A/N: Hi! :D So yeah, I got some positive feedback about Uirusu-no, Shijio and Hibana. I'm really happy for that, you guys. Now, for a heads up, I might make either a Bleach story with a second team of Espada, a sort of negative half or a NarutoxDMC Crossover. PM what you think I should start, if either at all, or stay continuing these four stories.
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto.
"Hey" -Human speech
'Hey' -Human thought
"Hey" -Jutsu/Demon speech
'Hey' -Demon thought
Drip -Slight sound effects
While Naruto was busy getting to know Hibana and Shijio, Uirusu-no had appeared at the hotel his team from Suna were staying at, grabbed Gaara's shoulder, and disappeared with him in another shunshin to a private training ground, jumping back once they appeared, dodging Gaara's sand as it lashed out at the man who dared to both get close to him and touch him.
"Don't touch me, old man. I will kill you, even if it won't prove my existence." Gaara growled out, narrowing his teal eyes on Uirusu. His eyes widened when said man disappeared and showed up in front of him, grabbing him by his throat and lifting him up to eye level, his sand mysteriously not reacting to his chakra or mental commands, as he realized his supposed sensei had slapped on a chakra seal on him, stopping the flow of his own chakra, as well as Shukaku's youkai. Gaara was suddenly afraid for his life, as he was never without access to his sand. This man could end his existence with a flick of his wrist. He felt something he hadn't felt since he was a child and the assassination attempts began: fear.
"Calm down, Gaara. I'm not going to kill you. I just want to talk. About your way of life." Uirusu reassured, receiving a glare from Gaara at what he meant.
"What are you talking about?" He asked, not so much choking as just growling.
"Your way of life will destroy you and everything around you. You must abandon it or I will strike you down, before Naruto-san can during the invasion." He answered, seeing Gaara's eyes widen as he asked for the impossible; for him to abandon his way of life, existing through killing. He knew no other way to live.
"What are you talking about? You're more insane than mother." Gaara retorted, glaring at Uirusu.
Chuckling, Uirusu put Gaara down, but kept his chakra sealed. "Naruto Uzumaki, you can sense he is a strong one, can't you?" He asked, already knowing the answer.
Gaara was silent as he thought over his confrontation with the blonde jinchuriki. He nodded almost unnoticeably, but Uirusu saw it. "He's strong because he fights for those he loves, because he wants to prove to everyone he isn't a demon. He is not you Gaara, though he has suffered much worse. He has braved the storm, and come out stronger than ever. Do you understand this Gaara?" He asked.
Gaara didn't respond mesmerized by what he was hearing.
"I see you need time to thinking about this. In the meantime, I have been ordered by Kazekage-sama to train you in controlling your youkai." He lied, knowing his supposed Kazekage was the snake sannin Orochimaru, his hidden puppets surveying the man the minute he felt something foul about the Kazekage.
"What would you know about controlling youkai?" Gaara asked, not knowing his sensei was a jinchuriki like him.
Smirking, Uirusu merely closed his eyes and concentrated. Soon, his was engulfed in a chakra cloak shaped like a cat with one tail, his eyes opening to show they were slitted behind his goggles which were glowing a dark orange. His smirk widened, showing his elongated canines, at seeing Gaara shake from the feeling of dread washing over him. Releasing his youkai before it could draw too much attention; the chakra cloak disappeared, as did Gaara's shaking, but not Uirusu's smirk.
"Now you know; I know a lot more about controlling youkai than you think. I have mastered my control over Matatabi, and she has consented to helping me, in return for some... ahm, favors." He coughed into his hand, averting his gaze as a faint blush appeared on his face.
His eyebrow twitched when he heard an all-too-familiar purring within his mind. "Mmm, don't pretend you didn't love it. I'll be glad to return the 'favor' anytime, Uirusu-kun." Matatabi said, trying to flood Uirusu's mind with some rather revealing images from their latest favor.
