Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto.
It was a quiet morning in Konoha. Most of the ninja teams were away on missions and the Fifth Hokage Tsunade had been forced to send Genin to hunt after Sasuke Uchiha and Orochimaru's agents. Very few people knew that with this new development a certain faction in Konoha had decided that something needed to be done to protect the Konoha's supremacy over the other ninja villages.
Danzo Shimura, former teammate of the late Third Hokage stepped out of the Hokage office, two of his agents close behind him. The old man had an uncharacteriscal smile on his face. Phase one was complete.
A few days later
Naruto slowly opened his eyes and stared at a white ceiling. He looked around and found white walls and several empty beds. 'Dammit I'm in the hospital again'.
He tried to remember how he got here and images from the fight at the valley of the end and of Sasuke floated into his head. He shuddered when he remembered what he had been forced to do to finally beat the Uchiha. Naruto let the fox out to play, after Sasuke had almost killed him by piercing him with a Chidori. The beating the blond Jinchuuriky dished out after that had been extremely brutal, but Naruto was relatively sure that Sasuke had survived and that he hadn't caused any permanent damage.
Then he heard footsteps on the corridor outside his room and excited chattering from someone he knew. He couldn't understand anything, but a minute later Sakura entered his room, a grim look on her face.
"Hey Naruto." She walked towards him.
"Is Sasuke alright? Is he here, too?"
Sakura stopped, standing right next to him.
"Yeah he is in another room and it looks like he will be ok. If Kakashi sensei had found you two an hour later, he might not have made it."
"And the others? What about Choji, Neji, Kiba, Shikamaru and Lee?"
"They will live. Even though Choji and Neji were a really close call."
Naruto nodded relieved and remained silent for a second.
"Naruto. What happened during the fight between you and Sasuke?"
The Uzumaki paled and looked to the ground in shame. He didn't want to tell Sakura how out of hand their fight had become and especially not that Sasuke had used a Chidori to put a huge hole into his chest. After a moment of contemplation he decided to downplay what had happened. He grinned at the pink haired girl and rubbed the back of his head looking apologetically.
"I'm sorry Sakura-chan. Sasuke and I got a bit carried away, but you know how it is. It may look like we hate each others gut's, but in the end none of us really try to harm the other."
"Naruto I saw Sasuke's injuries: You almost tore him apart!"
Naruto looked at her worriedly. He had no idea what to tell her.
"It-It's true, isn't it?"
The way her voice broke and her slight stutter immediately told him that something was very, very wrong.
Naruto looked at her face and he saw tears and that she slightly trembled.
"I didn't want to believe it at first, but you really are the fox, aren't you 'Naruto'?"
Naruto was surprised at first. And then terrified.
"W-what are you talking about, Sakura?"
She turned away from him.
"I don't know for how long you impersonated my teammate, but you will pay for what you have done, Kyuubi."
"Sakura I am not the Kyuubi! It's me, Naruto! I am sorry that I hurt Sasuke so bad, but I had no other choice!"
The pink haired girl just shook her head.
"Even Tsunade-sama has seen through your deception. You are finished, demon."
If it was even possible Naruto became more frightened. What was she talking about? There was no way his surrogate mother believed this, too. Was there?
He fell silent, unable to form words.
Sakura walked away without saying anything else towards her teammate. Shortly before reaching the door to the hospital corridor she called out.
A team of Konoha Anbu entered the room. They ignored the pink haired Genin and went right towards Naruto. Naruto offered barely any resistance as they shackled him and placed chakra-suppression-seals on him. Then the anbu dragged Naruto away and Sakura just stared after them.
A few hours later Shino Aburame, Hinata Hyuuga and Tenten were summoned to the I&T department. They were the only ones of the Konoha 12 who were neither hospitalized nor already informed of the complete situation. Yuuhi Kurenai was currently explaining things to the rookies.
"S-so h-he has the K-kyuubi sealed inside of him?" Inside Hinata was screaming but she tried to remain as calm as possible on the outside.
"Yes, the council believes the beast has been manipulating him for quite a while now. They think that under Danzo he can at least still be used as a power to defend the leaf."
Tenten asked: "Isn't it strange that Lady Tsunade so far treated him like a little brother or son and now she pretty much throws him away? I mean he just completed his mission successfully. No innocent was hurt or killed."
"I don't know about that, I guess Lady Tsunade was convinced by the council's arguments."
The usually silent Shino spoke up for once "Can we talk to Naruto-san? He may be a monster but he still was a comrade for quite some time."
"I don't know, it may be a bad idea for you to meet him now."
Hinata looked towards her mentor with pleading eyes.
