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. As mentioned in Chapter I, the plot was adapted from a movie (Korean, I think) called Young Bride (I think). Please check out the movie because the lead actress is very cute. :)
Warning(s): AU (because I totally don't know what's going on in Naruto anymore). OCC-ness, pathetic attempts at humor, revival of deceased characters and shounen-ai. Very, very, very long chapter.
Have you ever felt your heartbeat accelerating and your cheeks flushing at the mere thought of a person?
Have you ever thought of a person for every single moment, awake or dreaming?
Have you ever love someone so much that you would think of doing anything and everything to make them happy?
What happens when your First Love becomes your One and Only Love?
Final Step: I remember everything. This is why you're my First Love"Oh no."
Those two words slipped out of his lips as he witnessed something akin to an apocalypse happening right before his eyes.
Why did his relatives appear at that time, in that moment, at that spot in the whole of the gigantic festival grounds?
If Naruto was a believer in fate and the stars, he would conclude that this unfortunate event attributed from all the negative energies and bad karma accumulated from his past misgivings; or maybe his one of his stars had just burst into a supernova. As he wasn't, he could only curse at everyone's bad timing and that the stupid scarecrow had not been there with him.
"KORA—!! Nani o shiteiru?!?" (1) His grandfather screamed as he took (threateningly) long strides towards him. Naruto squinted and counted the number of veins throbbing on the old man's temple. There were 5. Tsunade baa-baa wasn't far behind; she had 3 and some wrinkles were appearing around the corner of her pursed lips. Naruto sweated; he could literally feel his life span shortening as the two senior citizens made their way towards him
He turned anxious blue eyes to a very confused Sasuke and sweated more.
'They'll kill him too. I can't drag him down in this. No other way around it, I guess...' The solution to the situation was clear.
The blonde grabbed Sasuke's hand and made a run for it. Behind them, the senior citizens shouted louder and gave chase. As if to commemorate this disaster, the sky was suddenly alit with myriads of firework of all colors. Simultaneously, the festival grounds went into uproars of cheer and dance, which thankfully bought some time for the escaping (or eloping, depending on your perspective) couple.
The two boys wheezed and tried to catch their breath when they finally made it out of the noisy and crowded streets in one piece. Unfortunately for Naruto (and Kakashi), all the food he had bought had been forgotten and left behind. At least, he still had the mask in his hand. The blonde briefly wondered if his grandfather and the rest would tell Kakashi. A wave of panic and fear flared in his chest when he thought about that; he wondered how Kakashi would 'cook' him when he reached home later.
'Maybe he would surrender me to Ero-jii and Baa-baa first then grill me over our stove. Or maybe he would tie me to the chair and make me watch him eat all the miso ramen that I had been stashing away...' Blue eyes turned a bit watery at all the possible torture that awaited him.
"What was that?"
The brunette was still panting from the impromptu marathon. "I asked, 'What was that?'... Why did we have to run away from them? They are your relatives, right?"
"Uhh..." Answered Naruto smoothly. 'Shit! I'm not ready for this!!'
"What's going on, dobe?" Sasuke folded his arms once he finally regained his breath. "Why are we running? They don't know that you're dating me??"
"Ah! Yeah! That's right!! They don't know... A-And they don't really approve that I'm dating at this age so I had to get us away from there... Uh, yeah." The blonde fibbed and averted his gaze.
"Ah really?" The Uchiha frowned. Somehow, that reason seemed extremely fishy to him. Besides, wasn't Naruto supposed to be engaged to someone? Wait a minute! Engaged...! He had forgotten all about it in excitement and bliss when Naruto had agreed to go out with him.
"Naruto. There's something I want you to be honest with me. Okay?"
The blonde looked at him curiously and nodded.
"Are you... Are you, maybe, attached to someone?"
Baby-blue eyes widen. "Uh, what do you mean, Sasuke?"
"Like... maybe engaged?"
"H-H-Huh?!? W-W-What are y-y-you s-saying? Ha...Hahahaha!!" The smaller boy stammered nervously.
Sasuke looked like he was about to say something when Naruto's cell phone started ringing. The two looked at each other for a minute before the taller boy sighed and made a motion with his hands; the blonde reached for his phone. He flipped it open with a deep sense of trepidation.
"Naruto! Where are you right now?" An uncharacteristically loud and anxious baritone voice called out from the ear-piece. Sasuke raised his brow at that. 'Isn't that Kakashi-sensei?'
"I'm at uh, I'm near the Kitsune-Kami Shinto. (2) W-What's wrong?"
"Is it the deserted one on the outskirts? Stay there and don't move! I'm coming right now."
"Yeah. W-Wait! What's wrong?"
"It's Jiraiya jii-sama! He had a relapse!! Something about seeing something too stimulating and he got too fired up. My parents won't tell me what he saw. Tsunade baa-sama sounds very stressed too. Wait for me; I'll go pick you up right now!"
"What?!!" It must be his fault that his grandfather had an attack! Blue eyes watered.
As if sensing the blonde's emotions, Kakashi whispered in a soothing baritone. "Don't cry. Jii-sama will be fine."
"I'll be there in 10 minutes. Bye." ::Click::
Naruto flipped his phone shut and turned to Sasuke. "Uh, Sasuke, is it okay if you go home first? …I'll call you again okay?"
"Please... I really need to be alone for a while."
Seeing the distressed expression on the smaller boy's face, Sasuke sighed and rubbed his head. "I get it. Call me when you're home so I know you're okay, alright?"
"Uhn. Thanks! And... sorry."
The taller boy threw him a small smile and waved. "Don't worry about it."
Naruto sighed when the other boy finally disappeared from his line of vision. He sat on the stone steps and waited.
"Naruto!!" Kakashi called out into the darkness. When he didn't receive a reply immediately, he panicked. Something might have happened to that brat! The temple grounds were so dark and deserted; any crime could have happened there and no one would know until he (the damn brat) was reported missing. The silver-haired man jogged to the entrance of the temple and called again. "Naruto!! Where are you?! Answer me!!"
"K-Kakashi?" A small, meek voice caught his attention and he ran towards that source. 'He sounds different...'
"Naruto? Are you okay? Are you hurt somewhere??"
A bundle of gold and blue suddenly launched at him, causing him to almost topple with the added weight.
"Kakashi! W-What will happen to Jii-san? It's my fault... I shouldn't have... W-What should I do? What should I do?? I... I don't have anymore family other than Jii-san... what should I do??" The blonde rambled almost hysterically.
As he sat there in the bleak darkness, many different scenarios, all ending with his grandfather in extreme critical situations, flashed through his mind, and the guilt and worry started building up. His wild imagination was driving him insane and when he saw the older man, everything just burst from a proverbial dam labeled 'Naruto's Emotions'.
'This is no good… He's on the edge of going berserk…' The taller man held the frantic blonde in his arms and bit his lips. "Naruto. Stop. It's going to be okay. I swear. Stop. If you don't, I... I'm going to kiss you."
The words probably didn't register in the blonde's mind as he rambled on madly. "B-But you don't understand!! It's all my fault. If he d-d-dies, then I would be the killer... I... MMPH!!"
