Author's Note: This came to me while reading one of those 'Replace Team 7 with three known characters and scare Kakashi shitless' fics.
It was done entirely for my own amusement.
If you have to guess, it's the character's base nature AND the nurture they were given in this universe. Nature VS Nurture exists, and Nature is just slightly stronger in this, enough to enable Team 7's resemblance to the people I'm inspiring them from, but not enough to make them exactly the same as those characters. They have it within them to become like the three jerks I'm drawing, but without the appropriate experiences in life, they won't become exactly like them.
Conversely, their experiences in life directly relate to how they turned out the way they did.
Enter The Scarecrow
Kakashi was having fun.
Normally, his antics only ever inconvenienced the Hokage, and that wasn't a very nice thing to do, something that he knew very well. Mostly because Sarutobi was threatening to forbid Jiraiya's masterpieces from being sold in Konoha. Normally, he wouldn't have feared a threat like this, as Sarutobi was an avid reader of Jiraiya's work. However, the old Hokage was smart, and thus had figured out why Kakashi didn't fear his threat.
Therefore, he simply told Kakashi that he could have Jiraiya deliver him a single copy which he would then keep for himself. Therefore, he'd be able to remain reading the guilty pleasure that was Icha Icha and still keep Kakashi from reading it ever again.
Kakashi was a very patriotic man, but he was seriously considering smuggling Icha Icha into Konoha just for that.
Regardless of his musings on his favorite book, today he was happy.
Why, you may ask?
Because he had a genin team! Now, most people wouldn't be happy at something like this, as a genin team was a burden that few jounin truly wanted. They put a huge damper on your personal training since they tend to take the majority of your time and they also mean less higher-ranked missions that pay more.
As an Elite Jounin, Kakashi had absolutely no reason to train as there was no further rank he could be promoted to other than Hokage (a title he did not want) and he was plenty strong already, even accounting for the decline in his abilities following his resignation from ANBU. Another of the perks that came from being an Elite Jounin and Ex-ANBU is the pay.
He was not a miser by any means, but he was also someone who spent very little money. He did not have any hobbies that required a hefty investment (the one that required money required only a negligible amount of it), he owned his house, he didn't spend long enough inside of it to merit hiring any services he'd have to pay for and most importantly, he had cheap taste in food as well.
This all added up to the point that his bank account had funds comparable to a clan head's. Had he decided to invest, he'd probably become one of Konoha's richest men in a very short time. Well, assuming his investments paid off, that is.
So the position of Jounin Sensei carried absolutely no downsides to Kakashi. It was basically paid holidays for him.
The most important upside to the whole thing was that he was getting a genin team, namely, three immature little kids who thought they were ninja. They were utterly adorable when they were trying to be serious! All of them simply lacked the ability to understand just how far down the ladder they were.
His favorite hobby was annoying the crap out of his potential genin and, while at it, maybe hammer a lesson or two into their cute little heads. If he were lucky, they'd get it before time ran out and he'd get himself a group of brats with potential. If things went as they usually did, they'd fail epically and he'd continue coasting through life as he had the last few years.
It might have been startling, for most people, to see the famed Copy Nin of Konoha walking through the main street while humming a merry tune on his way to the academy. Kakashi failed to give a damn about it as he did, though.
Enter The Jerks
It did not take Sharingan No Kakashi long to find the classroom that housed his students. It was the only one with a fist sized hole in the door, after all. He turned the knob and walked in, taking a few steps. That was odd.
He had expected some sort of preemptive reaction, such as someone, or maybe even all three of them, yelling about his lateness. Maybe he'd been earlier than he expected? His internal clock dictated that it'd been three hours since the time he was supposed to meet them in.
He scanned the classroom and quickly found the three that were to be his team… all sitting on different corners of the room.
To the far right, way at the back, was a pink haired girl dressed in a silken red dress shirt and black pants that seemed to also be made of the same material the shirt was. Given the obvious wear they showed, they seemed to be quite resistant, as they sported no appreciable damage other than the signs of age.
Her pink hair was tied into a surprisingly thin and very long braid. He mentally noted the practicality of doing so, though it could easily be grabbed and yanked. She was slouched over three chairs, one leg on the desk and the other on the chairs, both arms being used as pillows while she slept.
Given the muscle tone that they sported, Kakashi found himself doubting they were a very comfortable pillow, but then again, she seemed to have no problem sleeping.
Minus points for lack of awareness.
Pink hair and a tendency to wear red… that must have been Haruno Sakura, the civilian-born Shinobi of the group. Well, a few mistakes from a civilian were to be expected, and they were nothing he couldn't work through. Her practical choice of dress (up to and including flat shoes instead of the prevalent sandals) was another plus.
All in all, acceptable.
Front and center was the class' Rookie Of The Year. Black hair in a messy arrangement of spikes was the first thing that greeted Kakashi until the boy lifted his head and focused the solid black eyes characteristic of the Uchiha on Kakashi's uncovered one. Despite appearances, the boy seemed wide awake.
Bonus points right there. The Uchiha was wearing a simple brown jacket that seemed to be made of leather or at least reinforced with it… though a quick glance after a slight movement (only enough to get a simple peek, from the boy straightening up) revealed that the insides had many, many pockets, and that there was a sizable pouch strapped to his waist.
Uchiha Sasuke had it all. Situational awareness, a practical outfit (many hidden pockets are always useful) and the abilities to fly well over the rest of his peers in terms of abilities. Startling, considering his particular situation, that he would be doing so well, particularly since he was the only clan heir in the class that did not have a clan behind him, yet he had outmatched all of his peers.
