Author Note: I know the introductions are very different in this than they were in canon, I did that on purpose. Don't flame me for that.
Naruto looked up and saw what he was looking for. A small shack stood in a clearing just ahead of him. This was the place Mizuki told him about, it HAD to be. He chuckled. This was just perfect, no one would bother him here for a while. He could sit down and learn a jutsu from this blasted scroll and pass the exam.
Naruto unrolled the scroll. "Okay, what's the first jutsu here?" he thought to himself. It was Shadow Clone Jutsu. UGH! Naturally, it had to be a more advanced form of his WORST jutsu, didn't it? "Oh, well, I might as well get down to it and learn this damn thing," he thought. Then something caught his eye. It was a small seal on the bottom corner of the scroll. He knew about storage scrolls, of course, and this seal looked just like that; the kanji for what was stored in it was "scroll." What could that mean? He thought to himself, "All right, let's just give it a try, why not?" Thinking such, he bit his thumb and spread a little blood on the seal, expecting nothing to happen. To his surprise, a puff of smoke appeared and a small scroll was sitting on the ground beside the larger one. He picked it up and shoved it in his pocket, then got back to working on learning how to create Shadow Clones.
Four Hours Later
HA! He'd done it! He had finally created Shadow Clones. Naruto, the failure, the only one in his class to fail the Clone Jutsu, had MASTERED the Shadow Clone Jutsu! He was going to move on to the next jutsu, but then he heard the voice behind him.
"It's all over, Naruto," the voice said. Naruto grinned as he turned to find the voice's owner, Iruka Umino, standing behind him.
Naruto chuckled, rubbing the back of his head in embarrassment. "Found me already? Not bad, sensei. I only had time to learn one jutsu," Naruto said, grinning.
Iruka was surprised. He could tell Naruto had been training out here. That's when Naruto told Iruka why he'd done this, namely because Mizuki told him anyone who learned a jutsu from that scroll passes the final exam. Iruka was shocked. Then they both were shocked to see kunai flying out of the trees. Iruka pushed Naruto out of the way and took the attack. Iruka was now pinned to the wall of the shack.
"Found our little hideaway, I see. Well, it's good to know my secret isn't the only one you know, Iruka," Mizuki said, glaring at Naruto. Naruto looked at the Chuunin in the tree in confusion. "Oh, that's right, Naruto, you don't even know."
"NO, MIZUKI!" Iruka shouted out. "YOU CAN'T TELL HIM! IT'S FORBIDDEN!"
Now Naruto was curious. "Okay, what are you talking about Mizuki?" he asked.
"Oh, so now you want to know? All right, Naruto, I'll tell you. The fact is, the Nine-Tailed Fox is inside YOU. That's why everyone in the village hates you, treats you like dirt. They all know, but no one would tell you. They wouldn't tell you because they were afraid of you, seeing as you ARE the Nine-Tailed Fox!" Mizuki said, his own voice dripping with malice.
Naruto thought about what Mizuki had said. It certainly explained a lot, didn't it? The way the villagers acted, hell, even his teachers, except for Iruka, of course, had acted that way. That thought reminded Naruto of his sensei, pinned to the shack. He looked over and saw Iruka watching him, a look of worry on his face. "It's not true, sensei. I'm not the fox," Naruto said, needing confirmation.
"No, Naruto, you're not the fox, I know that," Iruka said back. Naruto smiled a little at that. That's all he needed.
Naruto turned to Mizuki. "I notice you didn't tell me before this either. In that case, if you really think I'm the fox, why don't you come after me? Take me out, since I'm sure that's what you intended to do here to begin with," Naruto said, giving Mizuki a glare.
Mizuki, surprised, hopped down from the tree and came at Naruto. Then he turned and started to go after Iruka. "Oh, HELL NO!" Naruto thought. There's no way that's gonna fly. He leapt in front of Iruka and glared at Mizuki. "You EVER lay a hand on my sensei, I'll KILL YOU!" he snarled.
Mizuki appeared unfazed, but really he was surprised. "Show me what you can do, Nine-Tailed Fox," he said back derisively.
