I don't own Naruto and this time I'm only saying that this once. No 'If I did own Naruto' this time, unless Kishimoto does something I feel I have to comment on.
At the time this chapter was written Ch. -484- of the manga was the newest one available.
Chapter 1: Konoha's Second Generation Prankster
"Hold it right there young lady. Where do you think you're going?" An Anbu wearing a falcon mask asked a twelve year old girl walking around holding a can of red paint and a carpenter brush. Both were standing in an alley behind some buildings where no one could see them.
"Umm... I've got a D-rank mission to paint a guy's house." The girl weakly answered.
Falcon didn't buy it. "One, missions are for ninja and you're not even out of the academy yet. Two, you'd need more than one can of paint for a house. And three, you wouldn't be trying to sneak around for a job like that. You're going to have to come up with something much better than that to get out of this one."
"Okay then. Catch!" The girl said as she tossed the paint can towards the Anbu and turned around to run.
Acting on instinct, Falcon caught the can only to find the lid was loose and the contents spilled all over the front of his uniform. When he tried to glare at her he saw she had vanished. "Why that little...! Hokage-sama's definitely gonna hear about this."
Another Anbu, a woman wearing a panda mask, arrived on the scene and saw the involuntary paint job. "What happened to you?"
"I ran across the Uzumaki girl. That's what."
"Yes!" Panda exclaimed while pumping her fist. "I win the pool! Thanks." Nowadays, the Anbu had a betting pool where they took bets on who the first victim of the day would be because of an Uzumaki prank.
"No problemo." Falcon said sarcastically. "I can't believe you'd actually bet on me."
"Well who'd you bet on?"
"Didn't today. Now why don't you go get her before she does more damage?"
Panda checked her watch. "No need. She should be heading towards the academy right now. And she'd never be late for that."
The bell rang and every student took a seat. Iruka's eyes panned the room and saw a red flash make it with one second to spare. 'Girl likes to cut it close.'
The girl he referenced just then was none other than Akane Uzumaki, daughter to Naruto Uzumaki in all ways but blood. And boy did she take after her father, a little too much considering that he didn't sire her, and four years had done little to change that. She had his love for ramen and pranking, dislike of perverts and vegetables, and even wore a red version of his old clothes regularly to school. Luckily she dressed more normally outside class, but inside class it was always that red-and-black jumpsuit. When asked why she wore it, she just said she felt right in it, even if others considered it an eyesore. When asked where she got it from, she said her grandmother gave it to her as a gift for beating a bad person, giving no more details than that.
Clothes aside, there was actually very little to dislike about the girl. Akane was quite charming and had wormed her way into the hearts of many in Konoha. Mostly those close to Naruto, but that was a good thing. Because of that, she was possibly the most educated out of all the genin in the class because of her voluntary tutors. The teachers here wouldn't dare think to set her up for failure like they did Naruto years ago, so she got a fair education, along with family friends wanting to confirm she learned as much as she could. And like Naruto, she was a sponge when taught the proper way to do something. Thus unlike her father, she was the Rookie of the Year.
"Welcome class for another day. You're all very close to becoming full-fledged genin. Today we're going to do your graduation test to see who here is ready to become genin now and who isn't. We'll start with a written test and then a physical skills test."
"Didn't we already have a physical?" A random boy in class asked, remembering a medic nin examining him in his underwear and not feeling comfortable about it.
"That was to check your health. This one will check how you perform the manual labor of a ninja lifestyle. Now, we'll start the written test in a few minutes, so get everything but a pencil put away and sit quietly. And good luck all of you." Iruka told them as another chuunin instructor came in with a stack of papers to hand out. He caught a glimpse of Akane quietly groaning and rolling her head back in annoyance, and smirked as he remembered Naruto doing the same long ago.
The written test and the physical skills test were completed much later and now the students hung out in the field around the building, waiting while the teachers went over their scores. Most passed the time in their own ways, some practicing their skills some more or lounging. Akane was one of the loungers, but she relaxed by swinging on the swing Naruto always went to when he was troubled when younger. And she was enjoying it, until a young girl with brown hair in a long pigtail and a light green dress walked up to her. "What do you want, Sayo-san?"
"Isn't playing on a swing kiddish for someone your age?" The girl named Sayo asked condensendingly. Ever since they met, these two girls never really got along. Sakura who saw them once likened them to a younger herself and a classmate named Ami Akane never met.
"I'm on break so I can do what I want." Akane replied, never slowing her swinging. "Besides, got any better ideas genius?"
