Kitsune cursed to himself mentally. 'Almost there, almost there.' With a sudden burst of adrenaline, the five year old sprinted for his apartment. 'Time!'

"Heh heh. You made it just in time kit." The exhausted boy breathed a sigh of relief. It was exactly nine o'clock. Kitsune had found that the Kyuubi did not make idle threats. On his second day of training, aka torture, Kitsune had not made the time the kyuubi had wanted. As he had promised him on the first day, the Kyuubi forced him to repeat the exercise all over again. Needless to say, he had time for only one meal that day.

Now, two weeks into his training, the cursed fox had upped his daily routine. At every stop, he was now required to do 35 pushups, and 70 sit-ups and squats. And every two days or so, his deadline to finish would be cut down by ten minutes, forcing him to go faster and faster. The first week had been a nightmare for the poor boy, and on his 3rd day of being ordered to do a second set of running, Kitsune had refused. 'What could the fox possibly do?' he had thought.

The Kyuubi had refused to heal Kitsune until he finished his second set, and the fox had informed him that without his help, he wouldn't be moving around for a month of so. So with no other choice then to improve and adapt, Kitsune had done just that. The past four days, he had managed to finish before the given time, but today was cutting it close. Walking into his shower on shaking legs, the black haired boy proceeded to blast himself with ice cold water. It was the only way to soothe the ache, by numbing his body.

Kitsune chewed through the remainder of the fish he had had for dinner last night. 'So what's the plan oh mighty fox? Shuriken and kunai practice, then taijutsu?'

"Not today kit. We're taking a break from physical practice and going into the theoretical side of being a shinobi." His curiosity piqued, and his body screaming in relief, Kitsune hurriedly finished his breakfast.

'So what exactly are you teaching me today?'

"I'll explain it to you, now go sit down, this could take a while." Heeding the demons advice, Kitsune took a seat on his bed. "As you know, ninjas practice a number of arts to make themselves unmatched in the face of combat. Taijutsu, weapon practice, and trap setting, you already practice every day. Now, I'm going to introduce you to ninjutsu and genjutsu. Ninjutsu creates a physical effect, and can be used for offense or defense. Genjutsu are illusions that effect the mind, and though they have no physical effects, in the hands of a master, it is even more deadly then ninjutsu."

'Why's that?'

"Ninjutsu can be seen, so if you're fast enough, you can dodge it. Genjutsu has to be sensed, and even then, it takes an iron will to dispel it. Another reason would be that ninjutsu can only do physical damage, damage that can be healed over time. Genjutsu does mental damage and the mind is much harder to heal then the body."

Kitsune nodded to show his understanding, and motioned for the fox to continue his lecture. "Now, though ninjutsu and genjutsu are often radically different in effect, they both have one thing in common, they need to be fueled with chakra to be effective."

"Wait, hold up. What's this chakra thingy?" The great fox sighed in annoyance.

"I'm getting there you fool. Now be silent and listen. Chakra, is the life energy that all living things have. Anything living has chakra, from dogs to trees, to humans. And when one properly harnesses chakra, it is an extremely powerful and useful tool.

'That red stuff you wrapped me in when we first met….?'

"That's right kit. That was my chakra. Your chakra as with most humans will most likely be blue. But enough on the explanations, all the explaining in the world will do you no good until you try it yourself. Now get in a comfortable position."

Kitsune grunted and winced as he laid his sore body on his bed. "Now relax, and listen to your heartbeat."

'Heartbeat, why heartbeat?'

"The heart is where chakra is centered about in normal humans."

'You said normal… meaning I'm not?'

The fox snickered. "It seems my dunce of a student can be sharp once in a while. Yes, you having me sealed in you are not normal. When you learn to tap into my chakra, the greatest source of chakra will not be around your heart, but around your stomach, where my power will leak into you through the damn seal." The Kyuubi shifted a bit in his cage. "Now relax! No more questions." Knowing that the demon's word was final, Kitsune closed his eyes and listened to his heartbeat.

He did not know when he had fallen asleep, but at some point, Kitsune had been lulled to a state of semi awareness. In this limbo between sleep and conscience, he had felt a current running in his body, not the crimson fluids that kept his body supplied with oxygen, but a current of power that kept his body alive. He was starteld awake by the Kyuubi's rumbling, "Well that's a surprise. You actually found your chakra on your first try."

Blinking the sleep from his eyes, Kitsune sat up, feeling his body ache, but to a much less degree before his meditation. "What? Most people can't?"

