Kakashi goes to Naruto looking for answers
This wasn't the tidy little apartment he'd had since retiring from ANBU, rather it was a large, airy room with several other sleeping mats laid out on the floor. From the furnishings, it appeared he was at an inn that had seen better days; everything was well kept but worn. His equipment was stacked on a nearby table and he could see both Sasuke and Kiba's packs leaning against another wall. Of his charges and Son Naruto, however, there was no sign.
“Puzzling,” he thought. “The last thing I remember was being on the trail, headed toward Tazuna-san's home and now I find myself here... what happened?” Voices from below interrupted his musings and the Jounin made his way, silently, out of the room and toward the stairs. Still off-balance after waking, he strained his ears to listen in on the conversation below.
“Are these the vegetables you wanted sliced, Tsunami-sama?” a voice Kakashi recognized as Sakura asked.
“Yes,” replied an older woman. “Thank you for helping Sakura-san, you and your team have been so helpful. Even that charming boy Naruto wanted to help but I guess boys will be boys.”
“Hai,” the pink haired kuniochi said with a small sigh. “Sasuke-kun wanted to find out more about Naruto so they went into the woods to talk... I think, though, he wants to fight... I hope he doesn't get hurt-OH!”
Having entered the room silently, Kakashi seemed to almost appear by magic in front of Sakura, causing her to scream. His memory of what happened before he passed out now returned, the Jounin wanted desperately to find their blond haired guest. “Sakura,” he asked, his lazy tone, hiding the anxiety that now knotted his gut. “You said that Sasuke and Naruto went into the woods for a talk? In which direction?”
“Toward the lake where we were attacked,” she answered. “They just left, Kiba too; you don't think they're fighting, do you?”
“Stay here and help Tsunami-san with the meal, I'll return in a bit with the boys,” Kakashi answered as he stepped swiftly out the door.
Following a well-marked path behind the house, Kakashi made quick progress toward the place Sakura had said the boys were headed. He tried to empty his mind and focus on the terrain ahead but his mind couldn't help returning to Konoha twelve years ago.
“Sensei!” cried a silver-haired Jounin of barely fourteen years as he sprinted over the ravaged battlefield. The demon, Kyuubi no Kitsune, had attacked village sowing a swath of destruction in its path. After a majority of Konoha's ninja population had sacrificed itself uselessly against the beast, the Yondaime Hokage himself went forth on Gambunta to face the demon. The very ground heaved as the titans clashed against each other. The summon, while no match for Kyuubi, held the demon long enough for Yondaime to cast his final Jutsu. A shimmering man-like form coalesced behind Minato, driving its arm through him and into the Kyuubi itself. Pulling back, the arm brought with it an evil red presence from the demon and a pure blue one from Yonaime's body. The blue presence was absorbed by the shimmering form and the red passed through and was sent flying toward the edge of the battle field. Man and Demon stood frozen for a brief moment till one collapsed while the other turned to dust and blew away on the evening breeze. It was the still form of Namikaze Minato, the Yondaime Hokage that Kakashi now stood over in a state of shock.
“He gave his life for the village,” a voice said behind him as the Jounin knelt beside his sensei. “He always said that was the true purpose of being Hokage.”
“Sarutobi-sama,” Kakashi croaked, his easy going mask cracked as te turned to look up at the Sandaime. “He should have had me do this thing, we need him.”
“It was something only he could do,” replied the aged shinobi. “besides, he left us the harder task by far. We must go on; we'll rebuild the village and watch over his legacy.”
“His...” Kakashi murmured, finally noticing a tiny bundle in the other man's arms. “What is that?”
“Kyuubi couldn't be killed, not by a mortal man,” Sarutobi explained. He had to bind it in a vessel who's chakra coils were not yet formed. This is his legacy, his son, the jailer of the nine-tails.” As if he knew they were speaking of them, the child in question squirmed and kicked, dislodging the wrapping that covered him. Wailing in discomfort, the Yondaime's child lay before their eyes, a spiral shaped seal still glowing slightly on his stomach.