The pigtailed girl pointed to some boys working on target practice. "Yeah, like honing your skills. That's what good shinobi do when they aren't working."
"Well it's not going to change the test scores so does it matter if I don't practice more now?" The redhead asked. "Besides, Baa-chan says there's nothing wrong with taking a break from it all once in a while and even a kage needs a day off now and then."
Sayo then had a menacing, unwelcome smirk on her face. "You've never taken this seriously like the rest of us have. I bet even with all that extra help you get after school you won't make genin. And if you do, that'll just be because your father spoils you."
Akane came to a stop and glared at her schoolyard adversary of about four years. "Shove it Sayo. You wouldn't last two minutes in a serious fight against me."
Sayo got into a basic stance. "Care to put your ryo where your mouth is?"
'No but I know where I'd like to put my foot.' Akane hostilely thought, then shrugged and started to swing again. "Naw, got nothing to prove and nothing to gain."
Akane gave her a dry look. "You didn't actually think that would change my mind, did you? How petty do you think I am?" Luckily one of the traits she acquired from her adoptive mother, Hinata Uzumaki, was temper control. Akane did have some of Hinata's characteristics, like flexibility and occasional shyness, but they weren't as natural to her as the traits she acquired from Naruto.
Sayo huffed and just walked away irritated. Akane shrugged it off and continued swinging in peace. She sensed someone approach from behind but she didn't get bothered. This newcomer was welcome any day. "Hi Shiba-chan, how ya holding up?" She asked without bothering to turn around.
Shiba sat down on the swing next to her friend but stayed still. "I'm fine. Just thought I'd say hi." Now twelve years old too, the shy Inuzuka girl hadn't changed much physically. She still wore her hair in the same long ponytail, but her bangs had a little more lift in them. She still preferred to wear a dark men's kimono, but wore more feminine garb underneath that couldn't be seen easily. Her sword with the blue fox handle was still at her hip and her two animal partners hadn't grown much, since Inuzuka canines lived longer than normal ones and grew at rates more appropriate for their human partners. All in all, there was little difference between Shiba's current appearance and how she looked when she first met Akane. The only obvious differences were the different decorative patterns on her kimono and the obvious growth of her bust, which just about matched Akane's own size and Hinata's at that age.
"Thanks. After encountering you-know-who I needed that." Akane stated. "Any idea who you're going to be paired up with?"
Shiba looked over several of the boys in the area. "Well, that's not up to me." She started rubbing her knuckles together, a sign Akane recognized that meant she was either uncomfortable or embarrassed.
"Hey, if you're lucky, he'll be on your team." The redhead suggested/lightly teased, knowing it would spark something in her best friend.
It worked like a charm, since the Inuzuka girl's eyes gained a hopeful glimmer at the implied prospect. "Y... you think?" Akane nodded with a grin. "Hey, maybe that boy you know will be partnered with you too then."
Akane came to a stop slowly and groaned. "Noburo-kun isn't my boyfriend Shiba-chan, I've told you that at least four hundred times."
Shiba smiled in a way Akane didn't like. "Who said anything about a boyfriend? I just said 'that boy you knew' and mentioned no names." Akane stared at her in comprehension and then loudly moaned in defeat, making Shiba giggle.
This was an old joke between the two. Akane had always been shy around a boy named Noburo Sentaka ever since a certain event that happened when they were eight. And while she kept insisting she didn't like the blue-haired boy that way, everyone loved to joke about it. And none liked to joke about it more than Shiba and Hinata. Akane did call him a friend, even though she often blushed around him or got into playful arguments with him, but everyone just saw that as a sign of her interest in him. Shiba's crush on a classmate however was obvious, except maybe to the boy she liked since he never said anything to her about it.
A minute or two later Iruka and another chuunin came out and set up a folding table with several hitai-ates set on it. All the students got anxious and closer, except for Akane who just kept swinging but kept her senses alert. Shiba didn't understand but didn't stop her friend and approached the table, staying towards the back of the crowd. Iruka held up a form and smiled at the gathered preteens. "Alright everyone, the tests have been graded and those of you that graduated are about to be announced. Remember, those of you that didn't this time can still reattend and try for next year. It doesn't mean you're terrible, but rather just not ready to be put in dangerous situations yet. To everyone who did pass, you will have a heavy burden on your shoulders to fulfill for the good of Konoha and our country. Remember, being a ninja is not all fun and games; there are some ugly parts to the job too. If there weren't, I wouldn't have this scar would I?" He thumbed his facial marking, then noticing where Akane was. "Akane-san, don't you think you ought to be a little closer?"
