A/N Merry motherfucking Christmas. Or whatever it is you celebrate. Now, you may be wondering where I've been. My answer is twofold: 1)Life is an utter bitch. 2) My laptop is an utter piece of shit that now has the nasty habit of deleting my shit. I've literally rewritten this chapter 8 times. 8. Goddamn. Times.
I conclusion, I'm sorry. But shit happens. And I refuse to release chapters below a certain length or that don't move things along. I hate filler and refuse to have it in my stories if I can help it.
In good news, this chapter introduces a new harem member and adds some drama. So hopefully you guys and gals find it interesting.
Sidenote: No, I will not add Kushina to the harem. Mother/son incest makes my skin crawl. Is it a double standard considering Naruko/Naruto? Probably. Doesn't change anything though.
As always, if you have a question that needs to be answered, pm me.
Read, review and question.
But seriously, REVIEW.
I don't own anything. If I did I would have a non-shit laptop.
*Tea room, Hyuga clan compound*
"So, are you going to explain why you want to challenge me to a fight? Even after being there at my skill evaluation." Naruto calmly stated as he stared at Naruko who was sitting across from him in the tea room. After her declaration, Naruto had asked for a bit of privacy in order to discuss just why his former sister needed to face him in combat. And here they were, sitting at a small table with fine tea served for them to enjoy.
"It doesn't matter. I have to try onii-chan. I have to…" Naruko said as she looked Naruto in the eyes.
"You have to what exactly?"
"I have to make you part of our family again. Even if it means beating the shit out of you and dragging your ass home!" Naruko said with fire in her voice and eyes as she slammed her fist on the table and broke it in half; unknowingly adding a small bit of Kyuubi's chakra into her fist in her emotional outburst.
"… I hope you intend to pay for that. And watch your language Naruko." Naruto said evenly as he gently scolded his now embarrassed former sister. Kushina had warned Naruko that she should try to keep her temper under control, especially right now when she was in the throes of puberty…
"I will…" Naruko said with a small voice before regaining her confidence. "But I'm still dragging you home. Now, are you gonna accept my challenge or not?"
"Sure... But only if you make it to the finals in the upcoming chunin exams." Naruto said with a grin as he saw Naruko go from euphoric to confused to angry all within the span of a few seconds. Naruto found it rather amusing and wondered if his sensei Zabuza felt the same joy whenever he… 'Wait, SHIT!' Naruto then had to stifle the sudden wave of terror and panic that assaulted him in order to deal with the eruption in front of him. He could deal with his fear later, preferably in private.
"Why!?" The confused redhead yelled as she comically threw her arms in the air as her face gained a tint of red that would make Hinata rather proud.
"Because as it stands I would wipe the floor with you." Naruto replied honestly.
"No buts. You want to bring me home even after I've shown how much I hate that idea, so I'm going to make you earn it. Reach the finals and show me your resolve in this. Do that and I'll give you your match." Naruto finished with a serious tone.
"…Fine. When I win the whole damn thing you better be ready for an ass kicking and to read me a bed time story!" Naruko responded with determination in her voice as she tightly clenched her fists and had fire burning in her eyes.
"…A bed time story?" Naruto asked as he wondered if his former sister was 'all there'.
"Of course. We have nearly a decade of sibling bonding to catch up on. And I want a bed time story read to me by my onii-chan!" Naruko yelled to the world as a bit of her younger self poked through and Naruto envisioned a much younger Naruko in her place. At this, Naruto started to laugh as a wave of nostalgia crashed into him. "Wha- Why are you laughing onii-chan!?"
"N-nothing. Just remembering something." Naruto said as he reined in his laughter and began to gently pet Naruko's head like he had once done in their youth. Naruko still quite enjoyed it if her happy mewls and relaxed posture said anything. They continued like this for a few more minutes before Naruko excused herself from the compound, after promising to return and pay for the destroyed table of course.
Naruto then tried to enjoy a few moments of peace after having such an interesting talk with his former sister. "Oi, brat." Sadly, that was not meant to be.
'What?' Naruto tiredly thought before he was forcefully pulled into his mind and found himself in front of the giant sentient chakra beast that was sealed inside him, well the soul of said beast. "Was this really necessary?"
