Chapter 1 - Contact
"Come in," Sarutobi called out when he heard the soft knock on his door. He regretted his decision a moment later when he saw who it was. Bringing out one of his fake smiles, he stood up and gestured to the chairs in front of his desk.
"Welcome. Please have a seat."
Hyuuga Hiashi and the two elders accompanying him sat down without a word.
"What can I do for you today?"
One of the elders leaned forward slightly and began speaking.
"Hokage-sama, Kumo has crossed us yet again and we demand that you take action this time. This is the third time they have made an attempt on our heir, Hinata-sama. We also demand that you summon her back to the village. We must provide for her security."
Sarutobi dropped the pretence.
"And pray tell me, what kind of action do you suggest?"
"Konoha is the greatest of all the villages. We must put Kumo back in their place."
"So are you suggesting war?"
"What? You can't-"
"I can and I will," interrupted Sarutobi. "This is the end of this conversation. Please leave. I am not starting the next shinobi world war just to keep the heads of one my clans happy!"
"This is an outrage. We will take this up with the council."
"Do whatever you want. As long as there is still life within me, I will not be the aggressor unless there is absolutely no other choice left. I agree that some action must be taken. But not this. Not as long as I am the Hokage of Konoha."
The elders got up and walked out with Hiashi following them.
The clan head paused and looked around.
"Was this your decision or was this thrust upon you?"
Hiashi looked at Sarutobi for a couple of seconds and then left without saying a word. However the look on his face had answered Sarutobi's question.
With a sigh, he got up and walked to his window. As he fumbled in his pocket for some tobacco, he sighed.
"I'm too old for this shit. Got to find someone else to do this before I go senile."
Kiba growled in annoyance as the first drop of rain hit his head. His nostrils flared and he sniffed the air.
"Fuck! We trail this guy for more than three weeks and just as we are about to catch upto him, the rain is going to wash away his scent. Why does life hate me?"
"Shut it, Kiba! Stop whining and focus," snapped Kurenai. "We can't lose him after all this. Hinata!"
Hinata raised her hands and made a hand-sign. The veins on her face bulged and her Byakugan activated.
"I see him. He's north 10 km away from here but...," Her voice faded away.
"But what?" asked Ox.
"It 's the same as last time. When I met him the last time, I thought that he was a civilian. I couldn't feel any chakra emanating from him. When I woke up later, I thought that was so because I was wounded and exhausted. But now I know that I was right."
"What do you mean?"
"I can't see any chakra flowing through his body. Just like a civilian."
"You sure it's the same guy?"
"This is not good. He must be an assassin. Must be using some sort of technique to hide his chakra. Not good at all. A forest like this is the worst place to make contact with a guy like this."
"We don't have a choice. This rain is going to wash away his scent and this distance is the limit of my vision. If he speeds up, then I might lose him."
"Well then, everyone! Battle stations. Time to make contact. Don't attack unless he does," Ox called out. The two ANBU squads faded away into the forest.
"We are going to hide. We don't want to alarm this guy. Plus, he was the one who helped you last time. I don't think he'll be hostile to you. If he does attack, then back off. As fast as you can! We'll handle him."
"We're not kids. We can take care of ourselves," growled Kiba.
"I didn't say you were. Hokage-sama considers this guy to be his equal. If you still want to fight, then be my guest."
Naruto paused and looked up as the first drop hit his head. The water was cold. Very cold. As always, it reminded him of that day. Shaking his head, he continued walking.
"I haven't said anything about it but here goes nothing. Why are you letting those guys follow you? You're not even erasing your scent."
"Tch. Can't be bothered with it. The old man must have sent them. They're not enemies. I'll think about doing something, if they get too close."
"Well, they have picked up their speed now. What are you going do? What if they plan to capture you?"
"Nah. The old man would never do that. Let's see what they have to say."
"It's that girl, isn't it? She intrigues you."
"Shut it, Kurama-san."
"You evaded them the last time the old man sent out someone to find you. What's different this time?"
"Go die, will you? I'm going to go give them a surprise. They're passing one of my seals. No harm in talking with them but it's better to keep them scared, while I'm at it. They might not try any funny business they might be thinking of doing."
"Changing the subject, are we?"
With a growl, Naruto disappeared.
Hinata gasped and stopped abruptly.
"What's wrong?" shouted Kurenai as the team stopped around her.
"He...he just disappeared," she whispered slowly.
"How is tha-"
Before Kiba could complete his question, Hinata whirled about, threw a kunai and took up a defensive stance.
They all turned around and saw that there was a blond man sitting on the tree behind them. He was holding Hinata's kunai in his hand.
"It's not possible. It can't be," she whispered.
"I'm counting to 5. If you ANBU aren't out of those trees by then, then I'm assuming that you want to fight," the man called out. "1,2,3-"
Before he could complete his count, the two ANBU squads appeared in front of them without a rustle.
"Relax. We don't want a fight. We just have a message from the Hokage-sama to deliver. Nothing else," Ox replied.
"I guessed as much. Tell the old man, that I don't want it. Tell him to stop trying. I'm not coming back to Konoha. Ask him to give up. I'll just avoid the next group he sends out." The man made to get up.
"Who are you?" Kurenai shouted out.
"Shut the fuck up, Kurenai!" Ox hissed. "Let me handle this."
"Oh shut it, will you? I'm just asking what's in all of our heads," she growled back.
"You should ask the old man that. Let's see if he tells you the truth. See ya around."
Before he could leave, Hinata called out, "Thank you. Thank you for saving my life."
He looked at her for a few seconds. "You're welcome. Try not to die next time." With that he turned around and disappeared.
"Try not to die next time? Seriously? That is the stupidest pick-up line of all time."
"What the fuck has gotten into you? That was not a goddamn pick-up line. That wasn't anything."
"You stupidity has surpassed anything Jiraiya could ever have done. Atleast he compliments them. You on the other hand..."
"Don't compare me to that pervert. I'm nothing like him."
"Maybe you should take some tips from him. You really need some help at this."
Naruto covered his face. "Aargh! Please fuck me now," he groaned.
"That's what she said."
The next chapter will be much longer. This one is short so as to maintain a flow in the story.