Chapter two: Asuma's test.

"This is it." Hinata said softly as she came to a stop at the entrance to a training field.

Naruto looked around and grinned, "Cool, nice and close to home AND Ichiraku's!" Naruto exclaimed as he began to walk through the training grounds.

Shikamaru yawned as he walked up towards the standard training posts, "So, if we're a team we have to know everything about each other right? That's the best way to learn to trust one another." Shikamaru said as he leant back against the post.

Naruto and Hinata nodded, "Let's start with our ninja skills?" Hinata suggested questioningly.

Shikamaru nodded, "Sounds good to me. I don't know about you guys but I always held back in the academy. Way too troublesome to actually put in the effort," he mumbled to himself before looking at Hinata, "I assume your father told you to hold back like mine did?" Shikamaru asked.

Naruto blinked with wide eyes as he looked at Hinata, "Yes, he did tell me to do that but there wasn't much I could hold back…" she said, her soft voice trailing off as she looked down.

After a few moments of silence, Shikamaru and Hinata both glanced at Naruto, "So? What about you Naruto? Anything we haven't seen yet?" Shikamaru asked.

Naruto rubbed the back of his head, "Hehe, ugh, maybe you guys should show what techniques you held back first?" he suggested.

Shikamaru could easily tell that Naruto was nervous about something, but he just couldn't bring himself to care about forcing it out of him, "Alright," Shikamaru muttered as he stood tall, "As you know I can do the academy Ninjutsu as well as my clan's basic technique," he said as he formed a single hand seal, "SHADOW POSSESSION JUTSU!"

Shikamaru's shadow stretched over to Naruto and connected the two of them, forcing Naruto to move the same ways Shikamaru moved, causing the blonde to frown while Shikamaru continued talking, "But there is another jutsu that's sort of a combination of this technique and the substitution, it's called," Shikamaru began again as he formed three hand seals, "SHADOW PORTAL JUTSU!" he shouted, causing his shadow to detach from Naruto and change to a darker shade of black.

Hinata and Naruto watched as the shadow moved over to a stick on the ground, the moment it touched the shadow of the stick, the stick seemed to fall into the shadow only to pop up out of Shikamaru's shadow at a speed which allowed him to easily catch it.

Naruto picked his jaw up off the floor, "Woah! You can teleport stuff?!" Naruto asked.

Shikamaru shook his head, "Not exactly, but kind of. You see at the moment I can't do anything too big, like a dog or one of these training posts. The biggest I can go is my school backpack." Shikamaru explained before going back to his lazy position leaning against the post.

Since Naruto and Shikamaru looked at her expectantly, Hinata nodded before she began speaking, "Well, you both know about the academy jutsu, so umm, I'll show you my bloodline!" she said as she held a one handed Ram seal, "BYAKUGAN!"

The veins around her eyes bulged and she could see everything in a three hundred and fifty nine degree radius and even through the objects as well. And after explaining that to her team mates, she deactivated her technique as she performed hand seals, "Other than that, the only jutsu I know is a pretty basic earth jutsu that my father taught me, EARTH STYLE: HARDEN!" Hinata proclaimed as her skin began to take on a much darker tone, the brown-grey colour crawling up from her feet until her whole body was the same shade while her eyes became a glazed grey instead of their violet-white appearance.

Shikamaru nodded, "I've heard of that technique, it makes the body's skin take on the same attributes as a stone, though it takes a lot of chakra to start but nearly none to maintain. That's why it's great with a Hyuuga clan member." Shikamaru said with mild interest.

Naruto raised a brow, "Sorry, but what makes it so great with Hinata in comparison to other people?" he asked.

Hinata smiled patiently at Naruto as her jutsu faded while Shikamaru sighed, "Ugh, explaining this is such a drag. Look, the Hyuuga are primarily Taijutsu fighters and with a technique like that it covers their main weakness: long distance weapon attacks. Got it?" Shika asked.

Naruto nodded with a grin, "Yeah! That's awesome Hinata!" Naruto exclaimed cheerily.

Hinata blushed at the praise as her jutsu completely faded through her feet back onto the ground, "Thanks Naruto, so umm, what about you?" she asked.

Naruto grinned, feeling much more comfortable about his news after finding out that Hinata's moves change her appearance even more than his own does, "Alright! Well there was a little mix up when it came to me becoming gennin, but even though I still can't do the clone jutsu, but now do not only do I heal from any wound near instantly, but I gained something else instead!" Naruto exclaimed before pulling his jacket up and over his head and lifting up his shirt, "Look!" he said, gesturing to his abs.

Shikamaru raised a brow, curious as to how Naruto went from an average build to being more built than his own father – an Elite Jonin – in only a single night, 'Not to mention his apparent new healing factor or that his facial structure seems slightly slimmer as well…troublesome blonde, what have you done now?' Shika thought with a sigh.

Hinata on the other hand, blushed redder than an apple and was focussing all of her energy on not getting dizzy.

Naruto then dropped his shirt and held up his fists, "And last but not least…" Naruto started before sending the chakra through his hands, his claws extending out instantly as the metal shined in the light, "My claws!" Naruto proclaimed with a swing of his arms, accidentally cutting the training post near him into pieces with no resistance.

Naruto and the others stared at the post with wide eyes as it fell into pieces, causing Naruto to scratch his head sheepishly, "Hehehe, woops!" he chuckled.

Shikamaru's eyes focussed on the claws intently, seeing very clearly that they were of a different kind of metal then what their kunai were made from. He was quiet for a moment of thought as Naruto retracted the claws, letting Shikamaru see as they moved back into his wrist, that they had aligned between his bones and muscles perfectly.

Naruto knelt down to try and fix the post – though he had no idea how – when Shikamaru began talking, "Those came from inside you Naruto, I'm guessing the reason you're so muscular now is thanks to metal like that spread throughout your entire skeletal structure, right?" Shikamaru asked.

