Summary : Naru Uzumaki has always been seen as the dead-last of the academy; always causing trouble, and hardly ever in class. But she turns out to be the last heir to The Blessed Eye, a powerful dojutsu, and another unexpected bloodline comes into light. This is her story on how she rises to legend, to become The Blessed Kitsune, and how her team-mates rose to become their own legends.

Right, I know I haven't published any chapters for this story in a while, but it's because I've had serious writer's block...the ideas have been there, I just haven't been able to write, but now, I've decided to re-write the whole thing because it looked like it needed it, so I'll detail it more, and I hope you'll all enjoy it much more.

Another thing, I've sadly had to choose not to go to college this year due to lack of money to get me there, which means I can actually write my story whenever I want now!

Phoenix Flame x.

Disclaimer : Do Not Own Naruto.

XXXXXXXXXXXXX

Konoha was known as a beautiful and powerful place. It's villagers bustled around for their morning business; some were talking to their friends and neighbours; some were on their way to work; some were shopping; and there was also the few dozen Konoha ninjas scattered around, looking at the market stalls.

Birds tweeted happily, the talking of people filled the previously quiet streets, and many were staring up at the Hokage Monument, which had been doodled and drawn on with paint, the faces of the previous and current Hokages looked childish. Many were gasping in outrage at such an act.

" NARU UZUMAKI! "

A young blonde twelve year old girl by the name of Naru Uzumaki was running from the Jounin of Konoha, again. Blonde pig-tails flying out behind her, sapphire blue eyes sparkling with a bright light of mischief that sent many running in the other direction, and a large smile curving her lips upwards causing the three black whisker marks adorning each cheek to curve aswell, meant that she was, or had, caused trouble. At the moment, she had just caused big trouble, and was playing a game that she liked to call ' Escape from the Ninjas. '

" You can't catch me! Nya! " Naru giggled mischievously, and made a sharp turn down an alley. " Woh! " She quickly did a double back to avoid the Shinobi who had dropped from above, " not today! " She somehow managed to out smart him and disappeared from his view.

It wasn't as if she were hard too spot, not with her bright hair, and the eyesore of a bright orange jumpsuit she wore; she was just near enough impossible to catch. One had to think like her if they ever hoped to catch her, and since none thought like her...it made for rather embarrassing stories to tell to friends at the local pub.

The pursuing Shinobi and Kounoichi cursed. This happened every single week; Naru would cause trouble, and any ninja in the vicinity would have to chase after the little prankster, and embarrassingly, neither the Chunin, Jounin or ANBU could ever possibly catch the girl: she was far too sneaky. What was more embarrassing was that the only one to ever manage to catch the dead last of the academy, was the low rank Chunin, Iruka Umino, who happened to be the girl's academy sensei.

Of course, Hiruzen Sarutobi, Third Hokage, could easily catch her, but he was currently in his office nursing a headache caused by Naru's mischief. Why couldn't the girl be in class like any other normal child who wanted to be a ninja? Oh yes, because Naru was certainly not a normal child...not with the unholy mischief she got up to daily.

XXXXXXXXXXXX

" Kuso! " A Jounin cursed, coming to a stop on top of a local apartment building, and he scanned the area, hoping to catch sight of golden blonde hair, or that horrible orange jumpsuit, but no such luck.

Someone landed next to him, an ANBU crouched down, eyes raking over some of the market below. " She know's the place well, " a female commented, sounding coolly amused with the whole situation.

" You don't have to sound like you're enjoying this, Dragon, " the Jounin snapped in irritation.

A low, feminine laugh escaped from beneath the Dragon painted mask. " Why not? She's just a child having fun, " she said, shifting until she was now seated with her legs dangling off the edge of the building, " and I, for one, think it is highly amusing that not one of our best can catch her. She'll be a brilliant ninja, don't you think? "

The Jounin snorted. " That girl is hardly ever in class, which is where we prepare to become ninja, Dragon, she can not possibly be learning anything while she is running rampant around the village. "

" You don't believe that we become ninja because of the academy, do you? " Dragon questioned, tilting her head to the side. " Sure, we learn all the basic skills needed, and all of the written things, but we learn how to be real ninja out there. " She nodded her head in the direction of the Konoha gates, " that girl can easily escape Chunin, Jounin, and ANBU, I think she has great potiental. "

The Jounin stared at the female ANBU. " You're fond of her? " he said, raising an eyebrow. " Of all the academy students to be fond of..."

" Is there something wrong with her? " Dragon's tone had dropped to ice cold. " You are surely not holding a grudge against her for that are you? "

The Jounin sighed. " Hai, " he answered truthfully.

" To answer your question, though I do not think you deserve it, " Dragon began, making the man flinch. " I am not fond of her, I am simply one of the few who do not blame her for something that is not her fault. "

The Jounin sighed, but caught sight of a flash of orange. " I have to go, " he said, and jumped off the building roof.

Dragon sighed. " I am also watching her as a favour to old friends, " she said quietly to herself, before she straightened up, formed a hand sign, and disappeared in a swirl of leaves.

XXXXXXXXXXXX

" NARU UZUMAKI! STOP RIGHT THERE! " A Chunin yelled out from behind Naru, who glanced behind her and saw two of them.

