Side Couples Chosen: ShikamaruXGaara, NejiXTenten, LeeXSakura, SaiXIno. If you don't really like these couples, try to bare with it, it won't be explicit and will most likely just be in the background, really. In truth, I don't really ship ShikaXGaa, or LeeXSaku, so I guess it's a first.

I would also like to mention. Yes. This is KakaNaru, yes, there is an age gap, if you think it's gross, don't read it! Some people have commented saying how Naruto is thinking about Kakashi is gross because he's 12. May I remind you, he is mentally 26, it's only his body, he can't help thinking more maturely than you'd expect. Also. The themes in this story are darker than the original Naruto manga, because i'm trying to expose the reality of Ninja's. It will be dark, and there will be blood and pain and fear and cutting. Depression, hate, disgust, and sexual themes. It is rated M.

If you don't like yaoi and are just reading it for the time being, please don't. I am going to put in KakaNaru moments, despite Naruto's body age.


"What's the distance to the target?" Kakashi asked, speaking into the headset, familiar uncaring look on his face.

"Five meters, I'm ready anytime."

"So am I."

"Same here."

Three voices crackled, Kakashi nodded to himself. "Okay...GO!" he exclaimed, and with that, the three genin jumped from their hiding places onto...

Tora, the Daimyo's wife's cat. Naruto stayed back this time around, preferring not to get scratched. Sakura had the unfortunate fate to grab the screaming feline.

"Ribbon on the left ear, you positive this is the cat, Tora?" Kakashi's voice buzzed over their intercoms.

"Yeah...we're sure." Sasuke replied, standing off to the side and ignoring the 'cat fight' that was going on behind him. Naruto cracked an amused grin

"Good!" Kakashi chirped, "Lost Pet Tora Mission, Complete!"

The cat certainly did not look happy as it was squeezed roughly against the owners chubby face. "OH~ My cute little Tora-chan! I was so worried!" the Daimyo's wife cooed. Naruto sighed, almost feeling bad for the poor creature, it was no wonder the thing ran away, Naruto would too.

"Now..." the hokage began, examining a piece of paper. "Kakashi's Team 7, your next duty is...hmm...babysitting an elder's grandson, shopping in the neighboring village...helping with potato digging..."

Naruto knew that the next event would have to happen in order to gain great relations with the Wave, so he did what he did before.

"Nooo! No no no!" he whined, trying to be as childish as possible. "I can't take this anymore! Jiji! Give us a better mission!" Naruto inwardly smirked, he knew his teammates all agreed with him, even if Sakura was sending him annoyed glares. Kakashi sweat dropped, but analyzed Naruto for a moment, confused by his actions. The boy didn't usually act like that, or at least not in Kakashi's presence, perhaps it was a mask. No, at this point in time, Kakashi was certain that Naruto was wearing a mask.

"Idiot! You're just a rookie!" Iruka immediately retaliated, slamming his hands on the desk. "Everyone starts with simple duties then work themselves up!"

"But we keep getting such crappy missions!" Naruto complained.

"Quiet, you..." Kakashi said in exasperation, placing a hand on Naruto's head roughly. Naruto stumbled slightly under the pressure, cursing the fact that he was so small once again. He was also cursing the fact that at that simple touch he was blushing and feeling familiar butterflies.

The Hokage watched with an amused expression on his wrinkled face. "Naruto, it seems I've yet to explain the importance of these missions." he started, catching the attention of all three of the genin. Naruto inwardly sighed, he'd been doing a lot of that lately. He was bored out of his mind, the missions were too easy, especially for someone like him. He may be 12 again, but that didn't mean he lost all of his strength. He was still very powerful, he hadn't lasted 10 years on the run for nothing. It was a little tiring, doing such simple and boring things all over again. It wasn't any more exciting the second time around.

"Listen, everyday this village receives mission ranging from babysitting to assassinations. Each request is written down on these lists..." The Sandaime gestured to the various papers scattered on his desk. "...And divided into an A, B, C, D ranking based on its difficulty."

Naruto's attention strayed, it seemed even more boring hearing it again. He conversed with his teammates goofily while the Sandaime continued, unaware that the genin were completely ignoring him.

