Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto or any of its characters.
A/N: Haven't done a story in a while. Read a Naruto FF and was inspired.
An Apprentice to a Sage
"One more time. I think I'll have it this time." A young boy, wearing a simple white shirt with a spiral symbol and black shorts, told himself as we wiped the sweat on his forehead with his forearm. He formed a seal with his hands before yelling, "Kage -" He was interrupted however, by a rather hard smack in the back of his head. He quickly turned around, about to go on a tirade on whoever hit him, before he realized who the person was.
"Uzumaki Naruto! I finally found you!" The man wearing a standard issued uniform for konohagakure's ninjas, and has a scar running above his nose, yelled.
"Iruka-sensei, you caught me!" The boy said smiling at his ninja academy teacher, as he rubbed the back of his head. "Man, I only had time to learn one jutsu..."
He watched the clearly guilty, smiling boy infront of him with a small smile, before he remembered the reason he was looking for him. "Naruto, everyone's looking for you! You stole the Forbidden Jutsus scroll from the hokage tower!" He yelled, his face getting redder and redder.
"But Mizuki-sensei said that I could become a hokage, if learned the awesome jutsus from this scroll." He explained in a matter-of-fact kind of voice.
"Mizuki said that?" Iruka asked shocked. "Naruto listen. I know about your dream but you're only six-" He didn't finish as he only had time to push Naruto away and putting his hands up to shield himself from a barrage of kunai knives.
"Good job on finding him." Another ninja who wears his head protector as a head cover, with two dai shurikens on his back, said from a branch of a tall tree.
'I see. So that's what's going on.' The injured academy teacher with kunais stuck on his body, thought as the pieces finally clicked in his mind. He looked at his student and the new comer in anger. "Mizuki..." He growled.
"Naruto! If you want to become a hokage you have to give me the scroll!" Mizuki yelled.
"No! Naruto! Whatever happens, don't give him the scroll! Even if you die!" Iruka ordered the boy.
Naruto looked at both his teachers, panicked and confused. "Wha-What's going on?"
"That's a dangerous scroll that has forbidden techniques written in them! Mizuki used you to get his hands on them!" Iruka yelled before coughing some blood.
Naruto looked at his injured sensei, before glaring at the other. He got up, as chakra started swirl around him.
"There's no point in you having it. I'll tell you why." Mizuki said with a dangerous smirk.
Iruka struggled to breathe before getting up, "No! Mizuki don't!" He yelled, coughing up more blood. 'Damn! I think one of the kunais pierced my lung.' he thought, wincing as he breathed.
"Six years ago, you know about the sealing of the Kyuubi right?" Mizuki asked the boy with a grin.
The blonde boy with whisker marks on his face nodded. 'Who doesn't know about it?'
"Since that incident, the hokage made a new rule." He said, his eyes filling with mirth. "But Naruto, this rule was never meant to be told to you."
Naruto looked at his injured sensei, struggling to yell something, with worry before turning back to the ninja on the tree. "What rule is this?" he asked with dread, but was only answered by laughter by the man that deceived him. "What... kind of rule is this?"
"The rule is that no one was supposed to say that you are the nine-tailed demon fox!" Mizuki yelled.
Naruto's six year old mind reeled, and he felt the air leave his lungs while his legs buckled. "What... What do you mean?" He asked, stunned.
He smirked, "It means -"
"No! Stop it!" Iruka yelled, ignoring the painful complains in his chest.
"- that you are the Kyuubi who killed Iruka's parents and destroyed the village!" Mizuki finished. "You were sealed by the Hokage that you admire and have been lied to by everyone!" He yelled, as he grabbed one of the dai shurikens form his back. "Didn't you find it odd why everyone hated you? Iruka is the same! He actually hates you!"
'Damn it! Damn it! Damn it!' Naruto yelled in his head, his eyes tightly closed as anger started to bubble from deep inside of him.
'Naruto...' Iruka thought as red chakra started to swirl and envelop his student. He then remembered a conversation he had with the third hokage about the boy.
"He's never known a parent's love and is hated by all the villagers. He tries to get attention by causing a lot trouble ." The leader of the village said. "He seeks acknowledgement in any possible way." He took a puff from his pipe and sighed.
Iruka looked at the old man's eyes and saw sadness within them, "He acts tough but really he is suffering..." He heard the man whisper.
Iruka was snapped out of his reverie when he heard his former colleague yell, "Nobody will ever accept you!" He saw Mizuki wind his hand back holding the large shuriken, intending to throw it at the troubled Naruto, and made his move.
Naruto was shocked from his inner turmoil, as he felt someone push him.
"Shit!" Iruka spat as he felt pain from his back, spread towards his whole body.
"Sen-Sensei." Naruto whispered as the man was kneeling on top of him, blood dripping everywhere and a dai shuriken stuck on his back. "Why?"
