Me no owny One Piece or Naruto.
Jiraiya grinned to the Sandaime Hokage as the toad sannin stood on the window sill, taking in the office. The elderly Kage sat in his normal place behind the desk, and on the floor nearby sat a six year old boy with bright blonde hair, sky blue eyes, and three whisker-like marks on each cheek, several small toys before him as well as several pieces of paper and a box of crayons.
"Hey old man, see you got stuck babysitting the gaki again." Jiraiya said from his position with a wide grin, which grew as the blonde predictably cried out "I'm not being babysat! I'm just visiting!"
Hiruzen Sarutobi chuckled as he nodded and said "Naruto's right Jiraiya, he's not being babysat by me. He's just keeping me company while I do battle against the greatest evil of all Kages." Looking to Naruto, Hiruzen asked "And what's that?"
"Paperwork!" the six year old cried from his place on the floor, which got a chuckle from both Jiraiya and Hiruzen as the elderly leader said "Correct Naruto. And it is a foe feared by all because of its immortality and replicating abilities. Not even the legendary Yondaime could defeat it."
"Anyways, I came to show you something interesting I found in my travels." Jiraiya said as he leapt from his perch and walked in front of the desk, digging into a pouch on his side. From it he retrieved a violet Yubari melon adorned with swirls which he sat on the desk atop several pieces of paperwork. As he saw it, Hiruzen's eyes widened as he looked from the item on his desk to his student, then back to the item.
"I-is that what I think it is..." Hiruzen asked, and Jiraiya nodded proudly as he said "Yep, its one of the legendary and rare Devil Fruit from the Grand Line. You wouldn't believe how difficult it was to obtain this thing, because they are worth quite a bit. And there are people who would literally kill for this thing, something I found out firsthand..." As he spoke, he opened his shirt, revealing a fresh scar adorning his chest, looking out of place amongst the faded scars left many years ago by Tsunade.
"I see." the Hiruzen said, before asking "So Jiraiya, do you know what this Devil Fruit can do?"
Closing his shirt, Jiraiya said "From what I could find out, the devil fruit is called the "Gomu Gomu no Mi", and its a Paramicia."
"Paramicia?" the Sandaime asked, and Jiraiya nodded as he said "Yeah. There's three types of Devil Fruit, the Paramecia, the Zoan, and the Logia. Paramecia fruit gives the person some kind of superhuman ability, such as being able to turn their body into blades, turn people to stone if they think an impure thought, or in the case of the Gomu Gomu no Mi, turn their body into rubber. Zoan fruit gives the person the ability to turn into a hybrid or full version of an animal, such as a giraffe or leopard. And the Logia fruit gives the person the ability to transform into, generate, and control a certain element, such as sand, smoke, or fire."
"Imagine if we could grow this fruit..." Hiruzen muttered, both looking down at where the fruit lay... only to find it missing.
"WHERE IS IT?!" Jiraiya yelled, the answer coming almost immediately in the form of a small voice muttering "This fruit tastes bad." followed by a biting noise. Both turned to find Naruto sitting nearby, chewing and swallowing before taking another bite, several bites already taken out of it.
"What?" said blonde asked as he looked up, Hiruzen frowning as he said "Naruto, you know that doesn't belong to you."
"I know..." Naruto answered, to which Hiruzen asked "If you knew, then why did you take it."
"I was hungry, and Ichiraku's is closed today due to Tuechi-jiji being sick. I'm sorry..." Naruto answered sadly. The anger left both adults immediately as they remembered that the child's only regular source of food was Ichiraku's, and that with the store closed, his chances of finding food elsewhere were slim.
Sighing, Hiruzen said "It's OK Naruto, I understand. Just... next time, ask before you take something." Naruto nodded and held the partially eaten fruit out to be taken back, which Jiraiya did, removing the seeds before returning it.
"I've got what we need old man. The kid can have the rest, considering its now just a nasty-tasting fruit, its power belonging to Naruto." Jiraiya said as he sat the seeds on the desk while Naruto continued eating. It may have tasted bad, but it was food and until Ichiraku's reopened, it'd have to do.
"Well brat, I must congradulate you." Jiraiya said, causing Naruto to look up from his fruit to the Sannin as he asked "Why?"
"Because by eating that fruit your body has taken on the properties of rubber, making you, in essence, a "rubber boy." This will allow you to stretch and contort your body in ways that would make Orochimaru drool with glee." Jiraiya said, causing the blonde to look at the remnants of his nasty-tasting meal in awe. He was made of rubber?
"AWESOME!" Naruto cried happily, causing Hiruzen to chuckle as Jiraiya said "Yes, but in exchange for being a fire boy, you lose the ability to ever swim. In fact, coming in contact with water will cause you to sink like a hammer."
"Oh..." Naruto muttered, before brightening as he said "Oh well, ninja don't have to be able to swim. I've seen the strong ninja walking on water, which I bet I can learn to do! Besides, this means I don't have to take baths anymore."
