May It Be
Author's Note – Okay, I'll admit that this is a completely new fandom for me. To those who know my works, I will tell you now that my Yugioh stories have not been forgotten or abandoned. I'll be working on this one as well. The muses hit hard for some reason and demanded this tale be written. Truth be told, I've got plot wombats chewing on their cages for several other fandoms as well. I shall be spending time on this as well as my Death Note/Harry Potter crossover.
To the fans of Naruto, I hope I will do this justice. Please be gentle in your reviews and if I've made mistakes that fall beyond the AU rules such as spelling and whatnot, please let me know. At the moment, I am a proud owner a limited amount of the manga and a few pieces of the first series. Right now, my knowledge is based off of those, picking my friends' brains, and the fan fiction I've devoured.
Summary – Knowing how humans react, the Yondaime finds someone to raise his newborn son. This is an alternate universe telling of Naruto's story. Male/Male – Neji/Naruto; Kakashi/Iruka, and others.
Disclaimer – I do not own Naruto. That honor belongs to Masashi Kishimoto. My name doesn't appear on the binding of my manga, mores the pity.
Chapter One – Changing of the Guard
The motionless form stood in front of the window, back to the room as he watched the commotion going on inside the village he had sworn to protect.
"Am I doing the right thing?"
An older voice answered the man, coming from the area near the large desk that dominated the nearly silent chamber.
"I don't have the answer to that, Minato. I wish I did. All I can tell you is that we've done everything we can to try to find another solution."
There was another long period of silence as the two men waited. The stillness was only broken by the first speaker when both sensed the arrival of the men the Yondaime had sent for.
Turning slightly, Minato could see all of his Anbu assembled, each of them kneeling and waiting for his word. Of all the ninja classes Konoha produced, the members of Anbu were loyal only to the Hokage and it was this loyalty that the blond haired Hokage was depending on.
"Tonight is the night."
The words made the assembled group shiver, every one of them suppressing their worry for the man they had sworn their lives to. They had helped their Hokage research, using scrolls that only the Anbu had access to, and knew what Namikaze Minato was going to do to save their village.
Minato's blue eyes skimmed over them, knowing that each of them would give their life for his and that the decision he had made would strike a devastating blow to their hearts. His voice was soft as he continued to address them.
"As Hokage, there is no greater honor than to sacrifice my life to protect the village I love. However, in terms of sacrifice, the one chosen to bear the burden will make an even larger one. Tonight, my only child will lose his last living family member and will have his life forever altered."
The hearts of the hardened shinobi softened when their leader turned to face them fully, the tiny bundle in his arms finally revealed. The child all of them had been waiting for, teasing him playfully about, had arrived and would now have to shoulder the greatest burden any human being could be asked to bear.
"It is my wish that he be treated as a hero by shinobi and civilian alike, but I know how people are. They will look at my son and see him for what he contains, not who he is. People fear and despise what they do not understand and because of that, my son will be shunned and hated."
The commander spoke up then, masked face raising to face his leader.
"Not by any member of Anbu, Yondaime-sama. Your child is one of us and will be guarded and loved, even from the shadows. None will be allowed to harm him. Your legacy will always be our first priority."
The stress lines around the Hokage's eyes and mouth lessened somewhat when he heard the commander's words.
"All of you have my everlasting gratitude for that. There is only one thing left that I can try to give him. Hatake Kakashi?"
A slender figure rose, gloved hand removing the wolf mask he was wearing and hanging it onto his belt.
"I have a request to make of you and given that it's one that will affect your life, I will not be disappointed if you say no. Understand?"
His former student bowed slightly, showing that he did understand and was waiting for Minato to continue.
"I wish to give Naruto a family. I know and trust you to raise him into a good man and a fine shinobi."
The address almost made him smile, and the Hokage shifted his burden slightly.
"I want you to take Naruto as your son, Kakashi, and give him the love and guidance he will need."
Mismatched eyes widened as he heard the request from his old sensei. This was something he had not expected. Most people would request a guardian for their child but to ask him to become the newborn's father?
How in the world could he raise a baby? He was only fifteen and lived an active shinobi life as an Anbu. He knew nothing about children.
These thoughts raged through his head as Kakashi met Minato's eyes. The thoughts stilled when he saw the pain, plea, and encouragement in the blue depths, and he realized just how much his old sensei needed and wanted him to accept.
"I am honored, Minato-sensei, and hope that I will not disappoint you."
A look of relief crossed the familiar eyes, and the Hokage moved towards the only standing Anbu shinobi.
"Sandaime knows of the arrangements I've made for Naruto and you. Once this is finished, he'll tell you everything you need to know. Hatake Kakashi, may I present your son, Hatake Naruto?"
