A young, blonde boy with whisker-marks on his cheeks groaned as sunlight streamed through his window and onto his face. He tried to sink deeper into his luxurious, plush bed...
Only to have his back poked by a spring. Growling at how he was going to shove the mattress into the manufacturers face, Naruto Uzumaki rose up from his bed, stretching his body.
Then he noticed where he was. Then the musty smell of the room he was in hit his sensitive nose. Finally, he brought his hands to his face and noticed small, child-like fingers. He got up, looking around for a bathroom.
He finally found the damned thing and looked into the mirror.
Naruto almost destroyed his dinky apartment. Almost. He was male and therefore, loved to blow things up with various objects, including explosives, jutsu, and more often than not, a Tailed Beast Bomb.
Would that count as overkill?
Naruto growled to himself as he saw his pitiful body. He was a child. Again. He was a child, again, in some village that he hadn't taken the time to recognize just yet. Naruto closed his eyes and reached inward, feeling the tugging feeling that signified entrance into his mindscape.
The first thing he felt was relief. His mindscape was still in the same state, in that strange sea of shining whiteness. In front of him was the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox, Kurama, in all of its glory, snoring softly.
Naruto curbed his desire to scream into the beast's ears. So, he folded his arms and waited for the fox to wake up. He began tapping his feet on the whiteness, willing a clear tapping noise into existence. When the fox refused to wake up, he took drastic measures.
Mainly, yelling like a child. Hey, he actually is a child. At the moment, anyway. "Hey! Kurama! Wake up, you lazy-ass fox!"
There was a deep, reverberating groan as the greatest Biju cracked open one of its eyes. It closed the eye, deciding to ignore its host. Then both of its eyes opened in surprise at seeing a chibified-version of Naruto.
Its maw opened, letting its deep voice echo throughout the all-encompassing void.
"What the fuck?"
"I could ask you the same thing!"
"Why the hell are you so tiny?"
"Why the hell am I so tiny?"
The fox finally sat up, looking down on its host with no small amount of amusement. What the hell was he wearing? Who the hell wore that kind of clothing to sleep? "All right, what's happening outside?"
Obviously, the beast was referring to the real world and not the little slice of Naruto's mind. "We're in some village and we're living in an incredibly shitty apartment."
"Hang on..." Naruto vanished for a moment, reappearing shortly after. "From what I can tell, we're enrolled in a shinobi academy if the calendar says anything. If the gigantic-ass monument outside tells me anything, we're in the Village Hidden in the Leaves. How old am I, anyway?"
The beast hummed in thought, scanning the body of its host. "You're about thirteen. Still in the academy?"
"Yeah, we're... graduating today. How the hell am I supposed to act? I need more information."
"Let's go outside. Maybe we can get some info by acting like idiots."
"You mean by me acting like an idiot."
"I know what I meant!"
Grinning slightly, Naruto left his mind and got dressed. He nearly gagged when he saw the clothing. Orange was a nice color, but he had five sets of this terrible-looking orange track suit. It was loose on his frame, somewhat heavy, and most of all, flashy. What the hell kind of shinobi wore that shit?
Shaking his head, Naruto got dressed and walked outside. You might think that he would be tripping all over himself, but all good shinobi know how to maintain balance. In Naruto Uzumaki's humble opinion, he was a damned great shinobi and as such, could walk without trouble at all, despite the unwieldiness of his shorter body.
He walked throughout the streets, getting some nostalgia at being in the village he was born in. Well, not this particular village, but the village in his own timeline. This one was different than what he remembered, but he hadn't visited his old village in years.
Then he saw a man glaring at him. Hatefully, even. It was a fairly often thing, too. People would glare at him, grit their teeth when he neared, and speak softly behind his back. He nearly frowned, but kept walking. If the words "Demon Brat" were anything to go by, the village likely knew he was a jinchuriki.
"You know," Kurama muttered within his head, "This is already annoying me. Why does the village know you're a jinchuriki? I thought Jiraiya and Tsunade were insistent that no one knew of that."
It might not like that here, Naruto thought, knowing the Kyuubi would hear it, The adults seem to know who I am. I'm guessing the ANBU stationed nearby for my protection. Looking up at the sun, Naruto decided to head over to the academy. If the calender was correct, there was a graduation exam today.
His chunin sensei, who he recognized as Iruka Umino, was waiting at the front of the class. Naruto waltzed in, picking a seat near some random student. The student, who he now recognized as a younger version of Kiba Inuzuka, made a snide comment about his grades and how he was going to fail.
