A/N Here is my latest idea for your reading pleasure. Also I will be shifting the ages, Naruto and his age group will be 16, Tenten's age group 17. I simply do not feel a twelve year old should be brought into a world where death is all they know. SOOO without further ado.
I hereby state that I do not own Naruto in anyway shape or form.
Sixteen years ago, right after the Nine tailed fox was sealed~
Hiruzen stared down at the bundle currently cradled in his arms, as he looked down on the boy who housed the greatest demon known to man, the blonde baby smiled; his blue eyes alighting with joy. As Naruto giggled a small faint green energy in the middle of his forehead bloomed to life. It quickly spread from the point of origin across his forehead shaping itself into a symbol the re-instated Hokage knew well, after all it was the symbol of his village. There, faintly glowing a forest green, was the symbol of the leaf on his forehead, looking similar to a third eye. The symbol stayed there for a full minute before dying down and becoming invisible on the baby's brow.
"Naruto Uzumaki, just what surprises do you have in store for us?" The third asked in wonder at what just happened, he would tell no one of what he just witnessed, and discover what it meant on his own. As he looked down at the boy, he felt a desire he hadn't felt in a while, the desire to teach. There and then he decided he would take on, for better or worse, one last team.
"You want what Hokage-sama?" Gai asked in a rare moment of confusion for the master martial artist.
Hiruzen smiled around his pipe, pleasantly scented smoke wafting in the air, "My dear friend, I have a plan, I have watched our newest generation of gennin and graduates. I feel that three of these students show the will of fire, and I am tired of sitting behind this desk. However I am not as callous as to ask something from you without giving something in return, so if you're agreeable I would like to take Tenten Kusarigama, Off of your hands to train her personally in return I will give you Sasuke Uchiha the rookie of the year. Furthermore I feel the boy could use a mentor as gifted and caring as you."
Gai thought hard about it, "Thank you for the compliment sir however, I'm not sure Hokage-sama,"
Hiruzen smile grew larger, like a predator about to dine, what the Third wanted; the Third would have. "Did you know that Kakashi wanted to train Sasuke personally? If you trained him it would be a victory over your rival that would, how to say this, irritate him for years to come, possibly the rest of your life."
Hook, line, and sinker Might Gai became prey to the old Professor's snare, his eyes coming alight with fire as he proclaimed, "YOSH! I accept Hokage-Sama I shall train Sasuke to the utmost of my ability!" his hand shaking in the air.
Sarutobi nodded "I know you will, that is all I wished to discuss with you Gai." He said in a clear dismissal.
Gai nodded, leaving with a bow. 'That's one down, now two more to go. But first' The Hokage giggled, pulling out a small orange book, a blush coloring his cheeks as he flipped the pages. A half hour passed before another knock came to the door. Like a kid caught with his hand in the candy jar he quickly stashed the book in his hat. Sitting straight up and squaring his shoulders he called commandingly "Come in!"
In walked Shikaku Nara, commander of the strategist division and elite jounin, and also a very, very, lazy man. "You wished to see me Hokage?" Shikaku asked, having been surprised by the unusual summons.
Hiruzen nodded, "That I did Shikaku, how are things going with the family?" He asked casually, once again his aromatic tobacco doing its job and forcing Shikaku to relax.
The Nara shrugged, "Things are well enough I suppose, Shikimaru is almost lazier than me at times but then his mom just yells at him and he kicks in to gear." He finished with a slight chuckle, that very thing happening just this morning.
The Hokage laughed with the man, "That's good to hear, I also hear you wish your children to take on your legacy. Teaming them up with each other, am I correct?"
Shikaku nodded slowly, his demeanor shifting. Trying to figure out the Hokage's angle, for to underestimate the god of shinobi would be a deadly mistake for anyone. "Indeed, that is what I had hoped for, however they are yours to team with who you will." His voice was slow and controlled, spoken through closed teeth, his hands twitching inwards.
