Alright, I had this idea for a while and wrote it because someone posted a challenge involving writing Crack Oneshot that I noticed ended today. I wrote this in like three hours, so sorry if it isn't up to my usual quality, I'll try to edit it at some point.
Also this is currently a oneshot, if people like it I might make it a twoshot, but I don't think this can really go post-timeskip very easily.
Naruto frowned at his, once more, terribly made clones and sighed. It wasn't like he wasn't trying, no matter what the teachers and other students said. It's just that, unlike the other two jutsu the Academy taught, the clone technique never worked! With a snarl he dismissed the clones before deciding to calm himself by practicing the one jutsu he had down enough to call his own. The henge may have not been as flashy as he'd like, but his attempts to turn into objects was finally working. With a bit of work maybe he'd be able to surprise someone by turning into a kunai in flight only to turn back behind them, he just needed to make it to where he kept moving when he changed. Face twisted in concentration, Naruto begins practicing with renewed fervor.
Tenten Higurashi considered herself a decent, if new, shinobi in training (unlike those screeching disappointments of Fangirls). But she had to admit that while her aim and throwing arm were excellent, her ability to do so under pressure was less so. This was brought on by her current predicament of having to search the training grounds behind the school for a lucky kunai that would have hit a bullseye, if one of the fangirls she so desperately loathed hadn't started screeching in her ear while she was practicing. Really this wouldn't be so bad if she hadn't been using her lucky kunai, the first one she ever forged, at the time. But noooooo- *thud*
Tenten stopped her inner monologue with a start, she knew that sound, it was the sound of a kunai hitting the ground, maybe hers had just fallen out of a tree, unlikely as that was. With a bound she made way to the source of the noise to find… Not her kunai. Actually it looked fairly well made, and new to boot. How it got here she wasn't sure, but who was she to look a gift horse in the-
With a muffled fwhoomp, she was no longer looking at a kunai, but into the brilliant blue eyes of- the class troublemaker Naruto Uzumaki. Goddamnit, she was in no mood for his (admittedly pretty amusing) shenanigains.
"What the hell was that Uzumaki!?"
Naruto looked almost more surprised than her, "I was practicing my henge, what are you doing here!?"
"Looking for my kunai, not that it's any…" It takes a moment for what he said to fully register.
Glancing under where her wayward classmate is getting up, Tenten notices the very much real indentation, the indentation that an illusory henge could not possibly make. Going through all the possibilities in her mind one thought arrives at the forefront. Namely; Naruto Uzumaki can turn into Weapons.
"Ah, Tenten, are you alright? Your smile is getting kinda creep-" Naruto is cut off by a bonecrushing hug. It's surprisingly warm.
"We are going to have so much FUN together!"
Naruto wasn't really sure why his classmate was suddenly so happy to help him in exchange for him henge-ing into various weapons, he was sure there were a few others just as good at henge as he was, but this was the first positive attention he had gotten from someone in his age. Sure she was kind of terrifying, but he got used to it fairly quickly, and after being hated by the villagers the change in attitude was welcome. Her response of sending glares back, bolstered by her burgeoning Killing Intent, was even moreso. Not to mention that while he couldn't manage clones, or shooting himself at things, he had managed to reorient himself handily while transforming.
"Say, Uzumaki, why do these jerks all seem to have a problem with you?" Tenten inquired while practicing with him as a scythe.
Turning back, Naruto took a moment to respond, "dunno they just always have. The Old Man says he doesn't know, and Old Man Teuchi just says he can't talk about it. I think it has something to do with my birthday, since it's always worse then and they keep comparing me to the kyuubi."
"I wonder…" Tenten would be the first to admit she was no genius, but something was niggling at the back of her mind about this situation. Naruto had tons of chakra for his age if his stamina was to be believed, an odd healing factor that meant even when she used him as target practice there were barely any cuts afterwards, and all that hatred… "I need to check something, you want to stay here or?"
With a shrug Naruto turned into a hairpin. They had found hiding him to be the best way of getting anywhere quickly, as otherwise Tenten's need to glare back at the villagers could cause a major holdup on their travels. Naruto could've turned into a nondescript kid as well, but staying an object without getting disoriented was better training.
