Welcome to my second fanfic, Naruko the Tenjin. This story will feature a Fem!Naru, with strong elements of Rurouni Kenshin and Chrono Cross. The current pairing is up in the air, but I'm semi leaning towards Naru/Sai, but that is in no way definite. Maybe there won't even be any pairing.
To preempt any confusion, I'll tell you now, Tenjin in this case means Heavenly Blade.
Warnings: I despise Sasuke. I'll do my best to keep my loathing of him to a minimum, but I'm sure some of it will bleed through. Soujiro inspired Naruto. Good!Danzo, Root!Naru
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto, Rurouni Kenshin or Chrono Cross. I am writing this purely to see reader reaction and for fun. I make no financial profit doing this.
Chapter 1 – A New Home
Naruko had learned a long time ago that everyone hated her. She learned that they enjoyed hurting her. She learned that the more she cried and screamed and pleaded that the more enjoyment they got out of tormenting her. So for the last six months she had made sure to always have a smile on her face.
The villagers still attacked her, but they had lost a great deal of enthusiasm for it. Alongside their hateful and condescending looks were ones of extreme discomfort and confusion. They couldn't comprehend why she kept on smiling no matter what they did.
It was raining tonight. Naruko loved the rain. It was the only time she could safely show any weakness. Every night it rained Naruko would go for a walk. No one would be able to see her tears. They were often the most peaceful times of her life. Everyone was indoors, so no hostile looks were sent her way.
Her short messy blonde hair was plastered to her head, her blue eyes hidden by the constantly squinted eyelids enhancing her vulpine appearance, and her skin was a healthy tan color. She wore an orange shirt and dark green shorts along with a pair of sandals, all very battered and torn and soaked from the rain.
Of course, not every night like this was peaceful for her. Naruko was only slightly surprised to find a group of four people in front of her. The most surprising part was that none of them were drunk. Usually the sober populace would stay away from her in fear of the masked men she occasionally saw following her.
"There's the brat. Let's make this quick before the ANBU catch up, they won't be fooled for long." There were three men and one woman. The woman was the one who spoke. She was a squat woman with a pinched face like she was sucking a lemon and grey streaked hair pulled into a bun on the top of her head. One of the men was heavyset with a crooked nose. He looked like he got into bar fights regularly. The other two men were both rather mousy looking, with beady eyes. The whole group was wearing burgundy robes and straw sandals.
More than familiar with the drill Naruko turned and ran, the smile still on her face. She knew better than to try running into alleys and backstreets. That just took her away from any witnesses. Her best bet was to stay on the main pathways and hope someone would intervene. Every time this happened she would run straight for the nearest shinobi station. The village gates, the Hokage tower, the Academy, and the hospital were the best bets. All of those locations always had at least one team of shinobi or more at all times for security purposes. Even if everyone hated her, the shinobi would be forced to step in or face the Hokage's wrath.
As Naruko turned the corner she slid to a stop, barely maintaining her balance. There were another two men in front of her. They anticipated what she would do when she was first confronted.
Naruko quickly looked around her for another escape route. There were a couple of alleys but she already knew they led to dead ends. She was about to resign herself to another beating when she saw it. There was a wakizashi leaned against a stack of crates. Smile still in place she walked towards it. There was no longer any point in running. She wouldn't be able to get around the men in her way.
The day she had created her mask she had also vowed that she would never allow herself to be beaten again if she could help it. Well that short sword definitely qualified as being able to stop the oncoming beating.
The first group finally caught up to her. "We've finally got you now brat," The fat man from earlier wheezed out, "and no one is going to come save you this time."
When Naruko grabbed the sword the villagers took a step back. "Where did that thing come from?" The woman seemed more furious than anything else, "Kenji, I thought you made sure there was nothing she could use around!?"
"It wasn't there a minute ago!" One of the men who she had almost run into replied.
Naruko spoke for the first time that day. "It doesn't matter where it came from. It's here right now." She unsheathed the wakizashi. "You all seemed very determined to catch me and now you have. So now what?" Her tone was cheerful and happy. It was just one more piece of her mask.
The fat man's face was an interesting shade of brownish red, "Now we kill you!" He leaned forward ready to grab the child. Naruko didn't hesitate, her new sword found itself buried in his throat.
The body hadn't even hit the ground before Naruko had jumped on top of the small woman, sword once again biting into the weak flesh of her neck. Before any of the villagers could shake themselves out of their shock they were down to three people. The only difference now though, was that they died running and screaming.
Naruko now stood in the middle of six corpses, sword held at her side and smile on her face, soaked by the rain.
A man stepped out of one of the alley's Naruko had dismissed earlier. He wore a black kimono with a white yukata underneath and white tabi. He had short black hair and the right side of his face was wrapped in bandages, covering his cheek and eye. On his chin was a distinctive cross shaped scar and in his hand was an umbrella casually laid on his shoulder. His one visible eye was a grayish brown and locked on Naruko.
