Disclaimer: Don't own Naruto.
My Life as a Teenage Shinobi
"Alright, Asuma-sensei. Just stand right here," Ino said, motioning to the wall in front of her. Team 10 was standing in the middle of Asuma's exercise room, finally checking his height for any changes.
Ino had complained that it had only been five days, but after Asuma's (and Chouji's and Shikamaru's) constant protests, she finally gave in on the fifth day.
Asuma looked like…a mess. His complexion could have matched with that of Orochimaru's, and his eyes were baggy, as if he had had trouble sleeping.
'And I did have trouble sleeping…I kept dreaming of those wonderful, luscious, cigarettes, and how they tasted, how the smoke puffed out of my mouth. Whenever I woke up, I was craving for one. But I couldn't, I couldn't, I would never live it down if I did, a true shinobi must keep his word, after all,' Asuma thought as he stepped up straight against the wall.
Ino grabbed a kunai out of her pouch. Using her other hand to lift up her Kakashi mask so it wouldn't fall off, she positioned the kunai over Asuma's head and made a mark on the measuring paper on the wall. Yes, Asuma did have a pretty cheap measurer, but hey, it still works, doesn't it?
Shikamaru sat lazily on one of the many exercise contraptions in the room, his legs sprawled out everywhere. Fortunately for his team, he had stopped growing for the time being. Chouji just munched away on his chips. He had made sure to bring extra bags too; he had gone so long without them that he would have to make up for lost time.
"What the…!!" Ino suddenly yelled out. Asuma peered behind him at the chart. And looked shocked as well.
"What the…!!" he said, mimicking Ino.
Chouji ambled over to them and looked at the chart as well. And promptly dropped his bag of chips. The three silently stared at the wall.
Shikamaru waited another minute before sighing in exasperation at his teammates. He got up and walked slowly to the wall. He took one look at the paper and rubbed his eyes.
"…Is this even possible?" he asked no one in particular.
"I don't…think so," Ino replied, still looking at the wall.
There was something definitely wrong. The mark that Ino had made with her kunai read 5"6'. However, the mark that they had made five days ago, had read 5" 8'. Yes, there was something definitely wrong.
Team 10 stared in silence once more, until Asuma's voice rang through the room.
"Ino, we didn't exactly make a bet on who would have won if I grew down, did we?"
"Nope, we didn't."
"So…can I have my cigarettes back?"
Team 10 nodded mutely.
Tenten walked to where Neji and Lee were standing, in their usual training spot. When she got there, they all stared at each other awkwardly. Tenten took a glance at Neji, then back to Lee. She did this several times.
'What is she doing? Trying to choose between me and bowl-head?' Neji thought, scrutinizing her every move.
'I hope he doesn't think I'm trying to choose between him and Lee. I just don't want to be obvious…or anything.' Tenten thought.
'I wonder if Tenten knows any real greetings like "Hi" or "Hello",' Lee wondered.
'Why are my students all standing in a bunch like they don't know each other?' Gai thought.
"Gai-sensei! When did you get here?" Lee asked him, as if he had read his teacher's thoughts. The green clad teacher was standing on a tree branch, arms crossed.
"Not too long ago, my beloved Lee. Now, my dear students!" he said, jumping off the branch with a flashy pose. "I have a special mission for you all!"
"Really? What is it?" Tenten asked, eagerly. It had been ages since they've done a decent mission, after all. Lee nodded enthusiastically, and Neji just stood there, being as stoic as ever.
"Come and see, my team, come and see. Just follow me!" Gai said, running through the forest like a maniac.
"Wow Gai-sensei, that rhymed!" Lee said, following suit.
Tenten and Neji were left behind. Neither of them really wanted to follow anyone who was running like that, even though there was probably no one for miles. But they looked at each other, and realized themselves that they were left behind…with each other. This made them reluctantly chase after Gai and Lee, who were already far, far away.
"Neji," Tenten said while zipping through the trees.
"I was just thinking about it and…I don't think we should see each other anymore," she said. Neji raised an eyebrow at her.
"Tenten…I wasn't…aware that we were seeing each other," Neji replied, jumping onto another branch.
Tenten laughed. "Of course we weren't! I was just saying that we shouldn't."
Neji looked horribly and utterly baffled.
"Alright team; it's time to do our laps. Five laps around our usual path, alright? Go!" Kurenai beckoned her team to begin running, so they did. Not that they wanted to.
Five laps may have seemed like nothing, but their usual path consisted of the town AND the forest, plus they had to run up and down the Hokage monuments as well. So five laps for them would probably be the equivalent of one hundred laps around the town itself. So, in conclusion…it didn't really matter.
Hinata was in front, which was unusual, because running wasn't really her strong point. Meanwhile, Kiba, with Akamaru riding in his jacket, ran next to Shino. Shino looked at him.
