It was a beautiful, sunny day in the Hidden Leaf Village. Naruto jumped through the forest and sighed, looking at the village.
"This training by myself, I just can't get into it." Naruto sighed again as he sat down on the grass. He looked up into the sky and imagined Jiraiya.
"Pervy Sage, where the heck did you run off to anyway? Weren't you supposed to help me train or something? Man I hate this, darn it." Naruto asked. Naruto looked over and saw a brown haired girl painting.
"Huh? What's she doing?" Naruto asked himself as he stood up and walked towards her. The girl heard him coming and looked back but returned to her painting. Naruto stood behind her.
"Wow, you're really good." Naruto said as he looked at the painting then saw that the sky was dark and cloudy in her painting but was sunny outside.
"Huh? Wait a minute, there's no rain clouds today," Naruto pointed out as the girl painted more; Naruto looked up and saw that it was quickly becoming cloudy. The girl then swiftly drew lightening towards the Hokage's house and moments later lightning struck the building.
"Ah! That's the Hokage's house!" Naruto yelled as smoke and flames rose from the house.
"Come on! What are you waiting for? We need water now?" Tsunade yelled.
"Yes ma'am. Water style marine battle formation jutsu!" two men by a pool of water said before the water rose and hit Tsunade in the face.
"I don't want it on me! The roof you idiots!" Tsunade yelled.
"Sorry, Lady Tsunade." One man replied before they started aiming the water at the roof.
"That's good keep it up!" Tsunade encouraged.
"Yes ma'am!" they both replied.
Kurenai walked towards the Hokage's house.
'It's just as I thought. My worst fears have come to pass.' Kurenai thought.
The girl picked up all her painting supplies and started walking into the forest.
"There she is. Hey! Wait up will ya?" Naruto yelled. The girl stopped as a two man squad of medical ninjas appeared before her. She dropped her supplies and tried to run but two of the men grabbed her. While one of them grabbed her the other dug through his pocket.
"Hold her still." The one digging said before he jabbed her with a syringe, knocking her out with a sleep-inducing drug. She suddenly went limp and fell into the other ninja's arms.
"You had to go and make trouble." The hole holding her said.
"We should get her back right away." The other suggested.
"Right." The one holding her agreed.
"Hey! Hold on! What do you guys think you're doing? Get your hands off her!" Naruto yelled as he ran towards them but an ANBU stopped him.
"ANBU?" Naruto asked.
"Naruto Uzumaki, you need to leave this area immediately." He said.
"Huh? But what are you doing with that girl? What did she do?" Naruto asked as the two medical ninjas carried her away.
"It doesn't concern you. Now get going. You're not to breath a word of what you saw here." The ANBU said before walking away.
"Wait a minute! You need to tell me what you're doing here!" Naruto yelled.
"Don't try to interfere." He said before a smoke bomb went off where they were and they disappeared.
"Huh they just vanished? How weird? I wonder what that was all about." Naruto asked himself.
"Ugh. All these important documents are soaked." Tizune reported as she and Sakura picked them off Tsunade's floor in her office.
"We'll have to put them in the sun to dry." Tsunade replied as she shook one in the air.
"I'll take them outside and get started." Sakura said as she picked up a pile.
"Thank you." Tsunade told her as she walked out the door; Tonton oinked.
"Good morning." Kurenai told Sakura as she left the room.
"Good Morning Kurenai sensei." Sakura replied.
"Is she in there?" Kurenai asked.
"Yes." Sakura replied then Kurenai entered Tsunade's room and shut the door.
"So you're serious about this? You really want to resign as leader of Squad 8?" Tsunade asked her.
"Yes ma'am." Kurenai replied as Sakura listened in from behind the door.
"Be careful about this. Kiba, Shino, Hinata, you're the one who recommended they take the chunin exam despite their lack of experience. Don't you care about what happens to them?" Tsunade asked.
"Despite my commitment to them I am responsible for the current situation and therefore must accept full blame." Kurenai replied.
"The incident was unfortunate but it wasn't your fault." Tsunade added before Sakura walked away.
Naruto sat in the shade beside a tree.
"You'd never know by looking at her but if the ANBU Black Ops are involved she must be dangerous. Or maybe something really bad happened and she's just mixed up with it somehow." Naruto said to himself as he heard a dog barking behind the fence beside him.
"What was that you said?" he heard someone ask.
"Kiba, calm down." Naruto heard a feminine voice say.
"What's going on over there?" Naruto said to himself before he jumped on top of the fence he was beside. He looked to see Kiba, Shino, Hinata and of course Akamaru.
"Go ahead, Shino. I dare you to say that again!" Kiba yelled.
"Alright, I said it's pointless." Shino replied.
"I can't believe you would say something like that!" Kiba said before Akamaru barked.
"Cool it you guys." Naruto said as he ran over to them.
"Naruto." Hinata said.
