Hello friends! Welcome to chapter five. Sorry for being gone forever, halfway through typing this chapter I left for a 5 day vacation with my family followed two days later by a 9 day cruise with my cousins. But now I'm back and full of ideas for this and another story I've been creating in the world I visit when ever I zone out, as I like to call this place La La Land.
Then just as I was putting the finishing touches on this chapter my computer crashes and all my hard work goes out the window, in anger I decided to put this off till school started. So here we go again!
I would like to thank all that have reviewed, favorite-ed, fallowed and subscribed to this story for doing so, as well as those who did the latter three to my account. I've decided that I'll acknowledge one review per chapter to clarify a certain point. So here is chapter five's "review corner".
Some one in the reviews said that Haku should be placed under Naruto's clan protection. The only issue is, well, Naruto has no clan left, there is at most 4 (Nagato, Tayuya, Karin, and I think the sky ninja leader dude is one) known Uzumaki members left and he's the only one in Konoha. So no can do. Naruto has no clan, clan powers, ability to create a clan or a clan compound (even with his apparent complex turned mini-mansion) to qualify as a clan in Konoha.
In other news:
Apparently those like myself who were the conspiracy theorist and thought that Tobi was Obito all along are out celebrating. I like my celebratory cake to be a type of pie, a large thin and well done pizza pie to be exact, and lo and behold what I had for dinner when the latest issue came put was just that. I feel like the ramen gods… or rather the pizza gods smiled on my that night
Anyway that sums up what I wanted to mention up here anything else will be at the bottom.
Eleven days after the first battle for the freedom of wave, Gato came through with Zabuza's request and hired him a new teammate. He had just spoken with the man and was headed to the women's temporary room, upon entering he recognized her. She was a kunoichi from Iwagakure, as an ex-member of the explosion corps. She had decided to leave her home village after the grand escape of Deidara, Iwa's so called mad bomber. Her decision was made not because of hatred of her home or due to wanting to join her ex-corps mate. It was because she had become ostracized by her friends and family as they all feared she might snap next. She turned in her resignation papers but wasn't approved to receive early retirement, so she left and up until now had done a pretty good job of staying under the radar.
Her name, Masami Akane. She left Iwa as a chunin and as a possessor of the Explosion release was given the title of a A-rank shinobi. There was a pretty bounty on her head of 27 million Ryo as well, not that that was a surprise to anyone. The Explosion release was Iwa's equivalent to say a dojustu in Konoha. When it wasn't under their control, they wanted it back and didn't want another nation getting a hold of it.
"So you're the hired help?" Zabuza's gruff voice emitted from beneath his bandaged face.
Not missing a beat and obviously knowing the man was there, she answered without turning around from where she was unsealing some belongings. "Yeah I'm here. What of it demon man? Eh forget it, so Gato said I'm here to help you kill some ninja. So who are the unlucky team that's gonna be dead soon?"
"Hatake Kakashi and his apprentice Uzumaki Naruto." Her eyes lit up at the mention of the first name, "and don't get your hopes up your fighting the kid. And don't think I'm selling you short either while I'm fighting the Copy-nin. You're going to be keeping Konoha's jinchuriki busy."
It took Akane a few seconds to process this little jewel of information before she went wide eyes "Konoha's jinchuriki… that would mean that he holds the Kyuubi no Yoko.
The Demon of the Mist had a grim look in his eyes "He used the beast's power to drive me off and I have a feeling the brat was holding back. You know about a jinchuriki's tailed forms. Iwa has or at least had last time I checked, two of them. The kid didn't even break out the first tail. It felt nearly as half as powerful as Yagura was when I tried to kill him. You are in for one hell of a showdown," with that said Zabuza left, before he passed through the door he looked over his shoulder and said "Be ready, we attack at eight hundred hours in two days times" with that Zabuza departed.
