The following is a one chapter story, set the classic super-Naruto set-up. Why a one-shot you say? Well this isn't a oneshot, so much as a story that I plan to continue much later, once I have completed one or two of my other stories (CoughJashinCoughCuttingStringsCough).
So there. I have laid down the ground rules.
(As a side note, I am using a different section off method then the traditional XXXXXXX, so be prepared for that. And there will be swearing in this, so watch out you people who don't like swearing.)
An ocean of fire.
The limbs of blackened trees stretched skyward, red embers floating accross the plains of Konoha forest like so many fireflies. The night was almost day in the red haze of disaster, and burning, horrid destruction. Furthur from the inferno, ninja of the territory, the wounded and the medics, hastened around in fear as the wall of fire steadily drew closer to the camp.
The conflict had risen just a day before. The walking cataclysm had appeared not 24 hours ago, seeking to destroy them.
Kyuubi, the demon fox.
A chilling howl filled the camp, shaking the foundations of the tents, and rattling the wounded, there badly burned mouths opening wide from the trauma, cries of fear and agony barely whispers over the howl.
Then, the shaking started. Like a small earthquake, one after another, they came. Unanimously, horror rose up from the patients in the ward, as they realized the beast was upon them.
Like a hurricane the wind rose up. The fires, previously furthur away, engulfed the trees around them. The fires, gods the fires, mountainous pillers of hell, though pailed in comparison to the titanic beast that materialized over the haze of rising air. A titanic muzzle, adorned with rows of teeth taller then a full grown man, ears twitching with anticipation.
It was the eyes that drove the weak willed insane though. Two hellish slits, mounted against crimson red brighter and darker then a sea of blood. No light reflected from them, despite the abundance of super-heated fire. The medical camp had no chance at defense as the flames exploded around them.
As the fearsome behemoth lurched away, snarling, its tails whipping and twisting, the only evidence it had ever been there was the charred bones, which crumbled to dust.
And then they were gone...
/Nine Years later.../
"BRAT! Teach you to steal my wares!" The dull thunk of foot against flesh met the older civilians cry.
'Damnit...I HATE getting caught...' The currently defenseless thief cried mentally, while on the outside, he flinched as the foot connected harshly with his ribs. "Don't ever come back to my store, you STINKING fox-bastard!" The shop-keep spat, giving one exceedingly heavy kick, before walking out of the ally he had caught him in.
The thief, or fox-bastard as the shop keep had so eloquotly called him, lay in a heap of what appeared to be rain water, only one of his eyes open, the other to bruised to be so. 'How does this...keep happening to me...?' he dutifully asked, shakily sitting up. Slowly creeping to a standing position, the boy, clad in a dirty pair of blue shorts, white shirt and sandels, pushed a grimmy patch of blond hair out of his face.
Under the wet patch of hair, there was the face of a boy who had seen much pain. A single blue eye looked left and right outside the opening of the alley, searching fearfully for another would-be attacker. His slightly bronzed face sighed thankfully, though twisted into a grimace as he clutched his ribs in pain.
"Stupid shop-keeper...didn't have to rough me up so much. It was just a loaf of bread..." The still very hungry blonde sighed. He would maybe get lucky tomorrow, perhaps one of the food-store clerks wouldn't be as perceptive as this one was. His stomach growled at the thought of being denied food again, though the blonde did his best to ignore it.
Uzumaki Naruto was a little reluctant to admit he suffered from an extreme sense of paranoia. As his facial bruise began to heal, as he was gifted with an extremely fast regeneration, Naruto cast a nervous look at the retreating backs of two villagers.
He could have sworn, like so many other times, they had said something. To him, specificly. Always whispers the voices of the villagers were, never barely loud as a breath, but still loud enough to be heard. It would sometimes scare the boy a little at the things he thought they'd say.
"...demon...""...monster...""...sack of unholy spawn..." These were all just examples of the threats he heard under there breaths. He knew it was them, he wasn't crazy and hearing voices. Oh no, it was them alright. It was like the entire village was shunning him, just for who he was!
A sudden wave of self conciousness erupted in Naruto, and reaching up, he strocked the only odd physical attribute of himself. Naruto had whiskers, three long, thin lines accross his cheeks, like a cats. Or a foxes.
'I wonder...if its because of these...that everyone hates me?' He asked coldly to himself, gently rubbing his cheek. The boy of nine couldn't help feeling that life, no matter how hard he tried, was against him.
From the first day he could remember, he was hated. He could not remember a time when the children at the park would grow eerily quiet when he asked to play, before tearing off to there parents. He couldn't remember a time when hushed voices followed him through the streets, like a malevolent ghost haunting him for some misdeed.
And the beatings. Somehow, he was the only kid in the entire village how got a beating weekly. It was one of those situations when non-conformity could be a real bitch.
A tall form smacked into his shoulder, knocking him to the ground suddenly. Looking up at the retreating back of the man, he was met with a retreating figure, of a person who refused to even recognize him. That hurt more then any beating. When a child is born, they need attention, and lots, otherwise they grow up mentally withdrawn, and in bad cases, become twisted.
If that was remotely true, Naruto would have been more twisted then a bent coat-hanger. He didn't have parents, he was a lousy ass ninja who the instructors generally ignored, the student body generally hated him, and any attention he did get was bad. Just freakin' wonderful.
Now in an extremely foul mood, the boy of nine stepped infront of the run-down orphanage, his home for most of his life. He hated it there. Poor sleeping areas, crap food, unheated rooms, with little to no sympathy from the caretakers. And the landlord? Forget about him. He had about as much compassion as he himself had control infront of a bowl of ramen.
Not a whole lot.
Giving a disgusted grunt, Naruto scowled, before continuing his walk. Screw that rat-hole, he had better places to sleep.
A short two blocks away, Naruto looked up at his home away from home. To many, it would have appeared to be suicide just to step onto the crumbling brick and wood of the building. Nine years previously the structure had caught fire, and the village had yet to get around to tearing it down and replacing it.