"And I can see why you would have them team up, they could surpass all three of you given the right incentive." The words, smooth and gentle, frightened the Jounin for reasons he could not fathom. He felt as if he were a lab rat being led to the big slice of chess through a maze. "However, I have had a chance to review the entire generation of up and coming shinobi; I feel that change is on the wind. Call me absurd but I will not sit idly by doing paper work all day. I have found three students, who carry with them, a Will of Fire so bright that I believe they will carry this village forward like none before them."
He spoke the words truthfully for he had been doing some observations of his own over the past few months. Now that the graduating academy class had received their hitè-atè and would meet their sensei in two weeks, it was time to make his moves. "If you would allow me, I would train your son; ensure that he received the best training I can offer him. I am however an understanding ruler and would not do so without your permission."
Shikaku's mind reeled, the three people trained by Hiruzen Sarutobi had become legends all across the elemental nations, and they were even still alive! Granted one of them was a nuke Nin, another a super pervert, and the last a drunken gambler. That said more about how good Sarutobi actually was if he could take three of the most notoriously hard to handle students in the world and make them into legendary ninja. He was also respectfully asking him, when by all rights, he could have just outright done what he wanted and no-body would say anything about it. He was showing once again that he cared about his shinobi and that was enough reason for Shikaku to say yes to begin with let alone that it was "The Professor" who was asking him. Standing and with a bow he said "I-I would be honored Hokage-sama"
The Sarutobi took in a giant puff before letting it slowly escape his mouth, the smoke curling making small rings as it floated higher through the air. "Thank you very much Shikaku, your trust will not be misplaced, I promise." As Shikaku left Hiruzen took a victory drag off of his pipe. Letting the smoke suffuse the air with its aromatic scent, 'That's two, now for the final and most difficult play of them all'
~Elsewhere at small ramen stand~
Naruto gleefully dug into his mid day meal. It was as good as the warm feeling in his heart at the small family of two that fed him. "Ah old man your food is always the greatest," Naruto complimented, his stomach added its own musical agreement by way of the loud burp that followed his statement.
The owner of the stand Teuchi Ichiraku, a tall man with short shaggy hair the color of ebony, smiled at the young boy. "I'm glad to hear it is to your liking kid. Here's another bowl on the house, and it's your favorite! Happy graduation kid!"
Naruto grew a smile as wide as the Hokage Mountain. "You're awesome Ichiraku-Ji-ji!" He shouted and gulped down the last of his current bowl before eagerly inhaling his newest brothy bowl.
A warm feeling spread in the old man's heart at the boys' eagerness, he thought bitterly that those who hated the boy should be dealt with harshly. Oh they weren't outwardly violent or aggressive; they didn't even glare or mistreat him. They did something truly evil; they acted as if he didn't exist. They didn't talk to him, didn't look at him, and did not respond to him. They wouldn't sell to him, wouldn't feed him, or clothe him. For Naruto, it was lonely exile amidst a sea of people. For even the children were taught how to act around Naruto Uzumaki, the black dot of the perfect Konoha.
Teuchi however had some words for the young sprout, "Naruto, I give you these words of wisdom as this is a turning point in your life. In life if you're going to do something, do it with all of your being. Do not half-ass it or fall into complacency. If you're going to become Hokage, do so with all of your heart, but also your ability, learn all there is to know about the ways of the ninja and what it takes to be a Hokage. That is the first step my friend, finding out what it takes; from there you will know what you need to do."
The steely eyes of the old man bore into Naruto's own determined blue ones as they held eye contact. Finishing the last swallow of his broth, Naruto brought the bowl down with emphasis. "HIA! I won't fail you old man! When I'm Hokage You and Ayame will be my personal chef's! Dattebayo!" Giving the man thumbs up, a shine in his eye and a foxy smile playing across his lips.
A girl then entered the stand, a gennin to be exact. She was wearing a soft pink shirt of Chinese design, with Chinese style buns. A look of emotional confusion adorning her face as she sat down and ordered. Naruto seeing this, being the good natured guy he was, asked. "Something troubling you?"
