Disclaimer: I don't own "Naruto" and I'm sooooooooo NOT repeating this throughout this fic again ;P I do own my original characters.

Summary: Naruto returns to Konoha after a year of training with Jiraiya; and just in time too, as the Tiger Challenge arrives and Tsunade decided to sent the young, Konoha gennin to take part in it! With an event that gathers gennin from every, hidden village in the Elemental Nations, everyone has their own goals for the tournament: some want to prove something, some wish to test their skills, others have agenda of their own... but who is this mysterious, new member of team number seven that's going to replace Sasuke? And what are his motives?

Back by popular demand (meaning several people over the last, few months have been bugging me to continue :D), "Shinobi Showdown" is alive again. Some of you may ask why do I upload this separate, when the original is still on my profile; well, the answer is simple – this is a rewrite (or remake) of the actual SS.

Reading through first chapters of the original tale, I realized how much they sucked... and decided to bring the story "up to date". To that end I wish to "warn" everyone who want to read this fic – it was planned waaaaaay back in 2005, when "Naruto" was only introducing Sai. To that end, most of Part II/Shippunden revelations were not implemented into the tale itself, making this AU, if ever so slightly.

Lets start with the basics - this story takes place about a year after Naruto left Konoha (so during the time-skip); the blond returned recently and none of the Konoha gennin made it to the chuunin level yet (except for Shikamaru, who was promoted earlier).

Second – being planned from start to finish, giving me a hard time to change any, mayor information in the plot... thus there are some things that doesn't "fit in" with what the manga established later; for example the tale contains few Akatsuki OCs and the Bijuu (as well as Jinchuuriki) differ from the ones known in the original (those who read "Shinobi Showdown" earlier may remember that 4 Jinchuuriki were officially introduced, including Gaara and Naruto). The tailed beasts are also taken directly from the Japanese folklore... which means that Nibi is still a two-tailed cat, but in stead of Matatabi, it's the actual Nekomata!

So what WILL be different compared to SS's original run? Well, for starters, I "cleared" it a bit, so the read should be more enjoyable then it initially was (at least I hope so). I also altered the story a little bit; most of it is still in tact, but people who remember the original will note differences – some characters will be introduced earlier into the story then they were, some (that were supposed to appear later) will make a debut ahead of schedule (like jounin instructors of the Tiger Challenge participants), some events are added.

I've also made some changes to the story, allowing it to be more "true" to the source material; and thus you'll eventually will get to see ALL Akatsuki members; but the OCs I've prepared for this tale those 7 years ago are still in play as well, making Akatsuki more then just 9 people... other characters will be elaborated on, giving more depth to the participants of the Tiger Challenge. Furthermore, Sai (who was nowhere in the original draft of the tale) will be playing some part in it (wonder how many of you care :D). All in all, I'd like to believe that this tale improved plot-wise.

I do ask that you review this chappie (whether you read the original or not) and tell me what you think, so that I may see if this fic it truly worth reanimating. Those who wish to, may read the original version (I plan to leave it open for the time being), granted reading all 27 chapters of the first SS will be a tremendous spoiler for this one.

Now, before going to the story itself, I'd like to use this occasion to give all you girls out there my best wishes; not just because of the upcoming Women's Day, but simply because you deserve it. Hope this week will be filled with joyful happenings for you!

Chapter #1: Konoha Gennin Assemble!

A loud ring of the alarm clock sounded in the apartment and got instantly silenced by a mysterious hand; a hand that belonged to a young boy with blond hair, sky-blue eyes and whisker marks which decorated his cheeks.

The boy stretched and scratching himself in a less-then-dignified manner, looked at the clock with a sleepy face: "Eight thirty in the morning... Tsunade-obachan told us to be at her office at nine" he groaned, slowly rising to his feet.

Without haste he made himself breakfast, one that his friends were all too familiar with, then brushed his teeth and changed clothes to a black and orange jumpsuit, while a shinobi hitae-ate with the symbol of the Leaf on it got placed on his forehead.

He arrived at the Hokage office five minutes past nine, just to see that everybody was already there. Some of the people gathered were totally different then how he remembered, some didn't seem too changed much, but even so it was hard to not feel nostalgic; he may have returned to Konoha a week ago, but that still left him little time to catch up with everybody.