"Give me your best shot, fool," Naruto said, grinning. "I'll give it back to you a thousand-fold." Saying so, he formed a cross with the first two fingers of each hand and yelled out, "MULTI SHADOW CLONE JUTSU!" Suddenly, the surrounding forest was populated with hundreds, if not thousands of Naruto clones. Mizuki was shocked and, to say the least, frightened. He couldn't move. "All right then, if you're not coming, we're coming after you," Naruto and his clones said. Then all of them rushed Mizuki, leaving him unconscious and pretty badly beaten moments later.
An Hour Later
Naruto was feeling rather pleased with himself. He had been granted ninja status, in spite of his failure yesterday at the exam, Iruka had given him his headband, and he had learned an awesome jutsu to boot. Naruto grinned as he walked into his apartment. He had to go to the academy to find out about his team soon, but for right now, he had a little time. He suddenly remembered what he had found in the scroll, that other, smaller one. He pulled it out of his pocket. He looked at it, wondering what in the world he had found.
Sitting down on his bed, Naruto unrolled the scroll and looked it over briefly. At the top, it said "Namikaze Bloodline: Chigan." Naruto pondered that; he knew the name Namikaze, of course; the Yondaime Hokage's name was Minato Namikaze, after all. Naruto started reading the scroll.
"If you are reading this scroll, it means you have unsealed it from the Scroll of Sealing kept in the Hokage's office. This means either you have been shown it for some reason or you are the Hokage yourself, but either way, the only one who can unseal this scroll from that one is one who carries the blood of the Namikaze. As there is only one person who carries that blood other than myself, I have to assume it is you reading this, Naruto." At that, Naruto paused in shock. Wait a minute, what in the world did this mean? He had the blood of the Namikaze? He kept reading. "Naruto, I'm sure no one has told you this as yet, but you are my son. I am the Yondaime Hokage, Minato Namikaze, and you are my son." Now Naruto was in true shock. He was the son of the Fourth Hokage? No, it couldn't be! Yet the scroll, obviously being written by said man himself, said he was! He read on. "First off, let me apologize to you. I couldn't ask another family to allow me to use their child if I was unwilling to use my own to seal the Kyuubi into, so I used you. I'm sorry for that. However, there will come a day when the power of the beast will aid you greatly, I assure you. However, that is not the point of this scroll. I'm writing this scroll to tell you of, and teach you to activate, our bloodline." Naruto paused again, letting what he had just read sink in. So what Mizuki said about the Fox was true, and it was sealed into him by his own father huh? He smiled at that. And now he had discovered not only was he the son of the Fourth, but that his clan had a bloodline. He read on. "The bloodline we carry is called the Chigan, or blood eye." Then there followed a brief explanation of how to activate the dojutsu. In essence, all Naruto had to do was focus chakra to his eyes and speak the word "Chigan" to turn it on. He discovered that he had an easier time focusing his chakra while forming the "ram" hand sign, but that wasn't necessary. He read on and found out the ways in which this dojutsu worked, among other things. He grinned. He'd have to try this out when he went to the academy to find out about his future team. Speaking of which... he turned and looked at his clock and gasped. He had to get going NOW or he was going to be late. He rushed out the door.
Naruto arrived at the academy in record time, about forty-five seconds after he ran out his own door. He had never run so far so fast in his whole life. He took a few moments to catch his breath, then walked into the classroom and found an open seat. He sat down, not really thinking where he was. He turned to his right and saw someone sitting there. From the angle he was looking, all he could see was raven hair. Raven hair? There were only two people in his class with hair that dark, and this hair was certainly NOT cut into the shape of a chicken's ass. That left only... "Hinata?" he asked, surprised.
Hinata looked over at Naruto. She had been afraid he wouldn't notice her, even when he sat right next to her. "Y-Y-Yes, N-N-Naruto?" she stammered out.
Naruto gave the girl his trademark grin, wondering why she was blushing and stammering like that. He'd talked to her a few times before, yes, and she always seemed to do that. "What's up, Hinata? You excited about getting our teams today?" he asked her, smiling.
Hinata was in shock. He was talking to her! Asking her questions at that! This was too good to be true! She pinched herself, just to make sure. Nothing changed. "Don't faint, don't faint, don't faint," she repeated to herself over and over. She smiled at Naruto, blushing furiously. "Y-Yes, I'm e-excited. I'm kind of n-nervous too, though," she answered.
