Disclaimer: I received permission from the original author from this story, Tsukune08, to write a version of Masters of Genjutsu. This story, in other words. If he didn't give me permission, I wouldn't write the story.
Chapter 1: The Meeting
Naruto Uzumaki and his teammates Sakura Haruno and Sasuke Uchiha were standing on the bridge that Team Seven used as their meeting place. Their jōnin-sensei, Kakashi Hatake, had left them just after they had finished their teamwork exercises.
Seeing an opportunity to get closer to her teammate, Sakura approached Sasuke. Her hands were clasped together and she put on her best bashful expression. "Hey Sasuke, do you want to go on a date with me?"
"No," Sasuke replied coldly before walking away. Naruto's eyes narrowed when he heard this, not understanding why Sasuke would turn down the 'beautiful Sakura's' invitation for a date. Nevertheless, he approached Sakura with a wide grin on his face.
"Sakura, wanna go –" Naruto began only to find himself looking up at Sakura from his position on the ground.
"You idiot! Would you shut up for once?" she exclaimed after retracting her fist. "I will never go on a date with you, so quit bothering me!" With that being said, Sakura turned around and walked away from Naruto.
Naruto's grin faded as got up and dusted himself off. He looked up to the sky, crestfallen. Maybe I shouldn't bother her, maybe then she'll be friendlier, he considered, but then he reconsidered. If I beat Sasuke and show Sakura that I'm better than him, then she'll see how awesome I am and she'll have to go on a date with me! Excited by this train of thought, he raised a fist to the air.
Naruto sighed, his previous bout of depression returning as he looked at the ground, his previously-raised arm dropping.
How can I beat Sasuke if Kakashi-sensei doesn't teach us any techniques? Naruto found out early on that Kakashi was adamant about doing teamwork exercises, telling him that he wouldn't teach him or his teammates any new techniques until their teamwork was up to his standard. He didn't want to push him, but it had been a month since Team Seven's formation and he had barely progressed.
Guess I'll just have to train by myself, just like always. Naruto could ignore many of the bad things that happened to him, but he was tired of being alone. He was always alone, always had been. Even with his team, he felt alone, though less so - if only because his teammates did interact with him. He knew that it was only because they had to.
He began to walk into the forest, heading to a clearing he had used for training for over a month.
Kakashi, who had been watching his students since he left, disappeared using the Body Flicker. As always, he was disappointed with his team's lack of teamwork.
Naruto was standing in front of the Memorial Stone and imagined, like he did many times before, what his parents might be like. He hoped they had been awesome shinobi who saved princes and princesses and were treated like heroes.
He imagined his father standing tall and handsome, placed in a ferocious pose while holding a special kunai in each of his hands, ready to enter the battlefield. His mother stood beside him, her mouth spread into a grin much like his own, her signature katana out and ready to drink the blood from her enemies' wounds.
While he was thinking about this, he smiled proudly, though it was a bittersweet smile as well since he didn't know who his parents were.
Shaking himself out of his daydream, he ran off to a clearing not too far from the Memorial Stone. He made sure nobody was nearby because the last time he trained, his training was disrupted by trespassers. The clearing he was going to use was secluded and would give him privacy when practicing. After making sure that he hadn't been followed, he put his hands in the cross-seal for his favourite technique: the Shadow Clone Jutsu.
Once he formed the clone, it began to fight him. When Naruto would make contact with his clone, he would tap his clone lightly. He had learned early on that a single strong hit would dispel his clone, so he consciously lowered the force behind his hits to prevent that from happening. The first clone continued fighting him for nearly half an hour before it was dispelled. When it did, he formed another clone, repeating the process.
Naruto continued to fight in this manner until he had beaten two more clones. He found that each clone lasted for a shorter amount of time than the last as Naruto became less conscious of the power he was putting into his attacks. Naruto collapsed onto his back once he finished sparring, his chest heaving in and out due to the strenuous exercise.
