Disclaimer: As Usual, I don't own Naruto


Initial beta work done by So Said the Dragon. Final edit by, well see below. :D

Beta'd by sergeantassassin

"We have now left Reason and Sanity Junction. Next stop, Looneyville."
― Jim Butcher,
Grave Peril

After a quick stop as Ichiraku Ramen to down a few bowls of his favorite dish, Naruto headed off to his apartment intent on disposing of his collection of jumpsuits.

During the month leading up to the Chunin Exam's Third Stage, he'd used his improved stealth and henge skills to quietly assemble a new outfit for himself. He was still firmly convinced orange was the best color, but he'd reluctantly decided that perhaps he shouldn't wear so much of it. He'd been delighted when he found a store selling colored animal prints, including a pair of orange and black tiger striped pants. He still got to wear orange, but the pants were much more professional. He was dismayed when he couldn't find a matching jacket, so he'd made due with a black one that had three narrow orange stripes running down each sleeve.

He was broken out of his thoughts by the sound of a someone crying nearby. Hopping up on a nearby roof, he was surprised to see Konohamaru sitting there, knees hugged to his chest as he cried. Walking over, he sat down next to him and ruffled the kid's hair gently.

"Hey Kono, what's wrong?"

Konohamaru glanced up, his eyes full of pain, and Naruto had to lean in as the boy whispered a reply.

"I miss Grandpa, but everyone keeps telling me I gotta move on. It's like they're forgetting him, like he was never here. It's not right! He was the Hokage! How can people just forget him?!"

Pulling his adopted little brother into a one-armed hug, Naruto ruffled his hair again in a soothing manner.

"Kono, no one is going to forget about Jiji. He was Hokage for a really long time, and he did a lot for this place. I bet if you go up to just about anyone, they'll have a story or something positive to say about him. He's still here in our hearts and what we can do is live in a way that would make the Old Man proud."

"...You really think so, Boss?" the sniffing boy asked.

Naruto flashed him a hearty smile.

"Yeah, believe it!"

Konohamaru studied his proclaimed rival, "Hey Nii-chan, when did you get so.." he paused to consider a word that would fit, "I don't know...smart, I guess?"

Naruto chuckled at the other boy's confusion, "I learned when I was younger that if I acted like an idiot, people paid attention to me. It was a trade-off, you know - I wasn't happy about being called names and being insulted, but they at least knew I existed."

Konohamaru's eyes were wide as he stared at Naruto. This wasn't a side of his friend he'd ever seen before. Naruto was supposed to be all smiles and laughs. For a moment, he felt like he was talking to his grandfather, listening to one of the stories of the old man's youth. A strange combination of sadness and joy welled up within him, and he wasn't sure how to respond. Still, appearances had to be maintained, so he rolled his eyes.

"That seems kinda stupid, Boss."

Cuffing the back of Konohamaru's head, Naruto stood up.

"Hey, you gonna try and tell me your old attacks on Jiji were any different? I gotta get moving, but I'm glad you're feeling better. Catch ya around!" Flashing a foxy grin, he formed a ram seal and vanished in a swirl of leaves.

"...when did Boss learn the Shunshin?"

Popping up in front of his apartment, Naruto was surprised to see Jiraiya waiting for him with a serious expression.

"Ero-Sennin? I thought you were with Baa-Chan. Shouldn't you be off doing some 'research' or something?"

"Damn it Gaki, stop calling me that! Anyway, we don't have time for this right now. Hime wanted us over at the hospital half an hour ago. Where the hell have you been?" After listening to Naruto's quick explanation regarding Konohamaru, he nodded his head. "You did a good thing Gaki, and it's a good excuse...for anyone but Tsunade. We gotta go now, or she is gonna turn us to paste. And by us, I mean you, because you're my meat-shield in all this. Got it?"

After a quick, fear-filled nod from the blond, they both vanished in swirls of leaves.

