|Foolish Little Brother
Author: Koulabwy PM
Naruto, heir of the Senju clan, has fallen in love with the heir to a rival clan. As the battle for supremacy among the ninja clans intensifies, will Kakashi be able to protect his younger brother? Or will Naruto get trapped in the crossfire? Non Yaoi.Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Suspense - Naruto U. & Kakashi H. - Chapters: 4 - Words: 9,745 - Reviews: 6 - Favs: 14 - Follows: 19 - Updated: 02-08-12 - Published: 05-15-10 - id: 5972770
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Yo! I'm alive! As usual, sorry for the extremely long wait. School got hectic, life got hectic, and I was stuck for awhile in story. But now, here it is! The long awaited next chapter. Enjoy.
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto.
"Man, it's great to be out and about!" Naruto declared as he walked with Shikamaru and his friend's older sister Tenten.
"Just don't overdo it or you'll end up back in bed, and I'm tired of listening to you complain about how bored you are," Tenten said, adding the last part teasingly.
Naruto flashed a cheeky grin at her. "Aw, come on, Tenten. Don't you trust me?" he joked.
"No. That's why we're going with you," Shikamaru interjected with a sly smirk. Then he sighed dramatically. "Just don't let Lee and Kiba excite you too much. It'd be a pain to have to drag you back to your house, and then Lord Kakashi would chew us out for letting you get so carried away."
Naruto chuckled. "Don't worry; I'll keep the sparring to a minimum. Besides, I'm the one who would get an earful from Kakashi."
Tenten remarked dryly, "Maybe, but our parents would never let us hear the end of it. Especially Mom."
All three grimaced at the thought of receiving a lecture from the fiery woman. Despite being a homemaker, Yoshino had inherited the Senju's warrior spirit. In the past, she'd scolded Naruto as if he were one of her own. In those cases his title meant nothing. Some of the clan speculated that she even might be the reason the young blonde hadn't let his position in the clan go to his head. However, as terrible as her wrath could be, Yoshino had a good heart and had helped care for Naruto after Kushina's death. Even Shikaku Naruto viewed as almost a second father.
"Yeah, Shikaku and Yoshino can be pretty scary sometimes," Naruto agreed with a wince.
Shikamaru rubbed the back of his head as he murmured, "Tell me about it. Sometimes it's—"
"—such a drag," Naruto and Tenten's voices joined with his as he made his signature statement.
Shikamaru blinked at them in mild surprise. Tenten and Naruto snickered. Shikamaru smirked as he quietly chuckled, their sounds mingling together and gradually growing louder until all three burst out laughing. After a few minutes of trying to walk and laugh at the same time, the group finally composed themselves.
The trio walked through the tranquil, rather scenic village toward the training grounds in the surrounding forest. The village possessed a quaint, homely beauty with its small wooden houses and dirt streets. Most of the homes and yards resembled Kakashi and Naruto's. Some had trees and/or gardens in their courtyards rather than behind the dwellings. Shops such as smithies, bakeries, and weavers lined some of the streets. A large waterfall cascaded down the cliffs at one end of the village where the meeting hall for the clan leader and council elders stood.
It wasn't much, but it was home. The people weren't to be underestimated either. Training areas dotted the area near and over the cliffs. Naruto and his friends were headed for one such training area on top of the cliffs and further in the forest.
Today, Naruto's clothes matched his personality more. He wore a simple short-sleeved, black tunic with a brown leather belt around his waist, orange pants, and black boots. A new katana hung across his back since Sasuke had stolen his old one. His blonde spikes remained free of his bandana. He didn't really need to hide his hair to spar, if Shikamaru and Tenten allowed him to train at all. Naruto's injuries seemed to have fully healed, but his friends didn't want to take any chances.
Shikamaru's outfit reflected his calm nature. It simply consisted of a green tunic, a brown belt similar to Naruto's, and brown pants along with matching boots. He had a pouch containing chakra blades like his uncle's attached to his belt. His black hair stuck out from his head in a very spiky ponytail. He preferred to keep things fairly simple; though, how he got to be friends with Naruto probably had more to do with their older brothers and Shikamaru's Uncle Asuma than by Shikamaru or Naruto's efforts.
After all, Naruto was simply complicated as far as Shikamaru was concerned. But they had been constants in each other's lives as far back as they could remember. It was only normal they'd become friends eventually. Besides, there wasn't really any escaping Naruto when Shikamaru's older sister had a huge crush on the Senju heir.
Tenten wore a dark green, form-fitting, sleeveless blouse. Charcoal gray pants and boots completed the outfit. Her long brown hair was pulled up and twirled into tight buns on either side of her head while her bangs dangled just above her eyes. Unlike Sakura and Ino, who competed constantly for Naruto's attention, Tenten simply tried to be a good friend for Naruto. She opted to keep her affections for Naruto a secret. Yet, at the same time she attempted to drop subtle hints; though, he didn't seem to pick up on them very well. However, Tenten didn't worry too much about it. She figured since she and Naruto got along so well she had an advantage.
The group soon approached the cliffs barring the way to the ninjas' more advanced training grounds. The lower training areas were for the trainees who hadn't made it to the actual ninja ranks. In Konoha, a young trainee had to prove his worth by completing a series of challenges and climbing to the higher training grounds was the final test in the graduation. You weren't considered a ninja until you climbed the cliffs freehand, no tools and no chakra. If the trainee passed then they were awarded a customized weapon. The ninjas were allowed to climb the cliff however they wanted after graduating. Some, like Naruto, still climbed the cliffs freehand. Naruto saw it as a great way to train. He'd gotten really fast at it, so his friends didn't have long to wait for him. Tenten and Lee usually climbed with him when they went together.
