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The Lord of Time

Chapter Text

 

"STOP" Naruto yelled, watching Haku throw himself in front of the Chidori.

Naruto watched not blinking as time seemed to halt, he saw Haku move to protect Zubzuba.

But when it came down to it, nothing happened, the attack had stopped moving, and Naruto realized time had frozen for this one instant.

Not even wasting time to consider he ran to Haku, he ran faster than he ever had before. He shoved the boy out of the way of the attack just as time restarted itself around him.

Kakashi stared on in horror, instead of Zubzuba, he had hit Naruto with his attack.  He could see the life slowly drain from Narutos eyes as the boy’s blood covered his arm.

"Sorry…. Kakashi” Naruto breathed these words out, his body growing cold quickly.  He could feel hands on him and hear voices yelling out, but it was all starting to fade into black.

“Good for nothing kid, can’t even save someone else without almost dying can you” a voice from within him called out, soon after the world began to come back into focus.  “Don’t go trying to say I never did nothing for you.”

His eyes fluttered back open as a red chakra covered his body.  Before the eyes of everyone on the bridge Naruto’s destroyed body was slowly coming back together.

“He’s… he’s still alive” Haku tried to reach out him, but the red chakra stung his hand forcing him to pull back.

Kakashi was too shocked to say anything; in an instant he had killed Naruto, and now he watched as Narutos body healed over the fatal wound.

His body was wracked with shock from the attack, but Naruto could see both Kakashi and Haku looking down at him.  He could hear some kind of commotion that made Kakashi move towards the end of the bridge.  As his consciousness faded, he could see a smile on Hakus face, a smile that made all of this worth it.

 

 

Chapter Text

Light blue eyes slowly fluttered open to rays of sun falling atop them from a nearby window.  A light breeze made the curtains flutter as Naruto slowly sat up, events of what transpired slowly coming back to him.  His head slowly turned to look out upon the ocean, one thought going through his head.

“Haku” he whispered, knowing that simply saying the name wouldn’t do anything to change the situation of where he went.

“Don’t move so quickly, your body isn’t going to be back in top shape for a little longer.”

Frozen in place Naruto couldn’t turn his head to look.  This was somehow the most fear inducing moment of his whole life, and somehow every fiber of his being needed him to turn. 

As if by whatever kind of force that was out there in the world, one that is apparently now on his side.  Gently a rather cold and very soft and brushed against his forehead.  Never before in his life had he felt his heart skip before.  Regardless of how gentle it was, the presence of the hand was like the god of death to Naruto as his body remained unmoving.

“You’re burning up, this might sting a little but it’ll feel nice afterwards” the voice of the one person Naruto wanted it to be more than anyone else said. 

As he was told there was a slight sting before relief as what could only be called an actual block of ice formed on his head.  This was accompanied by a different hand slowly pushing his shoulders back down onto the bed.  When his head hit the pillow he had no choice to but look and see who it was.

“Don’t worry, you’ll be alright I promise” Hakus eyes felt so warm in comparison to the almost icy touch of his hands.  “I’ll be back soon don’t worry, I have to tell the others your awake.  Do you think you can handle talking to them?”

He slowly nodded still stunned by the presence of Haku, how could he not even say a simple yes.  It was unclear if this was from embarrassment, or if he was too afraid of somehow breaking this spell he was under that was making his dream true. 

Haku smiled at him, it was strange how warm it made him feel, and then departed the room.  He could hear a shout from a different room and then the rushing of what sounded like a small herd of animals.  As quickly as Haku had left the room was suddenly filled with people.  Sakura and Inari were loudly talking at him, while Kakashi and Sasuke were giving him looks of concern, Tazuna and Tsunami looking on from the doorway.

It was a blur of words and people for the next hour, it could have been an eternity for all he knew.  Full of “I’m fine” ‘s and other such short responses.  Luckily for him Kakashi pushed the others out of the room to talk with him alone.

“Naruto, I am incredibly glad you’re still alive and seemingly very well healed after what happened” he sat down in a chair by the bed.  “But if you ever do something as stupid as that again I will hit you with a second Chidori to literally kill you.”

“Wow harsh much” the instinct of saying something sarcastic, was definitely not a good move here.

“You could have very easily died there, for someone who was trying to kill you.  So yes, harsh much” Kakaski at the very least seemed to have defused a little with his remark so maybe it was a good move after all. 

“I acted to save a friend and I cannot in a million years say I would hesitate to do so again” the seriousness of this conversation was certainly not lost to him.  The sigh that came out from under his mask implied he knew that would be said at least once.

“For the love of god, do not make friends with every single person who we have to fight to the death with” overruled and ignored sounds like a terrible idea Kakashi.  “And especially don’t teleport in front of me while I have a bolt of lightning on my arm.”

“But any other dangerous thing is totally fine?” back to humor to deflect the severity of the situation.

“Yes, if I have a fireball or giant sword attached to my arm feel.  Perfectly free to teleport in front of me so I hit you with it” this joke was received way worse than the first one.  “Now then, with our poor attempts at using humor to deflect problems out of the way,” Those were high tier attempts and he goddamn knows it.  “Explain how you teleported, 100 words or less.”

Right, that probably would be a high priority for him to figure out since well, it definitely looked important and/or dangerous.  Just tell him the truth and it’ll all work out.

“I didn’t actually teleport I stopped time and ran in front of you and then unstopped time” shit this sounds like a fucking garbage ass lie.

“Ok you just wasted 17 words on that garbage lie 83 left” Kakashi sounded a lot more serious now.

“Look I don’t know how I did it, but that’s what happen I swear I’m not lying” how to sound like a liar with Naruto Uzumaki 101.

“I don’t care how you developed some kind of teleportation Jutsu but I need to know why you did so and why you never told anyone until right now” he is really adamant on this teleporting thing.

“Do I look like some kind of Justu creating genius to you Kakashi?” he has to believe this.  “Because last time I checked, I was so bad at everything I almost didn’t graduate from the academy.”

“Oh I forgot, the kid who, you know, stole the scroll of seals a scroll full of dangerous and powerful Jutsu, that kid?” well, he’s got me there.

Just make your eyes glow red and say it’s me” whatever kind of demon that this garbage idea came from, can promptly fuck off.  “Suit yourself idiot.

“I think, it’s a power from the you know what” Naruto said a little quieter.

“Now, I want you to imagine you’re me for a second.  Now imagine how I feel upon hearing that the you know what apparently makes my student have the ability to stop time and/or teleport,” Kakashi is somehow sounding both incredibly stressed and incredibly afraid all at once.  Truly an impressive talent.

“In my imagined version of this scene there’s a roaring fire between us making a really cool shadowy fire effect on both of our faces, if that helps the situation,” that’s gotta convince him everything’s alright.

“Ok, you are most definitely Naruto and not the you know what,” wow the is bar is so low for me.  “I will let you come up with a better explanation and get some rest, we are not done talking about this Naruto.”

“I can do at least one of those things if not both, but I am already telling you everything,” the truth is supposed to set you free and it has done nothing but fucked me over for the past ten minutes.

With a mix of a grunt and sigh Kakashi slowly gets up and walks towards the door.

“I’m glad you’re alright Naruto, I mean it.”  That was both heartfelt and touching, no stern lesson tied to it at all.

“I can totally take three of those bitchass chidoirs before dying” can’t let him end on a heartfelt note.

“I’ll remember that,” and with that Kakashi was gone, and Naruto was back to being alone.

A light knock on the door implied this new found alone time was going to be ended.  Before he could say anything in response in walked probably the second most dangerous guy Naruto now knew.

“I think me and you have some things to discuss kid” Zabzuba, thankfully sword less, said closing the door behind him.

Chapter Text

Naruto looked down at his bowl of Ichiraku Ramen, as always it was delicious and filling.  Before he even call out to ask for another one he had a new bowl ready to eat.  Throwing down his last pair of chopsticks he snapped open a new pair and looked towards the bowl.  Before him the broth and the noodle became one as they swirled into an image of a face. 

“Hey what’s going on here” Naruto exclaimed confused by the shifting swirls.

As the ramen set into place it became clear his Ichiraku Ramen had become Ichi-Haku Ramen.  He was stunned at visage of the young man appearing before him in the bowl.  He leaned closer to the bowl to try check if it really was Haku in the Ramen.  As his mouth came mere millimeters away from the mouth of the Ramen Hakus.  Suddenly the face in the ramen flashed with a look of concern seconds before a hand reached up and pulled Naruto down into the bowl.

“Why the hell are you trying to kiss the air right now” Zabzuba was apparently still here and still trying to talk with Naruto.

Perhaps this was the time to try and just tell the truth and pour out his heart to the older man.  If anyone could help him with the Haku situation it would be Zabzuba; and if this failed there would at least be the valuable lesson of never telling the truth.

“How do you deal with the sexual tension between you and Haku?” as soon as those words left his mouth, Naruto knew he had officially fucked up now.

“Now, we are gonna back up for a second, you’re gonna not ask that question and I am going to leave” Zubzuba looked like a mixture of confusion and seething rage.

“No wait I really need your help with please I don’t know what to do” Naruto had never really pleaded before, but he needed this.

“Well firstly, there is no sexual tension between myself and Haku, it’s much more of a father-son dynamic if we’re being honest” this was a bit of a strange exposition in the life of the murderous swordsman.  “If you’re trying to say you and Haku have some sexual tension forming between you two.”

Naruto was now very acutely aware of how firm the older man’s grip on him was and how much closer their faces had become.  Most importantly he remembered how very much afraid of this man he was.

“As the previously mentioned father figure; I would most certainly frown upon you attempting to act upon this imagined tension” this definitely was the guy that almost killed Naruto and all of his friends a few days ago.  “Is that clear?”

“It is very painfully clear, please don’t murder me” best ways to sound both pathetic and like a punk by Naruto.

On the records, telling the truth is the fucking worst idea.

Chapter Text

“I can’t believe you came down stairs and ate all my ramen” today was quite possibly the worst day in Narutos life.

“Ramen is bad for you” this was unbelievable.

“THEN WHY DID YOU EAT ALL OF IT” that’s like, a month’s supply of ramen, or like 300 yen worth.

“I didn’t say I care if it’s bad for me” this right here is some kind of Machiavellian type move, this is pure fucking evil.

This was, without a doubt a betrayal of the deepest most base level of trust Naruto could put into another person.  Don’t eat all of his ramen, some is fine, but all of it.  That’s a fucking crime.  This situation is only made worse by the fact that he wasn’t allowed to walk around unsupported and was being partially held by Kakashi, it was really ruining the effect he was trying to have.

“Well, I hate you and I hope you collapse to due a deficiency in your diet” that’ll show that asshole.

“Naruto don’t be rude because someone ate your ramen” no fuck you too Kakashi, this is an unjust world.

“I’m leaving” this statement usually would have an effect of the dramatic variety if he did not have to first get off of Kakashi and then slowly hobble towards the door.  “When I come back I expect to never see you again.”

With that kind of farewell Naruto went in search of better companions and food.  This was the last journey a young Uzumaki could attempt before the harsh winter would set in. 

“Wait…. It’s not fucking winter” In terms of geographical analysis, yes it was not fucking winter.  “Why is it snowing?’

To follow his masterful geographical abilities Naruto used his honed sense of sight to look around.  Once doing so he then used his next ability of visual processing, this was assisted by his auditory processing to form the sight in front of him. 

Before his eyes was a small cluster of children playing in the snow, this was a rather heartwarming sight and distracted him from the feelings of betrayal from before.  It also distracted him from the snowball that was being thrown at his face. 

“Ha got him” the soon to be destroyed in a snowball fight Inari said with a smirk.

As Naruto began to move his hands into place for his signature move a much more welcome voice chimed in.

“Very good Inari, with a little more practice you’ll be the perfect ninja” with the voice of Haku added to the list of clues as to why there was snow Naruto finally realized the obvious, this did not mean he would handle this maturely.

“Oh, so you wanna be a ninja huh” Naruto punctuated the end of this sentence with the popping into existence of 20 shadow clones.  “I’ve got just the thing to help with that.”

Was this the appropriate response?  No.  Did he care?  Absolutely not. 

The next thirty minutes were full of casualties of the land of Wave’s first major war, children covered with snow and possibly concussed and the loss of 20 shadow clones.  Inari was now essentially a snowman with a human child trapped inside it.

“Say it” Naruto stood in front of the frosty tomb arms crossed confident in his victory.

His confidence was a fool’s error.

“AH” the now screaming and weaponized Inari jumped at him, making a full body snow assault.

His foolishness cost him the victory, now he lay defeated on the cold ground with the triumphing Inari standing above.  Never before had he been so thoroughly defeated.  The fake tensity in the air subsided as Haku began laughing, he was soon joined by Naruto and the kids.  Dusting the snow off himself to stand Naruto was quite happy.

“I must accept defeat at the hands of superior tactics it seems” Naruto extended his hand to Inari.

Inari smiled and shook it.

“FOOL” Naruto yelled as he quickly hoisted the boy into a pile of snow, lying really was the right call.

Chapter Text

AN: If I could ever make any human laugh in the same way B. Kasparian made me laugh with that comment I would be set for life as a comedian thanks for that

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Naruto looked over at where Haku was talking to some of the kids.  He had two options of what he could do right now.  The first being talking to Haku about his feelings and coming to an emotional breakthrough of some sort.  Instead he was already walking into the woods to go try and learn more about this weird time power because fuck talking about feelings.

“Ok, step one think about what this power does” Now alone in the forest Naruto decided to talk to himself to think through the problem.  “Stops time, step one done boom.”

Step two ask your favorite demonic being for more information” boy golly this better not be a regular occurrence. 

“Step two talk about how much I hate evil fox demons especially when they try and solicit me” your move asshole.

All I have to do is get you to look like an idiot by making you talk to yourself about and evil fox demon, who lives inside your body and can hear your thoughts, asshole” my own insult turned against me by a fox demon what is the world coming to.  “If you don’t want my help fine, but good luck getting my powers to work without me.”

He looked down at the ground, apparently the two options he had were; Talk to Haku, or Talk to this goddamn fox.  Maybe the feelings talk wouldn’t be that bad.

Oh come on, I’m only a moderate level of evil.  Talking about your feelings would certainly be worse than talking to me” the fox has got me there.  “If you want to talk sit down and meditate, I’ll bring you in here and we can have a nice civil chat.

“Ok Uzumaki, let’s look at our life and look at our choices.  We can talk to the evil demon that attacked the village and got imprisoned inside you on its terms about something you have no knowledge of what so ever; or we can just go and have a conversation with Haku.”

Wow you made that choice really fast” Naruto knew the fox was big, but the cage the fox was in, fucking gigantic.  “But I’m glad you’re willing to hear me out kid.

“Officially on the record I did not choose talking to you over talking to Haku” Naruto waded a little closer to the cage, apparently the inside of his head is a sewer so that’s pleasant.  “And don’t even think about pulling a fast one on me, my mind is honed like the tip of a spear.”

No fast ones on this end kid.  You want time powers and I want you to have time powers” the fox suddenly had a large sign near it that said ‘Time powers for sale’ in bright flashing lights.  “Sign up now for the five year family plan and get the four year extended warranty half off.

“Whoa whoa whoa, you want to give me time powers?” his good deal instincts were perking up at the offer.  “What’s the catch?”

No catch just a simple trade, you get time powers, and I get let free into the world” the fox was either going about this plan incredibly poorly, or it really thought he was that big of an idiot.  “And as limited time offer this deal includes a three years supply of ramen at no extra charge, CALL NOW.

As the fox said that a 10 digit number started flashing under its sign. 

“HOW DO I CALL” in hindsight this was one of Narutos greatest moments of weakness.

Really.”

The sheer level of condescension in the fox’s voice as the sign and number faded away shamed him back into rational thought.  Was he really about to let out a demon fox for ramen.  Yes, yes he absolutely was.

That depressing display of self-control aside, time powers yes or no?” the fox was actual kind of being reasonable and nice to him wow.  “And before you ask, no I can’t give you a three year supply of ramen.

“So there’s no catch at all?  You’re just going to help me out to do something nice?” there has to be a catch or ulterior motive here.

“In all honesty I don’t hate you kid, or that village, I do hate this one guy though and he doesn’t have time powers.  So my ulterior motive is you kill this guy for me, which will probably be easy with time powers, and you get time powers.”

“Ok, I don’t trust this a large amount, or really at all if I’m honest, but I’ll bite.  What guy?”

“I’m 88% sure it’s Madara Uchiha.”

“As in Madara ‘A dead guy’ Uchiha?”

“I mean he didn’t seem very dead when he used mind control powers on me and had me attack your village, but hey I did only say 88% sure.”

“Ok, now I am: Afraid, Confused, Interested, and I feel like I needed to pay better attention in history class.”

“So it sounds like you’re saying…. Deal?”

“Oh hell yeah it’s a deal.  Imagine how mad Sasuke will be when I kill Madara Uchiha” that’ll show him how much Uchihas suck, if the strongest one dies twice.

“I kinda thought you’d do it out of a sense of duty or revenge or something, but for something that petty?”

“I don’t hate Sasuke, I just want him to know that I’m both better than him and every other Uchiha ever.”

“Ok, well, get ready to get time powered up kid.”

The pain Naruto felt in the following minutes was immense, and he had very recently had his stomach removed via lightning fist.  Luckily it ended faster than it began, but he knew that the screams were going to get some attention so he had to think of a really good cover story.

“I’ll just say it was like a pain flashback from my wound cause I fell on a rock, yeah fucking genius” the perfect cover story for whoever showed up.

“Naruto!” GODDAMIT HAKU WHY ARE YOU THE FIRST PERSON TO SHOW UP.

Ok think, this wasn’t actually a problem, it also presented the perfect opportunity to talk to him about everything and get it done with.

“To stop time channel some of my chakra and release it quickly.”

No that would be a stupid move, pushing off the inevitable conversation that would have to happen is clearly not the right move.

He quickly channeled and released some of the red chakra as instructed by the fox.  At first it didn’t seem like anything had actually happened but then he saw a squirrel frozen midair as it was trying to move between trees.

This was tight as hell.

“Move fast you don’t have forever, the well I made of my chakra will only give you like ten or so minutes.”

He started running back towards the house that would buy him at least a few hours of avoiding Haku. 

“How much more time do I have?”

“Five minutes?”

He cracked his knuckles and let out a sinister laugh, you want proof Kakashi.  Get ready for the craziest prank of all time.

 

 

Chapter Text

Naruto looked down at his ramen, they slowly formed an intersection of two subsets of the real numbers under a standard topology.  He could clearly tell the left set, referred to as A was closed as it was containing all its limit points.  This meant the topological space X without A, seen as   X – A is an open set.  Naruto of course is not so foolish as to make the assumption that X – A is not also closed, as he was working in a topological space so open and closed aren’t actually opposites of each definition wise.  He let out a small chuckle thinking about how foolish someone would have to be to make such a rookie topological mistake as that. 

“Hey Naruto, is the other set shown inside my bowl, referred to as U, a closed set as well or just simply an open set?” the bowl of ramen asked.

“Well” Naruto began without batting an eye at such an easy question, “If you recall my previous fight with Sasuke in which I countered his Sharingan with my topological jutsu.  We know that A is closed and X-A is open by one of our theorems from the section on limit points and closed sets, and then we can use a corollary of this that says U is open if and only if X-U is closed.  If U was also closed we have to show that X-U is also open by the theorem.  Since X-U is a subset of X, meaning it’s in the topological space, it is open, thus we can say by the theorem U is closed.”

Naruto very smugly looked down at his bowl of ramen after finishing his proof satisfied with it.  He slurped up the rest of ramen loudly to signify how delicious it tasted to nearby onlookers.  He received thunderous applause to accompany his slurps, the people of Konoha finally had learned to appreciate his Topological genius.  He felt exhilarated as someone dumped a bowl of ramen on him and yelled his name.

Naruto was woken up by the feeling of a bucket of cold water being dumped on him.  By none other than the very angry Kakashi.  Who was also yelling at him, dreams can almost come true.

“So Naruto, imagine for a moment, that you’re me, and your favorite book is suddenly full of topology proofs” Kakashi seemed very upset if the one eye was a good indicator of his emotions.

“I can’t quite suspend my disbelief that far sorry” So far so good just gotta distract him with big words so he’s confused.

“I insist you try to” damn there goes plan A.

“It was to test my abilities” that’s the perfect response.

“Ok now remember our talk about how if you’re possessed it’s bad, because right now it sounds a lot like you’re possessed” Kakashi always wants to go to possession this possession that, jeez what a stick in the mud.

“No wait ok it’s not like that I just was joking” nice recovery that doesn’t sound at all like what an evil fox demon would say.

“Uh huh this sounds very questionably like an evil fox demon that is possessing an idiot boy” he is really on this case now, what an asshole.

“Wow, you know you’re being like super judgmental right now, what if a good fox demon was possessing me huh?  You’d look like a total asshole right now wouldn’t you” the classic mix up that no one ever see coming.

“I don’t think good fox demons would one: Refer to themselves as a demon or two: Possess someone” he may be called the Copy Cat ninja but right now he’s more like Detective Ninja.

“Does Ninja detective or Detective Ninja sound like a better title for someone who is both ninja and detective?” this was a very important question.

“I, what, why, Detective Ninja” Kakashi went through all seven stages of grief in a matter of seconds, he had to teach Naruto that move.

“Cool that’s what I was thinking sounded better” the sigh Kakashi let out meant Naruto was now 100% off the hook and in the clear.

“You’re not off the hook at all Naruto” Fucking mind reading piece of shit.  “You have to get me a new book and if there’s any topology in it I will make your life miserable.”

“No one appreciates the beauty of topology, don’t come crying to me when you need my topology jutsu to save the day” he shivered a bit, only now realizing he was soaking wet from the waist up thanks to Kakashi.  “But fine I’ll get you a stupid book.”

Naruto took off his jacket and shirt to try and not catch a cold on his walk back.  If he was lucky he’d run into Sasuke and could get a fireball or two to dry them off faster.  But this is Naruto Uzumaki, and he is never lucky.

Hearing footsteps from around a bend up ahead he sped up, rounding the corner without looking or even actually thinking he barreled right into the other person.  With a small crash he knocked the other person over.  Luckily some of his ninja training went to good use as he managed not to fall on them.

“Sorry Sas-” he didn’t finish his sentence as he realized his face was inches from Hakus face.

“Damn kid you’re smooth” really, today was like the worst day ever, and he had gotten the ability to fucking freeze time a few hours ago.

“Are you alright Naruto?” goddamn Haku and his pretty face and his pretty eyes full of concern, all of which were still very close to Naruto’s own face.

“Move you insufferable idiot” with this literal insult Naruto snapped out of his small daze and quickly rolled off Haku, he winced a little as he landed on a rock.

“Is your wound hurting again, where does it hurt?” almost instantly Hakus gentle hands were on Naruto.

Naruto realized he was shirtless and now had Haku feeling his chest.  This to no one’s surprise made him incredibly embarrassed as he started to blush.

“I’M FINE” smooth, so, so smooth.  “SORRY FOR FALLING ON YOU AND GETTING DIRT ON YOUR BUTT GOTTA GO BYE.”

Naruto demonstrated his mastery of being a goddamn idiot as he shoved Haku’s hand off him and quickly ran away.  After about twenty minutes of running he hopped up into a tree to hide incase Haku chased after him.

“Oh god I talked about his butt” Naruto Uzumaki, master of knowing what he had said.

“Don’t forget the falling on top of him, freezing there for like a minute and then freaking out before running away.  I’m gonna watch that on loop when I feel sad so thank you for that memory” today really was the worst.

“Naruto?” from the ground, to his absolute mortification, was Haku, again.  “You shouldn’t be running around like this, and you absolutely shouldn’t be climbing trees in your state.”

What was this guy some kind of Detective Ninja, how was he so good at following Naruto.

“Don’t move I’ll help you get down” oh god apparently saying nothing meant needing help down.

Haku climbed up the tree quite quickly, maybe he was of a Ninja Detective but that’s neither here nor there.

Naruto, now face to face with Haku again was faced with a choice.  Sit here and like a normal person assure Haku he was alright and apologize for acting weird earlier.  Or act like an idiot again and do something stupid.

“For the love of god just talk to him, who knows you might even get to first base here” NOT HELPING.

“Naruto” oh god Haku had been talking and he’d been zoned out the whole time.  “Just hold my hand and I’ll help you down ok.”

Naruto had never felt more afraid than he did looking at the outstretched hand.  He really wished Kakashi could bust out another Chidori to spare him this moment.

Without getting a reply Haku grabbed Naruto’s hand.  Naruto looked at his face, Haku gave him a warm smile.  Naruto didn’t know what to do so he just followed Haku out of the tree.  Haku had made an ice platform that slowly lowered the two.  It felt like an eternity, Naruto couldn’t stop looking at their hands.  Together.  Holding.  Holding Hands.

“God you’re a weird kid” the fox had a point yeah but whose fault was it Naruto had no family? Hm? Hmmmm?

“Naruto you can step off now” they were back at ground level now Haku had already stepped off to help him down.

Stepping off slowly he tried not to think about Haku’s had on his waist to help him down.  He also tried very hard, and failed to let go of Haku’s hand.

“So” oh god a talk was going to happen.  “Do you want me to walk you back to the house?”

Oh thank god this wasn’t a feelings talk at all.  Naruto nodded his head, knowing he’d say something stupid if he tried to talk.

It wasn’t too long a walk surprisingly, it would have only been about fifteen minutes.  On minute four Naruto realized he was still holding Haku’s hand.  On minute five he remembered he was still shirtless.  These mini-freak outs added about ten minutes to their walk back.  Naruto would have felt worse if Haku hadn’t giggled during his freak outs, which made it all feel a bit more worth it.  When they finally got back to the house Naruto realized he didn’t actually want the walk to end, he also saw Kakashi and remembered he had to buy a book.

“I, uh actually have to head shopping real quick” he reluctantly let go of Haku’s hand and turned towards the town.

“Naruto wait” he froze and turned back around, he then quickly faced forward again as he saw Haku removing his own shirt.  “I can’t let you walk around town shirtless.” 

‘I’ll be fine” he wasn’t looking at Haku, and was blushing bright red. 

“No and that’s final” Haku walked in front of him, draping the pink shirt over Naruto’s shoulders as he did so.  “I won’t let you catch a cold while you’re still recovering.”

To Naruto’s relief Haku still had an undershirt on.  He reluctantly complied and put on the shirt, he didn’t realize how cold he’d gotten.

“And you don’t look half bad in pink” if any of Naruto’s blush had faded it instantly came back with that comment.  “And and when you get back come see me.”

Oh no.  It’s time to start over, find a new village, make a fake name, learn to fish, and get lost at sea.  Yeah the good life.

“I’ll need my shirt back after all” oh whew never mind plan die a fisherman is stowed away again.  “Oh and don’t tell Zubzuba.”

“Tell him wha” oh god they were kissing.

Haku.  Was.  Kissing.  Him.

“I knew you could do it kid” not the time or the place you asshole.

Naruto just stood there, ironically, frozen in place as Haku giggled and walked back into the house. 

“He just, he” Naruto had no idea how to process his second kiss ever.

“Who just what” Oh fuck off Sasuke showing up now instead of when you were needed.

Chapter Text

Naruto walked through the village in a daze.  Sasuke had decided to tag along with him for some reason but Naruto was too busy to pay him any mind.  After about thirty minutes of walking around like this Sasuke had had enough.  He grabbed Naruto by the shoulder and shook him.

“AH NO PLEASE HE KISSED ME” Naruto yelled out eyes wide and full of fear.

“Ok first off, you fell onto me so you kissed me, and secondly stop yelling” Sasuke was clearly annoyed by the sudden yelling.

“Oh thank god I thought you were Zubzuba and you were going to kill me” Naruto let a huge sigh.  “You’re, not Zubzuba in disguise right?”

“If I was I think I’d have killed you after that outburst so nope I’m just normal Sasuke Uchiha nothing new or different about me at all” man Sasuke was weird, like who talks like that.

“Boy am I glad” Naruto leaned against a nearby wall and took a few deep breaths.  “Can I be real with you for a second Sasuke, since by default we’re best friends.”

“Just because I almost died for you does not make use default besties I mean, you like for real died for Haku” Sasuke seemed almost hurt by him having died for Haku.

“Ok but Haku is maybe my, um, friend who is a boy, yeah that.  So we’re still besties” Naruto offered him a bro fist to show he meant what he said.

“Alright you may get real then” Sasuke casually accepted the bro fist.

“Ok so Haku, is like hot, and let me finish, me and him have had this like weird tension for the past few days and then today he” Naruto paused trying think of how to phrase this.  “He um, gave me his shirt and kissed me.”

“Oh, that makes sense yeah” Sasuke just nodded casually.

“WHAT DO YOU MEAN IT MAKES SENSE” Naruto was back to yelling.

“Wow you’re really the dumbest guy around.  Haku, has been dropping hints since you got up” Sasuke dropped this bomb of a concept like it was nothing.

“Name one hint that he ‘dropped’” yeah air quotes is how you know it’s serious.

“Let’s see, how he spent the whole time with your unconscious ass just so he’d be the first on you saw when you got up” ok that’s a good one yeah.  “He made it snow to play with the kids to get you over there.  I’m not sure how you missed all the flirty looks he sent your way during that snowball fight.  He then spent most of today following you around after that.”

“Ok Mr. Smart guy, I wasn’t even conscious for that first one, and how was I supposed to know that’s what those” Naruto trailed off as he remembered some of those looks.  “Ok, maybe, just maybe those looks were um, suggestive.”

“I always thought you were gay, case one the whole ignoring that girl from our class, case two our kiss, case three this” Sasuke was either being rude or supportive.  “But maybe you just are clueless?”

“First off, what girl?  Secondly, I fell ok I didn’t want to kiss you.  And third this like only half counts cause it’s a recent development” that’ll show you Sasuke.

“This is gonna make you embarrassed but you called out Hakus name like nine times while asleep” yup he’s being rude.  “There’s nothing wrong with you being gay Naruto I just wanted you know I’m right is all.”

“Well if I’m so clearly gay wh-” Naruto was about to destroy this argument before being cut off.

“The Sakura love things is clearly a cover up buddy, I know it, you know it, she knows it” Sasuke is a real Detective Ninja alright.  “She’s even been giving Haku advice, which is mostly just about how much you like ramen.”

“Sakura is the real homie is what I’m learning today” Naruto realized he also hadn’t seen her in a while, weird but whatever. 

“Look I’m not saying I’ll help you, but if I were to, as the kids say, distract Zabuza and get him out of the house so you two can have a cute little date” Sasuke may be the best wingman.  “It’d would just so happen to be a coincidence and would happen around tonight at 6.”

“Wow you already planned this ahead of time huh” Naruto was kind of shocked at Sasuke’s offered help.

“Oh Haku asked me to earlier today, the signal to go through with plan was if you were wearing his shirt” wow Haku thought ahead.

“Also why did you say Zubzubas name so weirdly before” Naruto could have sworn it’s not pronounced that way.

“You mean Zabuza.”

“No Zubzuba.”

“Zabuza.”

“Z-U-B-Z-U-B-A”

“Z-A-B-U-Z-A”

“He’s right it’s Zabuza” who the hell even asked you fucking fox demon.

“Naruto who taught you how to fucking, speak?  Yeah this is speaking” now it’s time for Sasuke the dick.

“Oh I don’t know, my parents, who are dead, cause I’m an O-R-P-H-A-N” yeah hit him with the orphan card never fails.

“Ok you get this one, but the next time you can’t say something you’re done for” Sasuke was just put in his place, time for finishing touch.

“Of course Sas-suke” he visibly grimaced at that one.

“You’re now on your own, good luck finding that book, Na-rut-tuto” damn he’s quick.

“Oh shit the book” Naruto, having forgotten about it entirely quickly went back to looking for one.

  “I like that kid, you got good friends” yeah he’s alright.

After roughly an hour of searching Naruto found the perfect replacement book for Kakashi.

“You bought me Real Analysis for dummies” Kakashi seemed less than pleased.

“Yeah you explicitly said no topology so I got the for dummies version since they don’t even touch on that stuff” Naruto was sporting the cheekiest grin.

“This is why you’re an orphan” fucking ouch.

“It’s stuff like this that’s probably why your dad’s dead” that’s right, Naruto Uzumaki knows how to look shit up.

 “Wow” he just said wow and left, no reply maybe that was too far.

“NARUTO” he was quickly grabbed in a headlock and dragged away by Sakura.  “We have twenty minutes to get you ready come on.”

“Sakura are you in on this scheme too?” who wasn’t in on it at this point holy hell.

“Yeah and you aren’t even close to ready for this date” she threw him down on a chair in front of a mirror.  “Luckily for you, a miracle worker like me is in your corner.”

The next twenty minutes were her having him change into various borrowed outfits from Tazuna; accompanied by Sakura showing him how to properly comb his hair and wear the suit she decided looked best.  At the end of it all he looked pretty good in the blue suit and with his hair actually brushed.

“Ok, how do you not know how to tie a tie” Sakura was insisting the tie finished the look.  “It’s vital to any good outfit.”

“I wear an orange jumpsuit every day of my life Sakura” she looked like she might cry from frustration.

“Fine fine you’re a walking disaster, just watch how I do it” she slowly went through the steps for tying the tie with him.  “Ok, perfect.  If you mess this date up it’s now solely on you and not your outfit.”

“Hey!  I got a date in the first place somehow” yeah get jabbed right back.

“Ok true you have technically become the first of us to date, but you’re still a disaster” she pushed him over towards the door.  “Now get out there and show Haku how big a mistake he made.”

“Wow rude” Naruto called back before closing the door behind himself, only to be face to face with Kakashi.  “Don’t tell me.”

“It’s a very precise science to keep Zabuza not here you should be more appreciative” he somehow had gotten a new copy of his old book.  “Anyways Haku is waiting for you out back, don’t screw this up Naruto.”

“There is no faith from any of you” Naruto said in a huff and went out back.

Almost instantly he remember all of his own lack of ability to process his feelings as he saw Haku.  He looked stunning, he was wearing a modified version of his battle wear that had flowers embroidered on the haori. 

‘Oh god I’m gonna fuck this up so bad’ Naruto instantly felt full of doubt.

“Shut the hell up and get over there, worst case scenario we freeze time cut our losses and lead the fisherman’s life” for a big demon fox, you really get me.

“Naruto” Haku cheerfully called out to him, breaking the stupor Naruto was in.

“Sorry if I’m late, I only found out and hour ago” Naruto sheepishly scratched the back of his head as he walked over.

“Sorry I wanted to talk with you earlier but you get disappearing on me” Haku was holding a basket in his right hand and used his left to hold Narutos hand.  “Honestly I was worried we’d have to try again a different day.”

“Sorry I, uh, thought I saw a, uh, really big snake?” Naruto hadn’t thought of what to say about why he’d avoided Haku earlier.  “And I didn’t want that on the loose with all the kids out and about.”

“How brave of you” Haku gave him a coy little smile, clearly not at all buying it but carrying on leading him into the wood none the less.

“It’s hard being a hero to the younger generation but someone’s got to” might as well sell it since he didn’t have anything better to say.

“Are you as well beloved by the youngins back home then?” oh no a question about himself, shit Naruto wasn’t prepared for this at all.

“I mean, I wouldn’t say uh, beloved perhaps” he thought back to meeting Konohamaru.  “More like they look up to me a little bit.”

“I didn’t know I had asked out such an esteemed ninja of Konoha, forgive my informality” Haku gave him another smile, it dazed him enough to not make a comment about him not actually being asked out.

They let the silence remain for a bit as they walked for a little while longer.  Being around Haku like this, felt so much calmer than before to Naruto.  It felt right.

“Ah perfect, it’s just up ahead” Haku sounded a little more excited and practically dragged Naruto to a clearing.  “Look familiar?”

It took him a few seconds, but the marks on the tree helped jog his memory.

“It’s where I was doing the tree climbing, and also where you found me passed out” in hind sight the being found passed out was a little embarrassing.

“It’s where I happened across the most unexpected young man I never thought I’d meet” Haku had a happy expression as he thought back to then.  “I never in a hundred years could’ve guessed we’d end up back here together like this.”

“What can I say, the way you threw those needles into Sasuke was quite hot” Naruto smiled at Haku who looked a little surprised by that joke.

“Well then, I should be glad you’re so easy to become enamored to” Haku smiled back at him before pulling a blanket from his basket.  “But I think we pause talking to eat for a bit.”

Naruto’s stomach decided this was the perfect time to growl, earning a laugh from Haku.  Naruto trying to save some face quickly helped set up the blanket and food.

“I heard you like ramen, but I don’t actually know how to make ramen so I hope this is fine” Haku had apparently made this food, all of which looked incredible to Naruto.

“It all looks amazing” Naruto couldn’t even form a joke, he was too stunned by the food.

“Hopefully it tastes as good as it looks then” Haku couldn’t hide his smile from the compliment. 

The two began to dig in, eating slowly so they could still talk while eating.  Haku kept slowly pulling information about Naruto’s life out of him throughout the night.  Naruto tried to do the same but Haku deflected the questions.  After a few hours of talking like this it seemed like something was wrong with Haku.

“Are you feeling alight?” Naruto moved closer to check if he was showing any signs of being sick.

“Yes, sorry I just” Haku let the sentence trail off.

“Is there something bothering you?” Naruto decided this was as a good a time as any to start prodding further.

“This is, probably going to be one of the happiest nights of my life Naruto” Haku smiled at him sadly.  “But, in reality I know I can’t just go back with you even if I want to.”

“Of course you can” Naruto didn’t want to lose Haku.  “It’d take some work yeah but, we could do it.”

“Your optimism is sweet” Haku looked like he was going to cry.  “I’ve been working with a rogue ninja for almost my whole life, no amount of work is going to change that.”

Naruto could feel tears welling up in his eyes.  He hadn’t thought about what would happen once the mission was over.  He didn’t want to think about what would happen.

“There’s got to be a way” Naruto reached out and placed his hand on Hakus.  “Believe it.”

He could feel his own words ring hollow, he didn’t know about any of the politics involved with someone joining the village.  Especially someone who is attached to Zubzuba.

“I’m sorry” Haku squeezed Narutos hand and tried to give him a reassuring smile.  “I didn’t mean to spoil the night like this.”

Naruto did his best to wipe the tears from his own eyes before returning the smile.  He reached out with his free hand to wipe a tear from Hakus face.

“You didn’t spoil anything” Naruto leaned in closer, feeling a little awkward as he did so.  “This is the happiest night of my life too.”

Haku met his lips, it wasn’t like the kiss before that was brief and froze Naruto in his tracks.  This felt like it could last forever, it felt right to Naruto.  Sadly for him it did not last forever.

“So, I felt like I was pretty clear before when I said to do not this” Naruto and Haku jumped, startled by the voice.  “So tell which part of, ‘Do not act on this imagined tension’, was not clear Naruto?”

Chapter Text

Of all the secret picnic dates in the forest of this small fishing village, Zubzuba had to pick this one to walk into.

“Zabuza it’s wasn’t his-” Haku tried to defend Naruto from the full brunt of the blame, unfortunately Zubzuba did not seem to care.

“I asked Naruto a question Haku, and I expect Naruto to answer me” his elevated position really elevated his level of danger to Naruto currently.

“Ok just don’t say anything fucking stupid and I think you can get out of here alive.”

“The part where kissing Haku is really enjoyable” this was the rock Naruto choose to die on apparently.  “And the part where-”

Before Naruto could blurt out anything worse to say than his first comment Zubzuba was holding him by the lapels.  The feeling of being held off the ground by this man and the raw murderous intent Naruto could feel coming from him, was not nice to say the least.

“You had half of a job and you managed to fuck it up.”

“I think my ears must have some water clogging them up or something kid, you wanna run that by me.  One more time” Zubzuba either was a merciful man or felt some kid of pity for Naruto.

“I said, the part where kissing Haku is enjoyable” Naruto felt emboldened by the not being immediately killed and continued.  “And the part where I like Haku and he likes me back.”

“Is this true?” his tone may have gotten less harsh while addressing Haku but his grip sure didn’t.

“YES, I TRIED TO SAY THAT AT THE VERY START” the yelling from Haku made his grip loosen a little surprisingly enough.  “THIS HAPPENS EVERY TIME, EVERY SINGLE TIME WE GO SOME WHERE AND I MEANT SOMEONE NICE.”

Well now it was starting feel a like this was going to get a little awkward.

“That’s not true I just-” now it was Zubzubas turn to be cut off midsentence.

“YES IT IS, EVERY DATE I GO ON, NO MATTER WHAT MEASURES I TAKE TO KEEP THEM A SECRET YOU SHOW UP, AND SCARE MY DATE OFF” Naruto was starting feel like he was a little out place in this fight.

“I do that to PROTECT YOU” oh god now Zubzubas yelling too.

“HOW IS REVEALING I WORK FOR YOU TO THE RANDOM, no offense Naruto, GUYS I MEET PROTECTING ME EXACTLY?” Haku was getting very heated about this now, it was a little hot in all honesty.

“BECAUSE WE ARE ALWAYS IN DANGER, BECAUSE WE’RE ALWAYS BEING HUNTED DOWN” Zubzuba was to be fair making a good point there.

“Oh I’m sorry, I forgot every random farmer we meet is actually a hunter-nin in disguise and is going to have a good time with me to discover our secret location and murder us both” Haku not yelling really highlighted the sarcasm of that point to Naruto. 

“Maybe not, but how about every random farmer who wants to kill YOU because you have a kekkei genkai?” Zubzuba does not pull punches in arguments wow.

“It’s times like this that make me remember under the awful and mean exterior, THERE’S JUST AN EVEN WORSE PERSON” Haku quickly ran off after yelling that, leaving a visibly shocked Zubzuba, and a really confused Naruto behind.

“So, can you uh, put me down?” after a few moments of silence Naruto decided he was probably off the hook enough to ask this.

“Yeah…” Zubzuba sounded, sad?

“I don’t think he actually meant that” Naruto didn’t want to let that comment be the last one on the matter.

“I wish you were right about that” he definitely was sounding sad as he kind of slowly slumped into a sitting position.  “This has been building up for a while now.”

“But you said the two of you have a father-son dynamic going, I’m sure he knows you care” as an orphan Naruto assumed any father figure is better than none.

“I want you to think about the kind of person I am, and keep in mind when I was 10 I killed thirty other ten year olds, and then think that statement over” oh right, the whole demon of the hidden mist deal.

“Haku idolizes you though, he’s told me how much he cares about you, and it’s not like he couldn’t have just run off if he really hated you” Naruto was just going to ignore that whole murder thing, just brush it over.

“Because he has nothing else, and he would never willingly go back to where I found him” Zubzuba expressing these emotions was really throwing Naruto for a loop.  “All I’ve ever said is how he’s a weapon, a tool at my disposal, I don’t think that’s a very fatherly thing to say.”

“I’m gonna be real with you here, that’s fucked up” Naruto was no expert but his diagnosis seemed correct.  “But now seems like a good time to get it all out there with him you know?”

“I think this is the second worst time to do that, beaten out by any other time ever” Zubzuba too was a master of not talking about feeling apparently.  “I kinda hate to say this, but I think you should go talk to him.”

“If I get up and go after him and you kill me I will be very pissed and disappointed” Naruto wanted this to be known before he was killed.  “But also while you were a little distracted I made a clone and went off after him.”

“Not bad kid, not bad” Zubzuba giving him approval felt, good?

“Thank you, dad in law” Naruto clone immediately ruined whatever moment had been made between the two of them.

This was proven by Zubzuba breaking said clone.

“Ah!” the real Naruto got an awful headache as the clone’s memories filled his head for a second.  “The fuck was that?”

He stopped his chasing after Haku for a moment to let his head clear up.  Whatever kind of bullshit just happened could wait till after Haku was found. 

“Haku!” Naruto had admittedly lost the trail since it was both dark and he wasn’t very good at tracking.

“Go away” Haku sounded pretty upset, understandably so.

“It’s just me alright, I wanna make sure you’re alright” Naruto felt a lot of things towards Haku, right now it was mostly concern.  “I can just leave if you want to be alone.”

There was silence for a little bit, maybe he just needed alone time.  Naruto turned towards where he thought the house was.

“Wait” with a little bit of rustling from some of the trees Haku appeared a few feet away.  “I’m sorry, about everything.”

Naruto was shocked by the apology, the shock abated as he felt full of sadness seeing tears on Hakus face.

“You don’t have to apologize for anything” he took a step towards Haku.

“Yes I do, I asked you out on this disaster of a date and then dragged you into that stupid fight and now you had to chase after me because I’m acting like an idiot” Haku was being very hard on himself about this.

“Hey it wasn’t a disaster of a date, it was amazing” taking another step forward Naruto held out one of his hands towards Haku.  “And as an actual idiot you’re not acting like one at all, you’re upset and it’s ok to be upset.”

Haku looked at Narutos out stretched hand, he hesitated for a second before pulling Naruto into a hug.  Naruto gently held him, doing his best to comfort Haku.

“I just don’t understand him at all, somedays he’s fine and it’s almost like we’re a family; and then there’s days like this where he’s just an asshole” Haku was mostly talking into Narutos shoulder at this point.  “I wish I could just go back with you.”

Naruto felt torn.  He wanted Haku to come with them back to Konoha, he wanted to be with Haku so badly.  Most of all he didn’t want Haku to suffer because of him, and them being together in Konoha would make that a guarantee.

 “Haku, he cares about you, he’s an asshole and has tried to kill me twice plus threatened to kill me about six additional times; but he’s an asshole who wants you to be safe” Naruto was kind of surprised by his own words here, but those clone memories couldn’t have been wrong.

“I could be safe with you” Haku had stopped crying and was just breathing on him now.  “We could be happy together.”

“Back home, people don’t like me, and I don’t just mean like a few people, I mean almost all of them” Naruto knew he had to tell Haku about this eventually, and that it might make him leave, but he had to say it.  “When I was born, the nine-tailed fox attacked my village.  My parents died in the attack.  The demon was sealed inside me and I’ve been hated by the village for that my whole life.”

He felt Haku tense up after hearing this.  He loosened his grip preparing to be pushed away.  Instead he felt Haku hold him tighter.

“I’m so sorry” the tears were back, and he sounded even sadder now.  “You didn’t deserve to be treated like that, you’re the nicest person I’ve ever met Naruto.”

He could feel tears on his own face now, he didn’t expect Haku to say any of this.  He felt so, so happy, and somehow very sad all at once.

“You, you don’t hate me” Naruto wasn’t sure what to say and this was likely not it but it’s what he said anyways.

“Of course I don’t hate you, I like you Naruto, and I want to be with you” Haku held him tighter again, it felt amazing to Naruto.

The two stood there holding each other for a few minutes until the tears stopped falling.  Naruto felt Hakus breathing slow down, he’d fallen asleep.  With a bit of chakra scooping Haku up was an easy task, the walk back wasn’t that long either.  Naruto smiled the whole way, Hakus words at the front of his mind.

Chapter Text

The whole of team seven had gotten up early this morning, it was the opening of the bridge.  Which meant their stay in the land of waves was at end, it gave the day a bittersweet taste.

“So, how did last night go?” Sakura was unsurprisingly the first to ask about it.

“It was great, until an angry man with a sword showed up” following this comment Sasuke and Kakashi shared a confused look.  “And then I think I helped Zubzuba work through some issues, not sure though.”

“So what you’re saying is…” Sakura decided to just ignore that in favor of gaining potential gossip.  “You didn’t screw up the date?’

“Yeah that’s exactly what I’m saying” Naruto decided to also just ignore that and hope Zubzuba as an adult would handle this in a mature and responsible way.

“Way to go, is it safe to assume you’ll be getting married to Haku soon?” Sasuke now wanted to also get some gossip apparently.

“Do I really seem like the kind of guy who would ask someone to marry me after one date?” sure maybe if Haku had made ramen for the date he would have but Sasuke didn’t have to know that.

“I mean, looking at the facts it seems like a safe bet that you won’t be getting many more romantic advance made on you” Kakashi too is a gossipy bitch apparently.  “I think Tazuna has the authority to officiate marriages, wouldn’t that be the icing on the bridge?”

“I feel like I ended up in some alternate reality, in which the three of you flip between being nice and helpful to assholes” Naruto was a little frustrated by his teammate’s behavior.  “Anyone else get that feeling?”

“I think I ended up in an alternate reality too, since you’ve somehow got the most game out of us all” Sasuke needed to let that one cook a little more.

“You just dissed yourself, is that really the best the Uchiha clans got?’ yeah hit him where it hurts.

“You know, I’m really regretting body blocking that attack for you now, if I ask him nicely enough do you think Haku will do take backsies on it?” see this was the quality of banter expected.

“I’m not totally sure what conversation I’m walking in on right now, but have any of you seen Zabuza?” it was for the best Haku missed most of this conversation.

“I thought he was sleeping still” Kakashi took this segue to a new topic as fast as he could.

“I checked his room already and Tsunami said he’d already left” Haku now seemed distressed to Naruto.  “Do you think he went ahead to the bridge opening?”

“There’s pretty much only one way for us to check that, so let’s hot foot it over there” Kakashi jumped up to a nearby rooftop, the rest of the group following suit.

Traveling via rooftop made the trip take only a few minute as they ended up at the bridge opening ceremony.  There was a sizeable crowd of people there but no one with a giant sword.  Haku quickly made his was to Tazuna.

“Has Zabuza been here?” Haku wasted no time trying to get information out of the older man.

“Uh, yeah he stopped by during our setup, helped me move somethings and then said he had some business to attend” Tazuna surprisingly had a lot of helpful information.

“Do you know where he went off to?” Haku unfortunately still needed some more.

“Maybe, uh, south?” Tazuna was certainly doing his best to be helpful.

“Ok thank you” Haku turned and started heading south.

“Kakashi can I-” Naruto turned to follow him, but realized he’d need permission to actually go, but he got cut off mid question.

“Go help your boyfriend Naruto” thank you Kakashi.

Naruto quickly chased Haku down.  It wasn’t very hard since he had to slow down to try and find any sort of clues.

“Didn’t you guys have a secret base or something?  Maybe he went there?” Naruto mostly just assumed there was a secret base since it seemed cool.

“I checked there first” Haku seemed to be panicking a bit.  “What if he got attacked by some of Gatos left over thugs or an actual Hunter-Nin found him?”

“Ok, Naruto plan” the Naruto plan was to make a fuck ton of shadow clones.  “Scatter!”

The clones ran off in as many different directions as possible, all in search of Zubzuba.  Hopefully that memory transference thing would happen again once one of them found him.

“He already has a huge head start there’s no way the clones can catch up to him” Haku the pessimism was not appreciated.

“Ok, yeah maybe not, but searching every nook and cranny south of the bridge would be impossible” Naruto was really trying to be helpful.  “Is there anywhere else he mentioned that he’d go to?”

“No, we stayed in the hideout while he was recovering and he hasn’t said anything about going anywhere since we’ve been in the house” it looked like Haku was trying to recall every possible memory with Zubzuba in it.  “Maybe he’s inside one of the stores?”

“May-” Naruto got cut off as some clone memories rushed into his head, causing to yell in pain briefly.  “Ok, either he’s that way, or some other asshole is just leaving traps lying around.”

Without hesitating Haku launched off towards where Naruto was pointing.  Naruto followed after him again, doing his best to keep up with Haku’s crazy speed.  After ten minutes of this break neck pace they ended up where the clone had popped at.

“This was a trap we used to catch some food” Haku seemed a little confused.

“So he, didn’t come by here?” Naruto was also confused.

“No he must have, I didn’t bother resetting, this has to be the right way” Haku started forward again at a slower pace, looking for any kind of trail to follow.  “This way!”

With another burst of speed the two were off, chasing down the trail Haku had found.  After a few minutes the two ended up at a cliff side.  In front of them was Zubzuba facing the ocean, his sword placed in the ground instead of its sheath.

“I’ll admit, I didn’t think you’d catch up to me so quickly” Zubzuba didn’t turn around while speaking.

“You trained me, is it really that big a surprise” Hakus voice sounded more sad than sarcastic.  “Why did you try and disappear exactly?”

“It’s time for this old swordsman to head back home” Haku looked completely shocked by those words.  “A rebellion has cropped up, I was planning to head back after the finish in the first place.”

“Why didn’t you bother telling me our next move then?” Haku was starting to sound much more upset now.

“It’s not our next move, it’s mine” Zubzuba turned around to face Haku when saying this.  “You’ve got live your own life, I can’t just drag you into some unfinished business of mine.”

“Your business is my business, I’m your tool” Haku seemed like he was about break.

“I’m sorry Haku” Zubzuba sounded like he could break too.  “I wanted to harden you, because this world is a hard place for people like me.  But you’re not like me, and through it all you stayed full of hope.”

“I don’t have anything else” Naruto couldn’t see Hakus face, but he could hear the tears in his voice.

“Yes you do” Zubzuba looked towards Naruto.  “And you’ll have a lot more living in a village than you ever could on the run with me.”

“You don’t get to just tell me what I do or don’t want, what I’m going to do” Hakus voice had a hint of anger in it now.  “I stayed with you because I wanted to, you can’t just throw me away now.”

“For an emotionless tool, you’re the best kid I could’ve asked for” Zubzuba shed a tear as he looked at the two of them.  “Take care of Haku, or I’ll really kill you Naruto.”

Before he could reply, or Haku could move to stop him.  Naruto felt it happen.  Time stopped.

“We’ll I’ll be, you don’t run into this very often” great so now time stopping is just something anyone can do?

“Yeah I thought so” Zubzuba flashed Naruto a mask less grin.  “This power ain’t something to play with kid, use it wisely.”

With that final warning Zubzuba left off the cliff, leaving nothing behind but the hole from his blade.  Soon enough, time resumed.

“WAIT” Haku yelled at the empty space Zubzuba used to be in. 

“He’s gone Haku” Naruto didn’t know what else to say.  “But we’ll see him again.”

“He was all I had” Haku slumped down to his knees, not bothering to try and wipe his tears away.  “And in the end, he cast me aside just like how he found me.”

Naruto sat next to Haku, offering him a hand to hold.  Haku slowly took it.

“He cared about you Haku, like a son” Naruto did his best to give a reassuring smile.  “He’s doing this to protect you in his own, convoluted way.”

“I don’t need to be protected, I’m not defenseless” Haku leaned on Naruto, his tears getting absorbed into the orange jumpsuit. 

“I know you’re not, but I think, it’s what parents do” Naruto really wasn’t the expert on this, but it felt right.  “But at the end of the day it’s your choice, you could chase after him anyways.”

“Is this your way of trying to get rid of me too?” Haku sounded so vulnerable to him.

“No, I don’t want to get rid of you, I want you to do what makes you the happiest” Naruto gave him a comforting squeeze.  “If chasing after him is that, then do it.”

“What if it’s not what I want” Haku wrapped his arms around Naruto, returning the hug.  “What if I want to go back with you?”

“Then do it” Naruto looked into his brown eyes; for a guy who could freeze water with a look, his eyes made Naruto feel so warm.

Haku leaned in and kissed him, it was soft and slow.  It made time stop, in the metaphorical sense this time.  After a few moments Haku pulled back from the kiss, leaning his head in the crook of Narutos neck.

“We should head back to the ceremony eventually” Naruto didn’t want everyone to come looking for them next.

“Maybe in a few more minutes” Haku had the right idea, the others could wait a bit longer.

Chapter Text

The trip back from the land of waves didn’t take very long, that bridge was actually good for something.  The mission report also wasn’t too bad to give, even if there was some degree of confusion as to why they finished it.  The part Naruto had put no thought into what so ever though, was how to explain why Haku was there.

“So, Haku, one of the assassins you fought during the mission, who almost killed two of you, wants to move into the village?” The Third Hokage was certainly confused by this to say the least.

“Yeah” Kakashi really knew how to sell a dumb sounding idea.

“The same Haku who impersonated a Hidden Mist village ninja and worked for Zabuza, a very dangerous rogue ninja?” The Third was either going to say yes at this point or he was really lost.

“Yup that one” Sasuke decided to answer this one for some reason.

“The one who, according to you and Naruto, make strange ice magic happen?” ok what was unclear about that description?

“Yeah good old ice power Haku” Naruto wanted to feel included in this talk.

“Ok final question, why did you include that Naruto and Haku are apparently dating in this report?” yeah ok maybe that was too much information for the old man.

“Don’t you want the juiciest gossip?” Sakura probably also wanted to feel included in this nonsense fest.

“Ok, sounds like a fine young man, tell him to come in please” the Third buzzed his secretary with that request. 

After a few moments Haku was ushered into the office, he was dressed a bit more formally than normal for the occasion.

“So, Team Seven here seems to vouch for you” the Third puffed on his pipe for some dramatic effect.  “Tell me, why do you want to join Konoha exactly?”

“To be frank Lord Hokage, I don’t really have anything else in my life right now” Haku was going for the direct and honest route it seemed. 

“That’s really, not at all what I expected to hear” the Third seemed once again confused by this whole ordeal.

“I don’t really have any home to go back to so, I mean it makes sense to me that I’d just come back here” Haku kinda just shrugged, admitting it was a bit of strange logic.

“Well, I suppose all I really have to say to that is, Welcome to Konoha” the Third slid some papers across his desk.  “Once you complete the required paperwork that is.”

The rest of team seven decided to leave while Haku filled out some forms, it was a surprisingly annoying process to fill out the forms, file them in the right department, fill out new forms and then take them to the correct department.  Maybe being Hokage wasn’t all Naruto thought it’d be.  Finally after about two hours of this process all the needed forms were filled out.

“For now I can offer some temporary housing for you, although I kind of assumed you’d just stay with Naruto” the Third made a good point, did Haku actually want to stay at Narutos place?

“Yeah that was kinda my plan too” Haku hadn’t really planned otherwise apparently. 

Naruto, realizing his house was probably a huge mess came up with the ultimate plan.  He discretely made some shadow clones to go clean the place.

“Well I think it’s time I take you to the best place in the whole world” Naruto grabbed Hakus hand and lead him away.  “Thanks for every think Gramps!”

“Naruto you can’t just-” Haku was about to lecture Naruto on manners, if the Third didn’t cut him off with his laughter.  “Ok you shouldn’t address the leader of your village as Gramps.”

“What else would I call him?” Naruto was flying true towards the homeland of his people while talking.

“Maybe his title, or really anything more respectful than just Gramps” Haku was mostly being dragged at this point, since he didn’t actually know where they were going.

“For his birthday I’ll think about it, but more importantly, WE’RE HERE” Naruto loudly declared their arrival to Ichiraku.

“Back and as loud as ever huh” Ayame called out from behind the bar.  “Aw you brought your girlfriend.”

“No I brought my boyfriend geez” Naruto blushed a little realizing what he’d just said.

“I’m Haku, it’s a pleasure to meet the famous workers of Ichiraku Ramen” Haku bowed slightly, probably to embarrass Naruto more.

“Glad to hear Naruto is only spreading good rumors about us” Teuchi came up to the counter to greet the two of them. 

“It’s not a rumor if it’s cold hard facts” Naruto was very serious about his ramen.  “But Haku has to find out for himself the truth of the ramen.  Two Naruto Specials please!”

“Two Naruto specials coming right up” Teuchi laughed while heading back to cook the ramen.

“Wow, the world famous Naruto Uzumaki even has a ramen bowl named after him” Haku teased him as the two waited for the food.

“And I count that fact as my greatest achievement of all time” being teased about his ramen was Narutos ultimate weakness.  “Like when I become Hokage I’ll have to lie to people about it being the greatest thing I’ve ever done.”

“You’re a weird kid Naruto” Ayame was enjoying the free entertainment.  “But the real question here is how did this happen?”

“This?” Naruto didn’t piece together what her pointing between himself and Haku was supposed to imply.

“We met while Naruto and his team were on this last mission” Haku decided to just answer the question.  “We uh, initially were enemies and then ended up uh, it sounds weird when I phrase it like this.”

“And he almost killed Sasuke, that’s an important part of the story” Naruto decided to chime in to add this fact for some reason.

“Yeah that happened, and then you almost died while saving me” Haku was trying to brush over these details realizing they seemed less than good, Ayame just looked increasingly more shocked.  “Then I nursed Naruto back to health and asked him out after he avoided me for like three days since he had a huge crush on me.”

“Yeah and then your father figure said he was gonna murder me” Naruto recalled this detail with a very cheery tone considering what he had said.

“So, what I’m hearing is… love at first sight?” Ayame was trying to ignore almost all of what had just been said.

“Yeah sure” Naruto and Haku both responded, kind of only now realizing how weird their relationship was.

“Two Naruto specials coming through!” Teuchi placed the bowls down in front of the two, ending the conversation.

“Yes! Let’s eat!” Naruto was happy to not think about things and just devour ramen.

After a few moments of Naruto loudly slurping his noodles, he was both finished and realized Haku had barely eaten his food. 

“You gotta eat it while it’s still hot, it doesn’t taste as good cold” Naruto was trying to encourage Haku.

“I, um, don’t particularly like ramen, and it’s not to say something bad against the Naruto special” Haku was saying words obviously leading up to hate on the Naruto special.  “But it’s not really, appetizing to me.”

Naruto felt so betrayed.  He showed Haku the most important part of life, and it wasn’t appetizing.  And to top it all of Haku doesn’t even really like ramen.

“I eat ramen sometimes but, I usually try not to get too, um, unhealthy of a bowl” Haku was digging a deeper hole for himself.

“It’s ok, I should’ve maybe not just ordered for you without asking what kind of ramen you like” Naruto was willing to make sacrifices for this relationship.

“Maybe we can stop somewhere else on the way and pick up food?” Haku was trying to find a middle ground for the two of them like a reasonable person. 

“Yeah I think we can do that” Naruto felt it, he was growing as a person right here right now.  “Can we get this bowl to go actually?”

“Sure thing kid” Teuchi had seemed very prepared for this producing a to-go bowl.

“What kind of food do you want to get then?” Naruto didn’t actually know any other food places in the village.

“Where could someone get some sushi?” Haku asked Ayame this, correctly assuming Naruto had no idea.

“There’s a place a street over that I go to from time to time” Ayame wrote a name down for Haku. 

“Thank you” Haku gave an appreciative smile and took the to-go bowl of ramen.

The two left after Naruto payed for the ramen, he was a little embarrassed that Haku hadn’t actually liked where they went.  It didn’t take too long for them to get to the shop.  Naruto offered to pay, but Haku insisted it was fine.  So he just waited outside the store for Haku.

“Hey is that Naruto?” Naruto looked around not sure who had called out to him.  “I can’t tell though since it looks like he might not be eating ramen.”

