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To Raise a Village

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"And you three are?..." The not-yet Nidaime Hokage asked, eyes narrowed. Shodai Hokage Senju Hashirama bit back a sigh at the words of his younger brother. Three children were found walking the road towards the recently founded village by the midday patrol. Their chakra levels were easily distinguished as shinobi. Now they stood in his office.

"Jus' a trio of orphans that taught themselves to be the best shinobi ever is all." The blond boy said, putting his arms behind his head casually

"He meant your names, brat." The Uchiha clan leader spoke, his sole visible eyebrow raised. That's when the boy lost his swagger and the other two seemed far more uncomfortable.

"I'm... Uzumaki Naruto." He said with a wince. At least he knew what kind of reaction he would get. He seemed to know there was no point to lying. Not with a sensor like Tobirama present and paying attention.

"I'm Haruno Sakura. Pleasure to meet you." The girl said with an uneasy smile, watching the last boy out of the corner of her eye. Said boy simply sighed before staring his uncovered, visible eye straight into the eyes of Madara. The temperature of the room seemed to drop sharply and Hashirama found himself holding his breath yet didn't know why.

"Uchiha Sasuke."

"Excuse me?"

Only it wasn't really a question.

Hashirama was ready to restrain his friend at that tone of voice. He knew that tone well enough that warning bells were sounding in his mind. It was the tone he used against those who had offended him and, even worse, Izuna. From his side he could tell even Tobirama was recognized the tone and was ready to defend the children before him.

Not that they had to. He knew Madara. As angry as he may get, as much of a thrashing the child may receive, Madara could never bring the boy to true harm. He didn't have it in him.

Or he at least liked to believe that.

But the more he stared at the boy... The more his statement seemed to ring true. The one eye that was visible matched the Uchiha clan perfectly as did his skin tone and hair color. He could easily be lost in the sea of them, none of them any wiser that he wasn't one of them... Though he claimed he is. But his friend knew every member of the clan, didn't he?

A quick glance at Madara's face answered that question for him. There was no Uchiha Sasuke in the clan records. Madara was many things but he was a perfectionist to the core. It was one of the few things Tobirama had respect for him for.

A bastard child then? Hidden away from the clan for his own good? Orphaned too, if what the Uzumaki boy claims... Uzumaki... He can see it. The cheeks, the smile. Even if the coloring doesn't quite fit the stereotypical Uzumaki. Half blooded then. The Uchiha boy may be as well even if the Uchiha boy took after the clan's side far too much for comfort.

The boy's eye narrowed when Madara went to speak again, black swirling into a familiar crimson that made the hairs on the back of his neck stand on edge. It was like staring back at his friend from the other side of the battlefield.  The boy had it too. Three tomoe at that. Madara quickly closed his mouth, lips pursed as several thoughts went through his mind.

"Orphaned how." Not a question but a demand.

"Power hungry warmongers." The three words were split out with such venom that for a moment Hashirama felt like he was talking to Madara right after Izuna died. Tobirama had to close his eyes and take a breath to steel himself. All three of them were easily a decade older than this trio and yet...

Then said trio did something he hadn't expected. The girl, Haruno Sakura, gave her friend a sad smile before taking his hand and leaning against him. The Uzumaki didnt hesitate in the slightest at wrapping his arm around the other's shoulder and pulling him close. Luckily, or perhaps because this had happened before and she was used to it, the girl didn't lose balance and managed to stay leaning against the Uchiha.

All this happened in the span of less than a few seconds and somehow... Somehow the air regained the warmth it lost as the boy simply sighed again as he relaxed. What an odd little bunch.

"I see..." Madara was not pleased. It didn't take a brain to tell that much but from his years of experience in reading the man he knew it was safe to say the boy was not the target of his displeasure. It allowed him to be able to breathe at least. Seeing his elder brother calm Tobirama followed suit though albeit at a far more slower pace.

A topic change was needed right now. The blond had given him the perfect one.

"Best shinobi ever you said? Really? Then if I may ask why are you here?" Hashirama was amused by such a statement. To speak so boldly to the three shinobi hailed the strongest in the Fire Country, perhaps all the Elemental Nations, was a gutsy move. The boy grinned from ear to ear while his friends seemed to know exactly what he was about to say.

"Yup! And I'm gonna be the next Hokage, 'ttebayo!" That got him a whack upside the head from the other two who he glared at. "Ow! Ouch! What was that for?!"

"You have to be a shinobi of the village to be Hokage, Naruto-kun." Hashirama was quicker than his two companions to get over the shock of such a statement. His lips twitching into a smirk at the sight before him. To see such a child with ambition and heart, already full of the Will of Fire. How could he not be pleased. "Am I too take it as that is why you three are here? To join the village?"

"Yes, Hokage-sama, we would be very grateful to you and the village should you accept us." Sakura jumped in quickly, preventing either boys from speaking and finishing with a polite bow. Naruto followed her lead with a sigh while Sasuke simply huffed. A simultaneous elbow to the ribs from both sides got the boy to follow their lead.

Hashirama glanced to his brother who crossed his arms in thought. Tobirama spoke with the same stern command he spoke to the members of the shinobi force when giving orders. "You three realize what that would mean of you, yes? Once you become shinobi of Konoha you can not turn back. If you run you will be considered traitors."

"We're aware." Sasuke said as the trio stopped with their bowing. Determination was etched onto their young faces. Not a scrap of doubt was to be found in them.

Madara huffed and waved his hand as he moved to walk past them. "Just give them the damn paperwork so we can test them and rank them accordingly. Send a summon to me when it's time. Apparently there's some clan business that needs to be straightened out."

"Oh fuck yes, 'ttebayo!"

"Language!"