A/N: Well now! I've been away for quite awhile, haven't I? I've been so busy playing SWTOR that I've forgotten to write in general. I've managed to tear myself away from it for the time being to do what I love so very much; to write, of course. I promised an old friend that I would post two new stories before I overhaul the rest, and this is the last new story for the forseeable future until I get my mass of stories under control. I've decided to end my star wars craze with a more...unique crossover than forseen by most. And with that...
...enjoy the story!
"S'up. Name's Naruto. Shinobi extrodinaire, assassin for hire. Perhaps you've heard of me?"
Touching Down on a Dusty Planet
The suns burned down out of a cloudless blue sky, washing the vast desert wastes of the planet in brilliant white light. The resultant glare rose off the flat, sandy surface in a wet shimmer of blistering heat to fill the gaps between the massive cliff faces and solitary outcroppings of the mountains that were the planet's sole distinguishing feature.
Sharply etched, the monoliths stood like sentinels keeping watch in a watery haze.
When the ship streaked past and into the atmosphere, engines screaming roaring with ferocious hunger and relentless drive, the heat and the light seemed to shatter and the mountains themselves tremble. Because this was no simple ship that fell from the skies. It was a man. His body battered, his clothes tattered, it was a marvel he hadn't yet burned up in his return to the atmosphere. Still he plummeted, the ground rushing up to greet
It was early fall and the heat was searing. He squinted into bright sun as the dust devils swirled about him, kicking up little puffs as he jolted toward the ground. He closed his eyes at the very last instant and braced himself for the inevitable pain; the jolting agony of the incoming impact. Having awoken earlier to find himself airborne was nothing as he compared it to just how rough his landing was about to be.
Something cracked across his face and sent him sprawling. Something hard and infinitely unyielding.
It was the earth.
He slapped into the ground hard, and with zero control, broken body flipping over as he skidded onto his back. He bounced; one, two, three, four times, before the momentum of his impact drove him back to earth. His head kissed an iron-hard root, made all the worse by the thickness of his skull. Black spots swam before his eyes and left him blind. He tried to stand; and sorely regretted it as a broken rib all but drove the breath from his his lungs.
Up, damn you! Get up! Swearing and spitting he got on his hands and knees and tried to stand, eyes watering, ears ringing. Pushing his hands against the gravely and granite soil, he'd made it all of halfway, a half-assed oath leaving his lips before the shadow fell upon him; before he raised his gaze and realized what exactly he was looking at. He'd landed in a massive crater; packed, and flattened by the impact of his landing.
And the ache. It was everywhere. Absolutely everywhere. Raditating outward in his back, shrieking in his spine; even breating was an effort in and of itself. He couldn't quite pinpoint where it was-or where he was for that matter-only that there was no conceivable way he'd last long in this heat.
Unable to sustain the effort required to stand, he flopped onto his back, all semblance of calm evaporating as gazed up into the blazing sun of the seemingly endless desert. Where was he? How had he gotten here?
This field he'd landed in should have been bursting with wheat ready to be harvested. Instead, it was severe and dry. Almost as if the life itself had been sapped from the soil. It was an eerie, time consuming thought, and one he could not afford to entertain. The clouds where gathering in overhead; a sandstorm of sorts must be coming. He tried to stand; tried to force his body into some semblance of movement, in hopes of finding shelter before he was struck by the full brunt of blast. Once more, he tried to stand.
To say that he failed miserably would have been a massive understatment. He swore, then laughed; it was a harsh, bitter noise. Even in death, he'd picked up his wife's foul mouth. The thought was almost enough to drive away the sorrow subsuming every inch of him. Almost. He contemplated rising -even tried to- but the crushing weight of his own agony prevented him from moving so much as a millimeter. A gnawing desperation clawed at him and he frantically patted himself down to ascertain where the pain was coming from.
Agony gripped the man; his vision dissolving into scarlet streamers as his fingers closed around the mangled mess that was his right leg; the knee had been all but pulverized during his landing. It hadn't been severed entirely-thank kami for small mercies-but his relief died when he saw the blood. He'd bleed out if he didn't do something, and soon. Raising an arm, he tore off a sleeve and in swift, hurried movements that bespoke of years of practice, proceeded to tien a tourniquet around the wounded limb. An animalllistic hiss of pain slipped through his teeth as he tied the knot tight around his thigh and bound it fast, slowing the flow of crimson vitae between his fingers but not staunching it. Within seconds the dark fabric was soaked through and through.
