Disclaimer: I own nothing related to Naruto or Marvel...yet...
IX: He's my what!
~Origin – Sample 15~
Naruto sighed as he sunk into the hot springs that most of Konoha's shinobi use. Despite his already abnormal healing factor from the Kyuubi, he did get sore from his healed wounds. Considering he just returned from a spar with his brother's sensei, he was rather sore. The Jinchuriki let his eyes shut as he sank further into the waters.
This is nice...he thought to himself, getting a content growl from his tenant as an agreement.
His ear twitched when female voices suddenly spoke in the female's side of the baths; "So...Have you made a move on him yet?"
Ooh, village gossip. Blackmail material here I come, Naruto thought with a smirk as he sent chakra to his ears to listen.
The other woman in the baths sighed before she replied, "He just returned from the front lines and sparred with Jiraiya-sama, thankfully that pervert was put in the hospital. I'm not going to ask him with him coming and going like the wind-Hana! Get down from there!"
Naruto's eyes shot open and he looked up when a child's giggle distracted him. Peering down at him from the top of the fence separating the baths was a little girl with long brown hair, two red clan marks on her cheeks. Her brown eyes glistened in joy and she attempted to pull herself over the fence, "Tousan!"
"Hana? Hana!" the blonde exclaimed when the girl toppled over heading for the concrete ground below. Naruto acted quickly, pushing himself to his feet and diving to the spot she would fall on, twisting so he would land on his back. The child landed on his chest, making him cough as the impact knocked the wind out of him.
"HANA!" the two women cried in worry, both of them popping up at the edge of the fence. Naruto looked through blurry eyes to see a redheaded woman biting on her bottom lip to keep from laughing and a brunette staring down with a blushing face. Keeping one hand on the giggling girl's side, Naruto weakly raised his other and waved.
"I got her..." he managed to say before coughing as he sat up. The women sighed in relief and dropped back to their side, two splashes alerting the super-shinobi that they reentered the pool. He looked from where the two women's heads were to the giggling Hana and frowned, "What were you thinking, Hana-chan? You could've gotten hurt."
"I find Tousan!" Hana cheered happily as if she hadn't done anything wrong.
Naruto sighed and dragged a hand down his face before smiling at the girl and lifting her up under her arms, "Yeah, but you gotta stay on the other side with Tsu-chan, ok?"
Hana frowned before tightly hugging the blonde, "No! Stay wif Tousan!"
"Hana-chan, you can't stay with me," the blonde sadly replied, despite being touched that she would want to be with him. He felt bad that he hadn't visited her as much as he should have been, but her calling him 'father' had seemed to be hurting Tsume. His friend and childhood crush had been slowly coming out of her depression, but he didn't want to be the cause for a re-spiral.
"No! Stay wif Tousan!" the girl continued, shaking her head before she started to cry, "Missed tousan! Make Tousan stay fo'ever!"
Naruto frowned and hugged her tightly, "Shh, shh...Hush little flower. It's ok..."
"Why you leave?" Hana bawled out, "Why Kiba-niisan leave? Kaasan sad, Hana sad! No wanna be sad!"
The blonde shinobi slowly rubbed her back with a sad frown at the mention of his friend. He frowned in concern for his friend but shook the feeling off as he focused on the girl in his arms. Kissing the top of her head softly, Naruto whispered soothingly, "I'm here now, Hana-chan. You don't have to cry anymore. Shh."
The girl's sobs quieted to small hiccups and sniffles before she yawned. Naruto smiled and kissed her head before readjusting his towel and leaving the springs. He laid Hana on a chair before going into the dressing room stall to re-clothe himself. As he pulled his shirt on, he heard the curtain slide open and a small weight braced against his ankle. Smiling down at the girl, he lightly patted her head before picking her up and carrying her out to the front of the springs, where her mother and his sister-in-law waited patiently.
Well, Kushina was surprisingly patient at least. Though the smile on her face was a little cause for concern...
"Hana!" Tsume exclaimed in relief as she approached the two, reaching out to take her from the blonde. Naruto made no move to stop her, but both were surprised when Hana stubbornly clung to his neck.
"No!" the little brunette cried out stubbornly, her face scrunched up in anger and exhaustion, "Stay wif Tousan!"
"Inuzuka Hana!" Tsume said sternly, "You will come home with me this instant!"
"Hana-chan, just go with Kaasan, hm?" Naruto suggested almost pleadingly. It's not like he wanted Tsume to get mad at him all over again...not like he needed that either.
