A/N: Okay so I didn't think I'd end up being all obsessive like this, much less at this age, over Naruto of all things but I've officially been bitten by the Naruto bug which is always a bad thing when I'm also playing Assassin's Creed.
Anyway, like I said I might before, I did re-write part of the beginning to go with AC4 instead of AC3 after all. The first half involving Naruto's POV is the same, but the second POV has been changed to Edward Kenway's instead of Connor's.
I literally got AC4 today so I'm not all the way through it, so forgive me if I got Edward's personality not-quite-right, but Hell, I tried. I will say I am far enough to know how I'm going to do my first couple of chapters now though.
There are also going to be a few major changes to Naruto himself just to make it fit with the more realistic setting of AC4. Instead of the Five Great Nations it'll simply be Japan. Naruto's appearance will be somewhat different. Still playing with the idea of what to do about Kurama and Naruto's backstory for this. Anywho, enjoy.
Fox among Eagles and Sharks
A Naruto and Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag crossover
It was almost a certainty that he was never going to be rid of the smell of sea salt and rank fish that leaked through the cracks in the wood and lurching water that sent the place pitching back and forth in nausea-inducing tandem. Back and forth, back and forth. It just never stopped.
He supposed it was a pretty good thing that he didn't get motion sickness easily, though on the nights he could hear the horrible moaning of a storm, even he had a bit of trouble.
Of course, what little was available to him to eat didn't exactly help keep away any sort of feelings of nausea. He couldn't help but think that even stray dogs must've eaten better food than he had in…however long it had been.
He'd lost track of the passing of time. Of course it hardly seemed to matter, there wasn't much place for him to go to or much to see anyway, just endless, rolling waves. Of course, even if he'd wanted to go up on deck, there was still the metal shackle on his right ankle keeping him from fresh air.
He sighed and peered through dirty locks of short, light auburn hair with vivid blue eyes, one of the rare traits that had set him apart appearance-wise in his village. He couldn't help but silently mourn his separation from his home, not even fully knowing exactly how he'd left it to begin with.
He could only vaguely remember being knocked out, a few fleeting moments of consciousness that he couldn't recall the details of, and now he was locked to the metal bars of what was basically the mini-prison of a ship.
Where it was headed and how long he'd been out, he had no idea, but what he did know was that wherever it was, it was a long ways away from his village. Silently he couldn't help but wonder if anyone was even looking for him. Everyone in the village looked down on him as it was, so maybe they'd even celebrate that he was gone.
It wouldn't really surprise him. So many of the people in the village were just cruel and heartless.
He stiffened slightly as he heard boots stomping on wood and looked up warily as a ragged man reeking of salt and alcohol lumbered up, speaking what may as well have been gibberish.
He'd learned quite some time ago that no one on this damn ship actually bothered speaking in any way he could actually understand.
Still, it didn't stop them from going on and on with…whatever they were trying to say, getting impatient and angry with his silence.
"I don't know what you're saying," he mumbled when the man kept talking and giving him an angry look, the boy keeping his head down where he was sitting on the ground but glaring defiantly and without fear none the less.
The man only continued to blabber nonsense at him before raising his voice and kicking the kid sharply under his ribs, making him yelp in pain and double over. Still, the guy raised his voice even higher and sharper, as if roaring was going to make him any easier to understand.
The brunette shot him a dirty look and remained silent, his mind already trying to calculate some sort of payback for the jerk that decided to kick him.
His blue eyes came to land on the keys at the man's belt and he couldn't help but wonder if they'd undo the shackle on his leg. Maybe there wasn't much point in that since there wasn't exactly much of anywhere for him to go out on the ocean, but the kid was stubborn and at the very least he'd get a little satisfaction of revenge while he was loose.
He winced as the man lunged and snatched him up by his hair, the boy gritting his teeth as he struggled to get loose and pry the hand off him. When he managed to succeed he made it a point to sink his teeth hard into the webbing of the man's thumb, feeling a rush of satisfaction as the man howled in pain and let go of him.
With swift reflexes the boy was quick to snatch the keys from his belt and try them on the shackle keeping him chained. Three hasty keys later and it came off, the boy not wasting any time ducking around the man.
He seemed to have managed to catch the guy off guard with his speed as he darted down the corridor of the ship and up the steps to the deck before the man was actually able to fully realize what happened and give chase.
