Disclaimer: (I'm only posting this once 'cos it's idiotic for anyone to think any different!) I do NOT own Naruto or anything to do with it. Naruto is the sole property of Masashi Kishimoto, and I expect it will stay that way.
Naruto simply stared at the dumbest villagers he had seen in his entire life. Seriously! 4 years of being called a 'demon' and a 'monster' without doing anything to prove them right, was causing his young mind to think that maybe they were the real monsters in this ill-begotten country. It could be said that in the short 4 years of his life, he had been forced to grow up rather fast, and as of late, he was beginning to notice that the villagers' misplaced hate was starting to really grate on his nerves!
He had seen other kids with their parents of course. Hell, strangers didn't even treat themselves like he was being treated! What would he have to do to just get them to back off and leave him the hell alone? His golden blond hair waved as he stood contemplating this latest set-back in his mission to prove the villagers wrong.
'Why am I trying to do this again?'
In front of him stood 2 villagers, their beer-bellies sticking slightly out of their bulging jumpers as they glared at him with grossly misshaped, bloodshot eyes.
"Ya damn monster! Wha' the heck ya think ya tryna pull comin' inta our shop like that?" The one on the right raged as he waved his beer bottle in the air manically. "Ya aint got no right ta step ya filthy feet past the doorway, hear?"
The man's belly wobbled, his puckered-fat lips foaming as he bellowed in anger at the youngster. Naruto almost cracked up there and then at the sheer absurdity of the situation. Almost.
The second villager, a rotund, greasy brown-haired man stood to the left of his companion glaring with an almost frigid gaze. However, it was his words that were the catalyst to a world-changing decision that would haunt Konoha for years to come. It could be said, that as he had a more sober mind and was able to communicate in more than a drunkard's slur, his words carried far more weight than that of his maniac of a counterpart.
"You, who have killed so many of our friends and family, have no right to enter any of the shops and buildings anywhere within Konoha. You should be dead!" Spitting the last statement from his mouth, he turned and stomped away, leaving his companion to finish up with the innocent youth.
"What the hell does that mean, you fat geezer? I haven't killed anyone! You people are the ones that always hurt me!" It was safe to say that Naruto was close to his breaking point. After everything he had been through in his life, this guy had the audacity to say that he, 4 and a quarter years old Uzumaki Naruto, was responsible for people dying? He had never lifted a finger to an animal let alone a human!
"Don't go playin dumb ya stupid demon. We all know just wha' ya capab...capabaly...capable of!" Throwing his empty bottle at Naruto, he turned to follow after his companion, probably to return to more rounds of alcohol and drunkenness.
Naruto was livid. Capable? Him? He wasn't anywhere near what one could call capable! Why, if he was so capable, could he not push the swing by himself while he sat on it? Why, if he was so capable, could he not cook any of the delicious food he had seen being made in all those top-class restaurants?
Why, if he was so capable, could he not protect himself when the villagers attacked him for no reason?
The brown bottle that the man had thrown, bounced off his head with a dull 'thud' and Naruto was left with an incessant ringing in his ears and cloudy vision for the next 5 minutes. Even as he stood there, staring at the ground, his small face scrunched up with tears leaking from the corner of his eyes, he knew that these people didn't deserve protection; they didn't deserve his trust. The words of the quiet drunk resounded in his head over and over.
'You should be dead!'
He couldn't take it anymore. His small brain was almost exploding with confusion, hurt and anger. The image of his lonely form sitting on a swing in one of Konoha's small parks kept appearing in his mind. How many times had he wished that there would be someone there to push him, to let him experience the rushing wind, as he swung, whooping and screaming at the top of his lungs? How many times had he wondered that if nobody would push him, maybe a strong enough breeze would force his small body into the air instead? He had witnessed the ones his Jiji called ninja, springing from the rooftops at high speed and he wondered what it would be like to have to rely on no-one.
Slowly, he came to, the ringing in his ears subsiding and the fog over his vision dispersing. He realised he was still standing at the side of the kerb in one of Konoha's busier market districts. The sun had begun to set and many of the shopkeepers were packing up, readying themselves to go home; again something he wished he had. He knew there was no point returning to the orphanage, they would kick him out again anyway. No, he'd sleep outside today. Besides, he had his monthly meeting with the Hokage tomorrow and he wanted to ask his Jiji all the questions that were assaulting his mind. Raising his head, he watched as the sun disappeared over the top of a building before turning to trudge towards the forest. At least the idiot villagers couldn't catch him there.
And with the setting of the sun, so did the dream to be Hokage diminish from his small mind. The sun would rise again, but his dream was irrevocably changed. He couldn't remember when he had first started thinking of being free from his cage.
