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The Eternal Bond

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Summary: When creatures from another world begin arriving in the shinobi countries, everything will change, especially for a certain blond with a demon inside of him. Naruto/Digimon crossover.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Anime > Naruto
Anime > Digimon
AkatsukiDaybreakFR15211,866041,96215 Jan 0927 Jan 09No

Enter Uzumaki Naruto and Renamon

Title: The Eternal Bond

Author: AkatsukiDaybreak

Summary: When creatures from another world begin arriving in the shinobi countries, everything will change, especially for a certain blond with a demon inside of him. Crossover with Digimon.

Disclaimer: I don’t own Naruto or Digimon. If I did I would be far too busy counting my money to care that fan fic of them existed.

A/N: This was an idea that’s been bugging me for a while, so I hope you enjoy it.

--

Naruto winced slightly as he squirmed to find a comfortable position in his bed. He didn’t think anything was broken and he had expressed that sentiment to the ANBU who had carried him home when she had suggested he go to the hospital. He had long since given up on that place. All the nurses just glared at him and he healed just fine on his own.

The Old Man had warned him not to try to ditch his ANBU watchers when they were changing shifts. It wasn’t really his fault, he just didn’t like being followed all the time. Nor was it his fault the villagers hated him. He had asked the Hokage numerous times, but the only response he got was a sad expression. He even once tried to ask a villager once and he only got told that he never should’ve been born.

The tears began to well up again. It wasn’t his fault he had been born. All he wanted was to be accepted, to not be hated, or at the very least for them to keep their hate to themselves. Why couldn’t they see he was just a kid? He’d never hurt anyone and all the pranks he pulled were harmless. It wasn’t fair.

Not particularly feeling like crying tonight, he carefully sat up and reached over to the nightstand beside his bed. He retrieved a small, rectangular device from the drawer and placed it close to his chest. It felt like another heart was beating alongside. Whenever he felt upset, that steady beat would always calm him down.

He really didn’t know exactly what the small gray thing was. It had a screen and some buttons that didn’t appear to do anything. He had found it while he still lived in the orphanage and it had become a sort of treasure to him. No one but him even knew about its existence.

“I wish I had someone who cared about me,” he whispered, “I know there’s Iruka and old man Hokage, but I want a real friend, someone who’s like family.”

Suddenly, the device in his hands began to vibrate and grow harm. Naruto opened his hands to reveal a ball of white light. He watched in amazement as several objects flew out of it and then passed through his bedroom window as if it wasn’t even there. Finally, the light dissipated, leaving its place two things.

The first was might have been the gray device, though now it was orange with yellow accents and was more of a rounded triangular shape. The second, even more surprising to the young blond, was a furry, round, yellow creature curled up on his lap asleep.

“Wow,” was all he could manage.

--

Elsewhere in Konoha, Uchiha Sasuke turned fitfully in his sleep. Nightmare visions of his family being killed over played in his head. Itachi stood over the corpses of the entire clan and laughed. The emotionless visage of his older brother slipped away to reveal a hideous demon.

“You couldn’t stop me,” it taunted, “And you’re too weak to even avenge them. You’ll never be strong enough to defeat me! In fact, you’re so pathetic I won’t even bother to kill you. I’ll just leave you to suffer for the rest of your life!”

He clutched his head and begged for it to all stop. The lifeless corpses of his parents stared accusingly at him as he pleaded with to get up, to not be dead anymore. He made every promise he could think of to them, just to get them to get up. All the while, Demon-Itachi laughed at his suffering.

“Make it stop!” he shouted both in the world of the dream and the real world.

Suddenly, the sun began to rise over the nightmare landscape and his laughing brother and dead family evaporated. Then the sun fell from the sky and into his hands and he knew nothing more.

In the physical world, Sasuke involuntarily clutched a black and red device to his chest. For the first time since the massacre, he didn’t wake in the middle of the night in a cold sweat to find that his nightmares were true.

--

In the Water Country, Haku curled up in his makeshift shelter. He vaguely wondered if tonight would be the night that either the cold or his empty stomach would kill him. A part of him wished that they would, just so that his misery would end. Perhaps the next life would be kinder to him. At least it couldn’t possibly be worse.

He tossed and turned for a while before getting up and going to look at the stars. This was a bittersweet activity for him. When he was younger, he and his parents had bundled up and gone out on cold, clear nights to look at the stars. His father would point out all the constellations while his mother got them all hot tea out of her thermos. They had been happy, but that was just a distant memory.

His eyelids began to grow heavy as he noticed something strange. A star had suddenly appeared in the sky. Stranger still, it seemed to getting bigger. It took a few seconds for Haku to realize that it wasn’t getting bigger, just closer. He jumped out of the way quickly to avoid the falling object, only for it to stop and just hover over the stop where he had been sitting.

It was a strange white thing with blue accents that was surrounded by an aura of light. Hesitantly, Haku approached it and slowly reached out to touch it. As he clutched it in his hand, warmth spread through his body. He felt very tired now and decided to go back to ‘bed.’ As he settled in for the night, he felt something he hadn’t felt in a very long time.