"P-please Kurenai-sensei. There is s-something that I have to do."
Kurenai looked at Hinata and sighed, she couldn't deny the girl such a heartfelt request. She shrugged and motioned the ninjas to follow. The Jonin they met directioned them to a dark looking corridor with several cell doors. Kurenai knew that there was no way to contact whoever was in the cell in question so they had to wait. Luckily for them it took only 10 minutes before the cell door opened and Kakashi stepped out. He had a grim look on his face, on his metal reinforced gloves was some blood. Through the cell door they could see Naruto. He was chained to a chair, his chest was bare and sweaty. He had his head lowered but the people outside could still see that he was crying silently and his face was bruised and bloody.
"Hello Kurenai. What are they doing here?" Kakashi asked pointing towards the group of rookies.
"Hi Kakashi. They want to talk to Naruto."
"I don't think that is a good idea. They should realise that Naruto is not who he pretended to be. He is the beast that killed countless of our leaf shinobi and my sensei."
"K-kakashi-san?" Kakashi was surprised to hear the timid Hinata Hyuuga speak up. "P-please let me t-talk to N-Naruto. L-like you I h-have a score to settle with him."
Kakashi looked surprised to the determined looking Hyuuga girl.
"H-his stupid act m-made me fall f-for who he p-pretended to be. I w-want to g-give him a piece of my m-mind. P-please Kakashi-san I n-need to do this to get over him f-for good."
Kakashi nodded, her argument made sense. "Alright. But Kurenai or I will stay with you."
"N-No! I h-have to d-do this alone!"
Kakashi contemplated this for a minute then he nodded and motioned for her to enter the cell.
Trembling Hinata entered the cell and closed the heavy steel door behind her. Then she poured some chakra into the seals that covered all the walls and the door itself and they began to glow in a soft blue light. She briefly activated her Byakugan. The seals were clearly working, even with her special eyes she couldn't look outside and she was sure that as long the seals were active no sound would be able to go into or out of the cell either. This filled her with a strange calm. She had all the time in the world to do what needed to be done and no one would be able to intervene. She couldn't really believe her luck having managed to be left alone with Naruto and she wasn't going to let this chance go to waste.
Hinata turned towards Naruto. Tears were still running down his cheeks. She walked towards him, sat down in his lap and embraced him in a hug to comfort him. Normally Hinata would have never been able to do anything like this but now in the safety of the cell she found the courage she needed to help him.
"H-Hinata?" Naruto was surprised. The girl had just talked about her having a score to settle with him and now she was hugging him. In a compromising position no less.
"Shhh Naruto-kun, it's ok. I'm sorry about the things I said, but I really needed to talk to you."
Naruto registered somewhere in his mind that she wasn't stuttering, but that was rather unimportant right now. Naruto leaned into the girl's shoulder and cried.
A few minutes later Naruto had recovered enough that he was able to talk again.
"Sakura and Kakashi-sensei both think that I'm a monster … the Kyuubi. "
"Naruto-kun I have been watching you for a long time. I know that you are not a monster."
"But everyone else seems to think so."
"No Naruto-kun, not everyone. I heard Shikamaru got arrested after he attacked the first group of Anbu, who were coming to get you. Even though he was hospitalized and still completely out of chakra."
Naruto's eyes got wide and then he snickered "That seems so unlike our great master strategist."
Hinata smiled at this, she had at least lightened his mood a bit. "Yeah, it really does."
"Will he be alright?"
"H-hai. Shikamaru-san is the heir of the Nara clan. Everybody says he will be released shortly, because you only tricked him into helping you."
With that Naruto's face fell a bit again. After a few moments of silence he spoke up again.
"Um Hinat,a was what you said out there true? Did you really have a crush on me?"
"N-no Naruto-kun. I-I still have crush on you."
Naruto just stared for a moment. "I'm sorry. You are so nice to me and I never really noticed you."
"Naruto as I said I watched you for quite some time and I know that you can be a bit … thick headed sometimes." Naruto wanted to protest at first but then decided against it and let her continue " I knew if I wanted you to notice me I would probably have to make the first move. But I was always too shy to do that. So it's not your fault"
Naruto smiled. "Thank you, Hinata."
"Naruto I need you to promise me something."
"Ok Hinata what is it?"
"Naruto I need you to trust me please, say you will promise me what I want from you."
Naruto was bit taken aback by that but he decided to trust her. "Alright Hinata I will promise you whatever you want."
"You have to promise me that you will run away from the village and not be captured again."
"WHAT? No way Hinata! I can't just leave the village. My only remaining friends are here, here is my home and it is my dream to be Hokage one day."