Free, like the sun.
Sarutobi Hiruzen stared. If he was asked he would openly admit that right now he was more surprised than he had been in a very long time. In fact, the last time he had been this surprised was when Minato-kun had stated that he would have to take over as Hokage again, as the genius Shinobi was about to die. Of course, that time he was more worried about the Kyuubi than he was about being Hokage and so couldn't really concentrate on why he was so shocked. But this time there were no convenient distractions.
Naruto had just asked to be a ninja yet not a ninja. He'd just asked to learn Shinobi techniques yet he didn't want to join the academy or become a Konoha Shinobi.
"Why, Naruto? Why wouldn't you want to become a Konoha Shinobi at the same time? You would be paid, and you would be able to look after yourself," Sarutobi really did not know what to make of this strange request.
Obviously something had happened yesterday, the venerable ninja could easily decipher from Naruto's dejected look that something had caused him to change his dream of being Hokage.
"Jiji! I don't wanna protect this village anymore! I like you and Ichiraku-jisan, but apart from that everyone's mean to me! I don't wanna protect people who treat me so bad!" Obviously the boy was not being forthcoming on the finer details, Sarutobi mused.
Sighing, he stood up from his desk, where the mountain of the morning's paperwork teetered dangerously over the edge. He thought about Naruto's request. He supposed he could start the boy on the basics of Chakra if he really wanted it. God knows, the kid deserved to have ninja training more than anyone else, given his heritage and the life he had led so far. But to not want to be allied with the village? He didn't think anything like that had been done before.
"If I do teach you to be a Shinobi, what will you do with the skills? If not to protect people, how would you put the knowledge to good use?"
Naruto's face scrunched up in concentration. It took him a good 30 seconds for his 4 year old mind to grasp what the old Hokage meant, but when he did his face lit up. Sarutobi's heart lifted just by seeing the boy this happy after how down he had been just a minute before.
"Well ya see Jiji. I was thinkin', see? And I thought if I could do all these cool tricks like jumping over buildings and running as fast as the wind then I could have loadsa fun!" Naruto was literally bouncing at this point in his excitement. He had obviously thought this through.
"Have fun? Naruto, ninja techniques are not for fun, they are used to protect people, to protect the will of fire that resides within all of the people in Konoha! You may think them fun now, but you will realise that these techniques can hurt people later on. Why would you want to hurt people if not to protect people from the ones that hurt them?" Sarutobi didn't know if the boy would understand what he said, he was only 4 after all.
Naruto's hair shadowed his eyes as he stared at his feet. When he raised his head, the Sandaime Hokage was once again surprised with the calculating look that creased the youngster's face.
"Jiji, why should I protect people who are always tryna hurt me? You always say about the 'Will of Fire'...Where's that fire when the people out there throw things at me? Where's that Will of Fire when no-one wants to push me or play with me on the swings? HUH Jiji?"
Sarutobi paused, 'well that explains what happened yesterday then. Damn those villagers, can't they see a little child for what it is?' It struck him how Naruto's demands were not truly such a big thing. If anything it would help him as the Konoha council would not be able to overrule the Hokage if it was about civilian matters. The Shinobi part of the council would not have a say and the civilian side would listen to anything their Hokage told them. No, if anything, this was a present for the Hokage. Danzo wouldn't be able to pressurise him any longer on having Naruto entered into the ROOT programme if he wasn't a Shinobi.
It was safe to say that guilt was eating away at the old Hokage's soul after Naruto's latest outburst. Also it couldn't hurt to teach the boy about some of the harmless things a Shinobi learnt. There were many civilians who had some training in the ninja arts, especially the students who didn't manage to graduate from the academy, or were taken from the roster due to debilitating injuries.
"Alright, Naruto. I'll teach you some things, but if you get hurt or hurt other people then I am going to stop. Are we clear on that?"
Naruto's head whipped up from where it had fallen to staring at the floor again. His face split by a wide grin as he cheered.
"Woohoo! I'm gonna learn all these cool moves and have loadsa fun all my life!" Some of Sarutobi's guilt disappeared when he heard that proclamation. At least he wouldn't regret this decision.
"Now listen closely Naruto, this is what ninja need to know..."
Well there you go, chapter one of my first fanfic ever. Now you may be able to see where I'm going with this, suffice to say it will be far removed from any fic that you have seen on this site so far. I intend it to be bordering ludicrous so don't go asking what the hell is wrong with my mind.
Please tell me what you think! If it's well received, I will continue, if not...well I'll see where to go from there.