'Goddammit, Mata-chan, not now!' Uirusu yelled back, fighting his blush. Cutting the link at hearing her laughter, he returned to the matter at hand, completely ignoring the odd look Gaara was giving him.
"Let us begin." He started, receiving a hesitant nod from Gaara as Uirusu removed the chakra seal. Almost immediately, Gaara's sand launched out and threw Uirusu to the side.
"That was for sealing my chakra. Let us begin... sensei." Gaara said, surprising a part of Uirusu, as the boy had never called him sensei before. Nodding, the man stood up, dusting off any sand particles, and began his tor- I mean, training.
After spending some time getting to know Hibana and Shijio, the latter of which he managed to get used to his mannerisms, Naruto left Hiruzen's office with a goodbye, and appeared outside the tower, and shunshin'd his way to his usual training ground, returning to his training for the rest of the day.
(Flashback end) (Yeah, flashback spanning two chapters, what of it?)
Naruto chuckled to himself, shaking his head at his rather odd family, confusing Hinata at his sudden amusement.
"What's so funny, Naruto-kun?" She asked.
Naruto just waved his hand. "Just reminiscing about family. I'll explain later. Come on, I hope they have some ramen." He added with enthusiasm, almost dragging Hinata to the mess hall, the bluenette giggling at his antics, and followed him.
Upon reaching the mess hall, Naruto was greeted by the scent of fresh ramen, although by the smell of it, he could tell it wasn't as good as Ichiraku's, but he would cope. He got in line with Hinata, getting his prized ramen and Hinata some rice balls with a side of her favorite food, cinnamon buns, and they sat down together in comfortable silence. Once they finished and disposed of the dishes, they decided to sit among their friends to see how they were doing, together of course, the two were inseparable for now. The few kunoichi that were among the groups almost squealed like fan girls at the two as they cuddled while talking to everyone, while also being surprised Naruto finally noticed the shy girl.
Naruto held Hinata as she sat in his lap and wrapped his hands around her stomach, resting them on her legs, her hands resting on his as she sighed in content and closed her eyes. He rested his head on hers and basked in her company, essentially cutting out anyone else from his attention. The more fangirl-ish kunoichi couldn't hold in their squeals as Naruto and Hinata cuddled.
Naruto chuckled to himself silently, making sure not to jostle Hinata out of her comfort. He loved moments like these.
(3 days later)
All the genin stood in lines before the Hokage and their collective jounin sensei, as well as the exam proctor. Of the 28 teams that survived the first part of the exam, just over a quarter was left. The rookie nine, Team Gai, Kabuto's team, the Suna siblings, the Oto team, and the Kumo team were all that were left.
Sakura was shaken at how easily so many teams were disposed of by the second part of the exam, growing fearful when her eyes settled on Sasuke's curse mark from Orochimaru.
Sasuke was busy brooding and grabbing his curse mark, as it sent jolts of pain through his body.
Naruto was busy thinking about a way to use fire release with his Jyuuken, as well as waving to Hinata, who shyly waved back, a cute blush on her face.
Shino was thinking about the fascinating insects he ran into in the forest, Kiba was thinking about how to get with Hinata, and the Hyuuga heiress herself was busy reminiscing about their moment in the mess hall, her blush seemingly permanent.
Ino was thinking about how to get Sasuke to pay attention to her, Choji was thinking about the kinds of barbeque, and Shikamaru was thinking what he always did, 'Troublesome.'
Lee was busy thinking about the 'FLAMES OF YOUTH!' Neji was just glaring heatedly at Hinata, and Tenten was thinking about a new weapons shipment they were receiving at the Higurashi shop.
Kabuto's and the Oto teams were only thinking 'Orochimaru-sama.'
Gaara was, ironically, not conversing with 'mother,' as his training with Uirusu had helped him master using Shukaku's youkai so he wouldn't be insane. He still couldn't sleep, since the weak seal was still faulty, and Uirusu didn't have a seal strong enough to strengthen it. Kankurou and Temari were thinking about the invasion plan happening soon.
