The Bijuu Sage
(A/N: Hey all, Leonineus here with the very first chapter of the new and improved edition of The Bijuu Sage! I hope you enjoy it, I worked hard on this. And you wouldn't want me to get upset because you don't enjoy it… *evil smirk* …would you?)
Naruto Uzumaki had always known that the Kyūbi no Kitsune was sealed inside him. He had known ever since he had first been kicked out of the orphanage. A mob had chased him almost as soon as he left the orphanage.
He had been found unconscious and bleeding by the Hokage, who had witnessed the beating through the crystal ball he used to overlook the village and taken to the hospital where several med-nins were asked (read: threatened) to treat him.
As soon as Naruto was allowed out of the hospital (various attempts to kill him in his sleep or sabotage the equipment around him being foiled by an ANBU stationed just inside the door), Sarutobi set him up in his own apartment on the edge of town with an ANBU watch. It was secluded; the building the apartment was in had long since been abandoned and nobody went there any more, therefore it was perfect for Naruto's purposes.
The drawback, obviously, was that if the ANBU guard was neutralized before he could raise the alarm in the event of an intruder, nobody would know a thing was going on.
As such, the two Akatsuki members sent to collect the last jinchūriki two years later were able to exploit this quite easily. A blond Iwa missing-nin by the name of Deidara and a hunched Suna missing-nin by the name of Sasori were able to walk right up to the building before the ANBU on guard realized somebody was there, only for a small clay spider to latch onto his mask and explode. He was lucky; the mask took the brunt of the small blast, but the shockwave concussed him. All he was able to glimpse was a black cloak with red clouds.
Naruto opened the door when somebody knocked to find a tall blond man on the step, "Hey, are you Naruto Uzumaki?"
Naruto leaned against the door cautiously. Inside his head, Kyūbi was muttering warnings. "Yes…"
The man smiled, "Excellent! Goodnight now!"
Naruto just had time to say, "Hey, wha…" before the doorway exploded, throwing him backwards into the room with such force that he hit the wall and passed out.
Deidara frowned as he hefted the unconscious jinchūriki onto his back, "That was easier than I thought it'd be. This kid sucks at using his bijuu. Oh well." He walked out, taking care to allow about a dozen of his more explosive pieces of "art" to filter out through the building as he left, picking up Sasori as the two Akatsuki members left the village.
Sarutobi, unbeknownst to either of them, had actually turned on his crystal ball to see the ANBU lying unconscious on the floor, and immediately headed over to find out what was going on. He was just in time to pick up the ANBU and shunshin him out of the building when the structure went up with a deafening BOOM.
Sarutobi stared at the burning building for a long moment before he bellowed, "NARUTO!"
Chapter One: Abduction
Pein squinted down at the small boy at his feet, unconscious and tied up with enough ninja wire to pin down a boss summon, "Are you sure this is the Kyūbi jinchūriki? He doesn't look anything like I expected him to."
Deidara shrugged, "He said his name was Naruto Uzumaki. Anyway, let's just seal the little bastard's bijuu already!"
Konan, who was standing next to Pein and also surveying the unconscious child, looked up, "Touchy…"
Deidara scowled, folding his arms irritably, "He must've woken up about eighty times in the week and a half it took us to get here. Little bastard's really slippery as well, took most of my clay to pin him down long enough for Sasori to catch up to him. Eventually we just tied him up so he couldn't get away any more."
Konan looked thoughtful as she bent down and picked the boy up, dragging him into position.
"Right then," said Pein cheerfully, shaking the disbelief from his mind and cracking his knuckles, "Right then, everybody get on your fingers and let's get to the sealing!"
Everybody stared at him, "…What?"
Konan shook her head slightly, "Nagato-kun, never do that again please."
Pein ran a hand across his face, really hating when he transferred his consciousness from his own body into that of his old friend. It always meant that he was influenced by the vestiges of Yahiko's personality that remained in the body, meaning he would end up oddly chipper at random moments of the day. Evidently this was one of those moments.
Pein nodded, "Ok, Konan-chan. Let's get on with this." Without waiting for a response, he shunshined up to the huge demonic statue and landed on the right thumb. Itachi and Kisame moved up to their fingers as well and formed hand seals.
