Okay this is just an idea I've been tinkering with. You know when Tobi attacked the village and Minato kept teleporting to several hideouts outside of the village? Well, what if Naruto found one? So yeah, this is my take on a much stronger and smarter Naruto. I haven't decided pairings yet. Maybe soon, though.
To say that he wasn't the least bit tempted to start running into the great unknown in front of him and never look back was an understatement. The young boy stood in the forest just outside of the village's walls. He had found a secret passage way that he used to get away from yet another mob of villagers that wanted to beat him senseless. Normally the mobs of angry people wouldn't chase him until the evening when everyone was mostly drunk. Apparently, they just couldn't wait to get started.
Today was his birthday, October tenth. Usually when someone has a birthday, they should be happy right. It should be a joyous occasion with your family and friends. Maybe even share a slice of cake. At least that was how he saw other people celebrate it. For him, he dreaded this day more than any other because it was also the day when the great Kyuubi attacked the village.
The whispers and the looks that the people gave him started to circulate through his head.
"Don't get too close."
"Get lost brat!"
For reasons he couldn't explain, it seemed that everyone in the village hated him. Well, with the exception of the Sandaime, Iruka-sensei and the two people who own the ramen shop where he frequently ate, they were the only people who saw him as a person. Everyone else either ignored him or avoided him. Even his peers in the academy ignored him. That was why he resorted to do pranks to get attention, whether it was good or bad. It didn't matter to him as long as he was acknowledged.
The nine year old Naruto sighed. He was really tempted to do it. Now was the time as good as any. He was outside the village with no one around to stop him. He could leave and never come back, try his luck out in the world. Why shouldn't he? Every person in the village hated him and wanted him gone anyway. This could be his only opportunity.
He took one step forward and eventually another. Was he really going to do this? He took another step forward. He should have at least said goodbye to the few people he actually cared about. He started walking at a brisk pace. He couldn't tell them that he was leaving or else they might try to stop him. No, it was better if they didn't know. He began to jog which later turned into a full sprint.
Naruto felt exhilarated. For the first time in his life he felt free. He would no longer be a prisoner of the village. He would no longer see the looks of pure loathing on the people's faces as he walked passed them. He kept running through the foliage of trees and not once did he look back.
By noon he slowed his pace to a walk. He should conserve his energy in case someone decided to chase him and bring him back. He knew that he was constantly monitored by the Hokage's Anbu. In some instances like this one however, he manage to shake them off. Naruto was confident that they know nothing of his current whereabouts. Still, they were elite ninjas so he should probably conserve some energy for a chase.
He put his hands behind his head and let his thoughts wander on what may lie ahead. Where would he go now? He had never actually allowed beyond the village walls and there was little he knew about the geography of the land. He knew that there were other ninja villages aside from his own like Suna, Kumo, Iwa, and Kiri but he didn't exactly know which direction they were in.
Naruto just shrugged. If he kept walking forward he was bound to end up somewhere and boy was he right.
Naruto came to a stop when he spotted a small structure of a small house. Not exactly a shack but not a hut either. Curious, he decided to check it out.
He twisted the knob and the door swung open inward. He stepped inside the dimly lit room. He found a small light switch and flipped it on.
"Hello?" He tried again.
A fine layer of dust covered most of the room. Naruto could see that this place must have been used for long stake outs. A small mattress was on the floor on the left side. A door to a small restroom in front of him was slightly ajar. There were chests gathered on one side of the room and stacks of scrolls on a shelf. What intrigued Naruto the most was the tri-pronged kunai with seals on the handle hanging on a cord at the corner of the room.
He walked over to it and continued to stare at the strange weapon. He had never seen such a kunai. He had no knowledge of any ninja n the village using something like this. They all used the similar stock of kunai and shuriken even at the academy for target practice.
Naruto walked over to the small closet next to him and opened it. It was empty save for a long white cloak with red flame designs along the bottom. He took it out and read the writings that ran vertically down the back. He nearly passed out when he finished. This was the cloak of the Fourth Hokage.
No way, he thought as he suddenly realized that this place must belong to his idol and hero.
Putting the cloak back inside, he crossed over to a chest and pushed it open. He looked through the different antique books when he found something interesting. Flipping open a certain book, he realized that it was a photo album.
On one page, a picture of a young blonde boy and two other kids standing next to a tall white haired man for a photo. Naruto recognized the blonde boy instantly. He should know because he sat on his giant stone head every morning. There was no doubt in his mind that the blonde in the picture was the Fourth Hokage.