Omoi was, of course, overthinking that if he fought his opponent, he might kill him, and Konoha would retaliate against Kumo for killing their genin, plunging Kumogakure into war with the strongest village in the elemental nations. Of course, he forgot that killing was fair in the Chuunin Exams, but let's not tell him that.
Karui was busy thinking about how to hurt Omoi for his stupidity he was surely thinking about, and Samui was merely thinking about how 'cool' these Exams will be.
All their attention was caught as the Hokage cleared his throat and started a speech about how the Chuunin Exams were really a replacement for war, as the genin were to 'show off' for their respective villages, so other villages would know the strength of theirs, and to gain the favor of the Daimyo's for more missions so their economy could grow. He also went on about how they were to have preliminaries now, so not to waste the Daimyo's and feudal lord's time
A sickly jounin appeared before the Hokage, asking for the reigns to the preliminaries. Receiving a nod, the man turned around, showing his pale complexion and the dark bags under his eyes.
"Hello, all. I am Hayate Gekko, and I will be taking over for the preliminaries." He greeted, breaking into a coughing fit. "If anyone would like to drop out of the exams now, please raise your hand." He said, coughing a bit more.
Kabuto raised his hand, stating he was low on chakra and extremely tired and made a show of himself by 'limping' towards the exit.
"Okay, now that we have an odd number of genin, one of you will have to fight twice. Please turn your attention to the board to see who that will be." He said, coughing as a slab of the wall behind the giant Tora hand sign rose, showing a scoreboard that cycled through the names until it landed on one.
Said blonde smirked, happy that he'll get to show off twice. He quickly changed his face to one of indifference when everyone turned to him.
"Seeing as no one else seems to want to leave, let us begin. The board will say the names of the first round." Hayate said, coughing once again.
Everyone watched as the board flickered, now showing two spaces, and they landed on the names of the first round.
Uchiha Sasuke vs. Yoroi Akado.
Said Uchiha smirked that he would be the first to fight, but winced at the curse mark. Ignoring it, he prepared to jump down, but Kakashi grabbed his shoulder, and his attention. "Don't use chakra or your Sharingan, Sasuke. The curse mark will activate, and I'll be forced to intervene." He whispered, receiving a glare from Sasuke that he would dare interrupt an Uchiha's fight, but reluctantly agreed. Jumping down to his waiting opponent, he looked forward, determined, but slightly unnerved that he couldn't use chakra or his prized Sharingan.
"Are both contestants ready to begin?" Hayate asked, looking between both of them. Upon receiving two nods, he raised his hand in the air. "Very well. Hajime!" He sliced his hand down, then jumped back to stand next to the Hokage.
Sasuke immediately launched himself at Yoroi, agreeing with himself to use taijutsu only in this fight.
His opponent dodged, and slammed a fist down on his head, making him change direction in midair to go for the ground. Sasuke acted quickly, whipping his hands down, landing in a handstand, and stopping his heads collision course with the floor, and used his place to whip-kick Yoroi under his chin, snapping his head back.
Yoroi stumbled a bit, but didn't seem to be phased by the attack. He immediately snapped his arm out and grabbed Sasuke by his face, lifting up so the taller boy stood straight, Sasuke's feet a few inches off the ground.
Sasuke suddenly felt his strength start to leave him. 'What the? My chakra... he's draining it?!' He thought in alarm, and immediately, though with difficulty with his forced fatigue, he snapped his fist into Yoroi's face, releasing himself from his grip, and breaking the older boys sunglasses, showing his glaring eyes.
Although no one could see, they could tell the boy was smirking. "Like my surprise? I can sap my enemies chakra and add it to my own with my mere touch. Guess your prized Uchiha eyes won't help you here." He mocked, seeing Sasuke grit his teeth at mentioning his Sharingan, which he couldn't use anyway because of Kakashi's restriction.