Naruto snuck past the sign reading "WARNING: HAZARDOUS, DO NOT ENTER PREMISES!", before beginning his climb skyward. The old, crumbling stairs looked unsteady, but from experience Naruto knew they weren't. He had climbed them enough times to know. Every once in a while when he grew tired of the many problems of shelter life, he'd come here.
Heading past the second floor, Naruto cracked the hatch open that led to the roof. From there, a rickety spire stood, roof partially caved in, windy and wind worn. Walking through the door to it, Naruto took in the places inside. Despite its rundown appearance outside, Naruto had taken a point to refurnash the place, adding his own touches to it while making it more livable.
The hole was covered with a tarp, creating a makeshift window. Previously, Naruto believed this room was used as a sort of emergency supplie closet of some kind, why it was on the roof, he didn't know. He did know however that the shelves that once been adorned with cleaning products now held his prized objects, a few pictures he'd drawn, a doll or actions figure as he called it here and there.
To the side was a small sleeping bag, with a table, a candle and several manga on it. Naruto sighed to himself as he nelt infront of the tarp, lifting it slightly to observe his hiding places most winning quality.
The view of the entire village at sunset. Red adorned the now golden and orange sphere as it decended to earth, the sky above it dark with storm clouds that would strike that night. But for now, all Naruto could do was stare at possibly the only truly happy thing in his rather melancholy life.
Naruto loved the sun. It fascinated him, intrigued him and on some level, he was obsessed with it. Naruto had always been drawn to the giant fire disk in the sky, as a younger boy, sometimes he'd stare at it for to long, and temporarily blind himself! And to see such a thing against such a backdrop filled him with a sort of tranquilty, if for a moment.
Slowly, the orb disappeared entirely, leaving the sky inky dark. Naruto yawned tiredly, and sent his still hungry belly a threatening look as it grumbled again. Tomorrow, maybe he'd get lucky, he told himself as he drew into his blankets, and prepared to doze off.
An hour later however, he was awoken with a tiny splash of water on his nose. Rising like a zombie, the blonde pivoted his head around his surroundings, before he snapped awake. The rain he had previously blown off was now a full blown storm.
Grabbing his candle, Naruto took a match from under his mattress, and quickly lit it, trying to see in the nearly black room.
It was POURING. The tarp he had set up to keep rain and wind out had broken away from the roof as water accumulated inside it, leaving the hole gapping open, and spilling countless water droplets on his floor, and table, and manga.
"NANI?!" Naruto sprang up, grabbing the now soaked manga, and setting them away from the window. Searching for the tarp, he realized with a sinking stomach it was two stories below on the village streets, in a puddle of mud. Great.
The roof above his head pounded loudly with each steadily heavier drop spattered against it, creating loud, scary groaning noises that would have sent any other nine-year old under a table crying. Naruto was no ordinary nine-year old.
"Oh dear god help me!" He panicked, looking left and right for something to ease the terror that coursed through him. It just so happened Naruto really didn't like creaking wood...
Then the thunder and lightning started. As many children can attest to, being stuck in a small wooden shack suspended two stories above a concrete street during an insane electrical storm with it creaking left and right, can be a liiiiittle scary.
As Naruto sat there, huddled in fear as the water outside lashed and the lightning crackled, his only solace in the terrifying situation was the small candle he kept within eye sight, flickering brightly. Unfortunately for Naruto, the gods didn't exactly favor him.
With a sudden gust of wind, a shower of water flew through the hole in the wall, and extinguished the flame. Naruto's heart nearly stopped, the room now filled with darkness, so dark, the only thing that illuminated it was the random flash of lightning.
Naruto froze...simply sitting there, before he panicked. Gripping the pack of matches, he took two, and set them to the whick of the candle. No luck. The candle would not start, the matches soon dying. Naruto gulped, lighting more. And again, it would not light.
Try and again, he failed to light the candle, the matches of low quality, quickly burning out before they could dry it. All to soon, Naruto was upon his last match. 'For the love of god, kami, or whoever the hell is listening, please let this be the one...' Naruto hesitantly lit the match, and held it to the whick.
To his horror, the whick did not light. The flame of the match slowly began to wind down the wood that made it, before with a shout Naruto threw the smoking match away, landing in the forming puddle in the middle of the room.
Huddling into himself, Naruto clenched his eyes shut. 'No...nonononono! Please, please, I need light! Light! Show me LIGHT!"
From within, his crie rang out like a thousand bells, reverberating deep within himself. And, shockingly enough, something answered.
Naruto's currently clenched eyes widened slightly, when a light, if a small one, filled the room. Cracking an eye open, Naruto, baffled, asked himself the important question, have I gone insane, or is that a floating bit of fire infront of me?
Hesitantly, Naruto sat forwards, looking at the little flame, hoping, praying he hadn't gone off the deep end. Indeed, it looked like it. It was like the fire at the end of a candle, suspended in mid-air, defying gravity and several other important universal laws.
Hesitantly, as if afraid it would disappear the moment he looked straight at it, Naruto cupped his hands around the flame. To his surprise however, instead of being burned, a warm, almost comforting sensation filled him from his fingertips to his toes. Opening his hands again, he sighed happily as the flame still sat there, flickering.
Naruto, getting over the sense of stunned surprise, gave a confused look at it. "D...did I do this? Did I bring you here?" The flame remained impassive to his question, which partly relieved Naruto. If it had actually said something he would have thought he was going crazy.
His relief hitched when the flame faltered however. The fire, previously burning brightly gave a sudden sputter, before growing dimmer. Panick filled Naruto. "S-shit, don't burn out! Comeon, I got nothing else, don't leave me!" In his panic, Naruto pushed himself, almost willing the fire to continue burning. Oddly enough...
The fire, previously about to go out, regained new life, glowing brighter then before. Naruto exhaled, though he now was confused, what was happening? The fire however, began to dim again, and experimentally, Naruto concentrated on the thought of it growing brighter. It did so.
Like a child with a new toy, Naruto giggled. This was great! It was like it was his pet or something! Naruto grew a slightly more wicked grin. Concentrating even harder, he made the fire grow a little larger, before giggling. Part of him wondered if he could get it REALLY big. Outside, the rain pounded harder then ever, but he paid it no mind, it was a slight distraction in the face of this new discovery.