Akane sat down on the bed provided for her still in somewhat of a shocked state. 'A jinchuriki, the fucking Kyuubi Jinchuriki on top of that. I'm so screwed.' These thoughts stemmed from what she knew of Roshi and Han, jinchuriki of the Yonbi and Gobi respectively. The first was one of if not the strongest ninja in the history Iwa that wasn't a Kage and the later was practical a robotic killing machine. "No," she thought out loud, "Definitely was a robotic killing machine." the scars on her back from his steam release justu that she had to deal with ever since her escape from Tsuchi no Kuni were proof of that.
She thanked Kami every day that the jinchuriki didn't have clearance to chase her out of the Land of Earth and she cursed Kami every day that she ran into the Five Tailed Jinchuriki as she left the outer limits of Iwagakure. It was only thanks to her explosive release that she managed to block the mountain pass she had planed on using in her escape of the Land of Earth and trapped Han behind the fallen rock. Akane had no doubt in her mind that if she hadn't blocked the mountain pass behind her she would have never made it out of her homeland alive. But then again if she hadn't blocked the pass maybe the steam release attack Han had launched wouldn't had blasted the broken rock towards her and decorated her back with the scars that were there today.
Back home on the ranch, Kakashi, Naruto, and Haku were training. Well Naruto and Haku were sparing while Kakashi watched over them.
The two Konoha shinobi wanted to get a feel of how Haku was as a ninja. As such, Kakashi had them spar. He was as intrigued on how good Haku was. Just as he was on how Naruto went about dealing with the long thought extinct Hyoton release. Kakashi had to say, for having to create her own, well everything Haku was on hell of a kunoichi.
The match had started and Haku had immediately started a chain of one handed hand signs, which was down right crazy, Kakashi couldn't even used those. Mainly because he never actually created anything and the Chidori/ Raikiri were a bit to strong and wild to used them with. But then again maybe it could be done with the Chidori. That would require more thought and some input from Haku later on.
Anyway, after Haku's one handed seals a dome of ice mirrors had emerged from the wet ground and saturated air around her and surrounded Naruto, then she entered the ice mirrors and started flying around at high speed pelting Naruto with Hyoton justu created senbon needles. Kakashi's student was doing well, continuously dodging until he was hit by a single senbon. At that point, he went up in smoke.
'Your kid's really taking after me. Using shadow clones to switch with to see how a justu works. You would be proud of your son sensei."
Speaking of Kakashi's sensei and Naruto's father, the justu the man created was being powered up by Naruto. The power and rotation was there but Kakashi could tell the justu wasn't mastered. But for what Naruto had in mind, if his stare at the ice mirror closest to him was anything to go by, it would do just fine.
He looked down at the justu in his hand for a moment before looking back up and zeroing in on his target and then he was off. Quickly covering the 10 yards between himself and his target he thrust his hand out and called out the justu's name.
"Rasengan!" the jutsu touched the mirror, then exploded. It successful destroyed the mirror, but also sent Naruto flying back almost to where he started the justu. Luckily he was able to right himself in the air and land on his feet. The reason for this being that Haku had been on the move once her mirror fell, and when Naruto landed the ice was already forming for Haku's third justu.
"Hissatsu Hyoso!" (Certain-Kill Ice Spears). The ice flew up and attacked Naruto. As said before his luck kept him relatively safe, leaving him with cuts along his legs and feet and a stab like slash on his left calf muscle. Naruto retreated into the woods with a quick Kawarimi a log falling back into the ice spears as well as a bit of blood.
Haku cut off the feed of chakra into the spears causing her ice to stop growing, it would now act as normal ice and start melting as ice naturally would. This worked well for Tazuna's family. Seeing as for at least the next few weeks or so, they wouldn't need to buy ice.
Back to the action, Naruto had channeled the Kyuubi's chakra minutely to heal the damage dealt to his calf muscle quickly. He would have to be careful not to re-injure the leg but he should be good for now and have his leg at tip top shape tomorrow morning.
Naruto settled into his Arashinome no Mai stance quickly and waited for Haku to enter the space he was in. The trees around them would both hinder and help both of their competence. Naruto would have to be exceptionally careful with his chipped sword.
