Just to clarify, this is just going to be Fu x Naruto. So sorry, hollowed despair…
Finally, I will attempt to use honorifics in this, so please correct me if you feel I'm doing it wrong.
Alright, let's go. Second chapter of With These Two Hands! Ready for ACTION!
With These Two Hands
Chapter Two: Care
Sarutobi Hiruzen, the Sandaime Hokage, sighed as he signed yet another sheet of paperwork with his signature. Looking at the stack of paperwork that sat next to the left of him, he sighed as he took out his pipe and lit it. Putting the pipe in his mouth, he inhaled the smoke and exhaled, blowing out a sizable cloud of grey smoke.
It was times like this when he was reminded of why he retired.
The proclaimed "God of Shinobi" stood up from his chair and walked up next to the windows, smoke rising from his pipe. He looked upon the village of Konoha, so idyllic, so peaceful, so tranquil. Yet, he knew it was a peace born out of pain.
It had been six years since the Kyuubi no Kitsune attacked Konoha. Thankfully, both Minato and Kushina were able to seal the biju before it reigned havoc in the village hidden in the leaves. Sarutobi exhaled some smoke as he glanced up to the Hokage Monument, staring at the fourth face from the left side.
However, many grieved the death of Minato like no other person ever had. To Sarutobi, he acknowledged that those were few who had such raw potential as the blond haired Namikaze. It could only remind the Sandaime of the unfairness and fickleness of life. The Namikaze had so much to live for, and yet everything was now gone. His legacy had vanished. However, there was one thing, or person to be exact, left of his legacy. His last gift to Konoha…his son, Naruto.
With that thought in his head, Sarutobi snuffed the fire in the pipe, and strode away from the windows. Putting away the pipe with his pockets, he fumbled with the robes, taking them off to reveal a plain white t-shirt with black shorts underneath. Removing the Hokage hat and setting it on the desk, he quietly whispered, making sure that nothing could be heard but to his ear.
"KAGE BUSHIN NO JUTSU."
With that, an exact clone appeared next to the Sandaime with just a fist sized cloud of smoke to signal its arrival. The clone quickly donned the clothes and hat, then sat on the chair next to the desk. Cracking its fingers, the clone took a page from the pile and began to read through it, before nodding and signing it with his signature. Nodding at the clone in approval, the Sandaime disappeared, an invisible whirlwind of leaves signaling his exit.
Just as the clone sat down on the chair after throwing the leaves out the window, the secretary burst into the door, struggling to carry an armload of paperwork.
"Sorry, Hokage-Sama, but this stack of paperwork has to be done and turned in by tomorrow morning." The secretary grunted as she hefted the giant pile onto the desk. She then leaned on her knees in order to catch her breath, before walking out the door to catch up on her own paperwork.
As soon as the secretary left, the clone stared at the pile with a distraught expression in its face. A tear formed out of the clone's eye and slowly trailed down its cheek. More tears soon followed as the clone buried its face into the sleeves of the Hokage's sleeves and began to weep.
Meanwhile, after appearing in an alleyway, Sarutobi quickly cast a genjutsu over himself. Finding a shard of a mirror on the floor, he quickly picked it up and looked at himself. The genjutsu made him look to be a few years younger, in his mid fifties. Brown hair was overtaken by a storm of silver, and there were slight wrinkles in the face. His eyes were nearly slits, which came with a perpetual smile on his face.
Nodding in satisfaction, he put down the shard and quickly exited the alleyway. However, he made sure that no one noticed him coming out. Feeling safe, he made his way through the streets until he spotted his destination.
The two floor building was shabby looking to say the least. The walls looked like they needed a new coat of paint, and the fence and door were all covered in rust. The lawn had patches of dandelions and crabgrass, while the walkway that led up to the door had grass growing through the cracks. This sorry little building was the Konoha Haven Orphanage. Looking around the place, Sarutobi made a note to make repair jobs a D – ranked mission sometime.
Ringing the doorbell, he waited for a while, before the door opened and an eye with brown pupils looked out the crack. It widened before the door widened, revealing a heavyset woman wearing a blue dress with a brown apron on top. Her graying black hair was tied up in a messy knot, as she smiled at Sarutobi, showing one of her teeth was missing.
"Higa-san! How wonderful it is to see you. I mean, talk about timing. You know that the detention ward needs to be cleaned."
"Well, it is my job as janitor to keep the house clean and to spare you some stress, Akiko-san… Wait, you said the detention ward only needs to be cleaned?"
Akiko nodded her head sadly.
"Yes, I'm afraid so."
Sarutobi's heart fell as he knew who it must be.
"Please don't tell…"
Akiko put a hand on her cheek as she shook her head.