Naruto just blinked in confusion, "Skeletal structure?" he asked.

Shikamaru sighed as Hinata smiled lightly at Naruto's 'cute' expression, "Your bones idiot," he thought with a sigh before realising he would have to put up with this for the entirety of their team placements, "This is such a drag." He sighed as he looked up to the sky pleadingly.

"Oooh," Naruto said in realisation before smiling at his team mates, "So, what do we do now?" Naruto asked.

Hinata smiled gently as she stood, stretching her arms above her head, "Why don't we all warm up some?" she asked as she hopped backwards, getting into her clan's stance of the gentle fist.

Naruto jumped to his feet excitedly as he took a slightly off version of the academy Taijutsu style.

Shikamaru stood up and sighed, taking less than a second to analyse both of his opponent's styles in a little less than a glance, "Naruto, you need to practice your Taijutsu a lot. Hinata, you're style focuses purely on defensive or counter manoeuvres." Shikamaru said bored as all he did to take a 'stance' was to shift his legs slightly wider apart.

Naruto frowned, "Oh yeah?!" he shouted before running at Shikamaru and throwing a haymaker.

Shikamaru squatted before spinning on his front foot, tripping Naruto with a sweep kick as he stood calmly, hands in his pockets throughout the whole manoeuvre, "You're too heavy to use that style anymore Naruto. Your forward momentum makes it way too hard for you to change course in your attacks." Shikamaru deduced before turning to Hinata, "Attack me." Shikamaru said, this time taking one hand out of his pocket.

Hinata frowned as she glanced between Naruto and Shikamaru, 'Poor Naruto-kun…' she thought as she moved towards Shikamaru.

She started with a basic palm strike.

*BAM*

Hinata gasped as she brought her hands to her chest in pain, nearly falling to her knees as she was winded.

Shikamaru sighed, "See? If anyone is slightly faster than you they will land a hit easily. You guys need to improve a lot." Shikamaru said as he shook his hand and flexed his fingers.

Feeling a grip on her hand, she looked up and blushed lightly at Naruto holding her, "Hey Shika! What the hell did you hit Hinata so hard for?!" Naruto shouted.

Shikamaru sighed before holding his hands up in a surrendering pose, "You're right, sorry Hinata. But please tell me you two understand why I did that and what I've shown you?" he asked with a raised brow.

Naruto frowned while Hinata nodded, standing up with the assistance of Naruto, "Y-You're right Shikamaru-san, I get it." she said with a slight pout.

Naruto's frown stayed in place as he glared at Shikamaru, not really understanding what had just happened. Shikamaru smiled softly at Hinata, "Cool, is there anything I can do to help? After all, we are a team." Shikamaru said.

Hinata shook her head, "No that's okay, I think I have an idea…" she said as her gaze travelled to Naruto's face. Seeing him still stuck in a frown, she tilted her head in thought before realising the problem, 'Oh, he didn't understand what Shikamaru was pointing out to him.' She thought before clearing her throat, making Naruto look at her.

Seeing that she was in fact all right, Naruto stepped away slightly while frowning still, "So… why did you throw us around Shika?" Naruto asked.

Shikamaru sighed, "Troublesome blonde." He mumbled under his breath.

Hinata quickly interjected, "Shikamaru-san just means that I need to be a lot faster for my style and that your fighting style is not really compatible with your body now. He's trying to help us improve." She explained with a soft smile, her blush finally fading.

Naruto seemed to drop his negative expression as he blinked widely, "Yeah, well… your style isn't perfect either Shika." Naruto said with a pout.

Shikamaru shrugged, "Yeah I know, but mom has been drilling me with this style for as long as I can remember, so I hope I'm getting close." He said as he rubbed the back of his neck.

Hinata nodded, "As has my father. Those of us from the clans have a very different way of doing things." Hinata said with a slight pout.

Naruto looked off to the side, slightly saddened, 'At least they had a family to teach them…' he thought before his mind suddenly flashed to his 'sister', 'Maybe Anko-Nee can help me somehow?' he thought, suddenly emboldened to learn more as he thought of what he could learn from an ANBU member.

Shikamaru smirked, thinking the look on Naruto's face was inspired because of him, "So, do you two want to spar a little so I can analyse your styles completely? That way I know how we'll fight best together." Shikamaru explained.

Hinata blushed, thinking about how much her and Naruto will be touching each other throughout the fight, "O-ok." she said slightly hesitantly before sliding into her stance.

Naruto grinned as he got into his stance again.

Follow your instincts…

Naruto blinked at the phrase that entered his mind, 'Just follow my instincts…' Naruto thought as his breath slowed and his stance slid a little lower.

Shikamaru's eyes narrowed at Naruto's movement, 'Hmm, something changed.' He thought before Naruto charged forward to hit Hinata, doing a wide sweep with his fists.

Hinata used her style to dodge his moves easily while stepping into Naruto's guard, moving to hit Naruto's chest.

"Stop, it's over." Shikamaru said.

Hinata and Naruto both paused in confusion as they looked to their third teammate, ""Eh?"" they both said in confusion.

Shikamaru sighed, "If Naruto's claws were out he'd have slashed your face right off Hinata. And if Hinata was using her chakra then your heart would have stopped Naruto." Shikamaru explained.

The other two looked at each other and blinked as they realised both their styles were extremely deadly.

Shikamaru clapped, "Alright, maybe this wasn't the best way to start." He said while scratching the back of his head before clicking his fingers as he came up with an idea, "Why don't we just start on what our techniques can do when combined?" he suggested.

Hinata nodded as she stepped out of her stance, "Okay!" she said excitedly, liking the idea of working with someone rather than against someone.

Naruto nodded with a grin, "Sounds good Shika." He agreed as he let his claws slip free.