Hope.

--

Atop a roof in Suna, Gaara gazed up at the moon with Shukaku gibbering madly in his head. He wished the stupid thing would shut up and go away so that he could sleep and people would stop hating him. His gaze passed over the homes in the village. How he envied those people, sleeping and loved. Sometimes he thought it would be easier to just let it take control of him and do what it wanted so he could get away for a while.

He gripped his bear tightly and sighed. It wasn’t fair. Why couldn’t Kankuro or Temari have been burdened with this? Why not anyone but him? The only small joy he could take out of it was that he had Yashamaru.

He was snapped out of these thoughts as the sand rose up to protect him from something. Gaara quickly turned, but saw no actual source of danger. Curiously, the sand refused to let go of whatever it had just captured. Not used to having to force the sand to do anything, Gaara strained to get it to let go. Finally, a gold and tan colored device fell to the ground.

Interested, he reached out for it. Shukaku began screaming in his head, no longer for blood and carnage, but for him not to touch that thing. It practically begged him to smash that device into such tiny pieces that no one would ever be able to recognize it. Ignoring the protests of his prisoner, the young redhead picked it up.

Immediately Shukaku shut up. A wary happiness welled up in Gaara. He reached out to command the sand and it complied. He brought up his thumb and tried to bite down on it, only for the sand to act to protect him. Waiting with bated breath for a few minutes, he found that the taunki’s mad ramblings did not return.

For the first time in his life, Gaara had complete silence in his head.

--

Four Years Later

--

“But Rena-chan, my grades have gotten way better! Why can’t we have ramen tonight!” Naruto protested.

“Because Shikamaru’s laziness is the only thing keeping you from being dead last in your class,” Renamon replied, “Besides, it cannot possibly be good for you to eat ramen for every meal. I honestly have no idea how the two of us kept from dying of malnutrition before I digivolved.”

Naruto lowered his head in defeat and reached for his chopsticks. Renamon also reached for hers and they pulled them apart in unison.

“Itadakimasu,” they said.

Naruto’s glumness soon faded as he ate the meal in front of him with gusto. Most of it was gone before Renamon had even eaten a few bites. She simply shook her head as she observed her partner.

“Have I ever told you that you’re a good cook, Rena-chan?” Naruto asked.

“Thank you Naruto,” she replied, “Though I’m sure you’d enjoy my food even more if you took your time to savor it.”

Naruto flashed her a huge grin and rubbed the back of his head.

“Sorry, but it’s just so good,” he said.

“Better than Ichiraku?” she asked.

Naruto immediately looked conflicted. He obviously didn’t want to insult her, but Ichiraku Ramen was his favorite. Renamon couldn’t help but chuckle at his predicament.

“I was only kidding,” she said, “I know Teuchi-san is a better cook than me, but I appreciate that you didn’t want to hurt my feelings.”

She reached for her tea, only to pause midway. A furious pounding on the door caused her to jump out of her chair. She rushed to the door and hurriedly opened it. On the other side was a male cat masked ANBU with short brown hair.

“We need to take Naruto-kun and get out of here,” he said, “There’s a mob forming downtown to kill the two of you. Hokage-sama is trying to break it up, but we may have a riot on our hands.”

“Rena-chan?” Naruto asked, “What’s going on?”

The young blond had moved behind her.

“Get back Naruto,” she said, then turned back to the ANBU.

In an instant, she crossed her arms and summoned her attack.

“Fox Leaf Arrowheads!” she shouted as she launched razor sharp shards at the ANBU.

He jumped out of the way onto the railing behind him, but her attack still grazed his leg. He drew a kunai and took a defensive stance.

“What are you doing?!” he demanded.

“I have excellent hearing and the only thing I can hear out there is a quiet night,” she replied, “You should’ve tried using a genjutsu.”

The ANBU snarled.

“You demons killed Ai-chan and now you walk around this village like you own the place! I’m going to kill you and free the Hokage from your control. They’ll call me a hero!” he declared.

“Fox Leaf Arrowheads,” Renamon called as she launched another attack.

The ANBU jumped to the left and Renamon stepped out of the doorway to pursue him. The ninja attempted to form some hand seals, but Renamon interrupted him with another round of Fox Leaf Arrowheads. He jumped back onto the railing and ran at her, throwing a few shuriken. She leapt up in the air to avoid them.

“Wisteria Punch!”

Blue flames engulfed her hands and feet. The ANBU jumped after her, extending his arm to punch her in the face. Instead, their fists collided, leaving Renamon with a sore hand and the ANBU with a second degree burn. She used her leverage to push herself up and drive her foot into his face. He screamed as mask fragments embedded themselves in his skin and flames lapped at his newly exposed flesh.

“I’LL KILL YOU!” he screamed as he attempted to rip off the remains of the mask, “I’LL KILL YOU LIKE YOU KILLED MY SISTER!”

Renamon landed on her feet and readied to finish him. However, two blurs interrupted the progress of their battle. A blond rat masked ANBU had pinned her opponent to the ground while a brunette with a rabbit mask stood in front of Renamon. The cat masked man was now rambling incoherently as he struggled under the other man.