Naruto snorted. Blah blah pre-teen bravado, blah blah blah. Naruto leaned his cheek on his fist, ignoring the babbling of the boy near him. From the corner of his eyes, Naruto took great pleasure in watching Kiba's expression turn from bewilderment, to irritation, and to anger.
Before Kiba could yell at the blonde for ignoring him, two girls entered the class, bickering about the seat next to... Sasuke Uchiha.
Naruto almost raised an eyebrow at the fangirl attitudes. Almost. It wasn't like he hadn't been exposed to them before, but he never expected Sakura Haruno and Ino Yamanaka to have such a demeanor.
Sasuke Uchiha was doing a valiant job of ignoring the girls, although the tic-marks on his head were an indication of his irritation.
"I was here first, Ino-pig!"
"No way, Forehead!"
"Sasuke-kun is my true love!"
"Keep on dreaming!"
Naruto watched in rapt fascination as a minor catfight formed over the brooding Uchiha.
"Holy shit, this is pathetic. What the fuck happened to this village?" Naruto could only agree and wondered where the actual kunoichi were. This must have been some preliminary genjutsu test. It had to be!
Unfortunately, genjutsu did not really affect Naruto. Not anymore, at least.
"Stop fighting," Naruto said, his voice reeking of authority. The tone caused both kunoichi to stop and stare at the jinchuriki whose head was now propped on his own interlaced fingers.
"Shut up, Naruto-baka! You can't tell us what to do!" Ino seized control of Sakura's distraction and snatched the seat next to Sasuke up. When Sakura noticed this, she growled and pulled up her imaginary sleeves, slowly advancing on the jinchuriki.
Then Iruka's voice rang out, telling everyone to sit down. Sakura still seemed to be pissed, but took a seat next to Ino, patiently waiting for instructions. "I'm glad most of you are here! Today is the day where each of you will take the graduation test. This exam will tell us whether or not you are ready to become genin. I hope you have all studied hard for this. It won't be easy, after all!
"Now, the first exam will be a written test. Please answer all thirty questions within the time limit." Iruka wrote down the time limit on the nearby board before handing the tests out. He told them all to begin.
Naruto immediately recognized the genjutsu on his paper. The Kyuubi mentioned how one of the proctors probably had something against him for obvious reasons. "Hey, Iruka-sensei," Naruto whispered, raising his arm slightly in the air. When Iruka approached and leaned down to Naruto's level, Naruto asked him why a genjutsu was placed on his paper.
Iruka picked up the paper and frowned, casting a glance over at the assistant examiner, Mizuki. The proctor dispelled the genjutsu and handed the paper back to the blonde student.
"Not going to dispel it yourself?" Kurama asked. Naruto mentally shook his head, telling his Biju that he wanted to know if Iruka was the one who placed the genjutsu. The glance at Mizuki told him who the real culprit was and Iruka's motions didn't seem to reek of lies.
The Kyuubi jinchuriki blazed through the test, finishing it faster than anyone else in the class. The main reason for that was that he wrote down random answers for most of the questions. Jinchuriki were not allowed to not be a ninja. That would be such a contradiction of the reason they were jinchuriki.
So, even if he failed everything, he would still become a ninja. He was sure of it. If he didn't, then he could just mess around for a while. There wasn't a real reason for him being in the Hidden Leaf anyway.
The timer rang, the exams were collected, and Iruka moved on to the next test, which was accuracy.
Most students had middling accuracy, only enough to pass. Some, such as Sasuke Uchiha, had perfect accuracy. Not that he didn't expect it, but Sasuke's personality was so different than what he was used to. Plus, his cousin and sister weren't in the class either.
When Naruto's turn came up, he lazily flicked the shuriken, scoring a one-hundred percent. All of the throwing stars had been spot-on.
Then the blonde realized that he probably shouldn't have done that if the shocked expressions of his classmates and of his proctors said anything. Shrugging, he accepted Iruka's praise with a smile before rejoining his class. Some of them were eying him strangely.
The next test was the Body Replacement Technique. Naruto was mentally groaning at this, but he complied. There were still questions whose answers he didn't have. This time, he scored perfectly average. Yep, just enough to pass, but not enough to attract attention. Iruka seemed vaguely disappointed, but oh well.
Then there was the Henge, or the Transformation Technique. Students were asked to transform into Iruka.
Naruto completed that without much fuss. Iruka gave him a smile and finished the rest of the examinations.
"All right," Iruka announced, catching the attention of the nervous and excited students, "The final exam will be the Bunshin no Jutu, or the Clone Technique. Make at least three clones of yourself in order to pass."
