|Yanzebilo||Огноо: Баасан, 2012-09-21, 8:17 PM | Дугаар # 7|
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KONOHA'S WHITE STREAK
Summary: While looking for a way to defeat Madara Naruto accidentally sends himself back in time and wakes up looking like a younger clone of Jiraiya in a time where the Third Shinobi World War is still going strong.
When Naruto woke up it was in gradual degrees.
His nose twitched at the metallic tang in the air and he grimaced as the coppery taste in his mouth registered, peeling his eyes open he coughed painfully.
It was all over the ground around him and drying on his face and flaking away in small pieces as his fumbling fingers probed blindly for any injuries, the red flakes floating to the floor in a grotesque parody of snow.
His movements felt slow, heavy and deadened, as if someone had drained the life out of him.
And in a way they had…
His sluggish mind was slowly catching up to him, the boy pushed himself up to his knees another scent hit his nose and nearly started gagging.
That wasn't the only thing that had burnt Naruto discovered as he put a hand to his ash blackened arm and bunched the sleeve of his shirt in a fist, grimacing again as it crumbled underneath his fingers.
His skin had obviously been burnt at one point and judging by the blood on and around him he'd been injured pretty badly too. He'd been sleeping long enough for him to be healed completely but the evidence was still all around him.
He was in the process of fully waking up when he discovered his clothes were a complete write off, turning to dust at a touch with the remains of what looked like a scroll wrapped around him!
Letting out a rough squawk Naruto went to cover himself with it and started with shock when it crumbled under his hands, turning into a pile of ash.
Hastily covering himself in a discarded and rather rough sack lying nearby, obviously something that had once been thrown in the bin he'd been sleeping near, Naruto held back a shriek as he looked down at himself, his face morphing into a look of complete shock.
"Oh my god!"
Pulling himself to his feet using the nearby wall for balance Naruto freaked. He'd been turned into a kid!
It took a while to calm himself down and the only thing that was keeping himself from freaking out even more was the small hope that whatever he'd done to himself was hopefully reversible, Sakura or Tsunade would probably be able to turn him back to normal.
Naruto carefully inched his way out of the alley way he'd ended up in, his hands busy with keeping the cloth sack from slipping off him as he staggered, the overlarge and singed sandals on his feet tried to trip him up.
Kicking off the useless footwear the boy shivered and swore sharply to himself when his ankle twisted, making his already difficult walk even harder.
Naruto made slow and limping progress towards the mouth of the alleyway, pausing only to adjust the fit of the sack he'd been using as a sheet, he was small enough that it wrapped around him completely with room to spare.
He felt like he'd tripped face first into the twilight zone, there was no way he was in a genjutsu because prior to this rather unfortunate circumstance he'd been alone, training and trying to figure out a way to get around Madara's time-space ninjutsu. At this point in his training he would have felt it if someone else's chakra intruded on his own.
'Am I dead?' the boy thought to himself as panted, his back braced against a wall. 'Is this this the other world?'
'What a way to go though… and seriously you'd think it would hurt less…' Naruto thought to himself sarcastically as he fought his way back to calm.
No this was something else.
Shivering into the rough material of his sack Naruto couldn't help but think back to what he'd been doing before he'd woken up here in this weird situation.
He'd been trying to figure out a way to defeat Madara, unable to keep up with him regularly Naruto had turned to the toads for more training, not in the Sage arts but in fuinjutsu in an attempt to come up with a way do defeat the rouge Uchiha, maybe even try to recreate his father's technique.
Apparently that had backfired… rather spectacularly if his current situation was anything to go by.
A sick feeling crept up his throat as he took another peek at his hands, he had a feeling that he'd just done something completely impossible…
Navigating through the unfamiliar city unnoticed was surprisingly easy for Naruto, especially when you took into account that all he was dressed in was what basically amounted to an embarrassingly patterned pair of boxers and a rather worn looking sack.
He'd been running rings around Konoha's ANBU since he'd been six years old so it wasn't particularly difficult, it was just annoying.
Then again who in their right mind would want to get caught nearly naked and wrapped in nothing but an over-glorified garbage bag?
He managed to filch some clothes for himself, a pair of shorts and a shirt that was just a bit too big for him. Shrugging into the clothes Naruto gladly abandoned the sack in the first bin he came across and was currently wandering around the city in a near daze, wondering how he was going to explain this to his friends.
Staggering weakly Naruto managed to guide himself to the nearest public rest room and blindly wandered inside with his head spinning.
He'd somehow managed to drop himself into a completely unfamiliar city, he had no idea exactly how far away from Konoha he'd landed and he was obviously in quite a bit of danger, the fourth world war wasn't exactly a safe conflict to be wandering around looking like a lost kid in.
Dizzily weaving over to a sink he grabbed at the ledge of the long sink and pulled himself up with a bit of effort, managing to sit himself with his feet in the sink without falling off.
He reached for the tap, using the cool water to clean off the worst of the ash and blood himself and shoved his head under the stream a moment later, hoping the steady water would soothe some of his stress.
Resurfacing feeling a little more stable Naruto turned the tap off, shook out his hair and ruffled the wet spikes to get rid himself of most of the water only to freeze as the motion brought something to his attention. Eyes widening for the umpteenth time since he'd woken up Naruto dragged a strand of hair in front of his eyes to get a better look at it.
He breathed in a few deep breaths and carefully turned himself around so he could lower himself down out of the sink and to the floor.
He moved to the wall length mirror near the door and stared in stunned disbelief.
The boy looking back at him did the same.
Naruto raised a hand to touch one his unmarked cheeks and collapsed backwards hyperventilating. Wide charcoal coloured eyes stared out of a pale face surrounded with wet and dripping spikes of white, chin-length hair.
'Maybe using Jiraiya's left over ink when I ran out of my own wasn't one of my brightest ideas…' the kid thought faintly to himself, reaching out a hand to touch the cold surface of the mirror and bracing his suddenly weak body against it.
