|mischief fragment shippuden
Author: Greylle PM
the training journey of the time skip, is neither skipped nor canonic.Rated: Fiction T - English - Humor/Parody - Naruto U. & Hinata H. - Chapters: 8 - Words: 42,959 - Reviews: 31 - Favs: 93 - Follows: 88 - Updated: 10-29-10 - Published: 03-01-10 - id: 5785455
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
This all appeared under one of those other pen-names at the Anime Addventure.
He was a being that had been born before the current universe had come to pass. In the beginning, he was Chaos. Without a true physical form, without gender or a specific identity, he had watched as a bubble of 4D space had formed and exploded outward in a big bang.
He was known by many names, one of which was Toltiir.
As time went on he had taken many forms, some male or female or shemale or itmale or whatever. Physical form and gender was something he toyed with but 4D existence was something he did not really understand all that well. In that time he learned that pure Chaos had few adherents, and its application tended to interfere with the inherent order needed for life to exist. So Toltiir changed his nature, and embraced Mischief. Which was a sort of constrained Chaos.
4D Life was too entertaining to avoid.
When other gods stepped out of the Chaos, he was shunned by many. Too weird and too powerful, they judged him these other sentients. So his essence formed its first fragments, becoming Raven and Coyote and others through the eons.
In his D52 Branespace multiverse he observed and some nexii of chaos attracted his attention. Individuals whose existence either inspired or caused entire *-Verses to spin off for at least a brief time.
Toltiir pondered this for an eon-moment. As Puck or Robin Goodfellow he'd followed a king, or at least an essence-fragment had. Why not put a bit of him IN one of those nexii? Wouldn't THAT be a great joke on the universe? Now, who to stick with it?
The D52 Entity (who occasionally manifested in 4D space as a little black cat) turned his full (or nearly full) attention on a particular world (causing just about all sentients on that world to have a panic attack for no reason that they could perceive) and one single individual in particular.
Oh yes. This would be funny.
Everything was going as it should, were someone familiar with Naruto's story to be looking over things.
Naruto was as clueless as ever. Then the stealing of the scroll. The graduation to gennin. The assignment to Team 7. The missions. The beginning of the chunin exams.
Toltiir watched with the patience of a billions-of-years-old practical joker who had set things up and now just waited for that first domino to start things off.
There were minor diversions to be sure. A little thing here and there that would be dismissed as of no consequence by that hypothetical other observer.
Such as when someone had been watching Naruto, drifting off into a daydream about training alongside him, only to have the object of that fantasy suddenly pop up in front of her. Then drag her protesting into the training area to help him.
With the result that a giddy little kunoichi had a happy little smile going for her for nearly three days before her father noticed and made a point of removing that smile.
Tiny. Almost unnoticeable.
Of course there were a few bigger changes but those were away from the village itself. Things that could be used to better effect when things really started to roll.
Hinata sighed. She'd written it. She could never ever actually deliver it, but she HAD written it. The Land of Rice had some bizarre customs as depicted by that odd minstrel, but this one had struck a chord within her somehow. The shy maidens of that land wrote their feelings out as a letter, then placed those letters where the person of their affection could find them. A simple envelope which contained the passion and innocence of a maiden's heart - like a shinobi on their mission.
Well, as Iruka-sensei had pointed out, it was good to know some of these odd customs from someone who'd been there. All the active teams had gathered, only Guy-sensei's had been out on a mission. The rest of them would get going on their first assignments soon.
It had actually been fascinating to learn of these other customs, and if any of them ever had a mission in those other lands - potentially quite useful. Even Naruto, Shikamaru, Kiba, and Choji had paid attention. Well, partly that had been the skill of the minstrel - who'd figured out each of them having different interests and weaving them all together.
She put it on her dresser, then considered what would happen if Hanabi got ahold of it. Worse, what if her FATHER found it.
She'd just put it in the top of her pack for now. She had to go meet Kurenai-sensei for their current mission.
A leap and a certain letter fell from a backpack. It would be long hours before Hinata discovered it wasn't there.
