A Living Lie @pencyke
Chapter 1

Hi ev'ryboty!

This is a new story that I just got the idea for and I'm kinda just lookin' to see where it'll go.

I hope you like it, updates'll be irregular, and I have an afro. not particularly in that order.

Let's get this party started!

An aspiring ninja proudly strutted into the testing room, confident that he'd finally pass the final exam. After all, third time's the charm. The boy could hear the worried mutterings of his friends back in the classroom, well, they weren't really his friends as much as he spent most of his time in school around them. He hadn't ever felt comfortable with his spot among them mostly because he didn't feel like he was truly apart of the group. Maybe it was because he wasn't truly there to begin with.

He could hear the worried mutterings of the group even as he made his way out of the door and he silently berated himself for allowing their underestimation of his abilities to rile him up. They didn't know that he knew quite a bit of techniques he had no business knowing, nor did they know that he trained himself relentlessly when not in school or performing illicit actions. And yet he still held doubt in his heart. It was true that he couldn't perform a normal bunshin no matter how much he had refined his chakra control. That was okay though, he had it all planned out. He'd already aced the shuriken and kunai test, a perfect score even. In the taijutsu test he'd even managed to just barely score above average which was amazing in and of itself seeing as his taijutsu consisted of the academy techniques and any sort of half-baked idea he managed to come up with on his own. He'd scored only slightly below that for the genjutsu detection, that one was a given considering that he had to on the look out for anyone trying to dispel his henge. The boy knew he hadn't done well with the written test but he absolutely refused to bother with anything that wasn't going to be useful in any respect relative to his own survival. Really, how could they expect anyone to actually take those lessons on the history of the ninja world wars seriously when they were portraid with sock puppets? The boy had some respect for Iruka but not that much.

They had called him by the name that wasn't his and it reminded him of the circumstances of how it came to be that even when surrounded by friendly faces he hid his true self in every sense of the word.

A boy could be seen wandering between the trees if anyone had been there to look. He was looking for a quiet place to rest, out of sight of the villager's piercing glares and hateful mutterings. He fell asleep quickly under the cover of the bushes and the boy wandered around the realm of dreams. He was awakened from his pleasant dreams to the sound of people moving about nearby. The boy sprung into action quickly, rubbing dirt into his hair and clothes as quietly as possible for his young body, afterwards crouching stock still in the bush he was in. As luck would have it, it happened to be a couple of academy students come for a late night tutoring session. The dirt smeared blond stared at the two in wonder from his hiding place as one broke down how to do a jutsu and the concepts behind it. It was something called henge, and though the boy didn't completely understand what the jutsu did yet he listened intently and he learned.

Later that night, long after the two academy students were gone Naruto could be seen practicing in the bushes if anyone were there to see him. As the sun just began to creep above the edge of the horizon Naruto could no longer be seen standing among the trees and in his place was the boy he had fabricated to live in his place. Short brown hair, a bland face, and casual clothes all nondescript in design and color. Young as he was, the boy knew that if he gave out his own name in this form then the jig would be up before it even started, so he racked his brain for anything to call himself and for a while nothing came. And then he remembered actually reading a name somewhere, of coarse the boy didn't remember where but he wanted a name, not a place. His mind made up, the boy moved to see if anyone recognized him.

When the disguised Naruto walked into the door of the orphanage they asked who he was. Looking up at the adults with a beaten look the boy said his name.

"Ryuto Shota, I am sorry to say this but I have to fail you." Ryuto's face was a stunned mask, he didn't know what to say. He'd tried so hard, he'd studied day and night, he trained nonstop. Sure it was difficult keeping up his henge all the time but he'd been dutiful in his work to become a ninja as he'd found a way to make the illusion more than skin deep so that it wouldn't come off even if he was struck. Surprisingly the white haired teacher, Mizuki, spoke up, "Hey, c'mon Iruka. The boy can substitute on a dime and his henge is impeccable. I don't know about you but I think those skills are more important to survival out in the field than being able to make it seem like there are more of you than there are. Why don't we let the boy pass, it's his third try." Ryuto perked up in hope that Mizuki's prodding would be enough to sway the strict teacher's decision. It wasn't. "Look Mizuki, I understand if you think that the boy is ready for combat but I can't let someone be a ninja without being able to create even a single decent bunshin. I might've been able to overlook it if the darn thing could just walk on it's own two feet but I can't even do that. No, I'm sorry Mizuki, but my decision is final."