Sakura and Ino were happily chatting as they walked into Sasuke's hospital room. They had been checking up on Kakashi and Sasuke daily, hoping that they would wake up. Most days, Ino would accompany Sakura as the girls worked on repairing the friendship their rivalry over a boy had almost ruined.

Sakura still pined after Sasuke, but she winced as she thought back over the things she had thrown away in pursuit of the boy. With her sensei and teammate in the hospital, and the other teammate out doing Kami knows what, Sakura had remembered how much she hated being alone.

'I'm not going to give up on Sasuke-kun, though,'she thought to herself. 'I'm just going to have to find some sort of balance between him and everything else.'She was broken out of her thoughts when she heard voices coming from Sasuke's room.

Recognizing one of the voices as Naruto's, she surprised herself by smiling. She found that she had actually missed the boy while he was gone. It seemed her hyper teammate was finally back, but she was curious as to why he was in Sasuke's room. Probably being his normally boisterous self, though, she shook it off as a practical certainty, and reached the door.

Opening said door, she saw Naruto, but didn't recognize either of the other two in the room. One was a white-haired man, rather tall and pushing 50, leaning against the far wall with his arms crossed as he observed the room's other occupant. The occupant in question was a woman who looked to be in her late 20's, with her blond hair in twin pigtails over a green gambler's jacket with the kanji for "Gamble" emblazoned on the back (shocker).

The woman was holding her hands near Sasuke's head, and Sakura started to panic until she recognized the green glow her hands were eminating as medical chakra.

Naruto looked up as his teammate entered the room.

"Hey Sakura-chan! Guess what? Baa-Chan here is going to heal Sasuke! She already woke Kakashi-sensei, so this shouldn't take too long."

As Sasuke groggily woke up, Tsunade backed away and Sakura ran over and hugged the newly awakened boy. Ino stood by the door, somewhat disappointed. She just hoped that Sakura would remember her promise to be friendly rivals, now that Sasuke was awake. She'd missed her friend when they'd been fighting.

Tsunade and Jiraiya both noticed Naruto seemed down after his teammate didn't bother to even say hello. Jiraiya used their old team hand signals to tell Tsunade about the boy's crush.

"What about the blond at the door?"she signed.

"Pinkie's rival for duckbutt, if I'd have to guess."was the quick response. Narrowing her eyes at Naruto, she considered his reaction to his pink-haired teammate.

'That's going to make telling him the news I have harder. In retrospect, however, I suppose it's a good thing that she doesn't return his interest. Would probably make it even more difficult, if that were the case.'

Looking between the two, she put a finger on her chin. 'Hmm...maybe I can get Jiraiya to tell him? He's always a sucker for-'Glancing over, she noticed the Toad Sage had disappeared on her, leaving a note at the foot of Kakashi's bed. Walking over, she picked it up.

Looking it over, she blinked as she read the note.

"Sorry, not a chance Hime."

Crushing the note in her hand, she cursed. 'Ok Jiraiya, you've just lost your bathhouse-peeping privileges. And this time, there's no Monkey to say otherwise!"

"Alright," she said, addressing the young shinobi in the room. "There is a meeting in my office tomorrow at nine. I've heard that your little group is known as the "Konoha 12"? Well, all of you will be required to attend."

"That's fine. Was there anything else?" Naruto asked, preparing to leave. When Tsunade shook her head, Naruto flashed her a foxy grin and mock-saluted her. "See ya tomorrow at oh-nine-hundred, Baa-Chan!"

Still grinning at her irritated look, he vanished from the room in a shunshin as the others in the room stared at him in shock.

Sasuke, blinking in surprise, looked to the rest of them and voiced everyone's main question:

"...since when did the dobe learn shunshin?"