In fuinjutsu blood was unfortunately an important ingredient, without it a seal was about as useful as a scribble and unless one wanted to bleed themselves dry learning the art then mixing blood with ink was a necessity.
He'd found the bottle of ink in the things the old toad sage Fukusaku had given to him along with a nice neat pile of other things that had once belonged to his white haired teacher. God, he hadn't even thought twice about using it, adding some of his own blood to the concoction without realizing it already had some of his teacher's blood mixed in with it already.
Now… he was seeing the consequences.
He looked so different!
Along with his hair everything about him had changed, his skin was no longer tanned and even with his face chubby with baby fat you could tell he would one day have features that were almost delicate. His cheeks were unmarked and missing his unique birthmarks and there was red lining his narrower eyes like eyeliner in an echo of his sage mode.
He didn't look like a complete clone Jiraiya but it was a close thing.
Shaking as he leaning his back against a wall the white haired boy grimaced and pulled up his shirt to look at his stomach, holding the hem in his teeth as his hands formed a basic hand-seal.
Channelling chakra Naruto spent a good few minutes staring at the pale and unmarked skin and promptly broke out into goosebumps.
He was no longer a Jinchiuuriki.
'Oh god no! Please say this isn't happening!'
Barely stopping himself from freaking out the white haired boy slammed outside of the bathroom and back out into the city, chose a direction and simply ran.
He needed to find somewhere quiet so he could check for sure he wasn't housing the Kyuubi and not just tapped out of its chakra, he needed to find out where he was in relation to Konoha to warn everyone that the Kyuubi was free and…
"Ouch! Damn it kid, what the hell? Look what you did to my shirt!"
Naruto stumbled backwards from where he'd ran face first into the complaining guy and landed painfully on his backside.
Scrambling back up onto his feet the now white haired boy mumbled an apology and made as if to walk around him, only to be grabbed by his shoulder and thrown right back to the ground.
The transformed shinobi hit the packed dirt with a grunt and skidded along the street, stopping only when he hit the wall of a nearby building.
Feeling the prick of reaction tears spring up in his eyes at his new scrapes Naruto didn't even let himself rest and instead used the wall he'd hit to help himself to his feet. He didn't have the time to waste letting this bully kick him around, he needed to get to Konoha and he needed to do it fast.
Looking up Naruto pinned the guy who'd thrown him to the floor with his most intimidating glare, one that was probably completely ineffective because of his current transformation and tried not to sneer, he honestly did.
"You jerk! There's nothing wrong with your stupid shirt!" Naruto growled thoughtlessly, wiping the dirt off his face, he'd gained a nice coating of road dust all over him. His hair was probably coated with it since it had been slightly damp when he'd hit the ground.
There was a moments of silence in which both the man he'd bumped into and the white haired boy both paused as each of them stared at the other.
The tension broke when the man started cracking his knuckles.
Naruto winced imperceptibly and faintly wished he hadn't inherited his mothers temper...
Senju Tsunade was sipping at a saucer of sake and was in the middle of a game of black jack in the moments before she heard the commotion outside the bar.
Her teenage apprentice was sitting awkwardly beside her at the table, waiting for her teacher to finish losing all their money so they could move onto the next town, this one was rather rougher than either of them was really used to.
When her unlucky streak broke and she actually won the game she was currently playing she frowned, dumping her sizable stack of gambling chips into the cardboard cup she'd been steadily emptying over the night.
The blond got up from her seat and headed over to exchange the tokens for money, pushing the brimming cup over to the bored looking attendant and waited for her payout.
Lately she'd been noticing a pattern to her gambling, one she was slowly learning to pay attention to. If she lost money there was a relatively good chance her day was going to be a nice and boring, if she won some life would get a little exciting for a while. It was all in proportion to how much she won and how much she lost…
Just now… she'd won more than she'd lost in the last three months.
Handing one of the suitcases filled with money to Shizune and grabbing the other, the blond stalked out of the building intent on outracing whatever trouble was sure to follow such a big turn in fortune.
They didn't even make it halfway down the street.
A small form skidded around the closest corner and bumped into a man loitering nearby, bouncing off the man and over its his feet to land in a painful looking heap in front of them with a wheeze.
The little boy was filthy, undersized and obviously underfed, wearing clothes much too big for him and his hair was a dirty and tangled mess of spikes. A street urchin, judging by his rundown appearance.
Tsunade almost felt her heart stop when the boy looked up and an image of her little brother superimposed over the boy's features momentarily. The impression was only solidified at the boys retort at whatever the man was accusing him of.
"You jerk! There's noting wrong with your stupid shirt!" the boy growled before pausing, an expression crossing his face that made him look like he wanted to cover his mouth with his hands.
Tsunade was never one to sit by idly when children were in danger, she also had about zero tolerance for this particular brand of yakuza, they thought they could push people around just because of their connections.
Handing off the suitcase full of money off to her apprentice Tsunade started cracking her own knuckles, no one got away with hitting children in her presence, especially the ones that looked so much like her little brother!
Batting aside the irate yakuza wannabe with a careless swat that sent the man barrelling down the street Tsunade kneeled down to get a good look at the boy who was staring up at her with wide, and strangely familiar, charcoal grey eyes.
She picked him up by the back of his shirt and slung him over her shoulder, uncaring of the dirt he was covered in. She had several changes of clothes at the hotel she was currently booked in and it wasn't like she'd never get the dirt out.
Ignoring the boy's startled squeak and subsequent shaking she marched away from the scene she'd created and called for Shizune.
She'd drop the kid off at the first respectable orphanage she found, no kid deserved to try and eke out a living out on the streets, especially not a plucky little one like this.
She led the way back to her hotel with the panicked little boy staring over her shoulder at Shizune and dismissed the boy's stress as having just been hoisted off the street by a strange woman who'd just defeated a guy taller than her within less than a second.
It wasn't like she would have guessed the real cause for his stress even if she had known what he was looking at.
Naruto was stunned mute for the first time in his life.