"Cut the attitude. We have business to discuss. Mind explaining your current plans? You seem much too calm after that little fiasco with the yellow haired bastard." The ever patient fox asked.
"Well, that depends. Can you corrupt the seal? And I need to think like a ninja, not fly off the handle like an idiot. Well, again."
"I'm insulted that you would even have to ask that. And I'm glad you're using that pea sized brain of yours for once." The seal may have been very well made but it didn't have anywhere near the amount of power needed to keep the properties of Kyuubi's corruptive soul at bay.
"Good. How long will that take?" Naruto asked as he ignored the insult with the ease of constant practice. He watched as Kyuubi's eyes closed for a few moments in concentration before answering.
"To make sure it doesn't set off the alarms and other bullshit the blonde bastard put in? Nearly two months."
"I can work with that." Naruto said while softly nodding his head in thought. Knowing that time passed incredibly slowly in his mindscape, Naruto allowed himself a good bit of time to mull over his options. "Alright, here's the plan; you work on the seal corruption and I'll weasel some elemental training from this place. When the seal is gotten rid of, we'll ask for a high class mission and disappear. Now to find a way to tell Haku without eavesdroppers getting us sent to prison…"
"As sound a plan as I can expect from you. What of the Hyuga, Naruko and Anko?"
"… Well, shit." Naruto said as he scratched the back of his head in thought. He really did not want to hurt them but he would be damned if he stayed in Konoha… "I'll think of something before we escape." Naruto said quietly, more to reassure himself than anything.
"See to it that you do. I would hate to see what they would do to you otherwise." Kyuubi ominously warned as Naruto was sent back into the realm of reality. Naruto idly wondered how these next two months would go here in the accursed village of Konoha. Naruto then stood and was about to leave the room before he heard Kyuubi's voice boom in his mind.
"By the way, how do you think Zabuza will react to you getting his daughter captured?" Kyuubi asked with a sadistic smile as Naruto froze on the spot before falling to his knees comically, all the while pointedly ignoring the arrival and curious gaze of a branch house Hyuga sent to check on him. Waves of fear and uncertainty swirled about Naruto as Kyuubi enjoyed every moment of the blonde's seemingly fear-based breakdown. Kyuubi wondered if messing with Naruto would ever get boring. It certainly hadn't so far, the beast thought with a chuckle that promised nothing but trouble.
*A week later, empty training ground*
The past week had been rather nice for Naruto. He had not been summoned for a mission yet nor was he given any orders, instead it was almost like he was being given time to acclimate to living in Konoha. Time Naruto spent training with his Anko-nee, playing with Hanabi, hanging out with Hinata and Haku (and being the one to calm the rather common disputes the two had) and having tea with Hitomi and Hiashi. Naruko even came over a few times to have dinner or just talk. In all honesty it was a rather nice routine that Naruto almost regretted having to destroy in the future in order to escape. Almost. At the moment, Naruto was enjoying one of the rather rare times that he was alone. Sometimes it was nice to just lay back and watch the clouds by oneself.
Naruto, for half a second, thought he heard a massive sneeze coming from the Nara clan compound before shaking the thought away as being too ridiculous. He then bolted upright and stared at a seemingly random place roughly fifteen yards away and in between the trees that lined the training ground as he felt a minute pulse of chakra. "What do you want?
"I-I came to talk." A familiar voice responded as a redheaded woman stepped out of the tree line and started to slowly walk forward. The woman being none other than a rather distraught looking Kushina. Naruto had to admit, the woman's skill when it came to stealth was superb considering she snuck up on him and was only discovered when she wanted him to find her.
"I would prefer it if you would stay where you are." Naruto said in a voice devoid of emotion as he reminded himself to keep calm.
"O-okay." Kushina said as she stopped roughly ten yards away and started to fidget and wring the hem of her dress.
"Now, what do you want?" Naruto asked once again.
"I-I know about the seal." Kushina said as she looked into Naruto's eyes.
"And? If you're here to apologize, save your breath. Your words don't exactly hold much weight with me." Naruto said as he stood and prepared to leave only for Kushina to desperately shout.
"Wait! Please! I came here to help you!"
"Come again?" Naruto asked with more than a bit of surprise in his voice. He really expected her to try to 'apologize' before justifying the need for the seal.
