Title; A Job Well Done
Naruto sat up on the roof of a building that overlooked Chokai's Spiritual Stand. He cocked his head to one side and tried to figure out what made it so special, aside from the fact that it was just bursting with magic.
He had heard from other people who were at the meeting a few days before what they had wished for and the benefits and drawbacks they had gotten as a result of their wish.
Ino wished for Sasuke to be her boyfriend, but Kiba ended up being her boyfriend. Kind of an overprotective, overbearing, psychotic boyfriend, at that. But that didn't seem all that strange to Naruto… he could picture Kiba being that type of guy.
Sakura accidentally wished that she had never become friends with Ino and, as an effect, she never became a ninja. This meant that she had never been put on the same team as him, which meant that he was far from interested in her. Now THAT seemed strange to him.
Hinata wished that she could be more like Neji, though Naruto couldn't figure out why anyone would wish for THAT, and somehow ended up being a boy. Every time she went on to explain what happened in her alternate reality, she'd start blushing and wouldn't be able to continue. But that was all right, since Hinata was weird anyway.
Lee said he wished to be a year younger so he could bond with everyone. Because of this, he had never been put on Gai's team and didn't become the weird enthusiastic guy he was today. But the worst part was, because Lee had infected his year, Naruto didn't graduate! Lee said that that was one of the biggest reasons why he undid the wish. Then again, he did say that he accidentally broke it when he was seeking advice from Gai. But that didn't surprise Naruto all THAT much, since the two of them were rather peculiar.
Naruto was a little hazy on what Tenten had wished for, because she remembered a conversation transpiring about Neji being gay… but why would Tenten wish for Neji to be gay? Maybe just for the fun of it. It might be interesting to make a wish that Sasuke was gay…then again, Sasuke probably IS gay, and that would definitely just be a wasted wish…
As far as he knew, no one else made any wishes because they had all mutually decided that it was dangerous considering people ended up dead. But the more Naruto sat there and watched the stand from above, the more he realized that he really… really… REALLY wanted to make a wish.
The most unfortunate thing about this whole deal was that he couldn't wish to become Hokage. That was in his promising future, not his past. He could always wish himself strong enough to become Hokage…
If he had a Butterfly Crystal, that is.
But he didn't… because he wasn't supposed to buy one.
Why should some people get to make a wish and others don't?
After all, Naruto was the hero of this story!
And besides, if things went wrong, he could always just break it, right?
Naruto hopped off the roof and landed in front of the cart where Chokai was currently cleaning off a Butterfly Crystal.
"What a coincidence!" said Naruto. "I was just on my way here to buy one of those!"
Chokai looked up and frowned. "Sorry, I can't sell you this." He said frankly.
"What!" demanded Naruto. "Why!"
"Because." Said Chokai.
"Because why!" said Naruto.
Chokai gave a heavy sigh as if Naruto had begged him for hours. He pulled a picture of Naruto out from behind his cart and showed it to him. "A few girls came by earlier and said that I should under absolutely no circumstances sell anything to you… ESPECIALLY a Butterfly Crystal."
"WHAT!" yelled Naruto as he snatched the picture away. "And this isn't even a good picture of me either!"
"So I'm sorry, but I'm afraid I can't sell you one." Said Chokai.
"Did they happen to say WHY they did that?" Naruto requested.
"They said that they told you not to buy one and they figured that because they told you not to buy one that you'd go ahead and buy one anyway." Chokai replied. "Tough break, kiddo."
"Don't call me that!" commanded Naruto.
"Fine." Said Chokai, looking offended.
Naruto jammed his hands into his pockets and started walking away. He was no more than five strides away before he spun around and sprinted back over, on his knees.
"PLEASE sell me one!" he said.
"I can't." said Chokai defiantly.
"I won't tell if you don't tell!" said Naruto.
"Young man, I'm sorry." Chokai repeated.
"Is there nothing I can do to change your mind?" said Naruto.
"Nothing." Said Chokai.
"How about give you money?" Naruto tried.
"Keep talking." Said Chokai pretty much RIGHT away after Naruto had said that.
Naruto stood up and fished through his pockets and threw all the money he had on his person on the table.
Chokai patiently counted up the money.
