It was raining again, the down pour causing everything to disappear in a gray blanket a few feet away from your eyes. A lone figure stood atop the fourth Kage's head carved into the mountain side, his golden hair hanging limply in front of his eyes and around his head, his black shirt and pants plastered to him from the rain. He slowly opened his blood red slitted eyes to gaze into the grayness. Naruto Uzamaki stood alone on the mountain, aware that Anbu were watching him from the trees, he shook his head and sighed.
"Never alone, Never safe." he muttered as he fished out a stick of pocky and stuck it in his mouth, "Want some Kakashi?" he asked holding the box out to the seemingly empty space beside him.
A hand reached out from the grayness and picked one out, "Thanks Naruto." the disembodied voice said.
Naruto remained impassive, his face neutral. "Any time." he said in monotone, his blood red eyes still scanning the gray, "Does the council really think I'm this much of a threat? I'm only ten but they treat me as a criminal."
"I think you know what they really want Naruto." Kakashi said beside him, Naruto's eyes flickered to him then went back to staring straight ahead.
"I will never be a tool to someone who does not tell me what he wants face to face Kakashi."
"What are you going to do, leave?… Naruto?"
"…That's an interesting idea." Naruto said thoughtfully. "Leave Konoha."
"You can't!" Kakashi's voice had an the faintest note of panic to it, "You know they would hunt you down Naruto."
Naruto shrugged, "I would love to see them even try to stop me." he said simply, no emotion detectable in his voice. "Don't worry about it Kakashi, it was only an idea." Naruto said evenly as he closed his eyes again, "I will not give them a reason to take my eyes."
Lightning flashed, briefly illuminating the streets of Konoha and revealing a figure walking down the streets slowly, heading for a weapons shop. The figure scanned the streets endlessly, never pausing, never stopping, his red eyes scanned for any sign of movement. Satisfied that no one else was around and he had ditched his Anbu guard for the moment he turned his attention to the shop's window, his eyes flashed and he passed through it like it wasn't there. Stepping over trip wires and booby traps he walked over to a glass case and peered in, inside lay a pitch black Katana next to its black sheath, his eyes flashed again and he reached in to take it out. Securing it around his waist he took out a few bags of money and laid them on the counter, as he turned around to head out of the shop the lights went on, Naruto's head snapped to the stairs to see a young girl about a year older then him standing at its base holding a bow staff.
"Who are you and why are you here?" she demanded, her chocolate eyes matching her shoulder length hair. Naruto pointed to the sword then to the bags of money behind him, "It's a bit late to be shopping isn't it?" she demanded, brandishing the staff as she advanced upon him.
"I didn't mean to cause any trouble," Naruto said in monotone, "My plan was to grab it, pay, then leave before I disturbed anyone."
The girl glared at him, as she stepped closer Naruto was able to see her clothes, she was in a pink kimono and had obviously just woken up. "Who are you?" she demanded again, Naruto blinked.
"Naruto Uzamaki, who are you?" he asked calmly, he could escape whenever he wanted to but he had no reason to leave yet.
"I'm the owner's daughter!" she yelled, Naruto heard a thump from above and he his eyes flickered up.
"Does the owner's daughter have a name?" he asked unperturbed.
"Ten-Ten… you're not a thief?" she asked cautiously.
"I paid for it, in fact I might have over paid."
"Why did you come here so late?" she asked, keeping three feet distance from him.
"I don't think your father would have sold me it, I'm young after all." Naruto said with another flick of his eyes as foot steps sounded above. "I think I should go." Naruto said as he turned to the door.
"No you don't! You are to meet my father to tell him this young man." she yelled as she tried to jump over him, Naruto moved in a blur to stand behind her as she landed, he grabbed her arms and pulled them back so that she dropped the staff, moving in another bluer he produced rope and tied her arms up.
"I'm sorry Ten-Ten, but I cannot do that, if you wish you can tell him my name but as soon as I leave this shop there is nothing he can do, it will legally be mine then since I paid for it." Naruto explained as he tied up her legs and made her as comfortable as possible, she glared at him as Naruto stood up and walked straight through the glass. "Tomorrow is the start of my true Ninja training, no kids stuff anymore." there was a flash of lightning and he vanished into the darkness.
