I do not own Naruto. :(

Looking Glass

Chapter 1

Sarutobi ran through the lowest halls of the Hokage tower, the pitter-patter of smaller feet barely keeping up with his hurried speed. He clutched the smaller hand in his in case those feet should falter so he would not lose the boy in his haste. Around him, shinobi were rushing through the halls and different rooms. Flashes of light burst from file rooms as important documents were first copied onto portable scrolls then destroyed. Others were heading out to help with the defenses. Sarutobi himself should have been heading that way as well. It was the Hokage's duty to defend the village with his life and he had no intention on ignoring that duty, but there was another, equally important duty trailing along behind him.

The walls shook and the lighting flicked a moment as another explosion rocked through the village. The old Hokage looked up to the ceiling briefly wondering if he would have to worry about it collapsing, but just as quickly dismissed the idea. The attacks were not close or strong enough yet to break or destroy the stronghold. The explosions themselves were still worrying, though, and he could almost hear in his mind's ear the screams of villagers not yet evacuated and the cries of his shinobi defending their home. He sped up his pace, this time making the child behind him stumble and fall.

For a moment, Sarutobi was dragging the boy. The younger desperately tried to regain his footing and stifle the whimpers and curses alternating out of his mouth, but the old man swung the child onto his hip without breaking stride and continued on his way. Through the boy's thin white t-shirt he could feel warm dampness seeping into his battle clothes. Luckily, the wound was not life threatening and the boy would heal so long as he was given time and wasn't further injured.

They turned a corner and moved into a darker passage, this one almost completely deserted and with fewer doors, most of which were hidden from the casual observer. Sarutobi's steps did not falter as he moved to one of those doors, invisible to all unless previously aware of its presence and coded into the protective seals that surrounded the door and room beyond. A few hand motions deactivated the seals and he slid inside.

The boy felt limp in his arms, though still conscious. Moving around had not done any favors for his wound, and blood loss combined with emotional turmoil was putting the boy into a state of shock. The old man wished he could do something to relieve the child's distress, but there was no time. With a quick hand sign, he brought one of the chakra sensitive candles to life throwing the room into eerie shadows and half light.

There was only one object in this room besides the candles. It was designated a SS-class secret and only a few besides the Hokage even knew of its existence, much less had seen it, and fewer than even that had actually used it. In fact, the total number of people even seeing it in use was the Sandaime Hokage and Shikaku, his Anbu advisor. Sarutobi had never actually used it for the purpose he now intended, but it was the best and most assured way to ensure the safety of the young Uzumaki Naruto now huddled in his arms.

He set the boy down, quicker than he should have with the bleeding wound on the child's side. The sudden jolt brought the boy around, though, so Sarutobi quashed any feelings of remorse on his part. He drew out a scroll set with a complex seal designed by himself and his student, Jiraiya, and unfolded their creation until it lay flat on the floor immediately before the wide pane of crystal glass standing in the center of the room.

"Naruto," Sarutobi said, calling the boy out of his semi dazed state where he swayed next to the Hokage.

"Old man, what's going on?" Naruto's voice was quiet, very different from the eight year old's typical boisterous tones.

"The village is being attacked," Sarutobi said against his better judgment, he was taking too long as it was, too long away from the front lines. "You are one of the goals of this attack, so I'm going to send you somewhere I believe you will be safe."

"Safe?" Naruto repeated a spark of his usual life coming into his eyes, "But I can hel-"

"No," Sarutobi cut him off, harsher than ever before and grabbing the boy's shoulders tightly. "You're still just an academy student, years away from graduation. You will do as I say. Now look at me."

Naruto started at the harsh tone, but there was no time to bring about greater understanding in the boy. He obediently looked up to Sarutobi's face and the old man caught his eyes weaving a genjutsu through the boy. Naruto's pupils dilated slightly and glazed as his shoulders relaxed.

Sarutobi gave his instructions in a clear and authoritative tone. "Naruto, I want you to memorize this seal."

The boy's eyes immediately swung down to the large paper unfolded before them, sweeping across the design, taking every symbol and character with skill he would not have had on his own. Sarutobi watched as the eyes scanned the seal three complete times before turning back to him.

"This seal will bring you home when the time comes. DO NOT use it unless you have clear proof I have personally contacted you and told you it is safe to return. If it is truly safe to return I will give you the hand seals at that time. Do you understand?" Sautobi asked, though it was unnecessary. The instructions would bury themselves into the boy's memory along with the seal thanks to the genjutsu. It would lay in the boy's subconscious to hide the seal from anyone forcibly trying to find it where he sent the boy. Then, when it was necessary Sarutobi would be able to call it out again.

Naruto still nodded at the end of the instructions, his eyes locked on Sarutobi's in a sort of glazed fascination.

"Good," Sarutobi said, releasing the boy from the genjutsu and turning his attention back to the seal and crystal glass before them.

Naruto blinked and swayed next to him, looking around in confusion and disorientation for a moment. He was pale and his blood from his wound had stained his white shirt and darkened the red swirl printed on the front. "Old man?" he asked again, this time with more fear and confusion in his tone than before.

Sarutobi didn't bother answering, instead focusing on the hand seals required to activate the crystal glass. The crystal before them glowed for a moment before fading to reveal a room not too dissimilar than the one they were currently in, except in that room, no one was present. Grabbing Naruto's arm, the old Hokage moved the boy into the center of the seal and began hand seals again. Activating the seal took a considerable number of hand signs and he ran through them as quickly as he could, knowing he had spent too much time there already.

The seal on the floor glowed blue, the symbols and characters moved to circle the boy and creep up his legs and body. Naruto stared in wide eyed fascination and fear, unable to move and face pale white. Sarutobi regretted causing the child so much distress, but there was little choice. When the writing had completely left the page and covered the boy from head to foot, he moved forward and with a powerful shove pushed the boy forward through the crystal glass. His hands stopped at the crystal surface, themselves, unable to pass through, but the boy fell with a hard thump on to the floor beyond.

Sarutobi waited a second longer to make sure Naruto had made the journey safely, but as soon as he saw the boy's arm twitch feebly he shut down the crystal glass, returning it to his own semi transparent reflection. The additional light in the room faded to just the candle again and the old man turned to the door. He sealed the room, adding a few additions of his personal security seals to ensure none but himself could enter or even discover the place if worse came to worse. Then, without another look back, he turned to the hallway and hurried to join the battle still raging outside.



A/N: I hoped you liked it! Any critiques, comments, encouragements are welcome so please R&R!