I don't own Naruto or Naruto Shippuden, all rights go to Masashi Kishimoto. I also don't own the image cover of this story. This is an AU Story, so there will be many changes, and I can't list them all without giving away too much of the story. What I can tell you though is that there will be big drastic changes and tiny changes alike. First off this is a NaruHina story, I'm laying this flat out in the open because previously people had thought otherwise. Second, there won't be any character bashing. When I say this what I mean is that there will be no one person that everyone hates, and that just like in the original Naruto everyone will have their time to shine. Beyond that...well let's just say this is a different direction that could have been taken with the Naruto series. Okay then, this is the Prologue so please read, enjoy and review.
It was almost pitch black out when the cry of a newborn baby boy rang throughout the entire Hidden Leaf Village. The newborn wailed with all his lung power, for somewhere deep down, he knew that just moments ago the lives of his parents had been lost. Their names...Minato Namikaze and Kushina Uzumaki.
This baby boy had spiky blonde hair and a circular seal on his stomach, the seal itself was not meant for the boy, but for what was inside of him, the Nine Tailed Fox. The seal was designed to keep this demon fox locked away inside of this boy. This seal was placed upon him by none other than his very own Parents.
As the Fourth Hokage, Minato's obligation was to protect the people of the Hidden Leaf Village at all costs. So He did the unthinkable and sacrificed his life in order to seal the Nine Tailed Fox within his very own Son.
This boy's name was...Naruto. And little could anyone know just how big of an impact this boy would have upon the world.
Four Years Later...
Hiruzen Sarutobi otherwise known as the Third Hokage sighed as he realized just how endless the paperwork would be. It was barely noon and there was already a mountain of it. He hasn't had a decent break within the last four years, mostly because of the ramifications of the Fourth's death and the son he left behind.
Of course the fact that Naruto Uzumaki is Minato's own flesh and blood has been kept under wraps, this piece of important information only known to a handful of individuals, and every single one was a Shinobi.
The Third Hokage sighed once more at the thought of Naruto, the boy was currently in an orphanage. No one would take the boy in at least not while knowing that he held the Nine Tails within him. While few knew of Naruto's lineage, everyone in the village who wasn't below the age of sixteen knew what was inside the young boy. And a few people who were even younger knew of this as well, mostly because it was hard to keep it a secret that dark fateful night.
And because Hiruzen has been so busy, he also couldn't take care of Naruto, so he had no choice but to put him in an orphanage. It wasn't very difficult to persuade them to let Naruto in, not if you were the Hokage that is. But Hiruzen had no idea what the orphanage was doing to Naruto at that exact moment. Because if he did, then there would be pain, imprisonment and possible executions.
Naruto couldn't fight back as he was literally pushed out the back door of the orphanage. He turned to face the back entrance so as to reenter the establishment, but the door was slammed in his face. They had said that he was old enough to hold his own now and kicked him out with nothing but the clothes on his back. Said clothes being blue sandals, black pants and a white short sleeve shirt with the Uzumaki symbol on the front.
Naruto felt like crying, he didn't know where to go or what to do. The people in the orphanage had always treated him rudely, ignored him, picked on him, but at least he had a bed and three meals a day. He never understood why they were always so mean, but he didn't ever think they'd go as far as kicking him out. He knew that everyone in the orphanage worked hard to provide food and beds, but he didn't know how he was supposed to do the same.
Naruto couldn't even think of anyone who actually liked him enough to hire him, let alone someone who had work he could actually do. With all of this in mind Naruto couldn't help but start to actually cry. As the tears descended his face, he turned away from the orphanage and began to walk out of the alley the back entrance was in. His head was down as he did this, so he didn't notice that he was about to walk right into someone until he actually did.
Sasuke couldn't help but smile as he walked alongside his older brother Itachi. They were supposed to head to the market and pick a few things up for their Mother so she could make dinner later that day. He didn't get to spend much time with Itachi, mainly because he was almost always busy with training or missions, so he was glad their Mother always sent them to the market together once every month.
