"No! Ero-jii… Jii-san! Please don't die! Don't leave me alone. I've lost father and mother. Please don't leave me too…Please…"
"Naruto… I… I…"
"No! No, no, no! Please don't leave me! …JII-SAN!"
Step I: Spring is a season that heralds love
A young blonde boy sobbed as he fisted the blankets gathered around an elderly old man in the hospital. The blonde boy was Uzumaki Naruto, adopted grandchild of Jiraiya, a famous novelist in the fields of many literature (though most were of dubious origin and slanted towards the adult industry) and a widely acclaimed author in the bustling city of Konohagakure. It had been a peaceful spring day and both Jiraiya and Naruto had gone to the hot springs for a relaxing vacation when it happened.
Furthermore, it happened when he was hiding in one of the taller trees with a good view of the women's side of the hot springs. The cause of collapse and the trauma caused by the impact of the fall brought a sobbing Naruto and a half unconscious Jiraiya to the Konoha Medical Park, where Jiraiya had been operated on by his trusted childhood friend, Tsunade. However, his injuries got slightly worse when he accidentally groped Tsunade's chest and the lady had retaliated with a fist on his head. Coincidentally, that had been the spot where Jiraiya fell on. This brought the aggravated situation to a higher level.
By the way, that had all transpired 3 days ago.
Jiraiya gasped as he held onto the boy's shivering hands. "Naruto… Naruto, listen to me… I'm already old and frail. I think I might not come back from the spiritual gates (of hell or heaven is still a debatable issue) from this incident. You must… be strong."
Naruto merely cried more and shook his head.
"Listen! …You're a big boy now… Already 18… I was already a well-known lady-killer with many underlings at your age. Ugh…kof kof kof…" The white haired man broke down into hacking coughs. The ECG from the heart monitoring machine had rapidly decreased.
"Ji-Jii-san! Wait! I'll be back!" Naruto, alarmed by this grave change of events, thought that this could possibly be the last breath Jiraiya might be taking and frantically dashed out of the room to look for the best healer in the city.
"Baa-san! It's not good! Jii-san is… Jii-san is…. He's… d-dying!" Tears were already spurting out from the corners of his beautiful blue eyes and the poor boy was already hiccupping. "Please…-hic- Hurry and -hic- save him!"
"What?" The busty elderly lady exclaimed before muttering softly under her breath, "What stunt is that ero-jii pulling this time…?"
"Mou…Che! Kakashi! Take care of this little brat here. I'll go see what that old man is up to now." With an irritated flick of her long blond hair, Tsunade turned and stomped towards a certain room to give a certain man a piece of her mind, leaving a young man with spiky silver hair and the young boy with the golden hair.
"Uee… What should I do? What should I do? Jii-san…" Crying and wrapping his arms around himself, Naruto suddenly felt so scared and lonely.
The scenario felt like the one 13 years ago when his parents were in the operating theatres fighting for their lives.
"That. Is. Why. I don't understand you men. Why must you organize these functions and take the whole family with you? It's so troublesome; I had to dig out the family's traditional kimono, wear it and act like Yamato Nadeshiko (1), and talk about mundane things with all those people. Mou… it's such a waste of time. Hm, but at least I got to dress Naru-chan in a nice, cute kimono. Right Naru-chan?" His mother smiled as she turned and reached out for the little blonde toddler in the back seat.
"Uhn!" The five-year-old nodded, not really paying attention to his surroundings as he fiddled with a ninja toy and thumped it on his seat. His mother softly caressed his smooth cheeks and ruffled his soft hair then turned back to her husband.
"Maa… it's not really my fault right? I didn't want to attend too but being the head of the clan is like that… Ah, but did you see Hatake's son? He has grown up to be such a fine boy. I'm sure he'll be a very capable man like his father when he's older. Hatake-san was so proud of him. Ne, do you think Naru-chan…"
"Yes! I decided! We'll marry Naru-chan to that Hatake boy! They will look very cute together…"
"Har? Ano… That wasn't what I was going to say…" His father broke a cold sweat when he saw a frown slowly creeping over his wife's countenance then quickly amended his sentence. "Uh, I mean, yeah! I think Naru-chan would look great with Ka…"
"Anata! Abunai!" (2)
"Naruto!" Both his parents turned and reached out for the little boy. The only thing the toddler could remember was a sharp pain in his cheeks, two incredibly warm bodies shielding him then a huge blanket of white enveloped all senses.
