A/N: Thank you to everyone who has read and reviewed following the posting of the first chapter. I really appreciate it as well as everyone who has decided to add my story to their favorites/following list. The response that I have received for this story is absolutely amazing and I truly appreciate it.
To answer a couple of the questions that I had received in some of the reviews:
1. As far as Naruto's full skill set, my thoughts are as follows:
- Element affinities: Lightning and Water, and a combination of the two to form a 'Storm Elemental Release'
- He will be an expert in genjutsu, chakra tracking, sensing, and control, conventional tracking, taijutsu, kenjutsu and ninjutsu
- Still undecided as far as what Naruto will gain from Kurama in the story when the two come to an agreement, kitsune summoning contract likely
- No, he will NOT be on Team Seven with Sasuke and the pink-haired banshee (I don't like Sakura very much)
- Still undecided on the Rasengan, I see it as something that the Yondaime would teach his daughter and other children, and yes I am aware that Kakashi can form it as well but, I want to avoid it for now if possible, or at least wait until much later on in the story.
- Raikiri is a definite.
2. Also, I am only putting Naruto with one, and I say it again: ONE girl. To see who, why just look at the pairings in the summary of the story.
3. While I will do my best not to make Naruto grossly overpowered until he and Kurama come to an understanding, that will not prevent me from having him mop the floor with certain opponents in new and creative ways, hopefully.
4. To answer the question as to 'how Kakashi and Kurenai got together', look at the second half of the chapter. I suck at flashbacks so it's more of a 'musing about the past' kind of thing. Hope you like it.
Wait a second, let me check...nope, still not fortunate enough to own Naruto or Naruto Shippuuden.
Now enjoy, and as always: read and review! Thanks!
- Repost with an error that a loyal reader pointed out corrected. Let's see if you can find it. :P
Early Training and Remembering the Beginning
Five Years Later
Naruto was forcibly returned to consciousness as his alarm clock stated going off at a volume that was loud enough to wake the dead, but not his parents because of the privacy seals that they had on their room. The five year old boy got out of bed and walked across his room to silence the alarm clock that read five a.m. After silencing the alarm, Naruto quickly got dressed in his skin-tight navy blue sleeveless shirt with an attached Hatake half mask, a pair of navy blue cargo pants, and an ANBU-style vest along with matching forearm and shin guards. The ANBU-style armor was special in that they had been modified with cleverly concealed seals that acted to increase the weight of the various pieces as well as acting to reduce his speed and strength by a certain amount based on how much chakra he channeled into them. He channeled about fifteen percent of his chakra into them and felt the familiar weight settle onto his chest as well as making his legs and arms feel as if they weighed fifteen pounds heavier, because oh wait, they did. Naruto also felt the familiar sensation of sluggishness and weakness that came along with channeling his chakra into the armor pieces.
He had been waking up at five in the morning every day for the last year as his parents taught him all of the important things that the five-year old son of two of the most promising young shinobi of Konohagakure would need to know: reading, writing, arithmetic, a little bit of history, the basics of chakra sensing and control, tracking, and the always important kunai throwing.
Naruto quickly and quietly left his room, made his way downstairs, put his shinobi sandals on, and exited the house through the back door, being sure to pull his half mask up and into place covering the bottom half of his face before he exited. As soon as he exited the house, Naruto launched himself at the nearest tree branch that was big enough to handle his augmented weight and quickly fell into his normal "running" pace that was, he was told, fast for his age, and headed for the closest of the Hatake compound's walls. Though, could it really be called running if he was jumping from tree branch to tree branch as he made his laps around the compound?
The Hatake compound was small compared to the rest of the clan compounds, barely half a kilometer from the front gate to the back wall and the same distance across. The compound was wedged between the Hyuuga and Uchiha compounds, which were practically miniature villages within the Clan District of Konoha. It included a medium-sized four-bedroom, three-and-a half bathroom two story house that had its own private hot springs attached, surrounded by a miniature forest complete with large trees and underbrush that had its own ecosystem of flora and fauna, a large pond that was set towards the back of the compound with the house being only a few dozen feet inside of the ten-foot high perimeter wall. As he bounded from tree to tree along the inside of this perimeter wall, the Hatake heir kept his senses keen for traps that he knew that his parents had set for him, nothing too dangerous: just some paint tags that functioned and looked similar to exploding tags, caltrops, ninja wire, and other fun ninja-traps that were designed for two reasons: one, to teach him to always be aware of his surroundings; two and far more fun for his parents: to dye his clothing, skin, and hair all kinds of bright and embarrassing neon colors (except orange, orange was cool, so of course they didn't pick orange) that took a long time to wash out, a long, long time. Did he say that the dyes took a long time to wash out? Why, only a month ago as he was performing this same run... no, best he didn't remember that day.