Her eyes flicked over to him for a second before she shrugged, "I suppose it couldn't hurt, I was told today by my Sensei that in two weeks I will be transferred to a new team. He told me that I was actually requested for personally by this Sensei who he also told me that this Ninja is supremely powerful. Yet I like my team as much as they drive me crazy, I have known them and their good people."
Naruto having no knowledge in this area was at a loss of what to say, but he would try. "Well you said this person is a supremely powerful ninja right? So maybe he wants to give you some kick ass training, than give you back to your team! Hell it could even be Hokage-Ji-ji! Wouldn't that be sweet, I'd love to learn from the professor! My names Naruto Uzumaki the next Hokage! Dattebayo!"
Tenten chuckled at the boy's youthful energy, "Tenten Kusarigama, and I doubt the Hokage would want to train me; still maybe I could go talk to him after my meal to learn more about this supposed sensei." She said thoughtfully, her index finger positioned inquisitively against her lips. As though a light went on her head she brightened and nodded. "It's set after my meal I'll go see the Hokage."
"Hey I'll go with you if that's cool, I know the old man like really well so we can just barge right in!" Naruto chimed in happily.
Tenten nodded "Sure thing! I d-"
"Here's your food miss. And your final bowl of the evening Naruto." Teuchi announced happily as he set the two bowls down in front of the kids. Each breaking the chopsticks with a cry of "Itadakimasu" before all chatter was ceased. They ate in comfortable silence, a homey feeling hovering about the stand.
The food eaten and paid for; the duo left the stands taking to the streets, the mood light to go with the pleasant conversation. Along the way Naruto spotted Shikimaru slinking about a shopping stand. Waving the boy down he called, "What's up Shika? I thought that you would be cloud watching by now."
Shikimaru, a tall boy with brown hair done up in a spiked ponytail, shrugged. "My mom yelled at me to stop being lazy and go do some grocery shopping and it was less troublesome at the time to just do what she said."
Naruto nodded as if he had experienced the boys' pain before. In truth he never had and wished it were otherwise. "Well were going to go see the Hokage wanna come with us?"
Shikimaru's right eyebrow rose slightly. "Really? What for, I know my dad was called in just a short while ago, I wonder what it could be about." He said more to himself than to anyone.
"Well Tenten-chan here is getting transferred to some super powerful ninja, so she wants to go find out about it. Since I know the old man so well I figured I'd tag along." He said; his voice bright and chipper.
Shikimaru's eyes narrowed for a fraction of a second, 'Hmmm that's odd, Naruto's an orphan, there's no way the Hokage would have the time to get super close to an orphan. Granted Naruto's done some pranks,' He paused in his thinking to allow himself a small smile at some of the pranks he and Shikimaru did together. They were pranks of such grandeur that there were still whisperings of them throughout the student body. 'Still that's not nearly enough to warrant any face time with the Hokage, yet he acts like he just walks in there on a daily basis. That means he's either lying, or there's something I'm missing.'
If there was one thing Shikimaru hated; it was a mystery he couldn't solve, so for better or worse he was in. "Yeah I'll tag along, it's bound to be more interesting than just shopping." So with the Nara now in tow the three of them headed for the tower.
As they walked in they were greeted by the female Kunoichi stationed as the secretary for the day. "Hello Naruto-kun, the Hokage's just finishing up some paperwork in his office, I'm sure you and your friends would be a welcome distraction." The secretary, a woman with long purple hair, fair skin, and beautifully defined lips, did not escape Shikimaru's observatory gaze. It seems Naruto was being truthful about his relationship with the Hokage. This brought about more questions about Naruto. For instance just why did he know the Sandaime Hokage so well.
When the trio reached the Hokage's door Naruto, knowing the door would already be unlocked, flung the door open with a boisterous smile on his face, "Yo old man! I got a couple of friends here who want a meeting with your wrinkly old corpse."
The Hokage chuckled at the banter. "I'm still more than capable of cleaning your hide young man." Looking up from his paperwork his eyes nearly popped out of his head, somehow the three had come to him all on their own.
