AN: Sorry for rapidly pushing off a lot of stories but… the thing is, I'm trying to find an idea that's better than my old Kageken Fiction. For those of you who haven't read it, it was my one masterpiece. For those of you who did read it… well, I just can't forget the thrill and the enjoyment I had in writing that story. I'm not going to rewrite it, I'm going to write something better. And I'm trying. Hence the rapid new publishes.
So… another Idea I'm firing off. I've been working on this one for awhile. Let's see how this folds out. I've got a good feeling about this one.
"You think that'll keep me in line, Yondaime?"
The blonde man nodded. "Yeah… I think I will." He was smiling, ignoring the intense pain burning deep within his body. It felt as if his veins were burning from the inside out, his intestines trying to escape from his mouth through his stomach and it felt as if his fingernails were trying to dig into his hands. A single drop of blood dripped from the corner of his mouth.
The man stood in front of his newborn child, his hands outstretched in from of his chest, channeling chakra into the technique that would seal the demon into his own child.
And orchestrate his own death.
But that didn't matter to him.
All he cared about was saving his village.
The demon thrashed trying, in vain, to escape from the threshold of the technique. But both he and the yondaime knew it was a futile gesture. The yondaime knew he had him and did not even move to intervene. The beast struggled, its head refusing to go into the newborn's stomach. He roared at the blonde trying to gather up the last of its strength to somehow do something. Minato just channeled more chakra into the technique.
Then the Kyuubi laughed.
"You forgot something Yondaime," The Kyuubi muttered. "Every other host before him died. What makes him different from them?" The nine tailed beast laughed, its eyes bulging and its tongue lashing out to taste the air before it was sealed for years. "I'll kill him just like them. He's no different from them! I'll KILL HIM! I'LL DEVOUR HIM ALIVE! I'LL TEMPT HIM WITH POWER AND CONTROL! POWER TO DESTROY! POWER TO RULE! POWER TO TAKE ANYTHING HE WANTS!"
"Geez, you're kind of being dramatic here don't you think so?"
The demon narrowed his eyes.
"No one turns down power." The demon continued. "Power rules this world. From power comes conflict, fights, battles and wars. Power is the beginning and it is the end. You are a fool," The demon spat. "To think that your freshborn will be any different. Your kit will fall to temptation just like the others. He will fall. He will fall in to the black abyss, and I'll take him. I'll take him like I took the others. When I take him, I'll tell him it was his own damned father who sealed me within him."
The yondaime grimaced. "He won't fall. He's the son of Namikaze Minato and Uzumaki Kushina. He's the son of two of the greatest shinobi that Konoha has ever produced. He is our son and he'll know right from wrong." He snarled, revealing an anger uncharacteristic of him. "My son will win against your temptations and your trickeries. He will not fall into your abyss or offers of power. He will fight against this world using his own strength and nothing else. And You, Kyuubi, will die when he dies knowing that he will have resisted you for a lifetime. That is what is left for you Kyuubi, Death and a lifetime spent in a cage."
"A life time of a human is nothing to me, mortal." The Demon retorted. "I've seen how Jinchuurikis are treated… even I wouldn't wish that upon my own kits. You are a cruel man and your son will hate you for it. He will damn you for every waking second of his life, cursing his own father. He will crave the strength to destroy those who mock and shun him. Then he'll unleash me and laugh at the ruins."
"Not from Konoha," He whispered. "Not from Konoha."
The kyuubi was sucked into Naruto but not before having his last words.
"You're wrong… humans are the same Yondaime. Fire Country, Water Country, Lightning Country… they are all the same. They are the cruelest and the most evil creatures to ever roam this world."
"And you've just sentenced your son to a cursed life of a human sacrifice Minato."
Minato heard the Kyuubi's last words and took them to heart.
He couldn't even retort anything anymore. The Kyuubi was gone and wouldn't hear anything.
The Yondaime released his technique and walked towards his son, his steps unsteady. He almost tripped a dozen times. Normally he would have used his trademark technique to appear at his son's side in an instant but it wasn't possible. Minato was dying and that kind of technique would ruin his body. Each step sent another fresh wave of pain throughout his body but there was something more important than resting. A small voice inside of him began to whisper, promising relief from pain if only he'd just lie down and close his eyes for a split second. But Minato had heard this voice millions of times before, while in the midst of battle.
But like always, and as most men of character that are sentenced to the destiny of a Kage does, Minato ignored the voice and refused to give in. He simply took one step after another, focusing on not falling.
For if he fell, that would be the end as he knew it.
After what seemed like hours, which were actually grueling minutes, Minato kneeled in front of his son.
His son, Namikaze Naruto, was in a small crib. The crib was at the center of a ring of complex seals that only the yondaime could understand. He glanced to the left and saw the dead body of his wife, Uzumaki Kushia, her vibrant red hair now only a dull shade of brown. She had suffered a lot when the Kyuubi was literally ripped out of her and Minato had been surprised that she had lasted as long as she did. He smiled a mixture of sadness at her death and being proud of her for living the life of a true shinobi.
But the love he held for her was raging within him.