He could feel his vision beginning to blur, his hands growing cold.
"God, it feels like we just got run over by the Jyuubi." a rough voice scraped at the inside of his head, interjecting itself amidst the pain. "Oi, you there, gaki?" When silence prevailed, the voice tried a more familiar approach. "C'mon Naruto, talk to me! " Belatedly, he felt his wound begin to close; the shattered knee and broken bone spur stitching themselves back together; flowing like mlik molding across his flesh. And yet he was barely aware of it at all; as if the event were taking place outside himself and he were merely a bystander.
Naruto found himself yanked inward, hauled into his self to confront the very creature to whom he owed his life. Kurama towered over him, long since freed from his cage, eyes narrowed in sheer disbelief at the irreconciable behavior of his host and partner. Naruto blanched at the balefire in his eyes. Despite their numerous conversations they'd held within his mind, he simply couldn't help but gawp at the sheer size of the kitsune. A very angry kitsune, at the moment.
"What in the nine hells is wrong with you?!" The biju roared, nearly deafening the blond. "Are you trying to die?!"
"Maybe." Naruto replied, drawing a startled hiss from his tenant.
"Not on my watch!" The fox said, his lips drawn back in a snarl. "Have you forgotten that if you die, I die with you?!"
Despite himself, the man-Naruto-managed a laugh. "Nice to know you still care, huh, Kurama?"
The kitsune sniffed.
"You're not getting rid of me that easily, kit."
Konoha's last hokage chuckled, but there was no longer any mirth to be found in his smile. He no longer had anything to smile about. His village was gone. His people destroyed. The war against Obito and Uchiha Madara had dragged on for years, and though he'd seen the death of many in that time, it was ultimately the death of one that affected him the most. In the end, it was not the passing of Sakura Haruno nor the murder of Uchiha Sasuke that shook him the most. It was the loss of his wife.
Kabuto's Edo Tensei had brought back countless individuals from the dead. The flute-wielder had merely been one of them, captured for study, near the beginning of the war. That she happened to recall the seals to release it, to bind her soul to her now supposedly undying body, had been something of a boon. They hadn't been the best of friends at first, even less so given the manner of her captivity, but over time he'd warmed to her, and she him. As much as a foul-mouthed, ill-tempered redhead could, he supposed. She'd even married him, although her...condition prevented any chance at raising a family.
For a time, he'd been happy. He dared to think all would be well, that they might just escape the war with their humanity intact. But as Naruto soon learned, one did not undersetimate the power of the Rinnegan; nor its power to simply rip a soul from its body. Everything had gone downhill after that. Sanity included.
His desperate, last-ditch one man suicide attack against the pair had led to thus; to the warping of time and space itself, hurling him from Konoha and sending him...somewhere else. One did not carelessly hurl a bijudama against a space-time ninjutsu and expect to live to see the next sunrise. He'd meant to die with the madmen, but instead he'd wound of here. Where was here exactly, anyway? He almost thought it was the Land of Wind, but no, the Juubi had reduced Gaara and his village to molten slag over the course of the war. This land, though unbearably hot, was not at all glassed, nor was it deprived of life. He could sense others in the distance even without use of his cloak, just as he could tell that this place was nowhere near Konoha.
He blinked, driving a bead of sweat from his eyes. He could feel the grains of sand at his back, intermingled with the scent of fire, the unamused and smoldering irises of heat and hell itself, come to claim his life. Hot. It was just too damn hot. What was the point in getting up? Precisely. There was no point. All his friends and family-his wife!-were dead. Best just to lay; to perish, and let all and any trace of his existence be swept away from this strange, alien world. At least then he could join them...
"Are you alright?"
Uzumaki Naruto creaked open a blue iris, momentarily alarmed to find a young woman standing over him. Long strands of dark hair framed her face, all he could see against the blinding glare of the sun-now wait just a minute!-he must've hit his head harder than he'd thought; because he could've sworn he saw two suns glaring back at him; a pair of bright, angry eyes punishing him for his desire to give up and die. Surely he was seeing things.