“Take him to Ibiki,” the rabbit masked ANBU ordered, “He was likely just after Naruto for revenge, but it won’t hurt to be certain.”

The rat ANBU nodded and he and his captive disappeared. The rabbit ANBU then turned to Renamon.

“Are you and Naruto okay?” she asked.

“Yes,” the Digimon replied, “Though perhaps you could explain why he would call us demons and claim we killed his sister. Does it somehow relate to the looks Naruto and I get from the villagers that tell us to drop dead?”

The kunoichi shifted uncomfortably.

“Naruto is…unique and that’s all I can say,” she replied, then changed the subject “You were lucky. He was just a high level genin posing as a member of ANBU.”

“Considering I look like a fox, I assume this has something to do with the Kyuubi attack I’ve heard about.”

“That’s classified.”

At that moment Naruto poked his head out of the apartment door.

“Is it over Rena-chan?” he asked, shock and fear still apparent.

“Yes, Naruto,” she answered.

He ran over to her and wrapped her in a hug.

“I was so worried about you,” he said, “I wanted to help you, but I was scared.”

“I know,” she said, stroking his hair, “It’s good that you let me take care of it. You might’ve gotten hurt.”

“Don’t worry Rena-chan, because when I’m a ninja I’ll be the one protecting you!”

She laughed a little and rubbed his hair.

“I’m sure you’ll be one of the finest shinobi this village has ever known.”

The ANBU cleared her throat to get their attention.

“If the two of you will excuse me, I must go. I’m going to send a team to watch over you two for tonight and possibly the next several days. This was likely just an isolated incident, but it always pays to be diligent.”

With that she was gone, leaving Naruto and Renamon alone at their doorstep. The fox released her young partner and walked back into the apartment.

“Let’s get back to our meal before it gets cold,” she said.

--

Two Years Later

--

Naruto’s classroom was all abuzz with excitement as the day of the graduation exam had come. Renamon could sense that Naruto was especially nervous, considering he had already failed it twice. Each time she had forced him to do extra homework, taken him out to train with the ninjutsu and taijutsu he had learned, and forbade him from eating ramen. He improved each time, but he still couldn’t do one essential thing, make a bunshin.

Now as they waited for his turn to take the exam, she prayed his inability to make a bunshin would not cause him to fail. Unfortunately, she knew it was the tipping point. His bookwork and test scores were very bad, though she had tried to help him improve. On the other hand, training with her had pushed his taijutsu, weapon, and kawarimi skills into the upper half of his class and he seemed to be a natural at henge, at least when transforming into nude women.

Renamon took the opportunity to scan the room. Stoic Sasuke sat behind them, looking like he wished the world would drop dead so everyone in it would stop bothering him. Shy Hinata was in the corner, fidgeting nervously. In the past Renamon had tried to encourage her little crush on Naruto, but the young girl was far too timid to admit it and Naruto wasn’t exactly good with subtlety. Unfortunately, Naruto had, no matter how much discouragement Renamon gave, developed a crush on Sakura.

If there was one person Renamon didn’t like, it was Haruno Sakura. The pink haired girl hit and yelled Naruto every time he awkwardly tried to ask her on a date and sometimes just because he paid her too much of a compliment, just because he wasn’t her precious Sasuke-kun. The first time she saw it happen, Renamon bloodied the girl’s nose and then had to explain to the Hokage that she was only defending Naruto.

For the rest Naruto’s classmates, Renamon felt very little but apathy. They tended to avoid Naruto, but her six years in the village had taught her that it was probably just their parents prejudices rubbing off.

This line of thinking always brought Renamon to a big question: why? Over the years she had formed all shorts of theories. The one that seemed most plausible in her mind was that his parents were missing-nin who betrayed the village. Whatever the reason, it still did not excuse such treatment of a child. Even in the mon eat mon Digital World (from what she could remember of it anyway), defenseless Baby level were left alone except by the worst of the worst.

Her contemplation was interrupted by Iruka entering the room. Renamon found the chunin likable as he was genuinely kind to Naruto, even if he did seem a bit wary of her.

“All right class,” he said, “As you all know, today is day of the graduation exam. To graduate, you have to perform the bunshin no jutsu.”

Naruto groaned and Renamon had suppress the urge to do so herself. Naruto’s anxiety was palpable as student after student went into the exam room and emerged with either a leaf hitai-ite or a disappointed expression.

“Uzumaki Naruto,” Iruka said from the other room.

Naruto gulped and got out of his seat. Renamon offered him a supportive smile, but remained where she was. Every time he took the graduation exam he insisted that she not watch. She never protested, knowing that she would make him more nervous. Her eyes never left him until he was through the door.

Seconds stretched into hours as she waited for him to return.

“It had to be bunshin,” she muttered to herself, “If only it had been henge.”

Finally he emerged, a downtrodden look on his face. Renamon hurried to his side to comfort him. She put a hand on his shoulder.

“Let’s go get some ramen,” she said, “then we’ll practice bunshin until you get it down.”

