Chapter 2: Moonlight and Lavenders
A surprise, to be sure, but a welcome one – Chancellor Palpatine
It was just a few hours past after Kakashi made Team Seven pass the Bell Test. The sun was clearly setting, the orange glow enveloping the whole village, the daily noise from the populace of Konoha dwindling to almost half. Most people where going home, back from their back-breaking, stress inducing job to their loving family in their home.
For Uzumaki Naruto, it was a bit different.
First off, his home was not his apartment room, where he slept for most of his time. In fact, no sane person would even consider that trash dump of a room a house (Naruto would argue with you, but don't let that fool you). No, the real home of Uzumaki Naruto was a small, popular and possibly the only shop that Naruto frequents in. Ichiraku Ramen.
Ichiraku Ramen was, for the uninitiated, a heaven-like environment. Even if you weren't a real foodie, or an addict to ramen, the aroma of vegetables, and various meat being boiled down to make their various stocks- Vegetable, Pork, Beef, Chicken-, the loud noises of chopping, the satisfaction of every customers as they slurp down the last bit of their noodles into their mouths. There was no competition, Ichiraku Ramen served it fresh, and it was the best in the whole of Konoha, and possibly the whole continent.
In addition to Uzumaki Naruto, there was also one other person that frequented the shop, almost always being pulled in by the boy himself. Umino Iruka, or as he's commonly known, Iruka-sensei.
"Iruka-sensei, Iruka-sensei! Ya promised me if I passed the test, you would buy me ramen!" The blonde, with an excited voice, said as he pulled Iruka to the shop.
"Wha- I didn't say anything! Naruto!"
"Ho ho, if it ain't Naruto. You passed the test?" Someone said, revealing the old cook, and owner of Ichiraku Ramen, Teuchi wearing his recognizable white garments with a smile reminiscent to a grandpa looking at his grandson.
"Yep, yep, yep!" Naruto replied enthusiastically "A miso ramen please, and Sensei's paying for it!"
"Wait, I haven't even agreed yet-"
"Tsk Tsk, just give it to the boy Iruka. He passed the test for Kami's sake! He more than deserves it!" A voice in the kitchen shouts, before it stepped out revealing a slender girl with brunette hair, white garbs like Teuchi, a dark-blue apron, and a white bandana, Ayame. She gave a bowl of noodles to her father.
"Here ya go, Naruto, one Miso Ramen. Consider this one on the house for being my number one customer!" Teuchi says as he laid out a giant bowl of Miso Ramen. In the center of the ramen, where the typical toppings of soft-boiled egg cut in half, two small fish cakes, a row of rolled pork that laid floating in the broth itself, and dried seaweed. Its dark, rich broth was giving out a delicious, and strong aroma that permeated around the shop itself.
Teuchi looked at Iruka and winked at him before he went back to the kitchen. Iruka sighed as he took out his purse near the table, accepting his fate.
"One pork ramen with extra beansprouts, please." He orders with a sigh to the happy Ayame, who happily shouts out the order to her father.
"So, Naruto." Iruka said as he watched the boy happily gulping down his ramen. "Seeing as you forced me here, would you mind telling me how you passed the test?"
"Oh, it was so awesome! You wouldn't believe what I did to pass the test. First, I beat up Kakashi-sensei by making hundreds of clones! Then, Sasuke-teme distracted him, like the good bodybag that he is, then Sakura came like *boom*!" Naruto said as he did an exaggerated motion, punching the air in slow motion
"Then Kakashi-sensei was like 'H-How did you do that?' and I was like, duh because we're awesome!"
"Are you sure that's how the story really went, Naruto?" Iruka asked with a brow raised as he stifled his laughter, especially at how Naruto did Kakashi's voice.
"Yep, yep, yep! And Kakashi-sensei was so impressed that he just passed us!" Naruto said as he did another gulp of his ramen.
Iruka looked at Naruto, as he opened his mouth to say something. But, yet, there was no words that came out. He was seemingly speechless.
Is it because I'm surprised at Naruto of how well he's done? Iruka asked himself, considering the answer. For most of his teaching career, he had always cared for Naruto, talking to him after class, hanging out with him and always acting like the parent figure to the, otherwise parentless child. At first, he resented him blindly, viewing Naruto as the reason why his parents died. Though as he become his sensei, he didn't discriminate, instead opting to become a figure to be look upon by his students, even if Naruto was one of them.