"When my parents died... There was nobody to compliment me or acknowledge me... I was so sad..." He whispered, tears welling up in his eyes. "I acted like an idiot to get people's attention since I wasn't great in school and got attention that way. Being known as funny and an idiot was better than nothing so I kept acting that way... It was so sad." He said, a sob escaping his lips.
"Sensei..." Naruto said quietly, shocked at his teacher crying.
"You must've been in so much pain Naruto. I'm sorry... If only I had done a better job, then you wouldn't feel like this." He said, tears dripping from his face.
Naruto dropped the scroll and quickly removed the shurikens and the kunais from his sensei's body. He then carefully helped him lean on a tree close by.
"Naruto..." Iruka tried to say, as blood escaped from his lips.
"Don't say any more sensei." The boy said, tears welling up from his eyes.
"Don't listen to Mizuki..." He coughed out. "You are not the nine-tailed demon fox... You are you, Uzumaki Naruto and I acknowledge you as my student and as a citizen of konohagakure."
Naruto couldn't hold back the tears that fell from his eyes as he heard the words he's been longing for all his life, from his broken teacher.
"You must always protect this village as one of its' citizens." Iruka said smiling, even as tears continued to fall from his eyes. "Don't let Mizuki get the scroll." He coughed.
He was about to say something, but was interrupted by a loud laughter. Naruto turned and saw his former teacher land beside the forbidden jutsus scroll, and grab the other dai shuriken from his back.
"That would've been touching if it wasn't so funny." He said wiping his eyes. "I was just going to steal the scroll, but now I'll do the village a service and get rid of a couple of idiots from it."
Naruto clenched his fists, his longer than normal canines showing. "Don't touch it." He growled, surprising the other ninja by the amount of killing intent coming from the child.
"Shut up and die!" The ninja yelled as he wound his hand back intending to throw the large shuriken, but his eyes widened when Naruto suddenly vanished and he was suddenly hit in the face hard. He blearily opened his eyes that are welling up with tears as he gingerly touched his broken nose. 'Shit! What was that?' he asked.
"Don't move or I'll kill you." Naruto ordered standing there beside the scroll on the ground.
"Then try and do it Demon fox!" Mizuki yelled at the boy that was surrounded by red chakra as he grabbed a kunai from his hip pouch and running towards the boy who was forming a seal with his hands.
"Kage Bunshin no Jutsu!" Naruto yelled, and the forest was suddenly turned yellow and white, along with the twin looks of astonishment from the two academy teachers with him, as thousands of Kage Bunshins appeared among them.
"Naruto..." Iruka whispered.
"What the hell is this?" Mizuki asked panicked.
"I'll pay you back a thousand fold for what you did to Iruka-sensei!" Naruto yelled as all the Naruto clones attacked the treacherous ninja.
The clones moved away from a soundly beaten up Mizuki twitching on the ground. The real Naruto placed the scroll on the ground and knelt beside his beloved sensei who's both pale and breathing laboriously. "Iruka-sensei..." Naruto whispered.
Iruka opened his eyes, and smiled. "I'm so proud of you Naruto." He whispered. "I have no doubt that someday, you will be a Hokage." He said, as he coughed up more blood. "Just promise me you will always protect this village." He asked weakly.
Naruto nodded, as a sob escaped his lips. "Yes, sensei. I promise." He swore as tears fell from his eyes, dripping all over his sensei's pant leg.
Iruka smiled and nodded. "Naruto I..." He whispered. "I..." But never finished as his body slumped against the tree.
The blonde boy's eyes suddenly widened. "Sen-Sensei?" He asked the man who looked to be peacefully sleeping. "Iruka-sensei?" He asked louder, shaking the ninja by the shoulders, his voice laced with panic.
He angrily swiped the tears that sprang from his eyes."Are you just going to stand there and keep watching? Help him!" Naruto yelled, to the surprise of the Special Ops ninja squad, who was around him.
'He knew we were here?' Thought by the surprised ANBU squad. "Uzumaki Naruto, you are under arrest for treason." The squad leader said, fixing his animal painted face mask, as he appeared out of his hiding spot.
"I will take whatever punishment you give me, but please help Iruka-sensei." Naruto responded looking helplessly at the mask wearing men, as they slowly converged on him.
Naruto looked the man who stood infront of him with pleading eyes. "Please-" He felt something hit him in the back of his head before falling unconscious.
Sarutobi Hiruzen, Konohagakure's Sandaime Hokage, rubbed his face tiredly. He's been sitting at the head of the council table for two hours now. He picked his ear as the council members proceeded to continue yelling over each other, after he explained to the council what the young Jinchuriki told him and what the ANBU gathered from Mizuki's mind.
"He must be executed for treason!" A clan head yelled.
