Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto or Metal Gear. I was born too late to own one… and I can't draw for shit, thus I could not possibly own the other.
Chapter 2: Young Blood
(Interior Alaskan Wilderness – Early 2000 – Naruto: Age 13)
By this time, Naruto's understanding of the world he lived in was as good as it was going to be. The strange things that people used to move around such as automobiles and aircrafts threw him off (Miller actually had Catherine videotape him when he first saw what airplanes and helicopters could do in order to keep the absurdly hilarious reaction tape for posterity), but just like the difference in weaponry he adjusted accordingly to his new knowledge, actually enjoying riding in Miller's truck and learning to drive it out of necessity.
He learned much of the country he was residing in, the United States of America, and what being an immigrant like he was meant. The explanation he received from others told him that in comparison America was akin to the Konoha of this world. Perceived as the most powerful country, but unlike Konoha the U.S. had influence in things all over the world. It was strange to consider that there was only one super-powerful force that was really driving the world and at first barely believed that only one entity could have so much influence and power over everything… something that he would later wish he had taken more seriously and focused on harder in future years.
His education involved a lot of TV… of the educational variety. When told that Naruto's introduction to TV was to teach him lessons and nothing but, it could be understandable that Naruto grew to dislike television. Every time he watched it was either to get some kind of cultural training or to learn more about combat or history.
Miller informed him of just what made the best soldiers he had ever seen in his life. The man known as Big Boss, Miller often spoke of him in a romanticized fashion. He made the man seem untouchable. How the man had fought dangerous missions for years and years from the 50's on until his eventual demise in 1999, the year Naruto appeared. The man that had stopped nuclear war at least three times in his lifetime. Miller actually compared Naruto's ability to blend in forests to his, as if Naruto was never even there at times and at others seemed to be a spirit, or seemed to be everywhere.
The next comparison made was with a man known as Gray Fox. Naruto never learned his real name and had to fight down a few twitches being compared to a man known as 'Fox', but from what he had heard, the man's own tenure as a child soldier reminded Miller of Naruto himself, except from what Miller told him his career was far more brutal. His end, met in 1999 much like Big Boss, came after an entire lifetime of conflict.
The last comparison was with the only one of these men that was still alive. Solid Snake had killed both Gray Fox and Big Boss during the same mission and actually owned two victories over the latter. Miller's stories of how he had fought the greatest and most infamous mercenaries ever brought to one area won Naruto over. His stories of how Snake had defeated 25 to 40 foot bipedal tanks with nuclear abilities made Naruto think of his own victory over his largest opponent, the Shukaku demon that possessed Gaara… although Gaara's demon never had machine guns or missile launchers…
But nuclear weapons…
Since he had discovered his own closely kept secret the night he became an official ninja, Naruto had feared the demon that sat in his body as the biggest threat possible. Knowing that in this world the possibility of all of existence being wiped out with the push of a button, with no chance of stopping it, made him terrified… and he finally understood why he was treated the way he had been in his childhood with indifference and with most ignoring his presence; because it was the way that most people in this world treated the existence of nuclear weapons.
If they weren't in sight, if nobody talked about them or openly acknowledged them, if people pretended that they didn't really exist then they wouldn't feel any fear. Because no matter how much Naruto tried to convince himself that no one was stupid enough to go out and use such a weapon there was still always the possibility… just like in Konoha how others tried to convince themselves that he was just a little boy, there was always the opportunity of him drawing upon the awesome power of the Kyuubi no Yoko, even unintentionally.
Despite all of this, Naruto loved to train. He didn't think about how he had even gotten so good at so many things so fast. He had to thank both Master Miller for how he had been working him to understand the military of this world and country, and he had to thank Catherine for helping him understand what was truly appropriate and what wasn't when she spent time with him. Speaking of Miller…
Miller watched Naruto taking some leisurely target practice in his spare time and couldn't keep the frown off of his face as he saw Naruto take aim.
TAT TAT TAT!
Miller palmed his face hard and shook his head as Naruto's shots veered off-course. Hopefully no small woodland creatures were harmed with that god awful shooting, "For the love of God kid, drop the FAMAS." He pulled it out to show off with, he didn't expect Naruto to actually want to use it.
"No way." Naruto replied, glaring down the firing field as he took aim again, "This thing isn't knocking me on my ass anymore. That's an improvement isn't it? I'm not wasting your time to use it now Master, I'm trying to get using it down on my own time." Miller walked over to Naruto and stealthily switched the safety off, forcing an empty sounding click out of the gun when Naruto pulled the trigger, "Hey."
With Naruto's capability to fire put to a halt, Miller snatched the assault rifle out of Naruto's hands, "Didn't you learn anything when I took the SAA away from you when you were trying to screw around with that? Why didn't I let you use that gun to free-shoot with?"
Naruto let out a groan as he had to dredge up that embarrassing memory, "Because the recoil kicks my ass…"
"Because the recoil kicks your ass." Miller nodded. Though he didn't explain it like that when it originally happened, Naruto got why he wasn't to use that weapon yet, "Now why did the recoil kick your ass?"
"Because my body isn't able to absorb the shock the right way." Naruto said before tilting his head, "That's the reason right Master?" Miller nodded to him, putting a scowl on Naruto's face, "But I can already use lots of other stuff." He then crossed his arms and looked away, "And I don't care what you say, I don't want to use the MAC-11… or the Beretta." He added as an afterthought.
"Why do you want to use the FAMAS so badly?" Miller asked him, not getting an answer from the boy. It was strange. Most people when they found something that they couldn't use wouldn't try to use it again. Naruto just reloaded and kept trying. He had to start locking up the ammunition to keep Naruto from trying to go out and shoot in his spare time because it was how he spent a lot of it. For some reason the boy absolutely despised television… something that Catherine swore was weird. Naruto's argument was that he had lived cooler things than people fabricated to put on-screen, however he never elaborated on just what he had done.
It wasn't that Naruto was trying to be private. Naruto's reason for not telling them anything about his life after he told them that he actually remembered everything and didn't have amnesia was because he swore up and down that if he told them anything they would never believe a word he said. They would call him insane and possibly have him committed, thus he kept to himself and they didn't pry. Well Miller himself didn't pry. Catherine often pried because she wanted Naruto to stop training so hard. Naruto would tell her little stories about himself, keeping things tame and in the realm of believability, and they would keep him from training until the tale was complete.
The girl just didn't get why Naruto worked so hard. Miller knew. He understood and he was more than willing to make sure that when the time came for Naruto to try and make his way in the world he would be ready for anything… which was why for his own good he needed to take this gun away from Naruto, "You can't just force yourself to use a weapon and make it your own. The FAMAS isn't a good fit for you."
"Then I'll make it a good fit Master Miller." Naruto asserted. From what Miller had told Naruto in the way of stories, especially the stories of the man codenamed Solid Snake, he wouldn't always have the luxury of being able to use the kind of weapons that he wanted to use, that he was best at using. He had to learn how to use everything, how to do everything. With weapons like guns and bullets, bombs, things like that there was no room for error like there was in his world. You can't sense a sniper's bullet coming your way the way you can locate someone sneaking up on you. He could not afford to be lax in anything, and with a man like Miller willing to teach Naruto everything he knew unlike the stingier constraints that the world of ninja Naruto came from had.