He glanced at the village.
He reached out a hand to stroke Naruto's cheek.
"Hey little guy," Minato whispered, trying not to wake his son. "I'll be going after your mom in a few… so listen up."
"Remember to eat your vegetables… your mom hated vegetables but I'm sure she would have been the hokage instead of me if she ate vegetables. I wanted to teach you how to threw your first kunai and teach you your first jutsu but… I guess that's out of the picture now." He pointed towards the village. "Y-you're the same age as Fugaku's kid… second kid I mean. Itachi's a very gentle child. He'll take care of you. Also… Kakashi… he's been getting too hooked on naughty books lately… t-try to stay away from him.
Minato jerked caught in a violent coughing fit.
He began to see a swarm of shinobi rushing towards him from the distance.
"M-make lots of friends Naruto." Minato felt something fall from his eyes. He didn't check to see if it was blood or tears. It didn't matter at this point.
His voice turned softer.
"I know," Minato's voice was softer than it had ever been in his entire life. "I know you'll be cursed at. You'll be beaten, choked, kicked while on the floor and people will hate you as long as you live. You'll go to sleep alone, in bruises, in the cold and in dumpsters. Our house will be seized or burnt down. People have short memories Naruto and fear is the biggest driving force for people to kill one of their own. I have no illusions about how people will treat you."
"I know I've damned you, my own son, to a cursed life." Continued Minato.
Then he emphasized each word.
"No one," said Minato. "And I mean no one, will ever love you."
"But I also know… that if anyone can overcome it, It'll be you. I was hoping your mom will survive and you'll atleast have someone who loved you but…" Minato smiled, leaning on the crib. "That boat's sailed."
"And e-even if no one loves you… remember…"
"I love you son."
And that's how they found their Hero. The Yellow Flash of Konoha, the Fourth Hokage, the hero of the village, hailed as the strongest shinobi to be ever produced in the history of Konohagakure no Sato. The one who ended the third war and the kyuubi invasion.
The one who had saved them all.
And the father to the demon.
They found him dead.
But the smile of victory still clung to his lips.
And that's how Naruto's life began.
"Naruto are you ever early for class?"
The blonde looked at his teacher. His teacher's face was clearly facing the black board and he had a chalk in his hand. From Naruto's viewpoint the only thing that he could see was Iruka's short ponytail and the chuunin vest that he wore. He saw the back of his tanned neck and that was it. Naruto squinted believing for just a split second, only a second, that there must be eyes on the back of his teacher's head. But he found none and found himself strangely relieved.
Iruka sighed and turned around facing the unruly blonde.
The blonde was wearing a black hoodie and dark navy blue jeans. He had the hoodie over his head making him seem unruly. His hair had grown out a lot over time, almost reaching the boy's neck.
People didn't take kindly to the boy. Last time Naruto had tried to cut his own hair he ended up having to cut everything off.
Ever since then the blonde grew his hair out.
His eyes were hidden by his bangs and further by the hood.
He saw the boy's body get smaller, almost into a ball when his gaze fell on him.
Naruto put his hands in his pockets and hunched his back, trying to make himself smaller. He even bent his legs as if he was expecting a blow. He lowered his gaze, not making eye contact. If there was anyone who was as good at turning invisible and showing submission than Uzumaki Naruto he had not found who it was yet.
"Just go to your seat Naruto," Iruka snapped. "And don't be late next time."
"Thanks Iruka-sensei." Naruto began to go up the stairs to the back of the classroom, in a hurry to escape the attention of his fellow students.
Someone stuck out a leg, tripping the blonde.
Naruto's chin hit the edge of the stairs and the blonde saw stars in his vision. But then wasn't it. His chin slid off of the floor after the initial impact and as his face fell his nose clipped the corner of the step as well and this time Naruto heard an audible crack. If Naruto was not used to getting beat he would have screamed.
Instead Naruto clutched his nose with his hand to stem the flowing tide of blood.
He turned to look whose leg it was.
With that damned smirk on his face.
Some of the kids in the class laughed while others simply looked, uninterested or interested with mild humor. The ones who were laughing were either girls who were in love with the guy who liked to have a duck's ass on his head or the boys who were Sasuke's little cronies. The ones who were watching with mild interest were the other most likely to succeed as ninja candidates, Kiba, Shikamaru, Chouji to name a few.
"Oops." Sasuke muttered, staring at the black board. "My bad."
Then he smirked.
"My foot was there first you know."
Naruto had to stop himself from throwing himself at the boy.
The last time he had thrown himself at Sasuke he had literally gotten his ass handed to him. It wasn't because Sasuke was a better fighter or anything, it was simply because whenever they fought, Sasuke's cronies or a girl from the crowd was always against him. They threw rocks, pushed Naruto or tripped him when they could. It was never a fight. But it didn't stop Sasuke from gloating about the fight afterwards.
Not to mention once word got to the 'higher-ups' as Naruto liked to call them, he was always reprimanded.
No allowance, no rent, no food for two weeks.
It was hell.
Naruto controlled himself and forced himself to his feet, continuing to walk up the stairs.
