Zaraki no Apprentice

Disclaimer: I own nothing. Except my OC and original zanpaku-to.

READ: For those of you who couldn't figure it out, this fanfic starts 8 years before the start of the canon, therefore making Itachi 10. Chiaki is currently 9, Ayame is 10. I don't know how old she really is, so I'm making her 10. Gai's students are currently 5, and the Rookie Nine are 4. Yachiru is 6.

Chapter 4

Growing Up Part I

After Yachiru and Naruto had gone to sleep, the older residents of the house had a discussion.

They decided (I'm too lazy to write out their discussion, sorry) that Chiaki would train Yachiru because she was old enough to begin physical training. Yumichika would continue teaching Naruto until he was 6. It was also decided that Ikkaku and Kenpachi would not train them because they were too violent.

Chiaki went to bed after the discussion, because she said she was going to need all the energy she could get to deal with Yachiru. Yumichika declared he needed his beauty sleep, and went to bed as well. Kenpachi left because 'dealing with Meitsukimaru was tiring.' It was a stupid excuse.

Ikkaku decided to help the poor sap who had fallen for the girl he considered his younger sister. She was vicious, and he wouldn't stand a chance unless he, at the very least, obtained a shikai. Even then she'd give him He**.

He snickered. This would be fun.

**************************************************the next day************************************************

Ikkaku woke up after yet another appearance from the Leaf's Male Siren. He left and headed for the Uchiha compound.

************************************************5 minutes later***********************************************

At the gates Ikkaku was intercepted by Clansmen on guard duty.

"What business do you have with the Uchiha?" questioned a guard suspiciously.

"I wanted to talk to Itachi."

"What business do you have with him?"

"My business with him is none of yours."

The guards stepped forward as if to attack.


Ikkaku looked past the guards to the middle aged man walking towards the compound gates. When the man reached them, he spoke quickly and quietly to the guards.

He looked at Ikkaku. "If you train a Uchiha in the use of zanpaku-to, then you will be allowed on Uchiha grounds at any time. Do we have a deal?"

"Sure. I was planning on doing that anyway."

He nodded. Then he whirled around and left. The guards moved to the side with twin scowls.

"Go to the training grounds. It shouldn't be too hard to find."

Ikkaku nodded and walked past him, finding the training ground easily.

Itachi sensed someone walking into the training grounds, so he only did what was natural. He attacked the intruder, only to find it was the bald guy who fought Chouza the other day. He backed away.


"It's fine. You were training. I would have done the same thing," replied Ikkaku.

"Why are you here?"

"Well. You're about as nice as the guards. You'll never have a chance with Chiaki if you keep acting like that."

"What are you talking about?" Itachi asked, Sharingan spinning.

"Come on. Stop faking. You've fallen for Chiaki. Hard."

Itachi turned away. "So?"

"I'd like to help you out, because, as it stands, you don't have a chance."

"How would you know?"

"I know Chiaki."


Then, turning back to Ikkaku, "How could you help me?"



"It's what we call kenjutsu, because we use zanpaku-to instead of swords."

"How will that help me with Chiaki?"

"It'll prove you don't rely on your Kekkai Genkai. You can't copy it, because all zanpaku-to are different."


"But even then, you'll need at least shikai. Bankai is always better, but hey, some zanpaku-to don't even have a bankai.

"So, anyway, how 'bout it? Wanna learn?"

Itachi nodded.

Ikkaku grinned.

And with that, Ikkaku began giving zanjutsu lessons to Itachi, the Uchiha Prodigy.

Itachi came over often for training. His younger brother, Sasuke usually came with him. He and Naruto quickly became friends.

Chiaki had somehow managed to avoid Itachi whenever he came over and train the overly energetic Yachiru at the same time. Yachiru had ended being held back a year in the academy because was too energetic to pay attention and learn anything.

Neji thought she was annoying. Ten-Ten thought she was strange, but fun. Lee thought she was extremely enthusiastic.

Sasuke starting training with Naruto when they entered the academy when they were six. Their classmates (the Rookie Nine and Team Gai) absorbed their converted chakra (I will refer to this as soul chakra). The soul chakra enabled them to summon zanpaku-to without the normal training (not that they know that). As it turned out, Hinata already had soul chakra. Anywho…

It was around this time Fugaku began to notice how much time Itachi was spending away from the compound when not on missions. When asked, Itachi told him he went to Chiaki's house to train with Ikkaku or he went to drop off Sasuke for his training there. He only referred to the Zaraki household as Chiaki's house. That could only mean one thing.

"Itachi. I've noticed you've been spending a lot of time at the Zaraki's. Why?"


"And you can't train here?"

"I train with my zanpaku-to while I'm there. It is not so easily practiced here."

Fugaku nodded in agreement. "The few times you've trained here, we've needed to replace the training ground you used. And this only happens after you spend time at the Zaraki's."


"There must be something that happens to make you so angry. What is it?"

"I feel it would not be in anyone's best interest for me to answer that," Itachi replied, shifting uncomfortably.

"Answer the question."

His eyes flickered toward his father for a moment. "Chiaki avoids me, tells me off, or turns me down."