Shizune… the girl following behind Tsunade looked like the woman, her voice even sounded something like hers but the girl he was looking at was quite a few years younger than the Shizune he had known.
He open and closed his mouth a few times but couldn't get anything out that was more than a squeak, his heart was beating fast and the only thing that was stopping him from passing out was his current state of denial.
There was no way this was happening, the jutsu he'd been creating… couldn't have done what he was thinking it had done.
He tried to tell himself he was dreaming or hallucinating, probably trapped in a genjutsu good enough to fool even his trained-to-death senses.
It was only when they passed by the city gates that the denial was washed away by the large sign above the entrance to the city.
Otafuku-gai, he'd landed himself in a city that was less than an half a day's travel away from Konoha and he hadn't recognized it, the city had been made completely unfamiliar due to one very specific reason.
It was almost a mercy when he finally passed out.
He'd been thrown back in time.
Added (2012-09-21, 6:14 PM)
Shizune gratefully dropped the suitcases full of money off in the room she shared with her teacher and raced back out so she didn't miss anything of this new development.
The Chuunin locked the door behind her as she left the room and pocketed the key, heading down the small flight of stairs to the ground floor. She passed by the front desk and headed into the dining room only to freeze in the doorway, gaping at what looked like the demolished remains of several plates of food sitting around the undersized child in short stacks.
"When was the last time you ate?" Shizune blurted out, staring bug eyed and aghast at how much food he'd already packed away, he must have been starving!
Small shoulders shrugged and the street urchin ignored her question in favour of pulling another plate full of food towards himself, not even bothering to reply and stuffing his mouth with more food instead.
"Sensei… should he be eating like this so soon?" the dark haired girl asked her teacher with real worry, people who hadn't eaten in a while usually threw everything right back up again within the first few mouthfuls of food.
Tsunade made a thoughtful humming noise at the question and pushed a bowl of steamed vegetables forwards, narrowing her eyes when he didn't even pause in his eating to wrinkle his nose at the food unlike every other child she'd ever met.
He'd known to go straight for the soups before eating anything else and had gradually worked himself up to solid food when it was apparent he wasn't about to be sick, he acted like he was used to moments like this.
Though as a street urchin he probably was…
He'd most likely wait until the first moment he their backs were turned before bolting, he was already subtly scanning his surroundings with those weirdly familiar eyes.
He was probably somewhere around eight years old… he couldn't be any older than ten at the very most. The boy wasn't quite as scrawny or as malnourished as he could have been and his clothes were, if not new then close enough to new that it didn't matter. Either this kid had not been on the streets for long or he was a hell of a lot smarter than most children were at his age.
The kid also looked like he was used to keeping himself clean, the amount of dirt he was currently wearing had to be the result of the scuffle from earlier and it was just as obvious that the clothes he was wearing didn't originally belonged to him...
So he was self sufficient, used to being alone and independent enough that it probably hadn't taken the kid all that long to get used to his life…
It was a disheartening thought.
Waiting for the moment the boy cleared the last plate on the table the medic didn't give the boy the chance to let his feet touch the floor, bodily picking him up again before he could do much more than twist around to get out of his seat, knowing that if she let him he'd bolt for the door as soon as possible.
He squirmed, testing the strength of her grip and went limp when it became obvious she wasn't going to let him go. Tsunade smirked at him and turned to the innkeeper who'd been watching the scene from a corner of the room.
"Can you show me to the bathing rooms? I think its time someone got cleaned up."
The boy froze stock still for a whole minute before turning utterly horror filled eyes on her, the expression tugged something at the back of her mind but she brushed it away and adjusted her hold on her now suddenly extremely difficult to hold captive.
She sent Shizune back into the city with instructions to find something for the boy to wear and wondered why the boy felt so damned familiar.
He took to being bathed about as gracefully as a stray cat, he yowled, he scratched, he growled and fought the process like it was the last fight in his life, finally finding his voice to complain loudly in a scratchy voice that screamed that he could wash himself damn it!
It took Tsunade all of her impressive strength just to get him into the large tub the innkeeper had been kind enough to show them to and even then she had to pin him with one arm while she scrubbed what she could reach.
The boy only gave in with a humiliated sulk when Shizune came back with an armful of clothes and an extra pair of hands to help with. You could practically read the 'Why me?' in his expression.
It wasn't until they went to rinse the soap suds out of his hair that Tsunade realized why the boy seemed so damned familiar to her.
She'd been massaging the shampoo into the boys hair, working gently to scrub most of the dirt out and had huffed out a sound of disbelief as most of the brown colour rose up out of the kid's hair with the suds.
"You can't be blond underneath this mess can you?" the woman laughed mostly to herself as Shizune shielded the boy's eyes.
She picked up the bucket of warm water they'd saved to rinse his hair and slowly let it drain over the child's head, watching incredulously at the sheer amount of dirt that washed away with the water.
Moving the bucket out of her line of sight Tsunade's own eyes widened and her fingers went numb, making her drop the empty wooden wash bucket out of her suddenly nerveless fingers.
"Oh my god…"
The boy scrubbed the water out of his eyes and growled again, glaring up at her with dark grey eyes she now noticed were lined delicately with red.
His chin length mop of wet spikes of weren't blond… they were white. The same pure white she'd only ever seen on one person in her entire life.
For the first time in a long while the slug princess grinned and when Shizune reached out for a towel to dry the small boy she lost the battle with herself.
"Shizune… pack our belongings and settle things with the innkeeper, we're leaving."
"Where are we going Tsunade-sama?" the girl asked even as she hastily got up to do as she was told, holding the towel wrapped and squirming captive in an awkward grip.
"Isn't it obvious? We're going home!"
They didn't even notice it when the boy winced.
Leaving Shizune alone to pack away their things Tsunade hoisted a now clean and fully dressed white haired boy over her shoulder again and marched down to the nearest police office.
She stayed there only long enough to make sure the boy wasn't on the register of people living in the city or on the list of lost and missing children and swanned right back out again, the boy over her shoulder still struggling uselessly to break out of her grip.
