"Talking"

"Thinking"

"Demon talking"

"Demon thinking"


A Little Extra Help

It was a stormy night in the streets of Konoha, and most people were safely locked away in dry, warm homes, perhaps with a hot drink and a bowl of soup. Water collected in large pools, droplets following the minute cracks and crevices inherent to any street. Yet still more droplets, as if seeking shelter from the never-ending barrage of their brethren, sought small communities of rain water at the sides of the street, drawing comfort from company.

Splash!

A foot, bare and as dirty as the inside of a chimney, splashed through one of these small puddles, disrupting the harmony that had been so painstakingly achieved and provoking the water to rise up in an attempt to harm the offender, but the foot, and the body it was attached to, was already gone.

However more feet soon came after the first, splashing and stepping and stomping through in chase, prompting the puddle to splash and slosh around in an attempt at self-defence, but it was only rain water, and did not have the power to resist. Soon enough, the group of feet had passed through the puddle, and harmony once again fell.

The puddle stilled, and rested.


8 year old Uzumaki Naruto was running. Not because he loved to run, not because he was trying to catch something. No. Uzumaki Naruto was being chased through the village of Konoha, a loaf of bread in his mouth, a bag of apples in his left hand, and a knife in the other. He wore a pair of blue shorts, with a simple white t-shirt to cover his torso; well a brown t-shirt would be more accurate. His footwear consisted of only one shoe that was so tattered and worn, that he might as well have ditched it instead of carrying on a façade.

Naruto smiled, his target was up ahead, and maybe he could get these people off his back with what he had planned. Sprinting as fast as he could, foot splashing in a puddle on the side of the street; he drew level with a seemingly innocuous pile of crates on his right, as if forgotten about by an absentminded shopkeeper.

Naruto lashed out with the knife, slicing through a thin piece of rope and severing it completely. Instantly, the wooden boxes, soaked through and weighing a lot more than they should, fell to the ground with a resounding crash, creating a barrier across the street. Naruto turned around to observe the effects of his little surprise.

A crowd of around 30 people, blocked by the boxes, were standing by the boxes screaming in frustration. However, a few of the more agile individuals were already picking their way through the blockade.

He ducked into an alleyway.

He slowed his pace some, thinking the coast was clear, tied the bag of apples around his waist and grabbed onto a metal drain pipe, beginning to climb his way up.

"There he is!"

"How the hell did they get through so fast?" Naruto thought, and sped up again, his safe zone was just up here, he kept climbing, and started pulling himself through a shattered window frame that was hidden out of sight by poor construction methods, if he could only just –

A jagged rock, once part of a building in this area that had been demolished, impacted his leg just as he was pulling it through, opening a large gash, and rendering the leg unusable.

Naruto's eyes widened in pain, his face straining and biting on his lip to keep from making a sound. Even then, a small moan escaped his mouth at the intense pain wracking his leg.

"Where'd he go? Someone find that damn kid and bring his ass here!"

The boy let out a small sigh; it seems he was safe for now. He dragged his body further into the small room, part of an abandoned building due for demolition next week, and lay down, clutching his prizes to his chest. He began to chew on the bread, enjoying the taste. He could still hear the crowd outside searching for him; however they seemed to have quieted down some. A combination of exhaustion from the chase and the pain from his wounded leg soon sent him off into a deep and dreamless sleep, the apples spilling out of the bag and rolling their way across the dirty, damp room.

A slowly growing pool of blood crept along the floor from the boys wound, a wound that was slowly diminishing in size.

Uzumaki Naruto stilled, and rested.


Naruto woke up to sunlight streaming through the window frame, and the sound of the people of Konoha going about their business down below. Birds were singing, and there was a low hum in the air from

He sat up, rubbing his eyes that had crust in them from the sleep, and reached for the loaf of bread on the floor next to him. He did not expect his hand to go straight through the bread, ending up covered in some sort of mushy substance that vaguely smelt like a sewage pipe.

Naruto stared at the formerly solid piece of bread coating his fingers, before tentatively raising the fingers to his mouth, tongue sticking out to take a lick.

"I would not eat that if I were you, Naruto-kun."

Naruto whipped around, mushy bread flying off his fingers, seeing an old man dressed in white robes and wearing a wide-brimmed hat that sat neatly on his head, casting a shadow into his eyes.

"Ah Old Man Hokage, I wasn't gonna eat that, I was just gonna, uh, smell it. Yeah, I was gonna smell it, y'know, cos it was all mushy and stuff" said Naruto, a sheepish grin on his face.

"Of course you were Naruto, now what are you doing here? This building is coming down next week and I do not believe it wise to be resting in a place like this." Asked the Hokage.