“Hey is there like, dogshit on my shoes or something?” Naruto saw Kiba and the other two members of team 8 and jeered back.  “Oh nah it’s just you Kiba, what’s good Akamaru.”

Naruto gave the small dog a low five, man he loved that dog.  Kiba and the other two also came up to him. 

“I haven’t seen you in weeks, I thought you might have died or something” Kiba and him exchanged a high five in greeting.

“Nah we were on a mission for the past two weeks, I got stabbed through the chest and got a sick scar” Naruto lifted up his shirt to show off the fist-sized scar. 

“Hey cut that out” Kiba smacked his hands to get Narutos shirt back down, weird behavior the two always did stuff like this.

“Ae you..” Naruto couldn’t tell if the blue haired girl was trying to talk to him or Kiba or even at all since he only heard two words. 

“Kiba we have to get to the training field, we’re already late because of you” the glasses wearing guy spoke up, man Kiba had weird teammates.

“I see Haku so I’m gonna be leaving to” Naruto grabbed his left overs and headed over to meet Haku at the store doors.  “Catcha ya later Akamaru!”

“Oh hell yeah Naruto” Kiba kind of cheered at him before running of with his team.  Maybe Kiba was also kind of a weird guy.

“Oh did you see some of your friends?” Haku only saw the tail end of Team 8.

“Yeah kind of, we all went the academy together, I think, I really only know Kiba and Akamaru” Naruto started leading Haku back to his apartment.

“Oh I can’t wait to meet them then!” Haku seemed quite cheerful about meeting new people.

“Yeah! Kiba kinda smells bad, Akamaru is real cool, Choji loves food, I don’t think Shikamaru hates me, and Iruka is great!” Naruto realized he was actually really excited to introduce Haku to his friends.

During the walk back Naruto did his best to describe his friends on the walk back.  Haku laughed every now and again during the stories, meaning they were good stories obviously.  Finally they reached his place.  The clones had popped so they were done cleaning, hopefully they didn’t do an awful job.

“Welcome to Casa de Naruto” Naruto opened the door letting Haku go in first.

“It’s…. not actually as messy as I expected” Haku seemed pleasantly surprised.  “And you have plants!”

“MY PLANTS” Naruto realized he hadn’t watered his plants, in two weeks and rushed over to them quickly.  “No my babies I’m so sorry I forgot to get someone to watch you.”

 The few kept outside had gotten rain water and were mostly fine, but sadly a lot of his babies were on deaths door.  He did his best to salvage the survivors and prepared the dead for their last rites.  Haku watched this scene unfold while eating his sushi and giggling every now and again.  After cleaning up the plants and putting away the miscellaneous things Haku had brought with him, the two were actually kind of tired.

“Man who knew doing a bunch of nothing would be so tiring” Naruto slumped against a wall for dramatic effect.

“A whole lot of walking tired out Mr. Amazing Ninja” Haku teased him but also yawned a little.  “I suppose I’m also, a little tired after today.”

Naruto now realized he only had one bed, and there were two of them.  And he had one bed.  But there is two of them. 

“Here’s the bedroom, I’ll just sleep on the couch till we can get you a bed” Naruto did his best to hide his embarrassment as he thought about, him and Haku, in bed together.

“But it’s your bed I can’t kick you out of it” Haku was trying not to be rude but Naruto wanted to be a good host.  And one bed, two of them.

“No I insist you take the bed I’ll be fine” Naruto turned away slightly to hide his slowly reddening face.

“We could just share it” Haku managed to say exactly what Naruto didn’t want to hear.

“What no we don’t have to sleep together it’s fine” Naruto blundered through that sentence like a champ.

“Well either you take your bed or we share it” Haku was standing firm here.

“Damn kid you’re not half bad, sleep together already, keep at it slugger” not helping, not helping at all you awful awful creature.

“Come on it’s not a big deal” Haku had grabbed Narutos hand and started dragging him into the bedroom.  “Besides we practically slept together while you were healing so there’s nothing to be embarrassed about.”

“Fine but only tonight” Naruto relented, feeling very nervous about it.

“And I won’t even sleep naked since you seem so embarrassed” Haku was actively trying to set Naruto off at this point and it worked.

“Yup tired goodnight” He feel face down on his bed and tried his hardest to fall asleep instantly.  His feeling of exhaustion had subsided thanks to Hakus comment.

“I’m sorry for teasing you” Naruto didn’t move as he could definitely hear clothes coming off.  “But you shouldn’t sleep in your jumpsuit so at least put on some pajamas please.”

After waiting a bit and hearing Haku put clothes on he got back up and changed as well.  He did his best to hide his massive blush from Haku.  Haku laid down on the bed once getting changed, Naruto very slowly laid down next to him.

“Goodnight” Naruto quietly said it, since he was right next to Hakus ear.

“Goodnight” Haku replied and moved closer to him.  “I am sorry about teasing you.”

Narutos reply was to move closer to Haku as well, they were a few inches apart now.  Naruto hesitated before wrapping an arm over Haku and closing the last of the distance.  Haku made a quiet hum of content.  The two drifted to sleep like this soon enough.

 

Chapter Text

It had been a surprisingly peaceful month for Naruto now that they were back home.  Most missions they did would only span at most a day, the rare one would take two.  Sasuke spent most of their down time training his eyes or something, Sakura was doing some weird tactics training and Naruto was.

“DODGE” Kakashi, now behind him and mid swing, yelled. 

Naruto froze time for an instant and jumped back, his training was mostly comprised of this.  Sometimes he’d learn a new move with the shadow clones.

“DODGE” this time it was a kick.

He’d gotten pretty good at managing his limit and even grown it up from ten minutes to fifteen total.  It didn’t make a lot of sense as to why he could just break up the limit into smaller chunks like this, but hey it works.

“Not bad, you managed to avoid being hit for a total of ten minutes” Kakashi praised him, Naruto instantly dodge back from another attack.  “And you’ve learned not let that guard down.”

“What can I say, a prodigy like me can do anything” Naruto was feeling pretty good about his progress.

“Alright let’s see your progress on the techniques I gave you last week then” Kakashi took a seat on a stump to appraise the progress.

“First I need a volunteer” Naruto summoned a clone to fill this role.  “Now hold onto your seat and prepare to be amazed.”

Naruto grabbed the clone by the legs and swung it around in front of him.

“Sickle Weasel” channeling a burst of Charka through the clone Naruto blasted out a wind blade cutting into the trees at the edge of the clearing.  “Not bad right?”

“You just used a clone as a fan instead of doing the hand seals?” Kakashi was incredibly confused by the sight before him.

“Yeah I was having trouble with the hand seals, but I figured this would work since you mentioned people used big fans to use it sometimes” Naruto had used a large amount of brain power, and help from Haku, to figure this out.

“I’m actually impressed, I didn’t think you’d be able to get it down this fast” the surprise in his voice made all the effort worth it.

“Like I said, a prodigy like me is unstoppable when my heads in the game” Naruto dispelled the clone by throwing it aside.  “What’s the next Jutsu you’re gonna give me to learn?”

“I guess if you’ve got this one down the Wind Cutter Jutsu shouldn’t be too hard for you to learn either” Kakashi stood back up from the stump.  “I’ll show you the hand seals for it, but I’ll also try and show you the chakra channel for the fan.”

“The chakra what?” Naruto knew what those words individually meant but together, no dice.

“You know how you did the Sickle Weasel jutsu through the clone?” Kakashi was once again surprised, just in a bad way this time.  “You did it by channeling chakra through the clone into the air to send out the attack.”

“Oh why didn’t you just say it like that” Naruto sat down to watch the demonstration.

“Sometimes I forget you almost didn’t graduate” Kakashi sighed a little as he performed the technique for Naruto to see.  “Wind Release: Wind Cutter Jutsu.”

Kakashi shot out several wind blades from around him, each one only being about two feet in length but were able to slice deep into the tree trunks.

“Don’t try and overload the jutsu with too much chakra to get more of the wind blades, just try for one or two for now” Kakashi pulled out a small scroll and gave it to Naruto.  “If you need a refresher for the seals I wrote them down here for you.”

“Thanks Kakashi” Naruto happily took the scroll, knowing full well he wasn’t going to read it.

“Oh and tell Haku I said hello, I haven’t seen him much this past week or two” with that Kakashi took his leave of the training field.

Naruto stayed in the field working the technique, channeling his chakra into the wind felt weirdly easy.  Even without using one of his clones as a fan he could manifest one blade after an hour of practice.  He realized he should probably head back home, or he would have if some yelling hadn’t stopped him.

“One hundred one, one hundred two, one hundred three” a green jumpsuit wearing bowl cut having guy was lunging into the training field carrying a log.  “One hundred four, one hundred five, one hundred six.”

Naruto was too confused to leave now, bot stunned by the guys outfit and the weird exercise.  When he hit one hundred twenty five he threw the log aside and started stretching.  During those stretches he finally saw Naruto.

“OH I didn’t mean to encroach on your training” wow this guy was loud and kind of chipper.

“Oh no it’s fine I was gonna be leaving soon anyways” Naruto only now saw his ridiculously bushy eyebrows.  “Are you meeting up with your team here or just doing some solo training?”

“I’m finishing the last of my morning training now actually” he said morning training, which either meant he woke up very late or had been training from morning to mid-afternoon.  “Care to join me?”

“Oh uh, sure?” He said he was almost done so how long could this take, an hour tops?

Four hours later, Naruto was covered in sweat and felt like his limbs were going to fall off his body.

“Only one more set come on!” this guy, Lee or maybe Ree, was a demon.  “Four hundred fifty one!”

Naruto did the saddest sit up of his whole life, knowing there was still another five miles to run and one hundred pushups, jumping jacks, squats, sit ups again, and leg raises to do.

“NARUTO” oh thank god Haku please get him away from here.

“Haku!” Naruto had never felt happier to see Haku in his whole life. 

“Naruto why are you still here training?” Haku was in his casual clothes meaning he had already left work gone home and changed.  “I waited for you for two hours.”

“I’m most sorry” Lee quickly bowed and apologized.  “I didn’t realize my training buddy had plans already otherwise I would have cut our morning training short.”

“Oh, its ok I was just worried since he told me he’d be back home” Haku paused at the sincerity of Lee, and also at the morning training statement. 

“Gosh I’m sorry Lee, I think I’ll have to tap out early” Naruto was so incredibly happy to get to leave.  “Maybe we can meet up and this again.”

“Of course!  I’ll stop by and find you in the morning the day after tomorrow” god Lee was so excitable, and also a demon.

“See you then buddy” Naruto was half carried away by Haku since he couldn’t feel his legs. 

Once they were out of ear shot Naruto sighed a very long and sad sigh.

“I take it you had a very, interesting day?” Haku gave his back a comforting rub.

“He said he was almost done his morning training four hours ago, he started at six in the morning Haku.  He works out for fourteen hours a day” Naruto felt his soul leave his body remembering saying yes to Lee.  “Haku we need to move so he can’t find me in a day for more training.”

“Don’t be so dramatic honey, I’m sure he won’t be able to find us till at least eight” Haku did his best to be reassuring here.  “And you love training it’s like your third favorite thing next to ramen and me.”

“I’m surprised you put ramen before yourself on the list” it was true but he didn’t think Haku would say it.

“I know the inner working of my boyfriend’s mind quite well I’d say” Haku gave him a sly smile.  “I can accept second place so long as I don’t catch you sleeping with the ramen.”

“The ramen doesn’t provide free cooling when it’s hot out so deal” Naruto returned the smile.  “Speaking of ramen, I’m super hungry can we stop and get dinner somewhere?”

“We can but it’s my turn to pick” Hakus eyes had a devious glint to them suddenly.

“Please no” Naruto knew that look, it meant healthy food.

“It’ll be perfect after all this training you did today” Haku now also had a devious smirk to match his eyes.

“LEE I CHANGE MY MIND SAVE ME” Naruto knew it was useless Lee was doing his log circuit now.

After stopping at their apartment so Naruto could clean up a little from all the training the two headed out.  Haku had found some newer place that served healthier foods at a good price.  If he was honest Naruto would admit it was really good, but he was a child at heart. 

“See if this was ramen it would just be better” Naruto had run out of real things to complain about so he resorted to just saying that.

“And you wouldn’t have proper nutrition and would stay five feet tall forever” Haku didn’t even bat an eye to the comments at this point.  “Also I think your friends are spying on us?  Don’t make it obvious but look over there.”

Instantly turning very obviously Naruto caught a glimpse of Kiba before he ducked behind a booth.

“Weird I didn’t think Kiba of all people would eat here, maybe we should go say hi to them?” Naruto had just forgotten about the use of the word spying.

“I’ll pass, he came into my job the one day and didn’t say anything the whole time.  He just stared at me and tried to be sneaky about it” Haku sounded a little creeped out by that.

“Then I’ll tell that dog breath what’s what, no one creeps on my boyfriend” Naruto walked over to Kibas table.

“Thank you darling” Haku sounded more cheery hearing that from Naruto.

“Hey Kiba, sup Akamaru, why are you, and uh the rest of team 8, spying on me?” Naruto didn’t expect to see all three of these people here.

“What we’re not spying on you, why would we spy on you, who even brought up spying on you, not me why would you say that” Kiba did not do well under pressure apparently.  “IT WAS AKAMARUS PLAN.”

Kiba quickly bolted with the small dog under his arms, he really was not good under pressure.  Naruto turned his attention to the other two people in the booth.

“So, that was weird and all, but my question still stands, why am I being spied on?” Naruto didn’t really know these two; but he hoped they’d mention who they were naturally so he wouldn’t need to ask.

“Um, Shino said he wanted to try this new place out” the blue haired girl answered first, even though she was volume locked at a whisper.  “And we um, saw you here.”

“So Kiba freaked out for some unrelated reason to me catching him looking over here?” Naruto wasn’t buying this story at all, no great Detective Ninja would.

“He gets nervous in nicer restaurants since he’s has no manners” this guy was probably Shino by process of elimination.  “Seeing you, someone he knows probably set him over his edge and caused his episode.”

“Alright, that sounds just dumb enough to be true about Kiba” this guy sure knew how to lie, Naruto had to give him that, his poker face was insane.  “Except I know for a fact Kiba has eaten here before, and he didn’t freak when I saw him here then.”

“Um, he, uh, um” the blue haired girl seemed likely to crack soon, she wasn’t cut out for the gangsta life.  “Had to, um, go back home…”

“And now you’re stories start to fall apart huh, listen up busters, nothing gets by Ace Detective Naruto Uzumaki, so you both better fess up” he was really laying it on thick with this interrogation.

“If I tell the truth will you leave us alone to finish eating” Shino was trying to strike a deal and cut himself a good break, willing to rat on his presumably closest friend too.

“If the information’s good you’ve got yourself a deal” Naruto also kinda wanted to just eat his food.

“Kiba wanted to learn more about your new friend over there but isn’t willing to just ask you or her” Shino was quick to sell a man out, can’t trust a snitch like him.

“Well then, to clear this up, me and Haku are dating, if Kiba has any more questions tell him to dog up and ask me himself” Naruto felt like that came off as really lame, but didn’t care.

“Oh, oh ok” the blue haired girl seemed a little sad for some reason, where they trying to help Kiba get a date with Haku?

“Now goodbye” Naruto went back to his booth with Haku.

“Well, that was certainly a scene” Haku looked a little embarrassed after all that.

“Right, I can’t believe Kiba would do something like that” Naruto was now eating his food and also trying to talk, making Haku more embarrassed.

“Maybe we shouldn’t come here anymore” Haku seemed a little done with the whole ordeal.

“What why the food here is great” Naruto realized he’d just lost.

“Ha I knew you loved the food here” Haku had played him like a damn fool. 

“NARUTO I SEE YOU DO ENJOY EATING HERE” of all the times for Lee to show up, here he was, still in the jumpsuit, and with an older version of himself?

“AH SO THIS IS YOUR NEW TRAINING BUDDY LEE” the older Lee gave Naruto a swift handshake, nearly crushing his hand in the process.

Haku had snuck off to pay for their food to make a stealth escape more viable.  Their chances were slim but maybe the two would get distracted by something else.

“AH KAKASHI” thank you Kakashi for being a hero.

Wasting no time Naruto dashed out of the restaurant with Haku, safe from whatever horror would go down in that place.  As quickly as they could they ran back home, Naruto just wanted to put today behind him.  After their nightly rituals the two were in bed together.  In a single month something that had made him so nervous was so normal now.  He drifted off to sleep, wrapped up in Hakus arms, it was his turn to be the little spoon today.

Chapter Text

“NARUTO” this is how Naruto knew life was truly unfair.  “IT’S TIME TO GET OUR MORNING TRAINING STARTED.”

Naruto tried to ignore him but Haku pushed him off the bed.

“You told him you would, and we both know he won’t leave without you” Haku could be very grumpy after being woken up early it turned out.

“Fine but when I die you have to find my corpse” Naruto groggily got off the floor to get dressed in his workout clothes.

“A price I’m willing to pay for peaceful sleep” Haku buried his head under the pillow as Lee called out again.

“I’ll be done in a minute Lee stop yelling” Naruto called out his window down to Lee.

“OK” Lee really was just a strange guy.

Now dressed and with a snack bar Naruto went downstairs to meet Lee.  How he found this place so quickly was a mystery Naruto didn’t want the answer to.

“I brought one of my old pairs of weight for you to use since I didn’t think you had any” Lee was holding said weights.

“Oh, thank you” that was actually pretty cool of Lee.

Or it was until Naruto took the weight and realized they were insanely heavy.

“Lee, how much do these weigh?” he was insane and a demon.

“Twenty-two kilograms each, why?” Lee said that like it was a normal thing.

“How, how much are your current ones?” Naruto was so afraid of Lee all of a sudden.

“Oh these are thirty six kilograms each” Lee was a monster beyond compare.

Naruto sighed and put the weights on, this was going to be a very rough day of training.

Around three in the afternoon they were in an empty training field, having finished the log lunges there.  Naruto felt like he was going to die.  Thankfully for him Kakashi was there waiting for him.

“There you are Naruto” Kakashi was just reading his book.  “I forgot to tell you all something yesterday so we’re having a team meeting today, sorry if it’s interrupting your training.”

“Oh No” Lee seemed so upset.  “I can’t keep you from a team meeting but I’m sure one of these days we’ll get to finish a whole workout.”

“Maybe next week” Naruto tried to hide his join of being free of this torturous workout.

“Well, I must finish my morning workout, goodbye to you both” Lee waved goodbye and took off doing lunges at break neck speeds.

“Kakashi you’re my hero, I really truly mean that” Naruto slumped to the ground exhausted and weak.

“We do have a meeting I wasn’t lying about that” Kakashi just casually flipped a page.

“I’ll do a hundred meeting over working out with Lee, he’s insane” Naruto rolled onto his back to breathe easier.

“Is Naruto ok?” Sakura was arriving to the field, not sure what she was seeing.

“No” Kakashi replied for him.

“What happened to him?” Sasuke was curious but clearly didn’t care too much.

“Too much” Naruto was speaking between large breaths.  “Training.”

“Right, well now that you’re all here and before Naruto dies, I’ve signed you up for the Chuunin exams next month” Kakashi handed them some forms.  “You all have to fill these out to attend the exam though, be sure to submit it by next Monday.”

“I love you Kakashi” Naruto used the paper to cover his eyes, happy to not actually have a meeting or be training still.

“Do you think we’re ready for the exams?” Sakura seemed unsure about their skills.

“I mean, you’re all still alive after a mission we normally would send Jonin for so, yeah I think you are” Kakashi actually seemed kind of proud of them.  “And I’ll be upping our training session’s intensities for the next month to help guarantee you’re all ready.”

“Bet I’ll win the exam” Sasuke was quick to show his confidence in his own skill.

“Sure if I die before then, enjoy second place idiot” Naruto was quick to quip back.

“Be real, you’re both going to get knocked out by me” Sakura actually joined in on the team banter to assert herself. 

“You know it is a team exam right?” Kakashi knew they didn’t know this since he hadn’t told them.

“Fine we’ll just kick every other team’s ass” Naruto felt really confident about their chances.  “After all, we’re team Naruto and his lackeys.”

“Get real we’re team Zubzuba” Sasuke still was making fun of him for that.

“I think team Sakura and two hopeless idiots is the strongest sounding” Sakura was pulling no punches here.

“Well you lot have fun deciding on name” Kakashi stood up and started to leave.  “I’ll see you tomorrow for a mission, and then we’ll be training as a team afterwards so don’t be late.”

“Well I’m gonna go train some more” Sasuke also went to leave.  “Naruto stop by later I want to test out my reaction times.”

“I’m gonna be working on more strategies for us so make sure you both give me a full list of jutsu you know” Sakura also was leaving now.  “And if sexy jutsu is on the list I’ll kill you Naruto.”

“Bye guys” Naruto was still on the ground exhausted.

“Come on get up already geez” can it fox, this shit is hard.  “Maybe if you’d ever worked out for real before you’d be able to do this easier.”

“I do workout I’ll have you know” Naruto slowly got up, stretching as he did so.  “I’m just sane about it.”

“More like a wimp” not everyone can be made of pure chakra jackass.  “Anyways I want you try expanding your limit again.”

“Fine but be ready to heal me when I collapse” Naruto took a deep breath and focused.

After a few seconds the red charka erupted from him, it didn’t sting while within his limit anymore but it still felt weird.  After a few moments the chakra started coming out more intensely. 

“Ugh” Naruto had to grit his teeth to ignore the pain, his skin was burning at the feeling of the chakra.  “More.”

It was now a pillar of chakra coming from him, he could feel his body begin to shift as it tried to accommodate the large amount of power.  It wasn’t like the first time where it felt like something ripping into him.  It was more like his body was a vessel filling to the brim, ready to burst but still holding together.

“MORE” he was at his limit but didn’t want to stop, this power would help him and he needed every edge he could get.

He went past the limit, his clothes were now being torn and burned as the charka grew more dense and hot around him.  It hurt but he could maintain it, he could control it.  He shifted it into a form around him, claws over his hands and feet.  He rushed the training pillar in the field, the weights felt like nothing with this rush of energy.  With the claws he ripped apart the wood pillar in a few hits, his strength and speed amplified to great heights.

“Not bad kid, want me to cut it?”

“I can, handle more” Naruto wanted to push himself further to his breaking point and beyond.

Another huge surge of chakra erupted from him, the ground around him was starting to be affected by it.  The grass burned up and the earth began to crack apart.  His body felt like it would come apart any moment but he kept going.  A single tail formed out of the chakra before all at once it dissipated.

“Dammit” Naruto was back on the ground breathing hard.  “I felt it, I was so close.”

“You getting good kid, you’re limit should increase exponentially once you can handle a full tails worth of my power” the fox seemed impressed with him.  “But we can’t push it too hard, you are a human after all.”

“Um, excuse me I saw a weird chakra and came here to, uh, investigate it” it was that blue haired girl again, shit did she see the foxes charka up close.

“That’s just my new, uh, technique” Naruto figured this lie would work since who actually knows how jutsu or chakra work.

“But it was red…” dammit blue haired girl don’t see through the lie.

“Yeah it’s my Flaming Hot Naruto jutsu” Naruto was lying like his life depended on it.  “I heat up my chakra and body to make chakra flames to attack.”

“Oh…” she seemed unconvinced entirely.  “Do you, want help with it, my family has techniques using chakra like that.”

“Suuuuuure” Naruto really felt weird accepting this help, since he still didn’t know her name.  “But I wouldn’t want to take up your time since I’m sure you’re super busy.”

“Oh, no, I um, don’t have anything to do, um, today” she really was a weirdo, no wonder Kiba and her are friends.

“Well, ok then” this was going to be awkward.

After about an hour of working with her, Naruto still didn’t know her name.  Her help was kind of nice though, she knew her stuff for forming and molding chakra. 

“Wow you’re really good at this stuff” Naruto could now make chakra claws using a lot less of the fox’s chakra.

“No I’m actually quite awful at this” damn she was low self-esteem central.

“You helped me learn how to do it, and I’m a known dumbass so you clearly know your stuff” Naruto wanted to just pay her a compliment and be done with it.

“Compared to the rest of my family I’m… trash” she suddenly seemed quite sad, or hurt?

Naruto wasn’t good at reading this girl, and didn’t know what to say to that at all.  So he panicked a bit.

“What nah, you’re like, recycling” Naruto Uzumaki master of helping people who are sad.

Naruto got ready to freeze time and bail, except he heard a quiet laugh from her.  He was in the clear.

“Thank you” she seemed to cheer up after that, this girl was all kind of weird.

“Naruto!!” Haku had entered the field holding a bag with presumably some food in it.  “Oh I thought you’d still be with Lee so I came prepared to lie you away from him.”

“No thankfully Kakashi came and save me I’ve just been working on some of my special techniques” Naruto knew Haku would know what he meant.  “And she’s been helping me because she’s a nice person.”

“Oh no I just was passing by and saw some weird chakra and um wanted to check it out” the blue haired girl seemed kinda like she was lying now for some reason.  “And then I, um, offered to help.”

“That is very nice of you” Haku gave her a smile and turned to Naruto.  “Did you thank Hinata for all of her help?”

“Thank you for all of the help Hinata” Naruto now finally knew her name, thank you Haku.

“Oh, it wasn’t any problem” Hinata now was blushing for some reason and was back to talking kind of strangely.  “Oh I have to go now immediately I’m sorry goodbye.”

With that hodge podge of a sentence Hinata took off.  Naruto was a little confused but wrote it off as she was a weirdo.

“I’m surprised” Haku was the first to speak following Hinatas departure.  “From what I can tell she either really likes you or really hates me.”

“What?  That’s ridiculous” Naruto would know if either were the case. 

“No it actually kind of explains all the weirdness from that team” Haku had no real proof then.  “Also the sunglasses kid told me since he was fed up with it.”

“Oh so you think she doesn’t like you because she likes me?” Naruto had to admit that Shino knew Hinata better since he only five minutes ago learned her name.

“Yeah but I figured she’d like, try and one up me or something?  Like try and do something to get you?” Haku was going to an odd place here.  “Instead she just kinda bailed.  Weak.”

“I’ve never had people fight for my affection before” this was new for Naruto.

“Well it’s not a fight since I won already” Haku pulled Naruto into a hug with this declaration.  “But if you do dump me for her I’ll get you banned from every ramen shop in the village.”

“THAT’S CRUEL WHAT THE HELL” Naruto was panicking imagining that.

“No I’m kidding, sorry that was too far” Haku gave him a reassuring squeeze.

“Please don’t scare me like that, I saw my life flash before my eyes” Naruto only had ramen and Haku, losing both would be too much.

“I won’t say something like that again, promise” Haku pulled the food he had brought out of the bag.  “But for now let’s eat since you’ve been training hard all day.”

“Oh hell yeah” Naruto gladly dug into the food, only now realizing how he was starving.

 

Chapter Text

One month felt like it had come and gone almost overnight for Naruto.  He’d spend every day off from missions training with Lee in the mornings till three in the afternoon.  Afterwards he’d work either on a new wind jutsu or getting better with his time stops.  Thanks to some help from Sasuke and Hinata his chakra control had jumped exponentially, his control of the stops was now incredibly precise.  The combination of speed training plus better time control made for a very beat to hell Sasuke in their matches.

“And, Begin” Haku was watching today, they’d been working on wind jutsu earlier so he just tagged along

Naruto instantly dashed forward making five clones, Sasuke had activated his Sharingan and jumped back to keep distance.  His reaction times had gotten incredibly fast but he still couldn’t beat time shenanigans.

“Fireball jutsu” Sasuke broke up the clone formation by launching his attack at the center of the group. 

Naruto grabbed one of the clones, using the flames to launch his own attack.

“Flaming Wind Cutter” Naruto shot the blades of wind through the flames igniting them.

“Shit” Sasuke managed to flip and duck under the blades with only a few cuts, but it meant he couldn’t back away.

“Naruto Barrage” three Narutos were thrown at Sasuke beginning a close up fistfight with him. 

Managing to pop the clones while only taking a few hits from them Sasuke looked for the original, one of the three Narutos was now missing.  He quickly jumped forward, managing to dodge a ceiling attack from presumably the real one. 

“Sickle Weasel” the two clones shot more wind attack him as the real one came at him with physical attack.  With the Sharingan it was easy to dodge the jutsu allowing him to focus his defense on the real one.  He landed a solid hit on the Naruto he was fighting, popping it.

“Ultimate hidden Naruto Barrage” Naruto erupted from the ground hitting Sasuke with an uppercut, the attack knocked him into a wind blade.

“Ugh” Sasuke grunted as he bounced off one of the walls, the attack thankfully launched him into of slicing.  “Alright time to get serious idiot.”

Naruto cracked his neck and grinned as Sasuke stood back up.  The remaining clones moved in on him but were quickly taken out with his strikes.

“Ready for my super move buddy” Naruto flared up his chakra, forming two claws over his real hands.

“That’s not even your original move” Sasuke pulled out two kunai to prepare to engage him.

The two clashed in the center of the room, kunai being used to deflect the claws as Sasuke looked for an opening to strike.  He feinted low with a sweep and quickly flipped it into and overhead kick catching Naruto in the head.

“Serious time right” Naruto froze time for an instant to dodge the next attack.

He continued using the split second freezes to dodge Sasukes onslaught of attacks.  He knew eventually Sasuke would get tired of this pattern.  After almost a minute of this Sasuke tried to make distance between them to blast another fireball.  Naruto froze time and quickly delivered three hits to him.

“Agh” the punches knocked Sasuke back against the wall, something about the time stop made repeated hits do tons of damage.  “Let’s see you dodge this.”

Sasuke blasted an onslaught of flames in front of him forcing Naruto to jump back as well.  He fell for Narutos bait as he went for a big fireball again.  Naruto froze time again and dashed forward delivering a kick to his chin as he unfroze it.  Sasuke got knocked off his feet and blasted his fireball into the ceiling.

“That’s enough for now you two, we have to not burn the building down” Haku called an end to the fight as he blasted water at the flames.

“Oh shit” Naruto quickly moved to help, since it was kind of his fault.

The three quickly prevented a real fire from growing and took a small break from the training.

“You know eventually I’ll be able to beat out whatever that speed technique is” Sasuke was a little sulky as he said this.

“I’m telling you it’s not a speed technique I literally freeze time” Naruto had won with this same move like five times in a row now.  “And if you do manage to beat it out I’ll be absolutely fucked yeah.”

“We’ll get ready to get fucked then” Sasuke started eating a granola bar less sulky now.

“Choice of words Sasuke please” Haku lightly mocked him.  “I know you were his first kiss but I’m the main squeeze now.”

“Well I can’t stop the sparks flying in here, what if I pin him against the wall and our shirts got burnt off in an attack” Sasuke had really thought this out huh.  “Like sure you two have chemistry but we have history.”

“Sasuke I will never let you live down this moment of you telling my boyfriend you want to have sex with me” Naruto tried to hide his embarrassment at this discussion with humor.

“I’m not saying I want to, but could we deny ourselves the pleasures of the flesh in the heat of the moment Naruto?” Sasuke was laying it thick here huh.

Haku splashed him with a cold blast of water.

“How’s that for heat of the moment?” was Haku a little jealous?

“Well I’m sorry for striking a nerve there geez” Sasuke got up to go change.  “You two may see yourselves out I guess.”

“Don’t be late tomorrow, I don’t wanna lose cause you’re an idiot” Naruto wanted to have the last word here.

“Yeah yeah” Sasuke threw a dismissive wave at the two of them as he walked off.

“Well, I’ve got the rest of the day of free time now, what do you wanna do?” Naruto hadn’t planned for their training to cut short.

“We could relax at home for a bit before the big exams tomorrow?” Haku clearly just wanted some alone time with him.

“Sounds perfect” Naruto grabbed his hand, he also wanted some alone time with Haku.

They grabbed some takeout on the way, not wanting to leave to get it after being home.  Since tomorrow was the exam they got ramen and salad, Haku still hadn’t seen the light of ramen.  The trip home was smooth sailing, until they got to the apartment.  There was a surprise visitor waiting from them.

“Oh, hello Hinata” Haku really did the jealous bitch thing very well.

“Hello Haku” Hinata sounded a little cold towards him.  “I wanted to see if Naruto had free time for last minute training today.”

Hinata had gotten better with not taking five pauses per sentence lately.  Naruto was kind of impressed by that.

“We’re actually planning on relaxing since he just got done some training” Haku answered for him since Naruto was zoned the hell out.

“Oh, is this true?” Hinata really didn’t seem to like Haku, maybe he was right about that.

There was a bit of silence, since Naruto didn’t realize this was aimed at him.

“Is it true Naruto?” Haku now posed the question to him, which made him realize he was now in the conversation.

“Oh um, I, mean, a little more training couldn’t hurt?” He admittedly panicked and only remembered the start of the conversation.

“Well, I’ll be waiting here for you then” Haku was now very much in a huff as he walked past Hinata into the apartment.  “Don’t keep me waiting please.”

“I’ll be back in an hour I promise” Naruto had no watch to keep track of time, he just would make a clone to stare at a clock so he knew when to come back.  “Ninjas honor.”

“Ok, I’ll heat your food up then” Haku cheered up a bit at that, and made sure to kiss him directly in front of Hinata for about a minute.

“OK WELL WE BETTER GO TRAIN NOW” Hinata snapped after the minute marked and pushed Naruto out to the training fields.  “BYE HAKU.”

“Well that went well kid” tell me about it, these two were like, like, uh, really mean people.  “Stick to what you’re good at kid, metaphors ain’t it.”

“So what did you wanna work on?” Naruto did his best to ignore that comment on his metaphor skills.

“I mostly just wanted to get some sparring in before tomorrow” Hinata was much calmer now that Haku wasn’t there.

“Alright cool, I’m gonna take my weights off first, wanna know how it feels to fight without them” He meant to do this earlier at Sasukes, but forgot cause he’s an idiot.

“Oh, ok” Hinata was surprised by the weight, she was much more surprised when they damaged the ground as he dropped them.  “How much do this weigh?”

“Oh like um, thirty kilograms each?” it was so hard to read the tags on these things.

“Each?!?!” Hinata was now just shocked.

“Yeah Lee just gives me his old ones as he goes up in weight, he’s at like fifty kilos each, crazy fuck” Naruto was kinda just used to his insanity now.

“Well, uh, let’s get to it then” Hinata tried to get back to the training.

“Yeah!” Naruto excitedly made a clone to ref for them.  “Make sure to go all out!”

“Ready?” the clone sat on top of the log and waited for a nod from them both.  “Begin!”

Hinata quickly rushed him, attacking with a flurry of palm thrusts and chakra.  Naruto did his best to back pedal and deflect the attack, having learned the hard way not to block them.  He wasn’t used to his speed though as he very quickly had opened up distance between them again.  The two circled for a moment looking for the best attack opportunity.  Naruto struck first, quickly dashing at her feinting high.  She moved to block and he quickly swept low, expecting to knock her over he was surprised when she instead just flipped away. 

“Fucking ninjas am I right” not helping.

The brief distraction gave Hinata another opening and she quickly resumed her attacks on him.  The attacks put immense pressure on him, he had to repress his basic instinct to just block them and dodge or deflect.  Hinatas family must be likely really good at close combat if this was their signature style.  Naruto used another brief opening to jump back again.  Hinata seemed like she was getting tired from her constant attacking.

“You want to take a small break?” Naruto didn’t want to deal with a collapsed Hinata.

“I’m fine just hot” she took her jacket off, it did seem like a really heavy jacket.

Naruto had never actually seen her not in that jacket, and immediately realized something.

“Hey same shirt” Naruto took his own jacket off to reveal he was wearing a fishnet shirt tank top combo too.  “I knew I was a fashion genius.”

“Oh, uh, yeah” the way she said that was a bit off.  “Back to fighting?”

“Yeah!” Naruto said that and quickly had to dodge her attack again.

He tried to move from defense to offense, knowing he’d take some hits along the way but it was worth the risk.  He blocked one of her strikes, grimacing in pain from it, but quickly retaliated with his own attack.  He hadn’t actually realized where he was attacking, until it was far too late.

“Wow first time you touch a boob, probably last time too” oh no.

“I’m so sorry I didn’t mean to-” Naruto instantly began apologizing, a mistake on his part.

Hinata had surprisingly not stopped in mortification like he had, and had made another attack.  Which hit him full on in the chest and knocking the wind out of him midsentence.

“Oof” Naruto collapsed from the force of the hit, damn did those hurt.

“Oh no” it was her turn to be mortified now.

“I’m… fine” Naruto managed to wheeze that out while on the ground.  “Sorry for… the boob hit.”

“Oh” Hinata had apparently not noticed until now, and also now realized what that meant.  “Oh uh, no, it’s um, its fine.”

 “I’m gonna just call this a draw?” the clone popped deciding its job was done.

Hinata was now thoroughly embarrassed, as was Naruto.  Naruto was just also injured and on the ground.  After a few moments of silence and deep breaths Naruto was able to stand again.

“For someone who looks pretty fragile, you pack a giant fucking punch” Naruto was a little wobbly from the hit still so Hinata helped him stand.

“Thank you, but the rest of my family hits quite harder” Hinata actually managed to take most of the compliment.  “But I’m sorry for knocking you over like that.”

“It’s fine!” Naruto was a pro at taking hits to the chest, and this one didn’t leave a gaping hole in him so bonus.  “It makes us even for my hit.”

“You don’t have to, um, apologize for that” Hinata was having more the stutters and pauses for some reason. 

“Are you sure?  I feel kinda weird about it” he didn’t want to seem like some creep who went around punching peoples boobs, he had a boyfriend!

“Yeah, you can um” Hinata was turning red for some reason.  “You um, can.. whenever.”

He didn’t hear most of that sentence since she started mumbling and stuttering during it.

“Sorry I didn’t catch, um, any of that?” he hoped it wasn’t that important.

“You” Hinata seemed like she was struggling a lot now.  “Can.  Touch.  Whenever.”

“Um….. What….?” This was getting very weird now.

“…. You can touch my boob whenever” oh ok yeah that was incredibly weird to say.

“I’m just gonna, I’m gonna just leave that alone and head home” Naruto just walked away, confused, a lot weirded out, and really confused.

“Yeah, that’s for the best” Hinata now seemed quite dejected and he heard slump over on the log.

His trip back home was quite quick, and he was only gone for about a half hour so.  Bonus points with Haku hopefully.

“How was the extra training honey?” Haku was sitting in the kitchen when he got back.

“I hate to say this, but that Hinata girl, is really weird” Naruto just heated up the ramen and left it at that.

Chapter Text

Naruto looked around, he wasn’t actually sure where he was.  He also didn’t know what he was wearing; it looked kinda like something Haku would wear, but orange instead of pink.  He simultaneously knew there was a crowd of people around him, but also it felt like there was no one there.  He felt so lost, but also like he knew exactly where he was.

“Over here Naruto” Haku was waving out to him, wearing a more formal version of his normal outfit.  “We can’t miss the firework show you promised.”

As he started to walk over towards Haku he heard another voice call out to him.

“Naruto we’re going to be late for dinner” Hinata was waving to him from the other side of the street, also in formal wear.  “We can’t abandon Kiba on this double date he’ll crash and burn.”

“Fireworks Naruto” Haku yelled out again.

“Dinner date Naruto” Hinata replied to Hakus yell with her own.

“Kid for the love of god cut this shit out” all at once the scene he felt trapped in vanished and he was in front of the fox’s cage again.  “What the hell is wrong with you?”

“I DON’T KNOW” Naruto was yelling because he was confused.  “I thought Hinata was just trying to be my friend and was a little weird.  INSTEAD SHE’S REALLY WEIRD AND WANTS ME TO TOUCH HER.”

“You don’t have to yell jeez, I’m right here” the fox repositioned so it was resting its chin on its two front hand-paws.  “And didn’t everyone say she was into you?”

“Only Haku said that, and I thought he was just being jealous baselessly” Naruto made a chair to sit on.  “How could anyone else known?”

“I’m like completely sure Sasuke brought it up, and it seemed very obvious to me” the fox was going through some memories from Naruto.  “Sakura definitely alluded to it once or twice, Kakashi made some comments when he saw you two training, Shino just flat out said it you one time while you were eating ramen.  Oh right you just didn’t know who she was then.”

“EXACTLY, why the hell would she ask me, someone who didn’t know her name a month ago, to touch her” Naruto didn’t want to admit that he was wrong about people telling him.  “Like she’s alright now that she can talk to me normally, do you think she’s only pretending to like ramen to win me over?  Wait is she trying to win me over?”

“If I didn’t literally live inside you I’d ask who raised your idiotic ass” the fox was stress rubbing its head.  “Yes she is trying to win you over, she literally pried you away from Haku yesterday using training as an excuse.”

“For someone who seems so shy, she’s really conniving” Naruto was a little impressed he had to admit.  “It still just doesn’t make any sense, she’s known Kiba for years and I’ve known Kiba for years.  She could’ve made a move back when I was single.”

“She’s only making moves now because she realized she wasn’t going to end up with you doing nothing for the rest of her life” the fox clearly didn’t want to explain the intricacies of the dating game here.  “So now she has to go big to win you over or else you’re going to stay with Haku instead of choosing to be with her.”

“How would telling me to touch her boobs win me over, that’s just weird” Naruto was very much hung up on this event.

“Does Haku have boobs Naruto?”

“Well, no” this was a weird question.

“Does Hinata have boobs?”

“Yes…” now the fox was being a weirdo too.

“So, do you think she was trying to play to her strengths and use your teenage boyness to win you over?” the fox had made a really good point there.

“Well, that’s, I mean, I guess that’s… ok yeah that’s what she did” Naruto remembered how dense he was.

“Glad I could help you reach this conclusion, now wake the hell up” Naruto shot up in bed wide awake after that comment.

“Well good morning” Haku was already up and getting dressed for work.  “You want a good luck kiss this bad sweetie?”

“I mean” Naruto had already put away the dream stuff he’d just gone through seeing Hakus smile.  “If you’re offering it would be rude to say no.”

Haku sat on his lap and gave him a kiss.  It wasn’t like one of their normal quick morning kisses when he was heading out.  It was slow and soft, the feeling of Haku pressed up against him certainly made it feel more intimate.  Haku brushed his tongue over Narutos lips, he hesitantly opened his mouth.  Haku deepened the kiss further as he played with Narutos tongue now.  Naruto was notoriously bad a kissing, and even worse at hiding how good these kisses felt.  The kiss ended as Haku pulled away giggling.

“What, what’s so funny” Naruto was still a little dazed from the kiss.

“Oh nothing” Haku gave him a peck on the cheek before standing up from his lap and headed towards the door.  “Good luck today darling.”

Now that Haku was no longer sitting on top of him, Naruto realized he had gotten.  Excited during the kiss.

“AAAAAAAAA” having no other way of dealing with this embarrassment Naruto just yelled, earning him a laugh from the other room.

Naruto rushed himself out the door trying to drown his embarrassment from the kiss.  He pulled his shirt and jacket on while running down the road towards the exam center.  He did his best to avoid a route that might cross paths with Hinata not wanting to get even more embarrassed today.

“Oof” unfortunately for him, Hinata was doing the same thing, and was also a bit bad at watching where she was going.  “I’m sorry…. Oh”

Naruto handled this situation like a mature person.  He instantly froze time and blasted off.

“Real smooth kiddo” this was better than the alternative jackass.

After he made a decent amount of distance between the two of them he unfroze time, a minute of his twenty now used up.  Hopefully he wouldn’t need to use it too much for the exam.

The exam center was a kind of non-descript building, Sasuke and Sakura were waiting out front for him.

“Finally I thought you might have chickened out” Sasuke stopped leaning against a wall to walk over towards the exit.

“Well Kakashi passed his lateness onto one of us” Sakura followed Sasuke over.

“Oh whatever I’m here and I’m ready to kick ass what more do you need” Naruto followed them in, they had to get to the third floor for the exam.

The first floor was mostly clear, but the second had a bunch of people swarming a door.

“Hey let us in already” Some bun-haired girl was arguing with some random guys at the door.

“Nah, all of you wimps can’t take the exam” this guy looked like an extra alright.

Naruto saw Lee on the floor looking a little beat up.  Time to be a friend and beat some ass.

“Lee did these guys do this to you?” Naruto offered him a hand up.

“Yeah” Lee was surprisingly using a normal volume.

“What’s it to you runt?” the other extra looking guy spoke up this time.

“Well to me, it seems like some jackass hurt my buddy Lee” Naruto cracked his knuckles.  “And I’m about to beat that jackass into the first floor.”

“I’d love to see you-” His was interrupted by Naruto clocking him.

“You little” the other guy tried to swing at him only to be kicked by Sasuke.

“Quit wasting time you two” Sakura was walking towards the stairs to the next floor.  “We have an exam to get to after all.”

“Fine” Naruto glared at the two as him and Sasuke walked off.  “Catch ya later Lee.”

“Of course” Lee was acting normal, which was weird for Lee.

Once the three of them were on the next floor, it was clear to Naruto that was some kind of trick for people.

“How’d you figure out it wasn’t the right room Sakura?” Naruto was gonna kick his way into that room.

“We’d only gone up one floor idiot, the exams on the third floor” Sakura had made a very good point.

“Wait” this sounded more like normal Lee, he was with the bun-haired girl, and a male version of Hinata?  “I’m Rock Lee, who are you?”

“Sasuke Uchiha” Sasuke was a little put off by Lees whole, everything.  “Why?”

“I wanna fight you” Lee was certainly honest.  “We can make it quick before the exam.”

“Sure” Sasuke just kinda shrugged.

“Sasuke just a heads up” Naruto pulled him aside quickly.  “This is the guy who works out for thirteen hours a day and can punch through steel.”

“Oh” Sasuke took another look at Lee.  “Yeah he does fit your description, sorry never mind.”

“What why” Lee almost sounded like he was whining.

“I don’t want to give an exposition of my moves before the exam” there was now a bit of crowd here so Sasuke had a fair point.

“Lee it’s better this way, you wouldn’t be able to beat a genius anyways” the male Hinata was a real dick.

“I didn’t say that” Sasuke put his hands up trying to have no blame put on himself.

“We’ll meet in the exam for a battle then” Lee was back to his excitable self.  “And these are my teammates Neji and Tenten, that’s Naruto and his team I’ve told you about him.”

“Nice to meet you” Tenten at least seemed nice.

“Yeah you told us about your loser friend” Neji was a real asshole though.

“Say that after I win the exam asshole” Naruto was quick to rise right now.

“I’ll say it once you get eliminated right off the bat” a real bonafied dick head this Neji guy.

“Ignore him Naruto” Sakura dragged him away, they had an exam to do.

Once they got to the room, Naruto was upset to learn, it was a real exam.  He was also surprised to see all of his graduating class there.

“Naruto you orange bastard” Choji gave him a big clap on the back.

“Choji you fat bastard” Naruto retuned the back clap.

“I’m here to you know” Kiba walked over to say high.

“Kiba you bastard” Naruto and Choji both shared a laugh after saying that in unison.

“Real mature guys” Kiba was mad he walked into that one.  “Have you heard Narutos secret though Choji?”

“Oh hoh hoh?’ Choji was interested.

“I wanna hear my own secret” Naruto guessed it was probably about Haku.

“That sly dogs dating this hot chick” Kiba was grinning while saying this.

“You broke up with Haku?” Choji had met Haku already.

“No that’s the hot chick Choji” Kiba had never learned Haku was a man.

“Kiba, Hakus a boy” Choji said this in a deadpan as Naruto started laughing uncontrollably.

“WHAT” Kiba couldn’t contain his surprise.  “Wait, then, Naruto, you’re gay?”

“I mean, more or less” Naruto just kinda shrugged, he could see Hinata was also in the room and wanted to avoid her.  “Wait how did you not know Haku was a boy, you were the first of my friends to meet him.”

“Because he’s fucking hot as hell” Kiba was visibily confused.  “Wait am I gay for thinking Hakus hot?  Oh god, I need to go sit down.”

“Yeah I’m gonna go talk with my team before the exam starts to, see you lated bud” Choji left with a wave.

“Naruto when was the village founded” Sakura had notecards, where she got them he had no clue.

“Um, a while ago” Naruto felt doomed.

“God you’re hopeless, who founded it?” Sakura flipped to a new note card.

“Madara Uchiha and Hashirama Senju” fox you’re a real homie right now.

“Madara Uchiha and Hashirama Senju” Naruto felt like with the fox he had a chance.

“Oh my god the worlds ending you got that right” Sakura way to be a jerk.

“Alright you shits, shut the fuck up and sit down” Some mean looking guy was now in the room.  “I’m proctoring this exam.  Being caught cheating results in an automatic fail, the tenth question will be given orally after an hour.”

He was certainly straight to the point, other guys passed the exams and pencils out.

“Your hour starts now” He was sitting at the front desk with a clock.

Naruto looked at the paper, and cried since he knew none of the questions.  Luckily he had a secret weapon.

“Sorry kid I have no goddam idea what these questions want” he was fucked, very royally fucked.

He spent thirty minutes deciding if it was worth it to stop time to cheat.  On the one hand passing this seemed important, on the other hand he only had so much time.  After another ten minutes he noticed Hinatas paper was slid most of the way off her desk.  She was giving him a sly, cheat off my paper look.

‘On principle of what happened yesterday I should not cheat off her paper right’ Naruto asked the expert on the matter.

“I don’t know kid, does principle mean more than passing?” the fox had a good point he had to admit.

‘The principle is more important here, I’m still not sure how to feel towards her after yesterday’ Naruto just wrote random shit down on the paper.

“You’re a weird fucking kid but ok” the fox seemed to give up here.

“Ok times up, now before I give the last question, any of you many drop out now” the proctor was standing again.  “And before you ask why you would do so, if you fail this last question you fail the exam and are banned from taking it again.”

“Yeah whatever fuck you” Naruto, realized he said that out loud.  “I’m gonna get this question so fucking right you’ll quit being a ninja.”

The room was silent for a moment, a few people left in fear.

“Bold words kid, when you fail I’ll try and laugh a respectful amount” the proctor was the right amount of asshole, Neji take notes.  “Last call runts.”

After another few moments about four teams had dropped out.

“Now, for the final question” he sat down again, what was with this guy.  “You all pass.”

“Now this is in poor taste but can I go to call the groups who left fucking losers?” Naruto wanted to gloat somehow.

“You may not” the proctor did chuckle at the question though.  “But congrats, you all were either dumb enough or brave enough to go headfirst into the unknown.  Takes guts to do so, and it takes guts to get promoted.  I’ll be rooting for you during the next part.”

As if they timed and practiced this part, a woman crashed through the window as he finished talking. 

“Alright maggots, wait I didn’t come in too early right” her dramatic entrance was now ruined.

“No perfect timing” the proctor was annoyed by the shards of glass everywhere.

“Oh there’s just way more than I expected, whatever, I’m the next proctor Anko, follow me” she jumped back out the window.

“Do we have to” Sakura just pointed at the window.

“No take the stairs and go out back she’s just eccentric” the first proctor sighed a little.

“Let’s go already” Naruto didn’t want to take the stairs so he just jumped out the window.

“Well if he did it” Sasuke followed after him not wanting to be outdone.

“I swear with those two it’s like dealing with children” Sakura sighed and climbed out the window.

Chapter Text

The next stage of the exam seemed easy enough to Naruto.  They got a scroll and had to get a scroll from a different team of a different type.  They were huddling at their entrance gate going over a plan.

“I don’t think having my clones disguised as you two will work” there was no way people would fall for the bait and switch.

“Naruto it’s perfect, only like three other people know you can make solid clones” Sakura had worked hard on this plan.  “You just need to really sell the clones as us.”

“I agree with Sakura, this is a really good plan” Sasuke was siding against him here.

“Fine but I’m making three and hiding with you two, I don’t wanna get smashed by some earth dragon fire ball lightning jutsu” Naruto expected the worst of this plan.

“I mean that’s a made up jutsu but alright” Sakura had probably intended that from the start but Naruto was a little dumb.

“BEGIN” the speaker yelling at them signaled the start of the exam as their gate opened.

The three rushed inside, looking for a good clearing to set up their trap.  Finding one Naruto made the clones and sent them into it, in case it was occupied.  Seeing as it seemed clear enough the real team seven hid nearby as the clones started arguing.

“NARUTO SHUT UP” the fake Sakura was yelling at fake Naruto.

“I do not sound like that” the real Sakura was offended by the clones’ impression.

“WHY DOES HE GET THE SCROLL I’M TWICE AS GOOD AS SASUKE” the fake Naruto was also yelling now trying to lure a team to the clearing.

“Tch” the fake Sasuke was just making that sound for some reason.

“I do say words besides tch Naruto” Sasuke also had qualms with his double.

“Both of you sh we’re supposed to be hiding” the real Naruto had to shush his teammates apparently.

“Heh nice try idiots” some random other ninjas attacked the hiding team seven, only to be caught in the real trap as the clones exploded.

“See I told you it was an amazing plan” the real Sakura who had pretended to be the fake smirked as her plan went off.

“Alright fine the double switch out was a good plan” Naruto made more clones to quickly subdue the other team.

“Nice job Sakura” Sasuke also praised her as he leapt at of the ninjas.

It was surprisingly easy to beat them into submission, Naruto and Sasuke easily outclassed the two standing members of the team.

“How can rookies be this strong” now tied up the team was complaining.

“Dammit they have a heaven scroll too” Naruto annoyed this hard work went to waste.

“Naruto we have an earth scroll, did you confuse what we have and what we need?” Sakura held up their scroll to confirm it was an earth scroll.

“Oh, yeah I guess so” He could’ve sword they had a heaven scroll.

“Sakura, why do you have our scroll?” Sasuke was confused, as he pulled out their scroll.

“So if one of these is a fake” Sakura slowly looked around the clearing.  “Whose trap are we in?”

“Mine” Naruto was getting sick of these random assholes showing up, although this girl was alone.  “Now let’s have some fun.”

A huge blast of wind sent Naruto flying and scattered the other two.  This did not seem too good for him.

“Dammit, wind moves are my thing” Naruto rubbed his head from where he’d hit a tree.

The hissing moves of a giant snake made him freeze up.  Things really really did not seem good for him.  The snake quickly wrapped around him making it hard for him to move.

“Fuck this stupid forest” Naruto was now being swallowed by the snake, this was the worst.

Once inside the snake he could actually move a little again he decided this sucked a lot and he wanted to part of being inside the snake.

“Sickle Weasel” Naruto used the hand signs for the justsu for once since he couldn’t swing a clone around in here.

The blade of wind sliced through the snake’s body quite easily allowing Naruto to crawl out of it.  This was certainly a low point in his life, crawling out of a snakes guts covered in stomach acid.

“Time to find Sasuke and Sakura” Naruto sent some clones out to look for them as he back tracked to the wind gust.  “This was one big ass attack, the girl is bad news.”

It didn’t take long for a clone to find them, Naruto quickly headed off after them ditching his weights on the way.  Arriving at the scene he threw some kunai at the women to stop her grotesque advance on Sasuke.

“Listen up, I’m very mad and very slimy” Naruto flared up some his chakra.  “And I’m about to beat your ass so don’t forget my name.”

“Naruto” Sakura seemed very happy to see him, Sasuke looked like he was frozen in place.

“Right I have to say my name for that line” Naruto moved in closer, the girl ninja retracted her neck and stood on a nearby branch.

“We can’t fight her Naruto” Sasuke was really sounding like a coward right now.  “We have to run and now.”

“Aw but I’m only just having fun” ok weird girl definitely sounds like a freak.  “And besides, you can’t run forever.”

The horrible grin that girl was giving them made Naruto shiver slightly, but he steeled himself.  He had to stay looking cool.

“Well, I’m out of cool lines so let’s fight” Naruto blasted her with a wind attack, still mad about her early blast.

“Hehehe, I’ll play with you for now then” she dodged out of the way of the wind blasts by jumping into the air.

Naruto smirked as he froze time, he quickly launched forward and landed a heavy kick into her chest before unfreezing it.  The attack launched her back smacking into a tree.

“How did you-” she looked confused by the attack, Naruto cut her off freezing time again and starting his barrage.

A kick to the chin to launch her back up, unfreeze time to let her fly.  Refreeze it to dash after her and deliver another launching kick.  He repeated this till they were clear of the tree tops before starting the big drop.

“You can thank Lee for this one” the look on this girls face as he appeared above her to deliver an axe kick was priceless.

It stayed priceless as he delivered four more to blast her into the ground.  If that didn’t take her down, he still had eighteen minutes left to do it all again.

“For a worthless brat” dammit why can’t bad guys stay down?  “That wasn’t half bad.”

She certainly looked worse for wear now, was her skin falling off?  What the hell was this girl?

“But now it’s my turn” she appeared beside him mid attack as he froze time to dodge.  “STOP DOING THAT.”

“Doing what?” Naruto continued dodging attack like this while also hitting back.  “Dodging?”

The attacks picked up in speed and ferocity making him have to waste even more of his limit to dodge each one.  The girl’s skin kept falling off to reveal gross pale skin underneath it, and her limbs were stretching weirdly for each attack.  Naruto jumped away to give him space for a counter attack.

“You can’t keep this up forever” the girl flashed through some hand seals.  “Summoning Jutsu.”

“Oh so you’re the one making giant snakes” Naruto was now facing down another giant snake.  “I have some criticism about that.”

“Shut it” the girl was now visibly angry.

“Fine, serious time it is” Naruto channeled the foxes chakra around him, he couldn’t make it to a full tail safely so he just went to his limit.

“I’ll show you serious” the girl’s snake came at him swinging and biting crazy fast.

Thanks to the fox chakra he could easily dodge the snake, his already high natural speed now being made even faster.  He dodged behind it and dug chakra claws into its tail to get a good grip on it.

“So, anyone ever done this before?” Naruto swung the snake into one of the trees throwing the girl from its head and hopefully taking the snake down. 

“I hope it upsets you to know, yes” the girl was now entirely pale and looked like she had actually taken damage finally.

“Wait shit I know who that is” fox not helping right now.  “No, get the fuck out of here asap.”

“I hope your ready brat” the girl cracked her neck.  “You’re about to feel the wrath of Orochimaru of the Sannin.”

“Oh shit” the fox and Sasuke were very right about running away.

Naruto stopped time, Orochimarus fist inches from his face.  He quickly jumped back up into the tree branches to grab Sasuke and Sakura.

“Sorry if the chakra burn you two a little” it was a bit awkward to hold them both with time stopped but he managed. 

He quickly jumped towards the center building, hopefully he could get there with time still frozen.  He could see the tower up close they were almost there, but he was out of time.

“Naruto what the hell just happened” Sakura, now in a different place and not facing some dangerous fucking woman was very confused.

“I took you two and ran, that was fucking Orochimaru” Naruto, admittedly didn’t know who that was, but he knew that Sannin were dangerous.

“Oh thank god” Sasuke kind of slumped over.  “I’ve never been that scared in my whole life.”

“WE’RE NOT SAFE YET WE STILL HAVE TO RUN” Naruto didn’t want to scare them, but there was a dangerous fucking guy coming after him.

“WE NEED AN EARTH SCROLL TO GET INTO THE TOWER” Sakura was now also in panic mode.

“AAAAAAAAA” Naruto yelled and made a fuck ton of clones to go look for another team, they didn’t have much time.  “WE HAVE TO KEEP MOVING THOUGH.”

“LESS YELLING MORE RUNNING” Sasuke was already running closer to the tower.

After about ten minutes one of his clones found a team with the earth scroll.

“Ok, we have a really high chance of being in the clear, we just need to beat that team up and take the scroll” Sakura had calmed down in the ten minutes, they were now hunting down the team his clone found.

“Can you just steal it extra fast?” Sasuke was still shook up.

“I’m out of time, I used most of it running away” Naruto wished he’d remembered to steal a scroll on the way.

“Look, we just got attacked by one of the Sannin, I think we can beat some random genin” Sakura had a really good point there.

“So just rush in and kick ass?” Naruto was down for this plan.

“Absolutely” Sakura didn’t have a better plan.

“Ok, we can do this” Sasuke seemed a bit calmer now.

The three jumped into the clearing, confronting a team of ninja from some random village Naruto had never seen before.

“Perfect, our prey came-” the one guy started talking but Sakura just punched the hell out of him.

“GIVE US YOUR SCROLL” she was really going to town on this dude holy shit.

Sasuke went after the girl on the team shooting fireballs and Sharingan on.  Naruto had to deal with some guy that had an arm thing.  Naruto decided to just go all out and end this quickly.

“WHAT SHE SAID” Naruto flared the fox chakra and smacked the guy with a big hand.

Within a minute the enemy team was on the ground looking very bad.

“Sakura, did you, he is alive?” Naruto couldn’t tell if he was breathing or not.

“Don’t know don’t care still scared” She rifled through their stuff for the scroll.  “Found it!”

“Let’s go go go” Naruto was rearing to run from certain death again.

“Oh?  Where are we go go going exactly?” can nothing go his way.

“Oh just anywhere but where you are Orochimaru old buddy” Naruto was hoping the old buddy card could get them out of here alive.

“Oh no, you see that kinda contradicts my plan, of ripping you into pieces” Orochimaru flared his killer intent, and it felt suffocating.

“NOT AGAIN” Sasuke shot a fireball at him and Naruto quickly followed it with a wind attack to strength it.

The attack hit dead on, but Orochimaru looked unfazed after the smoke cleared.

“Is that all you’ve got?” Orochimaru laughed, it felt empty and like the sound death makes when it comes for you.

Naruto quickly ran at him, not caring what going past the limit would do to him right now.  He went right into the one tail mode.  His punch sent Orochimaru back from the force and earned a smirk from the man.

“More of this old thing” he effortlessly blocked and dodged Narutos attacks.

“HOW ABOUT THIS” Sakura sidelined him, smashing him hard in the face with her foot.

“TEAM SEVEN COMBO JUTSU” Sasuke, surprisingly, yelled this as he swept Orochimarus legs.

True to the name the three of them let loose an unrelenting flurry of attacks.  He soon succumbed to the sheer number of attacks and the three felt like they had a chance.

“BIG FINISH” Naruto kicked him into the air again where he was met by Sasuke and Sakura.

Their combined strength kicked him right back to Naruto who slammed him with the biggest chakra claw he could make.  The attack blasted him through one of the trees.  Sasuke and Sakura landed by Naruto, out of breath but hopeful.

“Do you think?” Sakura was hopefully curios.

“No” Orochimaru, looking furious once again climbed over the destroyed tree.  “I’ve humored you long enough, time to get serious.”

Before any of them could react he sent them all flying with his hits.  It was like one hundred Lees came together and punched as one.

“I admit I expected you all to crumple underneath me like dolls” He punched Naruto again, launching him into a tree.  “Instead you give me this wonderful display of team work, a round of applause for team seven.”