Ryuto nodded sedately and mumbled an absent thanks to Mizuki as he trudged out his head hung low. The rest of the day was just a blur for the boy, he felt lost. His heart was dead set on becoming a ninja, but if he wasn't accepted as a genin by the village then he'd have no one to teach him and he knew there was only so far you could go eavesdropping on other peoples lessons while also trying not to get caught.

At the end of the day Naruto found himself laying on a wayward roof trying to figure things out in his head. He heard the thump of someone landing next to him and before he could look to see who it was he heard the voice of Mizuki, "Is this seat taken?" The boy shook his head, as he stared up at the sky, "Hey, I just wanted to apologize for Iruka back then, I know he can be a bit hard on you even when you don't deserve it." Ryuto shook his head and looked over at his teacher, "Uh, n-no you don't have to apologize, I just appreciate you sticking out for me like you did. Even though you didn't have to." Now it was Mizuki's turn to look at his student, "I know that it can be good to be humble but have some confidence, will ya? I honestly think you deserve to be a ninja, which is why I suggest you take the back up test." On the inside Naruto narrowed his eyes at the special treatment but on the outside Ryuto was curious, "Back up test? I've never heard of such a miracle." Mizuki chuckled a bit, "It's only for special cases, but enough of that. Would you like to take the back up test?" Ryuto nodded enthusiastically, "Okay, so here's what you need to do..."

Later that night Ryuto stole the forbidden scroll from the Hokage's office. The old geezer had almost recognized Naruto for who he really was when he saw the young boy dragging that huge scroll out of his office, so in an effort to maintain his disguise and still pass the test the boy used his sexy jutsu against the Third Hokage and made his escape before anyone else tried to stop him.

A few hours later and Naruto could be seen in the guise of Ryuto, catching his breath while leaning on the forbidden scroll for support. This time though there was someone to see the boy and he revealed himself to be a furious Iruka, "Ryuto! Return the scroll to the leaf village! Otherwise I won't be able to guarantee your safety!" The boy blinked at his scarred teacher in confusion, "Hey? Iruka? Is the test over? I learned a jutsu from the scroll and everything! That means your gonna pass me right?" It killed Naruto to play stupid like this but you gotta do what you gotta do, "Ryuto? What do you mean?" Naruto swallowed a bit more of his pride, "Mizuki told me about the super secret back up test that I could take! Isn't that great! Now I can be a ninja!" Iruka seemed to finally get it that Mizuki had 'Manipulated Ryuto' into stealing the forbidden scroll. Suddenly his demeanor changed and he practically spat out his fellow teacher's name, "Mizuki."

Ryuto turned and looked at the white haired academy teacher twirling a giant shurikan in preparation of throwing it, "Oh Iruka, it seems like you beat me here. Oh whatever shall I do? Maybe... I'll kill you both!" As the giant shuriken shot at the two, promising to be painful if it hit, Ryuto latched onto his teacher and performed a substitution at the last moment. Now under sufficient cover Naruto feigned distress, "What? Why is Mizuki-sensei trying to k-kill us?!" Iruka pushed Ryuto away from him and said, "Run Ryuto! That scroll contains the darkest of Konoha's secrets! If it were to fall into the hands of one of the other hidden villages and it could spell out the end of the leaf village! I need you to protect that scroll, Ryuto! Keep it out of Mizuki's hands!" With that lengthy speech done and over with, Ryuto took to the trees in his attempt to protect the scroll.

Soon Iruka caught up to Ryuto and asked for the scroll, "Nice try, Mizuki."

"How did you know I wasn't the real Iruka?"

"Because I am the real Iruka!"

"It doesn't matter. Your seriously wounded, I only have to slit your throat and it'll be nothing to catch that stupid brat after."

It was at that point that Naruto felt he had to do something, he quickly formed some seals and smoke filled the clearing. When the smoke cleared away Ryuto was standing protectively in front of Iruka. Mizuki sneered at the boy's insolence and Ryuto yelled out at the top of his lungs, "I wont let you hurt Iruka sensei!" The white haired teacher turned traitor opened his mouth to crush the boy's spirit when a large rock crashed into Mizuki's head, braking into lot's of tiny pieces. Mizuki lifted his dazed head to see what had dropped on him but instead was faced with an insurmountable amount of Ryuto's descending upon him in rage. As the solid clones took care of the traitor, Naruto cursed himself for having to stay in character as he forced tears to his face and tried to dress Iruka's wounds. Luckily they weren't life threatening, though it was some pretty serious damage considering.