"Coward." Sasuke whispered, just loud enough for everyone to hear. Another ripple of laughter and giggles perpetrated the classroom.
"Sasuke-kun," someone, whom Naruto knew as Sakura, said in a bare whisper. "You're pretty cool."
Shaking with anger Naruto climbed the stairs.
Naruto sat down in his seat, all the way in the back of class. He was right behind Shikamaru and Chouji. Next to them sat Kiba and Hinata along with Shino.
Hinata turned around to catch a glance of Naruto.
She squeaked and turned back.
His blue eyes shone with eerie light through the shadow of his hood and his blonde hair.
But that wasn't what scared her.
The sheer hatred and the anger contained within had startled the girl.
She had a feeling it wasn't directed at Sasuke either.
Kiba peeked at the girl. Akamaru yawned from his foot and the genin reached down to scratch the dogs ears. Akamaru gave a playful nip to his fingers but Kiba ignored it. He quickly looked away when Hinata squeaked and turned around to look at the board once more. He turned the other way to hide his blush. He had a crush on Hinata starting last week. It happened when he had a sparring match with Sasuke. He had lost, but only barely. He knew it was because they weren't allowed to use ninjutsu but it had still stung his pride. Afterwards Hinata had come and gave him some ointment.
After that Kiba literally had hearts in his eyes.
And he was starting to develop a dislike for the blonde whom Hinata had an obvious crush on.
Naruto released his nose, knowing that the bleeding had already stopped. He sighed and used his sleeve to wipe the rest of the blood from his face. It was one of the reasons that he wore black, that no matter how much blood got on his clothes and no matter how long he went without washing it, it was always the same color, black. He looked at the black board, quickly losing interest in what his sensei was writing and talking about. He looked outside the window seeing a different class, seeing younger kids scream and run around.
Then Iruka said something that caught Naruto's attention.
"Naruto, Sasuke and Sakura." Iruka said. "team 7. Your sensei will be here in a moment."
Iruka smiled at the class. "It was great being in a class with you guys. It was my pleasure teaching you guys, one of the most talented individuals that I had the privilege of fostering. Not all of you may pass the genin test that your individual teachers will impose, and even fewer will go onto become chuunin and only a handful will ever attain the rank of jounin. But it is my belief that every single one of you in this room has the will and ability to do so." Iruka's smile faded and but the fire in his eyes did not go out. "It is up to you and only you, on whether you become a shinobi that is both powerful and respectable."
"Good-bye everyone, and remember," Iruka concluded. "That the next time we meet, we meet as equals."
With those final words Iruka left the room, which quickly escalated into excited talks and gossip.
Naruto watched from the back as the kids began to move seats to seat with their team members. Iruka had explained how important it was to be on the same team. They were now partners and family, they were to entrust their lives to each other in life or death types of missions. They would eat together, train together and in a sense, live life together. Iruka had hammered it into their brains how important the bonds between their genin teams were. A lot of genin teams eventually became chuunin teams and even worked together as jounins since it was shinobi procedure to work in teams.
But Naruto found himself relunctant to walk to where Sasuke sat and Sakura fawned.
"Go over there, RIGHT NOW!" A voice yelled in his ear.
Naruto growled and jerked away, covering a ear. He found the popular girl of the class, a blonde just like him, Ino Yamanaka standing right next to him, her arms folded over her chest with a seriously pissed off expression.
"What do you care?" Naruto snapped. He was getting pissed off. First he was late to class, then he was humiliated in front of the entire class by Sasuke and now he was getting yelled at by this blonde.
"I do NOT WANT TO LEAVE SASUKE-KUN ALONE WITH THAT PINK HAIRED SLUT." Ino reached out with a hand to grab the front of Naruto's shirt.
The blonde slapped it away. "None of my business… Yamanaka." He turned back to watch the window.
Ino rubbed her sore wrist. "Ow… no need to get so physical… loser." She muttered and went back to where Shikamaru and Chouji were. Naruto glared after her retreating back for a split second before turning his gaze to where the Uchiha and the Haruno sat. The situation had not changed from before, the pink haired kunoichi was still trying, though in vain, with the Uchiha. Naruto scoffed.
They didn't have to wait long for the captains of various teams began to come. First to come was this pretty looking lady who took Kiba, Hinata and Shino. She spoke in a clipped manner that made Naruto immediately think of her as a strict teacher. She also had an air of no disrespect and foul play allowed in her presence. The next to come was this bearded man calling himself Asuma. He had an atmosphere of wisdom and confidence that Naruto found reassuring. But he wasn't team 7's teacher, instead he took Shikamaru, Chouji and Ino. As they left the room, the blonde girl shot Naruto a quick look of resentment which he ignored.
Soon, only Sasuke, Sakura and Naruto remained in the room.
"Sasuke-kun what do you think our sensei will be like?" Sakura asked him with a smile.
Sasuke looked at her for a second before deciding to look at something else. Sakura pouted and began to storm her brain for a new topic to please her crush, something for which they could talk for hours. As she was pouting, Sakura crossed her arms and looked around the room for something to talk about and spotted the blonde sitting in the back, looking out the window of the classroom. She looked back and forth between Naruto and Sasuke, seeing that they had the same look and the same posture while looking out the window.