Then as he grew older, he learned more and more about Naruto, and realized that he was wrong.
Thus, Iruka looked out for him, seeing in Naruto more things about Iruka himself more than he'd like to admit.
No, no, I'm not really surprised. Iruka thought with a sigh as he quickly brushed off his thoughts from his head as the pork ramen he ordered arrived, with a bush of beansprouts plopped in the center.
"Just the way you like it, Iruka." Ayame says with a smile before she stepped back and took another customer's order. Iruka looked at Naruto once again before he shook his head with a small smile.
I'm not surprised. I'm proud.
As the moon stood center in the middle of the dark blue sky, its white light leaking into the streets of Konoha, Naruto sat on the top of the Third Hokage's head at the Hokage Monument. He had a small smile as he overlooked the whole village with nothing but the cool, night air, and the crickets that chirped everywhere.
Naruto takes a deep, rare sigh as he recounted everything that happened today.
"I still can't believe it…" He says in an unlikely whisper as the wind blows softly towards his face and rustling the leaves behind him.
Everything had seemingly fallen into place, atleast for Naruto. His dream of becoming a shinobi seemed to becoming into a reality. No ruse, no tricks. It was simply laid bare. He had passed.
"Even if I had to get help from Sasuki-teme…" Naruto muttered with an irritated look. When Sasuke had asked Naruto to help each other to defeat Kakashi, he was, at the very least, surprised.
Sasuke, the arrogant, aloof, and cold Uchiha asking for help? From all the years he knew Sasuke, from the first time they entered the academy, to the exams, and practices they did in class, he always knew that Sasuke was someone that looked down at those who he thought were weaker than himself. He was proud, deeming everything as simple and easy, showing grace. He was the typical elite. That's why Naruto and Sasuke, no matter how they tried in the past, were always at odds.
Now suddenly Sasuke asked for help? It simply shook Naruto to the core.
It was weird. Unnatural.
"Hmph, probably just wanted to look cool in front of Sakura-chan!"
Naruto came to the conclusion. It was either that or someone had hit him too hard in the head.
He brushes off the thoughts that remained in his head as he looked at the moon for a few seconds.
"…The moon sure is pretty tonight." Naruto said as he looked at the white, bright, and full moon, it's light lighting up the area around him.
Suddenly his ears perked up as he heard a subtle *CRUNCH* from behind him, and a snap of a twig.
"Who's there!?" Naruto shouts, surprised and wary. He quickly stood up, and looked at where he had heard the sound, an old oak tree, with just its trunk being 60 cm long, and stood 1/8 of Naruto.
Few seconds passed before he hears another crunch, and another crunch before Naruto can see a small figure that hid behind the old tree.
"Show yourselves! I'm a ninja! I won't hesistate to attack ya!" Naruto shouts again, his voice shrill and not intimidating.
"U-Uhh, it's m-me, Naruto-kun…" The figure said before she revealed herself.
A girl that stood near, or possibly taller than Naruto himself. With white, almost expressionless eyes, her hair cut into a traditional princess-cut, and a cream beige jacket. She stood next to the tree, her face, lit up by the bright moonlight, glowed red.
"H-Hello N-Naruto-kun." The girl said meekly.
"Hinata?!" Naruto shouts in shock. "Whatcha doing here? Especially this time at night?"
Hinata looked at Naruto, her face still bright red as she pointed her fingers at each other.
"K-Kurenai-sensei j-just passed us after finishing her Genjutsu t-test."
"Oh, so you guys got tested too? Was it hard?"
"A-A little bit. K-Kurenai-sensei tested how p-proficient we are with our tracking s-skills."
"Oooh, I see."
"H-H-How about you, Naruto-kun?!" Hinata stutters "W-Why are you up here?"
"Hmmm…Why am I up here?" Naruto asked himself as he put his hands behind his head. He looked around, before he looked back to the moon.
"I don't know. I just felt like that I had to go here, ya know? Like a feeling you get sometimes. Look, see jiji's head there?" He asked Hinata as he pointed to a spot at the top of the Third Hokage's head.
"J-Jiji…Do you mean the H-Hokage?"
"Yeah. I always sit at the top of his head when I go up here." Naruto said as a breeze flew through the air. "When I sit here I feel like I can see everything. Everyone. It makes me feel that my goal to become Hokage is possible. That I'll be finally recognized by everyone…The air feels great here too-" Naruto happily rambles before he notices a wide-eyed Hinata and stops himself. He looks away as his face turn into a light shade of pink.
