Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto, all these characters, except for a minor one are the property of the real Naruto creator (whom I forget at the moment since I've been up 30 hours).
A/N: yes this is a FemNaru fic, but I hope the character development was good as I only focused on a few characters in this one. I know some of you are very against FemNaru, so if you don't like it, please don't read it unless you think the content is good enough to make you change your mind (for at least this one). I have altered the name of the main Naruto to Mikomi, which is one of the ways to say "Hope". As I feel this name is very appropriate to the character in general. I am trying to keep it to a semi in character thing, so please review and let me know what you think. Also, I am having no end of trouble trying to come up with a good original outfit for Mikomi, any suggestions would be nice. Consider that she is basically a "younger" version of Naruto's sexy no jitsu, which means proper proportions for an 11 year old girl. Please no flames, I do not flame you therefore I expect the same courtesy. Now without further ado, read and enjoy!
Chapter 1: A Reason to Be Happy.
The door to the classroom slid open with a loud thunk, Iruka looked up to see who was late today only to see Mikomi standing there, battered and bruised. He heard gasps come from Hyuuga Hinata's and Haruno Sakura's seats as their chairs seemed to squeak across the floor. Mikomi looked around seeming slightly confused before she finally plastered on the fake grin, Iruka could see through from a mile away, and said, "Sorry I'm late Iruka sensei, I tripped on my way here." Iruka didn't believe it for a second; neither did the other two girls sitting in the classroom as they began to approach. "Sit down you two," said Iruka pointedly looking at the other girls, "ok class study chapter 10 in your textbooks while I talk with Mikomi." The students grudgingly obliged and Iruka sighed in relief as the stares left Mikomi's form and returned to the books, though the Hyuuga and the Haruno were glancing at here occasionally. He nodded his head towards the empty room next door as he looked at Mikomi pointedly.
He waited in the doorway for a few minutes as Mikomi limped down the stairs, all the while trying to hide the fact that she was seriously hurt. She finally made it in to the room as Iruka quickly closed the door before anymore stares could be shot her way and sighed. He quickly assessed her injuries noting several things. The poor girl was definitely batters, her pink, frilly skirt in total disarray and covered in thorns, her white, long-sleeved blouse was also similarly battered and for some reason she held her battered and torn books close to her chest tightly. Her hair was in total disarray with leaves and twigs sticking out in every direction. He frowned darkly as he slowly walked around the poor girl, noting the large dirt marks left by fist sized rocks and the nasty looking welt on the back of her left leg. The knee high white socks dirty had fallen to around her ankles in large pools of green and brown stains. As he came around to her front again she was staring at the ground shaking slightly, he could already tell her eyes were watering. She clutched the books even tighter to her chest and said in a small voice, "I'm sorry I'm late Iruka-Sensei, it won't happen again I promise." Iruka frowned as he noticed a tear in her blouse at roughly her collar bone, noting it went straight down to where her books were.
Iruka's face turned a dark red as his anger began to grow, the anger crashed around him dangerously. The poor girl shrunk in on herself clutching the books tighter, "I'm sorry Iruka-sensei, I'm really sorry!" she cried as she stepped back, almost falling over. Iruka's anger fled in an instant as he reached out and caught her gently, "it's not your fault Mikomi," he said, "I just can't believe someone would go that far, it makes me really angry." The blonde looked up at him with cerulean eyes and those small whisker marks across her cheeks. He knew she was about ready to breakdown; he was one of two people who ever saw the poor girl fall apart. He sighed, "How can anyone do that to an 11 year old," he said as he reached out to hold the poor, frightened girl. "Do what?" she asked him still shaking but wanting to know what he meant. Iruka quickly and forcefully pushed toe disturbing thought out of his mind, "nothing Mikomi," he said, "don't worry about it." She nodded as her eyes brimmed with tears and overflowed, she collapsed in to Iruka's arms like a deflated balloon, "why do they hate me so much?" she bawled, "I haven't done anything to them." Iruka growled lightly as he reassured the Mikomi with soothing sounds and pat's on the back, "I don't know," was all he could say. His features darkened for a moment at the familiar phrase, repeated to Mikomi over and over again. He really hated lying to her but this was law and had to be obeyed. He reassured her for the next few minutes as the sobs finally ebbed slightly, the poor girl was exhausted.
