"Psst. Naru, wanna play a game?" The voice asked almost pleasantly as the child turned her head to look at the one who had spoken. It was the man behind the desk again. The one who always smiled when he saw her and insisted that she call him grandfather. The one who had come to retrieve her from her home in the woods outside of the village just a few short weeks ago after she had turned seven, after being left to live on her own for longer than she could remember.
The one who smelled of scotch and smoke and spices, which comforted her when she was feeling restless. But most of all he was the one who sent her on missions by likening them all to 'games'.
Narrowing violet eyes that once had been azure blue at him, she waited to hear what today's game was. For his sake though, she hoped that it would be interesting. She was growing bored with the more tedious missions. Like the two assassination missions that she had been sent on with the elder. Just because, He'd say cheerfully as the two of them walked out of the village gates together.
Why the last time they had gone on a mission together, she had wound up kidnapped and the elder had used ever little bit of strength he had had left just in his attempt to save her. Of course she hadn't needed saving quite as much as he had once she had reached him.
He had been outnumbered five to one, totally drained of his chakra, there had been wounds- raw, open and bleeding, all over his body. And she had been forced to disarm the one holding her hostage by ripping his arm off just below the elbow and taking his weapon; a katana blade three times her height and weight in her tiny hands and then place herself between him and his enemies and had picked them apart with the same ferocity as the demon sealed inside of her upon the day of her birth.
Deciding then and there that no one would touch the elder while she lived. Much like he had decided the same seven years ago when he had first taken her from her dead father's arms.
No one would touch her while he lived. And since the two of them were birds of a feather, they were more than a little possessive when it came to one another. He saw her as the precious granddaughter he had never had and well to put things simply for her- she saw him as a toy. Her favorite and only toy. The one that she would allow no one to touch or play with without her permission.
And permission was something that he would never have to worry about since she'd damn well never give it.
"How about it Naru? Do you wanna play a new game with me?" He asked as he carefully set aside the papers to enrole her in the ninja school that all children went too to learn how to become shinobi. She made a humming sound, something that told him that his games thus far were starting to wear her patience thin then asked,
"What sort of game?"
He gave her a cheery cheshire grin and folded his bandaged wrapped hands and said plainly, "How would you feel about a village wide guessing game?"
Naru looked at him strangely as she mulled over his words. He seemed rather pleased with himself since he could visibly see how interested she was in this game. It sounded...well, different. And if there was one thing that living alone had taught her it was that 'what was different wasn't always bad'. In fact 'different' in many cases could be considered good.
Damn the man for being able to read her so well!
He knew that he had her hooked like a fish on a line. Now all he had to do was reel her in. And reel, he did. Damn him.
The next day-
Naru looked at herself in the full length mirror that hung on the inside of her closet door at the new appearance she was to don every day until the guessing game was over- and curled her lips back from her tiny sharp little fangs in utter disgust. Oh how she hated that damned old man right now. And that was really saying something considering how much she had hated him for nearly drowning her when he had tried wrestling her into her first bath only to wind up almost killing them both when he had slipped on the soap that she had tried to shove up his- Ahem... Nevermind.
She needed to focus on the here and now. And the horrible, horrible, vivid orange and black shirt, pants, jacket and shoes outfit that he had given her to wear before going to work on her knee length silvery blond hair. Combing out the tangles and pulling it back and up into a high ponytail while leaving some shoulder length strands hanging from her temples that he took his time braiding once he was done making her over.
"So? What do you think of your disguise?" He asked in an obviously pleased tone. Thinking that she would respond with an- 'It's great! Wow. I don't even know my own reflection.' Instead of an honest,
"I think I want to murder you."
"Why?" The elder asked, sounding more than a little offended. "What's wrong with how you look? I think you look adorable."
"I look like a girl..." Someone said in a horrified tone. Oh god! Was that her? Was she the actual horrified party here?
"That's because you area girl."
"Yeah, but I've never looked it before."
"So... I thought the main objective to this game was to make everyone think I'm a boy."
"Yes. That's right." The elder said with a grin that bordered on evil to the seven year old. "I've done all the paper work, made up a back story for you, and if you have any questions I've made a special note that you are to be sent specifically to me."
"All well and good but how am I supposed to make everyone think I'm a boy like this?" She said indicating to her outfit, hair and face. The elder smirked as he shrugged his shoulders at her question. Really what was there to say? He had more or less made it obvious what he was up too. And he had never said that he would make it easy on her.
That was why their games were so much fun.