The round of applause was about six more punches into Naruto, he felt his bones break as he was smashed into the tree again and again.

“Honorable mentions to Sakura, I thought that wind attack would kill you” Orochimaru walked over to where she was on the ground.  “Let’s see if this does the job.”

He kicked her faster than Naruto could see, and suddenly she was through a tree of her own.

“And lastly, the one I was most looking forward to seeing, Sasuke” Orochimaru crouched down to where Sasuke was.

“Go to hell” Sasuke struggled to raise himself from the ground.

“You disappointed me” Orochimaru quickly stomped him back to the ground, sending cracks through the forest floor.  “I expected great things from a Sharingan user like you.”

He stomped on Sasuke again, further destroying the forest floor.  He looked down in disgust at Sasuke.

“You’re not even worthy of the cursed seal” Orochimaru raised his leg again, preparing to stomp him again.

“Don’t you, DON’T YOU TOUCH HIM” Naruto was badly hurt, but he was mad.  “I’LL KILL YOU.”

The fox chakra surged out of him again, if he was less angry he would’ve been concerned with how out of control it was getting.

“Kid you can’t handle this much.”

“SHUT THE HELL UP” Naruto didn’t care about his limit, the sting of his flesh being burned was numbed by his rage.

“It looks like I’ll be putting you down first after all” Orochimaru punted Sasuke away.

Naruto was on him in an instant, attacking faster and more fiercely than before.  His attacks took Orochimaru off guard as he tore into the man.  After a few hits the body melted into mud.

“Attacks like that can’t touch me” Orochimaru was looking down on him from a nearby branch.

“HOW ABOUT THIS THEN” Naruto froze time and jumped at him.

His limit was up, he couldn’t feel it then but his body aged as time froze.  He got the second he needed to land his attack.  The hits ripped into Orochimaru, sending him flying away a mess of blood and torn flesh.

“IMPOSSIBLE” he landed on the ground, gravely wounded by the attack.

Naruto roared in response, savagely chasing after him.  Orochimaru dissolved into a pile of snakes to escape.

“I’ll come back, and when I do, I’ll kill you and everyone you’ve ever loved brat” Orochimarus enraged voice rang out from the trees as he escaped.  “Mark my words Naruto Uzumaki.”

With the threat gone the fox cut off its chakra.  Naruto slumped to the ground, losing consciousness quickly.

“NARUTO” they might lose the exam, but they were going to survive at least. 

Chapter Text

Naruto jumped awake throwing off the bed cover that was on him and started yelling.

“Please shut up” Sasuke was a bed over from him and was just woken up by the yelling.

“Oh thank god you’re alive.  WAIT WHAT HAPPENED TO SAKURA” Naruto stopped yelling for all of one second.

“SHE BROUGHT US HER PLEASE STOP YELLING” Sasuke resorted to yelling to try and end Narutos yelling.

“Oh” Naruto quieted down satisfied with this knowledge.  “Where is here?”

“The place the third stage of the exam is held” Kakashi was here?  “You guys did great out there.”

“Thanks for the sarcasm asshole” Naruto didn’t want to hear it, they didn’t die to that snake guy, that’s pretty damn good.

“No I’m serious, you managed to not only pass the exam, but also survive the villages most dangerous missing ninja” Kakashi actually put his book down to say this.  “You guys did great.”

“But I’m the best since I actually got us here” Sakura was also in a bed just further away.  “So you’re welcome.”

“Now I know I’m hard to kill, but how did you regain consciousness first?” Naruto had a demonic healing factor on his side.

“Easy I never got knocked out” Sakura was definitely gloating now.  “And once you ran him off it wasn’t too hard to drag you both here.”

“There’s still a few hours before this part of the exam ends so you all get some more rest” Kakashi stood up and headed for the door.  “Try not to attract any more dangerous criminals while I’m gone.”

“No promises I can think of at least one more who I’m gonna have to fight” Sasuke just had to bring up Itachi huh.

“Yeah yeah” Kakashi dismissively waved as he left.

“So, think they’ll promote us on principle?” Naruto was getting a bit fed up with all the different parts of the exam.

“I mean, fuck they might actually make you Hokage after all this” Sasuke sounded more serious than Naruto expected.  “How did you manage to fight that guy?”

“I mean, it was easy enough when I could freeze time” Naruto was gladly ready to toot his own horn.  “And then my ultimate technique was more than enough to finish him off.”

“You mean the one before he almost killed us all?” Sasuke had seen that one right.

“No the one after that, you wouldn’t have seen it you were basically dead then” Naruto wanted to rub that in a little more.

“Stop gloating we need to talk ASAP” well talk about rude.

“Whatever, I’m gonna try and rest up some more, I take Sakuras silence as her being asleep” Sasuke soon fell back asleep as well.

“What’s up?” Naruto fell asleep and was in his head again.

“You really fucked up back there kid, I mean like, really bad” the fox seemed a little exhausted.

“Well yeah but I had no other choice and I don’t seem any worse for wear” Naruto felt fine.

“Look in a mirror you idiot” rude but fine.

“So um, why is my hair longer now?” his hair was now long enough to frame his face.  “And do I like older to you?”

“You aged about, two to four years” the fox covered its ears in anticipation.

“WHAT” Naruto yelled very loudly.  “EXPLAIN, WHAT DO YOU MEAN AGED?”

“You went past your limit, the toll of using the technique without my chakra as a buffer aged you, I am surprised by how much it aged you though” the fox looked like it was contemplating something.  “Typically the effect would only be by about a day or so considering how short of use you did.  This might be because it was the first time your body actually did it.”

“Is there any way to undo this?” Naruto had just lost his boyish charm, he needed it back. 

“No there isn’t.”

“Well, I’m upset about this, but I’m enjoying being alive instead of dead” considering the alternative this wasn’t so bad.  “And I guess I’m technically the same age as Haku now.”

“That’s a, positive way to look at this I guess, a weird one too” the fox apparently didn’t know how old Haku was.  “Just make sure not to do that again, and your limit max is gonna be lower for a while, try and keep it to five and under to be safe.”

“Ok that should be easy enough, what are the odds I need more than five minutes for this next part of the exam” Naruto was hoping he hadn’t just jinxed it.

“Guess we’ll find out, good luck kid.”

Naruto woke back up, much calmer this time.  He stretched a bit, realizing his arms were a bit longer than normal.  He stood up to check, and confirmed he was also taller now.

“This is actually not so bad” Naruto had to admit, being taller was pretty nice, the longer hair was a bit much but he could cut it.

“Naruto?” Sakura had probably also just woke up, and was likely very confused.

“I’m taller now?” He didn’t have an actual explanation to this.

“I see that, why?”

“Fuck if I know” Naruto was gonna use the willful idiot card here.

“Dammit I liked being the tallest on the team” Sasuke was also up now, he didn’t seem to actually care about this development.  “Let’s head out the exam area.”

“Any idea where that is?” Naruto certainly didn’t.

“I do” Sakura led them to a pretty big open room, there were other teams gather there already.

“Oh perfect I didn’t want to walk back there to wake you all up” Kakashi was just standing there, like a prick.

“Thanks” the three of them kind of expected that.

“Naruto you’re-”

“Yes taller I know, and no I don’t know why” he came prepared for this.

“Gotcha” Kakashi also didn’t seem to care too much right now.

After a bit the Third Hokage showed up.  That was kinda weird.

“Congratulation are in order, you’ve all made it far” the Thirds presence silenced the crowd.  “But there are too many of you, so we’re hold preliminaries to the actual last stage of the exam.”

“Goddammit” Naruto was not happy about this.

“From here on it’s a simple direct elimination tournament, one round today and the next in a month” the Third ignored the comments from the crowd.  “Matches will be drawn randomly Hayate Gekko will be proctoring from here on.”

“The first match is Sasuke Uchiha and Yoroi Akado” presumably Hayate was the one speaking now.  “Everyone else please move the viewing area up a floor.”

“Kick his ass Sasuke” Naruto flashed him a thumbs up as they all cleared the floor.

“Of course, you better be ready to meet me in the finals though” Sasuke was back to his usual smugness.

“Match Start” Hayate called the beginning of the fight.

“Underestimating me huh?” Yoroi tried to taunt Sasuke.

“Yeah” Sasuke didn’t bother with a cool comeback.

The two circled each other for a bit, Yoroi was the first to attack, rushing Sasuke.

“Fire ball Jutsu” Sasuke blasted him in retaliation, landing a solid hit and knocking Yoroi back.

“I think you knocked him out” Hayate was checking Yoroi who did not look conscious.  “So that’s our first round then.  Next up is Zaku Abumi and Shino Aburame.”

Sasuke moved to join up with the rest of his team as the next two fighters came down.

“Hey isn’t that the guy you beat to death” Naruto turned to Sakura as he pointed at the guy.

“I didn’t beat him almost to death, I just beat him up” Sakura was insulted at the comment.

“Good job Sasuke” Kakashi congratulated him now that he was with them.

“He was like really weak” Sasuke didn’t even view the fight as worth bragging about.

“Guess we’re just too strong for these guys” Naruto decided to use this as a chance to gloat.

“Winner Shino Aburame” Hayate called the next fight which was also quite fast.

“Did that guys arms always look so blown up?” Sasuke made a good point.

“Shino is weirdo, but a dangerous weirdo” Naruto noted this fact.

“Next up Misumi Tsurugi and Kankuro” Hayate seemed glad the fights were going so quick.

This next fight also went very quick as that Kankuro guy broke the other dude super-fast.

“That was a little fucked up right” Naruto wanted validation here.

“Very” Sakura sounded a little scared.

“Next up, Sakura and Ino” Hayate stopped calling last names since it took too long.

“Good luck Sakura” Kakashi encouraged her.

“You’ve got this” Naruto gave her a thumbs up.

“You’re our strongest member currently so it should be easy for you” even Sasuke was being nice damn.

“You think you’re tough bitch?” Ino seemed like she was a very mean person.

“I know I’m tough hoe, bring it” Sakura also seemed a lot meaner all of a sudden.

“Begin.”

Sakura opened the fight by throwing kunai and moving forward to engage.  Ino dodge the kunai and leapt back to avoid the fist fight.  This kept up until Sakura backed her against a wall, Ino managed to dodge Sakura hit and make more room between them as she pulled her fist out of the wall.

“What’s the matter, aren’t you supposed to be a bad bitch?” Sakura taunted Ino who had just been running away this whole time.

“Oh yeah whore?  Mind Possession Jutsu” Ino had apparently planned this to trick Sakura.

Sakura didn’t have time to dodge the attack, since it didn’t really have any visible cues to dodge.  Sakura slowly raised her hand as if she was going to give up.

“What the hell was that!” Ino after a few moments jumped back as Sakura shook off whatever that attack did to her.

“That’s what a real bad bitch is made of” Sakura was grinning something fierce as she advanced on Ino again.  “A fake bitch like you wouldn’t know shit about that though.”

The two started an all-out slugfest, just punching the hell out of each other for a bit.  Finally after a minute of this Sakura managed to knock Ino out.

“Winner Sakura” Hayate definitely seemed like he was rushing this along now.  “Next up Tenten and Temari.”

“Way to go Sakura!” Naruto cheered her for as she returned to the stands.

“Of course” Sakura gave a victorious fist pump.

“Hey” Ino, now awake had come over to them.  “You are a bad bitch.”

“I know” Sakura smiled at her, the animosity between them in the fight seemed to have faded.  “It helps training with these two idiots all the time.”

“Damn girl maybe we should train together some time” Ino was eyeing Sakura biceps, not even on the sly.

“Only if you think you can keep up” the air between the two of them had gotten, strange.

“Oh you bet your ass I can” Ino gave her a smirk before walking off.

“Sakura what the hell was that about?” Naruto was so lost.

“Oh, either me and Ino are gonna train together or we’re gonna” Sakura cut herself off.  “You know, do girl stuff.”

“They’re going to fuck” when did Sasuke get so get at reading the room.

“Yeah maybe” Sakura had just stunned Naruto.  “Don’t give me that look I know for a fact you and Haku sleep together every night.”

“Yeah we sleep, we don’t, do stuff like, like that!” Naruto was now very embarrassed again.

“Aw is Naruto embarrassed by sex?” Sakura was now teasing him.

“WHAT NO” Naruto was obviously embarrassed and lying.  “IS IT MY TURN TO FIGHT YET.”

“Oh, actually yeah you and Kiba” two fights had gone down during this whole debacle, Hayate was good at speeding them all along.

“Finally” Naruto jumped over the railing to get down there, excited to fight Kiba.

“Oh hell yeah!” Kiba had done the same.

“Match begin” Hayate called the fights start.

“Ready to lose dog breath” Naruto was ready to kick some ass.

“Don’t get too ahead of yourself, loser” Kiba wasn’t the best at comebacks.  “Let’s waste this guy Akamaru.” 

Naruto let Akamaru hop out of the jacket before freezing time.  He didn’t want to hurt his homie.  He quickly hit Kiba with a kick to knock him into the wall before unfreezing.

“Oof” Kiba bounced off that wall like a ragdoll.  “What the hell was that?”

“My move duh” Naruto froze time again and roundhouse kicked him.

He only had five minutes to work with so he didn’t want to abuse the ability too much here.

“My turn idiot” Kiba threw a pill to Akamaru, and then Akamaru turned into Kiba?

“Ok what the fuck just happened” Naruto drew the line at that.

“It’s one of my family’s techniques” Kiba and Akamaru prepared for an attack.  “Fang over Fang.”

Naruto had to jump around to dodge the two human dog drills coming at him.  They were pretty fast and based off what they did to the walls and floor, pretty dangerous too.  Naruto made ten clones to prepare his counter attack.

“I’ve got some more moves up my sleeve buddy” the clones formed five pairs and blasted Sickle Weasels at the two drills.  “Maximum wind blast attack.”

“THAT’S NOT WHAT THE ATTACKS CALLED” Temari was furious and yelling at him for some reason he didn’t even know who she was.

The wind blasts and drills collided knocking Kiba and Akamaru out of the drills.  Naruto and his clones moved in to start beating the hell out of them.  One on one Kiba would probably be able to keep up but five on one was too much for him.  It was a flurry of kicks and punches knocking him around.

“Uzumaki Combo” Naruto and his clones launched the two Kibas into the air.

From there they jumped after them, hitting them around mid-air.  The clones kicked the two Kibas together setting up an axe kick from the real Naruto knocking them into the ground.

“How was that dog breath” Naruto stood smirking as the smoke from the impact cleared.

“Winner Naruto” Hayate called the fight seeing a knocked out Kiba and Akamaru.

“Not bad you three” Kakashi praised them once Naruto was back up there.  “You’re all going to the final round.  That means more work for me, can two of you drop out?”

“Lazy asshole” Naruto glared at the man.

“I’m just kidding” Kakashi raised his hands defensively.  “I’m proud of you three.”

“Thanks Kakashi” Sakura seemed pretty happy with this praise.

“What did you expect, we’re team seven” Sasuke was also pretty upbeat.

“Next up, Neji and Hinata” Hayate had to wait for Kiba to be removed from the floor.

Naruto watched the two head to the arena, he still felt weird about the whole Hinata thing.  She was his friend though.

“Hey Hinata” Naruto got her attention with a shout.  “Kick his ass!”

She didn’t respond but he could see her smile as she moved into a fighting stance.  Neji moved into the same stance.

“Typical, trash aligns itself with trash” wow Neji really is a jerk.

“I’ll show you Neji” Hinata gave him a fierce look.  “I’ve become strong too.”

“Huh, do they know eachother?” Naruto had gone to ask Lee this since he knew Neji.

“Naruto their cousins” Lee was kind of surprised Naruto didn’t know that.

“What no way!” them looking alike now made way more sense to him.  “But why is he such a dick to her?”

“It’s really kind of complicated” now Tenten was chiming in.  “Like, a whole tragic and dramatic flashback complicated.”

“Oh, ok, I’ll ask Hinata later if I don’t forget” Naruto knew he was going to forget.

The fight was heating up as the two were clashing more intensely, Naruto knew how much just one of those hits hurt.  The flurries the two were launching at each other were insane.  It was growing clearer that Neji had the upper hand here, his technique seemed more refined.  Hinata was kinda fighting like a mix of Naruto and Neji.  Mixing normal hits into the palm thrusts and charka attacks.  Finally after a few minutes Neji kicked her away.

“Trash like you can’t improve, give up” Neji was really trying to be an antagonist for some reason. 

“You’re just mad because I am improving” Hinata was talking back to him now.  “You’re mad at the family and you’re pushing it all onto me.  Well guess what, I’M MAD TOO.”

The yell took Neji off guard as Hinata followed it up with an attack knocking him back.

“Every day of my life the elders judge if I’m deserving of being allowed to go unbranded, and if it’s not me it’s they look at Hanabi” Hinata was getting really heated now, and her attack were coming out harder.  “And when it’s not us it’s a newborn child, and for some reason you hate me for all of it.”

This shit was getting really intense now.  So much for dramatic flashback explanation.

“How could you ever know how I feel” it was Nejis turn to get mad.  “YOU DON’T LIVE YOUR LIFE A SLAVE.”

The two returned to exchanging blows, Hinata had somehow made up for the difference in their skill level.  The fight looked like it could go either way now.  This time Hinata knocked Neji back with a kick.

“Yes I do” she was angry but not as mad as before.  “I am a slave to this great Hyuuga bloodline just like you, and no matter what I do I can’t change that.”

“YOU’RE NOTHING LIKE ME” Neji rushed her furiously, his attacks had gotten sloppy with rage.  “YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT IT’S LIKE BEING UNDER THE HEEL OF THE MAIN BRANCH.”

Hinata was easily deflecting his attack, seamlessly slipping her counterattacks in where she could.  This clash left them both breathing heavy, but Neji was much more wounded now.

“I live my life under the heel of my father and the elders” Hinata was now calm compared to Neji.  “Every day I try to find a way to end this cycle, but I can’t do it alone.”

Nejis rage was slowly subsiding now, his calm returning with her words.

“You think I could do anything?  I’m just a servant of the family” Neji didn’t rush forward this time to attack.  “Together, we’d just be two failures screaming at our prison.”

“With that attitude maybe” Hinata was really pulling pages out of Narutos book here.  “But you’re not a quitter, and neither am I!”

The two locked eyes for a brief moment before clashing again.  Compared to all the other fights this one was so much more intense.  There was more than just the chance to advance riding on it.  The two ready a final attack, clashing one last time.  They both stood there, until after a moment they both collapsed.

“So, I guess, it’s a draw” Hayate kinda just shrugged.  “Next up Lee and Gaara.”

“Finally my turn” Lee excitedly jumped into the ring as Neji and Hinata were carted away.

“Good luck Lee!” Naruto, Tenten and Gai all cheered for him.

The Gaara guy used sand to move down there, and also looked like a waking nightmare.  Every inch of him looked both evil and insane.

“Hey Sasuke who is that guy?” Naruto was very confused.

“Do you not remember when we met the sand village genin?” Sasuke seemed kind of surprised.  “Konohamaru was there, we had a small scuffle cause they were bullying him.  That guy showed up and scared the hell out of everyone and started talking about killing people.”

“Ok you’re just making shit up now” Naruto definitely would have remembered that.

“No Sasukes telling the truth we were all there” Sakura decided to chime in.  “How did you forget about that?”

“I’m a forgetful guy ok” Naruto now had to admit he had forgotten.

The Lee and Gaara fight was crazy intense, Lee went all out on him.  He moved faster than the sand could keep up with and used his ultimate move.  Gaara hand a sand shield and managed to avoid getting knocked out though.  He crushed Lee’s one arm and leg before Gai stepped in to stop him.  It was horrible to watch.

“Lee, oh no” Tenten watched in horror as he was carried out.

“He’ll, he’ll be fine” Naruto felt a lump in his stomach, Lee had to be fine.

“Final match, Choji and Dosu” Hayate looked a little shaken up after last round but continued on.

Choji looked like he had it in the bag.  Dosu used some weird sound move and knocked him out of ball form before beating him down.

“Winner Dosu” Hayate was clearly happy all of this was over.  “The starting rounds for next month will be decided now.”

On a board in the back of the room a tree diagram randomized their names.  Naruto was fighting that Kankuro guy round one, him and Sakura would possibly meet up in the second round, she was facing off against that Dosu guy.

“I’ll see you all in month, train hard” Hayate ended this part of the exam and just casually walked away.

“One month huh” Naruto was excited.  “Then I’ll be one step closer to Hokage.”

“Yeah so about training for this month” Kakashi sounded like he was about to say something stupid.  “I got you and Sakura teachers and I’m gonna work with Sasuke for most of it.”

“See this is why I’m reporting you for favoritism” Naruto didn’t think that was thing but decided it was worth a shot.

“Oh relax, I picked the best for my students, for now you three can just head home” Kakashi didn’t reassure him at all about the teachers.  “We will need to meet tomorrow to discuss a certain incident though.”

“Oh boy” Sasuke sounded so cheery.  “See you then.”

“I hope my teachers cool” Sakura was excited to not work with Kakashi at least.

“See you guys!” Naruto was happy to head back home.

He made it back home pretty quickly, Haku was already there.  He’d got a cake for him.

“How was the exam?” Haku seemed excited to hear about it.

“Uh, it was, interesting” Naruto had a lot of explaining to do.

Chapter Text

Naruto just kinda looked at Haku.  He’d spent the past two hours explaining everything that had gone down.  Realizing during said explanation that most of it made no goddamn sense.  Finally after a few moments of silence Haku reached over and pulled on his hair.

“Ow, what the hell?” Naruto hated when people did that.

“Sorry I just wanted to be completely sure this wasn’t a very elaborate joke” Haku was looking over so intensely it gave Naruto chills.  “And this is a permanent change?”

“I think so, the fox said my body aged so unless you have a way to de-age, it’s permanent” Naruto couldn’t read Hakus face, he was still staring.

“Damn, I really lucked out” Hakus response was very odd.  “Like don’t get me wrong you were cute before.  But if I knew you were going to grow up into a stud in three to four years I’d have beat Hinata to death on sight.”

“I, what?” Naruto had never been called a stud before, and never had someone threated someone else in relation to him.

“Sorry that was partially a joke, unless she keeps trying to steal you from me then it’s very serious” Haku wasn’t usually possessive like this, Hinata had become a nerve for him.  “Are you uncomfortable with how your body is now?”

“It feels a little strange” Naruto stretched out his arms, he still wasn’t used to their new length.  “Overall it’s actually a huge improvement, not being short is a huge quality of life improvement.”

“And you got to skip over probably the worst parts of puberty” Haku started cleaning up the dishes from their dinner.  “Before I ask something that is possibly an insensitive question, it’s kind of about your parents is that ok?”

“Yes?” Naruto didn’t know where this could go, but was willing to bet it’d be fine.

“Do you know if your moms family had a history of early balding?” Haku was either making another joke or asking a weird question.

“I don’t think they did?” Naruto didn’t actually know anything about his family history in hindsight.  “Why is that relevant?”

“I just wanted to know if I’d have to be prepared for you to go bald one day” Haku said this very quickly to try and brush past it.

“Wait, is, is that how people check that?” Naruto suddenly needed to know very badly if his family went bald.

“Yeah, it’s usually follows the trend of the mothers family” Haku was now trying to move off this topic of conversation.  “But hey tell me about that snake guy again that sounded interesting.”

“Oh yeah that guy, real asshole, although I guess he might not be that strong for someone who’s a Sannin” Naruto pondered that as Haku dropped a plate.

“A Sannin” Haku was now much more concerned.  “As in the Orochimaru of the Sannin, one of the strongest ninja to come out of this village.  That’s the guy who attacked you?”

“Yessssss” Haku had gotten much closer to him during that spiel and Naruto felt a little afraid.

“You don’t know who that is at all do you” Haku now had his hands on Narutos shoulders.  “I’m very happy you are here right now and alive.  I am also very angry that you tried to fight one of the most dangerous guys in the world and risked your life by doing so.”

“I’m sorry?” Naruto didn’t know what was going on right now.

Haku pulled him into a weird hug as he sat on Narutos lap.  Naruto held him back, now able to tell Haku was quite upset about the whole ordeal.

“I don’t want to lose you too” Haku now sounded very afraid again, and Naruto remembered how Zubzuba had left Haku.  “And worst of all I don’t want to lose you and not be able to do anything about it.”

“You’re not going to lose me Haku” Naruto was now in supportive boyfriend mode.  “I’m Naruto Uzumaki, I’ve survived so much it’s a statistical miracle I’m alive.  Nothing gonna stop me, and especially nothing is going to stop me from coming back home to you.”

The two sat there in silence for a bit.  Narutos word had their effect as he didn’t feel any tears from Haku.  He was all Haku had, but Haku was his world now too.

“You promise” Haku mostly spoke this into his chest but Naruto could still hear it.

“I promise” Naruto would do everything in his power to keep this promise no matter what.

“Thank you” Haku gave a small sigh of relief before standing back up.  “I should probably clean up that plate.”

“I can do it, you had to work today so let me finish cleaning up” Naruto quickly started cleaning things to prevent Haku from doing it.

“I think your Chuunin exam was probably harder than my shift at the flower store” Haku knew not to argue with Naruto about things like this, but still wanted to make his comment.

“Yeah but I can also make clones of myself to do this” Naruto did just that since it was easier than doing it himself.

“Yeah ok, that’s a better reason” Haku gave him a small smile, Naruto returned it with a cheeky grin.

“Hey love birds, can I have a word with Naruto for a bit” Kakashi had just walked in the door without even knocking.

“Would it kill you to knock?” this was not the first time Kakashi had done this to Naruto, and it likely wouldn’t be the last.

“Yeah what if we we’re having sex?” the slight widening of Kakashi eye at Hakus remark, meant maybe it would be the last time.

“Right, come with me” Kakashi turned and walked back out the door expecting Naruto to follow.

“I’ll be back in a few” Naruto gave Haku a quick peck on the lips before following.

“So for your training for this month” Kakashi had an actual reason for this talk.  “I can’t be the one to do it, but I got you someone just as good.”

“If you say Gai I’ll kill us both right here” Naruto couldn’t survive a month of that.

“I would never, I have Sakura working with him, she doesn’t know who he is” Kakashi was truly evil.  “No I got you someone better, you’ll meet with him tomorrow at the hot springs.”

“Why the hot springs?” Naruto had never actually been there before.

“It’s part of the training you’ll see when you get there, don’t be late” Kakashi left on that note having said his bit.  “I’ll check in when I can.”

“Thanks I guess?” Naruto had actually been looking forward to more Kakashi training.

Heading back into the apartment Naruto helped his clones finish up the last bit of cleaning.  Haku was in the shower, it was starting to get late so the two would probably head to bed soon.  As long as no other unexpected guests showed up to have a talk with Naruto.

“Hello?” at least this guest knew how to knock. 

“Yes?” Naruto opened the door, realizing then that it was Hinata, a beat up Hinata but still.  “Oh, how are you doing?”

“I’m fine, is um, Haku here?” Hinatas question took Naruto by surprise.  “I was hoping to speak with he-, him.”

“He’s in the shower actually, I can take a message?” Naruto didn’t want a fight to break out between the two of them.

“I can wait” oh no a fight was totally going to break out.

“Um, ok, uh come in” Naruto didn’t know what to do so he led her in so she could sit and wait.

To Naruto it was quite an awkward silence, the only sound being the running water.  Naruto didn’t want to broach the topic of their, event, so he just sat still not saying anything.  Hinata was fidgeting a bit, also uncomfortable with the silence.

“Do you-” Naruto decided to offer her some tea after ten minutes of silence, only to be cut off

“I’m sorry about the boob thing” Hinata decided to bring this up.

“Boob thing?  Also hello Hinata” Haku had really amazing timing, and was really good at sneaking round, damn ninjas.

“Told you, damn ninjas” yeah yeah I know.

“I punched her in the boob the other day it overreacted about it since you know I didn’t want to look like a boob punching creep” Naruto wanted to prevent a fight at all costs.

“Oh really” Haku seemed like he believed that.

“I apologized because I then said, you can touch my boobs whenever, which made for a very awkward situation” Hinata had a death wish, Naruto was certain of this now.

“Oh, really” the rooms temperature dropped with Hakus words.

“Yes” Hinata now was not the time to be that bitch.  “I also came here to talk with you.”

“Oh, to talk with me?” Haku was now acting dramatic.  “Are you planning to tell me you’re done trying to steal my boyfriend?”

Naruto looked at his options, he could stay here and watch this train wreck unfold.  The plan to run away and become a fisherman with a new name in a new country was so tempting right now.

“No” Hinata, of all the times to lie about your intent, now is one of them.  “I wanted to talk to you in private.”

“No I think we can talk about whatever it is in front of Naruto” once again the room got colder as Haku sat at the table.  “So what’s so important?”

“I’d like to start this with, I’ve stopped taking advice from Kiba” Hinata was opening with a weird line but not the worst.  “And that I want to do this right.”

“Do what right exactly?” Hakus question felt like more like a threat than when he was literally fighting Naruto to the death.

“Be your rival” Hinata once again wasn’t saying the worst possible thing she could say.  “I’ll be honest, I don’t know much about you.  I know enough to say I’m losing in this rivalry currently.”

“Bold to say currently” Haku was slightly less threatening now.  “I am a bit confused though, how is this a rivalry if by all means, you’re not even playing the same game as me?”

“That’s true, I had years of knowing Naruto before you presumably met him” Naruto felt a bit strange being forced to hear all of this.  “But a lot of impossible things have happened today, so I’m not ruling out my chances here.”

“Well that’s a damn shame, because I am” Haku was bringing the Zubzuba certified killing intent again.  “We are together, there’s no opening for you to come in here and win over Naruto.”

“Kid for the love of god don’t say anything” Naruto had been about to speak up, but feeling it was a bad idea and getting validation on that, choose not to.

“I think you’re wrong there” Hinata no, that’s like the number one thing to say to get killed here.  “Yes you’re dating him, but we’re young, and younger than you.”

“Are you calling me old?  I’m fifteen, and Narutos now older than me if anything” Haku did not like that comment not one bit.

“He looks older, but unless I missed something, you didn’t live out three years of your life in the forest right?” Hinata was pulling him into it oh no.

“I mean, no” Naruto against all better judgement spoke up.

“Oh so you think I’m too old for you?” Haku took that as him being on her side.

“What no!  I don’t care how old you are” Naruto was blundering oh no.

“See he doesn’t care” Haku shot Hinata a very cold look.

“That brings up my next question, why are you dating someone three years younger than you?” Hinata was either trying something or also blundering.

“You wouldn’t understand our connection” was, was Haku blundering too?

“Oh, why not tell me about it?” Hinata felt like this was good idea.

“Hm, well first we met and picked flowers together, it was lovely” Haku actually smiled for a moment there.  “And then we fought to the death on a bridge, I tried to sacrifice myself to save someone else and Naruto saved my life.  Then we had a date, it was a very good date with a very good kiss.  And then the only person in my life ditched me and Naruto was there for me.  Does that sum it up for you?”

That was a surprisingly good summary of their time together.  More or less.

“So you only like him because he saved your life and then you got ditched?” Hinata really, that’s what you follow that up with.

“What’s it to you bitch” the room was now frigid as Haku stood up to stare Hinata down. 

“Ok so logistically speaking in four minutes how far away can you get, because I now recommend running away” this is Narutos apartment, he was not about let it be destroyed in the following fight.

“I guess it gives a perspective to my own feelings” Hinata was somehow not running for her life currently.  “Since I’ve always just watched him from afar and hoped he’d notice me sooner or later.  I suppose that’s not gonna work anytime soon.”

“You really think you’re in the same league as me?” Haku was still standing, and that meant this could only get worse.  “Unlike you, Naruto actually knew my name in under seven years of knowing me.

“What?” Hinata was obviously caught off guard by that.

“He didn’t know your name until this past month, after I told him it” it was like Haku was twisting a knife into her at this point.  “Now I want you think again about how you compare to me in this situation.”

“I think you two are-” Naruto wanted to try and peacefully resolve this.

“No” they both coldly cut him off.

“You know Haku maybe you’re right; I should follow your example and try and kill him and his team because I have no morals and am a ruthless killing machine” Naruto now regretted telling Hinata about the mission he met Haku on.  “And then I’ll have the audacity to force him to go out with me after he nearly died saving my worthless life.”

“You want a piece of me?” Haku was now leaning over the table to get in Hinatas face.  “Cause I certainly want pieces of you.”

“So now you’re threatening me directly?  Are you just mad that I’m right?” Hinata had either come prepared to die here for this, or was really a stone cold bitch. 

“Are you right though?  Naruto what do you think?” Haku and Hinata both turned to look at him with this question.

“I think, and quote me on this, you’re both fucking insane” Naruto was sick of this argument, and also was sick of being dragged into it.  “I’m dating Haku, sure how we met was strange at best, we’re fucking ninjas.  Sure maybe I didn’t know your name, that doesn’t mean Hinata is any less of friend to me, and maybe in a different situation we could’ve ended up together.  For right now though, I’d like to go to bed, so I’m going to, you both can feel free to keep fighting.  Just do it somewhere else.”

Naruto didn’t wait for a response as he quickly moved into his bedroom.  He could hear some more arguing from the other room for a little while.  After twenty or so minutes the arguing seemed to have stopped as someone left.  Haku didn’t come into the room at that point so he’d probably have to go find their unconscious bodies tomorrow. 

“Not bad kid” after falling asleep he was pulled here instead of any dreams.  “You handled that much better than I expected you to.”

“I know I’m great, but did they have to argue like that, right in front of me?” Naruto was pretty upset about the whole ordeal.  “And Haku acted like a complete psycho!  I know he doesn’t particularly like Hinata, but that was ridiculous.”

“He’s afraid of losing you, he’s got abandonment issues like you wouldn’t believe, and you’ve got abandonment issues” the fox was prepared for this importune therapy session.

“I know, but literally earlier today I told him I would never leave him” Naruto was now laying on a small couch in front of the cage.  “Doesn’t he trust me?”

“Of course he trusts you, but remember Naruto, he’s killed his own father to protect himself.  Something like your dad rallying a mob to kill you really sticks with you” the fox was reading from some kind of diary of Narutos knowledge of Hakus past.  “And then he was raised by Zabuza, you met the guy, that’s a recipe for poor emotional maturity if I’ve ever seen one.”

“Should I have taken his side?” Naruto didn’t want to have to pick a side but if would’ve helped but Haku at ease.

“Hell no, that fight was ludicrous, of times to pick a side, a fight between your boyfriend and a friend who’s in love with you is not one” the fox was speaking from an odd place.  “In the morning you should talk with them both, not at the same time because that’s asking for trouble, about how this whole fight made you feel.”

“Whoa you’re telling me to talk about my feelings?” Naruto knew it was the right thing to do, but when a massively powerful demon says to do it, it feels weird.

“I know right” the fox could appreciate the situation.  “Now get out there and tell them how you feel champ.”

“Thanks” Naruto felt like him and the fox had actually gotten kind of close recently, which was also very weird.

Waking up Naruto immediately noticed he wasn’t in bed alone anymore.  It took him a few moments to realize it was also very crowded in his bed.  After a few more moments he realized there was a third blue haired person also sharing his bed.  Today was going to be so goddamn weird he could just feel it.

Chapter Text

Naruto realizing Hinata was for some reason here stopped his moving, since he wasn’t sure what the hell was going.  Haku, who was used to waking up to Narutos stirrings was now partially awake.

“Five more minutes I just got comfy” Haku snuggled closer to Naruto.

“Haku” Naruto was whispering to not wake up Hintata.  “Why is Hinata in our bed?”

“She live here now” Haku was still not fully awake, so his words were coming out as a tired slurred.  “And there’s only one bed.”

Naruto had a brief flashback to Hakus first night here, the one bed fiasco of that night.  This was a much different situation though.

“What do you mean she lives here now” Naruto was trying wake Haku up more without causing too much of a disturbance.  “What happened last night?”

“We went to a field and fought for a while” Haku was getting progressively more awake now.  “She got kicked out by her family or something.  I felt bad and we had this whole dramatic bonding sequence during the fight.  So I kinda just, brought her back here.”

“I absolutely don’t believe this” Naruto still remembered their massive fight yesterday.  “Also, why the hell did you two go fight each other?”

“Well I said do you want a piece of me and she said yes so, we fought” Haku was now trying to pretend to be more asleep now.  “Don’t worry about it, five more minutes.”

“How can I not worry about it, none of this makes any sense” Naruto was being a bit of a hypocrite maybe, considering he started dating someone who almost killed him, but that was neither here nor there.

“Shhh” Haku shushed him and gave him a kiss, also as a way to quiet him.  “Sleep.”

“I do have to do things today” Naruto knew he wasn’t getting more information about this from Haku right now, but he did have to get up at least.

“Nooo” Haku held him tighter.  “What if I need a kiss later and you’re not here?”

“Ok now you’re just being ridiculous” Haku had done this once before, Naruto wasn’t going to fall for the kissed every hour medical condition lie twice.

“Fineeeee” Haku loosened his hold after a while.  “But when you come back I want more hugs.”

“Fine you can have more hugs” Naruto slowly climbed off the bed, being careful not to step on either Haku or Hinata.

It didn’t take him too long to get dressed, he was a bit bummed he lost the current weights he had in the exam.  He put on an older pair to keep up with his training before heading out with a snack bar in hand.  This teacher better be good.

“You’re late” some weird looking guy with sunglasses was waiting for him at the hot springs.  “I can’t believe I got talked into doing this, and you show up late.”

“I’m on Kakashi time geez cut me some slack” Naruto wasn’t even that late.  “Who are you anyways?”

“What do you mean who am I?  We’ve meet before” the glasses guy looked a little angry now.  “When you humiliated me in front of Konoharamu remember?”

“Can’t say I do” Naruto had no clue what he was talking about.

“Fine, I’m Ebisu, now follow me we’re already getting a late start as is” Ebisu seemed very grumpy now.

Ebisu led Naruto to one of the hot spring areas, it was empty, which made sense since it was the morning. 

“So why are we here?” Naruto had no idea what was about to go down.

“Kakashi told me you don’t know the water walking technique so we’re here for you to learn it” Ebisu seemed more upbeat now.  “It’s a simple chakra control technique much like tree climbing, but on water.  The hot spring is to incentivize you not to fall in.”

“Right, this should be easy” Naruto took off his jacket to keep it from getting wet.  “I’m a master of chakra control.”

“Well then, control away” Ebisu demonstrated the technique and stood in the middle of the spring.

Naruto smirked, most of his training this past month had been in chakra control.  He followed Ebisus example and channeled his chakra to his feet.  He then casually strolled over the spring to Ebisu.

“How’s that for my first try” Naruto couldn’t even try to hide his smugness.

“Considering this is a very basic technique that you should have already known” Ebisu was a real buzzkill.  “Mediocre at best.”

“Thanks teach” Naruto really was not going to get on well with this guy.

“Ohohoh yeah” Naruto and Ebisu both turned to look at an old man with long hair who was apparently peeping in the hot spring.

“HOW DARE YOU” Ebisu stormed over to him yelling, only to be launched back by the old man.

“Can it, I’m trying to get some research done here” the old man was now on top of a large toad.

“Hey asshole I needed that guy to train me, who the hell are you?” Naruto didn’t like what he assumed was the summoning technique, bad memories after that snake guy.

“I am Jiraiya the great toad sage of Mount Myoboku” Jiraya was certainly an odd old man.  “Who are…?”

“What? Naruto looked around trying to figure out why the guy stopped mid-sentence.  “Are you asking who I am?”

“Oh uh, sorry you just look like my old student” Jiraya was now stumbling a bit for words.

“Well, weird, I think, anyways I’m Naruto Uzumaki” Naruto was a bit confused by the old guys words.  “Who was your old student?”

“Oh uh, you wouldn’t know him, he died” Jiraya clearly tried to brush that conversation away.  “But hey anyways, why don’t I train you instead of that guy.”

“What why would I become your student, you just said the last one died” Naruto was going to say yes but he was also a nosy bitch.

“Did you miss my intro?  I’m the Jiraya, you know, Jiraya of the Sannin, a real big shot around these parts.”

“Wait, a Sannin, just like that Orochimaru guy, wait are you evil?” Naruto backed up a little bit.

“Why the hell do you know Orochimaru and not me, and no I’m not evil” Jiraya sounded hurt.

“Cause he fucking attack me and said he’s going to kill me” Naruto didn’t quite trust this guy.  “So why would I trust you?”

“Do you not know any history at all?  Who even raised you?” Jiraya now sounded a bit outraged.

“No one I’m an orphan, and nah it’s dumb” Naruto, as always, played the orphan card.

“Oh right I knew that” Jiraya following that quickly covered his mouth.

“Wait, what do you mean you know that?  Do you know me?” Naruto was now interested.

“I uh, knew your parents?” Jiraya was either lying or really lying.  “Enough of this, want me to train you or what.”

“Um first off, who were my parents, but also yes” Naruto for the first time in his life had a lead to his family he was not letting this guy off the hook.  “Did my dad go bald?  Did my mom’s family have a history of early balding?”

“Why, no I’m not answering that because I don’t know” Jiraya looked really caught off guard by these questions.  “Just, come with me so we can train.”

The two left the hot springs, leaving Ebisu behind since he was still out cold.  They found a nice open clearing after searching for a bit.  The whole way over Naruto was asking questions about his parents.

“Am I taller than both of them?” He needed to know if was done growing.

“You’re about as tall as your dad was at this age, actually how old are you?” Jiraya was eyeing him clearly trying to figure it out.

“Oh I’m thirteen, I just also aged my body a few years by accident” Naruto figured that was important information to give his new teacher.

“How the hell did you do that?” Jiraya seemed like he was regretting this new student.

“I froze time but was out of my usual juice, so I aged” Naruto shrugged a bit with his explanation.

“Your usual juice?  Wait stopped time?” Jiraya looked even more confused now.

“Yeah I can do that cause I got a demon in me belly” Naruto slapped his stomach to show where the demon was.  “It’s pretty sweet.”

“I need a drink” Jiraya was really regretting this.

“Training first, I’ll buy you one after?” Naruto was very excited to train.

“Ugh fine, sign this” Jiraya handed him a giant scroll.  “It’ll let you summon toads like me.”

“Wait that’s all I need to do?  Summoning’s broken” Naruto unraveled it to the first opening.  “Hey is this last name your old student?”

“Oh, uh yeah, Minato” Jiraya was back to the bumbling for some reason.  “Is his name familiar to you?”

“Never heard of him before why?” Naruto was signing his own name now.

“No reason just wondering” Jiraya was quick to move topics.  “Here’s the hand signs for the summoning jutsu.”

Naruto watched Jiraya do it a few times before doing them himself.  He hesitated before actually finishing the jutsu.

“Well are you gonna do it or not?” Jiraya seemed a little agitated at the hesitation.

“Is it a good idea to do this in the village?  Like what if I summon a really big one by accident?” Naruto didn’t want to cause a panic.

“Oh relax I doubt you would do that the first time” Jiraya sounded pretty sure about this.

“Ok then, Summoning Jutsu” Naruto did the hand seals and activated the Jutsu as a giant smoke cloud appeared.

“Fucking hell” Jiraya sounded very not sure of that now.

“Jiraya where the hell am I?” A giant toad was yelling at Naruto.  “Who the hell are you and why did you summon me?”

“I’m Naruto Uzumaki Mr. Giant Toad” Naruto knew this would happen because it was the worst case scenario.

“I’m Gamabunta the toad boss” Gamabunta pulled Naruto off his head.  “I take it you’re the new Toad summoner then.”

“Yes sir Gamabunta sir” Naruto was quite afraid of this giant toad.

“Well, next time don’t summon me, try and put a little less umph into it” Gamabunta put him down.  “But if this was your first time I’ll admit, not bad kid.”

“Thank you” Naruto bowed to Gamabunta.

“And Jiraya” Gamabunta looked down at Jiraya who was giving a sheepish grin.  “Try and warn new guys not to this, I’m not in the mood of it becoming a habit.”

“Sorry about all this Gamabunta” Jiraya was stilling grinning.

“I’ll see you both later” Gamabunta puffed away in a giant smoke cloud.

“What have I gotten myself into” Jiraya sighed loudly.

“That was awesome!” Naruto was so excited to have just summoned a giant toad.  “What else can you teach me?”

“How to pay a bill” Jiraya walked off with Naruto in tow.  “I’ll show you how to summon smaller toads tomorrow, for now I want that drink.”

“Please I need to kill more time before going back home” Naruto didn’t want to walk in on a fight.  “I have two angry people fighting over me.”

“Oh hohoh, I didn’t know my new student was a ladies man” Jiraya threw an arm over Naruto as they walked off.  “I can offer some professional love advice if you need it kid.”

“I think by default this can’t be a worse idea than asking a demon fox for help” Naruto was more than willing to get help on this matter.

“I’m going to ignore that since it’s not a sentence I wanted to hear” Jiraya was in for the time of his teaching life, Naruto was gonna guarantee that.  “Advice over drinks it is!”

After finding a restaurant the two ordered and began talking.  Naruto didn’t realize how hungry summoning had made him, and Jiraya ate like a monster.  The two talked while eating like this much to the dismay of everyone else.

“And then they apparently went out and fought for most of the night” Naruto was almost done filling Jiraya in on all the details.  “And apparently made up which meant me waking up with them both in my bed.”

“Kid, I’ve never once in my whole life had someone complain about this before” Jiraya was also taking note for some reason.  “Two beautiful women fought over you, and then made up to sleep with you together.”

“Well one girl, Hakus a guy” Naruto realized he should just open with that when he talks about Haku.

“Ok not my cup of tea exactly, but still, they’re both into you right?” Jiraya was still taking notes.

“I mean, yes?” Naruto wasn’t sure where this was going.

“And you’re into both of them?” Jiraya was trying to make a point maybe.

“I mean, I think? I don’t know” Naruto hadn’t thought about his feelings towards Hinata, she was his friend.

“And they both are in your bed, waiting for you?” Jiraya was making this weird now.

“Yes?”

“Then why the hell aren’t you there right now having the time of your life and living out the ultimate dream of mankind” Jiraya was now holding a fist up with tears in his eyes.

“The ultimate dream of mankind?” Naruto was very lost.

“Sex, with two women, in your case one woman and a man but still, a threeway” Jiraya was now crying.

“Oh, oh nononononono” Naruto was waving his hands and shaking his head now.  “We don’t, I mean, we haven’t, I mean, uh, no?”

“Kid, all I’ve learned over this talk, is that I have nothing to teach you other than to tell you this” Jiraya leaned in to him.  “Embrace your instincts, and do what Nature tells you to do.  And also pay the bill.”

Naruto grumbled a bit as he pulled out his money to pay said bill.  He wasn’t sure what embracing his instincts or listening to Nature meant here.  Based off the previous thing Jiraya said it was probably sex.  Naruto didn’t know at all how to, do the sex.

“To be clear I’m not paying every time” Naruto could not afford that.  “And I also, don’t think I’m gonna follow your advice.”

“Ok fine you don’t have to always pay” Jiraya was reasonable.  “But kid, you’re on the precipice of manhood, of coming of age.  Also aren’t teenagers like super horny, when did that stop being a thing?”

“I’m not super horny” Naruto was embarrassed now after being called super horny.  “I’m gonna go home and handle whatever mess is going on there.”

“Just remember, the ultimate dream of mankind” Jiraya was crying again.

Naruto just kinda waved back at that.  Not really sure of what to say to it.  The walk home took about twenty minutes, they had been pretty much on the opposite side of the village.  Once he was at the door he took a deep breath.  He had to steel himself to whatever was waiting for him inside.  Opening the door he didn’t see anyone in the main room.

“Haku?  Hinata?” Naruto called out looking around.

After not getting an answer he headed into the bedroom, half expecting them to both be asleep there.  Surprisingly they weren’t, but there was a note.

“Went to go get Hinatas stuff, be back later, love Haku” well that answers that question.

“Wait, she’s seriously going to live here?” Naruto was still not sure how he felt about that.

“Yeah why?” Haku, as always, had amazing timing to walk into situations.  “Oh you saw my note!”

“Yeah I just got back” Naruto walked back into the main room. 

Haku and Hinata were both carrying some bags, presumably they were full of Hinatas stuff.

“We’re sorry about last night” Hinata was the first one to say it.  “We acted like children and dragged you into our fight.”

“Yeah, we didn’t think about how you felt and that wasn’t fair” Haku was also apologizing now.  “I’m sorry babe.”

“Oh my god” Hinata spoke up before Naruto could reply.  “I didn’t even ask you if it was fine for me to move in.”

“Um, yeah” Naruto was really confused by the twos complete attitude change from yesterday.  “Haku said you got kicked out?’

“Kind of kicked out kind of ran away?” Hinata gave a sheepish grin.  “The elders were threatening to exile me and brand me and I was sick of it.  They do that once or twice a week.  So I just kinda, left.  And I didn’t know where else to go really so I just sorta came here.  Sorry.”

“Oh” Naruto was a sucker for sob stories, Haku probably told her this.  “It’s fine, just maybe we shouldn’t all share the bed since it’s not that big.”

“Yeah that’s on me” Haku now spoke up again.  “I was feeling really emotional after the fight and our heart to heart so I insisted.  But.”

Oh god this was either going to be the worst idea he’d ever heard, or somehow even worse than that.

“We picked up a bigger bed on the way here” Haku pulled out a storage scroll, presumably one that had the bed.  “So problem solved.”

“Haku can we talk privately for a sec” Naruto didn’t want to have to be the one who said this but he knew he’d have to.

“Yeah, Hinata you can start putting your stuff away there should be enough room in the dresser” Haku kinda ushered her out of the main room before sitting down with Naruto.

“This is kind of crazy” Naruto was just going to dive right into it.  “Why do you want to share a bed with the girl you, literally yesterday, said you’d tear apart because she was trying to break us up?”

“Because she’s like me” Haku leaned on him wanting to be closer to Naruto.  “We, ok well mostly me, don’t have anyone else.  She got exiled by her family, that’s insane, and her teammates include Kiba and the bug guy.  Would you turn her away knowing that?”

“Well no, but why do you want her to share a bed with us?” Naruto could tell Haku was kind of dodging this question.

“Well…. We kinda, while talking last night” Haku was now actively looking for a way to avoid this question.  “Came to the conclusion that, we could, um, share.”

“Share what?  The bed?” Naruto felt like he knew what Haku meant, but wanted Haku to say it.

“No, um, you” Haku bit his lip a little after saying this.

“And what if I don’t want to be shared?” Naruto was getting a little tired of not being included in discussions involving his relationship.

“Then we won’t of course” Haku was quick to reassure him.  “We we’re going to talk to you about this today, but now just seemed like a good time to bring it up.”

Naruto could swear he heard a faint, “GOOOOOO KID” from outside but choose to ignore it.  This was completely crazy.

“We just both really care about you Naruto” Haku was taking the silence as him needing to explain more apparently.  “And, I could tell how much us fighting was upsetting you.  Which kind of made me think you cared about Hinata too.”

“I do care about her, because she’s my friend” Naruto didn’t want to get into this basket of weirdness of deciding his feeling towards Hinata right now.  “And as far as I’m concerned that’s the extent of my feelings towards her.”

“You don’t have to lie to me about this Naruto, I know, I am being a bit of a hypocrite from last night” Haku was leaning against him more now.  “Especially after you promised me you wouldn’t leave me, I doubted you and I’m sorry for getting jealous.”

“Haku it’s not that, you were, kinda right last night” Naruto felt this wasn’t side taking now since Haku had had a change of heart overnight.  “A month ago I literally didn’t know who she was other than weird girl who hangs out with Kiba.  I know almost nothing about her aside from how she fights.”

“Do you think you want to know more?” Haku held his hand.

“I, I don’t know” Naruto leaned on Haku a little now.  “It feels wrong, for me to just ignore her for most of the time I knew her.  Then suddenly date her?”

“Ok, well, you can talk with her about that” Haku stood up, apparently having been waiting for a moment like this, and gave him a kiss before heading to the bedroom.

After a minute Hinata came out looking a little confused.  Naruto sighed internally, unable to imagine what Haku had probably said in the short amount of time they were in there.

“Haku said we should talk about, um, us?” Hinata sat down on the couch, Naruto moved over to give her more room.

“I just, I don’t think it’s fair to you” Naruto decided to just dive into it.  “You’ve cared about me for so long apparently, and I didn’t even know you existed for so long.  It doesn’t feel right.”

Hinata giggled a little bit at that.  Naruto was caught off guard by the laugh.

“For all those years you didn’t even notice me” Hinata had a kind of sad smile on her face.  “And somehow here I am talking with you on your couch, having kind of slept with you last night.  The reason you didn’t know me was because I didn’t talk to you, I was too afraid to.  Even when we started training together everyone had to make me go.  My feelings for you were for someone I had never actually talked to.”

Naruto wasn’t prepared for this deep introspection into Hinatas own character.  He felt unprepared for this conversation, and afraid that he too would have to introspection.  He shuddered at the thought.

“So maybe I wouldn’t say it’s fair, I wouldn’t say it’s unfair either, but it’s not just my choice” Hinata scooched a little closer to him on the couch.  “I want to know the real you, and I want you to know the real me.  No more watching and hoping, if, you want to that is.”

“I” Naruto move closer to her too.  “I think I’d like to know the real you.”

“Now kiss” Haku, who was watching from bedroom door was now whisper shouting at them.  “And then one of you, preferably Naruto, come over and kiss me to validate the mutual respect and love in this relationship.”

“Haku, babe, are you for real?” Naruto just kind of gave him a look.

The look lost its effect when his eyes widened in surprise as he felt a pair of lips against his cheek.  Turning slightly he could see Hinata, now blushing quite a bit, quite close to him.  He could feel his own face turning red even though it was just a kiss.

“Yessssss” Haku was acting like an actual goblin as he cheered her on.

Naruto quickly walked over to Haku and pinched his cheek.  He made sure to not do so too hard, only trying to tease and not actually hurt Haku.

“Stop doing this, it’s weird, and makes me feel uncomfortable” Naruto had a fake scowl on while doing said cheek pinching.

“Aaah I’m sorry” Haku was pretending to be hurt and started pouting.  “How come you get a kiss but I get cheek pinches.”

“I’m sorry Haku” Naruto let go of his face and gave him a kiss on the cheek.

Hinata had walked over during the small commotion and gave Haku a kiss on the cheek as well, surprisingly this made Haku blush too.

“Now I feel good” Haku was smiling now, seemingly quite happy with himself and the situation.

“But no more kiss coercion, that’s a rule” Naruto mostly didn’t want to be teased.

“Fine, as long as I get my hourly kisses, I could die otherwise.”

“Not this again” Naruto sighed, but he couldn’t hide his smile.

Chapter Text

Following that rather eventful and strange day, Naruto did what he did best, train.  Jiraya kept his word and kept training him, meeting with him twice a week to practice the summoning jutsu.  Kakashi hadn’t shown back up, it had been two weeks since they last met, Naruto kinda missed the guy.  He saw Sakura fairly regularly, usually while she was doing some kind of insane training with Gai.  Today was looking like it was going to be another strange one as Neji of all people showed up.

“You’re Naruto Uzumaki correct?” Neji had a paper with him.

“If I say yes am I in trouble?” Naruto didn’t know squat about Neji other than he was a dick.

“I was asked to give this to you, in all likelihood no, but this is coming from a group of people who brand and enslave their family members” Neji wasn’t being a dick currently, but that was quite the, just wow.

“Right, you and Hinata mentioned that, in your fight” Naruto was now not sure how to handle this conversation.

“Just take the scroll, do what it says, or don’t I really don’t care” Neji put the scroll in his hands, not taking no for an answer.  “If you could, tell Hinata I say hello.”

“Oh, can do?” Naruto wasn’t prepared for not an asshole Neji.

Opening the scroll up, since he wanted to know what it was before ignoring it, he was surprised to see it was from the Hyuugas.  Even though Neji had just told him that.  In particular it was from Hinatas father.  He wanted to talk, to Naruto.  About Hinata living with him.  This was going to suck. 

“Just make a clone go, fuck whoever that guy is” for an evil fox, you’re full of good plans.

Naruto made a clone to go the meeting.  It was the perfect plan, he could keep on training and the clone could just pop if it decided the conversation was a waste of time.  In no way could this plan cause some kind of large scale issue.  With that taken care of he went back to working on his wind jutsu.

“Naruto how long have you been training for today?” Haku had come looking for him, it was now almost sundown and he was laying the ground exhausted.

“I may have over done it” His method of training had been to make a bunch of clones and have them shoot a barrage of attacks for him to dodge.  The many cuts on his body showed it didn’t go over too well.

“Come on, let’s get you back home” Haku pulled him up and helped support him for walking.  “I can’t believe all you did today was train.”

“Technically speaking I also met Hinatas dad, or am still meeting him, not sure sent a clone hours ago” Naruto had kind of forgotten about that.

“We’re going to have a mess on our hands I can just feel it” Haku apparently didn’t believe in his abilities of diplomacy.

“Pssh, nah, who doesn’t love me, I’m Naruto” he tried to flash his signature grin but was too tired to.

“I guess we’ll find out whenever the clones pops, but I’ll prepare my I told you so ahead of time.”

“Fair, I’ll accept my victory ramen when I’m proven right.”

The slow hobble home was actually kind of nice.  Between all the training Naruto did and Hakus job the two didn’t see too much of each other this week.  He had trained with Hinata the other day, so now he felt kinda bad for not making any time for Haku this week.  He’d have to plan something special when he could.

“Welcome home” Hinata was sitting in the kitchen when they got back.  “Also Haku I’ll accept payment at your leisure.”

“You two bet on why I wasn’t back home?” sure he might not do that much, but come on.

“Yeah I foolishly bet on you visiting Lee in the hospital” Haku plopped him down on the couch before handing Hinata some money.  “So way to go being an awful friend and making me lose money.”

“I’m a great friend” Naruto had just, in a good friend way, forgotten Lee was in the hospital. 

“But luckily for me, hurt friends fall lower than training on the Naruto priorities list” Hinata was now gloating at Haku.

“Hey I didn’t just train all day, I did other stuff.”

“Oh like?”

“I sent a clone to go meet your dad since he had Neji give me this letter” Naruto pulled out said letter to give to a very shocked Hinata.  “Oh and Nejis says hi.”

“Hahahaha, oh I knew this would be good” Haku was at least getting a cheap laugh over this.

“Naruto, you sent a clone to go talk to my father, and didn’t think that could go over awfully?” Hinata was now very stressed out.

“I mean, it can’t be that bad, the clone hasn’t popped yet” Naruto wished people had more faith in him.  “What do you guys thinks gonna happen?  The clones gonna say we all sleep together and your dads gonna kick our door down?”

“Why did you say it like that” Haku now sounded much more worried.

“Oh cause the clone popped and Hinatas dad is on his way to kick our door down, I just didn’t want to admit I was wrong yet” Naruto preemptively unlocked the door.  “But I think we can easily talk our way out of this.”

After a few minutes of strained silence as the three waited for Hinatas dad to show up they could hear it.  The sound of frantic footsteps rushing towards the door.

“HINATA YOU’RE COMING HOME RIGHT NOW IMMEDIATELY” kicking the door open and yelling was now Hiashi Hyuuga. 

“NO” Hinata was quick to throw something at him.

“I WON’T LET YOU LIVE IN THIS DEN OF LUST ANY LONGER.”

“IT’S NOT-” Hinata was cut off by Hakus incredibly loud chackling.

“You, oh man, you think, haha, this is a den of lust?” Haku strained to get the words out.

“YES BECAUSE HE” Hiashi was now pointing at Naruto.  “SAID YOU BOTH SLEEP WITH MY DAUGHTER EVERY NIGHT.  I HAVE NEVER FELT SO BETRAYED YOUNG MAN.”

The clone and Hiashi had actually gotten on pretty well.  Or they did until the clone made a joke about the sleeping situation in their apartment.

“It’s not like that” Naruto tried to calm the situation but Hiashi was having none of it.

“NOT LIKE THAT?  THEN WHAT IS IT LIKE EXACTLY MR. UZUMAKI” Oh man he was mad.

“THERE’S ONLY ONE BED” Hinata was back to yelling at her dad.  “SO YES, WE DO SLEEP TOGETHER, BUT WE DON’T HAVE SEX.  SLEEPING TOGETHER AND HAVING SEX ARE VERY DIFFERENT THINGS DAD.”

“WELL, um, only one bed?” Hiashi was seemingly too confused now to keep yelling.

“Yeah we only have one bedroom and it only fits one bed” Haku had composed himself enough to speak normally again.

“Oh” Naruto could now kinda see where Hinata might have gotten her old speech pattern from.  “Well, I um, may have, perhaps, overreacted.”

“YOU THINK” Hinata was still yelling, it was probably good for her, therapeutic even.

“I’m just worried about you” Hiashi was trying to be a good dad right now.

“First time for everything.”

“I have worried for you in the past Hinata, I just may have, not expressed it, very well” Hiashi was probably not going to be able to handle the much more expressive Hinata very well.

“Oh, I’m sorry how could I not see your concern for me, when the council was talking about exiling me, for the hundredth time” Hinata had a lot of issues to unpack here.

“I think, if it’s all the same to you two, we should go” Naruto didn’t want to sit in on another argument, especially a family one.

“I think I also want to go” Haku had been trying to sneak out, no longer getting entertainment from the serious argument.

“No I think you should both stay and get to learn more about my family, don’t you agree dad?” Hinata had closed the door.  “Where should we start?”

“I think we’re in for a bad time” Haku was now sitting with Naruto on the couch, and was very much not excited to be here.

“How about when I was five and just been almost kidnapped, and the council restricted my life” Hinata really had a lot of baggage to unpack here.

“It was that or brand you” Hiashi wasn’t aware that, one he wasn’t getting a turn, and two that was not what he was supposed to say.

“Yeah that makes total sense, to the five year old heiress of the clan, either she is kept under tight watch all day and night, or fucking branded?  If only, you, my father had any power, like as the clan head?  Oh wait.”

“It’s not that simple, the elders” Hiashi was really not understanding what was happening.

“OH the elders of course, six old assholes who make sure we as a family, brand half of the family and make them slaves.  To protect our glorious bloodline.  If only someone was like, the head of the clan or something, and could exert more influence than a group of advisors.”

“It” Naruto almost felt bad for Hiashi.

“But that isn’t tradition right?  Precious sweet amazing tradition, and as we all know.  Tradition is more important than human lives or free will.  It’s really amazing how that works out, don’t you guys think so?”

“We’d like to stay out of this” Naruto didn’t like being dragged into arguments like this.