Finally, Kakashi's eyes rolled to the back and left, to the furthest corner of the room on the side of the door. Bloody red stared right back at him and Kakashi had to resist the urge to flinch just from that alone. That smirk was entirely misplaced in the face of a child of twelve. This one was Uzumaki Naruto, a child who, considering his circumstances, had grown in a quite… interesting way, to say the least.
In contrast to his teammates' practical choice of dress, the Uzumaki had gone for a white button up shirt and black slacks, as well as dress shoes that clashed horribly with the ninja life. Clearly, Uzumaki must have thought this was a formal event or something. His blond hair was spiking up in random directions, making a pretty good imitation of thick blades of grass.
Unlike the other two, who applied themselves to their work, he was a slacker like no one ever was. He outright refused to obey any sort of authority and to do anything that he did not wish to do. He also refused to stay for detention and was quite frankly a nuisance.
If he weren't who he was he would never have been able to get away with being like this, he'd have had his ass booted out of the Shinobi Program very long ago. He was, however, too important and valuable to be forced to be a civilian. Therefore, here he was, passed despite having the outright worst academy record imaginable.
"Hmph. You're late." Uzumaki said, slowly, the words rolling off his tongue as if he were speaking to a servant. Kakashi found himself disliking him almost immediately.
The entire analysis of his team had taken him an entire ten seconds.
"Hm… My first impression of you three is…" He began, rubbing his chin, looking for the right words to express his thoughts of his team. "I got shafted." He said, finally. "Meet me on the roof in five." He said, before his hands met and, in a blur of movement and leaves and a poof of smoke, he was already out of the room.
Totally Not What I Expected
Well, they'd shown up, at least. With a minute to spare, even. Normally, teams got here one or two minutes later than five, which wasn't all that much of an issue, really, since they couldn't be expected to reach the roof in less than that (the ninja academy was a winding, labyrinthine place designed specifically so that people had a hard time going through because it had originally been intended to be a huge building meant to be used to train already experienced Shinobi).
Not entirely too shocking, but still nice to know that they could move, at the very least, fast enough to avoid getting killed because they couldn't run away before the enemy caught up.
The blond grunted and instantly sat down, somehow managing to set himself on a dignified slouch on a bench. Kakashi let that one go entirely, he didn't even want to question how it was possible to begin with.
The pinkette sat down next to the blond, her posture indicating her readiness to stand up at a moment's notice. She seemed to be perfectly alert. Maybe she'd been simply resting her head instead of asleep? If so, he might have to reevaluate her.
The Uchiha sat in a similar fashion, though considerably more relaxed than the Haruno.
"Okay, now that we're all here, I think you should introduce yourselves to everyone."
The blond raised one eyebrow, but did not voice a question.
The Uchiha frowned and looked at Kakashi intently.
"… So what are we supposed to say?" Sakura asked, sounding bored.
"Oh, you know, the usual. Your name, likes, dislikes, hobbies, dreams, that sort of stuff." Explained the silver-haired man. "Why don't you go first, Sakura?"
"Sure." She said, shrugging. "My name is Haruno Sakura. I like Taijutsu and dislike uncute tomboys. And cats. I hate cats. My hobbies are training and fighting. My dream is to be the best Shinobi ever." She said, nodding to herself.
"That's nice. You there, broody?" He asked, pointing at the Uchiha.
Sasuke frowned for a second before stealing a glance towards his blond teammate. "My name is Uchiha Sasuke. I like legally appropriating things and dislike entitled idiots. My hobbies are secret and my dream is to save my clan from extinction."
Good enough, Kakashi guessed. Better than if he were to dream about finding and killing his brother, who was widely thought to be one of the most powerful Shinobi out there. His S-rank at age 15 was not something to joke about at all. "Okay, then, blondie."
The blond merely sneered at Kakashi. "You will address me by my name, mongrel." He began, clasping his hands together and resting his elbows on his knees, somehow turning his slouch into a calculating man's posture. "I am Uzumaki Naruto. I like many things and dislike imitators, fakers and thieves. My hobbies are collecting anything that interests me. I don't have a dream, nor do I have an ambition. It is merely a task I set for myself. I will claim this world as mine!"
"... Okay." Kakashi said, shrugging. "Anyway, you're still not genin yet, there's still another test you must go through before you can officially start taking missions."
"We know." Sakura stated. "Ino told us."
Kakashi scratched his chin. "She did, huh." He said. Well, sometimes, taking too long can have adverse effects on the shock value of your secret test. "No matter. Just meet me tomorrow at five sharp, training ground three."
More Than I Bargained For
Kakashi blinked… everything was blurry. He blinked again, and he could vaguely see a white background as well as two shapes. He heard something in the far off distance, but it seemed to be travelling through water to reach him. He could barely decipher the words.
"Hoka… He's… up…"
He groaned at the pounding headache that developed almost instantly from prolonged exposure to the outside world and closed his eyes once again, trying to will it away.
"Can… hear… stand…"
The jounin groaned once again. "Wha… what happened?"
No, really, what happened?
He had to do a quick recount of the last few things he remembered. He was going to training ground three because he had to test his team today. But that's where his memories ended.
"Can you understand me?"
The voice had finally come in clear and Kakashi let out another groan. He opened his eyes to see the worried, and quite wrinkly, face of the Hokage himself, Sarutobi Hiruzen. "Urgh… Loud and clear… what happened?" He tried again.
"Finally!" The medic snapped. "We were fearing you had brain damage."
Sarutobi glared at the woman dressed in white, who quickly scampered off. "Nevermind that. I can tell you what happened, I was observing your test with my orb." The man dressed in robes stated. "To put it simply, you underestimated your students and got your ass kicked, Kakashi. I took the liberty of passing them, since they showed teamwork when they were kicking your ass all over the training field."
