The New Naruto
"Naruto!" - Normal speaking
'What a dobe.' - Thinking
"Hello, I'm the Kyuubi." - Demon speaking
'Hmmm the kid has promise.' - Demon Thinking
Chapter 1 - Too Much Sake
"Sasuke, I'm at point B."
"Sakura, I'm at point C."
"Naruto, I'm at point A. Believe it!"
"Too slow Naruto. Okay, Squad Seven."
A black beast leapt from a tree into the bushes below, using the surrounding forest greenery as an effective shield.
"The target has moved! Follow it."
Three ninja can be seen from their hiding places. One with raven black hair, another with bubblegum pink, and the last with knucklehead blond.
"Over there." The blond whispered through his earpiece.
"What's your distance from the target?" Came the silver haired jōnin's voice.
"Five meters." Naruto replied, "I'm ready, just give the signal."
"I'm ready too." voiced the confident Sasuke.
"So am I." Sakura finished.
"Okay…now!" Kakashi ordered.
The three genin sprung from their hiding places at the beast.
"I got him, I got him!" Naruto shouted out as he wrestled with the… cat.
This only startled the poor creature as Naruto became its new scratching post with Sakura smiling all the while.
"Can you verify ribbon on right ear?" Kakashi's voice echoed from the three sets of headphones.
"Affirmative, we got a positive I.D." Sasuke replied, having almost nothing to do with the capture.
"Right. Lost pet Tora: Captured. Mission accomplished."
"Can't we get a better mission than this?! I hate cats!" Naruto yelled down the frequency, as his fellow ninja grabbed their heads in pain.
"Naruto! We can all hear you loud and clear, stop yelling!" Sakura's shrill voice now bellowed back down the earpieces.
"Hmph, pathetic." A now bored Sasuke sighed and began the short journey back into the village through the trees.
"Sasuke! Wait up." Sakura called out and hurried after him.
"Hey! A little help first Sakura?! Get off me cat!" Naruto shouted, having enough of the feline, grabbing it by the scruff of its neck as it finally calmed down.
Quickly rising to his feet to get a better grip on the animal, Naruto rose with the captured kitty in hands. With a flash, smoke erupted a few feet from Naruto. He almost dropped the cat…almost.
"It seems you have a way with pets, eh? Naruto?" Kakashi gloated as he emerged from the smoke with one of his famous eye smiles.
"Damn it Kakashi-sensei, why can't we have a better mission than this? A 'B' rank, or a 'C' rank at least."
"Now Naruto, there is no use complaining to me… again, we get our orders and missions from the Hokage and we must complete them for the good of the village."
The pair had now begun walking back toward the village.
"Yeah, but I'm way stronger now, I even caught this damn cat before Sasuke got near it." Naruto stroked the cat's fur lightly without loosening his grip on the animal.
"Speed doesn't determine the power of a ninja Naruto, you should know this by now. All aspects must be taken into account. Any chūnin could beat you without a second thought." Now that hurt Naruto's pride.
"Hmph, Mizuki sure had fun losing to me…" he whispered to himself.
Kakashi caught that but decided to say nothing as the two made their way to the Hokage's office in silence.
"Awww my poor little Tora! Mama was so worried about your naughty little fuzzy face." Team 7's captive was in the process of becoming a pancake against its owner's face.
"Haha! Stupid cat, that kitty deserves to be squashed." Naruto laughed as he watched the client suffocating it.
"No wonder he ran away." Sakura pitied the cat but her job was over anyway. Sit back and let Naruto and Sasuke handle it. That's easy street for her.
"Now then, for Squad 7's next mission we have several available tasks." The Third Hokage called to Squad 7 over the screams of the poor cat. "Among them: Babysitting the chief-counsellor's 3 year old, helping his wife to do the shopping, digging up potatoes at…"
"No!" Naruto interrupted, crossing his arms like an 'X' with a strange buzzing sound heard from somewhere, "I wanna go on a real mission! Something challenging and exciting. Not this little kid stuff. Come on old man!"
'He's got a point.' Sasuke considered as he agreed with the dead last for once.
'He's such a pain!' Sakura sighed internally.
'Oh, I knew this was coming.' Kakashi thought as Iruka suddenly took charge.
"How dare you! You're just a brand new genin with no experience. Like everyone else, you start with simple missions to develop your skills and prove yourself!"
