Haarii-chan: A small one-shot on the events after Jiraiya's death with some personal twists. Enjoy.
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto/ Shippuden, but as far as I know, this one-shot's idea is mine to claim
Naruto didn't know what to do. Sure, he understood his duty and what was required of him, but the pain of losing his teacher, the man who was his father figure, tore at him incessantly. The blond sat in his room, numbly sitting on his bed and starting into space, contemplating his life and remembering the great sage. This boy, no teenager, didn't even feel the urge to cry, but the tears poured down his cheeks without acknowledgement.
Sighing, if one could call the chocked up expulsion of air a sigh, Naruto walked to his small bathroom to relieve himself. After he had finished, the teen went about methodologically washing his hands, eyes cast down. Only when he felt his face tingle did he raise his eyes to the mirror, stop and gasp. There in the mirror was a face that was his, and yet, wasn't his. Sure, the eyes and hair were the same color and the whiskers were still there, but the cheekbones were higher. The eyes were slightly narrower and the hairstyle was almost the same, but with longer side-tails. Carefully, Naruto put his hand up to the glass, watching the reflection do the same. However, when he touched what looked like a stranger's hand, he hit icy glass.
Backing away, Naruto turned away from his reflection a raced into his bedroom where another mirror stood. Again, the stranger looked back at the Kyuubi's container. This time, Naruto noticed that the stranger was several inches taller than him, but they wore the same clothing, making the reflection seem comical in too-short pajamas.
Scared now, the blond bolted out the door of his apartment, not even noticing when his strides became longer or when his sleeves shrank. Running to the familiar bridge where his team used to meet, Naruto looked at the reflection in the water. Now, he and the stranger stood at the same height. Bending his knees, Naruto reached out a hand to touch the water, noticing that his sleeves that had once reached his wrists were now at his elbows. The blond panicked. Reaching to his face, he felt his cheekbones that had risen and his eyes felt narrower. His hands flew to feel his hair and almost shouted he realized its length. Looking back at the reflection, our hero sat frozen while the whisker marks that made the reflection uniquely his faded away into nothingness and he knew that his own whiskers had followed the same way.
"What—" he started to ask, only to slap a hand over his mouth. The sound of the voice that had come from his throat wasn't his own. It was much deeper and smoother, almost calming. However, poor Naruto was seriously freaking out. What was happening to him?
Suddenly, a voice broke him out of his frantic musing.
It was Iruka, the teacher that Naruto had looked up to since he was twelve. The kind yet strict academy teacher strolled to Naruto's side, placing a hand on his former student's shoulder. Immediately, Naruto turned to his former mentor and whispered,
"Iruka-sensei, what's happening to me?"
Iruka froze upon seeing the blonde's new face and hearing the new voice that escaped the teen's throat. He couldn't stop the next words that escaped him as his shocked mind could only come up with one possible answer as to who was kneeling before him.
The lookalike only tilted his head and screwed his eyebrows in confusion before saying, to Iruka's surprise,
"No, it's me. Uzumaki Naruto. At least, that's who I was when I woke-up this morning . . ." Iruka looked on in surprise, his mind racing a mile a minute, trying to find out what was going on his favorite blond. Reaching out a hand to the kneeling teen, he said,
"Come. We'll ask Tsunade-sama. She'll know."
Gratefully, Naruto accepted the hand and rose to his feet, now much taller than his previous teacher. Together, the pair went to the Hokage Tower where the beautiful Tsunade worked the night away. The buxom blond hollered a brief 'come in' and instantly went rigid when she glanced up to meet the ones who disturbed her.
"Mi-Minato?" She shrieked in surprise. The man who looked like her dead teammate's dead student cocked his head to the side and asked with Minato's voice,
"Who? Baa-chan, it's me, Naruto." Sighing in exasperation, the blond shook his head and grumbled. In an instant, Tsunade's hands glowed green and she set about scanning the blonde's body, her eyebrows close to her hairline.