Sarutobi Hiruzen was the Third Hokage, and was the leader of the village of Konoha. He was a stern individual, who commanded respect at all times and held himself with a strong upright posture, despite his advancing age. He is known over the Elemental countries as the 'God of Shinobi', and has reigned over the village of Konoha through two Shinobi Wars. He has experienced almost everything life can throw at him, and has weathered through with a grim smile and unbreakable determination.

He was also upset.

He knew exactly what had happened of course. His ANBU had alerted him to the presence of a mob in the Trade district, and he had instantly known what had happened. Young Naruto had stolen some food again, and had been chased by the merchant who had caught him. More people had probably joined the chase after seeing the target was the young blonde.

The Hokage had sent out a few of the Uchiha military police to contain and disperse the crowd, while he monitored the situation on his crystal ball. The police had arrived just after Naruto had crawled into the room, and proceeded to calm and disperse the crowd, taking a few of the more unruly members into custody.

After seeing the boy fall asleep in the abandoned room, he had decided to catch the boy as he woke up.

His gaze focused on the angry red line running down the length of Naruto's calf. He cursed his constraints imposed upon him by the petty political games of those old doddering fools on the council, and lamented the fact that he could not provide personal protection for the boy.

He thought to that day, just after the Kyuubi attack, and cursed his ineptitude. If he had only remained calm, and responded to the council's attacks with intelligence instead of emotion, maybe he wouldn't be here right now.

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The council was made up of two sections. The Civilian section in which sat the major members that were vital to Konoha's continued financial stability and trade, and the Shinobi section in which sat all the heads of the founding clans of Konoha.

The civilian section consisted of 9 members, who were all heads of various departments. These included the Heads of Finance, Metalworkers, Transport, Oil & Gas, Tourism, Agriculture, Communications, Clothing and Vehicles.

Each member of the civilian section, while not being ninjas held enormous power in their respective fields, and every one of them worked hard to get into those positions they now held. Some through brute force and bullying, some through lies and deceit, and yet others through simple hard work.

The shinobi section of the council also consisted of nine members, which included representatives from each major clan in Konoha, most often the representative was the clan head. These clans were the Inuzuka, Aburame, Hyuuga, Uchiha, Akimichi, Nara, Yamanaka, Sarutobi and Senju clans, which were part of the first cohort of Konoha Ninjas, back in the days of the First Hokage.

The Sarutobi clan had a suspended seat due to one of their members being the current Hokage, to avoid bias. To offset the uneven number of votes, an external unbiased party that had unquestionable loyalty to Konoha would fill in until such time that the Sarutobi clan can resume their role as part of the council.

This post currently belonged to Shimura Danzo.

Currently, the council room was in catastrophe, the death of the Fourth Hokage Namikaze Minato, had thrown some of the civilian members into disarray, while the more seasoned individuals sat in grim faced silence.

"Order in the Council, would everyone please quiet down and return to their seats." The Third Hokage's voice, carrying an undertone of command and authority, sliced through the chaos, and silence gradually fell as everyone sat waiting for his next words.

"Onto the first order of business, The Fourth Hokage has perished, and a new Hokage is needed to guide us through these troubled times." Here Sarutobi looked around the room with a keen eye.

Just then Tsunade, who was quietly sitting in the corner, stood up.
"I would like to nominate Sarutobi Hiruzen, former Hokage and experienced member of the village to retake his post of Hokage."

Danzo spoke, "And what would prompt you to make this nomination?"

Tsunade was not fazed, "He is a former Hokage, who has successfully guided this village through two world wars. He has experience leading in times of crises, and none here would deny that his methods are effective. Furthermore, if a Godaime was elected today, they would have to deal with the current issues plaguing Konoha after the Kyuubi's defeat, as well as competing with getting settled into their role."

Here Tsunade paused, looking around the room and catching each members' eye,

"He is the only choice if we want to restore this village to some semblance of normalcy."

Finishing her speech, Tsunade took one last moment to make sure everyone had heard, before returning to her seat.

Sarutobi Hiruzen caught her eyes in a meaningful glance, she had played her part to perfection, as they had agreed upon before the meeting.

He could not risk someone else taking the post, someone like Uchiha Fugaku or Shimura Danzo. Both would be inexplicably bad to Konoha's continued welfare. No, this was the best way forward.

He rose, "Is anyone opposition to this nomination? And are there any other nominations?"

Silence reigned.

"Good, right then, I would like us all to take a minute to remember those that are no longer with us, including the Fourth Hokage and all the shinobi who died defending us from the Fox."

Silence reigned for another minute.

"Onto the most pressing matters first, the water transport system has been damaged by the riots that took place in Konoha during the Kyuubi attack….."