A sudden intake of breath accompanied a surge of memories. The jounin winced. "There were… so many swords… So many weird techniques…" He said, shivering. "You've got to save me, Hokage-sama! I won't survive with this team!"
"Nobody would, Kakashi." Said Sarutobi, frowning. "You're the only one who can do this."
"Dammit, I'm going to die!"
The Hellcat Meets Its Match
Kakashi focused on one thing and one thing only. Getting the goddamn job done. D-Ranks were a necessary evil. Normally, he'd enjoy the hell out of forcing his genin to do menial tasks, but right now, he was doubting his ability to enforce them into doing said menial tasks. "Think of it as a training exercise." Spoke the silver haired Shinobi. "It's all about capturing a target without killing it."
He sent them off to retrieve Lady Shijimi's pet cat, Tora the Hellcat, known to be as ferocious as the Niibi itself. He did not choose to accompany them.
Minutes later, he'd learn how big a mistake that was when Sasuke returned with the cat in hand with absolutely no explanation where it'd come from. The cat seemed to be perfectly unharmed and attempting to hide itself in Sasuke's arms. Minutes later, a Sakura came in, hiding behind Naruto.
"I hate cats." She clarified, when the room looked at her weirdly. Well, the people in the room, at any rate.
The blond boy was entirely too different from what most people were used to. He tended to wear classy, if impractical, clothes, that always managed to be pristine. Right now, however, he was wearing what could only be called rags that might once have been a shirt and pants. He was also waving a very long and, from the sound it made when it cut the air, VERY sharp weapon around as he walked.
It was a long and ornate double edged, straight sword that was in gold, blue and black. Its design was unlike anything that Kakashi had ever seen and he decided he'd have to inquire about it some other time.
There was also a noticeably pleased smirk on his face. "I have found a worthy opponent in this dump." He explained, noticing Kakashi's wary glance.
Minutes later, the cat was back in its owner's suffocating hands and Team 7 walked out of the mission office a D-rank richer. Kakashi could've sworn that he caught sight of Lady Shijimi's gaudy purple purse out of the corner of his eye, but that was silly.
It wouldn't be until the Hokage openly told Kakashi that he was never allowed to let his genin team take another unsupervised mission ever again that Kakashi would be shown the aftermath of Tora and Naruto's mano a paw battle.
Stations Of Canon
"I refuse to do any more menial chores!" Naruto said, stomping the ground so hard it actually shook.
"So do I!" Sakura piped in, looking, if at all possible, even more pissed than the conceited blond.
"I don't. These are quite lucrative and simple." Sasuke stated, narrowing his eyes at his teammates. "Plus, we have a working system here. I take the decisions since I was voted the leader of this team."
"As if, mongrel!" Snarled the blond.
"Yeah, we never voted on that." Sakura added. "What the hell are you talking about?"
"Oh, this." Sasuke said, producing a document from one of his jacket's inner pockets. He unrolled it and showed the four signatures at the bottom.
"Those are obviously forged." Sakura stated, her voice and face deadpan.
"If you guys will stop making a scene, I will give you a C Rank." Umino Iruka, the man manning the desk, spoke.
"Just give us the damn C Rank." Kakashi said, rubbing the bridge of his nose as best as he could, considering that most of it was covered.
"Okay. Bring in Tazuna!" Iruka yelled, ignoring the bickering Team 7.
A very clearly drunken man walked in. "Hhn… This is my protection detail!?" The man slurred, which caused Team 7 to freeze on the spot. "They're a bunch of brats! That blond one looks like he's going to some high class party rather than battle! That one's a little girl and the other one's a wannabe cool guy!" He pointed at Sasuke and then at Sakura, respectively.
What can you say? He's drunk as shit. To him, Sasuke's girly face might as well be a girl's and Sakura's incredibly flat chest might have as well as been a boy's.
Kakashi felt his palm impact his face before it actually happened. "Oh, yes, this mission is off to a great start…" he said, as he moved to intercept whatever his team would throw at the client.
Consequences are Many
"I'm sorry for yesterday, I was super dunk." Tazuna informed the three genin.
"The words of a mongrel have no effect on one such as I!" The blond informed him, smirking in that way that irritated the hell out of everyone he met.
"You will have to sign a written apology." Sasuke informed him, providing said pre-written document and a pen. "Sign here… here… and here too." He said.
The startled man quickly signed the apology, believing it to be enough to appease the young genin who would safeguard his life. He followed the black haired genin's directions up until the boy snatched the scroll away and quickly rolled it up.
"You're an idiot." Sakura informed him, palming her face. "Didn't your parents teach you to read what you sign?!" She yelled, crossing her arms and glaring at the startled bridge builder.
"All your house are belong to us." Sasuke informed him, curtly.
"… You son of a-"
"Hi team! Ready to go?" Kakashi cut him off.
Just Two Days 'Till Retirement
The demon brothers had been expecting an easy mark.
When Sharingan Kakashi became visible, they decided not to sweat it and to just take him out first. In the case that they couldn't, they'd just make a run for it. They had the element of surprise and there was the simple fact that Kakashi wouldn't stray too far from the client.
At the most, they'd have to deal with the genin if they pursued, and that would be a very one sided fight indeed.
The problem was that they didn't know that it would not be their side that had the advantage.
Kakashi was quickly replaced by a long which was subsequently shredded. They had very little time to pull this off and then run before Kakashi came back from wherever he Kawarimi'ed to.
With this job, they'd finally have enough money to pay their debt towards Zabuza and they could finally retire from the entire Missing Nin business. Maybe they could move to some quiet place where nobody would look for them, like the Land Of Rice Paddies or something.
Meizu wanted to find a pretty girl and settle down, maybe even have a little girl he could spoil rotten and who would have boyfriends he could threaten into good behavior, while Gozu was thinking about setting up a trading caravan, maybe see the entirety of the elemental countries. He'd always wanted to visit Yugakure's hot springs, which were said to be heavenly.
