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A Naruto / Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon crossover story
by Elsa Bibat

Disclaimer: Naruto belongs to Masashi Kishimoto, Studio Pierrot, TV Tokyo, Shonen Jump, ShoPro Entertainment, and Cartoon Network. Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon belongs to Takeuchi Naoko, Koudansha, TV Asahi, and Toei Douga, and DIC. This is used without permission.

Chapter 1: Of Omens and Visitations

"It was the darkest time in the history of the Fire Country. The Hidden Village of Wood had been destroyed by a combined attack of the Rock and Lightning, the earth and the heavens felling the great trees that were the village's backbone. Earth Country and Cloud Country soldiers were already following in the wake of the shinobi attack.

Kidame Yukishiro, the person who would be the Shodaime Hokage of the Leaf, fought a losing battle to keep what ninja he had. Without them, he and Hino Tatsuya, Daimyo of the Fire Country, were faced with the prospect of the total annihilation of their nation.

At their greatest moment of need, like some divine spirit, came the Heaven's Arrow. Streaking red across the skies and ripping the ground in its passage, this falling heavenly body, then regarded as messenger from the sky realms, could not have come at a better time. As if guided by a friendly hand, it smashed into the greatest concentration of enemy troops and cut a swathe through their supply lines like a reaper at harvest.

This event turned the tide of the war and, more importantly, changed the fate of the world."

—A History of the Leaf, published in the fifth year of the Yondaime Hokage's reign.

Kidame Tsunade, Godaime Hokage, stared up at the moon with a grim countenance on her beautiful face. Usually she would have appreciated the full moon greatly, having had it as her companion on many a night's drinking. But this was no friendly silver face that shone from the heavens.

The bright circle of the moon was the color of blood.

It had been that way since moonrise. The citizens of Konohagakure, and most likely a majority of the world's population, were in a rather tense state. This was understandable, on the whole. Any unnatural event made the populace twitchy. But for the people of the Leaf, the crimson orb in the sky had an even more sinister significance.

The last time a red moon had risen, it had heralded the arrival of the Nine-tailed Demon Fox.

Tsunade was a medic-nin by training, thus more exposed to logic and science than most persons in the world, but even she was discomfited by the sight of this particular lunar anomaly. Of course her rational mind went over the possible scenarios volcanic explosions, atmospheric disturbances, and the natural weirdness of nature, but in her heart superstition reigned.

She sighed. Thankfully, Naruto had left over a year ago with Jiraiya for a planned three-year training trip. She'd probably have had a lynch mob on her hands if he was still here. As it was, some of the more prominent clans had, earlier that night, politely suggested an ANBU team be sent out to check on the young ninja's progress. She had diplomatically told them that they were all idiots and were acting like old hens.

She sighed and turned away from the sight. Enough of this. Still more paperwork to do, and probably not even the world's end would save her from it.

A young blond boy frowned at the bloody moon. It had been a year since he had left the village of his birth, and the travails of the road and training were taking noticeable effect. The growth spurt that he was in the middle of helped a bit, too. Having grown a few inches in height, he had discarded the orange jumpsuit that was his trademark and shifted into the black shorts and orange jacket ensemble he was currently wearing. His lanky frame was slowly starting to fill out into a well-muscled form, and it was noticeable. Squinting his bright blue eyes at the scarlet heavenly body, he muttered his discontent. "That really freaks me out."

Jiraiya looked up from his little notebook and arched a white eyebrow. "Just dust in the air, Naruto. I heard from a friend of mine that there's been a rather bad volcanic eruption in one of the Eastern Isles. All the stuff that got thrown out by the volcano is in the air, and it makes the moon look red."

Giving the Toad Sannin a disbelieving look, he turned away from the red orb in the sky and sat down beside the fire. Jiraiya was keeping secrets again. He and the old man were almost constantly on the road, isolated from people, and somehow the pervert still managed to keep abreast of the latest developments in the world. His mention of 'friends' made the young boy curious, but he left it alone and just voiced his thoughts about the peculiar lunar phenomenon. "Just gives me the creeps. The guys after me are named 'red moon', after all."

The white-haired hermit snorted. "The Akatsuki's powerful, yes, but not that powerful. They're not some monster from the old tales like Gojira or the Beryl Queen. They're just bugfuck crazy shinobi with delusions of grandeur."

"Bugfuck crazy powerful shinobi. Heck, if Sasuke's bro and that Kisame guy are anything to go by, they're powerful enough." Throwing another stick in the fire, Naruto squinted into the flames.

Jiraiya smirked. "Which is why we're on this training trip. You're a lot better fighter now than a year ago, kid. Better and smarter, if I should say so myself." The young blond nodded grudgingly. He was feeling the effects of the training already. His stamina and speed had increased by leaps and bounds the past few months. The old pervert had also been sharpening his combat instincts to a finer edge, seeking to teach the younger ninja the creativity in battle that had been the hallmark of the victorious warrior since time immemorial.

The thought of showing Sasuke how creative he was the next time they met made his mouth stretch into a predatory grin, though his heart still ached at his rival/friend's betrayal. Still, times like these, he was feeling a bit homesick.

Ichiraku's ramen would have sure hit the spot better than trail food, and he would have appreciated a bit more company than just Jiraiya. Before leaving Konoha a year ago, he had managed to gather a rather impressive circle of friends. Well, impressive for someone who didn't actually have any before Ninja Academy graduation. Naruto sighed and he wondered what Sakura might be doing right now. Probably sleeping in a nice soft bed, Naruto thought as he glanced at the grass-covered ground, strewn with soft leaves, which would be his sleeping arrangement for the night.

