title of strongest shinobi village. First with their new Hokage and then with the new training program said Hokage had initiated. Not many outside of Konoha knew what the program entailed but seeing gennin that were chuunin in all but title had said more than enough to the various villages and nuke-nin as well. When one of the five greats started something like this it usually said they were gearing up for war.
He knew several other countries had followed suit as well. He himself had already been contacted by a rebel faction in Kiri led by an old friend of his requesting he return to aid them. This was a prospect that was looking more and more feasible to him.
"Keep an eye on that fool. If he shows any signs of betrayal…" said Zabuza letting his words hang there.
Haku nodded at that with a small smile before standing and leaving to change. At one point she'd have done it there and then but Zabuza had threatened her into stopping telling her in no uncertain terms her body held no interest for him. Shaking himself from those thoughts he focused himself on figuring out a plan for the future to get them out of this mess.
Anko laughed as she watched team seven's resident Uchiha fall off the tree for the umpteenth time. She had been surprised to learn the group hadn't known the tree climbing exercise yet. Sure she knew they didn't teach advanced chakra control in the academy but it was generally the first thing taught after a team came out of the academy. This however had told her in no uncertain terms that Kakashi had been as lazy as usual.
"Man you gaki's are overrated. I know for a fact Kurenei's team can already do this with their eyes closed and hands tied behind their backs with weights tied into the wires." Said Anko grinning as she heard the Uchiha growl.
Unlike others Anko had never liked the Uchiha or how the village treated him. Hell she didn't like the clan as a whole, much like how she didn't like the Hyuga. As such any chance she had to knock them down a couple pegs was taken with glee. Sure the Haruno girl had gotten it on the first try but she'd made the girl keep going to increase her stamina and chakra reserves.
It was the boy Sai that held her attention the most. With his fake smile and crude behavior it was easy to see he was one of Danzo's mindless drones. Why the Hokage's put up with the man was beyond her because if it were up to her the man would've been executed a long time ago. She had no doubt the boy was placed in the academy solely to keep tabs on the Uchiha before being placed on his team. Whatever the case she'd have to keep an eye on him until Kakashi was back on his feet and make sure the little brat didn't act on any funny ideas.
That night the two teams of Konoha nin sat gathered around the dinner table with Tazuna and his family. Well actually to be more accurate as the table was rather small some of them were off to the side, the point is everyone was gathered for dinner. Anko was silent as her mind was running a mile a minute through scenarios for the future. Naruto had come to her and given her a brief run down of the things he'd been able to learn about Gato and his operations during the day. She'd questioned him on it but all he would say was it was a gift that the Sandaime had labeled an S-class secret.
She had summoned a few of her pets to take a look and verify things and true enough everything was exactly as he said. Gato was held up in a large mansion on the other side of the island that was walled off and well guarded. The pair of nuke-nin he hired were situated at the edge of the property and Zabuza was down for the count. That gave them a window to complete the mission with less difficulty and she'd be a fool to pass it up. Her decision made she leaned forward and cleared her throat.
"Alright gaki's listen up." Said the woman successfully getting the groups attention.
"Thanks to Shura's intelligence which I've been able to verify we've been given a golden opportunity. We now know where Gato rests at and how many thugs he keeps with him. More importantly we've learned Zabuza is still down for the count for the next few days. That said we'll hit them tonight when their least expecting it. So here's the plan.
It had started out of nowhere. One moment things were fine and everyone was going about their business, which for most was sleeping, and in the next the place was rocked with explosions as fires broke out all over. Mercenary upon mercenary poured out of the compound in order to find their attacker only to be struck down before they could even make it far picked off by kunai, shuriken, or if they were particularly unlucky caught in explosions. Throughout it all Mitirashi Anko watched it from the tree tops barely resisting the urge to cackle at the screams she could hear even from her distance.
A beam of red light shot through the air and another explosion rocked the compound with more force than three explosive tags combined. A moment later her binocular focused eyes spotted three shadows darting through the trees and into the burning compound and a sadistic grin crossed her face.