Haruno Sakura, a kunoichi with medium-length, pink hair and green eyes, stood beside her teacher's throne-like chair; dressed in short, black leg guards, red skirt and a sleeveless top in the same color, his old teammate started to resemble Tsunade, her new sensei, more and more as time flew. And, while her hands now sported black, fingerless gloves, she still carried her forehead protector on top of her head.

Konoha's laziest shinobi, Nara Shikamaru, in comparison, have not changed at all - he still had three, golden earrings in his ear and black, medium-length hair clipped in a ponytail that made his head look like a pineapple. Wearing a black t-shirt and a green, unbuttoned chuunin vest over it, the only, new feature was a long, wooden stick, which he carried strapped to his back. As usual he seemed to be sleeping while he was standing.

Sakura's old-time rival, Yamanaka Ino, a girl with long, blonde hair clipped into a ponytail that allowed one, single strand to cover the right side of her face was there as well; dressed in a revealing, violet dress that left her midriff and arms uncovered, she still wore her headband as a belt and while she have considerably grew in looks, it was clear that during the last year she also matured the most.

The widest gennin of them all, Akimichi Chouji, a boy with long, spiky, brown hair and whirlpool tattoos on his cheeks was still pretty fat, granted now that fact was more obscure thanks to the thick, red body armor that clad to him tightly. It was said that he was training hard with his father on mastering the clan supreme techniques, but what these were or if he made any progress was totally unknown to the whisker-marked teen.

A walking enigma - guy wearing shades with messy, black hair, dressed in a light green overcoat, carrying two Fuuma Shurikens attached to his back. With the hood now donned over the head, his demeanor was even more mysterious then ever, which implied that the attitude of Aburame Shino didn't change much during the time the blond gennin was away.

A heir of one of the most respected clans in all of Konoha, Hyuuga Hinata, have grown her black hair to shoulder-length during the orange-clad boy's absence. She clipped it in a ponytail, which left two strands to frame her pretty face, showing off the most distinguishing feature - completely white eyes. She drastically changed her dressing style, now sporting blue pants and yellow, unbuttoned overcoat above a white t-shirt, which allowed the blond to see she was developing nicely as a woman.

An impatient loud-mouth, Inuzuka Kiba, got rid of his gray overcoat in favor of dark blue jumpsuit with a fishnet underneath. His spiky, brown hair and two red fang tattoos on his cheeks remained in tact, but his usual partner, a white-fur dog named Akamaru, has become anything but a little puppy which he once were.

Called by many 'the greatest genius in all the Leaf', Hyuuga Neji, had the same, white eyes like Hinata and grew his black hair even longer, keeping it clipped in a ponytail. His attire changed into a gray outfit with wide sleeves, making him look somewhat plain, yet none the less he was still one of the top gennin, not only among Konoha ones.

Beside him was the kunoichi that didn't stand out to much – Tenten. A girl with brown hair clipped in two buns, wearing white, Eastern-styled shirt and blue pants, she remained one of the greatest weapon experts in the Leaf.

The creepiest, if it comes to looks anyway, gennin around, Rock Lee followed in Shikamaru's footsteps and changed little over the year; he still wore green and kept his helmet-like, black hair, while his already large eyebrows seem to grow in size. Even so, among Konoha gennin, none could match him in taijutsu.

The only one missing was a certain, raven-haired boy, but Naruto knew that one would not be showing up...

"Good, you finally arrived" smiled an older looking woman with blonde hair clipped in two ponytails behind her back and a huge wreck as she kept her hands clasped before her. Normally, the orange-clad boy's tardiness would've set a quarrel in motion, but as a 'welcome home' gift, she decided to skip it just this once: "Now we can begin..."

"So why have you called us here, Tsunade-sensei?" Ino asked curiously, visibly anxious.

"The reason is simple" replied the Godaime in a calm yet stern voice: "I want all of you to participate in a certain tournament..."

"A tournament?" Shino repeated, indicating he expected a more elaborated explanation.

"Yes, a tournament" the woman nodded patiently, shifting her attention towards him. "It takes place only once every ten years and it's a well-known event among the shinobi from all villages… probably the best test for the young gennin too..."