Thinking back on any taijutsu techniques he could use, Sasuke remembered his fight with Rock Lee, and a determined smirk grew on his face. "Lets see what your special ability can do if you can't grab me." He remarked, and shot himself towards Yoroi at a faster pace than before, shocking Yoroi, but not for long.
He appeared within Yoroi's guard, holding himself up with his hands, and shot his heel into the older genins chin, sending him high into the air. Using pure speed from his recollection, he appeared under the airborne Yoroi, he held his index and middle fingers to the middle of his spine. "I'll admit, I took this tehnique from someone else. But from here on, it's all original." He remarked, and began his assault, swinging his right leg around, although it was blocked by Yoroi's forearm. Thinking quickly, he swung his left fist, blocked again by Yoroi's free hand. Smirking, he swung his free leg, uninterrupted by a block, and connecting to his stomach. With the shock of the attack, Yoroi's guard fell, and Sasuke continued with swinging his right fist into Yoroi's face, possibly breaking his nose. When they were just above the ground, Sasuke twisted himself in the air so he appeared above Yoroi, and snapped his right foot into Yoroi's face, right into the floor. "Shishi Rendan!" He yelled out, finishing his technique.
Everyone was stunned at his show, but none more so that Lee and Gai that the Uchiha had stolen their Front Lotus technique, even if he changed it up a bit. Gai's face was fixed into a stern mask as he faced his eternal rival. "Kakashi, you would allow your student to steal a technique of mine?" He asked.
Kakashi showed sorrow in his eye, a look that softened Gai's gaze. "I'm sorry, Gai. I didn't know he stole your Front Lotus; I promise you, he will be punished for stealing a fellow shinobi's technique without permission. I taught him better than that, but it seems it didn't get through." He apologized, receiving an understanding nod from Gai.
As Sasuke was declared the winner and Yoroi was taken away by the medics, Kakashi shunshin'd to behind Sasuke and grabbed his shoulder, applying extra pressure to surely get his attention. "We're sealing that Curse mark, then we'll have a talk about stealing a fellow shinobi's technique." He intoned.
Sasuke merely smirked. "He should be honored his technique was used by an Uchiha; surely no one else would use that losers style since he can't even use ninjutsu or genjutsu." He would have continued his egotistical tirade, but a chop to the neck silenced, his body slouching into Kakashi's grip, the pair soon disappearing in the scarecrows Shunshin.
"Now that that has been dealt with, let the second match be discerned." Hayate said, turning everyone's attention to the scoreboard as he coughed more.
Akimichi Choji vs. Aburame Shino.
The former grew pale that he would have to fight a friend of his, as well as bugs. He hated bugs; they always tried to steal his food. Shino showed no outward reaction to the choice, but he was frowning underneathe his high collar.
"Proctor, I forfeit." Choji called over the railing. He sensed Shino sending him a look and merely replied with a smile and a thumbs up. Again, Shino showed no reaction, but Choji could tell the boy was smiling and nodding mutely.
"Very well, then. The third match will be..."
Sabaku no Kankurou vs. Misumi Tsuguru.
Both genin immediately jumped over the railing, the remaining member of Kabuto's team wearing clothes like Yoroi, except he lacked the fingerless gloves, and his glasses were clear like Kabuto's, showing his eyes that seemed similar to Yoroi's.
Kankuro walked forward with a confident smirk.
"Hajime!" Hayate swung his hand down, and jumped back again.
Almost immediately when the matches started, Naruto and Hinata latched on to each other and cuddled, watching the matches, making a comment now and then, eliciting a giggle from Hinata and a snicker from Naruto, as well as a gaping stare the first time that the heiress would make a joke; she seemed too sweet to do that. He might be an influence on her... not to say that was a bad thing, mind you.
The current match between Gaara's older brother and Kabuto's equally creepy teammate was... interesting.