"NO!" Hana cried, hugging the blonde's arm tighter, "Stay!"
Tsume's eye twitched and she growled lowly, "Hana..."
"Tsu-chan," Naruto whispered, getting the woman's attention, "I'll just carry her...if that's ok? Just trust me on this, please?"
Tsume bit her lip before nodding. Naruto smiled and walked the young Inuzuka home, her mother following behind with a frown on her face. Later that night, Tsume would be grateful that her daughter had the same bull-headedness that she was said to have.
...It goes without saying that Naruto would be, too.
"Ow..." Kiba groaned out as he sat up, "Ugh...T-Teme? Sakura?"
"Kiba!" A familiar voice cried in relief. The scent of cherry blossoms hit the young Inuzuka's nose before two rather scrawny arms wrapped around his neck. When the arms released him, a smaller weight landed on the preteen's lap before enthusiastic licking his jaw. Kiba laughed as he pushed the puppy down and patted him on the head while he examined his surroundings.
"Glad to see you're okay too, boy," He said to Akamaru, who barked once in reply, before looking at his teammate kneeling next to him, "Where's Sasuke-Teme? And where's the snake-smelling freak? How'd we get in this cave?"
Sakura looked around worriedly before looking back at him, "Sasuke-kun is resting a bit because that person bit him. I woke up a while ago and found this scroll. Read it."
Kiba blinked before taking the small offered scroll, unrolling it and reading it.
You're all okay now. I suggest taking a few hours to rest before you hightail it to the tower. The snake person was Orochimaru, one of the Sannin. I managed to drive him off, but I doubt he came in the village alone. Keep your guards up and remember what Kaka-baka and I taught you.
Kiba blinked before sighing and rolled the scroll back up. Tucking it into his jacket, the preteen Inuzuka stood and stretched in the small cave before looking at Sakura. With a hushed voice, Kiba spoke, "Taichou-sensei's right. My head is still killing me and Sasuke's unconscious. We've got to stay put for just a bit longer before we bolt to the tower."
"Is that the smartest idea though?" Sakura asked with a bit of concern. The Inuzuka heir grinned much like the Yondaime's brother.
"He's the Konohagakure no Taichou, why shouldn't we believe in him?"
Meanwhile, the shinobi in question was standing before the Hokage and the Council with his arms crossed. He had just debriefed the collective heads of the village and informed them of the Hebi-Sannin's presence within the village. Naturally, the civilians began whispering worriedly while the clan heads with their heirs in the exams were vocalizing their concerns.
"Don't cancel the exams," Naruto instructed with hardened eyes, silencing the room before he sighed and elaborated, "That's the last thing we want to do. If we send the other participants away before the conclusion of the second test, it will tip the Kages off that something is up. Consequently, if we decide to call the exams during the month wait, it will be another form of warning. What we must do now is go through with it and double check our security."
"Are you questioning the Hyuuga Byakugan?" Hiashi asked, knowing full well that most of the village's security relied on the Hyuuga's bloodline. In fact, most of the gates were under constant gaze of the Byakugan, with various members of the clan taking up the roster for the watch/guard position. Minus Kotetsu and Izumo, of course.
Naruto rolled his eyes, "Oh get over yourself, Hiashi. I'm not questioning your bloodline. Hizashi was on my genin squad, remember? I know how effective it is, firsthand at that, too."
"What do you suggest then, Nar-er, Namikaze-dono?" Tsume, who had been unusually silent for the past few meetings whenever said blonde was brought up, asked. The blonde super shinobi glanced at her in shock before shaking his head and addressing the council as a whole.
The grin that suddenly split the Taichou's face caused a few to shiver in worry while some felt sweat fall down the sides of their heads. Those closer to the blonde younger brother of their deceased Yondaime and current head of the Namikaze household felt that whatever would leave the blonde's mouth would be both genius and idiotic.
"Let me be the proctor for the prelims and finals!"
...They were not disappointed.
Though the others were severely confused. Surely their Hokage would make sense of his words and ask the man to explain them...right?
"Hm...I approve, Naruto-kun. You may proceed and relieved Hayate of his duty. If that is all?" Their Sandaime asked, his hands folded and an approving expression on his face. Naruto nodded in response before holding two fingers from his right hand to his temple in a salute.
"Ja ne, Hokage-sama," the blonde super shinobi said before he vanished in a gust of wind. The Council collectively groaned. It was official, they were out of the loop.
Naruto reappeared in the Tower of Training Ground Forty-Four, right outside the lunch hall. He walked in and blinked.