" As if you telling me to stop will actually do anything, " she scoffed, and made a sharp turn down a street that had light coloured fences running down it. She eyed them for a moment, before she smirked and looked behind her. They would so fall for it.

The two Chunins came running down the street, but when they saw no sign of the mischievous academy student, they traded annoyed looks and jumped away.

A moment later, a part of the fence shimmered and a sheet matching the fence dropped to the floor, revealing a giggling Naru. " They so fell for it! " She said in amusement, " I so got away this time. " She was feeling incredibly proud of herself for out running all of the best ninja, maybe she should treat herself to ramen?

" Oh, really, Naru? " A dark voice questioned from behind her, and as it reached her eyes, it seemed to bring an angry darkness with it.

Naru froze. " I-iruka-sensei? " She stammered and slowly turned around, already feeling defeat. No matter how many Chunin, Jounin and ANBU she out ran, she had never been able to out run her academy teacher, ever.

The normally kind-faced and soft spoken academy teacher was looming in front of her, his over-shadowered eyes glaring angrily at her, the scar running across his nose made his looks more scary. He pulled something out from behind his back and she winced.

Defeat was really unfair.

XXXXXXXXXXX

It was five minutes later that found Naru sat on the floor at the front of her class, ropes tightly bound around her upper body so her arms were kept at her side. She had her legs crossed and an almost stubborn, rebelious look on her face.

Iruka-sensei nursed the headache forming as he stared down at his favourite pupil, the one who had caused so much trouble just this morning. " Naru, why did you..? " He asked quietly, trying to make himself heard to his student over the rest of his loud students, who were laughing at the girl, while trying not to embarrass the girl by shouting it out.

Naru shot her class mates a vicious and furious look, which made them quieten down, and she turned her attention to the wall. " Because it was fun, " she said casually.

A vein throbbed on Iruka's face. " You think disfiguring the Hokage Monument is fun? " He said in a deadly quiet voice, and Naru turned to him, sensing the on coming scolding. " How is that funny, Naru? Those are the faces of our Hokages! Very well respected! And you've done that! "

" It's paint! It will come off! " Naru snapped back, struggling with her bonds a bit. " And it is not disfiguring, it is art! "

Iruka's eyebrow twitched at the defensive tone in her voice. She was defending those silly doodles?

" That is not art Naru, and it doesn't matter if it is paint, " Iruka said, " what matter's is that you've done it. " He was very disappointed in her, and she knew it, because she frowned.

" I'll become Hokage one day, and I'll let any pranks happen! "

Loud, mocking laughter came from the whole class.

" You become Hokage? Get real, Naru, you're the dead last. "

" You can't even graduate! "

Those words hit Naru, and she struggled more against the ropes, wanting nothing more than to beat everyone up.

Iruka sighed. " For Naru's trouble, we'll be practising the Henge No Jutsu, " he said calmly.

As expected, protests arose from the whole class.

" Nani? We didn't do anything? "

" Why are you punishing us? "

" Way to go Naru-baka! "

Naru rolled her eyes.

" You'll be first, Naru, " Iruka said, going to untie his student, but he got a shock when Naru stood up, and the ropes pooled at her feet. " What the? How did you do that? " He was sure he had tied an unreachable and untieable knot, at least very untieable to her.

Naru grinned, shrugged, and walked over to her gathered class mates.

When it came to her turn, Iruka stood behind his desk, staring severly at her, and as she formed the correct hand seal, a sudden thought struck her. It couldn't hurt, could it?

" Henge No Jutsu! "

Naru was obscured in a cloud of smoke, and for a moment, Iruka felt a thrill of pride, but it vanished as did the smoke. Standing in her place was now a gorgeous young woman, same golden pigtails, same sapphire eyes, same whisker marks, and same tanned skin, but this woman...she was completely naked with a huge bust. Usually, she would use this form, with clothes on of course, to buy things from the store, but there was no harm in using it for a little mischief, was there?

Iruka's eyes widened in shock, and blood spurted from his nose sending him flying backwards.

" NARU UZUAMKI! "

So worth it.

It was later that day that found Naru furiously scrubbing at the Hokage faces, suspended by a piece of wood on rope, while Iruka sat atop of the Third Hokage's head, watching his student in silence.

Iruka checked his watch. 3:45pm. " Naru, if you don't hurry up, you won't be able to get home quickly, " he said. The girl was purposely cleaning the faces slowly, he could tell.

" What's the point, anyway? There's no one waiting for me at home, " she said bitterly, and scrubbed at the same part of the face she had been scrubbing for the past ten minutes, and, although Iruka admired her harsh way of cleaning, that spot was now shining, and she was just wasting time.

Iruka's eyes softened sadly, and he gazed at his student with empathy. He knew what it was like to have no one to go home to, but he didn't know what it was like to have Naru's life, with no parents from birth, and with no friends. " How about, if you hurry up here, I'll take you out for ramen? "

That got the desired result.

Naru's eyes brightened and she quickly began to clean furiously, this time, away from the spot she'd been at for ten minutes.

Turns out, Naru was a pretty fast cleaner when motivated, thought Iruka, as they walked away from the Hokage Monument twenty minutes later. The girl would probably fight a whole war if ramen was offered.

