Third person pov
Naruto paraded into the Hokage's building with a single-file line of clones following behind him, each holding a box or two in hand. The Hokage trailed after them, hiding how much he enjoyed the bewildered looks sent Naruto's way. The ninja around them had clearly never seen an army of identical five-year-old's. "Do we go to your office, jiji?" The first clone in the line asked. "Nooo, why would we go there?" One clone asked with a sarcastic scoff. Another scowled uncharacteristically, kicking the sarcastic one in the shin so that it popped, and then catching it's box on top of it's own. The Hokage had to hide his smile.
"Yes, Naruto-kun. My office is fine." The Hokage said with a bit of hilarity. The original Naruto stepped to the side to make sure none of his clones straggled behind, his hands on his hips as though he were the lead in a construction project. The Hokage stood by him, watching the line of clones shuffle in through the door, which was being held by another Naruto clone that looked like it had far better things to do with it's time. The room had gone silent as they all watched the army of Naruto's march in. All the boxes they'd gotten had been quite small, so it was easier for Naruto's clones to carry them, hence the large amount of clones required to move them all at once.
Kakashi Hatake was one of these ninja, or rather ANBU, who'd gone silent at the odd sight. He hesitantly walked up to the Hokage and Naruto his posture stiff. He desperately wanted to know why they were here, and what was going on. Last time he checked, Naruto couldn't even throw a kunai straight, let alone perform a jutsu of this scale. Where had he even learned it? "Hokage-sama." He gave a bow. The Third turned around at the sound of his name, smiling when he saw Kakashi. "Inu." The Hokage acknowledged. Naruto whirled around, his blue eyes wide. He brightened considerably. "Inu-san! Where have you been?!" Naruto all but screeched, his hands waving wildly as he gestured to the man. Kakashi's eyebrows raised. What was this brat talking about? He knew he checked up on Naruto quite frequently, and used to guard him pretty often, but the young boy wouldn't know that.
"Naruto-kun, what're you talking about?" The Third questioned in a cautiously idle tone. Naruto turned to the Hokage, clearly confused. "Inu-san watches me a lot, doesn't he?" Naruto scratched the back of his neck, looking at the ANBU nervously as though he'd accidentally called someone by the wrong name. The Hokage stiffened. "How do you know that, Naruto?" Hiruzen's voice was calm, but his eyes were narrowed. "W-Well his chakra is warm." The boy suddenly seemed quite nervous, his eyes on the ground as though he'd done something wrong. The Hokage felt his eyes soften at the sight. He didn't want Naruto to feel scared anymore.
"A sensory type?" Kakashi wondered aloud. He knew he should have hid his chakra more carefully, even if it did help to ward any armed enemies off. "It seems so." Hiruzen mused, taking in a puff of his pipe. The last clones passed by Naruto, and the one by the door let itself pop. The original Naruto turned towards his clones, watching dutifully to make sure they did as instructed. Naruto, after all, was quite easily distracted. That, and the blonde certainly didn't want them blurting anything out. For some reason, his clones seemed less... Well, they weren't as smart as the real Naruto, which was a real issue because Naruto really wasn't that smart to begin with.
"Well, Inu, we have some business to attend to." The Hokage said. Kakashi blinked out of his trance, looking away from where the chain of Naruto's had once walked. "Yes, of course. Thank you for your time, Hokage-sama." Kakashi stepped back and gave a deep bow, his body folding at a near perfect ninety degree angle. The Hokage gave a gracious nod and a smile. Naruto frowned. He hadn't seen Kakashi in a long time, and not tackling the man in a hug was hard. He really didn't want his sensei to go.
Kakashi-sensei hadn't really payed much attention to him and Sakura in the beginning, focusing more on Sasuke, and the potential he held. That didn't make Naruto love the Hatake any less. As he got older, Kakashi became more invested in his life, no doubt feeling some obligation to him. After all, Naruto was Kakashi's former-sensei's son. Training him was almost like a dream, and it had taken a long time for Kakashi to really step up and be Naruto's sensei. But when he had, the result had been beautiful. Naruto had progressed steadily, and a strong bond had been formed.
"Can't Inu-san come?" Naruto frowned, looking at the Hokage. Hiruzen's eyebrows raised in response. He didn't see why Kakashi needed to come. "Why do you wish him to accompany us, Naruto?" The Hokage's tone was not rude or distasteful, but rather curious and a bit perplexed. Naruto looked at Hiruzen with a confused look once more, as though the answer was obvious. "Well, if Inu-san is there, then no bad guys can get me!" He exclaimed cheerfully, grinning up at his grandfather-figure. Kakashi blinked down at Naruto with a bit if curious surprise. The Hokage, on the other hand, felt another bout of sorrow.
"Naruto-kun, nobody will get you anymore whether he's here or not." The Hokage's voice was tinted with distress, Kakashi noted. He turned to look at Naruto, and looked closer. His heart immediately stopped. Naruto had a thick scar on his neck, he was missing a toe, and his arms had a variety of scars on them as well. No child should have such markings. Not at all! Especially not Naruto. "What happened?!" Kakashi blurted the question out before he could stop himself, quickly bowing his head in apology. He cleared his throat. "I apologize." He murmured, his eyes still on Naruto. The blonde boy looked up at Kakashi with a confused expression. "I'm a monster, Inu-san." Naruto voiced it as though it were an obvious fact. Kakashi saw why the Hokage seemed so regretful. Kakashi too felt regret. This was his sensei's son... this was what had become of him.
"Naruto-kun, you aren't a monster." The Hokage crouched down to his height. A few lingering shinobi had stopped in to listen, their eyes on the confused five year old. "But... they said I was. That's why they did this, and that too." Naruto blinked. "That?" Kakashi asked immediately, crouching down to Naruto. Naruto nodded sagely. "Yeah, I dunno what it's called, but it happened to Sasuke too. We're calling it the Cantaloupe Happening." Naruto frowned, looking down. The Hokage's heart skipped a beat. The ninja around them had all stopped to listen, especially a few members of the Uchiha clan who'd heard Naruto speak the name of one of the clan head's sons.
Hiruzen and Kakashi weren't sure what Cantaloupes had to do with anything, but from the look on Naruto's face, it definitely wasn't good.
"Yeah, it just happened last night." Naruto's voice was airy now, his eyes clouded as he remembered. Kakashi couldn't stop himself from flinching when tears welled up in the blonde's eyes. "T-They took his arm." He whispered, his blue eyes wide with horror. His chakra flickered in a way that made it clear he was about to panic, and the Hokage stood up. "Come on, Naruto. Let's go to my office. Inu can accompany us." The Hokage assured. Naruto nodded dazedly, his hand reaching out and grabbing Kakashi's. The Hatake didn't pull away, silently leading the now crying boy with him.
Nobody knew Sasuke had the ability to communicate with the Kyuubi using his Mangekyo, even over long distances.
And nobody but Naruto and Shikamaru ever would.
To confirm: Sasuke did tell the Kyuubi the story they decided to go with using the Mangekyo. I just did not write that part into the story. Naruto DOES know the story they are going with,
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A Couple Steps BackFanfiction
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