At the library, Tenten makes a beeline for the section on weapons, selecting a fairly large volume involving the history of various weapons and turning to the end, a section labled 'Jinchūriki'. Nodding at the description she checks the book out before returning to the training field.
"Alright, I think this is it." As Naruto returns to human form Tenten flips back to the section she had noted, reading it aloud. "Jinchūriki are humans that have tailed beasts sealed within them. They exhibit extraordinary powers due to the immense chakra reserves they possess. The power of the tailed beast within them can manifest as well in granting them unique abilities similar to a bloodlimit. Though Jinchūriki are incredibly powerful, they are often ostracized by even their home villages, due both to the difficulty they face in controlling their power, as well as the dangers inherent in their creation and stability."
Naruto stares at the book, dumbstruck, as Tenten reads from it with increasing excitement. His hands shaking, he looks down. "So that's it then, I'm a monster, the Kyuub-"
Naruto's horror-struck tirade is cut short by her cannoning into him for another hug. "Not a chance Weapon-kun, it's like you didn't even listen to that. You're just using the Kyuubi's power, it's got nothing to do with you."
Naruto sits down with Tenten still clinging to him. "Are- are you sure?"
"Course I'm sure, I've been learning seals myself after all, I think I can tell the difference between a scroll and a kunai. Besides-" Her grin goes positively feral. "If I remember the laws correctly, this means you're legally classified as a weapon, just like the Inuzuka's Nin-dogs. Which means~" Tenten gets up, smiling. "Even if you can't do the clones you can still graduate with me!"
Naruto's grin at that could've brought spring to Snow Country.
Sarutobi Hiruzen was the third Hokage of the leaf. Technically also the Fifth, but since he was already the Third it was easier to just leave it at that, meant less carving to do as well. As he sat back in his chair he considered that, while he still hated paperwork with a burning (if only) passion, this was one set that he looked forward to every year. Checking over the Academy graduates and approving the teams. Going over the first few he nodded genially, most of them looked fine, the ones that were really not ready going to the jounin that would be capable of pushing them either into other fields, or to the remedial classes, with minimal total dropouts. He spared a glance to the unlucky team that was being sent Kakashi's way, it was harsh, but some kids really needed a wakeup call and even if he did tend towards the trauma the kids that Kakashi failed generally did exceptionally well in whichever field they ended up in. Moving on to Kakashi's touted 'eternal rival' he frowned at how the folder seemed larger than the others. Reading it, he stopped and went back over it again. According to this Gai was getting four genin? No, wait, the fourth was using the same system put in place for nin-animals. That shouldn't be- Finally noticing the name of the fourth student, his pipe dropped to the desk in an area sadly bereft of paper (Damn).
Naruto, but that meant- With a motion Sarutobi summoned an ANBU and ordered them to bring him the relevant section of law. The folder was placed on his desk within the time it took for him to refill and relight his pipe. Paging through to the relevant section, he glared at the offending paper. This could've caused no end of trouble if the wrong people found out. And he knew exactly who to blame for this. Setting his pipe down, he summoned his ANBU, no longer looking the genial old man and instead every bit the God of Shinobi he was famed as.
"Bring me Danzo."
Naruto had to admit that the last year had been a good one. His sensei was a bit odd, but he was learning so much! Sure not much of it was awesome jutsu, but Gai Sensei had finally taught him one called the Kage Bunshin after he had run them into the ground for a week straight. This on top of all the other training he did with Tenten. Sure he trained with the rest of his team too, but Tenten was great at finding new things to do! In their current mission she had even had him make a clone into a cage for Tora instead of having to carry the demonic cat himself. As they turned in their mission, Naruto gave a smile to the Hokage he still didn't like that the Old Man had lied to him, but he had explained everything the day he graduated without Naruto confronting him.
"Ahh yes, Team Gai, very well done on that mission. There are a few more D-ranks left if you'd like to do another." A scream of 'Tora No!' interrupts the Hokage from continuing. "Capturing Tora for instance." He looks over the Genin that appear about to mutiny. Even Gai seems a tad put-out. "No? Alright, I was saving this one for Kakashi, but since his team seems to have managed to hospitalize him again it falls to you if you'd like it.