Reappearing near his apartment, Naruto smirked to himself. 'Gonna have to thank Ero-Sennin for the training tips and showing me the seals for shunshin.'It was just so much fun to vanish and pop up somewhere else. The only way it could get better is if it were an actual teleportation jutsu rather than just chakra enhanced movement. Heading inside, he wasted no time digging out his new outfit. After a few minutes, he finished changing and examined himself in the mirror.

'Damn...I look pretty good in orange and black. Should have thought of this sooner.'

Examining the pile of old clothes, Naruto grabbed a pair of scissors from his desk drawer and carefully cut the white Uzumaki Swirls off all of the jackets. Gently running his thumb over the fabric, he felt a great deal of pride mixed with sadness.

'I swear to you Kaa-chan, I will make you and dad proud of me. I won't let your sacrifices be in vain. That's the promise of a lifetime.'Shaking off the melancholy thoughts, he gathered the clothes in his arms with a maniacal grin.

'Now that the hard part's out of the way, time for a little target practice~'

Using shunshin again (he still couldn't get over just how useful it was), Naruto popped up at Team 7's training grounds, familiar logs in place as he separated his clothes into three separate piles. Getting a suitable distance from them, he turned around, carefully forming hand seals all the while.

'Okay, just like Ero-Sennin taught me...gotta inhale...mold the chakra in my lungs...hold it, wait for the burning sensation...and exhale!

"Katon: Goukakyuu no Jutsu!" He yelled, at the same time exhaling a moderately sized fireball at the first pile. Within seconds, the entire pile was a conflagration of blackened fabric, sizzling and popping as the flames licked and ate the material. Forming the same set of hand seals, Naruto ended on the tiger and fired another one, putting more chakra into this one and completely incinerating the second pile, nothing but graying ash left where his former attire used to be.

For a first attempt, the jutsu was fairly impressive. Naruto had managed to mold the chakra correctly with the proper hand seals. He'd gotten ahold of a Katon scroll that Jiraiya had let him borrow, and had perused it like a beast. Not to mention the numerous times he'd closely watched Sasuke perform this jutsu. What he forgot on his third and final attempt was proper chakra measurement. This proved to be...well, bad for the landscape.

Deciding to see just how big he could make it, Naruto once again formed the proper seals, leaned back...and practically shot a column of hellfire out of his gaping maw.

A proper Katon technique, when executed, allows the user to spew fire from their mouth as if they're a mythical dragon. They vary in size and shape, from the Phoenix Fireball that sprays small, but numerous, balls of fire in a rapid sequence, to the aforementioned Grand Fireball, which has the potential to burn an entire forest clearing straight to the freakin' ground.

The latter, in this case, was more accurate to what just happened to the remainder of Naruto's jumpsuits...and the grass...and the shrubs...and the ground...and the trees...hell, everything in the general direction of 20 feet in front of him was blackened bark and scorched earth.

Staggering to his feet, he shook his head to clear the daze it was in, waving the air in front of him as he coughed a few times. He stared at the scorched spot that use to be his clothes, and pumped a fist in the air in triumph when he realized he had successfully used Sasuke's favorite fire jutsu. Not once, not twice, but three separate times.

That last one, though, was a real scorcher...okay, that was a horrible pun, and he was never using it again.

Patting at his dust-covered and slightly singed clothes, he grimaced.

'Well, mostly successful. Still has a few kinks.' Remembering something Jiraiya had let slip on their trip home about the uses of shadow clones, he nodded to himself.

'Note to self: Next time, I leave untested jutsu to the clones.'

The next morning found the Hokage's office fairly full, as Naruto and co. all crowded in. Tsunade sighed as she sat behind her desk, facing the assembled Konoha 12 and their respective sensei. Fiddling with the official marriage document, she stalled for time by examining those present.

Naruto, she noticed, looked far more serious in his new attire, but he still seemed to radiate excitement. Sasuke, standing next to him, looked better then yesterday when she'd first seen him, but still seemed to be brooding. Sakura seemed torn between looking hopefully at the latter, and casting quizzical glances at the former, eyeing his new attire with curious eyes.

