Another of the things that I've been thinking about that I wanted to write ever since I read somewhere that Naruto is more like Orochimaru than Jiraiya in terms of ambition and jutsu. I realize that this is slightly dark, but I really liked it.
If you like it as well, send me a review.
The pink haired Kunoichi yelled as the blonde ninja blinked in surprise at the sword piercing his gut. The red chakra cloak around his body flickered and died out as the sword slid out. He swayed and then collapsed, a pool of blood forming where he fell. The angry medic leapt, murder in her eyes, bent on using her monstrous strength to finish the man who had just stabbed her teammate.
It would have worked, if not for the fact that her opponent was leagues above her in skill. With serpentine grace, he swiveled and kicked her in the gut, causing her to spit out blood as she flew back, her eyes wide in pain.
"Kukuku, foolish girl. You may be Tsunade's student, but you are not even half the Kunoichi she is. Your strength means nothing if you can't touch me with it." Orochimaru chuckled, amused.
A blonde Kunoichi leapt and grabbed the pinklet before she slammed into the ground.
"Careful, forehead. You can't attack a Sannin like that." Ino quickly started healing the downed medic. "We are the medics. We need to stay back."
"Troublesome." Shikamaru muttered as he cradled his ribs which had gotten injured. "We can't continue. We need to go back. Three teams of chuunin isn't qualified to deal with this."
"But N-Naruto-kun..." Hinata began at his side.
Orochimaru smiled at the pale eyes girl. "Don't worry, child. The boy will not die so easily and I have no intention of putting forth the effort to kill him, after all, he is like me."
"SHUT UP!" Sakura yelled. "HE IS NOTHING LIKE YOU!"
Orochimaru smiled condescendingly.
"HE ISN'T!" Sakura snarled.
"Of course he is." Orochimaru glanced down at the blonde. Already, the bleeding had slowed down considerably. In ten minutes, the wound would be closed and in a few hours, the blonde would wake up. "If I didn't want the Sharingan so much, I would have taken this boy." He looked up at the group of ninja, helping each other up or trying to keep the pain out of their expressions.
"Over the years, I have heard people talk, how your team is like the second coming of the Sannin.", he said, looking back at Sakura. "They are wrong." He smiled. "You and Sasuke-kun are nothing like Tsunade and me, child."
In an instant, he was gone and was standing over Sakura's prone form. Ino's eyes widened and she jumped away. Shikamaru cursed and rolled back. Shino, Tenten and Kiba came forward, but stopped at a distance from the two. Sakura's eyes lost their anger and fear overtook the green orbs. Orochimaru smiled and leaned forward.
"Now, this is the girl I remember." He said. "The scared, pitiful little girl playing ninja, back in the forest of death, all those years ago."
Sakura's temper flared and she threw a punch, but Orochimaru expertly evaded and stomped his foot into her stomach. She yelped in pain. Orochimaru took of his foot and brought it down on her shoulders, one by one. Cracks and Sakura's howling could be heard in the silent clearing. Her friends looked on in horror. They wanted to help, but their injured bodies and spent chakra reserves held them back.
"Tsunade may have taught you her taijutsu, but you are not her. From what I have heard, your real skill lies in Medical jutsu, maybe even better than Tsunade, but in fighting, you are barely a threat to those at high chuunin level. Unlike you, Tsunade was always a strong opponent, even when she was young. You, on the other hand, are just a pale imitation of her shadow in combat." Orochimaru sneered. "Tell me. Has she let you sign the Slug contract?" he asked.
Sakura glared up at him.
"She didn't, did she?" the Sannin smiled. "Of course she didn't. Because she knows, in her heart, that you are not the one to leave the contract to." He sighed. "And I." he said, simply. "I let Sasuke-kun sign the snake contract because he insisted, seeing as Naruto-kun could summon toads. He was jealous and was throwing hissy fits. I gave him the contract to shut him up."
Shikamaru's eyebrows rose. Ino couldn't even drudge up the courage to say something to the man who was so easily insulting Sasuke-kun. The others merely looked on.
Orochimaru glanced back at where Naruto was lying on the ground. "Jiraiya let him sign the toad contract because he thought Naruto-kun deserved it and he saw another blonde student of his, long dead, in the boy. Hence, people look at the two Summons and the fact that you are Tsunade's student, they think the Sannin are reborn." he sighed. "But in reality, the most compatible Sannin to Naruto-kun is, in fact, me."
This time, Sakura didn't say anything. More out of pain in her shoulders, than agreement. Her eyes, however spoke for her.
Orochimaru nodded. "I understand what you are thinking, child." He smiled at the medic. "How can Naruto-kun be like the Traitorous Sannin? He is so loyal to the village. His dream is to be Hokage, and so on."
In the clearing, many nodded.
Orochimaru chuckled. "Kukuku… little children, you forget." He looked at the others and then back at Sakura. "I, too wanted to be Hokage."
"It was my dream, my goal." The Sannin continued. "That is why I strove to become strong. Between I and Jiraiya, the buffoon was never the ambitious one, no." He shook his head. "It is only because that Naruto-kun summons toads that people see him as Jiraiya's successor, and his use of Rasengan is why they say the two are similar."
