Author's Notes: I really hate editing...ah well, it can't be helped. Anyway, remember to tell me about any errors you find. I've turned on my PM for that reason alone.
Chapter Five - First Day of Ninja Academy
The morning sun hadn't even peeked over the horizon its presence only detected by the purple tint that the horizon had begun to take on. At this god forsaken hour of the morning one person in the Uzumaki house hold was grumbling to himself as his internal clock awoke him from a peaceful dream. Pulling himself from his warm and comfortable bed, he stumbled around his new room while trying to find his clothes. His old training harness creaked with every move of his body, he had gotten so use to wearing the contraption that he usually left it on...even when he went to sleep.
Finding his way to the bathroom he turning on the faucet and splashed some water in his face, rubbing the sleep out of his eyes. Pouring a small glass of water he used half to wash out the taste in his mouth while brushing his teeth and the other half was drunk down to remove the dryness from his throat.
Making his way to the kitchen, he rummaged through his families new refrigerator and found a small bottle of water. Sliding the bottle into his new ninja hip pack he walked out the front door.
Cool air nipped at Naruto' skin making him shiver a bit, but with some light stretching and a bit of chakra molding his body was warmed up and ready to do some light callisthenics. Formign the ram seal Naruto conjured up some chakra, which he quickly poured into his harness. Feeling his harness become heavier and tighter he made sure to tweak it so that it was "just a bit" heavier and tighter than the last time. Lifting his legs and stretching his limbs the young boy nodded his head and began jogging down the empty and abandoned streets of the village.
Today's practice wasn't just about training his muscles. No, today Naruto was going to check out his new village and make a mental map of the surrounding area.
Passing several street, which he recognized as market streets, he turned a corner and discovered a small outdoor restaurant. Jogging down another street that was filled with shops and the like, he took a sharp left and ended up at a small park that had all the equipment for kids to play with.
Smiling exuberantly he ran over to a slide, making sure to reduce his harnesses weight, he jumped to the top of the slide easily and slid down with laugh that matched his smile. After playing like this for a couple of minutes, the blonde got back to training as his harness got heavier and he doubled back to the street that he had been jogging down.
Finishing his jog and now cooling off with a stroll, Naruto had to say that the area he had surveyed was very interesting. He almost couldn't wait for the sun rise and the people of the village to wake. In fact, he knew of a couple of places that he was going to visit when the day started.
Surprisingly enough, on his way back to his house he discovered the Academy. Over laying his memories of the streets that he had just ran, he plotted a quick route from his house to the building. Just as he was about to head on back to his house a strange sound echoed in his ears.
Stopping his movement and concentrating on the sound, Naruto tilted his head as he began tracking the noise and its location. The noise, which Naruto described as 'a crazed lumberjack chopping wood with a bat,' was emanating from a grove of trees and bushes that were on the Academy grounds.
Walking silently towards the grove, Naruto hear a count being called out as it coincided with the sounds that were coming from the trees. "100...101...102...103...104," counted a panting voice as the sound of wood being beaten on by something dull echoed in the area.
Naruto moved through the bushes, making sure to make as much noise as possible in order to warn whoever was there that he was coming through. When he finally made it out of the bushes, he was surprised to see someone his age standing in front of a large wooden stump driving his fists into the wood over and over. The stranger was focused on his task, and he seemed to be oblivious to everything around him...even Naruto's intrusion.
'He must be pretty devoted to get up this early and train only in taijutsu,' he told himself before the stranger stopped his punching and flicked his eye's in Naruto's direction.
"It is impolite to stare at people," the boy said politely, while Naruto had enough sense to looked ashamed.
"Sorry," he finally said, "I just don't know many who would get up this early to train." It was at this moment in time that Naruto noticed the just how strange this stranger appeared.
A green body suit covered him from head to toe. His haircut made it look like he was wearing a black bowl on his head, but what grabbed Naruto's attention even more was what sat just above the boys eyes. Two enormously, huge, fuzzy eyebrows, which did a perfect job of mimicking fat black catapillers, covered the strange boys brow as he now cocked on of them in confusion.
"Whoa," Naruto whispered in shock as he tried to look away, but that only served to make him stare harder at the fuzzy monstrosities.
The young stranger across from him blinked and then smiled as he looked around to see that it was indeed very early in the morning and he was 'indeed' talking to someone else during this time. "Ah! I see that the fires of youth also burning with you, don't they?" said the strange kid as he smiled happily.
