Naruto;

First Arc; Awakening

My standard form of writing applies.

" " - Spoken

' ' - Thought

( ) - Commentary. You should know how this goes by now. We see things. I have snarky smartass comments. You want laughs. I see a mutually beneficial deal here.

~~Badadumdunbum~~

Chapter 3 - Harsh reality

~~Badadumdunbum~~

After another hour or so of practicing my new exercise, I got up, stretching my stiff muscles. I offered my hand to Tenten, which she accepted this time. We said our goodbyes and went our seperate ways. I left the training field, wondering what I should do for the rest of the evening.

Hm. Well, I had nothing planned and I've finished all the training I needed for the day, so that leaves-

...Quality time with my new teammates. Fucking lovely.

~~Badadumdunbum~~

Welp, I know where to find Naruto around this time of day. Either in his apartment or at Ichiraku's. And since we just ate there a few hours ago, his apartment complex is the most likely place of his current occupation.

Shouldn't be too hard to find. I just gotta find the place decked out in orange that reeks of ramen.

Heheh. I already had a good idea of where it was...

~~Badadumdunbum~~

Didn't take long. I followed my nose.(Directions from Ayame, actually) It was a short walk away, so I moved towards the apartment complex with hands in pockets, whistling a cheeky tune all the while.

Ten minutes later, I was standing in front of an apartment door, raising my hand. I knocked twice, and waited a beat.

*Fwum-Puhltschcka!*

I heard a crash from inside, followed by muttered curses and the sound of something heavy being dragged across the floor. Oooo-kay.

The door opened a crack, and Naruto poked his head out, staring at me.

"Yo." He continued to stare at me.

"Sasuke? What're you doing here?" I raised an eyebrow.

"I figured you'd be bored sitting around by yourself, so I came over to bug ya."

The look on his face was priceless. "...Okay."

~~Badadumdunbum~~

He invited me in, and I found a slightly messy, but serviceable, apartment interior. Oddly enough, it wasn't decked out entirely in orange, but I could smell ramen coming from what I assumed to be the kitchen area.

"You live here on your own, Naruto?"

"Yeah, Iruka and the old man come check on me every now and again. It's alright... You live by yourself, too, don't you?"

I nodded. "Uh-huh, but it gets lonely having no one around after awhile. The Uchiha compound feels like a ghost town these days."

He smiled sadly. "Yeah... I know what you mean."

We were both quiet for a few moments, reflecting on our shared solitude.

"Hey. You've still got a crush on Sakura, don'tcha?"

"Eh?! W-why d'you ask?" I smirked.

And judging from his reaction, "I'll take that as a yes. I don't know what you see in her, man; I still say you should ask Hinata out."

"Why do you keep telling me that? Why don't YOU ask her out?" I shrugged.

"I would. Hell, she's even my type. Cute, dark hair, ivory skin, very well-endowed... But she's got the hots for you, mate. Cockblocking's not cool. Besides, you deserve to find a cute girl that won't beat you half to death for complimenting her." I joked, but I was entirely serious. She was my type... But eh, I've seen the looks the villagers gave Naruto. It'd just make my day to see the looks on their faces if they saw him and the Hyuuga princess walking down the street, hand in hand. Or kissing, heheh.

"...There's no way," he replied, rather dourly.

I raised an eyebrow. "Why not? What's there not to like? ...Aside from your face, that is. No offense, but that's the face only a mother could love... Kidding, kidding!" He started scowling at me, until I burst out chuckling.

When the blonde didn't say anything, I kept up. "C'mon, man, what'sa matter? If I was trying to punk you, I'd set you up with Ino. Or an Inuzuka. Heh, or Tenten. Heheh, that'd turn out real well; you'd look like a pincushion. A screaming, orange pincushion."

"...You." I blinked.

"Me? Whoa, whoa, whoa, no offense, but I ah, I don't do the two-dudes thing. No thanks."

