Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto.
Beasts of War
"Gatenga: Rooringu Sandaa!" Naruto called out as he and his Shadow Clone surged forward, rolling across the ground and kicking up dirt behind them as their steel-hard needle-like hair tore into the ground, propelling them forward. At the same time, Lightning chakra started to arc from one needle-like hair to the next, boosting their speed and making them an even deadlier ball of claws, fangs, and blades. Splitting up and flanking their target, both lycanthropic shinobi kicked off the ground, sending themselves into the air with rogue bolts of electricity shooting out from their revolving forms. As they impacted their target simultaneously, the training post was obliterated in an explosion of mulch, splinters, and dirt. As they moved away from the ruins of the post, Naruto stood up straight while his clone simply dispelled.
"...Still needs work..." Naruto remarked, small arcs of electricity still jumping across his furred body from the powerful build-up of static electricity. Rooringu Sandaa, or Rolling Thunder, was the same as Gatenga, only with the addition of Lightning Chakra coating his and his clone's body for added power and speed. As strong as it was, it hadn't reached its peak potential. He hoped to have it completed and mastered by the time the Chuunin Exams came around in two months.
"That was pretty impressive. Make's me wish I had a Lightning affinity." Inuzuka Hana spoke up from the edge of the clearing, having left her three canine companions back at the Inuzuka clan compound. Glancing at her over his right shoulder, Naruto smirked. Shaking his whole body to disperse the static discharge, Naruto turned around and faced the woman as she walked over to him. "Kaa-san will want to know about that one once it's finished since Gatenga is an Inuzuka clan technique and all. Then again, it wouldn't be the first time you've added another technique to our clan's library."
"Yeah, that's true..." Naruto remarked quietly as Hana came to a stop directly in front of him, their bodies separated by only inches of air. Slowly reaching up, Hana put her left hand on his chest and buried her fingers in his thick fur, smiling warmly as she leaned against him and rested her cheek on his chest. Smiling in return, Naruto gently wrapped his arms around her. "...Can't wait, huh?"
"What do you think?" Hana mumbled through his fur, inhaling through her nose and enjoying the ever-constant scent of the forest that clung to him. It had been two years since she pledged herself to him. They were simply waiting for Naruto to be promoted to chuunin or for his eighteenth birthday; either way, he was considered a full-fledged adult. That way, they could be together. Getting a little fiesty, Hana jumped up and forced Naruto to hold her as she wrapped her legs around his waist while her arms were looped around Naruto's neck and shoulders, grinning wolfishly at her chosen life-mate. "So, I hear you might be going solo after the exams, promoted or not. Mind shedding some light on the subject?"
"Only if you stand on your own two feet." Naruto countered, making Hana frown and reluctantly comply, crossing her arms over her chest and pouting slightly. It only made Naruto laugh slightly. "Since I've transferred from three teams already and would have transferred from a fourth if the Chuunin Exams weren't so close, me and the Sandaime have been looking through the shinobi rules and laws. We managed to come across a certain little stipulation that would make it possible for me to progress to Chuunin if I don't manage to get promoted during the exams."
"Don't forget you also fall under the Clan Restoration Act..." Hana growled with a beguiling grin, reaching up and caressing the side of Naruto's neck as he bowed his head down, their lips meeting in a loving kiss. A random thought passed through Naruto's mind as he recalled their first kiss, barely stopping himself from laughing at the rather comical sight of them trying to figure out how considering Naruto's wolf-like head and maw. Breaking apart a moment later, Hana's cheeks were dusted with a pink hue as she leaned against him fully, a content smile on her lips. A moment later, she had a bit of a hungry look in her eyes. "Since you're under the CRA, doesn't that mean you can have up to four wives?"
"...Yes, if I'm not mistaken." Naruto answered, scratching under his chin in thought before glancing down at her, an eye brow cocked curiously. "Why?"