Miller could only give Naruto a strict look. The boy was stubborn. Being stubborn was a double-edged sword. It could keep you alive or it could get you killed. Naruto had skill with smaller arms. Despite his dislike of the gun he shot himself with, Naruto was becoming a surgeon with the Baretta. He could only imagine what Naruto could do with a higher-quality semi-automatic pistol rather than the cheap Baretta. Still, Naruto absolutely despised submachine guns, most notably the MAC-11 that he was forced to train with and gain proficiency with.
Miller didn't understand why he hated them. For a solider like Naruto, who was nine times out of ten going to be the fastest moving human being on the battlefield, a weapon like that seemed to be perfect for him. Moving as fast as he could and using such an easy to transport and reload weapon, it was tailor-made for him.
Naruto wasn't just quick, he was sudden. When Naruto was in the middle of a fight his movements were spastic, he was hard to pin down whenever they practiced with blanks, right from the very beginning. With over six months of getting shot at under his belt Naruto only got better and better at avoiding gunfire. Learning that his clones returned the pain of their damage to him made Naruto keep from using them to cover or take damage for him the way he would have in his own world, thus Naruto's use of cover was growing by leaps and bounds.
In one fashion, Naruto's use of what Miller had called a movie trick, his use of blindfiring from behind cover was magnificent. After six months of training, he could now shoot at target just off of sound or feeling a shift in the air. He would usually miss, but he would force the target to move, giving him an opening to open fire from that point forward.
Miller's stealth training was additionally well received. Naruto took to stealth like a fish to water. For a kid that loved to run his mouth, Naruto knew when it was time to shut the hell up and sneak about, and he hated being loud anywhere except from flapping his gums.
He hated wearing boots because no matter what he did he couldn't walk in a way that would muffle his footsteps. Miller had to break him in his habit of running around the forest barefoot due to that being a dangerous practice, he even did it once at the start of winter in the snow, he hated wearing boots that much. Naruto hated wearing clothes that would make ruffling noises. He would rather throw or use a knife than use a gun until he was told that many guns could be equipped with suppressers to silence the sounds of gunfire.
He had also shown Miller his unique way of avoiding making footprints by keeping to the trees as much as he could, with his ability to effortlessly stick to surfaces on command Catherine had jokingly referred to him as 'Spiderman' and in response Naruto had started calling her 'Kitty' harkening back to the time when Naruto started learning English and began learning how to spell their names. With 'Catherine' having the same first three letters as 'cat', Naruto had a hidden bomb of a name to deliver to Catherine which he took generous use of regularly.
Catherine actually despised playing hide-and-seek with Naruto, even with obvious parameters set that Naruto couldn't leave the immediate property surrounding the house or hide somewhere that Catherine couldn't reach. It was impossible for her to locate him even in the snow where he made footprints. Leave it to Naruto to turn singlehandedly turn a 10/11 year old off of a game.
The concept of camouflage and the like was something Miller did not need to go over. He only needed to touch up certain parts of Naruto's stealth, such as refraining from making noise and keeping yourself hidden until it was too late for your enemy to do anything about your presence. In their earlier exercises Naruto had a bad habit of running directly from his hiding area at Miller who had his back turned. A very bad habit in the instance that your enemy had a gun and you did not. He had to coach Naruto to wait until your opponent passed by your hiding place, not even acknowledging your presence before striking.
As he watched Naruto peruse over the weapon selection on the table that was left for him to work with, minus the FAMAS, he couldn't help but believe that Naruto had to have more than a few soldier genes in him. It was like he was bred for fighting, he picked up everything Miller had to teach eagerly and he got the basic concepts of how to fight down so easily. He just needed to learn that there were certain things that he couldn't do and shouldn't try to force, like his use of the FAMAS. Using something that wasn't meant for him could get him killed, and it seemed like that was a lesson that only a dangerous experience would drive home. Nothing Miller could manufacture to happen at home would teach him that, nor would it be anything Naruto could learn in any sort of boot camp.
That was a battlefield lesson, and those were the most dangerous to learn. Thinking of that he could see why Catherine was hesitant when thinking about or speaking of Naruto leaving to become an active soldier.
Naruto picked up another pistol, Miller noted it to be Naruto's favorite gun aside from his ill-fated attempts to fire the FAMAS, the reliable and easily customizable Heckler & Koch Mark 23 SOCOM pistol. It was a good weapon but if that was what Naruto chose to use in the field it would be particularly heavy. The added laser sight and the suppresser that he was certain Naruto would demand to have on the gun would make it five pounds in total.
Naruto emptied a magazine down towards the set up targets and frowned, speaking to himself, "I'm going to need some moving targets again soon so I don't get rusty." He could always make clones and order them to engage him in a mock firefight, but that was stupid for several reasons. So he was stuck with good old stationary targets.
"I've pulled some strings." Miller said when he saw Naruto eject his empty magazine in preparation to reload, "What would you say to six months before setting out?"
"Six months?" Naruto repeated questioningly, laying his gun down on the table and turning to face the older blonde, "You can get me an actual spot somewhere in six months?"
Miller nodded and smirked, "Consider it one last favor from a friend of mine before he retires. He's also the man that helped me get you an identity all set up. You are now Naruto Uzumaki, United States citizen by way of immigration from Japan, born to an unknown Japanese mother and a roaming mercenary father, both deceased shortly around the time of your birth. I am your sponsor for your residence as a citizen… well I was until you were legally emancipated. Or so the records say, and you will have to memorize all of the false information in your 'records'. Congratulations by the way." He finished with a smug look.
"Wow…" Naruto muttered, following with some Japanese cursing in amazement under his breath, "You must really be connected Master Miller…"
"You don't know the half of it kid." Miller said with a grin as he adjusted his sunglasses on his face, "When you get yourself into the army and dust right through boot camp people are going to be knocking down your door to get to you, and you will dust right through… For the love of God I've been training you like a damn FOXHOUND recruit for the last six months and you still haven't failed anything yet. The only problem is your attitude. You need to know how to follow orders kid. You're still rebellious when I tell you things."
Insubordination was a problem that Naruto had always had. In Konoha he followed his orders, did everything Kakashi told him to do, but not without much griping in many cases when he didn't like what he was commanded to do. Here he couldn't even gripe at all.
He couldn't do that here from how Miller had been instructing him. Mouthing off eventually started getting him harsher punishments, keeping things askew when Miller told him to straighten up got him workouts that literally went until Naruto could not physically respond to Miller, blacking out… and then he would do it again the next day because Miller knew his body could take it.
Most of the insubordination had been kicked out of him. He was doing fine after six months of getting the smart-ass worked out of him, but with Naruto's nature it would probably resurface at the worst possible time when he was at boot camp. It depended on whether or not his drill sergeant chose to pick on him regularly or not, because it was clear by now that the kid was a hot head.
Naruto wasn't just going to let that lie however. If Naruto couldn't act the way he truly wanted to then he would suck it up just long enough… just long enough to get himself in a position that it didn't matter anymore. He never wanted a desk job anyway. People like that in Konoha he always wondered how they could stand it, and it went double for this world. All Naruto wanted to do was fight.
Still he was confident. Miller had trained him hard. Naruto felt better than he ever had in his life, and in six months he would only be better. Who else got special forces training before they even joined the basic branch of any military? It made him feel like one of the kids in the big ninja clans back in the Academy of his youth. This time it was him that would have a leg up over the others.
