Reaching for a Dream - EvergreenMoth8, Noodlehammer (2024)

Chapter 1: Chapter 1

Notes:

DISCLAIMER: I don't own anything.

Alright, to get some things straightened out right away.

Naruto is the first and only Kyuubi Jinchuuriki.

The Kyuubi has not been split in half. I've never liked that part of canon, so in my story, all of the Kyuubi's chakra is in Naruto.

There are no parents lurking in Naruto's seal. That is once again something I never liked about canon.

I've decided that I'm not going to be using 'Kurama' as a name for the Kyuubi, because it sounds too damn androgynes.

The Sharingan does not have any hax powers to control Bijuu.

There are also no other convenient hax powers to control or subdue Bijuu.

Also, there WILL be Lemons and graphic violence in this story and I don't intend to go out of my way to warn anyone about either, there is after all a reason that the story is marked as M. If anyone has a problem with this, then please redirect yourself to the Teletubbies fanfiction section or something.

Lastly, this is my first attempt at fanfiction, so the first few chapters are likely to be of somewhat lower quality before I get the hang of it. Do keep this in mind when you start to read xD. Seriously, I am well aware that the first chapter is swarming with fanfiction cliché, but I've been told that it gets better after that.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

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5 year old Uzumaki Naruto was having a nightmare.

This was nothing unusual considering his life. The orphanage where he lived was staffed with caretakers who hated him and made sure to make his life as miserable as possible, which included rewarding the other children for bullying him.

Before the nightmare could progress very far though, it changed. He felt a comforting warmth and saw an image of a woman with dusk colored skin and slitted crimson eyes and equally crimson hair. She possessed a beauty that no mortal woman could ever hope to approach. In the dream she was holding the small boy and stroking his hair comfortingly, murmuring soft words in his ear and he relaxed, nightmare long forgotten.

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7 year old Uzumaki Naruto was cold, wet and hungry.

This was nothing new for him, as people would often refuse to sell him food. Naruto knew that the small amount of food he managed to get was not nearly enough, but he somehow managed to survive without looking malnourished.

He was cold and wet because of the rain and had nowhere to take shelter, so he was just aimlessly wandering the streets, hoping to find somewhere where he could wait for the rain to stop.

He saw a ramen stand that had a delicious smell coming from it and decided to risk going inside, hoping that he wouldn't be thrown out like everywhere else. He sat on one of the stools and sighed in relief at being out of the rain and being able to rest his aching feet.

"What would you like?" A middle aged man asked, looking at him with clear recognition of who he was.

"Is it ok if I just sit here for a while?" The small blonde asked, hoping that he wouldn't get yelled at if he didn't order anything.

"You sure you don't want anything?" Ichiraku Teuchi asked, looking a bit concerned, since the boy looked about ready to collapse.

"Yeah, I'm not really hungry." Naruto said, but was betrayed by the pitiful growling of his stomach, making him look down at his feet in embarrassment.

"Doesn't sound like it to me. You just wait right there kid, I'll get you something to eat." Teuchi declared.

"I don't have any money." Naruto muttered, trying not to sound sad. He had learned early on that people either got angry or made fun of him if he was sad.

"It's ok kid, it's on the house today." Teuchi responded. It went against good business sense to give away free food, but looking at the small blonde who looked like he hadn't smiled once in his entire life and clearly hadn't eaten in days, he couldn't bring himself to do anything else.

The hesitant smile on on his face confirmed his decision as being the right one. A few minutes later, a girl that looked about 11 years old set down a ramen bowl in front of Naruto, the smell of the food already making him salivate.

"Hi, I'm Ayame, what's your name?" She asked with a smile.

Returning the smile with an unfamiliar smile of his own, he responded "Naruto."

"Nice to meet you Naruto."

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9 year old Uzumaki Naruto was lying in a hospital bed, recovering from the vicious beating that he had endured not too long ago. He had been caught stealing and his intended victims had taken it as an excuse to beat him half to death. It was painful, but he was going to do it again, because he simply didn't have any choice. He was charged triple the usual price for everything and the small stipend for orphans that he got from the village wasn't enough to pay for everything that he needed to survive.

Above him was standing a nurse with an angry, hateful expression on her face, holding a syringe.

Her mouth twisted into a smirk as she injected the contents of the syringe into his arm, certain that the demon who had taken her husband from her would finally die.

When she left the room, the small blonde boy had already begun to burn with a fever as his body tried to fight off the aggressive foreign substance. Coupled with his injuries, he should have been too weak to survive the damage on his body, but a sudden rush of familiar warmth through his body gave him the strength to pull through.

When he woke up the next day, fully healed, all he could remember was being held and feeling safe. There had been a few locks of deep crimson hair hanging in front of his face and an enchantingly beautiful voice had been humming something in his ear.

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10 Year old Uzumaki Naruto was shivering in his small apartment. He was the only one that lived in the building, all the other tenants having moved out, not wanting to live in the same building as 'the demon'.

It was the dead of winter and he had no heating. To make it worse someone had thrown a rock through his window so it was almost as cold inside as it was outside. He would have moved to another apartment in the building, but all of them had broken windows.

He was just thinking of what he could do to get warm when a sudden warmth rushed through his body and he fell unconscious.

When he opened his eyes next, he was standing in front of a comfortable looking cabin in the middle of a forest, with a large rock next to it. There was a piece of paper stuck to the rock, but he didn't pay attention to that now.

Having nothing better to do, he went up to the door and knocked, not really expecting anyone to be inside. When he heard someone moving inside, he became nervous and almost ran away, but in the end decided not to.

The door opened and his breath caught in his throat at what he saw. A woman of such impossible beauty that she couldn't possibly be human, with slitted crimson eyes and hair so red it looked to be on fire when it caught the light. Her skin had an alluring dusky tan and her perfect body was covered by a short black and red yukata that revealed a generous amount of cleavage and left her legs bare.

More to the point, he recognized this woman, he had seen her in his dreams many times.

"It's you." He whispered in amazement and longing.

"Oh? You remember me?" She asked, leaning on the doorframe and Naruto trembled at hearing the familiar enchanting voice that had comforted him so many nights when all the world seemed so cruel and hateful.

Without thinking, he moved towards her and hugged her around the waist. "You've taken care of me for as long as I can remember, of course I remember you." He choked out, trying to hold back tears that he could finally talk to her.

"I wonder if you would still think so if you knew who I was?" She said to herself after she got over the surprise at being hugged like that.

"My name's Naruto, who are you?" He asked as politely as possible, not wanting to offend her.

"You may call me...Xanna. I am the Kyuubi." The now named Xanna told him.

Naruto had just now noticed the nine red-orange fox tails swaying behind her.

He had heard of the Kyuubi, it was said to be a gigantic evil fox with nine tails that had attacked the village ten years ago. Xanna had said that she was the Kyuubi and she had nine fox tails, but she was the nicest person he had ever met. To him this could only mean that the village had done something to make her angry, since there was no way that someone as nice as her could have attacked for no reason. To him the villagers had always been cruel and evil people, so to him it made sense that they could have done something to make her attack.

"Did they do something to you to make you angry?" He asked cautiously.

Xanna started in surprise, having expected him to jump back in panic instead of asking a question that was surprisingly close to the truth. Once she had composed herself, she picked the boy up and carried him over to her bed and laid down with him. Naruto felt happier than he could ever remember being, if he could, he would have stayed in her arms for the rest of eternity.

"In a way they did do something." She said and Naruto turned towards her, giving her his full attention. "I am drawn towards places where there are large amounts of human malice and corruption. I sensed it in Konoha came deliver a warning that if people do not change, I will destroy it. Before I could speak a word, they attacked me and I fought back. If that Yondaime Hokage of yours hadn't been insane enough to summon the death god then I would have destroyed the village for daring to attack me."

"So you were just going to tell them to be better people and they attacked you?" Naruto asked in shock.

"Yes, and now they hate you because I am sealed inside you."

Naruto spent a while contemplating this information as the Kyuubi watched on curiously, waiting to see how he would react. She was expecting him to push away from her and start shouting accusations at her, but he proved to be a rather unpredictable human.

"Well I'm glad that you're with me, I want to stay with you forever. Will you marry me?" He didn't really know what it meant that she was sealed inside him, nor did he truly understand what marriage was, since he had nobody to explain it to him, but he knew that married people were supposed to stay together forever, which was what he wanted.

Xanna stared at him incredulously, before an uncontrollable laugh bubbled out of her at the fact that she had just been proposed to by her ten year old container. "Oh, Naruto...hahahaha...you are something else." Finally bringing her laughing under control, she continued. "The fact that I am sealed into you by the power of the death god means that we are going to be together for quite a while. As for marrying you...well I could only marry someone who was my equal and you aren't."

Naruto looked crestfallen for a moment before a fiercely determined expression crossed his face. "Then I'll become your equal! Even if it takes me the rest of my life, I'll do whatever I have to, but I'll become your equal and then I'll marry you. I promise I'll never give up, you can count on it!" He declared

Xanna just smiled at him in bemusem*nt, but she could see that this meant a lot to him and she wasn't going to crush his hopes. Besides, his desire to be strong would only help him in life, even if it was for a rather odd reason.

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17 year old Ichiraku Ayame was bringing some groceries to Naruto's apartment, intending to make him some of her special comfort ramen that he liked to eat when he was upset.

The blonde had just failed his Genin exam the previous day and was a bit upset about it. Naruto lived in the bad part of town and it would usually be a very bad idea for a young woman to be walking in that part of town alone, but it had been a while since that had been the case.

Thugs from the local criminal gangs had sometimes come to extort 'protection' money from her father a few years ago, but suddenly that had stopped. She didn't know why, but she was grateful for it. Naruto had also assured her that she was perfectly safe in these parts, and so far he had been right.

What she didn't know was that several of the local criminals were keeping an eye on her. Contrary to what people might think if they were aware of this, it wasn't because they had any intention of stealing from her or anything worse. It was in fact to keep her safe.

They knew that nobody in this part of town would dare lay a hand on the pretty ramen waitress, but in this case it paid to be extra careful, as there would be hell to pay if a single hair on her head was hurt.

Uzumaki Naruto had needed to turn to crime years ago to make ends meet and had caught sight of several thugs extorting money from the Ichiraku's, who were the only people in the village that he cared for.

After meeting Xanna and making his promise to become her equal so that he was worthy of her hand in marriage, he had thrown himself into a near suicidal training regime that left him exhausted every day.

This had left him needing more money, which had left him no choice but to delve deeper into the criminal underworld. Within a few years he had seized control of nearly all of it, despite being only 13 years old.

The criminals in Konoha had quickly discovered that a determined 13 year old with ninja training, who had incidentally needed to be cunning enough to survive in a village that hated him, was a lot more dangerous than he looked. One of the last criminal leaders to have fallen to Naruto's campaign had the idea to threaten that he was going to kidnap Ayame and turn her into a whor* for his men.

People still shuddered whenever they thought about what the blonde had done to the man.

By now the criminals in the village had developed enough of a self preservation instinct to realize that it was a bad idea to poke at a sleeping dragon. Many of them believed that Naruto was in fact the Kyuubi in human form, but they were smart enough to realize that if this was true, then it was stupid as hell to make him angry, which was something that the rest of the village hadn't learned yet. The shinobi still thought themselves above him and didn't consider him a threat so they threw insults at him whenever they saw him and the civilians didn't think that he would fight back, since he hadn't before.

They were quite wrong on that count, as Naruto had turned the activities of the criminals towards the very people who thought that they could get away with abusing him. It had been subtle at first, but they were starting to feel the sting of planned thefts, blackmail, extortion and various other crimes.

One thing that was not tolerated however, was rape and anyone that committed that particular offense rapidly found himself hunted down and killed in various painful ways.

All of this was the reason why the criminal underworld was being protective of the Ichiraku's in general and Ayame in particular. They knew that if any harm came to them, Naruto would go through them like a harvester looking for whoever was responsible.

All in all though, things had actually improved for them. The blonde demon container might have been young, but he was clever beyond his years and kept things running smoothly. Crazies such as serial killers and rapists were disposed of quickly so that they didn't cause trouble and draw unnecessary attention, the ninja were kept off their back due to them keeping a low profile and Naruto wasn't a greedy fool like many other criminal leaders. He only kept what money he needed and invested the rest back into the system to keep things running and he took his responsibility as a leader seriously, which got him a great deal of respect and loyalty, so there was barely any need to keep an eye out for anyone stepping out of line.

But he was still scary as hell when he got angry, which was why Ayame always had a hidden escort. Their ramen stand also got a lot of business from people that were honestly loyal to the blonde and wanted to make certain that the girl he cherished so much was kept safe.

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15 year old Uzumaki Naruto was once again inside his seal.

He came inside the seal often, always eager to see the red haired demoness that he had sworn he would marry one day. The past 5 years he had pushed himself hard without a single day's break, The regeneration that having the Kyuubi sealed into him granted making certain that he didn't damage himself permanently. He had tried to learn absolutely everything that would make him stronger, which unfortunately wasn't a whole lot. Apparently shinobi techniques weren't just kept in the public library for all to read, though he did manage to learn some things, such as some chakra control exercises and Fuinjutsu. Naruto figured that the only reason he had been able to get his hands on any Fuinjutsu books was because it was a dying art.

Fuinjutsu had proven a particularly difficult subject, but ever since he had learned the shadow clone technique 2 years ago, things had picked up. Truly the day that Mizuki had thought to use him as a scapegoat for stealing the Scroll of Forbidden Seals had been a lucky break. After he had figured out the secret of the shadow clone memory transfer, he had been able to get a bit reckless with his Fuinjutsu experiments without the risk of blasting himself into atomic vapor.

He was still failing the academy every year due to one bullsh*t reason or another that the biased academy instructors made up, but he knew that they wouldn't be able to keep it up forever. It didn't matter anyway, he was getting stronger every day and there was nothing that they could do to stop that, just like it didn't matter that they deliberately edited his scores in such a way that he ended up being the dead last every time.

"Good evening Naruto, did you miss me?" Xanna asked with a teasing smile as she appeared behind him and settled her hands on his shoulders. He wasn't as small as he used to be, but he wasn't quite as tall as her yet, though his body was showing the muscle that his harsh training was giving him.

"Always Xanna." Naruto sighed out happily at being close to her again.

"Have you been training yourself to exhaustion again?"

"Yeah, but I really need to get out of the academy, or else I'm gonna be stuck just because I don't have access to any new techniques." Naruto complained.

"Well, I can't help you with that, though I think I may be able to tell you who your parents were." Xanna stated. She had considered whether to tell him or not and whether her guess was even correct, but in the end she was fairly certain it was. Besides it's not like telling him about his parents or about some of their abilities was going to hurt her in the long run. If Naruto had turned out to be angry at her all those years ago, she wouldn't have told him as he might have used that knowledge against her sometime in the future, but as things stood now, he would likely do anything that she asked of him.

"Really? How did you manage to find out?" Naruto asked curiously. He wasn't as desperate to know about his parents as he would have been in the past, but it would still be nice to know.

"Based on the feel of your chakra and the way you look, I would say that you are the son of the Yondaime Hokage and a red haired kunoichi that fought me that night."

Naruto stared at her in shock. He definitely hadn't been expecting that. "The Yondaime?! So that means the he sacrificed his own son to seal you? And what about my mother, do you know her name?" Naruto asked in a rush.

Xanna glared at him for the stupid question. "Of course I don't know her name Naruto, we didn't exactly introduce ourselves before we fought, all I know is that she had red hair and her chakra felt similar to you. She seemed to be able to form chains out of her chakra. The chains were remarkably strong, so it might have been a bloodline ability."

Naruto looked a bit sheepish for a second before looking intrigued. If a being as powerful as the Kyuubi said that those chains were strong then it was worth looking into.

"How was our chakra similar?"

"Well, it feels 'dense' for lack of a better term, as if it were more compressed than most peoples chakra."

"Did my father use any interesting abilities?" He asked with restrained excitement, already thinking of ways to reproduce the chains and any other powerful techniques he could hear about.

"Well, aside from that teleporting trick of his and the Reaper Death Seal, he made these spinning spheres made of pure chakra." She told him.

"Awesome, thanks a lot Xanna. This is going to go a long way towards making me strong enough to marry you."

"Are you still determined to achieve that?" She asked him in amusem*nt.

"Of course, I love you and I want you to acknowledge me as being worthy of you." Naruto declared firmly, while the Kyuubi stared at him in some surprise, as this was the first time that he had stated that he loved her.

"You...love me? Don't you realize that you have very little chance to ever match my power? Wouldn't it be more sensible to turn your interests towards a human girl? Even I don't know of any way to make you that powerful." She tried to reason with him awkwardly. This was very much new territory to her. Nobody had ever declared their love for her and she had never really considered it, but she did genuinely like the blonde teenager and didn't wish to see him spending his life in pursuit of a goal that might well be impossible.

"It doesn't matter how little chance there is, I'll find a way to do it. Besides you're the only woman I could ever love like that. You soothed me when I couldn't sleep, you healed me when I was hurt, you kept me warm in the winters and have always been here for me. Just for all that I would have always loved you, but I've come to know you as a person these past 5 years and fell in love with you as a woman. It doesn't matter if it takes me my entire life, but I will find a way to become as strong as you and hope that you will accept me as your husband, I'm willing to do anything for that."

"Anything you say? Then how about letting me out of this seal?" Xanna asked sardonically, knowing that he wasn't going to do that.

"You mean I could have released you at any time?" Naruto asked incredulously.

Xanna looked at him in surprise, having thought that he knew that. "Well of course, what did you think that paper with 'seal' written on it was?"

"You mean the one on the rock over there?" Naruto questioned.

"That's the one." She answered with an amused tone.

"All I have to do is rip it off right?" He asked as he began to move towards it.

"Wait, you mean you're actually going to do it? You do realize that's going to kill you right?" She asked in surprise. She knew that the blonde cared for her, but she didn't expect him to be so willing to give up his life to free her.

"Actually, I didn't know that," He admitted. "but it doesn't matter. You've done a lot for me over the years and I don't mind giving up my life for your freedom."

Xanna could not contain her laughter at his words. "Oh Naruto, you truly are something else, to be so fearlessly willing to give your life for my freedom, despite the fact that I had intended to destroy your village when you were born."

"Yeah about that...could you make sure that you don't hurt old man Teuchi and Ayame? They're good people."

"Oh? You would ask me to spare only them? I thought that you would ask me not to attack the village in exchange for my freedom."

"Well from what I've seen from most of the village, it deserves to be attacked and those two are the only ones I know of that are truly decent people."

"You needn't worry Naruto, I won't even immediately destroy the village. Even if I hadn't been sealed inside you, you would have been an old man before I returned to destroy the village if they hadn't changed their ways. Also if you release me from this seal I think that I can leave your body without killing you, though it will be painful for you." Xanna stated after a moment of consideration. Getting her freedom would be wonderful, but she honestly couldn't bring herself to heartlessly kill this brave and pure hearted young man.

It was ironic that he more than anyone else in the village had the 'will of fire' that they so liked to talk about and nobody saw it. Senju Hashirama had been a similar man with his dream of bringing together various ninja clans and forming a lasting peace. He had ultimately failed of course and the village he had created had become a corrupt shadow of what he had made, but his intentions had been pure.

Well, he could have had the will of fire at least. The hatred of the villagers had made sure that he was unable to feel any true loyalty to the village itself, instead he cared only for those few people that he was close to and had closed his heart to everyone else.

"Then there really is no more reason to put this off. You really should have told me about this years ago, I would have been glad to free you as soon as possible." Naruto commented as he moved towards the seal and ripped it off without another thought.

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17 year old Uzumaki Naruto, along with his 13 year old teammates Uchiha Sasuke and Haruno Sakura, was waiting for his assigned sensei to show up. He had already decided that he disliked the man for making him waste 3 hours of his day by being late. To Naruto, his time was important to him. How was he supposed to ever become strong enough to marry the woman he loved above all others if he wasted time?

The new Chunin teacher, Umino Iruka, had apparently decided that Naruto was not in fact the reincarnation of the demon fox and had passed him. Naruto would have been inclined to get to know the man if he hadn't been one of those who had deliberately failed him the previous year. He had still ended up being the dead last, despite the fact that he never lost a spar, or the fact that his written tests were in fact fairly decent. Whatever had caused Iruka to finally see the light did not extend to the other instructors, who still made sure to edit his scores so that they were the worst in the class by a long shot.

7 years had passed now since he had declared that he would marry Xanna and he had devoted nearly every waking moment to this goal.

He hadn't been able to get his hands on any jutsu, but he had long since realized that no matter how many techniques he mastered, it wouldn't mean anything at all. Mere mortal techniques would never match the power that the great demoness wielded in her pinky finger.

Fuinjutsu had shown itself to be promising, but he knew that while it had impressive potential, Xanna would not respect his strength just because he could seal her away. She would only consider him an equal if he could match her in open combat.

No mortal had ever considered such a thing. To become powerful enough to challenge the mighty Kyuubi? It was madness, even the most powerful shinobi would have trouble with the weakest of the Bijuu(at least without some kind of special advantage), let alone the strongest of them. But Naruto didn't care how insane it sounded, if nobody else had the courage to try such a thing then that was their own problem. To become powerful enough to gain her respect and become worthy of hand in marriage was his only ambition and if he died trying then he was clearly unworthy of her to begin with.

To reach his dream he had tried to develop his abilities in a different direction than most shinobi would think of. With the knowledge that Xanna had been kind enough to give to him regarding his parents, he had gotten several ideas. He had learned that the spinning chakra orb that she had mentioned was called the Rasengan and it was one of his father's most well known techniques, though there had been predictably no information on how to learn it. He hadn't let himself be stopped by that however and had done his best to learn it anyway.

So far he had no luck with it, though there had been some results. He knew that there had to be some trick to it, but it had eluded him so far. He could make an orb just fine, but it wasn't doing what it was supposed to do. From what Xanna had told him, the Rasengan should grind away at anything that it touched. His attempts so far did not do any grinding and no amount of chakra that he poured into it would force it to. Instead of scratching his head in confusion, he had instead tried to shape the Rasengan into a sharp, piercing drill around his hand. That had yielded some success, though he suspected this was only because of the dense chakra that he had. He had named this variation the Rasenyari(Spiraling Spear) and had decided to leave the Rasengan alone until he got some new ideas.

His other project was to figure out if he could manifest the same chakra chains that his mother had used. At least both he and Xanna were fairly sure that she had been his mother, there had been no way to make certain aside from the similar feel of his chakra. He had only managed to gather a few scattered mentions of an Uzumaki clan, but he very much suspected that it had been a clan of some importance.

That suspicion was confirmed only about a year ago when he had finally manifested a single chain. After that, he had been extremely careful to keep that ability hidden, as he could only come to the conclusion that the Hokage was deliberately hiding the knowledge of his clan from him and he didn't want to draw attention to himself right now.

Ironically it had been only when he had released Xanna from the seal that he had become capable of creating the chakra chains. It had taken nearly a full week for Xanna to leave his body safely, during which he could do nothing but stay still on his bed and endure the pain of having his chakra coils strained to the breaking point.

The regenerative healing factor that her presence in her body had granted was the only reason he was even able to survive the ordeal, as his coils had been suffering damage constantly. Xanna had made sure to leave his body only as fast as he could handle, but she had also gone as fast as possible without causing him permanent damage. If she had tried to leave him without causing him pain, then it would have taken decades and neither one of them was that patient.

When it was finally over, they had discovered an unforeseen benefit to the painful experience. Due to the constant strain on his coils, they had expanded massively and his chakra reserves had increased proportionally as well as becoming even denser.

Apparently it took a certain density of chakra to form the chains, which was why all previous attempts had failed. Naruto had been more glad than ever that he had decided to release the demoness.

Aside from this he had managed to get his hands on some affinity paper and discovered his affinities to be wind and water, but he had once again been unable to to really do anything with that knowledge.

His most interesting success though had been in the manipulation of raw chakra as a means of enhancing the body. He had swiftly discovered that channeling chakra to his body would make the bones harder and the muscles stronger, which he guessed was the reason that most shinobi looked way too skinny to have any kind of power in their bodies. He had resolved to never use chakra to enhance his muscles during training, as he definitely did not want to rely on chakra enhancement to solve all his problems, nor did he want to look like a skinny twig.

None of that was anything special however, as just about every shinobi enhanced their bodies with chakra. What had intrigued Naruto had been the discovery that he could lace his vocal cords with chakra, which empowered his words in a way that he was almost certain nobody had ever considered before. When he spoke with a chakra empowered voice, he was actually casting a very subtle genjutsu on anyone that heard him. So subtle in fact that it was damn near undetectable. He wasn't sure if it had any combat application, but it made him incredibly persuasive as long as nobody realized what was going on, which was why he guarded the secret of this ability above all else and only used it when he absolutely needed someone to believe his words. He knew that it was unlikely that this ability would be discovered considering the fact the it didn't rely on injecting his own chakra into the target the way regular genjutsu did, but there was no sense in taking risks.

According to Xanna, this was an ability that all the Bijuu had to some degree. She speculated that Naruto had developed it because his body was practically saturated with his incredibly dense chakra, which allowed him to channel it in ways that other humans simply weren't capable off.

He was actually glad that his titanic chakra reserves (compared to other humans at least) made him unable to use genjutsu the normal way, as it would automatically make people think that he could not possibly use genjutsu in such an underhanded way.

Fuinjutsu had proven itself to be highly useful for muscle training. Resistance seals that put equal strain on his entire body had sculpted his body into something that was entirely impossible to achieve with any kind of regular training, especially as it seemed that he had kept the healing factor despite no longer having Xanna sealed inside him. Apparently his body had gotten used to operating with a very fast healing ability, though the healing ability had a hefty cost in chakra. Fortunately, he had so much chakra now that he would only notice the drain in a protracted battle.

All of these achievements gave him hope that his goal was achievable, no matter how difficult, but what made him happy was the fact that Xanna often came to visit him. She didn't stay with him all the time and whenever he had asked where she went, she only smiled mysteriously, but he still saw her often. Sometimes she would stay at his home, which was now rather nice due to the fact that he was in control of practically the entire red light district and the rest of the darker parts of the village, but most of the time she was somewhere else. The mighty demoness had discovered that she enjoyed cuddling now that she had someone that she felt was better than the rest of the mortal sheep as she called them.

That had also led to him losing his virginity to her one night when he was 16.

Flashback

Naruto was in his happy place again. Xanna had come to visit after a longer than average absence and they were in bed together, with the beautiful red haired demoness spooned up against him.

At 16 years old, Naruto was at a rather tall 6 foot teenager. The blonde was quite pleased with this, as Xanna herself was just as tall as him and he would have been quite embarrassed if he had ended up being a short little shrimp and Xanna would have towered over him. He was infinitely glad that he had devoted some time to carefully regulate his food intake for maximum benefit to his growth, with only the occasional bowl of ramen as a treat. He still visited the Ichiraku stand, but he usually ordered something healthy or sometimes just to visit Ayame and Teuchi.

Being tall in this instance however presented a particular problem. Namely, Xanna had her naked posterior pressed against his underwear clad crotch and his right hand trapped between her very shapely and firm borderline D-cup breasts. She outright refused to wear anything to bed and even demanded that he not wear anything except a pair of underwear, because she enjoyed the feel of naked skin on skin contact too much.

This was a frequent problem for Naruto, and he actually liked this problem if he were honest with himself, but tonight it was especially bad. Xanna had been gone for a whole month and had apparently missed the cuddling just as much as him, which was why she was now slowly grinding her, in Naruto's opinion, incredibly sexy ass against his crotch and it was driving him mad. He had some suspicions that she liked the reactions she got out of him and did this kind of thing on purpose.

He wouldn't dare make any kind of sexual advance on her, but with one hand between her breasts and the way that she was rubbing herself against him, Naruto feared that he would very soon have a sticky mess in his underwear.

Just as he thought that the situation couldn't become anymore unbearable, her constant rubbing managed to undo the buttons on his underwear, causing his rock hard, 8 inch rod to spring out of it's confines and slap directly into her nether regions, causing her to gasp out in surprise. It was the sexiest thing that Naruto had ever heard and he couldn't stop himself from giving out a deep groan of pleasure, desire and frustration.

After a long moment, Xanna turned around and pushed him onto his back so that she was lying on top of him with her breasts pushing into his muscled chest, making sure to keep his rod trapped between her legs the entire time. Naruto was half expecting her to rip his throat out for what had happened, even if it was technically her own fault, but he was still enjoying himself immensely. In spite of the possibly lethal situation if she decided to take offense, he was still a healthy teenager who was in a very intimate situation with a woman that had occupied his thoughts every single day. He had been lusting after her ever since he was 11 when puberty had kicked in and he couldn't really say that he regretted the current situation even if she was angry at him.

"Are you still determined to marry me Naruto?" She asked, not sounding upset at all.

Naruto managed to find enough blood in his brain to form an answer. "More than ever. With every day I love you more. I'm going to become as strong as you one day and earn the right to marry you." He stated firmly, fully believing every word.

Naruto felt her clench her thighs together around him at his words and felt something wet trickle down his erect member. It was taking every bit of restraint he had to keep still at this point even as he suddenly understood that she had been testing him with both her actions and her question just now.

She had done this several times before, even before he had released her from the seal. Sometimes she would do something or tell him something about herself and would then ask him whether he still intended to marry her. Often what she told him would make an average person consider her evil or monstrous, but he could never see her that way. He didn't try to rationalize her actions, but no matter what she told him, it could never taint his opinion of her. She wasn't human, he fully understood that and there was absolutely no point in attempting to judge her as one. Aside from that, he would have been nothing without her. Even if she decided one day that she wanted to kill him, he would still love her, He had after all been prepared to die just so that he could release her from an imprisonment that he considered unjust.

"You've impressed me a great deal in the past few years Naruto and I think that you deserve a reward." She whispered to him in a voice that nearly made him lose it all over again, slitted crimson eyes burning into him.

"Wh-What kind of reward?" He managed to ask with a hoarse stutter, self control evaporating like a glass of water spilled over a hot metal surface. Naruto dimly realized that his hands had somehow ended up on her waist, but he didn't remember putting them there.

Her eyes still firmly fixed on his, she moved one of her hands to rip off his underwear and then grab hold of the rock hard rod of flesh that was still held between her thighs and grabbed it, making him suck in a short breath and then groan as she guided him inside her.

"This reward."

Naruto was entirely incapable of speech as she raised herself up to straddle him and began moving, riding him slowly.

Seeing her breasts bouncing as she moved, his hands reached up to touch them, barely able to believe that this was really happening. He grabbed them gently at first, but quickly started squeezing harder as his lust fogged up his mind.

When he felt her hands covering his own, he was suddenly seized by a desire to kiss her and lifted himself up, inadvertently thrusting deeper inside her, making her let out a short gasp. He moved his right hand behind her head and brought her lips down on his own. He sought out her tongue greedily, making her give out a surprised moan as his left hand lowered itself to the small of her back and began pushing her onto his member more forcefully.

This being Naruto's first time, the sensory overload quickly caused him to reach his climax inside of her, leaving him gasping for breath, as the org*sm had practically ambushed him. When the feeling faded enough to let him think, he became embarrassed by just how quickly she had driven him over the edge.

Looking up at her, he was relieved that she only had a small smile on her face instead of looking upset. He loved it when she smiled at him, it was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen and before he knew it, he was hard again, still inside of her.

Xanna let out a surprised gasp as she found herself flipped onto her back, with Naruto pressing down on her. Before she could say anything he began thrusting into her and claiming her lips in another kiss. As he kept thrusting into her, he distantly remembered that she had told him that immortal beings such as her were unable to conceive children, something about preserving balance that he really wasn't able to care about right now.

Naruto lasted longer this time, but he still emptied himself into her without Xanna reaching a climax of her own. As he collapsed onto her, she began stroking his sweaty back and down towards his butt. Naruto began to gently kiss her neck and ear, which earned him a sexy purring noise and a grope of his rear end. Aside from enjoying kissing her neck, he had also been using it as an excuse to hide his embarrassed blush at the fact that he had pretty much lost control and kept thrusting into her until he had climaxed, barely able to think of anything else.

Unseen by him, the demoness herself had a mischievous grin on her face. She had fully expected that he would be rather clumsy and over eager during his first time, but there would be plenty of time for him to learn how to please her. Even if he never reached his lofty goal of equaling her power, she had taken a genuine liking to him and intended to enjoy her time with him for as long as he lived. When she felt him getting hard again in response to her ministrations she gave another grin and flipped him over again.

Maybe she'd even tell him one day that she'd done some 'adjusting' to his body over the years before he'd released her. The Yondaime may have contracted the death god to seal her inside Naruto, but nothing in the contract had said anything about preventing her from influencing his body as long as her power didn't leave his body. Overall, she figured that the blonde would be pleased rather than upset over the fact that she had made sure that he would be taller and that his 'equipment' would be larger. The stamina and endurance was entirely his own however, though once boosted by her presence inside him, now it relied on his own strength.

Grabbing his hands in both of hers, she leaned over him as she began to grind on his once again erect member, not bothered at all by the slow leaking from his previous two releases.

Naruto tried to free his hands from her grip and touch the breasts that dangled so enticingly in front of him, but found her grip to be well beyond his ability to break. He found himself strangely turned on by the fact that he was being held down by the demoness and unable to break free of her grip as she rode him.

Xanna however did notice that his eyes strayed towards her breasts constantly as he tried to break her grip and deliberately leaned over so that her right nipple was just in front of his face.

Naruto stared at the perfect dark pink nipple that sat on a perfect dusky skinned breast with a nearly hypnotized look for a long 2 seconds before he raised his head and took it into his mouth. He licked and sucked on it gently at first, making Xanna give an appreciative moan before he pulled on it more insistently, making her lean further down when his neck began protesting the awkward position.

"Gently." Xanna chided softly.

Naruto looked into her eyes again, before nodding and taking her nipple into his mouth again, this time making sure to stay gentle, being endlessly turned on by the sounds of appreciation that she was giving off.

Deciding to try something new, he gently scraped his sharper than normal teeth over the sensitive nub, making her gasp out again. Fearing that he'd screwed up, he looked up at her face again and was relieved to see that she looked pleased. Feeling more confident now, he returned his attention to the nipple, alternating between licking, sucking and using his teeth.

He was so focused on what he was doing and the ever rising pleasure of having her ride him, that he nearly missed the fact that her breathing had become heavier. The nipple was suddenly removed from his mouth and he wanted to protest, but was quickly silenced by the fact that he had the other one deposited into his mouth.

He felt himself nearing another org*sm, and was unable to do anything to prolong it between her clenching nether lips, the sexy panting and his enjoyment of pleasuring her breasts. With a short and muffled scream, her vagin*l lips gripped him harder than ever, making him spill his seed inside her for the third time, this time feeling satisfied that she had climaxed alongside him.

They spent the next several minutes just cuddling in silence, with Xanna lying on top of him and Naruto slowly running his fingers down her back, making her give off an occasional delighted shiver at the pleasant sensation.

"You know I'm going to expect you to get better at this don't you?" Xanna said lazily.

Naruto couldn't help but grin at her brutal honesty, delivered with all the grace and subtlety of a warhammer. He had always liked having the truth delivered raw and without any attempt to spare his feelings. At least he had done better in the third round, though he had to admit that most of that had been thanks to her.

"Then you'll have to help me practice a lot." He returned, grin still on his face. He was in fact looking forward to practicing.

"I'll be sure to do that occasionally, but I meant that I want you to practice with other women." She said with a smile, knowing that this was one thing about her that was going to shock him no matter how incredibly accepting he had been of her demonic nature so far.

And indeed she was right, as the blonde was looking quite poleaxed, not having expected such a thing in the slightest. He had spent quite a lot of time thinking about what kind of differences there might be between a human woman and a demonic one. He had considered the possibility that she may not care if he slept with other women, but he hadn't actually intended to do it whether she cared or not. To hear that she wanted him to actively seek out other women and sleep with them had been so unexpected that it left him unable to process the situation for nearly a whole minute.

Xanna patiently waited for him to get his wits together, sporting a sh*t eating grin the entire time. She did so love messing with him. Most of the time the blonde was so focused that it always amused her to see him shocked.

"Let me get this straight...you want me, to go out and find women to have sex with so that I'll get better at it?" Naruto asked, just to be sure that he was hearing things right.

"Yes." Was the simple answer.

"I won't even bother asking why since you've already said you want me to get better." Naruto said slowly, making her grin again at his understanding. Demons in general were not fond of stupid questions and she had indeed stated her reasons already.

"I can't say that I am entirely comfortable with this. It was always my intention to be completely dedicated to you."

Xanna had to smile at the sweet, but so very human sentiment.

"You have already dedicated your life to pursuing me as your wife have you not?" She asked.

"Of course."

"And I assume that you will not allow yourself to be swayed from this course?"

"No way, you're the only one I could ever want as my wife."

"Well then I expect you to practice your technique instead of relying on the impressive size of your tool." She told him firmly.

Naruto flushed at her wording, but he knew that it would be a bad idea to try and talk her out of this. Her tone told him that she was serious about this and she would more than likely be upset with him if he argued. Her frequent visits were the happiest part of his life and he definitely didn't want her to disappear just because he was being stubborn and trying to apply the human concept of loyalty to a demon. To her it would no doubt be an insult if he didn't try to better himself for her sake.

With a sigh, Naruto let go of his reservations about the situation. "Alright, I'll seek out other women to 'practice' on." Truth be told he wasn't comfortable thinking of other women as practice material, so he intended to explain the bizarre (to humans) situation and let the women decide if they wanted to go along with it.

"Good, and remember that the lowest circle of hell is reserved for oath breakers." Xanna said with a smile that was suddenly very sinister, showing just the tips of sharp fangs and the blonde was quick to nod his agreement.

Naruto got the distinct feeling that the ominous statement was also intended to remind him that he had not only agreed to practice, but that he had sworn to be hers alone. Despite the threatening nature of the statement, Naruto was actually happy about it, because it revealed that she would be upset if he settled for a human woman. That meant that she had grown to care for him to some extent, which only bolstered his determination to continue growing stronger as his dream seemed to be tangibly closer.

Xanna smiled at his understanding. She had never met or heard of a human that had attempted to understand and accept the nature of demons to this extent. He had never been bothered by the fact that she felt no remorse for killing humans or the bloodlust that sometimes gripped her during the killing. It was actually quite amusing that the only thing to have given him pause so far was her attitude towards sex. Even when she had told him that if she should happen to kill innocent bystanders during her rampages, she would still feel no remorse over it. Instead of being horrified like most humans would, he had simply thought it over for a few minutes before concluding that she would likely consider it their own fault for not getting out of the way and he had been right.

After he had gotten over the 'why', Naruto had spent a whole week agonizing over the 'how' of finding women to practice on. At long last he had decided to swallow his embarrassment and headed towards the nearest brothel, deducing that the women there would no doubt have plenty of experience in such matters. He had sought out the oldest of the prostitutes there, a still beautiful woman in her mid thirties and explained his situation with a great deal of embarrassment.

She had quite clearly not believed him at first and he really couldn't blame her, as he had given her a highly edited version of the truth that made no mention of demonic future wives. Fortunately she had agreed to help either way and had even eventually believed him, as he had kept insisting that it was the truth.

Unknown to Naruto, the woman in question had known exactly who he was and knew that he was the reason that rape had been all but stamped out. Despite all efforts at secrecy, word had gone around that he was in fact the one who was in control of all the shady elements in that part of town. People had been dubious about having someone so young in charge, but after seeing how well he had things in hand, true loyalty had appeared and everyone kept their mouth firmly shut so that nobody would meddle and ruin it for them.

Also unknown to Naruto was the fact that his strict no tolerance policy towards any kind of mistreatment towards women, no matter who they were had made him an item of interest among the girls working in the brothels, especially after seeing how handsome he had turned out to be.

This was the reason that a confused Naruto was one day directed towards a much younger and eager looking girl by the older, more experienced woman. It wasn't long before the blonde was being passed from one girl to another every time he came looking for 'practice'. The story that the woman he loved and whose favor he was trying to gain by 'practicing his technique' as she put it had only made the girls more enthusiastic for reasons that continued to escape him.

He had also once chanced upon the idea of using a Shadow Clone when 3 girls hadn't been able to decide which one went first and had instead just decided to share. Within 2 days, all the girls had known about the newly renamed 'Gang Bang no Jutsu' and were even more determined to get into his pants.

Naruto had been pretty incredulous at the fact that a B-rank Kinjutsu had been reduced to being a glorified sex toy, but he couldn't deny that he had certainly been learning a lot about how to please a woman, even if he did sometimes feel like he was having sex with the entire red light district simultaneously.

An interesting little side note had been that he had learned that apparently channeling chakra to his genitals improved the entire experience and turned his ejacul*te into some kind of 'super delicious energy drink' according to one particularly bubbly 20 year old.

All in all, the whole experience left Naruto feeling like the biggest man-whor* to have ever walked the Elemental Nations and he had never been so glad to have applied that seal to his testicl*s that prevented him from getting a woman pregnant, but he couldn't deny that he had gotten a lot better at pleasing a woman. His growing ability to rob women of the ability to walk through sex had given rise to another troublesome situation...they wanted him to come back and give them their 'Naruto time' as they had taken to calling it, because they had never had such an attentive lover.

Xanna had been laughing her ass off the entire time when she saw him getting passed around like a piece of meat.

Never being one to forget anyone who helped him out, Naruto had diverted a considerable sum of money towards all the girls who had helped him, which had turned out to be pretty much all of them. After that, there had been a rash of new businesses, shops and restaurants being opened all over Konoha, all of which had Uzumaki Naruto listed as a VIP to all employees, along with a sudden decrease in the number of prostitutes.

End of the long-ass flashback

Naruto snapped out of his memories just in time to see the one-eyed, silver haired Jounin stick his head into the room.

"My first impression of you...you're boring. Meet me on the roof in 5 minutes." He drawled lazily.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Hatake Kakashi closely examined the three academy graduates in front of him and immediately noticed that something was off.

Uchiha Sasuke was pretty much what he had expected. Dark, broody, anti-social, supposedly the best out of this year's Genin graduates.

Haruno Sakura was supposed to be top kunoichi, but from what he could see of her, she was clearly not. Her arms were skinny and completely without muscle definition and the way she kept glancing at the Uchiha made him think she was a fangirl.

Uzumaki Naruto was the biggest surprise of the bunch. He towered over all of them at 6''1', heavily muscled, but not so much that it would slow him down, clearly muscle that was meant for use and not for show. The long, wild blonde hair held in a low ponytail along with the black muscle shirt gave him a somewhat thuggish appearance. The whisker marks on his cheeks along with the fact that some of his teeth were sharper than normal for humans gave him a dangerous, feral air.

He supposedly only showed up at the academy to take tests, but otherwise didn't even bother showing up. The academy instructors had for years claimed that he was a useless loser that would never make a good ninja and had pointed towards his many failures to graduate to support this. The assessing, intelligent gleam in his eye was making it hard for Kakashi to believe that. Kakashi was in fact eerily reminded of Minato-sensei, but somehow even more driven and much colder.

Somehow Kakashi just knew that the blonde would be the one that he would really need to watch out for.

"Alright, why don't you tell me something about yourselves. Things such as likes, dislikes, hobbies and dreams."

"Umm, why don't you go first sensei, so that we can see how it goes?" Sakura asked uncertainly.

"*sigh* Fine. My name is Hatake Kakashi, I have things that I like and a few things that I don't. Hobbies? I have hobbies, as for dreams...well I never really thought about it." The Jounin drawled lazily.

"Your turn pinky." He pointed at Sakura.

She scowled at the nickname but went on with her introduction anyway. "My name is Haruno Sakura, I like...*looks at Sasuke and blushes*...I hate Ino-pig! And my dream is...*looks at Sasuke at giggles*"

"Alright, your turn now princess." He pointed at Sasuke.

Sasuke had already been scowling because of Sakura's introduction, so the nickname didn't really change his facial expression any. "I am Uchiha Sasuke, I don't like anything and I dislike almost everything and my ambition is to kill a certain man and rebuild my clan."

While Sakura was busy staring at Sasuke and thinking how cool he was, Kakashi gestured towards the blond. "Now you blondie."

"Uzumaki Naruto, I like training, ramen and people that I'm close to. I dislike judgmental people and wasting time. My hobby is training and my dream is none of your business."

Kakashi bit back another sigh. So I'm stuck with a wannabe avenger, his fangirl and a hard ass with a chip on his shoulder, great.

"Meet me tomorrow in training ground 7 at 6 in the morning for your Genin test. And don't eat breakfast, or you'll puke"

Sasuke and Sakura looked surprised, while Naruto just narrowed his eyes in suspicion, as he had seen Genin who had already graduated returning to the academy every year.

"But sensei, we've already graduated our from our Genin exam." Sakura protested.

"Oh that, well you see that was only to rule out the really hopeless cases. The real Genin exam is administered by the Jounin-Sensei and it has a 66 percent fail rate." Kakashi told them with obvious amusem*nt, as he always liked to see the Genin panic.

Well in this case only Sakura looked panicked. Sasuke just looked determined and Naruto looked like he was considering something.

"See you tomorrow!" Kakashi called out cheerfully and vanished before anything more could be said.

Notes:

Well there goes my first attempt at posting something on this site. Feel free to drop a review.

Pointless flames will make me cackle madly while yelling "FLAMES FOR THE FLAME GOD!".

Chapter 2

Notes:

DISCLAIMER: I still own nothing.

To Guest reviewer: Thank you for the constructive criticism, but I'll be unable to actually use any of your suggestions. I wasn't aware of the fact that some people would be twitching over the fact that a name is different, but I don't really consider it a big enough deal to bother changing it now.

The Kyuubi is deliberately not more hostile, as I wanted to present her as less of a giant rage monster and more as a highly intelligent being that sees no point in raging at someone who was a newborn at the time of her sealing.

As for writing out extra chapters for Naruto's younger years...I agree that may well be a good idea, unfortunately I can't think of anything in particular that I wanted to put in there, that's why I left it short and fairly generalized.

Also, be aware that the only grammar check made was by myself, which makes it almost certain that I missed something, somewhere, but it should be pretty rare.

Chapter Text

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Naruto walked towards his sleepy looking teammates, feeling full of energy after a big, hardy breakfast.

Thanks to his position among the criminal elements in Konoha, he had limited intelligence on some of the better known ninja in the village, Kakashi being one of them. To the rest of the world, the man was known as an extremely powerful and dangerous high A-rank ninja, in Konoha he was most well known for being late to everything and reading p*rn anywhere and anytime.

His good mood was instantly broken by a loud banshee war cry. "YOU'RE LATE!"

Naruto looked at the irritated pink howler with a deadpan look. "If I'm late then where is our sensei?"

Sakura looked a bit confused at that but still tried to argue her point. "That's not the point, you were supposed to be here 2 hours ago!"

"Clearly if our sensei isn't here then I'm not late for anything worth being here. I'm not going to waste my time waiting around for someone who can't even stick to his own schedule." Naruto retorted and there was blissful silence after that.

His words however proved to be false, as he still spent another 2 hours waiting for the man, but it was better than 4.

"Yo." Came the greeting from the chronically late Jounin as he suddenly appeared, 2 hours after Naruto had arrived.

"YOU'RE LATE!" Sakura yelled out.

"Well you see, I took a wrong turn on the road of life." Kakashi 'explained' with one of his signature eye smiles.

"LIAR!"

Naruto couldn't help rolling his eyes at the girl. She really needed to learn some volume control.

"Well now that we're all here, we can get started with the exam." Having said that, Kakashi pulled out 2 bells.

"Your job is to get these bells from me. Whoever gets a bell, passes and whoever doesn't, will get tied to the post over there while the others eat lunch in front of them and then get sent back to the academy. When this alarm clock rings, the test is over and I'll decide whether you pass or not." After he finished saying that, Kakashi took out an alarm clock and set it down on a nearby rock.

2 stomachs growled loudly when they heard this. Everyone looked towards Naruto who was looking perfectly fine.

"Didn't I tell you not to eat breakfast?"Kakashi questioned with an eye smile.

"You did, and I ignored you." Naruto answered blandly.

"Well at least one of you knows better than to listen to stupid orders." Kakashi said with a sigh.

Both Sakura and Sasuke looked upset over this. Sakura was especialy hungry since she had also skipped dinner the previous night

"Allright, time to get started, make sure to come at me with intent to kill or you won't succeed."

Sasuke and Sakura immediately ran towards cover to hide themselves, but Naruto stayed where he was, intently observing the one eyed Jounin.

"Aren't you going to hide Naruto?" Kakashi questioned while pulling out his book.

"Nah, I was thinking of trying to fight you head on first."

Kakashi still had his nose firmly planted in his book as he opened his mouth to say something, but was cut off by Naruto's sudden charge. The speed of it caught him off guard, the blonde was a lot faster than any Genin had a right to be.

Kakashi almost got hit, but managed to leap back just in time, pocketing his book at the same time, knowing that there was no way he'd be able to read if the blonde was this fast.

He kept his eye firmly fixed on the blonde in front of him, wary of any further attacks, which was why he was badly startled to suddenly feel another set of arms, much too big to be Sasuke or Sakura, clamp themselves around his chest, pinning his arms to the side of his body.

He tried to break free, but came to the unpleasant realisation that the blonde was a good deal stronger than him. He used the Kawarimi(Substitution) just in time to prevent himself from getting stabbed by a kunai from the clone.

Now wary of any further tricks, Kakashi was very certain that the academy reports on Naruto were a load of crap. Naruto had sent a clone to wait for him while the real one hid nearby just in case he would need to have a devious trick prepared. If he was really a dead last like the reports claimed, then he would have just charged in and spammed clones, hoping to overwhelm him.

Naruto however had no particular intention of using any further tricks, what he really wanted was to test himself against a Jounin, to see how he measured up. With that in mind he dispelled the clone and charged at the cyclopean Jounin and engaged him in a fast paced Taijutsu battle.

Kakashi could clearly see that Naruto had no style, aside from a sort of freeform brawling. In spite of that he was still strong and fast enough that it made him dangerous. Fortunately not dangerous enough to warrant revealing his Sharingan, Kakashi would have never lived it down if a freshly graduated Genin had forced him to go that far.

But he had left an obvious vulnerability aside from the holes in his 'style' that Kakashi intended to point out to him before it got him killed on a mission.

Dodging around a punch, he grabbed the long ponytail and yanked on it, kunai already in hand, ready to be pressed against the blondes throat and force a surrender. He felt the surge of chakra going through the hair just in time to let go as the the ponytail suddenly sprouted vicious spikes that would have mangled his hand badly if he'd kept hold of it.

Apparently the ponytail was less of a vulnerability and more of a trap.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

In their respective hiding spots, both Sasuke and Sakura were watching with considerable disbelief at how much trouble their supposedly dead last teammate was causing their sensei.

In spite of the fact that Naruto had never actually lost a Taijutsu spar in the academy, nobody had ever really taken him seriously. Most of the teachers went out of their way to belittle him and he didn't even show up most of the time. They'd all taken the fact that he was so much older than them as a sign that he was too much of a loser to graduate with people his own age, but clearly there was more to it than that.

Sasuke snapped out of his shock enough to take advantage of the situation, throwing several shuriken at the occupied Jounin, hoping to get in a cheap shot. He was not going to be shown up by anyone.

For a moment it seemed to have worked, as Kakashi was struck by the flying projectiles, but a few seconds later it was revealed to be just another Kawarimi, as Kakashi was suddenly replaced by a log.

Naruto bared his teeth in irritation at having his fight intruded upon, but he had to admit that he hadn't been getting anywhere, as the Jounin was simply too fast and too experienced to be brought down by something that straightforward.

Seeing that the Jounin had pulled a vanishing act on them, Naruto sped into cover, knowing that staying out in the open and waiting for a superior opponent to attack was stupid.

Less than a minute later he heard a horrified female screaming.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

In a nearby clearing, once again with book in hand, Kakashi was going over the short fight in his head.

He had to admit that he was surprised by the blonde. He'd suspected that there was more to him than the academy had reported, but this was way beyond what he'd imagined. Naruto had clearly been doing some serious training to have gotten that strong and fast and judging by how muscled his body was, he'd done most of it without chakra enhancement.

Most shinobi didn't bother with that kind of training, since chakra enhancement was a lot faster, but Naruto was apparently dead set on squeezing out any advantage he could get. Kakashi just hoped he wouldn't develop a fondness of bowl cuts and green spandex.

He was sorely disappointed in Sakura though. She was just as useless as he'd feared, a fangirl daydreaming about being saved by her crush. How she became top kunoichi was completely beyond Kakashi's understanding.

He had been mildly surprised by the fact that Sasuke had actually worked with someone instead of trying to go at it alone.

He was sadly not surprised at all to see the Uchiha come out of cover all alone, looking determined to take him head on, even though he'd already seen that it wasn't going to work.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

While this was happening, Naruto was thinking over the situation. The whole thing was suspicious.

He had seen a few Genin cells going around the village before and he had never seen them have anything less than 3 members and a Jounin-sensei. Added to this was the fact that Kakashi had already displayed a tendency to use deception with his order not to eat breakfast.

Seeing as he had already failed to accomplish anything against the one-eyed Jounin and he had just now seen Sasuke get buried up to his neck in the dirt, it clearly showed that the man was not even fighting them seriously.

Naruto also hadn't used his chakra chains or the Rasenyari, but he didn't think it would matter in the end and he wasn't going to reveal those without a damn good reason.

Considering that Kakashi ordered them not to eat breakfast as a test of whether they would blindly follow orders or not, he was guessing that the bells had a similarly hidden purpose. Clearly they were meant to pit them against each other, but Naruto was going to gamble on the chance that they were being tested if they could work together despite the seeming pointlessness of it.

At least, he would attempt to work with Sasuke. Sakura was a non-entity in a fight and wouldn't be useful as anything but cannon fodder at this point.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Kakashi watched with interest as Naruto dug Sasuke out of the ground and a short conversation ensued. He was too far to hear them and at the wrong angle to lip read, but it seemed that Naruto was proposing a plan of action and Sasuke was reluctantly accepting it, though he looked like he'd just been forced to swallow a lemon.

Maybe this team would actually pass the test, they were certainly showing a lot more promise than the teams he'd failed so far.

Maybe it would even snap Sakura out of her fangirlishness, though he wasn't going to hold his breath on that one. Previous experience had taught him that fangirls could be pretty damned stubborn.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Naruto and Sasuke were now making their way towards the clearing where Kakashi was waiting for their next attempt. Neither one of them was happy about working together, but both of them were clearly outmatched and neither had any better ideas for passing the test. Both of them however were in perfect agreement about Sakura.

Naruto still wasn't willing to reveal anything more about his abilities, so their plan more or less hinged on shadow clones, the one fire jutsu that Sasuke knew and a joint attack.

As they approached Kakashi, the Jounin spoke to them, despite having his face buried in a book again.

"Decided to work together have you?"

"Might as well give it a shot." Naruto shrugged and attacked, with Sasuke following not far behind.

Though he didn't show it, Kakashi was impressed that they had actually decided to work together. Their teamwork sucked and they got in each others' way just as much as they helped each other, but it was more than any team he'd been given before had done, though he was wondering where Sakura was.

The fight had settled into a pattern of Naruto keeping pressure on him in close quarters with Sasuke taking attacks of opportunity every time he could, using kunai and shuriken to distract him from his fight with the blonde. The occasional shadow clone that joined in made sure that he never got too much breathing room. Kakashi wasn't going all out of course, as he was only using Taijutsu, but he was interested if they would try something else soon.

Sasuke had dispelled several shadow clones when he hit them by accident, either because the clone had stepped into the path of a weapon or due to bad timing on a throw. Both of them were annoyed whenever the other screwed up, but they had managed to improve considerably during the course of the fight, their timing good enough that they became more dangerous to their prospective sensei rather than to each other.

The combat dynamic suddenly shifted as Kakashi was attacked by 3 shadow clones at once along with the original and Sasuke began making hand seals for the Katon: Gōkakyū no Jutsu(Great Fireball Techniques).

The strategy was decent and would have worked on many Chunin level ninja, but it never got off the ground due to the intervention of Sakura.

She had woken up from her illusion induced unconsciousness and had immediately rushed off towards the sounds of battle in a panic to determine if her precious Sasuke-kun was alright. Seeing that he was fine and working alongside the towering blonde against their prospective sensei, she decided to join in, hoping that Sasuke would be impressed.

Unnoticed by everyone, she had rushed towards the Jounin just as Naruto and Sasuke started their strategy to torch the Jounin. Her aim with thrown weapons was pretty bad, which is why she rushed in very close before letting loose a kunai. Unfortunately, her kunai sank into the back of a clone who had just moved to block a possible escape route, dispelling it and allowing Kakashi a clear avenue of escape. Kakashi took full advantage of this, grabbing Sakura around the neck and using her as a hostage, forcing Sasuke to abort his use of the fire jutsu. He may not have liked Sakura, but he didn't want to set her on fire.

Everyone froze with sudden indecision while Kakashi looked on lazily, curious to see what they'd do now. Before any kind of further action could be taken however, the silence was broken by the loud ringing of an alarm clock, signaling the end of the test.

"Well, it looks like the test is over and you failed to get the bells despite working together. Considering all this, I have no choice but to..." Kakashi trailed off ominously, making all three of them tense. "...pass you all!" He finished brightly, complete with eye smile.

Sasuke and Sakura looked shocked, while Naruto just nodded to himself, his suspicion confirmed.

"Well, I guess none of you are getting tied to the post since you all seem to have figured out that the point of the test was teamwork. I left you 3 lunch boxes at the alarm clock, so enjoy and meet me here tomorrow at 8 in the morning!" The Jounin continued, eye smile still in place and then vanished from the training field, letting go of Sakura in the process.

20 minutes later, they had finished eating and were just about to head home when Sakura felt that she needed to say something that had been going through her head ever since Kakashi had passed them.

"Guys...I'm really sorry I got in your way at the end there." She spoke apologetically.

"That's alright Sakura, I'm not disappointed in you at all." Naruto spoke kindly.

Sasuke looked incredulous, since he was in fact pissed at her and Sakura had a relieved and grateful look on her face, happy that her intimidating blonde teammate was actually a lot nicer than his appearance would suggest and that he wasn't angry at her for messing up.

All of that was shattered as Naruto suddenly pointed his finger at her, his sharp teeth bared ferociously and eyes narrowed in a glare.

"I'm not disappointed, because I expected you to be completely useless from the start!"

Sasuke face faulted in surprise and Sakura had her jaw hanging in shock at the sudden turnaround from kind to brutal.

"Wh-What?!" She shrieked, unable to wrap her head around the situation.

"You're a wimp and you spend all your time fawning over Sasuke instead of training. If you want to be a cheerleader, then quit being a ninja, find some pom-poms, put on a short skirt and flash your panties at him as a civilian." Naruto continued to tear into her.

"How dare you?! I'm just as much a part of this team as you and I was top kunoichi while you were just a dead last for the past 4 years!" Sakura shouted at him, her face burning with anger and humiliation.

Sasuke was just standing at the side, watching the spectacle with interest.

"What you were in the academy doesn't mean sh*t in the real world. If you don't get your sh*t together, then you're gonna end up separated from your team one day, without backup and forced to rely on yourself. When that happens, not if but when, because it will happen eventually, and you haven't trained hard enough to fight your way out of that situation the best you can hope for is a quick death. If you're really unlucky, then you'll get captured and some sick f*ck is going to use you as his personal plaything until he gets bored." Naruto ripped apart her argument mercilessly.

Not waiting for her to reply, Naruto left the training field, leaving his teammates gaping like fish.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

The very first thing that Naruto did with his newly confirmed Genin status was head to the library.

The librarian tried to prevent him entry, but a dark scowl and a glare quickly made her shut up. He'd made a reputation of not taking any sh*t from anyone in the past few years and the civilians found that they didn't have the guts to antagonize him now that he wasn't a helpless child anymore.

Moving to the section of the library that was reserved for things that Genin level ninja were allowed access to, Naruto was unsurprised to find it completely empty. Most Genin never even knew that they had access to basic training techniques in the library and didn't need to rely on their sensei for everything. In fact, most Genin didn't even know there was a library available to them, thinking that their sensei was supposed to teach them everything. Usually people only figured this out once they made Chunin and suddenly found themselves lacking a constant sensei.

Sending out clones to investigate the various parts of the library, Naruto searched around for about an hour before concluding that there wasn't all that much of interest to be found.

One of his clones found scrolls on surface clinging and water walking, which he intended to master as soon as possible. More chakra control and different ways to use it was always a good thing. Aside from that, there were only a few basics on the subject of Genjutsu and Ninjutsu, along with a few D-rank techniques, which he would never be capable of performing.

All of these techniques stressed the importance of properly controlling ones chakra and though his control was good considering his reserves, in comparison to what most people consider 'good control' it was terrible. He would either waste hundreds times more chakra than needed or more likely, the techniques would blow up in his face or not work at all.

The only thing of greater interest was another book on Fuinjutsu.

Finished with his inspection of the library, he had a group of clones copy the scrolls with the chakra control exercises and what little information there was about the generalities of Genjutsu and Ninjutsu. The Fuinjutsu book he intended to check out and copy at home.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Naruto was making his way home, deep in thought about how to further progress in his training. He still had to figure out what to do with wind and water manipulation, as there had been nothing much on the subject in the library to his disappointment. Sure, there were a few jutsu on the subject, but considering that most ninja in Konoha were fire natured, very few and he couldn't use them anyway, so he was back so square one.

He had managed to do a few things with water manipulation by charging his chakra into a pool of water and controlling it. It had some promising implications, but until he learned more about nature manipulation it was likely going to be nothing more useful than harmless splashing in the water.

Attempting the same thing with wind had yielded nothing more than a refreshing breeze and while that was useful on hot days or creating a dramatic wind when you were striking a cool pose, it was utterly useless for combat.

He remained deep in thought as he turned a corner and bumped into a distinctly female figure. Instinctively reaching out before she could fall to the ground he pulled her to his chest.

"Na-Naruto?!" She squeaked in surprise.

"Kasumi? What are you doing here?" Naruto asked in surprise. Kasumi was one of the girls who had used the money he sent them to get out of the life of a prostitute. She along with 2 of her friends had pooled their money together and bought out a clothing store from an old woman whose business had been declining for years.

The fact that the old woman was one of those who had charged him extra or thrown him out when he tried to shop there in his youth had nothing at all to do with her failing business. Nothing at all.

All 3 young women had moved into an apartment above their new store, which was why Naruto was surprised to run into her

"Oh, I was just visiting Keiko, she made me promise to visit when we left." Kasumi explained.

"Ah yes, Keiko would be quite upset if you didn't visit." Naruto muttered, remembering the girl in question.

Keiko was one of those women who actually worked in a brothel by choice. Despite her occupation, she actually slept with very few men or women for that matter. At first glance this would seem to be very odd, as Keiko came across as a very sweet girl with beautiful black hair and alluring black eyes in her late twenties that always had a smile on her face, leaving many clients baffled as to why the matron in charge of the brothel only directed a rare few clients her way.

Those who knew her better however understood perfectly, as Keiko had a perverted streak a mile wide and 2 miles deep. Any client sent her way usually ended up chained to a wall or to the ceiling after Keiko drugged them on the way to the dungeon that was built into the basem*nt of the building.

Clients were provided with a safe word before being introduced to Keiko. Naruto had gotten a reputation among the brothels by the time he'd been introduced to Keiko and the matron had known of his bizzare reason as to why he had suddenly become a regular. Keeping this in mind, the woman reasoned that he didn't need a safe word if he was trying to learn as much about pleasing a woman as possible.

When Naruto had woken up to find himself naked, arms chained to the ceiling and feet to the floor, with Keiko standing in front of him in a highly revealing leather outfit, complete with whip, he had no idea what to think.

For the next few hours, the woman had proceeded to cause a mix of pleasure and pain on the blonde, sometimes both at the same time, until he didn't know whether to kill the matron or thank her. Keiko had absolutely ignored him every time he told her to stop, until she had her sad*stic streak satisfied.

After she had released him, she had demanded that he tie her up and 'pay her back', which Naruto had ironically found even more difficult than enduring her attentions before that. When questioned she told him that she only submitted to those who could take everything that she did to them, and since Naruto hadn't been given a safe word, he had no choice but to take it.

Things that Naruto had never even considered doing to women, Keiko had wanted. His face had been on fire with embarrassment at the things she told him to do, each worse than the other.

Naruto had never imagined that any woman could be this much of a pervert before. He hadn't thought anyone could be this much of a pervert.

She had excitedly handed him a wooden paddle, bent over and told him to spank her, jiggling her bare ass enthusiastically and then pouted when he didn't hit hard enough.

She'd only told him to stop once her ass was glowing red and her juices were leaking down her legs from her arousal. Then she'd promptly gone down on her knees and told him to stick his dick down her throat until she choked.

Naruto's confused mind had been desperately trying to figure out what the right thing to do was, torn between Keiko's clear excitement over being treated so roughly and his belief that women should be treated gently.

In the end, the perverted woman had looked so upset that he didn't seem to want to 'play' as she put it that he had pushed aside his confusion and did as she asked, even though it felt wrong to him the entire time. It had gotten especially bad for him when her desires started going into territory that left visible damage on her body, but her excited yells and moans told him that she was enjoying even that...somehow. She'd been especially happy when she'd seen how sharp his teeth were.

"Um, would you like to come over for some tea?" Kasumi asked with a blush on her face, breaking him out of his thoughts.

"That sounds nice, but I've just passed my Genin test and I've got a lot to do." Naruto deflected awkwardly.

He had a good idea what Kasumi was really after and he'd avoided sleeping with women for a while now. He didn't feel that it was right to keep sleeping with them anymore. It had been bad enough when he'd done it for practice, but to keep having sex with all of them even after felt like he was betraying Xanna, even though she didn't see it that way.

Kasumi was a beautiful young woman in her mid to late twenties with shiny light brown hair and dark brown eyes. Curvy, with a cheerful attitude, especially now that she didn't have to work in a brothel anymore, she was definitely very attractive and Naruto felt himself getting hard at the obvious offer she was making, but it just didn't feel right to him to accept offers like this anymore.

"Oh, that's great, congratulations! Now you definitely have to come over, I can call Aiko and Tsuki and we can celebrate together, I'm sure they'll be just as thrilled as me." Kasumi persisted, her blush fiercer than ever and discreetly rubbing her thighs together.

Naruto swallowed nervously at what was being offered to him, his pants now painfully tight. He knew perfectly well that Kasumi was right and that Aiko and Tsuki, Kasumi's roommates, would in fact be all for the idea of sharing him, they had done it before after all. But he really was trying to stop sticking his dick into every woman he came across, he'd only done it because Xanna had all but ordered him to practice and after the last time the demoness had made a sexual advance on him, she had seemed very pleased, which was why he'd figured it was time to stop.

"That sounds great Kasumi, but I really don't have time right now. I've got training to do and techniques I need to study." He reasoned, with a nervous drop of sweat rolling down his face, hoping that she wouldn't press him any further. He really wasn't sure how long he could keep resisting that kind of offer, especially as he knew that Xanna wouldn't really care.

Kasumi sighed and gave a disappointed pout, but nodded all the same.

"Alright, some other time then."

Naruto sighed in relief before saying goodbye and making his way back to his apartment, intending to take a very cold shower. He completely missed the devious smile that spread across Kasumi's face.

"Genin huh? That means that he'll be doing D-ranked missions for a while." A plan already forming, she made her way home to talk to her roommates about hiring a team of Genin to help sort that new shipment of clothes that was going to be arriving in 2 days. If she had her way, then the only clothes Naruto would be sorting were the ones that she, Tsuki and Aiko would be wearing that day.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Naruto stepped out of the shower, getting goosebumps from stepping out of a cold shower into the open air. Standing in front of the mirror, he opened his mouth and took a look at his teeth. Instead of the blunt teeth that would be normal for humans, he saw a mouth full of razors, with only a few teeth being blunt. The canines in particular stood out, being the longest and sharpest, with the 4 teeth between them looking somewhat more normal, though still sharper than average and all the teeth at the side being fanged, though not to the same extent as the canines. His lower teeth had a similar situation, being almost entirely fanged and dangerous looking.

People who didn't know him found it extremely disturbing when he grinned at them, especially if he was angry. He strongly suspected that Xanna had a hand in making his teeth the way they were. Despite how menacing they made him look, people who knew him weren't bothered by it, many of the women that he'd been with had actually liked them, saying that it gave him even more of an animal magnetism than his whisker marks.

Naruto liked them too, but he really needed to ask Xanna about them one day, since he was curious as to why she'd done this.

With only a towel wrapped around his hips, he made his way towards his bedroom, as he hadn't bothered to bring any fresh clothes to the bathroom with him. As he passed through the living room he stopped as he saw Xanna lounging in a cushioned easy chair, somehow making it look like a throne.

"Hello Naruto, congratulations on finally making Genin." The demoness congratulated, simultaneously making a subtle jab at his long run as dead last. She was fully aware that it couldn't be helped, but mocked him for it anyway.

Naruto ignored the jab, knowing that she was only trying to get a rise out of him. The subject of his teeth was still on his mind and he figured that this was a good a time as any to ask.

"Thanks Xanna, it means a lot to me that you'd come to congratulate me." He said sincerely. "I'm actually glad you're here for another reason too."

"Oh?" She arched a fiery eyebrow in interest.

"I wanted to ask you about my teeth." He explained.

"They are very nice teeth yes, what about them?" the demoness asked with a smile that showed her own sharp teeth.

"I was wondering if you made my teeth like this deliberately or was it a side effect of being sealed in me."

"It was deliberate of course, along with your whisker marks. I thought they suited you." She admitted freely, curious about his reaction. She knew most people would be upset, but Naruto had proven that he was not most people many times already.

"Great, thanks for that, I really like both the teeth and the whisker marks." He said with a wide grin that showed of those very teeth.

anna could only give an amused smile at her favorite human. He was the most interesting thing she'd encountered in longer than she cared to remember. He eagerly threw himself into a task that anyone else would say was impossible, He was glad that she had made changes to his body that most would dislike, He completely invalidated his fathers' sacrifice by releasing her from the seal to name just a few.

That last one was of particular note. The soul of the Yondaime was now trapped forever in the stomach of the death god and it was completely pointless. Oh sure, she wasn't going to destroy the village anytime soon, but she hadn't intended to do that when she'd 'attacked' 17 years ago either and she considered her warning delivered even if nobody had wanted to listen to it. She imagined that the look on the Yondaime's face if he ever learned that his son had made it his goal in life to marry the demon he'd imprisoned would be a sight for the ages.

"Well, I have also come here for a reason aside from offering congratulations." Xanna said sensually as she slowly made her way across the room. She was wearing a red 'dress' that seemed to be more a collection of straps that covered her breasts and private parts and swayed with her movements in such a way that it just barely remained decent. It was exceedingly obvious that she was not wearing underwear, not that this was unusual for her.

"What reason would that be?" Naruto asked, doing his very best to keep his skyrocketing arousal out of his voice. A task that was doomed to failure as the towel around his hips began rising, utterly insufficient to conceal his hardening member.

"Lust...is an interesting thing." She spoke as she trailed a finger across his pectorals while making her way around him until she stood behind him, breasts pressed against his back and her crotch pressed against his right thigh.

"Like anger, it is a powerful impulse. Anger can give you strength, keep you warm, drive you, allow you to push aside pain. But if one surrenders to their anger completely, then they are made blind and stupid, ignoring danger in favor of lashing out against the source of their anger." Xanna continued to speak hypnotically while trailing her hands down his chest and stomach, slowly making her way beneath the towel. Naruto was struggling to pay attention to what she was saying instead of thoughts of how much he wanted to grab her and throw her on the bed, especially as he could now feel the trickle of her own fluids going down his leg, clearly showing that she was just as aroused as him.

Her hand just reached his testicl*s and began to fondle them gently when she continued speaking. "You humans seem to think that lust is something to be ashamed of. You hide it so desperately as if it were some terrible secret. But lust too can be used, both your own and that of others." Naruto began breathing harder as her hand moved to his now 9 inch and fully erect member, stroking it slowly.

"Inspire the lust of others and their thoughts will be clouded, their minds slow and clumsy as their own desires constantly interfere with their thinking. Know your own lust and learn to use it and this cannot be used against you. There is neither shame nor betrayal in lusting after the bodies of others as long as your soul remains devoted."

Naruto by this point was finding it damn near impossible to focus and understood what she meant by lust making thoughts clouded. Her voice in his ear was an enchanting melody, passing through his mind and her hand setting his loins on fire was leaving him glassy eyed as he continued to listen dazedly.

"To succumb to lust completely and becoming a rapist shows shameful weakness of spirit, but to able to act on your desires without forcing yourself on others is a strength. To take every step in confidence without feeling shame in your own nature is a strength that very few humans ever achieve. Demons so easily give in to their impulses, becoming mindless monsters and humans repress them, becoming weak willed sheep. To stand in the middle, taking strength from your nature, but using it instead of being used by it, that is a great power, the mastery of the self."

Naruto could feel himself getting close to a climax. The towel had long since fallen to the floor and he was ready to spray his own living room white any second now.

Moments away from org*sm, the hand suddenly stopped. "Well, I know that you have training to do and techniques to study, so I wont take away anymore of your time." Came a voice that Naruto would forevermore swear was the epitome of cruelty, but was in fact amusem*nt, before Xanna suddenly vanished.

Naruto collapsed to his knees as his balls contracted and began to painfully protest the sudden lack of female hand. He stayed there for several minutes longer, hoping that his testicl*s would stop hurting soon.

He now had an excruciatingly clear understanding about using other people's lust against them. He wondered absently if his balls were currently understanding anger and 'lashing out blindly'.

Regardless, he got the point that she had been making. Clearly she had been observing the incident with Kasumi and had seen both his desire and his refusal to act on it, as well as knowing his reasons for refusing Kasumi's offer. She had rather brutally, in his opinion, shown him that she would only care if another woman took her place in his heart, but as long as that didn't happen, she didn't care how many women he slept with, wanted him to even. He wasn't quite sure why exactly she kept pushing him to sleep with other women, but he was guessing that he was supposed to learn something.

It was hardly the first time that she had tried to teach him something in a roundabout manner. Everything about this encounter had been done with a purpose. From the dress, to the way that her hard nipples had poked into his back and the juices she had been leaking over his leg the entire time.

She had used his lust for her and turned him into a drooling idiot, metaphorically speaking, all the while fully in control of her own desire, using it to drive him crazy, leaving him completely blind to the oddity of getting a lecture and a handjob at the same time.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

2 days later

Team 7 was in front of the Hokage, waiting to receive a new mission. After the disappointment of having a mission to collect garbage yesterday, they weren't overly enthusiastic about missions anymore.

The Sandaime Hokage himself, Sarutobi Hiruzen, looked over Team 7 and felt the old sadness when looking at the tallest of them, Uzumaki Naruto. The blonde had always been smarter than his age would make you think. When he had still been a child, the boy had sometimes asked him why the village hated him so much and Sarutobi had been unable to give a proper answer, but had urged him not to hate the villagers, as they were only acting out of ignorance.

Naruto had gotten angry at him for making excuses for the village, and as he grew older became ever more distant to the Hokage despite Sarutobi's attempts to befriend him. As Hokage it was the old mans' job to protect the village and Naruto apparently understood that, but that also meant that he had to protect people who had abused him and the blonde instantly distrusted him because of that.

It had gotten even worse when he had learned of the Kyuubi when he was 13 after the incident with Mizuki. Sarutobi had tried to explain that the Yondaime had sacrificed himself to protect the village from the rampage of a terrible demon and that he had trusted that Naruto would be able to hold it back and keep the village safe. This had only further angered the blonde, demanding to know why they would hate him if he was protecting them and Sarutobi had once again failed to provide an answer that would satisfy the blonde.

After that, the blonde had matched the village glare for glare and if any of them tried to raise their hand against him, he would strike back twice as viciously. His new attitude towards the village had not endeared him to the general population, but it certainly had caused them to back off.

Sarutobi had only been told by Iruka of the tampering that the academy instructors had been doing with Naruto's grades, making him realize that this was yet another reason why Naruto didn't trust him as the academy was under his direct control, but he had been too busy to take a thorough look at it, believing that Naruto was simply a poor student.

Once he'd looked at the results himself, he could only conclude that Naruto should have been Rookie of the Year and graduated years ago. It was just a guess as he didn't have the proper results for accuracy tests or Taijutsu spars, but he was pretty sure that he was right.

It was too late now to do anything about that however, the damage was done and revealing the truth was only going to rock the boat and from what Kakashi had reported, Team 7 was rocky enough already.

"We have something special for Team 7 today." The Hokage began, looking at the mission scroll.

"Special how?" Sakura questioned curiously. It could hardly be any worse than collecting garbage.

"Your team was specifically requested for this mission. To be more precise the clients requested the team 'with Uzumaki Naruto on it'." Sarutobi explained to the bafflement of everyone present, as nobody could think of any reason for Naruto to be requested.

"Who are the clients?" Naruto asked, wanting to get to the bottom of this.

"Three women who own a clothing store have requested the help of your team with sorting a new shipment of clothes that has arrived today. Their names are Kasumi, Tsuki and Aiko." Sarutobi revealed, making Naruto twitch imperceptibly at the reminder of his very bad case of blue balls two days ago. The others still looked confused.

"I take it you know these women Naruto?" Kakashi asked, noticing that Naruto seemed to know something.

"You could say that. Apparently they heard that I made Genin and want to have someone familiar doing the mission." Naruto was pretty sure that his explanation was entirely wrong and that what he would be doing was going to be a great deal different than what the rest of his team would be doing.

After the 'conversation' with Xanna, Naruto had spent a lot of time thinking over her words and understood that she was trying to help him on his self imposed mission to become stronger. Her help was not a direct increase of power or a technique that could be used. No, it was more abstract than that, she was trying to teach him that he was limiting himself by suppressing his own nature. It was ingrained in humans to hide things that may be seen as shameful in the eyes of the community, out of fear of rejection.

This fear prevented people from acting in certain ways even if they wanted to, even if it would benefit them and harm no one. Naruto had a leg up on other people in discarding this fear as the community had already rejected him and the ones who did accept him wouldn't be bothered by his behavior either way...not too much anyway.

Still it wasn't as easy as simply deciding, a man had to actually act on it until it became natural to never allow himself to be restrained by shame. To be restrained only by his own honor, that was now his short term goal aside from training to be stronger, and he would do this by sleeping with every willing woman that caught his eye.

Gods but he would sound like such a self serving, lecherous bastard if he ever tried to explain it to anyone. Probably best not to bother then.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

"Team 7 reporting for the mission." Kakashi said as an introduction once they entered the clothing store, his three Genin right behind him.

The young woman at the counter looked up and she smiled at seeing Naruto there.

"Oh good, I'm Kasumi and my colleagues Tsuki and Aiko should be here any second now."

Just as she finished speaking, the two women in question came out of a back room that was used as a storage room by the looks of things.

"Hello, I'm Tsuki, and this is Aiko." The now named Tsuki introduced herself. Both Tsuki and Aiko were in their early to mid twenties, with Tsuki having long dark brown hair and light amber eyes and Aiko with short black hair that made her blue eyes stand out. All three women were very pretty and dressed in tight blouses and skirts, Kakashi highly approved them over the previous owner of the store, who had been a bitter old hag.

"So, what do you need my Genin to do?" The Jounin asked.

"The two short ones will be sorting the newly delivered clothes into the appropriate boxes in the back, it should be obvious, but there are some instructions written down just in case. We need someone big like Naruto to help us with something upstairs." Sasuke and Sakura bristled at being called 'the short ones' and Naruto had an amused smile on his face at how devious the three women were. Even if he had wanted to refuse, it was technically part of the mission to do as the client said.

"Alright, come on Sakura, Sasuke, lets go and see what your job is." Kakashi said with an eye smile, amused that Naruto had gotten singled out, but he wasn't overly worried. He knew that the blonde wasn't well liked by the village, but he seemed to be on friendly terms with these women.

Several minutes later, Sasuke and Sakura had gotten the hang of their job. Sasuke had a scowl on his face at having to do something as menial as sorting clothes, Sakura on the other hand was actually enjoying herself. Unlike the mission yesterday, where she had to clean up garbage, this was something that she could get into. She got to see all sorts of interesting clothes before they became available and she was already thinking of coming to buy a few of them.

Kakashi was of course being entirely unhelpful as he read his p*rn.

Suddenly they all heard a loud thump, as if something heavy had hit the floor.

"Great, that big oaf must have knocked something over." Sakura muttered just loud enough to be heard. After the way that Naruto had chewed her out, she hadn't been too fond of him, but she couldn't get his words out of her mind.

She'd never before questioned whether Sasuke would come save her or not if she ever got into trouble, but after the way that Kakashi had so easily taken her as a hostage and then Naruto's words, she had to rethink that opinion. The problem was that she didn't want to quit being a kunoichi but she also didn't like to exercise. The whole time during the academy she had done the absolute minimum of everything with the exception of reading. She had always liked to learn and used her perfect grades on the written tests to get the top kunoichi position, but as a result she was only as strong as a reasonably fit civilian, with chakra reserves to match.

Naruto's harsh words had scared her however, painting images in her mind of the terrible things that could happen to her. She wasn't going to quit the shinobi corps, as that would mean giving up on Sasuke, which meant she would have to suck it up and start exercising, which meant asking Kakashi for advice on how to get started, since she had no idea where to begin.

"OOOooooh..." The sound started as a scream and then trailed off as a drawn out moan.

Kakashi's single eye widened in sudden realization at just why they had taken Naruto upstairs.

Sakura was not so perceptive however. "Oh, just wonderful, he must have said or done something to make them angry and now we're all gonna get it." She complained.

"AAAAH, NARUTO!" This time the scream was in a different voice, but it didn't sound angry at all, which caused Sasuke to look confused for a moment before he suddenly developed a small blush.

"What the hell is he doing up there?" Sakura wondered angrily.

Kakashi just giggled perversely.

"MAKE CLONES FOR ME NARUTO!" The loud female demand was in the last voice.

"Why would she want him to make clones?" Sakura was now very confused, while Sasuke was starting to look incredibly uncomfortable.

"f*ck ME FROM BEHIND YOU SEXY BLONDE BASTARD!" The voice was distinctly Kasumi's, who was well known for developing a severe case of potty mouth when someone got her properly excited.

Sakura suddenly went pale and then flaming red as the truth of the situation was revealed. Sasuke was blushing bright red for the first time in many years and was just glad that there weren't too many people around to see it.

Kakashi was just standing there like a statue, before his eye suddenly began to tear up. I'm so proud!

For the next two hours, Sasuke and Sakura were feeling horribly embarrassed as the female screams, with the occasional indistinct sound in a much deeper, male voice from the upstairs apartment continued to filter down to them. Kakashi spent the entire time staring at the wall with a far off look, his eye occasionally releasing a stream of tears, confusing his students greatly.

To the great relief of Sakura and Sasuke, it finally stopped and they were done with the sorting, so they could go home and sleep off their embarrassment.

Hearing footsteps coming down the stairs, they all turned to see Naruto stepping into the room, looking incredibly pleased with himself if the wide grin on his face was any indication.

"WH-WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU DOING UP THERE?!" Sakura shrieked, her face so red that it made her hair seem a pale blonde instead of pink.

"I slipped off the road of life and fell into paradise for a while there." Naruto deadpanned still sporting a sh*t eating grin, knowing that stealing Kakashi's bad excuses would annoy her even more.

Sakura spluttered incoherently for a while before simply turning around and staying quiet.

"Naruto..." Kakashi began ominously, making everyone turn to look at him, Sasuke and Sakura expecting him to reprimand the blonde."...you magnificent bastard." He said brightly with an eye smile, one hand in his pocket and the other extended in a thumbs up, making his other two students face fault.

Naruto then caught sight of something on a rack behind Kakashi that interested him a great deal. It was a long black leather coat, with a pair of matching pants right below it and a pair of black combat boots on the floor. All 3 items looked quite expensive and more importantly badass. He wanted them instantly and made his way towards them, collecting all three items and ignoring the questioning looks from his team, Naruto made his way to the counter.

More footsteps heralded the return of the store owners, now with their hair mussed and their clothes rumpled as if they'd been pulled on hastily.

"I'll be taking these three things girls." Naruto grinned at them.

"Oh...umm sure, go ahead." Kasumi replied dazedly, looking only half awake.

"Alright..." Seeing that they apparently weren't going to ring up his purchases, he just took out his wallet and left a large amount of money on the counter, more than enough to cover the clothes along with all the things that had ended up broken and ruined upstairs.

"I'll see you girls some other day." The blonde said to them as a goodbye.

"Bye Naruto, don't be a stranger." All three girls said, having gotten their wits together a bit more.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

The next day

Team 7 was once more in front of the Hokage, ready to take a new mission.

"Before I give you today's mission, let me just say that whatever you did yesterday has made a great impression on the clients Naruto." The Hokage spoke, making Sasuke and Sakura twitch and Kakashi gave an eye smile.

"Though they commended all of you, they were especially impressed with Naruto, saying that he 'went above and beyond the call of duty' and that he 'performed to their utmost satisfaction'."

Kakashi couldn't help himself and let out a perverted giggle, while Sasuke and Sakura tried their best to keep their blushes unnoticed and Naruto just grinned.

Sarutobi looked them over suspiciously, but decided not to pry. As long as the missions got done and it didn't endanger Konoha, whatever happened during missions was none of his business.

"Did you pick up a new wardrobe during yesterdays mission Naruto?" Sarutobi asked, as he looked over the tall blonde.

Naruto grinned wider as he remembered what happened when he walked to the bridge where they met before missions.

Flashback

Sakura had once again failed to get Sasuke to accept her invitation for a date when she spotted their teammate approaching, only a few minutes less late than Kakashi. There was something different about him today however.

Instead of his usual outfit, today he was wearing the clothes that he'd picked up yesterday. The long black coat that hung down to his calves, the black leather pants with his forehead protector wrapped around his left thigh and his feet covered in black combat boots.

"WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU WEARING?!" Sakura shrieked out.

"My new favorite clothes." Naruto replied calmly.

"I mean, why are you not wearing a shirt?!" Sakura elaborated.

Indeed, Naruto had apparently decided that he wasn't going to be wearing a shirt under the coat, leaving his heavily muscled chest on full display to anyone who cared to look.

"I'm too sexy for my shirt." Was the deadpan reply, which made Sakura splutter again at his 'logic'.

Naruto rolled his eyes. If the pink haired girl was going to react like this every time she saw a shinobi do something out of the ordinary then she was going to be both irritating and amusing to be around.

End Flashback

"Oh yes, I just couldn't resist when I saw these at the store yesterday."

"Well, your mission today is going to be finding and retrieving Tora, the cat belonging to the wife of the fire Daimyo."

Kakashi eye smiled, already anticipating the amusem*nt he would gain from watching his Genin chase the demon cat.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

"This is Wanker, I am in the west position. What is your position? Also, why did we let Naruto pick code names? Over." A dull, lazy voice asked over the radio.

"This is Princess, I am in the south position. You were lazy and just let him do it and I hate you for it. Over." An angry male voice replied. You could practically hear him scowling.

"This is Cannon Fodder. I am in the east position. I hate you too Wanker. Over." A female voice answered with bitter resentment.

"This is Godly Blonde, I am in the north position. Take this as a valuable lesson about delegating responsibility Wanker. Over." The final voice stated, clearly in a much better mood than the others.

There was silence for the next few minutes as they waited for their target to reveal itself. It had proven itself a surprisingly elusive prey, somehow able to predict shinobi tactics and remain hidden, while avoiding traps.

"This is Wanker, target has been sighted approaching the west exit. Princess, make your way to the north and drive the target towards Godly Blonde. Cannon Fodder, prevent it from turning east. Over."

"Roger." Three voices replied.

The next few minutes were a blur as the wily cat did it's best to escape pursuit, unknowing that it was being driven towards capture. Tora ran towards the exit of the narrow valley where her three pursuers had driven her, making a leap for freedom.

Only to smack directly into the grip of a large fist, connected to an even larger blonde. Tora clawed furiously at the hand holding her, but found herself ignored as the small cuts healed speedily.

"Target is captured. Over."

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

OMAKE:

Senju Tobirama, Nidaime Hokage was deep in thought. He had a new Jutsu that he really wanted to try out. Unfortunately, the Jutsu in question required a living sacrifice in exchange for pulling a soul from the afterlife, both of which were things that were frowned upon. He had nearly completed the technique, but he needed to use it before he could work out the final kinks, as he could only learn to dispel the technique once he had used it already. His Edo Tensei(Resurrection to the Impure World) was problematic like that.

What he really needed was a sacrifice that nobody would miss, along with a resurrection target that wouldn't do any harm just in case he couldn't break the technique.

His thoughts were broken when one of his subordinates began to urgently call for his attention.

"Hokage-sama!"

"What is it?"

"The Genin team that you sent to catch the cat belonging to the fire Daimyo's wife has accidentally killed the beast!"

Tobirama's eyes widened as he was suddenly presented with the perfect excuse to use his new technique. After all, if the fire Daimyo got prissy over his wife's cat and started cutting funding to Konoha, there would be trouble. Besides, even if he couldn't cancel the technique, what was the worst that an undead cat could do?

Turning to his subordinate, Tobirama's eyes began to burn with an unholy light. "Find me a stray cat, any cat will do as long as it is alive."

Chapter 3

Notes:

DISCLAIMER: I own nothing and nobody.

Arch Zell: Most of the reason that I made Naruto so much older is because it's always annoyed me how they have prepubescent ninja running around. The second reason is because of the relationship with the Kyuubi...I could hardly justify to myself leaving Naruto a kid and having that kind of mature relationship. The third reason is because I think it's funny to have 13 year olds freaking out over the antics of a highly sexualy active adult that they have no choice but to be around. Aside from that I also like the older women in the Naruto 'verse a lot better than the ones his age.

I hope I got them all, but there are probably some typos that I missed.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

"As always, we have several clients requesting the services of Team 7, so you have free choice to pick which mission you want." Sarutobi began as Team 7 came to pick up another mission after a month of high demand for the apparently most popular Genin team in Konoha.

"Today you've been requested to help the waitresses of a night club move some furniture. There is also a request to help a woman move to a new apartment. The final option is helping the..."

"Hokage-sama! Please just give us a C-rank mission already!" Sakura asked in a slightly crazed manner.

The past month had been a long string of getting dumped with all the work while Naruto drove her insane by sleeping with Every. Single. Client! And she had enough of it! Surely if they got a C-rank mission and were sent out of the village he couldn't keep giving their team a reputation as a group of whor*s.

She hadn't missed the way that some people had been looking at them, especially after a mission, since Naruto never bothered being quiet. She had never been so embarrassed in her life to walk next to another person. Every single day since the Tora mission there had been special requests for the 'services' of Team 7, which was just another way of saying that Naruto was going to have loud sex with another woman, while the rest of them had to stick around until he finished.

The worst times were when there were other people there with them. She and Sasuke could do nothing but wait with their heads hung in embarrassment while he made their team look like an escort service. Kakashi was not being helpful at all when he told them that Naruto was just being diligent at completing the missions, giggling perversely the whole time.

"I agree, we're ready for a C-rank." Sasuke agreed quickly. He was handling the situation somewhat better than Sakura, but he was still eager to to something else than waiting for Naruto to finish the 'mission'.

"Now listen here, you can't just demand a C-rank mission from the Hokage! You've only been out of the academy for a month!" Iruka ranted at them.

"Well I think they're ready." Kakashi drawled lazily, bringing the Chunin up short.

Honestly, the team wasn't getting any kind of teamwork done, except for the joint embarrassment and irritation of Sasuke and Sakura.

"A C-rank sounds fun." Naruto grinned in approval, he was itching for some action himself.

Sarutobi looked speculative for a moment, before he made his decision. "Very well, send in Tazuna."

Soon afterwards, an old man with a rope tied around his forehead entered, he was quite clearly drunk and getting drunker, judging by the sake bottle in his hand.

"So this is the team that's supposed to protect me? A cyclops, an exhibitionist and two brats?" Tazuna asked drunkenly, not overly impressed with the team that was supposed to be protecting him, even if the blonde did look pretty tough.

"My team is quite capable I assure you and if we run into anything that they can't handle, then I will take care of it." Kakashi assured.

"Team 7, your mission is to escort Tazuna, the bridge builder, back to his home in Wave Country and protect him until the bridge he is building is complete." Sarutobi explained the mission.

"Meet up at the gate in two hours, bring enough supplies to last several weeks." The Jounin said to his team.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Several hours later, team 7 and their client were walking through the forests of Fire Country, making their way slowly south towards Wave Country.

Naruto had released his resistance seals and was feeling pretty annoyed at moving so slowly. Without the seals slowing him down, he felt as if he could take off and fly if he stepped on the ground too hard. It had been a long time since he'd released them last, and the way the seals were set up meant that they automatically increased the resistance on his body, keeping it constant with his strength increase. Well, he was pretty much at his physical peak, but the more he worked on it, the better he could reinforce his body with chakra.

All of this meant that he was feeling irritable at the slow pace, but he wasn't going to keep the seals active on a mission that was potentially dangerous. He had no intention of dying because some stupid punk got lucky and attacked him before he could release the seals.

At least the walk was helping him get used to his new speed and strength after being under the seals for so long. It usually didn't take long to get used to it, but it was always good to be fully used to your own body before a fight.

"Hey Naruto?" Sasuke suddenly spoke up, much to the surprise of everyone except Tazuna who didn't know how strange this was.

"What?"

"I've been wondering...why do you never use any Ninjutsu during our spars?"

Sasuke had been forced to reevaluate his opinion on the blonde several times during the month that they had been a team.

At first, he'd refused to call Naruto by his name, instead calling him dead last, but that had ended when the blonde had kicked him in the face for it. This had led to Sakura yelling at him...and getting kicked in the face for it.

Kakashi had them spar regularly and Sasuke was frustrated to note that Naruto was not moving anywhere near as fast, nor hitting as hard as he had during the bell test, meaning that he was clearly holding back.

Everyone looked towards the blonde, interested in hearing his answer.

"That's because I can't." he told them blandly.

Everyone looked at him in shock...well except Tazuna, who didn't know what the big deal was.

"What do you mean you can't use Ninjutsu?" Kakashi asked, wondering if it was the same problem that Gai's student had.

"I have too much chakra to use normal Ninjutsu."

"How can you have too much chakra to use Ninjutsu, that doesn't make any sense." Sakura protested.

"I have so much chakra that it's actually become so condensed in my coils, that I overload any Ninjutsu or Genjutsu that I try to use. In fact I'm pretty sure that I have at least 10 times the amount of chakra that the Hokage has. The only Ninjutsu that I can use are the ones that don't require hand seals or use up huge amounts of chakra, meaning raw shape and nature manipulation." Naruto explained, leaving out the fact that he could use the transformation technique just fine, it just used up nearly 300 times the chakra, making the chakra coating around him so dense that it actually caused a physical transformation.

"I didn't think you even knew any Ninjutsu aside from the ones they teach at the academy." Sakura commented.

"There is a library section open for Genin you know. Where do you think the diet and exercise plans that Kakashi gave you came from?" Naruto deadpanned at her.

"There's a library with Ninjutsu available for any Genin that goes in there?!" Sasuke was shocked. There was free Ninjutsu up for grabs and he didn't know about it?

"Don't wet your panties with excitement princess, there isn't anything too powerful in there since it's meant for Genin, though there might be more for you than for me in there considering you're fire natured and we're in Fire Country." Naruto shot down Sasuke's delusion of just grabbing up powerful Ninjutsu from the library.

Sakura scowled at the blonde, annoyed at the way he kept insulting her Sasuke-kun, but didn't say anything for fear of getting another boot to the face. She settled for asking another question instead.

"What kind of chakra nature do you have Naruto and how do you find out your chakra nature anyway?"

"I've got wind and water natures, which is just my luck since those are the rarest natures in Konoha, and you need a special chakra paper to test your affinity." Naruto explained.

"Why do you have two natures and Sasuke-kun only has one?" Sakura questioned further, feeling that it was unfair if her crush only had one chakra nature. Sasuke was wondering the same thing.

Kakashi interjected his own opinion at this point. "He might have more than one for all we know, since he hasn't been tested yet."

This settled Sasuke's rising jealousy, but he was still wondering about something.

"So, if you can't use normal Ninjutsu, what can you do with your nature manipulation?"

"At the moment, splash water around harmlessly and create a nice breeze, since I haven't been able to find any information on nature manipulation training yet." The blonde stated flatly, still irritated that he hadn't managed to make any use of his affinities.

"That's because it's a Jounin level skill Naruto, there's no need to be in such a rush." Kakashi said with an eye smile, making Sasuke and Sakura look at him in surprise.

"Some of us aren't lazy assholes like you Kakashi, I've already lost 4 years thanks to the morons in the academy holding me back and I have no intention of waiting until I make Jounin to learn that." Naruto replied with a scowl.

"What do you mean 'holding you back'? Weren't you the dead last 4 years running?" Sakura asked in confusion.

