Naruto: Journey Of The Sixth Hokage

The First Step Of A Long Journey

As the sun rose over the mountains, Naruto put his plan into action. From the moment the light began to shine over the peek to the time the sun's rays no longer reflected off the mountain, was all Naruto had to put his... 'prank' into action. Exactly seventeen minutes, twenty two seconds. Though, at about sixteen minutes, anyone really looking would be able to spot his handiwork. Hopefully, the half a dozen or so decoy pranks he had set around the town prior would keep everyone looking elsewhere.

He darted over the rocks and leapt for the stash of equipment he had hidden on the Fourth's head, grabbing it as he arched through the air. He quickly tightened his anchors, wrapped the rope into his harness, and tied the end around the handle of a bucket of paint. Leaping off the side of the mountain, he braced for the pain he knew he was about to feel. He felt the rope jerk against his waist as he reached its end, swinging him toward the mountain side. He turned and placed his feet out in an effort to decrease the damage the rocky surface would do to his body. His feet slammed into the unforgiving stone, and he let his legs crumple to spread the damage. He heard a small cracking noise, and knew his ankle was going to be out of it for the rest of the day, maybe even tomorrow morning.

Roughly fifteen minutes left to complete his mission. He tore the lid off the can and started his work. When he finished up on the Fourth's head, he climbed up and did the same thing to the other three, quickly finishing what it would have taken others hours. He, however, did not have hours, only minutes. And he was running out of them quickly. He moved onto the last head –the Firsts' – and continued his paint job. Just as he was putting on the finishing touches, people started yelling from below. That was his cue to leave. Unfortunately, he just couldn't leave the mission undone, so he quickly went onto the last design, laughing as he did so.

Soon people took notice of his maniacal laughing and began to yell up barely distinguishable threats and insults. Naruto could, of course, not leave without giving at least one response to his critics.

"SHUT UP YOU IDIOTS! NONE OF YOU GUYS COULD DO SOMETHING THIS HORRIBLE! BUT I CAN! I AM INCREDIBLE!" He yelled haughtily, a triumphant grin spread across his face. And yet another of a series of unfortunate events that seemed to plague Naruto's life occurred.

"WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOIN' DURING CLASS TIME? GET DOWN HERE YOU MORON!" And, with that, Naruto knew his time was up. The only person who ever caught him after a prank was Iruka. Sure, sometimes they would have proof that he did it, but they wouldn't catch him until he decided it was time to see the Hokage. He knew the city too well after years of dodging drunkards. Iruka seemed to always know where he would be hiding out, a task that most Anbu couldn't accomplish with a hand drawn map. Naruto knew because, once, he had actually left one at the scene of the crime, and the Anbu still couldn't catch him. Still it was time to get the hell out.

Naruto began to climb the rope as several ninja begin to run up the mountain face, a few others circling around. Just as he made it to the top, he cut the rope with a rusty kunai, letting the paint bucket drop onto the approaching Anbu. The Anbu, of course, dodged the bucket, but they couldn't do anything about the surprising amount of paint that the bucket carried. Not a single one made it past untarnished, and a few of the more unfortunate ones were hit in the face, paint covering their mask and hair. This had the dual purpose of blocking their sight, and since a haircut would become a necessity, it would give him a clue of just who was in the Anbu corps.

Naruto kept moving and quickly managed to outmaneuver the several Chunnin and higher ninja that had made it onto the mountain. It was only after he had just finished masking his trail and misdirecting the chasing ninja in town that he felt a presence hit the ground behind him.

Sighing in defeat, Naruto spoke quietly, "Okay, Iruka, you caught me, shall we settle this with the usual?"

A trademark smirk formed on Iruka's face. "I think we can both assume I will win, you haven't beaten me yet." The teacher taunted, enjoying his pupil's seemingly ceaseless determination.

Naruto turned. "There's a first time for everything Iruka-Sensei."

They both took stance. He brought his fist down three times in quick succession, revealing an open palm when the dust cleared. Iruka smiled, his index and middle fingers were spread out with the other three curled into his palm.

"Scissors beats paper, Naruto." The blonde haired boy grumbled as he Iruka let tie him up.

"One of these days Iruka-Sensei." Naruto swore.

Naruto was sitting on the floor in the middle of the class room. He put on his 'stubborn idiot' face and waited for Iruka's lecture to commence. He didn't have to wait long, of course.