"I don't agree with the seal. I have just as much skill as Mina-kun in applying and removing them. So please, let me help you." Kushina said in a flurry as Naruto heard only sincerity in her voice.
"Explain how you found out first." Naruto said as he wanted to know how that went.
X A few hours earlier, Hokage's office X
"You did what?" A stunned Kushina asked as she stared at her husband. He had summoned her earlier in order to explain what he had done to keep Naruto in Konoha. His conscience had been eating away at him and he couldn't bear lying to his wife anymore. He had also sent out the Anbu guarding him in case this conversation got too personal.
"I put a seal on Naruto to keep him in the village. Please understand that it was for the best Kushi-chan!" Minato explained and hoped that Kushina would agree with him if only to quell the doubts he was having himself.
"…You. Stupid. IDIOT!" Kushina yelled before moving at a speed that made Minato proud in the dark recesses of his mind before she swiftly delivered an uppercut that was powered purely by the rage of an incredibly angered mother. Minato was sent flying into the air and broke through the window with incredible force as he soon fell victim to gravity. It was only by his instinctual use of his Hiraishin jutsu that he managed to reappear in his office (having tagged the office with the fuinjutsu necessary much earlier in his reign) and not land rather painfully on the concrete outside. He was currently lying on the floor as he tried to get the room to stop spinning and hoped that his jaw wasn't completely shattered. Spitting out a few teeth, Minato managed to sit on the couch and continue the 'conversation'. He also made a mental note to get a medic nin to see if those teeth could be salvaged…
"Thaff was impwethif." Minato said as he rubbed his aching jaw. He admitted that he probably deserved that.
"Why are you such a dumbass!? Is this how you earn someone's trust!? By basically enslaving them? Goddammit Minato!" Kushina raged as she paced back and forth.
"How elth wath I supposhed to get him to shtay?" Minato asked, hoping for a genuine answer to the question that had plagued him for longer than it should have for a supposed 'genius' like him. At this, Kushina stopped and thought on it.
As much as she hated to admit it, Minato was right. Naruto would never have stayed otherwise. But it still wasn't right.
"I'm going to go remove that damned seal." Kushina said simply as she looked Minato in the eyes. The yondaime hokage seemed to sink into himself as he nodded before watching his wife angrily stomp out of the room. Minato stayed where he was for a few moments and wondered on why he was failing so spectacularly when it came to Naruto. Minato then remembered his jaw was probably shattered and some of his teeth were on the floor so he decided to wonder on how much of a failure he was after he summoned a medic nin.
It would be much easier to berate himself when he could understand the words after all.
X Flashback end X
"…I then spent some time looking for you." Kushina finished her tale as Naruto looked thoughtful. This was certainly not what he was expecting to encounter today.
'Doesn't really change anything though.' "I'll have to decline." Naruto said with conviction after spending a few moments to think.
"Because I am not willing to owe you anything. I will deal with this seal like I've dealt with most things in my life. Alone." Naruto finished as he swiftly left the training ground, leaving a heartbroken Kushina behind.
Naruto had wanted so very much to have Kushina show such concern for him in his youth.
Now, after everything that had happened, such concern felt like ashes in his mouth.
*The next day, midmorning, The Higurashi Weapon shop*
Tenten felt herself sigh heavily as she manned the cash register of her family shop during the morning shift. It was such a boring day! With the Chunin exams being so close, everyone going was getting in some last minute training. Except her. Sometimes she hated having to help at the family shop. At the back of her mind she also knew all these negative thoughts were borne merely of boredom and not of any actual bad feelings for the shop. She was just so damned bored!
As if answering her silent pleas for something interesting to happen the door opened and admitted a frequent customer that Tenten had befriended over the years; Yugao Uzuki.
"Hey Yugao-senpai." Tenten said happily.
"Hey Tenten. Is your dad in? I need his skills." Yugao greeted the bun haired girl as she laid her still broken weapon on the counter. The damage to her favorite sword being too much for even her boyfriend Hayate to fix, something that bruised his ego a bit. So much so that he had spent nearly a week trying his hand at it before finally admitting defeat.
