Hiruzen Sarutobi, Third Hokage of Konohagakure, was not impressed by the actions of his successor. The man had nobly and virtuously sacrificed himself for the good of the village and that he had no problem with, however he had neglected to specify a successor and so Sarutobi had been reinstated as no other suitable candidate could be found. He almost wept manly tears when he encountered the piles of neglected paperwork the damn blonde had left for him to deal with. That could be sorted out later, for now he had a more complicated problem to deal with and said problem was currently drooling on his official Hokage robes of State.

Hiruzen shifted the small child's weight in his arms, being careful not to wake the boy. He steeled his features one last time before stepping through the crimson curtains that separated him from the balcony outside ad the assembled masses of Konoha's population. He had a speech to make.

3 hours later

Now he really had a problem. He'd had to pass a law off the top of his head just to keep the newborn in his arms safe. How could the people turn like that? How could they be so blind? He had grown up in this village, he had lived amongst them for all the years of his life and he had never seen such unbridled and unanimous hatred, and directed at one so young! It chilled the elder Sarutobi's heart.

Precautions would have to be taken. None of his previous plans were viable. He could not risk the boy's true identity in the hands of a populous that hated him, who knew what they'd unleash if they let it slip, intentionally or otherwise to the wrong people. War was not an option, especially after tonight. No peace was called for, peace and time to rebuild. Anonymity was the key. Neither of the boy's parents had survived the night, he would have to go into an orphanage, but not under his true name. He'd already been named by his parents but their secret relationship ensured that few if any would know the child's first name, plus if he were given his mother's family name there would be none able to link the boy back to his father. Until they looked at him.

The blonde hair was the biggest giveaway, there weren't many blondes in Fire Country. Well there was the Yamanaka Clan… Maybe, if no one looked to close he could pass as a bastard of one of the clan's distant relatives. Ah well, never mind. There was nothing to be done about that. There was only one thing left to worry about. The Bloodline.

It was no secret how Bloodlines were created in the elemental countries, it was just that none spoke of it. Interactions with demons on any scale tended to warp the very physical nature of all those around at the time. Sometimes this led to what were now called Bloodlines and those in the same condition as the child were the most likely candidates for a new one or the amplification of a current one. The fact that the boy was now the third generation of the family to… the thought didn't bear thinking about.

Reassuring himself that the matter wouldn't have to be dealt with for years to come, or maybe not at all, Hiruzen began filling out the paperwork to have the child placed in the care of an orphanage. A trusted orphanage. As he was filling out the child's name a flash of light, as though reflected from his lamp made him look down at the boy. Upon seeing nothing he frowned and turned back to the paper, filling out the first in a long list of questions. Name: Naruto Uzumaki.

Two Months Later

The night was cold. It was the coldest it had been for years and the chill showed no signs of abating any time soon. Every sensible, right thinking and mentally sound person was either already in bed or sat before a roaring fire. There was a crowd outside the Hishimoto Orphanage.

As crowds went, this one was quiet, almost unnaturally so. Even without the noise a sudden tense feeling of anticipation could be felt spreading through those assembled as the shutters on a third floor window opened. This was what they were all waiting for. Finally they would have their justice. Revenge would be doled out and their most honoured Hokage's work would be finished. They would avenge their hero, this night, at last!

Something was off. The one who had opened the window had not returned. Surely by now there should be some… The sounds of grunting and effort drifted down to those assembled below and most blanched in sudden assumption. Their intentions weren't exactly pure but that was just… Then a very heavy thunk was heard, followed by scraping and more grunts of effort. Eventually a figure appeared in the dim window frame, bent over and breathing heavily. From what they could see of the man's face in the dim light of the street lamps he appeared to be under great strain. Eventually, and with almost comical slowness, the man lifted an object onto the windowsill and paused to regain his breath, panting and flushed in the chill night air. The object he had lifted could not be clearly seen but shone with reflected light and left everyone present wondering what the man was playing at. This had not been part of the plan.

Eventually, the man steeled himself, set his shoulder against the small object and, with great effort, shoved it out of the window and into the night. The object dropped with such speed that those nearest instinctively took several steps back, and struck the earth as though particularly enraged and aggrieved by it. Everyone clustered around the small crater left by the object's descent and attempted to peer over each others shoulders for a look at the thing. It appeared that their colleague had gone quite mad and decided to throw a life-sized lead statue of a baby out of the orphanage's window. What the hell was he playing at, and where was the…? The statue moved. Then it began to wail and cry.