Satisfied that she was on the sunny side of legality and happy that she wasn't about to get stuck with a kidnapping charge if she took him with her Tsunade left the city with the boy grumbling and draped limply over her shoulder. He still looked somewhat wild around the eyes but he'd seemed to have given up trying to get away the moment they'd gone past the gates, acting almost resigned to his fate by the time Shizune caught up with them.
He remained stubbornly mute, the squalling he'd let out in the bathroom was all they'd gotten out of him despite all of Shizune's numerous attempts to assure the boy that they weren't going to harm him.
They hadn't even been able to get his name out of him.
His hair had dried out into a fluffy white mass of spikes that angled downwards unlike her team-mate's hair, which spiked out in every direction. Tsunade couldn't help but think that whoever the boy's mother had been, she must have been a real beauty to have left such delicate features on her son, the boy was lucky he didn't take after who she thought his father was more than he already did.
The clothes Shizune had managed to get for him made his hair look even brighter, contrasting sharply against the simple white shirt, hooded sleeveless blue jacket and dark grey pants. The boy was a lot better looking than she remembered Jiraiya looking at that age.
Tsunade started cackling again as her mind provided her with an idea of the expression that was likely to cross the man's face when he came face to face with what had to be the result of one of the man's many drunken nights and started walking a little faster, intent on getting to the village as soon as possible.
She couldn't wait to see his reaction.
Naruto had never been so confused, flustered and downright bewildered as he was right at this moment, draped as he was over the shoulder of the woman who had become his Fifth Hokage and staring at the girl who would one day become Sakura's sempai all the while heading to a village that, the last time he'd seen it, had been in the beginning stages of major reconstruction.
He'd tried nearly every non chakra based trick he'd ever learnt in a desperate bid to get away from Tsunade before she could get a good look at his hair just knowing what kind of conclusion she'd reach about who his father was.
Hell if it hadn't been for his nearly empty supply of chakra he'd have been able to give her a run for her money but as it was the effort it had taken just to run away from the civilian who'd accused him of ruining his shirt had been almost too much for him.
Naruto had taken his time eating the food placed in front of him, sweating nervously and hoping against hope that she'd get bored waiting for him to finish up and lower her guard down enough for him to slip by her.
No such luck.
Even with the time he had taken to eat the food he'd been given he still hadn't recovered enough chakra to make a successful run for it, he'd need at least a night's rest before he was back up to anywhere near full strength.
He'd tried to twist out of his chair at the end of his meal but hadn't quite made it. He should have made more of a fuss when she'd first taken him off the street… it would have spared him the humiliation that had taken place in the bathroom.
At least he hadn't told them his name… that would really have cemented their opinions of who his supposed father was, god he wished he'd had some sort of silence training or something because keeping quiet was borderline torture!
For the first time since he'd learned of the origins of his name he almost wished his parents had chosen a different one…
He was going to slip up eventually, he just knew it… he needed to think of a story before they could force one out of him and he needed one incredibly fast! He wanted to go find somewhere quiet and out of the way so he could figure out what to do with himself but it was already too late.
They were already nearing Konoha's gates.
His former Hokage placed him onto his feet briefly when they got close and blithely aborting another attempt of making a break for it by hoisting him up by the waist and cheerfully tucking him under her arm again.
The gate guards, four Chuunin at either side of the massive wooden doors, a marked difference to what security was like in the Hidden Village during peace time, perked up at the sight of them and stared at Tsunade, shocked at her return.
Naruto discreetly pulled the hood of his jacket up over his hair and hoped he could get away before anyone else saw him, this was too far-fetched, he needed something to distract himself with or he was going to start to panicking… again.
He cringed away from the attention he was getting from the gate guards and silently hoped they would protest his entry into the village but that hope was waved away the second he saw their respectful faces.
No way were they going to say no to one of Konoha's Legendary Senin, especially after she'd been missing for so long, 'two years' he'd heard one of them comment.
When they were waved into Konoha Naruto forgot he was supposed to be freaking out, he breathed out an amazed sound that seemed to amuse the two Kunoichi that had dragged him to the village and just stared, eyes looking absolutely everywhere so he could take in everything all at once.
Pristine and impossibly untouched this was the village that had never been levelled by Nagato's devastating technique.
The entire village was full of life and teeming with so many people it was hard to imagine that the village had room enough for everyone, especially considering that it was early night time and that most people were inside their own houses.
This was Konoha as it had been before Kyuubi's devastating attack.
Getting even more desperate the further they got into the village and closer to the red tower he was sure Tsunade was heading to, the white haired boy tried something he hadn't so far and, all the while apologizing frantically in his head for what he was about to do, bit down on the arm holding him hard enough to draw blood.
It had the expected result, the woman swore loudly and dropped him to the ground, holding her arm reflexively before realizing what she had done and collapsing to the ground herself when she realized she had blood dripping from fingers.
Shizune tried to stop him from disappearing into the crowd but she reached forward too late.
Taking advantage of the surprise and Tsunade's fear of blood Naruto had already disappeared, melting into the crowd.
Sneaking around the village when it was already on high alert was stupidly easy, especially when you took into account that the village was supposed to be in the middle of a freaking war...
Keeping out of sight and making sure that the hood he was wearing was covering his shock of white hair the boy thanked his early life lessons on evasion. To think he'd be using skills developed during the height of his pranking phase to keep away from the ninja of his own village, the idea almost made him want to laugh and cry at the same time.
Squirreling himself away inside someone's attic Naruto looked out of the thin shutters of the dusty and cluttered room and slid down the wooden crate he was leaning against so he could sit down with an unimpeded view of the Hokage monument.
Pulling his knees up to his chest the white haired boy stared out at the three faces on the mountain and felt like he'd been punched in the gut.
Yondaime Hokage Namikaze Minato hadn't been appointed yet.
Added (2012-09-21, 6:15 PM)
"I can't believe he bit me!"
