Like the others, this just...came to mind. It's been so long since I wrote the others that I'm not sure if this fits with them perfectly. But, I've wondered what she thought...


I'd never admit this to Konohamaru or Udon, but when I first saw him, I didn't understand why Konohamaru thought that he was so great. I knew that he was Konohamaru's hero, but his teammates were so much cooler than him. Sakura-san was at the top of their class in academics, and Sasuke, well, he was an Uchiha. All the girls in my class adored him, and I was no different.

I couldn't figure out why Konohamaru looked up to him so much, but I went along with it, because that's what friends do. I joined him and Udon in trying to sneak up on Naruto-san, but even though he wasn't that great, we still never succeeded. I knew that it was because of our amateur technique, but Konohamaru just thought that Naruto-san was that good.

I don't think he ever noticed the way other people looked at Naruto-san, or the way they'd look away quickly when I looked back at them. He was a loser, and everyone knew it, and there we were, following him around like he was the best. I just couldn't understand what Konohamaru saw in him.

Then, I had a fight with Konohamaru and Udon, because, ironically enough, I finally got up the guts to question our choice in idols. Not our choice, Konohamaru's. I expected Udon to back me up, because surely he'd seen the same things I had. But he didn't. He defended 'Naruto-sama's greatness' with the same fervor as Konohamaru. They got really mad at me, so I left.

But we were in the forest when we had the fight, and since Konohamaru had been leading the way, I got lost pretty quickly. I'm a ninja, so I didn't cry or anything like that, but I was pretty upset. It was almost dark by the time I wandered into the farthest training fields.

They were scorched and full of holes. The trees around them were destroyed; that's how I found my way, following the destruction. I didn't think that anyone was there at first, because it was so late in the day. I figured that I'd spend the night there before trying to find my way back in the morning.

Suddenly, though, there he was, climbing out of one of the bigger holes, all covered in dirt and cuts and bruises. He seemed surprised to see me there, especially once he realized that I was alone. He asked me what was wrong, and I have to admit that I might have cried a little then. I told him about fighting with Konohamaru and Udon and about wandering in the forest all day. He laughed and said that he'd gotten lost there often enough to know what it felt like.

He was quiet for a minute, then, and his face had a strange, serious expression that I didn't remember ever seeing before. Then, he gave me a funny smile and said that he could get me back to the village, but he couldn't help much with problems between friends.

I started to thank him, but the words were hardly out of my mouth before he picked me up and put me on his shoulders. I protested, saying that he must be tired after training all day. He laughed and said that I'd been the one walking through the forest all day, and besides, he'd count this as extra training.

It was a long walk, and I have to admit that I think I drowsed for a little bit of it near the end. Naruto-san was tired; I could tell. But he didn't seem bothered about carrying me.

I asked him why he was training so late, and he said that he always did. I asked him where his teammates were, and he shrugged. Probably at home, he said. I asked him why he trained so late, and he said that he had something to prove. I asked him who he had to prove it to, and he got quiet again. Then, he said 'everyone.'

I think I fell asleep then, and only woke up when I heard Konohamaru and Udon calling my name. They ran up to us, looking really upset. I started crying, just a little bit. Konohamaru would have made me stop, but Naruto held him off, saying that it was okay to cry if you were happy. Then, he looked at me and asked me if I was crying because I was happy to see my friends.

I nodded, and then bowed to Konohamaru. I apologized and told him and Udon that I understood. Naruto-san looked a little confused--which, on him, looks a lot like irritation--but seemed happy that I'd made up with them.

I thought back to the first time I saw him, then, and all the times I'd inwardly questioned his worthiness. I'd been stupid, just like Konohamaru and Udon had said. Naruto-san might not have the grades or the looks of his teammates, but he had something that they didn't have. Sometime during the walk back to the village, I'd caught a glimpse of it. I wondered if Konohamaru followed Naruto to learn what it was, or if he followed Naruto because he already knew. Either way, that night, my best friend's hero became my own.