"I'm glad you found the sword I left for you Naruko-Chan." He slowly stepped towards her, inspecting her work along the way. "I'm even happier that you didn't hesitate to use it."
"This is your sword? Do you want it back?" Even as she asked this she made no motion to offer it to him.
"No, I put that there for you. It's yours now." He paused several feet away from the girl. "My name is Shimura Danzo, and I have an offer for you. I want to train in you the shinobi arts. This village is wasting your potential, and I cannot stand to see it."
"You want to train me as a shinobi? Why would you do something like that Danzo-San?"
"Because I believe that you can become the most powerful shinobi Konoha has ever produced. In the end, it's only the fittest that survive. If you're strong you live, if you're weak you die." These words would resonate within Naruko for a long time. "I intend for Konoha to be strong, and for that it needs strong shinobi."
Normally Naruko would never entertain the idea of going with a stranger. It had never worked out well for her in the past. It only resulted in more beatings. But the wakizashi was comforting in her hand. "Alright, I'll come with you."
"…Are you crying?"
Naruko felt a thrum of fear. Did he see her weakness? "No Danzo-San." Her face and voice remained completely unchanged.
Danzo only nodded, "Come with me then, you'll stay the night at my home and we'll see the Hokage tomorrow."
Danzo led her to a medium sized two story compound. He showed her to the room she would be staying in, a large room with a bed almost three times the size of the tattered mat she had in her apartment sat on one side with end tables on either side of it. There was a closet with several sets of clothing in her size, he'd clearly anticipated her agreement, and a desk and chair under a window. To the left of the bed was her own personal bathroom complete with shower and tub. All in all, it was about a thousand times better than where she had been living since leaving the orphanage.
"This will be your room. My room is down at the end of the hall. Do not disturb me there unless there is an emergency. My office is the room to the left of my room, do not ever go in there unless I tell you to."
His introduction over, Danzo left Naruko alone and entered his office. Naruko stood in the doorway to her new room for a minute, processing her new situation. She finally decided on a shower and then bed time.
"You want to what?" Sarutobi Hiruzen didn't know whether he was more surprised or suspicious. Shimura Danzo had just walked into his office with Uzumaki Naruko telling him that he was going to take her on as an apprentice.
"I've offered to train Naruko-Chan in the shinobi arts. Last night I found her being attacked by some of the villagers. Before I could intervene Naruko had already killed her assailants." Naruko's face remained unchanging, the mention of last night's incident apparently forgotten.
"The entire incident was a matter of self defense for Naruko-Chan. In the interests of furthering her ability to protect herself, I offered my help and she accepted."
The Hokage hummed, "How exactly did Naruko-Chan manage this?" Every time Naruko came to his attention he became saddened. The poor girl didn't deserve the hate piled upon her. Those few who had volunteered to take the girl either had too much of a political position and were therefore blocked by the other political blocs so they didn't obtain the influence of the village jinchuuriki or didn't have the resources to protect both the girl and themselves from the villages hostility, because it was certain that whoever took the girl would face the same animosity she did.
"I found an old wakizashi Hokage-Sama. It was very helpful. Danzo-San said it would be alright to keep it." She didn't mention that the wakizashi had belonged to Danzo, but everything she said had been the truth.
Sarutobi had to keep himself from cringing. That smile did not belong on any child. It was so obviously fake to his experienced eyes. It was painful to see.
"And you want to train with Danzo Naruko-Chan?" Sarutobi had to make some form of effort at convincing Naruko not to do this, but he didn't think he could change her mind. And something would have to be done anyways. Naruko had never killed a villager before. The council would demand a response, and putting her in Danzo's care to keep an eye on the girl was a solution with some degree of appeal. It would even get past the political obstacles because it was not an adoption into a clan, merely an apprenticeship. Officially at any rate, unofficially it may as well be adoption in the case of orphans.
Danzo would do his best to make sure Naruko was loyal to the village. He was certainly capable of teaching her to protect herself. Her living conditions would see a marked improvement, and under Danzo's wing it would be far less likely that any villager would be willing to threaten the girl again.
"I do Hokage-Sama."
Sarutobi held in a resigned sigh, it would not do to show Danzo any weakness to exploit. "Very well Naruko-Chan, you'll be the apprentice of Shimura Danzo as soon as our next council meeting in a few days." Sarutobi turned to Danzo, "I imagine she will be staying with you?"
"Yes Hokage-Sama." He was careful to keep his outward expression neutral, but on the inside he was celebrating. Naruko would be Konoha's greatest asset, although he would have his work cut out for him getting the girl to think of Konoha in any positive light.
And there's chapter one of Naruko the Tenjin. I hope you enjoyed and please don't forget to review and let me know what you think. Any feedback and constructive criticism is welcome.
If you're having trouble picturing it, or didn't pick it up because of my own ineptitude, Naruko always has her fake smile on except for when she sleeps and is often, but not always squinting her eyes. The smile is like Sai's or Soujiro's from Rurouni Kenshin.