"Oh, nothing..." Hana remarked, giving him a reassuring smile, but it was obvious he wasn't going to be fooled. Pouting, Hana rested her head against his chest again. "Oh, fine! I was thinking about what it would be like with another woman around..."
"Oh, really now?" Naruto remarked with a grin as he led Hana into the forest, finding a somewhat secluded spot before sitting down with Hana in his lap. "What happened to being so possessive of me?"
"Who said it was for you?" Hana remarked with another grin, glancing at him out of the corner of her eye, making Naruto laugh. A moment later, Hana joined in with him. After a few minutes, they managed to calm down and Hana turned around in his embrace, straddling him as she looked into his eyes, gently running her fingers through the fur along the side of Naruto's face and neck, a soft smile on her lips. "Seriously, though. I was thinking about your little Hyuuga friend. I wouldn't mind her joining us in a few years once she's a legal adult. Maybe if I'm feeling genorous, I'll let another one join so long as she proves herself worthy..."
"Oh? Already staking claim to the position as Alpha Female, are you?" Naruto asked teasingly, making Hana smile more playfully before they kissed again. This time, it lasted longer and it was more passionate. Moaning softly as they broke apart, Hana rested her head on his shoulder, burying her face against Naruto's neck.
"God, I can't wait any longer...I'm tired of being kept away from you." Hana whispered softly, idly running her fingers through the thick fur that covered Naruto's entire body. Naruto sighed softly and held her close, gently rubbing her lower back with one hand as he reached up and held the hand she had on his chest with his other. Almost instantly, she gripped his hand tightly, a single tear falling from her eye. "It's stupid. We shouldn't have to hide like this..."
"Shh. It's not much longer, Hana. Everything will be fine, okay?" Naruto whispered quietly as Hana held his hand as tight as possible. Reaching up a little higher, Naruto rubbed the back of Hana's neck and almost immediately, she melted against him with a look of peace on her face. He hated it when she got upset, especially if it made the normally kind-hearted and tough-skinned woman cry. That's when he thought of something to help distract her. "...You up for a little hunting? I didn't eat breakfast this morning and I haven't had lunch yet. Plus, it'll give me something to cook for dinner tonight...Just the two of us."
"Yeah, I guess..." Hana responded a little half-heartedly before looking up at Naruto with big, brown eyes. "...Do you promise? Just the two of us?"
"Of course, Hana." Naruto responded with a smile, gently kissing her forehead and making Hana blush with a shy smile. As they stood up, Naruto stretched slightly before they took to the branches in search of their quarry...
"Airon Erubou!" Naruto exclaimed as the fur around his left elbow became as strong as steel while bringing it around to strike Sasuke, who barely managed to substitute himself with a log before it made contact with the side of his head, the devastating blow completely destroying the top half of the log. Raising his armored right hand, Naruto caught Sakura's right shin as she tried to kick him from his right flank while he had been distracted with Sasuke. "Too slow. Hari Jizou!"
"Shit!" Sakura exclaimed while kicking off Naruto's arm with her other foot to break free just in time to avoid being stabbed in multiple places by the needles of sharpened and hardened fur sticking out from all over the werewolf's body. Sakura's eyes widened when she saw the needle-like hairs quiver faintly, prompting her to form a handseal rather hastily.
"Hari Jigoku!" Naruto called out before a hail storm of needles made from his own fur shot out in all directions, Sakura's body being replaced with a log just as it was turned into a pin cushion. Snorting, Naruto shook his body so that his fur returned to normal, his ears twitching and eyes smoothly gliding back and forth as he waited for his 'team mates' to attack again.
Hidden in the branches of a tree, Kakashi continued to watch them train together. It was three weeks until the start of the Chuunin Exams and they had been training together like they were now for the past three months. Naruto had struck a deal with Kakashi. Since the wolf-man wanted to know the jounin's legendary Raikiri, Naruto proposed to train Sasuke and Sakura as best as he could before the Chuunin Exams. Surprisingly, the jounin accepted the deal. What stunned Kakashi was the fact it took Naruto only a few days to get a handle on the Raikiri and, if the rumors were right, he was already working on a variation of it.
