While you may think this story is just like all those other uncountable "Naruto gets adopted, becomes a God Mode Sue, gets himself a harem and becomes the Hokage" stories, you are wrong. While it may resemble them at the start, it is nothing like them. In fact the only thing that fits is the adoption part. There will all sorts of twists and details that set this fic apart from all the others.
You'll just have to read on.
The Departure/The Mysterious Savior
"W-w-who are y-you?"
The village of Konoha was peaceful. The sun was just starting dip behind the horizon, and people were more than happy. Most of them were returning from parties that had been held all over the village.
It had now been exactly twelve years after the Fourth Hokage gave his life in defeating the rampaging Nine-Tails, a demon fox of immense power. His sacrifice had been essential in finally killing the monster, and now he was celebrated as a great hero.
But there was someone who was neither happy nor celebrating. This someone was an orphan boy by the name of Naruto. He was an average sized, blond haired boy, dressed in dirty and torn orange pants and jacket with a white collar, a pair of sandals that barely held themselves together, and broken goggles that he kept on his forehead. He had dug all of his clothes from dumpsters when people had no more use for them.
It was his twelfth birthday, but as an orphan he would have no one to celebrate with - no one save for a kind old man named Danzo, who had a restaurant right next to his usual hangout.
Danzo had time and time again tried to offer the boy a place to live, but every time Naruto had declined by saying that an old man like him had enough things to take care of without a boy under his wing.
This evening, Danzo had to leave for an annual meeting, but had left a bowl of ramen for Naruto to eat while he was away. It pained his heart to leave the boy behind and alone, but he knew Naruto would keep out of trouble like he had done for the past twelve years. The boy was skinny, pale and unhealthy, but refused to give in no matter what. He even dreamed of becoming the next Hokage to show everyone that he could do it, that he could rise from the bottom to the very top all on his own.
A noble goal, but doomed to failure.
It saddened Danzo greatly to know that, but he knew he had to stop thinking about it for now. He had a meeting to attend, after all.
Naruto sat on a stair in front of the restaurant's back door that led to the kitchen, eating his ramen in silence. He knew he should have been happy that at least someone tried to celebrate his birthday, even if that someone couldn't be here with him. It was like this every year, every birthday he had, and just because he had been born on the day of the Nine-Tails' attack and had lost his parents that same day.
It wasn't fair.
He had seen other kids of his age play in a nearby park with their friends and parents. They were all so very happy, with no shred of worry in them, with loving parents taking care of them.
Naruto was an outcast, just a homeless orphan who had run away from the orphanage at the age of four. That was eight years ago, eight years he had spent on the streets as the only person in the village who didn't have any place or anyone to take care of him. At least Old Man Danzo helped him stay alive, but it still wasn't the same. The boy had never seen another orphan or homeless in his life in the streets; it was like he was the only one in the entire world.
Suddenly, as he was finishing his meal, he saw a small group of people walk past the alley and stop. They wore green chuunin vests and had headbands tied around their heads, identifying them as ninjas of the village.
They reeked of alcohol, even from this distance.
The obvious drunks saw the blond sitting there and started to walk towards him, drunkenly slurring something between themselves. Naruto dropped his empty bowl and chopsticks, and ran behind the dumpster leaning against wall next to him. He was hoping the drunks would turn around and leave, to do anything other than come his way. He closed his eyes and hugged his knees close to him, silently praying for someone to help.
"Hey, khid," one of the men said when they walked to end of the dumpster, "Don'th youh know that it'sh wrongh to shteal food from othersh?"
Naruto looked up in panic and tried to crawl into the narrow space behind the dumpster. He tried to tell them the truth, "But I didn't steal anything! I swear! It was a gift!"
"Yeah righteh, like we'dh believe youh," came the answer.
One of them grabbed him by his leg and pulled him back into the open. There were four of them in total, he could see now, and every single one of them was drunk as hell. Their breath stank horribly, and Naruto hoped he could cover his nose but was too afraid to move. The men moved closer squeezing their hands into fists, and one of them, a ninja with a short beard and black hair, spoke to him in a menacing tone.
"We're gonnah teach youh some mannersh, boyh."
Another one of them, a ninja with weird, white eyes, raised an empty liquor bottle above his head and then smashed it against the dumpster to make a makeshift stabbing weapon, ready to gouge out the poor boy's eyes. A few glass shards hit Naruto, but his only reaction was to cover his face with his arms and wait for the coming beating.