"Are you serious?! Babysitting is not a mission it's just a stupid… gah!" As a punch to the back of his head shut him up, courtesy of Kakashi.
"Will you put a lid on it." his now bored voiced sensei spoke.
"Naruto," The Third began as Naruto sat up and rubbed the back of his head. "It seems you do not understand the tasks you have been given. Listen, many different kinds of requests come into our village every day. From babysitting to assassinations. These requests are carefully reported…"
"You always lecture me like you're my grandfather or something but I'm not the little brat that used to pull pranks all the time. I'm a ninja now and I want a ninja mission! Hmph" Naruto shouted and turned his back to the Hokage.
"Ah, I'm gonna hear about this later." Kakashi sighed again.
The Hokage chuckled, "Naruto wants us to know he's not a brat, he's a former brat, and he wants a mission. So be it."
"Huh?" Was all Naruto could say.
"Since you are so determined, I'm going to give you a 'C' ranked mission. You'll be bodyguards on a journey."
"Really? Yes! Who? Who? Are we guarding a princess? Or some big Councilor?"
"Don't be so impatient. I will bring him in now." The Hokage scolded, "Send in our visitor."
Squad 7 turned towards the door as it opened revealing a very drunk old man with a bottle of sake in his hand.
"What the? A bunch of little snot-nosed kids?" The old man took one final swig and hit the ground.
"Wah? What the hell, who's this old geezer?" Naruto shouted out, now poking the body.
"It seems our client has had a little too much to drink. Kakashi, if you would escort our client back to his hotel, Team 7 can begin in the morning." The Third sighed.
"Huh? No fair old man! You said we'd get a 'C' rank today!" Naruto, now furious he was denied his prize he fought for.
"You mission will still be here in the morning Naruto, You can't complete it without the client after all. I suggest you all go home and rest for tomorrow." With that, the Hokage rose from his seat and left the chūnin remaining to sort through the remaining missions.
The Third's head suddenly appeared back at the doorway.
"If you'd like Naruto, I could set up some 'D' ranks for you instead." He chuckled as he heard Naruto go off like a bomb, returning to his office for some… private reading.
"Geez Naruto, did you have to make such a fuss!" Sakura scolded him.
"It got us a better mission didn't it, or would you like to be carrying groceries for other people your whole life." Naruto snapped right back.
Naruto's face hit the floor again as Sakura stood proudly over him.
"You're such an idiot!" she shouted at him as ran back to Sasuke's side.
Kakashi had already gone ahead and taken the client, now identified as Tazuna, home. So it was just the genin and they each had their own plans.
"Leave me alone Sakura. I'm going to go train…" Sasuke grumbled and with Sakura right on his tail much to his dismay, he headed back to Squad Seven's training grounds.
"Ow, why does Sakura have to hit me all the time?" Naruto stood up and sighed, his voice enhancing mask now gone with no one around. "Why can't she just…" he trailed off, with a slight tear peeking from his eye.
All of a sudden, he became completely motionless. Nature chakra licked at his body but he was blissfully unaware. His body then set itself to automatic and began home with an expressionless look on his face.
"Huh? Where the hell am I… am I… am I." He shouted as his voice echoed in the dark sewer around him.
"Gah! What is this stuff?!" Lifting one foot out of the water and examining it closely. The slime then slowly dribbled off his sandal and back into the muck before Naruto decided he didn't want to know.
"Wise choice." A voice roared from somewhere in the sewer.
Naruto jumped at this and surprisingly didn't appear afraid.
Like a dog barking at the night, he shouted. "Who the hell is that?!"
"Come closer to discover more." The voice called out again with Naruto slowly taking steps down the corridor, towards what he guessed was the source of the voice.
"That's it, closer and closer…" he heard again.
Picking up the pace, Naruto headed into the unknown until he saw only darkness no more.
"So this is my vessel." The voice called out from behind giant metal bars held back by nothing but a slip of paper with the kanji for 'Seal' written on it.
"So, we finally meet face to face eh? Kyūbi." Naruto smiled a somewhat evil smirk.
This, of course, only made the fox prouder with giant, shining, scythe-like teeth arranged in a similar smirk.
"What big teeth you have, Kyūbi." Naruto grinned.
"All the better to devour your flesh with!" It roared back, its face now in the in light close to the bars, revealing the ragged orange fur tarnished in places with the same goop that appeared on the floor.