He rolled his eyes. "That's not what I meant. You've changed overnight; why are you trying to be my friend, anyway? Before today you acted like you were better than everyone." Huh. He's a helluva lot smarter than he lets on, methinks.

"Eh. I realised I was a jerkass with no real friends. And I chose you, because you looked like you needed a friend. Someone to pick you up and dust you off when you fall, and someone I can rely on to get my back in a scrap. I've seen the way you're treated, and frankly, it pisses me off. Ignorant people with a grudge who are taking it out on the wrong person, but don't have the balls to face their own demons."

Naruto flinched at the word 'demon' But didn't respond for a moment. "...They try."

I raised an eyebrow. "They try? What, don't tell me you actually believed Mizuki." Time to set da hook.

His head shot up as he stared at me, jaw dropping. "H-how do you know that?!"

"Not important. What is important, is that you need to get your head on straight. You're not a demon, you're not the Kyuubi. And don't let anyone tell you otherwise, 'cuz they're full'a shit."

He balked. "But- What he said... It- It's why everyone calls me a demon. It's why... My parents..." Just as he started to sulk/sob,

I reached over and calmly, friendly, and ever-so-gently gibsmacked the stupid out of him.

"Ow! What was that for?!" He rubbed his sore spot. The one I'd clocked, it just so happened.

"For being a blockheaded, gullible idiot. If you were the Kyuubi, you'd have gone on a rampage and destroyed the village by now for the way they treat you. Now, I'm not supposed to tell you this, but. If you really want to know what your parents were like, go and ask the Hokage. Before his answer, tell him you want to know about Minato and Kushina."

He blinked, staring at me. "Minato and, Kushina?" I nodded.

"When he looks surprised, point at the picture of the Fourth Hokage on the wall. THAT will get you the answers you want. And when he asks how you figured this out, tell him you... Err, well, make something up. Just don't mention me, okay? I don't feel like spending the evening with Ibiki." Not that he understood my reference to the big guy, hardly any of the Genin know who he is.

He still looked suspicious. Suspicious... Man, whatta word. Suspicious.(This, is a video game reference) "Why are you telling me this?"

I shrugged, adopting a 'who gives a flying fuck' expression. "Because you deserve to know the truth. I can't tell you how I know, but I can tell you some of what I know. But be warned; once you hear something, you cannot unhear it. You've still got time to see the old man if you want. I'll g'head and get out of your hair." I patted his shoulder reassuringly, turned, and walked out. I'd give him time to think and decide.

That went better than expected. Huh. Ah, well.

I made my way back to the Uchiha compound, back to the house I remembered waking up in. Finding it, I walked inside, yawning. I wasn't sure why, but I was tired. Exhausted. Must be this body... It isn't as used to exertion as I am. Well, this is gonna be a pain in the arse. Hell, I'm still sore from treewalking. I am not looking forward to fighting without armor.

Speaking of which, hm. That's going to be the next thing I change. I'll go have a look around some of the shops after tomrrow's chores- I mean, missions. Ugh. If I have to chase after that damned cat, I am going to murder Kakashi.

~~Badadumdunbum~~

With Naruto

After Sasuke left, Naruto sat at his kitchen table, thinking.

"...I'll do it." He stood up, turning and walking outside, heading for the Hokage Tower. He had some questions for the old man.

~~Badadumdunbum~~

He made it to the tower in record time, went up the stairs, and knocked on the door to the Hokage's office.

"Enter."

Walking inside, Naruto saw old Sarutobi filing paperwork.

"Naruto, my boy! How are you?"

"I'm alright, Jii-san." The old man always brought a smile to Naruto's face. Even in his seventies, he still works hard for the village, caring for each and every one of its people.

"What can I do for you, Naruto?" He smiled a grandfatherly smile. He thought of Naruto as one of his own grandchildren, as much so as Konohamaru.

"I wanted to ask you about my parents, Minato and Kushina." Sarutobi's entire face twitched. But he forced his expression to remain grandfatherly, despite his surprise.

