Twelve Years after the fall of the Fourth Hokage, the Village Hidden in Leaves has regained its military and economic power. The attack of the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox, although brief, was enough to threaten the stability of the Shinobi World. The Third Hokage, pulled out of retirement, worked towards strengthening Konoha's position amongst the Great Five. The new host of the Nine-Tails Demon Fox received the personal attention of the some of the most elite Shinobi in Konoha and rose into the ranks of ANBU at a young age.
The ANBU knelt, a black cloak spooled around the knees, and awaited orders. The elite ANBU's posture was perfectly still, obedient and subservient, as the Third Hokage stood there. The silence in the room was stiffening- the ANBU guard hiding in the shadows fidgeting- but the loyal ANBU did not move. The Hokage's face was like stone, weathered and wearied, yet there was something lurking in his eyes, something that had allowed him to reign over the most powerful Hidden Village for decades.
Many called it the Will of Fire.
"Rise, Kitstune," The Third Hokage said. He clasped his wrinkled hands behind his back and watched from beneath his conical hat as one of his most loyal and powerful warriors rose in a single deft movement. "I have called you here to undertake a S-rank mission. It is, of course, optional should you choose to decline but-"
"I accept," came the immediate response from the ANBU Kitsune. The white mask gleamed under the light of the office, the intimidating red stripes curled up into an angry snarl. Nonetheless, there was no emotion in the highly-skilled ANBU's voice. There never was.
"Very well," The Third Hokage murmured. He reached into his robes and patted his pockets for a few moments. Then, without a single gesture, the ANBU in the corner flickered and vanished. A second later, the guard reappeared holding the infamous Hokage's pipe.
"Ah, thank you," Sarutobi muttered. He lit his pipe and took a few puffs. "Kitstune, rendezvous with Delta Platoon at the coordinates provided in this scroll. You will provide assistance to complete their task It is vital for village security that this mission is completed. You have two and a half hours. Time is of the essence."
"I understand," Kitsune said solemnly as the Hokage passed over the sealed and bound scroll. "I will not fail you, Hokage-sama."
Then, without another word, Kitsune disappeared. There was no flicker of chakra or breeze of wind to accompany the disappearance. One moment Kitsune was there. The next moment, Kitstune was gone.
The Third Hokage continued to puff on his pipe, clouds of smoke billowing out and hovering around him in a haze of thick scented fog. The ANBU in the corner of the room made a hand sign and the walls of the Hokage's office flashed for a second, a circle of glowing symbols flashing in and out of existence. All at once, the stiffening silence In the room was lifted.
"Ferret!" The Hokage commanded. The ANBU in the corner straightened as Sarutobi walked back to his desk and, with a small grunt, sat back down in his chair. A small stack of papers lay waiting for him, highly classified documents that could not be delegated to the appropriate department.
"Your orders, Hokage-sama?" the ANBU in the corner muttered.
"I feel rather burdened today," Sarutobi said. "Go and prepare my calligraphy set. I will be there later. Wait for me there."
"Sir," Ferret acknowledged and disappeared with a small puff of smoke.
The Hokage sat back in his chair and continued to smoke his pipe. There was a lot riding on this mission. He could only hope that Kitsune would pull through.
After some years, the threat of war diminished and the cycle began to repeat itself. Old heroes would fall and new ones would rise up and replace then. One such hero of Konoha is Kitsune, an elite and well-trained ANBU on par with some of the most powerful Jounin in the world.
Later on in the day in one of the Hokage's personal rooms within the tower, Ferret finished unpacking the calligraphy set and stood back up with a small sigh. Almost as if he had predicted it, Sarutobi appeared at the doorway.
"My cloak," the old man said with a straight face and twinkling eyes.
Ferret nodded and took the cloak of the Hokage. He felt the fabric through his fingers as he hung it up on a peg. The Third Hokage nodded and took another drag of his pipe, only to frown as the last glowing embers of the tobacco went out.
"That's unfortunate," Sarutobi murmured. He stroked his beard and glanced at Ferret from the corner of his eye. "Did you, perchance, forget to refill my pipe?"
The ANBU paused. "Perhaps, Hokage-sama," he said after a short while. "My apologies."
"There's no need to apologise," Sarutobi chuckled. He moved over and knelt down before a large scroll. "I have become accustomed to my elite Shinobi failing their missions ever since I took you on. It was quite a difficult task for somebody of your…caliber."
The ANBU tensed. For a moment, the white mask seemed to scream at the Hokage, before the person behind it managed to compose himself. He bowed. "My apologies again, my lord."
"My Lord?" Sarutobi muttered and chuckled. "My, my, you have become rather good at apologizing, haven't you? Still, it can't be helped when you manage to continually fail your routine missions."
"Perhaps I should give you another try," Sarutobi muttered as he picked up a fine brush and dipped it in his ink. "Take my hat and place it with my coat." Ferret moved in to take the hat but Sarutobi stopped him. "I warn you, I suspect that enemy Shinobi may intercept you on your mission. There is a high chance that you will fail it- like usual."
A strange noise came from behind Ferret's mask and Sarutobi couldn't hide the genuine amusement on his face. The elderly Shinobi cleared his throat. "However, I suppose I should give you a chance to explain yourself. After all, you are behaving very well today."