"Damn! You've got to tell me the story on how this happened!" Tenten exclaimed as she examined the busted blade. It was created from a special strain of chakra metal from Tetsu no Kuni and was specially forged to be even more durable than any standard chakra blade. Even the way to fix it was unique; needing a combination of exquisite chakra control, a specially prepared forge set to a very precise temperature and a deft hand to insure the integrity and shape of the blade was perfect. Truly a masterpiece. Well, was.
"Do you know of Hokage-sama's son?"
"Wouldn't be much of a kunoichi if I didn't." Tenten answered impatiently. Son of the Hokage or not, to break such a beautiful blade was a cardinal sin and if it was done due to some idiocy on his part then Tenten would give him a piece of her mind.
"Kakashi-senpai, Might Guy and I were tasked in determining his shinobi rank through combat. With a single swing of his chokuto, he managed to cut through my own blade without so much of a nick on his own." Yugao said to a very disbelieving Tenten.
"You can't be serious. Did he enhance his blade with massive amounts of elemental chakra or something?"
"Nope. Just brute force and a masterfully crafted chokuto." Yugao said with a slight smile as she saw Tenten's interest in Naruto skyrocket. Well, his blade. For a blade to be able to cut clean through Yugao's own blade and still look pristine without any kind of chakra enhancement was astonishing. And if there is a blade that amazing in Konoha then Tenten needed to examine it.
"Do you know where he'll be at this time of day?" While Tenten had heard her teammate Neji speak of Naruto, in surprisingly warm tones no less, the branch house Hyuga never gave specifics on him. Then again she never asked considering she had better things to worry about.
"Where who will be dumpling?" A rather deep voice intoned as an incredibly large man (at least six and a half feet of pure muscle) came out from the back area. This was Tessai Higurashi, second generation owner of The Higurashi Weapon Shop and Tenten's doting father.
"Dad! Don't call me that!" Tenten managed to yell while simultaneously pouting. Yugao openly chuckled and shrugged off the small glare Tenten sent her way.
"Well?" Tessai asked again as he also ignored his daughter's weak attempt at a glare.
"She means Hokage-sama's son, Naruto. He has a blade that managed to cut through my own." Yugao answered him as she handed her broken blade to the now very interested man. "He managed it with a finely crafted chokuto and brute strength. No elemental chakra used nor was there a scratch on his own blade after he cut through mine."
"Tenten." Tessai said with a tone that demanded attention after spending a few moments to examine Yugao's blade.
"Your shift is done for the day. Go find Hokage-sama's son and see if he would be willing to allow me to examine his chokuto."
"O-of course!" Tenten answered as she quickly made her exit, much to the amusement of the two adults.
"You know, she is at that age and if she and Naruto share an interest in weapons then it could lead to them spending more time together and then…" Yugao mused with a smirk as she saw Tessai look as if he had just been struck. Yugao quite enjoyed the look on his face, she then wondered if some of her friend Anko's sadistic tendencies rubbed off on her.
*Several minutes later, Gates to the Hyuga compound*
Tenten was currently catching her breath after frantically running to the Hyuga compound in order to make sure she was out of range in case her father suddenly changed his mind. After a few more moments of deep breathing, Tenten was finally composed enough to go find Neji and grill him on the possible location of Naruto.
After a polite greeting to the guards, Tenten found herself wandering the more public section of the compound before seeing someone that could help; Hinata.
"Hey Hinata." Tenten called out to her acquaintance/somewhat friend.
"Oh, hello Tenten-san." Hinata greeted her with a smile.
"Do you know where I could find Neji?"
"He's training with Naruto-kun at training ground 22." Hinata answered with a bit of longing. She would have loved to have gone along with them but she had to meet with her team in about twenty minutes.
"Naruto's there? That's perfect! Thanks Hinata!" Tenten immediately answered as she ran off to the mentioned training ground.
"Why did she seem so happy about Naruto-kun being there?" Hinata softly asked herself. 'She couldn't…? No, she likes Neji, right?' Before Hinata could think on it anymore, she remembered the time and quickly left to go meet with her team.
*Same time, Training ground 22*
Neji was currently panting as he took a break from the nonstop sparring that he and Naruto had been doing since the break of dawn. He was also glaring daggers at the smug looking Naruto who didn't look anywhere near as winded. Although, Neji was silently grateful that he had such a great sparring partner that didn't passionately yell about 'youth' every few moments.