She couldn't help it.
"Hey Naruto," She called out, elated by the new discovery. "Why don't you come sit over here?"
Naruto turned, alerted that Sakura had said his name. He raised a single eyebrow, something which he found that not a lot of people could do.
"What?" said Naruto. He had, in truth, heard correctly but he was sure that he had fallen asleep or had been falling asleep. The blonde couldn't believe that his newly found teammates had asked him to sit next to her.
"Come on," coaxed the pink haired kunoichi. "It'll be awkward for the whole time if you don't at least talk to us. I know you're a quiet guy but-"
"Shut up." Naruto snarled.
"-we're willing to talk with you and- what?" Sakura widened her eyes at the sudden release of anger from the blonde.
"I said shut up." Naruto narrowed his eyes. "I don't consort with bullies or their little consorts." He ignored Sakura's gasp at his use of the word consort. "I don't have any intention of playing buddy buddy with the Uchiha, nor you Haruno. So stop trying to be my friend or pretending to be my teammate. The world is a cold and small place, no room for things like… friends." He smiled. "That way there's no room for backstabbing and heartache later on. Which you will suffer when the Uchiha finally speaks his mind and dumps you."
"Dumb bitch." Naruto added mentally but turned his face the other way and ignored the quickly whirling pools of tears in Sakura's eyes.
"No need to be such a jerk about it!" She said to him and looked at Sasuke.
Sasuke ignored everything that Naruto had said to her. He glanced at her and Sakura found the thing that she found every single time she looked at his eyes but this time it hurt her, possibly due to the combination of Naruto's words and the cold indifference in them.
Sasuke also had indifference.
Sakura quietly took a few steps away from Sasuke and sat down a couple of seats away from him. She covered her face with her arms and lay down on the desk, pretending to sleep. But Naruto could tell from the way that her shoulders shook that she was crying.
He regretted saying those things. But Naruto had a bad experience with the Haruno. She and Ino were the most loyal ones to Sasuke. Sure, she had just extended the hand of friendship for the duration but Naruto wasn't going to allow himself to be lulled into a false sense of camaraderie and friendship with the pink haired girl. As soon as he did, when he and Sasuke argued she would only take the Uchiha's side and he'd end up getting his feelings hurt.
Besides her parents were really mean to him anyways.
The mood in the room was definitely colder and more awkward than before.
Hatake Kakashi took that moment to stick his head in the door.
"Ah…" Kakashi muttered. Naruto observed him. While the other ones held an air of authority and power, this one radiated it. Power that is. The man held himself, completely confident, bordering on arrogance, of his own strength and self-worth. The man's single eye, the other one was covered by a Hiate, held an air of boredom but Naruto saw right underneath it. The man was kind of excited to see… the three? Sasuke most likely, in getting the honor to teach the last Uchiha. No, his look wasn't really aimed at Sasuke. The man was most likely just excited to teach. Either way, the man had a strong sense of duty and purpose that Naruto only found in the Hokage.
The man was strong.
Of that Naruto was sure.
"Come meet me on the roof." Kakashi smiled at them and stuck his head back out the door, deciding to take the stairs instead. "Naruto… what's with those cold calculating eyes?... well… we'll see."
The three got out of their seats. Sasuke left the door first, sparing a glance at Sakura who had painfully obvious puffy eyes. She sniffed once and looked at Naruto as he came down the stairs in the center of the classroom. Naruto looked back at her before leaving the classroom door.
Sakura sniffed once more and stood up following her fellow genin out of the door.
They found Kakashi sitting on the roof, patiently waiting for them. He was reading an orange book which he held with one hand, the other supporting the weight of his head by holding his chin. He didn't really look up when they came through the doors, his single eye moving left to right slowly. Sasuke sat down to the right of him and Naruto to the left. Kakashi calmly observed this, unknown to the two. Sakura came through the door and Kakashi saw the girl hesitate for a single second before sitting next to Naruto which shocked the blonde.
Naruto was spying the cover of Kakashi's book. There was the number eighteen in bold red ink within a big circle and a large slash going across it diagonally. Naruto knew what type of book their teacher was reading. He saw a lot of people reading it, mostly men and once he had been pelted with it. He had read enough of it to know that it wasn't a book for kids, hence the red number eighteen. Naruto looked into his teacher's eyes hoping to see disinterest in the book's content, that their teacher was only using it as a smokescreen from them.
No… his eyes were completely absorbed and they were almost bulging.
"Our sensei's a pervert…" Naruto mentally exclaimed. "great."
Kakashi slammed the book shut which shocked Naruto out of his musings. "Now! Can we do a round of self introductions?" He smiled at them from beneath the mask. "How about, name, likes, dislikes and… hobby? Future dreams?" He smiled, his single eye turning into an upside down U. "All those good stuff."
There was silence.
Kakashi nodded Sasuke's indifference towards his teammates. He glanced at Naruto whose eyes showed nothing but chilling anger. It was different than Sasuke's anger. Both were angry to be sure but where Sasuke's was a hot boiling anger at the world around him, Naruto's was a chilling madness that lay deep beneath the surface. Sasuke's was like a volcano that was about to erupt.