The thought of Naru, his little student, his little sister, in a war, twisted Iruka's stomach into an untieable knot. She was far too young, far too innocent, he thought, as he watched the small prankster bounce ahead, a spring in her step at the thought of ramen. It was a good thing that there was no upcoming wars, no potiental war to damage that innocence.

" Iruka-sensei, hurryyyyy up! " Naru called from in front of him. She was stood just outside of the ramen stand, her youthful face lit up happily like a beacon, and he quickened his step to get to her side. " About time. " She pulled her sensei into the ramen stand.

The Ramen stand owner, Teuchi, greeted his most favourite customer with a large and warm smile that made the wrinkles on his face even more visible. His warm brown eyes flickered up to the empty space on Naru's forehead, and over to Iruka, who sighed quietly and shook his head. The old man sighed, " hey Naru-chan, is sensei paying for your appetite tonight? " It was well known that Iruka would regularly come here with Naru, and always leave with an empty wallet.

Naru beamed and nodded as she dropped onto the stool at the counter, Iruka sitting down next to her in a more refined way. " I'll have two bowls of Chicken Ramen to start off with! " She demanded, and Teuchi shot a look at Iruka, who'd winced at the ' to start off with ' part, before he grinned and nodded.

" You, sensei? " Teuchi asked kindly.

" A bowl of Miso Ramen, please, " Iruka said softly.

Teuchi nodded and got to work on cooking for his favourite customer and her sensei.

While they waited, Iruka turned to Naru, who was now swinging her legs like a small child, causing him to chuckle.

" Iruka-sensei? " Naru sounded so serious, and so unlike herself, that he immediately felt concern.

" Is there something wrong, Naru-chan? " Iruka said, worry colouring his tone.

Naru bit her lip. " What's it like to wear that? " she said, gesturing to Iruka's forehead, her tone indication that she meant something more.

This was a side of Naru that was rarely seen, but Iruka had been lucky enough to experience it. His student wasn't as dumb and as oblivious as she made out to be; when she did things and said things or asked things, there was usually another deeper meaning behind it.

" Well, " Iruka said, picking up on Naru's question, and he knew what it really meant: what was it like to be a Konoha ninja? " It's a great honour - I can't really explain it, Naru-chan, when you put on the hi-tate, it's a very strange feeling: like you've achieved something very great. "

Naru looked extremely thoughtful as she nodded and looked away, her eyes going distant, which meant that she was lost in thought.

It was not the first time that Iruka wished he could hear what was going on in her head. " Oh, look, the ramen's here, " he said, and successfully got his student's attention as she grinned and her eyes lit up.

It was the start of another night of emptying Iruka's wallet.

Twenty bowls to two in Naru's favour later, the two of them began the trek home.

" I'll see you tomorrow, Iruka-sensei, " she said with a soft sigh.

XXXXXXXXXXXX

" Sakura Haruno? "

Naru watched as the pink-haired girl happily bounced down the steps in the classroom, shooting Sasuke Uchiha a look, her eyeslashes batting in what she probably thought was a sweet way, but it just made her look very strange, and desparate. She sighed and lounged back in the seat, stretching her legs out onto the desk.

" You shouldn't look so relaxed, dobe, " Kiba Inuzuka said from in front of her, his puppy, Akamaru, resting comfortabley on his head. " You'll fail anyway. "

She allowed the smile to remain on her face. " Still touchy about me dying your clothes pink? " She questioned, " I don't know why, the dye washed out after two weeks. " Although, Kiba had no choice but to wear pink clothes for two weeks; it was nice not to be laughed at and humiliated for once.

Kiba scowled and stormed away.

It was then she allowed her smile to fall a bit; she and Kiba, along with Shikamaru Nara and Chouji Amikichi had once been good friends, but as they grew older, and she revealed her true, mischievous colours which did not let her stay in class for long, while they were willing to stay and work, they'd slowly drifted a part. She sighed.

Sakura came running back in, her emerald green eyes glowing, and a Hi-tate was tied around her big forehead. " I did it! " she squealed happily, poking her tongue out at her ex bestfriend, Ino Yamanaka, before she turned to her crush. " Sasuke-kun, I did it! See? "

Sasuke pointedly ignored her and continued to glare darkly at the wall as if it had just called him a bad name - Naru should know, she'd received plenty of those looks from him.

" Sasuke Uchiha. "

The Uchiha suddenly stood up, attracting all attention, and he walked down the stairs and out of the classroom, his hands still in his pocket.

What a drama queen, thought Naru boredly, turning her attention to the ceiling. Oh look, there was a crack.

One by one, the class were called; some passed, while others didn't.

Eventually, only one person was left.

" Naru Uzumaki. "

Whispers began.

Naru placed her feet on the floor, stood up and walked down the steps, whispers following her as she went.

" She won't pass - she never does. "

" I don't know why she still tries, it's obvious what's going to happen. "

The blonde resisted the urge to turn around and yell at them all, but she supressed the feeling and left the classroom, only to walk into another one at the end of the hall.

Iruka-sensei and Mizuki-sensei were seated at a desk inside an empty room, the former's face was completely serious, while the latter's was care free and relaxed.

