Discalimer: I do not own Naruto and if I did Kisame would not be dead and Sasuke wouldn't be as emo as he is now.


Naruto: Severed Bonds

Chapter 4:

Homecoming

Slowly the sun began to set lazily out over the horizon as several birds flew to their nesting places in the woods surrounding Konohagakure. The shinobi of the peaceful village began to switch out their posts as the night shift proceeded to begin the watch in case of enemy attack. In the middle of the reporting off however none of them noticed a bird slightly larger than was normal for even a hawk from the surrounding regions speed into the village's perimeter finally coming to a slow halt and a landing on a gray pole with many power lines erupting from it and into the different buildings and housing areas in the vicinity. As the massive bird landed a flurry of feathers erupted into the air around it. As the feathers disappeared it left only a lone shinobi standing atop the birds perch.

As he began to stand at his full height he faltered. "I've gotta deliver my message to the Hokage." he muttered as he grasped his abdomen. The site where he grabbed was stained red with his blood and even his meager attempt at self first aid seemed unable to stem the bleeding. He leaped from his position towards the Hokage tower only to pass out and begin a rough descent into the ground below.

Sakura was on another one Tsunade's legendary sake runs. Sometimes the Hokage, her sensei, would send her out to find a rare brand or carry huge quantities of generic ones. This had started out as a chore but when asked why she had to do it, Tsunade only said that it was part of her training. 'Training, yeah right its more like I'm just an enabler for this habit.' Al though it did help her with her skills in perception and her strength the real advantage came in her stealth abilities when she had sneak all the bottles past Shizune. Thankfully tonight it was only a single bottle. A single, expensive, aged and foul bottle. However as she thought about she was surprised when a solid mass plummeted out of sky and knocked her onto the ground.

"What the hell is your problem!" she screamed as she started to stand up. "You shouldn't just hurl yourself … at..." She was shocked when she saw the man completely unconscious. She studied what she could see unfortunately that was only the large bloodstain on his flak jacket and the headband with the symbol of a village she had never seen before.

–(3 days later)

Slowly he opened his eyes. The pure white ceiling blurred his vision as he came out his coma. 'Where am I? What the hell am I doing here? Where the hell are my clothes.' All these questions as well as several others ran through his head as he realized he was in a hospital. The events of the past hit him like a ton of bricks as he remembered where he was and why he had come here.

"Shit I have to get my message to the Hokage." he muttered under his breath but as he sat up he noticed something holding his hand to the bed. Sure enough it was a thick leather strap that kept him secured. He struggled with it for several minutes but to no avail. It wasn't until he heard the door open that he stopped and decided to take a more diplomatic approach to getting out. He turned and saw a pink-haired woman take a few steps into his room.

"Whats up good lookin'" This however had the opposite effect that he had hoped as he suddenly had a fist in his face.

"If you ever call me that again I won't pull my punch short."

"Geez, I'm sorry. Do you think you could let me out."

"Not until you are determined not to be a threat."

"Look I've got an important message that I gotta deliver to the Hokage so if you don't mind I gotta go."

"Its just a few questions and after you answer then I can let you go."

"Alright then. Fire away."

For several moments Sakura stared at the man she had brought into the hospital 3 days ago. She had so many questions beyond what was required of her to ask the enigma. But even the longest interrogations start somewhere.

"What is your name?" she began deciding with the easiest she could think of.

"Huh? Well my name is Izumo. Izumo Nagari, Fastest messenger in all of Morigakure."

Sakura only looked at him questioningly at his response. 'What the hell is he talking about I've never heard of any village with that name let alone seen a shinobi from there.'

"Don't tell me you've never heard of Mori."

"Sorry but no I haven't."

"Okay then, I'll give you a brief synopsis of my village." Sakura sighed at his enthusiasm, "Mori is a small ninja village that dates back to around the time of the founding of Konoha. We entered into an alliance with the first Hokage and in return after his peace agreement with the Uchiha we received a decent sized piece of land a long the southern coast between Suna territory and Konoha territory." he paused and looked at her for several seconds. "Are you following all of this?"

"Um.. yes."

"Good. Now the shinobi in Mori developed along a path that they had been following for years before establishing themselves as a military force. Most shinobi are trained in communication with a spirit beast before they become genin. And before you ask a spirit beast is what we call the bestial form of ones own traits, at least thats probably the best way I can explain it. This communication allows us access to a high level transformation jutsu that allows us to transform into a corporeal version of our spirit beast. Its because of this that our loyalty has been sought in many alliances but due to the smooth talk and tactics of the past Yajuukages we were able to maintain our neutrality until..."

