Disclaimer: Whose scarier, the person who doesn't know they're sick and twisted, or the person that freely admits to it with a huge grin?
The city structure of Hi no Kuni was confusing, and the information sites I checked did little to clear things up. Therefore, to clear up any misunderstandings, I've decided to improvise, and make my own set up. The run in with Itachi and Kisame takes place in Otafuku Gai. The crater-like city they search second will be Shukuba Town, and finally, the only place that was a general consensus by all the sites I checked is Tanzaku Gai.
For those who were worried, I won't be walking away. While I'm really getting annoyed with how easily Nuke-nin seem to be getting forgiven in the series, I've come to accept it. Given that Naruto is finally getting his well deserved 'I'm the shit, now everyone gets their proof' moment, I'm okay with Sasuke coming back. Besides, seeing the Naruto and Sasuke combination jutsu actually inspired me to come back to this just so I could use some offshoots of them later.
By the way, I don't know if I've mention this before, but I've always been of the opinion that Naruto had a friend making Bloodline Limit, and once said that if he befriended the Kyuubi that it couldn't be denied. I would once again like to say...you can no longer deny that it exists. Haku, Zabuza, Sasuke (until he got the infected hickey), Neji, Gaara, Tsunade, Pein and Konan, Kyuubi, Obito, and this was just in the manga. If you count the fillers and movies, there's at least a minimum half dozen more; I don't think anything more need be said on the matter.
Also, for those of you who were put off by the prank jutsu, I'm going to put them away for a bit. They'll still get occasionally used on people that really deserve it, but I think the joke's been burned out for now. Rectal Prolapse will get one final hoorah, then it's hibernation time.
I also noticed that no one commented on the Elders showing some badassery. Would have thought that would have intrigued someone.
Naruto's grin was wide as he entered the village with his party of five; well, if you counted Tonton. Unlike the last time where things had been incredibly dire, aside from a slip up that he was still debating on whether to forgive NB for, the trip had gone incredibly well this time around. And the best part, was that he'd gotten to deal with that traitor Kabuto. Still, he was a little annoyed with the stunt NB pulled to get Tsunade over her hemophobia.
"Oh come on, don't be such a wuss." NB teased. "You asked to use your free arc change to get rid of her blood fear, so I did."
'You didn't have to use me as the method for it.' Naruto complained.
"You're focusing on entirely the wrong thing here. Shinobi chicks dig scars, and you were the one who constantly bitched about not having anything to show from your epic battles."
'That's true, but I didn't get this scar from a battle, I got it from my jutsu backfiring on me.' Naruto thought angrily. 'And how the hell can she have easily healed all of the other injuries with no marks, but this one scarred? It wasn't even the biggest or worst one.'
"Hmph, some thanks I get for doing you a favor." NB muttered like a petulant child. "Besides, you helping her get over her hemophobia was nostalgically sweet."
Deciding that trying to debate with a mentally disturbed author was a waste of time, Naruto turned his attention to his travelling companions, and contemplated their current dispositions.
Jiraiya had spent the entire trip giving him awkward glances that ranged from proud, unsure, and highly disturbed. He was sure the pride was from everything Rasengan related, and how he'd convinced Tsunade to return. The unsurity was likely due to his having the Uzumaki Clan Jujutsu scroll. He was also fairly sure that his new summons had caused the disturbed looks. Who knew the Uzumaki Clan had actually had an extremely random Summoning Contract, and that the mongooses they'd signed with were just as crazy as the clan they worked with.
Tsunade looked like she was about to have a sulking fit. While she'd praised him for such a shinobi-like deception, betting on something that he could already do, she was more than a little annoyed that she'd been played by a Genin. Only the consulation prizes she got out of the deal kept her from contemplating reneging on the deal they'd made. Not only that, but it did stop Shizune from nagging her about missing Konoha, and going home even if for just a visit.
Shizune, well Shizune just looked to be happy to be finally coming back to Konoha. That her mistress was becoming Hokage, and that she wouldn't have to take part in any repayments of her mentor's debts was a bonus. The woman was exceedingly happy, if the repeated scooping up and hugging of Tonton was anything to go by. With a smile, and the secure knowledge that it should be over just as he reached the Hokage Tower, Naruto decided a flashback was in order to relive the rather interesting trip he'd just returned from.
Present day Konoha disappears in Yellow Flash, Past Naruto and Jiraiya walking along dirt road appears in a swirl of Icha Icha pages...much to the tearful chargin of the author
As the pair of ninja travelled down the road, the younger of the two- dressed in a familiar orange and black jumpsuit- turned to the elder ninja- who was wearing his...unique ensemble- and asked a rather interesting question.
"So, where are we headed first, Ero-Sennin?" Naruto hid the smile at Jiraiya's wince as they came upon a town.
"We're checking Tsunade's last known whereabouts to hopefully get a read on where she might be headed." He answered. "Otafuku Gai has a number of places that Tsunade might find to her liking."
"Are you sure we're not headed there so you can visit the brothels?" Naruto teased.
"Of course not, you idiot!" Jiraiya yelled, pointing. "Otafuku Gai has many famous bars with excellent sake that are certain to have drawn Tsunade's attention. Besides, the great Jiraiya doesn't need a brothel to get women."
"Yeah, I'll believe it when I see it." Naruto taunted back, as the two entered the town. It wasn't long before they'd found a nice inn, where Jiraiya rented a room. It was also about this time that Naruto remembered something else that had happened during their hunt for Tsunade. And it all started with...
"Whoa," Jiraiya muttered as he made eye contact with an incredibly beautiful woman. Naruto turned, and blushed at the woman that had just winked at the pervert. Long, straight black hair. Large, dark brown eyes. Set in a face with classic features, she was almost as pretty as Haku-chan. And then there was the rest of her. She was very curvy, and the short, strapless blue dress that hugged her figure showed it.
"See, what did I tell you?" Jiraiya boasted. "The ladies love the Gallant Jiraiya. Here, take the room key, and go work on your chakra."
"Oh come one, Ero-Sennin, there's no way she's into you." Naruto complained. "I bet she's under a Genjutsu."
"Hey gaki, stop being a jealous cockblock." Jiraiya ordered quietly. "-especially when you've got those two girlfriends of yours back home."
"Whatever." Naruto grumbled as he headed into the inn, and up the stairs to the room. With a frustrated huff, Naruto sat down on the bed, and once again threw himself into improving his Rasengan. He still hadn't managed to get it right. While it was true he could do it with one hand now, it took far too long to form to be useful in a fight, and adding his element to it would just be a waste of time a fight wouldn't give him.
Naruto had been working for about half an hour when there was a knock on the door. Grinning when he realized who it was, Naruto paused at the door, and slapped his hands on either side of the frame. Job done, he opened the door.
"Hey Itachi, what's up?" He asked cheerfully. While the young man didn't show it, he was very surprised that Naruto remembered him. Not only that, but he was sure the boy knew about his ranking in the Bingo Book by now.
"You know who I am." Naruto nodded. "And you're not afraid."
"Nah, most of them deserved it, and if you hadn't, someone else would have eventually." Naruto said with a shrug.
Suddenly, a large blue figure appeared behind Itachi. "Hmm, is this really the ninetails?"
Despite the fact that it was currently a very bad idea, Naruto just couldn't help his snarky reply. "Do I look like a several stories tall fox to you? Would you like it if people started calling you Fishman, or Walking Sushi?"
Knowing Naruto's personality, Kisame's typical reaction to being called sushi, and wanting to avoid any accidents that my cause them both to be punished, Itachi decided to intervene. "Naruto, we would like you to come with us."
"Um, I'd rather not. Sarutobi-jiji said that I wasn't supposed to go with strangers." Naruto said, before his eyes turned to focus on Kisame. "Especially ones that looked like they might touch me inappropriately."
Itachi's eye almost twitched at that. He could easily recall the day the boy had been given that lecture after that raving pervert had tried to molest the boy. It really was sad the way Rin-san turned out, she'd always seemed so nice. He still didn't know if they'd figured out how she escaped.
"Who said you had a choice?" Kisame asked, grabbing the handle of his sword.
"Um, this isn't one of those situations where you kidnap me and force me to do ero things with you, is it?" Itachi, who'd dealt with Naruto a lot as a child, just barely held his stoic expression. Naruto had always been able to get a reaction out of him.
"Oh good," Naruto replied. "-I thought you might have heard about my sexy jutsu, and were going to try and force me to turn into a girl so you could molest me. Sorry, but I just don't get down like that."
Itachi couldn't help the reaction to that. There was just no way to stay stoic in the face of that, especially when one took in Kisame's reaction. Luckily, his coat covered his smile. "Come out of the room, Naruto."
"If it's all the same, I think I'd rather stay here." Naruto said. "Blueboy over their doesn't exactly look like the trustable type, and if you're hanging out with him, I don't want any part of that ramen."
"I say we chop off one of his legs." Kisame said, drawing Sameheda, and taking a step forward into the room. Or rather, he tried to anyway. Both Itachi and Naruto gained some amusement Kisame tried to step into the room, and ran face first into a chakra barrier that even Samehede could do nothing against.
Whatever answer Itachi might have given was stopped at the arrival of another person in the hallway, drawing an annoyed sigh from the elder Uchiha.
"It's been awhile...Sasuke." The man said.
"Itachi Uchiha." Sasuke growled. "I am going to kill you!"
"Am I the only one who thinks this is going to end really badly?" Naruto said as Sasuke ran through his death threat, and charged Itachi with a Chidori.