##########

Stepping into his front door, Naruto placed a plastic bag on the table full of food, 'Not my favourite, but it was the only place that would serve me those dango things.' Naruto thought to himself before going to take a shower, dropping his jacket on the stairwell railing as he walked past it towards his old bathroom…

…Only to once more enter a short stare off with a tank of pythons.

Naruto blinked, "Oh yeah, sorry guys." Naruto said to the large tank as he closed the door once more and headed downstairs to the other one.

Walking through the two story apartment, Naruto accidentally took a glance in Anko's room on his way past it. He paused as he saw her cloak thrown on the floor, 'Must've just left it there.' Naruto thought as he was about to leave it.

He paused in his step before pivoting back to face her room, "Maybe I can try it?" he muttered to himself before chucking his towel on the floor of the hallway, and chuckling as he entered her room, picking up her coat and throwing it over his shoulders.

Even though it was too big for him, making it slide along the ground and the sleeves dangle further then his arms, that didn't stop him from posing in 'strength' positions in front of her full size mirror, "The great Naruto! Ninja of steel!" Naruto announced before making the sound of hushed applause as he pretended to receive the cheers.

"Ninja of steel? That sounds like a weird Superman rip off."

Naruto turned with wide eyes to see Anko casually sitting on her bed in her ANBU attire, her mask sitting on her lap as she used a wet cloth to wipe dried blood off of her arm and neck.

Naruto blinked twice before throwing off the coat, "Anko-nee! When did you get here?! I wasn't touching your stuff I swear!" Naruto shouted in shock.

Anko chuckled as she stood using her non-bloody hand to ruffle his hair, "Really? Cause I got a few of my older ones from back when I was a Chunnin, they'd probably fit you y'know." She said with a smirk as she picked up her coat from the ground, tossing it over the back of her chair that sat in front of a small study desk.

Naruto blinked widely before grinning, "Can I try them on? I want one too!" Naruto exclaimed excitedly.

Anko chuckled to herself as she kicked off her ninja sandals, "Go have a shower Naruto, you reek of sweat. I'll have an outfit ready for ya." She said with a grin as she went over to her cupboard, beginning to pull out an old trunk.

Naruto nodded before hugging Anko from behind, knocking her onto all fours as he landed on her back, "THANKS NEE-CHAN!" he shouted happily before running off towards the bathroom, grabbing his towel along the way.

Anko shook her head at Naruto's antics as he left, though the moment she heard the bathroom door close, she sighed, "This is gonna take some getting used to." She mumbled as she stood once more.

Anko opened the old trunk, smiling lightly at all her old Chunnin and gennin stuff she kept there, including her first trench coat, 'It ain't snakeskin like all my good ones, but it does have the extra storage space.' She thought as she shook it out, holding it up to her torso as she did so.

She glanced at the mirror before smirking, "Heh, probably should start saving for one of these again." she muttered to herself as she realised just how small the coat would be on her now.

She tossed it over the back of her chair with her newest cloak before looking back in the trunk, frowning as she caught sight of a picture of her gennin team, all of whom were no longer a part of her life, 'The asshole that cursed me, the asshole that left me and the asshole who died for me.' She thought with a saddened expression as her hand ran along the Sharingan eyes of the only person she considered a friend from her old team, 'Why'd ya do it ya moron.' She thought to herself before turning her head away from the picture, a single tear building its way over her eyelids.

She dropped the picture back into the trunk as she reached inside it again, grabbing an old bag that she pulled free.

Distracting herself from the picture, Anko emptied the bag onto her bed, seeing her old assortment of mesh shirts, 'Guess it was a good thing I wasn't so bright back in the day.' she thought as she looked from the unisex stretcher shirts through to the stuffy weighted shirts, 'Okay, now I'm starting to realise why the academy teachers thought I was so thick-headed.' She thought with a little chuckle before picking up one of the more elastic unisex mesh shirts.

She stretched it a little, seeing that it popped back into position easily enough, "This should fit him well considering I got it before my girls developed." She muttered as she remembered her annoyance at suddenly developing breasts at a younger age than most would consider normal.

Chucking the shirt over with the jacket, she frowned as she looked at the only two pairs of pants she'd have worn at the time, "Well, those aren't gonna come close to fitting him properly." She said as she looked over what was obviously women's ANBU tights.

She shrugged, not really dwelling too much on the no pants thing. She suddenly paused as she smelt food, "Dango?" she exclaimed before grabbing Naruto's stuff and heading after the smell.

Getting to the bottom of the stairs, Anko grinned as she smelt the food from up in the kitchen, "Oh yeah!" she exclaimed before chucking Naruto's clothes on the hand rail and running upstairs for food.

##########

"Whaddaya think?"

Anko looked over the back of the couch she was lying on and grinned, "You look ready for a mission, that's for sure." She said before seeing his pants and frowning, "Don't ya have pants that are a little less… target-y?" she asked.

Naruto pouted as he looked down at himself. The mesh armour shirt fit snugly, showing off his muscles underneath the shirt easily while giving extra protection from the standard shuriken and kunai. The leather cloak was a dark black unlike Anko's and it seemed to fit him almost perfectly as he had flicked the collar up, buttoning it together with only the top button so that it flared out from his mid-chest downwards. His pants were the same bright orange as before, though at least three quarters of the bright colour was blocked from view thanks to the new leather coat.

Naruto looked up at Anko, pout still in place on his face, "But my favourite colour is orange." Naruto said.

Anko raised a brow before sighing, "Come here Naruto-chan." She said as she sat up properly giving him room to sit on the couch as she shimmied over.

Naruto took a seat next to her as she began talking, "Do you knew what colour is my favourite?" she asked.

Naruto shrugged, "Umm, purple?" he asked, wondering about her hair.