“No I think outsider opinion could be helpful here” Hiashi had found his spine and was ready to take a stand.  “You two clearly have a firm grasp on how to compromise, and how sometimes it has to be done.  Do you think it was wrong to try and protect my five year old, recently kidnapped daughter?”

“Noooo” Haku was clearly very uncomfortable, he foolishly must have thought answering would make it end sooner.

“Exactly, all I ever wanted is for you to be safe.  The council has fought me tooth and nail over you because they view you as a weak link in the family.  But I do everything I can to protect you from them, and what do you do?  Run away to live here?  No offense you two.”

“None taken” Naruto cursed to himself, he’d fallen for that trick.

“Oh of course, it’s normal for a family to have that kind of argument” Hinatas temper didn’t show any sign of cooling anytime soon.  “A family that views its members as stock in its glorious bloodline is not normal.  I’ve been happier living here these two weeks than I ever was my whole life in the compound.  And just so you know, me having to sit through a council meeting about my own free will once a week is not very protected.”

“What do you want me to do?  Throw away centuries of tradition?  Radicalize the clan?  I can’t do that and you know it.  Why can’t you understand I’m doing everything I can but I can’t do that much.”

“Why the hell can’t you do anything?” Hinata clearly had heard that before.  “It’s always, my hands are tied, I can’t do that, it’s out of my hands.  What can you do exactly?  The only reason they didn’t brand Hanabi is because they want to brand me and make her the heiress, so don’t even try and say that’s your doing.”

“What can I do?  The only reason you could just walk out of there without being detained and branded is because of me.  Some appreciation would be nice for that, but no I suppose that’s not enough for you is it?  You think you have it tough from the council?  Every single day they demand I have you branded, and every day is a fight to appease them.  So I’m sick of this attitude you’re taking with me.”

“You’re sick of my attitude?” Hinata chuckled at him.  “I’m sick of a bunch of crusty old men having more power over my life than I do.  Now can you kindly leave our home?”

“We’re not done talking Hinata” Hiashi was still not clear on how this worked.

“Yup you are, goodbye” Haku was now ushering him out, jumping on the first chance to be free of this.

“We will speak again Naruto” Hiashi gave him a cold look before leaving.

The three of them sat in silence as they listened to his footsteps receding.  The air was heavy with Hinatas feelings from the argument.

“Well, all things considered, that went well” Naruto was the first to break the silence.

Hinata was the second by starting to cry.  Haku and Naruto were quick to comfort her.  She needed to say all of that, but it was a lot for her.

“It’s ok we’re here for you” Haku was rubbing her back doing his best to soothe her.  “We won’t let any crusty old men lay a finger on you.”

“Yeah, I’ll kick the ass of anyone who wants to hurt you” Naruto still wasn’t great at emotional support, but kicking ass was his specialty.

“Thank you” Hinata choked the words out through her tears, the two surrounded her with a hug.  “I’m sorry I dragged you into that.”

“It’s ok, I mean it sucked, but we care about you so it’s ok” Haku also wasn’t that good at this.

Hinata just let herself be held while her crying slowly died down.  Naruto and Haku sat her down on the couch after a little bit, she had a lot of tears to cry.  The three sat like that for a while.  Or they did until Narutos stomach growled something fierce.

“Sorry…” Naruto felt bad for ruining the moment, but he also felt hungry.

“No I think we should eat too” Hinata dried the last of her tears on her sleeves, her stomach also growled.

“Honestly, you two” Haku didn’t bother finishing his sentence as his stomach also growled.  “Yeah let’s just go out to eat.”

“Ramen?” Naruto knew it wasn’t victory ramen, but it’d still be good.

“Ramen?” Hinata was also looking at Haku, giving him the ramen face.

“Fine ramen, geez how did you two never talk considering how much ramen you eat” Haku had fallen victim to the ramen tag team too many times.

“Yes” the ramen tag team cheered, eating ramen was the ultimate way to drown out emotions.

The three ended up at Ichiraku ramen not too soon after.  Haku ordered a healthier bowl while the two gremlins accompanying him ordered the Naruto Special.

“All of my hard work getting you to eat better” Haku fake cried at Naruto.

“I do eat better, three out of seven days” Naruto was quick to return to slurping up ramen. 

“And I eat just fine thank you” Hinata slurped at an alarming rate.

“It’s a losing battle Haku, I tried getting him to eat the healthier bowls years ago” Ayame watched Hinata and Naruto eat at an unhealthy fast pace.

“You’ve got quite the entourage nowadays Naruto” Kakashi also came into the ramen shop.  “Makes it easier to find you I suppose.”

“Kakashi I haven’t seen you in weeks” Naruto was somehow talking while eating.

“I regret not making it a full month now.”

“What’s up?” Naruto finished up the bowl and turned to face his teacher.

“I mostly came to get some dinner, but two birds one bowl I suppose” Kakashi sat down and placed an order.  “How is training with Ebisu going?”

“Oh I ditched him twenty minutes into meeting him, Jirayas been training me” Naruto managed to get a look of surprise out of Kakashi.

“You must have some strange Sannin attraction quality” Kakashi returned to his normal aloof expression.  “I suppose that’s probably better than working with Ebisu though.  Can you ask him to autograph this for me?”

“One of your books?” Naruto didn’t like holding the porn novel but for Kakahsi he’d think about it.

“Yeah he writes them, surprised you haven’t figured that out yet” Kakashi was managing to eat without removing his mask.  “I’d appreciate it if you could have him make it out to his biggest fan.”

“You owe me if I do this you know that right” Naruto pocketed the book, thinking of things to ask for.

“It’s worth the risk.”

“Sorry to cut this reunion short but I need to cut these two off” Haku was trying prevent Hinata from ordering more ramen.  “Nice seeing you Kakashi have a nice dinner.”

“But I can still eat more” Hinata was trying to fight Haku off, a classic ramen outing tradition.

“I know you can babe, that’s why it’s called cutting you off.”

“See you Kakashi” Naruto helped Haku pull Hinata away after paying their bill, she was very serious about her ramen.

“He’s a weird one” Teuchi came out to see the commotion.  “But he’s our weird one ain’t he.”

“He certainly is” Kakashi waved them off before returning to his food.

After they were a few blocks away Hinata stopped trying to fight them off.  Her ramen madness only extended so far from the source.  The rest of the walk was fairly calm.

“If you guys really cared you’d let me stay in my real home” Hinata was trying to guilt them into letting her go back.

“It’s a ramen stall not your home, and yes Naruto I say this with utmost respect” Haku had said this many times before.

“Sorry if I’m not allowed to live there no one is” Naruto was on Hakus side due to bribery.

Hinata was now pouting as they returned to the apartment.  Even Naruto had to admit she had a problem, and he knew he had a problem.  He also realized he smelled kinda bad.

“Dammit we got so caught up I didn’t get to clean up after training” Naruto quickly made a b-line to the shower.

“Wait no I need to shower before going to bed” Haku tried to cut him off but Naruto stopped time to get ahead.

“Sorry but I am very dirty right now” Naruto removed his clothes and hopped in the shower to occupy it.  “You’ll just have to wait.”

“Jerk” Haku yelled from behind the door.  “You didn’t even ask if I wanted to join you.”

Naruto blushed at that, glad no one could see him do so.  Haku had a horrible habit of teasing him for that, and Hinata had started joining him in doing so.  He cleaned himself off as quickly as he could, not wanting to throw off their nighttime routine too much.  After drying off he realized he hadn’t brought his pajamas to change into, he really hoped no one was in the bedroom.  He wrapped a towel around himself and quickly snuck into the other room, only to collide with Hinata in the door way.

“Oof” Hinata had a surprisingly solid frame, their collision having knocked Naruto over. 

“Are you...” Hinata trailed off as she looked down at him, quickly turning red.

Naruto frantically moved to better cover himself with the towel, realizing it had fallen out of place.  He then froze time to frantically get dressed without worry of anyone else seeing him mostly naked again.  After unfreezing time Hinata frantically looked around since he had just vanished from in front of her.

“Sorry about that” Naruto was now also blushing from the ordeal.

“No, don’t, don’t be” Hinata had reverted to her old stutter now that she was blushing so intensely.

“You two ok in here?’ Haku came over to check on them.  “Why’s everyone so red?”

“We bumped into each other and my towel kinda” Naruto didn’t want to finish the sentence.

“No, for real?  Come on don’t tell me Hinata got to see you naked first?” Haku was now in full on tease mood. 

“No no it wasn’t like that” Hinata was now more red and flustered.

“Oh what was it like then?” Haku had moved closer to Hinata to tease more.  “Come oooon Hinata, I’ve only ever seen it through his pants, what are we working with here?”

Instead of responding Hinata went into full reactor meltdown mode.  She looked ready to burst from the blush, Haku moving closer to her didn’t seem to help the situation too much either.

“That’s enough teasing Haku” Naruto snapped out of his own embarrassment to save Hinata by wrapping an arm around Hakus waist and pulling him in.  “Besides, if you wanna know so badly all you have to do is ask.”

“I, I mean” now Haku was blushing as Naruto kissed neck.  “I’m, gonna take my shower now.”

He quickly walked out of the room taking his pajamas with him.  Soon after the shower started to run again.

“Guess he can’t handle what he dishes out huh” Naruto gave a little laugh.

Hinata remained blushing very hard and just stood there silently for a bit.  Naruto was worry she actually may have reverted to her old self.

“Hinata are you ok?” he walked over felt her forehead, since he was as the kids say, an idiot.

“YUP, yup I’m totally fine you bet” Hinata quickly moved a few feet away from him after being touched.  “I’m just gonna, stand over here, and think about.  Not your body things.”

“Oh” Naruto got another flash of embarrassment about, the event.  “It’s not that serious right?  It’s just, my body.”

“I agree not serious at all” Hinata was still very red.  “It’s just your, very toned and handsome body.  Maybe I should sleep on the couch tonight.”

“What, no, the couch is awful, I’ll sleep on it” Naruto didn’t want to put anyone else through the couch experience.

“No no I can, it’s my problem so it’s only fair I sleep on the couch” Hinata wasn’t looking at him while speaking. 

“Well, what exactly is the problem?” Naruto wasn’t sure what the fuss was.

“Do you really want me to say it?”

“Yes it can’t be that big a deal we need to sleep in separate places.”

“You are very, very attractive, and I have, um, hormones, that can make it difficult to, not notice that, all the time.  Particularly right now.”

The words of Jiraya came back to him.  Teenagers were really horny. 

“I mean, that doesn’t sound like, a problem?” Naruto didn’t know how to address this situation, maybe he did need advice from Jiraya.

“Oh no it is, I’m not going to, say the um, thoughts going on up here, but it is a problem” Hinata gestured to her head.  “So I think I’ll just sleep alone for tonight.  Do you mind waiting, out in the living room while I change real quick?”

“Oh yeah no problem” Naruto headed into the living room, he did his best to fluff up the couch so it would be more comfortable.

After a little while Hinata came out in her pajamas.  She brought a blanket and pillow with her.  Naruto went and closed the blinds for her to keep the sunlight from waking her up in the morning.

“Um, Naruto, can you come here a second” Hinata was standing in front of the couch, still not looking at him.

“Yeah, what’s up?”

“I, uh” she fumbled for her words for a second before throwing her arms around his neck and pulling him in for a kiss.

He was caught by surprise.  She pulled him close and the kiss deepened, he felt her tongue pushing against his lips.  He opened them for her, she quickly pushed her tongue in.  Naruto didn’t know where she’d learned to kiss like this, but was sure it Haku had a hand in it. The kiss lasted for a few moments before they heard the bathroom door open and Hinata pushed him away embarrassed.

“Am I interrupting?” Haku had brought his pajamas in with him but was just wrapped in a towel now, which was weird.  “Don’t mind me just passing through.”

“No I’m just, sleeping out here tonight” Hinata managed to respond first. 

“Oh, alright then, goodnight” Haku came over and gave her a quick kiss on the cheek.  “Naruto you’re sleeping in the bed still right?”

“Yeah I was just closing the blinds up out here” Naruto tried to hide his own blush.

“Uh huh, your pants situation says those blinds were quite exciting” Haku laughed as Naruto quickly covered up said pants situation.  “I’m gonna be getting changed so wait a bit before coming in.”

“Alright, can do” Naruto was looking at the very interesting ceiling, not to hide his red face but because it was very interesting.

“Goodnight Haku” Hinata waved to him as he left the room.  “Sorry if that, got um.  Too intimate for two friends who live together.”

“What oh, uh, no it’s uh, fine” Naruto was now the one not looking at her.  “Sorry if, I uh, got too excited.”

“It’s ok, I don’t, mind it, at all.  I’m gonna stop talking now, goodnight.”

“Goodnight” Naruto headed over to the bedroom, not fully understanding what she’d meant.  “Am I clear to come in?”

“Yup!”

Naruto walked in, Haku was already in bed.  There was a surprisingly large amount of room in this bed without three people in it.  He climbed in next to Haku.

“So, is she sleeping out there a tonight thing or a new thing?” Haku did his best to entangle himself with Naruto.

“I think just a tonight thing, she said it was because of, uh, hormones?” Naruto knew what she meant now but didn’t want to say it.

“Got it, she’s turned on and would rather sleep alone than be rubbing up against you all night” Haku gave Naruto a little smirk.  “I can’t say I blame her, she got to see post shower naked Naruto.”

“I wasn’t naked, I just wasn’t, covered very well” Naruto blushed at the teasing, he blushed more as he felt Hakus bare chest brushing against him.  “I, I thought you were got changed.”

“Oh yeah, I got really hot last night so I figured I’d just wear my bottoms tonight” Haku leaned in close to his ear.  “Does that bother you?”

“I think I might need to sleep on the floor” Naruto could feel himself getting excited again.

“No fair, you and Hinata got have a hot and heavy make out session” Haku was kissing his neck.  “I haven’t gotten any Naruto time recently, can you blame a guy for trying?”

“I’m sorry Haku, we can have an us day this weekend” Naruto did feel bad about spending less time with him.

“And we can make out a little now?” Haku was going between speaking and kissing his neck now.

“And we can make out now” Naruto quickly caught Hakus lips with his own, pushing him down onto the bed under him.

This kiss started out a lot more intense than his kiss with Hinata.  Haku opened his lips to invite Narutos tongue in, an offer he quickly accepted.  As the kiss went on he could feel Haku pushing against him, he moaned into the kiss.  Being like this with Haku felt intoxicating to him, he broke the kiss for a moment to quickly take his own shirt off.  He wanted to feel Haku as much as possible, each point of contact felt like electricity was being sent into him.  Naruto felt like his body was wound up, and like he was going to explode any second.  Before that explosion happened Haku broke the kiss off and pushed him off.

“Sorry, I just” Haku was taking deep breaths, out of air from the kiss.  “Wow, Hinata should sleep on the couch more often.”

“There’s easier ways to get me to kiss you babe” Naruto gave him small kisses on his collarbone.

“Kiss?  You were practically ready to take me to town there” Haku was trying to tease him, but only managed to confuse him.

“What does that mean?” Naruto kind of already knew but was hoping for otherwise.

“Naruto your, I’m just going to say it, your dick was hard and on me, if you were looking for an easier way to turn me on you could not find one.”

“Oh” Naruto was lucky it was dark to hide his returned blush.  “I’m sorry I didn’t know I was, doing that.”

“Sorry?  Naruto I don’t care, just give me a bit of a heads up next time, if I had none you were serious earlier I wouldn’t have had such a relaxing shower” Hakus words once again went over Narutos head as he was still on the first part.

“You want to have sex?  With me?” Naruto had never in his life thought this was a conversation he’d have.

“Uh, hell yeah I do, I’ll go out on a limb and say Hinata does too” Haku was now leaning on him again.  “I don’t want to make you do anything you’re not comfortable with though.  And yes I can absolutely tell you’re not comfortable with sex.”

“I’ve never, done sex before, or trained in it or anything” his words got a laugh from Haku.

“It’s a bit hard to train in sex without having sex babe” Haku was rubbing circles on his chest.  “And like I said, you don’t have to do anything you’re not comfortable with.  Neither me, nor Hinata, are gonna pressure you into anything.”

“Thank you” Naruto appreciated Hakus willingness to be patient with him. 

“Anytime darling, now let’s get some sleep” Haku gave him a final kiss before snuggling up against him to sleep. 

“Goodnight” Naruto held him as he drifted off to sleep, his thought of Haku and the love he felt towards him.

Chapter Text

It was a few days after the Hyuuga incident, Naruto now measured his days around whatever ridiculous shit happened each day.  Today was hopefully going to just be remembered as Haku date night.  He still had most of the day to get through till then, and with Jiraya there was always a chance some shit would happen.

“Alright so tell me for real” Jiraya had asked this same question every time they trained together, in this exact way.  “Have you had a threeway yet?”

“No we have not had a threeway yet and we will not have one” Naruto had given this exact reply each time.  “And if I find out from Kakashi there’s characters in one of your books that are in a similar situation to me I will find you.”

“You think my biggest fan would snitch on me?” Jiraya had already signed the book for Kakashi. 

“I hate that we both know he wouldn’t.”

“Enough talk though, let’s see how the summons have be coming along” Jiraya was actually able to focus on the training for once.

“Finally my language” Naruto quickly went through the hand seals for the jutsu.  “Summoning Jutsu.”

A moderately sized smoke cloud marked the appearance of a large aquamarine toad.

“Gamahiro?” Jiraya actually looked surprised to see the toad.

“Yo” Gamahiro was a pretty calm toad.

“Sorry for summoning you out of the blue buddy, had to show how good my summons have gotten” Naruto had summoned him before, he was a chill dude.

“No problem” Gamahiro just kinda sat there.

“You’re getting halfway good at this stuff kid” Jiraya was obviously trying to down-play how impressed he was.

“What’d you expect, you’re working with the best of the best” Naruto always took a chance to gloat to Jiraya.  “Bet your last student was chump change comparatively.”

“You wish kid, you’re still miles behind him” Jiraya had a kind of sad smile now.  “He invented one of my signature moves so until you can do that he’s still my favorite.”

“Wait what signature moves, I wanna see it” Naruto hopped down from Gamahiro now infinitely more interested in new techniques than gloating.

“Hm, since you’ve been doing pretty good” Jiraya held out his hand and made a ball of swirling chakra.  “It’s called the Rasenga, it’s incredibly powerful.”

“What that looks lame as hell, it’s like a weaker Chidori” Naruto wasn’t impressed with the chump jutsu.

“Oh yeah?” Jiraya touched the ball to a nearby tree, shattering it on touch.

“Never mind it’s cool as hell and I wanna do it” Naruto instantly changed his tune.

“It takes a long time to learn kid, how about this, you win the exam I’ll teach it to you” Jiraya gave Naruto a head ruffle.  “Or if you have a threeway, that way I know you’re ready.”

“The weird thing is I expected that” Naruto had grown surprisingly close to Jiraya.

“I’m gonna head back, peace” Gamahiro had apparently gotten bored of sitting around.

“See you buddy” Naruto gave him a wave goodbye as he poofed away.

“That’s all I’ve got for you today kiddo, well that and telling you to have a threeway” Jiraya started to head off.  “Take next week off from our training, learn to read, have a threeway, get some dinner, live a little.”

“Are you obligated to say threeway every so often?  Will you die if you don’t?”

“Who knows?  Have a threeway.”

Naruto didn’t plan for this extra free time, luckily he remembered Lee, and that he was a good friend.  He took off for the hospital.

“I’m looking for Rock Lees room?” the reception desk was a helpful tool.

“Third floor room A12” the nurse already had the page up conveniently.

“Thank you” Naruto headed towards the stairwell hoping to have a nice quick visit.

“One hundred one” the sound of exercise meant he had to be close.

Opening the door he was surprised to see three people doing pushups.  Gai, Lee and Sakura were all intensely working out, even though Lee had a broken arm and leg.

“Sorry wrong room” Naruto closed the door not wanting to be trapped in a day long workout.

“NARUTO” Lee quickly threw the door back open.  “How are you my friend?”

“I’m good buddy, shouldn’t you be, not working out?” that fight left him really messed up was this safe?

“Of course, the doctor said it wasn’t recommended, he did not say prohibited.”

“Lee that means don’t do it” Sakura pulled him back and put him on the bed.  “Gai you shouldn’t encourage him to work out while he needs to be resting.”

“How can I refuse the passion of my pupil, the raging force of his Youth” Gai had sparkles in his eyes as he and Lee held up a fist.

“Because he has two broken limbs next question” Sakura had clearly put up with this for as long as she could.

“Anyways, I just wanted to stop in and see how you’re doing buddy” Naruto decided to change the topic.

“But the exam is soon, you have to be training!” Lee was giving him an intense look.

“I actually got done early today, I’ve gotten really strong this last month” he didn’t want to flex, but he needed to flex.

“Once I’m out of here we’ll have to spar!” Lee clearly hadn’t lost his fighting spirit during his stay here.

“Of course buddy!” Naruto missed working out with Lee, which was weird since it usually left him half dead.

“Sorry visiting hours are over now” Lees doctor came in to send them away.

“See you soon Lee” the three gave him a final goodbye before leaving.

“He’s been in there for almost a month, how much longer till they release him?” Naruto figured Gai would know, the unexpected shift in the man’s mood caught him off guard though.

“They, aren’t” Gai seemed very upset.  “As is his arm and leg won’t heal.”

“That’s awful, can’t they” Naruto bad for Lee now.

“They’ve done everything already, short of the world’s best Medical Ninja, his chances aren’t good.”

“Oh” Naruto regretted not coming sooner.

“Don’t oh!” Sakura was quick to hit him.  “And don’t you talk like that!  He’s going to recover!”

“You’re right!” Gai suddenly shifted in tone again.  “I mustn’t dwell on the negatives, Lee will recover and regain his blossoming Youth!”

Naruto could fell Gais sadness leaking through his gritted teeth.  The three parted ways, Sakura and Gai resumed training as he went home.  There had to be something he could do for Lee.

“Hey there stranger” Haku had snuck up on Naruto, probably just leaving work to head home as well.  “Why the long face?”

“I visited Lee today, he’s apparently not going to heal” Naruto knew Haku didn’t care either way for Lee, but they were friends.

“That’s awful, I’m so sorry” Haku was quick to hold Narutos hand to offer comfort. 

“I’m gonna kick that Gaara guys ass into the next dimension” Naruto resolved to handle this the only way he knew how to, fighting.

“Of course you are babe” Haku gave his hand an encouraging squeeze.  “But firsssst”

“Date day.”

“Date day!” Haku was very excited about date day, which helped take Narutos mind off Lee.

The two hurried back to the apartment, mostly Haku dragged Naruto back to the apartment, but still.  Hinata was away for a mission, since her team all got knocked out of the exam.  The two changed into slightly nicer clothes, mostly Naruto changed into not an orange jumpsuit.

“Ok our reservation is for six thirty, we can’t be late” Haku had made the reservation on the previous day.  “We also might get kicked out at seven not totally sure.”

“So we eat fast and then run to the movies” Naruto was in charge of the movie, he’d gotten tickets for seven fifteen.  “Plenty of time.”

Haku could barely hide his excitement as the Naruto locked the apartment before they headed out.  The restaurant was only a few minutes away by rooftop so they made it on time.  The two ordered quickly, picking food that wouldn’t take too long to come out.

“How did training go today sweetie?” Haku tried to ask about training every day now that he wasn’t working with Naruto as often. 

“I summoned a big toad and then Jiraya told me he didn’t actually have any other things to teach me currently” Naruto left out the threeway talk.  “Did that woman come back to the store today?”

“Oh god yes, I don’t understand how she can buy flowers one day and then come back in the next day because they died overnight” Haku had been keeping him updated on the mysterious woman and her plant problem.  “Today she asked me if intentionally bred the plants to do that, I’m sure it’s possible but Mr. Yamanaka would never do that.”

“Is that better or worse than the guy who insisted you stole the plant he bought?”

“Oh so much better, why would I break into someone’s home to steal a plant I sold them?  It’s insane, apparently he does that once every few months.”

“Who’d think a flower shop would attract such strange customers?” Naruto assumed few people would need to buy flowers that often.

“It’s certainly beats being on the run” Hakus smile saddened a little as he thought about his old life.  “Then again maybe that’s just because you’re here.”

Naruto smiled and reached his hand out over the table, Haku smiled back and held his hand.  The two sat like that as until the food was brought out.  It only took about fifteen minutes for it come out, giving them enough time eat normally.  Once they finished eating they quickly paid the bill and headed to the movie theatre.

“I haven’t been to a movie in forever” Haku was back on the date day high.  “What movie did you get tickets for?”

“Against my better judgement I bought them for a movie Jiraya recommended” Naruto didn’t know anything about movies so he needed the older mans help.  “But I’m like ninety percent sure this isn’t a porn flick since the theatre is pretty nice.”

“From what you’ve told me about him I expect this to be the word threeway flashing on screen for an hour.”

“I’m upset because that’s so much more likely than just a normal movie” Naruto was now regretting putting faith in Jiraya.

“I’m kidding babe, I’m sure it’s not that” Haku squeeze his hand and gave him an encouraging smile.

Arriving at the theatre the two were surprised at how packed it was, managing to find seats in the middle of the room.  After a few trailers the title of the film appeared.

“Isn’t this” Haku looked at Naruto.

“Somehow a film adaptation of one of Jirayas books?  Yes” Naruto was very displeased with Jiraya.  “We should leave before it starts.”

“Oh come on, I’m sure it’ll be fun” Haku had too much faith in the goodness of humanity.

“Fine, but I warned you.”

After two hours the film ended and the theatre was filled with applause, Haku also clapped having loved the movie.  Naruto just sat there angrily.

“Oh come on, it was enjoyable and you’re just in a stink because Jiraya tricked you” Haku was trying to cheer him via teasing,

“It was boring, like the romance stuff was way too mushy, people aren’t like that in real life” Naruto didn’t like the film, and was in a stink.

“Oh really?  This coming from the guy who spend the better part of two days avoiding me because he had a crush on me?”

“Well that was, clearly different” Naruto would never in his life live that down.

“Sure it was honey” Haku playfully pinched his cheek. 

“Come on there’s still a final part to our date” Naruto wanted to forget about this movie, and get to what he hoped would be the best part of the date.

“Ok, take me away my prince” Haku dramatically fell against Naruto, only too eek in surprise at being picked up.

“If you insist” Naruto gave him a cheeky grin.  “But keep your eyes closed till I say so please”

“Fine, but only because you’re carrying me” Haku covered his eyes with his hands.

To be extra safe Naruto stopped time.  His limit was finally back to normal so he took his time getting to the surprise.  Once he got to the spot he unfroze time and put Haku down.

“I hate it when you do that you know” Haku still was covering his eyes.

“I didn’t want you to peek” Naruto spun Haku around so he was backed up against his chest.  “You can look now.”

“Oh” before them was a small pond of water that perfectly reflected the moon. 

Dancing above the pond where hundreds of fireflies.  Their reflections in the water cause it to sparkle and dazzle beautifully.

“It’s beautiful.”

“I ended up here after training one night, I thought it’d be the perfect place to end a date, and to say this” Naruto leaned forward and kissed Hakus cheek.  “I love you Haku.”

There was a moment of silence, Narutos words hung in the air.  He didn’t expect Haku to return his feelings, he just needed to say them.  Haku turned to look at him, tears running down his face.

“I love you too Naruto” he leaned forward and rested his head against Narutos chest.  “I love you so much.”

Naruto wrapped his arms around Haku, he could feel a tear run down his own cheek.  He felt so happy, and so loved.  He ended the embrace and walked towards the pond.

“Do you want to dance?” Naruto held a hand out to Haku.

“Are you sure you don’t want to end the date there, I’m a terrible dancer.”

“That’s good, I am too.”

Haku gave him a smile before walking forward and taking his hand.  The two slow danced on top of the pond, pausing to giggle as they stepped on each other’s feet every few steps.  Naruto made a mental note to thank Ebisu for teaching him how to stand on water.  They danced among the fireflies, their lights illuminating Hakus smile perfectly.  Naruto wanted to remember this night for the rest of his life.

“We should head back soon, it’s late” Haku was wrapped close in Narutos arms.

“If you insist my prince” Naruto swept Haku off his feet again, earning a giggle this time.

“I think I quite like being carried like this” Haku wrapped his arms around Narutos neck.  “In the arms of my knight in orange armor.”

Naruto did his best to make the trip home a smooth one for Haku, to be fair he didn’t freeze time again.  The cool night air made him shiver a bit, causing him to hurry a little.  After twenty minutes they were back home.

“You can put me down if it makes getting the key out easier” Haku was giggling a little as Naruto tried to open the door.

“No I can do this” Naruto made a clone to dig through his pockets for the key.  “See, double the Naruto power can do anything.”

“There’s a lot of things I wouldn’t mind seeing double Naruto power take on” Haku whispered this into his ear, following it with a kiss on his neck.

Jirayas words from earlier flashed across his mind, he shook them out.  Sadly he couldn’t shake out the blush from his face.  Once the door was open he carried Haku to the bedroom before laying him down on the bed.

“Will the Uzumaki taxi service be available at future dates?” Haku sat up on the bed to move closer to Naruto.

“Maybe, I’m sure we can keep up with the demand though” Naruto pulled Haku into his lap.

“What a shame” Haku dramatically threw his had onto Naruto shoulder.  “However will I go on?”

“If you managed to survive the kiss every hour disease” Naruto punctuated this by kissing him.  “I’m sure you can survive walking.”

“I guess I’ll have to, unless I can have a lift to the shower?” Haku gave him a coy wink before standing up.

“Sorry babe you’ll have to make that trip yourself” Naruto playfully gave Hakus butt a pat.

“Even if I invite you to join me?” Haku was now sitting back on his lap, leaning against his chest.

“Y-yes” whatever confidence inspired him to touch Hakus butt was not gone as Haku laid against him.

“Oh well” Haku made a distinct point to run his hands over Narutos thighs before standing back up.  “I guess I’ll just take a shower alone, woe is me.”

Naruto was still a little frozen in place from their previous contact, and didn’t say anything as Haku left the room.  After a few moments he regained his composure and changed into his pajamas.  He laid on the bed listening to the shower run, he replayed the date over and over in his head.  It was without a doubt one of the best nights of his life.  After a while the water stopped meaning Haku would be back soon.  Oh cue the Haku came back through the door way wrapped up in a towel.

“No peeking you” Haku teased him as Naruto looked away.

Soon enough he heard the sound of the towel being followed by some ruffling sounds.  Not long after Haku climbed into bed with him.

“It case it wasn’t clear you can look now” Naruto rolled back around to look at Haku. 

Naruto pulled him close, performing the night time ritual of getting caught up in each other limbs.  It took him a moment to notice Hakus bottoms felt very smooth, and then another moment to realize it was because his hand was on Hakus bare thigh.

“You’re not” Naruto was already blushing red.

“No I’m not naked, I just didn’t want to put on my pajamas” Haku rested his head against Narutos shoulder.  “So I’m just wearing underwear, if that’s alright with you?”

“It’s fine, totally fine” Naruto could only assume this was Hakus latest plan to tease him.

 “I’m glad, I think this underwear looks good on me, feel free to check and give me your thoughts.”

Naruto was trying quite hard not to look, keeping his eyes looking up towards the ceiling.  Soon enough he felt Hakus fingers brushing against his chest, forming circles and spirals.  He started to run his fingers along Hakus thigh, Haku preferred to shave his legs, and somehow keep them silky smooth.  Naruto was slowly sliding his hand further up on Hakus leg, by the time he realized what he’d done it was too late.  His hand was now resting on Hakus butt.

“Can’t get enough of my ass?” Haku was quick to tease him, shaking his butt against Narutos hand.

“I didn’t mean to” Naruto quickly pulled his hand away as if he’d just been burned.

“I’ll stop my teasing, you can put your hands wherever you want” Haku snuggled closer to him.  “Goodnight my love.”

“Goodnight” Naruto put his hand back on Hakus thigh and kissed his forehead.  “My prince.”

“I think I like that.”

The two drifted off to sleep, Naruto found himself in front of the seal again.

“Why am I here now?” Naruto wouldn’t have minded a Haku related dream.

“Beats me kid” the fox was just kind of laying casually inside the cage.  “Oh wait, it’s that guy.”

“What guy?” Naruto turned around, and saw said guy.

“Me guy!” what looked like an older version of Naruto was now there, and wearing the Hokage robe.  “How’re you doing champ?”

“Hey uh fox, why is the fourth Hokage here?” Naruto turned to the now shrugging fox.

“Beats me, why are you here?”

“Beats me too, I was only supposed to show up if you used at least eight tails of chakra through the seal” the fourth Hokage also shrugged.  “But hey, we take those am I right son?”

“Hey, he just called me son right?” Naruto was now whispering the fox.

“Yeah he did, and he looks a lot like you.  I’m no expert on human biology, but I think this guy might be your dad.”

“Bingo!  I’m Minato Namikaze, but uh, dad works too” Minato gave him two thumbs up.

“Oh, so, nope I’m lost, like super lost” Naruto sat down on the therapy couch again.

“When you were born the nine-tailed fox was broken out of its old jinchuriki, your mom, and sent on a rampage in the village” Minato sat in a chair nearby the couch.  “We didn’t have a lot of options, and so we had to seal it in you.  And then we all kinda died?  I guess?  Except the guy who broke the fox out.”

“So, first of all, you’re my dad” Naruto was taking his time here.  “Did no one know you’re my dad?  Is it like a secret?”

“Um yeah very much so.  Like maybe three people should know that.  Did no one tell you?”

“Yeah no one told me, I mean, Jiraya has been telling me stuff about you, I probably could’ve asked for your name.  Wait my mom had the fox in her too?”

“Yeah, the Uzumaki clan were pretty much the only people capable of containing the nine-tails.  Which is why we had to seal it in you, since the rest of the clan is kinda.  Dead?  You don’t know any other Uzumakis right?”

“Can’t say I do.  Wait how does Jiraya, oh, the Minato on the scroll is you.  That makes sense yeah.”

“You’re taking this very well, I kinda expected a few swings coming my way” Minato gave a forced laugh. 

“Oh the swings are coming, I’m just biding my time.  Are there any other important things I should know?”

“Uh, I’m not sure how important it is, but you do only have half of the nine-tails in here.  The other half is in my body, I think.”

“Weird but ok, anything else?”

“No?” Minato looked like he was thinking hard about that.  “Yeah that’s-”

Naruto cut him off by punching him in the stomach.  The hit knocked the chair and his dad over.

“Like I said biding my time, but I’m only taking one” Naruto felt better after that.

“You, definitely hit like your mom” Minato shakily got back on his feet.  “Oof I’m gonna feel that one, if I show back up again?  Still not sure why I’m here.”

 “Beats me?  I just had date night, but I doubt that caused you to show up.”

“DATE NIGHT? MY SON, ON A DATE?  Well tell me more?  Who is she?  Was this a first date or like is this a long term thing?  How did you meet?” Minato shot out a barrage of question.

“Um, first off, his name is Haku, we’ve been together for about three months now, we meet on a mission, he tried to kill me kind of” this always sounded not good when Naruto had to explain it.

“Oh, kind of tried to kill you?”

“He didn’t actually attack me lethally, but we were kind of in a fight to the death, and then I almost died saving his life.  Then we started dating.”

“Wow, my son already all grown up and dating!  His choice in partners seems a bit questionable though.”

“I mean, Hinata is kinda normal, ok more normal now.  But we’re not like dating dating?  She kind of just lives with me and Haku and has feelings for me.”

“Wait you’re dating two people? At the same time?  I didn’t raise a cheater son.”

“It’s not like that!  I was dating Haku first, then Hinata tried to confess her feelings to me and she and Haku started fighting a lot.  Then they literally fought?  Then she moved in with us, and her and Haku get along now, and share me?”

“Not too sound too much like my old teacher, but threeway?”

“How did you know, he says that every sentence when I train with him, drives me insane.  And no we do not have threeways, or twoways for matter.”

“You’re just a gaggle of horny teenagers living and sleeping together” the fox always has the worst comments.

“You sleep with both of them?” Minato looked shocked.

“WE ONLY HAVE ONE BED” Naruto didn’t want a repeat of the den of lust speech.

“Oh the classic one bed move, very slick Naruto, Jirayas been influencing you I guess” Minato kinda did a disapproving head shake.

“NO WE LITERALLY ONLY HAVE ONE BED IT’S NOT LIKE THAT” how dare his own father imply Jiraya was influencing him like that.

“Oh, huh.  Weird but I believe it I guess?  Where do you live?  My old house should still be intact somewhere, I think?”

“I have an apartment, it’s pretty alright.  Wait, could I just live in your house?”

“I mean, if it’s still there?  I don’t know squat about what’s gone done these past, sixteen years?”

“Thirteen.”

“You’re thirteen?  What the hell you’re way taller than I was then.”

“That’s, well that’s cause I fucked up a little bit, so I’m kinda sixteen.”

“You’re certainly a chip off the old block, I remember when I lost a toe working on my one jutsu.  Good times.”

“This has been, kinda nice, but I think I’m gonna have to get up soon, gotta make breakfast before Haku wakes up” Naruto readied himself to wake up.

“Real smooth kid, the old breakfast in bed move, you better get us some grandkids!  And lots of em too!”

“That’s not how this works dad!” Naruto would never have imagined his parting words to his dad would be in relation to gay sex, but here he was.

His eyes fluttered open, Haku was still asleep but untangling himself from Haku would be impossible to do without waking him up.  Shadow clones time to do your thing.  He made a few to handle the cooking, hopefully they could handle it.  With that taken care of he did his best to enjoy the remainder of cuddling sleeping Haku.

“Hmmm” Haku was starting to stir.  “No Naruto it’s my turn.”

One day he’d be able to piece together Hakus dreams, maybe.  He gently kissed Hakus lips, his simplest method of waking him up.

“Mmmm” Haku was starting wake up now.  “Five more minutes please.”

“Take all the time you need darling” Naruto kissed him again.

“Is it my birthday?” Haku seemed quite happy with all the time he needed.  “If so, can I get more birthday kisses?”

“It’s not your birthday, but I’ll give you some more kisses” Naruto leaned in and gently pushed their lips together.

Haku pushed back, sliding his arms around Narutos neck.  Naruto slid his arms around Hakus waist before pulling him onto his chest.  Haku straddled him, using the new position to deepen the kiss.  Naruto didn’t bother stopping his hands from roaming Hakus body, no matter how often they did stuff like this it always felt so exciting to him.  Before long though the clones brought in the food meaning an end to their morning antics.

“Will all future date night be followed in such fashion” Haku had already started to eat some of the food.

“Maybe just the good ones” Naruto also began eating.

“What separates the good ones from the bad ones exactly?”

“The good ones I spend with someone I love dearly and have an amazing time during” Naruto gave him a smile after saying this.

“So what you’re saying, is breakfast in bed after date night?”

“Yeah I guess I am.”

“You sure know how to make a guy feel like a prince” Haku leaned over and gave him a quick kiss.  “I’m so lucky.”

The two finished up their breakfast, content being in each other presence.  They then both got dressed and headed to the living room.  They found a passed out Hinata on the couch, together they tucked her into the bed. 

“We’ve got a weird family don’t we” Haku tucked Hinatas hair out of her face.

“But it’s our family” Naruto didn’t know how badly he’d wanted this until now, but it still filled him with a happiness he never knew existed.

Chapter Text

For a perverted old man with more hair than most small mammals, Jiraya was a hard guy to find.  Naruto wanted to ask about what he saw in the seal the night before, and figured Jiraya was the guy who’d know the most.  He’d already checked the bath house, and then checked it again since he had no other leads.  After an hour of searching without any leads he went to the next most likely person to have answers.

“Knock knock it’s Naruto” he didn’t bother to actually knock before entering the Hokages office.

“Speak of the devil” Jiraya was here for some reason.

“I’ve been looking for you all day” Naruto pointed at the old man.  “Why are you here?”

“Jiraya has been filling me in on some information” the Hokage now spoke up.  “Partially about your training, I’m glad to hear it’s been going well.”

“How amazing I am aside, is my dad the fourth Hokage?” Naruto didn’t want to get distracted by bragging so he cut to it.

“Well, guess our debate about telling him is pointless” Jiraya seemed like he’d just won an argument.

“Now, why are you asking this Naruto?” the Hokage ignored Jiraya.

“So last night I got pulled into my mind space instead of dreaming, happens kind of often to be honest, except this time it wasn’t cause the fox wanted to talk” Naruto ignore the look of concern when he mentioned the fox.  “Instead this guy, you may know him as the fourth Hokage, was there.  He filled me on in some details about how he’s my dad, but also he had no idea why he was there.  Something about something he did to the seal might have gone wrong?”

“Well that’s a lot to unpack” the Hokage had filled his pipe during the explanation.  “To start, yes Minato the fourth Hokage is your father.”

“Cool cool.”

“When you say something might have gone wrong with the seal, can you explain what that means?” Jiraya now was asking questions.

“I mean, no I’m no expert” Naruto didn’t know squat about seals.  “I mean, I did cut most of my chest destroyed a while back and then me and the fox made our time power deal.  So maybe it’s just that there’s more of the fox chakra pumping out of it now?”

“Most of your chest destroyed?” Jiraya was acting more like a concerned grandparent now.

“Yeah Kakashi kinda hit me with a Chidori.”

“HE DID WHAT?”

“Not on purpose!” Naruto didn’t want to be the cause of Kakashis death.  “I jumped in front of it to save Haku.”

“You and your dad must be genetically predisposed to risking your lives at every opportunity I swear” Jiraya was now drinking from a flask.  “Can you show me the seal?”

“Sure?”

“Just channel some chakra and pull your shirt up.”

“Gotcha” Naruto did just that.

Jiraya came over to inspect the seal.  After a few moments of careful examination he pulled out a scroll and started to compare it to the seal.

“Yeah it’s definitely different now” Jiraya put the scroll away and motioned for Naruto to stop.  “But based off everything you’ve said it still is working.”

“Is it a bad different?” Naruto felt this was important information.

“I don’t think so?  It seems like when your body healed the chakra pathways the seal is bound to got altered, thus altering the seal.”

“So it’s just a thing?  Not good and not bad?”

“Seems that way, if a giant nine-tailed fox is on the loose don’t quote me on that though” Jiraya wanted to cover his tail there.

“Ok, that’s satisfactory enough I suppose, is this all you wanted to see Jiraya for Naruto?” the Hokage seemed a bit more stressed now.

“Uhhh” Naruto was trying to remember if it was.

‘Ask about the house!’ goddammit not another one.

“Yeah he’s still here, he won’t even play cards with me to kill time” great now Naruto had two voices in his head.

“So my dad mentioned his house?  Is that still around?”

“As far as I know it is” the Hokage started looking through a drawer.  “I have the keys to it somewhere I think.”

“I can take you over there” Jiraya seemed excited to do so for some reason.

“Found the damn thing” the Hokage pulled out a keyring and handed it to Naruto.  “I’ll stop by with the paperwork to transfer the deed to you later today.”

“My parents’ house” Naruto wasn’t sure how he felt about this.

“Come on I know a shortcut this way” Jiraya was climbing out the window and waving him on.

Naruto followed Jiraya out, catching the Hokages mutterings about the window climbing.  It was surprisingly a quick trip, probably since it was a shortcut.  He was surprised to see it had a front gate.  It was certainly bigger than his apartment.

“I haven’t seen this place in, well, thirteen years” Jiraya was looking at the house wistfully.  “What are you waiting for kid?  Open it up!”

“Yeah” Naruto couldn’t place the feeling he had as the gate swung open and they headed towards the front door.

The grass was overgrown, vines had grown along the walls, but it still looked majestic to him.  The front door stuck a bit, probably from not having been opened in years.  Everything was covered in dust on the inside, the furniture, pictures, and mirrors. 

“Take a look around, I’m gonna try and clean some of this stuff off” Jiraya started dusting off things in what looked like the kitchen.

Naruto wandered up the stairs, the house felt so huge.  The second floor had so many doors he didn’t know which one to open.  After a moment he just went into the first one on the left.  It was a bathroom, but it was at least twice the size of his apartment’s bathroom.  The shower was like a bath-shower combo, even covered in dust it looked nice. He headed into the room across the hall form the bathroom.  The walls were painted a light blue, there were toys scattered around.  His eyes stopped on the crib in the center of the room.

‘This was going to be your room’ Minato’s words rung in his head.

Naruto couldn’t stop himself from crying.  This was going to be his room, in his family’s house.  He lost all of this.  He felt an arm pull him into a half hug.  Jiraya had come upstairs after him.  He cried into the older man’s chest.  He cried for the life that died before he was even born.

“I remember when your mom found out” Jiraya’s voice felt so soothing.  “Her and your dad were so excited they went out and bought everything that day.  I thought they were pulling my leg when they said I was supposed to be the godfather.”

Naruto felt a tear hit him, Jiraya was crying now too.

“I’m sorry Naruto, I should’ve stayed here for you.  All I thought about was how empty this village felt without them.”

“If it makes you feel better” Naruto wiped away the last of his tears.  “I think you would’ve been an awful parent.”

“Oh shut it you” Jiraya ruffled his hair, a smile on his face.

The two spent the next few hours cleaning up the house.  Jiraya would tell him about his parents whenever something reminded him of a story.  Minato would contest some of the things said but Naruto would still laugh at them.

“Not bad for a day’s work” Jiraya and the team of Naruto clones had done a pretty good job.

“Cleaning squad, OUT” the clones all popped their mission over.

“Certainly helps that you can make thirty of those things.”

“I’ve found when it comes to cleaning, there is such a thing as too many Narutos.”

The two left the house, Naruto made sure to lock it up.  Jiraya had to go meet with the Hokage again so they parted ways.  Naruto was excited to tell Haku and Hinata the news.  He took the fast way back to the apartment.  The two were cooking dinner when he got there.

“You’re back finally” Haku gave him a welcome home kiss.  “Did you find Jiraya?”

“Yeah, and um, I kind of got a house” this earned curious looks from the two.  “Oh boy this is gonna take a while to explain.”

Naruto explained the details of his dream as well as the meeting and house cleaning.  It only took him about an hour to do so, conveniently it took that long to make dinner.

“So” Haku was cutting up his food.  “That was, a lot.”

“Yeah” Hinata hadn’t heard about his mind cage visits before.  “Why do you go into your own mind when you sleep?”

“Usually it’s because the fox that lives inside me wants to talk” Naruto realized he’d have to explain about the fox.  “To clarify the fox is the nine-tailed demon fox that attacked the village thirteen years ago.  My dad sealed it in me when I was born.”

“Oh, wow, that’s, that actually explains a lot of things” Hinata wasn’t as surprised as he’d expected.

“I’m confused about the Jiraya thing, why didn’t he stay and raise you?” Haku was now eating and talking.

“He apparently runs the villages spy network?  So he has to be on the move almost constantly, and he thought the third Hokage would be better at taking care of me.”

“Fair, I don’t think I want to know how you would’ve turned out if he raised you” Haku shuddered at the idea.

“Did your dad’s house have pictures of your parents?” Hinata had already finished eating.

“Yeah!” Naruto pulled out some of the pictures he’d taken back with him.  “My dad Minato Namikaze and my mom Kushina Uzumaki.”

“They look so happy” Haku paused eating to look at the picture Naruto handed him.  “And based off your dad, I think you should grow your hair out more.”

“Seconded” Hinata was going between the pictures and looking at Naruto.  “How come no one told you before?  You look just like him.”

“Apparently my being born was like a super-secret?  Since my dad ended the last war they didn’t want anyone to come after me, which is why I don’t have his name either.”

“Hm” Haku was now also looking between the pictures and him.  “I’m not saying I don’t like your blond hair, but I think red would really look good on you.”

“Blame genes I guess?” Naruto couldn’t see himself as a redhead.

“I guess I can’t be too upset, you’re still a total babe at the end of the day” Haku dramatically sighed.

“You know it” Naruto smirked.  “And the best part is, we can move into the house in a few days!”

“That’s so soon” Haku looked around frantically.  “We have to cancel the lease, and I just bought new groceries today too.”

“Oh, do you not want to?” Naruto realized he might have just assumed they would want to move in.

“Of course I want!  I just don’t want to carry the groceries over.”

“I” Hinata looked unsure.  “I’m not sure I do.”

“Why not?  It’s huge and there’s a garden it’ll be amazing” Naruto did his best to sell her on it.

“I think you both should absolutely go” Hinata looked down at her empty plate.  “I just, think I should stay here.”

“Hinata why do you think that?” Haku placed his hand on hers.

“I’ve kind of just been an intruder on you two, and no it’s not that you two make me feel that way.  I came here without thinking after I ran away, and you two took me in because you felt bad for me.  So I think I should stay here.”

“You’re not an intruder, you’re part of our family” Naruto mimicked Hakus hand holding move.  “And if we move into my family’s house, my families coming with me.”

“Yeah, family means nobody gets left behind” Haku squeezed her hand.

“I feel like you stole that from a movie” Hinata was smiling now.

“So what if I did, it’s still true, and fits since you have blue hair.”

“Then we’re moving out together?” Naruto wanted to confirm.

“Yeah, together” Hinata squeezed his hand.

“I can’t wait!” Haku looked like he was back in date night mode.  “We can buy a cute little doormat, and I can finally justify the home good magazines I buy.”

“I can show you both the place tomorrow, it’s not actually too far from here” Naruto didn’t know how far it was in all honesty, but they were ninjas so who cared.

“Oh we can have a move in party!” Haku was already days ahead with his planning.  “And it can double as a congratulations Naruto party!  It’s perfect!”

“Maybe we should worry about getting all moved in before planning any parties” Naruto watched Haku for the most part ignore his comment.  “Or not I guess.”

The three finished up their dinner.  Haku occasionally would make a note for either things to get for the house or party plans.  Before the three headed to bed they heard a knock at the door.

“Oh it’s the old man with the paperwork” Naruto headed over to the door.

“Old man?” Hinata had never heard of any old men with paperwork.

“I do have a title Naruto” the Hokage came inside the apartment earning quite the look from Hinata.

“Lord Hokage” Hinata quickly went into a bow.

“Don’t be so formal Hinata” Naruto nudge her.  “It’s just the old man.”

“Naruto, please don’t refer to the head of our village as just the old man” Hinata was now scolding him.

“I think I like your new friend Naruto, maybe you’ll learn some manner finally” the Hokage chuckled.  “But for now I am in fact the old man with the paper work, try and have this filled out and brought back in by the end of the week.”

“Why so soon?” Naruto didn’t think it’d matter that much.

“We’ll be backed up for the finals of the exam next week, lots of visitors means lots of paperwork” the Hokage seemed pre-stressed about it all.  “And of course I’ll have to award the new Chunnin their ranks.”

“You could save time and just promote me now” Naruto figured it was worth a shot.

“Even if I wanted to, I still have to wait for the exam” the Hokage headed for the door.  “Have a good evening the three of you, I expect an invite to any house warming parties held in the future.”

“Oh I have to send out invites ASAP” Haku was now furiously writing down a guest list.

With a final chuckle the Hokage headed out.  The three cleaned up their dinner before preparing to head to bed.  Haku still mumbling while thinking through his plans.

“Is it tacky to serve ramen with fish cakes?” He apparently had gotten to what food to serve during his shower.  “Or is it just tacky enough?”

“I think it’s tacky enough” Hinata headed off to take her own shower.

“If it means ramen I think it’s perfect” Naruto would probably be in favor of anything Haku picked out.

“I knew you’d say that, but not everyone I’m inviting eats only ramen” Haku laid down on the bed next to him.  “Do we know any vegetarians?”

“I don’t associate with people like that.”

“Naruto, babe, what the hell?”

“They don’t like ramen thus, I don’t trust them.”

“Babe I don’t even like ramen that much.”

“I make sacrifices for this relationship, I’d appreciate if you would acknowledge that.”

“I do, but that’s crazy.”

“Not as crazy as not eating ramen, or meat.”

“Ok so no vegetarians will be invited I guess” Haku decided to drop the matter.

“If you know a vegetarian you want to invite you can, I just won’t talk to them” Naruto knew to compromise on this if he had to.

“Nah it’s ok, I don’t actually know any” Haku assumed his typical position of laying his head on Narutos chest.

 Naruto was glad Haku didn’t make the underwear only outfit his permeant pajamas, even if he kind of liked it.  It probably helped having Hinata in the bed to deter him from doing it.  He also might just save it for date nights, Naruto was too embarrassed to actually ask about it.  Before too long Hinata came back, after putting her towel away she climbed onto the bed as well.

‘Man Jiraya would be so proud of you right now’ dad was this really the kinda shit you wanted to say.  ‘Fair enough.’

The three drifted off to sleep, Naruto sighed as he ended up back in his mind sewer.  The fox and his dad were playing cards.

“I’m not sure if anyone’s told you this dad, but the mind pulling is for important stuff” Naruto made a chair to sit by them.

“This is important!” Minato was still focused on the game.  “I just have to finish winning this game.”

 “The scores forty-nine to zero in my favor” the fox was either really good or his dad sucked.

“Make it fifty to zero I guess” Minato folded, he didn’t seem to care since they weren’t playing for anything.  “So, I’ve heard through word of mouth that no one has ever given you.  The Talk.”

“The talk?”

“No, not the talk.  The Talk” Minato now seemed very serious.  “It’s an important part of growing up.”

“Ok, hit me with it” Naruto’s curiosity was piqued.

“So when either a man and a woman, or two men, or two women, or two men and a woman love each other very much.  Something strange happens.”

“Never mind this is one of the threeway talks” Naruto had heard this from Jiraya.

“Wait no, it’s not about threeways.  It’s about, ok it kind of is about threeways but only because it’s about sex.”

“I’m just gonna hard pass on this one dad.  I’ve kind of pieced this one together on my own and don’t want to be subjected to this talk.”

“It’s an important father son bonding thing, every single parenting book I read said so.”

“You read parenting books?”

“You’re not the only orphan here kiddo, and I’m not letting Jiraya give you the talk.  His version of it is.  Explicit.”

“If I say yes can we never talk about this again?”

“Absolutely.”

“Fine, talk the Talk” Naruto sat back and prepared to hear whatever this way.

Chapter Text

It was the day before the exam now.  Naruto felt confident in his strength, but was doing some last minute training anyways.

“So in theory, this should work based on how your body work” him and the fox were pretty sure after his fight with Orochimaru his limit on fox chakra should have gone up.

‘Now I know this is coming from the newest guy in here, but is trusting the fox a good idea?’ Minato clearly still had some doubt about the fox’s intentions.

“If he was gonna betray me he’d have done it months ago” Naruto and the fox were kind of bros now, you don’t doubt a bro.

“Exactly, besides I don’t see you offering any better ideas for having him train.”

‘It’s kind of difficult to teach him any of my techniques while I’m in here, they require a more hands on approach.’

“Then the fox’s idea it is” Naruto got into his typical chakra channeling stance. 

He took a deep breath before being covered in the red chakra.  He had already pulled out his previous limits worth and was still doing fine.

“Alright now ease into it, you’re almost at a full tail.”

Following the fox’s instructions he slowly drew out more of the energy.  Soon enough he could see a red tail swishing around behind him.  He stopped drawing out the chakra now that he could see it clearly.

“This is good for now, don’t want to push it before the exam.  You shouldn’t be too far off from getting a seconds tails worth either now.”

Naruto took a few practice swings, his speed and strength always got enhanced using the fox’s chakra but this to a whole new level.

“Any sweet moves I should try out?” Naruto really was hoping there would be.

“Hm, with a whole tail you might be able to use a Biju ball, but that’s probably a bad idea.”

“So it’s also possibly a great idea, how do I do it?” Naruto loved the sound of this.

‘I don’t think this is a good idea, those aren’t exactly, non-destructive’ Minato seemed a little worried.

“Dammit now I have to tell you how to do it, you need to focus chakra to a central point so that it condenses.”

Naruto held his hands and started channeling chakra between them.  After a few moments it started taking on a darker color and kind of solidifying.

“Ok, this was a very bad idea” what did that mean.

‘Shoot it up shoot it up!”

Naruto quickly aimed the ball upwards, it launched out of his hands into the air.  It just kind of flew away like that.

“What’s the big” Naruto didn’t finish as he saw the ball detonate in the air.  “Yeah ok, that was a bad idea.”

‘Told you so.’

“No likes an I told you soer dad” Naruto already had one of those in his life.

“For now, try to use that, unless for some unimaginable reason you end up going toe to toe with a tailed beast.”

“Can do” Naruto let go of his hold on the fox’s chakra, causing it to slowly fade.  “What techniques do you even have dad?”

‘Do you really not know?  You’ve seen one of them.’

“Oh shit can you teach me the Chidori?”

‘No the Rasengan, fuck that stupid knock off version.’

“You know the Rasengan?  Isn’t that Jiraya signature move?”

‘IT WAS MINE FIRST, I INVENTED IT.’

“Oh right, I keep forgetting you were his student, what else you got?”

‘Do you not know my nickname?’

“I found your real name out a week ago, what is it.”

‘The yellow flash.’

“Dad, I’m saying this because it’s true and I’m gay, that’s a gay nickname.”

‘IT INSPIRES FEAR IN THE HEARTS OF NINJA THROUGHOUT THE WORLD.’

“And it sounds a little gay is all I’m saying, why did people call you that?”

‘Because I could teleport in a flash of yellow.’

“Ok you’ve got my interest now, how does it work?”

‘Well first I’ve gotta teach you about seals.’

“Never mind that sounds boring, you’re signature move is boring” Naruto was mostly saying this to mess with him.

‘I JUST WANT TO BOND WITH YOU OVER EXCHANING TECHNIQUES COME ON.’

“Well, how about this, after the exam when I learn the Rasengan from Jiraya I’ll think about it.”

‘You won’t even let me teach you my own signature move, that’s cold son.’

“Five minutes ago you said you couldn’t what do you want from me?”

‘You got me there, fine but after that if I’m still here you’re learning my secret technique.’

“God fine” Naruto was trying to downplay how badly he wanted to learn this move.

“You know, watching you talk to yourself for ten minutes straight makes you look kinda crazy” Sasuke was back finally.

“I’m not talking to myself, I’m talking to” Naruto knew the words he was about to say sounded much crazier.  “My deceased father that kind of lives inside my head.”

“You really turned the crazy dial up on that one” Sasuke came over and gave him a friendly pat on the back.  “Hope you’re ready to get mirked in the exam tomorrow.”

“You’re gonna mirk me?  In your dreams, I’ve got moves like nobody’s business” Naruto was ready to trash talk again after a month without his best friend.

“Doesn’t mean their good moves though.”

“You’re gonna be eating your words once I drop my ultimate Rising Wind Fireball Dragon Lighting Slash Jutsu on you” Naruto just put a bunch of words in front of each other.

“And you’ll eat your words when I Sharigan that shit right back at you” Sasuke flexed his Sharingan to highlight the point.

“You’re both going to eat shit” Sakura had now shown up, ready to flex on them both.  “But I’m sure you can both still go down in history as the great Sakura Haruno’s genin teammates.”

“Weird flex but ok” Naruto gave her the knowing gay high five greeting.  “Actually why are you both here?”

“Oh Kakashi said he wanted to have a team meeting before the exam” Sasuke was the first to speak up.

“But he was too lazy to tell you ahead of time so we just all had to find you individually” Sakura filled in the blank for Naruto.

“I wasn’t too lazy, this was just a test in you two’s tracking abilities” Kakshi now sauntered into the field.  “And meeting sounds way too formal, it’s more of a team get together.”

“You do care about us” Naruto felt like Kakashi’s heart had grown.

“Sure let’s go with that, if you’ve got the goods.”

“The goods?” Sakura gave him confused look.

“Yeah I got the stuff” Naruto pulled out the signed book.  “What’ve you got for me though?”

Kakashi pulled out a piece of paper that said “IOU from Kakashi” on it.  The two made the exchange.

“Why can’t we have a normal team” Sakura was clearly worn down after training with Gai for a month.

“Luck of the draw?” Sasuke kinda shrugged.

“Was that the whole purpose of this get together?  You just didn’t want to have to find me yourself?” Naruto knew to expect the least from Kakashi.

“What no of course not, I’m also going to take you all out for dinner to celebrate” Kakashi was either really good at covering up, or had planned to do this.

“Isn’t it early to celebrate?  Like I know I’m gonna win but why are you getting their hopes up?”

“Thanks Sakura” Sasuke didn’t like being on the bottom end of that joke.

“Fine if you don’t want free food” the three cut him off.

“No we do.”

“Then let’s go” Kakashi headed off towards the village.

The three ended up at Ichiraku, much to Naruto’s joy.  It was a pretty calm reunion for the team after a month with pretty minimal contact.  Naruto and Sakura decided to mess with Sasuke.

“Look we can only have on hetty in this team” Sakura wasn’t pulling any punches.  “And Kakahsi already fills that spot, so you’re gonna have to come clean with us.”

“What?” Sasuke’s mouth was full of food as she inquistioned him.

“You’re either gay or you’re out” Naruto flanked his other side.

“Is this for real?”

“Yup” Kakashi was willing to mess with him.  “It’s the rules in Konoha.”

“But Kakashi is only like kind of in this team” Sasuke was stumbling unsure of what to do.

“He’s still on it, and we can’t have two straight people here” Naruto was doing his best not break out into laughter.

“Come what’s it gonna be, Sasugay” Sakura’s comment pushed him over the edge as Naruto broke down into laughter.  “Dammit Naruto we almost had him.”

“I’m sorry but, how can you keep it together after say Sasugay?” Naruto had to respect her skills at staying composed.

“I knew you two were messing with me!” Sasuke gave them all mean looks.  “And you!  Why were you in on it Kakashi?”

“Thought it’d be a good laugh” Kakashi didn’t even look over with his reply.  “It was.”

“I can’t trust any of you apparently.”

“Hey come on best bud, we’re sorry, we wouldn’t kick you of the team for being a hetty.”

“Speak for yourself Naruto” Sakura was either serious or still trying to go for a joke.

“Now now kids play nice” Kakahsi was almost trying to intervene.  “You can’t force Sasuke into coming out.”

“THAT’S IT I’M GOING HOME” Sasuke stormed out as the three laughed at him.

They finished up the rest of the ramen before parting ways, Naruto decided to go check on Sasuke before going home.  He did feel a little bad after making him storm off.

“Sasuke it’s me, your best bro open up” Naruto was knocking on the front gate.

“I have no friends now, only traitors and enemies.”

“I brought you the rest of your food since you left in unfinished.”

“You may enter.”

The main gate wasn’t actually locked as far as he knew, but Naruto liked to be polite.  Sasuke was just sitting in the main part of the Uchiha estate.

“I’m sorry that we took the joke too far” he apologized again while handing over the food.

