AN: And so begins the new story! Reposting without making a new story, because nobody WENT TO THE POLL. It will be almost the same, just with some minor (major?) tweaks.
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto and I am only an intermittent reader/watcher of Naruto. If something is wrong, blame it on my crappy knowledge and not my ability in general. If you have insight that will help me with this story, go ahead! But flamers will be ignored.
Intro & Early Years
Konoha, or what was left of it, was quiet. Or as quiet as you can get in the aftermath of a bijuu's rampage. The dust was settling and those still alive were trying to get the recovery going. Many were simply standing still, their need to protect shattered now that the menace was gone. Through the dust, the Sandaime Hokage arrived at his destination. One of the few signs of life throughout the destruction, a crying babe, met his eyes. He tiredly knelt to retrieve the newborn and sighed as he stood. The child, finally having a comforting presence, began to calm down. Hiruzen gave the babe, a girl with blue eyes and Uzumaki red hair, a sad smile.
"I am so sorry, Naruto."
2 years later
Konoha was nearly removed of all traces of the Kyuubi attack. To a visitor, the only signs of it were a side of the village that was a shade newer than the rest. Perhaps, if one was to visit on October 10th, they would be more aware of the still lingering effects. But the shinobi seemed just as powerful as ever. Shadows flickered all across the village, a continuous stream of people through the gates, and the not quite as noticeable presence of guards carefully watching all visitors.
Though most of the visitors stayed in the markets, a fair few continued on to the Hokage's tower. All on, in some form or another, shinobi business. At the top of this tower, was the Hokage's office. As usual, the Hokage could be found there doing his duties. They varied greatly, from meetings, to assignments, to the most deadly and treacherous activity of any Kage. Paperwork.
Fortunately, this Kage had a perfect distraction. A frequent guest who brightened his day immensely and helped him get through some of his more difficult tasks. This young guest was one of the best kept secrets of Konoha, and a true treasure to all that knew her. Who is this guest, you may ask? Uzumaki Naruto, of course!
Naru danced carefully around Ojii-sama's office. He was doing paperwork, as usual. She still didn't understand why he had to do something so boring! The shadow people were mostly ignoring her. One was just watching her. After practicing her dancing she sat down near the shadow she thought was watching her. It seemed nice. Then she decided it was time to sleep. Without another thought, she lay down at the nice shadow's feet and slept.
Ojii-sama had finally let her go outside! He had a lot of guards following them. Otherwise, he said really bad things could happen. She had been around the village like this before. The only difference was that this time she had to wear a fancy kimono and had a fancy clip in her hair. And everyone kept on bowing to Ojii-sama. Naru hated it!
She did her very best to get to Ichiraku Ramen fast. The people there never did that weird smile and bow thing, and Ojii-sama had told her she could have as much ramen as she wanted! While she ordered, Ojii-sama was speaking with a few guards. Naru grinned at the chef and waited for Ojii-sama. While she waited she watched a group of people nearby. They all had similar physical attributes and were smiling and laughing with each other. What were they talking about? Why did they all look so similar? Was this a family? She had heard about those. Then she got her ramen and shook her head. Ojii-sama had his ramen too and they broke their chopsticks at the same time.
2 years later
Ojii-sama had told Naru that he had some important meetings to take care of today. So, she had decided to stay home and read some more. Ojii-sama had a really big library with lots of awesome scrolls. She had started her shinobi training and was doing her best to be as good as Ojii-sama. One of the first topics she covered was the Hokage and how strong her Ojii-sama needed to be to be able to lead the village.
Currently, she was trying to figure out chakra control. It was something that she had found to be a problem the more she had trained and wanted to fix it soon. When she had asked Ojii-sama for help, he had shown her where all of the scrolls were and told her to ask for help if she needed it. That had been two weeks ago.
She tossed that one away too. More gibberish about pathways and flow. How could she tell what her pathways were doing if she couldn't distinguish them? Her chakra reserves were abnormally high for a girl of her age and level. Why did no one think of the handicapped?! She growled a little as her hair fell in her face again. Yes, the color was awesome, but Ojii-sama wouldn't let her cut it. He kept saying something about her needing to be more feminine. Forget that. As soon as she got a kunai she was chopping it off to a much safer length. Long hair was very dangerous for a new shinobi. Once she was good enough, she would grow her hair out. Not until then. Silly Ojii-sama.
Another growl as she realized she was off track again. Then she snatched a different scroll and flicked it open. She smirked. That still looked so cool. Her eyes began to skim the scroll. More gibberish. It was about meditation this time. She continued skimming and then stopped.
Meditation can be very helpful to those with large chakra reserves. Many shinobi who increase their reserves use meditation to ensure that their pathways can take the volume of chakra as well as fine tune their awareness of how much chakra they have.
It had taken her another week to read that scroll. Her attention span wasn't something to be proud of, and she had kept on having to go out and practice her taijutsu in order to keep still, but she made it! Naru took a moment to do her victory dance. Then she took a deep breath and dropped to the floor.