Naruto restrained the urge to kick her in the face, since she hadn't meant it as an insult for a change.

"I'm pretty sure that the instructors were screwing up my scores so that they'd have an excuse to fail me at the end of the year, that's why I only bothered to show up for tests. I've actually been sending shadow clones to the academy for the past two years instead of going myself." Everyone was surprised to hear this, Sasuke and Sakura especially.

"Wait wait, you mean you're only 4 years older than these two brats?" Tazuna interrupted in shock, having thought that the blonde was a good deal older than that.

It wasn't an unreasonable assumption, considering the fact that Naruto was already very tall and he didn't look like a teenager at all. The constant workout that the resistance seals gave him had completely burned off all the baby fat that he should have retained at the age of 17, leaving him looking like he was made out of marble. Without that distinct 'softness' that youth would give to the face of a teenager, his features were defined sharply, giving him a predatory look that was enhanced tenfold by his sharp teeth and feral whisker marks. He was far from unattractive, as the dangerous look often excited women, but he was definitely not attractive in a traditional manner.

They all gave Tazuna a nod, before Sasuke picked up on something that he'd missed earlier in the conversation.

"But if you have too much chakra for regular Ninjutsu, then why can you make shadow clones?"

"Because there's nothing regular about shadow clones Sasuke, It's a B-rank Kinjutsu that only a few Jounin ever learn because of it's high chakra cost. If anyone other than Naruto tried to use shadow clones the way that he does, they would run out of chakra almost instantly." Kakashi explained lazily, eyes firmly glued to his book.

Sasuke scowled at that, annoyed at the fact that the blonde had such a powerful jutsu and wondering how he even got it in the first place. While he wouldn't want to be in Naruto's position of being unable to use Ninjutsu, he couldn't deny that having that kind of insane chakra capacity would be great to have when he finaly faced Itachi.

The group continued on in silence for a while before Sakura broke it by asking Tazuna whether Wave Country had any ninja of it's own, which led to Kakashi explaining that five great nations and their Hidden Villages, after which the group lapsed into silence once again.

Not long after that, they were approaching a puddle in the middle of the dirt road. Kakashi quickly noticed that there was no reason for a puddle to be there, as it hadn't rained in nearly two weeks.

Naruto however noticed the low levels of killing intent that were originating from the puddle, after which he quickly noticed that the ground was much to dry for there to be a puddle there. Exchanging a glance with Kakashi, the Jounin nodded at him, surprised that that the blonde had noticed it, but pleased nonetheless.

The group meandered passed the puddle, Kakashi with his face buried in his book, Naruto with his hands in the pockets of his coat, looking bored , Sakura glancing at Sasuke every few moments and Sasuke doing his best to ignore her.

As they passed the puddle, two shinobi with scratched out Kirigakure forehead protectors, each one carrying a gauntlet that was connected to the other with a chain, rose from the puddle and wrapped the chain around Kakashi, who was walking at the back of the group. With a violent pull, a wide eyed, shocked looking Kakashi was torn into pieces, shocking everyone except Naruto, who didn't even bother to take his hands out of his pockets.

"One down..." One of the two shinobi began. "...and three to go!" The other finished.

Sakura remained frozen with fear next to the equally frozen Tazuna, pulling out a kunai out of pure reflex rather than any confidence about defending herself with it.

Sasuke snapped out of his shock quickly, charging at the shinobi on the left, evading his slow attack and bringing his leg around in a powerful blow to the back of the head, knocking him out.

Turning around with a smug look, he looked towards Naruto, expecting him to still be having some trouble with the other one, only to see that the blonde still hadn't bothered to take his hands out of his pockets, simply planting his boot right into the mans face hard enough to break his nose, drive the bones into his brain and killing him instantly, making the poison tipped claw useless, still looking bored. To him, the two shinobi had been slower than dripping honey in winter, that combined with foreknowledge of the attack, made the whole thing rather underwhelming.

Sasuke grinded his teeth at being shown up so badly. He was supposed to be an elite, an Uchiha. Was he so much weaker than his brother that he couldn't even best a no name orphan like Naruto?

"Well done all of you. Sasuke and Naruto neutralized the threat while Sakura protected the client." Kakashi praised as he suddenly appeared in front of them.

"Kakashi-Sensei! You're alive!" Sakura exclaimed in happy surprise.

"Of course, they only cut apart a log after all." The Jounin replied with an eye smile, making Sakura look at the scene of his 'death' only to noticed that indeed, there was a log in three pieces there. She smiled sheepishly at forgetting about the substitution technique.

If she was honest with herself, she was feeling both shaken and somewhat ashamed of herself. Even though Kakashi had praised her for 'protecting the client', she had just been too terrified to move. The whole incident only served to bring Naruto's words from the bell test crashing back into her mind. If she had encountered this kind of situation alone, or if Kakashi really had been killed and her teammates weren't strong enough to fight them off alone, then she would have been completely useless, just like Naruto had said. Even though she had asked Kakashi about getting into shape and he had given her diet and exercise plans, she hadn't been too enthusiastic about doing them. Sure, she'd used them, but not to the extent that she could have. She was sure that she was still behind what most of her academy classmates had been capable of when they graduated, never mind her two teammates, who were clearly much further along than that.

"Those were the Demon Brothers, B-rank missing-nin from Kirigakure. Is there something you aren't telling us Tazuna-san?" Kakashi asked pointedly, making the old man sweat.

"B-rank? I wouldn't give them anything above a C-ranking." Naruto commented.

"Well...that performance just now definitely wasn't B-rank, but they were probably underestimating you." Kakashi answered with a sweat drop, before turning to Tazuna, expecting an answer.

"Well, you see...there's a really dangerous man after me, his name is Gato." Tazuna explained nervously.

"Gato?! Of the Gato shipping company? Said to be the richest man in the world?" Kakashi asked in surprise, not having expected such a thing.

"Yeah, but his shipping company is also a front for his smuggling and drug dealing operation. Over a year ago, he moved into Wave and started buying up every business that had so much as a fishing boat. If someone didn't want to sell, then he sent his hired thugs to get rid of them. Since Wave is an island nation, this means that he effectively controls the entire country."

"That's fine and all, but why did you say this was a C-rank mission if you knew that he would send shinobi after you? As it is, this mission is now at least B-rank if not A-rank. We would be fully within our rights to abandon the mission, since you lied about it." Kakashi questioned sternly.

"Because Wave is too poor now to afford anything more than a C-rank, even the Daimyo doesn't have any money. We aren't even sure if he's still alive since Gato took over his mansion. But if you want to quit now, I'll understand. It's no big deal that I'll be killed and that my daughter will hate Konoha ninja forever and my cute little grandson will cry all the time." Tazuna both explained and spun what he hoped was a sob enough story to make them feel bad if they wanted to quit the mission.

Kakashi just sighed as he had a feeling what his hotheaded students would want to do. Sakura would likely be relieved about going back to Konoha, but Sasuke and Naruto would both be excited rather than scared off at the prospect of the mission being tougher than it was supposed to be.

"I say we continue the mission." Naruto said simply.

"I agree." Sasuke seconded.

Seeing that her crush wanted to continue, Sakura just nodded her head in agreement.

Both Sasuke and Sakura were privately hoping that Naruto didn't end up sleeping with the aforementioned daughter.

Tazuna looked at them in gratitude and relief, before looking over at the Jounin of the group, knowing that it was ultimately his decision.

Kakashi withheld another sigh, feeling that this was a really bad idea, since the next opponent was likely going to be a Jounin, but the team was finally working together on something and he didn't want to ruin that.

"Alright, I guess we're continuing the mission."

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

"Alright Tazuna, this is as far as I go." The boatman that had ferried them across the ocean to the island nation of Wave said.

"Thanks Kaji." Tazuna replied.

They were now in Wave country and still there had been no further attacks, making Kakashi suspect that it would happen very soon now. It was after all, best to attack someone while they were in unfamiliar territory.

Naruto was paying attention to the surroundings carefully, also thinking that things were a bit too easy. Most of his attention however was on sensing any killing intent at all. His youth had made him highly sensitive to it, as he had been the target of it a lot of the time. Though the killing intent of civilians was quite pathetic, it had proven useful to attuning him to sensing such things. The suppressed killing intent of a ninja wasn't that much different from that of a civilian.

That's when he sensed it, a very faint killing intent coming from the bushes. Without thinking he flung one of his rarely used kunai into the bush and the killing intent instantly vanished, making Naruto narrow his eyes in suspicion.

A cute, but terrified squeaking sound revealed that he had nearly sunk the kunai into the head of a white snow rabbit. He ignored Sakura's chastisem*nt about frightening the poor animal, because he was utterly certain that it hadn't been a rabbit that was thinking about killing them.

That rabbit shouldn't have a white coat at this time of year, meaning that it's been raised indoors. Kakashi realized, before suddenly yelling out to his team.

"Get down!"

Sasuke instantly obeyed, Naruto kicked Sakura's legs out from under her and flung himself to the ground simultaneously and Kakashi tackled the bridge builder. It was all done just in time as well, as a giant sword spun through the air where they had been standing just moments before.

The sword planted itself into a tree and a tall, shirtless man with a leather strap over his chest appeared on the long hilt of the sword. He was wearing camouflage pattern arm and leg warmers, his scratched out Kirigakure forehead protector identified him as a missing nin and he was distinctly lacking eyebrows for some odd reason and he also had the lower half of his face wrapped in bandages, creating a similar effect as Kakashi's mask.

"Momochi Zabuza, the Demon of the Hidden Mist." Kakashi stated, identifying the newcomer.

"Sharingan Kakashi, the Copy Ninja." Zabuza replied, surprising Sasuke, who was wondering why his sensei was called that.

"Stay back and protect Tazuna, This enemy is out of your league." Kakashi said, while lifting his headband and revealing his implanted Sharingan.

"Oh? I get to see the Sharingan already? I'm honored. You know you could just hand over the bridge builder and we'd have no problem." Zabuza commented idly, readying his weapon.

"Sorry, but we have a mission to protect him." Kakashi returned.

"I thought you'd say that." Immediately after saying that, Zabuza jumped over to the nearby lake and made a handsign.

"Kirigakure no Jutsu(Hiding in Mist Technique)."

A dense cover of mist formed rapidly, obscuring sight and making Kakashi a good deal more wary, as his Sharingan was useless if he couldn't see.

"Don't lower your guard, Zabuza is a master of the Silent Killing technique." The Jounin warned.

"Silent Killing?" Sakura asked nervously.

"As the name suggests, users of the technique are able to kill their targets without a sound. Most of the time, the target dies without ever realizing it." Kakashi explained, warily looking around for a glimpse of the missing-nin.

Naruto was trying to pinpoint Zabuza's position by the feel of the mans' killing intent, but wasn't having any luck, as it seemed to be coming from several places and he could only get a general location either way. He ignored Zabuza's little speech about the eight points in the body that he could strike for a lethal blow, as he knew that the man was just doing it to freak them out.

Kakashi then used a chakra burst to disperse the mist, making Naruto wonder why he hadn't done that before. The rising pressure of the killing intent being tossed around by the two Jounin was considerable and Naruto could see that it was getting to Sasuke, as the Uchiha survivor looked about ready to kill himself. The only reason that Sakura wasn't in the same position was because she wasn't attuned enough to feel it.

"Sasuke, calm down! I won't let my comrades die, I'll protect all of you." Kakashi spoke, breaking Sasuke out of his panic attack.

Immediately after that, Naruto sensed the presence appearing in the middle of their formation. He spun around with an outstretched kunai, stabbing it into Zabuza's forehead, only for the man to turn into water.

"Looks like you got a fast one there." Zabuza commented, not letting on that the fast reaction from the blonde had ruined his plan to get rid of Kakashi.

The big, muscle bound blonde had confused him at first. The other two looked like fresh Genin, but this one was clearly a good bit older than them and he didn't look incompetent enough to be one of those Genin lifers. When Kakashi had given all three of them orders to stay out of the fight, it had told him that he didn't think any of them could be of any help in the fight, but that speedy disposal of his clone just now told a different story. If he didn't want this turning against him, he needed to keep the blonde from joining the fight, even if he wasn't as strong as Kakashi, he could still be dangerous enough to turn the tables decidedly against him.

Kakashi had pinpointed the location of the voice when Zabuza had spoken this time and immediately rushed at it, ramming his kunai into the surprised looking mans abdomen.

Only for the man to turn into water and another Zabuza to appear behind him, already swinging the sword to cut him in half. Having no time to dodge, Kakashi was cut in half and then immediately turned to water. Zabuza felt a kunai on his neck from another Kakashi immediately after.

"It's over Zabuza." Kakashi stated confidently.

"Yes, it is." The humor in Zabuza's tone tipped Kakashi off to the fact that something was wrong, making him duck hastily, stabbing the Zabuza in front of him just in case it was another trick, but the water that leaked out of the wound and the sword swiping over his head proved the ducking to be a wise move.

Zabuza proved to have great mastery of his oversized sword though, as the missed swing sank it into the ground, but instead of trying to pull it out, he used the sword as extra leverage to kick the silver haired Jounin into the lake.

Kakashi was finding it extremely difficult to get out of the water, as it was unusually heavy. He had just processed the fact that being in the water while fighting a water specialized shinobi was a bad idea when he was suddenly encased in a sphere of water.

"Suiton: Suirō no Jutsu(Water Release: Water Prison Tehnique)."

"It might be a prison of water, but it's stronger than steel. You won't be escaping from here anytime soon and now all I have to do is get rid of that blonde and those two brats of yours."

Sasuke gritted his teeth at being dismissed so easily, while Naruto just observed carefully to see if there were any weaknesses that he could exploit in this situation. That water prison technique looked interesting, but from what he could see, Zabuza had to keep his hand stuck inside it to sustain it and that was a serious weakness.

"Take the bridge builder and run, this fight was over when he captured me!" Kakashi urged them. "He can't move as long as he's holding this prison, so just run!"

"I'm not sure what you're thinking right now Kakashi, but I'm the only one fast enough to outrun no-brows here and I can't do that while carrying someone. Not to mention that he could just come after us after he kills you." Naruto replied drily, making Kakashi feel a little stupid that he hadn't considered that.

"You're not sounding very scared blondie, despite knowing who I am." Zabuza said, making a few water clones.

Before he replied, Naruto using his full speed to smash into the water clones, who couldn't react fast enough, as they had only one ten percent of the originals power.

"That's because you've placed yourself into a bad position by using a technique that prevents you from moving." Naruto told him idly, making Zabuza worry that the blonde was indeed more dangerous than Kakashi's attitude would indicate.

"You're different than the other two...you've got dangerous eyes. What's your name?" Zabuza asked, realizing that this one bore watching.

"Uzumaki Naruto." The blonde replied with a grin, that showed him teeth just as sharp as his.

Zabuza wanted to curse. Any ninja worth his salt knew about the Uzumaki even if they had been destroyed before his time, they had been feared with good reason after all. A small island nation like Uzushio had been able to stand on equal footing with the five great nations because of the Uzumaki. Kumogakure and Kirigakure, along with several minor groups, had allied together for the sole purpose of destroying Uzushiogakure and had still suffered horrendous losses despite outnumbering the Uzumaki more than 10 to 1. He could only hope that this one didn't know any of the crazy techniques that the clan had been known for.

"Sasuke, Sakura." Naruto spoke suddenly to his teammates, getting their attention. "Feel free to throw kunai and shuriken at Zabuza."

"What are you going to be doing?" Sasuke asked, readying some shuriken. He didn't like taking orders from the blonde, but he seemed to have some idea about what to do.

Rather than answer, Naruto used a technique that made everyone's jaws drop.

"Uzumaki Hijutsu: Kusari(Uzumaki Secret Art: Chains)."

Four chains extended out of Naruto's back, going through his coat, but not damaging it, their sharpened tips pointed at Zabuza like the legs of a spider. He was glad that he'd put seals all over the coat and pants to make sure they didn't get damaged, they were especially immune to his own chakra, seeing as the seals on it were saturated with it.

"sh*t, f*cking Uzumaki." Zabuza swore. This was looking really bad for him. If he moved, then Kakashi would be freed and if he didn't move then he'd eventually get skewered by either the chains or the thrown weapons from the two brats. He couldn't even do a damn thing about it, because they were all safely out of range of his sword. If it was just thrown weapons it wouldn't be a problem, but those chains could keep harassing him from multiple directions and he couldn't do a damn thing about it.

"Your cursing seems to indicate that the Uzumaki were a clan of some sort." Naruto said in interest. He had long ago managed to sniff out the name of a red headed kunoichi by the name of Uzumaki Kushina, who had no doubt been his mother, but it seemed that someone in the village had purged all information about the Uzumaki. He had long suspected that it had been or was a clan, but this pretty much confirmed it.

"You didn't know? The Uzumaki were a clan alright, they got destroyed by an alliance between Kumogakure and Kirigakure during the Second Shinobi World War, because there were a lot of people scared of them." Zabuza answered, stalling for time a bit so that he could have some more time to think of a way out of this.

"Thank you, I've been wondering about that for years." Naruto replied, making Kakashi wonder just how much his blonde student actually knew.

Unnoticed by everyone, Sasuke was grinding his teeth together at learning yet another thing about Naruto that made the blonde better than him. He couldn't have taken out those clones, those chains looked to be incredibly powerful and now he learned that the Uzumaki were an actual clan that was so feared and powerful that it had taken an alliance of two Great Hidden Villages to destroy, while his own was destroyed by a single traitor.

Without any further delay, Naruto sent forth his chains and his teammates began throwing weapons at the motionless form of Zabuza. The swordsman managed to deflect the initial attack and dodge the next one by twisting his body. The chains however were a lot more maneuverable than him and had wrapped themselves around his weapon and began pulling it out of his hands. This forced Zabuza to let go of the water prison so that he could bring his full strength to bear against the chains.

This however freed Kakashi, who immediately attacked, forcing Zabuza to abandon the tug of war over his sword or get stabbed.

"Good work on getting me out of there, I'll handle it from here." Kakashi said, positioning himself across from Zabuza

Zabuza found himself outmatched in the following Ninjutsu battle, the Sharingan proving to be too great an advantage, as it allowed Kakashi to perfectly predict his intentions and even hypnotize him into making a mistake at the end.

Zabuza crashed into a tree after being hit by a powerful torrent of water from Kakashi's great waterfall technique, dazed and injured. Just as the Sharingan wielding Jounin was about to finish him off though, two needles sank into the missing-nins neck, apparently killing him instantly.

"Thank you for your help, I have been waiting for an opportunity to take down Zabuza for some time." Said the newly arrived ninja, dressed like a member of the Kiri hunter-nin. He or she had long black hair and was wearing the blank white mask with a strange hooked swirl over the bottom part of it, the Kirigakure symbol etched into the forehead and dressed in the faded green combat kimono of the Kirigakure hunter-nin corps.

"No problem hunter-san." Said Kakashi, hiding just how tired he was. He quickly checked Zabuza for a pulse, just to be extra certain and when he found none, he stepped away from the body.

While Kakashi and Zabuza had been having their Ninjutsu battle, Naruto had dragged the sword to himself with his chains, and was now holding it over his shoulder in his right hand.

"I would ask that you give me that sword Uzumaki-san, it is property of Kirigakure after all."

"You want this sword? It's yours, if you get naked, down on your knees and lick my ass bitch!" Naruto replied heatedly with a finger pointed at the masked ninja, having taken a liking to the sword. He even felt like being a bit ostentatious, so he used his rudimentary control over wind chakra to create a breeze that made his coat and ponytail flap in the wind dramatically

Haku was taken aback, having not expected that kind of over the top response in the slightest and at the fact that the blonde had apparently guessed her gender. She was also extremely grateful that the mask hid her blushing and slack jawed expression at the incredibly crude proposition.

"Naruto." Kakashi, Sasuke and Sakura groaned in unison, while Tazuna was looking like he was trying not to laugh despite still being somewhat scared.

"Hell no, I'm not giving up this sword to some hunter-nin, if the Mizukage wants it back, he'll have to send for it personally." Naruto insisted stubbornly.

Haku was torn with indecision at this, as that would be a perfectly reasonable request if she had actually been a hunter-nin. Either way the longer she stayed here, the more likely it was that someone would figure out that something fishy was going on.

She knew that Zabuza would be incredibly angry over losing the sword, but at least he would be alive.

"Alright, I will inform the Mizukage of this." Said the masked ninja and vanished with Zabuza's body.

Kakashi looked over at his team with an eye smile. "Great work team."

He was about to speak further, intending to question Naruto about those chains, but he face planted into the ground and felt all the strength leave his body.

"Kakashi-Sensei!" Sakura exclaimed, worried that he'd been hurt.

"I'm fine Sakura, it's just chakra exhaustion." Kakashi explained and passed out immediately afterwards.

"I guess you guys are carrying him the rest of the way to Tazuna's house." Naruto stated lightly.

"What? Why us? You're the biggest and strongest out of the three of us!" Sakura complained, with Sasuke nodding in agreement.

Naruto favored her with a terrifying fanged grin that told everyone who saw it that they were meat and he was hungry. "Because I've got a big sword and I'm not afraid to use it."

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Kakashi woke up and felt weak as a kitten. Chakra exhaustion, that's just great.

He tried to get up, all the while commenting to himself. "I guess I really overdid it with my Sharingan, I can barely move."

"Then maybe you shouldn't be moving at all." Said a pretty dark haired woman in her late twenties, who had just entered the room and heard him talking to himself. She was wearing a pink short sleeved shirt with red trim around the sleeves and neckline.

"Sensei! You're awake." Sakura exclaimed, as she along with Sasuke, Naruto and Tazuna made their way into the room.

"Yeah, I'm awake, but I'm not going to be able to move normally for a week, my Sharingan really takes a lot out of me."

"Is it really worth using if it puts that kind of strain on you?" Sakura asked worriedly.

"Well it's ok now that you took care of that assassin right?" Tazuna asked.

"Yeah...about that, there's something strange about that." Kakashi said as something kept niggling in his mind.

"What?" Sakura asked in confusion

"Well, hunter-nin are supposed to destroy the body immediately to prevent enemy shinobi from capturing it and prying village secrets out of it, not take it away. Also, the hunter used senbon needles, which are rarely fatal." The Jounin explained.

"What are you getting at?" Tazuna asked worriedly.

"I'm saying that Zabuza is still alive." He stated, surprising everyone.

"But you checked his pulse didn't you?" Sakura asked fearfully. She'd been terrified the entire battle.

"Yes, and he didn't have one, but a skilled hunter-nin would have no difficulty placing someone in a death trance." Kakashi refuted.

"Aren't you overthinking things here, I mean you completely destroyed that guy." Tazuna tried to reason.

"Shinobi must never disregard anything suspicious, as that might be the last mistake they ever make." The cyclopean Jounin answered firmly.

"But now what are we going to do. I mean, you barely beat him and now you wont be able to move normally for a week." Sakura worried.

"Well, Zabuza is going to be having movement problems of his own for a week because of that death trance."

"And I've got his sword." Naruto added.

"Yes, there is that. We were fortunate that Naruto is such a rude bastard and refused to give the sword to that fake hunter-nin, since Zabuza will now be missing his most powerful weapon." Kakashi confirmed with an eye smile.

"What do you mean his most powerful weapon?" Sasuke asked, speaking up for the first time.

"before he went rogue, Zabuza was one of the Seven Ninja Swordsmen of the Mist, an elite group of shinobi, each one carrying a powerful sword and each sword is rumored to have a secret special ability."

"Sweet." Naruto said with a grin, while Sasuke frowned over the fact that the blonde seemed to have acquired a powerful weapon with unknown abilities. The sword was way too big for him, but he wanted something like it.

"And I'll be training you in the week before Zabuza gets back on his feet."

"How is a week of training supposed to help us against someone like Zabuza." Sakura shrieked with much less volume than she used to.

"Well, it was you three that helped me beat him didn't you?" Kakashi asked rhetorically, making a mental note to have that conversation with Naruto soon.

"If he shows himself again, we'll just kick his ass again." Naruto said with an excited grin. He was rather excited at the prospect of fighting Zabuza again.

"No you won't, you're all just going to get yourself killed." A young voice suddenly piped up.

"Eh?" Naruto turned around to look at the little kid that had entered the room, flashing his bare chest at Tsunami in the process, causing the woman to look away with a small blush. She had been trying not to look at the big blonde for the entire time that they'd been in the room together.

"And who're you?" Naruto asked the mopey looking kid that was wearing an oversized hat.

"Oh, this is my grandson Inari." Tazuna told them.

"Inari, these are the ninja that protected your grandfather, say hello to them." Tsunami told the boy.

"Why? They're all just going to die when Gato sends his men to kill them." Inari said sullenly.

"Inari, that's very rude!" His mother chastised him.

"Gato already sent his strongest and failed, anyone else he sends is likely going to be nothing more than a hired thug, which might as well be sheep against a ninja." Naruto said dismissively.

"Whatever, you should all just go home before you get killed." Inari said as a parting shot before he left the room.

"Please forgive Inari, he's..." Tsunami tried to explain.

"He's lost hope." Naruto stated with certainty.

Tsunami looked surprised at the fact that the blonde had figured it out so quickly.

"How did you know?" She asked.

"I've seen it before. Those like him go around telling everyone how hopeless it is, because they hate the fact that they can't hope anymore and they don't like to see others who still can." Everyone looked at the blonde in surprise at that, wondering how he knew so much about this. Only Kakashi had a faint idea that Naruto's life definitely couldn't have been easy.

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The entire group, minus Inari, who had taken his food up to his room, were in the dining/living room, enjoying Tsunami's cooking.

It really was good food, but Naruto was well aware of the few anxious looks that Tsunami had leveled at the pantries and refrigerator when she'd seen how much they were eating. Clearly, she was worried about how feeding this many people was going to impact her ability to feed her family in the future.

The occasional glance and blush that she sent towards him was also not missed, no matter how subtle she thought she was being. He wasn't sure if Sasuke and Sakura had missed them or if they were doing a very good job of pretending that it wasn't happening. It was so funny seeing those two get embarrassed over the fact that someone they knew was frequently sexually active. He wasn't sure what genius had claimed that all shinobi were adults when they became Genin, no matter their age. Did that mean that Kakashi had been an adult at the age of six? Yeah that sounded like a really smart move right there, giving a six year old free access to alcohol, tobacco, p*rn and lets not forget the brothels.

He'd also noticed the picture of the family on the wall. The happy looks on the faces of Inari and Tsunami made it clear that the picture had been taken during better times. It didn't take a genius to guess that the man in the picture who had his face cut out of the picture was somehow connected how things had gotten so bad. Either the man had died and it hurt them to see his face, or done something terrible to warrant having his face removed from the picture.

But now was not the time to be asking about that, there was a conversation with Kakashi that had been looming for the whole day. He thanked Tsunami for the dinner, causing the woman to blush again, before giving Kakashi a look and heading outside.

Kakashi hobbled after him shortly afterwards and then simply stood next to him in the dark a short distance away from the house. Naruto was waiting for Kakashi to say something, but the Jounin found himself unable to find any words despite the fact that he'd known this conversation was coming.

"My mother was Uzumaki Kushina wasn't she?" Naruto suddenly asked, snapping Kakashi out of his thoughts.

"How did you find out?"

"You just told me, but I've suspected it for a long time." Kakashi scowled at the fact that a Genin had used that old trick on him. "There was only one other Uzumaki in the village aside from me in recent times, so I eventually dragged that out of someone with liberal use of the transformation technique, seeing as nobody wanted to talk about it to Uzumaki Naruto for some reason." Naruto continued.

Kakashi winced at that. He hadn't agreed with the Sandaime about keeping the truth from Naruto for this long. When he'd been much younger, it had made sense, but Naruto had been ready to know the truth for years now. And clearly he had dug it out no matter how hard Sarutobi had tried to hide it.

"Do you know who your father is too?" Kakashi asked.

"The Yondaime? That was actually even easier to figure out, seeing as my looks are rather distinctive and mom and dad hadn't been very discrete about their relationship." Naruto answered. Of course the real reason that it had been easier to figure out was because Xanna had flat out told him, but Kakashi didn't need to know that.

"Naruto, the Sandaime was just trying to protect you by keeping it hidden." Kakashi reasoned.

"Don't make excuses for the old man Kakashi. The real reason he didn't tell me was because he just didn't want to deal with the hassle. Sarutobi doesn't like to rock the boat in his old age and keeps telling himself that it's the best thing to do." Naruto retorted.

This was the main reason that Naruto didn't trust or want anything to do with the old man. The man was so afraid of doing anything that he just sat on information that he should have acted on and pretty much let the council run the village for him. He might claim to hate the paperwork, but he wasn't above using it as an excuse to not do anything. As far as Naruto was concerned, the village hadn't had a Hokage since the Yondaime died. Sarutobi may as well have been a random senior citizen dressed up in the robes and keeping the chair warm.

"I bet he even told you not to approach me until I ended up on your team." Naruto guessed.

Kakashi just nodded grimly, confirming it. Sarutobi had indeed done that, claiming that it would draw too much attention to Naruto. Jiraiya was in a similar situation. The man was Naruto's godfather, so he had more right than anyone to take Naruto in and take care of him, but it was true that if Jiraiya had taken him in that a lot of attention would be on him. Not to mention the fact that the man had a spy network to mind. That wasn't even taking into account the fact that he'd just lost someone who had been like a son to him for all intents and purposes.

Sarutobi had promised Jiraiya that Naruto would be well taken care of and would be ready to become his apprentice after he became a shinobi, but clearly the first part of that promise had not worked out the way it was supposed to. Especially considering the fact the academy had screwed him over badly. If Naruto had been allowed to graduate when he had been supposed to, then Kakashi wasn't sure which one of them would be stronger right now. He strongly suspected that it wouldn't be him.

Seeing that the secret was thoroughly blown, Kakashi told him some things about his parents that he hadn't known yet. The things that he hadn't known was surprisingly short, as apparently several years worth of 'reminiscing' while transformed into random people had allowed him to gather up a rather large amount of information.

"We should get some sleep, we've got training to do tomorrow." Kakashi said, as it was getting pretty late. Everyone else was already asleep.

"You go on ahead, I'm going to stay out here for a little longer." Naruto answered.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Tsunami was sleeping in peacefully in her futon, alone as always. The team of Konoha shinobi were all sleeping in the same room, her initial protest about a girl sharing a room with 3 males was waved off in 3 different ways.

Sasuke grunted.

Kakashi said that Sakura needed to get used to it anyway. Embarrassment around teammates was something that had to go as soon as possible.

Naruto said he preferred older women, with a wink at Tsunami that was missed by everyone except her.

This had happened before Naruto and Kakashi had gone out to have their talk and it had embarrassed Tsunami all the way until she'd fallen asleep.

Her eyes suddenly flew open in panic as a hand was pressed over her mouth to prevent her from screaming.

"Shhhh, it's just me" Came a whisper in a familiar voice.

Tsunami managed to calm down enough to take note of the fact that the man holding her down was very big and she could feel the hard muscle of his chest pressing into her through her thin sleeping gown. Then she caught sight of deep blue eyes that almost seemed to glow in the darkness of her room.

"Naruto-san, what are you doing here?" She hissed at him quietly, disbelieving that he had just broken into her room and woken her up in a way that had all but convinced her that she was about to get raped.

"No honorifics please, I hate those things." Naruto returned dryly.

"Fine, Naruto. Now what are you doing in my room in the middle of the night." She insisted, getting annoyed now, but at least her heart was slowing down. She absently noticed that he wasn't wearing his coat.

"I needed to talk to you in private and this seemed like the best time for it." Naruto explained.

"It seemed like the best time and place to have a private conversation was the middle of the night in my futon?" She asked incredulously.

"Well I wanted to talk to you as fast as possible and I didn't know when I'd get the chance."

Tsunami huffed in irritation at the twisted logic, but figured that she may as well go along with it, since it appeared that the blonde wasn't intending to leave until he got what he'd came for. "Fine, what did you want to talk about?"

"Inari's attitude...it has something to do with that man whose face was removed from the picture doesn't it?"

She looked up at him in shock that he'd managed to figure out that much already.

"Yes...Inari's real father died not long after he was born. Kaiza saved Inari from drowning and the two grew close quickly. Kaiza had come to Wave, chasing after his dreams. We married not long after he saved Inari and Kaiza quickly became a hero to Wave due to his bravery." Tsunami said softly, trying to hold back tears.

"Sounds like my kind of guy, what happened?" Naruto asked.

"Kaiza always liked to say that if you valued something then you had to grab hold of it and protect it with both arms." She continued with her voice now choked with tears. "He wasn't willing to just let Gato take over, so he fought against him. Then one day, they dragged him off to the market, broke his arms and executed him in public." After saying that she collapsed into tears, grabbing onto him for comfort just because he was there.

Naruto grimaced. He hadn't intended to make her relive painful memories and he had no idea what to do with a sobbing woman. He definitely couldn't just leave though, seeing as he'd been the one to put her in this condition, he'd feel lower than dirt if he just left. Not knowing what else to do, he just got more comfortable, held her closer and let her cry while rubbing her back.

Despite his intrusion into her room, Tsunami was grateful that he was there now. She had never really had a chance to grieve for Kaiza, worried as she'd been over Inari's darkening mood. Then after that she'd been worried about her father and about their dwindling ability to get enough food, which Tazuna hadn't been making easier by buying sake all the time. This was the first time in nearly a year that she was able to just let go and let someone else take care of her.

Trying to be strong all the time, holding back her own grief while doing her best to comfort Inari hadn't been easy. Especially as the boy had developed a completely fatalistic and despairing outlook, some days it was all she could do not to burst into tears.

She hadn't really expected her fathers bridge project to succeed and had been worried out of her mind when they'd heard that Gato would be sending people to kill him. That had been the reason that he had gone to Konoha to hire to hire ninja in the first place, but Gato had simply hired his own. She had been bracing herself to hear that they had been ambushed and killed on the road, but instead they had come through, with her father being perfectly fine. He'd been very impressed with the strength of the shinobi that Konoha had assigned to protect him, especially Kakashi and Naruto.

She'd found the blondes strange dislike of shirts embarrassing, especially as she had always had a thing for big and muscular men, but she now had hope that there might just be a happy ending at the end of all this thanks to him. She knew that Kakashi was the team leader and supposedly the stronger of the two of them, but Naruto had a strange charisma about him that made you think he could and would beat a mountain into submission if it got in his way.

When her tears subsided, Naruto made to move from under her and go back to his own room, but was stopped by a hand on his chest.

Biting her lip nervously, her face still tear streaked, Tsunami spoke up. "Please stay with me, I don't want to be alone right now."

He was surprised at her request, as he'd expected her to be upset at the fact that he'd pried into painful and personal things like that.

"Alright." He replied softly after a moment and used his thumb to wipe away what was left of her tears.

They moved around until she was spooned up against his chest and she thought that he was going to wrap his arm around her, but instead felt him working on getting his pants off.

"What are you doing?!" She squeaked, face flushing bright red. She might have asked him to stay the night with her, but she hadn't meant it as an invitation to have sex with her!

His deep chuckle sent reverberations through her body. "Don't worry, I just can't sleep in these pants. They look badass and they're pretty comfortable when I'm standing up, but it sucks trying to sleep in them." He explained.

"O-Oh, well, o-ok." Tsunami replied nervously.

When the pants were finally off, a large arm full of hard muscle came around and drew her tightly against his chest. He was so much bigger than her that it felt like nothing in the world could reach her as long as he was holding her and he was radiating a comforting heat like a furnace. She was ready to fall asleep almost instantly when she felt something growing rapidly larger and pressing against her posterior.

She was once again regained her bright blush at the feel of his arousal. Shifting nervously, she spoke up. "Umm, Naruto..."

"I know. I'm holding a beautiful woman so it can't be helped. Consider it a compliment." Naruto said and squeezed her a bit harder. He had intended the squeeze as a comforting gesture...which it was, but it also pressed his hardening member into her even further.

"Alright" Tsunami replied with her blush still firmly in place, but still shifted nervously.

"If you keep fidgeting like that you're just going to encourage it." Naruto told her evenly, even though his resolve not to start anything sexual right now was being sorely tested.

That made her freeze, but her face was still on fire at what she'd been doing. The steady throb that she could feel against her even through both of their underwear was not helping matters. Pressed this closely, she could feel that he was big...very big.

Despite her embarrassment, her exhaustion finally caught up to her and she fell asleep again.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Notes:

And that is it for chapter the third. Despite my anti-social nature I find myself liking reviews, so they would be appreciated.

If anyone is disappointed that I made Haku a girl...I really had intended to make him a boy, but after taking one look at a picture of him to refresh my memory, I just...couldn't...do it.

Chapter 4

Notes:

DISCLAIMER: Alas, A lack of ownership is present within me.

Mookenstein: Just because the story is tagged as romance doesn't mean that I'm going to get to it right away. As I didn't chain you to your chair and force you to read anything, I am entirely unsympathetic about the time you lost reading something you didn't like.

Anonymous: He's not building a harem. I realise that I didn't explicitly state that he wouldn't, so I can understand the misconception.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Tsunami woke up feeling incredibly comfortable. She was warm and the beating of a powerful heart resonated in her ears, trying to lull her back to sleep despite the fact that she was ready to wake up. If not for the fingers that began running gently through her hair, she would have fallen back asleep. As it was, she still didn't want to open her eyes and return to reality. She hadn't felt this good in a long time and she wanted to draw it out as much as possible.

She was well aware that the whole thing was rather inappropriate, sleeping in the same bed with a man that she met only the day before, but she couldn't bring herself to care. It had been so long since anything good had happened in her life that she wasn't going to let something as petty as propriety stop her.

She was grateful that the blonde she was using as a pillow didn't try to move or interrupt her self indulgence. They had moved sometime during the night and Naruto was now on his back with Tsunami resting her head on his chest.

She was lightly running her hand over his chest, marveling at how hardened his muscles were. She could practically feel the restrained power they contained, that combined with the fingers gently threading themselves through her hair wove a feeling of safety that she hadn't felt since before Gato had set his sights on Wave...before that even.

Unlike Inari, who had no true concept of the differences between a ninja and a common thug, she knew that they were completely safe from anything Gato could throw at them now that his hired missing-nin was out of commission. She had never seen a shinobi before, but even a civilian like her could see that there was something that set them apart from regular people.

She had loved Kaiza, but he had been a fisherman, not a trained warrior. Though his convictions had been firm and he had been strong for a civilian, laying on the blonde shinobi's chest, she could appreciate the difference between them. She knew that thugs and bandits, no matter how many would never be able to touch this man and if they tried, they would easily fall to his muscle and skill. His dangerous appearance had frightened her at first, but now it was reassuring.

With a regretful sigh, she decided that she really should be getting up.

"Good morning." She said as she looked the blonde in the eye.

"Morning, decided to get up?" He teased with a grin, making her flush slightly. She couldn't keep her heartbeat from speeding up at how predatory he looked.

"I'd prefer not to, but I've got to make breakfast." She was always the first to wake up and make breakfast .

"And I imagine that Tazuna might be upset that one of the shinobi he'd hired to protect him slept with his daughter on the day that he met her." Naruto mused idly.

She scowled at him, but her blush made it hard to take her irritation seriously. "You're making it sound worse than it actually is!"

"True, even though the way you were wiggling against me made it really hard to resist making any moves on you." He teased with an amused grin and lightly groped her ass.

Tsunami was looking so mortified that it was hard not to burst into laughter.

"Come on, lets get up before someone walks in on us." Naruto continued.

After that they both got dressed and made their way downstairs, Tsunami still sporting a faint blush at his teasing. Despite her embarrassment however, she was in a good mood. It had felt good to tell someone about what had happened and be held while she cried. The playful teasing was embarrassing but she couldn't deny that she liked it.

Some time later, breakfast was just about finished, just as the others began to make their way down. Inari once again took his food and left the table, glaring at the shinobi but without saying a word, making Tsunami sigh in disappointment.

"I'm going to need to go to town today and buy some more food." Tsunami spoke up when they were done eating.

"Could one of you go with her?" Tazuna directed his question towards the shinobi. He wasn't feeling comfortable with the idea of his daughter going to buy groceries alone, especially with Gato after his head.

Kakashi's single eye took a considering look as he thought it over. Someone would definitely need to go with Tsunami, but whoever would go, was going to be missing on the training today.

"What were you planning to train us in Kakashi-sensei?" Naruto asked before the Jounin could say anything.

"Oh, I was planning to teach you how to climb trees." Kakashi answered with his usual eye smile, making everyone except Naruto look at him like he was mad, as they wondered how exactly that was going to be useful at fighting Zabuza.

"Well in that case, I'll go with Tsunami, since I already know how to do that." Naruto replied with a sigh. The woman in question was happy to hear this, as she had been considering if she should ask the blonde to accompany her either way.

"Without your hands?" Kakashi pressed further, making everyone look at him like he was even crazier.

"Yes, without my hands." Naruto rolled his eyes. "I know how to walk on water without my hands too in case you wanted to know." He continued in a deadpan voice.

"What are you guys talking about?" Sakura burst out, losing her patience at the conversation that wasn't making any sense to her.

"He's going to be teaching you how to walk up vertical surfaces by using your chakra." Naruto explained to her.

"Why do you already know how to do that?" Sasuke asked with a scowl. He most certainly did not like the fact that the blonde was apparently ahead of him in this as well.

"Two words Sasuke. Genin. Library." Naruto deadpanned at him.

Sasuke scowled some more. He really needed to get into that library as soon as they got back to Konoha.

"Kakashi, I want you to show me those elemental manipulation exercises once Tsunami and I come back from town." Naruto told the Jounin-Sensei.

"You do know that those exercises will take much longer than a week to master? And even if you do master them, you wont be able to use them for anything much without knowing any wind or water techniques." Kakashi protested.

"Well if you know anything else that I could train in that would actually be useful in one week, then I'm all ears." Naruto retorted.

"Well, I guess you've got a point there." Kakashi gave in with a sigh.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

"Thank you for coming with me." Tsunami said towards the blonde walking next to her as they entered the town.

Naruto had opted to bring his newly acquired giant sword with him, strapped to his back with an improvised harness.

"It's no problem, I could hardly let a pretty woman like you go into a dangerous place like this alone now could I?" He answered with a lazy grin towards her, making her blush again at his slight flirting. He'd noticed that she seemed to be in a better mood than she had been yesterday and was being deliberately playful with her to keep up her spirits. He had never liked seeing women sad.

Naruto was observing the state of the town as they moved through it and noted that it was in a sad state indeed. There were people just sitting in the streets, looking absolutely hopeless and clearly too hungry to even stay standing for very long. He was drawing some fearful looks due to his style of dress and the sword, but the fact that he was walking peacefully next to Tsunami seemed to calm them down. Most people never even glanced at the Konoha forehead protector strapped to his thigh.

As they made their way to a store that sold food, he could see clearly that the only food it had available was of poor quality and sold at obviously inflated prices. His respect for Tsunami's cooking went up a few notches. He had no idea how she had managed to make food that still tasted good with such poor quality materials.

"This actually reminds me of my own childhood." Naruto commented a bit sadly as Tsunami picked out the best of the vegetables that were available.

Tsunami looked at him in surprise and confusion. "What do you mean, isn't Konoha a prosperous village?"

"Oh it is, the problem is that I'm not too well liked by a lot of the villagers, so they often sold me nearly spoiled food at triple price." Naruto explained.

"But why?!" She exclaimed in shock.

"It was due to certain events that took place during my birth. The villagers blamed me for it even though I was a baby at the time."

"But that's insane! How could they blame you if you were just a baby at the time?" Tsunami asked in distress for him.

"Because people are stupid." Naruto answered simply.

They had bought everything that Tsunami had picked out by now and were making their way down the street.

"But surely not everyone was like that?" Tsunami asked hopefully.

"No, not everyone. An old ramen stand owner and his young daughter were very kind to me and some other people that bothered to talk to me at least treated me like anyone else. In my experience, a person can be very intelligent and brave, but people as a group are often barely any better than animals...worse sometimes, since animals at least aren't likely to do much harm." He made no mention of Xanna despite the fact that she was honestly the only reason he hadn't become suicidal at a record young age. That was information that was simply not revealed lightly.

"What do you mean?" Tsunami asked, wanting an explanation for that rather cynical statement.

"Take the situation in Wave right now for example." Naruto began. "Your husband saw that Gato was bad news and fought against him, but he failed because nobody else was willing to stick their neck out alongside him. If everyone had risen against him, then he would never have gotten a stranglehold on the country, but everyone was telling themselves that they've got too much to lose if they take that risk, never even considering what might happen if Gato was allowed to take over. Now they're sitting hopelessly in the street, but they're still unwilling to stick their neck out and help Tazuna even if they have nothing more to lose. The people in Konoha did something similar with me, everyone just condemned me because that's what everyone else was doing. Most of them never even gave a single thought towards the why, instead blindly believing what they heard somewhere."

Tsunami was deeply shaken by his words, not just because she was reminded of the loss of her husband, but also at the dark but undeniable truth of what he said. The people of Wave had looked up to Kaiza as a hero, but had been unwilling to stand with him and now they were paying the terrible price of their cowardice.

They had lapsed into silence for a few minutes, each lost in their own thoughts until Naruto felt a small tug on his coat. Looking down, he saw a small and dirty girl who couldn't be more than six years old holding onto his coat. She looked terrified that he would be angry at her, but the growling of her stomach, which he could hear clearly had made her desperate enough to approach. She had apparently seen that he was looking much healthier than anyone else here and was hoping that he would give her something.

"Do you have any food mister?" She asked timidly while cupping her hands in front of her hopefully.

Looking at the small girl, Naruto was reminded of himself at that age. Giving her a smile, but making sure not to show her his teeth, Naruto reached into his coat towards one of the seals inscribed into the inside of it and unsealed a few ration bars that he kept in there. The things tasted as bland as cardboard, but there was a lot of calories packed into them.

When he deposited the ration bars into her hands, the small girl gave a bright smile and thanked him before running off.

"That was a very kind thing you did." Tsunami said approvingly.

Before he could say anything back, there was a sudden commotion from the direction that the girl had run off to and when Naruto turned to look his face darkened with anger.

"Watch where you're going you filthy little brat!" An unwashed looking and more than slightly tipsy thug yelled at the very girl that Naruto had just given the ration bars to, his hand already raised to strike her.

Tsunami quickly ran after him as the blonde made his way towards the thug, catching his hand before he could hit the girl.

Ignoring the angry looking man trying to get his hand free, Naruto addressed the little girl. "Run along sweetie."

When the wide eyed girl picked up her dropped ration bars and scampered off, the smile that Naruto had given her dropped off his face and he shoved the man into a nearby alley, with Tsunami following behind nervously.

To Naruto, this was a perfect opportunity. He'd been intending to get some more information on Gato and this piece of scum had very conveniently volunteered for an interrogation, assuming of course that he worked for Gato.

As soon as the man got back on his feet, he rushed at Naruto, intending to punch him, but found his fist caught in an unbreakable grip. He tried to free his fist, but Naruto just tightened his grip panful and twisted his wrist, forcing the man to his knees.

"We're gonna kill you for this you bastard. I work for Gato and you've been warned that anyone who goes against us is gonna be killed." The man spat angrily.

Naruto looked at him coldly and bared his sharp teeth in a menacing smile. The idiot had just spared him the trouble of finding out whether he worked for Gato or not.

"Tell me what Gato is planning to do about the bridge builder." He demanded.

"f*ck you." The man raged, trying to get his hand free.

Naruto kept tightening his grip until the bones in his fist were crushed, causing the man to scream. Predictably nobody came to check what was going on, being too scared to get caught up in anything dangerous.

"You've got plenty of bones left. I'm going to keep breaking them until you answer me." Naruto stated coldly and without the slightest shred of sympathy.

The man's nerve broke and he started talking. "He's just going to wait for that ninja he's hired to get better and let him take care of it."

"Is there anything else?"

The man hesitated and the blonde grabbed his other arm and began squeezing. "Ok ok! He also told us all to gather at a spot several hundred yards away from the bridge a week from now, but I don't know what for." The man quickly started talking before any more of his bones ended up broken.

Well that doesn't sound suspicious at all. Naruto thought to himself sarcastically. Gato sounded exactly like several other greedy pieces of slime that he'd had to deal with in the past when he'd still been taking over the criminal underground in Konoha, except for the fact that he was more successful. And the one thing that you could count on with the likes of them was that their own greed always got the better of them.

"I've told you everything, now let me go." The man said, cradling his broken hand.

Naruto ignored him and instead grabbed hold of his head with both hands and twisted violently, ending his life with a sickening crack. Letting the fresh corpse fall to the ground, he produced a sealing scroll from inside his coat and sealed the body inside. No need to be causing Gato to get suspicious and changing his plans if one of his flunkies was found with with his neck broken.

Turning back towards the entrance of the alley, he saw a pale and shaken Tsunami staring at him with wide eyes and trembling hands.

sh*t.

"Sorry you had to see that Tsunami." He said quietly.

Tsunami for her part was having trouble reconciling the image she had of the blonde as a gentle and caring man with the cold and brutal execution she had just witnessed. She knew of course that killing was a part of life as a shinobi, but seeing it was something else entirely. She didn't feel at all sorry for the man he'd killed, it was just the act itself that shocked her with it's casual brutality.

"It's alright." She said shakily.

They made their way back to the house in silence, giving Tsunami plenty of time to calm down.

"Does it bother you? To kill like that?" She asked softly.

"Not anymore. It bothered me when I made my first kill when I was 12, but I've long since realized that some people just need to die, just like Gato is going to die by the end of this no matter what." Naruto admitted and she was struck by the absolute confidence with which he said that, as if any other outcome was simply impossible.

They had nearly reached the house before Tsunami spoke again. She was biting her lips nervously and blushing in embarrassment but forced enough calm into her voice to speak clearly.

"Um, will you come to my room again tonight?"

Naruto looked at her in surprise at the request, before his expression turned into a teasing grin again. "Well if the client wants to have her way with me, then as a shinobi under your employ, I cannot refuse." That her father was the actual client was a minor detail that Naruto decided to ignore in favor of his teasing.

She slapped his arm, blushing furiously. "Sh-Shut up! It's not like that!"

Once she had calmed down somewhat, she asked another question. "Is that really true? That you can't refuse something like that?" She was thinking about kunoichi and if they were forced to sleep with clients if they demanded it, as she imagined that many clients would be like that.

"No, not really. Clients are warned that demands like that are not tolerated. At least, that's how it is in Konoha, I don't know how it is in other Hidden Villages." He admitted. His D-rank sexcapades were another matter as members of the village were well aware of that rule, they had just ignored it in his case because they knew that they wouldn't get in trouble for it.

By this time they had reached the house and Tsunami went inside to put away all the groceries, while Naruto made a beeline for the forest where the rest of Team 7 was training. When he arrived there he could see Kakashi lazing around, reading his p*rn as usual, Sakura leaning against a tree in exhaustion and Sasuke glaring at a tree venomously.

"how's the training going?"

"I figured it out on the first try." Sakura said proudly, before sending a nervous glance towards Sasuke when she saw his scowl deepen.

"Oh? And how long were you able to stay on the tree?" Naruto questioned.

"Well...about 15 minutes." She admitted with a blush.

"So basically, you have such a tiny amount of chakra that controlling it was easy, but a simple chakra control exercise like that exhausts you in 15 minutes?" He asked drily.

"Yes." Sakura said with her head hanging despondently.

"Well, this should help you build up your chakra capacity if you keep at it and you can help the princess over there figure out that he's using too much chakra." Naruto advised. Sakura frowned at him for calling Sasuke a princess, but thought better of saying anything.

"How do you know I'm using too much chakra?" Sasuke asked irritably, having heard the entire conversation and was none too pleased with being called princess.

"I can see you blasting the bark off the trees genius. Don't feel too bad about it though, the first time I tried this I used so much chakra that i nearly blew the tree in half." The blonde admitted with a wry grin.

Sasuke scowled even further at the blonde. Naruto's obvious greater strength was annoying him to no end and the worst part of it was that he didn't even know if he'd seen all of it yet. He really wanted to ask about those chains that the blonde had created, but Kakashi had already forbidden him and Sakura from doing so or even talking about it. He could understand why even if he didn't like it. When the blonde had called out the technique, he had called it a secret art, so not only was it pointless to ask, it was also prying into the business of another clan.

Naruto made his way over to Kakashi, intending to get those elemental training exercises out of him.

"Alright sensei, tell me how to train up my affinities." Naruto said as he came up to Kakashi.

Closing his book, but keeping his thumb inside it to mark his place, the Jounin turned towards his blonde student. "Well for wind you need to learn how to cut a leaf with only your chakra and for water you need to take some regular paper and soak it with only your chakra. Learning how to do this will give you a better handle on transforming your chakra nature."

"I see, so I've been going about the whole thing backwards." Naruto muttered to himself as he created 10 clones and had them cut leaves. He'd have to wait for water training until he got home, since he had no paper.

"So you've figured out the secret of the shadow clone technique as well?" Kakashi asked in surprise at seeing the blonde foist off the training on his clones.

"Oh yeah, it's the only reason I managed to learn Fuinjutsu without killing myself, that sh*t is dangerous." Naruto answered.

Kakashi sweat dropped at the blondes reply. If Naruto was using shadow clones to learn Fuinjutsu and the typical Uzumaki instinct for the art bred true, he could only hope that the blonde wouldn't start making reality bending seals until he was a Chunin and Kakashi was no longer partly responsible for his actions.

"One other thing sensei." Naruto said, making Kakashi look towards him again. "I interrogated one of Gato's men while I was in town with Tsunami. Apparently he's ordered all of his goons to gather somewhere close to the bridge a week from now, which I found suspicious considering that that's about the time we expect Zabuza to recover from his death trance."

Kakashi considered the information carefully for a minute before replying. "That is suspicious, we'll have to be careful about that."

"I'm going to be sending disguised clones into town every day to see if I can pick up any more details over the next few days." Naruto informed his sensei.

Kakashi nodded in approval before his mind went off to a different subject that he'd been wondering about since the previous night.

"Say Naruto..." Kakashi began.

Naruto had just been about to move off and start practicing with his new sword when the tone of his sensei's voice stopped him.

"Yeah?"

"If you've known who your parents were for years now, why didn't you reveal it?" It had been bugging him ever since their talk last him and he couldn't figure out the reason that Naruto had kept quiet about it.

"Because I can just imagine that a number of people that hate me for the Kyuubi right now, would suddenly be trying to kiss my ass if they knew I was the son of their precious Yondaime and I think the hypocrisy of it might have made me break someone's face sooner rather than later."

"Ah, I see." So Naruto is that kind of man Kakashi concluded. The kind of man that disdained anything and everything that he hadn't gained through his own sweat. The fame of his parents, no matter how much respect it would give him, was not his own, so it held no appeal for Naruto.

It was an attitude that Kakashi couldn't help but respect, even though he wondered just what had happened to Naruto that he valued only his own strength. That kind of attitude wasn't born from nothing after all.

With nothing further to say, Naruto moved off to get a handle of swinging around his new sword and Kakashi went back to his p*rn.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Tsunami was anxiously waiting in her futon for Naruto to show up. She'd been terribly embarrassed about asking him to do this, but it had been the most wonderful thing that she had experienced in a long time and she was willing to suffer through a little embarrassment if she could have that again.

His sudden appearance next to her made her jump in instinctive fright, the fact that she had been expecting him being the only reason that she hadn't screamed. He was already in his underwear, coat and pants nowhere in sight.

"You're finally here." She said with a relieved sigh as he climbed under the sheets and spooned her exactly the same way that he'd done the previous night.

"Sorry about that. I had to take a swim in the river, swinging that sword around made me smell a bit too manly." Naruto explained, making her snort in amusem*nt.

As soon as they'd settled Tsunami started fidgeting again and Naruto couldn't help but notice that she wasn't wearing the same thing as she had yesterday. Her night shirt today was a lot shorter, only just barely reaching he thighs and she'd apparently decided to wear a purple thong instead of a more...substantial piece of underwear.

He was already developing the inevitable hard on and was about to warn her about what her fidgeting was doing to him when she surprised him by turning around and pressing her breasts against his chest. He raised a questioning eyebrow at her that was only barely visible in the low light, but she just kept biting her lip nervously while looking at him and rubbing her thighs together.

"What it is?" He asked just to prod her out of her thoughts. It was getting pretty obvious to him what was on her mind.

Instead of answering she leaned brought her head close and kissed him. Despite his intention of getting rid of the smell by taking a swim in the river, she could still smell the remnants of the sweat that had clung to him and it had been the last straw. She'd been attracted to him ever since she had seen him and the more time she spent around him, the more things she found to like. Far from being unpleasant, the musky smell excited her to no end and she couldn't take it anymore. She didn't care that he would have to leave when the mission was over and she'd probably never see him again, she didn't care that she had only known him for two days, the only thing she cared about was the burning need to feel him sheathed inside her.

"Are you sure about this?" Naruto asked her just to be sure.

"Yes, now take me." She urged, getting desperate to get what she wanted.

Not needing anymore convincing, he returned her kiss and rolled over so that he was on top of her. It was something of a surreal experience for Tsunami to have to be careful so that she didn't cut her tongue on his teeth, so she let him win their little tongue duel without putting up much of a fight.

When he moved his mouth down to her neck, she couldn't help letting out an excited shudder at the feel of those teeth scraping lightly over her neck, knowing that they were easily sharp enough to pierce through her skin.

She suddenly felt herself lifted up and her night shirt went flying over her head, leaving her completely naked except for her thong. She covered her breasts with her hands self consciously when she saw his eyes roving over her the way a hungry lion might look at a gazelle. Without saying a word, he grabbed her hands and raised them over her head and lowered his mouth to her right nipple. The movement of a hot tongue over the sensitive nub of flesh made her take a sharp intake of breath that grew into excited panting when she felt the gentlest of scrape of inhumanly sharp teeth against it. The fact that she tried to free her arms from his grip but felt as if she was trying to move a mountain only aroused her further.

He paid equal attention to both of her breasts and left her aching with need by the time he moved on. Her panties were already a soaked mess when he hooked his fingers into the waistband and took them off, with Tsunami eagerly lifting her hips to help him. The deep whiff he took of her crotch embarrassed her, but she didn't protest when he started moving his face closer. He had released her hands by this time and she was desperately grasping at the futon, wanting him to get on with it already.

She kept her teeth clenched tightly to prevent any loud moans from escaping her as he started licking up what she'd released so far, avoiding any highly sensitive areas. She continued to grit her teeth together when his tongue began to probe her nether lips and slip inside of her, only moaning deep in her throat to prevent herself from being heard by the entire house. When he moved his attention to her swollen cl*tor*s, she quickly raised her hand and sank her teeth into her own forearm to hold in the moaned screams, the other hand finding it's way to the top of his head and pressing it harder against her crotch. It didn't take even a minute before she was shuddering with the after effects of her org*sm.

Panting, breathless and almost ready to pass out, she couldn't believe that he'd gotten her this worked up already and they were technically still at the foreplay stage. Due to her lack of attention she never even noticed him before his weight was suddenly pressing down on her again and she felt the monster between his legs pressed against her quivering nether lips. She'd known he was big when she felt him through his underwear the previous night, but now that he'd removed it she realized just how big it was.

She was intending to tell him to be careful, because there was no way that all of that was going to fit inside her when he pressed his lips against hers again, making her taste herself on his tongue while he rubbed his rod against her, getting it lubricated so that it would slip inside her without trouble.

He took hold of her hands again, having noticed earlier that she liked it, as he lined himself up with her entrance and pressed inside with the head, making her moan into his mouth. The deep, satisfied growls coming from his throat as he penetrated her slowly excited her with the thought that he was going to slam himself fully inside of her any second now. As he penetrated deeper and deeper inside her stretching her insides to the point of being painful, she was distantly grateful that he hadn't done that, as it would have no doubt hurt her badly. There was no restraining her moans and screams as he kept going deeper every time she thought that there couldn't possibly be any more room inside her, moans and screams which were fortunately muffled by his mouth.

He stayed buried inside of her fully for a short while as she gasped for breath and squeezed her hips around him, letting her adjust to his size before he moved again. He returned to plundering her mouth when he began to move, causing her to return to moaning into his mouth. When he began to speed up and growl in a way that told her that he was getting close, she tried to let him know that she didn't want him to release inside her and possibly get her pregnant. The way that he was holding her down and covering her mouth prevented that however, and the frantic bucking of her hips served only to push him deeper inside her. Despite that though, she still felt her own org*sm approaching again and she was helpless to do anything except let him do as he pleased while she climaxed and felt him filling her up with his seed, prolonging the pleasure she felt as her fleshy inner walls tried to wring every last drop out of him.

"You shouldn't have done that, I don't want another baby." She panted out when the uncontrollable shuddering from her org*sm subsided, her face and hair sweaty.

"And you won't have one. I've placed a seal on myself that prevents me from getting any woman pregnant." Naruto assured her, his voice much more composed than hers. He was expertly hiding just how stupid he felt for not telling her about that before he'd nearly caused her to freak out by making her think that he was trying to impregnate her.

"A seal?" Tsunami asked in confusion, having no idea what that was.

"It's a ninja thing that I used to make sure I'm incapable of having children until I turn it off, don't worry about it. " He dismissed airily.

"Oh, well that's good." She said in relief. "We should get some sleep."

"Oh? You think we're done?" He smirked at her in a predatory manner when she looked at him in shock. "Shinobi do not tire that easily."

Tsunami felt him hardening inside her again as he said that and she couldn't believe that he was ready to go again so soon. She was already tired and felt as if she could fall asleep any moment now, but was denied as he began thrusting inside her again.

He brought her to another org*sm and released inside of her twice more before he was finished, leaving her barely able to stay conscious. She noted with some incredulity that her stomach had actually bulged slightly from the amount of sperm he'd pumped into her and she was panful full.

She'd thought that stuff like that only happened in that Icha Icha book she'd read once when she'd been bored.

Despite how much she just wanted to pass out and sleep for the next two days however, there was something that really needed to be done if she didn't want her futon to be soiled beyond all hope of recovery.

"I need to go to the bathroom." Tsunami murmured into his ear sleepily.

"Alright." Naruto answered.

"I'm afraid you'll need to carry me." She muttered at him with a good deal of embarrassment. "I can't move my legs properly." She was grateful to every deity that had ever existed that at least the bathroom was just across the hall from her room.

What followed was infinitely embarrassing for the single mother, as Naruto had to maneuver her onto the toilet and then proceeded to stare shamelessly, as she sat on the toilet with her legs spread and a small river of sperm leaked out of her

"Don't look, it's embarrassing." She pleaded with him. Neither her first husband nor Kaiza had been this blatantly unashamed of all things sex related and she had no idea how to deal with it.

"I think we're a bit past being embarrassed with each other don't you?" He chuckled at her, amused by her flaming red face.

At least the shower they took together was less embarrassing, despite her uncooperative legs.

Once they were both cleaned up and back in her futon, still naked since they hadn't bothered to get dressed, Tsunami looked over at the blonde that whose presence she intended to enjoy for as long as his mission in Wave lasted.

"I really wish I could keep you after your mission is over." She murmured longingly. Aside from how attractive he was, he was also just so likable that it would be absurdly easy to fall in love with him.

"Ara ara, are you trying to sink your claws into a younger man Tsunami?" Naruto said in a faux scandalized tone.

"I'm not that old Naruto, I'm only 29 you know." Tsunami scowled at him, but the poorly suppressed laughter in her voice betrayed the fact that she was just playing along.

"Ah, but I am that young, didn't Tazuna tell you that I'm only 17?" He said with relish, realizing that she must have made the same mistake as her father and assumed he was somewhere in his mid twenties.

The look of shock on her face was priceless and he intended to treasure it for a long time.

"No, as a matter of fact he didn't tell me." She muttered sourly. "I can't believe I've bedded a 17 year old. When did I become a cougar?" She said mostly to herself with wry amusem*nt. It didn't really matter how old he was in the end, but she had honestly thought that he couldn't be more than 5 or 6 years younger than her.

"Why, when you met me of course. I could see you checking me over like a prime piece of meat right away." His grin was so wide by now that she could swear that she saw the moonlight pinging off those fangs of his.

"Oh, just shut up and go to sleep." She scowled at him for embarrassing her again and nuzzled into his chest.

Naruto did as he was told and shut up, but he did not fall asleep yet. He didn't fall asleep because he was troubled. He had started to like Tsunami...in fact he had started to like her a great deal. He had never expected such a thing to happen and didn't know what to do about it.

Either way, he wasn't going to be doing anything about it at this exact moment, so he decided not to worry about it. He wasn't really stupid enough to think that the problem would leave his mind if he left the comfortable spot with the warm woman cuddling into him, so he didn't bother freaking out. He could think this problem over when he was less sleepy.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Breakfast the next morning was an interesting affair to say the least.

Inari had decided to actually eat with the rest of them for a change, but was scowling as darkly as an 8 year old possibly could, seeming to be especially irritated that his mother appeared to be happier because of the presence of the shinobi in their home. It seems that the gloomy brat resented the fact that they believed themselves capable of doing something and that his mother was 'buying into it'.

Naruto wondered whether he would have preferred to know the real reason why his mother was in such a good mood.

Tsunami was walking with a slight limp, claiming that she had slipped and bumped her hip against the doorframe while she had been making breakfast.

Everyone seemed to believe her, except Kakashi, who had glanced at Naruto and caught his quickly concealed smirk. After that the scarecrow Jounin had quickly stuck his nose into his orange book to conceal the proud tears gathering in his eye. MILF hunter! There was a time and place for that kind of information to be used in order to traumatize his other two students some more and the dining table during breakfast with the family of the lucky woman who had scored herself a young blonde was definitely not it.

After they had eaten, everyone had gone off to do their own thing.

Sasuke and Sakura, along with Kakashi had gone to the forest to continue training tree walking, one to learn it and the other to bolster her chakra capacity.

Naruto and Tazuna had gone to the bridge, though not before the blonde had made several dozen clones and had them scatter across to accomplish various tasks, such as training and spying around town. Both Sasuke and Sakura had wondered what the point of sending clones to train was and were shocked at hearing that shadow clones could be used as a training aid due to the memory transfer function.

The Uchiha survivor had seethed with jealousy at learning that his blonde teammate had such a powerful tool at his disposal and demanded to learn it, forgetting that it was a Kinjutsu. Kakashi had shot down his idea with a reminder that only people with a truly insane chakra capacity could utilize the technique as a training aid.

The day passed without any further incidents.

Naruto's transformed clones that had been skulking around town, eavesdropping on anything of interest had not found anything new, but had caught a few conversations with the thugs wondering why they were supposed to show up near the bridge, so it least that was confirmed.

The clones he had sent to train had been making slow but steady progress, though one of them had for some reason decided to go fishing instead of training, which had made Tsunami smile when it had brought the fish, so he figured it was all good.

Sasuke had just about mastered the tree climbing, his desire to catch up to Naruto making him desperate enough to ask Sakura for help. Sakura herself had been ecstatic about it, along with being able to stay vertical on a tree for half an hour at a time, making her claim that this was the best mission ever, momentarily forgetting the threat of messy death looming over her head. They would both be moving on to water walking soon.

It was during the evening meal that Inari's gloom finally reached critical mass and exploded, unable to stand the fact that people were able to enjoy themselves.

"Why do you guys bother to try so hard?! No matter how hard you train, you're still no match for Gato's men! No matter what glorious claims you make or how hard you work, the weak will only end up getting killed!"

"Which is why Gato is going to get killed and Wave can begin rebuilding." Naruto said with a dismissive shrug, not particularly bothered with the rant. He was living proof that hard work and training did pay off, so the ranting of an 8 year old didn't phase him in the slightest.

"Shut up! What do you know about our pain?! Living in your big, fancy village, happy all the time and then sticking your nose into other people's business! You don't know anything about suffering! You should just leave!" Inari shouted at the blonde, further enraged by his dismissive attitude.

A feeling of murderous anger suffocated the room, making everyone shut up and freeze as Naruto stared down at the boy who had just blurted out something incredibly stupid.

"You must really hate your mother and grandfather." He said coldly.

"Wh-What are you t-talking about?" Inari stuttered, feeling both shocked and terrified at the sudden menace in the blondes voice.

"We are here to protect your grandfather while he finishes his bridge, if we leave the way you want us to then he will die and your mother will likely suffer the same or even worse soon after." Naruto continued with the same cold tone, freezing the young boys thoughts in his tracks.

"Come on Naruto that's enough." Sakura said, trying to stop things from escalating, but received a glacial glare and a growl that told her to shut up and stay out of it.

"You sit here, in a warm house, with a loving mother who cooks for you and takes care of you, with a brave grandfather who is risking his life to make sure you can live a better life and you spit on their love for you."

Inari looked about ready to burst into tears and run away, but found himself unable to. Unknown to everyone, Naruto was using his much neglected chakra voice enhancement to force him to listen.

"You live near a town not even 20 minutes walk away, where there are children living in the street. Children who have no one to take care of them. Children younger than you, who are forced to beg for food and you sit here with a full stomach and complain."

Tsunami who was just as frozen as everyone else realized that he must be thinking of the little girl from yesterday.

"My life was harder than yours is ever likely to be, but I climbed out of that instead of whining about it. Sasuke had to see his entire family killed by the hand of his own brother, but you don't hear him whining about it, even if he is a moody bastard."

The last part might have been considered somewhat funny if it hadn't been delivered in a voice cold enough to freeze water.

"I have no idea what happened to Kakashi-sensei, but I can guess that whatever makes him stare at a monument to the fallen for hours on end every day wasn't pleasant. In fact, the only one here who had a life better than you is Sakura. Instead of making everything worse, you should be doing your best to protect what you have, because as far this world is concerned, you're actually pretty lucky."

With that the blonde turned around and headed towards the door, grabbing his stolen sword along the way and everyone breathed a relieved sigh that it was over without any violence.

"Where are you going Naruto?" Kakashi asked with some worry.

"Training."

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Naruto made his way towards the forest, most of his anger already cooled. The brat had gotten to him with the way he threw tantrums and ignored just how lucky he actually was.

But the real reason he was still walking into the forest instead of going back was because he needed some space to figure out what the hell was going on with him and Tsunami and what he was going to do about it.

All the women that he had slept with previously had been either prostitutes or the type who was just looking for quick fling with no strings attached, excepting the obvious case of Xanna who was another matter entirely.

Tsunami however was a wonderful and loving woman that was very easy to get along with. She was a good deal older than him, but he had never cared about that before and he wasn't going to start now, besides he didn't even know how old Xanna was, but it was likely to be a number with four digits, so that argument didn't hold any water.

The root of the problem was that he had enjoyed the time he spent with her a great deal and could quite easily imagine settling down with her and abandoning his long shot dream of becoming powerful enough that the red haired demoness would consider him worthy of being her equal. That however would mean abandoning Xanna, which was out of the question.

She had been the one to get him through his childhood with his sanity more or less intact despite her fondness of mind games and he had made a promise on top of it. He may have given the promise as a child who hadn't truly understood the importance of keeping his word yet, but it didn't matter as he would have probably done the same thing even if he did know. He didn't make promises often, but he would sooner carve his own heart out than break them.

It was too late to distance himself from Tsunami to prevent himself from getting attached to her, as it had clearly already happened, which left him a horribly confused man. He'd avoided thinking about this last night, but there was no avoiding it now. If he didn't get himself straightened out and fast, this situation was going to blow up in his face sooner rather than later.

He recognized that most of his real anger at Inari had come from the fact that the brat was hurting Tsunami with his tantrums rather than anything that had been said about him. The only thing about him that the brat had attacked was his pride and it would take more than the tantrums of an 8 year old to noticeably dent the pride of Uzumaki Naruto. Unlike with him though, the boy had shown immense disrespect and callousness towards his mother, who had done everything in her power to help him.

He knew perfectly well that it had not been about the fact that he would have been ecstatic to have a mother like her when he had been the boys age. No, it had been about the fact that Tsunami was hurting because of his attitude and he had grown to care about her wellbeing.

Naruto growled to himself as his thoughts started running in a loop of thinking about Tsunami, to how dangerously close he'd already come to betraying his devotion to Xanna without even realizing it and back to the fact that he was indisputably developing feelings for Tsunami.

Rapidly getting angry due to his frustration, he defaulted to the typical male response when their feelings weren't making any sense and they were alone where nobody could see them losing their sh*t.

He started punching the nearest tree and kept going until he'd flayed the skin off his bones and the tree was lying in a broken heap on the floor. He could have reinforced his fist with chakra but that would have defeated the point. The damage to his hand healed quickly and now that the poor tree had paid the price of his frustration he didn't feel like damaging it again.

Feeling much calmer after the random act of destructive violence, he started putting together the pieces and came to the only conclusion that could possibly be true.

Xanna had done this on purpose.

She had insisted that he keep on sleeping with other women because she knew no matter how much he swore up and down that she was the only one for him, the hearts of men could be swayed under the correct circ*mstances.

It had confused him endlessly. On the one hand she didn't seem to care at all whether he had sex with other women or not, but on the other she expressed extreme possessiveness of him. But now everything made sense.

No matter how driven he was, or how set his mind was on something, Naruto was still only 17 and was therefore lacking wisdom and experience. He had not seen everything by a long shot and many of his preconceptions about life and himself were wrong. Xanna was an ancient being and had seen many things, she understood things and saw things that he didn't by sheer weight of experience. Thinking about it that way actually made him wonder why she even humored him now that he thought about it.

Maybe she thinks it's cute or funny seeing me stumbling around in the dark like an idiot that barely even knows who he is?

He shook off that morbidly amusing thought with a snort. Of course she thought it was funny.

She had known that he would inevitably attract the attention of other women and some of those women he would find himself liking. She had predicted that he would eventually come across a human woman that he could fall in love with and that human woman would not demand near godlike power before she considered him husband material. So she had all but demanded that he sleep with other women to hasten the process. That little lecture about lust had just been something that she had thrown along both to distract him from the truth and because he might as well learn something while he walked blindly into a situation that would get his heart mangled.

It was brutal and underhanded and exactly the kind of thing that she would do.

Regardless of how brutal it was though, he couldn't really be angry at her. This wasn't something that could be told, only experienced and he'd never been good at listening to advice anyway. Case in point would be Xanna's advice that his quest to become powerful enough to match her was tantamount to impossible, but he hadn't listened to that, so why would he listen if he had been told that he wasn't always going to be able to control his feelings.

Now that he had figured that out, all he had to do was figure out what to do.

Creating a harem with Xanna as first wife sounded so absurd that it made him want to smash his head into a rock just because the idea had passed through his mind for an instant.

Ask The Kyuubi, the most powerful being in existence outside of perhaps any gods that may or may not exist, to share him with humans? She'd use his spleen as a toothpick for even suggesting it, of this he was certain. He was still having trouble wrapping his head around her logic that sex was another thing entirely, but he knew with absolute certainty that a half baked idea like that could not possibly end well.

Either way, he was not giving up on his self imposed quest to gain her acknowledgement and love. He had loved her for years now and would not be swayed so easily, would not be swayed at all. Getting attached to Tsunami the way he had was going to suck when it was time to leave, but there was no avoiding it so he was just going to have to deal with it. He would remember her with fondness and see if he could do anything about improving her life before he left. At the very least she understood that he was going to be leaving, so he wouldn't have to tell her that he couldn't stay and see the disappointment in her eyes.

He wasn't going to act cold and distant towards her either. That would be a really dick move, especially considering this was right after he had slept with her and it wouldn't achieve anything on top of it. He had already developed feelings for her and hurting her by acting like an asshole was just going to make him feel guilty as well.

He actually had the girls from the brothels to thank for that bit of wisdom. Women really hated it when you're nice until they sleep with you and then you start acting like an ass. He suspected that he would have been enough of an idiot to not consider that angle if he'd encountered this situation without all those women coaching him on what made them tick.

There was no way that he was going back to the house tonight though, the whole thing was still too raw and he wanted to be alone and let this whole thing settle so that he didn't feel like a cauldron of unstable emotions.

Rubbing a hand across his face, he smiled wryly to himself. All of this emotional introspection and soul searching was not a job that men were suited for and he needed something simple to relieve some stress.

And the simplest and manliest way of relieving stress available to him in the middle of a dark forest was to swing an oversized piece of sharp metal around and see if he could figure out how Zabuza managed to do anything useful with the damn thing.

He flew at a nearby tree with the sword raised high and a wide grin on his face.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Haku could not believe her luck.

There he was, the blonde Uzumaki that had taken Zabuza-sama's sword. Apparently sleeping after training during the night. The many slashed trees were a testament to the fact that he had been using the very sword he had stolen not very long ago. The sword itself was lying on the ground near him. All she had to do was dispose of him before he could wake up and take the sword back to Zabuza.

She didn't want to kill him, but she would do it to get back Zabuza-sama's sword.

Haku glided silently towards the prone blonde, readying a senbon needle which she intended to jam into his neck to paralyze him so that he would be unable to defend himself. Taking a deep breath, she steeled her heart for what she was about to do...and found herself pinned to the ground in a blur of motion, hands held above her head with a strength that she couldn't hope to overcome and the rest of her body pinned under the much heavier blonde who was now eyeing her with a speculative gaze.

Naruto had been awoken by the feel of killing intent, but had elected to wait until his would be killer came close enough to act. Now that he had the very pretty girl disabled he could assess the situation.

Senbon? Long black hair? Wants to kill me for some reason? I do believe this is probably my old friend the fake hunter-nin, now to make sure.

"Hello hunter-chan have you come to take me up on my offer about getting the sword back?" Naruto asked with amusem*nt.

Haku blushed faintly, remembering his crude words that day before her features turned into a blank mask.

She had failed Zabuza-sama utterly. First she had been unable to retrieve his sword from the blonde and now she had even gotten captured because of that moment of hesitation. There was no escape for her in this situation. She couldn't bluff her way out since he already knew she was the fake hunter-nin, couldn't form hand seals, couldn't break his grip, couldn't even kick him because he was nestled between her legs. The best she could hope for right now was that he at least wasn't a rapist.

"Please kill me quickly Uzumaki-san." She requested with a hollow voice.

"Well aren't you a morbid one, what's your name girl?" Naruto asked her. There was an idea percolating around his brain and it didn't involve killing this girl.

"Haku." She answered shortly.

"Well Haku, would you mind telling me why you want me to kill you?"

"Zabuza has no need for broken tools. I have failed him twice already, I am useless to him now." Haku told him. She had no reason to hide that information and she had no desire to suffer possible torture over useless information. She would not tell him about Zabuza-sama's location though.

"You think of yourself as a tool?" Naruto frowned. He was not a fan of that kind of mentality.

"Zabuza-sama has saved my life and given me purpose. I am his to do with as he wishes."

Naruto's frown deepened, that sounded disturbing on several levels.

"Alright, new question. What are you doing out here so early?"

"I was gathering herbs to speed up Zabuza-sama's recovery."

"Would I be correct in assuming that Zabuza is going to be healed approximately four days from now?"

Haku paused and considered whether to answer or not and why he was even asking. They leaf ninja had apparently already correctly guessed at when Zabuza-sama would be healed, so even if she told him, nothing would be changed. She could claim it would take longer, but with a legendary ninja such as Kakashi, the deception would likely be perceived, not to mention that they were running out of time to finish the mission.

"Yes."

Naruto frowned thoughtfully. "I hope you're being honest about that, because this could be very important."

This made Haku frown in confusion. Obviously it was important information for the Konoha team, but he made it sound like it could be important to her and Zabuza-sama.

"Alright, I'd just like to know one more thing and then I may or may not have a proposition for you." Naruto began and Haku nodded in cautious agreement. "What did Zabuza save you from that you have this kind of loyalty for him?"

Haku once more considered whether she should answer or not. If she answered, then she would reveal her that she had a bloodline, but without knowing of anything specific that would hardly matter. Aside from that Konoha is well known for it's love of bloodlines, so perhaps he would try to take her back there, which would give her a small chance to perhaps be useful to Zabuza-sama one final time and if she failed, she could quickly use her bloodline to kill herself by flash freezing her own blood, it only took one hand seal.

Making her decision, Haku told him her story about how she had ended up wasting away in the streets because of the bloodline purges until Zabuza had found her and given her a reason to live.

Naruto was quite surprised to hear that she had a bloodline and at how similar her early life had been to his. But he knew everything that he needed to know now. His idea could definitely work.

"Well, I hadn't expected your life to be so similar to mine. Alright Haku, I'm going to let you up now, so please don't go doing something stupid like attacking me. I've got a proposal for you."

Haku sat up, feeling very confused. She had expected the questions to eventually turn towards the types of things that would put Zabuza-sama in danger, leading to either torture or death, but instead he had just asked for things that had very little at all to do with the swordsman and was now even letting her go.

He motioned for her to follow and they both sat down against a tree.

"Here is my proposal for you Haku. I'll give you the sword back and in return you will tell Zabuza that I want him to delay the battle until I get there."

Naruto had no problem giving up the sword. He'd thought the thing was interesting at first, but the previous nights training had told him that a Kenjutsu user he was not. The sword had felt wrong in his hands the entire time, even if he was strong enough to swing it without a problem. Returning it to Zabuza was a gamble, but he was almost certain that Gato was planning to double cross them.

Haku was now immensely confused and shocked. The blondes actions didn't make any sense at all.

"But why would you do such a thing?"

"Well for one thing, I can't use that sword worth a damn. Maybe it doesn't like me, I hear that special swords have a will of their own or something like that. The other thing is that I've been spying on Gato's thugs in town for a while and I've overheard that he's ordered them to gather at a spot a small distance away from the bridge about four days from now. From what I know of Gato and men like him, he's probably thinking that he can wait for us to fight it out and then swoop in with a small army of hired thugs, avoid paying you and cash in on the bounties of both Zabuza and Kakashi on top of it." Naruto explained.

Haku's eyes widened at hearing this information and she found herself agreeing. That sounded exactly like something that Gato would do.

"So I'm proposing to give back the sword as a sign of good faith and then Zabuza can make his mist so that it looks like we're fighting and then just wait for the greedy little midget to show himself. If I'm wrong we can always pick up the fight later." Naruto finished with the proposal of his plan.

"Why would we need to wait for you to show up though? Will you not you be at the bridge as well?" Haku asked.

"No, I'll be at the bridge builders house, because people like Gato are also fond of using hostages as insurance, just in case something goes wrong, so I'm expecting them to try and take his daughter and grandson."

"I cannot guarantee that Zabuza-sama will agree to this." Haku stated.

"Then make your own observations of Gato's goons. The closer the day is, the more obvious it should be and he'll have an easier time believing you than me." Naruto reasoned.

Haku agreed and prepared to leave when Naruto stopped her with another request. "Could you meet me here in two days and give me Zabuza's answer?"

"I believe I can do that Uzumaki-san."

"None of that now Haku, we're practically friends, so just call me Naruto."

"Alright...Naruto. May I ask what you meant when you said that your life was similar to mine?" Haku asked cautiously.

"Well, I had something placed inside me when I was born that caused most of the village to hate me, so I lived my early life in a similar way to you." Naruto explained.

Haku was surprised, but also intrigued. "Zabuza-sama saved me from that life and became my precious person, this is why I will do everything in my power to protect him. I have always believed that people become truly powerful when they have someone they wish to protect. Do you also have a precious person that you want to protect?" She asked curiously. Despite the initially bleak situation, she was now glad to have encountered the blonde Uzumaki. She was curious about what had been placed inside of him, but decided not to pry.

Naruto thought it over for a moment before answering. "There are two people who are precious to me above everyone. One is like a big sister to me and I would do nearly anything to keep her safe and the other is someone who doesn't need my protection, but it is my hope to be her equal one day."

Haku gave a smile at meeting someone that was so similar to her. "With reasons like that to grow strong, I have no doubt that you will succeed."

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

The next few days passed without incident.

Kakashi had not been happy at all that Naruto had returned Zabuza's sword, but had decided to trust his student and hope for the best. The second meeting with Haku had revealed to them that Zabuza was wary of traps, but willing to go along with it, as everything was pointing towards Gato planning treachery. Sakura had been relieved that they might be getting out of the mission without a fight and Sasuke had been angry at being unable to face a powerful opponent to test himself.

Inari had been quiet and barely spoken a word since Naruto had laid into him, but he seemed more deep in thought than gloomy.

Everyone had continued their own training regardless of a possibly peaceful resolution. At this point both Sakura and Sasuke were working on water walking, one for endurance and the other to master it, while Naruto was still working on cutting a leaf in half with his wind chakra.

Naruto and Tsunami had also continued their nightly activities in secret. At first Naruto had been hesitant about it, but Tsunami had assured him that she had known he wouldn't be able to stay. She would miss him, but she had never expected him to stay and just wanted to enjoy the short time they had left together before he left. True enough, she hadn't expected to find herself liking him to this extent, but she knew that there could be no future together for them. She was happy enough that he'd come around and help lift the loneliness she had been feeling ever since her husband died and that his words seemed to have done some good for Inari despite their harshness.

Now the day had finally arrived for the long awaited confrontation.

Tazuna had told his workers to not come that day in order to prevent anyone getting caught in the possibly crossfire, but he intended to join them on the bridge.

Naruto had stayed behind at the house, waiting for any possible kidnapping attempts by Gato's thugs. He was going to stay for two hours and then join them on the bridge if no kidnapping attempts had been made, leaving behind shadow clones just in case they were late. He didn't like relying on shadow clones for this kind of thing, as one tiny cut was enough to dispel them, which was the only reason he hadn't left shadow clones to begin with.

Inari was currently in his room, as he had been wont to do lately, thinking over what Naruto had said to him.

Meanwhile, Naruto was in the kitchen, standing in a place where he couldn't be seen from the front door or from the stairs leading to the first floor. He had his pants undone and Tsunami on her knees in front of him, with his rod in her mouth.

Normally Tsunami wouldn't have even considered doing something like this, but she had gotten a lot bolder in the past few days and she knew that the short time she had to enjoy the company of her favorite blonde was running out. She knew that Naruto would hear if anyone was approaching, so the risk of getting caught was minimal and they couldn't risk doing anything more with the danger of being attacked at any moment. Aside from that she had also discovered that instead of the usually unpleasant taste of a man's sperm, Naruto tasted like the most wonderful thing to have ever graced her taste buds. She had been confused when she first tasted him and it felt like she was drinking liquid lightning, but with only positive effects. His explanation on chakra density having strange effects on the body didn't really explain anything to her, so she just accepted it as being another oddity about him that she was going to miss.

Before she could extract what she was after from him though, the front door was destroyed, causing Naruto to quickly pull out of her mouth and stuff it back inside his pants. He didn't show it, but he was rather pissed off at the timing of this attack. Couldn't they have come a few minutes later?

"I'm going around the back, don't worry, I won't let them touch you or Inari." Naruto whispered to her and vanished through a nearby window. Tsunami quickly wiped her mouth and then stood to meet the would be kidnappers.

Zori and Waraji had expected the standard kidnapping when they broke down the door. Screaming, panic, pleading maybe even an attempt to fight back, thus they were very confused when they were met with a composed looking woman. Oh, she still looked somewhat frightened, but not anywhere close to what you'd expect when you break down someone's door with swords and barge into their home with blades drawn. Still, they had a job to do and they were going to do it.

"You're coming with us girl, Gato wants to have a little talk with you and your father."

"I'm not letting you take my mother!" A young voice suddenly screamed and they turned to see a boy at the top of the stairs.

Inari felt Naruto's words echo in his mind as he saw the men who had come to take his mother away and he couldn't believe that he had ever wanted the shinobi to leave. He understood now just what it meant that he had been telling them to leave, he had been telling them to abandon them to this exact fate. He didn't see Naruto anywhere, so he was determined to protect his mother at all costs. He couldn't lose her too after he lost his adoptive father.

Zori and Waraji couldn't understand why the woman suddenly looked calm.

"You won't be taking me anywhere." Tsunami said with a grim smile, all traces of fear gone. Inari just looked confused at hearing his mother so calm, as he didn't have a direct line of sight behind the two thugs.

"You think this little runt is gonna stop us?" Zori laughed mockingly.

"No, Inari is much too young to stop you, but the shinobi standing right behind you is another matter entirely."

They instantly spun around, intending to cut down whoever was behind them, only to find their hands caught in an iron hard grip and a much bigger man than they were leering at them with a menacing fanged smile.

"We've been waiting for you. Now, you are going to tell me what Gato is up to at the bridge."

"Screw you, I'm not telling you anything!" Waraji raged, trying to get his hand free without success.

When they tried to kick the blonde shinobi and force him to let go, his grip on their forearms suddenly tightened until the bones broke under the strain. Both screamed in pain and let go of their swords, falling to the floor immediately after, cradling their now broken arms.

"I don't have time to screw around with you, so tell me what I want to know or I start taking off body parts." Naruto demanded in a cold, chakra enhanced voice, instantly removing any thoughts about refusing. They were just hired swords and definitely had no interest in being tortured in order to protect information.

"He's gonna wait for your team and Zabuza to fight it out and then ambush you with everything he has!" Zori revealed frantically, wanting to tell him everything he knew as soon as possible, before the blonde could make good on his threat.

"So I was right then. That makes things simple." Naruto said to himself, before dragging the two of them outside. He didn't want to kill them in front of Inari and leaving them alive was not an option.

When he came back in, both Tsunami and Inari were waiting for him.

"I'm going to the bridge, it's time to finish this." He told them.

They nodded, but Inari felt that he had to say something. "Thank you Naruto nii-san"

Naruto raised a surprised eyebrow at the new form of address and then put his hand on Inari's head and ruffled his hair. "You did good trying to protect your mother Inari." The words made Inari smile proudly.

The blonde made two shadow clones and then sped off towards the bridge.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

When he arrived at the bridge, he saw a rather odd thing.

The bridge was enveloped with a Kirigakuretechnique and once he penetrated it he saw a dome of ice mirrors with Sasuke trapped inside them, looking progressively more like a pin cushion.

The odd thing about this was that Kakashi was standing next to Sakura and Tazuna, with Zabuza on the other end, the mist not thick enough for combat purposes, but plenty thick enough to block sight from the outside.

"So...what's going on?" Naruto asked, as the whole thing seemed as casual as a tense situation between possible enemies could be, with the exception of Sakura's nervous shifting, clearly worried for her precious Sasuke-kun.

"Apparently Sasuke was upset about being unable to fight anyone on the mission thanks to you sniffing out Gato's plan and he made his displeasure known. Zabuza suggested that he fight Haku and here we are."

"Right...well anyway, I've just interrogated the two goons Gato sent to kidnap Tsunami and it seems we were right to be suspicious. He should be coming here soon, looking to pick off any survivors from our 'battle'." Naruto said, catching everyone's attention.

"Well I guess we're not enemies anymore then." Zabuza said.

It was at this point that Sasuke collapsed, too injured to stand anymore and causing Sakura to shriek out his name in worry.

"Don't worry Sakura, he's fine." Kakashi reassured her.

Haku dismissed the ice mirrors and moved to stand at Zabuza's side while Kakashi collected Sasuke. "Looks like the Uchiha was no match for you Haku."

"He was somewhat able to dodge my senbon after awakening his Sharingan, but he had no abilities powerful enough to break my mirrors, so it didn't help him too much." Haku confirmed.

"The prick is going to be even more insufferable with his pouting after this though." Naruto sighed in resignation.

"Don't talk about Sasuke-kun like that!" Sakura raged.

"If you don't stop shrieking I'm going to ask Haku to put you in a death trance Sakura." Naruto told her irritably. No man wants to listen to a grating, high pitched voice shrieking into their ear, especially not after an interrupted blowj*b.

That shut the pink haired fangirl up quickly, as she didn't want to have senbon stuck in her neck.

Naruto took the opportunity to observe Zabuza and Haku since they weren't trying to kill each other. What he had heard from Haku about how she considered herself a tool for Zabuza still bothered him. It wasn't really any of his business, but he had taken a genuine liking to Haku during their short talk in that forest and he didn't want her living that kind of life.

"Hey Zabuza?" He suddenly asked, surprising the swordsman and Haku slightly. They hadn't expected there to be much talking going on until Gato showed up.

"Yeah?" Zabuza felt that he had a slight debt to the blonde for returning his sword so freely, so he was willing to answer some questions.

"Do you really consider Haku to be nothing but a tool to you?"

"That's what Shinobi are." Zabuza answered simply, causing Naruto to frown.

"I don't believe that." Naruto refuted.

"You can believe what you want, it won't change the truth." Zabuza retorted.

"So if I had asked for Haku's life in exchange for the sword you would have agreed?" Naruto asked somewhat heatedly.

"Haku is a lot more useful than a sword and I'd have gotten my sword back another way." Was the cold response, though it was somewhat evasive.

"Well then what if I had demanded that Haku sleep with me in exchange for the sword." Naruto demanded, getting irritated with the swordsman's disregard for his partner.

The question caused Haku to flush bright red and Sakura to gape at him, also blushing.

"What the hell are you implying you bastard?" Zabuza demanded angrily.

Naruto stared at him for a few seconds before he gave a small smirk. "If you only think of Haku as a tool, then I don't see what you're getting so angry about. It shouldn't be any big deal to sacrifice the virginity of a tool to get your sword back right?"

Zabuza growled and looked like he was about to draw his sword and cut the blonde Uzumaki in half when a brightly blushing Haku asked a question of her own.

"Naruto-san, Why are you saying such things?"

"I'm just trying to figure out what Zabuza really thinks of you. I did say that we were practically friends and I don't like seeing my friend treated as a tool. Given how mad Zabuza looks right now, I'm pretty sure that his whole attitude about you being a tool is fake." Naruto explained, making Haku look at him in surprise.

"Uzumaki..." Zabuza growled, but was ignored.

Kakashi was watching the whole thing in silent amusem*nt.

"I bet he wouldn't even mind if you gave him a hug right now." The blonde prodded further, while Haku blushed some more at the suggestion and inched a bit closer to the swordsman. She had always looked up to Zabuza as a father figure even if she said that she was just a tool and she had wanted to hug him several times before.

Any further conversation was interrupted by the noise of several hundred feet walking towards them.

"Showtime." Zabuza said with anticipation.

Gato walked onto the bridge like he owned the place, intending to give an arrogant little speech about how he had screwed everyone over, but stopped in confusion when he saw that nobody except for one black haired kid seemed to be injured.

"Zabuza, what the hell is this? I'm paying you to get rid of the bridge builder not to screw around."

"You f*cked up for the last time when you tried to double cross me. I'll just take my payment out of your hide." Zabuza growled, making the greed midget back up in fear. He had brought all of these hired thugs with him because he had expected that they would be able to deal with a severely exhausted Zabuza. A fresh and uninjured Zabuza was something else entirely however.

"Please leave Gato alive for now Zabuza, I have something special that I need him for before you kill him." Naruto requested.

Zabuza looked at the blonde next to him. He was still a bit pissed at him for the earlier comments about Haku, but he had no problem delaying the midget's death for a little while.

"Fine." He grunted.

In contrast to the conversation on the shinobi side, Gato was starting to get a little desperate, which is why he resorted to a tried and true method for motivating a mob of greedy thugs.

"There's only a handful of them and I'll be paying a 50,000 ryo bonus to anyone who can strike a killing blow on one of the shinobi and then the lot of you can go do whatever you want to the town as a celebration."

The small army of thugs looked excited at the prospect and charged right at the small group of ninja, intending to overwhelm them with numbers. They were further encouraged when they saw that only three of them intended to fight.

Indeed only Zabuza, Kakashi and Naruto had readied themselves to fight the mob. Haku had no desire to engage in a slaughter, Sasuke was unconscious and Sakura knew perfectly well that she wasn't ready for something like this.

The following 'battle' quickly reminded the thugs why exactly it was unwise to fight trained shinobi if you weren't one yourself.

Zabuza was effortlessly cleaving through several of them with every pass of his huge blade, barely needing to even bother with any techniques aside from swinging the sword from one side to the other.

Kakashi stuck to the basic kunai and went for quick kills, his speed much too high to be in any danger from the slow attacks of the mob.

Naruto simply manifested his chakra chains and and swiftly sent them to impale the attacking mob. He wasn't much for wholesale slaughter, but he didn't want to have all of these thugs turn into bandits and cause further trouble out of some misguided sense of mercy.

A few blood soaked minutes later, Gato was the only one left alive and he was shaking with terror, fully aware that there was no getting away.

"Alright Uzumaki, the little pig is alive for now, so go do whatever it is you intend to do so that I can kill him already." Zabuza grumbled impatiently.

Naruto moved toward Gato and the tiny man immediately started trying to negotiate.

"Please spare me, I'll give you anything you want, just don't kill me!"

Naruto gave him a chilling smile and answered. "Yes, there is something that I want from you."

Gato looked hopeful and thought that he might just be able to get out of this alive.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

The group was now in Gato's mansion, more specifically his office, which had previously belonged to the Daimyo. Naruto had his clones bring Tsunami along as well. The only one missing were Sasuke and Sakura, who had returned to the house, one to rest from his injuries and the other to watch over him.

"Naruto, why did you bring me here?" Tsunami asked in confusion.

"That's simple. The midget here is going to be signing over everything he owns to you." Naruto answered simply.