When he reached the top and ran to the railing, he stopped and gasped as he realized he wasn't on the open ocean at all, but that they'd stopped to port. It wasn't anywhere that he recognized, the very concept of buildings almost feeling foreign to him after being trapped in that dank little space inside the ship for what had certainly been months of his life.
The place was incredibly busy though, people crowding the street as they milled up and down it. The number of people was almost overwhelming.
He was snapped out of his awe as he heard shouting and whirled around, the man having finally caught up to the deck and glared at him, several others finally seeming to have noticed and dropping what they were doing.
He didn't even spare a second to think about it, pushing off the railing and darting down the gangplank to the dock. Several people tried to snatch him as the men behind him shouted total nonsense but the boy was nimble and quick to take notice, dodging expertly around them even as he took off down the street and into the crowds.
A few people glanced his way as he passed, seemingly curious about what was going on but he paid them no heed, focused on getting away from his pursuers first and foremost.
He ran between two buildings and immediately veered right as the path split, following a long side-road with nothing connecting it for a couple of blocks until coming back to another part of the main road and veering left along the close side of it, and then diagonally left on another turn and into another back alley.
He continued straight for a short while until he saw a small set of wood stairs leading up onto the building rooftops, climbing up it and onto the top of the buildings with relative ease, making it look easy.
He went across several until a man holding a long weapon in hand saw him, not familiar from the ship but barking angrily at him as well. The boy skidded to a stop and dodged around an attempt to grab him but he was too quick for this man as well, running past him.
The building ended with too big of a distance for him to jump and the boy veered right, continuing along the roof to the edge where it was closer to another building.
He leapt up onto the railing and went to leap across but paused as he heard a shout, instead crouching on the wood beam and looking down. One of the men that had been chasing him was glaring up and picked up a fist-sized rock, chucking it hard and managing to hit the boy in the jaw, sending him off balance and crashing from the roof.
He fell to the ground hard, pain jolting through his entire body before it all went black. For how long, he couldn't be sure, but he was coming back to again and could only guess that it hadn't been that long, his eyes taking in the same general scene as before if only from a different angle.
He whimpered softly even as he tasted blood, his entire body aching. A large, calloused hand grabbed him by the upper arm and yanked him up, making him cry out hoarsely as it only made the pain in his body worse but the guy didn't seem to have any care or sympathy for any of it, only dragging him forward.
He hurt too much to break free and make a run for it but tried to struggle out of the man's grasp anyway, planting his feet firmly in the ground and resisting even as he screamed out, "Help! Help! Someone! Help! Please help!"
They were only really making a stop for repairs to the ship before heading back out to sea, but the blond young man should've known that it wouldn't be completely without event.
They had anchored at one of the major ports of the northern coastal colonies, after the hull of their vessel had been damaged by a pirate ship and was taking on too much water. It would probably be some time before it was repaired and they were back out to sea.
That was definitely not an appealing thought. Pay would be low if not non-existent until they were out privateering again.
Back to his observations before he'd become distracted, he heard angry shouting and couldn't help but look to see where it was coming from.
What he saw was someone apparently being chased across the rooftops. While it wasn't completely unheard of, the person was just a kid. And a young one at that.
The way the boy leapt over and scaled things was amazing, making short work of the rooftop and other obstacles as if it were nothing. He was obviously well-practiced at it.
The other thing he noticed were the men running along the ground in the alleyway, shouting at the boy and going so far as to throw a sizeable rock, knocking the poor, unprepared kid from the third-story roof, and by how they just yanked him to his feet afterwards and tried to drag him along, they were a far cry from caring about it.
Other people were looking to see what was going on but not a single soul seemed either brave or caring enough to step forward even as the kid tried to pull away from them, obviously not a willing participant, and screaming out frantically in what sounded like a foreign tongue.
"Tasukete! Tasukete! Dare ka! Tasukete! Tasukete onegaii!"
It seemed obvious to him from the way the men held themselves and spoke that they were seafarers, probably pirates, or perhaps slave traders. Or more likely, both.
Now Edward Kenway might not have been the most compassionate man ever to walk the Earth or the type to mix himself into most others' private affairs, but this seemed to be a little barbaric to the young man, even for pirates, as far as he could tell.
The man was too busy wrestling the kid along to even notice him as he stepped forward until he'd appeared right at the guy's side, snatching up his wrist tightly and leveling harsh eyes on him challengingly.
"Do ye' want something?" the man barked out demandingly through crooked, yellowing teeth and breath stained with the foul odor of rum, fish, and other unnamed filth.