But Naruto's was a deep frozen lake and Kakashi didn't know how deep it was.
He looked at Sakura's puffy eyes. He felt bad for the girl that would have to play mediator between the two for the years to come. Kakashi looked into the air.
"Oh Kami," He said out loud, hoping to diffuse to mood and lift his own spirits in the process. "Why did you curse me like this?"
Sasuke's head snapped to the white haired man's face like a hawk locking onto a mouse. Kakashi stared right back and Sasuke broke it off first, looking down. Naruto looked at Kakashi like he was studying an interesting specimen, one eyebrow raised. Kakashi already found that single eyebrow raised to be annoying.
Sakura giggled a bit.
"At least one person's a bit normal." Kakashi thought. "Would you like to go first Naruto?"
The blonde blinked.
Kakashi was staring at Sakura.
"She's obviously Sakura." Naruto piped up.
"It was just a joke," said Kakashi. "Geesh, trying to lighten the mood. Come on guys, lighten up!"
"So would you like to go first Sakura?"
Sakura nodded. "I'm Haruno Sakura. I like... I mean… I like… I like being a shinobi I guess." Kakashi and Naruto caught the glance that she shot towards the Uchiha.
"Something he did pissed her off." Kakashi looked at Sasuke. "Oh… just wait till she gets stronger Sasuke… you'll regret crossing her."
"I dislike… stupid people I guess. Or loners." This time she shot a quick glance at Naruto.
"Oh… Naruto helped him. Wow, teamwork in the wrong direction already."
"My dream is to…" She hung her head. "I don't really have a dream."
Sasuke glared daggers at the older man but it didn't work. He sighed and began.
"Name's Uchiha Sasuke. I like nothing. I dislike being weak or weakness of any kind. My hobby is training. My dream is to…" Sasuke hesitated. "I have no dream. I have an ambition."
"What's your ambition Sasuke-kun?" Sakura asked despite herself. That's the first time Sasuke had revealed so much about himself.
Sasuke glared at her and this time it worked.
Kakashi calmly looked at Naruto. Sakura followed and even Sasuke turned his head, curious as to what the deadlast of his class would say.
"Name's Uzumaki Naruto." The blonde began. "I like…" He shrugged. "I like strength. I dislike bullies. My dream…" He smirked. "My dream is to become Hokage and change this village."
"Change this village?" Kakashi repeated with a frown.
Naruto nodded. "Change this village."
"What do you mean?" Sakura asked, genuinely curious.
"We can get to the details later," Kakashi interjected. "But I regret to inform you that you guys are not genin yet."
Sasuke and Naruto's head snapped to attention, their backs suddenly straight.
"Ah," thought Kakashi. "I finally have your full attention."
Kakashi cleared his throat and continued speaking. "Tomorrow, at ten o'clock sharp, I will test you all three on the requirements to be a genin." He locked eyes with each of them, putting emphasis into his words to make them take his next words sseriously. "If you fail, you fail. Not only do you fail, you are kicked out of the ninja program. Mark my words… in my five years of teaching, not one team has passed my test."
Sakura gulped. Sasuke looked pissed off and Naruto simply looked mildly surprised.
"I'm already finding this to be a repetitive pattern." Kakashi sweatdropped. "I hate patterns." He whispered.
"What?" Sakura asked, her eyes already full of fear.
"Nothing." Kakashi tried to smile reassuringly but Sakura just looked more scared. "See you guys tomorrow then!" With those words as his farewell, the one eyed shinobi puffed into smoke, disappearing from existence.
The three were left alone once again.
"Guys," Sakura told them. "We have to do something or we're going to fail! That guy's crazy!"
"I don't care." Sasuke made a motion as to get up. "I'll pass on my own power. You two can fail for all I care."
Naruto's foot bumped into the Uchiha's chest forcing him to sit back down. Sasuke's temper flared up and he looked right at Naruto' his eyes wide and absolutely livid with fury.
Naruto stared right back, his hood still over his head and his blue eyes chilling Sasuke's fire with a coldness that shone right through his bangs.
"Sit down Uchiha," Naruto spat the name like a curse. "I don't want to work together with you anymore than you want to with me, but this is serious. Our opponent is a jounin."
"He didn't say anything about the test," Sasuke growled. "We don't even know how he's going to-"
"He will." Sakura interjected, her voice sure. "I'm sure of it. The way he said he's going to test us… we're going to have to work together."
Sasuke took a sharp intake of breath then exhaled. "So what? You want us to start devising team jutsus or something right now? Get real, the test is tomorrow. I'm leaving." He tried to stand again.
Naruto's foot forced him back onto his butt again, rougher than before.
Sasuke rushed forward, taking out two kunais in the blink of an eye.
Before Sakura knew what was going on Sasuke had both kunai's right next to Naruto's neck on either side. He had his teeth bared in a snarl, his eyes on fire.