Team Seven was seated at a table with the rest of the Rookie 9 as they were called. Eyeing them, Naruto mentally compared the teams.
Team Eight is Kurenai's squad, he thought as he looked the three kids over. The first he spotted was the shy and reclusive Hinata, the heir to the Hyuuga Clan. She was shaking all over and it was obvious, due to her nervous glances, that it was because of the other Hyuuga in the room.
Neji...Naruto thought sadly, ashamed of how he failed the obviously cold branch Hyuuga member. Shaking the thought, he looked to the rest of Team 8, his eyes locking on the Aburame.
Shibi and Mushi's boy, if I recall correctly, mused the tall blonde as he watched the tall boy sit quietly. Blue eyes flickered one space next to the human-hive.
...Now, who is this? Naruto thought with furrowed brows, frown becoming prominent as he observed the other female. She had pale skin and light brown hair, which meant she wasn't outside often or that she had a condition like Hayate Gekko. He looked her over, her long sleeves similar to Kurenai and her equally enticing attire, for a girl her age anyway, made her out to be a genjutsu mistress in the making.
Interesting...I'll talk to Kurenai-san more about this if she's who I think she is, Naruto mused before looking at the noisy Team 10. Frowning, he thought, Asuma needs to teach these kids discipline and self-control. And what was Hokage-jiji thinking? A second Ino-Shika-Cho group? Surely he realizes that the first squad would have been made examples in Iwa and Kumo's academies, right?
"Hey! Stop staring at us!" cried out the platinum blonde girl of Team Ten. Naruto blinked when the genin in the room looked his way. Immediately, much to the shock of the others, them members of Team 7 were surrounding him and asking him questions.
"Taichou-sensei, how'd you beat that snake guy? Did you kill him? Sasuke says you didn't, but you had to have! Akamaru couldn't catch a single scent!"
"What was that thing he tried to do to my neck? And where'd you get the scroll?"
"Sensei, what happened to Sasuke-kun after we were knocked out? He won't tell us!"
"Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!" Naruto cried out over the three's questions all the while holding his hands out, "Settle down! I'm just checking in to see who made it."
The Yamanaka from before scowled, "Who are you? I thought only jonin sensei are allowed in the tower?"
Naruto snorted and crossed his arms, but before he could reply, Team 7 came to his rescue with a combined, "SHUT UP, INO!"
Chuckling at the outburst, Naruto rested his hands on Sakura and Sasuke's heads before ruffling their hair. The two scowled while Kiba snickered, before he joined them as Naruto gave him a light whack upside the head. Akamaru yipped happily from his place in his partner's jacket, safe from the abuse.
"To answer your question, Yamanaka-san, my name is Namikaze Naruto," he replied once he finished abus-correcting his pseudo-students. The Yamanaka heiress gave him a confused glance, but before she could speak, a pair of squeals were heard.
Tenten and Rock Lee soon found themselves being stared at by the many eyes in the room. The former also turning to stare at the latter, who quickly shot to his feet and in a green blur appeared in front of the so-called intruder.
Lee stared in awe at the man before him before clasping his hands together, "Ah! The Youthful younger brother of our Yondaime has returned! Can you teach me the secrets of the Hidden Leaf Swallow? Gai-Sensei said he hasn't mastered it yet and didn't wish to teach me until he could! Please, most youthful Taichou, teach me!"
"...The Hidden Leaf what-now?" Naruto asked as he scratched his head before he snapped his fingers, "OH! You mean the Uzumaki Draining technique! It must have been renamed when...Anyway, sure, maybe after the exams."
Lee nearly exploded as he bowed repetitively, "AH! Thank you! Thank you!"
"Maa, go sit down, Green," Naruto waved the preteen off with a grin, "You're getting glared at by the bun haired girl and the Hyuuga girl."
"Ha! Told you that was a girl, Temari!" Kankuro exclaimed as he nudged his drooling sister as she stared at the older blonde. Neji's eyes shut and twitched irritably before glaring at the Suna nin.
"I'm a boy," he growled, making the paint-wearing boy lose his smile. Neji then glared at the blonde standing behind the snickering members of Team 7. Naruto smirked and crossed his arms.
"The Hyuuga Glare doesn't work on me, Neji-chan," teased the Tokubetsu Jonin, getting a darker scowl from the boy, "Ooh, you've mastered level two. Hiashi has been teaching you well."
The glare dropped and looks of confusion were sent his way. Naruto sighed and rubbed the bridge of his nose, "Goddamn it, you didn't get detailed reviews of the Third War did you?"