"It would have been much funnier if he'd said, 'Hello. My name is Sasuke Uchiha. You killed my family.
Prepare to die'." NB sounded in his head.
"Really? I don't get it."
"You wouldn't." NB sighed. 'But I'm sure my readers would get it. It's a great movie, after all.'
Suddenly, there was a flash of movement from Itachi, and a large explosion as part of the wall disappeared into a huge hole. When the smoke cleared, Itachi had Sasuke by the forearm. Just as the atmosphere was starting to get really tense, a voice echoed in the hall.
"Well now, this is awkward." Jiraiya said as he arrived in a puff of smoke with the woman draped over his shoulder. "Guess you boys don't know as much about me as you thought."
"I don't know, I think they had you pegged pretty well." Naruto teased. "They just underestimated how quickly you'd finish up."
Ignoring the shot at his prowess, Jiraiya continued. "You used a Genjutsu on this woman to lure me away so you could get to Naruto."
"Yup, and they even asked me to come with them like those perverts jiji taught me about."
"Our orders are to abduct Naruto for our organization, Akatsuki." Itachi said.
"Sorry to disappoint you boys, but you're not getting Naruto." Jiraiya said. "You're going to die by my hands.
"No!" Sasuke screamed, having forgotten that Itachi still had his forearm in a tight grip. "Itachi is mine."
With a thud and oof, Itachi sent Sasuke flying down the hallway into the wall. Naruto knew what was coming next, but found himself surprised when Itachi didn't even give Sasuke the chance. He was on him in less than a second with a punch to the stomach that folded Sasuke over, following with an elbow to back of head from the same arm. He finished with a knee to face that straightened him back up, before grabbing him by the throat and pinning him to the wall.
"Hey, could you not Tsukiyomi the bastard?" Naruto called out, remembering what was coming next, and wanting to avoid the fallout. "We only just got him convinced that giving his body to Orochimaru for power was a bad idea, and I'm pretty sure that being mind fucked again is going to cause him to regress."
Little did anyone know, but Naruto's comment- which had drawn Itachi's attention for just a few moments, was more than enough for Sasuke to make his next attack...and at point blank range, it hit the elder nin squarely.
"S-Static Fart no Jutsu!" Itachi stiffened violently, before a Raikiri-like lightening storm shot out of his ass in a long, squeaky fart.
It was only his extreme luck, and his long cloak that hid the visible lightening which would have added to his embarrassment. While he couldn't see that his hair had puffed up into a frizzy afro, or that there were small bolts of static lightening arcing all over it, he could easily feel the side effects of the jutsu. His chakra was very off and felt wholly unfamiliar to him, and he also felt like he'd consumed a solid amount of sake. If that wasn't enough, the spastic twitch that was jumping back and forth from one side of his body to the next meant that any chance of sealing a jutsu to fight Jiraiya would likely fail.
When it was over, his head slowly creaked back towards his little brother, glaring incredulously at his smugly smirking face. As embarrassed as he was, Itachi was having a conflict of conscience. It was obvious from that jutsu who the boy was being influenced by. What he had to decide, was which was the lesser of the two evils. Sasuke being influenced by the Uzumaki brand of mischief, which would make his enemies fear him; or Sasuke being influenced by a mental sadist of questionable sexual tastes, which could gain him fear for an entirely different reason.
In retrospect, the answer was really a no brainer, but the decision was taken out of his hands when he heard Jiraiya's voice calmly intone. "Gamaguchi Shibari."
When the walls began turning pink and fleshy, and Sasuke began sinking into one of said walls, he knew it was time to leave. "Let's go, Kisame."
And just like that, his day got worse, and the shark-like grin on his partners face told the story quite well. Apparently, the jutsu he'd been hit with didn't just give him visual embarrassment, but it also made one sound like the long lost brother of those Chipmunks he'd once seen in a cartoon while on a babysitting D-rank. Not even bothering with anything else, he decided to cut his losses, and flee. Smirking, Kisame followed him out of the hole he eventually made with Amaterasu, and across the rooftops to a cliff a mile away. Once he was sure they were alone, he turned to the large, blue man who looked to be having an involutary spasm.
"Go ahead and get it out of your system." The Uchiha grumbled squeakily. Unable to hold it any longer, Kisame took in Itachi's new look, and his constantly twitching body; which when combined with Itachi sounding like he'd inhaled a tank of helium, resulted in him being unable to control his laughter. After about ten minutes, and his sides beginning to ache, he calmed down enough to hold himself to slight snickers.
With an annoyed expression on his face- not that anyone could tell through his mask of stoicism- Itachi intoned. "Are you finished?"
Unfortunately, his voice hadn't changed in the last ten minutes, so Kisame just started roaring with laughter all over again.
Meanwhile, Gai had shown up, and after situating him piggyback, carried the now unconscious junior Uchiha back to the village. Being the kind, caring student that he was, Naruto decided not to bring up the girl, and how he'd been right about her being Genjutsu'd to like him. Jiraiya, on the other hand, had checked he and Naruto out of the hotel, and decided it best to move on to the next place on the list: Shukuba Town. It was just as he remembered it: all bustling with excited people enjoying the festivities. He couldn't wait to partake of the fun to be had, and this time, he wasn't going to allow the pervert to ruin his good time by stealing his wallet.
As soon as Jiraiya left him alone to 'search for clues about Tsunade', Naruto pulled his wallet out, and went in search of some fun. He played some games, ate some sweets, played some more games, snacked on some sweet pastries, won a couple of cute kids- a brother and sister from the looks of things- a couple of stuffed prizes that were bigger than they were, and then stopped for lunch. As he was walking down the street munching his squid on a stick, he found himself in front of the shop selling masks. Giving them all a once over, Naruto's eyes fell on a few that made him smile.
Naruto ended up buying three masks, a fox one for himself, a panda one for Hinata, and one that reminded him quite a bit of the mask Haku was wearing when they first met. Fixing the eye holes to make visibility better, Naruto angled it to the top of his head so that he could finish his lunch before putting it on completely. As he was looking for something else to do, he heard the pervert's loud laughter. Pushing aside the curtain, he found the pervert sitting on a couch with a pair of very busty and curvy women. His eyes narrowed as something struck his memory.
'I knew it.' Naruto thought as he remembered. 'He wasted my money on these escorts when he had plenty of his own money he could have used.'
"Ah, Naruto, how was the festival?" Jiraiya asked.
Now, while Naruto was tempted to be cheeky, and ask if the two ladies were the ones that had the information about his kidnapped wife, he wasn't about to be a cockblock, even it it was on the pervert. Instead, he replied. "It was great. How did your search for information on Tsunade go, sensei, or are you still working your two informants over?"
Giving him an annoyed glare, Jiraiya picked up a meatball covered in some kind of sauce, and flicked it at him. Almost casually, Naruto brought his grilled squid up, and batted it over his shoulder. Of course, this led to...
"Look what you did you brat!" Naruto turned to see a man in a white trench coat with a stain where the meatball had hit him, and a hysterical bald man pointing at the offending stain. "What are you going to do about this?"
"Am I supposed to do something?" Naruto asked.
"You stained a designer suit that cost 100,000, you better pay for it." Naruto looked at the man as if he were crazy.
"You didn't really pay that much for it, did you? If you did, you got ripped off, cuz that looks more like a cheap knock off."
"Cheap?! Do you know who you're talking to?!" Naruto shrugged. "This is the former Chuunin of Hidden Rock, Akoki Gantetsu; the Densetsu no Annin."
"Okay, first of all, a mere Chuunin has no right to call himself a legend of anything." Naruto said. "Second, the only legends out of Iwa are Ryoutenbin no Oonoki and Mujin no Muu."
"What, I'll make you pay for that." The man yelled, charging.
Thirty seconds later, Naruto and Jiraiya left the escort stand, leaving behind an unconscious man in a filthy white, cheap knockoff of a designer suit. Once again, the man would have his wallet pilfered, and used to pay for the damages his beating resulted in. As they headed for the stairs leading up and out of the crater town, Naruto once again lamented.
"Either that guy was full of it, or old man Oonoki's Chuunin standards have taken a nose dive." Naruto grumbled.
Smirking, Jiraiya interrupted his running monologue of the man's faults. "Well, since you're obviously warmed up, how about some training?"
"That perverted bastard." Naruto spat. He'd gotten his hopes up for nothing.
When Ero-Sennin had asked him if he was ready for some training, Naruto thought he was actually about to get some real training, the kind that- during his last life- the perv had said he'd have given Naruto if he hadn't had to correct all of the gaps in his knowledge. He should have known better. As soon as he'd learned how long it still took him to create a one-handed Rasengan, he'd told him that was his assignment to work on, before once again ditching him.
Still grumbling about being abandoned again- and he hadn't even bothered to use the 'search for clues on Tsunade' excuse- Naruto lifted his hand, and began to channel his chakra. To his shock, a small blue orb filled with spinning chakra appeared in his hand in a mere two seconds. Perfect Rasengan, and with one hand; now that was more like it.
"That was kind of fast though." Naruto said grinning. "Now, to re-create the Fuuton Rasengan and Rasenshuriken. I'd like to see that traitor heal himself from that. I have to ask, was this your doing?"
"Nope, this is all you." NB answered. "I have a theory, if you'd care to hear it."
"By all means," Naruto said, as he started trying to add his element to the completed Rasengan.