The Kyuubi gave a muffled laugh. "Why do you think there are so few shinobi? Everyone has chakra, after all it's the thing that keeps our bodies alive, and with the necessary amount of training, anyone can control the chakra. Hundreds of children are applied to your human academies, yet only 1 in ten will ever become true shinobi. Most never make it past genin. People usually take anywhere from weeks to years before they can get in touch with their chakra. You humans are far too impatient for such grueling meditation. The longer it takes, the more discouraged they become, making them less in tune with their chakra. Remember boy, your emotions are a great factor in you ability to control chakra. It can allow you to control every last bit of energy with an iron fist, or make the simplest jutsu impossibly hard." After absorbing in the Kyuubi's daily bit of thousand year old wisdom, Kitsune decided to eat again.

As he cooked what remained from his fishing trip, he questioned the demon about chakra. "So now that I can find my chakra, what do I do with it?" Kitsune began to clean out the fishes intestines.

"I'll tell you after lunch." After a quick meal, Kitsune headed out into the woods as the fox had instructed him. "Now, try to find your chakra source again, and this time, stay awake!" Sitting cross-legged on the ground, Kitsune closed his eyes and listened to his heartbeat.

This time, he felt more then heard the gentle circulation of his chakra. "Got it."

"Alright, now try to grasp your chakra and will it to move."

"Move?"

"Yes, the chakra is circulating about your body in certain routes, but attached to these routes are more paths for the chakra. These path leads to points outside your body where it is released whenever you perform jutsus. These points on your body are called tenketsu points." Closing his eyes once more, the five year old concentrated on his chakra. Inhaling and exhaling slowly, Kitsune relaxed his body. All at once, he concentrated on his flowing chakra, and willed with all his might for it to move. After a minute of internal mental struggle, he felt a surge of power leave his body. Though he could not see the chakra, he noticed that all the falling leaves that had been falling gently about him had suddenly been blown away by an invisible wind. A sudden exhaustion ran through his body, as though he had just run a mile, and he fell forward gasping for air. "Not bad kit, not bad at all."

Catching his breathe. Kitsune stood up and stretched, "So now what?"

"Well you'll practice using your chakra while I sleep. I want you to practice until you can call upon your chakra without such intense focus and concentration." Grumbling about slave drivers and stupid foxes, Kitsune set to work carrying out his sensei's orders.

By nightfall, the determined boy had gotten to the point where he could call upon his chakra instantly, but he still had to concentrate a lot. 'Hmmm. The boy is progressing much faster then I thought he would. Perhaps I have a genius on my hands after all.' The Kyuubi bared his teeth in a semblance of a smile. 'Quite fitting that the vessel of the Kyuubi will prove to be a genius.' "Kit, lets call it a night. Your chakra is getting dangerously low, and even I can't cure you of chakra depletion."

Too tired to even answer, the green eyed boy headed towards his apartment. 'So chakra exercises will be all I'll be doing?' he asked hopefully.

"You wish! I still expect you to do your morning exercises. Until you can do chakra related exercises, the only way to build your reserves is good old fashion physical workouts!" And so it went, for the next 2 weeks, Kitsune would wake up each morning, do his exercises, and then return for a shower and breakfast. Then he would head out and practice taijutsu and his projectile skills until noon. After lunch, he took a nap till 3 o'clock to rest up his body. Then the Kyuubi forced him to release his chakra until he was dangerously close to chakra exhaustion. After dinner he would go to bed, waiting the next day of training.

Sarutobi was getting worried. It had been nearly a month since the energetic Kitsune had visited him. The worried Hokage had dispatched an Anbu to check on the child, but he had reported that Kitsune was fine. Still, the 3rd could not help but be worried. The green eyed boy had been through so much already, being orphaned, then having the trauma of having a demon sealed in his body next to his soul, then being kicked out of the orphanage, and of course shouldering the hatred of the village of leaf.

Sarutobi had vowed that he would help Kitsune, but the best he could do was keep him off the streets, and stopping the council from lynching Kitsune. The 3rd sighed as he gazed out the window ignoring the pileup of papers that needed reading and signing. He would personally go visit Kitsune if he could, favoritism be damned, but with the chunnin exam coming up, followed by the jounin exams, there was simply too much to do. Not to mention the cloud-nins that would be coming to sign the treaty. Sarutobi frowned in thought and played with his pipe.