"HEY, LISTEN!" The Hokage snapped, finally noticing after he completed his speech. Kakashi rubbed the back of his head sheepishly, giving an eye smile.

"I-I apologize." he said, but didn't look very sorry at all. In fact he'd been too focused on Naruto acting like a little child than the Hokage.

Naruto scrunched his nose. "All you do is give lectures like that! I'm not the little kid you used to know, Jiji!" Naruto turned away in a huff. A smirk crossed his lips. Hook. Line. And sinker.

Kakashi grumbled to himself about getting in trouble later, but sent Naruto a fond look.

"OK...If you want it that much..." The Hokage relented, causing looks of surprise to cross all the members of Team 7's faces. At the exception of Naruto, who was grinning almost demonically.

FINALLY! Facing Momochi Zabuza and Haku again! His eyes softened at the thought of the two nin. With Haku's innocence, and Zabuza's hidden love for the boy he called a tool. They were the greatest thing that could happen to a young Naruto. He played with the idea of saving them, but he wasn't certain. He was reluctant to change much, else he lose his knowledge of foresight.

"I'll give you a C-Ranked mission, you are tasked with the protection of a certain individual."

Kakashi slouched low in surprise, his arms hanging limply at his sides. He hadn't expected going on a C-Rank for quite some time.

"Let me introduce him...Hey, will you come in here." The Hokage directed his last words at the door. It slid open, revealing an old man, drunk by the looks of it, with sake in his hand and a straw hat on his head. His clothes indicated his status as a civilian.

"What's this? They're just a bunch of brats...especially that short one with the stupid looking face...are you really ninja?" he scoffed. Naruto blinked. Wow, when was the last time he'd

seen this old guy! He almost felt like smiling, but Tazuna's words finally hit.

Did he really look stupid? Naruto's face fell. What if Kakashi thought he looked stupid? There wasn't anything wrong with his face! Right?

"I am the super expert bridge builder Tazuna. I expect you to provide me super protection until I get back to my country and complete the bridge." he inquired lazily, still sceptical at the prospect of being escorted by three kids, even if there was one adult.

Kakashi narrowed his eyes at Tazuna, suddenly getting an intense feeling of dislike towards the man. He saw the way Naruto shied away from Tazuna's comment, the way his face fell.

Kakashi thought that perhaps Naruto was actually self conscious about his whisker marks, as now that the boy knew about the Kyuubi, they become a sort of identifying mark. He didn't like the way Naruto's happiness seemed to fade.


They left within the hour, and for once Kakashi wasn't late. Naruto walked with a skip in his step, he was looking forward to a good fight, he'd been itching to spar with someone on a higher level than just genin.

"What are you so excited about?" Sakura looked at him with slight disdain.

"Hmm...I've never left the village before." he lied smoothly. His pulse didn't even jump, which was a signature sign indicating a lie. He was good, he had to be good, with Kakashi around.

Oh. Now he felt really embarrassed, positive that the Jounin had already noticed the way Naruto's pulse quickened whenever he was around.

"Am I really going to be safe with this brat?" Tazuna cast a suspicious glance towards Naruto, who was in a slight daze.

"Ah, don't worry, I'm a Jounin!" Kakashi reassured the disgruntled bridge builder. So they set out.

It was surprising quiet. Sakura tried to make small talk with an unresponsive Sasuke, and Kakashi merely kept his nose in his Icha Icha book. Naruto decided to practice chakra techniques. Discreet ones, so hopefully no one would take notice. He started by channeling his chakra around his body, building it up at his fingertips, then his toes. He moved it to various places on his body, happy at how easily it obeyed his command.

He suddenly felt a gaze on his back, and turned only to meet Kakashi's single grey eye. Naruto flushed scarlet, his normal blank face breaking easily under the Kakashi's stare. The jounin's eye narrowed, and Naruto whipped his head around to face forward, trying to ignore the fact that he could still feel the other's gaze on him.

Breathing in and out, Naruto tried to find anything, anything to distract him from the very attractive man behind him-

Oh?