Voices ahead brought Kakashi out of his reverie and he perched himself in a tree at the edge of the clearing. There, he found Sasuke and Naruto facing each other near the water's edge while Kiba sat off to himself with his back against a tree, oblivious to the world around him. Kakashi frowned at the Inuzuka boy with concern, the loss of his nin-dog was weighing harder on Kiba than He'd expected. His attention was brought back to the other two boys as Sasuke began sharply questioning the blond.
“How did you do it?” he demanded. “Momochi Zabuza is an 'A' class nuke-nin. A Jounin team would be hard pressed to survive a fight with him but you fought off six of his water clones by yourself!”
Scratching his head in embarrassment, Naruto blushed and gave a foxy smile as he reminded the other boy, “I didn't do it by myself, Sasuke-san. Kiba had the first clone distracted and the next two took each other out. I was getting my butt kicked by the last three until you blew your fire attack at them, thanks by the way.”
Undeterred by the excuses, Sasuke growled, “I was there, Dobe, I saw you beat those clones. What are you really? You have to be a shinobi!”
“Really, I'm not!” Naruto swore with his hands in the air. “Otou-san is just a really good fighter, he teaches and helps me train.”
His eye twitching in annoyance, the Uchiha fell into a fighting stance. “Prove it,” he growled. “Fight me.”
His eyes brightening with Realization, Naruto fell into his own defensive stance, declaring, “Yatta! A spar! This should be fun!”
The two boys stood in a face-off, each waiting for the other to make the first move. Kakashi watched from the tree, curious despite himself, wanting to see Naruto fight without Zabuza as a distraction. His wait was short, however, as Sasuke, anxious to test himself, chose that moment to attack.
Leaping forward, the Genin launched into a spin-kick that would have shattered a normal person's jaw if it'd connected. The grin never leaving his face, Naruto blocked the kick and side stepped, turning to keep Sasuke directly in front of him. Moving swiftly, the blond made two quick jabs and followed up with a roundhouse kick, all of which were blocked, barely, by Sasuke.
In his tree, Kakashi blinked in confusion. He'd watched the first exchange and was startled to see Naruto moving so much more slowly than he had against Zabuza. His speed and strength seemed to be barely greater than Sasuke himself. Deciding to study the action a bit more closely, the Jounin pulled up his hitai-ate, exposing the sharingan eye and began watching again with increased interest.
In the clearing, Sasuke growled in frustration as he tried to look unaffected by Naruto's strikes. In truth, the Genin felt like he'd nearly broken his wrist and he could already feel bruises forming on his arms. Knowing he couldn't match the blond for strength, Sasuke opted for speed and agility to out-maneuver his opponent.
Sliding forward, Sasuke delivered several quick jabs to Naruto's head and body while dancing around the other boy. Most of the attacks missed and those that did had the Uchiha believing that Naruto had somehow performed quarmi with a tree. The boy's body was solid and unyielding to his blows though Sasuke did seem to have a slight edge in speed. Blocking Naruto's latest counterstrike, Sasuke took hold of the boy's arm and performed a chakra-enhanced shoulder throw, sending the blond headfirst toward a nearby tree.
In the branches above, Kakashi stared down in confusion as the fight progressed. Sasuke was fighting as would be expected, his taijutsu was flawless and chakra enhanced muscles pushed him to feats of strength and speed beyond normal human ability. Naruto, on the other hand was using a form of Taijutsu he'd never seen before, it seemed to rely on brute strength and durability. Not only that but there was no build up of chakra in his muscles before his attacks. Rather, it seemed that the boy's undershirt, wrist bands and sandals had some strange seals on them and were being fed chakra from the blond's body.
The odd thing was, if the chakra-enhanced clothing was supposed to help Naruto fight in some way, why wasn't he moving quickly as he had against Zabuza? While still faster than Sasuke, Naruto's movements were only barely so. Kakashi broke off his musings as Naruto somehow spun in mid-air and hit the tree he'd been thrown at feet first.
As the blond charged back toward him, Sasuke formed a reverse ram seal and murmured “Bunshin no Jutsu!” Three perfect copies of him formed and they began dancing among each other, allowing the Uchiha to lose himself in the confusion. Though surprised to see his opponent multiplied, Naruto struck at the nearest one without pause, though the results were not what he'd expected.