"Katon: Housenka!" Sasuke called out as he ran a semi-circle behind Naruto from the giant's left to his right. At the same time, Sakura ran the opposite direction while throwing a large amount of kunai and shuriken at Naruto from in front of him. Smirking, Naruto swiftly brought his hands together in front of his chest while bowing his head with his eyes closed, almost as if he were praying. A moment later, his team mates learned that he wasn't.
"Doton: Kakougan Yamajiro!" Naruto called out as his eyes snapped open, causing a ring of granite to rise out of the ground all around Naruto and form a twenty foor tall column around him to protect him from the two attacks. The only reason he was using so many techniques was because he needed to get back into the habit of using ninjutsu on occassion as well to give Sakura and Sasuke a fighting chance. Ninjutsu never was his greatest strength, but the uniqueness of his ninjutsu was. Unlike others, who needed handseals, most of the techniques he knew had been mastered by the lycanthropic teen that he could perform most by simply manipulating the flow of his chakra within his body, but some still required the 'prayer' seal he had used to perform his Granite Mountain Castle defensive Earth Element technique.
Suddenly, the sound of rapidly moving metal grinding against stone could be heard...
"What the hell..." Sasuke and Sakura muttered simultaneously while Kakashi sighed. Big mistake on their part.
"Gatenga: Nigemichi no Pakku!" Came the call from within the hollow pillar before it was torn to shreds as Naruto and five clones burst forth, each one set ablaze with Fire and Lightning chakra as they tore into the earth with their steel-hard and needle-sharp fur and claws, splitting into two groups of three and speeding towards Sasuke and Sakura.
'When did he come up with that one?!' Kakashi thought to himself in surprise, his one good eye widening as he watched them. He was half-tempted to uncover his Sharingan to break down the ninjutsu/taijutsu technique, but he decided not to. It was techniquely an advanced elemental clan technique of the Inuzuka, one of several that Naruto had made himself. That was the only draw-back the genin had when it came to learning their techniques; any variations were to be classified as Inuzuka clan techniques and if someone from the Inuzuka clan wanted to learn it, Naruto had to teach them. That's when a thought popped into Kakashi's head.
'Only seventeen years old, not even a chuunin yet, and he's already got more on his plate than most jounin ever have. I'm impressed...' Kakashi mentally remarked with a look of approval on his masked face. Watching as Sasuke and Sakura frantically tried to dodge the electrified balls of flaming steel, Kakashi found Naruto to be skilled enough to be a jounin, but due to his constant transfers, his progression through the ranks had been stalled drastically. It had been about five months since they returned from the mission to Wave Country and Team 7 had actually started to grow attached to Naruto. So much so that they had all changed in both body and mind.
Kakashi had taken to wearing his old ANBU armor without his old Dog mask with a tanto sheathed across the back of his waist with the handle at his left hip and a ninjato crossing his back with the handle sticking out over his right shoulder. The jounin had even taken to training with Gai, of all people, on a regular basis whenever he wasn't busy with his students. Sasuke had gradually started to lose his 'lone avenger' attitude, becoming more along the lines of a cold and monotous shinobi not unlike Itachi once was prior to the Uchiha Massacre, only a little more talkative at times. Sakura had begun to lose her infatuation with Sasuke and take her training and career more seriously, deciding to become a field medic.