"Damn it!" he yelled. A few birds flew from the trees as they heard his scream but many just ruffled their feathers and looked down at him, as if they were trying to understand why he was making such a noise.
Naruto inhaled and exhaled deeply while his muscles relaxed. "This is pathetic! I can't train anything other than Taijutsu and I don't feel like I'm improving at all!" The birds that remained in the trees squawked at him. "There has to be some way I can learn how to become a stronger shinobi."
Since he didn't have any other workouts he could do, Naruto stood up and began to walk to the waterfall to clean off the sweat and grime that had accumulated on his body. The cool thing about the waterfall was that it was always warm. He had followed the river that led into the waterfall back to its source: the natural hot springs that gushed from the mountains around the Village Hidden in the Leaves. So, it was better for him to clean here than take a freezing cold shower in his own apartment. The water heater never seemed to be working and Naruto never understood why that was the case.
The best part of it though was that unlike the public training grounds, the waterfall was private. Naruto was sure that nobody knew about the waterfall's location except for him, having never seen anyone at the waterfall before.
He had camped out there for two weeks during one summer vacation, which was an enjoyable experience. He did return to the village every few days for supplies but other than that, he basically lived out in the forest. He didn't know it at the time, but his new training clearing was close to the waterfall and he was happy to learn about that fact. Since he was still wary of someone following him, he used the skills he learned from his pranking days – escape and stealth – to make sure he wasn't followed.
He was at the edge of the forest next to the waterfall, but he froze in mid-step when he heard the sound of rustling leaves. A woman appeared on the banks of the small lake the waterfall emptied into soon after the sound stopped. Naruto was able to regain his focus and slowly put his foot back down, quickly crouching behind a tree. Normally, he would let his instincts take control of him when faced with a new situation, but a strange sense of compulsion overwhelmed him and stopped him from doing so. As a result, Naruto continued to hide behind the tree, peering out from behind it to watch what the woman was doing.
Looking at the woman, Naruto knew that she was very beautiful. Despite the fact that her back was facing him, Naruto could tell that this woman exuded a confidence and grace that few other women possessed. Her black hair was both messy and properly maintained, almost as if she willed it to follow her demands.
He followed the hair down to the small of her back. Underneath it he could see white bandages with a pattern of what appeared to be rose thorns embroidered on it, but as he couldn't see any blood stains, he came to the conclusion that the woman was using those bandages as clothing.
Naruto's eyes continued to trail down the woman's body, finding that the bandages ended just under her posterior. Naruto was surprised to feel his body heat up after seeing how well the bandages covered the woman's shapely backside.
His eyes continued their downward journey to see some of the most toned legs he had ever laid witness to. He could see that she was someone who trained extensively to maintain those legs after watching her muscles ripple as she shifted her position.
His eyes snapped up when he saw the woman shift her upper body to look around. He wasn't able to see any part of her face due to his positioning, so he had no idea who the woman could be. He did notice however that her right arm was covered in a red sleeve and both her hands and forearms were wrapped in tape. He was considering leaving the area, but that same compelling feeling returned.
Yeah, I'll just stay and find out who she is.
Naruto saw the woman reach up and untie something where her forehead would be. His eyes widened when he saw that she had untied a forehead protector from her head and dropped it to the floor.
Many were whirring in his head as he continued to examine the kunoichi, his fear and that nagging sense of compulsion rooting him to the spot. He knew immediately that she wasn't a rookie, but he couldn't help but shake the feeling this woman wasn't a chūnin, but a jōnin of the highest caliber. For some reason, when he thought ofj ōnin, he saw the kunoichi's dress, as if he had seen her before. His thoughts were stopped when he saw her unwind the bandages that were her dress.
He was completely entranced by the kunoichi because her skin slowly became exposed to the outside world inch by tantalizing inch. His eyes darted around quickly as she laid the clothing on a nearby rock before locking onto her posterior, when he saw that she had bandages covering her private area along with her chest. She reached down and pulled her mesh shirt off along with the sleeve, which left her back completely bare (besides her bindings) and Naruto saw her muscles expand and contract as she did so. She left no area of her body unattended, Naruto concluded.