"Well, it's already been established that you'll automatically regain your previous lifetimes abilities with your jutsu as soon as you learn them in continuity in this lifetime. It's also been shown that this applies to timing for techniques you learned on your own, and when you're taught them if it was learned from a sensei. Learning the jutsu from Jiraiya allowed you to gain the ability to use it as you had before, but since you learned it early, all of the extra work you put into chakra control wasn't factored into it until you learned it from him during the Tsunade search. Thus, you now are capable of using it one handed since it was brought up when it was supposed to be first introduced."
"That makes sense, and somehow I understood what you were saying," Naruto started.
"But it was overly complex, and probably confusing as all hell to anyone else trying to puzzle it out?" Naruto nodded. "So we're just going to go with the plothole theory?"
"Works for me." Naruto replied as he continued to work. No offense to continuity, but he was determined to shove a Fuuton: Rasengan into Kabuto's gut. While he'd prefer the Rasenshuriken, well, that could possibly put Ero-Sennin, Tsunade-Baachan, and Shizune in harms way.
And so their not quite epic journey continued. Naruto continued training, and Jiraiya continued 'searching for clues on Tsunade's movements'. While Naruto was sure that he was indeed gathering information, it still bothered him how the pervert got some of his information. He'd been initially disturbed at how many points in Ero-Sennin's spy network were located in brothels until he realized how much info those girls could accumulate, and were willing to pass on for the right price. That quite a few only required a great lay for information, and Jiraiya seemed to be able to milk those girls for so much intel, were the only things that kept Naruto from truly laying into his sensei for his perversion.
Eventually, their journey brought them to the end of their search in Tanzaku Gai. Having lived this all before, Naruto already knew that they'd be finding Tsunade soon, so relaxed a bit. And as luck would have it.
"Hey brat, let's just eat dinner here." Jiraiya said. "We'll continue looking tomorrow."
Naruto shrugged as he followed his sensei into the pub, knowing exactly who they'd find. Upon seeing her, Naruto couldn't help commenting. "Wow, if I hadn't already started going through puberty, she'd have definitely done the trick."
"Am I the only one who finds it ironic that you found her as soon as you actually stopped looking for her." NB asked.
For a pub, the food was actually very good. They ate almost in silence, but the slight glares and glances that the two S-rank ninja kept sending each other screamed sexual tension, even if one would deny it to her grave. Finally, the Legendary Sucker could stand it no longer.
"Why did you come looking for me, Jiraiya?" Tsunade asked. "The last time we met you said that you'd leave me alone, and stop stalking me."
"Well, the Hokage has requested that your return to Konoha to become the Godaime Hokage." Jiraiya said. "Sensei was adamant that you succeed him since the gaki here isn't ready."
"So he asked you, but you decided to pawn the job off onto me after promising to bring me back." Tsunade interjected.
"Well, you are the best person for the job." Jiraiya didn't even bother correcting her, as both knew that was the most likely story. "We both know I'm not the administration type, and I've also got a spy network to run."
"I see." Jiraiya stared at her intently. "So what should I tell sensei?"
What followed was a rather irritating spiel from a bitter old woman decrying the people who'd sacrificed their lives for their village. Calling them fools for gambling with their lives as opposed to money which was inconsequential; though how she could call a gambling debt as large as hers inconsequential was beyond him. Decrying everything her grandfather and great uncle believed in and fought for, as well as the Yondaime. It really was sad to see how jaded she'd become, and after seeing how great she was as the Hokage, Naruto had forgotten how bad she'd been beforehand. By the time she'd finished, Naruto decided that she no longer deserved tact, what she needed was a very rude awakening.
"Hokage is a thankless job, and a death sentence." Tsunade finally finished.
"So is being a ninja in general." Naruto said, fed up. "The odds are just stacked more heavily in your favor given your S ranking."
"Why would I want to die for a village that took everything from me?" Naruto knew that she was going to do this, but even still he was starting to get angry.
"Unlike you, hime, when I took my oath as a shinobi of Konoha, I wasn't just blowing smoke out of an amazingly gorgeous ass;" Naruto stood, ignoring Jiraiya's comment in the affirmative regarding Tsunade's ass. "-I actually meant every word of it. Let's get out of here, Ero-Sennin. I know you don't want to be promoted, but I don't think she's even Hokage material anymore, and having her will probably make us the laughing stock of the Elemental Nations."
"What are you talking about?" Shizune protested. "This is Tsunade Senju, grandddaughter of the Shodai Hokage and great niece of the Nidaime."
"Yeah, and if it weren't for dad pissing off an entire country, and then dying on me, my surname would be Namikaze, so don't try and pull that pedigree card." Naruto spat, thankful fir Jiraiya's privacy seal protecting their table from eavesdropping. "Not only that, but my mother was an Uzumaki, and blood related to her grandfather's wife; or did you forget that Mito Uzumaki had a twin sister (1)?"
"Well she's still one of the Densetsu no Sannin, and the greatest medic in the world." The dark haired woman said. "She earned those titles, and I think she'd make a great Hokage." Naruto decided not to burst the woman's bubble by revealing he knew exactly how the Sannin got their title, and who gave it to them.
Oh the secrets you could get from Tsunade with a bottle of the good stuff. She'd once gotten so drunk, she'd given him explicit instructions on how one could get themselves a hot night with her. This included exactly how to weaken her resistence and make her suseptable to seduction, exactly how to seduce her and turn her on enough to make her want to sleep with you, and even how to make her have a squirting orgasm once you got her in bed with you. She'd almost revealed to him exactly how to make her come back for more, but Shizune had interrupted with the afternoon paperwork, and hit her with a medical jutsu she'd created specifically for Tsunade that would sober her up to only slightly buzzed, rather than completely pissed.
It was kind of odd knowing that he could bang this woman anytime he wanted, and that she'd in fact given him the step by step details of exactly how to go about doing it. Not that he'd ever use that knowledge or anything, although he always was curious about the fact she'd stressed the weak spot in her neck, and then a couple days later given him an ongoing C-rank of daily neck and shoulder rubs after her workday ended. Come to think of it, that drunken confession came less than a week after he'd fearfully confessed that Ero-Sennin had forced him to learn some of his pervy techniques for counter-seduction purposes after an incident involving a randy princess in Yu no Kuni (2).
He'd never have even told her in the first place, but he'd been desperate to get out of resistence training with Anko. In his defense though, the frighteningly lecherous looks she'd been giving him, along with the comments about whips and chains, were more than enough to admit to his not needing it. Shaking his head of naughty thoughts about Tsunade, Naruto glared at the brunette. Past and Future Tsunade may have been all kinds of awesome, and her jutsu may have made her look very hot, but she was still an old hag.
"Yeah, and?" Naruto countered. "Tsunade is an alcoholic gambling addict, Orochimaru is a wanted criminal, and Jiraiya is an unrepentant super pervert who spends his days writing porn. Sure, at one time that name may have meant something, but now it means almost nothing aside from scaring the average shinobi into not challenging you. And at one time Tsunade may have been a Legendary shinobi, possibly the greatest medic ever, and probably a great choice for Hokage, but that time has apparently passed. Now all I see is an empty shell of Tsunade Senju. A sorry hemophobic who spends all of her time drinking, gambling, and wasting her talents and all the time the Sandaime spent training her. About the only things still great about her nowadays are her tits." The sake cup in Tsunade's hand shattered, and Jiraiya tensed to step in front of the savage beating that he could almost sense was coming.
"You want to say that again, gaki?" Tsunade's voice was filled with menace.
"Not really, since your reaction makes it plain that you heard me quite clearly." Naruto said, heading towards the pub door. "And for the record, you're not the only one whose lost their entire family to the shinobi profession, but unlike some people, I decided not to be a whiny bitch about it."
Naruto could feel the woman's glare on his back as he left the bar, but couldn't help smiling. He'd finally gotten to say what he'd been feeling at the time. The problem was, the first time around he'd been too young, too immature, and too angry at her words to properly articulate his opinion. With his knowledge of the future, it only made his words that much more damning to the woman if she managed to get past her anger enough to really think about what he said.
The pair were barely ten meters away from the front door of the pub when an angry voice yelled. "Who the hell do you think you are, gaki."
Naruto turned, and fearlessly met her stare. "I'm the person who finally decided to call you on your bullshit. After all, we both know the only reason you're so pissed off is because you know I'm right."
"Oh, and what makes you think that?" Tsunade challenged.
"Judging from the bottles at your table when we sat down, I'd guess you were tipsy enough that had I been full of it, you'd have just ignored me like you probably have countless others who've tried to egg you on." Naruto said.
Tsunade glared at him for a few seconds more, before turning and walking away.
The next evening, the quartet again found themselves at the same pub sharing a table. Grinning to himself at the frowning blonde, Naruto spoke.
"So, have you given any thought to what I said last night?"
"What does it matter to you, gaki?" Tsunade spat, sipping from a saucer.
"Well, Konoha does still need a Hokage." He answered shrugging.
"Oh, I thought I was just an alcoholic gambling addict." Tsunade retorted. "An empty shell wasting her talents."
"Truthfully, I'm not all that impressed with what I've seen of you." Naruto answered truthfully, earning him a scowl. "Still, jiji and the pervert think you're the person for the job, so I'll trust that they know what they're talking about for now."
"Hmph, my answer is still no."
Naruto adopted a thinking pose, pretending to contemplate several options, before meeting her eyes. "How about I make you a bet?"
"Oh?" Noticing the small, familiar gleam in the woman's eyes, Naruto pounced.
