A/N: SO... this is my first try at a Naruto fic... lets see how it goes.
Disclaimer- consider this story declaimed
"Hey Oji-san! What're ya doing?" The Sandaime Hokage sighed at the sound of the young voice, though he did welcome an excuse to break from his tedious task of finalizing this year's genin teams.
He raised his calm grey eyes to the only person who could barge into his office and address him as such, his young ward Uzumaki Naruto. Well, he considered Naruto so much more than his young ward, but the council of Konohagakure no Sato had all but forbidden him from taking the boy under his wing. As it was, the only thing he could do for him was to secure a flat, in a not so nice part of town, mind, give him a generous allowance per month and, every now and again, show him a special favor.
Uzumaki Naruto was the secret son of the Sandaime's successor and predecessor, the Yondaime, who died battling the Kyuubi no Yoko. The irony is that Naruto was also the container of the Kyuubi, the Jinchuuriki if you wanted to be technical about it. But again, the boy had no idea.
Naruto was only six, and he was short for his age (Probably due to malnourishment). Like his father he had golden hair that spiked up in ever which direction with no rhyme or reason and eyes that were a uniquely piercing shade of blue. Yes, he was defiantly Namikaze Minato's son.
But you could see his mother,Uzumaki Kushina, in him too. For example, though his eyes remained blue, there would be a slight shift in color depending on his mood. But the most obvious thing was his overly hyper active attitude and his ability to deceive people.
They only thing that the child hadn't inherited from his parents were the six whisker-like scars that adorned his cheeks. The mark of the Kyuubi.
"Oji-san?" A small hand waved in front of the Hokage's face.
"You spaced out again." The small child pouted.
"Oh.. hehe. Sorry about that." The old man scratched the back of his head in embarrassment.
"You never answered my question." Naruto pointed out, hopping up on the desk.
"What question would that be, Naruto-kun?"
"What are you doing?" the boy spoke very slowly.
"Oh, sorting out this year's genin teams." The Hokage gestured to the piles of papers and the files that adorned the wooden desk in front of him.
"That doesn't sound so hard!" the boy picked up a few of the profiles and started to match them together.
"On the contrary, the teams must be as balanced as possible. Like this," The old man showed the boy the one team that he had already made. "It is customary for the rookie of the year to be pared with the one with the worst grades, the dope. And the last spot goes to the kunoichi in the middle, to balance it out."
"So the one with the worst grades gets stuck with the best and someone in the middle?" The boy ventured.
"Yes." The elderly Hokage didn't have time to elaborate as his secretary came into the office with a pile of books in hand.
"Hokage-sama, here are the books you wanted." Her voice was kind, but the Hokage didn't miss the death glare she at the boy.
Naruto pointedly chose to ignore it.
"What are those?" He asked cocking his head to the side.
"Books." The secretary snapped.
"Yea, I got that when you said 'these are the books you wanted.' But I was asking what they were about." The boy's voice was full of anger.
"Fuinjutsu," she sniffed.
"Fuinjutsu? What's that?" This time he turned and looked at his grandfather like figure.
"It's the sealing arts, Naruto-kun."
"And it's much too complicated for such a-" she stopped short of insulting the boy, catching the threat in the Hokage's eye. "F-for such a young boy. The Yondaime himself practically wrote the book on it."
"Wow! Really?" The boy perked up at the mention of his idol.
"Yes," the Hokage chuckled. "He was a Fuinjutsu Master, though I don't know if I'd go as far as to say that he wrote the book on it."
"So he was really good?" The little boy had a thoughtful look on his face.
"Uh… that's right." He gestured the secretary to put the books on a chair.
"Then I'll be better!" The boy suddenly declared, earning a snort from the secretary.
"You can't possibly even begin to understand such a complicated art."
"Hey, is that a challenge?" the young boy hopped off the desk and spun to face her.
All his life he had been told what he could and couldn't do, mostly it was the latter of the two. He was getting sick of it.
Everyone avoided his and looked at him with hate. Even his classmates avoided him!
That's why he had to get strong. He had to be the Hokage, and he wouldn't stop there. He would be the strongest Hokage that ever existed!
That way people would notice and look up to him. They would love him, include him.
This lady didn't know a thing! He would be Hokage. He would become the greatest Fuinjutsu Master that ever lived.