Naruto lay before the statue, a corona of reddish chakra enveloping him and lifting him from the floor. The statue's massive mouth opened, and the single eye, the eye right in the middle of its head, began to crack open.
Kyūbi was freaking out inside Naruto's mind, clawing frantically at the walls of her prison in an attempt to find some purchase which could save her from the sealing jutsu that attempted to suck her out of Naruto's head.
The jutsu continued for another two days. Kyūbi was slowly but steadily being dragged from Naruto's head. Finally, with a muffled roar, Kyūbi's consciousness flashed out of Naruto's head and into the statue. The red chakra faded, and Naruto went limp, hitting the floor with a dull thud.
Kyūbi looked around, sealed into the darkness of the statue, "Hello?"
Voices came out of the darkness, excited voices, "Kyūbi-sama? Is that you?"
Kyūbi frowned, if a kitsune can frown, "Nibi-chan? Is that you?"
The darkness lifted, revealing a large chamber. In the chamber, arranged in a circle, were eight creatures the Kyūbi recognized at once.
The Ichibi no Shukaku, looking as psychotic as ever with an insane grin on her face.
The Nibi no Nekomata, looking haughty and bored like the neko queen she was.
The Sanbi no Kyodaigame, Yonbi no Saru, Gobi no Irukauma, and Rokubi no Namekuji all staring at the Kyūbi as she prowled closer.
The Nanabi no Kabutomushi, looking around the room and occasionally scratching at the floor with her legs in nervous anticipation.
The Hachibi no Kyogyū, looking regal as she sat back and snorted plumes of steam from her nose.
Kyūbi sat in the empty space they had left for her, looking around at the demons she had once known, "Sisters, it is nice to see you again."
Hachibi spoke to her right, her rumbling voice echoing in the empty chamber, "It is good to see you too, Kyūbi-sama. I regret that you have been captured, but it has been so long since my last host was dominated."
"My host may yet be alive," Kyūbi responded, "If we can break out of this seal, we can rejoin him."
The Nibi, on Shukaku's left where she sat to Kyūbi's left, hissed angrily and flexed her claws against the floor, "And how do we go about doing that, Kyūbi-sama? Ever since we got here, we have been trying day and night to break out of this seal!"
Kyūbi flicked her tails, leaning forwards to look past the Shukaku at the Nekomata, "Yet I am sure you have not worked together in the attempt. As proud as you other demons are, you would not have thought to try working as one to break out."
Across from him, the Six-Tailed Slug slapped her tails against the floor and spoke, "Be careful of your words, Kyūbi-sama. We may yet elect a new demon queen to lead us."
Kyūbi snorted, standing up and pacing back and forth in the middle of the circle, "You say you have been imprisoned here for a long time, and you wish to be free again. Why do you not work together then? My own host, one Naruto Uzumaki, treated me with respect the day he met me. How did your hosts treat you? With disrespect and dishonour, I suppose, only speaking when they needed you as a tool to defy their enemies! Who do we answer to?"
The Ichibi stood up, roaring, "Nobody!"
Kyūbi rounded on her, "Then why do we just sit here, and dance to their tune when they wish to use us as a weapon? Why do we not work together to break free?"
Nibi stood now, her two tails flicking angrily, "We cannot! Even if we were to escape, where would we go? All they would do is to hunt us down again!"
Kyūbi turned to her now, "My host, Naruto, is a powerful shinobi on his own, if a little… unrefined. If we break out of here, what is stopping us from joining forces with him to stop these people from exploiting us?"
The Sanbi spoke, her voice sounding like boulders grinding together underwater, but still with the musical notes characteristic of the bijuu, "He is a human! We owe NOTHING to the humans!"
Kyūbi turned to the Sanbi, and everybody was startled to see a slight look of worry on the Nine-Tails' vulpine face, "I… I…"
The Gobi moved slowly forwards, considering the Nine-Tails before her, "You like him."
Kyūbi bowed her head, scratching at the floor, "He's a good kit. I may have screwed up his life by getting sealed in him, but I won't just stand aside and let him die. He's grown on me the last eight years, and I can't just let that slide." She slowly walked away, facing the wall she had appeared beside, her nine tails stretched out on the floor, unmoving.
The other bijuu looked at each other for a minute before nodding and standing up.