"Yes, a little bet." Naruto said. "You see, Ero-Sennin has been teaching me the Rasengan, and we've got a little bet going. See, when I started working on the third stage, I told him that I'd have the Rasengan mastered by the end of the week. He bet me that I wouldn't. You want in?"
"Okay, what are the terms?" Tsunade asked, knowing she had this bet in the bag. Even Jiraiya had taken almost two months to get the third stage down. It was very lucky that Tsunade was distracted by the idea of a huge bet, and Shizune was distracted by her mentor's sudden change in the face of a bet. This meant that both women missed Jiraiya's reaction, and the evidence that he'd known nothing about such a bet. Besides, Naruto already could do the Rasengan, and had been able to for almost a month.
"If you win, I'll give you the contents of this." Naruto pulled out Gama-chan, and waved him like a red flag at a bull. "Second, I'll share two seals with you that I got from my clan scroll that will not only increase your lifespan, but it will negate about half the damage your regeneration jutsu has done to you. That way, you won't have to use that jutsu to look young anymore. It was how the Uzumaki extended the lives, and strengthened the physical dispositions of their non-Uzumaki spouses."
"Naruto, how did you get a hold of your clan scroll?" Jiraiya asked. Last he'd heard, it had been destroyed.
"Plothole." Naruto replied.
Jiraiya just nodded. Kushina had once used that excuse when Minato had asked her how she'd gotten pregnant with his child when she'd been recovering from a Kyuubi chakra OD that had left her temporarily sterile. Come to think of it, his sensei had told him that Tobirama had told his team about a conversation he'd overheard between Hashirama and Mito, in which she'd used that very excuse when asked how she'd sealed the Kyuubi into herself without suffering any ill effects when it was supposed to be impossible for someone to do so past a certain age. If anyone had thought to ask, they'd find that the Rikudou Sennin had used the same excuse when baby Rokubi asked him how he'd been able to split the Juubi into the nine Biju.
This also meant that he was going to be having a long conversation with both Naruto and his sensei when they got back to Konoha. If Kushina had managed to save the Uzumaki scroll, and Naruto was now in possession of it, then that could be both a boon, and a disaster. It would certainly be good, because the Uzumaki Jujutsu had been in a class of its own, and having them benefitting Konoha was a plus. There was also the fact that those same techniques had resulted in Kumo and Kiri collectively seeking their destruction. If word got out that the Uzumaki Jujutsu wasn't lost, but had in fact found its way into Konoha's hands, well that would likely result in catastrophe. Konoha was already hailed as the strongest of the Great Five, but with the Uzumaki Clan scroll in their hands, they would immediately be deemed a threat worth the loss of resources to remove from play.
Jiraiy found himself brought from his morbid introspection when Tsunade finally reacted to Naruto's proposal.
"Interesting," Tsunade said, ignoring the byplay of teacher and student, trying to hold back the drool at the thought of near permanent youth, and what looked to be enough cash for a nice gambling binder.
Still, before agreeing, it was always best to find out what you'd be forced into if you lost. She'd learned that lesson when she'd gotten conned into being the entertainment for Minato's bachelor party; and she was still trying to figure out how Kushina had tricked her into that threesome with Minato afterwards. Although it's rare you'll find a woman who happily volunteers to be one of the 'strippers' at their own fiance's bachelor party, Kushina did, and it was a brilliant strategy. After an obscenely erotic lapdance like the one the girl had given Minato, the chances of a husband even looking at another woman were slim to none. Of course, afterwards... Damn it, the Senju were very close- i.e. kissing- cousins with the Uzumaki, and her grandmother was one, why hadn't she ever developed those unusually potent powers of persuasion.
"What do you get out of this, gaki?"
"If I win, then first of all, you become Hokage." Naruto said. "And you do the job correctly, not botch it out of spite." Tsunade glared.
"If I were to take the job, I wouldn't screw it up." Tsunade said. "I can be just as vindictive as the next person when the mood strikes me, but I wouldn't intentionally screw something like that up."
"Okay, the second condition, and this one's the kicker," Naruto started. "If I win, then either you or your delectable apprentice has to join my harem and bear me a child." Naruto braced himself for the beating he knew was coming; and unlike Sakura, Tsunade was strong enough that her hits still actually hurt.
As Naruto awoke and found himself being healed by Shizune- who was giving him a very annoyed look- he grumbled.
"You'd think she would have taken that better. Especially with how much she's always wanted to be a mother, or at the very least something like a grandkid to spoil." Shizune expressed her displeasure at the comment. "Ow."
"While I don't believe Tsunade-sama should have beaten you so badly, I can't say I blame her." The Medic told him. "That condition was quite rude, and presumptuous of you."
"Judging from your continued annoyance, I'm going to go out on a limb, and guess that she still accepted the bet." Shizune's glare was confirmation. "Crap, I was hoping that she'd decline, and I could repropose the bet without the second condition."
"Why not just do that in the first place?" Shizune asked him.
"I had to get her attention, and it had to be something high stakes or she wouldn't have even considered it." Naruto said.
Shizune gave him a shocked look, having pegged her mistress so thoroughly...then she blushed at the implications that phrase had, especially when considered in conjunction with the bet. Shizune shook her head. No, not this time. This time, if her mistress lost this bet, she was facing the consequences on her own. She'd gotten her fill of sharing the punishment the last time Tsunade lost a bet, and she'd been forced to work at a gentlemen's club as one of the nude dancers. While she'd been lucky enough to get waitressing duties, and sure, they- well, mostly Tsunade-sama, at least- had made enough tips to pay off a sizable chunk of her mentor's debt, it was still a humiliating experience, especially with the outfit she'd been forced to wear.
"Ne, Shizune-san, could I ask you a question?"
"Depends on what it is." She answered.
"Well, I was wondering how she dealt with her monthlies being such a hemophobic?" Shizune was tempted to bash the boy she'd just spent an hour healing, then thought better of it. Not only would it have meant she'd wasted an hour of her time and a lot of chakra for nothing, but it was actually a good- if rude- question.
"I think Tsunade-sama's issues stemmed from seeing someone else bleeding." Shizune guessed.
Naruto was getting frustrated. It had been two days since he'd perfected his Rasengan, and yet even with a few hundred clones working on it, the best he'd been able to accomplish on the Fuuton: Rasengan was using his left hand to add his nature element. Maybe he just needed to take a break, and allow his mind to wander before coming back to it. Shrugging, he reached into his equipment pouch, and pulled out a scroll. Opening it, he counted down to number five, and swiped a bit of blood and chakra over the seal. With a puff of smoke, the massive Uzumaki Clan scroll appeared, and fell to the bed. Opening it up, he decided to find something else to do.
It didn't take long for Naruto to find something interesting to occupy his attention. A random storage seal that he hadn't noticed previously was disguised inside of a line break between two really odd seals. Naruto found it interesting how the Uzumaki seal was set up. Rather than having the jutsu listed like the Forbidden Scroll- the copy of which he reminded himself he really needed to look through- there was a blood based storage seal, along with the Fuinjutu's name, and a short description of its purpose. Popping the unlabeled seal, Naruto found himself again shocked when another scroll- one nearly as large as the one he currently had open- appeared.
Rarely one to contain his curiosity, Naruto opened it, and his jaw nearly hit the floor as he unrolled it. Signature after signature, all surnamed Uzumaki, and in a familiar format. Naruto couldn't believe it, but in his hands he actually had a Summoning Contract. The question was, what were they for, and how useful were they? He already had toads, and they were very helpful in battle, but what would he be able to do with his family summons, and would they be able to work with the toads?
'Well, only one way to find out,' Naruto thought as he signed the contract. Once he'd finished, and restored the contract scroll, Naruto started the handseals, only to pause. The pervading question was how it was supposed to work. Did he have to focus on what he was summoning, and if so, how could he do that if he didn't know what he was summoning? Shrugging, he just decided to focus on not summoning toads, and hoped luck worked in his favor.
Three seals later, Naruto slammed his hand into the ground. He couldn't see what it was he'd summoned, only that it was small, about the size of Gamakichi. Whatever it was, it sniffed the air, and then turned straight in his direction. Then, faster than he'd ever considered tracking anything the little creature leapt at him, and practically tackled him to the floor, and gave him what amounted to a hug while repeatedly squealing 'yes'. Upon getting his first good look at the creature, he thought it might be a Weasel summon of some kind, given that it favored Temari's summon. Upon taking a closer look, he realized it was close, but not quite. Focusing back on the creature, he caught the tail end of what it was saying.
"...finally, another Uzumaki." The creature said. "Do you have any idea how boring its been without you guys around to summon us? I can't wait to tell uncle that we have a new summoner."
"Wait, what are you?" Naruto asked. "And who are you?"
"Me, I'm Mangusutachi." It answered. "I'm a member of the Noble Mongoose Clan; we've been the personal summons for the Uzumaki Clan for almost as long as they've been producing ninja...or at least we were until we heard they got eliminated. But now you're back, and that means we're back, and we can finally get some action instead of just training for it. Um, who are you again, you don't look like any Uzumaki I've ever seen?"
'Wow, it's kind of surreal to see a mongoose doing Willow babble.' NB thought.
"I'm Naruto Uzumaki, my mom was Kushina," Naruto grinned at the fanatical sparkle that entered the creatures eyes. Apparently it knew his mother. "-and my dad's side had some really strong genes. As for being back, I'm sorry, but right now it's just me. I've got a couple girlfriends who I hope will help me remedy that in the future, but for now it's just me, unless they're allowed to sign."