"This'll do." Chokai said as he placed the crystal in Naruto's hands.
"AH!" said Naruto. "No way! Thanks, old man! I won't tell anyone!"
"Right, right…" said Chokai as he put his earnings in his secret hiding spot that shall not yet be revealed to you. In fact, it'll NEVER be revealed to you. EVER! How do you like them apples?
Naruto sighed and nuzzled his new treasure happily. "Got any suggestions of good wishes?" Naruto asked.
"Me?" said Chokai with a dumbfounded expression on his face. "No one has ever asked me that before!"
"Really?" said Naruto, looking a little sad.
"No." said Chokai.
Naruto made that expression that said, 'Why would you do that?'
"Well…" Chokai started, rubbing his chin thoughtfully "I suppose I would wish to be somebody who everyone knows! I would wish for a name that everyone would remember, you know? I'd wish to be someone IMPORTANT!"
It was Naruto's turn to rub his chin thoughtfully. "Say…" he said. "That's a good idea! I never would have thought of that! I'd probably end up making a stupid wish and wasting my money…"
"You mean like wishing everyone was nine feet tall?" Chokai suggested.
"…No…" Naruto said slowly with a raised eyebrow. "I'm not even stupid enough to make a wish like that."
"Anyway." Said Naruto. "Thanks a lot, old man! I'll be sure to send you a letter after I'm important and famous!"
"What…ever!" said Chokai.
Naruto frowned at the old man. Frankly, Chokai was just annoyed that people kept calling him "Old Man" as if that was his name.
Naruto strutted away and decided to put the old man's rudeness behind him. He frolicked to a good wish-making place and sat himself down. This just so happened to be on the heads of one of the Hokages on the Hokage Mountain. He took a deep breath.
"I wish I was someone IMPORTANT!" Naruto yelled. "I wish everyone knew my name!"
He sat down for a little while and expected something immediate and magical to happen right away. But then he realized that he'd have to go and find his adoring fans.
He ran down the mountain faster than the speed of light and began strolling through the village, waiting for people to recognize him. There weren't that many people there… he figured they must have all been inside for lunch or something. After all, it WAS lunch time.
"Hey!" came a voice behind him. He spun around to see four jounins standing there pointing dramatically at him. He knew they were jounins because they had the jounin vests… and plus, he had seen them around the village a lot. "It's Uzumaki Naruto!"
"Hey guys!" said Naruto, already feeling happy with his wish.
"How dare you show your face here!" yelled one of the ninjas.
Naruto's face fell.
"What?" said Naruto.
"Get him!" yelled another ninja. They all started charging at him. Naruto could tell by the murderous look in their eyes that their intentions were not to get an autograph or simply get an opportunity to shake his hand. In fact, once they started reaching for their shuriken and giant ninja stars, Naruto KNEW they weren't out for an autograph and a handshake.
He quickly turned around and sprinted off in the other direction.
"Somebody help meeeeeeeee!" Naruto yelled desperately as he ran down the streets, searching for a familiar face. Though, every time he made eye contact with someone, they would either jump away and hide or join the chase.
As Naruto rounded a corner, he dove underneath a cart that just so happened to be there. The ninjas looked around in a bewildered fashion, thought they spotted someone who resembled Naruto, and then chased after the poor child who would end up being jumped on top of and probably slapped around a bit before it was established that he WASN'T Naruto.
Naruto took a few deep breaths and took a moment to collect himself. He touched his forehead to find his forehead protector was missing.
He wondered if that had anything to do with the ninjas who were apparently quite angry with him.
Naruto crawled out from underneath the cart and brushed himself off. Whenever he was confused, he did one thing! He went to go and visit Iruka and get some advice from him!
So he did, making sure to stay off the main streets and out of sight. When he reached Iruka's cozy little bungalow, he poked his head in the window and didn't initially see anyone. Undeterred, he went to the front door and knocked, patiently waiting for Iruka to fling the door open and welcome into his humble home.
Was Naruto afraid that Iruka was going to hate or fear him like the rest of the world? Of course not! Even if the entire world was against him, Naruto knew that he'd always have AT LEAST Iruka on his side!
The door opened a bit and Iruka peeked outside.