" Naru, " Iruka said warmly, sending the girl a smile as she came and stood two feet in front of the desk, " third time's a charm. "

Naru grinned brightly, although her insides were jumbled and twisted like tiny little knots, " hai! " She said happily.

" Right, can you please perform the Bunshin No Jutsu? "

Possibly her worst jutsu ever.

Naru took a deep breath and formed the correct hand seals. As she did so, no-one saw Mizuki discreetly place his hands under the desk and form hand seals, nor did they see the evil glint in his eyes. " Bunshin No Jutsu! " She called out, and a poof of smoke erupted next to her. She turned towards it, her heart swelling with hope, but it popped like a balloon when she saw her clone.

It was lying on the floor, it's skin so white it looked like snow. All in all, it appeared half dead.

" Naru..." Iruka said with a sad sigh, and she turned towards him, her gaze pleading, but he shook his head. " Not this time, Naru, gomen. "

Naru brushed it off and smiled widely, despite her heart thudding and her stomach coiling, " it's fine, I'll try again next time, " she said, before she quickly exited the room.

She would not cry.

Iruka watched his favourite student leave, and he wanted to go and comfort her, but he would not be a good sensei to show favouritism.

" Don't worry, Iruka, she'll do better next time, " Mizuki said with a reassuring smile, and Iruka smiled and nodded at him, before standing up and walking out of the room. His reassuring smile turned cold and evil. " There won't be a next time. Sorry, Iruka. "

XXXXXXXXXXXX

It wasn't so depressing, or sad, thought Naru as she sat on the swing, watching as her old academy class mates were congradulated by their parents. She quickly blinked away the tears that were caused be two things; sadness at not passing for the third time, and sadness because she had no parents or family. Normally, the having no family bit didn't bother her anymore since she'd learned to get over it, but sometimes, when things like this happened, she felt a pang of loss for a family she never knew.

A slight noise to her left caught her attention and she saw Mizuki standing there, a seemingly soft smile on his face, but if she had looked harder, glanced at his eyes, she would't have trusted him at all. " Sorry about you not passing, Naru-chan, " he said, his voice lingering a bit, indicating that he had more to say.

Naru shook her head. " It's fine - I'll pass next time, " she said with a wide, fake smile.

" Well, there is one way you can pass now, Naru-chan, " Mizuki said off-handedly, looking to his side in an apparent casual way.

Interest and curiousity peeked, she looked up at him with wide and hopeful eyes. " Really? "

" Hai, but it's sort of a secret test - one that the academy has for situations like this, " Mizuki said smoothly, " if you pass this, you'll surely be on a gennin team tomorrow morning. "

" Really? You're not lying? " Naru was so happy and excited that she missed the evil in Mizuki's smile, " what do I have to do? "

Mizuki's eyes were positively evil. " Well... "

XXXXXXXXXXX

Later that night, Naru waited until Old Man Hokage was about to leave the office, which was when she burst in, suprising the old man.

" Naru? What in the worl- " Sarutobi was cut off by Naru smiling apologetically and placing her hands together in a very familiar seal.

" Oiroke No Jutsu! "

In a poof of smoke, twelve year old Naru was gone, and replaced by a young woman holding remarkabley similar features to Naru, including the three whisker marks on each cheek.

It took Sarutobi only a second to realise that she was naked, and another second for him to fall unconscious, blood trickling from his nose.

" Pervert, " she muttered as she changed back into her twelve year old self, and quickly jumped over the old man with a bounce and a bright smile. Now, if Mizuki-sensei's directions were correct, the scroll was...there! Hidden behind a thick wooden door that was stuffed into the corner of the office, seemingly not important, and not where anyone would think to look for something so important.

Quietly, she pulled the door open, hoping no alarm went off, and to her luck, it didn't - this test was becoming a bit easier than she expected. Now all she had to do was get the scroll and take it to Mizuk-sensei. Walking into the small room, she hesitated in taking the Scroll - which was stood on a statue base -, her fingers brushing against it. A bad feeling was in her stomach, and something in her head was shouting at her, telling her something was wrong, but she ignored it all and picked up the scroll.

Now, how to get it out of the Hokage building without being seen?

XXXXXXXXXXXX

Minutes later found Naru running through the woods, towards the place Mizuki-sensei had told her about. It didn't take her long to find it, and upon not seeing the academy sensei there, she decided that it couldn't hurt to sit down and have a little peek at the Scroll now could it?

Opening the scroll and laying it down flat across the forest floor, she was awarded with the sight of the names of Jutsus in Kanji, and the description of them jotted underneath. She looked through, trying to find one that caught her attention the most, and she found one.

Kage Bunshin No Jutsu.

That perked her interested quickly and she got to reading it, her eyes lighting up as she did. Time must have passed far too quickly because the next thing she knew, Iruka-sensei had arrived in the clearing, his face set in a mask of fury. " I-iruka-sensei? " She said unsurely, not releasing her hold on the giant scroll, which was now rolled up securely.

Iruka glared at her angrily. " Naru! " He snapped, " what in the world were you thinking? "

" What do you mean? " Naru said in confusion, furrowing her brows as she stood up. " I was waiting for Mizuki-sensei. "

" Mizuki...? " Iruka repreated his friend's name in bewilderment, " why in Kami's name would you be waiting in the forest with the Scroll, for Mizuki? "

" Because he told me too, " Naru said, a sense of dread dawning on her, and the pit in her stomach grew.