There was simply too much riding on this mission to fail now, and they both knew it. They had a debt of both honor and money to the Demon of the Bloody Mist, who had not only saved their lives from the hunter ninja that had almost killed the both of them, but had also managed to teach them enough of the ninja craft to fend for themselves despite the life of a missing nin being as dangerous as it came, although they had indebted themselves as they did not have money to pay for his tuition.
They'd sworn themselves to his service until he needed them no more, and if this mission was a success, they would be done working for him. As much as they respected Zabuza, there was absolutely no doubt that he was a slave driver both in terms of work and training, satisfying though either might be.
The Demon Brothers formerly of Kirigakure No Sato rushed for the genin who was at the front of the client, expecting him to be an easy target given how he was simply standing still in a position that irradiated confidence despite his dire situation. Meizu already wanted to wipe that damnable smirk off his smug face.
This kid couldn't possibly know the dangers of Shinobi life. Surely, he was the son of some noble who wanted a ninja in his family or something. He would wound him enough to frighten him off Shinobi life forever and perhaps send a message to the idiot who enrolled such a ridiculously conceited child in the most brutal military in the world.
In a puff of smoke, the boy was holding a long shaft that ended in a wicked, black scythe, though he was holding it in his right hand, which made it so that the tip of the blade was touching the ground. The blond lifted it to waist level and then let it drop, which caused at least half of the blade to simply disappear in mid air, the air around it seemingly rippling like water.
Meizu was about to laugh as he prepared to cut the blond until he felt very cold in his stomach and was stopped dead in his tracks. With his final breath, he planned to warn his beloved brother about the deadly attack he had suffered, but when he lifted his head to look at him, Gozu was stopped cold by a simple straight punch that knocked his re-breather off. The sheer force of the boy's run had almost caused his neck to snap when he had been abruptly stopped.
As life left Meizu's eyes, he could only scream in sorrow at his brother's fate when the pink haired bitch unleashed a stream of fists with speed and precision unrivalled even by Haku at his best.
By the time he was accepting the sweet embrace of death, he saw the black haired genin rifling through his pockets and muttered a soft "Fuck you…" before he passed on.
"And that's basically it." Tazuna finished.
"We're cancelling this mission." Kakashi said. "We aren't getting paid to deal with this and who am I even kidding, what do you guys want to do?"
"I say we help them." Sakura said. "They're under the rule of an evil tyrant." She said, showing that, for her, that was enough justification. "Plus, I've heard that the fishermen from Wave are the best at Fishing Rod Bojutsu." She added.
Kakashi figured she'd be in for something other than simply freeing a country.
"This mission's now B ranked, right? That means you'll have to pay us a bonus when we finish." Sasuke stated, rubbing his chin. "We'll discuss a payment plan in my new summer home." He said.
"… I super hate you." Tazuna mumbled to himself.
It was then that everyone turned to the boy in the classy clothes. He sported a wider smirk than usual, one that spoke of some plan that would be either incredibly amusing or incredibly self gratifying. If he said no, they'd go back, but if he said yes, they'd continue on.
Kakashi's vote had been cast already and in case of a tie, they'd go with the option that did not end with Kakashi having to call them in for insubordination. "So… what's your condition, Naruto?"
"Wave must declare its subservience to me. I will defend my land." Naruto stated.
"You know what, fuck it, I don't even care anymore. Sure kid, I'll convince the people of Wave to accept your rule if it gets you to help me save my country from Gato's metaphorical chokehold." Tazuna stated. "Though I can't promise they will." He added.
"Oh, they will." Naruto stated, grinning in a terrifying manner.
In which a Demon gets in WAY over his head
A sword came whistling through the air, its form a black disk from the sheer velocity with which it spun. Anything that was caught in its path would be cut with no mercy, as the sword had countless times in the past. It was specifically designed to slice through flesh with minimal resistance. Even if it were to strike handle first, it'd most likely pulverize whatever it struck.
So it came as a complete shock when it was stopped not by the tree that it was intended to stop at, but rather by the soft hand of a little boy that could be no older than twelve.
"The fuck!?" Zabuza yelled, seeing the weapon stopping to a complete halt without moving its current wielder even an inch.
"I like this sword. I shall keep it." The blond boy who'd caught the weapon said.
"Oh hell no!" Zabuza yelled, diving in to drop kick the blond before he could do anything with the weapon. However, in a shimmer of light, the air rippled and then the sword was simply gone. No puff of smoke signifying it was sealed inside a scroll, nothing at all.
It was with added rage that Zabuza dropped down on the would be thief, only to find himself staring at the jade green eyes of a pink haired girl of about the same age as the boy… who was currently driving a leg into his torso, making him spit blood as he flied through the air, away from the blond.
Zabuza yelled several obscenities as he landed in a heap and got back up.
"You owe me one, Naruto!" the pinkette called as she made a perfect landing.
"That mongrel could not have hoped to touch me." The one Zabuza supposed was Naruto informed her, crossing his arms over his chest. So he was a mongrel, then!?
The missing nin from Kiri was incredibly pissed. Here he was, trying to make an awesome entrance that they'd remember for their entire lives (which, if they were smart enough to give up the mission, would presumably be a little longer than this fight) and maybe impart one or two pearls of wisdom on how the world of Shinobi really works, and what does he get as thanks?
A jackass steals his sword and a little girl kicks him so hard that he was seeing stars even a full minute after the kick.
With a loud growl, he began to go through the long sequence of handsigns that would herald one of his strongest jutsu, the Suiryuudan or Water Dragon Bullet. That is, until he felt something very cold touch his back and the following sting of a cut as he leaped forward. "Dammit!"