The first thing Naruto noticed that disturbed him was the huge scar running from his forehead all the way down the side of his face to his chin.
"Hey Iruka!" Naruto said. "That's a nasty scar! When did that happen?"
"Naruto!" Iruka said in a loud whisper. "What do you think you're doing here?"
"I need some advice." Naruto answered. "Can I come in? Do you want to take me out to eat?"
"No, I don't!" Iruka said.
"Then can I come in?" Naruto said as he gave the door a push.
Iruka looked around hesitantly and then opened the door reluctantly. Naruto entered and hopped on Iruka's couch.
"What do you want?" Iruka said as he closed the door.
"How'd you get that scar?" Naruto said curiously. "It looks pretty bad."
"It is." Iruka said, looking a little annoyed.
Iruka looked different. He wasn't wearing his chuunin vest or anything that would resemble ninja garb, and that was probably the first time Naruto had seen him like THAT.
Naruto watched as Iruka walked across the room to sit down across from Naruto, but his mobility seemed limited to a slow, uneven limp.
"Hey, I get it!" said Naruto. "Did you go on a mission recently and hurt yourself?"
"No." Iruka said as he sat down in a very awkward fashion. "I can't go on missions anymore."
"Too busy teaching?" Naruto said.
"I don't teach anymore either." Iruka said with a frown.
"Really?" said Naruto, sounding surprised. "When did that happen?"
"Hm…" said Iruka. "I can probably pinpoint it to the day when you, in your blind rage for not being graduated from the academy, attempted to pull a prank during the graduation by putting firecrackers around but just ended up setting a chain reaction throughout the entire academy."
Naruto's face fell and eyes widened.
"A…chain reaction?" he said.
"Yeah," Iruka said, leaning forward. "A chain reaction that ended blew up the entire academy."
"Whoa!" said Naruto, standing up. "No way! There's no way I'd do that!"
"We all know it was an accident, Naruto." Said Iruka. "But you have to take responsibility for your actions and turn yourself in. It would make this whole thing a lot less painful."
"But…" Naruto started. "Haven't they made a new academy for you to teach at?"
"Well yeah, but I can't teach anymore." Said Iruka.
"Why?" said Naruto cautiously.
"Give me a break, Naruto." Said Iruka. "It's hard enough as it is. I don't need you coming back to reopen old wounds."
"No really." Said Naruto. "Why?"
Iruka sighed and leaned over, grabbing his pant leg and pulling it up to show off his leg—or lack thereof. In place was a scary artificial leg that had definitely NEVER been there before!
"Iruka!" yelled Naruto. "Oh my god!"
"Thanks, Naruto." Said Iruka, pulling his pant leg down again.
"That's not MY fault, is it?" Naruto said, his mouth falling to the ground.
"Well…it wasn't intentional—" Iruka said slowly.
"So it IS my fault…" Naruto interrupted, slumping back down.
"But it wasn't on purpose…"
"Iruka, come on!" said Naruto. "You have a fake leg!"
Iruka frowned. "I know." He said.
Naruto shook his head in disbelief. "Hey…" he breathed. "Did anybody else… you know…well, get hurt?"
"Get hurt?" Iruka repeated.
"You said it happened during the graduation." Naruto said. "So there had to be people there. Did anybody get hurt? Besides you, I mean."
Iruka looked solemn. "Well of course." He said. "Some serious, moslty minor, though."
"Nobody…died?" Naruto said.
Iruka was silent.
"Iruka…" Naruto said. "Nobody died, did they?"
"Why are you doing this, Naruto?" Iruka said. "Why did you have to come here and bring all this stuff up again? It's painful enough as it is. Now I think you'd better leave."
"Just answer me!" Naruto yelled. "Who died?"
Iruka took a deep breath. "Hyuuga Hinata and Yamanaka Ino were killed initially." He said. "Inuzuka Kiba died two days later."
"What?" said Naruto, slapping his forehead in disbelief. "What about everyone else? What about Sakura? And…" Naruto hesitated. "That stupid Sasuke?"
Iruka looked up and then back down. "They're all right, in a manner of speaking."
"Good!" said Naruto, but then he paused. "What do you mean by 'in a manner of speaking'?" Naruto said.