Feral green eyes watched as the mercenaries shouted in panic as they tried to establish order amongst themselves in order to fend off the attack. With a roar similar to her father's the X-Man known as Talon leapt into the compound her fist slamming into the chest of the closest mercenary only for him to be pierced due to the emergence of her claws. Pushing off him with her feet she forced herself into a flip her adamantium coated claws coming free with a spray of blood. As soon as her feet touched down she rushed the next one who barely managed to place his sword in a position to block only for it to be torn through like paper. Before he could do more than register his shock at the action Laura was in motion spinning under the falling steel and lashing out with her other hand slashing the man across the stomach and standing in a single smooth motion.
In another section of the compound two more men fell as a pair of glowing red objects hit them before detonating with enough force to send them back flying yet miraculously not killing them. As those around the two looked for the source of the object a single figure made his way out of the shadows his blonde hair casting shadows over his face but leaving his slit blue eyes visible. Drawing their weapons the group of thugs charged forward towards the blonde screaming their war cry's.
Seeing them coming the blonde simply stood still as he watched them approach. They arrived in seconds the leading figure swinging down with a sword without hesitation. Before his blade had even made it halfway the man froze as a fierce killing intent flooded the area catching all of the thugs off guard causing more than a few to have heart attacks yet knocking all of them unconscious. Smirking at his trick working the blonde had to admit being psychic had its advantages like increasing the effectiveness of killing intent.
Walking into the house from which they came Naruto sweatdropped at the sight of more men passed out inside. Granted it was only seven but still, he didn't think he'd thrown out that much killing intent. Seeing as they were still alive though the blonde simply shrugged and moved on.
Alex smirked as he overlooked his handiwork. The section he was assigned was all but destroyed by the heat blast he'd been sending to it. Even better the thugs in the building were all either unconscious or just too fucked up to be a threat. He knew he'd been given the easiest section. As the only one to have not ever killed on the team Laura and Naruto had volunteered to take the harder once with greater chances for combat so that he wouldn't have to bloody himself so soon. Shaking himself from the thoughts and turning away from the destroyed building he moved over to his goal of freeing the hostages kept here by Gato.
Haku ran through the compound towards where she knew Gato kept his precious materials like money. she could still here the sounds of battle and seeing as how these were ninja obviously after the diminutive bastard she'd figured she'd just collect the payment owed to Zabuza, get him and get the hell out of dodge before they found him. Reaching her destination she froze at the sight of a figure already going through Gato's things that obviously wasn't the midget himself, but was the same Konoha nin she'd met earlier.
"Hello Haku-san." Stated Naruto calmly as he eyed the girl who dropped into a stance preparing for combat.
"There's no need for that. We're only after Gato, you and Zabuza are free to go seeing as how you were only doing what you were hired for. Fortunately for you though we hit Gato first as apparently he wasn't going to pay you guys anyway." Explained the blonde causing her to rise out of her stance before he tossed her a scroll he was holding.
"That should be more than enough to satisfy Zabuza for his trouble. Also if you would I'd like for you to give him a message for me." Said the blonde getting a nod from the girl.
"I'd like to extend to the two of you an opportunity to join us in Konoha. The Godaime is my godmother so I can pretty much guarantee you can get in if not I'll at least get her to let you two leave with no hassle." Stated the blonde.
"Very well I will inform Zabuza-sama of your request." Stated Haku before she disappeared in a whirl of mist.
Sighing the blonde turned to the slumped form of Gato that he'd placed on the floor finding him to still be unconscious. Creating a single Shadow Clone he motioned for it to grab the ugly short man while he himself went through the fools records, he was sure his punishment would be far worse than death once the Fire Daimyou got a hold of him. Getting the man had been easy as he'd apparently sent all of his guards out to stall probably hoping to grab what he could and leave. A simple psychic suggestion for him to sleep had done everything.
What he'd given Haku had been only a scratch of what the man had. He'd already gone through the mans things and sealed away a bit of monetary value mostly jewels for himself and his team that Gato had apparently kept off the books. The rest of the money would be turned in with Gato and whatever Laura managed to secure on her end when all this was done. Pausing at the thought the blonde made another set of Shadow Clones to go through the stuff while he went to check up on Laura. Grabbing Gato he took a moment to look at a small bit of kanji writing. Scowling at the sight he determined to have a nice chat with the short man, the last thing he wanted was vampires in his backyard.