"I don't know, I'd have to ask." Mangusutachi murmured. "Well, at least we have one back, so we at least have somewhere to start. Anyway, I'm gonna go tell my uncle we're back in business, see ya."
A grin on his face, Naruto felt that getting a new summon had been enough of a pleasant distraction from his frustrating lack of success, and now he could start working again. Sadly, he wouldn't get much further for quite some time.
Kabuto didn't know how things had gone so badly so quickly, but he did know that they were very bad. It was a fairly simple plan. He would deal with Tsunade's attendant while Orochimaru-sama met with Tsunade to get his pelvis properly fixed. Kabuto was an excellent medic, he knew this, but the damage that his master had suffered was beyond his skill, and somehow resisting all of his attempts at full recovery. As it stood, his hips were now as prone to going out as the Tsuchikage's were, and much more frequently. Thus was Orochimaru's plan was to offer Tsunade the return of her brother and lover to heal his pelvis bone. Unfortunately, the plan had not taken into account Jiraiya and Naruto-kun arriving in Tanzaku Gai during the week she'd been given to decide.
Still, with Jiraiya having gone with Tsunade- a fact that he learned from the conversation the woman and brat were having- that left her attendant, Naruto-kun, and the pig at his mercy. He hadn't thought it would take him long to dispatch both the woman or Naruto, and it had been his mistake to underestimate them. That was it, that was how things had gone so badly.
As Tsunade's apprentice, he should have expected at least a Jounin level threat; probably even higher considering what he knew of Jiraiya's first apprentice and his own skill level. She was very skilled with medical jutsu, and like himself, capable of quickly healing injuries immediately upon receiving them. She was also very good with poisons. That poison mist of hers would have killed him with even just a small sniff, meaning her tolerance for poisons must either equal or exceed even Orochimaru-sama. And that was on top of all of the different places she kept shooting those poisoned senbon from. Kabuto grinned at the chance to get her on a medical table, especially so he could figure out how she was capable of imbuing weapons with poison like some shinobi could do with chakra.
Even still, his skill was greater than hers, so she shouldn't have been a problem, and with Naruto's supposed lack of skill it would be child's play to exploit her trying to protect the boy. Apparently, the two of them working together, her having more skill than he'd assumed, and him not being a hundred percent had really worked against him. If it hadn't been for a combination of his Inyu Shometsu, Shikon no Jutsu, and Shousen Jutsu, he'd have been dead after being hit with that staff the Sandaime threw at him. As it was, he was suffering from pain in his abdomen- further aggravated by a few lucky shots from Uzumaki that packed far more punch than they should have- and his injuries still hadn't completely healed, and this was making it more than a little difficult to defend himself.
He'd quickly retreated to his master, only to find that two on one, even his status as the Genius of the Sannin couldn't help him against both of his former teamtes. As he gingerly avoided the dual attack from the dark haired girl, and the Uzumaki brat, Kabuto knew that if things didn't change quickly, he was going to be done for. That fortunate change came when Orochimaru, seeing that he would be quickly overwhelmed by his two former teammates, decided to exploit Tsunade's weakness. Just as before, Tsunade had frozen up, and started shaking in fear, forcing Jiraiya to leave himself open while trying to protect her.
He was a little shocked when the woman- Shizune- abandoned the fight to retrieve her lady from Jiraiya, leaving Naruto to face him alone, but he wasn't about to look a gift horse in the mouth.
Unfortunately, the advantages weren't as great as he would have predicted, what with Naruto and Jiraiya being a lot more skilled than their previous intel had revealed. Apparently, Jiraiya hadn't been slacking during his years as a smut author, the fact that he'd been able to discover their invasion plans was proof of that. It seems he'd made the mistake of clumping all of the Sannin together. Tsunade, while still easily S-ranked, had fallen from where she'd once been. Orochimaru-sama, while not deteriorating, hadn't improved, but stagnated. Jiraiya, on the other hand, seemed to have actually improved as a ninja, and reached even greater heights than he'd been before. Unfortunately, his master was still thinking of him in terms of the bafoon he'd casually defeated when they'd last fought.
As for Naruto...everything he had on Naruto seemed to be wrong. His initial stats stated the boy to be the last in his class, with only the Kage Bunshin to his credit. Even then, that was only because of the fox, and he didn't even seem to know how to use them properly. The fight in the forest, and his match against the Inuzuka had revealed several holes in their intel according to Orochimaru-sama, and his match against Neji revealed even more. It was almost like the boy had been hiding his true abilities even better than he himself was. His impact on the invasion made their intel completely useless, and it seemed that his rate of growth rendered any and all information gathered about him moot within days.
Rather than just attacking randomly, the boy had been using his clones to test his defenses, and gauge his abilites; a fact that he figured out too late. The way he used them as decoys and feints for attacks, and the fact that he didn't just hang back, but sometimes even led the feinting attack to get close to him spoke of a strategic mind that didn't fit with what he knew of the boy. It would seem that Kakashi had trained him better than expected.
It would also seem that he would have to take Naruto seriously before the brat got a lucky shot in. Then he could go and help Orochimaru deal with his former teammate. If Jiraiya was going all out, then Orochimaru would certainly be hard-pressed to defeat him. Sadly, this introspective contemplation would spell Kabuto's undoing. That single moment of inattention gave Naruto the time to spring his trap.
Kabuto smirked as a group of blonds attacked him. Deciding not to show any more mercy to them, he activated his chakra scapal, and quickly dealt with them all. His grin widened further when one of the clones he hit didn't disperse, but folded over his hand. It looked like he'd get his wish to get the fox brat on his experimentation table. Unfortunately, unlike regular clones, this type of clone could take hits like the original unless punctured or fatally wounded. Since the clone's face was pointed down, Kabuto didn't see the almost Kyuubi-like smirk on its face. As a matter of fact, he didn't even know how much danger he was in until he felt the spike of unstably dangerous fluctuating chakra. By then it was too late.
"Bunshin Bakuha." The clone intoned micromoments before it exploded.
Kabuto was only just able to dodge backwards enough that the fiery explosion didn't turn him to chunks, and the concussive blast didn't immediately kill him. It did, however, severely disorientate him and throw him off balance, which lead to his eventual fate.
The force of the blast aided Kabuto's backward movement, but took much of the control of said movement away from him. As he flew backwards, Naruto who was waiting underground, popped up and grasped his legs. The backwards momentum was halted abruptly, not only causing severe damage to his legs, but to much of his upper body as it kept moving, arcing until it hit the ground with a loud thud.
Kabuto slowly recovered from the collision with the ground, slightly disorientated from what he was sure was a concussion as a result of his head striking the ground. Sadly, his recovery was just in time to see an orange and black clad figure dropping from the sky, and to feel unimaginable pain in his torso as the person shouted. "Oodama Rasen Rengan!"
He only just had enough time and energy to lift his right arm- hand glowing with the chakra of a chakra scapal- and let gravity bring the boy's chest into contact with it, even as the jutsu struck him. He knew that he was about to die, but an evil smile graced his feature knowing that at least he got the pleasure of killing the blond as well. Sadly, just before he expired, he saw the blond above him poof away in a cloud of smoke.
"Let's see you heal that." Naruto said, pulling himself out of the ground. After all, he'd split the traitor in two at the chest, there was no coming back from that, well, not without some severe help. Just to be sure though, Naruto unsealed a small ninjato he'd found when he'd gone spelunking in the Anbu Headquarters storage area, and chopped off the traitor's head. Then, deciding that maybe the T&I division or the medics might like to dissect the bastard, Naruto took out a scroll, and sealed the body away. It was because of this, that Naruto missed Orochimaru's reaction to his defeat of Kabuto.
Knowing that the boy would cause him more trouble if he was allowed to survive, Orochimaru changed targets, and charged at Naruto's back. Reversing his Sword Deepthroat no Jutsu until the blade of his Kusanagi was protruding from his mouth, he made to skewer Naruto in the back, right through the heart. Again, luck was on Naruto's side as Tsunade jumped in front of the attack, and again saved his life. When Tsunade gave her impassioned speech about being the Hokage, and protecting him, Naruto had to fight back a couple tears. Seeing and hearing it live was certainly much more moving and inspirational than just reading it in that manga of himself (2).
After punching him away- and Naruto was actually impressed with Orochimaru's durability as it hadn't broken his neck, or even unhinged his jaw- Tsunade released the seal on her forehead, and healed herself with her Creation Rebirth. With a glare, the snake reswallowed his sword- and boy did that look creepy and lewd- before wiping a bit of blood from his lip with his thumb, and swiping it along the tattoo on his arm. Having both seen what he was doing, both Jiraiya and Tsunade acquired their own blood sacrifices from recent injuries, before running through the requisite seals.
At the same time, three voices yelled. "Kuchiyose no Jutsu!"
In a massive puff of smoke, Manda, Katsuyu, and Gamabunta appeared. Spying where he was, and who was present, Gamabunta spoke. "Orochimaru and Manda, Katsuyu and Tsunade, is this some kind of reunion?"
"This isn't the time to crack jokes, 'Bunta." Jiraiya said, seriously. "I called you here to settle and old debt. We're going to deal with Orochimaru for good, this time."