The third one had somehow appeared behind him and had almost run him through with his weapon. He was in serious shit now. Kakashi, he could take. These three brats? This was ridiculous! No brat should ever be this tough! Even Haku, who was pretty strong for the standards of people his age, was not this ludicrously good at being a ninja.
To sneak upon him! HIM! The supreme master of Silent Killing!
That took serious skills!
Regardless, he had to engage Plan B and GTFO before they decided to finish him off.
He braced himself for the effect of the two senbon that went through his throat after he gave the signal. The last he saw was the same kid that had almost killed him earlier approaching him to check his pulse. If he could, he'd have allowed himself a laugh.
Kill-stealers were incredibly annoying, and at the very least, he felt like he'd managed to annoy them this way. A small victory in an epic defeat.
Consenquences Are Many, PT 2
"Oh, they're working together, no doubt." Sasuke said, nodding.
"How do you know?" Kakashi asked, looking at the Uchiha dubiously.
"They have the same surname on their IDs." The Uchiha pointed out, lifting said IDs. "Momochi Zabuza of Kiri and Momochi Haku with no known affiliation. They're in the bingo book, too." He said, opening a copy of the most recent bingo book and showing both Zabuza and his 'unknown affiliate'.
Kakashi immediately reached for his own bingo book, which he carried in one of his vest's pockets, to corroborate this fact… but when he tried to, he found his pouch was empty. He glared at the copy that Sasuke held for a few seconds before letting it go. It'd be pointless to dwell on it even now. "How do you have their IDs?"
"I stole them from their pockets before the hunter escaped."
"Hm. You have to teach me how to do that." Sakura remarked.
Sasuke turned to her. "Your entire extended family couldn't pay for a lesson." He said, voice even and calm.
"Welcome back, father." The soft voice of a well spoken woman cut through the silence generated by their expectations upon reaching the Bridge Builder's house. Well, the silence had been broken by Sasuke's appraisals of his new summer home, but you get the point.
"Wench! Prepare a feast fit for a king!" Naruto bellowed. "For it is none other than the first King of the Land of Waves that you serve tonight!"
Kakashi blinked as he saw the woman's confused face.
"We have to talk." Tazuna said, looking at his daughter in the eye.
"Father… what exactly did you have to do to hire these ninja?" Asked the black haired adult woman, glaring at her father. "And why did that boy just call me wench? And what was he talking about?"
"Lady, I'm afraid I'm gonna have to ask you to vacate the premises of my new summer home." Sasuke said, standing up to her.
"Wha- What!? This is my house! My family has lived here for generations, I'd never sell it!"
Tazuna began sweating bullets. "Like I said, we have to talk." He added, looking not unlike a deer faced with a semi's headlights.
Consequences are Many, the payoff
"So, let me get this straight. You lied to the ninja to get a cheaper team." Tsunami began, her voice loud, clear and very, very stern.
Tazuna meekly nodded.
"Then, when things went south and they were about to cancel off the mission, you sold our house to convince them to keep you safe!?"
"Uhm… no." Tazuna admitted, sheepishly.
"He gave me this house as an apology for offending me and my team before the mission's official start." Sasuke informed her. "Here are the legal documents, stamped and approved by Lord Hokage, that signify the legality of this transaction." He explained, fishing in his jacket for the scroll that he gave Tsunami.
"He conned me! He said it was a written apology!" Tazuna defended himself.
"And you didn't even read it to check!? What an idiot!" Tsunami nearly yelled, feeling an overwhelming need to slap some sense into her father right about then. "At least you didn't sell out the kingdom to another dictator…"
"Actually…" Tazuna began.
"Oh, now what did you do?" Tsunami asked, frustrated.
"I kinda agreed to help convince Wave to accept Naruto here as its new Daimyo." The elderly drunkard spoke.
"I am no mere Daimyo! I am Uzumaki Naruto, and I will be the King of this entire continent, and then, the world!" The blond spoke, smirking in that infuriating way that had Tsunami wanting to slap the daylights out of him.
"Couldn't be worse than Gato." She said, shrugging. "At least you didn't sell our secret Fishing Rod Bojutsu techniques. Those are priceless and the only reminder I have of Kaiza." Tsunami said, her voice having a little relief to it.
"… About that…" Tazuna began.
"Oh for fuck's sake!"
"Your cuisine is not half bad, wench." The incredibly irritating blond menace spoke, stalking into the kitchen much like a predator would into the lair of a small, furry and delicious creature. "Alas, it is held back by the ingredients and utensils that you use in its preparation."
Tsunami frowned. She'd had to endure the blond little boy's words for the entirety of their lunch, because he had a comment about everything. The wine, which he had said was comparable to bottled salt water and the furniture, which he'd called boring and tasteless, had been the two biggest complaints he'd had upon entering the house that would soon not be hers anymore.
"If you hadn't noticed, all I had was my house and now I don't even have that." She snapped, irritated at his overly proud and entitled demeanor. Normally, she tended to be a much more patient and soft spoken woman, but this boy simply drove her up the wall with unprecedented ease. "So excuse me if I'm a little short on high quality ingredients."
"I see that, wench." The boy said.
"Can you stop calling me that? I have a name." She informed him, her voice snappy as she did.
"Prove to me that your name is worth remembering and I will address you as such." The blond explained.
"And how would I go about that?" She asked, sarcastically.
"Cook me a feast fit for a king. I shall be magnanimous and lend you the utensils and ingredients that the finest chefs would give their lives for. Impress me, wench, and perhaps your life might have an unexpected turnaround."
Tsunami blinked. And as she did, her kitchen was flooded with golden containers of all sizes and shapes. For a fleeting moment, she wondered just what the fuck was going on.