"WHAT?!" came the voices of Gato, Tazuna and Tsunami, while the others simply looked surprised.

Naruto had considered the idea of taking all of Gato's holdings for himself, but he honestly didn't have time to be dealing with a company, nor did he really need that much money. Just killing Gato and letting whoever wanted it to get his hands on it was also out of the question, which had left him with the option of giving it to someone else. He knew Tsunami and knew that she would no doubt make use of the funds to bring Wave country back to prosperity. She might not be much of a business manager, but she had a good heart and it was going to take a lot of money to repair the damage that Gato had done, money that the diminutive business man conveniently had.

"You heard me midget. If you don't like it we can always resort to breaking bones until you see it my way."

Gato paled at the threat and rapidly began signing documents to turn over everything he owned to Tsunami, who was still looking stunned.

"But Naruto, why are you insisting that he sign everything over to me?"

"Because I know that you'll make good use of it." Naruto smirked and continued. "After all, we can't have your father using all that money on sake."

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Several days later, the Konoha shinobi were preparing to leave, as the bridge was finally complete.

Zabuza and Haku had already left, their destination unknown, but much richer than when they arrived. Zabuza had helped himself to several times the amount of money that Gato had promised him and nobody had really begrudged him the money, so the swordsman was overall pleased with the way things had gone. The swordsman had also taken an inordinate amount of pleasure in removing Gato's head after the midget had realized that the only one who had promised not to kill him had been Naruto.

Contrary to Naruto's belief about Sasuke being upset about losing to Haku, the Uchiha was too happy over activating his bloodline to be upset over the loss and had taken to activating it randomly whenever the urge struck him. Naruto somehow figured that this good mood wouldn't last long however.

"Thank you for everything that you've done for us." Tazuna was saying. All of Wave seemed to be there to see them off. Inari looked like he was barely holding back tears at seeing his 'big brother' leave.

Tsunami was looking very nervous, before apparently gathering her courage and dragging Naruto into a kiss by the lapels of his coat. Everyone watching seemed to be stunned for a moment, before a loud 'oooooh' came from the crowd. Tazuna and Inari were both gaping in shock, tears forgotten in the case of the boy.

Sasuke and Sakura were both surprised for a mere moment, before irritation filled their expressions and Kakashi just gave a off a perverse giggle...quietly so as not to ruin the moment.

When the kiss ended, Team 7 bid them all goodbye and left the country.

"We still need to name the bridge." Tazuna said, trying to get his mind off what he had just seen.

"The Great Naruto Bridge seems appropriate." Tsunami said lightly.

"Why exactly is that appropriate?!" Tazuna exclaimed, now fully into angry father mode at the fact that someone had kissed his daughter, even if the woman in question was nearly 30 years old.

"Because he is the main reason that everything went so well, along with giving us the means to rebuild. Aside from that he also restored Inari's hope, not to mention my own." The woman answered.

"Alright fine, we'll name it The Great Naruto Bridge." Tazuna relented.

"Kaa-san why did you kiss Naruto nii-san?" Inari asked in confusion.

Tsunami smiled and walked towards home, looking back to answer. "Because I wanted to."

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

"Well, at least it was just a kiss this time." Sakura grumbled.

Kakashi gave off a loud perverse giggle this time.

"It was just a kiss wasn't it?" the pinkette asked her sensei with some trepidation.

Kakashi merely looked at her with an eye smile and giggled perversely again.

"Tell me that it was just a kiss Naruto." Sakura all but demanded.

Naruto just gave a small smile but didn't answer. He wasn't much in the mood for joking or screwing with their heads this time. Though Sasuke was getting pretty good at masking his irritation, he was not quite good enough yet, even if he never said anything.

The smile did not fill Sakura's heart with confidence that her hopes were true.

"Well, it's not like you had any chance to sleep with her." She assured herself.

"Why do you think she was limping that day?" Kakashi asked her, his voice full of amusem*nt, eyes firmly curved into their signature strange smiling shape.

Sakura's face went blank as she remembered the story about slipping and hitting the door frame. Now that she thought about it, she couldn't remember hearing any kind of loud smacking sound which that kind of thing would have made.

"DAMNIT NARUTO, CAN WE NOT GO ON ONE MISSION WITH YOU WITHOUT YOU SLEEPING WITH SOMEONE?!" The pinkette raged.

The perverted giggles of their sensei echoed through the forest.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Notes:

Well that's that for the fourth chapter. I wanted to get the rest of the Wave arc over with before I finished this one and I had some trouble writing the Haku encounter.

Well, not much more to say other than asking you to review. On a side note I'm starting to wonder when the first flamer shows up. The nature of the internet makes it impossible to avoid them for long.

Chapter 5

Notes:

DISCLAIMER: Dun own it.

I'm rather surprised by the amount of people who seem to find the omake with Tora that funny. I thought for sure that it wasn't anything particularly special.

Review replies:

PILLPUSHR: I've got some ideas for Jiraiya.

ArtanisRose: I've got ideas for Tsunade too.

gsparda: Naruto definitely isn't going to be turning into a demon.

NotSoSlimSh4dy: He's already resolved to leave his feelings for her behind.

I hope I haven't missed any strange typo's.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Naruto was tired. Not so much tired in body, but just tired of dealing with all the thoughts going through his head, the only stroke of luck was that their debriefing was postponed to tomorrow due to a council meeting.

After the long trip back, he came straight home, intending to go to sleep even though it wasn't anywhere close to being his usual bed time. Usually he would have paid a visit to Ayame, but he was just too tired of everything to do it now. He'd go visit her tomorrow.

"Welcome home Naruto."

He had certainly not expected to see Xanna when he arrived. Don't get him wrong, he was always happy to see her, especially as it had been a while since she had come around, but he didn't feel like he was in any shape to be having a decent conversation with her. The demoness was sometimes refreshingly blunt and straightforward, but she could also be maddeningly inscrutable and difficult to figure out. He was really not in the mood to play mind games with her. He was still not really over the whole incident with Tsunami and had been hoping that he would have some time for it all to settle before Xanna came around.

She was dressed in her usual red silk yukata that exposed her dusky legs and cleavage, giving tempting glimpses of what was hidden beneath. The whole thing was even more tempting because he knew that she never wore any underwear beneath it.

"Hi Xanna, have you been waiting for me?" Naruto asked curiously, as this was the first time that she had greeted him after a mission.

"You could say that, come with me." The demoness beckoned him, which made him curious. She was acting rather oddly.

She led him towards the table in the living room where he usually ate whenever he bothered to cook something for himself. On that table sat a large bowl of ramen, very good ramen if the smell wafting from it was any indication. He didn't eat the stuff often, as it was quite unhealthy but it was his favorite food, stemming from the fact that the dish was connected to the first act of human kindness he could remember in his life.

He looked at the red haired demoness in shock. "Did you make me ramen?" There was a vast amount of incredulity in his tone. She had never done anything of the sort before. Aside from the kindness she had shown him during his childhood, she had at most given him only some advice or hints as to how he could do something himself.

"Yes, it was the least I could do, considering the fact that I led you into a situation that had you falling in love and then being forced to make a choice."

"But I didn't...How did...?" Naruto was unable to to even finish a sentence in his shock, not knowing whether he should deny falling in love or ask how she knew about it.

"There is no point in trying to deny it, especially to yourself. You did fall in love with that Tsunami woman in the short time that you knew her." Xanna cut him off. "As for how I knew...well just because I am out of that seal, doesn't mean that we are not still connected by it. The will of the death god is not going to be undone by the decision of a mortal." She said this while tapping his stomach, causing the seal to appear again after years of being invisible.

"How are we still connected by the seal?" Naruto asked curiously, setting aside the more discomforting issues for now.

"While I was still your prisoner, you had many privileges over me. One of these being the ability to read my thoughts, had you known how to do it. Now that the seal is open, that link goes both ways, though of the two of us, I am the only one who knows how to use it." She explained to him, with just a faint hint of smug pride in her voice, while Naruto just looked at her in shock, having never imagined that she could just read his mind at will.

"You needn't look so shocked, I don't often make use of it."

Naruto was somewhat reassured by this, though still severely off kilter at learning that the woman he wanted to marry could read his mind. Most people would call him completely insane for that alone.

"So you know everything that went on in Wave?"

"I could sense that you were in some distress, so I checked and found out that you had developed feelings for another woman while on that mission. I did not care to look at anything else." She did not seem angry, but Naruto knew better than to take that at face value. Human women were unpredictable enough about these things, the demoness before him was another matter entirely.

"So...are you angry at me for letting that happen." Naruto asked with only a small amount of hesitation. As far as he was concerned it was better to just get it out in the open and deal with the consequences.

"Don't be an idiot. I was the one who arranged for it to happen after all, now sit down and eat your ramen." She said with only mild irritation in her voice. She could see that he was obviously not operating at full capacity or else he never would have forgotten the fact that she had already told him that.

The blond sat at the table in a daze, all the revelations that he had just heard on top of his already tired mind was not leaving him particularly clearheaded. So he just did as he was told and went to eat his ramen.

It was really good ramen, The best he'd ever had actually.

"This is amazing, I didn't know you could cook." Naruto complimented and fished for information simultaneously.

"You'd be surprised at all the things you learn to do just for the sake of doing something when you're immortal." There was a dry amusem*nt in her voice implied that cooking was hardly the only thing which she had taken up out of boredom.

He finished the ramen and was about to ask another question about arranging the incident with Tsunami. He had figured as much himself that night after verbally ripping Inari a new asshole, but it was always good to get some details. His question however, never left his mouth as she grabbed his hand and led him into the bathroom.

The bathtub was full of water and obviously prepared for him. In short order, they were both naked and lounging in the hot water, with Naruto unable to hold back a happy groan as he felt the relaxing embrace of the water. Xanna settled onto him, using him as a backrest and he eagerly wrapped his arms around her. Moments like these were precious and the combination of hot water and having her so close was leaving him extraordinarily mellow.

"So you knew what was going to happen in Wave?" Naruto asked finally.

"No, but I knew something like that was bound to happen eventually. You may not have noticed it, but in your pursuit of me you have developed a strength of both body and character that many women will find attractive. It was inevitable that eventually you would come across a woman that you could spend the rest of your mortal life with, if you allowed yourself to." Xanna explained.

"So you told me to continue sleeping with other women to make sure it happened as soon as possible." Naruto concluded.

"Exactly, I must say I am rather impressed that you figured that out." The demoness complimented. She very much wanted him to stay hers, but it was best to get this kind of thing out of the way as soon as possible. She would have been quite upset with him if he decided that she wasn't worth the effort, but not surprised.

"But what was the purpose of it all? Why even engineer that situation when I would never have abandoned you for another woman?" Naruto couldn't prevent himself from being at least somewhat upset by her actions. His heart protested the decision to leave Tsunami despite it being the only thing he could have done. It would have protested abandoning Xanna even more. Emotions were such messy things. If possible, his feelings would have urged him to keep them both, no matter how impossible that was.

Xanna just give a sigh at having to explain this. It's not that she didn't understand his confusion really, she was just not fond of being questioned and explaining herself. "You saw how easily you developed feelings for that woman and felt the temptation to stay with her. You have no idea what an oddity you are. You were presented with two roads in life at that point and you chose the harder one knowingly, perhaps an impossible one. That is simply not normal for humans, or anyone for that matter. Just about everyone will always choose the path of least resistance and yet you chose the harshest of roads for a tiny chance at achieving something that you promised as a ten year old instead of the easy path that would have made you happy right away."

Naruto was quiet for several moments as he digested that. If he understood correctly then Xanna had more or less expected him to give up on his desire to marry her once he realized how hard it would be. When that hadn't happened she had engineered a situation where he would be presented with an alternative choice, an easier choice.

When he had turned away from that as well she had apparently been quite surprised despite showing only minimal signs of it. What she had done today, making him ramen and this extraordinarily relaxing bath, was her way of apologizing for causing him heartache. She wasn't sorry for doing it, but she did apparently feel at least a bit bad about hurting him with it.

"There are rocks on every road, it's all just a matter of kicking them aside." He answered her softly, but firmly.

"The road you've chosen has mountains on it Naruto." Was her dry response to his moment of philosophy.

"A mountain is just a big rock anyway. If I can't kick it aside I'll climb over it." Naruto retorted, now smiling.

"What a monstrous will you have, if you're not careful you may end up becoming Hokage by accident." Xanna teased, but was genuinely impressed by his determination. It wasn't everyday that you encountered someone so incredibly stubborn.

"And end up like that old buzzard doing paperwork behind his desk all day? No thanks, though I wonder why he doesn't just use shadow clones to do his paperwork." Naruto retorted. "Not to mention I would probably murder the council in a fit of rage when they eventually annoyed me enough."

"So you've never considered becoming Hokage?" The demoness asked in genuine curiosity. They had never spoken of it, but she thought that he would have at least considered it.

"I've considered it once or twice, but my I've set my sights much higher than that and even if I hadn't, I'm more of a fighter than a leader." Naruto answered. "Besides, I'm not really loyal to the village, the only loyalty I have is for you and Ayame. The village is just a convenient place to grow stronger until I find a way to reach your level."

"My my, how very devious of you." She purred.

"It's pretty hard to be loyal to a village that did it's best to kill me when I was a child. You were the only reason I survived." He responded warmly, his heart rate jumping at the purr in her voice.

As soon as he was done speaking he leaned close to her and gave her earlobe a lick, which made her turn around and kiss him, which swiftly turned into a battle of tongues. Xanna decided to cheat and poked him in the side, making him twitch as he was somewhat ticklish there. Once Naruto was distracted by the poke, he swiftly lost and the demoness wasted no time in pushing her tongue into his mouth, running it over the sharp teeth that she had given him without fear of injury.

Naruto once more lamented that Xanna had created a human body for herself that wasn't ticklish.

Their kiss ended soon after and they got out of the cooling water. After they dried up, Xanna led Naruto to his bed, knowing that he was still tired and that some sleep would leave him feeling much better.

As Naruto settled into bed with Xanna laying her head on his chest, he thought about everything that had happened recently.

The whole thing with Tsunami had left his heart somewhat mauled, but if given the choice he would go through it again. He felt that Xanna was now more certain of his conviction and that was something that he needed if he wanted to win her over. Power alone wouldn't be enough, at least not as far as he was concerned. He also needed to impress her as a person if she was ever going to love him the way that he loved her.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Xanna was awoken by the feel of lips kissing her neck and smiled slightly, but pretended that she was still sleeping. They were currently both lying on their side, with Naruto spooning her. It was still very early in the morning, before dawn even and she had no intention of getting up yet.

A large hand gently grasped her breast and began to knead it, making her give an appreciative hum at the attention. Her nether lips moistened as she felt his already hard member press against her posterior.

A choked off scream escaped her throat when he suddenly pushed her onto her stomach and thrust inside of her. She grinned to herself, that had been unexpected. He had never been so forceful with her before and she liked it.

He lifted her up onto her knees and continued pushing himself inside her from behind with slow, deep thrusts. Her enjoyment of the steady pace was interrupted when he lifted her backwards so that she was sitting in his lap with her legs spread widely, still impaled on his member. She would have protested the new position as it didn't allow him to penetrate as deeply as before, but his voice in her ear interrupted her.

"This is a new idea I've wanted to try for a while now, lets see how you like it." His voice was a deep, lusty growl that left her eager to see what he had come up with. His unpredictable nature all but assured her that it was going to be interesting.

His left had moved to her breast and his right went between her legs. At first nothing special appeared to be happening, before the demoness suddenly felt a constant and powerful stimulation being focused on the cluster of sensitive nerves just above her opening, with the same thing happening to her left breast soon after. She was quickly left panting as he began to thrust inside of her again, all the while keeping up whatever he was doing with his chakra to create this kind of stimulation.

Her legs began to draw together automatically in response to the pleasure, but he surprised her again when he created chains to hold her legs open. In normal circ*mstances she could have broken the chains, but he had strengthened them considerably since he first managed to create the chains and she was in no position to bring her full strength to bear on them. Her hands went to her breasts and helped stimulate them.

She was panting rapidly and her skin gleamed with sweat as she shuddered with anticipation of her coming org*sm. Just as she was achingly close however, he suddenly stopped and left her trying to catch her breath at the very edge of an org*sm.

"Don't...you dare...stop." She managed to pant out in a growl, angry that she had been denied her climax at the very end.

His left hand move over to her right breast in response and resumed stimulating it, his right hand doing the same to her cl*tor*s. Before long she was back to panting, but this time the buildup of pressure was slower, as Naruto apparently figured out how to regulate his chakra just right to draw things out.

When she finally reached her org*sm, the sound that escaped her throat was something between a scream and an inhuman roar, nothing else existed except for the pleasure surging through her body, especially as he hadn't stopped manipulating her most sensitive pleasure zone with his chakra, prolonging her org*sm. Her legs would have clamped together instinctively, but the chains kept them spread wide.

When she came back to her senses, she realized several things. She was on her knees again, unchained, with Naruto still very hard inside of her and her release had been explosive enough that both she and Naruto were soaked in the juices she had released, not to mention the bed. She also became aware of the fact that she didn't feel the liquid warmth inside of her that would indicate that he had climaxed with her.

The few men and women that she had deigned to sleep with before had been nothing but playthings used to scratch an itch and doing a poor job of it too. Naruto however had somehow learned to play her body like an instrument, had made her scream out her pleasure and surrender control to him completely, which had never happened before in her life. When she had told him to learn about sex and practice, she'd never imagined that he would be capable of something like this.

She was still panting when he started thrusting inside of her again, making her give out low moans as her hypersensitive entrance was penetrated again. Then he did something that made her eyes fly wide open in shock.

Naruto had seen that they were both covered in her glistening release, which included the small ring of her anal entrance. He didn't have much experience with anal sex, his size usually preventing such a thing, due to the pain it would cause. The only one who had wanted to try anal sex with him had been the S and M oriented Keiko, but according to what he had been told, there were strong erogenous zones inside the anus.

Seeing as it was already lubricated, Naruto pushed his middle finger inside, knowing that trying to penetrate her backdoor with his dick would be a bad idea.

"W-What the hell...are you doing?" Xanna demanded, still panting heavily. She'd never done something like that before and she hadn't expected Naruto to do it either.

Instead of answering, the blond began thrust harder and move his finger inside of her anus, looking for any sensitive nerve bundles. When he found something that he thought might be his target, he began pressing his finger against it, swirling his chakra around it chaotically.

A feeling of immense pleasure slammed into her and she wasn't even aware that her screams were slightly demonic and were scaring the early risers outside of Naruto's apartment.

Her second org*sm hit her with the force of a sledgehammer and this time she clearly felt Naruto shooting thick ropes of his seed inside of her barren womb, making her climax all the more intense. She felt his finger being withdrawn and he collapsed on top of her, his teeth sinking lightly into the flesh between her neck and shoulder, making her shiver at the sensation.

Both were panting heavily and ready to take a short nap as their bodies relaxed. They were slick with sweat, dripping from her explosive first org*sm and absolutely reeking of sex, but the only thing they could be bothered to do was move to the other side of the bed, which was at least somewhat cleaner.

Naruto made sure not to pull out of her, as they both liked to stay that way after they had sex. He couldn't help but let a proud and self satisfied grin split his face as he spooned up to her, gently nibbling at her skin with his teeth. Xanna simply lay there, legs still giving the occasional shudder and enjoyed the aftermath as her body cooled down and her lover teased her skin with soft bites.

"So explain to me again why you'd want me to do this with other women." Naruto asked lazily. He had been trying to find a way to ask this question for a while now and right now she seemed as mellow as she would ever be.

"To be blunt, because I consider the rest of you humans as barely above something to play with and it makes a good learning experience for you." She retorted, completely lacking any empathy for any human aside from him.

"That's...really harsh." Naruto answered with a sweatdrop.

"I will be very upset with you however, if you decide that you would prefer a mortal woman after the decision you made to leave the one in Wave. As far as I am concerned you burned all your bridges with that decision." The demoness said pleasantly, but the menace was clear in her voice.

Naruto was not overly bothered by her tone, it was hardly the first time she'd used it on him after all. "You say that, but you still want me to sleep with other women?"

"You never know when I might get bored and decide to add someone new to play with."

Naruto needed a few moments to process that sentence before he could respond. "Looks to me like I was perfectly capable of satisfying you just now." He retorted with some smug pride coloring his voice, punctuating his statement by thrusting inside of her with his once again hard member.

He had just pushed fully inside of her when her inner walls unexpectedly clamped down on him so tightly that he honestly didn't think he could pull out if he wanted to. A blazing heat suddenly enveloped him and she began moving her pelvis just slightly, but it seemed as if her insides were squeezing and stroking him all by themselves. It was the most maddeningly wonderful sensation that he had ever felt and it left him groaning in pleasure, unable to even think about how in the hells she was doing this.

Just when he thought that it couldn't possibly get any better, or perhaps worse, her hand went down to his testi*cal sac and started to gently fondle it. Immediately he felt the same burning sensation there that he was feeling on his rod and felt the pressure of a coming org*sm, but unlike before it was so intense that it actually hurt. In no time at all he was releasing inside of her again, but in volumes that he'd never imagined were even possible. She was still clenched around him just as tightly as before and forcefully draining every last drop out of him.

When it was over, Naruto was left a gasping mess, struggling to even stay conscious.

"You aren't the only one who knows a few tricks." The red haired demoness purred.

"What...what... was that?!" Naruto managed to gasp out.

"Just a little something I learned to do." Xanna answered haughtily. "You should be proud of yourself, the last man I used that on died."

"What a way to go." The blond murmured sleepily and quickly lost his battle against unconsciousness, making the demoness grin.

It had been a very long time since she had been able to enjoy her life like this. Despite knowing Naruto for all of his life, he had still surprised her a lot when he had decided to walk away from a woman that he could have been happy with, a woman that would have asked nothing of him. In all of her centuries long existence she had never encountered a man that was so single mindedly focused on something quite like this.

Oh, there had certainly been people with an obsessive fixation on something, but these were usually madmen with a lust for power. Naruto cared for power only as a means to an end. It was rather odd to see actually. Someone so determined to become the most powerful man to have ever lived and yet there was not a hint of the corruption that such power usually brings, because he was doing it to win her over. If she had told him that she would only marry him if he turned a mountain to rubble with a toothpick, then she knew that he'd go do that with the same intensity as he trained.

It was quite flattering to have such devotion focused on her and she couldn't deny that she found his intensity and force of will attractive. Despite her initial reluctance to get attached to a mortal, he was wearing down her resistance with the same bull headed determination that had driven him for many years now.

She didn't expect him to ever live up to his promise though, humans simply weren't capable of reaching her level of power, not in any way that she could think of, and thought of it she had. But that was alright, she wasn't going to marry him, as her pride would not allow her to marry someone who was not her equal, but she would enjoy the fire that burned in his soul just for her.

She had been furious beyond all reason when the Yondaime had first sealed her and would have taken out her anger on Naruto had they met when she was in such a state. Fortunately, the years between her sealing and meeting Naruto for the first time had dulled that anger considerably. He had been such a cute little thing when he had first blundered into the seal, blue eyes wide and curious. With her anger cooled, she had been unable to muster any hostility towards the tiny golden haired child that was staring at her with completely innocent blue eyes. When she had first started to comfort him when his sleep was plagued by nightmares, she hadn't expected that he would latch onto her quite so tightly, but in hindsight, it should have been obvious. She had been the only good thing in his life and therefore immediately became the most important thing in his life.

Naruto had turned out to be a bright spark in an existence that had become grey and dreary long ago. If she was capable of such a thing, then she would have been sorely tempted to make him immortal just so that she could keep him around longer, though the more she thought of it the more distasteful the idea was.

She knew that an eternal life would change him, there was no way that it wouldn't. It would be worse to see him lose that energy that he now had than to see him die with it still burning in him. Death she could accept eventually, she had no choice in the matter, but to see him become jaded and listless would darken his memory and the memory of him was all that she would have once he died.

Xanna pushed the thoughts out of her mind and just focused on enjoying the moment. That was the key to making immortality bearable after all, to shut out thoughts of both the past and the future and simply live in the present as much as possible. There was no point in thinking about it in any case, since there was no way to make a human immortal that she knew of anyway.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

"Well, it appears that Team 7 has had a most interesting first C-rank mission." Sarutobi commented mildly after hearing the full mission report. "Considering everything you've told me, I have no choice but to classify this as an A-ranked mission."

Sasuke and Sakura looked smug and excited respectively, while Naruto and Kakashi looked as if they didn't care, which was fitting as they really didn't.

"I am giving Team 7 a week away from duty, but before you go, I need Naruto to explain one other thing to me."

Everyone looked at the aged leader curiously, wondering just what exactly he could want explained, considering the fact that they had already told him everything and wondering why Naruto in particular.

"Earlier this morning several civilians reported that they heard what sounded like the tortured screams of a woman coming from your apartment Naruto." Sarutobi said, with a clear demand for an explanation.

Kakashi automatically eye smiled at hearing this, while his younger two students looked both resigned and annoyed.

"Well you see Hokage-sama, I had a new technique that I needed to test out, so I chained the woman in question to my bed and began to apply it. She seems to have found the technique to be quite powerful and began screaming like a demon almost as soon as I started using it on her." Naruto explained with a completely straight face, struggling mightily to suppress his laughter.

Kakashi began snickering at the 'explanation' and at the Sandaime's horrified look. He knew that Naruto would never touch an unwilling woman and was being deliberately misleading with the way he'd explained.

"Id-Idiot, don't say it like that! It's bad enough that you've slept with the client on nearly every mission we've ever had, I don't want people thinking that my teammate is a rapist too!" Sakura shrieked hysterically.

"Stop screwing around and just tell the truth Naruto." Sasuke ground out through clenched teeth, an eyebrow twitching madly.

"Everything I've said is true." Naruto insisted.

"Naruto, are you telling me that you've raped a woman just this morning and then used her as a target to test a new Ninjutsu?" The Sandaime's horrified whisper floated through the air.

Sarutobi felt like he was having a heart attack and felt his world crumble. He had tried for years to befriend Naruto and failed. If the boy had turned out to be a monster that would abuse women like that, he would never forgive himself. Minato had been one of the kindest and most gentle men he had ever known (at least outside of a mission) and to have the man's son become an abomination like Orochimaru would be too much to bear.

"I don't recall mentioning anything about rape or Ninjutsu." Naruto deadpanned.

Sarutobi sighed as he realized what exactly had just happened. Someone had obviously heard Naruto engaging in some very loud sex and reported it and now the blond had used the situation to screw with him. He hadn't even been aware that Naruto was sexually active.

As he calmed down a bit, Sarutobi cottoned on to something that Sakura said, which he had overlooked before.

"What do you mean Naruto has slept with nearly every client?"

Kakashi couldn't help but give a perverted giggle at the memory of his students' experience with D-ranks. The Jounin had no doubt that Naruto was the only Genin who had ever enjoyed his D-ranks.

"Well Hokage-sama, apparently Naruto is rather popular among the ladies." Kakashi explained with much amusem*nt in his voice.

"But they're not supposed to do that, the ninja corps is not an escort service." Sarutobi protested weakly, suddenly realizing why Naruto had been the only one to receive such praise on his missions, not to mention the sometimes strange wording of it.

"I assure you Hokage-sama, they had other duties for my cute students." Kakashi assured his leader.

"That's not really the point..." Sarutobi replied with a sweatdrop beading on his forehead.

"Don't worry about it Hokage-sama, it was all for the best. After all, if not for that, I may have lost control of my beastly urges and kidnapped a woman off the street." Naruto said blandly.

Sarutobi winced at the words, knowing that they were a rebuke for jumping to conclusions about Naruto being a rapist earlier. He sighed heavily and dismissed the team.

Not long after, Sasuke and Sakura had gone their separate ways after Sasuke had once again refused her invitation for a date. Kakashi was also just about to head home when Naruto spoke to him.

"I need your help on a few things Kakashi-sensei."

"What kind of things?"

"Well, I need you to point me at someone that I could spar with on a regular basis and I also need to talk to a Genjutsu specialist." Naruto explained.

"The sparring partner I understand, and I even have someone in mind, but why the Genjutsu specialist, I thought you couldn't use Genjutsu." Kakashi asked curiously.

"Well aside from learning how to get out of Genjutsu, it's also because of something to do with my Fuinjutsu research."

Kakashi raised an eyebrow in interest at hearing that, but decided not to pry. His own knowledge of Fuinjutsu was rather haphazard, but he knew that the art required the user to know all sorts of things about chakra.

"Well, if you want a sparring partner, then you'll want to find Team Gai, their Jounin-sensei, Maito Gai, is a Taijutsu specialist and so is one of his students. He actually has the opposite problem of you, as he doesn't produce enough chakra to use Ninjutsu or Genjutsu. As for a Genjutsu specialist, you'll want to talk to the Jounin-sensei of Team 8, Yūhi Kurenai." Kakashi advised.

"That's perfect, thanks Kakashi-sensei."

I wonder if he'll end up sleeping with Kurenai too? Kakashi wondered with a perverted giggle once Naruto left. Asuma would probably be pissed about that.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Several days later

Naruto was approaching the training ground of Team 8, who had just arrived home from a mission the two days ago.

Since Team 7 had come back to the village Naruto had been working on several projects, such as his wind and water training. He had discovered that training his water affinity was going better than wind, which was fine with him as he was more interested in water anyway. Wind was fairly one-dimensional, as it was heavy on offense and had very little other uses. Water however was far more versatile and had all sorts of esoteric uses, not to mention that he found it easier to control water natured chakra for some reason.

His greatest interest however was in Fuinjutsu. It was a complex and demanding art, requiring knowledge of all sorts of oddball things that most shinobi never even thought of, but in exchange for it's difficulty of learning, it was also without a doubt the most powerful of the shinobi arts. A skilled Fuinjutsu user could do practically anything if he knew how. He had hit a roadblock when he hadn't been able to find enough information on Yin and Yang natured chakra. He knew that chakra was a mixture of physical and spiritual energy, but Yin and Yang release were highly specialized and refined versions of this concept. He was actually gambling on the idea that a Genjutsu specialist would have some information on Yin release at least.

He had already met with with the eccentric Jounin-sensei Maito Gai and arranged for frequent sparring matches with the equaly eccentric Rock Lee. It had been surprisingly easy to get them to agree to it. The two of them were always glad to help a fellow leaf shinobi and once they heard of his troubles with Ninjutsu, they had started shouting about how youthful he was for working hard to overcome his weakness and enthusiastically invited him to join them in their daily exercises. They were weird and creepy as hell with their eyebrows, spandex, bowl cuts and sunset Genjutsu, but he could definitely respect their determination. They had been confused when he told them that he had an alternative to training weights, but hadn't made a fuss over it.

The only real downside to them was their teammate Hyuuga Neji. The guy was an asshole of the highest order, always making remarks about losers sticking together and claiming that fate would not let them excel as shinobi. Naruto made a note to beat the crap out of that guy one day. He had vaguely known Lee, Tenten and Neji from the previous year of the academy, but he didn't recall Neji being that irritating.

Kurenai was definitely a beautiful and exotic woman, with her red eyes and untamed black hair. Her strange bandage dress was also quite an interesting outfit.

The Jounin in question noticed his approach and was puzzled. She knew that he was Kakashi's student, making her wonder why he was approaching their team. Her Genin had also noticed him and had various reactions to the tall blonds presence.

Hinata was blushing madly because he was effectively topless, covered only by the long black coat which he kept open at all times. She wished that she could be as bold as him, but she was too embarrassed to even take off her oversized coat because of her developing breasts.

Shino had no obvious reaction, but his insects were reacting excitedly at the approach of Naruto's powerful chakra. Shino had never been quite sure what to make of his former classmate. The chakra that his Kikaichu could sense was absolutely gigantic and yet he was supposed to be the dead last.

Kiba didn't really know what to think of Naruto. On the one hand he was the dead last, but on the other Akamaru was telling him that the blond was dangerous. He didn't really think that Naruto was all that dangerous, but he did remember that the blond never lost a spar in the academy.

"Yūhi-san, you have been pointed out to me as a Genjutsu specialist. There is something I need to discuss with you." Naruto stated once he was close enough. He could be polite and use honorifics when he needed to, though it irritated him.

"Forgive me if I'm wrong Uzumaki-san, but you don't seem like a Genjutsu user." Kurenai returned. She knew perfectly well that he had far too much chakra and too little control for Genjutsu.

"I'm not, but I still need the help of someone with a strong grasp of the art. How about we discuss this over lunch?" Naruto offered.

Kurenai raised an eyebrow at the lunch invitation, ignoring the surprise on the faces of her Genin. She'd heard some rumors about this student of Kakashi. She found it hard to believe the rumors that said he'd slept with half the women in the village, but she still found that lunch invitation suspicious. There was no denying that he was attractive, but she had no intention of being any mans' latest conquest.

"I'm afraid I can't accept your invitation Uzumaki-san, my team and I already have plans to go for lunch."

"They are welcome to join us if they wish, what I wish to discuss with you is nothing secret. I will pay for all of them."

Kurenai let a small confused frown surface on her face. If he was freely inviting her Genin to join them for lunch, then he was almost certainly not attempting to get into her panties. Could he actually want to discuss Genjutsu? She looked towards her students, clearly questioning whether they wanted to accept the invitation or not.

"Free lunch is always good." Kiba said with a grin.

"I have no objection." Shino said stoically.

Hinata just nodded, still embarrassed.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Naruto led them towards Ichiraku's, which had over the years expanded to serve more than just ramen. Teuchi had taken all of their orders already and they were now waiting for their food to arrive.

"So, Uzumaki-san, you said you wanted to discuss something about Genjutsu?" Kurenai began.

"Just Naruto please and yes I had several things I wanted to discuss with you." Naruto answered.

"Alright then Naruto, what was it that you couldn't ask Kakashi, since I know that he is proficient with Genjutsu."

"Kakashi knows how to use Genjutsu yes, but I needed someone with a much better grasp of it. I'm studying Fuinjutsu you see and I'm making an educated guess that a Genjutsu specialist could help me with a problem I'm having. Aside from that I would also like to learn how to get out of Genjutsu from you." Naruto explained.

Kurenai was very surprised to hear this. Fuinjutsu users were extremely rare. She only knew a few Fuinjutsu techniques and had struggled hard to learn them. "What are you working on that you would need a Genjutsu specialist to help you?" Kurenai asked, intrigued.

"I've recently been researching the specifics of Yin and Yang chakra, but I've hit a bit of a roadblock in regards to that. I'm working under the assumption that Genjutsu uses mostly the spiritual aspect of chakra, am I right about that?" Naruto explained.

"Yes, Genjutsu uses very little of the physical component of chakra." Kurenai answered. "I must say that I am very surprised you even know about Yin and Yang chakra, very few Jounin even know about that."

"Fuinjutsu makes you learn all sorts of strange things." Naruto said as an explanation. "Well anyway, I've been attempting to create a seal that would allow me to store some Yin chakra. Since the Yin aspect is form without substance, I am assuming that Genjutsu powered by Yin chakra alone would be at their most powerful. Eventually I hope to create a method to harness the refined Yin and Yang chakras instead of the watered down versions that most shinobi use today."

Kurenai was now seriously impressed. That was the kind of thing that made shinobi legendary, though it sounded like a difficult undertaking.

"You intend to attempt using purified Yin chakra to power Genjutsu, like the Nidaime Mizukage was rumored to be able to?" She asked.

"I didn't know that bit about the Nidaime Mizukage, but no, I'm afraid that I'm not much of a Genjutsu user, though I am interested in seeing the effect of Yin chakra Genjutsu. I'm theorizing that the physical component present in the Genjutsu that shinobi use is making it easier to dispel the Genjutsu."

"You've definitely caught my interest, but if you're not attempting to use Yin release Genjutsu, then what are you doing this for?" Kurenai said curiously.

"I'm interested in seeing what I can do with the refined Yin and Yang chakra. I'm fairly sure that the Yang chakra won't allow anything more than body enhancement since it is substance without form, but I may be able to craft a seal to use them in some unorthodox ways, perhaps even a combination of the two."

Kurenai just stared at him for a long moment, deep in contemplation before answering. "That sounds incredibly interesting, but I'm afraid I don't know how to use pure Yin chakra. I've been trying to figure it out for a long while now, but I've had no success so far, so I'm not sure how much help I'd be."

"I didn't expect you to know how to use it, but I'm hoping that with your Genjutsu expertise, I could make a breakthrough in my Fuinjutsu research and who knows, we might figure out a way to harness Yin chakra while we're at it. Aside from that, I'd still need you to teach me how to break out of Genjutsu. So what do you say Kurenai-sensei?" Naruto asked, referring to her as sensei with a smirk. He knew that she was very interested in this and would probably be unable to resist.

Kurenai thought it over for another long moment, but she knew that she was going to accept. She had been trying to figure out how to use Yin release for a few years now and then a fresh Genin comes along with a proposal to use his skill with Fuinjutsu to try and figure out the problem. Even if he was a fresh Genin, he spoke about the subject with enough familiarity that she had to take him seriously and even neophyte Fuinjutsu users weren't to be underestimated.

"Alright Naruto, I accept."

Hinata, Kiba and Shino had been silently observing this entire conversation with a great deal of surprise. Their supposedly dead last former classmate had just now been engaged in a debate about some very high level chakra theory that they had never even heard of.

It was at this point that Ayame came out of the back with the food they ordered.

Kiba immediately forgot about the discussion he had just overheard and stared at the beautiful waitress.

"Hey baby, where've you been all my life?" He said to her while checking her over.

Ayame only raised an eyebrow at the much younger boy trying to be smooth. He was hardly the only one to try a lame pick up line and definitely not the best.

Kurenai meanwhile was severely irritated with her student. He'd been showing all the signs of a budding lecher and all of her attempts to prevent him from becoming the next Jiraiya had failed so far.

"Stop sniffing around my sister Kiba." Naruto demanded.

"Your sister?!" Came a chorus of confused and questioning voices.

"Not by blood, but he's thought of me as a big sister for many years now." Ayame explained with a smile.

Aside from Xanna, Ayame was the only who knew pretty much everything about him. She even knew about Xanna and what he was trying to achieve. That she hadn't tried to convince him out of it or judged him for it, had made her all the more precious to him and he definitely wasn't going to tolerate some mutt trying get into her pants.

"Well, even if she is your sister, it's up to her to decide if she wants to have an animalistic experience." Kiba retorted with a co*cky smirk once the surprise died down.

"I'll be sure to tell you that when I go after your sister and maybe your mother too." Naruto retorted, making Kurenai choke on her food and Hinata began to give off red light, even Shino was blushing, though it was almost unnoticeably "Maybe even both at the same time." This last bit made Hinata go nuclear and even Kurenai was blushing.

While Kiba was spluttering in shock Naruto looked at Hinata and just couldn't restrain himself from commenting. " If you blush any harder Hinata, people are going to mistake you for a lantern from the red lights district." This was too much for the girl and she passed out, forcing Shino to catch her.

By this time Kiba had managed to regain his ability to talk and burst out. "You stay away from my mother and sister bastard! And what do you mean when you go after them?!"

"Well since you're such a supporter of allowing women to choose who they want to sleep with, I figured that I should let them know that I'm available." Naruto said magnanimously.

Kiba gaped at him for several long seconds before responding. "Alright, I get the point. I'll stay away from yours if you stay away from mine." He grumbled.

"Agreed." Naruto said pleasantly. "But if they come after me, then all bets are off."

"That'll never happen!" Kiba shouted.

"Keep telling yourself that Kiba, it might actually be true." Naruto paused. "Then again it might not be."

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Two months later

The two months since Naruto and Kurenai had agreed to work together had been very productive in several ways, though Naruto had gotten the most out of it by far.

Kurenai had decided to teach him how to dispel Genjutsu first and as was typical for Naruto, he did nothing normally.

He wasn't able to manipulate his chakra flow enough to halt it and break the Genjutsu that way and he didn't like the idea of sending out chakra pulses or stabbing himself, so he came up with his own unique way of breaking Genjutsu.

He had discovered the method accidentally when he had been trying to stop his chakra flow, but had condensed it instead. Turns out that if someone's' chakra is dense enough, then the foreign chakra of a Genjutsu wasn't able to pass through his coils and do it's job.

Kurenai had been both shocked and irritated when they discovered that this made him effectively immune to regular Genjutsu, at least as long as he kept his chakra condensed.

They hadn't managed to figure out the Yin release and Naruto had theorized that his Fuinjutsu knowledge wasn't good enough. He had managed to convince Kurenai to bring him all the Fuinjutsu books and scrolls from the Chunin and Jounin sections of the library, despite the fact that she shouldn't have done that.

The red eyed Jounin had loaned him the books under the condition that he was to only look them over and see if anything in there could help them in their research. Naruto had agreed, but as soon as he got home, he had created a small army of clones to copy everything that she had brought him as soon as possible.

He now had a small army of clones constantly working on assimilating all the knowledge that had suddenly become available to him. The things that he had seen in those books were simply far too interesting to let go.

What had him the most fascinated by far was instructions for how to inscribe small Fuinjutsu formulas with just his chakra and sometimes a small amount of blood. For larger seal arrays, he needed to prepare them in advance and then he could slap them onto the ground where they would expand and then they could be controlled by use of a master seal that he inscribed on his body.

It irritated him immensely to go on missions now, as it was taking time away from his training and Fuinjutsu study.

Merely days ago, he had finally cracked the secret of how to manipulate gravity with Fuinjutsu. He needed to inscribe an area with a sealing array, after which he would capable of adjusting the gravity within that area. The potential for training in a higher gravity environment had left him salivating, but he had no chance to make use of it yet.

He had even found a way around his problem with Ninjutsu. Naruto was now capable of inscribing a sealing array that would mold the chakra for whichever Ninjutsu he wished as if he were making handseals, as long as he knew it well enough. Unlike hand seals though, he didn't need to worry about control, as the sealing array did it for him, all he needed to do was channel chakra into it and the technique would form. This was certainly interesting, but he had long since lost interest in regular Ninjutsu.

He hadn't stopped working on elemental manipulation either and he was now greatly intrigued by the possible applications of water natured chakra. He'd determined that the flowing nature of water, combined with his highly dense chakra allowed him a degree of control over water that mere hand seals didn't allow. He still didn't have any techniques, but he was working on a few things that held a lot of promise if he could get them to work.

All of this work and the near constant stream of memories from his shadow clones had unfortunately left him operating under a constant mid level headache. Naruto was sure that if it wasn't for his healing factor his brain would start leaking out of his ears. This had been confirmed when he had knocked himself out once during a D-rank mission and his team had been forced to carry him to the hospital. When he'd woken up he heard terms such as 'neural bruising' and 'brain damage' being tossed around, which had convinced him to tone it down just a little.

Another thing that had changed were their D-ranks. The Sandaime had apparently had a stern talk with potential clients about using his shinobi as an escort service, which meant that Naruto was no longer able to screw with the minds of his teammates in that way. The damage had been done however and Team 7 now had a rather questionable reputation.

Naruto and Kakashi were perfectly fine with it, Sakura and Sasuke however were not. The pinkette couldn't even walk down the street without wanting to sink into the ground when the villagers leveled disapproving looks her way. On the other end of the spectrum, Sasuke was getting lots of approval from his fangirls, who had gotten ten times more rabid, leaving the Uchiha survivor at his wits end at the creepy stalker tendencies they were now exhibiting.

Currently however, Naruto was not suffering any headaches or driving his teammates insane.

At this moment he was engaged in a spar against Kurenai. The two of them had been working on their project for some time and Naruto felt that some progress at least had been made, but they were both tired of breaking their brains over it and wanted to relax a bit. Naruto had suggested a spar and Kurenai had been curious as to how good Naruto really was. Her curiosity also stemmed from the fact that both of their teams had been nominated for the upcoming Chunin exams and she wanted to see how he measured up compared to her own Genin.

She had come to regret agreeing to this spar, as she had discovered several truths that were making things very difficult for her.

She wasn't able to use Genjutsu against the blond due to the fact that he was condensing his chakra, which meant that she had to rely on Taijutsu and Ninjutsu, both of which were most definitely not her strong points. Naruto was stronger than her, faster than her and his body was so densely muscled that even her chakra enhanced blows were not having any great effect. She on the other hand had to be extremely careful to never even directly block one of his hits, as the shattered log that she had used for a substitution testified.

The only thing even keeping her in the fight was her greater experience, flexibility and the few Katon Ninjutsu that she knew, while Naruto was limited to Taijutsu and shadow clones. She knew however that if the blond managed to get her into a grapple that it was going to be all over for her.

Kurenai was already panting and feeling the drain from using her much neglected Ninjutsu, while Naruto had a wide and excited fanged grin on his face, not tired in the slightest. He looked a bit singed from a close call with a fireball not long back, but she could see the burn healing even now, leaving him in perfect health. He had discarded his coat and was facing her bare-chested, which was somewhat distracting.

Naruto could have ended the fight long ago if he had used his chains, but he was still trying to keep that secret, even though he figured it was only a matter of time before Sakura blabbed about it.

Deciding to finish it, he made several clones and and rushed at the red eyed woman, making her wary of what he might be planning. The clones were only moderately difficult to dispatch because of their one hit limit and soon she was left facing only one Naruto.

He rushed at her and she prepared herself for another difficult Taijutsu engagement, but was left shocked as he dispersed after a single hit, leaving her wide open for the original to grab from behind and wrestle her to the ground in the same hold that he had pinned Haku during the Wave mission.

As Kurenai had her hands pinned and the blond firmly planted between her legs, she was left helpless. The only techniques that she could perform without hand seals were Genjutsu and the three academy techniques, which were useless right now. The Jounin was quite angry at herself for falling for that trick. Naruto had been coming at her with straightforward attacks like a juggernaut the entire time and then blindsided her with this tricky finishing move.

Currently he was grinning at her widely, pleased with the fact that he had won against a Jounin, even if she had been severely handicapped.

"I win Kurenai-sensei."

"So you do." She grumbled slightly, her pride mauled at the fact that she had lost to a Genin.

Even if she had lost however, she couldn't deny that their current position was rather enjoyable. She had developed an undeniable attraction towards the blond. She had gotten to know him over the two months that they had worked together and she was very impressed with the kind of man that he had turned out to be, despite the rumors about him.

She had even made her romantic interest in him clear, but he had told her that he wasn't interested in starting a serious relationship, which was what she wanted. They'd talked it over and Kurenai had been mildly surprised to hear that there was some truth to the rumors about him sleeping with numerous women, if not exactly half the village. The surprise had been because he hadn't acted in a perverted manner with her in the slightest, aside from a few off hand compliments about her beauty, which was what made her think that the rumors were entirely made up due to him being the Kyuubi Jinchuuriki.

Kurenai hadn't wanted it to be just sex, so she had backed off, but her attraction hadn't diminished in the slightest. The red eyed Jounin couldn't blame him for not wanting to get into a serious relationship at his age, but it was still frustrating her to no end. He was the most interesting and impressive man out of a rather limited selection of them, even if he was 10 years younger than her and he wasn't willing to engage in anything more than casual sex. She couldn't even get angry at him since he had openly stated everything instead of perving on her.

"Maybe we'd better get up, I think we're giving your Genin a show." Naruto told her with a smirk.

"What?!" Kurenai yelped and turned her head to see that her three students were indeed looking at their compromising position with incredulous blushes.

The three of them had just arrived for their scheduled training session to find the two of them sparring and had been shocked to see Naruto winning. They didn't understand why their sensei wasn't using any Genjutsu, but it was still shocking to see a Genin winning against a Jounin. Even more shocking had been to see the blond tackle their sensei into a rather intimate position and then have a short conversation with her like that as if it was no big deal.

They quickly got on their feet, Kurenai blushing heavily at being seen like that and Naruto just smirking, not embarrassed in the slightest.

"Well Kurenai-sensei, we'll continue our research after the Chunin exams, I hope to see your team participating." After saying that, Naruto left, leaving Kurenai alone to explain her embarrassing position to her students.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

OMAKE: The reason that Kakashi nominated his students for the Chunin Exam.

Team 7 was waiting for their perpetually tardy sensei to arrive on their training ground.

Naruto was nursing a splitting headache caused by too many close dispersals, which had flooded his poor abused brain with complex Fuinjutsu arrays and formulas. The fact that he hadn't even gone to sleep last night was not helping his headache.

In spite of this however he was excitedly scrawling seals on a large scroll. The reason he hadn't gone to sleep was because of the seal he was currently inscribing. If his research was correct then this seal would allow him to view an alternate dimension by increasing the gravity in a small area to truly ludicrous levels and pouring a large chunk of his chakra into the seal to power it. The destabilizing effect of such a powerful gravitational force should allow him to open a rip in space-time for a few seconds before the chakra powering the seal ran out. There were several other minor arrays included that would cause further destabilization and guarantee some kind of effect.

Sasuke and Sakura were deeply freaked out by the crazed expression on the face of their teammate as he scribbled on his scroll and therefore unwilling to ask what the hell was wrong with him.

"Yo!" Kakashi greeted as he suddenly appeared.

"YOU'RE LATE!" Sakura gave her customary shriek.

"Sorry, I couldn't find any clean socks to wear." Kakashi told her with an eye smile.

"YOU'RE NOT WEARING ANY SOCKS! YOU NEVER WEAR SOCKS!"

"Exactly."

Ignoring his sputtering pink haired Genin in favour of looking at the somewhat unstable looking blond.

"Naruto, put that scroll away, we've got some training to do."

"I'm almost done sensei, I've got to finish this."

Kakashi looked at his student with a resigned sigh. He knew that look. It was the same look that Kushina and sometimes even Minato-sensei wore. That look meant that Naruto wasn't going to be able to think of anything except that seal until he finished it and he was going to ignore everything until he was done with it.

Make no mistake, Kakashi was proud of his student for many reasons, but he was just as brilliant as his parents and three times as crazy.

"Alright Naruto, I guess we can wait for a little while for you to finish."

Naruto rapidly finished inscribing the seal, before making a clone that held well over half of his chakra and having it take the scroll a safe distance away for 'just in case' purposes. The clone was looking rightfully nervous, as many clones had met their doom because of experimental seals.

Everyone was tense as they observed the clone pouring it's chakra into the seal. They began to see the space around the scroll warping chaotically.

Before anyone could comment or attempt to approach the warping suddenly exploded into a twisting nether of color, some of which existed and many of which didn't. The clone was seized by tentacles that writhed in ways that hurt their eyes to look at.

A gaping maw opened with countless rows of teeth and multiple tongues that sprouted yet more mouths and drew the utterly terrified looking clone inside.

Bru'slief'Unglrukh'Khor Wulgroth'bnath'ji Tzeen'thu'Tchar.

The voice crawled through the empty training field like maggots through a corpse and it felt as if the very air was howling in pain from hearing the words which required a trans-dimensional tongue and multiple separate voice boxes to pronounce.

The clone popped when it heard the voice and the rip in space-time slammed shut, cutting off a tentacle, which rapidly dissolved into nothing.

Kakashi looked at his three students, sporting the same empty and horrified look in his eye as they were. All of them had blood steadily dripping from their ears, eyes and nose and their minds were already hard at work repressing all memory of the event.

"I shouldn't do that again." Naruto spoke, already rationalizing that it had all been a product of his overworked and sleep deprived brain.

"I was hoping that I wouldn't need to tell you not to try any reality breaking Fuinjutsu as long as you're still my Genin Naruto, but I guess I really should have." Kakashi spoke with a hollow voice to his similarly traumatized students.

"I'm nominating you for the Chunin Exams and you had better get promoted. I'm not going to take responsibility if you sink the world into some extra dimensional abyss."

"Sensei, what are we going to tell the Hokage about this?" Sakura asked, her voice shaking and her eyes moving from side to side in wide eyed horror.

"Nothing of any interest happened here Sakura, we were all feeling a bit under the weather and decided to cancel training for today." Kakashi spoke, still with the same absolutely hollow tone.

"B-But sensei..." The pinkette tried to protest.

"Nothing happened Sakura." Kakashi insisted, voice still hollow.

"Y-Yes sensei, you're right of course, nothing happened." Sakura agreed with a hesitant smile. Of course their sensei was right, silly her, being worried over nothing. It was just a normal day after all. It was too bad about the canceled training, but other than that it was a perfectly normal, sunny day.

"M-maybe we could all go get something to eat together, you know, as a team." Sasuke suggested, looking as if his eyes were about to roll up into his head. He suddenly didn't want to be alone.

"It's a perfectly ordinary day, with absolutely nothing special about it. It's too bad that Sasuke-kun doesn't want to get anything to eat, but that's alright, because it's perfectly ordinary." Sakura insisted to herself and walked off.

The others left soon after, the memories buried under a mountain of instinctive mental blocks that the entire Yamanaka clan wouldn't be able to break through.

All that remained was Naruto's intense reluctance to experiment with dimension destabilizing Fuinjutsu, Sasuke and Sakura's sudden terror of anything with tentacles and Kakashi's intense desire to nominate his team for the Chunin Exams.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Notes:

This concludes the fifth chapter, so please drop some reviews.
It turned out to be a bit of a filler chapter, but all in all, I'm rather pleased with how it turned out.
We're moving on to the Chunin Exams now, I'm not sure whether I should include Kirigakure in the exams or not. I'm leaning towards yes at the moment.

Chapter 6

Notes:

DISCLAIMER: There is no ownership, only Zhuul.

Review responses.

Javi30: I have no idea what you said or even what language you used, but I'm going to assume you were saying something to the effect that my story has some similarities to 'A Fishcakes Affair'. The general idea for this story was going around my brain for some time before I read that one. I thought that Fishcakes Affair was a terribly interesting story and it spurred me to start writing my ideas down. I always thought it was a shame that the early parts of the story were barely legible due to poor grammar. I am puzzled however, as to why you used whichever language that was to make your review, considering that both my story and 'A Fishcakes Affair' are in english, so I must conclude that you actually do speak english. If your intent was to confuse me, then you have succeeded admirably.

As for those of you who think that the omake in the previous chapter feature something out of Lovecraft... I actualy don't know a lot about Lovecraft, so I was thinking more along the lines of Warhammer 40000, but one eldritch abomination is as good as another I guess. For all I know, Chaos and The Ruinous Powers from Warhammer 40k were based on Lovecraft.

As always, I hope I haven't missed any serious grammatical blunders when I was going over the story.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Naruto was sitting on his father's stone head, just taking in the view and thinking. The past two months had been good to him, he had learned a lot and felt that he had made good progress. He felt a bit bad about lying to Kurenai about those Fuinjutsu books, but it's not like he was intending to use that knowledge for anything particularly bad.

The red eyed Jounin had surprised him when she had told him of her romantic interest. He had honestly not been expecting the somewhat aloof woman to develop that kind of interest in him. Beautiful though she was, he had no intention of getting involved in any serious relationships, at least not with anyone aside from Xanna.

He wasn't quite sure how to classify his relationship with the demoness, but she had been around more often than usual these past two months, which made him happy. She was difficult to read, but Naruto hoped he wasn't wrong in thinking that he was getting through to her. An ancient demoness she might be, but there was only so long that she could keep her distance and despite what she might say, he was certain that power wasn't the only thing that she cared about.

His thoughts were interrupted when he sensed the arrival of the very demoness that had been on his mind.

"Have you come to enjoy the view with me?"

"Actually I came to warn you, but watching the sunset with you does sound pleasant." She said and settled herself between his legs and leaned back on his chest.

"Warn me? This must be quite important if you felt I needed warning." Naruto answered in surprise.

"It is, I have sensed the arrival of my weakest brother, Shukaku." Xanna stated directly.

"The Ichibi? Is he sealed?" Naruto asked thoughtfully.

"Shukaku has been sealed inside something or other for centuries. The bloodthirsty lunatic doesn't have the wits to regain his freedom." The demoness spoke scornfully.

"You mean he's not like you at all?" The blond asked in surprise, having expected all of the Bijuu to be more or less similar to Xanna, if less powerful.

"There is no one like me." She said evenly, but Naruto thought that he could detect a hint of an old bitterness in her tone.

Naruto carefully considered how to approach this subject. He really wanted to know what this was about, but he didn't want her to clam up.

"You know...I've been told that I give a good massage, but I'd like your opinion on my technique. We can talk some more about this while I'm working you over." He offered.

Xanna sent him an amused look before agreeing.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

The two of them were now in Naruto's apartment, with Xanna lying face down on the bed, completely naked.

Naruto, also naked, was preparing to begin the massage as he straddled her hips. He kneaded her shoulders and began to swirl his chakra chaotically, so that it would push into the muscles and loosen them.

Xanna purred her enjoyment of his efforts and began to speak.

"For you to truly understand the difference between me and the other 8 Bijuu, I need to start at the very beginning." She began "Several thousand years ago, there were no Bijuu, no shinobi, not even chakra."

Naruto was quite shocked by this, as he had thought that chakra had always existed, but didn't interrupt.

"The only thing of notable mystical power was the Shinju, the god tree."

"What was the Shinju? And what about the people of that time?" Naruto asked, intensely curious.

"The Shinju was the last remnant of divine power in this world. From what I understand, the gods have long since left this world, leaving behind only the Shinju. The only one who remains is the death god and he is but a faded specter of what he once was, though even diminished as he is, he remains the most powerful entity known to this world." She explained.

Naruto was so caught up in the story that he forgot to keep massaging for a moment, but a shake of her shoulders reminded him.

"As for the people...well, they were much the same as they are now, except for the fact that they lacked chakra. This was a good thing in my opinion as they were capable of doing less damage that way."

"I guess that means that they were constantly warring with each other." Naruto guessed.

"Exactly so. This went on for a long time, with the Shinju being revered but mostly ignored, until a princess by the name of Kaguya saw that the god tree had borne fruit. She had good intentions, thinking that if she ate a fruit from the Shinju, that she would be granted powers that she could use to stop the constant war."

"So what went wrong?"

"While the eating the fruit did indeed grant her great power, she was naïve in her thinking that humanity was going to stop warring with itself just because she was more powerful than them. She may have eventually brought them all down, but her peace would have been forced and only lasted for a few decades at the most."

"I'm getting the feeling that something else went wrong." Naruto said, moving his hands further down her back.

Xanna hummed in agreement and continued with her tale.

"She was pregnant when she ate the fruit and the power that was granted to her, was only further concentrated inside of her unborn son. The child was different from the very beginning. He possessed eyes which frightened all who looked into them, glowing purple orbs with no pupil or sclera and a ripple pattern. It came to be known as the Rinnegan. It was a manifestation of divine power and it granted abilities that mortals were never meant to have."

Naruto moved his hands to her lower back as he spoke. "What happened after that?"

"Kaguya named her son Hagoromo and attempted to live out a normal life, but it was not to be. Hagoromo grew far faster than he should have and rapidly began to display powers that dwarfed even those of his mother. Kaguya got her wish about ending the war between the separate factions of humanity when the Shinju began to move."

"Move? Wasn't it just a tree? A divine tree yeah, but still a tree." Naruto asked in surprise.

"Everyone was as shocked as you, as the Shinju had not moved for as long as anyone had known of it. But apparently it had sensed the theft of it's fruit or the fact that Hagoromo had gained access to divine power and began to reshape itself. What was once a tree, became an immense ten tailed demon god."

"Ten tailed?!" The blond burst out in shock.

"Yes, it was the very first tailed beast, a divine entity that had turned demonic in it's rage. It rampaged across the land, destroying everything in it's path until Hagoromo went to challenge it."

Naruto moved his hands to her butt cheeks and began to rub them vigorously, which made her purr again before continuing.

"You must understand that the power of the Shinju had no limit and yet Hagoromo, who had taken to calling himself the Sage of Six Paths by then, was able to challenge it. The man was an aberration that should never have existed, a human with divine power, a mortal god. Their battle raged for days, both had access to limitless power, both were able to draw power from their surroundings to replenish themselves. The only true difference between them was that the Shinju was a rampaging beast and the Sage was a man capable of making complex plans, which is why he won."

"How did he manage to do that if they were both unable to ever truly run out of juice." Naruto asked curiously.

"He saw that every time he blasted away a piece of the demon's flesh, it would spawn lesser demons, which fled from the battle and went to seek human victims. In a desperate gamble, he used Fuinjutsu to seal the beast inside of himself."

Naruto had moved down to her legs by this point. "Shouldn't that have killed him? From what I know, I would have died if I had been any older when dad tried to seal you into me." He commented.

"Anyone else would indeed have died, but due to the vastness of his own power and the Rinnegan, he had no trouble sealing it at all. Anyway, now that the ten tails was taken care of, Hagoromo was left with the problem of the many lesser demons that had scattered to the winds. He went to hunt them immediately, but for all of his power he could only be in one place at a time. The demons preyed on the weak humans of the time, many of them developing a taste for the women."

Naruto's face twisted in disgust hearing that and it was hard to keep from clenching his hands painfully around Xanna's legs.

"While the Sage hunted the demons, many of the assaulted women became pregnant from this and bore offspring. Contrary to what the Sage had feared, the children were perfectly human, though they were surprisingly capable of using chakra just like him, though on a much smaller scale. Some of them even displayed distinctive abilities that would later become known as bloodlines."

"So you're telling me that chakra and bloodlines are the result of women getting raped by demons?" Naruto asked with a scowl. Even if it was long since over, he didn't like hearing about something like that.

"Not entirely. The Sage sired children of his own and was able to awaken the ability to use chakra in humans with some effort. He traveled the world, preaching about peace and spreading the teachings of chakra throughout the elemental nations."

"I'm going to take a wild guess and say that it didn't work out the way he wanted to." Naruto said dryly.

"Everything seemed to be going well. The land had settled into peace and Hagoromo was able to spend more time with his sons , but he eventually grew old and began dying. He knew that once he died that the creature he kept imprisoned within himself would be free again and this time there would be no one to stop it. Which is why he used his powers to split it into 9 pieces."

"You and the other Bijuu." Naruto realized.

"Yes. He had little time left in the world by then and he told us of our origins and asked that we provide guidance and counsel to the humans, so that the peace could last. Of me he asked that I look after his descendants and make sure that they do not abuse the powers that were granted to them."

"Who were his descendants." Naruto asked curiously.

"The Senju and the Uchiha, though they were not known as such at the time. The Uzumaki splintered away from the Senju a long time ago and the Hyuuga splintered from the Uchiha even longer ago." She explained, leaving the blond badly shocked.

"It was less than two generations after the old Sage died that things started going wrong. Humans began using chakra as a weapon of war, the Uchiha heiress at the time, who was Hagoromo's granddaughter was assaulted by one of the few remaining demons and the powerful spiritual chakra she had inherited became corrupted, leading to the creation of the Sharingan."

"So the Sharingan is a demonic bloodline?" Naruto asked once he'd gotten over his shock.

"Yes. It's wielders are naturally predisposed towards the darker emotions due to this, as the Doujutsu feeds off them. When I told you so many years ago that I had sensed great amounts of human malice in Konoha, it was mostly from the Uchiha. It feels odd to know that the descendants that I was asked to watch after have all but wiped themselves out or been wiped out." Xanna mused idly.

Naruto was by now struggling to keep all of this in mind so he asked another question that had caught his interest. "So, what did you mean when you said that there is no one like you?"

Xanna sighed and answered. "Because the Sage screwed up. The way that he made us ensured that I was the strongest by far, processing more than half of the strength that the ten tails had, because he placed the most faith in me. Hagoromo, despite all of his power, was still a human and he didn't truly understand what it meant that the Shinju had become demonic. The other 8 Bijuu were unstable because they lacked the power to sustain their minds and all of them eventually went feral, only regaining some of their sense when they are sealed inside of humans and borrowing their sense of identity. This was only worsened as humans began attempting to use them as weapons, which incited their rage. The world once again descended into war and I abandoned the elemental nations altogether for many centuries, I even left behind the name that the Sage had given me, as it was connected to the task he wished for me to do."

"Is that why your name sounds so foreign?" Naruto wondered, moving his hands up to her upper back again.

"Good guess. Yes, I chose this name from another land and before you ask, yes there are several other continents on this world. I was not known there and I bided my time instead of watching my siblings go mad and watching you humans using a spark of divine power to kill each other."

"Spark of divine power? Chakra?"

"Of course. You know of the Nidaime Hokage and his resurrection technique, did you think that it is normal to rip a soul out of the pure world and force it into an undead body? I'm sure there are several other examples of humans using chakra to violate the natural order."

"Does that mean that you could do something like that as well?" Naruto asked curiously.

"No, while I am capable of many things, reaching into the afterlife is barred to me. I was created from a corrupt and demonic power. This makes my own chakra naturally destructive, but it also prevents me from using many of the abilities that humans are able to. With age I have managed to subdue the worst of the rage I inherited from the ten tails, but it is always there. Had we met when I was younger, I would have killed you for the slightest irritation."

"Well I'm glad I met you in your old age then." Naruto joked.

A dusky skinned foot lashed upwards to smack him in the back, knocking him off balance and making him fall on top of her.

"Enough stories, you have one other place to massage." Xanna whispered suggestively.

"It will be my pleasure." Naruto whispered back into her ear as he slipped inside her.

Hours later, when they were both spent and just laying together in bed, Xanna spoke again.

"As I have said, be wary of whoever contains Shukaku. He is the most unstable among us and is likely to have driven his host insane with his bloodthirsty raving."

"Is there any way for me to identify him?" Naruto asked.

"He has powers over sand, so his container is likely to have similar powers. Last that I saw of him, he was rampaging in the deserts to the west, so he has no doubt been sealed by the Hidden Sand."

Naruto's smile was hidden by the darkness. Now he knew for certain that he was making progress in carving out a place for himself in her heart. She wouldn't have warned him if she was still just testing him to see if he was worth her attention.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Naruto was looking at Lee getting his ass kicked with some confusion. They had just entered the academy building where the first phase of the Chunin exam was supposed to take place and were immediately forced to plow through a crowd. Fortunately Naruto's size had allowed him to more or less bulldoze through the crowd.

Seeing Lee get pushed around by a couple of Chunin as if he was a wimp was an odd sight, especially since they were doing it in front of room 201. For the life of him, Naruto couldn't figure out why everyone was trying to get into that room since the exam was supposed to be in room 301.

"If you can't even get passed us, then you might as well go home." One of the the Chunin said disdainfully.

"Real nice speech, now reverse the Genjutsu and let us through. I'm sure Sakura noticed it a mile away." Sasuke said, walking towards the the Chunin with his hands shoved into his pockets.

Genjutsu?

Naruto could have smacked himself when he realized that he was doing his Genjutsu immunity thing and hadn't even noticed. He had taken to keeping up the chakra condensing as much as possible for as long as possible in an effort to see if he could make it second nature and had gotten blindsided by his own ability.

I got confused by reality instead of a Genjutsu, oh the irony.

"So you noticed the illusion did you? Lets see you deal with this!" The Chunin with the bandage across his nose said and flew into a kick.

Sasuke reacted with a kick of his own, but before anything could connect, Lee caught both of their feet in one hand each.

"Finally done pretending to be a wimp Lee?" Naruto asked his sparring partner.

"Naruto, I am glad to see that you are participating in this most youthful exam!" Lee responded enthusiastically.

"You know this guy?" Sasuke asked, wanting to know more about the weird guy that was strong enough to block his kick so easily.

"We spar together when both of us have time." Naruto answered.

While this short conversation had been going on, Lee had stepped in front of Sakura and began talking with a small blush on his face.

"You are Sakura yes? My name is Rock Lee, please be my girlfriend, I vow to protect you with my life!" Lee said with a thumbs up, his teeth pinging.

Sakura was looking a bit ill at the thought of it. "Definitely...not."

"But why?" lee asked, appearing quite heartbroken.

"Because you're a weirdo."

This sent Lee into a depressive slump for a short while and Naruto found the whole thing hilarious. Though he was wondering just what the hell Lee saw in Sakura.

The short pissing contest between the Sasuke and Neji was equaly funny, mostly because both of them thought they were so badass.

Unknown to everyone Sasuke was struggling with a serious case of insecurity around his towering blond teammate and was trying to compensate by appearing as competent as possible.

Naruto had shown himself to be a more powerful shinobi on just about every occasion so far, which was a direct contradiction to his previous status as a dead last. He had bought some affinity paper as soon as they got back to the village and he had been pleased to find that he had a lightning affinity along with fire. Sasuke had spent the last two months learning several new techniques and polishing his Taijutsu in the hope that he could close the distance between himself and Naruto and reclaim his position as the stronger of the two. After all, if he couldn't even measure up to his teammate, then how was he ever going to beat Itachi?

Sakura urged them to just hand in their registrations before they ran out of time. She did this mostly to prevent a fight breaking out and to get away from Lee's eyebrows.

They didn't make it very far before Lee caught up to them with a challenge for Sasuke. Apparently Lee wanted to test himself against a genius, intent on proving that hard work was better than talent.

"There's no point in fighting him Lee, he wouldn't be any challenge for you." Naruto told the spandex wearing genin, leaning on the wall in a bored manner.

Sasuke started grinding his teeth in anger at being dismissed so easily by his teammate.

"But Naruto, I wish to fight him anyway, just to see how far my hard work has brought me in comparison to a genius." Lee insisted.

"Enough! I'll fight this freak." Sasuke burst out angrily.

Sakura looked on nervously. She had faith in Sasuke's strength, but it had been proven repeatedly that Naruto was stronger and the blond had said that Lee was his sparring partner.

The following beat down was highly amusing for Naruto, as Sasuke was completely unable to keep up with Lee's speed and even more hilarious was the fact that he hadn't even taken his weights off. He was actually pretty disappointed when Gai-sensei and his summoned turtle showed up. Well, watching Sakura and Sasuke freaking out during their first exposure to the sunset Genjutsu was pretty funny too.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

"You guys really need to calm down, you're attracting too much attention." Spoke a silver haired Genin.

All 3 rookie teams had just gathered together at the entrance of room 301 and had been creating quite a ruckus when this silver haired newcomer had intruded on the reunion.

"Who the hell are you?" Came the rude question from Ino.

"I'm Yakushi Kabuto and I just came to warn you that you're making targets of yourself, but I guess you can't help not knowing how things work in the Chunin exam, since you're rookies." Kabuto said good naturedly.

"So this isn't your first time taking this exam?" Sakura asked.

"No, actually this is my seventh time." Kabuto replied with some embarrassment.

"So does that mean that you're something of an expert on the Chunin exam?" Sakura asked, hoping to get some useful information out of the silver haired teenager.

"You could say that."

"Some expert, if he's failed seven times." Shikamaru grumbled.

"Well, I haven't been completely wasting my time, since I've collected quite a lot of information on my nin-info cards." Kabuto countered.

"Nin-info cards? What kind of information do you have?" Sakura asked.

"All sorts of things, such as which countries are participating and how many genin they sent." Kabuto said and activated the first card in his stack to demonstrate. "This year we have some pretty stiff competition. Konoha has the most teams in the exam, followed by Suna, Taki, Kusa, Ame and finally just the one team from Oto. It's not surprising that Otogakure sent only one team since they're a new hidden village."

"Do you have any information on individuals?" Sasuke asked, suddenly interested.

"Why yes, I do. If you tell me something about whoever you're interested in, then I can see if I have anything on them." Kabuto confirmed.

"Rock Lee of Konoha, Sabaku no Gaara of Suna and Uzumaki Naruto of Konoha." Sasuke stated.

"Trying to see if this guy is gonna know anything about me that you don't know already princess?" Naruto mocked.

"Stop calling me princess you asshole." Sasuke scowled.

"I'll stop calling you a princess when you stop pouting like one." Naruto retorted with a grin pulling at his lips.

"Don't insult Sasuke-kun like that dead last!" Ino yelled, making Sakura suddenly fear for her rival.

"You're lucky that we're in the middle of an exam, but if you call me dead last again I'm going to plant your head into a wall." Naruto coldly told the Yamanaka with his teeth bared.

Ino was about to throw another insult at him, but Shikamaru quickly stopped her. The lazy Nara had seen that Naruto was being dead serious and seeing as the older Genin was not wearing anything to conceal the powerful muscle on his body, he could easily believe that he was capable of it.

"Alright, I've got the cards you asked for." Kabuto said, calling attention to himself again.

"Rock Lee graduated the year before you, his teammates are Tenten and Hyuuga Neji, team leader is Maito Gai. He has completed 45 D-ranks and 23 C-ranks. His performance in the academy was pretty terrible, tied for dead last actually, but he's become very capable in the past year. His skill with Taijutsu is very high, but he doesn't know anything at all about Ninjutsu or Genjutsu."

"Next up, Sabaku no Gaara. Since he'd not from Konoha I don't know much about his skills, but I do know that his teammates are his older siblings Temari and Kankuro and their team leader is Baki. I don't know this for sure, but his team has supposedly been on a B-rank mission already and that he has returned from every mission without so much as a scratch."

Everyone was quite surprised to hear this, as Genin weren't supposed to be given B-rank missions and for a Genin to never get even scratched was remarkable.

"Have you been trolling for trouble with Suna Sasuke?" Naruto asked curiously, wondering why he'd want to know about this particular Genin.

"We ran into him the other day and he seemed pretty strong." Sakura informed.

"Alright, lastly, Uzumaki Naruto. Was the dead last in the academy for 4 years running, graduated the academy on his fifth try. He seemed to be a lost cause as a shinobi, but has been doing well for himself since he graduated. Not much is known about his abilities, but he presumably has high skill with Taijutsu as he was seen training with Rock Lee. Teammates are Uchiha Sasuke and Haruno Sakura, team leader is Hatake Kakashi the Copy Ninja. He has completed 30 D-ranks, 4 C-ranks and amazingly 1 A-rank."

This shocked everyone except for Team 7.

"How the hell did you guys get assigned an A-ranked mission?!" Kiba asked in shock.

"We didn't, the client lied about the ranking, it was supposed to be a C-rank." Naruto explained shortly.

"There have also been..ah...rumors about Uzumaki-san." Kabuto said in an embarrassed manner.

"Rumors?" Ino asked. She always liked to hear rumors.

Sakura and Sasuke suddenly looked very uncomfortable and wanted to be somewhere, anywhere else. Sasuke was already regretting asking about his blond teammate, as he hadn't learned anything new and now it looked like Team 7's most embarrassing secret was about to be revealed. Well, embarrassing for Sakura and Sasuke at least.

"Apparently, Uzumaki-san has something of a reputation for sleeping with female clients on missions. In fact most of his D-ranks seem to consist of poorly hidden excuses for female clients to sleep with him."

The assembled Genin had their jaws hanging in disbelief, but one look at the embarrassed Sasuke and Sakura confirmed it. Hinata was blushing furiously, with Ino only slightly less.

"What the hell man?! You mean while we've been chasing cats, painting fences and picking up garbage, Naruto has been having sex all over the place AND GETTING PAID FOR IT?!" Kiba burst out in a fit of jealous rage.

"Sounds about right." Naruto said with a grin.

"What the hell is so special about you that so many women would want to sleep with you anyway?!" Kiba continued ranting, still consumed with jealousy.

"To name just a few things: I'm an adult, blond, badass whose body doesn't look like a wet noodle, I don't smell like dog all the time and my dick is the size of your forearm." Naruto stated in a deadpan voice completely without shame.

Hinata's brain was cooking by this point, with Ino and Sakura not far behind, even the guys weren't able to contain their blushes at the blunt declaration.

"Oh yeah?! I ain't buying that for a second, so don't go making declarations like that unless you're willing to whip it out and prove it." Kiba raved, trying to somehow come out on top in this discussion despite his blushing face.

Wordlessly, Naruto's hands went to his pants and started taking them off, making Hinata pass out and everyone else achieved Hinata level blushes, heating the room up considerably. Before he could take the pants off though, Sakura got her wits together and started yelling at her blond teammate.

"Damnit Naruto, keep it in your pants! Don't you have any shame!?"

Naruto stopped trying to remove his pants and looked thoughtful for a second.

"Not really no."

"Quiet down you punks!" Came the voice of the scar faced man who was presumably in charge of the first phase of the exam.

At this point the team of Sound Genin realized that they had been so caught up in watching the spectacle that the Konoha rookies were putting on that they had missed their chance to take a swing at Kabuto.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

"Our youthful students should be taking the first part of the exam by now!" Gai said with enthusiasm.

"Huh? You say something Gai?" Kakashi responded dully.

"Gah! Curse you and your cool, hip ways Kakashi. At least your student Naruto is more youthful than you." The green beast said back.

Asuma and Kurenai just looked at this familiar scene with amusem*nt.

The four Jounin were lounging around, waiting for their respective Genin to finish the first test.

"How about we make a little friendly wager?" Asuma asked, interrupting Gai's ranting, making the other three Jounin look at him with interest.

"What kind of wager?" Kurenai asked curiously.

"A wager about which of our Genin teams will do the best in the exam." Asuma explained with a grin.

"A most youthful idea, I wager 500 ryo on my students." Gai eagerly agreed.

"I'll join in on that. 500 ryo on my team...well Naruto and Sasuke at least." Kakashi said lazily. Sakura had been improving lately, but she had been so far behind that if the other two weren't so strong, he would never have considered letting them participate in the exam.

"As expected from my eternal rival!"

"I'll put 500 ryo on my team, though I think only Shikamaru is going to make it to the finals." Asuma joined in with a bet of his own.

There was silence for a while before Asuma spoke up again. "Aren't you going to bet on your team Kurenai."

"I'd love to say that my team is going to do the best, but I can't honestly convince myself that they have any chance of beating Naruto." Kurenai said with a sigh.

"Wasn't he the dead last for several years now? Why wouldn't your team be able to beat him." Asuma asked skeptically.

Kakashi eye smiled, feeling very proud of his student. "Naruto is the type of guy that always has some surprises in store."

"Indeed, he has been a most youthful sparring partner for Lee." Gai agreed with a cheesy smile.

"If it was just that I would still bet on my team, but the problem is that he beat me in a spar." Kurenai revealed with resignation.

Asuma stared at her with a slack jawed expression. "How the hell did a Genin, a fresh one at that, beat you?" The eternal rivals also leaned in with interest.

"He came to me because he needed a Genjutsu specialist to help him with a Fuinjutsu project he has going on and asked me to teach him how to dispel Genjutsu. While I was teaching him this, he somehow managed to condense his chakra to the point that he became completely immune to Genjutsu. Since illusions were useless, I had to fight him with only Taijutsu and Ninjutsu and he was just too strong and too fast, I couldn't keep up. The worst part is that I think he could have used Fuinjutsu to end it even faster." The red eyed Jounin explained to them.

"Immune to Genjutsu? How the hell did he manage that?" Asuma asked in shock.

"I've discussed this with him and we've theorized that if a normal persons' chakra flows like water, his is more like thick mud. When he's actively condensing it it's more like wet concrete, meaning that it's just so dense that the chakra from the Genjutsu I try to cast on him can't flow properly, making him immune."

"But with that kind of chakra, how can he even use Ninjutsu?" The chain smoking Jounin asked in wonder.

"He can't really, at least not regular Ninjutsu. The only Ninjutsu that he can use are specialized ones like shadow clones and ones that he creates himself that only someone with chakra like his can use." Kakashi explained.

"The way you said that just now makes me think that he might actually know some Ninjutsu besides the shadow clone." Kurenai asked with narrowed eyes, wondering if the blond had actually been holding back during their spar.

Kakashi just eye smiled at the female Jounin, but didn't answer.

"Well, I'll bet 500 ryo anyway. I'd feel like a terrible teacher if I didn't have any faith in my team. I'm pretty sure that at least one of them will make it to the finals at least."

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Naruto stared at the questions on the written test in front of him. He couldn't even begin to understand a single damn one. If I knew this was going to be a written test I wouldn't have bothered to take off the resistance seals.

After the scarred man had introduced himself as Morino Ibiki, the proctor of the first phase of the exam, he had told them the rules for this test and left them to sweat over the ridiculously hard questions.

Naruto had been suspicious ever since he had heard that getting caught cheating would only cost them two points and now seeing the too hard test only solidified that impression.

We have to cheat.

Now the problem was how exactly he could cheat. He had no bloodlines that he could use to gather information and he didn't have any other tricks he could use either.

Getting caught cheating will result in a loss of two points.

As long as he only got caught cheating once, then it didn't matter how obvious he was, as long as he got all the answers in one try.

The blond scoped out the other Genin to see who seemed to be filling out the test with the most competence. Several people appeared to have caught on already and were busily writing answers onto their tests.

Who are they copying it from?

Naruto condensed his chakra and suddenly several of the 'Genin' looked older. Disguised Chunin, no doubt planted so that there was someone to cheat off of.

Naruto smirked to himself, planted his feet on the table and decided to take a short nap. He would wait for the planted Chunin to fill out the test and then make his move. He never noticed Hinata next to him looking over at him with curiosity. She would have been worried, but the big blond looked so utterly unconcerned that she could only deduce that he had a plan.

At the front of the classroom, Ibiki looked over at the blond as well. He had no idea what Uzumaki was playing at, but he looked cooler than an iceberg, all the stress that the others were under not even touching him.

At the 40 minute mark, Naruto's eyes opened and he stood up, catching the attention of everyone that saw him. Ibiki didn't say anything as the blond began moving towards one of the planted Chunin. The Chunin himself hadn't seen the blond move as Naruto had been sitting behind him.

A fist thundered into the Chunin without warning, knocking him out immediately. Naruto calmly took the test back to his seat, erased the name and replaced it with his own, leaving the entire room gaping at him.

"Not very subtle of you Uzumaki." Ibiki commented dryly.

"It's a good thing that I don't need to be subtle then, as long as I only do it once." Naruto countered.

"True enough." Ibiki agreed. "Just in case anyone has any ideas about repeating that stunt however, the next person to try that fails the test."

"Why the hell does he get away with it and we can't?!" A Genin in his late twenties burst out angrily.

"Because he had the stones to come up with it himself instead of just copying what someone else did. Now no more questions!" Ibiki barked.

Naruto went back to relaxing for the last few minutes before the time came for the final question.

"There's a special rule for the tenth question." Ibiki spoke ominously.

"Special rule?" Someone asked.

"You must choose whether to take the question or not."

"What happens if we don't take it?" Temari asked.

"Then you and your team immediately fail the test." Ibiki answered with a smirk

"What kind of stupid rule is that?! Of course we're gonna take the question then." Came the grumbles from the gathered Genin.

"The reason for the rule is, because if you get the question wrong, then you will never be allowed to participate in the Chunin exam again." The scarred proctor said with finality.

"That's bullsh*t, there are people here who have taken the exam before." Kiba burst out.

"Well then you're just unlucky, because this time I make the rules." Ibiki said with a sinister chuckle. "Now choose, those of you who don't want to take the question, raise your hands."

After several tense minutes, someone broke and raised his hand, apologizing to his teammates. This started a flood of people raising their hands and giving up.

Naruto kept his feet on the desk the entire time, completely unconcerned. He very much doubted that Ibiki had the authority to prevent Genin from ever again participating in the Chunin exam and even if he did by some miracle have that authority, Naruto didn't care what rank he was. He had already gotten access to all the Fuinjutsu knowledge that was open to the village and the rest of the things in the Chunin and Jounin sections of the library were more than likely of no interest to him, as he couldn't make use of most of it, due to his special situation with chakra.

It would in fact possibly be in his best interest to stay a Genin. That way he could keep gaining power without being bogged down by extra responsibility.

Ibiki looked over at the blond Uzumaki lounging with his feet propped on the desk with absolutely no concern. His unbreakable calm was bolstering the courage of those around him and keeping them from giving up.

"What about you Uzumaki? You won't be able to punch someone to get the answer to the last question."

Naruto opened his eyes and met the dark gaze of the scarred proctor.

"Then I'll kick someone instead."

Ibiki couldn't help but chuckle at the answer. "It's not gonna be that easy. Are you really going to risk staying a Genin for the rest of your career as a shinobi on the off chance that you can get around the rules like that again."

"I really don't give a damn what rank I am, so this attempt to scare me is pretty pointless. Besides, I don't believe for a second that you have the authority to keep someone a Genin forever, especially those who aren't even from Konoha. " Naruto replied airily.

Ibiki resisted the urge to frown. His attempt to psyche up the blond had backfired on him. Instead of making more people quit, it seemed that the Uzumaki's calm attitude had settled the nerves of the whole room.

I guess there's no use dragging it out any further then.

"Very well then. Everyone in this room...passes the first phase of the exam."

The expected pandemonium broke out, with indignant people demanding to know if the previous 9 questions were all pointless then. Everyone calmed down once they heard the explanation about how Chunin often had to make decisions without proper information and that those who didn't have the courage to even risk their rank wouldn't have the courage to risk their lives.

Ibiki had just covered up his extensively scarred head and given a short lecture on the importance of information when a black blur smashed through a window. The blur turned out to be a kunoichi wrapped in a banner, which she pinned to the wall with kunai by way of introduction and posed in front of it.

'Proctor of the second exam, the sexy and single Mitarashi Anko!' was written boldly on the banner, with the woman in question standing in front of it.

Anko certainly had an interesting fashion sense, dressed as she was in a tan overcoat that barely concealed her mesh armor covered breasts. The mesh extended to just above her knees. Her light purple hair was styled into a spiky pony tail and an orange mini skirt sat on her hips. Her feet were covered by black shinobi sandals and light grey shin guards. All in all, she was a very interesting woman to be sure.

Most of the Genin were gawking at her stupidly, still stunned by the spectacular entrance and several were staring due to her barely covered assets.

Naruto gave her a wolf whistle, making her look at him. A groan was heard from Sakura, but it was ignored.

"I give you a 9 out of 10 for the entrance. You get extra points for crashing through the window but your timing was off and your pose could use work." The blond commented with the air of a judge at a formal competition.

Anko had been intending to make a quick headcount and then get on Ibiki's case about being too soft...even if there had only been a few Genin left, but the muscly blond had quite successfully diverted attention to himself.

"And who exactly are you?...brat?" Anko asked with an infuriating smirk.

Naruto vanished from his seat and appeared in front of the newly arrived proctor in a burst of speed.

"Who are you calling a brat?...shorty." The blond said as he towered over the considerably smaller special Jounin. "And the name is Uzumaki Naruto."

Anko glared upwards at the taller shinobi, she hated being called short. She recognized the name though, this was the guy that Kurenai had been telling her about. Anko had been pretty surprised to hear that Kurenai had developed a romantic interest in anyone, let alone a Genin, but the red eyed Jounin had warned her not to take this one lightly and the speed with which he'd moved certainly gave credence to that.

The two of them continued glaring at each other for a tense few seconds until Naruto suddenly grinned his usualy sharp toothed grin.

"I like your style Anko." The blond said, deliberately using a familiar form of adress that most would consider incredibly rude to use with someone that they'd just met.

"Your style isn't so bad either Naruto." She replied with a grin of her own, irritation transformed into enjoyment. She never liked it when people were being overly polite when they talked to each other and it was refreshing to encounter someone who felt the same.

The fact that they liked each other's style may have something to do with the fact that it was the same style. They both wore open coats that left their chests bare. Granted, Anko wore a mesh shirt underneath, but it was just at the edge of indecent and Naruto was a man, so he could pull off the shirtless look somewhat easier.

A thought suddenly went through Anko's head.

What if Kurenai has the hots for me and transferred it to this guy because she's in denial about being a lesbian? He's like a male version of me!

"Kami damnit Naruto, we're in the middle of an exam, don't you think this is a bad time to be trying to get into another woman's panties?!" Came Sakura's desperate wail.

Both Naruto and Anko became aware of the fact that they had been utterly ignoring the rest of the room, most of which were gaping at them. The rookies from Konoha who hadn't had much exposure to Naruto since graduating from the academy were gaping at how brazen the blond was and suddenly felt a wave of pity for Sakura and Sasuke who had to deal with him all the time.

Ibiki was also looking rather annoyed at the two of them, but neither of them really cared. Anko frequently made certain to annoy Ibiki and Naruto wasn't the type to give a damn who he annoyed.

Naruto turned towards his pink haired teammate and looked at her with the air of someone who was about to reveal a great secret of existence.

"It's always a good time...to get into a hot woman's panties." He finished with a serene smile, sunlight pinging off his teeth in a manner eerily reminiscent of Maito Gai.

Rock Lee was reminded powerfully of his sensei and instinctively began to write down this pearl of wisdom in his ever present notebook, much to the horror of his teammates.

Several other people in the room were looking at the blond with tears streaming from their eyes and barely restraining sobs, looking as if they had just heard the voice of the prophet.

"But what if I'm not wearing any panties?" Anko asked with a wide grin, causing mass nose bleeds.

"Then I think that you just might be my third or fourth favorite woman in the world." Naruto answered with a similarly wide grin. He couldn't believe that he'd just found someone who was just as shameless as him.

"Third or fourth? You must know some interesting women blondie." The snake user commented, not at all offended at being third or fourth. Considering that they had met all of five minutes ago that was pretty damn high on the list.

"Oh they're definitely interesting all right." The blond said, thinking mostly of Xanna. Ayame was firmly in the number two position and Tsunami was still special to him, even though he vaguely hoped he never saw her again, for the sake of simplicity.

A loud and highly irritated throat clearing noise precluded any more banter.

"Weren't you going to tell them about the second part of the exam Anko?" Ibiki ground out through clenched teeth. It was just his luck that Anko had discovered a kindred spirit and he had to be there to see it.

"Oh right, meet me at training ground 44 tomorrow, ask your sensei for directions if you don't know where it is." The purplette said and jumped out the broken window.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

The gathered Genin were looking at the freakishly large forest that was marked as the 44th training ground with trepidation.

"Welcome to training ground 44, also called the Forest of Death." Anko said with relish, enjoying the scared looks that some of the Genin were sporting.

"This sure is a creepy place." Sakura said nervously.

"You will be able to experience why this place is called the Forest of Death." Anko continued with a smile.

Naruto scoffed at her, knowing that she was going to be annoyed by it and therefore provoked. He was right of course as a kunai whizzed at him. If left alone it would have cut his cheek open, but it was instead caught in his hand.

Anko suddenly appeared behind him with another kunai in her hand drifting towards his cheek.

"Tough guys like you tend to spill the most blood in there." She whispered hotly in his ear, cutting into his cheek with the kunai.

Only to be shocked when Naruto burst into smoke, revealing that it had been a shadow clone. The snake mistress suddenly found large hands grabbing her waist and a man's crotch grinding against her rear.

"Proctor-san, I have a medical condition that I need to tell you about." Naruto whispered in her ear, just as hotly as she had done mere seconds earlier.

"What is this medical condition of yours Genin?" Anko asked, playing along.

"Whenever a beautiful and bold woman throws deadly weapons at my head...I become incredibly aroused." Naruto explained his problem.

"Well that's some terrible luck you have Genin, because the second part of the exam will have many people throwing deadly weapons at your head and some of them are going to be women." Anko countered without sympathy.

"I'm not afraid of that, since most of the females in that forest are going to be too young for my taste, but there is this incredibly sexy proctor who's got my blood boiling and I'm having trouble restraining myself." Naruto growled suggestively, his hands wandering upwards.

Anko twisted out of his hold and slashed a thin line diagonally across his chest with the kunai she still had in her hand, from his abs up to his pectorals. The wound was long, but not very deep and didn't bleed much. Certainly not in any way debilitating, aside from a slight sting.

"We'll see about that if you do well in the exam Genin."

She was never going to tell anyone, but she had started feeling embarrasssed. Because she could feel his erection growing against her rear and because of the suggestive tone in his words. The way that he'd been rubbing against her left no doubt as to what he'd have liked to do to her.

All the other Genin present had been observing this with blushes burning on their faces. The Konoha rookies in particular were the worst off as they had actually sort of known Naruto and seeing the resigned irritation on the faces of Sakura and Sasuke couldn't help but feel another wave of pity for them. Clearly things like this weren't anything out of the ordinary and they couldn't imagine having to deal with someone like him all the time.

Other than their joint pity for Sakura and Sasuke there were several varying reactions among the rookies.

Kiba was jealous of Naruto's easy way with the ladies.

Shikamaru thought the whole thing was troublesome and it reaffirmed his opinion that blonds were the most troublesome.

Ino was soaking the whole thing up as if it was a soap opera.

Sakura and Sasuke were annoyed, irritated and resigned.

Chouji was eating his chips faster than normal in an effort to cope with his embarrassment.

Shino was uncharacteristically embarrassed and trying to understand the logic of it.

Hinata took the lions share of the embarrassment, but she was also envious of both Anko and Naruto and of how confident they were.

As Anko explained that they needed to sign consent forms because people would be dying inside the forest, Hinata decided that she would try overcome her shyness and embarrassment and try to do something. It was for this reason that she approached the big blond holding a small jar of her homemade healing cream. She was relieved that he was standing alone under a tree, as she didn't think she'd be able to do this if there were other people around.

"Um, N-Naruto-san, I..I have s-some c-cr-cream that can help w-with your w-wo-wound." She managed to stutter out.

Naruto looked at the shy Hyuuga in front of him. She was all but trembling from the effort it had taken her to approach and make the offer and she looked for all the world like an adorable little girl with that blush on her face. If it had been Ino or Sakura he would have brushed them off, but he'd feel like he kicked a puppy if he did that to Hinata. Besides, out of all the girls in the academy, she was the only one who hadn't been trying to get the attention of one boy or another, which was more than could be said for all the others. The wound would close by itself within the next three or four minutes even without treatment, but he decided to humor the pale eyed girl, as it had clearly taken her a lot of guts to do this.

"Alright, but you've got to call me 'nii-san' from now on." Of course, he was still Naruto, so he couldn't just accept something and leave it at that.

Hinata flushed with embarrassment again, but she actually liked that idea so this was all a plus for her. She nodded her head and held out the cream to him.

"Oh no, you're the medic here, so go ahead and apply the cream to the wound." The blond said, holding his coat open for her and sticking his chest out.

Hinata once again developed radioactive levels of embarrassment, but did her best to power through it. Scooping up a generous dollop of the cream, she brought it to his chest and started rubbing it across the wound, face flaming the entire time.

"T-There y-you go, um...ni-nii-san." The Hyuuga girl managed to stutter out, but she was in truth happy about the way things had gone. She had managed to get through the whole embarrassing ordeal without passing out and Naruto had told her to call him 'nii-san'. She had grown to admire the blond for his boldness ever since that day when he had come to ask Kurenai-sensei to help him with Genjutsu and this sense of closeness to him was comforting. He was the only older male figure in her life at the moment that didn't treat her as if she was a worthless irritation, so the fact that he had demanded to be called big brother, whatever his reason for it, was actually the best possible outcome as far as she was concerned.

Some distance away, Anko had nearly choked on her spit when she had heard the blond demand to be called big brother. She could already imagine that stuck up prick Hiashi having an aneurysm when he caught wind of this. Oh, it was going to be fun telling Kurenai about this little development.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Notes:

There goes chapter the sixth. I decided not to add Kirigakure to the exams in the end, as I couldn't quite justify sending the last survivor of a powerful clan like Haku into a potentially fatal situation, not to mention that Kirigakure would be too wrecked at this point to participate in the exams.

Either way do tell whether you liked or hated it. Reviews make the fanfic go around and all that.

Chapter 7

Notes:

DISCLAIMER: Don't own it.

Review responses:

NeroYagyuu: You give me too much credit. What if I told you that I'm more or less making this up as I go? But Anko is definitely too interesting a character to be ignored.

General info:

Due to a change in my work situation, my free time has been cut considerably, meaning that I will only be able to update once every 1-3 weeks instead of the usual 'less than 1 week' that I've had before.

As ever, I hope I haven't made too many spelling blunders that would spoil your enjoyment of my writing.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

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Naruto wasn't entirely sure what had come over him when he'd told Hinata to call him big brother. It had seemed like a good idea at the time...or at least a funny idea, but there way no denying that the girl definitely gave out 'little sister' vibes.

Naruto could plan his own training with exacting precision and execute that plan without fail, but when it came to other life decisions he tended to be rather impulsive. Case in point was the incident with Zabuza's sword. What kind of man told a hunter-nin of unknown ability to strip, get down on his or her knees and lick their ass? And contrary to what Haku had thought, Naruto hadn't known her gender when he'd said that, he had just really wanted to use that insult on someone. He was in fact intending to use it again, because he felt cheated due to the fact that Haku's mask had prevented him from seeing the expression on her face.

But there would be time for figuring out his own impulses later, right now they needed to find a team of unlucky bastards that were going to donate an earth scroll to Team 7. They had already heard some screaming in the distance, meaning that some poor bastard had already gotten hurt or killed. Their own heaven scroll was safely sealed in Naruto's coat.

Before they could even decide on a direction to go in, Naruto saw a strange blotch of color in the trees that had no business being there. The blond quickly thought up a plan to capture the unlucky idiot who thought that going after them alone seemed like a good idea. The small clearing was all but perfect, so there was no need to find a better spot.

"Stay here guys, I need to take a piss." Naruto told his teammates and headed for the bushes.

Sasuke and Sakura were confused by this. Naruto had never before displayed any concern or shame about relieving himself right in front of them before. Sakura's protests about doing that in front of a lady only made him ask where she saw any ladies and if they were hot. Not that they weren't grateful that the blond was for once displaying some basic courtesy, but it was seriously inconsistent.

Before they could question it any further, Naruto came walking out of the bushes.