Everyone else stood at relative attention, though the Nara boy looked as if he was going to fall asleep standing up, and the girl with buns in her hair seemed to be staring at her with stars in her eyes. Not even mentioning the dynamic duo of Gai and Lee, who were just starting their infamous "Sunset Genjutsu".

'I definitely can't put this off any longer. Those two idiots will knock us all out with it unless I get started now.' she thought to herself, a tick mark forming on her forehead.

Clearing her throat loudly, she radiated killing intent at the two, causing the genjutsu to implode, and the two spandex-wearing nin to pale before standing at attention with the rest of the class.

"Tomorrow, when I officially become Hokage, I will be making an announcement to the entire village, but the news affects those here more then most." Seeing that she now had the rapt attention of everyone present, she continued.

"There will be a political marriage to solidify the new treaty brokered with Sunagakure. The respective councils agreed to this before I returned and the bride and groom have been decided upon. A young woman from Sunagakure will be coming here and will be marrying into one of Konohagakure's most respected clans."

Tsunade stopped as most everyone turned their eyes to Sasuke, with occasional glances at Kiba, Shikimaru, Shino and Neji.

"I can see what you're thinking, but you'll be surprised to learn who the suitor is." she said.

"If it isn't anyone here, why are we here, Baa-chan?" Naruto asked in confusion

Eye twitching in irritation, Tsunade frowned. "That would be because the person in question IS here, and YOU are it." 'That'll learn him.'

Silence permeated the room, as every eye in the room became laser locked on Naruto, all wide and some boring holes into the unfortunate soul. One set in particular was apparently trying to burn a hole through his head and into Tsunade's, as both were feeling a bit hot under the collar right now.

Naruto chuckled, scratching the back of his head. "Good one, granny! You got us! Now seriously, who's the unlucky bastard?"

"You are, Naruto."

"Stop with the jokes...you ARE joking, right?" He paled when she shook her head. "Seriously? I'm getting married? I'M ONLY 13! THIS IS BULLSHIT!"

Sighing, Tsunade rubbed her temple as the room exploded with questions. A vein began throbbing on her forehead, and she slammed a fist onto the desk.


Her roar silenced all present, and she pointed to Shikamaru, who had his hand raised like a good little gennin. "You. First question."

"Hokage-sama, you said that the Sunagakure woman would be marrying into a Konoha clan, but then said that Naruto would be the suitor. As far as we know, Naruto doesn't HAVE a clan." He gave Naruto an apologetic look, letting the blonde know it wasn't a snub at his family situation. Naruto nodded, letting him continue. "So, does this mean that Naruto actually DOES have a clan?"

"As a matter of fact, Shikamaru, Naruto does. Or rather, I should say he has TWO clans." Eyes once more threatened to shoot clear of their sockets as she continued. "Naruto's heritage has been a well-kept secret, the longest kept secret in the history of this village, in fact. His mother was Uzumaki Kushina, last known member of the Uzumaki clan from the former village of Uzushiogakure. The former village, as you all know, was destroyed back during the Second Great Shinobi War, and as such, is honored here in Konoha by having their symbol emblazoned on our jackets and uniforms. This is a show of respect for the alliance formed when my grandmother Uzumaki Mito married the Shodaime Hokage."

Ignoring Naruto's frantic hand gestures to stop, she continued, knowing that it was all coming out of the bag sooner or later. 'Might as well get this shit out now, while everyone's present. I'm NOT doing this a second time.'

"In addition, as you may not know, when a person becomes Hokage, their family becomes clan automatically via Konoha law. Naruto is also the son of Namikaze Minato, better known as the Yondaime Hokage. Therefore, Naruto is the last heir of both the Namikaze and Uzumaki clans of Konoha."

With a groan, Naruto slumped forward, palming his face as most everyone in the room was staring at him complete shock, none more so than one particular Uchiha. The two noticeable exceptions were Asuma, who'd already been informed at the council meeting, and Kakashi who was giving him one of those creepy 'eye smiles'.

