If you read my first and last story, Gaara's Daybreak, then i left you all picturing Gaara in a wooly hat and mittens. This time round, my new story will be starring Naruto and Sakura, but i've not yet decided if it will be a pairing. Let me know what you think of this variation of Naruto and if you think this is worth continuing. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto, only anything that is original is mine.
The kit and the Kyubi
"Such a wondrous thing, a shuriken."
These were the thoughts of Uchiha Madara, as he sat in a tree, examining a shuriken in the moonlight.
"Such a small weapon, yet so deadly. It flies through the air and strikes the enemy, forever loyal to whoever holds it."
He held it up so he could see a star shining through the hole.
"Yes, the stars are beautiful, but not quite so as this one. Oh to be so far away, a star in the sky, a shuriken in the night. But what it does is far more miraculous than it's shining appearance. Why, this little shuriken could take over the world! And all it needs is a guiding hand… I think mine will do."
Lazily, he threw the shuriken. Like the star it was named, it shone in the night, flying through the sky heading straight for its target. And, as loyal as he said, it struck Namikaze Minato, removing him of his forefingers.
"Gagh!" Minato cried, suddenly paling, "No…"
He watched in horror as the Kyubi stood before him. The Shinigami appeared and sealed part of the Kyubi inside him, and the rest inside-
"NARUTOOOO!!!" Minato cried, as his soul was removed from his body. A small baby lay in the grass, a warped seal on his stomach.
"Minato!" Gamabunta yelled. After a few seconds of no reply, he sighed, "Sorry kid."
He disappeared in a puff of smoke, leaving the baby in the hands of an ANBU who appeared. Back in the tree, Madara stood up, the moonlight shining off his orange mask.
"Now let's watch." he said, disappearing.
* * * * *
"There he is! Get him!"
Uzumaki Naruto ran through the alley, pursued by angry street vendors.
"What's the matter?" he asked, grinning, "Ever hear of a free sample?"
He came to a sudden stop as he hit a dead end in the alley.
Naruto turned around to face the mob, his grin maintained.
"Stop smiling like that!" one of them ordered, "Get him!"
They all ran at him, intending to beat him, but Naruto kept on grinning. As they reached him, he leapt up into the air and landed on one of their shoulders, somersaulting right back off and onto the rooftop.
"Heh, too easy!" he said, walking away from the crowd who were shaking their fists at him.
"What did you do now, Naruto-kun?"
Naruto gingerly turned his head, smiling innocently.
"I didn't do anything Iruka-sensei, honest!"
Iruka raised an eyebrow.
"Naruto." he sighed, "I'm very proud of you for yesterday, mastering the Kage Bunshin and all, but don't you think now you've got your headband, you should be a little more grown up?"
Naruto stood proudly.
"Nope!" he said, running off.
"Wha- HEY NARUTO!" Iruka yelled, sighing, "So disrespectful."
Naruto ran across the rooftops, giggling madly. When Iruka was out of earshot, he leapt back down to street level, running home. He nearly crashed into a girl but just managed to dodge her. The girl glared at his back as he rounded a corner.
"Damn Naruto!" She thought, "Why doesn't he watch where he's going?"
The girl whipped her head forward, pink hair flying. She walked off angrily.
Naruto ran up the stairs to his apartment, his grin slightly smaller. He opened his door and went inside, taking his jacket off and walking to his mirror. He looked up at himself in the mirror and grinned. He liked his new headband; it was shiny.
* * * * *
The next day, Haruno Sakura walked to the Academy, worrying about what team she would be put in.
"What if I'm not strong enough?" she thought, "I'm the first person in my family to try to become a Ninja, I have to be a good Kunoichi, or I'll never be accepted!"
She blinked as she saw a familiar face. Yamanaka Ino. She faltered for a second, but continued walking proudly. Ino smirked at her.
"Hey Sakura." she said, walking alongside her, "Nervous about what team you'll be put in?"
"Not at all!" Sakura lied, her head held high, "Why, are you?"
"Why should I be? I'm the second best, so they'll probably put me in next to my beloved Sasuke!"
"You're not second best and he's not your beloved!" Sakura yelled, glaring at Ino, who laughed.