"I won't let you down Master Miller." Naruto asserted, turning and giving the salute that Miller taught him would be appropriate for the U.S. Military, "I'll be the best, you'll see."
A smile pulled at Miller's lips, "You probably will kid… you probably will."
(Six Months Later)
Naruto sat on the bed in the very Spartan setup that was his room at the Miller household as he finished packing his things. It was finally time for him to leave. He had grown again. His 5'7 body had been molded for nothing more than the harshest conditions after being tempered for over a year in the most extreme of the ever shifting climate of the Alaskan interior. There was no more preparation that could have been done.
He could see the eleven year old Catherine leaning against his open doorframe staring at him with her green eyes appraising his every move. Naruto was no fool. He knew by now that after a year she was utterly attached to him in the lonely wilderness of Alaska. With nothing more than him and her father there she didn't really have anyone else. She never saw her mother, and with Naruto her only friend he was her best friend and brother in all but blood.
She had done everything she could think of to get him to stay.
She had asked him at Christmas and on her birthday, both of which ran close together, that she didn't want a gift, she just wanted Naruto to not leave. That had gotten Naruto to actually coax the things that she really wanted out of her so that she could be given proper gifts. Naruto was damned persistent and wound up strong-arming the information out of her.
She had begun to start asking Naruto to teach her how to shoot, hoping that she could deter his training or maybe get him interested in teaching her so that he could stay around for longer until she was good. That had done nothing as she had found out when Naruto happily praised her for being a tremendous shot with his favorite handgun. She had gotten good too fast and it had backfired on her.
In the end she simply couldn't make him stay, and time flew by like it was nothing. All she could do was enjoy the time she had. Whenever Naruto wasn't training he was always with her. No matter what she was doing she would go and find him. Eventually he got the drill and after his training he would always find her himself. It was like he enjoyed her company just as much as she enjoyed his and neither ever complained about the other's presence.
So why? Why was he so set on leaving? She just didn't understand. He was going to miss everything. She would probably never see him again. It was terrible. She wished her dad would just move again so that they could follow Naruto for his training, "You're really leaving tomorrow."
"Yeah." Naruto said, not looking up to face her. If he made eye contact with her he would probably make Catherine cry, and that was the last thing he wanted. He couldn't even give her a good excuse as to why he was leaving. Telling her that he just wanted to fight and that was all would upset her, "It'll be fine Kitty I promise."
Catherine shook her head and responded, ignoring his nickname for her that usually made her angry, "No it won't. Don't lie to me Naruto." Her little hands were gripping the frame of his door tightly, "What am I going to do if you're not here? You're not coming back."
Naruto frowned and finally looked up to lock eyes with her, "Don't say that. Are you kidding me? Why wouldn't I come back? I love you guys, you're the only people that I know." He let out a short laugh, "What are you talking about?" He moved his travel bag and patted the spot next to him on the bed, "Come here. Talk to me."
Catherine walked over to him at a reserved pace and plopped down next to him, laying her head on his shoulder with a heavy sigh, "I'm scared Naruto. What if you die and I never get to see you again?"
"I won't die." He said rolling his eyes, "Would you stop saying that? If you say something like that enough times then it's going to actually happen. Do you want me to die?" Catherine gave him a shocked look and shook her head, "Then stop saying that I am. Believe in me, it's not like I'm going off to war or something, it's just training. You'll see me at Christmas." He gave her a fake stern glance, "You are going to let me come back for Christmas aren't you?"
Catherine could tell he was playing with her and started to laugh, "Yes of course. Dad would never turn you away Naruto. When you come back I promise there'll be tons of ramen here for you. We have time to stock up without you eating it all now."
Naruto turned around and began to dig through the bag on his bed, "Well if we're making plans for something that happens later…" He pulled out a necklace that had a very valuable looking gem sitting at the end of it, "…Then I want you to keep this safe for me. I'll probably lose it at boot camp." He said as he placed it in her hand, "This thing was a gift from someone that thought I would be special one day, I definitely want it back later."
That necklace had been inseparable from Naruto when he first appeared. He actually defended it in his sleep when she tried to grab a hold of it from around his neck. Even when he had been training with Miller he would keep it tucked underneath his shirt close to his heart.
She knew that it meant something to him because it was all that he had worth anything that truly belonged to him. Whatever it represented it was special, "I'll take good care of it." She said, giving him a big hug, "You know I love you right? I'm going to miss you."
"I'll call you whenever I get the chance." Naruto responded, returning her hug as she squeezed him tightly, "You can't get rid of me that easily."
Catherine just nodded, keeping herself pressed against him, "I don't care where you came from. Family or not you're still my big brother." She said as she started to stain his chest with tears.
She had no idea that just being there and hearing all of that from her was breaking Naruto's heart. She knew how strange he was. He had no actual background, never told her anything personal about his past, he had freaky powers that no one else in the world could do, had a physical makeup that no one could comprehend… after knowing all of that, she still loved him like he was her own brother. And he loved her like his little sister because she was the only girl that had ever bothered to get this close, "There's no way I'm not coming back Kitty. Just you wait. I'll see you in a few months."
(The Next Day – Fairbanks, Alaska)
Naruto stood at the last point that would allow people that weren't taking the flight to follow wearing a brown pair of boots, a pair of loose blue jeans, a black zipped-up flight jacket, and a black skull cap a metal plate with the leaf insignia stitched on the front. He was carrying a single bag with him containing everything worth bringing that he had procured thus far in the world, "I guess I'll see you guys around."
Miller walked up to Naruto and put a hand on his shoulder, just about coming eye to eye with the boy that just one year prior was a general runt, "Just don't flip out when the plane goes up into the air, don't do anything I wouldn't do, remember everything I taught you, and just don't forget about us kid."
"And call." Catherine added afterwards, "I want to know how you're doing."
Naruto grinned at her and nodded, "I'll call you all the time Kitty. I promise."
Catherine punched Naruto in the shoulder hard, "Don't call me Kitty."
Naruto scratched his nose, dismissing her request absentmindedly to make her upset, "I'll stop calling you Kitty when I drop dead." He then opened his arms and Catherine immediately ran into them for one last hug before he left, this time holding back her tears. After she let go, Naruto gave Miller a firm handshake and one salute that Miller actually returned before Naruto began walking towards his flight.
"Don't shoot yourself at basic training!" Catherine's voice rang out, stopping Naruto in his tracks as he heard her laughter ring out through the terminal. He turned back and gave her a mock glare only to find her waving. Shaking his head in amusement he walked to board his plane.
It had been well into the time since Naruto had made his way to begin his One Site Unit Training in August and as far as he was concerned everything was just as he had been conditioned to expect thus far. Getting his hair cut pissed him off, but it was hair and he didn't particularly care too much after a day or two. He completely slaughtered the physical assessment test as they were things he could have sleepwalked through when he was nine. Running a mile in 8 minutes? Seriously?
As he expected right out of the gate he was targeted by his drill sergeant for the obvious reason of him being 14 years old. The combination of being an emancipated immigrant minor that was only really there due to several recommendations from high up the food chain so to speak made the man want to test him. Unfortunately his excuse for what was tough was what Master Miller had drilled into Naruto as being the below the standards of his daily grind. By week two he hadn't managed to break the man's hazing of him but he had a very positive experience during the initial unarmed combat training.