With an imperceptible turn of his head, his eyes shot to the direction of two chakra signatures.

The Demon Brothers. He couldn't recall their names, seeing as it was 14 years ago. Up ahead Sakura began asking Kakashi and Tazuna about the Land Of Waves. Naruto already knew a lot about it, in the future they had close ties with this Land. He wished they could've had a mission in Uzushiogakure, the village his mother was from, and technically, his village. The Land of Whirlpools was actually quite pretty, and Naruto had wanted to rebuild the destroyed Uzushiogakure after the war. He never had a chance, though. This time, maybe he could.

"You guys just doubted the Hokage, didn't you." Kakashi deadpanned, causing Saukra and Sasuke to flinch. "but don't worry, there won't be any ninja combat on a C-Ranked mission." Kakashi patted Sakura's head in reassurance.

"Then we won't come into contact with any foreign ninja?" Sakura asked, tilting her head.

"Of course not!" Kakashi laughed. Tazuna tensed, looking very uncomfortable suddenly. Naruto slid his gaze over to old man, aware that Sasuke had also caught the man's uncertainty.

It was then that they passed the puddle. No one but Kakashi seemed to pay any attention to it. Naruto knew better. He must have been blind not to see it the first time, then again, he was so inexperienced 14 years ago, a child.

It hadn't rained in days, that should have immediately rang warning bells. The were approaching the Land of Waves, near a lot of water. The first thought that comes to mind would be Kiri Nin. As a ninja these types of situations should always be noticed.

It was after they passed that it happened. The surge of chakra was well hidden, but Naruto had been expecting it. It happened fast, Naruto knew. His senses tingled. They were attacking. He could hear the flapping of their cloaks as they flew in the air, towards Kakashi, if Naruto remembered correctly.

It may have taken 2 seconds.

They all turned quickly to see Kakashi wrapped in chains. It wasn't the real Kakashi, Naruto sensed. There was another chakra surge, very small, and hidden even better than the Kiri Nin's.

Kakashi let out a shocked, "What!" and the other members of Team 7 let out similar words of surprise.

"One down..." one of the Demon brothers said.

Naruto turned his gaze away. He knew Kakashi was acting...but Naruto didn't like the look in Kakashi's eyes. The look of shock and horror. He hated that look, acting or not, on Kakashi's face.

A ripping sound.

"KYAA!" Sakura screamed, and Tazuna's face was white with horror.

They were behind Naruto. He saw them move, a normal genin wouldn't have been able to track their movements, but to Naruto, it was like he had all the time in the world.

"Two down..." They said, right in his ear. They charged, and from the corner of his eye, Naruto could see Sasuke move. Huh, like he needed that traitors help. Kunai were out in a flash, pinning the chains to trees, much to the shock of everyone there. Naruto twirled another kunai in his hand, as Sasuke, getting over his moment of shock, removed his hand from his kunai bag and landed on the Demon brothers shoulders. Sasuke grabbed one of their arms and kicked the owners face, sending both Kiri Nin crashing to the ground. The chains snapped off of the mechanism on their arm.

In an instant they were up and sprinting to either side of Naruto, closing in. Naruto huffed in annoyance. These two were nothing, they weren't even worth the exercise. The other broke off in his path to Naruto, going to Sakura and Tazuna. Naruto ignored that for now, Sasuke could help her. Twirling his kunai in a nonchalant manner, he watched as the claw came towards his face. 3 inches, 2 inches. Nanoseconds.

His kunai whipped out, and by pure strength he easily deflected the claw, sending the man stumbling to the side, thrown off balance. Naruto, in a move that couldn't even be seen, slashed his knife across the man's face. The Demon Brother screamed, before he was suddenly pulled up in a choke hold. The one charging for the other three was also caught, flipping over due to the momentum being disrupted. Kakashi stood there calmly, seemingly without a care in the world. Naruto smirked, Kakashi was such a show off, Sasuke thought along the same lines.

"Maa, I'm sorry I didn't help save you guys in time...It seemed like you guys had the situation handled...for the most part." Kakashi shrugged. "Anyway, nice work you three."