He gave her a forced smile and nodded. They made their way out of the academy and through a group of students and their parents. The pair received many dirty looks, but they were used to it by now. Their pace was unusually slow for a ramen run and the normally loud blond was quiet. Renamon didn’t try to force a conversation.

At Ichiraku, they found Mizuki waiting for them outside of the stand.

“Mizuki-sensei?” Naruto said, “what are you doing here?”

“Naruto,” he said, “can we talk?”

“Sure, what is it?”

“I know that you must be really disappointed that you failed the exam and you’ve made a lot of improvement, so I wanted to give you a chance to pass the exam. I’m technically not supposed to tell you, but it can be our little secret.”

He motioned for them to come closer and they leaned in.

“If you can successfully break into Hokage tower, steal a certain scroll and learn the first jutsu from it, you automatically pass the exam. But you have to do it alone.”

He gave Renamon a meaningful look.

“Why is this such a secret? Why not offer it as an alternative to the regular exam to everyone?” Renamon asked.

“It’s actually left over from a long time ago. It’s still a legal way to become a ninha, but we aren’t supposed to tell anyone in case someone who isn’t ready to graduate doesn’t get lucky. I’m telling you about it because I know that you’re ready. So, what do you say?”

“I’ll do it!” Naruto replied quickly.

“Good,” Mizuki said, “You have to wait until dark and you must do it alone. If she comes with you, you’ll fail. The scroll will be marked as the scroll of the forbidden seal. After you have the scroll, go to a spot in the woods where there’s an old wooden shack. Practice the jutsu there until I show up If you master it by the time I get there, you pass. Good luck.”

With that he left, leaving Naruto excited and Renamon wary.

--

That night, Naruto made his preparations for the exam. Renamon convinced him to wear something more subtle than his orange jumpsuit and he brought kunai and shuriken just in case.

“Rena-chan,” Naruto said, “I want you to promise me that you won’t follow me.”

“Naruto, I heard when Mizuki-sensei told you to do it alone.”

“I know, but I also know that you’re worried about me and that you’ll probably try to follow me to protect me anyway. I really want to pass and Mizuki-sensei is a chunin so he’ll definitely catch you. Besides, if I’m going to be a ninja I have to prove that I can take care of myself. So please, just stay here.”

The look on his face was pleading with hard determination buried underneath. Despite her misgivings, she couldn’t help but have faith in Naruto.

“All right, I give you my word as you partner that I’ll stay here and not interfere,” she replied, “But be careful, something about this doesn’t feel quite right. Good luck.”

“Don’t worry ‘cause I’m going to pass this test and the next thing you know I’ll be Hokage.”

Pride welled up in the fox Digimon as Naruto walked out the door, but she still silently swore to herself that if anything happened to him she would allow rage to consume her and turn her into a virus-type. Then she would make the previous fox attack look like a child having a temper tantrum.

--

Naruto didn’t get home until morning. He was barely in the door when he began regaling Renamon with his story of stealing the scroll, working on the Kage Bunshin, Iruka catching him, Mizuki’s betrayal, the revelation about the Kyuubi within him (which cleared up a lot), Iruka taking a shuriken in his back to save Naruto, his use of Kage Bunshin to defeat Mizuki, and Iruka giving him his own hitai-ite.

Renamon was so proud that she promised him that they could eat at Ichiraku every night that week, but then they would be on a strict regiment of meals that would be good for him.

--

A few days later, Naruto and Renamon sat in the classroom at the academy, awaiting their assignment to a team. The events of the previous day with Konohamaru had earned Naruto another human friend, something Renamon was happy to see. Renamon had convinced Naruto that they should sit next to Hinata in an attempt to gain anoter, though the shy girl had done little more than mumbling a greeting before looking down and pushing her fingers together.

They had arrived early due to Naruto’s excitement and Renamon was anxious to see who would compose Naruto’s team. Ideally, the kunoichi would be Hinata, but Renamon wasn’t too picky about the other male. Although, she thought Shino’s calm and stoic demeanor would probably complement Naruto’s brash excitability well. Her line of thought was interrupted by Iruka’s arrival.

He began a speech about how proud he was of all of them and how they would be training under a jounin sensei. Then he proceeded to name off the teams, until he arrived at Naruto’s team.

“Team Seven will consist of Haruno Sakura, Uzumaki Naruto…”

Naruto stood up and cheered while the pink haired girl looked highly disappointed. Renamon sighed. At least the girl was intelligent so it wasn’t a total loss.

…and Uchiha Sasuke. Team Eight…”

This time Sakura cheered and Naruto looked disappointed. Renamon supposed it could’ve been much worse on that front. Sasuke had been ranked number one in the class so he would probably be a good influence on her partner. If he pulled that giant metal rod out of his ass that is.

“Iruka-sensei!” Naruto exclaimed, “Why do I have to be one team with a prick like him?”

“Naruto, the teams were created to balance your individual skills and weaknesses,” Iruka explained, “You had the second lowest grades of all twenty-seven graduates.”

“Just don’t get in my way, dobe,” Sasuke.