Warm, thin lips pressed over his and large hands wrapped around his waist comfortingly. Strangely, even though he knew it was his pervert husband kissing and holding him, he didn't felt... weird. In fact, it felt... good. Naruto closed his eyes and subsequently wrapped his arms around the man's neck, wanting more contact. He felt Kakashi's tongue prodding his lips, and he slowly opened them with a small sigh. 'Oh no... He's turning me into a pervert too. Hmm... So this is an adult's kiss... Hmm, feels nice...'
Then another thought infiltrated his mind. 'Warm lips!! I'm kissing his lips!! This means...'
His eyes shot open and he quickly took in the visage of the silver-haired man. Mismatched eyes stared back at him in amusement and slight apprehension. Then the taller man slowly pulled away and with that, the full features of Hatake Kakashi were revealed.
Naruto gaped. 'Chou kakkoii ya...' (3)
He vaguely registered his spouse holding his chin, and shutting it to close his gaping mouth, before placing a small kiss on his temple. Then he pulled up that piece of evil cloth and his eyes creased into happy crescents. "Heh… That got you calmed down right? Don't worry! Jiraiya jii-sama will be fine. Now let's go see him before he thinks we have forsaken him."
The smaller boy nodded dumbly and walked beside his spouse. Minutes later, he finally snapped out of it. "Kakashi."
"...Who told you to kiss me?"
Cold sweat ran down the scarecrow's back and that slight apprehension returned with the impact of a sledgehammer. "...Ahaha..."
"...Don't 'Ahaha' me—!!"
When he gets upset
(Kissing is no good)
12 bowls of miso ramen
Is more effective
— Taken from 1000 Haikus of Hatake Kakashi, on 'Making up with Naruto'
Uchiha Sasuke felt lost and extremely frustrated as he trudged back to his house. He had so many unanswered questions milling in his mind but one issue, or rather person, rang out most starkly.
Why had Kakashi called Naruto? How did Kakashi know Naruto's number? What, exactly, is Kakashi to Naruto?
'Kakashi-sensei and Naruto. Naruto and Kakashi. Wait a minute...' Obsidian eyes widened as a tiny file buried in the Recycle Bin of Sasuke's mind popped open. 'Wasn't Hatake Kakashi the name of the man that Naruto was supposed to be engaged to...?'
The last few months flashed by Sasuke's mind and then suddenly everything clicked — all those half-glares Kakashi shot him when he thought Sasuke wasn't looking; all those soft tender looks he threw Naruto when he thought no one was looking; and all the nervous looks Naruto sported in Art class. (He still didn't understand that sushi question though.)
Then came another more pressing question: if Naruto was with Kakashi, why had he agreed to go out with Sasuke? Did he truly love him? Or was it all a sick game for that notorious blonde prankster?
'If it's all just a game to him...' Sasuke clenched his fists and gritted his teeth. He might just end up killing the blonde. 'Just the thought of him seeing someone else behind me is killing me... I can't look for him when I'm like this.'
'If I can't look for that dobe...' The Uchiha smirked. "...I would just have to confront Kakashi-sensei then."
So that's why Jiraiya jii-sama had a relapse. This was bad.
"Haha-ue, why didn't you tell me over the phone?" Kakashi growled.
Yaeko sighed. "If I told you, would you bring Naruto here?"
"He might get hurt inside!!"
Sakumo huffed and folded his arms. "Idiot son. You're too soft on him, that's why he went on an affair. It's unbelievable; he betrayed you and here, you're thinking about his safety? Have you no pride as a man?"
Kakashi scowled at his father. "Naruto's safety is more important than my pride, Chichi-ue. He went on an affair because he liked that person; it has nothing to do with how soft or hard I am on him!! Besides, it's none of anyone's business how I treat Naruto…"
His father shot up from his seat in anger. "What did you say?!"
"That's enough, the two of you. Kakashi, you knew about this affair before, don't you?" Yaeko asked as she patted her husband's back to calm the infuriated man.
"What!?!?!" Sakumo roared.
"It doesn't matter anymore." Kakashi plopped onto the seat, closest to the door of the ward, in exhaustion and clasped his hands tightly.
'Please let nothing happen to Naruto…'
"Naruto, what have you got to say?" Tsunade started as the boy kneeled before her and Jiraiya.
"I..." Naruto fidgeted. To be honest, he truly didn't know what to say. What did they expect him to say anyway?
"You were kissing that brat. Why?"
"...I ..." He wanted to say it was Sasuke who had kissed him but it didn't matter; it was a fact that he was going out with the other boy behind their backs after all.
"How long have you been with that brat? Before or after you were with Kakashi??"
"Why?" Naruto didn't know how to answer that question so he looked down.
A silence enveloped them. Jiraiya lost his patience and exploded finally. "How could you cheat on Kakashi?!? How would you feel if you were him, Naruto? Huh??! How would you feel if Kakashi was going out with someone behind your back?!?"
Naruto bit his lips. His chest was hurting again. 'I might die…'
Tsunade placed a hand on the older man's shoulder to calm him a bit before turning to the kneeling boy with a stern gaze. "Naruto, why?! I never knew you would do such a thing!! How could you do this?!? If you had someone you liked, it was okay to tell us. At least, no one would be hurt by this infidelity. How could you go out with someone else after the marriage?!"
Naruto pressed a hand to his chest. He wasn't listening to Tsunade as the image of Kakashi kissing Rin flashed across his mind, Jiraiya's words having left a deep impact.
"This is shameful...! I've let down Kakashi and the Hatake couple!!" His grandfather continued as he repeatedly pounded his fist on the bed to blow some steam. "If you were born a few generations earlier, I would have asked you to cut open your stomach! A seppuku would have been better than living on like this!!"
Ah, hurts so bad… The thought of Kakashi touching someone else, seeing someone else was terribly painful. Naruto wondered why that was so.
Oblivious that the boy was no longer paying attention, Jiraiya went on. "How could things turn out like this?! What would your dead parents say::Sigh:: Why did it turn out this way? The both of you were supposed to be living together happily like what your parents wanted for you and along the way; maybe you could regain your memories and live a fuller life without feeling like something is missing..."
Naruto snapped out of his mental processes as he caught onto the last few words.
"What? My memories?? What has that got to do with anything??"
His grandfather glared. "NOTHING!! The bottom-line is, you have done a disgraceful thing and you ought to be punished!!"
"I did nothing wrong!! I didn't want to be forced into a marriage!! And I refuse to believe what you just said!! I want you to tell me what my memories have to do with anything!!"
"Y-You! How dare you!!" Utterly livid — Naruto had never, ever talked back to him in such a way before (but the boy was currently at the prime of his rebellious stage) — Jiraiya lost it. He slapped the blonde across the face so hard the boy actually bit the inside of his cheeks.
Naruto glared back at his grandfather and assessed the damage did to the inside of his mouth. The taste of copper and something bitter probably meant a bad thing. "You scammed us into it! And now you're hiding something from me. Why are you doing all these?!"
"You insolent brat!!" Another hard slap across the cheek.
Suddenly, the door slammed open and Kakashi rushed in. "Jiraiya jii-sama! Please stop!! Naruto..."
