A Family of Lies
Naruto x Harem
Has been adopted from, He Who Fights Monsters.
Naruto was unconscious for nearly three days. To the genin, it was a boring time. All they could really do was guard the house, do chores, go into the small town, explore the wilderness, or train. When Naruto finally came too he came to met the other residents of Tazuna's home. His daughter Tsunami, a kind yet distant woman and Inari, a farther distant boy with a sharp tongue.
''Naruto-kun, you should be relaxing,'' Hinata told him tenderly as the boy was currently training. He was in the process of doing one-handed push-ups, trying to keep his mind off his still unconscious sensei. After learning the specifics of the fight between Zabuza's apprentice and his two team mates Naruto was trying to come up with a plan. He had considered interrogating the Ranmaru boy who was currently tied up and hidden in the unused shed by the house, but the boy had proved rather stubborn.
''With our sensei unconscious we don't have time to relax. If you have time to worry you can use it to train.'' it came out a lot harsher then he attended. The aggression of the Kyuubi's youkai still flowing through his system. His gaze turned back to Hinata, a downcast look forming on the girl's face. 'Brilliant Namikaze, berate the girl with confidence issues.' he sourly berated himself. Stopping the exercise he stood up and turned to Hinata. ''Hinata-chan,'' he softly called out to her. In surprise her head shot up, a slight blush adorning her delicate features. ''With our sensei out of commission its up to the three of us to take up the slack. While I appreciate your concern I am fine. There is a distinct possibility that we might run into more enemies before this mission is through so we need to be prepared. We need to be strong, I need you to be strong.''
''Of course...'' she nodded, her disposition steeling. ''Will you help me? Will you make me stronger?'' she asked, a veiled plea as Naruto fell silent for a moment.
''There is, something I can do...'' he replied, decided if they were going to stand a chance it was time to step things up. ''So tell me, what do you know about elemental natures?'' he began asking her, instructing her in what to do. After a few hours he halted the training as it was time to switch the rotation. Hinata was now switched with Ino, the latter being on guard duty throughout the entire training session. He cut right through the chase and informed her that they were going to step up the training. Suffice to say Ino wasn't taking tot hings as quickly as Hinata was. It was that she had difficulty, but more like her mind wasn't there. ''Ino-san, is there something wrong?'' even if his father had been training him for years in the art of perception and nothing were skills, he still had trouble dealing with people his own age. Hinata was a bit easier to read, she wore her heart on her sleeve so to speak. At least he was sure that was how the expression went.
''No...nothing, just a bit tired.'' she answered, flushing him a false smile. She couldn't help how she felt. She picked up on a small change in Hinata, confidence so to speak. Ino's own security was once again placing her as second in Naruto's mind.
''If there is something telling you then please tell me. I don't appreciate deceptions, we are team mates and keeping our feelings and thoughts to ourselves can only spread doubts and deceptions.'' he was aware that the way his two team mates looked at him had changed. It was without a doubt that it was when he had changed into that state. Sooner or later he was going to have to tell them about his status as a Jinchuuriki. As he considered that truth he began thinking more about his interactions with them and he began contemplating more things.
''The girl is lying obviously. You humans can be such jealous and fickle creatures.''
''What are you going on about now Kyuubi?'' he irritably responded.
''Do not be so terse Uzumaki-kun. After all you owe me for being so generous with my youkai earlier.'' she responded with a dark chuckle.
''I figure it was more about self-preservation then anything.'' Naruto cheekily replied. ''Why wouldn't you aid me when your own existence was on the line?''
''You're so called wit will get you in trouble. Just like your inexperience in the matters of love blind you to what's obvious.''
''Kyuubi, I thought such things were above you.''
''I have been around for quite some time. In my boredom one of my activities was watching you flesh bags. Your dramas an behaviors was an amusing distraction, so I did pick up on a few things.''''Which I notice is quite different then what you told me earlier.'' Naruto pointed out.
''Whether you trust what I said in the past is true or what I say now is no consequence to me. Just know that the girl is obviously interested in you and she sees her team mate as an arrival. Now the simple solution would be to mate them both and be done with it. I swear, you humans complicate everything with your various contradictions and conflicting ideals. You make your lives more complicated over the most needless things.''
Naruto rolled his eyes, despite Kyuubi's colorful observations and choice words at time he relented and decided to take her advice under consideration. ''Naruto-kun,'' Ino's words finally pervade his conscious and drawing his attention back to her. ''...it's nothing,'' she added, once again lying.
''Do you really, think so little of yourself?'' he asked, seeing her go frigid. The girl was stunned at the fact he was picking up on her insecurities.
'Not now...please not now.' she needed to grow stronger. She didn't want him to notice her weakness.