Both Naruto's heartbeat and his arousal increased significantly as the kunoichi continued to move around. Naruto was confused at what was happening to his body, having never experienced it before. He looked down, tearing his eyes away from the woman in front of him for a moment to see his member bulging through his pants. He recalled hearing about something similar happening to some of the people who lived in his area - they called it an erection, if he remembered correctly. He shook his head and turned his attention back to the woman, deciding he could figure what was happening later on.
When he did look back at the kunoichi and saw her slowly remove her chest bindings, he felt his heartbeat quicken even more. After removing her bindings, the kunoichi placed them where the rest of her clothing lay and reached down. Naruto, guessing what was going to happen, tried his hardest to move but he failed to do so, hypnotized by the sight of the kunoichi's creamy skin. He watched as, wrap after wrap, the kunoichi's bindings were removed.
When she had finished, Naruto was presented with a scene many men would die for: her naked ass was in full view as she bent over to pick up her forehead protector. His body was going into overdrive as his better than normal eyesight seemed to hone in on something he had only seen when looking at the results of his Sexy Jutsu.
He saw a small, pink slit. It had no hair around it and her luscious thighs framed it perfectly. His nose felt like it was about to gush out a large stream of blood. When he saw the kunoichi's breasts from between her legs, hanging from her chest and noticed how she had these nubs on the tip of her breasts, he felt his member twitch against his pants painfully and felt his eyes roll into the back of his head.
When Naruto came to, his body was still in the position he was in when he was knocked out. His arousal gone, Naruto stood up, only to witness that same kunoichi from before, her hair damp and glistening in the sun. But unlike before, she was fully clothed. He didn't move, but he did feel his previous state of arousal return with a vengeance.
He looked down and frowned at his erect penis. What the hell is going on? He didn't even know why he had fallen unconscious or why his nose was bleeding, he only saw that sort of thing happen when the Old Man read that orange book or when a pervert was hit with the Sexy Jutsu. His eyes widened as he took that in. I am not a pervert! He raised his fist into the air, showing his enthusiasm about not being a pervert.
Unfortunately for Naruto, the kunoichi heard him. "Come out of there right now," she ordered. Naruto's body moved on its own again as he leaped out of the bushes and stood in front of the kunoichi, not catching the fleeting look of shock present on her face.
Naruto stared at her before he felt the kunoichi's killing intent. Hands on her hips, the kunoichi struck an imposing figure as she glared at Naruto. Her ruby red eyes that had two black rings within the pupils added to the effect, making her glare even more menacing. But Naruto was used to people glaring at him and he wouldn't back down this time, even though he knew that no one would know about this if he did.
Both Naruto and the kunoichi continued their staring contest for nearly a minute, neither one of them giving an inch. "Why are you here?" she asked, finally breaking the silence.
The killing intent the kunoichi released, combined with the cold glare and Naruto's guilt over the situation made him beg for mercy immediately. "I'm sorry! I didn't mean to take a peek at you when you were undressing! But I just always clean here and I didn't want to walk back home and I'm really sorry!"
The kunoichi examined him and pondered his words. And to Naruto's surprise, her eyes softened and the ends of her luscious, lipstick-covered lips turned upwards into a small smile. His response to her question removed any anger she felt towards him as she now knew he was not just a pervert trying to watch her undress, just a confused boy who was willing to accept the consequences of his actions, even if what he did wasn't part of his plan.
Her eyes suddenly widened as she realized exactly who he was. "Don't be afraid, alright?" Naruto looked at her fearfully, but his sense of fear subsided somewhat at the kunoichi's gentle words. He took in the scent of the forest, which was a floral scent that he was almost certain emanated from the woman behind him. It smelled like a mixture of roses and lavender, which was something he was almost sure wouldn't mix but somehow managed to meld together almost perfectly, making him shiver in delight.
He took in the scent some more before he heard the kunoichi's voice cutting through his plans cleanly. "We need to talk."