The elders turned quiet as the tall man walked to a seething Naruto and pulled the boy away from the room. Once they were outside in the corridor, he drew the boy into an embrace and turned worried eyes to the quiet boy in his arms.
"You okay?" Kakashi asked as he dabbed a cloth to Naruto's injuries to staunch the blood flow.
"Oh yeah, dumb question; of course you're not okay... I'm sorry. I should have been inside there with you. Bear with the pain a bit more... I'll get a doctor." Kakashi murmured soothingly and ruffled the golden hair before drawing away.
"No!" A smaller hand shot out and grabbed onto him. "Don't leave me..." 'I don't want you to see or touch someone else…'
The taller man looked at the boy puzzled. Usually the strong-willed boy would scream for first aid already. Blood was pouring out from the cut lips and tears were welling up and gathering along the sides of those beautiful eyes, yet the boy was asking him to stay?! It was strange.
Naruto repeated. "Don't leave me, Kakashi..."
The scarecrow vaguely felt a sense of déjà vu. A similar scene had happened many years ago with a much smaller blonde and a younger Kakashi. That day, he had no choice but to leave. 'But this time...' the silver-haired man thought as he enfolded the boy in his arms again. 'I'll stay with you until you have enough of me.'
"I'll be by you forever. Promise."
"...Uhn... ...Thank you... and sorry." 'So warm…'
"Naru-chan? Naru-chan, say hello to Kakashi nii-chan! Here!" A kind voice and a warm hand... He looked up to see a beautiful blonde woman smiling at him.
'This must be Mother...'
He looked at his own body. His hands were chubby and tiny and he was decked in a pretty, Sakura-patterned girl's kimono. Judging by his height and things around him, he was probably pretty small.
"Naru-chan?" His mother called again. He looked up at her and tried to memorize her features. "Say hello to Kakashi nii-sama! And remember your manners."
He turned his huge, watery eyes to an older boy with spiky silver hair and a blank look on his face. 'This is Kakashi... He looks so young... And that stupid mask! How old did he start wearing that?!'
Looking at the smiling face of his mother and then remembering his manners, he bowed neatly. "Konbanwa Kakachi nii-chama!" (4) His eyes widen. Why was he speaking like that??
His mother giggled. "Good try. But let's try again okay? Say, Kakashi nii-sama!"
His brows creased in concentration as he tried again. "...Kakachi nii-chama!"
Kakashi brought a hand to his lips to hide his smile before reaching a hand to pat his head. "Kaka-nii would do, Naru-chan."
A strange feeling surged within him, propelling him to raise his head and gaze at the older smiling boy. Then lumbering unsteadily in his small wooden clogs, he launched himself towards the other boy and hugged his legs tightly with a large grin on his face. "Kaka-nii!!"
He awoke to the sound of the ringing theme to Ultraman Tiga. 'Dream...? Felt so real...' Naruto thought as he got out of bed and smack his alarm clock to turn off the alarm.
"Naruto? I'm coming in." Kakashi called out from outside his bedroom.
"And the menu today is... OKAYU!!" (5)
"Eh? Again? Mou... I hate this..."
As Naruto gingerly took a spoonful of porridge (Kakashi had insisted on feeding him), he gradually forgot the dream and continued to bask in the silver-haired man's presence.
"Nightmare. This is a nightmare." Naruto muttered as he whipped the paint brush across the white surface. Summer break had ended rather uneventfully. Then it was suddenly the new term.
After the event with his grandfather at the hospital, Kakashi had brought Naruto to a clinic for check-up. Turned out Naruto had suffered a bit of a concussion and some major damage to his teeth from the two blows. He had to recuperate at home and take only liquids and soft foods. Throughout the rest of the summer break, Kakashi had stayed by his side like he promised.
'Yet the minute school opens, he gets dragged away by those fans of his from class... Mou...' Naruto sulked as he slid the brush across the feature or point of his project — it was a tree. A huge tree standing out in the foreground with many smaller trees in the background. In fact, his whole project stemmed from a very simple concept. It was the green concept; he was going to paint a forest. He thought this might increase environmental awareness amongst the students. The fact that it was relatively simple to complete was an added bonus. He definitely didn't paint a forest just because it was easy. After a couple hours of painting, he had more or less finished painting the huge tree and some portions of the grass.
Naruto took a step back to admire his handiwork. If he didn't know, he would say that the picture was drawn by a pre-school kid. He sighed and wondered what kind of hell and terror would rain down on him on D-Day, more publicly known as the Ha-Ou Gakuen Cultural Festival Opening Day. That would be in 8 days' time. He sighed again as images of a devil-fied Iruka hovered around him and cackled happily while Kakashi stood to the side tied to a stake. His days were numbered, it seems.
As he sunk deeper into depression, a familiar voice rang out behind him exclaiming, "Whoa!! What the hell is that?!"
He whirled around to glower at the intruder, or rather, the group of intruders.
A monotonous voice added. "A random picture drawn by a pre-school kid would probably look better than that."
'What!? How dare they insult me...? It's definitely above pre-school level!! These guys here... Must be here to rub salt into my wounds.'
Naruto seethed and his scowl intensified. "What do you guys want?"
Kiba, Shino, Shikamaru and Chouji stood at the entrance and stared back at him.
A few seconds passed as the two sides engaged in a staring match.
It was finally broken when Naruto folded his arms irritatedly and growled. "So what do you guys want?"
Then the four boys raised their right hands and reached behind them...
(Naruto thought they were going to brandish their weapons and reached for his paint brush. If they were going to bully him at least he could paint them in defense.)
...and whipped out... paint brushes.
The five of them stood with the paint brushes in their hands and the stoic, serious looks on their faces. They continued in the stare-down, this time with brushes held proudly in their hands above their heads, until Naruto tilted his head bewilderedly.
Kiba rolled his eyes and shook out the kinks from his shoulders. "Finally..." he muttered. "What does it look like Naru-baka? Of course we are here to help you."
Shikamaru immediately ejected a sigh. "This is so troublesome... You better appreciate this."
"What?" The brief notion that he was hallucinating entered his mind. 'Must be all the stress from painting this damn thing... and other things...'
He must have looked terribly confused because Chouji smiled that smile of his and very slowly repeated, "We are your reinforcement. Don't worry, Naruto! We'll do our best to help you!!"
'Eh? But so suddenly? Why?' Naruto wanted to ask but the four of them were already waving their brushes and walking towards him.
"If you're thinking we're here to sabotage you, stop it." Shikamaru commented and started dipping his brush into the green paint. "Even though we disagreed with what you did, you're still our friend."
"Besides, Sensei is covering up for us so its fine..." Kiba laughed and happily mixed more paint together.
Shikamaru smacked Kiba's head then gave the confused blonde a small smile. "Don't worry about it."
"You guys..." Naruto abruptly felt something wet on his cheeks and he gently rubbed his eyes.
Shino pushed his shades up further the bridge of his nose. "No need to be so touched." Then he proceeded to paint the wall... with a tiny smile on his usually stoic face.
Kiba rubbed his head embarrassedly. "Hey, hey, don't start crying now, Naru-chan. Even though you're the baby of the group and we're kinda used to your bawling; if you start crying now, we'll still feel troubled by your tears, ya know?"
