A Bounty Hunter named Naruto

Naruto and all related characters belong to Masashi Kishimoto.

"From out of the dust... Came a man true and bold... Champion of the Fire Country... By night he drank whiskey, by day killed bad men, and the townspeople knew him as Naruto. Coming down the mountainside the people hailed his name, and of his legend they sang... With iron in his heart, steel in his craw, he pumped their heads all full of lead... Naruto"

The sun hung low in the sky as an afternoon breeze helped cool the hot day that preceded it, a welcome change of pace all things considered. The sounds of a lone horse trotting calmly down a path broke up the natural sounds of the surrounding woods, a fine dark brown steed. The rider of the horse was a young man, no older than twenty at the most with sunny blond hair, blue eyes, and what looked like 3 whisker-like marks across each cheek. He wore a dark brown stetson hat, a cream colored shirt, a tan vest and poncho, as well as dark brown pants. On his waste though, mostly covered by the poncho was a gun belt that held two Colt .45's. He road into the village, the dirt road same as ever with two cavalrymen sitting at their usual post, to which he topped his hat to them as they waved letting him pass without any trouble. As he road into town stopped at a particular building. He got off and he hitched his horse at the front of the establishment, the horse taking a long drink from the water. As he walked under the overhang of the building he passed under a sign that read "Ichiraku Saloon" and headed inside. The blond entered through the doors and smiled. After a hard ride there was nothing he loved better than having a cold glass of beer and a bowl of hot ramen. As he walked up to the bar, a blond haired and blue eyed showgirl sauntered up to him.

"Back already Naruto? Didn't see a body on your horse out there, so I guess that means you didn't get him?" She asked as she fluttered her eyes at him.

"Not today Ino, but there's always tomorrow. By the way have you seen that old pervert around? He said he'd have that fifty bucks I loaned him ready by the time I got back." Naruto said, annoyance evident in his voice.

"Sorry hon, Mr. Jiraiya hasn't been around since you left." Ino said as she motioned for the barkeep to send a beer Naruto's way.

"Just my luck. I come back empty handed, and that old bastard up and leaves." Naruto said as he brought the glass up to his lips. Before he could even taste his drink, the glass was shattered by a bullet, which ended up hitting Ino's shoulder.

"NARUTO! GET OUT HERE!" A voice bellowed from outside. Naruto looked down at Ino who was thankfully still alive, then growled in anger as he drew his guns. He walked out to see none other than Mizuki the Tiger himself, wearing his trademark tiger skin coat and boots and black bandanna, with a repeater rifle pointed directly at Naruto's head. The blond quickly dived behind the water trough his horse was drinking out of, unhitching it and shooing it away from the danger. Mizuki pulled the lever on his rifle and got ready for another shot.

"What's the occasion Mizuki? Last I heard you were on death row for that bank job ya tried!" Naruto yelled from behind the trough as Mizuki just snarled at him.

"That was a rigged trial! I shouldn't have to die just for trying to take some money!" The white haired man yelled as he fired two shots at the trough.

"You killed seven people and nearly made it eight! Iruka still needs a cane because of you! Yeah you're right, you shouldn't have to die, because death is too good for ya!" Naruto yelled back as he quickly popped up from behind the trough and fired off a few shots. Mizuki dove to the side, but his right leg was hit. He turned to try and shoot Naruto, but the blond shot the rifle out of his hand.

"Why'd you come back Mizuki? Why'd you escape?" Naruto said as he walked up, his gun trained on the downed man.

"I figured if I was gonna die, I'd take the sorry bastard that took me in with me." The outlaw then tried to pull a palm pistol from his pocket only for Naruto to shoot him in the head before he could do so. At this point the two Cavalrymen, who had run from their station at the end of town, came up along with the sheriff from the opposite end.

"What happened here Naruto?" The sheriff, a tan man with a short black beard, asked as he looked at the body.

"Settle down Asuma, it's just a bastard who didn't know when to leave well enough alone. He tried taking potshots at me and ended up winging Ino, you better get Granny over here." Naruto said as he holstered his guns. The sheriff had to chuckle despite the seriousness of the situation.

"You keep calling her that Naruto and she's gonna beat you to doomsday and back." Asuma said as he lit up a cigarette. Naruto chuckled at little himself as he headed back into check up on Ino.

"Hey, she ain't killed me yet." The bounty hunter said as he walked back into the saloon, seeing Ino sitting at one of the tables, the few patrons of the saloon trying to giver her some space. She was holding a white cloth to her shoulder and it was quickly turning as red as a tomato

"He dead Naruto?" Ino asked, as she hissed at the pain. Naruto frowned for a moment, looking at the blood slightly trickling down her arm. He then scratched his nose and smiled wide, squinting as he sat down next to her.

"Sure, no one who's tangled with me has lived to tell about it." He said as he took off his hat and sat it down on the table. She scoffed and lightly kicked his leg.

"You damn liar, what about when you first road into town five years ago? And that slack jawed snake of a Sand soldier thought I'd make a good wife? I seem to recall you just shooting the gun out of his hand and beating the crap out of him." Ino said as Naruto scratched the back of his head and chuckled awkwardly.

"Well uh, I guess I got a soft spot for dumb animals then." Naruto said which caused Ino to laugh a bit, as she winced again at the pain in her shoulder. Just then the local doctor came in. Pale blond with whiskey colored eyes, in a green dress that showed quite a bit of her ample bosom.