Iruka sighed as the girl finally began to quiet down and shake less. He took off his Chunin vest and wrapped it around Mikomi gently after ho noted the flap of fabric that was hanging from her. He continued to let the girl bury her face in his shoulder and hug him tightly for a long while, when he heard something. "Oh!" A voice echoed through out the room, "I'm sorry Iruka-sensei!" Iruka looked up to note a dark haired boy standing in the doorway, his very large and very round eyes wide and alert. Of course that didn't detract from the boy's most notable feature, a pair of very dark and thick fuzzy eyebrows. "Lee," Iruka exclaimed as the blond in his arms stood straight and plastered on a fake smile while closing the vest in one smooth motion, "what are you doing here lee? Aren't you supposed to be in class?" "Ermm" Lee replied uneasily, "yeah, but I had to go to the bathroom and opened the wrong door again." Iruka sighed, "next door over, Lee. How many times do I have to say that to you?" Iruka chuckled lightly at Lee's obvious discomfort, as lee put a hand behind his head and gave a stupid smile, "sorry," was all Lee said before his eyes snapped open and he locked them on Mikomi. "WOW!" Lee Exclaimed as he looked at her, "she's so young to be a chunin!" Fire lit in the young man's eyes and he held up his hand in a fist, for some reason Iruka could have swore he saw flames burning behind the youth for a moment but quickly shook that off to imagination. "Oh," Mikomi finally spoke up, "no I'm not a chunin yet, not even a genin, but my blouse was torn and Iruka-sensei loaned me his vest, so no body would see…" She trailed off as her cheeks turned red and she suddenly became quite embarrassed.
Iruka chuckled lightly, "yeah," he managed before he noted Lee's totally blank expression. "See what?" asked Lee as Iruka sweat dropped. "Umm ermm…," Finally the blonde just gave up and turned away from Lee slightly so he wouldn't see her very red face. Still Lee's expression held no hints of recognition or understanding. Iruka, once again, sweat dropped and spit out, "You'll learn when you get the talk." Lee looked at him blankly, "what talk?" he asked. "Umm…," your parents or your jounin instructor will give it to you when they feel you are ready," Iruka replied plastering his own stupid grin on his face. "YOSH!" Lee Exclaimed as his eyes once again burned with fire and his background seemed to flash flames, "I can't wait!" Iruka stared blankly at Lee for a few moments before he noticed that Mikomi was slightly turned back around to look at Lee and all his "fires of Youth". She seemed a mystified and confused about Lee but Iruka could also see something of awe in her eyes before she spoke again, "Ano, Lee-kun?" she asked softly, "why are you…." Mikomi's world spun around her as her equilibrium collapsed. Iruka wasn't fast enough to catch the now unconscious girl as she fell to the floor, but Lee was there in an instant arms wrapped around her back and shoulders lowering her to the floor. He soon was in a crouching position holding the still form of Mikomi with a completely concerned look. "Iruka-Sensei," Lee yelled as he held the motionless Mikomi, "is she ok?" Iruka frowned knowing his students probably heard that and sighed, "yes, she just exhausted," Iruka said, "and hurt," he added bitterly in his mind. It was at this time that Lee noticed the nasty welt on her leg, "that looks bad Iruka-sensei," Lee said indicating it with a nod. "Yes," replied Iruka, "yes it is." Lee looked worried but Iruka knew what needed to be done, "Lee," he said looking at Lee, "go get the nurse." "Hai," Lee replied as he handed Mikomi to Iruka, "I'll be right back." "Wait, Lee," Iruka said stopping Lee in the doorjamb, "send Misha-san, and then go back to class. I'll let Mizuki know what is taking you so long. Lee nodded once and ran out the door, "boy that kid is fast," thought Iruka as he pulled the too large chunin vest up a bit to allow Mikomi's head a pillow. He quietly got up and went to the classroom door and opened it sticking his head in with as nonchalant a face as he could. "Class dismissed," he announced to the class as cheers went up, "but I want you to do a report on chapter 10, 300 words or more." That last statement earned a disheartened, "awe," from everyone as they left, Sakura can you come here please." Sakura looked up and nodded quickly as she stuffed her things in her bag.
A few minutes later Sakura walked in to the room and gasped at seeing Mikomi, "what's wrong?" she asked louder than she wanted to, "she's ok right?" "Yes she's fine," said Iruka a little irritated, "she's just exhausted." Sakura nodded a little walking over the Mikomi lying on the floor. "Her blouse got torn earlier," Iruka stated, "you're the best at needlepoint in the whole class, can you fix it?" Sakura nodded touching her friend's forehead gently, "yeah, I can fix it easy, I even have what I need in my bag," she stated relieved at finding Mikomi alright. Sakura quickly took out her sewing kit and glared at Iruka, who was looking out the door. "Ok," Iruka said not noticing the glare, "I'll be going now. Nurse Misha-san should be here soon." Iruka finally looked at Sakura, "please don't tell anyone," Iruka sighed, "she wouldn't hear he end of it." Sakura nodded gently as she took off the chunin vest, removed the blouse, and deftly slid the vest back on. Sakura quickly went to work on the poor blouse, which she recognized as one she had loaned Mikomi not a week ago, and sighed.