The next photo was a group shot of the graduating academy students. Naruto didn't recognize most of the kids in the picture except for the parents of some of his classmates. There was Choji's father, the chubby boy grinning into the camera. Shikamaru was the spitting image of his father. He finally spotted the fourth. The blonde boy was grinning from ear to ear. Standing next to him was a cute redheaded girl who was just as happy.
Naruto frowned at that because there was something eerily familiar about the redhead.
He flipped to the next page to find the fourth and the redheaded girl eating at his favorite ramen stand. They looked a year older in this picture. Naruto kept flipping to the next page until he saw a wedding photo of the two. They both wore identical grins of happiness and they looked at each other with so much love that no one could possibly doubt their feelings for each other.
The last photo was the couple sitting on a simple couch. The redheaded woman had a swollen belly and the fourth was pressing his head lightly on the woman's swollen womb. They were both smiling serenely as they listened to the unborn baby in the mother's body.
There was a description below the last photo, written in neat penmanship.
It's September 25 and my beloved wife is due to give birth any day now. I'm nervous and excited at the same time. I'm finally going to become a father. I can tell Kushina is just as excited as I am. I can feel my child's kicks inside of wife's womb. Jiraiya –sensei came by today. He was ecstatic when he heard the news that he was going to become godfather. We've thought of the perfect name for our soon to be baby boy. His name is…
Naruto dropped the album in shock. He must have read that last part wrong. It couldn't be true, could it?
The truth hit him like a ton of bricks and he fell on the floor. There was no denying it. How could he? The facts were right here. His spiky blonde hair and bright blue eyes were just as prominent as the fourth's. His facial features were mostly from his mother. The way she smiled and looked.
Naruto was so stunned that he couldn't move. He was the son of the Fourth Hokage!
Still something didn't add up. He needed answers. There was only one man who he could turn to about this. His plan of running away was pushed aside as he sped back toward the village.
Sarutobi Hiruzen sighed as he finished the stack of paperwork on his desk. He was getting too old for this.
There came a knock on the door of his office and his assistant poked her head inside.
"You have a visitor, Hokage-sama." She said. She pushed the door open to reveal a slightly out of breath Naruto. She ushered him inside and shut the door behind her.
"What brings you here, Naruto-kun?" He greeted. The boy looked nervous as he took a seat and stared hard at the floor.
"Umm, I want to talk to you about something jiji." Naruto said.
"Go ahead." The boy was more fidgety than normal.
"Can we do it without you bodyguards?" Naruto asked.
Hiruzen raised an eyebrow at this. He signaled his Anbu to leave. "Alright we are alone. Now what do you wish to speak about?"
Naruto hesitated a bit before he answered. "I know who my father is."
The Sandaime was so shocked that he nearly dropped his pipe.
"Oh? And who do you think it is?" Hiruzen hoped that the boy cannot see through his bluff.
Naruto scowled at the old man. "It's pretty obvious jiji."
Naruto pointed to a wall where the pictures of the previous hokages were framed. The unnerving blue eyes of Minato Namikaze stared back at the two occupants in the room.
Hiruzen sighed. He was bound to find out sooner or later. The boy was resourceful after all. A trait he admired for one so young. But something bothered him.
"Naruto, how did you find out about this?" Hiruzen questioned.
The blonde boy responded immediately. "I found a picture of him in the archives. I know I don't usually go there often but I was hoping to learn some new jutsu when I stumbled on the files of the Yondaime."
It was a lie, Naruto knew. He felt bad about withholding the truth from the one person he actually cared about and respected. He just hoped that The Sandaime bought it. The reason he lied because he didn't want anyone to know about the hideout in the forest. He also couldn't tell them that he was outside of the village walls and the fact that he tried to run away
Hiruzen narrowed his eyes. He could tell that Naruto was lying. He could see it in the boy's eyes, although he did not know why the boy would choose to start hiding secrets from him now. He never did in the past. Still, he decided to take it easy on the boy.
Hiruzen blew from his pipe. "I suppose that it is only fair that you know about your parents, but I must ask you to keep this to yourself. What I am about to reveal to you is not only information about your parents but also an S-rank secret that involves you and your parents' death."
"Very well, I'll start eight years ago…"
Naruto lay awake in his apartment as he tried to grasp everything that was revealed to him by the Sandaime. It was a lot to take in and he was unable to sleep. Strangely enough, it was a relief to know the truth. No matter how horrifying it was. Now he knew why the villagers treat him as such. It wasn't because of him but what was inside of him.
His father, the Yondaime Hokage, had sealed the nine tails inside of his own son. He was assured that his father had his reasons for doing so. The Sandaime told him that Minato had discovered something that night when the Kyuubi attacked the village: Something dangerous. The Sandaime told him that his father wanted him to be seen as a hero. Look at how well that turned out.