It seemed Iruka was having trouble believing that Ryuto had actually pulled off the shadow clone technique let alone with such numbers. After they all dispersed and Ryuto was dragging an unconscious MIzuki and bleeding Iruka back into town the boy was actually starting to feel some semblance of fatigue. Naruto fought to stay conscious, however because he was worried about his illusion coming undone. Right before Ryuto left them in front of the hospital Iruka handed the boy his own headband with parting words of, "You earned it."

Ryuto nodded absently as he waved over the nurses from the hospital and gave them a brief rundown of how they were injured. Finally making sure that the nurses knew to keep Mizuki restrained he hefted the forbidden scroll over his shoulder and hurriedly made the long trek back to the Hokage tower. Not wanting to explain, Naruto used his chakra to climb up to the window leading up to the Hokage's window, but when he opened the glass pane he was face to face with the most powerful man in the village, "Uh, I brought back the scroll." The old man nodded, "I saw." Ryuto scratched the back of his head nervously, "Uh, Iruka gave me his head band." The Hokage nodded again, "I saw." Now Naruto was getting a bit worried. The old geezer hadn't stopped staring into his eyes, "Uh, that means I can still be a ninja right?" He nodded once more, "Of coarse." Ryuto sighed at that, "Oh man, that's a relief." With a tired wave and a parting smile Ryuto turned to leave the way he came when the Hokage said something that made the boy sweat, "I'm impressed by your disguise, Naruto." Ryuto didn't look back, though he got the feeling that things were probably going to get complicated.

Ryuto could be seen coming out of his apartment door before the sun had even risen above the horizon. He sighed to himself, "I've got things to do, might as well get an early start." The boy rubbed the sleep out of his eyes as he stuck a few leaves to his forehead and started on his first lap around the village. He let his mind wander as the villagers started on their daily routines. They all smiled pleasantly at him without a care in the world, on the inside Naruto sneered at them. With the him it was like night and day with the villagers and it sickened him how obvious it was. As himself, Naruto would've been the subject of hateful glares and conspiring whispers from the moment he stepped out of the door. As Ryuto they looked proudly at him as if they had raised him themselves. It really was ridiculous.

The hokage had given 'Ryuto' his own apartment as soon as he'd been officially accepted into the ninja academy. By that time he already knew a few different jutsu from spying on different ninja in training while disguised as an animal. He'd gained such a mastery over his henge jutsu to where the transformation was actually physical. He'd hadn't a choice.

Ryuto Shota had been a class clown since the first day in the academy, someone no one would suspect to have anything to hide. He never wrote anything down, he never had to, his memory had turned out to be photographic. Even so, to keep up the illusion of stupidity he flunked as many tests as he possibly could and got the lowest grades that he could still pass with. In class he often feigned sleep while filing away the information for later. As a result all of his so called friends in the academy were more of the trickster/misfit types. He'd prefer those types over the normal people who would change how they treat a guy at the drop of a hat.

As the disguised boy finished another lap he suddenly increased his pace. Fingers formed into a cross-shaped seal and another Ryuto poofed into existence beside him, "Okay Ryuto you ready for a race?" The clone nodded while making sure the leaves on it's forehead didn't fall off, "Then let's go!" They both ran full tilt, and were unsurprisingly matched but as the boy worked to outdo himself so to did his clone push himself past his limits. The original won by just a hair and after both Ryuto's were bent over trying to catch their breath, "Man, it sure does take a lot of chakra to make you. And you're completely solid too." The clone pulled at his cheek and shrugged, "Don't ask me about it, I'm you!"

Not long after Ryuto had ended his morning training session and returned home for a shower before he left the sanctuary of his home once more. While the unremarkable boy wasn't particularly punctual, he didn't want to be late for his upcoming appointment with the photographer who'd be taking his picture as an official ninja. He didn't even bother with the streets, already they were packed like a crushed tin can of sardines, so instead the boy could be seen hopping along the roofs of the various buildings with minimal effort.

