Sorry this has taken so long, I had a rough draft of it written up just days after the submission of the last chapter, but I got writers block when I was revising it and adding scenes that frankly needed to be added. So that has kind of held me up in getting it out. Thanks for being patient, I haven't given up on this story. I've got a decent amount planned for the next few chapters, I just need the motivation to write, so whether it's a week, or a month just know that there will be more chapters eventually, anyway enjoy!
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto or Dragon Ball Z.
Shinobi Son Gohan!
Chapter 3: Life in the Village
Itachi may have just been a ten-year-old chunin but it didn't change the fact that he was one hell of a shinobi. He'd only been a chunin for a month when the Hokage had come to him with the offer of ANBU.
His skill in the art of the ninja was extraordinary and it wasn't something that Hiruzen had missed when his actions in the field had been reported. It quickly resulted in his secret induction within the ranks of ANBU. Officially the boy would have to jump through many more hoops before he could become an ANBU but the Hokage simply couldn't allow talent such as his to be wasted.
In the six months that he'd been ANBU he'd saved countless lives and averted more national and internal disasters than Hiruzen would care to admit. He was simply one of the most methodical agents that the Sandaime had had a pleasure of dealing with.
What Hiruzen liked most about his young ANBU though was not his skills, but his attitude. The Hokage of the hidden leaf knew of the young Uchiha's pacifistic disposition.
Itachi wouldn't resort to violence unless absolutely necessary and that was what made him great at diffusing situations. Whether he was relieving tensions during encounters with foreign shinobi in the field, between clans within the village of Konoha or between the villages of the Elemental Nations, Hiruzen had come to rely on the ability of one Uchiha Itachi.
The boy had even saved his life, uncovering information that a there was a rogue group hidden within the village planning a coup. Had Hiruzen not received the intelligence when he did they may well have succeeded in ending his life. He never uncovered who was behind the planned attack but the Hokage had his list of suspects.
That was how Itachi found himself on the protection detail of two particular orphans; orphans that might prove dangerous to the safety of the village.
Between his skills, pacifistic nature, reliability and trustworthiness the Hokage hadn't even needed to think about his choice. Although Itachi had other duties, ranging from small missions to missions integral to the stability of the village, he was also able to make time to relieve Yuugao and Kakashi on the odd occasion.
He'd just finished his first shift, having been replaced by a refreshed Yuugao and was heading home. The Uchiha had had a long month and to be frank was looking forward to seeing his family, especially Sasuke. Itachi knew he wouldn't have the time to train properly with his little brother, which would upset the young ninja in training, but Itachi could at least give him some quick pointers.
From everything the Hokage had said about the two orphans you'd think they were malicious evil children, and while Itachi had had a few run ins with the blonde when he occasionally took shifts up for his dad working in the police force he couldn't say that they were anything other than regular playful kids.
The short time he'd spent in his first shift on protection had only reinforced his view that these were simply kids trying to have fun and make fun in a village that didn't look too kindly on them. And he wasn't working for his dad, so he was going to let them prank the absolute pants off whoever was stupid enough to get caught out, even if the new arrival in Gohan hadn't been keen on Naruto's antics.
How they sparred and simply spent time together was how he wished he could spend time with Sasuke sometimes.
Even so, he wouldn't drop his guard around these kids, as much as they reminded him of his brother and as much as he envied how carefree they seemed to be as they ran around, exploring the village and causing havoc. He had seen the damage caused by the so-called transformation of the black haired boy and he had witnessed the attack of the Kyuubi.
The truth of the matter was that these boys could be as childish as they wanted but they held terrible powers that neither of them seemed to know about. They had to be protected from people willing to steal that power, but more importantly the people of the village needed to be protected in case that power was ever unleashed. Itachi was not going to have a repeat of the attack on the village five years ago. He'd been old enough to remember that attack.
Uchiha Itachi's thoughts ran away with him as he pondered the situation the village was now in and it wasn't long before he found himself at his place of residence.
Dropping over the side fence to their yard he noticed his young brother throwing shuriken at a training dummy, his back turned to him.
Sneaking up to Sasuke, Itachi jabbed him in the ribs lightly with two fingers, "Gotchya," he said light heartedly.
"What?!" Sasuke screamed.
The younger Uchiha almost jumped out of his skin. His brother was a ghost, and having been focused so hard on hitting the targets in front of him with a precision that would make his father proud he'd never heard his idol sneak up on him.
Composing himself and with a pout Sasuke turned to his brother, "You have to stop sneaking up on me like that!" he crossed his arms as he finished.
"You just need to get better little brother," Itachi said, poking his sibling in the forehead before he could do anything about it, "And flick your wrist less next time, you'll have better luck with those targets,"
Sasuke huffed as his brother started to walk inside, but he couldn't keep the faux hurt look on his face, sprinting after Itachi to give him a hug from behind.
"It's good to have you back nii-san!"
"It's good to be back," Itachi said, peeling his brother's arms off him as he pat him on the head and opened the sliding door, just in time for dinner to be served.
Between his previous missions outside the village, the information on Gohan being revealed to him, taking care of some other village business pertaining to his ongoing missions and his relief shift for Kakashi and Yuugao before he headed home, Itachi hadn't seen his family in over three weeks.
Mikoto had just been in the process of setting the table when her two children came walking through the back door.
"Mother," Itachi said with a smile pulling her into a hug, "Father," he added, addressing the man sitting at the table, before sitting down.