The Kyūbi jumped when there was an almighty crash and a cloud of dust. She looked sideways to see the Gobi, Rokubi, Nanabi and Hachibi readying their Tailed Beast Ball attacks. "What…?" she murmured.
Nibi, who was standing behind her, batted at her tails as a gesture of affection. Back in the days before the bijuu were forced to fight to survive, this was a common way of one bijuu showing affection, appreciation or assurance to another, "We're getting out of here, Kyūbi-sama. We're going to bust out of here, kill all those who dared try enslave us and save your host."
Kyūbi twisted around, getting to her feet as four massive balls of chakra smashed into the wall.
Outside, in the cavern, Zetsu had just been directed by Pein to dispose of the jinchūriki's body. Little did they realize, Naruto wasn't dead yet. The incredible endurance of the Uzumaki clan, like his mother before him, had allowed him to live through the extraction.
There was a shudder, almost imperceptible, but Kakuzu noticed it. "What was…" he started to say, before Hidan cursed and pointed at the statue.
The gigantic demonic statue was moving; shuddering violently. Hollow booms echoed from it. Finally, it swayed, the stone around it cracking at the ceiling and floor, and it toppled forwards.
The statue hit the ground, shattering into infinitesimal pieces, and out of it erupted all nine bijuu, unsealed and angry.
Pein tried to summon his Paths, but this proved to be the doom of him. The Hachibi spotted him doing this, remembered what had happened to her last host when he had summoned his Paths, and contemptuously stomped on him. Blood oozed from under its foot as Pein was crushed like a grape. Konan screamed, "Nagato-kun!" but the Nibi cast her into a wall, knocking her out. The other Akatsuki fled, scattering towards the cave entrance. Even they were not foolish enough to take on all nine bijuu at once.
Kyūbi turned to look at her host, butting him with her nose. He moved, ever so slightly. "Kit!" Kyūbi cried in relief, "Kit! Can you hear me?"
Naruto moaned, "K-Kyūbi?"
Behind the Kyūbi, the other eight bijuu suddenly buckled, making sounds of pain. Kyūbi turned to face them, "What's the problem?"
Nibi spoke, her musical voice hissing with pain, "We've… we've been sealed too long! After a few days of being sealed, a sudden unsealing would hurt us massively, the way that seal was constructed! There is only one way we can all survive now! We need a vessel, NOW!"
Kyūbi understood, turning back to her kit, "Kit, I need you to focus. This will sting a little, alright?"
Naruto nodded weakly, "What, Kyūbi?"
Kyūbi stepped back, "Everybody, channel your chakra into Naruto, NOW!"
Eight lances of chakra poured from the bijuu, weaving together into a plaited pattern and connecting with Naruto, who groaned in pain. Kyūbi added her own stream of chakra to the mix, looking down at her host as he writhed in pain on the ground.
Minutes passed, the nine bijuu staying absolutely still, each pouring their chakra into the connections between them and Naruto. Finally, one after the other, they dematerialized, first the Shukaku, then the Nibi, and then each in turn.
Kyūbi was the last to go. She looked down at her host with concern as she pushed the last of her chakra into the boy, and felt herself start to dematerialize, "Naruto…" she thought; "I hope you can protect us. Even bijuu need people to protect them, no matter how powerful they are…"
Naruto came round, finding himself lying on his back on the floor of a room. Looking around, it struck him how blank the room was. Not light, yet not shadowy either; it was simply there. "Hey, you're awake," said a musical female voice.
Naruto looked down towards his feet. Standing twenty feet away were nine women, and all of them had tails. The woman who had spoken, who had nine tails and a small pair of fox ears, smiled and stepped forwards, "Naruto-kun…"
Naruto struggled to sit upright, groaning and holding his head, "Where… where am I?"
"We're inside your mindscape, Naruto-kun…"
"Who are they?" said Naruto, pulling himself up on Kyūbi's helpful arm and looking towards the eight figures standing some way off.
Kyūbi helped him stand up and turned to face them. She pointed to them, "These are the other bijuu, Naruto-kun."
Naruto grinned foxily at them, "I don't think we've been introduced…"
The one-tailed woman, who had two small perky ears on top of her head and black rings around her eyes, grinned in a somewhat psychotic fashion, "I'm the Ichibi no Shukaku, ya maggot!"