Haku landed on a tree branch above Naruto and about 10 feet away and the fight was on. Senbon needles came flying down upon everyone's favorite blonde as they were deflected by his ninjato or dodged. When Haku paused her throwing, she used the Sensatsu Suisho (Thousand Flying Water Needles of Death). Naruto also used a justu, and of course it was the Kanashibari. The technique made contact and that was all Naruto needed. He rushed forward and went for a punch with his left hand, only to stop and have to block an ice spike that formed in front of him.
Sadly this was a mistake, a very big mistake, because it had happened. The ninjato Naruto received from Sensei had snapped. Not to be distracted and give Haku a win Naruto threw the handle of his broken weapon with its four to five inches of steal left on it at his opponent to buy him some time. He flipped back utilizing his trademark justu casting song and dance. When he landed, he unleashed a very powerful and chakra overloaded Futon: Daitoppawhich had the effect of throwing Haku through the air for less than a second before she crash into a tree and was nearly pushed through the tree itself from the force of the wind.
The battle would have continued but Kakashi dropped down from his perch and called the match in Naruto's favor. The boy shrugged off Kakashi's hand and moved to reclaim his sword which was now in two pieces. He grabbed the two pieces and left, heading back to the house. Kakashi went up to where Haku was sitting, watching Naruto go with a air of depression hanging around her head. Kakashi joined her on the tree branch and once Naruto's figure disappeared Haku looked towards Kakashi and spoke.
"Di- did I do something wrong?" Kakashi could see the look in her eyes, she looked lost and scared. 'Probably thinks Naruto is going to abandon her. Well lets see if I can brighten her spirit a bit.'
"Don't worry Haku. Naruto isn't upset with you. That ninjato holds a lot of sentimental value to him and he's sad to see it's broken. Give him some time and he'll be back to normal, I guarantee it." Kakashi said with his signature eye smile. He got up, jumped down and followed his students back through the brush back to Tazuna's super house.
(10 days after Naruto's fight with Zabuza)
The morning had arrived and Inari sat up in his mother's room, sitting in one of windows that over looked the front of the house and the road back to the town that his family lived in. Watching Team 7 plus one heading towards a fight he was sure would have meant certain death, but not anymore. Even if he was cold and somewhat withdrawn, Naruto had changed Inari. There was just something about him, it was in the very air surrounding the blonde boy. After their first and rather bad conversation, Inari felt the need to speak to Naruto again. The next time he had a chance to speak with Naruto was when had returned with his freshly broken ninjato. Inari would have thought the elder boy would just brush past him but instead he told something the relit the hope in the younger child. Hope that had been smothered by Gato's hostile take over of Nami no Kuni and the death of Kaiza. Inari would never forget what Naruto had told him after he ask why he was smiling with a broken sword.
"Sometimes in life you lose things you never wished to lose. You can't let these things hold you back. I'm not saying you'll forget your loss but at a certain point you have to move on or you'll never reach your full potential. Just because my sword, a gift from a man who taught me nearly everything I know, is broken doesn't mean anything. I'll find a new sword and use that one just as I used this one. I don't have to give up on life just because I suffered one loss. No matter how much the thing that I lost mattered to me."
Naruto had walked on into the super house leaving Inari on the front steps of his home. While Naruto went to store the broken ninjato, Inari was lost in his thoughts. These thoughts were on the man who he thought of as a father, Kaiza. The man who inadvertently took sent the hope of Wave country to death when he was killed by Gato. While different in so many ways Naruto had given Inari hope. He didn't reignite the hope the had died with Kaiza, but rather gave Inari a new kind of hope.
Naruto's brand of hope was closer to revenge than anything else. In a way it was, at least, in Inari's young mind. Just because something was taken from you didn't mean you had to give up on it. You can take the old and make it yours, make it new, make it better, and make it stronger.
When Kakashi had told the bridge builder's super family about the high probability of the house being attacked Inari already knew what he was going to do. And if he died doing so, well, he would die with a smile on his face. Knowing his mom was safe and that when he saw Kaiza in Kami's realm, the man he thought of as a father would be proud of him. While his mother would be sad for a long time to come he knew he was making the right choice, he could feel it.