By then it had been grabbed by a squirrel, who lost it to a gust of wind, which led to it being found by a fox, which eventually decided this was not edible despite the faint floral fragrance.
"What the heck?" asked Naruto, picking up some envelope... that had his name on it.
"Just some trash someone dropped," said Sasuke dismissively.
"Then why does it have my name on it?" asked Naruto.
"Eh?" asked Kakashi-sensei and Sakura.
"Do we have time for this?" asked their employer.
"I'll just read it later," said Naruto, curious now but putting it down near the bottom of his backpack.
The Land Of Waves occurred, per normal to Toltiir's eye. Good. He wanted things to REALLY break out later. The whole "time skip" thing was where he planned to cut loose. Honestly, two and a half years and as little development as had been shown? Where was the sense in that?
However, the humor possibilities with young romance - especially with young ninja? You couldn't really pass that up, could you?
It would just turn up eventually in his pack, sort of the usual trick when a person couldn't find their grocery list until after getting home from the store - and then it was in a pocket they could have sworn they checked. Happened all the time, after all, even without someone interfering.
"So we're on a training journey, what's the training consist of?" asked Naruto.
"Put these on," said Jiraiya, handing four sets of beaded string to Naruto. "One on each wrist, one on each ankle."
"Huh," said Naruto, doing it. "I dunno. What are these supposed to do?"
"SEAL!" said Jiraiya, whipping through a quick set of hand-signs.
"ACK!" said Naruto as the bands suddenly felt as if they weighed several hundred pounds - each.
"You just move around and train normally with those on for awhile," said Jiraiya with a nod. "That'll help develop your strength and speed."
"Umf," said Naruto by way of reply.
"Maybe I should have gone with the half-weight set," noted Jiraiya as Naruto staggered. "Tell you what, reorganize your pack. You're probably carrying too much stuff anyway."
"Yeah, yeah," said Naruto, but with a strain in his voice. "I'll get used to this in no time."
"I'm counting on it," said Jiraiya.
"Huh?" asked Naruto. "Oh. This thing. I forgot entirely about it."
"A letter?" asked Jiraiya. "You lucky dog. Is it a love letter?"
"Yeah, right, like THAT is going to happen," said Naruto, breaking the seal and unfolding it. "Hmmm. Lesseee. To Naruto...I... huh?"
Jiraiya snuck behind Naruto to read over his shoulder. After the first paragraph he dropped his apparent disinterest.
"Wha? What?" asked Naruto, re-reading the thing. It didn't say what he THOUGHT it said, right? It couldn't? And he hadn't read the thing after THIS LONG?!
"It IS a love letter?" asked Jiraiya, who hadn't really thought it COULD be one.
I have watched you for years and I wanted to let you know why.
I was never good enough for my family's position and ability. The Hyuuga clan are a major family within the Village, and I never measured up. I was quick to give up and I was beginning to hate my life.
Then I saw you. You failed tests, you failed jutsu. You never gave up though. You always tried harder.
You never let it get you down. You took each failure and tried harder every time.
Your smile showed me the way, that strength showed me the path I should take.
You inspire me. I watch you, and you inspire me. Even if I fail at something, I need to keep trying until I win.
I want to stand beside you, to walk with you.
Because I love you.
"WHAT DO I DO?! WHAT DO I DO?!" asked Naruto, beginning to run around in circles. Still clutching the letter and apparently not really noticing the extra weight all of a sudden. "She- I- That is- It's been so long and- what?!"
"Yup," said Jiraiya, nodding and assuming a thoughtful pose. "She's liable to be angry."
"ANGRY?!" squeaked Naruto, still confused as this was COMPLETELY unfamiliar ground to him. "B-but?!"
"You waited a long time before even reading it," said Jiraiya. "The heart of a young maiden is a delicate thing, but when you wound it - it becomes a nest of snakes wanting to strike back."
"AHHHHHHHHHHH!" predictably screamed Naruto, picturing Hinata showing up behind him with demonic smile and a poisoned kunai to strike him down with.
