|Sleeping Treasure in the Sand
Author: SaphireDragoon PM
Treasures can be found in a sea of sand. But, can those who find them keep them well?Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure - Chapters: 3 - Words: 7,669 - Reviews: 3 - Favs: 1 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 07-29-10 - Published: 04-12-06 - id: 2889445
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: It's been a while since I wrote a fanfic. I hope it doesn't suck too much. This is my first Naruto fanfiction, and probably the first I've been taking seriously. I hope you enjoy it.
Just to answer any questions you may have: Its plot starts a few months or so after the Invasion on Konoha. Basically, it's supposed to be during the time they don't show in the anime. You may find this slightly flawed because I actually haven't seen past episode 72. -sweatdrop- But I'll make it through anyhow! And the characters may be a little OOC because I haven't -truely- grasped their individual personalities and how they would respond to things. Forgive and correct me if I'm far off.
And this has a few OC's in the story as a whole, but right now it's just one. They aren't the main character, really, everyone is. In this chapter, it's more about Kakashi. So I guess you can say they all have their time in the spot light! And I had something else to say about it but I forgot it. Oh well. Enjoy and R'n'R please!
*NEW* A/N: I have no idea what's going on in the future of this story's plot, but what the hay, I'll figure something out. I've caught myself up to the Naruto story, so this will be more AU than it was intended in the beginning. Here's to hoping!
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto or any of the characters from the anime. I do, however, own my OC's and all their flaws.
Sleeping Treasure in the Sand
Chapter One: Fragile Package
**5 years ago**
"Kakashi-san! Kakashi-san!" a young girl pranced into the room, dressed in loose jeans and a black shirt. She grabbed onto the leg of her fleeing uncle as he started out the door. "Don't go! I want you to stay!" Her blue eyes bore into his single black eye with sadness.
"Don't worry, little kid, I'll come back soon. I promise," the silver-haired jounin said to her, disheveling her brown hair.
"My name's not Kid, it's-" she started to scream, but the pop of chakra covered up her cries.
Two shinobi from the Hidden Village of Sand walked under the cold, white moon. Their mission was to search for a group that had gone into the desert on a different order. No shadows but their own covered the sand in front of them. The desert was gracious and sent no storms and the wind was low. Sand lay still and blank under the pale light. Soon, after many miles of walking, they came upon a very rare bush popping from the sand, a bunch of red flowers reaching towards the moon with their petals.
As one of the ninjas stopped to stare at their enchanted beauty, a sudden wind blew past him. The grains of sand whisked away in waves. To a normal eye, no one would have seen the sudden gleam of metal shining, exposed to the shining moon, in the sand near the bush. The chuunin took careful steps towards the object and leaned down to pick it from the sand. When he delicately grasped it into his gloved hands and gently pulled it from the sand, it dragged a single, tanned, skinny, and battered hand with it. The shiny object was a silver string of ribbon, with a dead and fading flower in its knot.
"W-what! Sir, I found something! Someone!" The chuunin almost squeaked in surprise. Swiftly as he could, he continued to dig up the sand scrapped body. He shoved the sand away from the person's face to reveal that it was a young girl, looking about the age of 12. Attentively, he removed the head piece from her head that protected her nose and mouth from being filled with sand. His partner, a few years older than he, helped him drag the young girl from the sandy coffin. They laid her down gently as the wind began to die back down.
"Well, I don't recognize her, but there's no problem taking her back to Suna. Come on, it's about time we went back. I'll carry her and you keep your eyes open for anything new on the way back in case someone was following," the elder ninja said to the younger, whose eyes were sparkling with distant sorrow and wonder at the scratched and bruised skin of the girl. In the faint light, he could see that she was barely breathing. What kept her alive? "Wake up, you can look at her later."