The next morning found all of Wave standing outside of the demolished compound that had once played home for Gato and his band of mercenaries. Everyone had heard the sounds in the dead of night but no one had wanted to investigate them. Looking around fires could be seen all over as the people brave enough ventured passed the stone gate. Bodies lied on the ground stacked atop each other in front of what had once been the Daimyou's home. Those with good enough eyes could see that none of these men were dead by their breathing and the fact they were tied up, others just knew simply because some were still moaning in pain.
Hatake Kakashi had to hold in a whistle as he looked upon the damage done. None of it bore Anko's signature meaning that it was all done by her gennin, such a thought was sobering for the one eyed jounin.
"Impressive isn't it." Stated Anko causing Kakashi to look up into the nearest tree.
"Those gaki's are good. They did the job with no problems, even more the one that could have triggered something was avoided by Naruto completely when he ran into Zabuza's apprentice. Reminds me of the stories I used to hear about your team." Explained the purple haired woman.
That took Kakashi back to what he thought secretly as the good days. His team under Namikaze Minato had been an assassination and demolition squad itself. Judging by the evidence around him that's exactly what Anko had been given. In truth that's secretly one of the truest reasons he'd failed all teams before he was ordered to take on the Uchiha, none of them had the qualities he was looking for. Its also the reason he hadn't done anything with his squad yet, it was a designated assault squad and it was putting him out of his depth.
"We'll be heading out a little later. You shouldn't have any problems with Gato gone and Zabuza paid off." With that said Anko disappeared in a puff of smoke showing she'd been a Shadow Clone.
Sighing the Cyclops looked at his own team, Sakura was looking around her in awe, Sai was of course a blank slate, and the Uchiha was apparently envious judging by the angered looking on his face. At that he resisted the urge to run a hand down his masked face, he just knew his remaining time here was going to be difficult.
Meanwhile team 11 was making there way back to Konoha and had already closed majority of the distance. They'd left immediately after all of their affairs had been handled in Wave. She'd already sent a message to Konoha's liason in the Fire Countries capital about the mercenaries and was pretty sure someone would be there soon to collect them. Looking towards her female student she couldn't help but feel a swell of pride. The girl had volunteered for the most difficult assignment which had been the furthest from the initial blast zone meaning no one she encountered initially would be injured. Even still she had taken them down with a swiftness that was borderline jounin level.
Even more amazing the girl hadn't killed anyone. Sure they were badly wounded but still alive and may have bled out if the girl hadn't known some medical jutsu. Alex had revealed himself to be a Hyuga's worst nightmare revealing that he had devastating long range attacks. Naruto however hadn't thrown a single punch or used a single jutsu. Instead all he'd used was a burst of killing intent and he'd had twenty-five men down for the count, twelve of which suffered heart attacks.
Looking at the blonde she could see he was still carrying Gato over his shoulder in a fireman's carry. The short ugly man was tied in ninja wire and his mouth taped shut.
"So why are we taking him?" asked Laura causing Anko to inwardly cheer over not having to ask herself.
"He has a glyph." The simple answer caused both Alex and Laura to pause for a hot second while Anko merely raised an eyebrow.
"You don't think…" started Alex only to be cut off.
"Maybe, I intend to find out." Said Naruto clearly ending the conversation.
It had taken a few hours but the three X-men finally made it home. Gato had been handed over to the ANBU along with several scrolls but Naruto had made it very clear he'd be seeing the man after he'd gotten some rest. The three had barely closed the gates behind them before they exploded throwing the three of them away. Being the furthest from the gate Laura was barely able to hang on to her consciousness enough to see several cloaked and masked men grab Naruto before disappearing into the trees. Grabbing her belt buckle and opening the phone she only barely managed to speak into it.
"Danger, lock down the mansion. We have a emergency level X-3, contact Bayville." With that the daughter of the infamous Wolverine passed over into the grip of unconciousness. As more cloaked men arrived they were fended off as several turrets opened up and let off a barrage of fire forcing them to retreat.
AN: That's it chapters done. It may seem kind of rushed but I really just wanted to move on to the next chapter already. I've been slaving over this one for weeks. Anyway thanks for reading and please review as it may get quicker updates. Until next time, LATER.