"Yup, you're doomed," said Jiraiya. "Never mind Akatsuki. They'd just kill you. A woman who confesses her love and is ignored? She won't be nearly so merciful."
"AHHHHHHHHHHH!" screamed Naruto. "What do I do?!"
"Nothing for now," said Jiraiya. "We've got a training journey ahead of us. The first thing you need to do when you run into her is apologize. Hmmm. A simple apology probably won't cut it."
"The weights are to build your strength, speed, and stamina," said Jiraiya. "Not that I think your stamina needs all that much work as fast as you recover."
"Yeah, I am good, aren't I?" admitted Naruto. "But that still doesn't answer the question. Where are we going?"
Jiraiya sighed and looked in the grass at the side of the road for a moment. Finding a twig of sufficient length, he began sketching in the dirt. "Now this is the Land Of Fire and this is about where the Village Hidden In The Forest lies."
"Okay," said Naruto, thinking it didn't look right.
"This is a rather busy little city known as Port Anchor," said Jiraiya, adding a squiggly line a distance away from the Land Of Fire and then adding a dot on that squiggle.
"'Port Anchor'? What kind of lame name is that?" asked Naruto.
"Well, it's not the real name of the city, it's just what people call it," said Jiraiya. "Nobody's happy with the real name but nobody can agree what else to call it, so everyone just calls it Port Anchor."
"So what's it's real name?" asked Naruto, wondering how the place's name could be that bad.
"Stinkbug Le Toile Ette is the real name, because it was founded by three merchants named Stinkbug Smith, General Le Toile, and Administrator Ette."
"...okay, I can see why they don't like the name," mumbled Naruto.
"Good, then I can get on with the rest of your explanation?" asked Jiraiya.
"Uh yeah, sorry to interrupt," said Naruto.
"Okay, I know someone there who can get us passage to a different land on the cheap," said Jiraiya.
"Aw, c'mon, why can't I just train here!" said Naruto.
"Three reasons," said Jiraiya, holding one finger up, "less chance of accidently meeting up with some girl you stood up for almost a year after her confession of love."
"Urk," said Naruto.
A second finger joined the first. "Second is that Akatsuki is mainly operating in the Five Great Shinobi Nations area. Less chance we'll run into THEM before we're ready too. Right now they'd be able to cut your legs off before you could make a Rasengen."
"Okayyyyy," said Naruto.
A third finger joined the other two. "Third. Forgiveness."
"Eh?" asked Naruto. "Actually I was going to say the first reason sounded good enough. What do you mean 'forgiveness'?"
"When you meet her again, give her something from a distant foreign land," said Jiraiya. "Better yet, MAIL it to her while we're on the road. It might just keep her from -" Jiraiya made a cut-across-throat gesture.
"Oh, I be liking this idea!" exclaimed Naruto. "Port Anchor here we come!"
Jiraiya counted it as a blessing that Naruto went for almost a full hour before he broke the silence again.
"So, if we're going to some really distant land from Port Anchor, where exactly ARE we going?"
Jiraiya glanced back at Naruto before answering. "Actually, there are two or three places I have in mind. Two of which I've never been to but always wanted to go, and this is a good excuse."
"Oh?" said Naruto, gaze flattening. "How pervy is it?"
"The first place," said Jiraiya, either not hearing or simply ignoring the question, "is a very special place indeed. It is called Konmei."
Naruto thought of the Leaf Village as pretty big.
Jiraiya led the way and ended up having to come back and get Naruto - who had stopped and stared as they entered.
"What is all this?" asked Naruto eventually.
"Market Quarter," said Jiraiya. "Don't buy anything, don't respond to anyone, don't even meet anyone's eyes. Just come along. This is the fastest way."
Bright, noisy, crowded, smelly - it was an assault on the senses. Naruto stared all around him. There were tents that looked ready to fall over in a stiff breeze and fitted stone buildings which looked as if they'd been around since the First Ninja War. There were smells that were mouthwatering, and others that caused a sudden twinge of nausea. And the noise! It didn't seem to matter what the attitude of the seller or what they were selling - they all had to hawk their wares at the top of the volume scale.