And with that, the older man picked her up and started back to the village, Sunagakure. Still sitting near the flowering bush, the young chuunin stared after his companion. He looked back, and snapped a twig off the bush that held many red flowers and ran after his partner's fleeing back. If she had come all this way to find flowers and ended up in the sand, the least he could do was bring some living ones with him.
**In the Suna Hospital**
Naruto sat on the white sheets of his bed and looked at his bandaged arm. His team was sent to the desert to exterminate a serpent that had originally came from a region near Konoha and had attacked merchants from Mist on their way to Konoha. He attacked it first when its large head burst from the pale sand the day before. The serpent had bit him in the arm and he felt dizzy afterwards. Sasuke, being the 'show off hero' that Naruto claimed him to be, had slain the serpent while Sakura took him back to Suna. Kakashi, the silver haired Copy Nin, stood at the end of the bed, his hands in his pockets.
"It was very stupid to just jump forward and get bitten by a poisonous snake, Naruto," he said to his blonde student. Sakura gave a nod of agreement and Sasuke just snorted. It was very late at night, but Naruto had been asleep for quite a long while, so they all took the opportunity to rest themselves.
Naruto gave Kakashi a distasteful glare with his blue eyes and rubbed his head. It still swam and tried to catch up. He didn't remember the snake being poisonous...But suddenly, two Sand chuunin strode into the room; one with a ragged body in his arms and the other fingering the stem of several red desert flowers. A nurse looked over the young girl once she removed the protective desert clothes. The most damaged part of her body was her hands; they were scratched, bruised, and almost like a skeleton.
"I'm surprised she's even breathing! Though I think we can keep her among the living," the nurse said as she started her best on healing the girl's wounded hands. When she was finished, she began to search for an IV drip with the appropriate nutrients for the withering child. While she was away from the girl, Kakashi slipped a peek at the still form. His one visible eye opened wider in disbelief and upon closer inspection of the shaggy brunette, his thoughts were confirmed.
"Nakashima!" Kakashi said in surprise, his eye glued to her worn face. The nurse looked at him with her brown eyes in a questioning glare. Kakashi's wandered to the nurse's and he gave a smile underneath his black mask. "I believe that that would be my niece. She looks quite like her. Without all the meat on her."
The nurse didn't seem to know what to say, but when she had finally retrieved the bag she had been searching for, she placed the needle in the girl's arm. She then turned to the older man and said, "if you can take care of her, we're more than happy to let you take a burden off our hands. Also, you can leave at any time you wish." With that, she left in a bemused look on her face. The chuunin holding the bunch of crimson flowers shifted where he stood, unsure of what to say. He strode up to the bed and placed the flowers in Nakashima's shirt pocket.
"She'll appreciate it when she comes to," the silver Jounin said to the chuunin with a slight smile before the man left. "Come on you three, we better get back to Konoha before it gets hot. We can make it before morning if we go fast enough." He walked up to his relative's sleeping body and carefully picked her up, laying her liquid lifeline on his shoulder so that gravity could force it slowly into her deprived body. With a small exchange of money at the front desk and a cheery good-bye to friends, they briskly ran out into the twilight sands.
After some time, Naruto's agitation became too much for him to bear. "Who the hell is she, Kakashi-sensei! I've never seen her in my life!" Naruto busted out. Kakashi stopped and looked back at Naruto, his eye, its normal dull and bored look, forming the aura of obliviousness and confusion around him. Naruto was pointing one finger at the girl's limp head against Kakashi's upper arm and continued to glare at him.
"Of course you've never seen her before; she's been 'dead' for about five years. And she's my niece and she's very weak, so keep it down, idiot." Kakashi ordered the orange clad ninja. Naruto continued to glare at him as he turned around and slowly started his walk back to Konoha. After giving a short look at Naruto, Sakura ran to catch up with Sasuke and Kakashi, and fell instep beside her sensei.
"Kakashi-sensei, I never knew you had a niece..." she said in a low voice. Sakura looked at the boney hands of Nakashima lying on her stomach. She twitched at the sight of how skinny and unhealthy the girl seemed. Kakashi shifted his niece in his arms and looked at Sakura, his eye in an arch of feigned happiness.
