Naruto found himself standing in the familiar training grounds of the ANBU operatives. The last time that he had been here was one year ago when he was getting initiated into the ranks of ANBU. He had been on countless missions with his team which consisted of himself, Suigetsu and Neji with their commanding officer being Tenzou.
Naruto finally had his first break from a hectic schedule in over a year where he didn't have to go on a mission the second that he was able to. Thanks to not only his efforts though, Konoha was rapidly rebuilding from the invasion at a rate which was quicker than expected.
That was the code name that she had personally given the team that had completed the most missions out of any team in all of Konoha since their formation. Their rate of completion was phenomenal and Tsunade was glad that Jiraiya's initial plan of taking Naruto out of the village for 3 years didn't take place.
Tsunade had even gone to the point where she rewarded the team for all of their hard work with a special name. Team Ember was the recognition for everything that the four ninjas had done over the past year. Only the very best teams managed to get a designated name instead of just a seven digit number.
Despite the fact that he didn't have to go on a mission, it didn't mean that Naruto didn't have something that he was required to do as per his agreement to The Konoha Defence Force
"Uzumaki-san, it is nice to meet you for the first time." An old man said as he looked over at his newest student. "From what I have seen of you during your performance in the chunin exams, you are a proficient user of the wind element am I correct?"
"Yes Danzo-sensei and it is also nice to meet you two." Naruto responded with a smile on his face.
Of course the meeting between Konoha's ANBU General and one of its most promising ninjas was not something that had gone under the nose of Tsunade. As much as both she and Jiraiya hated it, there was no one in Konoha that could better teach Naruto into becoming what his potential allowed him to become than one Danzo Shimura.
That being said though, both of the two Sannin had heavily drilled into Naruto's head just what this person was like and Naruto was under no illusions that Danzo would be trying to persuade him to at least his way of thinking, if not joining his "secret" personal army.
The positives of this meeting outweighed the negatives as far as Naruto was concerned. Ever since he had started focusing more on his studies, he knew that Danzo Shimura was a man that was not to be trifled with. There was a reason that he was a candidate for the position of Hokage all three times it was up for the taking despite spanning multiple generations. If this man was the most proficient user of the wind element in the history of Konoha, then he had to learn from him!
"That is good to hear; now I would like to learn a bit more about you before we begin training." Danzo said with an impassive look on his face.
Despite the look that Danzo was trying to put across, Naruto knew never to underestimate someone who had the potential to be an S-class ninja. Something was telling him not to trust the bandages and the cane. One must look underneath the underneath after all.
He had gotten a full report from Tsunade as to what this man was like and what he valued above all else. That happened to be loyalty to Konoha and he knew exactly where this conversation was going so he decided to nip it in the bud. "My name is Naruto Uzumaki, I like training, hanging out with my friends and spending time with my girlfriend. I dislike traitors and above all else, people with the intention to harm Konoha. My dream is to become the Hokage of Konoha."
Naruto stated to Danzo who nodded. He knew that that was about as best as what he was going to get. He wasn't naïve enough to think that Tsunade and Jiraiya hadn't already turned the jinchuuriki against him due to their own views.
What he was most concerned about was something that Naruto didn't mention anything about. It was the issue surrounding the snake summoning contract. There were so many things that he didn't know the answers to that he needed to know. Danzo supposed that after a while, Naruto would reveal this information and then he could be sure that the Kyubi jinchuuriki was not a threat to his beloved home.
"Very well then Uzumaki-san." Danzo said as he decided that that was enough with the introductions. There were more important reasons as to why they were out here. "Show me how well you can use your element."
Naruto immediately nodded and walked over to a tree. The first thing he did was rip off a branch which had a few leaves on it. Naruto immediately showcased his ability to cut a leaf with solely his chakra.
This was something that Danzo had expected. He would have refused to teach even the Yondaime's son who also happened to be the Kyubi jinchuuriki if he failed this step or even had a jagged edge on it. He wouldn't waste his time with someone who wasn't at least at an intermediate level. That was what Asuma was for.
Naruto took it up another level as he cut the branch which housed the leaves in one cut. It wasn't perfect as there were two jagged edges on the 4 inch thick branch.
"Show me you using it on the actual tree itself at its base." Danzo commented as he left no emotion whatsoever get displayed on his face.