Naruto looked slightly confused. "Why would you be nervous?" he asked her. "Afraid you'll get someone you don't like on your team?"
She blushed. He wasn't far off, actually. "Well, it's not so m-much th-that," she said. "It's more that I h-hope to g-get on a t-team with s-s-someone in p-particular."
Naruto's face fell. There was only one person a girl in the class would blush and stammer like that over wanting to be on a team with: Sasuke. He looked at Hinata. "Let me guess. Sasuke, right?" he said, feeling very bitter and dejected. Hinata gasped, wondering what had come over Naruto all of a sudden. His normal cheerful grin was gone and she saw in his eyes a look of such pain, such hurt, that she couldn't believe it. She had known he was hurting, yes, but not this much.
The pain in his eyes gave her new courage. She looked him straight in the eyes and said, "No, Naruto, I'd rather die than be on a team with Sasuke. The one I'm hoping to be on a team with is you."
Naruto was shocked, to say the least. Hinata wanted to be on a team with HIM? "Me? Why would you want to be on a team with me? I mean, I'm dead last in our class, even I know that. I mean, really, wouldn't you rather be on a team with someone who's strong and 'cool' or whatever like Sasuke is?" he asked her. He was legitimately confused.
"Naruto, I know you're the last in our class, but I also know how hard you try and how you put your whole heart and soul into everything you do. I also know how everyone treats you and how you put on that smile of yours to hide the pain. I know how hard it has to be for you. And Naruto, because of that, I admire you, I look up to you. Sasuke might be cool, but he's also a royal jerk with a stick up his ass the size of Hokage Mountain," she said, then blushed at the last part. Naruto thought about what she had said and burst out laughing, not at her blush but at the image of Sasuke sitting on a stick the size of the mountain. Hinata giggled with him, then when they both calmed down, she resumed speaking. "Naruto, I know you've always been alone, and I know you've gone through a lot. I'm sorry I haven't done this before now, but would you like us to be friends?" she had no idea why she was suddenly so confident, but she wasn't going to stop now.
Naruto was surprised. "You mean it, Hinata? You really want us to be friends?" The shy girl nodded, blushing furiously. "Then yes, I would like that very much," Naruto answered her.
"I'm glad, Naruto, really. I promise, you'll never have to be alone again, I'll always be your friend," Hinata said, smiling a little. Naruto gave her a true smile, and the girl felt her heart melt. She had no idea what gave her the courage to do it, but she leapt forward and hugged Naruto. Naruto was surprised, but he hugged her back. "I'm sorry I didn't do this sooner, Naruto. But now that I have, I'll always be here for you," Hinata said softly in his ear. The two separated and Hinata sat back down. Naruto's smile didn't waver for an instant. He finally had a real friend. Hinata, for her part, was smiling as well. She couldn't believe she had the nerve to say and do all that, but now that she had, she felt so much better. She might be blushing, but she was happy for the first time in a very, very long time.
What neither Naruto nor Hinata knew was that, while the classroom was empty other than them so far, their conversation had been witnessed by the Hokage and Iruka. The two were in the Hokage's office; they had been discussing what team to put Naruto on now that he had passed. They had decided to watch him interact with people in the class before Iruka went there, and they had seen the whole incident between him and Hinata. The two looked at one another and smiled. Yes, those two were going to be on a team, that was certain now. Naruto looked happier than they'd ever seen him, and so did Hinata, so there was no way they were going to separate those two, even if it meant completely changing another team around.
Twenty Minutes Later
Iruka entered the classroom and found most of the students already there. He smiled at Naruto and Hinata, who were still talking quietly. He chuckled when he imagined Ino's annoyance when she found out who her teammates were, and he sent a slight glare at Sasuke, who was staring at the wall, as usual. He smiled, thinking of how pleased Naruto would be and how happy Hinata would be to be on a team together. He knew (like everyone else in the class EXCEPT Naruto) that Hinata had a huge crush on the blond knucklehead. Iruka, though, was one of the very few who knew why and didn't think Hinata was stupid for liking the boy.
"All right, class, let's get this show on the road," Iruka said, smiling. "You're all here to get your team assignments. So let's get it started."