"Fuck," Kurama muttered in Naruto's head. "You can't do the Bunshin. Think we have an alternate test due to the size of your reserves?" Naruto shrugged as he walked into the other room where students were asked to perform the Clone Technique.
There was no alternative. It was either make the clones, or fail.
Naruto failed. Spectacularly, too. Amazing shinobi or not, he couldn't do low-chakra jutsu. It was impossible. There was no point either for him to use the regular jutsu either since he could use the Shadow Clone Technique.
Iruka shook his head at the blonde who looked fearful of his failings. "I'm sorry Naruto, but your scores were not enough to pass you. You FAIL."
Outside, Naruto leaned against a nearby tree, watching the new genin file out with their parents. He could hear mutterings of civilian parents being glad at him not passing.
Wow. He was the village's fucking weapon. He was their damned trump and they treat him like this? What the fuck? Konoha, like Kumo, was supposed to be-
Oh, right. Different timeline. Different Konoha.
His head snapped to the left, sensing a presence. Mizuki appeared, giving him an "extra-credit assignment" that could be used to pass. It involved stealing the Forbidden Scroll.
What does he take me for, Naruto thought, A fool?
"You might have been a fool, given how everyone expected you to fail at accuracy. Or rather, your other self was one." Naruto rolled his eyes. Stealing the Forbidden Scroll? What the fuck? How would a genin steal such a thing? It would be impossible, especially considering how tight security would be around that thing.
Still, Mizuki had supplied him with directions and what would happen if he succeeded.
So, later that night, Naruto entered the office of the Hokage and found the scroll. It wasn't even hidden in some secure location! It was sitting on a freaking shelf!
Then he ran into the Hokage who frowned at what Naruto was holding. The Third had been very kind in Naruto's lifetime, even after he had retired. The man eventually died from old age, but he had gone out of his way to make sure Naruto was raised properly and given the correct amount of training.
Given the affectionate suffix the Hokage had added to Naruto's name, he was able to deduce several things.
One, the Hokage maintained a close relationship with Naruto- the other Naruto- in order to foster a sense of loyalty to the village. It was likely he also liked him; the Kyuubi had mentioned Naruto's strange ability to draw people to him several times.
Two, given how he was still Hokage (if the hat said anything), Jiraiya and Tsunade weren't in the village. Jiraiya had picked up the hat after securing his spy network and Tsunade had remained within Konoha to raise her own family. Her son and daughter were very nice to Naruto when he was younger. Her brother and son had helped him control his jinchuriki powers when they had awakened their kekkei genkei.
Three, he was still a pervert. The book hanging out of his pocket kind of proved it.
Naruto used his own unique Transformation Technique (seriously, it was ridiculously powerful) and caused the man to collapse in a nosebleed.
What kind of Hokage did that? Granted, the situation wasn't really serious. Well, not to Naruto anyway.
So Naruto headed off into the forest and once he found a clearing, he opened the scroll and looked through it.
"You already know all of these," Kurama informed.
"I was hoping that there would be other techniques, but it seems like there's a lack of techniques in here. It's missing a lot of stuff..."
"More differences," Kurama rumbled. Naruto shrugged and waited for Mizuki to confront him.
He wasn't surprised when Iruka popped up and admonished him. Naruto played dumb, causing Iruka to raise his guard.
Then Mizuki appeared with a large Fuuma Shuriken in his hand, laughing maniacally. Oh, and then he broke the Third's Law, according to Iruka.
So Iruka stood on a tree branch, waiting for Naruto's breakdown. He didn't expect Naruto to facepalm. "Wow, how are you chunin? I thought that chunin had to have some sort of IQ before they were promoted. You're a damned idiot."
"What! You demon! I'll kill you!" Mizuki chucked his shuriken. Iruka was about to dive to intercept, but he noticed Naruto going through the Replacement Technique hand-seals. The shuriken sliced and diced a log and Naruto appeared behind Mizuki, grinning viciously. Mizuki laughed, stabbed the boy, and then exploded.
The top half of the tree was destroyed and the charred body of Mizuki fell to the ground. Naruto appeared behind a tree and made a show of appearing weak and broken. You know, the stuff a thirteen-year-old would feel and not an elite shinobi stuck in a thirteen-year-old's body.
This led to a visit with the Hokage, who assured Naruto everything was all right. Iruka gave his headband to the boy and treated him to ramen.
Oh boy, ramen. Something that Naruto never, ever grew tired of. Hell, even his Biju loved ramen. What a damned coincidence.