The blonde nodded and rubbed his eyes. "...Uhn. Thanks."
The five of them started work on the wall while laughing every few minutes for no apparent reason. It was great to be with his friends again.
The question about which sensei was temporarily forgotten.
Naruto was happy. The work on the wall was quite alright. Even though it was still very simple, at least the paint-job had upgraded from a pre-school kid's to a middle-schooler's. At that rate, he could probably finish well before the D-Day. Also, he was on talking terms with his friends again! This was the best thing that had happened so far. He couldn't wait to share this news with Kakashi.
A lot of things had changed between him and the other man since the Tanabata incident. For one, he thought he felt his heart fluttering whenever he was with the man. Another thing that really bothered him was how much he blushed when he saw the man half naked these days. He wondered if all this was because of the 'adult kiss' they had shared or the fact that he had seen Kakashi's face. Also, Sasuke had not been talking to him since then. Same applied for his grandfather and Tsunade baa-san. He sighed again and his happy mood dispersed.
"I have to go. I'm sorry, Naru-chan…"
"No!! Don't go!! Please! Don't leave Naru-chan…"
A warm body held him close. "I-I have no choice too! If I could, I want to escape all this and be with you forever and ever, Naruto! But there's a war now and my squad has been chosen…"
He held that warm body tighter and sobbed. "No. Naru-chan don't want this! Naru-chan hates this!! Why? Why does Kaka-nii have to leave me? Kaa-chan and Tou-chan are gone. Naru-chan don't want Kaka-nii to leave too!!"
Obsidian eyes became a bit wet. He knew the older boy couldn't stand to see his tears so this was his last tactic. "Don't cry. You know I hurt when you cry, right?"
He nodded and rubbed his eyes. He knew Kakashi hurt most when he saw him get hurt or cries. He didn't want Kakashi to hurt. "Kaka-nii, will you forget Naru-chan? Will you, will you leave me like Kaa-chan and Tou-chan?"
The taller boy smiled. "I might forget everyone and everything else but I swear, you're the only thing I will never ever forget. I promise I'll come back to you. So wait for me and be a good boy okay?"
"Uhn! Naruto will be a super good boy and obey everyone. So hurry home to me okay?"
"Aa. Here… pinky promise. If I don't come back to you, I'll suffer a pain that's worse than swallowing 10,000 nails!"
"Naru-chan promises too!!"
'That strange dream again…'
"Is there something you wanted to talk to me about?"
"Aa. It's about Naruto."
"I know about it. Your engagement with Naruto."
"...I see. Then?"
"I want you to break off with him."
"It was an arranged engagement, wasn't it? He was forced into it. Right now, Naruto is with me. We are happy together. I know he's not breaking up with you because he's afraid to hurt you so please break it off for his sake."
"... Those words... Did Naruto tell you to say them to me?"
"... ...He's often distracted when he's with me these few days. It's because of this issue, I'm sure. Please break it off so that he would not be troubled by this anymore."
A brief silence. Then, "I see. So he's troubled because of me, that's why he didn't say anything huh..."
"...So stop it. I... I really like Naruto. I... I can't stand the thought of him being with someone else! If I could, I would keep him somewhere only I know so he can't be with anyone else. I like him that much!! Kakashi-sensei... you probably don't know how much I like him. You are forced into the marriage too, after all... I really love Naruto."
"...I see. Actually, I'm glad that you like Naruto so much. I, I hope you can make him happy. Not by binding him to you but by letting him do what he likes. Naruto loves freedom and making friends because he was often bullied and ostracized in the past. He likes to be with people so you shouldn't isolate him for your own sake. I don't know how much you like him but there's someone I love too... Someone bright and beautiful. Someone too dazzling for me to keep. Someone who deserves only the best.
Because I love him too much, I can't keep him by my side; because I can't give him the ultimate happiness he should have. So, I won't resist if that person wants to leave."
"...!! Don't tell me you like Na—!"
"Sasuke, I can't break it off; it'll look bad for him. But I wouldn't get any more closer to him from now on so that he won't feel troubled by my presence. Eventually, he would break it off with me himself. When that time comes, I wouldn't stop him."
"...I-I get it. Thank you, Kakashi-sensei."
"...Just make him happy."
Two girls, who had been standing outside the classroom, heard the entire conversation and exchanged a look. Then, they smirked.
"Why is he so late?" Naruto mumbled as he waited by the door. It was already midnight and Kakashi wasn't home yet. He was starting to get worried about the other man.
'It has been like this since school started. Even if it had been about the cultural festival, that should have been over at least three days ago!!' The blonde thought as he stared at the clock again. 12:01 a.m. 'Damn it!! Did I do something wrong?! Why does he come home so late these days?!'
It was weird. The man had seemed like he was avoiding him — coming home very late and leaving the house very early; leaving notes or messages on the refrigerator or through SMS-es; not picking up his calls and leaving him extra money so that he could get public transport home; using the school's cultural festival as an excuse (this would no longer be valid because Naruto had asked the class and they had completed the design and props just four days after the start of term; even Naruto had finished Mission Impossible: Solo Mural Project a couple of days ago) for all the above mentioned. He was barely seeing and hearing Kakashi anymore. He had so many things to share with the man — he was back to talking terms with Kiba and the rest; he had been having more weird dreams that seemed so real they felt like his memories; he had attended the (apartment) block's community meeting to discuss the keeping of pets in the apartment; he had gotten a better result for art; he had learnt a new dish... there were so many things he wanted to tell the man. Yet, he had seemed to disappear from Naruto's world.
'And he promised me he would be by my side forever... That liar...' Naruto thought as he bit his lips and rubbed his eyes. He stared at the clock again. 12:05 am. 'Mou!! What did I do wrong?! Why is he ignoring me??!'
The blonde got up from the floor and stormed into the living room to pick up the telephone. Then he dialed a number he had already memorized in the last few days.
"The user that you're calling is currently unavailable. Please try again later. Beep." Naruto slammed the phone and screamed. He took a few deep breaths then tried another number.
"Hello?" A sleepy feminine voice asked.
"Ah! Rin-san... Naruto desu. Ah... sorry to disturb you so late in the night but I was wondering, is Kakashi with you right now?"
"Eh? Naruto-kun? Ah, are you okay that day? You ran off and didn't come back."
"Oh, uh, about that... I'm so sorry for worrying you and Genma-san and Raidou-san."
"Ah, it's alright. It's okay that you're fine now. Heh, your spouse was most worried! He ran all over the beach to look for you and even yelled at the poor coast-guard when the man said he didn't see any blonde boy around..."
"Oh..." Naruto frowned. 'Then why did he act so indifferent when he found me later?' "Ano, Rin-san... do you know where Kakashi is?"
"Oh yeah! He's not with me... Hm, isn't he supposed to be in your school helping the cultural festival or something?"
"Eh? Ah, but that should be over a few days ago..."
"Hm? Can't be... Didn't he rope Genma and Raidou into painting some mural or something in the hall for the stage event??"
"Eh? You didn't know? He had stormed into Club One More Kiss two nights ago and dragged the two of them to your school to paint. Genma had been complaining about how he had to sneak into a high school illegally and re-paint a super-ugly painting and only get paid a couple slices of pizza... Haha, Raidou was grumbling too, said something about beauty sleep."
