Disclaimer: I in no way own the Naruto Series, it belongs to Masashi Kishimoto. The name Ryo Haruno was orignally thought up by RoyHaruno. Great minds think alike I suppose. P
Author's Note: My very first attempt at a NaruIno fanfic. Hopefully it turns out good. A few things I would like to say about the fic is...It's mysterious and keeps you guessing about what has happened in the past. The fic may come across as slightly confusing...I really hope it doesn't though because it makes perfect sense in my own happy little world. Anyway if you have any questions feel fre to ask me. I'm a pretty entertaining writer. (so I hear) Anyway, you probably skipped the author's note anyway. (Honestly how many of you actually read the Author's note...be honest) So I will not lead you astray any longer...On with the Fic!
At fifteen years old, Naruto Uzumaki had been forced to grow up and in the span of the twelve years since then, people found it hard to believe that he could still smile. Many of his precious people perished during the war to take down the Akatsuki: Asuma, Jiraiya, Chouji, Hinata, Lee, and …Sasuke.
When Sasuke died, Sakura withdrew herself from the world. Naruto constantly tried to force her out of her rut, but nothing he could do worked. The biggest shock was nine months later she conceived a child and named him Ryo. Not too long after that, Sakura died… There was no doubt in anyone's mind that he was the last Uchiha, Sasuke's son.
More than anything, Naruto wished to raise the child. Tsunade helped Naruto plead the case to the council, but in the end he was considered "unfit" to properly care for Ryo. Thus the care of the child went to Sakura's best friend and the only other person still alive close to her, Ino Yamanaka.
The day after the case, Naruto left the hidden leaf village, at nineteen years old, due to their being "too many bad memories." Naruto spent eight years simply training and exploring the world. It was an amazing way to get away from it all. But, as with most things in life, fate always brought him back home.
At age twenty-seven, he received a letter one day from Kakashi Hatake, the Sixth Hokage of the Hidden Leaf Village. Tsunade had passed away at the age of sixty-five. The news surprised Naruto at first until he remembered one of Tsunade's jutsu decreased her life span each time it was used. Naruto was able to make it to the funeral. It is amazing how much friends can change in only eight years.
On that day he reinstated his license as a Konoha shinobi.
Naruto then took time out of his schedule to take the Jounin Exams. He was easily the star of the show and was entitled to Jounin status.
His first mission as a Jounin…
"From this moment on you are all Genin," Iruka-sensei greeted kindly.
This would be Iruka's last year of teaching. It was hard for him to believe he had lived long enough and attained enough money to retire at his young age. His friends, his family, and even some of his students had died, yet he lived. Iruka found it unfair that fate decided who lived and who died, but it was something all shinobi were taught. But there is no use thinking about it now. What's done is done.
"As Genin you will be learning from a Jounin who will act as your sensei. I know a lot of these jounin personally, and I can honestly say that you are all in good hands."
Looks of impatient excitement were mirrored on every child's face. Iruka sighed, 'Kids today, no respect for their elders.'
"The team pairings will be posted on the bulletin board in the hall."
Back in the day, Iruka would have just called the teams out, but after last year's class caused that ruckus at the pairings he decided this may be wiser.
"Wait in here for your jounin sensei to arrive. I suggest while you wait you familiarize yourselves with your teammates." Iruka said mysteriously, puzzling the students. To add to the effect, Iruka left the room.
"YES!" one Ayako Ogasawara yelled out. "I'm in Squad Five with Ryo Haruno!"
"Hey, I'm in that team too!"
Ayako looked to her left and had to hold her eye back from twitching. Ryo was an amazing choice for a teammate, but God, why did Akio Inuzuka have to be in the same squad?
Ayako decided it would be best to just ignore Inuzuka and rushed back into the classroom to talk to Ryo. "Hey Ryo, guess what? You and me are teammates!"
Ryo opened one eye from his meditation, "Cool. Who's our sensei?"
"I…was so excited that I forgot to look…" Ayako replied blushing.
"It's Naruto Uzumaki," Akio said coming in and jumping into the conversation. "Any of you know much about him?"
Ryo wiped a lock of black hair from his eye before shrugging, "Him and my real mom were on the same team, but that's all I really know."
"I wonder what he's like," Ayako wondered.
"Damn, running late again," said twenty-seven year old Naruto Uzumaki as he began rummaging through his things. "Where the hell did I put the Genin List?!"
Finally after what seemed like a lifetime of searching, Naruto found the list hidden under an empty bowl of ramen. He picked the list up and surveyed his team. Naruto's eyes grew wide at the last genin's name.
"Our sensei is late!" Ayako fumed walking back and forth in such a fashion that it was scaring Ryo and Akio. Akio was beginning to plan an escape route when the sliding door opened. Suddenly the room went quiet as all the genin teams left held their breaths as the next sensei was revealed to be…
Ryo's mom. Ryo tried to hide, but it was too late.
"Hi Ryo," Ino called waving at him.
Ryo slammed his head against the desk before blushing embarrassedly, "Hi mom…"
Ino had to refrain herself from embarrassing Ryo a bit more, but this was strange. According to the schedule Ryo's team should have been picked up already.