Anko shook her head, "Nope, gold." She said with a smile.

Naruto frowned further, "How was I supposed to know that? You're not wearing any gold stuff." Naruto said.

Anko nodded, "That's because gold shines brightly, and as a ninja, I don't want to be noticed. Get it?" she lectured.

Naruto tilted his head in thought as he nodded, "Yeah I get it, so I gotta get stuff that'll help me with my ninja life first yeah?" he guessed.

Anko nodded again with a grin, "Exactly! Do all your favourite stuff and eat your favourite things and wear your favourite clothes around the village all you want. But when you're on a mission, I want you in combat attire, got it?" she asked/ordered.

Naruto nodded before reaching over to the small coffee table and grabbing a skewer of beef and vegies, "But these are the only clothes I'm allowed to buy." Naruto said with a fake smile.

Anko scoffed, "Who told ya that? Anyone can buy whatever they want, just gotta find the right store." She said, knowing for a fact that while many civilian stores turn away those with connections to a dark past or limit their range, ninja stores will sell to anyone with a Konoha headband.

Naruto looked up at Anko, his fake smile dropping, "Huh? But all the stores I've been to have said that I can only get stuff like this." Naruto said in confusion.

Anko shrugged as she glanced out the window, seeing that there was still some light peaking the horizon, she grinned as she hopped to her feet, "Keep them clothes on and grab your wallet, I'll be back in a sec." she said as she leapt over the couch and blurred downstairs at Jonin speed.

Naruto watched her disappear with wide eyes before he hopped to his feet as well, moving over to his orange jacket that was still hanging on the stair rail. After a minute of fumbling with it, Naruto pulled out his froggy wallet and his hidden kunai, 'Almost forgot about them.' Naruto thought as he took them out of the secret loops, trying to find a place on his cloak to hide them.

"Hey, what time is your test starting?" Anko asked as she reached the top of the stairs, pulling her cloak on over her mesh shirt, though she still wore her ANBU pants and shin guards.

Naruto smiled up at her, "Umm, eight am I think." Naruto said.

Anko nodded, "Awesome, leave those knives here and I'll show you where they can go tomorrow morning," Anko said as she walked to the door, opening it and looking back at Naruto expectantly, "C'mon, let's get going."

Naruto nodded as he followed her out the door, "So, where exactly are we going?" he asked as the door closed behind them.

##########

"Good Evening, welcome to Shinobi Tools. We have everything we've imagined in stock and will gladly custom make anything you imagine." A twenty something year old man said in a bored drone from his place behind the counter.

Anko frowned, "Hey ya dumbass where's the old hag?" Anko asked.

The guy behind the counter looked up from his magazine with a bored look on his face at Anko before sighing, "What do you want Anko?" he asked.

Anko chuckled as she put her hand on Naruto's shoulder, pushing him ahead of her so that the guy could see him, "Naruto-chan here needs a ninja makeover. No price limit, just make it happen." She said with a grin.

Naruto looked up at Anko with wide eyes, "Eh? I do so have a price limit!" Naruto exclaimed.

*ZOOM*

But it was too late.

"WOW! No restrictions?! I'm gonna have fuuuuuuuuuuun!" an older lady shouted happily as she blurred around Naruto.

The gennin was stunned silent by the old lady that had swiftly appeared from the back room, with the quick glances he managed to get of her as she blurred around him he was pretty sure that she was taking his measurements before she blurred back behind the counter and into the back room.

Naruto stood on an odd angle as he blinked in confusion, "Umm, what's going on?" Naruto asked.

"FIGHTING STYLE?!"

Naruto jolted as he turned away from a smirking Anko to see the old lady sticking her head out from around the corner, "Hey Lady I-"

"Up close Taijutsu, he uses claws kinda like the Inuzuka." Anko said calmly, cutting off Naruto's words.

Naruto looked up at Anko, "But Nee-chan, I don't really have a-"

"CHAKRA ELEMENT?!"

Naruto looked back and forth between Anko and the reappearing head in major confusion as Anko shrugged, "Dunno, leave it as a blank." Anko replied.

"FOCUS?!"

Anko shrugged, her smirk still in place at Naruto's bewilderment, "Umm, Close combat, tracking and assassination type."

Naruto looked up at Anko again, "I'm not that good at trac-"

"DONE!"

Naruto finally got to see the woman standing still as she came to a stop in front of Naruto, holding out a bunch of what appeared to be clothes before she dropped them on the ground in front of Naruto.

Naruto blinked with wide eyes at the old lady who stood in front of him, she barely seemed able to stand let alone sprint around in a blur like that, "Ugh…." Naruto said, staring in major confusion between her and the clothes.

Anko nodded, "Grab your stuff Naruto, how much is it?" Anko asked.

The lady merely stood with a weird smile on her face as the guy behind the counter sighed, "Bring it over here I'll rack it up for ya." He said as he slid his magazine to the side.

Naruto began picking up as much of the clothing as he could hold, placing it on the counter piece by piece while the lady watched him. Naruto began to get nervous and leaned over the counter to talk to the guy quietly, "Hey, why is she looking at me like that?" Naruto asked.

The guy merely sighed, "She's waiting for you to discover your chakra element so that she can modify your clothes some more to make them suit you." he droned on as he continued scanning.

Naruto nodded slowly for a moment before looking at the guy again, "What's a chakra element?" Naruto asked.

The guy paused as he scanned one of the last items, looking at Naruto with an annoyed expression, "What do I look like, your teacher?" he said in return before continuing with his work.

Naruto pouted and seemed to give up, not quite understanding what was going on until Anko leaned against the counter next to him, causing the blonde to look up at her, "Nee-chan how much will this cost?" he asked, knowing for certain that he wouldn't have enough.

Anko shrugged but smiled, "Don't worry, this stuff will be perfect for you at this point and you'll be able to afford it," she said to Naruto before looking at the guy behind the counter, "Right Aeri?" she asked.