He returned his focus to his "running", making it as quiet as possible while always trying to increase his speed, both at moving through the trees and at recognizing traps. Naruto's other focus was to keep his breathing as even as possible by timing it with the pace of his "running". As he moved through the forest on his family's grounds, Naruto reviewed all of the things that his Kaa-chan had been teaching him over the last week: the history of the Kyuu Biiju (Nine Tailed Beasts), to include the Kyuubi no Kitsune (Nine-tailed Fox) that had broken loose of its previous jinchuuriki, Kushina Uzumaki-Namikaze, and had attacked the village on the night that he and his friend Karin Namikaze had been born on only to be defeated by the herculean efforts of the Yondaime Hokage. That was the other thing that kind of sucked about his parents, Naruto received weekly tests, always in the form of his Kaa-chan (Mom) or Tou-san (Dad) asking him questions covering what he had learned over the last week, usually while either of them were sparring with him or while he was doing his chakra control exercises. If he did well, he got to go to Ichiraku's Ramen and eat as much as he wanted that Friday night, and if he failed, he got to do extra laps around the compound while his parents re-asked him the questions that he failed, usually very late at night after an absolutely grueling day of training.
After he finished his tenth lap along the perimeter wall, Naruto made his way to the tallest tree on the family grounds. This tree was special, not because of how tall it was, but because of the massive number of horizontal slash marks that adorned one part of the trunk and closely resembled a ladder rising up the trunk all the way to the top. Naruto was proud of that fact. When he had started the tree-climbing exercise two-and-a-half months ago, Naruto hadn't been able to make it more than a few feet off the ground before he had lost his focus and subsequently his control of his chakra and had fallen back to the ground, much to the amusement of his parents. He had continued to make attempts to climb the tree and watched as he made farther and farther up the tree with every attempt until, finally after a couple of weeks' worth of tries, he made it to the top, albeit very slowly. After he had, Naruto's parents had treated him to Ichiraku's. Back to the present as Naruto channeled chakra to his feet and climbed the tree to the lowest branch and moved to where he was hanging from said branch by maintaining the flow of chakra to his feet so that he wouldn't fall to the ground some thirty feet below him and land on his head. Naruto then performed one hundred hanging sit ups followed immediately by one hundred hanging squats. Once he was done with those, Naruto did a half-flip to where he was now hanging with his hands stuck to the underside of the branch with chakra and immediately performed one hundred pull ups, bringing his chin up above the branch with every repetition.
Once he was finished with his pull ups, the Hatake heir dropped to the ground and turned to face the clearing that the 'Climbing Tree' as it was dubbed by Naruto's father stood on the border of. This clearing was easily three acres across by two-and-a-half long that featured one part of the large pond that dominated one corner of the training field and extended into the forest a little ways, a group of training dummies situated in the opposite corner, and several kunai targets scattered on the trunks of several trees around the edges of the clearing. He then brought his hands up into a cross-shaped hand sign and said, "Kage Bunshin no Jutsu (Shadow Clone Technique)."
As soon as Naruto named the technique, there were a series of popping sounds, each accompanied by a puff of white chakra smoke. When the smoke cleared, there were thirty perfect copies of Naruto standing around him. His parents had gotten special permission from the Yondaime Hokage to teach Naruto the technique as a means to help his chakra control and to teach him what was probably going to be the only form of bunshin technique that he would be able to make because of his already massive chakra reserves. The only rules that his parents had for his use of the shadow clone technique were that he only use them for his chakra endurance and control training, practicing his faimily's taijutsu style: Ōkamitsuga Sutairu (Wolf's Fang Style), and practicing any new techniques that his parents taught him, while any physical training that he was going to do was to be done by him. Of course, Naruto had found other things to use the shadow clones for, namely pranks that sometimes bordered on epic in scale, well epic for a five year old any way.
