AN: I read "One Punch Man: Naruto" by VaingloriousHound. It made me laugh hard and got my muse babbling.

All credit to VaingloriousHound, really. This is nothing more than a happy powertrip I hope you'll find fun(ny).

Edit: given a few reviews I received, I'd like to clarify: this fic is NOT in any way, shape or form to be taken seriously. If you're looking for something with the level of care and realism and violence of Sign Here for ANBU, you will NOT find it here.

Naruto Uzumaki pulled at his blond locks in frustration, swallowing forcefully the tears that threatened to spill. He had failed the graduation examination of the Academy. Of course, he would fail. It hadn't taken long for him to establish himself as the dead last of his class, spending more time clowning around than working hard, boasting about skills he didn't possess to whoever had time to lose to mock him.

Obviously, he had taken a stupid bet and had attempted to pass the graduation examination despite being not at all ready and being well conscious that he wasn't. However, it was a matter of honour and Naruto Uzumaki was not one to not put his feet where his mouth was. Even if his mouth had a tendency to run faster than his feet.

In a word rather than a hundred, he was an idiot. He knew it, somewhere deep inside but it was stronger than him. His blood felt like it was always right below boiling point and it was easier than peasier to get him going.

The eight years old sighed. He wasn't mad really, more like annoyed with himself, especially considering that someone would get him running again soon and he would be too hot-headed to even recognize it for what it would be.

The boy sighed again. What to do, what to do? Absentmindedly, he flung his legs back and forth and started swinging. The old chains that kept the swing aloft started to protest vigorously at the sudden action. They were too ancient for an excitable youth like Naruto to play with them.

Gaining speed and height, the young schoolboy thought hard, the wind whipping his scrunched up face. It was a feat no one would have thought the blond boy capable of and, had anyone said to his face, Naruto would have noisily exclaimed his indignation. He was a clown for sure and he was dead last when it came to seating on a bench for hours and learning boring things but he wasn't stupid.

He was daring and hot-blooded, like any self-respecting boy of his age. That had nothing to do with being stupid, nah!

And so Naruto reflected on the possible reasons for his failure. It was hard because honestly, look at him, wasn't he awesome? The blond rose higher and higher on his swing and his visage slowly relaxed. No one could go as high as him on this swing, that was proof enough of his awesomeness, right? Yes, it was obvious to him so how come it wasn't to his teachers. They were the ones who were stupid.

His train of thoughts severely derailed, the blond kept on swinging. He had no doubt he would become a splendid ninja, no matter what anyone thought of his chance. He would become so powerful, people could not keep treating like he did not exist. A grin split the blond face as a brilliant idea came to him.

He would become so strong that he would become the next Hokage.

Laughter tumbled out of his mouth as the idea wormed its way through his brain and nestled comfortably in the centre of it. He would become the Hokage and then the people who constantly gave him the stink eye would bow to him and smile and whisper in respect and it would feel even better than the wind crazily whipping his face as the swing kept rising to dangerous heights.

Plus how difficult could it be to achieve such a goal when he was so awesome? It was evident to the eight years old and it dispersed all thoughts of his fresh failure and his very real status as the dead last of his class. Who cared about knowledge and academic skills? What he needed was a way to become flashy strong, preferably by tomorrow. Then he would take the awesome hat of the Old Man and seat in his comfy chair.

The old, rusty chain of the swing decided here and then that it had had enough of the boy ridiculously stupid delusion and thought it was time to bring Naruto down to Earth. The piece of equipment chose to do so rather violently for added shock value and broke with little warning - if one considered the constant squeaking of protest to be little warning - as Naruto reached his apex.

Naruto was catapulted out of the swing and flew an exhilarating five good meters before gravity made him reacquaint himself with solid ground. A sickening squelch echoed throughout the deserted schoolyard and Naruto would have cried out his pain if the impact hadn't robbed him of his breath.

Slowly, the blond got up, cradling a broken elbow against his chest and fighting to get air to his lungs as he willed the tears of pain to go away. Fighting the pain - he was used to it, having broken his fair share of thing over the course of his short years - he straightened himself.

Reality seemed to crash on his shoulders as he gave the ruins of the swing a dark look. He wasn't stupid. He knew he wasn't awesome. He was the dead last and nowhere near ever becoming a ninja, not even mentioning Hokage. He was a clown, spending more efforts into getting people to pay attention to him than into learning how to actually be a ninja.

What was he even doing in the Academy? Squandering his chance, that was what!