"Yes you do. The amount of water used in a bath won't affect you brat, and you can always take showers." Jiraiya said, squashing that dream, which caused the blonde to frown sadly.
"Don't be like that brat. You'll like bathes with time, trust me. Especially when you like girls." Hiruzen said with a grin, causing the blonde to blanch and glare at the Hokage as he said "Eeeew! Girls are nasty, Jiji!"
"What?! Brat, girls are the most beautiful creatures on this planet!" Jiriaya replied, to which Naruto shook his head as he said "Uh-uh! Girls are nasty, and they have cooties!"
Leaning back in his chair, Hiruzen lit his pipe, taking a deep puff, smiling at the sight of Jiraiya and Naruto arguing over whether or not girls were 'nasty' as he thought 'Today just got a lot more interesting thanks to you Naruto... And it gives me a reprieve from this accursed paperwork.'
Blue eyes slowly opened as a teen rose from his bed, placing his feet on the floor. Rubbing the sleep from his eyes, he sighed sadly as he realized he had no real reason to get up. He'd failed his third, and final, attempt at becoming a Genin, and as such was now considered a civilian. Swinging his feet back onto the bed, he closed his eyes as he pulled the covers over his form and closed his eyes.
It was all that supid fruit's fault. If he hadn't eaten it seven years ago, he would be able to mold his chakra properly. He would be able to use the henge, bunshin, and kawarimi jutsus. He would have passed his Genin exam the first time, and not suffered through two more torturous years of school, and two crushing failures.
Even worse, now he was pretty much doomed to homelessness, starvation, and death. His only chance at an income had been becoming a ninja, because noone else would hire him. Noone else would give him a chance.
Sighing again, he snuggled deeper into his bed as he muttered "I'm a failure."
But instead of falling back asleep, he laid there, wide awake and thinking. He had no future in Konoha, no hope at employment, happiness, or a family. He was doomed if he stayed here.
"I guess I have only one choice then." he muttered, tossing the blankets off of him. Returning to a seated position, he pushed himself to his feet. Going about his normal morning routine, he was quickly dressed in his orange and blue vest, a pair of blue jean shorts, and a pair of flipflops adorning his feet, his googles hanging around his neck.
Looking at his backpack, filled with enough ramen to last a couple weeks, the rest of his clothes, and a few other sentimental items, he sighed. This was it, he was leaving Konoha and possibly never coming back... Which got him to thinking, what did he have here? Iruka, the Ichirakus, and Hokage-jiji. But they had their own lives, their own worries, their own responsibilities.
They would miss him, that was for sure, but they would move on. Maybe even be better off without him.
Shouldering his pack, he nodded to noone in particular and hardened his face as he set a pair of envolopes on his bed, walked out his apartment door, and shut it, most likely for the last time.
Lifting one of the flaps in front of the stand, Naruto smiled to the young brown-haired waitress as he said "Hi Ayame-nee-chan!"
"Hi Naruto-kun!" Ayame said with a smile, curiousity flooding her at the sight of his backpack, which he sat on the stool next to him before taking his perferred seat. "What's with the backpack, Naruto-kun?" Ayame asked, and Naruto grinned as he said "Just going on a small trip."
"Oh..." Ayame replied, and Tuechi came out with a bowl of ramen as he said "Here ya go Naruto, a Miso Ramen to start with, as always."
"Thanks Tuechi-jiji!" Naruto said, snapping open his chopsticks.
But before he could start eating, Tuechi asked "So, going on a small trip, huh?"
"Yeah, just need to get away for a few days, to clear my head." Naruto said with a grin, the old man nodding as he said "I can understand that... And I am sorry you failed your test again. Maybe next time, eh?"
"Yeah, maybe next time." Naruto replied, and Tuechi frowned as he picked up the lack of enthusiasm from the boy. Nodding, he disappeared into the back of the stand as Ayame asked "You failed your exam again?"
"Uh-huh. Still can't do those stupid jutsu cause my chakra's all messed up." Naruto muttered, slurping up his noodles as Ayame said "Well, I think you deserve to be a shinobi anyways! It doesn't matter if you can't do jutsu or not, you're more than strong enough to be a ninja without them!"
"Thanks nee-chan!" Naruto said with a wide smile, Ayame returning it as she said "Well it's true, and you know it as well as I do."
"Yep." Naruto practically churped, shovelling ramen into his mouth with his chopsticks, enjoying the taste as he slurped them down and replaced the eaten ramen with more. Letting out a content sigh, he returned to his ramen as Ayame giggled at his reaction to the ramen, the same every day without fail.
As he emptied the bowl of noodles and began draining it of its soup, Tuechi returned from the back, carrying a box. Looking at it, Ayame's thin brows rose as she looked to her father curiously, who merely smiled and nodded.