"Yes?" he asked. Kiba never ran with him, and now that he was, he was slowing him down.
"Yo, Shino. Ever noticed Hinata?" Kiba asked him quietly, looking at the Hyuuga running ahead of them.
Shino looked back to the path he was running. Actually, it SEEMED like he was looking at the path, but in reality, he was rolling his eyes underneath his sunglasses. "Of course I have. She's been in our team for over a year, and I've talked to her a few times at the academy."
Kiba growled. "Not like that. You know what I mean, right? How about we have a man to man talk," Kiba said, grinning. "I don't think you've heard about the birds and the bees yet, have you?"
"I know everything about bees. Don't be stupid," Shino said, running a little faster. Maybe Kiba would fall behind and leave him alone.
Unfortunately, Kiba just sped up as well. Shino jumped over a stray branch in his pathway; they've made it to the forest. Hinata was no longer anywhere to be seen.
'Perfect,' Kiba thought. 'Now Shino and I can talk freely.'
"That's not what I meant either. You know, the talk about se…"
"I know," Shino interrupted. He didn't really feel like talking about "the talk", especially with Kiba. The bugs inside of him told them that he knew he wanted to, but he just told them to shut up.
"Well you know what I'm talking about then. So…what exactly is it?" Kiba asked, confused.
Shino was about ready to kill. 'How in Konoha am I supposed to explain the meaning of sexual activities to Kiba? Should I just avoid the topic…or maybe run away from him…' he thought.
The bugs told him to not avoid it, don't avoid it, OR ELSE.
'Or else what?' he thought. The bugs giggled. OR ELSE.
Shino sweatdropped. And sighed. This was the bad thing about having living things as a weapon. They knew every, every single little thing about you. Including the fact…that you're ticklish.
'You guys are disgusting,' Shino thought. And they just responded with the fact that they are creepy crawly bugs, and they are supposed to be disgusting.
Shino cleared his throat.
"Well…Kiba…" he cleared his throat again. Kiba nodded, careful to look where he was running so he wouldn't trip.
"The birds and the bees is just a metaphor to…describe…it," Shino said, choosing his words carefully. Kiba nodded again.
'Good. At least he's not that stupid,' Shino thought. The bugs giggled inside of him.
"I understand that, but I don't understand why they call it the birds and the bees! What does sex have to do with flying things?" Kiba asked, face contorted in confusion.
Shino stared at him. 'Maybe he is stupid.'
"Well, you know how some birds, like hummingbirds, drink nectar from flowers. It is the same with bees. When they do so, sometimes, pollen from the flower…latches on to them, and when they fly away, they spread the pollen around to un-pollenated flowers and…they make new flowers…" Shino trailed off, cheeks turning a bit red.
"What? What does pollen have to do with sex?" Kiba asked, getting angry. "I don't understand this at all." Akamaru barked in agreement.
Shino's face turned even redder. The bugs inside of him started going into hysterics.
After taking care not to trip over a rock, Shino started to speed up again. Unfortunately for him, Kiba sped up too.
Shino's eyes furrowed. Why did he have to go through this? Why him, of all people…
Then he had a brilliant idea.
'Maybe if I catch up to Hinata-san, this guy will stop bugging me,' he thought. The bugs laughed even harder when he said "bugging me", because he was also giving a reference to them.
With that, Shino sped up even faster. Kiba kept right in step with him. So he quickened his pace even more.
"Shino? Shino? What's up, man? Why are you going faster?" Kiba asked, huffing. Akamaru barked. Not that the dog needed to be worried about it at all, as he was under the comforts of Kiba's nice, warm, sweaty jacket.
Shino couldn't take it anymore. He suddenly jumped up into the trees ninja style, and jumped across the branches. After all, this way was more effective and less tiresome. Of course, Kiba had to follow him.
The bug boy listened for any signs from Hinata. Any signs at all, to get Kiba out of his face! And finally…
'There!' he saw her running down the Hokage monuments. Have they really been that far behind? He raced over to her, Kiba following suit.
Finally, he landed right in front of Hinata, who practically shrieked when she saw him.
"Shino-kun! What…" she said standing there, breathing steadily. She might as well have gotten a heart attack from the shock. Tsk tsk, Shino.
Shino looked up to where he last sensed Kiba. Sure enough, he was there, hiding behind a tree on a branch.
Shino adjusted his sunglasses and turned around, back to the path.
"I'm going to finish my lap now." And so he ran off, leaving a bewildered Hinata behind with a flustered Kiba.
'That damn Shino…he'll pay for this. But…I can't let this chance pass up! I have to…I have to say something to her!' Kiba thought.
He jumped down. "Hey, Hinata."
The Hyuuga heir turned to see Kiba.