"Hokage-sama…" Ferret trailed off.
"Go on," Sarutobi urged. He gave a small smile that crinkled up his face. "I'm very impressed with your behavior but I know that you must be very eager to speak your mind, so I shall allow it."
"My mind?" Ferret repeated. "You want me to speak my mind?"
Kitsune is an A-ranked Shinobi gifted in all of the fields of battle. Taijustsu, Ninjutsu, Genjutsu, Fuinjutsu, Kenjutsu- there is no domain that Kitsune cannot claim some proficiency at. Kitsune's mission score is impressive and his exploits will undoubtedly go down in legend.
This is not Kitsune's story.
The Ferret mask came flying off the ANBU's head and a pair of cerulean-blue eyes glared at the elderly Hokage with righteous anger.
"Dammit, old man!" Uzumaki Naruto howled. "Don't treat me like a common servant!"
Three marks, like whiskers, stretched the young ANBU's cheeks as his face twisted into a fierce scowl. The boy, who couldn't have been older than twelve or thirteen, was dressed in ANBU armour, armour plates covering the backs of his arms and grey armour strapped over his black tunic and pants. Three pouches hung on his waist and a bandage was wrapped around his right thigh. All in all, he was hardly an intimidating or imposing figure.
The Hokage looked genuinely confused. "Ah, I'm afraid I don't understand, Naruto," he said. A smile flickered on his face. "As one of my loyal ANBU and my personal bodyguard, I was under the impression that you were my servant."
This is his story, the story of the ANBU named Uzumaki Naruto. Personally trained by the Third Hokage from a young age, Naruto entered the ranks of Genin at 8, Chunin at 10 and ANBU shortly after. Listed as a B-Ranked Shinobi in the latest Bingo Book, Naruto is the personal assistant and bodyguard of the legendary God of Shinobi, the Third Hokage of the Village Hidden in the Leaves.
Essentially, Naruto was his servant.
"You're impossible!" Naruto snapped. He folded his arms with a huff and pouted. "Did you have to rub Kitsune in my face again?"
"I find your dislike of Kitsune quite interesting," Sarutobi chuckled. He began to paint, his weathered old hands moving deftly despite his age. "I would assume that you would look up to your senior officers as role models. He is talented and you could learn much about the ways of the shinobi from him."
"Yeah, but Kitsune is such…such a…." Naruto seemed to be at a loss for words.
"Loyal and powerful Shinobi?" Sarutobi supplied.
"No, not that," Naruto snapped. Comprehension dawned on his face and he snapped his fingers. "Arsehole! Yeah, that's the word. Kitsune is an arsehole!"
Sarutobi chuckled good-naturedly and looked behind Naruto young blonde boy cocked his head in confusion before horror dawned on his face.
'He's standing right behind me, isn't he?' he mouthed at Sarutobi, who merely smiled.
"Report," Sarutobi said.
"Mission complete." Naruto heard Kitsune's voice and closed his eyes in resignation.
"Good work, Kitsune," Sarutobi praised. "Your skill and dedication do you credit. There will be a debriefing with the Commander in fifteen minutes- I will be there shortly."
"Yes, sir." And then the ANBU was gone.
"I hate you," Naruto muttered with a scowl.
"How unfortunate," Sarutobi responded dryly. He stood up and motioned to Naruto, who rolled his eyes but obediently retrieved the Hokage's hat and cloak. Once Sarutobi had finished dressing himself, he waved Naruto off. "You're dismissed, Naruto. Report back at 1700 hours to complete routine assignment 4E."
"For once, could you make your own dinner?" Naruto muttered under his breath. He retrieved his mask and gave a short, clipped bow to the Hokage as protocol demanded. "I don't suppose you could talk to the Commander about that matter we discussed earlier?"
Sarutobi chuckled. "I rather like your mask, to be honest," he said and waved Naruto off. "Go, you little brat. Enjoy yourself while you can. Tomorrow I need you to watch Konohamaru and I'm sure you'll want to be well rested for that."
"I hate you so much sometimes, boss," Naruto said with abject horror.
"Welcome to ANBU, Naruto," Sarutobi chuckled and left, leaving the blonde demon host alone.
"Did it have to be Ferret?" Naruto whined to himself as he began cleaning up the Hokage's calligraphy set. "You'd think the Nine-Tailed Demon Host would get the Kitsune mask…" Naruto trailed off as he muttered some obscenities to himself.
ANBU Directive #4: An ANBU must take the orders of the reigning Hokage with priority and before other duties.
A/N: It's been a while and I've been pretty bored over the past few weeks. I thought I'd take up some writing but I had no inspiration for any of my previous series or even Harry Potter in general. With that in mind, I thought I'd have a go at doing a Naruto story, since I've been wanting to do one for a while. That said, I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to write until I read a bad ANBU!Naruto story.
So yeah, I guess I'll bash a few clichés, try to make it a bit light-hearted and see where it will go. I'm thinking of a series of connected one-shots until I either get bored or inspired to write a fully-fleshed story.
I'm rusty, so if you care enough let me know what you think.