His mother's full name was Uzumaki Kushina. She was an outstanding kunoichi with a very large temper. He had also found out that she was the previous jinchuuriki of the nine tails before him. The Sandaime explained to him what happened during child birth and how the seal was weakened during the process. Hiruzen had deduced that something went wrong during the labor and that was how the Kyuubi escaped.
Naruto could not help but let the tears fall as he was told that they died trying to shield him from the Kyuubi. They sacrificed themselves for him. All these years, he had never known the love of a parent. Now he knew that he was showered with undying love from his parents as they gave their own lives for him.
He looked out of the window and stared at the Hokage monument. His attention was focused on only one of the stone faces. From that moment on he vowed to make both of his parents proud. They gave their very lives to save his and everyone else in the village. No matter what, he would get stronger and protect the village they both hold dear. He will rise above their hatred and make them acknowledge him. Not as the Kyuubi, but as the son of two heroes!
He grinned up at the stone face of his father. He hoped that both of his parents were listening.
"I'll make you both proud. I promise."
For the whole month, Naruto decided to visit his father's hideout everyday. He would sneak out of the village and go through the different chests and scrolls he found. Unbeknownst to him was that the Sandaime was always watching through his crystal ball.
Naruto started to read and study the different scrolls and books in the hideout of his father. They were mostly about fuinjutsu, the ninja art of sealing, but there were some that were about ninjutsu and taijutsu. Also there were books about history, tactics, geography, politics, and philosophy. There were also a few journals written by his father. One of them was about the ideals, rules, and characteristics of a true shinobi.
He also did some physical training. He got the regime from one of his father's journals. Not only that but he began to practice the basics of chakra control. It took him a week to complete the tree climbing exercise and another to walk on water. Luckily there was a small lake nearby where he could practice.
It turns out that fuinjutsu was one of the most complex and difficult art to learn. Even so, Naruto was determined to master it. He was still on the basics, such as storage scrolls and exploding tags. His father had left a ton of scrolls and books on the sealing arts. He practiced as much as he could.
As for taijutsu, he trained with the basics and tried to make his own style. He read in one of Minato's journals that the best way to fight against an experienced taijutsu specialist was to come up with a unique and unpredictable style only known to the user. Naruto read about the different styles of combat as well like the Hyuuga clan's gentle fist. He was still far from creating his own taijutsu techniques.
His genjutsu was virtually nonexistent. Instead he tries to focus on detecting and dispelling illusions. On some days, he meditates to try and enhance his sensory skills.
Today was target practice day. He had set up several targets around the forest. His goal was to learn not only how to hit the target, but to get the same amount of accuracy while moving at high speeds. After all, an enemy was not going to just stand there and be your practice dummy. He would be moving to retaliate so in order to counter you have to be on the move as well.
Naruto drew a deep breath as he gripped the shurikens in between his fingers. Naruto tensed for a moment before launching into action.
He threw two shurikens simultaneously as he leaped toward a nearby tree and stuck to the vertical surface. He threw two more just as the first pair found their mark. The moment the projectiles left his hand he leaped to a different tree and launched the last two. Naruto back flipped away from the tree and landed on the ground into a crouch.
He took out two of his kunai and threw one into the bushes where he made a trap for himself. As soon as the kunai cut the wire, a volley of shuriken rained down on him. He managed to deflect them all using his remaining kunai.
When it was over, he calmly placed the knife back into its holster and inspected his handiwork.
He mentally patted himself on the back for nailing all of the targets. He set about to collecting the scattered weapons and placed them in a storage scroll. He rolled up the scroll and placed it back in his pouch.
The sun was beginning to set. That was the indication that he needed to head back to the village. He would be taking a break from training tomorrow because his absence in the village was becoming noticed by the villagers. Also, non-stop training and exercise was bad for the body.
He sighed as he began to dash through the trees, heading toward Konoha. Tomorrow, he would spend the day acting like the prank loving fool everyone thought of him as. Naruto learned that one of the few most important tools of a ninja was deception. If he played his part well enough, people will start to underestimate him and that was what he was aiming for.
Let people underestimate you. That way they will never know what you're truly capable of.
Smiling to himself, he reached the secret passage into the village and slipped inside.
The following day, Naruto decided to buy some new clothes. He realized that the orange jumpsuit would make him an obvious target because it was too bright. Of course, he would still wear it for everyone else's benefit, but once he graduated from the academy he would ditch it eventually. For now, he would just have to endure.
A ninja is someone who can endure the greatest hardships and burdens that was placed on him.