“What did you call me?!” Naruto demanded.

“Naruto, don’t antagonize your teammates,” Renamon reprimanded, “We’re stuck with those two so we might as well get used to it.”

“I don’t recall anyone saying you were part of our team, yako,” Sakura said.

“Naruto and I are partners in the same way that Kiba and Akamaru are partners, therefore I am part of this team, Princess,” Renamon replied.

“If I may interrupt,” Iruka said sarcastically, “I’d like to finish giving out the team assignments.”

“Sorry, Iruka-sensei,” Renamon and Sakura answered in unison.

“Good, Team Eight will consist of Aburame Shino, Hyuuga Hinata, and Inuzuka Kiba and Team Ten will consist of Akimichi Chouji, Nara Shikamaru, and Yamanaka Ino.”

Ino raised her hand.

“Ino, what is it?” Iruka asked.

“Shouldn’t we be Team Nine, not Team Ten?”

“There’s still another genin team under the name Team Nine, so we decided to just skip it. Now, you all have an hour to take a lunch break. After that, come back here to meet your jounin sensei. If you aren’t well acquainted with your teammates, I suggest that you take this opportunity to get to know each other.”

The genin began getting out of their seats and clustering into groups of three. The only exception was Team Seven. Sasuke was intent getting as far from Naruto and Sakura as possible, Sakura wanted to get as close to Sasuke as possible while avoiding Naruto, and Naruto was trying to get Sakura alone. In the end the three of them ended up separated. Renamon felt exasperated.

“Naruto, go get Sakura. I’ll go after the Uchiha. I don’t care what you have to tell her, but get her to the park. After that, you three can have lunch together” Renamon said.

“Why?” Naruto asked.

“I’m going to get you three to get along if it kills me because it could very well save your life someday.”

“Well, what about you and Sakura-chan?”

“…just go do it.”

Renamon caught Sasuke’s scent and rushed to follow it.

“Hypocrite,” Naruto muttered.

It didn’t take long to find Sasuke. He was standing on a rooftop eating a rice ball. He glared at the approaching fox Digimon.

“What do you want?” he demanded.

“You need to come have lunch with Naruto and Sakura,” she replied.

“Go away.”

“No. It won’t kill you to be sociable.”

“I have no interest in those two annoyances. Now leave me alone.”

“Like it or not, you three are going to be spending a great deal of time together. Besides, friends aren’t a bad thing. No one’s ever stronger than when they have their friends supporting them.”

“I don’t need friends and I don’t need you to lecture me. Now. Leave. Me. Alone.”

This was going nowhere.

“Fine, but I know you were paying attention during all of those long history lectures back at the academy. The greatest ninja in history have always had someone there to support them: friends, family, their village.”

She jumped off of the rooftop and ran toward the park. Sasuke was going to require some work and Sakura likely wouldn’t be much easier. She found Naruto and the aforementioned pink haired kunoichi sitting on a bench.

“I thought you said she was bringing Sasuke-kun,” Sakura said, “I knew I shouldn’t have trusted you and your yako. She’s probably the Kyuubi’s daughter or something.”

Naruto tensed visibly at that comment. Sakura ignored this, stood up, and began to walk away.

“Take that back,” Naruto ordered.

“Whatever,” she replied as she continued to walk away.

Naruto leapt to his feet and went after her. He grabbed her shoulder.

“Take it back,” he repeated.

“Let go of me,” she said

“Not until you take back what you said about Rena-chan.”

Her response was to turn and punch him hard in the face. He used his now free hand to rub the injured spot. Renamon’s first instinct was to pummel the girl into a blood pulp, but that would only further drive a wedge in the team.

“You can insult me and hit me all you want, but I don’t care how cute you are, no one insults Rena-chan and gets away with it!” Naruto declared

Renamon welled with pride at that statement. Sakura looked dumbfounded by it, but her face quickly clouded over with anger. She looked ready to hit him again, but a glance at Renamon made her think better of it. Instead, she stalked off muttering under her breath.

This day wasn’t going very well at all.

“Come on Naruto,” Renamon said, “Let’s go make some ramen before we have to be back at the academy.”

--

The academy room was deadly quiet. The other academy graduates’ jounin senseis had already come and gone, leaving Team Seven the only ones still waiting. Naruto was still glowering from his confrontation with Sakura, Sakura seemed to have given up on talking to Sasuke after several rebuffs, and Sasuke was being Sasuke. Renamon was still plotting on how to make this team work.

Finally, a head poked into the room. It was a man with gray hair whose mouth and nose were covered with a mask and whose right eye was covered by his forehead protector.

“Are you our jounin sensei?” Sakura asked.

“Yes,” he replied, then he gave them an appraising look, “Meet me on the roof.”

With that he disappeared. The four of them made their way to the top of the building finding their sensei leaning against the railing, looking very indifferent. He motioned for them to sit down and they complied. Sasuke sat in the middle, Sakura sat to his right, Naruto to his left, and Renamon behind Naruto.

“All right, why don’t we get to know each other?” he suggested, “Tell me about your likes and dislikes, dreams for the future, hobbies, things like that.”