Standing at 5'11", 15 year old Uchiha Sasuke was dressed in a black skin-tight long-sleeve top, a black cloth face mask pulled up over his nose, white ANBU-styled bracers on his forearms with white armored plates covering the back of his hands, baggy black pants with white cloth wrapped around his legs from his knees down to his ankles, white ANBU-styled guards strapped to his shins, black closed-toe shinobi sandals on his feet, a set of white ANBU-styled body armor covering his torso with a black hood attached to the raised armored collar and pulled up over his head while the Uchiha symbol decorated the back of his armor, a belt of white armor plates around his waist with a knee-length half-cloak of black cloth hanging from it and a length of white cloth hanging down to his knees from the buckle in the front, and a Konoha hitai-ate tied around his neck on a band of black cloth. Strapped to either thigh was a pair of kunai holsters, a set of four weapon pouches attached to his belt behind his waist, a number of hidden spring-loaded kunai launchers built into the underside of his bracers, a couple more kunai hidden in his shin-guards, and two more pairs of kunai holsters stashed horizontally under his body armor in the back along his lower back.
Sasuke had taken to Naruto's taijutsu and ninjutsu training like a fish to water. Kakashi couldn't remember how many times he had taken the black haired adolescent to the hospital after their training sessions. Most of the trips were caused by Sasuke's arrogance and hunger for power. In the beginning, he would only perform a technique a few times before demanding another from Naruto. Naruto's response? Pummel Sasuke into a bloody pulp until the Uchiha was knocked out or until he surrendered. It took about two weeks of that before Sasuke got the point that he was to actually learn the techniques without his Sharingan and to master them to a certain degree before he earned another one. The same went with his taijutsu training, which was rather harsh. He had brought Gai along with him one day to spy on Naruto's taijutsu training and even the spandex-wearing jounin was a little worried for the Uchiha's safety and health.
Standing at only 5'3", 15 year old Haruno Sakura had waist-length cherry blossom pink hair styled into an undershave strangely enough with her long hair twisted into a braid in the back that ended half-way down her back with her bangs framing her face and bright emerald green eyes. Four scars ran along the left side of her head and came to a stop just before they reached her left eye. Like always, she was wearing a pair of baggy black pants, a dark red midriff-baring sleeveless turtleneck top stretched tight across her C-cup bust with a white ring in the center of her upper back and the middle of her chest, a short-sleeve fishnet top under her shirt, black elbow-length gloves on her forearms and hands, black sandals on her feet, two pouches strapped to either thigh with one of each pair being filled with kunai or senbon, a medical bag set across her lower back, a weapon pouch on either side of her medical bag, and a white sash wrapped around her waist with one end hanging down to her knees in the front. Tied around her neck on a band of dark crimson cloth was her Konoha hitai-ate.
Sakura was a completely different problem on her own. Before he started to train her, Naruto had first broken her spirit. Kakashi didn't know what happened, but Naruto had taken Sakura out of the village for one week. When they left, Sakura was a weak, naive, and pathetic little girl. When they came back, Sakura was a strong-willed, focused, and calm young woman. Neither she nor Naruto would speak of what happened during that week, not even to the Sandaime or even answer as to where Sakura's scars came from. Either way, Sakura was focused solely on getting stronger.
"Raiton: Shichuu Shibari!" Came the twin declarations before both Sasuke and Sakura cried out in agony as they were electrocuted by the technique utilized by Naruto and his clone, who had downgraded the usually large-scale technique so that it could be more easily performed on shinobi instead of summons. After a few moments, Naruto and his clone released the techniques, letting the two collapse as steam rose from their painfully numbed bodies and slightly singed clothes. As his clone dispelled and the stone pillars sunk back into the ground, Naruto raised his left hand and waved Kakashi over slightly without turning to face the jounin, signaling that the session was over.
"So? Are they ready?" Kakashi inquired as he landed in a kneeling crouch beside the sole surviving member of the Kurotsuki branch family of the Shishisensou clan. Narrowing his eyes faintly in thought, Naruto crossed his arms over his chest and glanced between Sasuke and Sakura, who were already forcing themselves back to their feet with a look of determination in their eyes despite the pain and numbness coursing through their bodies.