"So what is this event that you keep talking about, Hokage-sama?" asked Neji, crossing his arms; he was not particularly a patient man.

"It's called the Tiger Challenge and it allows gennin from every, hidden village to participate in it" Tsunade responded, not bothering to speed her monolog up. "However the number of teams from every village that can enter is limited..."

"To how many?" now Tenten got suspicious.

"Four per village" the Godaime told her. "And so I've chosen you guys to represent Konoha on this decade's tournament; from what I know, you're the most skilled group of gennin we have to offer, which basically makes you the logical choice."

"I'm afraid there are two 'buts' about that, Tsunade-sama" announced Shikamaru, not liking where this was going; he was not keen on taking part in something that troublesome: "First one is the fact that I'm a chuunin, which, according to your words, makes me illegitimate to participate in the event... thus Ino and Chouji are left without a third teammate. Also, Naruto and Sakura are in a similar situation..."

With those words both members of Kakashi's cell became a little gloomy.

"That has been already taken care of, Shikamaru" the Hokage replied calmly. "As it goes for your team, you'll be allowed to participate in the tournament on the grounds that you're a rookie chuunin that just got promoted. Of course it's not like it was arranged just like that; rookie or not, you are a chuunin and the Tiger Challenge is a tournament for gennin; in order to balance it out, in stead of four, Konoha will be able to send only one jounin with all the teams…"

"I was hoping to seat this one out" the lazy boy thought to himself bitterly. "How troublesome…"

"And when it comes to you guys" with those words Tsunade turned to Naruto and Sakura, giving them a worried expression before she continued: "I have found you a replacement for the time being..."

"A replacement?" Sakura repeated, visibly not thrilled with the idea. "Who?"

"Easy, easy" responded the Godaime, pointing towards the doors on her right: "I'll introduce this person to you right now…" and as those words left her mouth, the doors opened, allowing a boy Naruto's age to entered the office.

He had spiky, blond hair, much like the orange-clad gennin, with a long ponytail falling on his back. His green eyes carefully scanned the group, despite the left one having a vertical cut going across it. His attire consisted of a black shirt with short sleeves and light-blue, unbuttoned vest with a black kanji symbol, that represented 'hyena' on its back. White pants with short trouser legs, a bandage that covered his right hand and two katana attached to his back completed the look.

"This is Nadare Fukamaru" Tsunade introduced the arrival. "And he'll be the new member of team number seven for the time being..."

"And just why should he be a member of our team?!" yelled Naruto, pointing at the blond; he wasn't quite ready to allow anyone take Sasuke's spot and, deep down, Sakura shared that sentiment. "How do we know he's qualified enough?!"

"Would the fact that I could beat you senseless with my eyes closed and left hand tied behind my back be enough to prove my qualifications?" Fukamaru replied with calm in his voice, which agitated the whisker-marked boy even further.

"Lets take it outside, whelp!"

"This kinda reminds me of a certain event from the past" Tsunade thought to herself, sweat dropping at the outcome.

"Na-Naruto-kun, please don't" Hinata asked shyly, but the blond gennin already left Hokage's office, too furious to listen to reason. The swordsman, on the other hand, just sighed and walked after him without haste.

"This could be fun" Kiba smirked as he turned towards the large dog: "Right, Akamaru?" he questioned, making the canine bark in agreement.

"Better get some popcorn" Chouji added seriously, which only made Ino sweat drop as well. Meanwhile Lee did not hide his excitement, granted he managed to restrain himself from shouting, like he usually did: "That's the spirit of youth! We'll finally see how much you've grown, Naruto-kun!"

"How troublesome" Shikamaru merely sighed as he followed the rest of the gennin outside.

-Few minutes later-

Naruto stood in front of Fukamaru, sending him an angry glare, while the swordsman kept his cool, gazing lazily at the whisker-marked boy: "So, any rules to this, little duel?" he asked with an uncaring voice. "Best established now, so that you could limit your embarrassment... if only by little..."

"Don't get smug with me, dammit!" the Kyuubi vessel snapped at his opponent. "You won't even be able to touch me!" he proclaimed, but the other teen remained unfazed:

"Let me just tell you, that people who talk big usually end up screaming for momma the loudest" Fukamaru stated with indifference. "I hate wasting time, so could we, please, start?"