Meditation can be done in a variety of different ways. Many find that meditation is more effective when they are still, calm, and quiet. The main objective is to find some position, or even action, that causes a sense of peace or tranquility.
Naru groaned from her spot on the floor. She wasn't like 'many people'! She couldn't be still or calm or quiet! Well, she could, but it was a lot more difficult than it should be. What could she do? Wait. Peace or tranquility. So…. happy feelings? What made her happy?
Naru sat up and crossed her arms and legs as she thought.
"Ramen makes me happy!"
Naru went to Ichiraku Ramen and ate so many bowls of ramen she fell asleep. She woke up in the middle of the night and took 30 minutes in the bathroom. Experiment failed.
"How can people like me meditate?"
Hiruzen glanced over at her. They were eating dinner together for once and he had noticed she seemed very distracted. He closed his eyes and thought for a moment. How to meditate? Hmm… For her?
"I would suggest to try to meditate while doing a kata or training exercise."
He watched Naru frown in concentration and nod. She grinned at him and continued eating.
Naru planned her next experiment the way she planned a long training day. She got 10 packs of her favorite cup-o-noodles sealed in a scroll and made sure she had her favorite canteen and goggles. She had her lucky orange training outfit too. Naru nodded to herself as she exited her home as silently as she could. Now all she needed to do was get to her favorite (and secret) training spot.
She snuck through the bushes and trees to the super awesome spot just behind her house that had a little stream and a big clearing and a few super awesome posts for taijutsu practice. Naru quickly checked around the clearing for any spies and nodded once she was positive she hadn't been followed.
"Yosh! Ojii-sama said to do a training exercise! Which one should I do?"
Naru decided to set all of her training gear down and decide which one she found the easiest. She considered her shuriken. Too much concentration. She eyed her kunai. There was that fun juggling exercise. Naru nodded to herself. She would try kunai juggling first.
She picked up her kunai and moved to the center of the clearing. Naru did a few warmup twirls and tosses before she got the kunai placed properly in her fingers. Then she took a deep breath and tossed the first kunai up, shortly followed by the second, and on until she had all of the kunai twirling through the air. Finding her groove, she tried to find that relaxed zen mode she had found once. It had let her juggle for 40 minutes straight before she finally dropped one! This time it only took her a minute, and the she blinked for a moment and found herself somewhere else.
Naru jumped. A sewer! Or something like it. There was a thin layer of water on the floor and at the end of this strange hall were giant bars. She took a careful step to make sure she wouldn't fall or something. Nothing happened other than a few more ripples on the surface of the water. She pumped a fist excitedly and started plonking down the hall.
"Donguri korokoro donburiko
Oike ni hamatte saa taihen
Dojou ga detekite konnichiwa
Bocchan isshoni asobimashou
Donguri korokoro yorokonde
Shibaraku isshoni asonda ga
Yappari oyama ga koishii to
Naitewa dojou o komaraseta"
As Naru finished her song she came to a stop in front of the bars. It was really dark in there. And rumbly. It sounded like Ojii-sama when he fell asleep in his office. She peered into the darkness and thought she could see a large something. Hmmm… Should she? Naru shrugged. It was her mind. Then she shouted into the darkness.
"HELLO! IT'S TIME TO WAKE UP! HELLO!"
The thing jerked and the snoring stopped. Naru nodded to herself, satisfied. Then the bars shook as the large something slammed against the bars. Naru screamed and jumped. It was gigantic and red and had huge fangs and didn't look happy.
"HOW DARE YOU DISTURB ME, INSECT!"
Naru screamed again and ran in the other direction. It shouted after her as she ran and ran and ran till she tripped on something and fell into grass. Her kunai dropped to the ground and she teared up. Then she gathered up all of her gear as fast as she could and ran back home. She didn't stop until she got into her room and was able to make a small fort out of her blankets. She kept her eye on her closet and kept a kunai close at hand until Ojii-sama arrived with his guard. As soon as she saw Ojii-sama she let loose her tears and jumped to him and started telling him what happened.
"There was a scary giant and I woke it up and it scared me and I ran back here!"
At least, that was what she was trying to say. She really just screamed and cried at Ojii-sama and only got out the words "scary" and "ran".
AN: Chapter 1 everybody! I've had this written for a while…. The little song she wrote is below (obviously). And…. yeah. A lot different. Sort of snippety at first because Naru is a small child and really, they have a very simple process. More intelligent though. Big things planned for smart little Naru. Big. Things. (Sort of. Something amazing will happen. I think.)
Peace and Chocolate!
Translation for song (Donguri Korokoro):
An acorn rolled down and down,
Oh no, he fell into a pond!
Then came the loach and said Hello,
Little boy, let's play together.
Little rolling acorn was so happy
He played for a little while
But soon he started to miss the mountain
He cried and the loach didn't know what to do.