''Do not think I would think so little of you because of your performance. True you could be much stronger, but I blame the failure on the current academy system, and not squarely on your shoulders. Your opponent had unidentified experience and a Kekki Genkai as well. The fact you were able to survive and fight in some capacity was impressive in itself. Do not dwell on your weakness, focus on improving your strengths and overcoming what you lack in.'' he said as he paused, closing his eyes and making a small exhale before opening his eyes and looking at her thoughtful expression.
''But...but doesn't my weakness disgust you. The hunter-nin was toying with us and could have killed up at any time. I, I was nothing but a distraction and you and Kurenai-sensei were injured because you had to protect us. And even worse, I couldn't even land a hit on the enemy; I was just a distraction.'' she admitted, struggling not to burst out into tears. ''What kind of team mate does that make me?''
''One that has room to grow.'' he answered her. ''Like Hinata-chan you have room to grow. True, she had her strengths that helped her more in that battle, but that just means you have capabilities elsewhere that make you more suited towards other opponents. All you need to do is be willing to become stronger.'' he reached out and grabbed her wrist, causing her face to flush as he began leading her deeper into the forest to help her with discovering her strengths. Quite some time had passed since their training had began. Naruto noticed that despite the fact she still seemed hesitant, Ino was starting to open up a bit more. By the time they were finished they were pleasantly surprised to find that Kurenai was awake. Despite this new development it didn't mean that the three genin were going to slack off during their training.
The dinner that night was very enjoyable. Hinata had helped Tsunami cook a delicious meal of grilled fish and rice with vegetables.
"Boy this is fun! I can't remember the last time I shared a meal with so many people!" said Tazuna as he took a sip of sake.
Naruto was focused on reading and re-reading a training manual he got from the village. Hinata and Ino had been talking nonstop about training tips and how to improve before turning to Naruto and asking his thoughts. Kurenai looked on at her students, proud that they kept their heads during the past few days, but a bit of ashamed that as a Jounin she didn't perform better. This only spurned her on to become stronger as to not let her students down.
After dinner was done, Ino was walking around the room until she noticed a photo, "This picture here is torn, why is that? I noticed Inari-san was looking at this the whole time we were having dinner. Someone's face is completely gone. Is that deliberate?"
As Tsunami was washing the dishes, she said, "It was…a picture of Inari's father." This had everyone's attention.
"Once upon a time…our entire village called that man a hero…" Right after Tazuna said that, Inari stood and left the room, slamming the door as his mother called after him.
"FATHER, I've told you time and time again not to mention that in front of my son!" said Tsunami as she ran after Inari.
"So this is why Inari-san acting so strangely?'' Hinata asked.
"It sounds like there is a story here. Would you care to share?" Kurenai added.
"The man in that picture was not Inari's biological father, but he was as close to one as you could hope for. Inari was such a happy and smiling child back then. But Inari changed after what happened to his father…"
Over the next hour, Tazuna told the Konoha ninja about the story of how the hero Kaiza came to the village of Waves, saved Inari's life, became a father for the boy, taught the village the meaning of courage, and how he even saved the village from a flood.
'Protect what you care about with all your strength! Protect it with both arms!'
Naruto would never forget those words. When Tazuna told them about the man being publicly executed by Gato, they all began clenching their fists in anger. Gato had killed the village's hero and the village's spirit along with it.
Naruto then stood and began heading for the door when Ino asked, "Naruto-kun, what are you doing? It's late at night."
Kurenai spoke up as well. ''Naruto-san if you push yourself any harder it could be detrimental to yourself. You'll need your strength tomorrow.'' Kurenai warned.
Naruto stopped for a moment. ''I was once told that a good Kage listen to the cries of the people, but I was also told a great Kage does something about them. I want to show that boy he doesn't have to fear Gato. And I won't...I won't let some coward hiding behind money or people do as he pleases.'' He said, leaving despite Kurenai's objections.
The members of Team eight around the table waiting for the return of Naruto. The moon was already high in the sky and they were beginning to worry.
"Maybe we should go find him? It's been hours since he left…something could have happened…" asked Hinata in a small voice.
"You girls are still exhausted from training," said Kurenai, "Simply moving around would be unwise. Searching the forest for Naruto out at night with possible enemies is out of the question."
"Kurenai-sensei, if that's case we can't just leave Naruto-kun out there…it's also getting cold…" said Hinata in a worried tone.
As a flash of worry passed through Kurenai's eye, she said, "I know…I'm worried as well, and after the training you all did today I didn't want any of you to leave or train, but I wasn't able to stop him. You need two need to rest and when Naruto returns I'll have a talk with him about his...behavior.'' Both girls look at each other with worry etched on their faces before Kurenai ushered them all upstairs to the room they were sharing.