Naruto felt a shiver crawl down his spine as he saw the kunoichi staring at him. He walked over to a softer part of the ground and sat down as quickly as he could. "Alright, but who are you? How did you find this place? I thought I was the only one who knew about this place." Though he knew she didn't mean him any harm, he shuddered when he thought about what women did to perverts, Sakura being the prime example.
The woman moved closer to him, sitting on her knees so that they were facing each other. Making eye contact with him, she said, "I guess it isn't surprising that you don't remember me, but I think that you've seen me before."
Naruto's eyes squinted before he pointed a seemingly accusatory finger at her, finally remembering who the kunoichi was. "You're Hinata, Kiba and Shino's sensei!"
The kunoichi smiled slightly. "That I am. My name is Kurenai Yūhi. You're Naruto Uzumaki, correct?" Naruto nodded fervently. "I know about this place because I stumbled across it a few days ago and I took the opportunity to start showering here. It was a good thing I did find it, since I have problems with my own shower," she added darkly.
Naruto nodded in agreement. "I know what you mean. My shower is always cold! This place is perfect for taking a shower though."
Kurenai chuckled slightly, shaking her hair slightly so that it could dry faster. "That it is," she said in pleasant agreement, remembering how her latest shower felt. "Though that brings me to what you were trying to do," she added, all mirth erased from her voice. Naruto's gaze darkened as she continued to speak. "What you did was wrong and –" she started only for Naruto to interrupt her.
"It was an accident! I'm sor –"
Kurenai raised her hand in a placating gesture. "I know it was." She gathered her thoughts, hoping that she could phrase her next words correctly. "Now Naruto, do you admit you watched me undress –" Naruto was about to defend himself again, but Kurenai's next words stopped him as if she knew what he was going to do "– even if it was unintentional?" Naruto nodded this time. "Do you know that it is a crime to peek on people while they are taking baths?"
Naruto shook his head. "No it isn't. Maybe it's a crime against public decency, but it's not an actual crime. And besides, wouldn't it be your fault if you got caught naked in public?"
Kurenai sighed and ran a hand through her hair. It's not a crime? Well, it should be. "Good point. Since you weren't trying to peek at me deliberately…" Naruto smiled sheepishly. "And you accepted responsibility for your actions, I will not tell anyone about this."
Honestly, she wouldn't have told a soul. She would never admit it to him but the fact he was able to stay hidden for as long as he did was quite the impressive feat. Aside from that, the fact he had seen the image of her naked body was not something she wanted others to know.
"Thank you," Naruto said gratefully.
"It was nothing. In fact, it was my fault for not noticing you in the first place."
Naruto grabbed his pants and balled his fists around the fabric. He lowered his head in genuine surprise. "Why are you being so nice to me? You know who I am and what I contain. Nearly everyone hates me and the ones who don't are just as bad, since they don't want to be friends with me at all."
"I don't see what the villagers see. All I see is someone in need of a friend."
Naruto's grip on his pants tightened as he battled with something he wanted to do. He tilted his head upwards, facing Kurenai once again. "Will you be my friend?" Naruto asked bravely, realizing that unlike all the others, Kurenai gave him a chance to explain himself, didn't dismiss him and wasn't rude without good reason.
She nodded after some time passed. "It looks like we're friends, then."
"Thanks!" Naruto said brightly, letting go of his pants before raising his hands in the air. He blushed in embarrassment for his outburst. Kurenai couldn't help herself and laughed softly. She shook it off as Naruto looked like he was about to sulk, but a smile slowly began to break across his face. For only the second time in his life, someone was willing to accept him, and it made him so happy.
Kurenai smiled once more after seeing Naruto's first true smile. In fact, it came naturally to her, much to her surprise. "Just one more thing," she said suddenly. Naruto cocked his head to the side in confusion. "If I take a shower here, please do not peek at me, okay?" Naruto nodded his head emphatically. "Good. Since it's getting so late, I have to get home. Maybe we can meet again sometime."