Naruto finally entered his apartment, feeling annoyed from the events of the day. "How strong are the coils of this body?" Naruto absentmindedly asked.
"Already strengthening them. We can't go full-Biju for long, but we could probably last five or so minutes. As time goes by, it'll go longer."
Naruto nodded and jumped into his bed, falling asleep shortly after.
=Academy, Several Days After=
After he had received his headband, Naruto had immediately gone to the library. The librarian tried to boot him out, but Naruto ignored her shrieking and entered anyway. It wasn't like she could do anything, either.
He had read up on the history regarding this timeline. Madara was able to control the Kyuubi, the Fourth had died (again), the Uzumaki Clan was gone (that was surprising) in addition to the Uchiha Clan (that massacre confused the hell out of him), and some other things he made a note of.
Naruto and Kurama were mentally discussing those events when Kiba made another brash remark about how he had failed and shouldn't be in the class. It was only for the "elite" genin that had passed. Naruto merely tapped his forehead protector, causing Kiba to comically drop his mouth in shock.
"You feel that? There's shock, but there's also happiness in this room. Guess who it's from?"
Probably Hinata. She's much more... timid than before. I liked her other personality better.
Then Ino and Sakura walked in, arguing yet again about their seat. This time, Naruto zoned out, ignoring the bickering between the two.
Seriously, they should have been acting their age. Ninja headbands meant that they were legally adults and adults weren't supposed to bicker. Maybe shinobi would go for kills, but not bicker. Bickering was boring.
This time, Sakura got the seat and gave Ino a smug smirk. Iruka walked in and began his boring lecture on shinobi careers before assigning the teams.
Several teams were different due to the lack of student composition. Naruto ended up being slapped into a team with Sakura Haruno and Sasuke Uchiha. Their sensei was Kakashi Hatake.
Feels like politics. Two Sharingan users in a team with a jinchuriki? The Kyuubi agreed.
Then they all played the waiting game. For his part, Naruto was flabbergasted. He guessed this was another discrepancy since the Kakashi of his time was always on time. Obito Uchiha... never on time.
After a while, Kakashi finally showed up. Naruto didn't let his irritation show, but his teammates were both incredibly annoyed.
So then they all met at the top of the academy. All of them sat down and Kakashi did his classic coolio introduction. All three genin, including Naruto, sweat-dropped. Then Kakashi pointed to Naruto.
"My name is Naruto Uzumaki. I like many things, but your tardiness isn't one of them." Kakashi gave him a deadpan look. "I don't like people who annoy me. I don't have a hobby at this moment. I am seriously reconsidering the dream I used to have."
Nope, no reaction. Then came Sasuke's "bad-ass" introduction, which caused Sakura to hyper-fixate on him. Then she introduced herself, causing Naruto to loudly groan.
"Is there a problem?" Kakashi asked.
This is what Naruto wanted to say: "No, nothing at all. Except for maybe the fact that she's a fucking stupid fangirl in a world of death."
What he really said was: "No, I'm fine. I'm just itching for our first mission."
Kakashi handed them pieces of paper, which Naruto instantly recognized as the beginnings of the bell test. Don't eat breakfast or you might throw up, all of that fancy jazz.
Naruto ignored everything the paper said and simply ate breakfast before appearing at the designated training field. He was also two hours late, too. Shortly after he arrived, Kakashi appeared to stare blankly at a fuming Sakura and an irritated Sasuke.
He set up the bell test stuff, explained the rules, and said "You won't advance to genin if you don't come at me with the intent to kill."
Sakura and Sasuke tensed, but Naruto burst out laughing. When Kakashi asked him what was funny, Naruto responded with a wide grin and said, "We're three fresh genin. We can't possibly defeat jounin. In fact, anything we do is paramount to failure because of how strong you probably are. The only way to have a chance in hell of defeating you would be for us to launch a series of coordinated attacks."
"Do you hear that? That's the sound of lightbulbs going off in your teammate's heads." Ding. Or ping.
Naruto backed up to his team, ushering them close. They were reluctant, but he convinced them to work together. Sakura was doing it for Sasuke, but Sasuke was doing it to become stronger.
Naruto just wanted to get through this. He wanted to see the status of the other nations. Maybe he should just ditch or something...
Nah. He'd wait until Kurama finished the changes.
So, with a shoddy plan and a bunch of clones, Team 7 failed to get a bell. Naruto couldn't get it without showing off a skill level that he wasn't supposed to have. Still, Kakashi passed them once Naruto let his teammates have the food.
Naruto smirked to himself. Finally, time for some D-ranks. He needed money for ramen, anyway.