"You know I'm kidding Sakura." She said, putting an arm around her friend, "Sasuke's too depressing for me!"
"He's not depressing!" Sakura exclaimed, hotly. Ino laughed again, making Sakura scowl.
"Damn it Ino." she thought, "Why do you keep playing these mind games with me?"
"Cause it's so fun!" Ino replied. Sakura stared at her, horrified.
"How did you…?" she asked. Ino winked and gave her the peace sing.
"Mind Reader no Jutsu!" she said, "My dad just taught it to me!"
"Great, just what I need!" Sakura grumbled, "Someone invading my thoughts!"
Ino laughed cruelly.
"Saying that's not gonna make me stop!" she said.
Sakura groaned angrily, why was Ino so determined to annoy her? She decided to speed up, maybe she could lose her. She started walking faster, but Ino just met her speed, a sweet smile on her face. Sakura tried going faster, until she was almost running.
Sakura fell to the ground painfully.
"Ouch." she said, before blinking. A hand reached down to help her up, which she gratefully accepted. The person pulled her up and when she was on her feet and about to thank the person she blinked. Naruto?
"You should watch where you're going." he told her. Sakura fumed, remembering that just yesterday he almost bumped into her. Naruto grinned broadly and ran off, kicking up a dust storm.
"Hey! cough, cough, don't kick dust in my face!" Sakura yelled, angrily, but he was already gone.
Naruto ran through the crowds, neatly avoiding bumping into people, grinning. Sakura was cute. He ran to the academy, wanting to beat a certain someone there. He passed Shikamaru, who raised a hand to greet him.
"Hey, Naruto-kun, what are you in such a hurry for?" he asked. Naruto turned around, running backwards.
"You know!" he replied, "The usual!"
"Tch, troublesome." Shikamaru muttered as Naruto vanished in the crowds. Naruto looked at a clock in one of the shops. He was running out of time, he had to move faster. He looked ahead and was glad of who he saw.
"Lee!" He called out. A boy dressed in green just a little older than him looked back.
"Good morning my youthful friend!" Lee said, giving his thumbs up, "What are you in such a hurry for?"
"I want to get the academy early!" Naruto replied, "I wanna begin my studies early!"
Lee smiled broadly.
"For someone wishing to better themselves, I cannot refuse to help!" he said, picking Naruto up on his back and running off.
"Lee, you're the fastest person I know!" Naruto said, flatteringly.
"Thank you, Naruto-kun, but there's at least one person faster than me and that's Gai-sensei!" Lee said proudly. In no time they'd reached the front gates of the academy, where Lee dropped Naruto off.
"Now go, Naruto-kun, and learn all you can, so that one day, you and I may train together!"
Naruto grinned at Lee, "Thanks Lee, see you later!"
Lee bowed and disappeared, showing off his speed. Naruto's grin became cheeky as he saw the time on the Academy's clock.
"Now, where haven't I poked him yet?" he thought, hiding in the tree, "The arm… the leg… his tummy… I know! His forehead!"
He waited in the tree, counting off the seconds in his head. Right on time, Uchiha Sasuke walked through the gates, hands in pockets and a scowl on his face. Just like every day, Sasuke leant against the very tree Naruto was hiding in and, just like every time, he'd close his eyes and rest. Naruto barely managed to suppress a giggle as he watched Sasuke, slightly annoyed that his headband was blocking his forehead, but there was a little bare skin he could work with.
"Three… two… o-"
"Naruto-san, what are you doing?"
Naruto jumped from fright, falling out of the tree. Aburame Shino leapt down, landing much neater than Naruto. Sasuke opened a single eye.
"Dobe." he muttered, closing it again. Naruto grinned and sat on the ground, crouching with his hands supporting him.
"I'm not doing anything!" he replied innocently.
"Then why were you hiding from Sasuke-san with that mischievous look on your face?" Shino asked. Sasuke scowled.
"Baka." he muttered. Naruto cocked his head, smiling at Sasuke.
"What's the matter Sasuke?" he asked, "Did you forget my name? I'm Uzumaki Naruto!"
Sasuke glared at Naruto.