Concentrating, Naruto thought of a REALLY big flame...
Two blocks away, Imino Iruka sipped his coffe warmly, sifting through several tests from the day before.
Sometimes, he really worried about his class. In one box, a Michicho had written "What Iruka said the other day.", in the hopes of getting it correct by default. This was squashed as Iruka made a large red slash throught it.
"Man, its really pouring out there." Iruka said, staring out the window distractedly...
Sarutobi, the grand leader of the village, and current hokage, sighed as he prepared to combat his greatest enemy.
Paperwork. The accursed stuff was always piling up, like a neverending mound of snow, that he alone was to shovel. He was too damn old for crap like this! Sometimes, he honestly WISHED someone would attack the village, if to just get away from the accursed PAPERWORK!
Seriously, if the opportunity presented itself, he'd welcome it with open arms...
Hatake Kakashi, in his one floor apartment, sighed as he flipped a page in an all to familiar red novel, before looking out the window. He was bored. Bored, bored bored bored, BORED. Icha Icha was always entertaining, hence why he hadn't found sometime else to occupy his thoughts, but it could only go so far.
Still better boredom then being outside in the rain. "Man, I do not envy whoever has to go outside in weather like this-
Similtaniously, three heads, one with a pine-apple haircut, one adorned with a red ornamental hat, and one with a flop of silver hair spun as the entire village shook violently.
An explosion shook the foundation of the village itself, rattling windows, vibrating the floors under there feat. Iruka, being a little less rash, stuck his head outside the window in the direction of the explosion, seeing a vast plumb of smoke rising high into the expanse of the storm, its dark billows illuminated by a raging fire.
Farther from the blast, two very famous ninja that were previously mentioned sprung into action, the hokage barking orders to his subordinates, Kakashi breaking through his window and taking off towards the shockwave.
The epicentre, as it turned out, was a small rundown building that had been around since the Kyuubi assault.
A pier at the top of the building smoked horribly, its wooden structure threatening to give way under its ever growing weaker supports. The fire had originated from there clearly, as it was the only spot up in flames. That was going to change soon, as the flames began to creep along the building, despite the heavy rain.
In his pajama's, a rather funny sight, Iruka asked the nearest shinobi, who by coincidence was Iruka, what was happening. "Oi, whats the fire about?!" He asked lamely, the chuunin turned to greet the Hatake over the blustering winds of the storm.
"Don't know, that building has apparrently been struck by a bolt of lightning or something! I think the ANBU are moving to put it out now!" As Iruka said this, dark clad Ninja could be seen scaling the walls of buildings, heading accross the street from the fire piller.
"Suiton: Rikkido Ba-suto!" (Liquid burst!) From the palms of the men great gyser's of water exploded out, dousing the raging fires as the rain couldn't. Steam rose high as the pillers wavered, the foundation of the building beginning to creak badly under the weight of dozens of gallons of water suddenly being added to its rotting brick and wood.
"Its coming down!" Someone shouted over the howl of rain, the spire that had previously looked terribly unsturdy now creaked in its death throughs, ready to careen to the hard concrete floor. Part of the floor under it suddenly gave way, showering debris on the ground, nearly crushing one unlucky man. A sudden horrified cry rang up in the village.
"There's a boy up there!" One woman, a civilian shouted, as a small mop of orange hair, attached to a singed boy hung over the hard ground, his limp arms swaying under the winds. He was going to fall. Any minute now, he was going to fall.
Fear clenched at the crowd as if in slow motion, he slipped, unconcious through the hole, plummeting down. With a sinking sensation, Iruka realized who it was that plummeted to the ground. Uzumaki Naruto, a student of his class.
And the container...
In mid-air, Naruto's limped form was mercifully saved from a painful death thanks to the efforts of Kakashi. Mid-air he intercepted the boy, catching him as gracefully as he could, barely missing the large hunk of wood following Naruto's decent. Kakashi was a little frightened at the boys weight actually, it was surprisingly light...
Landing in a crouch, Kakashi only had a moment to set Naruto down, before both he and the boy were surrounded by ninja and civilian, a defening crash erupting behind him. "Oi, Kakashi, good job, that kid mighta died hadn't you-" The villager, a man of about thirty said, though choked mid-sentence as he quickly recognized the ash covered boy. "K-kyuubi-!" He said hushedly, before growling and walking off.
Kakashi didn't pay the civilian, or any of the others that walked away in disgust moments later any mind. Kakashi simply crouched, watching the two medic's work quickly to heal Naruto of ashy-lungs and any other wounds he might have sustained from the fire. Surprisingly or unsurprisingly (depending on how much you knew about Kyuubi's effects on its host) Naruto's eyes, while he was being looked over by the medics, suddenly snapped open. Sitting up abruptly, the two med-nin skirked back in surprise as the boy, almost black with soot, simply sat there dumbly for a few seconds.
Quietly, Iruka, who had snuck up behind Kakashi, asked. "N-Naruto? Are you...alright?" Naruto's blue eyes stared straight ahead for a few seconds, not acknowledging Iruka's presence, before he slowly looked into Iruka with wide eyes. "Ne...Iruka-sensei...?" The crowd of Ninja didn't move, didn't BREATH, as the near eerie voice of Naruto sung out to his teacher.
"Y-yes, Naruto?" Naruto stared long at his teacher, before a small grin snaked its way accross his jaw. "What happened...with the building?" Iruka didn't breath, but ground out an answer. "W-we think it was struck by lightning Naruto. That lightning caused the building to catch fire." Naruto frowned, the crease barely visible under the soot still on his face.
"Oooohh..." The grin suddenly came back, Naruto's eyes creasing into his traditional 'foxy-grin', minus the wicked smirk that came with it. No, this tiny upturn of the lip was far more soul-shaking, like you could actually feel some kind of insanity from the boy. He laughed. At first small, a brief chuckle, before erupting in full blown laughter in the hard rain.
No one joined his guffawing, as the last of the embers from the fire died...