Many matters were discussed, and plans of action were created. Over 2 hours after the start of the meeting , the Third Hokage leaned back and sighed, now was the time to discuss the topic he had been dreading.

"Many of you already know, but for those who do not know, the Fourth Hokage was found clutching a baby in his arms after his death, a baby who was inscribed with a powerful containment seal."

The Hokage gave a grim look around the room, collecting himself for what he had to say.

"Uzumaki Naruto, the baby found in the Fourth's arms, is now the container for the Kyuubi, the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox."

There was an instant uproar, from both sides of the council, as this news was released. Shock permeated the room, and many councilmen were standing from their seats, demanding answers.

"The Kyuubi is not of this world, it cannot be killed by creatures of this world. Minato was forced to summon the Shinigami, God of Death, in order to seal away the creature into Naruto. This is where the fox will reside until the death of its container, at which point the fox will leave this world."

The Hokage's explanation went almost unheard over the din, but it managed to calm people down, slowly the room quieted, and order returned.

"Hokage-sama may I make a suggestion?"

The Hokage turned to look at the speaker, one Miyazaki Mashai, Head of Tourism in Konoha.

"What do you suggest Mashai-san?" The Hokage asked warily.

"Why do we not kill the boy, and send the demon away right now?" Mashai asked, inquisitively.

"WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY!?" Tsunade launched herself out of her chair, fully intending to pulverize the civilian for the words he had dared to utter.

Instantly, The Hokage was there, holding back the enraged blonde, while Nara Shikaku had tackled the offending councilmember out of the way. Even still, the residual force from Tsunade's punch sent a wave of Chakra infused air racing from her fist, causing most of the civilians to shiver in discomfort.

"Calm yourself Tsunade, we will not lose anyone else this day, no matter what he has said. Calm down, and return to your post, your actions do you no credit as the head of the Senju clan."

"But Sensei, he -"

"Sit. Down."

Tsunade, her face an angry, blotchy red, let out of a wordless snarl, before her wrenching her arm free of the Hokage's and returning to her previous position.

Mashai, had gone a ghostly white, and seemed to be struggling to keep from running off in terror.

"What just happened Hokage-sama? She just tried to kill me, your student just TRIED TO KILL ME!"

Tsunade let out a small grunt, but otherwise remained silent.

"Mashai-san, you have just suggested the premeditated murder of a new-born infant. That is a crime in this village, and the penalty for this crime is death. My student would have been within her rights to execute you, and I did not have to step in. Control your tongue Mashai, and return to your seat."

The Hokage was clearly angry, yet decades of experience and self-control had allowed him to clamp down on that anger with an iron-clad grip. The result was a clearly icy tone in the Hokage's voice that sent shivers racing down the backs of every councilmember in the room.

Mashai collected himself, and returned to his seat, yet he seemed ready to continue arguing his point.

"My apologies, Hokage-sama, I merely meant that, given the situation, it seemed prudent to eliminate the risk of the tailed beast's return as quickly and thoroughly as possible."

He gave a wary look to Tsunade, who had narrowed her eyes in Mashai's direction, but made no motion.

"I do not claim to understand the Fourth Hokage's plans or actions, but you yourself stated that the fox would leave once the boy has died. Would it not be safer for everyone here if the threat was ended right now?"

The Hokage narrowed his eyes.

"ANBU!"

Instantly 2 shadows detached themselves from the wall, and took a kneeling position in front of the Hokage.

"Take him in for conspiracy to murder. He can have a nice chat with the T&I department."
At the same time he was making subtle hand signs to the ANBU member. Signs that translated to "No. Physical. Psychological. Only"

The 2 shadows, revealed to be 2 members of Konoha's elite black ops unit and the personal bodyguards of the Hokage, each grabbed an arm of the offending councilmember and started to drag him away.

"What!? No! You can't do this Hokage-sama, I haven't done anything, I was only suggesting!"

Mashai's protests decreased in volume the further away he got. Until no more could be heard from the errant Head of Tourism.

"Now then, as you can see, killing the boy is out of the question, therefore I propose that I will take him in until such time that he is able to fend for himself. Furthermore, I am creating a law right now that anyone who mentions the secret of the Kyuubi's imprisonment and Naruto's burden, will be executed for treason. Do I make myself clear?"

There were mumbled agreements from the council.

"Some of the civilian council members don't look too pleased. Mashai's little speech seems to have created some dissent in the council. Curse that stupid fool!" Hiruzen thought, angry that he had let the situation slip out of control

Just then, a new voice spoke up, one that had remained silent since the beginning of this topic of discussion.

"That would not be the best course of action of you to take the boy in Hokage-sama."