"Alright lets go Sasuke, Sakura."

Sasuke's eyes widened in realization and he flew towards Naruto with his leg extended in a kick. Naruto was hit directly in the chest and went flying.

"What's the big idea Sasuke?" Naruto demanded with a scowl.

"What are you doing Sasuke-kun?" Sakura asked somewhat frantically, not wanting her teammates to fight amongst each other in the middle of this creepy forest.

"Naruto rarely calls us by name and he would have been more than able to block that kick." Sasuke explained with a scowl.

"Hey, you're right!" Sakura exclaimed in realization. Their blond teammate usually called them by the rather unflattering nicknames of princess and pinky or whatever else struck him as funny at the time and it was true that Naruto would never have gotten hit by an attack like that.

The impostor cancelled the transformation, revealing himself to be a Genin from the Hidden Rain, wearing a strange off yellow wet suit and a rebreather.

"Unlucky, now I have to use force." He said to himself, seeing that he had screwed up the impersonation.

He charged at Sasuke, intending to disable him and demand the scroll, but the Uchiha jumped into the air and began making hand seals immediately.

"Katon: Hōsenka no Jutsu(Fire Release: Phoenix Fire Technique)!"

The volley of fireballs shot towards the other Genin, but he was quick enough to dodge them. Unfortunately for him, he looked back at the Uchiha and never saw the blond coming towards him until he was held in a chokehold.

"Unlucky. Didn't I tie you up?" The Rain Genin asked with resignation, knowing that there was no way for him to escape this one.

"I untied myself." Was the dry response from the blond.

"So you knew that he was going to do this?" Sasuke asked with a scowl.

The Uchiha was angry about this, because Naruto had been one step ahead of him yet again.

Meanwhile, Sakura was feeling pretty bad about herself, because she had been useless yet again. In fact she hadn't done anything particularly useful since they'd been assigned to the same team and it was a pretty depressing to think that Naruto's harsh words all those months ago after their bell test had been true.

"Sure did, I'm not sure which idiot thought that yellow was a good cooler to use when hiding in a forest." Naruto explained. "Now lets see if this weirdo has a scroll on him."

"Lucky, I don't." The idiot in question responded.

"What if I decide to beat the location of your teammates out of you?" The blond asked pleasantly.

"Lucky, we split up and decided to meet up near the tower in a few days, I don't know where they are."

"What if I decide to kill you because your way of talking annoys me?" Naruto questioned further, still pleasantly

"Unlucky."

"You're damn right it's unlucky, but lucky for you, I'm not in the habit of killing helpless idiots unless they're rapists or murderers. You're not one of those are you?"

"Lucky, no." There was notable relief in the voice of the strange Genin.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

After knocking out the odd Rain Genin with a luck obsession, Team 7 made their way further into the forest, intent on finally making some kind of plan and getting the required earth scroll when they were yet again interrupted.

The interruption this time however was much more severe. None of them sensed anything about it or had any warning as a sudden powerful gust of wind struck them. Naruto got the worst of it, due to the fact that he was right in the middle, unlike Sasuke and Sakura who were at the very edges of the technique. Fortunately he was also the most sturdy of the three of them, so he managed to root himself to the ground with chakra and wasn't blown away very far.

"What was that?" Sakura asked fearfully.

"A powerful wind Ninjutsu." Naruto told her, looking around warily for their unseen attacker. He was deeply unnerved that he couldn't detect the slightest hint of a threat anywhere nearby, even though he knew it was there.

"My fire will be able to overpower him in that case." Sasuke stated confidently. He had read up on elemental strengths and weaknesses and knew that fire was strong against wind. He had been severely irritated to discover that Naruto's wind was stronger than lightning and his water stronger than fire, but had been mollified by the fact that the blond couldn't actually use Ninjutsu.

"Don't be too sure of yourself princess, that wind technique just now was a lot more powerful than anything I've ever seen you use. It was probably strong enough to turn your fire back against you, elemental weakness or not." Naruto cautioned. He was not liking this situation in the slightest.

"You should listen to your teammate Sasuke-kun." A darkly amused voice said from above, making them look towards the figure that had appeared there just now.

It seemed to be a kunoichi in the standard outfit of the Hidden Grass, beige robe and wide brimmed hat, though the purple rope belt was something of an oddity. She had a distinctly creepy expression on her face however and all three members of Team 7 were getting bad vibes from her.

Sasuke and Naruto nodded shortly to each other and attacked in unison without saying another word. They didn't like working together despite being on the same team for several months already, but they could see that the enemy in front of them needed to be taken seriously. They disregarded Sakura as a combatant, because they were both of the opinion that she was nowhere near ready to take on someone as potentially dangerous as this Grass kunoichi.

Their wariness turned out to be well founded as the enemy seemed more amused by their attacks than anything else, easily keeping up with both of them, despite Sasuke using his two tomoe Sharingan and Naruto's considerable speed and strength. Naruto soon found himself facing off against the kunoichi alone, as Sasuke was kicked away.

The disguised Orochimaru was somewhat intrigued by the Kyuubi Jinchuuriki fighting him. All reports had told him that the boy was an utter failure as a shinobi and yet he seemed to be quite strong and fast, even if it wasn't nearly enough to keep up with him. Though if speed and strength was all the the blond had, then the Snake Sannin was going to be quite disappointed. He was in fact wondering if the blond was going to start using any of the Kyuubi's power soon.

Naruto's thoughts were going in a different direction. By now he had ascertained that whoever this was, they were the most dangerous enemy he had ever fought, even more so than Kakashi. Every attack was dodged with a boneless fluidity that couldn't be entirely human and it was only a matter of time before a counter attack came. The blond knew that he would have to do something to surprise the mysterious kunoichi, or else he would never come close to landing a hit. He had never been more glad that he kept all of his abilities secret for as long as possible, as that would likely be their only saving grace right now.

Orochimaru himself had just about grown bored of dodging the relentless attacks of the tall blond and was about to get rid of him so that he could focus on Sasuke. He didn't dare kill the blond for fear of inciting the wrath of Akatsuki, not to mention that he wanted the Uchiha to progress to the finals. The Snake Sannin might be one of the most powerful shinobi in the Elemental Nations, but he wasn't fool enough to think that he could stand against that many S-rank shinobi alone, especially since some of them were stronger than him individually.

He had already dismissed the blond as a loser who relied entirely on his speed and strength to overpower weaker opponents when Naruto shocked him.

The blond had been able to see that the strange kunoichi was taking him even less seriously then before and chose that moment to strike. After another dodged punch, Naruto swiftly extended a chain with a bladed tip from his forearm, which was the closest point to his opponent.

Orochimaru was too close to dodge and he had never expected such an attack, which is why the chain punched right through his upper abdomen and pinned him to a tree.

Sasuke, who had picked himself up just in time to see this, and Sakura who had been watching the whole thing with fearful hope that her teammates could beat this new enemy, were both silently relieved that it was over. Sasuke didn't want to admit it, but that Grass kunoichi had really scared him.

The relief turned to disgust and horror as they saw the a new enemy crawl out of the mouth of the Grass kunoichi. The man that had shown up in such a monstrous manner was very pale, with slitted yellow serpentine eyes and he looked very angry.

Orochimaru was indeed very angry. He had dismissed the Kyuubi Jinchuuriki too quickly and payed the price for it, even being forced to use his skin shedding technique to save his life. He would have loved to mark the blond with a cursed seal and take that chakra chain ability for his own, but it couldn't be placed on a Jinchuuriki, which meant that he would just have to leave it be. He was still going to get back at the blond for injuring him though.

The Snake Sannin sped towards the blond and landed a series of powerful hits on him that Naruto simply couldn't defend against. The last attack was a kick directly to the chest that sent the blond flying. Before he could land on the ground or against a tree however, a giant snake that Orochimaru had summoned earlier rushed out of the woods and caught the blonde in its mouth, not even slowing down as it swallowed him and sped off into the forest.

Orochimaru turned to the shocked looking Sasuke and Sakura with a sinister smile. "Well Sasuke-kun, lets see if you can do as well as your teammate."

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Naruto was feeling an inordinate amount of disgust. He wasn't normally one to be overly bothered if he wasn't squeaky clean, but being covered in the digestive fluids of a snake was a bit much. He could feel that the oversized serpent was moving at great speed and knew that he had to get out of the damn thing.

The problem was that his chains couldn't find any purchase on the insides of reptile. Everything just seemed to slip off the slick insides without doing the slightest bit of damage. He couldn't even tell which direction the mouth was. He couldn't use the Rasenyari either, because his hands were pressed too close to his body and he couldn't get enough room. He was actually starting to wonder if he would ever get to use that particular move. It was a lethal attack and so far the only fight that might have warranted it had been against Zabuza and even that had turned out fairly peaceful. He hadn't attempted to use it on that creepy grass kunoichi because if he couldn't hit her with his fists, then he wouldn't be able to land the Rasenyari either.

Left with no choice, Naruto started creating shadow clones like crazy, making the entire experience even more claustrophobic, but eventually the snake ran out of room in its gut and burst open.

Once all the clones had dispersed, Naruto stood on the grass covered ground, covered in snake guts and other unpleasant things. A quick storage scroll unseal over his head left him drenched in water, but at least most of the gunk was gone. His clothes had seals on them to repel liquids of all sorts, not enough to do much, but enough to keep the clothes dry in any and all situations, for which he was very thankful right now. A quick application of chakra to his hair left him looking like an angry porcupine for a short while, but at least the blond mane was dry, though smelling of snake guts and looking less than clean.

With all of that done, Naruto knew that he had to find his teammates and fast. He remembered the face of the snake using shinobi now that he had time to think about it. Orochimaru of the Sannin was quite the infamous figure after all and it wasn't that hard to find a picture of him or a short description of his abilities.

Naruto took a long look around the patch of forest he was in and gave voice to his thoughts.

"Where the f*ck am I?"

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

The next morning, Naruto was still looking for his teammates and he was not in anything close to resembling a good mood. He was tired, cranky and he just wanted to collect his two idiot teammates and get some sleep in the tower.

He had encountered a team of older Konoha Genin, who had donated their earth scroll, so that little concern was taken care of. He hadn't been particularly interested in fighting them at the time, but the three of them had come upon the idea that this exam was a great time to kill 'the Kyuubi'. Naruto had long since resolved to treat people the way they treated him, which in this case meant that Konoha was down three Genin. He remembered those three as one of those who had taken part in a beating many years ago and Naruto wasn't feeling very forgiving right then.

His luck finally seemed to have improved somewhat as he caught sight of Sakura, Sasuke and a whole gaggle of other Genin engaged in some sort of scuffle.

Well, at the moment only Sasuke was doing any engaging, by way of dislocating the arms of a Genin with the musical note symbol of the Hidden Sound, though he was looking very odd with the black flame like markings spread over his skin. The smile on his face didn't look altogether stable either.

Sakura was looking less than healthy and had apparently decided to give herself an impromptu haircut. Lee seemed to be down for the count as well. Team 10 was lurking in the nearby bushes, looking rather scared and Lee's teammates were just observing the whole thing from a tree branch.

"What the hell have you two been up to?" Naruto questioned, pulling attention to himself.

"Naruto! You're alive!" Sakura exclaimed in relief. She had honestly thought that the blond was a goner after being eaten by that snake.

Any further conversation was cut off by the fact that Sasuke had caught sight of the blond as well.

Sasuke felt like he could take on the world, so drunk was he on the power that the cursed seal gave him. Catching sight of the blond that had shown him up at every turn, he wanted nothing more than to beat his teammate into the ground and prove to himself, once and for all, that he was the stronger. It didn't matter to him right then that they were teammates or that there were enemies around. Dropping the crippled Zaku, he charged towards Naruto with an enraged yell, not even hearing Sakura yelling out his name and pleading with him to stop.

Naruto could see that something was badly wrong with the Uchiha, but that could be dealt with later.

Though Sasuke was moving a lot faster than Naruto had ever seen him move, it still wasn't as fast as the blond was capable off, not to mention that he was so enraged that he was moving in a very straight line.

Naruto charged towards his teammate in the same predictable manner, but dodged around him at the last second, grabbing the back of his shirt and slamming him into the ground, sending Sasuke back to unconsciousness from which he had just awoken. Sasuke had of course seen this move with his Sharingan, but he hadn't been fast enough to react to it.

With the situation pacified, Naruto turned towards the three Sound Genin, who had taken his short scuffle with Sasuke as an opportunity to regroup.

"What did you little bitches do to my underlings?" He asked menacingly.

The sound team was absolutely petrified of the blond, who had taken his curse sealed teammate down as if he was an academy student. They already knew that they were no match for a Sasuke empowered by their masters' cursed seal, so they were under no illusions of being able to match up against this new threat, especially with Zaku's dislocated arms. This all meant that it was time to do some groveling and bribery and then hope that the muscle bound blond wasn't interested in chasing them down.

"We're sorry, please take our scroll and spare us." Dosu said, setting their heaven scroll on the ground and then hauling ass out of there, his teammates right behind him.

Sakura was so relieved that it was over and that Naruto was back that she couldn't even bring herself to protest about being called an underling.

Team 10 had taken the whole thing in with a sense of shock. Shikamaru had known that the blond was stronger than his status as dead last would make people think, but he hadn't expected him to be able to take down Sasuke that easily, especially with that weird dark chakra that Sasuke had been using.

While everyone was gawking at him, Naruto had pulled aside Sasuke's shirt and was taking a look at the markings that he had on his neck, as he had seen the flame markings recede back towards it. Narrowing his eyes at what was to him obviously a seal of some sort, he turned towards Sakura to ask a question.

"Sakura, how did he get this mark placed on him?"

"Oh, um...that creepy ninja bit him and it appeared. He introduced himself as Orochimaru. Do you know what it is?" Sakura told him and asked in concern.

"It's a seal of some sort, though it's pretty sloppy Fuinjutsu work from what I can see. If he really applied it with a bite then there's probably more to it than just Fuinjutsu though. Judging by what I saw of the effects earlier, I'd say that it's some kind of cursed seal." Naruto said, though mostly to himself after the first sentence.

His mentioning of a cursed seal and his apparent knowledge on the subject had drawn Neji's attention immediately, but the fate obsessed Hyuuga didn't say a word.

"Well, no use getting worked up over it now, I'll take a closer look at it at the tower. I'm sick of this damn forest already."

"But we still need an earth scroll, it's just our luck that these guys had another heaven scroll." Sakura bemoaned from her place on the ground. The kunai that Zaku had thrown at her had left her too injured to be of any kind of use and Sasuke was out cold as well. She wasn't even sure if she could walk properly since one of the kunai had hit her in the leg.

"It's a good thing that I ran into a team of idiots who had an earth scroll while I was looking for you guys then." Naruto remarked.

Sakura could only sigh in relief at hearing this, never more glad to have Naruto on her team. The blond might be abrasive, oversexed and exasperating in many ways, but there was no denying that he got things done.

"Looks like you finally grew some backbone Sakura, good for you." The blond remarked offhandedly, but Sakura smiled anyway. That he had even called her by name instead of some derogatory nickname told her that he wasn't dismissing her efforts, even if she hadn't achieved much. She knew Naruto's way of thinking well enough by now to understand that he respected courage even if there wasn't any power backing it up.

Not wasting anymore time, Naruto created shadow clones to carry Sasuke and Sakura.

"Hey, what are you doing?" Sakura protested.

"You're injured and I'm not in the mood to waste time anymore, so you'll just have to pretend to be a sack of potatoes until we get to the tower." Naruto said as he started moving.

Team 10 exchanged looks and quickly snatched the forgotten heaven scroll that the sound team left, which just so happened to be the one they needed and ran off after Naruto. They were under no illusions about the strength of their team and sticking close to the apparently very strong blond seemed like a great idea right about now.

"Hey Naruto, wait up! Let us go with you!" Ino called out as they ran after him.

Neji and Tenten had by then recovered the unconscious Lee and left to find some shelter until their teammate woke up. Team 10 had lucked out in the fact that they didn't need a heaven scroll, so there was no point in taking the one left by the sound team. Neji had considered attacking Naruto for the earth scroll, but even he wasn't confident enough in his ability to take on the blond and Team 10, who he suspected would back him up, at the same time. Not to mention that Tenten would probably protest such an action.

Several minutes later, Sakura commented on something she had noticed while playing passenger on Naruto's shoulder.

"Naruto, why does your hair smell so gross?"

"I was eaten by a giant snake, did you expect it to smell like sunshine and daisies?" Naruto asked back sarcastically.

The silent Team 10 exchanged incredulous looks and wondered just what the hell Team 7 had gotten into in the relatively short time that they'd been in the forest.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

It was the third evening of the second part of the exam and Naruto was bored. They had arrived at the tower the previous day, without encountering any further difficulty, but this meant that they had to wait until the full five days were up. Which was why Naruto was currently sitting on a balcony, leaning against a wall, at the top of the tower, just enjoying the wind that blew at that height. Not like there was much else to do at the tower, especially since that sexy proctor Anko wasn't around to play with.

Kakashi had showed up and sealed Sasuke's new hickey with the Evil Sealing Method, which had been somewhat interesting to see. Naruto knew how to do that particular seal himself, but hadn't thought it would be particularly useful. Apparently though it was the best that Konoha knew how to do in regards to Orochimaru's cursed seal. He was considering the merits of figuring out a better countermeasure or even a way to remove it. Cursed seals were tricky business to remove, which was why Naruto was so interested in them.

His musings were interrupted when he heard the sound of another person coming up to his perch. Soon it was revealed to be the shy form of Hyuuga Hinata.

"O-Oh, u-um...I d-didn't know a-anyone was h-here, I'll leave." She stuttered out and turned to leave, not wanting to be a bother.

"None of that now, get over here and sit down next to your big brother." The blond told her.

Hinata developed a blush but did as she was told and sat down next to him, maintaining a polite distance.

Naruto wasn't a big fan of any type of politeness, which included polite distance, so he hooked an arm around her and drew her closer, making her give out an 'eep' and advance her blush to the next level.

"So, what brings my cute little sister all the way up here?" He asked casually, still keeping his arm around her. Naruto figured that if he had told her to call him big brother on an impulse, then he might as well act like one.

Hinata couldn't help but feel embarrassed by the closeness and physical contact, but it also felt wonderful. Except for Kurenai-sensei, nobody had hugged her in a long time. She didn't even remember getting any kind of comforting physical contact from her father. Which was why being held like this by the much bigger blond felt like she was being protected from the world, like she could hide in his coat and the world would leave her alone.

She didn't know the blond too well, but he had always been nice, if not all that polite. He had seen her train and had approved instead of frowned down at her, he didn't care if she wasn't a prodigy as long as she worked hard, which made it easy for her to like him. She had been surprised when he had told her to call him big brother, but if he was willing to treat her like a little sister, then that was perfectly alright with her.

"Um, I-I'm wo-worried nii-san." She confessed. Hinata knew him well enough from the times he had come around to work with Kurenai that he wouldn't scold her for feeling worried.

"What about?"

"I'm worried that we'll have to f-fight each other." Hinata congratulated herself for almost getting that sentence out without a stutter.

"We'll definitely have to fight, since the third phase of the exam is always a tournament, but you're worried about fighting someone in particular aren't you?" Naruto guessed.

"Y-Yes, my cousin, Neji." She confirmed.

"Oh, that asshole. Why are you afraid of him?" The blond asked. He knew that Neji was an ass, but didn't know why his own cousin would be so afraid of him.

"Neji nii-san h-hates me. He blames me for his father dying." Hinata said quietly.

Naruto frowned in confusion, unable to come up with any logical reason as to why Hinata would be to blame for that. "Why?"

The shy girl explained to him the kidnapping attempt by Kumogakure and the political fallout that had eventually resulted in the death of Hyuuga Hizashi.

"Now that's just stupid, you were three years old, did he expect you to fight off a Jounin or something?" Naruto scoffed.

"It's not that, Neji hates all of the main house." Hinata protested, her stutter having subsided now that she was more used to the situation.

"But he takes it out on you because he knows you won't retaliate."

Hinata just lowered her head sadly, since she couldn't argue with that. Neji knew that she hated the caged bird seal and would never use it, so he felt safe in lashing out at her. Her father allowed it to happen because he wanted her to stand up to him, but she never did, making her even more of a disappointment in his eyes. She knew that her father was just waiting for her to use the caged bird seal to remind Neji of his place, but she would never do that. The caged bird seal represented everything that she hated about the Hyuuga and she would die before she used it.

Naruto's arm lifted away from her and for a moment she was afraid that he was disappointed in her too, but then his fingers started playing with her hair. She flushed happily at the pleasant contact, but tried to keep her focus on his words.

"So why won't you retaliate?"

"The only way I could do that was by using the caged bird seal, and I would never use that."

Naruto was quiet for a few minutes after that, just playing with her hair. Hinata had to struggle not to fall asleep while he was doing this.

"You're actually pretty ashamed of your clan aren't you?" Naruto asked with certainty.

It seemed fairly obvious to Naruto after putting together everything that he knew about Hinata and her clan. The girl walked around without any real confidence or pride, doing everything possible to remain in the background as if she expected everyone to dislike her on sight. That was more than just the disapproval of her father would cause.

"N-No! I..." Hinata protested instinctively, before remembering that this wasn't her father or the clan elders. "...yes." She finished with a whisper.

She was terribly ashamed of it. The main house felt so proud of themselves just for being the main house while the branch house had to suffer a bitter slavery. Having spoken to the clan elders before and seeing the arrogance that all but oozed out of them, Hinata didn't believe for a second that the purpose of the caged bid seal was to protect the Byakugan. If that were the case then everyone in the clan would have a seal on them, not to mention that there were ways to get around that seal if someone was determined enough to get their hands on the Byakugan. A branch house Hyuuga would suffice for breeding purposes the same as a main house one after all, and the caged bird seal didn't have an infinite range. No matter how they claimed to be the strongest and most noble clan in Konoha, Hinata could never see the main house as anything but monsters and she was ashamed to be one of them.

Even the branch house held themselves with a pride that she had always felt was undeserved by the entirety of the Hyuuga. Worse than the pride though was the festering resentment that she could see was seething beneath the surface of the branch house members, or at least those who weren't as good at hiding their emotions. Most of the branch house members were perfectly well aware that they were slaves in all but name and it was creating an unstable boiling pot that was only held in check by the threat of the cursed seal branded on the foreheads of the branch house. On one hand, all Hyuuga were taught to always be proud, but then that pride was trembled on by the knowledge that they had to obey every command of the main house under pain of death. Hinata feared that if the caged bird seal was ever removed at this point, it would result in a slaughter of the main house by the far more numerous branch house.

Despite her fears though, Hinata couldn't help but feel that the main house would deserve it, she just hoped that if it did happen, little Hanabi wouldn't be hurt.

She confessed all of these thoughts to Naruto, hoping to get his opinion or advice on the subject.

"You're probably right, if the caged bird seal was removed right now, it would likely end with a massacre."

"Do you think there is any way to stop it?" She asked hopefully.

"Only if something can be done to calm the branch house down before removing the seal. Even if the seal stays on it's possible that a revolt might happen, you can only step on people so long before they lash out after all."

"But how could we do that?" Hinata asked in distress. Naruto didn't comment on the 'we', even though he didn't have any particular interest in helping the Hyuuga with their issues.

"No idea, but I do know that the Hyuuga would need to get over themselves before any kind of change can happen." Naruto stated.

"What do you mean?"

"The whole clan has a serious problem with their pride, They strut around as if their pride and dignity makes them invulnerable. Before anything can change, they need to figure out that pride isn't armor, it's not even a strength. They're so proud that they refuse to learn anything except the Gentle Fist, willingly weakening themselves in some idiotic desire to prove that their own fighting style is superior to everything else."

Hinata was quiet as she absorbed this and silently agreed with the blond. She had never understood why it was frowned upon to learn anything other than the traditional Gentle Fist, but the way that Naruto explained it made sense.

"Anyway, we've gotten seriously off topic. You said you were afraid of your cousin?" Naruto abruptly got the conversation back to it's original purpose.

"Yes, if I have to fight him, I know that he's going to do his best to humiliate me, maybe even kill me." Hinata said despondently. Despite everything, she still loved her cousin and it hurt her that he had become so hateful towards her.

"If you end up fighting him, then just do your best and be proud of yourself for it. Your best is all that you can give after all and nobody has any right to ask more from you, especially not people who have never supported you. I know that Neji has more raw talent and training with the Gentle Fist than you do, but you have nothing to be ashamed of even if you lose and don't let anyone tell you different. Who knows, things in your family might improve you don't let it bring you down so much and focus on improving yourself instead. Remember that Kurenai-sensei and your teammates are there for you."

Hinata was silent for a moment before she hazarded another nervous question, blush returning in full force. "Um, wh-what about y-you nii-san?"

The blond just grinned at her good naturedly and answered. "Of course I'm there for my cute little sister. Tell you what Hinata, if you do your best in the exam, I'll even help you out with your training."

Hinata gave a blushing smile and promised herself to do the best she could, even if she ended up facing Neji. She wanted to do her team and her newly acquired big brother figure proud. The shy Hyuuga was infinitely glad that she had approached him before the start of the second phase. His supporting words did a lot to calm her fears and his promise of help with her training was something that she was terribly curious about.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

The next evening, Naruto was once again sitting on the balcony. Hinata had come by already, wanting to spend some more time with him, but had gone off to bed soon after, due to the fact that the second phase ended tomorrow and she wanted to be well rested.

Anko still hadn't come around, making him come to the conclusion that she was probably only going to arrive once the second phase was over if even that. Naruto was quite honestly a bit disappointed about that. Anko was quite the character and he was sure that they would get along famously. He had plans on seeking her out afterwards one way or another, just to mess with her if nothing else.

Suddenly he became aware of another presence near him.

Looking to the side revealed it to be a red headed Sand Genin with a large gourd made of what appeared to be sand standing nearby. The redhead turned towards him and Naruto saw two teal colored eyes with thick black rings around them, he wasn't sure what to make of the kanji for 'love' that seemed to be carved into his forehead, just above his left eye. If Naruto were to judge by the dark rings around his eyes and the not entirely sane look on the boy's face, combined with the gourd, then he would have to guess that this was the Ichibi Jinchuuriki that Xanna had warned him about.

He had seen this particular Genin during the first phase, but hadn't paid overmuch attention to him at the time. He wanted to find out more about him, but he didn't want to somehow provoke him into a fight. Since he wasn't being attacked, Naruto figured it was safe enough to start a conversation.

"Nice night isn't it?"

The redhead just stared at him without answering, but Naruto wouldn't be deterred so easily.

"I'm Uzumaki Naruto, who might you be?"

The redhead continued to stare, but when Naruto didn't look away he finally answered. "Sabaku no Gaara."

"Nice meeting you Gaara." The blond said with a smile. Despite Xanna's warning, the Ichibi Jinchuuriki didn't seem to be too bad.

"I look forward to killing you and proving my existence."

Maybe I was a bit too optimistic?

"How would killing me prove your existence?" Naruto asked with a golden eyebrow raised, genuinely curious.

"My village put a monster in me, trying to turn me into a weapon and now I can't even sleep. I was deemed a failed experiment and assassins were sent after me, but I killed them first. Killing them proves that I exist, that I won't be erased. As long as I keep killing, I will exist and mother will be happy."

Naruto frowned at hearing that little speech. For one thing, it appeared that Gaara did not have an easy time of it in Sunagakure. For another, it looked like he was referring to Shukaku as 'mother', which didn't make any sense at all. That part about being unable to sleep would also explain why the boy was looking so unstable.

Naruto also got a chilling view at what he might have become if Xanna had decided to do something different. As a child he had been massively dependent on her for his mental stability, if she had decided that she wanted him to be crazy, then he would have been.

"Did Shukaku tell you that?"

Gaara's eyes snapped to him sharply, surprise clear on his face. "How do you know about Shukaku?" He all but growled.

"You could say that we're brothers of a sort Gaara. You had the Ichibi sealed in you and I had the Kyuubi." Naruto revealed. He wasn't exactly lying, since he did have Xanna sealed in him, she just wasn't there anymore.

Gaara's eyes widened in surprise before a strange smile made it's way onto his face. "Then you know what it's like, you know that it makes sense to only love yourself and live only for yourself."

Naruto sighed, as he expected that his next words would likely not be to the redheads liking.

"I know what it's like for people to want nothing to do with you because of that and I know what it's like for people to try and kill you for it, but i don't love only myself or live only for myself."

Gaara looked confused and was starting to get agitated, so Naruto continued talking.

"I've found people who accept me and love me and I'll do anything to keep them safe. Kyuubi is also a lot more reasonable than Shukaku appears to be and has done a lot to help me. A lot of what I do is because of my love for her."

Gaara clutched at his head when he heard this, mumbling what sounded like placating words to 'mother'. Either way, this little episode made Naruto think that the seal holding Shukaku was dangerously weak, if the sand demon could so easily invade his consciousness.

"Then you are weak! Loving others is a weakness and I will prove it to you by feeding your blood to mother!" Gaara stated. He knew that he couldn't do it right now, but when the invasion began, he would get plenty of opportunity to crush both this blond and that Uchiha.

Naruto ignored the death threat and gave Gaara a proposal that he felt would go a long way towards stabilizing the redhead, if Naruto could manage it. "You know Gaara, I'm pretty good with Fuinjutsu, if you want, I could take a look at your seal and see if I could make it better, maybe even allow you to sleep."

It would also allow him an opportunity to see if there were any strange oddities in the seal that were causing such odd behavior in Shukaku.

Gaara was now looking at him with a conflicted expression. If Naruto had to guess, then the redheaded boy was desperate to be able to get some sleep, but didn't trust him enough to meddle with his seal out of fear of being killed or something. Gaara seemed like the type who didn't trust easily.

This was confirmed when Gaara vanished in a sand style body flicker without giving an answer.

Naruto wasn't put out by this. That had honestly gone better than expected and at worst, Gaara would be gunning for him in an effort to 'prove his existence'. He wasn't entirely sure if he would be able to fix Gaara's seal, but it was worth a try.

With his mind on Jinchuuriki seals, Naruto slapped himself in the forehead. He could have been inspecting his own seal for years now, but had more or less forgotten about it. Since it was empty, things couldn't go horribly wrong if he tinkered with it. If he could learn how the Reaper Death Seal functioned, then he would surely be able to fix up Gaara's seal and do who knows what else with the knowledge gained from the most complex of Jinchuuriki seals.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

All of the Genin who had made it through the Forest of Death were waiting in the combat arena inside the tower. Kabuto and his team had been the last to make it through, a bedraggled and worn out looking team of sound Genin not far ahead of them. The Hokage, along with all of the Jounin-sensei's of the teams who had made it this far, plus Anko and another proctor had met them there.

The sickly looking proctor, Gekko Hayate, had just informed them of the need for preliminaries. There had been a few protests, but nothing too bad, since most of the contestants were actually rested. The perpetually coughing man had also explained the rules, which basically amounted to 'anything goes until I say stop'

Kabuto had decided to give up due to lack of chakra, giving Naruto a good idea as to why the silver haired teenager never got promoted.

They were now all waiting to see which two fighters would be chosen by the randomized electronic board.

Uchiha Sasuke vs. Akado Yoroi

Sasuke smirked at his opponent, fully confident that he could easily defeat the much older Genin, who he concluded must be a wimp if he was still a Genin at his age.

Naruto had tossed a grin at Anko, who had moved to stand next to Kurenai and her team after the Hokage finished with his speech on the purpose of the Chunin Exam, making the woman grin right back. He realized that the two women must be friends, which he found somewhat surprising considering how very different the two of them were. He found it hard to imagine the reserved and proper Kurenai being friends with the free spirited Anko, but it must work somehow.

All of the Konoha rookies, with the addition of Team Gai were in fact standing together, though Neji looked rather constipated at having to stand next to his cousin. Hinata herself seemed to be doing her level best to not let Neji's obvious dislike of her affect her, keeping in mind her conversation with Naruto.

When everyone except the two fighters had left the arena, Hayate announced the start of the match.

Sasuke immediately leapt backwards, wanting to get some space from his opponent to learn what kind of fighting style he had, while Yoroi just stood there, looking rather co*cky.

When Yoroi just kept on waiting, Sasuke lost patience and decided to go on the offensive, foregoing his Sharingan for now. The Uchiha survivor was pretty fast for a Genin, but not fast enough that Yoroi couldn't keep up with him, and Sasuke quickly found himself in a grapple. Normally this wouldn't be a huge problem, but Sasuke immediately felt his chakra being drained with alarming speed.

The younger combatant managed to get away before it was too late, but he had still lost a large amount of chakra, considering the short amount of time that he had been held.

"There's no way you can beat me Uchiha, if you can't even approach me." Yoroi couldn't help gloating.

Sasuke glowered at his opponent and activated his Sharingan before charging into close range again. With his Sharingan active, Yoroi's movements became blindingly obvious and Sasuke had no trouble avoiding another grapple, delivering a kick to his opponents side, sending him skidding away.

"If that's your only trick then this is going to be a short fight." Sasuke mocked his opponent with a superior smirk.

Yoroi growled before charging at Sasuke again, wanting to wipe the smirk off the Uchiha's face. Sasuke was easily able to predict and counter all of his moves thanks to the Sharingan and Yoroi once again found himself kicked away.

Bored with playing around, Sasuke charged at Yoroi and quickly executed his partially copied version of Lee's Front Lotus, which Lee had attempted to use on him during their scuffle prior to the first phase of the exam, finishing it with his self invented Shishi Rendan(Lion Combo). Yoroi was such a weakling that he didn't even merit having a Ninjutsu used on him..

"Winner, Uchiha Sasuke!" Hayate announced, seeing that Yoroi was out cold.

Sasuke made his way back towards the observer platform where his team was standing, missing the slight frowns on the faces of Lee and Gai.

They both clearly recognized the move he had used, but weren't overly annoyed at the Uchiha for having copied it partially. After all, you couldn't copy how to open the eight gates, so the fact that Sasuke had copied the first part of the technique wasn't really an issue, it just irked them that it wasn't done through hard work.

Everyone once more turned towards the board, waiting to see who would fight next.

Aburame Shino vs. Abumi Zaku

Despite his damaged arms, Zaku seemed fairly confident that he could win, even though he claimed to have only one usable arm. Shino played on this and sent his insects to attack the sound Genin from behind, forcing Zaku to reveal that both of his arms were in fact usable, but it was useless, as the insects had plugged up his airholes, causing Zaku's arms to explode from the build up of chakra and air pressure, likely crippling him for life.

Sabaku no Kankuro vs. Tsurugi Misumi

Both of Kabuto's teammates were apparently cursed with a severe case of arrogant overconfidence, as Misumi was also utterly certain that he would win.

He thoughtlessly used his extendable, almost rubbery body to wrap his limbs around Kankuro, threatening to break his neck if he didn't surrender. The fact that Kankuro goaded him into doing it really should have clued him in on the fact that something was wrong, but he didn't pick up on it, which is why he ended up mangled inside Kankuro's puppet, Karasu.

Inuzuka Kiba vs. Sabaku no Gaara

Kiba gulped and looked to be incredibly unwilling to join Gaara in the arena, the sand Genin having already used a body flicker to get there. He remembered all too well what he had seen in the forest, remembered how Gaara had gleefully crushed those poor bastards that had run into him.

He was seriously considering forfeiting right away, due to the fact that he had no idea how to get past the sand shield that he had seen Gaara use. Akamaru was also doing his level best to hide in his hood, clearly of the opinion that discretion was the better part of valor in this case.

"Go on Kiba, just do your best." Kurenai urged, not truly understanding why her usually brash student was hesitating.

Kiba looked conflicted at the urging of his sensei and was about to head down to the arena and just hope he could forfeit before he died if things got out of hand, when he felt a large hand land on his shoulder, stopping him.

Turning to look revealed the hand to belong to Naruto, who was even now leaning towards Kurenai's ear and whispering something. If not for the seriousness of the situation, Naruto's reputation would have Kiba thinking that the blond was saying something dirty, he certainly wouldn't put it past him.

Kiba strained his ears to hear what the blond was whispering and could just barely make it out, despite his enhanced senses.

"Gaara is the Ichibi Jinchuuriki and he isn't mentally stable, if Kiba fights him, he will die."

Kiba had no idea what an Ichibi Jinchuuriki was, but the way that his sensei paled didn't inspire him with confidence. The absolute certainty in Naruto's tone didn't sound good either. No matter how much it stung his pride to hear it, he wasn't liking his chances either.

"Will Inuzuka Kiba make his way to the arena?" The proctor called out.

"Forfeit the match Kiba, you're not ready for him." Kurenai said to him urgently in a complete reversal of her previous words.

"Proctor, I forfeit the match." Kiba said back, fighting down the feeling of shame from just giving up. Had it been anyone else, he would have fought, but Gaara scared the crap out of him and he didn't want to die in a meaningless battle like this. Whatever an Ichibi Jinchuuriki was, it had to be bad if it caused his sensei to react like that.

Gaara looked disgruntled and gave Kiba a look that told him just how much he wanted to crush him into paste, making the Inuzuka swallow nervously. He gave the same look to Naruto for depriving him of his chance at killing someone.

Kurenai herself was highly thankful that Naruto had warned her about Gaara. If she had known just who and what Gaara was, she would have seriously reconsidered even entering her team into this exam. They might have improved a great deal, but they were nowhere near ready to fight a Jinchuuriki with a decent grasp on the powers of the Bijuu sealed inside them. Considering their particular specialties, they might never be ready.

It wasn't that she had any prejudice against Jinchuuriki themselves, but sending a fresh Genin against a mentally unsound Jinchuuriki is asking for a bloodbath.

Rock Lee vs. Uzumaki Naruto

"Yosh! It is my turn at last! And against such a youthful opponent!" Lee exclaimed enthusiastically, excited at fighting his frequent sparring partner seriously. It would have been great to fight against someone new to test his flames of youth, but a serious battle against Naruto was also an exciting prospect.

Naruto grinned, just as excited at the prospect. They had always sparred with their respective handicaps on before, since it was meant as training, but this time it would be a real fight.

Naruto took his coat off, leaving him shirtless and causing a few blushes among the females and a particularly loud wolf whistle from Anko. The woman even used her proximity as an excuse cop a feel.

"Take care of my coat little sister." Naruto said to Hinata and draped his coat over her shoulders without waiting for her to respond, causing her to blush.

"Ok nii-san." The Hyuuga girl said shyly.

Everyone looked at the two of them in surprise, not having the slightest clue as to where the sudden familiarity came from. Kurenai especially was surprised, but also secretly pleased about it. If there was anyone from whom Hinata could learn learn some confidence from, then it would be Naruto.

"Lee, Naruto, show everyone how brightly your youth burns!" Gai exclaimed with equal excitement as the two jumped down into the arena.

If he was honest with himself, Gai would have loved to have Naruto as his student. The blond Uzumaki was built like a steel wall and would have been perfect for learning the Gouken style Taijutsu that he and Lee practiced.

While everyone who wasn't used to the antics of the two green beasts were giving them strange looks, Lee and Naruto had gotten ready.

"Begin!" The proctor called out and retreated.

The two combatants just stared at each other for a while, before Naruto spoke.

"Before we start Lee, I want you to take your weights off."

"But Naruto, Gai-sensei told me to never remove them unless I am protecting a precious person." Lee protested.

"Well I'm not going to fight you seriously if you keep disrespecting me like that." Naruto retorted with a scowl.

"But I have great respect for you Naruto, you are most youthful!" Lee asserted with some distress.

"Well then take your weights off and fight me for real."

Lee was looking conflicted and looked towards his sensei for advice, but Naruto spoke to him again before he could open his mouth.

"Don't look at Gai-sensei, in a real battle, you won't be able to ask him for advice." The blond told him firmly.

Lee's face hardened in determination, knowing that this was true. In a real fight, he would have to use his own judgement. So he decided to remove his weights and give Naruto the fight that he wanted.

Throwing the heavy weights into a corner so that they wouldn't be in the way, he got into the Gouken opening stance, missing the looks of shock as people stared at the cracks and craters made when the weights landed.

"I am afraid that you will be unable to match my speed if I am not wearing weights Naruto." Lee said confidently.

"You think that you're the only who trains with a handicap?" Naruto asked rhetorically, reaching for a spot on his chest, just above where the Reaper Death Seal was located.

Fingers glowing with chakra, Naruto pressed them into the hidden seal he had placed there, lighting it up and then twisted as if opening a lock. All across his body, lines of Fuinjutsu script lit up, looking like chains winding around his chest, arms and legs, though the latter was hidden by his pants. As soon as they lit up, the script receded back into the central seal on his chest.

"What is that?" Lee asked with open wonderment.

"My resistance seals. They inhibit my every move and I do everything with them on. I eat, sleep, shower and have sex with them on, making every moment of every day a workout."

"YOSH! What a youthful training method!" Lee all but screamed, though he had a small blush on his face due to Naruto mentioning having sex with the resistance seals on.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

"Gai, just how much weight do you have your student carrying around?" Kurenai asked incredulously.

"As much as his youth allows him to carry!" Was the proud response, making everyone sweatdrop at the typically Gai answer.

When Naruto released the resistance seals, everyone was quite surprised, not having expected it in the least. Kurenai in particular was put off by it, because she wasn't sure if Naruto had won their spar with those seals on or not. If he had, then maybe she needed to consider putting more effort into physical conditioning. She wasn't sure if her pride could survive losing against a Genin who willingly handicapped himself to this extent, even if he did negate her ability to use Genjutsu.

"Did you arrange for those seals that Naruto is using Kakashi?" Gai asked, knowing that the one eyed Jounin had some ability with seals.

"I didn't even know he had them on, Naruto's ability with seals has already surpassed mine I'm afraid." Kakashi confessed.

"With neither one of them able to use Ninjutsu, this is going to be more or less a Taijutsu fight." Asuma commented.

"Naruto does have some Ninjutsu, but he looks more excited at the prospect of a straight on Taijutsu match." Kakashi countered.

The gathered Genin were silent as they listened to the conversation between their sensei's. Most of them were quite interested in this fight. Teams 7 and 10 were the most curious, as they knew that Naruto was a lot stronger than most gave him credit for.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Both Naruto and Lee shook out and stretched their limbs to get used to being unrestricted again, neither concerned about sneak attacks. There was a silent agreement that this was going to be a straight up martial arts fight rather than a real shinobi battle.

"Let us explode with YOUTH!" Lee shouted as a way of signaling his readiness.

"Yes Lee, show me your determination. Lets talk like men, with our fists in the language of bruised flesh, spilled blood and broken bone." Naruto replied, an excited, fanged grin splitting his face.

With nothing more to be said, the two combatants flew at each other, one with his precise Gouken and the other without any particular style at all, just raw combat experience.

Lee immediately became aware that Naruto held physical superiority and that he would need to be very careful of it. This was unusual for him, as he was used to being stronger and faster than his opponents, even if they were older. But when he tried to block a punch from the blond it felt as if he'd blocked a steel bar.

In short, Naruto was faster, stronger, had more reach and his body was more durable. His only true advantage was that the blond didn't use any particular martial arts, relying instead on his reflexes and instincts. Had this fight happened before they begun sparring together, he was sure the he could win without issue, but now Naruto could anticipate his moves due to sheer experience and the blond's own moves were much less sloppy than they had been.

Both combatants sped across the arena, never staying still, throwing a furious barrage of punches and kicks at each other. Lee did his best to evade the blond rather than block him and he begun to notice that his friend was starting to look angry, which confused him.

Their battle continued for several minutes longer, Naruto taking far more hits than Lee, who was very carefully striking only at openings where he could get a hit in without getting hit back. The stalemate was broken when Naruto suddenly roared furiously and charged towards Lee with even greater speed than before, taking the younger Green Beast by surprise.

He still managed to avoid taking any serious damage aside from a bruise on his face, but now he was hard pressed to stay out of the blond's reach. Naruto had started attacking like a man possesses, ignoring blows that would have previously staggered him. Lee also noticed that his veins were bulging and his face was locked into a furious snarl, teeth bared and he could hear the growl in his breathing.

If Lee didn't know better than he would say that Naruto had opened the first gate, but if he had done that, then he would be faster and stronger than this, which left him at a loss as to what was happening. He was also confused by the fact that, no matter how enraged the blond looked, his Taijutsu technique hadn't gotten noticeably more sloppy, which is what Gai-sensei had always told him would happen if he got angry in a fight.

Wanting to get some space, Lee used one of Naruto's punches as an opportunity to vault over the blond, kicking him in the back of the head as he went, creating some distance from them.

He was given no respite however as he watched in shock when Naruto slammed his foot into the ground with a roar, gouging out huge chunk of the solid stone floor. The chunk of floor slid out of its place as if it had been scooped out with a spoon, flying a short distance into the air under the force of the leg stomp. Before it could fall back down, Naruto kicked it towards Lee, creating an improvised projectile.

Having no time to dodge, Lee was forced to infuse his fist with as much chakra as he was able and obliterated the stone chunk. His fist stung something awful after doing it, but nothing was broken fortunately. Chakra reinforcement was an amazing thing.

His short moment of triumph was broken however when he felt a much larger hand clamp on his outstretched fist like an iron manacle. He tried to bring his other hand to bear, but it was caught in another iron hard grip.

In that moment Lee realized that the rock projectile had been a distraction. Now Naruto had him at close range, where he could make full use of all his advantages and Lee couldn't get away.

Naruto didn't hesitate to press his advantage, holding Lee's arms and slamming his legs into the smaller Genin with shattering force. Lee tried to retaliate, but his legs were a good deal shorter and the Uzumaki kept his arms fully extended to make certain that he couldn't do any significant damage.

Lee had only taken a few hits but he could already feel the damage done to his body. He knew that if he didn't get out of the blond's grip, then he wasn't going to last long. He decided to gamble on a desperate escape move, which would cost him the fight if it failed.

Jumping over the leg that had been about to smash into him, Lee tucked his knees close to his chest and slammed both knees into his opponents chin, continuing the turn and feeling his shoulders burn from being turned around so much. Fortunately luck was on his side, as Naruto reflexively released his hands, which was the only thing that prevented him from having his arms dislocated.

He immediately tried to go on the attack, as Naruto had staggered back due to getting hit in the chin so hard and was off balance. The blond however, turned all the way around quickly, making his long pony tail fly through the air and channeled chakra into it.

Lee jumped back hurriedly, pressing his hand to the cuts on his chest where Naruto's suddenly razor sharp hair had cut him. He was also sure that his ribs were at least cracked from the kicks that he'd taken while his hands were trapped.

Not that Naruto wasn't damaged, as the blond had taken a lot more hits, but as far as Lee could tell, he wasn't overly bothered by it. Clearly, it was time to take it up to the next level.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

"What the hell?!" Kiba spluttered out at seeing the speed at which the two of them moved. "Weren't these two tied for dead last? Is there something about being dead last that makes people insanely strong and fast?"

He wasn't the only one that was shocked, as all of the rookies could barely believe their eyes. Naruto and Lee had long been dismissed as losers and yet here they were, moving with a speed that they couldn't even keep up with. Sasuke was using his Sharingan to keep track of the fight and copy Lee's Taijutsu while he was at it, but he scowled angrily when he realized that it was mostly useless to him without ridiculously intense physical conditioning.

"This is the result of hard work and youth!" Gai claimed with a proud smile.

When Naruto started looking enraged, they all expected him to swiftly lose due to one mistake or another, but were surprised when it didn't happen.

"Neji, can you take a look at Naruto's chakra?" Gai asked with uncommon seriousness.

Neji activated his Byakugan, Hinata doing the same out of curiosity and both took a look at what was going on with the blond's chakra.

"His chakra is flowing throughout his body wildly, much faster than anything I've ever seen." Neji said with some confusion. He had no idea what this meant. "Whenever he takes a hit, his chakra surges to that spot and it seems to heal him near instantly. It's using up a lot of chakra though, most Jounin would already be dead from chakra exhaustion if they used up that much."

Neji's explanation left even the Jounin there shocked, while Gai also had a glint of understanding in his eyes.

The senior Green Beast kept observing the fight intensely, noting that Naruto was fully in control of his own rage, using it to stimulate his body and chakra without allowing it to make him reckless.

He had heard of this, though it had been very rare even before the creation of the Hidden Villages and was now long since extinct. A state of being where fighters would enter a controlled rage, becoming near unstoppable for a short while, but at the cost of leaving themselves exhausted and vulnerable if they failed to defeat their enemy quickly. Though Gai supposed that with Naruto's insane chakra capacity, it wasn't quite as much of an issue.

"...listening to me? Gai? GAI?!" Kakashi raised his voice, finally penetrating Gai's thoughts.

"Huh? You say something Kakashi?" The Green Beast asked and everyone who heard it suddenly felt as if the natural order had been violated.

Blinking in shock at having his own gag used against him, the cyclopean Jounin decided to pretend it never happened and instead asked his question again.

"I asked if you knew what Naruto was doing."

Gai explained his thoughts, leaving everyone wondering just where the blond had learned to do that.

Was it from the Kyuubi?

All of the Jounin were wondering about that particular question, but none of them had ever sensed even a hint of the demon's chakra leaking from Naruto, so they reasoned that it was unlikely.

"Looks like he's got him now." Anko said with a grin when Naruto caught Lee's hands. She had to admit that using the floor as a weapon like that was truly inspired and damned impressive too.

The Genin were still staring stupidly at the fact that Naruto was apparently strong enough to do something that insane, most of them feeling rather physically inadequate when they compared themselves to the two lunatics fighting below.

Kurenai at least was comforted by the fact that Naruto wasn't moving noticeably faster than he had during their spar, which meant that he had fought her with his resistance seals off.

"Do not discount my student quite yet, he still has one last card to play." Gai said with a smile of pride for how well both were doing. Naruto might not be his student, but both were hardworking and if there was one thing that Gai respected, then it was hard work.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

"Omote Renge(Front Lotus)!"

Naruto slammed into the ground hard enough to crater it, making most of the spectators wince in sympathy. Lee had smashed the blond into the ground back first instead of head first like he might have usually done, since he didn't want to kill his friend.

Everyone expected the blond to stay down after that, as it wasn't really something that you can just walk away from, which is why they were terribly shocked when he got up.

"Sure enough, that really hurt." He said with a pained chuckle, circulating massive amounts of chakra to his back to repair the damage as soon as possible.

"How are you still able to stand after that?!" Lee asked in shock. Who the hell gets up after getting slammed into a solid stone floor by the use of a Kinjutsu? Lee was perfectly well aware that his muscles were now messed up and if Naruto was still able to fight at anything near the same level as before, then he would need to open more of the gates.

"You've got your own dream Lee and I've got mine. If I ever want to reach it, then I can't let myself be stopped by something like that." Naruto stated with conviction, making Lee almost burst into tears at how very similar they were.

"My regenerative healing factor also helps."

"Healing factor?!" Was heard from several people who were observing the fight.

Naruto just turned around and showed everyone his back, where a few cuts from the impact with the floor were steaming and closing rapidly.

"I've probably wasted more chakra on healing myself from that move of yours than the old man up there is capable of using, but pretty soon I'll be back to full health." Naruto explained, gesturing towards Sarutobi to indicate which old man he was talking about.

Lee knew at that moment that time was against him. Naruto had obscene amounts of chakra and if he allowed the fight to drag on, then he would lose just because of that.

"Kyūmon: Kai (Gate of Healing: Open)!"

"Oh sh*t." Naruto said to himself. There was no way he was going to come out of this the winner if that was as bad as it sounded, not to mention that Lee was starting to glow with the power he was releasing.

"Seimon: Kai (Gate of Rest: Open)!"

"Uzumaki Hijutsu: Tetsu no Nikutai (Uzumaki Secret Art: Body of Iron)!" As soon as he used the technique, Naruto felt his muscle strain and bulge to their very limit, his chakra hardening just beneath the skin and reinforcing all the muscle and bone, even creating protection for his organs.

Naruto hadn't actually thought that this would turn out to be a useful move, considering the fact that he couldn't move while using it. It had seemed so damned promising when he'd first tried it out, only to discover that he was slower than molasses while he was using it. Considering the fact that Lee had been far faster than him even when using the Front Lotus though, the lack of movement probably wasn't going to be an issue anymore. At the very least he was glad that all that time he'd spent working this one out wasn't going to be a complete waste. As a final touch, he sent chains from the bottom of his feet to snake into the ground and keep him firmly rooted. Naruto didn't much want to be sent flying back into the air after just getting back on his feet.

His technique finished, Naruto positioned his arms along his sides so that Lee couldn't strike him in a spot where his insides weren't protected by his now steel hard bones and prepared himself for what he knew was coming.

"Shōmon: Kai (Gate of Pain: Open)!"

"Tomon: Kai(Gate of Limit: Open)!"

Lee had at first only intended to open three gates so that he would be able to use the Reverse Lotus, but after hearing Naruto call out that technique, he'd decided that he needed to go all out. Not wanting to waste even a second of his already limited time.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

All the spectators watched in mute silence as Lee furiously assaulted the stationary Uzumaki at speeds that they had never imagined were even possible. Throughout the attack, Naruto just stood still, not budging an inch.

"Why isn't he moving?" Sakura asked in worry.

"He can't." Hinata said quietly, Byakugan active and clutching at Naruto's coat worriedly.

"What do you mean he can't?" Kiba asked.

"He has condensed his chakra so much that he can't even move, but it is also acting as a shield." Neji answered, momentarily forgetting his animosity towards his cousin due to having all of his focus on the fight.

"So he cannot retaliate or dodge, he can only endure." Shino commented stoically, reminding everyone that he was still there. He'd been so quiet that they had almost forgotten about him.

"Those two sure are troublesome." Shikamaru muttered, making Asuma smirk at his student.

"If he's using his chakra as a shield, then he'll get out of this just fine." Sakura said confidently, knowing that Naruto had absurdly powerful chakra and Kakashi had previously explained how Lee's moves strained his body. All Naruto had to do was hang on for a bit longer.

"Don't be too sure about that, the Eight Gates are nothing to scoff at." Kakashi warned. "Take a closer look at Naruto."

Everyone heeded his words and did so.

He had his teeth clenched tightly and though it couldn't be heard over the noise that Lee was making with his relentless attack, they thought that the blond was letting out a grunt with every hit that Lee was making.

Lee was moving faster than any of them could see, smashing his fists and feet into Naruto with superhuman force from all directions. They all leaned forward reflexively when a spurt of red suddenly erupted from Naruto's mouth, through his teeth and running down his chin.

Lee eventually ran out of steam and was left panting on the ground, his muscles so damaged that he couldn't move to save his life.

Some distance away, Naruto finally released his technique, collapsed to one knee and puked out a considerable mass of blood, making several of the Genin blanch in disgust, most of them girls.

Both combatants were looking as if they were about one good hit away from curling up and dying somewhere, so nobody could quite believe their eyes when Naruto managed to stagger up to his feet and give a grin, his bloodied teeth making it look even more disturbing than usual.

"Looks like I win Lee." He panted out.

"It appears so Naruto." Lee answered. He wasn't truly upset about losing to Naruto. Both of them had been pushed to the limits of their physical ability and there was nothing else to do. Lee knew that Naruto was much like him and the fight had been truly exhilarating, even if both of them had ended up near paralyzed from pain.

Naruto's healing factor however was working overtime to get him combat ready again, using up chakra like a black hole, which meant that Naruto still had a little bit left in the tank, while Lee had nothing.

Even now everyone could see the blond's body becoming one giant purple bruise. The bruises quickly starting fading, though Naruto felt more exhausted than he had felt in ages.

"Winner, Uzumaki Naruto!" The proctor called out when he saw the Lee wasn't getting back up.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

While Sarutobi was lamenting the headaches that he just knew the council was going to cause him over all of the abilities that Naruto had revealed in this fight, the blond himself had made it up to the observation platform. Gai had gone with Lee, whom had been taken away by the medics.

"How are you feeling Naruto?" Sakura asked with some worry. They might not be very close, but he was still her teammate and he had set her straight about what it meant to be a kunoichi.

Naruto looked towards the pinkette and decided that it was a good time to continue screwing with her head.

"Horny." He said this by aiming a leer at Anko and Kurenai, the former grinning back with a small blush and the latter going very red faced. Fortunately he had managed to get most of the blood off his teeth by now, though there was still quite a bit of it on the rest of his body.

"Idiot, don't go announcing something like that so proudly... AND STOP LOOKING AT KURENAI-SENSEI LIKE THAT!" Ino started with a lecture and then went into a shriek.

This of course just drew more attention to the embarrassed Jounin, making her blush even harder.

Ignored by everyone, Asuma was looking a bit disgruntled, as he had developed an interest in the beautiful red eyed Jounin recently.

"What, you jealous?" Naruto taunted with a smirk, making his fellow blond splutter incoherently. "Don't worry Ino, it's not your fault that Anko and Kurenai are sexier than you, that's just the way the cookie crumbles." He continued, unable to help himself.

"Thanks for taking such good care of my coat Hinata, you're a real sweetie." He told the shy girl as he took his coat from her, making another girl blush.

"Ah, no problem nii-san." She said back quietly, secretly very pleased with the compliment and gentle teasing.

Standing away from everyone, Sasuke was grinding his teeth in jealousy. He couldn't have defeated Lee and Naruto hadn't even used his chakra chains to do it, which were arguably his greatest weapon. He had thought that the Sharingan would let him finally catch up to his teammate, but it wasn't enough. Even empowered by the cursed seal he'd been defeated and that was sealed now in any case. It seemed as if the gap between them was getting bigger instead of smaller no matter what he did and it was driving him crazy.

The following matches weren't anywhere near as exciting as the one between Lee and Naruto, so people wound down considerably.

Sakura faced off against Ino and both did their best, which would have been admirable if it hadn't been so sad. Aside from an fairly clever trap that Ino laid with her hair, it was all academy level tricks. Though it did at least prove that Sakura had been working hard to catch up, as Ino had been ahead of her considerably in the combat department when they graduated.

Tenten got the short end of the stick when she was matched up against Temari and was swiftly defeated, due to Temari's wind perfectly negating her weapon expertise. Naruto hadn't been too fond of the dick move Temari pulled by letting Tenten crash on her fan like that though.

Poor, shy little Hinata had her fears realized when she was matched up with Neji, but she kept her conversation with Naruto in mind and refused to back down. Despite being disadvantaged the entire time, she refused to do the easy thing and give up, wanting to make her team and newly acquired big brother figure proud. To her secret delight she even managed to land a few hits on her cousin, which was a first, though she was swiftly defeated afterwards. The approving smile on Naruto's face meant more to her than the pain she was in or the fact that she was going to be spending some time in the hospital due to internal injuries.

The forever lazy Shikamaru complained about having to fight Tsuchi Kin, because girls were troublesome. When he finally dragged his feet into the arena he fairly quickly outsmarted the girl and knocked her out.

Chouji finally got his turn, but looked like he wanted to forfeit rather than fight against Kinuta Dosu, remembering him from the forest. A promise of barbeque got him going, but Dosu eventually figured out that he could beat the Akimichi by transmitting his sound waves through the water in Chouji's body.

With all of the matches finished, the winners picked numbers in order to decide who would fight who in the finals.

Naruto sent an eager grin towards Neji, more than happy with the opportunity to beat the fate out of his head.

Gaara stared almost hungrily at Sasuke and Kakashi made a note to teach him the Chidori(Thousand Birds), since Naruto had already told him that Gaara used sand, being the Ichibi Jinchuuriki and all. If nothing else, it should allow Sasuke to survive that match. He wasn't sure if Sasuke could actually win, but survival at least should be possible.

Shikamaru sighed despondently at having to fight another troublesome woman, this one blond, while the woman in question smirked at him.

Shino, Kankuro and Dosu didn't react at all.

Naruto was particularly pleased at hearing that they had a whole month until the finals. That would allow him to work on a lot of things, only one of them actually having anything to do with his match against Neji. Naruto was actually pretty sure that he could beat Neji as he was right now, but he really wanted to finish a particular technique so that he could try it against a Hyuuga. He'd been planning to ask Hinata to help him test it out, but this was even better.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

OMAKE: The corruption of Hinata.

In a slightly alternate universe.

Uzumaki Naruto vs. Sabaku no Temari

"Begin!" Hayate announced.

"Are you ready for this...little girl?" Naruto asked ominously, pointing a finger threateningly towards the quadruple ponytailed blond girl, the other hand clenched in a fist at his waist, as if ready to throw a punch.

Temari refused to be intimidated by her hulking opponent in the creepy black coat. She knew that if she let him get into close range, it was all going to be over, but if she kept him at a distance, then she could win.

"Alright! Lets get this started!" Naruto began, making Temari tense. "Hinata, Give me her body measurements!" He continued assertively, turning towards Hinata, his coat flapping open on the hand that wasn't pointing at Temari.

Everyone's thought processes ground to to a halt in shock and confusion when they heard this.

"You got it nii-sama!" Hinata stated confidently, causing even more shock. Naruto had spent a good deal of time talking to her and she had come to understand that her big brother knew what life was all about. She had absolutely no problem doing anything he wanted.

"Nii-sama?!" Several voices asked in shock, Kurenai the loudest among them. What the hell had Naruto been telling the poor girl?

"Byakugan!"

Everyone realized that Hinata was actually intending to do as Naruto told her and could do nothing but stare with their jaws hanging as the Hyuuga heiress began talking as if she was reading a list.

Temari herself placed her hands over her breasts and groin as if it would protect her. She had been informed about the abilities of the Byakugan and had feared that it was used as the ultimate peeping tool by perverted Hyuuga, but she had never expected it from the shy looking girl.

"Sabaku no Temari, height, 5 feet 3 inches. 32 inch bust, 30 inch waist, 33 inch thighs."

"ALRIGHT! Now that I know that, victory is MINE!" Naruto exclaimed, his coat lowered down to his elbows and flaring wildly around him as he aimed a pelvic thrust at the sky.

"Kami damnit Naruto, that makes no sense!" Sakura shouted down in protest.

Hinata however hadn't finished yet and continued speaking after everyone had stopped talking for a second.

"She's wearing white cotton underwear with a flower print, daisies to be specific." The corrupted Hyuuga revealed shamelessly, feeling no pity for her fellow female. If nii-sama wanted to know, she would even tell him Kurenai-sensei's measurements.

"WHAT WAS THAT?!" Naruto roared, practically snorting steam. Temari could do nothing but stand there, looking utterly mortified.

"Lets go! Come on, daisies!" Naruto called out to her and charged, catching Temari off guard. He was on her before she could reach, his hands lashing out quicker than her ability to even keep up, though she did her best. He was also laughing like a lunatic the entire time.

Naruto disengaged and Temari felt a moment of elation when she hadn't felt any punches hitting her.

"I guess you're not as fast as you thought." Temari mocked, realizing that his earlier actions were meant to screw with her.

"Oh really?" Naruto said back with a smirk. At that moment, Temari's clothes suddenly ripped, revealing her flower printed underwear to everyone and making her briefly wish that Gaara would bury her in sand.

"Wh-What the hell you bastard?!" She screamed at him.

"Don't worry daisy, I'll leave just your socks on!" Naruto said back and charged at her again.

Temari dodged backwards while retorting. "When the hell have you ever seen a ninja wear socks?! AND DON'T YOU DARE CALL ME DAISY!" She finished with a scream nearly worthy of Sakura in volume, though not as ear piercing.

"That's your problem daisy!" The blond said, completely ignoring her warning about not calling her that.

Temari forfeited soon after, seeing that Naruto was too fast to hit with her wind techniques, fleeing the premises to find new clothes.

Naruto himself was beset by several angry females who wanted to know what he had done to sweet little Hinata.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Notes:

Thar we go, all done at last.

Review pl0x, I wanna know how I did.

That Omake isn't particularly original and If anyone recognises from which anime I got it from, you get extra internetz cookies. It would also tell you where some of my inspiration for Naruto comes from.

Chapter 8

Notes:

DISCLAIMER: I own exactly the same things as I did the previous chapter.

Review Responses:

The Souless Void: he was indeed weaker because he was limiting himself to Taijutsu.

I would like to thank everyone for the positive reviews and I hope that I finally managed to get all of the spelling mistakes out of this chapter, but I've more than likely missed a few.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

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"Genin Uzumaki, you have been called before this council, because we wish to ask you some questions pertaining to the abilities you revealed during the Chunin exam preliminaries." Elder Mitokado Homura spoke, opening up the special council session that had been called for that very reason.

Sarutobi could only sigh with resignation. He had known that the council would give him headaches over Naruto's fight in the preliminaries and he had been right. Had it been just about anyone else, this council session wouldn't have happened, but since it was Naruto they stuck their noses into everything, just because he was the Kyuubi Jinchuuriki. The blond's surly attitude towards people had made them even more paranoid and they felt justified in calling a full council session to interrogate a Genin just because he had turned out to be surprisingly capable. He couldn't even fault Naruto for having no patience for the people of Konoha, considering the way they acted.

The elder council, Danzo included, along with all of the clan heads were in attendance. Even the three civilian representatives had managed to get themselves included, using some loophole about how this issue concerned the civilian population as well to join in on what was technically a shinobi only issue.

The civilian representatives weren't liked much by the clan heads, though the elder council found them useful sometimes. The reason for the dislike was that unlike the clan heads who were all active shinobi, with the exception of Hyuuga Hiashi who had retired to focus fully on his clan, the civilian councilors were professional politicians. In other words, they were a pain in the ass to deal with.

Councilor Akiyama was the oldest of the three, an older man in his late fifties, his black hair going silver at the sides of his head with a meticulously groomed goatee, giving him a distinguished look. The man was always assessing the council proceedings with sharp, dark eyes, speaking up whenever he thought he could influence something to go the way that he wanted it to.

Councilor Ishida was over a decade younger, brown haired and brown eyed. The kind of man that you would overlook reflexively because he was so unassuming. He was however as manipulative as any politician and used his unassuming appearance like a tool.

Councilor Kimura was the only woman on the civilian council and the youngest of the three, being in her early thirties. She retained a youthful appearance with shiny black hair and green eyes. She had always been a beautiful woman and wasn't above using her looks to get what she wanted.

The three of them knew that they needed to present a united front if they wanted to achieve anything in a shinobi village, so they did so in spite of their no doubt conflicting interests. They went to great effort to present a cool, collected and trustworthy image, always dressed in high quality clothing and looking almost obsessively tidy.

In a hidden village, the word of the Kage was law, they only reason that they were even on the council was because the Sandaime thought it would improve the workings of the village. Most of the civilians had been devastated at the loss of the Yondaime, but these three were secretly pleased, as the young Hokage had been intending to disband the civilian council.

The shinobi on the council trusted them less than they would trust the Tsuchikage and never took anything they said at face value.

"Yeah, what about them?" Naruto asked disinterestedly, picking his ear and flicking some ear wax towards the civilians. The neutral but pleasant expressions on their faces froze and all of the shinobi were easily able to pick up on the fact that the civilian councilors were quite annoyed by the display of disrespect even if their faces didn't show it.

"You made use of a technique that you called an Uzumaki secret art, as well as a self healing ability that you claimed used your own chakra and displayed considerable aptitude with Fuinjutsu. We wish to know if you have any other abilities that you have kept hidden." Utatane Koharu stated, picking up from where her old teammate left off.

"You want to know if I have any other abilities and if they are possibly a bloodline?" Naruto asked neutrally.

"Yes." Koharu confirmed.

"Sure, I'll tell you everything." Naruto said pleasantly, making Koharu and Homura, along with the civilian council, smile at how cooperative the village Jinchuuriki was being. Sarutobi was surprised and the clan heads were confused, as this was rather out of character for Naruto according to what they knew or had heard of the blond from their children.

Hiashi took a drink of water, contemplating what game the Uzumaki was playing, as he could clearly see that he was up to something.

"I'll tell you everything, if you get naked, down on your knees and lick my ass, bitch!" He had been dying to say that to someone who thought themselves way too important and the look on the old hags face made it all worth it.

Koharu's eyes went wide and her pupils shrank in shock, her jaw hanging and mind blanked out with incomprehension. That was the single most disrespectful and crass statement that had ever been thrown her way in her life, simultaneously insulting her, making a demeaning proposition and demanding that she abase herself if she wanted anything from him. She had gotten used to the respect that her position as a village elder gave her and she had no idea how to deal with this development.

Hiashi spat out the water in his mouth in shock, soaking the front of his white robes, leaving him choking on the water that he had accidentally inhaled. The head of the Hyuuga had never before looked more undignified.

After the moment of shock had passed, Inuzuka Tsume started howling with uncontrol able laughter at the look on the elders faces, not to mention the choking Hiashi and gaping civilians, even the Hokage was looking stunned. As far as she was concerned, this was the best council meeting ever.

The Ino-Shika-Cho trio had their shoulders shaking in suppressed laughter, doing their best to control themselves, but unable to keep from cracking up at the poleaxed looks everyone was sporting.

Aburame Shibi was doing the best out of everyone, but even his shoulders were shaking slightly and his insects were buzzing noticeably louder.

None of the clan heads were particularly fond of the elders, who had at one point or another tried to get all of them to reveal all of their secret clan techniques 'for the good of the village'. Nor were they particularly pleased at being called in to this meeting just because the elders felt that they were entitled to knowing everything about Naruto. Mostly they had all just intended to stay quiet and hope that the whole thing passed quickly, but it was proving to be unexpectedly amusing.

Even Sarutobi couldn't help from chuckling once he got over the shock. Naruto was fully within his rights as the Uzumaki clan head to refuse such a request and the elders couldn't do anything about it, though the way he had done it was a bit much. Had Naruto been younger, then they could have claimed he was too young to take leadership of the clan, as was the situation with Uchiha Sasuke, but Naruto had been old enough to take leadership of the clan when he had turned 16 and since he was the only known Uzumaki still alive, he was clan head by default. Kakashi had informed him that Naruto had learned about his heritage on his own years ago. That the blond had not revealed so much as a whisper of it grieved Sarutobi, as it meant that he could have been the one to tell Naruto and perhaps finally establish some kind of relationship with him. Instead the blond had figured it all out himself somehow and no doubt resented him all the more for keeping it from him for so long.

Danzo only gave a small frown, though he was in fact quite angry. If Sarutobi had allowed him to take the boy and train him to be a weapon, then the Jinchuuriki wouldn't be this rebellious. As far as he was concerned, Uzumaki Naruto was property of the village and had no business refusing them anything. After decades of being the only one of the five great hidden villages without a tailed beast in their arsenal, they finally obtain the strongest of them and then the soft hearted Sandaime just lets it run wild.

"How dare you talk to the council this way you disrespectful brat?! Who do you think you are?!" Councilor Kimura ranted, finally losing her cool, ignoring the warning glances from her two counterparts. She had enough presence of mind not to make any mention of the Kyuubi or demon related insults, which had been the reason that her predecessor had 'mysteriously' vanished, due to the Sandaime's law.

All three of the civilian councilors had an axe to grind with the blond, having lost both family and business during the Kyuubi attack. Akiyama had been the only one on the civilian council at the time and he had assisted the other two in getting council positions specifically because of their hatred for him. All of them had worked subtly and sometimes not so subtly to make Uzumaki's life miserable, though in the last few years the blond had proven strangely untouchable. They had tried to end his life when he had been younger, but all of their attempts had failed and it had gotten progressively harder the older he got and now they couldn't do anything anymore. They had pushed for joining this session in the hope of being able to do something again.

"I think I'm the clan head of the Uzumaki, the son of Uzumaki Kushina and Namikaze Minato, the Yondaime Hokage and that the old fossils over there were trying to pry clan secrets out of me." Naruto answered her coolly, immediately silencing the room as people tried to process that little revelation. He wasn't thrilled about revealing that piece of information, but as long as it was hidden, the damned council would keep sticking their noses into his business and he wasn't feeling like dealing with their sh*t.

"Hokage-sama is that true?" Ishida asked urgently, hoping desperately that it wasn't. If it was true then that meant that they had long since made an enemy out of someone who was eventually going to wield a lot of influence in the village.

"Yes, it's true. His heritage and clan status was kept hidden for his safety." Sarutobi said simply. He realized why Naruto had revealed that information even if he didn't like it. He had hoped that Naruto would be stronger by the time it was revealed. At the very least, the blond was far from a pushover even if he was a fresh Genin and would hopefully continue to grow stronger, especially as Jiraiya was now in the village to take him as an apprentice.

"Please forgive my outburst Namikaze-sama." Kimura said with a smile that she tried really hard to make as pleasant as possible, hoping to play on the blonds, by now, well known appreciation for women to smooth things over. There was also the fact that she could practically feel the stares from her two older counterparts, silently telling her to fix the damage her earlier outburst might have caused.

"Who the hell are you calling 'Namikaze'?" Naruto asked her coldly, making the woman break out into nervous sweat. "I was born an Uzumaki and I'll stay an Uzumaki."

"Ah, of course Uzumaki-sama, please accept my apologi..." The woman spoke, off balanced by his hostility, as well as his refusal of his fathers name and scrambling to offer an apology that would pacify him.

"If you try to suck my dick now that you know who my parents were, I'm going to make you choke on it." Naruto interrupted, having no interest in her groveling.

Tsume started howling again, infinitely amused by the obvious anger and humiliation that the council woman was feeling, but well aware that she was already on thin ice and not daring to respond. The Ino-Shika-Cho trio were similarly amused, though less obvious about it. Shibi was being stoic as usual and Hiashi was frowning with disapproval at the circus that the Uzumaki had turned the council into.

The two elders were silent, having already known this, while Danzo was frowning again. Now that his status as a clan head had been revealed, any chance, however slim, of getting the Jinchuuriki placed under his control was lost, but perhaps there was another way to control him.

"I suggest that we place Uzumaki Naruto under the Clan Restoration Act so that he may restart the Uzumaki clan in Konoha." Danzo spoke once Tsume had stopped laughing, plunging the room into silence once again.

"The hell is the Clan Restoration Act?" Naruto asked, having never heard of it.

"It's an old law that was passed by the Nidaime. Basically, Konoha would be obligated to construct a clan compound for you and you would be required to marry several women and begin repopulating the clan as soon as possible." Sarutobi explained. He wasn't too fond of the idea of forcing Naruto to get married to multiple women and make him start popping out babies, especially since he suspected that Danzo would try to arrange for women through which he could exert some kind of control over Naruto. If push came to shove, he would do his best to make sure Danzo didn't get a say in the women that were selected.

"Yeah...that's not gonna happen." Naruto said after he got over his incredulity at hearing the specifics of that particular law.

"As the last male member of a powerful clan, you cannot refuse." Danzo stated firmly.

"Well, I hate to burst your bubble bandages," Naruto began, making Danzo scowl slightly at the insult." But even if I pretended to care about what you say I can or cannot refuse, none of the women would be getting pregnant."

"What do you mean?" Inoichi asked curiously.

"I've placed a seal on my nuts that renders me sterile until I remove it. It will only deactivate if I pulse my chakra into it in a specific pattern. And in case anyone gets any ideas about cutting my nuts of in case I die, it also functions as a powerful explosive note if it's ever fully separated from my chakra network." Naruto explained, causing widespread horror among the males in the room.

"Are you telling me, that you placed what is essentially a high powered explosive seal on your testicl*s on the off chance that someone cut them off?" Inoichi asked incredulously.

"Yep."

After hearing this, Inoichi was absolutely certain that he never wanted to go into the mind of Uzumaki Naruto and it wasn't because of the Kyuubi. The blond looked sane and spoke like a sane man, but he was clearly not altogether sane. As a master of psychology and an expert on the human mind, Inoichi could only call him 'alternatively' sane.

Danzo suppressed the urge to scowl furiously. The damned blond brat had effectively sterilized himself and booby trapped his testicl*s, making any kind of motion to place him under the CRA completely pointless.

"Now if you're done wasting my time, I've got better things to do." Naruto said and started walking out of the room without waiting for a response.

"Hokage-sama has not dismissed you Genin." Koharu snapped at him, putting particular venom in the way she said his rank, still angry over what he had said to her earlier.

"He rolls over for everyone else, including you, so I don't see why he wouldn't do the same for me." Naruto snapped back without turning to face her and slammed the doors open, patience thoroughly strained from dealing with the idiocy of the council. He would definitely have them executed if he was Hokage.

Koharu and Homura looked as if they were a hairsbreadth away from calling ANBU to drag blond back into the council chamber when the Sandaime spoke.

"Let him go, we're finished here anyway." Sarutobi said tiredly, wondering to himself if perhaps Naruto had no respect for him because he was so lenient with the council.

It was likely too late for him to be building any bridges with Naruto, but he would still help the boy as much as he could. He would inform Kakashi to send Naruto over to the hot springs where Jiraiya was no doubt going to be doing his peeping tomorrow.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Jiraiya was doing one of his favorite things in the world. Research!

Technically, Sarutobi-sensei had asked him to come to Konoha due to Orochimaru's presence and because Naruto had finally made Genin. It had taken the brat quite a few years longer than Jiraiya had expected, but what mattered was that he had made it. The toad sage wasn't really upset over the fact that Naruto seemed to be rather talentless, as his father had been the same. Despite everyone saying that Minato was a genius, he had in fact been dumb as a post, he just worked so damn hard that everyone thought he was a genius.

Except for his bizarre talent with Fuinjutsu. Jiraiya had no idea how someone could be such a dunce at most of the shinobi arts and yet be a genius at the hardest of them. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that Kushina had been a seal mistress? The crazy blond seemed to get almost supernaturally competent at everything whenever that equally crazy redhead of his was involved.

Ah, but it was no time for such thoughts now, there were more important matter afoot, such as the goings on in the female side of the hot spring.

There were four very lovely ladies currently in the hot spring and he was furiously scribbling down notes while the women chatted between themselves obliviously.

Their conversation turned to something that instantly caught his attention and he began to eavesdrop shamelessly.

"...been so long since he visited." A woman that looked to be in her late twenties said with a cute pout. She was, in Jiraiya's expert opinion, a work of art, with a full, curvaceous figure and sparkling brown eyes and a curtain of luxurious brown hair.

Then again, every pretty woman was a work of art in Jiraiya's opinion.

"You have no right to complain, it's been even longer since he's come to play with me." Said another demurely, this one a black haired and dark eyed beauty of similar age to the first speaker. If Jiraiya had to choose he would say that this one was definitely his favorite. She wasn't quite as curvy as the previous one, but there was a mysterious and alluring beauty about her and the way that she spoke about this unknown lucky bastard coming to play with her was setting off his pervert senses.

Clearly these four were good friends, judging by the topic of conversation.

"Maybe you scared him off with your perverted antics Keiko." A woman that looked to be a few years younger teased, this one with short black hair and deep blue eyes. Not quite as full bodied as the other two, but still very beautiful.

Jiraiya was deeply intrigued by the information that the dark beauty was a pervert. He didn't allow his imagination to run too wild, as he knew that what women called a pervert wouldn't even rate a raised eyebrow from most men.

"Naruto-sama is not the type to be frightened off by anything Aiko, least of all by my perverted antics as you call them, you should well know this." The now named Keiko said archly, before giggling demurely behind her hand.

"Didn't he ask you not to call him Naruto-sama?" The last of the four girls spoke with amusem*nt in her tone, this one having long dark brown hair and light amber eyes. She was the most petite of the four, making it somewhat hard to determine her age, but Jiraiya's experienced eye placed her as being of a similar age as the previously named Aiko.

Naruto-sama? They can't possibly be talking about my godson can they? I know that he's 17 by now and women have no doubt become interesting to him already, but they wouldn't be calling him Naruto-sama, it's gotta be some other Naruto.

"I've never quite managed to figure out whether Keiko calls him that out of true respect or because she knows that he doesn't like it." The as of yet unnamed first speaker said.

"Why Tsuki, Kasumi, you wound me with your words. Naruto-sama knows that I cannot address him in any other way after the way he handled me. Ufufufufufu." Keiko replied teasingly, placing extra emphasis on her last two words, finishing with a perverted little chuckle that almost made Jiraiya give a out a perverted chuckle of his own, kind of like a wolf howl being answered by another wolf howl.

"SO, what would a PERVERT be doing with his FACE PRESSED AGAINST THE WALL TO THE FEMALE SIDE OF THE HOT SPRING?" Came a sudden and shockingly loud voice from right behind the toad sage.

Jiraiya had been so caught up in eavesdropping, hoping to hear and see some more juicy tidbits, that he hadn't been paying attention to his surroundings at all.

Jiraiya heard the expected, outraged female exclamations and prepared himself for the inevitable beating. He had learned long ago that it was simply no use trying to run away from furious females hellbent on extracting their pound of flesh. A pervert would have more success running away from the death god.

The four women were on him like a pack of wolves savaging a wounded deer, leaving the mighty toad sage in a haze of pain. Through the feet kicking the life out of him, he dimly saw the amused and whiskered face of a long haired blond that was for some reason going around wearing a black coat with nothing under it.

When the beating was over, the women turned towards the other man, fully prepared to beat the tar out of him too, but upon noticing who he was, immediately became very friendly.

"Naruto-sama! It was you who saved us from this old perverts' depredations! You must allow me to repay this service." Keiko said suggestively.

"Perhaps he would like to join us in the female side of the hot spring once we dispose of this creepy old man." The one that Jiraiya had pegged as Kasumi said, equally suggestively.

"As much as it pains me to refuse such lovely women, I actually have business with the creepy old man, sparing you from his lechery was merely a happy coincidence." Naruto responded.

A huge mane of white hair, faded green clothes with a red haori over it, complete with wooden geta sandals. Red lines running down from his eyes and a forehead protector with the kanji for 'oil' on it. The toad sage couldn't have been more distinctive if he'd tried. Naruto had of course recognized Jiraiya for who he was, as the man was rather recognizable, but there was just something morbidly amusing about seeing an S-rank shinobi getting beaten up by civilian women.

"But it's been so long since you've visited." Aiko said with a pout.

All four women were by now pressing themselves up against the newcomer and to Jiraiya's infinite shock, he recognized the man as his godson.

"I've been very busy lately, but I'll see if I can make some time for you girls. " All four women started looking excited, prompting Naruto to continue. "Now remember that I'm not making any promises and I've told you not to wait for me and find yourselves a more stable relationship instead."

"Alas Naruto, I fear that you've ruined us for other men." The petite Tsuki said dramatically, with her hand on her forehead, pretending to swoon, making Naruto catch her.

The woman surged upwards and smashed her lips onto Naruto's as soon as he caught her. As soon as the kiss ended, Kasumi clamped her lips onto him and then Aiko.

The blond turned towards Keiko, who had a gleam in her eyes that he recognized all too well. With an internal sigh at her strange appetites, Naruto went towards her, making sure to grab her arms and restrain them behind her back in such a way that it was just a bit painful, before he pulled her close and kissed her.

"Naruto-sama, a pleasure as always." Keiko said with a pleasant shudder running through her body.

"Well girls, you should probably head home now, or else this old creep here might be tempted to peep on you again." Naruto said, giving Kasumi and Keiko a light slap across the butt.

All four girls laughed and started walking towards the room where their clothes were. "You're such a perv, do try to make some time for us ok? We've missed you." Kasumi said fondly.

All of this was happening right in front of the eyes of the toad Sannin, who could make no sense of the things happening right in front of him.

His eyes had to be deceiving him, because there was no way that his godson had just been invited to join the women in their bathing and quite possibly something more than that.

How could he, Jiraiya of the Sannin, a legendary shinobi whose skill and power was known worldwide be beaten and scorned by women everywhere he went, while his wet behind the ears godson got invited to a public orgy when he accidentally ran into a group of sexy babes? It made no sense and yet it had happened.

Why did he, a living legend, get the daylights beaten out of him when women called him a pervert, while they said it to his godson as if it was a compliment?

In that moment, Jiraiya realized that his godson had already surpassed him in everything that truly mattered in life, leaving him only one thing to do.

"I submit myself to your teachings, oh great master!"

Naruto looked at the white haired Sannin kneeling in front of him in dogeza position with a sweatdrop forming on the back of his head and couldn't help muttering to himself incredulously.

"This idiot taught my father?"

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Jiraiya took a long look at his godson now that they had moved to a more private area and had to say that he was impressed.

Well, he was mostly impressed by how good the blond seemed to be with women, but from a purely shinobi standpoint, he wasn't anything to scoff at for someone who had only been a Genin for a few months.

And he was big too, not quite as big as him, but considering that he wasn't done growing yet, he might well end up being bigger.

Sarutobi-sensei had briefed him on Naruto's known abilities and there was definitely a lot to work with. He could teach him how to refine the use of his hair in combat and sparring would improve his Taijutsu. His massive chakra reserves easily lended themselves to summoning and even learning Senjutsu later on, but that was quite a ways in the future.

But before they got to any kind of training, there were several other things that needed to be taken care of, things that could go really badly.

"So, I hear that you've already found out about your parents." Jiraiya started awkwardly.

"Despite Sarutobi's best efforts. He's not really as good at keeping secrets as he thinks he is." Naruto answered without much inflection in his voice.

Jiraiya took note of the lack of respect in the way that the blond said his old sensei's name and figured that the old man must have really screwed the pooch as far as Naruto was concerned. It made him nervous about revealing his status as Naruto's godfather, but he remembered what his sensei had told him on this issue.

"No matter how ugly or painful, Naruto will always prefer to be told the truth. He will not appreciate having things hidden from him, no matter the reason."

There had been regret in the his tone when the old man had said that and Jiraiya guessed that Naruto had never allowed Sarutobi close again once he'd caught him in a lie.

"Well then I guess I should tell you that I'm your godfather." The toad sage revealed, hiding his nervousness.

Naruto raised a surprised eyebrow at the white haired man. "Interesting. So where have you been the past 17 years?"

"Minding my spy network mostly. Sarutobi always told me that you were well taken care of so I didn't really feel the need to come back to Konoha."

"The old geezer has a strange definition of 'well taken care of', but it turned out for the best in the end."

The words gave Jiraiya the bad feeling that Naruto had to suffer through a lot of the crap that he had seen Jinchuuriki going through before and suddenly understood with perfect clarity why the blond didn't like Sarutobi. He wasn't feeling too fond of him right now either. On the up side, it didn't seem like Naruto resented his absence in his life.

"So you're not upset that I wasn't there for you all this time?"

"Not too much. After all, if you had been there for me, I might have ended up like you, getting my ass kicked by women all the time." There was also no telling how he would have responded to Xanna if some ignorant outsider had been filling his head with stories about the 'evil demon fox'.

The toad sage felt his pride take a critical hit at those words, but it also brought back his desire to learn what the blond's secret was.

"About that...What's your secret?" Jiraiya asked, and that was not desperation in his voice.

"Tell you what, I'll set you up with for a date with one of the women who taught me a lot of what I know, if you train me as hard as you can for the next month."

"Ooooh, what does she look like?" Jiraiya asked eagerly, wiggling his fingers in an extremely perverted manner.

Naruto ignored his disturbing behavior and continued. "You've already seen her actually. You remember Keiko? The one with the black hair and black eyes?"

Oh yes, Jiraiya remembered her alright and he had very much liked what he'd seen, but there was a problem.

"But won't she still be pissed at me for peeping on her?"

"Not if I put in a good word. Aside from that, the woman is the biggest pervert I've ever met, so she probably wasn't even as upset as she seemed."

"Well, you've met a bigger pervert than her now, because I am a SUPER PERVERT!" Jiraiya exclaimed. He couldn't help himself from announcing that...it was a point of pride for him.

"Well so is she, but you two can work out who the bigger pervert is on your date."

Naruto wasn't going to mention that Jiraiya was probably going to be spending most of that date chained to a wall somewhere while the woman in question whipped him or did whatever else struck her as fun at the time. He was in fact going to tell Keiko to be extra hard on the white haired Sannin. He might not be particularly upset about Jiraiya's absence in his life, but Naruto still had a propensity for sometimes cruel and unusual pranks.

The Sannin was already deep in his imaginary fantasy land of all the wonderful things that two super perverts could do together and was all fired up to start teaching his godson.

"Well then, no time to lose! Lets get to the training."

"Before we start, I'd like to ask if you know the Rasengan?" Naruto interrupted. He had been trying to figure out the technique for years and this old pervert might actually know it.

"Of course I know it, I'm the great Jiraiya after all!" The toad sage exclaimed and formed a Rasengan in his hand.

"Good, now let me explain to you my idea of serious training."

The following explanation of using hordes of shadow clones and separating them into smaller groups, each of which would be with a Jiraiya shadow clone, working on separate things, left the toad sage with the distinct impression that his godson was taking his training just a wee bit too far. The promise of a date with a female super pervert kept him from protesting too much though.

Apparently Naruto had inherited the attitude of his parents as far as training went, along with their talent for Fuinjutsu, though neither Minato nor Kushina had ever trained with this kind of nearly obsessive drive.

Summoning turned out to be remarkably easy for Naruto, whose monstrous chakra reserves easily allowed him to summon Gamabunta. The giant toad was pissed off at first and refused to help the blond in battle until he proved himself by hanging on to him for a full day.

Naruto just cheated and chained himself to the toad boss, making him physically unable to fall off. Gamabunta grumbled, but gave up trying to dislodge him after an hour, seeing that it was pointless. He mellowed considerably when Naruto agreed to share a drink with him though.

Jiraiya had been much impressed that Naruto had been able to recreate his mothers chakra chains, but left it alone, as it wasn't really something that he could help with.

Training with the Rasengan had been another interesting experience.

"This is my Rasenyari, I sort of created it by accident when I was trying to recreate the Rasengan." Naruto explained, showing the drill like chakra formation around his arm.

Jiraiya peered at it and immediately noticed several things that needed commenting on.

"That technique is wasting chakra like crazy and you can't adjust it to be non-lethal. All in all, the Rasengan is superior in pretty much every way."

"Well then teach me the Rasengan sensei." Jiraiya felt a swell of pride at being called sensei by his godson and formed the blue chakra sphere.

"Normally, I'd demonstrate how to form this technique by using water balloons and rubber balls, but we can do that tomorrow. For now, I'll just say that you need to swirl your chakra in many directions." Jiraiya explained.

Naruto got a look of concentration on his face as he held his hand out and tried to do what Jiraiya said. After a few tries, Naruto suddenly looked as if he'd had a revelation and easily formed the sphere.

Jiraiya could only stare with stunned shock as his godson figured out the first stage almost right off the bat.

"How the hell did you figure that out so fast? it took me months to do that!"

"Well, I've apparently been using something similar to the first stage as a tool to stimulate female erogenous zones, it's extremely effective." Naruto explained, somewhat surprised himself.

The toad sage could only stand there, his eye twitching as he suddenly recalled an old memory of when Minato had first begun teaching him this technique.

"That's why that cheeky blond bastard was smirking at me like that when he taught this to me! He knew that he was teaching me something that would really please the ladies, AND HE DIDN'T TELL ME ABOUT IT!" Jiraiya raged to himself, looking utterly steamed. "I've had a technique that would really impress the ladies with my prowess in the bedroom AND I DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT IT!"

Now he understood why Kushina kept smirking in that self satisfied manner whenever the Rasengan was mentioned and why Minato had open amusem*nt in his eyes when he was teaching it to him. The rotten little bastard had pranked him! And the prank had kept on being funny, because he had never figured it out!

At least his godson had some decency and told him about it. He was even setting him up on a date with an extremely beautiful and perverted woman who he could use it on. Despite being completely shown up as a ladies man by his much younger godson, the kid was a really decent guy.

Naruto figured out why Jiraiya looked so pissed from context and felt a rare moment of kinship with his dead father. Apparently tormenting the toad sage for amusem*nt ran in the family.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

3 weeks before the finals.

"Hey there little sister, how are you feeling?" Naruto asked as he entered Hinata's hospital room.

"I'm ok nii-san, the doctors tell me that I'll be able to get out of here in two weeks." Hinata replied, happy that he had come to visit. Aside from her team and little sister, nobody had come to visit her. Even then, Hanabi had been escorted by a branch house member instead of her father.

She was glad that at least she had managed to stay close to her sister, despite their father apparently doing everything he could to pit them against each other. Hanabi remembered who had comforted her and taken care of her when she'd been scared, and it hadn't been their father. She was still close to her father and respected him, but she didn't allow herself to become disdainful of Hinata like him.

"That's good, you'll be able to see me beat the crap out of your cousin." Naruto chuckled.

"You think you can beat him?" Hinata asked curiously. She knew that Naruto was strong, but Neji wasn't called a genius for nothing.

"I could have beaten him a month ago and I'm learning lots of new things. I didn't show everything that I could do during my fight with Lee either." The blond answered her.

"But why would you hold back against Lee? You nearly lost." She wondered in shock.

"I wanted to see how good my Taijutsu was. I hadn't expected Lee to be capable of something as crazy as the eight gates, otherwise I might have reconsidered handicapping myself." Naruto said wryly.

Hinata was silent for a while before she asked him another question.

"You said you would help with my training nii-san, are you still going to do that?" She asked with a blush.

She was pleased with herself that she had stopped stuttering around Naruto now that she knew what a great guy he was, but she was still embarrassed about asking something like that. It had taken her some time to get used to the fact that he never wore a shirt, but as long as she didn't think about it too much, she could prevent herself from blushing at the sight of his bare chest.

"Of course I am, and I've got just the thing for you." Naruto said with a grin before continuing. "You remember my resistance seals?"

At her nod he continued. "Well, how would you like me to put them on you too? They'll make any training you do a lot more effective."

Hinata couldn't prevent a wide smile from forming on her face. It was very rare for a shinobi to share techniques or training methods with anyone except his own students, which meant that Naruto was putting a lot of trust in her. "I'd like that nii-san."

"Alright, but errr...you'll have to be naked for me to paint the seals on your body." Naruto told her with a rare moment of embarrassment. Nobody would ever accuses the blond of being shy about nudity, but telling a 13 year old girl to strip so he could doodle on her with a calligraphy brush was another matter entirely.

"Eep!" Hinata's blush was nearly hot enough to set the bed on fire, but began to cool down quickly. The reason for this was because she had fainted.

"I guess I'll talk to her about this later then." Naruto said to himself with a sweatdrop and left the hospital.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Naruto was currently in his apartment, fiddling with the Reaper Death Seal, trying to figure out how it worked.

His clones were still training with Jiraiya even at this very moment, but he really wanted to figure out this seal, which was why he wasn't there personally today.

"What are you doing?" Xanna's voice suddenly asked from behind him, making him jump a bit in surprise. He hadn't expected her to just show up right behind his back like that.

"I'm messing with this seal, trying to figure out how it works."

"Oh? Dare I ask why?"

Xanna had a momentary thought that he was trying to find out how to reseal her inside of himself before she dismissed the thought. She couldn't help but instinctively think that, even though she knew he wasn't like that.

Humanity as a whole had left a very bad impression on her.

"I'm actually hoping that I'll have a chance to look at Gaara's seal and see what's wrong with it and maybe use what I learn from my seal to fix his." Naruto explained.

"Gaara? I assume That is the name of the human that has Shukaku sealed inside of him?" Xanna questioned, her nine tails out for a change and stroking his bare back.

"Yeah, but he's acting really strange. I know you said that he would be unstable, but I think that's mostly because the seal is so weak that he can't even sleep. He also calls Shukaku 'mother' for some reason." The blond answered, still messing around with the seal.

Xanna raised a crimson eyebrow. That was strange even for Shukaku. It was also incredibly strange for anyone with the Ichibi sealed in them to be as stable as Naruto was making it sound.

"An interesting project, but why would..." Xanna trailed off and suddenly developed a look of concentration on her face.

"Xanna?"

"Interesting...whatever you just did, it has blocked the mental link between us, I can no longer hear your thoughts." The demoness answered.

She wasn't upset about not being able to read his mind at will anymore. She hadn't done it much anyway.

"Interesting, I wonder what else I can do with this?" Naruto muttered to himself and continued messing with the seal. He hadn't been bothered about her ability to read his mind, he didn't keep any secrets from her anyway, so it was more of a minor curiosity that he was able to do that.

Xanna was fairly interested herself, so she stayed around and tried to see if she could sense what kind of changes he was making to the seal. She'd thought that he was in one of his deeply focused moods and would keep working for a while, but she could see him getting distracted after a few minutes.

"Hey Xanna, how would you like to go on a date with me?" He was actually somewhat nervous about asking this question, as he got the distinct feeling that dating was not something that demons did. He had stopped fiddling with the seal and was now petting her tails instead.

She didn't manifest her tails too often, but it felt nice to let them out sometimes. She especially liked it when he petted them. They were quite sensitive and having them gently petted by someone she could trust was was something that had only happened a couple of times in her entire life.

"A date? That silly human ritual where a man attempts to impress a woman enough that she will spread her legs for him?" Xanna asked with a note of incredulity in her tone. She had no idea why he was asking her to go on a date with him. He had become an impressive man, both in personality and appearance and she had actually come to enjoy his company more than that of anyone she had ever met before. If he desired her body, then there was no need to spend several hours trying to impress her enough for her to be willing to go to bed with him.

"You've got a real gift for killing all the romance in something." Naruto couldn't help but chuckle. "A date is about more than just trying to get between a woman's legs. It's also about getting to know each other and doing something together besides having sex." The blond explained.

The red haired demoness was still looking terribly skeptical.