"Um...yeah...whatever you said," Naruto replied not knowing what the heck he should do, this being is his first encounter with another child his age since he step foot into the village. Displaying his physical prowess the stranger disappeared and reappeared in front of Naruto with a hand held out. Raising an blonde eyebrow, Naruto commented mentally, 'I didn't feel any chakra gathering, so that means...'
Giving the boy in front of him an appraising stare, he finished his thought, '...that was all natural speed.' Hearing the boy clear his throat and seeing him still extending his arm, Naruto blushed lightly as he grasped the boys hand.
"Rock Lee!" said Lee while applying a tremendous amount of force in his hand shake. Unknown to Naruto, Lee had also been evaluating the little blonde. From what he could tell, the boy in front of him was very well trained.
In his eyes, the blonde's gait was that of a taijutsu user. However, what made Lee even more interested in the blonde was the fact that even though Naruto had made noise as he move through the bushes their was no sign of a trail where the boy exited from. 'Only a train in certain kinds of stealth could produce such 'traceless' tracks,' thought Rock as he wondered if the boy would rise to his bait.
Naruto felt the crushing force that the boy in front of him applied and also noticed that he was grinning like a fool through the whole interaction. Knowing this game, because he had seem so many adults playing at it, he smiled politely while refusing to increase the pressure he was applying with his hand, "Mine's Naruto, Uzumaki Naruto."
Lee sighed when he realized that the boy was not about to fall for such shoddy bait. 'Gai-sensei! I have failed in my youthful attempt to gain a sparing partner!' Lee cried out mentally as he began assigning himself some hair-brained punishment in the form of exercise. Meanwhile, he slowly loosened his grip while bowing deeply and saying. "Forgive me for squeezing your hand so tightly, Naruto-kun. "
"No problem, gejimayu," Naruto replied while nursing his abused hand. Lee's eye ticked slightly, but to his credit he didn't say anything. "So I guess I'll see you around, right?" asked the young Uzumaki before he was treated to the sight of the Lee's pearly whites and 'thumbs up' pose, "...riiiiight. See ya!"
Quickly dashing out of the grove he saw the clear signs that the sunrise was about to break over the horizon. Walking towards home, Naruto seemed to remember the disappointment that was etched onto Lee's face when he didn't fall into the 'hand gripping' contest, however no matter how disappointed the body suit wearing kid was he still remembered the words his father had told him during his training in Horoyu...
"Strength is only a part of what makes up a shinobi." said the raven haired man as he demonstrated his physical prowess by going through several taijutsu attacks. "The same could be said for a ninja's jutsu and weapons," again he demonstrated these aspects by breathing out flames and piercing a tree with one of his kunai.
"However, what truly defines a ninja from some chakra wielding warrior is..." it was at this point that the Obito that was talking transformed into nothing more than a pile of dirt. Naruto flinched slightly when he felt the cold kiss of steel resting against his throat while his fathers voice echoed in his small ear, "Deception, stealth, and the knowledge that there is a time and a place for everything. This is what separates our kind from any other warrior, and it is these aspects that you should always keep in mind."
"Remember, an underestimated shinobi is the most dangerous being on the face of this planet..."
'Sorry gejimayu,' Naruto thought mentally while his house finally could be seen in the distance, 'it just wasn't the right time or place for that.' Stopping in front of his house Naruto stretched once more before the front door opened and his father came out wearing a black kimono. Giving his son a warm smile he asked, "Morning training?"
Naruto nodded once before he began retelling everything that he had seen on his jog to his father. When he reached the part about the strange boy he encountered his father interrupted by scratching his cheek and saying, "Thick eyebrows, huh? I remember someone saying something about that, but I can't remember who it was that told me."
Before the raven haired man could remember, Rin call the both of them in to eat. "Ah well, it'll come to me sooner or later," said the ex-Uchiha as he reminded his son to washed up for breakfast.
Kissing his mom goodbye, Naruto, accompanied by his father, began his trek toward Konoha's ninja academy. On their journey the two talked about planning a training schedule that would fit around the boy's schooling. The conversation with his father was going smoothly, but something was nagging Naruto as they walked through the streets. When it finally became too much for him, Naruto whisper, "Hey, dad? Why are the people looking at us like that?"
"It's not us that they're looking at, son," sighed the ex-Uchiha in exasperation, "I'm the one that they're staring at."
"Why?" asked Naruto wondering why his father would get mixed looks of respect and distrust.
"I guess it has something to do with the fact that I use to be an Uchiha. When you get older you might come to understand that some people will judge you on the popularity of your clan, and not on your accomplishment," explained Obito making sure his voice was loud enough to reach the people that were staring.
