Alrighty, so here we go. This came about because I got fed up with reading stories where Naruto confronts the Sandaime about his heritage/kyuubi/what have you and the Sandaime gets beaten down as a weak old man, who seems to be going senile and has to beg for forgiveness. Bullshit. He's the Hokage, in fact, he's been the Hokage longer than anyone else, and he's lived and fought through war. I don't care how much he loves you, you disrespect him and what he does and he's not gonna be happy.

Talking - "Why hello there."

Thoughts - 'Hmm, interesting.'

Documents - Date: Shinobi Year 480

Flashbacks - Almost as good as a time machine

Remebering/Quoting Someone Else Talking not in a Flashback - Remember his diss? Yo mama

The second stage of the Chunin Exam had just come to a close, the participants of the preliminaries still able to walk led out of the Forest of Death. Once they were out, the tired genin split up, each heading out to prepare for the third phase of the exam.

"This sucks," the blond grumbled, his brow creased in disappointment. He had rushed to find Kakashi-sensei right off the bat, hoping that the scarecrow could train him for the month, but he had blown Naruto off.

So now we find our protagonist, tired and angry, trudging his way through the crowds the Chunin Exam always brought. Unconsciously, his feet led him away from the crowded areas and out to one of the numerous parks dotting the village, where he slumped down onto an available bench.

Staring up into the sky, he contemplated his options. 'I could go meet with the closet-pervert like Kakashi-sensei said. Or maybe I could go bug jiji...nah, him being Hokage an all probably means he's real busy now...'

Lost in thought, he didn't notice the man sitting next to him until he spoke up.

"Not sensing someone making no effort to hide themselves while right next to said person doesn't bode well for your future, Uzumaki," the man stated in a gravely voice.

"Wah!" the blond yelped, shooting off the bench. He managed to land on his feet, and spun to face the speaker. "Who're you bandage face? And why are you sneakin' up on people?"

Bandage face, a.k.a. Shimura Danzou, stared at Naruto with a mild glare, that caused the boy to wilt slightly. "I did not sneak up on you, I merely walked up to the bench while you were daydreaming. Were I an enemy, you would be dead right now." His glare sharpened, causing the genin to start fidgeting slightly, and said, "And I will not tolerate any insults from you, genin."

Danzou fell silent while keeping his one-eyed glared on the blond until he deemed the rude one properly cowed. "As for my name, it is Danzou. I have a...proposition for you, as it were."

At this, Naruto regarded the man warily. "What do you want ban-I mean Danzou-san?"

Danzou turned, staring off into the distance, before replying. "I have heard that your jonin-sensei has pawned you off to that fool Ebisu." Naruto opened his mouth to argue, but Danzou kept right on going. "My deal is this. I am willing to train you for the upcoming third phase of the Chunin exam. In return, I would like you to do me a favor."

The blond paused, his retort falling away as he heard the man offer to train him. He glanced the bandaged man over once again, noticing the covered eye and the seemingly useless right arm. "What could you offer to train me in? You're all bandaged up and look like a cripple."

"We are shinobi boy, deception is the lifeblood of our kind." As he said this, Danzou whipped his cane up in his left hand faster than Naruto could see, the tip coming to rest on the boy's throat. The tip, he noticed, had a metal cap, with a small point in the center, which was currently putting enough pressure on his skin to make a drop of blood bead at the point of contact. Danzou went in for the kill.

"Besides, I used to be on a team with Sarutobi under the Nidaime Hokage."

At this, Naruto's eyes grew wide. "No way! You were on a team with jiji?" It seemed he had completely forgotten about the came at his throat. A thought seemed to strike him then, and his eyes narrowed into mere slits. "But wait, if you're so awesome, why would you want to train me?"

Danzou lowered his cane, giving the boy the slightest of nods. "Already you take what I say and apply it. That is true, I am not doing this out of the kindness of my heart. Like I mentioned earlier, I would require a small favor."

Still with his suspicious look, Naruto asked, "And what would that favor be?" He was understandably wary, considering that this situation was eerily reminiscent of that time with Mizuki.

Seeming to read his mind, the elder replied, "Uzumaki. Anything I ask of you will be for the betterment of Konoha. I have fought and suffered for years to keep her strong, and I will let nothing get in my way. That said, I have nothing in mind at the moment, but surely something will come up in the future in which your services will be appreciated."