"Told ya so, Sensei," Sakura said to the blonde as he hung his head. Naruto merely started muttering about crappy peacetime lessons before he turned to leave. He stopped at the doorway and looked back at Team 7 with a smile.
"If you don't manage to win your fights, just know that I'm proud of you for making it this far," Naruto said with a nod to the three before leaving in a shower of leaves.
"Aw man...when's he gonna teach us that technique?" whined Kiba. Sasuke shook his head in disbelief.
"You're an idiot." "Hey!"
Naruto returned to the Namikaze manor after his visit with Team 7, his shoulders sagging in relief. The blonde made a few quick hand seals before his armor dispersed, returning to the hidden compartment in his bedroom after doing so. Naruto stretched his arms upwards as he continued to walk into the living room shirtless and clad in only his boxers.
He was a bachelor, what did you expect?
"Naruto-oji!" a very excited squeal cried out before something slammed into his leg. Naruto grunted at the impact before looking down to see the twinkling blue eyes of his niece and her smiling up at him. Naruto beamed one back.
"Akane-chan! How was your nap?" he asked as he hooked his hands under her arms to lift her up. The girl giggled and hugged him around his neck, squealing when he spun her around with a hug back.
"It was good, Naruto-oji," Akane replied as she smiled at him, "Especially after Neechan made me some pancakes!"
"Neechan?" Naruto asked with his brows furrowed before his danger sense kicked in and he ducked. A flying blur crashed into the wall with a groan and Naruto smirked as soon as he made out the figure.
"So, did you have a good name, Ko-chan?" the blonde teased. Anko sat up with a huff.
"Dammit! Why can't I ever catch you with that?" the purple haired woman, still dressed in her usual attire, asked with a pout before she asked, "And where've you been all this time? When I asked Kakashi he shrugged and resumed looking over a scroll."
"He left shortly afterwards, didn't he?" Naruto deadpanned, and receiving a nod, Naruto shook his head, "Ero-Sennin's influence is deep if he left after you woke up. Hn, and I was supposed to debrief him...Oh well. Akane-chan, why don't you go do your homework? Ko-chan and I have to talk about grown up things."
"Aww..." the disappointed girl whined as she was set on the ground. Naruto pat her on the head.
"I'll take you to the park if you do it all today," he bargained, getting a determined smile from the girl.
"Ok!" Akane replied before dashing towards her room where her school bags were. Once the two shinobi were sure she was out of the room, a tension filled the air. One that was thick enough to be cut with a physical kunai.
"...Before you start interrogating me, can I at least get some pants on?"
"Yeah, I figured you would say that..."
And like that the tension was gone.
Nearly four hours later Naruto, now wearing shinobi slacks and a white shirt, sat in the living room with Anko going over the defensive plans for the next month. Anko had taken Orochimaru's infiltration relatively well, if by that one meant she started foaming at the mouth and demanded to know where he was before Naruto had literally smacked some sense into her. Luckily, it was just a few upside the head smacks, and no bruises were left. Yet.
"...No, I'm telling you, if he's going to do anything it's go after Hokage-jiji," Naruto argued, "I know Oro-teme better than you, Anko, and he hates Niisama and Hokage-jiji more than he loves little boys. He's wants to see the village burn, but if we manage to repress the invasion, what better way to put out the Will of Fire than killing the Hokage?"
"I still say he'll go after the Uchiha-Inuzuka," Anko muttered with a scowl, "But if that's true, I'm asking to be his guard."
"No," the blonde sternly replied, "Not only will that tip off Orochimaru, but he'll use you against the Old Man. You're on security duty with the jonin sensei."
"Tch, fine! But I don't want to be near the nobles," She warned, "Last time I had to bodyguard one of those stuck up bastards they tried to cop a feel."
Naruto gave her a deadpanned stare, "And with how you dress you're surprised by this?"
"...Shut up, Niisan."
Before the sibling banter could begin, a knock came from the door and Naruto went to answer it. Upon opening the door, Naruto's eyebrows vanished into his hairline when a defeated Tsume stood on the front porch with a smiling Hana and a gob-smacked Kiba.
However, before a word could be said by the confused Namikaze, Kiba exclaimed, "I can't believe you're my father and you didn't tell me!"
AN: Ah, the bluntness has been passed on from one generation to the next. Sorry about the wait. Anyway, I'll try and get another chapter up before Christmas. So that gives me...ten days.
Unless we're talking about next year...
Kidding, kidding...Please put the pitchforks down.
You know what to do: RE-VIEW!