Naruto turned away, he didn't really want to hear it. He knew that the first time around, he'd been a scaredy cat, an gotten himself injured. Kakashi had made a blunt insult to it, and Sasuke had made fun of him. But now Kakashi was including him in the congratulations. It was something Naruto, as a child, has always wanted.

He didn't want it now though. It felt like he was cheating. He didn't deserve that praise, not yet. He wanted to be strong, so he could protect the world from the future. That was the burden on his shoulders. He didn't want to be praised. Already, this was not his Kakashi.

Already, this was not his world. But he would save it anyway.

Naruto flipped the Kiri Nin's blood off of his kunai and slipped it back in his kunai pouch. Kakashi turned his now serious gaze to Tazuna.

"Tazuna-san, I think we need to have a talk.

And talk they did, right after tying the Demon Brothers of the Mist to a tree.

"These look like Hidden Mist Chuunin's." Kakashi started. Naruto walked away a bit, sending a smirk to the Kiri Nin whom he had slashed across the face. He received a hate filled glare in return. Snickering to himself, Naruto took a look at his hand. Nobody had noticed it, but he'd cut himself on the poisonous chain the two brothers were swinging around. And he meant to do it. He'd done it himself. Kakashi hadn't noticed it, because Naruto kept it hidden, in fact, no one had yet.

Why would he do that? Simple. He was punishing himself. He wanted to feel pain. This was a sign of depression, he knew, Ino had talked about it a lot, but he felt like he deserved it. That was probably also a symptom of depression, but who could blame him? He didn't have an Ino to confide in anymore. He didn't have an anyone anymore.

He glanced over his shoulder at his Team and Tazuna, who were talking about whether or not they were going to continue this mission. Naruto took his kunai back out, and without flinching, without even blinking, slit open his hand, letting the blood pool and ooze and splatter on the dusty ground below. He could have been cutting bread, his face was so calm, not flinching from the pain once. Naruto stared at the blood, sickly fascinated by the way it escaped his hand.

Kakashi turned as the scent of blood hit his nose, and his ears picking up the dripping of liquid. A small pool of blood could be seen at Naruto's feet.

"Naruto?!" he called out, worried. The Minato-look-alike turned around, staring blankly at them all, a bloody kunai in one hand, his other leaking his life essence into the dirt.

"WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!" Sakura shrieked, looking freaked out and surprisingly worried. Sasuke's eyes were wider than usual, showing his surprise.

"Huh? Just releasing the poison." he replied with a shrug, taking the kunai to his hand again, slicing perpendicularly across the previous cut, making an X. Blood splattered against the ground, pouring from the wound at an even faster rate. The cut was deep, to the point bone could be seen.

Kakashi found he was somewhat horrified at the ease in which Naruto cut himself. Like it was second nature. The scared Kakashi in ways he'd never imagined.

Sakura screamed again, and Tazuna looked somewhat sickened. Naruto huffed.

"Guys, it's just blood, chill out, 'ttebayo." he eyed them, sadistically enjoying their horrified looks. "I just got a little scratch from the Demon Brother's chain, no biggie."

Kakashi's eyes sharpened. "How do you know who they are?"

"Easy, Sensei, they're in the bingo book." Naruto replied, shaking his bloody kunai to get rid of the blood. He slipped it back into his pouch.

Hey Kurama, speed up the healing a bit, please?

Only because you said please, brat.

Love you too, fluffy.

Naruto felt his hand tingle as the cells knit themselves back together. He never liked that feeling, it made him shudder. Naruto shook his bloody, but healed hand, trying to get as much blood off as possible, it wasn't really working.

He flashed a grin at his hand. "See, it's fine!" he waved the healed hand at his teammates, not a single scar marring the tanned skin, not that they could see, as it was entirely red and dripping with blood. They stared at him, different emotions flickering across their eyes, the strongest being confusion and worry.

"Guys, chill! Besides, WE JUST KICKED BUTT! Ne, sensei!?" he easily grinned, a goofy look over taking his face. Sakura huffed and turned away, Kakashi eye smiled unsurely, his chest aching.