As the three legendary shinobi squared off atop their summons- both groups serving threatening banter around- none of them noticed the boy on the ground who'd bit his thumb, and started sealing. Neither did they notice when said boy slammed his hand into the ground and called, "Kuchiyose no Jutsu: Mangu-su!". They did notice however, the two huge spikes of chakra; the first coming from the boy performing a boss summon, and the second from the massive creature that appeared from the smoke after being summoned.
"Well, well, well," A voice that sounded like Keith David sounded. "-what have we here?"
"Wait, whoa, what the fuck is he doing here?!" Manda yelled.
"According to my niece, we have a new summoner, Manda-chan." The massive mongoose said, his grin almost demented (3). "I've heard about you, and I've been waiting for the chance to see if you're a better challenge than your old man."
"Damn you Orochimaru, you said that damnable clan was dead." The snake yelled vehemently. "You promised that no one was left to summon that monster."
"I thought they were." He said, just as shocked as the other two sages and their summons.
"Well you thought fucking wrong." Manda growled. "If you ever summon me again, I'm going to wreck your shit, you fucking peophile!"
With that, Manda dispelled himself, and it was only a convenient tree line that kept Orochimaru from falling several stories to the ground; which would have been severely bad for his already messed up pelvis.
"Oh come on," He yelled, from the branch he was standing on. "-I'm not a pedophile."
"You gave a hickey to Sasuke."
"It was not a hickey," Orochimaru defended. "-it was a seal that grants my minions power that surpasses that of normal shinobi."
"Me thinks he doth protest too much." NB said. Naruto, however, continued his own argument.
"You bit Sasuke on the neck, and left a mark," Naruto informed him. "-everyone I've asked agrees this is pretty much the definition of a hickey."
"Kid's got a point." Jiraiya couldn't help adding fuel to the fire. He would, however, be discussing where Naruto found that summon contract. On second thought, he probably found it in the same plothole he'd gotten the Uzumaki scroll from, so he'd just add this to the list of topics for his talk with sensei and Naruto about the consequences of this Uzumaki heritage being found.
"Well, since the giant worm ran off, I guess I can go back home." The giant mongoose said. "By the way, you can call me Riki (4), and I'll see you around. Don't be a stranger."
After Naruto hopped over to the top of Gamabunta's head, Riki vanished, and the other two legendary ninja faced their wayward teammate. What followed was a beating of great proportions; Tsunade bringing the pain, while Jiraiya and the brat egged her on like a cheerleader...just like during their first Chuunin Exam. Orochimaru finally found out what it felt like to be on the receiving end of a pissed off Tsunade rampage, and gained an appreciation for how sturdy his former teammate was considering he was still highly intelligent and functional after suffering so many of them over the years. He also had to admit that Jiraiya was right about seeing all the movement in Tsunade's top being a bit of a consolation prize to the beating.
After slithering away to escape, Orochimaru ensured that he was safely alone, before using his Body Replacement jutsu to erase the damage from Tsunade's beating. Orochimaru should consider himself lucky that he was alone while he did so, because shedding his skin looked a lot like a curvy woman shimmying out of her little black dress after a night out. Had anyone seen it, it would have only served to further damage Orochimaru's argument that he looked anything but manly when he used it.
Fully healed- though he did still have an ache in his assbone- he reached into his pocket, and pulled out his 'Wicked Plan' cheat sheet data book to see what he was supposed to do.
'Contingencies for losing to Tsunade, contingencies for losing to Tsunade, here we are.' Orochimaru thought. 'Let's see, in the event I am somehow defeated by Tsunade, retreat to Oto with Kabuto to begin transfer to new body, and send the Sound 4 after Sasuke-kun.'
"Wait, what am I supposed to do if I lose Kabuto as well?" Orochimaru kept reading, before sighing in relief when he found he'd planned for that as well. "Here we are; unseal Kabuto clone."
As he read his former #2's assessment of his clones, he frowned at a particular line. While they'd retained all of the medic's chakra, medical knowledge, and medical skill, it was very much like a water clone in that it only had about ten percent of it's battle effectiveness, prowess, and potential. Well, he only really needed the clone for its medical abilities for now. He'd be getting Sasuke soon enough so it didn't matter if he didn't have a strong assistant as he'd soon be getting the perfect vessel.
Past blurs away like a drunks vision, Present Tsunade, Shizune, Naruto, and Jiraiya walking along Konoha road appears in a swirl of sake bottles...much to the embarrassment of the one who emptied them
As Naruto returned from his flashback, his eyes again slid over his travel companions, pausing at Tsunade whose sulk had turned into a slightly evil grin. When she sensed him looking at her, she gave him a smirk and wagged her brows, causing the blond to blush. Upon finding out that he'd been capable of fully creating a Rasengan for almost two months, she'd decided to get him back for the underhanded trick by showing that she did have some Uzumaki blood in her. After he'd told her he wasn't going to hold her to the bet, she'd sat crossways on his lap with crossed legs and a sultry pout. What had followed was a fair amount of seductive teasing, which she was very good at. Her asking if he was sure he didn't want a mature, experienced woman at his beck and call while hugging him, and smothering his face into her bosom was causing him all kinds of biological issues.
It wasn't until he'd had an understandibly male response to her actions that she smirked, bragged that even as an old braud she still had it, and stood up from the embarrassed teen's lap. As she headed out the door to the room she and Shizune were sharing- her two new favorite fuinjutsu in hand- she fist grounded the bloody nosed, furiously giggling and scribbling Jiraiya as she passed him. Given that he was far too engrossed in his work to recognize the danger he was in, he never saw it coming. Looking back, her prank was funny as hell; but at the time, he'd needed a cold shower, and several moments to convince himself he hadn't betrayed his girls.
Almost twenty minutes after the quartet passed through the village gates- Tsunade had decided to take her sweet time getting there- Naruto found himself in the middle of a debriefing. Naruto blushed a bit at the last time he'd been in a debriefing that had involved Tsunade and Shizune. He'd almost been literally de-briefed by Anko when he'd tried to quickly get out of Resistance Training with the special Jounin by explaining in detail the training he'd already gotten from Jiraiya. Thankfully, there was little to no risk of that happening this time.
Still, the meeting was enlightening for all involved. For Sarutobi, learning that Naruto had killed a traitor who had easily been Jounin level, brought a sense of pride to him. That he'd also somehow rediscovered not only the Uzumaki Clan Jujutsu scroll, but the clan's fabled Summoning Contract as well, was both great news and worrisome. He was highly amused that Naruto had been the one to coax Tsunade back to become Hokage by using her greatest vice against her. Naruto's personality and morals had made him what Danzo called a non-ideal shinobi, but they both agreed that he still got results despite this.
On the flip side, the four travellors got some interesting shocks of their own. Naruto learned that during his absence, several shinobi had come forward recommending him for promotion due to his actions during the invasion, and that his case was under review. He also learned that regardless of whether he got promoted, he would be receiving honors for his exceptional help during the fighting. He- along with Haku, Hinata, Neji, Tenten, Lee, fem!Gaara, Sakura, and Sasuke- had earned special commendations for what he'd done.
Sadly, he'd missed the original awards presentation because he wasn't there when the Daimyo presented them during his visit the past month to check the status of Konoha after the invasion. Naruto's award- as well as promotion if that were the case- would be presented in a special ceremony with the Council of Elders and Shinobi Clan Heads later in the week. Naruto smiled when he was told that he was allowed to invite a few people to his ceremony. Naruto already knew who he wanted there, and within short order the Hokage had Anbu sending invitations to Haku, Hinata, Iruka, Ayame, and Teuchi.
Naruto sighed as he was once again given a quick kiss by his eldest girlfriend, and shooed out of the Konoha Hospital Pediatric Wing; though with very good reason. Given that he was something of a hero to the kids at the academy and in general now, everyone wanted to meet him, and some of the patients weren't in any condition to be trying to meet him without aggravating injuries or illnesses- not that they cared. He was also disappointed with how many hours she was putting in, but had to admit that she was extremely valuable to them. The moving ice sculptures she was capable of making often served as potent distractions to children who needed shots or were having blood drawn. Not only that, but she really did love her job; he just hoped she didn't overwork herself.
The only thing that kept him from pouting at the dismissal, was that she had several days off coming up when she got off that evening. She had also told him she planned to spend the entirety of the first day just relaxing, snuggled next to him. She only planned to leave his side to eat and use the restroom allowing for plenty of quality together time; though he suspected at least half of that she would be spending catching up on sleep. With his quality time with Haku having to wait a day, Naruto headed in the direction of the Hyuuga compound. He just hoped Hinata wasn't with her team, or away on a mission or something.
To his surprise, Naruto found himself welcomed quite warmly by a Branch member at the Hyuuga home; or at least what would qualify as warm for a Hyuuga. The young man bowed, and immediately waved him through, before directing him to the training dojo where Hinata was just finishing up her morning exercises with her cousin. He would have asked how the boy knew, but the veins around his eyes gave him that information. Naruto couldn't help lament all of the potential uses of the Byakugan that were wasted because the Hyuuga had been so damned snobby and stuffy. The uses in medicine alone should have beeen enough for them to have considered branching out beyond their taijutsu style. Hopefully his defeat of Neji would spur them to inovation.
As Naruto was led to the dojo that currently held his youngest love, they passed an opulently beautiful garden that had been a decade long pet project of Hinata's mother's before her passing. Before becoming a shinobi, Hinata had spent a lot of time in the garden helping to keep it as grand as it was. As his gaze swept over the amazing floral arrangement, his eyes alighted upon a strange sight. Three men sitting on the stone benches surrounding the central waterfall. Now it wasn't all that rare to see Hizashi and Hiashi sitting there relaxing and talking amongst themselves (even their heated debates were done calmly), but the addition of Zabuza Momochi made the scene just a bit surreal.