Tenten and Shikimaru were both bowing while Naruto stood grinning broadly. "Umm Hokage-sama, my sensei Might Gai, told me I was to be transferred so I was hoping that you would know more about the person I am to be training under." The female asked respectfully.
The Hokage took his time responding, loading his wooden pipe, lighting it and taking a drag before responding. "I know him quite a bit actually, but I cannot give you any information on that, policy you understand. What I can tell you is that this is not due in any way to any lack of ability on your part, exactly the opposite in fact. You have been picked by this person because it is believed that as I would put it, your will of fire shines greatly and therefore you and two others have been selected to form a team."
Tenten nodded, grateful for the man's words. "Thank you Hokage-sama."
Hiruzen gave the girl a reassuring smile, "I do have one request of you however, please be in attendance at the academy in two weeks in class A, it is there your two teammates and Sensei await you."
Tenten confused, saluted. Shikimaru chimed in his question next. "Don't suppose you could give me any info on why my dad was called here earlier today could you?"
The Hokage gave the boy a sly grin. "Sorry confidential."
The Nara sighed, "Troublesome." Still he had learned a lot just by being in this room today, but still questions about a couple of things began to arise in the genius's mind.
~One week later~
The Hokage's office was darkly lit, casting angry shadows about the place. The aged leader stood behind his desk, his chair gone for this meeting, appearing to the world a statue depicting determination coupled with power, for Sarutobi did not move a muscle save for his soft breathing. As if by magic the other two participants for tonight's agenda appeared. One by window the other by door. As they did the Hokage tilted his head up to greet them with eyes of steel. For tonight they met with the God of Shinobi, he who willed the world to be how he wanted it to be. "Greetings you two." He said his voice soft spoken, yet firm.
"Why have you called us here sensei?" A blonde Kunoichi asked, her hair done up with two long pony-tails and a green coat hanging from her frame. Beside her was her team mate, a tall man with spiky white hair.
The white robed Man walked to the window gazing out at his city before answering. "The reason is simple; you two have forgotten your duties to this village for long enough." He said harshly turning his head to stare at them out of one eye. "Beyond that, I feel it is time for me to be a bit more active in my leadership, I am taking on one last team. You two will be leading the village as my stand in. you have no choice in the matter as it is an order. If you do not take this job seriously it would end very badly for the both of you. I've coddled you long enough, you have responsibilities and both of you must stop living in the past and live in the present. You will take over for me in a week's time, until then most of your hours will be spent in here, with me as I show you what you will need to know." The fierceness of his demeanor left no room for argument.
Both were dumbfounded, that is until Jiraiya found his nerve. "Just who the hell do you think you are to command us like that." He accused angrily. He was doing important work for the village via his spy network and he would be damned if he let the old geezer talk to him in such a manner.
"Your lord Hokage, Sannin Jiraiya of Konoha, and need I remind you both of the responsibility you abandoned here when you were off gallivanting across the elemental nations. Now I have had to sit and watch him grow up alone without a family and be treated like less than trash while I could do nothing about it. Now that Naruto has become a ninja, I can finally do something about it and I intend to make up for not being there in the boys early years. Now I AM going to train him alongside the two others I picked and you two WILL be running the show as interim dual Hokage, is this understood?" Hiruzen responded icily, his words clear and powerful.
Both nodded, looks of shame adorning their features, "Hai, it is understood."
In an instant the room brightened and a cheery smile made its way on to the Sandaime's countenance. "Good, now we have much to go over and not enough time to do in." His voice appearing chipper but the undercurrent warned them that they'd better follow orders. And follow orders they did, albeit they both groaned in unison at the mound of paperwork that they had somehow missed during their conversation.
Sarutobi Hiruzen chuckled at their misfortune, "It won't be all bad, look at it this way you'll have each other to keep you company! However, I must take my leave; one of my most trusted aides will be here if you have any questions." He said smoothly as he ghosted out the door.
As if waiting for that cue in walked Chunin Iruka, a teacher at the academy, "Hello Jiraiya-sama, Tsunade-sama, I am here to help you if you have any questions."