With the taste of ash in his mouth, Naruto limped away from the swing that had so rudely brought him back to reality.

It took the boy half an hour to walk back to his flat. The place was a little, run-down apartment he had been given by the Old Man after the orphanage had deemed him old enough to take care of himself two years prior. He didn't want to say he knew better than the adults but two years prior he had been six and hadn't known shit about taking care of himself.

He had had to learn on the job, with a little help once in a while from a purple-haired lady wearing a cat mask. The ANBU - so were called those select few allowed to wear the animal masks - had been the boy's saviour when he had needed to clean his flat.

Fumbling a bit with his keys, what's with his broken arm and all, he eventually got inside. He felt a proud smile at the squeaky clean sight. The temptation to be a slob had been strong but sister Cat had canned him enough to enforce hygiene. His stomach suddenly growled in protest and Naruto directed his step to the kitchen where he prepared a cup of instant ramen.

Why "instant" when it so clearly took three minutes for the ramen to be ready? Naruto would probably never know why. And that was one of the very few things he hated not knowing.

Instead of staring at his meal in the forlorn hope that it would be ready faster, the boy took a look at his broken arm and sighed. He healed fast, faster than what was normal he knew that but his arm looked like it was a bit too much. He might have to go to the hospital to set the bone right. He despised going to the hospital. The nurses and the doctors treated him roughly, unlike any other patient they had.

Not that they were the only part of the village population that regarded him as some indesirable. Konoha seemed to hate him for whatever reason. He had tried to ask around why people either glared at him in a mean way or outright ignored him but he had never received any answer. He had stopped asking after the Old Man himself had told him no one would answer him.

That had Naruto more than a little peeved but well, there was nothing he could do about that. He didn't have any parent to ask and the one person who treated him remotely normally had chosen to not give him any explanation so there was that.

The smell of ramen wafter over to his nose and interrupted the train of thoughts that threatened to plunge in a dark place he did not want to visit. Helping himself with his mouth to break the chopsticks, he used his left hand to messily eat his meal.

The ramen thoroughly cleaned, he threw cup and chopsticks and looked at his arm again. There would be no way around it. With a groan of despair, he exited his flat and made his way to the hospital.

As expected, the nurse did her best to ignore him and the doctor barely looked at him but Naruto got his arm set the correct way as well as wrapped in a splint. It was cumbersome but the blond knew he wouldn't have to wear more than two or three days before he was healed.

Maybe his unnatural healing was the reason people looked at him the way they didn't. Maybe he was a monster of some sort.

Nah, there was no way, right?

The boy slowly walked back home, the gentle breeze of late September ruffling his hair. Naruto closed his eyes and enjoyed the touch of the wind before he took a deep breath and kept on walking. Lost in-between thoughts, no particularly precise idea really occupying his mind, the blond allowed his feet to guide him. He wasn't in a hurry after all: he had already eaten, the evening was nice and he wouldn't have to go to the Academy for a few days considering a new batch of aspiring ninjas had graduated - without him - which would keep the teaching staff busy.

The blond was abruptly stopped as he met headfirst with the back of a taller, stronger man. With a yelp, he fell on his bottom. Before he could restrain his too eager tongue, he erupted in indignant blabber.

"Oy, you can't stop like that in the middle of the street ya know? That's just inviting people to bump into you, 'ttebayo!"

The boy internally groaned. Why couldn't he just get up and apologize, as it was totally his fault he had bumped into the stranger?

Oh, right, because the stranger would most likely give a glare balancing between fearful and hateful.

"Hmm, you said something?" The tall man answered with a drawl, one bored but not hostile lone eye taking in the form of a sprawled Naruto.

Naruto rose his azure blue eyes up and up and up and… up again until it reached the end of the tall man with white, undisciplined hair he had just collided with. The man was wearing the standard garb of Konoha most elite ninja. He was one of the few jonin. Stars momentarily replaced indignation in the blond boy's eyes as it seemed the stranger wasn't hostile - just so incredibly bored - until what the man had said registered.

"Oy, I bumped into you ya know?!"

"Izdatso?" The man drawled again. "Hmm." He shrugged. "You're hurt?"

Naruto sputtered. No one ever asked if he was hurt, save from the Old Man and sister Cat. "No," he eventually answered, meekly.


And at that, the man turned his back to Naruto, fished inside his pouch for a little orange book and started walking, leaving behind a flabbergasted blond.