“Apology accepted, but only on homie grounds the other two are still traitors” Sasuke began eating his leftovers while Naruto sat down with him.

“Good now I won’t feel so bad when I kick your ass in the exam tomorrow.”

“Yeah if I don’t get bug splatted by that lunatic” Sasuke was up against Gaara round one.  “And you’ll have to avoid getting killed my Mr. Murder puppet.”

“I’m not worried about him, I’m worried about catching Sakura’s hands round two” those bad boys were grass 100% fed.

“It’s kinda funny” Sasuke was looking up, a nostalgic look in his eyes.  “A few months ago and I don’t even think she would’ve been a contender, or you either to be honest.”

“We changed huh” Naruto was also reminiscing now.  “All thanks to that lying old man Tazuna.”

“Are you really gonna complain?  You got time powers and a boyfriend out of that mission.”

“And I had a hole punched through my chest, so it evens out you know.  I liked the old chest.”

“Now that’s a sentence, a very weird sentence.”

“You grow a new chest and then tell me it’s weird” Naruto gave him a light punch.

“I’ll pass on the offer, sticking to silent judgement seems to be easier” Sasuke punched him back.  “Shouldn’t you head back home soon?  I don’t want Haku thinking I’m trying to steal you and get the Hinata treatment.”

“I mean, the Hinata treatment got a little weird” Naruto hadn’t filled him in on the growth of people in his home.  “But I am certain my bed can’t fit four people so yeah good idea.”

“I’ll ask about that later” Sasuke waved him off.  “See you in the finals.”

“See you in the finals” Naruto waved back as he left.

His walk back was interrupted in possibly the worst way ever.  By a very angry looking red head with a gourd. 

“Can I help you?” Gaara was kind of in the way.

“Not today” Gaara’s look filled him with a sense of danger.  “Don’t lose to my idiot brother tomorrow, I want to have the satisfaction of killing you and Sasuke.”

“You sure know how to show a guy a good time” Naruto did his best to hide his fear.  “But don’t you worry, I’ve got something special for you.”

Gaara’s face twisted into an insane grin as he walked off.  Naruto really didn’t want to deal with that guy.  He also really hoped Sasuke wasn’t going to die tomorrow.  With Gaara gone he continued on his way back home.

“How was training today?” Haku was already back from work and eating some sushi.

“It was fine, we had a team reunion that kind of cut it short though” Naruto walked over and gave him a kiss.  “Is Hinata not back yet?”

“I haven’t seen her yet so I guess not?”

Naruto had the thought of Hinata and Gaara bumping into each other on the road.  It might him shudder.

“I’m gonna go look for her, that sand guys back” Naruto headed back out.

“I’ll come too” Haku quickly ate the last of his dinner.  “If someone’s trying to hurt our Hinata I’ll kick some ass.”

The two headed off, Naruto sent his clones out to widen their search area.  He made sure to keep one in the apartment in case she got back there.  After a while of no results he was starting to worry.  Finally after twenty minutes he got a hit from one of the clones.

“This way” Naruto started heading over to where the clone popped. 

“Any danger?” Haku followed after him, he might be a bit rusty but he was still fast.

“No she was just buying some stuff, I just don’t think it’s safe without the guy on the loose” Naruto didn’t like Gaara one bit.

“Gotcha, we’re escorts now!”

The two got to Hinata pretty fast, rooftops as always being the best way to travel.

“I am a ninja too you know” she clearly thought this was an overreaction.

“This dude straight up said he’s planning on killing me and Sasuke. I’m sorry if it feels excessive but like, he’s dangerous.”

“Oh he can try alright” Haku protectively held Narutos hand. 

“If this makes you feel better ok” Hinata held his other hand.  “He is kind of, off.”

“Only kind of?” Naruto hadn’t realized that he was kind of terrified of Gaara.

“You should be afraid of him” why the hell were all these random fucks showing up.  “I’m his brother for crying out loud and I’m terrified of him.”

“First off, did I ask you?  And secondly, who even are you?”

“I’m Kankuro, we’re fighting tomorrow, remember?”

“Ok but why are you here?” seriously did he just show up to validate Naruto’s fears?

“I’m actually trying to find Gaara, any chance you know where he went?”

“Uh, that way?” Naruto pointed to where he last saw the creepy guy.

“Cool thanks.”

“Let’s get home before anyone else shows up” Haku started pulling the other two forward.

The rest of the trip was fairly uneventful, something Naruto was very happy about. 

“See I would’ve been fine” Hinata still clearly thought he’d overreacted.  “That clown guy would’ve been creepy but not dangerous.”

“I, just didn’t want to take any chances” Naruto knew he had overreacted, but would rather be wrong than right about it.  “I’m just gonna, go to bed, gotta rest up for tomorrow.”

“Goodnight sweetie” Haku gave him a soft kiss goodnight. 

“Goodnight” Hinata give him a kiss on the cheek before he headed off.

He changed into his pajamas and fell onto the bed.  Soon enough he was back in his mind again.

“Seriously can’t I just dream?” Naruto was a little sick of this.

“Don’t look at me” Minato and the fox were now playing a dice game.

“Wasn’t me” the fox seemed to be winning this game too.

“Then why am I here” Naruto pulled up a chair beside his dad.

“Maybe you came here for advice?”

“I don’t need advice, I just need rest.”

“Naruto, we know you’re scared, hell that kid gave me the creeps.  And I was the Hokage” Minato was trying to level with him.

“Well maybe I am scared, but so what?  I’m Naruto fucking Uzumaki” Naruto puffed up his chest.  “I’ll kick anyone’s ass.”

“Kid it’s ok to be afraid sometimes, it doesn’t help he’s the first other jinchuriki you’ve met.”

“Wait, he’s like me?” Naruto didn’t pick up on that at all.

“Have you seriously not felt his demon chakra?”

“No I’m an idiot remember” Naruto put his head in his hands.  “Shit now I’m even more afraid.  He’s going to kill me.”

“Like hell that weak shit is!  I’m the fucking Nine-tailed fox, it’d take nine of that tanuki to equal my power.”

“Wait, what?”

“Naruto the tailed beasts have different numbers of tails to represent their power level” Minato prepared to explain this.  “The Kyuubi is the strongest of the nine, and you can already use at least one tail so.  If anything that kid should be terrified of you.”

“So what you’re saying is, me and the fox together are like the top dog of the jinchurikis?” Naruto liked the sound of this.

“I mean, no, not till you can handle more of its power.”

“Yeah the eight-tails would stomp us no problem right now, maybe even the two-tails.”

“Damn I guess I’ll have to get better with your chakra” Naruto was excited about meeting more jinchuriki now.

“First go and win this exam champ” Minato ruffled Naruto’s hair.

“Yeah put that good for nothing one-tail in its place” the fox gave him an encouraging thumbs up.

“Can do” Naruto gave them both a smile before waking up.

“Five more minutes” Haku and Hinata were both laying on his chest.

He checked the clock, there was still a few hours before he had to get there.

“Sure” Naruto pulled them all closer together, he felt ready for anything now.

“Yay” Haku nuzzled their faces together trying to get as comfortable as possible.

Hinata hadn’t even woken up, she could sleep through an earthquake.  It probably came from how they both had grown up, but Naruto decided this wasn’t the time for that line of thought.  Instead he drifted back to sleep for a while longer.

“Now this is just the cutest” he was woken back up by Jiraya, who was in his room for some reason.  “But I need to talk with you real fast so get up.”

“Fine” Naruto easily managed to move Hinata off himself, but with Haku it was always a fight.

“Five more minutesss” Haku was clinging to him.

“You can stay sleeping I have to get up” Naruto succeeded in freeing himself.  “Make sure not to miss my fight ok.”

“Ok…” Haku held his head up expectantly waiting for a kiss, he only laid back down once Naruto delivered.  “Kick some ass babe.”

Naruto get dressed and found Jiraya in his living room.

“If this is about threeways I’ll kick your ass” Naruto poured himself some cereal.

“No” Jiraya sounded very serious.  “There’s going to be an attack on the village today.”

Naruto dropped the cereal box and looked at him wide eyed.

“The attack is supposed to start after Gaara and Sasuke fight, Gaara is probably supposed to transform and deal as much damage as he can in the arena.  We’re taking counter measures, first of all, the fights are being re-arranged.”

“Why are you telling me this, right now?” Naruto knew why but didn’t like it.

“We need you to beat Gaara in the first round, or at least prevent him from going on a rampage” Jiraya clearly didn’t like this plan.  “No one else in the exam has the power you do to combat a jinchuriki.  I don’t like it, but we have to put you in the line of danger.”

“No I’ll do it” Naruto was firm is his reply.  “I’ll kick his ass, and then I’ll kick anyone else who’s dumb enough to attack my home’s ass.”

Jiraya gave him a somber smile.

“I believe you kid” he didn’t look happy about the response.  “If things get out of hand I will intervene, I’m not losing any more family.”

Naruto smiled at him, after his talk in his dream he felt confident.  He wasn’t going to let anyone down.

“Good luck, my foot’s going to be so far up that guy’s ass it’ll take the whole village to pull it out.”

“I could’ve done without that imagery, I really could’ve” Jiraya shook his head, losing the sad look.  “Give em hell kid.”

Jiraya climbed out the window.

“Oh and uh, maybe don’t leave your windows unlocked.”

He took off, probably setting up more counter measures for the attack.  Today was going to be crazy that was for sure.  Naruto ate his food and looked towards his room.  He had to protect them, but if they came to watch they’d be in danger.  He remembered Hinata’s words the night before and shook his head.  They could handle themselves.  He headed out, there was still an hour before it started.  He walked through the streets of Konoha, determined to protect every building and every street.  He ended up in front of his parents’ house, his house. 

“Mom, dad, mostly mom since you can hear me dad” he could hear them playing dice in his head.  “I’m gonna make you proud.”

He headed off to the arena, determined most of all to protect the future of his family, the future that house represented.  When he got there it was already packed full of people, he couldn’t even see any of his friends in the stands.  The competitors all stood in the center waiting for it to officially start.  Sasuke and Sakura both gave him smirks and thumbs up, he returned them.

“Due to some strange circumstances we are down a competitor” some different guy was proctoring the exam now.  “So we’ve shuffled up the fights to try and accommodate for that based of performances in the first part.”

Naruto was now against Gaara, like Jiraya had said.  Sasuke had a free win into the second round.  Sakura was against Temari now.  Hopefully the tournament would make it past the first round.

“All other contestants please clear the area, the first battle is Naruto vs. Gaara” the proctor signaled from them to clear out.

Gaara gave him a wicked smile, clearly happy about the new set up. 

“The rules are the same as last time, keep collateral damage to minimum and do not launch any attacks into the stands” the proctor started to move away.  “BEGIN.”

Chapter Text

Naruto quickly jumped back, dodging a sand attack.  He threw off his weight not wanting to hold anything back from the start.  He might not be as fast as Lee, but the sand couldn’t be that fast.

“Shadow clone jutsu” Naruto made twenty clones, Gaara just sat and watched him.

“Boring” a wave of sand came at him.

The clones blasted out wind attacks to destroy the wave as Naruto rushed forward.  The clones kept the path clear for him.  Once he as back within thirty feet of Gaara he started his next attack.  Drawing out some of the fox’s chakra to boost his speed.

“Remember this one?” he quickly was on Gaara and kicked him in the chin.

Thanks to the speed boost he managed to dodge the counter attack from the sand.  Thanks to Lee’s fight he knew the timing.  Gaara glared at him sending more sand blast at him, he lost a few clones in their repelling of it.  Naruto started weaving between the attacks, easily able to outpace the sand.  He waited for an opening before making more clones.

“Let’s see how well you can take this one” Naruto and the clones launched an assault on Gaara.

There were too many for the sand to keep up with, the Naruto’s converged onto Gaara.  They quickly battered him back and forth, the final sand shield couldn’t predict their attacks leaving Gaara defenseless.  Or at least it looked that way.

“Eat shit” Naruto punched Gaaras face, his hand sinking into it as the boy turned into sand.

“Die” sand converged onto him, he was unable to dodge due to his arm being stuck.

Naruto smirked, now seeing the real Gaara.  He froze time before the attack hit him.  Breaking free of the sand clone he flew into the real Gaara with a new to the boy’s face.  As time unfroze Gaara was launched back, met with kicks from two clones to launch him upwards.

“This is for Lee!” Naruto froze time to dodge the sand attempting to sink him.

He chased after Gaara in the air, hitting him with an axe kick to knock him back down.  Unfreezing time he used a wind blast to dodge a sand wave.  He could see cracks in Gaaras final sand armor.

“Is this really all you’ve got?  What happened to killing me?” Naruto wanted to get a rise out of him before beating him down anymore.

Gaara smirked at him before putting his hands together.  He started channeling his chakra and the sand started to form around him.

“Oh no you don’t” Naruto froze time and dashed forward at him, grabbing the boy. 

He unfroze time and quickly flung him out of the sand sphere before it finished forming.  The remaining clones blasted Gaara with wind blades cutting into him.

“GAH” Gaara screamed out as the attack hit him.  “I’m, I’m bleeding.”

He was on his knees now, blood coming out of the cuts.  Naruto sauntered over to him.

“Yeah, yeah you are, and I promise there’s more where that came from” He wound up to kick Gaara.

Before his attack could connect a giant sand arm blasted into him, flinging him back across the arena.  It the arm had weird blue veins running across it, slowly it melted on the ground into a pile of sand.

“So you do have some fight left huh” Naruto was a little banged up after that, but still more than fine. 

“I” Gaara looked up at him, his expression was no longer the murderous normal one.  “I concede.”

“What?” Naruto stopped moving as the proctor returned to the field.

“Get me away from him” Gaara’s team showed up surrounding him.

“Gaara’s wounds are deep” Temari was inspecting him without touching him.  “And he’s completely depleted from the fight.”

“What?  We barely even fought” Naruto even remotely close to being done kicking his ass. 

“The fight is over, your opponent conceded, please go to the waiting area” the proctor grabbed Narutos shoulder.

Naruto glared at him and Gaara before moving to the waiting area.

“Next up is Shikamaru vs. Kankuro” the proctor was about to leave.

“I concede” Kankuro barely let him finish.

“What” the proctor clearly didn’t expect this.

“I concede” Kankuro helped move Gaara away.

“Then” the proctor consulted the board.  “Sakura and Temari it is then?  Shikamaru advances by default.”

Naruto passed Sakura on her way to the ring, she seemed pumped to fight.  Once he was there Jiraya pulled him aside.

“So, what the hell?  I thought he was gonna go nuts” Naruto had no idea what was going on now.

“Yeah so did we, Gaara was supposed to signal the attack” Jiraya looked very worried.  “Be on guard and if you see him make any suspicious moves follow him.”

“Got it” Naruto sent a clone to watch Gaara, hoping he’d make a move.

“Also good job down there, you really kicked his ass” Jiraya gave him a congratulatory pat on the back.

Naruto turned his gaze down to the fight in the ring, it was just starting.

“What’s the matter, you gonna give up too?” Sakura was coming in heavy with the trash talk.  “Cause I already wasted my time walking down here.”

“Oh you wish bitch” Temari pulled out her fan.  “I’m gonna destroy you.”

“Bitch” Sakura laughed a little.  “Why you mad?  Because my pussy pops severely and yours don’t?

“What?” Temari was clearly caught off guard by that, as well as the haymaker Sakura delivered to her.

Training with Gai had certainly made her fast, and probably made this swings hurt like hell.  Temari managed to make distance between them again after being a punching bag for a bit.

“First of all” she opened the fan and blasted a wind attack out with it.  “My pussy, DOES POP.”

Sakura got knocked back by the attack, putting her at the range disadvantage.  She certainly didn’t look like she was at a disadvantage though.  Temari wound up for another swing, Sakura made an earth wall to block the attack.

“Come on, is that weak shit all you got?” Sakura jeered from behind the wall.  “Cause if so, your pussy definitely doesn’t pop.”

“SHUT UP ABOUT MY PUSSY” Temari now furiously was launching attacks, cutting into the stone wall.

Finally after a particularly big one she blasted it apart.  When the dust cleared Sakura wasn’t anywhere to be seen. 

“BITCH” Sakura dropped from above onto Temari, having launched herself from behind the stone wall.  “WHY YOU MAD.”

Between the wall and Sakura’s fists Temari was not in a good spot.  After a particularly nasty uppercut she went down.

“YAAAAAASSSS” Ino, very loudly from the crowd was cheering Sakura on. 

“Winner by knock out, Sakura!” the proctor came down to confirm Temari was out.

“YAAAAAAAAAAAAASSSSSSSSSSS” Sakura now was yelling herself.

Team seven had fully made it to the second round, and there still was no sign of the attack.  Naruto was getting kind of anxious about it.  The next fight was Shikamaru against Shino, which went down in exactly as boring manner as you’d think.

“Why are they just standing there” Naruto was bored.

“Their trying to out think each other duh” Sakura also sounded bored.  “Betcha Shikamaru gives up?”

“No way am I taking that bet” Naruto knew he would.

After a while more of bugs vs. shadows Shikamaru did give up, even though he’d successfully caught Shino.  There was now a small break before the next round started up.

“This sucks I wanna fight” Sasuke was clearly bored of sitting on the sideline.

“You want me to kick your ass that badly?” Sakura was already trash talking him, since they were up against each other.

“You want to fight Shino instead?  I’d rather pass on the bugs” Naruto really didn’t like those bugs.

“Hard pass.”

“Fair, trading opponents is probably against the rules anyways.”

“I’ve got an offer you can’t refuse” Naruto really hoped that voice wasn’t who he thought it was.

The giant snake that dove into him and knocked him back into the arena confirmed his fears.  He threw it off himself and quickly jumped towards the center to dodge another attack.

“You know, for a guy who’s not allowed in the village, you get in here a lot” Naruto was not happy about this rematch.

“What can I say” Orochimaru pulled a sword out of his mouth.  “I get around.”

All around the arena Naruto could see fighting breaking out.  Apparently he’d pissed Orochimaru off enough to make this the new signal.  Where was Jiraya when you needed him?

“So now you’re preying on my student?” as if summoned by magic Jiraya dropped down into the arena.  “Naruto chase down Gaara and keep him from leveling the village please.”

“You got it boss” Naruto quickly ran off, his clone having popped telling him where to go.

Jiraya intercepted Orochimaru, giving Naruto plenty of time to get out of there.

“I shouldn’t be too surprised, a pest like you teaching a pest like that” Orochimaru prepared to square off with Jiraya.

“Yeah we’ll see who’s the pest and who’s the best” Jiraya cracked his neck getting ready for the fight.

It wasn’t too difficult for Naruto to get on the track of Gaara.  The three of them had left a fairly easy to find trail.  Using the fox’s chakra it was easy for him to catch up to them.

“Where do you kids think you’re going?” Naruto blocked their path forward.  “The parties just getting started.”

“Out of our way” Kankuro pulled his puppet off his back.

“You wanna fight me?  Did you miss the part where I gave Gaara these hands?”

Instead of replying Kankuro launched his puppet forward, only for it to be blown away by a fireball.

“I AM FIGHTING, I DON’T CARE WHO IT IS, BUT SOMEONE” Sasuke had followed Naruto and was roaring to go.

“Gaara needs more time to get ready still” Temari turned to face Sasuke.  “I’ll deal with him you get Naruto.”

“Got it” Kankuro recalled his puppet, only to get smashed to the ground by Sakura.

“Guess it’s me and Gaara again” Naruto cracked his knuckles and looked at the red head.

“Stay away from me” sand started to form around Gaara defensively.

“Sorry, but I’ve been given strict instructions to beat your ass” Naruto summoned a handful of clones.  “And I’m supposed to follow those.”

The sand flew towards Naruto while Gaara tried to run off.  Naruto and his clones blasted the sand away before chasing after him.  His attack were more like wild lashing out from a scared animal.

“Stay away stay away” Gaara was frantically repeating this while he jumped from tree to tree, his sand attack blasting wildly behind him.

“Aw but we’ve got so much to talk about” Naruto was easily able to outpace Gaara’s sand and had caught up to him.

“STAY AWAY” the gourd on his back blasted at Naruto catching him off guard.

The surprise sand attack smashed him through a tree, it took Naruto a few moments to get his bearings back.  Luckily his clones had kept on the chase so he knew where to go.  He channeled the fox’s chakra again and chased Gaara down once more.

“You can’t run from me” he was casually dodging the sand attack now.  “And a trick like that won’t catch me twice.  So either surrender, OR FIGHT ME.”

“GET AWAY FROM HIM” Temari blindsided him, flying into him with her fan.

“YOU’RE FIGHTING ME DAMMIT” Sasuke launched a fireball at her.

Temari tried to use her fan to blast it away but Naruto had a stronger hold on it.  The fireball blasted them both to the ground destroying the fan.

“Could you use a smaller fireball next time” Naruto’s clothes were now burnt and his hair singed.

“Sorry thought you were going left” Sasuke landed next to him on the ground.  “Any idea where Sakura and the clown guy are?”

On cue said clown guy was flung into the clearing, his shattered puppet still attached to him via the strings.  Sakura was close behind, she was pulling some splinters out of her fist.

“Damn Naruto come on, we already beat our guys” Sakura gave Kankuro another good kick to make sure he was out.

“His opponent literally flew into me” Naruto pointed at the downed Temari.  “And my clones are still on him so I’ll get him soon.”

“Sounds like you’re losing in our knock out count then” Sasuke tied up Temari and Kankuro.

“FINE FUCK YOU TWO” Naruto quickly jumped off after Gaara, another of his clones had popped.

After another boost he quickly found the boy.  He was standing off against the clones in an open clearing.

“So you’re gonna fight now?” Naruto was getting sick of all this running around.

“What are you” Gaara’s question came out as more of a command.  “Why won’t the Shukaku come out because of you?”

“Well duh” Naruto channeled more of the fox’s chakra.  “It knows who the top dog is around here.”

“That chakra, you’re like me” Gaara backed up a little.  “How are you so much stronger than me.”

“I’m Naruto Uzumaki, you destroyed Lee” Naruto took a step towards him.  “You threatened my home, and by proxy my family.  Right now you’re just below that Orochimaru guy on my ass kicking list.”

“Your anger makes you strong?”

“This?  This isn’t anger.  It’s full on rage, now either give up, or get ready for the beat down of your life time.”

The sand formed around Gaara once again, he was in a defensive stance this time.

“Show me” Gaara gave him a different look again.  “Show me where you’re power comes from.”

Naruto smirked and went on the attack.  The sand was more focused now than it was in the arena.  To compensate for the difference in its speed Naruto drew out more chakra from the fox.  He was at one full tail now and the sand couldn’t keep up with him, or even stop him.  He blasted straight through a wall of sand delivering a punch to Gaara’s face.  The intense heat of the fox chakra was enough to turn the nearby sand to glass as Naruto unleashed his barrage on Gaara.  Each one of his swings was driven by his rage, pushing him to attack harder and faster than before.  Gaara’s defenses didn’t stand a chance against him.  He ended his attack by punching Gaara into a nearby tree, splintering the trunk.

“IS THIS ALL YOU’VE GOT” Naruto wanted to keep going, he wanted to destroy Gaara just like how he’d destroyed Lee.

Gaara was spitting up blood, his body was battered and burned.  He shakily stood back up from the tree, the sand moved to support him.  Naruto moved in to smash him again.

“Please, no more” Naruto’s fist stopped inches from Gaara’s face, frozen by the boy’s voice.

The look Gaara gave him, it was full of pain, but most of all it.  He was afraid of Naruto.  The red chakra slowly dissipated from around him.

“I’m just like you” he’d let himself become consumed by the rage. 

“You stopped” Gaara’s expression slowly became more curios.  “Why, you hate me, I hurt your friend.”

“This isn’t the right way” Naruto pulled his hand back.  “Violence doesn’t fix violence, Lee wouldn’t want this.  I don’t want this.”

“Why not” Gaara’s eyes felt like they were piercing his soul.  “You’re like me, you have a demon in you too.  The people, they fear you too, they hate you.  Why don’t you hurt them?”

“Because then all the things their afraid of, all the lies they say about me, are all true” Naruto backed away from Gaara.  “Get out of here, if you try and attack the village again.  I’ll stop you.”

Gaara slowly walked away, limping from his injuries.  His sand supported him making it easier.  Naruto send his clones with Gaara.  He wanted to make sure Sasuke and Sakura didn’t attack him, and hopefully he’d take the other two with him.  Naruto headed back towards the village, there was still a battle to fight.

“What the hell” the arena was mostly destroyed, a purple box was on top of the Kage viewing area.  “Where did Jiraya and Orochimaru go?”

Looking around he could see a fight going on in the destroyed stands.  He quickly rushed over, catching the invading ninja off guard and quickly dispatching them.

“Where did Jiraya go?” the two ninja he’d just saved pointed towards the village and Naruto quickly ran off.

He sent out clones to track down Haku and Hinata, keeping them safe was a higher priority than anything else.  Before his clones got any hits he found Jiraya.  Orochimaru had him pinned down under his sword.

“HEY BASTARD” Naruto’s yell drew his attention.  “READY TO LOSE ROUND TWO?”

Orochimaru grinned at him, only to be thrown back by Jiraya.

“Naruto I told you to stop Gaara” Jiraya moved over to him.

“He’s taken care of, and if he shows back up, I’ll finish him off” Naruto and Jiraya both dodged out of the way of a snake.  “Besides you look like you could use some help.”

“See Jiraya, even your student knows you’re weak” Orochimaru had made a clone two attack the two of them.

“I still haven’t kicked his ass, so look who’s throwing stones in a glass house” Naruto dodged the swipes from the sannin.

“I’ll rectify the outcome of our fight right here.”

A pair of hand grabbed Naruto’s ankles making him unable to dodge the next attack.  Or he wouldn’t have been able to if he couldn’t stop time.  After doing so he broke out of the hold and dodged.

“That trick again” Orochimaru glared at him.

“Hey if it works” Naruto drew the fox’s chakra out again, going right into one tail mode.

The two clashed, Naruto used his chakra claw to block the sword.  The two jumped back from each other.  Orochimaru began to circle him, looking for an opening.  Naruto didn’t wait around for the next attack.  He froze time and quickly delivered a heavy kick to Orochimaru’s head.  He didn’t move out of the way afterwards expecting this to be the clone.  The tongue that grabbed hold of him meant it was the real deal.  Naruto quickly threw up his arms to block the stab aimed for his chest.

“Die already” the strength behind the stab was burying Naruto into the ground.

“You” Naruto was struggling to hold up his block, the strength of the sannin was starting to overwhelm him.  “First.”

“RASENGAN” Jiraya blindsided Orochimaru with his attack, blasting the man away and freeing Naruto.

“Took you long enough dammit” Naruto breathed a heavy sigh of relief, which was soon over taken by a feeling of dread.  “I have to go handle him.”

“WHAT GO WHERE” Jiraya yelled after him before re-engaging Orochimaru.

One of the clones had popped, a squad of Ninja was closing on in the school.  Haku had gone with the kids there.  He used up more of his limit to freeze time to get there, he was about half out of it now.

“HAKU” Naruto’s scream brought the attention of a sand ninja on him.

He quickly took that guy out, a swift foxed up kick sending him flying.  The school showed signs of battle but he couldn’t see anyone else.  He rushed inside, unable to see anything through the thick mist inside the school.

“What the hell” Naruto stumbled forward, his momentum gone as he couldn’t see.

He slowly continued through the building like this, finding random ninja either unconscious or possibly dead throughout the place.  He couldn’t hear anything besides his own breathing.

“Haku” he called out again looking around, for a moment he felt something against his neck.

“Naruto?” suddenly before him was Haku who quickly pulled him into a hug.  “You’re safe, I was so worried after the attack started.  I couldn’t see you anywhere and then I had to protect these kids, one sec.”

He vanished again and Naruto heard a shout followed by a thud a little ways off before he returned.

“Why are you here though?”

“One of my clones saw those ninja coming here and popped so I came here as fast as I could” Naruto had, admittedly forgotten Haku was raised by a very dangerous man.  “But you kind of took care of it.”

“Oh, yeah, sorry?” Haku gave him a sheepish look.  “I can keep this place safe, but I think you’re going to be needed out there.”

“Yeah, I should probably go back to helping Jiraya before he gets killed.  Stay safe.”

Haku pulled him into a quick kiss.

“You better be alive at the end of all this” Haku led him back to the entrance.  “Give them hell for me babe.”

“For you?  Of course” Naruto made an army of clones, they all took off into the village.

He returned to where Jiraya and Orochimaru had been fighting.  Orochimaru was nowhere to be seen and Jiraya looked a little worse for wear.

“Wow thanks for all the help” Jiraya was clearly less than happy with him.

“Sorry Haku was, almost, in danger” Naruto didn’t want to admit he wasn’t in any danger at all.  “But the Naruto brigade is on the move, where’d Orochimaru go?”

“I think he retreated?” Jiraya looked away, only to be kicked hard by Naruto.

“Nice try, but the pretending to be Jiraya trick won’t work on me” the kick revealed it was Orochimaru.

“Well well, you’re not as dumb as you look” Orochimaru grinned at him.  “But, if I’m here, where is Jiraya? Hm?”

“I’ll find him later, for now” Naruto went right to the one tail mode again.  “We’ve got a score to settle.”

Orochimaru came at him, swinging hard and fast.  Naruto was able to keep pace with these swings thanks to the fox’s chakra.  Orochimaru clearly was worn down from fighting Jiraya.  Naruto took an opening and slugged him hard in the gut.  He capitalized on this, hitting Orochimaru with a big kick knocking him back.  Orochimaru spit out some blood.

“This all you’ve got brat.”

“Not even close” Naruto froze time and moved in.

He opened with a big kick to Orochimaru’s chin, freezing and unfreezing time with each hit to deliver the damage.  He used up the rest of his limit delivering his devastating attack, punching and kicking the man hundreds of times within a few second.  At the end of it Orochimaru could barely stand with how much damage he’d taken.

“You think that’s enough” he glared at Naruto, blood coming out of his mouth.  “That power of yours, without it you’re nothing.  You could never beat me, just like that fool Jiraya.”

“Well, from where I’m standing” Naruto hit him with and uppercut to the chest.  “I’m beating the hell out of you.”

Naruto froze, his clones had found Jiraya, and Hinata.

“Hehehe” Orochimaru was smirking now.  “I told you didn’t I?  Everyone you love.  What will you do?  Save them, or defeat me?  You can’t do both.”

Naruto grit his teeth at his options.  He headed off towards the two, he made a promise.

“I’LL KILL YOU, I SWEAR IT” Naruto yelled back at Orochimaru, saving them was more important now, but one day.

“As you are now, never” Orochimaru disappeared into a pile of snakes.

Jiraya was pinned to the wall of the mountain by Orochimaru’s sword.  Hinata and Kiba we’re doing their best to fight off some attackers to protect him but we’re out classed.  Without his limit, he had to go faster.

‘Like this kid, but you have to trust me’ Naruto could feel Minato’s motions on his body, he didn’t have any other options.

“Do it” Naruto gave his dad control over his body, and with a flash of bright yellow he arrived in front of Jiraya.

The attackers froze in fear at the flash.  Kiba and Hinata turned to look at him, relived to see him.

“I’ll give you all one chance” Naruto looked at the attackers.  “Run for your fucking lives.”

Without hesitation all of them scattered, the yellow flash combined with Naruto’s red aura enough to terrify them.  He turned to Jiraya, thankfully he was still breathing.  The sword was up to the handle in him and the mountain.

“We need help, it’s stuck in to deep we can’t get it out” Kiba was still in fear mode, the chance of another attack still high.

Naruto put his hands on the handle, more red chakra surrounded him.  He planted his feet and pulled, slowly the sword came out of Jiraya.

“Get him to the hospital” Naruto gave Jiraya to Kiba and Hinata.

“Naruto, what the hell are you” Kiba’s face was a fix of fear and awe.

“I’m Naruto Uzumaki” he started heading back towards the fighting.  “And I’m gonna make these guys wish they never stepped foot in my village, believe it.”

Between the reinforcement Narutos and sand attack from a turned Gaara, the invading forces didn’t stand a chance.    Konoha suffered minimal casualties altogether.  The Hokage survived his trap but was gravely wounded.  Jiraya would be able to recover from his wound.  After the battle Naruto was completely depleted from overusing the fox’s chakra.  The worst part of it all?

“Naruto call the nurse she won’t come if I call her now” Jiraya was his roommate in the hospital.  “Come on you abandoned me, you left me, to die.  Please call the nurse.”

“I CAME BACK FOR YOU” Naruto had been with Jiraya in here, for three days, it was torture.  “I LITERALLY SAVED YOUE LIFE.”

“Yah, but it’s your fault I got so messed up in the first place.”

“YOU SAID YOU HAD HIM.”

“I LIED OBVIOUSLY.”

“WHY WOULD YOU LIE ABOUT THAT?”

“I WANTED TO LOOK LIKE A COOL GUY, IS THERE SOMETHING WRONG WITH THAT?”

“YES COOL GUYS DON’T GET IMPALED.”

“So you don’t think I’m a cool guy?  Wow, you think you know a guy.”

“CAN I PLEASE GET A DIFFERENT ROOM” this was the cruelest punishment.

“Should we come back later?” Haku was in the doorway along with some of his other friends.

“No please save me from him” Naruto was desperate for any non-Jiraya interactions.

Haku came over to him and held his hand, Kakashi gave his head a ruffle.  Sasuke and Sakura had brought him some flowers.  Lee was there on crutches, even though he should probably still be in the hospital too.  Hinata was there with…

“Wait, why is Gaara here?” Naruto had literally almost killed him a few days ago.

“He’s moving in with us” Hinata said this with a shrug.

“WHAT.”

Chapter Text

“See I told you we should wait on bringing this up” Haku was apparently on Hinata’s side already.

“He straight up said he wanted to kill me, and I admittedly went overboard while fighting him” Naruto did feel bad about that.  “But why in the hell would he move in with us?”

“Until the war talks are over I’m technically a prisoner of war” Gaara was now talking for himself.  “But due to my aid in the battle their not keeping me in a prison.”

“You’re aid?  Wait, right I knew that” Naruto had been helped by the sand during the battle, he didn’t put much thought into it though.  “So you, want to stay with us?”

“Well, I offered since he did help us, and I think it could be good for you both” Hinata was back to defending her idea.  “And there’s going to be plenty of room in the new house so.  I thought why not?’

“And you’re on her side about this because?” Naruto could see why Hinata was willing to defend this, but Haku?

“I was won over with a sob story, so that’s our back up plan if you say no to this” Haku had gotten soft, a sob story was Naruto’s weakness.

“Ugh fine” Naruto knew this was a losing fight.  “But he’s staying in his own room.”

“Why wouldn’t I?” Gaara had apparently not been told about the one bed situation.

“Well, this got awkward” Kakashi reminded them there was in fact more people in the room with them.  “Get well soon I guess Naruto.”

“Yeah we’re gonna head out too, leave you and you’re harem to talk” Sasuke, Sakura and Lee followed Kakashi out.

“IT’S NOT A HAREM” Naruto hated that guy sometimes.

“Kid I am so proud of you right now” Jiraya decided to now chime in.  “You can have a.”

“If you finish that sentence I will kill us both” Naruto knew how it was going to end.

“Fourway sex” Jiraya was willing to die for this.

“Fourway sex?” Gaara was clearly not ready to be in this conversation.

“Yes, Naruto has once again taken my expectations and gone far above them” Jiraya looked like he was on the verge of tears.

“I’M KILLING HIM” Naruto was trying to crawl out of his bed over to Jiraya.

“Naruto stop it you need to recover” Haku, with some help from Hinata pushed him back down into the bed.  “I need you to come back home so I can get my kisses on the regular.”

“Wow I feel objectified” Naruto was going to be as obtuse as possible after being manhandled like that.

“And because I love you” Haku gave his hand a squeeze and smiled warmly.

“Dammit you know I can’t be mad at that” Naruto was a romantic first, then an obtuse jerk.

“Oh, I see, you two are together” Gaara had apparently not put that together yet.  “Oh, there’s four of us.”

“See this guy gets it” Jiraya was writing things down on his one cast.  “Three lovers introduce someone inexperience in love to the beauty of their relationship.  This will be my masterpiece.”

“NOT IF YOU DIE BEFORE WRITING IT” Naruto was back to trying to crawl over to him.

“We’re gonna leave you two alone now, the doctor says you can come home tomorrow” Haku gave him a quick kiss before heading towards the door.  “You can see all the decorations I put up!”

“Feel better Naruto” Hinata came over to kiss him goodbye.

“Do, do I need to kiss you goodbye too?” Gaara was clearly unsure of what living together meant.

“No!” Naruto felt like this was going to cause a lot of weird problem at home.

“But they both just did?”

“Yes, they did.”

“And I live with you too now.”

“Yes, you now do.”

“So, I should kiss you goodbye?”

“Do you want to kiss me goodbye?”

“I don’t know?”

“The answer was no either way” Naruto didn’t particularly want a kiss from Gaara.

“No I shouldn’t or no I should?” Gaara either really wanted to, or had no idea how relationships worked.

“No Gaara, you do not need to kiss me goodbye.”

“But if I wanted to do I do?”

“No, you don’t” Naruto sighed heavily, Haku and Hinata’s laughter from out of the room irritated him.

“Do you not want me to?  I would understand if that was the case.”

“Yes Gaara, I don’t particularly want you to kiss me.”

“So I should kiss you?”

“Where are you even drawing there conclusions from?  Do not kiss me.”

“Ok, but, we live together.”

“Yes, we do.”

“And they live you.”

“Yes, they do.”

“And they both kissed you goodbye.”

“Yes, they did.”

“And I didn’t.”

“No, you didn’t.”

“So I should.”

“If I say yes and let you kiss me goodbye will you leave?”

“Well, yes.”

“Then fine, kiss me goodbye.”

“Ok but I don’t want to.”

“THEN JUST GO BACK WITH THEM” Naruto was at the end of his rope.

“Oh, ok, goodbye” Gaara did in fact walk over and kiss him on the cheek.

Naruto sat there, agitated and tired.  Jiraya alternated between giggling at him and writing.  This was certainly a mess.

“Kid you’re certainly good at attracting new love interests” Jiraya had finished his notes.  “Never in my years have I seen the potential for a fourway before.”

“I hope you know I hate this conversation” Naruto was trying to drown him out using the pillow.

“Oh come on, you’re a hero!  You could have an orgy!  A heroic orgy!”

“Of all the teachers, why did I get stuck with you?”

“Cause I knocked the other guy out and made you summon toads.”

“God that really is how it went down isn’t it.”

“Yeah it is, and now here we are, in the hospital together.  Man these are the good times.”

“You’re gonna teach me the Rasengan right?”

“Did you win the exam or have a threeway?”

“I SAVED YOUR LIFE, TWICE.”

“So?”

Naruto gave up, this old man was as stubborn as he was old.  He just laid there till he could get to sleep.  He didn’t end up in the sewer of his mind this time.

“Narutoooo” Haku was leaning on him, they were having a picnic in a nice field.  “I love it when you talk about continuity of functions.”

“Oh yeah?” Naruto pulled him closer to whisper in his ear.  “It’s impossible to construct a function f that is continuous at every rational and discontinuous at every irrational.”

“Oh yeah” Haku pressed up close against him breathing heavily.

“If the real-valued function f is continuous on the closed interval [ab] and k is some number between f(a) and f(b), then there is some number c in [ab] such that f(c) = k” Naruto gently kissed his neck.  “That’s the intermediate value theorem babe.”

“Ooooh” Haku was now sitting on his lap kissing his neck.  “You know how compact sets make me.”

“I know a continuous function f” Naruto could feel Hakus hands reaching up his shirt.  “Maps compact functions to compact functions.”

“Ooh yeah, that’s it” Haku was caressing his chest and moaning now. 

Suddenly Naruto was in the sewer part of his mind.

“What?  WHAT?” his father and the fox were giving him a look.

“Do all of your wet dreams involve, math?” Minato clearly didn’t know if it was math or not.

“Yes, they all do, it’s insufferable” the fox clearly had had enough of those dreams.

“How dare you judge me, inside of my own mind, I bet you have weird dreams too” he was in a corner and lashing out.

“Yeah? You think so?”

“Yeah what happens in your wet dreams then huh?”

“SEX” Minato and the fox yelled this together before exchanging odd glances.

“WHAT?”

“Naruto, that’s why it’s called a wet dream, how have you never heard of this?”

“I’ve never had one of those and you both sicken me.”

“You just had a weird dream where your boyfriend was getting turned on by math, you can’t judge any of us.”

“He’s right kid, you’ve got a problem, and no amount of math can hide the truth.”

“Oh yeah?  Well what is ‘the Truth’” he was using air quotes to show he thought math could hide anything.

“You’re horny, and weird, you’re a horny weirdo.”

“I AM NOT A HORNY WEIRDO.  I just happen to like real analysis.”

“YOU LIKE IT A LITTLE TOO MUCH” Minato also wanted to yell.  “Just admit you’re being a horny teenager and that’s why you had that weird dream.”

“I won’t admit that, because it’s not true” Naruto crossed his arms to act indignant.

“Kid, I’ve had the displeasure of witnessing you and Haku making out.  You literally cannot lie to me about this.”

“Exactly, I’m not lying cause it’s not true.  Maybe you two are just really horny and projecting onto me.”

“WE LITERALLY LIVE INSIDE YOUR HEAD, WE KNOW THESE THINGS” Minato still wanted to yell. 

“Well you’re both stupid, I’m gonna sit here till I wake up, ignoring you both” Naruto covered his ears to help tune them out.

“Why is my son so weird” Minato sighed and laid down on the therapy couch.

“If I ever get out of here, I’m finding the creator of this ‘real analysis.’  I just want to talk.”

“When you’re done talking to, bite their arms off for me.”

“Deal.”

Naruto rolled over in his hospital bed.  He had surprisingly been asleep for most of the night.  He sat up and slowly tried to stand.  His body felt much less drained now, and he could at least stand.  He looked over at Jiraya, time to test walking.  After a few stumbling steps he got the hang of it back.  Looking over Jiraya, he took the older man’s hand and put it in the glass of water next to the bed.

“Really?  That’s the best you got?” Jiraya was apparently awake the whole time.

“It’s a classic.”

“Hardly, it’s lame” Jiraya sat himself up stretching a little.  “On your way out can you call the hot nurse in here for me?”

“Absolutely not” Naruto hobbled over to put grab his clothes. 

“You’re no fun kid” Jiraya pouted and laid back down.

It took him a bit to get dressed, putting pants on had never been so difficult before.  He eventually got everything on and headed out the door.

“At least have a four way in my honor if I don’t recover” Jiraya was really pushing his luck.

Naruto just continued on his way ignoring him.  Checking out didn’t take too long, the doctors seemed to believe he was good to go after a brief checkup.  The long hobble home was another story all together.  The house was not very close to the hospital.  After finally getting there he stopped at the gate.  Gaara better not have tracked sand everywhere or he was out.  He headed to the front door and opened it.

“I’m home!” his call rang out rather nicely in the larger house. 

He quickly heard a thump from upstairs followed by the sound of quick footsteps.  Soon enough he saw Haku rushing down the stairs at him.  He wasn’t stopping.

“YOU’RE BACK” Haku jumped into his arms, thankfully Naruto had closed the door so they fell onto that. 

“Oof” being slammed into the door was not doing him any favors.

“Oh no” Haku quickly got down and supported him realizing what he’d just done.  “Sorry I was just, excited.”

“It’s ok, I missed this” Naruto pulled him into a close embrace. 

“Ehem” Haku gave him a rather demanding look.

“Of course” Naruto rolled his eyes before kissing him, it was soft and warm.

“Should I kiss you to welcome you home too?” Gaara was carrying a mostly sleeping Hinata on his back.

“No” Naruto used Haku as a lip shield.

“Ok” Gaara shrugged at him as Hinata climbed off of him and leaned on the two of them, her mostly asleep greeting.

“I’m surprised you guys moved in here while I was out” they’d managed to get most of the stuff over it looked like.

“That was kinda also why we wanted Gaara to move in, his sand was really helpful for moving” Haku gestured to the larger things.

“Well then, thank you Gaara” Naruto could have done it.

“Of course” Gaara was now standing closer to them, his arms folded across his chest.

“Do you want to get in the hug?”

“Am I allowed into the hug?”

“If you want to get in the hug.”

“Would you leave the hug if I joined the hug?”

“No this is my hug, I’m just asking if you want to join the hug.”

“Yes.”

“Are you going to?”

“Yes…”

“Sometime before the hug ends?”

Gaara shuffled over closer to them, Hinata sleepily pulled him into the group hug.  For a moment it seemed like a big family hug.  That moment was killed by Naruto’s stomach growling.  Which was joined by three more growls soon enough.  He made a handful of clones.

“Fooooood” he, Haku and Hinata made a small hungry chorus.

“Lazy bums” the clones went into the kitchen to make the food.

“That’s convenient” Gaara had never seen the clones do anything besides kick his ass so this probably was a shock.

“Yeah, being able to make tons of myself is really useful” Naruto loved that jutsu.

“I sure could think of some things to do with a bunch of Narutos” Haku teased him.

“Oh?  Care to share with the class?” Naruto tried to tease him back.

“Well first my back gets a little sore after I sleep on it so back massage would be nice.  Chef Naruto clone is personally one of my favorites.  Two for sleeping, that way I can be sandwiched nicely for warmth.  Hmmm, any others I’m missing?”

“Kissing clone” Hinata mumbled this out still hanging on Naruto and Gaara.

“How could I forget kissing clone” Haku gave Naruto a cheeky grin, the teasing clearly not having worked.  “But I think I can settle for just having the one real Naruto.”

“I’m glad I’m the settling option” Naruto tried to sound aloof, but he liked hearing things like that.

“I only settle for the best” Haku was also leaning on him, trying to make up for lost time.

“I think I’m going to return to my bed” Gaara managed to untangle himself from Hinata.  “Welcome back Naruto.”

“Thank you Gaara, we’ll yell when foods done.”

“Thank you” Gaara went back upstairs, he was a weird guy.

“I’m torn” Haku was resting on Naruto’s shoulder.  “On one hand I want you to see all the nice things we got, on the other I want to lay on the couch with you.”

“Couch now things later?” Naruto didn’t mind some quality couch time, even if Hinata was starting to wear down on him.

“See you’re so smart, and people think I only like you for your looks” Haku gave him a coy little smile before leading him to the living room.

“Wow” the room was fairly large, and they’d already set up the couch and some other chairs in it.

“It’s gonna be perfect for the party” Haku pulled Hinata off him, she was more Koala than human while tired like this.  “There’s so much space.”

Naruto sat down on the couch, Haku after putting Hinata down on one of the chairs joined him.  He leaned on Naruto and wrapped his arms around him.  Naruto wrapped his one arm around Haku, pulling him close.

“I’m so happy you’re safe” Haku was rubbing his face against Naruto’s neck.  “Like Hinata is a real handful when I’m alone, how do you sneak out in the mornings?”

“It took a lot of practice, but if you tickle her stomach she loosens her grip” Naruto was lying, but was prepared for the consequences once this went down. 

“See, so smart” Haku’s breathing grew slower, he was obviously still tired.  “Mmm, wake me up when food please.”

“For you, I can” Naruto pulled him into his lap as he drifted back to sleep, he’d missed this.

He sat like that for a while, just admiring Haku.  He felt so much love towards him, he couldn’t imagine life without him.

“Mmm babe that’s not an open set” Haku was muttering in his sleep.

‘Well damn, your boyfriend’s also a horny weirdo’ Minato decided this was the time to chime in.

 “Way to go kid, you found your soulmate I guess.”

“Fuck you both” Naruto said this out loud.

“Both? Mm ok” Haku was still muttering in his sleep, although now he was moving around a little as well.

Naruto smiled, tucking some of his hair out of his face.  After a moment he realized something was poking into him.  Once he found out what that something was he went very ready.  It didn’t help that Haku’s movements caused it to push against him more.

‘Wow, you really found your perfect match.’

‘Not now please’ Naruto didn’t want to deal with the teasing and Haku’s, problem.

“Oh, babe” Haku was now moaning slightly and gripping Naruto tightly.  “Go, go slower please.”

“Thank god, Haku is at least normal.”

“I don’t understand, is the compliment open” he was still moaning while saying this causing the fox to groan again.

Naruto did his best to extract himself from Haku.  Not sure how much more of the rubbing he could take before he started.  Getting excited too.  Haku’s hand reached out towards him as he climbed up the back of couch.  He quickly froze time before continuing his escape, just to be safe.  He retreated to one of the open chairs before unfreezing time.  Haku’s occasional mutterings about topology made him reconsider somethings.

“Maybe I am… a horny weirdo.”

‘THANK YOU’ Minato had a very, I told you so, tone to him.

“Horny weirdo” Hinata was less asleep now.  “Food?”

“Hey you can’t call me that” he wanted to keep some dignity.  “And it’s not done yet.”

“Ok horny weirdo” Hinata rested her head back down on the chair.

“Like you’re one to talk” Hinata had, more than once slept on the couch.  “Hornier weirdo.”

“Food’s done boss” one of the clones came out, this instantly woke Hinata up.

“Food” she quickly went into the kitchen.

“Good job” Naruto went over to the stairs.  “Gaara food!”

“Coming” Gaara called back as Naruto went to wake up Haku.

“Babe, food time” Naruto slowly shook him.

“Mmmm” Haku very slowly woke up.  “I was having a really nice dream though.”

“I know, you were moaning about open sets” Naruto wanted to try and tease him.  “You were, quite excited.”

“What can I say, I might be a horny weirdo” Haku slowly stood up, stretching next to him.  “Does that bother you babe?”

“No” Naruto tried to keep his eyes of Haku as he stretched, his shirt always pulled up and for some reason, Naruto’s eyes always became glued to his exposed midsection.

“Oh?” Haku wrapped his arms around Naruto and leaned in close to him.  “Do you like it when I ask about sets in a topology?”

Naruto bit his lip, Haku was still excited.  One of his hands slid down to Naruto’s waist, where it played with the waistband.

“May… Maybe” Naruto felt his face turn red as Haku leaned in and started kissing his neck.

“I’ll remember that” Haku gave him on last teasing kiss before heading into the kitchen.

Naruto let out a breath he didn’t know he was holding.  His eyes drawn to Haku’s hips, the way they swayed side to side.  It was like they were teasing him somehow.  Once Haku turned into the kitchen whatever spell was cast on Naruto ended.  He shook his head to be rid of the image of Haku’s body.  He then went into the kitchen as well.  Hinata had already eaten a chunk of the food.

“Hey save some for me” Naruto quickly scooped some of the eggs he’d made onto a plate.  “I made it!”

“And it’s delicious” Hinata barely paused to say this, had she just not eaten while he was gone?

“Save some for me and Gaara you two” Haku had gotten himself a plate.  “It’s like I live with two starving animals.”

“You do!” Naruto and Hinata were now both chowing down, this was the scene Gaara came in on.

“You made quite a lot” Gaara was clearly unsure of this situation.

“Grab a plate and dig in, before they eat it all” Haku gave them both disapproving looks.

“Right” Gaara followed the instructions.  “Thank you for the food Naruto.”

The four ate in relative silence, or as silent as him and Hinata could be.  It hardly seemed like there was a village wide invasion a few days ago.

“So” Gaara was the first to speak after they all finished eating.  “Does living here mean we’re dating or do we have to date for me to live here?”

“Ok, before I answer, why are you asking so many questions about this?” Naruto was a little fed up with it.

“Well, Hinata explained to me the situation of you three’s relationship.  Which seemed to start because you all live together so, logically it seems that.  Living here means either some dates you?”

“Ok, first off no.  Yes Haku and Hinata both live here, but we don’t date just because we live together.  Me and Haku started dating before he moved in with me.  And Hinata moved in with us, and then we talked about it and our relationship changed.”

“So” Gaara seemed like he was processing this.  “Me living here with you doesn’t mean we’re dating.”

“Yes, it does not mean that” Naruto was so happy Gaara was at this breakthrough.  “It just means you live here.”

“Ok I think I understand now” Gaara nodded.

“I’m glad this is all cleared up.”

“So we will not have a four way?”

Naruto sighed deeply as Haku laughed.  He could hear Hianta choke on her water.

“Yes, we will not have a four way.”

“Ok.”

“Ok” Naruto was preparing himself for whatever was going to be said next.

“Do you not want to have a four way or is it just that I am the four person in question?”

“I do not want to have a four way” he was going to kill Jiraya.

“Ok, I just wanted to make sure it wasn’t that you dislike me.  Do you dislike me?”

“I don’t particularly like you if I’m honest?  You did threaten to kill me, and then almost attacked my home village.”

“Very understandable.  I’d like to say I like you.”

“Thank you for your input.”

“And that I would not mind participating in a four way if you needed my assistance in the future.  I’ve been told I am quite helpful as a fourth person.”

“Gaara, please stop talking about four ways” Haku was now wheezing on the floor.

“I will do my best to refrain from it.”

“Thank you” Naruto felt like this was the tip of the iceberg.  “Why do you want to live with me?”

“Well, you’re stronger than me, and you live differently than me.  So I wanted to observe you and learn why you’re so strong.”

“Ok that, kind of makes sense?”

“My whole life I’ve lived believe I needed to prove my existence by killing other people.  You kind of turned that on its head by not killing me.”

“Damn that is tragic” Naruto wasn’t prepared for that.

“I’ve been told” Gaara’s demeanor hadn’t changed throughout this conversation, which was weird.

“Well, I’m gonna go upstairs and lie down for a bit I think” Naruto wanted to avoid any more conversations like this.

“I’ll join you” Haku stood up from the floor, still giggling a little.

“Me too” Hinata survived her laughing fit while drinking.

“Should I” Gaara stood up also.

“No, this is an us thing” Haku clearly wanted to not have a fourth wheel.  “You could pay a visit to Sasuke, he loves visits from new friends.”

“Oh I think that’s a great idea” Gaara clearly didn’t know Sasuke well.  “I’ll see you all later.”

“You’re cruel” Naruto waited till Gaara had left to say this.

“It’s called buying time ok” Haku grabbed him and Hinata and dragged them upstairs.  “I have needs.”

“I agree with Haku” Hinata seemed a bit relieved to have Gaara out of the house.  “He’s been asking me things non-stop for the past two days I need a break.”

The three got to the bedroom, they had moved their things in while Naruto was in the hospital.  The room looked quite nice, the bed no longer taking up most of their space.

“There’s, TWO CLOSETS” Naruto had missed this while cleaning somehow.  “THIS IS SO MUCH SPACE.”

“It’s so great” Haku was pulling him towards the bed.  “But I think the bed is better.”

“Shit is there storage in the bed?” Naruto immediately ran over and checked under it.

“Dammit no!  I need to be held!  And Kissed!”

“Oh, why didn’t just say that?” he turned to Hinata.  “That would’ve been much clearer right?”

“He’s stalling!” Hinata saw through his stall.  “Why are you stalling!”

“I had a weird dream!” Naruto didn’t want to go into details about it.

“And what happened in your weird dream?” Haku was now also persecuting him.

“There was, um, lots of kissing” Naruto tried to look away from the two of them but they kept moving.

“And?”

“And um, analysis.”

“What?” Hinata clearly didn’t understand.

“Naruto, did you have a dream about analysis?” Haku looked like he was piecing it together.  “Wait, did you have a sex dream about analysis?”

“WHAT NO” Naruto realized it looked more like he had now.

“YOU DID” Haku was poking him in the chest now.  “WHICH ONE?”

“Which what?”

“WHICH ONE OF US?” Hinata was also poking his chest now.

“WHAT” Naruto realized a sex dream meant another person would be involved in the sex.

“TELL US” they were very in synch for this.

“It was, um, Haku, this time” he caved under the persecution, damn Lawyer Ninjas.

“YES” Haku cheered loudly.

“This time?” Hinata had heard that part fuck.

“I mean, I’ve had, other dreams, before” the two were staring at him again.  “Why do you two care so much?”

“Well” Haku had a victorious look on his face.  “We thought the only fair way to determine which of us should try and have sex with you first; was to see which one of you wanted to have sex with first.  Sex dreams seemed like a good indicator for it.”

“Unfair, he said this time, what about other times?” Hinata was apparently a sore loser.

“I um” Naruto didn’t like this line of questioning.  “I mean technically the first one I had was with Haku, since that was before you were here.”

“We did say anything pre-move in didn’t count” Haku was still assured of his victory.

“Why is this a thing you’ve discussed?” Naruto felt weird about this, kinda like when Haku invited Hinata into the relationship without asking him.

“Well, your first time is supposed to be special, and so, since it’s your first time, we wanted to make it you know.  Special special.”

‘Tell them it’d be extra special if you all did it together’ Minato really did train under Jiraya.

“And we figured, you wouldn’t want to, you know, have us both at the same time” could Hinata read minds?  Could she?

“So we decided whichever one of us you dreamed about like that first, would be the one you wanted the most” Haku had a strange smirk on his face.

“I” Naruto backed onto the bed not sure how to handle this.  “Does it really matter that much?”

“Yes because you’ve never said it to me” Hinata now sounded kind of hurt.

“I’ve never said it to you?”

“You’ve never told me you love me, and you’ve said it to Haku” Hinata now sounded very hurt.  “I know you’ve been together longer, and I’m kind of just here, but it still hurts.”

“I’m” he tried to apologize, he hadn’t even thought about this.

“And you never take just me out, it’s either you just go out with Haku, or we all go together.  And now I have Gaara talking about, how we’re only together because we live together and, and.”

Haku and Naruto quickly hugged her, she’d been holding this in for quite some time.  She was crying and still trying to talk now.

“It’s just so hard cause you love him so much and I’m just here” she was managing her words between the tears.  “You both say we’re a family and it’s us together, but it’s more it’s you two and then me.”

“We care about you Hinata” Haku was petting her hair to soothe her.  “I’ve said somethings, and I didn’t think how they would make you feel, I’m sorry.”

“I’m sorry too” Naruto hadn’t really thought about her feelings or how they spent time together.  “I always viewed our thing as training together, I’m sorry I made you feel like this.”

Hinata cried in arms for a bit longer, she needed this.  After her tears stopped she pulled them both in close.

“I love you both so much” her words gave Haku a clear shock.  “You’ve helped me change and grow, and you took me in when I was alone.  It’s just, somedays I feel so afraid, that’ll one day you’ll both leave me.”

“Hey now” Haku was back to petting her head.  “We’re a family, and we’re not like the Hyuugas, we’re a real family.”

“Yeah, you’re stuck with us” Naruto was rubbing her shoulder. 

“Thank you” she gave them both a smile.  “And I’m sorry for, getting jealous.”

“I’ll let it slide since you said you love me” Haku ruffled her hair a little, a smile on his face.

“I think we have some cuddling to get to though” Naruto squeezed them both. 

The three curled up together, emotions out in the open.  Naruto tried to think of something to do for Hinata.  He wanted to make them all happy, and he’d do his best.

Chapter Text

Naruto sighed.  He needed help and he hated to admit it, but Jiraya was the guy who could give it.  He was easy enough to find since he was still in the hospital.

“Well look who it is” Jiraya had gotten his actually notes to write in.  “My prized pupil.”

“No I haven’t had a four way” Naruto knew they’d get there eventually.  “I need, advice.  I need your advice.”

“Oh hohohohohoh” Jiraya close his notebook excited.  “What can I do for you kid?”

“I want to make Hinata feel special, and I don’t really know what to do.  I already used my big move and if I reuse it I feel like it’ll back fire.”

“The firefly lake?”

“Yeah the firefly lake.”

“Damn, how’d that go?”

“Amazingly, that’s where I told Haku that I loved him.”

“Yeah don’t go there with her.”

“I already knew not to do that ok.  I just don’t have any other, big ideas.”

“Well, maybe you’re overthinking it, why go big when you can go for quality.”

“But I want her to know I care about her too, she feels left out since I never take her on any dates.”

“Listen, I think you should go for a normal date.  Save going big for a different date once you’ve planned it out better.”

“Then what should I do?  A picnic?”

“Yes perfect!  A picnic is a classic date.  Also you probably should do it soon.”

“What why soon?”

“We have to leave on a mission soon, and we’ll be gone fooooooor.  A while?”

“What?  What mission?  Since when?”

“Since today?  We have to find the next Hokage.”

“WHAT” Naruto had to find the old man’s replacement?

“Yeah that’s what I said, we figure your natural Sannin attraction would help us find Tsunade.  And two birds one stone, she should be able to heal your pal.”

“LET’S GO” Naruto was gearing to find this woman right now.

“Not yet, I’ll be let out in two days, we leave then so be ready” Jiraya pulled his notes out again.  “And don’t screw up your date.”

“I’m a master of romance I couldn’t screw it up if I tried to” Naruto was ready to have the best normal date of Hinata’s life.

“Sure you can’t.”

Naruto headed back to his house to start planning, he knew Hinata would be free the next night.  Perfect for a picnic under the stars.  Now he needed a location, somewhere nice and quiet.  He sent hundreds of clones to go out looking.  Flowers!  Those are a key part of any good date.  He wrote down every idea that came to mind on a piece of paper.  By the end of it he had about thirty things.

“Ok, this is perfect” he had planned the best non-going big date ever.

“What’s perfect?” Hinata was on her way out and saw him in the living room.

“NOTHING DON’T LOOK AT THIS” he quickly stuffed the list in his jacket.  “ALSO DON’T MAKE PLANS FOR TOMORROW NIGHT, NO REASON JUST DON’T BYE.”

He, like a master of romance, jumped out the nearby open window.  He had to keep an element of surprise to it all.

“You know you jumped out the front window, and I’m leaving the house?” Hinata was now also outside.

“IT’S A SECRET OK” He jumped back inside the house, she didn’t suspect a thing.

“Ok, well bye!”

He needed to figure out what food to have for the picnic.  Ramen was the ideal choice but, for a picnic?  No it wouldn’t work.  He looked through the kitchen to see what he was working with.  After thirty minutes of searching he realized he didn’t know what foods Hinata liked other than ramen.

“GAARA” Naruto needed help.

“Yes?” Gaara poked his head down the stairs.

“I need some help and I think you can keep a secret” he didn’t have many options.

“Oh ok, this sounds like a friends thing” Gaara came down the stairs. 

“What foods does Hinata like?” Naruto had written a lot of possible dishes out.

“Ramen?” Gaara was clueless dammit.  “I think she likes sushi?”

“Ok I can work with that” he’d have to buy sushi he had no idea how to make it.  “Anything else?  Sandwiches?”

“I think she likes fruit?  I’ve heard her mention it before.”

“Ok yeah, fruit hell yeah, any idea what kind?”