When Naruto and Tenten reached the top, Shikamaru was already there, having channeled chakra in his feet to scale the cliff. The trio navigated their way through the forest and to the Senju clan's farthest training area. Kiba sitting at the base of a tree with his dog Akamaru waited for them. Kiba wore a short-sleeved metal mesh shirt with a brown, sleeveless, leather jerkin reaching to just below his hips. He wore a simple leather belt and beige pants and brown boots. Painted red fangs adorned Kiba's cheeks symbolizing him as one of the Senju clan's canine experts. Lee was there as well, warming up with a series of high kicks. He wore his usually green attire, but today he wore a sleeveless tunic.
"Hey! Naruto! 'Bout time you returned to the action!" Kiba called when he caught sight of the approaching trio. He'd always been the most casual with the Senju heirs, having befriended Naruto at a young age.
"Yo, Kiba," Naruto greeted just as warmly, "Miss our throw-downs? Haven't you gotten tired of me kicking your butt yet?"
"Dream on, runt. We've taken you at least as many times. Right, Akamaru?" Kiba jibed and his giant dog barked agreement. Naruto gave him a smug smirk.
"Naruto, congratulations on your recovery. However, are you sure you should be training so soon?" Lee questioned the young heir, his bushy brows knitting into a concerned look.
"Relax, Lee," Naruto assured him. "I won't go overboard."
Kiba scoffed, "Yeah, well, it's our skins on the line here."
"Lord Kakashi sent us with him just in case Naruto does get carried away," Tenten interjected, indicating Shikamaru and herself.
Naruto rolled his eyes. "You guys don't need to babysit me, geez. I've trained with worse injuries than these."
"Yeah, and you usually ended up back on bed-rest for reopening them," Shikamaru pressed. Naruto shot him a glared, but Shikamaru remained nonplussed. "Tell you what, warm-up with me first and then we'll see what you can handle."
Naruto sighed and rolled his eyes again but finally consented. While he and Shikamaru trained, Kiba and Lee alternated fighting Tenten and each other. After about thirty minutes or so, Naruto hated to admit he wasn't as quite on par as he'd thought. Shikamaru wasn't going all out with his shadow jutsu, but even the little bit of effort the dark-haired boy did exert was enough to keep Naruto busy. Shikamaru did allow Naruto to train with Lee for a bit. Lee held back as best he could while sparring with Naruto so as not to reinjure the younger boy; however, despite being off a little, Naruto proved to still have plenty of stamina. After fighting Lee, he went a few rounds with Tenten and even managed a couple battles with Kiba and Akamaru. The group broke for lunch a little later in the afternoon. After lunch, they descended the cliffs; Kiba managed to persuade Naruto to ride with him down the precipice on Akamaru. The friends headed to a calmer part of the river where they could swim for a bit to cool off.
When the sun began to set, Kiba and Lee gave their farewells to the other three before heading off to their respective homes. Shikamaru and Tenten walked with Naruto, making sure he got home safely. Kakashi had already made dinner by the time the trio returned and was waiting for them. Naruto bade his farewells to his friends before hurrying inside to eat.
"Well, you don't look too worse for wear," Kakashi remarked. He eye-smiled at Naruto as his younger brother sat down to eat. "Did you have a good time?"
Naruto nodded. "Yeah. At first, I didn't think Shikamaru would let me do anything. I did get to spar with everyone though, even Kiba and Akamaru. But I have to admit, I am pretty tired even from just that little bit."
Kakashi chuckled lightly. To him, even that "little bit" he deemed a bit much, concerning Naruto's condition. However, Kakashi let it slide.
"Well then, you'd best turn in early tonight so you don't end up getting worse again," he told his brother nonchalantly. "You don't want to be bedridden during the festival, do you? You've been looking forward to that all year."Kakashi was pleased when Naruto nodded agreement. After dinner, he made sure Naruto got ready for bed all right before going to clean the dishes.
Naruto lay wide awake on his futon that night, listening to the nocturnal noises. Periodically peeking out the window at the moon, Naruto waited until the time when he knew his brother would be asleep. Finally, he heard Kakashi's footfalls in the narrow hallway. Naruto waited impatiently as the footsteps stopped, and he heard the slider to Kakashi's room open and close. Every fiber of Naruto's being wanted to spring up and out the door, but he restrained himself. That was all he needed. One false move and he'd be done for.
He waited another hour before finally daring to stir. Naruto silently rose from his bed and dressed in his ninja garb. He carefully slipped out of his room and glanced at his brother's room. There was no light shining through the wax paper panels so Naruto assumed Kakashi was asleep. Naruto silently crept down the hall, cautious to avoid any squeaky boards as he made his way to the courtyard. Once beyond the fence, Naruto moved a little more quickly. He stuck to the shadows and darted his way through the village to the forest beyond. Naruto crept through the forest, weaving silently around the trees. The nocturnal sounds of insects buzzing, on occasional hooting owl, and frogs croaking softly created a serene harmony. It soothed Naruto's soul and refreshed him.
He slowed as he neared a part of the forest where the river ran through the forest with wide banks on either side. A bridge with intricately designed railing and trim arched over the water. Moonlight washed the wooden planks connecting the opposing shores. Naruto hung back near the bridge and crouched low. He didn't have long to wait before a low bird call rang across the water. Naruto listened a little longer as the call sounded a couple more times. Then he pulled a small whistle he used to make a sound similar to the breeze whistling through the type of grass that grew along the river. He waited for the bird to answer once more before he slipped out of the forest and crossed halfway over the bridge. He watched warily as a figure appeared from a knoll in the forest on the other side. As the figure approached, Naruto's face split into a warm grin.