"What?" The boy muttered after a full minute, having finally come to his sense. "Must have been dreaming or something."

He pinched himself and the scenery didn't change, which unsettled the boy further. He hadn't been dreaming. Huh. Shaking his head and stashing the surreal encounter in a part of his brain to analyze latter, Naruto got up and actually looked where he was. A grimace immediately marred his face.

Of all possible place, he was in front of the dreaded library.

"Urgh," muttered the boy, already whirling around to continue his trek home. He was taking his first step when a sudden impulse stopped him cold.

He had just failed the examination today because he lacked. There was no need to tell what he lacked precisely as he lacked everything. It took five full minutes of perfect immobility and intense concentration to grasp it but eventually, an idea crystallized in the centre of his mind.

What if… for once… he actually tried?

Naruto felt his eyes go wide and his jaw gape open at the utterly alien thought. His brain seemed frozen on the new idea. An idea that, for some reason, did not sound ridiculous at all.

What an absolutely novel, revolutionary, terrific prospect.

Academics were not subjects that especially interested him and that was putting it quite mildly. The fact was that he never put any kind of effort in learning the materials taught at school. There was no one to help him do so and no one would care if he didn't so he hadn't. Instead, he had chosen to campaign for attention.

However… what if he did it for himself?

In his quest to be seen by others, he had ignored someone: himself. He did want to be a ninja and no one would care if he failed. No one but him, that was established facts. So why bother? Precisely for him and him alone then! A smile, almost predatory in nature, blossomed on Naruto's lips and the boy slowly turned towards the library.

Yes. He would try, give it his best shot even. With a spring in his step, the blond entered the reviled building.

Naruto perused as much of the library's content as was possible for an entire week, drawing disgruntled glares from the librarian and ignoring them regally. Trying to read everything at once quickly proved to be impossible much to Naruto's annoyance and so the blond did his best to focus on things that held his interest.

He realized rapidly that there were none. Even with all the motivation in the word, everything he was attempting to read was so boring he had to fight to keep on. He often lost. Mathematics and sciences he didn't understand, History he didn't really care if it wasn't about the Fourth Hokage, Literature was mind-bogglingly sleep-inducing and everything about ninjutsu was so cryptic he couldn't get anything useful out of what he was reading.

He was ready to burn the entire building and its useless collection of demon-spawned books when the discovery happened.

Naruto was in the process of tearing his hair when he found an old scroll covered in cobwebs that had been obviously forgotten there something like an aeon or two ago. Out of despair rather than real interest, the blond grabbed the parchment and unfurled it on the table he had been occupying for an entire week.

The scroll was title "The Method" and it began like this:

"You don't like academics," mumbled Naruto, whose face instantly lit up with a smile. That was a hook he could get behind. "Because you're too stupid to understand them and you can't be bothered to put any effort because you're also a lazy sloth?" He continued on reading, his voice slowly dying the further he read the sentence.

"Oy!" He exclaimed, glaring at the piece of parchment. That had felt like a personal attack there. Someone noisily shushed in his direction and the boy returned to reading.

"Well fear not, you hold the tool to become a great ninja anyway. Written on this scroll you will find explanations dumbed down enough for your stupid brain to comprehend and a complete guide to attaining strength that even you and despite your idiocy will be able to follow."

Naruto had to fight the urge to tear the scroll in a million pieces. The temptation was strong but he would get a dressing down of the age if he did so so he resisted.

"Now a ninja has to heat healthy first and foremost. So get rid of all that chocolate you're secretly eating at night. You're smirking because you don't eat chocolate. Then you'll cut down on salt and yes, ramen is way too salty. So stop with the ramen, especially the ones in cups: they are super unhealthy. Seriously, you'll stay a squid for your entire life if you don't eat anything else."

Naruto slammed the scroll on the table and his head swivelled around. That was definitely way too close too home to be the work of chance. Someone was pulling a prank on him. With squinted eyes, the blond surveilled the library but could not detect anyone.

Suddenly, motion caught his gaze and he looked back down on the scroll.

"Don't you dare stop reading me, you lazy ass!"

With wide eyes, the boy yelped and jumped away from the scroll. It was alive! There was no other explanation for this specific line to appear as it had.



Carefully inching closer to the table again, Naruto warily looked at the parchment. In front of his flabbergasted eyes, ink crawled on the scroll and formed words.

"Ready to learn yet, you good-for-nothing?" The blond read silently.


AN: leave a review if you feel like it.