Several shrieks and cries of alarm erupted from members of the crowd and alerted the patrolling Military Police of their presence. The crowd quickly dispersed. A very young looking MP wearing a brand new chunin flak jacket arrived on scene and looked down at the small, shiny, crying thing on the ground outside of the Hishimoto Orphanage. Looking up at the open window and then around at the obvious, to a ninja, signs of a large gathering he came to a quick decision and bent to lift the child.

Several minutes and a highly overpowered chakra strengthening jutsu later, the young ninja stood before the Third Hokage, the child wrapped in blankets and the twisted, mangled remains of a kunai on the table separating them.

"From the weight I would surmise lead as the core," the nin was saying, "with possibly a titanium outer shell judging from the remains of the kunai. Either that or an alloy or possibly a whole new element of some description. Whatever it is though, it is definitely chakra-enhanced as well as being chakra created."

The child, no longer on the cold, hard ground had fallen back to sleep and was slowly regaining his original colour.

"He will have to be trained as soon as he is able to learn." The ageing Hokage announced to no-one in particular.

"You don't think it could be…" The ninja halted at the glowering look from his superior.

"It appears instinctive at present. There is no sign of its influence and I would appreciate it if you would not start undue rumours or panic by even suggesting otherwise."

It was much later that night when the young child was returned to his room within the orphanage. On a neighbouring rooftop, a black-cloaked figure settled down into as comfortable a position as could be achieved on a slate rooftop and waited for the dawn shift trade-over. Naruto Uzumaki would spend the foreseeable future under silent, watchful guard.

Six Years Later

Naruto Uzumaki had been kicked out of yet another orphanage for 'injuring fellow residents', 'bullying' and 'damaging orphanage property'. Hiruzen had pulled the associated files and had discovered all the instances of injury had apparently been breaks and fractures of the carpel and tarsal bones of those involved, as though they had punched or kicked something inherently more solid and strong than they had expected. The instances of property damage had involved the twisting, snapping or bending of various knives and fire pokers as if they had been struck against something inherently tougher than themselves. One rather amusing piece of 'evidence' was a frying pan that had an image of Naruto's shocked visage firmly indented into its base. Then there were reports of him apparently 'eating' various metal objects, from cutlery to saucepans, that seemed to just vanish whilst he was around.

Still, it didn't matter. Naruto had been banned from or kicked out of every reputable orphanage and care home in Konoha and that meant the Third Hokage, still unable to find a decent replacement for the position, had to find alternative housing for the boy before anyone else took it upon themselves to spirit the boy away to parts and influences unknown.

Emancipation was one option, but that was filled with far more troubles than it was worth. No one was prepared to offer the lad a decent home. Many wanted to enslave or indoctrinate him to some degree, but that was obviously not acceptable. Hiruzen couldn't adopt the boy, not without raising suspicions any further than his interest in the boy already did. There seemed to be nowhere in the village that he could… a form caught his eye.

It was a rather innocuous form and, if it hadn't had the bright red stamp across the thing it would probably have gone ignored like the majority littering the man's desk. It was approval for the demolition of an apartment building in the poorer part of Konoha. The building had been emptied already, the residents moved out or rehoused, and this form was merely a formality to be brought to his attention before the whole thing went up in smoke to pave the way for a new shopping centre or some such.

A flicker of an idea sparked in the back of the old Sarutobi's mind… maybe…

Several days later

Naruto couldn't believe it, he had his own apartment building! Not just an apartment, a whole building! Apparently no one wanted to live there and so, because of his getting thrown out of another orphanage, he'd been given access to the whole building to do with as he pleased. Old man Hokage had gone on about some boring laws to do with clans and compounds and things called extenuating circumstances, but he'd fallen asleep at that point. Honestly, why did old people have to make cool things sound so boring?

Anyway, all of that was beside the point because, as well as his cool new apartment building, old man Hokage had promised Naruto someone would come by later to begin his ninja lessons. He had to control his blood or something. It sounded awesome, and it was ninja training, DOUBLE AWESOME!

First things first though, he had to find somewhere to live in his new building. It had to be somewhere big, and have a balcony, and not smell like ass and musty farts… He looked into one room. Meh, this'd do. Right, second things second, time to find some stainless steel, that stuff is tasty