Summary: Complete AU. Honoka had a secret. When she was eight years old, she also met a Master of Martial Arts. His name? Uzumaki Naruto.
AN: Alright, let's get one thing clear my friendly readers. The Naruto in this world is not the same as the one from the Naruto-verse. This Naruto was born and raised in the Kenichi-verse. I will merely be implementing his character here. Of course, I could tailor his background to resemble the canon Naruto easily. That however, is for me to write, and for you all to read and find out. The idea is heavily inspired by Kenchi618's "Soldier of Fortune" story. I recommend it for anyone who doesn't mind reading something different,
At the start of this story, the ages are as follows.
Obviously, I'm starting from the past. At least for the moment before I hit canon.
Other than that, please, enjoy.
Honoka Shirahama was solemnly walking back home from a long day at school. She had a lot on her mind at the moment, having to balance a great deal of many thoughts. Too many for a girl her age would be her own opinion. Wasn't being young about freedom and being carefree? Why was she the one who had to juggle such useless thoughts in her mind, even when most of them weren't even her business to being with!
"Gah!" She yelled in frustration, catching the attention of a few of the people around her, who looked at her warily. After all, nobody wanted to deal with a random temper tantrum. "Hehe...sorry!" With that, she walked faster, intent on getting home.
It had happened again. She had seen a bunch of other children making fun of and harassing her brother! And frankly, she was damn tired of it. Didn't those stupid delinquents have anything better to do other than bully her poor, poor older brother. He was so kind hearted that he couldn't even defend himself. Life just wasn't fair to him.
She wished that she could defend her brother but every time she tried, it only made things worse for him. They would always belittle him and accuse him of hiding behind his little sister, making the harassment worse. Of course, there were some people who had no problems hitting a little girl, so when it came to that, Kenichi would always shoo her away and take the brunt of any harassment.
Her patience was wearing thin. The police didn't do anything to stop gang violence and her brother was always picked on. It was not fair.
"...*sigh...I wish I could just do something." She mumbled before sticking an orange flavored lollipop in her mouth. It was her favorite one out of the millions of flavors. The taste was just so sweet that it practically melted in her mouth. What a delight.
It was getting a bit dark. "I should hurry! I don't want mom to get mad at me!" And with that - she began a long sprint.
Honoka was something of a junior athlete at her elementary school. She played a variety of sports, ranging from track to soccer to tennis. Her mom had always encouraged her to do so to keep fit, thus making her more healthy as she grew. So her speed was definitely not that of an average eight year old girl. Her strides were conditioned and her breathing was well balanced.
"..*Thump*..." A loud crashing sound caught her attention and she stopped to see what was going on.
"Hey brat, why don't you jump for us?" A snide, arrogant voice said. Honoka watched as a couple of high schoolers - behind them was a large group of others - glare down at four boys that looked slightly younger than even her. They were cowering behind some trash cans, eliciting laughter from the older kids.
"What's wrong? Scared?" The leader asked with a smirk. "Well, come on then! Jump and we won't hurt ya'!"
"HEY!" Honoka didn't know why she did it. Her mom had always chided her for being a hot-head and reckless, but this time, it angered her deeply to see a bunch of older people picking on younger people. "LEAVE THEM ALONE! WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH YOU PEOPLE?!"
"Oh look at that..." The leader stalked towards Honoka. "A little girly. Pretty brave to be yelling at us huh?"
"Yeah! We should teach the damn brat a lesson!" One of his underlings from behind suggested loudly. Honoka could see that a few of them were hesitant to be attacking a young girl but shook it off, not wanting to show any weakness to the higher ups of their gang.
"W-what?" She stuttered momentarily. However, her fear quickly turned into rage as she realized how serious they were. "Don't you have any shame?! Picking on someone younger than you!"
"Hey, you were the one that came here." He replied loosely, waving his hands in a nonchalant manner. "You picked a fight with us!"
"Your moms must be so ashamed of you all! How dare you t-try to intimidate me like this!"
Five of the high schoolers stepped up and began cracking their knuckles. "Well than...I wonder how ashamed your mom will be when we return you broken and battered..." Honoka gulped, guarded her face and closed her eyes, waiting for the first blow to come.
"Well isn't this is a disgusting sight."
A voice from her far right spoke authoritatively. Honoka peeked a scan and saw a fairly tall man glare coldly at the high school delinquents. She opened her other eye to see that a few of the others in the back had wet themselves at the sheer fury of his look.
Honoka didn't blame them.
The guy looked absolutely irate.
He stood at about six foot tall if her eyes were measuring right. His figure was slim and he had short, but spiky blond hair and crisp blue eyes. The blonde wore simple straight blue pants, slim sandals and a dark, loosely buttoned long-sleeved shirt. Around his neck was a necklace with what looked like an emerald gem embedded into it.
"Who the hell 'r you?!" The leader snarled.
"You seem angry. Are you so much of a coward that you would lose your spine as soon as you confront somebody your own size?" The blond man replied crisply, raising a single brow. "Please take your little gang of filth and leave these children alone. I have no patience with the likes of you."