Aeri looked up and nodded as he scanned the last item, "We'll do what we do for most people; as long as you pay ten percent of the price now we'll just take a fraction of your mission wages until it's paid off. With a week full of D-ranks you should be just over halfway when it comes to paying." He explained before grabbing one of the coats.

Naruto smiled and took the offered coat, seeing that it looked almost exactly like the one he was currently wearing, though now it had a large dark orange tinged X across the back, "That's awesome! I'll take it then!" Naruto exclaimed happily.

Anko chuckled at Naruto's exuberance while pulling her cloak open slightly.

*POOF*

Naruto watched as Anko swung the longest part of her cloak over the five plastic bags filled with clothes, he stood amazed as the bags disappeared in a small burst of smoke, "Woah Nee-chan how'd you do that?!" Naruto asked.

Aeri sighed, "Find out later kid, the same seals are in your coat so she would've copied those same seals into the new clothes, ya just have to learn to activate them at the right time and in the correct way." He explained in the same drone as he went back to his magazine.

Naruto grinned, pulling out his frog wallet happily, "So how much do I owe ya Aeri-san?" he asked excitedly.

##########

"What do ya think?" Naruto asked with a twirl as he reappeared from the staircase.

Anko looked over her shoulder from her breakfast of eggs on toast, smirking at Naruto as he posed in a combat stance. He stood in his new near black cloak, the dark orange X on his back being the only real colour on it, it stayed closed by a few small pieces of string that stretched around the collar of the cloak, ensuring that the top half of his torso was covered while the rest of the cloak flowed outwards. Underneath the cloak, Anko could see a darkened mesh shirt that was basically a better fitting version of the one she gave him, though this new shirt had elastic on the lower hem, causing it to be tighter on his stomach. Naruto's pants were the same near-black as his cloak, tight like ANBU pants except for the very bottom which flared outwards as if it had been ripped to be shorter. His shoes were making him somewhat uncomfortable since he had never worn shoes with their design before. His toes wiggled in the 'barefoot' shoes, showing their dexterity and flexibility to be top notch while they still protected his feet.

Anko grinned, "Now ya look like a ninja kid. Did you practise that trick with the seal?" Anko asked.

Naruto nodded and grinned as he lifted his arm with a flowing movement, causing a kunai to slip from his sleeve into his hand unnoticeably before he showed it to Anko, "Got it Nee-chan!" Naruto exclaimed as he pulled his wrist back, bringing the kunai back to be pressing against the storage seal inside his sleeve.

Anko stood up with a smile, "Looks good to me Naruto, and the emergency seal?" she asked.

Naruto grinned and gave her a thumbs up, "All ready Nee-chan!" Naruto exclaimed.

Anko smiled again as she picked up the last bit of toast, "Awesome, you're gonna do well Naruto-chan, I can tell." She promised before taking the last bite. She used one hand to grab her own cloak from the back of her chair while the other was ruffling Naruto's hair, "Eat up good and I'll see ya this afternoon yeah? I should be home first so I'll do us some dinner." she said.

Naruto nodded as he grabbed his two pieces of toast and began to make a sandwich out of his meal, "Got it Nee-chan!" Naruto said as he placed the two halves of his sandwich together.

Anko chuckled at Naruto's exuberance as she moved over and opened the upstairs door, "Now come on we both have things to do." She said, the morning sun streaming in through the open doorway.

Naruto nodded as he took his first bite of the egg and bacon sandwich, walking out the door quickly and waiting for Anko to lock up.

Naruto caught Anko off-guard with a hug as she turned from locking the door, finding herself being thrown to the ground due to Naruto's weight.

Naruto finished his hug and jumped to his feet, "Catch ya later Nee-chan!" Naruto said before turning and running off.

Anko sighed as she heard the floorboards creak under Naruto's weight, "Later Naruto!" she shouted to him as she shook her head, 'He's such a heavy kid now, there's gotta be a way to use it or else it could be used to his disadvantage.' She thought as she stood and dusted off her clothes.

A few seconds later, Anko was roof hopping in one direction as Naruto sprinted down the road in the opposite, ready to start a new day.

##########

"Morning Guys." Shikamaru mumbled with a yawn as he strolled onto the training grounds.

Naruto looked over and waved as he entered from the other side of the training field while Hinata shared a polite smile from her place sitting atop the center training post.

Unseen by the three of them, Asuma stood hidden in one of the high up branches as he formed a few hand seals, 'This is my test, no where near as hard as Kakashi's but it will push them far I think.' he thought as his Genjutsu took effect.

Naruto laughed at something Hinata said before he caught the scent of someone he was somewhat familiar with, 'I know that scent... come on think...' Naruto thought as he looked around, trying to see who it was so that he could try to memorise the smell so that he could put a face to it at any time.

Naruto turned again as Shikamaru suddenly noticed his silence, "What is it Naruto?" Shikamaru asked as he followed Naruto's gaze.

Stepping out of the tree line from just upwind, was a Cloud Village ANBU.

Hearing a worried gasp, Naruto and Shikamaru turned to Hinata to see another ANBU holding her up in the air, a hand around her throat, "Finally, an unsealed Byakugan user." the ANBU said in a deep voice.

Naruto bared his teeth in anger, "Hey! Put her down asshole!" Naruto shouted as he leapt forward towards the ANBU and Hinata.

Shikamaru span back towards the first ninja as he formed a hand seal, 'Either the first was a distraction, meaning this will disable it, or we have to be against two ANBU. Two ANBU would be impossible, but if I catch this guy then maybe two-on-one would be able to catch this other guy off guard.' he reasoned in the few seconds it took for his chakra to form.

"SHADOW POSSESSION JUTSU!"