Turning back to Tsunade, he huffed, arms folded.

"Baa-chan, you had better have a really good reason for this."

Tsunade was surprised by the rage she saw in his usually cheerful eyes...until she took a moment and thought about it.

'Once this is announced, not only will he have his father's enemies after him, a lot of villagers will try and suck up to him. I knew this was going to make his life harder but I honestly totally skipped that part...meh, he'll work it out. He mastered the Rasengan in a week. An entire village full of ass-kissing shinobi should be something he'll have taken cared of by the end of business today.'

Referring to Naruto's question, she nodded. "There are several, but let's start with the obvious: First, Sunagakure didn't just pick a random shinobi. They didn't play a game of darts with our shinobi roster, and just HAPPENED to pick you. No, they specifically asked for you. According to the council, and a little bit of common sense, that made it clear that they knew, at least in part, who you were, or rather, where you came from.

Second, the woman they are sending is the daughter of a Kage and you, my little blond miscreant, are related by blood or marriage to four of the five Hokage. Last, and certainly not least: Naruto, do you even know what the requirements to be a clan head here in Konoha are? Because even the council forgot this part."

"No" he grumbled. "I haven't had the chance to."

"To be head of a clan, you must either be a Jonin, or you must be married." Tsunade said, a grin on her face. "The day you marry, you become head of the Namikaze clan and inherit all its' assets, as well as its' seat on the council."

"Baachan, what about the Uzumaki clan, 'tteboyo?" His verbal tic resurfaced under the stress of the moment.

"Naruto, you are an Uzumaki as well as a Namikaze. Technically, your name is Namikaze-Uzumaki Naruto, so any children you have will be of both clans. As such, you will be restoring the Uzumaki clan as well as the Namikaze clan. If you're so bound and determined to restore the Uzumaki, this is a perfect chance. It's not like you'll have to worry about finding a wife, anyway."

Naruto glared at her, the sort of glare he saved for dealing with Kyuubi, or the cupboard when he ran out of instant ramen. He did manage to grind out a question, though.

"Did they give us the name of the bride?"

Glad for an excuse to escape his glare (the brat didn't glare often, so it was unnerving), Tsunade lifted the scroll.

"...Says here her name is Temari."

Hand to chin, Naruto ran through his mind, trying to figure out what kind of girl she was. 'Could've sworn she was part of the Chunin Exams...wait...wasn't she the girl that...' Glancing over at Tenten, he only confirmed his suspicions when he saw the girl wince in his direction, giving him a weak smile. '...yep, I'm fucked.'

Tsunade caught a glimmer of recognition in the blonde's eyes, followed by the sort of resignation reserved for those on death row. Inwardly groaning, she gave a gesture of dismissal to the rest of the group. "Alright, that's enough. I've said all I'm going to say until the official announcement tomorrow. All of you scat. I've got business with the soon-to-be married, here."

Getting acknowledgment from most, the group filed out, the chatter exploding once they left the Hokage's office. She suspected that, by tomorrow, half of the village was going to know about it before she even made it official.

'Should've put a gag order on that lot...oh well.'

Turning to the man in question, she sighed. "Alright, what's up?"

Chuckling nervously, Naruto rubbed the back of his head, another nervous tic. "Well...Temari-chan is a bit...high-maintenance. Plus, Gaara is his brother. You know...the jinchuuriki for the Ichibi? The one that tried to kill me...multiple times, I might add."

Tsunade sighed as she pinched the bridge of her nose in exasperation.

"Alright, ignoring the whole, 'homicidal jinchuriki' problem for the moment, I have some things for you." Standing and crossing the room to the portrait of the Fourth Hokage on the wall, Tsunade lifted it, revealing an elaborate seal on the wall. "Alright gaki, get over here. This is a blood seal, keyed to anyone from your father's line. I need you to open it for me."