"I'm fine where I am sensei." She told him.
Sayo scoffed and mumbled to herself. "Hmmph. Overrated baka probably failed anyway."
Akane glared. "I heard that, flat-chest!"
Iruka cleared his throat before a fight could begin. "Alright now, I'll read off the names of those that passed and hand them their hitai-ates." He listed off several names for a bit, then mentioned Akane's name with a smile. Next thing he knew, Akane rocketed herself off her swing and landed in front of everyone, holding her hand out for her headband. "You intended that all along didn't you?"
"Guilty." She answered coyly as she accepted her headband then walked away. She didn't put it on right away, unsure if she should wear it like Naruto or Hinata did. Both seemed like good ideas to her.
Iruka smiled and finished off the names. Out of all the class, only two didn't get mentioned and would have to be held back or take up civilian lifestyles. Luckily neither were ones Akane actually knew. The kids parents came to get them all and congratulate them. Akane walked away and was greeted by Hinata, holding her three year old son named Jiraiya, who looked a lot like Naruto but had Hinata's chin and hair color, but no byakugan.
"How'd it go Akane-chan?" Hinata asked, not seeing a hitai-ate being worn.
Akane pulled it out and smiled like a fox. "I believe you owe me all the ramen I can eat Okaa-san."
"When your father gets home. Woudn't want to exclude him now would we?" Hinata told her as she proudly took her daughter's hand and led her to their home. 'Glad things are going well for you Akane-chan, because I have a feeling things might get a little tougher later on.'
AN: To all my readers, since this story is going to be big on OCs, at the end of each chapter I'm going to be putting a little profile on each of them for your convenience, and someday a link to a picture of them on my profile. Starting next chapter though. For this one, I figured I'd tell you where most of the canon characters are standing at this point of time.
Naruto: Rokudaime Hokage, former jinchuuriki of the kyuubi, married to Hinata, father of two, one adopted one biological
Sakura: Third-in-command chuunin rank medic nin, generally stays in village but available for missions in dire circumstances, dating Lee
Kiba: Jounin rank tracker nin/village defense who does hunter nin as side job, relationship status unknown
Hinata: High chuunin rank second hand to hokage and stay-at-home mother of two, married to Naruto, currently in first trimester of second pregnancy
Shino: Jounin rank tracking nin/village defense who's considering becoming sensei to a genin squad, relationship status unknown
Ino: High chuunin rank apprentice to Anko in interrogation department and low-rank medic nin, generally stays in village but regularly mission-ready, relationship status unknown
Shikamaru: Jounin rank village defense strategist and trusted aide to hokage, married to Temari, childless for now
Chouji: High chuunin rank village defense/patrol, relationship status unknown
Neji: Jounin rank Anbu unit codenamed Falcon, married to Tenten, father to one son
Tenten: Jounin rank Anbu unit codenamed Panda, married to Neji, mother to one son
Lee: Chuunin rank taijutsu instructor/dojo operator, offers to teach various taijutsu styles outside academy norms, dating Sakura
Temari: Jounin rank village liaison to Suna, resides in Konoha now, married to Shikamaru, childless for now
Konohamaru: New jounin rank ninja, considering becoming sensei to a genin squad or Anbu unit, dating both Moegi and Hanabi (with their permission) to see which one he feels for
Moegi: New jounin rank ninja, considering becoming sensei to a genin squad or Anbu unit, dating Konohamaru
Udon: Chuunin rank academy instructor specializing in math and strategy, generally stays in village, dating a civilian girl
Hanabi: New jounin rank ninja, considering becoming sensei to a genin squad before becoming Hyuuga head, dating Konohamaru
Kakashi: Jounin rank Anbu officer codenamed Dog, taught one genin squad once and is thinking of teaching another, no relationships
Kurenai: Jounin rank genjutsu specialist, stay-at-home mother, taught one genin squad and is now part-time academy instructor on genjutsu and chakra control, mother to one son, no relationships
Gai: Jounin rank taijutsu specialist, taught one genin squad before and is currently teaching another one, no relationships
Tsunade: Top rank and sannin rank chief medic nin, Godaime Hokage, retired from shinobi work except medic help, no relationships
Shizune: Second-in-command and jounin rank medic nin, adviser and aide to Godaime Hokage both in office and retired, relationship status unknown
Anko: Tokubetsu jounin rank interrogator nin, apprentice to Ibiki, available for missions but prefers interrogation work within village, dating Iruka
Iruka: Chuunin rank academy instructor specializing in ninja tactics and history, generally stays in village, dating Anko