"Just humor me then. You might find yourself enjoying it."

She still looked dubious, but was considering it. He had never asked her to do something like this before and had no idea what brought this on. The blond had said that he loved her and done his best to understand her. He had never tried to apply human morality to her, but had instead done his best to see things from her point of view.

She knew that it had been difficult for him to do as she said and find other women to sleep with, but she considered this important enough to push him to do it. Humans were notorious for denying their own nature and it never led to anything good in her opinion.

What most people seemed unable to understand, was that empathy too was human nature. Naruto had grasped this almost instinctively. She had never breathed a word of it to him, but a respect for the lives of others was practically built into him, which meant that he would never become the kind of monster that many shinobi tend to become. These ninja so eagerly threw away their feelings, thinking that it made them weak. The barest look at their own history would tell them that the most emotional shinobi had also become the most powerful, because they had embraced who they were. Some of those had ended up being monsters, but they had been powerful before whatever it was had corrupted them.

No matter how much he thought that loving someone meant never touching another woman, it was entirely impossible for him not to be attracted to a beautiful woman when he saw one. If he was constantly pushing down his own nature then he would remain weak and conflicted.

He had given his heart to her, so it didn't matter to her how many women he stuck his other body parts into, not to mention that all of that practice had done wonders for his ability to please her. Aside from that, she could also appreciate the beauty of the female form herself, it was why she had created a female body for herself after all.

The incident in Wave country had been a gamble, but it had also been inevitable and it had turned out for the best...at least for her, Tsunami would probably have disagreed if she knew of everything that was going on.

It was a new sensation for Xanna, to be loved. It made her...happy. Her existence had been long and she had felt content with it for the most part. There had been long stretches of boredom to be sure, but being happy was new. Love had always eluded her understanding and it fascinated her to see how it drove Naruto. It also both intrigued and scared her to realize just how it affected her to see how he adored her. On one hand, she wanted more of this feeling, but on the other she dreaded the day that he would die and it would all be gone.

Was this what humans called love? She didn't know, but she knew that the thought of having it suddenly taken from her was something that displeased her greatly.

Keeping all that in mind, it would be no great sacrifice on her part to go along with his idea of going on a date.

"Alright, I'll go on a date with you, but only after this Chunin exam of yours is finished."

"Great. That even gives me time to get something appropriate to wear." Naruto said enthusiastically. He had only just now thought of it and hadn't really accounted for the fact that he didn't really have anything appropriate to wear for a date.

"Appropriate to wear?" Xanna asked curiously. What did it matter what kind of clothing they wore on a date?

"Well, usually people wear something more fancy or formal when they go on a date." Naruto explained.

"I see." The demoness said considering. She didn't see the point, but if she was going along with this, then she might as well go all the way. "I will wear something 'appropriate' too then."

Naruto couldn't contain his happy grin, as far as he was concerned, the Chunin exam couldn't be over fast enough.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Two weeks until the finals.

Naruto was currently in a training field with Rock Lee, who had been released from the care of the medic-nins and Maito Gai, asking the eccentric Jounin-sensei to teach him how to use the eight gates. Lee was currently running laps, with boulders tied to his back.

The two green beasts clearly didn't know it, but the gates actually flooded the body with raw Yang chakra. He had come to this conclusion after giving some serious thought to it and getting an explanation from Jiraiya. The gates unlocked the bodies potential and then increased it to superhuman levels by forcibly converting physical energy into Yang chakra and pumping it through the body.

The process was crude and uncontrolled, which is what led to the damage suffered by the body. Humans had probably manifested the gates as limiters when chakra was first given, or more accurately, stolen by humanity.

The blond was thinking that if he could find a way to control the output of Yang chakra, or failing that, seal some of it, that he could find some means by which he could reach Xanna's power level.

"Naruto, as much as I am impressed by the burning flames of your youth, I cannot teach you that. It is a Kinjutsu for a reason." Maito Gai said with uncommon seriousness.

"Please? I'll trade you a really great way to train your youth in return." Naruto cajoled.

Gai knew that he shouldn't be tempted, but he was. Naruto had more than proved that he could come up with some very impressive ways to train.

"I am not agreeing, but just out of curiosity, what is this training method?"

"I've learned how to make seals that increase the gravity in a predetermined area. All you have to do is mark out the area where you'd like to have the gravity increased, and I'll place the proper seals. Then you will be able to train so hard that your youth will overflow and explode like a geyser. I'll even teach you how to adjust the gravity and how to supply the seal with enough chakra to keep it active."

Naruto struggled to keep his face from twisting in disgust at the thought of the two green beasts 'exploding with youth'. The two of them threw out so many gay sexual innuendos that it was ridiculous. He knew they weren't really gay, but seriously, who the hell goes around wearing skintight green spandex and talking about 'exploding with youth'? He REALLY wanted to learn about the eight gates though and was willing to speak in gay sexual innuendo if it got Gai to teach it to him.

Not that he had anything against hom*osexuals, but he preferred females.

Maito Gai felt his resolve weakening severely at the offer. To be capable of training in a high gravity environment would be a dream come true.

"I'm not even intending to use the gates in combat, I'm more interested in them as part of my Fuinjutsu research."

Gai's resolve crumbled. If Naruto wasn't intending to open the gates in combat, then surely it was alright to teach it to him. Right?

"Alright Naruto, I will teach you how to open the gates, but you must promise me to never use them unless something precious to you is in danger." Gai said firmly. It was something that he would demand of anyone that wished to learn such a dangerous technique.

"I promise." Naruto agreed easily. His marriage to Xanna was in danger...sort of, that counted as far as he was concerned.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

One week until the finals.

Kurenai couldn't sleep.

She was not an insomniac, nor was she often plagued by nightmares. The bed was warm and comfortable, perfect for lulling her to sleep. She wasn't thirsty or hungry or in any kind of discomfort at all. In short, everything was perfect for sleeping.

Except for the screaming coming from Anko's room.

The two of them had lived together for some years now and had never seen a need for one of them to move out. Over the years, each had brought people over before. Sometimes they ended up sleeping with them and sometimes they didn't.

Anko was more prone to bringing people home than her, both men and women since the purple haired woman was bisexual, though not anywhere near as many as her general behavior and mode of dress would make you think. Usually when this happened, Kurenai would have no trouble sleeping, because Anko wouldn't be screaming loud enough to wake the dead.

The previous day however, she had chanced upon Uzumaki Naruto and things had rapidly escalated until the two of them had ended up in Anko's bedroom.

At the time, Kurenai had been only mildly upset over the fact that Anko was going to sleep with a man that she had gotten interested in. It's not like the snake summoner was stealing him away from her, considering the fact that nothing had really happened between them.

After hearing Anko scream and moan in ecstasy for several hours already though, she was getting pretty cranky.

She was tired, but she couldn't get to sleep because of the noise and the heat burning in her loins was just as hot as her envy over the fact that Anko was obviously having such a great time. She might want a serious relationship, but damnit all, she had needs too and listening to her best friend having what was apparently earth shatteringly great sex was making her regret that she hadn't slept with the blond when she had the chance.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Kurenai walked towards the bathroom with bleary eyes, dressed only in an oversized shirt and panties. She had only gotten a couple of hours of sleep and could barely keep her eyes open.

The shower was running, but the red eyed Jounin paid no heed to it. Anko and Kurenai weren't shy around each other and it was perfectly normal for one of them to walk into the bathroom while the other was showering.

She opened the door just as the shower stopped running and walked in.

Naruto stepped out of the shower, completely naked, his equipment hanging out in the open in a semi-erect state. Kurenai stared at him without comprehension for several long seconds, before her eyes naturally gravitated downwards.

No wonder Anko was screaming so loud.

As soon as the thought passed through her head, Kurenai bolted out of the bathroom with her face on fire. As she was leaning against the door to the bathroom, trying to get her breath back, she could hear Naruto chuckling to himself in the bathroom.

This was not standard procedure for Anko, at all. Every other time that she had brought someone home and slept with him or her, they were gone long before morning came around. She had no idea what this meant, but she was going to find out.

As soon as her face stopped glowing.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Anko, Kurenai and Naruto were sitting around a table, having just finished breakfast.

Kurenai was still wearing the same oversized shirt that she had slept in, but had put on a pair of casual sweatpants.

Naruto and Anko were wearing considerably less. Naruto was dressed in nothing but his underwear, while Anko didn't even bother with that, though she had put on a bathrobe that she was wearing in the same style that she wore her overcoat. That was, opened and barely covering anything.

"So..." Kurenai began awkwardly, unsure of how to start a conversation with two mostly naked people.

"You're wondering what blondie is still doing here right?" Anko helpfully interjected.

"Kind of yeah."

"Well, he caught sight of my cursed seal sometime between my first and second org*sm and asked if he could study it. He seems pretty confident that he'll be able to do something about it." Anko explained, making Kurenai blush slightly at the reminder.

"Well from what I've seen of Sasuke's seal, Orochimaru is pretty sloppy with his Fuinjutsu. I'm actually surprised that people actually survive having that seal placed on them." Naruto added.

"It has a 1 in 10 chance of survival." Anko said dryly.

"Ah, nevermind then." The blond said with a sweatdrop. "Anyway, it's because of the bad seal work that I think I might be able to modify it and make it harmless at least, maybe even outright remove it."

"Well, if you can manage to get this disgusting thing off me, then I'd be really grateful." Anko said suggestively.

"Can you two please not start anything in front of me?" Kurenai grumbled, hiding her jealousy behind irritation.

"Looks like Nai-chan is a bit stressed, maybe she'd like a home video that shows her how we relax Naruto?" Anko suggested, sidling he chair up to Kurenai and pressing against her right side.

"That's a cute nickname Anko, but if we're making presentations, then you know that nothing beats a live performance. Isn't that right Nai-chan?" Naruto suggested back, sidling up to the Genjutsu mistress on her left side.

Trapped between the two nearly naked perverts, Kurenai could do nothing but blush, unable to come up with any words to say. Just one of them was bad enough, but apparently they were exponentially worse when they were together.

"Nai-chan is looking pretty tense, she probably hasn't been sleeping well." Naruto commented, using Anko's nickname for her.

Of course I haven't slept well with you two making so much noise in the next room. The red eyed Jounin though to herself in irritation.

"Yeah, you're right, but what could we do about it?" Anko asked, keeping up the game.

"Well, I've been told that I give a killer massage." The blond said, looking at Kurenai with a clear question in his face and voice.

Kurenai bit her lip with indecision. She was most definitely not comfortable with the way the two of them were pressing up against her. But a massage sounded really nice right about now, especially if Naruto was the one giving it.

Making a decision and hoping desperately that she wasn't going to end up doing something that she would regret later, she turned towards the blond. "Alright, I'll take you up on that massage."

"You won't be disappointed." He grinned at her.

A few minutes later, Kurenai was laying face down on her bed, still dressed in her shirt and pants and Naruto straddled her hips, still in his underwear. She tried really hard not to think about that. Anko had stayed in the living room to give them some privacy.

He put his hands on her back and began to knead the muscles gently, but firmly. Ninja in general went through life with a great deal of stress, so when Kurenai felt Naruto's powerful chakra penetrating her skin and swirling through her body, loosening up her tense muscles, she had to be careful so that she didn't let out any pleased groans.

Some minutes later, he asked a question and she had to ask him to repeat it because she hadn't been paying attention.

"I was asking whether this shirt had any emotional value for you." The blond told her, amusem*nt coloring his voice.

"Hmm, no, it's just some random shirt I wear to bed." She replied, enjoying herself too much to bother thinking about why he was asking that.

When he suddenly grabbed her shirt in both hands and ripped it apart, leaving her bare back exposed, she let out a surprised yelp. "What the hell are you doing?"

"Don't worry, I just needed to get the shirt out of the way. I'll get you a new one if you want." Naruto said, completely unrepentant over the fact that he had just ripped her clothes off.

He resumed massaging her before she could say anything more and she had to admit that it was much better. Feeling his large hands on her bare back made the whole experience twice as good and she became uncomfortably aware of the heat pooling between her legs again. The fact that his groin was pressing against her rear end was not helping matters.

"I'm going to start on your legs, do you want me to take your pants off?" He questioned after he had completely worked over her back.

Kurenai buried her face in a pillow and nodded, too embarrassed to look at him and tell him just how much she wanted him to take her pants off.

He slid them off and she lifted her hips to help him do it, leaving her wearing nothing but a red thong.

He was tempted to comment on the choice of underwear, but restrained himself and started massaging her feet instead.

Kurenai did groan with pleasure this time as she felt the wonderfully soothing sensation of having her feet massaged with both hands and chakra. After he finished with both feet, he slowly made his way up her left leg, stopping just before her butt and moving on to the other. When he was finished with both legs he placed his hands on her naked butt cheeks slowly, giving her plenty of time to protest.

But she didn't and he continued the massage there. Her underwear quickly started getting soaked from her arousal.

"Take me." She whispered with her eyes closed, not able to stand it any longer. Even if he didn't want a serious relationship, she at least wanted him to take care of the need she was feeling right now.

He leaned over her, chest just barely pressing into her back, making her arousal all the stronger and asked close to her ear. "What did you say? I didn't quite hear."

"Take me." She repeated a bit louder.

He pressed further into her and whispered into her ear. "You know that I can't give you a relationship." Kurenai was a damned sexy woman and he was perfectly willing to sleep with her, but he didn't want her regretting anything later. She was a good person and had even become something of a friend during the two months that they had worked together and he didn't want any awkwardness between them.

Kurenai groaned into the pillow as her nether regions throbbed with even more arousal. Why did he have to be so damned considerate?

Deciding to just dive into it and worry about the consequences later, she turned around so that she was on her back, flinging the remains of her ripped shirt away in the same motion, revealing her breasts. He had backed up a bit to give her room to turn around, but she reached behind his head and pulled him down into a kiss, the rest of his body pressing into her. She could feel that he was just as aroused as her, the same monster she had seen earlier when he had stepped from the shower now throbbed against her sopping wet underwear.

One of his hands reached for her thong and ripped it off with an impatient growl, which only fueled her desire even more, knowing that he must have been keeping a tight lid on his own arousal during the whole massage. She reached down to his underwear and tugged it off, using her feet to get it the rest of the way down his legs.

He pressed into her, his throbbing member pulsing against her opening, making her gasp and cling to his back even tighter in anticipation.

"Last chance." Was growled into her ear, fangs pressing lightly against her ear.

Instead of answering she reached between them with her hand and took hold of him. Angling the throbbing and hard thing in her hand towards her slick opening, she inserted just the head inside, reveling in the groan that rumbled out of his chest

"Take me." She said again, but this time with a seductive purr. She had taken this too far to be backing out now, not that she wanted to.

Not needing anymore invitation, he pushed inside her and she barely kept her scream locked behind her teeth as she felt herself being split open. She had never been with any man this big before and could barely believe how deep inside of her he'd gone.

He stayed still for several long seconds to allow her to adjust before he began to thrust into her with a slow but forceful rhythm, keeping his teeth lightly scraping over her neck.

It had been while since Kurenai had been with a man and she had been very aroused before they'd started, so it didn't take her long at all before she felt the buildup of pressure that signified an approaching org*sm.

"I'm almost there." She gasped out.

"Me too." The words were barely recognizable over the growl in his voice.

"In me, together!" She moaned out the words and felt her body shudder with pleasure immediately afterwards, followed by a rush of warmth.

Naruto had, much to her embarrassment at the time told her of the seal he'd placed on his testicl*s and right now, she was glad, because it allowed her to enjoy being filled up like this without worry about pregnancy.

She sighed contently, running her hands over his back absently. She might not be getting a relationship out of it, but it had definitely been worth it.

Naruto raised himself up so that he could look her in the eye.

"Ready for round two?" he asked with a grin.

"Don't you need some time to recover?" She asked in shock. As far as she knew, that was not how it worked for men.

"A healing factor is a great thing to have isn't it?" He asked rhetorically.

"But you've already been at it all night with Anko!" She said in protest, there was just no way that he had that kind of stamina.

"I can keep going as long as I've got chakra and I make it a point to never disappoint a beautiful woman."

"You certainly didn't disappoint." She sad dryly.

"And I'm going to keep 'not disappointing' you for several more hours." The grin was back and he thrust himself back inside her before she could say anymore, turning whatever she was going to say into a loud groan.

Just outside the door to Kurenai's room, Anko was eavesdropping and had heard everything.

Grinning to herself as she rubbed her thighs together, the snake mistress was making plans to crash that party.

Kurenai was a beautiful woman and Anko was bisexual. The chance to get both her and Naruto at the same time was just too tempting. She had been hoping to convert Kurenai into an equal opportunity lover ever since she had drunkenly made out with her one day and this was definitely a good opportunity for it.

Kurenai might also be pissed at her for it, but it would hardly be the only time that she had done something that the Genjutsu mistress hadn't liked, so it probably wouldn't be too bad...probably.

Maybe being impaled on Naruto's giant joystick would keep her too busy to be upset. A girl could only hope.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

OMAKE: Jiraiya's date.

Jiraiya woke up feeling very uncomfortable. He immediately realized that his hands were bound to the ceiling with chains, his feet similarly bound to the floor, he was also gagged and stripped down to his underwear. His last memory was of walking to Keiko's house with the lovely lady in question on his arm. As soon as they had entered, he had felt a prick on his arm and consciousness slipped away.

Yanking on the chains revealed only the disheartening information that the chains were too strong to break or rip out of the ceiling. Squinting at them revealed that there were small seals inscribed on them, likely reinforcing them.

His ears caught the sound of high heeled boots clicking on the floor and a door opened behind him.

"Ah, I see that the worm has awoken." Came the voice of Keiko, but instead of the warm and teasing tone that he had come to expect from her, it was cold and vicious.

She walked in front of him and Jiraiya's eyes nearly popped out of his skull in appreciation. Knee high heeled boots, a tight leather top that pushed up her breasts and pressed tightly at her crotch, complete with a metal studded choker around her neck. She was every bit an erection inducing sight.

In her hands however, was a worrisome object.

A whip.

Oh sure, Jiraiya could see that it wasn't meant to strip the flesh from bone, but it would still sting like a bitch.

"Naruto-sama has told me of you worm." Keiko continued, still in the same cold and vicious tone. "He tells me that you are a pitiful excuse of a man that peeps on women because you derive pleasure from the beatings they give you."

Jiraiya frantically shook his head in denial. What in the name of Shukaku's dusty balls had his godson been telling this woman?

"He tells me that you feel guilty for using them in such a way for your own pleasure and so he sent you to me. I will gladly satisfy your perverted desires so that innocent women may be spared from your leering eyes."

"Now scream for me worm!" She commanded and began swinging the whip, cracking it against his chest.

Jiraiya tried everything he could to escape but the woman would not stop. Whether he screamed or stayed stubbornly silent, she just kept swinging. Occasionally she changed to a different tool, such as paddles and cattle prods, but she gave him no respite.

What's worse, the toad sage could see the signs of her arousal leaking down her legs from under the tight leather strip covering her crotch. He even saw her shuddering from obvious org*sms several times.

With a whimper that was very real, Jiraiya realized that he wasn't going to be going anywhere until this sad*stic pervert released him and he wouldn't even be able to retaliate, because the gallant Jiraiya never hit a woman.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

OMAKE 2: a drink with Gamabunta.

Hinata was sleeping soundly in her bed, until a sudden shaking of the earth shook the Hyuuga compound , accompanied by a loud crashing sound.

Running outside in her sleeping gown, she joined the rest of her clan in gawking at the spectacle before them.

Uzumaki Naruto and Gamabunta had crash landed onto the private Hyuuga training ground that was just behind the compound. Both were clearly dead stinking drunk and singing a very off key drinking song.

"When I get really drunk, I think that I'm a ninja!" Gamabunta bellowed at ear splitting volume.

"I am ninja, he ish ninja!" Naruto sang at the top of his lungs, pointing at himself and the toad boss.

"You can find me in my old pajamash stuck up in a tree!" Bunta swung his giant tanto in the vague direction of a tree when he sang this, nearly taking the roof off one of the nearby buildings.

"She is ninja too!" Naruto sang and suddenly pointed at Hinata, making the girl give out an 'eep' and blush.

"Shee that'sh the thing, for every ninja that you find!" Gamabunta gesticulated wildly, still bellowing.

"I am ninja, we are ninja!"

"There's a thoushand wannabesh!" The toad boss gestured in the general direction of the gathered Hyuuga.

"And I believe you are ninja too!" With this final line, Naruto suddenly grabbed Hinata and pressed her face into his naked chest.

"Hey Bunta, check out my cute little shishster!" The blond yelled up at the toad boss drunkenly.

"She'sh a cute one alright, but I didn't know you were a Huuyga...no wait that ain't the word...Hyuuga, thatsh it!." Bunta said in the tone of someone who had discovered a great secret of existence.

"I'm not you giant wart on the assh of the world, but she definitely looks like a little shishter!" Naruto refuted...drunkenly.

Hiashi was thinking fast about what he could do to defuse this situation. Sadly, it wasn't the first time that a drunken Gamabunta had crashed into a clan training ground.

The Aburame had never quite forgiven the Yondaime.

Either way, the Hyuuga didn't have any techniques that would allow them to fight a gigantic boss summon, never mind the fact that he wasn't a hostile. They couldn't attack Uzumaki either, since that would end up being called an assault against the head of another clan.

"Let go of my nee-chan!" Came the voice of an angry Hanabi, who was worried about what this perverted flasher was doing with her sister and had pushed her way to the front.

"Oh look, it'sh another cute little shishter!" Naruto exclaimed and grabbed her too, making her give a squeal. She would have used the Juuken, but that was pretty hard to do with your arms mashed together and your face in someone elses chest.

Jumping up on Gamabunta's head with his two little sisters before anyone could react, he only barely heard one of the long haired guys below yelling something.

"Release my daughters Uzumaki!"

"Who ish thish girly looking bashtard?"

"I dunno, but I think it'sh time for thish ship to shet shail!"

"Bunta AWAY!"

With that, Gamabunta jumped in a random direction that he hoped had nothing important in it, blond summoner and his two cute, squealing little sisters in tow.

Before they started chasing after the giant toad in an effort to recover the clan heads daughters, they heard one last below from the giant toad.

"Fifteen men on a dead man'sh chesht!"

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Notes:

Thar we go, all done.

REVIEWS FOR THE REVIEW THRONE.

Parts of the 'Ninja Drinking Song' by Sci-Fried used without permission and without intention of making any profit, aside from giggles.

Chapter 9

Notes:

DISCLAIMER: The cake is a lie.

Review responses:

No specific answers this time, but I am glad someone other than me thinks that the spam of harem fics is getting a bit much. I mean, I don't mind the occasional harem fic, but when it starts getting hard to find a non-harem fic, that's when you know that things are going a bit far.

Aside from that, thanks to everyone for their positive reviews and I hope that you like this next chapter.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

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There was a palpable air of anticipation in the Chunin exam stadium. The village, along with many foreign visitors had been eagerly awaiting the tournament, mostly due to there being so many prodigiously skilled Genin participating this time.

Most had come to see what the last Uchiha and Hyuuga Neji, both of whom were said to be enormously talented. Although word had been going around lately that Uzumaki Naruto was also someone to be watched out for.

There had been no grand announcement, but rumors had been going around that the blond Genin was the son of the Yondaime Hokage. Most people disregarded this as preposterous, but some had taken a good look at him and noticed a disturbing similarity of hair and eye color. Not to mention that those who had been old enough to take note of it, recalled that Namikaze Minato had often been seen in the company of Uzumaki Kushina.

Naruto's graduating class along with team Gai, being made up mostly of clan heirs, the parents of which had been present when Naruto had revealed his heritage, were now aware of it as well. They'd all been pretty stunned at learning that little bit of information and had wanted to talk to Naruto about it, but the blond had been like a ghost the past month.

Those Konoha Genin who had not made it to the finals were sitting together, joined by their sensei's. Even Jiraiya was there, wanting to see what people thought of his godson and see him fight. Well, Kakashi was missing, but nobody was overly surprised by this, considering his reputation for being late. The Genin were slightly surprised to find the second phase proctor, Mitarashi Anko, sitting next to Kurenai, but reasoned that the two women were friends after seeing them standing together in the preliminaries.

Unknown to all of these people, Xanna was sitting just a couple of rows behind them, curiosity having gotten the better of her. She wouldn't usually bother watching a bunch of human children beat the snot out of each other, but she wanted to see Naruto beat the snot out of them.

Uchiha Sasuke and Kinuta Dosu were missing, but nobody was making a fuss out of it, giving them time to show up until their respective matches begin. Sasuke was on something of a tight schedule for showing up, being in the second match, but Dosu conceivably still had several hours, depending on how long the matches lasted, as he had a freebie for his first match, due to an odd number of contestants.

"This should be good." Kiba said with a grin, eagerly waiting for the first match to start. He hadn't been pleased at the way that Neji had hurt Hinata and was hoping that Naruto would kick his ass. After seeing the blond beat Kurenai-sensei in a spar, he had no doubt that he could do it.

He still felt a bit ashamed about forfeiting without even trying to fight, but the way that even his mother had assured him that he had done the right thing eased his mind on that. Her explanation on what an Ichibi Jinchuuriki was had also left him feeling as if he'd just barely dodged a kunai with that forfeit. He didn't know why she had been so uncomfortable explaining that topic though. A demon being sealed into someone was a damn freaky thing, but he didn't understand her reluctance to explain.

"Hell yeah, I can't wait to see blondie flatten that Hyuuga prick, not to mention that I also bet huge on him." Anko said with a bloodthirsty grin.

"You guys really think that he can win?" Tenten asked, bringing attention to herself. "I mean, I know that he's pretty strong, but Neji is a genius." She continued, with doubt clear in her tone.

Anko just laughed at her before answering. "Girl, that teammate of yours has no idea what he's in for. Naruto is going to eat him alive, even Nai-chan felt confident that betting on him was a sure thing. He's a monster to fight against." She should know, since she'd tried to spar against him. The only reason she'd won that spar was because she'd gotten tricky with her snake summons, but at the rate that Naruto was improving, that was likely going to be the only time that she'd win.

Kurenai was having somewhat different thoughts when Anko mentioned Naruto being a monster.

Impaled from behind, a large hand fisted in her hair, pulling her head back so that his mouth was at her ear.

A voice, heavy with lust, growled out a command through sharp teeth.

"Scream for me."

She shook her head, not truly capable of speech with his large member thrusting into her.

His other hand reached between them and used the same technique that he had used to massage her earlier, now applied to the sensitive bundle of nerves just above her entrance, but at much greater intensity.

A scream ripped itself out of her throat, no matter how much she wanted to contain it.

The Genjutsu mistress blushed and pressed her thighs together. This was so not the time to be thinking of that.

"I second that, the Hyuuga has no chance." Jiraiya confirmed. His godson had made obscene progress in just a month and the toad sage was getting the feeling that Naruto had been doing extra work out of his sight.

His back still stung from his 'date' with Keiko though. Little bastard was just as disrespectful of his sensei as his father. More even.

"How can you be so sure Jiraiya-sama?" Asuma asked.

"Because I've been training him for the past month." He answered, getting surprised looks, as nobody had known who Naruto was training with for the past month. "That kid trains harder than a dozen shinobi put together. If he keeps going at this rate, he'll end up stronger than me within a few years."

"Don't you think that's a bit of a stretch?" Asuma asked skeptically.

"I didn't expect him to be much either when I first met him, but once you see him train, you'd think he was trying to commit suicide by training himself to death. He wouldn't tell me why he works so hard, but it's gotta be something very important to him." Jiraiya explained what he knew.

"Naruto has always been most youthful in his training, it would not surprise me if he did indeed surpass Jiraiya-sama eventually." Gai added, with Lee nodding his agreement right after.

"What do you think Hinata? You know them both, so you should have a good idea about who's going to win." Ino asked wanting the opinion of someone that she knew better. Both Neji and Naruto had scared the crap out of her when she saw them in the forest.

"Um, I think that Naruto nii-san is going to win." Hinata said with a small blush at being put on the spot.

"I with Hinata on this, you guys still haven't seen everything that Naruto can do." Sakura seconded, thinking of the chakra chain ability that her teammate still hadn't revealed.

Tenten started feeling some worry at hearing how much confidence everyone had in the blond, but still retained some doubts. So far, Neji had easily beaten everyone that he had ever fought and it was hard for her to to think that he could be beaten.

"In any case, looks like it's finally starting, so you'll be able to see for yourself just how good he is." Jiraiya redirected their attention to the arena.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

"Will Uzumaki Naruto and Hyuuga Neji please make their way to the arena." Shiranui Genma said loudly. The senbon chewing Jounin had replaced Hayate, who had been found killed earlier in the month.

The two Genin made their way to the arena, both utterly certain in their victory.

As soon as Naruto appeared there, there was a great commotion from one section of the stands, drawing the curiosity of the people and making them look. What they saw was a large group of women, ranging in age from 20 to 40, holding banners.

'Go Naruto, we believe in you!'

'Naruto for Hokage!'

'Uzumaki-sama sex god!' That one was Naruto's personal favorite.

Naruto couldn't help a grin as he turned towards that section of the stands, spreading his arms in a wide, flamboyant gesture and addressed the women sitting there.

"Ladies!...Contain your org*sms."

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Sarutobi palmed his face as the blond's words were met with roaring approval from the women.

"If he keeps this up, the village is going to start getting a really strange reputation." The Hokage muttered to himself. He could already imagine people calling him the Erokage behind his back.

Next to him, Orochimaru, disguised as the Yondaime Kazekage, smirked to himself in a rare moment of true amusem*nt. His old sensei had spent so long inside the village that he had forgotten that Konoha had always had a strange reputation.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

"All those women..." Jiraiya muttered to himself in disbelief. "What does he have that I don't?"

"Unlike you, he knows how to treat a woman." Anko said with a smirk, enjoying the toad sages' jealousy.

"You've slept with him too?" Asuma asked disbelievingly. He hadn't put any stock into the rumors about Naruto, but this was more or less irrefutable proof.

"Oh yeah and I don't regret a second of it." The snake summoner replied with a grin, surreptitiously squeezing Kurenai's thigh, remembering that day.

Anko made her way stealthily towards Kurenai and Naruto. The Genjutsu mistress was sitting in his lap, with her back leaned against his chest, legs spread wide as he thrust himself inside of her. Her hands were raised behind her head and gripping his hair, his hands massaging her breasts and playing with her nipples.

She kneeled between their legs and leaned forwards, intent on adding her tongue to Kurenai's stimulation.

As soon as her tongue flicked over the small nub, Kurenai's eyes shot wide open with a gasp.

"Anko!" She gasped out in shock, trying to bring her legs together and her hands down to push the woman away.

Her arms were caught by Naruto, and her legs kept spread by Anko as the other woman began licking in earnest, quickly pushing the Genjutsu mistress over the edge.

"Fill her up Naruto." Anko said while her closest friend was still in a daze from her powerful org*sm.

The blond complied, eagerly shooting thick ropes of his seed into the woman sitting on his lap.

As soon as he was done, Anko pulled his member out and latched her mouth onto Kurenai's twitching nether lips, which had already begun leaking his seed due to her upright position.

"Anko, stop." The Genjutsu mistress protested weakly, but it was only with words. Her legs weren't trying to close anymore.

"Well at least I know that Kurenai-sensei hasn't slept with him." Kiba grumbled, his jealousy obvious to all the adults present.

Kurenai looked away with a blush, not saying anything.

After several moments of uncomfortable silence, Kiba felt the need to ask. "You didn't, did you sensei?"

Kurenai refused to say anything, but her blush got worse and she shifted uncomfortably.

"Even you?" Jiraiya gaped. Kurenai had over the years developed a reputation as a rather picky woman as far as men were concerned. Not to mention that she was rumored to despise perverts.

Pride in his godson warred with seething jealousy.

Asuma just sighed silently with disappointment. Beaten to the punch by a teenager over ten years his junior.

Sakura sighed in resignation while Ino and Tenten gaped. Chouji even stopped eating his chips for a moment in his surprise and Hinata just blushed hotly at the thought of her sensei doing...that with her nii-san.

The red eyed Jounin shrugged in a helpless manner and just decided to repeat what Anko said. "Like Anko said, he knows how to treat a woman."

"Gai-sensei, I am confused. Are these these actions of Naruto youthful or unyouthful?" Lee asked with a blush. Gai-sensei had always warned him about the dangers of becoming a pervert like his eternal rival, but many women seemed happy that Naruto was the way that he was.

"That is something that you will only understand when you are older Lee." Gai said sagely, hiding the fact that he was just as confused as his student. This was a moral conundrum that needed more youthful training to solve.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

As the proctor announced the beginning of the fight, Neji immediately opened his mouth and went into his usual rant.

"You should give up Uzumaki, you were fated to lose the moment you drew me as your opponent."

"Uh huh, so you say. If I believed in fate, then I wouldn't have mode it this far." Naruto countered.

"You haven't truly made it anywhere, you are merely deluding yourself into thinking that you've achieved anything at all. You are fated to lose here and no matter what you do or how hard you try, you will progress no further. Failures will always remain failures, despite your heritage. Your womanizing behavior only makes you seem more pathetic." Neji shot back with a smirk.

Naruto narrowed his eyes at the condescending little prick and really wished that he could go there and break his face, but he wasn't going to be controlled by his anger and rise to the obvious bait. No matter how much he didn't like it, engaging a skilled Hyuuga in Taijutsu was pretty stupid, which was why he had some tricks up his sleeve.

"You know, being so long winded will make the ladies...hate your guts."

After saying that, Naruto removed something from inside his coat. He got many confused looks as he unsealed a rebreather made for underwater combat. Neji made no move to interrupt, believing with utter certainty that nothing the blond did was going to help him.

After he placed the rebreather on his face, he unsealed another storage scroll and released it. Water immediately rushed out of the scroll in large quantities.

"Was that supposed to achieve something?" Neji asked mockingly, believing that Naruto had screwed up something with whatever he was trying to achieve.

"Not yet." The blond answered enigmatically, his voice distorted by the rebreather.

Moments after he said this, the water began to act strangely, being pulled towards the blond, climbing up his body and sticking to it. Soon his entire body was covered in a dense layer of water that constantly swirled around him, trying to escape, but kept attached to him by the pull of his chakra.

"Suiton: Mizu no Yoroi(Water Release: Armor of Water)." Naruto called out the name of his technique, voice distorted even further by the water, making him sound distinctly creepy.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

"I hate it when he does that." Jiraiya said as Naruto put the rebreather on.

"Why?" Kurenai asked curiously.

"Because even though he's a lot more muscled, with that long blond hair of his he looks way too much like Hanzo the Salamander when he puts that thing on. He even got himself a similar rebreather just because he knows it freaks me out." Jiraiya explained with a grumble.

The Genin looked a bit confused at this explanation, but the Jounin knew of the three on one battle that the Sannin had lost against the leader of Rain country. Hanzo had a well deserved scary reputation.

Everyone leaned forward in interest when they saw him form the armor of water, both impressed and very curious about the technique.

"What's the point of using water as armor? Neji can just attack him right through it." Ino said in confusion. How was water useful as armor?

"It might not look like much, but take note of how much water he's compressed into that armor. Water, wind and fire techniques have serious trouble getting through it, but Naruto is actually of the opinion that it would even block Juuken strikes. I told him not to try it in combat for the first time, but he's apparently decided to ignore me." The toad sage explained.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Without saying another word, Naruto charged forward, intent on punching the arrogant Hyuuga right in the face.

Neji quickly activated the Byakugan went into a traditional Gentle Fist stance and met the blond's charge. Naruto's initial punch of the face was deflected and Neji struck at his exposed chest, seeking to end the fight quickly.

Naruto shrugged the attack off like it was nothing and kept coming, simply powering through Neji's defenses and ignoring the Juuken blows as if they were flea bites.

The relentless attack eventually broke through Neji's guard and he took series of hits to the face and chest with a water covered fist. It didn't do as much damage as it would have without the water softening up the blow, but water that dense was still ridiculously hard considering that it was a liquid.

"Why is it that I cannot close your Tenketsu?" Neji asked in confusion. He had been under the impression that the Gentle Fist was unlockable.

"My water armor is charged with my chakra and the water itself is always moving. Your puny chakra pokes are dispersed long before they reach my Tenketsu." Naruto answered smugly, quite proud of his creation.

"If chakra based attacks are of no use, then I will use something else." Neji said and threw several kunai.

Naruto made no move to dodge, allowing the kunai to sink into the water. The covering of water however, proved to be so dense that they didn't penetrate very deeply, leaving them to fall to the floor shortly after.

"Your training didn't give you enough muscle to penetrate my armor. Unless you've got something else up your sleeve, then I am simply going to beat you down while you are helpless to do anything to me." Naruto taunted.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

"Now that's impressive. Never thought I'd see the day that someone found a way to block the Juuken." Asuma admitted.

"It is a most youthful technique, to defeat the Juuken, but I do not believe Neji is finished quite yet." Gai said.

Some distance away, the observing Hyuuga were stunned to see someone devise a means of blocking their prized fighting style.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Neji knew that he needed to break that water armor or the Uzumaki really was going to just keep hounding him until he was too beaten to fight on. The hits he had taken had been strong despite being sheathed in water.

He hadn't wanted to reveal this particular ability in his first match, but it was the only thing that he could think of to get rid of that armor. He allowed Naruto to get close to him again and began spinning just before he was hit again.

"Hakkeshō Kaiten (Eight Trigrams Revolving Heaven)!"

The perfectly timed spinning chakra dome ground against the dense water armor, steadily shaving away the water and sending Naruto flying away, his water armor stripped away.

"Do you see the futility of your efforts now?" Neji asked tauntingly.

"So you found a way to break my water armor, big deal. I've got plenty of other things that I can use to beat you." Naruto answered with a grin, his rebreather already removed. He wasn't put out at all about losing the water armor, since the test had been successful. He had only wanted to see if it would block the chakra pokes of the Juuken after all.

Neji scowled and charged, intending to end the fight quickly, but was rapidly forced to backpedal as chains burst from the blond and snaked towards him, intending to skewer him.

"What is this?" Neji asked in alarm, as he had nearly been impaled due to his surprise.

"Uzumaki chakra chains. Great for controlling the battlefield, capturing the enemy and kinky sex games." Naruto explained with a grin.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Arms spread wide, bound to the bed with chains. Legs similarly bound but bent at the knees as the maker of those chains thrust himself inside her.

Anko, with her crotch placed over her mouth, moaning in pleasure at having her black haired friend using her tongue on her nether lips. Kurenai had stopped protesting about the purple haired woman joining in several org*sms ago. She could still taste the remnants of Naruto's release inside of her and the taste sent pleasure shuddering through her body, making her feel as if she had taken a soldier pill, but slower acting and without the nasty side effects.

She heard Naruto groaning as he released inside of her again.

It was Anko's turn to be chained now.

"Why are Kurenai-sensei and Anko-san blushing?" Lee asked cluelessly.

All attention went to the two women, who were indeed blushing as they looked at the chakra chains that Naruto had created. The long and severely embarrassing silence was broken by the sound of someone falling to their knees.

"How did it come to this? How did the gallant Jiraiya become a joke, while my student indulges in all manner of perversity as if it was the most natural thing in the world?" Jiraiya despaired, punching the ground a few times just for emphasis.

While everyone was staring at the supposedly respectable toad sage with both pity and confusion and discussing the chakra chains, Xanna was listening in on their conversation and smirking to herself.

She and perhaps that ramen waitress that Naruto was so fond of were the only ones who knew the truth. Naruto would have never even looked at another woman in a sexual manner if she hadn't pushed him to do it. It was a flattering thought , but she was certain that he was better off this way. The immense self confidence that he had now was due to the fact that he was comfortable with who he was and didn't care what anyone thought of him.

Except for her and Ayame. The thought pleased her a great deal. She had nothing against the ramen waitress, but that was only because she knew that Naruto would never see her as anything but a big sister. That weak civilian girl was the only one that might have been able to sway Naruto away from her, but their relationship was purely familial.

Xanna didn't spend too much time thinking about why exactly that was so reassuring. Losing Naruto would have been more painful than just the loss of an interesting human as would have been the case as much as a few months ago. Something had changed when he left Tsunami in Wave for the sake of continuing his journey to win her hand in marriage and there was no point in pretending otherwise.

She had gotten emotionally attached to a mortal, something that she had never expected to happen. Demons were naturally more in tune with the darker emotions, so it spoke much about Naruto that he had invoked this feeling in her. The problem was that she didn't know what to do about it.

Well...she could kill him before it got any worse, that would make it better for her in the long run. Allowing her attachment to progress any further only to lose him because he was a mortal would hurt her worse than anything since the start of her life. Even the descent into madness of her Bijuu siblings hadn't troubled her overmuch, since they hadn't gotten along either way.

But she couldn't bring herself to do that to him. Naruto had thrown everything he was into the task of winning her affection, it would be cruel beyond description to kill him for having some measure of success. Not very long ago, she had resolved that she didn't want him to be immortal because it would change him. She found herself wishing that it was in her power to do something like that now.

It would be a terribly selfish thing to do. Death was something that humans were afraid of, but in truth it was a gift, rest at the end of a road. She wanted to take that away from him, deny him that rest so that she could keep him with her for eternity and she wouldn't be alone anymore or have to face losing him.

Well, she wasn't bothered over how selfish her desires were. Being the only one of her kind made self centered selfishness as a way of life fairly mandatory. What bothered her was that for all of her power, she was as helpless as the mortals around her in this case. She could obliterate this entire village and everything around it with ease, but power was not given her to change the natural order.

And the natural order said that Uzumaki Naruto was going to die, one way or another. For the first time in her existence, she resented the natural order.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Neji batted aside the chains with quick Juuken blows, keeping his eyes sharp for any that might come at him from behind. The chains were chakra constructs and so they lost their cohesion when struck by the disruptive Juuken blows.

The fight was in a stalemate however, as Neji couldn't get close enough and Naruto couldn't get him with his chains.

"Well, I see that this isn't going anywhere, so I might as well end this." Naruto said.

"Oh? Finally decided to accept your fate and forfeit?" Neji asked mockingly.

"Oh no, I'm just tired of playing with you and listening to you bitch about fate just because daddy died." The blond said as he retrieved a piece of seal paper from his coat.

"You don't know anything! My father was fated to die because of the circ*mstances of his birth, just like I am fated to be caged forever by this cursed seal, just like you are fated to lose." Neji raged and tore his forehead protector off, revealing his caged bird seal, composure lost.

"I think that you're about to eat those words." Naruto said calmly and pressed the seal tag to the ground. Black lines of Fuinjutsu script expanded to cover the entire arena, drawing many curious looks.

Naruto outstretched his hand, with his thumb pointing sideways before speaking.

"Jūryoku-ko (Graviton)!" He said, turning his thumb downwards.

Neji immediately felt his body get incredibly heavy, forcing him down to his hands and knees. The trees in the arena groaned woodenly as their trunks strained to support them, branches pressed down and some even broke off. The grass was flattened against the earth and the rocks sank a few inches deeper into the ground.

"What is this?" Neji ground out through clenched teeth, struggling to force himself back to his feet without much success.

"Gravity seal. I'm increasing the gravity in this arena, making every object several times heavier. I'm the only one who's unaffected because I have a counter seal placed on me." Naruto explained.

"I bet it must really piss you off that you're being forced to bow because of another seal." The blond continued conversationally.

Neji seethed at the words. It seems that he was fated to have his life controlled by seals at every turn and he hated it.

"You've got a choice now Neji. I can increase the gravity even further and squash you like a grape, or you can call me Uzumaki-sama, apologize for your previous words and ask me to spare you. That is your fate now. "Naruto said, completely without mockery, drawing the pale eyed boys attention.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

"Nii-san, that's so cruel." Hinata said sadly, knowing how much Neji would hate being placed into that position.

Everyone else was looking pretty stunned at how easily Naruto had taken control of the battle. He could have used that at the beginning and shut Neji down at the very start.

The watching Jounin and Hokage realized that the gravity seal was no doubt difficult to prepare and had limited use in a battlefield that wasn't as limited as the arena.

In the enclosed space of the arena, where nobody could leave if they didn't want to forfeit the match however, that seal was pretty much a guaranteed win technique.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Neji looked up at the blond from his kneeling position and silently fumed to himself. It was just like the Hyuuga cursed seal, he could either submit or die.

All his life he'd been forced to present a respectful façade to the main house to prevent having the caged bird seal used on him and now this blond outsider had forced him into the same position.

His cousin was the only one that he had been able to lash out against, the failure of the main house being too meek to retaliate. He turned his head to look at her, seeing her wringing her hands in worry, worry for him

He had always hated it when she looked at him like that, as if he needed the worry of a weakling like her. He had thought that nearly killing her would be enough to snap her out of that stupidity, but she was still the same, still worrying about him and all of the other branch house members, constantly trying to do anything she could to help them. Her father disapproved, but ever since she had started hanging around Uzumaki, she had gotten only more persistent about it.

A look towards his uncle Hiashi revealed nothing but the usual, unreadable blank face of the clan head. His younger cousin Hanabi sat beside him, trying to emulate her fathers unreadable look, but failing at it, she looked worried too. Hanabi was like her father far more than Hinata, but still loved her big sister and took after her in many ways.

Being forced into this position in public, in front of everyone, was more than his pride could take. He didn't care anymore if it killed him, but he wasn't going to bow to someone's whims just because they held his life in their hands anymore.

Grinding his teeth together with effort and sweat pouring down his face, he forced himself to his feet and began to stumble towards the blond.

"I am not going to bow to you!" Neji ground out.

"Are you sure about that?" Naruto asked and turned his thumb just a bit further down, increasing the gravity just a bit more.

Neji stumbled and nearly fell back to his knees, but kept himself upright by forcing all the chakra that he could into his legs, reinforcing them enough that they would support him.

Instead of answering, Neji just kept staggering forward, keeping all of his focus on putting one foot in front of the other. Any second now he was expecting the gravity to increase to fatal levels, crushing his bones and organs and ending his life under the power of another seal. At least it wasn't the caged bird seal and his last act would be in defiance of someone's demands to submit, even if it wasn't the main house.

The gravity lifted with shocking suddenness and Neji was sent rocketing forward from the force with which he was pushing against the ground.

He crashed into a web of chains that instantly bound his limbs, preventing any movement and lifted him up to eye level with Naruto.

"For someone who claims that everything is decided by fate, you've been rather defiant just now. Tell me Neji, was it worth defying fate instead of giving in?" Naruto asked, scrutinizing the revealed caged bird seal as he did so. No doubt it was a nasty piece of work, cursed seals always were. He would have a shadow clone transcribe it later, you never know what might come in handy one day.

Neji slammed his forehead into the blonds nose, breaking it in a gush of blood.

"Now it was worth it." The Hyuuga said tiredly. Despite getting his nose broken, Naruto's chains didn't release him and even if he'd been free he wasn't sure if his muscles were in any condition to take down his opponent.

Naruto quickly set his nose and dumped a Jounin's worth of chakra to speed the healing.

"Well I'm glad you think so." Naruto said dryly, face stained with rapidly drying blood.

"Proctor, I cannot continue." Neji said towards the proctor.

"Hyuuga Neji forfeits the match, the winner is Uzumaki Naruto."

The crowd roared it's approval of the match as Naruto released Neji from the chains, making the pale eyed Genin fall on his ass.

The Hyuuga got up to his feet and felt something land on his head. Reaching up to grab it and bring it to his face, he blushed when he discovered that it was a thong, recently removed if the slight stain on it was anything to go by. He strongly suspected that it's owner had been aiming for Naruto.

Naruto was similarly covered with underwear, though he had a bra hanging over his shoulder. There were several other articles of female underwear on the floor around them.

"You see Neji, defying fate does pay off!" The blond grinned at him and laughed at him.

Neji felt the ridiculousness of the situation catch up to him and couldn't prevent a slight chuckle from escaping his lips. Despite his loss, he felt as if he had won something more important than a match. He had defied fate, and it hadn't turned out to be as terrible as he had thought it would. It had actually felt pretty good.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

"Neji lost...and he's laughing, Neji never laughs." Tenten said to herself in disbelief.

She couldn't believe just how easily Naruto had shut down the genius Hyuuga. She'd thought he was like Lee, another dead last with no talent that had decided to focus on Taijutsu. It was clear now that Naruto's focus had never been on Taijutsu at all.

Nearby, Hinata breathed a sigh of relief that everything had turned out all right. Though she was worried when she saw her father going after the medics that had taken Neji away to be checked. She hoped that her cousin wouldn't get in trouble for using a main house technique.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

"Will Sabaku no Gaara and Uchiha Sasuke make their way to the arena?" Genma called out.

Gaara instantly appeared in a sand style body flicker, eager for a fight. The only person he had killed since coming out of the Forest of Death had been that idiot sound Genin that had attacked him and he was itching to kill someone.

Uzumaki's words in the tower had gone through his head over and over again, taunting him with the possibility of sleep. It was something he had wanted for a long time, to be able to rest, but he also didn't want to lose mothers voice in his head. She was the only one who would speak to him and he didn't want to be alone.

A minute passed and Sasuke still hadn't showed up. The crowd started grumbling impatiently, irritated at having to wait for the match to start.

"Uchiha Sasuke, make your way to the arena immediately or be disqualified!"

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

"Hokage-dono, I do not believe it would be wise to disqualify Sasuke. Many of the nobles here have come to see the last Uchiha fight and will be displeased if he were to be disqualified." The disguised Orochimaru said.

Sarutobi sighed tiredly and quickly thought about his options. Sasuke really should be disqualified, that was the usual action taken if someone didn't show up to their own fight after all. What the Kazekage said was also true however.

He rolls over for everyone...

Naruto's words from that council meeting a month ago went through his head. Did he really do that? Just cave in to everyone who made requests or demands to him because he didn't want to deal with it?

Thinking about several past council meetings told him that he did indeed cave in to what people asked him more often than not.

"What you say is true Kazekage-dono, but I cannot show favoritism, no matter who it is. If Uchiha Sasuke can't even show up on time for his own match, then he is unfit to be Chunin anyway." Sarutobi said, feeling fairly certain that it was the right choice, despite the likely loss of business that Konoha would suffer due to Sasuke not showing up. That was the Uchiha's fault, or more likely Kakashi's, anyway now that he thought about it.

Orochimaru didn't say anything, but he was quite upset with the decision. He had wanted to see how his future vessel would do against Gaara.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

After the disapproving roars of the crowd stopped and a frustrated looking Gaara made his way back to the contestant box, Genma announced the next match between Aburame Shino and Sabaku no Kankuro.

"Proctor, I forfeit!" Kankuro yelled down to the arena, causing yet more angry yelling from the crowd. They had come to see these young shinobi fight and had gotten all fired up by the first match. To have two of the matches decided without a single punch was severely disappointing to them.

"Very well then. Nara Shikamaru and Sabaku no Temari, make your way to the arena!"

Temari easily glided down to the arena on her fan and waited for her lazy opponent to make it down.

Still up in the contestant box, Shikamaru was contemplating the merits of forfeiting. Everyone seemed to be doing it and the idea held a lot of appeal to him. That blond with the huge fan sure did look troublesome down there.

He was just weighing how troublesome forfeiting would be in comparison to not forfeiting when he was suddenly pushed into the arena. A look upwards revealed that Naruto had been standing behind him.

"Damn troublesome blonds." The lazy Genin muttered to himself, not quite low enough to prevent Temari from hearing him.

"What was that you lazy bastard?" The temperamental wind user yelled at her opponent.

Shikamaru just sighed to himself in resignation. He knew that he was actually going to have to put forward some effort this time. Word of this fight would eventually reach his mother and if he didn't give a good showing of himself...well she would be troublesome.

Not working was pretty bad and many Nara males had mastered the art of pretending to work. Being caught pretending to work was, however the worst case scenario. If his mother heard that he had given a half assed effort in this fight, he would have no peace from her for a troublesome eternity.

"Nara-san, please get up from the floor and get ready." The proctor said, sweat dropping at the Genin who looked to be about ready to fall asleep where he'd fallen.

"Alright already. Troublesome proctor." Shikamaru muttered, followed by a yawn that made Temari's eye twitch in irritation at how lazy the boy was.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Despite the initial booing from the crowd at the slowness of the match, they were eventually drawn in by the clever strategies Shikamaru was using to try and trap Temari. The match dragged on for over two hours as Shikamaru refused to leave the shelter of the trees, where he had taken shelter from her wind attacks.

Temari herself couldn't approach to flush him out, because the shadows there gave Shikamaru too much of an advantage, making the entire match one long stalemate.

Eventually, Shikamaru managed to maneuver Temari into a trap. It would have been easy for him to disable her and claim victory.

"Proctor, I forfeit."

"What?! Why? You've won!" Temari asked loudly, shocked and irritated at being handed the win after being defeated.

"Because I've got almost no chakra left and I can't hold this technique any longer anyway." Shikamaru said and released the technique. Truth be told, he still had about half his chakra left, but he really didn't want to continue any further and risk getting promoted.

Surely the fact that he'd given up after winning and his lazy attitude would convince the Hokage and the gathered Jounin that he was unfit to be Chunin?

Unknown to Shikamaru, his explanation of forfeiting because he didn't have enough chakra to continue had impressed quite a few people. His clever strategies had been similarly impressive to the Jounin and Hokage, eventually making them decide that despite his lazy attitude and low combat ability, he deserved the promotion.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Naruto and Gaara were gazing at each other in anticipation. One was eager to see how he measured up against such a powerful opponent and the other wished to prove his existence by killing a powerful fighter.

"Are both contestants ready?" Genma asked and seeing them both nod, continued. "Then be-"

Before he could start the match, he was interrupted by the sudden arrival of Hatake Kakashi and Uchiha Sasuke, long since too late for his match.

"Ah, sorry, are we late?" Kakashi asked with an eye smile.

"Yes you are, in fact you are so late that the Uchiha was disqualified over two hours ago." Genma informed the silver haired Jounin irritably.

"What?!" Sasuke asked angrily, Sharingan activating subconsciously.

"Um, oops?" Kakashi said with a nervous laugh.

Internally he was sighing in relief. He had been hoping to get Sasuke disqualified, because he knew that he didn't stand a chance against Gaara, at least not yet. He had sought out all the information that Konoha had on the Ichibi Jinchuuriki and did not believe that any kind of training that Sasuke could accomplish in a month would get him up to that level. Telling the overly proud Uchiha something like that however, was guaranteed to make him want to fight in order to prove his strength. Kakashi knew that Sasuke was very strong for a Genin, stronger than many Chunin really, but he wasn't ready to fight someone like Gaara. Not to mention that Kakashi didn't really think that Sasuke was Chunin material as far as his mentality was concerned.

"Don't worry Sasuke, women don't like guys that come early." Naruto couldn't resist from commenting.

Sasuke looked about ready to explode, but wasn't sure who he should be angry at, his sensei who had made him so late or the teammate that was turning it into a joke. Kakashi managed to lead Sasuke away, telling him that rank didn't really matter too much anyway and that he would have another chance in 6 months.

"Begin!" Genma called once the two fighters were again alone in the arena.

"Come Uzumaki, show me the power of the Kyuubi Jinchuuriki. Let us see which one of us has the stronger existence." Gaara beckoned, eager for the battle to finally begin.

"I'm not going to be using the Kyuubi's power to fight you Gaara, I'll be using my own strength." Naruto answered, not at all bothered about the fact that Gaara had announced his Jinchuuriki status to everyone. If someone didn't like it then they could kiss his ass.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

"Kyuubi Jinchuuriki?" Kiba whispered to himself with a sinking feeling. Now that his mother had explained to him what an Ichibi Jinchuuriki was, it didn't take a genius to figure out what, or more accurately who, the Kyuubi Jinchuuriki was.

"What's a Jinchuuriki Kakashi-sensei?" Sakura asked, confused and curious.

"My mother told me that it's a person with a demon sealed inside them." Kiba answered.

All of the Jounin, along with Jiraiya kept their grimaces to themselves at just how badly that secret had been blown. There was no point in trying to keep a lid on that knowledge anymore.

"But Gaara called Naruto the Kyuubi Jinchuuriki. Didn't the Yondaime kill it?" Ino asked.

"No, The Kyuubi is immortal and can't be killed by any human, so the Yondaime sealed it into Naruto, his own son, to protect the village. You might have noticed how some of the villagers seem to hate Naruto, well that's because they stupidly transferred their hate and fear of the Kyuubi onto Naruto. He's been protecting the village from the Kyuubi ever since he was born and many hate him because of it, even though he's done nothing to deserve that hate. It's also the reason that he hasn't graduated years ago, the academy instructors were sabotaging him. I hope all of you have enough brains to distinguish Naruto from the Kyuubi." Jiraiya explained, hoping to prevent any stupidity on the part of these young brats.

Sasuke was looking pretty stunned at learning that Naruto held a demon inside him and was the son of the Yondaime on top of it. He hadn't been around to hear that piece of information.

The rest of the rookies didn't quite know how to take that bit of information, but their opinion of the people who hated Naruto took a considerable dive. Naruto was definitely many things, but a demon wasn't one of them. They had never realized just how much harder than them the blond had it.

"Naruto is even more youthful than I thought. To be protecting the village just by living, he blazes with youth!" Lee exclaimed.

The very much unsealed Kyuubi sitting behind them smirked at the irony of it.

"But how did Gaara know that Naruto is the Kyuubi Jinchuuriki." Tenten asked

"I overheard Naruto telling Kurenai-sensei just before my match in the preliminaries that he's the Ichibi Jinchuuriki and that he's unstable. Maybe they can recognize each other." Kiba revealed and theorized.

"What do you mean unstable?" Sakura asked.

"the Ichibi is known to be insane and usually drives it's host insane too. It also doesn't help that Jinchuuriki are almost universally hated by the people around them, while at the same time being considered weapons by their village, which often makes them angry and resentful, in many cases homicidal." Jiraiya explained again.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Naruto rushed at the redhead, aiming a punch at his face. Gaara never saw it coming, but with his automatic sand defense, he didn't need to. He was however, shocked to find that Naruto's hand had penetrated right through his sand shield.

Naruto didn't let up and kept attacking. By the fourth attack, Gaara felt a fist slamming into his jaw, sending him flying.

The Sunagakure Genin got back on his feet with a look of crazed excitement, sand cracking off his face, revealing it to be another layer of defense.

"Your blood will please mother Uzumaki, you will prove my existence!" Gaara said and sent waves of sand towards Naruto, trying to bury him.

"I'm getting the feeling that your mother is the kind of woman that I wouldn't be interested in." Naruto quipped as he dodged the sand. It was moving pretty fast, but not fast enough to keep up with him. He wasn't having any trouble at all dodging it, but he couldn't attack while being hounded by the sand.

Testing out a theory, the blond sent his chakra chains towards Gaara while still evading the sand. The sand defense rose up to defend the redhead in spite of the fact that he was sending sand at Naruto at the same time.

That means that he's either really good at multitasking, or that sand defense is automatic.

There was less sand coming to defend him however, so Naruto sent more chains at him, this time from multiple directions. There wasn't enough sand to form a full spherical shield, forcing Gaara into a hasty dodge to avoid one of the chains. He still got a cut on his arm from where the bladed tip grazed him though.

"Your blood will be delicious, make me feel alive!" Gaara said, more crazed than ever and starting to lose control of himself.

The sand chasing Naruto rapidly retreated, going back to a defensive purpose. Instead of going dormant like before, it formed a full sphere of sand. Naruto observed it suspiciously, not sure what the point was in turtling behind his sand like that. Then he noticed the eye of sand that had formed over the sphere.

I have no idea if he's able to see through that freaky eyeball, but let's assume that he can.

Sending more chains towards the sand barrier, he discovered it to be far too dense for his chains to penetrate. He was going to need something with some more power behind it. He wasn't too keen on allowing Gaara to finish whatever he was doing in there.

Focusing hard, he formed his chakra into the spinning blue orb of the Rasengan and moved towards Gaara, intending to drill through the sand. Since Gaara apparently wasn't interested in moving, Naruto didn't make bother running at full speed and instead approached at a fairly leisurely pace. He noticed the sand eye watching him intently as he approached. He was almost in range to start grinding into the sand sphere with his technique when large sand spikes suddenly shot out from the sphere, forcing him to jump back quickly, though he still got a small wound on his stomach. If he hadn't been expecting something fishy from the start, those spikes would have skewered him.

Naruto was not any kind of chakra sensor, but he could definitely feel a buildup of power and killing intent in Gaara and it didn't feel human. Realizing that Shukaku must be close to the surface, Naruto knew that he needed to wrap this up really fast or else he was going to have a full demonic possession on his hands and he just wasn't sure if he was strong enough to fight Shukaku head on.

Figuring that the sand eye could only look in one direction at a time, Naruto created four shadow clones, each of which created their own Rasengan and spread out to attack the sphere from four directions. 3 clones got hit by the sand spears before reaching the barrier, but the last one avoided them and slammed the technique into the barrier, easily punching through the sand and striking Gaara in the side, making him give out a yell of pain.

"Gaara!" Naruto heard Temari yell in a worried tone of voice from the contestant box.

At that very moment, feathers started falling in the stadium, putting all the civilians and some of the shinobi to sleep. Explosions started sounding immediately after and Naruto saw that there were sound and sand shinobi fighting against leaf shinobi everywhere. It only took him a few moments to deduce that they must have brought Gaara to Konoha in the hope that he would release Shukaku in the middle of the village, while at the same time attacking it with regular shinobi forces.

By this time Gaara had staggered to his feet, holding on to his injury, his brother and sister already at his side, supporting him and trying to pull him away from the man that had injured him.

Naruto knew that he couldn't let them escape with the unstable Jinchuuriki and allow him to fully transform. It wasn't that he was too concerned about the village, but he had a few people that he absolutely couldn't allow to get hurt and several more people that he wouldn't like seeing hurt.

Taking one of the specialized storage scrolls that he had prepared especially for fighting Gaara's sand, he tossed it towards the crazed redhead. A new creation of his. Delayed release storage seals, which released their contents several seconds after the chakra for their release was provided.

About ten feet away from Gaara, the scroll released it's contents, drenching all three Sunagakure Genin in freezing cold water. More importantly, it soaked Gaara's sand, making it much heavier and more cumbersome than normal.

Moving far faster than either Temari or Kankuro were capable of reacting, Naruto slammed his hand into Gaara's stomach, his widely splayed fingers glowing with chakra and a symbol on each finger, the wet sand not fast enough to stop him.

"Gogyō Fūin(Five Elements Seal)!"

The demonic chakra building up in Gaara was instantly cut off, knocking the redhead unconscious due to the backlash.

"Gaara!" Temari yelled out again in worry at seeing her little brother knocked out. "What did you do to him?!" She demanded, readying her fan, Kankuro preparing Karasu on Gaara's other side.

"I blocked off Shukaku and screwed up his ability to use chakra. He won't be doing any demonic transformations as long as he's got that seal on him." Naruto told her. "Now if you'll excuse me, I've got some things to do." He finished and vanished off in a burst of speed.

Up in the stands, Kakashi had seen that Naruto had sealed Gaara, so he didn't send anyone after the Suna Jinchuuriki, believing it to be unnecessary, preferring to keep them nearby where he could keep an eye on his comrades.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Naruto was rushing through the village, occasionally dispatching an enemy shinobi that he came across. He noticed that the ones from sound were incredibly weak, many of them being barely Chunin level, which was definitely not the kind of soldiers you want if you're trying to invade one of the five great villages and win.

That wasn't important right now though, because he absolutely needed to get to Ayame. Teuchi was important too, but not anywhere near as important as Ayame.

He had made utterly certain that his big sister was safe in the village at all times, but that wouldn't hold up to an invasion. The criminals that he had more or less bullied into protecting her wouldn't hold up against even these weak sound shinobi, much less the more competent sand shinobi.

Konoha's criminal underground was definitely no great power, considering that the village was a military dictatorship, it couldn't be.

During the reign of the Shodai Hokage, there had been no criminal underground, aside from the occasional isolated case of crime. With the death of the extremely charismatic Shodai and the rise to power of the Nidaime, some more organized criminal elements began to form, but were quickly suppressed when the Nidaime appointed the Uchiha as the police force.

Senju Tobirama did not have the charisma and presence of his older brother, but he was extremely efficient as a leader, not to mention perceptive and was easily able to keep crime from becoming any kind of serious issue.

It was due to the eruption of the three great shinobi wars during the reign of the Sandaime that kickstarted the creation of the red lights district. War created poverty, and poverty inevitably led to crime and the eventual creation of a 'bad part of town'. Once that had happened it had become enormously difficult to remove the entrenched criminal elements. They had needed to be sneaky enough to operate in a ninja village after all, people like that weren't going to be taken care of easily.

The Yondaime's reign hadn't lasted long enough to truly accomplish anything before he'd gotten himself killed imprisoning Xanna. The short but destructive visit by the nine tailed demoness had only strengthened the red lights district and the aging, tired Sandaime was too old to actively do anything about it. The slaughter of the Uchiha police force had only made it all worse, forcing the ANBU to act in that capacity. The Uchiha had been effective as a police force due to the extreme perception granted to them by the Sharingan. Regular ANBU didn't have that advantage, nor were they used to dealing with sneaky criminals, not to mention that they had many other duties.

Naruto had been able to take control of it all partly because of the fact that he lived in that part of town and knew many things that outsiders didn't and partly because he had been a child at the time. None of the shinobi investigating the criminal activities of the village had suspected a child to be behind it. The fact that the worst of the crimes such as rape and murder had dropped considerably had also made them believe that crime rates were falling.

In a way it was true, but only for those particular crimes. The sneakier and less obviously damaging crimes were as strong as ever, they were just being better hidden.

All of that aside, he really needed to find Ayame and Teuchi and get them to safety somewhere. There was no guarantee that something was going to happen to them if he didn't get to them, but he wasn't willing to take chances.

He had seen the Hokage trapped inside the purple barrier, no doubt a Fuinjutsu, fighting Orochimaru, but that didn't concern him overmuch. Besides, he felt that he'd already done the village a huge favor by disabling Gaara.

He was a bit worried about Hinata, but she had been in the stands, surrounded by the most powerful Jounin that Konoha had, along with Jiraiya, so she should be fine, though Jiraiya had likely gone to take care of the giant snakes he'd seen smashing up the walls.

He even felt a flicker of concern for his two idiot teammates...just for a second or two. At least for Sakura...she had gotten almost bearable lately, not quite as Uchiha obsessed as she used to be.

He finally made it to the Ichiraku ramen stand and just in time too, as the Ichiraku's themselves were just in the process of leaving and getting to a shelter.

"Ayame, Teuchi!" The blond called out to them, making them turn towards him.

"Naruto! What are you doing here, shouldn't you be fighting off the invaders?" Ayame asked in a rush.

"Nevermind that now, I'm here to get you somewhere safe." Naruto said and grabbed the two of them before another word could be said, dragging them off towards his home instead of the shelters made for civilians in case of invasion. He didn't trust those at all. He had a basem*nt fortified with seals that should theoretically withstand just about anything.

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On a roof behind the blond, an Oto shinobi with a bow was taking aim at him. There were very few ninja that used bows, thinking them to be too cumbersome and slow to be useful. But a stealth specialist that preferred silent, long range kills could make deadly use of a bow, like this particular shinobi intended to. He had seen the blond easily take down several other Oto shinobi and he wasn't going to risk tangling with him in close quarters.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Nearby, a crimson haired demoness narrowed her burning red eyes at the bow user. He was trying to take Naruto away from her. This insignificant meat sack that didn't even have the courage to face him in combat, but instead wanted to kill him by shooting him in the back with an arrow. Despite her fondness of Naruto, she couldn't have brought herself to intervene in his battles, but this cowardly attempt at assassination made her blood boil.

Naruto was hers and would not be brought down in such a despicable manner. The Oto shinobi felt his blood freeze and his heart fail as the possessive wrath of an ancient demoness focused on him like the gaze of an angry god.

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Naruto was glad that his terrible luck for attracting trouble didn't act up for once and he was able to safely bundle the two ramen stand owners into his basem*nt where they would be safe.

As soon as he came out of the building, he saw the towering form of a fully formed Shukaku approaching the village.

Well, sh*t.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

15 minutes earlier.

The sand siblings were rapidly making their way out of the village, the older two being extremely worried about their younger brother.

After the way that the blond Uzumaki had disabled him and knocked him out, using some kind of seal that prevented Shukaku from emerging, they weren't willing to risk getting involved in the fighting. Gaara was supposed to have been their ace in this invasion, their trump card. To have him taken out like that by a Genin was frightening and all they wanted was to keep their little brother safe. Even if he was a psychopathic killer, he was still their brother and they loved him.

They didn't get very far before the silver haired Yakushi Kabuto appeared in front of them. They knew this man to be a subordinate of Orochimaru and far more dangerous than he made himself out to be.

"I'm afraid I can't let you leave with Gaara-kun, we need him for the invasion after all." He said pleasantly.

"Uzumaki did something to seal his chakra, so he can't do anything anyway. Just get out of the way." Temari snapped, worry for her brother leaving her short tempered.

"I know what he did and I can undo it. Just step away from him." Kabuto informed them

"No way, after the way that Gaara got taken out, we're not letting you put him in danger again." Kankuro said, backing up his sister.

"A pity." Kabuto said with faked disappointment and rushed at them.

Both Temari and Kankuro were more than skilled enough to be Chunin, but Kabuto was on par with a highly skilled Jounin, far above them in other words. They found themselves kicked into a tree before they even properly released Gaara in order to defend themselves.

The silver haired spy knew that this was a crucial part of the plan. The invasion was never truly intended to succeed after all. What it was meant to do was demonstrate to Sasuke that Orochimaru could attack Konoha with impunity, assassinate the Hokage and leave it in ruins, making the revenge obsessed Uchiha greedy to get that power himself when he was approached with the offer at a later point. It wasn't like Orochimaru cared what happened to his former home after all, he had much loftier motivations and those motivations would be made much easier with the Sharingan.

Kabuto turned towards the downed Jinchuuriki and a series of symbols started glowing on his fingers.

"Gogyō Kaiin(Five Elements Unseal)!"

Gaara's eyes flew open, but they weren't the teal green that they usually were, they were the golden irises and black cross pupils of Shukaku. Gaara having been knocked out by the use of the Five Element Seal had allowed the sand demon to take control immediately upon removal.

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Naruto intercepted the lumbering form of Shukaku just before the demon reached the village walls. The massive sand demon was apparently having a great deal of fun smashing up the trees, which was really the only reason that it hadn't reached Konoha yet.

He also saw Gaara's brother and sister watching from afar, looking rather terrified.

"Stomp, stomp, stomp, hehehehe!" Shukaku giggled in a disturbing manner as he stomped forward.

Naruto wasted no time in summoning Gamabunta when he reached the demon. He couldn't think of anything else in his arsenal that had enough power to take down the giant dust ball.

"Kuchiyose no Jutsu(Summoning Technique)!"

"What the hell is this brat? Calling me here to fight the sand demon, are you nuts?!" Gamabunta protested as soon as he took stock of the situation.

Make no mistake, he liked Naruto, the blond was a great guy and a good drinking buddy. He was sure that they could have a better time of it than even his overly respectful father did, but he was in no way interested in fighting another demon after the Kyuubi nearly clawed his left eye out.

"Sorry Bunta, but I really didn't have a choice, but let me get you some backup. Kuchiyose no Jutsu(Summoning Technique)!" A giant magenta colored toad appeared that was every bit as huge as the toad boss. He carried a shield that was shaped like a giant sized sake saucer and a sasumata.

Naruto didn't have enough skill with the summoning technique yet to call multiple summons in one sitting, so he had to perform the technique once for each summon.

"Gamaken! Block and distract Shukaku while Bunta blasts him with water techniques!" Naruto yelled out to make sure both of the summons heard him. He leaped off the newly summoned toads head and sped to the side, intending to attack from the flank.

"I will do what I can Naruto-san, though I am ungraceful." The newly arrived Gamaken rumbled and moved toward Shukaku with his sasumata, intending to use it to grapple with the demon.

"No, no, no! You're not gonna keep me from my fun! NUH UH!" Shukaku protested before launching several compressed blasts of win towards the trio.

"Oi, brat, how about waking up that redheaded kid sticking out of Shukaku's head?" Gamabunta yelled towards Naruto after blocking the wind attacks with his own water ones.

Naruto looked towards the sand demon's head and could just about make out a hint of red and brown swaying like a puppet on top of the sandy head as Gamaken grappled with it.

The sasumata wielding toad was clearly outmatched in the strength department, but he still presented a severe obstruction to the sand demon, slowing it down to a crawl. Naruto took advantage of the demon's impediment and took all of his remaining water sealing scrolls from his coat and grabbed them in his chains. The chains extended until they hovered over Shukaku, at which point he channeled his chakra through them, making the scrolls unseal and dump the water they carried all over the demon.

"GAH! I HATE BEING WET!" Shukaku roared angrily and blew a condensed sandstorm towards the blond that had gotten him soaked. The wet sand was sloughing off his body, forcing Shukaku to exert more force in order to keep it on him.

"sh*t! Hari ji*zō(Needle ji*zō)!" His hairband broke and Naruto was completely encased in a cocoon of steel hard, gold colored hair needles, preventing the sandstorm from ripping the flesh off his bones.

He really needed to wake up Gaara and fast. Shukaku was at his absolute most dangerous right now. More dangerous than if he wasn't sealed even, since he could act with some measure of intelligence due to borrowing Gaara's sense of self. At least that's what Naruto assumed based on what Xanna had told him. If Shukaku hadn't been sealed he would have likely acted more like a rabid animal rather than an insane and overpowered human.

He couldn't kill Gaara either, which might have been easier. He knew enough about sealing demons to know that killing the Jinchuuriki during a full possession equated to releasing the demon. He had hoped that the torrent of freezing water would have been enough to wake up Gaara, but apparently he was going to have to do something more drastic.

"AAAAH, I'LL KILL ALL OF YOU BASTARDS!" The sand demon bellowed as a massive ball of condensed water hit him courtesy of Gamabunta, Shukaku being unable to block due to the sasumata pushing into his neck.

Getting an idea, Naruto had his chains wrap 3 times around Shukaku's left front leg at the knee and then focused hard on transforming it. Instead of the usual chain links, he made them vicious and bladed. The demon was too enraged about the sasumata at his throat and all the water that he'd been hit with to notice at first.

He did notice however when Naruto began to swiftly retract the bladed chain, pressing it into his leg as hard as possible at the same time. The chain acted like an improvised chainsaw and began to cut into the sand demon's leg

He didn't manage to get all the way through with the first chain, so he sent another to wrap around the same spot, the Ichibi being too busy reforming his body elsewhere because of all the water that had carried away his sand to focus on the relatively minor injury to his leg.

As soon as Naruto started trying to continue his chain sawing however, the sand slammed down onto the chain, trapping it and Shukaku yanked his leg harshly, pulling Naruto along the ground for nearly 50 feet before he released the chain.

Immediately he felt the severe chakra drain from severing the chain. Normally he retracted the chain back into his body, preserving the chakra used to create them, but if he severed it then that chakra was lost. It took vast amounts of chakra to form physical matter out of nothing like that, so the drain was considerable even for Naruto's absurd reserves. This combined with summoning two of the most powerful toad summons had made a large dent in his reserves.

Naruto picked himself up, in considerable pain from being dragged across the ground like that and feeling like half a forest worth of twigs was stuck in his now unbound hair. He saw that he had achieved what he wanted to do though, Shukaku was collapsed on his left knee, the two giant toads harassing him now having a much easier time of it.

"Brat, you gotta wake that kid up fast. I'm running out of Chakra and Gamaken isn't going to last much longer either." Gamabunta warned, panting from expending so much chakra for throwing water at the sand demon. Shukaku was capable of leeching the moisture from the air and drying himself off, making it necessary to constantly keep throwing more water at him.

Now that the sand demon had collapsed and with Gamaken having shifted his hold to grapple the giant sandy head downwards instead of up, Gaara was finally in reach. Naruto wasted no time in creating another chain and bringing it around to smack against Gaara's cheek.

The redheaded teen's eyes snapped open from the blow, feeling like his jaw was cracked.

"NOOOoooo, I only just got out!" Shukaku wailed as he was forcibly drawn back into the seal, the giant sandy body already collapsing. Gaara dropped to the ground in a shower of sand.

"Me and Ken are gonna be going now brat. Don't call me for something like that again." Gamabunta grumbled and returned to Myobokuzan.

"Goodbye Naruto-san." Gamaken said politely and vanished as well.

Gaara began to shuffle backwards as fast as he was capable in his exhausted state.

"NO! You won't end my existence!" He yelled at the approaching blond in a panic, ignoring how much it hurt his jaw when he tried to talk.

"Shut up you moron, I'm not going to kill you." Naruto told him just as Temari and Kankuro jumped to Gaara's side, looking both stunned that he'd been beaten and worried for their brother.

The two older sand siblings were just about to demand that he tell them what he intended to do to their little brother when Gaara clutched at his stomach and groaned in pain.

"Gaara, what's wrong?!" Temari asked in a worried rush.

Naruto appeared next to the redhead in a blur of speed and ripped off the clothes on his chest, revealing the seal holding the Shukaku glowing bright red, ominous looking cracks appearing in it.

"His seal is degrading because of the Gogyō Fūin(Five Elements Seal). If this keeps up then Shukaku is going to break out soon." Naruto told them, already unsealing the brush that he used for Fuinjutsu.

The two sand siblings looked alarmed, but didn't have time to ask questions as Naruto spoke first. "Who was sacrificed to seal the Ichibi?"

"What does that have to-" Temari began, but was cut off by the other blond.

"There's no time for stupid questions! Answer me!" Naruto commanded harshly.

"Our mother. Gaara was still in the womb when the demon was sealed into him." Kankuro answered quietly.

Naruto nodded to himself as if something had just been confirmed to him and ripped his left wrist open with his teeth. He didn't have any chakra infused ink with him to use for sealing, so chakra infused blood would have to do.

"Hold him down tightly, if I don't get this right we're all probably going to die." Naruto said grimly. Temari and Kankuro did as they were told and pressed down onto their little brothers chest while sitting on his hands. Naruto set himself on Gaara's feet and had his chains bind him as well.

Swiftly, he began to draw reinforcements and modifications to the seal on the still groaning Gaara's stomach. Modifications that he hoped would work the way that he wanted them to. He hadn't been able to practice this, so it would have to be done right on the first try.

After several minutes of fast but precise seal drawing, it was finished. The seal drawn in his own blood glowed and then shrank down to a smaller size on Gaara's stomach.

Naruto sighed in relief when the redhead stopped trying to move and settled down.

They all got off Gaara and and let him sit up. He was blinking in confusion as if he'd just been told that everything he saw was a Genjutsu before he turned towards the bigger of the two blonds.

"Mother says 'thank you'. Why is she thanking you instead of demanding blood?" Temari and Kankuro's eyes went wide with disbelief and confusion. Anytime that Gaara had spoken about 'mother' before now it had been about feeding her blood.

"When Shukaku got sealed inside you, your mother's soul was taken along with it because you were still in the womb at the time. If I had to guess then I'd say that you were hearing both of their voices in your head for a long time and your mother was probably trying to keep Shukaku from influencing you as much as possible." Naruto explained.

"You mean our mother was stuck inside a seal with a mad, bloodthirsty demon all this time?" Temari asked, her face going pale.

"Yeah, but don't worry about her. Shukaku probably wasn't able to do much more than annoy her with his raving, he was much more dangerous to Gaara."

"Was?" Kankuro asked, picking up on the use of past tense.

"I modified the seal. Shukaku was so weakened by the fight that he didn't put up much of a fight. I buried him deep and placed a lot of restrictions on him. The only voice that you'll be able to hear now will be your mothers, you'll also be able to sleep without fear of the Ichibi taking over." Naruto explained.

"Mother says that you are telling the truth, but I can only remember hearing one voice." Gaara said, looking very confused.

"It's your mind Gaara, so it probably sounded like the same voice but was actually two of them."

"Mother agrees." Gaara said, before going silent for a while. "Temari, Kankuro...I am sorry for the way I treated you, mother tells me that you did your best to take care of me all this time and I haven't appreciated it." Both of the elder sand siblings looked shocked but happy at hearing this and Temari quickly hugged her little brother, while Kankuro put a hand on his shoulder.

"It's ok Gaara, we're just glad to have you back." Gaara managed a strained and unfamiliar smile at being hugged by his sister before he turned towards Naruto.

"Thank you Uzumaki...Naruto, you have given me back my family and made me see that living only for myself is a worthless existence. You told me once that you seek to grow strong for the sake of love and I can see now what strength it gives you, I will seek to do the same."

He wasn't going to make any mention of the fact that the blond had said that he did it out of love for the Kyuubi. Gaara knew that to be dangerous information that had been given to him only because he was a fellow Jinchuuriki. He would take that secret to his grave. He actually felt guilty for revealing Naruto's Jinchuuriki status to everyone as it was.

"And I am sorry that I told everyone that you are the Kyuubi Jinchuuriki."

"Don't worry about it Gaara, I really don' t care whether they know or not." Naruto waved him off. "Now you three should get out of here before some idiot Konoha shinobi get the idea to take you as prisoners of war."

The three siblings gave him a grateful nod and rushed off towards the direction of Sunagakure.

"Well color me impressed, you've defeated Shukaku." Came the voice of Xanna from behind him as her arms reached around him to rest on his chest.

"I had a lot of help though." Naruto said, referring to the two toad summons.

"True, but it was impressive nonetheless. Very few would have been capable of doing so much." The demoness complimented.

"Well, I'm glad you liked the show." Naruto said with a wry grin as he turned around in her embrace, putting his own arms around her.

"I did indeed, in fact I found it quite...exhilarating." She whispered the last word into his ear in a tone that left no doubt as to just how exhilarated she was.

Truth be told she had been worried for him when she'd seen him take on Shukaku, but seeing him take down the sand demon had left her wanting him buried inside her right then and there.

Uncaring of the fact that they were out in the open, Naruto pressed the beautiful demoness up against the closest tree, opening the short silk yukata that she wore most of the time, exposing her lack of underwear, kissing her at the same time. She responded eagerly, hands moving to undo his belt.

He growled lustfully into her mouth as he felt her firm breasts pressing into his chest. Before long she had pushed his pants down, releasing his fully erect member and give it a few swift strokes with her hand. He wasted no time lifting her up against the tree and pushing himself into her.

She let out a moan of pleasure as she felt him entering her, hands clenching into the coat that he still had on as he began to thrust into her. Her legs went around his waist and he moved his left hand to her right breast, simultaneously licking her collar bone. She gave a short gasp at the pleasurable sensations and rapidly felt her org*sm approaching as the blond skillfully worked her body. When it hit her, she buried her fangs into his shoulder hard enough to draw blood, even as her inner walls clenched around him and her legs pulled him closer.

Naruto groaned when he felt her teeth penetrating flesh and buried himself all the way inside her, filling her up with his seed as she tightened around him and drained him dry.

As soon as they caught their breath again, he captured her lips in a kiss, uncaring of the blood staining them.

They spent a little while longer just kissing, with Naruto still buried inside her before she spoke.

"We'll have to continue this later, there are humans approaching." The demoness spoke.

Naruto reluctantly slid out of her and got dressed again, while Xanna simply retied her yukata.

"I'll see you soon." He said to her and stole another quick kiss, making Xanna give him a smile before she vanished.

Less than a minute later, Kiba, Shino, Sasuke and Sakura appeared in front of him, looking a bit confused at all the destroyed trees and sand covering the clearing.

"Uh...Kakashi-sensei sent us to back you up Naruto." Sakura said, noting the distinct lack of enemies. They were more or less supposed to keep other enemies off his back while Naruto dealt with the Ichibi.

"I've already taken care of everything as you can see, so lets just get back to the village." Naruto took note of the fact that Sasuke was just about ready to explode if the look of constipated jealousy was anything to go by. That kid needed to chill out a bit.

"Ummm, Naruto...why do you smell like sex?" Kiba asked with a slight blush.

"Don't worry about it Kiba, I always smell like sex." Naruto dismissed.

"But you didn't smell like that before coming here." Kiba protested.

"I wonder if you really want to know the answer to that." Naruto said airily.

"Naruto, please don't tell me you had sex even while Konoha was being invaded." Sakura pleaded desperately.

"Alright Sakura, since you asked so nicely I won't tell you." Naruto told the pinkette with a smirk.

"This is highly illogical." Shino said with perfect stoicism and pushed his sunglasses up his face.

"I know right, who asks dumb questions like that." Naruto agreed.

"I was referring to you engaging in sexual intercourse while your home is invaded by hostile forces Naruto-san." Shino elaborated.

"I'm deducting 20 man points from you Shino. It's never illogical to engage in sexual intercourse." Naruto said in a scolding tone.

"Man points are also illogical."

"Sometimes I worry about you, it's like we're not even the same species."

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Notes:

Aaaaand that's chapter nine finished.

No omakes this time, because I couldn't think of anything funny to add to this particular chapter.

Review it for me, so that I know whether it's good or bad and so that I get motivated to write some more.

Chapter 10

Notes:

DISCLAIMER: The cake is still a lie.

Review responses:

Ame no Kagaseo: I actually thought that the fights were somewhat lacking, but I wasn't sure if I was just being overly critical of my own work or not :P.

Akshat: I blame the relatively low review count as compared to similar length stories on the fact that I like to post chapters of at least 10k words, along with the fact that I only made an account a little over a month ago. Q.Q

Cormin12: I probably should have made a note of this in the first chapter, but I'm not going to be using that 'parents in the seal' thing. That smells like the most ridiculous Deux Ex Machina way of solving all the problems Naruto was having at that point, along with suddenly giving him a parental love injection so that he gets determined to finish things.

Guest: I know that there's a lot of humor in this story, but I've got no intention of wandering into anything as ludicrous as summoning C'thulu...and definitely not something which I

think

is from Yu-Gi-Oh.

Slytherin's Pimp: Well mine isn't a harem :P.

Other than that, I'm glad to have received such a positive response from everyone.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

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11 Genin were making their way towards the well hidden, private training ground of Uzumaki Naruto. Most of them had been wanting to speak to him about being the Uzumaki clan head and the son of the Yondaime for a month now. On top of this they had recently learned that he was the Kyuubi Jinchuuriki, making them even more anxious to talk to him. Even Sasuke wanted in on that conversation.

They had managed to badger his location out of Ayame, which had taken a great deal of reassuring that they held no hard feelings against Naruto due to his Jinchuuriki status. None of them had even known that Naruto had a private training ground. They were quite shocked to learn that he had made it himself, meaning that nobody except him truly knew about it.

The Sandaime's funeral had been 2 days ago. Naruto had only been present for as long as strictly required before vanishing back to his training, giving no chance for anyone to talk to him.

They passed through what was obviously a training area. It had logs that were clearly used for punching and kicking, as they were looking worse for the wear and had more than a few bloodstains on them. There was also a clear running track, along with a bunch of large rocks that looked as if they got moved around a lot, if the drag marks were any indication.

"Man, he sure doesn't know the meaning of taking it easy." Kiba said in wonder, looking at the bloodstained logs in particular.

"Naruto overflows with youth during training, if I am not mistaken, then the seals on the trees over there increase the gravity in the training ground." Lee said admiringly. This was his kind of training.

"You mean he keeps the same type of seal that he used to defeat me active while he trains?" Neji asked disbelievingly. He had barely been able to move with that seal active and Naruto kept it active for training?

"No doubt he also has his resistance seals active as well." Lee confirmed, making everyone look at the spandex clad Genin incredulously. Training with that kind of insane handicap should have left the blond barely able to move, much less train effectively.

They kept walking forward, passing a tree that had Naruto's clothing hanging on it. All of it, underwear included and they could hear the burbling of a slow moving river nearby.

"Err, maybe we should come back later." Sakura suggested, having no desire to see her teammate in the buff.

"Since you're here already, then you might as well get this over with." Came Naruto's voice from behind a large rock.

They all jumped a bit, not having expected him to be that close. They moved around the rock, to find the blond that they had been looking for lounging in a fairly large pool that had been created artificially by the use of an improvised dam.

The water was quite clear and he was obviously naked.

"Well, what are you here for that's so important that Ayame would tell you how to find this place?" Naruto prodded.

He would have been upset with Ayame telling them about his private training ground, but he knew that she was just trying to look out for him. She was of the opinion that he should try to make some friends among his graduating class, even if they were barely more than a bunch of kids.

"Well umm, we were.. err, curious about you being the son of the Yondaime and the Kyuubi Jinchuuriki." Ino said awkwardly, trying hard to look anywhere except the water that wasn't doing much to hide his lower body. The others were attempting the same thing.

"What about it?" Naruto asked in a disinterested tone.

"Well, being the son of a Hokage is a big deal, especially the Yondaime! I bet you must have been excited to find out, huh?" Ino continued, now getting more into the conversation.

"I've known about it for years actually and if it was up to me, then nobody would ever have known. The only reason I revealed it was because it was the only way to get the damn council off my back." Naruto retorted irritably. He was still annoyed at the elders for forcing him to do that.

"But why would you want to keep something like that hidden?!" Sakura asked in shock.

"He probably didn't want any of his fathers enemies going after him." Shikamaru interjected. "Troublesome." He finished with a mutter.

"Actually it was because everyone would start acting just like you guys, as if it matters who my parents were. They're dead and gone, so it doesn't matter the slightest bit who and what they were." Naruto countered.

"How can you just disregard your clan and family like that?" Sasuke asked, bewildered at Naruto's dismissive attitude towards his heritage.

All of the Genin present, with the exception of Sakura, Tenten, Hinata and Lee were also confused by his words. They had always been told to take pride in their clan and it was strange to them to meet someone with such a rich heritage and hearing him disregard it as completely unimportant. Hinata had spoken to him about something similar so she knew that he placed no value on being in a clan.

"Easily, because they're not here and never have been." The blond shot back and climbed out of the water, flashing his junk at everyone.

Hinata barely managed to maintain consciousness, thanks mostly to the fact that she had built a slight resistance to embarrassment due to hanging around Naruto. It also helped that Neji stepped in front of her, blocking her view. The two of them had reconciled after Hiashi had spoken to Neji and were rebuilding the sibling relationship that had once existed between them.

The others weren't in any danger of fainting, but they were still horribly embarrassed by the experience, making them turn away immediately

"DAMNIT NARUTO, AT LEAST WARN US BEFORE YOU DO SOMETHING LIKE THAT!" Sakura shrieked.

"You're the ones who walked in on my bathing. Aside from that, nobody forced you to look and I've got nothing to be ashamed off anyway." Naruto answered flippantly as he walked towards his clothes.

"You wouldn't be like this if you were a woman." The pinkette muttered irritably, feeling pretty pissed off at her teammate.

"Wouldn't I?" Naruto said with a smirk. "Henge no Jutsu(Transformation Technique)."

Before them now stood a 6'2'' blond amazon that had more muscle on 'her' than most men they'd seen. 'She' also had a heaving pair of large breasts that seemed to be made of more muscle than fat.

"How do I look?" The now female Naruto asked, posing , smirk still in place.

"What the f*ck man!? You can't just go gender bending like that! Why would you even do that?!" Kiba yelled out in protest, blushing bright red. All the others were in similar states of blushing.

"I got curious about lesbian sex one day." Was the response as Naruto released his transformation and pulled his clothes on, much to the relief of the others.

They all collectively decided that they weren't going to even think about that last sentence in any detail ever again.

"So...Kyuubi Jinchuuriki huh?" Kiba started awkwardly after they had all finished mentally blocking as much of the previous few minutes as possible.

"Yeeees?" Naruto drawled out in a 'get to the point' manner.

"What's it like having a giant demon sealed inside you?" The Inuzuka blurted out, making most of the others facepalm at how tactless that was.

"I feel normal during the day, but at night..." Naruto's face twisted into a haunted, but hungry expression, making everyone lean forward in interest. "...I get cravings."

"What kind of cravings?" Chouji asked curiously. He knew all about cravings. Sometimes he woke up in the middle of the night, feeling so hungry that he couldn't sleep.

"Cravings for the menstrual blood of virgins!" The blond finished with a demented leering expression.

They all took a shocked second to process that disturbing statement, just to make sure that they'd heard right, before suddenly developing a greenish pallor.

"Eww, Naruto that's disgusting!" Ino and Sakura said in unison, looking as they were about to puke at any moment. Everyone else just silently tried to stop the bile from leaving their stomachs.

Naruto chuckled to himself at the looks on their faces. "You're all just too damn easy."

"Does it give you more power? Is that the source of your strength?" Sasuke interrupted, getting to the point of why he had even come here.

"Being the Kyuubi Jinchuuriki gave me a set of really nice teeth and whisker marks, along with so much chakra that I have to create my own specialized Ninjutsu if I want to use any." Naruto said dryly. He made it sound like a disability, but in reality he was already planning ways to increase his reserves further. The fight against Shukaku told him that even he could run out, especially considering how chakra intensive most of his abilities were.

"If you want to know how I got this strong, then you could have just asked Lee." He continued.

"Yosh! The answer is hard work!" Lee said with certainty. "Naruto is like me, someone with no talent, but a genius of hard work!"

Sasuke scowled. He wasn't sure what he'd been hoping to hear, but that his teammate was stronger simply because he worked harder was not it. Sasuke knew that he worked hard too. He put in hours of training every day, so why was it that Naruto was so much stronger? The blond wasted so much time chasing women that it should be no problem for a prodigy like him to overtake him, so why was it that Naruto kept growing more powerful so fast that he was leaving everyone in the dust?

Before anything more could be said, a whirlwind of wind and leaves announced the arrival of Jiraiya.

"Oi Naruto, get your things packed, we've got a mission." He said right away.

"What kind of mission and why am I going on a mission with you anyway?" The blond asked immediately. "I've got training to do you know."

"We're going to find the Godaime Hokage and bring her back to Konoha and you're coming with me because I want you to." The toad sage explained.

"No thanks, I'd rather continue my training."

He had already prepared everything he would need if he had to become a missing-nin in case the new Hokage was someone that would cause trouble for him.

"What? You think you can just sign a mans' summoning contract and then say goodbye? Oh no no no, we're in this for the long haul! You and me brat, we're gonna be as good as married until you've learned everything that I've got to teach you! You're my apprentice now and that means that you're coming with me on anything that I say, which includes this trip to convince my old teammate to become Hokage!" Jiraiya retorted boisterously and grabbed the blond in a headlock.

Everyone was looking at him like he was a lunatic. Unknown to them, it was this exact kind of behavior that had led to him being called 'The Village Madness' years ago.

"You've taken Naruto as an apprentice Jiraiya-sama? Does that mean that he won't be on a team with us anymore?" Sakura asked. Despite how hard he was to deal with, she didn't really want Naruto to be pulled off Team 7.

"Don't be so respectful to this failed pervert Sakura, it'll go to his head." Naruto told her, getting out of the headlock.

"That's so mean, my own godson keeps forgetting that I'm a SUPER pervert."

Sakura felt her respect for the white haired Sannin shrivel and die when she heard him blatantly and proudly declare himself a super pervert.

"To answer your question, no. Naruto will still be part of Team 7, I'm just going to be pulling him away from time to time."

"You mean you're going to bring Tsunade-sama back to the village to take up the post of Godaime?" Tenten asked with stars in her eyes as she worked out who exactly they were going to search for.

"Got that right little lady." Jiraiya confirmed.

"Can I come too? Pleeeease? She pleaded.

Tsunade was widely considered to be one of the most powerful kunoichi in the world and it was for this reason that the female Sannin was an idol for Tenten. She desperately wanted to meet the legendary kunoichi and maybe even talk to her.

"Well I guess..." Jiraiya said while scratching his head. There wasn't any particular reason not to take the girl along.

Tenten let out a fangirlish squeal before covering her mouth with her hands and blushing in embarrassment when everyone stared at her.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Kakashi was leaning against the wall of a tea shop, reading his p*rn and waiting for Sasuke to arrive. Jiraiya had already left Konoha to search for Tsunade, taking Naruto and Tenten with him and Sasuke had immediately demanded training.

Kakashi was proud of all of his students now. Naruto was already showing all the signs that his determination would allow him to overtake even his father eventually. Sasuke was highly talented and his abilities were progressing quickly, though his attitude definitely could be better and his resentment of Naruto's strength was a point of some worry. Sakura was finally shaping up to be a strong kunoichi instead of wasting all her time staring at Sasuke.

Aside from waiting for Sasuke, he was also keeping an eye on the two suspicious individuals in the black cloaks with red clouds. Jiraiya-sama had warned him about Akatsuki and their presence here boded ill.

"... I can't go on a date with you." The voice of Kurenai floated towards Kakashi's ears.

"Why not?" Asuma asked in a disappointed tone, walking besides the Genjutsu mistress.

"I'm already involved with someone." She answered shortly as they stopped next to Kakashi, greeting each other with nods, a slight movement of Kakashi's head and eye alerting the two new arrivals to the two cloaked men inside. They continued on as normal, giving no sign that they were aware of the nearby threat.

"Don't tell me you're in a relationship with Naruto, that guy is a total womanizer." Asuma said in disbelief.