"...They haven't reached my expectations..." Naruto answered calmly, trailing off at the end as he awaited a reaction from the two in question. Almost instantly, he noticed a fire ignite in their eyes; it wasn't exactly anger and it wasn't really arrogance, but more of a blend of the two with a calm and patient appearance to it. Good. They weren't letting their pride take control and were showing humility. "...But they're ready."
"Really?" Kakashi muttered as he took another look at his students. He wasn't doubting Naruto, it was just that he hadn't had much time to evaluate his own students in the past couple months due to Naruto training them almost every day, most of the time taking them to an isolated location for certain things. They hadn't even done that many missions, either. That's what they were going to have to work on during the next three weeks in order to meet the minimum D-rank requirements.
"Yeah." Naruto muttered before addressing the two runts in front of him. "Oi! Thing One and Thing Two!"
"..." Neither responded, but they visibly tensed. Naruto usually only called them that before he ambushed them with a taijutsu-only spar that would last anywhere between an hour to two days; non-stop. Their reactions only made Naruto smirk, barely stopping himself from snickering. He loved scarring them too much...
"...Go ahead and get some rest. You've earned it." Naruto responded firmly, but out of approval. Sakura heaved a sigh of relief as she sunk to her knees and slouched while Sasuke just dropped to the ground, lying on his back and staring up at the partly cloudy sky with unfocused eyes. Kakashi couldn't help it; he bust out laughing at their reactions. He knew Naruto had been running them ragged for three months now, but he didn't think they were that tired! Kakashi shut up and froze when he felt Naruto's gaze peering down at him, the cyclopian shinobi having stayed crouching since he arrived. "...You're next, Scarecrow."
"Uh...What?" Kakashi responded with a nervous eye smile, sweating slightly. Naruto gained a small, but vicious fanged smirk, his eyes gleaming with vicious and obviously violent intent to cause physical harm to the jounin.
"I've been meaning to get myself a new chew-toy..." Naruto growled quietly before suddenly lunging at the jounin, only for Kakashi to just barely escape the Shishisensou's grasp. Snarling almost rabidly, Naruto chased after Kakashi on all fours, the one-eyed running as fast as he could to escape the giant's wrath. "GET BACK HERE!"
"Hiya, Boss!" Konohamaru exclaimed as he landed on top of Naruto's head, making the lycanthrope's eyes narrow while his left eye brow twitched out of annoyance. He wasn't alone either; hanging from either arm was the Sandaime's grandson's two best friends, Udon and Moegi. Growling quietly, Naruto shook the three brats off of him and kept walking; he still hadn't been able to catch Kakashi in the past three weeks and it was getting annoying. How dare he laugh at his training methods?! A groan from Konohamaru made Naruto snort, hoping that ignoring the boy would make them go away. "Man, that hurt, Boss. You're no fun today..."
"Yeah..." Moegi mumbled as she rubbed her head. As they all ran ahead of him, Konohamaru turned and blew a raspberry at the giant wolf-man, only furthering Naruto's irritation. Luckily, they were leaving him alone now and disappeared around a corner. Thank Kami...
"OW!" Naruto's ears perked up at Konohamaru's cry of pain and surprise before hearing someone else. "That hurt, you little shit!"
"Aw, hell no..." Naruto snarled under his breath as his eyes narrowed fiercely. In two large steps, Naruto reached the intersection and his gaze instantly targeted the one holding Konohamaru by the boy's scarf; a young man about his own age wearing a black one-piece outfit with dark purple kabuki paint on his face, a bandaged up package strapped to his back. Beside him was a blonde haired woman about the same age in a lavender skirt and top with fishnets and a giant battle fan slung across her back. Growling angrily as his hands and feet were encased with the metal armor of his bracers and shin-guards, Naruto took a step toward them, purposefully stomping on the ground to gain the face-painted runt's attention. "Put. The kid. Down."
"Wha-What the hell?!" Kankuro stuttered out in shock, dropping the brat that had run into him and taking an involuntary step back. Temari, hearing her brother's exclamation, turned to look in his direction, only to notice the towering beast standing there as the three kids ran behind him.