The two-tailed woman, who had two cat ears sticking out of her blue, black-streaked hair, nodded formally to Naruto, "I am the Nibi no Nekomata."
The three-tailed woman, who had a large shell on her back, nodded and growled, "I'm the Sanbi no Kyodaigame."
The four-tailed woman, covered in fine brown fur (A/N: Think the monkey half of Renji Abarai's Zanpakutō spirit from Bleach, Zabimaru), smiled slightly, "I am the Yonbi no Saru."
The five-tailed woman, who had an odd protrusion on her back like a fin, chuckled, "I'm the Gobi no Irukauma, nice to meet you Naruto-kun."
The six-tailed woman had a pair of antenna; she examined Naruto critically for a second before saying, "You're a small one aren't you? But I guess if Kyūbi-sama trusts you, I can. I'm the Rokubi no Namekuji."
The seven-tailed woman had an odd, hard, shell-like object on her back. Every few seconds it flared and revealed some translucent wings. She seemed a little hyperactive as she said, "It's great to meet Kyūbi-sama's jinchūriki, absolutely great, such an honour to meet the jinchūriki of the Nine-Tails…"
"Nanabi-san," Kyūbi interjected, "Please don't ramble, you just have to introduce yourself at the moment."
The seven-tailed woman nodded frantically for a minute before grinning at Naruto, "I'm the Nanabi no Kabutomushi, nice to meet you!"
When Naruto turned to the last woman, she regarded him with a stern eye. She had eight tails and long horns that jutted from the sides of her head. "I," she said in a rumbling, yet feminine, voice, "am the Hachibi no Kyogyū, boy. You had better be capable of wielding the power we will give you, or you will die like a pathetic ant."
"Hachibi-san," reproached Kyūbi, "Please be polite to my jinchūriki." She waited for a second, but when no apology was forthcoming she continued, "Naruto-kun, we all need somewhere to sleep. You need to focus and build your mindscape with your mind."
Naruto nodded, turning to look at the other bijuu, "What do you want?"
Ichibi smirked, "I'd like a big desert."
Nibi smiled, "I'd like a cat basket with mice to chase. Also, a scratching post and an endless supply of milk." When she saw Kyūbi stare at her, she blushed, "What? Old habits are hard to break!"
Sanbi frowned, "I'd like a big serene lake…"
Yonbi laughed, "I want a big jungle with lots of coconut palms! Old habits are hard to break for me too."
Gobi nodded pensively, "I would like the same as Sanbi-san, please."
Rokubi slapped one of her tails against the floor, "Ummm… hell, just give me a cabbage patch with a never-ending supply of cabbages. I'm hungry as heck."
Nanabi fluttered her wings for a minute before she spoke, "Can you give me a large hive? Like a termite hive, but big enough for me to fit inside?"
Hachibi snorted, fiddling with one of her horns for a second before she grunted, "I want a watering hole, in the middle of a wide plain, with a couple of date palms."
When Naruto turned to the Kyūbi, she smiled at him and said, "I'd like a fox hole; a relaxing den for me to sleep in."
Naruto nodded, before closing his eyes and concentrating. Nine doors appeared off the room, each with a different number on it. "Ok, go," said Naruto in a slightly weary tone.
Each of them except Kyūbi wandered towards their doors, opening them and looking in. Various cries of glee issued from the doors as each woman adopted their animal form and ran (or slithered, or plodded, or scuttled) through the doors, which swung shut behind them.
Kyūbi turned to Naruto before hugging him tightly, "I think it's time for you to wake up now, Naru-kun."
Naruto looked up at the Kyūbi, "Will you stay with me?"
Kyūbi smiled, "We're not leaving. We'll stay with you."
Naruto nodded, "Thanks. I… I guess I'll be waking up now."
Naruto opened his eyes to find the blue-haired kunoichi bending over him. Instinctively he recoiled away from her, "Get back!"
Konan frowned, "I'm not going to hurt you. The only reason I'm in Akatsuki at all is because my husband is… was… the leader. The Hachibi stepped on him just before the Nibi hit me into the wall. Now that he's dead, I have no ties to Akatsuki; I will help you return to Konoha. My name is Konan, by the way."
Naruto gave her a suspicious look, "How do I know I can trust you?"