On the other side Naruto sat coolly, leaning back, his foot on Sasuke's chest and one arm in his hoodie pocket. The other one was holding a kunai, its point right on Sasuke's Adam's apple.
Naruto smiled as Sasuke snarled audibly.
"Do it Uchiha," Naruto whispered. "I assure you it won't end like last time."
Sasuke leaned forward.
He felt the kunai stab a bit deeper into his adam's apple.
Sasuke backed off just as fast as he had rushed forward. He crossed his arms and sat down on his chair again. "Count yourself lucky Uzumaki… we have a test together tomorrow." He inserted both kunai into his holster near his butt.
Naruto played with the kunai, spinning it around in his palm, not by the ring on its handle but by the handle itself, and then put it back on the holster on his thigh. Then he turned his gaze back to Sakura.
"What do you propose." It was a statement now a question.
"W-what?" Sakura asked in shock. "Y-your asking me."
Naruto sighed and rolled his eyes. "I'm not going to listen to what he says and he's not going to listen to what I say." He pointed in her direction. "You're the only one who can order us around."
Sakura nodded seeing the logic in his words.
"But mark my words… pinky," Naruto whispered. "If you make stupid plans, I'm going solo."
Sakura gulped. "Ok…" She closed her eyes and mentally cheered herself on. "So… I'm pretty sure this plan will work for every type of test… unless he pits us against each other. So here's the plan…"
Kakashi showed up at the training ground.
He saw Sasuke leaning on a tree, looking as cool as ever. Naruto was sitting on a rock nearby, staring at the approaching jounin. Sakura was pacing back and forth, whether it was from nervousness or excitement Kakashi couldn't tell. Perhaps it was both, but the Jounin cast the thoughts aside.
"You're three hours late!" Sakura screeched at him, her hands on either side of her, clenched into fists. "How are you three hours late! You said ten-"
"Sorry," Kakashi smiled. "I had to help an old lady across the street."
Sasuke got to his feet and so did Naruto. A look passed between them which made Kakashi raise his eyebrows.
It wasn't a look of hostility or anger. It was a look of mutual agreement, something resigned. The look that passed between them had no pride contained to speak of; they had agreed upon something together and they were going to respect it. They had cast aside their personal feelings and decided to work together for the good of all.
Kakashi was impressed.
Then his eyes hardened.
He hated that.
That wasn't friendship at all.
That was what shinobis did when they couldn't stand the sight of each other.
It was professionalism at its best.
They would abandon each other at the slightest sign of danger.
Kakashi hated them at that moment.
The three stood across from Kakashi. Naruto closed his eyes and pictured the clearing once more. There were trees to the left side of them, a heavy greenery that resembled a mini forest of sorts, perfect for hiding and putting traps unseen. On the right side there was a large lake with a long plain with a couple of tree stumps. The lake was pretty deep in the center as Naruto had swam in it frequently to wash himself of the dirt on his body when he had no home. It was at least fifteen feet deep in the center.
Kakashi took out two bells from his pocket. "Do you know what the test is?"
Sakura took in a sharp intake of breath.
"I only have two bells," He clipped them to his waist. "Only the two genins able to take these from me will pass." His eyes turned flat. "The one… will fail."
She looked at both of them. The plan dictated that the three work together. But now there were only two people able to pass. That changed things. Sasuke and Naruto hated each other already, if it meant helping the other one succeed they might not do it. The pink haired kunoichi looked into their eyes for any signs of change or relief.
Instead she only found hard determination.
Except, she noted, Sasuke's eyes had wavered for a slight second.
Naruto found her staring at him and nodded sending a mental message. She looked at Sasuke and the Uchiha did the same.
Sakura sighed in relief.
"Then… shall we begin?"
With those words, Sasuke and Sakura leaped for the tree on the left side, hiding themselves.
Leaving only Naruto against Kakashi.
"Someone needs to be a distraction." Sakura glanced at Naruto and Sasuke. "To draw his initial attention. He needs to struggle like crazy and get him off guard or something."
Naruto nodded. "I'll do it." Then an arrogant smile graced his face. "Don't be surprised if I defeat him."
"Not going after them?" Kakashi was reading the book in his hand.
Naruto shrugged. "We play by different rules."
"Hm… you overestimate yourself grasshopper." Kakashi did not take his eyes off of the book.
Naruto sprang into action.
He rushed the jounin, skipping the space across them in a split second. Kakashi's single eye widened for a split second, impressed but quickly turned emotionless again.
Naruto spun once, launching a sideways kick which Kakashi batted away with his hand. Naruto then leaned into Kakashi, punching three times with each hand in quick succession. The jounin batted each strike away with his hand, never taking his eyes off of the book. Naruto raised a single eyebrow, quickly thinking.
"One hand eh?" He thought. "Then what about this?"
He punched with both hands.
Kakashi bent low to the ground, both of his legs going behind him. He thrust out his arm in front of him, bent at the elbow as if it was in a cast. One fist struck Kakashi's elbow while the other struck the back of Kakashi's own fist. Kakashi smiled beneath his mask.
Naruto's foot spun from the side, arcing downwards towards Kakashi's face in an axe kick.