Naruto turned back to look at the house and saw Inari up in the window, he lifted up his hand and using the 'Ninja arts: eye-smile technique' he shot Inari a thumbs up. From Inari's stand point at that moment he didn't see Naruto, instead he saw Kaiza, it only lasted for a moment for when Inari blinked the image was gone, but a gentle breeze came through the window and ruffled Inari's hair just like Kaiza use to do. He closed his eyes and allowed the feeling to engrave itself in his mind. If anyone asked the boy would tell them that at this moment, nature itself, the land, sea, and air knew that His homeland was about to regain it's freedom.
When Inari opened his eyes back up he didn't see the ninja squad anymore but he knew that it wasn't the last he would see of them. If Inari wasn't totally sure on the decision he just made, he was now. He would protect his mother, his most precious person if it was the last thing he ever did. And he would do so willingly and with a smile on his face.
When Team Seven arrived at the bridge, they could see the mist had already rolled in, signifying that Zabuza and who ever was with him was already here and awaiting their arrival. Thankfully it was a Sunday and the bridge's workforce had it day off to spend with their families. The only gratitude that Tazuna could afford to give to his mostly dedicated men and women.
Kakashi and Naruto were fully prepared for war and when they reached the current middle of the unfinished bridge the fog began to lift. Only just enough so that their adversaries were visible.
"So nice to see you again, Akane." spoke Cyclopes number one
"Believe me Kakashi, the pleasure is all mine." spat out the lone kunoichi on the bridge.
"You know her, Kakashi-sensei?" asked Naruto in a quite voice.
"I'm sure you know who she is from the bingo book so I'll save you the details but yes I know her. I was sent into the Land of Birds to kill off a noble from the Land of Earth and she was the man's bodyguard. Suffice to say the man died and she ran off licking her wounds. Next time I heard of her was when I saw her in the bingo book. But enough of this," Kakashi stopped his whispering and spoke out loud once more, "So tell me, who wishes to fight the dog and who wishes to fight the fox?"
Akane took a step forward but was grabbed by Zabuza, he gave her a look that stopped her from blowing up his right hand and said, "Stick to the plan, maybe you'll finish before I do and be able to land the kill shot on Hatake."
"Fine, don't lose the body, I could use the money my old home would give for it." Zabuza only grunted and Akane moved to the right, the side Naruto was standing on. On the simple command of "Go", he was off to face one explosive lady.
Within moments the mist had been refilled and the two battles began. Tazuna took his chance to run back towards the island so that he was far enough to be out of sight but close enough to hear the fighting. And fight they did.
Raido let out a sigh, the day had come when Sasuke decided to start demanding things. By things he meant jutsu in all way shape and form. On their last mission, there was a rather skilled bandit. He obliviously had run-ins with shinobi before and was exceptionally well trained for a man of his 'line of work'. So much so that Raido had to step in and prevent too much damage from being inflicted on the Council's boy-toy.
Doing so pissed off the Uchiha because the boy was of the belief that the fight against whatever the man's name was would unlock his Sharingan. In retribution, the brat demanded to be taught everything that his sensei knew. Fortunately Raido's jutsu with crows were omitted from that request. To some, it would strike them as odd, but to those who ever had worked with Uchiha Itachi, they would know why. Itachi had a fondness of using crows in battle. Usually it was in the form of a Genjutsu, and anything Itachi was on Sasuke's 'must kill' list. A list that actually existed and was in Sasuke's possession and handwriting. He had seen it when he brok… was surveying his students homes.
To keep the brat happy, Raido took out a scroll which he had prepared with a list of 5 fire jutsu. All of which could be found in the Uchiha's library… or at least could have been before the clans' possessions were robbed… he meant donated by the all but completely deceased clan of jutsu robbers.
He had no issue with this of course. It just made dealing with the little brat a bit easier in Raido's humble opinion. He just didn't think he would be the one handing out the jutsu to the kid when he helped raid the Uchiha's vast array of Ninjutsu, Genjutsu and to a much lesser degree Taijutsu.