Naruto didn't even have to say anything to his clones as they immediately split off into three groups of ten: the first group started by running towards a group of trees as fast as they could and while channeling chakra to their feet started climbing several of the trees around the edge of the clearing by running up them as far as they could until they lost control of their chakra flow and used a kunai to score the trunks of the trees before launching themselves into the air, throwing said kunai at one of the targets scattered around the edge of the clearing as they flipped in mid air and landing before sprinting towards another group of trees, drawing another kunai from their kunai pouches sown into the sides of the pants and made to look like regular cargo pockets, to repeat the process; the second group moved into the center of the clearing, giving themselves enough space from each other so that they could begin moving through the katas (forms) associated with the Ōkamitsuga Sutairu at 'quarter speed', completing all of the forms that Naruto had been taught before moving through the katas again at 'half speed', then repeating the process at 'three-quarters speed', and then finally at 'full speed'; the third group moved towards the pond and began practicing what was currently the bane of Naruto's existence: water walking. Actually, it had taken him only a week to complete the basics of the exercise that his mother had shown him how to do it a couple of months ago, after he had proven that he had full mastery of tree climbing by climbing the tree while using his feet, hands, knees, and even his forearms to reach his highest mark on the tree before jumping down with a fox-like grin that his mother had just shaken her head at and gestured him over to the pond to show him how to do water walking. Now it was all about learning to fight while maintaining his balance on the water, which was a lot more difficult.
When they had gotten to the edge of the pond, Naruto had watched as his mother formed a ram sign with her hands and channeled chakra to her feet before walking out to stand in the middle of the pond. She had then proceeded to explain to him how even though water walking was similar in that it required a constant supply of chakra to be channeled to his feet, it was very different in that because of the nature of water, the amount of chakra needed to maintain one's balance on the surface changed constantly. His Kaa-chan had also told him that due to the a fore mentioned nature of the water, his chakra control would improve by leaps-and-bounds over the level he had needed for tree climbing.
Anyway, back in the present, while his clones dispersed to their assigned tasks, Naruto himself moved over to the training dummies and stepped into the first stance of the Ōkamitsuga Sutairu. He closed his ruby red eyes for a moment, taking a deep breath before releasing it and opening his eyes. As he did this, Naruto felt his chakra flowing through his body and stepped forward to launch into a series of punches, kicks, knee, and elbow strikes on the training dummy before him, sending up a silent thanks that his parents had asked the Yondaime to reinforce the dummies with several seals that would absorb the energy from any physical strikes that were delivered to the dummies, making them last a heck of a lot longer than they otherwise would have. In other words, he was pretty sure he would have smashed one or two of them by now, or severely damaged them at the very least. After all, having the Lady Tsunade Senju as his grandmother/god mother figure meant that he got to learn how to hit like her, something that he was currently working towards. Tsunade-baachan (Grandma Tsunade) had told him to learn how to hit hard enough to crack the ground, without genjutsu she added, and she would teach him how to do it with his chakra.
Any way, enough of this digressing and back to the present. After he completed the series of two hundred of each type of strike at 'quarter speed', focusing on the technique that went into each strike, Naruto then repeated a similar process to what his second set of clones were doing with the actual katas involved in his family's taijutsu style, progressing through at 'half', 'three quarter', and 'full speeds'. After he finished the last set of 'full speed' strikes on the dummies, the Hatake heir dispelled the first set of clones, feeling the wave of exhaustion and disorientation that always came with the dispelling of a large number of clones at once. Once the exhaustion and disorientation had passed, Naruto began to perform the same tree climbing exercises as what the clones were performing earlier, only at a much faster speed than they had been performing it at, becoming nothing more than a blur as he sped up trees, jumped, threw a kunai, drew a new kunai, and sped towards and up another tree. He didn't need to do it since he inherited all of his clones' memories whenever he dispelled them, but his father always told him, "Practicing something once yourself was worth doing it a hundred times with clones. While you do receive all of the clones' memories and sensations, it just isn't the same as doing it yourself."
Thus Naruto always practiced whatever he had his clones train on at least once himself so as to solidify the memories in his head and muscles the lessons he had learned from having the clones perform a training exercise. Amazingly, though he wasn't sure how amazing it was, his father was right as he had proven in an impromptu spar with his father after having performed the same series of exercises his previously second set of clones were performing right now with the katas for the Ōkamitsuga Sutairu and the movements, strikes, and blocks came naturally to Naruto, earning him and eye smile from his dad. After he finished fifty sets of 'tree climbing sprints', Naruto took a deep breath and braced himself as he dispelled the set of clones that he had working on the katas for his family's taijutsu style.