"Well," said Iruka. "The only student who was able to continue being a ninja after the accident was Aburame Shino."
"What?" Naruto demanded. "What do you mean?"
"Naruto, I'm very tired." Iruka said with a heavy sigh. "This is the last thing I want to talk about. I suggest you leave now."
"But Iruka…" Naruto stuttered.
"Now." Iruka repeated in the most final tone EVER.
Naruto backed out the door and nearly tripped over it. He shut it behind him and turned around, quickly moving away from Iruka's house. This was totally the OPPOSITE of what he meant when he wished to be someone that everyone knew by name.
He grabbed that stupid Butterfly Crystal and heaved it against the pavement as hard as he could, and it immediately blew into a million… maybe TWO million tiny little pieces.
He gave a heavy sigh of relief and wiped his hands of that mess.
He hopped up Iruka's front steps again and knocked on the door. When he didn't get an answer, he was at first completely befuddled. Then he realized it was daytime, so therefore Iruka had to be at the academy, which was not blown up.
But just for a little extra reassurance, Naruto went over to the academy.
Meanwhile, at Chokai's Spiritual Stand, Chokai was packing everything up in boxes as Gai ranted endlessly to him.
"FURTHERMORE!" he went on, pointing a finger up into the air. "Your Butterfly Crystals do not come with fair warning on what might possibly happen if you make a foolhardy wish!"
"I TOLD you that there's no way of predicting the outcome!" Chokai said angrily. "It's not my fault that you made a foolhardy wish!"
"It wasn't foolhardy!" Gai said, slamming his hand down on the table.
"You just said it was." Chokai pointed out.
"Harumph!" said Gai, crossing his arms. "I wished that I had beat my rival once and for all and instead—"
"He died at your hands, right?" Chokai guessed.
"Why, yes!" said Gai.
"Well, you did use the term 'once and for all'." Chokai said, rolling his eyes as he taped up the last cardboard box.
"Yes but…" started Gai but he trailed off as he watched Chokai exit his spiritual stand and start to take down signs. "Are you going somewhere?"
"Away from here." Chokai answered.
"Why?" Gai asked.
"Because all this village ever does is complain." Chokai replied. "It's really getting on my nerves."
"That's not true!" said Gai. "We do more than complain!"
"Well, I haven't seen much of that." Chokai said. "Besides, everyone here makes pointless wishes that they regret five minutes later because they weren't specific enough with their wording."
"You should tell us to be more specific." Gai advised.
"Saying, 'once and for all' implies that you would have liked to kill that person." Chokai said.
"I meant so we wouldn't have to continue petty battles." Said Gai. "Perhaps for him to acknowledge that I am far superior to his skills, but not for me to have KILLED him!"
"It's not like it matters now, anyway, right?" said Chokai with a heavy sigh. "You smashed the crystal, didn't you?"
"Of course I did." Said Gai, putting a hand over his heart. "I never should have made the wish in the first place. I must defeat my eternal rival with my own two hands, not with magic."
Gai watched the old man pack a little more.
"So…where are you going after this?" Gai asked curiously.
"Probably to the Sand Village…" Chokai said thoughtfully. "The circus is there and my brother is apart of that circus. Maybe I'll meet up with him and put him out of business with my legitimately magical products…"
"I love that circus!" said Gai. "I can't wait until it comes back to us. It is the cleanest and finest circus in all the world."
Chokai raised an eyebrow. "I suppose…"
Just then, Kakashi, Asuma and Kurenai came strolling in the direction of the cart. They would have all kept walking (especially Kakashi) but they stopped when they found that Gai was standing there appearing as though he was engaged in an enthralling conversation with Chokai.
"What's going on?" Kurenai asked when she noticed that Chokai was nearly packed up.
"Aw…" said Asuma. "I planned on coming here to look around one of these days but I've been too busy…curses!"
"You don't want to look around here anyway." Said Gai.
"Did you buy something, Gai?" Kakashi said.
"Of course not!" said Gai.
"Good, because neither did I." Kakashi said.
"Um…" said Chokai but Gai and Kakashi both glared at him so he kept his silence.