Gai nods. "YOSH! We will complete it to our upmost Hokage-Sama!"
With that an old drunk is beckoned into the room.
"Wha- what the hell!? I thought I'd be assigned ninja, not a pretty boy, a clone, a midget, and a g-" The drunk is cut off by the sword Tenten has in his face."
"I wouldn't continue that if I were you." Tenten's KI was enough to send him foaming at the mouth, while everyone else winced. Her practicing on every civilian to glare near her for the past year had paid dividends, though it was doubtful her 'volunteers' were happy about it.
The Hokage continued as though that hadn't happened. "You are to guard the bridge-builder Tazuna on the way back to his hometown of Wave and during the completion of his bridge. You leave tomorrow, good luck!"
The first indication that things were off was the puddle, Team Gai was savvy enough after a year of Naruto's pranks (called Traps of Youth! By Gai), that they were immediately on guard. A few handsigns, a check with the Byakugan, and an argument later and Gai had given them the all-clear to engage themselves. A few more terminating in a rock-paper-scissors showdown let Tenten and Naruto take point on dealing with them.
As the Demon Brothers emerged from the suspicious puddle to attack, pulling the chain between their gauntlets towards Gai as the biggest threat. Tenten had already fouled their chain with a kunai and hurled enough steel at the two brothers to qualify as a quality ore deposit. Breaking off their chain, and deftly dodging the wall of death, the left Demon Brother was met with a happy Lee and fuming Neji, the one on the right was having even less fun.
Tenten held up the glove of the rDB (right Demon Brother), much to his concern considering he should be wearing it. "So I see poison, and the opening, but where's the chain release mechanism?" The rDB responded by trying to retake the glove with a kunai. Blocking the kunai Tenten responded with a few lazily thrown shuriken, "rude, I was asking- oh nevermind, there it is, I suppose the pinky would be harder to release on accident, but really the extra mechanisms must weaken the structure considerably." Passing the gauntlet to the boy that was suddenly by her side she asked "So Naruto, you think you could do this one?"
Naruto examined the gauntlet for a few moments before tossing it to the side, much to the rDB's indignance. "Got it, ready when you are."
As Naruto took the form of the gauntlet, with clones taking the place of the chain, other gauntlet, and lDB, Tenten smiled. "Let's test this out then."
The rDB spoke his first words of the failed ambush. "Well that's just not fair."
Team Gai inevitably decided to continue on with the mission, reasoning that while they could go back to report Tazuna's treachery they'd just send a team of chunin, and they were basically chunin, but with Gai. Reaching Wave proper it wasn't long before the mist unnaturally intensifying got their attention. Just like that whirring sound.
With a shout to "Get Down!" Neji tackleds Tazuna to the ground leaving the others to eyeroll as Naruto intercepted the massive sword whirring through the mist with a Tower Shield. Gai quickly pounced on the man that then jumped out of the tree looking slightly put-out.
"What an UNYOUTHFUL Sneak Attack!" was quickly met with a cry of "WE ARE FUCKING NINJA!" Which Team Gai had found was a typical response to their leader's antics.
Back with the group Tenten was salivating at the sword.
"Kubikiribōchō, one of the seven swords of the Mist, and it's mine, all mine! MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!" Everyone except for Naruto had taken the opportunity to get out of dodge (Read; Run the fuck away) before Tenten could try 'testing' anything. That laugh just really did not bode well.
Naruto had foregone self-preservation in favor of studying the seals that were laid across the hilt of the sword and seemed to continue up it. "How interesting, they've managed to self-perpetuate a seal by describing the next part of it as a portion of the recreation matrix."
Tenten turned her eyes expectantly to Naruto. "Sooooo…"
"Yes, though most of the seals won't do much the durability and silence ones should make up for it." Naruto responded.
"Excellent!" With that exclamation Tenten throws the original Kubikiribōchō aside like yesterday's trash, nearly bisecting an angry Zabuza.