"Naruto I'm not saying that you can never return but as things are right now you need to get away. The village council is against you and they will turn you over to Danzo if they have their way."
"Yeah Kakashi mentioned him, who is he?"
"He is one of the village elders. My father said he was involved in programs about conditioning soldiers, switching off their emotions and making them completely obedient … and he said he was the right man to make you into a reliable tool."
Naruto shuddered at hearing the phase "What about Tsunade-baa-chan? Is she really against me?"
"As far as I have heard yes, which seems kind of strange. But Naruto-kun even if she is somehow influenced or blackmailed, please let me or Shikamaru, your friends, handle that. You need to get away for now!"
"All right, all right. I promise you I will flee from the village."
"Thank you." Hinata smiled happily. "Now I will get those chains off you so you can get out of here."
She began standing up from his lap but then decided otherwise and sat back down.
"Naruto I'm sorry but there is s-something I must do. I-I know it is selfish but it is something I always wanted and I might never get another chance again. A-and if you d-don't like it please just see it as your p-payment for me for helping you escape."
Naruto noticed that her stutter was back and nodded dumbly 'What is going on? What is she talking about?'
Then Hinata leaned leaned closer to him, grabbed the back of his head and kissed him on the lips. Naruto was surprised first but then kissed back. After a few moments Hinata leaned back again, ending the kiss. She was happy to find that Naruto was bit surprised about what had happened, but not angry.
Hinata stood up from naruto and pulled a bunch of papers from a pocket.
"I made a small detour to a weapon shop to get these after my father roughly informed me of the situation and told me that I was to meet Kurenai sensei here at the I&T department for a thorough explanation. They are specialized exploding tags for opening doors or breaking stuff like chains."
She put one of the tags on the metal ring around one of Narutos wrists and stepped back. Hinata was silently chanting in her head 'Please don't blow his hand off. Please don't blow his hand off.'
Then she made a handseal while saying "Katsu!" and the tag went off.
The small explosion rang loudly in the tiny cell and Naruto shortly screamed in pain, but his wrist was only bleeding lightly and his hand was free. Then they repeated the process for his other hand and his feet and finally Naruto was able to stand up from the chair unbound.
He stretched his limbs a bit and then captured Hinata in a hug. "Thank you Hinata. It is thanks to you that I still believe that I have friends here." Hinata was blushing heavily now, somehow she had gotten a lot more nervous having close contact with him now that he was free
"N-Naruto-kun you were the one who helped me change for the better. I will always be there for you." There was a small pause while Naruto continued to hold Hinata tight. But after a while he let her go.
"Say Hinata what will you do when I run away from the village?"
Hinata looked sad when he mentioned that and answered:
"I would like to come with you but if I do that I will most likely never be able to return again. And like you I p-promised myself to change my clan and get rid of the caged bird seal. If no one except people I trust like Kurenai sensei, Shino and Tenten who were with me notice me helping you, I would like to stay here and fulfill that promise. But once that is done and you still can not return I promise I will find you." She looked up into his eyes expectantly "At least if you don't mind."
Naruto was smiling now "No I really wouldn't mind that, I want to see you again."
"Naruto-kun I think we wasted enough time already we have to get you out of here."
"Do you have any kind of plan?"
"I will go out first and try to disable Kurenai sensei and any other jonin who might be there. Then you will come out and help me against Shino and Tenten. From there you will be on your own. But I hope you can make it out of the building before anyone else notices you're missing. Are you ready Naruto-kun?"
Naruto grabbed the back of her head and pulled her into kiss. When he pulled back he smiled at her and said "Now I'm ready."
Hinata just blushed furiously and nodded.
A few minutes later Hinata opened the door only a gap wide so that no one could look inside and exited the cell. She looked to the ground to hide her face with the help of her hair, but with her byakugan she could see that only Kurenai, Shino and Tenten had remained in front of the cell. Thanking her lucky stars the girl continued her plan.
Kurenai saw Hinata, she had her head lowered and was sobbing audibly. Kurenai went over to Hinata, got on one knee because of the height difference and hugged her. She noticed how the girl put her hands around her neck. And then suddenly her world went black.
But she still heard Hinatas call "Now Naruto!"
Then the cell door burst open and Naruto stormed out directly at Shino. He pulled his right fist back to possibly take Shino out in one strike only to notice that Shino made no moves to defend himself and was calmly expecting the strike. Naruto stopped.
"Um, you are not defending yourself?"
"That is correct."