Positive being that he was chosen to represent his entire platoon at the end of the instruction period to go against the best of all the others, who did not believe that a 14 year old boy, despite being unanimously chosen due to the quick and decisive beatings he had managed to lay on anyone chosen to face him out of his entire instruction group.
There was no contest. Even if the opponents he had faced had extensive hand-to-hand training so had Naruto, and he had been in more fights than a fresh army recruit could say they had taken part in, and he had never had the luxury of actually fighting anyone his size, it was always against opponents that had physical advantages over him, especially when he had been a ninja. Here the playing field was leveled in that respect due to Naruto's growth spurt and his unnatural speed and strength that he did his best to curb but failed to do. He couldn't hold back.
Naruto dominated the obstacle portions of training. Climbing the victory tower was child's play even without using chakra, something he hadn't relied on for a moment upon his arrival lest he freak people out even more than his considerable skill would in the first place.
Naruto quickly took to the use of M16 assault rifle, admitting that it was easier to use than the FAMAS he had so desperately wanted to properly use while he had been in Alaska. As a matter of fact Naruto had shown proficiency with all weapons presented meant for recruits to gain some familiarity with them. He didn't particularly like heavy weapons like the 249 SAW machine gun or the M2 .50 caliber heavy machine gun, but that was more because Naruto took pride in being faster than everyone else. Using a weapon with sweeping potential like that would debunk his speed advantage if he were to fight in open areas or places with flimsy cover.
No matter what was thrown at him Naruto could either do it, or if he couldn't do it right off the bat would know how to do it by the end of the week well enough to exceed expectations. A nine week course of basic combat training was more than enough time for Naruto to smooth his wrinkles out.
Despite his skill and teamwork affinity that he had cultivated working in squads in his home village, Naruto was not seen as much of a leader and was resented for much of the time he had been with his training group until he was finally confronted on the matter.
The simple question during down time of "Why are you here?" Was asked with the expectation of some childish answer as Naruto when out of the sight of the drill sergeant had developed a rather upbeat, fun reputation that the other platoons were well aware of due to the perpetual smile and complete lack of scowling that the boy ever did.
What was not expected was for Naruto to take a moment, surrounded in the barracks by everyone actually wanting to hear his answer after he had taken time to pause. The boy merely shrugged and met all of their eyes as he spoke, "Because there isn't anything else I can do. A lot of you guys have things that you can get to or other stuff to do after you get out of the army. I'm not leaving. All I know how to do is fight… so I guess I'll just keep doing that until someone gets lucky and takes me out." He then let out a chuckle and a huge grin, "It's not like I want to take any desk job either, that's way too boring you know? I'm a fighter."
A rather morbid answer that stunned more than a few of them, but the way his voice sounded as he delivered it, the casual nature with which he spoke, and the fact that this didn't seem to bother him in the slightest that this was to be the way he lived was the turning point in how they viewed him. By the time he had returned from Christmas Break in Alaska with Miller and Catherine he found that things had improved significantly with his interaction among his platoon.
(Christmas Break – Interior Alaskan Wilderness – December 2000 – Naruto: Age 14)
Naruto was using this time off to do something that he admittedly had been neglecting for over a year and a half since he had arrived in this world, rest. Wearing a pair of cargo shorts and an U.S. Army t-shirt he was lazily sprawled out on a couch up in the loft. The couch he had originally woken up on became his favorite place in the Miller house to just laze around doing nothing. This was where Catherine found him as she returned from the snowy wilds of outside, having just gotten through feeding the huskies, "Dad says to get your butt up and tell him what you want for Christmas before he heads out to Fairbanks to get the stuff."
Naruto looked over at his fellow blonde and let out a chuckle, "Christmas? Seriously? I don't need or really want anything. What am I ten like you?" He quipped in a jibe at Catherine's age.
"I'm twelve you jerk!" She said, stomping her foot on the ground.
"I know." Naruto returned with a grin, "By the way did you like the present I sent you?"
Catherine blinked as she stared at her older brother figure. Despite the calls he made periodically he had never alluded to actually recognizing that he was aware of her birthday and she had never dropped that knowledge on him, figuring that he had enough to worry about without having to feel responsible for sending a gift thousands of miles from one corner of the country to the other, especially since her birthday sat right before he was to return for Christmas Break. However he had not gotten that memo and had managed to send her a gift from where he was to her.
How he had managed to get her something as expensive as a laptop she would never know especially with him being as much of a luddite as he was, but then again if Naruto had money there was only one thing he would be buying for himself for sure, and unfortunately for him it was something he really couldn't have on him while he was training in Georgia.
"Yes I did, thank you for the laptop Naruto." Catherine said gratefully. He was so good to her all of the time, "Sorry. I tried to send you ramen for your birthday but dad said you would just get yourself into trouble by eating it every single moment you had free time."
Naruto frowned. It had been several months since he had last had ramen. Hearing that Catherine had tried to send him some but was stopped by Miller pissed him off and made him want to go and find his trainer to give him what for with his fists and feet, but then again he had to admit that the last thing you do for an addict is enable him, and if Naruto had been given what probably would have been an econo-sized box of ramen in multiple flavors he would have torn into it like a wild animal and gotten himself in trouble.
"It's okay Kitty." Naruto assured her with a smile as he saw her taking off her boots and white coat, having just come from outside, "It's the thought that counts. I appreciate it."
Catherine took a seat in the chair directly next to Naruto's nesting couch and flipped on the TV that he often neglected to turn on, "No problem, ramen is so super-cheap. You sure like weird a food as your favorite." She then pointed down towards the location of the kitchen, "I actually did buy it though. It's downstairs in the kitchen right now." She turned to the side to find Naruto staring at her intensely, unnerving her slightly, "What?"
Naruto simply lifted his hands in the seal for his favorite ninjutsu and formed a clone that immediately went downstairs to locate and fix Naruto his desired and hard-earned treat of ramen. It wasn't anywhere near as good as the stuff he got in Konoha from his favorite restaurant, but it was the best he was going to get without going to Japan to get it from there. With his doppelganger sent off to fix his treat, he gave a grateful grin to Catherine, "You do know that I love you dearly don't you?"
"I know." Catherine said as she touched the necklace he had left in her care that was around her neck, prominently on display. She smiled at him sweetly and scratched his head as his hair had grown back out after being shaved off, "Then don't call me Kitty anymore."
Naruto sighed happily as he started flipping a throwing knife in his hand, "I'll stop calling you Kitty when I drop dea-. Ow…" He muttered when Catherine switched over to pulling on one of his cheeks painfully, "I am holding a knife just so you know."
"But you won't ever stab me." Catherine said confidently, still pulling on Naruto's cheek, "You love me dearly. I'm your little sister. You would fight a bear for me."
Naruto started looking at her, his right eye twitching in irritation, "I'll tie you up, take you into the forest, and feed you to a damn bear if you don't let go of my cheek. The ramen train is coming and I am about to destroy the bowl."
Right on cue, Naruto's clone came up the stairs with a piping hot bowl of ramen that it handed over to Naruto before giving him a pair of chopsticks and dispelling by Naruto's mental order. Catherine watched him split his chopsticks, mutter something in Japanese, and begin to go to town on what was in the exceptionally large bowl, "Did you get the largest bowl in the house?" A nod from a rapidly eating Naruto was her answer, "How many packets of ramen are in there?"
"Four." He said before digging back in with abandon.