Konan sighed before pulling off her Akatsuki robe and taking a ring from her finger, "Akatsuki is no more."
Naruto didn't say anything for a long moment, until Kyūbi spoke into the back of his mind, "I can't detect any trickery from her, Naruto-kun. I think you can probably trust her."
"Are you sure, Kyūbi-chan?"
"Yes. One of my unique abilities is I can tell when somebody is lying to me. Well, actually it's detecting negative emotions but it's basically the same thing since lying to somebody incurs negative emotions. She's trustworthy."
Naruto nodded to himself before saying, "Fine. Can you take me back to Konoha?"
Konan nodded, standing up and holding out a hand to him. Naruto hesitated for the briefest second before taking it, and the two of them vanished in a swirl of pieces of paper.
Hiruzen Sarutobi was close to despair; his favourite orphan had disappeared two weeks ago with no trace other than his destroyed apartment block and there had as yet been no sign that he was coming back. The council were pushing for him to be declared a missing-nin (a stretch seeing as the boy hadn't even gone to the Academy yet; he had after all only just turned eight and wasn't supposed to go to the Academy for at least another six months) and there was already a reward for anybody who found any leads.
The old man buried his face in his hands. His successor's son was missing and there was nothing he could do to help him.
An ANBU interrupted Sarutobi's thoughts by poking his head through the door, "Hokage-sama? You might want to see this."
Sarutobi sighed, sitting up straight and looking towards the door. A second later his jaw dropped as the door opened and he saw two figures walking in. One was an unfamiliar woman with a paper flower in her blue hair, amber eyes and a small piercing in her lower lip. The other was… Naruto.
Naruto grinned, "Hey, jiji! Been a while!"
Sarutobi practically vaulted over his desk in his haste to get to his surrogate grandson, "Naruto! Where've you been? What happened to you?"
Naruto frowned, "I got abducted. These guys blew up my apartment and took me out of town. I kept escaping but they kept blowing up the trees I was hiding behind and finally they just tied me up. They used some kind of jutsu to pull Kyūbi-chan out of my head. How everybody else manages to be alone inside their head and not go crazy I will never know."
Sarutobi spluttered, "You know about the Kyūbi?"
Naruto nodded quietly, "Yes. I met her when I was kicked out of the orphanage. When I got chased by that mob and you found me?"
Sarutobi nodded, remembering the event two years previously.
Naruto smiled, "She's not alone in there now."
Sarutobi stared at him blankly for a minute before he said, "I thought you said she was extracted?"
Naruto nodded, "She was. Konan-chan can probably explain; I was unconscious at that point."
Sarutobi turned to look at the blue-haired woman, who folded her arms, "The statue into which our organization was sealing the bijuu was destroyed from the inside out and the bijuu were released. One of them stepped on my husband, the leader of the organization, and another hit me into the wall. After that, I assume the bijuu escaped as I was alone except for Naruto and my husband's body."
Naruto shook his head, "They didn't escape. They went into me."
Sarutobi blinked at the boy for a second, "Sorry?"
Naruto repeated himself, "The bijuu went into me. Kyūbi-chan says that it was something to do with the statue's seal; they were in pain from the sudden unsealing when the statue broke and they needed a vessel. As such I'm not so much the jinch… jinchūr…"
Konan smiled, "Jinchūriki?"
Naruto nodded, "…jinchūriki of Kyūbi-chan any more, more like the jinchūriki of all nine bijuu."
Sarutobi stared at Naruto, "Is anything simple in your life?"
Naruto folded his arms, "I think the Yodaime saw to that, eight years ago!"
"Yondaime, Naruto-kun," said Konan.
Naruto nodded, "That too."
Konan chuckled, before turning to the Sandaime, "I'm not actually a kunoichi, by the way. I learnt to utilize my kekkei genkai control of paper from Jiraiya of the Sannin, but other than that, I have nothing to my name."
Sarutobi turned to face her, "That is alright. You can take a refresher course, though I would like a demonstration of your abilities with your kekkei genkai. I would give you a warning though; you might want to keep a bloodline like that to yourself. If the council were to find out; they might try and put you into the breeding program, full-grown woman or not."
Konan nodded, "I understand."