The first ANBU paused as Shikamaru's shadow latched onto him, only for Shikamaru to smirk, 'Heh, so it was a fake.' he thought as his shadow retracted, the clone dissipating as his chakra pierced it.

Shikamaru shouted in pain as Naruto slammed into him from behind, the two of them sprawling before Naruto rolled onto his hands and knees, "DROP HER NOW!" Naruto nearly growled.

Shikamaru got into the attacking stance of the Naara clan, 'Cloud ninja... maybe...' Shikamaru thought before he stood tall, "Naruto stop."

Naruto paused as he glared at the ANBU, who was now holding Hinata still against his chest, "Smart kid, you should listen to your friend blondie, I need this Hyuuga for the cloud village." The ANBU said as he moved to run away.

"Hold on a sec," Shikamaru said, "She's not a Hyuuga." Shikamaru said calmly with a shrug.

The ANBU paused for a moment, glancing down at the top of Hinata's head, not being able to see her eyes from the angle, "Huh? Yes she is, she has the Byakugan." The ANBU said surely.

Naruto's stance lowered as the muscles in his legs coiled, he had no thoughts other then to save his friend, but whatever Shikamaru was doing was making the guy stop hurting Hinata, so he stayed still as he prepared to attack.

Shikamaru sighed, "I'm sorry Mist ninja, but you're mistaken, look at her eyes." Shikamaru as he took a step forward so that he was facing the man side on, pointing at Hinata with his front facing hand.

Naruto glanced at Shikamaru in confusion about his lies, but his eyes widened as Shikamaru's free hand had stealth fully pulled out a few shuriken, causing Naruto to look at their opponent again as cognitive thought came back to him, 'The moment this guy lowers his guard, that's when we'll strike.' Naruto thought as he felt his heartbeat in his ears.

Hinata gasped for air as she looked ahead at her new teammates, tears in her eyes as she was reliving the trauma of her kidnapping a few years prior.

The ANBU sighed as he brought his attention to Hinata, but she closed her eyes as she began thrashing in his grip, "Hold still will ya?" The ANBU said as he tried to grab Hinata's chin so that he could see her pupils.

Shikamaru shifted his weight, "Now Naruto!" Shikamaru shouted as he threw the shuriken.

The ANBU looked up at Shikamaru, realising the shuriken were heading on a path for his face, causing him to duck low behind Hinata in a dodge as Hinata closed her eyes again.

"HINATA!"

Hinata opened her eyes and dropped to her knees, revealing Naruto to the ANBU as the gennin was mid-lunge with his claws out. But the ANBU was atleast Jonin level, and rolled backwards to give himself a second of time before leaping forward, landing a fist to Naruto's head.

CRUNCH!

"OW Fuck!" the Anbu shouted in pain, having hurt his fist against Naruto's metal skull.

Naruto held his head in slight pain as he dropped into a wider stance, his claws shining brightly as he stood protectively in front of Hinata, "You'll never touch my teammates! I'd sooner die then let Hinata be harmed!" Naruto roared.

Shikamaru smirked at Naruto's words while the same words seemed to make Hinata snap out of her fear-induced shock, 'He's right, I can't let one of my teammates fight alone!' Hinata thought as she quickly formed a hand seal, "BYAKUGAN!"

That got the Anbu's attention, causing him to smirk as he brought out a kunai, "Now there's my proof." the Anbu said with a laugh as he sprinted forward.

At the speed he was going, he was barely a blur to Naruto and Hinata as he appeared between them, kicking Naruto back a meter before he turned, thrusting the kunai forward before he suddenly froze a few centimeters from Hinata's face.

"Shadow Possession success." Shikamaru said calmly, his shadow having connected to Hinata's so that the moment the Anbu came near again, he'd be captured, "Now you two!" Shikamaru proclaimed.

Hinata and Naruto nodded as they lined up to attack, Hinata from the front and Naruto from behind.

"GENTLE STEP: PALM HEEL STRIKE!" Hinata shouted as she leapt forward, her hand gently tapping the Anbu's chest.

"CLAW LUNGE!" Naruto shouted as he leapt forward with a front-flip, cutting off the Anbu's arms at the shoulder in a simple move as he soared over his head, landing behind Hinata with a smirk.

**POOF**

The smirk fell as Hinata, Shikamaru and Naruto stared on confusion as their enemy disappeared in a cloud of smoke, causing the three of them to turn and come to a stop back-to-back as three more ANBU appeared, "Eh? He had to use the escape seal against these kids?" one of the Anbu said casually.

The tallest of the group stepped out, shouldering a massive blade as he pointed at Hinata, "You three, give us the girl or we'll kill you all." He said menacingly.

Naruto bared his teeth, "Touch her and you die!" Naruto growled.

Shikamaru smirked, dropping his battle stance with a sigh, "This is too troublesome, they know out move sets now and we've proven that we'll protect one another. Can you stop the test now Asuma-sensei?" Shikamaru asked.

Naruto and Hinata turned to Shikamaru with wide eyes as hidden behind his high level Genjutsu, Asuma smirked, 'So he figured it out, but let's see how far his conviction goes.' Asuma thought.

The leader of the Anbu glanced around defensively as if looking for this supposed 'Asuma-sensei', "Ugh...right kid," the Anbu said with a shrug, causing the other Anbu to laugh and for Shikamaru's eyes to narrow as he began to doubt his own analytical deduction, "Now step aside!" he said as he threw a handful of kunai in a blur.

Shikamaru and Hinata went to dodge, while Naruto leapt forward.

**SCHLINK**

Everyone paused as Naruto coughed up a mouthful of blood, the multiple kunai sticking from his torso making everyone stare at him in shock, "Damn." Naruto said before falling to his side.