"Now where did you hear those names, Naruto?" His tone was even, and calm, despite the sheer shock of what he'd just heard.

Instead of answering, Naruto pointed at the picture on the wall. The one on the far right; of a young, handsome man with bright blonde hair. Hiruzen paled, as he realised that Naruto had learned the truth.

"...Naruto, who told you about this?"

"He asked me not to tell you his name. Jii-san, will you tell me the truth now? Please?"

The old man sighed, wondering just who could have told him... Kakashi? No, he didn't even know that Minato had a child. Tsunade? Definately not. Jiraiya? Hell, no. They both knew that those two had a child, but they didn't know who Naruto was.

"Very well, Naruto. I suppose you're old enough to know the truth now... But I need you to tell me who told you. It's important for both your safety and theirs."

Naruto shifted uncomfortably. He didn't want to lie to the old man, but he also didn't want to break Sasuke's trust.

"...Can you promise me you won't punish him for it?" Hiruzen nodded, figuring he would deal with the shinobi in question appropriately, depending on the circumstances.

"Sasuke."

The Hokage blinked. "Sasuke? Sasuke Uchiha?" Naruto nodded.

Hiruzen blinked again. Just how in the hell did that brat figure out who Naruto's parents were? Ah, well. He would deal with that in the morning. For now, though...

"Naruto, what you've been told is true. Your mother was Kushina Uzumaki, and your father was the Fourth Hokage, Minato Namikaze."

Naruto's jaw dropped. "My dad was- The Yondaime?" As his befuddled mind processed this, he thought long and hard. He realised his last name was that of his mother, not his father.

"But... Why? Why did no one tell me who he was?" The Hokage sighed.

"Your father was a war hero. During the last Shinobi World War, he became infamous for slaughtering entire battalions of Iwa ninjas. They would do anything to spite his memory, and if they knew he had a son..." He splayed his hands, to emphasize helplessness.

"But he- He sealed the fox. Why... W-why did he...?" Naruto could feel his eyes tearing up, as he realised what Mizuki had said wasn't entirely false. The Fourth Hokage, his own father, had sealed the Kyuubi into his own son, making him into a martyr for his own village.

One that was hated by all the people he'd unwillingly saved.(Ingrateful bastards)

"Your father, was the most honorable man I ever knew. He would not ask someone to sacrifice their child, if he was unwilling to give up his own. Naruto, your father's last wish was that you be seen as a hero, for containing the Kyuubi... And I have failed him in that respect." For a moment, he didn't look like the Hokage; he looked like a sad, tired old man, who's seen far too much in his time. But it vanished, just as quickly as it had come.

As Naruto sobbed silently for a short time, the old man stood up and walked over to one of the shelves, retrieving a large, thick book. When he returned to his seat, he asked, "Naruto, it won't mean much, but... Would you like to look at your family album?"

His tear-stained face immediately shot upward, looking at what Hiruzen had pulled from the shelf.

"*Sniff* Yeah... I'd like that."

~~Badadumdunbum~~

Back with Sasuke

After a good dinner and some light stretching, I finally went to bed. As I lay there quietly, reflecting on what today's events have brought me, I couldn't help but wonder what was in store for me. A new life, one filled with excitement, thrills, intrigue, and ninjas. I mean, really, what's better than ninjas? And I'm one of them! Sweet!

And yet, I thought on what I had lost. A life, some good friends, many, many casual lovers, and my own vengeance. But then again, I wasn't very likely to kill-

Him...

Wait.

WHO was I trying to kill...? I...

Can't remember. Wait.

WaitwaitwaitwaitwaitwaitwaitwaitwaitwaitWaitWAITWAIT!

StopstopStopSTOPSTOP.

Go back. Rewind. Replay.

*Click*

Who am I?

...Who am I?

Who. Am. I?

. . . . .

...Sasuke Uchiha.

~~Badadumdunbum~~

Do YOU know which video game I was referencing? Here's your hint; it's a prequel, and is on the Xbox 360.