Shaking his head, Naruto moved on before he got one of those headaches Jiraiya got when thinking about the Uzumaki plotholes. Soon, they'd reached the dojo, and when they entered, it was to find Neji and Hinata sitting cross-legged and quite stiffly, facing away from them. From what Naruto could see, it looked like they were meditating. After a few moments, his guide cleared his throat.
"Ahem, Neji-sama, Hinata-sama has a visitor."
The postures of the sitting pair visibly relaxed, before Hinata turned her head to see who had come to see her. Upon finding the grinning face of her boyfriend, she leapt to her feet, and the soft thumps of her quickly crossing the room sounded before she flew into his open arms. Hinata's just a bit slighter frame collided with his in a near tackle-like hug. Normally, the sudden impact and weight from such a leaping hug would have knocked a person off balance a bit, causing them to stumble. Luckily, Naruto was not normal. Much to the delight of the exceedingly happy bluenette, she found herself picked up, kissed, and spun around in a circle by her grinning boyfriend. Hinata's only response was to squeal happily, and hold him tighter.
Naruto had noticed that Hinata seemed to be alot more physically affectionate than Haku was. She was very rarely not hugging him, holding his hand, or not touching him when they were together and unoccupied by other things. It was the same with him, and something they both had in common given their upbringings. Naruto had grown up alone, and always craved the physical attention and affection he'd seen parents give their children, or family members give each other. Hiashi had always been emotionally distant towards his daughter- something that being a Hyuuga and Clan Head had forced upon him- and Hinata had once told him that until Kurenai-sensei had done so, she hadn't been hugged once since her mother had passed.
After another soft kiss to Hinata, and a nose bump that earned him a cute blush and radiant smile, he set her on her feet, and turned to the other occupant of the room...and his eyes widened in shock.
"Hello Naruto-san, welcome home." The low, husky voice turned Naruto's shock to horror at his carelessness.
"Crap, Neji, did I forget to tell you how to get rid of that? How could I have been so careless?" As Naruto was building up a head of steam in his self-depricating rant, Neji gave Hinata a raised brow and a sigh. Blushing lightly, Hinata cupped Naruto's cheek, and gently pressed her lips to his.
"Hush Naruto-kun, and let Neji-nee speak." She said, getting an immediate reaction from Naruto.
"Relax Naruto, you explained things to me." Neji placated.
"Okay, what exactly did I tell you?" Naruto asked, wanting to be sure he had no part in this after all.
"That it would last for a week, and that after that point, I could easily dispel the transformation like a Henge." Neji explained. "You also explained that should I allow the jutsu to remain for a month, I would likely start menstruating, and that at that point there would be no chance for me to turn back.
"Okay, so how come you're still a girl?" He didn't really want to know, but he knew his curiosity would nag him later.
"Being a girl has been much more freeing, and given my new outlook on life, maybe a new appearance would help facilitate this new start. Not to mention, it makes spending time with Hinata and Hanabi much easier as we now have more in common. By the time the initial week was up, I'd found that I preferred the new me, so decided to stay this way."
"Oh, okay, whatever works for you." Naruto said. "Just to be sure though, you're not planning to, you know...not that there's anything wrong with you being...and since you're a girl, it technically wouldn't be any more...but seriously..."
"Do not worry, Naruto-san, I have no intention of joining your harem." Neji said, giving him a beautiful smile. Naruto breathed a huge sigh of relief, earning him amused reactions from all three Hyuuga.
"Right then, quick question." Naruto said. "I noticed Zabuza sitting in the garden with your dads like they were having a club meeting or something, what's up with that?"
Seeing her cousin's sigh of exasperation, Hinata decided to spare her having to explain it. "Uncle Hizashi and Zabuza have become good friends, as both are able to relate with each other after having their sons permanently turned into daughters. Zabuza-san is mentoring uncle on ways to more easily come to terms with it."
Out in the garden, Naruto's presense hadn't been missed, even if they were thoroughly engrossed in their discussion. Hizashi gave one look at the blond, and gave a shudder. That was one brat that they'd made a serious mistake in prejudging and underestimating. Seeing the reaction, Zabuza smirked.
"Just be glad that the gaki isn't likely to claim your new daughter for his own." He grumbled, causing the older man to relax quite a bit.
"You're right," Hizashi said, very thankful for that fact. "-but my daughter has not changed her sexual preference, so she's decided to be a lesbian."
Being complete unhelpful, as big brothers are want to do sometimes, Hiashi replied. "Well, luckily she's not the first lesbian our clan has seen."
Sending a frown at his brother, Hizashi replied. "Hinata doesn't count, Hiashi, as she still has a male betrothed, and you will still be able to be a grandfather through her."
Later that evening, Naruto and his loves were having another chaperoned sleep over. This time, though, they didn't have to worry about Iruka and Anko doing things that might keep them up at night. As the trio snuggled on his couch, Naruto told Hinata and Haku about his mission. Both Haku and Hinata were suitably worried about learning that nine S-rank shinobi were wanting to capture Naruto and rip the Kyuubi out of him. They didn't know why, or what might happen afterwards, but they knew that it wouldn't be good for them, nor especially for Naruto.
When he got to the part about his bet with Tsunade, he noticed both Hinata and Haku blush. When he asked what that was about, neither would say anything, so Naruto just shrugged. When he told them about how he'd won, and what Tsunade had done in retaliation, they blushed again, much harder this time. Knowing that they probably wouldn't tell him, he went on. He went on to inform them that he didn't hold her to the bet, nor had he ever had any intention to; his main reason being his promise to them about any new girls having to have their acceptance if there ever were any. This earned him tighter hugs than the ones they were giving him as they cuddled. His admission that he didn't really want or need anyone but them earned him firmer hugs, and happy kisses from both.
Once he finished his tale, they told him about how things had gone since he'd been gone, which wasn't much except for the new defectee. Haku told him how she had met her first during her medical exam, and had been surprised at how friendly, open, and free with information the girl was. Upon introducing the redhead to Hinata, they'd immediately become fast friends. Unseen to the women who Naruto was determined would be his wives, Naruto frowned. There was something about that that seemed incredibly suspicious. Not in a malevolent way like the Akatsuki or Orochimaru, but more like when Sakura confessed that she loved him in his last life, and he had to call her on the bullshit.
He really hoped Haku and Hinata's new friend wasn't foreshadowing something weird that NB was cooking up.
A few days later found Naruto once again standing in the middle of the arena used for the Chuunin Exam finals. This time he was standing in front of the Sandaime Hokage while his family, The Clan Heads, and all of the active Chuunin and Jounin of Konoha in the village at that time were in the stands looking on. When Sarutobi-ji cleared his throat, Naruto and everyone else gave him their full attention.
"A Genin's job during an invasion has always been to escort the civilian populace to the safety of the monument." Sarutobi began. "With his abundant use of teams of Kage Bunshin, Naruto facilitated an evacuation plan that cut the normal time by more than half. This allowed our forces to more quickly engage our counter-strike, resulting in much decreased damage to the village, and loss of lives. On top of this, Naruto displayed great courage and valor when he went above and beyond the call of duty, by helping to keep the attackers at bay prior to, and drive them away during, the counter-offensive. Not since the Yondaime during the Third Shinobi World War has a single shinobi had such a major impact on a single battle's outcome. For your efforts, I'm proud to award you this medal of valor."
"T-thank you, sir." Naruto stammered as he received applause from the viewers. While Naruto knew this was coming, and was proud of being able to help his village like he had, he was still getting used to such open acceptance. Sarutobi allowed the applause to linger a bit, before he called for quiet, and continued.
"Naruto Uzumaki, while you showed an abundance of skill and knowledge during the Chuunin Exams, many of the judges felt that your...antics, in regards to your opponents left your maturity in question, and for this I cannot promote you." Naruto shrugged, knowing it was the truth. "However, as mentioned before, in the defense of your village, you have consistently gone above and beyond the call of duty for one of your rank.
For your defeat of the traitor Mizuki, and the prevention of the theft of the Scroll of Seals, Chuunin Iruka Umino recommended you be field promoted to Genin. For your actions during the liberation of Wave from Gato Industries, Jounin Kakashi Hatake has recommended you for a field promotion to Chuunin. When called upon to defend the village from invaders, no one can deny the impact you had on the outcome. There are no less than forty recommendations from various Chuunin, Jounin, and Anbu for your promotion to Chuunin; and I must say that the exemplary leadership you showed while leading an army of Kage Bunshin in the evacuation of our innocents, and the determination you showed in helping your comrades is a true example of the Will of Fire.
Your actions during your latest mission have also resulted in promotion recommendations from Jounin Shizune Kato, Jiraiya of the Sannin, and Godaime Hokage Tsunade Senju. You have more than earned this rank, so it gives me great pleasure to hereby promote you to the rank of Chuunin."
"Thank you Hokage-sama." Naruto replied, taking the vest from the man who'd been like a grandfather to him.
"As my last act as the Hokage, it gives me great pleasure to present to you, Chuunin Naruto Uzumaki." Sarutobi said, before turning to Tsunade. "I believe the Godaime has decided to swear you in."
Naruto was surprised when Tsunade stepped forward, and couldn't help notice the absence of her necklace. Reaching into her pocket, she pulled out the familiar necklace, and dangled it in front of his face.