"That sounds stupid," Naruto stated with a frowned.
"Yes, it is, but most people still think that way," said Obito, playing devil's advocate.
"Hmph, then I'll change that way of thinking," Naruto said softly, the thought of people judging him on his clan and not his accomplishments leaving a sour taste in his mouth.
Obito, who had heard what his son had said was now dealing with a memory from his past that had just surfaced...
'...those in the ninja world who break the rules and regulations are trash, but those who don't care about their companions are even worse trash...if I'm that kind of trash, I'll break the rules...if that's not being a true shinobi..."
"...then I'll crush that ideal of a shinobi!'
Remembering that talked he had with Kakashi gave him perspective as he watched his son walk in front of him. He knew that his son was just making a childish statement, but he couldn't help but feel something deep within himself that wanted to believe in the boy. He wanted to believe that if Naruto put his mind to it then it would happen.
"A man should never make promises that he can't keep," Obito whispered seriously.
Hearing his fathers words in such a serious tone of voice made Naruto think about what he had said, and when he was done mulling over his thoughts the little boy said confidently and without any hesitation, "I won't go back on my word. I'll make people see that judging others just because of the clan they come from is wrong."
Looking into the intense sapphire blue eyes of his son, Obito could have sworn that he saw a ghost. His old sensei would get the same look when he had set his mind towards a goal, and it seemed that his son had also inherited that trait from him as well. "Fine," Obito said finally breaking free from his mood, "and if you need any help with reaching that goal...just know that I'm always here, okay?"
"Yeah," answered Naruto as the pair returned to making it to the Academy on time.
Spotting the entrance of the Academy, both Obito and Naruto slipped into the crowd of parents and children unnoticed. Naruto eyed his surroundings with an experts eye, well...as expert as an eleven year old child could get. He watched children of all ages, shapes, and sizes walk in with their families. Parents would greet their friends or other parents, and children would either gather with their friends or to shyly stand around while taking in their new surroundings.
Receiving a light push from behind Naruto smiled and began moving forward. As he came to the archway a ninja teacher, wearing a chuunin vest, greeted them. The man was lithe and slim, his skin was pale and so was his hair. He approached the two and greeted them all the while his black eyes seemed to gaze at his father with respect and something that Naruto couldn't quiet put into words. "Ohayo! Obito-sama," said the man with as he introduced himself as Mizuki, one of the chuunin Academy teachers.
Listening to the man's tone of voice and body language and studying the way his father's face slowly took on a half lidded look, he could tell the chuunin was sucking up to his dad. Uninterested in what the two of them were discussing Naruto looked around at the open yard before him. Kids of all ages were talking to each other while others were showing off new jutsu that they had just learned. Others formed groups that kept to the outer edges of the yard, for the most part they kept to themselves and were rarely interrupted by anyone. Scanning the yard that's when he saw someone that peaked his interest.
Sitting on a swing set off to the side of the groups was a young man who's black hair was long in the front and short in the back. It almost looked as if he had given himself a haircut and was lucky that it turned out so well. Naruto stepped away from his father and watched as no one walked over to the boy to talk to him, it didn't seem as if he had any friends, and any time a girl would come within twenty feet from of him he'd blasted them with a glare that would probably strip wood from a tree. 'I wonder what his problem is?' thought Naruto as he continued to watched the kid sit alone on his swing while radiating a hostile aura that kept most everyone away from his spot.
Naruto was about to walk over there when his father's voice broke him out of his thought. "Naruto? Oh, there you are. Did you forget that I'm suppose to bring you to your first class?" Obito said while looking over to where Naruto eyes had been looking.
Seeing the boy on the swings, his father's face became slack as some unknown sadness crept into his features.
'That must be him,' thought Obito watching the boy sigh as he again glared at several girls that had tried to talk to him. The girls seemed to shiver and shut up as they quickly retreated into a large group of girls that all seemed to be talking about the moody boy while staying near by him.
Suddenly a bell chimed and everyone that was in the yard started to funnel into the building in front of them. The black haired boy stood up silently and before giving both Naruto and his father the same kind glare that he had given the girls. Naruto only blinked at the boys scowl, while Obito's sadness faded from his face and was replaced by disappointment. Seeing that his glare hadn't effected either of them he huffed in anger as he turned and made his way into the academy.
'Such anger,' Obito mentally commented about his relative, having seen the child's cold eyes and the anger that was bubbling just below the surface. Suddenly, Obito felt something small pushing him forward, turning his head he saw a blonde head of hair working to make his father move as it grumbled, "You're going to make me late!"