Iruka frowned and looked at his student's face. He searched it for any traces of mischief - there was no unholy light in her eyes that suggested she were pulling a prank or a trick, which could only mean one thing... " Mizuki told you to take the scroll? " He said faintly, feeling his heart pang from the betrayal of his friend.

" Hai... " Naru trailed off, seeing the anger in Iruka-sensei's normally gentle eyes, but this time, it was not directed at her. " Mizuki said that it was another exam - that if I took the scroll and gave it to him, I would become a Genin - why didn't you tell me about this test? "

" Because there is no test, Naru-chan, " Iruka said tiredly, rubbing his forehead to prevent the growing headache. Of all the things to be able to trick Naru with...but it would have been easy to trick her with this; tempt her dream of becoming a gennin. Nothing other than that could have tricked her - she didn't fall for silly excuses.

" But Mizuki... " Naru's eyes widened as she realised what had happened. " He tricked me? This isn't a real test? Why would he do that? "

" That doesn't matter, Naru-chan, " Iruka said, shaking his head to rid himself of the thousands of thoughts running through his mind. " Listen to me; you have to get back to Hokage-sama, and tell him what you've just told me, and that Mizuki is no longer to be trusted. Do you understand? "

Biting her lip, Naru nodded, a spark of fear entering her eyes. " Sensei - " She began, pure apology in her voice.

Iruka cut her off with a kind smile. " I know - now go! "

Naru nodded and ran into the forest.

The academy teacher looked around for any sign of his former friend, when his eyes were drawn to where Naru had just exited from - she was coming back, her eyes determined. " Naru! I told you too lea- "

" Too late, " a dark voice cackled from above, and Mizuki dropped from the canopy above, his walk towards them was confident and self-assured.

" Mizuki! " Iruka spat, pushing Naru behind him, and she willingly went, her blue eyes wide. " You dare betray Konoha? " He was furious beyond belief - furious that his old friend - a fellow ninja! - could do something like this.

Mizuki chuckled loudly, the sound cold, dark and bone-chilling. " Hand over the scroll, girl, and I won't kill you, " he said coolly, eyes fixed on the girl that hid behind Iruka.

Iruka hid the triumphant smile that was threatening to cross his lips. The trick had worked. If Mizuki was a true academy teacher, then he would know his students by now, and he would know that this girl he was hiding behind him was not Naru - it was a clone. The real Naru would not have allowed him to push her behind him, no, she would have protested loudly and fought to stay in front so she could yell at Mizuki. He hoped the real Naru was close to the village by now.

" She has nothing to do with this, Mizuki, " Iruka said, making an act of shifting so that he was fully covering the Naru clone. " Why would you betray Konoha? "

Mizuki's face twisted into an unnaturally dark look. " Konoha! Be loyal to the Hokage, be loyal to each other, " he spat, " I hate the word loyal! It's all this village is about! It makes a person weak! "

Iruka had to admit to himself that he was in shock at what had become of his former good friend.

" Only when you fight for yourself can you become strong - to defeat all those that stand in your way, like my master. " Mizuki said, an expression similar to pure devotion on his face.

" You're wrong, " Iruka snapped angrily, " loyalty is what has made this village strong. "

" Loyalty? " Mizuki let out a loud, barking laugh. Once he calmed down, he chuckled a bit. " Loyalty is not something every generation is blessed with, is it? Don't tell me you've already forgotten Itachi Uchiha? Where was his loyalty that night? Where was it as he slaughtered his family? "

" Do not judge a whole village by one person's actions, " Iruka said. " None of this matters - what matters is that you are not getting your hands on that scroll, Mizuki. " He then grabbed Naru and shot off into the trees with her.

Mizuki smirked and gave chase.

XXXXXXXXXXXX

Naru looked around in a panic, her eyes darting around at the trees as she ran through them. What could she do? She so wanted to go back there and help Iruka-sensei, but she was just an academy student, one that had failed the Genin test - three times. The scroll on her back suddenly felt ten times heavier as she realised that this was her fault - she had been so easily tricked - and that she really had no idea what she was doing.

She paused for a moment, in the gap between four trees that seemed to create a box like shape, and she looked around. She knew these woods like the back of her hand since she had spent most of her childhood hiding out here from villagers, but there was also a big chance that Mizuki also knew them - he had lived here his whole entire life, after all.

Brushing her golden bangs out of her eyes, those sapphire orbs looked around again, her mind whirling with the possibilities. She was a prankster, something the whole village knew, but it helped. Traps and triggers were a specialty of hers - pranks required a such - and she could easily manage to rig something up in the forest, but the only thing was if Mizuki would fall for it, and what if Iruka-sensei was caught in it?

All this thinking was making her head hurt, and something in her stomach was churning harshly, as if wanting to be released - or noticed. It was hard to say.

A strange noise - a mixture of rustling and breaking, like the sound of a tree growing quickly - caught her attention and she whirled around, expecting to see someone, or something, but she only saw trees - lots of trees that looked young and full of leaves. Actually, it was quite difficult to see through them.