Itachi and Sasuke were currently in the middle of a conversation, when some kid bumped into Itachi. Both Sasuke's and Itachi's attention was on the blonde boy as he realized what had happened. Before the boy could wipe the tears from his face, both Itachi and Sasuke noticed them.
As the boy wiped the tears from his face, he spoke, "I'm sorry, I didn't see you there."
Sasuke couldn't help but wonder what had the boy so upset, while Itachi had a pretty good hunch since he recognized the boy as one Naruto Uzumaki, the Jinchuriki of the Nine Tailed Fox. The older Uchiha was the one who spoke next, "It's quite alright. But if you don't mind, I'd like to know why your out here all by yourself."
Now that Itachi mentioned it, Sasuke realized the boy was indeed all by himself, in a back alley no less. Sasuke couldn't help but wonder why, "Why is he all alone? Shouldn't he be inside the orphanage?"
That's when Sasuke realized that this back alley held the back entrance to the orphanage and from there he couldn't help but let his thoughts roam.
Naruto wasn't sure if he should answer the older boy or not, but this was the nicest anyone had been to him today, so he spoke, "I..I'm out here because, because the...the..."
Naruto couldn't help it, he felt like breaking down, he could already feel the tears begin trickling down his face again. He didn't want to cry in front of the strangers who were before him, but he just couldn't keep it together.
As the boy began to choke up Itachi's hunch was proven correct. The orphanage had indeed kicked him out, why else would he be so upset?
As the boy's tears streamed down his face, Itachi crouched down to his level, so as to be face to face with the boy. Itachi didn't like to see people in pain, not one bit. So he did the one thing he could do, he pulled the boy into a hug as he continued to cry. "It's alright, everything'll be okay."
Sasuke was taken back by this display, he rarely ever saw this side of Itachi, the part of him who loved to help people, the part that loathed the thought of others in pain, the part that hated violence. But this was the first time Sasuke had ever seen Itachi show such compassion to a complete and utter stranger. He couldn't help but wonder if Itachi knew something that he didn't about this boy, because that would certainly explain what he was seeing.
Naruto was taken by surprise by the older boy's show of compassion, no one had ever hugged him before. The young blonde couldn't help but begin to cry even harder as Itachi held him. He didn't know what he had done to be forcefully removed from the orphanage, and for the life of him he didn't ever think he would. All he did know was that he stood no chance on the streets, only himself to rely on.
Itachi wasn't sure what to do, he knew that the orphanage would be forced to take him back if he told the Hokage, but what good would that do? They'd just kick him out again eventually. The Hokage himself was too busy to take care of Naruto, and no one else wanted anything to do with him, let alone wanted to take him in. So it seemed to Itachi that he really only had two options, he could either leave Naruto alone out on the streets and report what he saw to the Hokage, or take him back to the Uchiha compound.
Of course there was no way in hell that the clan would accept the young boy into their estate, but Itachi did know that if he could get his Mother on his side then he, Sasuke and their mother could keep him a secret. Itachi also knew that his Mother wouldn't turn Naruto away, not with the promise she had made to his Mother. With these thoughts in mind the young Uchiha finally came to a decision, "That's it then, Naruto will have to come stay with us."
So Itachi quickly began setting up an opportunity to present this option. "You don't have a home, do you?"
Naruto shook his head no as tears continued to slide down his face.
Itachi was silent for a few moments before speaking once more, "Would you like a new one?"
Sasuke's eyes immediately shot over to the older Uchiha, unsure of what he was asking, wondering if his older brother was about to offer what he thought he was going to offer.
Naruto was silent at the older boy's question, he wasn't sure what he meant by it. He couldn't help but wonder, "Would he help me find a new one?"
Naruto looked up at the older boy, tears blurring his vision and answered, his voice shaky, "Yes I would, very much so."
There was almost a full minute of silence after Naruto's answer, because of this the blonde couldn't help but wonder if he shouldn't have said that.