"Naruto-aniki!" One of the formerly cowering boys shouted upon recognition. He immediately dashed from behind the trash can and made it to the blond, who looked down sternly at the boy. "I-I..."
"Quiet, Konohamaru. We will talk about this later. Kenji, Shin, Udon; come out from behind there and get back into the building. Now." His tone left no room for argument. The boys easily dashed away from the stunned gang and made it back into the building they were beside.
"Now for you all." His cold gaze turned to the gang members. "Leave."
"You think we're just gonna let this go?!" The leader scoffed. "We're gonna beat the living day lights out of you!" Some of the more devout members roared in agreement. Fifteen members ran simultaneously at him without waiting for a response.
The blond, now identified as Naruto, merely closed his eyes. "I see."
Honoka watched the horror in front of her unfold.
But it was not what she had initially expected.
The blond man moved like lightning. All of his strikes proved to be finishing blows that knocked each member down and out cold. His footsteps were untraceable to the eyes of amateurs and his figure blurred with a speed that no one there knew was even possible. The leader of the gang had his eyes wide open and mouth gaping at the sheer brutality of the tall man's nature. The guy didn't even take a single blow and the fifteen on one bout had ended in about five seconds, the favor going to the unlikely one. Honoka could not believe what she had just witnessed.
"...He's so strong..." She muttered to herself, a hint of admiration in her young voice. She had instantly forgotten what had happened before he had appeared.
"S-shit!" The leader stumbled back and began to run. "A-a-"
"Don't speak. Just leave. Your mere presence is making the beauty of the setting sun taint." He interrupted sharply. "Get off my property and never return. Or else."
"Y-y-y-y-y-e-eah. O-ok." The teen squeaked out, tears in his eyes. With that, the leader of the group retreated quickly, resembling a beaten dog with a tail between his legs.
The rest of the gang followed suit.
Honoka followed their tracks until they were out of sight. Everything had happened so quickly. She couldn't believe that all of this had just happened.
"Excuse me, young lady. But I believe that it is getting late. You should be heading home." The tall man said sternly. "Do not keep your family worrying."
"R-right!" Honoka blurted out and checked her watch. "Oh no! I'm late!" And with that, she bowed before him and said, "Thank you sir! Goodnight!" And then she ran off.
Naruto watched with an amused look as the girl ran at full strides into the sun set. He let out a wistful sigh.
"Kids." He returned to the building with a mere shake of his head.
Honoka couldn't sleep that night. All she could think about was that encounter before she made it home.
"That blond guy was so strong...He was so amazing. He protected those kids so easily! I wish I could do that." She began laying there in bed, day-dreaming of all the things she could have done if she had that strength. Before she knew it, it was nearly four in the morning and her mind began shutting down.
Honoka awoke with a gasp as she felt her body shake. "Honoka!" She looked up to see the face of her mother. "You nearly overslept! Get up, it's time for school!"
"S-sorry mom!" Stumbling around her room, Honoka broke her previous record for getting dressed and raced down stairs.
"Jeez, you have red in your eyes dear. Is something the matter?" Her mother asked kindly, "Did you get any sleep?"
"Some." Honoka admitted tiredly. "I had a lot on my mind!"
"Well don't let them bother your sleep. Resolve them so that you can get back up to snuff!" Honoka smiled and nodded. It was simple but great advice. The straight-forwardness of it all appealed to her immensely.
She hurried out the house and made her way back to the school. Honoka ran as quickly as possible so she wouldn't be even a minute late but due to her high speed movement, she ran into someone else as a corner was turned.
"Urgh!" She heard from the other side. Turning her head, she saw one of the kids that was being bullied the other day.
"Oh! Sorry, I was in a hurry." The young boy looked up at Honoka and widened his eyes in recognition.
"Oh hi! I remember you from the other day. Thank you so much for sticking up to those stupid bullies!" The boy nearly glowed with a smile as wide as his face. The kid had a mop of brown hair a little band-aid on his nose. "I wish I could have seen Naruto-aniki beat them down though. By the way, my name is Konohamaru."
"The blond guy? He's your brother?" She asked for clarification.
"N-no. Actually, he's the Caretaker at the orphanage I live in." Konohamaru replied in a low tone at the mention of living at an orphanage, not really enjoying that admission. Honoka acknowledged that and avoided that topic.
"He was really amazing. He beat those guys in an instant!" Honoka told him with a gentle smile. "He was like wham! And the other guys fell down and the leader ran away. It was awesome."
"I bet!" The young boy began jumping excitedly.
"Yeah! Oh man. I have to go, I'll see you later!"
As she was about to sprint off, the boy shouted, "Wait! I-I uh, didn't catch your name." He flushed a bit at this.
Smiling, the girl replied, "I'm Honoka!"
"Right. Honoka, feel free to stop by the Orphanage sometime. I'm sure the other three wants to thank you too!"
Shrugging, "Sure! I'll see you later Konohamaru!" And with that, she ran to school before she got really late.
Unfortunately, even with her speed, Honoka couldn't avoid the stern warning from her sensei. Sulking her way back, she suddenly remembered the promise she had made to that young brown haired kid, Konohamaru, to visit the orphanage.
