Team seven had just about finished their report to the Hokage when Sasuke decided to ask about how Naruto became so much better than he was.
"Sasuke," Kakashi warned, "this isn't the time for that."
"It's ok, Kakashi," the Third replied, "I'll tell him. The reason Naruto is so much better than he was in the academy is because he finally has the full attention of someone willing to teach him. He has been part of team nine for the whole last year of the academy, and I suspect that he has finally stopped holding back."
"But how could the dobe get that good that fast?" Sasuke shot back.
"That is not my secret to tell. All I can say is that it has to do with how he grew up. If you want to know more, you will have to ask him, although you aren't likely to get anything out of him. As far as I know, he hasn't told anybody the full story, and while I am sure I know most of it, there are bits I don't know. Oh, speaking of which, Naruto, you can come out now."
All of team seven looked at the old Hokage as if he had finally lost his mind, since none of them, not even Kakashi, could detect him. It was much to their surprise, then, when he suddenly dropped off the ceiling, landing gracefully in a crouch on Sarutobi's desk, facing team seven.
The other genin were stunned into silence, and Kakashi managed to stammer out, "How?"
"Naruto has some of the best stealth skills in the village," Sarutobi continued, "You wouldn't think it based on his personality, but if he doesn't want to be found, even I can't find him. The only reason I even knew he was in here was because he decided to tell me he was here."
"No way is the dobe that good; it's probably just a trick."
"Sasuke," Naruto said, his tone showing that he was talking down on the Uchiha, "I've been avoiding, running, and hiding from ANBU patrols successfully for a couple years now. I painted ALL the damn HOKAGE FACES in BROAD DAYLIGHT, and NOBODY noticed until I was ALMOST DONE. I graduated by catching Mizuki-teme when he tried to steal the forbidden scroll, after he tricked me into stealing it from in here. I successfully broke into the Hokage's office, while Jiji was DOING HIS PAPERWORK IN THAT CHAIR, and stole the scroll, before leaving the tower. The ONLY reason Jiji realized it was gone was because I forgot to fix the hiding place properly when I left, and that was TWO HOURS after I left. I am also the only non-jounin ninja to not only know where ANBU headquarters is, but I have also been inside of it on multiple occasions, not all of which I was invited to. I know damn near every hidey-hole in this village, including most of the ones in the Uchiha sector. I know the location of the homes of the Hokage, the council members, most of the top jounin, even some of the ANBU. I even know what Kakashi-sensei's face looks like."
Sakura gasped, "Really?"
"Yup." To prove his point, he leaned over and put his finger on Kakashi's left cheek, about an inch under his covered left eye. "You've all seen the scar across his left eye, right? Well it ends right there."
Everyone in the room looked at the masked nin, who just nodded once Naruto removed his hand.
"Che, he probably just showed him," Sasuke shot back.
"Sasuke," the Third interrupted, "I don't even know what his face looks like. As far as I know, the only people who do are Kakashi and Naruto. I highly doubt that Kakashi just showed him."
"I didn't. The only people I have ever knowingly shown my face to are dead."
Silence reigned for a few moments, until Kakashi asked Naruto a question, "So, Naruto, how exactly do you hide your massive chakra signature?"
"Massive?" Sakura asked.
"Ah. Naruto has more chakra than you, me, Sasuke, and Hokage-sama combined. It's the main reason his control is so bad."
"WHY? Why does the dobe get so much power? I'm the one that needs it, not him! I have to kill him, he doesn't! I'm the one who should have that power!"
Before any of the others in the room could say anything, Naruto had grabbed Sasuke by the collar of his shirt, dragged him out of his chair, and slammed him into the wall so hard it cracked the plaster.
"Tell me," Naruto said quietly, "how much do you know about my life?"
Although he didn't really see the point in answering, Sasuke did anyway. "You're a stupid orphan. What else is there to know?"
Naruto just hung his head, let go of Sasuke, and walked back over to Sarutobi's desk.
"You all have scars, right? From either practice or battle, you all have scars, marks left from your injuries?"
As he looked at everyone in turn, they all nodded, even Sakura.
"So what, dobe, you don't. It's probably just a sign that you need to practice more."
"Sasuke, shut up. You do have a point though. I don't scar, at least not visibly. What I'm about to show you I haven't shown anyone before. It's the only genjutsu I know, and all it does is show what I would look like if I didn't heal so fast. You might want to look away, it's not pretty."
He gave everyone a moment to look away, although nobody did, and after removing his jacket, slowly went through a series of handsigns before murmuring out the name of his technique, closing his eyes in the process.
Starting from his feet, his skin started to change. Most of it was hidden by his pants and t-shirt, but from what they could see of his arms and face astounded them. From his elbows to his wrists was almost all scar tissue, as well as about half of the visible part of his upper arm. His face looked like it had been put in a meat grinder.
Naruto gave them a few minutes to get used to what they were seeing, and then slowly removed his t-shirt. The sight of his chest was so bad that Sakura had to turn away. Carved into his flesh were names. Dozens of names. There were so many that they could no longer be told apart from each other. They went across his chest and stomach, his shoulders, even his back was covered in names.
Sarutobi just hung his head, having seen Naruto when he had received those scars. Kakashi, who had been reading his porn while they were in the office, had closed his book and was staring at his lap.
"What happened? This was my seventh birthday present. A bunch of drunk villagers, along with a couple of drunk chunin, broke into my apartment on the middle of the night, tied me up, and beat the shit out of me. When they got bored from that, they started carving the names into me. They took their time, too. There are seven hundred and twenty three names carved into my skin, and I know all of them. I felt all of them. The names are people who died in the Kyuubi attack."
"Why?" Sakura choked out, tears streaming down her face, "Why did they do this to you?"
Naruto took a deep breath, and let it out slowly, before canceling the genjutsu. "Because they think I'm the Kyuubi," he replied, his voice so low that she could barely hear him. "The Fourth couldn't kill it, so he sealed it in me the day I was born." As he spoke, he molded some chakra, causing the seal to appear. "I carry the most powerful beast in existence, as well as the hatred of the entire village. If I were to die right now, the only people who would show up at my funeral would be Jiji, Ichiraku, Ayame, Iruka-sensei, Anko-sensei, and Ten-chan. Everyone else in this village would be having a party, celebrating the death of the 'demon child.' You made fun of me in the academy because I couldn't read or write very well. I had no one to teach me. I had to teach myself how to read, write, walk, talk, everything. Except for Iruka-sensei, every teacher I had in the academy purposefully tried to make me fail, on the days they didn't just kick me out of class outright.
You all had parents to hold you when you were sad, to give you parties on your birthdays, to love you, to care about you, to worry about you when you were gone, parents who would hug you when you got home, and yell at you for making them worry. I didn't. I've never had anyone. I have been alone my entire life."
Naruto lifted his head, showing them the tears that were running freely down his face, "Do you have any idea what it feels like, knowing that there is no one who cares about you? What it feels like knowing that if you die, people will be happy? Of course not, you're the last Uchiha. The only reason you're alone is because you choose to be alone. The entire village waits on you hand and foot and would give you just about anything if you asked them."
The silence that followed Naruto's rant was impressive. Naruto just stood there until he had at least a little control over his emotions, and then grabbed his coat as he made his way to the door.
"It's ok, Jiji. I'll be alright. I just … need a little time. You know where to find me," Naruto said in reply, as he walked through the door, closing it softly behind him.