But then… if this boy had enough money to have such a ridiculous amount of golden kitchen implements which he carried around everywhere (She didn't question them appearing out of nowhere, Ninja could do freaky stuff), then… then if she impressed him, she might find herself a job with which she'd be able to maintain her family afloat!
Crawling inside my skin in Lincoln Park
"Inari, you're home. Come give your grandpa a hug." Tazuna spoke, smiling as his grandson trudged all the way to him and gave him an awkward hug. "Say hi to the crazy ninja, Inari."
Inari turned around and looked at the ninja from under the brim of his hat. "You're all going to die." He informed.
"Well, yeah, eventually, everyone dies." Sakura replied. "So what?"
"No, you will die right here… when you try to confront Gato you will all be killed." The boy continued, emoness positively oozing out of him. "He's too strong… nobody can oppose him…"
Kakashi blinked, then he turned to his team. Sakura stepped forward, when her eyes met Kakashi's, which prompted the silver haired teacher to stand back and enjoy the show.
"Listen, brat, you're just a coward who's too afraid to fight." Sakura said, looking not unlike someone who was not in the mood to deal with this bullshit.
"You don't know anything! You lived a happy life away from all trouble! You know nothing of suffering!"
Team 7 did the first thing they did as a whole team. They began to laugh. And they laughed hard. "Kid you have no idea." Sakura informed him. "Of the four of us, I'm the only one who has parents. At all." She began. "You have a loving mother who's an excellent cook. I met mine about four years ago and I've been trying to reconnect with her ever since. Wanna know why? Because my father is an incredible asshole who stole me as soon as I was born and dragged me all around the elemental countries to force me to train in the harshest conditions for the entirety of my life so I could inherit his martial arts style." The pinkette began. Then she turned to Sasuke. "I'll pay you later, I got nothing on me." She said.
Sasuke nodded. "I'll make you a loan for a good cause. I'll cut the interest rate by half, even." He said. Sakura whistled at hearing this, it was evident that this kid irritated Sasuke something fierce if he wanted so bad to tell him of his story, even ignoring the possibility of profiting from it as much as he usually did.
"Sasuke here had loving parents, just like you, up until four years ago. Then his brother went crazy and killed almost everyone in his clan and forced him to relive it constantly for three days with a ridiculously powerful illusion." She said. "And that's not the worst, but the rest costs extra and I don't have that much money."
The boy began to sputter a protest. "And what about him, then!?" He finally managed to get out. "He's all happy and smiling like nothing could faze him!"
"Hm, you're referring to me, child?" The boy asked, turning to him.
"Yeah! You're dressed like a noble! You couldn't possibly understand suffering!" The boy cried.
"Hm. Your pathetic attempts at verbal assault amuse me." The blond began, punctuating this statement with a loud chuckle. "To be entirely honest, I never knew my parents. I left the orphanage at age three because I was too awesome to live there and I have been living on my own ever since." Naruto informed him. "Everything I have, I earned by working my hands to the bone many times."
It was then that Tsunami broke the tension by approaching with a golden tray upon which sat a great bird of prey now turned into the family's dinner.
The next morning, Team 7 dispersed in the forest, each with the intention of finding a quiet place to relax and or train in private.
Naruto found a particular clearing that was devoid of life save but for a few flowers and herbs that dotted the edges of the clearings. It was then, when fully alone, that he began to go through the motions of training and self improvement. It was a very simple reason why he did not train in the presence of his teammates.
He refused to show weakness to anyone, as simple as that. He was not weak and he would not allow anyone to claim otherwise. That whole tree-walking thing that Sakura could do instinctively both intrigued and brought trepidation to Naruto, who found himself incapable of managing a task so simple that Sakura had gotten in one single try.
No task was beyond him, however. Even if he had to work from dawn until the sun set behind the horizon, he would master this exercise and prove he was better than the thieving mongrel and the stupid imitator.
Even if he would never show himself training to anyone, to give the illusion of his power being all natural, he would never stop doing so and would never be satisfied with his strength. Not until he was the absolute most powerful man in the world. Just as he had stuck to reading as many books as he could so he could find more creative ways to insult people. Just as he had studied the rules he had to abide by in school to abuse each and every loophole he could find. To many, he might seem the epitome of natural genius.
To a precious few, however, he was the epitome of constant hard work.
He slipped from the bark and mentally cursed as he found himself succumbing to gravity's pull, heading his way towards the ground. He was not high enough to somersault so he could land on his feet, so he landed rather painfully on his back. He did not whimper, nor did he moan, as he lay in the ground gathering his bearings.
"That look like it hurt." A soft, too soft, voice spoke, and Naruto found his eyes captivated by the vision of beauty that appeared.
A smirk formed upon his face and he saw the figure in front of him blush, lighting up like a lamp post, under his attention. "What say you we have a little fun, my little Hunter?"
It was not until long after that they sat, both spent, covered in a thick layer of sweat and bruises. "I thought you meant something else." Haku said, giggling.
"Perhaps I might." Naruto said, chuckling as he did. "It is, however, exhilarating to find someone like you, much more so in a place like this, devoid of entertainment as it is."
"Ara?" Haku began. "Someone like me?"
Naruto nodded, but did not further elaborate.
"You don't mind that I'm working with your enemy?" Haku asked.
Naruto smirked. "I couldn't care less." He said. "As a matter of fact… I long for the possibility of us meeting in true combat to the death… Until then, let us test our strengths…"
Haku giggled again. "You're weird." He stated, smiling. "But it's a nice kind of weird. You're the first friend I've ever had and I'm glad that it's someone like you."