“You introduce yourself first,” Naruto said.

“Well, my name is Hatake Kakashi, I don’t feel like telling you my likes and dislikes, my dreams for the future…hmm…I have a lot of hobbies.”

“He only told us his name,” Sakura noted.

Kakashi pointed to Naruto;

“Why don’t we start with you?”

“I’m Uzumaki Naruto. I like ramen, Rena-chan’s cooking, and people who are nice to me. I dislike waiting for ramen to cook and people who don’t acknowledge my existence. My dream is to be the greatest Hokage who ever lived. I guess pulling pranks and training with Rena-chan are my hobbies.”

Next came Sasuke.

“My name is Uchiha Sasuke. I dislike a lot of things and I don’t really like anything. I don’t have a dream, it’s an ambition: to restore my clan and kill a certain man.

“Okay, now the girl,” Kakashi said.

“I’m Haruno Sakura. I like…”

She looked at Sasuke and blushed. If he noticed, he obviously couldn’t care less.

“My dream for the future…”

Her blush deepened.

“I dislike Naruto.”

Naruto slumped a little at this statement.

“My hobbies…”

More blushing and looking at Sasuke. Renamon thought she might vomit.

“And you, the fox,” Kakashi requested.

“My name is Renamon. I like people who are kind to Naruto. I dislike people who aren’t, especially vapid girls who care more about their shallow ideas of ‘love’ than being decent people. My dream for the future is to help Naruto accomplish his goals. I don’t have any hobbies.”

Kakashi nodded his head.

“Okay, so now that we know each other, let’s move on. Tomorrow I will be administering my exam to see if you are ready to become ninja,” Kakashi informed them.

“But we already passed the exam to become ninja!” Naruto exclaimed.

“You may have passed the academy’s exam to see if you had a chance of becoming genin, but only I can decide whether you’re ready or not. The fact is, out of the nine teams who passed the exam, only three of them won’t be sent back to the academy. So tomorrow you had better bring all of your ninja tools and be ready to show off your skills. Oh, and don’t eat breakfast, you’ll only throw up.”

He pulled out three papers and handed them to Team Seven. Naruto’s hand shook slightly as he reached for his, though Renamon could not tell if it was caused by excitement, anxiety, fear or a combination thereof.

“These papers give all the details. Do not be late in the morning.”

Sakura gripped her paper resolutely, Sasuke crumpled his indifferently, and Naruto seemed to be trying to read all of the kanji on his. Renamon made a mental note to work on that. Kana might be all right for civilians his age, but he really needed to be able to read kanji well. Of course, she would have to teach herself a lot more first.

“Later,” Kakashi concluded before forming a hand seal and disappearing in a swirl of leaves.

--

Naruto wanted to spend that night training, but Renamon convinced him that it would be more beneficial to get a good night’s sleep. However, his sleep was fitful and she could tell he was nervous. After all, what hope did someone who couldn’t even become a genin have of ever becoming Hokage?

When she was sure that Naruto was asleep, she quietly made her way out of the apartment. She walked resolutely through the dark streets of Konoha. The only people out this late were a few drunks who were either hurled obscenities at her or were too wasted to take notice of her.

She didn’t feel she had been moving at a quick pace, but she reached Iruka’s apartment in a fairly short amount of time. She reached out to knock, then hesitated. It would be rude to wake him up, but she desperately needed to get some information about Kakashi. Then again, Iruka was fairly easy going as long as one wasn’t disrupting his class or doing anything wrong. She had to knock several times before she heard movement coming from inside.

A bleary eyed Iruka arrived at the door. He was clad in a white shirt and gray sweatpants and his normally tied up hair now hung freely.

“Renamon?” he asked, “Is something wrong with Naruto?”

“No,” she answered, “I’m sorry to wake you up, but I need to ask you something. May I come in?”

“Sure,” he replied, motioning for her to come in.

His apartment was fairly small, decorated only with a nondescript sofa, a few chairs, and a table that sat just outside of the kitchen. He indicated for her to sit down and she took the chair. Renamon had been here several times with Naruto when she was Pokomon, though after digivolving they had come less often.

“Would you like something to eat or drink?” he asked

“No thank you. I was just hoping you could tell me about Naruto’s jounin sensei.”

He sat down on the sofa across from her.

“Oh, who is it?” he asked

“Hatake Kakashi.”

Iruka balked.

“Judging by your reaction it seems we may be in trouble,” she commented.

“No…well maybe,” he said hesitantly, “Kakashi is a very strong shinobi and I’m sure he would make an excellent teacher…”

“But?”

“…he’s sent every single time he’s ever tested back to the academy, many of whom had great potential and would have been passed by any other sensei.”

Renamon allowed the information to sink in for a moment.

“I see,” she said, “Then do you know anything about his test?”

“I’m sorry, I don’t.”

She stood up.

“Thank you for your time. I should be going.”

“It’s no trouble. We should get together at Ichiraku to celebrate Naruto passing Kakashi’s test.”

Renamon smiled.

“Your confidence is encouraging.”