"Well, hello there." Kurama rumbled, and Naruto thought he detected a hint of satisfaction in the old kitsune's tone. "What do we have here?"
"Tayuya?" Naruto muttered, holding out against hope that this was a dream. But this was no dream, and his wife would never say something like 'are you alright'. And indeed, as he stared up into the twin suns of Tatooine, he gradually came to realize that this was not the foul-mouthed redhead whom he'd come to know and love. It was someone else. It was a girl.
"Um...who is Tayuya?" she asked.
Naruto opened his mouth to reply in kind; to ask who she was; snapped it shut again. Pushing against his elbows, he forced himself into a sitting position, took every inch of her in. Neither tall nor short, skinny nor fat, she radiated concern on an almost primal level, her dark eyes boring into him with anxiety and concern.
Her clothing was simple to the point of being rustic: dark, dusty attire, evidence of years spent in the arid atmosphere. She blinked down at him with soft, brown eyes-another reminder of the love and life he'd lost-her heart-shaped face framed by long, raven tresses, blacker than pitch. Anyone who saw her would have been hard pressed to believe that this girl-this beauty amid the sands-had survived so long in such harsh terrain. And yet, clearly, she had.
"Shmi." The girl smiled and for a moment-just a moment-it seemed to outshine the sun itself. "My name is Shmi Skywalker." A flicker of hesitation shone in her eyes. "Your leg...is it...?" Naruto was momentarily at a loss for words; unable to understand what she was alluding to. Then he realized. His leg. There was no longer any wound with which to concern himself, but the blood, from said wound still stained the sands, now dried and old.
"Oh, this?" He chortled softly. "Its nothing. Just an old wound."
"Oh, thank goodness." Her features softened in relief. "I heard an explosion so...
His stomach rumbled.
Naruto managed a foxy grin.
"Shmi, was it?"
The girl's face darkened; her cheeks dusted with the lightest flush of embarassment.
"Do you have anything to eat, perhance?"
(Nine Years later)
"Get back to work, boy!"
Grimacing at the vehement shouts of his Toydarian master at his back, Anakin Skywalker bolted into the scorching afternoon to repair his once. He was a small boy, even at his nine years of age; rather compactlly built, wiith a mop of sandy hair, blue eyes, a pug nose, and an inquisitve stare which often brought him more curses than it did blessings.
"I'm going," he grumbled beneath his breath, trudging towards the ruined wreck that, only a few hours ago, had once been a podracer. "I'm going." He'd lost another race, thanks to Sebulba's dirty tricks. The foul-mouthed Dug was infamous for doing whatever it took to win a race; oftentimes that meant cheating.
More than once he'd nearly driven Anakin into a wall; nearly cost him his life. On multiple occasions, he'd simply wrecked his pod, putting Anakin-and by definition Watto-weeks behind in repairs.
Oooh, it made him so mad! If only the dug didn't cheat! Then he wouldn't win! He kicked at the loose sand with a foot and in a rare bought of uncharacteristic anger, flung a string of curses at the twin suns of Tatooine.
"E chu ta!"
His defiant cry tore into the sky, echoing onward, falling silent. Anakin glared up into the suns for a moment longer until both his eyes began to burn, and, finally, tore his gaze away.
Sighing in frustration, he turned and went out the back of the shop into the kicked at the sand again as he crossed to the engines and the Pod the droids had dumped there earlier. Already his mind was working on what it would take to try and make them operable again. Even from here, across the yard, he could see the right engine was almost untouched, if he ignored the scrapes and tears in its metal skin. The left was a mess, though. And the pod was battered and bent, the control panel a shamble of sparks and circuitry.
"Fidget," he muttered softly, a spark of anger igniting in him as he drew closer, saw the extent of the damage. "Just fidget!"
He was quick and strong for his age, and was gifted in ways that constantly surprised those around him. He was already an accomplished driver in the Podraces, something no human of any age had ever been before. What's more, he was gifted with builfing skills that allowed himto put together just about anything. He was useful to Watto in both areas, and Watto was not one to waste a slave's talent.