"When did you get back from your mission?" Mikoto asked, surprised that her son was back. She'd not heard from anyone that he was back in the village; she had noticed that of late though. That his missions were becoming more secretive, and that he was away from home for rather large amounts of time; which was strange for a fresh chunin. Maybe that meant they were grooming him for ANBU? Fugaku would surely be proud of that.
"Only just now," he lied, his smile never faltering. Until he was officially a part of the ANBU ranks no one was to know about his position. It gave him the advantage of people not knowing his true strength, or his whereabouts.
A simple chunin, even if he was a genius Uchiha garnered much less attention than the same Uchiha who'd officially reached the rank of ANBU. It would also rock the boat less amongst the clans if it looked like an effort had been made for him to reach that position.
"Son," the eldest Uchiha of the household, and head of the Konoha police force said from his position at the head of the table, "how was the mission?"
"Simple enough," Itachi said calmly, not really wanting to share any of the details with his family, seeing as how there were only a few select people that knew of his true position within the village.
"Good, good, I'm glad to say that I'm making progress in getting you in a position to be inducted into the ANBU ranks, you might have more of a challenge then," Fugaku said with a smile. He really was proud of his son, advancing to such a rank at such a young age. His own son, the talk of the village, the genius Uchiha; he knew when he'd started training his eldest son that he would rise to greatness swiftly.
Before Itachi could respond Sasuke turned to his elder brother with awe in his eyes, "Wow nii-chan! You're going to be an ANBU already? That is so cool!" the young boy was excited for his brother, his eyes wide with admiration before a thought occurred to him and he turned to his father, "Does that mean when nii-san is promoted you'll have time to train me?"
"Hahaha, father is very busy with village business Sasuke. You have to put the effort in yourself if you want to get stronger," Itachi said, ruffling the hair of boy who had taken a seat beside him, "I might be around the village more now though, so I could always help if I have time free."
"YES!" Sasuke was so excited about being able to spend more time with his brother, although his mother quickly shut him down as she reentered the room with their dinner.
"Now, now Sasuke, you shouldn't bother Itachi if he has missions he has to complete."
"Hahaha, it's fine mother, when I have the time I'll help Sasuke a little," Itachi said before his brother could get upset. Between his father focusing on work and trying to get him a promotion and Itachi always being on missions Sasuke really wasn't getting much help with his training, "But I don't know when I'll be free brother," the genius added before his brother could get too excited.
"And thank you father for the help with my promotion," Itachi added, having not been able to 'thank' his father until then. While he didn't need it, he appreciated the effort his father was putting into his advancement, even if he did think his father should put more effort into training Sasuke. Itachi really didn't need the help anymore.
"Anything for you my boy," his son would be one of the greatest shinobi to ever live. He would see to that. The Uchiha clan would rise to the greatness of eras past, riding on the shoulders of the greatest Uchiha the clan had seen for generations.
(Meanwhile – With Naruto and Gohan)
Having Itachi on the squad was a lifesaver. The extra man that they could rotate out was enough that Yuugao and Kakashi could actually go and do other things. Which was good for the teenage girl. She hadn't been looking forward to running a protection detail like the one she was a part of with only two shinobi, but having Itachi added to the squad so soon after its creation meant that the young kunoichi might actually be able to see her boyfriend.
She'd been putting off telling him that they might not be able to see each other as often. Doing that to Hayate wasn't on her list of fun things to do.
Yuugao had been following the boys for roughly a quarter of an hour now and she had to say they were amusing. Naruto seemed to want to prank the pants off of everyone in sight whereas the young black haired alien was rather well mannered. They couldn't communicate too well so it was mostly just Gohan pouting and trying to prevent Naruto from sabotaging display stands and placing things above doorways.
They were cute; one a miniature devil, the other the voice of reason. Gohan had obviously never wanted for attention, because the boy was actually rather kind. She assumed he had parents where he was from, because he behaved completely differently to the blonde rascal that the entire village resented.
That was something she had never understood. Maybe it was because she didn't lose anyone in the attack? Or because she'd spent enough time with the Hokage that his views were starting to rub off on her, but she didn't think that Naruto should be treated the way he was.
Part of her wanted to jump down and spend time with the two boys but she didn't want to blow her cover if she didn't have to. They'd probably freak out too if they knew she was hanging around them. People didn't like being followed by strangers, even people who actively went out of their way to get the bad kind of attention.
Naruto finally gave up in his attempt to rig a bucketful of water he'd found and filled in an attempt to drench someone at Gohan's request. Gohan had no idea why Naruto was doing what he was doing; why would he do such silly things? Didn't he have anyone to teach him manners?
Oh, right. Orphan.
Still that didn't mean that he should go around pranking people. Maybe that was why those bullies had attacked them?
His mother had too big a hand in raising him for him to prank anyone; she'd never allow such mischief. Part of him wondered what his father would do, he had an idea about that though, because part of him was niggling away in the back of his mind, urging him to go ahead and prank someone. It was all just innocent fun right?
That was what he thought until a loud crash echoed down the street. Looks like someone had tried leaning on something that Naruto had gotten his hands on.
"NARUTO!" a voice screamed down the street, causing the young blonde to look back towards the shop with a shit eating grin on his face before he turned and bolted, causing Gohan to give chase.
"Nah Nah! I'm gonna be Hokage!" He screamed as he sprinted away from the scene of the crime.
Gohan could only wonder what was going on. The only word he'd recognized was 'Naruto' and that was a name. He really hoped he'd pick this language up faster than he was. That guy sounded angry though, so he also hoped he could run faster than him, or at least faster than Naruto.