Pulling a kunai out of its holster, Naruto nicked his thumb and pressed the bloody digit against the seal. The seal seemed to rotate before it expanded and the safe unlocked with a quiet click.

Reaching into the safe, Tsunade pulled out a scroll bearing the symbol of the Yondaime Hokage.

"Alright, need you to bleed a bit more for me." she told Naruto in a teasing manner. Ignoring the obvious rolling of his eyes, she watched him undo the seal and then opened the scroll. She couldn't stop a snort of laughter as she read the short note.

'Hey Old Monkey. If you're reading this, then I didn't survive the Kyuubi's rampage. If so, this is literally my and Kushina's will: We leave everything to our newborn son, Naruto. In addition, no, I will not tell you how I finished my paperwork as fast as I did. Trade secret...wait, you've been a Hokage...screw it, I'm still not telling you.'

"Hey Naruto, I think I have proof at least some of your sense of humor comes from your dad." Handing Naruto the scroll, she chuckled as he read it, grinning as he laughed near the end.

Feeling better then he had since the meeting began, Naruto still had a few questions.

"Alright Baachan, what do we do now?"

"Well gaki, since the scroll says you get everything, and you're going to be married, I say we go see your parent's house."

While Naruto and Tsunade remained in her office, everyone else regrouped in a conference room down the hall.

"This is incredible!" Ino shouted. "This is the best scoop I've ever gotten. I never would have thought Naruto would be the first of us to get married, never mind become head of two clans!"

"Well, you heard what the Hokage said, Suna demanded Naruto." Shikamaru said from his place against the wall, managing to sound coherent, even though he looked like he was going to slump to the ground any second. "It doesn't make sense though," he said irritably "I get why his heritage was hidden, but I've seen the way the villagers look at him. Why would they despise Naruto?"

True to his nature, Shikamaru was more or less unable to let go of something so intriguing.

"I always thought he was just a loud mouth" Kiba piped up. "Did you guys notice that he was acting strange in there? Naruto was really quiet."

"Yes" Shino said quietly. "He seemed far more controlled than usual. In the past, he would react explosively to such news. This means one of two likely scenarios: One, Naruto has matured greatly in a very short amount of time, possibly due to his recent contact with the Sannin, or two, Naruto has always been that way and we have been dealing with a cleverly constructed facade. Given what we have learned, I believe that the latter is by far more plausible."

Having said his piece, Shino exited the room, the door closing as everyone else tried to come to terms with his rather startling conclusions.

In another conference room, Hinata was crying as Kurenai held her. When Tsunade informed them that Naruto was to be married, she felt as if her heart had been ripped out. For years, she had loved him from afar, but every time she tried to talk to him, she would stutter and completely embarrass herself or even worse, faint outright. She'd never thought that she would run out of time to tell him so soon.

"Shh, its OK Hinata," Kurenai told the girl softly. "Its alright, let the tears out. Just because he is getting married doesn't mean you can't be his friend."

Raising her head from her sensei's shoulder, Hinata looked tearfully at her.

"I didn't want to be his friend Kurenai-sensei. I love him."

Gently stroking the girl's hair, Kurenai murmured, "I'm sorry Hinata, but it's just not meant to be. You know how your clan works. Even if he wasn't getting married, in the end, you still wouldn't have had him."

"Sensei?" the crying girl asked in shock.

"Shh, I know Hinata. I know it hurts, but time heals all wounds. For now, just let the tears out."

Frowning at the wall as Hinata continued to sob, Kurenai cursed two things: Clan laws, and the cruelty of fate.

That afternoon, Naruto and Tsunade stood facing a gate in the far eastern section of Konoha.

"This, Naruto, is your parent's old house. Anything in there belongs to you, though I would recommend you do some cleaning. The seal on the gate here was made by your father and not even Jiraiya could bypass it, as it requires familial blood to open." With a slight smirk, she added, "Shouldn't be a problem for you, though."

