Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto
White. As Naruto's eyes slowly fluttered open it was all that he could see. Lifting his arm he was able to shield his eyes a little as he adjusted to the unnaturally bright setting. Twisting his head, he looked out the window where the leaves of a nearby tree swayed side to side gently with the breeze as rain clouds loomed on the horizon. "Storm might be coming," he said to nobody in particular.
"In more ways then one," said an elderly voice nearby that caused Naruto to twist his head in the opposite direction, looking at the frail frame of his father figure sitting beside him.
"Boss," said Naruto with a smile across his lips, happy to see a familiar face even if his eyes were shielded by sunglasses.
"You were out for nearly two days, don't overexert yourself," said Boss.
"I know my limits," said Naruto as he pushed himself into a sitting position, curiously wondering why he didn't feel as much pain as he should from his stab wound.
"So taking on a ninja from Kumo is within your limits then," said Boss with a frown, one which Naruto knew demanded an explanation from the blonde.
"I just did what I thought was the right thing to do," replied Naruto, his voice sincere and truthful.
Boss took in this information as his eyes narrowed at his adopted son behind his glasses. He had heard from the head of the Hyuga clan the actions that both the blonde haired boy and the young Uchiha had done in ensuring that the Kumo ninja hadn't escaped with his eldest daughter. In that moment the boy had likely earned another valuable contact but at the same time had shown how he put others before himself, something he would need down the track for the day when he took over as the head once Boss retired, one way or the other. Later in the day he would need to go and speak to Itachi about whether or not it would be possible to extend the training sessions from the original week planned to something a bit more long term as to provide the future generation of Konoha with something that would help them in the future. Perhaps he could even get some of the training fees provided from the other clan heads but that would be something he would have to look into.
"I wish for you to stay here another night," instructed Boss as he got to his feet. "Simply to ensure that nothing unexpected occurs during your recovery. If you will excuse me I have a meeting to attend."
"Boss," said Naruto getting Boss' attention once again. "Before you replied to my comment of 'storm might be coming' with 'in more ways than one.' What did you mean by that?"
Had the question not been one of a serious nature Boss would have likely smiled at his son for having picked up such a simple thing. "The events that transpired two nights ago have triggered a chain of events that conclude with one thing, the Raikage is coming to Konoha."
The Hokage took a puff from the pipe that sat between his lips as he looked across his desk at the elderly form of Danzo who was sitting in absolute silence. Despite having been in the room for nearly an hour, neither of the two war veterans had spoken a word, both of them waiting of the third seat to become occupied. It wasn't like the two spoke to each other about trivial things anyways, if it wasn't within the council chambers or in the Hokage's office you would never see them talk about something like the weather.
The door to the office creaked open causing the attention of the two men to turn to see the third member of the group deciding to make an appearance. "I hope you excuse me for my tardiness, my son had just awoken just before I came here," said Boss as he walked towards the vacant chair.
"How is young Naruto doing?" asked Sarutobi taking a genuine interest in the young boy.
"He is well, he seems to have recovered much quicker than any other boy would have," said Boss as he took his seat.
"Shall we get down to business," suggested Danzo wanting to get this meeting started, feeling like he had already wasted enough time within the office.
"What truly needs to be said?" asked Boss, knowing that he had to tread cautious waters around the two veterans. Yet at the same time Boss was well aware that being the youngest of the trio despite his age meant that he would be given a little leeway from time to time, if only a little.
"A visiting Kage outside of the Chunin exams is something few village are accustomed to," said Danzo not bothering to turn towards the man sitting beside him.
"Yet did we not just sign a peace treaty with Kumo, shouldn't it be expected that a confrontation of such manner be dealt face to face as opposed to mere courier based messages that get lost in translation?" asked Boss trying to put his elders on the back foot and grab some sort of standing ground against the two men who held much more power than him.