/Three years later/
"...Inuzuka Kiba?" The warm, happy and generally comforting, unless provoked of course, voice of Umino Iruka asked, in reply he recieved a clawed hand in the air, accompanied with a bark. Running down the list of names, Iruka ticked one off after another.
"Uchiha Sasuke?" Silence. "Uchiha Sasuke?" Iruka asked a little louder, before a "Humph." From the back caught his attention. "Ah, I see your here Sasuke. Please answer the next time I call your name." Iruka could have sworn that he could hear that kids glare, like a small beam of concentrated energy crackling. The kid had issues, that much was apparrent.
"Uzumaki Naruto?" Quiet. "Uzumaki Naruto?" *Cricket, cricket.* "Uzumaki..." Iruka ground out angrily, realizing Naruto was doing it again. Skipping.
A loud clatter outside of the classroom was heard, before the door was opened, and an ANBU stuck her head in. "Excuse me, Iruka-san, but we need to have a quick word with you about-" Iruka gave an exasperated sigh, interrupting her. "What did he do this time?" The ANBU, despite wearing a mask, gave him a rather perplexed look, before signalling behind her.
A much larger man wearing a monkey mask hoisted through the door, with one arm, a rather scrawny blonde boy, tied up from head to toe. The boy wore through the rope, a plain orange t-shirt, a large red swirl on it, signifying his lineage to Konoha (If you'eve ever seen young Naruto, that same swirl on his shirt). Large, baggy and slightly torn shorts adorned his legs, dotted with numerous pockets, bandage wrappings around his hands and ankles giving him a slightly ninjafied look. Green goggles adorned his scalp, normally drawn down over his eyes.
He also wore a cross between boots and sandels, something many of the other students found a little odd. "We found him trying to reshape the hokage monument with low grade explosives. Apparrently he was trying to specificly change the fourths image." Iruka gave him a shocked and confused look.
"What? I figured since the fourth already looked kinda like me, all I'd have to do was blow away a few of his features. I originally planned on blowing up the whole monument, but I decided to conserve my supplies. What?" Iruka's face, if possible looked more shocked. "What?! He does so look like me! Just a little off the chin, give him some cheek marks, and add goggles!"
The other ninja, the heavy guy, interrupted. "We ransacked his apartment and found all these-" He said, throwing a large sack of low grade explosives on the ground infront of Iruka. "This is just one of several bags we found." Iruka visibly paled, sending Naruto an almost horrified look, who just returned with a smirk.
The class had mixed reactions, all of which will be left to your imagination.
"Naruto..." The boy simply smirked. "Ano sa, ano sa, Iruka-sensei, surely you can't punish a guy who techincally hadn't done something wrong right? I mean we ARE allowed to carry explosives-" Naruto was silenced as a large hunk of chalk rebounded off his forhead. Iruka glared at him, before addressing the two ANBU present.
"Thank you from stopping him. I worry about Naruto sometimes, honestly. I will dispose of these explosives and the rest-" An exasperated crie came from Naruto. "Thank you for your help, you may go. I'll punish him, don't worry." The blonde boy was set on the wood ground, his bindings loosening instantly, to the point where the coils just fell to the ground.
The two jounin-level ninja disappeared in a flash, leaving them behind. Naruto hunched his back, pulling his goggles down, but a rough cough from Iruka stopped him from slinking off. "Ahem, Naruto? Where do you think YOUR going?" Naruto gave him a confused look.
"I'm going to go sit down like I'm supposed to. What else am I supposed to do?" Iruka gave him a wicked look, and despite Naruto's generally uncaring attitude, a shiver ran down his spine at the look. "POP QUIZ!" Naruto and the rest of the class cringed badly at Iruka's declaration. "All of you to the front, you'll be preforming the henge technique."
Grumples and threats towards a certain blonde issued from most of the class as they filed up. One by one, alphabeticly, they were told to create an image copy of someone they knew, such as Iruka, or someone of equal importance. As the line continued along, they all seemed to pass, some better then others.
"Ha! Did you see that Sasuke-kun?" Sakura, a kunoichi with a shocking hair color of pink asked the last Uchiha, looking for praise at completing the technique. He didn't respond however, seeming to dampen her spirits before they sprang back full force. Sakura was someone who was used to rejection.
"Alright Naruto, its your turn. Please try to henge into the hokage." Naruto frowned. "Alright, fine." He placed his hands into the seal, and ominously, the room grew quiet. His chakra flashed into the molding method, and he suddenly burst into smoke. Waving his hand dismisively, Iruka and the rest of the class waited for Naruto's transformation to finish.
"Naruto...you fail..." Iruka sighed, exasperated. Before him stood a heavily cartoonified version of the Sandaime, his noise and wart blown completely out of preportion, his stature short, and there were several other small short comings. Moments later, Naruto cancelled the technique. "Whatever." He said in a low tone.
Sakura suddenly spoke out of turn. "Ha! You suck Naruto! Can't even do a jutsu as simple as that!" Naruto cast her an irritated look, but said nothing. "Alright class, please be ready for tomorrows test. If you pass, you will become ninja. If you fail, another year. Have a good day, you are dismissed." The room quickly emptied of students, Naruto the last to leave.
"Ah-ah, where do you think your going Naruto? There's still the matter of your punishment." Naruto stopped, mid-step. "Wait, I thought that pre-test WAS my punishment?" Iruka's wicked smirk, combined with his slowly shaking head said otherwise.
"You missed a spot Naruto!" Iruka said from atop the momument, sitting idly in the shade as Naruto scrubbed the face of the monument. "Damn you Iruka-sensei! Why the hell do you have me doing this crap?!" Iruka frowned annoyedly. "You seemed so interested with the monument of the fourth, so I figured why not acquant you with it via letting you scrub it down? I can't think of a better way." Iruka smirked at Naruto's irritated shout.
45 minutes later, Naruto sat in a sweaty heap infront of him, gasping tiredly, wiping his forhead. "Can I please just go home now?" Iruka shook his head. "Your the one who thought it would be funny to blow up the monument Naruto. If you'd succeeded, innocent people could have been hurt, or worse! Think of this as punishment for your actions, your lucky I'm giving you a break as it is." Naruto cast him a dark look from behind goggles.