"Sorry Miss Tsunade... Doctor Senju, ma'am, it was my own fault really..." The barmaid said, trying to cover for Naruto, but the doctor was having none of it.

"Let me guess Naruto, another one of your so-called enemies came in and tried to gun you down?" The doctor asked as Naruto got up and let her sit down to examine the wound.

"Well he didn't come in so much as took a couple of potshots from outside." The bounty hunter said as he looked rather nervous.

"Uh huh... Well Miss Yamanaka, it only grazed you so you're good to go. I won't charge you for an office visit since I can handle this right here. Just a quick patch up and you're good as new." Doc Senju said as she got some bandages out of her medical bag and some antiseptic. Naruto took this as his cue to leave and walked outside of the saloon. He walked over to his horse who had come back to the trough after the excitement had died down and smiled. He petted its neck as he looked him in the eye.

"How's about we get you to the livery stable for a brush and some oats huh?" Naruto asked as the horse whinnied a little almost in agreement.

The sun had finally set by the time Naruto made it back to the saloon, Tsunade walking out having just finished taking care of Ino. She looked at Naruto and sighed as she looked at him.

"It's funny... I look at you and I can't believe you're the same boy I took in five years ago." The doctor said as Naruto looked at her with a tired expression

"Come on Granny, I'm still the same old Naruto. Or has that Tribesman jutsu stuff mixed up your brain?" Naruto said as he got whacked hard upside the head for that remark.

"That Tribesman jutsu stuff as you call it has saved a lot of lives you brat." Tsunade said as Naruto rubbed his head. The blond woman began to walk away, the blond bounty hunter about to enter the saloon, but stopped in the middle of the street.

"In your career how many men have you shot?"Tsunade asked as Naruto stopped at the swinging doors.

"... Shot or killed?" Naruto asked as he stood there, knowing this conversation was a long time coming.

"Let's say killed so we can have a manageable number." Tsunade said as Naruto sighed.

"Thirty-four... Mizuki makes thirty-five." He said as Tsunade shook her head.

"You know most men kill for something... Love, anger, jealousy... But I don't think you kill for anything at all, not even for the money. I think you kill because you don't know what else to do with your life so you just keep making enemies and killing until someone puts an end to you." Tsunade said as she began to walk off.

Naruto entered the saloon and headed straight up to his room. Taking off his hat he sat on the bed and shook the dust out of his hair. He took off his poncho, vest, and his shirt which revealed a silver locket around his neck. He then took off his boots, and gunbelt, and laid back on his bed. He opened the locket and looked at it closely. A picture of a man and woman was in it, with a small baby in being held by the woman... A baby with whisker marks identical to his. Naruto closed the locket and drifted off to sleep.

An entire town was set ablaze as people ran, a young blond boy no older than twelve years old was running with a woman with deep red hair. They entered a barn and she hid him behind a large hay bale.

"Menma whatever you do don't come out, I don't care what you hear don't come out until I tell you too." The woman said as the boy was clearly scared by what was happening. A gunshot was heard as a man stepped forth. The woman fell to the ground as the man walked up, a man with glasses and silver hair.

"Well that was a waste..." The man said as the boy peaked around to see him.

"Well what's this now? Come on boy, I won't bite... Come on..." The man said as he came closer to the boy, who was already crying hot tears, when another gunshot was heard and the man fell over dead. The boy looking to the source to see the woman with blood leaking from her mouth holding a revolver in her hand. She beckoned him closer and handed him the locket around her neck, and smiled at him before collapsing without a word.

Naruto woke up in a sweat, gasping for air. He looked around and saw the sun was up. He looked at the clock on the wall and saw it was 10:30 and sighed. He got up and got dressed, heading down to the bar below. It was there he saw a man with silver hair, which made him unconsciously drift his hand to his revolver... But took a deep breath and kept walking. The man was fairly tall, and wore an eye-patch as well as a black stetson, black shirt, green vest, black pants, and black boots, with a black and white bandanna around the bottom of his face.

"You the local bounty hunter?" The man asked as Naruto came up next to him and leaned on the bar. He motioned for a beer and the bartender slid one too him.

"That depends, you here for revenge or some such because if so please let me finish my breakfast first." Naruto said as he began to chug his beer down.

"I took a job and was looking for some men to join me. It's in the Land of Waves, a small town by the name of Hope River? Heard of it by any chance?" The man asked as Naruto seemed to think for a minute.

"How much does it pay?" The blond asked as the man handed him a sack filled with gold coins, making Naruto's eyes go wide.

"That's just the half I got now. The other half is at the town, provided you're willing to join in." The man said, taking the sack back, as Naruto nodded.

"This job, it wouldn't be difficult would it?" Naruto asked as the man hummed a little before replying.

"Impossible may be a better word, but for the kind of pay we're talking about it should be." The man said as Naruto shrugged.

"Can't argue with that... Well count me in. I need the money since my last bounty didn't go so well." The bounty hunter said as the masked man paid for his tab and they both walked out.

"What's your name by the way?" Naruto asked as the man got on his jet black horse.

"Kakashi Hatake. I heard your name was Naruto? Is that your first or last name?" Kakashi asked as he rode with Naruto to the livery stable to fetch his horse.

"It's just Naruto." The blond replied as the man shrugged. After paying the overnight fee for his horse, Naruto saddled up and headed out with his new acquaintance.

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