Sarutobi smiled, "Naruto, you need to get your stuff from your apartment. If Konan-san is willing, I'd like to put you in the same house as her."
"Hokage-sama…" said the ANBU in the corner, the very same one who had failed to defend Naruto from the Akatsuki and only recently released from the hospital back onto active duty, "His apartment complex was destroyed… remember?"
Sarutobi frowned, "Oh yes. Oh well, I guess you'll have to get all new stuff then."
He walked over to his desk and looked in a drawer, finally coming back with a key ring with a set of keys on it, "Here. The keys to an empty house I own on the edge of town. It has a really spacious garden, so you can use it to practice your new abilities, Naruto."
"Ask him if there's sand there." The Ichibi's voice spoke up in the back of his mind. He could tell it was hers from the slightly psychotic giggling she followed it up with.
Naruto repeated the question, and Sarutobi looked puzzled, "Why do you need to know?"
A few seconds passed before Naruto replied, "Shukaku-chan says she wants to teach me her sand-based techniques and Nanabi-chan wants to teach me to use Dust Release."
Sarutobi's eyebrows rose into his thinning hairline, "Would you mind telling me what techniques they're going to teach you?"
Naruto shrugged, "Too many to count right now. When I learn some, I'll give you a quick demonstration, alright?"
Sarutobi nodded, before something else struck him, "Naruto? Why are you behaving so mature right now?"
Naruto gave him a sardonic look, "I share my head with nine awesomely powerful creatures. All of them agree that if they're going to give me the ability to defend them from the people who'd use them as nothing more than a weapon, I need to be mature. Shukaku-chan tells me that her main ability is the telly-keen-tick…"
Konan laughed, "Telekinetic?"
Naruto nodded, "I'm just saying her words and I can't get them all right… the telekinetic control of sand particles to either attack and defend. Can you see that in the hands of an immature eight-year-old?"
Sarutobi resisted the urge to break down and cry in the corner like a little girl at that thought. Steeling himself, he said, "Very well. I will issue a genin squad to drop a couple of bags of sand at your house for you to use."
Konan spoke up, "Actually, could we commission that team for a full job? I heard the reports on each jinchūriki's host as they were taken and a couple of them employed very different styles. I think I could probably draw up a plan of what we actually need to convert the garden into a training ground."
Sarutobi nodded, "Do whatever you need to do."
Konan smiled before turning to Naruto, "Let's go then, Naruto."
Naruto flopped back onto his new bed. They had spent the day clearing up the entire house that Sarutobi had given them, before going out to the shopping district to buy Naruto some clothes, since he had been wearing the same ones for about the last two weeks and they were beginning to stink something awful.
Konan had come back from this trip in a towering rage. Only the fact that the Sandaime Hokage had just put a lot of trust in her by letting her stay in contact with Naruto had stopped her from using her Shikigami Dance and blowing the entire merchant's district sky-high for the way they had been treating Naruto.
The one merchant in particular who had punched Naruto and tried to manhandle him out of the shop when he entered had found out what a bad idea that was the hard way. She didn't know if he'd ever be able to look at another clothes hanger without screaming in terror and fainting, what with the amount of them she had jammed into various painful orifices before leaving him tied up and hanging from the sign in front of his shop.
The owner of the clothes shop directly opposite had seen the whole thing through the front window of his shop, so when they walked in five minutes later he was only too happy to serve them.
Konan had been slightly bemused when she handed him the hanger from a deep blue jumpsuit and he almost shrieked with terror. Naruto had found the whole thing hilarious on the other hand.
They had eventually decided on a neutral black jumpsuit with a dark red stripe down the left leg and a deep blue stripe down the right and, at Naruto's request, orange bands around the wrists.
Now Naruto lay in bed with a closet full of clothes, a stomach full of something that was home-made and most definitely not ramen but tasty all the same, and his head full of sleepy females saying goodnight.
Drowsily changing into his new nightclothes, Naruto dropped into bed and quickly fell asleep.
Naruto woke up early the next morning when Yonbi, evidently suffering from a mischievous streak, shouted, "FREE RAMEN OUTSIDE RIGHT NOW!"
The small blond had, predictably, shot bolt upright and was halfway down the stairs when he registered laughter in the back of his head.