Sandaime Hokage Sarutobi Hiruizen pinched the bridge of his nose and sighed out a pained breath.
"We did sort of kidnap him Tsunade-sama, I'm almost surprised he didn't try that sooner…"
"Talk about biting the hand that feeds you though…" Tsunade grumbled wryly to her student as she walked into his office, shrugging into a new and non-blood stained jacket…
When he'd first received the report that his long missing student had returned seemingly entirely of her own free will after two years of running from the village he almost hadn't believed it.
He'd leaned out his window and had just gotten his first glimpse of her when it became apparent that two years 'off duty' hadn't been enough to cure her fear of blood.
The boy she'd been carrying melted seamlessly into the crowd that rushed to help Tsunade to her feet and the old man's eyebrows hit his hairline. He scanned the crowd himself but the hooded figure seemed to know exactly what he was doing and used the commotion to his own advantage and disappead into the village.
"Tsunade focus! Explain to me again exactly why we have a unknown child running around our village? Shizune what did you mean by 'kidnap' you can't have taken someone's child away from them?" he asked, aghast at the idea of his student doing something that went completely against the ideals he'd done his best to instil in all of his students.
Tsunade was still shaking even with her wound healed by a frantic Shizune and the area lightly bandaged but there was a fire in her eyes that had been missing ever since that fateful day she'd lost her lover in at the onset of the current war.
It was barely there but it was still apparent, whatever trouble she'd dragged into the village had changed something in her.
"Hey I made perfectly sure he wasn't just anyone's kid before taking him with us! He's a street kid, no one's going to mind." Tsunade scolded as she turned her attention to her one time teacher. "I found him in Otafuku-Gai and brought him with us, he's pretty interesting!"
The Third Hokage grimaced at that, Tsunade's definition of 'interesting' could mean anything from the kid himself to a medical problem she'd probably noticed in him and anything in between...
"Ok…" he said, reaching for his pipe and taking a long draw of smoke from it to calm himself down "Ignoring the fact that you basically kidnapped a civilian child, did you stop to explain to him what you were doing?"
The two kunoichi in front of him froze at the implications and started as if only just realizing why the child must had fought so hard to get away from them the entire time they'd been hauling him towards Konoha.
"Tsunade… Otafuku-Gai is rather famous for exactly what kind of establishments that operate within buildings painted red?" Hiruizen asked, wishing he could give into the urge to palm his face with his free hand.
He felt a sudden strong surge of pity for the poor child who'd been dragged to the village against his will, wincing as he tried to imagine what it must have been like to be accosted by two strange women and then brought to some unknown place for who knew what purpose.
Feeling ill at the mental image his over active imagination promptly provided him from the viewpoint of a child freshly taken off the streets the Third winced again in sympathy. Given where the child was found, being led to a building painted red must have sent him into the worst kind of panic.
Was it any real wonder the boy had reacted so badly when being led to the Hokage tower?
"We'll just have to sort out the misunderstanding when we find him… Do we at least have any way of tracking him down? You washed him so we don't have his scent to follow, you gave him clothes that are entirely too common to the children in the village and as a civilian his chakra isn't refined enough to pick out of a crowd?"
Tsunade snorted at that and the horrified regret was replaced with the confident smirk that she'd been wearing when he's started frowning at her.
"Hah! Do you think I was carrying him over my shoulder for nothing? I was scanning him the entire time, he'll be easy to spot once he's had a good rest. He's got the biggest chakra potential I've ever seen in anyone, let alone a child his age. Just look for the largest source of unrefined chakra and that'll be him!"
The Third's face smoothed out of the frown that had taken over his face and his eyebrows disappeared into his hairline again.
"How large are we talking about?" he asked, leaning forward in interest, for Tsunade to have said that about the child she had picked up… well she wouldn't boast about something like this.
"His coils are still undeveloped but they're the thickest I've ever come across, give it a few years and I can guarantee he'll have two to maybe three times the chakra of your strongest Jounin…" she trailed off and planted a palm onto the desk, leaning forward to emphasize her next statement. "That isn't even the most interesting thing about him." she grinned, her expression becoming almost shark-like.
The smirk widened.
"Go ahead, ask me what he looks like!" the woman asked, mischievous eyes lighting up in unholy glee.
Deciding to play along the old man put aside his pipe and leaned forward onto his elbows, gesturing with one hand while leaning his chin against the other.
"Ok, what does he look like?" he asked, matching her tone of voice with a sigh.
Tsunade grinned sharply and snapped her fingers at her teenage student, making sure not to move from where she was standing, she wanted to get a good look at the old man's face when he realized the full implications of what he was seeing.
"Shizune, show the man what the boy looks like would you?" she crooned, her voice saccharinely sweet with anticipation.
"T… Tsunade-sama?" the girl asked uncertainly, unsure of just how she was going to obey the request.
"Shizune… use Henge!" the woman tisked impatiently, "Go on!"
"Hai, Tsunade-sama! … Henge!"
A cloud of smoke concealed Tsunade's student for a moment but when it cleared the Third only had two words to say.
"Oh no…" his words trailed as he stared.
Tsunade cackled. "I got Shizune to run a blood sample down to the hospital before we got here, they should have the results finished in abou…"
She was interrupted by the sound of the door opening and a flustered medic ran into the room holding a sheaf of papers in his hand as if he couldn't believe what he was holding, Tsunade walked forward to pluck the report out of the man's hand and flipped through it eagerly, her grin turning almost feral when she got to the last page.
"Hah! I knew it!"
She slapped the report down in front of him and waited for it to sink in.
The old man's mouth open and closed soundlessly for a few minutes as he stared at the report in front of him, he waffled for a minute before somehow managing to choke out the words that were sticking in his throat.
"I'm going to kill him…"
Shizune dropped the henge and reached forward to lean over the desk to get a look at the report herself, confirming her own suspicions even though her teacher had practically crowed the results the moment she'd flipped through the report though she perked up in interest at her teacher's next question.
"Can we watch?"
This wasn't something she wanted to miss after all!