The Hokage turned his head towards the speaker, Shimura Danzo, head of the ROOT division of ANBU, a group that was so secretive that technically they did not even exist, not even on paper. The ROOT were given the missions that were so dark and secretive that if a Konoha shinobi was caught on the mission, it had the potential to cause a diplomatic incident.

"And why is that?"

Danzo rose from his chair.

"Fellow councilmembers, today has been a black day in the history of Konoha. A day where we have lost over half of our shinobi force, and many families have been slain."

He had the attention of the civilian council, and some of the shinobi members as well.

"Even more orphans have been created. It is a sad day when a child loses their parents, and this has happened countless times today!"

There were noises of grief, and minute sobs were let out in the silence.

"Konoha has orphanages, where we try to provide for these unfortunate souls. Yet, still it is not enough. These children regularly go hungry, there are not enough beds available at the orphanage and so many take to sleeping in the streets. Even water, one of our basic commodities, is a luxury for them."

There were noises of agreement, and disgust.

"And yet, our beloved Hokage, Sarutobi Hiruzen, who says that Konoha is his family, who claims that he loves all of Konoha's citizens."

Hiruzen narrowed his eyes. "Oh no."

"Only wants to take in ONE orphan, not the other hundreds of orphans, but only one. To provide for one lucky boy, to give him food, a place to call home and a family."

Danzo's eyes narrowed.

"I don't think that this is fair."

Hiruzen slammed his hands on the table. "Naruto is not like the other orphans!" The Sarutobi said heatedly.

"He carries the Kyuubi and will be persecuted for it –"

Danzo cut him off, "Which your law protects him against. No one will know of his burden, and so he will be just another orphan. So he should be treated like one. The Hokage of all people cannot be allowed to show favouritism."

Sarutobi was in a tough situation. If he pushed the matter, then he risked sounding uncaring of the plight of the other orphans. However if he backed down, then Naruto would be forced to be alone, without the hokage's direct help.

"Hmm, without the Hokage's direct help….."

"I call for a vote on this matter, as to whether Uzumaki Naruto should be allowed to be cared for by the Hokage." Said Danzo.

Each member cast their ballot, and the votes were taken and counted by Tsunade.

"The results are….. 10 votes against, nine votes for." Tsunade's head dropped. "Naruto shall enter the orphanage"

"Very well, I will abstain from taking custody of Naruto, and he will be placed into the care of one of Konoha's orphanages."

The Hokage took a moment to take a long pause, and survey the people in front of him.

"I am disappointed in what this council has become. It is a sad state of affairs when the opportunity to better a child's life is shot down. Think about your actions here today, and what it may mean in the long run."

At this point, the Hokage sent a small glare at Danzo's smirking visage.

"You win this round Danzo. I cannot take direct action, but indirect action may be the best case here."

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The Hokage snapped out of his memories, and glanced back at the young blonde in front of him.

"Naruto-kun, what happened to your leg?" He already knew of course, but he wanted to hear it from Naruto.

Naruto blinked in confusion, before looking down at his leg, seeing a large red line on his leg. It took him a few seconds to remember the events last night.

"I ,uh, was climbing that pipe outside and, uh, I scratched myself on the window on the way in."

Naruto looked at the Hokage with a pleading look on his face, as if begging him to believe it.

The Hokage sighed, that villager that had thrown the rock had already been taken in by the Uchiha Military Police, but to hear the desperation in the boy's voice tugged at his heartstrings.

"Well, Naruto-kun you should be more careful as you're playing. You never know what you could run into in these streets."

The boy sighed in relief.

"Sadly Naruto-kun, I must be leaving now. A Hokage's duties are endless, and I must get back to work."

The Hokage stared at Naruto for a minute. An idea forming in his head.

"Say Naruto-kun, did you know that ninja can walk on walls?"

"REALLY?! That is so cool!" Naruto gushed.

"Yes, I think it has something to do with them concentrating chakra at their feet, but alas! My memory is not what it used to be. All I know is that it is a very useful technique to have, and can increase your climbing speed. Even on drainpipes."

The Hokage gave him a meaningful look.

"So if I just send chakra to my feet, I can stick to walls?"

"Well, there's no harm in trying is there? Now goodbye Naruto-kun, don't hurt yourself too much as you play. I recall that young shinobi often practiced sticking to trees before anything else."

Yes, maybe Naruto-kun would benefit with his advice. After all, there's nothing wrong with a little extra help.

The Hokage smiled, and began to walk back to his office.

Naruto smiled, and began to walk back to his apartment.


Author's Notes:

So, welcome to my story, its my first time writing for fanfiction, and as such this piece will be used to help me 'find my feet'.

I hope it'll be recieved well, and I look forward to any constructive comments, that will help me to improve my writing.

Thank you

Yours, toritori9