When she had finished, she slumped over onto the nearby sofa, massaging her temples.
"Baa-chan, what's going on?" Naruto questioned again as he sat beside the Godaime Hokage. Suddenly, Tsunade began to cry. "What's wrong?" The teen asked.
"Those council bastards! They did this to you! When I get my hands on them I'll—" She was cut off as Naruto put his hand over her mouth to silence her. Teary-eyed, she glanced at the one sitting at her side; she breathed deeply and exhaled slowly, nodding to the other blond that she was fairly calm. When he removed his hand, Tsunade began to speak quickly.
"Naruto, I am sorry. What has happened cannot be undone. It's a jutsu that was placed on you when you were only hours old by the council. They wished so much for the Yondaime to live that they. . . they. . ." She broke off, tears running down her face.
"They what, Tsunade no Baa-chan?" Naruto asked, afraid of the answer.
"They decided to make one out of the person who was last to be in contact with him while he was still alive." Tsunade said, her eyes shifting to the side; Naruto immediately recognized the gesture and called out her lie.
"Try again, Baa-chan. The truth this time, if you please. I know for a fact that the council would die if the 'demon boy' was to become the reincarnation of their hero." His eyes were like ice chips. The Godaime sighed again.
"The parts about the jutsu and the council are true. But, they picked you because, well, because. . ." she trailed off, unable to finish.
"Because. . .?" Naruto questioned again, seemingly more at ease with his new voice. For a moment, they sat in silence while the village leader attempted to gather her thoughts to deliver the horrific news.
"It only works with a blood relative," she finally whispered
"There's no way. You're crazy!" He shook his head in denial, the longer side-tails hitting him in the face. "I'm outta here," Naruto said as he turned to leave.
"Where do you think you're going, Namikaze?" At that, the blonde froze before turning sharply to Tsunade with cold fire in his eyes. He roughly grabbed her shoulders and shook her firmly, demanding,
"How do you know that name? Jiraiya-sensei was the only one who knew that nickname and I had him swear to me that he would never tell a soul." At this, Iruka, who was being silent throughout the whole exchange, spoke.
"Naruto," he started, gaining the furious blonde's attention, "why do you say that's a nickname? The name Namikaze was the Yondaime's last name."
Again, Naruto was silent, but this time, his face was in shock.
Flashback no Jutsu, Begin!
Jiraiya and Naruto were in their third month of travel when Jiraiya called the boy aside in order to test his abilities. He brought out a scroll that contained both wind and water ninjutsu, thinking that if the blond knucklehead were anything like his parents, he should be able to be efficient in these two elements. After several failed attempts at getting the blond to perform earth and fire ninjutsu, Jiraiya gave up trying to teach those certain elements.
After only a few tries, the blond had mastered several low rank wind and water techniques, proving Jiraiya's theory correct. Instantly, the thought that came to his mind was the boy's true name, which caused him to laugh out loud. That action alone made Naruto very curious.
Caught in the perfect opportunity to give the boy a head start on his heretage, the elder sage told his charge that he had thought of a nickname that suited the blond. When asked what it was, the Toad Sage replied,
"Namikaze because it means both the waves and the wind. What better way to describe you?"
The blond accepted the nickname without question, happy to be called a term of endearment. However, he soon learned that his old pervert of a teacher would only use the name when no one else was around or when the boy had done something exceptionally well. Every time Jiraiya used the nickname, Naruto's heart swelled with pride and he would work even harder so that he could hear the nickname again.
Flashback no Justu, End!
Naruto was at a loss. Here he was, becoming some Yondaime lookalike, and learning that his beloved, deceased teacher had been calling him the Yondaime's name all along. Looking around the office that he swore he would someday gain, he spotted the picture of the very man that the council wished to recreate. Looking harder, he finally began to register how closely related the two of them appeared to be. Iruka followed the blonde's gaze and noticed the relationship as well. He gasped as the pieces came together in his mind.
