Categories > Anime/Manga > Naruto > The Guardian

Chapter Three

by SGTBrowncoat 0 reviews

Category: Naruto - Rating: PG-13 - Genres:  - Published: 2014-07-24 - Updated: 2014-07-24 - 1530 words - Complete

Chapter Three

Itachi reported to ANBU headquarters, prepared to receive his first official assignment. He was surprised when, instead of being assigned to a squad right away as he expected, he was directed to the Hokage's office.

"Itachi Uchiha reporting as ordered, Hokage-sama."

"Thank you for coming, Itachi," Sarutobi said, leaning back in his chair, "I have an assignment that has been troubling me for some time. No one seemed right for the job, at least not until you passed your evaluation yesterday. This is a very sensitive mission, but I think you are ideal for it."

"I'm ready, sir."

"How much do you know about the Kyūbi attack six years ago?"

Itachi was a bit thrown off by the odd question. The attack was common knowledge, ingrained into the minds of everyone who had lived through it.

"…The Nine Tails attacked Konoha. Large portions of the village were destroyed, and the defense resulted in heavy casualties. The Fourth Hokage sacrificed his life to seal the beast away."

Sarutobi nodded, "And do you know what happened to the Nine Tails?"

"Not exactly. I've heard rumors that it was sealed into a human."

"A human who is host to a tailed beast is known as a Jinchūriki. The last Nine Tails Jinchūriki was Kushina Uzumaki, Minato's—the Fourth's—wife."

That certainly piqued Itachi's interest, "Kushina? I knew her; she was my mother's best friend. You're saying she was…"

"The host of the Kyūbi, yes. There was an enemy, one whose identity we still do not know, who took advantage of Kushina's childbirth to release the Nine Tails and turn it on the village. Both Kushina and Minato gave their lives to protect their newborn son, and sealed the Kyūbi safely inside of him."

"…In a baby?"

"He's six years old now and just started the Academy. He doesn't know any of this; not who his parents are, nor that he is a Jinchūriki. His father wanted him to be seen as a hero, but unfortunately, there are many in the village who do not feel that way. He is hated."

The pieces began to fit together in Itachi's mind, "The blond boy who is always in trouble for his pranks in the village."

"Naruto." Sarutobi confirmed, "He is very… energetic, a bit of a trouble maker, but he means well. There are those in the village that would like to see him dead, not to mention the enemies of the Fourth Hokage, and the man who orchestrated the attack six years ago. All of them mean him harm, and I believe there have already been attempts on his life. If the other hidden villages ever identify him as a Jinchūriki, the danger will only increase tenfold. He has had an ANBU squad watching over him since his birth, but the situation is changing, and I think it is time to take a new approach to his protection. I've decided to have the squad stand down during the day in favor of a single bodyguard."

"If the threat is increasing, why reduce security?" Itachi asked.

"When it comes down to it, security is not my greatest concern for Naruto. He has been alone his entire life. He has been in an orphanage until now, but he was an outcast even there. He was kicked out when he entered the Academy. I am concerned what effect so much isolation will have on him. Naruto needs someone who will look out for him, but also someone he can look up to; a mentor, or an older brother figure."

"And you want… me? Hokage-sama… I'm no role model."

"I understand that you have a younger brother of your own."

"Yes, sir."

"It is also my understanding that you value your brother over nearly anything else."

Itachi found it a bit unsettling that the Hokage apparently knew so much about his personal life.

"What I am asking, "Sarutobi continued, "Is that you try to apply the same dedication to this mission that you do to your brother. Can you do that?"

"I… I'll do my best, Hokage-sama."

"Excellent. You will meet with the current squad leader today. First thing tomorrow you will take over for the normal detail until sunset. Unless you have any questions, you are dismissed, Itachi."

Itachi bowed and departed. He was still catching up with everything he had been told. This was not the kind of assignment he had expected when he joined ANBU. A part of him wondered if this was the Hokage's way of saying that he agreed with Kakashi that he was too young for black ops. If that was so, all Itachi could do was try to prove himself in the tasks he was given, just as he always had.

The leader of the security detail was an older man named Captain Arata with silver hair peeking out from his bear mask.

"So, you're taking over the day shift, are you?" he asked in a gravelly voice.

"I'm not trying to step on anyone's toes, sir." Itachi replied.

"Don't worry about it. My team with be glad for the time off. That kid is a pain in the ass to keep up with."

"With all due respect sir… How does Naruto get away with so much if you're watching him all the time?"

Arata grunted, "We're his security detail, not his nannies. It's not our job to keep him out of trouble, just to keep him breathing."

"I see…"

Following his meeting with Captain Arata, Itachi made his way back to the Uchiha Compound. He started to remove his mask as he passed through the gates, only to find himself suddenly trapped in a tight headlock. Instinctively, he moved to counterattack, but his attacker vanished as quickly as he had appeared.

"Still too slow, Itachi."

A messy haired young man in a Konoha Military Police uniform seemed to appear out of thin air.

"Aren't we a little old for games, Shisui?" Itachi grumbled, trying to sound annoyed, but failing to hide his smirk.

"You might be an ANBU hotshot now, but you're still only twelve. You've gotta loosen up or you're going to end up like your dad."

Itachi sighed and picked up his dropped mask from the ground, "It might be too late for that."

"Nah, I don't believe that. Behind all that skill and seriousness, you're a big softie." Shisui replied, "So, you busy today?"

Itachi shook his head, "I'm on standby."

"I just got off duty. Want to do some target practice?"

"Alright. That sounds good."

Shisui was Itachi's cousin and had been his best friend as long as he could remember. He was like his older brother. Shisui was seventeen and a Jonin who had made a name for himself before transferring to the Military Police at the clan's behest. He had recently been promoted to captain after only a few months with the force. He was laid back and playful, especially for an Uchiha, but he could be deadly serious when the situation warranted.

The cousins walked to their usual training spot, a clearing in the woods at the edge of the Compound known only them and one other friend. They set up their kunai and shuriken targets behind obstacles and in blind spots, trying to make them as difficult as possible. They then went about trying to outdo each other with more and more complex shots.

"So," Shisui said, collecting his kunai, "Uncle Fugaku has been telling the entire clan how his son passed his ANBU evaluation on his first mission."

"Hn." Itachi grunted.

"Guess that means you'll be around even less now, huh?"

"Actually, it looks like my new assignment will be keeping me in the village most of the time."

"Really? What's the assignment?"

ANBU missions were always classified, but there was no one in the world that Itachi trusted more than Shisui.

"It's a personal security detail." he told him.

"Who in the village needs an ANBU security detail?"

"…A kid with a lot on his shoulders." Itachi replied, flinging a shuriken and hitting his target dead center.

"Don't tell me you're talking about that Jinchūriki kid."

"You know about that?" Itachi asked, surprised.

"It's one of those things they tell you about when you make captain with the police force. I guess Uncle Fugaku's afraid the kid's going to lose control of the Nine Tails someday. He wants us keeping an eye on him." Shisui explained.

"The Hokage wants me to be some kind of mentor to him."

"Well, he picked the right guy."

"The Third said the same thing. Why does everyone seem to think that?"

Shisui chuckled, "If there was ever anyone born to fill the big brother role, it's you. Besides, I think Sasuke and that kid are about the same age. Maybe they'll be friends."


Itachi and Shisui stayed at the clearing training until after sunset when they finally decided to head back. They walked together until the split in the road between their own homes.

"Good luck with the assignment, Itachi." Shisui said with a wave, "Don't work too hard."

"I'll try. Goodnight, Shisui-niisan."
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