"Ano...Sensei..." Tazuna spoke up, "I have something to tell you."


Naruto peered through the mist, trying to see something, anything. It was thick, only a Hyuuga would be able to see anything. Sighing he sat back, only half listening to the light conversation going on around him.

Team Seven plus Tazuna were currently on a small boat, being rowed across a river or lake of some sorts. They were told to keep quiet, apparently the man helping them could get in big trouble if they were discovered.

"We should be at the bridge soon," the man rowing announced, "Nami no Kuni is at the base of the bridge."

Slowly, a hulking black shape steadily got clearer as they approached, Naruto could just make out the shape of the bridge piers.

"Huge..." Naruto whispered, smiling at the bridge as though it was an old companion.

"You guys have to be real quiet! Why do you think we aren't using an engine, we'll be in big trouble if Gatou finds us!" the rower whispered vehemently. Naruto pouted, he wasn't being loud! The mans words had created a feeling of unease that draped over all the boats occupants. Kakashi looked on edge.

"Sensei..."

"I...have something to tell you." Tazuna said, looking quite serious. "It's about this mission."

Kakashi turned to face the man, an indescribable look in his silver eye.

"You're right, this job is most likely outside your duties." Tazuna continued, "It turns out that a super dangerous man is after my life."

Wow. Naruto almost face palmed. What a way to phrase it.

"Super dangerous man?" Kakashi questioned. Tazuna paused, seeming to think over his words.

"Who." Kakashi asked, his tone flat.

Sighing Tazuna relinquished his information. "You've probably heard of him before...the wealthy shipping magnate, a man named Gatou."

Kakashi looked shell shocked, though his reaction seemed a little exaggerated. "Gatou!? He's considered one of the few wealthiest people in the world!"

"Yes." Tazuna looked worn. "Officially he runs a large shipping country. But he secretly sells drugs and other illegal items, using ninjas and hired thugs to take over businesses and countries, he's a very nasty man. It was about a year ago that he set his sights on the wave country. Through money and violence, he quickly took control of the countries shipping industry. Gatou now has a monopoly on all business traffic in the country. The only thing he has to fear now is the completion of the bridge."

Sakura put a hand on her chin. "I see, since you're in charge of building the bridge, you're in the way..." she concluded.

Thank you, Captain Obvious. Naruto mentally snorted. It was easy enough without having to put it into words.

"So...those ninja were hired by Gatou..." Sasuke stated more than asked. Naruto schooled his expression, making sure to appear confused and stupid.

Tazuna didn't say anything.

"Tell me, why, if you knew this, did you not inform us when we were hired?" Kakashi held his hands out in a questioning manner.

"The wave country is very poor, even the feudal lord doesn't have any money, there was no way we could afford a B-Rank, or higher." Tazuna explained.

Kakashi watched him blankly. Naruto sighed, this conversation was very long and boring, even more so than the first time around.

"Well, you can quit the mission now, but if you do then i will most certainly be killed." his voice suddenly turned very loud, "BUT DON'T WORRY! MY 10 YEAR OLD GRANDSON WILL ONLY CRY FOR A FEW DAYS, AND MY DAUGHTER WILL SPEND THE REST OF HER LIFE HATING THE LEAF VILLAGE! But it won't be your fault, not at all."

Naruto twitched, dirt was more convincing than this old man, but he still knew how to make a person feel bad.

"Well I guess we have no choice..." Kakashi sighed, faking a smile. "We will protect you at least until we get back to your country."

Naruto didn't even want to know what victory face Tazuna was wearing.

"Tazuna-san! We'll be there soon." the rower said, "It looks like we avoided detection so far...but just in case we'll take the route that has vegetation."

"Thanks." Tazuna nodded, and they continued on through a tunnel. Finally, they exited, the boat entering a lake with trees growing from the water. Houses surrounded the shores.

"Wow..." it looked even prettier than Naruto remembered, even in its desolate state. They exited the boat onto a rickety looking dock, the rower leaving after chatting shortly with Tazuna. Kakashi looked slightly exasperated.

He probably realized their next opponent would be a jounin. Naruto snickered.