"Are you really this stupid?" he asked. Naruto squinted and shook his head.
"No, U-zu-ma-ki Na-ru-to." he spelled out. Sasuke growled and stormed off, muttering words Naruto had never heard before.
"What's a retard?" Naruto asked Shino.
"It's something you say when you're very angry at someone who doesn't understand." Shino replied, looking at Sasuke's back, displeased with his classmate's word choice.
"Hm? Did I make Sasuke angry?" Naruto asked, cocking his head again.
"Don't worry about it. It doesn't take much to make a guy like him angry. By the way, why don't you use suffixes when you say 'Sasuke'? The way I see it, you two aren't even close enough to use 'kun'."
"You don't think so, Shino?"
Shino suppressed a sigh. Naruto was too familiar with people.
"Never mind." he said, "We should probably get into class."
But Naruto wasn't paying attention. He had spotted something interesting.
"HELLO ANBU!" he yelled, frightening an ANBU hiding in the shadows of a building. The ANBU cursed and disappeared.
"Well, that was something." Shino remarked, "Either that ANBU wasn't paying attention or you're more skilled than you look."
Naruto grinned broadly, "Thanks!"
This time Shino really did sigh. The bell rang and he was glad of the chance to get away from this strange guy. They both entered their class, their classmates not far behind. Naruto thought it was strange that Sasuke hadn't shown up yet, but forgot about it almost immediately. Instead, he took a seat by the window.
Sakura and Ino were running late, they lost track of time talking. When they realized the time, the both ran to the Academy. It wouldn't do to be late for team selection! They both started running as they heard the second bell ringing, they were really in trouble now! They burst through the main gates and ran across the yard, crashing through the front door and sprinting to their classroom. They reached their door and quietly opened it, peeking inside.
"Phew!" Ino sighed, "Iruka-sensei's late as well!"
Sakura scanned the room, searching for her special someone. She spotted him and smiled excitedly, but, was the person sitting next to him?
"Naruto!" Inner Sakura growled, "How dare you sit there, and like that?!"
Sasuke was sitting at his usual spot at the window, leaning forward with his fingers intertwined in front of his mouth. Next to him, Naruto was sitting in exactly the same position, scowl and all.
"Who does he think he is copying Sasuke?!"
Sakura left Ino as she stormed over to Naruto.
"Get out of the way!" she ordered him, glaring. She was surprised when Naruto glared back, before ignoring her.
"Cha! That's it!"
Sakura pulled her hand back and hit Naruto across the back of the head.
"GAGH! What the hell's the matter with you?!" Naruto demanded, but something was wrong; that wasn't Naruto's voice. Sakura stared in horror from Naruto to Sasuke. Naruto frowned and looked at Sasuke. His brow suddenly shot up.
"What the hell?!" he exclaimed, staring at Sasuke as a puff of smoke appeared, revealing another Naruto. The first Naruto blinked and looked at his hands. He quickly formed a hand sign and from the puff of smoke, the real Sasuke appeared.
"How did you do that?" Sasuke demanded, glaring. Naruto grinned wider and gave a peace sign.
"Forced Henge no Jutsu!" he declared happily. Sasuke and Sakura stared in shock. Sakura was the first to recover.
"Oh my god, I'm so sorry Sasuke-kun!" she said desperately, "I didn't know it was you!"
But Sasuke wasn't listening. He leapt up to Naruto and grabbed his jacket.
"How did you put a Jutsu like that on me without my noticing?" he demanded, pulling Naruto in close, who was still grinning.
"It was easy!" Naruto replied, "A Shinobi of your skill has a lot of unfocused chakra. The technique's part ninjutsu and part genjutsu. It places the henge on you, then subtlety sends messages to your brain, telling your chakra system to keep the henge going!"
Everyone within earshot stared at Naruto with shock and disbelief.
"Oh my god." Sakura thought, "Is Naruto secretly a genius?"
It was then that Iruka came in the classroom and told everyone to sit down. Sasuke glared at Naruto before taking his seat. Sakura sat in the middle, nervously looking between the two. Sasuke was wearing his scowl again and Naruto was grinning happily, as if the situation had never happened. Iruka stood at the front of the class, flicking through some papers.