His reverie was interrupted when he felt Jiraiya tense. Making no sudden movements, Naruto's hand crept to his kunai holster, waiting a signal from Jiraiya to move.

"Hello the fire!" a man's voice called to them as a figure waved to them from the trail, several meters away. It held a staff in one hand, while a bulky package seemed to be set on its back.

"Yes?" Jiraiya responded while calmly gauging possible avenues of attack and escape. They had sheltered in a small clearing within sight of the dirt road that was the primary traveling route for this part of the Fire Country. A stream was not far away, and had been the source of their dinner for the night. The trees that surrounded them were rather sparse, but provided shelter enough for the clear summer evening. The trail itself was located on a higher incline than their shelter so that the man had the higher ground if he threatened them with violence.

Making seal with one hand, Jiraiya sent out his chakra in the manner that he did when he was doing his 'research'. He sensed the immediate vicinity for further guests while seeking to determine the nature of the man on the road with his empowered senses, taking care to make his probing as unnoticeable as possible.

A calm sea of chakra met his probe. A normal human with a modicum of chakra training, it seemed, though the sea seemed to be an ocean for a moment. Perfectly normal, since most of the wanderers on the road had learned a few tricks to protect themselves. The cities might have protected the roads near to them, but distance travelers walked roads too far from civilization to have a magistrate or a shinobi patrol maintain them.

No one else accompanied the man, though the Toad Sannin stretched his chakra radar to its limit to be sure. This perfunctory search took a few seconds in which the man responded to his earlier query.

"A fellow wanderer of the world, seeking a little company on the road of life."

Jiraiya perked up at that. The phrase seemed a little flowery and eccentric, but no one would have noticed the code hidden in it unless they knew what they were looking for. One of the Order was here? It would have explained why the man had approached him and Naruto. The Toad Sannin may not have been a full member, but he was technically an honorary one after that little adventure with the geisha in the Earth Country daimyo's court a few years ago.

That the Order had taken an interest in Naruto was a bit troubling, but they were usually a good sort. Well, a good sort for a secret society that occasionally pulled the strings of the various countries on the continent. They weren't angling for world domination or anything as sinister as that. Just the continuous run of prosperity and peace that made the right sort of men rich.

Which is why they hated the Akatsuki and their rather disruptive actions with a vengeance, though there seemed to be another reason why the Order of the Crescent seemed to be wanting to take the missing nins down.

Pushing away his suspicions for the moment, Jiraiya responded with the second half of the recognition code while giving Naruto the stand-down signal. The enemy of your enemy is, at the very least, not going to kill you today, after all.

"Then come on down and share with us our journey, till we go our own ways!"

The man laughed and he shouldered something on his back as he descended the incline towards the fire. When he entered the circle of firelight, Jiraiya noted that the man held the well-worn walking staff in his hand in a grip which could easily shift into a staff-fighter's hold. The hands themselves were smooth in a way that only a scholar's or a weapon-user's could be.

A young smiling bespectacled face greeted them. The Order operative seemed to be a little too young for this sort of work, but he radiated a rather serene aura that Jiraiya instantly liked. The man's brown hair was tied in a short ponytail, and he was wearing a black tradesman's gi and hakama. The package on his back was a large wooden box that the Toad Sannin recognized as a traveling medicine salesman's carrying case. The trade was still a profitable one, even with the advent of doctor's clinics in the cities. Smaller towns depended on the wandering medicine men as impromptu healers, since most of the towns were too small to support a practicing doctor, while those of the medical profession themselves often had to resort to these merchants to keep them supplied with the herbs that were often the primary pharmaceuticals of the Five Countries. Some of the more advanced medicinal items were too expensive except for the subsidized government institutions of the larger cities and Hidden villages. This made them rather welcome in most places, making them also the perfect spies for the Order.

"Thank you for the hospitality, friend! I saw the smoke from your fire down the way and hoped for a little company on the road. With the moon like this, better to be safe than sorry." The young man set the staff down in an obvious gesture that emphasized that he was no threat. He shrugged off the case and set it down with the company mark of his particular trading house facing Jiraiya.

Jiraiya smiled thinly as he noticed the crescent mark on the medicine case which confirmed his deductions. He was going to have to ask Master Frog how he managed to locate them the next time he dropped by the capital. Turning his smile to a grin, he stood up and offered his hand.

"No problems, young man. Me and the kid would appreciate the company. My name's Jiraiya, while the blond brat's Naruto. What's your name, friend?"

Eyes twinkling with humor behind his spectacles, the Order operative smiled as he shook the Toad Hermit's hand. For a moment, those eyes seemed to Jiraiya be older than they looked.

"Hojo's the name. Kamiya Hojo, traveling medicine man, at your service!"

As the moon bathed the outer walls of Konoha in crimson light, a small black shadow slipped through the vigilance of the Leaf Shinobi standing guard. That young man might be excused for missing the interloper. No ninja could have suspected such a small form could be a threat. Not to mention that the intruder was several centuries older than the sentry. Experience always beat out youth, after all.

Thus, this small piece of the night, silent and sleek, moved with feline grace as it entered the Hidden Village of the Leaf.


To be continued.

Chapter 2
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