Instead of his hand meeting flesh, it found no resistance. Sasuke's image wavered like smoke in a sunbeam before dissipating altogether. Confused, Naruto stopped and brought up his guard against another one of them as it made to attack, only to have a foot driven against the side of his head bu the real Sasuke, knocking him off balance. Even as Naruto turned to face his attacker, Sasuke mixed himself with the other clones that danced around the blond, leaving him with no clear target. The fight continued this way for several minutes, The Uchiha continuing delivering a severe pummeling while the blond ineffectively tried to pick out his real attacker. For every clone Naruto destroyed, Sasuke summoned up another to take its place. Kakashi was beginning to think that the fight was over when he noticed Naruto's nose twitch and his smile redouble.
A similar smile formed under the Jounin's mask as he realized what Naruto had figured out. He waited with more than a little anticipation as Sasuke attacked again. Two of the clones attacked Naruto from the front while the actual Sasuke came in low and from the side. His eyes half closed, the blond ignored the bunshin while doing a flip to kick at the other boy as he passed below. From that moment on, the fight shifted in Naruto's favor yet again.
His bunshin no longer effective, Sasuke used shuriken kunai and even some katon justsus in an attempt to distract the blond and subdue him. Jutsus and most of the weapons were dodged while some that Naruto couldn't avoid were caught with no apparent damage to his hands at all. Sasuke's frustration was evident not only on his face, but in his actions as well. The Uchiha's attacks were becoming sloppy as he allowed his anger to override common sense. His emotions clouding his judgment, Sasuke was actually giving off a weak killer intent when Kakashi decided to enter the clearing and end their spar.
“Yo,” he said with a lazy smile, only noticeable by the crinkling of his right eye. He'd covered the Sharingan before jumping down and now stood in a relaxed slouch between the two to prevent the fight continuing. “It's good to see you practicing your skills so diligently, Sasuke. Just remember that Naruto isn't a shinobi, he doesn't know how to defend himself from more than taijutsu.” Ignoring the disdainful snort from the Uchiha, he turned to Naruto and complimented him on his Taijutsu. “You fight well, Naruto, where did you learn your style, I don't think I've seen anything like it before.”
“It's the fighting style of my otou-san, Son Goku,” Naruto exclaimed proudly. “I've been learning it since he rescued me.”
Nodding serenely to hide his distress over Naruto having to be 'rescued' from his own village, the Jounin instead addressed Sasuke and Kiba. “why don't you two go back and see if Tsunami-san needs any help preparing the meal?” he asked pointedly. “Perhaps you should have her or Saura help you clean and wrap your hands as well,” he added, noticing the Uchiha's bloodied nuckles. Sasuke growled something unintelligible and shot a hot look at Naruto before collecting his team mate and leaving the clearing.
“You fought well against Sasuke,” he commented, trying to find a way to start. “Your sensei should be proud.”
“He is,” answered the beaming blond as he began to idly stretch after his workout. “He says I could even catch up to him some day.”
“Hn... what I really wanted to speak with you about was the scar on your stomach. What do you know about it?”
“It was a seal,” Naruto answered casually. “Somebody, the Yondaime I guess, sealed Buu-san in my belly.”
“I'm sorry, who?”
“Buu... Buu who?”
“Don't cry Kakashi-san,” Naruto said with exagerated innocence. “He's not there anymore and I'm all better now.”
Kakashi sweat dropped as he stared at the grinning teen before pulling himself back together. “Naruto, the thing sealed in you wasn't named Buu, it was-”
“Kyuubi,” The blond answered calmly. “That's what everybody calls him but he's had a lot of names, the first one was Buu. That's the name otou-san knows him by.”
“Kyuubi is thousands of years old, how could he know the Demon's first name?”
“He's been away for a while,” Naruto answered cryptically. “Anyway, the seal was for Buu-san.”
“Do you know why he was sealed in you?”
“Not exactly, Buu-san said that as Kyuubi he got summoned to attack the village and he is too powerful to be killed by a human. I guess the Yondaime had to seal him to stop him.”
“That's right,” Kakashi agreed. “The Kyuubi is very dangerous. It destroyed a major part of the village before it could be stopped. The only way to do it was to make a deal with the Shinigami and seal the demon inside a newborn who's chakra coils weren't formed yet. To do this, the Yondaime gave his life; if the Kyuubi is free, we need to know if it will be a danger to the village.”