Hinata's Byakugan eyes widened as she was about to scream, but before her very eyes the wounds healed as Naruto got back up to his feet, "You won't," he began as he ripped the last one from his chest, the others falling to the ground as his wounds healed, "Touch my friends!" Naruto shouted as he ran forward.

"KAI!"

the whole world shimmered around them, showing Asuma to be standing in the place of one of the other Anbu as they all faded from existence, "Okay, let's call it a day." Asuma said with an eye smile.

Shikamaru sighed in relief as Naruto and Hinata paused in shock, "A-Asuma-sensei?" Hinata asked, suddenly seeing the levels of Genjutsu unravel around them with her special eyes.

Asuma nodded as he walked forward, "You all pass my test, do you want to know why?" Asuma asked.

Naruto's anger began to peak again, though atleast his claws had retracted as he ran at Asuma, "You bastard! Why'd you almost kill us?!" Naruto asked.

Asuma openly laughed at that, completely dissipating the serious atmosphere and Naruto to pause in his run, "Don't you see something about where you're standing? There was no real danger." Asuma said.

Naruto looked back to see that up until the Anbu faded, the three were in the same spot the were standing when Naruto first picked up Asuma's scent, causing Naruto's eyes to widen before he face-palmed, "Oh damn! I had a clue before and I completely forgot it!" Naruto exclaimed.

Shikamaru smirked, "Hey if you were able to pick up on his presence give us a shout next time yeah? Your nose may be able to tell when anyone gets near but Hinata's Byakugan will be the tool we use to analyse the enemy before they arrive." Shikamaru said calmly.

Naruto nodded to Shikamaru with a smile before his gaze travelled to Hinata, who seemed to be on the verge of crying, "Hinata?" Naruto asked.

And then she fell to her knees, her tears pouring from her eyes as the shock wore off.

Naruto's eyes widened as he ran over to her and pulled her into a comforting hug, looking up to Shikamaru for an answer since that was where they all seemed to be coming from.

But instead, Asuma spoke as he approached them again, "There is only two worries that I have for this team, and we'll address the first one right now." Asuma said as he knelt in front of Hinata, "All of the details pertaining to your kidnapping has to become common knowledge for this team Hinata, because as we all just saw, just seeing a Cloud ninja is enough for you to freeze up for at least a full minute. More then enough time to kill you." Asuma said with a no-nonsense tone in his voice.

Shikamaru cut in, "I addressed that as I'm sure you noticed Asuma Sensei." Shikamaru said, causing the Jonin to look up at him as Naruto just decided to hold Hinata as she cried, "I called you out as a Mist ninja in that fight and you didn't flinch because all you were focussing on was this test and that you had to hold your technique. Even if she didn't realise that was the moment she began to regain control over her fear. I think she needs an actual professional to look at her rather then a theorising combat Jonin," Shikamaru said calmly before seeing Asuma frowning at him, "Not that I'm saying you're not good enough or something, it's just that, well there are people who specialise in things like this and Hinata only deserves the very best." Shikamaru said with a smirk.

"It doesn't matter," Naruto said with a blank expression, "I'll take the damage, she won't be killed. Neither will Shikamaru." Naruto said, only now realising that he should've died from the weapons that hit him and pierced his lungs and stomach.

At those words Asuma frowned again, "And thus comes problem number two, Naruto I don't quite understand how you survived let alone how you were healed in less then ten seconds, but you'll die if you jump into danger like that." Asuma said seriously.

Naruto looked Asuma dead in the eyes as he stood, "Dead?" Naruto asked as his claws came out.

The group gasped as Naruto crossed his arms and stabbed his own lungs, 'I can feel it,' Naruto thought as he felt his own body healing around the steel, 'It hurts, but I've felt worse. I can take this,' Naruto thought calmly, letting only a twitch show on his face at the pain of being skewered, 'After acknowledging that the pain doesn't matter, it's easy to ignore without the fear creeping in.' Naruto thought as he pulled his claws back out.

Asuma's eyes widened as he stepped forward to help Naruto, but watched with wide eyes as the wounds healed, "Naruto... how...?" he asked in shock.

Naruto looked up at Asuma before glancing around the team, realising that this moment was key in their development as a unit, so he decided to tell the truth, "My name is Naruto Uzumaki, I am a Jinchuuriki, you know what that means?" Naruto asked.

Asuma stared at Naruto, completely stumped that he actually knew about his 'condition', but it was Shikamaru that nodded, "It means 'The Power of Human Sacrifice,' it's a term used to classify those who have had a demon inside of them." Shikamaru said with a straight expression.

Hinata's eyes widened to that of Asuma's as she looked at Naruto, "But...what?" she asked.

Naruto spoke again before anyone could finish, his mind reeling as he felt something change inside him. Not something physical, but his will, his aim in the world.

Naruto held his arms to his side with a shrug, "I am a sacrifice for the better of the village, and my nindo is to live up to the Fourth's sacrifice," Naruto said as he gestured to his chest with his thumb, "I hold the Nine Tails and I control it's power now, no more useless destruction and loss of life if I have anything to say about it." Naruto swore unblinkingly as he kept eye contact with Asuma.

Asuma blinked before sighing and smiling, "Geez, that's awkward," Asuma said as he gestured to himself with his thumb just like Naruto did, "That's almost the exact same thing I said to my Sensei, but I was talking about my dad, not the Fourth."

Naruto blinked as Asuma's smile grew, "My Nindo is to protect every single person in this village. As long as the next generation grows happily and healthily, I'll be happy." Asuma said as he showed pulled up a sleeve, showing a gash down his arm, "I think we'll get along fine Naruto," he said before tilting his head in consideration, "Though... I think you may need to learn some more control over yourself." Asuma said seriously before looking to his other students.

Hinata was still staring at Naruto as tears formed in her eyes, "Th-th-the Kyuubi?" she stuttered out.