"Do you think that before you leave for good, I could be your last customer?" Kurenai asked pleasantly.
"No, I want to be the last customer!" said Asuma.
"Oh very well!" said Chokai since he wasn't about to turn down money. "I can tell you'd be most interested in the Butterfly Crystals!"
"No they wouldn't." said Gai and Kakashi.
"What are the Butterfly Crystals?" Asuma asked.
"It doesn't matter." Said Gai as he grabbed Asuma and tried to drag him away from the cart. Kakashi did the same to Kurenai.
"Wait, come back!" Chokai shouted dramatically as he waved crystals around in the air. Asuma and Kurenai started crying because they really wanted crystals but, as you could clearly see, they did not get any.
Down the street, there was a jounin ninja watching all of this occur. Aoba sighed and looked down at the Butterfly Crystal in his hand. He realized that no matter how much happiness his crystal had brought him, he just didn't have the heart to allow everyone's lives to be altered so dramatically.
As much as he wanted to be a jounin ninja and be incredibly cool and good looking, Aoba knew that things were the way they were for a reason. A tear fell dramatically from his eye as he smashed the crystal on the ground and ran away crying.
At the Uchiha residence…
Sasuke contemplated whether or not there was a point in continuing to be a ninja. After all, he was one of the worst in the class. The girl on his team could beat him any time she felt like it and that certainly didn't do wonders for his self-esteem.
What was his reasoning for ever becoming a ninja in the first place? Oh yeah, his parents wanted him to. But they weren't around anymore, so did he really need to continue? Maybe his pointless ninja adventures had finally come to a close, which was a good thing, since he was a slacker and not cut out for the ninja business.
Maybe he'd go and hang out with Naruto and ask him if he'd like to join him in his ninja quitting.
At the Uzumaki residence…
Naruto had made a lot of mistakes in his life. Blowing up that academy was one of them. Thankfully, no one had been there when the explosion had taken place so no one was hurt, but still, as he looked back on that, he wondered what possessed him to do something so stupid.
He just had to work harder and maybe eventually he'd graduate. Maybe everyone would forget about the stupid things he did and recognize his strength so he could finally become a ninja like most of his friends.
He looked out the window and saw his good friend, Sasuke, approaching his house.
At the Haruno residence…
Sakura woke up and looked around her room with a heavy sigh like she did most mornings. Just like every other day, she was going to have nothing to do except talk to her mom, take a walk and maybe just hang out.
Sometimes she wished she had become a ninja. She heard it was a good way to meet guys.
At the Akimichi residence…
Chouji awoke from his slumber and went to the mirror. Just as he was about to comb his hair, he stopped and looked at his reflection. He didn't need to comb his hair… he was perfect just the way he was! Why change it?
After all, Chouji was probably the sexiest guy around his age in all of Konoha, so why should he bother with something as silly as combing his hair when he could travel around the village attracting females.
Then there was always training… but who really wanted to do that nowadays?
At the Nara residence…
"Shikamaru, I'm NOT going to call you again!" Shikamaru's mother called up the stairs to her son as he slept right through his alarm clock ONCE AGAIN.
"I'm coming, Mom!" Shikamaru yelled down to her as he quickly shut the door and went back to the window where there were five or six boys sitting on a tree branch that was conveniently located outside his window while listening to his every word. "I have to go to work now, but you guys don't do anything until I get off, okay?"
"Why do you always have to go to work?" whined one of the kids.
"Because my mom makes me." Shikamaru answered. "Now go away and I don't want you guys showing up again. You got me in enough trouble last time."
"All right, all right, we got it!" said one of the boys.
"SHIKAMARU!" screamed Shikamaru's mother from downstairs. "NOW!"
"I'll be right there!" Shikamaru yelled back. He turned to the boys. "Now get out of here!" he commanded as he shut the window and hurried down the stairs.
"What took so long, Shikamaru?" asked Shikamaru's older sister, Temari, as she set the table.
"I was getting dressed." Shikamaru said, sitting down and glaring.
She glared right back. "It doesn't usually take you that long to get dressed." She said.
"Be quiet you two." Said Shikamaru's mother. "Stop bickering all the time."
"She started it." Shikamaru said.