"What if that unleashes the Fox? No, he should be banished from the village." Yelled another.
"He's a military asset to the village." A very distinct voice said. Everyone turned towards a man in bandages sitting at the other end of the table.
"Military asset? He almost gave our "military asset" to a traitor! Execute him!" A council member argued.
"Sarutobi wouldn't let that happen. He's getting soft in his old age." A Hyuuga member of the council said.
"Enough!" The hokage yelled, backed up by a massive killing intent, not so subtly reminding everyone why he was the hokage. "This is getting us nowhere." He sighed. "Write down what you think is the correct decision regarding the boy and give them to me before you leave. This council is adjourned."
Everyone quickly wrote down their opinion on the matter on a piece of paper and gave it to the Hokage who collected them, before leaving the room grumbling among each other.
'That was long.' He thought as he closed his eyes and tiredly rubbed his temples. "When did you get back?"
"Just now. I heard about what happened to the boy." A voice said.
Sarutobi opened his eyes and smiled a genuine smile. A man with crazy white hair, a unique forehead protector with two small horns on his head and was wearing a red vest over a green 'gi' (martial arts uniform). He was crouched on top of the window sill with a big grin on his face.
"You're getting better Jiraiya. I didn't even feel your presence until you were close to the tower." The old man said.
"You and your crazy chakra sensing..." The famous toad-sannin said. "How have you been Sarutobi-sensei?"
"Not too bad, until a few hours ago." He replied. "Naruto decided to steal the Forbidden Jutsus Scroll."
"So I've heard, but it wasn't his fault." Jiraiya retorted. "You know this."
"Yes... unfortunately, this isn't just my decision. The boy technically committed treason, which falls in military jurisdiction... The council has to be involved." The hokage explained. "And looking through everyone's opinions, it's either execution or banishment." He said sadly, holding the pieces of paper in his hands.
Jiraiya took off his gear and a giant scroll off his back, before sitting down in one of the chairs. He crossed his arms on his chest while putting his feet up on the table. "So... what are you going to do sensei?"
"Right now, all I can do to stop the council's decision is by exposing his parentage. However, I don't know if it's worth the risk..." The old man said uncertainly.
"...Minato had too many enemies, especially from Iwagakure. The boy's life WILL be in danger." The man with his feet up said thoughtfully, looking at the ceiling.
"The boy's life is in danger right now. We'll worry about the risks later." The old man said angrily. "I just can't believe how much the villagers hate that boy... Minato sacrificed his life for them, and this is how they repay him, knowingly or not."
The two men sat in contemplative silence, before the old man suddenly sat up. "Why don't you take him?"
Jiraiya looked at the old man who was looking at him with a smile. "Huh?"
"Take him with you. It'll be perfect! He's Minato's son. You have to!" The old man insisted, getting giddy.
"You can tell him about his parents..."
"Teach him his father's jutsus..."
"You can teach him how to become a hokage!" The old man finished, surprising the sannin.
"He... He wants to become a hokage?" Jiraiya asked with a big smile on his face.
"Yup. That's his dream." Sarutobi said with a smile. "This is where he lives..." He gave Jiraiya the directions to the boy's apartment. "I'm going to say that he ran away from the village."
"Won't the hunter-nins look for him?" The Toad sannin asked.
"No, because he isn't a ninja, or a member of a prominent clan. The villagers would probably celebrate..." He said sadly.
This made Jiraiya frown. His eyes steeled and a smile cracked across his face. "Okay. I've decided to take him as my apprentice."
"Perfect!" The hokage yelled excitedly. "In a few years he can come back and take the genin exam."
"No, he won't be taking the genin exam." The sannin said coldly.
"What do you mean? He can't be a ninja if he doesn't become a genin." The old man said confused.
"I won't allow him to become a ninja. I won't let him to be forced to follow the folies of these old farts who want him dead." He said, pointing at the empty seats of the council members.
"Not a ninja? But he has to learn to protect himself and the village to achieve his dream." Sarutobi argued.
"Oh he will learn the ninja arts, but he won't become one. Besides, you don't have to be a ninja to become a hokage, it isn't one of its prerequisites. He just needs to be able to protect the village and beat out the other candidates." The sannin said with a devilish smirk.
The old man nodded at this. "That is true."
Jiraiya got up, slung his gear and scroll on his back, and walked towards the open window. He placed one of his feet on the sill before looking over his shoulder at his old sensei. "Namikaze Naruto will become my Sage apprentice." He said, before jumping off the window sill and disappearing into the night.
Sarutobi Hiruzen, Sandaime Hokage of Konohagakure, looked out the window towards the hokage monument with a smile. "...now this will be interesting won't it Minato?"
Kage Bunshin no Jutsu - Shadow Clone Technique
A/N: What do you guys think? Leave your comments in the review section.