Naruto on the other hand was simply enjoying himself. It was nice seeing the once ultra uptight Neji having loosened up enough to finally somewhat joke around with.
"So, ready for more?" Naruto taunted as he got into a loose stance.
"You make it sound-" Before Neji could answer the taunt with one of his own he was interrupted by a familiar bun haired girl charging at him. Instinctively readying himself for an attack (she had a bit of a short temper at times), Neji was rather surprised when she ran right past him. Turning around, a now very dumbfounded Neji stared as his weapon obsessed teammate berated an equally confused Naruto for breaking someone named 'Yugao-senpai's' blade. 'Well, as long as it isn't me she's angry with I guess its fine.' Neji thought to himself with a bit of amusement as he watched the show.
"-and for another thing, do you know how expensive one of those blades are!? The nerve of some people!"
"Um, miss?" Naruto's confusion was quickly morphing into annoyance as a vein above his left eye started to ominously throb. If this turned out to be some bastard villager simply wanting to harass him, well, accidents happen all the time at dangerous places like the training grounds…
"-How anyone could be so bullheaded and foolish-"
"Uh, hello?" The once small vein had now grown and started to throb even more dangerously as Naruto approached a meltdown.
"-It's like you want to be yelled at! For Kami's-"
"SHUT THE HELL UP!" A thoroughly annoyed Naruto finally yelled out. The sudden yell had the intended effect as Tenten found herself speechless while her mind suddenly caught up with her mouth. Tenten had the very embarrassing realization that suddenly appearing and yelling at a virtual stranger probably just soured any chance she had of asking said stranger about his chokuto. "Finally. Now, who are you?"
Tenten, much to her further embarrassment, was continuing to have a momentary difficulty with speech and was grateful that Neji interrupted the awkward silence that ensued. Although she did notice him failing to stifle a chuckle at what just occurred. "She's my teammate Naruto. Her name is Tenten."
"Y-yeah, I'm Neji's teammate."
"Okay then. Now, is there a reason why you felt the need to yell at me? Especially since I don't think we've ever even met." Tenten couldn't help but notice that Neji was struggling to stifle his laughter off to the side. The bastard.
"I-er well, I-"
"I, um, wanted, that is to say well-" Tenten then stopped talking, took a deep breath and yelled what she had been trying to articulate. Her choice of words, while truthful with the correct context, were unfortunate however. "I WANTED TO FEEL UP YOUR SWORD!"
"I have to admit, it takes guts to be so forward." Naruto finally said after a long and very uncomfortable silence. "I'm going to go Neji." Naruto said to the shell shocked boy as he started to walk away. Leaving an even more embarrassed Tenten in his wake.
"W-wait! I didn't mean it like that. I meant I wanted to examine your chokuto! I work part time at my family's weapon shop! I swear, I'm not some crazy pervert!" Tenten desperately yelled lest she was forever branded as some weirdo to be avoided. At hearing her desperate yell Naruto stopped, and slowly turned around with his eyebrow raised.
"And all the insults?"
"I was angry that you broke my friend Yugao-senpai's blade. It was a masterfully crafted sword that deserved better. I let my anger at that build until I couldn't control it anymore." Tenten answered honestly as she refused to look at Naruto. The silver haired nin had a thoughtful look on his face as he could respect getting angry over the breaking of a fine blade. Naruto felt some of the tension that had built up during the encounter leave him as he decided how to approach this.
"…You're kind of an idiot, aren't you?" Naruto felt himself smile as he watched the bun haired girl sputter at his statement. "But I suppose that's not a bad thing. Well, sometimes." Naruto mused as he handed his chokuto to the now confused girl. "I'm fine with letting you take a quick look at it, but under no circumstances am I selling it."
"T-thank you." Tenten replied as she started to marvel at the blade. Naruto and the now calm Neji moved off to the side as the weapon obsessed girl started to do a few slow kata's.