Over the past month, thanks to his intense studying, he was beginning to develop a somewhat photographic memory. His father had a list of rules about being a shinobi and without meaning to he had memorized all of them.
He walked through the streets, ignoring the hateful looks thrown his way. After a while, he reached clothing store where he planned to buy his new clothes. He had saved up his weekly allowances from the hokage, enough to buy a pairs of spare clothes. Thanks to his frequent visits to the hideout, he learned to hunt and scavenge for food in the forest, which in turn reduced his need to purchase food from the market, allowing him to save a hefty amount of money.
Ducking into a nearby alley, he looked both ways before he used the Henge to transform into a random boy. He knew that the shopkeeper would probably kick him out if it was him purchasing or at least double the original price.
He entered the shop and scanned the aisles for some clothing that would suit him.
"Good morning, how can I help you?" A young female cashier greeted in a friendly tone.
Bet you wouldn't be so happy if you knew who I really was, Naruto thought bitterly.
He put on a sheepish smile and scratched the back of his head. "I was wondering if you have any clothes my size."
"Right this way young man." The cashier directed him to a rack of clothes.
In a few minutes, he was decked out in a brand new outfit. He wore a plain red t-shirt and a black jacket over it. A pair of new black pants that reached until his ankles and new sandals as well. All in all, he liked his new look and bought two sets.
"Come again soon!" The female cashier called after him as he turned to leave.
He left the store and ducked into another alley before dispelling the transformation. He decided to get something to eat, seeing as he still had some spare money. Eventually, he found his way to Ichiraku's ramen stand.
"Well if it isn't our favorite customer!" Teuchi greeted.
Naruto smiled a greeting as he sat on his usual stool. "I'll take the usual Teuchi-san."
"Coming right up," Teuchi said as he began preparing the food.
Naruto noticed that someone was missing. "Say, where's Ayame-nee-chan?"
"Oh, she's at home at the moment. She recently caught a minor flu yesterday so I told her to rest."
"That's too bad. I hope she gets better soon!"
Naruto gratefully accepted the freshly made ramen and ate with gusto. He had to admit, even though he mostly ate fresh game and fruits thanks to his frequent ventures into the forest, nothing held a candle when it came to ramen. It was by far the most delicious foods he had ever tasted.
"Hey, Naruto," Teuchi spoke up. Naruto looked up from his bowl with his mouth full of noodles. "How come I don't see you around as much these days?"
Naruto swallowed the contents in his mouth before answering. "Well Teuchi-san, I was just so busy these past couple of days. After all, I'm never going to become hokage if I slack off in my training!"
Teuchi smiled at the boy's enthusiasm. "You always train so hard. For a while there I thought I lost my best customer."
"I don't think that's possible Teuchi-san. Naruto loves your ramen too much." Another voice entered the conversation.
The scarred chunin instructor took a seat next to the blonde boy and ruffled his hair. "Good to see you Naruto."
Iruka ordered the pork ramen as Naruto guzzled down the remaining soup from his ramen.
"So Naruto, are you ready to go back to the academy tomorrow?"
The blonde boy grinned up at his instructor. "You bet Iruka-sensei!"
"Just make sure you don't skip class often this year." Iruka told the boy.
Naruto scratched his head, embarrassed. "Sorry sensei, it's just that your lectures are so boring."
Iruka lightly whacked him on the back of the head. "Don't get cocky Naruto. All of the great ninjas in history started as students until they eventually reached their goals through hard work, determination, and practice."
He turned to see if the boy was listening only to find an empty seat next to him. He got up to see Naruto running away from him. The blonde boy waved and called over his shoulder. "See you tomorrow Iruka-sensei!"
"Get back here Naruto!" Iruka was about to go after him when Teuchi's voice stopped him.
"Hey you better pay for these." Teuchi stated sternly. On the inside though, he was laughing at the boy's antics as the chunin brought out his wallet, grumbling about unruly kids.
The following day, Naruto woke to the sound of his alarm clock. He groaned as he got out of bed and stretched. It was the start of another year at the academy. After a quick breakfast of eggs and toast, he quickly went about his morning routine and got dressed. He wished he could've worn his new set of clothes but it would attract too much unwanted attention.
He locked the door to his small apartment as he made his way toward the academy.
He casually strolled through the streets, effectively ignoring the glares sent his way. He wasn't in much of a hurry so he kept to a slow pace. He put on the goofy grin everyone always saw, masking his true self from anyone else. Hiding all the years of pain caused by the very people his parents died protecting. The thought lit a fire of untamed rage within him.
Never let anger or revenge consume your thoughts.
Taking deep breaths at a time, he managed to suppress the building anger.