"Who me?" asked Obito with a grin as his son huffed loudly. "Sometimes being late is better than being early, son." Obito said in wise tones.
"Mom says you only say that because you use to be late to everything," Naruto stated while looking at the older man with narrowed eyes and a suspicious look.
"Well!" Obito laughed, quickly changing the subject as he rubbed the back of his head in embarrassment, "We should be getting you to class, right?"
Umino Iruka had finished calling attendance and was now studying his group of students. Not many teachers knew how to 'read' their classroom, it was a technique that took an attention to detail and hard work. So far out of all the teachers in the academy only Iruka had mastered this technique, and currently he was using it to give him some insight on his class.
Spying the sleeping form of the Nara child, Shikamaru, he couldn't help but roll his eyes. The Nara's propensity for "laid-back-ness" obviously was taken to a whole other level in this boy, but his mind was one of the sharpest in the academy. Most of the time the boy slept thought his lectures and classes, and yet when questioned orally he exibited in depth knowledge in almost every subject.
Hearing the crinkle of a chip bag, Iruka eyed Shikamaru's friend who sat next to him. Akimichi Chouji, a rather large boy who always seemed to eating in class, an activity that could be the cause of his lower than average grades since the only thing on the boys mind is 'what's for lunch'.
The chuunin's eyes passed over several other children and landed on the pair of Yamanaka Ino and Haruno Sakura. The two were good student, but their focus for being a ninja wasn't something that Iruka would agree with. Ino seemed to be the better ninja than Sakura, but the pink haired girl made up with her vast knowledge and almost perfect chakra control.
Following the gazed of the two girls he set his eyes on the star pupil of the class, Uchiha Sasuke. A natural born ninja genius, the boy was good at almost everything he tried his hands at in the shinobi world. However, his attitude and lone wolf personality marked him as "problematic". Besides, his attitude alone was a problem in itself, especially when 'teamwork' was an important concept that Konoha based most of it ninja cells off of.
Passing over several other children he laid his eyes on a small girl with really light lavander eyes. Hyuuga Hinata, the heir of the Hyuuga clan and a user of the Byakugan, a rather powerful bloodline limit. Seeing that she was one of his better student the only think that Iruka had to comment on the little girl was the fact that he wished that she would have a little more self confidence in what she did.
When a bark-like laugh broke out in the class room, Iruka shifted his gaze over to the boy that sat next to Hinata and scowled lightly. Inuzuka Kiba, the only things that could come to mind when he thought of the boy was that he was loud, brash, thick headed and often too willing to skip class. Although Kiba was a pretty good ninja in the physical sense, he often lacked the patience and intelligence that most ninja's have at their disposal.
About to bring his class to attention, the experienced teacher eye's fell upon a boy that sat in the row just below Kiba's. Aburame Shino sat quietly as he glasses reflected the overhead light. Personally, Iruka would have liked it if the boy was a bit more sociable, but other than that his grades were above average and his skills as a were quite well developed. Thinking of all the ninja that were in this room and the potential they possessed, Iruka smiled as he knew most of them would grow to be great ninja.
Having tarried enough in starting today's lesson, Iruka stood up from his desk and walked to the front of the room. When he opened his mouth to speak a knock at the classroom door made him close it while confusion flooded his face.
Walking over to the door he opened it to see three people standing before him. The Academy supervisor stood before Iruka with a tall man black haired man behind him while a blonde haired boy stood in front of them both.
"Iruka, I'm sorry to spring this on you in such short notice, but it seems that we have a late comer who has been entered into our academy," The man in front of Iruka loot a bit nervous but he kept his composure as he continued on, "This is Uch...uh...," the supervisor stammered as the black haired man eyes narrowed slightly at his introduction, "Uzumaki Obito and his son Uzumaki Naruto. Naruto will be joining your class for the remainder of the year. Is that understood?"
'What the hell?' Iruka said to himself as he saw his supervisor look nervous as if he was on the edge of a mental breakdown. "Sure," Iruka nodded, stepping out of the way and motioned for Naruto to enter the room. The boy said his goodbyes to his father and stepped inside as the black haired man turned and left the two chuunin's in the hallway.
"Sweet, kami!" the supervisor pulled out a handkerchief and dabbed his forehead lightly.
"Isao? What the hell was that?" Iruka said bring out his thoughts, "I thought that those who came late were suppose to be admitted during the summer only?"
"Iruka! That was Uchiha Obito, and as for the addition to your class...if you want to contest it you can talk to Hokage-sama because that is where his recommendation came from!"