"Sorry for talking too much." Naruto mutters
"N-N-No, no, no, no, no! I-It's fine, it's fine…I think it's pretty cute anyways…" Hinata silently says to herself.
"Huh? What's that?"
Naruto looked at Hinata, his brow raised, and his face looked perplexed.
"You're a weird girl, Hinata."
Naruto went back to sit down at his spot before he looked back to Hinata.
"You wanna sit down with me?" Naruto said as he patted down the spot next to him.
Hinata looked at Naruto wide-eyed as she heard Naruto's invitation.
Is Naruto-kun inviting me to sit next to him? Does that mean that this is a date? What happens if I do sit with him? Can I lay my head on his shoulders? Are we gonna talk about our feelings-
Hinata thought quickly as her face glow redder and redder.
Whatshouldido? Whatshouldido? Whatshouldido-
Though as if her mind couldn't take it any longer, she started feeling light headed before she fainted.
"Hinata!" Naruto shouts as he notices Hinata falling. He jumps up, and leaps to catch her before she fell to the ground.
Naruto managed to catch Hinata in time before she had fell to the ground, their faces were however, mere inches away with each breath be heard by them both.
…She smells nice. Like lavanders Naruto thought as he looked at his situation. Hinata's eyes opened as she swoons back to consciousness.
Hinata mutters in surprise as both of their eyes lock towards each other. For them, it seemed like an enternity, but in reality, it was just a couple of seconds.
"O-Oh! I'll s-stop and let go now!" Naruto stutters as he lets go of Hinata. He steps back embarrassed, his face turning into a dark shade of red.
"Y-Yes…" Hinata manages to mutter as she took a step back of her own. A few second of silence occurs as a silent breeze filled the bright, blue night.
"I-I think it's time to me to go h-home." Hinata mutters.
"Y-Yeah, I think I have to go back as well." Naruto rubs the backside of his head, his face still a tinge of pink, his heart beating faster than normal.
"I-It's nice seeing you N-Naruto-kun."
"Y-You too, Hinata." Naruto says in reply before Hinata went and walked away. Naruto watched as Hinata's figure faded in the distance. He took another look at the moon, with a small smile on his face.
In the darkness of the night, and the dead silence in Konoha, there was a single building that still was filled with human life. The building that is essential for a Hidden Village. The Mission Control/ Shinobi HQ.
It stands active 24/7, day or night. Rain or shine. If it shuts down, all Konoha-nin forces would be in disarray. This was also the building where every Konoha-nin, regardless of rank, would be able to get their missions, their duties and assignments. It was the brain of the village, with exceptions to of course, the Hokage himself.
"What can I do for you, Hatake-san?" A slender woman with brown hair, and round glasses asks the silver-haired jounin, his attention seemingly into his orange book.
They were in the main area of the building, painted into a dull green, with hallways that goes to the different departments of the Shinobi Corp. It was still the middle of the night so there was still a lot of activity, with desk-shinobis walking around to possibly sign papers, or do other duties.
Kakashi raises his head at the lady over the wooden counter. "Hm? Oh, I'm here to get a Rank D mission." Kakashi said nonchalantly.
"Oh? A Rank D so early this year? This must be prodigies then?" The clerk asks Kakashi, which replies with a shrug.
"Alright, so what mission then? Or will I just pick a random Rank D mission for your team?"
"Hmm…I think, I would like that mission."
The Clerk looked at Kakashi with her eyes wide open and her mouth seemingly in horror.
"That mission? A-Are you sure, Hatake-san?"
Kakashi looked at the clerk with a raised eyebrow before he nods.
That mission. A mission so horrible that only sadists would only assign it to another team. Usually it's forced on a genin team when they were getting their first missions from the hokage, or from their senseis but sometimes there were special cases.
Which in this case, was Kakashi.
The clerk bows in response and hurries into the door behind her, the storage room where they keep all mission scrolls still not assigned to a team, or a shinobi. A few seconds later, she pops back out, holding a dusty scroll.
"H-Here. You know the procedure, b-but make sure once you complete the mission on the intended time of the client. You can submit it here to get your payment."
"Yes, yes. I know the procedure, don't worry." Kakashi says as he takes the scroll and put it into one of his vest pockets before he walks away, back into his orange book of his.