"Welcome to Ninja Academy students. My name is Iruka, the man beside me is Mizuki, we will be your sensei from now until you graduate." Iruka said as he scratched his scar on the bridge of his nose. Naruto sighed and closed his scarlet eyes as he rested his head on his fist. "To excite you we've brought in last years class to tell you what they liked about their first year." Iruka said, Naruto was barely conscious of the sound of the door opening so he was slightly surprised when he glanced up to see three people in front of the class. "May I introduce last years top three graduates. Neji Hyugga, Rock Lee, and Ten-Ten." Naruto became aware of someone staring at him and he looked up and locked gazes with Ten-Ten, the ghost of a smile flickered on Naruto's face as she continued to glare at him.
After they had told their stories Ten-Ten stomped up the stairs to him and Naruto stood so that they stood eye to eye, "I'm going to kill you." she hissed, the other's around them shrank away but Naruto remained impassive and immobile as she tried to loom over him unsuccessfully. "I want the sword back." she hissed, Naruto shook his head.
"I own it, it is mine." he stated. Ten-Ten growled. "Just let it go Ten-Ten, I won. That's what you really can't stand, someone younger then you beat you." Ten-Ten blushed. "I paid for it, it is mine."
"Do you even know how to use it? Do you know how special that sword is?" she asked evenly, Naruto nodded. "That sword is not a play thing." she said quietly, Naruto rolled his eyes.
"Iruka is starting to get angry, you had better leave." Naruto said as he sat back down.
Ten-Ten frowned, "We'll discuss this after class." she promised, Naruto shrugged.
Naruto watched as Ten-Ten left then turned his attention back to the class to see them all looking at him. "What?" Naruto asked as he closed his eyes, "Just business."
Naruto walked out of the Academy slightly disappointment, it was all still child's play, the sensei had refused him access to the jutsu vaults by telling him that he was to young and handed him scrolls on jutsu he already knew. He walked over and sat down on a lone swing absently and began to swung back and forth in thought. "Something wrong?" Kakashi asked from his position on the branch above him.
Naruto sighed ever so softly, "It's boring, nothing is new and they won't even allow me access to the jutsu vault. What am I doing here? Shouldn't I be allowed access?"
"Hokage's orders." Kakashi said from behind his little orange book, "Hokage-sama wants you to take it a little slower Naruto, he's worried you won't make friends."
"I have friends." Naruto said, slightly peeved this time.
"Friends that aren't the anbu that watch over you Naruto." Kakashi said gently, Naruto's eyes flickered up at him. "Just think about it, I'm sure if you made time for friends Hokage-sama would reconsider on your jutsu restriction. Looks like you have company, gotta go."
Naruto looked up, "Hello Ten-Ten, you look good, I like your hair down more myself."
Ten-Ten blushed slightly, "Complements aside I want to apologize to you, you did pay for it, and I was slightly irritated that you beat me so easily."
Ten-Ten looked at him and Naruto blinked, "Well… okay then. I do realize how important this sword is but it's mine by more accounts then one, Minato was my father, it is my by inheritance." Naruto stroked the sword's handle as he said this, like he could feel his father's spirit still intact with it, "So tell your father it is alright, he fulfilled his promise." Ten-Ten stared at him, "Okay, anything else you want to talk to me about?"
Ten-Ten's stare turned to an intrigued look, "Want to go get something to eat?"
Naruto blinked, "Sure, where do you have in mind though? Most places won't accommodate me."
"Why is that?"
"… I can't say, it's a secret." Naruto said as he stood up and ran a hand through his shoulder length golden spikes, 'I need to see a barber soon.' he thought, "Anyway, let's go." Naruto walked beside Ten-Ten out of the compound and out onto the streets.
Naruto stared at his ramen bowl in interest, Ten-Ten sat beside him devouring her own bowl of ramen. "I meant to ask you," Ten-Ten said as she sat her ramen bowl down, "Why are your eyes like that? Is it some type of Kekkei Genkai ?" Naruto shrugged. "Let me guess, you can't say?" Naruto nodded. "Am I asking to many questions?" Naruto shook his head. "Good, because I'm not done. Do you really know how to use the sword or was that just for me to get off your back?" Naruto nodded. "That was just for me to back off?" Naruto shook his head. "So you really know how to use it?" Naruto nodded. "Why won't you talk?"
"I don't need to but I will if you want." Naruto said as he looked up at her. "Tell me something, do my eyes freak you out?"
"A little, but it's just unsettling. It makes me think of something evil."
Naruto nodded again. "Are you done? I could wait."
"No, I'm done."
Naruto handed the waitress the money and stood up, "Come on, do you want me to walk you home?"