Iruka proceeded to list off the first six teams with no real commotion. "All right, Team 7, Sasuke Uchiha, Shino Aburame, and Kiba Inuzuka," he said, causing groans from every girl in the room, except Hinata of course. "Team 8, Hinata Hyuga, Sakura Haruno, Naruto Uzumaki." This one caused Sakura to mutter something about being doomed and Hinata and Naruto to grin like Cheshire cats at one another. He chuckled at that, then read off Team 9's roster, which was like the first six, no real reaction. Then the final team. "Team 10, Ino Yamanaka, Shikamaru Nara, Choji Akimichi." He almost laughed out loud at the look of sheer despair on Ino's face. If he knew anything about it, those three would end up being a hell of a team in time, but still, the look on Ino's face was priceless. Shikamaru and Choji looked pleased with it; he'd expected that, seeing as they were best friends. "All right, all of you wait here for your new sensei to come pick you up. Before you all go, though, I want to just say I'm proud of you all," Iruka said, looking at them all; his eyes rested on Naruto a moment longer than the rest, and the blond smiled and nodded back at him. That done, Iruka left the room, leaving his former students to await their sensei.
Naruto's team and Sasuke's team were soon the only ones left in the room. Naruto and Hinata were still talking, while Sakura was trying desperately to get Sasuke's attention; the way she saw it, this could be her last chance for a long time to do so, if not her last chance period. Naruto pointed out Sakura's antics to Hinata, who giggled. Naruto was enjoying spending time with the shy girl, and even more, he liked making her laugh. A few moments later, Kurenai Yuhi entered the classroom.
"Team 8, come with me," Kurenai said. Naruto, Hinata, and Sakura followed, the first two happily, the last reluctantly. When the new team had arrived at one of the nearby training areas, Kurenai sat them down. "All right, let's start by introducing ourselves. I'll go first," she began, her quiet voice ringing out through the forest. "My name is Kurenai Yuhi. I'm also known as the Genjutsu Mistress of Konoha. I'm sure, during our time together, you'll figure out why. I like fairness and kindness. I dislike people who judge others as failures and those who misuse the arts of genjutsu. My dream is to show the world that a kunoichi can be as great a shinobi as a male ninja." She turned to her new students; Sakura looked pensive, Naruto was smiling, and Hinata was looking up at her with sheer admiration in her pale eyes. She pointed at Sakura, "All right, you next."
Sakura nodded. "My name is Sakura Haruno. I like spending time with my family and friends and Sasuke, I dislike Naruto. My dream is to be a strong kunoichi who is worthy to be the wife of a strong ninja," she said. She seemed to be expecting some reaction from Naruto, who just grinned at her. Kurenai nodded at Sakura's introduction, then turned to Naruto.
Naruto thought a moment, then began. "I'm Naruto Uzumaki. I like my friends, especially Hinata. I dislike those who would hurt me or those who are precious to me. My favorite food is ramen. My dream is to become the greatest Hokage Konoha has ever seen!" he said. The smile on his face never once wavered.
Kurenai smiled at his words, especially his mention of Hinata. She noticed that Hinata blushed at that, which made her chuckle slightly. She turned to Hinata and nodded that it was her turn. Hinata smiled softly and began. "My name is Hinata Hyuga. I like my friends and the people who treat me well, especially Naruto. I dislike people who judge people without knowing them. My hobby is pressing flowers. My dream is to become head of the Hyuga and change the ways of the clan," she said in a soft but determined voice.
Kurenai smiled and nodded at her new team. "All right, you're all very different people, and you all have your own dreams. I look forward to training you all and making you the best shinobi you can be. Tomorrow you'll have a single test to make sure you're ready, however. Meet here tomorrow morning at 10:00. See you then. Oh, and I suggest you eat a big breakfast. You'll need all the energy you can get," she said, then vanished in a puff of smoke.
Sakura got up and excused herself, then ran off in search of Sasuke. She didn't know Team 7 was still sitting in the classroom waiting for their sensei, so, needless to say, she never found him. Naruto and Hinata walked together to the Hyuga compound. Hinata smiled and thanked Naruto for walking her home, then walked into the Main Family's home. Naruto smiled and walked home himself. So it was that Team 8 began their lives as shinobi and their adventures together. None of them had even the slightest inkling of the dangers that lay before them.