"S-somebody should stop them" Hinata whispered with her head lowered, but that request was completely overwhelmed by Kiba's shout: "Get it on already!"

Suddenly, both Naruto and Fukamaru charged at each other; the former instantly performing his primary technique, Kage Bunshin, making his single figure get replaced by nine bodies, each coming at the swordsman in a frontal assault.

"A simple shadow replication?" the boy with the ponytail thought, narrowing his eyes slightly. "What's he trying to do, make me bust a gut laughing?" and with that he performed a short chain of hand seals, calling out with the last symbol: "Katon: Kasai Uzumaki!"

In a flash chakra began to escape from his feet, forming a circle of fire around him. As four Narutos jumped into the air with an intent to land a blow on his face, the ring of flames went up, creating a fire barrier around Fukamaru. Immediately all of the clones that crashed into that wall disappeared in the cloud of white smoke, filling the air with a familiar, puffing noise.

"Impressive" Lee nodded with approval, putting his hand on his chin thoughtfully. "Looks like we've got another, absolute defense" and with that he turned to his teammate, yet Neji merely 'hmphed' at the implication.

The four, remaining clones of Naruto surrounded the whirlpool, ready to strike the moment fire dies down, however they all felt chakra accumulating within the barrier, putting them on defense. An instant later Fukamaru's voice beamed from behind the wall, like a premonition: "Katon: Kasai Hebi!".

In a fraction of a second, a powerful fire missile in the shape of a viper with opened mouth came at the original, slithering between the copies. Acting on instinct, Naruto jumped to the air, managing to avoid a direct hit, yet his clothes got a little burnt anyway.

While he was still in mid-air, the fire barrier disappeared and his clones charged at Fukamaru with kunai in their hands, while the original began performing a new set of hand seals as he descended back to the ground.

The first of the bunshin received a direct hit from one of the swordsman's katana, which the boy unsheathed in a blink of an eye. The second clone's attack was deflected by that very same blade, while the third's assault got blocked by the second weapon. Trapped in a deadlock, Fukamaru watched as the fourth copy cut from the side, aiming at his head.

However the instant the kunai reached its target, the swordsman's body changed into a wooden pale, making the attack harmless.

"Kawamiri?" Naruto thought, slightly surprised, as he finished the chain of hand seals. "But it'll take more to defeat me then some primitive techniques" and with that the set was complete, allowing the whisker-marked kid to call out: "Fuuton: Arai Dageki!"

Suddenly the air surrounding him began to circle rapidly and a powerful tornado went straight at the place where Fukamaru reappeared, taking the swordsman off-guard.

"That technique" Tenten thought to herself, covering her eyes. "It's similar in strength to that sand girl's who defeated me during the Chuunin Selection Exam..."

"A wind jutsu?" Fukamaru narrowed his eyes as the wind blown him away, smashing his back against a wall. "I thought Konoha specialized in Fire Release... this is interesting, but if he's not using Katon, then I guess I should reveal my abilities also' and with that he began performing a new chain of hand seals: "Suiton: Soudai Tsunami!"

Before anyone knew it, all three clones of Naruto, that charged at the swordsman, were wiped out by a powerful tidal wave that came from the latter's mouths, quickly covering most of the area in a cascading manner.

"What a technique" Shino noted, remaining indifferent on the outside. "Such a massive Suiton where there's no water... also, I thought that any Suiton Konoha had died with the Nidaime Hokage..."

Seeing the oncoming water, Naruto instantly began performing another chain of hand seals and right before the wave reached him, he called out, slamming his hands to the ground: "Doton: Ishi Sekisho!"

In a flash a huge wall of stone came from the underground, blocking tsunami's path.

"Heh, he channeled his chakra into the ground and used it to pull up the stones in a way they would create a blockade" Fukamaru quickly analyzed the situation, as he began to perform a new set of seals, a tiny smirk appearing on his face: "This guy's better then I thought..."

Meanwhile, still behind the stone wall, Naruto began performing a set of hand seals of his own. With the preparations complete, he stepped into the open, yelling from the bottom of his lungs: "Fuuton: Ketatamashii Kaze!"

Before the swordsman noticed, a powerful, spinning wind erupted from behind the whisker-marked boy and formed in a spike, coming straight at him. Instantly it smashed into Fukamaru's torso, but just as his stomach got pierced be the wind lance, the blond's body turned into a puddle of water, splattering over the ground.