He liked to think he'd made a difference. That Naruto had pranked less today than he had in the past, but for every prank Gohan had managed to dissuade the blonde from he'd still managed to execute another.
Yuugao had to admit, for someone that liked attention the little shit could definitely be subtle. He might make a good ninja one day if he pulled his head in.
The sun was setting over the village and a small black haired girl with lavender eyes sat on the stairs of her home trying to fight back the tears that were worming their way to the surface.
She was useless. She couldn't stop those bullies from talking down to her and she couldn't stop them from attacking her.
Would she ever amount to anything?
She had just started training with her father and while she was making some progress she could see in his eyes that she wasn't progressing fast enough.
It didn't happen often, but the stern man that was Hiashi Hyuuga would occasionally snap, losing patience with his daughter. He did after all need a strong heir to carry on the legacy of their clan.
What would happen if she couldn't meet his standards? Would he hate her? Did he already hate her?
And then there was Neji. Ever since that fateful night, when those Kumo ninja had taken her uncle, he would look at her with scorn in his eyes and would put her down every chance he got.
Neji hated her. Father hated her. Those mean boys hated her. Was there anyone that didn't hate her?
"Hinata?" a kind voice sounded out from above and turning to look up the young girl saw the one person in the world that didn't hate her.
Hinata quickly tried to hide the bruise that had formed on her face as she turned away from the woman that sat down next to her, the woman's bulging stomach indicating that she was in the final stages of a pregnancy.
"What's wrong Hinata?" her mother asked as she got comfortable, "Who did that to you?" she asked with concern when she saw the dark bruise partially hidden underneath her daughter's hand.
"It's n-nothing," she said. She didn't want her mother to think she was useless as well.
"Come now, it is hardly nothing. Let's go inside and see if we can't find something for that okay?"
"Mother…" Hinata said quietly, not moving from where she sat.
"D-do you th-think I'm useless?"
"Of course not. You are my wonderful daughter. What would make you say that?" she said, pulling her daughter into a hug when the she saw tears running down her face.
Looking up from her mother's embrace Hinata decided to tell her.
"Well, F-father is getting impatient b-because I'm not learning fast enough. I think he hates me. N-neji hates me. Two b-boys yesterday told me I was a useless freak and then h-hit me. I'm just a useless lump and everyone h-hates me"
Her mother's eyes narrowed as she went through why she thought she was useless.
She'd need to talk to Hiashi about what he was doing to Hinata and she needed to find out about these bullies. There wasn't much she could do about Neji though; he'd just have to grow out of that if he could.
Pulling her daughter even closer the kind woman whispered, "You are not useless my beautiful child. You are the most amazing thing to have ever happened to me and I will always love you."
That got Hinata to calm down a little, brining the tears to a halt and a small smile to the girl's features.
"Thanks," Hinata hugged her mother tightly as all her worries disappeared.
It had been a week since the boy's fateful beat down and Gohan was actually starting to get a hang of the language. The boy couldn't speak fluently but after hearing nothing but the foreign language the words were coming to him more easily.
They finished up their chores quickly before they headed out to an open parkland area, this one sitting near a path that ran along the water.
"Okay," Naruto said as he turned to his friend, "let's fight!"
"What?" Gohan wasn't the type to fight for no reason, what exactly was his friend on about?
"Well if we want to be awesome and if we want to stand up to those bullies we need to get better at fighting! So we should spar whenever we get the chance to get better!"
Gohan figured that was a sound idea and got into what he thought was a decent fighting stance.
Only to have Naruto charge him to the ground, easily pushing him over and trying to hit him while he was down. Most of the attacks landed.
"COME ON GOHAN, DODGE! DODGE! DODGE! DO SOMETHING!" the blonde screamed. He wasn't hitting Gohan as hard as he could, but he was making an example of him for letting him get the advantage.
Gohan quickly came to his senses, otherwise it wouldn't be long before he'd be seeing stars, and blocked a punch, pushing the boy off and punching him in the chest, allowing him room to back away and get to his feet.
As they both got to their feet, panting, they heard a small giggle, causing both of their heads to snap in the direction of the sound.
There was a small girl standing and watching them from a distance. She had strange lavender, almost white, eyes and long black hair and she looked to be trying to cover her face with her hands. Occasionally she would move her hands away from her face, pushing her two index fingers together, before she went back to hiding behind them.
"W-what are you two doing?" she asked timidly through her hands when they looked over to her. She approached them slowly.
After her ordeal with the bullies a week ago she wasn't taking any chances and her escort was sitting on the bench she'd just gotten up from, making sure to keep an eye on her. After her father had found out about the incident she hadn't gotten much alone time.
Hinata normally wouldn't have ever bothered talking to these boys, but they were curious. They looked like they were getting along, until the blonde started to beat the other one up. She could only wonder why.
"What does it look like? We were sparring," Naruto said loudly, annoyed that this girl couldn't work it out.
She giggled again, "That's not how you spar silly, that's just roughhousing," she said with a smile. Hinata didn't get a nasty feeling from these two like the two boys yesterday. Maybe they were nicer? Maybe they'd be her friends?
"Aren't those the same things?"
The shy girl shook her head; she knew the difference. Her father was training her to be the head of the clan after all.
"Here," Hinata said as she finally made her way to them, getting into a stance, "you spar like th…"
Before she could even begin her explanation her bodyguard interrupted her.