There was no way the Cloud would give up that easily, they must want something in Konoha. But the benefits of having the treaty signed was simply too great to ignore. The 3rd took another drag from his pipe, sighed, and sat back down at his desk. No doubt he would still be there the next morning. Being Hokage required not only skills in the field of combat, but also an inexhaustible amount of stamina necessary for signing papers!

"Alright kit, I think you're ready for the next level." Kitsune smiled as he felt excitement rising in him. Finally, something new. "For the past two weeks you have been forcing your chakra out of your body. You've gotten to the point where you can do that without thinking or even concentrating solely on gathering chakra. Now, I want you to concentrate all the chakra to your head."

Kitsune blinked. "My head?"

The Kyuubi sighed. "Yes, was I not clear the first time? Your head." Shrugging, Kitsune focused his chakra to his head, causing his a small headache due to the amount he had forced into his head.

'Like that?'

"Good, good. Now get a leaf." Picking up one of the many leaves littered around the ground, Kitsune wondered where this was heading. "Now place it on your head. Good. Channel chakra to your head again." Obeying the Kyuubi's command, Kitsune sent chakra rushing to his head. The leaf that had been resting on top of his head shot up 2 feet in the air where it proceeded to slowly float to the ground. "I want you to keep the leaf constantly floating 2 inches above your head. Up until now, you have been sending your chakra out in erratic bursts. With this exercise, you will now have to release a constant amount of chakra towards your head. Too much, and it will float off, and too little, it will not get to the 2 inches I want. Get moving."

Putting a new leaf on his head, Kitsune closed his eyes, and gently pushed chakra to his head. The dried leaf trembled, then slid off his head and fell to the ground. Frowning, Kitsune picked it up and put it on his head once more, and sent a surge of chakra to his head. This time, the leaf didn't even move, but instead disintegrated into dust. Cursing as the Kyuubi laughed at him, the raven haired boy dusted his head off. "How am I supposed to concentrate with the stupid village cheering like that! And for that matter, why are they cheering anyways?"

The fox forced his laughter down, allowing a few snickers to escape. "Maybe they think you died kit. That would explain all the cheering." Kitsune snorted in contempt. The fox was probably right. Clearing his head and trying to ignore the insistent cheering of the villagers, Kitsune went back to work.

By 1 o'clock, Kitsune had perfected the demon's training and had the leaf hovering exactly 2 inches above his head. "Good job kit. Now stand up with the leaf on your head. Do not allow it to move, if it does, you'll do a hundred pushups." Standing up carefully so that he didn't let the leaf move, he managed to get in an upright position without the leaf moving. "Now I want you to walk around with the leaf exactly 2 inches away from your head. If it even moves, you are to do 50 pushups and 50 sit-ups."

Taking careful steps, Kitsune set about to complete the fox's challenge. Sometime at 4, Kitsune had mastered this particular exercise, though he had done more pushups and sit-ups then he could count. He had gotten so good he could run around without the leaf leaving the 2 inch perch on his head. "Very good kit. You are making more progress then I thought possible. But then again, you are being taught by the most powerful demon!" Kitsune snorted. Go figure. "Now I'm going to up the training even more. Get 4 more leaves. And don't you dare let that one on your head fall!"

After getting the four leaves necessary, Kitsune followed the Kyuubi's instructions and placed one on each of his foot and hands. "Now send chakra to your arms and legs, and make those leaves hover 2 inches above each respective limb. Then once you're ready, I want you to walk around the clearing. And once you can do that, I want you to run. Got it?" Not even giving the demon a reply, Kitsune set to work. Sometime during his exercise, the bored fox had fallen asleep, and so had not been there to stop Kitsune from continuing when he had reached his limit. Needless to say, the Kyuubi was given a rude awakening when his vessel face planted on the forest clearing.

"Kit. Damn it, KIT!"

The exhausted Kitsune woke to the sound of someone crying and a heavy set of feet stumbling through the bushes. Standing up blearily and wondering what the hell was going on, Kitsune headed towards the source of disturbance. He blinked in surprise when he came upon a heavily wounded man holding a little girl over his shoulder. The first thing he noticed was that the girl was really cute. Then, he noticed that she had no pupils. It wasn't until he heard her crying did he realize that she wasn't exactly out on a walk with her uncle.

"Hey, what are you doing!" he demanded. The injured man snarled and turned around to face the raven haired boy. He had a scar running across his face, a squished nose that was no doubt broken, and watery blue eyes that were squinting in his direction.