Itachi knew Naruto's answer before he even asked, but he couldn't help but wonder if this was a good idea. However he knew it was too late to back out now, besides he knew that no one else would offer Naruto this. So after a whole minute of silence, he finally spoke up, "Then would you like to come live with my Brother and I?"
Sasuke had a suspicion Itachi was going to ask the boy this, but it still surprised him nonetheless when he did so. Sasuke was proud to be an Uchiha, however he knew that they could be really nasty if they wanted to, resentful as well. But Sasuke also knew his older brother pretty well, he wouldn't just do this for no good reason. He was now certain that Itachi knew something about this boy that he didn't, otherwise he wouldn't be offering to let the boy come stay with the Uchiha.
Naruto was shocked by the older boy's proposition, he wasn't sure what to say. But he knew that he couldn't let this pass him by, he needed somewhere to live. He heavily doubted he could make it on his own. So he wiped most of the tears out of his eyes before speaking, his voice still shaky, "Could I really?"
The older boy simply nodded his head. With confirmation, Naruto spoke one more, his voice slightly less shaky, "I'd like that very much."
Itachi smiled as Naruto agreed to come live with him and his little brother Sasuke. "Well I guess introductions are overdue then, my name is Itachi Uchiha. And this is my little brother, Sasuke Uchiha."
Itachi simply ruffled up Sasuke's hair as he introduced him. Sasuke was glad when he stopped, but he hadn't really tried to fight him off, mainly because he was still confused. The only way he would understand is if he could get Itachi to tell him what he knew about this boy that he himself didn't, he was sure of that.
As the blonde replied to Itachi's statement by giving his name, the shake in his voice almost all gone, Sasuke forgot about his current thoughts for a new set. "I...I'm Naruto Uzumaki. I...it's nice to meet you."
Sasuke felt as if he had heard the name before, it seemed familiar for some reason, but he couldn't quite remember where he had heard it from. And before he could think over it his older brother spoke once more, "Alright then Naruto, come with us. We have some shopping to do, but after we're done we'll head home okay?"
The young blonde couldn't help but like Itachi, the older boy had a comforting smile and a warm presence that no one he had met in his life shared. "O..okay."
Itachi then began leading the way to the market.
As soon as Itachi, Naruto and Sasuke entered the market district all eyes were on the three. But most of the focus was upon Naruto. Sasuke noticed that many of the eyes held resentment within, while others held fear. And Sasuke's head was spinning while he tried to figure out why, no one acted like this when it was just Itachi and him, so it had to have something to do with Naruto. But the young Uchiha couldn't help but wonder, "What could all these adults have against a kid my age? It just doesn't make any sense."
Sasuke then looked over to Naruto, who seemed to noticed the stares much more than he did, as he seemed to be on the brink of tears again. It just kept getting more and more confusing to the young Uchiha. But the most confusing event of the day had yet to come.
It happened when Naruto entered a small store ahead of the two Uchiha brothers. The store clerk, unbeknownst to the company the young blonde had with him, spoke with anger and disgust, "What are you doing in here? Get out you little...brat!"
To Sasuke the word seemed forced, as if the man had wanted to say something else. While to Itachi it was all too clear what the man had actually wanted to say, so he was quick to turn to the store clerk, a frown upon his face as he spoke, "The boy's name is Naruto, and he's with us."
The store clerk was surprised at this, he would never have expected two of the Uchiha clan to be anywhere near Naruto, let alone accompanying him somewhere. But nevertheless the store clerk stayed silent after Itachi's remark, he did not want to lose business from the Uchiha, or even worse have their wrath brought down upon him. So Naruto was left alone inside the store and outside as well, of course that didn't stop people from looking at him with icy stares.