"Hinata-sama, it is time to leave, leave that riff-raff alone,"
He'd entertained her curiosity for a little while, but she was getting too friendly with the Kyuubi and that black haired orphan. Well he figured he was an orphan. The only way he'd be hanging around that blonde was if he had no one to tell him otherwise.
Gohan was disappointed that the cute black haired girl that had mustered the courage to talk to them had to leave, and he didn't like the way that the guard had addressed them.
"What's your name?" the half-Saiyan called out after the girl as she left them alone, "I'm Gohan!"
"I'm Hinata," she said just loud enough for him to hear as she walked away with a sad expression on her face. She might have been able to make some friends.
Hinata just wanted people her age to play with.
Before Gohan could ponder on the situation any longer his blonde friend called out to him, "DODGE!"
"What?" Gohan's question was swiftly answered when a fist bounced off his face, knocking him back.
"Hey I wasn't ready!"
"So?" Naruto asked with a shit-eating grin on his face; you had to be ready all the time.
"Good point," Gohan added before charging back to attack.
The two boys roughhoused for the rest of the afternoon, having the time of their lives.
Yuugao couldn't help but laugh at the two youngsters as they rolled around on the ground beating the snot out of each other, with Naruto shouting 'DODGE!' every time he went to attack. While not very ninja-like it made for great entertainment as she sat up in the tree trying hard to stay professional as she kept an eye on the spectacle.
It wasn't long before the sun began to set in the sky and she heard Kakashi land beside her in the trees.
"How is everything?" The silver haired man asked, coming to a complete stop, his face buried in Icha Icha.
"You know sometimes I think you shouldn't be doing this job if all you do is read that smut. What if these two kids get taken while you're busy jerking off somewhere?"
"What? Starting to get attached to these kids are you Yuugao?" Kakashi said with an eyesmile before he turned back to his book and added, "You know I'd never let that happen,"
The ANBU was lucky her mask covered the blush that crept up her face at Kakashi's accusation. She enjoyed watching them have a good time together that was for sure. Whenever she'd seen Naruto around the village before Gohan he'd always been miserable. And now, well, he was like any other regular kid playing with his best friend.
Maybe she was getting a little sentimental. She had spent most of her waking hours tailing these kids until they could start getting more shinobi on the squad. They'd just had Yamato join the group as more relief protection. The now two expert ANBU in Itachi and Yamato had other duties to attend to, but they were trusted enough by the Hokage that they would help out whenever they could. She liked Yamato's attitude, but she wasn't sure about Itachi, he seemed a little too good to be true.
She stopped wondering when Kakashi cleared his throat, "Well, you can go now," he said calmly.
"Oh, right," she said, having snapped out of her stupor, and with that the former bodyguard of the Hokage went to see if Hayate wasn't working. It'd been a while since they'd got any time to go on anything resembling a date.
Hinata was disappointed that she hadn't been able to make friends with the two boys at the park. They'd seemed nice enough, even if the blonde one had been hitting the black haired one. He seemed okay though; he mustn't have been hurt.
Walking into the house, making sure to take her shoes off she said goodbye to her escort and went to find her mother and tell her all about her adventures for the day.
"Mother?" Hinata called out quietly when she reached the master bedroom.
"Come in Hinata," a weak voice said from beyond the threshold. There was something wrong. Her voice was normally much more vibrant. What had happened?
Opening the door slowly the young Hyuuga poked her head in to find an amazing sight.
Her mother was smiling, "You have a new baby sister Hinata," she said.
She was lying under the covers of the bed, more pale than usual, holding a small bundle of cloth; cloth that contained Hinata's new little sister!
"Does she have a name?" Hinata asked excitedly as she ran up to the side of the bed, the pitter-patter of her feet hitting the floor loud in the silence of the room.
"This Hinata, is Hanabi," her mother said with a smile, "She was born half and hour ago so your Father has been and gone, but you can stay as long as you like if you want,"
Hinata beamed as she sat on the side of the bed with her mother and her baby sister, nodding in affirmation.
(One Week Later)
"So what do you want to do today?" Naruto asked his one and only friend Gohan.
"Ummmm, how about we go look at the shops? I want to see all the cool stuff you can buy here," Gohan said.
"Surely it's the same stuff from your village," the blonde, replied. Confused as to why Gohan was so excited about looking at things they didn't have the money to buy, "besides, the shopkeepers don't really like me, I don't know why," he added dejectedly.
"Well that's strange. My mom always taught me to be courteous and kind, I wonder why they don't like you. You're the coolest guy ever!" Gohan said enthusiastically, although his heart felt the pang of pain that was brought about with the memory of his mother.
"Yeah well don't ask me, I don't have a clue,"
"Well maybe if we go in and ask nicely they'll let us look around." Gohan said hopefully. Aside from the bullies Gohan hadn't really met anyone mean in Konoha. He didn't think the head mistress at the orphanage was mean; she was just stern.
Sure people ignored him and Naruto, but he thought that was because they were orphans. It was rude, but he had Naruto so it didn't matter.
Gaining the confidence to walk into a shop Gohan pulled Naruto along with him.
Not three seconds later they were being thrown out, "STAY OUT OF MY SHOP IF YOU CAN'T BUY ANYTHING, ESPECIALLY YOU BLONDIE!"
Gohan was confident that it was just the one mean shopkeeper. But his confidence took hit after hit as they went to shop after shop and were thrown out.
Occasionally a shopkeeper would let them look around for a little while before asking them to leave politely.
Other times they wouldn't even get a foot in the door before they were yelled at.