But what no one knew about him except his mother-and another-was the way he sensed things. Frequently he sensed them before anyone knew they would happen. It was like a stirring in the air, a whisper of warning or a suggestion that no one else could feel. It had served him well in the Podraces, but it was also there at other times. He had an affinity for recognizing how things were or how they ought to be. He was only nine years old and he could already see the world in a way most adult never would.
For all the good it was doing him at the moment. For all the good-wait a minute. Anakin blinked, suddenly terribly aware that something wasn't right. It wasn't so much a sense of wrongness as it was...out of place. He sensed something. Someone like him. Again it wasn't a prickle of danger at his back, but rather, a sense of familiarity. Of nostalgia. A presence. He was closer now, close enough that he could hear sounds coming from the right engine, sounds that it should not be making. Anakin was close to it now, perilously close, so much so that he could even hear voices.
"Damn, adi'ka, you really beat this engine up while I was away." Tools scraping against steel pierced the air. "That's the last time I take a job for Jango, eh? Blasted di'kut of an asshole, keeping me on Kamino for three months..."
Anakin bristled as a snatch of Mando'a-the native language of the mandolorian people-reached his ears. He knew only one of the legendary warriors. But that shouldn't have been possible. He shouldn't-couldn't-be here. It had been three months since he'd last seen the man board his ship and take off for parts unknown.
A matted mane of shaggy blond hair could be seen peeking out from behind the pod; and as he looked a harsh clang cracked inside the engine, punctuated by an equally harsh huttese curse.
Another clang, punctuated by another curse.
Restraining a grin-and a shout of delight-Skywalker crept toward his pod. There could be no denying it now, even in the slow setting suns of Tatooine. He knew that voice. Just as he knew.
"Don't even think about it, Annie."
The young Skywalker started, momentarily startled as a pair of hands grabbed him by the shoulders and spun him about; bringing him face to face with the T-shaped visor of a mandalorian. There was a brief snake of dread, coiling in his stomach, before he recognized the odd patchwork of orange and black and crimson peering down at him. As ever, the blond was wrapped in heavy armor; rumor had it he'd bartered with a mandolorian some months before for the prized suit of steel he now wore. Said to be capable of reflecting even a lightsaber, nothing short of a turbolaser could hope to put any real dent in mandolorian steel-or Naruto-while you wore that suit.
"What did I tell you about sneaking up on me?" A whiskered face poked out of the pod, bright blue eyes peering out at him beneath the harsh suns of Tattooine. Uzumaki Naruto, all of thirty years old, stared back at the young racer with something akin to a frown, but not quite a smile. His expression said it all
"To not to." Annie tried to focus his gaze on the floor, but an exasperated sigh from the blond brought him up short. Naruto was smiling.
"Eh, this is what I get for trying to surprise you with new parts." he said. "Toss me that hyrdrospanner, will ya?"
"Why can't you get it?"
"Because I asked you, kid." Naruto's tone dropped a decibel in a warning; he wasn't kidding. "Now get it already! I can't hold this power coupling together forever, ya know!" Anakin shrugged and reached for the nearby kit; risking a glance for Naruto as he did.
Lacking only the distinctive T-shaped visor and helmet pf his counterpart and bristling with an array of gadgetry that would make a lesser man flinch, the blond looked equipped to take on a small army. But it was not a army that had startled Anakin; it was the man's uncanny ability to be in two places at once. Not even a jedi could do that; make an exact copy of themselves and send it out to do their bidding. And Naruto said he could create dozens! Hundreds, if need be!
He wasn't called the Menace for nothing. The Shinobi Menace was his real title, but Anakin had no idea just what a "shinobi" was supposed to be. He was more in awe of Naruto's many techniques and tech than he was curious about the man's myriad past.
"You gotta to teach me how to do that." Anakin directed his words not to the duplicate at his back, but toward the man in the pod, uncaring as the doppleganger at his back vanished, dissipating in a plume of smoke. It was a trick that no longer phased him, but one he longed to replicate as he crossed to the battered blond and handed him the requested tool. Just the thought of, being able to be in two places at once sent a silent thrill through him.