Sakura Haruno couldn't help but feel exposed as the red ribbon in her hair kept her forehead uncovered. She had received the ribbon from her only friend, Ino Yamanaka. Said friend was walking alongside Sakura, both of them on their way to the park. Ino was smiling, glad that she had gotten her pink haired friend to finally expose her forehead. The reason why she was unwilling to do so was because all of the other girls picked on her, saying it was huge, weird and ugly. Sakura on the other hand wished that her blonde haired friend hadn't talked her into it, still regretting the choice. Fearing the teasing she was most likely to receive once they arrived at the park.
Shino Aburame was sitting inside, listening to his Father as he continued to explain their family history to him. From things as how their clan came to be, to the different kind of bugs that have known to be controlled, to rare species of insects, to how each clan member is apart of the Aburame collective, to how the clan as a whole was apart of the village collective and so on and so forth. As the young Aburame listened to all of this, he did so intently, doing his best to learn and memorize his clan's history.
Kiba Inuzuka had just entered his clan home, when he heard the sounds of battle coming from a little ways away, from somewhere in the compound. He followed these sounds until he found their source, said source being his Mother and older Sister, who were having a light sparring match with their Canine companions by their sides. The young Inuzuka quickly became enthralled by the match, soon sitting down and watching every move intently.
Tenten giggled as she continued to play with several other girls in the park, having a good time with her friends. None of them seeming to notice the other two young girls who were close by, getting picked on by a completely set of different girls.
Choji Akimichi sighed as he had just finished explaining to his Father that kids were picking on him because of his weight, and that they had called the Akimichi clan stupid. His Father replied by reassuring Choji that he had a good heart, and that one day he would have a group of friends who were good to him and appreciated his kind heart. That's when Shikamaru Nara walked up onto the rooftop, where he got Choji to move over so that he could lie down in his favorite spot and watch clouds. He asked Choji to join him, and he did, sharing his snacks with him. "Man, this is the life. Sitting back, watching clouds and eating chips."
Choji couldn't help but agree, "Yeah."
Choji's father, Choza, couldn't help but smile at the scene.
The rambunctious Rock Lee couldn't contain his excitement, as in just one years time he would be allowed to enroll within the Ninja Academy. He found it absolutely thrilling, the fact was that it literally couldn't come too soon for him. He was ready and raring to go.
Neji Hyuga smiled as he continued to play with several other Branch members of the Hyuga clan.
Neji's father, Hizashi, watched from afar as his boy played with other Branch members. Each one of them held a large mark on their foreheads, said mark being something awful. All these children had what was known as the Caged Bird Seal upon their foreheads. Of course all of the kids had their seals covered with something, some with hats, some with bandages and others with bandannas. The seal was given to every branch member of the Hyuga clan.
This seal served two main purposes. The first was to keep the clan's Kekkei Genkai, the Byakugan, away from outsiders. Whenever someone with the seal dies, the seal activates and destroys the person's eyes. The second reason is so that the main Hyuga members can keep the branch members in line. All it would take was a single, secret hand sign, and then a main branch member can cause a side branch member severe pain and even death.
This seal was also seen as shameful, that is why branch members covered it up. Hizashi had to use all the will power within him to keep himself from crying at the thought of his son having to go through life like this.
Hinata Hyuga stood hiding behind a wall, peaking out at the branch member children. Unlike all of them, she was apart of the Main house and has not received the Caged Bird Seal.
The young Hyuga girl wanted to play with them, but the last time she approached a branch member they appeared scared and alert, making sure as to be as respectful as possible. All of the fun always stopped when she came around, so she found it best not to bother them anymore. However she couldn't help but yearn to play with the other children, all it ever was with her father, Hiashi Hyuga, was training so as to be an astute and promising Heiress to the Hyuga family. She was nothing short of lonely.
Soon enough Itachi and Sasuke had finished their shopping and were on their way home, Naruto accompanying them. But when they reached the gate of the Uchiha compound, Itachi had to strike up a conversation with the two guards so as to draw their attention from Sasuke and Naruto. This allowed Sasuke to sneak Naruto into the compound.