Ten-Ten nodded, "I think father would like to meet you." she said as she stood up and grabbed his arm, "Come on, we're friends right?"
Naruto blinked, "Friends? Are we friends?"
"Sure, why not? I still don't believe you can use that sword." she suddenly said, Naruto's eyes closed.
"We'll see." he muttered as he allowed her to drag him away.
"I thought those were called mansions?"
"I said shut up." Ten-Ten blushed as they walked up the long road to the large mansion on top of the hill.
"But seriously, I thought you lived in the shop."
"Only when work takes to long."
Naruto blinked, "Oh, of coarse, so silly of me." he said evenly.
"Don't make me hurt you." Naruto's smirk lasted only a moment before it was wiped clean by his impassive face. "So… I imagine you live in a nice house since you're the son of the fourth."
"Why should I? I live by myself, don't get me wrong I don't live in some hole in the ground and I have a mansion but I live in a smaller house until I don't need it anymore." he explained, fingering the handle of his sword.
Ten-Ten looked at him strangely before turning back to the trail, "It is a long way up isn't it?"
"So this is the young man who stole from me?"
"You were in after hours."
"It's still legally mine."
"That does not matter, you were in there illegally, how did you get in anyway?"
"I walked in through the window." Naruto answered truthfully. The elderly man before him frowned, his black hair cropped short. "Look, this was a bad idea Ten-Ten. I'm gone, it was nice to meet you sir." Naruto jumped back and landed on the ledge of the window, his eyes flashed and he vanished.
"Naruto wait!" Ten-Ten called out to late. "Father! That was Minato's son! The sword was supposed to go to him!" Ten-Ten yelled.
"Impossible, Minato had no successor. The only reason I still had the sword was because of that!" he yelled back, "Whoever that was lied to you Ten-Ten, Minato had no son." he stated firmly.
Ten-Ten turned back to the open window, "You're wrong dad, he wouldn't lie to me."
'time sure passes in a hurry.' Naruto thought passively as he readied himself for his daily training. a lot of time had passed since he had met Ten-Ten on his midnight shopping session, he was now in his final year of ninja academy, a fact that Kakashi and the others commented on almost daily now. It had been fun he supposed, living an almost normal life without the more obvious interests of the council pressing down upon him. But those were thoughts of another time, he had training to focus upon after all. Naruto stood on top of the Kage's mountain again, the black blade unsheathed in his hands and he stood bare chested and bare footed. He was breathing heavily and staring at the smoking stump ahead of him with savage intensity, his feet were splayed out and he held his sword out horizontally above his head with both hands. "Focus your energy Naruto." he said to himself, trying to ignore the Anbu staring at him. He swung the blade in an ark slowly above his head, his grip tightened and he slashed down. Lightning crackled and the smell of O-zone entered the area as the stump before him exploded. Naruto gritted his teeth and slashed again, lightning erupted from the air before the blade and the flying shrapnel from the stump incinerated into nothing.
Naruto smiled for an instant before pain exploded from his stomach and the blade flew from his grasp and thudded into the wood as he sat down heavily while crossing his arms, his face remained neutral, hiding the pain as his breathing became more ragged and deep. "Used to much chakra." he said, his usual impassive voice slightly strained, as he lay back on the cliff top and closed his eyes wearily, "Tired." he mumbled.
A few minutes later Kakashi walked over and picked up Naruto's sleeping form, "You're going to kill yourself one of these days Naruto." he sighed, "Come on, let's take him back home." Kakashi walked over and picked up the black katana, he studied it briefly then sheathed it in Naruto's sheath. Walking over to an ancient and twisted tree he kicked open a hatch and descended the steps underneath it, coming into a dining area behind the fourth Hokage's stone face he walked over and opened a red door, walking in he set Naruto down on the large bed and threw a thin sheet over him. A masked Anbu walked in and set Naruto's folded shirt and sandals on a table next to the door. "Thank you Rin, you can go home, I'll watch over him." the Anbu saluted and disappeared in a swirl of leaves. Walking out he set himself on a couch and dug out a small orange book. 'Take your time Naruto. I've got all day.' he smiled perversely.
Naruto woke to the sound of birds, looking over he saw a young blue birds nest sitting on the window. He sat up wearily, his slitted scarlet eyes half-open, he threw a black jacket over his muscular body so that it was unbuttoned as he walked out into his dining area. "Mourning Rin, Jonji, Yomega, Kakashi." Naruto straightened up and shook his head, "Does anyone know a good barber? I really need a haircut." he said tugging at his bangs that now hung down below his neck.