Boss was not one for feeling small in a less than crowded room, he was always one who demanded presence of space. With these two men though it would be difficult to get such a benefit with two men who could kill him with little effort, one of whom who could likely cover up the evidence and force the blame on somebody else.
"The Raikage is not a man to be trifled with," said Sarutobi as he tapped out the ash from his pipe. "Had it not been for the actions of your son it likely would not have come to this. Had he and the young Uchiha not been there at that time it would have been likely that the Hyuga clan would have been able to control the situation on their own terms and for the death of the Kumo ninja one would likely need to die in order to cleanse the slate. The mess that Hiashi left the Kumo ninja in it's almost impossible for any information to be withdrawn from the mind of the Kumo ninja as to whether or not he was working on his own regard or whether he had been instructed to do so by the Raikage himself. Indeed, the Raikage might be here to apologize on behalf of his shinobi's actions or seek retribution. We can assume a lot but it's hard to say at this point."
"We should be prepared for the worse situation if it comes to that," said Danzo as his one eye gazed at the current Hokage.
"And just how would we prepare for the leader of another village absolutely overrunning Konoha?" asked Boss.
"That's not information that you're privy to," said Danzo still refusing to make eye contact with Boss.
"So may I ask to as why I was invited to this meeting if I was going to be excluded from classified information?" asked Boss sarcastically.
"One of the things we had to organize in order for the Raikage to not declare war against Konoha," said Sarutobi slowly, "Was that he be able to meet young Naruto and Sasuke personally."
While he didn't show it, Boss knew that the true meeting had only just begun.
Naruto sat absentmindedly as he looked at the magazine that Makina had brought for him. While he had appreciated the brief company that the young woman had brought in her brief time here, the literature she had brought was less than ideal for a kid his age who cared not for the interests of the media. To him all these women who performed for a living were just another expense to be used by the people behind the scenes who knew how to manipulate the market.
"H-Hello," said a petite voice as the door to the ward opened to reveal a young girl with short cropped hair adorning her head. Turning his head Naruto vaguely recognized the form of the young girl he had saved that fateful night and couldn't help but smile at her presence, if not only for the protective father who seemed to watch over her to make sure nothing out of order occurred.
"Nice to meet you," said Naruto as he pushed himself into an upright position, tossing the magazine off to the side.
"I'm s-sorry for c-causing you trouble,"she stuttered under the watchful eye of her father.
"Think nothing of it," said Naruto not wanting to cause the young girl trouble.
"P-Please, if there's a-anyway f-for me to repay you, I a-am in your debt," she stuttered.
"Young Naruto, our family is in your debt," said Hiashi, taking the instance to make his presence known. "If it were not for your valiant effort that night then who knows what may have occurred." Even though he was saying this Hiashi knew that his own skill would likely have been enough to catch down his daughter's kidnapper on his own, he couldn't say that the young boys assistance wasn't much appreciated. In the next few days, he had made a note to make sure that the same notion was known to Sasuke because he had made just as much of an impact as the Uzumaki had.
"Well, if you put it that like that, there is one thing I can suggest," said Naruto with a cheeky grin.
The sun had barely risen as Hinata stood nervously in the middle of the training ground, her fingers seemingly circling one another in a never ending twist until one of her hands found the comforting grasp of Naruto's palm. The blonde smiled at the Hyuga heiress, doing his best to ease the nerves of the young girl. Returning the smile, Hinata turned her head forward alongside Naruto towards the nearest entrance to the training ground. For Hinata, it was an experience she would never forget. For Naruto, this was merely the beginning.
Hope you enjoyed. I know it's not as long as some of the previous chapters but to be fair I'm still on holiday and will be for several more months, be happy with what I give you.
gamabunta95: Like you, I believe that more should have been done during Canon consider the Sarutobi's actions were weak on his part and could have been more forthcoming. With this scenario however I'm trying to create an aspect where Konoha is effectively on the back foot as another Kage is effectively welcomed into their village with open arms.
Once again, hope you enjoyed. See you next time.