From his perch on the hilltop overlooking the bridge, Takamaru looked through a pair of binoculars. One hand holding them up as his other held a pen hovering above a notepad. A few things were already written down; notes on the clearing that played host to the battle nearly a week and a half ago, a mention on the names of the combatants, and a few other little things like the strange felling of the blond child's chakra.
As soon as the battles started, he was disappointed but not surprised in the slightest that Zabuza had covered his area of battle in a thick mist. A few more words found a home on the open page of his notebook. Moving over from the battle between the Ex-Anbu captains, he began to watch the fight between Kakashi's student and who he recognized as Masami Akane.
She charged forward, obviously hoping to land a few explosive hits on the blonde but it seemed he had no intention of being hit. Whether it being just his fighting style or having knowledge of who he was fighting was left to be determined.
The kid started doing backwards he landed, he was 10 feet behind where he started. Akane was where he had started and the boy's hands were in the snake handsign. Seeing this and feeling the chakra flare, Takamaru watched as Akane flipped through as set of handsigns at high-speed, her hands a blur.
"Fuuton: Daitoppa!" called out the shinobi. In response the kunoichi stomped hard on the cement ground of the bridge.
"Doton: Doryuheki!" From the cement a wall of solid rock jutted out and protected the kunoichi from the strong winds. Unfortunately they also blocked the view of the shinobi. Takamaru watched as the apprentice charged up a jutsu he had only heard of. He almost didn't believe his eyes. If it wasn't for the fact that only this one jutsu looked like what hovered just centimeters above the blonds palm. The blonde charged forward and when he reached the wall he called out the legendary jutsu.
"Rasengan!" the swirling ball of chakra drilled into and than blasted the earth style wall to pebbles and other small chunks of rock. All of which flew right at Akane. The kunoichi jumped out of the way, but not before she was hit with the remains of her defensive jutsu. A quick replacement left a bag of concrete mix to be obliterated.
*Knock Knock Knock* there was no answer.
*Knock Knock Knock* once more only silence.
*Knock Knock Knock* this time the knocks were more like pounds. The wooden door groaned under the strikes. It was well made but old and was beginning to lose it strength. Tsunami hoped that if she kept quiet the two thugs would give up. She stood in the kitchen, with a clear view of the door, and the space above it where Haku had placed herself. It was truly a sight to behold when the young girl actually stood on the wall as if it was a normal thing,
'For ninja, I guess it must be.'
"Hey we know you're in there!" "Yah! Open up already!" came the cries from out side. Then in a lower but not by much voice the first speaker spoke again
"Enough of this, kick the door down, would ya Waraji."
"He he. Sure, I got this."
In the span of ten seconds 4 things happened at once.
First the door was separated from its frame,
By the third second, Tsunami ducked behind the counter, and Inari who was watching from the stairs ran up to the top but in a spot he could still see what was happening. Haku began a set of handsigns.
By 5 seconds the men, Gato's head bodyguards, took a step into the house, and Haku called out her justu
(A/N: Japanese names are annoying to find so this is the new method for jutsu calling.)
"Hyoton: Certain-Kill Ice Spears!"
Before Waraji or Zori could react, as the name suggests, giant spears of ice rose from the puddle of water. Haku had laid it out when she saw the thugs emerge from the tree line. And sans a melting and cleanup duty, the fight for a hostage was over and Gato was down two men. Not that it really mattered all too much in the plans of Gato. After all, if all went well, the man would be gone by the time the sun went down.
Haku wanted to make a run for the bridge to help her new comrades but Kakashi had told her to keep the place on lock down unless the two members of Team 7 came back… Now that she thought about it, how was she supposed to keep a building in lock down without a door.
And thus the victors of the battle of the bridge would return to the super house to find two dead thugs on the porch and a wall of ice stuck in the doorway.
If one were to look upon the bridge, they would see two fights were going on. Not just any fights, but a duet of ninja fights. Okay, scratch that, they would see one shinobi on one side of the bridge and a shit ton of fog on the other.