"The last two times I gave this to someone, they died on me." Tsunade said, forcing back the sadness. "You remind me more of Dan and Nawaki than I ever thought someone possibly could. If I give you this necklace, you have to promise me two things. First, that you will become the Hokage."
"I will; and I promise I'll even do my best to make it so that I get the big hat from you." Naruto boasted, earning chuckles and smiles from various members of the audience.
"Second, I want you to promise that you won't die on me, too." Naruto's eyes saddened at the request, before taking on a steely glint.
"Promise of a lifetime, and I pity the fool who tries to make me break it." Naruto declared. The decidedly sinister chuckle and canine-like whimper in the back of his mind apparently made that statement a lot more literal.
With that, she placed the necklace around his neck, and leaned down to kiss him on the forehead. After that, Naruto was sworn in as a new Chuunin.
"Dobe, there's a rumor going around that you defeated an A-rank Missing-nin by yourself." Sasuke said, ambushing Naruto outside his apartment one morning as he was headed to Ichirakus.
"Yeah, turns out that Genin Kabuto wasn't really a Genin." Naruto said. "He was a traitor, and Orochimaru's right hand man."
Sasuke gave him a fierce glare, and asked angrily. "How the hell are you so strong?"
"Time travel." Naruto answered. "You see, at age sixteen, after being betrayed by both you and Sakura, I used a time travel jutsu to come back in time and prevent it. Because I remembered everything that I knew in my old life, I knew how to make myself stronger sooner, and this is the result." Sasuke gave him a look of open shock, before his eyes narrowed and he yelled.
"If you didn't want to tell me fine, but don't make up stupid stories to insult me, Dobe!" Naruto just shrugged. It wasn't his fault that no one believed the truth, although it might have been smarter just to use the plothole excuse; people just seemed to accept that answer. Still, maybe it was time to tell everyone about the fox. They hadn't seemed all that bothered by it the first time around, and maybe it would get Sasuke to stop being such a dick about him being stronger.
1. Yes, I'm aware that there is nothing to imply Mito Uzumaki had any siblings, but in the same token there is nothing to imply that she didn't.
2. Hot Springs Country
3. Remember, he was unconscious the first time around at this point.
4. zoochat DOT com, then add /198/yellow-mongoose-153898/, or for the long way zoochat DOT com, click gallery, go down to united kingdom under europe heading and click, click on Dudley Zoological Gardens Gallery, skip to page 40, and scroll down and click on yellow mongoose
5. Yes, this is exactly who you think it is.
Madara Uchiha- or at least the bloke pretending to be him at the moment- was sitting at his dinner table looking rather depressed as he waited on dessert. He was rather thankful that no one could see his face behind the mask, because it would be marred by a rather childish pout...and for good reason. Since his Tobi persona wasn't a full fledged member of Akatsuki, he was stuck at the 'kiddie table' with the other flunkies of the group. He couldn't wait until one of the others died so he could take their place, and he really hoped that it was Kakuzu since he was the one who'd come up with the concept of a 'kiddie table'.
Still, given that they were all S-rank ninja, it was likely going to be a while before one of them actually shuffed their mortal coil. At that realization, Madara glared down at his empty plate, his reflection staring back at him. What made this even worse, was that the 'grown up table' had those cherry tomatoes that he loved so much. It wasn't fair. Not only was he stuck at the kiddie table, but he was being banned from eating tomatoes. With Pein being the 'leader' of Akatsuki, he had to follow his rules, and one of those was that he was forbidden from eating tomatoes after his last episode ruined Kakuzu's birthday party.
Madara's frownish pout turned to a scowl when the gluttonous man next to him- who was already on his fifth helping- reached across his place setting to grab some kind of red and black powdered condiment, rather than ask him to pass it to him. The man was very lucky his place was empty, because if the fucker's oversized robe sleeve had touched his food, there would have been a fight. As the man's fat, grubby fingers passed back into his vision, his eye caught sight of the name of the condiment...Tomato Pepper. Now Madara didn't know what it was, or where it came from, but the name alone further soured his mood.
With something akin to severe annoyance, he watched as the man unscrewed the top, only to frown himself at the red and black flecks that had occumulated on top of the shaker. Madara was shocked when the man turned in his direction, and blew on said top to clear it of debris...right into Madara's face. Now, had this been any other time, and any other kind of powder being blown, the man would have gotten a kunai in the neck for his arrogance and offense. Unfortunately, this was not another time, and this was tomato pepper blown in his face; tomato pepper that he somehow breathed in despite his mask.
Now the pepper alone would have made Madara sneeze, but the tomato aspect of the powder turned what would have been a minor nose irritation into a severe allergic reaction. The sneezing fit that followed nearly toppled him out of his seat, and only his many years as a ninja kept him upright. When the fit slowed to a severe nose itch, Madara grabbed a napkin, and wiped both his runny eyes and nose; hating that he had to lift his mask to do so, even if just a little. Upon finishing, he looked down at his plate and saw his own wrecked face staring back at him; again, disturbingly enough, as if his mask wasn't there. The look of someone suffering severe influenza stared back at him, and he absently noticed that his Sharingan had activated at some point during the fit.
Suddenly, another fit took him, and he once again struggled to stay in his seat. After the fit supsided, and he again cleaned himself up, he looked down at his plate induced reflection. Madara barely had time to notice that his Mangekyo Sharingan had activated before another monster of a sneeze hit, his eye started bleeding, and the world began to blur away.
When the world came back into focus, the man found himself in one of the last places he wanted to be. The red moon in the sky casting a red light throughout the cloudy atmosphere. The background cloaked in a blood-red appearance, and he himself depicted in an inverted grey scale. Madara groaned at the fact that he'd somehow cast the Tsukiyomi on himself. But this was far from the worst part of his current predicament.
No, the worst part was that he found himself once again in his teenage body; the very same body he'd had when he'd been left for dead. Not only that, but he also suddenly found himself face to face with a love struck Orochimaru, who had fangirl hearts in his eyes. To his horror, Orochimaru made a trio of handseals, and suddenly dozens of clones joined him. Then, with another seal sequence that he didn't recognize, they all simultaneously performed a jutsu while the original Orochimaru screamed...
"Harem Jutsu: Yaoi Obsession Version!" ...and each Orochimaru was covered in smoke. When the smoke cleared, all copies of the former member of the Sannin reappeared wearinn nothing but a pink thong bikini. To Madara's horror, the original once again spoke. "Don't worry Madara-sama, for the next 72 hours, we're going to make you feel good."
And with that, they all swarmed him. Madara could only scream in horror.
Outside of the Tsukiyomi, through the dining room door, and down at the end of the hall, one could find Nagato sitting on the floor, reminiscing on the good times, and playing with the K'nex set that his former sensei and mentor had gotten him during their first year of training together. The man's current project- since he'd finished his scale model of Ame last night- was eight inch tall models of the biju. Nagato had just finished putting the finishing touches on the Rokubi, and set it aside to start on the Shichibi when there was a knock on his door.
"What is it?" He called.
"Leader-sama, I think someone needs to take Tobi to the hospital." Sasori said after knocking on the leader's office door in that particular hideout, and getting an answer.
"And why is that?" The Deva path of Pein asked having opened the door enough to look out.
"Well, he started having a severe sneezing fit." The puppet master explained. "Then his eye started bleeding, and a few moments later he screamed and went catatonic. He hasn't responded to anything since."
"Fine, have Kakuzu and Hidan take him." Pein said. "Since the old zombie is always bitching about our finances, he can take him and find a cost effective doctor."
If I hadn't made Sasuke not a dick.
"Hey Itachi, are you still planning to let your brother kill you?" Itachi's face, for the first time in years, showed an emotion...complete shock. "Yeah, not a really good idea."
"How do you-"
"I came from the future after falling into a massive plothole, and I've seen how things turn out." Naruto said. "Would you like to know how Sasuke repays your sacrifice? Well, first he defects to Orochimaru, yeah, that Orochimaru. The next time we see him, he's wearing something that looked like a yaoi fangirl created it, and he's all 'I've burned all my bridges' apathetic. Fast forward, you two fight, you die just as you plan, and then shit goes crazy. Madara gets to him first, and weaves this cute little tale of how the Uchiha Clan has been betrayed by Konoha, making himself out to be a fucking hero, the lone voice of reason.
Then once he's got your stupidly gullible little brother under his thumb, he tells him all about the massacre, and again makes the Uchiha seem like the good guys. The result, Sasuke ends up just as twisted as he is, and decides to take revenge on Konoha. I could have stopped him, but one of his former fangirls, one who we'd thought had gotten over that stupidity, decides that she's still in love with him, and drugs me. Sasuke then kills her after using a jutsu to incapacitate me. It was only luck that he was to busy giving me 'Uchihas are superior' speech Number 11, and wasn't paying attention to where he was going. He tripped, fell, and we both fell into the plothole. Sasuke died in suffering, but my Uzumaki sturdiness saved me, and sent me back in time to my younger body.
So tell me, do you still really want to let your brother kill you, and risk him becoming stupid again?"
Needless to say, Sasuke would not survive his fight with Itachi.
Ending Thoughts: Naruto/Hinata shippers rejoice. This pairing is as official as you can get with the cover of Volume 64 of the series (image search 'naruto volume 64 cover'). At this point, the only way this pairing doesn't happen- even if them being a couple is not shown- is if Hinata or Naruto dies.