“Peaches?”

“Just peaches?”

“No?”

“Then what other fruit did she mention?”

“Bananas?”

“Ok, so bananas and peaches?”

“Yes.”

“Ok now we’re rolling” Naruto wrote that down. 

“What is this for?  Is her birthday coming up?”

“No I’m taking her on a date!  Don’t tell her though I want it to be a surprise.”

“Ok, tell her it’s a surprise.”

“No say nothing of this!  It’s a secret.”

“A, friend secret?”

“If I say yes do you promise to tell no one of this?”

“Yes.”

“Then yes a friend secret.”

“Yes, we’re friends!” that was the most emotion Gaara had ever shown.

“Ok, next step, flowers she likes, you have any ideas?”

“Lilies?  Roses?  Sunflowers?”

“Don’t just name flowers, we need to figure out her favorite.”

“Got it, I think roses is a safe fall back, I’ve read their romantic.”

“Where did you read that?”

“The people magazine, Haku said it’d help me understand people better.”

“Honestly, it’s better than anything I’ve got, ok roses for now.  Uh, what should I wear?”

“Oh, I think you should go for a kind of sexier version of your normal outfit.”

“Sexier? Who taught you that word.”

“The people magazine.”

“Ok sexier how?” what was sexier than an orange jumpsuit.

“Ok so, in the people magazine, it says the fishnet shirt, highly sexy, so definitely wear that.”

“Got it, fishnet shirt.”

“Then we want pants that are tighter, to show off your legs better.”

“Ok, weird but I can probably find some.”

“Lastly we need a nice jacket to put over the fishnet shirt, something that says sexy, but like you’re not trying.”

“I think” Naruto thought about his jacket choices.

‘Wear one of my old ones, their sexy’ Minato was being helpful for once.

“I’ve got the perfect jacket for it kind of, anything else?”

“Are you going to be bottoming or topping?”

“What the hell does that mean?”

“I don’t know?  It never defines them in the people magazine.”

“Ok, well, I’m Naruto so probably topping what should I do?”

“Make sure to shave your pubic hair and bring a condom, you first dates with strangers aren’t always safe.”

“I… uh, ok.”

“That’s all the help me and the people magazine can offer, good luck my friend” Gaara returned to his room.

“Ok, gonna have to, shave I guess” Naruto was pretty confused about that last part, but rolled with it.  “Let’s go place an order for flowers, either roses or something that says Hianta.”

He headed to the flower shop, hoping Haku was there and that he knew what flowers Hinata liked.  He was in luck, since Haku was there.

“Aw babe, are you visiting me while I’m at work?” Haku was very happy to see him.  “I’m not allowed you kiss you on the clock though.”

“I’m actually here to place an order for flowers?” Naruto wasn’t sure how to do this.

“Ooooooh?  Should I close my eyes while I take the order?”

“No?”

“Are they for me?”

“Oh, no, I’m planning a date for Hinata.”

“Aw and you’re buying her flowers” Haku gave him a smile.  “Aren’t you such a nice young man, I also except flowers in the future now though.”

“I figured, but um, do you know her favorite flower?  Is it roses?”

“You don’t know?  Naruto, she, how don’t you know this?”

“I’m forgetful ok!” he wasn’t that good at remembering things.

“Well then, I’m not going to tell you, so you’ll have to buy roses” Haku was being a jerk right now.

“Yeah well fine!  I’m sure it is roses” He placed the order to pick up tomorrow.  “Thank you babe.”

“Of course, and for future reference I like white roses, I will write this down at home.”

“You know me so well.”

“Yeah I do, now go, plan away!”

Naruto headed out, looking for a place to buy sushi from.  He didn’t know any place to do so, so he was flying blind.  He lucked out and ran into Sakura on the way.

“Sakura I need your expertise!” Naruto knew she was a master of this stuff.

“My help? With what eating pussy?” Sakura clearly didn’t know what expertise he needed. 

“Uh, I’m gonna say no since I don’t know what that is, I’m looking for somewhere to buy sushi from.”

“Oh that’s easy” she wrote day a store name for him.  “Why do you need sushi?”

“I’m planning a date and want to have the food picked out ahead of time.”

“Wow, you’re really thinking ahead.”

“Thank you, I know I’m the best at romance” Naruto loved gloating.

“Right, sure, don’t screw it up I guess” she shrugged at him as he left.

Finding the store was easy enough, they had a pretty good selection too.  He bought the ones that looked that tastiest, hoping he’d gotten enough for the picnic.  The clones had found a good spot so he was set there too.  The plan was coming together perfectly.  He spent the rest of the day looking through his dad’s old clothes for a jacket.  He settled on a nice vest, it’d be perfect with the fishnet shirt.  And there were some tight pants in this stuff that fit him.

‘I think those are your moms?  That or I don’t remember what my pants look like.’

“Well they fit and show off my legs, so good enough” he didn’t care if they were his mom’s.

“Naruto?” Hinata had heard him talk to himself and came to investigate.

“AH DON’T LOOK THIS IS SECRET STUFF” He quickly hid so she wouldn’t see the outfit.

“WHAT SECRET STUFF” she seemed to be getting fed up with the suspense.

“IF I TELL YOU IT RUINS THE SUPIRSE.”

“I MEAN I GUESS, WHY ARE WE YELLING?”

“I WAS SCARED” he peeked his head from behind the closet door he was hiding behind.  “Can you leave so I can change real quick?”

“Oh yeah” she left the room.

Changing to his normal attire he quickly hid the outfit.  All the pieces had fallen into place. 

“So, when am I gonna learn about this secret?” Hinata waited for him to come out of the room.

“Tomorrow!  You just gotta wait, but it’ll be good I swear.”

“Ok ok, I’ll trust you” she clearly wanted to know.  “And I made sure I’m free tomorrow night for this ‘secret’ thing.”

“Perfect! You won’t regret it!”

“Thank you” she gave him a small smile.  “I won’t try and guess the ‘secret,’ but it means a lot to me.”

 “And you mean a lot to us” Haku hugged her from behind.

“Ooh” Hinata jumped at the sudden hug.  “Don’t scare me like that.”

“A peerless ninja like you couldn’t here lil ol me walking up?” Haku tried to act innocent here.

“Wait, before we get distracted” Naruto needed to say something important.  “Dinner.”

“Dinner?” Haku gave him a look.

“I’m hungry” he hadn’t thought to get food while he was out.

“I’m hungry too!” Hinata must have also been too busy to get food.

“Fine fine, I’m hungry too” Haku rolled his eyes.  “Someone get Gaara while I decide where we go to eat.”

“I’ll go get him” Hinata headed over to his room.

“So how’s the big secret plan going?” Haku clearly was curios.

“Amazingly duh, I’m a master of this stuff” Naruto knew Haku knew he wasn’t.

“Sure sure, if you need my help let me know ok?” Haku was now clearly doubting him.

Dinner went mostly well, Gaara managed not to ask Naruto any strange questions.  Apparently saying they were friends was all he needed to start acting more normal.  Naruto just had to make it to the next night without anything tipping Hinata off about the secret plan.

“Babe I’m completely sure she knows” Haku was watching pace back and forth in their room.

“There’s no way she knows, unless you told her” Naruto passed an accusative look at Haku.

“Of course I haven’t, you’re just bad at keeping secrets.”

“I’m amazing at keeping secrets.”

“Name one secret you’ve kept, one.”

“Uh” Naruto was wracking his brain, and not coming up with anything.  “I mean, no one knew I was gay so boom.”

“You barely knew you were gay!  And people did know!”

“Oh did you know when we first met?”

“Yes!”

“How?”

“I saw you looking at me, and I especially saw you looking at me after I told you I was a boy.  There is nothing straight about that.”

“That’s unfair!”

“How is that unfair?”

“You’re hot!  What am I supposed to do be?  Be blind?”

“Well no, but I do like compliments so keep those coming” Haku was now playfully smiling at him.

Naruto smiled back and sat down on the bed with him.  Haku played with his hair, something he’d started doing more now that he had longer hair.  Naruto eventually leaned over to rest his head in Haku’s lap.  He hoped his mission didn’t keep him away for long. 

“Oh shit I never told you guys about my next mission” Naruto had forgot about it in his rush to plan a date.

“No you haven’t?  Are you going to now?”

“I’ll wait till Hinata’s back from the shower, don’t want to explain it twice” Naruto didn’t like to re-explain things.

“Ok then, my turn” Haku rested his head on Naruto’s lap while they waited.

His hair was always so soft.  Whenever Naruto ran his fingers through it, it felt more like fresh snow than hair.  They stayed like that for a few minutes, by the time Hinata came back Haku was half asleep.

“Babe come on” Naruto was now trying to get Haku to sit up.

“Mmm noooo” Haku resisted. 

“Can you just tell us tomorrow?” Hinata had already given up on getting Haku up for this.

“Fine I guess I can just tell you both tomorrow” Naruto gave up, earning a happy sound from Haku.  “You’re gonna have to move so we can sleep you know that right?”

Him and Hinata dragged Haku more onto the bed, he was now just being difficult for the sake of being difficult.  Once the three of them had assumed their normal position they all drifted off to sleep. 

Naruto looked out his window, he could see two children playing in the yard.  He knew they were his kids but for some reason he couldn’t remember their names right now.  He looked around for his wife, she would know their names.  After a bit of searching he found her in the living room knitting.  He leaned over the back of the chair to give her a kiss.

“Oh, you scared me Naruto” the older Hinata smiled up at him.

“Sorry honey” Naruto scratched the top of his head, his short hair surprised him.  “Did I stop growing out my hair?”

“Sweetie you started cutting it short years ago” Hinata found this question about his hair normal for some reason.  “Did you need me for something?”

“Oh yeah, what did we name our kids?”

“Oh, you’re so silly, Boruto and Himawari.”

“BORUTO?” Naruto woke up in a cold sweat.  That was child abuse.

“Babe?” Haku had been woken up by the shout.  “What the hell is a Boruto?”

“I think I just had a nightmare” Naruto slowly laid back down, still not sure what the dream meant.

“I’m sorry darling” Haku soothingly rubbed his back.  “Do you want to tell me about it?”

“We named our child Boruto.”

“How dare you make dream me do this.”

“I, don’t actually know if you were there?  I had short hair, I think it looked really bad though.  And I think I was married to Hinata?  I didn’t see you at all though.”

“Oh thank god, I would never do that to a child.  Also please keep your hair long.”

“See it was terrifying!” Naruto was glad Haku understood his fears.

“This clearly means if we have kids, I’m in charge of naming them” Haku was still rubbing his back to help him calm down.

Naruto just laid there, he couldn’t sleep after that.  How could he name a child Boruto and sleep at night, even if it was only a dream.  Was that the kind of person he was deep down?  No he was better than that!

“Sun go away” Naruto had stayed up the rest of the night, but Haku was no once again woken up.

“Am I a good person Haku?”

“Is this about your dream?”

“Answer my question please.”

“I think you’re a good person, I’d think you’re a great person if you closed the blinds for me.”

“I’m serious!  What if one day I grow up and name a child Boruto?”

“I told you, I won’t let you do that.  Please close the blinds for me?”

“But what if it happens anyways?” Naruto got out of bed and closed the blinds. 

“Babe it won’t happen, you wouldn’t name a child Boruto” Haku was clearly trying to get back to sleep.  “Now come back here and get some more sleep ok?”

“Ok but if I have another dream like that, it’s your fault” Naruto crawled back into bed with them, hesitating before putting an arm over Hinata as well as Haku.

“Good” Haku snuggled close to him before returning to sleep.

Naruto felt himself drift back to sleep too, he had to believe in himself.

“I HATE YOU DAD” Boruto was yelling at him.  “YOU’RE NEVER THERE FOR ME.”

“I’M THE HOKAGE I’M SORRY” Naruto yelled back at him, this felt like it’d happened before.  “I HAVE TO PROTECT THE VILLAGE.”

“HOW CAN YOU PROTECT THE VILLAGE IF YOU CAN’T EVEN BE A DAD FOR FIVE MINUTES?”

“THAT’S IT, YOU’RE GROUNDED, GO TO YOUR ROOM.”

“I HATE YOU” Boruto stormed off, slamming his door loudly.

Naruto felt so angry, why couldn’t Boruto understand he was trying.

“You shouldn’t yell at him like that” Hinata was visibly upset by the fight.

“He shouldn’t talk to me like that” Naruto couldn’t believe she was on his side.  “Wait, why am I such an asshole?”

Naruto looked at himself in the mirror.  This guy who he’d become.  He was a prick, to everyone apparently.  How did he even get married let alone have kids.

“I’m sorry” he apologized to Hinata, she looked surprised by that.  “I’m gonna talk to him for real.”

He walked over to his son’s room and knocked on it.

“Go away.”

“Boruto, I’m sorry, you’re right” Naruto couldn’t believe grown up him could screw up being a dad this bad.  “I should be there for you more and I’m not.  You’re not actually grounded, can I come in?”

“….yeah.”

Naruto opened the door and walked in.  His son had a small room, there were some knocked over pictures below a poster.  Was that poster of him?  He picked up the pictures, they were of him and Boruto and a family picture.  How had he screwed up being a dad so bad that his son who idolized him never even got see him?

“I’m sorry son” Naruto knew those words weren’t enough.  “I let being Hokage get in the way of what’s most important.”

“Not having an ugly haircut?” Boruto apparently had enough kick in him to diss his old man.

“Maybe you’re still grounded” Naruto ruffled his son’s hair before sitting on the bed next to him.  “And no not my haircut, even though it does look really bad.  Do I cut this blindfolded?”

Boruto laugh a little at that, Naruto could tell by his eyes that he’d been crying.  He realized he’d missed his own son’s birthday.  Seriously future Naruto?  His fucking birthday?

“I’m still mad at you, you let me down” Boruto was back to looking sad.  “Was one day so much to ask for?”

“No, it wasn’t” even Naruto didn’t like future Naruto what was this guy’s deal.  “How can I make it up to you?”

“Are you actually gonna do it if I tell you?” Boruto was clearly distrustful of his dad.

“Of course, I promise, I double promise!  If I break this promise, I’ll resign as Hokage” Naruto was making sure he locked future Naruto into doing this.

“Can we go to Disney World this weekend?” Naruto didn’t know what the hell a Disney World was, but this was for his son.

“You bet your ass, I didn’t say that, we can!” Naruto realized he shouldn’t swear in front of his kid.

“I’m telling mom you said that.”

“What! Why? Disney world?”

“Yeah but consider this payback for grounding me” Boruto was definitely a cheeky little shit.

“Alright, I’ll say that’s certainly fair” Naruto stood up from the bed, he had to make sure future Naruto was a good husband too before he woke up.

“And dad?”

“Yeah son?”

“I, I don’t really hate you.  I’m sorry for saying that.”

“No, I get it, I’d hate me if I were in your shoes” Naruto ruffled his hair again.  “But for your mom’s sake, let’s do are best to fight less alright?”

“Alright, goodnight dad.”

“Goodnight son” Naruto left the room, making sure to close the door behind him.

Hinata was standing near the door, clearly having eavesdropped on the talk.  She was very poorly trying to act like she hadn’t just done so.

“So, Disney World?” she could tell her acting failed.

“Yeah, I think I’m getting let off pretty easily all things considered” if it was him he’d demand to be Hokage for a day.

“I’m glad you two made up” Hinata was acting weirdly nervous.

Wait a minute.  Was this Hinata, just old Hinata but as an adult?  Weren’t they married?  Only one way to test it.  Naruto walked over and held her hands, she jumped a little.  How, how did they get married.

“Is everything ok?” she was getting nervous about holding hands?  They had two children, which means they’d had sex at least twice.

“Hinata, are you, happy?  With me?  Or in general too.”

“Oh, of course I am” she seemed caught off guard by the question.  “Yeah, you work late a lot, and we don’t see you often, but we’re married.  That’s enough for me.”

“Do we, go on dates or go out to anything fun ever?” Naruto felt like he knew the answer.

“Well, not really, but I don’t mind!  I know you’re busy all the time.”

“I’m too busy for my family, wow, I am the worst” future Naruto needed to get his shit together.

“No!  You’re not the worst Naruto, I told you I don’t mind it.”

“You should!  We’re married and you never see me!  There’s nothing about that that isn’t wrong!  We’re in love and I can’t even make time to take you out somewhere nice.”

“I” she clearly minded but didn’t want to say before.  “I do want spend time with you, I go to the movies alone when the kids are at school because you’re never home.”

“That’s awful of me!” Naruto had never been so excited to be dragged before.

“And you’re never home for dinner, even though I make dinner for you every night.  You always make me go to dinner with my family alone and you know I don’t like going there.  The last time we had a date night you missed it and I ate alone in the restaurant I made reservations for us at.”

Ok wow, why did she marry this Naruto?

“And you ate all my left over ramen last week even though you know I like to save it.  I always have to see our friends alone; since you never remember when we’re meeting up even though it’s the same time each month.  The only person we know who’s a worse dad and husband is Sasuke, and he doesn’t even live in the village!”

She had a lot of grievances with dad Naruto, like a lot a lot.

“You never compliment my haircuts or even say anything to imply you’ve noticed I got a haircut.  And every time I try and drop hints about the kids having sleepovers you work late!  We haven’t had sex in two years!  Two, Years!”

Naruto let her catch her breath, he didn’t want to interrupt her if she still had more to say.  No wonder she acted like old Hinata around him, he practically ignored her.

“Ok, that’s everything” she looked like a huge weight was off her chest.  “That felt really good to say.”

“Before I say anything else, I think your haircut is very nice currently” future Naruto had his work cut out for him to unfuck this relationship.  “I’m gonna stop putting being Hokage before us, I promise.”

“Can I trust this promise Mr. Hokage?” she definitely seemed like she’d heard this one before. 

“I double promise!  And if I break it, it’s Mr. Uzumaki” Naruto had set up future him, but he couldn’t sleep forever. 

“You don’t have to resign as Hokage for-”

“We’re a family, and family comes first, always.  I’m a husband and father before I’m Hokage.”

Hinata smiled at him, he’d successfully done everything he could to fix this.  He gave future Hinata a kiss and then woke up.  He understood what the dream meant now.

“Haku wake up” Naruto shook him to speed up the waking.

“Babe please five more minutes” Haku wasn’t happy at being woken up again.

“I know what my dream meant now!  I have to put us first.”

“So I’ll never have to hear the name Boruto again?”

“I promise you won’t.”

“I’m so happy, I’m gonna kiss you” he in fact did lean in and kiss Naruto.

Chapter Text

“Jacket?”

“Check.”

“Form fitting pants?”

“Check.”

“Sexy but not too sexy fishnet shirt?”

“Check.”

“Flowers?”

“Check.”

“Are you ‘topping?’”

“Yes?”

“Then, condom?”

“Check?  I think?  Jiraya gave it to me when I asked but, what do I actually use it for?”

“No idea, but it’s important you have at least one at all times as the top.”

“Damn how was I going through life before, was I not always on top?”

“Maybe not” Gaara was helping him prepare the last minutes things of the date.

“Thanks buddy” Naruto had to admit, Gaara wasn’t so bad.

“Of course bro” Gaara’s use of slang was also improving, Sasuke had done him good.  “Now get out there you stud.”

“Alright Hinata’s ready…  Now this is a look” Haku had not seen his date outfit yet, having been getting Hinata ready.  “I think I prefer the well-dressed Naruto though, personally.”

“I’ll keep that in mind for our next date night then” he was still going to wear the fishnet shirt, it just felt right.  “Wish me luck?”

“Luck” Haku gave him a kiss before sending him out of the room.

He headed downstairs, Hinata was waiting for him by the door.  She was wearing a fairly nice dress, luckily for him it wasn’t a formal one.  He did not want to go and change clothes.

“So what does this big secret entail?” she was still playing along with not calling it a date.

“I would say follow me and close your eyes, but you have x-ray vision so just follow me” he took her hand and led her to the date site.

“I’m glad I didn’t wear heels, how far away is this secret?” they’d been walking for quite a bit.

“Still a little further away, trust me” Naruto maybe could have picked a closer place.  “It’ll be worth the walking.”

“Alright I trust you” she kept following him.

The walking was filled with mostly a comfortable silence between them.  Spending time with her that wasn’t training was actually quite calm.  He sped them up slightly as he saw the place, excited to see her reaction.

“What do you think?” he’d found a small waterfall thanks to the clone search, it fed into a small pod that was crystal clear.

“I’m surprised you know about this place” Hinata giggled at him.  “I used to come here all the time to think.”

“Way to ruin the surprise past Hinata geez” he was a little disappointed, this was so out of the way. 

“It’s still lovely” she gave his hand a reassuring squeeze.  “A very nice surprise.”

“Well there’s still a bit more to the surprise” Naruto clapped to have the hiding clones bring out the picnic material.

After the set up was finished the two sat down on the blanket.  The waterfall made the air here feel refreshing, perfect after the hike here.

“So while I was planning this, I realized something that was, kind of whack” Naruto handed her some of the food.  “I don’t know as much about you as I should considering we’ve lived together for a month.”

“And what is it you don’t know about me?” Hinata seemed a little hurt by that.

“Welllll, what’s your favorite non-ramen food?” he decided to just dive right in.

“That’s easy, I like cinnamon buns, or if I’m not allowed to eat only sweets zenzai are good too.  Anything else?”

“What’s your favorite flower?”

“Oh, um, I guess white lilies?  I like most flowers though.”

“So on like, a scale of great flowers to awful, where do roses fall?”

“I’d say their pretty good, why?”

“I can accept pretty good” Naruto pulled the roses he bought out of the basket.  “But next time I’m aiming for amazing so be ready.”

“Oh, you didn’t have to buy me flowers” she took them anyways, blushing a little.

“Well maybe not, but I did anyways” Naruto wanted to make sure she knew he cared about her. 

“Oh no I’m very happy you did, I will not deter more flowers being given to me in the future” Hinata smiled at him.  “I just mean, well, you didn’t have to do all this.  I know I said all of that the other day, but I don’t want to force you to go out with me.”

“You’re not forcing me to do anything” Naruto offered her his hand.  “I did this because I want to, and I told you before.  I want to know the real you.”

“You sure know how to make a girl feel special” she took his hand and scooted closer to him.

“I know” bragging was his favorite activity.  “You have future dream Hinata to thank for some of this though to be fair to her.”

“Now, you just said some words that didn’t really make any sense, but I’ll let it slide since I like you.”

“Huh, what other stuff will you let slide because you like me?”

“I’m not going to say.”

“What why not?”

“It’d ruin the moment.”

“Fine, we can savor the moment” Naruto pulled her closer to him, so they were leaning on each other.  “But I won’t be happy about it.”

She leaned her head on his shoulder, humming happily.  Watching the waterfall made him feel so calm for some reason.  Maybe it had something to do with having Hinata there too.  He turned to look at her, seeing the older Hinata instead.  He could tell this was another of his future dreams.  He looked forward, his two children were playing in the water.  Something was missing though.

“Where’s…” he couldn’t place what it was, but it felt so important.

“Where’s what?” he was back with the present Hinata again.

“Nothing, I was just, distracted” why did he keep having those dreams.  “I do wanna know something else though.”

“And what’s that?”

“What would you do when you came here?  Just sit and think or play in the water?”

“I mean, I did technically play with the water yeah” Hinata looked like she was reminiscing.  “I would dance with the water, it brought me some peace.”

“Do you want to dance now?” he was hopping she could teach him how to actually dance.

“Um, maybe not, I don’t want to get my dress wet, and I think my usual method to avoid that is a bad idea.”

“Oh?  Is it some kind of super-secret jutsu?  Can you show me?”

“No it’s definitely not super-secret or a jutsu, and I think I’d be too embarrassed to show you.”

“What’s there to be embarrassed about?  It’s just a trick to stay dry right?”

“Do you really want to know?”

“Yes!”

“I would just, dance naked.”

“Oh!”

“Yeah…”

“That’s certainly…”

“Yep.”

“I’m just having a hard time picturing you going nude in public to dance.”

“It’s not public!  It’s a hidden waterfall!”

“Yeah but like, it’s outside, and naked outside is like public.”

“Oh would you not do it?”

“I mean, probably not, what if someone saw me.”

“I’m sure they wouldn’t figure out it was you, especially at night, the chance someone would recognize me dancing is so low.”

“I bet I could do it.”

“Oh?  You bet?”

“Ok now the way you said that was weird.”

“What you said was weird too.”

“It was a little weird I admit it.”

“Kid just fuck her and be done with it holy shit” WHAT.

‘Yeah he’s right, she’s thirsty for you kid’ what the hell dad.  ‘Do kids not say that anymore?’

“NO!” he, like an idiot said that out loud.

“Are you ok Naruto?” Hinata now looked pretty worried for him.

“I uh” he had to recover somehow.  “Thought I saw a really big bug.”

“Oh, is it still there?”

“No it’s gone” solid recovery from Naruto Uzumaki.

“Do you, want to dance with me?” Hinata was a little red while asking this.

“I’m kind of a terrible dance if I’m honest” Naruto knew she’d find out the truth sooner or later.

“That’s fine, I’m not actually a good dancer, but it’s fun” she stood up, pulling on his hand.

“Then sure!” Naruto stood up with her, taking his jacket off to keep it dry.

“Oh” she was obviously looking at his fishnet covered chest.

“Yeah I figure the fishnets won’t actually get too wet” Naruto didn’t put two and two together.

“Yeah that, that makes sense” she very stiffly looked away.  “What about your, pants?”

“Oh yeah, thanks for the heads up” he quickly also took off his pants, he was now just in his boxers and the fishnet shirt. 

“No, um, no problem” she was still looking away from him, her hands now clenched on the bottom of her dress.

“Aren’t you worried about your dress?” she had said that before.

“What no, I don’t even, I don’t even like this dress” she quickly headed over to the waterfall trying to avoid the question for some reason.

“Ok then” he followed her to the water stepping out onto it.  “So is there some special dance we do?”

“Yeah, I use my chakra to make the water move normally” she slowly stepped onto the water after him, the water slowly rising with her.

“What!  That’s sick as hell!  How do you do that?”

“You just have to let your chakra flow into the water, but” before she could finish explaining he fell into the water.  “You have to be careful to keep focusing it to your feet too.”

“Oh, makes sense” he went to the shore line before heading back onto the water.  “Any tips before I fall in again?”

“You have to make sure you keep your focus clear, just like with meditating.”

“I can already say I’m gonna suck at this, be prepared for the splash zone” Naruto was notoriously bad at meditation.

“Splash away” Hinata backed up a little, playing with a little ball of floating water.

Naruto took a deep breath and focused.  Let it flow but also control it.  He could do this, he was a faster of chakra control.

“DAMMIT” he promptly fell in, earning a giggle from Hinata.

“It takes a while to get the hang of, you don’t need to worry about it so much” Hinata was giving him an out, but was he going to take it?

“No I can do this, I’m sure I’m close” he got ready to try again.

He focused again, clearing his mind of everything.  He sent more chakra to his feet, being careful not to overdo it and break his control.  Once he felt like there was enough he tried to let it flow out.  So far so good, he hadn’t fallen in yet.  He sent more to his feet, making sure he kept an even amount flowing and under his feet.

“You’ve almost got it” Hinata was starting to sound impressed.  “Take it nice and slow.”

He could feel the water moving around him.  The ripples it gave off as it raised were a good indicator.  He opened his eyes, the water had risen a foot up, he gave a triumphant smile to Hinata.  Once again it wasn’t the Hinata of the present.

“I knew you could do it honey” she encouraged him as he kept going.

“What else would you expect from me?” his grin widened at her praise.  “I’m Naruto Uzumaki after al-”

He cut off as he lost his focus and popped the water.  Launching it onto Hinata in both timelines.

“DON’T LOOK” the present Hinata quickly covered herself up with her hands, losing her own focus and falling in as well.

“Crap I’m sorry” he tried to apologize but she turned around quickly.  “Is everything alright?”

“I’m…. not wearing, um, anyunderwear” she quickly mumbled out the last part, and her facing away from him didn’t make it any easier to hear.

“What?” he waded over to her and put a hand on her shoulder making her jump slightly.

“I’m not, wearing, underwear” she took a quick step away again. 

“Oh” it hit Naruto as to why she was covering herself now.  “Why, uh, aren’t you?”

“It was Haku’s idea” of course it was.

“Why did he suggest this?”

“Because it kind of seemed like you were going to, put the moves on me.”

“Put the moves on you?”

“Yes the moves.

“What the hell are the moves?”

“Sex, the sex moves, where we have sex.”

“WHY DID HE THINK THAT?”

“Because he saw you get condoms.”

“Now, at the risk of sounding rather dumb, how are those related?”

“You …” most of her sentence was lost due to the distance and mumbling.

“You what?” he moved closer to her.

“YOU PUT IT ON YOUR PENIS SO YOU DON’T GET ME PREGNANT” she hadn’t expected him to move closer and yelled this in his face.

“WAIT WHAT” Minato had not mentioned this in the talk.

‘YES I DID, YOU JUST DIDN’T FUCKING LISTEN.’

“Did you not know that?” she looked pretty surprised.

“Yes I’m an orphan I’ve never been given, the ‘talk’” Naruto put quotes are the word talk.

“Oh, well, um” Hinata was clearly debating something.  “When a person with a penis and a person with a vagina have sex.  Pregnancy can happen.  Condoms prevent that most of the time.”

“Ok now I need to know, did your dad give you the talk?  And was it as awkward as I think it would be?”

“Yes and yes” she scratched the back of her head, trying to not think about that memory.

Her doing so brought something to Naruto’s attention.  Mostly what her dressing being soaking wet meant, and how her breasts looked with a blue dress clinging to them.  She saw his eyes, and quickly covered herself up again.

“I think we should get out of the water.”

“I agree completely one hundred percent” Naruto quickly ran over and put his pants on.

“Can I, wear your jacket?” she didn’t have anything dry to put on.

“Yeah of course” without looking at her Naruto handed it to her.

“Thank you” she quickly put it on and closed it up.

“Ok, another question that might seem stupid, what the hell is topping?”

“It’s, um, ask Haku?” Hinata also didn’t seem to know.

“I’m sorry about, all this confusion” Naruto had accidently made a lot of implications today.

“No I’m sorry for, trusting Haku about my choice of clothing” she sounded a little bitter.

“Can you imagine?  Us having sex?  He’s crazy” Naruto laughed a little.

“I mean” Hinata was getting a little red again.  “Yes…”

“Oh” Naruto was not sure how to reply to that.

“Sorry I shouldn’t have said that, forget I said that please.”

“No no, it’s fine, I’m just, not used to, any of this.”

“This?”

“People liking me, loving me, wanting to kiss me, wanting to have sex with me.  It’s kind of all new, and really unexpected.”

“Oh, I’m sorry for making you feel uncomfortable.”

“No that’s not it!  It’s nice, I just, don’t know how to do any of that.  Sex stuff.  You know?”

“Suuuuure.”

“Oh god am I the only one who doesn’t know how to have sex.”

“What, no!  I just, did some, research.”

“Please never say it like that again you sound way too much like Jiraya if you do.”

“Noted, but like, I kinda just, looked it up?”

“How?  Also why?”

“Well, with books, and the internet.  And in case it ever came up, and because you know.  Teenagers.”

“Right.  We’re horny or something.”

“I mean, yes right now in particular, but also in general too.  Why do you think I sleep on the couch so often?”

“Because you like alone time?”

“That’s, a way of saying it.”

“Am I about to learn a new thing?”

“Maybe, do you not, um, should I just say the word instead of talking around it?”

“Yes that would help immensely.”

“Do you not know what masturbation is?”

“What what is?”

“Oh god, am I really about to explain this to you while I’m soaking wet and you’re shirtless.”

“I mean we’re both soaking wet?”

“Right, that’s, yup exactly.”

“You don’t have to explain it, in theory I can ask Jiraya.”

“From everything you’ve said about Jiraya that can only go awfully” Hinata sighed and shivered a little.  “Is there any chance we can go somewhere warmer?”

“Oh I can help with that” Naruto started cranking some of the fox’s chakra, heating the air up.

“Wow yeah, that’s a lot better” Hinata moved closer to him to get more heat.  “Since when were you a space heater?”

“Technically since I started being able to form the chakra body I guess?  Since this chakra is like superhot.”

“Wait does it burn you?”

“Not anymore, it used to sting a bit back before I was used to it, but um, maybe don’t touch it to be safe.”

“Got it, don’t touch the bright red chakra, easy enough” she still moved a bit closer, making sure to keep a few inches between them.

“So uh, maybe for the next date I’ll let you in on the plans” Naruto was very sure this was a wash.

“Maybe, but I think this was nice.  Or most of it was nice until I fell in the water.”

“I’ll just bring extra clothes on any date I plan from now on, as a precaution.”

“I think you came well prepared all things considered.  I just came a lot um, less prepared.”

“We can say that’s Haku’s fault.”

“Oh yeah it’s definitely his fault, but why do you have a condom?”

“Well, uh, I decided to ask someone for advice.  It was Gaara.  All of his advice came from some magazines Haku gave him to read.  The one was, if I was going to be ‘topping’ I’d need a condom, and since you know.  I’m Naruto, I figured I’d be topping.”

“Well, you’re not wrong.”

“Wait you do know what it is?”

“I’m still going to make Haku explain it to you, also why did you ask Gaara?  He only recently learned how to interact with other humans aside from murder.”

“His advice was good, unless you think my outfit wasn’t good.”

“Oh no, I think it’s great, the fishnet shirt tight pants combo.  Masterpiece.”

“So yeah, it seemed like a good plan to trust him.”

“Maybe next time just, look up what a condom is used for first.  Or what topping is.  Wait does Gaara know what those are?”

“Not even slightly, it was in fact the blind leading the blind.”

Hinata laughed a little at that, her shivers had stopped.  The fox chakra was pretty good for drying people off it turned out.  He was never using towels again.  Turning off the aura he put his around Hinata in case she was still cold.  She leaned against him now that it was safe to.

“You haven’t gotten a haircut recently that I didn’t notice right?” he had to be better than future Naruto.

“No?  Why?” the question was very confusing to be fair to her.

“Well in the visions I’ve been seeing lately, the future me is kind of a jerk, and apparently just never notices if you get haircuts.  So I wanted to make sure I was at least more observant than him.”

“Ok, I let it slide before, but what the hell does that mean?”

“The visions part or?”

“Yes, the visions part.”

“Uh, well, in my dream last night I was a grown up version of myself.  There were our two kids, and you were there, and I was, or will be I guess, the worst husband slash father ever.”

“Well that’s kind of a bummer.”

“Right!  So I tried to fix it while I was future me, and future you had a lot of complaints.  Like a solid ten to fifteen minutes worth of them.  Which is why I want to learn more about you, and just in general be better as a partner.”

“What kind of complaints did I have?  Besides the haircut one I guess.”

“Oh geez uh, I would never be home because of work.  I’d eat your leftovers all the time, I would miss our date nights, I never picked up on some hints you’d drop.”

“Ok that last one is a universal Naruto issue.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“I, ok this sounds bad, kind of stalked you for years and you didn’t know I had a crush on you.  For like, six years.”

“Damn, six years?  That’s like” he didn’t have a metaphor or anything smart to say.  “Longer than five.”

“That is a true observation yes, but I guess it all works out.”

“Yeah, weird how all that plays out.”

“Are the kids like, split or?”

“Split?”

“Yeah like are some from Haku and some from you?”

“Oh, I don’t know?  I haven’t actually seen Haku in any of the visions yet.”

“That’s kind of weird right?”

“Not as weird as the fact we name one of the kids Boruto.”

“WE DO WHAT?”

“Right!  We’re such bad parents, or ok I’m a bad parent, but still you allowed it!”

“I would never allow it, I think, I’m sure you tricked me somehow.”

“Why does everyone think I’d name a child Boruto?  Do I seem that cruel?”

“A little yeah.”

“Wow I want a future divorce.”

“Too late I already filed for one after you didn’t say you liked my haircut” she stuck her tongue out at him.

“I’ll overrule it as Hokage just so I can divorce you first for being mean to me.”

“Wow, weird flex but ok.”

Naruto ruffled her hair, some major awkwardness aside this had been a pretty great date.  It was going to be lonely spending time with just Jiraya for the next month or two.  Shit he hadn’t told any of them he was leaving.

“So hypothetically” he figured this would be a good lead in.  “If was to say I’m leaving the village on a mission for upwards of a few months tomorrow, how well would it go over?”

“What!” about as well as he expected.  “You got out of the hospital two days ago, why are they sending you on a long mission like that?”

“Me and Jiraya have to find the next Hokage?”

“You have to what now.”

“Yeah, the old man is gonna step down, but we need to get um, Tsunade?  I think that’s her name, to be the new one.”

“You have to track down someone who’s avoided the village for years, and convince her to become Hokage?”

“When you put it like that, it sounds very hard I admit.  But I am really good at finding sannin so I give it a month tops.”

“Have you told Haku yet?”

“I tried to, and then he fell asleep, and then I had the vision dreams, and now we’re here.”

“He’s not going to be happy about this.”

“Oh I know, but I only found out yesterday so he can’t blame me.”

“I can’t wait to hear how that goes” she shifted against him to lay in his lap. 

“Sorry” Naruto knew Haku was probably going to throw a fit, a very loud one.  “I don’t really have any say in the matter though.”

“No I’m fine with it, I got today, also I need you to swear to me you don’t tell Haku what we did today.”

“Why?”

“It’ll annoy the hell out of him if he doesn’t know if we did or did not have sex.  And yes it’s petty but sometimes you have to be like that.”

“I think I can manage that” Naruto could agree to mess with Haku.

“We could also, you know, before heading back.”

“You know?”

“Right, uh, never mind.”

“Is this another hint dropping thing?”

“I mean, it’s not really dropping a hint so much as it is, just straight up asking.”

“Is it related to uh, what’s the word, master batons?”

Hinata couldn’t reply due to her uncontrollable laughter at the abomination of words Naruto had just said.  The humor of his question was lost on himself, sadly it wasn’t lost on some unwelcome commentators.

‘Naruto we are having another talk tonight, after the fox is done laughing.’

“MASTER BATONS.”

“Is it not about master batons?” he really didn’t understand what he was missing.

“Please” Hinata was wheezing slightly.  “Don’t say that again, I’ll die.”

“Oh, uh, is that not the word?”

“Nope, like you almost had it, but thank you for that” she sat back up, returning to leaning against him.  “We should probably head back home soon, we have kinda been gone for a while.”

“Oh crap, yeah it’s kinda getting late” Naruto hadn’t even noticed the sun setting.  “Want me to just go the fast way?”

“There’s a faster way than just a straight line?”

“I mean, kind of” Naruto offered her his hand. 

“Well, I’ll bite, what’s this faster way” she pulled herself up, once she was fully standing Naruto froze time.

Picking her up he sped off back towards the house.  Sure it wasn’t really faster technically, but it was always worth it see the shocked look on people’s faces.  In no time at all they were back, Naruto put her down before resuming time.  After looking around confused for a few seconds Hinata caught on.

“Ok freezing time isn’t faster it just, takes less time, which is kind of faster” she was doing some kind of mental gymnastics trying to form an argument.

“And yet, we’re back, and it was a fast trip” Naruto was more than prepared to argue about this.

“There you are kid, change of plans we leave now” Jiraya was waiting for them by the front door. 

“What shit, I haven’t told Haku I’m leaving at all” Naruto didn’t want to be hunted down by his boyfriend.

“Well make it fast and do it while you pack we have to leave” Jiraya was in quite the rush for someone just out of the hospital.

“Go pack, I can tell Haku when he gets home from work” Hinata was willing to take this bullet for him.  “Just don’t be away for too long.”

“I’ll try” Naruto gave her a quick kiss before running inside to pack.

Putting a handful of spare clothes and some instant noodles in a bag was hopefully all the packing he’d need.  He also grabbed another jacket since Hinata was still in his other one.  With his bag in hand he headed back out the front door, interrupting whatever Hinata and Jiraya had been talking about.

“Finally, geez kid I could feel myself dying of old age waiting for you” Jiraya was acting really cranky for some reason.

“Good luck!” Hinata gave him a quick goodbye kiss and leaned into his ear.  “And when you get back I’m sure me and Haku can teach you all about Master Batons.”

“Um” Naruto felt himself redden for some reason at that.  “Thank you?”

“Cut it out lovebirds” Jiraya dragged him off.  “We got a crazy strong old woman to find.”

The two hurried out of the village, Jiraya really didn’t want to waste any time getting on their way.  It was kind of strange behavior from the older man.

“What’s the matter?  You never rush to do anything.”

“My spies told me Orochimaru is also looking for Tsunade, I don’t know why he is.  But I know I don’t like the idea of him finding her first.”

“Can’t I get like, one week without having to worry about some deranged snake guy” Naruto was getting sick of that guy.

“I ask myself that everyday kid” Jiraya threw a water balloon to him.  “But on the upside, you have plenty of time to learn the rasengan.”

“What the hell does a water balloon have to do with learning the rasengan” Naruto caught the balloon, barely avoiding popping it on himself.

“You gotta master chakra control for this technique, you have to spin the water inside the balloon strong enough to pop it.”

“That sounds easy peasy” Naruto started channeling chakra into the balloon.

He quickly realized it was not easy peasy.  Spinning the water with his chakra wasn’t doing anything to the balloon.

“Oh yeah, you also have to have multiple direction of spin, just one won’t do squat” Jiraya clearly withheld this information to toy with him.  “It took your dad a long time to get this technique down, so trust me when I say it’ll be hard.”

“Yeah well, my dad’s a loser so I bet I can have this whole jutsu done before we get back to the village.”

“Giving yourself quite the window there huh.”

“Always be safe to never be sorry.”

“Yeah yeah, now shut up and spin that chakra” Jiraya ruffled his hair slightly.  “We got a few days before the next major city so be ready for some walking.”

“Couldn’t we have gotten like, horses or something?”

“Shut up, we walk because it builds character.”

‘He’s afraid of horses, no idea why though.’

“Wait, you’re afraid of horses?”

“WHO TOLD YOU, WAS IT MINATO?   THIS IS WHY HE’S THE WORST STUDENT”

‘And he’s very sore about people knowing that.’

“Wow the frog hermit sannin man is afraid of horses, what a story” Naruto felt like this mission was going to be fun.

Chapter Text

They’d been on the road for the better part of three weeks.  Naruto hated few things like he did this very boring trip.  It’d only take him two weeks to get the first phase of the training done, now he had a rubber ball to do it to.  They had no leads what so ever to where Tsunade was, and no clue what Orochimaru was up to.  The worst part of it all, was now some random assholes were in their way.

“You know what we want” was this guy fucking blue?  Did he have gills?

“No I don’t” Naruto had no idea what was going on.

“They want you kid” Jiraya had moved forward between him and them.

“I’m already taken sorry guys” Naruto had to make the joke.

“In your dreams kiddo” the blue guy was now grinning from ear to ear.  “You want the old guy Itachi or am I taking him?”

Wait, Itachi sounded like a really familiar name.  Did Naruto know that other guy?

“I’ll handle Jiraya, just grab the jinchuriki” Itahci pulled off his hat, showing off his sharingan.

“That’s what I was hoping you’d say” the blue guy pulled some weird sword thing off his back. 

“Naruto now is when you start running away” Jiraya had a fierce look on his face.

“What no way, I can take some blue asshole” Naruto wasn’t about to ditch Jiraya.

“He’s not some random blue asshole, he’s one of the seven swordsmen of the hidden mist village, and is an S-ranked ninja.  So please run.”

Ah, when Jiraya put it like that this random blue asshole got upgraded.  To a scary as fuck random blue asshole.

“Nice knowing you” Naruto made a bunch of shadow clones and scattered.

“Oh I love it when they run” the blue guy ran off after the clones.

“Bold of you to fight me solo” Jiraya and Itachi were now left to fight.

“I’d say the same to you, but we’re not going to fight are we?”

“I mean, unless you want to, no.  How long till he gets caught?”

“I bet five minutes.”

“You’re on.”

Naruto did not enjoy the rush of clone memories as the blue guy methodically hunted them all down.  How the hell was he so fast?  Half of the clones were already destroyed and Naruto did not have a much better plan.

“Just kick his ass, he looks like a loser.”

‘You are not telling my son to fight the most dangerous of the seven swordsmen.’

“Does this guy have a name or is he just the blue swordsman?” Naruto was getting a little sick of not knowing that.

“Who me?” said blue swordsman hopped onto a branch across from him.  “The names Kisame.  Heard about you, I’m quite excited to see you in person.”

“Well that can’t be good” Naruto didn’t like it when people knew him, especially when it was a dangerous person.

“I think it’ll be great fun personally.  With all due respect, I’m going to start attacking you now.”

“Wow for a dangerous guy you’re really” Naruto didn’t finish this sentence has he got kicked out of the tree.  “A huge prick.”

Naruto didn’t like this at all, he had no idea how this guy fought, what that sword thing was, or even if he stood a chance.  Jiraya most have thought he did, otherwise he’d have taken this guy.  Kisame was just slowly walking towards him, like he was on an afternoon stroll.

“Well come on, show me what you got” Kisame had a deranged grin on his face.

Naruto made more clones, he had to go big and go big fast.  Hopefully before this guy started fighting him for real.  The clones took up flanking positions to prepare their wind blasts while he went into the one tail mode.

“Now that’s more like it champ” finally he unwrapped the sword, it was scaled?

Naruto quickly moved in to attack.  Using his enhanced speed to make multiple attack in one pass.  Effortlessly Kisame blocked them with his free hand, keeping the sword leaning on his shoulder.  Naruto upped his speed, but it didn’t change anything.  Every punch was blocked, every kick deflected with a flick of his wrist.  He was nothing more than a flailing child compared to this guy.  The clones blasted him and Naruto used that as his chance to back out of close range.  All the blasts hit dead on knocking up a cloud of dust.

“Yeah that’ll show him” Naruto hoped really hard that’d taken him down.

“Show me what?  What dust in my mouth tastes like?” with a swing of the sword the dust was blown away and Kisame was unharmed.  “Come on kid, you’ve got the big on in you, show me something cool.”

“Blast this fucker.”

Right he had that move still.  Naruto made more clones to distract Kisame while he prepared a Biju ball.  With each swing of the sword five clones would be destroyed.  This ball better do the damn job.

“You want something cool right” the chakra was starting to get denser around him as he pulled out more of it for the attack.  “LET ME KNOW HOW THIS IS.”

“NOW WE’RE TALKING” Kisame did a quick spin to destroy the last of the clones, he started channeling his own chakra.  “I KNEW THERE WASN’T JUST GONNA BE PUSSY SHIT FROM YOU.”

What the hell was this guy?  His chakra was insane, it was like a tailed beast but in a human.  But not like Naruto, it was all his own chakra.

“BIJU BALL” Naruto wasn’t sure if yelling out the attack name was cool or not, but he did so as it blasted towards Kisame.

Kisame used his sword to block the ball, the force of the impact pushing him back as it grinded against the sword.  His chakra was fighting off the fox’s somehow.  Naruto decided to just try and end this.  He started blasting as many balls at the man as he could.  They weren’t detonating just piling more against the blade.

“WHY THE HELL AREN’T YOU DEAD” Naruto had fired ten ball at him and Kisame was still holding them all off.

“Hehe, guess you really don’t know huh” Kisame pulled the sword to the right, destroying the balls in the process.  “My sword here, it devours chakra, feeding it me growing my own reserves.  It took a while but now we can even eat tailed beast chakra.”

“Well fuck this guy, that’s just bullshit” the fox was not happy about Kisame being alive still. 

“Now, my turn” Kisame smirked as he flashed through some hand seals.  “Crashing wave!”

Naruto was no scientist, but the giant tidal wave that was coming towards him.  Really made him wonder where the hell all the water was coming from.  He didn’t stick around to find out, quickly running away from it.  Even at his top speed the wave was gaining on him.

‘Just stop time, it literally can’t chase you then’ Naruto had to remember to do that more often.

Freezing time he ran back towards Jiraya, he wanted to get the hell away from Kisame.  Hopefully that Itachi guy hadn’t killed Jiraya, but if he was anything like Kisame.  Today really sucked.  Jumping out of the tree line onto the road he found the two of them.  They looked like they were, laughing? 

“Are you two friends?” Naruto unfroze time out of sheer confusion.

“How did you outrun Kisame?” Itachi looked towards the direction of the giant wave.

“Long story, my question first” Naruto was going to be so mad if these were friends of Jirayas pranking him.

“Also a long story, let’s go before he finds you kid” Jiraya quickly started heading off.  “See you bigger kid.”

“Probably” Itachi waved them off before heading off towards Kisame.

After they’d put a large amount of distance between themselves and the other two they stopped briefly.  Naruto had used up a ton of chakra blasting attacks at Kisame and then running away, he needed to rest.  He also really wanted answers.

“Ok, explain now” Naruto was leaning against a tree and breathing heavily.

“Well, Itachi is kind of a spy who kind of works for me” Jiraya was clearly withholding information.  “And Kisame and him work for an organization that is hunting down the Jinchuriki to take the tailed beasts.”

“When were you going to mention this organization that’s hunting me exactly” Naruto was not too happy to hear he had multiple powerful people on his ass.

“Nowish.”

“Nowish?”

“I mean, yeah?  I thought it’d be fine to wait another a week or so.  At least till we’d found Tsunade.  But I guess they had other ideas.”

“You think?  That Kisame guy, ATE, my strongest attack.  No wait, he ate ten of my strongest attacks.”

“Yeah he’s not a spy for me, he’s just kind of crazy strong and dangerous” Jiraya gave him a sheepish grin.  “But I figured you’d be able to ditch him no problem, and you did.”

“Barely, he made a tidal wave!  In the middle of a forest!  How the hell, do you do that!”

“He has, basically infinite chakra, kinda like you but maybe less infinite.  Is that a thing?  Less infinite than infinite?”

“Yes there are different sizes of infinity, such as the natural numbers versus the real numbers.”

“Ok.  Nerd.”

“Ok.  Idiot.”

“But now we’re safe, Itachi is going to ‘lose’ our trail.  And we know where Tsunade is now.”

“When did we learn that last part exactly?  Was it when I was fighting for my life and you were having a tea party?”

“Yeah exactly then!  Itachi saw her while on his way here.  She’s in the next city about three days away.”

“So we’re almost done this nightmare of a mission?”

“Maybe.”

“Maybe?”

“We do have to convince her to come back with us.  Which could take, a week, maybe a month?”

“I hate everything about this mission” Naruto wanted to go back home already, but no, it’d be at least another month till they got back.

“Look, I’m sorry.  I know this is kind of unfair to you, but I honestly don’t think I’d be able to convince her to come back alone.”

“And I can help with that how?”

“Fuck if I know kid, but you’re infectious so I have hopes.”

“If that fails?”

“Then I have to be Hokage, do you want that?”

“Got it, failure is not an option” Naruto did not at all want that.      

After that pep talk they were on the road again.  At least now there was a finish line in sight, and if he was really lucky nothing else stupid would happen.  He doubted it, but really, really hoped.  Thankfully they made it to the city without any incidents.  This came to a very abrupt halt moments after they entered the city.

“HA” a very loud yell was followed by the literal shaking of the ground.

“Yup she’s here” Jiraya started strolling over to the yell.

“This can only end badly” Naruto’s hopes were dashed of an easy time.

“Yup.”

The scene they found was of an older blonde woman, Orochimaru, and a bunch of craters and cracks in the ground.  Nothing could ever be easy.

“Jiraya?” the blonde woman looked at them.

“Tsunade!” Jiraya clearly was happy to not be the one being attacked.

“Naruto” Orochimaru gave him a dirty look.

“Bastard man” Naruto gave him one back.

“Naruto?” Tsunade gave him a confused look.

“Tsunade?” Naruto gave her the same look back since he didn’t know what going on.

“Jiraya” Jiraya said his own name.  “And that’s everyone so let’s cut to the point.  Wanna be Hokage Tsunade?”

“WHAT?” Tsunade was clearly not in a good mood not that confusion had cleared up.  “Why the hell would I want to be Hokage?”

“Because I’m asking you nicely?  And we’re friends?”

“We haven’t talked in like ten years, how are we friends?”

“Yeah fuck off Jiraya I’m asking her for help” Orochimaru now decided to but in.

“No fuck you too” Tsunade was at least anti-Orochimaru.  “We are definitely not friends.”

The three started arguing loudly, Naruto decided to just slowly back away.  Some random black haired woman with a pig was also there watching this mess.  He assumed she was with Tsunade.

“Is this normal?” Naruto decided to figure out if she was at least friendly.

“Normal as in common or expected?” she turned to him trying to ignore the fight.  “I’m Shizune by the way.”

“Um I guess expected?  And hi I’m Naruto”

“Yeah very expected, they had a huge falling out years ago.  Why are you here?”

“I’m kind of Jiraya’s student, and kind of his secret weapon I guess” the fighting was really eye drawing.

“Secret weapon?” that caught her attention.

“Yeah he figured this would happen so he brought me to try and help convince Tsunade to come back with us” now it was like a dog pile.

“Oh, weird but alright.  Want to go get some food while they do this?”

“Yeah that sounds like a plan” it was about dinner time.  “Lead the way.”

The two ended up at a food stall not too far away, this way they could still hear the fighting.  Him and Shizune were just chatting to fill in the holes in what was going on,

“So Orochimaru hates you because you keep kicking his ass?” Shizune seemed pretty surprised by that.

“Yeah, and he showed up here to get you to heal someone?” Naruto was confused about that.

“I think?  He said like three words before the fight started.”

“Man this shit is crazy” of all the strange things to happen.  “I think I win most eventful first year as a ninja.”

“First year?” Shizune looked kind of shocked.  “Don’t people graduate the academy at thirteen?”

“Yeah, I graduated this year” Naruto wasn’t sure where the confusion was coming from.

“Oh god, you’re thirteen?”

“Oh right, yeah my body got aged up a bit so I look older” Naruto always forgot about that.

“Well, good to know that now instead of later I guess” Shizune looked a bit flustered all of a sudden.

“Is that important?”

“I mean, no not really.”

“So it’s good to know now because?”

“No reason, just you know, nice to know.”

“Right” he had to admit, Shizune was a bit weird.  “Wait how old are you?  Like twenty or something?”

“Yeah something like that.”

“Something like that?  What does that mean?”

“I’m twenty-eight.”

“WHAT?  You look like you eighteen at most.”

“Good to know, but it’d still be illegal.”

“What would be illegal?” now she was being a real weirdo by his standards.

“Me asking you to get drinks with me.”

“Oh, right, cause I’m underage.”

“Yup exactly what I meant glad we’re on the same page.  Oh look their done fighting and this conversation is now over.”

Naruto turned to look.  Jiraya and Tsunade were walking over to them, Orochimaru was nowhere to be seen.

“So mission accomplished?” Naruto really wanted to go home.

“Not even close” Tsunade sat down at the food stall.

“But at least she isn’t punting us out of the city” Jiraya the optimist sat down too.

“So, are we giving up?” Naruto could accept failure now if it meant leaving.

“Nope, but I definitely have a plan.”

“I can hear you both, I am literally right here next to you” Tsunade seemed to have a short fuse.  “So cut out whatever you’re planning and leave me alone.”

“But it’s a bet!”

“… Go on.”

“See, Naruto here is my prized pupil, and I bet he could knock you off your feet.”

“Um, do I have to” Naruto didn’t like the idea of this very dangerous woman and him fighting.

“Oh, you think you can beat me brat?” she definitely took his words the wrong way.  “Bring it, I win you both leave.  You win and I’ll consider it.”

“What!  That’s not fair at all.”

“Take it or leave it” she headed back out to the destroyed road, readying to kick his ass.

“Jiraya, why do you fucking hate me” Naruto didn’t like this plan.

“Look kid, just stop time and drop her” Jiraya had thought this through.

“Shit right, I can do that” he had to stop forgetting.

“I hate you sometimes kid.”

Naruto headed out to the street to face her down.  He didn’t like this, but Jiraya was right.

“I’ll give you one last chance to just back out kid” she was cracking her knuckles. 

“I’ll give you the same chance” he was going to die as he lived, talking smack.  “Before I drop you old lady.”

“OLD WHAT” as she came at him he froze time, wow that set her off.

He didn’t want to actually hurt her so he just swept her legs to try and knock her over.  Moving back after doing so he unfroze time.

“THE HELL” she managed to catch herself from falling over.  “WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT?”

“My super move duh” Naruto didn’t want to explain his time power right then.  “Still think you can win?”

“Oh you cheeky little shit” she cracked her neck now, getting ready to come in at him again.

Naruto once again froze time.  Just knocking her over wasn’t enough, so he went for his big combo.  Freezing and unfreezing time he launched her off the ground, if it worked on one Sannin why not two.  After getting her a few feet up he kicked her back down, successfully knocking her down.

“That’s.  Bullshit.  You cheated” Tsunade was clearly a sore loser.

“How?  I knocked you over” he just also froze time to do so.

“I don’t know how, but you must have” she angrily stood up.  “Double or nothing.”

“Oh, uh deal, what do I get if I win?  Please say you’ll be Hokage.”

“You get uh, my necklace.”

“The cursed necklace of the Senju clan?” Shizune had explained the history of the necklace to him.

“How do you even, forget it, yes that one.”

“Fucking deal” free necklace time.

“I’m warning you now, I’m done going easy on you” she got into an actual fighting stance this time.

“Like that matters” Naruto did the same.

As she lunged at him he stopped time again.  Sure it felt wrong to do this and win a priceless family heirloom, but he wasn’t the one who bet a priceless family heirloom.  He swept out her legs and then quickly punched her down, aiming to just get it over with quickly.  As he unfroze time, the ground under them both got destroyed as she punched it.

“Can’t knock me down if I break the ground” she smirked at him, having used that to gain some air.

“You sure about that?” Naruto refroze time and jumped above her.

He kicked her down with both his legs, spiking her into the ground.  Unfreezing and refreezing time he did so again, adding to her momentum.  When he finally unfroze it for real she crashed into the ground to fast to react.

“Fuck you” she crawled out of the newest hole in the ground, spitting up a little blood.

“Triple or nothing?” he was feeling very cocky now.

“You bet your stupid ass triple or nothing” she was a really bad gambler.

“So this time for real you’ll become the Hokage and we can all go back home when I win?” this was going to be so easy.

“Oh not quite, in three days we’ll have a rematch.  If you can take me down in one hit, I’ll go back with you both.”

“What, one hit?” that was stupid.

“Yeah, what too scared?”

“I just dropped your ass twice hell no I’m not scared” he didn’t have any move strong enough to do it in one hit though.

‘THE RASENGAN, USE THE RASENGAN’ oh right that move, that he still couldn’t quite do.

“You’ve got a deal, in three days you’re gonna be Hokage” he had this in the bag, maybe.

“Oh this is gonna end so badly” Shizune clearly wasn’t excited about whatever would go down in three days.

“Nah Naruto’s an ace in the hole” Jiraya sounded like he was proud of Naruto.  “He’s got this.”

“He’s gonna get destroyed oh god.”

“Why does no one ever have faith in me, I’m the best there is at what I do” what he did was freeze time, and since very few people could do that, it counted.

The four parted ways, since Naruto and Jiraya didn’t have a hotel yet.  It didn’t take too long to find one, mostly since Jiraya was apparently rich.

“We’ve been camping on the road for a month, for no reason?” Naruto did not like camping.

“It builds character” Jiraya did not like spending money.

“Builds character my ass, also I need you to help me.”

“Help with what?”

“I need to be able to use the rasengan in three days to win the bet.”

“We’re doomed.”

Chapter Text

Again” Jiraya had been tireless working him into the ground over this past day.

Naruto held onto his wrist as he formed a ball of chakra in it.  He could form the outer shell for it, but getting the chakra inside it right was proving to be difficult.  He focused and put more chakra into it, causing it to begin spiraling out of control and exploding on his hand.

“Gah” he was knocked over by the blast, this had happened about forty times now.

“Again.”

“I CAN’T DO IT OK, I NEED MORE THAN JUST ‘AGAIN’ TO WORK WITH” Naruto was a now a tad fed up with this.

“No, you know exactly what you have to do, SO DO IT” Jiraya demonstrated the Rasengan again.

“IT’S NOT THAT SIMPLE” he couldn’t form the casing and the inside spiral at the same time, it was like looking left and right all at once.

“YES IT IS, IT IS LITERALLY THIS SIMPLE” Jiraya was clearly getting fed up as well.  “I’m calling it for today.  Get some rest, we’ll do it tomorrow.”

Naruto just sat on the ground to grumble angrily as Jiraya left.  Counting tomorrow they had one two days before the final rematch.  Two days to get this fucking technique down to win this bet.

“Now would sure be a great time for my dad, the creator of this technique, to offer some advice” Minato hadn’t said a word during his Rasengan training.

‘I hate to say this, but Jiraya’s right son.  You’re trying to brute force it with raw chakra, it needs finesse.’

“Oh really?  Wow I had no idea.”

‘You wanted my advice.’

“I WANTED HELP NOT JUST A REITERATION OF WHAT JIRAYA SAID!”

‘It’s kind of the same thing right now, I mean, I do have a theory that could help?’

“WHY DIDN’T YOU START WITH THAT” Naruto was just yelling to himself in this clearing now.

‘Because it’s untested and possibly very dangerous.’

“Would you rather I blow my damn arm off with these attempts?”

‘Fine.  Go into the one-tail shroud.’

Naruto did so, it had gotten very easy for him to freely enter this mode.

‘Now form a, kind of pocket in the shroud, preferably on your hand.’

This took a bit of work.  He had to shift the chakra around him so there was an excess on top of his hand.  It looked kinda like he had a giant welt on his palm but it was a pocket.

‘Ok, now do the part of the Rasengan where you make the spiral, use the pocket as the casing.’

“Will this work?”

‘Fuck if I know, it’s a theory remember.’

“Make sure to use your own chakra for this part.  Using mine might make a bijuu ball.”

It took a lot of effort for him to pull his own chakra into the shroud pocket.  He’d never tried using both the fox’s and his own chakra at the same time before.  After a bit there was a blue orb of chakra inside the red pocket.  He took a deep breath and began working on the rotation of it.  The pocket stayed stable as it spiraled inside it, a little shaky but nothing to intense.  The ball was a bit red, but it certainly looked like a Rasengan now.

“Ok now what?”

‘Hit something with it, duh.’

Naruto turned to a nearby tree.  He could feel the tree’s fear as he approached it.

“Sorry random tree, but we all have to make sacrifices” he slammed the ball into the tree.

A lot like when Jiraya first showed him the Rasengan the tree broke.  Unlike that time though, the tree also caught on fire, and the nearby trees got part of the effect as well.