"Come on. Take it easy will ya? What the heck's going on?" Naruto asked.
"Kurenai left us swinging in the wind that's what's going on. She just abandoned Squad 8!" Kiba replied.
"Huh? She wouldn't do something like that." Naruto pointed out.
"She just called us together a few minutes ago and told us." Hinata explained.
"I have fulfilled my obligation. I'm sure they'll try to find another chief junin to take my place as soon Sakura possible." Kurenai told them.
"But you're our sensei; you can't just leave us like this!" Kiba told her.
"We need you." Hinata added.
"The decision's already been made. Our relationship has always been that of commander and subordinate; that's all. Someone will fill my roll and the squad will continue. It's as simple as that." Kurenai replied.
"She never gave a reason just walked away." Hinata added.
"She didn't say anything and you guys are just gonna accept that?' Naruto asked.
"Not a chance. We're not like some little insects that can be pushed around. So I say we march into the Hokage's office and demand to know why Kurenai's being removed from Squad 8. I should say it's our only shot." Kiba replied.
"And I say it's pointless. She said herself that the Hokage hadn't removed her. She's the one who made the decision to step down." Shino pointed out.
"Oh yeah! I don't believe it for one second. What about you Hinata? What do you think?" Kiba asked.
"Well it's difficult because even though I want Kurenai to stay our junin... it's just..."
"It's just what? What's the problem?" Kiba asked.
"Maybe she has her own reasons for not wanting to do this and we shouldn't get involved. I think..." Hinata replied.
"So you're siding with Shino on this huh?" Kiba asked.
"I'm not siding with anyone!" Hinata explained.
"Come on guys. Shut up and stop fighting already. You guys just relax and let me handle this." Naruto butted in.
"He's not even on this team so why should we let him do it?" Kiba asked.
"Have you got a plan then?" Shino asked Naruto.
"Of course I have a plan! Just leave it to me; she'll be back in charge of Squad 8 in no time!" Naruto replied.
Naruto walked towards the Hokage's mansion.
"Why do I say I have a plan when I have no idea what I'm doing? Huh?" Naruto asked himself as he saw Kurenai on the roof looking off into the distance, "Kurenai sensei? I wonder what she's thinking. Well the only way to find out is to go up and ask her face to face."
Naruto ran towards where Kurenai was standing.
"Uh sensei?" Naruto asked her breaking her from her thoughts.
"Mmm? Naruto," Kurenai said as she turned around.
"Kiba, Hinata, and Shino told me what happened." Naruto explained.
"And?" Kurenai asked.
"And you shouldn't leave them after everything you've been through together. They don't know what they're going to do without you." Naruto clarified.
"You ran up here to tell me that?" Kurenai asked.
"Well yeah, you're their sensei; they look up to you." Naruto answered.
"I don't know exactly what they told you but I can no longer be their sensei. I don't deserve to carry that title now." Kurenai replied.
"Huh? Why don't you?" Naruto asked curiously.
"I have a message I want you to deliver. Tell them that I'm never coming back." Kurenai said.
"Sensei," Naruto said then he exited the building.
"What could I do? It's like she didn't hear a single word I said. I guess there's nothing left to do but go talk to Grandma Tsunade herself." Naruto said to himself as he headed to her mansion.
The top of the mansion was burned as Sakura laid the documents onto tables in the sun to dry. Naruto ran towards her.
"Naruto?" Sakura asked.
"Oh hey Sakura!" Naruto said to her.
"What are you doing here?" Sakura asked him and Naruto raised his hands up in confusion.
"I don't know if you heard but Kurenai is quitting Squad 8 so I came to see if I could convince Grandma Tsunade to try and talk her out of it." Naruto explained.
"I don't think you'll have any luck. You can try." Sakura told him.
"Oh I've got something up my sleeve. I've got dirt on Grandma Tsunade; all I gotta do is threaten to tell Shizune and she's putty in my hands." Naruto explained.
"But you never know. She might have had a good reason for wanting to quit the squad." Sakura pointed out.
"Like what? Oh what a minute! You know something don't you?" Naruto asked. Sakura started at him with a blank face.
"I can see it in your eyes! You know something!" Naruto told her as she waved her hand in the air.
"What are you talking about? I don't know anything." Sakura told him.
"Come on, Sakura and tell me. I know you know!" Naruto told her.
"What? Do you think I stand around with my ear against a door listening to important conversations?" Sakura asked; Naruto pointed up.
"You didn't? You were eavesdropping at the door?" Naruto asked as Sakura screamed and covered Naruto's mouth.
"Don't talk so loud you idiot. Someone will hear." Sakura told him.
Naruto and Sakura were in the forest beside the mansion.
"Yakumo?" Naruto asked.
"Yeah, I'm pretty sure that's who she said." Sakura replied.
"It's my fault. I'm the one who allowed Yakumo to become the way she is." Kurenai told Tsunade.