Naruto's gaze turned to Hinata, his eyes softening as he saw the fear in hers, "Hinata..." Naruto said as he stepped towards her.

Hinata stepped back as the sunlight bounced off his bloody claws, shivering in fear for a moment and causing Naruto to stop his approach and retract it into his fist.

"Naruto, it doesn't matter that you're a Jinchuuriki."

Asuma and Naruto turned to Shikamaru as he placed a hand on Hinata's shoulder, causing her to turn to her side and look at the Naara as he smiled at Naruto casually, "I've known for about three years now Naruto, and well," he said with a shrug, "Though I do believe a Demon could play dumb, I don't think they can play THAT dumb." Shikamaru said with a chuckle.

Naruto's brow twitched as he pointed at Shikamaru, "Hey! I'm not dumb! Just cause I wasn't in the top ten like you-"

"Top five." Shikamaru said with a smirk.

Naruto growled animalistically before Asuma placed a hand on his head, "Sorry Naruto, but what you just did kinda proves Shikamaru right, and besides, the way I hear it you were the dead last of your class." he said with a joking smile.

Naruto face-faulted before turning back to Asuma, completely forgetting about Hinata's fear as she watched the two talk in confusion, 'I don't understand... Naruto-kun...' she thought with a tilt of her head as Naruto pouted up at Asuma and yelled back, causing Asuma to laugh, 'But demons are evil aren't they?' she thought.

"Demons are forces of nature Hinata, beings that can manipulate the earth itself with their massive volumes of power," Shikamaru began, causing Hinata to look at him again as he frowned at her, "I though a comrade of mine would be able to he difference between a being like that and the boy that's protecting us all from it's destructive presence." Shikamaru said before walking over to Naruto and Asuma.

Hinata blinked as tears formed in her eyes as a sudden memory occurred to her, of the bullies at the playground that would hurt Naruto and call him a monster and a freak, 'Is this why? Did the older boys and girls know?' she thought as she looked at Naruto and how...normal he was.

Asuma looked over to her, raising an arm in a wave as he smiled to her, "Hinata, come over here, you're part of the team too." Asuma said kindly.

Hinata nodded as she swallowed nervously and jogged over. As she got close, she noticed Shikamaru nod to Naruto while Naruto was looking down again, trying to hide his face from hers. It hurt to see him so sad after seeing the happiness that was on his face a few minutes earlier, so she hugged him.

Naruto jolted as Hinata hugged him from the side, "Hinata?" he asked in shock.

Hinata smiled up at Naruto before shaking her head as she stepped back, "Sorry about before... I was just, umm, shocked." she mumbled nervously.

Naruto blinked at her before grinning as he scratched the back of his head, "Hehe, no worries Hinata-chan." Naruto said happily.

Shikamaru stepped up to the two of them and placed a hand on each of their shoulders, "Hey you two, Asuma-sensei wants us." Shikamaru said with a nod to their Sensei as the bearded man walked away from the group.

Naruto and Hinata nodded before following after Shikamaru, jogging after Asuma for a few moments as he stepped out of the bushes on the other side and stopping.

The trio stepped next to Asuma as he gestured to the small monument in front of them, "This is the Memorial Stone guys," Asuma said as he held his hands in a prayer position, "Those who have fallen in the name of protecting the Will of Fire have had their names carved into this stone and some day I hope to be on it too." Asuma said with a smile on his face.

Naruto and the others looked up at Asuma in shock as Shikamaru asked, "You want to die?" he asked.

Asuma finished his prayer and turned to his team with a serious expression, "The statistics are that one in three ninja will die on the job. If I am the one, then that means that two others who aren't prepared to fall yet will be able to move on and protect the next generation until someone can replace me and inherit my Will of Fire." Asuma said before looking over the three members of his team, seeing the unrest and shock in Shikamaru and Hinata's eyes.

But as he looked at Naruto, he saw a calm smile.

Naruto nodded, "Well, since there's three of us I choose to be the one who will pass on my Will of Fire too. Besides, it'll take way longer to kill me then it will to kill my friends." Naruto said calmly.

Shikamaru and Hinata stared at him in shock while Asuma couldn't help but feel a sense of kinship with Naruto's beliefs, "Naruto, you're not gonna die!" Shikamaru proclaimed, though he couldn't think of something else to follow up with.

Naruto shrugged calmly, "I'm a sacrifice already, this is the natural flow Shikamaru." Naruto said before clapping his hands in prayer and bowing to the Memorial Stone.

The group was quiet as Naruto finished his prayer and looked up again, his eyes spotting one name on the stone out of the many, 'Mito Uzumaki...' Naruto thought, smiling as he recognised the name not just as the First Hokage's wife, but as another strong Uzumaki who carried the same burdens he did, 'That didn't stop her from living a full life, I won't let it stop me from spending mine doing what's right.' Naruto thought before turning back to his team.

Shikamaru and Hinata offered a quick prayer as well before turning to chase after Naruto and Asuma as the two men had kept on the move.

As the four of them came to a stop back at their training grounds, Asuma turned to his team with a kind smile, "Alright, meet up here tomorrow at eight, I'm gonna explain the first lesson then we'll take a D-rank mission while you think on that lesson, then once the mission ends we'll do the practical side of the lesson," Asuma said with pause as he pulled out another cigarette, "We're gonna continue like this for the first ten lessons before we swap to body conditioning in the mornings and then two D-ranks missions a day. Once we have you guys above thirty D-ranks then I'll consider getting something higher." Asuma finished as he lit his smoke with his silver lighter, "Got it?"

"Got it Sensei!" Naruto said with a thumbs up.

Hinata nodded with a smile, excited to start her growth as a ninja.

Shikamaru on the other hand groaned, "More lessons? Oh man, what a drag." Shikamaru said, causing the other three to laugh at his lack of enthusiasm.

##########

Chapter End.