The only people Gohan could say that were nice to Naruto in the slightest were the old man and his daughter that worked at the ramen place. They didn't look at them with scorn or completely ignore them. The aged man even smiled at Naruto as they walked past to try and cheer him up.
Too bad they didn't have any money to sit down and eat there. He seemed like a nice guy.
At the end of the ordeal both of them looked dejected as they sat down on a park bench. The wind was blowing their hair around and rustling the leaves of the trees nearby, making it more difficult for anyone to overhear their conversation. They'd need to be sitting in the tree directly above the bench to overhear the conversation. Not that they were worried if someone overheard them.
"Told you they don't like me," Naruto said sadly.
"What have you ever done to get them to hate you?" Gohan asked, concerned for his friend.
"I don't know. I mean I prank them sometimes, you know that," He put his head in his hands as tears started forming at the edges of his eyes, "But that's only because they ignore me,"
Gohan was amazed. His blonde friend always seemed so full of life and energy. This was the first time that he realized that without each other they were both alone in the world.
He'd stick by his friend. He wouldn't let anything come between them. Otherwise they'd be alone again. Gohan didn't want to ever feel that loneliness again. He still felt it from time to time. But he knew there had to be some way to get back to his family.
Yuugao couldn't help feeling sorry for the Jinchuuriki below her. She was finally starting to realize how tough the kid had had it until now. And then Gohan had come into his life and he was actually starting to be livelier. He had a spark in his eyes that she'd never seen before.
Gohan turned to his friend, pulling his feet up onto the bench as he wrapped his arms around his knees to stop his legs falling back to the ground, "What were those cool metal knives and discs that we saw in one of the shops?" Gohan asked, wondering just what they were used for. They looked deadly.
"They were kunai and shuriken," Naruto said wiping the tears from his eyes with a small smile forming on his lips, "Ninja use them and one day I'm going to use them when I become the greatest shinobi ever and become Hokage!"
All Gohan could do was laugh. "So you want to be one of those cool guys with the masks?" Naruto had explained to Gohan that if you wanted to be cool you had to be a ninja and pointed out some of the coolest ninja in the village whenever they were around. The ANBU and the jounin.
Yuugao had to admit, ANBU were pretty cool.
"Nah even cooler. The Hokage is the head of the entire village and he has an awesome hat!" Naruto was just getting more and more fired up as he spoke about his dream.
"I'm gonna go to the academy and learn to be a ninja and then I'm gonna be so awesome they'll just have to make me Hokage, dattebayo!" Naruto yelled to no one in particular, he stood up on the bench and raised a fist in the air, "No one's gonna stop me!"
"Hahahaha that sounds awesome," Gohan said, glad his friend was back to normal.
Naruto calmed down and sat back on the bench, "So what do you want to do when you get older?"
"I want to go back home,"
"Where is your home? Where is that funny language from?" Naruto asked, curious as to where his friend was from and where in the elemental nations they spoke that strange tongue.
"Ummm," Gohan said, looking down at his hands. Unsure as to what he would tell his best friend. He didn't want his friend to think he was nuts, "I don't know if want to tell you, you might think I'm crazy and laugh at me,"
"Oh come on it can't be that bad, I promise I'll believe you!" Naruto exclaimed, he wanted to know more about his friend.
"Okay, well…," Gohan looked around to make sure no one could hear them before leaning over to his friend and whispering in his ear. With each passing second the look on Naruto's face continued to get more ridiculous.
"YOU'RE AN ALIEN!?" he exclaimed when Gohan was finished.
"SHHHHHH," Gohan shushed him as best he could while his friend reacted to the news.
Gohan was worried. He didn't want to lose his only friend. But he hadn't want to lie to him either.
Naruto's face went through a number of expressions as he tried to process the information Gohan had just given him.
How his dad had to fight an alien while Gohan was trapped in a space ship. And how that space ship had taken off and he'd crash landed here. And how his dad was the strongest fighter on his planet. But even still he didn't know if his dad or anyone else had survived.
When he looked like he'd finally processed the information he turned to Gohan with a serious look on his face.
Before he broke into a massive grin, "THAT IS SO COOL! MAN YOU SHOULD HAVE TOLD ME EARLIER, DATTEBAYO!"
Yuugao laughed at all the noise the young boy was making. She couldn't have done anything to stop Gohan from telling Naruto without blowing her cover. Besides she didn't really want to stop him. Naruto would have found out eventually if their friendship so far was anything to go by.
If he could tell Naruto his story it also meant that he could tell the Hokage. She'd inform the head of the village when she got the chance, so he could act on it when he deemed fit.
Then Naruto realized what that meant for his friend.
"But what if you can't get back?" Now it was Naruto's turn to be concerned for his friend.
"There has to be a way," Gohan said, the slight waver in his voice the only thing that revealed the inkling of doubt that had been forming in his mind.
Naruto didn't want to put his friend down. But they didn't have that kind of technology. At least he didn't think they did.
"But what if you can't?"
"I, I don't know what I'll do," Gohan said, tears forming in his eyes this time.
"Well, why don't you become a ninja like me! We can be ninja together and stop bad things from happening!"
This seemed to get the boy to cheer up a little as he thought about being strong enough to stop evil people like Raditz.
"Okay, I'll become a ninja if I can't find a way home." A slight smile touching his lips for a second.
Yuugao was proud of the little rascals. If they were always like this she had a feeling nothing would stand in their way. Gohan was the best thing to ever happen to the small blonde Jinchuuriki of Konoha.
