Glaring Problem Episode 3.5
"I am called Haku," she introduced herself, leaning Zabuza's massive sword against a tree.
"It's nice to meet you," Naruto said, creating a clone behind her and dropping the Zabuza henge.
Seeing the creature that had absorbed Zabuza was now free, as the wire she'd tied him up with fell off his much smaller body, she froze.
"So... tell me about yourself," Naruto encouraged, trying to calm her down.
"Are you Anko?" Naruto asked, even though he was pretty sure he knew the answer; who else dressed the way she did?
"Why do you wanna know kid?" she asked, leaning back in her booth and sipping sake.
"'Cause Kakashi said you were the best person to talk to about training, even if I did have to pay off your bar tab first."
Anko snorted. "If you can pay off my tab, I'm yours."
The dango bar owner's met Naruto's, filled with despair – clearly not having a shred of hope that the bill would ever be paid.
Naruto walked up to the owner, who pulled out a small book from behind the bar and handed it to him. Naruto's eyes shot open as he paged through it, quickly flipping to the end. "So, if I pay this you'll train Hanabi-hime?"
Anko chuckled at the kid going through so much trouble for his girl. "If you can pay that, I will gladly be your slave."
"Okay," Naruto said, a clone appearing beside him briefly before popping.
"What was that about?" Anko asked curiously, never having seen anyone use a Kage Bunshin to send a message before due to the enormous chakra costs.
"Sending word up the chain of command for the funds," Naruto replied.
The owner had fallen to his knees and was praying aloud in a language Naruto had never heard before.
Less than a minute later a Naruto came in carrying a bag of cash and a contract, shocking both Anko and the owner.
"Sign here," the Naruto told Anko, handing her a scroll with the Hokage's seal on it.
Anko barely glanced at the contract, her eyes drawn to the payment amount and double checking the Hokage's seal to make sure it was authentic before she signed what she assumed was a mission contract.
Naruto handed the signed contract to the other Naruto to file before handing the large bag of cash to the owner to pay her tab.
Tears ran down the man's face as he cradled the bag like a child.
"Can't believe you got up that much scratch kid, but a deal's a deal, let's go train your girlfriend."
"There is no reason to be idle while we wait!" Hanabi declared to her troops. "I will teach you tree walking, since your sensei hasn't taught you yet."
"Hai my hime!" the group of clones chorused.
Leading a group of clones to a tree, she put her foot on it and began her explanation, "Channeling chakra to your foot..."
"That was a lot easier than I thought it would be," Naruto said as he and Gai returned from dropping Zabuza off at T&I.
"Indeed my youthful friend, and the bonus for having him almost completely unharmed was quite substantial," Gai replied happily.
"What happens to him now?"
"Well Zabuza is highly skilled and very knowledgeable," Gai said thoughtfully, "and since we are not allied with Mist we are not obliged to turn him over to them. How well he is treated will depend entirely upon how cooperative he is."
"Maybe I should have a word with him," Naruto pondered aloud.
"I highly doubt you could say anything that would change a person such as Zabuza of the Mist's mind," Neji scoffed.
Before Naruto could reply, Naruko; a redheaded version of his sexy jutsu minus the whiskers and wearing a banner dress similar to Tenten's arrived. "The favor should be undone in just a minute."
"Naruto," Tenten said firmly, "you can drop the act, Mizuki was very clear about what happened."
"Mizuki is a traitor who sabotaged my training and tried to kill me and Iruka," Naruto said, "so I really don't care what he said while he was doing his best to isolate me."
"Oh," Tenten said, realizing she screwed up rather majorly with him.
Two genin, dressed in all black versions of a samurai and a gymnastics uniform, leapt into the training ground.
"Is it true?" the boy dressed as a samurai demanded. "Have you finally seen the truth and quit your unnatural ways?"
"Brother dear," the gymnast growled, "there is nothing unnatural about two women together, for who but another woman can truly understand and meet a woman's needs?"
The redheaded Naruto clone quickly broke in, "It's true we have broken up. I had thought I'd won her heart, by my unceasing loyalty and refusal to give up in my quest to make her mine, but she talks in her sleep and … I can't go on!"
Tenten paled and attempted a silent Kai, hoping it was all an illusion, to no effect.
"Please," the male asked, "what did she say?"
"She …" tears dripped from the clones eyes as she put on a masterful performance.
"Yes?" the two siblings leaned forward.