"This is the third time this month…I just don't understand, and I don't care what the other kids say. I've seen him before, and he is the nicest boy I've seen. If you see him, can you?" Akiko asked as she let him into the orphanage.
Sarutobi nodded as he walked in.
"I'll see what I can do."
"Oh, and Higa-san?"
Sarutobi turned and gave a questioning glance.
"Please tell your friend, Fujiyoshi-san to stop sending that horrid Icha Icha along with his donations. We have enough fire wood already."
Sarutobi sweatdropped and nodded as he went to the supply closet.
The detention ward was a very dreary place. It was a single room with one bed in the center of it. The walls were a cracked and dirty white. Dust could be seen in the floor, while the one window showed a view of the backyard playground. All in all, it was a room fit for a delinquent.
However, as far as Sarutobi knew, the blonde lying on the bed was no delinquent.
Blunt, however, he certainly was. Sarutobi sighed as he hefted his broom and began to dust the area. As he did, he began to observe Naruto from the corner of his eye.
The boy wore a dark blue t-shirt with an orange spiral in the center. His pants were a dirty white, but weren't exactly ratty. A bandage adorned his right cheek as well as the bridge of his nose. His blond hair stuck out like a bush and his azure blue eyes shined with childlike innocence and the fire of determination. Sarutobi decided to nip the matter in the bud.
"Alright, Naruto-kun, what did you do this time?"
Naruto turned on his side, now staring at the wall.
"I…got into a fight."
Sarutobi sighed. Naruto may have his father's looks, but he definitely had her mother's attitude.
"Again, Naruto-kun?" Sarutobi deadpanned.
Naruto could only pout as he sat up and crossed his arms as he sat on the side of the bed.
"He just won't leave me alone. I think the only way to get him to leave me to pound him with my fists."
Sarutobi frowned as he sat next to Naruto and put a comforting hand on his shoulder.
"Naruto-kun, why won't you just tell someone why you did it?"
Naruto just snorted as he crawled into the bed and pulled up the sheets.
"Oiji-san, I don't think they care enough to find out why."
Sarutobi stared sadly at the blond before finishing cleaning the room up. It was times like this that he wished that solutions could come easy.
A week later, a door flew off its hinges and crashed down onto the floor. The man scratched his head nervously before shrugging and going out into the streets. Quickly stretching, he jumped onto the roof of the building and breathed in deeply.
The man was dressed … strangely to say the least. He wore a green jumpsuit the shade of grass. His orange legwarmers seemed to be a bit bigger to hide just his shins. His Konoha flak jacket was left unzipped, and his Konoha headband was worn as a belt. His black hair was styled in a bowl cut and his eyebrows…his eyebrows seemed to be giant blocks of fuzz sitting on top of his eyes.
As he inhaled the oxygen, he then shouted out to the village of Konoha in a loud voice.
"AHHHH, WHAT A YOUTHFUL DAY!"
This was Maito Gai, current ANBU codenamed Kame and Konoha's self proclaimed "Sublime Green Beast of Prey."
However, someone didn't know that as he leaned out the window with a boot in his hand.
"OH, SHUT IT!"
With that, the person threw the boot. The boot made an impact against Gai's head, flipping him over onto the roof. Satisfied with the hit, the person closed the window.
"Tommorrow, I'm going house hunting."
Gai sat up, rubbing his head where the boot hit.
"Some people just aren't that youthful." Gai sadly lamented as he stood up and brushed himself off. Looking around, his melancholy was replaced by appreciation and joy.
"Oh well, I cannot change one's mind. Now what shall I do today?" Gai muttered as he sat down in a thinking pose. Then his head shot up as he remembered something. Jumping off the building and running into his apartment, he picked up his calendar and scanned through. His eyes caught one item written on it, and began to laugh as he set the calendar down. He finished laughing as he opened the door.
"OF COURSE! HOW COULD I HAVE FORGOTTEN? Today is the day I lend my youthfulness to the Konoha Haven Orphanage! OH, HOW WONDERFUL IT IS TO SHARE MY YOUTHFULNESS TO THE ORPHANS!"
Another boot smacked Gai right in the face.
Gai blinked before walking across and knocking at the door. He didn't have to wait long before the door opened. Akiko looked at Gai.
"Oh, you must the volunteer that sighed up." Gai nodded.
"Yes, I am. Call me Gai."
The woman smiled and nodded.
"Then call me Akiko-san." Gai nodded as he bowed.