Reapplying herself to the task at hand after her little moment the young prodigy ANBU realized something was wrong. She didn't know what it was, but she had a feeling in her gut. A feeling that something bad was about to happen to the two youngsters sitting below her.
That was when the attack came.
A kunai flashed from a tree on the opposite side of the park with blinding speed.
Reacting in time to launch a shuriken that would knock the kill-shot off path Yuugao turned to find a rogue ANBU lunging at her from behind.
She quickly fell backwards from the tree, landing next to the boys, but before they could say anything Yuugao spoke up, "Gohan, Naruto, you are both in danger, stay near me and I'll keep you safe,"
The ANBU that had attacked her dropped from the tree, his features covered by a bear mask, while another sprinted out from the other side of the clearing her mask depicting a ferret.
Ferret quickly came to a stop out of reach of Yuugao as she tried to protect the two children. They were surrounded, and Yuugao knew that as fast as she was, she wasn't going to be able to get both of them out of harm's way if she tried to flee.
The question then became, could she protect them while fighting two combatants?
What she was most surprised by though was that the attack came in broad daylight and while the park was mostly empty Yuugao could spot a few civilians playing with their children and a young Hyuuga and her bodyguard.
There were witnesses. What were they thinking?
"What? W-what's going on?" Gohan was afraid; these two people had weapons, those kunai things that looked deadly. But what he couldn't work out was why they were in danger. These guys were those ANBU Naruto always pointed out. Weren't they the good guys?
He recognized the Cat mask on the woman that was protecting them. But why was she even in the tree above them to begin with? What was going on?
Naruto looked just as confused as he stood next to his friend, fear in his eyes. Why were they in danger? What was going on? His thoughts and fears mimicked Gohan's.
"You don't have to do this," Yuugao said as she tried to prevent them from advancing any further.
"You think you can stop us?" Bear said as he took another step toward the boys, "it's two against one. And even if we fail there will be others. Don't think that just because we didn't protest to the Hokage's actions that we agree with them!" he lunged at Gohan in an angry strike, intent on taking a life.
"Stay away from my friend!" Naruto yelled at the strange man, stepping between the masked assailant and Gohan.
Gohan watched as the attacker charged toward them, his best friend standing before the threat. The power inside of him grew, threatening to burst out as he prepared to fight the two people that were endangering his friend!
The angry ANBU hesitated just enough at the sight of the blonde in his way for Yuugao to step between the two and separate the man's arm at the elbow with her blade, her blade a silver blur as she unsheathed it and struck in one swift motion.
Ferret had been charging from the other side at the same time, but seeing her partner go down hard gave her just the slightest falter in her step. Yuugao capitalized on the error, turning her body and dashing past the boys in a burst of speed, putting her blade straight through the kunoichi before she could harm Gohan.
She might have been fifteen years old, but there was something to be said for her skills if she had been a bodyguard to the Hokage. She wasn't going to be bested by two regular ANBU. Not when these boys' lives were at stake.
Just as quickly as the power within the small boy had emerged it was gone again. The threat was gone and with it any chance for Yuugao to work out exactly what was going on.
Gohan turned to say thank you but was stopped as the mysterious Cat held up her hand to stop him from speaking. She stalked over to the shinobi that was still alive. His hand lying twitching on the ground.
He made to throw two shuriken with his off-hand but they were easily intercepted by Yuugao's blade before she lifted it and drove into his torso, pinning him to the ground, protective anger surfacing for just a second.
"Why?" she seethed. Bending down to take off the mask.
"I was not…" the shinobi spluttered his words barely a whisper in the ears of Yuugao, "We were not going to raise a child in a world that contained such a monster,"
"You're wrong," Yuugao said coolly, feeling nothing for what she had done to this man now, "You're the monster. A monster that tried to kill two innocent little children who don't know any better!" She twisted the blade, ending the encounter, the life quickly fading from his eyes.
Gohan and Naruto were both stunned after what had happened. It had only been moments but now both of their attackers were dead, and they were saved. Thanks again to this mysterious Cat. Only this time the stakes had been higher.
The masked woman unrolled a scroll she extracted from her vest before placing it on the body of the dead man. It disappeared in a puff of smoke and she moved to do the same with the woman before Gohan finally spoke up.
"Thankyou Cat-sama," he said, unsure of how to actually respond to the situation. He was shaken, but for some reason he hadn't felt as afraid as he thought he should have, "Why did they want to hurt us? What did the Hokage say? What is going on?" Why did anyone want to hurt them?
"I cannot answer that boys, only know that I'm here to protect you," she bent down over the body of the woman, it too disappearing in a puff of smoke after the scroll was placed on her chest, "You will have answers, just not from me."
She disappeared in a shun-shin. It was hard to just leave them when she wanted to comfort them, to try and explain the situation, but she needed to report this and she'd just seen Kakashi land in the tree above the park bench where the boys had been sitting. They had protection and the Hokage had to know.
"There has been another attempt at the boy's life, in broad daylight this time with witnesses. The two of them have questions and no doubt rumours will spread within the public," the masked girl said, tossing the scroll containing the bodies of the dead onto the desk, "the attackers bodies are in that,"
"What?!" the Hokage said, slamming the desk. He'd thought that maybe things had started to cool down. There had only been the one attempt on Gohan's life since the incident, but this made two. Then again there were still attempts on Naruto's life on the odd occasion. When someone got it in their head that it was a good idea to try and rid the village of the Kyuubi.
What disturbed him though was the brazenness of the attack.