Hearing the passionate truth ringing in the man's voice, the Uzumaki let some of his reservations go. "Alright, but why should I trust you?" Some reservations, not all.

"You shouldn't, as I haven't done anything to gain your trust," Danzou stated bluntly. "To that end, here." He handed a rolled up scroll to the boy. "Read this, and see for yourself if it is true. If you're not sure, take it to someone you can trust, and ask them to verify it."

Naruto made to open the scroll then and there, but Danzou stopped him. "Not here, Uzumaki. Open it in private first. I'm sure you'll find its contents quite...interesting. Now go."

A little rankled at the abrupt dismissal, the blond nonetheless pocketed the scroll and began to hightail it back to his apartment, leaving the elder sitting by himself. 'Hmph, such a waste. If Sarutobi had let me have him in the beginning, he would be the ultimate ninja of the village.'

Safely ensconced in his apartment, Naruto stared at the scroll with unabashed curiosity. Aware that the scroll itself could be a trap, he formed a single Kage Bunshin and had the clone open it. When no explosions or flying kunai appeared and his clone didn't dispel, he manually dismissed the clone and picked up the scroll.

Naruto frowned. Much of the scroll was blacked out where the type wasn't almost worn away. He began to skim through the first part, catching a few words here and there. 'Subject Uzu-..Naruto...Uzumaki...Blood Type...Namikaze M-...-od Type...-bject: 98.63% match...'

This was followed by a bunch of symbols, numbers, charts, and graphs, that, had Naruto known what they were and what they meant would realize that they were DNA comparisons. Of course, he didn't even notice that. He was focusing on the earlier figure: 98.63% match. Uzumaki and Namikaze...those must've been his parents' family names!

Hmm, Namikaze... That sounded familiar. And it looked like the given name started with an M. Naruto suddenly paled. He remembered where he had heard that name before. After all, in the academy, it was part of the only bookwork subject he ever paid attention to.


"Today class, we'll be going over the Hokage, past and present," Iruka said. Naruto had perked up. After all, his dream was to be Hokage and take the hat from jiji.

"Alright who can give me the Shodai and Nidaime Hokages' names and what they were known for?" Several hands shot up, including Naruto's, but the pink haired Haruno Sakura beat him to it. "Yes Sakura?" Iruka asked.

"The Shodai was Senju Hashirama, known for his mokuton ninjutsu, and the Nidaime was Senju Tobirama, the Shodai's younger brother, known for his mastery of suiton jutsu," she answered perkily.

"That's correct," the instructor smiled. "And how about Sandaime-sama? Sasuke?"

The dark haired Uchiha gave a mild glare at being called on before answering. "Hn. Sarutobi Hiruzen, known as the Kami no Shinobi and the Professor, for his mastery of nearly all ninjutsu in Konoha."

Iruka sweatdropped at his attitude, but nodded, seeing as he got the answer right. "Alright and now for Yon-"

"Pick me! Pick me!" Naruto yelled, almost vibrating in his seat with eagerness.

"Yes Naruto?" Iruka sighed.

"The Yondaime Hokage was the greatest! He is known for his Hiraishin no Jutsu in the Third War and for defeating the Kyuubi when it attacked Konoha!"

"And his name?"

"Oh yeah. His name is Namikaze Minato!"

Flashback End

The scroll slipped from limp fingers and hit the floor, the muted thump it made loud in the sudden silence that seemed to descend upon the tiny apartment.

Naruto's mind reeled with implications and accusations. ', it can't be true. Jiji must've known. That means...that means he's been lying to me all this time... The Yondaime's my father? ...But, but he sealed the Kyuubi in me...' It was all too much. Naruto couldn't handle all his thoughts. In the midst of his confusion, something Danzou said came back to him.

"Read this, and see for yourself if it is true. If you're not sure, take it to someone you can trust, and ask them to verify it."

Despite the issues it raised and the questions it brought forth, Naruto knew the only one he could ask about this was the Sandaime. He clung to that focus with all his might. Get to jiji. He hurriedly rolled up the scroll before blowing out his door, not even bothering to close and lock it in his haste.