"Why did you bring me here?" Naruto asked, all evidence of grinning left his face, now donning a look more serious.
"What's with the business all of a sudden? I was having fun." Kyūbi smirked back with the same grin Naruto just lost.
"I know all about you now; you've killed thousands of people, millions maybe." Naruto began with the Kyūbi only nodding with a kind of 'More or less' look. "I also know that if I die, you die! What's to stop me finally ridding the world from your evil?!"
'Hmph, kid's smarter than I gave him credit for…' The fox thought.
"Well?! You're the reason I'm hated in this town, you're the only reason I'm still here, and you…you…" Seething with rage Naruto shouted as loud as he could, "You took away my family!"
Now with tears in his eyes, he looked at the fox again with all the hatred he had saved up over the years.
"No one will ever love me! You took away my chance at having a happy life!"
A metal bar suddenly appeared in Naruto's hands.
Tears now very much threatening to break loose shook violently as he swung the bar repeatedly at Kyūbi's cage, every time he landed a hit he repeated the same word louder each time.
Collapsing due to fatigue and emotion, Naruto sunk to his knees and dropped the bar, both hidden by the murky liquid below.
"Why did you have to come to Konoha…? Why did you have to take away all those lives?" he said, now deathly quiet in contrast to his previous outburst.
The old fox looked at Naruto and for the second time in its long lifespan, shed a tear. It didn't growl or hurl obscenities at the boy. It just lay there, head draped across its paws like a scolded dog, feeling sorry for the one person he should hate.
After a long, pregnant pause, "I didn't mean to…" the fox spoke.
Naruto raised his tear stained face to meet the Kyuubi's closed eyes.
"Life is a fragile thing is it not?" it spoke again.
Naruto only nodded his head slowly.
The great Kyūbi let out a long sigh before opening his eyes again.
"I have lived many of your human lifetimes… yet I still have not found a place to call home…" Kyūbi was getting more vocal now as Naruto patiently listened.
"There are no other Kyūbi… just me… alone for hundreds of years… I know the pain of loneliness better than even you kid. I am the only Kyūbi; there are no others. I do not know why I am here or what to do in life with no one else out there for me."
Naruto actually felt sorry for the Kyūbi. True had had only faced twelve and a half years of hate and suffering but the Kyūbi had endured hundreds.
"I thought you appear when people get too cocky and evil, isn't that what you do in life?" Naruto asked, as was the legend of the Kyūbi.
"No! … No my dear kid. This world is a delicate balance, I merely help it by reducing the amount of evil." Kyūbi sighed, remembering all the dictators and loyal subjects to them he had slaughtered.
"Really? No tricks?" Naruto asked, now very curious.
"Fox's honor." The Kyūbi chuckled as he sat up again.
"Unlike me kid, you can be seen as a force of good in the world. You can know love and honor yourself and become ninja you truly want to be."
Naruto scoffed, "Tsh, like that'll ever happen now. I have you to keep in line, how anyone could love me…"
"This world is full of surprises kid. Some are good, some are bad. You never know until you look for them though."
The fox then pressed its paw against the cage door and took a deep breath.
"What do you fight for kid?" It suddenly asked.
"Huh? Well I guess I fight to be acknowledged, so I can protect people like Iruka-sensei and Sakura."
'Good answer.' The fox thought and chuckled.
"Hmmm, very well, how about a deal then?" He grinned again.
A normal person would have already denied the fox and taken off running. "What kind of deal?" Naruto asked suspiciously.
"I want to see the world again. I want to see the sights you do." It began, "I will give you full access to the power I have here and teach you things jōnin could only dream of. In return, all I ask is a mental link between our minds. I do not want to be shut off from the world anymore."
Naruto seemed rather confused with this.
"So lemme get this straight, you're willing to give me lots of power in return for a window into my life?"
"That is all I ask… and that you change your clothes…" The Kyūbi smiled. Not the foxy grin similarly always plastered on Naruto's face, but a warm smile.
"Hey, it's not like I haven't tried! You asked for it though. You can see for yourself." Naruto replied to the fox, and pressed his own tiny hand against a bar on the cage, opposite of the Kyuubi's own.
A white light linked the center of Naruto's head and Kyuubi's head before engulfing the room.
Naruto left his mindscape only to not awaken, in his bedroom, asleep 'til the next day. The tale of Naruto has now begun.