They had encountered a terrible car accident on their way home; his parents had been turning out of the road when a truck from the adjacent lane skidded and crashed into their car… At least that was what the people in the dark navy and black uniforms had told him in simple words when he woke up in the room. He had miraculously got off with only a few scrapes – 3 whisker-like scars on each cheek and some on his hands – and a light knock on the head. But his parents were not so lucky. The feeling of helplessness and fear when he learnt that his parents were 'being treated but might not come back to him' was terrifyingly overwhelming and the whiteness of the walls and chemical smells of the hospital did nothing to soothe his nerves. But… there was someone there who had held him and whispered comforting words in his ears. There had been warm hands clutching his small, shaking ones when he had sobbed on his hospital bed…
"Uh, are you… okay?" A soft, slightly muffled tenor voice asked, breaking his thoughts.
"…He'll be fine…"
"… -hic- …"
"What are you up to now, you stupid horny old man?" Tsunade bellowed as she slammed the door open and found Jiraiya sitting in his bed with a pale face and an open jaw. One of his hands was reaching for a remote controller while the other was fiddling with a sparkling orange book with a huge red title and many hearts.
"Eh… Tsunade-chan! I was… eh…."
"What do you think you're doing? Making Naruto cry like a girl with that load of sham…that poor boy is worrying his head off about you and you're still fooling around! I'm going to TELL him the TRUTH!"
"NO--!" Jiraiya screamed as he dive face-first towards Tsunade and wrapped his arms around her waist. "NO! Don't do that! This is a good chance to fulfil Naruto's father's wishes!"
"Hmmm… feels good…"
"OI! Let me go! You… Stop rubbing your face in my chest! Where do you think you are touching! …LET ME GO!"
A few punches in one room and complete silence shrouding two young people on the other spectrum of the hospital later found the four parties in Jiraiya's room.
"Ah… Kakashi, you've come."
The silver haired man with the half covered face stepped closer to the bed and bowed respectfully. "Yes, Jiraiya jii-sama. I apologize for coming this late. This is my little offering to you; I hope it improves your condition." He whipped out a large fruit-basket and a few magazines with the words "ERO", "Limited Edition", "HOT!" and "Miss Underground Konoha" on the cover pages, and stacked the articles neatly on the bedside table.
Jiraiya's eyes glittered for a moment before they resumed the solemn-ness and he nodded at the younger man.
"Naruto…" Jiraiya called weakly. "I… I've something to tell you…"
"Yes, jii-san…?" The teen stepped forward as well.
"You know your deceased father and I are almost like real father and son… Before he died, he entrusted me with you and told me to look after you…"
"Uhn…." Naruto was struggling not to cry but his tear ducts were already wobbling.
"It seems I cannot do that for much longer…"
"…ungh…" Fat tears were already rolling down the whisker cheeks…
"This man here is Hatake Kakashi. He is the son of your father's right-hand man and is a very capable person… Before your father died… he had told me that his wish was to see you spend the rest of your life with a good other-half…"
"Naruto… Your father had specifically told me to leave you with Kakashi if something were to happen to me… He said that he would be happy 'if his dear Naru-chan were to wed his best friend's son'… …Naruto, you're already of legal age to get married this year."
"The both of you, I have a request. Please fulfil the wishes of the late 4th head of the Uzumaki family and get married. Kakashi, I'm entrusting Naruto to you now… Please take good care of him."
"W-w-What!" Two voices screamed in perfect harmony.
Ah, spring is here.
:To be continued:
Disclaimer: This is a non-profit fiction piece, meant for entertainment only. But one day, this would be the real plot for the manga once I buy over Naruto from Kishimoto-sensei.
Warning(s): AU (because I totally don't know what's going on in Naruto anymore). OCC-ness, pathetic attempts at humor and shounen-ai.
(1) Yamato Nadeshiko – "Perfect Woman"
(2) "Anata! Abunai!" – "Dear! Watch out!"
Wah! This is my first attempt at trying to write Kakashi as a main character so I think he might be super-duper OOC in this story. Got this idea when I saw a movie about a young bride (can't remember the title) and for some reason, Naruto came to my mind. XD Eh, I haven't really stopped Helloo Nurse! but an unfortunate incident involving a hard disk, a power failure and crashing occurred, so I have to see what I'm going to do about that. And I've still got Dear Myself too. Ah! So many unfinished works that I hope to complete by early next year; I'll work hard.
I think I need a beta.
As usual, R & R are welcome. Don't be shy!