"Shima-chan is actually my cousin's daughter, but I call her my niece. When I was younger, it made me think I had a brother or sister, but Shima-chan ended up feeling the same." Kakashi explained as they reached the gates of Konoha. Sasuke was the first to leave the group right at the gate. He jumped over the roof tops after his cold goodbyes and was out of sight in the blink of an eye. Naruto still walked, glaring at the girl and his teacher, but as midnight drew nearer, he became sleepy with fatigue.
"I'm...going home...See you guys...tomorrow..." Naruto mumbled as he walked up the steps to his nearby apartment. Sakura looked up again to her sensei with another wide-eyed and questioning look, her green eyes twinkling in the light of streetlamps. The jounin continued to walk down the cool Konoha streets, choosing not to notice the girl's stare. But he looked back as soon as he heard her footsteps fall next to his and saw her hand touch the sandy strains of his niece's hair.
"Kakashi-sensei...Will we really be training tomorrow? Shouldn't you help Nakashima-chan?" Sakura asked with a gentle sadness and worry in her eyes. Kakashi looked up ahead of them to where the hospital of Konoha was located, far off in the city. What he was thinking was unclear beneath the mask created by his cool features and the obvious cloth in the scarce light.
"I'm taking her to the hospital tonight and I'll leave her with them until they think she's good enough to put into my hands for care. It'll give me some time to work things out with putting her in my care and making sure you three get your training," he said to her, his eyes not focusing on anything in particular anymore. She let out a sigh as she pulled her hand from Shima's brown hair. "But don't count on seeing me much when I get her. And be sure to visit her if you can. Just tell her you're with me." Kakashi turned to her, a smile evident behind his dark mask. Sakura smiled and said her goodbye as they neared her home.
Alone on the dim streets of Konoha, Kakashi stared dully ahead of him as he walked. The night air was quiet and crisp under the pale light of the moon. The lights were gone from the windows as the houses' residents slept and the guards stood in the shadows, silent and invisible to the untrained eye. Such a night wasn't uncommon in Konoha a few years ago, before the Sand/Sound invasion. The village had managed to get most of the place rebuilt or at least stable in the past months.
The light haired ninja walked into the light of the hospital front room and was greeted by a sleepy but conscious looking nurse in a white outfit. She looked at him oddly, not completely aware of what he was doing there, until her eyes dropped down to examine him and rested on the boney packaged in his arms. Her eyes widened, with newfound alertness and wonder of where he found such a girl on a night like this. But who knew what ninjas really found and did during missions.
"I'm entrusting you with her until you find her well enough for me to take care of her myself." Kakashi told the raven-haired woman in front of him. She gave him a puzzled look and tilted her head as she led him to a room to keep his niece in. "We're related, don't worry. Though if you are going to ask why she is like this, I cannot fully tell you. So just take care of her and keep her alive." He said as he gently laid the slumbering body into the white sheets before taking the still healthy flowers from her pocket. The nurse gave a tired nod and began to look over her new burden and wrote down the treatments she'd have to undergo.
"Oh, and can you keep this on a damp towel? It doesn't like too much water, but I'd like to keep it alive for her," he asked her as she straightened up. She gave another nod and took the flowers from him, going down the hall to do as he asked. The Jounin walked out also after giving his niece one last strained look and stood in the cool night before turning down the road.
Without his lost and found niece to carry in his arms, Kakashi instinctively put his hands back into the pockets of his black slacks as he made his way to the Hokage's office. His sandals made a faint clopping sound on the pavement as he slowly walked. The trip was very uneventful and boring, and felt like it took ages to complete.