"What!?" Iruka said in surprise as he looked at the blonde boy on the other side of the door. 'Sandaime Hokage-sama gave the boy permission to enter the academy out of order? What's going on here?' thought Iruka, as Isao patted his back and said, "Good luck!" After which, he left quickly while talking about needing a 'stiff drink'.
Sighing deeply, the now slightly flustered teacher opened the door and walked back into his class room, all the while feeling as if his world was about to be turned upside down.
As soon as Naruto and his father had entered the building, they had been quickly ushered through the academy halls by a man that introduced himself as the academy supervisor. The man had offered to guide them to their destination, and while walked there he spoke to his father about the academy's curriculum.
Striding up to a classroom, the supervisor knocked on the classrooms sliding door. Within seconds the door was slowly opened by a man who had a confused look, as well as a nasty looking scar, across his face. Not really hearing a word that the men were talking about, Naruto sized up his new sensei and found that he wasn't getting anything from the man that could be considered bad.
Seeing how they interrupted his class, the man was handling everything in stride and even seemed to have time to look him over once or twice. 'He must be an efficient ninja,' thought Naruto as he noticed the man's relaxed demeanor and the way he seemed to handle the news of a new student. When his sensei moved out of the way and allowed him access to the classroom Naruto walked in to the surprise of all the children in the room. 'Great,' Naruto said to himself as the door behind him closed and he was left on his own to be scrutinized by every person in the room.
'Well, if you can't beat them...join them!' Naruto told himself as he looked at all the faces in the room. Several were kids that he had seen outside playing with their friends or conversing in a group. Naruto soon grew tired of looking over everyone and soon switched from check out faces to checking out seating arrangements. He noticed that in the classroom there were several seats still open.
The first seat was beside a boy who seemed to be inhaling a bad of chips. 'Not likely,' thought Naruto as he frowned lightly and refocused his efforts. The next seat was up front and seemed to have a fine layer of dust on it. 'This seat seems to scream 'I-Am-A-Teachers-Pet', doesn't it?' Naruto thought while he shook his head. Looking over at the rows nearest the windows there was a seat open. However, as soon as he looked at the seat he happened to glance at the person who sat next to that seat and he thought better of it. There sitting at the end of the row was the black haired boy from the school yard, a bored look plastered on his face. Naruto thought about sitting there, but then decided to preserve his sanity and looked around for another seat. 'Ahh!' Naruto sighed mentally as he saw a perfect seat that seemed to be empty. There was a seat, in the middle row, next to a boy that was wearing shades and hadn't been spoken for as of yet. However, something told Naruto that if he sat there he wouldn't have to engage in too much conversation with the boy and that suited him just fine.
Suddenly the door opened to the class room as Naruto new sensei stepped in and spoke directly to Naruto, "I'm Iruka, for the duration of your education I would ask you to call me Iruka-sensei. Your Naruto-kun right?" Naruto nodded his head as the man led him to the front of the class and announced his entry to their class, which raised a few eyebrows of those who knew the rules of the school.
"Please introduce yourself, Naruto," said Iruka while stepping back and watching how the boy handled being put on the spotlight.
"Konichiwa! My name is Uzumaki Naruto. I'm glad to meet you all and I hope that we get to know each other," Naruto said as many in the room smiled, while others looked disinterested. However, it was the arrogant huff that came from the dark haired boy that made his blood boil just a bit, but he didn't allow himself to be swayed as he focused on the task at hand.
Iruka was not overwhelmingly taken by the boys performance, but he was surprised that the boy was able to keep his address to the class simple and to the point. "Well," said Iruka as he looked at his seating arrangements, "I think I'll put you..."
"Iruka-sensei?" asked Naruto softly so as not to draw too much attention.
"Do you think I can uh...occupy...the seat over there?" asked Naruto as he pointed to an open seat that was right next to the Aburame boy, "That is...if it not too much trouble?"
'At lease he has some tact,' thought Iruka as he checked the seating arrangements and nodded his consent. Naruto smiled brightly as he said in a cheerful manner, "Thanks, Iruka-sensei!"
Bounding over to where he was going to sit, Naruto pulled off his pack and set it on the inside of his desk before he looked over at his desk partner and said quietly, "Uzumaki Naruto! And you are?"
A split second of hesitation the boy with the glasses moved slightly and said, "Aburame Shino."
Naruto nodded in a way of saying 'pleased to meet you', and surprisingly the boy nodded back. 'This is going to be a great year!' Naruto thought as he pulled out a pen and paper while he began writing something in a note book that he took out while Iruka had begun lecturing the class about what they had learned from last year.