Naruto knew he'd always been hot tempered, scatterbrained and his friends had always teased him on the shortness of his attention span, though right now he had a feeling that his current inability to focus was a side affect of something he'd never quite experienced.
Chakra exhaustion, a near text-book case, if the trembling in body was anything to go by.
He was still feeling dizzy and even though his entire body was practically screaming for him to get some rest he just couldn't unwind enough to let himself relax. Naruto pressed his face into his knees and curled up tighter, the stress of his current situation was putting an enormous amount of pressure on him and it was making it hard to meditate let alone try to sleep.
Still he had to try, he had to know if he'd somehow brought back the Kyuubi with him or if it had been devoured by the mistake that had thrown him into the past, knowing for sure would take a lot of the weight off his shoulders.
Regulating his breathing and falling into a pattern that had quite literally been beaten into him Naruto slowly felt himself fall into a trance state.
It took longer than usual, a testament to just how badly he'd been knocked off kilter, but eventually he felt his subconsciousness sink, he felt his feet touch the 'floor' and opened his eyes.
Like always he'd ended up standing in the cell like prison that had held the Kyuubi since the day he was born.
The massive Torii Gates that had been the mental manifestation of his control over the demon were still standing, seemingly in a haphazard pattern and the massive gates were still shut, his own chakra holding the empty cage shut but the Kyuubi itself was nowhere to be seen and there wasn't even a shred of it's chakra in the air.
Naruto took the time to examine himself before he examined the gate, taking in the small hands and the white hair with barely a wince, it figured that whatever changes that happened to him would reflect here…
"Never… even at the height of my power did I ever manage to single-handedly wipe out an entire timeline…"
Naruto barely held back the shriek that wanted to escape him at the sound of that oh so familiar voice and felt the hair on the back of his neck stand on end.
Whirling around to the seemingly empty cage that had once held the Kyuubi Naruto watched as a shimmer of red appeared before him and relaxed slightly, at first he'd thought he was meeting the real deal but he'd been through this particular song and dance twice before.
This wasn't the original Kyuubi, it had none of its fearsome intent behind it, this was an imprint left behind by the real thing. His parents had left an imprint of themselves inside the seal before they'd died, was it any wonder that the Kyuubi had managed to do the same?
"...I bow to you brat. Even at my worst, I never managed a stunt of this magnitude, I couldn't have thought of a better form of revenge than this if I tried, truly you are one of a kind Uzumaki Naruto…"
The haze that had been developing behind the seal was compacting and red eyes glared out into the darkened room, Naruto watched wordlessly as the chakra condensed further and his own eyes widened.
"… not only do you erase your own future but you go about it in a way that gives you a near-perfect cover. Honestly your luck never fails to amaze me, accidentally imprinting Jiraiya's DNA over your own and then surviving the process… beautiful, absolutely beautiful." the figure clapped his hand together, applauding him.
"K… Kyuubi?" Naruto asked incredulously, sloshing forward in the murky water lapping at his knees and eventually walked up to the gate so that he was face to face with the warping shape that had spoken with a voice that rapidly changed from the nine-tailed demon's rough pitch to one that was becoming a mirror of his own.
"Not quite…" The figure behind the bars grinned, solidifying his shape even as Naruto felt a sinking feeling in gut.
A nearly identical figure of himself was left standing behind the bars.
The figure's white hair was wilder than his own, spiking out in a wild disarray and his features looked sharper, the wide expression of glee on his face making him look slightly more sinister than the reflection he'd seen of himself before he'd run into Tsunade.
His eyes were where the biggest difference was.
They were the same glowing red as the Kyuubi's, pupils slitting vertically against the vivid irises.
Naruto swallowed as the figure behind the bars grinned at him in an echo of his own evil smirk, the kind that was usually plastered across his face whenever he was in the middle of planning a prank, and started to sweat.
In what had probably been a last ditch attempt at survival the Kyuubi's imprinted will had merged with the dark half of his own personality and Naruto had no idea what he was going to do about it.
Naruto broke himself out of his trance muttering a colourful steam of swearwords under his breath.
'Great, that's just great! It's not like I don't have enough problems to deal with already!' he thought to himself as he brought his hands up to rub at his temples.
He was just glad that the seal that had once used to keep the Kyuubi inside him was keeping a leash on the dual entity that was currently sulking behind the seal, though he wondered why the seal hadn't shown up on his stomach when he'd channelled chakra earlier.
'Probably because it no longer has to hold back demonic chakra anymore?' the white haired boy wondered as he let himself slide further down the crate he was leaning against so that he could lay on his side.
Staring out at the Hokage monument Naruto let his limbs relax and had to wonder exactly what the gods had against him.
Ok, on one hand it was great that he wasn't a Jinchiuuriki anymore, it meant he wasn't in danger of releasing another demon onto the village… On the other hand he had no idea what this new being was capable of, at the very least it would have his knowledge and a large portion of his abilities. He now had to deal with a dark aspect of himself that had taken on small portion of the Kyuubi's will.
He could deal with this… hopefully. He was just glad that there was no way in hell this new personality was going to be able to use his Sage Arts… not with that temperament and that the other had no access to demonic chakra.
At least it was easier to hold him behind the seal than it had been to do so with the Kyuubi as Naruto had been given the unique chance to figure out. The white haired reflection of himself had gone to walk through the over sized bars but it had been so damned easy to corral him back inside with long length of imagined chain.
Leaving him tied to one of the Torii Gates swearing his mouth off Naruto had taken the chance to look around and check for anymore surprises the Kyuubi might have left behind and had gotten out of there swearing himself.
The control over his chakra, the control he'd literally spilt blood and tears to earn was gone! He was going to build it all right back up from scratch.
'Well there goes the idea of leaving Konoha to stop Nagato before he becomes Pein' Naruto thought to himself as he rolled over and buried his face into his arms with a groan, it looked like have to think up of an excuse for his skills after all.