After several minutes of sewing a kindly older woman walked in to the room, "Sakura?" she questioned in her smiling voice, "what are you doing here?" Sakura smiled and waved to the woman, "oh I'm just fixing Mikomi's blouse, it got ripped," she replied as the nurse walked up to the motionless Mikomi. Misha nodded after assessing Mikomi's wounds and began making a few seals which Sakura recognized as medical in nature. The woman's hands began to take on a light green color and she began healing Mikomi's wounds right in front of Sakura. The whole display just impressed and intrigued Sakura to no end, but her hands were full with the badly torn blouse.
Iruka stormed through the Hokage's office doors quickly throwing himself on the chair in front of the large oak desk, "can I help you Iruka?" the Hokage asked. "Yeah!" Iruka exclaimed, his temper still flaring, "You could send ANBU after those bastards that hurt Mikomi today!" The Hokage raised a brow, "Hurt?" he asked as he looked pointedly at Iruka. "Yes," Iruka hissed, "if not for that Kyuubi she would have been stoned to death from the evidence on her person!" "I see," was all the Hokage said quietly as he lit his pipe and looked to the side, leg's crossed. "There is also," Iruka continued seething, "the matter of her blouse being torn." "Blouse being torn?" asked the Hokage, "how so?" Iruka shrugged, "I couldn't see all the damage, but the entire front was dangling down enough I could at least see the tip of the fabric piece dangling around her thighs as she crouched down." Iruka fell quiet for a moment letting the Hokage take that in, "furthermore," he continued after the silence, "her skirt was torn in places and dirty…" Iruka shuddered at his own thoughts. "How could anyone do that to an 11 year old girl who hasn't done them any wrong?" Iruka asked quietly. The Hokage frowned for a few moments taking a puff of his pipe, "I think you are probably coming to the wrong conclusion," He finally said. "What!" exclaimed Iruka, nearly flying out of his seat, "the evidence is there Hokage-sama!" The Hokage merely sighed and leaned back a little bit, "no it's not, the blouse could have been torn by anything from branches, and remember you mentioned twigs and leaves in her hair, to fence posts." Iruka frowned at that but did feel a little relieved at that. "All in all," the Hokage continued, "I will have the responsible parties punished as I'm sure the usual taunts were used towards her." Iruka nodded a little bit as his hands fell down to his thighs and he leaned forward, "you know, they're getting worse Hokage-sama," he said, "they wouldn't have actually hurt her a year ago." The Hokage merely nodded rubbing the bridge of his nose with is thumb and forefinger, suddenly looking very old indeed. After a short silence the Hokage finally looked at Iruka, "so, has she made any friends?" he asked coolly. Iruka nodded slight looking back at the Hokage, slightly startled by how old he looked, "yeah," Iruka said, "She's made friends with the Haruno girl and the Hyuuga heiress, also, it seems: Kiba, Choiji, and Shikamaru, have also accepted her as something of a friend." The Hokage nodded, "good," he said with a sigh of relief, "I'm glad." Iruka chuckled slightly, "it's actually kind of funny," he said, "but all three of those boys have protected her on one occasion or another." The Hokage smiled at hearing that and nodded allowing the conversation to die. The silence hung about for a long while as both men thought of Mikomi, and her unwilling passenger.