"Wait a minute! You expect me to believe that you can transform into an animal in a way that is more than a mere illusion. Yeah right." She interrupted.

"Well, hmm, I know how I can prove it." Izumo stated in a matter of fact way. Before Sakura could say anything he began to gather chakra around his body. It began to shift as his bones hollowed themselves out and shrank. His head wen through a dramatic change becoming distinctly avian and shrinking to fit his new frame. His torso elongated slightly becoming aerodynamic. Finally his arms began to change into hawk-like wings. He looked like a plucked bird for several seconds until a wave burst from his mouth, beak, head area covering his body in a dark brown coat of feathers.

Within a split second where there had once been a man in his 20s stood a rather large hawk that was still bound to the bed. It was at least 25% larger than any hawk Sakura had ever seen. She could tell that this was still the same overconfident shinobi she had just somewhat interrogated but it was almost definitely no illusion. Normally her genjutsu skills would have dispelled it already if it had been anyway.

Seemingly satisfied with the nonverbal response he received the hawk unleashed a large cloud of feathers and then as if nothing had happened Izumo appeared in his human form. As he took in a breath however he started coughing. "Aw crap I really gotta reconsider using that indoors." He looked at the pink haired kunoichi in front of him. "So you satisfied now?"

Stunned all that she could do was nod her head.

"Okay, so as I was saying before being rudely interrupted, we were a neutral village until the Third Great War. During this Suna manged to go on the offensive and surrounded our village from the west and south and during one of the first pushes Iwa managed to surround us from the north and east. The third Yajuukage was given two options: Pledge his alleigance to their alliance or Watch as they burned Mori and slaughtered everyone in the village. He chose the first option and thus we were drawn into the fighting."

"So wait, you are an enemy of Konoha then?"

"Hang on I'm not done yet. We were forced to fight our former allies although all that Konoha knew was that we betrayed them. So it came that When Iwa was pushed back that the full brunt of the Konoha came at Mori. The Yajuukage was given one final order to protect his people. He was told to face and kill Konoha's Yellow Flash, Minato Namikaze, or else Iwa-nins would detonate every explosive that was stored in our village. He went off to fight although he was unwilling. He fought with everything he had to defend his beloved Mori even using his spirit beast, the dragon. His fight raged for an entire day before he was finally killed, and with his final words he told the truth about everything to the only man to best him in combat. And thanks to the Fourth Hokage we were all saved from annihilation. And in turn we pledged our loyalty to Konoha."

"So why are you here now?"

"Well, about three weeks ago the fourth Yajuukage was planning to retire and give the job to one of the more favored shinobi of the village, who was also his most trusted lieutenant and protégé. However about this time another strange shinobi entered the village claiming to be a descendant of one of the founders. Within days he rose up through the ranks of our government and became an advisor in about a week and a half. It was at this time, now I don't have all the details straight here, that the Yajuukage died under mysterious circumstances, and apparently appointed him the next Yajuukage. About 5 days after this he began to preach about not communing with our spirit beasts but instead forcing them to serve us. Most of the younger generations accepted this after they saw him transform into a grotesque half-fox half-man with one large tail and a bloody shade of gray fur. Now the other advisor opposed this and he gathered an army of older shinobi in order to take out the new Yajuukage. However we were beat back by what we could tell were Oto-nin. We were run out of the village and currently have a small camp set up just outside the border. It is because of Otogakure's involvement that I was sent to deliver a message to the Hokage requesting aid. It was during my escape from the enemy that I received the wound that I assume you've taken care of."

"So you need our villages aid in helping you take back your home. Is that right?"

"Yes! So now can I see the Hokage. I have to deliver this message to one more person before I can return."

"Who else do you need to ask?"

"The Toad Sage, Master Jiraiya."

'Wait a minute you know where Jiraiya is."

"Well not exactly but I have a tracker seal that I can use to find him."

"When you last saw him did he have anyone with him."

"Yeah, there was some kid with black hair, he was a real jackass to just about everyone, and then there was that silver haired creep with the mask who always had his face in what he called literature."

"Well can you do me a favor and use that seal to tell me approximately where they are?"

"Only if you undo this strap and give me my clothes back."

"Deal."

The trio were slowly approaching the gates of the massive village. No matter how many times you see it it always seems to simply emerge from the surrounding woods. As they were about to enter the gate the elder of the group sneezed so hard that the large scroll on his back shook.