--

When Naruto and Renamon arrived at the location Kakashi had specified, Sakura and Sasuke were already there. Sasuke was as impassive as ever. Sakura’s body language suggested that she was very nervous. Naruto was a combination of excitement and fretfulness.

The four of them sat in near silence for almost two hours, making only the occasional small talk. When Kakashi finally appeared, Naruto and Sakura fumed.

“Good morning,” he greeted.

“You’re late!” they exclaimed in unison.

“Sorry,” he said, as he reached into the pack on his back “I got lost on the road of life.”

He pulled out an alarm clock and sat it on a nearby stump.

“I’ve set this for noon,” he explained, and reached into his pocket, pulling out two bells, “Your task is to get these two bells from me by then. If you don’t, I’ll tie you to those stumps over there and you’ll get no lunch and the rest of us will eat ours in front of you.”

“But there are only two bells,” Naruto interrupted.

“Exactly,” Kakashi replied, “One of you will definitely be tied to the stump and that person will also be sent back to the academy.”

The tension was palpable.

“You can use anything you have at your disposal: kunai, shuriken, jutsu, animal familiars. But if you don’t come at me with the intent to kill, you’ll never succeed.”

“But we could seriously hurt you!” Sakura objected.

“Perhaps, but I guess we’ll see. Now, begin!”

All five of them disappeared into the trees. Renamon lead Naruto to a secluded location to come up with a plan. She chose a tree that provided plenty of leaf cover, but still left Kakashi visible.

“All right Naruto, we need to think of how to get one of those bells,” Renamon whispered.

“I thought we could just charge in and fight him,” Naruto replied, “No one can beat us working together.”

Renamon sighed. She shouldn’t be surprised considering how many tests on basic strategy he had flunked, but she had hoped at least some of it had sunk in.

“He’s a jounin so he’s almost certainly a lot stronger than either of us,” she replied, “Just charging in won’t work. We need a plan.”

Naruto seemed thoughtful for a moment.

“Well, what if I sent in a bunch of Kage Bunshin? If I make enough of them, at least one of them should be able to grab a bell.”

“Send one of them,” Renamon suggested, “We can watch it fight him and get an assessment of his skills. Besides, he doesn’t know you can use Kage Bunshin, so we can use that as our trump card.”

Naruto nodded and made the hand seal. Another Naruto poofed into existence next to him.

“All right, you know what to do,” Naruto nodded.

The bunshin nodded and moved silently away from their hiding spot. Once it reached a suitable distance, it jumped out.

“I’m going to kick your ass and take both of those bells!” the bunshin exclaimed, acting very believable.

It charged Kakashi and attempted to punch him. The jounin grabbed its fist and spun it, tossing it several feet away. It landed on its feet and glared at him.

“Did they teach you nothing about stealth or taijutsu at the academy?” he asked, “I suppose I’ll have to give you a lesson on the latter myself.”

He reached into his weapons pouch. The bunshin tensed, probably expected kunai or shuriken. Instead, Kakashi pulled out a book and began reading it. Apparently angered at not being taken seriously, the bunshin charged again, this time trying to kick him in the head. Kakashi simply ducked and continued reading.

The bunshin went for a punch and Kakashi disappeared. He reappeared behind it with his hand forming the tiger seal.

“One Thousand Years of Pain!” Kakashi exclaimed.

He drove his fingers home into the bunshin’s butt. It instantly poofed out of existence. So much for him not figuring out Naruto could use Kage Bunshin.

“That asshole!” Naruto shouted, “He just molested me!”

“You mean your bunshin,” Renamon said offhandedly.

She needed a new plan. Perhaps sending them in en masse would be the best solution. Or maybe she could try fighting him while Naruto snatched a bell.

“Yeah, but…”

Renamon looked at him quizzically.

“What is it?” she asked.

“It’s like I can remember him doing it to me,” he said, “It’s really weird.”

“Naruto, do you somehow get your bunshin’s memories?”

“I don’t know.”

“Did the scroll say anything about something like this?”

“I didn’t really get that far,” he replied sheepishly, “I was more concerned about learning the jutsu.”

“I see…make another bunshin and have it follow me to the forest floor.”

He created another one and it and Renamon leapt down to the ground. Renamon held up one finger.

“All right, now dismiss yourself,” she ordered.

The clone disappeared and Renamon returned to their hiding spot.

“How many fingers did I hold up?” she asked.

“One,” he said, excitement evident on his face, “That’s so cool!”

“Yes, but I’m not sure it helps us right now,” she replied, “All right, he knows that you can create Kage Bunshin so we might as well make the most of it. Do you think you’ll be able to make twenty?”

“No problem,” he replied.

“Good, then on my signal send all twenty of them directly at him. I’m going to go after the bells. He’ll probably catch me, but I’ll act as a diversion while you sneak up behind him. All right, go.”

Renamon ran to the left as twenty Narutos appeared. They charged forward while Renamon moved to a position where she could move behind Kakashi. The first bunshin reached Kakashi just as Renamon emerged from the trees. He was taking them out them alarming ease, so Renamon quickened her pace.