The bright streams of light flooding the floor lit his path as the sensei walked lazily up the stairs to the large doors of the Hokage's room. Two masked ANBU ninja stood in front of the doors, and looked at the Copy Nin as he approached. The one to the right, wearing a fox mask, gave an unseen smile underneath his cover, and motioned for Kakashi to go inside with a nod of his head. The other to the left with a strange cat mask stiffened with tension.
"Relax, he can go without all the questions. Still breathing, eh Kakashi?" the fox masked ANBU asked him. Kakashi gave a small chuckle and looked at the other masked ninja as he passed through the doors, making the young man twitch slightly with fear. How entertaining to torture the newer members, the Jounin thought as he walked up to Tsunade's desk.
"What do you want. Kakashi-san?" the blonde Hokage said bitterly as she rubbed the sleep from her eyes. A cup of hot tea rest on top of a large stack of papers and she reached for it, hoping to drive the sleep away. Tsunade gave him an angry glance before lifting the cup to her lips and swallowing the contents of the teacup. When she sat it back down on its respected saucer and laid it to rest on a vacant spot on the oak desk, Kakashi took it as the time to speak.
"I plan to get all of my paperwork done beforehand. We finished the mission in the desert. Naruto almost got himself killed but Sasuke came to the rescue. I thought they could have managed without getting hurt. Seems I was wrong." he said bluntly and shrugged his shoulders. His gloved hands remained in his pockets as he dully looked back at the tired kage.
"You could have gotten the papers for that tomorrow, when I'm not so damned tired. They aren't that much that you have to go walking up here at almost midnight and say that you plan to get them done before hand." She glared at him as she spoke. Her calculating look couldn't find what he could possibly want aside from the mission papers, so she could only imagine what else he'd want.
"I'm not here just for mission papers. In the desert, after we brought Naruto to the Suna hospital to make sure he was okay, two Sand Chuunin found a girl. The girl is my niece. I came for papers to say that I'm to take care of her, to make sure she doesn't end up an orphan." he explained, his eye closed in an exhausted way. Tsunade could only widen her hazel eyes a little more at this series of statements. Kakashi had a niece?
"You...have a niece? Since when?" she asked with slight interest, an eyebrow raised. The ninja shifted under her gaze, probably the first sign of weakness that she saw in him showing through. He tilted his head up to face the lights in the high ceiling as he started to think of what to say.
"She's not really my niece; she's my cousin's daughter. But I call her my niece. She's been gone for at least five or six years, and apparently that time was spent in the sand, asleep." he ended up telling her, his voice a dead tone. Tsunade looked at him again with a calculating look before opening a drawer. She ruffled through files of papers and scrolls to look for the forms he had requested.
"Here you go. Be glad I actually have these papers." The blonde sennin tossed the small stack of papers his way on the already crowded desk. Kakashi briskly made his way closer to the desk, reaching for the papers until Tsunade slammed her hand down on them, giving him an amused look. "But you have to sign someone as her second guardian due to her being unwell and you being a Jounin who will have to leave most likely for many days during missions. Do you have someone else to sign her to?"
"Umino Iruka would be interested and fit for the job." Kakashi replied, grabbing onto the end of the papers pushed off from the desk. Tsunade gave a smirk and let him have the papers. She dismissed him with the wave of her hand and he disappeared in a puff of smoke. Lifting the teacup again to her lips, she laughed and looked at Shizune at her desk.
"Kakashi Hatake, the great Copy Nin, has a niece! Ha ha ha!" She laughed, knocking back her replenished tea. Shizune chuckled as she started again on her papers. The air around them became quiet and still again as they delved into their work once more.
Kakashi reappeared in another puff of smoke atop the high apartment building. He ran his plan through his thoughts once more before jumping down and knocking on the small window in the wall. He was greeted by a sleeping chuunin with brown hair and a scare across his nose. The ninja reached up to unlock and open the window to let his friend inside. After the small click, Kakashi crawled his way in and sat on the bed with the papers in his hands.