Naruto was quite impressed with her fluid movements and dancer like grace as she smoothly transitioned from kata to kata in a mesmerizing dance. He couldn't help but notice her lithe form as she did a particularly interesting kata. The way her firm rear looked as she bent to and fro...The way her perky breasts pushed against her… 'Wait, WHAT?' Naruto had just learned something about himself, namely something that he seemed to find kinky. He also realized a moment later that the bastard fox would be sure to use this information against him somehow. 'Damn.'
"W-well, are you satisfied now?" Naruto asked as he decided to end this before his mind went too deep into the gutter.
"Huh?" Was the intelligent response from Tenten. She had been so wrapped up in putting the strange feeling sword through its paces that she forgot she had an audience. It truly was a remarkable weapon! The metal was unlike any she had ever seen before and she could swear that it felt alive somehow. She wanted it. Bad.
"I asked if you were done 'feeling up my sword'?" Naruto teased if only to cover up what he had been feeling a moment ago.
"Depends, are you willing to allow my dad to examine this blade too? My dad owns a weapon shop and I'm sure he'd be willing to work out some kind of payment." Tenten replied as she tried not to let her blush show at the repetition of her earlier gaffe.
"I'll think about it." Naruto answered as he deftly plucked the chokuto from the now pouting Tenten's hands. "You seem to know your way around a blade, if you ever want a spar I'll be glad to hand you your ass." Naruto offered with a smile that made an odd warmth surge into Tenten's chest. "Ask Neji if you want to know more. See yah." Naruto finished as he used a body flicker to leave. It was time for lunch and Hanabi would be angry with him if he was late.
Neji, who had kept silent for this entire time, had used his time being 'invisible' to carefully note the reactions of both teens to one another. And from what he saw, Neji knew that this was probably leading to something messy. 'Well, if it leads to Tenten not being attracted to me anymore, I suppose I could help this along. As her teammate I might as well help her out…'
*Main gates of Konoha, the day before the chunin exams*
Gaara could feel something strange within Konoha. Something both familiar and not. Something that made Mother quiver in fear and rage with unholy hatred. Whatever it was, it NEEDED to die. And Gaara would be the one to tear it apart, bit by bit.
Meanwhile Temari and Kankuro both maintained a good distance between themselves and their now angrily muttering brother. Their thoughts on the soon to be invasion taking a downturn as they wondered if the unstable jinchuuriki would even be able to refrain from going on a killing spree long enough to reach that stage of their plans. They could only hope that whatever made Gaara this unnerved quickly left. Or died. They weren't picky.
*Hotel for visiting Kumo teams, evening before the chunin exams*
Samui was reviewing the information she and her team had managed to get about their target Naruto. While the dossier they had on him was pretty good, more up to date information was needed for them to be able to effectively talk him into defecting. Samui wondered how they would get a private moment with him before blushing and realizing there was a certain way she could get him all alone. Now the question was, should she tell Karui about her plan? Or try to get him all to herself…
*Oni no Kuni, outside Shion's personal chambers, evening*
Amaru was daydreaming as she waited to be called on by her new boss, the priestess Shion. It was really a stroke of luck that she had come across the priestess' caravan as she was traveling. Who knew a random act of kindness (in this case treating one of Shion's retainers for a broken leg) would lead to her being offered a job as a handmaiden? The only way it could be better was if that silver haired brute had been with her… 'You'll see him again one day girl. For now, focus on your job. You'll take him away from the ice bitch sooner or later.'
Amaru was soon broken from her musings by a now familiar voice calling her.
"Yes milady?" Amaru answered as she entered the elegant room. The redhead saw the pretty platinum blonde sitting at her favorite tea table in what appeared to be some kind of rather ritzy pajamas. The two may have known each other for a short time but they had quickly become friends. It helped that Shion reminded Amaru of how she had been prior to meeting Naruto.
"I've asked for some snacks to be delivered soon. So please, tell me more of your travels." Shion politely said as the snacks promptly arrived and Amaru slipped easily into the guise of a storyteller. What Amaru did not know was that she had captured Shion's imagination with her portrayals of a certain silver haired boy. So much so that the priestess now wished to meet him herself…
A/N So Naruto now knows he has a thing for girls with swords. Woot.
Shion has an interest in the 'gallant silver haired warrior' that her new handmaiden has been telling her about.
Gaara can feel something wrong...
Samui has a plan and Kushina see's her plan going up in flames.
How'd you like it?