Naru furrowed her eyebrows. She had just come that way, and she was pretty sure that there was not that many trees before. She shook her head - tonights events were playing with her head.

Right. Iruka-sensei said that she needed to get to the old man Hokage, but truthfully, she had never really been one for following rules, nor did she like too - even the thought of doing as she was told was disturbing.

Biting her lip, she removed the scroll from her back and tried to remember what she had learnt in the academy. Placing the scroll down, she knew exactly what would work in this situation - a jutsu that had recently become her favourite. Dog, Boar, Ram.

" Henge No Jutsu! "

In a poof of smoke, the large scroll became a small, normal shaped, but worn, log that fit in well with the trees around it, looking like it had simply been there for years.

A mischievous glint lit her eyes.

Mizuki dare threaten Iruka-sensei? He was going to regret it.

XXXXXXXXXXXX

Mizuki let out a mad laugh as he finally caught up with Naru - he had taken Iruka out three minutes ago, the man was probably lying there, dying from blood loss. " No use running anymore, brat! " With a large leap, he managed to knock the young girl off course, and she fell from the tree branch with a loud yell. He dropped from the canopy to see the blonde attempting to straighten herself up, while glaring at him angrily - something in that glare seemed so familiar. It didn't quite fit her eyes.

" I was thinking about letting your death be a quick and painless one, " he said pleasantly, " but you just had to run off and refuse to give me the scroll, didn't you? It was a stupid move, brat, but rather expected from a stupid child. "

Naru's face flashed with anger. " I'm not stupid! " She yelled, before her face changed into a triumphant smile that had some mischief laced with it. " Maybe you're the stupid one? "

Mizuki's face convulsed angrily. " Excuse me? "

A smile covered the young girl's face. In a poof of smoke, Iruka stood there, a wide, clear smirk on his face.

" You tricked me, " Mizuki said with realisation, a dark scowl covering his face. " It won't do you any good, Iruka, I'll find that girl eventually. " He took slow, deliberate steps towards his old friend. " I'll find her. After I kill you, of course. "

Iruka held his head high. " Do you really think that I'm just an academy teacher, Mizuki? " He was slightly insulted that people thought him only a weak academy sensei - he could easily go for the Jonnin test, but his calling lay with teaching the younger generation and he was quite happy with that.

" Oh, I know about your strengths, Iruka, " Mizuki said calmly, coming to a stop just some feet away from his fellow sensei. " I also know one of your weaknesses. "

Iruka raised an eyebrow.

Mizuki simply cackled and rushed him.

XXXXXXXXXXXX

Naru came to a stop just behind a large, thick tree that easily covered her. She heard the sounds of clashing weapons and peered out from behind the tree, " Sensei, " she whispered, feeling her heart constrict with fear as she watched Mizuki-teme hit Iruka-sensei again. She wanted to help - she needed to help! But she couldn't; she was just a Genin, and Mizuki was proving to be quite talented, despite being a jerk.

" I know you're close, Naru, " Mizuki said loudly, his eyes raking the trees around him as Iruka fell to the ground, the injury from the Shuriken's too much, a trickle of blood falling from his mouth. " Do you want to know a little secret? One that the whole village know's about - except you of course - ? "

Naru pulled back and leaned against the tree, but her curiousity was peeked and she turned her head slightly to listen.

" Mizuki! Don't! " Iruka shouted, sounding desparate. " Naru-chan, if you're close, don't listen to him - he's full of lies. "

Naru would always believe Iruka-sensei over anyone, but may be there was a secret that everyone knew - one which would explain why everyone acted like she was dirt on the ground. She kept silent.

" Do you want to know why everyone hates you, Naru? " Mizuki's voice taunted cruelly.

Naru did want to know, so badly, but her stomach felt tight and in knots.

" Twelve years ago, a demon - a monster - came to the village, The Kyuubi No Kitsune, " Mizuki said, his voice not betraying the disgust he obviously felt at it. " It destroyed everything in it's path, and killed so many of the Konoha Ninjas, until the Fourth Hokage rose up to defeat it, but demons can not be killed - instead, he sealed it. "

Naru's eyes were wide and she felt her knotted stomach become jumbled. What did this have to do with her?

" You, Naru Uzumaki, are the Kyuubi No Kitsune. " Mizuki spat, " you're a stupid fox brat. "

It felt like a huge boulder had been dropped into her stomach, and her throat was so clogged up that she doubted that she could say anything if she tried to speak. It couldn't be true. She wasn't the Kyuubi! She was just a little twelve year old girl! Not a monster! But everyone did hate her...

Anger seeped through her. Why had everyone kept this a secret? Did the old man Hokage fake being nice to her?

Still, something burned in the pit of her stomach, coiling like a ball of fire, feeling so hot that she was suprised she didn't feel something burn through her skin. She rested a hand against the shirt that covered her stomach, and she was suprised to feel it hot to the touch, even through the material. The burning seemed to feed her anger, and the angrier she got, the more the burning increased.

" Don't listen to him! " Iruka yelled in a panic.

" Don't you ever wander why Iruka treated you so differently when you were younger? You killed his parents! "

The whole world seemed to be on fire now: it was too hot...Naru tried to register the words, but she couldn't. Did she really kill Iruka-sensei's parents? Is that why he used to hate her so much? No...that can't be true! Iruka-sensei said she was very special to him! He hadn't been lying, had he?