He composed himself before continuing, being shocked or outraged would do no good now.
"You say it was in broad daylight with witnesses?" He had no idea what would possess someone to make an attempt like that.
"Yes, it was a duo. Two ANBU, and it was an angry attack, or an attack out of fear of Gohan. I'd probably say the latter, considering what I was told. The male attacker said that they would not raise a child in a world that had such a monster in it,"
The Hokage sighed. This did not bode well for the two little orphans.
"And what of Gohan and Naruto? Did they hear any of this?" the Hokage didn't need either of them finding out about the power they contained at such an early age.
"Nothing to do with a monster, but obviously they have questions about why they came under attack during the middle of the day," Yuugao had wanted to tell them. But it was not her place to say, it was up to the Hokage.
Hiruzen went to speak but his agent cut him off, "Hokage-sama, there's something else. I felt it again,"
"The power you felt during the bully attack?" The god of shinobi really needed to find out if this energy within the boy was a threat. Could he control it? That was his primary concern. For all he knew this boy had two hearts and could bench-press a grown man.
They hadn't run any tests yet so for all they knew the only difference they knew of at the moment was his tail. But this power kept cropping up and he had no idea as to what the source of it was.
"Hai. This time it was gone just as quickly. There was no time for me to try and analyze it. We were still under attack,"
"That's okay, protecting them was the priority, but we'll need to investigate this further," the Hokage sighed, he really didn't need to deal with any of this, but he was the only one that could, "Anything else to report Cat?"
"Yes, I believe Gohan is ready to tell his story. I'm not sure what he told Naruto, but I think he told him more than we know. I'm not sure how he'll feel about talking after today though."
"Well there always is a silver lining, if he trusts Naruto enough to tell him his origins then they must be getting along extremely well, yes?"
"Yes, Hokage-sama, Gohan may be the best thing to have happened to Naruto. They act almost like brothers, even after this short period of time," Yuugao couldn't help but start feeling for the fate of her two charges. Naruto was almost a different person with Gohan around.
"That is good to hear," Hiruzen said with a slight smile. It really was good to hear that the two boys were getting along, now if only he could prevent the attempts on their lives, he sighed again, "I'll let the boy settle in some more before I get the story from him. Dismissed"
"Hai," Yuugao didn't necessarily believe in that course of action, but the Hokage was the Hokage so she disappeared without another word.
Hinata was confused as she stood in the park. She'd seen the start of the attack on the two boys. The two that she was rather fond of after their first encounter.
They didn't seem to hate her. Not like everyone else did. So why were they attacked?
Why did people hate them? They seemed nice enough.
There was too much hate in the village. That was the only conclusion that made sense to the little girl. She only knew of one nice person in the entire village.
There might have been two more, but she hadn't been allowed to talk to them. Her father had ordered it. Maybe he didn't want her to meet people that might be nice to her?
Her bodyguard, the one that only pretended to like her because of who she would grow up to be and who didn't let her talk to the boys, had covered her eyes before the violence had started and walked her away.
Just before they'd walked too far she managed to turn to look at the scene that had unfolded and she was glad.
The funny boys were okay. That was all that mattered. The nice people had beaten the mean people. Now if only she could do that.
(Later Haruno Residence)
While they had been out that day Sakura had seen a black haired boy that she actually thought was kind of cute once again hanging around the blonde haired rascal that her mother was always telling her to stay away from.
She had seen them in the park talking with the strange blonde boy standing up, declaring that he was going to become a great ninja but she didn't see much of what happened after that. There had been a disturbance and her mother had covered her eyes. When she had been allowed to see, there had been nothing to see except the two boys standing in the park and her mother had said it was time to go home.
"Mother," Sakura asked over dinner, "why does that little boy walk around with the blonde you don't like? And what happened today in the park?"
It took only a fraction of a second for her to work out whom her daughter was talking about, "I don't know darling. But you should stay away from both of them,"
Even she had to wonder though. Why did the boy hang around with Naruto? And why had the hero of the moment in Cat, the mysterious ANBU, been seen following them on occasion. Hell, why had she defended them today in the park?
She was a civilian, but she knew an attempt at someone's life when she saw one. Question was though, had they been attacking that boy or Naruto?
Surely she wasn't just following and protecting Naruto? They'd never seen her following the blonde before.
An attack occurs, a small boy appears who has no problem hanging around with a Jinchuuriki and Cat, the hero of the attack is seen protecting him. Maybe he was another Jinchuuriki? She'd have to discuss this with her friends. They needed answers if such a threat existed!
She'd not have her daughter walking around in a village with two ticking time bombs if he really was a vessel for a foul demon.
Sakura looked to ask why but she cut her daughter off, "No buts. They are bad news and you should stay away okay?"
The little pink haired girl just nodded. She didn't argue with her mother. She was always right.
(That Night – The Orphanage)
After the attack the two orphans had made their way back to the orphanage. Despite how they had both reacted under pressure the two were still shaken and needed somewhere familiar. Somewhere they felt safer, neither of them had noticed the silver haired shinobi that had followed them.
"Hey Naruto," Gohan said in a whisper as the two lay in their respective beds.
"Thanks for standing up for me today," Gohan had really appreciated what Naruto had done during the fight.
"Any time bud," Naruto replied softly, a grin on his face that Gohan couldn't see in the darkness.
"Why do you think we were attacked?"
"I don't know," The blonde scratched his head in the darkness as he lay on his back, "Maybe I can ask Ji-ji when I see him next, he might be able to tell us,"
"Do you think we'll be safe though?" Gohan had thought that evil people like Raditz weren't in this village. He'd thought wrong. Now he was worried for his friend as much as himself.