'Oh, my god...That's Konoha's Iron Wolf...' Temari mentally wrasped out in shock and fear. She had heard stories about a Konoha shinobi that was rumored to be a werewolf of some kind. Others even whispered about him being one of the legendary Shishisensou. She used to scoff and say it was just all lies and false rumors, but now that she was standing in the very presence of that being, Temari couldn't help but shiver in fear, her teal eyes wide and frightened. Surprisingly, almost as soon as Konohamaru's feet touched the ground and the young boy was safely standing behind him, Konoha's 'Iron Wolf' visibly relaxed.
"State your purpose for being here, Suna-nin." Naruto growled out, his eyes still locked on Kankuro. He knew who they were; they were two of the Yondaime Kazekage's three children, but that didn't matter to him. He wished nothing more than to rip apart anyone that would blatantly intend to harm an innocent child. Kazekage's son or not, 'puppet boy' wasn't going to be spared. He idly wondered where the third one, Suna's Ichibi jinchuuriki, was at...
"W-We're here for the Chuunin Exams that are b-being held tomorrow." Temari stated, stuttering slightly as she handed Naruto her passport, which bore a stamp of red ink that identified her reason for being in Konoha. Snorting, he handed it back to her. "We g-got here a bit early and decided to walk around for a bit."
"I guess we'll be seeing each other again soon..." Naruto growled, smirking viciously as he stared down at Kankuro, who looked about ready to piss himself. Oh, he was enjoying the Suna puppeteer's fear way too much. "I'll be seeing you there, Subaku no Temari. You too, Kankuro..."
"..." Kankuro said nothing as he shivered slightly, his face paling with fear as he forced a small smile on his face out of nervousness. As he turned to leave while ushering the kids down a different path, Naruto's eyes locked with those of another that was hidden in the trees, both intrigued by the aura of unrestrained power they both contained. Breaking eye contact and growling at Konohamaru, who was starting to talk trash to the Suna shinobi, Naruto led them down the main road...
"Hey! Hey, did you hear?" Rock Lee inquired with some excitement in his voice. "For the first time in five years, there are going to be rookies in this year's Chuunin Exams."
"No way!" Tenten dismissed as he continued to play with the kunai in her hand. "It's probably some stubborn jounins competing against each other or something..."
"No, the story is that three of them are student's of Hatake Kakashi." Lee continued, only for his voice to grow quieter and more serious just as Tenten moved to throw her kunai. "One of them is him..."
"...What?" Tenten hissed quietly, her kunai missing the target completely. Her hand quivered faintly in both fear and anticipation. Even their third team mate, Hyuuga Neji, became rather unsettled at the revelation. All three of them had come in contact with that particular genin at one point in time and they all knew they didn't stand a chance against him. At least, they didn't in the past.
"Yeah. Not only that, but rumor has it that he's been training his team mates for the past few months." Lee continued, making Tenten clench her still extended hand into a tight fist while Neji's left hand tensed and suddenly balled up into a fist as well, a thin and narrow scar marring the palm and back of his hand; he had been stabbed through his hand by the Shishisensou's sword during a rather vicious 'spar' between them.
"Kami, have mercy on their souls..." Neji whispered under his breath, refering to those that encountered Naruto and his team mates during the exams. Especially if his team mates had inherited anything from the rumored Iron Wolf of Konoha...
Gatenga: Rooringu Sandaa- Dual Revolving Fang: Rolling Thunder
Airon Erubou- Iron Elbow
Hari Jizou- Underworld Guardian Spikes
Hari Jigoku- Hell Needles
Katon: Hosenka- Fire Element: Mythical Fire Pheonix
Doton: Kakougan Yamajiro- Earth Element: Granite Mountain Castle
Gatenga: Nigemichi no Pakku- Dual Revolving Fang: Pack of Hellhounds
Raiton: Shichuu Shibari- Lightning Element: Four Pillar Binding