"Bad Yonbi-chan…" he pouted, having identified the source of the prank from a dim echo of Hachibi remonstrating the monkey bijuu.
"Oh lighten up,"the bijuu shot back, "From what Kyūbi-chan's been telling us you've been doing pranks since you were knee-high to a grasshopper."
"Yeah but… I… shut up."
"Aww, did I confuse you poor baby? What a shame."
"I said shut up!"
"Naruto-kun," said a voice, interrupting Naruto's mental argument with the beings that shared his mind, "Are you alright? Why are you standing in the middle of the hall?"
Naruto shook his head, coming back to full awareness of the outside world to find Konan standing in front of him wearing a dressing gown he figured must be one of the things that Konan had sent off one of her paper clones to buy the previous day.
"Er, yeah I'm fine, just having an argument with the tenants."
Konan chuckled before she walked over and escorted Naruto into the kitchen for breakfast, "Well anyway, we need to draw up a plan of what we need to build the garden into so you can train with your new skills, Naruto-kun. I'm going to need you to list all your new abilities so that I can make a list and then cross-reference whatever we'll need. For example, if I recall correctly the Yonbi can spit lava. We're going to need targets that are either massively heat-resistant or will reform when destroyed."
"You can do that?"
"Impressed by somebody who tricked me into thinking there was free ramen? Not likely. Don't ever do that to me again."
Naruto dropped back into full awareness when Konan dropped a bowl of porridge in front of him and smiled, "Eat up, we've got a lot of work to do today."
Naruto's response was to immediately chow down and not speak until the end of breakfast when he went up for a shower.
"So," said Konan, jotting something else down on the notepad in front of her before looking up at the boy sitting opposite her, "The Hachibi allows you to create ink?"
Naruto paused for a split second before nodding, "Yeah. Hachibi-chan says yes. She also says she hopes I don't start rapping like her last jinchūriki, whatever that means…"
Konan laughed, "Oh yeah, I remember that one. Nagato told me about it; apparently the guy didn't stop rapping for the entire battle and only stopped when all six of Nagato's paths jumped him at the same time."
Naruto frowned, "You know I could always start rapping for Hachibi-chan if she'd prefer…"
A second passed before he suddenly grabbed the sides of his head and said, "OW! Hachibi-chan, what was that for?"
"Don't you dare start rapping, Naruto. I got enough of that from my last jinchūriki, and I never ever want to experience it again."
"Ok, ok, I get the idea. Sorry, Hachibi-chan."
Konan got him back on task, "So what can Hachibi do with her ink? All Nagato apparently saw during the fight with her previous jinchūriki was a really, really big ox with tentacles of all things."
Naruto paused for a second before he said, "She says I can spit it in my enemy's eyes to gain an advantage in a fight… That's all. Apparently that's really its only functional use apart from I can actually use the ink to write with if I get some on my fingers."
Konan mused, "Hmm, that might be handy for fūinjutsu. What about the Kyūbi, what can it… she… do?"
Naruto was silent for a long moment before he spoke again in a voice as though he was reading from a speech, "She can use three real attacks; The Fire Stream, the Sonic Roar and the Twister. She says they're all pretty self-explanatory."
Konan nodded and scribbled that down before she suddenly said, "Alright, now I need to start working on what you need to learn…"
Naruto nodded, before he suddenly heard a loud outbreak of yelling inside his head and said, "I think Shukaku-chan is having a breakdown, be right back."
He closed his eyes and slipped into his mindscape.
The bijuu were busily ignoring Shukaku's psychotic rage as she screamed and cursed in her own room about killing the entire world. As such none of them really noticed when Naruto appeared in his mindscape and walked into Ichibi's room, being too busy engrossed in their own methods of distracting themselves.
They noticed however, when the psychotic rants and laughter turned into very real laughter, and when Shukaku started begging somebody to stop they all headed out of their own rooms to see what was happening.
They found Naruto and Shukaku tussling on the sandy floor of Shukaku's room with the eight-year-old exploiting Shukaku's biggest new-found weakness; namely her very ticklish stomach.
"You know," said Kyūbi quietly to the Nibi who sat next to her, "Is it wrong of me to be really jealous of Shukaku right now?"
Nibi didn't respond; she was too busy watching Shukaku beg for mercy under Naruto's dextrous fingers with a slight feeling of envy that she forced down in favour of keeping her haughty neko queen image intact.