Mikomi's eyes slowly opened as she looked around the room groggily, a soft pillow-like thing was under her head, and she saw a couple of blurry faces. She tried to sit only to have a gentle hand push her back down and a voice she recognize tell her to lie down and relax for a bit. Slowly the world began to focus again as her eyes picked out pink hair and green eyes, "Sakura?" she asked as she reached out. "Yeah," Sakura said as she caught up her friends hand and laid it on her belly, "you had me scared for a bit Mikomi." "I'm sorry," Mikomi said weakly and smiled. Sakura was a bit shocked, this was the most vulnerable her friend had ever been. Sakura thought back and couldn't find a time where Mikomi was ever this bad. She sighed and finished her needlepoint. "Well it's good to see you finally awake there Mikomi-chan," came a very familiar laughing voice. Mikomi turned her head and focused on the old woman sitting next to her, "Misha-san?" Mikomi asked, "Why are you here?" "You had fainted," Misha explained, "Lee-kun came and got me for Iruka." "Lee-kun?" Mikomi asked as her face reddened a little bit. Misha nodded with that ever present gentle and warm smile and patted Mikomi's head. "Done," Sakura proclaimed as she showed them her handiwork, "I hope it's ok." They both nodded a bit with a chuckle noting the blouse didn't even look like it had ever been torn in the first place. Sakura grinned brightly and handed it to Mikomi, "here, you can put it back on now," Sakura said. The nurse looked over Mikomi a little bit and nodded, "you should be able to stand and move around now," she smiled. Nodding Mikomi stood up with the help of Misha and Sakura, she noted that the jacket she had on was way too big and it had a familiar scent to it, "Iruka?" she asked touching the vest. Both women with her nodded and chuckled, "yes, he gave that to you so you had something covering you up," Sakura stated, "he's a great teacher and a very nice man." Mikomi nodded that same foxy grin slyly creeping in to her features, "yeah," she said as she quickly took off the vest and slid on the blouse. "I'll take that," Misha stated as she gently took Iruka's vest, "I'll make sure he gets it." At that the old woman smiled warmly to them and took her leave. "I'm sorry for ruining your blouse, Sakura," Mikomi said as she faced Sakura, eyes downcast. "My blouse?" Sakura asked, "I gave that blouse to you a week ago, it's yours." Mikomi positively beamed at that and hugged Sakura quickly, "thanks Sakura," she said, "You're a good friend." Sakura only giggled and returned the hug, quickly turning it in to dragging Mikomi out of the classroom.
Stepping in to the bright sunlight Mikomi noticed it was only about noon, "what?" she asked, "Where's the class?" Turning to Sakura who only shot her a mischievous grin and said, "Iruka let us out early today." After a second Mikomi smirked ever so foxily, "ne, want to go prank Ino?" she asked as Sakura grinned evilly. Suddenly a voice from behind her made her heart flutter a bit and her body freeze, "Oi, hey!" Lee yelled waving, "sakura-chan, Mikomi-chan!" Lee caught up to them quickly without seeming out of breath, "I'm glad your doing better Mikomi-chan," he said flashing her, a toothy yet, very bright smile. "Th-thanks," Mikomi stuttered turning slowly to face the boy, "I'm glad you went and got the nurse for me." She stood there dumbly staring at the boy who had shown so much concern for her, an upperclassman at that. A part of her mind asked her why she was suddenly stuttering, she never stuttered around boys before and she wasn't about to start now. Forcing her mouth to relax and she smiled brightly back. Sakura stood there noting the slightly pink tint to Mikomi's cheek and smirked slightly, "this is interesting, "she thought just watching the two interact. All Lee did was smile and say, "you're welcome," before holding out his hands. "You still seem a little tired Mikomi-chan, so may I carry your books home for you." This only brought a deeper flush to the poor girl's cheeks as Sakura smiled inwardly, "her first crush," she thought as she stood tall. "Oh," Sakura said, "I just forgot, I have to get right home, I promised mom to help her in the shop today after school." Mikomi looked at her and nodded blankly as Lee simply said, "Ok Sakura-chan, safe trip." Sakura giggled inwardly as she headed on her way, leaving the poor Mikomi to flutter in the wind. Lee turned back to Mikomi with a friendly smile, "well?" he asked indicating his hand with a nod of his head. "O-oh yeah, sure!" Mikomi got out as she mentally berated herself for being weak. Lee nodded with a smile and quickly too her books from her outstretched hands and started to walk off.
They passed half the trip to Mikomi's apartment in silence before Lee finally broke it, "what happened to you?" he asked looking over at her. "Oh, nothing I just tripped on my way to school," she said putting on her fake smile, "that's it." Lee stared at her for a moment then said, "I don't want to pry but it seemed more than that, those injuries weren't just falling down." She blinked and glanced at the semi observant boy, but he didn't seem to push the question further. A few seconds passed before he spoke again, "How come I've never really seen you before?" he asked. "Well, I'm usually elsewhere," she replied simply with a shrug, "I got better things to do then learn history and junk." Lee nodded then shrugged, "Hokage-sama says that education is an important thing for a shinobi," he stated. She shrugged, "feh, there's a lot of life to experience out there you know." She nodded towards a group of birds flying in the sky to prove her point. Lee nodded with a smile, "I enjoy those things too, but I still find time to learn," he said, "A shinobi needs to be well rounded and know lots of things." She shrugged and decided to change the subject, "so are you taking the genin exams in six months?" She asked. Lee nodded with a "HIA!" and grinned at her, once again blinding her with his very shiny teeth. She couldn't help but grin at his bright cheery smile and happy demeanor, it was invigorating. They turned a corner and there was her apartment building, "oh, we're here," she said with a smile of her own, "want to come in for some tea?" she asked almost inaudibly but it seemed Lee had good hearing, "sorry, I can't," he replied, "I have to train." She nodded dumbly as he took her books to her apartment and left with a quick, "goodbye!" and a cheery wave. She couldn't help but giggle at his cheerfulness, it was infectious.