"Oh! I could do it!" Rin squealed, Naruto watched her jump up and down for a moment before he finally flashed a ghost of a smile. "Please? I know what I'm doing. How long have we known each other?" Naruto opened his mouth to respond. "A year, that's right! Now where's the faith?"
Naruto sighed, "Alright fine, but only since we've known each other for so long." Rin pumped her fist in the air. "How did you ever become an Anbu Rin? You're so bubbly."
"If you want to know then you would have to do something to see me serious." Rin said playfully.
"I may take you up on that offer…" Naruto muttered. Rin took out a Kunai and steered him to a chair, "Careful with that now. I still want hair when you're done."
"Oh relax you big baby, I told you that I know what I'm doing." she promised as she brought the Kunai closer. Naruto watched it wearily as it zipped back and forth over his head, blond hair was cascading down like rain around him and he was starting to get uneasy. "There, all done." she announced, Naruto sat up and she handed a mirror to him.
Naruto stared at his reflection for a minute or two before he nodded, "I like it." his hair now hung down in smaller spikes just above his eyes and straight down to the nape of his neck.
"Well good, we have two days until the end of your Academy days. You're going to graduate!" she squealed again.
Naruto's face remained neutral but his eyes flickered away, "Yeah, almost done with that place. Almost time to start my Ninja path. I wonder who my sensei will be." he said curiously, now looking out of the window. "I better go and meet Ten-Ten, she'll be waiting."
"What took you so- hey you got a hair cut."
"Nice to see you too Ten-Ten, Yeah I got a hair cut. How is Lee and Neji? Did Bushy brow Sr. kill you guys with training yet? Or did you kill him?"
"Gai's still crazy about training but I'm used to it by now. Who cut your hair?"
"Oh right, no discussing names of handlers. Okay then, how has training for you been? Know who your sensei is yet?"
"Training is good, my sensei said that I'm a very dedicated student and that he has nothing else to teach me."
"But it's only been a year, he can't be serious."
"I've trained in swordsmanship since I was six Ten-Ten. But I'm also a very dedicated student." he said again.
"Your eyes have to help you in it. Why won't you discuss what they can do with me?"
"Because I can't you know that. We're almost to the Academy."
They stopped just before the gates and Te-Ten finished with the same question since they had first met, "When will I get to see your house?" she demanded.
Naruto stared at her for a moment before he brought out a sliver box, "It's a present, but you're only to open it after team selections, okay?" Ten-Ten nodded and Naruto jumped away. Ten-Ten stared after him before turning around and jumping away.
"Hey Sasuke." Naruto greeted.
Naruto leaned back in his chair and interlaced his fingers together, "Ino you should quit staring at me now." two chairs to his right Ino blushed and stared straight ahead. "Worried about the test?" Naruto asked.
"No." Sasuke answered
"Shouldn't you as well then?" Sasuke asked smugly.
"Yes, but I'm not. Funny isn't it." Naruto answered, Sasuke smirked.
Naruto watched as Iruka came before the class, "Listen up class, testing is about to start, when I call your name you will enter the next room and take your test, then you shall exit and go home, those who pass will come back tomorrow, those who don't will come back next year. Understood? Good, first up!"
Naruto toyed with a kunai as he waited for his turn. He was virtually alone in the room now, save for a few others. His scarlet eyes studied the Kunai in his hands as if it had some secret to give up. "Naruto." Naruto looked up in surprise, the classroom had vanished and in it's place was training ground ten. Ten-Ten and her teammates were sitting around talking, "What about Naruto?" Ten-Ten asked incredulously.
"I heard that he is dangerous, it was something about his eyes and some type of beast that was related to him." Lee said as he flexed his hands.
"I too have heard that there is something strange about him, but when I asked about him I met silence, people will not talk about it. It is some type of secret. Do you think Naruto knows?"
"Yes." Ten-Ten said, "When I ask about his eyes he always goes silent for awhile then tells me that he cannot discuss it. He always seems so sad I don't push it."
"See if you can find out. We need to know if we are to work with him in the future." Neji said as he stood up and dusted himself off, "Do not mention this to master Gai. I have a feeling he would try to persuade us away." all three of them nodded.
Naruto closed his eyes again and when he opened them the classroom was back, "Naruto, we're ready for you now." Iruka said as he checked something off his clipboard. Naruto stood up, "Alright, Ninja path here I come." he muttered.