Thirty minutes later he found himself in the ninja academy building. He stopped just outside of the classroom door. Steeling himself, he slid the door open and walked inside.
The familiar chatter could be heard as he entered. His classmates obviously excited for the upcoming lessons. The only one who didn't seem to care was Shikamaru Nara. The lazy clan heir was sleeping soundly on his desk with his head resting on top of his arms. Choji, a chubby boy from another respected clan was currently munching on some potato chips next to his sleeping friend.
Naruto was ignored of course. He sighed as he took a seat by the window. He stared at the village outside of the little classroom. One day, he was going to become a ninja like his parents and then it would be his turn to protect the village. He vowed to surpass both of his parents and become a Hokage like none other.
Suddenly, he got a suspicious feeling that someone was watching him. He turned his head to look behind him to see a cute girl with short dark purple hair staring at him. The girl blushed when he caught her staring and looked away shyly.
Naruto frowned in confusion. Was the girl watching me? Why is she blushing?
He shrugged it off when someone else entered the classroom.
All of the girls, minus Hinata, swooned and stared at the newcomer with hearts in their eyes. Of course, Naruto knew who he was. Who didn't? Sasuke Uchiha, the lone survivor of the Uchiha clan massacre was the top academy student. Naruto on the other hand had been named the dead last.
The pale raven-haired boy ignored the girls who was trying to get his attention and made his way over to his usual spot. He was surprised however when he found the seat already occupied by the dobe. Sasuke walked over and stood over the blonde boy.
Naruto noticed this and turned to look at him. "Can I help you?"
"You're in my seat, dobe." Sasuke stated as a matter-of-factly.
"I don't see a name on it." Naruto countered, not backing down. It was just a chair. Surely the prick could find another one, right? But nooo, his fan girls had to come to his rescue.
"That's right Naruto-baka! That's Sasuke-kun's spot!" The pink haired banshee screeched.
"Yeah, find your own seat!" Ino shouted in agreement.
Naruto sighed in annoyance as he stood up. Apparently they were going to drag this out if he kept arguing with them. But he wasn't going to let the arrogant bastard off the hook.
"Oh wait, now I see it." Naruto said loudly. He looked back at the chair and pretended to read an inscription. "This seat is reserved for the Uchiha prick who has a ten foot pole shoved up his ass. Well, here you go then!"
Naruto made an exaggerated gesture toward the chair, like a waiter showing customers to their seats. The other boys roared with laughter at Naruto's antics, it was true that they didn't especially like Naruto, but they also disliked Sasuke's arrogance and the fact that he seemed to have snagged every girl's affection in class. Plus, the Uchiha's face was priceless.
All of the girls fumed and Naruto barely managed to dodge Ino and Sakura's attempts to hit him for making fun of their crush. Although, Naruto noticed that one girl was giggling quietly to herself. It was the cute girl sitting at the back.
After things settled down somewhat, everybody went back to their respective conversations as if nothing happened. The Uchiha sat on the chair next to the window and struck up his normal brooding pose. Seriously, what do the girls see in him?
One girl in particular stuck out among the rest. Naruto decided to walk up to her.
"Umm, hi, do you mind if I sit here?" Naruto asked the shy girl.
For some reason, the girl was blushing up a storm.
Hinata on the other hand, was so nervous that she thought that she might faint. Her heart was racing and her face felt hot due to the fact that her crush was currently standing next to her. She hoped she wasn't as red as she felt.
He's talking to me! What should I do? He wants to sit next to me. Okay, calm down. You can do this.
"N-no, I d-don't mind." She said as she fidgeted with her fingers.
Naruto offered her a smile that made her heart melt inside. "Great! Thanks!"
"So, what's your name?" Naruto asked politely as he took a seat next to her. Naruto was seriously starting to think that this girl was coming down with a fever because her face was so red.
"H-Hinata Hyuga," she responded shyly.
"Nice to meet you Hinata-chan!" Naruto held out his hand and the girl shook it.
He's holding my hand! Okay, just breathe.
Naruto looked concerned as Hinata began to blush deeply. He leaned in close to the girl's face and placed his hand on her forehead. "Are you okay, Hinata-chan? You're really red. You might have a fever."
Hinata couldn't take it anymore seeing as their faces were so close to each other. She fainted.
"Gah! I killed her!"
Well here it is the first chapter's done. Again this is just an idea that popped into my head. I've decided on the NaruHina pairing. I hope you guys like it. I don't know if it's any good as the others I've read but if I receive at least ten positive reviews on this story, I'll do my best to continue it. If not, well I guess I'll just leave it up to you my dear readers.