Naruto felt the same wave of exhaustion and disorientation that he always felt, just this time the blow-back effect of dispelling the clones took a heftier toll. The Hatake heir thought to himself as he was doubled over with his hands on his knees, trying to gain control of his suddenly ragged breathing, Yup, should have dispelled them in smaller groups this time. Dispelling all ten of the second group at once definitely takes a toll. File that away for next time.
After he had gained control of his breathing, Naruto straightened up and dropped into the first stance of the Ōkamitsuga Sutairu. He had just completed the katas at 'quarter speed' when he sensed someone approaching. The Hatake heir became nothing more than a blur as he spun, drew a kunai, and threw it at the tree just an inch to the right of where the interloper was hiding in one fluid motion. Just an instant after hearing the solid thunk of the kunai bury itself into the tree, he said in a bored voice, "Tou-san, you might as well come out from where you're hiding. I know you are there."
The Hatake heir watched as his father appeared out of a Konoha Shunshin (Hidden Leaf Body Flicker) before him, giving him his patented eye smile, "Excellent Musuko (Son), your senses are getting sharper all the time. So, shall we see how far you have progressed in Ōkamitsuga Sutairu without any restrictions?"
Naruto watched as his father finished his question and immediately dropped into the family taijutsu stance. He chuckled as he brought his hands up into the ram seal and silently released the seals on his armor, filling him instantly with the heady feeling of his previously restrained chakra flowing freely through his body as he dropped into a mirror of his father's stance, "Of course, Tou-san."...
The Same Time
About the same time as his son was just beginning his twenty-fifth set of 'tree climbing sprints', Kakashi Hatake awoke to the morning sunlight filtering in through the curtains that hung on the windows of the master bedroom of the Hatake family house. As always, he went from dead-to-the-world-asleep to fully awake within a heartbeat of the sunlight hitting his face. As he opened his eyes, Kakashi used all of his senses to asses his situation, some habits just die too hard. The first thing he noticed was that there was only one other chakra presence in the room with him; the second thing he noticed was that there was a familiar weight that started on his chest directly over his heart and continued along his left side; the third thing he noticed was the scents in the room: his normal odor mixed with the scent of jasmine shampoo and rose petal body wash mixed with the natural spring rain scent that his wife always seemed to have; and finally was the fact that both he and his wife were naked under their covers, their legs still entwined.
Kakashi's mind flashed back to the wild love-making that had occurred last night upon the occasion of him returning from his most recent ANBU mission just in time for their sixth anniversary. He had had everything arranged so that Naruto's godmother, Tsunade Senju would stay over and look after the boy while he took his wife out on a romantic date that ended in the exact same spot that he had proposed to her at, one of the benches in the park dedicated to the memory of the Shodaime Hokage, Hashirama Senju. Kurenai had told then told him that they needed to get home immediately or they would be arrested and probably fined for public nudity. Kakashi hadn't needed to hear anymore as he had picked up his wife bridal style and used shunshin to get them back home and into their bedroom. He had had just enough time to ensure that Naruto was already asleep and that the privacy seals were up before he had been attacked by his wife. What had followed were hours of passionate, wild, and kinky sex, that he would always remember.