Not heeding Kurenai's advice, Naruto in fact did work himself to exhaustion. He was unaware that someone was making their ways towards him.
A young girl with black hair and brown eyes was currently walking around in a small clearing while picking herbs. She bent down to pick one up while tucking a long strand of hair behind her ear. She suddenly heard a soft groan and turned around out of reflex only to see a familiar blond haired shinobi sleeping on the forest floor. His arms and legs were open wide and away from his body while he was snoring soundly. While a small brown bird about the size of her palm landed on his chest and started pecking the zipper of his jacket. Though the scene might be cute to some her eyes narrowed when she realized that he was the shinobi that fought Zabuza.
She couldn't believe her eyes he was sleeping there only a couple feet away. She walked over to his prone body and when she was only a couple inches away from him, her hand lowered towards her kunai pouch. She shook her head reminding herself of the mission and softly shook him awake. "Hey wake up you'll catch a cold if you sleep in a place like this". She said softly.
He woke up after feeling a slight tug and found himself looking at a very beautiful girl. She was wearing a light pink kimono with red edges held together by an obi tied into a bow along with small decoration of plum swirls sewn throughout the fabric. She stood a stature of 5'6" and had long black hair that seemed to end just below her waist. She had plain dark brown eyes that seemed to lighten her not-to-pale skin color. Her figure was completed with luscious hips and two perfectly big round globes of flesh and a pair of barely visible breasts.
He smiled to which she returned before he started asking questions. "What's a women like you doing out here." He asked. The woman looked hesitant while he looked around and spotted the medicine basket and he suddenly heard Kyuubi's voice resound throughout his mindscape.
"As you know Uzumaki-kun I've seen your every memory and experience through your eyes. Those herbs look quite familiar, a regular civilian wouldn't have such use for some of those herbs.''
Naruto just nodded 'right, noted Kyuubi.' Naruto began probing her for information. ''So what use do you have for the herbs?''
''I plan on going for a trip, so I thought it would be prudent to gather supplies. Having experience in a field such as medicine helps you in the long run. The common person wouldn't know if they were being cheated or short-changed. Also certain herbs can gather quite a bit of money.'' she instantly explained. It wasn't an outright lie, but she wasn't sure if she could trust the man yet. ''
"So what are you doing out here?" Naruto looked at her before shrugging, "I'm training." The girl seemed surprised before she giggled a little bit which made Naruto's eye twitch; she didn't seem to be taking him seriously. "Are you a ninja?" she asked while he nodded grabbing his for head protector as if he was presenting it to her. She smiled before Naruto asked another question. "Would you like me to help you collect the herbs." She seemed surprised before nodding genuinely happy. "Thank you very much. I'll get done quicker this way." So with that said Naruto had instantly gotten to work and they were done before noon.
''So...how long are you going to keep up the charade?'' he asked, as to her credit the girl didn't even tense.
''What are you talking about shinobi-san?'' she asked, trying to play dumb.
''I'm going to guess you're Zabuza's accomplice. You're general body shape and height matches the descriptions given to me by my team mates. In if you're that shinobi then why would you go back to such a man?'' he asked, bringing up the fact he offered to trade her throw her away like some useless tools.
''I have no attention of going back to Momochi Zabuza, Shinobi-san. Perhaps I wasn't completely truthful in my motivation for picking herbs. Consider them a peace offering,'' she said, offering him the basket.
''A peace offering huh?'' Naruto couldn't help but be a little amused, despite his confusion. ''Why would a young woman such as yourself willingly put herself in such danger by confronting the enemy shinobi?'' he was not shied away from the darker elements of the shinobi world. His father couldn't count on his successor being naive after all.
''You interest me Shinobi-san. For as far as I could remember I have been a tool, Zabuza's shield. I would have gladly died for him.''
''But what changed?''
''He was willing to sacrifice me in a way I never thought he would. He was willing to make me a tool in someone else's arsenal. In other words all those years and servitude meant nothing. My entire life and purpose was nothing more than a lie. Without knowing any other purpose in life I decided to see what motivates you. What gives you the power that you do. I believe that one gains power to protect those who are precious to them. That was my motivation in being Zabuza's tool.''
''To protect what is, precious to you?'' Naruto echoed the words in interest. ''That is an interesting philosophy. I would like to know more about it.'' he said as he reached his hand out to her. ''You seem to be a fairly powerful kunoichi. I'm sure my village would be happy to accept one such as yourself. I am Uzumaki Naruto, shinobi of Konohagakure no Sato. You unnamed Kunoichi-san?''
''Haku, Haku of the Yuki clan.'' she introduced herself.