In a matter of five minutes or less, Naruto had destroyed his meal and had lain his bowl aside, content with himself. Catherine just shook her head as she continued to look for something on TV worth watching, deciding to stop on a channel playing a Christmas marathon of old martial arts movies once she saw Naruto's eyes show some interest in it, "You're so gross…" She said in reference to Naruto's eating habits.
Hearing Miller's drill sergeant voice forced Naruto to quickly jump to his feet and stand at attention, prompting Catherine to break into a smattering of giggles, due to the fact that Naruto was standing with one barefoot in his gigantic bowl that once held his ramen and broth, "That's so mean dad! He's probably terrorized whenever someone calls his name like that at his base."
Miller walked up the stairs with a smirk as he found Naruto still standing at attention, "At ease brat. Now I know Catherine told you what I asked. What do you want for Christmas?"
Naruto gave Miller a deadpan look and plopped back down on the couch, ignoring the drops of broth on his foot, "Well first of all I want you to never do that again for obvious reasons and I want more ramen, lots more ramen. And if you think you're getting too much ramen I want you to get a little bit more because there's no such thing as too much ramen." He wanted to indulge badly.
Well aware of Naruto's borderline obsession with ramen, Miller shook his head at Naruto and smirked, "You are the cheapest person to go Christmas shopping for. My wallet thanks you."
"Whatever… don't thank me now." Naruto replied flippantly before pointing at him with his eyes narrowed, "When I graduate after AIT (Advanced Individual Training) in 4 months I'll be expecting my own damn setup of guns and ammo in my room waiting on me when I come back. Also find someone that can craft me some kunai and shuriken. I can still throw and use those better than the knives."
"Ninja wannabe. Do you really think you can use actual shuriken?" Catherine muttered, making fun of Naruto. If there was one thing she had learned about Naruto since he had been living with them it was that he was very interested in the ninja of this world after he figured out that they existed, having referred to himself as one in passing several times after letting them in a little on his past, "Are you sure you're not Japanese? Because that sounds like it came straight out of a manga." As much as she loved him and as young as she was she just couldn't believe that.
Miller did believe him however, because he knew personally that ninjas were very real. The realm of possibility of Naruto being one was not very farfetched at all. He had watched Solid Snake fight one personally in Zanzibar Land not even six months before Naruto appeared.
"I hate you." Naruto grit lowly, gnashing his teeth, "Do I need to pull out anymore superpowers out of my ass before you start believing the shit I say or what? Because I've already thrown all the ones I've got at you."
"Language." Catherine chided gently.
"Okoru (Get bent)." Naruto retorted before getting smacked on the head by Miller and Catherine, "You see this is why I keep large chunks of my past away from you guys. Not because you'd be scared, but because you'd act like this." He jumped up off of the couch and started walking away, ranting, "Give me some kunai, some shuriken, some metal wire… hell I'd show you all how much of a ninja I really am. Two years younger than me, gonna tell me I ain't a ninja…"
Catherine waited before he got out of ear shot before blocking a snicker, "I think I just made him mad." She got up and gleefully chased after him, "So does your drill sergeant know you're a ninja too Naruto?" Hearing Naruto loudly gripe from the other room brought a smile to her face, 'I guess he was right. I mean he's gone more, but other than that nothing's really changed at all.'
When Naruto returned after his Christmas Break to Fort Benning to complete the first phase of his training he was actually encouraged to join the U.S. Army Ranger School due to being assured that what he would face would be far more difficult than his training thus far.
Primed for the challenge and eager for a possibility of facing more combat sooner, Naruto took up the challenge and accepted.
For over two months he was trained thoroughly in styles of combat he found himself more at home with; learning more of ambushing, conducting raids, and stealthier movements from place to place. And it was physically taxing. The fact that the physical exercises were doubled and in some cases tripled from what he originally had been given at base was not the real issue, he still went through it easily. He only got two meals a day instead of three, he carried more equipment than he had been trained to handle as he sometimes took around 90 pounds, he slept around three hours a night after days that sometimes resulted in 20 hours of training, giving him a true appreciation for down time.
His squad work in this facet was highly esteemed. During mock missions he was always right on point, knowing how to work during ambushes and firefights.
He loved the mountaineering aspect of Ranger School just the way he had loved it with Master Miller. Anything having to do with anything he already had experience with was a foregone conclusion that he would enjoy and excel at it. He did however, absolutely despise working in the Georgia swamps to train, but he was aware enough of working in wilderness-filled areas to easily deal. Hell, it was no Forest of Death… there weren't enough things in the Georgia swamps that tried to kill him. The thing he hated most however was training for combat in the deserts. It was the exact antithesis of everything he had ever been taught. Little cover, no real place to run to, few vantage points, hard to spot for traps… he absolutely hated it, but like everything else he got through it and graduated in spring of 2001.
He was stationed at a base not too far from where he had completed his basic training and really was just waiting. Drilling, not doing anything dangerous, just waiting. Naruto wanted to actually put his skills to actual work, but there was nothing for him to do.
In the meantime he was constantly called in for physicals, for bloodwork, for x-rays… the physicians seemingly couldn't call him in frequently enough for their tastes. There were also repeated tests held, mostly over trivial things to extreme conditioning that tested his limits such as how long Naruto could hold his breath underwater to how long he could take extreme temperatures of well over 120 F before passing out.
He thought that these things were strange, he was told that they were testing him to see how he would fare if he were inducted into some sort of special forces, they had even dropped the name of FOXHOUND once or twice, but after the tests were complete he would always be told that they required him to get actual battle experience no matter how splendid his tests were. He also took note of the fact that even though most of what he was supposed to be testing for were combat forces, he never saw a single soldier in the area for his tests. But there were many doctor and scientist looking types.
He never thought too much of it because he never felt out of the ordinary after he was done, they paid him handsomely giving him the opportunity to buy things to spoil Catherine and thank Master Miller for all that he had done. To him it was all just killing time, just steadily improving as best he could, but he was getting stir-crazy, and then in the fall his prayers were answered in a way. He was going to get to fight, although he did wish that it didn't have to occur at such a high cost.
(Fairbanks, Alaska – September 2001)
Catherine sat at the kitchen table perusing over every newspaper she could get her hands on over the last two weeks. From what she could read people were angry, people wanted the blood of those that had attacked them, they were scared of something like this occurring again. Over 2000 lives in New York City had been ended by two planes being hijacked and flown into the World Trade Center.
The claim was that they knew just where the enemy was, in Afghanistan… and they, the United States, were going there to fight them.
To fight them.
Naruto was going to fight them.
There was no other alternative to this course if everything she had been reading and seeing on TV was any indication. She wanted any sign of him not going, but he had already called Master Miller and had asked him for any advice he could give towards fighting in desert areas. Catherine listened as her father did just as Naruto requested before hanging up after telling Naruto, "Give them hell brat. And you'd better not die over there."
When he called for her the next day he had omitted any military questioning, asking her about things around the house, about how she was doing, joking with her… but she knew. He eventually told her, and she was brave about it until he had hung up… then she began to cry.
She heard he had been deployed at the end of the month. He would definitely miss his 15th birthday in October. He would probably miss her 13th birthday in December. He would probably miss Christmas too… if he ever came back at all.