"She keeps calling out for ..." the clone sniffed and the tension rose while Tenten looked on horrified.
"Kuno!" the clone said, causing the two siblings to crash to the ground, which the clone took as her cue to run off crying.
"But which Kuno?" the girl called after her.
"Obviously it was me," the male said proudly.
"I think if she was going to call out for any Kuno in her sleep it would be me," the girl argued.
"We'll just have to ask the bun haired goddess herself!" the male declared.
"She fled while you were talking," Neji said, causing the two sibs to run off to look for her.
Tenten climbed out of the bushes, brushing leaves off herself. "That was evil."
"More evil than to swear eternal friendship with a friendless orphan then pretending he doesn't exist?" Naruto asked.
"I told you," Tenten began but Naruto waved her off.
"You took the word of someone else over mine without a second's hesitation, because even a moment's thought would have shown him to be lying; the twins are the most tenacious hunter nin the village have ever produced and they have never stopped chasing a girl until one of them slept with her or she was seeing someone. I even gave you a second chance and asked for the favor owed, rather than the friendship you had swore and you threw the traitor's words in my face, even after me and Gai made clear what he was," Naruto said coldly, "and you have the nerve to call me evil?"
"It was most unyouthful," Lee said, not clarifying which side he was declaring it for.
"If I really wanted to be evil, I'd have Naru-chan tell them that Tenten likes to be surprised in the bath, or that her ultimate fantasy was to wake up sandwiched between them."
Gai winced and the genin's eyes grew large as they imagined how the two hunter nin would react to that info.
"See, all I did was put things back the way they were, the only difference is that Tenten now knows I kept my word and I now know hers is worthless."
"That's not fair!" Tenten exclaimed.
"A friend doesn't take someone else's word over your own without any proof, so you were never, not for an instant really my friend," Naruto said as if he were talking about the weather.
Tenten flinched like she'd been slapped, but Naruto had already turned away.
"That seemed a little harsh for one so filled with the flames of youth as yourself," Gai said gently.
"To quote the old man's very unyouthful, but occasionally correct son; 'It's almost impossible to help someone by blowing smoke up their ass.'"
Gai laughed and then coughed several times to try and cover it up.
"That means it's hard to help someone when you're always lying to them; better a hard truth than a soft lie."
"Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind," Gai agreed, "training is rough, but not so rough as falling in battle."
The Hokage examined the scroll carefully and verified Anko's signature, before completing it and sending it off with one of his secretaries to file.
He wasn't sure why Anko would sign a long term contract with Naruto specifying the terms she did, maybe it was because her biological clock went off while he was in the area or possibly she knew of his bloodline and wanted to give her children its advantages. Whatever the case they were both legal adults and this would give Naruto the family he'd always wanted and ensure the continuance of his clan. Both important goals as far as Sarutobi was concerned.
"Here's what I think of your slave contract!" the young woman said, throwing the scroll in the trash as she stormed out of the restaurant with a young man in hot pursuit.
"Mariko, wait! It's not like that at all!"
She stopped, facing away from him. "Than what is it than?"
"You know I've been forbidden to marry, but this contract was written specifically to get around that!" he exclaimed, "it guarantees you get to bear my children and my name as well as a dowry, just to show I'm willing to follow tradition."
"Really?" she asked in a small voice, turning around.
"Really," he promised, "it guarantees you every right you would have as if we were wed and it can't be broken."
"Maybe I was a little hasty," she admitted.
Meanwhile a Naruto had picked the contract out of the trash, to look at it, when a clone popped in a bar across town and he realized he had a contract that fit what Anko wanted! All he had to do was make a copy with their names on it! Was he lucky or what?
"I know what you mean," Naruto said as he began telling Haku a little about his own troubled past.
"You really do understand!" Haku said tearfully before throwing her arms around him.
"Yeah," Naruto agreed a bit tearful himself.
"So you-you is back in Leaf Village?" Haku asked as she wiped her eyes.
"Ah, you caught that did you?" Naruto asked nervously, rubbing the back of his head, wondering how she'd figured out he was a clone.
"Yes," she said, wondering what bloodline had given rise to his fearsome ability to infect and assimilate others.
"My original self is in the village with my friends."
"Zabuza was my one precious person," Haku said sadly.
"He's fine," Naruto promised, "though I'm still trying to figure out what to say to convince him to join us."
"Convince him?" Haku asked hopefully, praying that meant what she thought it did.