"While I don't wish to oppose the village because of my duties as clan heir, I still see you as a comrade and friend. Not mentioning that I do not wish to anger my teammate Hinata. So logically being taken down by you, while you successfully escape would be the best possible outcome of the situation."
"So you know what we are doing?"
"After what Hinata-san said earlier that was the most logical thing to occur. Though I am interested in how she managed to get you free."
Naruto winced at that but didn't answer his question. He looked towards Tenten.
"Will you try to stop me?"
"Nah I don't think I will. You have changed Neji for the better and for that I really owe you."
Naruto just grinned and put one hand on the back of his head. Now there were two more people he could trust.
Hinata stepped forward "Thank you Shino and Tenten. Can you please say Naruto broke free with chakra from the fox if you are questioned? I would like to be able to stay in the village."
Shino nodded "I am glad I will not lose a teammate today." Tenten agreed, too.
Then Shino spoke up again "Naruto-san may I ask you to punch me as you originally intended, I would prefer it if this looked convincing." After one more round of convincing Naruto, he punched both of them once in a way so that they hit the wall, knocking them out cold.
But before Naruto did the same to Hinata the cell next door opened a bit then they heard the voice of Ino Yamanaka. She already stood half in the door ready to leave the cell but had turned around again to face inside. She hadn't noticed what had happened outside
"I will think about what you said Shika. Just stop attacking anbu from now on please."
And then Ino fell into an unconscious heap, because she hadn't noticed Hinata stepping behind her, grabbing her neck.
Naruto stepped past Hinata and Ino's unconscious form into the cell.
"You okay Shikamaru?"
"Naruto! Yeah I am ok, just leave me here . They will let me go after a while. But you have to get out of here now!"
"Sure thing, bye Shikamaru and thanks for attacking those anbu for me."
"Naruto what is your plan?"
"Uhm get out of the building and run like hell."
"Naruto that will never work, the leaf has specialized tracking teams, you will never escape them. Especially outside the village once they find your scent."
"Then what should I do?"
"Grab as many clothes as you easily can from the people here, then get out of the building and get into a back alley. Create a bunch shadow clones and give them most of the peoples clothes and your own clothes. Keep the clothes of one of the people to yourself. Then you and your shadow clones all henge into different people and spread out in different directions."
"To confuse anyone following me by enhanced smelling right?"
"Right. But the problem remains that once you are out of the village your pursuers will have it easy and even if they have to follow each trail separately, your chances are grim."
"It would be best if you could hide inside Konoha for a while. A place protected by seals, so that nothing like the hokages seeing orb or the byakugan can find you."
"The only problem being that there is no such place. At least none that is empty since hiding in a clans home is a bit suicidal."
"That would be correct if the clan I am thinking about still had any other members."
"What are you talking about?"
"Well it's just a theory of mine, but if you really belong to that clan then you could easily get access to the compound by wiping a bit of blood on the seal on the compound gate."
"You think I belong to a clan?"
"As I said it is just a theory but right now I think this is your best bet."
"What clan are you talking about? I know there is no Uzumaki compound in the village."
"That is correct. But I am talking about the Namikaze." Behind himself Naruto could hear a gasp from Hinata.
"Who are they?"
"You really should remember that Minato Namikaze was the fourth Hokage."
"Remember if you get access to the compound create a new shadow clone and give him all of your remaining clothes at best. Your trail must not end there or they might find you. The compound is north of the western plaza, the first big mansion on the left. Now get out of here!"
Naruto and hinata collected all easily accessible clothes like jackets and socks and Naruto put them in a bag he had found on Kurenai. Then he said goodbye to Hinata who had to convince him to knock her out like the others. He henged into Kurenai and began his search for the exit. Luckily none of the other jonins paid him any real attention. After he had left the building. Shikamarus plan went incredibly smooth.
Half an hour later Naruto stood inside the Namikaze compound in front of the mansion door. He was only wearing his underwear at this point but after what happened that day Naruto couldn't care less. Only five minutes after he and his clones had spread out he had noticed the frantically searching anbu groups. But luckily Naruto remained level headed and slowly walked towards his destination, avoiding all trouble. It really helped that from time to time the anbu noticed one of his clones and got into a wild chase with it. And the compound gate had opened right after he had spilled a tiny bit of blood on it. But now after being in safety the thing that worried him most was that he didn't have the key to the mansion. Even though he thought it useless he went to the door and pushed. And it immediately opened. Naruto nearly smacked his head. Of course, if anyone made it past the seals any lock would be useless, so why bother with a key at all?
He dragged himself into the mansion and began exploring. He made it only as far as one room. He had found the living room, laid down on the couch there and immediately fell asleep.