"I'll bet you that I can have all the basics down by the end of the month!" Naruto declared.
"You've got yourself a deal kid. You come back in a month's time and prove that you have mastered all the basics and I'll provide you with the books to get to the next step. Hell, if you can do that I'll buy you every book there is about Fuinjutsu! But if you can't do this, you must give up on your dream of becoming Hokage" the lady snapped. Everyone knew about the kids dream, he shouted about it nearly every day!
"Naruto-kun, think about this." The Hokage glared at his secretary. "Fuinjutsu is a complicated and-"
"No!" Naruto cut across him. "I will do it!" His young eyes blazed with determination. There was no stopping him now.
"Alright," The old man sighed. "Alright," he stood up and walked to one of the many bookshelves that lined the room and pulled down a thick leather bound volume of Fuinjutsu: Beginner's Basics.
It had been Minato's copy. Hence, it had tiny scribbled notes all over it. Corrections and simpler explanations, along with a few imprecisions he had fixed.
It was all he could do.
"Here you go." He handed the boy the book.
"Thanks Oji-san!" The boy yelled over his shoulder as he ran out.
"You had better hope," Sandaime called to his secretary's back as she too left the room, "That the boy manages to master that book, or you will find yourself looking for a new job."
The door swung closed behind her with a loud click.
Naruto yawned loudly, for the fourth time in an hour, earning many glares from his classmates.
Well, he couldn't help it. He had been up most of the night struggling through the giant book.
It was hard. And there were too many kanji and words that he didn't understand.
At this rate, he would lose all hope of ever becoming Hokage.
"Alright class," Iruka called. "It's time for lunch!"
The class broke into soft chatter as some of them filled outside and others stayed behind.
Naruto, who didn't have a lunch, pulled out his heavy book and started trying to muscle through it…. Again.
"Hurry up, Sasuke!" Kiba hollered at the Uchiha heir, who sat two rows in front of Naruto. (A.N. – yes, this is before the Uchiha massacre. So Sasuke isn't a total teme yet.)
"Go ahead! I'm trying to figure out how to apply this jutsu," Sasuke called after him.
"Okay, see you later!" Kiba walked out.
Apply, that was one of the words in Naruto's book. (A.N.- he's six, people… I know I didn't know what apply was when I was six)
Naruto stood up and made his way toward Sasuke, all the while having an internal battle with himself. He had always done things on his own, but if he didn't ask for help… well, he didn't want to think about it. Maybe there was another way… maybe he could ask Iruka-sensei. No… that wouldn't work…Iruka would just try to talk him out of it, like all of the other adults.
"Uh… Can I help you?" Sasuke's voice cut through Naruto's thoughts.
"I… I was just… just wondering if you…. Could help me with something?" Naruto muttered, rubbing the back of his head.
Sasuke just stared at him. Like all children, Sasuke had been warned to stay away from the whiskered boy. But Sasuke didn't find anything wrong with him.
Sure he was loud and dense sometimes, and really annoying. But he wasn't evil or anything.
Sasuke wasn't stupid, he could see that the boy had no friends, and was as prideful as a Uchiha. If he was asking for help, then it must be something big.
"You see…" Naruto continued, mistaking Sasuke's blank look as a one of defiance. "I… uh… I don't read so good." Naruto ducked his head, avoiding looking the other boy in the eyes. "And I have to master this book in a month! But I can't read some parts of it… and I was just thinking… you're smart… could you uh… help me?" He braced himself for the insult.
But it never came.
"Sure," Sasuke said. "What are you having problems with?"
Naruto looked up in surprise as Sasuke gestured for the giant book.
Giving one of his foxy grins, he handed the book over and sat next to the raven headed Uchiha.
For the next week and a half the two boys would meet up before and after school, not to mention during lunch, to work through the thick volume of seals.
Not surprisingly, the two had quickly become good friends.
That's the thing about Naruto. If you give him the chance he can win anyone over.
Sasuke helped Naruto to the best of his ability, but there's only so much a six year old can do. Sure, the Yondaime's notes helped more than the boys could even say, but there was only so much they could do.
One day, Sasuke proposed that they ask someone for help. He knew Naruto wasn't comfortable around adults, so their sensei's were out of the question. And Naruto was also strangely hesitant to ask Iruka, or even have Sasuke ask Itachi.