The Konoha genin revealed a very odd ability: he could stretch his limbs and twist them as if his bones were rubber. Upon wrapping Kankurou in a python-like grip, he threatened to snap his neck if he didn't give up. upon Kankurou's bravado, he did just that, eliciting a sickening snap that echoed throughout the room. Everyone's eyes widened in horror, except the remaining Suna genin, as if their teammate hadn't died.
Misumi merely chuckled, rather evilly, Naruto mused. He however noticed pieces of 'Kankurou's' face chipping off. his head suddenly snapped clean around to face Misumi, showing it was a smirking puppet with a third eye in its forehead and a huge shag of spiky brown hair. The package on the puppets back unraveled, showing Kankurou controlling the puppet with chakra strings.
He smirked, and turned Misumi's threat back on him, his puppets six arms wrapping around Misumi and crushing his ribs and neck, killing him instantly. He smirked, and recalled his puppet to his side.
Upon declaring Kankurou the winner, and medics carting away Misumi's body, the scoreboard shuffled again.
Haruno Sakura vs. Samui.
The former shook with renewed determination, irritated at her opponent, as she felt a pang of jealousy at the girl's clearly well-endowed chest, and her... washboard of one.
They both jumped over the railing, landing in front of each other, Sakura had a determined expression on her face, and Samui a bored visage.
"Hajime!" Hayate called, repeating the process.
"She's done for." Naruto commented, eliciting questioning looks from Hinata and her teammates.
"Why do you say that about your own teammate, Naruto-kun?" His hime asked.
"She hasn't trained at all, only fawning over Sasuke, and I can tell there is more under Samui's mask than we see." He answered, receiving a nod from all around, including Kakashi, the scarecrow proud he took to heart his phrase 'Look underneath the underneath.'
Sakura launched herself at Samui, her speed the academy norm, not impressing anyone watching, the Hokage just a bit disappointed, not in Kakashi, but in her. He knew the lazy jounin was anything but when it came to training his genin team. The Civilian Council be damned, he trained them equally, or tried. The girl shirked the training for being the Uchiha's cheerleader, fanning his flaming ego. He sighed, as the kunoichi standard had fallen from grace. The Higurashi girl was the only serious one, the Yamanaka had potential, as did the Hyuuga heiress, but the latter was taken care of by his grandson-figure, Naruto.
Thinking this over, he realized there were very few kunoichi that have even made it this far. this saddened him even more, as kunoichi were the deciding factor in the Second and Third Shinobi Wars, acting as spies. Now the faction had shrunk and weakened; twice again he damned the Civilian Council for lowering the standards in the Academy. He promised himself he would right this wrong once the preliminaries were over.
Throughout his mental tirade, the match between Sakura and Samui had finished, which saddened him even further.
The Haruno's punch was easily blocked, the force used to throw her over her opponents shoulder, who followed up with a Raiton jutsu that struck home, right in her stomach, launching her into the wall. She was immediately knocked out on her impact, eliciting a sweatdrop from about everyone, even the Hokage.
Murmurs of Konoha's standards lowering spread among the foreign visitors, but was quickly silenced by a sliver of killer intent from the Hokage.
"Well, since... that is taken care of..." Hayate started, watching medics carry away Sakura, the frontmost one shaking his head at the girls weakness. "Let us begin the next match." He finished, as the scoreboard shuffled again.
Uzumaki Naruto vs. Inuzuka Kiba.
Both contestants smirked, although for different reasons; Naruto smirked that he got to show off, and fight one of his best friends, and Kiba smirked because, not knowing about Naruto's latest upgrade, believed it would be an easy win, even though he berated himself for thinking that way about one of his childhood friends.
Both genin jumped down to the arena, smirking at each other.
"No holding back, right Kiba/Naruto?" Both asked the other, receiving smirks, as well as slight chuckles from each other for the almost synched comments.
Round 5 had begun, and Naruto was ready.
End Ch. 12
So yeah, what did you think? Switched around matches, Gaara actually training, Naruto and Hinata being adorable, and Naruto gets to kick ass, twice! :D Always fun! Tell me what you think.