"Where's your sensei?" Ino asked them.
"He's late!" Ayako said angrily.
"Relax, I'm only a little late."
Squad Five looked towards where the voice came from, but no one was there to greet them.
"You guys are too slow. We'll have to work on that I guess."
Squad Five wheeled around. Sitting in the row behind them was a well-toned man with spiky blonde hair and cerulean blue eyes. His uniform consisted of a black jounin vest with an orange undershirt, black pants with an orange stripe running down the sides, and a pair of black combat boots.
"Nice to know you've improved since I last saw you," Naruto said smiling at Ino.
"We're not Genin anymore Naruto," Ino replied back kindly.
Squad Five just stood with their jaws dropped at the sheer speed they had just witnessed.
"That's true," Naruto said, "by the way, I was hoping we could go somewhere tonight...to get...reacquainted"
Ryo blinked was his sensei trying to hit on his mom…right in front of him?!
Ino nodded, "Midnight at the park sound good?"
Ryo was shocked. His mom was really going to take this guy up on that offer?!
"Perfect," Naruto nodded back before focusing on the genin. "Now you three meet me on the roof in five minutes."
Then, just as quickly as he came, he poofed out of existence.
"Was that…our sensei?" Ayako asked astonished.
"Absolutely…AWESOME!" Akio yelled before running out of the room for the roof.
"Well we know what the idiot thinks," Ayako said irritated, "What do you think Ry—"
Ryo got up without acknowledging her and walked out of the room.
"Hey Ryo? Wait for me!" Ayako said running after him.
"Kids," Ino said shaking her head from side to side before calling out for Squad Six.
A beautiful day had greeted the city of Konoha today as the birds chirped near the Hokage Mountain. Naruto looked at the distant mountain in amazement. It now had a sixth head being renovated in the image of Kakashi. From the looks of it, it still needed some time before it was completed.
Naruto shook his head as he noticed the three little genin looking up at him.
"Alright," he said clapping his hands together and looking at the kids, "Tell me a little about yourselves. Tell me your name, likes, dislikes, hobbies, and dreams if you have any."
The genin looked at each other before it was decided that the boy with the brown spiky hair would start.
"My name is Akio Inuzuka. I like dogs and I hate losing. My hobby includes playing with my twin dogs, Sakon and Ukon. My dream is to be a great tracking ninja like my Uncle Kiba!" The boy said ending with a smile.
Naruto nodded, "So you're Hana's son?" The boy nodded. Naruto smiled. "I remember when you were born. Kiba was jumping around the hospital like a lunatic! It took three very angry medic-nins to finally calm him down."
Akio laughed, "Yep that sounds like Uncle Kiba!" Naruto smiled as the memory replayed in his mind.
"LET ME GO! UNCLE KIBA WANTS TO SEE HIS NEPHEW!"
"Kiba calm down and I may consider letting you back in!" Sakura yelled as Kiba was escorted out of the hospital by two medic-nins.
"Sakura-chan acts more and more like Granny Tsunade by the day," Naruto laughed, "I sure hope you know what you've gotten yourself into!"
"Humph, me too," Sasuke said before walking over to talk to Sakura.
Naruto frowned as the two kissed, but knew he could not change Sakura's feelings.
It was her decision and she chose Sasuke.
"Sensei, you didn't listen to anything I said!"
Naruto once again found himself shaking out of a stupor before giving the young brown-haired girl his undivided attention.
"I'm sorry, could you please repeat it?" Naruto asked kindly.
"My name is Ayako Ogasawara," the girl sighed and continued repeating, "I like…" she trailed off before looking at Ryo, "…accomplished shinobi. I dislike…" she trailed off again throwing a glare at Akio, "people who annoy me. Let me think…I sing from time to time as a hobby! My dream is to be a strong kunoichi like the Fifth Hokage was!"
Naruto looked calculatingly at the little girl sitting in front of him. "You want to be a strong Kunoichi?"
The girl looked at him before nodding slowly.
"Then I suggest you start by accepting others for who they are. Don't fall into the trap of trying to prove yourself to the people you cherish…Think about that."
The girl simply nodded her head. Naruto had to hold himself back from rolling his eyes. The girl hadn't gotten the point.
"And finally…" Naruto trailed off looking at the last genin.
The boy had straight black hair that was parted to the side so that it covered his right eye. His visible green eye was staring at Naruto calculatingly before he finally started talking.
"I am Ryo Haruno. I like training and helping my mom around the shop. I hate people who try to hit on her just because they want her in bed. It's not really a hobby but I help out at mom's flower shop. My dream…is to learn everything I can about my real parents."
Naruto stared at Ryo for a very long time. He never expected the kid to be so…happy. He definitely had Sasuke's calculating demeanor, but he held no vengefulness about him. It really caught Naruto off guard. Naruto smiled. Ino must have been a really good parent to the boy.
"That's a very grown up answer for a boy of your age. Your parents must be proud."
Ryo smiled, "She is."
Naruto nodded but his answer left him troubled. Ino was single? When he left the village she was engaged to Sai.