Now, as he looked down at his sleeping wife, Kakashi couldn't help but smile at the way his life had turned out: A loving wife and a son that would more than likely turn out to be a better shinobi than he was; he couldn't ask for more in life. He felt a momentary pang in his heart when he thought about how his life had turned out as he remembered the three people that he wished for the umpteenth time could be there to see how he had turned out: his father, and his teammates Obito and Rin. Of course, their loss had been what brought Kurenai into the forefront of his life: He remembered how they had met almost seven years ago as he had been visiting his father's headstone and pouring out all his pain and grief to the one person who would never judge him. She had been visiting the graves of her own parents, who had been killed on a mission only a few weeks before that particular visit in late autumn that year. He remembered how Kurenai had looked as she knelt down before her parents' graves, silent tears streaming down her cheeks, her eyes holding that same shattered look that he had every night as he woke up from the nightmares where his former teammates and his father accused him of failing them. To this day Kakashi didn't know what made him go over to Kurenai and sit down next to her, maybe it was the thought that she would understand his pain, or maybe he just wanted to take away her pain, and gently pulled her into his arms and lap, just holding her as they both shed silent tears for those they had lost. By the time that both of them had cried themselves dry, the sun had become just a sliver of red light on the horizon and the early rising stars had begun their nightly vigil in the darkening sky. After they had finished crying, Kakashi had asked her if she would like to get something to eat, to which Kurenai had readily agreed. The two had made their way through the village to Ichiraku's Ramen stand at the edge of the market district and had ordered their food. Kakashi smiled as he remembered how that first meal together hadn't actually been awkward in the least. After they had finished eating, the two of them had talked about nothing in particular, kinda just drifting from topic to topic with no real set destination for their conversation. He remembered how it had been several hours later when he had walked her back to her apartment and had received a quiet 'thank you' and a peck on the cheek that had sent a jolt of electricity running through his, at the time, teenager body. To this day Kakashi couldn't tell anyone what possessed him to ask her out on an official date in such a manner, just blurting it out as she opened her door, but he remembered how she had stopped and looked at him, the surprise evident on her face for a few moments before her sensuous lips had formed a small, tentative smile that had gone all the way to her eyes, though they had been red and puffy at the time from all of the crying at the cemetery, causing them to light up in joy as she had given him a small nod 'yes'. Kakashi had taken Kurenai out on their first official date three days later and had made sure to be a complete gentleman. He remembered how he had taken her to one of the upscale restaurants in the nearby resort village. Kakashi remembered how they had talked for hours, discussing everything about themselves that they felt comfortable sharing, either laughing at all the right spots as their partner told a story that had some funny point in it. Following that, the two had just walked through the village, continuing to talk about the ones that they had lost. Kakashi had only realized it months later how much that conversation had helped his own grieving and not just Kurenai's. He remembered how that night had ended in the same manner as the first night: a softly-spoken 'thank you', a kiss on the cheek, and a promise for another date...
Kakashi brought himself out of his momentary reminiscing as he looked down at his sleeping wife and just didn't have the heart to wake Kurenai so he made a seal-less kage bunshin and used Kiwarmi no Jutsu (Replacement Technique) to replace himself with the shadow clone. After that, he quickly and quietly got dressed and slipped out of the master bedroom and down stairs. He grabbed the holster he had that was full of kunai used for training with his son, strapped it around his right thigh, and made his way out the back door and into the forested grounds. Kakashi immediately launched himself into the trees, following along the same path as his son had traveled earlier, checking to see if any of the traps that he had set had been tripped by his son during his morning run. When he had found that none of the traps had been tripped, Kakashi decided that it was time to up the difficulty and subtlety of the traps in the near future.
After he had finished checking the traps, Kakashi made his way to the family training grounds nestled in the center of the family's compound, all the while trying to keep his presence hidden so as to test his son's sensing abilities. When he arrived at the edge of the clearing, Naruto seemed to have just finished the 'quarter speed' run through the katas of the family taijutsu style while seemingly not to have noticed that he was there. Therefore, Kakashi was caught completely off-guard when his son became a blur in the middle of the clearing and the early morning sunlight glinted off of a rapidly flying metal object that impacted the tree trunk a mere inch from Kakashi's right ear. He had just a moment to register the kunai embedded in the tree next to his ear when he heard his son's almost bored-sounding voice, "Tou-san, you might as well come out from where you're hiding. I know you are there."
Kakashi chuckled as he used Konoha Shunshin no Jutsu to appear in the field in front of his son, giving the boy an eye smile, "Excellent Musuko, your senses are getting sharper all the time. So, shall we see how far you have progressed in Ōkamitsuga Sutairu? No restrictions so release the weight seals."
As he finished his question, the Hatake patriarch dropped into the first stance of the family's taijutsu style.
Kakashi watched as his son released the seals on his armor and dropped into the family taijutsu stance that mirrored his own, and chuckled, "Of course, Tou-san."...
A/N: Whew, second chapter done. Just so everyone knows, I will be bouncing back and forth between this story and my other stories, as I have several in the early planning/drafting phases (if interested in them, find them on my profile page for this site or shoot me a PM and ask), so updates might be a little slow at times, but don't worry, I am not intending on leaving it unfinished.
And one last thing before I go: How close of a relationship should Sasuke and Naruto have? I was looking at the possibility of them being good friends but not the brother-like relationship from canon.