Naruto nodded although he knew that he wasn't going to get the perfection that both he and Danzo were after. Naruto concentrated on moulding his chakra as if to make it like two stones grinding against one another. The blade that extended from his hand was tinged blue. Naruto already knew that he had to work on this if he wanted to increase his skill with futon jutsus.
There was excess chakra that he was creating and it was joining in with the wind chakra and thus making the blade jagged and more importantly weak. Naruto started slicing the blade which extended from his hand into the base of the tree.
His chakra flared multiple times and he clenched his teeth in concentration but eventually, Naruto managed to cut though the base of the tree. He wasn't all that pleased with his performance though.
"Your base chakra control is lacking let alone your control over your element." Danzo stated after having observed Naruto. Of course he knew that it was harder for Naruto to have complete control over his chakra because of the fact that he had the Kyubi sealed inside of him. He wasn't going to tell the boy that though. He could see just from how Uzumaki carried himself that he was a perfectionist.
You had to be one to get anywhere in life. It didn't even have to do with being a shinobi. You had to be willing to be the best because there was always someone else out there who was willing to do what you were not to get the position.
Naruto nodded in response although Danzo could see a little bit of ire in the blonde haired boy's eyes. Naruto was tempted to use the excuse that he hadn't been afforded any time to train over the last year but thought better of it. He didn't want to rely on using cop out answers.
"At the moment it would serve you more purpose working on your regular chakra control more so than your elemental control Uzumaki-san. There are more jutsus that this can affect and also, when you gain better control over your chakra, it makes learning your elemental chakra that much easier." Although he knew that the jinchuuriki was at a point where he had good enough chakra control to learn the techniques that he knew, Danzo wanted to test the boy.
He wanted to throw a setback in front of the boy and see how he coped with it.
"Okay then, thank you for that Danzo-sensei. What would you suggest that I do in order to improve my chakra control?" Naruto questioned with a placating smile on his face.
As he studied the boy before he answered, he was indeed reminded a lot of Orochimaru but there was more to him just that. The Uzumaki definitely didn't resemble either Tsunade or Jiraiya in terms of personality. He tried to figure out where he remembered someone acting similar to what he saw in front of him.
"Go over to the waterfall and attempt to stand on the falling water without losing any balance or position from where you placed your feet on the water. This will teach you how to deal with moving and also surfaces that don't have a constant which you can grip your chakra with." The veteran ninja lectured to Naruto who nodded.
What Naruto did next surprised Danzo. Naruto created 10 shadow clones and had them accompanying him as he walked over to the waterfall. The eye of Danzo that was visible widened when he realised what Naruto was planning on doing. Of course he knew the properties of the jutsu that his sensei the Nidaime had created but he had never thought of using the jutsu for training. Admittedly he didn't have an ocean full of chakra at his disposal but he still could have done it with one or two.
That was the thing that surprised Danzo. He knew just how many clones the boy could create given the report of his fight against the traitor teacher who had conned him into stealing the forbidden scroll. It only begged the question as to why Naruto wasn't using at minimum one hundred clones to train.
"Why are you not using all of the clones that you can create Uzumaki-san?" Danzo questioned.
Naruto turned from staring at the waterfall from its base to his newest sensei. "Jiraiya-sensei forbade me from doing it with a lot of clones. Not only are there the mental aspects which you have to be careful for, but also when my chakra reserves get low, the Kyubi tries to influence my mind and starts pumping his chakra into me. With the weakened state that I am in, it is much harder for me to block off complete contact with him."
Danzo nodded once he heard this from Naruto. "I see although there will inevitably come a time where you will have to fight the bijuu for the control over his chakra. If you want to become the Hokage of Konoha, then you make no mistake, you will have to obtain full control over the bijuu sealed inside of you. You will never be able to get into a significant position of power with the threat of the Kyubi coming out." Danzo lectured once more.
This was the first time that he had spoken in such a manner. Normally he said small, sharp sentences and left it at that. The simple fact of the matter was that Naruto was such a special case. Danzo had no illusions as to the potential that Naruto had within him.