"No, Naruto made it clear that he isn't interested in a relationship." Kurenai answered, not denying the fact that Naruto was a womanizer. He just was.

"Who then?" Asuma asked curiously. He was still disappointed about being rejected, but he was honestly curious which guy Kurenai could have met and gotten into a relationship with this fast.

Kurenai sighed to herself. Honestly it wasn't any of Asuma's business and she knew that he wouldn't push it if she wanted to keep it quiet. But spending time around Anko and Naruto, neither of which had any shame to speak off, made keeping it a secret seem pretty silly.

"Anko."

Asuma nearly choked on his cigarette in surprise and started hacking out smoke, making Kurenai snigg*r and the silent Kakashi gave what could only be considered an eye smirk.

"Wow...umm, I didn't know that you...err...swung that way." The bearded Jounin stammered awkwardly.

"I didn't used to, but then Naruto and Anko somehow got me into a threesome and things just kind of snowballed from there." The female Jounin replied with a shrug, making Asuma gape like a fish again.

Kakashi laid his book across his heart, feeling as if it was going to explode out of his chest in pride. He couldn't have been prouder even if Naruto had been his own son. He never even noticed the tear that slipped out of his eye.

Truly, the next generation always surpasses the previous.

"Kakashi, you're early." Sasuke said in surprise as he approached his distracted sensei. He needed to get in as much training as possible if Naruto had gotten himself apprenticed to a Sannin. He wasn't really surprised at that, considering that Jiraiya had taught Naruto's father and had mentioned being his godfather, but it still grated on him that Naruto had such a powerful teacher.

"Someone turned all the clocks in my apartment 3 hours forward." The cyclopean Jounin explained with an eye smile. "Well, lets get to the training." Kakashi said and whisked his student away from what was quite possibly going to be a very dangerous fight. Kurenai and Asuma were going to have to manage on their own until he could get back.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Three people were walking through the streets of Otaf*cku-Gai. Two of them were big, long haired men dressed in a manner that attracted attention everywhere, one of them blond and the other white haired. Walking next to them was a much smaller girl with brown hair in buns on top of her head and brown eyes.

"So Jiraiya-sama, you said back in the village that Naruto is your godson..." Tenten began in a questioning tone.

"Yeah, Minato and Kushina made me his godfather because the Yondaime was my student." Jiraiya confirmed.

"The Yondaime must have been some kind of super genius to become as powerful as he was at such a young age." Tenten said admiringly.

"Pshaw. The Yondaime was as dumb as a rock and twice as stubborn, that's the real reason that he became so strong. People like to say that everyone who becomes strong was a genius to make themselves feel better about it, but in truth geniuses are pretty rare and most of them don't make it as far as they could. People call me a genius nowadays, but when I was a Genin I was regarded as a loser." The Sannin said.

"Oh." The weapons specialist said quietly, never having thought of it that way. Seeing the talentless Lee getting beaten down by a genius Neji all the time had shaped her into thinking that only geniuses became legends, but that had not held up to scrutiny.

"That's actually a lot more impressive than being a genius." She admitted. "You're pretty amazing Jiraiya-sama."

"Hehe, of course, I'm the great Jiraiya-sama!" The toad sage said, nearly bursting into his introduction dance.

"There's no need to be so respectful to this perverted hermit Tenten." Naruto told the bun haired girl.

"Oi! You've got some nerve calling me a perverted hermit, considering the things you get up to." Jiraiya said in protest.

"Considering that all you do is chase and peep on women and then get your ass kicked by them, while I actually get somewhere with them, I think your title of hermit suits you very well." Naruto said back with a grin.

Jiraiya grumbled to himself about disrespectful young upstarts, but didn't continue the argument

"This is where we'll be staying." The toad sage said as they walked through the entrance of an inn, receiving no protest from the other two.

Just as the innkeeper handed Jiraiya the key, both he and Naruto noticed a very pretty young woman walk past the entrance.

She had black hair and brown eyes and was wearing a strapless dark blue dress with two thin gold belts. On her feet were strap on heels and there was an intricate necklace around her neck.

She stopped and looked through the entrance, giving a clearly inviting look in the direction of Naruto and Jiraiya.

"Woo, why don't you two get comfortable in our room while I take this pretty out on a date." The toad sage said, already overcome by perverted thoughts.

"What's wrong with you old man? She's clearly interested in me, so why don't you get settled while I show her a good time." Naruto countered, already moving towards her.

"Oh hell no, you've already gotten to half the women in Konoha, I'm not letting you take all of them in the surrounding countryside too. I, the gallant Jiraiya, shall save this beautiful young lady from you!" The Sannin declared and stepped forward before his godson could vanish off somewhere with the girl.

Both of them moved towards the girl, leaving Tenten holding the key and sweatdropping.

"Why do I feel like an annoying little kid that just got ditched so that they can go do 'grownup stuff'?" Tenten muttered to herself.

She resisted the urge to pout.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Out of sight, a considerable distance away, two men in black cloaks decorated with red clouds were also sweatdropping.

"Looks like your diversion worked a little too well Itachi." Kisame said with a snigg*r. It wasn't often that one of Itachi's plans backfired like that.

"I had not anticipated that the Kyuubi Jinchuuriki would share Jiraiya's weakness for women."

Inwardly however he was pleased. He had alerted both Konoha and Jiraiya to the danger of Akatsuki, with none being the wiser about his deception.

"Are we still going after the Kyuubi?" Kisame asked.

"They will be aware of us soon. The Kyuubi is out of our reach for now."

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

It hadn't taken the two of them long to figure out that the girl was under a Genjutsu. It was kind of hard to miss when she didn't even register Naruto's existence despite him being right in front of her.

With this in mind, they quickly made their way back to Tenten, only to find her talking to Sasuke, who was looking somewhat frantic.

"What's up princess?" Naruto asked when they came back to the inn.

"Where's Itachi?" Sasuke demanded immediately, ignoring the nickname.

"How the hell am I supposed to know that?" Naruto asked back with a scowl.

"He came to Konoha looking for you!"

"Well, that would explain who cast the Genjutsu on that girl." Jiraiya interjected.

"Itachi always was good with Genjutsu." Naruto agreed.

"How do you know that?" Sasuke demanded again.

"We're the same age you know, he was my classmate in the academy for a little while before he just skipped ahead and graduated." The blond told him. "More to the point, why would Itachi be after me?"

"Well it's not him specifically, it's the organization he works for, Akatsuki. They're trying to gather all nine Bijuu for some reason." The Sannin informed. There was no particularly important reason to keep that hidden since everyone present already knew about Naruto holding the Kyuubi. Aside from that, if the enemy was trying to keep secrets, then blowing those secrets is often going to be detrimental to them somehow.

Naruto thought that over for a moment, trying to convince himself that there wasn't someone out there who was stupid enough to try and reform the Shinju. There wouldn't be any Sage of Six Paths to stop it this time. How could someone have even known about it? Naruto supposed that it could be possible that they were doing it for some other reason, but he couldn't think of any.

Well, at least he could rest easy in the knowledge that they were doomed to failure and had been doomed to failure ever since he had released Xanna when he was 15. Even if they were somehow able to subdue her, she wasn't like the other Bijuu, she wouldn't fight a losing battle. Xanna knew the value of a strategic retreat and they would never find her if she didn't want to be found.

He contemplated revealing that little factoid, but disregarded the idea. Even if they believed him, they would still target him as the one who had the most information about her, and they would be far less careful about killing him in that case.

"Who else is in Akatsuki?" Naruto asked.

"I don't know the names of the other members, but they're all supposed to be S-ranked missing-nin. You'll be able to recognize them by the black cloaks with red clouds that they wear."

"Do you know how many of them there are?" The blond pressed further.

"9 or 10, but this isn't completely reliable information." Jiraiya cautioned.

"So I've got at least 9 S-ranked missing-nin after my ass, that's just great." Naruto deadpanned.

Can't a man work towards marrying the woman the loves without a group of overpowered criminals trying to revive a world ending monstrosity?

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

After Gai arrived and took Sasuke back to Konoha, the three of them continued their search for Tsunade.

Tenten had been pretty shocked at how easily Naruto had blown off the threat of that many missing-nin. That wasn't to say that he wasn't wary of them, he just wasn't intimidated, believing with utter certainty that he would be able to come out on top. If he wasn't strong enough now, then he would get strong enough. She was starting to see just why people like Naruto became so strong. They were too stubborn to be stopped.

Aside from that, Tenten spent the next few days feeling pretty annoyed, as the two males with her spent most of their time hanging around women and drinking sake in every new town they visited. Apparently the two of them found common ground in irritating her with their antics, though Naruto also made it a point to seduce as many women away from his godfather as possible, much to the older mans irritation.

"I can't believe you two! We're supposed to be looking for Tsunade-sama and you're wasting time!" She huffed.

"Places like this are actually great for information gathering." Naruto pointed out, lounging lazily on a couch with 4 girls around him.

"Naruto is right, somebody always hears something in these kinds of places." Jiraiya agreed, though the way that he was staring at a passing girls rear end discredited him somewhat.

"You're too tense Tenten, how about I pay for one of these ladies to give you a massage?" Naruto suggested, quirking his eyebrow at her.

"NO!"

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

The three of them made their way into bar in Tanzaku-Gai with the intention of getting some dinner, but instead ran into the very woman that they were looking for, along with a younger, black haired woman and a little piglet.

"Tsunade, Shizune! Fancy meeting you here." Jiraiya greeted cheerfully.

"I just seem to keep running into old faces lately." Tsunade said, mostly to herself.

"Ran into Orochimaru lately have you?" Jiraiya asked shrewdly.

"Yeah, he came to brag about killing sensei." The slug Sannin said dismissively. "So what are you here for Jiraiya?"

"I'll get right to the point, I'm here to ask you to become Godaime Hokage."

Tsunade looked incredulous for a second before she snorted derisively. "No thanks, Being Hokage is a fools job."

"You seem rather quick to spit on your own family and sensei." Naruto pointed out. He wasn't going to make any mention of his own old man, since it wasn't really relevant.

"Who's this Jiraiya? Your new apprentice?" Tsunade said while looking him up and down, not making any mention of his shirtless attire.

"Yeah, Minato and Kushina's boy actually, Naruto. He just made Genin a few months ago." The toad sage told her.

"The quality of your apprentices has gone down quite a bit, he seems dumber than the last one if it took him that long, not to mention that he looks like a pervert, walking around shirtless like that." The woman said rudely.

"Hey! I don't care if you call him a worthless piece of sh*t," Naruto burst out, gesturing at Jiraiya, making the man in question give a loud, offended protest. " but if you're gonna say stuff like that to me, than you better be ready to back it up with your fists!"

"Oh yeah? Well then lets take this outside pervert!" Tsunade replied just as heatedly.

Tenten and Shizune, who had been silent this entire time just gave despondent sighs at how quickly the situation had devolved into violence. Tenten had to say that her first impression of Tsunade wasn't all that great, but she still believed that Tsunade was someone to look up to. Though she was surprised at how young the woman looked, considering that she was the same age as Jiraiya...she was also a bit shocked at her chest size.

She was a bit worried about Naruto though. The crazy blond just went and picked a fight against a Sannin over a relatively minor insult.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

"I'll only need one finger to take care of someone like you." Tsunade said and prepared her finger.

"Uh, Tsunade, I don't think..." Jiraiya tried to warn her, but was interrupted by his godson.

"Oh, so that's how you want to play it, a humiliation match?" Naruto asked rhetorically. "Well then bring it on tit*!"

"WHAT DID YOU CALL ME?!" The woman roared furiously.

"You don't like your new nickname tit*?" Naruto smirked at her. "Then get over here and do something about it."

Too enraged to even say another word, the blond Sannin charged at Naruto, intent on poking a hole right through his head with her finger.

Tsunade was an S-ranked kunoichi and was thus not to be underestimated, but she hadn't seriously fought or trained in years, which had weakened her quite a bit. This allowed Naruto to avoid her furious attacks with that finger. She surprised him however when she stepped on his foot, trapping him and then rapidly finger flicking him so hard the he flew into a wall, breaking it down in a cloud of dust.

"That'll teach him." The busty woman said in satisfaction.

"That almost hurt." Came Naruto's voice as he exited the dust cloud, cracking his neck. In fact it had hurt quite a bit, but she didn't need to know that.

Tsunade gritted teeth and charged at her fellow blond again, intent on knocking him out for at least a week.

Naruto kept avoiding her attacks for a while before she managed to hit him again, this time much harder. Which was why she overbalanced dangerously when the shadow clone dispersed, leaving her confused for a split second.

That split second was all that the real Naruto, who had sneaked up behind her, needed to wrap both of her arms in chains and pull them behind her back as far as possible, enough to make her shoulder blades stand out sharply. He kicked her in the back of her knees at the same time, making her legs buckle even as her hands were forced into full extension and the chains wrapped around them securely in a spider web pattern, denying her the leverage she would need to bring her infamous super strength to bear.

It wasn't over yet however as the chains holding her wrists also extended down to her ankles, making it so that she couldn't get up or use her feet either, at least not without pulling her arms out. As a final touch, the chains also snaked around and between her breasts, down to her groin, framing her nether lips and rising up her back to join with the chains holding her arms. During this time, the chains had also formed a collar around her neck.

"Everyone always falls for the shadow clone trick as long as they don't know you can do it, it's kind of funny really." Naruto commented to himself.

"WHAT THE HELL IS THIS YOU f*ckING BASTARD?!" The bound woman roared her demand, her face red from a combination of anger and humiliation.

"Don't worry tit*, I'm a master of shibari." Naruto assured her.

"WHEN I GET OUT OF HERE I'M GOING TO RIP YOUR f*ckING BALLS OFF AND MAKE YOU EAT THEM YOU PERVERTED PIECE OF sh*t!" She roared loud enough that the walls around them shook and every civilian in hearing range fled.

Tenten and Shizune were looking at the whole thing with furious blushes, too shocked to move, even Tonton seemed to be a brighter pink than usual.

As for Jiraiya...well, Jiraiya knew that he was going to die when Tsunade got out of those chains. It didn't matter that it was his godson who had done it, he would be killed just for associating with him and being a pervert. In fact, she might well kill every pervert in the city. As he listened to his old teammate spew threats and curses the likes of which would make even Orochimaru invent new shades of pale. The self proclaimed super pervert resigned himself to a bloody death and enjoyed the sight that his godson had provided, determined to stay true to himself to the end, if there had to be an end.

"You know tit*, you're pretty loud." Naruto commented as Tsunade stopped to get some air. "I've got just the thing for that."

"f*ck YOU AND EVERYONE YOU KNOW, YOU-MMPH!"

Tsunade's eyes widened in outrage as the item gagging her was revealed to be a bright red ballgag. She kept trying to scream profanity around it, but all she got for her efforts was muffled noises and twin trails of drool dripping off her chin and into her cleavage.

Jiraiya looked at his gagged former teammate and had to admit that she looked damn sexy right now. If he somehow survived this with at least one arm, he was going to have to write a book about this. There was no denying that his godson was a braver man than him for doing something like this.

Crazy bastard must have balls made of diamond.

"Naruto, why do you have a ballgag with you?" Jiraiya asked with the calm of a man that knew he was going to die.

"When you can form chains at will, you never know when a ballgag might come in handy." Naruto answered over Tsunade's muffled screaming.

Jiraiya nodded at the logic, that made sense to him. His godson was clearly a genius.

"Umm, Naruto-san, don't you think that it's time to release Tsunade-sama. You've already won the fight." Shizune asked, still blushing furiously.

"Shizune was it?" Naruto asked and the woman nodded." Well you see, if I just let her go then tit* won't learn her lesson. Aside from that it looks like she might try to kill me.

Might? Everyone thought to themselves incredulously as they looked at the chained woman that was practically frothing at the mouth from rage.

"What lesson could you possibly be trying to teach her with...with...that?!" Tenten asked in shock, not really believing that what she'd just seen had actually happened, but no matter how much she rubbed her eyes or tried to dispel the Genjutsu, Tsunade was still chained and gagged in the street.

"There are three things that you never, ever do in this world." Naruto said gravely, making them all lean forward with interest.

"You never mess with a man's money." He began.

"You never mess with a man's woman." He continued.

"And you never mess with a man's ego, or the man is going to mess with you." Naruto finished, making them all stare at him.

"Granted, this generally only applies to other men and messing with someone's ego is the smallest of these offenses, but the point is still the same. tit* here insulted me and tried to humiliate me by kicking my ass with just one finger. In response to this, I used a similarly humiliating tactic, I was just better at it."

Jiraiya was awed. His godson had somehow made chaining a woman up in shibari style in the middle of the street, and then shoving a ballgag into her mouth, sound logical.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

The entire group was now in the hotel, the still chained Tsunade having been carried in by Naruto. At least she had stopped trying to yell and was instead trying to develop a technique to shoot fire from her eyes. He had by now removed all the chains that weren't needed to keep her bound, such as the ones around her breasts, the collar and the ones passing her groin.

"I need to talk to Tsunade alone for a while." Naruto told them all once they were done making room arrangements. "And I mean just talk to her Jiraiya." He continued when he saw the toad sage getting a perverted gleam in his eye.

As soon as they were alone in the room, Naruto sat cross legged down on the floor next to where Tsunade was kneeling. "Are you going to start yelling again if I remove the gag Tsunade?"

She glared at him, but made note of the fact that he at least wasn't calling her 'tit*' anymore. After a few seconds she shook her head and Naruto removed the ballgag. She had never been so humiliated before in her life and it was taking all the self control that she had to keep from yelling threats and insults. She knew that he would shove that ballgag back into her mouth if she did that.

"Well, what did you want to talk about?" She didn't quite manage to keep the resentment out of her voice though.

"I'm wondering why you seem to have a grudge against the office of Hokage. If you resented just a particular Hokage I could understand, but what did the position itself ever do to you?"

She stayed mulishly silent for a few minutes and Naruto waited patiently until she spoke.

"It took my loved ones from me."

"How did it manage to do that?" Naruto asked dryly.

"My grandfather and granduncle got themselves killed because they were Hokage, sensei got himself killed because he was Hokage, even your father got himself killed because he was Hokage. Except for sensei, all of them were still young, if they hadn't been Hokage, then they would have lived longer." She said sullenly.

"They died protecting what they loved and considered important. They were Hokage because they considered all of Konoha important. Even if they weren't Hokage, they would have risked their lives to defend the village and probably ended up dying for it all the same." Naruto pointed out.

"I know that." She snapped at him. "Konoha has done nothing but take the people I love away from me...even my little brother and the man I loved." She ended in a near whisper.

"How is Konoha to blame for their deaths?"

"They wanted to be Hokage too, that was their dream, to protect the village. Konoha's Will of Fire drove them to their deaths."

"They died chasing after their dreams, which is a better death than most people get."

"What do you know?" She muttered resentfully. "You're just a stupid pervert anyway."

"I've got my own dream and I don't care how dangerous it is to pursue it. If I die trying to reach it, then so be it. I think your loved ones must have had similar sentiments." Naruto said with certainty.

"So the fact that they died chasing their dreams makes it alright? That they left me alone is somehow supposed to be alright because of that?" Tsunade asked heatedly, with a slight crack in her voice.

"You'll be joining them soon enough Tsunade and you know that they wouldn't want you to be wasting away like this. Wouldn't it be better to carry their dreams in your heart instead of hurling insults at them?" Naruto asked pointedly.

He knew that he didn't have that comfort. If he failed, then Xanna, being immortal, would never join him in the afterlife, he would be separated from her forever. He knew what many shinobi, most notably Orochimaru, had become in their search for immortality. He knew that it wasn't wise to seek eternal life, but then again, Naruto had never claimed to be wise.

"And what about Shizune? She's been putting her own life on hold to take care of you, doesn't she deserve to have a life of her own too?" That was a blatant guilt trip, but it was still true.

That brought the female Sannin up short. Shizune had never complained, but she was a 28 year old woman and she hadn't really had much of a life because Tsunade had been dragging her around over half the elemental nations. She had to put up with her constant drinking and gambling, often having to carry a passed out Tsunade to her bed after her latest drinking binge, but she had still never complained.

"And what about this dream of yours? Are you intending to be Hokage too?" Tsunade asked sarcastically, mostly to get her mind off her previous train of thought.

"I'm afraid that hatred of the villagers for being the Kyuubi Jinchuuriki has left me unable to muster enough fondness for Konoha to be Hokage. The only reason I'm protecting the village is because some people that I like live in it." He said frankly. He had never made any secret of his general dislike of the civilians in the village.

"Well then what is this dream of yours?" She pressed.

"I'm think I'm going to have to keep that a secret for a while longer, but I'll be sure to tell you about it one day." Naruto said teasingly and removed the chains from her, making the woman stand up and stretch.

"So, are you going to accept the position of Hokage?" He asked her.

"Give me a week to think about it." She answered. "Oh, and Naruto?"

He looked towards her just in time to get smashed in the face with her fist. "That was for calling me tit*!" She then proceeded to kick the downed teenager in the gut with all the force she could muster without chakra enhancement. "And that was for chaining me up!" Finally, she stomped on his chest hard enough to crack his ribs. "And that was for the ballgag!"

As Tsunade stormed out of the room and slammed the door closed behind her, Naruto stayed on the floor, wounds already healing.

"Well, I think that went pretty well." He said, spitting some blood off to the side.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

The following week was rather surreal for Jiraiya.

This was due entirely to the fact that Tsunade and Naruto seemed to have become friends while he wasn't looking. The two of them would hit the bars and drink together, often leaving people baffled at their ridiculous alcohol tolerance and other times they went gambling together. Tsunade had discovered that Naruto apparently had the luck of the devil himself and it was hard for him to lose a game of chance even on purpose. Which led to the two of them cleaning people out and then laughing themselves stupid over it.

They were not very gracious in victory and Tsunade was enjoying the feeling of being a winner, even if it was only by proxy, a little too much. Shizune was at least happy to see Tsunade laughing and not getting blind drunk on a regular basis.

He had no idea how his godson had done it, but somehow he had managed to make friends with a woman that he had put in chains and carried to a room like she was spoils of war. The fact that the woman in question was Tsunade, a known hater of perverts, made it that much harder to believe. It was about then that the perverted Sannin knew that he was in the presence of a master and he intended to record as much as possible, for the good of perverts everywhere.

Tenten had been thoroughly disillusioned about her idol and had spent a couple of days sulking about it, until Jiraiya had taken pity on the depressive weapons user and talked to her about it.

Flashback

"I don't understand, how can Tsunade-sama act like that. She's practically a living legend but she acts more like a gambling drunk than anything else." A distressed Tenten said.

"Everyone has their own way of dealing with things. Tsunade likes to drink and gamble, I like to peep on the hot springs, Kakashi likes to read p*rn in public, Gai likes to shout about youth and there's a thousand other examples." Jiraiya explained patiently.

"But why is that even necessary? Can't they just be normal instead of developing some ridiculous bad habit?" Tenten asked sulkily, but also in interest.

"You know who never developed a way to blow off steam?" Jiraiya asked dryly.

"Who?"

"Orochimaru. He was always so serious and controlled, now he goes around stealing people's bodies, trying to become immortal."

"Oh."

End Flashback

The weapons user had been more understanding after that talk, though she hadn't managed to talk to the slug Sannin yet, mostly because she knew that her behavior bordered on the fangirlish and didn't want to annoy her. She spent her time talking to Shizune instead, as the younger medic had many questions about how things were in Konoha. She resolved to speak to her when they got back to Konoha.

Tsunade herself had been having a lot of fun in the past week. Once she stopped being so angry at her fellow blond for the way he had beaten her in that fight, she had been able to appreciate that he was good company. He never stared at her chest when they talked, but he didn't find her unattractive either. He was willing to go gambling and drinking with her and didn't seem to care whether he won or lost. In fact they had won so much money from cleaning out the casinos in Tanzaku-Gai that she could practically pay off all of her debts and the shirtless teenager just let her keep it, saying that he could always get more if he needed it.

But now Orochimaru's deadline was approaching and she found herself unwilling to help him. Naruto had been right when he said that it was better to carry Nawaki's and Dan's dreams in her heart instead of being angry and depressed that they died while chasing them. He had also been right that she would join them soon enough and she didn't want to be a washed out drunk when she did.

She was still going to keep up the illusion of being young though. Getting old might not be a problem for her anymore, but looking old was.

She wasn't going to involve anyone else in her little problem with Orochimaru though. She had gotten into that situation by herself and she would deal with it herself. She was going to refuse his offer and hopefully kill him while doing it. His proposition had been suspicious as it was and now that the shock of renewed grief from hearing him offer to bring them back to life had worn off, she knew that he was up to something. Orochimaru hadn't been trustworthy for decades and she knew that he would double cross her if she agreed to his terms.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Jiraiya, Naruto, Shizune and Tenten arrived to help Tsunade, who was currently fighting Yakushi Kabuto while Orochimaru watched.

Tsunade had gone drinking with Naruto and Jiraiya and slipped a drug into their drinks that was supposed to have taken them out of commission long enough for her to deal with Orochimaru and his lackey.

That was the plan anyway, but Kabuto was proving slippery and surprisingly skilled and Tsunade was out of shape.

"You're such an idiot Tsunade, trying to handle this all by yourself." Naruto said lightly. The drug had knocked him out and given him some trouble with his chakra control for a while, but the adrenaline from the run had already more or less purged it from him due to the unique healing properties of his chakra. Jiraiya wasn't so fortunate and had to deal with screwy chakra control.

Tsunade scowled at her fellow blond, irritated that her plan had failed.

"I'll take care of Orochimaru, you three help Tsunade take on the guy with glasses." Jiraiya ordered.

Seeing the tide turning against him, Kabuto quickly cut himself and splashed some blood on Tsunade, making her freeze and then jumped back towards Orochimaru.

"What's wrong with her?" Naruto demanded, looking warily at Kabuto. The last time he'd seen Kabuto, the silver haired teen had seemed like an insignificant weakling, but he had clearly been giving Tsunade some trouble, which meant that he was was no doubt more skilled than he had seemed.

"She has hemophobia, fear of blood." Shizune explained, placing herself in position to shield the unresponsive Tsunade.

"You've got to be kidding me." Naruto grumbled.

Both Jiraiya and Orochimaru, with Kabuto's help started on the summoning technique. Orochimaru and Kabuto produced two massive brown scaled snakes, while Jiraiya summoned Gamakichi.

"Yo." The small toad greeted.

Jiraiya felt himself being stared at and turned to see his godson giving him a very deadpan look.

"Which one were you trying to summon?" Naruto asked evenly.

"Gamahiro." Jiraiya answered with an awkward grin.

"Kuchiyose no Jutsu(Summoning Technique)."

As the giant aquamarine toad appeared with two swords crossed over his back appeared under Naruto and Jiraiya, Orochimaru narrowed his eyes at the blond.

He has progressed quickly, to be capable of summoning at this level already. Perhaps I should have killed him in the Forest of Death, in spite of Akatsuki wanting him alive. He is growing too fast.

"Thanks brat, now go help Shizune and Tenten against the other guy." Jiraiya said.

"If summoning Gamakichi is the best you can do, then you're in no condition to be fighting Orochimaru." Naruto countered and stayed his ground.

Jiraiya grit his teeth in irritation, but had to admit that his godson might well be right.

"Fine, but keep an eye on them in case they need help."

With nothing more to be said, the two snakes attacked, the one carrying Orochimaru heading for Gamahiro and the one with Kabuto going for Tsunade.

The silent Aquamarine toad swung his dual katana's, intending to take the serpent's head off, but the snake was easily agile enough to avoid the attack. It tried to wrap Gamahiro in it's coils, but the toad placed his twin blades in the way, forcing the snake to abandon the plan or get cut to pieces.

Naruto risked a quick glance towards the other battle, seeing Shizune and Tenten keeping Kabuto at bay with barrages of thrown weapons, but clearly outmatched by the silver haired mans skill. Naruto could see that they wouldn't be able to hold him off indefinitely, though the fact that Tenten had managed to get rid of the snake with a liberal application of explosive notes was surprising. It just went to prove that most problems could be solved with more explosions, which gave him an idea now that he thought of it.

Jumping off Gamahiro and charging towards the preoccupied reptile, the blond ran alongside it and pressed his palm against the scales every few steps, the two dueling Sannin both taking note of his actions from the corner of their eyes. It didn't look like Naruto was doing anything, but Orochimaru wasn't willing to risk it and swiftly commanded the snake to lash out with it's tail, smacking him away.

Naruto shook his head to clear the cobwebs once he landed and made a ram seal, activating the chakra he had placed in the seals that he had placed on the snakes body. A series of explosions erupted on the serpents body, crippling it and making it an easy target for Gamahiro's swords.

Naruto didn't wait to see how the battle between Sannin would go from there and charged towards Kabuto who had already incapacitated Shizune and was now going for a nervous looking Tenten. Kabuto noticed him before he could spring a surprise attack on him and jumped away.

"Sōshōryū(Twin Rising Dragons)!"

Tenten's technique forced Kabuto underground, as there was practically no spot left that wasn't the target of some weapon or other.

"Naruto, he's going to try to cut your achilleas tendon!" The bun haired weapons user called out in warning, remembering that this was how Shizune had been taken down.

Reacting to the warning immediately, Naruto decided to try and turn Kabuto's offense against him. Sending multiple chains rushing through the ground in the direction that Kabuto had been. Within a few seconds he felt his chains hit something other than earth and then continue forward. He pulled the chains upward, tearing apart the earth and grinned when he saw that Kabuto was impaled through the gut and leg.

Deciding not to take chances against such a dangerous opponent, he readied a brightly glowing Rasengan and had the chains carry the silver haired traitor to him.

Kabuto's eyes widened in fear as he saw himself being brought towards the deadly technique. He hadn't known that Naruto was capable of sending his chains through the ground and he couldn't free himself since he was impaled all the way through. Unless some kind of outside interference saved him, then the blond was going to kill him.

Unfortunately for him, Orochimaru was currently busy with Jiraiya and Gamahiro and couldn't do anything to help him, so Naruto was able to shove the chakra orb into his chest, destroying his heart and mangling several other internal organs in a shower of gore. Not even his regeneration technique could heal that kind of damage and Kabuto died shortly after.

Some distance away, The battle between the two Sannin had become a stalemate. Orochimaru had managed to force Gamahiro to dispel by regurgitating the Kusanagi and delivering several cuts to the toad with the poisoned blade, but Jiraiya had regained much of his chakra control and was able to keep him at bay.

Orochimaru's eyes widened in alarm as he saw Kabuto slain. He knew for certain now that he had blundered when he had left the Kyuubi Jinchuuriki alive in the forest, if he had become strong enough to kill someone like Kabuto.

I need to kill him now! If he is allowed to become any stronger he will be a serious problem for me later.

With this thought in mind, Orochimaru shot himself towards the Uzumaki, making a cheap shot at Jiraiya on the way to force him to back off.

"Naruto look out!" Jiraiya shouted towards his godson, seeing that he wouldn't be able to catch Orochimaru and stop him.

Naruto turned around just in time to see the snake Sannin flying towards him with the Kusanagi held in his mouth, but he was too close to dodge completely, only managing to shift his body enough that he got hit in the right side of his chest instead of the heart.

"No!" Tsunade shouted, snapping out of her hemophobia induced stupor when she saw her fellow blond impaled.

Orochimaru's mouth twisted into a satisfied smile. Even if he hadn't struck the heart, the poison on the blade would still kill him and spare him from any future headaches.

Before he could pull the blade out and retreat, Naruto's hands rose and grabbed onto the hilt of the sword with a death grip. Orochimaru tried to pull the sword out, but his tongue was not as strong as Naruto's hands.

Naruto gave a bloody grin towards the snake Sannin, silently declaring that he wasn't going to be letting go of the sword.

The point was made moot when Tsunade's fist smashed into her former teammates face, blasting him away from Naruto and leaving the Kusanagi buried in his chest.

Orochimaru assessed the situation and knew that he couldn't stay any longer if he wanted to survive. Against both of his old teammates and without the use of his arms, he couldn't possibly win. It infuriated him that the Kyuubi Jinchuuriki had managed to take away his prized sword as his final act. It had taken him years to track down the Kusanagi and now he had lost it to a teenage upstart. What's worse was that he didn't know for sure if the brat was even going to die, not with Tsunade there and the healing factor that he had already shown.

Left with no choice, Orochimaru made his escape, his attempt at getting his arms healed had cost him a powerful and useful subordinate along with the Kusanagi. The snake Sannin was not pleased.

Naruto wasted no time in pulling the sword out of his chest, with Tsunade making him lie down immediately after. He could feel the powerful poisons on the blade already working on shutting down his body while his chakra counteracted it. His healing factor didn't work against poisons quite as well as it did against regular injury, so the addition of Tsunade's healing technique was quite welcome.

Slowly but surely, he felt the wound close and the poison being purged.

"You idiot, getting yourself impaled on a sword like that." The slug Sannin said with relief, still leaning over him.

"Tsunade, your boobs are making it hard to breathe." Naruto mumbled against her breasts.

Tenten and Shizune facepalmed while Jiraiya restrained a giggle out of fear of Tsunade.

Tsunade herself smacked the blond in the forehead for the comment, but decided to do no more on account of the fact that he'd just been impaled and poisoned.

"Getting impaled aside," Naruto said once he'd recovered. "I've got a new sword and we seem to have a new Hokage, and I like her better than the Sandaime already." He finished, giving a short wave of the sword that was still stained in his blood.

Everyone looked towards Tsunade with a clear question written on their faces.

"Yes, I'll take the post of Godaime Hokage." She confirmed, making everyone give pleased smiles.

"Since I like you, I'll even tell you the secret way to avoid doing paperwork Tsunade." Naruto told her with a grin, making the woman look towards him with eager eyes. That was one of the things she dreaded most about becoming Hokage.

"What's the secret way?"

"I'll tell you when we get back to Konoha."

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Notes:

Ah there we go, chapter the tenth, posted a bit more speedily than usual. I guess a job where you've got nothing to do but daydream about what to write is good for something.

I've been curious about people's opinion on my take of Tsunade's retrieval for a while now, so please review and let me know xD.

Chapter 11

Notes:

DISCLAIMER: Dun own it.

Review responses:

Master Procrastinator: Yeah, I was afraid of that :P. writing the fight scenes is always the hardest part of any chapter for me to get through, so I figured that I wasn't exactly doing a great job of it.

Flaming Praise: I'm working on shoving the damn apostrophe where it belongs :P. I've got plenty of experience with speaking english, but I've never written anything even remotely this long and I'm finding my ability to write the language based on gut instinct to be wrong at times.

Arch Zell: Well if you know why I'm getting so relatively few reviews, then you have me at a disadvantage o.o

Riceb0x: You make a good point and I've added such a note in the first chapter now.

IncandescentOne: You may have a point about the summary, but for the life of my I can't think of a way to make it sound more interesting. I'm pretty sure I can't just turn it into 'People tell me that it's a real awesome story, so read it despite the bad summary' or something xD.

WhatTheActualf*ckMyNameDoesntF: There is no danger of abandonment, since I honestly don't have anything else going on in my life right now. That's probably also the reason that I've somehow managed to get out 130k words in a month and a half, despite the fact that I'm actually a very lazy kind of guy.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

It was a couple of days after Tsunade had settled into her job as Godaime Hokage and Naruto was doing something that he found immensely tedious.

Shaving.

Stupid blond peach fuzz growing all over his face, wasting several minutes of his day. There was no such thing as a teenager that looked good with facial hair though, especially if that facial hair was blond, so he had no choice but to shave it or feel ridiculous.

At the very least, he seemed to have inherited his father's weak propensity for facial hair, making the whole thing go by fairly fast, not to mention that he didn't have any growing on his chest. Don't get him wrong, Naruto knew that his father had been a badass, but he looked like a damn sissy.

He was willing to bet that he got his manly appearance from the Uzumaki side of the family. There was just no way a clan as awesome as the Uzumaki looked like a bunch of milk toothed sissies while they were kicking ass.

"Naruto, what is this?" The question snapped Naruto out of his ruminations on the manliness of the Uzumaki. He noted that there was a distinctly odd inflection in the voice of the woman he loved more than anything.

He walked into the living room to see Xanna scrutinizing the sword that he had stolen from Orochimaru. "That's the sword that I stole from Orochimaru on my last mission. I think it's called the Kusanagi no Tsurugi." The blond explained.

"It is." The demoness replied simply.

Naruto quirked an eyebrow in interest. "You seem to be familiar with it." He stated.

"I'm should be, considering that it was my...father who created it." She replied, hesitating slightly at the mention of her father.

"The Sage of Six Paths?" Naruto asked incredulously. He knew that the sage was the only one who fit the description of her father and knew that she hesitated to call him that, considering that she had only known him for a little over a week. What had him so incredulous was the fact that he had apparently come into the possession of the man's sword.

"Yes. See the magatama marking on the hilt?" She pointed out the marking in question, sitting innocently just below the blade. "He often used the magatama to mark his own creations. He was slightly obsessive about it actually." She chuckled at some memory before continuing. "I remember that he had a magatama necklace and nine magatama markings on the back of his coat."

"That...does sound a bit excessive." Naruto said, inwardly wondering whether power and eccentric behavior were linked somehow and how incredibly eccentric the sage had to have been in that case.

"I surprised you managed to stumble on his sword." Xanna commented, idly swinging the sword through the air.

"You can keep it if you want." Naruto said, making the demoness look at him in surprise. "It's yours by right anyway, since it belonged to your father."

"I..." She looked conflicted for a moment before answering. "…thank you Naruto, that's very considerate of you, but I'm afraid that I can't make proper use of it." She hadn't really expected him to just be willing to give her the sword. As far as she was concerned it was his by right of conquest.

"What do you mean?" He asked curiously.

"The Kusanagi was created for combat against demons. It will only respond to human chakra. I think you should keep it, I'm sure that the blade will serve you well." She explained and offered.

"Thank you." He said, touched that she would want him to have it. "Wait...you said that it responds to human chakra?"

"Oh yes, it was made with a special technique, the Creation of All Things. Anything created with that technique is highly chakra attuned. It was after all, the technique that was used to create us Bijuu from the chakra of the Shinju."

"Sweet." Naruto said with a grin. "So, what can it do?"

"Try flowing your chakra into it and then willing your chakra to extend further than the actual blade." She advised.

Naruto grabbed the sword and did as she instructed. He hadn't had too much practice with chakra flow, but the Kusanagi was highly receptive to his chakra, eager even, glowing bright blue with the chakra flowing through it. After it had flowed to the tip of the blade, he tried to extend it further and finding this to be somewhat more difficult. As soon as he managed it, the blade itself also extended, stabbing into the wall it was pointed at like a spear and easily cutting right through it.

"That's amazing." Naruto said admiringly before looking at his wall. "But I'm going to have to do something about that hole in my wall now."

"It has some other abilities, but you probably shouldn't practice them indoors." The demoness said dryly.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

"Hyuuga Neji, Uzumaki Naruto, Nara Shikamaru." The newly instated Godaime Hokage spoke to the three Genin in front of her. "You three were the only Konoha Genin that fought in the finals of the Chunin exam, so you three are the only ones eligible for promotion at this time."

The three of them said nothing, one of them standing at attention, another slouching lazily and the third looking intently at the purple rhombus on Tsunade's forehead.

"Hyuuga Neji." Tsunade stated, doing her best to ignore Naruto's scrutiny of her forehead. "Despite showing impressive combat ability, you were deemed to lack the proper mentality to be a Chunin."

Neji simply nodded in acceptance. It had been what he was expecting after all. He knew that he hadn't made a very good impression with the way he had insulted Naruto during their fight or the way that he had ranted about fate the entire time.

"Uzumaki Naruto." She said, turning towards the tall blond. "You showed great combat and analytical ability with the way that you defeated your opponents. Not to mention your achievement in singlehandedly preventing the Ichibi from breaching the walls." The new Hokage praised.

"However..." She dragged out. "It has also been reported that you abandoned the field and acted on your own initiative instead seeking out a Jounin for orders, apparently so that you could get two ramen chefs to safety. Along with that, it has also been reported that you apparently engaged in sexual intercourse with an unknown female immediately after defeating the Ichibi."

Tsunade's voice had steadily been getting more incredulous the farther along the report she got, until she was staring at her fellow blond as if he was some particularly interesting species of two headed troll.

Neji and Shikamaru were similarly staring at the blond as if he was insane.

"In my defense, the invasion was apparently over by then."

"Did you know that the invasion was over by then?" Tsunade's voice was very dry when she asked this.

"No." He admitted without shame. As far as he was concerned, he had done the right thing.

"I didn't think so. Normally offenses like that would carry a severe penalty, but considering that you did save the village from an giant sand demon, I'm going to let it slide." Tsunade concluded.

Naruto nodded, actually rather pleased about not getting promoted. It meant less annoying missions.

"Nara Shikamaru." Tsunade said as she turned towards the final Genin. "You showed highly impressive strategic and tactical ability with the way you defeated your opponent, as well as great foresight in forfeiting due to lack of chakra. For this reason I am promoting you to Chunin."

Shikamaru groaned in disappointment. This was exactly what he had been hoping to avoid when he had forfeited. Maybe he should have made a more lame excuse?

"Thank you Hokage-sama." He said without enthusiasm.

"Promotion too troublesome for you Shikamaru?" Naruto asked, grinning at the pineapple haired Chunin.

"You have no idea." Shikamaru grumbled. "I'm actually impressed and envious of you. You somehow committed what amounts to dereliction of duty, but did just enough good to offset it and get away with it."

Naruto shrugged and Tsunade's eye developed an annoyed twitch at just how dismissive the two of them were about getting promoted.

"Now get out of my office." The three of them turned around and began to walk out the door when her voice rang out again. "Except for you Naruto, we've still got some business."

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Tsunade sat at her desk, which was incidentally full of unfinished paperwork, staring at the bare chested blond in front of her.

"You mentioned something about a secret way to avoid paperwork." She said blankly.

"Indeed, there is a secret way. I'll tell you about it if you agree to answer a question for me." Naruto told her with a grin.

"Agreed." He knew pretty much every big secret already, what could he possibly ask that she would be reluctant to answer?

"Shadow clones."

Tsunade was motionless as she processed that bit of information.

"Right now you're wondering why your sensei, the famed professor, hadn't figured that one out himself right?"

"That question has crossed my mind yes." Tsunade answered, feeling fairly stupid that this had to be pointed out to her.

"Well, nevermind senile old men right now, what I want to know is if that mark on your forehead is a seal and what kind."

"It's my Yin seal, I use it when I need an extra burst of chakra to heal myself if I ever get badly injured. It's a last resort though, since it speeds up my aging every time I use it." Tsunade explained. It wasn't any big secret anyway.

The incredulous look on Naruto's face however, was making her feel as if she'd just said something incredibly stupid.

"So, if I understand you correctly, you're using a burst of Yin chakra to direct the flow of your body energy into a rapid regeneration technique, which accelerates your aging." He said, voice bland.

"Yes?" Tsunade said/questioned in a confused tone. People were usually impressed by that.

"Did it ever occur to you that the rapid aging happens because Yin chakra only provides the form of what you need to heal the injuries? Without a Yang chakra component to provide the energy, it was sucking the life out of you." Naruto informed her, leaving the blond Hokage gaping at him in shock.

"You mean that it was possible to make this technique safe? I could have been using it without getting older every time?"

"Well it would still leave you drained even with a properly made Yang chakra component, but it wouldn't shorten your life anymore." Naruto confirmed.

"The two of us are going to be adding that Yang chakra component right now brat." Tsunade said as she made a shadow clone to do her paperwork, inwardly cackling with glee over the fact that she was never going to have to sign another document for the rest of her life.

"If you're gonna start calling me brat again, then I'm going back to calling you tit*." He told her with a smirk.

"Is that anyway to talk to your Hokage?" Tsunade said with a playful scowl.

"Oh, excuse me tit*-sama, I wasn't aware that you wanted to be in charge this time. Shall I get the chains?"

Tsunade fought down an embarrassed blush at the memory of how he'd chained her up in Tanzaku-Gai.

Tsunade was not too well used to dealing with embarrassment, so she defaulted to her typical response to a perverted comment like that.

She punched him into a wall.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

"Shōmon: Kai (Gate of Pain: Open)!"

Naruto felt the immense power that releasing the fourth gate granted him, increasing the strength and speed of his body to many times it's natural potential. However, he also felt the strain of controlling it. He was practically vibrating with energy, ready to be unleashed and more importantly, barely able to think clearly. He knew that with repeated use, he would grow used to it and be better able to direct it, but never fully control it.

The longer he kept it active, the more he also felt his muscles tearing. With the amount of muscle development he had, he could keep it up longer than Lee, but there was no avoiding the muscle damage. The human body was simply never meant to operate at this level.

Shutting the gates, Naruto sighed in disappointment at another failure. After Gai had taught him how to open 5 of the gates, he had thought that he could learn to control their power, but it was not to be. The gates were either open or closed, there was no middle ground. Despite that, he was still going to learn how to open the last 3 gates, even if Gai refused to teach him how. Now that he knew how to open the first 5, he could learn the last 3 on his own eventually.

Picking up a scroll, he focused on a different project. If Yang chakra wouldn't work, then perhaps the answer lay in Yin chakra.

While helping Tsunade add a Yang component to her seal, he had learned how to make a Yin seal, which was what he now held. Since his body was apparently naturally far more attuned to Yang than Yin, it had been a pain in the ass to create a seal that would convert his chakra into Yin, but he had done it.

He had no idea what would happen once he flooded the Yin chakra into his body, so he created a clone to keep watch on him. He had learned long ago that it always paid to have contingencies ready when dealing with experimental seals.

Placing the Yin seal on his chest, he released and flooded his body with the Yin natured chakra held inside it.

He felt the change immediately. It felt as if he had gained an incredible awareness of his own chakra and the way that it flowed through his coils. Willing it to flow in a different direction than it would naturally, he was fascinated to see it do exactly as he wished. The chakra was responding to his will so easily, he merely had to want it and it would obey. With this kind of control over his own chakra, he could do anything, he could even...

Naruto's concentration was broken as the clone punched him hard right in the jaw, which broke him out of his trance. Gasping, he shot a dirty glare at his doppelganger.

"What's the big idea?!" He demanded.

"You stopped breathing you imbecile." Was the dry response from his clone.

Naruto looked stunned for an instant before commenting to himself in a disbelieving tone.

"Yin chakra is even more dangerous than Yang chakra."

Clearly, having too much Yin chakra flowing in his body gave him a powerful control of his chakra, but it simultaneously caused a disconnect between his body and mind.

Perhaps if they were properly balanced the negative side effects would cancel out?

Deciding to try this theory out, he readied another Yin chakra scroll, preparing to absorb it.

"Kaimon: Kai (Gate of Opening: Open)!"

His body once more flooded with Yang chakra as it's full potential was released and Naruto wasted no time in absorbing the Yin chakra from the seal.

Immediately, he felt more in control of himself, as the furious physical energy of Yang was balanced out by the calm spiritual power of Yin. Naruto couldn't help the wide grin that stretched across his face at this realization.

He started running around the training field, marveling at the control that he now had despite having opened the first gate. If he could gather enough Yin chakra to balance out the opening of the other seven gates, then he would be unstoppable.

Before he could get lost in happy thoughts of having found a solution to his problem gaining the power to be worthy of Xanna's hand in marriage, the muscle damage that characterized the opening of the gates made itself known.

Groaning in disappointment, he closed the gate and slumped down on his butt.

Apparently, even though the Yin chakra did balance out the opening of the gates and allowed him to retain better control of himself and his chakra, it didn't do a damn thing about the muscle damage. Clearly this was another dead end in his quest for power.

At least Kurenai was going to be happy that he had finally managed to create a workable seal to collect Yin chakra. The Genjutsu mistress had been quite upset the last time he'd spoken with her. Minimal prodding had revealed that she was upset because of how little she'd been able to do against Uchiha Itachi and Hoshigaki Kisame, who he had learned had come to the village in an attempt to capture him.

He could certainly understand her frustration when all of her hard won skill with Genjutsu was made worthless because of the Sharingan or a chakra eating sword. It was even more galling that Itachi had even turned her own illusion against her. Of course there was no getting around the fact that Itachi was the Genjutsu boogeyman of the Elemental Nations, but to be defeated so easily just because he was an Uchiha would annoy anyone.

No doubt this breakthrough in their research into Yin release would allow her to take her illusions to the next level, eventually perhaps even allowing her to achieve Yin release without the help of Fuinjutsu.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

"Did you know that your pink haired teammate has been asking me for training as a medic?" Tsunade asked as she took a drink from her sake bottle, her feet resting on the coffee table that she had brought in to the office for this exact reason.

Next to her on the couch in the Hokage's office, his feet similarly resting on the coffee table, Naruto answered her. "Someone must have clued her in on the fact that her high chakra control would be a good starting point for medical Ninjutsu."

There was a shadow clone of Tsunade grumbling as it did paperwork behind the Hokage's desk. This allowed the real Tsunade and Naruto to slack off and talk about other things while her work was being done for her.

"Not only that, but that Tenten girl also came in here wanting to learn medical Ninjutsu, but she just doesn't have the aptitude for it. Her chakra control is decent enough, but not nearly good enough for medical training, though I am going to start teaching Sakura, or at least have Shizune start her on it." Tsunade said. She felt a bit bad about refusing Tenten, since she could respect the girl as a serious kunoichi, but medical Ninjutsu really didn't suit the weapons user. The girl had been terribly disappointed at hearing that, but had pulled herself together quickly enough.

"Tenten seemed to be pretty decent with Fuinjutsu though. I was actually thinking of teaching her a thing or two." Naruto admitted. Fuinjutsu users were so rare that he had honestly been surprised to see that Tenten knew anything at all about the art.

"Speaking of Fuinjutsu, I've got something that I think I'm going to need your help with." The male blond said.

"Oh? This should be interesting."

"It is. I'm trying to figure out Orochimaru's cursed seal you see and I need a skilled medic to help me."

Tsunade raised an eyebrow in interest. Even Jiraiya hadn't managed to do that, though she had no idea why he wanted a medic to help him. "Are you doing this because you want to find a way to remove it from your teammate?"

"Huh?" Naruto said in confusion before remembering that Sasuke had a cursed seal on him too. He'd completely forgotten about that. "No, I'm doing this to find a way to remove it from Anko."

"Of course, why would you help your teammate if you can help a pretty woman." The blond Hokage said dryly.

"Exactly, though I guess I can remove it from the princess too once I learn how."

Tsunade chuckled at his nickname for the Uchiha. Having met Sasuke, she could certainly understand why he called the boy a princess with the way he pouted sometimes. Oh sure it wasn't really a pout, more like a jealous scowl, but that was just a pout that used different facial muscles.

Their conversation was interrupted as Shizune entered the office and froze at seeing her mentor and Naruto on the couch together, leaning against each other with their feet on the table without a care in the world while an angry looking shadow clone was doing paperwork.

"What is it Shizune?" Tsunade asked

"Umm...It's time for the monthly council meeting to go over village finances." Shizune said after she got her composure back. She would just never get used to seeing Tsunade so relaxed and 'hanging out' with Naruto like a teenager. Though at least it made her happy to see that her mentor had stopped drinking so heavily.

Tsunade groaned when she heard that. She hated council meetings. It was even worse than paperwork, mostly due to the fact that the annoying elders kept pushing to increase the military budget and the civilians trying to get more money for themselves.

"Just send a shadow clone to deal with it." Naruto said airily." That's what I'm going to do." Since he had announced himself as the Uzumaki clan head, he actually had to attend council meetings now. Well, his shadow clones had to attend them, he was off doing more important things during those times.

"That is an... excellent suggestion." Tsunade said with a wide grin forming on her face.

"I'll inform the council to gather in an hour." Shizune said and left. She had also started using shadow clones to deal with paperwork and other menial tasks, so she didn't even bat an eyelash at their strategy.

"Aren't shadow clones just about the most useful technique ever?" Naruto asked rhetorically.

"Yes, yes they are." Tsunade agreed wholeheartedly. Anything that got her out of paperwork and council meetings was nothing short of pure gold. "With all these genius ideas you have, maybe I should make you my advisor instead of those old guys."

"And miss out on all their geriatric nagging?" Naruto asked with mock horror. "How could you possibly think that it would be a good idea to replace a couple of power hungry old people that should have been stuffed into a retirement home and forgotten years ago?

"No need for all the sarcasm Naruto, everyone knows you don't like them." Tsunade said with a chuckle. She had nearly died of laughter when he had told her what he'd said to Koharu and even now just thinking about it made her want to laugh.

"I'm serious though, those three fossils have gotten entirely too comfortable with the power that being on the council gives them. Every time that people get too comfortable with the power they have over others, they start abusing it." Naruto said cynically. That had always been his experience with it at least. The things that Hinata had told him about the Hyuuga elders only confirmed it further.

Tsunade mulled it over and the more she thought about it, the better it was starting to sound.

"Even if I am Hokage, I'm not sure if I have the power to just remove them though." Tsunade admitted.

"Tsunade, Konoha is a military dictatorship, if you tell them to get down on their knees and lick your c*nt, then they had better hope that their jaw doesn't go numb before you tell them to stop." Naruto told her with an eyeroll. The woman had clearly spent too much time around Sarutobi in her youth, not to mention that the elders had no doubt been 'helping' her adjust to her new position by telling her that kind of nonsense. Naruto never saw the point of puss*footing around laws like that if you were a military dictator.

Tsunade spat out the sake she had just drank in shock, before she started laughing so hard that she wasn't even able to make any noise.

"You alright there Tsunade?" Naruto asked in amusem*nt.

"I think I've been spending too much time around you, because I'm actually tempted to say that just to see the look on their faces." Tsunade said with a chuckle, wiping away a tear that had leaked out of her eye due to her mirth. "Jokes aside, they do actually have an important function in the workings of the village, but I'll keep the idea of removing them in mind if they ever start becoming more trouble than they're worth.

Naruto nodded but felt that he had to give her one final idea. "Since you're such a great medic I'm sure that it would also be pretty easy for you to induce an artificial heart attack." He grinned at her. "That way you can keep them from protesting."

Tsunade couldn't help but grin back at him. That idea certainly had merit for taking care of Danzo. Nobody would find it out of the ordinary for such an old man to have a heart attack after all.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Naruto, Tenten, Neji and Hinata were sitting in Naruto's private training ground. Tenten because he had asked her to and the two Hyuuga because they had something that they wanted to talk to Naruto about.

Naruto had been a bit surprised at their addition, but had easily agreed to their request for a private conversation. Neji and he had even become sort of friendly after their fight in the finals. A good fight is worth years of therapy for men.

"Why did you want me to come here Naruto." Tenten asked curiously.

After joining him on the mission to retrieve Tsunade and getting into a fight with Orochimaru of all people, the weapons user had come to have a great respect for his strength. Not to mention that she was also jealous that he had managed to steal the legendary Kusanagi no Tsurugi from Orochimaru. She would have given her left pinky toe for a weapon like that.

"Well I heard from Tsunade that you asked her to train you and she refused."

Tenten nodded sadly, still feeling disappointed about the refusal. The newly instated Godaime hadn't been mean about it, explaining that her chakra control just wasn't good enough, but it was still a huge let down to be turned away by her idol while someone like Sakura got accepted. She didn't really dislike the pink haired girl, but she was clearly playing catch up because she'd been slacking off in the academy.

"When you were holding off Kabuto, I saw that you were pretty good with seals, so I'm offering to train you in Fuinjutsu." Naruto said, making Tenten's head snap into his direction.

"I'd love that!" She hastily agreed. Fuinjutsu had interested her ever since the academy and being offered an opportunity to learn more was too good to pass up. She didn't even care about the fact that she'd been a Genin longer than the blond. He was clearly far more proficient in the art than her and she'd be a fool to turn the offer down.

Hinata and Neji were also looking quite surprised by this, as they hadn't thought that Naruto would offer to teach Tenten Fuinjutsu, but it only reaffirmed their reason for coming to him.

"Alright then, we'll work out a schedule for you tomorrow, meet me here at 7 in the morning." Naruto told the bun haired girl.

"You got it Naruto-sensei!" She said with a giggle and ran off in her excitement.

Naruto raised an eyebrow at being called sensei, before he shrugged with a smile. Teaching Tenten could wind up being fun, particularly the part where he told her about all the ways that she could blow herself out of existence if she screwed up.

"Now, what did you two want?" He said as he turned towards the two Hyuuga.

"Naruto nii-san, we have a request for you." Hinata said, doing her best to hide how nervous she was.

The blond raised an eyebrow at them in interest, before making a hand motion for her to go on.

Hinata fidgeted for a moment and Neji decided to speak up. "We wanted to ask your help with a Fuinjutsu problem Naruto-san."

"First of all," Naruto said with a raised finger. "Don't call me 'Naruto-san', I really don't like honorifics in most cases. Secondly, I'm guessing that this is about the caged bird seal." He finished, feeling fairly confident that his guess was right.

The two Hyuuga were surprised that he had figured it out already, but not too surprised. What other Fuinjutsu problem could they have anyway?

"Yes, Hinata-sama and..." He didn't manage to finish the sentence because his cousin was glaring at him in a way that most people would think she wasn't capable of. With a sigh, he corrected himself. "Hinata-chan and I have talked it over and decided to ask you if you think you would be able to remove it."

Hinata had been most insistent that he was never to call her 'Hinata-sama' outside of the Hyuuga compound unless it was absolutely necessary. She would always call him Neji nii-san and didn't want to be addressed as if she was his superior outside the compound. It couldn't be helped in the compound, because the main house would throw a hissy fit if they heard a branch member addressing the heiress as anything other than a superior.

"Well, I've already been examining it ever since our fight in the finals." Naruto informed them.

"Really?" Hinata said hopefully, hoping that maybe he already knew how to remove it.

"Yeah, I copied it from Neji's forehead during our fight, but unfortunately, I've made no headway."

"You mean it's too hard for you to remove?" Hinata asked sadly. She had known that this was a possibility, but she'd hoped that he could do it.

"That's not the problem." Naruto denied. "The problem is that the caged bird seal in it's finished form doesn't give me enough to work with." He explained, making them look towards the blond in confusion.

"What would you need then?" Neji asked.

"I would need to learn how to apply it myself before I can learn how to remove it. What I need are the notes for the creation of the seal, if I have that I'm sure that I can figure out a way to get rid of it. Without knowing everything that goes into the creation of the seal, I'd need to experiment, which would lead to a lot of dead Hyuuga before I found the right way to do it." He explained to them, making their faces go grim. Unlike Orochimaru's cursed seal, the caged bird seal wasn't a half baked piece of crap held together by luck and hope. It was the work of a seal master who had put a lot of time and effort into it's creation and it would need to be handled carefully.

Hinata and Neji looked at each other before nodding. They were sure that Naruto was not the kind of man that had any interest in creating branded slaves. His only interest was in his own strength.

And women, can't forget the women.

"Neji nii-san and I will do our best to find the notes for you." Hinata said to the blond, happy that he would be able to get rid of the seal that she hated so much.

Naruto grinned at her before he spoke again. "Neji nii-san is it little sister? Does that mean that Neji will start calling me big brother too?"

Neji looked like a startled deer for a second before he got over his shock and spoke. "Absolutely not."

"Oh come on, I'll be a proper big brother Neji." The blond said and grabbed the Hyuuga in a headlock. "I'll even take you to a brothel for your 16th birthday." Neji choked in surprise and Hinata started burning with a fiery blush.

"No thanks!" He refused quickly and tried to escape.

"You sure? I know this one girl who can show you a whole other meaning of 'caged bird'." The blond kept offering.

"I don't even want to know what you're talking about!" Neji was quick to refuse, his composure starting to give way to slight panic.

Naruto let out a disappointed sigh and let the Hyuuga go. "You need to start thinking about girls more Neji. With all that pretty hair of yours, people will start thinking you're gay if you don't show any interest in females." Naruto told him sagely.

"I like girls just fine thank you." Neji was quick to assure.

There was a short moment of silence before Naruto spoke again. "You sure you don't want me to take you to a brothel?"

"NO! I mean YES! ARGH!"

Hinata quickly covered her mouth to cut of her giggle when a frazzled Neji looked her way.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

"So, tell me again why exactly you need a medic for this, because this looks more like a Fuinjutsu problem to me." Tsunade said as she peered at Anko's exposed shoulder.

Currently Anko, Kurenai, Naruto and Tsunade were in Anko and Kurenai's apartment, taking a look at the cursed seal on Anko's shoulder.

"Because I've already gone over the seal itself and there's simply no way that it should be capable of everything that it does. It's basically nothing more than a bunch of storage seals connected to a main array and designed to release when certain conditions are met." Naruto explained.

"Explain it to me then, because I've got no idea how I can help you here." Tsunade insisted.

"Fine. See this here?" Naruto said and pointed at a particular spot on the seal. "That storage seal contains something highly chakra reactive, but not raw chakra. It's also triggered by powerful negative emotions. Once that happens, this next seal is triggered." Naruto pointed to another seal a bit further in the array. "This one contains what I can only guess is Orochimaru's chakra given how corrupt it feels, which empowers that unknown something that I mentioned earlier. This seal right here," The blond said and pointed at another spot on the marking. "holds a lot more of that unknown stuff, but it's inactive right now. I'm guessing that Orochimaru probably has to do something to activate that part of the seal and it no doubt gives a big power boost as well. Unfortunately, because it's driven by negative emotions, that stuff along with Orochimaru's corrupt chakra also tends to eat away at the sanity of whoever is using it.

The three women were looking highly impressed with the analysis so far, but Naruto wasn't quite finished. "What I need from you Tsunade, is to help me identify what that unknown crap is. The only thing I know about it is that Orochimaru injects it with a bite, it's reactive to powerful negative emotions like rage and hatred and it has an empowering effect. Either way, I haven't been able to find a safe way to remove it because Orochimaru's chakra tends to react rather strongly whenever anyone attempts to mess with the curse mark."

"Alright, I'll see if I can find a way to figure out what that stuff is." Tsunade agreed. This was going to be a challenge, but finding a way to remove Orochimaru's hickeys would certainly be a good thing.

"There's also one more thing that I feel I should mention." Naruto said with some hesitation, instantly catching the attention of all three women. Naruto was never hesitant.

"What is it?" Anko asked a bit nervously. She had a feeling that she wasn't going to like what the blond had to say.

"Orochimaru's chakra is acting far too intelligently to be just chakra. It can perceive threats and act on them. It can sense what cursed seal bearers are feeling." Naruto said grimly, to the dawning realization of the three women.

There was silence for a moment longer as they waited for him to finish. "I think that the crazy asshole has somehow managed to cut off a piece of his soul and place it into his cursed seals."

All three women looked at him wide eyed, before Anko suddenly grabbed at her shoulder, clawing at the mark on it. "Get this f*cking thing off me, I don't care what it takes, just get it off!" She whispered harshly, unable to stand the fact that she was carrying around a piece of her traitorous sensei's soul.

"We will Anko, don't worry." Naruto reassured her while Kurenai just rubbed her back soothingly. "At the very least, it's not fully sentient, it's more like a basic awareness."

Anko wasn't looking very reassured by that, but seemed willing to believe that Naruto and Tsunade could find a way to remove the mark.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

A month later.

There was a nervous squirming sensation in Naruto's stomach.

This was entirely due to the fact that it was finally time for his date with Xanna. In spite of the fact that they had slept together many times and that he had known her for practically his entire life, he couldn't help feeling nervous. It was after all his first date.

More importantly, it was his first date with her and he desperately wanted things to go right. It was very important to him.

Despite the fact that he badly needed a break from working on removing Orochimaru's cursed seal, right now he was feeling even more stressed out.

Taking a deep breath and exhaling in an effort to calm himself down at least a little, he made his way outside his apartment, where he would wait for his date to show up.

He was currently wearing the clothing that he had commissioned over a month ago. The pants nothing more than a simple pair of black hakama. He didn't bother with the usual undershirt that was supposed to be worn and only wore a black haori to cover his chest. It was mostly closed so he was actually more covered than usual. The only thing that made the entire outfit special was the giant embroidery of the Kyuubi in full fox form on his back, nine tails spread wide and a grin on the vulpine snout. He had foregone his usual combat boots and was instead wearing sandals for a change.

When he had asked for this to be made, he had done it for several reasons. Mostly because he wanted to show his devotion to Xanna openly in the only way that he could as long as he was still vulnerable to so many enemies. Another was to show that he was proud to be associated with her. He also had his ponytail deliberately hanging down his chest, so that it wouldn't hide the image.

Lately though, he was glad for another reason. The villagers had already started being stupid, calling him things such as 'Honorable son of the Yondaime' and it annoyed him to no end. These were the same assholes that would have come to cheer if he was getting lynched not even 2 months ago and now they were kissing his ass as if their life depended on it. He was fine if they hated him, he would be more than happy to return the favor if they tried anything, but this hypocrisy pissed him off.

Maybe seeing a giant picture of the Kyuubi embroidered on his back would light a fire under their asses again and they'd stop pretending that they hadn't hated him for 17 years.

His thoughts were interrupted as Xanna made her way outside as well and he couldn't prevent himself from staring at her new look.

Before, she had always worn something that was a shade of red, clearly her favorite color. But she had decided to go with something a little different for their date.

She was dressed in a white silk kimono with wide sleeves that was tied with a deep crimson obi, also having red trim to accentuate it. The white kimono contrasted sharply with her dusky skin and the red highlights matched her hair. Unlike a traditional kimono, this one was shortened to knee length and had a deep neckline that exposed a great deal of cleavage. She was wearing very thin sandals which Naruto knew must be a bit irritating to her, as he had never seen her wear any kind of footwear before. There was also the fact that she was obviously not wearing a bra and Naruto guessed that she probably hadn't bothered with any panties either.

Naruto had no idea where she got her clothes, but he very much approved.

"You look radiant." She really did too. In the low light of the evening and dressed in white, she was nearly glowing.

"You aren't looking bad yourself." She commented with an amused tone, looking at the representation of herself on his back. It was very well done and she could appreciate the irony of it, and the clear symbolism that she was more important to him than the village brought a feeling of warmth to her heart.

Naruto frowned slightly in confusion. There was something off about her voice...

"Yes?" She asked him with a grin, having a good idea about what was confusing him.

"Your voice..." He trailed off, not sure how to explain what it was.

"I'm suppressing the chakra flow to my throat and voice box, otherwise any human other than you might find themselves acting like a drooling idiot." She explained.

"Oh." Naruto said in realization." Why am I not affected?"

"Because you've been hearing it for your entire life, not to mention the strength of your own chakra works to counteract the effects."

"I see. Well then my lady, shall we?" He asked once her explanation was over and offered her his arm.

"Yes, lets." The demoness said as she grabbed hold of his arm and held it close to her, pressing it against her breast.

Naruto couldn't help the smile that refused to leave his face as they walked through the village arm in arm. Sex with Xanna was amazing, but he wanted her heart too and this would hopefully be a step towards that.

Both of them were quite amused at the looks that they were getting from the people around them. Some people looked like they were about to shout greetings out to the 'Honorable son of the Yondaime', before they caught sight of the image of the nine tailed fox on his back and their faces instantly soured.

There was the occasional woman that took an appreciative look at him or shot a jealous glare towards the crimson eyed beauty on his arm, but they were currently in the upscale part of the village, which meant that he was almost universally disliked there.

Xanna herself was attracting a great deal of male attention, most of which had no idea why a woman of such beauty and grace would associate herself with the much hated Kyuubi Jinchuuriki. Many of them came to the false conclusion that she was with him because of his status as a clan head and son of the Yondaime, especially as none of them had ever seen this exotic woman before. Her state of dress and clear lack of a bra made it easy for them to label her as a gold digger that was only after him for his clan name and the wealth that would no doubt come with it eventually.

Soon they made it to their destination, which was a very pricey restaurant. Naruto knew that Xanna technically didn't need to eat, but she still enjoyed it.

As soon as they entered, they were subjected to the staring of both the staff and the guests, but they paid it no mind as they walked towards an empty table and sat down, completely ignoring the fact that it was a reservation only type of restaurant and that they were supposed to wait for someone to show them to their table.

Within a minute of sitting down, there was a great deal of grumbling from the other guests, something to the effect of 'disrespectful' and similar words.

The owner hastily made his way towards the two of them, with every intention of telling them to leave. Usually he would have loved to have the son of the Yondaime as his guest, but the way that he was dressed, as well as the fact that he had barged in without a reservation and just taken a table as if he owned the place was upsetting all of his other guests. Not to mention that the man was quite agitated himself over these very offenses.

"I'm afraid I'm going to have to ask you and your date to leave Uzumaki-sama." He said, barely able to keep his anger and resentment hidden when he spoke. It galled him that he had to be polite to someone who would mock his losses and the losses of the village in general by openly displaying an image of the Kyuubi on his clothes.

Xanna looked at the sniveling little worm that was trying to make them leave and the man froze as he was pinned by a slitted crimson gaze that gave him terrible flashbacks to that long ago night, when eyes just like those, except much bigger, were glaring balefully down at the village.

"I don't think you want to do that." Naruto said mildly, unknowingly preventing his date from causing the man to lose control of his bladder.

"Why wouldn't I want to do that? You're upsetting the rest of my guests." Due to the fact that he'd been shaken when he'd looked into Xanna's eyes, a slight sneer escaped his control.

"Because if you do, your wife might come into possession of some photographs of you and that cute waitress over there in some very compromising positions." Naruto said with a fanged grin, gesturing towards the pretty waitress halfway across the room and pulled out a single photo to prove that he did indeed have them.

The man instantly paled and took an instinctive step back as the crimson haired beauty also gave a similarly fanged grin, clearly amused by the threat. He knew that if his wife got hold of those photographs, she would divorce him and take everything he owned while she was at it.

"Wh-What do you want?" The man asked nervously, sweat beading on his forehead. He would just have to hope that the Kyuubi Jinchuuriki wouldn't make it a habit of blackmailing him with those photos

"You are going to serve us and you are going to like it. Also, for insulting my date with your presence, you are going to do it for free as a token of apology."

The man nodded hastily and scampered off, swallowing down his anger at his situation and his fear of losing everything if he irritated the blond any further.

"What an interesting way to handle that worm." Xanna laughed." Personally I would have just scared him into submission."

"Sometimes it's more fun being subtle." He answered with a grin.

The demoness raised an eyebrow at that and Naruto soon felt a foot sliding itself along his leg. He grinned and returned the favor, kicking off a game of footsy that they only briefly paused when a waitress came to collect their order.

Several of the other guests had quite obviously noticed what the two were doing and were appalled at the 'disgraceful' behavior.

The owner took note of this himself, but didn't dare do anything about it, for fear of having those photographs delivered to his wife if he tried to get them to stop.

The former Jinchuuriki and his Bijuu date spent two hours in the restaurant, slowly driving the owner insane as he saw his other guests leaving in a huff as their antics became ever more obvious. When they finally left, the man let out a giant relieved sigh and hoped that they never came back.

"Well, that was certainly amusing." Xanna said with a grin. Messing with mortals was so much more fun when you had someone to share the experience with. "Perhaps we should come back and do it again sometime."

Naruto returned her grin, but more out of the fact that she had enjoyed herself and that she wanted to do it again rather than the fact that they had been slowly driving the owner insane.

"Oh, I don't think we'll be able to come back here. At least not anytime soon." The blond commented.

"Why is that?" She asked curiously.

"Because I told him that he would serve us and like it. I'm pretty sure I caught him not liking it several times, so I'm going to be sending those pictures to his wife." He said with a smirk.

The demoness burst out into delighted laughter. "Naruto, that is absolutely vicious, but you did warn him, so he has only himself to blame." Truly he was one of a kind. She could already begin to feel herself becoming aroused at the mere thought that he could be that vicious to someone who had wronged him in the past. As a demon, Xanna didn't really believe in 'forgive and forget' in most cases.

It had become shockingly easy for him to inspire such lust in her, something that had never happened to her before. Never before had anyone, human or demon, drawn her towards them like this. She found herself wanting him more and more, to the point that barely a night passed anymore that she didn't go to sleep in his arms.

She allowed Naruto to lead her somewhere else, curious to see what else he had planned.

A group of men, somewhere in their mid twenties and clearly from rich families looked to be arguing about something a good distance away. Naruto paid them no mind and they were too far for him to hear. Xanna however heard them perfectly well. They were discussing the possibility of approaching them and convincing her to go with them instead. She was disappointed when they decided not to because of Naruto's size and reputation. The resulting beating would have no doubt been amusing.

Naruto led her out of the village proper until they reached a river. It was in fact the same river that went through his private training ground, just a little bit further upstream. He had spent quite a while preparing the place and he hoped that she would like it.

"What is this?" She asked curiously, allowing her voice to revert to it's natural state now that they were away from the village. The reason for the question was the steam rising from the river, which really shouldn't be happening.

Naruto smiled at hearing her voice being back to normal. He definitely liked it better this way.

"This, my dear, is a private hot spring that I made for us." He said with a grin. "I thought that we could go for a soak."

It had taken him a great deal of work to create a circular pit in the middle of the river and then layer it with smooth rocks so that it would be comfortable. Not to mention that it had been a bitch and a half to figure out how to apply the heating seals underwater without the water destroying them. But once he had finally managed it, there was a constant stream of hot water passing slowly through the pit. Well there was whenever he supplied enough chakra to the seals, which he had sent a clone to do before coming here.

It was probably playing merry hell with the life cycle of the fish further downstream, but Naruto wasn't too concerned about that.

They quickly stripped and got into the heated water, sitting on the stones that served as seats. As soon as they sat down though, Naruto frowned and drew Xanna to sit in his lap. She didn't protest at all and quickly got comfortable on him, while Naruto wrapped his arms around her and they both let out content sighs.

After spending a few minutes just lazing around together until Naruto broke the silence. "There sure are a lot of stars out tonight."

"This is nothing compared to what you can see from the middle of the desert at night."

"Must be a beautiful sight." Naruto commented.

"It is."

"I'm sure it's not as beautiful as you." He said with a grin and placed a kiss on her neck.

"Naruto, that was so terribly corny." She said dryly, causing him to laugh.

"Maybe, but it's still true."

They lapsed into silence again, just enjoying the closeness and the hot water before Naruto's curiosity over something got the better of him.

"I've been meaning to ask you this." He began, making her look back at him briefly in interest. "Have you ever met any of the legendary shinobi of the past. You know, like the Shodai Hokage or something?"

"Well, I actually did meet Senju Hashirama briefly."

"Could you tell me about it?" Naruto asked with interest. He was sure that this would be interesting.

"I suppose. I actually met him because of his rival Uchiha Madara." Naruto detected the clear hostility in her tone when mentioning the man and was curious as to what the man had done to deserve it. Aside from the usual Uchiha arrogance the entire clan seemed to be cursed with.

"The fool had somehow evolved his Sharingan to a level far beyond what other Uchiha ever accomplish and came to believe that it would allow him to place me under his control. He sought me out with the intention of enslaving me and using me to fight against his rival." Naruto tightened his arms around her, hearing the rage in her voice at the insult of what the man had attempted. Truth be told he was quite pissed at the Uchiha himself for daring to think that he could just walk up to Xanna with his pink eye and enslave her.

The demoness calmed down quickly enough and continued speaking. "Obviously he failed and it made him quite angry. The idiot was of the opinion that the Bijuu were nothing but beasts and should obey the heir of the Sage of Six Paths as he styled himself, or at least that's what I was able to gather from his ranting. I have no idea how he even learned that the Uchiha were descended from the sage, but it had clearly gone to his head. He fled before I could fry him for his insolence, promising that he would get me in the end, though nothing ever came of it."

"Sounds like he had a few screws loose." Naruto commented, easily able to imagine a powerful Uchiha like Madara was said to be thinking that the world should bow to him just because he was an Uchiha.

"No doubt. I heard that the maggot died fighting Hashirama before I could show him the price of the insult that he'd given me. He thought that his malevolent Doujutsu was capable of overpowering me? Feh, the only Doujutsu that poses any threat at all to me is the Rinnegan and it has long since passed from this world." Xanna finished with a snort.

"So how did that lead to you meeting the Shodai?" Naruto asked curiously, rubbing her legs soothingly.

"I was curious about the man that killed Madara, so I went to him in human form. Konoha had already been created by then and Hashirama had been married to Uzumaki Mito. They were in the process of attempting to establish peace with the other four shinobi villages that had sprung up around the Elemental Nations." The demoness said, noting Naruto's interest in hearing that the Shodai had married an Uzumaki woman.

"It was amusing to watch them for a little while, because I knew that they would fail in the end. Human nature made certain that there was always going to be a greedy, self serving idiot somewhere that was willing to risk causing a war for personal gain. I was right of course, since it wasn't even a few years later that the first great shinobi war started."

"You know what you need?" Naruto asked after a few moments of silence.

"What?" She asked curiously.

"A splash." He said, confusing her for a second before he tossed her into the deeper water, making her give an uncharacteristic surprised yelp before she was submerged.

She rose from under the water with crimson hair plastered all over her face in a rather undignified fashion, making Naruto grin at her.

"You've just made a terrible mistake Naruto." The demoness said slowly, with a menacing grin splitting her face wider with every word.

The blond was starting to feel worried that he had actually offended her. He wasn't given any time to actually think though, as the demoness grabbed him and dunked him underwater. Despite appearances, she was a good deal stronger than him, so it was easy for her to do.

Naruto got his head over the water's surface, sputtering but also laughing at the same time.

"You know of course, that this means war." He said faux grimly and splashed some water at her, which she returned with gusto.

They spent the next several minutes splashing water at each other and laughing most of the time. Naruto started cheating after the first minute and used his water element to throw large amounts of water in her direction. Xanna retaliated by manifesting her tails and and using all nine of them splash him, occasionally also grabbing at his legs and pulling him under.

Xanna could hardly believe that she was acting so childishly and how fun it was. It made no sense to her, but this was the most fun she'd had in centuries. She was a millenia old demon, the most powerful of all demons, but right now she'd rather keep splashing water at a human than blow something up. Of course, that human happened to be Naruto, which was no doubt the entire reason she was even doing this. She would never have agreed to going along with this date idea if it wasn't him asking. If anyone else had dunked her or splashed water on her, she'd kill them. But because it was Naruto, she had enjoyed herself on this date and she was having fun playing in the water like a child. It was amazing what kind of influence he had on her already and she knew that it was growing stronger with every day.

To Naruto, Xanna had never looked more beautiful. He loved the carefree laugh that he had heard so rarely before and he loved the way that he eyes seemed to sparkle now that she was having a good time. Those predatory crimson eyes that could give off such a sense of power and danger were now showing only happiness and laughter. More than anything he wanted to see her happy like this as much as possible.

Their play time was ended when Naruto couldn't contain himself anymore and caught her lips in a kiss, which she returned eagerly. He pushed her towards one of the walls until her back hit it and then pressed into her as he kept up the kiss. Her hands roamed all over him, while Naruto's moved down to her legs and gripped her thighs, lifting her out of the water easily.

He lifted her upwards until she was sitting on the edge of the small pool and Naruto wasted no time in dragging his tongue over her leg, rapidly making his way inward. Since he was still inside the pool and Xanna was sitting on the edge, he was in the perfect position to have a taste of her nether lips, which he did eagerly.

She gave a small gasp as she felt his tongue being dragged over the sensitive bundle of nerves over her entrance before it retreated to lightly lick inside of her. She grasped at his hair as he continued to move his tongue over all the right places, making her breathing deepen because of the building pleasure. The occasional poke of fangs on her sensitive flesh only excited her further. When he inserted a finger inside her, but kept lavishing attention on her cl*tor*s with his tongue at the same time, she knew that she wouldn't last much longer. With a gasping moan she came and pulled his head closer. He eagerly licked up the trickle of her release with long strokes of his tongue.

As soon as he was done and she let go of his hair, he lifted himself up from the pool and pushed her to lie on her back a bit further away from the edge. He set himself down on top of her and kissed her again, lining himself up and entering her at the same time, making both of them groan in pleasure into each other's mouth.

He made sure to press his chest into her firm breasts even as he kept thrusting into her and kissing her. It didn't take him long at all before he was releasing inside her. He moved his lips to her neck and planted light kisses along it while she ran her hands along his back.

"I love you." Naruto said into her ear.

Xanna's eyes widened slightly as she felt a tightness in her chest at hearing those words. Clearly things had progressed a good deal further than she had expected them to.

She didn't answer, aside from holding him tighter and giving him another kiss.

She needed to think on what this meant and she was honestly not feeling very clearheaded right now. It certainly wasn't the first time that he had said those words, but it was the first time that it had affected her so strongly.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

2 weeks later in the Hokage's private training field.

"Alright Anko, we think that we're finally ready to remove the curse mark." Tsunade said to the snake summoner.

Naruto and Kurenai were also present. Naruto because he was going to be doing part of the work and Kurenai as moral support for Anko.

There was also one other person present. An unconscious man that was tied to a stone slab. Not very long ago he had been a bandit, part of a group of bandits actually. He had been taken prisoner by leaf shinobi as someone who might have important information, but had turned out to know nothing. He had however been a confirmed murderer and rapist and had been slated for execution when Tsunade had called off his execution and brought him to this training field instead.

He wasn't the first one to be brought here either, he was in fact the third. The previous two had died in their attempts to remove the curse mark.

Orochimaru's cursed seal was a shoddily made piece of crap, but it was a dangerous piece of crap.

Without a word, Naruto began the procedure, this time feeling fairly confident that it would work. He placed a Yin seal on his chest and absorbed the chakra from it. Right away he started focusing on every terrible memory he could dredge up, calling up his chakra at the same time. The chakra emanating from him darkened visibly as his anger and hate tainted it. When he felt that it had become corrupt enough, he directed it into another prepared seal and locked it inside.

The next several minutes he had to spend purging the left over Yin chakra out of his body and getting his emotional balance back so that his chakra returned to it's usual uncorrupted state. When he had an excess of Yin chakra running through his chakra network, it was easy to infuse his will into it, but it unbalanced him to corrupt his own chakra like that. It also took some effort to not get another disconnect from his body like had happened the first time that he'd used Yin chakra.

"Ready?" Tsunade asked once it looked like Naruto had gotten himself back to normal. She always hated seeing him do that, his chakra felt far too much like Orochimaru's when he did it.

When he nodded, Tsunade stabbed a syringe into the unconscious bandit's shoulder and pressed down on the plunger. It had taken some doing, but she had managed to extract a sample of the unknown substance from Anko and identified it as an enzyme of some sort. It was crucial to the working of the curse mark and very difficult to create artificially.

Naruto slapped the seal holding the corrupt chakra on top of the man's shoulder before the uncontrolled enzymes killed him. Anko pressed her shoulder against the man right after. The position was awkward, but there was no helping that. She grimaced in pain when she felt her curse mark reacting to the combination of enzymes and dark emotions that the seal was slowly leaking along with Naruto's corrupted chakra. The pain kept getting steadily worse, making Anko grit her teeth together and stubbornly kept her shoulder pressed against the unconscious bandit.

"It's working! Just a little longer Anko." The words encouraged her and she ignored the pain. A little pain was worth getting rid of the damned mark.

Soon after, she felt someone pull her away and she slumped against a chest that didn't have breasts, so she figured that it must be Naruto's.

"Is it gone?" She asked tiredly.

"It's gone." Naruto confirmed. "it's moved over to that guy."

Anko turned her head and did indeed see the curse mark sitting on the unconscious body of the bandit. Well he'd be a dead bandit soon, since someone without an active chakra network couldn't survive having a curse mark being placed on them and the best part was that the piece of Orochimaru's soul was going to die with him. She felt Kurenai hugging her from behind and sighed contently.

It had taken a lot of research and work, but they had managed to find a way to trick the curse mark into migrating. Since Orochimaru's soul fragment was drawn to darker emotions, it would naturally be drawn towards a corrupt chakra that was full of hatred. By injecting the enzymes into the bandit, it would also register him as a bearer of the curse mark and move to activate them.

Honestly if Orochimaru wasn't so sloppy with his Fuinjutsu he could have made the curse mark harder to remove as well as giving it a higher than 1 in 10 chances of survival when applied. With what he had learned from this, Naruto estimated that he could make a similar curse mark, but give it about 6 in 10 chances of survival, not that he had any interest in hacking off pieces of his soul to do it. For a man obsessed with immortality, Orochimaru had some dangerous hobbies.

Tsunade hadn't felt comfortable using bandits as guinea pigs for this, but they were scum of the earth that had been slated for execution anyway, so it wasn't as if they would have lived long and productive lives.

"Thank you." Anko mumbled and dragged Naruto's head closer for a kiss.

"You should be careful there Anko, wouldn't want Kurenai to think you were cheating on her." Naruto teased once the kiss was over.

Kurenai shrugged and dragged Naruto in for a kiss as well. "Thank you for getting that mark off her."

"See blondie, Nai-chan is all up for another threesome." Anko said with a tired grin as she was transferred into Kurenai's arms.

"I never said anything about a threesome, I was just thanking him for helping you." Kurenai protested with a red face.

"You didn't say that you don't want a threesome either." Anko teased.

Kurenai tried to glare, but it wasn't very effective with the way that she was blushing. Truth be told she wasn't entirely opposed to the idea of Naruto joining in again.

What the hell have Naruto and Anko done to me? I didn't used to be like this! She protested inside her own mind ineffectually. The fact of the matter was that she was happy being in a relationship with Anko, but her attraction to the blond hadn't diminished in the slightest. Considering the fact that he had just gotten Orochimaru's disgusting seal off Anko, he was looking more desirable than ever. Not to mention that he had also helped her by giving her a Yin release seal, which would allow her to take her Genjutsu to the next level. If he would by chance want to join in on the relationship she wouldn't put up much of a protest.

Kurenai could only sigh at her own thoughts. A few months ago, she would have put any man that dared suggest such a thing to her in a very disturbing Genjutsu. But then Naruto takes a stroll through her life and she ends up in a lesbian relationship with her best friend, with vague hopes of adding Naruto to it.

The annoyed clearing of a throat reminded them that they had been ignoring their Hokage.

They all turned towards the rather irritated and slightly embarrassed looking woman and offered sheepish grins. Well, Anko and Kurenai did, Naruto just looked amused.

"If you're all quite done, I want Anko to stay overnight in the hospital for observation." The buxom Hokage said, earning a despondent groan from the snake summoner.

"Other than that, all I have to say is that this was a great success and we can do the same thing for Uchiha Sasuke in a few days." Tsunade said and they all made their way to the hospital.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Several days later

Naruto was awoken from his comfortable sleep cuddled with Xanna by loud knocking on his door.

Groaning with irritation, he made his way to the door and opened it to find a harried looking Shikamaru there.

"Naruto! Get dressed quick, I need you for a mission!" Shikamaru said hurriedly, which was seriously out of character for him.

"Naruto, whats going on? Come back to bed." Xanna's voice drifted through the bedroom door, just barely remembering to suppress the chakra in her throat and voice box.

Shikamaru froze as the most beautiful woman that he had ever seen walked out of Naruto's bedroom, completely naked except for the sheet she was clutching to herself.

"What mission is so damn important they you're waking me up this early?" Naruto grumbled irritably.

"Sasuke has abandoned the village and there are no higher ranked ninja available to go after him, so Hokage-sama told me to gather as many capable Genin as I can to retrieve him." Shikamaru explained in a rush, shaking himself from his daze.

"That inconsiderate little sh*t! I swear I'm going to f*cking kill him when I get my hands on him. Making me get out of bed at this hour and more importantly interrupting my cuddle time just because he can't handle the fact that he's not the baddest ass in the world." Naruto ranted to himself.

"Umm, we don't know why he left the village Naruto." Shikamaru pointed out.

"Of course we know why he left! He left because he's a goddamn retard that thinks leaving the village is going to make him more powerful. I bet the stupid bastard jacks of to the thought of being powerful enough to kill his brother. He's so predictable that any moron with more than two brain cells could convince him to spread his ass wide open if they told him that it would make him more powerful."

Shikamaru was getting seriously uncomfortable at the torrent of colorful verbal abuse that Naruto was throwing at his missing teammate. He made a note to himself to avoid waking Naruto up too early ever again.

The blond went into the bedroom to get his clothes, since he hadn't even bothered getting dressed to open the door. A fact that Shikamaru had been ignoring with absolute focus.

"So, the Uchiha shows his true colors." The redhead commented idly, drawing Shikamaru's eyes to her. He had also been trying very hard not to look at her, not willing to risk pissing off an already irritable Naruto by staring at his woman.

"Errr..." Was all that the Nara managed to get out, his vast intellect failing him for once. He wanted to instinctively say something in Sasuke's defense, but some part of his brain absolutely refused to argue with an incredibly beautiful naked woman.

"You will make sure that Naruto comes back to me unharmed?" She asked, smiling at Shikamaru in a way that displayed many sharp teeth. It didn't look like a friendly expression.

Despite the fact that it was a question and said in a questioning tone, Shikamaru got the distinct impression that it was not in fact a question, but more of a demand. He didn't know why, but when this woman looked at him with those slitted crimson eyes, he felt more like one of his family deer than a shinobi.

A bead of sweat rolled down the side of his face. I wonder if all redheads are this troublesome? Or is this one special?

"Ah, yes of course. I'll do my best to make sure that everyone comes back home safe." Shikamaru rushed to say when he saw her eyes narrow a fraction.

"I don't care about any others, only Naruto is important." She said with finality and Shikamaru had the distinct impression that he had just been brushed aside as if he was trash. Under normal circ*mstances he would have been insulted, but right now he was much too unnerved to be upset.

Before any further thought could be put into it, Naruto came out of the bedroom wearing his usual outfit, but carrying the Kusanagi as well, which surprised Shikamaru slightly, as he hadn't known that Naruto had picked up Kenjutsu as well.

The blond stopped in the doorway and gave Xanna a deep kiss, making Shikamaru shift uncomfortably.

"I'll be back soon." Naruto said to her, before giving her another kiss.

"Well, lets get this over with and catch that moron." Naruto said to the Nara heir and they left the apartment.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Notes:

Chaptar elevunz all done.

I worked hard on this one, so give me some feedback if you please xD.

Chapter 12

Notes:

DISCLAIMER: The pie is a lie, have some cake. The cake is fake, have some pie.

Review responses:

BanefulWarrior: She's already out of the seal :P, Naruto released her when he was 15.

Jack the Reaper: I get the feeling that you've got a thing for thongs.

Jack the Ripper(I assume this is the same person as before, but making a separate reply just in case): I haven't actually watched One Piece, so I only vaguely know what Tekkai is and I have no idea at all what Busoshoku Haki is xD.

Reader: It's a sad day when people automatically assume that a romance between Kyuubi and Naruto will be Yaoi unless told otherwise.

Anthem of Grimm: Your guess is as good as mine.

Guest: I've mentioned early on in the story that Naruto feels uncomfortable thinking of them as toys or practice material, which is why it wouldn't sit well with him to keep a bunch of women around as his personal playthings. Also, after what happened in Wave with Tsunami he's not willing to take a chance on keeping any other women around for too long just in case he finds himself developing a fondness for them.

kalel201125: I'm afraid that any reference to BLUE DRAGON is entirely accidental, seeing as I have no idea what that is xD.

Oblitus-Umbrae: Indeed they are xD. I watched Needless just before I finished writing the first chapter and discovered that Adam Blade is my new favorite anime character :P.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Sasuke scowled to himself as he walked through the streets of Konoha.

The source of his expression was, as usual these days, Naruto. He just didn't get it. How could the blond be so strong? Everyone kept saying that he had no talent and yet he was so incredibly powerful. He couldn't believe that it was just because he worked hard. That didn't even make any sense!

The last few missions, Naruto hadn't used anything except his newly acquired Kusanagi to fight, using the missions to practice with it.

The Uchiha was fiercely envious of the fact that his teammate had a sword like that. It would have been perfect for him! A legendary weapon that could resize itself, was incredibly sharp and had who knows what other abilities.

But it was yet again Naruto who got it instead of him. What did Naruto need all that power for anyway? He didn't have a clan to avenge and apparently wouldn't have cared even if he did. The only thing that the blond was doing with his life was sleeping with every other woman he laid eyes on.

Despite that he had one of the Sannin training him, while Sasuke had to be content with Kakashi. Oh sure, the one eyed Jounin was powerful in his own right, but he wasn't on the level of a Sannin.

Even Sakura was getting trained by a Sannin! Why were both of his teammates, who had no important goals in their life, getting trained by legendary shinobi while he was left behind?

And it showed, as it felt like Naruto was getting further and further away from him in power instead of the gap being closed. At this point, Sasuke honestly had no idea what Naruto was capable of with his Fuinjutsu, but it was frustrating beyond measure to know that his teammate, who couldn't even use most Ninjutsu, wasn't even slowed down by that. Naruto was somehow never in a position where his lack of Ninjutsu was a problem, his chakra chains and other abilities easily compensating and then some.

Sasuke had driven himself into the ground with his training ever since learning of Naruto's heritage and status as a Jinchuuriki, but it didn't make any difference. He was still being outpaced as badly as ever. It felt as if all the training in the world was worthless when faced with the blond powerhouse.

Sasuke had even become desperate enough to catch up that he had started experimenting with his curse mark, despite warnings from Kakashi not to. He remembered the deep rush of power in the forest and wanted more of it. That power could be the key to closing the gap between Naruto and himself and after Naruto, Itachi.

It worried him a great deal that he had been hearing stories about how Naruto had found a way to remove the cursed seal. He was already so far behind Naruto and the blond was going to take even that from him? He knew that he would never be allowed to keep the curse mark. If he didn't agree to have it removed, then they would remove it by force.

So when the Sound Four showed up at his home with an offer of apprenticeship to Orochimaru of the Sannin, along with the knowledge that the curse mark could be made even more powerful, it was too tempting to turn down.

He would get a Sannin teacher and his curse mark would boost his power enough to finally surpass Naruto and give him what he needed to avenge his clan.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

The group that Shikamaru had been able to gather was just about set to leave when they were interrupted by the rushed arrival of Sakura.

"Naruto, I know that you don't owe me anything, but please, please bring Sasuke back!" She begged tearfully.

Shikamaru, Chouji, Neji, Kiba and Lee moved a short distance away to give the two teammates some privacy, feeling that they shouldn't be present for this conversation.

Sakura was asking this because she knew that Naruto would be able to defeat Sasuke and bring him back. She had tried to stop him herself, but he wouldn't listen and she wasn't anywhere near strong enough to force him. She felt so terribly useless, having to rely on Naruto to do everything again.

Her training with Tsunade-sama was making her stronger and more useful, she knew that, but it would be a long time before she would be at either of her teammates level. But she would get there. Once Naruto brought Sasuke back home, he would remove that cursed seal that Orochimaru placed on him and they could be a team again.

She didn't even care too much anymore if Sasuke didn't return her affection. The fact that they were a team had sometime in the past months that they had been together become more important than her crush on Sasuke.

She just wanted her dysfunctional team back, where Naruto could annoy her and Sasuke with his sleeping around, Kakashi-sensei could giggle like a little girl at it and they could do missions together.

"I'll see what I can do Sakura." Naruto told his pink haired teammate.

He wasn't going to be making any promises, but he would make the attempt. Sakura had actually taken steps to make something of herself and that he could respect. She wasn't the useless little girl that was good for nothing but cannon fodder anymore. She might still be a bit on the weak side, but strength would come with time and training. It was more important that she had set her heart on something worthwhile and it wasn't chasing Sasuke.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

The entire retrieval team stared as the wall repaired itself after Kiba's attack on it, wondering about this strange earth technique they were trapped in.

They had caught up to the Sound Four easily enough and Shikamaru's plan to trap them in his shadow had also worked perfectly. Too perfectly apparently, as the Sound Four had kept someone in reserve just in case.

Naruto now regretted going along with Shikamaru's plan instead of just charging into them and starting a straight on fight. Though he did have to admit that some caution was warranted when dealing with unknown opponents who were clearly used to working together. It was just that in this case caution seemed to have betrayed them.

"This is bad, the dome is draining our chakra." Neji announced the bad news after taking a look around with his Byakugan.

"How unyouthful! They would not even face us in battle!" Lee shouted with a fist clenched in front of his face.

Naruto was not particularly concerned for himself. The fat guy outside would rupture his chakra coils before he managed to absorb all of his chakra, but the others wouldn't be so fortunate. Despite not being in any real danger though, it was still an irritating situation. The constant chakra drain was enough that it was screwing up his ability to create a Rasengan or his chains, so that wouldn't work for getting out.

"Feh, if Kiba's attack wasn't strong enough to break down the wall, that just means that we need a stronger attack." Naruto said unconcernedly.

"An attack more explosive than mine would be Chouji's." Kiba said.

"Yosh! I could also open the first gate and break through." Lee said enthusiastically.

"No need to strain yourself kiddies, I'll just slap a high powered explosive tag on the wall." Naruto said with a grin.

Before anyone could stop him, Naruto did just that. Everyone scrambled to get to the other side of the room, hoping that they wouldn't be blasted to pieces because of this insane maneuver.

When nothing happened for several seconds, they looked towards the explosive tag, sitting innocently on the wall.

"This technique drained the chakra from the tag before it could explode." Neji announced.