He felt tears starting to form in his eyes. This wasn't how he wanted to spent his day, to be beaten up by a bunch of drunken ninjas. He only wanted to spent his birthday like all the others before this one: Eating the food Old Man gave him and going to sleep in the old, abandoned house he called home. That was what he always did on October tenth, and that was all he wanted to do right now. Why would something like this happen to him? Was he cursed to suffer for his whole life?
"Beating up an innocent kid?" a female voice inquired from above. Naruto didn't look or even try to, he was too petrified to even think of doing so. "Maybe it's you who need to be taught manners!"
Someone landed near him with a soft thump, followed quickly by the sounds of beating and falling bodies. He heard men cry out in pain as they tried to face their attacker and were soundly defeated. The broken glass bottle was audibly smashed from its wielder's hand, and a second man was sent crashing hard against the dumpster next to him. The fight hadn't lasted more than a few seconds.
All was quiet.
Naruto slowly lowered his arms to see his rescuer.
It was a woman dressed in a white, sleeveless overcoat with a red cape hanging off near the end of her left shoulder blade, over a brown turtleneck shirt; a long black sleeve over her left arm, knee-high leather boots and a brown mini-skirt. She also had red pack strapped to her left leg and strange black case with something metallic in it hanging behind her. Her hair was long and light pink in color, and was braided over her left shoulder.
"W-w-who are y-you?" the boy stuttered, staring in awe at his savior. "A-are you an a-angel?"
"Hardly," was her reply, her tone even and also a bit cold which surprised Naruto. "What are you doing outdoors this late, kid?"
"I-I'm an orphan."
"I see." The woman looked around, eyes narrowed. She seemed to be making sure the drunks were out cold. Her clothing and appearance told Naruto she wasn't from around here. She didn't have a headband which ruled out the possibility that she was a foreign ninja. However, she was still a stranger.
"Y-you didn't answer my q-question," said Naruto nervously.
"Call me..." the woman gave him a light smile as she turned to face him again, "Lightning."
Danzo was happy the meeting hadn't taken as long as it usually did; now he could give Naruto something else to eat before he left. Usually by the time he would get back the boy would have already disappeared, something he had a knack for.
He remembered the day Naruto got his current clothing from dumpsters all over the city. It was quite shocking that the boy would refuse to accept his offer to go shopping for new clothes and simply dig them out of trash. He had told him it would let him save the money he would have to use for new ones.
When Danzo got to the alley that led to his restaurant's back door, he froze. He saw the food bowl he'd given Naruto lying upside down on the ground along with the chopsticks. Usually the boy would leave them neatly on the stair when he left. This meant he was in trouble!
Long forgotten ninja instincts kicked in as Danzo took a quick sniff of the air and tightened his grip on his walking cane. He smelled the strong stench of alcohol and saw a carelessly discarded bottle off to the side. He quickly deduced some drunk - possibly more than one - had attacked the boy.
Danzo's old eyes detected something at the end of the dumpster. He moved his dark grey robe, which covered him from his feet to just over his right shoulder, aside and freed his bandaged right arm, injured a long time ago. He gripped his cane with both hands and started walking further down the alley, fearing for the worst.
"Please, let it not be true," he prayed over and over again until he reached the shadow. It wasn't Naruto but an unconscious ninja, a chuunin who had been violently slammed against the dumpster with enough force to knock him out. Letting out a sigh of relief, Danzo looked around for the boy.
There was no sign of him, however, only three more unconscious ninjas, two chuunins and a jounin. Each of them was beaten up and reeked of alcohol. They had to be the ones Naruto had been trying to escape from, but it didn't explain where the boy himself was. He couldn't have done this to grown men; he couldn't have even survived against one, let alone four experienced ninjas. Someone had helped him out, but who?
"Naruto," the old man whispered as the sun finally vanished behind the horizon, "where are you, my boy?"
And that is the first chapter!
You may have noticed the chapter name's interesting design. Every chapter will have a name like that with a relevant quote under it. I think it's interesting.
This story takes place after FF13, but ignores all events after the ending. Also the graduation age is upped to 15-16 so everyone is wearing their shippuuden clothes. The Nine-Tails was also NOT sealed inside Naruto but truly killed. And as you can see Danzo is a good guy, not a power hungry douchebag.
Fun Fact: Originally this story would have started just like every "Angry-Mob-Corners-Naruto" fic.