"Its not a skill I can teach." Naruto laughed as he took the tool, his bulky form dissapearing into the engine briefly, before remerging. Anakin watched the bounty hunter tinker with the pod for just another instant, and then he rose, towering over hiim in all his glory. Anakin watched with awe-filled eyes and inevitably found them straying towards the man's jetpack; the sleek, curved form of a deadly MM-5 missile jutted out of it like the horn of some acient beast.
Uzumaki Naruto grinned, whiped a gloved hand on a piece of cloth, and slung himself out of the pod. Anakin fought the urge to run to the blond, knowing the man would doubtllessly chide him for his childish behavior. If there was anyone he cared for just as much as his mother, it was this man. He'd always been around, as far back as Anakin could remember, and yet he was never a slave to Watto, unlike them.
Naruto represented the one thing he wanted more than anything else; freedom. The chance to go wherever you wanted, do whenever you wanted, however you wanted. He'd sworn up and down he would buy them both out of slavery someday; not just he and his mother one at a time, but together.
But being a bounty hunter was dangerous and expensive work; there was the upkeeep of his own tools and then the pay wasn't always steady. You were paid for a bounty, and you needed to keep taking bounties if you wanted to keep getting paid. And sometimes you had to kill people. Anakin didn't think he could do that. He just wanted to stop being a slave, to be able to go anywhere he wanted with his mother, and never have to hear Watto say anything-
"Rassa dwee cuppa, peedunkel!"
Speak of the devil!
Anakin, startled, in spite of himself by Watto's abrupt reappearance and the fresh burst of huttese, had just enough time to watch his mentor don the helmet and dip behind the engine before Watto swooped down on him; bursting from the back of the shop and starting in on him again with a fresh burst of insulting adjectives.
"You're slacking off again, aren't you, boy?!" The toydarian shrieked, the full force of his fury focused upon Anakin once more and convinced he'd caught the boy, neglecting his duties. "Do you have any idea what your lazziness is going to cost me? Do you have any idea at all! Oba chee ka!"
The pudgy body lurched forward with each epithet, causing Anakin to step back in spite of his resolve. Watto's bony arms and legs gestured with the movements of his body, giving him a comical appearance. He was angry, but Anakin had seen him angry before and knew what to excpect. He did not cringe or bow his head in submission: he stood his ground and took his scolding uncflinchingly. He was a slave and Watto was his master. Scoldings were a part of his life.
Besides, he wasn't alone this time.
"I shouldn't let you drive for me anymore!" All three fingers of Watto's left hand pointed at him. "That's what I should do! I should find another driver and sell you and your mother to someone else-
Scarce had he said them however, than the distinctive click of a safety being removed, answered. Naruto had since stepped out from behind the engine, and now he was armed.
Watto froze in mid-rant, alarmed to find himself staring down the long barrel of a blaster. Although Anakin could not see the blonde's face, he was certain-positive-that the shinobi-turned-mandalorian was surely smiling behind the mask.
"You!" Watto barked, blustering at the crimson-clad hunter. "What are you doing here?!"
"Hi chuba da naga, stoopa?" Naruto replied in greeting, choosing a language that offered a vast array of insulting adjectives he could draw upon. "What do you want, stupid?" The casual insult was almost enough to make Anakin laugh. Almost. Even so, the toydarian's reaction was priceless; his pudgy body lurched backward a few centimeters, striking one of the pod's old engines in a cfranti attempt to get that blaster out of his face.
Naruto simply tracked with the movement, never taking his gun off the snarling alien. There was another claack as he flicked its setting from stun to kill.
"Wait, wait!" Watto begged. "Don't shoot! I give you a discount, yes!"
Naruto growled behind the helmet.
"I don't need a discount, ya know."
For a wonderfu, terrifying moment, Anakin actually thought-dreamnt-that the mandolorian would take the shot. But although Naruto refused to lower the blaster, he did not fire.
"Stop shrieking like that." He said, directing his words to the flounding alien. "You're embarassing yourself."