"I do indeed. I can't help but wonder exactly what a man of your size thinks he can accomplish brutalizing a boy not even half his size and perhaps only a fourth his age," he spoke in a calm but firm voice, not even flinching under the menacing glare that the man gave him.
"Th' way I see it, it's none of yer damn business, now ain't it?" the ruffian spat back, seeming to think he could intimidate the other into backing off by speaking in a loud, threatening voice and towering over him. "This little urchin 'longs to me, fair 'n' square, so take yer mitts off me and go be on yer way."
"Well as I don't imagine anyone treating their own kin in such a manner, I can only assume that by "belongs to you', you mean in the sense of property." Edward returned, not the least bit intimidated by the oversized rogue.
"An' what if I do? There ain't no law against slaves or in how they're treated."
"Well, you'd be right about that," Edward chuckled dryly. "But the true man in me says I can't simply sit by and ignore such a pathetic display of cowardice."
"Is that so?" the man growled, his free hand going to a jagged cutlass strapped to his thigh. "Well if that be the case, then perhaps you'd like a nice long cutlass through yer gut, aye?"
"I should like no such thing, but if you insist, I might just have no choice but to defend myself, and trust me, you're not going to like how it ends." Edward warned in a promising tone.
Admittedly he was only half-prepared for the sudden swing that the man gave him without waring, it being enough to bloody his nose and make him stagger back somewhat. It took a second for him to shake off the pain and regain his bearings, and when he did he gave the man a look that promised swift retribution greater than any he might have been thinking about before the fool decided to punch him.
He couldn't help but laugh low and dark under his breath. "You know, I might have looked the other way when all was said and done before, but to your misfortune you've made this a little too personal to ignore now."
The big guy obviously wasn't at all intimidated by the smaller man, but that was going to quickly prove a mistake.
The punch he threw towards the other guy's face was feigned and he quickly reversed it and landed a sharp hook just under the man's ribs, stronger than the other was obviously expecting and made him partially double over as the breath was knocked from his body.
Edward didn't fail to notice the boy quickly dash off with a limp the second he was free of the big man's grasp, thinking that he would have to finish this up quick and catch up to the kid.
Though it was true he could probably just leave the brat to fend for himself after having helped him get free, he was sure the boy would need a doctor after that fall, especially since Edward had seen traces of blood on his lips. It was likely the kid had suffered internal bleeding after such a high drop into solid, packed earth.
He was forced to concentrate back on his fight again as the man lunged for him with his rusted cutlass drawn, nimbly dodging around the brute as he charged past following his swing.
With ease he kicked the man's backside and sent him careening forward towards a wall, quickly leaping forward to slam his head against the wall so that the man slumped to the ground, completely out cold.
He had half a mind to have disarmed the man of his blade and stab the idiotic son of a bitch, but there were plenty enough witnesses around to identify him to authorities for murder, so he left it at that.
"You're going to feel that one when you wake up," he snarked before whirling around and briskly walking in the direction he'd seen the boy run off.
He figured that he boy was probably too injured to limp very far, and he was right. Only about two blocks away he managed to find the kid huddled and well-hidden within a cluster of bushes hugging the wall of a large brick building. In fact he'd almost completely passed the boy up without noticing him tucked away.
At first the boy didn't move, watching him and waiting for him to leave, but seemed to realize he'd been spotted when the blond kept keen eyes locked on him, meeting his eyes.
He really didn't want to go wrestling through the bushes to reach the boy or have to chase him down, so kept his distance and decided to try and persuade the boy to come to him instead.
"You can come out now. That brute's out cold and I've no intention of harming you," he assured, though despite this the boy eyed him with obvious distrust and wariness. "If you're injured from that fall, I know where a doctor could be found."
The kid only continued to stare at him from afar. He had a tan complexion and light brown hair, maybe with a touch of reddish tint to it, but also striking blue eyes and three strange marks on both cheeks that reminded him of animal whiskers.
The clothing he had, robe-like attire with sleeves that widened significantly after the elbow, were something foreign in a style that he guessed to be Eastern World in origin.
"Why don't you come out of there?" the man suggested. When the boy still didn't move, not reacting at all to what he was saying, he motioned with his hand for the kid to step forward.
At first he seemed wary but then decided that maybe the guy wasn't out to get him. Not like those other men, at least.
He hesitantly moved out of the bushes but still kept a short distance, keeping his eyes trained on the older male carefully and seeming to try and figure him out, sizing him up.