" Shut your mouth, Mizuki! " Iruka snapped angrily, breathing heavily to calm his anger. " It's not true Naru-chan, you didn't kill my parents. "

Naru felt herself calming slightly. Iruka-sensei wouldn't lie about something like this. But then she felt herself tense up again - he hadn't denied what Mizuki-teme had said.

" The Kyuubi killed Iruka's parents, fox brat, you killed them. "

That was it.

With a rustle, Naru ran away.

Mizuki's eyes snapped in that direction and with a large smirk, he ran after her.

Iruka pushed himself up and ran after them.

XXXXXXXXXXXX

Naru weaved in and out of the trees, trying desparately to get away from Mizuki, from Iruka-sensei, from the truth. She could almost feel Mizuki's footsteps against the trees behind her, the echo of the noise caused by his feet hitting them, and she knew that she needed to gain speed. The speed was some how granted to her by that strange burning feeling she felt, and she sped up, putting distance between herself and Mizuki.

She couldn't be the Kyuubi, could she? It wasn't possible! She was human! Just a young, orphaned human girl.

That thought made her mind whirl; yes, she was orphaned. Could being the Kyuubi explain why she had no parents? Because she'd never had any?

A large, glinting form came towards her, and she had to throw herself to the floor to avoid it. After a moment, she rolled onto her back and looked up and saw Mizuki crouched on a branch above. She pushed herself into a sitting position.

" Tired of running, fox brat? " Mizuki said smoothly, " just hand over the scroll, and I will end all of this for you. " Seeing that he was receiving no answer, his face flashed. " Fine. Have it your way. " He toyed with the large Shuriken in his hand for a moment, before he pulled it back and launched it at the frozen girl.

A rustle, followed by a blur, made it so that Naru did not get injured.

Naru stared up, her eyes wide.

Iruka-sensei was bent over her, his face set in a mask of pain that he was obviously trying to hide for her sake, and she could easily see the large metal object producing from his back.

" I-Iruka-sensei? " She stammered in disbelief and shock. " W-why? Why? " Tears came to her eyes and trickled fown her tanned cheeks, over the three black whisker marks on each one.

" Because, Naru-chan, you're special to me, " Iruka-sensei whispered, " now I want you to run this time. Run straight to the Hokage. "

Feeling numb, she had no choice but to stagger into the trees, but she did not do as she was told, instead she fell to her knees.

" That was a foolish thing to do, Iruka, " Mizuki said calmly, " why would you defend her? She killed your parents - killed so many fellow ninja - and you defend her? Why do you not join me and rid yourself of her? I know you once hated her. "

Iruka chuckled and shook his head. " No, Mizuki, I never hated her, I hated what she held. " He said softly, " it may have seemed like I hated her, but I didn't understand - I was young and so set on what I thought was right, but I was stupid. How could anyone blame a little girl for what was not her fault? "

Naru rubbed at her eyes to stop the tears from Iruka-sensei's words. The burning in her stomach was calming down, becoming duller and duller with each word that her sensei spoke.

" She's my little sister, and I will defend her, even if I do not survive it. " Iruka-sensei finished and leaned against the tree.

Mizuki began to laugh loudly, the sound sharp and horrible. He calmed down a minute later. " You were always so soft-hearted, Iruka, and easily fell for the lies, " he said, wiping his eyes, " I'll just have to rid myself of you first, then, won't I? "

Something inside Naru snapped; she pushed herself up and rushed out of her hiding place. " Don't you dare touch Iruka-sensei! " She saw Iruka-sensei's look of annoyance at her still being here, but she stubbornly refused to leave him.

Mizuki raised an eyebrow. " Fox brat, " he said boredly, " you're still here? You really don't know when to give up, do you? " He walked towards her. " What can you do? Glare at me? "

Something inside of her felt weird. It was like something was growing inside of her, sprouting and blooming like a new born tree, and she felt it creaking, and with a small snap, her eyes widened.

Around Mizuki trees rose, looking brand new and young, but as tall as trees hundreds of years old. He looked startled and shocked, his eyes wide and his face a mask of disbelief, and he appeared to be too frozen to move. The ground split open and roots appeared, swinging dangerously, and curled around him in a tight embrace. The newly sprouted trees arched and curved, sealing him within a wooden prison.

Another feeling also arose, a dangerous, horrible feeling that made her want to rip Mizuki's head from his shoulders, or slowly kill him. A fire from inside her warmed until she felt her stomach burning, but she managed to push it down, though it still felt warm. She also had the rather odd feeling that something had woken up...

" Mokuton, " Iruka whispered in pure shock. It didn't seem possible, but the proof was right in front of him. Naru was a Mokuton user.

Now over his shock, but still feeling the deep emotion of it, Mizuki howled and attempted to be let free, but the prison he was in sprouted sharp spikes that got him through both arms and pinned him where he was. He let out a pained yell.

Naru shook her head to clear it. What had she done? Hearing a groan of pain, she pushed it out of her mind and ran over to Iruka-sensei, who had pushed himself up so that he could lean against a tree. " Sensei! Are you ok? Oh god! You're bleeding. " The words came out rushed and all garbled together, but Iruka easily understood them, and he smiled gently.