"Fine, whatever! Not like I have anyone to go home to anyways, so I can stand being late." Iruka flinched at the cold comment, Naruto simply opting to hop down the sheer side of the monument, before resuming where he left off. He didn't know about the troubled look that had come accross Iruka's face.
'Right...he is an orphan afterall. I suppose...he could be just lashing out with all these explosion threats maybe? I know I used to do things like this, though not as extreme.' Iruka guiltily sighed, before standing up and looking over the side of the cliff. "Oi, Naruto!" The blonde looked up, just as irritated as before.
"What, you jerk?!" Iruka ignored the comment "If you finish the monument today, I'll take you out to ramen!" Naruto stopped for a moment, growing contemplative. "Tell you what, you make it aburage and barbecue steak, and you got yourself a deal." Iruka gave him a surprised look, before he relented.
"Yeah, alright, whatever." He would live to regret these words, as Naruto immediately dived into his work with a fire Iruka had never seen.
"Jeez Iruka-sensei, I've never seen a grown man cry so much." Naruto said, biting down on another piece of steak. Iruka however just sobbed comicly on the other side of the booth. Naruto shrugged, before chewing a piece of aburage, a wave of content washing over his features.
Iruka sobbed again, before he looked up, grabbing a piece of steak with his chop-sticks, and biting down miserably. 'Never...ever...take pity on Naruto, especially when it involves your wallet...' Iruka resolved mentally, planning to tuck this information away.
Five minutes later, Naruto seemed satisfied, leaning back and sighing. "Thanks Iruka-sensei. That...was pretty good, I gotta say." Iruka smiled a bit at the thanks. "Your welcome Naruto. Enjoy this while you can though, as I'm not gonna make the mistake of buying you food again." Naruto gave Iruka a surprised look, before smirking.
"Well, since its a one time offer, I think I'll order four more plates of aburage. I was planning on holding off on eating, but since its just this once..." Naruto was interrupted as Iruka gave a massive sob, before huddling into himself. Naruto smirked widely, before laughing good naturedly. Iruka surprisingly joined him, simply laughing for the sake of laughing.
This drew some odd looks, but hey, they were freakin' ninja. They could care less.
"Hahaha...ha...why are we laughing?" Iruka asked, wiping a tear from his eye a few moments later. Naruto stopped giggling for a moment, drawing on a comicly thoughtful face. "Because...why not?" Iruka gave him an odd look, before smiling. "Sometimes...I worry about you Naruto."
Naruto smirked. "Yeah, yeah, whatever. So long a everything stays student-teacher, I'm cool." Iruka frowned while Naruto smirked. "Huh...sometimes...I REALLY worry about you Naruto." Iruka sighed.
"Oh, don't be like that Iruka-sensei. I'll be fine." Iruka frowned however. "Naruto, you tried to blow up the hokage monument today. You could have hurt a lot of people, just for something as stupid as that. Thats why I worry about you. Sometimes...you just don't think." Naruto gave Iruka hurt look. "Oh comeon, you don't HONESTLY think I'd go through with it, did you Iruka-sensei?"
"Then you know me a little TOO well." Naruto chuckled, biting down on a piece of steak.
"Why would you even concieve something like this Naruto. I remember a time when you would shout and scream about being hokage left and right. Now your trying to blow up the hokage monument, your constantly skipping class, and to top it off I've confiscated enough explosives off you to blow a hole in a mountain! I worry about you, because Naruto, your heading down a dangerous path." Iruka finished with a large sigh, needing air.
Naruto however gave him a look. Hard to discern which one, as his goggles were currently on his nose. "What do you mean Iruka-sensei? I still want to be hokage, more then anything in the world!." "Yes, I know Naruto, but your going about it completely wrong! If you want to be a good shinobi, pay attention in school, and stop these insane escapades of yours!" Iruka finished firmly.
The blonde boy accross from him just glared. "You lecture me every day Iruka-sensei, lecturing me now won't change my mind. I live my life, how I want to. And in my life, I want to be hokage, how I want. It might seem selfish, but thats how I roll. Thank you for the meal, Iruka-sensei." Naruto stood up huftly, turning to leave.
"H-hey wait! Naruto, get back here!" The boy however vanished in an instant, disappearing onto the roof-tops. Iruka looked up at them, a look of concern adorning his face. "Good luck in the test...Naruto..."
To say Naruto was in a sour mood the next day was an understatment.
Walking down the street, he searched for some way to elavate his tension, though none of his normal methods fit his fancy. Burning things, blowing crap up, playing pranks, the usual just didn't fit his mood. Not to mention his stash of highly combustible materials was now severly depleted, thanks to the teacher currently infuriating his mind.
The nerve of that guy! Always preaching about this and that, like he was five or something! Sure, it was...technically...his job, but still, he'd put up with him and his constant nagging all day at school, and Iruka expected him to listen to it in his free time?
Heck ya he did!
Well, screw that. Naruto knew what he liked, he knew what he wanted, and he knew how he wanted to get there. All he needed to do was get past this little obstacle, and he'd be set...
Walking up the stairs that led to the classroom, Naruto swished the door open with a bang, drawing looks from several other classmates, whom he returned with great ferver. Taking a seat, Naruto waited as patiently as someone with his attention span could. Not very long. He soon found himself entertaining the idea of setting off a cherry bomb or two in someones desk. He unfortunately never got the chance, as Iruka walked in moments later.
"Good morning everyone. I am happy to announce that some of you today will take a hallmark test, the test that will mark you as ninja, setting the stage for your future careers. I will not lie, some of you will not pass-" At that point, Naruto tuned him out, closing his eyes behind his goggles in favor of sleeping.
He was rudely interrupted however, as a piece of chalk rebounded off his head. "Naruto, this is important, so pay attention!" Iruka scolded, Naruto rubbed the spot he'd been hit, frowning. "Alright, alright, you didn't have to throw it so hard!" Naruto shouted back, some of the girls in the class chuckling at his expense.