"Duly noted. Now as my first task for the orphanage, I SHALL GIVE THE ORPHANAGE A FRESH COAT OF PAINT! IF I CANNOT COMPLETE THIS TASK BY LUNCH, THEN I SHALL RUN A HUNDRED TIMES AROUND KONOHA ON MY HANDS WITH A WEIGHT ATTACHED TO MY BACK! AND IF I CAN'T DO THAT…"
"Umm…Yeah, the supplies are in the shed out back, okay?"
Gai gave her a thumbs up as his teeth shined.
Taking a few steps back and observing the fresh coat of paint that was on the orphanage, Gai cheered.
"Yes, a wonderful job."
Suddenly, Gai's stomach grumbled, and if one looked at the ground hard enough, they would have seen the ground shaking a little. Gai grabbed his stomach, before smiling.
"Well, I suppose my work here is done."
But before he could leave, Akiko poked her head outside the door.
"Oh, Gai-san, we are right now having lunch. Would you like to join us?"
Gai would only turn around and smile.
"Well, what am I to refuse your kindness?"
Gai looked at the food in his tray and smiled. Sure, a loaf of bread the size of a hotdog bun, some butter, a bowl of soup with pieces of meat, natto, and a milk carton doesn't exactly sound like a lunch to most people. To Gai, he was taught to be thankful for all sources of nourishment. Choosing a seat away from the boys, he smiled as he dipped a spoon into the broth, then began to raise the spoon to his lips. However, his eyes were able to see what happened next.
A blond that looked to be six had just received his food and began to wander around the tables to search for a seat. Another boy that looked to be twice his age grinned nastily when the blond made his way to him. Suddenly, as the blond walked past him, he tripped and fell on the floor, spilling his lunch on the floor and all over himself.
Everything stopped in the room as all the orphans began to laugh at him for tripping. The blond stood up and wiped the mess off his shirt, before he turned around and began to accuse the bigger boy for tripping him. The older boy simply stood up, the blond a head shorter, and seemed to ask what proof he had. The blond snarled before trying to walk away, but the laughs of both the orphans and the boy quickly motivated him as he charged the boy with a fist ready. However, the supervisor of the lunchroom intervened and grabbed the blond by the scruff of his shirt. It was by then that Gai decided to step in and set the record straight.
"Darn it, Naruto! Can't you just accept that you just tripped?"
"I didn't trip over anything! He…"
The now identified Naruto pointed to the boy, who was trying to look innocent.
"…Must have tripped me!"
The boy only shrugged, while keeping his innocent look on his face. Naruto only glowered at the boy before being taken to the side to be scolded at. Gai stood up with a frown on his face. The "Sublime Green Beast of Youth" would not stand for the injustice he knew he had just witnessed. He then walked next to the supervisor and tapped him on the shoulder.
"Excuse me, may I have a word with you?"
The supervisor turned around, gasped and quickly bowed in respect, regardless of the overabundance of green.
"S-shinobi-sama! What do I owe the pleasure of your visit?"
Gai nodded as he accepted the kindness of the supervisor's words.
"Please, refer to me as Gai-san. Pardon me, good sir, but I believe that I can help you make sure you are scolding the right person."
The supervisor simply tilted his head in confusion as he glanced at Naruto, who was doing the same thing. Then his mind could only formulate one word that seemed to be right.
Gai nodded and pointed to the path that Naruto was taking.
"The first thing I would like you to see is the path that…"
Gai pointed to Naruto.
"Naruto, is it?"
Naruto nodded, dumbfounded that the shinobi in the eye irritating green jumpsuit even knew his name.
"…Naruto had taken. You see that the path is clean and free of anything that Naruto could have tripped over."
The supervisor looked at the path and saw that it was indeed as Gai said as it was. The green clad jonin next looked at Naruto.
"Secondly, Naruto, may you walk normally for me?"
Naruto raised an eyebrow at the weird man's weird request, but decided to comply. After a few moments, the supervisor was confused himself.
"Alright, what am I seeing here?" The supervisor asked.
Gai raised a finger as he started his explanation.
"As you can see, Naruto clearly lifts his foot up before moving it, not dragging the foot. If he dragged it, I might be more inclined to believe that Naruto might have tripped over his feet."
"Is that all, Gai-san?"
Gai then pointed to the boy, who had placed his tray away and was about to exit the cafeteria.
"You, please show the inside of your left knee."
The boy raised his eyebrow.
"Why would you want to?"
Now it was Gai's turn to raise his eyebrow. On an unrelated note, at least half the kids freaked out when they saw the "caterpillars" move.
"Then just show me your knee."
The boy raised his knee and placed his foot on the seat.
"Now tell me: does this hurt?"