"Why does it have to be you?" Catherine said quietly to herself as she pushed herself away from the table to go and turn off the TV upstairs. She just couldn't listen to it anymore, "You're just a kid, just like me. You shouldn't fight." She muttered as she left the room.
As she did, she never noticed her father walking in from the other side. Miller knew that Catherine was scared. There was plenty of reason for her to be scared. But this was just something she didn't understand. Naruto couldn't just switch off, even if he wanted to. He was meant to fight, he was made to fight. It was all he could do. Sitting at a base and rotting had probably been killing him. And he had sounded so excited when he had called to ask for advice.
He wanted it. He probably didn't even realize himself how much he wanted to fight, but anyone with experience could hear it in his voice.
(Philippines – March 2002 – Naruto: Age 15)
Naruto had wound up spending two months in Afghanistan. He had seen little action, enough to get his feet wet, enough to feel the adrenaline of being shot at, having people actively try to end his life, but it wasn't what he had really wanted. He had been one of the first in, but after that he was sent further back, with others seeing the fighting instead of him.
Then in January he was selected to move to 'support' the Armed Forces of the Philippines against Filipino Islamic Groups. Why he in particular had been selected to move from Afghanistan, with no more than four months of combat experience, he had no idea, nor did he particularly care. He was seeing more of the world and it gave him the chance to actually fight somewhere he was more suited to; a more tropical, forested terrain.
He loved it. Mostly because he was a part of the force spearheading moves into hot areas of interest. Despite being a rookie he was planted into a counter-terrorist strike force that actually saw combat with most of the insurgents of Abu Sayyaf and Jemaah Islamiyah. It was right where he had wanted to be from the very start.
"I hate the Pacific." Naruto heard the young man with him mutter irritably as they both were laying down in the rain wearing dark ponchos on a low roof as they looked into a gated off series of warehouses. It was now night time and the squad that Naruto was a member of had taken up positioning in Calamba, a very large Filipino city for a particular operation, "I thought that when the 9/11 stuff happened I'd be in the desert more… now I'm wet, it's miserable here. I thought we dodged the monsoon season?"
Naruto let out a chuckle, his blonde hair hidden under the hood of his operational poncho, "Well in that case I hate the desert. I'm glad I'm here instead of there. I didn't like being so out in the open most of the time. If I get caught here then it's no one's fault but my own, out there it's luck."
"Whatever ninja-boy." Naruto's partner jibed, getting a glare from Naruto's blue eyes. Even though he had binoculars at his face as he looked into the facility he could still feel Naruto burning a hole into him with his eyes, "Chill out. I swear you were way too excited to do this op kid."
Naruto rolled his eyes and started looking through his own binoculars, "D.J. you're so lazy. Would you rather be stomping through the jungles like we've been doing? Or would you like to go back to training with the Filipino Marines? That was fun."
"Fun for you." The man, D.J., chimed in as he scratched underneath his bucket hat that he had on under his poncho, "Fun because you didn't get beaten up when they were going over unarmed combat… which they do a lot. I keep forgetting why I keep you around instead of sticking you with one of the others."
"Because of my endearing personality that is melting the ice around your frozen heart?" Naruto asked faking hopefulness as a joke.
D.J.'s lips quirked in amusement before setting in a stoic line, "No, more like because someone had to keep your baby Doberman ass on a leash. Good God kid, do you listen you yourself talk sometimes?"
"Why would I?" Naruto replied, wiping the rain off of his binocular lenses, "No one else ever listens to the stuff I say, so why should I?"
"Oh, looks like it's showtime." D.J. said as he saw a pair of sentries posted on the warehouse they were overlooking suddenly drop bonelessly and slide off of the roof dead. The others had obviously done their prep work of taking out any dangerous sentries with good vantage points, "Work that witchcraft of yours 'Wonderboy'." D.J. said with a grin.
"Up yours..." Naruto muttered as he formed his signature hand-seal. Witchcraft like hell, he had told the people he worked with again and again that his skills were ninjutsu not magic. In a puff of smoke that dispersed quickly in the rain created three Kage Bunshin that dropped off of the low roof and went to work on quickly cutting through the fence that kept them out of the warehouse facility. He then turned and saw D.J. glaring at him, "Oh, sorry… up yours sir."
D.J. had been working operations like this on and off for the last four years and at first didn't take to being stuck with some kid, no matter how highly touted he was coming off of the field in Afghanistan. Still, Naruto won him over by not making rookie mistakes and actually knowing how to operate in wooded areas as well as knowing when it was time to get his job done. The being seven years younger than him thing kind of threw him off, but who says that fifteen year olds can't shoot? It didn't take him long to realize that there was something more to his rookie when he saw what Naruto make copies of himself. He had never made more than five, but the reasoning was quite clear that Naruto was his own team, he just needed direction to get his missions done. Being Naruto's direct superior officer he was the one most suited for this.
Naruto's eyes drifted towards his Kage Bunshin who were working like well-oiled machines. Being in boot camp did wonders for the way that he ordered his clones about through mental commands. His orders were clearer, more precise, and he was able to direct standing orders that would have been blatantly clear to other real soldiers, such as to take and stay behind cover, and when in doubt keep the original alive. Whether he knew it or not he was taken from the battlefields in Afghanistan for getting too infamous for using that technique. People started to talk on all sides and he scared the civilian populace once they caught wind of the supposed strange powers of American soldiers.
D.J. had by now gotten used to Naruto's quirks, even the clones and the other powers that he knew of, "Why didn't we just doze through the fence with that blue ball thing of yours?"
Naruto glared at him out of the corner of his eye, "Because I wouldn't have made a hole with it on something so flimsy, I would have knocked the entire thing over and tipped these guys off." His clones had dispelled, their job complete, with Naruto not wanting to risk them being discovered and taking gunfire due to his feeling their pain, "The hole is set. Let's go."
"You weren't even looking at them." D.J. commented as he and Naruto dropped down from the roof they were on, boots splashing in the mud beneath them before they slipped to the opening in the fence, "How did you know they were done?"
"Mental contact." Naruto explained lamely. He didn't know, he just knew that when he told his clones to do stuff he knew if they had accomplished the task or not when they dispelled, "We're late, shouldn't we be going?"
Naruto and D.J. snuck inside the area, moving through the dark of a maze of storage containers, with D.J. leading the way. Naruto kept low as he held on to his MP5K submachine gun with its grip attachment and silencer. A group of three turned from around a corner on the same path that they were on, looking in their opposite direction, not noticing their presence.
D.J. let out a sharp whistle pattern that was meant to be met with a similar whistle, only for him to hear the men ahead begin chattering suspiciously. D.J. lifted his silenced M4A1 carbine assault rifle as Naruto lifted his own MP5K and quickly disposed of the three targets with two quick burst of fire from Naruto, one from D.J.
Naruto quickly made a trio of Kage Bunshin with the directions to hide the bodies in case of a patrol finding them. Naruto and D.J. looked at each other and nodded before continuing on. There was a need for speed on this mission. It was meant to be a shock mission meant to be quick to procure a target of interest alive.
As they came to another corner in the storage unit maze, D.J. looked past the end and saw a set of sentries posted in front of an iron gate. Leaning back out of the way to hide once more he thumped Naruto in the chest and made the sign for two, pointing in the direction that the men were in before then directly pointing up.