At the forefront, Danzo was concerned with Konoha. He knew that time was getting the best of him and he did not have much time left in the grand scheme of things. That meant that he had to find someone who was suitable to lead Konoha into the future. Tsunade was nothing more than a caretaker until Konoha could find what they thought they had in the Yondaime. They needed someone who would bring prosperity to the village and that could only come through stability.
At the moment, the only two realistic people who had the strength and more importantly the reputation to fend off enemy shinobi villages were Kakashi Hatake and Asuma Sarutobi. None of them were people that Danzo wanted even in the Hokage nomination picture let alone in the actual hot seat.
Konoha needed someone from the generation after Kakashi and Asuma to be properly groomed into becoming the Hokage of Konoha. The good thing was that at that age, they would be more likely to follow his advice as a decorated veteran of the Konoha Defence Force.
Out of the generation, there was only really the Uzumaki who was capable of filling those shoes. All of the clan heirs were at best going to make jonin and nothing more as far as Danzo was concerned. The only other person who had the potential to be a world beater was Neji Hyuga but he was out of the question completely because of the subservient seal on his forehead.
That left Naruto and Danzo wasn't going to take chances like he had done in the past when the sake of Konoha's future was on the line. He needed to ensure that Konoha could live as prosperous as possible with the Uzumaki as its leader.
"Get Tenzou from whatever he is doing right now and tell him to come here." Danzo stated to thin air and then Naruto saw a movement out of the corner of his eye.
Ever since he had returned to Konoha, Naruto had sought out tattoo parlours in the hopes of landing an apprenticeship. He didn't want to become a full time tattoo artist in any stretch of the imagination but it was something that he was keenly interested in ever since he got his own due to signing the contract with the snakes.
Just like every other kid, Naruto had tried his hand at drawing and he liked to think that he was quite good at it. Whilst most of his time as a kid he was playing practical jokes on people, when he wasn't doing those or in the academy, Naruto was quite lonely sitting by himself in his apartment. To stave off the boredom, Naruto had taken up the hobby of drawing. The paper and pencil never glared at him or never said anything mean to him. It was a way for the blonde haired boy to escape from the harsh upbringing that he had to endure.
When he found out about tattooing, Naruto finally found the next step up in applying the drawings to a more permanent canvas. It made the drawings more meaningful when expressed through the medium of skin.
Of course with being an active member of the ANBU corps, it meant that he wasn't in a position where he could dedicate the time that shops would be expecting of him.
Naruto hoped that his compromise of having a shadow clone with enough chakra to last a day would be enough to convince a shop owner that he could be a productive member of their team.
Naruto assumed that he increased his chances of working by stating that he would work for free. He didn't exactly need the money being in the ANBU and you didn't make that much money being a tattoo artist unless you had a steady stream of clients.
He was not going to have that with his status as the Kyubi jinchuuriki and it was something that he was okay with. Of course, he would like to have people coming in for a tattoo from him but he was more concerned about being good at his hobby.
Naruto had to show all of the drawings he had done as a kid to shop owners so as to say that he wasn't a complete newbie. He quickly learnt this as the first person who he went to said no immediately when he had no drawings with him.
By far and large though, Naruto knew that the best thing he did when it came to showcasing that he wanted to work in this industry was by showing people the sleeve that covered his whole entire arm and parts of his pectoral and shoulder. They found the work highly skilled and were very much impressed by it.
Eventually, it was the fifth and last tattoo shop in Konoha that hired him. It was a pretty dodgy place to say the least but Naruto wasn't complaining one bit. From what he had researched of the tattoo industry, it was very hard to get a start. Once you had that start then you had to make the most of it. The blonde haired boy kind of assumed that him being the village jinchuuriki had something to do with the fact that none of the other places hired him.
The problem was that tattoo's only had somewhat popularity amongst people in the armed services. Every civilian thought that if you had a tattoo, you were junkie trailer park trash and they didn't want to know you.
As long as you could cover up tattoo's the ninja forces didn't care what you did. This was why all of the tattoo parlours that were open in Konoha had an ex shinobi in charge of them.
This one in particular was in the dodgiest part of town littered with drug users and all sorts of people teetering on the edge of breaking the law. The fact that they didn't have much money probably helped this a lot.
Naruto mind you was the complete opposite of the spectrum. The way that he carried himself was of an elite member of society. At the start when Naruto just begun working there, a few of the staff didn't like him one bit as they felt that Naruto saw himself as better than them.