Edward had to admit, he was kind of impressed. Pain was shining in the boy's blue eyes and he must have been significantly hurt after his fall from the roof, if the blood trailing from the corner of his mouth was any indication, but the kid was still making it a point to look defiant and tough in front of him. More impressive than that, he looked like he couldn't have been a day over seven years old; short, scrawny, not much weight to him at all.
"You are quite talented to be able to scale rooftops like you did," the young man commented as he likewise was watching the kid, wondering to himself who could've trained him to move around like that. "Do you have a name?"
Once again he was met with a silent stare, thinking that perhaps he was wasting his breath. The boy seemed to be foreign, so perhaps he couldn't understand.
"Do you know any English?" he questioned.
"Omoi ga imiwonasanai yo," the boy muttered under his breath in obvious frustration, continuing to offer up a challenging glare from beneath dirty bangs.
"I'll simply take that as a 'no'," Edward hummed, stepping forward slightly and kneeling at eye-level with the child, noticing how the much younger male tensed and intensified his glare. He was sure it was meant to be intimidating but it erred more on the side of cute and childishly petulant.
At any rate, he figured that maybe if he took things a little slow and patiently, perhaps he'd be able to garner a name at the very least.
"My name is Edward. Ed-ward. Do you have a name?" He questioned, motioning to himself and then the boy. The kid immediately backed up when he motioned towards him, forming a deep scowl.
"Oi! Wakarimasen, 'ttabeyo ne!" the boy snapped, seeming to have lost his patience and growing irritated.
Not having much patience for this himself, he once again waved to himself, looking at the kid with a touch of disapproval. "My name is Edward. Edward. You understand? Ed-wa-rd."
A look of hard concentration formed on the boy's face, his brows furrowing in thought before he repeated it somewhat clumsily. "…Edo...…aado…?"
"No, not Eduardo, Edward," the man corrected, knowing from the look that the kid gave him that he was only increasing his frustration. "Listen, like this, Ed-wa-rd."
"Edo-aado," the kid said again.
Edward sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose, thinking maybe this was going to be a little harder than he thought. "Okay, how about just Ed. Is Ed any better?" He couldn't help but think that was a horrible shortening of his name. It didn't sound nearly as good as it's original, but he figured he could make do in this case.
"Edo?" the boy tilted his head in question.
With another sigh, he decided to simply relent on this one for now. "Good enough, I guess. And you?" He motioned to the boy now.
The kid looked uncertain and hummed, seeming to have at least caught on to what Edward was trying to get him to say, for which the man could only feel grateful at this point. At least he hoped the kid had caught on.
"Uzumaki…Naruto. Boku wa…Uzumaki Naruto, 'ttabeyo!"
"Uzumaki Naruto?" Edward repeated, thinking it an odd name. He'd been thinking that perhaps the kid was Chinese but it didn't sound like a name from that culture. Perhaps one of it's neighboring countries.
The boy gave a definitive nod and hummed in approval, seeming to be looking at him with curious interest now rather than hostile wariness, and wasn't going to as much of an effort to hide his injuries as before.
"I see. So, Edward, or…Ed-" he motioned to himself, then back at the boy. "Uzumaki."
"Ie!" the boy snapped, puffing out his cheeks into a sort of pout of disapproval. "Naruto yo, 'ttabeyo!"
Edward smirked slightly and reached a hand out deftly to ruffle the boy's hair, making him flinch at first since he obviously hadn't been expecting it.
"Naruto, then?" he questioned, the boy blinking up at him with a slight blush and a look that bordered between embarrassment and awkwardness, until a full grin stretched across his face.
"Hai! Boku wa Naruto da, 'ttabeyo!"
A/N: In case you're wondering "Why is Naruto's hair a brownish-gingery sort of color?" I'll explain.
I'm going with a little more realism here and since I'm making Naruto from Japan, I gave him a more tanned complexion, and because light hair(blond, white) is not a naturally dominant trait in the genetic's of Japanese people, I made it more of a light brownish, but I also wanted to keep some sublte traits of Kushina's red hair(so Naruto's is almost ginger in appearance, and because red hair is supposed to be a trademark appearance of the Uzumaki clan) but also I wanted to keep his deep blue eyes like those of his father's. I also wanted his hair to be slightly reddish/brown to reflect Kurama/Kyuubi/a fox in appearance a little more.
Hope that explains it to those that are confused or perhaps unhappy about it.