"All right." he said, looking to the class, "All of you have passed your exams and now are eligible to become Genin ranked Shinobi… and Kunoichi!"
"Why did he say Kunoichi like that?" Sakura wondered, "Was he about to forget?"
"Tomorrow, you'll be introduced to your Jonin team leaders, who'll take it from there." Iruka continued, "For now, I'll tell you what team you have been put under."
Iruka started calling out names and telling those people what team they belonged to. Some were happy, some weren't. But almost everyone in the room was just waiting for their own name to crop up and wasn't paying attention to anything else.
"And now for team 7..." Iruka said, "Haruno Sakura…"
"Hm?" Sakura looked up, brow raised.
"Yes!" Sakura cried, throwing her fist in the air. Sasuke just scowled deeper. Sakura sat back down and gave Ino the peace sign. Ino smirked at her.
"Wait for it…" she muttered, tapping her head and pointing at Iruka.
"And Uzumaki Naruto."
"No!" Inner Sakura cried. Naruto just smiled happily.
When Iruka had finished and was about to dismiss them, Sasuke spoke up.
"Why have I been put in a team with these weaklings?" he demanded, ignoring Sakura's gasp of depression.
"Well, you did the best in the exams overall." Iruka said, "Sakura-chan scored the second highest in the written exams, but didn't do so well in the practical and Naruto-kun failed the written test but scored the highest in the practical exam."
"What?!" Sasuke asked, "At the practical exam, this dobe failed. I scored the highest with Shino-san behind me!"
"Actually, because Naruto-kun scored so low in the practical exam, I allowed him to sit it again later. He passed the exam in fifteen seconds."
Everyone in the room gasped. Fifteen seconds? It had taken Sasuke thirty-seven seconds to finish the exam, how could Naruto have done it so much faster? Iruka left the classroom and Sasuke fell back into his seat, disbelief on his face. The bell rang and the class began to file out the room, but Naruto climbed out the window instead. He found his favourite spot on a grassy patch and sat down on it, watching birds and butterflies flying about. He started humming a tune to himself, one he was making up as he went along.
"Hey." Naruto turned his head, surprised to see Sasuke standing in the shadows of the tree behind Naruto.
"Hi Sasuke!" he said, smiling widely.
"How did you finish the exam in fifteen seconds?" Sasuke asked, not taking his eyes off Naruto's.
"Hm? What exam?" Naruto asked, cocking his head. Sasuke's eyebrow twitched in annoyance.
"The practical exam." he replied with forced patience. Naruto's eyes lit up.
"Oh, that!" he said, making a hand sign, "Kage Bunshin no Jutsu!"
Next to him, an identical copy of Naruto appeared, sitting in the same way. Sasuke stared at the clone.
"A Bunshin technique? But they don't have a…"
Sasuke's brow shot up as he realised this clone had a shadow.
"How does he…?" Sasuke asked, surprised. Naruto grinned and pulled out an apple, tossing it to the clone.
"Thanks!" the clone said, biting into it. The clone then gave the apple back to Naruto before disappearing. Naruto smiled dreamily.
"Yup, this apple's ripe!" he declared, eating it. Sasuke's shocked expression maintained as Naruto ate his apple. What was with this guy?
"So you managed to pass the exam so fast because there was more than one of you?" Sasuke asked. Naruto nodded repeatedly. Sasuke smirked.
"Alright, not bad." he said, before turning serious again, "Teach it to me."
Naruto finished his apple, leaving the core to the birds. He stood up and faced Sasuke, a smile on his face.
"How much chakra you got?" he asked. Sasuke blinked.
"How much chakra?" he repeated, frowning. He made a seal and focused his chakra. Naruto cocked his head as Sasuke did this.
"I can't tell how much you have through that." Naruto said. Sasuke looked up as he said this.
"Then how?" he asked. Naruto kept smiling, then he disappeared.
"What?!" Sasuke exclaimed, whipping his head around to try find Naruto. He felt a sudden impact to the back of his knees and fell forward, losing his balance. Before he could defend, Naruto was behind him and he wrapped his arm around Sasuke's neck, putting him in a sleeper hold.