"So all the ruined training grounds are because of a single girl, who isn't even a Uchiha?" Fugaku kept a neutral expression.


"Why do you even bother? There are plenty of others who would love to go out with you. In fact, you could get any single woman in the Clan to be your wife."

"Chiaki is nothing like them."

"How so? No, wait, I don't care. You will not marry outside the Clan. It would taint the Uchiha blood."

Itachi turned a glare on his father. "You have no say in this. It is none of your business."

At this point, the current subject of the conversation showed up.


Fugaku and Itachi turned to her where she stood on the roof of a nearby building.

"Hokage-sama wants to see us."


Chiaki shrugged before leaving in the direction of Hokage Tower.

As it turned out, the Hokage wanted them to hunt down a group of former ANBU who had recently left the Village. They were to leave immediately. And so they did, returning several days later with the traitors' heads.

Fugaku was furious when Itachi returned to the compound.

"Where have you been?"


"What mission?"

"Hunting ex-ANBU. Chiaki helped."


"The Hokage gave us the mission. That's why he wanted to see us."

Fugaku narrowed his eyes. He was obviously not happy.

That afternoon, Fugaku started obsessing over the issue of Itachi being in love with someone outside the Clan. He skipped dinner, just to keep obsessing over it. He obsessed about it well into the night. Sometime around midnight, he snapped.

He ran around the compound killing everyone he saw. He laughed maniacally all the while.

After some time, everyone was dead. That is, everyone except his family. So, (still) laughing maniacally, he went home to kill them.

He found one of them in the living room. He attacked Mikoto, who happened to be the one present. She screamed and twisted just enough that she was struck with the flat of the sword he was holding instead of the edge. She fell to the ground, unconscious. Sasuke and Itachi came running.

When they got there, a few things happened. Sasuke saw the crazed look on Fugaku's face and became rooted to the spot, unable to move. Itachi took up a position in front of him. He closed his eyes to collect himself and activate his Sharingan. However, when he opened his eyes, he found himself standing on a huge tree branch. Everything was cloaked in darkness.

"So, you've finally decided to listen to me, have you?" inquired a deep voice that seemed to come from everywhere.

"Who's there?" In response, a giant bat alighted on the branch above him, hanging so he was face to face with Itachi.

"Who are you?" he questioned in a whisper.

"My name is -," the bat somehow looked at him expectantly.

Itachi showed no reaction.

The bat sighed. "I was hoping you'd finally be able to hear my name. I guess that was too much to ask for."

"What? Your name?" Itachi seemed quite confused. Then recognition flashed over his features. "You're my zanpaku-to!"

He nodded.

"I will try once more. My name is -," Itachi furrowed his brow in concentration, but failed to hear anything.

"It looks like we'll have to do this the hard way," the bat flew away, his voice echoing back to Itachi, "You have until dawn to find your power."

"What does that mean?" Itachi muttered. Then he decided to go over what Ikkaku said to him during his training.

His eyes widened as he remembered what Yumichika told him after he had obtained his zanpaku-to. 'That's it!'

Itachi closed his eyes in concentration. When he opened them again, there were ribbons surrounding him, most white (think of Zangetsu's test for Ichigo). He scanned them thoroughly and reached out, his hand closing over a ribbon crimson red in color.

He followed the ribbon's path at a sprint, racing the descending moon. Just as it seemed he would fail, the ribbon led him to a hollow in a tree. He reached in, grasping what felt like a sword's hilt. He pulled it out.

Itachi couldn't say he expected it not to have a blade. Yes, you heard right. It was a hilt with black wrappings. There was no cross guard. There was no blade. Just a simple, black wrapped hilt. He blinked in confusion.

Then, without warning, the giant bat from before appeared.

"Congratulations. You have succeeded. Now go. Protect you family. I will help. I am…"

****************************************************real world*************************************************

Itachi opened his eyes. "Darken, Kagekuro!"

The blade turned pitch black as the cross guard disappeared. Itachi swung it at his father, the blade extending like a whip and wrapping around Fugaku, rendering him motionless. A cloud of leaves drifted through the open window. They paused in midair before rushing forward, heading straight for Fugaku.

It became apparent they were not normal leaves when they speared straight through his heart, killing him. The leaves, now coated with blood, formed themselves into a vaguely human shape. The top layer pealed off to reveal Chiaki with her zanpaku-to in hand.

She turned to Itachi while sheathing her zanpaku-to. "Congrats on earning shikai. And you might want to get your mom to the hospital." She glanced behind him. "And it would appear your brother's in shock. I'll report to the Hokage."

Itachi nodded and picked Mikoto up. He left with Sasuke trailing behind him, still too dazed to think straight.

Chiaki followed them out, then took to the roofs, heading for Hokage Tower.

Author's Note: Please read the notes at the top. As of the end of this chapter, 2 years have passed since Kenpachi and co. found Naruto. Let's see… A special thanks goes out to cmcwiki for his ongoing help. Please check out my other stories and tell me what you think. Review! If you don't review, then I have no incentive to continue. And now…

Hints of the Chapter:

1)there is a reason I told you Hinata already had soul chakra

2)Lee's inability to use chakra will make a difference