"Yeah, see if I can convince him to willingly join us he won't be a missing nin anymore and I'm told he'd be an awesome teacher," Naruto said enthusiastically, thinking about what Gai had said about Zabuza's sword skills.
"You took him-him to your village?" she asked carefully to make sure she understood what was going on.
"Yeah, see Kawarimi is line of sight so ..." Naruto began.
"So you can switch with anyone, as long as you can see them with one of your other bodies!" Haku finished excitedly.
"Exactly," Naruto said proudly, "it helps to have a matching body to switch with, but that only takes a minute."
"Wow!" Haku said, stunned at how little time it took for Naruto to craft new bodies to exact specifications.
Haku suddenly wrapped herself around him, pressing herself as tightly against him as she could. "Take me to Zabuza and I will be your slave."
Team 7 was in the clearing where they had taken Kakashi's bell test, listening to his drunken explanation of the technique, "See all the technique really does is allow you to move through earth like it was water, so you need to be able to swim and you can't see anything so you have to be able to sense chakra to find your target."
Sasuke smiled cheerfully and copied the seals with his Sharingan, sinking up to his chest. "Cold!" he screeched and then relaxed. "Ah, that warmed it up nicely."
Sakura laughed, making a pig-like snorting sound before trying it herself and sinking in up to her knees, before passing out and flopping over backwards.
"Of course it takes a decent amount of chakra control to just affect the ground near you so you don't waste chakra."
Naruto ran to the hand signs a couple of times to make sure he got it. "So you could use it to walk through stone walls like a ghost."
"Swimming through dirt is harder than swimming through water and stone is even worse, both in terms of chakra and strength. Besides, like water it would run leaving a human sized hole in the wall behind you, I found that out at the hot springs!" Kakashi declared proudly before falling over.
Naruto laughed and carefully made several hand signs before sinking into the ground himself and realizing he was stuck dog paddling, as he'd never taken any swimming classes.
"How the hell did you do this?" the grey haired squirrel, who stunk of booze, asked in an amusingly high pitched voice.
"Secret technique," the bright orange squirrel next to him said in a similar tone. "Now come on old man, we're wasting time we could spend traveling."
"Wouldn't it be faster to ride a tiger?"
"They don't sneak around as well," Naruto said shaking his head. "Now follow me!" Naruto flung himself off the tree, catching the wind with flaps of skin between his legs and body.
"Are you nuts?" the older squirrel shrieked when a roar came from behind him and he instinctively copied Naruto's actions.
After a minute he stopped screaming and realized, "This is pretty cool!"
"Yep," one of the orange squirrels flying alongside him agreed, "and no one ever suspects the squirrels!"
Anko finished off her sake. "Okay kid, let's go."
Naruto led her to where Hanabi was watching his clones perform various chakra control exercises and correcting them as needed.
"So what do you need me to teach?" Anko asked curiously as Hanabi approached, taking in all the clones henged as blonde haired Hyuuga and coming to the mistaken impression that the Hyuuga appeared to be trying to make the next generation blonde.
"Flexibility," Hanabi said. "I want to become as flexible as possible."
"Starting a bit young aintcha?" Anko asked, wondering if they were in an arranged marriage. Hell, even Anko didn't start until she was a year or two older than the blonde brat was now.
"I know it'll be years before what you teach me is of any real benefit, but I am planning for the future," Hanabi said formally, just as she'd been instructed to address all her teachers when requesting instruction, to show she knew it took both time and effort to master a skill.
"Good attitude and a brilliant idea," Anko said agreeably. "How about you?"
Naruto just shrugged. "I've mainly just been trying to see that Hanabi-hime gets everything she wants."
"The world would be a happier place if more guys had your attitude, but if she's going through flexibility lessons don't you think you should too?"
"I was thinking that training my stamina would probably be best," Naruto said thoughtfully. "I mean, I know I've got better stamina than anyone in my class, but I've heard jounin have a lot more, so I've got to work on it if I want to keep up."
Anko turned to Hanabi. "Good job snagging him, you really do plan ahead."
Hanabi smiled proudly, before forcing herself back into a neutral mask.
"You should work on flexibility now, it gets a lot harder to work on flexibility as you get older, while you can train stamina easier. It would be even better if you were the same age to get the full benefits."
Naruto henged into a smaller form and Anko ruffled his hair thoughtfully, hiding her surprise at finding his henge was solid.
"This works perfectly, now let's go back to my place. All my equipment is there."
AN: Typing by Godogma!