This was the situation Akane found herself in.
'Tell me I have to fight the copy-nin's apprentice, I can do that. Tell me the kid's the jinchuriki of the Kyuubi no Yoko, yeah that's survivable. Turn that kid into a minute Fourth Hokage, Rasengan and all! Fuck this! I'm done! I'll just wait til Gato shows up and if somehow that fat gangster wannabe is still alive, I'll punch him so hard in his sack that his nuts will explode out his ass!
From her hiding place under the bridge, she released her hold, not using charka to hold her up to keep the chances of the jinchuriki from finding her and fell down to the ocean, already thinking up a plan to get the hell outta Wave country.
'A quick swim to the island, camp out on the far side of this place until the economy stirs back up and then I'm on the first ship to the Land of Seas. They must have a pirate issue that I can get some protection money out of.'
Akane landed in the water safely in a legs pointed down, arms crossed over he chest kinda fashion. Sadly, she wasn't home free. There, on the water stood Naruto, in his hands was a plank of wood. She sensed a bit of chakra come off the boy and then he fell apart into water. Akane last thoughts were 'finished by a fucking water clone!' Before the explosive tag on the wooden board detonated. Moments later the water had a tint of red, as wooden splinters rose to the waters surface. Masami Akane would never be seen from again. Takamaru would report to Kiri that she was killed by the apprentice of Hatake Kakashi. Only adding both bounty and rank to the bingo book page he had earned himself on this trip to Nami no Kuni.
Naruto heard the explosion go off and knew his fight had been won. He began to head into the mist when he herd the sounds of many dogs and hundreds of birds. It was a sound he had heard only a few times before, while on different missions where Kakashi had used his prized Chidori to finish a fight. If he was using it then right about… now!
A muffled scream came from the now fading mist to reveal the Demon of the Hidden Mist held down by Kakashi's dog pack and sporting a gaping hole in his chest. A hole currently vacated with Kakashi's arm up to the elbow. With a sickening and rather gory pop, more like a squelch, Kakashi freed his arm and the demon of the mist died before he hit the ground of the bridge. This is not to say Kakashi wasn't wounded, but he was good to go still. The fight had been mentally exhausting but not physically. Nor did it take too much chakra to enhance his senses of smell and hearing. Kakashi turned his head to Naruto and gave him an eye-smile and thumbs up. The man's hand went towards his vest but it stopped before it got there due to the sound of a short man's voice.
"So the Demon of the Mist fell to the hands of you two. How wonderful. You see I never meant to pay that foolish baby-demon. It's much cheaper to kill him off with a mob of thugs once they are all tired out from their fights, the bounty money is good too."
"So this is Gato, he's… shorter than what I expected from what Haku told us but other than that she was spot on. Don't you agree sensei?" all Kakashi did was nod.
Gato spoke once more just as loud but aimed more towards his hired gang then the Konoha Ninja. "The first man to bring me their heads will be rewarded with the full payload from Zabuza's bounty!" Gato didn't mean a word of that last part but the thugs didn't know that and they began to charge at the two shinobi. As the men began their charge over to the shinobi, Naruto walked over to where Kakashi stood and picked up the Kubikiribocho.
"So I *cough* guess it's a your sword for *cough* mine kind of deal, eh kid? The kubikiri- *cough* bocho, the decapitating carving knife, can restore itself to its former shape by absorbing *cough* the iron out of blood. There might be other abilities as this was the last blade made for the seven swordsmen and the blacksmith passed *cough* before he could finish testing out the blade. I couldn't figure out any abilities and if any of my predecessors did, they obviously aren't *cough* sharing. Good luck kid, may your steel stay sharp."
And with that finally eulogy Momochi Zabuza finally passed on. Leaving Naruto with much more than a replacement blade.
A few days after the battle for the bridge, Team 7 plus one left Nami on the recently completed bridge. It had seemed like the entire country's population had came out and lent a hand in the bridge's completion. Resulting in the bridge being finished a full two weeks ahead of schedule. The people named it the Great Naruto Bridge on Tazuna and Inari's insistence as they watched the group leave the country as the bridge's first crossers.