"I'd say she's done so well up to this point because of your influence on her. Where is she now? What's her status?" Tsunade asked Shizune.
"A three man squad consisting of two medical ninja and one ANBU black ops member is keeping a twenty-four hour watch over her in a mountain villa just outside of Sitomi Hill." Shizune answered.
"The situation's been handled. Isn't that enough?" Tsunade asked Kurenai.
"No, I must be held accountable for my actions." Kurenai replied.
"That explains what was going on earlier. Sounds just like those four people and what did you say her name was again I forgot?" Naruto asked Sakura.
"Yakumo." Sakura answered.
"Yakumo, right. Thanks, Sakura." Naruto yelled as he ran off.
"Remember if someone asks you didn't hear any of this from me, okay?" Sakura asked as Naruto ran towards the mansion.
"Yeah, yeah whatever." Naruto replied as he disappeared behind the building.
'If that girl I saw is Yakumo then she might know something about what's happening with Kurenai sensei.' Naruto thought as he raced towards the mountainside manor.
Lee and Might Guy stared at each other as they sparred exchanging kicks and punches ending with Lee on the ground.
"Ha, you're not quite there yet." Might Guy told him as Kurenai watched them.
"Kurenai Yuhi, I am requesting this because you are the most skilled ninja in the art of genjutsu." The Third Hokage told her as she looked at a picture in her hand and the Hokage smoked his pipe.
"I would like you to take this young girl under your wing and give her guidance." The Hokage told her.
"Who is she?" Kurenai asked.
"Yakumo Kurama, I'm sure you've heard of the Kurama clan." The Hokage said.
"Yes," Kurenai replied.
"At one time, their mastery of genjutsu was such that it made them a driving force in the Hidden Leaf Village much the same as the Uchiha clan but it recent years their influence has weakened because of a lack of talent. As of late they've been unable to produce a single jonin class shinobi" the Hokage explained.
"So she comes from the Kurama clan?" Kurenai asked.
"Correct, she is the only daughter of the head of the family but unfortunately she has health issues which have kept her from enrolling in the academy." The Hokage added.
"You want me to act as her master and train her in the art of genjutsu?" Kurenai asked.
"No, Yakumo has already begun to master genjutsu and her potential is incredible. Her family is aware of this potential and they placed onto her all of their dreams of a return to power." The Hokage replied.
"What is it? She couldn't deal with that?" Kurenai asked.
"I don't want this to go beyond this room." The Hokage told her.
"Of course." Kurenai agreed.
"Yakumo's parents Murakumo and Uroko have passed away." The Hokage told her.
Yakumo leaned over and breathed heavily.
"Easy, don't push yourself so hard."Kurenai told her as she ran over.
"It's alright. I'm fine really. I'm just out of breath; no need to worry."Yakumo replied as she stood up.
"Just relax for a minute. Let's talk. You don't have to become a shinobi you know. You're an intelligent young woman and you need to know that there are other ways to live." Kurenai told her but Yakumo jerked away from her grasp.
"No, I don't care. I wanna be a ninja; I heard about a ninja in the academy named Rock Lee who can't use ninjutsu or genjutsu so he's using to become a ninja only taijutsu. I may not have much physical strength but if he can do it I don't see why I can't do it too. I could use the power I have and become a ninja like you Kurenai." Yakumo told her.
"I wish I could help you but I'm not a teacher like Guy. I'm sorry but training you is out of the question." Kurenai replied as Yakumo cried.
Kurenai walked away from the railing and towards Lee and Guy down below.
"Nice one. We'll call it quits for today." Might Guy told lee as his teeth sparkled and he gave Lee thumbs up.
"Thank you Guy sensei." Lee said as he bowed.
"Alright now go clean yourself up and get some rest." Might Guy told him.
"Yes sir, right away." Lee said as he ran off; Might Guy laughed as Kurenai came behind him.
"Lee keeps getting better and better doesn't he?" Kurenai asked.
"Is it true? You're leaving your students and quitting squad 8?" Might Guy asked.
"I have no choice. Those assigned to me have not been reaching their full potential." Kurenai answered.
"Come on, that's not true. Although I admit they're no match for the members of my squad, the growth of the genin in your group is still quite impressive." Might Guy replied.
"If so it's not because of what I've done; it's the result of their own hard work. " Kurenai explained.
"Listen to yourself, in the end what can any of us to for them. You commented on how Lee was progressing but the credit of all that progress goes to him. The only thing I've done is believe in him and tell him that anything's possible. We believe in all our students no matter what the cost. I trust him with my life and that gives him the strength to make the right decisions. Couldn't be easier, it's a piece of cake." Might Guy explained.
"You make everything sound so simple. I wish I was like you; I couldn't even do that much." Kurenai said as she made for the door.
"Hey, Kurenai," Might Guy said but she didn't stop.
'Just believe in yourself.' Might Guy thought.