'Besides, Sensei is covering up for us so its fine...' Now he finally made sense of Kiba's strange words. 'It was him then. He asked them to help me...'
"Sorry to bother you, Rin-san! I have to do something!! Thanks for your help! Goodnight!!" He placed the phone back and dashed into Kakashi's bedroom. He proceeded to dig into the man's laundry basket (filled with three-day-old clothes from the older man) and pulled the contents out.
'...Found it! Paint stains!! Green; blue; orange; brown... All the main colors I used for my decoration!!' The boy held the scarecrow's clothes close to his chest and stared at the stains in a daze.
This was why Kakashi had been returning home at ungodly hours. This was why he had stopped sneaking into Naruto's bedroom to peck him on the cheek or to tuck the blankets tighter around him late at night, like he used to a while back.
'He must have been too tired...' A strange feeling surged from the bottom of Naruto's chest as he connected the dots, and suddenly he found tears pouring freely from his eyes.
'Why is he being so kind to me?' Naruto hugged the scarecrow's clothes closer to his chest and sobbed harder. The sound of paper crinkling as he held onto the clothes caught his attention and he searched the pockets.
Retrieving the item, Naruto gazed at it curiously. It was a photograph; one that was turning a bit yellow and crumpled. In the photograph was a cute, beaming blonde boy in the arms of a smiling silver-haired boy. He flipped the picture and read the two lines of scribbled words on the back.
To Kaka-nii: Naru-chan will be with Kaka-nii forever and ever. So don't forget Naru-chan okay? — Love, Naru-chan.
To Naru-chan: Kaka-nii will remember Naru-chan forever and ever. So stay with Kaka-nii okay? — Always, Kaka-nii.
'Eh? I-I was this c-close to him when I was young?? No one told me that...' Naruto frowned and the incident at the hospital drifted back to his mind. 'This must have been what Jii-san was referring to!' The boy started looking around the room then his eyes fell onto a thick but small leather-bound book, lying haphazardly on the cluttered desk. He walked towards it and gently flipped it open.
It was a journal, and enclosed at the back of the book, were a few old, frayed letters.
He carefully picked one out; it was written to Kakashi and the address seemed to be some army barrack. He looked down the page and was surprised to see his name written at the bottom of the envelope.
'I wrote this?' The blonde thought, amazed, and opened the envelope.
How are you? Yaeko-mama is super worried about you... She said that the war is getting bad and that you might be in danger. Then she said a lot of other things Naru-chan (6) didn't understand but she cried after that. Kaka-nii, are you going to be okay? Come back to us safely! Naru-chan wants you to come back and play with me... Only being with you is fun::smiley face::
Also, Naru-chan has entered second grade (7) successfully! Yatta ne!! And because today is the first day of the new grade, Sensei read a book to us. It was the story of Onbu! Naru-chan was so excited! Naru-chan was like Onbu, and Kaka-nii was like the Onba. (Onba is the parent of the Onbu. They are 3 meters tall! They can wrestle very well!!) But Naru-chan thinks he still wants to be Kaka-nii's bride.
You still remember right? You haven't forgotten Naru-chan right? Jii-jii and everyone have been laughing at me when Naru-chan told them that I want to be Kaka-nii's bride. Why do they laugh? Is it... is it because Naru-chan sounds funny? Mou... but Naru-chan sounded very serious! Naru-chan could 'sa-shi-su-se-sou' now so I said, "Kakashi nii-sama no yome-san naritai!" (8) But they still laugh. Nande darou?
Ne Kaka-nii... Naru-chan misses you! So... So please come back quickly okay? Naru-chan will be with Kaka-nii forever and ever so please don't ever forget Naru-chan and come back soon!! Hurry home!!
"Uso... (9)" Naruto whispered as fresh tears burst from their dams. 'Those dreams… They are really my memories then!!'
He ripped through the rest of the letters and found that they were all written by him and held the same hope — to want Kakashi to return safely and quickly. As he read through the letters, an incident in Art class, when Kakashi had been teaching replayed in his mind.
"Ne Kakashi-sensei!" Fan-girl number 1 raised her hand and giggled. "Tell us more about yourself! You've been here for a while but we barely know anything about you..."
"Except the fact that Iruka-sensei is crazy for you!" Another fan chirped.
The class broke into laughter (except a frowning blonde) and Kakashi sweated. "Maa... I guess it should be okay for you guys to know a little more. Since our relationship has blossomed and all."
Fan girl giggled again. "Then... we want to know about Sensei's love life!!"
At that, Kakashi tilted his head as if deep in thought then his obsidian eye crinkled into a happy crescent. "Non-existent!"
"EHHHHHHH—?!?!?!" "Uso!!" "Be honest!!" "Tell us!!"
The teacher raised a finger to his lips to signal silence. The noise eventually ceased and he cleared his throat. "Well, I don't exactly have a love life now... But I used to be madly in love with someone in the past."
"Kyaaa——!!!!!" The girls screamed. "Tell us—!!"
Kakashi smiled. "Well, that person is my first love. That person is someone who wrote piles and piles of letters to me during my army life. There was a war then, which I'm sure some of you might know, and I was in the commando squad, so I got dispatched to the war. It was terrible there and I lost a very close friend and got very disillusioned. But that constant stream of letters brought hope and the desire to survive in me. That person who wrote the letter was a crybaby and told me how much tears would flow and how many rivers would flood if I died, so there... "
The girls cooed. The blonde, who had been frowning previously, looked murderous. 'Must be talking about Rin... Tch! Irritating...!!'
"Then Sensei, what happened to her?"
The silver-haired man looked a bit amused before his eyes turned sad then they resumed that usual happy crinkle and he replied. "Ah, well... I got back to that person too late and was forgotten."
'It was me... He loves me... It was me... He loves me...' Naruto gasped, and he slid to the floor, his legs suddenly weak.
The weight of all that he had done to the man crashed down on him like a ton of rocks and the sobs became harder. How much it must have hurt, when the person you loved had forgotten about you. Worse yet, he had gone out with someone else behind your back. It must have torn the man's heart... If it were Naruto, he would probably have died from heartbreak, or killed the man.
"Yet Kakashi had... He had still held me gently and stayed by my side..." Naruto got up from the floor and slowly walked to the living room and waited.
"If I don't come back to you, I'll suffer a pain that's worse than swallowing 10,000 nails!"
'It's enough. You're back; you don't have to suffer that pain anymore. I won't hurt you anymore.'
"Oi Kakashi... This is killing us..." Genma moaned as he rubbed his aching back.
"Yeah, see my eyes here? All these eye bags and dark circles are scaring my colleagues away." Raidou complained as he carried the cans of paint towards the wall.
The silver-haired man ignored those complaints and continued dabbing a darker shade of forest green onto the one-tone green to give the grass and leaves a realistic touch.
"Yeah, yeah... I know. Just one more day, okay? This thing is gonna be over in just one day. Just in time for the cultural festival."
"Tch! If you weren't my best friend, I would throttle you and strip you and paint you and leave you outside the school gate for all to see." Genma muttered as he got up and dipped his brush into the paint.