"Oh, hello, Kiba-kun."
"So…Hinata…how are…your laps going?" he asked, making small talk.
"Oh, just fine. I can run a whole lap without getting as tired as I used to," Hinata said, smiling.
Kiba wasn't just looking at her smiling face. Two guesses as to what else he was looking at.
"That's great, Hinata! Would you…like to…run with me?" he asked, feeling a blush coming in.
The Hyuuga smiled even wider. "Sure."
Kiba grinned as they started to run. 'Score one for Inuzuka, zero for Uzumaki.' He thought. It was oh so obvious that Hinata liked Naruto, and Kiba decided that he would show Hinata how much better of a guy he was than him.
'But for now,' he thought as he glanced sideways at the running figure, 'for now, this is alright, I guess.'
Naruto stepped out of his small apartment, locking the door behind him. After making sure his forehead protector was secure, and that his Come, Come, Paradise book was safely tucked in his pocket, he ran off to meet the day.
He had stayed up most of the night, wanting to finish the epic tale of Kakashi's favorite book. Unfortunately, he didn't get to finish before he dropped off to sleep, at two in the morning. When he woke, he didn't even bother to look in the mirror; he just popped in ramen in the microwave for three minutes and slurped that up in three seconds.
'I wonder if this is why Kakashi-sensei is always late,' Naruto thought, running towards his team's meeting spot.
Sure enough, Sasuke and Sakura were already there. And…Naruto gasped. So was Kakashi! He must be really, REALLY late!
He sprinted over to the bridge and started muttering excuses to why he was late.
"I'm sorry I'm so late, I woke up late, and then I…" he decided to add something heroic for good measure, "I saved Granny Tsunade from these bad, horrible ninjas. They had to be at LEAST ANBU level!" He flexed for them.
Sakura bashed him on the head. "Idiot! If you're going to make excuses, make them believable!" she yelled. Sasuke nodded slightly.
Meanwhile, Kakashi stared at Naruto, his one eye wide open. "Sensei?" the jounin said, quietly. His team of three turned towards him.
"Kakashi-sensei, did you say something?" Naruto asked.
"No, Naruto, I was just saying, I love what you did with your hair," Kakashi, said, crinkling his one eye, a sign that meant he was smiling. Naruto looked confused.
"My hair?" He started to grab his hair.
Sakura stepped up to him and looked at him closely. Naruto stared at her, his eyes scrunched up, very Naruto-like.
"Sakura-chan, does my hair look any different?" he asked her.
She nodded. "Naruto, your hair extends past the front of your ears?"
If possible, Naruto looked even more confused. Sasuke crossed his arms, looking exasperated at the blonde boy.
"Yep! They are, more or less, called sideburns," Kakashi said, suddenly being the happy-go-lucky guy he normally was.
"Sideburns?" Naruto repeated.
"Sideburns," Kakashi confirmed. Naruto's hair had gone so long without a haircut, so his hair became longer in the front, looking someone like …'Naruto…you look so much like him…'
"So what does it mean? I have to get a haircut?" Naruto asked.
Kakashi sighed. "It means you're becoming mature, Naruto."
Blue eyes widened at this statement. "Me? Mature? I'm becoming mature? Me? YES!!" he yelled. Sakura looked a tad annoyed at his yelling.
Sasuke coughed. "So let's just get to whatever we're doing today," Sasuke said, irritated that he had wasted about an hour of his time waiting for Naruto, then another five minutes of his time talking about Naruto's sideburns.
"Okay then. Today, everyone, we have a D-rank mission!" Kakashi said, enthusiastically.
The three genin sighed.
'Another D-rank? I bet we're going to end up looking for a pig this time or something,' Sakura thought.
'Another D-rank? Tch. What a waste of my time,' Sasuke thought.
"ANOTHER D-RANK?! Kakashi-sensei, why won't Granny Tsunade give us BETTER missions?!" Naruto complained out loud.
"Naruto, you're supposed to be more mature now, so SHUT UP!" Sakura shouted.
Kakashi ignored the argument. "C'mon, let's go."
The morning slowly became afternoon, and the afternoon soon became night. And THAT meant that all missions were finished for the day.
"HOORAY!" Naruto said, walking with Sakura and Sasuke down the dimly lit streets of Konoha.
"You know, Naruto, now that Kakashi-sensei's told you you're becoming mature, you've been acting immature at the tiniest things," Sakura said, scolding him. Naruto grinned at her.
"But Sakura-chan, now that the day's over, we don't have to do boring D-rank missions anymore!" he said.
Sakura giggled. "Actually, today's mission was pretty amusing, if you ask me," she said, looking sideways at Sasuke. The Uchiha gave her a dark look.