The Konoha ninja's face was now sporting a winning smile that would have melted the heart of the renowned Ice Queen of Konoha. "I can be so much more, my boy… It might have been the beauty of your face that caught my eye the first time, but it is the beauty and purity of your soul that interests me so…"
"Hm? A pure soul? That's the first time I've been told that…" the fake hunter nin spoke. "I'm nothing but my master's tool… a pure soul only makes me worthless as a weapon."
"My Hunter, you will learn that I have quite an eye for value and you are quite valuable indeed."
"Hm, you think?"
"Oh, yes, I do. Why, I'd go as far as calling you one of my most prized treasures."
Wrath Of The First King
Gato tapped his cane against the floor. "You were planning to betray me just for your toy, Zabuza. I'm disappointed… or I would be, if I hadn't planned for this and brought along an army with which to skip the whole payment thing."
Naruto looked at the body he cradled in his arms. "Why… Why did you…"
The arrow that had gone through Haku's chest was still stuck there, stemming the blood flow and keeping Haku alive for longer, stopping him from bleeding out. "B-Because… even if… I was only a toy to you… I loved you…"
"I would have survived. A simple arrow would never be enough to fell one such as I!" Naruto boasted, though his voice lacked its usual strength and presence. It seemed dull. "It wouldn't have harmed me, you know this, so why…"
"I… I don't know… My body… just moved on its own… I guess…" The once-masked hunter spoke, raising one hand. "Please… before I die… I want to…"
"You're not going to die." Naruto said, holding tightly onto the weakly held up arm, resting Haku's body against his legs. "You will live. I promise. Even if I must fight Death itself, I will wrench you from its jaws!" He said, his voice having a tinge of desperation to it that had the rest of Team 7 reeling back.
"I… I'm going to die…" Haku said. "The arrow… was poisoned…" He said. "Please…" He began, tears threatening to spill from his eyes as he looked into the blood red of Naruto's eyes. "Save… Zabuza-sama… My King… do your Hunter one last favor… Save him… As he saved me… all those years ago…"
As Haku's eyes closed for one last time, the sky thundered and lightning struck in the vicinity. Water began pouring from the sky.
"You were an innocent… pure as the whitest snow… The world will mourn your loss as I do." Naruto stated, his voice solemn. "You were taken too soon by people unworthy to even walk the same bridge as yourself…"
"Huh? What sudden rain…" Sakura muttered, looking around. She had pulled an umbrella out of nowhere (probably a sealing scroll) and was holding it up to stop the water from hitting her. "The sky was clear just a minute ago…"
Abruptly the water began to get colder and colder, until it suddenly stopped… to be replaced by the falling of white little droplets of frozen water. Snow.
"H-Haku… Are you…" Zabuza said, groaning as he tried to drag himself to where Naruto still lay holding onto the boy's body.
The blond stood up and began walking towards the man who could only manage to look up. "Hold onto him for me." He ordered, his voice solemn and completely flat.
Zabuza did his best to sit up against a few boxes that had escaped being crushed and accepted the body. Being already soaked from the brief but powerful rain, he didn't even notice the water running down the blond's face.
Naruto began walking until he faced Gato's entire army, which had been wondering just where the hell the climate change had come from. He estimated it must have numbered in the few hundreds, at the very least.
"Mongrels… trash… None of you are worthy of any of my treasures… but you… you dared take away one of the King's beloved possessions. You dared to try and steal something dear to me." He began, his voice carefully flat and yet ominous at once. "For this transgression, I declare that your punishment shall be eternal damnation!"
Naruto raised his hand to the sky, and in a flash of lightning and a ripple of air, there was a strange, conical object that might have paced for a lance, had it a tip, in his hands. It was seemingly composed of three separate segments of a strange black material interrupted only by strange red lines that glowed brightly against the darkness that had consumed the bright day.
"Rejoice, trash, for you shall be the first to witness my greatest treasure! Know now that not even death will save you from the Truth!" He prepared himself as if he were to stab the air with it, and a keen eye would have noticed that the three segments had begun to spin, generating friction as they spun in opposite directions. Sparks of red energy flowed from his weapon. "Enuma…" Naruto trailed off.
"GET HIM YOU IDIOTS!" Gato yelled, frantic at the sight of the ridiculous amount of energy.
"W-What… what is this power!?" Kakashi yelled. "Is it the Kyuubi!?" he said, his voice much lower, lest his students hear him. "It can't be!"
Naruto stabbed forward. "ELISH!"
And then Gato was no more.
Sour Moment Of Crowning
"People of Wave… I give you our savior, Lord Uzumaki Naruto."
It was then that the people of Wave rose as one and declared their unification under the One True King's rule. Yet for all the cheer of the people, most would notice their King's somber mood.
The Return Of The King
"Naruto… are you okay?" Asked Sakura, looking slightly concerned over her teammate's sour mood. "Hey! Earth to Naruto!"
"Leave him be." Sasuke said. "He'll get over it with time." He stated, turning to Tazuna. "You're coming with me to Konoha. I need an architect for a project and you owe me enough to cover it several times over."
Tazuna whimpered, but said nothing, as he continued to eat the ridiculously elaborate meal fit for a king that Tsunami had prepared for the farewell of the ninja.
Sakura happily accepted a bunch of scrolls from a reluctant Tsunami. "Take good care of them, okay? These were my husband's most prized possessions…" the housewife said.
"Don't worry, I will! I will master these in no time!"
Kakashi however was not happy with simply leaving Naruto to stew on his own. He pulled the chair next to Naruto's back and sat himself next to the blond. "It hurts, doesn't it? To lose someone you care about."
The Uzumaki didn't answer, merely brought a piece of meat to his mouth and chewed slowly, savoring the meat.
"The pain never fully goes away. The guilt never does, either. Trust me, I know." He said, looking at the plate Tsunami set in front of him. "But there's nothing we can do but stand back up and keep going. Ultimately, we need to accept that sometimes, shit happens and things just don't go our way."