The next day Sakura came over to rouse Mikomi from her sleep early. Mikomi answered the door groggily in her PJs and looked at Sakura oddly as Sakura just walked in. "Ne, I'm going shopping," Sakura announced, "want to come?" Mikomi could only nod and yawn as she quickly trudged in to her room to put on her only other outfit, a pair of bright orange pants and a black T-shirt. Both pieces fit poorly as they were definitely too small in Sakura's opinion as they walked to a nearby clothing store.
After several hours of shopping Sakura finally found the outfit she thought Mikomi should try on, "this should look good," Sakura smiled as she handed the new clothes to Mikomi, who simply nodded and obediently went to the changing room. After a few minutes Mikomi stepped out and proudly displayed the outfit for Sakura. The Burnt orange shorts were an interesting addition with the cerulean T-shirt, but Sakura couldn't say it was bad, maybe not best but not worst. Mikomi grinned, "I like this shirt, it brings out my eyes, and I couldn't give up the orange." Sakura chuckled, "well maybe not the best fashion, but she likes it for now," she thought. Mikomi grinned and brought her hands from inside her pockets to reveal the dark blue leather gloves, with the metal plates on the back of the hand. She smirked as she made a fist, allowing the first knuckled long fingers to show off the gleam of metal. "Metal plates," Sakura thought, "on both the back for blocking, and on the first finger length to add to the punch." Sakura smirked feeling sorry for the next boy that made Mikomi mad, he'd be in for one heck of a punch.
After a few minutes of admiring herself in the mirror Mikomi noted the price and her face fell, "aww, I can't afford these," she sighed preparing to walk back in to the dressing room. Sakura grinned and stopped her gently, "don't worry about it," she said, "Hinata and I pooled our money so we can afford these." "You did?" asked Mikomi, "you guys are the best!" she squealed as she jumped up pumping the air with her new gloves on. Sakura could only laugh as Mikomi went back in to the dressing room to change back and gather the stuff. Secretly Sakura thought the gloves were a good idea and decided to buy some later.
The girls paid for their purchases and headed out the door talking happily when they bumped in to Hinata. "Oh hey Hinata!" squealed Mikomi, "thanks for helping Sakura and me with the money to get these clothes." Mikomi grinned and gave Hinata a big hug in thanks. Hinata could only giggle as she returned the hug. After a few minutes of excited banter and recent gossip, Lee arrived on the scene. "Oh hey ladies," Lee said with a smooth bow to them all, "how are you doing today?" Hinata and Sakura just smiled and said they were doing fine, but Mikomi whipped her head around quickly pasting, what she hoped was a generic smile on her face, "doing good, Lee-kun," she said as strands of hair whipped her in the face. She silently cursed herself about forgetting to put the hair up. Lee only smiled before he noticed the stack of packages Sakura and Mikomi were carrying, "Oi, I can carry those for you ladies," Lee smiled brightly as the girls thanked him, placing their purchases in his arms. They walked away chatting amicably, though Mikomi blushed every time she saw Lee turn his head to her and grin happily.
Mikomi noticed Lee there every day offering to help carry her books for her. She was almost crushed when he admitted he was only doing it to build his stamina and strength. She forgot about that on the walks home though. She got to hear Lee's dreams and his goal in life. She smiled every time she heard them, they were like a soothing balm on her own soul. She began taking an interest in his training and watched him train. She'd sit under a tree and cheer Lee on as he beat up a poor log to death, sometimes he'd spar with her. Every time he asked her to spar she'd feel elated then a sudden sense of dread remembering the last time they sparred. She slowly got better with her Tiajitsu though. She finally made Lee work hard at his victory the day before the genin exams, her smile was blatantly cheerful though her body hurt every time she moved. She grinned at all the girls who'd stare as Lee carried her home that day, he made her promise to come see him if he graduated which she made him promise to do the same for her. She lied on her couch with an air of happiness and confidence. She wondered how 6 months had passed by so quickly for a few lazy moments before she drifted off to sleep.
A/N: Well I hope you liked this fic of mine, I know the end seems rushed but I'm tired as I haven't been to bed since roughly 4PM yesterday(for those outside my time zone that would be roughly 29 hours or so). I hope you enjoy this fanfic of mine and send me reviews. I would prefer no flames for this one, I do not flame you, and therefore I expect the same respect, please.