"Tomorrow is the Ninja School's Graduation Exam. You have failed the last two times. Even with your early admittance, if you fail this time, you will be behind your peers…Is that what you want? This is no time to be causing trouble, moron." The scarred teacher remorselessly smacked the blonde head.

Naruto just scoffed "Yeah, yeah".

Iruka frowned, unhappy with his pupil's apathy. "Time for a review test on the "Henge No Jutsu," better known as the Transformation Jutsu in the field. Everyone line up. Transform into me. Perfectly." He said, staring straight at the boy on the floor.

The students stood and lined up and began to transform one-by-one. Naruto waited his turn as he ignored the insults and blame directed his way. When his name was called and his turn came, he walked up and began the Jutsu. There was a surge of chakra that surprised even Iruka, and then a cloud of smoke. From its depths, a provocative and older female version of Naruto emerged. With a giggle and wink, Naruto blew his sensei a kiss. Iruka inadvertently unleashing the closet pervert buried within, momentarily, forgot what had occurred; a dazed look spread across his face. It was at that time Naruto chose to dispel the Jutsu. Naruto's laughter filled the room, as Iruka regained control of himself. "I call it: Sexy No Jutsu"

Iruka, in a futile bid to regain some dignity, yelled "YOU DUMB-ASS! DON'T INVENT STUPID SKILLS!" As he launched into another lecture, Naruto zoned out, and calling it a day in his head.

Naruto scrubbed the monument in a circular motion, erasing the marks of pain he had left from his former prank. Iruka stood watch over him. It he didn't, the boy would escape and wreak havoc on another part of town. "I won't let you go home until all of it is clean. And I mean all of it." Iruka threatened the bored boy hanging from the mountain side.

Naruto froze at those words before dipping the brush he had been using into the water pale and scrubbing even more profusely then last time. "Like I care, it's not like I have anyone to go home to." He replied, bitterness underlining the usually cheerful voice.

Iruka paused for a couple moments, thinking over a few things as Naruto continued to work. "Naruto."

The boy glared glared at Iruka with piercing blue eyes and spoke angrily. "Now what?"

Iruka paused a moment more, "Well... umm... If you clean all this up, I'll buy you some ramen tonight." The man sighed, relenting.

Naruto immediately brightened up. "Okay! I'll work hard! I will!" With that he pulled a vial out of one of his many jumpsuit pockets, poured it into the water, mixed it in. He began to scrub much faster, the paint almost flying off the mountain's surface.

Iruka only smirked and mumbled, "if only you showed this much forethought in class."

Later, at Ichiraku's, Iruka spoke as Naruto filled his mouth with scrumptious miso ramen. "Naruto?" Taking the muffled grunt as an indication the boy was listening, he continued. "Why were you doing that to the monument? Don't you know who the Hokage are?"

Naruto swallowed and stopped eating momentarily. "Of course! Basically, those that receive the Hokage name are the strongest in the village, right? And among them is the Fourth, a hero that saved the village from a fox demon."

Naruto dug back in again as Iruka took a turn at speaking. "Then why?"

Naruto pointed his chopsticks at Iruka "One day, I'm going to get the Hokage name, and then I'm going to surpass all the previous Hokage! Then I'll make the village recognize my strength!" Naruto paused before looking beseechingly at his sensei. "By the way, Sensei, I have a request"

Iruka looked on in surprise "What, you want seconds?"

Naruto looked for a moment like he had a conflict raging within himself before continuing on. "No, can I borrow your Leaf head protector?"

Iruka grinned over at Naruto and touched his headband."Oh, this? No, this is for after you graduate. This is a symbol that you've come of age. Maybe you'll get on tomorrow."

Naruto crossed his arms and pouted. "Stingy!"

Iruka rubbed his chin. "So that's why you took off your goggles." It was then that Naruto demanded seconds, and a small fight broke out between them. However, Naruto did eventually get his seconds.

A/N So my lazy beta finally got off her butt to write this, and I got to say, the improvement in just how good it is, is pretty depressing. I almost want to run off a cliff.

Due to the fact that it doesn't change my story, only improves it, I will be replacing the chapters. I will keep the originals for myself, so I can look back and cringe. I take credit for the ideas, but my beta must have much credit for the simply amazing things she brought to the grammar, spelling, and visualization.