As she got up and turned to leave, Naruto said, "Would you like me to walk you home?"
Kurenai turned back, a bit surprised at his offer. "You don't have to, Naruto."
"It's no problem for me." All he wanted was to repay Kurenai for her kindness any way he could. "Besides, a gentleman should always walk a lady home, right? Especially since we just became friends."
She smiled lightly at his gesture, as any idea of an ulterior motive was swept from her mind with his blatant honesty. "Then what are we waiting for? Let's go."
He got up and fell into step with her, leaving the clearing behind them.
Naruto and Kurenai approached the edge of the training grounds as darkness settled across the Hidden Leaf Village. They had been walking in comfortable silence from the clearing and they were nearing Kurenai's apartment. However, Naruto had been thinking about his training, or lack of it, and wondered about Kurenai's 'credentials', so to speak. "You're a jōnin, right, Kurenai?"
"Yes Naruto, I am," she replied in a relaxed tone.
Naruto smiled after hearing Kurenai's words. "Do you think..." he started, but trailed off, feeling bad for asking his new friend for something so soon.
Kurenai smiled at him. "If you have something to say, don't be afraid to say it."
Naruto took a deep breath. "Do you think you could teach me a few things?"
Kurenai's stride faltered, but she managed to recover quickly. "Your sensei is Kakashi Hatake, right?" Naruto nodded. "He's a more experienced shinobi than I am, so he can teach you anything I could and more."
Naruto diverted his gaze. "You're right. Sorry for troubling you." A strained smile appeared on his face.
Kurenai was perturbed by Naruto's sudden question, but she wasn't going to press the issue. A tense silence fell over the two after that and persisted for the rest of their journey.
Kurenai eventually stopped and looked up at the apartment complex. "And here we are."
Naruto looked at the apartment complex and smiled widely at Kurenai. "Well, I'll see you soon." He stopped for a second, looking for the right words. "And... thanks." He turned around and ran home. Kurenai stood there, looking back at him for a bit before she sighed and entered her apartment complex.
Naruto was elated, his happiness giving him more energy. He wondered how he had managed to make friends with someone like Kurenai so easily but he brushed off those thoughts, excited that he had another person he could call his friend.
As he passed the main square, he slowed down. Even so, his smile could not be beat as he continued his trek back home. He looked around at the red-light district of the Hidden Leaf Village where his apartment was located. Apparently, he was supposed to get an apartment in the Market District, but he didn't believe that for a second.
Because he had forgotten to clean himself, he stripped down once he got home and jumped into his cold shower, ignoring the freezing water all the while. After he finished, he dried himself off with a towel and headed to his bed. As he lay in his bed, with his black frog-shaped cap and pajamas, he began to think back and smiled as he came across his first new friend since his school days.
During his time at the Academy, Iruka had been one of the few to help him and he saved his life from the traitorous Mizuki. He even acknowledged and accepted him. He had his team but they weren't really his friends, even if he was willing to be friends with the both of them.
Finally, he thought about the Hokage, who was like a grandfather to him. He had trusted him explicitly, but to no avail. The villagers still looked at him with hatred. Some of them tried to bar him from shopping in their stores, the ones who were the victims of his pranks, he noted. Fortunately, the Hokage didn't tolerate any of the villagers openly beating him. Now that he knew why, it caused him to look at his village and the Hokage's actions in a new light.
The Hokage lied to him. He might have said it was for his protection, but knowing about the Nine-Tailed Fox beforehand would have helped him considerably. At least he would know why everyone hated him. This caused his trust in the Hokage to take a hit, since if he lied about something so big, what else might he be hiding from him? Maybe he knew who his parents really were, or if he was the last member of a clan.
Naruto was still willing to give the Hokage a chance, even if he didn't trust him as much as he did before. He felt he could trust Kurenai however, even though he only met her that day. She was kind, gentle and considerate towards him, even though she knew that he was a jinchūriki. He felt good when he was around her, which was a rare feeling. With a smile on his face, he fell asleep.