Some of them would be easy enough to explain away, as unpolished and rough as they were his Taijutsu, Toad-kata's aside, were the result of teaching himself how to fight anyway and it wouldn't be that much of a stretch to explain away his ability with weapons.
He didn't know or understand the concept behind genjutsu at all so he was covered there and his knowledge of ninjutsu would just take a little creative maneuvering to explain away.
He knew very well that when Tsunade and Shizune had found him he'd looked like a little street rat and given his upbringing it wouldn't even be that hard to fake it either.
The problem was with his name.
His whole name, not just the part that had been taken from Jiraiya's first book, but his clan name as well.
Groaning again Naruto weighed the merits of thumping his head against the wooden crate he was lying on top of and discarded the idea after weighing it against the effort it would take.
Feeling a little like Shikamaru the white haired boy let his head loll out of his arms and to the side so that his head hit the floor with a thump.
It would seem that he'd have to at least admit to his first name and keep his clan name to himself at all costs, if at some point he did slip well… there was always the fact that members of the Uzumaki clan had scattered and gone into hiding once Uzushio-gakure had been destroyed.
He'd just let everyone come up with their own conclusions and see where that got him, they'd probably come up a better story than anything he could come up with anyway, if worst came to worst he'd just tell the truth… besides, who would believe it?
Naruto clenched his hands into fists and started to lightly hit his head against the wood he was lying on, he was going to be mistaken for Jiraiya's son…
The gods really did have it out for him!
Added (2012-09-21, 6:17 PM)
Naruto didn't linger in the dusty attic for long.
He stayed there only long enough to recover enough chakra to actually stand up and walk around without too much difficulty and check his injuries, which weren't as bad as they had been before he's slipped into the trance state, realizing that small trip into his own mind might not have been as brief as he'd thought it had been.
It seemed like his enhanced healing was still in effect though, the ankle he'd twisted earlier was almost completely healed…
He made his careful way to the village gate and bit his lip, the two teams of Chuunin that had been manning the gates that afternoon had changed… to four teams.
Deciding that it wasn't worth the effort of trying to sneak past all of them, especially in his diminished state, Naruto slipped away to try his luck at the various other entrances to the village.
When the white haired boy discovered that yes, the west gates were at least as well guarded as the front gate, he gave up on trying to slip out of the village on his own. The east gates weren't even worth checking as they would be about as well guarded as the ones he'd just checked.
Naruto was in the middle of calculating the risks of smuggling himself into one of the supply carts headed out of the village when he caught sight of something that gave him enough of a pause that he nearly fell face first to the floor.
Sprinting away in the opposite direction the white haired boy held a hand to the top of his hood and tried his game best to stay out of sight, he'd almost walked right into a crowd of patrolling Shinobi!
He thought he was doing a pretty good job of keeping himself out of sight right up until he walked into a pair of legs.
Staggering back a step Naruto looked up and honestly tried not to flinch when he got a good look at the person he'd bumped into.
That didn't work out too well.
He eyes caught sight of the double holster strapped to the thigh of a very obvious shinobi, he bit his lip as he jerked his eyes up and noticed this person was also wearing a katana looped into a belt around his waist.
He counted at least three equipment pouches before he realized this person was also wearing a Chuunin vest.
He almost didn't want to look up further…
Naruto swallowed and forced himself to look up, pasting what he hoped was an innocent expression on his face.
The Chuunin who he'd bumped into was giving him a stern look reminiscent of his former team captain Yamato, he had short, straight black hair but his eyes were almost exactly the same…
It was oddly nostalgic.
"What are you doing out at this time of night?"
'Ooh his voice is almost the same as well!' Naruto thought to himself somewhat stupidly, inwardly goggling at the teenager at the same time the rest of him was screaming at him to run.
Then again he probably wouldn't get very far if he did try, not with how exhausted he was and not without giving away his advanced knowledge in the shinobi arts.
Pulling up his best grin on his face and trying so very hard not to let it slip off his face, the white haired boy toned up his innocent act and piped up in his clearest voice.
"Cloud-gazing?" he tried.
The teenage boy gave him a sceptical look and raised a sardonic eyebrow, pointedly looking up to the clear night sky before looking back down again.
He was left staring at nothing.
Naruto clapped a hand over his mouth as he scampered behind a nearby bin, nearly busting a gut trying not to laugh out loud. He managed to stifle his laughter so all that escaped him was completely muffled and snickered to himself as quietly as he could manage, god when was the last time that trick had actually worked on anyone in Konoha?
The Yamato-voiced Chuunin swore out loud and reached for something the white haired boy hadn't noticed was attached to the teenager's neck. When the dark haired boy rushed past his hiding place while clicking his radio on Naruto paled and abruptly stopped laughing.
He hadn't really noticed in his first glimpse of the teen but in plain view, right on the Chuunin's shoulder patch was a very familiar symbol.
The Uchiha Clan symbol…
By the time he'd been in the Academy for the first two years of his training all that had been left of the Sharingan users were Itachi, Sasuke and the psychopath Madara but even he knew that once upon a time the clan crest had once been used by Konoha's Police Force.
The guy he'd bumped into was either a part of the Uchiha clan, part of the police force or as was most likely both! He'd just accidentally poked the proverbial hornets nest and he hadn't even really been trying to either…
'Ooh shit! This day just doesn't get any better does it?' he thought to himself ruefully as he popped out from behind the bin he'd been hiding behind to run down another back alley.
He only got about two blocks away when a hand hauled him up by the scruff of his shirt so he was dangling up at eyelevel with the irate Chuunin he thought he'd managed to lose.
'Wow that didn't take very long…' he thought to himself, impressed despite himself.
A pair of handcuffs were slapped onto his wrists and he was thrown unceremoniously over the black haired teen's shoulder before he could even blink, he stared incredulously at the metal holding his wrists together..
He'd never actually had anyone use handcuffs on him before… it was a novel experience. By the time he'd gotten past his first year in the academy everyone from Jounin downwards had known to use chakra binds and excessive amounts of rope instead.
