Naruto gets taken in and raised by Koharu. He learns everything a traditional kunoichi does, as well as those combat skills that were what made kunoichi like Koharu, Touka, and Mito so absolutely fucking terrifying. But he always maintains the elegance and poise Koharu-obaasama taught him, even when handing Sasuke his broken teeth on a platter. Sakura and Ino are SO JEALOUS™ but also SO PROUD because ladylike but still male Naruto is awesome.
“I’m not going to approve this,” Hiruzen tells his former
teammate, utterly bewildered.
“Of course you are,” Koharu tells
him briskly, and the look on her face is one she most often used to turn on him
and Danzō when they were being particularly obtuse. “Lady Mito’s spirit came to
me in a dream to point out the in injustice being done to her descendant. I’m fixing
it, and you had best not get in my way, Saru.”
Perched on her lap,
four-year-old Naruto turns wide-starry eyes on her. “You talk to the Hokage like that?” he asks excitedly.
Hiruzen, who is still trying to
sort out the Lady Mito’s spirit part
of that, catches sight of that expression out of the corner of his eye and
freezes as trepidation bolts down his spine.
“I’m being perfectly polite,” Koharu
tells Naruto, and it’s true. Mostly. Except she wields manners the same way she
wields an explosive tag, which is to say devastatingly.
“People can never say no to good manners, if you use them correctly.”
Oh no. That expression on Naruto’s
face is the same one he was wearing when he saw Hiruzen use a jutsu for the first
time, and it doesn’t bode well for any part of Hiruzen’s remaining sanity. “Utatane—”
he starts warningly.
“Hokage-sama.” He hasn’t heard
her sound that icy since he suggested it was too dangerous to go out looking
for Tobirama’s body, and years of experience has him snapping his mouth shut
automatically. Koharu regards him narrowly for another moment, then nods in
satisfaction and sets a neat stack of papers on the desk. “Naruto is coming
home with me,” she says. “I will teach him sealing and how to comport
himself—no more of this wreaking havoc in the village nonsense. And you will approve it.”
This situation is slipping from Hiruzen’s
grasp so quickly it’s giving him a rash. “Only if you agree to cut ties with Danzō,”
he says desperately.
Koharu gives him her patented I’m disappointed you’re not more intelligent
but also remain unsurprised by this fact look and taps an imperious finger
on the papers. “Section three,” she says primly, because of course Utatane Koharu
would never hand in paperwork that wasn’t in sections. There was a reason Tobirama liked her best, and it wasn’t
her penchant for explosions. Well, not entirely.
“Proof of Danzō’s continuing activities, several methods to stop him, a
cost-benefit analysis of doing so immediately as compared to phasing Root out
slowly, and Mitokado’s agreement not to participate in any more of Danzō’s
Hiruzen wonders what she did to
poor Homura to get his compliance, but very carefully doesn’t ask. Instead, he
looks at the boy who may as well be his grandson, who he’s managed to keep at
arm’s length, practically neglected, for the past four years, and sighs a
“Naruto?” he asks quietly. “Are
you all right with this?”
Koharu’s expression shades
towards affront, but before she can say anything—or stuff a mild exploding tag
down his robes, because that was always one of her favorite ugh you’re such a boy reactions—Naruto turns to look up at her, and…
Well. Hiruzen realizes with a
start that while he’s seen Naruto happy, he’s never seen him glad before.
“Oba-sama bought me a kimono,” he says, as though this is
bewildering. “Because I thought it was pretty. An’ she said I can learn to
fight like a hero of Konoha.” He pronounces
the words carefully, clearly aware of the reverence with which Koharu treats
Hiruzen just wishes that her
heroes weren’t Uzumaki Mito and Senju Tōka, because he knows Koharu. She doesn’t give a damn about gender—Naruto will
learn kunoichi skills because she knows how to make them devastating, and
because all the shinobi she looks up to used them. And that, coupled with her
love of exploding tags and her fuinjutsu knowledge, and Naruto’s bloodline of
genius and his chakra reserves—
It takes effort not to wince.
“Utatane—” he starts, even
though he doesn’t have a solid protest formed.
A mistake, clearly, because Koharu’s
dark eyes go flinty, and she rises to her feet in a swirl of perfectly arranged
robes. “Saru,” she says coolly. “Your desk, top drawer on the left, under a
false bottom. Second bookshelf from the right of the door, third shelf, behind
the treatise on politics during the First World War. Tenth floorboard from the
window, in a black box sealed with—”
Hiruzen flings himself forward
right over his desk, clapping a hand across her mouth. All the blood has
drained from his face, and he gives her a wild-eyed look.
“You witch,” he accuses. “Leave my literature alone.”
Koharu rolls her eyes, grips his
wrist between two delicate fingers, and pulls it away from her mouth. She pauses
just long enough to make sure Hiruzen knows she’s thinking about breaking it
for the offense, then lets go. “Hide it better,” she retorts. “Or for heaven’s
sake don’t read porn on the job.”
Naruto, always the first to
latch on to something he shouldn’t—case in point, the way he’s happily perched
on Koharu’s hip right this moment, and Hiruzen has the uncharitable thought
that he’s surprised she hasn’t broken
her hip yet, with all her marching around giving orders—perks up at that. “What’s
porn?” he asks excitedly.
“A way to lead foolish men
around by the nose,” Koharu says precisely. “Saru, I expect those forms to be
filed with the appropriate departments by the end of the day tomorrow. Naruto,
let’s go home.”
“Yes, Oba-sama!” Naruto cheers,
and he waves cheerfully over her shoulder as she sweeps out of the Hokage’s office.
Hiruzen slumps back in his chair
and drags his hands over his face, then leans over and fishes out a bottle of
sake. For a moment he debates the cup, but then he pictures Naruto with elegance
and poise and the ability to break anyone’s teeth without losing composure, and
just pops the cork.
At the very least, it will be an
interesting few years.
(Hiruzen really, really hopes he
can retire before Naruto reaches Academy age, because that will make ‘interesting’ look like a morning stroll in
“Terrifying old bat,” he
mutters, waving the sake in vague salute, and then drinks straight from the