"Get out of my way kid and I won't kill you!" Sneering back at the man, Kitsune drew his kunai and threw it at the man. His training must be paying off, for the man barely managed to dodge it. Given the fact that he was wounded, it was still an impressive throw, after all this man was an elite jounin from the Cloud.

"Alright kid, now you asked for it!" Dropping the bound Hyuuga heiress, he charged forward towards the unarmed boy.

'Oh crud! What do I do!' "Focus your chakra into your legs and hand and punch him!" Reacting to the Kyuubi's words, he sent chakra towards his limbs, then blurred forward towards his opponent. The surprised cloud-nin had not expected the boy to be able to fight. He stared in disbelief as he felt the pain in his abdomen due to the chakra enhanced punch the child had dealt. Combined with his multiple wounds and sealed off tenketsu, he fell over and fainted from pain.

Kitsune dashed forward towards the still bound girl, and picked up his fallen kunai along the way. He sawed off the rope that had kept the girl captive, and was caught off guard as the purple headed girl glomped him. She had quite a grip and wouldn't let go, and after hearing her sobbing, he didn't have the heart to try to pry her off. "Don't worry, your fine now."

"That..man.hiccup..he tri.tri.. tried to kidnap me!" An uncomfortable Kitsune scratched the back of his head.

"Well my name is Kitsune, what's yours?" With her lower lip still trembling, Hinata stuttered out an answer.

"My na..name is Hin..Hinata Hyuuga." Kitsune blinked. Now what was he supposed to do. There was and unconscious man lying on the floor no doubt dieing, he was dirty as hell, and to top it off, he had a purple haired girl in a ceremonial kimono strangling him.

"Say something kit." He didn't know what to say, and blurted out the first thing that came to his mind.

"Wanna be friends?" Hinata blinked back her tears and stared at her rescuer. Be his friends? Why not?

'He is kinda cute.' "umm. O..ok." Kitsune blicked owlishly and stared at her. He had not expected her to say yes. Every other kid he had tried to make friends with had either ignored him, left him, or had their parents drag them away while glaring and some cases cursing Kitsune.

"REALLY!" Kitsune bounced around excitedly. "I don't really have any friends." With his last proclamation, he became more withdrawn and sad.

"Nei..Neither do I. Daddy won't let me play with the other kids" she said sadly. "He says its too dangerous to leave the compound without protection." Smiling cheerfully, Kitsune pulled Hinata to her feet.

"Well now we can be each other's friends." Staring at her curiously, he asked, "Where do you live?" Blushing shyly for no apparent reason the Hyuuga heiress toed the ground.

"I live in.. in the Hyugga com.. compound. Its between the street the academy is on and the street that leads to the Uchiha compound."

Nodding his head, Kitsune smiled his infectious smile. "Don't worry, I'll come visit you, and we'll be best friends, ok?"

Hinata smiled back shyly. "Ok. But I really need to go back now. Momma and Daddy are probably worried." Just as she finished her sentence, an extremely torn up Hizashi Hyuuga burst through the bushes causing Hinata to squeak and Kitsune to draw his blade.

"Hinata-kun! You're safe!" Hizashi blinked as he noticed the dead culprit on the ground, and the demon container so close to the Hyuuga heiress.

"Kitsune-kun, did you do this?" Kitsune nodded an affirmative.

"Yeah! Kitsune-chan was awesome!" Hinata piped up. Realizing her outburst as her uncle stared at her, she lowered her eyes and blushed cutely.

"Well I'm sure you'll have the thanks of the Hyuuga Clan Kitsune-kun, and if not that, at least my thanks." Hizashi bowed towards Kitsune. A surprised Kitsune bowed back automatically. Not many people would show him that kind of respect.

"Come Hinata-kun. Your father and mother are extremely worried." Nodding meekly, she ran forward and took her uncle's hand.

As they walked away, Hinata turned around and waved at Kitsune. "Come visit me ok?"

Smiling and waving back, Kitsune yelled back at his first friend, "You got it!"

"Visiting her would interfere with your training." He had wondered when the damn fox would pipe up.

'Screw you! She's my first friend, and I'll be damned before I lose her."

The fox snorted. "Well it's your choice I guess. Now go home. It's almost dawn, and you still have to do your exercises!" 'What!'

An: Ah, and so starts a beautiful relationship. Next chapter should be up soon, and any feedback would be nice, but please, don't try to dictate my story. The point of fan fiction is for the author to write what he or she feels best, not what the reader wants to read.