They two Sannin groaned once again in unison, for this was truly their version of hell.
~Another week later, at team placements in the academy~
Naruto sat, trying very hard to seem patient, but his foot tapping showed just how hard it was for the boy. He hated sitting around waiting while there was something else he could be doing. For the past few weeks, Naruto had been training and believe it or not studying. With a little help from his Nara friend he actually got caught up to speed on subjects he had thought were boring, still if he were to be Hokage he would have to respect the past.
He was brought out of his musings when the girl he had met two weeks prior, Tenten, if he remembered right, sat next him acknowledging him with a nod. "Good morning Uzumaki-san,"
"Morning Tenten-chan, call me Naruto!" The blonde said, uncomfortable with any sense of formality.
The girl giggled a little at the teens' attitude. "Okay Naruto," She sighed resting her hand on her chin, "I wonder who my new teammates are gonna be, I hope there not pompous pricks or fan girls." She shuddered involuntarily at the word. 'Fan girls, yuck!' she thought to herself.
"I'm sure they'll be like super bad ass, I mean they'd have to be to be paired with you and this sensei of yours." Naruto responded, trying his best to calm the girls nerves, and maybe his own too.
Tenten smiled at the young boy, "Thanks Naruto." She said ruffling his hair, "You're a good kid."
Naruto bristled, "I'm not a kid!' He growled slapping her hand away; this caused her to chuckle mirthfully. Naruto huffed and crossed arms, puffing his cheeks out in anger.
"ALRIGHT YOU LITTLE SHITS SIT DOWN SHUT UP AND PAY ATTENTION!" Iruka shouted as he entered the door. "Now today you will be receiving your team placements and meeting your jounin sensei. I have one last parting speech for you all." He said sternly, making eye contact with each and every student. "The road you are about to embark on is not easy, it's filled with pain, heart ache and death. In spite of that it will be a journey of your life time. You will know joy, sorrow, pain, and if you're lucky you might live to train a new crop of ninja's just like yourselves. This road is not for the faint of heart, but if you have the guts, than you go with my blessings" For once, all his students had paid attention to his speech. In truth it was his only interesting speech. Still the words sunk in to the captive audience, an air of silence pervading the place.
Clapping his hands and smiling broadly Iruka started listing off teams, Naruto forgot most of the teams even though he had been paying attention, so he missed teams one through six. "Alright team seven, Choji Akamichi, Ino yamanaka, and Sakura Haruno!" Choji and Shikimaru looked at each other in confusion while both girls pouted at not being put on a team with Sasuke. "You're jounin sensei will be Asuma Sarutobi,"
"Team Eight will consist of Kiba Inuzuka, Hinata Hyuuga, and Shino Aburame. You're jounin sensei will be Kurenai Yuuhi." All three glanced at each other, their emotions unreadable to Naruto.
"Team nine is still in circulation, however Sasuke you are to meet them at training ground 9 in an hour." Sasuke nodded, smirking slightly to himself, seems he was better than everyone in here if he got transferred to a gennin team already in circulation.
"Team ten will consist of Naruto Uzumaki, Tenten Kusarigama, and Shikimaru Nara, you're sensei will be…WHAT?" Iruka's eyes bugged, if he was reading his chart right team ten's sensei would be Sarutobi Hiruzen. No that couldn't be right, but the sheet didn't lie, however as looked closer he found a note.
"Who is our sensei Iruka-sensei?" Naruto asked.
Iruka coughed straightening, "Well Naruto, your sensei is… well-"
He was cut off however when a swirl of leaves caught all of the teen's attention, standing there was the Sandaime Hokage in red battle armor with a Bo staff strapped to his back. "-Me Naruto, team ten's sensei shall be me."
The sound of an entire class room full of teens dropping their mouths to the floor echoed across the entire city.
A/N and there you have it folks, the first chapter of my latest story. The idea kept nagging at me over a month now so I finally broke down. I hope you enjoy :)