"Mizu bunshin?" Naruto's eyes widen with surprise, as the real Fukamaru appeared right behind him, ending a new set of seals: "Suirou no Jutsu!" he called out and in a flash the Kyuubi vessel got trapped in a big bubble of water.

"That technique" Sakura thought to herself, widening her eyes. "But didn't that Zabuza guy from the Wave used the same jutsu against Kakashi-sensei?"

"Looks like this is the end" Fukamaru announced calmly, holding his hand in the bubble. "I win..."

"Really?" Naruto asked with a grin on his face, as he disappeared in a cloud of white smoke.

"Kage bunshin?" this time it was Fukamaru's eyes that widen at the outcome: "So he thought up the same strategy I did?"

"But where's the original?" Chouji questioned, looking around curiously.

"Over there!" Ino pointed to the top of a nearby building where, sure enough, Naruto stood with his right hand in front of him. A ball of blue chakra started to form in his palm, spinning wildly. The forming orb surprised everyone, except Tsunade, who started to look worried.

"What…" was all Kiba could say, his mouth agape. "What in the world is that?!"

Without reply, Naruto jumped down with the chakra ball in his hand and charged at Fukamaru, running at top speed. Seeing this, his opponent grabbed one of his katana, performed few, single-handed seals, called out 'Mikazuki no Mai' and instantly three swordsman appeared in one's place, dashing at the whisker-marked kid heads on.

As both of them were closing in on each other, Tsunade entered the space between the two, grabbing Naruto by the wrist of his hand that was holding the Rasengan and Fukamaru by the one holding the sword. Before anyone of them could react, the Godaime send both of them flying away with a powerful yank.

Fukamaru was able to land on his feet and just sled a few meters; Naruto on the other hand landed hard and rolled on the ground for few seconds before he managed to came to a stop.

"I believe that's enough" Tsunade announced sternly, sending both a hard glare. "Whether you like it or not, you're both Leaf shinobi and you are NOT allowed to use those sort of techniques against comrades! More over, from now on you're on the same team, so grow up and live with it!"

"Yes, Hokage-sama" Fukamaru replied humbly after a moment of hesitation, bowing.

"Yeah, yeah, whatever" Naruto responded, dusting himself off, without showing any respect to Konoha's leader.

"Anyways…" the Godaime continued, her eye twitching as she did her best to ignore the blonds. "I want to see all of you tomorrow at nine in the morning at the East Gate. Once you're there, you'll meet your jounin sensei for the time of the tournament. Understood? Then dismiss!" and with that commend Konoha gennin scattered.

"This is going to be extremely troublesome" Shikamaru whispered, as he headed back to his own home to pack for the coming trip.

-and so it begins!-

And that's it for the first chapter. Hope you liked it. Please tell me what you think about it.

Also, for those who are interested, I place a little info about the origins of my OC's name:

Fukamaru Nadare - 'fuka' can be translated into English as 'shark' and '-maru' usually means something in full. Fukamaru uses many water-based techniques which is one of the reasons he was given the name from the famous, underwater predator (those who read the original SS likely see more connection to his name then that). As for his last name, 'nadare' is translated as 'avalanche'.

And now it's time for a little jutsu encyklopedia:

Katon: Kasai Uzumaki (Fire Element: Fire Whirlpool)

Katon: Kasai Hebi (Fire Element: Fire Serpent)

Fuuton: Arai Dageki (Air Element: Wild Blow)

Suiton: Soudai Tsunami (Water Element: Grand Tidal Wave)

Doton: Ishi Sekisho (Earth Element: Stone Barrier)

Fuuton: Ketatamashii Kaze (Air Element: Piercing Wind)

Suirou no Jutsu (Water Prison Skill)

Kage Bunshin no Jutsu (Shadow Clone Skill)

Mizu Bunshin no Jutsu (Water Clone Skill)

Rasengan (actually, I don't know how to translate it, but 'rasen' in this case probably means 'spiral')

Mikazuki no Mai (Dance of the Crescent Moon)

Now this is seriously the end of the remake's first chapter. Hope you liked it.

Take care and hope you'll read the next chappie.