"You saw that Cat lady. She was awesome, she'll protect us,"
"Damn straight I will," Yuugao said under her breath as she sat in the rafters with Kakashi, the man turning to her.
"You really don't need to be here," he said, she needed to get her rest.
"I know, but I couldn't sleep. I needed to check on them," Yuugao said, "Do you think they'll be okay?"
Kakashi deadpanned, turning to look at her, "Kid, I've been doing this a lot longer than you. They'll be fine, now get some sleep."
"O-okay," she said, still unsure that she wanted to leave but he was right, she needed sleep. She slipped out of the orphanage without a further sound as Kakashi kept watch over the two children that were just now drifting to sleep.
Kakashi couldn't help but notice how restless Gohan was in his sleep. He'd noticed it a lot of other nights as well. That kid must have some serious trauma. Most nights Kakashi had been on protection the kid never got a good sleep.
Again Gohan dreamt of Raditz destroying his family and friends, one by one, only this time it was different. This time there were two strangers, two blurs with strange masks, stabbing his best friend through the heart.
It wasn't the first night that the boy had woken from his sleep with a start, and it wouldn't be the last.
(One Week Later)
Hinata was starting to get worried. She wasn't sure what was wrong, but her mother was still looking as pale as she had been the day she'd given birth to her little sister. She'd not been out of her bed that often, one of the times that she'd left they'd had a photograph of the family taken.
That day Hinata had thought she was starting to feel better but it hadn't been the case. Her mother had spent the next five days mostly bed-ridden. They weren't sure what was wrong, and the medic-nin that had been called in to help her weren't able to diagnose the problem.
They just had to wait to see if she would get better, so that was what Hinata was doing. She'd just finished a training session with her father, who once again seemed disappointed with her progress.
After showering and getting dressed she'd come to sit next to her mother, as she lay bedridden, weak and pale.
Hinata brought her something to eat, and she was having trouble even feeding herself, the young Hyuuga having to spoon feed her own mother.
Lifting an arm weakly she signaled her daughter to stop.
"Hinata," she said in barely a whisper.
"Yes mother? What is it? W-what can I do?" Hinata said, eager to help her mother in any way possible.
"Not much," the kindest woman she knew said with a weak smile, "just remember that I love you, and I will always love you. Never let anybody tell you that you are useless, because you are amazing, and you will do great things one day, okay?"
"O-okay," Hinata whispered, the fear starting to show in her eyes, "but, but why are you telling me this mother? You are going to be fine! You're going to be fine right?"
Her mother just weakly smiled before the life faded from her eyes and she whispered a final "I love you," her hand falling limp in the grasp of her eldest daughter.
The hooded and masked shinobi stood before Danzou, his hands outstretched before him, a small microchip resting on his fingertips.
"Danzou-sama, I've infiltrated the research division. With all the work they are doing on the craft it was easy, with the right connections, to get a small position within their ranks, a position where I can make things go missing quite easily."
"Good," The elder of Konoha said, picking up the small microchip, inspecting it, "get our men onto deciphering its secrets straight away. We might still pull through this mess if it goes to hell."
"Hai Danzou-sama," the masked Root agent said before disappearing without a sound.
"I'll not let some bout of sentimentality undermine this village Hiruzen," Danzou said as he made his way back to the surface, "if you won't be strong, I'll be strong enough for the both of us."
(The Next Day - Midday)
"Did you hear? There was an attack on Konoha! Some people passing through have seen the damage done to the woodlands. Apparently it's incredible. They don't know what could have caused that much damage. It goes for ages. Some people even said there are massive craters miles apart! What do you think did it?"
Jiraiya's ears pricked up as he heard what the two civilians at the table next to him were saying. As much as writing was important to him this sounded serious. Why hadn't the Hokage called for him?
Right, because he moved around so much. Guess the old man figured he'd find out sooner or later.
While he had been following leads on Orochimaru, he'd just hit a dead end. Guess now was as good a time as any to head back and see what all the fuss was about. From the sounds of the damage this was serious. He hoped no one was injured. He'd be distraught if one of the fine kunoichi of his village had been hurt.
Giggling at the thought of peeking on the women of Konoha again he packed up his equipment and headed out, looking to get some distance covered before nightfall.
(Iwagakure, Tsuchikage's Office)
"Did you hear that Tsuchikage-sama? Konoha came under attack, what do you think the damage is?"
The hunched old man wondered what exactly had attacked the village he so despised; home to Namikaze Minato, before his demise at the hands of the Kyuubi no Yoko. Not many forces were game enough to go head on with the village hidden in the leaves.
"I don't know, but we need recon if we are going to act on it," if Konoha was weakened he wasn't going to pass up this chance to finally knock them from their pedestal.
But first he needed intel. This wasn't going to happen overnight.
All over the elemental nations the news of an attack on Konoha was spreading. The damage having been done to the village going from a truthful nothing, to being exaggerated beyond belief as the Elemental Nations played Chinese whispers.
Small nations began militarizing while the larger nations began gathering intel, trying to find out if the one great village might be toppled in the near future.
One particular party that was very interested in the fate of the village hidden within the leaves was a very powerful man. A man with many fingers in many pies.
That was if you could call him a man; he looked more like a snake.
So hope you didn't think the chap was too long, seeing as how it was pretty much the length of the story so far hahah, anyway until next time :) Ciao!