Watto hauled himself back into the air with a sharp string of curses, his wings a blur of motion, beating, with such ferocity, it seemed as if they would surely fly off his lumply little body. Anakin stifled an urge to laugh as he imagined this happening. It would not do to laugh just now. Anakin knew the Toydarian would wind down shortly soon, his anger released in a manner to satisfy his need to cast blame in a direction other than his own, and things would go back to normal.
Only, this time, they didn't.
"Aah!" Watto stuttered, his courage evaporating now that he'd found himself face to face with the shinobi's arsenal. "Naruto, to what to I owe this...pleasure?" He practically squeaked out the last word, as the Mandalorian jammed the blaster against his stomach, the deadly weapon pushing into the alien's pudgy abdomen with enthusiasm.
"I've got enough credits for Shmi." He said it almost casually, his words flat and baritone through the helmet, as though they were discussing the weather, and not the Skywalker's freedom. "In another year, I'll have enough for Anakin. You know what the means, right?"
Watto made a sucking noise with his lips and glared bloody red daggers at the boy. He knew what that meant. As did Anakin despite what his ignorant master thought. Freedom!
"You can't take the boy!" Watto protested, suddenly sullen. "I need him! For the races! I-ah!"
His words ended in a yelp as Naruto jerked his wrist to the right and squeezed the trigger. A blaster bolt cut across the space between them; passing dangerously close to the toydarian's midsection. Anakin was at a loss for words. That was just so...so incredibly cool! Watto, didn't seem to share his enthusiasm. The pudgy toydarian's face was drained chalk white; evidence of the close call he'd suffered.
"Too bad." Naruto shoved the now steaming blaster in the alien's face. "Ten years. That, was our deal. Time's almost up, and I've got a pretty liittle bounty coming that'll take them off your hands for good. Of course...I could always shoot you now and deactivate the bombs inside them myself. Would you prefer that, Watto?"
"Th-That won't be necessary." Watto sputtered with a fluttering of his wings, tripping over the words in his haste not to wind up dead. "So long as you pay me for them...you can have them."
"I'm so glad we understand each other, Watto-san." Naruto slung the rifle over his back with a smugness that told Anakin he was smiling beneath the helmet. Anakin held no doubts; if it came down to it, Naruto could shoot Watto dead with little to no compunction and leave with a clear concsience. He almost hoped he would. The thought frightened him. This anger he felt, it was terrifying at times.
"...hey at the very least you're being reimbursed for them." the blond was saying to Watto as Anakin came back to himself, a sly smirk in his words. "Lucky for you I don't like to shoot my employers."
"So why are you here, now, then?" Watto snarled, biting out the words. "If not to shoot me, and not to claim them, then why even be here?!"
"Just visiting my kid." Naruto replied and suddenly his hand was there on Anakin's head, mussling his hair, much to the boy's infinite embarssment. "Got a problem with that, di'kut?"
Watto's mouth worked as if chewing something incredily foul, his snout wrinkling over his protruding teeth. The blaster in his face, however, dissuaded him from saying anything foolish.
Anakin, meanwhile, felt his heart leap into his throat. Naruto always called him his kid whenever he visited. Which was often enought for the boy to wonder as to his parentage. He wasn't quite sure if the bounty hunter really was his father or not and oftentimes he didn't bother to think about it. But it was times such as these that he truly did wonder.
Was Naruto his father? They shared such similarities, he and him and the way Shmi-his mother, still young, beautiful beyond measure-spoke of him sometimes...
"Now, do you have that part I've asked for?" Naruto asked Watto, breaking the boy from his thoughts again. "My stabilizer's shot to hell and back and without it, I'm stuck on this mudball."
"Of course, of course!" Watto smiled a smile that looked entirely forced. "Come into the shop! We can talk business!" Anakin watched the Toydarian flutter away, stuck out his tongue when he was certain the pudgy little alien wasn't looking. More the loss for their little encounter, he doubted Watto, would do anything to harm him anytime soon. He might spit and swear, but beyond that he had precious little to fear from his master anymore. Only one more year. One more year and they would hav their freedom, he and his mother. The thought nearly made him swoon.
"Hut'uun." Naruto spat at Watto's retreating form, his words so soft that Skywalker had to strain to hear them. Now, Anakin knew precious little of the Mandolorian language, Mando'a in some circles, but he did know that word. Coward. Watto, was a coward alright, with a capital C at the very beginning!