"No…" Naruto mumbled. "I will not accept it." He said, narrowing his eyes. "I will never allow this to happen again… I won't ever allow anyone to take one of my treasures ever again…"
"You can't protect everyone all the time, Naruto, and you can't protect them from all the dangers of everyday life." The silver haired jounin said, his tone one of understanding and kindness despite his usually lazy drawl having been present at first.
"You can't. A human can't." Naruto stated, his voice carrying conviction comparable to the unyielding strength of steel. "If I have to do it in order to protect all of my beloved treasures… Then I will become a god!"
"Good luck with that." Sasuke said, snorting.
"The last guy I met who wanted to be a god got smacked around by an eight year old girl. Granted, that eight year old girl was me, but you get my point." Sakura said, deadpan.
Tsunami had remained quiet in the background, listening to the entire exchange. "Very well, then, my liege. I believe I speak for the entire country when I say that we shall support you in this endeavor." She said, falling down into a kneeling position.
"Um…" A sudden mumbling cut through the silence generated by Tsunami's solemn speech and actions, which prompted her to stand up again so she could see over the table. From the door that lead to a hallway that lead to the stairs to go upstairs, Inari's head peeked out. "Is… What I heard… true?"
"Yes, Inari." Tazuna began. "The events at the bridge are true."
The little boy rushed into the room, crying big fat tears, to hug his grandfather. "It's finally over… Gato's finally gone!" He yelled, crying into his grandfather's stomach.
"And it's all thanks to him… he wiped out Gato and his army with just one attack…" The bridge builder spoke, causing Inari to sniff and turn around to look at Naruto.
Then he walked around the table until he was right next to his mother. He looked at her for a few seconds before getting down on his knees and imitating the most respectful gesture he'd ever seen before. "Thank you… Thank you for everything…"
"Do not thank me, Vassal. The land of Waves belongs to me. It is one of my treasures and I refuse to let a mongrel such as Gato get its filthy paws on my property." Naruto stated.
"Please, My Lord, teach me! Teach me how to become brave and strong like you! So that I can protect those I care about, too!"
Much to everyone's shock, Naruto, who had so far foregone contact with anyone, placed a hand upon Inari's shoulder. "Strength comes from within, boy. The strength of your will and of your soul… That is not something that I can teach you. That is something that you must find on your own. Know this and know this well. There are many examples of bravery that you could follow. Those who face immense adversity and refuse to just lay down and die… Learn not from me… Learn not from my team. Learn from those who did not have the power we hold and still fought, tooth and nail, for their country. Learn from the few examples of humanity that prove that its existence is worth something." He spoke, his eyes focusing on the housewife and the old man who had enabled the liberation of wave in the first place.
"My Liege…" Tsunami began.
Naruto, in an uncharacteristic display of good will, patted Inari's head. "There is strength within you… It's up to you to draw it out."
"Naruto… you…" Sakura began, looking thoroughly shocked.
"I can't believe my eyes…" Sasuke spoke, rubbing his eyes. Then he began rubbing his ears. "I can't believe my ears, either."
"Hm?" Naruto turned to face his teammates, who were both quite obviously shocked. "What is it?"
Kakashi then patted Naruto's own head. "You know, Naruto… Maybe I'll throw my support behind your ambition, too." He said.
Naruto slapped his hand away. "Don't overstep your bounds, vassal." He said, though there was no real force in his words and his face sported a genuine smile instead of one of his usual conceited smirks.
That's all I wrote.
This is just part 1 of the intended trilogy taking place in the first part of Naruto.
Naruto: Gilgamesh, King of Uruk, King Of Heroes, a mixture of his pre-corruption and post-corruption selves. Not truly arrogant enough to match up to his post-corruption self and not manipulative enough to be his pre corruption self. Naruto became arrogant because he's better at everything than everyone else. There's no one who can truly match him in one on one combat. There's also no one who would pay him any attention. However, instead of deciding to become the world's bitch so he could get its attention that way, here he decided that the world wasnt worth it and thus he became an arrogant, self centered prick.
As you can see here, Haku is the first to ever become one of Naruto's precious people, just as easily as he did in canon, though for entirely different reasons.
Sakura: Ranma Saotome, jerkass hero and martial arts genius like there never was. Ranma is somewhat heroic, but still a jerkwad, this translates to Sakura being bitchy but not violently tsundere. She wouldn't punch Naruto here, she'd beat him down with words before it came to blows. Her backstory is actually not all that dissimilar to Ranma's, though her father, Kizashi Haruno, was a better teacher than Genma was (though he still put her through training that would break most people). She can learn other people's fighting styles just from watching them fight using it.
Her chapter, the next one, will show what her life's like, her relationship with Ino and, more importantly, his relationship with Lee and Maito Gai.
Sasuke: Prince Thief of the Elves. This will make a lot more sense once I get to Sasuke's chapter, particularly when I fully explain his backstory and motivations. Suffice to say, the Uchiha Clan Massacre did not happen the exact same way as it did in canon and Sasuke has his motives for doing what he does. He can steal anything that is not bolted down AND on fire. Even things that aren't really there. He's also got the single most overpowered ability in the entire fic series as one of his Mangekyou's abilities, but that's neither here nor there.
Remember, there's a reason for everything and I'm not fond of bashing Sasuke no matter how terrible his character became after becoming a plot device.
First is The Birth of The King, Naruto's Chapter.
Second is The Konoha Wrecking Crew, Sakura's chapter.
Third is The Eighty Brats Theater, Sasuke's chapter.
The 'sequels' are not yet planned, though they might focus more on the world's reaction to the 'Three Legendary Brats' as they're called in-universe.