"Okay! Get me home safely!" Tazuna gave then a grin.

"Yes, yes..." Kakashi slouched, not looking forward to this at all. The walked a few minutes onto a forest path, and Naruto felt the prickle of chakra nearby.

Ah, the bunny! Naruto almost forgot about Haku's little rabbit. Naruto inched over to the side of the road, and Kakashi's eyes flickered to his. Naruto winked, grabbing a shuriken, and throwing haphazardly into the bushes, with a loud shout.

"THERE!"

Sakura jumped, along with Tazuna, and Sasuke looked mildly startled. Kakashi raised an eyebrow, a little taken aback by the wink.

"THERE'S NOTHING THERE YOU IDIOT!" Sakura shrieked. Naruto ignored her and walked through the bush, staring at the rabbit, which had fainted from shock, the shuriken sticking into the tree just besides it. Kakashi peered over Naruto's shoulder, causing the blonde to tense up.

"It's not supposed to be white, is it Kaka-sensei." Naruto whispered, glancing at the jounin, his face red at their proximity but keeping his voice steady. Kakashi stared at Naruto for a moment before nodding. The rabbit was kept in a cage, most likely for the purpose of kamiwari.

Naruto jerked his head to the side, try to ignore that his face was inches from Kakashi's, because wow what a time for hormones to kick in. "Someone's here!" he whispered fervently into Kakashi's ear. Suddenly Kakashi reacted, whirling around.

"EVERYONE GET DOWN!"

He yanked Naruto to the ground, covering him as the rest of the team and Tazuna dropped like stones to ground.

THUNK.

Naruto squeezed his head from between Kakashi's arms, a scarlet flush on his face. Please get off. Please get off. He repeated in his head like a mantra. Kakashi finally did get off, warmth leaving Naruto's form like suction. He shivered lightly, shaking his head. He got to his feet, standing besides Kakashi, his face still flushed. For a few moments it was silent, everyone observing each other, and Naruto took the time to calm down.

He couldn't keep reacting like this around the silver haired copy-nin! He wasn't even sure he like Kakashi! It was the confession from before...or the future...that was throwing him off! He couldn't help looking at the older man differently now! Did he like kakashi? Or was it just nervousness? Did he reciprocate Kakashi's feelings?

Naruto's heart suddenly dropped. No. This Kakashi had no feelings for him. Naruto couldn't reciprocate anything, he was too late. It was like a freezing hand had gripped his entire soul. None of it mattered anyway, from day one he'd said he was only here to save his friends and make them happy, even if he was alone for ever, hurt forever, or died. He had already decided his happiness meant nothing. He had no room for feelings.

But...if later...if this Kakashi ever had feelings for him...he would be with him. Even if Naruto didn't love Kakashi. He would be with him because it would make the man happy, and that was what Naruto wanted. Heck, if any of his friends displayed feelings for him he'd go along with it. If only to see them smile. Smile and live.

There was nothing in the world Naruto wanted more than the survival of all his friends.

Though he really would prefer it if it was only Kakashi who fell in love with him.

And he was blushing again.

"Well, well, if it isn't the Kirigakure's missing nin, Momochi Zabuza-kun." Kakashi and Zabuza continued to have a stare-off. "Everybody get back."

Zabuza looked quite menacing, his face half hidden in shadows, glaring at them all with an animalistic expression. Suddenly his gaze locked on Naruto. He stared at Naruto's spiky blonde hair, jaw length side bangs and sparkling blue eyes. Zabuza wasn't stupid, and he wasn't blinded by fear as the citizens of Konoha were.

"What do we have here?" he chuckled darkly. "Hello there, Mini-Flash."

Naruto and Kakashi stiffened, while the rest looked confused. Naruto narrowed his eyes and chose to ignore Zabuza's words for now.

"Come on Sensei! Kick his butt!" he exclaimed, trying to put energy into it, but experienced nin like Zabuza and Kakashi could easily tell that his voice wavered. Kakashi was definitely going to have a talk with Naruto after this.

"It will be a little tough, unless I use this..." Kakashi's hand came up to grab his headband.