Just as the photo booth was entering his line of sight, Naruto heard a shrill cry of distress. Quickly locating the source of the disturbance, the boy thought for only a moment before he disappeared in a whirl of leaves. Down below, a pink haired girl was cornered in an alley, surrounded by lecherous old men, their crooked smiles causing a shiver to run up her spine. Not wanting to see what was to happen next, the girl squeezed her eyes shut and screamed at the top of her lungs, hoping beyond hope that her beloved Sasuke might hear her calling for him and rush to her defense. She didn't hear anything, the men had stopped their creepy giggling. What happened? The girl thought to herself. Ever so slowly she cracked her eye open, afraid of what she might see. Then they flew open in shock.

In front of her stood a boy that the pink haired girl could have sworn was in her class back at the academy, then she noticed the men who'd been harassing her lying unconscious on the ground around the boy. She was shocked to say the least, T-the dead last came to save me? Unwilling to accept that it was the boy who hadn't even been able to graduate who had saved her, the girl turned her attention to other matters, "H-hey, didn't you fail the graduation test?" Naruto groaned to himself, Really? I save her hide and the only thing she can do is point out my shortcomings?The boy crossed his arms in annoyance, "Yeah, so?" The pink haired girl poked a shaky finger at the slightly worn headband hanging from his slightly tanned looking neck, "Then how come you're wearing that? It's a crime to impersonate a ninja you know."

Ryuto pinched his nose in annoyance, I don't have time for this. With a sigh he stared directly into the girl's sea green eyes with his own chocolaty brown ones, "I took a retake, now if you're alright I have somewhere I need to be." The girl found her savior's stare unnerving and as she refused to brake eye contact she couldn't help the feeling in her gut that something wasn't quite right about the boy. She couldn't quite place it but it just felt like he was a mystery waiting to unfold. She heard him clear his throat and the girl suddenly realized that she had latched onto his hand. Quickly, she released her grip on the boy's hand and he rolled his eyes before preparing to jump away.

Just as Ryuto was about to take off the girl surprised him with a cry of, "Wait!" The brown haired boy visibly cringed at the volume that the girl had used and she quickly apologized, "Oh, ah-sorry about that, I just don't know my own vocal chords sometimes. Heh heh..." She trailed off when the boy glared at her with a look that obviously said What now? Thinking it would be wise not to waste her savior's time she rattled off as many questions as she could, "HowdidyoubeatthoseguyssofastWhereareyouheadedtoinsuchahurryInevernoticedyoubeforetheycalledyouforyourtestHaveyoualwaysbeeninmyclassandwhat'syournameanyways?" Instead of giving any sort of helpful answer he turned away dispassionately and said, "I think you should know." And then he was gone.

As Sakura stared at the spot where the average looking boy had been standing moments before she had a thought that was strange to her as she wasn't thinking it about the object of her fangirlism, I wonder if I'll see him again.

Naruto on the other hand had one very different thought going through his head, I hope I'm not late!

Let me know if you want me to continue,

also it wouldn't hurt if you listed your likes, dislikes, hobbies, and hopes for the future (optional)


1. Chapter 1 3061 0 0 2. The second chapter 2732 0 0 3. Third time's the charm! 2789 0 0 4. Four Man Team! 2365 0 0 5. Five on One 2229 0 0 6. Six Eyes Watching Me 2654 0 0 7. (Un)Lucky Team Seven 2637 0 0 8. Ate the Dust 3084 0 0 9. Nine Tales 2692 0 0 10. Pending Ignition…10…9… 2800 0 0 11. Cranked up to Eleven 3131 0 0 12. Twelve Tolls of Death's Bell 1761 0 0 13. Baker's Dozen 1970 0 0 14. Break time 3032 0 0 15. Tantrums Work! 2291 0 0 16. Oh boy, FLASHBACKS! 1110 0 0 17. Smoke signals 2153 0 0 18. Great Acting 2812 0 0 19. Days Spent Well 4242 0 0 20. The First Bout 2116 0 0 21. Sasuke vs Kiba 1170 0 0 22. Sakura vs Tenten 1579 0 0 23. The Rest of the Prelims 3112 0 0 24. Emergency Therapy Session! 3230 0 0 25. A Real Bad Time 3083 0 0 26. True to Form 2871 0 0 27. Impact 2434 0 0 28. Aftermath 2859 0 0 29. Day 1 2520 0 0 30. Memory Lane 2884 0 0 31. Midnight Stakeout 3346 0 0 32. Tournament Part 1 3358 0 0 33. Tournament Part 2 2864 0 0 34. Tournament Part 3 2300 0 0