"That was delicious!" Naruto called, then frowned, eyeing the box as he asked "What's in the box, Tuechi-jiji?"
"It's a present for you, Naruto." Tuechi said with a grin, to which Naruto gaped open-mouthed at the ramen chef. Noone had ever really given him a present before, and taking it, he opened it and stared at the contents.
"It's a hat." Naruto said, lifting the dome-topped straw hat from its container. It appeared a bit old, and was nicked around the rim, but otherwise it was in good condition, appearing meticulously cared for, even the red ribbon circling the cap of the hat was well-maintained.
"That's not just any hat, Naruto. That hat belonged to the world famous Monkey D. Luffy, Captain of the legendary Mugiwara pirate crew and known as the second Pirate King. It was given to my great grandfather by the man himself, and it has been kept and maintained by my family ever since. Now, I'm giving it to you." Tuechi explained, Naruto's eyes widening at hearing its heritage.
"Wooow, you're really giving it to me?" Naruto asked, and Tuechi nodded, taking the hat from the boy's loose grip and gently placing it on his head as he said "That's right. Uzumaki D. Naruto, I'm giving it to you, and I know that you will wear it proudly and continue its legacy of adorning the heads of great men who did extraordinary things."
Naruto stared at the man, tears welling in his eyes before leaping and wrapping his arms around the man's neck, crying and muttering "thank you"s as he did so.
Hugging the blonde and patting him on the back, Tuechi said "You're welcome. And I hope when you become a great man, you'll remember me and Ayame."
"Of course I will!" Naruto said, allowing himself to return to his stool as Ayame asked "So, do you want some more ramen?"
"Uh-huh! Pork ramen please!"
Patting his stomach and feeling much better now that he had ramen in his stomach, he casually strolled toward the gate, not going quickly since speed was not of the essense at the moment, bag once more slung over his shoulder, and his new hat resting proudly on his short, golden mane.
As he walked, he heard a soft voice murmur "Na-Naruto-kun..."
Stopping he turned toward the source as he asked "Eeh?" Noticing the speaker, he asked "You were in my class, right? Hyuuga Hinata, isn't it?" Nodding, the midnight-haired girl tapping her index fingers together, a light blush adorning her cheeks.
"Where are you going?" she asked softly, noticing the backpack hanging from his shoulder, and he rubbed the back of his head sheepishly as he said "Just going on a short trip. Get some fresh air, you know."
"No you're not." Hinata said, and Naruto asked "What do you mean?"
"You're lying." Hinata continued, and Naruto's eyes widened as he replied "N-no I'm not! I'm telling the truth!"
"Please don't lie to me." Hinata softly requested, and Naruto sighed, slumping defeated as he said "OK, I'll tell you the truth. I'm leaving the village."
Eyes widening she asked "Why?"
"Because, there's nothing for me here. I failed the academy a third time, so I can't go back there, and I can't get a job in Konoha. I know there must be something better for me out there." Naruto said, Hinata nodding as she said "Ok..."
Frowning, she looked to her blonde crush as she asked "Can I-I come with you?"
"Can I co-come with y-you?" she repeated, and Naruto frowned as he asked "Why? You didn't fail your exam, you're already a ninja!"
"I know... But ma-maybe my fa-father would be ha-happier if I di-disappeared." Hinata stuttered, looking away, ashamed she was telling him this.
"But why come with me?" Naruto asked, and Hinata answered "Because I..." She thought of telling him the truth, but found herself unable to. Deciding to compromise for now, she stuttered "Be-because I wa-want to be yo-your fr-friend."
"Really?" Naruto asked, excited at the prospect, but then frowned as he asked "Why didn't you want to be my friend before?"
"Be-because I was t-too ner-nervous to a-approach you before... Bu-but now you ne-need a fr-friend, and I ca-can't let yo-you go o-out alone." she stuttered. Naruto looked at her for several long, silent moments before a grin crossed his face as he said "Alright! Get packed and we'll get going!"
Hinata nodded, turning to return home, pack, and leave before she lost her nerve. If she was lucky, their friendship would eventually blossom into love. But if not, she could still be there for him, offering emotional support and being a shoulder to cry on. Be the friend he never had and she failed to be before.
"Do you see anyone?" the blonde asked his travel partner, whose eyes were white and veins were raised around them as she studied the massive front gates of Konoha and the surrounding forest for possible guards... most likely Izumo and Kotetsu, serving guard duty for some trouble they caused.
Shaking her head, Hinata softly replied "It's safe, they're not out there."
"Really? Well, let's hurry before they show up for their scheduled punish... I mean assignment." Naruto said with a grin. Taking hold of her hand, Hinata's face turning an interesting shade of purple from the contact, and ran through the gates, laughing as he did so.
"This is the beginning of a great adventure! Some day I'm gonna be Uzumaki D. Naruto, King of the Pirates!" Naruto called to the sky, Hinata only nodding as she fought not to pass out.