A/N: I do not own Naruto or Zoids
Part 1: Teeth of the Liger
Chapter 1: The Wandering Warrior - Liger Zero!
The rain poured down on the roof of the large inn. Inside, men and women, civilians and ninja alike, enjoyed their beverages while speaking about many things from the weather to the ongoing war between the nearby ninja village of Konoha and the Akatsuki, hunters of the mighty tailed beasts.
Three of the Konoha ninjas, who sat at one of the many tables in the inn's bar, were returning to their village from a mission. The first ninja was a tall, well-built man with ocean-blue eyes and wild blond hair. He wore a red, short-sleeved, knee-length jacket with black flames along the bottom. Under that, he wore a long-sleeved, orange and black jacket. He also wore orange pants and black combat boots. Next to him was the only female of the group. She had emerald-green eyes and shoulder-length pink hair. She wore a red, sleeve-less top, tight black shorts, black knee-high heeled sandals, black gloves, pink elbow protectors, and a short pink cloth around her waist. A black kunai holster was strapped to her thigh. Across from them was the oldest member of the group. Only one of his eyes was visible, and its color was white, while his spiky hair was silver in color. He wore a forest green vest with several pockets over a black, short-sleeved shirt, in addition to black pants and black combat boots similar to the blonde's. A black mask covered the bottom of his face. All three of the ninjas wore head bands that had a metal plate attached to them. The silver-haired man's was tilted to cover his left eye. Etched onto the plates was the symbol of Konoha, the Village Hidden in the Leaves.
The door to the inn slid open and a man stepped in from the rain. He had short, spiky, bright-blond hair and blood-red eyes. He wore a white duster over a black shirt as well as black pants and white boots. He carried a large, black cargo bag on his back. Strapped to either side of the bag was a long, slender, electric-blue sword. He shook his head like a wet dog and rainwater sprayed from his hair. The man walked over to the desk to speak to the innkeeper.
"Are there any rooms open here?" he asked politely. "I need somewhere to spend the night and I've never been to this area before."
Before the innkeeper could answer, a voice called out to the man from one of the tables: "What are you, some kind of rouge ninja?"
The man turned and looked into a dark corner of the room, making out the shapes of four ninja seated at a table.
"I'm not a ninja." the man said. "And I'm definitely not a rouge one."
The ninja that spoke stood up and stepped into the firelight. He was a tall, stocky man. The katana strapped to his back and the scars that covered his face gave the impression of a fierce warrior.
"If you're not a ninja, then you must be a criminal." the ninja sneered.
"Criminal?" the man asked. "Hardly."
"Then who are you, petty criminal?" the ninja said.
"I don't have to listen to this." the man said as he turned back to the innkeeper. "Now about that room…"
"Don't turn your back on me, criminal!" the ninja shouted angrily.
A collective gasp was heard from several of the civilians. The man turned around and saw that the ninja had drawn his katana and assumed a fighting stance. The pink-haired girl watched, concerned for this stranger's safety.
"Kakashi-sensei, shouldn't we do something?" she whispered to her silver-haired compainion.
"No, stay out of it." He whispered back. "I have a feeling that the man can take care of himself."
"He's right Sakura-chan." the blond told her. "Besides, we don't know what he's capable of yet."
The man turned around, giving his full attention to the ninja that was threatening him. The ninja challenged the stranger: "I won't have a rouge criminal running free in my village!"
"I haven't done anything." the man told him. "You're letting alcohol make rash decisions for you. Now leave me alone before you get hurt."
"You think you can defeat me, the mighty Dokuro Takeshi?" the ninja asked. "I'll kill you before you can even draw your sword."
"Sit back down and have your drink before you embarrass yourself." The stranger told him. He turned back to the innkeeper. "So do you have any rooms or not?"
Dokuro, driven by his fury, charged forward with his blade raised to take out the man, who didn't even turn around.
"Look out!" Sakura shouted in warning.
At the last second, the man turned around and caught the sword mid-strike with his right hand. He brought his other hand up in front of the ninja's face and held it with the back facing the ninja, fingers pointing upwards.
"I told you to leave me alone, but you wouldn't listen." the stranger told him. "Now I have to put you in your place."
He closed his raised hand into a fist and Dokuro braced for the punch. It never came. The stranger instead opened his hand again, but it was different. His fingernails had been replaced with metal tiger claws. The stranger smirked, then slashed across Dokuro's sword with the claws. The sword snapped like a twig. He dropped the sword fragment, then used his now free hand to grap Dokuro around the throat.