With that, Gai placed a thumb upon a spot upon the boy's knee. Almost immediately, the boy screamed and slapped the man's hand away. The supervisor began to piece together what happened, and made his decision. He grabbed the ear of the boy and began to drag him away, intent on punishing the boy. The boy could only scream and whine about his innocence. Gai watched impassively as he saw justice being rightfully restored. Then he remembered that there was still something needed to be done.
Naruto sighed mournfully as he wiped the mess that used to be his lunch from his shirt. He was actually looking forward to lunch today; the food looked really good today. The blond then clutched his stomach as it grumbled loudly. He grimaced as he began to wonder why out of all the days that today was the day that there were no refills.
Suddenly, a cooling tray of food was shoved in front of him. Blinking to make sure that the food that was in front of him was not an illusion, he turned to thank the person who gave him the food. He was surprised when the strange green clad shinobi had actually sat next to him. Naruto's stomach grumbled, but he still felt an obligation to thank the man not only for the food but also for getting him out of trouble.
"Umm…Thanks a lot for the food, Gai-san. Aren't you…hungry?"
The Taijutsu master's only response was to release a smile that left spots in Naruto's vision.
"There is no need for your thanks. All I saw was unyouthfulness that needed to be avenged. Now eat. You need your sustenance."
Naruto bowed to him, before turning to the food and completely disregarding all table manners as he began to shove the food down his throat. Gai was…appalled to say the least. After swallowing all the food, the blue eyed youth ripped off the top of the milk carton and took a long swig from it. Wiping the excess milk from his lips, he gave an audible burp before turning back to Gai with a smile. Gai could only restrain the twitching in his eyebrows by deciding on changing the subject.
"So…May I ask why you knew it was that boy who had wronged you?"
Naruto finished the milk and sighed contently, before answering.
"Honestly, we've been at each other's throats ever since I could walk and talk."
Naruto simply leaned on the table and began to stroke the bandage that was on his cheek.
"Well, apparently that guy believes he's the king of the orphanage. Whenever no one is looking, he basically bosses everyone around. Everyone just takes it. I don't. And every time we fight, I make sure he knows it, and that why he hates my guts…"
Naruto cracked his knuckles.
"…And why I hate his."
Gai blinked as he saw the boy in front of him in not only looks but character. A boy who simply refusing to bow before the unjust. A boy willing to fight a fight that seemed to have no end. A boy who was willing to endure for his ideals. Gai just couldn't help but respect that. This boy had all the makings of a shinobi in him. Then he felt the tug on his sleeve. Glancing down, he saw Naruto, ready to ask a question.
Writing down his approval, Sarutobi finally sighed as he finished his amount of paperwork for today. Putting the pen away and lighting his pipe, the sandaime first looked to the left of him, then to the right of him. Satisfied that no one was there to witness what he was doing, he drew out an orange book from out of one of the drawers in his desk and cracked it open. Then his cheek were tinged red as he began to giggle like a high school girl spotting her crush. Then the intercom rang and Sarutobi scrambled to hide the book again.
"Hokage-sama, Maito-san wants to see you." The secretary spoke through the intercom.
"Um…Yes," Sarutobi responded, straightening out the hat on his head. "Send him in."
It wasn't long before Maito Gai burst in with all his spandex clad glory…
Let's pretend I didn't say that…
"Ah, Gai-san. What brings you here?"
Gai simply placed a bag on the desk.
"I just told my ANBU commander, but I came here to tell you myself. Starting tomorrow, I will return to regular jonin duties."
Sarutobi picked up the bag and looked inside. What was inside was Gai's ANBU armor, his custom ANBU nunchuks, and the kame mask. Closing the bag, he put it away and stared at Gai.
"Why?" was the Sandaime's reply. Gai sighed before responding.
"Hokage-sama, I have…settled down."
The pipe fell from Sarutobi's mouth as his jaw dropped. As soon as the pipe hit the floor, Sarutobi cupped his hand around his ear.
Gai simply sighed, he always wondered why everyone was like this when he said the news.
"Well, Hokage-sama, recently I have found a youth, a youth who flames shine with the intensity of a rising sun. I will soon help him mold those fires in his quest to be a shinobi!"
The Sandaime silently prayed for whoever Gai had adopted.
"Alright, who is the … lucky boy you have decided to take under your wing?"
Gai smiled as he began to review all the techniques he had to teach his pupil/adopted son.
"His name shows him to be a maelstrom of youthfulness; his name is Naruto."
Suddenly, Sarutobi's face froze as his brain fully comprehended what Gai had just said. Gai looked confused as time went by and the Sandaime was still frozen. Finally, Gai waved a hand in front of the Sandaime's face.
What's my excuse for being so late with this chapter and with Quiet In The Storm?
School. Oh, and wrestling practice. That thing lets me go at 5:00.
So expect updates to be slowed during the winter, alright?