"Naruto!" Ino yelled catching up to him.
Naruto stopped right outside the gates of Konoha to look back at Ino.
"I-I just wanted to say…" Ino started, "I just wanted to say I'll take good care of Ryo, but…"
"But?" Naruto replied pushing her to continue.
"But that doesn't mean you have to walk out on his life!" Ino replied angrily. "You knew Sasuke and Sakura a lot better than I did. Sure I know a lot about who Sakura was growing up, but we never got to talk much after we became genin!"
"Sai knows just as much about Sasuke and Sakura as I do," Naruto replied reaffirming his grip on his backpack. "He can help you fill in the blanks."
Naruto was through talking and so he turned around and began his journey away from the hidden leaf village.
"Like it or not Naruto Uzumaki!" Ino yelled after him, "Ryo will need you someday! And I will make sure you help him, even if I have to drag you back to Konoha myself!"
Was this why he was assigned to Ryo's team? Ino was a lot cleverer than he gave her credit for. She must have been spending too much time with Shikamaru.
"Meet me at Training Ground Five tomorrow; we will be doing an exercise in teamwork. If I consider your teamwork noteworthy, I will teach you a jutsu. If you fail the exercise, however, I'm sending all of you back to the academy."
"What, you can't do that to us?!" yelled Akio and Ayako.
"Can and will," Naruto replied, "I would suggest you go train together right now so that you don't fail."
Groans filled the air surrounding Naruto, who could only smile at the groaning genin.
The night sky was beautiful tonight. The bright moon reflected off the clouds in such a way that the darkness of the night sky was illuminated. Naruto stood in front of the memorial stone looking down at the names of his fallen comrades.
"You know," he called out to no one in particular, "it's almost scary how much I've become like Kakashi.
"I find it strange that you don't refer to him as sensei anymore," Ino said as she walked up to him from out of the trees' shadows.
"I don't add suffixes to anyone's name anymore." Naruto replied in a depressing tone. "I feel like it keeps them safe."
Ino nodded realizing that most of the people Naruto held in high regards were now engraved on the very stone in front of them.
"They've been marked down as heroes," Ino said quietly.
"No they haven't," Naruto replied harshly causing Ino to bite her tongue, "Hero's stories are passed down from generation to generation. Some are even able to make it into the history books. Our friends are nothing more than a name engraved on a stone. A forgotten memory left to ponder about to the youth of the village."
The words cut Ino deep and an unsettling pause built between the two shinobi that lasted nearly ten minutes before they found a change in subject.
"You know," Ino began, "Ryo is excited about seeing you tomorrow. He hopes that you can tell him some stories about—"
"I gave that job to Sai when I left the village..."
"Sai isn't here to tell those stories! He's dead!"
That was the last thing he wanted to hear come from Ino's mouth. Naruto started scanning the stone for his name. Sadly enough, Sai's name was engraved six name's under Sakura's.
"How?" Naruto asked.
"We got a lead on a rogue shinobi in the Rain Village." Ino began trying to keep from choking up. "We found the hideout and began infiltration…and it turned out to be a trap set up by a few S-Class Ninjas…they cut Sai and me off from the other anbu. We managed to put up a good fight…but the leader…he overpowered me…"
"And?" Naruto asked even though he had a good idea how this story would end.
"He gave Sai a choice…my life in exchange for his…and Sai he…he accepted," Ino continued as tears began cascading down her eyes, "on the condition…that I be set free…and…and…"
Ino broke down. Naruto didn't have to hear the rest of the story. Gently he wrapped his arms around Ino. They stayed that way for a long time. The minutes seemed like hours as time went to a standstill in that moment. After a while, Ino found herself wrapping her arms around his neck.
"I'm sorry," Naruto whispered as Ino sniffled before leaning her head against Naruto's chest.
"No I…I needed that," Ino replied quietly wiping her tears onto Naruto's vest.
Neither spoke as the moment was too much for words. It was hard to know how long they stayed like that, but finally Naruto pulled back to look her in the eyes.
"I can't make any promises, but I will try to tell him whatever I can."
Ino nodded understandingly and both of them comforted each other as they looked down in commemoration to the friends they had lost.
In Memory of those Shinobi Who Sacrificed their Lives for the Sake of their Village
Edit: Re-edited asterisks are used to show the gap between each of the deaths of characters. The asterisks symbolize other names of Shinobi that died in between that are unknown to Naruto.
Edit: Re-edited asterisks are used to show the gap between each of the deaths of characters. The asterisks symbolize other names of Shinobi that died in between that are unknown to Naruto.Author's Note: First Chapter. Woot! Man I am drained...As a bunch of the NaruTayu fans out there know, I'm not the greatest when it comes to mechanical errors, so if you see any please let me know and I will try to fix them. Also I appreciate REVIEWS! Reviews make the world go round...to me. The more reviews the more excited I get about getting a chapter out. I hope that you ask questions about this fic, because I would be delighted to answer them so long as they do not ruin the story in some misbegotten way, shape, or form. Anyway, I digress. I hope everyone is interested, because I'm excited about this fic and hope that you are too. Peace.