"Bless you." said the silver haired man.

"Ah its nothing someone must be talking about me and my amazing research skills is all."

"Ah its good to have my clothes back." Sighed Izumo as he got comfortable. Sakura stared at him intently for a couple of minutes before he finally said, "Oh yeah that's right you wanted me to use that seal." Slowly he gathered his chakra into his right palm and a large ornate seal began to manifest itself. A bright red light began to engulf the seal and finally he opened his eyes. "He's about 3 kilometers north of here."

Sakura thought about that 'Wait a minute that's right about where the north gate is that must mean that Sasuke's come home.' And with that thought she rushed out of the hospital and towards the north gate.

Izumo only stared at her a she disappeared out of the door. Before blurting out, "Does this mean I can just go see the Hokage?"

"Well what do you know the prodigal son returns." commented one of the guards at the northern gate.

"Never thought we'd see you again." said the other.

Sasuke just brushed off their comments as he Jiraiya and Kakashi walked through the gates. Before he could even take three steps into his home. He was sent flying into a building by a strong punch.

"How dare you keep me waiting you bastard."

Kakashi an Jiraiya stood there in shock

"Hn, its good to see you too Sakura." Said Sasuke as he stood up from the rubble of a small storefront.

In the Hokage's office Izumo had to go through his entire explanation of his village's history as well as the story of the failed coup. "So thats the story and in short we could really use any aid your village could give us Lady Hokage."

"Well I can't pledge you that much but I could probably give you two teams but not any more than that or else it would become a bureaucratic nightmare with the council."

"Any help is appreciated. Especially if you think that Orochimaru's involved."

"Well there is two teams in the village that can help ..." Tsunade was suddenly cut off by the breaking in of her window by Jiraiya.

"Geez, Tsunade you normally have that thing open." he said as he climbed out of the mess of glass on the ground.

"Jiraiya. Wait when did you get back?"

"Oh, just a couple of minutes ago." came a nonchalant voice as Kakashi entered through the hole that Jiraiya had made. Sasuke trailed in not far behind him.

"I'm sorry Milady but I couldn't stop them from coming despite telling them that you were in a meeting." said Sakura as she followed Sasuke.

Jiraiya surveyed the room that he was in and then his eyes caught sight of Izumo. Walking up to him he suddenly pushed Izumo off his feet. "I owed you that for blowing my cover in that hot spring you stupid bird brain."

"I don't really have time for this master Jiraiya. I have to get back to my people with the Hokage's response."

"Response to what?"

And so Izumo had to repeat the entirestory about the coup, being run out, and seeking aid again this time for the three newcomers.

At the mention of the fox Sasuke muttered under his breath one name. "Naruto."

"So that's the story and now if you dont mind I really have to get back. The Hokage knows the location of the camp so she knows where to send the reinforcements." And with that Izumo jumped out of an open window opposite the glass shards of the closed window Jiraiya had bounded through. Outside a large hawk sped away from the Hokage tower and out into the open air.

"Tsunade," Sasuke said. " I request to be sent on the mission to help Morigakure."

"Well, I know this has sentimental value but I can't just send you out on a mission without having tested your abilities." She paused and looked at Kakashi. "That goes for you as well. So I want you both to go and get some rest and tomorrow I'll give you a test and if you pass then I will send team 7 along with one other team to help."

"Thank you, Lady Hokage."

And with that the everyone but Tsunade left the room. She sat in silence before finally saying out loud to no one in particular. "Great now I have find another team that would work well with them and come up with a test. And if they pass then I'm going to have to fight the council for my decision to put the Uchiha out into the field immediately." She sighed before letting herself drift off into sleep.


Author's Note: Sorry if this chapter kind of sucks but hey at least I got a lot of the backstory for the next arc laid out. In the next chapter You'll finally get to see Sasuke's training results as well as some improved Kakashi skills. Hopefully you can get over this chapter as even I think it was kinda boring. Sorry but the updates will be relatively slow for the foreseeable future due to school work and the like. Just hoping that you all can stick with me and help me make this a great story. And please excuse some mistakes as I do not have a beta reader. As always keep the positive comments and constructive criticism coming I enjoy seeing that.

Dictionary (I'll use these occasionally but most of the time I'll use the English translation of techniques so this shouldn't be necessary to often.)

Yajuukage-- Literally means Beast Shadow

morigakure-- Village hidden in the forest