"Haha, yeah, thanks! I'll get you better food than pizza after this."
"You had better!!"
'Just one more day...' Kakashi thought as he continued painting. 'Just one more day... and I'll say goodbye to Naruto.'
Naruto sighed. In the end, Kakashi didn't come home. Today was already the day of the Cultural Festival. He got up from the sofa and went to wash his face.
'Ah, I look like a blowfish.' He winced as he dabbed cold water around his eyes to ease the swelling and redness. His whole face was puffy and pale from staying up late and crying and he wondered if he should wear a mask to hide it. Then he shook his head and continued in the daily morning rituals before heading to the door. Just then, the phone rang.
"Yosha—!! Finally completed!!" Genma cried in triumph as he raised his hands in the air and did The Wave. Raidou cheered and joined him as well.
"Kakashi, quick, quick!! Come do The Wave to celebrate!!"
The silver haired man laughed, put down the equipment and joined his friends. "Woooo—!! Uooohh—!!"
"Yay!! Finally!! All those late night paintings; all those oily, cheesy pizza; all that illegal sneaking into the school... Goodbye!!" Genma yelled as he packed up his stuff and headed out. Raidou followed suit shortly.
Kakashi picked up his things and stood back to admire the work. Instead of a plain forest and a plain sky, the giant tree in the foreground now had a swing attached to it. On that swing was a small blonde boy and pushing that boy was a spiky, silver-haired boy. Both were smiling happily. Kakashi smiled as the memory from when the two first met at the swing at the park drifted in his mind — he had witnessed a group of kids bullying the blonde and destroying his toys, and he had approached the little boy out of sympathy. It was pure coincidence that the boy was the son of his parent's friends and since then, he had stayed by the boy's side to protect him.
'But now, someone else is going to do that... In the end, first love ends up as just happy memories, huh?' The scarecrow mused.
"Kakashi, if you don't leave now, you're gonna get caught..."
"Yeah, and you have to attend the ceremony after the stage event right? Since you would officially be leaving the school today..."
"Hm? Yeah, coming now..."
"Eh?" Naruto gasped. "What…?"
"O-ya? Kakashi didn't tell you?!" Yaeko exclaimed.
"No. H-He hasn't been coming home these few days."
"Eh?! That boy... What in the world is he thinking?! I thought he told you and that you would join him to go over to the Italian branch of your father-in-law's business. He even asked me to buy two tickets for this afternoon!!"
"B-but he didn't say anything to me." Naruto mumbled. Then he remembered something else. "Ano, Kaa-sama, aren't you mad at me? For the Tanabata incident..."
There was a soft sigh. Then Yaeko replied, "Naru-chan, sometimes in life, we do a lot of silly things. I don't really blame you for what you did... It can't be helped if you don't like Kakashi..."
"No! I do!!" Naruto blurted. Seconds later, his eyes widened in surprise. 'I-I-I said it!!"
'All those chest aches when he mentions someone else. All that anger when he disregards me as his equal and treats me like a kid. All that fury when someone bullies him. I see. So I love him...' Surprise morphed into realization then acceptance.
"N-Naru-chan? D-Did you j-just say...?"
"I love him, Kaa-sama. I... I think I knew that I love him all along... but I was an idiot to ignore the feelings inside me. I... I... I'm sorry. I realize it now." Then he laughed bitterly. "I can't believe it took me so long to discover those feelings... I'm such an idiot."
"...Have you told Kakashi yet?"
"Have you told him yet? He has been waiting for you to say that to him ever since he saw you again that day! You probably don't remember this but..."
"I remember. I remember all those times with him. But I can't remember how I forgot it all in the first place."
'This boy... He's really alike with Kakashi in some aspects...' Yaeko sweat-dropped. "According to Jiraiya-sama and Tsunade-sama, you lost all those memories with Kakashi from trauma. There was a war and Kakashi got dispatched to it. You asked him to stay but he had no choice in the matter, so the two of you promised to write and wait for each other. One day, a letter from the barrack came and told us that his platoon got ambushed and that there might be no survivors... We tried to keep it from you but you eventually found out and went berserk for a while. Tsunade-sama had to put you to sleep. When you awoke, you just forgot everything. Your brain probably tried to wipe out all those reminders of Kakashi as well because you forgot about us too..."
"But then the letter... He didn't die then... Then why didn't anyone tell me anything?!" Naruto exclaimed.
"Ah, we thought he died too but it was pure luck that he survived. His entire platoon and his best friend weren't so lucky though. His best friend actually gave his left eye to him because Kakashi had lost his in the war... That boy didn't recover for a very long time from the war and when he did, he was like a changed man." Yaeko recounted.
"...Ah, so that's what Rin-san meant."
"Eh? You know Rin?"
"Uhn... Kaa-sama knows too?"
"She was the fiancée of Obito, Kakashi's friend who saved him and donated the eye; and she was also the one who did the operation for Kakashi, and took care of him when he was recovering... I had thought the two of them would get together."
"Uh... Ne Naru-chan, hurry and confess to him. It would be wonderful if the two of you could be as close and lovey-dovey like the past. Hohoho..."
'Hohoho-janai yo!' "Aa, I will. Thanks Kaa-sama! Sore ja!" (10)
With that, Naruto dashed out of the house and ran all the way to school. He couldn't wait to see Kakashi and tell him he loves him!
The Ha-Ou Gakuen Cultural Festival was already in full swing when he reached school. 'The phone conversation with Kaa-sama must have taken more time than I thought...' He looked around the stalls and wondered where to start searching. By now, the stage event would have started, so maybe he should go there first...
"Naruto!" Someone called him and he turned to see who it was.
'Ah... this is bad...' Naruto smiled a bit before waving awkwardly. "A-Ah! Sasuke... L-Long time no see... Aha...haha... Uhh..."
The brunette grabbed his hand and dragged him away. "I've something to tell you."
"E-Eh? But I-I'm in the middle of something."
"It'll take a short while."
"I know you and Kakashi-sensei are engaged."
Naruto gaped for a long while then he fidgeted. "Actually… we're married."
The taller boy looked stricken before he turned dejected and quiet.
Naruto fidgeted and seemed as if he wanted to say something but closed his mouth again. After a short silence, where both parties were immersed in their respective thoughts, the blonde finally spoke. "Sasuke, actually, I had wanted to tell you this but I just couldn't bring myself to say it... Maybe because I was confused as to how I really felt but the thing is... I realize my attraction towards you was something like a, a crush. That's why I never showed you the real me..."
"...Why didn't you tell me the truth?"
"I- I'm sorry but I was..."
The usually stoic boy raged. "Why did you keep it from me? WHY DID YOU KEEP IT FROM ME?! WHY?! WAS IT ALL A GAME TO YOU?!!?" Then his voice dropped to a whisper "...I love you, usuratonkachi..."
A pang of regret and ache struck Naruto as he gazed at the disheartened form of the taller boy. "...Sasuke... I am really sorry. I have discovered whom I truly love. I can't be with you anymore... It will just hurt all of us more if I stayed with you."
"...So that's the reason why you no longer blush for me; get distracted when you're with me; no longer spend as much time with me... At last, I'm the one who lost, huh..."