Some kid came running up, holding a bag. "Sir, take a look at this."
"BEAT IT!" said Jiraiya, stomping one foot down. It must have been some jutsu though because the ground shook from the impact.
"Aw man, he was just a little kid," complained Naruto as things quieted just a touch in the aftermath.
"Who was going to occupy your attention while the one coming up behind you stole your wallet," said Jiraiya.
Naruto blinked and looked behind him at where another kid was picking himself up and then scampered away. "Eh?"
"They call them 'gypsies' around here," said Jiraiya. "Kids who are stolen from their parents or orphans, raised by a handler who then collects everything they take at the end of the just marked ourselves as not being pushovers, which means the next thing we'll face will be -"
"Jiraiya my boy! Writing another novel?"
"Taijutsu Master Happosai. I actually wasn't expecting you to be here."
"Eh?" asked Naruto turning to see a taijutsu master and not seeing anyone. Then glancing down. "You gotta be kidding me."
"Naruto, this is Happosai, one of the most formidable taijutsu masters on the continent," said Jiraiya, his voice warning Naruto of something.
Whatever it was, Naruto was ignoring it. "You gotta be kidding me! He's got to be what - three feet tall?!"
"I see your pupil does not have much respect in him," said the old gnome. "I shall teach him the folly of his actions."
"Oh crap," mumbled Jiraiya.
"Teach me? How are YOU going to teach me anything?" said Naruto.
Jiraiya sighed. "Master Happosai? The Wave Dancer at the end of the docks before sunset?"
"Gotcha, Jiraiya me lad," said Happosai, bouncing off Naruto's head, then an awning and then a rooftop.
"What the hell's up with that freak?" asked Naruto as he rubbed his head.
"Is that YOUR little frog-wallet?" asked Jiraiya as Happosai hefted the object in question, then gave Naruto the redeye.
"WHAT?! HOW?!" asked Naruto as he found his precious wallet was missing.
At which point Happosai mooned Naruto then pulled his pants back up to sashay away.
"ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!" screamed Naruto as he ran off in pursuit.
Jiraiya sighed again. It would have been nice to get away quietly, but life seemed to conspire against his little plans. Oh well, at least he could go to the ship in question and get settled in without Naruto hanging around. Maybe even visit that waterfront bar he remembered from the last visit... no, he had gotten into a fight before settling the tab. Maybe he should just concentrate on the next chapter of his novel. Hmmmm.
Naruto awoke sputtering.
"Wow, it's only been overnight, I guess you do recover easy," said Jiraiya.
"Huh? What? Where's that old..." asked Naruto as his surroundings came into focus.
"We left port at sunset," said Jiraiya. "I don't really LIKE Happosai, but a certain degree of respect is due him. Besides, he's a fan. If you're going to be an author you have to learn to tolerate the occasional obnoxious fan."
"That guy's even more pervy than YOU are," said Naruto.
"You see why I don't like you calling me a pervert? You're lumping me in with HIM?" asked Jiraiya.
"Well... you're still pervy," grumbled Naruto.
"Do you really want me to arrange you to train under Happosai for a few months?" asked Jiraiya. "All I'd have to do is promise him a cameo role in the next book and he'd do it."
Naruto opened his mouth, ready to make a quick reply. He sat like that for a few seconds before closing his mouth again, letting it remain unsaid.
Jiraiya noted mentally that even Happosai, as much as he disliked the little fellow, had his uses.
"So where are we going?" finally asked Naruto.
"Ah, we're sailing aboard the Wave Dancer, what they call a 'free merchant' owned by someone I rescued from some bandits a few years back," said Jiraiya, fondly reminiscing.
"Isn't a 'free trader' a phrase usually used to say they're thieves?" asked Naruto.
"You're reading entirely the wrong kind of literature," chided Jiraiya. "Actually what this ship mainly does is raw fabric and wood products from Port Anchor to the port of Konmei. From Konmei they get tools and metal manufactured items. Apparently it isn't a huge profit, but the owner prefers a steady profit over trying to guess what the market's going to do at any given time."