So, Sasuke came up with a plan.
"Why her?" Naruto hissed in his ear one day at lunch. The two boys had forgone their normal spot on the academy roof to wander the yard.
"Because," Sasuke hoisted the book up higher in his arms. "She's the smartest girl in our class."
"Why not Shika?" The blond whined.
"I asked you about him a week ago! You said no…"
"But I changed my mind!"
"Too late for that. Now be quiet and let me do the talking, alright?" Sasuke had recently discovered that Naruto wasn't as annoying as he had first mistaken him to be. He was just socially awkward, really socially awkward. And that wasn't his fault. He had been on his own most of his life. What he learned, he learned by watching others.
Sasuke's solution? He would talk for the boy until he learned how to act in public.
Hey, it worked…..
"Sakura!" the raven called to the group of girls giggling together under the tree. "Can you give me and Ruto a hand with something?"
"Shhhhh" He reprimanded the boy who stood behind him.
"Uh… Why me?" A pink haired girl asked from her place by the self proclaimed Queen of the class, Ino.
"Please Sakura? You're the only one we can ask." Sasuke smiled at her, causing all the girls to blush and titter.
"O-okay." Sakura stood up hesitantly.
"Great! Follow us! And bring your lunch… we'll be a while."
On the roof top:
"So what do you need help with?" Sakura asked, eyeing the blond carefully. She too had been warned to stay away from the boy.
"Well, Ruto here," Sasuke jerked his thumb at his new best friend. "Needs to master this book by the end of the month, only he can't read very well. I've been trying to help him the best that I can but this stuff kinda goes over my head."
"What's the book about?"
"Seals," Naruto murmured quietly. "Ke helps me understand what they mean and I figure out how to apply it. There are notes all over the place in the book, and they help a lot, but…" He trailed off.
Sakura blinked, she had never heard the boy that soft spoken before. Though she had to admit, since he started hanging out with the Uchiha heir he had calmed down a lot.
"So, will you help us?" Sasuke asked her.
"On one condition," She replied slowly, thinking about it. "When we're done, you guys have to help me with my taijutsu, and get me books about medical jutsu from the library." Seeing their blank looks she went on, "I don't come from a ninja family, so I don't have access to the ninja library yet, and I'm not trained at home like you guys are…"
"Deal!" Naruto yelled, startling her.
He held out his hand, and after much thought, she took it. Excepting both the agreement and the friendship that inevitably followed.
3 and a half weeks later:
"Alright gaki, show me what you got."
"Ok, here I go!" Naruto picked up the brush and carefully started the design that he practiced over and over.
It took him nearly ten minutes, but he successfully created a working storage seal.
The next one was a little bit harder. He combined the seals for storage and chakra flow. Carefully he added some buffers and directional seals on top of that to make a seal that would store and transfer chakra.
According to the book, one could produce an infinite number of seals and uses by combining the simple seals in the correct pattern. There were rules of course, about what could go where and in what order they had to be laid down or combined. And if you messed up it would most likely explode in our faces (he had created a few different types of bombs by adding timer seals and directional seals to a few of his failed seals).
All in all, it was one giant puzzle. He loved it.
To finish off his test, he produced some of his own creations to be scrutinized by the Hokage and his secretary.
"I… I can't believe it." The woman stuttered. "You actually did it!"
"Yosh!!!" the small blond jumped up in the air and started a jig. "I did it! I did it! Pay up, you old bat!"
"Ke! Ra! I did it!" Naruto ran into the yard of the academy, tackling his two newfound friends. "The old bat lost the bet! Now I get two books a week until I become a genin and then the money to pay for them myself until I have every book about Fuinjutsu in the world!"
"That's a lot of books, Ruto!" Sakura said, returning the boys hug. The three of them had become the best of friends while helping Naruto. Sakura had even taken the boy over to her house once! Lucky, it didn't take long for her parents to come to terms with the fact that he was just a boy and not the demon he contained. Though the children didn't know about that yet…
"Speaking of books!" Naruto produced a copy of Medical Jutsu For Dummies, and handed it to the now squealing girl.
"Not so fast Sakura!" Sasuke snatched the book away from the girl. "First we have to get yours and Ruto's taijutsu up to par."
"Sasuke!" his two friends yelled in unison.
Like the smart boy he is, Sasuke ran.