"Well, sh*t. I didn't think that was possible." Naruto said, sounding more fascinated than upset.

Shikamaru was thinking furiously for a way to get out of the dome, but couldn't think of anything better than the brute force approach, which may or may not work. He just didn't have enough information on this technique to figure out any weaknesses.

"Hey Neji, is this dome connected to the chakra network of that fat ass outside?" Naruto asked, bringing Shikamaru out of his thoughts.

"Yes." The Hyuuga confirmed, wondering what the blond was up to this time.

"Excellent." Naruto said with a grin and brought out his Fuinjutsu supplies.

"What are you going to do?" Shikamaru asked warily. He did not want another attempt at an explosion.

"I'm going to make a Fuinjutsu array and fill it up with my chakra, then I'm going to slap it on the wall and release the chakra in a single burst." Naruto explained absently as he drew the array.

"Are you sure that's a good idea?" Shikamaru asked, making the blond look at him. "I mean, our chakra is already being drained and you're going to use up a lot of chakra to do this." He elaborated.

"Oh please." Naruto scoffed. "I have more than a thousand times as much chakra as all of you put together. The idiot outside would either rip his coils apart trying to absorb it all or he'd be standing there for a month before he could do it safely."

They all stared at him again, before figuring that this was because he was the Kyuubi Jinchuuriki. It was still a bit shocking to hear just how much more chakra than them he had. They'd known it was a lot, but not that much.

Jirobou hastily removed his hands from the earth dome as he felt a massive surge of raw chakra being pushed into it. He enjoyed absorbing chakra from his enemies, but apparently one of the people inside had enough chakra that he could try such an insane tactic as that.

Unfortunately, his earth dome only stood for as long as he kept in contact with it, which meant that it collapsed and released his captives.

"I'll take this guy, you guys should catch up to Sasuke." Chouji said.

He had no illusions about the fact that he was the weakest of the retrieval team and knew that this one must be the weakest of the Sound Four. Aside from that, both of them were strength oriented fighters. Hopefully he would prove to be the stronger of the two.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

The retrieval team, minus Chouji rapidly closed the distance between their remaining prey. The barrel that Sasuke was in was slowing them down a great deal and made it simple enough for the Konoha shinobi to catch up.

Kidomaru saw the approaching group of shinobi and spat webbing at them, hoping that it would capture them and prevent pursuit.

Naruto drew out the Kusanagi and charged it with chakra, slashing the web apart, while Neji destroyed it with the Juuken. In retaliation, Naruto pointed the Kusanagi towards them and extended it, the blade spearing towards the remaining sound shinobi. They all dodged it, the redheaded girl cursing viciously as she did so.

Kidomaru passed the barrel to Sakon and prepared himself to delay them as much as possible.

"I will deal with him, his webbing is vulnerable to my Juuken." Neji said.

"You sure you can take him? He looks pretty strong." Shikamaru said with concern. He didn't want anyone dying on his first mission as a Chunin.

"Even if he is stronger than me, the four of you should have no trouble with the girl and the two headed one and then come to my aid." Neji reasoned.

Naruto, Lee, Kiba and Shikamaru nodded at the logic and sped after the last two, who hadn't gotten very far.

The two headed guy used the same tactic without hesitation, intending to hold back all four of them so that the redhead could escape with Sasuke. The plan was foiled by the fact that Kiba offered to take him on alone.

Naruto was frowning deeply as he thought about their tactics. Staying behind to delay the group all alone was either a stupid, brave or incredibly arrogant tactic, but Naruto suspected the influence of the cursed seal in this.

The fat guy had been somewhat understandable, seeing as he thought that he had them captured without hope of escape in his earth dome, but the two headed guy and the spider weirdo had no such excuse. They had stayed behind, facing certain death against superior numbers just so that the remaining members of the team could complete their mission. That showed incredible loyalty to Orochimaru, loyalty that people like Orochimaru weren't known for inspiring. He had only caught a glimpse of a cursed seal on their shoulders, but it was enough to make him suspect the influence of that thing on their minds.

Anko had rejected the curse mark utterly and never used it, which was probably the only reason that it's corrupting influence hadn't affected her. These four didn't seem like the type to refrain from using it, which didn't speak well for their state of mind.

Since the delaying tactic had failed, the remaining three Konoha Shinobi had no trouble catching up to the kunoichi.

"You can't beat us all, so just give us Sasuke and there won't be any need for fighting." Shikamaru said diplomatically as the girl stopped on a large tree branch.

"You are a disappointment to Orochimaru-sama Tayuya." A new voice came from behind the redhead just before a tired looking white haired teenager with two red dots on his forehead appeared.

"Ki-Kimimaro!" Tayuya exclaimed in surprise and fear.

"Delay them while I deliver the new vessel to Orochimaru-sama." Kimimaro commanded, before taking the barrel and making off with it, uncaring of the fact that Tayuya had no chance against this many foes. Orochimaru-sama's wishes were more important than their lives.

"Go after him, I'll deal with this one." Naruto said to Lee and Shikamaru.

"I think it would be better if you went ahead Naruto. That guy looked dangerous and you're the strongest of us." Shikamaru argued quietly.

"I think she's a Genjutsu user, so I can take her out quickly and catch up to you guys. Now go." The blond explained and commanded, ignoring the fact that Shikamaru was technically in charge and not him.

Lee and Shikamaru looked at each other before nodding and chasing after Kimimaro.

Now, Naruto wasn't certain that Tayuya used Genjutsu, but she definitely didn't look like a Taijutsu specialist and none of the others had seemed inclined towards the illusionary arts, so he was guessing that she was the one who covered that role in their team.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Tayuya prepared herself to face off against the huge blond that had stayed behind to fight her while his last two comrades went to their death chasing Kimimaro. She was utterly certain that they didn't stand a chance against the white haired bone user. If even the entire Sound Four couldn't beat him, then two wimps from the Leaf definitely couldn't do it.

The red haired sound kunoichi observed her designated opponent and instantly labeled him as a meathead that relied on his huge size to win fights. Pretty much exactly like Jirobou actually. She didn't expect to have any trouble taking him apart with her Genjutsu.

"I'm Tayuya of the North Gate and I'm going to kill you sh*thead." She said insultingly.

"I'm Uzumaki Naruto of the backdoor and I'd love to see you try." The blond said, chuckling to himself. What kind of inane nickname was 'Tayuya of the North Gate' anyway? He hadn't been able to resist the dirty joke upon hearing what she called herself.

Tayuya quickly started playing a tune on her flute, casting a wide area Genjutsu that was sure to trap the blond as soon as he heard it.

Naruto did feel the Genjutsu attempt to ensnare him, only to be blocked by his condensed chakra. Instead of disorienting him, the melody revealed her exact location and Naruto wasted no time in charging towards the redhead.

Tayuya was so shocked by how easily he ignored her Genjutsu that she had no time to react as the blond smashed into her and trapped her between his body and a tree.

"Get off me you motherucking piece of sh*t or I'll shove that sword up your ass!" She raged and desperately tried to kick him off.

"Oh you cheeky little dickwaffle, what naughty language! Maybe you'd like me to stick my sword up your ass instead?" Naruto snickered as the girl tried to push him away even more desperately, only to find that she was nowhere near strong enough to budge him. The girl was way too young for that kind of thing, but she had such a foul mouth on her that Naruto couldn't resist messing with her.

"NO! Get away!" Her voice took on a terrified quality even as she pushed her cursed seal directly to level 2, making Naruto jump back instinctively.

He frowned even as he observed the transformation she was going through. He wondered if this was what a fully released curse mark did to it's bearer, allow a physical transformation? Though he had to wonder about the utility of growing horns like she had just done.

More than her new appearance though, he was bothered by her reaction earlier. He could only come to one conclusion based on what he knew so far.

f*ck me and my soft spot for girls with a sob story.

Her violent reaction to his dirty joke and physical proximity revealed a high probability that the girl had a history of sexual abuse and if there was one thing that Naruto had a soft spot for, then it was girls with a traumatic past.

He knew that she was his enemy and that he should probably just kill her and be done with it, but he already knew that he wasn't going to be doing things the easy way.

She took his moment of distraction as an opportunity to use a technique.

"Kuchiyose no Jutsu(Summoning Technique)!"

Her summoning technique brought forth three ogres and she quickly used her flute to direct them to attack the blond.

Naruto knew that he didn't have time to play games with her if he wanted to catch up to Lee and Shikamaru, so he took out the Kusanagi and manifested his chains. The ogres were strong, but they were slow and therefore unable to avoid getting tangled in the chains and cut down by the Kusanagi.

The first went down easily to this tactic. The second one evaded the chains a bit longer before succumbing and the third fell when the blade suddenly extended and skewered it through the heart.

She frantically played her flute, throwing Genjutsu after Genjutsu at him, but everything just slid off him like water until he had her tangled in his chains.

Tayuya struggled desperately against him, but the strength granted to her by the curse mark wasn't infinite and there was only so much that it could do to enhance a body that wasn't built for power.

"Calm down Tayuya." Naruto said, keeping his voice as calm and neutral as he could.

"I'm not going to hurt you, but you have to listen to me very carefully." Naruto said slowly. "Do you understand?"

Tayuya nodded, still tense and wary, but willing to listen.

"I can remove your cursed seal and you can come back to Konoha with me where you'll be safe from Orochimaru, but you have to swear to me that you won't try to fight against us any more. If you can't promise me that, then I'll have to kill you right here and right now."

"f*ck you! I'm not letting you take my curse mark and I wont betray Orochimaru-sama!" The redhead spat at him.

Naruto frowned deeply as her struggles increased again. He suspected that Tayuya had been carrying the curse mark for years now. There was no telling how messed up her mind was if she used it as frequently as he suspected.

"You'll be safe from Orochimaru in Konoha and you can get strong there without needing to rely on the curse mark. A friend of mine is a Genjutsu specialist, I'm sure she could teach you a lot." He offered her.

"f*ck off! Let go of me so that I can kill you sh*thead!" She growled at him.

The blond sighed at her reaction. She was obviously deeply indoctrinated and the fragment of Orochimaru's soul in her seal had no doubt been twisting her mind into pretzels to make sure that her loyalty was absolute.

He hated killing girls, especially young ones.

"I'm sorry Tayuya." He whispered to her and quickly broke her neck, making her death as painless as possible.

A few minutes later, Temari arrived at that spot, looking a bit confused at the fact that it was all over. With a shrug she decided to head back towards Kankuro. Her middle sibling was far more likely to need help than Gaara.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

He didn't have to go far to find the battle between Kimimaro, Lee and Shikamaru. Though it seemed that only Lee was still fighting. He and the white haired teen were engaged in a furious Taijutsu exchange in which Lee seemed to be getting nowhere.

Shikamaru was on the floor, his legs bleeding from several small wounds. A closer inspection revealed small spikes of bone impaled in his Chunin flak vest, which was likely the only reason that he wasn't dead. Who knew that those dumb vests actually served some kind of purpose?

"You alright there Shikamaru?" Naruto asked he he approached the downed Chunin.

"No, Naruto, I'm not alright. That guy shot his finger bones at me, troublesome bloodline." Shikamaru grumbled back irritably.

Naruto grinned at the typical response and made a shadow clone to carry the wounded Chunin further away from the battle, while he drew the Kusanagi and closed in with Kimimaro.

Kimimaro himself was ever so slightly concerned at the appearance of the blond. He had taken down the Chunin, seeing his use of shadows as a capture method more dangerous than the spandex wearing Taijutsu specialist. The pony tailed Chunin had dodged a few attacks and showed dangerous intelligence in his capture attempts, but he was far too weak to succeed, which had led to him getting taken down by his finger bone projectiles.

The Taijutsu user was distracting, but not a true threat. This blond however may well be capable of taking the barrel while he was distracted, so Kimimaro attacked him at the first opportunity.

"You will not interfere with Orochimaru-sama's wishes." The white haired teen said monotonously as he used his small bone sword to block the Kusanagi.

Naruto frowned when he saw that not even charging chakra into the blade allowed him to cut through the bone. Going for a different tactic he angled the blade so that it was pointed at Kimimaro's chest and extended it.

The sword pushed into Kimimaro's chest and forced him back, but it didn't penetrate beyond the skin even though it should have slipped through his ribs.

"Those are some hard bones you've got there." Naruto commented as he and Lee faced off against Kimimaro again.

"This is the Bloodline Limit of the Kaguya clan. It allows me to manipulate my bones and harden them until they are stronger than tempered steel." Kimimaro stated, again in monotone.

Naruto narrowed his eyes in thought at those words. That could mean any number of things, but considering the fact that he had bones where there shouldn't be any, it could well mean that Kimimaro was more or less impervious to physical harm. This was quite unfortunate since physical harm was the only kind of harm that he and Lee were capable of dishing out.

The barrel holding Sasuke chose that moment to explode open. For a moment Naruto caught sight of wild grey hair, before it faded back into black. Sasuke gave a small, evil chuckle before running off in the direction of Otogakure.

Naruto cursed at the idiocy of his teammate. It seemed like they had already activated the second level of the cursed seal and the retarded Uchiha thought that this was a good thing.

"Lee, delay this guy while I go get Sasuke. Don't fight to win, you won't be able to damage him with those bones of his, but keep him from coming after me for a while at least." Naruto told the spandex wearing genin.

"Yosh Naruto! Leave it to me." Lee said confidently and prepared himself for a hard battle as the blond ran off after Sasuke.

Naruto was hoping that his decision wouldn't end with Lee getting killed, since the Taijutsu specialist was actually someone that he respected. He might have been able to trap Kimimaro in his chains, but he was quite sure that Lee wasn't strong enough to take down Sasuke, especially if the Uchiha was stupid enough to use his cursed seal, which Naruto knew he was.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Naruto caught up to Sasuke in the Valley of the End, finding his teammate standing on the statue of Uchiha Madara. The blond jumped onto the head of Senju Hashirama, mostly so that he was eye level with his idiot teammate rather than any kind of symbolism.

"You can't stop me Naruto, I have to go to Orochimaru and get the power to kill my brother." Sasuke said portentously.

"Personally I think that's really stupid, but I'm going to do you this one favor Sasuke." Naruto began. "You're old enough to be making your own decisions, so if you want to shack up with a weirdo like Orochimaru, that's fine with me, just make sure that you can live with the consequences." The blond offered.

He may have told Sakura that he would see what he could do, but he figured that Sasuke deserved a chance to make his own decisions, even if they were stupid decisions.

"Wait, you mean you're just letting me go?" Sasuke asked in shock. He had been expecting that he would have to fight Naruto first.

"We both know that you're not even close to being strong enough to get away from me unless I let you. So run away little boy, run away and escape the only way that you can. Because I let you." Naruto mocked with a sneer.

Sasuke's eyes widened at those words, remembering the long ago time that his brother had said something very similar, right after he had killed their parents.

Run away little brother, run away and survive in an unsightly way.

How he hated to be reminded of that. Sasuke couldn't stand the thought of running away again like he had done that terrible day. To be allowed to run away again was the greatest insult that Naruto could have given right now.

With an enraged yell, the Uchiha began making hand seals, intending to fry his teammate for saying that.

"Katon: Gōkakyū no Jutsu(Fire Release: Great Fireball Technique)!"

A large fireball roared out of his mouth towards his teammate, who swiftly took out a scroll from his coat.

Still a slave to your own pride and arrogance Sasuke? Naruto thought to himself even as he readied his technique.

"Fūka Hōin(Fire Sealing Method)!"

Greater men than you have gotten themselves killed because of that.

The fireball was surrounded by a blue-ish chakra nimbus as the seal did it's work. It twisted as it was drawn towards the seal written on the scroll and within a few seconds it was trapped.

Sasuke looked stunned at having his fire technique captured into a flimsy looking piece of paper, but didn't have long to gape as the scroll was thrown at him. Some instinct told him to get away from it, which is what saved his life as the scroll exploded with great force, obliterating Uchiha Madara's stone head.

"How do you like my Fire Sealing Method, explosive note combination? It takes the energy of any fire technique and turns it into explosive force." Naruto asked with a fanged grin as he jumped onto the water some distance away from Sasuke. Blowing up Madara's head like that had felt pretty damned good.

Sasuke said nothing, but the muscles in his jaw tensed, clearly showing that he was grinding his teeth together. He didn't dare engage Naruto in Taijutsu as he was now, knowing that the Sharingan alone wouldn't help him overcome the blond's physical superiority. It had never helped before. The blond had no fighting style to copy and even if he did, Sasuke couldn't have used it because it would no doubt rely on having a body as powerful as Naruto's

Flame markings spread across Sasuke's face before they settled into black. With the markings came a rush of power, power that he knew would help him win. It wouldn't be like that time in the Forest of Death, this time he wouldn't be charging blindly.

"I'll use this power to kill you and then Orochimaru will give me the training and power to kill Itachi." Sasuke said, feeling utter certainty in those words. At this very moment, the differences between Naruto and his brother were blurred and he wanted them both dead. They were both the same age and both had said very similar words to him. With the cursed seal muddling up his mind, they might as well be the same person.

"You're delusional. That hickey of yours didn't help you last time and it's not going to be any different now." Naruto shot back.

Sasuke charged into melee range, fully matured Sharingan activating and glaring into the blue eyes of his opponent. They clashed and Sasuke was infuriated to note that he was instantly put on the defensive. Naruto was simply too big, too strong and too fast for it to be any other way. Aside from that, he now had more than enough combat experience that he wasn't leaving any glaring openings in his defense that Sasuke could exploit. The only thing keeping him from having his skull rattled was the predictive capabilities of the Sharingan.

Jumping back from a low kick that would have no doubt snapped his knee, Sasuke loosed several kunai at his teammate.

"Hari ji*zō (Needle ji*zō) !" The protective cocoon of steel hard hair effortlessly deflected the kunai, making Sasuke curse. Naruto could easily activate that technique to defend himself from nearly any physical attack.

The Uchiha was just preparing to fire off another fire technique, thinking that hair wouldn't make a good shield against fire when the blond preempted him.

"Hari Jigoku(Needle Hell)!" Sasuke was forced to make heavy use of his Sharingan again in order to dodge the shower of hair spikes that Naruto fired at him. He hadn't stopped making handseals though and fired off his technique before Naruto stopped using his hair technique, counting on the blond not having enough time to pull out another scroll to absorb it.

"Katon: Karyū Endan (Fire Release: Fire Dragon Flame Bullet)!"

The intense, dragon shaped fire engulfed Naruto and Sasuke was left panting from the effort of using the powerful technique. He was certain that there way no way that Naruto had survived that.

Which was why he was completely blindsided when Naruto came flying out of the fire, armored in water and drop kicked him in the face, leaving a painful burn mark. His fire technique had done nothing except heat the outer layer of Naruto's water armor to boiling temperatures, making it all the more dangerous.

"What kind of idiot fights a Suiton user on top of a lake." Naruto mocked as he dropped the technique. There had been no time to get out the rebreather, so he couldn't keep it up very long without suffocating. Despite his mocking words, that had been a close one, but there was no way that he was going to let Sasuke know that.

Glaring furiously at his blond opponent, Sasuke went for a technique of a different element, seeing as fire had backfired on him (no pun intended). Making rapid hand seals, a Chidori formed in his right hand.

Sasuke charged towards Naruto, his lightning covered hand fully extended.

Naruto eagerly faced the challenge head on, forming a Rasengan and charged as well.

"Chidori!"

"Rasengan!"

The two powerful techniques met in an explosion of chakra and Sasuke was sent flying away, cradling his arm, which was screaming in agony.

"If you're going to get into a chakra pissing contest, then maybe you shouldn't have tried it against someone that you know has chakra more powerful than you." Naruto lectured in a bored tone, further infuriating the Uchiha.

Sasuke roared in fury and activated the second level of his curse mark, growing deformed brown wings that looked liked giant hands and becoming surrounded by an aura of foul chakra. Fangs poked out of his upper lip, which was now an odd purple color and his hair turned wild and grey.

"You are one. Ugly. Motherf*cker." Naruto said slowly as he looked his transformed teammate up and down.

"With this power I'll destroy you!" The transformed Uchiha roared and charged at Naruto with another Chidori prepared, his arm having healed during his transformation. The lightning technique was tinted black due to the corrupted chakra that Sasuke was using.

Naruto shook his head and prepared another Rasengan, putting more chakra than before into it. His Rasengan was already a lot more powerful than it would have been otherwise due to his super dense chakra, but now it glowed brightly.

The two techniques crashed together again and once again Sasuke was sent flying back, though this time his arm wasn't damaged as badly.

"Did you know that the definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result?" The blond asked in a bored monotone, unknowingly imitating Itachi.

"Itachi! I'm going to kill you!" The transformed Uchiha roared, once more closing into Taijutsu, thinking that the vast power boost given to him by his level 2 state would allow him to overwhelm his opponent, but it was also messing with his head. Naruto and Itachi's faces were overlapping in his vision now. The blond hair shifted to black, the blue eyes to Sharingan red and the fanged and whiskered face turning impassive with tear troughs under the eyes.

Despite the great power boost given to him by his transformation, Sasuke was still a boy that had only recently turned 14. Naruto was a man that had not long ago turned 18, nearing the prime of his life, who put himself under harsh training every single day, with only his healing factor allowing him to get away with it.

That wasn't to say that Sasuke didn't get a few hits in, because he did. His Sharingan allowed him a degree of perception that was supernatural in clarity and the transformation enhanced his reflexes enough that he could react in time to the blond's swift and powerful attacks. He landed several strong blows to Naruto's face and chest, sliding around his arms and striking before the blond could bring his guard up. A grin stayed on Naruto's face though, clearly enjoying the fight, despite the fact that he wasn't getting in any more hits.

The tide turned once Naruto brought out his chakra chains, forcing Sasuke to react to an additional four appendages that could attack from unorthodox directions.

He dodged an attack from a chain to his right, only to feel his teeth rattle from a thunderous right hook. The blond allowed him no respite, forcing Sasuke to backpedal from a furious assault of chains and fists.

"WHY?! Why are you so much stronger than me?! I'm an Uchiha! I SHOULD BE THE STRONGEST!" Sasuke bellowed, the blow to the head ironically clearing his mind enough to realize that he wasn't fighting Itachi. His anger and frustration however, caused him to swing his fist with far too much force, leaving him off balance and vulnerable when the blond dodged.

"Because you are an arrogant!" Naruto yelled at him even as he punched him in the gut.

"Blind!" This was punctuated by another blow to the face, causing blood to fly out of Sasuke's mouth.

"Stupid boy!" Naruto emphasized his words by kicking his teammate in the chest, making him spit out some more blood and sending him flying a good distance away.

"You'll never amount to anything and you'll never measure up to Itachi, until you learn how to be a man!"

Sasuke growled bestially, barely holding on to any kind of sanity and unsealed his final ace in the hole. A sword. He had taken it from the Uchiha compound and practiced with it in secret, even going so far as to spy on spars with his Sharingan active to copy the Kenjutsu skill of the fighters. He might not be able to match up against Naruto with his fists, but a sword fight was something else entirely.

Naruto narrowed his eyes and brought out the Kusanagi. If Sasuke had any idea at all on how to use that sword, then things had just gotten a good deal more dangerous. As long as the fight had stayed restrained to fists, there was no particular danger of anyone dying. Even Sasuke's fire Ninjutsu was easily countered by Fire Sealing Method scrolls or judicious application of water armor and the only lightning technique he seemed to know was Chidori. A sword fight however, had the potential to turn lethal at the slightest wrong step.

Without exchanging any further words, the two teammates crossed blades with a clang of steel, the well crafted Uchiha sword against the peerless edge of the Kusanagi.

Naruto found himself quickly forced to use his chains, as Sasuke showed remarkable skill for someone who had only recently picked up a blade. They danced around on top of the lake, blades crashing together forcefully. Neither one of them was able to gain an advantage, as Sasuke retained enough sense to heed the warnings his Sharingan fed him about the danger of the hovering chakra chains and Naruto couldn't push his advantage because Sasuke could see through all his attacks and react accordingly.

For several minutes they played their dangerous game, with Sasuke managing to get in a few small cuts on Naruto, doing more damage to his coat as the wounds healed quickly. The Uchiha stayed careful despite his rage, allowing Naruto to attack first so that he could make maximum use of the Sharingan's predictive ability.

"Looks like that hunk of junk you're using isn't going to last much longer." Naruto taunted, referring to the nicks on Sasuke's sword. They had been slamming their swords together with considerable force and the steel could only take that kind of abuse for so long. The Kusanagi was still pristine however. It had been created by a man that had wielded the power of a god and wouldn't be damaged so easily.

Sasuke gave a mad grin and used what he was certain would be the finishing move.

"Chidorigatana(Chidori Katana)!" His sword sparked with black lightning and Sasuke swung it in a powerful arc, intending to cut right through Naruto's sword and into the blond himself.

He had practiced this move a great deal in the privacy of the empty Uchiha compound and found that it could cut even through steel. Nothing so far had been able to withstand this technique.

In his exultation at his perceived certain victory, he didn't see savage grin on Naruto's face until it was too late, just like he didn't see the shimmer of sharp wind around his blade until it was too late to pull out of the attack.

I've blundered.

That was the only thought that Sasuke had time for. Intellectually, he knew that Naruto was a wind type, which was strong against lightning, but he had never seen him use it, so it had faded into background knowledge.

The two swords crashed together again, the wind chakra dispersing lightning and cutting through steel right afterwards.

Naruto's face was sprayed with blood as the Kusanagi cut a deep gouge into Sasuke's chest, cleaving through the ribs and cutting into the lungs, causing the Uchiha to collapse instantly. Naruto quickly grabbed his teammate before he could sink below the water and carried him towards the riverbank.

"Now look what you made me do princess. You just had to make me get up early in the morning didn't you?" Naruto asked in a resigned tone as he crouched next to his dying teammate. He wasn't a medic, but even an idiot could see that it was a mortal wound.

"My clan...need to...avenge!" Sasuke forced out even as the blood bubbled from his mouth.

"No Sasuke, you don't need to avenge them. They're dead. They don't give a sh*t whether you avenge them or not." Naruto said with a sigh. Even while dying the idiot was being melodramatic.

He and Sasuke had never been close, so he couldn't say that he was terribly upset about killing him, In particular since Sasuke had seemed quite determined to do the same to him, but he hadn't been intending to do it either. Sasuke had only been 14 years old and it left a bad taste in his mouth to kill children, even incredibly stupid children. The entire retrieval mission had been one giant f*ck up that had accomplished nothing at all except get people hurt and killed.

"Kill...Itachi." The dying Uchiha choked out in a pleading tone through the blood in his throat, clearly asking Naruto to kill his brother for him.

"He's in Akatsuki, so I might eventually find myself killing him." Naruto said with an uncaring shrug. Someone else's need for revenge really wasn't something that he had any interest in dedicating his life to.

"You really should have gotten yourself a girlfriend Sasuke, your priorities probably wouldn't have been so f*cked up if you had a girl to squeeze."

Naruto saw that his teammate had already stopped breathing by the end of his first sentence. With a sigh the blond closed Sasuke's eyes and picked up his deformed body, heading back towards Konoha. He saw the swiftly approaching silver hair of his sensei and gave another sigh at having to explain this to him, not to mention the sh*tstorm it was going to kick up in Konoha.

He had just finished off the Uchiha clan after all.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Sakura was waiting anxiously for the return of her two teammates by the gates of Konoha. She had no doubt that Naruto would be able to bring Sasuke back, he had proven himself to be the stronger of the two on many occasions after all.

She was terribly worried though, as she had seen the others from the retrieval team being brought back with serious injuries. It was heart wrenching for her to realize that they had gotten hurt because Sasuke had run away.

She all but slumped in relief when she saw the tall forms of her blond teammate and sensei, walking side by side, apparently uninjured. The relief was short lived when she saw that Naruto was carrying something in his arms, Fear gripped her heart at the thought that Sasuke might be dead and it was all she could do not to rush towards them and demand answers.

As they came closer it became obvious that what Naruto was carrying couldn't possibly be Sasuke. The shape was much too big and it was a dark brownish color. But that still left that question of where Sasuke was.

"Naruto, Kakashi-sensei, what happened? Where is Sasuke-kun?" She asked when they approached her.

Kakashi's eye clouded over with sorrow, but he didn't say anything, so Naruto answered instead.

"The idiot wouldn't listen, he just kept coming at me with intent to kill. I'm not sure if he hated me that much all along or if it was the curse mark messing with his head, or a combination of both. Either way, he kept escalating the fight until things got out of hand and forced me to kill him." Naruto said with a sigh.

Sakura felt her world collapse at those words. Sasuke was dead? Her teammate and long held love interest had tried to kill Naruto and died trying?

"But...but, why? How?" She stammered not even sure what she was trying to ask.

"Look at what the curse mark turned him into." Naruto said and directed her attention to the misshapen bundle in his arms.

Strange deformed wings that looked more like giant hands, wild greyish hair. When she looked at the face, tears started steaming down her face as she saw that it still looked like Sasuke, though somehow holding an innate menace and having fangs poking from the purple lips.

"The whole time during our fight he just kept raging about killing Itachi and me. He wouldn't stay down either. He might look ugly but that transformation made him a lot stronger. He kept escalating the fight until it got out of hand and I ended up killing him." The blond explained with a resigned tone.

Sakura couldn't deal with it any longer and ran off without another word, crying hysterically.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

"What do you mean you're taking me on a 3 year training trip?!" Naruto demanded. He was not in favor of this idea.

"I mean that I need to get you out of the village for a while. You've got too much attention on you right now." Jiraiya explained. He was a bit surprised at how vehement Naruto was being about this.

"Such as?" Naruto asked a bit more calmly.

"Such as your revealed heritage and Akatsuki, not to mention the political sh*t you've gotten yourself into by killing that Uchiha teammate of yours. With all of that put together, I wouldn't be surprised if you'll have half of the Elemental Nations after your ass soon." The toad sage said dryly.

"Wouldn't it be better then, to stay in the village instead of gallivanting around the continent?"

"You'd think so, but no. You need to disappear from the world for a while, at least until the worst of the heat dies down. And it's not like you'll be wasting time those three years either. We'll be working on getting you as strong as possible to make sure that you're easily able to defend yourself from any potential assassins."

Naruto growled irritably. He wouldn't actually give a damn about staying in the village if not for the fact that he had things going on here that he wouldn't be able to continue if he was on the road.

Leaving the village meant that he couldn't continue teaching Tenten Fuinjutsu, it meant that he would have to put his ongoing project to turn shy little Hinata into a badass on hold. It meant that he wouldn't see Ayame nee-chan anymore and most importantly it meant that he probably wouldn't be seeing Xanna during that time either. Jiraiya might act like an idiot, but there was no way that he would miss a redheaded woman with very sharp teeth and slitted crimson eyes appearing randomly out of nowhere.

"I've already talked it over with Tsunade and she agrees with me. You're not strong enough yet to defend yourself against everything and everyone that might come after you right now, so we need to get you out of sight for a while.

Naruto scowled. It looked like there wasn't going to be any avoiding this.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

"I'll miss you nii-san." Hinata said sadly.

Naruto had sought her out to to tell her about his impending training trip. Hinata had been quite upset to hear that he would be gone for so long. She had gotten used to having him around and he had helped her so much already. She now carried his resistance seals, though tuned to a significantly lower intensity than his own. That had been an embarrassing ordeal to get through, but she was glad of it. She knew that it would help her a lot in her training.

Neji and she hadn't been able to get their hands on the caged bird seal instructions, so that was also another reason that she was sad. It would be 3 years before he would be able to help them with that again and they would be on their own during that time.

"You'll be so busy training that you'll barely notice I'm gone."

Instead of replying, Hinata gave him a hug, which was a bit of a surprise for him. She had never initiated any kind of physical contact before, no doubt a side effect of growing up in the emotionally cold Hyuuga compound and her innate shyness.

"It won't be the same without you." Hinata said as she let go.

"Will you do something for me little sister?" Naruto asked her seriously.

"Um, alright." Hinata agreed hesitantly. She loved her brazen blond big brother, but sometimes he was just a little too shameless and it was better to be cautious about what you were agreeing to.

Naruto grinned at her nervousness. She was just too cute. "Don't let anyone tell you what you should be like, no matter who they are and don't take life too seriously either, you're not going to get out of it alive anyway."

Hinata looked at him oddly at this particular piece of questionable wisdom. Of course she wasn't going to live forever, but that hardly seemed like a good reason think lightly of her life. Still, she knew that it was his own way of encouraging her to be more confident.

"Uh, sure nii-san."

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

"But you just started teaching me!" Tenten protested upon hearing that he was leaving.

"I know, and it's not like I'm leaving by choice." Naruto responded.

"So I'll have to wait 3 years for you to come back before you can continue teaching me Naruto-sensei?" The weapons user asked despondently.

In response, Naruto brought out a thick notebook and gave it to her. "That notebook contains some of my notes on Fuinjutsu. It should give you plenty to work with for the next 3 years."

Tenten took it almost reverently. There was a lot of Fuinjutsu knowledge in there and she knew that having access to his original notes would be a big help.

"Most of the things in there are somehow offensive in nature, but some of it is more general Fuinjutsu knowledge. I'm sure you'll be able to make good use of that, so make sure to work hard while I'm gone."

"I will Naruto-sensei, thank you." Tenten said gratefully.

She had only been able to learn Fuinjutsu from Naruto for a short while, but it had been a great time and she had learned a lot. Gai-sensei was a good teacher, but she wasn't too well suited to his usual methods, not to mention that she was never going to be a Taijutsu powerhouse like him and Lee or even Neji.

"Umm, before you go..." Tenten started nervously, blushing and fidgeting.

"Yes?" Naruto asked curiously. Why was Tenten suddenly acting like Hinata?

"Can I try out your sword?!" She squeaked out so fast that she was barely understandable, blushing furiously. She REALLY wanted to try out that sword.

"How bold of you Tenten! Asking a man if you can play with his sword at your age!" Naruto exclaimed with a grin.

"Huh?" Tenten asked in confusion.

"But I'm sure someone like Neji would be a more appropriate choice for some swordplay."

Tenten looked even more confused before suddenly understanding the blond's perverted innuendo and blushing like a ripe tomato.

"Idiot! I meant the Kusanagi, not THAT sword!" The fire faced weapons user yelled at him.

"You really need to lighten up Tenten, it was just a joke." Naruto chuckled as the weapons user tried to kick him.

"Ero-sensei!"

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

"You finally got in over your head huh?" Ayame asked with a smirk as she set down the blond's ramen bowl.

"I still think that Tsunade and Jiraiya are blowing this out of proportion." Naruto grumbled and started eating.

"They hadn't struck me as the type to do that based on what you've told me about them so far."

"That was before they decided that I needed to hide from potential threats."

"You know that you're just grumpy because you won't get to snuggle up to your special lady friend all the time anymore." Ayame teased, making a veiled reference to Xanna.

"Hmph, I also won't be around to protect you anymore." The blond said without denying it.

"I'm a big girl Naruto, I don't need protecting all the time you know." She said softly and made her way around the counter to hug him.

"Better safe than sorry." He countered as he returned the hug.

"Just make sure that you use the next 3 years well. After all, I'd like to see my little brother get married." Ayame said quietly with a giggle.

"I'm a lot bigger than you now you know." Naruto protested, but was inwardly happy that she believed he could do it.

"You'll always be that cute little boy to me that showed up here one day looking like a drowned rat." She teased.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

"I see. It appears that there is indeed no way to avoid this." Xanna said as Naruto explained the pending training trip with Jiraiya.

"I have no idea what I'm going to do for 3 years without you."

"It's only 3 years Naruto and this godfather of yours does have a point. Despite your victory over Shukaku, there are shinobi out there who could crush you as you are now. If the man is a spymaster as you've said then he likely knows what he's talking about." The demoness argued her point.

"Yeah, I know. But that doesn't mean that I'm happy about it. I've gotten used to having you around and it's going to suck to have nobody but my perverted godfather as company for 3 years." Naruto grumbled.

Xanna smirked at him, quite amused at how upset he was over a measly 3 years. As far as she was concerned, that was an eye blink. It would also give her plenty of time to sort out her own feelings for the blond. It was easier to think clearly when the source of your confusion wasn't always there.

"If it makes you feel better, I'll miss you too." The demoness said teasingly.

"That does make me feel a bit better actually." He admitted. "Will you be here when I come back?"

"I will and I expect you to be stronger than you are now." She said.

"Count on it!" The blond replied with a grin.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

"I really don't think this is a good idea Anko." Kurenai protested as the two kunoichi skulked in a dark street in Konoha.

"You're still going along with it even though you're saying that Nai-chan." Anko countered with a grin.

"That's just because I'm trying to keep you from getting in trouble." Kurenai insisted.

"Suuure you are." Anko drawled, clearly not believing a word of it.

"I'm serious! There is no way that this is going to end well!" The Genjutsu mistress hissed.

"Shh! It's almost time!" Anko hissed back, completely ignoring what her lover had just said.

Kurenai frowned, but quieted down all the same. The silence didn't last very long, as the time of execution for Anko's crazy little plan drew closer. When the time came, the silence was broken by the use of a special ninja technique.

"Sen'eijashu( Hidden Shadow Snake Hands)!"

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Naruto experimentally flexed his wrists, noting that the snakes holding him instantly tightened their hold on him, binding him even more securely to the chair he was on.

Imagine his surprise when he was suddenly wrapped up in snakes while walking down the street towards the gate where he was supposed to be meeting Jiraiya. Today was after all the day that he was supposed to be leaving the village, but it seems that Anko had some other plans and decided to waylay him.

He could have gotten free, but he was honestly curious about what Anko was up to.

"So, what can I do for you ladies?" Naruto asked the two women standing in front of him. Anko was grinning victoriously, while Kurenai was looking rather embarrassed.

"Well, we heard that you were leaving on a training trip..." Kurenai said and trailed off with a blush.

"And we never got to properly thank you for removing my cursed seal." Anko finished with a wide grin.

Even several days afterwards, she couldn't help but feel thrilled every time she thought of it. It had been torture for her to stay in the hospital for observation after the removal, when all she wanted to do was run across the rooftops and cackle with glee at her new freedom.

Without the curse mark screwing her over, she could train to her limits again without fear of any backlash. She didn't have to suffer the twinges of pain it sent her from time to time and best of all, she didn't have to carry around a piece of Orochimaru's disgusting legacy.

"You already gave me that very nice kiss." Naruto pointed out.

"I hardly think that a kiss is a good enough thank you for something like that." Anko scoffed.

"So, did you kidnap me to perhaps bake me a cake or make me a sandwich?" Naruto asked with a grin starting to pull on his lips.

"Oh no, this is going to be a different type of 'thank you'." Anko said and ambushed a blushing Kurenai with a kiss.

Naruto watched the show being put on in front of him and took note that Kurenai wasn't struggling anywhere near as hard as she could have, giving the distinct appearance of only trying to make it look like she was struggling.

He couldn't say that he wasn't enjoying himself though. It was definitely a situation that most men would kill to be in. Jiraiya being foremost among them.

Speaking of Jiraiya...he was supposed to be meeting the man at the gate in a few minutes. Ah well, he would just have to wait.

The two women had by now fully divested themselves of clothing and were moving towards him.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Several hours later, Kurenai was lying on the bed, unconscious. This was due to the fact that Anko and Naruto had decided to team up on the Genjutsu mistress until she passed out.

The tired, sweaty, but still awake Anko grinned at her passed out lover. Kurenai liked to think that she wasn't a pervert, but she sure hadn't minded being the center of attention.

Her musings were interrupted as Naruto grabbed her from behind and bent her over the passed out woman, chains forming and binding her arms behind her back, while a collar went around her throat.

Anko's eyes widened at the realization of what Naruto was planning on doing. If Kurenai woke up to see her taking it from behind while bent over the Genjutsu mistress, she was going to be royally pissed at both of them.

Rather than frighten her, Anko found the idea to be a huge turn on. She opened her mouth to tease Naruto about his impending death at Kurenai's hands once she found out about this, but found a ballgag shoved into her mouth.

Her eyes widened again at just how much balls the blond had to just shove a ballgag into her mouth with every intention of screwing her over another woman's unconscious body. She let out a slow, muffled groan as he slowly pushed himself inside her.

"Since you decided to kidnap me for your own pleasure, I'm sure you'll understand if I return the favor." Naruto said into her ear while his hands teased her nipples, using the chains to keep her from collapsing onto Kurenai.

The steady rhythm was interrupted when his right hand migrated down to her cl*tor*s, rubbing it slowly at first, making her give out another groan. Her breathing deepened heavily when she felt the now familiar swirl of his chakra around his hand.

He had done this to her before, but it had only been focused on that specific nerve bundle. This time he was directing it to as many erogenous zones as possible, but keeping the intensity low enough that her org*sm was delayed.

Anko had no idea what he was up to, but she felt the buildup of a massively powerful org*sm. 15 incredibly frustrating minutes of being denied release, while feeling the pressure inside her getting stronger constantly left Anko nearly screaming in frustration around the ballgag.

When he finally decided to push her over the edge, Anko did scream, and she would have let the entire street know what was going on if it wasn't for the ballgag. Dimly, she felt the blond shooting his own release inside her as her head lolled limply and she panted for breath, all strength leaving her.

Opening her eyes, she saw that she had completely drenched Kurenai during her explosive org*sm. The chains retreated and Naruto gently set her down on Kurenai and whispered into her ear after removing the ballgag. His sperm had already started leaking out of her and pooling on Kurenai's crotch and stomach.

"Have fun explaining to Kurenai why she's so sticky and covered in my cum when she wakes up." The amused blond said and left back to his apartment to take another shower. He was definitely not going to start a training trip reeking of sex.

The bastard pranked me! And now he's going to be gone for 3 years so I can't even get back at him! Anko fumed inside her own mind.

It wasn't that she hadn't enjoyed it, because she really did and definitely wouldn't mind a repeat even if Kurenai might get a bit upset over it. She could be convinced to do the same thing anyway...probably.

What pissed her off was the fact that nobody got one over Mitarashi Anko and got away with it, and yet Naruto had done it. He might be gone for 3 years, but Anko swore that she would get back at him when he came back.

Right now though she was going to take a little nap and hope that her legs stopped quivering before the red eyed woman woke up. She might need those to do some running if Kurenai was particularly upset.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Naruto was beset by his remaining teammate before he reached the gate. The pink haired girl looked rather nervous. He hadn't seen her since telling her about Sasuke's death.

"Naruto..." Sakura began in a sad tone.

Sakura had been devastated by Sasuke's death, spending several days just holed up in her room and crying. Ino had come by to try and comfort her, but she had remained inconsolable. She had even felt bouts of anger at Naruto for killing Sasuke, unable to help her feelings.

Ino's own crush for Sasuke had died when she saw her teammates injured and in Chouji's case near death, all because Sasuke had decided that Konoha wasn't good enough for him.

Sakura had only left her room to attend Sasuke's funeral. Afterwards, she had learned from Tsunade that Naruto and Kakashi had argued to have Sasuke buried as a loyal Konoha shinobi despite his attempt at defection. The elders had opposed it, saying that traitors didn't deserve to be buried as if they were loyal, claiming that it would tarnish the sacrifice of those who had been truly loyal.

Tsunade-sama had told her that Naruto's exact words were to ask the elders what good it did to piss on the graves of the dead, especially since Sasuke had made a stupid decision rather than a treasonous one. His argument on the mind altering effects of the cursed seal was what convinced Tsunade to grant the request.

The elders had also apparently taken that opportunity to propose making use of the cursed seal themselves, seeing potential in the seal as a means of ensuring loyalty, especially since Naruto seemed capable of applying it with less risk than Orochimaru. The suggestion had severely angered Tsunade and gotten them thrown out of her office.

Sakura's anger at Naruto died when she heard that. He had done the best he could and Sasuke had just pushed him too far. Even though Sasuke had tried to kill him, Naruto had still fought to at least preserve his dignity, which was something that she appreciated.

She hadn't missed her now deceased teammate's darkening mood whenever Naruto's strength or achievements were mentioned, but she had hoped he would be able to move past it. Sakura just couldn't understand why Sasuke was so jealous of Naruto. He was so strong and talented and had progressed very far in the short time that they'd been Genin. She just couldn't make sense of his obsessive need to be the strongest.

Now that Tsunade-sama had given her some perspective on Sasuke's death, she couldn't help but feel guilty. If she hadn't been so weak, then she could have stopped Sasuke herself, or at least alerted someone before he left the village. That way, maybe things wouldn't have gotten so far out of hand.

Chouji near death from a strained chakra network and using his family's secret food pills.

Neji also near death from multiple arrow wounds and a gaping wound in his stomach.

Kiba and Akamaru severely injured, though thankfully not life threatening.

Shikamaru with his legs badly wounded, alive only because he had been lucky enough to be wearing a Chunin vest.

Lee had only suffered mild injuries, but according to what she'd heard, would have been killed if not for the timely intervention of Gaara.

And Naruto ended up killing his teammate when Sasuke took their battle too far. Tsunade had let her read Naruto's report on the battle and she'd been horrified to see that Sasuke had used every lethal technique that he had against Naruto, along with several she hadn't known he had learned.

"What is it Sakura?"

Sakura noted that he hadn't called her pinky or any other kind of insulting nickname in a while now, but he had kept on calling Sasuke princess. She could only guess that he had seen something in her that he could respect enough to call her by name and he hadn't seen the same thing in Sasuke. She couldn't help but be proud of that, despite her still fresh grief over Sasuke's death.

"I just wanted to say that I'm sorry."

"What for?" Naruto asked in honest confusion.

"If I'd been stronger I could have come with you and maybe we could have saved Sasuke-kun."

"Maybe." Naruto admitted. "But not very likely."

"Huh?" Sakura asked in confusion, not knowing what he meant.

"Sasuke was pretty far gone by the time I got to him, he even mistook me for his brother once. I think that he was pretty far gone even before he decided to leave the village and activating the second level of the cursed seal just pushed him over the edge." The blond explained.

"Oh...you mean we didn't even notice that we were losing him?" Sakura asked, feeling sad and guilty that she had failed her teammate like that.

"In our defense, he didn't act any different than usual and he was always broody and anti-social. If you ask me, he could have really used the help of a Yamanaka therapist, but you know that he never would have agreed to that."

"Yeah..." Sakura agreed slowly. She couldn't see Sasuke going to therapy for any reason at all, he would have been too proud to admit he needed help. He had always been too proud.

Naruto was deeply surprised when his pink haired teammate hugged him. Apparently she had somehow managed to form an attachment to him in spite of the fact that he'd been constantly irritating her.

"I'll get stronger Naruto, so that I won't just be in the way all the time." She promised tearfully. Losing one teammate had been bad enough, she didn't want to be a useless bystander just watching helplessly as her remaining one fought alone because she was too weak to be useful.

"You do that Sakura and try to keep Tsunade from drinking too much while you're at it." The blond said and put one hand on her upper back. He had to admit that Sakura had surprised him. He had honestly expected her to do anything except find the resolve to get strong. She had been such a useless howling fangirl when they'd first become a team that it was hard to imagine she could change so much.

With that the two teammates said their goodbyes and went towards their respective Sannin teachers.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

OMAKE: The day before Sasuke's defection attempt.

Sasuke gurgled blood as his damaged lungs tried to provide air, but it was useless. Within a few seconds he was dead and the victorious Naruto turned away from him.

Everything changed though when a ghostly figure appeared in the sky and shot a beam of light into the recently slain Uchiha's body, bringing him back to life instantly.

The ghostly figure bore a disturbing resemblance to Masashi Kishimoto, but the two combatants below didn't know anything about that.

The resurrected Sasuke glared at his would be killer with eyes that were now a mixture of purple, red and black. They had a strange pattern of intersecting ellipses, along with a ripple pattern.

"I suppose I should thank you Naruto. My death and resurrection has allowed me to awaken the Eternal Mangenkyo Rinnegan and with it's power I will achieve my ambition." Sasuke said with a crazed gleam in his shiny new eyes.

"These eyes now give me the power to use the Mugen Izanagi(Infinite Izanagi), a technique that allows me to rewrite reality as I see fit, and the best part is that it doesn't cost any chakra to use."

Naruto frowned at this ridiculous and improbable turn of events, but said nothing yet.

"For daring to slay an Uchiha, I will use this power to punish you!" Sasuke declared. "From now on, you will only be able to say 'dattebayo' and every time you say it, you will become more stupid. Also, you will be compelled to say it at least once every 20 seconds. In addition, the only techniques that you will know are the shadow clone and Rasengan!"

"Dattebayo!" Naruto said, before slapping a hand over his mouth. He hadn't meant to say that idiotic word.

Sasuke watched in glee as Naruto's sharp glare transformed into a clueless expression within 3 minutes. He was even more thrilled to discover that the blond was shrinking and his usual intimidating appearance was giving way to a shrimp in an obnoxious orange jump suit.

"Dattebayo!"

"From now on, you will be forever know as the dobe, the dead last, as it should have been!"

Laughing madly, Sasuke used the power of his new eyes to teleport Itachi in front of him.

"Itachi! Finally I will have my revenge!"

Itachi's impassive looked turned into a look of panic that didn't belong on that face in the slightest.

Before he could move, the elder Uchiha was engulfed in black fire that burned slowly, causing Itachi to scream in agony while Sasuke cackled in the background.

Once his amusem*nt died down, Sasuke developed a slightly confused expression.

What was he supposed to do now? Itachi was dead and Naruto had become so stupid by now that he was trying to drink a rock.

Well, he did have a clan to repopulate didn't he?

Using the power of his new eyes, Sasuke transported himself to the Uchiha compound and summoned a large amount of beautiful women.

"Oh Sasuke-sama, we're so happy that you've decided to grace our bodies with your seed!" One of them said with happy tears leaking from her eyes.

They were already removing his pants and preparing to do their duty to the Uchiha clan and one of them commented on his equipment.

"Sasuke-sama, you're so powerful! Even your penis has a Doujutsu!" She squealed in glee.

Well of course his penis had a...Wait, what?

Sasuke looked down at the organ in question.

It looked back.

"AAAAHHHHHH!" He screamed at it, only to be horrified as it developed a mouth as well.

"AAAAHHHHHH!" It screamed back in a voice that was for some reason deeper than his own.

Sasuke all but flew out of his bed, gasping for breath, his heart pounding so hard that you would think it was trying to escape from his chest cavity.

The raven haired teen quickly took a look into his pants, sighing in relief when he found that there was no eye looking back at him.

He knew that he shouldn't have eaten those slightly spoiled looking tomatoes before bed, but they had been the only tomatoes he could find. But it wasn't all the fault of the delicious morsels to be sure. Naruto was no doubt driving him crazy and causing him to have weird dreams like that. He really needed a break from his insane blond teammate.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Notes:

I'm sure that you're all

terribly

disappointed that Sasuke is dead, but I know exactly what the problem is.

Until recently I too was trapped in the "

Kishimoto Secret Technique: Uchiha Inability to Die and Stay Dead no Jutsu

".

I found myself unthinkingly making scenarios for how Sasuke either manages to flee or how he's brought back to the village and gets redeemed. But one day when I was at work, I was so bored that the technique faltered for a moment and I recalled that I'm the author of this fic and I can make even an Uchiha obey reality and die if the circ*mstances demand it.

Besides...the only good Uchiha is Itachi Uchiha! xD

Do drop a review and let me know what you think.

Chapter 13

Notes:

DISCLAIMER: Don't own anything Naruto related.

Review responses:

ZimmMaster: It might have felt a bit rushed because I didn't write it quite the same as my previous chapters. I wrote all the others from start to finish, but that one I had some trouble with, so I started writing in the middle, then went to the end, then to the beginning and then back to the end...so yeah, kinda unorganized xD.

Guest: Well Naruto couldn't possibly have known whether Tayuya was or was not a member of his extended family, not every redhead is guaranteed to be an Uzumaki after all. Aside from that he didn't want to risk Tayuya getting free and possibly getting involved in one of the other fights, as that would spell certain defeat for the Konoha nin whose fight she got involved in. She wasn't even considering his offer and he had no emotional investment in her at that point, so killing her, while something he didn't like doing, wasn't something that he would have absolutely refused to do. As for Sasuke...well, he hadn't planned on killing him, but when you play with sharp pointy things, people tend to get hurt even if that's not the intention.

firstreview420: Yeah I get the feeling that a lot of people are turned off by the fact that I used a non-japanese name, considering that the first chapter has like 3 times as many views as the second one. Personally I never saw what the big deal was since there's a bazillion anime's out there that use foreign names, not to mention that half the Kumogakure shinobi are named after the freaking alphabet of all things. I do kind of regret going with a name like that now since it seems to be such a sore point, but I'm not going to go changing it at this point.

NeroYagyuu: No worries on that front, I never had any intention of writing that kind of thing. Considering that this is the second time you've mentioned something like that, you'll probably like this chapter.

Luc1v3r: I'm not in the habit of giving inexplicable powerups, so Naruto will not suddenly get the ability to negate chakra. Besides, that would completely take the fun out of it.

DragonBolt21: You are quite correct, Mikoto is a good Uchiha too. Maybe the douchebag gene is only carried by males of the clan?

For those of you who wanted to read something about the training trip...Sorry xD. The whole point was to keep a low profile and train, so nothing all that interesting was going to be happening during that time. Unless you consider a Dragonball Z style 'ten thousand push ups in 100 times gravity! And then ten thousand sit ups!' training montage interesting. I prefer to keep training scenes few and far between instead of writing them out in way too much detail.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

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Two very big men made their way into Konoha after a 3 year absence, both drawing a great deal of attention due to the fact that both were quite well known.

One stood at nearly 6 feet 3 inches, with a long mane of white hair, wearing green clothes covered by a red haori and wooden geta sandals on his feet. This man was clearly known to most as Jiraiya of the Sannin.

The man next to him was even bigger, standing at a towering 6 feet 7 inches. Long blond hair flowed down to his waist in a ponytail, with a few strands of hair hanging over his face, reaching just below his chin. The extremely distinctive, open black leather coat, with no shirt to hide his chest, leather pants and steel toed boots made him very easy to recognize. It wasn't the same set of clothes that he had left in, as he had outgrown them, but the custom ordered new set was even better. His strong jaw had whisker marks on his cheeks, giving his face a predatory cast, which would was made all the more prominent when he bared his fanged teeth at one of the villagers that was gawking at him stupidly.

"You could at least try not to scare everyone you meet on your first day back." Jiraiya commented to Naruto dryly as the villager in question suddenly remembered that he had somewhere else he needed to be.

"Whatever, I've got somewhere to be, so I'll leave reporting to Tsunade to you." The blond in question grunted and left without another glance at his sensei.

Jiraiya made to protest, but his student had already gone out of hearing range. Grumbling to himself about students that had no respect for their sensei, Jiraiya went towards the Hokage tower, hoping to get the debrief out of the way as soon as possible.

As was his custom he completely ignored the normal way in, also known as a door or as he liked to call it, the chump entrance. Instead he jumped right through the window of the Hokage's office.

"Jiraiya, would it kill you to use the door?" A slightly irritated Tsunade asked as the toad sage perched on the window.

"I don't know Tsunade-hime, it might." He replied cheekily.

"So where's Naruto?" The female Sannin asked, getting right to the point.

"That's so mean Tsunade, we haven't seen each other for 3 years and the first thing you do is ask about another man." Jiraiya pouted, adopting a depressed air and drawing patterns on the wall with his finger in a dejected fashion.

"Can it you old perv." Tsunade dismissed without concern for her teammate's drama. "Now where is he?"

"He said he had something to do and ditched me as soon as we got through the gate." Jiraiya grumbled, still a bit miffed by that.

"I see." Tsunade said with her eyebrow twitching slightly. She would very much like to know what was more important than reporting to her as soon as he got back after a 3 year training trip. "Well, since you're here you might as well tell me how the training trip went."

Jiraiya paused as he thought about how to say it.

"Well?" Tsunade prodded.

"He frightens me." The toad sage admitted.

"Oh?" She leaned forward in interest.

"As far as his skills go, he's done mostly nothing else but train his body and practice controlling his chakra chains. The only thing that he's really made significant progress in is Fuinjutsu and chakra capacity."

"That doesn't seem like a lot of progress for 3 years of training..." Tsunade trailed off and narrowed her eyes suspiciously. "You two haven't been wasting time whoring around the Elemental Nations have you?" There was a distinct note of threat in her voice.

Jiraiya raised his hands in a warding gesture and hurried to explain." No no, it's just that it's the only thing he's actually been able to work on. His chakra reserves have gotten so massive and dense that he can't really do anything else. I have no idea how good he actually is at Fuinjutsu by now, but he's long since outstripped me." He admitted.

"He's that good already?" Tsunade asked in disbelief. She knew that Uzumaki had a natural talent with Fuinjutsu, but to make that kind of progress in so little time was unheard of.

"Better even. I'm not sure but I think that he's been experimenting with space-time seals and all sorts of other things that he hasn't even let me see. He must have destroyed tens of thousand of shadow clones with Fuinjutsu accidents."

Tsunade sat back and considered the information for a few moments before posing another question. "So how good would you say he is and what about training to use the Kyuubi's chakra?"

"He wouldn't even consider using the Kyuubi's chakra. The first time I suggested it, he flat out told me that he was never going to use the fox's chakra and to never mention it again. As for how good he is...in a straight up fight I could probably still beat him, it depends on what kind of tricks he's learned to do with Fuinjutsu. But if you let him choose the battlefield and prepare ahead of time, then I'm not sure if there's anyone alive that would be able to come out on top."

"You really think that he's that dangerous with Fuinjutsu?" She asked with some disbelief. She had no idea why Naruto didn't want to learn to use the Kyuubi's chakra, but there was no point forcing him if he didn't want to. Besides, he was apparently dangerous enough without it.

"There's a good reason why Uzumaki seal masters were so feared and why it took nearly twenty thousand shinobi to destroy a clan numbering less than one thousand." Jiraiya confirmed. Truth be told, the toad sage was truly frightened what his godson would be capable of doing eventually if he was this dangerous at the age of 21.

"Alright, but that's a good thing isn't it? It means that he's ready for what the world is going to throw at him." Tsunade asked.

"That's not what worries me at this point. What worries me is that in the entire three years, Naruto only slept with four women."

Tsunade's eyebrow developed a severely agitated twitch at hearing this. "Jiraiya..." She growled in such a manner as to inspire fear in the toad sage's heart.

"No no, it's not what you think!" The white haired man hastily tried to get out of the hole he'd stepped in. "He's been different."

"Different how?" The Godaime asked, calming down a bit, but still ready to pound Jiraiya's head into a wall.

"You know how many women he used to sleep with on a regular basis?" He asked, getting a terse nod from her. "Well, at first it seemed like it was going to continue that way, but it wasn't even two months into the training trip that he seemed to completely lose all interest in women."

Tsunade raised an eyebrow in interest. That was an awfully short time for that kind of reversal.

"He would still talk to them, but rejected even the most blatant offers, no matter how beautiful the women that came on to him were. Sometimes he would go somewhere private and work on Fuinjutsu or he would just find a tree and keep punching it with his resistance seals set to maximum until he broke it down immediately after rejecting a woman. He seemed to be in a bad mood most of the time too." Jiraiya explained.

"So he just suddenly lost interest in women almost as soon as you left the village?" Tsunade asked, feeling a bit stunned. She had been somewhat annoyed at Naruto's sleeping around, but this kind of rapid change was worrisome.

"I would have started him on learning Senjutsu by now if I wasn't so concerned about his attitude. He's even taken to meditating, though I have no idea what brought that on." The white haired Sannin stated, surprising Tsunade greatly. The sage arts weren't anything to be scoffed at.

"I can only assume, that there was something or someone in this village that kept his spirits up. It would also explain why he was so against the idea of leaving even though he doesn't really have any particularly fond feelings for the village. I hope he'll go back to normal now that he's back here." He finished, making them both fall into a speculative mood.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Naruto made his way towards his apartment in a hurry. It had been three years since he had seen her and he wasn't going to waste time talking to Tsunade or anyone else if it would delay him for even one more second.

It had only taken a few weeks before Xanna's absence in his life began to take a toll on him. Nothing seemed interesting if she wasn't there with him. Once he would have taken the opportunity to sleep with many of the willing women that he and Jiraiya encountered, sometimes for no other purpose than to annoy his godfather. His separation from the crimson eyed demoness served to unceremoniously kill his interest in them however. He hadn't even been aware just how silly he found mortal women and their mortal concerns until he had to deal with them exclusively. Kunoichi were much better about it, but they weren't her.

Jiraiya might have been proud if he'd known that his godson had taken up meditation because he wanted to be closer to a woman, or he might have been deeply disturbed to know that he had taken it up to feel closer to the Kyuubi. He had remembered her saying that the Reaper Death Seal still connected them and had started meditating in the hope that he could feel her presence at least. His greatest hope had been that he might be able to establish a mental link between them, but had been aware that it would be entirely too optimistic to think that he would be able to accomplish that so quickly.

None of that mattered right now however, because he was already slamming closed the door of his apartment, eyes searching for the distinctive crimson hair.

He was starting to feel just a little bit desperate when he didn't catch sight of her immediately, moving from room to room with hurried steps.

There was an irrational fear growing in his heart that something had happened to her or that she had decided that she didn't want anything to do with him anymore. He was just about to do another sweep of the apartment when a hand ghosted over his rear end.

"Miss m-mpmh!" Her amused question was cut off when he spun around and immediately dived for her lips, needing to bend much lower than he remembered.

Wasting no time, he picked her up and trapped her between himself and a wall, moving his hands away from her only enough to help her take off his coat. What followed was a frantic removal of clothing on their way towards the bedroom, slamming into walls and furniture along the way.

He relished the feel of her claws cutting into his back and her fangs sinking into the crook of his neck and shoulder, it felt good to know that it was real. One too many good dreams on the road had started like this only to wake up without her. He didn't hesitate to sink his own teeth into her either, the short, moaned scream from her at this act igniting an even stronger fire in him. By the time they finally made it to the bed, his apartment had more than a few blood stains scattered across the walls and the floor.

They could talk later, it was time to get reacquainted in a more physical manner first.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Many hours later, they lay together, both satisfied for the moment.

"I've missed you." Naruto said, laying his chin on the top of her head. He had his arms wrapped around her and her face was pressed close to his chest.

"I've noticed." She purred in a satisfied manner. "You've gotten even bigger."

Naruto was quite sure that she wasn't just talking about his height. "And you're even more beautiful than I remember."

"And you are still just as corny with your flattery as I remember." She said with a light laugh and gave his chest a slight nibble.

When he had left, she had been sure that three years would pass in an eye blink. Instead, it had dragged on like three centuries. Never before had she missed anyone, never before had she felt depressed because someone was not there with her. It had been terribly tempting to just seek him out without regard for the need of secrecy. But she had restrained herself and instead examined her own feelings. What had once been a fondness and respect for the blond had grown much stronger, practically without her knowing. His constant presence and unending devotion leaving her blind to the truth. Without his presence, the truth had become obvious, no matter how hard it was to believe.

Xanna hadn't truly known what to do with herself for the past three years. Often, she had come to Naruto's apartment simply for the feel of familiarity that it offered, otherwise she hadn't been doing much at all. Though some of these shinobi were at least amusing with the stupidity they get up to.

Despite not wanting to pry too deeply into his privacy, the demoness found herself using the link provided by the Reaper Death Seal to listen in on Naruto's thought's on occasion. It had brought a feeling of warmth to her heart to 'hear' that she was in his thoughts nearly every time that she did so.

Now, being held by him like this, she felt happy, truly happy. The listless mood that had plagued her these last three years giving way to the feeling that all was right with the world. Even the inherent rage that had been part of her since the start of her existence was nothing more than a feeble spark. Once she'd been so volatile that the slightest provocation could have brought out a murderous fury in her, but now the anger at humanity that she had inherited from the Juubi(and gained on her own later) was struggling to even stay alive.

She sighed contently and burrowed deeper into his chest, inhaling the much missed scent and listening to the resonance of his breathing.

"Welcome home, beloved." She said in a soft tone that nobody had ever heard from her before.

She had no idea when it happened, but somewhere along the line he had stolen her heart. This man, who had as a child made a promise that he didn't even fully understand. Even once he had understood, he had brushed of the impossibility of it as unimportant and given away his heart without concern if his affection was returned or not. She had felt no love for him then, but his determination had never wavered. Even she couldn't help but be affected by something like that. Naruto had been determined to win her over or die trying. His experience in Wave country had only hardened his resolve until he had made her love him even though she had at first stayed around him only because she found him interesting. In spite of the fact that he had forced his way into her heart with the same bullheaded stubbornness that drove his training, she couldn't feel anything but happy over it. Love had always been a foreign concept for her before, but now she understood.

It was a new experience, wanting another person to be happy, but she had never felt better. The crimson haired demoness could see now why humans spent so much time chasing this feeling, though most of them were remarkably shallow about it from what she could see.

His eyes snapped down to hers, looking stunned, before a wide and happy smile stretched across his face and he captured her lips again, putting all his love and happiness into it.

They had been ready to fall asleep before, but there would be no sleep now.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Two 17 year old girls were making their way towards Naruto's apartment. One had pink hair with green eyes and the other had dark hair with lavender eyes that had no pupils.

Sakura had heard from Tsunade that Naruto was back in the village and made her way towards his apartment to welcome him back as soon as she could. It had been pure chance that she had encountered Hinata on the way and told her that her surrogate big brother was back. The two of them, along, with Ino and Tenten, had become good friends in the three years since the blond had left and decided to go see him together. Both had missed him terribly and wanted to see how much he had changed.

Sakura still wore clothing similar to what she had worn years ago, but it was a more combat oriented design.

Hinata on the other hand, was quite a bit different from how she had been three years ago. She had done her best to take Naruto's words to heart and find some pride in herself, her close relationship to Neji had helped a lot in this. She didn't wear the oversized coat designed to hide her anymore, instead wearing a simple T-shirt and shorts that many chose to wear in the balmy weather of Fire country. Under the clothes she wore an armor mesh that most shinobi utilized to some extent. She also had medical tape wrapped around her shins and forearms, along with pads for her knees and elbows. Her father and the clan elders didn't approve of her dressing so much like a commoner, but she did her best to ignore them. It wasn't like they ever approved of anything anyway.

Without the coat hiding her figure, her sizable chest was clearly visible. She was secretly pleased that Sakura, Ino and even Tenten envied her figure.

When they made it to his apartment, they knocked on his door, but received no answer.

"Maybe he's not home?" Hinata wondered quietly.

"Where else would he be?" Sakura asked rhetorically and reached for the doorknob. To her considerable surprise, it was unlocked. She knew this was the rough part of the village and she couldn't imagine that Naruto would just leave it unlocked.

Of course she didn't know that nobody would dare even think of stealing from him.

The two young women made their way inside, becoming alarmed when they saw clothing tossed everywhere and splashes of blood on the floor and walls.

"Do you think someone attacked him?" Hinata asked, becoming alert and tense.

"We should check the rest of the apartment." Sakura said.

The two kunoichi went silent and moved through the rooms, taking note of some overturned furniture as well as more blood. The trail led to the bedroom and Sakura suddenly had an extremely bad feeling about opening that door.

Hinata however, hadn't been exposed to this side of Naruto anywhere near as much as Sakura, so she opened the door, intent on continuing their investigation. She hadn't bothered to activate her Byakugan since the clues were so obvious, which is why she blundered into the room to see her surrogate big brother leaning against the bedpost, with an extremely beautiful dusky skinned, redheaded woman leaning on his chest. They were thankfully covered by a sheet so she didn't get an eyeful of her breasts.

"Naruto, who are these girls and why have they come into our bedroom?" The woman asked, pinning the blushing teenage girls with her slitted crimson eyes.

"The pink one is my teammate Sakura and the other one is my sort of little sister, Hinata." Naruto explained, completely unbothered by the fact that they had walked in on them. He had heard the knock just fine, but he hadn't felt like getting up or shouting for them to come in.

He hadn't missed that Xanna said 'our' bedroom, which made his face stretch into a ridiculously wide grin.

"Ah, sorry! We saw the bloodstains and thought that something might have happened." Sakura rushed to explain with her face on fire.

"Something did happen." Naruto said, his grin widening even further. He was still feeling a bit high from having Xanna call him 'beloved'. "The bloodstains are just a little side effect of a very enthusiastic hello."

The kunoichi still had their faces flaming, unable to muster any kind response.

"I see, so these are the ones you told me about." The demoness said as she rose from the bed and walked closer to them, not at all concerned over the fact that she was naked. "For a moment I thought that you ordered some extra entertainment." She leered at the two girls, making it clear what kind of entertainment she was talking about.

While Naruto laughed at the words and the brick red faces of the two girls, Sakura and Hinata were struggling not to pass out from embarrassment.

"Naruto, maybe you should introduce us to your guest?" Sakura asked, desperately trying to cling to some semblance of normalcy. This tall and exotic, not to mention dangerous looking woman was throwing her composure completely out of whack. The fact that she was completely naked was not helping matters.

"Oh, sure. Sakura, Hinata, this is Xanna, someone very dear to me." Naruto introduced.

"A pleasure to meet you." Hinata said with a bow, falling back on her training in manners to get through the ordeal. She had managed to get rid of her stutter, but she was still just about ready to die where she stood.

"Why yes, it is a pleasure to meet me isn't it?" Xanna said, flashing her fangs at the two girls with a grin. Naruto wasn't the only one in a good mood at being reunited again.

Neither one of the two kunoichi were sure how to react to that incredibly egotistical statement, but brushed it off easily enough. Naruto had his own share of egotistical moments.

Naruto had by now stood up, though he had wrapped the sheet around his waist, for which both Sakura and Hinata were glad. When the blond walked closer to them, they could see just how much bigger he was.

"Wow, you got even bigger." Sakura muttered as Xanna moved into the living room to collect her discarded yukata.

"That's what she said." Naruto said with a grin.

"Pervert! That's not what I meant!" Sakura yelled at her teammate.

"But it is what I meant." Xanna said as she returned, now fully dressed, fortunately for Sakura's and Hinata's blood pressure.

"I can't believe it Naruto, you found a woman that's just as shameless as you." Sakura said, having learned the trick of retaining her ability to speak even when horribly embarrassed thanks to Naruto.

"Oh, but I've known Naruto for a long time now." Xanna said.

"Indeed she has, she was the one who took my virginity you know. I was just a poor, clueless 16 year old when she took advantage of me for the first time." Naruto said with an obviously fake sniffle.

"As if you haven't been whacking off to the thought of me since you were 11. " Xanna said dismissively.

To Sakura's glee Naruto actually blushed, which was something she had never seen before. It was glorious to see someone embarrassing the blond for a change. She already liked this woman.

"But I do agree that you were clueless, you didn't know the first thing about what to do with a woman aside from sticking it in."

"Ah, you knew about that did you?" Naruto asked, managing to get his momentary embarrassment under control. There was nothing to be ashamed of if he found her attractive he told himself, though having something like that announced was a bit embarrassing even for him.

"Of course I knew. Considering our previous living arrangement, it would have been hard not to know." She retorted, referring to the fact that she had been sealed inside him at the time.

"Hey, when did Hinata pass out?" Naruto suddenly asked, noticing that the Hyuuga heiress was conked out on the floor.

"I think it was when I mentioned you whacking off." The demoness said dryly.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

"Oi, Teuchi, how about a bowl of ramen to celebrate my return." Naruto called to the ramen chef as he entered his favorite food stand.

"Naruto, you're back! One bowl of ramen coming right up." Teuchi answered jovially, happy that the blond was back in the village.

He had never regretted giving him the occasional free bowl when he's still been a boy. That small and half starved boy had become a strong man and more importantly to Teuchi, someone who had always watched out for Ayame. He knew that he could always count on Naruto to take care of his daughter no matter what. He would have tried to nudge them into a relationship if he didn't know that their bond was a purely a brother-sister type of thing.

Aside from that...

"Hey old man, where's Ayame today? I was hoping to catch up with her a bit."

"Oh, Ayame only comes to help me out occasionally these days." Teuchi said.

"Why's that?" Naruto asked curiously, but with some suspicion as well.

"My little Ayame-chan is a married woman now, and expecting a baby on top of it." Teuchi said with a fatherly sniffle. The kind of sniffle all fathers gain the ability to produce when their daughter isn't their little girl anymore.

…Aside from that, Ayame had gotten married while Naruto was gone.

Naruto froze while this information penetrated his brain. He re-examined the words three times to make sure that he was hearing right. After the third time of going over it, he had to conclude that there was no possible way to take that any other way.

Ayame got married while I was gone.

My big sister is married and pregnant

Ayame went out with a guy that I haven't checked out before hand.

Ayame is pregnant.

SOMEONE HAD SEX WITH AYAME AND I WASN'T HERE TO PUT THE FEAR OF GOD INTO HIM.

"Who was it?" Naruto asked with a lot more calm than he felt.

"You mean who did she marry?" Teuchi clarified.

"Yes."

"An Inuzuka Masaru, decent guy. Came here to get something to eat and asked Ayame out. He treated her real nice and they hit it off. They got married last year and Ayame learned that she was pregnant just over a month ago." Teuchi said and looked at Naruto again, only to see the swinging of the curtains.

"I hope he doesn't start a clan feud with the Inuzuka." Teuchi muttered to himself.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

The Inuzuka were a fairly rowdy clan that didn't put much stock in tradition or 'appropriate behavior'. Thanks to the countless dogs that they kept on the grounds, it was never particularly quiet in their compound. They were also the only clan aside from the Hyuuga and the now functionally extinct Uchiha to have a wall, though in their case it was for the practical purpose of keeping the dogs in, rather than to make themselves feel important.

All of this meant that the only kind of peace and quiet that ever existed in the Inuzuka compound was relative peace and quiet.

The relative peace and quiet of the Inuzuka compound was shattered when the heavy gate that served as an entrance to the compound was kicked off it's hinges and sent crashing a good dozen feet away.

"AYAME!" Came the bellow that informed every Inuzuka currently in the compound of the reason for all the commotion.

Inuzuka Hana was the first to arrive on the scene, by dint of being the closest. The Haimaru brothers, her triplet nin dogs growled threateningly at the intruder, baring their teeth at him.

Naruto, impatient to see his big sister and in absolutely no mood to deal with with a pack of dogs, pointed his hand at them and growled back even more threateningly, baring his own set of teeth at them.

Hana watched incredulously as her triplets yelped and lowered their heads submissively, letting out soft whines.

What. The. Hell.

Nin dogs weren't supposed to react like that! Especially not to a human. They were trained and bred to be extremely intelligent and to not react with fear so easily. The fact that this blond, who she could recognize as Uzumaki Naruto thanks to his rather distinctive mode of dress, could intimidate her triplets into submission with just a growl could only mean that they could sense that he was hopelessly out of their league.

"Naruto, you're back!" Came a happy shout and a brown haired blur crashed into the huge blond.

"You've gotten so big!" Ayame said as she hugged him tightly around the neck, hanging quite a good distance in the air when Naruto lifted her. Though he was careful about squeezing around her slightly swollen belly, keeping in mind that she was pregnant.

"What's going on?" The newly arrived Tsume asked her daughter, observing the happy reunion.

"Looks like Naruto came back to the village and heard that Ayame married into our clan. Kiba did warn us that he might overreact a bit." Hana muttered back at her mother.

"Just a bit yeah..." Tsume said absently, looking at the busted gate. That was going to be expensive to repair.

When Masaru had first started dating Ayame, Kiba had warned him about how protective Naruto was of his surrogate big sister. He had also warned them that he might be prone to a rather extreme reaction when hearing that Ayame had gotten married while he was away.

"What's this I hear about my big sister getting married and pregnant while I was gone?" Naruto asked.

"Nothing too dramatic about it Naruto, I just met a guy I liked and went on a date with him. Things went great and he asked me to marry him and a short while ago I found out that I was pregnant." Ayame explained with an eye roll. "Nothing that you needed to break down the gate for."

"My big sister is married and pregnant, damn straight that it's worth breaking down the gate for." Naruto refuted. "Now where is this guy that thinks he's good enough for you?"

Ayame led him towards a man that looked to be somewhere in his mid twenties. He had the usual wild brown hair of the Inuzuka, though perhaps slightly more tame than most. His eyes were black and lacking the animalistic slit that a few of the clan members had and he had the usual red fang markings on his cheeks that only Inuzuka shinobi carried. He was a fairly handsome looking guy, though nothing out of the ordinary. Slightly above average height and wearing a vest that marked him as either a Chunin or Jounin. Next to him was a light brown nin dog. In short he was nothing overly special looking.

"Naruto, this is my husband Inuzuka Masaru. Masaru-kun, this is my little brother Uzumaki Naruto." Ayame introduced.

Little brother...right.

Was Masaru's first thought as he looked up at the towering mountain of muscle looming over him and giving him a narrow eyed look that was just shy of being a glare.

Like most Inuzuka, Masaru was a somewhat brash individual, though by the standards of his clan he was rather tame. He knew that he wasn't any kind of powerhouse and wasn't ever likely to become one, but that was fine with him. He was an upper level Chunin that had been hoping to advance to Jounin before he'd met Ayame. Now that he was married and had a child on the way, he had reconsidered getting a promotion, as he didn't want to risk getting killed on the more difficult missions that Jounin received and leaving Ayame and his child alone.

He had been aware that this particular confrontation was coming ever since Kiba had told him that Ayame had an overprotective brother figure in the Kyuubi Jinchuuriki, Uzumaki Naruto. He didn't have anything against Naruto for holding the Kyuubi, but he had been a bit skeptical when Kiba had warned him about how intimidating Naruto could be.

He was glad that Kiba was out training with his team right now, because he was sure that he would have been hearing an 'I told you so' from him right about now.

His nin dog had already softly growled to him that the blond was incredibly dangerous, but that much was obvious just by looking at him, not to mention that he had to be monstrously strong to have kicked the heavy gate right off it's hinges hard enough to send it flying a dozen feet.

Neither one of them had said anything yet, just having a staring contest. The watching Inuzuka were quiet as they observed, none of them could begrudge the blond for coming to check if his sister was alright. They understood that the pack was everything and it was only natural that any newcomers were to be scrutinized to see if they were worthy.

Unlike clans like the Uchiha and Hyuuga, Blood ties weren't considered all that important to the Inuzuka, which meant that if Ayame said Naruto was her brother, then he was her brother and that was all there was to it. The two afore mentioned clans would have been outraged that Naruto dared judge them when he wasn't even a blood relation. Not that the stuck up pricks would even allow someone like Ayame to marry into their clan in the first place.

Tsume and Hana had moved towards Ayame, quietly telling her not to interfere, even though she was worried about the tense atmosphere and staring contest, not quite understanding what was going on.

Masaru stood his ground and didn't avert his eyes, not wanting to be judged as a coward even though he knew he was out of his league. The blond might technically be a Genin but there was an air of danger around him that meant far more to any competent fighter than a rank ever would. He loved Ayame and wouldn't back down in front of her brother's scrutiny.

A few more tense moments passed before Naruto's lips slowly peeled away from his teeth and he gave a low, threatening growl towards the considerably smaller Masaru.

Masaru struggled to keep his eyes locked on the blue ones of the much bigger blond now. The raw presence that he was exuding was less that of a pack alpha and more like that of an apex predator, someone who had no natural predators, because he was the biggest, meanest and most dangerous thing around. He didn't bar his own teeth at the blond, somehow knowing with absolute certainty that the Uzumaki would understand the inherent threat and challenge in a gesture like that. At long last, Naruto finally stopped trying to wordlessly intimidate Masaru and instead gave a small grin and placed his hand on the Inuzuka's shoulder.

"You better take good care of her, or we'll be having problems." The blond said pleasantly without any kind of threat.

"Of course Naruto-san, I will always treat Ayame-chan like a princess." Masaru said politely.

"Good, but don't call me 'Naruto-san'. Honorifics are for puss*es." Was Naruto's reply to that as he walked back towards a relieved looking Ayame.

"Too bad he's not an Inuzuka, he'd be clan head within a week." Tsume muttered to her daughter, who could only nod in agreement.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

"So how did your visit to Naruto go?" Ino asked Sakura as they went for lunch together. Both of them were getting training as medic-nin, though only Sakura was Tsunade's apprentice and as a result both of them also worked in the hospital when they weren't on missions. They were just now taking a lunch break from the constant pressure of working in a hospital.

"Embarrassing as usual." Sakura muttered.

"Oh?" Ino leaned forward in interest. This sounded juicy.

"Hinata and I walked in and found the place a mess, furniture overturned, clothes scattered on the floor and bloodstains on the walls and floor."

"Sounds like there was a fight." Ino commented.

"Yeah that's what we thought, but it turned out to be some very rough sex instead. We walked in on him in bed with someone, though fortunately for my sanity, they were just cuddling." Sakura grumbled sourly.

Ino laughed at her friend's misfortune and asked another question. "Any woman that we know?"

"I've never seen her before, I would have remembered her for sure. She had much darker skin than anyone in Konoha and a very vibrant shade of red hair and..."

"Slitted red eyes, plus fanged teeth just like Naruto?" Ino finished.

"How did you know?" Sakura asked in confusion.

"I've heard some rumors about Naruto going on a date with a woman like that not long before he left the village. Also, Shikamaru asked me if I knew anything about a woman like that, because he'd apparently seen her in Naruto's apartment when he went to get Naruto for the mission where...Sasuke died." Ino finished quietly, knowing that Sakura didn't like to be reminded about the loss of her teammate.

Sakura's eyes dulled a bit, but she didn't let it get to her too much. It had been three years since then and she didn't want to end up like her sensei who spent a lot of his free time staring at a monument.

"I never managed to find out anything about her, not her name, not where she lives, not even a single person seems to know anything about her." Ino continued.

"Her name is Xanna, she might live with Naruto, but I'm not sure. I do know that she's known Naruto for a long time now though. Naruto also said that she was someone very dear to him." Sakura informed her friend.

"What a strange name, it doesn't sound like any name I've ever heard." Ino mused. "How do you know that she's known Naruto for a long time though?"

"Naruto said that she was the one that took his virginity when he was 16." Sakura said with a small blush.

"Well that's not that long ago, just a year before he made Genin." Ino commented.

Sakura shifted uncomfortably, catching Ino's attention immediately. "Whatever it is, spill. I can already tell that it's something good." Ino was like a bloodhound, bur for gossip.

"She also said that Naruto had been...masturbating to the thought of her since he was 11." Sakura managed to say, her face burning pink.

Ino laughed, blushing a bit herself. "She just said that? In front of Naruto?"

"Yeah, it was the only time I've ever seen Naruto blush, though it was only for a short while." Sakura said and paused before continuing. "Though she didn't say 'masturbat*d', she said that he was 'whacking off'."

Ino burst into surprised laughter again. "Sounds like Naruto's rubbed off on her a bit."

"I think it's probably the other way around." Sakura corrected. "She's just as shameless about nudity as Naruto and seems to find it funny to make crass jokes like him too."

"What kind of jokes?" Ino asked in interest. This was the best damn gossip she'd heard in years.

"She said that she thought that Naruto had ordered some extra entertainment when Hinata and I showed up, implying that she thought we were prostitutes." Sakura revealed with resignation. She knew that if she didn't tell her, then Ino was going to badger it out of Hinata.

"I'm sure you'd be quite the attraction as a pink haired prostitute. Hinata would do well with that figure of hers too." Ino snigg*red.

"Ha ha," Sakura laughed sarcastically. "you think it's funny now, but with the way you dress, I wouldn't be surprised if she invited you to join in right away without even bothering to confirm if you're a prostitute or not."

Ino gave an affronted look at her friend before replying. "I'll have you know that I'm much too refined and beautiful to be mistaken for a prostitute."

"Sure you are." Was Sakura's sarcastic answer.

The two of them quieted for a moment before Ino asked another question. "So how old do you think this Xanna is? If she's known Naruto for that long, then she must be either pretty old already, or maybe they're childhood friends and Naruto had a crush on her."

Sakura opened her mouth to answer but closed it soon after, a confused frown showing up on her face. "I...don't know. She was easily the most beautiful and exotic woman I've ever seen, but I can't place her age. She could be anywhere from 20 to an extremely well aged 40."

Ino's eyebrows climbed up her forehead in surprise. "That's quite the age gap. Funny thing is, Shikamaru couldn't make an estimation of her age either."

"Some people get all the good genes." Sakura grumbled, thinking of Hinata's amazing boobs and the almost supernatural beauty of the crimson haired Xanna.

"I know forehead, it's a curse to be beautiful like me." Ino said dramatically.

"I was thinking of Hinata and Xanna actually." Sakura corrected. "And don't even try to pretend that you aren't jealous of Hinata's boobs." The pinkette cut of her friend who had just opened her mouth to make some kind of egotistical claim on her own beauty.

Ino pouted at being cut off before she could even say anything. And damn Sakura for being right about her envy of Hinata's boobs. Those things had no right being attached to a girl that still hadn't stopped developing.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

"So, what did you two want to talk to me about?" Naruto asked, sitting down and drinking the tea that Anko had prepared in a single gulp, completely lacking any and all manners.

He had come across Anko and Kurenai not long after making his way out of the Inuzuka compound and the two women had asked to talk to him right away. It had sounded fairly important and he didn't have anything pressing he needed to do, so he had no problem agreeing to this meeting.

Anko's eyebrow twitched in irritation. Tea ceremonies were a hobby of hers and having someone gulp it down like water was more than slightly irritating. It was one of the only things that she actually found annoying about Naruto.

"Well, there's something that we wanted and we felt that you were the best person to ask." Kurenai said vaguely, not really revealing anything.

Naruto looked curious, clearly waiting for the Genjutsu mistress to elaborate.

"Nai-chan and I have talked this over several times while you've been gone and decided that you were the best man for the job." Anko said, just as vaguely.

"Well are you going to tell me what this is about or not?" Naruto prodded, feeling just a bit irritated with their circling around the subject.

"We want a baby." Kurenai blurted out.

Naruto froze and stared at the two fidgeting women for a full minute without saying anything.

"You want a baby?" He asked slowly, making the two women look at each other and nod.

"And you want me to get you pregnant?" He asked again, equally slowly.

"Just me, Anko's younger and says that she could carry the second one." Kurenai said quickly.

"Second one?" Naruto asked, still with the same blank expression and slow tone as before.

"If you'd be willing to father a second one that is." The Genjutsu mistress was quick to add.

"I'm really not comfortable with that idea." The blond said with a more normal tone.

"We wouldn't hold you to any responsibility, all we're asking for is a baby. You wouldn't need to be there as a father." Kurenai tried to reassure.

"Wham bam, thank you ma'am." Anko couldn't resist adding, garnering a dirty look from Kurenai. "What?" Kurenai just shook her head and focused back on the blond.

"I'm not comfortable just getting you pregnant and then pretending that the baby isn't mine." Naruto explained.

"Oh." Kurenai said in realization. "Well, then you could join in!" The Genjutsu mistress said, with just a little too much enthusiasm in her voice. She blushed when both Anko and Naruto looked at her oddly.

"What have you been doing to her for the past 3 years Anko? The Kurenai that I first met for Genjutsu practice would never have even considered something like this." Naruto asked dryly.

"Well there's this thing I do with my tongue..." Anko started to explain, only to be interrupted.

"Anko!" Kurenai exclaimed with a fiery blush. Naruto looked a bit disappointed that he wouldn't get to hear what Anko could do with her tongue.

"I'm not comfortable with that either, so I'm going to have to decline." Naruto said and stood up.

"Please? You're the only man whose child I would even consider having." Kurenai pleaded and stood up as well, moving towards him.

"I'll even demonstrate that thing I can do with my tongue." Anko bribed, also moving towards the blond.

"Why not just adopt? There's plenty of orphans out there who would be thrilled at having you as parents." Naruto fended off.

"But Naruto-kun, we really want your babies!" Both women whined cutely in unison.

Naruto himself was severely freaked out by this. Both women were acting way out of character and he just wanted to get away from them for a while. At least until they stopped trying to use him as a sperm donor.

Seeing their hands moving towards his pants, Naruto jumped out the window, making a daring escape from two hot women trying to have sex with him.

Several moments passed in silence, before it was broken by the hysterical laughter of Anko and Kurenai. The two of them were laughing so hard that they couldn't even breathe and tears were streaming from their eyes.

"Did you...did you see his face?" Anko howled as she collapsed on the couch, holding on to a similarly hysterical Genjutsu mistress.

"He..he looked so terrified!" Kurenai managed to say in between her giggles and gasps for breath.

It took nearly 10 minutes for the two of them to calm down, since they couldn't help bursting into uncontrollable laughter every time they looked at each other.

"Oh damn that was funny." Anko said while wiping the tears from her eyes.

It had taken quite a while, but after consulting Kurenai on it, Anko had finally figured out how to get back at Naruto for making her squirt all over the Genjutsu mistress just before he'd left. It had only taken minimal convincing to get Kurenai on board for the prank, much to Anko's surprise and delight.

They knew enough about Naruto to know that he wasn't the type of guy that would be able to ignore any of his possible offspring, but Kurenai also knew that he didn't want to get involved and start a family yet. So they had come up with this simple, but entirely believable request and just kept getting more insistent with it until his nerve broke and he made a desperate getaway.

"But you know, I really would like a baby." Kurenai said suddenly, making Anko freeze.

"Naruto clearly isn't interested in giving us any and what he said about there being plenty of orphans in need of parents was true." She continued musingly, ignoring Anko's ever more panicked expression.

"What do you say to the idea of adopting one or two?" She asked, turning towards her lover.

"I...errr...I think that I hear the dango stand owner saying that he's got a discount! Ha ha." Anko exclaimed and laughed so fakely that even a goldfish would have sweatdropped.

Kurenai had no chance to reply as the snake summoner jumped out of the same window as Naruto.

The Genjutsu mistress leaned back on the couch, legs crossed and arms draped over the backrest, completely unperturbed about Anko's great escape and chuckled to herself some more.

"That'll teach Anko to squirt all over me while I'm passed out. 'He made me do it' my ass." She said to the empty apartment.

Kurenai was quite pleased with herself for getting Anko with her own prank, but she really did want some kids. She was over 30 years old now and wasn't getting any younger. Anko would come around to her way of thinking soon enough. And if she didn't, well then she wouldn't be getting any sex until she did.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

"How's it hanging Kakashi-sensei?" Naruto asked as he approached the still form of the silver haired Jounin, who was staring at the memorial stone as usual.

"Oh, you know, same old, same old." Kakashi said with an eye smile, pleased to see his now much bigger student.

"I've got something for you." Naruto said, making the cyclopean Jounin look at him in interest.

"A souvenir from your training trip?"

"Not exactly." Naruto refuted and brought out two books, making Kakashi's eyes gleam with sudden interest.

"Are those...?" He asked reverently.

"Yep." Naruto confirmed.

"But two? Jiraiya-sama must have been very inspired to have written two full books. He usually takes several years to write one book."

"He was inspired alright." Naruto said with a grin at the memory.

"The first one is Icha Icha: Tactics and it will be released to the public soon." The blond said and handed Kakashi the green colored book. The Jounin opened the book and inhaled the scent of paper, giving a disturbingly happy sigh considering that it was just a book.

"This next one is called Icha Icha: Shibari and it isn't supposed to be released for nearly a year." He gave the one eyed Jounin the steel colored book.

Kakashi held it even more reverently, just dying to start reading, especially considering the name of the book.

"Thank you so much Naruto, this is the best present a student has ever given me." Kakashi said with another eye smile.

"How many presents have your students ever given you?" Naruto asked dryly.

"Excluding this one, none!" Kakashi said cheerfully. "But I'm sure that Sakura just misplaced her present for me in her sock drawer."

"Uh huh." Naruto drawled. "One other thing. Don't let Tsunade catch you reading the second book, or she might kill you."

Kakashi looked strangely at his student, not understanding why Tsunade would be extra upset with him reading this book.

"Turn to page 47."

Kakashi did so and began reading.

The well endowed warrior woman Tsuna struggled hard against the chains held by her adversary, the black cloaked marauder Runato, but it was no use, as the bindings were too strong. She had fallen for his trap and was now at his mercy, her legendary strength outmaneuvered by his skilled binding technique.

"You cannot hold me long in these chains! They will not resist my strength forever!" She spat at him defiantly.

"I am a master of shibari." Runato said with an ominous tone. "You will become my pet long before you manage to escape them."

"I will never submit to you! Even if I cannot escape on my own, then my faithful friend and servant Shune will free me." Tsuna declared with defiant certainty.

"I believe that I need to silence that defiant mouth before we proceed." Runato spoke and fastened a red rubber ballgag to her mouth, preventing Tsuna from doing more than mumbling.

"As for your friend and servant Shune..."

"You called master?" Came a voice that sent a spike of despair into Tsuna's heart.

She turned to see her dearest friend, also in chains and clearly having already submitted.

"She is already mine!"

Tsuna screamed her despair into the ball gagging her, causing drops of her own spittle to land on her breasts, which caused Runato's eyes to gleam with interest.

Kakashi stopped reading and looked at his blond student, feeling rather stunned.

"Did this actually happen and is Jiraiya-sama suicidal to write it down where Tsunade-sama can read it?"

"Well...it didn't happen exactly like that and Shizune definitely wasn't involved, but I did put Tsunade in chains once. As for Jiraiya...well the man is far too easily controlled by his loins." Naruto answered.

Kakashi gazed at his student for a long while before speaking. "I have no idea how you're even alive right now, but you must truly be some kind of god among men to be able to get away with something like that."

Naruto sweatdropped at the words, feeling that Kakashi was really going overboard with the praise. "Tsunade isn't that bad if you know how to handle her you know."

Kakashi just shook his head at his student. The blond just didn't understand what an impossibility he had achieved.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

"Godaime-sama! We've just received an emergency message from Suna. The Kazekage has been kidnapped by Akatsuki!" The messenger said urgently as she entered the Hokage's office.

Naruto palmed his face and groaned. He knew exactly where this was going. It looked like he wasn't going to be able to take it easy for a while and enjoy the changed relationship between him and Xanna.

"Team 7, I'm sending you to Suna to help them retrieve the Kazekage."

Yep, life was that predictable.

It wasn't that he was opposed to helping Gaara out again, but damnit was this sh*t poorly timed.

Oh well, at least he would get to try out how well his best piece of Fuinjutsu worked in a fight against S-rank shinobi. Nothing like a live exercise to work out the kinks.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Notes:

And that is it for chapter the thirteenth. A little shorter than usual, but I didn't want to write something pointless just for the sake of making it longer.

Now give me reviews, so that I can get my motivation for writing. Reader response is apparently like crack to a writer.

Chapter 14

Notes:

DISCLAIMER: *insert standard disclaimer here*

Review responses:

Guest: The questions about Xanna from the rest of the rookies is up and coming later.

Akshat: Not to worry, I'm intending to avoid using the tired old 'Hiraishin teleport spam instant win button.'

Evamaster: I've got some ideas for that. Or more accurately, I had ideas for that but I forgot them and you've now reminded me of it xD.

ssaeed: That shall be revealed later on.

MWRANDOM: There will be a section with Naruto's thought on the matter of his training trip. Also, Naruto wasn't necessarily better at seals than Jiraiya, but he certainly was more inventive and branching out into more esoteric uses of it.

Arch Zell: I don't know where you got the idea that Naruto was basically Goku xD, they don't seem at all alike to me, except maybe for the musclyness.

Pepperoni Muncher: I'd tell you what I plan to do, but that would be spoilers hue hue hue xD.

Destroyerz: It's explained in the chapter, but basically he missed Xanna and didn't feel like it. Even guys can be 'not in the mood' :P.

PILLPUSHR: I am sensing that you are having impure thoughts and just want me to write a foursome, quite possibly using the 'can't have children' thing as an excuse :P.

BlackKnight94: But that's just one word :P.

Kazuma Kannagi: That is...a secret xD.

Slytherin's Pimp: I can't answer that question due to spoilerz.

Volodar Myru: A fair point. I'll see about addressing that in a future chapter.

Hossein-movie: I already know how I want to end it, but thanks for the offer anyway.

Zomvee:I just kind of made that omake up. Reader Rejection huh? Is that related to Premature Release of Reading Material?...if you know what I mean.

I would like to give a big thanks to everyone who reviewed the previous chapter. It was the most reviews I've ever gotten for a single chapter so far and I'm glad you all liked it. I hadn't thought that the story would get such a positive reception when I posted the first chapter.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Sakura and Kakashi were starting to get a bit disturbed by the huge grin on Naruto's face as they made their way through the trees. They were well aware that he enjoyed a good fight, but it seemed unnatural to be so happy about the prospect of fighting two S-class missing nin.

Contrary to what they thought, S-class missing nin were the last thing on his mind. Naruto's thoughts were entirely focused on the fact that Xanna had apparently fallen in love with him. He'd thought that the whole training trip was a nothing more than a giant waste of time, but apparently it had done some good. A lot of good actually. He'd been pissed off at the fact that Tsunade had agreed with Jiraiya and made him go, but apparently she had done him a huge favor by accident. He'd have to get her some nice booze for that one.