Once they saw his work ethic and just how committed he was to learning the trade, they severely loosened up around the boy. The thing that they liked about Naruto the most was the fact that he made something of himself. It was common knowledge that Naruto was an orphan and came from the slums of Konoha that they worked in.
Despite his change in finances, Naruto still treated the people who didn't have the same amounts of money that he did the exact same as if they were the Hokage. It was clear them that Naruto wanted to make a good impression and the other tattoo artists thought he was doing a good job.
What they didn't know was that Naruto knew that he needed support from the community if he wished to take over as the Hokage. He couldn't just have the jonins' support as they only made up a portion of Konoha. The majority of people who live and vote in Konoha were working class and he didn't want to give off the impression that he was above them.
Four months into having his shadow clone their working daily and Naruto finally got his first chance to put an actual tattoo on someone. Up until that point he had simply been cleaning the store and occasionally putting a stencil on someone to get an idea of how to map the work.
Now though, there was a shortage as there was a flue going around Konoha and a couple of workers had called in sick.
It wasn't much but a woman came in looking like she had just finished a shift in the red light district. With the help of his boss, Naruto negotiated a cheaper price because he was new. It was a simple set of three stars on the lower left leg just above the Achilles heel. With it being a simple black and white tattoo, it meant that there was no colour involved and thus a much easier tattoo.
From that day onwards, there was a newfound confidence in Naruto that no progression as a shinobi could provide. Being recognized as good at a hobby that you enjoy doing was much better than being good at something you needed to do to stay alive and put food on the table.
Each day Naruto started doing more and more tattoos before it got to the point where half of his work was maintaining the cleanliness of the store and the other half was doing simple black and white tattoos. The proudest moment in his fledgling tattoo artist career was when he had a return customer requesting a larger, more complex piece on their back with colour.
It meant the world to him that people liked his work and were coming back for more.
The amount of success that Naruto was having as a tattoo artist was comparable to the amount of success that he was having as a business mogul alongside Suigetsu and Karin.
That sixty thousand dollar investment into the Wave Shipping Company was paying them back dividends. The first six months, the trio of investors had decided that they weren't going to take any profits made and put them into their own personal accounts. Instead they decided to reinvest the money.
When the second six month bracket came around and it was time to collect their money, they had managed to make 5k profit over the top of paying off the money they invested in the first place.
The guy who Naruto had struck a deal with in the first place wasn't complaining as he was now earning 100 thousand a year after tax and that was only set to rise.
Karin had after all placed Gato who at that time owned a billion dollar company verging on multi-billion dollar company into a genjutsu to get the man to sign absolutely everything over the trio of shinobi from Konoha.
The profits weren't anywhere near close to the point where they could even think about retiring but they knew that they would get there. Suigetsu, Naruto and Karin had eventually turned back an offer from a consortium to buy the company that they had created.
Suigetsu was admittedly for the sale of the company. He had every right to be when they offered 250 million which would get split three ways. In the end it was the red head that convinced him not to. If the consortium were going to buy it, then no doubt that they had plans to make a profit from it.
Karin thought why not make that money themselves and make even more than the 250.
When it came to situations like this, Karin liked to take control of the situation because she was the only one of the three with a degree. She had just finished her teaching degree at the University of Konoha and graduated with honours.
She was now fully qualified to be a teacher and with a year of teaching under her belt, Karin was much more qualified for her dream job than every other shinobi applying for it.
The red headed girl was set to take her first class all by herself when the new semester rolled around in two weeks' time. She and Iruka had disagreed on a few things which mainly centred on the fact that Karin was Naruto's girlfriend and Iruka was Anko's boyfriend but she definitely respected the man as a teacher. He had taught her so many things when it came to dealing with kids and getting the most out of their education.
Karin wasn't the only one progressing in her chosen field like her boyfriend. Suigetsu was extremely happy now that he had a job that expected something from him each and every day.
This was in comparison to what was happening before he met up with Jiraiya-sensei and his two friends when he was Orochimaru's genetic test material. If he had been held hostage there for any longer, he was sure that he would have gone bat shit insane by now.
Jiraiya and Naruto were right about one thing though that he loved to abuse. The stigma surrounding civilian women getting with male shinobi was indeed true and he had gotten with 23 women so far living in Konoha and yet he had only been living there for a year.