With a quick shunshin, Tsunade returned to her office, preferring to let the kid venture on his own.

Unsealing the gate by reopening the cut on this thumb, Naruto entered his new property. The land was small for a clan compound, but he supposed the Namikaze clan had never been as large as the Uchiha or Hyuga. The gardens had long ago taken over and filled the stagnant lawn and koi ponds with green – still, he could see the beauty, and a little work would restore it to it's former glory. The main house stood in the center of the gardens, three stories of traditional stonework, and rice-paper doors in need of some serious maintenance, with softly sloping red-clay rooftops and opulent dragon guardians on the corners.

He pushed open the main entrance, careful not to damage the aged wood. As expected, the paper gave way easily under his hands. He was planning on replacing it, anyway, so he wasn't concerned. No one had come into the house after his parents had died – all of the furniture remained where it was last, coated with a fine film of dust with a few cobwebs dotting the corners of the rooms. He passed through the entrance and into the sitting room, a television sitting at the far end of a kotatsu. Everything would have to be replaced, from the electronics to the fabrics, even the curtains, but it looked like most of the wood furniture, save all the chairs (he wasn't taking chances with them), would be fine with a careful cleaning.

He glanced around for another moment before making his way upstairs. It was dominated by bedrooms, four of them total. The master bed was the only one that looked like someone had used it before the house was abandoned. His parent's night clothes were still folded on the bed, waiting for them. With a melancholy sigh, he shut the door carefully and made his way to the third floor.

His parents, or perhaps his grandparents, had made the third floor a training room. The practicality of it aside, it was huge; a large, open expanse with wood floors, threadbare training mats sitting in a pile in the corner, several training dummies lined up against the far wall, and various weapons along said walls. The training room wasn't the place for practicing jutsu, but it was more than appropriate for practicing taijutsu and weapon skills – as long as the person practicing wasn't Lee...or Gai.

He returned to the ground floor, passing through the dining room and kitchen, noting with glee the amount of space he had for ramen, then noticing a tightly shut door just outside the kitchen. He pushed it open, revealing the cool, stone space of a basement – the jackpot, as far as the home of a ninja was concerned. He carefully took the stairs one at a time in case they were rotting through (last thing he needed was to plunge a story or two to the ground below).

Most of the room below was a library, cool but not damp, perfect for the delicate paper located here. The shelves were overflowing with scrolls and books – he could almost tell which belonged to his mother and which to his father just by the neatness some of the shelves seemed to have. A small corner of the room held a work bench, holding a strange, three-pointed kunai. The overflow of scrolls on the shelves above it seemed to indicate his father or mother was making weapons scrolls in their spare time.

One-third of the basement was walled off to make a separate room that opened with another seal. It was obviously his father's private study, fill with fuinjutsu supplies. An open scroll lay on the large, but simple, desk at the opposite end of the room. He stepped inside to take a closer look.

Picking up a scroll, he read the outer kanji. 'Hmmm...Hirashin no Jutsu, huh? I wonder what it does...'

He almost sat down to read, but the overpowering smell of dust was beginning to bother him, and he needed to get some air before he went into a coughing fit. He decided it would be a good idea to get to bed in the next hour or so – he scouted out the cleanest room, a corner space on the second floor. He stopped in the doorway, producing 100 clones that looked rather...unamused to be there.

"Alright guys, I'm headed to bed, but I want you guys to start cleaning this place up. Start with the main rooms, and if you have time, start on the training fields. I want you five to head downstairs and start going through the library, and I want you to read that scroll I found earlier. Remember, this is our new home, so curb the enthusiasm, okay? That means no explosions!"

Watching the clones salute and run off, Naruto crawled into bed, at least somewhat satisfied with the day.

"There are things you can't walk away from. Not if you want to live with yourself afterward."
― Jim Butcher,
Death Masks