She was within a single stride of him when he noticed her. She lurched forward at the bells with her hand extended. Kakashi turned and snatched her hand with it almost in reach of the bell.

“Wisteria Punch!”

Flames engulfed her hand and Kakashi was forced to let go. Meanwhile Naruto was quickly approaching him from behind. Renamon punched at Kakashi’s face. He easily avoided it, but it distracted him from Naruto. His hand almost reached the bell when Kakashi saw him. The jounin quickly formed a hand seal and disappeared, replaced by a log.

“Kawarimi,” Renamon said, “We were so close.”

“Damn it,” Naruto cursed.

“Come on, let’s hurry back into the trees.”

--

Renamon and Naruto were following Kakashi’s scent when a scream from Sakura lead to them to find the pink haired girl unconscious.

“Let’s keep moving,” Renamon said, “We need to find Kakashi.”

“We can’t just leave her like this,” Naruto objected.

“She’s our competition.”

“I’d rather have her on my team than Sasuke.”

Naruto’s stomach growled loudly.

“Oh, would you rather she gets your lunch and becomes a ninja when you don’t? And have you forgotten already what she said yesterday?”

“I know that she said horrible things about you Rena-chan and I don’t like that, but we’re no better if we just leave her here because we don’t like her.”

She hadn’t expected that.

“Fine,” she relented, “but you have to carry her and we’re leaving her the instant she wakes up.”

The sounds of a fight came from the clearing and they followed it. They arrived just in time to see Kakashi pulling Sasuke into the ground with only his head sticking out. Kakashi promptly disappeared back into the forest. Just then Sakura began to stir.

“Put her down Naruto,” Renamon said, “We’re running out of time and we need to…”

She was cut off by the ringing of the alarm clock. Kakashi came out of trees and snatched Sakura off of Naruto’s back. The girl woke up just as Kakashi was tying her to the stump.

“Hey! What’re you doing?!” she demanded.

“Out of the three of you, only you didn’t come close to getting a bell,” Kakashi explained, “Naruto, Sasuke, the two of you can have lunch.”

By this time Sasuke had managed to get out of the ground and was walking with Naruto and Renamon over to the stump where the bento waited for them.

“I’ve come to decision,” Kakashi said, “Sasuke and Sakura, there’s no need for you to go back to the academy.”

“What about me?” Naruto demanded, “I’m not the one tied to the stump!”

“Yes, you should go back to the academy. Your teammates, however, should give up being shinobi entirely.”

They all stared at him incredulously.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Sakura asked.

“Only Naruto even came close to passing the test. He and Renamon acted as a team to get the bell from me and then he helped you despite the fact that he should’ve been competing with you. If you had done like Naruto and used teamwork, you may very well have gotten the bells.”

“But there are only two bells!” Sakura objected.

“That’s the point. The test is intentionally designed to pit you against one another. I wanted to see if you could put that division aside and work together. The two of you failed miserably because Sakura sat around only worrying about Sasuke and Sasuke was too concerned about others getting in his way. However, I’m going to give you one last chance to get the bells after lunch, but this time it’ll be tougher. Naruto, Renamon, and Sasuke, you may now eat your lunches, but don’t give Sakura any or you will fail immediately. Someone who can’t see through a basic genjutsu doesn’t deserve food.”

With that he was gone. Naruto, Renamon, and Sasuke opened their bento and began eating. Sakura’s stomach grumbled a little.

“It’s okay guys,” she said, “I’ve been meaning to start a new diet anyway.”

Naruto held up his bento.

“Here, have some. Kakashi-sensei is gone and I know how bad it sucks to be hungry. Besides, I don’t really like pickled vegetables.”

Sakura looked stunned.

“But you’ll fail!”

“Eh, I’m used to failing stuff. It’s never stopped me before.”

To everyone else’s surprise, Sasuke offered his up to her as well.

“Sasuke-kun?”

“You’ll be more useful to us in retrieving the bells if you have a full stomach.”

A huge burst of smoke appeared before them. Kakashi emerged from it looking furious. A kunai flew dangerously past them and into the stump to which Sakura was tied.

“YOU GUYS,” he began angrily, then calmly “pass.”

They were all stunned. Sakura barely even noticed as the ropes fell away.

“You guys are the first team to ever pass this test. Everyone else just did what I told them, but a ninja must see underneath the underneath. Those who break the rules are trash, but those who abandon their comrades are worse than trash.”

As if to punctuate his statement, twin balls of light rushed at them. Naruto and Sasuke each caught their digivices. Renamon was extremely surprised to see that the Uchiha had one as well. But then was his partner still in the Digital World?

Beams of emerged from the digivices’ screens, meeting in front of Sakura. A ball of light solidified there and as Sakura grasped it, a light pink digivice with light green accents appeared. Next, two forms emerged from thin air. One was a small purple creature with red gloves and a smiley face on its stomach. The other was a small plant-like creature with a green body and a head like a pink flower bud.

“Yo, name’s Impmon,” the purple one said.

“And I’m Lalamon,” the flower said, “It’s nice to meet you all.”

--
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