"Just stop." their mother warned with a serious expression.
Shooting one more glare at each other, the siblings quieted down.
Meanwhile, at the Sand Village…
"Gaara, wow, seriously." Kankuro said with a deep breath as he sat down on the back stairs. Gaara sat down next to him. "You're getting pretty good with Kugutsu there."
"Pretty good?" Gaara repeated. "Only pretty good? I just beat you!"
"Just because I let you win." Kankuro said.
"Yeah right." Said Gaara.
"I'm going inside now." Said Kankuro.
"I'm going to stay out for a little while longer." Gaara said, standing up. "My team is coming by soon."
"Whatever." Kankuro shrugged. "Don't train too hard."
"I won't!" said Gaara, saluting his older brother.
At the Yamanaka residence…
"That Shikamaru is always late…" Ino's mother complained. "I don't know why I keep him around. He just brings trouble here, and he's lazy!"
"Mom, come on." Said Ino. "He's worked here so long."
"I know." Said Ino's mother with a sigh. "Exactly."
"Well, everyone always deserves another chance." Said Ino with a shrug.
"Ino, if I didn't know better, I'd say you have a crush on the boy." Said Ino's mother slyly.
"Ew, Mom, no way!" said Ino. "I could never like anyone who's not strong enough to be a ninja. Besides, I already have a boyfriend. Speaking of which… Mom, can I go see him today?"
"I don't see why not." Said Ino's mother. "But don't be back too late."
"I won't!" said Ino cheerfully as she walked out the door and waved to her mother.
At the Inuzuka residence…
"Kiba, my old teammate and his son are going to be visiting us today." Kiba's dad told him.
"You mean your weird bug teammate?" Kiba said.
"Yes." Kiba's dad answered.
"Do I know his son?" Kiba asked.
"Probably not." His dad said. "He's only eight years old."
"Do I have to stay home and meet them then?" Kiba said. "I was going to go out with my girlfriend today…"
At the Hyuuga residence…
"Neji…what are you doing?" Hizashi said, rounding the corner to find Neji in the kitchen looking around for something in the cabinets.
"I was going to make some breakfast for Hareru…" Neji said absentmindedly.
"What?" said Hizashi. "Why?"
"He asked me to." Neji said as if it was no big deal.
"Neji, you can't let him push you around." Said Hizashi. "You have to stand up for yourself."
"I don't mind." Said Neji.
Hizashi slapped his forehead. If not for the fact that Neji spoke endlessly about the girl he had the most serious crush on in the WORLD, then he would swear that his only son was incredibly gay.
It was then that Hareru entered with a yawn. "Neji, do you want to train?" he asked.
"Now?" said Neji.
"Yeah." Said Hareru. "I'm not that hungry."
"If you say so." Neji said cooperatively.
Hizashi watched the two boys leave the room. Sometimes he wished what would have happened if his brother had allowed him to take his place when Hareru was kidnapped all those years ago, just out of curiosity for how everything might have turned out differently.
At the Rock residence…
"HURRAY!" cheered Lee as he jumped up and punched the air. He flipped through the calendar and counted up the days on his fingers. "Tomorrow is my half birthday, which means in exactly six months and one day, I'm going to be thirteen! This is so exciting!"
He frolicked outside and took a huge wiff of the morning air.
"Today is going to be a good day!" he decided. "I think I shall ask Kakashi if it would be all right to take the day off tomorrow to celebrate my half birthday!"
Then he began his trek to the bridge. He took his time, however, because he knew he'd just have to sit there waiting for Kakashi for a ridiculous amount of time.
At the Tenten residence…
Tenten stood outside her house with a Slinky. She didn't have anything in particular to do.
"Hey!" said a random ninja as he ran by her. "Get out of here! The Fox Demon is coming!"
"Now?" Tenten gasped as she threw her Slinky behind her. "It's still morning!"
"The Fox Demon doesn't run on a set schedule!" said the ninja as he sprinted off to continue warning people. "Hey you, old man, if I were you, I'd find someplace safe and QUICK!"
Chokai didn't respond. He only watched the ninja run away.
He picked up the front of his cart and wheeled it towards the exit of Konoha, satisfied with a job well done.
(And then it was over.)