By now, everyone was listening closely.
"Of course they both use the technique, because it was Jiraiya after all, who taught it to him. But tell me, children." He looked at them all, smiling, as if he was laughing at an inside joke. "Are they similar?"
"Naruto-kun is always happy and smiling." Lee said. "His youthfulness makes him different from you."
"I too smile a lot." Orochimaru smiled his creepy smile. "And contrary to popular belief, I'm happy with my life. I don't spend my days brooding and scowling."
"Naruto is different." Ino nodded. "He never gets angry, and he is not like you at all."
"Is that so?" Orochimaru smiled. "Is that what all of you think? Happy and easy going?"
Orochimaru laughed. The sound sent chills down everyone's spines. The Sannin ended with chuckles. "Foolish children." He shook his head with mirth. "He is not like you think."
The chuunin frowned.
"His pranks were not mere pranks. They were his acts of revenge. For slights against him, he pranked those responsible. Is that the sign of a forgiving nature? No." Orochimaru slowly walked away from Sakura, not even bothering to glance at her before he left.
"Naruto-kun is not always happy. He just smiles so that people would not bother him about it. He neither forgives, nor does he forget. He just waits until the moment is right. He mixes his acts of revenge with enough slapstick humor that people rarely see through to the actual deed done. Only he himself and the victim truly realize the pain and suffering he spreads through those little acts." Orochimaru reached Naruto and looked down fondly. "A true shinobi."
"What are you saying?" Shikamaru asked, his eyes narrowed.
Orochimaru turned and smiled. "The simplicity is the beauty of it." He said. "An academy teacher is pranked upon, painted orange. Everybody sees and everybody laughs. Including the man who was considering an application that the teacher had filled for a chance in the jounin exams. Chuckling, the man rejects the application."
Everybody's eyes widened.
"A man calls him trash. He is pranked and his house is filled with adult reading material. People laugh and shake their heads. But the man's fiancé breaks off the engagement."
Hinata's hand went to her mouth. Orochimaru was talking about a Hyuuga branch member. "Y-you mean Kaoru-san...?"
She remembered the event.
Her reaction is noticed by the others.
"A nurse insults him when he is the hospital and another man, who had picked on Naruto some time ago is in the hospital for small reasons. Her charts are mixed up and the man is shot up with laxatives."
Sakura also remembered what the Snake was talking about.
"The nurse is reprimanded, and her record bears a black mark, while the man earns an unfavorable nickname after relieving himself in the middle of the street." Orochimaru smiled. "These are but a few instances." He glanced down again at the blonde.
"No. Naruto-kun is not Jiraiya's second coming. Jiraiya was a fool and a goof. Only the fact that he was taught both by the Hokage and the toads were his saving graces. Even then, Jiraiya was never this strong. He truly earned the rank of the Sannin when he was able to use Sage mode. Naruto-kun, on the other hand, is a prodigy."
In spite of himself, Kiba scoffed.
Orochimaru's eyes shifted to him and he fell silent. "Oh! You disagree?" he asked. "Tell me then, child, when did you start your ninja training with an instructor and who was it?"
Kiba looked at his friends and then deemed it safe to answer. "When I was five. My mother and my sister taught me." He answered.
"Most of you did around that time, excluding the civilian borns, who had teachers when they started the academy at six, but started practical training when they were eight. All of you had teachers willing to help you."
The others nodded briefly.
Orochimaru glanced down. "This boy truly started getting help when he was assigned to his team. Even then, his sensei barely taught anything. It was only after the chuunin exam's preliminaries, that Jiraiya took the task of bringing him up to speed on his basics and taijutsu."
The others silently agreed as they remembered Naruto's fighting skills before then.
"He learnt a jutsu that the genius Yondaime Hokage took three years to create, in one month. His own sensei, Kakashi took a year of personal coaching from Minato-kun and Jiraiya took six months." Orochimaru chuckled. Again, a lot of the ninja were surprised. Even Sakura hadn't known that the Rasengan was so hard.
"I know Jiraiya. Even on that training trip, he would have let Naruto-kun work and give a few pointers every once in a while. He is not a good teacher. That is why only one of his genin team survived the war, the Prodigy- Namikaze Minato." The snake Sannin said contemptuously.
He looked down at the blonde. "Naruto-kun is truly, a self made ninja." he smiled.
"Imagine." Orochimaru hissed, "If this boy had a willing teacher at the ages you began training, what would he be now?"
Every Chuunin pondered that thought.
"And then we come to a final question." Orochimaru said softly. "I know that the council will never allow him to succeed Tsunade."
Shikamaru and Sakura realized what the man was talking about. Kyuubi. The others wondered why the Sannin was so sure.
"And on the fateful day, when he realizes that he will never be Hokage, what will he do?" Orochimaru chuckled again and jumped away, vanishing in the trees, leaving everyone to wonder the same question. His voice carried to them, filled with amusement from the darkness.
"On that day, we will all know if he is like the image you have of him in your minds, or after all, He is Like Me."