Sarutobi was currently in his office, taking the mission report from a routine caravan protection by a couple of chunin when he felt Naruto's agitated chakra on a beeline for the tower. He raised his hand, causing the speaking chunin to cut off in mid-sentence as he focused on Naruto. 'What could've upset him this much?' he pondered. "That will be all, Izumo-san, Kotetsu-san. Just make sure to turn in a written report at your earliest convenience." As the door closed behind them, Sarutobi turned to the window, and realized that Naruto wasn't slowing down.

At that moment, the genin slammed into the window, shattering it and flying into the room. He hit the ground and crumpled, a wild, desperate look in his eyes. They roved the room, and when they alit on the Sandaime, he took a shuddering breath and croaked out, "J-jiji..."

Seeing the boy he considered a grandson in such a state, the Sandaime was instantly in motion. He leapt his desk and gathered the boy into his arms, murmuring to the boy, trying to calm him. He heard the door open and looked up to see Kotetsu, Izumo, and his secretary rush in, worried about their leader when they heard the crash. Seeing the situation, they were about to open their mouths, but the Sandaime glared and snapped, "Out!" to which the promptly obeyed, the door almost slamming behind them.

The Sandaime held Naruto gently, trying his best to comfort him. After a few minutes, the boy seemed to calm, and pulled away from the aged kage. Whereas Naruto had been completely dependant on Hiruzen during the breakdown the boy suffered, the blond now seemed to be on guard, confusing Sarutobi.

"Naruto," he asked gently, "what's wrong?"

His hands, feeling stiff and clumsy, fumbled a bit at a pocket until they withdrew a scroll from a pocket on his jumpsuit. Once freed, he held the scroll up to Sarutobi, who eyes had focused on it like a hawk. " what's in here the truth?"

Taking the scroll, Sarutobi began to unroll it. As the text became visible, only Hiruzen's many years as a ninja allowed him to conceal the shock and dread he began to feel. As he continued to unroll the scroll to its full length, he kept an impassive look on his face, denying Naruto the answer he was seeking. Once he had reached the end, a tense silence settled over the room.

After what seemed an eternity, the Sandaime quietly rolled the scroll up before eyeing Naruto. "Naruto...where did you get a hold of such a thing?"

The bottom dropped out the boy's stomach. "It's true, isn't it? That proves that the Yondai-"

"Genin Uzumaki Naruto!" Sarutobi's voice thundered in the enclosed space, cutting off the boy, who's eyes widened in shock. "You will not speak of what this scroll contains. Do you understand?" A heavy feeling permeated the air.

The blond was in shock. Was that killing intent? Was his jiji really doing that? ...No this wasn't his jiji anymore. This was the Kami no Shinobi, the ninja who dominated the fields of war, trained by the Shodai and Nidaime Hokages themselves. He began to panic, being the focus of such intent.

Then, a dark feeling began to well up in him, bolstering him as he faltered, bringing his suspicion and anger to the forefront. "You... Hokage-sama, you lied to me. You've lied to me my entire life. You know how much this meant to me! I've always asked you, since the earliest I can remember, about my parents. And all you'd tell me was that they were dead. You never told me their names, or gave me anything of theirs. Even when I pushed you, and you relented by telling me that it was dangerous to know who they were, that it was fir my own good, that they had many enemies! I still wanted to know! I wouldn't have told anyone, but I needed something to latch on to. Something that proved that I'm not some bastard orphan who nobody loved! You had no reason!" Naruto's tirade had started quiet, but got louder and louder, until by the end, he was shouting.

Throughout it all, Sarutobi sat there, like a cliff being battered by the ocean, unmoving, impassive. It seemed as if the words weren't affecting him at all, but one glance at his eyes showed the truth. Naruto's accusations hurt, oh how they hurt. But when Naruto said there was no reason for it, the Sandaime's control cracked a tiny bit. For a second, his killing intent spiked, completely smothering Naruto. The feeling that was urging him on immediately disappeared like a candle in high winds, leaving his mind blank in sheer panic.

Seeing this, Hiruzen reigned himself in, his anger tamped down, but not wholly locked away.

"No reason, you say?" Sarutobi's voice cut across the sudden silence like a whip crack, despite its low volume. "I said it was for your own good, and I wasn't lying." With that, he opened a concealed compartment underneath his desk, drawing out a medium sized and small sized bag that clinked and shifted as he lifted them, tossing them at Naruto's feet. "Open it."