Blue eyes were tinged with bewilderment. "L-Lost? What are you saying?"
"I've lost. I lost you to Kakashi-sensei." Sasuke said with an air of defeat and finality. "I... I've been thinking a lot since that talk with him... After that I had realized that my love for you could never win his love for you, but I thought, at least, you still like me..."
"...Naruto, what kind of person is Kakashi to you?"
Seeing that solemn look the Uchiha was shooting him, he couldn't help but be serious as well. He pondered on the question for a while before he answered. "Kakashi is like ...air. Air is essential and supports life. Air is always there yet invisible, so sometimes you take it for granted. Kakashi is always supporting me in whatever I do and helping me along the way. But he never shows that he is helping me outwardly; he always does it quietly so I never notice anything. Because he was always there for me, I never seriously pondered about the impact of his existence and did selfish things. Even then, he was happy just to stay by my side... If Kakashi wasn't with me, I-I might not survive."
Naruto put a hand to his chest and closed his eyes. "I can't be what I am anymore if he isn't with me."
Sasuke mulled over Naruto's words and bowed his head. "Complete loss. I can't do it."
"I can't be like that. I can't stand to do things quietly for you and just stay by your side quietly or be taken for granted. I would want you to notice every single thing I do for you and I would want you to think only of me."
"Go to him. Tell those words to him. He would be very happy."
"Sasuke, I'm very sorry. And thank you! ...You'll find the right person for you someday and get the happiness you deserve!" The blonde waved his hand and smiled that dazzling smile of his before running towards the hall. Sasuke stared at the retreating back and smiled, albeit sadly. 'I should be saying that... Thank you for all the happy times we had shared, Naruto.'
Naruto smiled as he ran through the crowded streets and stalls towards the hall in a much lighter mood. Soon, it would be the closing ceremony. Kakashi would definitely be there! 'Kakashi, wait for me...'
The wall he (and the rest of the gang) had drawn had been revamped. That was the first thing Naruto saw when he reached the hall. Instead of the monotone paint, there were shades of greens, blues and browns that made the forests look aesthetically real. Also, the large tree in the foreground had been turned into a swing and sitting on it was a small blonde boy. Standing protectively behind was a silver-haired boy. Naruto smiled. He briefly saw a similar image in one of his dreams.
A mix between a banshee-wail and male screams invaded his ears and he turned his eyes to the performing group on the side of the stage. It was Sakura, Ino, and the cronies in their cheerleader costumes, performing to a song from Morning Musume. The guys squealed and waved their banners like crazy when the group did the cutesy dance moves. Naruto chuckled a little at that and quickly scanned the staff seats. His eyes finally landed on Kakashi, who was conversing with Asuma-sensei, and he felt his cheeks burning and his heartbeat began accelerating at the sight of the silver-haired man. 'I'll definitely tell him how I feel!' He swore mentally as he walked towards the seats.
"Thank you everyone!" Sakura smiled as she held the microphone and gave a flying kiss in the direction of the group of fan-boys. "Well, that's the end of the concert. Before we leave, I wished to make an announcement to everyone." The pink-haired girl turned to the direction of the staff seat and gave a small smirk.
"As most of you know, Kakashi-sensei came to our school as a temporary teacher and had been with us for an entire semester. Many of you know that he's a wonderful teacher who has included many additional elements, such as team work, in his art lessons. In fact, he's so wonderful he even has his very own fan club!"
At that, Kakashi's official (and unofficial) fan club cheered. Sakura's smirk widened and she went on.
"But many of you probably don't know this..." The whole hall became silent as they awaited the next sentence.
Ino was the one who continued though. "Ladies and gentlemen!! I'm sure you guys don't know this... but Kakashi-sensei here... actually has a spouse! And it's one of the students from our school!!"
If possible, the whole hall became even quieter and even Time seemed to stop. When the information finally sunk in, the whole hall erupted in pandemonium.
"HOW CAN IT BE?!!?"
"NO—!! KAKASHI-CHAN IS SUPPOSED TO PROPOSE TO ME!!" (!?!)
Sakura and Ino shared a small smile before Sakura spoke up. "Ne Sensei, why don't you tell us more about your marriage with a ...Uzumaki Naruto?"
'Mwahahahaha… It's a bit terrible for Kakashi-sensei but let's see how you're going to get through this in one piece, Uzumaki Naruto!!!'
Naruto recover from the shock and hissed. He was about to make his way to the stage to give the girls a piece of his mind when the silver-haired man stood from his seat and slowly made his way to the stage. The hall became quiet again as the teacher took the microphone from Sakura.
"Good afternoon everyone. As you all know, I'm Hatake Kakashi. What Haruno-san just said... well, I won't deny it. It is a fact that Naruto and I are married but the truth is, he was forced to marry me. His grandfather had fallen ill and his last wish was to see Naruto married to someone he knew. Naruto was just being filial." The man paused and gave a small smile. "Thankfully, his grandfather has recovered but Naruto had become trapped in a loveless bond with me. It's unfortunate for him because he's just like everyone of you here — young, rash, rebellious, fun-loving and in love. Did you guys know? He loves the miso ramen at Ichiraku and visits the stall so much he's been getting student discounts from the restaurant owner?"
Laughter erupted from most of the student body and most teachers.
Kakashi smiled and continued. "He likes to wake up early in the morning during weekends to watch anime, especially that Maruto Shippuden and Peroxide. (11) On Wednesdays, he would dash to the bookstore to buy Shounen Jump. Then he would read it all night and wake up late for school. Like all of you, he's just an average student who loves playing and leaves studying at the very last second. Like all of you, he's just a teenager who loves anime and manga. Like all of you, he falls in love and quarrels with friends. He's just more unfortunate than others because he's trapped in a meaningless relationship with an old man like me out of his love for his grandfather."
Naruto wiped his eyes. 'Kakashi… Stop it. Stop smiling like that when you're saying such things.'
"So please, don't alienate him because of his circumstances. Besides, the marriage is only in name. To me, Naruto is more like a kid than a spouse. So please, treat him as all of you do like always. Also, good work everyone; the festival is a blast." The silver-haired man smiled and bowed then he left the stage.
Naruto tried to get to Kakashi when the man finished his speech. But that annoying group of Morning Musume wanna-be(s) (also known as Sakura, Ino and cronies) spotted him and gasped. Then the rest of the people in the hall noticed and followed their line of vision and saw him as well. Then they jumped to their feet and crowded him, asking him about this and that. None of them appeared hostile, like he had imagined everyone would be when they knew the truth, though; a bit too curious and persistent, that's all. In the end, he couldn't get past the horde of people and Kakashi's retreating back gradually disappeared from his eyes. This would explain why he was currently running like never before around the airport, desperately searching for a head of silver hair.
'Damn it! Hatake Kakashi, you're going to get it when I find you, stupid, irresponsible jerk!!' Naruto thought angrily as he dashed around the terminals and counters anxiously. However, as minutes passed, the boy became desperate when there was no sign of the man. He checked his watch and checked the plane schedules on the digital boards. 20 minutes left and Naruto might never get to see the man again.