Kakashi quickly backed away with his face, dodging it by millimeters. He actually felt the air from Naruto's kick brush by his nose. Kakashi's eye widened once more in shock this time. He had seen Naruto's simultaneous punch thinking that it was creative. Obviously Kakashi couldn't block both of Naruto's punches with one hand, but he had. Naruto apparently had thought ahead as far as this, adding a kick into the equation. If Kakashi didn't have a blind spot and was less used to detecting these types of things that kick would have landed. But Uzumaki Naruto's attack did not end there.
The bend of Naruto's knee caught on Kakasih's arm which was used to block the two punches.
Kakashi's eyes widened.
Naruto brought down Kakashi's arm with his leg thrusting himself forward.
Sasuke and Sakura took a deep breath in shock.
The orange book landed on the ground.
Kakashi's arm that had blocked the initial strike had been brought down by Naruto's leg. He could have tried to block Naruto's strike with the first arm but he had a feeling that the blonde would have immediately adapted and done something else to cancel Kakashi's block. So Kakashi did the only thing reasonable which was to drop his book and use that arm to block Naruto's headbutt.
So they stood there, Kakashi with his arm on Naruto's hiate, blocking his headbutt and Naruto standing there, leaning on Kakashi using only his forehead.
"What kind of unorthodox fighting style is this," Kakashi glanced at his book which lay on the ground a couple of feet away. "This is more like street fighting than the standard academy taijutsu… what's up with this kid…"
Naruto backed up a couple of steps, taking long skipping steps.
He rubbed his hiate with his hand. "I was hundred percent sure he was going to atleast take one hit…" He glanced at the orange book lying on the ground a couple of feet away, feeling a fierce feeling of satisfaction well up within him. "Ok… one more go."
Then Naruto rushed Kakashi once more.
Kakashi readied himself.
Naruto turned his body at the last second, skidding along the ground, his right shoulder facing Kakashi. He lashed out with a kick towards Kakashi's chest. The man bat it aside. Naruto followed up by leaning in and stepping forward with the same leg, throwing a punch with each arm in succession. Kakashi batted those away as well with his palms, each time hitting Naruto's wrist. Then Naruto spun using his front leg, his leg coming from behind to strike Kakashi. Kakashi grabbed Naruto's ankle.
"Who taught you how to fight Naruto?" asked Kakashi, his eyes serious for once. What Naruto was displaying was a taijutsu skill beyond genin level, close to higher chounin and possibly even low jounin. If Naruto knew how to channel chakra into his strikes or even had greater physica strength, Kakashi was pretty sure he'd be having a lot harder time.
The blonde didn't answer. He flipped backwards, his other leg coming dangerously close to Kakashi's chin. The jounin released the genin who somersaulted backwards, landing with his feet on either side of him and one hand on the ground. Kakashi had blocked the kick by crossing his arms in front of him.
Naruto found that he was breathing hard. He narrowed his eyes.
"Naruto," Sakura asked, her eyes full of concern. "Are you sure you can distract him by yourself? This is an important part of our plan... we can distract him together."
Naruto shook his head. "I can do it myself."
Sasuke glared at him. "You better keep your word… dobe."
Naruto's head locked onto Sasuke, facing him eye to eye. Sasuke flinched in shock at the sudden movement but managed to remain still.
"I always keep my word."
Naruto opened his eyes, noticing that he had closed them while reminiscing. Kakashi had not moved while Naruto had been remember. The blonde berated himself mentally for his mistake and as if on cue Kakashi voiced this as well.
"If this was a real battle-" Kakashi began.
Naruto lowered his body to the ground getting ready to rush his teacher once more.
Kakashi readied himself.
Naruto kicked off of the ground, sending himself hurtling towards the white haired jounin.
"He always starts off with a kick," thought Kakashi, staring at the blonde genin approach him with surprising speed. He readied his arm, preparing to block. "I'll grab it."
Naruto was right in front of Kakashi and he did not slow down at all. Naruto began to turn sideways, seemingly in slow motion to Kakashi, preparing to kick. Kakashi reached out with an arm to block Naruto's foot.
Then Naruto ducked underneath it.
Kakashi's eye widened.
"That kick was a feint, his plan was to make me try to block him and create a blind spot by going underneath my arm."
The bend of Naruto's knee wrapped around Kakashi's arm. Naruto used that arm as leverage, bringing him body up towards Kakashi, fist raised. Kakashi used his other arm to block the punch. Then instead of punching as Kakashi thought Naruto was doing, Naruto opened his fist and locked grips with Kakashi a wicked grin on his face. Then he brought up his other leg and put the bend of his knee on Kakashi's neck.
Naruto still had one arm free.
Naruto lurched his body backwards, his hands going for the bells on Kakashi's waist. The jounin jerked his hips backwards, keeping his torso in the same place. Naruto felt the bells touch his finger tips and bit back a curse.
Sasuke and Sakura leaped out of the clearing.
"Katon: Gokaku no Jutsu!" (Fire Release: Great Fireball Technique)Sasuke formed hand seals fom behind Kakashi and put a hand to his mouth and blew. From his mouth came an orb of fire, about eight feet in diameter, heading towards Naruto who was tangled with Kakashi.