Naruto laughed loudly. "Oh YEAH! Sasuke, that pig LOVED you! Whenever you talked, it oinked and started to chase you! That was soo…funny!"
Sasuke snorted. "It wasn't as funny as when you fell in the mud trying to catch it."
Naruto looked furiously down at his clothes that used to be orange. He gave Sasuke the same look. "Shut up, Sasuke BASTARD!"
Sasuke showed a sign of a faint smirk and shoved his hands in his pockets. He stayed quiet.
Naruto seemed angry. "Hey, HEY! Don't IGNORE me!" he shouted.
"Naruto, you told him to shut up," Sakura said, holding back a laugh.
Naruto "hmph"ed, and that was the end of that.
They had kept quiet most of the way, until they turned a corner, straight into Team 10.
"Agh! Forehead Sakura, watch where you're going!" Ino said. Sakura nearly screamed her lungs out.
"Who the hell are you?!"
Ino looked at her strangely. 'Oh…I see.'
"Sakura you idiot, it's me, Ino!" she said, whipping her mask off.
Team 7 gasped, along with 2/3 of Team 10. Ino hadn't taken that mask off since she got it. Now, if only Kakashi would take off his mask…
"There, happy? I hope you have fun laughing at my ugly, nasty face…" Ino practically wailed.
"But…Ino, there's nothing…on your face," Shikamaru pointed out.
Ino was shocked. "What? What are you talking about?" She felt her face.
"They're…they're…GONE! Oh sweet Hokage, they're gone! My face is beautiful again!" she exclaimed in joy.
Naruto looked at her as if she were the craziest thing he'd ever seen. "What's gone?" he asked.
"Naruto, don't be stupid," Sakura said.
"They're gone, they're gone!" Ino sang, dancing down the street.
"C'mon Chouji. It's troublesome, but we're going to have to catch her when someone throws a rock at her to shut her up," Shikamaru said, following the girl slowly. Chouji opened up another bag of chips. It was going to be a long night for them.
Meanwhile, the remaining genin stared. Naruto broke the silence by saying, "Okay! Who wants to go for ramen?"
"Naruto, I thought you were only going to have ramen once a week. You're mature now, after all," Sakura said, hiding a smile.
"But, that was only to become mature. Now that I'm already mature, I can do all the things I used to do when I was immature! Ramen, here I come!" Naruto ran towards Ichiraku. Sakura sighed when she heard his illogical logic.
"Sakura-chan, Sasuke, I'll treat you guys if you want!" he said, already down the street. Sasuke smirked. Naruto never invited him to eat ramen. Maybe he was becoming a bit more mature. He decided that he'd humor the boy; after all, who would turn down free food?
"Sure Naruto, I'd love some," he said. Sakura glanced at Sasuke. Had he accepted Naruto's proposal for ramen? In that case…
"Hey, count me in too!" she said, running towards Naruto.
A few hours later, when Sakura was back home…
A shriek. "It's over, it's OVER!"
AN: And over it is, folks. I must say, I had a doozy of a time writing this chapter. I don't know what it was that gave me the inspiration to even start writing it, but I did and I finished! I tried to end every single little plot that I started in this fic. The only real thing that's left open for "speculation", as I call it, is the Kiba/Hinata/Naruto thing. By the way, Kiba not only likes Hinata for her looks; I'm telling you, it's just a teenager thing.
Naruto is starting to look like Yondaime-sama himself. I had no clue as to what to give Naruto as a maturity thing, so I just decided to give him "sideburns". I'm aware that the Yondaime doesn't REALLY have sideburns, it just sort of seems that way. So whatever. Naruto was also starting to become unselfish by treating Sakura AND Sasuke to ramen. End of Naruto's story.
Asuma grew down. Yes, he grew down. NO you don't REALLY grow down if you don't smoke, please don't start smoking just because you might think it helps you grow….NO it doesn't. I just wanted to put something really weird and unexpected for that little plot. End of Asuma's story.
It's been five days, so Sakura's monthly visitor is over. So I thought it would be funny to have her scream "It's over!" at the end of the fic. Really fitting, isn't it?
Shino…birds and the bees…couldn't. Resist.
Neji and Tenten were just one big mystery to me. It's like one of those "couples" at school who think they like each other, but then they realize that they don't really, and decide to break it off even before they started going out. Those people confuse me to no end.
I just realized that Lee didn't have a strange maturity quirk in this story. Oh well, bit too late for that.
I think my writing style has changed again since the last time I updated this story. I hope it's not too conspicuous.
Alrighty, here comes the end of my giant author's note:
Thank you, everyone, review or not, for reading this story. It means a lot to me, even though the entire concept was strange in itself. If you enjoyed this story, (plug) then please go read some of my other stories. They're not all about puberty, but hey…:P
As always, thank you for reading,