"As I was saying before Naruto decided to nod off, you will each be taken into to the roof single file, where a group of panelists will decide on one of three techniques: bunshin, kawairimi, or henge. You must either do the technique with adequete skill. The option of doing a technique of greater difficulty has been revoked for this year, so no one does something dangerous like last time." Naruto remembered that, the school had caught fire that time, he hadn't had to attend for a week! It'd been awesome!
The memory made him smile, something that a few of the students noticed. They promptly nudged away from him. Iruka however didn't notice, continuing along on his speech unfazed by the maverick look on Naruto's face. "Now, alphabeticly you will be called up to recieve your hiate, so if-"
over the next hour they were called up, one at a time to recieve their test. With each passing minute a student would leave and return. Naruto alarmingly noticed that everyone was passing. Every person, even some of the, lets call it "Skill-lacking" students had passed, bronzingly showing their hiate's to other students, claiming the test to be simple.
Naruto however didn't seem relieved. On the contrary, now he was wary. If every student passed, and he somehow managed to fail, then he would be the only one. He could only imagine the scorn the other students would heap on if he didn't pass, the only failure. They'd probably chant something along the lines of how all the adults were right, he was a total failure at everything...
Naruto restrained the urge to break his desk in half with his fist at the thought. He would pass, come hell or high heaven.
"Uzumaki Naruto!" An instructor called from the front of the room. Naruto stood up, a tight knot in his stomach, before he marched to the front. Before stepping out the door, he took one last look at the class, now practicly filled with students who had passed, eagerly bragging with eachother how they were going to become powerful ninja, before he left with a snap of the door.
A brief walk up a flight of stairs, he was led to a large, open room, a long table where three instructors, one of which was Iruka himself, were situated. "Ohyaho, Iruka-sensei!" Naruto greeted, though Iruka pointedly ignored the greetinig, ruffling his papers, before fixing Naruto with a serious look.
"Naruto...preform bunshin no jutsu." Naruto's heart almost stopped. If their was a technique in the universe he couldn't possibly complete, it was the bunshin. No reason in particular, he just couldn't complete it, and with sickening realization, his instructors probably knew this. Dammit.
Grinding his teeth, Naruto opted to stick it through. Who knows, kami kinda owed him one.
Centering his chakra, Naruto drew his hands into the appropriate seal, and began the process of molding his chakra, bending it together and around, generating a non-corporeal image of himself, as the technique required. With his previous sense of near hoplessness, Naruto felt an eruption of gidy delight, maybe he was right, and kami was finally cutting him some slack!
He really...had to stop jinxing himself.
It was with sickening realization that Naruto realized he was wrong. The chakra, near molding perfection, suddenly exploded outwards, warping his image, just as it neared completion. Helplessly, Naruto generated his clones.
Or what would have been two clones, had Naruto preformed the technique correctly. Instead, he found himself with two very animated, very dead clones of himself, laying on the ground, eyes boggled out, with no color in them. Naruto turned to the judges, who gave him unamused looks. "Ta-daaa?" Naruto said, embarassed and sicking into depression.
"Naruto..." Iruka said, sounding disappointed. "You fail."
Its hard to believe that three words could crush an entire human soul. You'd think a soul was made of stronger stuff, but evidently it wasn't. Considering the shattering sensation deep inside Naruto's chest, followed by an empty patter of hundreds of fragments.
"Now hold on Iruka, he did infact create two clones, albeit shoddy ones. Shouldn't we, I don't know, pass him?" Mizuki, a bit of an jerk in Naruto's opinion said. Naruto made note to move his status up a little, somewhere between 'Iruka's replacement' and 'guy who I will buy ramen for...if only once.'
And again, Iruka rained all over his parade. "No Mizuki, the test required at least passable clones, Naruto's aren't the level needed for a passing grade. Naruto, I am sorry-"
"Whatever. Who needs this freakin' academy anyways!" Naruto shouted, infuriated by this, taking Iruka back. "Fine, fine, I get it, I fail, just like everybody thought I would! You know what, I'm happy! I'm extatic! Now, I no longer have to put up with you (Look away children, he's swearing!) ASSHOLES anymore!" Walking out the door with a slam, Naruto flipped them the bird, and left in a fury.
Iruka sat their dumbly, looking at the slightly cracked door frame...
There were two emotions that currently dominated his mindscape.
Hard to believe a boy of only twelve could hate as much as Naruto could. Some might also find it surprising to learn some other facts about him. Currently, Naruto entertained the idea of burning the school down. With a flamethrower. Oh yes, a flamethrower.
He however couldn't bring himself to do it. He was just...to upset. This was his dream, his only want in the world, and he he had to watch it slowly swish around the perverbial toilet that was Iruka's grade. That guy...
All those times he'd been on Naruto's butt, and the one time Naruto needed a passing grade, the one time he wished his teacher would let a screw-up slide, and the guy fails him. He fails his dream, his hope, and pretty much years of planning since Naruto had lived in the orphanage. Yeah, Iruka really and truly was a friend.
The view he currently sat infront of didn't exactly help his mood. The academy had ended, with dozens of children spilling out of the front hall, into the waiting arms of caring parents who would shelter and protect them, something Naruto both hated and envied. Their they were, the new batch of ninja, boys and girls of twelve or so, who'd completed a task he couldn't.
The urge to burn down the school came back, and Naruto nearly stood up to fufill his plans, had he not been interrupted by a voice behind the tree. "You know, you really shouldn't hate Iruka. He was just doing his job." From behind it, Mizuki's familiar head poked out, silver hair at neck length, covered by a bandana.
"Yeah. Still gonna hate him though." Naruto scoffed, swinging a little. Mizuki grew a concerned look. "Look, normally I don't suggest this, but you do seem like a promising ninja. There is a...second way to pass the exam." Naruto's ears pearked up, his full attention on Mizuki.
"Go on..." Naruto asked, only slightly apprehensive. Mizuki continued "Well, the second way to pass the exam is more difficult. In the Hokage's building, there is a room filled with scrolls. Find the one that says forbidden, and get the scroll outside of the village without being caught. Complete this, and you have an automatic pass to genin level." Naruto smirked a little evilly.