Honestly, he and Jiraiya hadn't been doing anything that they couldn't have done in Konoha. In fact it would have been more productive to stay in Konoha for training, since it would have provided a stable base of operations. Most of his training during those three years was actually all his doing rather than Jiraiya, but that was fine. He'd been researching several things with Fuinjutsu that the toad sage would no doubt be quite disturbed about.

He knew that it was distinctly possible that he would have to become a missing nin thanks to his goal of becoming powerful enough to equal Xanna, but right now that was neither wise nor practical. If it had been he would have told them to shove their training trip where the sun didn't shine.

He hoped it wouldn't come to that though, seeing as Ayame, Hinata, Tenten, Tsunade and hell even Sakura were a part of Konoha. Most of the rest of the village could go up in flames for all he cared, but he would miss them. But he wasn't enough of an optimist to think that staying would be an option if it was ever discovered that Xanna was the Kyuubi.

Idiot humans and their irrational fears.

That last thought was actually more like something that Xanna would say.

Naruto started grinning again at the thought of her. Life was good right now and the two idiot missing nin who thought that taking him away from his lady was a good idea were going to get their asses kicked.

"Hey, isn't that Temari-san?" Sakura asked, spying the distinctive fan, black battle dress and four pony tails in the distance. "We should take her with us, she'll want to know about her brother."

"Relax brah, I got this." Naruto said enthusiastically, still feeling entirely too happy for the situation.

Sakura developed a tick mark at being called 'brah'. "That better not have been a crack about the size of my breasts." She grumbled and Kakashi kept his amusem*nt firmly hidden.

The Suna kunoichi in question was walking slowly on the path back towards Suna, taking advantage of the fact that she wasn't in a hurry in order to enjoy the trip through the forest.

"Temari!" The shout of her name in a deep, but vaguely familiar voice caused her to turn around.

Just in time to see a flash of black and blond before she was tossed over a man's wide shoulder.

"Got her!" The man carrying her called, much to her alarm. Was she being kidnapped?

"Naruto, you can't just grab her like that!" A protesting female voice said and Temari saw the distinctively pink hair of Sakura, who she had spoken with a few times in the past 3 years. It also revealed that apparently she wasn't being kidnapped, but that it was just Naruto being as crazy as Sakura had always claimed he was.

Temari had been skeptical about it before, considering that this was the man that had done so much to help Gaara, but this firmly erased all doubt.

"Naruto, put me down!" She insisted.

"No can do, we've got a Kazekage to rescue and there's no time to waste with explanations." Naruto said back, not stopping.

"What happened to Gaara?" Temari asked in alarm.

"He's been kidnapped by Akatsuki, Hokage-sama sent us to help retrieve him since we have more experience with Akatsuki." Kakashi explained. "But you really should put her down Naruto, you're making us look like kidnappers."

"Garaa's been taken by Akatsuki?" Temari asked in surprise and horror. She knew that every wasted moment meant that her little brother was closer to death if Akatsuki had him.

"Don't worry sugar panties, we'll get your little brother back." Naruto reassured, firmly placed his hand on her ass and gave it a 'comforting' squeeze, completely ignoring what Kakashi said.

Temari yelped and shouted at the blond from where she was draped over his shoulder. "What the hell are you doing?"

"Your ass is firmer than it used to be, have you been working out?" Naruto asked, not answering her question.

"How the hell would you know that?! You've never touched my ass before!" The Suna kunoichi yelled at him, trying unsuccessfully to wiggle out of his grasp.

"I haven't?" Naruto asked in seeming confusion before shrugging and continuing. "Oh well, I've touched a lot of asses, I must have mixed them up."

"Put. Me. Down." Temari ground out.

Naruto listened this time and set her down on her feet. Temari immediately rounded on him and punched him in the gut. She would have hit him in the face, but he was too big to reach comfortably.

Naruto just grinned down at the infuriated woman, not at all phased by her punch. It would take a lot more than that to hurt him.

Sakura could only sigh and shake her head at her blond teammate. Apparently her memory of just how exasperating he could be had dulled a bit while he was gone, but it sure hadn't taken him long to remind her.

"You said that Gaara has been kidnapped by Akatsuki. Do you know anything else?" Temari asked, her worry returning.

"No, but don't worry, we'll save him." Sakura tried to reassure.

Seeing that the Suna kunoichi was still looking worried, Naruto groped her ass again, causing her to chase after him, intent on clubbing him over the head with her fan.

"I can't believe he's doing that even on a mission this important." Sakura groaned.

"Actually, I think that in this case he's doing it to take Temari's mind off her brother for a while. It seems to be working too." Kakashi observed as the kunoichi in question kept chasing after her fellow blond, directly towards Sunagakure.

"You really think he isn't just being a pervert as usual?" The pinkette asked dryly.

Kakashi shrugged. It could be either one if he was honest.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Kakashi, Sakura, Naruto and Chiyo were in a tense standoff with the impassive figure of Uchiha Itachi, his black cloaked form preventing any further pursuit of Gaara until he was defeated.

It had taken entirely too long for Naruto's tastes to get to this point. None of the others had anywhere close to his level of stamina and had needed far more rest than him. Temari had eventually stopped attempting to murder him for the groping, though it had taken quite a while. Then when they finally got to Sunagakure, they had to stand around and wait again to even find out in which direction they needed to go. Fortunately Kankuro had provided that, otherwise this would have been a completely useless trip.

Naruto had been impressed with Sakura's progress as a medic-nin. He knew that it usually took years of training to get even halfway proficient in that particular field. Tsunade must be a slave driver as a teacher.

The little incident with the senile old woman attempting to murder Kakashi because she thought he was his father had been pretty funny. Apparently Kakashi's old man had killed her child and in-law, tough break that.

But returning to the matter at hand, Itachi had apparently showed up to delay them because they still hadn't finished extracting the Ichibi from Gaara, which was both good and bad. Good, because they weren't too late and bad, because Itachi was a grade A badass and might be trouble to deal with. Chiyo seemed to think that Akatsuki was intending to create their own Jinchuuriki, but Naruto doubted that. It was possible of course, but it seemed just a bit strange that a group like them would spring up at just about the same time as Xanna had been sealed. Naruto thought that he might be a bit paranoid for thinking that, but considering what his favorite demoness had told him about the origins of the Bijuu, he felt that he was entitled to a bit of paranoia.

"Naruto-san, Kakashi-san, it has been a long time since we've seen each other." Itachi said in his customary monotone.

"That it has, we were seven years old the last time I saw you." Naruto said back.

"I heard that you killed my little brother." Itachi said, again in monotone.

"Not because I wanted to." Naruto answered with a slight grimace. "The idiot just wouldn't stop attacking me until things got out of hand. He actually called me 'Itachi' once during our fight you know."

The Uchiha said nothing, simply staring into Naruto's blue eyes with his own Sharingan ones.

"Are you upset that I killed him, or are you upset that you didn't get to do it yourself?" Naruto asked.

Itachi didn't visibly react, but he felt a stab of guilt and anger in his heart. Had he gone too far that night? Would Sasuke have been alive if he hadn't used the Tsukuyomi on him? Aside from his own self recrimination, he couldn't help being angry at Naruto. Surely the blond could have disabled Sasuke without killing him?

"You will go no further." Itachi said blandly, ignoring Naruto's question.

"It is fortunate that there are four of us." Chiyo began speaking. "Fighting a Sharingan user alone is often a recipe for disaster, but since we outnumber him, we can attack from multiple directions and prevent him from using his Sharingan against more than one of us. Also, if we get caught in any of his Genjutsu, the others can break it." She finished, recalling the strategy that had long ago been developed for fighting against Uchiha.

"Normally, that would work, but Itachi has the Mangenkyo Sharingan. The Genjutsu cast by the Mangenkyo run their full duration in an instant. The victim will feel the full effects of the illusion, as if 3 three days have passed. Don't look him in the eyes." Kakashi added, remembering far too well what it felt like to be stabbed with a sword for what felt like a small eternity.

Naruto completely ignored the advice of his sensei and stared Itachi dead in the eye. He had nothing to fear from Genjutsu any more, his chakra having condensed to the point that he didn't even need to do anything in order to be immune to Genjutsu. The Tsukuyomi might still be a problem, but until Itachi manifested the Mangenkyo Sharingan, he would be fine.

Reaching inside his coat, Naruto pulled out a pair of black gloves and put them on. The gloves didn't look like anything special, aside from the metal studs on the knuckles. Sakura looked curious about the addition, but didn't question her teammate, knowing that this was hardly the time. Though she was curious as to why he would wear gloves now, when he had never bothered wearing any before.

"It's time for you to come with me, Naruto-san." Itachi said and slowly pointed a finger at the blond.

Naruto raised an eyebrow and chuckled at the Uchiha.

"Did you just try to use a Genjutsu on me Itachi?"

Itachi's brow furrowed slightly in confusion. He had expected that Naruto would have charged at a non-existent shadow clone by now.

"I have as much chakra as the Yonbi, but compressed into a much smaller body. You might as well try to use your Genjutsu against a block of iron." Naruto said tauntingly. Xanna had told him that was the approximate amount of chakra that he had, and he was quite pleased. One of the things that he had been doing on his training trip was to use Fuinjutsu to artificially apply pressure to his chakra coils and force them to expand, just like what had happened when he had unsealed Xanna. It had taken a lot of careful experimentation to figure out how to do it without bursting his coils, not to mention how painful it was, but he felt that the end result was worth it.

Everyone gave him incredulous looks at hearing this, though outwardly Itachi looked as impassive as ever. There have been some shinobi who were said to have Bijuu levels of chakra, but at the very most, perhaps as much as the Ichibi. Hoshigaki Kisame was sometimes called 'The Tailed Beast Without a Tail', but he didn't have even close to the amount of chakra that Naruto had just laid claim to.

Of greater interest to them however was his apparent Genjutsu immunity. That was an enormous tactical advantage against someone like Itachi, who was a well known Genjutsu master.

"In that case...Naruto, do you think you can take him from the front, while the rest of us attack his blind spots?" Kakashi asked.

"No problem." The blond responded, an eager grin already pulling at his lips. "Lets kick this pig!"

Upon saying that, Naruto charged towards the Uchiha, who had been content to let them plan. His job was to delay them after all.

Naruto closed into Taijutsu range, intent on keeping Itachi busy so that the others could attack him freely. He rapidly found out what the difference between a Sharingan master and a novice like Sasuke was however, as Itachi saw through his every move and countered easily.

Before either Kakashi, Sakura or Chiyo could take advantage of Itachi's slight preoccupation, Naruto was kicked in the chest hard and sent flying off past Kakashi. He was far too sturdy to be at all injured by a hit like that, but it got him out of the fight while Itachi rapidly placed Sakura in a Genjutsu and maneuvered so that he could keep both her and Kakashi in sight, ignoring Chiyo for the moment as she seemed to be unsure of how to contribute to the fight.

Chiyo moved towards Sakura to release the Genjutsu while Naruto picked himself up and charged towards the Uchiha again.

Easily perceiving the threat, Itachi speedily weaved through hand seals.

"Katon: Hōsenka no Jutsu(Fire Release: Phoenix Fire Technique)!"

Kakashi dodged the torrent of fireballs that Itachi spat out and they continued on towards Naruto.

As Kakashi got into a short Taijutsu engagement with Itachi and locked eyes with him, Itachi attempted to place him in a Genjutsu, only to find it ineffectual.

"Hey Itachi, you know that technique just now?...learned it! Katon: Hōsenka no Jutsu(Fire Release: Phoenix Fire Technique)! " Naruto said and thrust his left palm outwards, spewing several fireballs towards the two Sharingan wielders, since he had seen his sensei create a shadow clone while Itachi had momentarily taken his attention away from the silver haired Jounin.

In addition to the fireballs, Naruto also used his wind manipulation to blow a powerful wind in the same direction, making the fireballs larger and hotter. He couldn't use a wind ninjutsu to save his life, due to the fact that he couldn't muster the control for it, but his absurd chakra capacity and density did allow him to saturate the air around him and force it to move. He'd probably used up three times as much chakra as Kakashi had to do that, but to him it was a drop in the bucket.

Itachi's eyes widened in a rare display of shock as he saw his own technique thrown back at him with even greater force, forcing him to swiftly evacuate the area or be torched. Unfortunately this also ruined Kakashi's idea of springing from the ground to attack Itachi from below.

Aside from Itachi, everyone else was also gawking at him, but Naruto paid it no mind, manifesting his chains and sending them to hound the Uchiha. Itachi rapidly felt the pressure of multiple relentless chains chasing him around, their spiked tips seeking to impale him. He didn't dare move towards Naruto, knowing that it would leave him surrounded by chains on all sides and he didn't know if Naruto could spawn more of them.

Left with no choice but to use another technique to force the blond to defend instead of attack, Itachi sped through hand seals again, using a different technique this time.

"Katon: Gōkakyū no Jutsu(Fire Release: Great Fireball Technique)!"

The large fireball roared towards Naruto, ripping apart the ground on the way. The blond didn't try to dodge, but instead raised his right palm. As soon as the fireball came close to his hand, it twisted weirdly and shrunk, seemingly absorbed into Naruto's hand. The blond raised his right hand and closed it into a fist, some smoke from the large fireball curling upwards from it.

"Learned it! Katon: Gōkakyū no Jutsu(Fire Release: Great Fireball Technique)!" The blond said with a grin, pointing his right palm towards Itachi again and created another wind to speed up and empower the fireball that had appeared from his palm without the use of any kind of hand seals.

Itachi could only stare in bafflement as a far more powerful version of his own technique came roaring at him. He tried to dodge, only to discover that his short lack of attention due to confusion had been enough to cost him the battle. Chains had come up from the ground and held his legs firmly in place, preventing any escape. The fireball blasted into him and 'killed' him, ejecting his spirit from the body he was occupying and returning him to his real body.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Itachi's hologram opened it's eyes in the cave where the Ichibi was being extracted, seeing that Kisame had also apparently been defeated a short while ago.

Itachi furrowed his brow slightly as he thought of the battle that he had just lost. He had no idea how it was possible for Naruto to just absorb his technique and learn it as if he had a Sharingan. The mystery of the technique being more powerful was easy enough to figure out, since he could see the chakra saturating the air around Naruto with his Sharingan. He couldn't figure out how the blond had used his own Ninjutsu against him though. He suspected some trickery to it, especially since Naruto had apparently fired both techniques from his palms instead of his mouth, but he couldn't figure out what the trick itself was.

Had that been a real battle, he would have been forced to use Susanoo to protect himself or Amaterasu to overpower it, which meant that Naruto had become a very dangerous man to be capable of forcing him to go that far.

"I guess me and Sasori no Danna will be capturing the Kyuubi Jinchuuriki as well as the Ichibi, yeah!" Deidara said, quite happy about getting one up on Itachi, whom he hated.

"Itachi, what can you tell us about the Kyuubi Jinchuuriki." Sasori asked in Hiruko's gravely voice.

Itachi stayed silent, thinking about what he should say and how much he should reveal. He wasn't going to mention Naruto's strange Ninjutsu absorbing ability, since he didn't know how it worked yet. Aside from that, he didn't really want anyone in Akatsuki killing or capturing Naruto.

"Answer him Itachi." Pain commanded in the distorted voice that the hologram gave him.

"He's the big one with the sharp teeth." Itachi said in monotone, revealing nothing of importance and cut the connection to the Magic Lantern Body technique.

If anyone was going to deal with Uzumaki Naruto, then it was going to be him.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Back in the clearing where Itachi had recently been defeated, the four of them had just finished figuring out that they hadn't killed Itachi after all, since the corpse belonged to a Sunagakure shinobi.

"Naruto, how in the world did you manage to mimic Itachi's techniques as if you had a Sharingan?" Sakura asked in disbelief and bafflement. "I thought that you couldn't use Ninjutsu, did you learn how to do it during your training trip with Jiraiya?"

Kakashi and Chiyo stayed silent, but were looking at Naruto intently, waiting for his answer.

"Nope, I still can't use Ninjutsu, in fact I can use it even less than before, but I did learn what you just saw during my training trip. Though Jiraiya had nothing to do with it, this is all my doing." Naruto said with a grin, enjoying their bafflement.

"But how could you do what you just did then, especially since you aren't fire natured?" Sakura asked again.

"The exact same way that all the best things in life are done, Fuinjutsu!" The blond said with enthusiasm.

"So you found a way to mimic the Sharingan's copying ability with Fuinjutsu?" Kakashi asked in shock. He had never even imagined that to be possible!

"Nope, but that does sound like an interesting project. I'd need to make a seal array that would deconstruct any Ninjutsu that comes into contact with it and render it down into it's component parts and then find a way to reconstruct it at will..." Naruto trailed off, his mind going off on a tangent that had nothing at all to do with the present situation.

"But if that isn't what you did, then what did you do?" Sakura pressed, her curiosity getting to her.

"Oh, well you see my gloves?" Naruto asked, getting a nod from everyone present. "Well, I've got a linked space-time storage matrix inscribed on the palms, connected to a seal array that responds to the will held in my chakra, allowing me to absorb anything that doesn't have a will of it's own and eject it from my customized pocket dimension matrix. The chakra will component is needed because the matrix is actually multiple pocket dimensions that can each hold exactly one item of any size and it's the only way to make sure that I access the right one. Since the dimensions are in permanent temporal stasis, I can store anything in there, even Ninjutsu and throw it out whenever I need to. Even the momentum of anything I absorb is preserved." Naruto explained, getting dumbstruck looks.

"Kakashi-sensei, can you translate that, because I'm not sure if I understood all of it?" Sakura asked.

"If I'm understanding correctly, then Naruto has basically put seals on his gloves that allow him to absorb and throw out anything, essentially allowing him to use the Ninjutsu of his enemies against them." Kakashi said, feeling fairly certain that he was right.

"Pretty much." Naruto shrugged.

"Though it probably wouldn't work if the Ninjutsu affects a too wide area, or if he's attacked from multiple directions so that he can't point his palms at all the attacks properly." The silver haired Jounin continued, guessing at weaknesses of the gloves.

"Yeah and I can only absorb with one glove at a time or else I risk causing a cascading dimensional collapse in the pocket dimensions and erasing myself and everything around me from existence." Naruto confirmed with a carefree shrug.

It was actually far more complex than that, containing fail safes and safety procedures that dictated that only things of a certain minimum size, mass or chakra quantity were to be absorbed. He'd killed about a thousand clones to figure that one out, because the seals kept absorbing the air molecules and filling up all the pocket dimensions, quickly causing the previously mentioned cascading dimensional collapse.

Sakura, Kakashi and Chiyo took several large steps away from the blonde upon hearing this. They had no idea what 'cascading dimensional collapse' was, but 'erased from existence' was all too clear and not in a comforting way.

"Um, but why would it cause this 'cascading dimensional collapse' if you used both hands to absorb something?" Sakura asked, hoping to get some clarity on the subject, because that might as well have been gibberish to her. Sakura knew that she was very smart, but whatever kind of insanity Naruto had been learning during his training trip went completely over her head.

"Because if I do, then there is a considerable danger of placing two items into the same space at the same time, causing an existential paradox and destabilizing the pocket dimension where this happens. Since the pocket dimension is linked to all of the others in the matrix, it would cause a chain reaction and collapse the entire matrix, which would in turn cause a vacuum effect to ripple outwards from my gloves and suck in everything in a small radius until reality stabilized itself." Naruto explained in a matter of fact tone, as if this should have been obvious.

"And you learned all of this on your own, without Jiraiya-sama's help at all?" Kakashi asked, quite stunned that his student had progressed that far with Fuinjutsu.

"Bah, Jiraiya is a total puss* when it comes to space-time Fuinjutsu!" Naruto spat derisively. "All it took was one little accident where I nearly sent him into what may or may not have been some kind of hell dimension and he's too scared to even come near me when I'm working on new things."

They all took another step backwards, just in case.

"But if you were just throwing his own techniques at him, then why did you say that you were learning them and even call out the techniques as if you were using Ninjutsu?" Sakura asked in confusion, deciding that any detailed explanations on the mechanics behind those gloves were better left alone.

"To f*ck with Itachi's head." The blond answered with a grin.

Chiyo could only shake her head at everything she'd just heard. Clearly this Uzumaki Naruto was a lunatic, or possibly a mad genius, not that she was all that surprised. She was more than old enough to remember the Uzumaki clan, or as the rest of the shinobi world had called them, 'those crazy f*ckers'.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Chiyo was deep in thought as the four of them kept advancing towards the place where Gaara was being drained of his Bijuu.

Recently, she had been surprised many times and it was causing her to reevaluate long held beliefs.

When Kankuro had been dying of Sasori's poison and none of Suna's healers were good enough to cure it, she had been certain that the young puppeteer was doomed. She had been sure that Tsunade was perhaps the only medic in the world capable of saving him, which meant that there was no hope for Kankuro. Tsunade as Hokage couldn't leave Konoha and even if she could, why would she come all the way to Suna to heal one of theirs, even if they were allies? Though word had been sent that a team was coming to help them retrieve their Kazekage, she had expected it to be nothing more than nameless and expendable foot soldiers.

Instead, Tsunade had sent her own apprentice and one of her best Jounin, as well as Konoha's Kyuubi Jinchuuriki and son of their Yondaime Hokage. Such a high profile team to be sent was a great shock to the aged puppeteer. That's not how things had been done in her day.

Despite her attack on Kakashi, she felt no ill will towards him. She wasn't foolish enough to blame the son for the deeds of the father. His skill as a tracker and his dog summons had also proven invaluable in finding Gaara.

To Sakura she felt grateful for saving Kankuro, as well as being impressed that one so young was so skilled a healer. The young woman had a bright future ahead of her as a medic if she continued to progress as she had so far.

Uzumaki Naruto had been the most confusing of the lot. His brutish appearance had misled her at first, making her think that he was nothing more than a Taijutsu powerhouse. Once Kankuro had been cured however, he had informed her that it had been him who had fixed Gaara's seal so that the demon could no longer torment him, as well as allowing him to freely speak to his mother's soul. That last part had been quite startling to her, as she had no idea that poor Karura had her soul sealed inside of her son.

That a teenager only recently out of the academy had been able to make such a vast improvement on the seal that she herself used to seal the Ichibi and on short notice if Kankuro was to be believed, was unheard of. And this had been over three years ago.

Hearing of the seals that went into his gloves, she knew that the Uzumaki was a seal master of rare ability. There had been very few seal masters capable of space-time manipulation and all of them had been Kage level shinobi. She wasn't sure if Naruto was at such a level quite yet, but she had no doubt that he would be soon enough, if he wasn't already.

She could only hope that they succeeded in rescuing Gaara. Sunagakure couldn't afford to lose another Kazekage. The loss of the Sandaime had led to war and it had taken them far too long to decide to appoint Gaara as Godaime after Orochimaru's assassination of the Yondaime. They didn't really have any other shinobi in Suna that were powerful enough to be Kazekage.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

"Kakashi my youthful rival! Hokage-sama has sent us to help you rescue the Kazekage!" Gai called out to the silver haired Jounin as soon as the two teams were within hearing distance of each other.

Everyone else also exchanged short greetings, knowing that they couldn't get into a long reunion right now.

"That's nice Gai." Kakashi answered lackadaisically.

"Gah, even on this hot blooded mission you keep up that cool and hip attitude!" Gai griped.

Kakashi shrugged before getting serious. "Alright, enough playing around. The Kazekage is behind this boulder and we need to get through it. Neji can you see what's behind it?"

Neji activated his Byakugan and peered intently into the cave.

"Is Gaara still alive?" Naruto asked.

"It's hard to see through, so I can't say for certain, but it's not looking good." Neji passed on the grim news. He didn't mention the strange giant statue like thing, since he had absolutely no idea how to describe it.

"We need to get through fast then, if we're lucky we might be able to save him." Sakura said, hoping that the Kazekage wasn't beyond aid.

"Not a problem, no boulder will prevent me from completing my mission!" Gai declared, taking a running start at the boulder.

"Dynamic action!"

Gai's highly dramatic punch did absolutely nothing to the boulder blocking their way.

"If you are quite done making an ass of yourself Gai, we need to remove the barrier first." Naruto said dryly.

"That's a Five Seal Barrier, there will be five four other seals somewhere nearby. We need to remove all of them at once to bring the barrier down." Kakashi said with certainty.

"Kakashi, which one of us here is the seal master?" Naruto asked pointedly.

"You are." The Jounin said sheepishly.

"He's right though Naruto-sensei. I can't think of any other way to bring the barrier down either. It was made specifically to be impossible to remove in any other way after all." Tenten said.

"That's because you're thinking inside the box my foolish young apprentice!" The blond chastised.

"You mean you know how to remove in another way?" She asked with interest.

"Of course! All you need to do is think outside the box." Naruto said and paused. "As your Fuinjutsu master, I hereby forbid you from thinking inside the box anymore. From now on, the only contact that you are allowed to have with the box is to wave at it as it passes you by." He declared.

"That's easier said than done Naruto-sensei..."Tenten said with a sweatdrop forming on her head.

"Anyway, back to the matter at hand. I can take the barrier down from here without a problem." Naruto said and unsealed a Fuinjutsu brush and some ink.

The sight of those items in Naruto's hands caused Kakashi, Sakura and Chiyo to become deeply uncomfortable now that they knew what kind of madness he was prone to doing with them. Tenten however looked highly interested.

Ignoring the unease he was generating in his team, Naruto jumped up on the boulder and started painting seals on the seal tag, adding many black squiggles.

"Can you tell me what I'm doing Tenten? Consider it part of your training." Naruto asked.

Peering closely at the new Fuinjutsu script, The bun haired girl said what she figured that her Fuinjutsu teacher was doing.

"It looks like you're setting up an infinite loop of some sort to cause a build up of chakra."

"Indeed I am. The five seal tags holding up the barrier are linked in a circular manner, giving it a lot of strength, but that can also be turned inward. With no way to relieve the tension, the chakra that I'm pushing into my added seal will keep building pressure until the barrier can't sustain it any longer." Naruto said and jumped off, having finished pushing his chakra into it.

"Since the seal tags are the key points of the barrier, the chakra will burst outward from them, destroying them all simultaneously."

Everyone watched closely as the tag on the boulder began to glow brighter and brighter. "We may want to get a bit further away...I have no idea how violent the reaction is going to be." Naruto admitted and moved off, everyone else rapidly running away from the expected blast zone.

Two minutes later, the seal tag on the boulder fizzled out with a small chakra explosion that was completely eclipsed by the rather large mushroom clouds that exploded upwards from four other locations in the vicinity.

"Huh, looks like some clever bastard placed a pretty powerful trap in the other four areas." The blond commented idly.

"Yosh! Your skill with Fuinjutsu is so great that it exploded with youth!" Lee announced with fire bursting from his eyes.

"Uh...sure Lee." Naruto said as an answer to that.

Not wanting to hear any more speeches about youth, Sakura smashed her fist into boulder, causing it to crumble.

"Nice, I'm gonna have to learn that strength technique." Naruto said with a whistle, much impressed with how strong Sakura was now. He might have been able to demolish that rock with brute force himself, but Sakura was a foot and a half shorter than him and well over a hundred pounds lighter. If he could enhance his strength with chakra like that, then he could only imagine how strong he would be.

"If you can't even use Ninjutsu, then there's no way for you to have enough control to learn Tsunade-shishou's super strength technique." Sakura said dryly.

"I'll do it with Fuinjutsu." Naruto replied blithely.

"You can't do everything with Fuinjutsu Naruto." Sakura said with exasperation.

"Blasphemy! Fuinjutsu is the magical solution to all of life's problems." Naruto insisted. "I bet I could even use it to make instant ramen truly instant. All I'd have to do is set up a temporal distortion field where three minutes would pass in three seconds."

"I am deeply disturbed and terrified that you would even consider tampering with the primal forces of the universe just to cook ramen faster." Kakashi drawled, his mind full of resignation. Once, many years ago, he'd thought that Kushina was bad, but now he knew better. Kushina's Fuinjutsu crazy had been quite tame compared to what he had to deal with now.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

As soon as the dust from the boulder cleared, the two teams jumped into the cave and spread out, keeping a wary eye on the two unconcerned looking Akatsuki members.

"Looks like they got through the barrier pretty fast Sasori no Danna." Deidara commented idly, sitting on Garaa's body.

"I wonder how they managed that? It looks like all of them are here, but at least four of them should have been at the other four seal tags." Sasori said in answer.

"Tenten, what do we say when the enemy wants to know how or why we did something?" Naruto asked his apprentice.

Tenten looked extremely reluctant. "Do I have to say it Naruto-sensei?"

"If you do, I'll let you play with the Kusanagi." Naruto bribed.

The weapons enthusiast got starry eyed and took a deep breath before turning towards the two Akatsuki members. "Because f*ck you! That's how." She was blushing at her own words, but turned expectant eyes towards Naruto.

"Here you go." Naruto said as he unsealed the Kusanagi and threw it at her, making the girl give out a short squeal at being able to use the legendary weapon.

"How unyouthful!" A scandalized Gai and Lee said.

"This Jinchuuriki is a strange one isn't he Sasori no Danna? Itachi described him perfectly though." Deidara said again, referring to the blond's size and the fangs that were clearly visible when he spoke.

"He has a powerful body and chakra. Once we finish extracting the Kyuubi from him, I will turn him into a puppet and make him a piece of eternal art, along with all the others." Sasori said. He wasn't concerned about the numbers arrayed against them. It would only take one hit from any of his weapons to take them down and with this many, they had less space to dodge.

"You want to turn my body into a puppet?" Naruto asked incredulously.

"Sasori is the only puppeteer to have learned how to turn people into puppets and preserve their chakra." Chiyo informed.

Naruto looked contemplative for a second before asking the hunched figure a question. "Tell me something...when you turn people into puppets, do you remove their genitals?"

Everyone looked at Naruto oddly, not understanding how that was important.

"Of course. I remove all the organs to prevent decay." Sasori confirmed.

Naruto snickered. "Well good luck with that, because I've got a high powered explosive note inscribed on my balls, which will explode if it's ever removed from my chakra network."

There were more incredulous stares towards Naruto, since none of the people present had heard of this little detail yet.

"The Kyuubi Jinchuuriki is insane yeah, but he knows that art is an explosion!" Deidara said with enthusiasm.

"You're a fool Deidara, true art is eternal and everlasting." Sasori argued.

"That's so boring, true art is fleeting, like an explosion." Deidara argued back.

"You're both wrong!"

Everyone turned towards the biggest man in the cave, wondering what he was on about. The whole thing was a bit strange to most of the people in the cave. Weren't they supposed to be fighting?

"The only true art is Fuinjutsu! That's why it's called the art of sealing."

The two Akatsuki members stared at him for a moment, contemplating his words before Sasori spoke again. "I'll concede that Fuinjutsu is closer to being art than Deidara's explosions, but it's not true art, because it is not eternal."

"That's a load of crap Sasori no Danna, there's no way that some squiggles on a piece of paper could ever compare to my artistic explosions!" Deidara protested.

"Your explosions are sh*t and I'll prove it to you by shoving them so far down your throat that they'll come out of your ass!" Naruto told the other blond loudly.

"My art will blow you away before you get close enough to me try that, yeah! For a moment I thought you might have been a fellow artist Kyuubi Jinchuuriki, but you're just a poseur drawing squiggles and claiming that it's art!" Deidara said angrily, pissed off that someone was insulting his art.

Naruto lowered his head so that his eyes were shadowed and let out an utterly evil chuckle.

"Squiggles you say? We'll see if you still think it's just squiggles when I use those squiggles to throw you into a hell dimension filled with horny demons that like fa*gs such as yourself. We'll see if you still think it's not art when they dry f*ck every hole you have until it bleeds and then make new holes and f*ck them too until you're nothing more than a lump of blood, piss and cum."

"You're a sick man Naruto." Sakura said with a greenish tinge to her face.

Gai was trying to cover the ears of all his students to protect them from the unyouthful words, but was only really succeeding with Lee.

Kakashi looked highly disturbed, but also resigned.

Chiyo didn't look surprised at all. She knew better than to insult Fuinjutsu when there was an Uzumaki present.

"You've gotten even crazier Naruto-sensei." Tenten said and Neji nodded his agreement. The Hyuuga had thought that Naruto would calm down a bit during his training trip and become more normal, but clearly things went in the exact other direction.

"Sanity is for the weak!" Naruto asserted.

The highly disturbed looking Deidara slowly turned towards his partner and spoke. "Sasori no Danna, is that even possible?"

"I don't know Deidara, but I wouldn't rule it out. Fuinjutsu can do all sorts of strange things."

"The Kyuubi Jinchuuriki is actually kind of scary." The missing nin from Iwa admitted.

Any further conversation was prevented by chains bursting from under the two Akatsuki members, which they barely dodged in time. Since his surprise attack failed, Naruto had the chains wrap around Gaara's body and drag it towards him, ripping a deep but narrow trench into the ground.

Naruto had been very slowly tunneling towards Gaara with his chains, making sure to make as little noise as possible and distracting the two art loons with the conversation. Now that Gaara's body was secure, they could turn their attention to battling the two Akatsuki members.

Sakura moved to check on Gaara and quickly realized that they were too late.

"He's gone." She said regretfully with a shake of her head.

Sensing that the situation was going to turn violent at any moment, Chiyo took the time to reveal the most dangerous aspect of Sasori's fighting style.

"Be careful everyone, Sasori puts a powerful poison on all of his weapons. Even a scratch will be fatal, you must dodge or block everything."

"We know that the other one uses explosive sculptures and he won't be able to use anything too powerful here without collapsing the cave." Kakashi added.

"Don't attempt to engage them in Taijutsu yet, it will make it too easy for one of Sasori's weapons to hit you." Chiyo advised.

Everyone gave a short nod, even the over enthusiastic Gai and Lee being aware that charging into melee against two S-ranked shinobi, one of whom was a poison master would swiftly lead to their demise. Keeping this in mind, Gai, Lee, Neji and Sakura hung back for the moment, intending to wait for an opening when they would be able to contribute.

Kakashi, Naruto, Tenten and Chiyo prepared themselves to start the battle. Chiyo made the first move by drawing out several kunai and having them hover in the air in front of her.

"Sōshūjin(Manipulating Attack Blades)." The kunai flew towards Sasori, but were blocked by his scorpion like tail, the appendage clacking woodenly the whole time. As soon as they were blocked however, they changed direction and flew back towards Sasori, ripping his Akatsuki robe, but doing little else.

Tenten observed the attack with interest, already noting how useful it would be if she was able to manipulate her weapons in mid air like that.

"Looks like that tail might be problematic, but I can take it down for certain." Naruto said confidently and manifested a single chakra chain from his chest, extending it slowly towards the puppet master.

"Be wary of hidden senbon launchers, that outer puppet, Hiruko, had them when I last saw it." Chiyo warned.

"Looks like the Kyuubi Jinchuuriki wants to see who has the better tail Sasori no Danna." Deidara commented. The explosives expert was already kneading some clay in his remaining hand, intending to show off his art.

Without further comment, the chain surged forward, intending to smash into the puppet and destroy it, only to be blocked by the tail. Undeterred, Naruto wrapped his chain around the tail and began to pull on the puppet. It immediately became apparent to Sasori that Naruto could exert much greater force with his chain than he could with his tail.

Not wanting to get drawn into close quarters, Sasori ripped the mask from Hiruko's face and began shooting a rain of senbon needles towards the Kyuubi Jinchuuriki, counting on the healing factor that all Jinchuuriki had to keep him alive.

Naruto held out his hand and began absorbing the poisoned senbon into his hand. There were a lot of senbon flying at him and he knew that he probably couldn't absorb them all despite the fact that he had room for several hundred items in there.

Naruto didn't believe that less was more. He believed that more was more and less was less.

Sasori, seeing that Naruto had some kind of impenetrable defense, turned Hiruko's head towards the others, intending to take out the blond's backup and make him easier to capture.

Kakashi, Gai and Chiyo were perfectly capable of dodging the senbon and did so.

Tenten unsealed a large metal wall and hid behind it, Lee, Neji and Sakura swiftly jumping behind it as well.

"Time to appreciate my art, yeah!" Came Deidara's voice as he sent his prepared explosive sculptures at the group of fighters hiding behind the metal wall, the angle allowing him to attack them from the side.

Their eyes widened at seeing the pale spider looking things flying at them, knowing how dangerous they were. They couldn't leave the protection of the wall though, seeing as the barrage of senbon was still going on.

"Hakke Kūshō(Eight Trigrams Vacuum Palm)!" Neji used the technique to blow the sculptures back at Deidara, who swiftly dodged, causing them to explode against the wall.

Naruto, deciding that he'd played around enough, sent three more chains surging towards Sasori, who couldn't dodge due to the fact that his tail was still being held. Just before the chains smashed into the puppet and destroyed it, a black blur jumped out of it.

"Looks like the Kyuubi Jinchuuriki destroyed your art, yeah." Deidara snickered at his partner.

"I will rebuild Hiruko after this battle." Sasori answered, his voice suddenly much younger than the deep and gravely one that he'd used while he was inside Hiruko.

"How can you still be so young?" Chiyo asked with wide eyes. "You look the same as you did twenty years ago."

Kakashi narrowed his eyes at that, focusing his Sharingan on the now revealed redhead, looking for any tricks.

"He's turned himself into a puppet somehow." The silver haired Jounin said in realization. "My Sharingan can't detect any muscle movement in his face at all."

"So you've figured it out? Yes, I've turned myself into my art, becoming eternal." Sasori said in response. "Since you've managed to destroy Hiruko, I will show you my favorite puppet."

Upon saying that, Sasori brought out a storage scroll and unsealed a puppet that caused Chiyo's eyes to widen in recognition and shock.

"That's the Sandaime Kazekage! So it was you who killed him!"

"Yes, it was me. He was a difficult opponent, but ultimately, he fell to my art and became part of it." Sasori confirmed.

"Enough of this!" Naruto said in irritation and sent the chains hurtling towards the Kazekage puppet, intending to smash it, moving forwards himself as well.

Sasori manipulated his puppet away from the advancing Jinchuuriki and decided that he couldn't play around with this one. He'd already showed that he was dangerously powerful and skilled. The mouth of the now puppet Kazekage opened and released a cloud of iron particles, forming it into a shield to block the chains. He had already tried to use the puppet's unique magnetism ability on the chains, but as he had expected, it had no effect since the chains were a chakra construct.

Deidara had attempted to help his partner, but found himself under attack by Kakashi, Gai, Lee and Neji, while Sakura moved to back up Naruto.

"Tenten, seal away your weapons! The Sandaime's Magnet Release will turn them against you!" Chiyo shouted at the weapons user urgently.

Realizing the danger, she did as she was told and swiftly sealed away everything, including the borrowed Kusanagi and the metal wall she had deployed earlier, leaving no metal on her for Sasori to manipulate. Since her expertise with weapons was negated utterly, she turned towards Fuinjutsu to contribute and unsealed several scrolls.

Deidara was finding himself hard pressed against the assault of the trio of Taijutsu users and the Sharingan wielding Jounin, especially since the Ichibi Jinchuuriki had taken his left arm off during their battle. They'd been right when they said that he couldn't use his best art in this cave, but that didn't mean that he was helpless. Deidara made several of his smaller sculptures to prevent pursuit and then swiftly created a clay bird to carry him upwards, well away from their reach. They could run up the walls of course, but it would leave them open to his art.

Unfortunately for Deidara, he had forgotten about Tenten while he was being pressed by the others, which was why the web of lightning that rushed at him from her position caught him off guard. The attack was far too widespread to dodge with so little warning, especially in the enclosed cave, so Deidara was hit dead on, his clay bird crumbling harmlessly to dust, sending the bomber plummeting to the ground.

Tenten discarded the now spent scroll, never more glad that Naruto had taken her as a student. If not for him then she would probably have been forced to just sit back and do nothing since pretty much all of her weapons were metal.

Before the twitching blond could even fall to the ground, he felt a multitude of senbon piercing his body and turned his head towards the direction they came from. He saw the menacing fanged grin on his fellow blond's face and his palm pointed right at him, causing him to remember how Sasori's senbon had been absorbed somehow into his palm.

The Kyuubi Jinchuuriki used Sasori's senbon to poison me! He attacked Sasori no Danna so that I would turn my back on him and then attacked me while I was vulnerable.

Deidara knew that he didn't have much time now. Sasori's poison was powerful and he had taken a large dose of it. Soon he would be paralyzed and then knocked unconscious.

"Stop! We're taking him alive if possible." Kakashi ordered, making Gai, Lee and Neji stop and keep a wary eye on the downed missing nin.

"Deidara, you fool, the Kyuubi Jinchuuriki has killed you." Sasori said while manipulating the iron sand to defend him against the assault of the overly strong pink haired girl and her Jinchuuriki partner. He was entirely on the defensive, unable to attack for fear of the chains attacking or the girl smashing the Kazekage puppet. The problem with human puppets was that he didn't have anywhere near as good a control of their chakra as his victims had in life, if he did then he could have killed them already in this enclosed space.

He knew that this was a very bad situation for him. Neither he nor Deidara had managed to cause any kind of damage to their enemies yet and now Deidara had been taken out by a very clever sneak attack from the Kyuubi Jinchuuriki. He had no idea how the hulking blond had done it, but he guessed that it must be a Fuinjutsu of some kind. They had badly underestimated the enemy and foolishly dismissed their numbers advantage in the belief that it wouldn't matter.

I know that Sasori no Danna. Deidara thought to himself as he considered his options.

They were few and getting fewer by the second as the poison did it's work. He knew that even his partner didn't have an antidote for his poison, having never seen a need to develop one, so his death was certain. He didn't want to die from poison though. If he was going to die, then he was going to go out with an artistic explosion.

Usually he would have said something about how his art would leave a scar on the earth or something, but he was in far too much pain from the poison right now to talk, so he just silently opened his clothes to leave his chest bare, revealing a stitched up mouth over his heart.

He tried to remove the stitches with a shaky hand, but a kunai pierced his palm and pinned it to the ground. His blurry vision revealed the lazy expression of Hatake Kakashi as the man approached and knocked him out.

Another bastard with a Sharingan dismissing my art! Was Deidara's last angry thought, infuriated beyond words that he was prevented from even dying the way he wanted to.

While this had been going on, Sasori's situation had deteriorated further. He had almost managed to kill the pink haired girl with the hidden blades hidden within the Sandaime's right arm, but his grandmother had been keeping watch and used Hiruko's tail to block him. He had needed to risk the Sandaime to try that and it had nearly caused him to lose his favored puppet, only a swiftly made spike of iron sand forcing the Kyuubi Jinchuuriki to dodge instead of attack. Sasori didn't know why he hadn't simply absorbed the spike like he had the senbon, but he was going to make full use of it.

Unknown to Sasori, Naruto would have absorbed it if he could, but that iron sand stuff was not one large item, but countless tiny particles, which meant that they were too small and too numerous to absorb. He wasn't keen on the idea of overloading the capacity of his space-time storage matrix and getting erased.

Deciding on another gamble, Sasori redirected the iron sand into another shape.

"Satetsu Kaihō(Iron Sand World Method)!"

The many spikes made from the iron sand began to form around Naruto, who was having serious trouble avoiding them. For once, his large size was a hindrance in a fight and he found himself first scratched by the randomly forming spikes and then one of them impaled his side, at which point the iron particles stopped trying to skewer him further. He hadn't wanted to make a shield out of hair, since he suspected that the iron sand could pierce it

"Naruto!" Sakura shouted in worry and ran towards the Kazekage puppet, correctly deducing that if she destroyed it, that the iron sand would become inert.

"Be careful Sakura!" Chiyo and Kakashi, who had just finished securing the other Akatsuki member, yelled at the pink haired girl, fearing that her reckless attack would get her killed.

Sakura didn't listen and instead kept charging at the puppet of the Sandaime Kazekage.

Unfortunately for her, this was exactly what Sasori had hoped for. Just as she reached the puppet, a hidden compartment opened and sprayed a cloud of poison right at her.

Sakura was caught off guard and inhaled some of the poison, but ignored it in favor of smashing the puppet to pieces, causing all of the iron spikes to collapse, including the ones skewering him.

Naruto collapsed to the ground with a groan, in considerable pain from the poison burning through his veins, not to mention the wound in his side. Judging by the way that his chakra was evaporating in an effort to heal it, he knew that the poison must be very powerful. If Xanna had still been sealed inside of him, she could have burned the poison out of him, but his own chakra didn't have the same corrosive quality. The whole thing was made worse by the fact that he still had quite a bit of iron sand inside his wound.

Sasori was quite pleased by this. Losing the Kazekage puppet was unfortunate, but he had taken two of his enemies out of commission, one of which was the Kyuubi Jinchuuriki with his ridiculously irritating and dangerous chains. With those out of the picture, he would no longer be forced on the defensive all the time.

Chiyo swiftly used her chakra strings to pull them away to safety near the cave entrance and the healthy members of the rescue mission moved to protect the two downed members of Team 7, with the exception of Tenten, who was worriedly kneeling at Naruto's side.

Kakashi was terribly worried about his downed students, but knew that the best he could do was protect them. He certainly couldn't afford to turn his back on the likes of Sasori of the Red Sand. Despite his worry, he was incredibly proud of them though. Defeating the puppet of the Sandaime Kazekage was no easy feat, and not something the Kakashi was certain if he could do without using his Mangenkyo Sharingan.

Sakura wasted no time injecting herself and Naruto with two of the three antidotes she had prepared before they left Suna, which at least neutralized the poison and prevented it from affecting them for three minutes. Meanwhile, Tenten brought out the metal wall again, in case Sasori tried to attack them in their vulnerable state.

"Sakura." Naruto said through clenched teeth from his position on the ground, catching her attention. "I still have a lot of iron sand in my wound, you have to cut me open and get it out." He was doing all he could to stall his healing and prevent the wound from closing, but this was the first time that he had to do something like that, so his success was marginal at best. He never thought that he'd ever be in a situation where fast healing would be a bad thing.

Both Sakura and Tenten looked stricken, but they understood the necessity of it. Their faces hardened in determination and Tenten handed Sakura a kunai. The pink haired medic took a deep breath and started cutting her teammate open, causing blood to gush out of the wound again, blood which was full of the black grains of iron sand.

The blond groaned in pain behind his clenched teeth when Sakura shoved her hand inside the wound and used her chakra to attract as much of the iron particles as she could. She had to repeat the action several times before she was confident that most if not all of the iron sand was removed.

Naruto sighed in relief when he felt Sakura using a healing technique on the wound instead of shoving her hand into his body again. He directed his own chakra towards the wound to speed the healing, which caused both Sakura and Tenten to gape at it in shock as the wound rapidly began to close until there was nothing left of it except for the bloodstains. He had never been more glad for his insane chakra capacity, healing that wound had taken enough chakra to kill a Kage twice over.

Just as they were about to rejoin the fight, everyone else jumped behind Tenten's wall, clearly taking cover from something. A moment later, the wall started glowing red hot from an assault of intense flames.

"Sasori giving you trouble?" Naruto asked ironically as he got up into a crouch.

"You could say that." Kakashi said with an eye smile, happy to see that his students were alright.

"He has flames, but they are most unyouthful." Lee said, looking vaguely confused by his own statement.

The sound of flames rushing at the wall stopped soon, much to their relief as they were starting to get worried that the puppeteer was actually going to melt it. Their relief was short lived as a jet of highly pressurized water struck the wall with enough force to cause a dangerously deep dent in the softened wall. The steam engulfing their position was also an unwelcome surprise.

They all quickly backed up further when they heard the metal groaning, clearly nearing it's breaking point. The water pressure and the rapid temperature change was clearly a bit too much for the wall to withstand.

Seeing that they were standing on the water that was gathered at the entrance, Naruto pressed his hand to the water and pushed his chakra into it, completely saturating it and then raising a nearly solid wall of water as a shield.

And none too soon, as Sasori's water jet punctured the steel wall and continued onward to smash into Naruto's water wall, where it was harmlessly absorbed. Unlike most water attacks used by shinobi, Sasori's water jet was propelled by clever machinery instead of chakra, so Naruto didn't have any trouble blocking it and negating it's momentum with his chakra infused water wall.

Once Sasori ran out of water, Naruto let his super dense wall of water collapse and the two sides of the conflict stared at each other assessingly.

The Konoha shinobi plus Chiyo knew that they had the upper hand, but weren't foolish enough to assume bringing Sasori down would be simple.

Sasori himself was confused. How was it possible for the two that he had poisoned earlier to be on their feet? The poison should have paralyzed them by now. He decided to just ask.

"How are you able to stand? My poison should have paralyzed you by now."

Sakura opened her mouth to answer, but then closed it and a smirk spread across her face as she remembered something that Naruto said not very long ago. It wasn't something that she would normally say, but considering that Sasori had nearly killed both her and Naruto, she would make an exception.

"Because f*ck you, that's how."

It wasn't visible thanks to the puppet body, but Sasori was irritated by the rude response.

Naruto looked towards his teammate in surprise and then he grinned at her.

"Nice one Sakura." He said approvingly and raised an open palm in her direction. "Up high!"

Sakura looked confused for a second before she guessed what he was getting at and slapped his open palm with her own.

"Down low!" The blond said as he lowered his hand, but kept the palm open.

Sakura tried to slap it again, but Naruto moved it away at the last second. "Too slow!"

The pinkette shot an irritated glare at her teammate but couldn't keep it up when he just kept grinning at her. That he was even willing to play around with her like that was infinitely better than being ignored like she had been most of the time before his training trip.

"This bond between teammates...this is youth!" Gai said at high volume, with tears streaming from his eyes. He was moved!

"Gai-sensei!"

"Lee!"

"Gai-sensei!"

"Lee!"

The two green beasts went into a hug, the dreary cave suddenly morphing into a beach sunset, causing the Konoha shinobi to roll their eyes and sigh in exasperation.

Chiyo tried to dispel the disturbing Genjutsu, but it wouldn't budge. The sight of two men in tight green spandex hugging in front of a beach sunset with tears streaming from their eyes, was something she could have done without.

Sasori was glad that he had removed his stomach and entrails decades ago, because he was sure that he would have puked at the sight otherwise. What a disturbingly powerful Genjutsu that was, it made him feel sick even though he didn't have the physical capacity to do so.

"To have forced me to go this far...it seems that Akatsuki has given you too much time to grow stronger Kyuubi Jinchuuriki. Akahigi: Hyakki no Sōen(Red Secret Technique: Performance of a Hundred Puppets)!"

The cave was suddenly far more crowded as Sasori's one hundred human puppets were unsealed.

The rescue team quickly readied themselves for battle. Kakashi assessed the situation and quickly snapped out orders.

"Tenten, provide long range support. Sakura, you're the only medic we have capable of curing Sasori's poison, so you can't fight any further. Stay with Tenten and keep the last antidote for yourself. Neji, your Juuken is useless against the puppets, stay with Sakura and Tenten and protect them."

"I can sever Sasori's chakra strings." Neji pointed out.

"That would just leave intact puppets lying around for Sasori to use again, we have to smash them all." Kakashi refuted.

Neji nodded in understanding. They might both be of equal rank, but Kakashi was his superior in both experience and years of service, not to mention that the reasoning made sense.

"The rest of us will destroy this puppet army. Watch each other's backs and don't let yourself be separated, all of these puppets are also poisoned no doubt."

All the Konoha shinobi nodded. They had for the most part already come to this conclusion themselves, but it helped to have everything defined clearly.

While Kakashi was handing out orders, Chiyo brought two sealing scrolls from her sleeves and unsealed the Mother and Father puppets.

"Oh? You brought those two puppets granny?" Sasori said, his voice colored with slight amusem*nt.

"I thought it fitting, since Mother and Father were the first two puppets that you ever made." Chiyo answered.

She was glad that she didn't have to bring out the ten Chikamatsu puppets. It was a technique that she didn't like to use, too much blood having been spilled by it already. She didn't want to kill her grandson, but knew that there was no avoiding it. Sasori had long ago become as empty as the puppets he controlled.

"You think that you can survive this technique? I once used it to conquer an entire nation." The Akatsuki puppeteer said ominously.

"Yeah, but you cut your own balls off so that you could turn yourself into a doll. For that I deduct ten thousand man points! From now on, you shall be known as a Lesser Man!" Naruto declared, pointing a finger at Sasori.

"What does that have to do with the battle?" Chiyo asked in confusion.

"Nothing at all, but I'll be damned if I'm defeated by any man that would even consider castrating himself." The blond answered.

Behind them, Sakura and Tenten sighed in exasperated resignation at Naruto's quirks.

What followed was a somewhat frantic battle, though the conclusion became quickly obvious. Despite the great number of Sasori's puppets, they were neither very skilled nor dangerous individually. The only true danger of the technique was being overwhelmed and poisoned.

Kakashi and Gai worked together flawlessly due to their long, if strange, friendship and kept each other safe while destroying the puppets. Gai used his mastery of Taijutsu and strength to break them, while Kakashi had his Raikiri out and swiftly destroyed any puppet that came near him.

Lee was doing the same thing as his sensei, with Naruto using his chains to make sure that any puppet that attempted to get him from behind was swiftly skewered.

Chiyo was using the Mother and Father puppets with much greater skill than any individual puppet that Sasori had and she had nothing to fear from the poison since she was well removed from the battle.

Tenten was throwing weapons and explosives behind the line of puppets, destroying quite a few, with the occasional puppet that managed to get to her being quickly smashed by Neji or Sakura.

Sasori could easily see that he was not going to be winning this. His enemies were too skilled and covered each other too well. Any single one of them he could have overwhelmed, but together they were far too strong. He and Deidara had been fools to wait for them in this cave where they couldn't escape. Had they fought outside, it would have been a simple matter to use one of Deidara's clay birds and fight them from the air. With the advantage of flight, they could have almost certainly won, but being boxed in like this, where Deidara could only use small explosions and couldn't get high enough to escape their attacks, they were doomed. they had handicapped themselves too badly.

Still, perhaps there was a way to get out of this...

The rescue team had finished destroying the puppet army and only Sasori himself remained.

"You are defeated grandson, surrender." Chiyo said with sadness coloring her tone. She didn't expect him to agree to that.

Sasori didn't respond, but instead prepared the poison soaked cable in his stomach and the fan like blades from his back, silently declaring that the fight wasn't over.

It was rather anti-climatic actually, as Naruto's chains tangled up the fan blades and Chiyo's puppets grabbed the cable, allowing Gai to smash his foot into the puppet and shatter it, leaving pieces of it flying everywhere.

Everyone gave a relieved sigh that it was over and turned to walk out of the cave, collecting the body of Gaara and the knocked out Deidara on the way.

Sasori, his only living part hidden in the chest of another random puppet, waited patiently for them to leave the cave, intending to reassemble himself and make his own way in the world again. Joining Akatsuki had turned out to be a mistake and it had cost him more or less all of his best puppets and a large chunk of his general ones. It would take him years to rebuild what he'd lost here.

His thoughts on the future were cut off when he saw the Hyuuga on the team walk towards him again, Byakugan active. If they could, Sasori's eyes would have widened. The Hyuuga was staring right at him, eyes narrowed in suspicion, his Byakugan no doubt clearly able to see the still active chakra in his heart.

In desperation, Sasori lunged at the Hyuuga with a random katana, intending to kill him before he could reveal the secret of his survival. When they smashed him again, he could hopefully play possum again until they left.

The plan would never come to be, as Neji had been on guard as soon as he saw the active chakra. When Sasori lunged at him, Neji easily slapped the katana aside and slammed a Juuken strike into Sasori's heart, cutting off his control of the puppet he was in and fatally damaging the heart itself.

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Chiyo was once again deep in thought as the entire group made their way back towards Sunagakure.

Seeing what her grandson had become and then seeing him die had been difficult, but not as difficult as she had expected. Harder to stomach was the fact that he had taken another Kazekage from Suna for whatever selfish purpose.

Despite his youth and difficult life, Gaara had been a good Kazekage. Not yet as powerful as his predecessors, but wise in his decisions and strong in character. He had won the admiration of the sand shinobi in spite of everything that he had suffered and the dislike everyone had held for him due to being the Ichibi Jinchuuriki.

Chiyo had been aware of Gaara's killings and bloodlust even though she and her brother were for the most part removed from the workings of the village. She had expected that one day Gaara would simply snap and his father would have to kill him. Instead, Konoha's Kyuubi Jinchuuriki had defeated him, fixed his seal and made Gaara see that killing to prove his existence was the wrong path.

Now that she had met him, she could somewhat see why. Uzumaki Naruto had a will and strength in him that was rarely seen in the world.

Her entire life was a series of mistakes and bad decisions. Chiyo had been aware of this long before now, but seeing all of these shinobi from another village coming to save the Kazekage of another village as if he was one of their own brought it into sharp focus. So many wars, battles and dirty, underhanded moves against Konoha and the other villages in an effort to grow in strength and it had done them no real good. But this short cooperation had allowed them to retrieve at least the body of their Kazekage and dispose of two dangerous criminals.

"Set Gaara down here." She told the blond softly. She may not have been able to give Sasori at least one of his parents back, but she could do something right and give Suna back it's Kazekage.

Naruto looked over at her and did as she asked, easily able to tell that the old woman had come to a decision of some sort.

The aged puppeteer placed her hands on Gaara's chest and began to use her reincarnation technique, feeling the massive strain on her chakra network as her life force was used to restore Gaara's life.

Her breathing became labored as the seconds passed and Gaara still didn't stir. It was harder than she expected, but she was certain that she could do it, she still had plenty of chakra left after all.

Her focus was only slightly disturbed when a large hand was placed over both of hers.

"Don't bust a hip there granny, if you need some more chakra I've got plenty to spare."

She nodded without answering and drew on the blond's chakra, instantly feeling just how massive it was. She was connected to the Uzumaki's chakra and life force through her reincarnation technique and it was easy to feel the incredible potency of both. It was making it seem almost easy to bring Gaara back to life.

One thing she could not feel however was the presence of any Bijuu chakra in what was supposed to be the Kyuubi Jinchuuriki. She was quite familiar with Bijuu chakra, having sensed and fought the Ichibi before, so the Kyuubi should feel far more powerful even sealed and yet there was nothing.

She put it out of her mind for now, focusing on restoring Gaara.

It didn't take long to bring him back and Naruto removed his hand from Chiyo, making the woman suddenly pant for breath as the loss of her life force became apparent. She still wanted to know why she couldn't feel the Kyuubi though.

"You..." Was all she managed to get out before her vision started to blur.

Naruto seemed to understand though and grinned at her with a nod, confirming her suspicions that the Kyuubi was free for some reason. It didn't really matter she supposed, but the blond was clearly up to something if he was still letting people believe that he was a Jinchuuriki.

Naruto stopped grinning when he saw the old woman's breathing stop. He had seen the knowledge in her eyes that she had somehow sensed the distinct lack of Bijuu. At least that's what he figured she sensed. The shocked, almost scared look could hardly be anything else. It had been a bit reckless of him to help her with Gaara's revival, but he honestly hadn't imagined that Xanna's absence could be sensed like that. Apparently he'd have to be more careful about sharing chakra like that. If Chiyo had survived and decided to tell anyone, it could have caused some unpredictable unpleasantness.

Gaara chose that moment to open his eyes and look around, just in time for a multitude of sand shinobi to find them.

The following ten minutes were a mess of happy exclamations for Gaara's rescue and a mixture of sadness and gratitude for Chiyo's sacrifice.

"I'm so glad you're alright Gaara." Temari said happily, making very sure that she didn't start crying. She was a Jounin of Sunagakure and wouldn't break into waterworks now!

"I told you we'd get him back sugar panties." Came the voice of the man that had irritated her by groping her every time she started worrying for her little brother during their trip to Suna.

"Don't call me that Naruto!" She snapped at him, though she had to struggle to muster any anger since she was just too happy that Gaara was safe.

"You know you like it." The blond said in a highly amused tone and gave her ass another squeeze, just to see if she'd blow up at him in front of all these people.

She did...by punching him ineffectually in the gut again.

"Mother says that she wouldn't object to you dating Naruto." Gaara said to his sister in his usual gravely voice, though it was possible to detect some amusem*nt in it.

The fan wielding kunoichi blushed and sputtered incredulously for a moment before she managed to answer.

"I have no interest in dating this oversized pervert!" She asserted.

It was at this point that a humanoid figure made of sand formed from Gaara's gourd. The sand siblings instantly recognised her as their mother, since she looked exactly as she did in the few photos they had of her.

"Gaara, what are you doing?" Temari asked.

"Mother is doing this. Now that Shukaku is gone, she is capable of controlling the sand in his place." The young Kazekage explained.

The sand version of Karura went towards Naruto and gave him a hug.

"Mother is thanking you for everything that you've done for us Naruto." Gaara explained to the slightly puzzled looking Naruto.

Naruto was guessing that Karura had remained inside Gaara's seal since whatever technique Akatsuki had used to extract the Ichibi must have only targeted Bijuu chakra. He would have needed to release her from the seal manually if Gaara hadn't been resurrected.

The sandy mother was now going around hugging all of the weirded out Konoha shinobi, with Gaara speaking for her as she thanked them for saving her son. When she was done, she moved over to her own children, giving them hugs now that she could.

Naruto wondered how Gaara would handle having a girlfriend with his mother being privy to every single detail of his life. That would have been pretty damn funny to see.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

The large group of Konoha shinobi were making good time on their return to Konoha, Naruto carrying the unconscious and poisoned body of Deidara.

They had decided that it was simply safer to leave him poisoned, just in case he tried to escape somehow. They could give him the antidote once he was keeping Ibiki company.

Those plans were derailed when they came across a man in an Akatsuki robe, his face covered by a spiral pattern orange mask, with only one dark eye hole. He was standing on a branch right in front of them, clearly aware of where they were going.

"Hello Konoha shinobi!" He said enthusiastically and waved at them.

They all stopped and scrutinised this new arrival, instantly on alert due to his clothing.

"Who are you?" Kakashi asked.

"Tobi!" The masked man said...enthusiastically. "Tobi is a good boy!"

"What do you want?" The silver haired Jounin demanded.

"Leader said that if Tobi can bring back Deidara-senpai, then Tobi can join Akatsuki!" The now named Tobi said, with far too much enthusiasm. "Tobi will do this, because Tobi is a good boy!"

"Hey Tobi, do you know what else good boys do?" Naruto asked.

"Oooh, Tobi wants to know!" The masked individual all but screamed ecstatically.

"If they want something, then they get naked, down on their knees and lick my ass!" For some reason, Naruto felt like a priest when he said that.

Kakashi, Sakura, Tenten and Neji facepalmed while Gai and Lee muttered something about being unyouthful.

"Eh?" Tobi said in confusion, his arms swinging from his shoulders as if he had no control over them. "So many bad words! Tobi thinks that the Kyuubi Jinchuuriki is a bad boy! Tobi was told not to listen to bad boys!"

"Girls like bad boys more than good boys Tobi, you should come to the dark side, we have women! And cookies, we also have cookies." Naruto said with a deliberately creepy old man voice.

"Tobi likes girls, and cookies!" Tobi exclaimed, waving his arms around like a loon, the sleeves of his Akatsuki robe hanging over his hands and flapping comically. "But...but Tobi is a good boy! Leader said that Tobi had to bring back Deidara-senpai and leader is scary! Tobi will stay a good boy and bring Deidara-senpai back to leader!"

"It won't do you any good anyway, Deidara is poisoned and wont be alive much longer." Sakura said.

"Tobi was told to bring Deidara-senpai back, so Tobi will be a good boy and bring back Deidara-senpai!"

"Well then, I'm going to have to spank you like a little bitch Tobi. It's too bad really, if you had joined me, then together we could have ruled the world!" Naruto said with fake sorrow, dumped Deidara's body and lunged at the masked Akatsuki member.

Tobi dodged the first blow, but got hit on the second, flying away towards the ground.

Naruto frowned even as he jumped down on the ground. This Tobi character had flown away as if hit, but Naruto hadn't felt anything but air even as his fist passed through Tobi's chest.

"Owie! I'm going to tell leader that you hit me!" Tobi 'threatened'.

"You can tell your leader that he can kiss my ass." Naruto retorted.

"Ooh, so mean, Tobi thinks that leader won't like you very much!"

The others had by now surrounded Tobi, who didn't look concerned at the slightest. The resulting melee was more or less just Tobi screwing around, popping out of the ground like a jack in the box and whacking people over the head with a stick and giggling. The few times that they did manage to hit him, the masked nutjob just faked pain while their attacks phased right through him as if he was a ghost.

Eventually Tobi seemed to decide that he had enough fun and grabbed Deidara's body, which had been dumped on the ground unceremoniously.

"Deidara-senpai! You lost your arm! Poor Deidara-senpai!" Tobi wailed melodramatically, shaking the out cold Deidara like a rag doll.

A chain speared through Tobi's intangible body, intending to kill Deidara at least if they couldn't bring him back to Konoha for interrogation. He'd be dead from the poison soon anyway, but there was no point taking chances.

To Naruto's surprise, the chain passed through Deidara as well, clearly showing that Tobi could pass his intangibility on to anything he touched.

"Buh bye Konoha shinobi! It was fun playing with you!" Tobi said and waved his hand at them spastically, sinking into the ground right after and vanishing.

As everyone tried to find Tobi again, Naruto narrowed his eyes in thought. The only thing that he could think of that would allow for intangibility was some kind of space-time technique. The ease and practicality with which Tobi had wielded his technique could only mean that it was a Ninjutsu and not a Fuinjutsu, which was something that he hadn't really believed was possible. Space-time manipulation was an enormously difficult thing and doing it with Ninjutsu was just plain ridiculous, and yet this Tobi character had done it.

If Tobi was as idiotic as he portrayed himself as, then I'm the Raikage. Naruto thought to himself. He didn't believe believe that a fool like that could possibly be capable of space-time manipulation on such a level. It was quite probable however that Tobi was insane, because sanity is for the weak.

It was time to research ways to disable the manipulation of space-time...just in case he ever had to fight that nut, because Naruto couldn't really think of any simple way to take someone like that down.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Notes:

There we go, all done.

This chapter gave me quite a bit of trouble to write aside from having less time due to work. Most of the trouble was due to the fact that I really don't like Deidara. Any moron can throw bombs at sh*t.

Now to finish things off, let me pose to you a hypothetical situation:

A man writes a story that you enjoy, do you review and thus encourage him to write more or do you just read and close your browser, hoping that he will keep writing for whatever purpose he has to write?

Think carefully on this situation, an attain enlightenment.

Also...REVIEWZ! *hint hint, nudge nudge*

Chapter 15

Notes:

DISCLAIMER: If I owned Naruto, then the main character wouldn't be a retard.

Review responses:

WhatTheActualf*ckMyNameDoesntF: Both xD.

Cormin12: I think I remember reading that one ages ago.

TheCrimsonf*cker: You totally stole that name from Hellsing Abridged xD. I completely intend to make Naruto as insane as possible without going too out of character.

ElementalMaster16: Oh my, what flattery xD. It's just an Omake.

The Immortal Shinigami: Thank you for the offer, but I've gotten into the habit of beta reading my own chapters by now, so I'm good. Here is a new chapter though :P.

Ooh, check it out, I got my first (sort of, even if it was a bit weak) flame review! I feel so special, as if I've truly entered internet society. I'd explain that I simply don't like the idea of something like the Bijuu being brought down by a pair of shiny eyeballs and that I'm not making anyone read if they don't like it, but I suppose my esteemed anonymous flamer won't make it this far into the story anyway.

As an answer to all those of you who think that Naruto is underusing his potential in regards to his enormous chakra capacity... He might have giant power reserves, but his control of it is complete crap, so the majority of Ninjutsu(especially elemental) is out of the question, no matter how high powered they are. On another note however, I do have ideas for techniques making use of his insane reserves, they just ain't gonna appear quite yet.

I've gotten just over 100 reviews since the last chapter, which is a joyous occasion indeed, even if about 30 of those reviews were for previous chapters. Big thanks to everyone who reviewed (Even you random flamer. You took the time to review a story you seem to dislike, so I'm going to assume it wasn't as bad as you say and you're just shy. Check me out, looking underneath the underneath.)

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

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"So it seems that everything turned out all right, though it's a shame that this Tobi character managed to make off with Deidara. Having an Akatsuki prisoner to interrogate would have been very convenient." Tsunade said when their mission report was finished. "Dismissed."

"I still need to talk to you about something Tsunade." Naruto said, making everyone look at him in curiosity.

"Can this wait until tomorrow? I was just about to head home and get some rest." Tsunade asked back. It was pretty late and it had been a long day.

"I'm positively throbbing with anticipation and it won't take long...unless you want it to of course." Naruto said with a suggestive leer. What he wanted had nothing at all to do with sex, but it was funny to wind these prudes up.

"Naruto, you can't talk to Hokage-sama like that!" Neji protested. He could hardly believe that Naruto managed to get away with talking to the Godaime in such a familiar manner, but making such a blatant insinuation was just too much to keep quiet about.

"You're still such a prude Neji, you really need to get laid." Naruto said dismissive hand wave, bringing the Hyuuga up short, since he had no idea what to say to that. "Besides, tit* and I are really close."

A paperweight smashed into his face, snapping his head back even as it shattered into pieces.

"What have I told you about calling me that you pervert?!" Tsunade raged at him with a scowl.

"I love it when you play rough with me Tsunade." Her fellow blond said with an excited growl and a wide, bloodstained grin, snigg*ring at her irritation.

Tsunade's eye twitched irritably. She and Naruto were friends, but damn could he piss her off sometimes, not to mention that he'd somehow become even more insane and perverted while he'd been gone. Clearly, whatever had kept him in a perpetually foul mood during the training trip was no longer an issue if he was acting like this. At least Jiraiya would be happy that his godson was back to his own version of normality.

Tsunade herself was also glad that he wasn't as foul tempered and irritable as Jiraiya had described him being anymore, but his attitude could definitely get a bit much sometimes. She couldn't even get him to stop by threatening violence or throwing objects at him...as demonstrated by his reaction to the paperweight.

Still, it was more interesting and fun than being called Hokage-sama all the time. Not that she was ever going to tell anyone that, especially not the blond in question.

"Whatever you want, you better talk fast before I decide to toss you out of the window. The rest of you get out." Tsunade commanded, causing everyone except Naruto to file out of the room, many of them in disbelief that he got away with talking to the Hokage like that.

Tsunade got up from behind her desk and started getting ready to go home even as she spoke. "Well? What did you want?"

"I've got a little proposition for you." The other blond said and walked up behind her, placing his hands on her shoulders and started massaging them.

Tsunade groaned as the tension in her shoulders was relieved. Having such huge breasts made her shoulders ache at times even if she didn't show it. It wasn't the first time that Naruto had given her a massage and she'd stopped instinctively trying to punch him for it by now.

Naruto directed her to sit down on the couch even as he kept up the massage.

"What kind of proposition?" She asked once she was sitting down. Tsunade was pretty sure that he wasn't trying to get into her panties and was just speaking so suggestively because he got a kick out of it.

"I've got a little Fuinjutsu project going on that I need a volunteer for and I think that you'd be perfect for the job."

"Couldn't you just ask Kurenai or Kakashi or anyone else really? Why specifically me?" Tsunade asked in a mellow tone. These occasional massages were one of the things that she'd missed the most during the three years that he'd been gone.

"Because this is something that I'm sure we'll both benefit from. The whole village might benefit from it actually. And I want you because you're the only one who knows the right techniques for this...well I suppose Sakura knows them too, but yours are more refined." Naruto answered and pulled the much older woman to lean on his chest, taking a good look down her cleavage as he did so. A man had to take advantage of the opportunities that presented themselves after all.

"Lets hear it then." The Sannin said lightly with her eyes closed, masking the fact that her interest was peaked.

"I think that I could make a seal that would mimic the effects of the Mystical Palm technique, but I would need to analyze your chakra flow when you use it."

Tsunade's eyes flew open, already imagining how many lives could be saved if every team could carry a stack of seal notes that had a pre-prepared medical technique inscribed onto it. She would have stood up to look at Naruto, but he gripped her shoulders and pulled her back against his chest and leaned forward to whisper into her ear.

"But I want something in return." His deep voice rumbled into her ear full of amusem*nt, clearly aware of how interested she was.

"What do you want?" She asked neutrally. Kami as her witness, if he wanted something sex related then she was going to pulverize him.

"Your strength technique." Came the surprising answer.

"You don't have the control to use it and it doesn't look like you ever will." Tsunade told him, honestly surprised that he would ask for something like that when he clearly knew that he had a chakra control problem.

"You didn't really think that the Mystical Palm was the only technique I'm capable of remaking with Fuinjutsu did you?" She scowled at the clear amusem*nt in his voice.

"I don't know...I only taught Sakura my strength technique because she's my apprentice. I don't want every shinobi in the village to have it." Tsunade said back uncertainly. The idea of having one of her most prized techniques spread around like candy was not something that she was too pleased about.

"No need to worry about that, if I'm right, then my Fuinjutsu version of it will be very chakra intensive, so it wouldn't be practical for anyone but me anyway. If you're still concerned over me having it since I'm not your apprentice, then just think of all the people that could be saved if they had access to healing even without a medic on the team."

Tsunade was sure that if she looked, Naruto would have a forked tongue. The way that he was bribing her right now made her feel as if she was making a deal with the devil.

Something like this would be almost as good as having a medic on every team. In some ways it would be even better, since anyone could use a seal tag, just add chakra and you get healing.

"Why do you want to learn it so badly anyway?"

"Sakura said that I couldn't do it with Fuinjutsu, so I'm going to do it just to prove her wrong. Aside from that, it's a totally badass technique."

In spite of herself, Tsunade felt her ego inflate slightly at having one of her techniques be considered 'badass'.

"I'll even get Gamabunta to part with some of his special sake for you."

There was only so much temptation that you could throw at a woman before she cracked. Getting massaged, the possibility of everyone being able to use a powerful medical technique and now the offer of Gamabunta's special sake, which she knew was some of the best in the world?

What harm could Naruto do with her super strength anyway?

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

"I cannot believe that I am doing this." Tsunade said seethingly.

"Think of all the lives you're saving Tsunade." Came Naruto's amused voice.

"That's the only reason you're still alive you bastard." Was the scathing answer.

Naruto wisely stayed silent, knowing how pissed off the woman was right now.

The reason for this was because the two of them were currently in a training field, working on Naruto's Fuinjutsu version of Tsunade's super strength and Mystical Palm. Naruto had neglected to mention that Tsunade would have to be naked for this to work, since he needed direct skin contact to record the chakra flow precisely.

The female Sannin was currently standing in a private training field, naked and covered in seal paper. They had been at it for a while now and Naruto had needed to adjust some of his seals already, but now it was finally working.

Tsunade would use the Mystical Palm and the details of her chakra flow would be recorded into the seals plastered over her body, then Naruto would remove the tags and place new ones in other positions to make sure that nothing had been missed. Her hands hands had twitched with the instinctive desire to punch his lights out when he had placed the seals over her breasts and posterior, but she had managed to restrain herself.

The fact that he was openly staring at her the whole time didn't help matters.

"Alright, we're done with the Mystical Palm." Naruto said, making Tsunade sigh in relief. "I guess you didn't need to take your pants off after all, since the chakra flow there didn't change at all."

Tsunade started grinding her teeth together in irritation at the smug bastard that hadn't seen fit to tell her that before it was all over.

"Don't bother pulling them back on though, we still need to do the strength technique and I'm definitely going to need to do your legs for that one."

Tsunade started leaking enough killing intent to frighten off all the animals near the training field.

"Oh come on Tsunade, think of it this way. You've got a man that's over thirty years younger than you staring at you, you should be flattered really." Naruto reasoned.

Tsunade's eye began to twitch dangerously, so Naruto amended his statement. "How about some more massaging and sake after we're done with this?"

She calmed down a bit at hearing that. Getting dead drunk and massaged was exactly what she needed after somehow being roped into giving Naruto a peep show.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Neji and Hinata were training together, working on improving their respective Juuken.

Neji had been rather surprised when Hinata had decided that she didn't like the traditional Juuken style, deeming it too rigid and inflexible. He'd been doubtful about her idea to create a more flexible version for her own use, but his cousin had turned out to be right.

The seals that Naruto had painted onto her body, had over time increased her speed quite impressively. Combined with her flexible, reactive style, Hinata had become a very good fighter, enough to give him trouble and even win sometimes. The style itself wasn't too well suited to offensive strikes, but it worked wonders for counter attacking. Additionally, she had learned a few things about healing from Shizune, not enough to qualify as a medic, but enough that she could use the Mystical Palm and heal moderate injuries.

Predictably, the Hyuuga elders had been appalled by this deviation from tradition, though Hiashi had oddly enough spoken in support of it.

Hiashi's actions were contradictory at times, sometimes he praised Hanabi and belittled Hinata and sometimes he did the opposite. There had been talk of an arranged marriage for Hinata, but at the same time the clan head wouldn't make any mention of any definite time for it, nor would he give any names, making the whole thing little more than rumor, much to Hinata's relief. Similarly, there had been talk about branding either Hinata or Hanabi, but in the end kept getting delayed because of one thing or another.

They were just taking a break from their training when Naruto showed up.

"You wanted to see me about something little sister?" He asked, quite curious about why Hinata had asked him to meet her here.

Hinata smiled, happy that he still called her that despite the fact that they hadn't seen each other for three years.

She didn't really count that embarrassing encounter in his apartment as a proper meeting.

"Yes, I have something for you." Hinata said and then looked at Neji, who nodded at her in reassurance. "Neji nii-san and I have managed to get the notes for the Caged Bird Seal."

Naruto's eyebrows rose in interest as he took the notebook that Hinata handed him and began leafing through it. The notes were quite extensive, much more than one would think from seeing the relatively small seal on a branch members forehead.

"This is exactly what I needed." Naruto confirmed after a minute. "Whoever made this seal must have been a skilled seal master. It's going to take me a while to decipher this and find a way to remove it without killing the carrier, there's a lot of traps built into it."

"It's that bad? I thought you would be able to remove it easily after having the notes?" Neji questioned. The Fuinjutsu formulas made no sense to him or Hinata and they didn't dare show it to anyone else.

"Cursed seals are always nasty pieces of work and this one is particularly well made. I can already see that it's designed to latch onto your life force as soon as it's applied, that's why it's so hard to remove it without killing the one who carries it." Naruto answered, still looking through the notebook.

Hinata and Neji nodded in understanding. It worried them, but Neji had already seen Naruto's skill with Fuinjutsu first hand and the blond appeared confident in his ability to deal with it.

"These aren't the original notes though, I can clearly see that you wrote these yourselves." Naruto said, clearly wanting to know what the deal was.

"Well...the original seal notes are too well guarded, so we couldn't just take them. It took us two years to copy it because we had to be so careful." Hinata replied uncertainly.

"There's something else isn't there?" Naruto asked, catching the strange tone in Hinata's voice.

"We think that Hiashi-sama knows that we've been doing this." Neji confirmed, his tone a bit grim.

"What makes you say that?"

"At first it was almost impossible to get anywhere close to the notes, since they were guarded in the clan vault, but we managed to get there once during a festival because the guard was lighter than usual." Neji revealed.

"What changed?" The blond asked curiously.

"I saw father carrying part of the notes out of the vault and into his office one day, several weeks after that. I used my Byakugan to look through the walls so that I could see where he hid them. I saw that he was still holding them in his hands by the time I got to my room and he had his Byakugan active too. I know that he saw me looking at him, but he just placed the notes into a secret compartment in his desk and then turned his Byakugan off as if he hadn't seen anything." Hinata explained.

"We managed to copy that part of the notes fairly easily, since Hiashi-sama's office is a lot easier to get into than the vault, but after that we couldn't make any further progress. Months later, Hiashi-sama passed me in the hallway and I heard paper crinkling inside one of his sleeves. I made my way to my room and activated my Byakugan, seeing that he was sitting at his desk doing paperwork, but he had his own Byakugan active as well. Almost as soon as I activated mine, he picked up one of the papers and put them into that same secret compartment. When we went to check, we saw that it was the next part of the notes." Neji continued.

"And I'm guessing that this pattern continued until you had the whole thing copied?" Naruto asked, feeling quite sure that he was right in his assumption.

"Yes."

"Sounds to me like he's been helping you guys out in a strangely roundabout way." The blond commented.

"It seems that way to us as well, but we haven't confronted him about it so we can't be sure. We wouldn't have been able to do this if it wasn't for him though, the vault is guarded too well most of the time." Neji said in agreement, Hinata nodding along.

They both remembered what Hiashi said to them sometimes , usually just after he placed the next part of the notes into his desk.

You must always act in the best interest of the Hyuuga.

The sentence itself was nothing they hadn't heard before and it was also spoken in the same formal and neutral tone that the clan head used most of the time. It was only the timing of when he said it that made it sound as if he was making a request rather than telling them how to act.

Either way, now that Naruto had the notes, the hardest part about their self imposed mission to get rid of the Caged Bird Seal was done with. Once the blond figured out a way to remove it, they would just need to find a way to prevent a bloodbath between the main and branch houses. Even if Hiashi was for some reason on their side, they had no illusion about how the rest of the main house and the elders in particular would react once they learned that someone knew how to remove the seal.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

"So, did you guys hear about the babe Naruto is supposedly living with?" Kiba asked.

"That troublesome redhead? I've met her three years ago and now Ino tells me that she lives with Naruto. They deserve each other if you ask me, they're both just too troublesome." Shikamaru grumbled, slouched in his seat.

Chouji made munching noises, much too busy with his barbecue to bother talking.

The three of them were sitting in Team 10's favorite barbecue restaurant, just hanging out since they all had time off. Shikamaru had been cloud watching with Chouji when the Akimichi heir had suddenly developed cravings for barbecue. They'd run into a bored Kiba on the way and invited him to come along. Apparently Akamaru had needed a medical check up, which left Kiba to wander about the village, bored out of his skull.

Kiba had invited Shino to come as well, but the Aburame refused, saying that he had something to do, which basically meant that he was going to go gathering bugs. They would have invited Neji to come along, but he wasn't much for hanging out and getting Lee to take time off from training was impossible unless it was a special occasion.

"I wonder how living with a woman is working for him though, considering how much of a womanizer Naruto is." Kiba asked, not really expecting an answer.

"According to Ino, this Xanna that Naruto's living with is just as much of a pervert as he is." Shikamaru drawled.

"Xanna huh? Strange name." Kiba said to himself. "But man, why does Naruto get all the good women? I still can't believe that he somehow got Kurenai-sensei to sleep with him."

"If I heard Asuma's grumbling right then Kurenai-sensei and Anko got together after sleeping with him." Shikamaru said lazily. Normally he wouldn't go around revealing other people's private lives, but with Anko involved it wasn't much of a secret to begin with. In direct opposition to normal, the woman was quite proud of her active sex life and happy to rub people's face in it.

"HAH! He must not be all that if Kurenai-sensei became a lesbian after sleeping with him." Kiba crowed in perceived triumph, though his mind was filled with images of his old Jounin sensei and the sexy Anko in the sack together.

"Keep telling yourself that Kiba, it's not going to change the fact you're still a virgin and that Naruto was having more sex than half the village put together at your age." Shikamaru said back with a smirk, causing Chouji to choke on a piece of meat, interrupting his laughing fit at Kiba's expense.

"Where do you get off saying that you bastard? You're as much a virgin as me!" Kiba retorted with an angry blush on his face.

"Yeah, but I know that I'm one of the uncool guys that doesn't get a lot of female attention. I'm not even going to try competing with someone as troublesome as Naruto." Was the unperturbed answer.

"Well I'm not an uncool guy!" Kiba insisted.

"Yeah, that's why you're sitting at a table with two uncool guys, talking about how much action another guy is getting." Shikamaru replied in a bored tone. Kiba was just so easy to rile up that it wouldn't even be fun if he didn't overreact so much.

Kiba fumed before looking at Chouji for support. "You don't agree with him do you Chouji? Shikamaru might be uncool, but we're both pretty badass aren't we?"

"I don't know Kiba, I never thought of myself as much of a cool guy." Chouji said apologetically.

The Inuzuka huffed and sat back down, moodily flinging a piece of meat into his mouth. He was not an uncool guy damnit!

"Hey isn't that Naruto?" Chouji asked suddenly, looking out the window, causing the other two males to do the same.

It was a pretty silly question actually. Of course it was Naruto. You couldn't really mistake a 6'7'', long haired blond that made a habit of walking around bare chested under a black coat for anyone else. Of greater interest however was the distinctively dusky skinned redhead walking by his side.

"I'll call them over." Kiba said, eyes firmly fixed on the woman at Naruto's side. He'd been told that she was beautiful, but damn. Even if she was with Naruto, he wanted to at least get a closer look at her.

"Kiba don't..." Shikamaru tried to say, but the Inuzuka was already out the door. "...troublesome." The two of them were clearly on a date or something like it and Kiba was butting his nose where it was liable to get cut off.

Watching the conversation through the window told him that both Naruto and the woman who was presumably Xanna seemed to find Kiba's suggestion amusing. In short order all three of them were back inside the barbecue restaurant, Kiba retaking his previous seat and the two newcomers sitting down beside Shikamaru. With the way that they'd sat down, Xanna was sitting next to Shikamaru and facing Chouji, while Naruto sat next to her and faced Kiba.

The blond had some serious issues sitting down in a booth because of his coat, which was getting in the way due to it's length. Eventually he just gave it up as a bad job and took it off, placing it on the seat next to him, leaving him topless.

The other three males rolled their eyes when they saw how much attention Naruto was generating just by walking into the restaurant. Ever since his status as a Jinchuuriki had been revealed, it wasn't forbidden to talk about it any longer since everyone knew , which made it easily apparent that Naruto was not well liked by most of the civilians and some of the shinobi. People who knew him thought it was all incredibly stupid. Sure, the blond was crazy and could really push people's buttons when he wanted to, but he was a pretty good guy once you got used to him.

"I suppose I should do the introductions." Naruto said once he got comfortable. "Guys, this is Xanna, my incredibly sexy lover. Xanna, these are Shikamaru, an overly intelligent slacker without any real ambition in life." He finished with a gesture towards the slacker in question, who gave a lackadaisical wave.

Shikamaru had sort of met her already, but aside from getting told to do something in an incredibly threatening way, they hadn't spoken at all.

"Kiba, a mutt who tries way too hard to impress the ladies." The blond continued, gesturing towards Kiba this time.

"Oi! I'm not a mutt you bastard!" Kiba protested loudly.

"You smell like one," Naruto said dismissively. "and I'll have you know that my parents were married when they had me, to each other even."

While Kiba tried to come up with something clever to say back, Naruto continued the introduction. "And this is Chouji, he gets mad if you call him fat."

Chouji looked a bit annoyed at his own introduction, but didn't react too much. Naruto hadn't actually called him fat after all, he'd just said that Chouji got mad if he was called fat, which was true.

"Strange people you associate with Naruto." Xanna said with some amusem*nt at the introduction, leaning against the backrest, which had the side effect of pushing her breasts further outward. She raised an eyebrow when Kiba's gaze was instantly drawn to them.

The Inuzuka averted his eyes when he realized that his peeking had been noticed, doing the best he could not to blush. His mother and sister wouldn't be very impressed with him if word made it back to them that he had been blatantly staring at a woman's breasts, especially since she was taken and he wasn't sure he even wanted to know how Naruto would react. The blond was completely impossible to predict.

But it was really hard not to look. The readhead was freaking hot. Kiba had no idea where Naruto found her, but she was the most ridiculously beautiful and exotic woman that he'd ever seen and she clearly knew it too. The low cut yukata she was wearing exposed a lot of her shoulders and breasts, which if his eyes did not deceive him, were simply naturally that firm without needing a bra to support them.

"See something you like Kiba?" Came the frosty question from Naruto.

Kiba realized with mild horror that he had been staring at Xanna's breasts as if hypnotized for an unknown length of time. Judging by Shikamaru's somewhat strained expression, it must have been entirely too long.

"No! I mean...I didn't mean to. Sorry." Kiba said hastily, trying to climb out of the hole he had stepped into. He might have been co*cky, but he knew better than to mess with another man's woman, or even just stare stupidly at her boobs. That was a good way to lose teeth, especially if you were dealing with someone like Naruto. Kiba was quite sure that the blond wouldn't even think twice about punching his lights out right here and right now.

Not to mention that it was really uncool to stare at a buddy's girlfriend. Kiba and Naruto might not exactly be best friends, but they were on good terms at least.

"No? Am I not good enough to look at then?" This time the frosty question came from Xanna.

Kiba felt his stomach trying to wring itself into a nervous pretzel when he looked into that predatory gaze. There was something about this woman that he couldn't quite point his finger at, but every instinct he had was telling him that he absolutely did not want her to be angry at him.

"No!...I mean yes, you are! You're totally hot." He once again blurted out, hoping desperately that it was the right thing to say.

The sound of Shikamaru facepalming told him that it wasn't.

"What was that?" Naruto asked dangerously, baring his teeth menacingly at the much smaller Kiba.

The Inuzuka teenager broke out into a nervous sweat. There was just no winning this. If he tried to appease one, then he was going to get chewed out by the other. He was granted a reprieve when a snort escaped Naruto, apparently unable to keep holding the hostile expression any longer because he was just too amused.

"Pathetic." Xanna said with some derision, leaning against Naruto's side and rubbed her right hand across his thigh. "You had more guts than this one when you were ten years old Naruto."

Kiba took a direct hit. Right in the pride. As far as this super hot woman was concerned he didn't even measure up to a ten year old Naruto. That stung.

"Well, he can't really help being less badass than me, if Neji were here he'd tell you that it's fated." Naruto said with an amused smirk at how bluntly Xanna had put Kiba down.

"What about this one then? He looks as if he's about to melt and dribble onto the floor." She asked, indicating Shikamaru's slouched posture.

"Shikamaru probably wouldn't mind that. Having a spine is so troublesome after all." Naruto informed her.

"Troublesome..." Shikamaru said with a sigh. This is why they didn't hang out with Naruto. Not because they had any particular dislike of him, but you just couldn't talk to him without somehow getting drawn into an argument or a fight of some sort.

Xanna seemed to lose interest in him by the time he'd said that word and snatched some of the meat from Chouji.

"Hey!" Chouji protested.

"What?" The demoness challenged with her eyes narrowed, baring her teeth at him the same way that Naruto had done to Kiba earlier.

Chouji broke into a cold sweat at the clear challenge, feeling the same nervous twisting in his gut as Kiba. He really didn't want to share his food, but he wanted to go against this woman even less. He didn't know if she was a kunoichi or not, but something was telling him that it wouldn't end well for him.

"Nothing." He said meekly and backed down, missing the incredulous looks from Shikamaru and Kiba and the amused one from Naruto.

Xanna finished stealing the last of Chouji's food, much to his dismay. She was a big fan of 'survival of the fittest' and his inability to even protest having his food taken, despite the fact that he clearly wanted to, was what made her take the rest of it in the first place. Sometimes she'd killed people like that on sheer principle. She knew that it was kind of petty, in a schoolyard bully sort of way, but she had a very low tolerance of cowardice.

Wasn't he supposed to be a shinobi, someone who dealt with life and death situations on every mission that he went on? How did he manage to get anything done if all it took for him to back down was a stare? Or was he one of those people who only showed courage in life or death situations? Well either way, he'd lost his food due to lack of backbone. It certainly hadn't been because she was hungry, she didn't need to eat after all.

"Beloved, I'm getting hungry." The demoness said to Naruto in a husky voice that left no doubt about the kind of hunger she was experiencing.

"Me too love. Lets go eat." He replied in the same tone, leaning closer to her and completely ignoring the gawky looks from the other three occupants at the table.

They were just about to get up and leave when another voice intruded on them.

"Hey guys. Who's your friend Naruto?" Asuma greeted and asked curiously. He'd heard that Naruto and Jiraiya were back but this was the first time he'd seen the blond and it was definitely the first time that he was seeing the gorgeous redhead with him.

The redhead in question stood and looked at him with an annoyed expression, those heart stoppingly familiar eyes burning into him even as she exposed her fanged teeth and spoke.

"I..." She began and placed two clawed fingers on his cheek. "am none of your concern!" She finished and slashed her fingers down along his cheek, cleanly cutting away his beard on that cheek, leaving him looking comically lopsided.

As a chuckling Naruto put his coat on, placed his hand on her rear and they made their way out of the restaurant, a stunned Asuma sat down at the table and asked.

"What the hell just happened?"

"Well..." Shikamaru drawled and began to explain. "We were just talking about how uncool we are, when we noticed Naruto and his girlfriend walking past the restaurant. Kiba wanted to get a closer look at her and invited them to join us."

Kiba didn't even bother to protest his reasons for the invitation, still feeling a bit bummed about being judged less manly than a ten year old Naruto.

The lazy Nara took a deep breath and continued explaining. "In the space of ten minutes, she tore strips out of Kiba's hide, insulted me and stole all of Chouji's food. She and Naruto apparently got horny while doing this and decided to go somewhere else when you interrupted them, which might be why she left you looking like an idiot."

Honestly, Shikamaru was just glad that he had gotten off easy.

Asuma just stared at his former student, fingering the nearly clean shaven cheek. That was a ninja's precision, but he'd never heard of any Konoha kunoichi like her before. Her coloring would have identified her as being from Kumo, but there was no way that the Raikage would send someone with that kind of distinct appearance on an infiltration mission.

"What's her name?" He asked.

"Xanna."

Another complete oddity. The name didn't sound like anything that he'd ever heard before, no matter which corner of the Elemental Nations she was from. And those eyes... He'd only seen those eyes on the Kyuubi when the great demon had attacked Konoha. He had been just a child then, though already a shinobi, but he could never forget those eyes.

Despite the absurdity of it, it was those eyes, along with the fangs and claws, that made him consider the possibility of the Kyuubi possessing a human form. He would have to tell the Hokage about this and let her decide.

"Either way, welcome to the table of uncool guys Asuma-sensei. You fit right in with your new beard style."

Asuma scowled. He was not an uncool guy damnit!

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

"Do you have any idea how crazy that sounds Asuma? The Bijuu have always been known as giant, unstoppable forces of nature. Not once has there been the slightest hint that any of them are in some way intelligent and now you're telling me that you suspect that the Kyuubi is free and that she's walking around in human form, not destroying the village, but hurling insults at my shinobi and cutting off their beards, as well as dating Naruto." Tsunade said dryly to the now clean shaven Asuma. He'd been forced to shave the rest of it off or continue looking like an idiot until it regrew. The choice had been rather simple, since he could just regrow the whole thing.

"I know how it sounds Hokage-sama and I'm not saying that I'm 100 percent certain about this, I just think it would be wise to get Naruto's seal checked." Asuma reasoned.

Tsunade rubbed the bridge of her nose as she answered the Jounin with a wry tone. "The problem is, that Naruto is our best seal master and is therefore the one most qualified to check the seal. If I ask him to let Jiraiya take a look at it, it's either going to look like I don't trust him or that I have no faith in his ability."

Tsunade sighed and continued. "That being said, you do have a point. Just because we've never heard of it before doesn't mean it's impossible. I'll have Jiraiya take a look at the seal to see if Naruto might have released the Kyuubi. Dismissed."

Asuma nodded and left the Hokage's office.

The slug Sannin rubbed her hand over her forehead again and asked a question seemingly to the air. "What do you think Jiraiya?"

"I don't know Tsunade, Naruto isn't a very easy guy to figure out. He seems blunt as a hammer most of the time, but I know that he can be damn sneaky if he wants to be." The toad Sannin admitted as he dropped his personal invisibility technique. The only thing consistent about Naruto was the fact that he was damn near impossible to predict or figure out.

"Have you ever heard of this Xanna before, or at least a place where that kind of name might have come from?"

"The only thing I've heard of her before this was a few scattered mentions of Naruto taking her on a date three years ago, though I do have to confess that I was more focused on outside threats. As for the name...your guess is as good as mine."

Tsunade sighed again. She really wanted to believe that Naruto hadn't released the Kyuubi, but everything she heard was making this woman sound more and more suspicious. If she even was a woman and not a giant demonic fox in disguise.

"Well I guess there's nothing else for it but to check Naruto's seal and hope he doesn't get offended."

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

If there was a way to continuously roll one's eyes, then Naruto would be doing so as his godfather peered at the Reaper Death Seal inscribed on his gut. He needed to constantly channel chakra into it to keep it visible, but he'd long since gotten used to doing that. It had been required if he wanted to tamper with it after all.

Clearly, they were doing this because someone, most likely Asuma, had reported to Tsunade about Xanna and they had come to the correct conclusion. It was a good thing that Naruto had prepared his bullsh*t ahead of time, now it was time to shovel it like a champion.

"So Naruto, I hear that you've got yourself a girlfriend." Tsunade said, clearly fishing for information.

Naruto grinned for more than one reason as he answered her. "Yep."

"How did you meet?" The slug Sannin asked with open curiosity. Even if Xanna wasn't the Kyuubi, she'd still want to know something like this.

"I met her when I was ten years old. I was in a tight spot, trying to get by in the red lights district isn't easy as an orphan and she did a lot to help me. She's probably the only reason that I didn't starve because of the idiot villagers and their misdirected hatred." Naruto said, scowling slightly at the end. That was still a sore spot for him, even all these years later.

On another note, speaking in half truths w