Naruto caught his drift and effortlessly climbed atop the storage unit with not a sound from his efforts before he began sliding on his belly over towards the iron fence where the sentries were posted directly on the other side. D.J. once again peered around the corner to see Naruto's progress and bit back a gasp when he saw Naruto standing up in a crouch, perched on the roof by the fence.
After scanning the area to see if anyone could possibly see his next action with the exception of his targets, Naruto cleared the iron gate, landing on the other side directly behind the two men who turned to see what had landed, but as they turned, Naruto struck one with a back elbow directly in the throat that dropped the man to his knees, unable to yell. The other sentry Naruto wound up grabbing tightly around the mouth to muffle him before slamming the back of his head hard into the iron gate, knocking him unconscious. Naruto then smashed his MP5K across the first enemy's temple, putting him to sleep as well.
Naruto looked over his back, towards the main warehouse building that they were meant to infiltrate and let out the same whistle D.J. had done earlier, having it reciprocated by the same man who began proceeding to the iron gate that Naruto was opening manually… Naruto then began making grandiose kung-fu movie gestures before D.J. rapped him on the back of his head, "You had a gun you know." He whispered as he once again took the lead.
"Bullets are cheap but my fists are free sergeant." Naruto replied just as silently as he followed along.
The two kept skulking along until they came across a group of seven soldiers decked out in dark ponchos similar to theirs. D.J. let out the familiar whistle to let them know they were there and as the others looked upon them they returned the corresponding whistle as Naruto fell in at the back of the line of the soldiers and D.J. took his place at the front, "Alright, we're almost done with this one. We just need to get the bastard we came for and we're out. Higgins and Carter, you're going to get the vehicles we're using to get us out of here like we planned. Jameson and Ross are going to cover you and clear the way to the front of the building."
All four men previously indicated by D.J. conveyed their understanding as they were sent off to accomplish their tasks, "What about us?" The other cloaked figure with Naruto and D.J. asked.
"Wes you and Uzumaki are with me." D.J. instructed, pointing at the door they were in sight of, "We're after Samir Bayani, you both know what he looks like. Anyone else, put them down." He pointed at Naruto, "Kid take the front, you're the best at taking people alive."
Naruto nodded and moved the closest towards the door in preparation for his role. From under his poncho, the man referred to as Wes pulled a grenade and held his finger inside of the pin and pulled it off. Naruto formed a blue orb of spinning energy in his right hand and placed it against the door, blowing it in off of its hinges and allowing Wes to throw the grenade inside as they all hid on the outside wall.
The grenade exploded immediately after passing through the open doorway, resulting in a series of yells from the dead and wounded caught in the explosion. The entranceway now cleared, Naruto rushed in and threw off his poncho to reach his combat gear quicker.
The young blonde man now had hair that reached somewhat down his neck and a black headband with a metal plate inscribed with a leaf on his forehead. He wore black boots, dark urban colored pants with a holster for a side-arm attached to his right thigh and on his left thigh a pouch that Naruto used to hold his more unconventional weapons, a black shirt that stopped at his biceps, a belt around his waist that kept all of his other normal equipment in place, a large pack on his back, and a ballistic vest over his shirt. Attached to his right arm going up to his elbow was a sleeve separate from his shirt that held slots on the top and bottom of his arm for throwing knives.
Stowing his MP5K for the moment, Naruto reached for his right thigh holster and drew his handgun, a gun he had been very familiar with, the SOCOM pistol, complete with all of its attachments.
"Why are you using your sidearm?" Wes asked Naruto as Naruto leaned against the wall by the corner leading down the hallway.
Naruto blinked and looked at Wes who had discarded his poncho as well as D.J. He smacked himself on the forehead, "Duh, you're right." Naruto then holstered his pistol and reached towards his left leg pouch, pulling out a strange black double-edged knife with the handle wrapped in white tape to help with grip. At the end of the handle was a ring for miscellaneous purposes that Naruto used to spin the weapon in a showy manner before holding it in a reverse grip in his right hand, "That's better." He said before grabbing his pistol with his left hand, holding it in proper aiming position while he had his kunai hand bracing the gun from the bottom.
Wes watched as Naruto began skulking down the hall before he spoke to D.J., "Sir I really don't get why he uses those knives of his and his other weapons."
D.J. just motioned for them to follow after Naruto per the plan as he traversed the back hallways of their target building, "Stop worrying about the kid and just watch out. He knows how to use his weapons. He wouldn't have brought them if he didn't, trust me."
With Naruto, he stopped at a corner as he heard footsteps coming from the turn he was about to take. Seeing that his shadow was in the direct way of the open hallway, Naruto switched walls to keep his back against and motioned for D.J. and Wes to hold up before they followed in his footsteps, getting near the corner he had just gotten away from.
A pair of enemy soldiers ran down the path that Naruto was waiting at the end of. Suddenly, Naruto appeared right in their path and took three shots at the man leading the way to drop him in mid-stride. The man that fell wound up obstructing his partner's view, giving Naruto to get a good start on closing the fifteen foot distance between him and the second man. Weaving aside from the man he had just shot, Naruto changed course and slammed his shoulder into the second man's body, drilling him into the wall. Naruto stabbed his kunai into one of the man's wrists, pinning it against the wall which allowed Naruto to freely knock him unconscious via pistol whip.
D.J. and Wes had seen him do this and continue on down the hall to get the target, a smirk on the sergeant's face as he followed, "What did I say? The little punk's a machine."
"I guess so." Wes said in response, seeing that Naruto didn't mind close quarters battle at all, a usually treacherous way to fight, "They would have heard the racket we've been making. Bayani's probably on his way out by now."
"He isn't getting away." D.J. replied, now that the enemy was aware of their presence it was time to move fast and get the job done while things were still probably disorganized. They soon caught up with Naruto who had managed to enter the main storage area of the warehouse where he was pinned down. The two other soldiers took cover behind a vending machine that Naruto had flipped over and lain on its side, "Are you real or a clone?"
"Clone." Naruto-clone said, "Real me is going around while I'm a diversion." It had the MP5K free from its back and began returning fire over the cover provided by the machine.
D.J. nodded, not expecting much more out of the clone than that information. Naruto always had his clones explain nothing more than what he figured they needed to know quick for his plans. Accepting that they were meant to draw fire while Naruto searched elsewhere for the target or whatever he was actually doing, D.J. and Wes began their firefight against the enemy force.
The real Naruto was sticking to the darkened ceiling of the roof, crawling on the ceiling while his clone diverted their fire. After seeing that D.J. and Wes had taken positioning to assist his clone, Naruto decided that he couldn't just leave them as they were. Naruto crawled directly over top of where the enemy had dug in, taking cover behind shelves filled with crates and whatnot, shooting through the openings, and pulled a grenade, dropping it on top of them before continuing to crawl. After the explosion silenced the gunfire he heard D.J. give the order to move up.
Naruto neared the windows near the top that allowed sunlight into the building and turned his head to look through them, growling quietly at what he saw; an armed escort getting a man in a track suit and a ballistic vest to a vehicle. He almost yelled out in joy when he saw gunfire from the other soldiers meant to go around before they entered the warehouse, "Outside! Bayani's almost to a car to get out of here!"
D.J. and Wes began running towards finding a way outside while Naruto himself dispelled his clone and kicked one of the higher windows out. Stabbing a kunai in the side of the wall outside, he tied a thin metal wire around the ring of the weapon and basically dropped to the ground, pulling it from the wall to keep for later use.