" It's just a flesh wound, Naru-chan, I'm fine, " Iruka said, brushing off her concern. " But now, I need to give you a gift - so close your eyes. "

Feeling even more confused than she had been earlier tonight, she closed her eyes in an attempt to amuse her sensei. She heard Iruka-sensei moving, and heard his pained grunt, but his instructions forced her to keep her eyes closed. After a moment, she felt something press against her forehead, and something was tied just underneath the centre of her two pigtails. Her eyes flew open.

" Congradulations, Naru-chan, " Iruka said with a large and proud beaming smile.

Almost hesitantly, Naru reached up to feel the thing on her forehead, and she recognised it as what she had tried on earlier. Cool to the touch, and rectangular, she felt the familiar symbol in the middle. " A Hi-tate? " She gasped, her sapphire orbs shining with delight and pure happiness, " I'm a Genin? " She then threw herself at her sensei, who caught her and hugged her, but grunted in pain, which made her hastily release him. " Gomen! "

Iruka chuckled and shook his head. " It's fine, just a small twinge, " he said warmly, before his eyes snapped to the surrounding trees.

To his immense relief, a group of four ANBU walked out of the trees, their forms seemingly relaxed, but Iruka knew that they were probably tense and slightly relieved to have the scroll back. He saw them stare at the prison that Mizuki was encased in, and he knew they felt the same shock as him.

An ANBU, a tall and slender, yet slightly muscular man in a Bird mask, was the first to look away, followed seconds later by his team, and he pinned Iruka with a stare that the academy teacher could feel, even though he couldn't see the person's eyes beyond those small slits in the porcelain mask. " You are in need of medical assistance? " It was more of a statement than a question, and with a slight gesture of his hand, a woman with a Dragon mask came forward, her steps precise and graceful.

Dragon knelt down next to Iruka, her gloved hands already glowing green. " Lean forward, " she spoke, her voice ringing nicely but she also sounded like she did yell a lot, and Iruka complied without complaint.

Bird turned to the others. " Bear, deal with this traitor, " he said, spitting the word traitor with disgust, " Deer. "

Bear approached the wooden prison, and Naru could see Mizuki tense slightly and fear enter his eyes. She wasn't that surprised - she'd have been scared too if someone the size of Bear came over to her to ' deal ' with her, as Bird had put it.

Without being asked, Deer walked over to Naru, and looked down at her. " Hello, " she said, her voice soft and calming, " do you have the scroll? "

Naru shook her head. " Iie, but I do know where it is, " she said, rising to her feet, " I hid it in the forest. " With a small gesture from Deer, the two set off into the woods in search of the scroll.

Bird took slow, graceful steps up to the wooden prison. " Betraying Konoha was not a good thing to do, was it? " He spoke coldly, and if it was possible for him to do so, he probably would have frozen the whole place with ice. " There is a special place for traitors just like you, scum. "

Dragon's healing hands eventually pulled away from Iruka's back, and she stood up, offering a hand to pull him up.

Iruka gratefully took it, and despite a slight twinge in his back, it did not hurt as he was pulled up. He rolled his shoulders to loosen the tightness in his back.

As soon as she had dropped his hand, Dragon had almost immediately walked over to Bird's side. " I can sense Deer and Uzumaki-san returning with the scroll, " she said quietly, and her superior nodded his thanks.

Deer and Naru walked out of the trees, the former holding the scroll as if it were a precious treasure. She walked over to Bird, who nodded.

Naru returned to Iruka-sensei's side and beamed up at him. " You're healed! " She said in delight, and sent Dragon a grateful smile, and she wasn't sure, but she could have sworn she felt the female ANBU return the smile from beneath the mask.

" Umino, " Bird said coolly as he approached, " Hokage-sama will want to speak to the both of you...on certain matters. " He turned his head to the scroll, and then to the wooden prison that was now empty of Mizuki. He then swiftly turned around and left with his fellow ANBU.

Only Iruka and Naru were left.

" Well, this has been a very tiring night, " Iruka said, placing a hand on his student's shoulder. " I'm sure Hokage-sama will understand if we don't see him until tomorrow. "

Naru let out a loud yawn and nodded, her eyelids threatening to droop shut. " I'm sorry, Iruka-sensei, I shouldn't have - "

" It's ok, " Iruka soothed as he led the small blonde from the woods, " you've said your sorry, and you mean it, and that's all that matters. "

XXXXXXXXXXXX

So, how did everyone like the first chapter of my re-writing? I love this one so much more because, for one, it's wayyy longer than the previous one, and I know it's not completely following the way it went in the Anime, but I like to put a bit of a spin on things.

I want to know who you think I should put Naru with, so I can fit it in with the whole story:

Shikamaru.

Haku.

Sai.

Or an OC character?

- If some of you are wondering why I haven't added Itachi, because my other story clearly tells you that I love the Naru/Ita pairing, well, it's because he already has a big part in my story, one that would be ruined should he and Naru be together. So, I'll need your votes!

Please review, and if you see anything that I've made a mistake with, please tell me so I can correct it.

Phoenix Flame x.