"Eh?" asked Naruto. "So we're going to Konmei?"
"Yes, now be on your guard there," said Jiraiya. "Konmei is a busy port, twice the size of Port Anchor, and far more lawless as well. The person you bump against could be a smuggler, a pirate, an S-class missing-nin, a member of ANBU or a similar hunter group, adventurers of just about any type, a beggar, an exiled prince, a monster in human form... Konmei's slogan is 'you're never sure quite what you'll find next' or words to that effect."
"You're pulling my leg," said Naruto. "'exiled prince'? 'Monster in human form'?"
"Considering what you've got sealed inside you, are you SURE you want to be skeptical?" asked Jiraiya.
Naruto frowned. "Point."
Jiraiya nodded, and sat back in his chair. "Well, we've got two days aboard ship. That gives me time to start you on the next training exercise."
"Lay it on me," said Naruto with a grin. "Is this going to be some awesome move like the Rasengan?"
"No," said Jiraiya, waiting for Naruto to slump a little before continuing. "Right now I've got to build up your strength and stamina, but especially your speed before I can even show you the next major exercise. Oddly enough, it was something I learned about from Happosai. He traded the technique to me for a copy of Makeout Paradise."
"Wow, so there's actually a use for your books?" asked Naruto.
"Careful kid, that's my livelihood you're mocking," replied Jiraiya.
"So what's this killer technique called?" asked Naruto eagerly.
"That is... a secret," said Jiraiya. "I'll tell you when the time comes for you to learn it. You have to get to the point where the training can take place first."
Naruto was standing on a piece of wood smaller than his foot, what the sailors called the 'yardarm' of the 'fore royal yard', where he was trying to keep from getting hit.
As various sailors, birds, and his sensei kept throwing things at him at random times while he was expected to work - this had started out bad but was slowly getting better.
Dodging three rocks and a seagull, barely noticing them at this point, Naruto grumbled about this "being the worst trip he'd ever been on and when was the REAL training going to start?"
At which point a wrought iron wrench whacked him in the back of the leg and he spent several moments hanging by his toes as those damn seagulls LAUGHED at him. Well, he didn't speak seagull but it sure SOUNDED like they were laughing at him.
"LAND HO!" called out the lookout.
"Eh?" asked Naruto, quickly righting himself and then scrambling up to the crow's nest himself.
The lookout handed the telescope over. "Over your seasickness there?"
"Mostly," admitted Naruto, though up in the crow's nest each move of the ship seemed amplified and threatened to return him to the "puking everything he had up, then reaching into the future so he could puke stuff up he hadn't eaten yet" category that he'd spent most of the first day in.
The lookout took the spyglass back as soon as Naruto lowered it.
"So is that 'Konmei'?" asked Naruto.
"Most likely," said the lookout. "Be careful when you get there, even the roughest members of the crew don't go past the dock area."
"You forget who you're talking to," said Naruto with cocky grin in place and only a faint tinge of green to indicate the swelling nausea within him.
"A reckless chunin ninja whose mouth routinely signs bills the rest of him has to pay for?" asked the lookout, scratching under his grizzly beard.
"That's right, I, ... hey!" said Naruto.
"Konmei attracts ALL sorts, but mostly everyone does their business and leaves as quickly as they came," said the lookout. "It's a dangerous place. You might be with one of the Three Sages of the Leaf Village, but he can't pull your butt out of every fire you wander into in there."
"Aw, I'll be alright, I can handle myself!" insisted Naruto.
"You see that sailor right there?" asked the lookout, pointing down and to the side.
"Yeah that big guy with the pegleg? He lose his leg there or something?" asked Naruto. "He don't talk much."
"He CAN'T talk," said the lookout. "He wandered into a shop, came out with one leg missing below the knee, no vocal chords, and he's been known to cough up some bright blue stuff from time to time."
"Blue stuff?" asked Naruto skeptically.
"You notice our hull's painted blue?" asked the lookout. "We just collect it and paint it on stuff before it finishes drying. Barnacles hate the stuff and it seems to protect wood treated with it."