“NOW WE’RE COOKING WITH GAS” Naruto was, in a word, ecstatic about this.

‘Well, that’s certainly not what I expected.’

“In a good way or a bad way?” Naruto was prepping another one, wanting to see what it’d to a nearby boulder.

‘In a scientific way.  The flames are probably from the fox’s chakra, but the large scale damage is weird.’

“Sounds like you’re jealous of how good I am at this” Naruto plunged the Rasengan into the boulder.

The resulting blast knocked him back about ten feet.  It also shattered the boulder, and somehow caught it on fire.  This was absolutely his new signature move.

“You’re not planning on using that on Tsunade right?” Shizune had shown up in the clearing and was clearly worried.

“I mean, I kind of might be?” Naruto let the chakra shroud fade off.  “It’s kind of my best attack.”

“Yeah but it doesn’t look very, safe, for use on humans” she was kinda of just starting at the boulder wreckage.

“Well, maybe I can show her it and convince her to just be Hokage out of fear?” Naruto hadn’t thought about that factor.

“Yeah that could work” she clearly did not believe that.  “Or you could use, a safer version of it?”

“Uh yeah, about that, no can do.”

“Why not?”

“I can kind of only do this version since I can’t form a normal one.”

“That’s a bit ass backwards dontca think?  Shouldn’t you need the normal one before an enhanced one?”

“Hey don’t ask me, I’m the expert here.”

“Then who is exactly?”

“The ghost of my dead father who lives inside my head?”

“That’s..” Shizune was clearly not expecting to hear that.  “Wow that’s a sentence of words.”

“Yeah that’s how sentences work.”

‘Maybe you shouldn’t just tell literally anyone about me being up here.’

“Your dad as in, the Fourth Hokage?”

“Yeah!  How did you know that?  I didn’t even know that.”

“I kinda knew him.”

‘Shit do I know her?’ of all the times to not remember someone, you pick now?

“Oh, that’s crazy.  Was he as a dumb in person as he is in my head?”

‘I’m not dumb at all and this nice lady will tell you so.’

“Yeah he was kind of an idiot, a genius ninja, but a twit really.”

‘Wow I am so glad I don’t remember her now.’

“Yeah I thought so, any chance you knew my mom?”

“Oh yeah, she was a terrifying lady, and I live with Tsunade.”

“Huh, I kinda believe that” what he knew of her certainly indicated towards that.

“She was also very nice, and pretty, no idea how she ended up with your dad.”

‘I think you should never talk to this woman again, I will ground you if you do.’

“Yeah that also kinda confuses me, like did he just lie about every aspect of his personality?”

“He must have, and this is gonna sound weird, cause your mom was easily an 11 and he was like and 8.”

‘AN 8?  I WAS THE FUCKING HOKAGE! I ENDED A GREAT NINJA WAR!  HOW IS THAT NOT 10 MATERIAL?’

“Judging by your face that got him riled up” Shizune laughed a little.

“Yeah he’s pulling the ‘I ended a great ninja war!’ card to try and be bumped to a ten” Naruto was also laughing after Minato’s outburst.

‘Yeah laugh all you want kid, at least I don’t get turned on by fucking math.’

“Well glad to know somethings never change” Shizune now had a sadder smile.  “If it means anything, I hope you win the bet.”

“You want to go back to Konoha?” Naruto didn’t know squat about why they had left so this was odd.

“Well, a little.  We left after my uncle died, he was Tsunade’s fiancé.  She’s been in mourning for years, I think it’s time she stopped running.  She of course disagrees entirely, but we don’t always know what’s best for us.”

“That’s, wow, that’s incredibly sad” Naruto expected a much more light hearted reason.

“Yeah it kind of is” there was now a bit of an awkward silence between them.

In a classic silence breaking way, Naruto’s stomach growled, very loudly.

“I, uh” he was now very embarrassed.  “Am gonna go get some food I think.”

“Right, I’ll just head back home and cry a bit.”

“Oh shit I’m sorry.”

“Oh no sorry, the crying was a joke, we drink our feelings in this family.”

“I… I really am sorry wow” Naruto was not prepared to deal with this.

“Oh god no that was a joke too, oh wow I’m sorry” Shizune had apparently thought he knew she was kidding.

“Sorry, as an orphan I never learned how to pick up on social cues from others.”

“Oh my god that’s so sad.”

“What no that was a joke!”

“Oh man, sorry the trauma of almost all my loved ones dying makes it hard for to get jokes sometimes.”

“Oh my god that’s awful I’m sorry I shouldn’t have said that.”

“No, no that was a joke too.”

“Oh ok, you really scared me, after I was kicked out on the street I lost the ability to really connect to others.”

“I like your style Naruto.”

“You too Shizune” Naruto never had a friend to make these jokes with before, Haku always would end up crying by the second one.

The two went their separate ways, Naruto in search of ramen and Shizune somewhere else.  After about twenty minutes he found a nice little restaurant that served ramen.  He also found an asshole.

“Waiter can I please have a table next to anyone else” why the hell was Orochimaru here?

“Yeah I do not want to sit next to this prick” of all the luck Naruto had to deal with this.

“I’m sorry sirs but there are no other open tables” the waiter gave them both menus and left.

“This is just great” Orochimaru was glaring at him over the menu. 

“Oh shut up, do you even like ramen?” Naruto was doing the same to him.

“Yes in fact I do, thank you very much.”

“Not as much as me, and that’s a goddamn fact of life.”

“Oh yeah? I can out eat you any day of the week brat.”

“It’s fucking on you, you, creepy snake guy.”

“HOW DARE YOU, I AM A SEXY SNAKE GUY.”

‘CALL HIM A 6!’

“Sure you are, six” Naruto coolly sipped his water as he felt Orochimaru seethe with rage.

“If this were any other establishment I’d summon an army of snakes to kill you.  I am a 9, an 8 on bad days sure, but a 9 today.”

“Yeah and my dad was a 10, get over yourself”

‘Alright fuck you too son.’

“That’s it, waiter, ten bowls of ramen for each of us” Orochimaru’s glare had become more intense.  “Whoever eats there’s faster is right.  And none of that time bullshit or you’re a 1.”

“Like I need time powers to win a ramen eating contest” Naruto cracked his neck and knuckles, preparing for the fierce battle ahead of him.

This was by far one of Naruto’s fiercest fights.  Everything in life was at stake here; his honor, dignity, title as ramen eater.  Nothing would shape his fate like this.  It was furious, he’d slurp one bowl and see Orochimaru swallow an entire bowl.  They both stopped using utensils, just shoveling and pouring ramen into their mouths as it was faster.  Finally, after what felt like an eternity of ramen time he was the victor.

“Oh god” he was also on the floor soon to be in a ramen coma.

“This was” Orochimaru was also on the floor.  “Perhaps a mistake.”

“You think?”

“Shut it, sometimes the things we love hurt us.”

“I never thought I’d understand you as much as I do right now.  I hate it can we go back to being enemies?”

“Thank god, I was afraid you’d get all buddy buddy on me now” Orochimaru was helped up by some random guy.  “Next time, it’ll be twenty bowls.”

“Make it thirty or you’re a fucking quitter” Naruto used a stool to stand himself up before holding out a hand.

“You’re on” the two shook on it.

“Master not to kill the moment” the random guy was talking.

“Kabuto you killed the moment when you opened your mouth.”

“Didn’t you swear to kill Naruto like two months ago?” Kabuto was unfazed by the harsh words.

“And I said I’d destroy all he holds dear, like being the best at eating ramen.  Let’s go.”

“Right” Kabuto helped Orochimaru out, he seemed like a fucking loser to be honest.

“There you are Naruto” Jiraya came in to the restaurant.  “Why was Orochimaru here?”

“Cause he just got served” Naruto felt like he was going to hurl, but had to gloat.

“Right, I heard from a pig who heard from a girl that you can now do the Rasengan?”

“Oh yeah kinda, it’s like super dangerous though” Naruto leaned on Jiraya so he could hobble out.

“How did you pull that off not even like two hours after I left you?” Jiraya was certainly impressed.

“Oh well, I had a theory about using the fox chakra to hold secure the Rasengan instead of using my own, and it worked.”

‘YOU HAD A THEORY’ wow get fucked dead guy who lived inside Naruto’s head.

“Huh, that’s really impressive you came up with that” Jiraya was now way more impressed.  “Guess this bets as good as won then huh.”

“Psh, did you ever not think that?  It’s me, the Naruto Uzumaki, future Hokage.”

“Right, sure, I never doubted you kid” he was clearly letting Naruto puff smoke now.  “Just make sure you don’t kill Tsunade in two days alright.”

“Easy peasy” Naruto was mostly sure he could swing that.  “Plus our future Hokage should be more than capable of taking one of my big attacks.”

“Sure sure, let’s get you bed for now” they were almost back surprisingly.

“Sounds like a plan” between training and the food contest he was beat.

It took a bit for Jiraya to carry him up there, but once he was on the bed it was dream city in no time.  And boy was this a weird dream.

“I’m sorry” Hinata didn’t look as old as she normally would in this dream.

“Sorry for what” it only now struck him they were in a cemetery, dressed in funeral attire.

“It was my fault” rain started to fall, he couldn’t make out the name on the grave, but her words made him afraid.

“What” he turned to face her, she was crying.  “What was your fault?”

“He” she was choking out her words now, the tears were bad.  “He died to, to save me.”

Naruto felt a weight in his stomach, but he didn’t want to look at the grave.  He refused to believe this.  It had to be someone else, maybe Kiba or Akamaru, or even Gaara?  Neji?

“He” it was hard to breathe for him now, and harder to speak.  “He who?”

“Haku.”

He fell to his knees, out of the corner of his eye he could see the name on the grave now.  Haku Uzumaki.  This couldn’t be real.  It wasn’t real, he knew that, and he’d never let it be.

“How, where” if he could fix their shitty marriage in the future he could save Haku.  “WHEN?”

She was crying harder now, his shout had certainly made it worse.  He half expected her to run away but she didn’t.  She slowly sunk to her knees as well before finally looking up at him.

“October ninth” he couldn’t tell if she was still crying or if it was just the rain.

“What year” he grabbed her hands, he had to know the year.

“Why are you asking the year, I, I don’t understand” she was starting to sound afraid.

“WHAT YEAR” he would have time to feel bad about yelling later, he had no idea how long he’d be here for.

It looked like she couldn’t reply from how hard she was crying now.  Finally she raised one of her hand and shakily pointed over at the grave.  It said it said forty-eight to sixty-six.  October Ninth, 66.  He wouldn’t let Haku die.  He reached over and wiped away Hinata’s tears, giving her a sad smile.

“It’s not your fault, Haku would never blame you” he did his best to comfort her while he was still here.  “And I’m sorry for yelling, you didn’t deserve to hear that.”

“Thank you” her tears were falling slower now, she needed to hear that.

“He will be pissed if we name our kid Boruto though, so make sure we never do that ok” he gave her a kiss on the cheek, feeling the vision start to fade.

Waking up he quickly wrote that date down.  Putting it in his headband so he wouldn’t lose it.  He was never going to let that vision become reality.

‘Naruto I’m not gonna lie, what you’re doing is kind of weird right now.’

“Did you not see my dream?  This date is when Haku dies, and I won’t let that happen.”

‘Uh, that’s a really weird dream to have son.’

“I think the time powers are starting to have a, weird effect.  Letting you see possible futures and other timelines.”

 “Why didn’t you mention this before exactly?” this seemed very important.

“Thought you were just being weird.”

“I am not that weird, you guys are so fucking mean to me” it occurred to him Jiraya was also there watching him.

“Sure thing kid, you’re very normal” he didn’t seem to care about this outburst.

“I can see the future!” he wanted to feel validated about this new power.

“WHAT ARE THE LOTTERY NUMBERS” Jiraya was instantly ready to write these down.

“Oh no, uh, like, the distant future, from my perspective.”

“You’re as always useless to me.”

“Ok well when I find out when you die, I won’t tell you.”

“I already know when I die, I want to make sure I die rich.”

“Aren’t you already rich?”

“Yeah so?”

“So I’m not going to help you get more rich you bougy demon” yeah he knew what that meant.

“Kid you have your inheritance now, you’re rich too.”

“Shit really, fuck now I’m bougy too.”

“Yeah welcome to the big leagues kid.”

Chapter Text

The time had come to end the bet, Naruto was kind of nervous.  He hadn’t gotten the Rasengan to a more controlled state yet so hopefully a demonstration would make her concede.  When that failed hopefully she’d still be alive enough to heal herself and come back to the village.  Of course someone else was also heading that way.

“Are you fucking following me now?” Naruto had seen so much of Orochimaru recently it was driving him crazy.

“No, you’re following me” Orochimaru had somehow devolved from his insane-self, to a kind of sane-self.  “I’m going to watch you fail miserably and then recruit Tsunade for my Konoha sucks team.”

“Me?  Fail?  Fat chance of that” Naruto flexed at him a bit, to establish dominance.

“I’m so sure of it I bet Jiraya my stomach sword” of phrases Naruto was expecting to hear, this was not one of them.

“Please never say those words again.”

“What, bet?”

“No.”

“Jiraya?”

“God please stop.”

“Sure?”

“Can we go back to hating each other and fighting?”

“Gladly, once I’ve recruited Tsunade as a healer.  Oh, stomach sword.”

“Yup, it was stomach sword.”

“Got it.  Duck.”

“Duck?” Naruto looked around before dropping to the ground as some weird scythe thing flew over him.

“Mother fucker, don’t dodge like a pussy” there was now some, silver haired partially naked guy standing behind them.

“We might be in trouble” Orochimaru now had the previously mentioned stomach sword out and ready.

“Oh, red cloud guys” Naruto did not like the look of this asshole.

“Let’s cut to the chase, I’m Hidan and I’m here for you” Hidan was now pointing at Naruto.  “So either come with me quietly, like a bitch, or put a fight so I can have some fucking fun.”

“Or, I kick your ass” Naruto cracked his knuckles, hoping this guy wasn’t as dangerous as Kisame.

“Finally a motherfucking fighter” Hidan’s face twisted into a devilish grin.

“Brat, dodge” Orochimaru jumped to the side again, as did Naruto as the scythe thing flew back towards Hidan.

And right into him.  He just impaled himself.  And was still grinning.  Why did only insane people have to be after him?

“Yeah he’s kind of immortal, don’t let him get your blood” Orochimaru dodge another scythe toss.

“Oh boo, don’t ruin the surprise” Hidan was casually whipping that fucking thing at them like it was nobody’s business.

Naruto instantly went into the one-tail cloak.  He didn’t want to get fucking murdered by some random immortal asshole.  He was gonna go big right from the start with a Bijuu ball. 

“Cover me” he leapt back a bit to put distance between him and Hidan to charge.

“Oh fuck you” Orochimaru kicked the scythe out of the air to stop it from hitting Naruto.  “We are not friends.”

Naruto choose not to reply as he charged the shot.  To his credit, Orochimaru was really good at covering him.  Hidan looked like he could care less about the charging ball though, which was kind of worrying after Kisame ate like ten.  Regardless of that, Naruto blasted one dead at him.

“AHH” it was direct hit, the blast consumed the guy.  “YOU FUCKING PIECE OF SHIT.”

He was very much still alive after the blast.  A little charred, but the burns were starting to heal already.

“What part of, he is immortal wasn’t clear?” Orochimaru was clearly hoping for a better attack.

“How the fuck is he immortal” Naruto was sick of this guy’s bullshit.

“Through the power of God of course” Hidan swiped the scythe at the slightly distracted Orochimaru, drawing blood. 

“Shit shit shit” Orochimaru quickly went on the offensive, slashing at him quickly.

Naruto joined in the attack, using a chakra claw to slash at him as well.  He was effortlessly dodging and blocking the attacks, this guy was insane.  He knocked them both back with a big scythe swing and drew a weird symbol on the ground.

“I dedicate this kill, to the good lord Jashin” he licked up some blood, and suddenly his whole body changed to black with white markings.

“We need to get him off that immediately” Orochimaru did not think about who he was talking to.

“On it” Naruto kicked the guy square in the chest as hard as he could.

“AGH” Orochimaru let out a yell of pain as ribs shattered. 

“Hahaha, this here is the surprise kid.  My and lil Orochimaru’s bodies are linked now, any pain I feel, he feels.  But I’m immortal.”

“That’s, so dumb” Naruto hated this stupid shit.  “How does any of this make sense?”

“Through the power of the good Lord Jashin” Hidan now had a spear in his hand.

“STOP HIM” Orochimaru was sounding very desperate.

“You wanna bullshit power off, fine” Naruto froze time to think of a plan.

He’d slid back a bit from the kick earlier, so he wasn’t stuck to the ground there.  Naruto walked over and picked him up off it.  He was heavy as hell, but not so much Naruto couldn’t do it.  Taking him a few steps off the circle he put him back down.  He then unfroze time with a plan.

“Well, where’s the bullshit power kid?” Hidan was taunting him now, unaware he was several feet in front of the circle.

“Nah I think you got me here” Naruto threw his hands up in mock defeat.

“Wow, fucking loser” Hidan stabbed himself in the chest, looking at Orochimaru expectantly.

“I’m.  I’m not dead?” Orochimaru looked at his chest confused.

“What the fuck” Hidan looked down at his feet.  “Where’d my fucking-”

He was interrupted by a heavy swing to the face from Naruto.  The attack knocked him over and made him drop the scythe.

“Look, you’re immortality is stupid, your body link is even more stupid” Naruto grabbed the dropped stomach sword.  “But me?  I’ve got time powers.”

“What?” Hidan gave him a confused look as Naruto cut his head off.  “OI WHAT THE HELL.”

“HE’S STILL ALIVE?” Naruto was now yelling at the severed head.

“How many times do I have to tell you, HE’S IMMORTAL” Orochimaru took his sword back and used it to impale the head.

“OUCH, WATCH IT BITCH, ONCE KAKUZU PUTS ME BACK TOGETHER YOU’RE SO DEAD” he was somehow louder without a body.

“Oh yeah, and where is he?” Naruto wanted to taunt this head now.

“Oh, probably killing the other Sannin” almost on cue there was a loud ground shaking crash from the meet up sight.  “Yeah must be him.”

“Can’t I get one break, just one” Naruto made sure to hack up this guy’s body before running off to the sound.

“Kakuzu is dangerous, but four on one we should be able to beat him down” Orochimaru was running with him.

“Ha fat chance, he’s way tougher than me, and I’m fucking immortal” Hidan really was still being a dick head while he was just a head.

The scene the three of them arrived to was, rather disheartening.  Jiraya was currently being stomped into the ground by a guy in a half mask and a red cloud robe.  Tsunade looked like she was out cold and Shizune was being choked out by a weird hand thing.

“Perfect” the masked guy turned to them.  “I love it when the mark comes to me, and you brought a big bounty with you.”

“KAKUZU SHUT UP ABOUT MONEY FOR LIKE FIVE MINUTES AND PUT ME BACK TOGETHER” Hidan was shouting from his place on the sword.

“And you brought that piece of garbage too” Kakuzu cracked his neck as he started walking towards them.     

“Kid now would be a great time to do some time bull shit” Orochimaru looked very afraid now.

“On it” Naruto froze time and moved in to kick Kakuzu in the head.

“This your best move?” a not time frozen Kakuzu caught his foot.

“You can-” Naruto’s shocked question was interrupted as he was slammed into the ground, time resumed.

“Normally people like me wouldn’t be able to match your energy, but I took measures to have all my hearts have that ability” Kakuzu was looking at him in the most condescending way.  “I expected better from the nine-tails.”

“Kid… run” Jiraya was not looking good.

“Still alive” Kakuzu ground his foot into Jiraya even harder.

“Get the fuck off him” Naruto felt his rage grow at Kakuzu.  “Or I’ll kill you.”

“Hahaha” Kakuzu laughed as he looked down at Naruto.  “Good luck with that.”

“I DON’T NEED LUCK” more than just Naruto’s rage boiled over, it wasn’t just him fighting now.

The fox’s charka covered his body, forming an orange and yellow shroud around him.  In a flash of yellow he was behind Kakuzu and with a heavy roundhouse kick, Kakuzu was knocked away.

“That color” Kakuzu recovered from the hit quickly.  “Here I thought I’d never get to test myself against the fabled yellow flash.  It’s my lucky day.”

“LET’S SEE HOW LUCKY YOU ARE” pulling out two kunai the chakra shroud burned seals into them.

Throwing the kunai Naruto’s body vanished in flashes of yellow as it delivered attacks to Kakuzu.  His tendrils couldn’t withstand contact with the shroud making his wire attack useless.  The barrage of hits ended with Naruto’s body reappearing by Jiraya again.  Kakuzu was looking a lot worse now.

“Well, looks like it’s time for a real fight” he stood up straight, throwing his cloak off as two black tendril things grew off him.

“Gladly” more kunai came out, each one getting seals burned onto them.

The tendril beasts each had a mask on them.  The one looked like a weird tiger while the other had strange wing like limbs.  The masked beats flanked while Kakuzu turned his body darker using a jutsu.  Two locked eyes before vanishing.  Appearing again with a clash, stone fist against chakra claw.  They vanished again, separating from the clash.  The tiger beast blasted a fire attack at Naruto’s body.  Flinging one of the kunai, it easily dodge the fireball with a yellow flash.

“I can see why that technique ended the war now” Kakuzu almost sounded like he was full of admiration. 

Instead of replying, a golden Rasengan formed in one of Naruto’s hands.  Using the other it flung a kunai at the winged mask beast as it prepared to launch an attack.  With another flash the Rasengan destroyed the mask beast.

“Well, that was unexpected alright” the admiration in his voice was slowly shifting towards fear as Kakuzu lost a heart. 

Kakuzu caught a kunai flung at him, and quickly dodge out of the way of another golden Rasengan as Naruto’s body flashed in front of him. 

“Run” its voice was like a fusion of Naruto and Minato now.

The other mask beast quickly tackled it as Kakuzu ran off.  He went to grab Hidan’s head off Orochimaru’s sword but ditched that as he felt the fire heart get destroyed. 

“Fall back Kakuzu” appearing from thin air an orange masked man caught one of the marked kunai aimed for Kakuzu.  “I’ll keep this thing busy.”

“Don’t need to tell me twice” Kakuzu quickly blasted off, running for his life.

“OI WHAT ABOUT ME” Hidan was none too happy with being ditched.

“Every head for himself Hidan” the masked man shrugged as a golden Rasengan phased through his body.  “And you, what the hell is all this?  You’re supposed to be thirteen, not like, seventeen.”

The golden shroud formed into extra claws to slash away at the masked man.  Each attack phased through him like the Rasengan.

“And you’re doing whatever the hell this is, seriously, golden chakra?” The masked man was quite literally unfazed by the attacks.  “What’s next, are you going to go full nine-tails mode on me?”

The attacks kept coming, claws, Rasengans.  All of them just passed right through the guy.  He just kept on complaining about these attacks.

“Like, yeah sure Hidan I can believe you’d be able to beat.  But Kakuzu is like my third favorite member.  And here you are just slapping the hell out of him, what gives kid.  Are you on roids?  Those are bad for you.”

“Are you, are you just complaining to him?” Orochimaru had no idea what was even going on at this point.

“Yes, I am” the masked man gave him an unconcerned glance.  “Cause all this shit he’s doing, is stupid.  Like come on, he got angry and glowed golden, that’s a little like copyright infringement if you ask me.”

“Copy right infringement?” Orochimaru was even more lost now.

“God yes, and then all this flashing around, teleporting is my thing” as if to prove it the man teleported up to a tree branch.  “But I digress, cut this bullshit power spiking out, Tobi out.”

In a weird spiral way the guy vanished from existence.  Orochimaru looked at the Hidan head, the Hidan headed looked back at him.  This was some grade A bullshit.

“AAAAAAAAAAA” the golden Naruto body screamed in a mix of agony and rage as the golden aura began to fade.

“Oh good it’s stopping” Orochimaru was glad to have things to return to normal.

“So uh, any chance you’re willing to let by gones be by gones?” Hidan was feeling a little like he was left out to dry.

“Fuck it, sure, I’m apparently a good guy now so why now” Orochimaru was done with all this bullshit.

Chapter Text

Naruto came to in a hotel room, he was alone in it.  His body was sore as hell, but in one piece so that was a good sign.  With a bit of effort he could sit up, he was in some random clothes, someone had dressed him.  Whatever had gone down at the meet up had fucked him up real good.  He slowly climbed off the bed and limped over to the door.  He could hear some people on the other side of it.

“Why the fuck can’t I go back with you guys, we’re on the same side fucking aren’t we” that was definitely that Hidan guy, shit did everyone else die.

“Because you’re a fucking psychopath is why, we can’t have dangerous rogue ninja in the village” ok that was Tsunade so they weren’t all dead, a good sign.

“He can come with me, my village is made up of dangerous rogue ninja” right, him and Orochimaru had become friends somehow.

“Why are you suddenly not evil, like, you spent a good like twenty years being evil” Jiraya was there too.

“I’m still evil, I assure you, I’m just uh, kind of on your side now?”

“So, did I win?” Naruto choose this as the time to enter the other room.

“Naruto!” Jiraya pulled him into a hug.  “You’ve been out for days and the first thing you do is ask if you won.  I taught you well.”

“And yes, you kind of won, since I’m the Hokage, but only because you pulled some crazy shit back there” Tsunade was giving him a look of approval and disapproval all at once. 

“I think I’d rather go with snake guy anyways, fuck this kid” Hidan was still sore about the whole decapitation thing apparently.

“Fuck you too, weak ass bitch” Naruto distinctly remembered kicking this guy’s ass.

“Oh you wanna fucking go you little shit stain” Hidan and Naruto were now starting each other down.

“Enough you two, we’re all on team not the Akatsuki so we have to get along a little” Orochimaru stepped between the two of them.

“Did I miss something between this guy trying to kill us and now?” Naruto knew he probably did.

“Yeah, you went fucking golden asshole mode and beat the hell out of my ex-partner” Hidan was still glaring at him.

“Anyone else wanna explain what happened?” golden asshole mode was not very clear to Naruto.

“That actual was a good explanation, you start glowing golden and beat down Kakuzu” Tsunade nodded at the accuracy of the statement.

“So, what you’re saying is, I’m the best” it sounded like they were saying he was the best.

“Can you do it on command?” Jiraya seemed genuinely curious.

“Not even slightly since I have no idea what I did” honesty was important.

“Then no you’re not the best, not till you can turn Super Naruto at will” did Jiraya really just say that.  “It’s the best name we could come up with for that form.”

“I dunno, it feels like, really close to a copyright infringement to call it that” glowing gold and calling it Super followed by a noun was really pushing it.

“Yeah that’s what the orange guy said too” Orochimaru seemed to think orange guy was a good enough descriptor.

“And who is this orange guy?” normally people were better at explaining things to him.

“Oh, we don’t know, he showed up and covered Kakuzu’s escape, Hidan says he’s called Tobi” Orochimaru gave a better explanation now.

“Yeah but Tobi’s never been good at, well, fucking anything, how he did that shit is beyond me” Hidan seemed a lot confused about this.  “And the bastard ditched me, like, what the hell.”

“Yeah you’re so personable who would ever want to ditch you” Naruto was so hoping he could never see this guy again.

“Says the fucking prick who cut my head off” He did have a point there.

“Oh cut it out” Tsunade stepped between the two now.  “Sorry poor choice of words.  We’re all regrouped now, Naruto’s awake, and we can all go our own ways.  I’ll send, an ambassador or something to you whenever I can Orochimaru.”

“If we’re really friends.”

“No it’s not going to be anyone with a sharingan” she was quick to cut him off.

“You’ve grown so cold towards me.”

“You want some with the sharingan?” this was news to Naruto.

“Remember when we first met?  Yeah I was trying to kidnap your friend Sasuke.”

“Why am I just now learning this, have you even tried to do that since I beat your ass?”

“First off, I beat your ass, secondly, nah slipped my mind while I was beating your ass” maybe calling Orochimaru hid friend was a stretch.

“Right, well, don’t try that anymore” Naruto felt assured, he probably would.

“Yeah maybe nah” at least Orochimaru was honest.

“Anyways, I vote we get set up to leave” Jiraya clearly didn’t wanna be, wherever you were any longer.  “You know, before more Akatsuki show up here.”

“Seems like a plan, we set out in the morning, Naruto get some more rest” Tsunade wasn’t half bad at taking charge.  “Shizune will make sure you’re good to go in the morning, try not to die in your sleep ok.”

“I feel so safe right now” Naruto did feel sore still, and exhausted, and beat to hell, wow he was not doing great.  “I’ll try and find out about Golden asshole mode.”

“Tell your dad I say hi” Jiraya gave him a head ruffle before heading off, earning a lot of strange looks.

“Look story” Naruto didn’t want to explain it to all these people.

“Right” they all headed to bed.

Naruto got into a meditation pose, focusing on entering his mindscape.  It took longer than normal, probably from how exhausted he was.  When he finally did the place was a huge mess, more than normal.

“The fuck happened here” the bars looked like they’d been beat to hell, along with the walls, ceiling and the two residents.

“Not so loud kid” Minato looked like he had the worst hangover from his spot on the floor.

“What he said” the fox somehow looked worse.

“Any chance this is from golden asshole mode?” Naruto used his ninja detective skills to put two and two together.

“Yeah we all kinda, fused or something” Minato slowly climbed off the floor to lay on a couch.  “We all had a common goal so our consciousness’s kind of, broke this place down before putting it back together.”

“Right, in Naruto terms this time” Naruto had no idea what that meant.

 “Our minds said let’s kick some ass and melted into one, that’s what made golden asshole mode” the fox understood him so well.

“Yeah that” Minato really did not look to good now that Naruto could seem him more clearly.

“You look like extra shit right now dad” Naruto had the decency to help adjust his position.

“I am kind of just chakra, so I don’t have a lot to go around” oh right.  “We pull another stunt like that and I’m a goner.”

“What” sure, he was an asshole and put a demon inside him, but he was Naruto’s dad, and kind of was growing on him, and filling the massive hole of daddy issues in his heart.

“My chakra acted like a buffer between you two” he pointed at Naruto and the fox.  “That’s why it was golden instead of red, maybe, not actually sure about that.  I can’t regenerate chakra, so once I’m out I’m out.  I’ve got enough to stick around here for a while, but if we fight like that again I’ll shit out of luck.”

“But, I just got you back” asshole prodding aside, Naruto was still that orphan kid who didn’t have a family.  “We can heal you right?  We’ve got Tsunade now she’s can heal anything right?”

“Naruto, it’s alright” Minato put a hand on his sons shoulder.  “I’m not done yet, I still have to make it to see my no good son get married and become Hokage.”

“Promise” Naruto didn’t want to cry right now, but he could feel the tears.

“Promise” Minato looked like he was about to cry to.

“Get the hell out of here before you make me cry too” the fox really did care huh.

“Love you too big guy” Naruto smiled as the fox just flipped him off, its hand-paws were so weird.

Naruto woke up, it was fairly early, perfect for getting back on the road.  Shizune was asleep in the other bed, probably in case he blew up in the middle of the night.  With some small stretches he got up, his body still sore.  He headed out to find some food, travel food was always garbage.  It didn’t take long for him to find a familiar snake man.

“Can’t I eat without seeing you once this week” Orochimaru’s tone gave away his lack of annoyance.

“You would’ve thought idiot” Naruto sat down at the food stall next to him.  “What’s this place serve?”

“Do I look like a menu to you?”

“Yeah actually.”

“Real smart kid, here” Orochimaru slid him a menu to look through.

“Thanks” Naruto started to flip through it, the waiter calmly waited for them to place their orders.  “How come you’re not trying to kill me anymore?”

“Honestly?  Gay rights” Orochimaru sipped his tea.

“Gay rights is why you’re now a good guy?” that was certainly not expected.

“Well yeah, do you know how hard, well yeah I guess you do, being the only gay person in that damn village is hard kid.  I know how it is.”

“Wow, I can’t believe we have this connection” for some reason Naruto had never thought about if Orochimaru was gay.

“To be clear I was not going to kidnap your friend for any weird sex reasons, he’s like thirteen, just to steal his magic eyes.”

“Yup that’s a totally normal reason to kidnap someone” Naruto did feel kind of reassured though.

“It’s a hard job, being both gay and the best ninja in the village, few could understand my burden” it was like he literally lived Naruto’s life.

“I say that every day of my life” maybe not word for word, but the feeling was there.

“Always remember kid, you’re not alone, and if that garbage pile of a village ever gets to you, my village is lit as hell” was he trying to recruit you right now?

“Sorry I’m aiming for first gay Hokage no desertion here.”

“You think Hashirama Senju was straight?”

“You’re not about to say-”

“He and Madara, no doubt in my mind, were lovers” he did in fact say it.

“Wow, any evidence?”

“How do you think they ended the decades of war?”

“Honestly, fair” Naruto didn’t know shit about history to contest this.

“I leave it to you to spread this gospel” with that Orochimaru began eating his food.

“I’ll try” Naruto also dug in, this trip back would be the start of a very strange time.

Chapter Text

The journey back went by much quicker for the group, not having to stop at every random town really does wonders on travel time.  Along the way Naruto managed to get down the normal Rasengan, which was good since needing to go one tail to use this justsu was a lot of work.  After about, three weeks on the road the goats of Konoha were in sight.

“I thought we’d never see these beautiful gates again” Naruto was very excited to be back home, he could not live on the road like this.

“I wonder if my old house is still here” Tsunade had apparently not thought about this till now.

“I’m pretty sure it is” Jiraya clearly hadn’t either.

“Would they really sell the Senju clan ancestral home?” Shizune seemed pretty confident they wouldn’t.

“No use waiting around and asking ourselves, let’s go!” Naruto had very high priority tasks to attend to, see Haku and Hinata, eat Ramen, show Sasuke his sick new move, and eat more ramen.

“He’s right, last one to the office is old” Tsunade took off after Naruto, putting a pet in all their steps.

It didn’t take long for them all to make it the office, sadly, they were in for some bad news.  Well, two of them were

“So, yeah the old place kinda got turned into something else” the Third kinda shrugged as he gave them this info.

“But, that was my house” Tsunade was a bit shocked by this information.

“And you, hold on I have the quote written down somewhere, said ‘Fuck this village I’m never coming back ever, you can burn that stupid house down for all I care, fuck you’” the Thirds expressionless face made it better.

“What, I, probably said that yeah” at least she was honest.  “Regardless, I’m here, and ready to be Hokage, I guess.”

“Well, while that certainly reassures me about your capabilities, I still am going to have to show you the ropes” he pulled out a massive stack of papers.  “You two can stay with me while we get a new place set up for you.”

“Uh, not to be rude Lord Hokage, but how long will that take?” Shizune was doing her best to sound respectful for all of them.

“Probably a month or so, we’d have to build a new place and all.”

“And the showing the ropes part?” Tsunade was giving the papers a nasty look.

“Oh, uh, two weeks tops?”

“Really?”

“I sit here and sign papers all day, it’s really not that hard Naruto could do it.”

“And yet I’m not allowed to do it” Naruto would be a great Hokage.

“Hey I put your name forward in the vote, but you are thirteen so that was kinda stacked against you” the Third gave him a shrug.

“Well, I think our work here is done, call me next time you need a new Hokage” Jiraya took Naruto and hopped out the window.

“See you Granny, Shizune and old man” Naruto shouted his goodbye as he was carried off.

“Want to get ramen first or stop by home first?” Jiraya put him down once they were on solid ground.

“Are you buying?”

“Hmm.”

“I saved your life.”

“Yeah fine I’m buying.”

“Then ramen first!”

The two stopped by Ichiraku ramen, greeting some familiar faces along the way.  It was good to be home.

“Naruto!  You’re back from that trip then?” Teuchi was happy to see his best customer again.

“Yeah, we just got back” Naruto happily looked over the menu before it was snatched from his hands by Ayame.

“Go home and see your boyfriend right now” Ayame was already scolding him.

“But, ramen” Naruto tried to grab it back but she was too quick.

“Haku and Hinata and that red haired kid come here every day because they miss you, and the first thing you do is come here?”

“You’ve known me for how long, and didn’t expect this?” Naruto then got smacked in the head with a menu.

“Go, now” she very sternly pointed towards his house.

“Fine fine, I’ll go see my boyfriend whom I love and cherish very deeply, and then eat ramen” Naruto very grumpily walked away.

“Well, I don’t have to do that, two bowls!” Jiraya stayed behind to eat.

“Bastard” Naruto was now extra grumpy as he arrived at his home, the sight of it lifted his spirits though, he walked forward and knocked on the front door.

“Come in, there’s money on the front counter keep the change” that was, not the reply he expected to hear from Haku.

He walked inside and into the next room where he heard Haku.  The sight before him was Haku, Hinata, Gaara, and Sasuke, all wearing face masks and with cucumbers on their eyes.  This was, also unexpected.

“What is it not on the counter” Haku slowly took his cucumbers off his eyes and looked over, before quickly tackling Naruto. 

“Oof” Naruto was, not prepared for this and quickly fell to the ground with Haku on top of him.  “OOF.”

The second oof was from Hinata also jumping onto him, as well as Gaara for some reason.  He should’ve gotten the ramen first.

“Everyone off Naruto, up up, come on” Sasuke was truly his best friend as he pulled them off.

“You’ll have to kill me to get me off him” well everyone except Haku.

“Babe please, you’re crushing me” Haku had landed almost entirely on Naruto’s lungs.

“Fine, for now” Haku slowly got off him and helped him, clinging onto his arm.

“Thank you, I’m glad to see everyone missed me so much, but um, why are you all hanging out together?” Naruto didn’t expect to see this group of people in his house.

“That’s for the side story sorry” Sasuke said this and then went back to relaxing.

“Side story?” of things that made no sense to Naruto, that took the cake.

“Yeah don’t worry about it” Hinata also went back to relaxing.

“Right, uh, can I” he was interrupted by Haku handing him a face mask and cucumber slices.

“I’m so happy your back, and that you came here before getting ramen” once they all were lying back down Haku firmly held onto his hand.

“Yup, I certainly came right here first chance I could” they would never have to know.

“Dammit” Hinata handed Haku some money.

“You bet on this?”

“Yeah and I knew love would beat out ramen, I have faith in our boyfriend” Haku stuck his tongue out at Hinata.

“Uh huh, so do I eat the cucumbers or?” Naruto did not know what to do with them.

“You put them over your eyes, it helps” Gaara surprisingly was the one to answer.

“Right” this was, getting very weird for Naruto.  “So, uh, what’s new with everyone?”

“I’ve been freed from social standards as to who I must be and found myself” Gaara again, surprised him.

“Ok, good for you Gaara.”

“Thank you Naruto.”

“I’m a teacher now, it’s pretty lit, the kids love me” Haku being a teacher was probably a safe job.

“Nice!  Are you still working at the flower shop?”

“Nah I punched one of the customers and got fired” well then.

“I kinda got my dad put in jail.”

“You, just, how?”

“Side story” really helpful Hinata.

“I got promoted to Chuunin” wow good for Sasuke.

“Hey wait a minute, they said they had to wait on giving out promotions for the new Hokage, those fucking liars” Naruto wanted that vest.

“Yeah get fucked idiot.”

“Thanks pal.”

“What about you babe?  How was the mission?”

“Oh, fucking awful, I met Sasuke’s brother, and found out there’s a whole organization dedicated to killing me, and became friends with Orochimaru?  That’s real weird not gonna lie but Gay power and all.”

“You what” this was going to be a long explanation.

After a few hours of explaining everything that went down, plus some time to eat food, they were all caught up.  It only sounded worse now that he’d said it all in hindsight.

“That whore was trying to get with you” Haku really focused in on that one part huh.

“Ok, she did also keep me from dying so maybe don’t call my new friend a whore?” Naruto did not remember Haku being this jealous.

“Focus please, my brother was there to kidnap you?  But is friends with Jiraya?” Sasuke was actually asking good questions, way to go champ.

“Yeah it was real fucked, some shark dude almost killed me like I said.”

“But my brother is a bad guy right?  Like, you’re firmly on team help me kill him?”

“Oh yeah, he’s on team kill me so it’s only fair.”

“Ok good” Sasuke seems satisfied with this info.

“Most importantly, did you and Hinata bone on that date?” Haku was really acting strangely.

“What?” Naruto was not prepared for that question.

“Bone, did you?” Haku was getting very intense now.

“Uh, um, why?’ Naruto looked over at Hinata who was nodding at him.

“I need to know the truth, did you bone?”

“Does it really matter?”

“Yes, it matters to me.”

“Could we maybe just talk about it later?” Naruto didn’t want to be in the middle of whatever this conflict was, even if he was literally in the middle of it.

“I too wish to know” really Gaara, you really want to know.

“Yeah same” Sasuke was no longer his best friend.

“Why does everyone care so much about if we boned or not?” this was not the welcome party Naruto expected.

“Because she said you did bone but that could easily be a lie to mess with me” Haku was now just pointing, fairly aggressively at Hinata.

“I didn’t lie about it” from Hinata’s face, Naruto could tell this was a very long standing issue.

“If I put this to rest once and for all, will I never have to hear about it again?” Naruto knew he would but wanted to get this request on paper at least.

“Yup I will no longer care” Hakus commented was accompanied by nods from Gaara and Sasuke.

“Ok, the truth is, weeee” Naruto was weighing his moral compass against Hinata’s pleading look.  “Did, uh, we did not bone.”

“I KNEW IT” Haku triumphantly threw his cucumber slices in the air.

Naruto mouthed an apology to Hinata, she didn’t look too upset, but he still felt a little bad.  He just would have felt worse lying to Haku about it.  The five of them just had a casual chat for the rest of the night.  Sasuke ended up leaving closer to midnight, which the rest took as a sign to head to bed.

“Goodnight you three” Gaara, thankfully, went to his own room.

“Night Gaara” Naruto waved as he headed towards his room, he was so excited to not be in a hotel.

“Now, before you say anything, we had multiple pairs of your outfits out for a very good reason” Haku was quickly grabbing said outfits to put them away.

“If you say you all dressed up as me, it’s not a good reason” Naruto was really hoping it’d be any other reason.

“Because, we uh, missed you lots?” thank you Hinata for at least a good reason.

“Ok, see that’s a good reason, I accept that, I missed you all too” Naruto couldn’t help but smile, it was nice having people that missed you.

Haku draped himself onto Naruto, you know instead of just hugging him.  Hinata, like a much more normal person, just hugged him.  It took a bit of effort, but Naruto managed to fling the three of them onto the bed.

“I’m banning you from leaving for more than a week at most” Haku was holding onto him very firmly.

“I had to literally go and get the new Hokage, I couldn’t exactly say no” Naruto had an arm wrapped around both of them.

“Yeah but consider, we were lonely” Hinata was now on Haku’s side, they were quick to gang up on him

“We literally would not have a village leader in the next weeks if I did not do that.”

“But we were lonely” this was probably just going to be what either one of them said to that for the rest of the night.

“Fine next time I just won’t go find a new village leader for us I guess.”

“Good” god they had to have practiced this.

“Well, goodnight you two” Naruto decided he didn’t wanna deal with anymore.

“Night babe” ok if they were still doing this come morning he was going to have a very serious talk with them about it.

Chapter Text

It had been a few days since his triumphant return to the village, and something had really been confusing him.  Naruto wasn’t the brightest, sure, but Gaara had been here for months now.

“Don’t you have a family?” sure, not the best question to open this conversation with, but this is Naruto.

“I do, what about it” luckily this was Gaara, someone blind to any kind of social norms.

“You’ve been here for months, shouldn’t you like, go back home?”

“Why would I go back home?”

“Do you not miss your family?  Or home?”

“Truthfully, not really, I mean, my dad is dead so that’s probably good.  Maybe I should check in on my siblings.”

“That’s a lot to unpack, your dad is dead?” Naruto felt like this must be a touchy subject.

“Yeah he was the Kazekage, and is now dead.  We had a small party when I realized this.”

“I’m really sorry to hear that” Naruto, did not understand what kind of party it was.

“To be clear, I did not like my father, and he did not like me, he tried to have me killed fairly often” Gaara was the one here aware of someone else’s misunderstanding for once.

“Oh, ok then, uh, good to hear he’s dead?” Naruto wasn’t prepared for this outcome.

“Thank you it’s appreciated.”

“So.”

“I’ll probably head back home sometime soon, once I’m not officially a prisoner of the village.”

“Oh shit right, I forgot that was a thing” it seemed weird that Gaara was a prisoner but also lived with him.

“Yeah, it’s more of a formality than anything else.”

“Then I’ll be off, sorry if this was out of the blue” Naruto would certainly be displeased to have their situations swapped here.

“No problem at all” Gaara went back to reading his magazine.

With that mystery solved, another open-closed case for this Ninja-Detective, Naruto wasn’t really sure what to do.  He’d already done the customary see all his friends after coming back, Haku was at the school still, Hinata was, somewhere?  Sasuke was doing some weird “training”, it was just him punching some boulders till his hands broke.  Given his options there was really only one thing to do.

“HOLY SHIT THIS HURTS” Naruto, having chosen to train with Sasuke, had some regrets.

“QUIT WHINING” Sasuke was yelling to mask his own pain as he punched his clearly broken hand into the rock.

The two of them had been at this for about thirty minutes, Sasuke for an extra hour before Naruto joined.  Why they were doing this?  Neither could give a good reason at this point.

“No keep at it you too” Kakashi had shown up at some point to supervise them.  “Once the bones seem to be irreparably damaged, you can still damage them a bit more trust me.”

“FUCK” you’d think after the first hand broke Naruto would stop, you’d be wrong.

“THIS AIN’T SHIT” Sasuke’s hands did not look, well, like hands right now.

“That’s my students” Kakashi’s voice was filled with pride.

“Ah to be filled with youth like this” now Gai was here apparently.  “Remember when we broke our entire arms doing this?”

“How could I forget, it was the best” while Gai actually sounded fond of that memory, Kakashi sounded very sarcastically fond of it.

“OH JUST YOUR ARMS, WEAKASS HOES” judging by the most recent crack, Sasuke was going for the full body break.

“YEAH FUCK YOU GUYS, WE’RE SO GOOD AT BREAKING OUR BONES” Naruto wasn’t about to be outdone at this.

“This passion, it’s, BURNING” Gai was now joining them in the rock hitting, his punches were breaking the rock with each swing.

“Kakashi have you seen…” the sight Jiraya walked in on, was a strange one.

“Seen who?” Kakashi looked up from his book, ignoring the three people beating themselves against a rock in front of him.

“I was gonna say Naruto, but he’s clearly busy” Jiraya was enthralled by their actions.

“Yeah, they’ll be at this for at least another hour, I can take a message for him?”

“Tell him I need to talk with him about some things, important things, oh god I can see their bones” Jiraya quickly exited the area.

“Yeah, that’s gonna hurt for a while” Kakashi went back to calmly reading.

“Naruto, I can’t move” after an eternity of rock hitting, Sasuke was on the ground, bleeding, broken, and probably in huge amounts of pain.

“I can’t feel my arms Sasuke” Naruto as in a very similar situation.

“Kakashi help us” Gai had overdone it, and was sporting two broken arms.

“Hm?” Kakashi just gave them all a look.

“Drag us to the hospital please” Sasuke was crying as he spoke.

“Well, poor choice of words but ok” Kakashi made two clones, and then dragged them to the hospital.

Their screams filled the streets as they were taken.  Along with the screams of the receptionist at the hospital, and some bystanders.  It was a bad day in Konoha.

“What the hell happened to these three” Tsunade had to come to deal with this herself.

“Training” the three of them answered at once.

“What kind of training?” she was now looking at Kakashi.

“Just some good old rock punching” Kakashi was very aloof about all this.

“I’m going to outlaw that as a form of training” Tsunade got to work on fixing the mess that was these three.

“Good idea” Kakashi went to the waiting area.

After an hour of bone setting and pained screams, Tsunade had at least made it look like they all had arms.  Sasuke would have to stay in the hospital for a few days to get more treatment.  Gai was lucky since his arms were used to this thing.  Naruto just cheated and used the fox chakra to heal faster.

“Haha idiot I can’t be killed” Naruto was quick to taunt Sasuke about this.

“Oh yeah?  Once my arms are back I’m going to break my legs so bad” He was cut off by Tsunade hitting them both.

“No more stupid rock training, from anyone, or you will not be getting healing” she glared at the two of them and gave Gai a look.

“Fine” Sasuke rolled his eyes.

“Whatever Granny” Naruto received another hit.

“I’m not your Granny” she did not like being called old.

“What, are you just an old hag?” Naruto’s was now the first, and possibly last, Konoha astronaut as he was launched out the window.

“Is that?” Sakura was near the crater made by Naruto’s body.

“Please, let me die here in peace.”

“Yeah it’s Naruto” Sakura decided it’d be better to leave him in peace.

“Should we help him?” Ino clearly wasn’t sure about that choice.

“What?  Oh yeah he’ll be fine.”

“Uhhhh” Ino was not too convinced.

“I saw him lose a whole part of his body one time, this is probably nothing” Sakura pulled Ino away.

“What?”

“Yeah don’t worry about it.”

Naruto laid in that hole for a while, nursing his re-broken arms.  It wasn’t until some familiar cool hands started pulling him out of the hole he started moving.

“Oh good you’re alive” Haku had somehow found him.  “Sakura’s friend made it seem like you were dead.”

“I’m glad someone cares enough about me to make sure I’m not dead” with Hakus help he stood back up, leaning on his boyfriend for support.

“Oh don’t be so dramatic” Haku was doing his best to not put too much weight on Naruto.

“It’s my gay given right to be dramatic.”

“Oh, you right.”

“Thank you darling” Naruto kissed him on the cheek as the hobbled towards the house.

After a ten or so minutes Naruto was healed enough to walk on his own.  This greatly shortened their travel time, so it only took them about fifteen minutes altogether to get back.  Only to see Jiraya there waiting for them.

“What’ca doing here?” Naruto figured it was going to suck.

“I need to talk to you, and Kakashi told me you were evicted from the hospital” Jiraya seemed fairly serious, that couldn’t be good.

“Ok, uh, I’ll be inside in a bit Haku” Naruto ushered Haku towards the house.

“You better not try and take him away again” Haku glared at Jiraya as he headed in.

“Uhhhhh” Jiraya waited till Haku was firmly inside before turning to speak.  “I kinda need to take you away again.”

“What?  Why?”

“So, you know those guys, the Akatsuki right?”

“I know of them yes, we fought them.”

“Yeah well, their kinda coming after you in case you didn’t notice, and their coming way harder than I thought they would.”

“Way harder meaning?”

“Kakuzu and Hidan attacked us, only a few weeks after Itachi and Kisame did, that’s four very dangerous people in not a lot of time.  We were lucky you weren’t here, the damage they could do to the village is immense.”

“You think they’d come after me here?  In a village full of ninjas?  How is this less safe than being on the road alone exactly?”

“On the road they can’t track you down and plan an invasion to get you.  What happens if they attack and take hostages?  We got lucky last time, we won’t be that lucky every time kid.”

“Oh yeah?  I remember kicking all their asses last time so I’m not sure what you’re even talking about.”

“So you can turn golden on command now?  Or think you can take on Kisame now?  What about that masked guy?”

“I’ll just, stop time and beat them” Naruto realized he could just pretty much always do that.

“Oh yeah?  How’d that work against Kakuzu, if you could fill in the details from Orochimaru about, him also having time powers?”

“I’ll, just, find a way” Naruto had to admit he was at a loss here.

“There isn’t always a way, you need to be better prepared for them and a lot stronger” Jiraya put a hand on Narutos shoulder.  “So unless you have a better plan, we go on this trip, you get stronger, and when you’re ready we kick some ass.”

“I can’t just leave my life behind, and you never even said how long we’d be gone for?”

“Well, it’s probably, gonna be, uh, some years” Jiraya probably wanted to put off saying this part.

“YEARS, that’s insane I can’t be out on some trip for YEARS.”

“I mean, sure you can, we just leave in the dead of night and it’s all good.”

“I am not just ditching Haku in the middle of the night, again, to go on some mysterious trip with you.  He can come with us?”

“No no no, it’s going to be hard keeping us alive when it’s just us, but your boyfriend too?  No way.”

“He used to live on the road with Zubzuba, it’d be easy!  Please I can’t just leave him.”

“Naruto, it’s not going to be safe, we will be in danger at every moment while we’re out there.  If that’s a situation you want to bring him along for, and that he wants to come for, fine then.  Just think it through, we leave in two weeks.”

With that, Jiraya went on his way.  Two weeks, he looked at the house.  He’d only moved in here a few months ago, he had barely actually lived in it though.  Now he’d be gone again.  Leaving Haku would be impossible, but Jiraya was right.  After what Minato said, Golden Naruto can’t just happen constantly, if Kakuzu shows up its game over.  Could he bring Haku into all this?

Chapter Text

“Hey you” being heckled on the road wasn’t too common for Naruto now a days.  “Where’s our brother.”

When Naruto finally figured out which to turn to see who was heckling him, he saw none other than Gaara’s family.  Well what was left of said family, technically speaking.  Wind girl and puppet kid.  Those were probably their names.

“Why do you just assume I would know that?” Naruto didn’t like how rude she was.

“Because I don’t like you, but also don’t know anyone else in this village” the two of them came over to him.  “Oh and the Hokage said he was with you.”

“Fine fine, follow me assholes” Naruto led them back to his house, the short walk being filled with an uncomfortable silence.

“Naruto when you go grocery shopping, we need you to come back with the groceries” Haku really thought he was that stupid some days, and why was he sun bathing on the front porch?

“I got interrupted, by the people here with me, you can see them right?” Naruto gestured to the two sand ninjas. 

“Oh, fair enough, sorry babe” at least he had the decency to apologize for being rude.

“Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaara” Naruto knew this was his most effective method to get Gaara to come out, there was no better way, he was certain of that.  “Your family is here, for some reason.”

“I’m baking cookies just bring them inside” even when yelling his voice didn’t change tones somehow.

“Our brother is baking cookies?” the puppet guy looked very shocked.

“Yeah he’s really good at making sweets, probably other food too but he mostly makes sweets” Naruto headed over to the door, past the uncaring Haku, and led them inside.

“This seems pretty nice for a prisoners place” puppet guy was just captain obvious huh.

“I mean, yeah it’s my house, take your damn shoes off before walking in who raised you two?” Naruto knew who, but were they really just fucking animals.

“Temari, Kankuro, how have you been” Gaara was in the middle of taking the cookies out of the oven as the three entered the kitchen.

“How have we been?  Worried about our prisoner of war brother, who’s apparently just been living it up?  Why didn’t you write us?” Naruto assume this was Temari asking all the questions.

“I didn’t think you two would be worried so I didn’t write” well at least he was honest.

“Why wouldn’t we be worried?  You’re our brother, and you just straight up vanished in the middle of a war zone!” she did have a good point.

“I apologize for not considering how much actions would make you feel” the people magazines have done wonders for Gaara.  “I will do better to consider your feelings as my family in the future.”

“Alright, what kind of brainwashing did you people do to him” Kankuro was now speaking up.  “Our brother definitely didn’t bake sweets or apologize for hurting people’s feelings.”

“Spending time with my friends has helped me learn my previous behavior was, bad.”

“You’re gonna tell us, that the guy who almost beat you to death is now your friend?” Temari had a fair point.

“To be fair, I did say I’d kill him first” Naruto forgot he’d done that.

“I want it to be known, this was like eighty percent from him living with Haku and Hinata” Naruto had little to no hand in this new Gaara.

“You know what, fine, you can tell us more about your deeper understanding of your feelings on the road” Temari seemed on the verge of snapping.  “Grab your stuff and let’s go.”

“But, I have another batch to bake still, and I should make enough to bring back home too so that’ll take even more time.”

“Why, on earth, do you want to make enough to bring back home?”

“I’d like to formally apologize for the way I used to act to everyone in the village, and I think cookies could help create a welcoming environment.”

“Can’t you just make some when we get back?”

“Yes, but I don’t really want to.”

“Why are you being so difficult about this?” Temari clearly hadn’t come prepared for this Gaara, or this unwillingness to leave.

“I, don’t want to say goodbye” Gaara sounded, incredibly sad now.

“Ok, fine, we can leave after you bake one more batch, but only one.”

“Just one it is then” Gaara set about baking the last batch. 

“So, can we just wait here for him?” Kankuro had just given up apparently.

“Yeah the living rooms over there, if you need something ask Haku if I’m not back yet” Naruto set back out for the grocery store.

Thankfully this trip wasn’t interrupted by any angry siblings.  It took a bit of extra time though, since Naruto wanted to buy Gaara a goodbye gift.  He settled on a little stuffed dog, since they didn’t sell foxes in the village and Gaara didn’t seem like the giraffe type.  On his way back he made sure to grab Sasuke.

“What do you want” Sasuke was still recovering from the rock training, but was let out of the hospital.

“Gaara’s leaving, I figured you’d want to say goodbye to him since you all had some crazy bonding time” they all still refused to tell him about it.

“Oh shit, uh, do you think he likes dogs?” Sasuke was pulling through a pile of miscellaneous gifts he’d been given over the years.

“I mean, I hope so I got him a stuffed one” Naruto held up said stuffed dog.

“Well, I hope he really likes that one” Sasuke managed to grab four of the exact same dog with his casts.

“Who gives you these?” Naruto had a guess.

“Adoring fans” Sasuke gave a cheeky smirk.

“And yet you’re the single one” Naruto felt the need to taunt him about that.

“Not everyone can accidentally get a boyfriend by almost dying” that, wasn’t an inaccurate description of how Naruto got a boyfriend.

The two made it back to Naruto’s house, there was the telltale sounds of ruckus inside.  It seemed like Hinata was back too, hard to tell from all the shouting.

“I was gone for a half hour what could possibly” Naruto didn’t finish his question.

He and Sasuke had walked in on, what looked kinda like a fight, kinda like Hinata holding puppet guy in a headlock.  Haku and Temari were cheering them on.  You leave them alone for a half hour and they turn to blood sport apparently.

“I can uh, explain” Hinata was clearly trying to think of something good to say.

“The weird guy hit on us and we flipped a coin to see who got beat him up, Hinata won” that was either the truth, or Haku just wanted to lie in the most extravagant way.

“Yeah that’s a good explanation of it” Temari didn’t seem to care that her brother was being choked out currently.

“Well, carry on then?” Naruto brought the groceries into the kitchen while Sasuke took a seat in the living room.

“Hmm” Gaara was looking at the freshly baked cookies very intensely.  “If I throw these aside and make new ones do you think they’d know?”

“Are you stalling?” Naruto wasn’t really surprised, Gaara liked it here for some reason.

“No?”

“Now you’re lying got it.”

“Is it that obvious?”

“Very much so” Naruto put a hand on his shoulder.  “It’s going to be ok Gaara, why are you so worried about going back home?”

“Well, no one there likes me.  I don’t have any friends there, Temari and Kankuro wouldn’t count even if they did like me.”

“They do like you Gaara, they care about you, I think” Naruto didn’t want to say this and have it turn out to be a complete lie.  “You’re their little brother, they just wanna make sure you’re safe.”

“Maybe you’re right” Gaara put the tray down and took of his oven mitts.  “Plus our dad is dead, and he’s like most of the reason no one likes me.  How bad can it be back home right?”

“See that’s the spirit!  And worst case scenario, I can like teleport sometimes” he didn’t say he knew how to, but he did on occasion teleport.

“Thank you, let them know I’ll have everything ready to go soon” Gaara headed up to his room with a small smile on his lips.

“BREAK HIS LEGS” Temari was really getting into this blood sport.

“NO LEG BREAKING ON THESE CARPETS” Naruto had to be the responsible one here apparently.

“But, he won’t tap out” Hinata’s innocent tone clashed immensely with her having Kankuro in a leg lock ready to snap his legs in half.

“They are kind of foreign dignitaries I think you shouldn’t” this was bad if Naruto was the voice of reason.

“Fine” Hinata gave a small huff and released the beaten Kankuro

“Fucking crazy bitch” wow Kankuro just said that.

“Ok break his leg a little he deserves it.”

The scene Gaara walked in on a few minutes later, was a strange one.  Kankuro was nursing his injured leg in the corner.  Each of his friends had an identical stuffed dog, plus an extra one that was sitting out.  Temari was seemingly getting along with all of his friends. 

“I’m uh, ready to go” Gaara clearly didn’t look emotionally ready, but he had his bag and sand.

“Hey don’t look so down, we all got you a going away gift, but um” Sasuke held up his dog.  “We all kinda got the same thing.  Last minute gifts and all.”

“I will name and cherish each one” Gaara had some sand collect each of them since his bag couldn’t fit them all.

“And you can always come visit!  You know where the spare keys are” Haku tried to cheer him up with this.

“As much as I dislike one of you, it’s Naruto, you can all come visit at our place too” Termari gave a very pointed look his way.

“Geez between Kankuro and her it’s a wonder you turned out somewhat normal Gaara” Naruto knew Gaara was in no way normal, but that was fine.

“I’ll be sure to send you letters from all of us here” Hinata was probably the closest to Gaara of them all.

“Thank you” with his parting words and a final sad smile the sand siblings were off.

“I’m, gonna miss that red haired weirdo” Naruto didn’t expect to grow so attached to Gaara.

“Aw and you thought him living with us was a bad idea” Haku teased but clearly was going to miss him too.

“Now, ignore this if it’s a lil weird, but is Temari hot?” Naruto and Haku both gave Hinata a very confused look.  “What?”

“Are you, do you just get attracted to anyone who’s blonde and loud?” Haku had connected the dots.

“What?  No of course I don’t” Hinata was trying to save face now.

“What are your thoughts on Ino?” Naruto also needed to know now.

“Ummmm, pretty.  Oh god I have a problem.”

“Wow, the gays really do flock together” Sasuke said this like he was some kind of scientist conducting research.

“Said you, an alleged straight, here with the gays?” Haku was just going to go after everyone right now huh.

“I uh, just remembered I need to, be um, not here” Sasuke quickly fled the scene.

“Hm, so if Kakashi’s” Haku started but was cut off by Naruto.

“No he’s the one straight allowed for Team Seven, it’s how we know Sasuke is gay.”

“Huh, anyways, Hinata name more people you find hot so we can judge your weird taste” Haku was now back to bullying her.

“I miss Gaara so much already” she forgot how strange Haku could get.

“I mean, while we’re on this sad topic already” Naruto decided now was a good time for this.  “In about a week I have to leave with Jiraya, for uh, some years.”

“WHAT.”

Chapter Text

Naruto had, in his life made some mistake.  Some would say, a great number of mistakes even.  Most recently was first telling Haku about the trip, and then second telling Haku where to find Jiraya.  This most recent mistake was taking a rather immediate toll.