It didn't take her long to get there at all. The place was on the way to her own home after all.
She only really noticed it yesterday. It was surprising for her to learn that perhaps, she wasn't as familiar with the area as she previously thought.
The building was fairly modest in design but was definitely big enough to house multiple children. "Koryou Children's Home." The sign read. It was three stories tall and stretched nearly four houses in length.
She entered through the front door. As soon as she closed the door behind her, a large shadow appeared above her. Looking up, her gaze met those of a tall man with brown eyes, short, black spiky hair (with some hints of gray), and a beard. He had an easy smile on his face.
"Why hello. I haven't seen you around here so you probably aren't one of ours. I'm Asuma Sarutobi. How can I help you?"
"Hi! My name's Honoka. I came by to see my new friend Konohamaru!"
Asuma seemed a bit interested at that tid bit of information. "Oh...The kid." A knowing look entered his eyes. Smirking, he nodded. "Sure, I'll be sure to find my young nephew."
"Nephew?" Honoka questioned. She assumed that Konohamaru didn't have any other relative, hence why he lived in an orphanage.
"Ah, I know that look. This orphanage was actually my father's. He died a year ago." Asuma sighed, "So I inherited it. Unfortunately, I travel a lot due to my...profession. And thus, I can't officially be a caretaker. I let Naruto have that job."
"Oh, I met him. He seems really strict but very kind!" She smiled, "I saw him beat up some bad guys the other day to protect the kids."
"Typical him, always the hot head. I didn't know you had met him...Then again, I don't know you at all. Don't let his stern, disciplinarian attitude fool you. He's actually a huge softy." Asuma laughed at her surprised look. "He really cares for the kids here. So I felt that he was fit to be the next caretaker. He used to work here as an employee so it made sense. Anyway, I'll go get Kono for you. His room isn't too far." Asuma soon walked away.
Honoka sat quietly and observed the place. It actually looked a lot bigger on the inside than it did from the outside.
Hearing a grunt, Honoka turned to see the object of her recent thoughts. Near the reception desk, the blond man stood straight back and tall. His eyes were tight but held warmth in them. "...I'm guessing you came for Kono?"
"Yes sir. It's nice to meet you again." She added in a slight bow, before sitting back down.
"Hm, such a polite young girl." He approved of that, "It's good that Kono's finally making friends outside the orphanage. Perhaps it will do him good once he starts school." Naruto mused. "He told me what happened the other day. Your bravery has made quite the impression on him."
"A-ah...It wasn't anything special." She made a sweeping motion on front of her face, trying to hide behind modesty.
Shrugging, the blonde merely took her response in stride. "Thank you." For helping his surrogate brother, something that he left unsaid.
"It's no problem."
Grinning, he turned around and made his way to a large room. However, Honoka wasn't finished and her curiosity ignited.
"Hey wait sir! Um...I was wondering...how are you so strong?"
Quirking a brow, the blond turned back with a blank expression. "I was something of a Martial Artist back in my youth."
"You talk like your youth was way back in the day. You still look young!"
Amused, he decided to correct her. "I'm nearly thirty-three years old. I'm not exactly a youngster."
"But you're not an old man either! In fact, you still look like someone in their twenties!"
"Thank you." Naruto replied honestly. "Practitioners of Martial Arts usually live long, healthy lives while maintaining something of a young visage. I suppose I am...young as well."
Honoka was too young to identify the pained look in his eyes. Just as those words were said, something else popped in her mind.
"Can you train me?" She mumbled shyly.
"What was that?" Naruto asked.
"This is gonna sound weird but...um, can you train me!?" She stood and bowed deeply. "I...I was so amazed by the way you took down those bullies! I want to be strong too!"
Naruto pinned a decisive gaze on her. "One does not simply decide to study Martial Arts on a whim, young lady. I'm afraid I'll have to decline. I do not take any students."
"But..." She was about to turn away from his stern gaze but something inside of her forced her eyes to stay on his. "But I also want to be strong like you."
"Hm...Interesting. Maybe there is more to this girl than just reckless courage." The blond mused in his mind. "I do not run a dojo here. This is an orphanage. If you want to become a martial artist, I'll point you in the right direction. I'm sure those knuckleheads at Ryozanpaku would love to take on a new student. Heaven knows they have nothing better to do with their time." Naruto shrugged and with that, he turned away leaving a disheartened Honoka behind.
Unbeknownst to the both of them, a thoughtful looking Sarutobi Asuma hid behind the staircases, having eavesdropped on their conversation.
I hope you enjoyed.
And yes, Naruto is definitely NOT young. He's a master martial artist after all. He's actually pretty young for a Master now that I think about it.
I added in Asuma too. I just think he's an awesome character with a cool design. And yes...the trench knives are IN!
Kenichi (Who won't appear until I start canon, which is fairly soon): 11
I will be taking in those guesses as to what Martial Arts Honoka will be learning. (Let's face it, we all know by the title that Naruto will eventually give in). It's not Ninjutsu though. My mind isn't really creative enough to pull that off.
Review or PM to tell me what you think.
Thanks, have a nice day.