"Ick..." said Naruto as he considered the bright blue rails he'd walked barefoot on earlier.
"Two other sailors went in there on another occasion," said the lookout. "We got the clothes back from one of them, and the other we ended up selling to a circus. Two headed llama."
"What's a llama?" asked Naruto.
"Sort of a small horse," said the lookout with a shrug. "Took us awhile just to find someone who knew what the heck he was. Thing is, if you linger in Konmei you'll eventually run into something you CAN'T handle. Docks are safe. So is a lot of the city during the day. At night, get indoors."
"Oh," said Naruto with a shrug. "Why? Ghosts?"
"How'd you know?" asked the lookout.
Naruto was quiet for a moment. When he spoke it was without any cockiness in his voice or manner at all. "You're saying there are... ghosts?"
"Ghosts, vengeful spirits, hauntings, and worse," said the lookout. "We'll have about three hours of daylight left when we dock, if we keep our current speed. Then we'll probably anchor off and load first thing in the morning."
gurgleeeeeeeeeeeeeee warned Naruto's stomach.
"WAGH!" said Naruto as he fled down the mainmast.
"Landlubbers," said the lookout, bracing himself and keeping an eye out. Just because they were in sight of port didn't mean that pirates or a leviathen or something couldn't show up.
"They call me mad, mad yes, yes they do," said the jutsu researcher. "They think I can't hear them. Can't hear their little whispers and mutters. Don't see them glance over and then look away. Yes. Yes."
"Dude!" yelled someone from another dock entirely. "You're scaring the freaking ghosts around here! Take a vacation or something!"
"Bah, they don't understand. Understand my genius," said the researcher. "They don't understand I saw it. Saw into its eyes. Saw it then. Saw it all pretty pretty and laid out like some tangled skein of Christmas tree lights drawn by Escher. They don't understand. They don't even know who Escher is, what Christmas tree lights are, or what it is I saw in all its terrible greatness. Jutsu Barrier ACTIVATE!"
"Uh oh," said the neighbor.
"What now?" asked another neighbor.
"The ghosts. They're fleeing the neighborhood and they aren't even waiting for nightfall," said the neighbor.
"Oh HELL, I just knew it was going to be one of those days," complained the other neighbor. "And it isn't even Tuesday yet."
"Well, at least he aimed away from OUR shops," said the first neighbor. "Wonder if he'll revert to normal now?"
"They usually do," answered the second.
"Well, it isn't like what old Samani did at least, we were cleaning the windows for days after he snapped back to normal."
"So this place is dangerous?" asked Naruto, looking it over. Some of the buildings looked like they'd blow over in a good wind.
"Compared to the 'Forest Of Death' this place isn't all that bad," said Jiraiya. "Just don't bump up against anyone, touch anything, buy anything, look in any windows, or speak to anyone. THEN it might be a good deal worse."
"Eh?" asked Naruto, picking up a scrap of paper that had blown up against his leg.
"What?" asked Jiraiya, turning to ask.
Naruto stared around him. "WHAT THE HELL JUST HAPPENED?!"
"What did you do?!" demanded Jiraiya.
"HOW THE HELL..." Naruto stopped and took a closer look at the paper in one hand.
"I told you 'don't touch anything' didn't I?" asked Jiraiya, his voice calm and reasonable.
"Erk," said Naruto, correctly interpreting this as a danger sign. "It's nothing."
"We're in some sort of barrier jutsu," said Jiraiya. "Odd though. You get the feeling we're in motion but it's hard to tell which direction we're moving in."
"Hey, it really is nothing, it looks like a grocery list," complained Naruto now that he could look at the paper.
"Get ready Naruto," warned Jiraiya, putting the whole 'discipline the student' thing into a 'For Later' category. "It's very likely we'll emerge in enemy territory."
"You mean... Hinata?!" asked Naruto, not ready to face The Wrath Of The Vengeful.
"Maybe," said Jiraiya. "Or Akatsuki or any number of other foes. It feels like we're slowing down."