Kakashi felt the heat approaching his back. He tried to move his hands to form hand seals only to realize that one hand was locked in grips with Naruto, and his forearm was in between Naruto's thigh and calves. Kakashi looked into the blonde's blue eyes. Naruto's hood had fallen off while he had jumped on Kakashi, revealing a long mane of blonde hair. His bangs were off of his forehead, being swept backwards from the wind caused by the heat of Sasuke's technique.
His blue eyes stared straight into Kakashi's black.
Kakashi rapidly pumped chakra into his legs, feeling the back of his chounin vest becoming hotter by the second. Then he jumped upwards, releasing the chakra he had been building up in his legs. He struggled once more to try and get Naruto off of him but it was too late.
They were in midair.
And the blonde flashed him a wicked smile.
The blonde jerked backwards once more, his remaining hand trying to grab the bells on Kkashi's waist. Kakashi freaked out and sent his hips backwards once more, getting the bells out of Naruto's reach. But the damage had been done. Kakashi had no footing and by jerking his hips back he had messed up his sense of balance. Kakashi felt his torso, already overburdened with Naruto's weight, fall forward and his body beginning to spin towards the ground. Naruto kept straining, trying to reach the bells. Kakashi couldn't move his hips back any further.
"I've underestimated them." Kakashi thought with shock as Naruto's fingers brushed the silver bells again and again. "Dammit what's going on."
Then he felt his body become heavier again.
And he felt the bells being snapped off of his waist.
Kakashi looked down with surprise to see Sakura hanging on to Naruto's single remaining hand, locking grips with the blonde with the bells in her other hand.
Kakashi had realized what had happened.
Naruto had remained to lock grips with Kakashi and disable him in either way. Even if he was a jounin Naruto knew that Kakashi had to form hand seals. Kakashi had underestimated Naruto in thinking that his taijutsu would be enough to handle the blonde. If it was a real battle Kakashi could have killed Naruto numerous times. Naruto had no chance of killing Kakashi or defeating him but that wasn't the point. Naruto didn't even need to get the bells in this case because that wasn't his mission. Naruto only needed to occupy Kakashi long enough to disable at least one arm, preventing him from using ninjutsu or genjutsu of any kind.
Then it was Sasuke's turn to use a ninjutsu powerful enough that would make Kakashi evade it, not block it. It was the perfect type of role for Sasuke who was proficient at Fire Jutsus. Kakashi couldn't block fire with his bare hands no matter how much chakra he poured into his body. Also Naruto had used Kakashi's sense of responsibility against him. Kakashi couldn't just protect himself and leave Naruto to burn, he needed to find a way to save both Naruto and himself. In that case, Naruto had almost forced Kakashi to jump.
While in mid air, Naruto jerked backwards, forcing Kakashi to lose his balance. Kakashi's body tumbled into a roll sending him into a panic. It wasn't really panic for himself, he'd fallen from higher places before but the fact that Naruto was falling head first had scared Kakashi for a second. That and the fact that they were spinning while in mid air had created numerous blind spots, not that Kakashi was paying attention to anything else. Then it was Sakura's turn. There was no way she could grab the bell while they were spinning in mid air like that, Sakura simply did not possess the ninja prowess necessary for that type of task. So Naruto had used his spare hand to grab Sakura, stabilizing her and allowing her to grab the bells.
Then Kakashi felt his arm and neck being freed from Naruto's legs.
Kakashi flipped in the air once before landing on the ground on both feet with casual dexterity.
Naruto and Sakura landed a few feet away from him. Naruto landed heavily on both feet, creating a small cloud of dust around him in every direction. Sakura landed much more gracefully.
Kakashi looked at them his eyes wide.
"So…" Naruto smirked. "We pass?"
Sakura leaped for joy and attempted to give Naruto a high five.
Naruto ignored the girl as Sasuke joined them.
Kakashi shook his head. He had underestimated these genin and paid dearly for it.
He had paid dearly for underestimating Uzumaki Naruto.
He had never dreamed that he'd have lost the bells. That was an amateur mistake and something he'd never live down if it got to the ears of the other shinobi.
That was ok.
He just had to make the other jounins see how special and unique his students were.
He smiled at them.
"You pass. You will start to report here for training and missions. I'm glad to have you as a team." Kakashi turned around and heard Sakura squeal with joy.
He didn't mention that there were only two bells. Both Naruto and Sasuke knew that.
He had seen the look that passed between them. Sakura was the one who held the bells.
Naruto and Sasuke had been ready to fight each other to get the bell from Sakura.
Kakashi didn't want to ruin a perfectly good day.
He could teach them all about friendship and loyalty later.
They had the time after all.
Kakashi looked at the sky as he walked away worrying about the deep darkness that lay within Sasuke.
And even darker and deadlier still, something that scared him… the darkness that lay within Naruto.
AN: The End! I didn't reveal Naruto's true strength in this chapter. Just building it up and introducing what each of the cast is like. We'll jump right into action starting next chapter! Let's go!