He could see two of the other members of his squad meant to cover those that were getting them wheels to leave in the middle of a shootout from their elevated position on a balcony with the enemy that was moving closer towards their own vehicle meant for escape and decided that this was as good an opportunity as any to wrap things up while their attention was away from him.
While in full run towards the vehicle that the target was trying to get to in order to escape, Naruto drew some throwing knives from the sleeve around his right arm, throwing them at the enemy and hitting two of the three men in the neck. He disposed of the last man with the kunai he had been holding onto as his presence had not been noticed until he was already upon them.
Naruto was then forced to duck behind a nearby forklift when automatic weapon fire was sent his way by their target who had by now gotten the door to his escape car open and was firing through the open window at the young blonde, "I fucking hate guns!" Naruto yelled over the sound of the bullets hitting his cover, "You've got to reload sometime asshole!" The sound of shooting at him stopped and Naruto sighed in relief until the sound of an engine started.
Hearing his commanding officer yell out a warning to him, Naruto dove out from behind the forklift just in time for the car Bayani had been trying to escape in to smash into it and knock it over. Naruto's eyes flickered red momentarily before returning to normal as he got back up and ran at the passenger's side of the vehicle, "You missed! Rasengan (Spiraling Sphere)!" Naruto formed his special attack in his left hand and slammed it into the side of the car, punching a massive spiral dent in the door that sent it flying ten feet away as if it had been hit by another oncoming vehicle, turning it over and flipping it three times before resting at a stop on its roof.
Naruto watched as the rest of his squad quickly made their way to the overturned car and proceeded to finish the capture of their target Bayani, "Target secured sir!" One of the other soldiers said towards D.J. as two other cars pulled up, commandeered by the two soldiers that had been slated to do so.
After being pulled from the wrecked car, looking something of a physical mess, Bayani was quickly bound by some of Naruto's metal wire and thrown into the backseat of one of the cars as the squad filled both cars front and back and peeled out as surviving enemies tried to give chase through the warehouse grounds on foot with their firearms.
The lead car had D.J. riding shotgun, Naruto in the back with Bayani tied up and drifting in and out of consciousness between the aforementioned blonde soldier and Wes. Letting out a sigh, Wes shot a look towards the bloody Bayani, "So we're done right?"
"For now." D.J. said with a satisfied grin as he kept looking back over his shoulder in case they were being pursued, and they were not, "I wonder if we'll get some time off after this one."
The driver let out a snort of amusement, "You know they're just going to have us back stomping through the remote parts of the jungle again until we find something else to fight. I think I'd rather be in Afghanistan right now."
"Not you too… The Phillippines aren't that bad." Naruto said in disbelief, "Am I the only one of us that actually likes nature?" He then heard Bayani let out a groan of pain, "See? He hates the desert so much it hurts him just thinking about it, just like me." Getting a chuckle or two from the others allowed Naruto to calm down and lean back in his seat.
He really did love his job.
Omake: Naruto's Favorite Food
(1999 – Two Months After Naruto's Arrival – Naruto: Age 13)
Naruto sat at the kitchen table with his head down, sore after another day of getting beaten up by Master Miller and his attempt to clean up Naruto's hand-to-hand style… what had been deemed the easiest thing to teach a kid like Naruto, "So hungry…" Naruto muttered in a tired manner. It took a lot to drain him like this, saying a lot about how hard he had worked that day.
"Sorry Naruto." Catherine said apologetically as she walked out of the pantry, shaking her head, "We don't go out for groceries until tomorrow and there isn't anything good in there that's easy for me to make you. You might as well wait for dad to come in from feeding the huskies to cook." Having Naruto there really increased the amount of things that were used and eaten. The kid would pretty much eat anything except vegetables until Miller forced him to, saying he wouldn't be fed if he didn't eat them.
"It's okay…" Naruto tried to assure her before his stomach made an inhuman noise, forcing him to groan, "I can go for another hour or two without eating anything, dattebayo."
Catherine frowned and walked back into the pantry to search for anything that would tide Naruto over for the time being, "You did it again." She said informatively, "You put that thing that you say sometimes on the end of your sentence. What does it mean anyway?"
Naruto raised his head off of the table slightly as he heard Catherine rummaging through the pantry, "It means-." His stomach then let out another angry grumble that took his energy out of him, "Nevermind… I can't even think about that right now."
"Well…" He heard Catherine say before she emerged from the pantry, carrying as many little boxes as she could in her little arms, "I found these crackers." She dropped a box of saltines on the table that Naruto immediately ripped into like a jackal, "…But they're old and probably really stale." She then let out a giggle when she saw Naruto's face twist in disgust as he chewed some of them.
Naruto smacked his lips trying to get rid of the stale taste, "What else do you have?" He asked.
Catherine started dropping boxes on the table, showing him what she had picked up, "Dried tomato chips?"
Naruto stuck his tongue out and put his hand up in a thumbs down motion, "Blech, gross."
"Easter chocolates..." Naruto perked up at hearing her say chocolate, "From two years ago I think."
"We've got these cornflakes here."
"There's no milk though, that's gross."
Catherine nodded in agreement before discarding the cornflakes and dropping her last box on the table. She noticed Naruto's eyes cut towards the box as if she had just thrown a roll of 20 dollar bills on the table before turning up to glare at her, "What?"
"Why didn't you show me this first?" He ordered her to tell him as he pointed towards a box of chicken-flavored instant ramen noodles in packaging, "I didn't even know they had this." He hadn't been to any towns, let alone any supermarkets to see ramen. He had just figured he would have to chalk that little addiction up as a loss.
Catherine pouted at how Naruto was talking to her, "Those have been in the back of the pantry for like a year. You're not really going to eat that are you?" Her answer came when Naruto got up and started looking for a bowl to use, "Really? Aren't you supposed to have some common sense? You're older than me." Instant ramen wasn't Catherine's thing. She didn't like it when it had been bought hence why it sat in the back of the pantry. Now Naruto was about to eat old instant ramen. The boy was seriously weird.
That information might have stopped Naruto if he hadn't been ravenously hungry due to not eating since waking up at the crack of dawn that morning. Since he was that hungry, since he had worked his ass off all day long, and since the food that had been dropped in front of his face he hadn't had in quite some time in addition to being a favorite of his, he couldn't have cared any less if he tried. As he picked up a package and prepared to make it he let out a sigh after reading the quick directions on the box… because even in another world ramen still took at least three minutes to prepare.
Next chapter will be a timeskip of sorts and then we'll be getting into the actual interesting story portions of what this is going to be all about. I hope what I've got set leading up to Shadow Moses (For those of you who know what that is) works for you, because it does for me. It will answer one question at least that some people have asked about already after just one chapter; what about the Kyuubi? And it will make sense, because please believe I makes plots work people.
Another thing, I knew that the whole speaking in Japanese thing would be a nightmare due to it being an INTENSE work in progress as I attempt to learn a third language well enough to actually use it out loud or in public (It's very slow going by the way if anyone cares). It was never going to be happening again. That was just to convey that Naruto couldn't speak English or anything else. Ain't going to ever happen like that again yeah?
Upcoming, one more short incident that will actually lead to main storyline instead of just building upon Naruto actually getting real experience in this world, next chapter. Be there… or not. It's really up to you. You all have free will.
Later, Kenchi out. Got to work on something else at the moment.