Naruto, thoroughly terrified, didn't want to open it, but the authoritative tone Sarutobi used brooked no arguments. He slowly reached down and lifted the medium bag, before undoing the drawstring. The blond opened the bag, only to freeze, the bag slipping out his fingers and hitting the floor, it's contents spilling out. A few dozen hitai-ate, some bloody, some scratched, some dented and twisted and bent, lay at his feet. "What...?"

"Kumo, Iwa, Kusa, Suna, Mori, along with several others. These all belonged to people who came into my village, in the attempt to capture or kill you merely because you bear a resemblance to the late Yondaime. Now imagine if you mentioned something like that and someone over heard you and it got back to one of these countries."

Naruto paled, realizing the implications. It wasn't even confirmed, and yet several countries had already tried to get rid of him due to him looking like the Yondaime.

"Now," Sarutobi's voice broke in, "open the other bag."

The blond really didn't want to, but he realized he had no choice in the matter. He opened the other bag, noticing that it had several Konoha hitai-ate inside. The boy felt a sinking feeling as he looked to Sarutobi, only to find confirmation in his gaze. Seeing that, Naruto began to cry silently, the tears snaking their way down his face.

The Sandaime's voice, somewhat softened from the steel of earlier, reached out to Naruto. "These belonged to the ninja who dealt with the incursions of the foreign nin. They gave their lives to protect protect you."

The words felt like a hammer blow to the boy, who pulled his legs up and wrapped his arms around his knees, sobbing and mumbling into his legs. "...'m sorry, I didn't know...'m sorry...didn't mean...didn't know..."

Seeing the boy sobbing in front of him, Sarutobi couldn't help but feel sorry for him. Only a boy, and already he was being entangled in the dark depths of the shinobi world. He slowly rose and walked over to Naruto, placing a hand on the blond's shoulder. Seeing the boy flinch, Hiruzen sighed before saying, "Naruto. It's alright. These people willingly gave their lives to defend their home and the people who live there, much like you and the rest of my ninja do every single day. They died with honor."

"I know it's tough, but this is the way of our world. I had hoped that your entrance into it wouldn't have been so...harsh." The old man sighed, contemplating his next words carefully.

"Your father was like a light in this dark world of ours. I had such high hopes that he would be the one to finally pull us into the light, that we could end this cycle of hatred and death. Unfortunately, his life was cut short buy the Kyuubi."

Naruto, who had been calming down as Sarutobi kept talking flinched, one hand moving down to the seal.

"But he didn't leave us without any hope. Do you know why?" Naruto looked up at him inquisitively. "He left us with you."

"M-me?" Naruto stuttered out as his eyes locked on the aged kage's.

"That's right. I see in you the same thing I did in Minato: the potential to change the fate of us shinobi. And he even gave you a power to help you achieve what he could not," Hiruzen noted glancing at Naruto's seal.

The blond stared down at the seal, his hand gripping the fabric of his jumpsuit above it. He was silent for a few moments, before he started talking softly.

"Jiji. Do you really think I could do that? That I could do something the f-father couldn't?" The blond glance up, his eyes searching the Sandaime's face.

"Of course, Naruto-kun. You still have your whole future ahead of you. Not only do I believe in you, but I'm sure your parents did as well."

A comfortable silence settled on the room, the sun's waning light casting the room in oranges and reds.

"Thanks, jiji."

"Anytime, Naruto-kun, anytime," the Sandaime chuckled. "By the way," he started, sobering slightly, "where did you get that scroll in the first place? It's restricted classified information, only accessible to a handful of people."

Naruto yawned as Sarutobi directed him over to the couch at the side of the room. "Some bandage face guy gave it to me. What was his name again...? Hanshou? Dato?"

"Danzou, Naruto-kun?" Sarutobi replied, his eyes hardening behind Naruto's back as the genin wearily laid down.

"Ah, yeah! Danzou, that's it." The blond yawned widely as his eyes began to droop shut. "Is he in trouble, jiji?"

"Oh, most definitely Naruto-kun," the Hokage said, a feral grin spreading across his face. "Most definitely in trouble, indeed."