"Thats it? Sheesh, I sneak in there all the time! Where do I bring the scroll exactly?" Mizuki frowned. "Don't worry about that, I'll find you. Just bring it outside the village, and I'll do the rest." Naruto smiled "Domo-arigatou sensei." Bowing, Naruto took off, leaving a wickedly smirking Mizuki.
Naruto didn't need to see his face to know the bastard was lying. Running at half speed, he grew a frown. 'The hell is that guy trying to pull? Sending me into the Hokage's building to acquire a scoll? Who's he trying to fool, I'm no idiot, he's up to something.'
'Still though, I don't know what yet. I suppose I can play possum, and go along with it, just to see what the assholes up to.' Affirming himself, Naruto prepared to do one of the most suicidal things he'd ever done to date. Including that brief period he experimented with napalm.
Chaos was the best way to describe the streets of Konoha at late dusk. Ninja ricocheted accross rooftops, peering and looking around every possible corner, trying desperately to find one Uzumaki Naruto, who as of late had become Konoha's number one fugitive. Among these ninja was one Umino Iruka, who searched desperately for the blonde, feeling that part of this was his fault.
Ducking behind an ally, Iruka rebounded up to a roof-top, scanning the village. To think, Naruto of all people, would do something like this, stealing something as important as the forbidden scroll. How had he even known about it, only Chuunin level ninja and higher knew of its existence! This was a conundrum that didn't make sense.
But facts were facts. Unless Naruto was found soon, he was going to be listed as a missing nin, one that Iruka had a sinking feeling wouldn't last long. 'Why, why didn't I pass him?! He did make clones, if bad ones! This could have been all avoided if I'd just let this one slide!' Iruka knew better though. If Naruto has been passed, he would have never survived in the field with his skills. Iruka wouldn't send someone to die, especially not someone like Naruto.
Steeling himself, he shot off, intent on finding the boy.
Skimming the scrolls contents, Naruto studied the words carefully.
Mizuki had said to acquire the scroll and bring it outside the village to him. Naruto had completed this; quite well if he could say so himself. That was over an hours ago. Currently, he was bored enough to begin looking through the scroll and finding out what was in it. Mizuki hadn't said it was not allowed to do so, right?
Frankly, Naruto doubted this was a test, but even in the off chance it was, he had passed. If it was some evil ploy or something, He could just blame Mizuki in the end, and the guy would take all the blame. Either way, Naruto was fine.
Stopping on the first jutsu, his face grew to a grim frown. "Kage bunshin...the first one in the freakin' thing, and its a clone technique. Screw that, I blew enough time as it is on trying to learn that move..." Ignoring it, he went on through the scroll, though a few minutes later, he was beginning to think there wasn't a jutsu in their for him.
"To many handseals...not fiery enough...THAT'S DISGUSTING!!!!...I'll think about it..." Naruto unconciously mumbled to himself as he continued to skim, stopping once on a particularily nasty jutsu to exclaim how horrifying it was. Seriously, even HE wouldn't have wished that on his worst enemy...
He stopped however, when he came accross something that caught his eye.
"Eh? This...THIS IS PERFECT!" If someone had been present they would have sworn they saw lightning and thunder crash in the distance, as Naruto cackled to himself maniacly.
"Oh yes, who the hell needs bunshin jutsu when you have this..." Naruto chuckled darkly to himself as he continued reading.
Several hours later, the blonde wonder lay on his back, sweaty, tired, and grinning like a maniac.
It had taken work, a hell of a lotta work, but he had done it. He'd completed the technique. The smoking crater a few yards away, a metre in diametre, attested to this.
This day was starting to go alright for him. Sure, he'd failed the test, and it was possible this one was a fake to, but he had acquired a skills he could use in his day to day life effectively.
Things were beginning to look up for him...
And that's where everything went straight to hell.
In the form of a familiar scarred chuunin materializing in the clearing looking almost as exhausted and sweaty as he did. "I-Iruka-sensei?" Naruto asked in between gasps, sitting up wearily to acknowledge the chuunin. 'Guess Mizuki couldn't make it or something...' Iruka however wore a stern look, and briskly walked over to where the blonde lay.
"Naruto, do you have even the slightest idea how much trouble your in?" Naruto raised an eyebrow at this. 'So, Mizuki DID set me up huh? Figures...' Naruto opted to play dumb however. "Trouble? Why? I completed the test didn't I Iruka-sensei?" Iruka took a step back in surprise.
"Test? Naruto, what test?" Naruto frowned, though on the inside he was evaluating what he was going to do to the chuunin who was probably responsible for his predicament. "Mizuki-sensei said that if I stole the scroll, I'd pass on to be a genin automaticly, which is what I did. I pass, right? I mean, I did get the scroll." Iruka's surprised look grew strained and confused.
"Mizuki set you up to this?" Iruka had a moment to digest this before a buffering wind, and a large object shot past his shoulder, flying towards the blonde boy. On instinct, he lept infront of the boy, his vision exploded in pain as a massive shuriken imbedded itself into his middle-back.
"Their you are Naruto. You got the scroll well enough, as I can see." Naruto shakily looked over Iruka's shoulder at the familiar visage of Mizuki, whom perched in a tree with a second fuuma-shuriken on his back. "Quick, give me the scroll, and you'll pass the exam." Iruka shakily reached behind him, and removed the shuriken as he turned to meet the stare of Mizuki.
"Just what are you planning, traitor?" Iruka growled, brandishing the shuriken threateningly. Mizuki however, seemed unaffected, and leapt to the clearing infront of them. "Planning? Traitor? Why whatever do you mean? I'm simply here to let a young genin achieve his dreams. All he needs to do is pass me the scroll, and he'll pass the test. Do it, Naruto." Mizuki turned to the boy, who grasped the scroll at his side.