"What was that girlie, I thought you were claiming her as your own, too bad a little kiddy like you playing ninja wouldn't know the first thing about usin-" Zabuza is promptly cutoff by a tide of Killing Intent figuratively, and by a copy of Kubikiribōchō almost literally.
"What the-" "DYNAMIC ENTRY!" Zabuza has just enough time to be surprised once more before Gai manages to come out of nowhere and send him careening through the forest. Gai and Tenten have just enough time to catch sight of a masked hunter-nin before they disappear, Zabuza in tow.
At Tazuna's the declaration that Zabuza "Used a Most UNYOUTHFUL Method Of Deception" to trick them into believing him dead is met with a resigned look from Neji, the usual grin from Lee, indifference from Naruto, and a squee of glee from Tenten at the possibility of fighting a swordsman of the Mist again.
At the bridge Naruto has fun henge-ing clones into much needed workers and tools, while Gai leads everyone else in training on the water. As the week before the bridge is complete passes in tense moderate-noise everyone figures that the bridge will be attacked at the last possible moment. Leaving a platoon of clones behind to guard the house, Team Gai arrives at the bridge to find… A bunch of knocked out workers. Also Zabuza.
"Alright Gai, I've brought my apprentice to play with your brats while we finish this." Zabuza declares, glancing at the cackling kunoichi warily.
"YOSH! I Will Defeat You Or Else Do-" The tirade of YOUTH! Is cut off by Zabuza sighing in exasperation while going for the throat. Gai's cry of "How UNYOUTHFUL!" is lost in the mist.
Haku approaches the four Genin. Two of which immediately book it with Tazuna in an attempt to get out of range. "If you let me kill the bridge builder you have my word you will be unharmed." Their eyes linger on Naruto for a bit longer.
Tenten eyes their opponent suspiciously. "Naruto do you know this person somehow?"
As he goes to answer his eyes light up in recognition. "Oh yeah, you're that girl from the forest. How've you been?"
Tenten sighs. "Of course you do." She turns to Haku, "look, is there any way we could get you to not kill the bridge builder? We kinda have our hands tied with this."
Haku looks genuinely sorrowful "I'm sorry, but as master Zabuza's weapon I must fulfil his-" They are unfortunately cut off by Tenten seeming to teleport to their side and start examining them.
"You're a Weapon too? What kind, do you transform like Naruto? Wait, is this like the 'all shinobi are weapons' thing? Because while hitting people with other ninjas is fun it's generally not very efficient." Haku looks genuinely uncomfortable at the examination.
"I am afraid I am the last type, in any case this has gone on long enough. Hijutsu: Makyō Hyōshō" Haku states while forming a dome of ice mirrors.
"You liar, you could totally just make an ice sword and hide in it!" Tenten calls from the edge of the dome, before Haku knocks her into the center with Naruto.
"Unfortunately for you my mirrors are unbreakable and I will not allow you to escape. Please surrender so I do not have to kill you. Haku's voice emanates from the mirrors.
Tenten grins widely at that. "Unbreakable you say? Naruto, looks like we can test the maximum firepower of the fuuma shurikens."
Naruto obligingly waves his hands, summoning a number of them for each of them. "Uzumaki-Higurashi Secret Technique"
Tenten finishes the name "Demonic Exploding Shuriken of DOOM!"
The mist is blown back by a massive shockwave emanating from the shattering dome. Gai and Zabuza stop their fight even as Gai winces in sympathy for Zabuza's apprentice.
"I take it that was the crazy one?" Zabuza asks.
"Yosh! Her Flames of Youth Burn Most Brightly Today it Seems." Gai responds.
The two go to finish their fight only to notice a figure striding through the fading fog.
"Oh very nice Zabuza, it seems your vaunted apprentice was just like yourself, all talk and no delivery." Gato speaks as he strides through the fog. "Luckily I brought some… Associates. To finish things up." As he speaks the various thugs come into sight, striding past Gato onto the bridge.
"Well Gai, it seems my contract has been terminated and we no longer need to fight." He grins. "Care to see who can take out more of these scrubs?"
"Yosh! And If I Can't I Shall Go Back To Konoha On My Hands!" Is Gai's response.