“NARUTO STOP HIM” Jiraya was frantically leaping from tree to tree away from Haku.

“I’M TRYING TO” Naruto had forgotten how fast Haku could be, he’d kind of assumed all those years of training had gone down the drain.

“NO WHERE IS SAFE FROM ME YOU TOAD BASTARD” Haku’s incredible accuracy with the throwing needles was another testament of how those skills were still very much here.

It was difficult to tell exactly how many needles were in Jiraya, his hair did a pretty good job of hiding them.  Hopefully it also did a good job of protecting him from them.  They’d been at this chase for about twenty minutes now.

“JUST STOP TIME AND GRAB HIM ALREADY” oh yeah, Naruto can do that.

“I SWEAR IF YOU DO THAT I WILL GET YOU BANNED FROM ICHIRAKU” Naruto knew he could do it.

“SAVE ME AND I’LL BUY YOU A RAMEN PLACE” this was a really big dilemma for him.

Luckily the choice was kind of made for him.  Mostly in the sense that Jiraya had run out of tree to jump to.  The clearing was also apparently too big for him to clear in one jump as he crashed into the center of it.

“Finally, no more running away” Haku leapt after him.

“I think we can just talk this through like reasonable adults right” Jiraya was trying to sneakily crawl away.

“You’re right we can” Haku halted his crawl by forming an ice mirror behind him.  “Naruto isn’t going on some stupid journey with you.”

“It’s not really a stupid journey” Naruto felt like he should at least try and be on Jiraya’s side here.

“It absolutely is a stupid journey, you’ll be way safer here than you could be fucking off on the road.”

“It’s not about that, the village is in danger if I’m here, you’re in danger” Naruto knew this line of reasoning wasn’t going to work but it was true.

“How on earth is you being here going to put the whole village in danger?” Haku was now more focused on Naruto, giving Jiraya another chance to crawl off.

“These people that are after me are insanely dangerous, one of them literally was immortal.”

“That’s so dumb, people can’t be literally immortal.

“That’s what I said, but I cut his head off and he just kept on talking, so I’m inclined to believe he’s immortal.”

“Well he doesn’t seem that tough then.”

“Well ok, yeah he wasn’t, but the other guy can stop time too, and like.  I can’t really fight most people, I just stop time to cheat.”

“Then you can train here and get stronger.”

“And if he shows up here?” Naruto still remembered seeing Jiraya almost die to Kakuzu, he couldn’t take him on.

“Then we beat his ass together, what if he shows up when it’s you two alone on the road?  Then you’re alone and helpless.”

“They won’t be able to track us down on the road, that’s the whole point of being on the move constantly” well, Naruto really hoped they wouldn’t be able to.

“Oh sure sure, that makes so much sense.  These super dangerous people that are trying to steal you, just can’t follow people that travel.”

“Ok, when you put it like that, it’s not the best plan ever.  But it’s still better than staying in one place and getting the whole village attacked.”

“How?  We can help you!  You’re being an idiot if you think you have to do this all alone!”

“I won’t let people get hurt because of me!  You don’t understand what these people are capable of, an all-out attack from them would bring thousands of deaths with it!”

“So what?  You’ll just die?  Alone and somewhere far from home because you think you’re protecting us?  I won’t let you.”

Haku turned towards where Jiraya was previously, only to see him clearly long gone.  He clenched his fist and walked off angrily.

‘Wow, you’re really in the doghouse now’ thanks Minato.

“Thanks dad, I had no idea” Naruto slumped down by a tree, he had no idea how to handle all this.

‘Sometimes doing something for the greater good is hard son, it means great personal sacrifice more often than not too.’

“He’s relating this to that time he sealed me inside you, I personally think he was a dickhead for doing so though, so really take that into account.”

“It’s not for the greater good, it’s for Haku, he’s in danger if I’m with him.”

‘Look, I’m not saying this just because I’d be a huge hypocrite otherwise, but you’re doing the right thing Naruto.’

“No I kinda think you’re just saying that to avoid being a hypocrite.”

‘Yeah you got me there.  Decisions like this aren’t easy son, you gotta dig deep, and think about what really matters.’

“I actually agree with him, don’t just do something because it’s the right thing.  Do what you think you need to do.”

“What I need to do” Naruto had thought the trip was what he needed to do, to protect everyone.  “I need to stay with Haku.  But, I can’t.”

‘You could take him with you, Jiraya did offer that.’

“That’d be even more dangerous are you insane?”

“Why don’t you ask him?  Or do you want to make this choice for him and abandon him exactly like his father figure did?”

“Wow, you are really good at this for a demon fox.”

“Years of practice, when I was trapped in your mom we were constantly talking about her relationship with this idiot.”

‘What?’

“Wait really?”

“Yeah, you two had some real rough patches, and I told her she would never truly be happy in a top top relationship.  I still think I’m right about that.”

‘You said, WHAT’

“Well, I’m just, gonna go do anything else besides hear about my parents relationship now” Naruto did not need to know the logistics of this top top stuff.

‘Wait no, I think I have an idea to help you with Haku.’

“Ok, but if it involves putting a demon in a baby and dying I’m out.”

‘One time, you put a demon in a baby and die once, and you never hear the end of it.’

“YEAH I WONDER WHY.”

‘Look, it’s not that, but if you’re looking to put a demon in a baby in die, no that’s a tangent focus Minato.  You’re gonna need to get your moms ring for this plan though.’

“Ok I like the lack of demon baby infusions, but, how do I do that?”

‘Oh, uh, the Third might have it?”

“If this plan involves fucking grave robbing you’re banned from offering help.”

‘I’m like eighty percent sure she left it with him to keep for you.’

“Ok, so I get this ring, then what?”

‘Well duh, you propose to Haku.’

“Dad, how does this fix any of my current problems exactly?”

‘Haku is clearly afraid of losing you due to your own self-sacrificing nature.  Proposing to him implies that you no matter what intend to make it back.’

“Now, I still like my plan of talking it out with him, but this is a shockingly good back up.”

“Ok it has the fox seal of approval, let’s go get a ring” Naruto stood up and dusted himself off, there was an old man to track down.

After instinctively going the Hokage’s office, not once but twice, Naruto found himself at the Sarutobi residence.  He’d never actually been here before, he’d only ever gone to the office to see the old man.

“HEY GRAMPS IT’S ME NARUTO CAN I COME IN” Naruto felt this was more personal than using the door knocker.

“NARUTO” that voice, it couldn’t be.

“STAY AWAY FROM HIM KONOHAMARU” Ebisu tackled the young boy as he leapt out the front door.

“Huh, I guess it makes sense you live here too” Naruto walked over to the two, he hadn’t seen Konohamaru in, well forever.

“Come no closer you asshole” Ebisu clearly was still, upset with him, for, why was he upset with him?

“Aren’t we friends now?”

“No, you ditched me, after Jiraya put me in the hospital” oh right, that was the last time he’d seen Ebisu.

“Yeah well, sorry” Naruto just kinda shrugged.  “How you doing Konohamaru?  Causing trouble still?”

“Oh you know it” through tons of wiggling he managed to free himself from Ebisu to give Naruto a high five.  “Why are you here though?  Visiting the future Hokage?”

“Well, I actually need to see the old man to pick something up, is he here?”

“You will address the former Hokage with respect you brat.”

“Yeah whatever Ebisu, is he here or not?”

“Nah gramps is at the park, he likes doing boring old man stuff now” Konohamaru was, shocking no one, way more helpful than Ebisu.

“Thanks bud, I gotta run but feel free to come by my new place” Naruto patted him on the head, it was way easier now that he was taller by a lot.

“Oh hell yeah” he was a great kid.

“DON’T SWEAR.”

Armed with this new information Naruto headed towards a park.  Hopefully there couldn’t be too many of them in the village right?

“Oh finally” Naruto had gone to thirty different parks in his search.  “Gramps!”

“Naruto?” Hiruzen looked up from shogi game in surprise.  “What are you doing here?”

“I’ve been looking for you, I need to ask about something my parents, may have left with you?” Naruto realized Minato wasn’t actually too sure if he’d have the ring.

“Oh, well, I suppose we can finish this game another time” Hiruzen clearly was losing to someone who looked a bit like Shikamaru.

“Sure” wow he even sounded like him.

“What is it you’re looking for?” the two were heading back to the Sarutobi house now.

“So, my dad said you might have my mom’s ring?”

“Oh, yes I think I do, I’ll have to dig it out of a closet I’m sure, why do you need it all of a sudden?”

“Well, I have to go away with Jiraya again, but this time it’s gonna be, a long time” Naruto was sure he probably already knew about the journey.  “And, Haku is worried I’m that if I go I won’t come back.  So I, and this is my dad’s idea so if it sounds stupid it’s on him, am gonna, uh, propose to him.”

“Wow.”

“I knew it was stupid.”

“No, just, I’m surprised.  You’ve really changed Naruto, you’ve grown into quite the man.”

“Really?”

“Also I’m just surprised by this being your fathers go to plan, he’s supposed to be a prodigy like none other and this was the best he had?  I’m sorry you have to deal with this in your head.”

‘Thanks you old asshole.’

“Yeah it can be rough sometimes, but he’s trying” Naruto felt surprisingly happy about all this.

After a small walk back to the house, filled with miscellaneous chatting, it was time to find the ring.  This was greatly sped up with the help of shadow clones.  With ring in hand Naruto was ready to set off.

“I’m sorry Naruto” Hiruzen looked, oddly sad.

“What for?  We found the ring.”

“Not that, I did things I thought would be for the best for you, and I’ve come to regret those choices.  Don’t be like me, follow you heart.”

“I” Naruto didn’t really, have anything to say to that.

“Don’t wait around with an old codger, go get engaged” with a small smile Hiruzen waved him off.

Naruto stopped on his way to buy flowers too, just in case.  He felt weirdly anxious about all this, of course it made sense.  He had a ring, and a boyfriend he loved with all his heart.  Before he knew it he was back home.  He quickly went inside to look for Haku.

“Out back” Hinata was sitting in the living room.

“What?”

“Haku’s out back.”

“Oh, thank you.”

“For the record I also don’t want you to go, just so you know if you’re buying people flowers for this.”

“What, oh, no the flowers are, ok, yeah” Naruto sent a shadow clone to buy some flowers.

“Thanks, go cheer him up” she gave him a cheeky smile as he headed out back.

Haku was just sitting in the small garden they’d set up back here.  It was surprisingly late, the time had really disappeared for Naruto.

“Unless you’re here to apologize and say you’re staying, I don’t wanna hear it” Haku didn’t turn to face him while saying this.

“I am here to apologize” Naruto wasn’t too sure about the staying part.

“Alright, you can come over here, but you’re on thin ice mister” Naruto walked over and took a seat next to Haku, he could tell he’d been crying.

“I’m sorry I didn’t tell you sooner, I didn’t want to worry you.  I should have though, it wasn’t fair of me to make a choice like this that affects us without talking about it with you.”

“So you’re going to stay?”

“Well” time for some really heartfelt improve.  “I want to stay, I do.  I also want you to be safe, and I know you want me to be safe too.  Do you want me to stay?”

“Of course I want you to stay” Haku took Naruto’s closest hand in his own.  “I want you to be here with me, but wanting things is always enough.  I understand why you want to go.”

“Haku, what would you do, if you were me?”

“I’d.  I’d go, because I love you so much, and I’d miss you, but knowing you’re safe.  It’d be worth it.”

“Really?”

“Yeah, but it’s not like that.  If you go, and something happens to you, I’d be here, without any way to help you.  At least if you’re here, when something happens, I can be by your side.”

“By my side is a pretty dangerous place to be babe.”

“Which one of us was on the run with Zabuza?  I know dangerous, I can handle that.  I can’t handle sitting on the sidelines while you run around in danger.”

“That’s fair yeah, being on the run is practically your hobby” Naruto had to give him that one. 

“If you go, can you promise me, without a doubt, you’ll come back?”

“No matter what, I’ll come back” Naruto pulled the ring box out of his pocket.  “That’s a promise I’ll make without any doubt.”

“What’s” Haku was a bit confused by the box, but stopped when he saw Naruto get down on one knee.

“I promise, with all my heart, I’m coming back to you” Naruto opened the box.

“Are you” Haku was looking between him and the ring.

“Asking you to marry me?  Yeah.”

“YES” Haku dove into him, knocking them both onto the floor to kiss him.

‘See, works every time’ Minato certainly felt self-satisfied about this one.

After a frantic but sweet kiss Haku rolled off him.  The two laid there looking at the stars for a short while.

“Oh, wait I have to put the ring on you too” Naruto had, been unable to do so for, kiss related reasons earlier.

“Oh yes yes yes” Haku was absolutely giddy as Naruto put the ring on his finger.  “For the record I’m still going to be upset that you’re leaving, but I’m going to plan the hell out of this wedding so you better come back.”

“I wouldn’t miss it for the world” Naruto leaned in and gave him a kiss.

Chapter Text

“You’re sure you didn’t forget anything kid?” Jiraya really had no faith in him.

“I’m sure, I double checked everything” Naruto had also had Haku and Hinata double check to make extra sure but didn’t feel like that needed to be said.

“And you said all your goodbyes?”

“Every single one, can you quit hounding me about this?”

“I don’t want to be three weeks out and have to come back because you forgot to pack something.”

“We won’t have to I have everything I needed to bring just trust me geez.”

“Fine, fine.  We won’t be stopping at another town to restock for about two weeks.”

“I know, you told me this like five times already and I brought enough food.”

“Ok, good.”

“Now can we just hurry along without you stopping to ask me stupid shit every five minutes?”

“Consider the lips zipped.”

“Thank you.”

The two continued walking in silence for a half hour.  Thanks to all the training he’d been doing with Lee the supplies weren’t giving Naruto trouble.  At the forty minute mark Jiraya broke the silence.

“You really remembered everything?”

“I’M GOING TO KILL YOU YES” Naruto dumped out his pack to show Jiraya.

Jiraya looked over all the supplies with his hand on his chin.

“Where are your clothes?”

“FUCK” they were of course, in the other bag, which he’d left on the porch when he gave everyone a hug goodbye.

“See I knew you’d forgot something.”

“See I knew you’d forgot something” Naruto repeated it in a mocking tone to make sure Jiraya knew how mad he was.  “Fine let’s turn back and get my fucking clothes.”

“Hey don’t be so mad, when your dad and I went on a trip like this he left all his underwear.”

“BECAUSE HE RUSHED ME OUT THE DOOR, NARUTO DEFEND ME TO HIM” Minato clearly didn’t like this story.

“Ok” Naruto took a deep breath to calm down.  “Let’s just, go back and get my clothes really fast, and then for real be on our way.”

“That’s the spirit kid” Jiraya ruffled his hair as they started on their way back.

After a forty minute walk back they were now ten minutes out, and things seemed a little amiss.

“So, the village wasn’t smoking when we left it right?” Naruto was trying to mask his concern with humor in a failing attempt.

“No, it definitely was not” Jiraya took off towards the village with Naruto in tow, shortening the travel time to a few minutes.

The gates were in really bad shape, it looked like some explosion had destroyed them.  That combined with the body strewn across the place, did not point to good things having happened.  The two followed a trail of destruction that lead deeper inside.

“You don’t think” Jiraya turned to ask Naruto, but he’d already taken off after the trail.  “Yeah, figures.”

Naruto didn’t like where this trail was going as he followed it.  His gut told him exactly where it was going to end, but he really hoped he was wrong.  Passing by all too familiar scenery he ended at his own home.  The front gate was blown to hell and the door didn’t look much better off.

“Well look who’s late to the show” Naruto snapped his head up to look at, some blonde guy, who of course was in that red cloud cloak.  “If you’d gotten here just a bit sooner could’ve saved us all a lot of trouble.”

“Deidara, shut the hell up and get us out of here” the too familiar voice of Kakuzu prefaced his appearance on the roof next to Deidara.  “We got what we came for.”

The limp form being held by Kakuzu was the final straw to set Naruto off.

“GOOD LUCK GETTING OUT OF HERE WHEN I’M THROUGH WITH YOU” Naruto went into the one tail cloak and launched himself towards them.

His attack was intercepted by an explosion knocking him to the ground.  Deidara was smirking down at him as he formed a giant bird out of, was that clay?

“Catch you later lover boy, unless you never wanna see your little boyfriend again” Deidara and Kakuzu hopped on to the bird as it began to take off.

Naruto watched, powerless to stop them, as they flew off with Haku.  The whole reason he was leaving the village was to prevent this, and it didn’t even matter.

“AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA” Naruto screamed as the fox charka came out more intensely, his anger was making him lose control.

“NARUTO CALM DOWN” Jiraya had arrived on the scene, he was attempting to damage control and prevent a fox sized disaster.

“CALM DOWN?  YOU WANT ME TO CALM DOWN?” Naruto was seeing red, both metaphorically and literally.  “IF I HADN’T LEFT THIS NEVER WOULD HAVE HAPPENED, AND WE WERE ONLY GONE FOR TWO HOURS.”

“I GET IT, BUT YOU HAVE TO CALM THE FUCK DOWN SO WE CAN FIGURE OUT WHAT TO DO” Jiraya looked ready to bust out some toads to keep him down.

“I’M ALL EARS FOR SUGGESTIONS, BUT I’M REALLY LIKING MY PLAN OF CHASING THEM DOWN LIKE THIS.”

“OH YEAH?  CHASE DOWN THE PEOPLE HUTING JINCHURIKI IN YOUR TAILED BEAST FORM?  REAL BRIGHT IDEA THERE KIDDO.”

“BETTER THAN YOUR BULLSHIT “LEAVE THE VILLAGE WITH ME TO PREVENT THIS EXACT THING THAT JUST HAPPENED” PLAN DON’T YOU THINK?”

“HOW IN THE HELL WAS I SUPPOSED TO PREDICT THEY’D ATTACK THE DAY WE LEFT?”

“YOU’RE THE ONE WITH A SPY NETWORK!”

“AND THEY’VE GOT A DUDE WHO MAKES GIANT FUCKING BIRDS!”

“BOTH OF YOU SHUT THE HELL UP” Tsunade was now on the scene with an entourage of ninja in tow.  “WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENED, THIRTY WORDS OR LESS.”

“HIS DUMB PLAN GOT MY FIANCE KIDNAPPED” Naruto was pointing at Jiraya with his normal hand and a few chakra hands.

“JIRAYA, WHO DID THIS” Tsunade accepted Naruto’s explanation.

“TAKE A WILD FUCKING GUESS WHO, THOSE GUYS WHO ALMOST KILLED US” Jiraya was pointing back at Naruto even though he didn’t accuse him of anything.

“Ok, now that we have that squared away, no more yelling” she was going for the calm approach now.  “Get me specific of what the one who did this can do ASAP.  Naruto, drop the shroud and get ready to head out.”

“We cannot send him after these guys, that is exactly what they want and it will go terribly” Jiraya had a really good point here, but Naruto was very pissed.

“They wanted a pissed the fuck off Naruto, and their gonna get one” Naruto dropped the shroud and headed towards his now wrecked house.

“Oh this is in no way going to end well I can feel that” Jiraya went off with Tsunade, hoping to talk her out of sending Naruto.

Naruto went inside to check the damages, if what they did to the door was any indicator, they’d need to remodel alright.  It was really a wonder the house was still standing with how many of the walls were blasted down.  Those two asshole better have cash on them to pay for all this once he was done ripping them to pieces.

“Naruto?” well, at least Hinata wasn’t here when they showed up.  “What happened here?  And didn’t you just leave?”

“Well, yes, and this was thanks to two assholes who currently have a kidnapped Haku” Naruto overturned some more rubble and found what looked like a letter. 

“What” Hinata looked around the rubble with her byakugan to confirm. 

“Yeah, I can’t even leave for two hours without everything going hell these days” Naruto opened up the letter, it was a ransom note alright.  “I’m off to Tsunade’s office now, if I’m not dead I’ll see you for dinner.”

“You think I’m not coming with you?” Hinata was following him now.  “They blew up our fucking house!”

“And they’ll definitely kill you, these guys are after me and they already got Haku.  I’m not letting anyone else get hurt because of me.”

“I’m not planning on getting hurt” Hinata certainly sounded like she’d made up her mind on going.

“Look” Naruto stopped to turn to her.  “This isn’t a matter of me not having faith in you, it’s a matter of this guy almost killed me and Jiraya.  This isn’t a fight you can be in.”

“Oh, but you can be?  Naruto, we graduated the academy not even a full year ago now.  Sure you got time powers and a demon inside you, but that doesn’t make up the difference for you either.  Let me come with you.”

“I” shit had they really only been out of the academy for a year?  “I also got like, four months of training with Jiraya.  And I have a trump card to use to get me out of there.  I beat Kakuzu before I can kick his and that twinks ass.”

“And I’ll be there helping, so get over it.  We didn’t just sit by doing nothing while you were gone for two months.”

“Oh really?  What did you do then?”

“Side story.”

“WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN” it’d been two weeks and nobody had explained what the hell that meant to him.

“Don’t worry about it” she gave him a pat on the back and headed towards the Hokage tower.

“Fucking whatever” Naruto followed after her.

“So here’s the plan” Tsunade was holding Jiraya in a headlock while going over this.  “We use Naruto as bait at the exchange point.  I sent word to some of our newest allies and their giving us some help.  It’ll be Jiraya, Naruto and Kakashi from us, we can’t send anyone else thanks to all the damage they already did here.”

“And may I say, THIS IS A FUCKING AWFUL IDEA” Jiraya was squirming like a motherfucker.  “LITERALLY SO MANY THINGS CAN GO WRONG WITH THIS PLAN.”

“I think it’s an awesome plan and I’m ready to go right now” Naruto was rearing to fight.

“I think I’m with Jiraya here actually” Kakahsi was about to be a real loser.  “What if there’s more than those two guys at the exchange point?”

“I’ll kill them all, seven birds one stone” Naruto was assuming there’d be at least seven of them.

“You’re not exactly inspiring a ton of confidence in me kiddo.”

“Then fine, I’ll just go by myself and handle this problem” Naruto was getting real fed up with all this naysaying.

“Lord Hokage, please, let me go along too” Hinata was on a death wish too apparently.

“Nope, at least one of those guys is crazy strong, so it’s on Naruto to kick his ass.  Between Jiraya and Kakashi that explosives guy should be mice meat.  Anyone else is up to the back up.”

“Who is the backup exactly, if it’s not people from Konoha?” Hinata wanted to know what assholes were beating her out for this mission.

“Well.  We’ve got two ex-Akatsuki members coming in hot from the Sound village; and luckily a representative and his entourage from the Mist village.”

“Wait” Naruto didn’t like the Mist village part.  “Who is here from the Mist village?”

“He said he wanted to tell you himself” Naruto really didn’t like the sound of that.

“I need to leave this village right now” Naruto was running towards the window.

“OH NO YOU DON’T” swinging in from the window was exactly who Naruto didn’t want it to be.  “ONE.  ONE JOB.  I GAVE YOU ONE JOB.”

Zabuza was now holding Naruto down as he yelled at him.  Everyone else just kinda stood back to give them some clearly needed room.

“IT’S NOT MY FAULT” Naruto managed to yell this out between being throttled.

“OH REALLY?  THEN WHO LET MY BOY GET KIDNAPPED?”

Naruto weakly pointed at Jiraya, who was doing his best to hide.  He clearly wanted no part of this fiesta.

“FUNNY I DON’T REMEMBER TELLING HIM TO KEEP HAKU SAFE OR ELSE I’LL KILL HIM.  DO YOU REMEMBER ME SAYING THAT YOU OLD MAN?”

“Nope, not at all, not even once, no way no sir” Jiraya really picked the worst times to be a spineless loser.

“THOGUHT SO” Zabuza pulled Naruto up from the ground.  “Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, we all set to go?”

“I, I need a minute” Naruto was not a fan of the whiplash from all the shaking.

“So yeah, you four plus whoever Zabuza has with him will be meeting up with Orochimaru and Hidan plus whoever they bring.  I think that’ll be more than enough to handle whatever you all run into.”

“Well, I guess this isn’t too bad a plan anymore” Kakashi was on board now.

“So this loser boy is out voted” Tsunade was very happy about this.

“Fine, I’m going but I’m not happy about it.”

“Enough sitting around with your thumbs in your asses” Zabuza climbed back out the window.

“Like I said earlier, if we don’t all die, see you all for dinner when we’re back” Naruto followed after him.

“What he said” Kakashi went out next.

“Since I know we’re dying, been nice knowing you all” Jiraya went out last.

“Please let me go” Hinata watched them all go and made one last plead to Tsunade.

“Fuck no, I’m not sending four of my ninjas to their deaths” Tsunade busted out a bottle of alcohol.

The four met up with two other people from the Mist village, Naruto had no damn clue who they were.  All six of them went off to the extraction point, it was a silent trip.  Naruto knew whatever happened next would be the end; either for all of them or whoever the hell they’d kill on the way to save Haku.

“We’re almost there, everyone ready up, reinforcements won’t be here for a while still” Jiraya had point, his resentment for this plan was clear in his voice.

“We’re moving into flanking positon, don’t die too fast runt” Zabuza and his team split off.

“Wouldn’t dream of it dad” Naruto hadn’t told him about the engagement but they could do that later.

Naruto landed in the clearing across from Kakuzu and Deidara, Kakashi and Jiraya stayed back out of sight.  They had Haku between the two of them.

“Look who finally shows up huh” Kakuzu looked dead him with his arms folded.

“Aw look at that, you’re lil boyfriend showed up just like you said” Deidara was mockingly pinching Hakus face.  “And now like a good little boy he’s gonna come with us, ain’t he.”

“Keep your damn hands off him, I came just like you said” Naruto returned Kakuzus glare.  “Now let him go, unless you want a repeat of last time.”

“Testy testy” Deidara lowered his hand to Hakus neck.  “Don’t wanna give me a fright, something, horribly, could accidentally befall your lil sweetheart over here.”

“Deidara, cut him loose” Kakuzu didn’t drop his gaze from Naruto.  “We got what we came for.”

“Fine” Deidara narrowed his eyes at Kakuzu but did as he said.

Haku slumped to the ground once the ropes were cut, he was still out cold from whatever they did to him.  Naruto started his approach through the clearing.

“You sure this kids got the fox in him, with how he acts it’s more like an obedient dog” Deidara kept jeering at him as he got closer.

“Shut it, this kid can still freeze time on you and slit your throat” Kakuzu had an appropriate amount of fear towards Naruto in him.

“When did you become such a pussy Kakuzu, he can’t do shit and he knows it.”

Naruto smirked at him and froze time, Kakuzu raised an eyebrow but didn’t make any moves to stop him.  With a swift and hard uppercut he unfroze time, the hit launched Deidara back.

“Kakuzu, YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO STOP HIM FROM DOING THAT” Deidara looked pissed after the sucker punch.

“Huh, slipped my mind, let’s go we’ve got him now” Kakuzu clearly didn’t care for Deidara.

“Yeah let’s hurry up, I wanna get killed before this fogs supposed to roll in” Naruto gave Deidara another smirk.

“Fog?” he looked exactly like a guy about to get hit by an ambush.

“Did I say fog?” Naruto feigned a confused look.  “I think I meant mist.”

All at once mist flooded the clearing obscuring everyone’s vision.  Kakuzu a second later blasted it away with a powerful wind gust.

“Deidara, tell me where they all went” Kakuzu was looking at the blonde man since they were now alone in the clearing.

“How the fuck should I know” Deidara was already starting to for a bird out of the clay.  “But they can’t run far that’s for sure.”

Naruto and Zabuza were running the fuck out of there with Haku in Naruto’s arms.

“What are the chances it’s actually this easy?” Naruto knew he just jinxed.

“Knowing you, either one hundred or zero” Zabuza was focusing on booking it.

“It’s in the zero range today kiddo” the “Haku” in his arms spoke up as it transformed into Kisame.

“Well, we probably should’ve seen this one coming” the Naruto and Zabuza there both exchanged a laugh before popping.

“OW” Kisame did not enjoy being dropped the ground from there.  “Well that’s just great, where the hell did they go.”

The six of the rescue squad were heading deeper into the woods following one of the Mist ninjas.

“Operation double bait and switch worked” Naruto rubbed his head to soothe the mild head ache from the clones memories coming back.

“Good, next up is finding the real Haku before they find us” Jiraya still didn’t like their odds.

“Shut up and let the man do his work” Zabuza silenced them as his guy tracked down their hideout.

“I think we’ve got bigger problems incoming much faster” Kakashi pointed up at the bird that looked like it was dropping bombs.

“Oh we should run” Jiraya was already running as he said this.

The team all took off trying to avoid the the carpet bombing being done to the forest.  It didn’t score any direct hits but it separated the team, leaving Naruto and Zabuza split off from the rest.

“Well shit” Naruto didn’t enjoy having the forest he was currently be literally bombed out of existence.  “Think the others are alright?”

“They better be, we’re gonna have to deal with those two first though” Zabuza was pointing at the bird as it got ready for another run.

“Of course we do” Naruto rolled his shoulder and cracked his knuckles.  “Time for some payback.”

Chapter Text

Naruto was usually never one to turn down a crazy or plain stupid plan. 

“Now remember, try and knock at least one of them off when you hit the bird” Zabuza was preparing the makeshift sword catapult.

But this plan, really felt like Zabuza just wanted to kill him.  Granted he didn’t have a better one so Naruto canon it was.

“And, GO” Zabzua fired the sword-pult, launching Naruto dead at the bird with a very alarming speed.

“Think my bombs killed them?” Deidara was scanning the wreckage for any sign of bodies.

“Doubtful” Kakuzu was just sitting on the bird not bothering to look.

“You’re a real party animal you know Kakuzu” Deidara stepped over to the other side of the bird, his eyes quickly widening as he tried to steer the bird.  “FLYING FUCK.”

“What?” Kakuzu looked up just in time to see Naruto fly into Deidara, taking them both off the bird.  “Well, you don’t see that every day.”

“FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU” Naruto was screaming while punching Deidara in the face as they began to fall back to the earth.

Kakuzu watched from the bird as the two blondes landed, creating a sizeable crater with their impact.

“Huh, wonder how I’m gonna get down” his question was answered as the bird stopped flying and began to fall.  “I deserve this one I guess.”

Naruto had had better days, but at least he wasn’t on bottom here.  Deidara was at least out cold, with the way his body looked he might even be dead.

“Guess it’s a good thing I’m always topping” Naruto fist bumped one of Deidaras hands for that one.  “Now how do I get Kakuzu down here?”

The sound of the bird hurtling towards the earth caused Naruto to look up.  Today really wasn’t a good day for him.

“Haha” Kakuzu had made it out of the fall mostly unscathed thanks to the bird, as well as Naruto and Deidara, cushioning the impact.  “Like I’ve always said, I always come out on top.”

His moment of peace was short lived as the bird was throw aside by a very red Naruto.  Kakuzu managed to hop off the bird before it crashed into some trees.

“I ALREADY MADE THAT JOKE” Naruto was pissed, not only had he fucking had a bird land on him, Kakuzu just stole his joke and delivered it better.

“I feel like I did it better” Kakuzu cracked his knuckles as he headed towards Naruto.  “Now, let’s get a round two.”

“Oh, my fucking pleasure” Naruto rolled his shoulders and walked forward, shifting into the one-tail cloak.

The two dashed forward clashing fists sending a shockwave through the air.  The two exchanged a flurry of blows before separating.   Naruto knew Kakuzu had the upper hand in a one-on-one, so he was really banking on Zabuza to show up soon.  With a flash of hand seals Kakuzu shot a blast of flames at him.  Naruto dodged to the side, only to get caught by the leg by a flying hand.  Kakuzu slammed him into the ground before retracting the severed hand.

“You’re fast kid, but predictable as all hell” Kakuzu’s eye’s had a malicious look as he slowly approached.

“Oh yeah?” Naruto reached his chakra claws through the ground behind him.  “Then what am I thinking of?”

“Please Kakuzu, don’t notice my sneak attack” Kakuzu easily dodge the claws as they erupted.

“Ooh, close, actually it was, ‘Please Kakuzu, jump back like that’” Naruto smirked as Zabuza leapt from a tree swinging his blade into Kakuzu.

It was a clean hit and went right through him.  The two halves of his body hit the ground and within moments the black tendrils he used stitched him back together.

“Alright that’s some grade A bullshit” Zabuza would have hated Hidan.

“I just got that heart, and now I need a new wind one bastards” Kakuzu looked fairly pissed even if he wasn’t too hurt from being cut in half.

“Huh, so uh, how immortal is this guy?” Zabuza was not used to people surviving that.

“Not sure, but I’m willing to find out” Naruto rolled his shoulders and re-engaged Kakuzu as he reformed.

Kakuzu caught a sucker punch to the newly reconnected midsection, sending him flying back.  Naruto didn’t let up as he pressed the offensive chasing him down with a flurry of fists.  Kakuzu deflected one of the attacks low and jumped to gain some distance, unfortunately for him this put him dead in Zabuzas water dragon’s sights.

“Motherfucker” Kakuzu was now drenched and looking fairly roughed up from the dragon crashing him into the ground.

Naruto came at him again, connecting a right to his face.  His hand stung as he punched the stone armored Kakuzu.  It was his turn to get sent flying as Kakuzu landed a viscous right cross, sending him flying past the incoming Zabuza.  Metal clashed with stone as Kakuzu deflected the swing.

“Kisame always said you were hot shit” Kakuzu smirked under his mask as he sent a knife hand to Zabuzas throat.

The smirked turned into a frown as Zabuza turned into a puddle.  It then again shifted into a snarl as a kunai came down into his shoulder from the real Zabuza.

“Funny how that works” the sword less Zabuza came in slashing and stabbing with two Kunai pushing Kakuzu on the defensive again.

“As funny as a swordsman fighting without a sword?” letting both stab into him Kakuzu grabbed Zabuzu by the biceps.

“You got me there” Zabuza was blasted back by a fireball coming from a mask on Kakuzu’s chest.

He dashed forward to try and finish Zabuza off but was stopped by that missing sword flying into his chest.  His eyes flicked to the airborne Naruto, the source of the attack.

“Oh there it is” Zabuza ripped the sword out of him, slicing him in half again.  “Thanks for holding onto it for me.”

With a growl Kakuzu launched himself back using the tendrils.  Like last time two of the masks left his body on masses of tendril.  The two masks went after Zabuza as Kakuzu blasted to Naruto.

“OH” Naruto and Kakuzu went flying back, smashing through a handful of trees from the sheer power of the attack.

“I’m done messing around you little shit” Kakuzus tendrils repaired the damage done to himself the attack as he advanced on Naruto.

This time it was Kakuzus turn to get blasted into by a two-tail cloaked Naruto.  Naruto dug one of his claws in to stay on Kakuzu as they flew, exchanging blows with him as they blasted through more trees.  The impacts of the trees was strong enough to knock Narutos claw loose sending them away from eachother.

“You think” Naruto was so glad he had this healing factor as his wounds began to heal.  “A little love tap like that is enough to even fucking faze me?”

“I’ll show you a love tap” Kakuzu was looking much worse for wear after that as he pulled himself from the ground.

The two hobbled towards each other, meeting in the center of the clearing to exchange blows again.  Kakuzu gained the upper hand a delivered a savage kick to Naruto, throwing him back and knocking him over.

“Time to finish this” Kakuzu limped over to Naruto and stomped down on his chest.

“Funny” Naruto spoke between coughing up blood.  “That was what I was gonna say.”

Erupting from the ground behind Kakuzu a Naruto clone slammed a Rasengan into him.  The attack blasted him away like a ragdoll into the forest behind Naruto.  The clone helped him to his feet as he dropped the cloak.

“Thank fuck” Naruto deemed Kakuzus current position as that of a really dead guy, and hoped he’d stay that way.

After a few moments Zabuza entered this clearing.  He looked like hell, but Naruto wasn’t much better off.

“Those blob things just stopped moving a bit ago, so good job” Zabuza gave him a pat on the back.

“Thanks, now we just have to finish off somewhere between one and like ten super dangerous guys.”

“With that tone you’re starting to sound like a quitter, we’ve got ground cover so let’s go.”

Naruto shook his head as Zabuza started off towards where they last saw the others.  He was optimistic, especially since time powers were now uncontested again, but the odds weren’t good.  He followed after Zabuza, they had a mission.  Thanks to Deidara bombing half the forest they didn’t bother trying to be stealthy on their way over, even so it seemed impossible to find any tracks.

“Well this is just great, no tracks” Naruto was hoping this part would at least be easy.

“Dumb looking blonde, yeah you fit the description” the two turned to see, was that a dog?  “Kakashi left me here to lead you to him, I’m Pakkun.”

“Kakashi has a talking dog, just, on hand?” how Naruto never learned about this was crazy.

“Do you know what summons are?” Pakkun had clearly underestimated how dumb Naruto was.

“Oh, right yeah.”

“Kid how are you still alive?”

“By jumping in front of dangerous lightning attacks and hoping for the best.”

“Right” Zabuza clearly had given up on this conversation.  “Lead on Pakkun.”

The small dog was shockingly fast as it took off at a breakneck speed.  Naruto and Zabuza rushed after it, having to catch up to its small lead.

“It smells like some crazy strong guys are up ahead so you better be ready” Pakkun didn’t slow down to warn them.

“So, you’re an omniscient talking dog summon, we really could have used you like, so many time” Naruto couldn’t believe Kakashi had never summoned him before.

“Focus up, that’s gotta be Kisames doing” Zabuza was of course pointing to a massive sphere of water.

“Of course he’s the next one we have to deal with” Naruto did not like the idea of round two with him.

The three came onto the scene, the scene here being a massive water orb.  It was difficult to see into it from where they were.

“The waters making it hard but I think I smell Kakashi in there” Pakkun also didn’t like the looks of this.

“You go on ahead” Zabuza drew his sword.  “I’ve got Kisame.”

“He’s going to literally kill you, not metaphorically, literally” Naruto knew firsthand how dangerous that shark freak was.

“Only if I die” Zabuza leapt into the orb.

“And people call me stupid” Naruto shook his head at the insane man.  “Any chance you can sniff out Jiraya or anyone else?”

“Yeah lets go” Pakkun didn’t specify who he smelled but took off none the less.

Again Naruto chased after the dog, at least this travel time was letting him heal up more.  He had the feeling this was going to be a lot harder than they initially thought.

“I can smell another of those guys, he’s still far off but we’ll have to get through him.”

“Hey so what about all those guys” Naruto and Pakkun stopped as what looked like hundreds of people were descending upon them from above.

“Well, they don’t have a smell” Pakkun was very confused by this oncoming army.

“Well, I can do that do” Naruto put his hands together in his signature hand seal.  “Multi Shadow Clone Jutsu.”

With a massive cloud of smoke hundreds of clones appeared, with a massive battle cry the clone army leapt up to meet the oncoming attack.  The attackers shot some kind of projectiles at the clones dwindling their numbers before the impact.

“Let find that guy they’ve got them under control” Naruto and Pakkun kept moving towards the scent he’d found.

Handfuls of the aerial attackers tried to intercept him but were blocked by his clones.  They could really take a beating, even Rasengans would only slow them down for a bit.  Finally after a frantic final rush the two faced down a hunched over figure in a clearing.

“I’d heard you could summon lots of clones, but to combat my Performance of a Hundred Puppets” the robed figure spoke in a deep hoarse voice.

“Puppets?” Naruto turned back to look at the fight.  “Like, things you control with strings?  Where the hell are the strings?”

“I doubt you’d be able to perceive my chakra strings, they’re invisible to the naked eye” the figure sprouted a tail and began to approach Naruto.  “I, Sasori of the Red Sand, will be defeating you.”

“Wait wait” Naruto waved a hand at him, stopping him for some reason.

“What?”

“Where’s the sand?”

“What, in the desert.”

“But, why is your name Sasori of the Red Sand then?”

“Because in battle I stained the sands red with the blood of my foes.”

“Ok that’s pretty cool I’m not gonna lie, but I’ve met people who, ok a person, who fights using sand.  So I’m just a little confused why you have sand in your title but don’t use it to fight.”

“I’m from Sunagakure, you know, the village hidden in the sand?”

“Hm, so, you painted the village red?”

“No.  I, using my puppets, in the third war slaughtered my foes and painted the desert sand red.”

“Ok but like, why isn’t your name something like, Sasori, uh, General of the Eternal Army?”

“I…. My name is now that.”

“Ok whoa hold on now, you can’t just re-title yourself, he can’t just do that right?” Naruto asked Pakkun this.

“I mean, it is a little lame to just give yourself a title like that” Pakkun thought so at least.

“But I didn’t give myself that title, you did, just now.”

“Well no, I just asked why you weren’t called something like that since it makes way more sense.  I mean, I could tell people that’s your title from now on, but I’d have to keep on living to do so.”

“That does clash with my mission of capturing and killing you through demon extraction.”

“Yeah so, I guess you’re just Sasori of the Red Sand” Naruto felt like his plan was about to work.

“…”

“What?”

“Don’t tell the other members I let you go for this reason and spread that title and I’ll let you pass.”

“You’ve got yourself a deal Sasori, General of the Eternal Army” Naruto and Pakkun strolled past him continuing on their way.

“How the hell did that just happen” Pakkun was both impressed and just confused as hell.

“It’s all about branding with these S-Rank missing ninjas, with some simple deduction skills, well simple for a Ninja Detective such as myself, I pinpointed his insecurities of wanting to be immortalized.”

“Bullshit.”

“I’m sorry, is the series called Pakkun?”

“You did not just pull that card on the talking dog” Pakkun gave him a dirty look.

“I think I did, let’s go where’s the next random asshole in-between me and my boyfriend?”

“Due north, I think Jirayas there too, but I can smell some people coming in from the east, this isn’t gonna be a clean and simple last fight.”

“Well, let’s get to it” Naruto felt much more optimistic after that encounter.

Moving due north went quite fast now that Naruto was used to Pakkuns speed.  They arrived into the clearing and were greeted by multiple Jirayas.  This was sure to be a clusterfuck.

“Naruto don’t trust the rest of them, I’m the real one” like 4 of the Jirayas all said this at once.

“Nope, fuck this, you all decide amongst yourself who the real one is, and then I’ll kill the rest” Naruto didn’t want to do this puzzle.

“HOW” the chorus of Jiraya was really getting on his nerves.

“Fucking summon some toads” how was that not an obvious solution.

“Oh right” the real Jiraya spoke up as he summoned a toad.

“See, easy peasy” Naruto swung a fist into the nearest fake Jiraya.

The fakes all shifted into, a weird looking white guy?  They all quickly exchanged scared looks before sinking into the ground.

“Next time won’t be so easy kid” one of them seemed to be a leader amongst their massive group and spoke at Naruto.

“You’re dealing with the world’s best Ninja Detective” Naruto could solve any of this guy’s baby level tricks no problem.

“Finally, where the hell did you and the others end up” Jiraya looked incredibly relieved to see Naruto.

“I got split off with Zubzuba and we had to fight Deidara and Kakuzu, then he split off to help Kakashi fight Kisame.  I met some puppet guy and handled him like a champ, I think that’s most of them right?”

“Wow, we’re actually kicking major ass today” Jiraya had doubted like a hater, only to be shown how foolish he really was.  “Any sign of that mask guy?”

“None yet, seen Itachi?”

“Not yet, he might be who they have guarding Haku.”

“That would be good right?  He’s on our side sort of right?”

“I wouldn’t put it quite like that, but it wouldn’t be the worst outcome.”

“Well, we won’t know until we get there I guess?” Naruto turned to Pakkun.  “Lead on?”

“Yeah yeah, right this way” Pakkun took off again, hopefully leading towards the end of this whole fiasco.

“So you and Zabuza killed Kakuzu right?”

“Yeah, I got him good with a sneak attack.”

“He’s completely dead though right?  None of that immortality shit?”

“I checked him myself and he seemed super dead.  Why are you worried about him?”

“He has five lives, so you kinda need to kill him a lot.  Right you weren’t there when we went over that.”

“Well, three times seemed to work just fine so I think you’re info was wrong.”

“It came right from Hidan how could it” Jiraya froze mid-sentence.

“How could it what?” Naruto stopped, having passed Jiraya, and turned to face him.

It took him a second to realize time had stopped moving.  Which could mean one of a few possible things.  He really hoped it was Zabuza using it to finish Kisame off.

“You really know how to piss a guy off kid” Kakuzu had come into sight from the tree line, black wires finishing fixing him up.  “Lucky for me my hearts know how to play dead.”

“Oh come on, I’ve beaten you twice now, can’t you just leave me alone” Naruto didn’t want to deal with him again.

“No can do” Kakuzu cracked his neck and leapt at Naruto.

Naruto leapt back to dodge the crater forming punch, looks like his stone form move worked in time stop.  Naruto had to stay on defense, getting hit with one of those attacks would be the end for him right now.

“Think you can dodge me forever?” Kakuzu was relentless, dying thrice seemed to only piss him the hell off.  “I can stay in here all day, how long can you last?”

“Shit” Naruto forgot about his limit, it hadn’t come up in so long.

Catching him in a moment of distraction Kakuzu got in a viscous upper cut, blasting Naruto skywards.  As he fell back to earth Naruto tried to restart time, it flowed normally for half a second before Kakuzu refroze it.  Once again Kakuzu connected a hit, landing a roundhouse kick as Naruto hit the tree tops.

“What’s the matter?” Kakuzu was rushing after him.  “Never fought someone with years of practice?”

Naruto managed to regain his composure, catching himself on a sturdier tree branch to drop down and dodge a knife hand.  Back on solid ground he scanned the foliage above him, it stood eerily still, only disturbed by Kakuzus movements.  The older man dropped down in front of Naruto.

“Trying to come up with another one of your tricks huh?” the constant pressure he exerted didn’t give Naruto any time to come up with one.  “The kid gloves are off for real this time you shit.”

Kakuzu was on him again in the blink of an eye, jabbing and swinging at lightning speeds.  Naruto did his best to dodge the attacks that looked the most dangerous, getting hit by the lighter attacks.  Even if they were the weaker ones, thanks to the stone form they hurt like hell.  With an uppercut fake out Kakuzu slammed him with a push kick, knocking him back into the nearby tree trunk.

“Just give up, it’ll make every bodies life easier” Kakuzu made a slow approach towards him.

“I’d rather you just” Naruto was briefly interrupted by a fist to his stomach.  “Ahg, yeah, just beat me to death already.”

“Fine by me” Kakuzu reared his fist back to land a final blow.

“Took you long enough” Naruto smirked up at Kakuzu as an arm destroyed arm warmer covered hand grabbed him by the bicep.

“Yeah well I had to deal with an actual tough fight” Zabuza turn and flung Kakuzu back.

“Oh come on, you both can stop time, this is bullshit, absolute horseshit” Kakuzu was really about to bitch about this, after dying three whole times and still being alive.

“Oh go get fucking killed and brought back to life about it” Naruto was sick of people trying to complain about this.

“Oh shut up and kick my ass already” Kakuzu rushed towards the two of them.

“With pleasure” Zabuza came at him with the big swing.

He was using a kunai in his off had to match Kakuzu’s close range attacks, the big sword not being great in close quarters.  With a feint back Zabuza managed to connect a hard overhead swing, cleaving into his shoulder.  Getting the sword out of him proved to be much harder, and with a heavy heeled push kick Zabuza was thrown back.

“Not the best way to disarm you maybe” Kakuzu grimaced as he used his right arm to pull it out.  “Been awhile since I’ve used one of these, let’s see if I’ve still got it.”

“Hey, uh, not to sound needy, but you ready to get your ass back in the fight” Zabuza clearly didn’t like the look of this fight now.

“Can’t exactly heal right now” stopped time was not good to healing factors it turned out.

“Oh, wait, so his is off too” Zabuza liked that.

“And you just basically cut off his one arm” Naruto also liked these odds.

“But, I have a big fucking sword” Kakuzu ran forward holding the sword ready to swing.

Zabuza slid under the wide horizontal swing, slashing Kakuzu in the leg on the way by.  Carrying the momentum through Kakuzu did a full one eighty and managed to clip Zabuzas side with the sword, carving a large gash into his arm.  Zabuza jumped up from the ground ignoring the pain to dash towards him.  Kakuzu was caught wide open due to the spin attack, letting Zabuza pierce his chest with a kunai.

“Fucking” Kakuzu lost control of time as he was killed, again.

“Finally” Zabuza fell backwards, sitting down to try and stop his arm from ripping off entirely.

“Just for good measure” Naruto limped over and blasted the corpse with a Rasengan.

“Good call.”

“So, think we can take down whoever the hell is waiting for us up ahead?”

“Depends.”

“On?”

“Think Kakashi can finish off Kisame alone?”

“That’s like my second favorite teacher, he’s super dead.”

“Nah I made sure to cut Kisame up real good before coming to save you.”

“So he’ll be good?”

“Eh?”

“Great” the two were limping further along, mostly just hoping this was the right direction to go still.

“Any idea what we’ve got waiting for us?”

“Maybe Itachi, maybe this crazy masked dude, either one isn’t gonna be fun.”

“Now might be a good time to, uh, infer that the masked guy is possibly Madara” of all the times to say even worse news, this was not it.

‘Yeah he definitely was the guy who made it all go to shit’ a helpful addition from Minato.

‘Why am I just now hearing this exactly’ Naruto could have used this info sooner.

 “We were trying to be at least ninety percent sure before saying anything.”

‘And it didn’t seem like it’d come up again so we kinda forgot about it.’

“So, this is gonna be a weird question, any chance you know how to kill a guy who can become intangible?” yeah that’s right, Naruto knew that word.

“Can’t say I do, why?” Zabuza didn’t like where this was going.

“Masked guy does that, and he uh, might be Madara.”

“Now when you say Madara, you don’t mean like, the Madara Uchiha right?”

“No I mean exactly that Madara Uchiha actually.”

“Of all the fucking shitheads for Haku to fall for, it had to be you didn’t it kid.”

“HOW WAS I SUPPOSED TO PERDICT THIS?”

“I DON’T KNOW, BUT I’M MAD WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE TO FUCKING MADARA UCHIHA.”

‘Look, if it comes to that, we can just fuse up and warp out of here’ Minato had, an actual really good plan there.

‘And that will only super kill you so, not the best plan there dad.’

‘I’m already dead Naruto, I’d rather fade out here to save you then let us all die anyways.’

Naruto trudged on in silence, he didn’t want to think about that outcome.  The plan was to have a flawless rescue, and whether it’s a chakra ghost or a flesh and blood person, they wouldn’t lose anyone here.  After twenty more minutes of walking, thankfully Naruto had healed up enough to do that again, they could see a structure in the woods.

“That’s either the place, or a girl scout cookie bakery” Zabuza wasn’t wrong with that statement.

“Could be both, the Akatsuki could just be really zealous girl scouts” Naruto figured these last few jokes would help with the inevitable suffering to come.

“Think I’d get a discount if I traded you in for thin mints?”

“You’d sell me out, for thin mints?”

“Hell yes I would.”

“Thanks pops.”

“You two ain’t married yet so don’t be calling me pops or dad, or anything of that sort” oh Zabuza didn’t know.

“Right” Naruto figured this could wait on being known info.

“Well?  What are waiting for, let’s go get our asses kicked” Zabuza took off towards the structure.

“I’m loving the positive attitude” Naruto followed suit, prepared for anything.

The doors to the place were already open, making it easy for the two to sneak inside.  Sadly it was no bakery, but it was a pretty simple compound lay out.  It didn’t take too long for them to hear voices.

“And then, this is maybe the worst part, the next time I see them, he’s got his hand through her chest, like, that’s the exact opposite of what I said to do” Naruto recognized that voice as the masked Madara, but what the hell was he talking about.

“I see I see” and that was Haku.  “It really seem like this betrayal from your childhood friend has caused a large scale ripple through your life.  Have you confronted him about it since then?”

“No, I’ve admittedly not talked to him in many years” are they, is Haku giving him a therapy session?

“I think you need this confrontation, in order to gain the closure your life has lacked.  Not only to know why he did what he did, but so he can understand how deeply his betrayal hurt you.”

“I think you’re right, I’ve put it off for too long and it’s really festered” did he, did he just have a breakthrough?

“I’m glad I could help you reach this place of elevated emotional understanding.”

“I think you really have a gift for this, you should like open up a practice.”

“You’re right I should, can you untie me so I can go do so?”

“Of course I can.”

The two heard some shuffling around for a few moments, and some rope untying.

“Wait a minute, dammit I did it again” now the sound of rope being retied.

“Damn, thought I had you this time, you even undid three knots.”

“You’re a real tricky one I’ll give you that one.”

“Thank you I try, so tell me more about your father?”

Naruto and Zabuza gave each other a confused look.  Haku seemed to have this mostly, under some kind of weird control.  Regardless they burst into the room.

“UNTIE MY FIANCE YOU BASTARD” Naruto threw some Kunai at Madara.

“FIANCE???” Zabuza stopped his approach to yell this in horror.

“FIANCE!” Haku yelled this excited to see Naruto.

“Oh my god congrats I didn’t know you were engaged” Madara just let the kunai phase through him.  “Am I invited to the wedding?”

“Yes!”

“NO!”

“Babe he would be so good to have at our wedding” Haku, was really trying to have this talk right now.

“WEDDING?  BETWEEN YOU TWO?  AND I ONLY NOW, RIGHT NOW, HEAR ABOUT IT?” Zabuza was taking this news very well.

“OH AND WHERE WERE YOU THESE PAST SIX MONTHS?  HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO SEND YOU MAIL HUH?” luckily Haku came prepared for this.

“I feel as though you all have some issues to work through, I am a licensed family psychiatrist in two lands” Naruto just, did not believe that.

“NO WE’RE HERE TO FIGHT YOU AND SAVE HIM, but if at a later time your services are available do you have business card?” really Zabuza?

“I do actually” Madara handed him one.

“Usually when we burst through doors, we don’t ask our enemy for a business card do we Zabuza?” Naruto was so sick of this.

“Oh and do you always suddenly inform the adoptive father of your fiancé that you’re engaged in that moment?” he had him there.

“Guys you can fight about that later, can someone untie me first” Haku at least had his priorities semi-straight.

“Oh of course” Madara started untying him again.

“Thanks buddy” Haku had really worked his charms on this guy.

“Of course” Madara finished the last knot. 

“Finally” Haku stood up and stretched out his legs, he probably had been stuck in that chair for too long.  “Well, see you at my office Thursday at four and remember, healing is a staircase not an elevator.”

“See you then” Madara waved him off as he left the room.

“So like” Zabuza had just given up at understanding this whole situation at this point.  “Are we all cool to leave now or?”

“OH SHIT” Madara had now realized what he’d just done.

“Guess not” Naruto was quick to launch a rasengan into him, only for it to pass through him.

“Really, that song and dance again” Madara grabbed Naruto by the head and threw him through the wall.  “Well at least you’ve learned a valuable lesson and stopped your borderline copyright infringements.”

“Yeah figures” Zabuza tried to swing into him with the sword, he wasn’t surprised when it just phased through him.

“You!” oh that’s not a good sign for Zabuza.  “BE NICER TO YOUR ADOPTIVE SON.”

Naruto groaned as he slowly moved up from the floor.  His groan came back louder as Zabuza landed on top of him.  This wasn’t going too hot for the two of them.

“Sorry Naruto, you might be engaged to my therapist but I kinda have this job to do” Madara climbed into the room via the hole he made with them.

“Can I at least get a head start in running away?” it was worth a shot right?

“Hm, nah” Madara slammed the ground where the two of them were previously.  “No fair, dodging is cheating.”

“Says the guy who phases through attacks” Naruto didn’t even want to think about where that power fell in the bullshit power pyramid.

“Wait I know what to do” Zabuza was hit with a sudden revelation.

“What?” Madara and Naruto both gave him a confused look.

“Naruto just let him hit you” this plan sounded not good to Naruto.

“I don’t like this plan” Naruto did his best to dodge the next few attacks.

“No I think he’s onto something” Madara certainly did.

“Trust me, begrudging son in law.”

“THIS COUNTS AS APPROVAL YOU MAY NOT RESCIND THIS AT A LATER TIME” Naruto could not wait to bump up his living parent counter from zero to one.

“JUST SHUT UP AND LET HIM HIT YOU” Zabuza clearly wanted to rescind that statement.

“FINE” Naruto stopped dodging and got hit square in the face as time froze. 

“Perfect” Zabuza walked over and poked Madara.  “Exactly as he hits his body is tangible.”

“Huh, ok I’ll let it slide that you let him punch the hell out of me” Naruto rubbed his face as he also poked Madara.  “So, we break his whole body now right?”

“Oh hell yes we break his whole body now” Zabuza hit him hard in the stomach.

“Fuck yes” Naruto began punching away at him as well.

After a few minutes of time stopped punching the two were satisfied with how much damage they’d done.  The two nodded at each other and took a few steps back.

“Shall I?” Naruto was very ready to unstop time and let this man have it.

“Of course” Zabuza crossed his arms and waited for the show.

“Tha-” Madara began to thank Naruto for standing still before his body contorted from all the attacks, launching him through the wall.

“Anytime my man” Naruto strolled back into the other room after him.

“What the fuck was that” Madara slowly peeled himself out of the wall he’d been blasted into, his mask cracked in half

“That’s what we in the business call a real overpowered ability” Zabuza was now also back in the room.

“Well that’s just great” Madara stumbled up to his feet, the top part of his mask falling off.

“Yup, sharingan, this guy really is Madara” Naruto felt like they were in a pretty good spot to finish this fight.

“Wait, why do you know that?” Madara now looked super confused.

“You thought you could keep a secret from me?  The world’s greatest Ninja Detective?  I read you like a book.”

“WE MET ONE TIME.”

“AND THAT’S ALL I FUCKING NEEDED LOSER.”

“Well fuck you, you can’t kill me, I’m a fucking legend” Madara’s body started swirling into his eye.  “Madara outtie.”

“Wow” Zabuza sounded shocked.  “We won?”

“Yay!” Haku came back into the room holding, yogurt?

“Where did you go?”

“I figured I had time to eat something while you all fought it out, I was apparently wrong.”

“You didn’t want to, I dunno, help us?”

“I’ve been tied up, after having been kidnapped and blown up, for about six hours.  So no, I did not want to.”

“You know, fair” Zabuza decided to drop this.  “So, should we get out of here now?”

“Yeah just kind of” Naruto took Hakus hand in his own.

“Now, it’s not that I don’t love you, but I need two hands to eat this yogurt babe” Haku really is that bitch huh.

“Fine” Naruto let go of his hand and did his best to sound hurt.

“I’m hungry ok, I’ll hold your hand when I’m done eating promise” Haku gave him a quick kiss on the cheek.

“Well what if I want to eat something then” Naruto was trying to be petty now.

“Is this how you two are all the time, because if so I’m never visiting” Zabuza made sure that his presence didn’t get forgotten.

“It’s a coin flip” the look on Hakus face meant he was about to do something that would end very badly for Naruto.

“Between this and what?”

“Ma-” Naruto quickly covered Hakus mouth to prevent him from finishing this sentence.

“MAKING FLOWER ARRANGEMENTS.”

“Right” Zabuza let the issue drop.

“How did you get here before us?” Jiraya and Pakkun were outside the compound as the three left.  “Also, why did you vanish earlier?”

“Long story, but it’s all fine now, mission accomplished” Naruto was gonna save the Madara info till later.

“Oh, well, damn” Jiraya was surprised by how easy this ended up being.

“Yeah so let’s go find the others and head back home.”

“Sounds like a plan to me” Pakkun started walking off.  “Kakashi is over this way, there’s some strong guys with him though.”

“I’ve still got like, ten minutes left of time stop, so we got this” Naruto was riding that high of beating Madara.

The five of them took a moderate pace over to Kakashi.  The whole area here looked like shit, trees knocked over, the ground was basically a massive crater, a huge snake was there. 

“Oh hey guys” Kakashi was chilling on the snake with Hidan.

“Looks like you had the easy job” Zabuza surveyed the area for Kisame.

“Yeah it was sick” Hidan hopped down to them.  “Anyone else still alive?”

“Well, the masked guy ran off, Kakuzu is probably dead, we did kill him a lot of time, Sasori might be somewhere around here still?”  Naruto tried to think if he’d forgotten anyone.

“What about the explosion guy?” thankfully Haku remembered that guy.

“Uh, well that looks like him” Naruto pointed at the big fucking bird flying towards them.

The giant snake swatted it out of the air, causing a massive explosion where it ended up landing.

“Nice one Orochi, the distance on that one was definitely a new record” Hidan wrote down some number.

“Wait, is, is that big snake Orochimaru?” Naruto didn’t know he could do that.

“Yeah he can just do that apparently, real handy for dealing with Deidara I’d say” Hidan didn’t see how weird this was.

“You can’t turn into a huge toad right Jiraya?” Naruto hoped he couldn’t.

“Nope, this is just fucking weird” even Jiraya was stumped by this transformation.

“Orochimaru says to hop on up here, he’ll give us a lift back” Kakashi shouted down to them.

“Damn that’s convenient” Zabuza jumped up to the snakes back.

“Nice walking is for losers” Naruto followed him.

“Can I turn into a toad?” Jiraya jumped after them.

“You coming pretty boy?” Hidan went up next.

“Today is so fucking weird for me” Haku went up last, this was a lot of stuff to process in a day.

“Not bad today kid” Zabuza gave Naruto a pat on the back.  “Even though it’s your fault entirely.”

“Thanks dad.”

“Babe he’s not your dad till after we’re married” Haku corrected him.

“Fine.  Thanks random asshole who almost killed me one time and then left for half a year.”

“Much better” Haku giggled a little at that.

“I mean, I can technically officiate weddings as a Sage” Jiraya chimed in.

“Well, I never pictured our wedding on the back of a large snake” Haku looked to Naruto.

“Yeah, and I never pictured falling in love with the most amazing man in the world” Naruto held a hand out to him.  “So?”

“Marry us you old toad man!” Haku grabbed said hand and let himself be pulled into Naruto’s arms.

“It’s a good thing I got ordained” Jiraya reached into his pockets and pulled out some papers.  “Let’s see here, do you Naruto.”

“I do!”

“Ok, do you Haku.”

“Yes!”

“You two know there’s usually a whole ceremony to this right?”

“Shut up and marry us!” the two yelled at him in unison.

“Fine, fine.  I hereby, with the power granted to me by the toads and the village of Konoha, pronounce you husband and husband.  You may now kiss the groom.”

“Finally!” Haku exclaimed very excitedly as Naruto pulled him in for the kiss.

The two shared, what they would remember as, the best moment of their lives.  Whatever would come next, Naruto knew he’d make it through it.  No matter what it took, he’d always come back to Haku.