"W-wait a minute, hold up. One of you is lying, I'm not giving either of you the scroll until I know who!" Mizuki and Iruka both grew pained expressions, glancing at one another. "Naruto, he's lying to you, he's just used you as a pawn to get that scroll, and he's going to kill you the moment he has it. Give it here, and I can get you and it out of here." Iruka pleaded, although Mizuki cut in.
"Naruto, he's lying. Give the scroll to me and you'll pass the exam. He's just trying to make the test harder for you, to make sure your a good enough genin!" Iruka growled, and almost let fly the shuriken. He didn't however. "That's a lie Mizuki! Give me the scroll Naruto, he's lying to you!"
"Whose he going to believe, the guy who wanted to pass him, or the guy who wanted him to fail?" Mizuki cut in, and Iruka flinched a little at that comment. Naruto however drew their attention. "Okay! That's it, I've decided! The person who gets the scroll is..."
Unceramoniously, Naruto passed the scroll to...
Mizuki, who promptly turned and leapt away, screaming after him "THANKS FOR THE SCROLL BASTARDS!"
Iruka stood their, numb, before panic took hold of him. Channeling a vast amount of chakra to his legs, he prepared to vanish in a burst of speed, when a hand gripping the back of his jacket stopped him from halting Mizuki's escape. Turning, he was astonished to find Naruto was the one stopping his escape. He opened his mouth wide to tell the boy to let his surprisingly strong hand let go of his jacket, when Naruto raised his hand.
Three fingers were drawn up.
One lowered, becoming two.
Then there was one.
"KABOOOOOOOOOM!" The forest shook violently as a towering explosion rocked the ground. Naruto didn't waste a moment however, before he took off, leaving a dumb-struck Iruka behind. Iruka shook his head violently before he took off after the blonde, intent on knowing what the explosion was.
He got his answer.
Mizuki lay a short distance away from a massive crator, badly singed and looking positively scathing with anger. Unable to stand, he opted to stare hatedly at the blonde. "You little BASTARD! WHAT DID YOU DO?!" Naruto smiled wickedly, a chilling look on someone so young, in Naruto's opinion.
"You really shouldn't have left me alone with that scroll for so long. It gives you plenty of time to rifle through it, and perhaps find a technique that lets you, oh, I don't know, learn a transformation skill twenty times more powerful then any henge. I happened to find a move, called 'shinshei umarekawari'. Which, in a nutshell, allows you to convert your chakra into objects, and modify them on a molecular scale."
Iruka stared at Naruto, flabbergasted at the sheer idea that Naruto could learn such a skill, while Mizuki scoffed. "That doesn't explain why the scroll exploded." Iruka's stomach shrank, before he bellowed horrified "The scroll exploded?! Naruto, do you have any idea how important that scroll was?!" Naruto however ignored Iruka.
"Simple, you lying-bastard. I modified the molecular structure of a log to mimic the look of the scroll. Then, I timed my chakra to destabilize the molecules, making it explode when I wanted it to. Apparrently the technique lets me do that..." Mizuki growled, realizing he'd been had, and would have the scars to prove it. "Now what you little prick, gonna drag me into ANBU for interrogation?"
Naruto's eyes gained a wicked gleam to them. "Nope, I'm going to insinerate you." From Naruto's palms two large balls of fire erupted, casing a sinister light to the boy. One that unnerved Iruka.
"N-Naruto, what are you saying?! This isn't you. K-killing Mizuki isn't the way to solve anything." Naruto gave him a side-long glance, before looking back. "I don't care. He led me along, and was probably going to kill me the moment he found me. Thats why I learned the technique in the first place. Now I'm going to use the only other technique I know to burn him alive." Naruto raised his hands, prepared to set the chuunin ablaze.
Mizuki's life briefly flashed before his eyes. He realized he was an asshole.
Iruka however intervened, this time successfully. "B-but if you do that, I'm afraid you'll fail the test!" Naruto paused, eyes wide behind his goggles, before turning to the chuunin to his right. "Test? I thought their was no test." Iruka grinned sheepishly, patting himself on the back for subduing the pre-teen.
"Y-yes, but you have displayed many genin qualities to me today, and I suppose that you deserve a reward for capturing Mizuki! If you killed him, you'd instantly fail!" Naruto frowned, his fireballs dimming to small embers in his hands. "Okay, so, if I don't kill him...I get to be a genin?" Iruka nodded.
"Okay, guess its his lucky day then." Naruto's face 180'd emotionally, becoming happy, and grinning widely. Iruka sighed, though he winced as the pain of his wound came back to haunt him. "Alright, grab Mizuki, and we can go." Pulling ninja wire out, Naruto set to tying up the renegade chuunin, who was fairly comatose, probably passed out in fear.
As the two walked back, Mizuki in tow, Naruto turned to his teacher. "Hey-hey, Iruka-sensei, if I'm a genin, doesn't that mean that, I don't know, I get to have a free dinner on you?" Iruka frowned, before grinning. Yeah, I guess so. Although I didn't appreciate you leaving me in the dark about what Mizuki was up to. So for that, you only get one serving of ramen." Naruto groaned loudly.
"Hey-hey, let me finish. You only get one serving, if you don't tell me more about those two techniques you used." Naruto frowned, before sighing. "Fine, you jerk. Your lucky I'm in the mood for ramen. The names of the techniques I used were shinshei umarekawari and-"
By the end of the conversation, Iruka's head hurt.
Yes, I have had yet another one of my 'Must write new story' moments. Sue me.
Shinshei umarekawari is a take on Naruto's tranfomation abilities. In the show, he sucked at clones, so I thought it didn't make much sense to pick the first clone jutsu he saw in the scroll, although this turns out to be a major plot piece. I figured I'd diverge a little on that, and give him a 'super' transformation skill, which relies mostly on moleculare manipulation.
How he can use such a wicked technique will be explained later. If and when I decide to update.
Naruto's fire-powers will also be another move you'll see a lot. In this story, Naruto likes fire, if you haven't noticed.
I would not expect an update soon for this. If its popular enough, and I get enough reviews, we'll see, but in the meantime, probably not any updates for quite some time.
REVIEW! OR NO QUICK UPDATES! RANDOM THREATS AND WHATNOT!