"Now let's try this again." he told Dokuro venomously. "Leave me alone, or that will be your head on the floor."
He let Dokuro go and gave him a shove. Dokuro stumbled backwards and then fell. The man turned back to the innkeeper again while the claws returned to normal.
"Sorry about that." he said. "I'll go somewhere else to stay."
He turned around and started walking to the door. Before he got to it though, the blond ninja got up and intercepted him.
"If you need somewhere to stay, you can come with us to our village in the morning." he told the stranger.
Sakura looked horrified.
"What is Naruto thinking?" she asked her teacher.
"I bet that Naruto thinks that that man is a fellow Jinchūriki." Kakashi answered as they got up and went to join the third member of their team. "Besides, it would be better to keep an eye on him, especially if he is in fact a Jinchūriki."
"Thanks kid." the man answered. "What's your name?"
"I'm Naruto Uzumaki." he answered as his companions reached him. "This is my teammate, Sakura Haruno."
"Hello." she greeted.
"And this is our sensei, Kakashi Hatake." Naruto continued.
"Yo." Kakashi said.
"Nice to meet you guys." the stranger said.
"So what's your name?" Sakura asked.
"You can just call me Liger. Liger Zero." the man answered.
"Why don't you come over and sit down with us." Kakashi suggested.
"Okay." Liger replied.
The four of them made their way to the table that Naruto's group had previously occupied. As they sat down, everyone else returned to what they were doing before the incident with Dokuro.
"Do any of you know what that was about?" Liger asked.
"He's a paranoid warrior with a short temper." Kakashi explained. "Alcohol doesn't help though. We here about him occasionally in Konoha because despite his faults, he's a formidable fighter."
"Go figure." Liger responded.
"So what's your story?" Sakura asked their new friend.
"I don't really have one." he responded.
"What do you mean?" she asked.
"Well, I'm not from around here as I'm sure you heard. I'm just a wandering warrior." Liger explained.
"Where are you from?" Naruto inquired.
"I don't know the region's name." Liger answered. "The Dagan Peninsula was the last place I remember."
"I've never heard of that place, and I've been to all of the Elemental Countries." Kakashi said.
"Well, I don't know what to tell you." Liger said.
"No offense, but what kind of name is Liger?" Sakura questioned.
"Don't ask me, it wasn't my choice." he answered.
"So, what kind of warrior are you?" Naruto asked.
"I don't know. One that fights others?" Liger guessed.
"I mean what kind of opponent's do you fight?"
"All kinds. Fast ones. Slow ones. Close-range and long-range. Aerial and underground."
"Aerial and underground?" Sakura aksed.
"Don't ask. It's confusing." Liger told her. "So, what am I going to do in this Konoha, or whatever it's called?"
"That's up to the Hokage." Kakashi told him.
"The who now?" Liger asked confused.
"The Hokage is the leader of our village." Naruto explained.
"Well then, I can't wait to meet him or her." Liger said.
"It's a she." Kakashi informed him. "The Fifth Hokage is Lady Tsunade."
"Right then." Liger said. "Much as I want to stay up chatting, I need some sleep, so I'm going to pester the innkeeper for a room again. See you tomorrow."
With that, Liger got up, picked up his bag, and walked to the counter. After he had left, Sakura turned to her teacher. "What do you think, Kakashi-sensei?"
"I don't know Sakura." Kakashi told her. "I don't know."
A/N: Okay, time to clear a few things up! First off, I know it's a poor attempt to create a human form for Liger Zero. Oh well. Next, there are a few changes to the Naruto-side of the story (SPOILER ALERT!): #1 Despite taking place after the Invasion of Pain arc, this fanfic ignores Hinata's confession of love for Naruto (I like Sakura better, so this will be a Naruto/Sakura fanfic) #2 I know that Naruto and Kakashi are supposed to be wearing ninja sandals, but I like the idea of combat boots better #3 This is a minor thing, but Naruto doesn't carry around the toad scroll all the time in this story #4 I'm going a different way rather than the 5 Kage Summit arc #5 I'm ignoring Tsunade's coma #6 Kakashi made a quick recovery and finally #7 I'm pretending that Naruto didn't teach Konohamaru the Rasengan (which I think was a mistake). If anyone has a problem, then let me know and I may or may not care depending on the problem.
p.s. The mission they're returning from and the inn that they're in will be explained (hopefully)