"… returning to the headquarters to drop him off." the teen said as he spoke to whoever was on the other end of the radio, calling off the search he'd initiated. It was a lucky thing that the police force worked separately from Konoha's main force otherwise he would have been hauled right back to the Hokage tower... he didn't think he was quite ready to deal with that right now.
"Kidnapping is a crime you know…" Naruto informed the guy carrying him, something about this guy made him just want to stir him up just to see if he'd explode like Iruka did sometimes, besides he was sick of people throwing him over their shoulder like a sack of grain already!
The teen snorted as he clicked off the radio.
"You can tell me all about that at the station."
Naruto grimaced, maybe it hadn't been the best idea to run away quite so spiritedly but honestly? Running face first into someone with Yamato's voice and force of presence? It had almost been like running face first into a ghost…
By the time they reached the Police Station Naruto had figured out that the guy he was currently draped over did belong to the Uchiha clan.
It was pretty obvious when people called out the guy's name in greeting.
Naruto sighed feelingly as he was let down onto his feet and pushed in through the doors of the station, as novel an experience actually getting arrested was he would rather have been far far from where he currently was.
That and it was beyond odd seeing the building so busy, especially since Naruto's only recollection of the place had been as an abandoned building he'd used once or twice as a 'secret base' for whenever he needed to hide after a particularly spectacular prank.
Especially when he was pushed through into the main office and was instantly pinned by at least seven pairs of swirling Sharingan eyes, all in various stages of development.
'Yeesh! Do they greet everyone this way?' he thought to himself as he froze in stunned paralysis in doorway at the casual display. Was it any wonder people hadn't really felt all that comfortable with the clan if this was how they greeted people every time the freaking door opened?
He was picked up by the back of his jacket again when he failed to move at the light push on his back and was carried casually through the office through to a separate room.
He was set down on a chair in front of an untidy desk, taking the golden opportunity Naruto quickly managed to slip a paperclip into a clenched fist before his captor's attention was turned back on him.
He was contemplating on whether or not to go along with whatever the guy was planning for him and wondered how his friends would have reacted to this same situation, he was about to decide between going with clueless but cooperative or going with the opposite when the decision was taken right out of his hands.
"… are you a boy or a girl?"
Loud and irritating it was!
Naruto's eyes slid into disbelieving slits that glared at the Uchiha, he couldn't believe this guy had just said that! Who cared if this guy sounded just like Yamato and was apparently an Uchiha? He wasn't even the least bit intimidating!
Sure he had the look down pat, but he didn't know how pull it off completely yet… besides this guy was a kid around his real age, he wasn't even in the same league of scary as his former team captain!
"What's your name?" the teen asked, smoothly ignoring the glare he was on the receiving end of like a pro.
Naruto dithered for a minute, caught off guard by the question even though he'd been half-expecting it and cast his eyes around the room looking for inspiration and came up blank.
"… I have no name." he heard himself say in a sarcastic tone and blinked, wondering where the hell that had come from, that had slipped out of his mouth without any warning whatsoever! If his hands hadn't been cuffed together he would have slapped a hand over his mouth, that had been really weird… it had been like his mouth had acted on its… own.
Narrowing his eyes in suspicion Naruto focused inward for a moment just to check if his current tenant was safely behind the seal and as such missed it completely when the teen police officer sighed in exasperation and got up from behind his desk.
He was hauled up again by the back of his shirt and was deposited in a holding cell directly across the hall from the room full of Uchiha that had 'greeted' them when they'd first walked through the doors
"Seriously this whole picking me up thing is getting really old!" he muttered around a mouthful of shirt that had been hiked up from the movement.
"I'll deal with you in later... I have way too much paper work to get through tonight without having to deal with this right now…" the dark haired boy complained lightly as he closed the door behind him. "Maybe you'll be more inclined to talk then…"
The white haired boy felt almost sorry for the guy.
"Don't count on it…"
Waiting until the boy was out of sight Naruto scanned his cell and his eyes fixated first on an empty metal cup sitting on the small table by the cot in the corner and then on the air vent near the ceiling just underneath it.
OK, seriously? He looked like a kid but was that any reason to be so slack with their holding cells? It was like they were begging for him to use the escape route… Debating with himself the white haired boy felt his stomach growl with hunger and decided to take shameless advantage of his current situation.
Dragging the empty metal cup that had been left in the cell against the bars to get attention Naruto grinned to himself as the metal clacked and clanged against the bars noisily, he'd always wanted to try this!
In his office Uchiha Toshia quirked an eyebrow and got up out of his seat, he walked down the hall to where all the noise was coming from and pinched the bridge of his nose when he caught sight of the offender.
The child he'd picked up was sitting on the floor of the cell, languishing melodramatically against the bars with a put upon expression on the his face. Several other police officers had come to see what the commotion was and were popping their heads through various doors to see who had made all the noise.
The child visibly perked up at the sight of him and a small hand reached out of the bars to paw limply at the air in his direction, Toshia would have laughed had it not been for the audience the boy had gathered with this little act of his.
"I'm hungry, feed me?"
Added (2012-09-21, 6:17 PM)
Several of the officers hovering in the hallway coughed lightly and Toshia felt his lips twitch a little.
'Ballzy little brat…'
Keeping his face straight with a little difficulty the dark haired Uchiha reached into his vest and tossed a ration bar inside the cell, retrieving the metal cup as it dropped and rolled out of the child's hands when the kid went to catch the food out of the air.
He turned to go back to his office and hopefully complete some more of his paper work when he heard a gagging sound from the cell and couldn't hold back his amusement at the kid's next words.
"Oh sure, make fun of the starving kid… what the hell is this? Clay?" the kid asked incredulously, staring at the ration bar he'd bitten into with a sour look on his face and several of the officers who'd been eves-dropping on the entire scene snickered under their breath.
He heard a crinkling noise and a faint "Chicken flavour? Seriously?" as the child checked the wrapper and this time Toshia couldn't stop the huff of quiet l