The newborn was slipped into Kakashi's arms, and the shinobi looked down to see his new son. Judging from Naruto's appearance, someone had to have rushed him directly to Minato-sensei right from the delivery room. The ruddy skin was sticky from birth and his umbilical cord was still clamped, not even tied off yet.
Other than the soft blue blanket, the only thing adorning Naruto was an intricate seal painted onto his slightly chubby belly.
"Hokage-sama, shinobi are reporting in. The nine-tails has been spotted close to the village."
At the message from the newly arrived runner, Sandaime and the members of Anbu witnessed a transformation that would haunt their memories for the rest of their lives. All watched as Namikaze Minato shed tears as he leaned forward, placing a soft kiss on the forehead of the newborn in Kakashi's arms. He straightened and turned, face hardening and the Yondaime Hokage strode out of the room, shadowed by all but five of the Anbu units that had been with him in the room.
Sandaime moved towards Kakashi and in a soft voice, issued orders to him and his fellow Anbu.
"Come with me."
The Anbu followed him into an empty room, save for what looked like a small alter. At the older Hokage's gesture, Kakashi laid Naruto onto it and stepped back, waiting with the rest of them to see if the Yondaime would be successful.
The blond haired Hokage approached the area that Kyuubi had broken into; his jaw tightening when the devastation was seen. Shouts of the battling shinobi and the grief of those mourning the fallen reached his ears, strengthening his determination. This has to come to an end and soon.
Resolve made him stand tall and proud as he stepped into range of the nine-tails. He caught sight of the crimson eyes of the youkai and pondered the pain behind the nearly feral rage in the dark depths.
The Anbu watching that night would always remember the speed as the Yondaime formed the seals with his fingers and hands.
Power flared as the Shinigami were summoned and the seals were completed. Blue eyes locked onto crimson and the Hokage froze, memories slamming into him as the youkai's soul was pulled from the massive body.
There was a bright explosion of light and as their vision returned, the Anbu were horrified to see their leader's body collapse.
The commander was the first one there and cradled the dying Yondaime in his arms. The group could hear the man's voice rasp out.
"Kyuubi...her kits killed by ninja...drawn here...Orochi.."
The vibrant blue eyes closed as the Hokage released his final breath. The words hung heavily in the air as the commander stared at his subordinates, their eyes holding the same emotions as his own. Mourning, betrayal, and anger.
The seal glowed red on the newborn's belly, signaling that the task was complete. Naruto gave a cry as the power of the seal changed the paint, burning it into his skin. Kakashi was caught between wanting to cry for the loss of his former sensei or cuddle the wailing baby. It didn't take him long to decide, scooping up the tiny form and murmuring soothing noises to try to comfort him.
For some time, the only sound in the room was that of Kakashi's soft voice as he continued to soothe the distraught little one.
Moments later, Sandaime squared his shoulders when he caught sight of the Anbu captain near the doorway. He knew exactly what was in the man's arms, and his heart was close to breaking with that knowledge.
"You know what to do, Commander. I will join you once a few details have been attended to."
Sandaime led the group to his office, gesturing for Kakashi to take a seat so he could continue soothing the distraught newborn in relative comfort.
A small female wearing a cat mask knelt beside the chair, fingers gently trailing over Naruto's face.
"He needs his exam, inoculations, and to be cleaned up. Hokage-sama, I can retrieve everything from headquarters and do it here. Given the fears of the results of what happened tonight, I feel that it might be best if the little one was treated only by Anbu doctors and medics from this moment on."
The older man nodded, understanding the woman's concerns. It was as the Yondaime had expressed. Once word was released about what had happened, Naruto would become a target and it would be best to limit his medical care to those who would ensure that the boy's health would be taken care of to the best of their ability.
"See to it, Neko."
The Anbu disappeared as the commander slipped into the room, shadowed by the rest of the Anbu that had accompanied Yondaime to the battle field.
"It's done then?"
"Yes, Hokage-sama. His body is being attended to. There are some things I should tell you. Yondaime-sama seemed to connect to the nine-tails before the youkai was sealed. The creature's kits were killed by shinobi, and it was drawn here."
The Hokage sat down, staring at the Anbu commander.
"As far as I know, none of our shinobi has had interaction with the nine-tails before now. Correct?"
"Correct, Hokage-sama. Yondaime-sama's last word was calling out a name. 'Orochi.' He was unable to complete the name."
An angry expression settled on the leader's face. He hadn't expected that piece of news, but it didn't surprise him.
"One more betrayal Orochimaru must pay for."
Author's End Notes – I've seen a few stories where Orochimaru was held responsible for Kyuubi's attack on Konoha, and it seemed like something he would definitely do. It works into the story at a later date. I hope everyone enjoyed the first installment of "May It Be." I'll try to update when I can. Please leave a review and let me know what you think!