"Iruka, I have a favor to ask of you." Kakashi told him, looking at the far wall. An oak dresser stood against it, on top a picture of a small Iruka and his parents, smiling happily. Iruka turned on a lamp near his bedside and looked at his visitor. Rubbing the sleep from his eyes, he opened his mouth to speak, but a yawn replaced his words.
"Kakashi-san, do you know how late it is? What is so important that you need to wake me up at such an hour?" The brown-haired academy teacher questioned, giving the other man a tired look. Kakashi looked at him with his visible eye, a look of slight sadness in his eyes. He laid the paper that required Iruka's signature on the bed. He gave it a strange look before looking up at Kakashi.
"Sand nin found my niece in the desert... I have papers to fill out to make sure she has me as her guardian, but Tsunade wants someone who I know that stays around more than I do to be her alternative guardian incase she's still needs care and I need to leave. I want you to be her guardian too." the silver-haired man said as he turned back around. Iruka fumbled for a pen in the nearby drawer and put the paper on the desk, ready to scribble his name onto the line. But before his pen point made contact with the paper.
"Still needs care? What's wrong with her?" he asked the still form on his bed. Kakashi didn't budge as he continued to stare at the framed picture.
"She's been sleeping in the desert for at least 5 years. She's all skin and bone right now." he replied, and looked at Iruka, seeing his shocked look. "Don't worry, I took her to the hospital for them to help her."
"I see...Well, that's good that she's in their care." Iruka mused as he read over the paper once more. He didn't even know the girl and yet his friend was asking him to her emergency guardian incase of his leave. A sigh escaped his lips as he looked at the still form still sitting on his bed.
"Kakashi, what is she like, exactly?" he finally asked. The Jounin tensed his shoulders as he continued to stare into the blackness.
"She's sweet as can be, and she'll help whenever she can. Very nice kid...You'll love her when you meet her. Well, aside from her probably looking sick as a dog." the other replied, a tint of sadness in his last statement.
"...Kakashi, are you okay?"
Kakashi was silent as he milled his thoughts to produce the right answer. He was filled with a faint sense of joy and yet in the back of his heart he felt a twitch of sorrow. It was a hard thing for him to explain.
"I'm happy that I get to see her face again. But the thought of the rest of my family being gone gives it a pinch of sadness. I don't know what to think about it but when she is awake, I won't let it get in the way of me taking care of her and making her happy." He finally said, shifting where he sat.
"Just remember that you have me to help you look out for her. I'm sure I'll enjoy her company if you need to go somewhere. Now go home and sleep for once." he told him as he gave him the signed paper and shoved him out the door with a grin. And with that, Kakashi decided to take Iruka's advice and left in another puff of smoke.
**5 years ago, the day before Nakashima went missing**
A small brown haired girl sat at the tall table in front of her 'uncle'. She stared up at him, trying to see underneath his closed eyes as he ate. She was one of the very few who ever saw beneath the mask. She admired him and always said his face had 'a sense of hidden elegance'. Kakashi never understood where she learned such words when she was as little as 7. He opened his one eye and looked at her with a questioning glance. She piped up her head to look at him better.
"Shima, what are you staring at me for?" he asked her, raising a single silver eyebrow. She flashed him a small bright smile that made her eyes close into upward curves.
"I was admiring you! And I want to ask you something..." Nakashima muttered off as her smile faded and she looked at him. His eyebrow was still raised as he gave a nod for her to continue. "Will you always be there to help me if I fall?" she finished, giving him a sad look. He put down his chopsticks and looked at her in the same way. His hand reached over and laid itself on top of her small head.
"I promise to be there for you, Shima-chan. I promise as long as I'm there for you." Kakashi replied as he gave her a reassuring smile. Her smile reformed to overpower his. "Just don't go getting yourself killed when I'm away!"
"I promise Kashi-san!"
AN: Oh goodness, that feels so much better now. xD I cringed whenever I saw mistakes while reading this. I hope it looks better now, even if there weren't many corrections! R n R so I know what you think!