"Bah," Naruto surprised him by removing his helmet and spitting a wad of phlegm onto the sand. "I really want to shoot him sometimes, ya know?"
Anakin couldn't contain himself anymore. This time he really did laugh. Naruto shot him a sharp glance but did nothing to try and dissuade the boy from his mirth, and for that, Anakin was most grateful. Naruto let him laugh, and it wasn't all that long before he joined him. In that moment Anakin wished more than anything that Naruto was his father.
"Alright kid, I need to go talk business for a bit." The bounty hunter sighed. "Tell your mom I'll be over later, neh?"
"Can't you teach me that trick of yours before you go?" Anakin half-begged at him, knowing the blond would refuse him, yet still desperate enough to try. Naruto regarded him intensely, sapphire eyes boring into his own as though searching for some thing or another. Whatever it was, he seemed to find it.
"Like I said, ad'ika, its not something I can teach you...not easily, anyway." He paused, seemed to consider it this time. "But that has to be the millionth time you've asked me that. You really wanna learn?"
Anakin nodded emphatically.
"I thought you wanted to be a pilot." Naruto laughed. "Or a racer?"
"Fine, fine." A sigh snaked past his pursed lips, twisted into something that was almost a smile. "You're a little younger than I was when I tried this technique but there shouldn't be a problem. I should warn you before we begin, though..I'm one helll of a teacher!" Anakin gulped at the hunter's terrifying expression. Maybe this wasn't such a good idea after all...
"Hunter, you coming or not?!" Watto barked from the shop, his harsh, guttural voice slicing through Anakin's thoughts like a plasma torch through durasteel. Naruto chortled softly to himself, almost as if Watto's pathetic attempt at intimidation could somehow amuse him. He crouched low to tousle Anakin's hair once more, his words deep and reverberating beyond the mask.
"We'll talk after dinner kid."
"You're staying?!" Anakin guffawed at him, his words torn somewhere between a laugh and a cry of disbelief. Naruto scoffed and donned his helmet; he was the faceless Shinobi Menace once more.
"Shmi would murder me if I didn't try her cooking." Anakin agreed wholeheartedly. No one cooked quite like Shmi Skywalker and her meals were always something to look forward to.
"Hunter!" Watto roared. "You come in here now or I charge double!"
Naruto straightened up, the joints in his armor creaking as he stood to his full height.
Naruto chuckled as he paced away, long strides carrying him towards Watto's hut.
"See you at dinner, Annie."
And as he turned to go, Anakin thought he caught a glint of silver hanging at the blonde's waist. He risked a glance over his shoulder, curiousty aroused. And then he saw it. A small, narrow cylinder just large enough to wrap a hand around. A hilt of some sort. He'd seen one before in the holovids. Recognition crashed down on him like a wave, drowning him in a sursurs of thoughts and whispers He'd seen that hilt before. He knew what it was.
That was a lightsaber. Anakin knew it far too well. But only jedi had those. Naruto wasn't a jedi...was he? If so, then why did he take on bounties? If he wasn't, then what was he doing with one in the first place? Anakin had heard tales of jed and their powerful weapons, capable of slicing through just near anything. He couldn't imagine a jedi parting with their weapon on any sort of willingness. He watched the only man he thought of as father retreat into the darkness of Watto's shack, and couldn't help but wonder:
Just who was Uzumaki Naruto?
A/N: Aaaand thus Uzumaki Naruto finds himself catapaulted into a galaxy far, far away. Onto Tatooine, to be precise. To answer the obvious questions, he met Shmi when she was a girl, a young lass, before she became pregnant with Anakin. I make no claims as to Anakin's parentage, we'll leave that, to the Force to decide. The story is coming along swimmingly, and I've plans to update this one alongside my others, for all those who try to hate on me and my fics.
And Naruto has a lightsaber?! Has he developed force sensitivy over the years or does he hunt jedi? I leave that, to YOU, my dear reader to, decide.
How will this affect the future? How will his prescence change the future?! Find out next time in...
...the Shinobi Menace!
And of course, in the ever immortal words of Darth Vader...
...Review! It is your destiny!