Hachibi scowled, "Such unseemly behaviour…"
Nanabi snorted, and Kyūbi had a sudden sense of trepidation; the seven-tails had always been a bit like Naruto; blunt and to the point, "Oh lighten up, Hachibi-san. You're such a prude; I bet you really want Naruto to force you down and…"
She was cut off by the Sanbi and Gobi noticing the Hachibi's rising aura of killing intent and tackling the Nanabi to the floor before she could annoy the eight-tails any more.
The play-wrestle between Naruto and Shukaku continued for another fifteen minutes before the one-tail finally managed to shove Naruto off and slump back against the sand, gasping for breath.
"Wow, I'm impressed," remarked Yonbi to the other bijuu, at least all the ones currently standing, "Eight years old and already wearing out the weakest of our number. I can't wait until his stamina's improved enough to keep up with me!"
There was a pause, and then a small red hand swept through the air and clipped her round the back of the head, "Hands off my Naruto-kun, Yonbi-chan. I was sealed in him first so I get first dibs."
"Alright, kid," came Shukaku's weak voice from within the room, drawing all their attention, even that of the Sanbi, Gobi and Nanabi still lying on the floor, "You managed to conquer me… let me start you off on sand manipulation."
Naruto perked up immediately, flipping around so that he was sitting in an attentive position. Shukaku chuckled calmly (Yes, CALMLY!) at his enthusiasm and adopted a meditative position, "Alright then, what you need to do is try and imbue the sand around you with your chakra and try to move it. Let's begin."
Two weeks later.
"And so," said Sarutobi to the horde of new recruits outside the Academy, "May your shinobi careers begin their development, and may you serve your village and country well!"
Naruto smirked, a tendril of sand rising over his shoulder as he followed the new teacher into his new classroom, leaving Konan waving goodbye in the yard outside. The next four years were going to be so much fun.
The first thing he discovered was that his class had the last Uchiha, remnant of a clan that had been exterminated three years before, though he didn't know how; and the boy's clique of fangirls. Naruto (and by extension Yonbi) had them pegged for potential targets as soon as they laid eyes on them, prompting them to do an almost in-synch movement; namely rubbing their hands together in glee and cackling evilly.
The class started quite quickly. The teacher introduced himself as Iruka Umino (prompting Gobi to whoop and start cheering for a fellow dolphin), before launching into a lecture of what a shinobi needed to be capable of in order to complete their missions successfully. Under cover of this lecture, Naruto started scouting the room for targets besides the Uchiha and his followers. A rotund boy eating from a bag of chips, a boy with a small white dog, a pineapple-haired boy taking a nap in his seat, a boy in a high-collared coat with sunglasses, a small indigo-haired girl with pale lavender eyes, the Uchiha's clique, and the Uchiha himself. Not really a fine crop of candidates to prank, but he'd have to make do.
Moving his hands slowly and gently so as not to make it obvious what he was doing, he concentrated, feeling for the expanded bag Konan had made for him with a couple of seals so that he could carry his sand on him wherever he went. Finding it, he undid the top and focused his mind on the chakra-imbued sand lying within.
The Uchiha was sitting in his chair and doing his best stoic impression (and ignoring the urge to kill the two girls currently fawning over him) when he suddenly felt something like a codpiece made of sand squeeze unimaginably tight around his crotch, causing him to let out a screech of pain and fall off his chair.
Naruto grinned to himself as he summoned the sand back as fast as he could, leaving the Uchiha lying on the floor trying to work out how he'd just been wedgied.
"Are you alright… Sasuke?" said Iruka, checking the register for his name.
"Yes," said Sasuke in a higher voice than usual, "I'm fine."
Naruto, sitting at the back, was currently laughing his ass off with Yonbi in his mindscape, stopped laughing for a second to chuckle to himself, "Yup. The next four years are going to be brilliant."
(A/N: …and there you have it folks, the first real chapter of Bijuu Sage! If people want me to, I'll post a list of Naruto's current powers and for a couple of the bijuu which I don't currently have powers for, you can put forth your own suggestions. You all know the drill; drop reviews with all your questions, suggestions and opinions, and I'll see you when I post the next chapter. Leonineus, OUT!)