When Itachi had first told his younger brother that he would have to do this he was damn near appalled, but Itachi reminded Sasuke that Naruto had nowhere to go and no one to rely on, so he agreed. Itachi had already explained that their Mother would have no qualms with Naruto living with them, so Sasuke was to sneak Naruto into his own room. Itachi also explained to Sasuke that their Father would be down right against any mention of Naruto being around any Uchiha once so ever, and this of course worried Sasuke greatly. He wanted nothing more than for his Father to accept him as an individual, for he was always standing within Itachi's ever reaching shadow, unnoticed by anyone as anything but the Uchiha prodigy's little brother.
But nevertheless he did as Itachi said and managed to sneak Naruto into their house, barely. Now all they had to do was cross the kitchen without being seen.
Sasuke turned to Naruto and spoke in a hushed tone "Okay we're almost to my room, now all we have to do is get to it before anyone notices you. On the count of three we're both gonna make a run for it, alright?"
"B...but won't you get in trouble for running in the house?"
"Yeah, but that's a lot easier to handle then explaining to my parents why your here and convincing them to let you stay."
"Good, now one...two...three!"
Sasuke and Naruto both quickly dashed forward, hoping to get through the kitchen quick enough so that no one could see, unfortunately this didn't go as planned.
In mid dash Sasuke's mother Mikoto Uchiha noticed both Naruto and Sasuke, but because Naruto was behind Sasuke it took her more than a moment to realize who it was. "Sasuke you know your not supposed to run in the house. And you still have your shoes on..wait, who's that behind you?"
Mikoto had to stifle a gasp as she realized who it was, she couldn't help but think, "He already resembles his Father, I can't believe how much they look alike already."
Naruto couldn't help but cringe at her gasp, not many people reacted to his presence like that, but enough had for him to guess what she was thinking. Sasuke didn't know what to do, fortunately it was only his mother who had seen Naruto, and Itachi had told him that she would accept Naruto into their home. Of course right now that didn't seem like it was going to happen.
Sasuke wished he knew what to say, but he couldn't think of a single word that could help their situation.
The Third Hokage scowled as he finished reading over the daily report on Naruto's status, throughout the entire thing it was 'Demon this...', 'Monster that...'.
If Hiruzen didn't know better, he would have assumed the local orphanage was trying to antagonize him. His train of thought was not good for the person who wrote the report, "I'll need his name, his address, his work schedule, and there will be a ton of paper work, but if he continues to call Naruto by these names he will be imprisoned."
Hiruzen sighed, he was too old for this job and he knew it. Unfortunately though there was no one he believed to be a adequate successor, at least no one that lived within the village. But before this train of thought could go too far, there was another Jonin entering the Hokage's office with a big stack of paperwork, which immediately required Hiruzen's attention.
Mikoto noticed the cringe Naruto gave and the speechlessness of both of the young boys. So She pulled herself together, but before she could speak Itachi walked into the room. He managed to asses the situation within seconds, as he began to speak, "So you recognize Naruto then, right Mother?"
Sasuke was confused by Itachi's comment, this left him wondering, "Mom doesn't know Naruto, does she?"
Mikoto simply nodded at her eldest's question before speaking, "Why have your brought him here?"
Itachi's gaze hardened at that, "Because he has nowhere else to go."
"I though the orphanage-"
Itachi answered her question before she could finish asking it, "They...kicked him out it seems."
Sasuke then understood why Naruto was all alone, but what he couldn't help but be curious about was why the orphanage had kicked him out. Naruto was confused himself, he couldn't help but wonder, "They know me, but they don't seem like the villagers. I'm so confused."
"I see, so you brought him here when you found him then?"
"Yes, it seems that he wasn't out there for more than five minutes before Sasuke and I stumbled across him."
"That's good, but do you think bringing him here is the best idea?"
"He's got nowhere else to go Mother."
"Right, well then I guess it's settled."
Itachi and Mikoto both turned towards Naruto and Sasuke.
Mikoto crouched down so as to be eye level with Naruto himself as she spoke, "Well then, how would you like to live here, with us Naruto?"