He had even taken Neji under his wing since Naruto was not at all interested in picking up chicks. Admittedly Neji was nowhere near as suave as himself when it came to the ladies but he had put away eight girls not including that one time that they double teamed a girl.
It was a moment that they had both agreed to never speak about again.
"Naruto, there is something that I want to talk to you about." Karin shyly said as she saw that he got home from training for the day.
Curious as to what it was that his girlfriend wanted to speak about, Naruto sat down next to her.
"I want a tattoo!" she blurted out before quickly putting her hand over her mouth.
"Okay, if that was all, I don't see what the big deal about it is?" Naruto stated with a confused expression on his face.
"You don't get it Naruto! I want to have a sexy tattoo just like you but I read in magazines how guys hate tattoos on women. It said that it made them look trashy."
Naruto thought about it for a moment. "Well that only depends on the tattoo. If it is not that great of a tattoo on a trashy girl in the first place, then it will make my opinion of her even worse. On the other hand if it is someone as sexy as you who is getting the tattoo and they get a good tattoo then I believe it makes them look even better." Naruto said with a reserved smile on his face.
There a look of hope on the face of Karin. Ever since she saw Naruto's one, she wanted one of her own. With her profession as a teacher, she knew that it would be even more important to be able to cover it up. "You're not just saying that to make me feel better are you? You really like girls with tattoos?" Karin questioned as she had read a whole lot of books on what supposedly what men liked in women and yet, from having been around Jiraiya and Naruto Karin now felt that the opposite was true.
Never in a million years would she have thought that getting all muscly would attract boys but apparently it did to Naruto and she loved the increase it gave her performance in the bedroom.
"Yes, I would never lie to you Karin-chan. So what do you have in mind?" Naruto questioned to his girlfriend as he switched from boyfriend mode to client mode.
"Umm, well to tell you the truth, I haven't thought that much about the design haha." Karin said with a bit of an awkward laugh. I want it to start here and go to about here." As she said this, the glasses wearing girl pointed to her obliques on the right side of her stomach and trailed down to her lower abdomen where a tiny bit of it would be covered by a bikini if she was wearing it at the time.
"I want it to be of different coloured flowers to signify the important people in my life." Naruto nodded and as Karin started saying this, Naruto already started going over in his mind what he would draw up.
"Hey, if you want we can go and do this now?" Naruto questioned. Since he was tasked with store maintenance, Naruto was deemed trustworthy enough to have a set of keys to the shop.
It was seven at night on a Sunday afternoon which meant the store was closed but since this was for Karin, Naruto had no problem whatsoever of doing this for his best friend who he also happened to be sleeping with.
The eyes of Karin widened as although she would like it done, she didn't expect it to be so soon. She couldn't back out now though as far as she was concerned and Karin nodded silently. She didn't trust herself to speak up.
Within 10 minutes, Naruto and Karin had made their way to the shop and Naruto told Karin to wait around for a bit whilst he sat at the special back lit table and drew a design.
It took fifteen minutes but once he was happy with the work, Naruto called over Karin to have a look at it. "That looks amazing! You know, I never got it how people could be so talented at drawing. I guess I just don't have an artsy bone in my body." Karin said to which Naruto didn't say anything. He definitely agreed with the sentiment of his girlfriend although he wasn't about to go telling her that.
With the design agreed upon between the couple, Naruto started preparing all of the tools and ink that he would need. As Naruto was doing this, Karin started taking off her top and pants leaving her only in her underwear. There was a small little grin on the face of Naruto when he saw his girlfriend showing off more skin than usual. Even though he had seen her naked many times beforehand, there was something about watching his girlfriend get undressed that made him smile.
With every preparation made, Naruto pushed his foot down on pedal which activated the gun and got to work.
I don't particularly like this story because of how bad I was a writer when I first started this and I simply can't be bothered to go back and update all of the chapters. This will get sparring updates unless my muse for this story seriously kicks into overdrive.
Anyway if you are looking for good stories to read, here is a suggestion: s/4488627/1/Cougars-and-Other-Big-Cats
If you like it I suggest you check out their other work as they are very high quality and it has my favourite pairing of all time. (Jiraiya/Tsunade)