"Tsunade-sama, Naruto is Yondaime-sama's son, isn't he?" he whispered. Naruto quickly returned his gaze to the woman who was his teacher's love and watched in sudden despair as she nodded affirmatively. Naruto's legs felt weak as Tsunade began to speak, slowly picking up speed as she spoke the secret that had tormented her for so long.
"Naruto is indeed the son of Namikaze Minato, former Yondaime of Konoha, and Uzumaki Kushina, former host of the Kyuubi no Kitsune." When she said this, Naruto began to speak, only to be silenced by Tsunade's eyes. "Like my grandmother before her, Kushina was brought from Uzushiogakure to be the host for the Kyuubi. At Naruto's birth, the seal that held the Kyuubi within Kushina was weakened to the point of breaking and that monster was released. Knowing that his wife would die should he attempt to reseal the Kyuubi within her, Minato did the only thing he could: seal the beast within his new-born son. Unfortunately, both he and Kushina were run through by the Kyuubi's claws as the beast attempted to destroy his vessel to be," she finished softly.
Naruto had long-since collapsed on the ground, his legs unable to support him. His parents died to protect both him and the village. They loved him. THEY LOVED HIM! However, Tsunade began to speak again, causing him to forget his epiphany temporarily.
"Shortly after, the council came together and agreed upon the jutsu that had been cast on Naruto. It's a type of rebirth jutsu that eventually causes the host to take the appearance and complete likeness of the target. This is usually only used when a leader is unfit to rule and a willing ninja takes his or her place until death. The jutsu usually takes effect immediately, but Jiraiya and the Sandaime were able to get to the council before the jutsu was completed. As such, their interference turned out to be the thing that made Naruto say as Naruto."
"How?" Iruka asked, extremely interested.
"Basically, those two's chakra became the blockade that made the jutsu unable to fully take root. In the event of their deaths, the jutsu would be released and Naruto would become Minato. When Sarutobi-sensei died, surely you noticed that Naruto gained a few inches to both his build and his hair. He also gained some muscle. The old man was responsible for about a third of the jutsu, so when he died, a third of the jutsu was also allowed to take root. Now that Jiraiya is gone, there was nothing to stop the jutsu from running it's course."
The trio sat in silence until Naruto spoke up.
"So, how long do I have left to stay as me, Tsunade-no-Baachan?"
Tsunade looked thoughtful before stating,
"At the rate this is progressing and the fact that you are now Minato's carbon-copy, I'd say you should begin to experience personality changes within the next few days. Personality is harder to change than muscles and bone structure. I'm so sorry Naruto," she finished with tears running down her face. Iruka also began to cry lightly. Naruto however, looked on silently, contemplating all that was going on with his body. Finally, he asked,
"Did my parents leave me anything? Maybe a house, some justu, money?" Tsunade nodded, went to the Yondaime's portrait and beckoned Naruto to join her. She lifted the picture and instructed the blond to pump some chakra into the space behind the picture. Immediately, a seal appeared and soon after, a safe waved into existence.
"Open it with some blood and chakra," Tsunade ordered. Naruto did as he was told and was rewarded with several small scrolls and three massive scrolls. One of these Naruto recognized to be the Toad's Summoning scroll. Unable to contain his tears, he wept bitterly at the reminder of his beloved teacher.
When he could cry no more, he gathered the scrolls, straightened his shoulders and told Tsunade and Iruka with conviction,
"I might not have a choice, but I shall always be me, one way or another. Therefore, do not mourn the boy I was, but celebrate the man I will be. I thank you both. Don't you worry, Namikaze-Uzumaki Naruto will take the world by storm, be it with my body and mind or my father's. Goodnight." And thus, Namikaze-Uzumaki Naruto walked proudly out the door and into his new life.
Haarii-chan: Based on how others and I feel about how this went, I might turn it into a story. However, it will be a NaruHina, so get over it. Read and review if that is what you wish.