“After otou-san got me away from the villagers he tried giving me a little bit of his chakra to help strengthen me after giving me the Senzu bean. Something happened and it woke up my bloodline.”
“Bloodline? I didn't know Min- I didn't know your family had a bloodline-limit.”
Catching Kakashi's slip but not commenting on it, Naruto continued cooling down as he bent over, went smoothly into a hand-stand and began walking around the clearing upside-down. “Everyone has it,” he answered. “Buu-san says that most shinobi of any ability or bloodline can trace it back to the first bloodline. Something in otou-san's chakra woke it up. When that happened my body kind ate up the energy of the seal and started on Kyuubi too. Otou-san could tell something was wrong and took me to a friend's house just before Kyuubi got free.
At first Buu-san didn't remember who he was and he attacked otou-san and Mr. Popo. They ended up having a big fight, I don't remember it very well 'cause I was on the ground curled up in pain from the change but Mr. Popo told me Buu-san remembered himself right before he got beat.”
“Who's Mr. Po- He remembered himself right before he was going to beat Goku-san?”
Kakashi's question had Naruto look at him and laugh incredulously. To do so, he went effortlessly into a one-handed stand and twisted to look incredulously in the Jounin's direction. “No! Otousan was about to kick Buu-san's butt but something happened and he quit being the Kitsune and went back to his first form.”
“His first... Naruto, you know, no one could beat the Kyuubi, you said it yourself!”
Laughing, Naruto corrected, “No I didn't Kakashi-san. It doesn't matter now anyway because Buu-san isn't Kyuubi and that means you have nothing to worry about.”
While far from satisfied with Naruto's explanation, Kakashi decided to let it drop for the moment. Instead, he asked about something else that had his interest. “You have a bloodline now,” he asked in a casual tone. “does it have a name? Can you tell me anything about it?”
Falling out of his handstand into a lotus position in one movement, Naruto leaned back on his elbows and answered. “I guess it really doesn't. Otou-san has the pure form of the original blood-line he says he's a Saiyan. Because I had the Kitsune sealed in me when it was awakened, mine changed, I'm the first of my bloodline.
As for what it does, well I can use chakra a little easier than a lot of people and I'm a little stronger and harder to hurt. There's some other stuff that's not really important and then theresthetail.”
Missing the last part of Naruto's answer, Kakash asked, “what was that?”
Scrambling to his feet and glancing around the clearing to make sure they were truly alone, the blond said, “You've got to swear not to tell anybody about this, especially girls.” he said with a serious expression. Pulling up his Gi-top again, Naruto exposed his waistline and a fuzzy red belt nearly hidden under the hem of his undershirt. The Jounin wouldn't have noticed it at all except that it suddenly moved on its own and uncoiled from around Naruto's waist. In moments, the orange-clad boy had a four foot long, bushy red tail that swished about, almost as if it had a mind of its own.
“You have a...”
“A tail.” Naruto finished with resignation. “Otou-san has one too, all Saiyans start out with one. It's really strong and I can even grab things with it, it's like a third arm in a fight but....”
“But what?” Kakashi asked in confusion. “While it's a bit odd seeing a boy with a tail, it seems to be nothing but beneficial... why are you so down about it?”
“You have to understand....” Naruto sputtered. “Girls...”
“Kakashi-Sensei!” Sakura called as she entered the clearing. Tsunami-san sent me to get you for.... SQEEEEE!!!!”
The pink haired Kunoichi darted across the clearing with a smitten look on her face, took Naruto's tail in her arms and began to stroke it like a puppy. The blond stood rooted, first in abject fear then with an expression of weak-kneed bliss.
Kakashi watched with a combination of confusion and amusement as the scene continued for a long moment. Suddenly, Naruto's face flared red and he pulled the front of his Gi-top as low as he could manage. “Gomen, Kakashi-san, Sakura-san,” he squeaked. “I'll go see if they need any help setting the table!” Without another word, the blond fled the clearing he almost seemed to vanish.
Sakura looked after him with a dazed look in her eye before snapping out of it and sighing. “He didn't have to run off, I was trying to tell you both everything was ready.” Kakashi, not trusting himself to answer proplerly, giggled as he pulled out his little orange book.