Soon enough the walls that surround the Village Hidden in the Leaves came into view marking the group's returned to Konoha. Well two of them returned, for the female of the group this was her first time behind or even within viewing distance of the walls the First built.
Saving sight seeing for later, the trio moved towards to the Hokage Tower where they were ushered in without wait and Kakashi began the verbal report, with input from Naruto and to a lesser degree, Haku, when necessary. After that was finished Kakashi walked up to the desk and the two elder shinobi began to speak in whispers, to low for Haku or even Naruto with his somewhat enhanced hearing. He was no dog but he had hearing that far surpassed a normal human's sense of the hearing. Even without hearing them talk, Haku knew that they were talking about her. If the fact Hiruzen had been looking right at her during the hushed conversation was anything to go by. The Hokage looked at his desk and began writing down on a form of some kind. A moment later Kakashi backed off, and the Third looked up at her. She was surprised to see kindness and warmth in his old eyes opposed to the icy coldness that she was use to see in the eyes of the one she would call master. It reminded her of her parents before she, she quickly crushed those thoughts.
"Right well now onto you Miss Haku, I have a proposition for you. If I remember correctly you agreed to join my village and I've gone ahead to fill out the paper work needed for you to become a Genin. Now onto my idea. How would you like to join Kakashi and Naruto as the third member of Team Seven?"
"I… I would like that very much Hokage-sama." answered Haku, bowing deeply.
"Rise child, your use of my title is good enough to honor this old man. Welcome to the Leaf, I hope you Will of Fire will start to burn brightly, but hopeful it doesn't burn too hot. Wouldn't want to melt your ice now would we?"
When Haku looked up, the Hokage was sitting turned in his chair the look out at the village. Well slouching back with his pipe in mouth and a smile upon his lips. She found it hard to believe that this man, who looked as old as the village itself, and was known as the Kami no Shinobi could act so… grandfatherly was the only term she thought of that correctly captured all that the Hokage was.
"Dismissed" said the old man tossing something at Haku, Team seven, now three ninja strong, bowed slightly and left the office. When Haku looked down she saw that she was now the possessor of a Konoha hitai-ate. And for some odd reason it felt… right.
Haku wasn't aware when Kakashi left or that he had told them to meet there tomorrow at 8. She didn't notice that she continued to follow Naruto and she didn't notice they were sitting down until her vision snapped back into fully functioning. But when she did she was welcome to a sight she would never forget, the village at sunset from on top of the Yondaime's head. She looked to her left at Naruto who seemed to be in meditation not wishing to disturb him she looked out at the village. And as she looked over the village she began to think of what she had been feeling since the meeting and her induction into Konoha's military.
The village was better than any other place she had been. In the next few weeks, Haku would come to identify this feeling. It was something she hadn't felt since Zabuza tricked her with it, acceptance. Only this time the acceptance was real. Konoha accepted her, the Hokage accepted her, Kakashi-sensei accepted her but most importantly in her eyes at least, the boy next to her accepted her, but Naruto did more than that.
At first he accepted her because he saw the potential that Zabuza had seen in her that fateful day on the bridge. But unlike him the boy next to her didn't want a tool, a weapon, a slave. He wanted to see her grow to her full potential nothing more, nothing less. This boy had changed her life so much in the month give or take a few days that they knew each other. It felt as if she had know him all her life. Her past memories she fought so hard to repress daily faded into the background when he was near. She wasn't sure why this happened but it wasn't something she was particularly trying to find an answer for anyway. It was then and there that Haku decided that she would spend the rest of her life making sure she repaid Naruto for what he did for her, whether he wanted payment or not. Years later Haku would realizes that this was the day she began to fall head over heals for the soon to be named Demon Spawn of Konoha.
Chapter five is in the books!
This one was weird because I wrote this ending piece with the Hokage first and then everything else and didn't quite know how I wanted wave to play out. But decided on this way and typed to my hearts content.
Stay tuned for next time!