"Come on Sasuke, you can do better than this!" Naruto encouraged, smiling. Sasuke struggled to break Naruto's grip, but was ineffective. A few seconds later, Sasuke lost consciousness. Naruto laid Sasuke on the ground and sat beside him.
"Wow he's really out of it." Naruto said, his smile fading. But it came back a second later, "It looks like he's taking a nap!"
He jumped up and left Sasuke there, knowing he'd wake up in a few seconds anyway.
* * * * *
Sakura was sitting on a bench in the park drinking from a box of orange juice. She was just daydreaming about Sasuke when the real thing came into view.
"Hey Sasuke-kun!" she said brightly, "You want to sit with me?"
Sasuke stopped by her, looking at the pink haired girl.
"All right." he said, taking a seat. He rested his arm along the back of the bench, looking out to the park. His leg was bopping as he played a tune in his head.
"Sasuke's so cool!" Sakura thought, smiling to herself.
"Sorry 'bout what I said earlier." Sasuke said, "You're good with your chakra control, I shouldn't have implied you were weak."
"That's alright." she replied, "I'm actually kind of glad to be put on the same team as you."
"Why's that?" Sasuke asked, glancing at her. Sakura was taken aback.
Sasuke looked away again, "What do you think about having Naruto in our team?"
"I hate it!" Sakura exclaimed, suddenly confident, "I can't believe they put a selfish idiot like him in our team!"
Sasuke frowned at her.
"What's wrong with him?" he asked.
"He's nothing but a worthless brat!" Sakura replied, hotly, "He doesn't care about anyone but himself! He's always causing trouble for other people then lies by saying he didn't do it! If he had parents, they'd be ashamed of him!"
Sasuke stared at Sakura, shaking. Sakura's brow raised as she saw the expression on Sasuke's face; he was livid.
"You… you…" he said, shaking more so. Sakura was beginning to get scared. Sasuke leaned in close to her, so their noses were almost touching.
"You bitch!" he hissed. A puff of smoke appeared and revealed Naruto to be sitting where Sasuke was. But he looked terrifying. His eyes were red with black slits where his pupils should be and Sakura could swear his teeth looked sharper. She recoiled from fear, wondering what was about to happen to her. Naruto lifted his hands, his nails long and sharp.
"N-n-Naruto-san, I'm sorry!" Sakura cried, "I didn't mean any of it!"
But Naruto wasn't paying attention. He spread his fingers and grabbed his own hair, looking down.
"Grrrrrraaaaaaaggggghhhhh!!!" he screamed in anger and pain. Sakura was even more terrified than before. Naruto stopped screaming and looked up at her, glaring. But his eyes were no longer red, they were blue again. He stood up and walked away. Sakura found herself shaking in fear, unable to take her eyes off Naruto. At the end of the road, he looked back at her, a sad expression on his face. Then he rounded the corner and was gone.
"Naruto…" Sakura thought, "Did what I say really hurt that bad? Am I really what you said I am?"
She was surprised when she felt a tear roll down her cheek.
"I'm so sorry." she thought.
* * * * *
Naruto walked down the lonely street, kicking a stone across the ground. The sun was setting behind him, casting his shadow long down the street. As Naruto watched his shadow, he was sure he saw it take the form of a fox, if even for a second.
"I almost hurt her." he thought, "But why was she saying those things?"
He could here shutters closing as he passed. He tried to ignore it, but every snapping sound felt like a punch to his gut. Did people really hate him that much?
"Dad?" he called out, "Are you there?"
He paused for a second, before giving a small smile.
"Right." he said, "Can I ask you something?"
Again, he paused, as if awaiting an answer.
"Well. There's this girl, she's in my team. She's really pretty, and I like her, but for some reason she really doesn't like me. What should I do?"
"I don't know, I'd probably get in bad trouble." he replied, "Maybe I can change her mind?"
Another pause, this time it lasted longer.
"Thanks dad." Naruto said, his smile widening, "You're the best."
He left the street, turning to the entrance of his apartment. As he climbed the stairs, Sakura peeked at him from an alley, a sad look on her face.