'Damn it! Just where the hell is he?' Cafés checked. Toilets checked. Shops checked. 12 minutes.
'Shit. Shit. Shit. Where else could he be hiding?' Counters checked. Benches checked. Waiting lounge checked. 6 minutes.
'Wait. I haven't checked the telephone booths at that corner... Maybe he might be there?' Naruto dashed to the rows of telephone booths. 'Please... Please let me be in time!! Don't leave me!! Not again!!' Telephone booths checked. No tall, suspiciously dressed silver-haired man with an erotic novel in sight. 3 minutes.
Frustrated, Naruto banged his fists on the wall and screamed. "Kakashi!! You big idiot!! You better appear before my eyes or I'll hate you forever and ever!!" 2 minutes. "...I'm begging you so please..."
'At least let me tell you how much I love you.'
(1) "KORA—!! Nani o shiteiru?!?" : "HEY—!! What (do you think) you are doing?!?"
(2) Kitsune-Kami Shinto : Fox Deity Shrine (literally translated)
(3) 'Chou kakkoii ya...' : '超カッコイイや。。。'; Super cool...
(4) "Konbanwa Kakachi nii-chama!" : Young children cannot pronounce the 's' sounds very well so they end up saying 'ch' in place of the 's'. For instance, desu becomes dechu.
(5) OKAYU: 御粥; Porridge. Good for people with mouth/oral problems or stomach problems.
(6) Naru-chan : Young children have a habit of addressing themselves with their own names instead of 'I'
(7) Second grade : This should be around... 8 years old?
(8) Kakashi nii-sama no yome-san naritai!; Nande darou: I want to be Kakashi nii-sama's bride!; Why is that?
(9) "Uso..." : "No way..."
(10) 'Hohoho-janai yo!' "Aa, I will. Thanks Kaa-sama! Sore ja!" : 'Don't 'Hohoho' me.' "Yes, I will. Thanks Mother. See you!"
(11) Maruto Shippuden and Peroxide : Parody names of what anime. Make a guess... ::smiles::
(12) Oba-han : Term for housewives/home-makers. Have big afro-like hair-dos, usually have very sharp laughter, and can nag for hours. They can be very aggressive during sales and bargains so be careful when you see them okay?
The doorbell rang so he stopped slicing the meat and went to answer the door.
"Yo! We have come to... WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?!?!" Kiba screamed as he pointed as the huge, puffy blonde hair.
Naruto frowned and reached a hand to touch his hair. "What? What's wrong?"
"Y-Y-Your hair!!!" Kiba stuttered. "I-It's like some... Afro!"
The blonde frowned even more. "It's not an afro!" He corrected.
"It is." Shino uttered and adjusted his pink shades. It had gone skewed when he saw Naruto's... new hair.
"It's not!" Naruto insisted and he jabbed his hands on his waist in annoyance.
Shikamaru sighed. "It's not an afro. Afro is bigger than this. This is..." He paused for dramatic effect. "An Oba-han (12) hair."
Chouji dropped his snack bar. "Oh no! Could this mean... Naru-chan is now Naru baa-chan?!?!" The other three in the group mock-gasped before Kiba turned slanted eyes at Shikamaru. "Say Shikamaru-kun, you seem to be really learned in the field of Oba-hans... Why is that so?"
The lazy boy shivered a bit then he mumbled. "My mum."
"You guys, put your things there and come to the kitchen." Naruto ordered as he took his (flowery and pink) apron off and went into the kitchen to wash his hands.
"Sheesh. Acting like an Oba-han already... I fear for him." Kiba muttered but followed the smaller boy's orders anyway.
"Ah, you guys are here already?"
"Usu! We're here to ask you about your opinion on our art pieces."
"Oh okay... Just wait a bit more. I'll be done soon."
"...Peeling garlic again?" Shino asked as he watched the taller man peel cloves of garlic.
"Yeah... Naruto wants to use them for grilling meat later."
Kiba guffawed. "Not to be rude or anything but did you marry Naruto just so that you can peel garlic? You're peeling garlic every time we come over...!"
The other man smiled sheepishly. He looked as if he was going to reply but Naruto suddenly whipped a strip of onion at him. "Wash this after you're done."
"One 'yes' is enough."
Shikamaru sighed. "He's totally whipped." 'Like dad... Oba-han... they are so scary. That's it; I'm never marrying anyone ever.'
Chouji wiped his saliva away (he had salivated at mention of 'grill' and 'meat') and chuckled. "Yeah, never thought Kakashi-sensei would be afraid of Naruto..."
Frustrated, Naruto banged his fists on the wall and screamed. "Kakashi!! You big idiot!! You better appear before my eyes or I'll hate you forever and ever!!" 2 minutes. "...I'm begging you so please..."
'At least let me tell you how much I love you.'
"...Ano? You were looking for me?" A warm baritone asked behind the boy. He whirled around to see Kakashi! ...And Rin.
"What is Rin-san doing here?!" Naruto yelled as he glared and pointed an accusing finger at the lady beside the man.
Kakashi sweated. "Uh, she's going to Italy to visit her teacher."
Rin smiled. "Naruto-kun, we could hear you all the way from the other end of the hall... Haha, I'm going to see my teacher. He mentioned some breakthrough about genetics and reproduction so I'm very excited..." Her eyes shone and her aura went several notches brighter. "Hm? Naruto-kun, what are you doing here?"
The boy remembered his initial purpose and whipped his head to look at Kakashi, who had immediately put his hands up in defense.
Stalking to the taller man, he growled... then he pounced. "You big, big idiot! What are you going to do if I didn't get to see you?! Idiot! Pervert! Octopus!(?!?)"
The scarecrow blushed as he tried to ignore the looks from passers-by and gently plucked Naruto's hands from the front of his shirt. "Oi, oi, oi... You're supposed to be in school to help clear up right? ...And where is Sasuke?"
Naruto hugged Kakashi tighter. "I escaped. I broke up with him. I like someone else."
"...I see. So who is it that you like now?"
"...You." Blue eyes gazed seriously into shocked obsidian eye. "I love you, Hatake Kakashi. So you have to take responsibility. For making me fall in love with you... and for targeting me since I was a kid."
"!! ...Does that mean that you..."
"I remember everything. How you treated me nicely when I was a kid and how you say you loved me. You made me make you my first love so take responsibility, understand? Ah, I also remember you said that you would be by my side forever. You can't leave me; I won't let you go." Naruto said with a determined expression and burrowed deeper into the man's arms. "If you leave me without permission, I'll make you swallow 1,000,000 rusty nails this time."
"...Sorry Rin. Looks like you have to go alone." Kakashi finally said after a tense silence.
Rin smiled. "That's alright! You two have fun! Uh, bye!!" She smiled and hastily departed from the fluffy but embarrassing scene. 'Haaaa... Newly weds are so sweet.'
"I'll stay by your side." Kakashi whispered in Naruto's ears then he held the boy's gaze and smiled playfully. "So don't make me swallow the rusty nails okay?"
Naruto had his second adult kiss amidst deafening clapping and cheers from the tens of curious passers-by who had stayed to watch the drama. He briefly wondered if the rest of his kisses with Kakashi would be as wonderful.
"Hatake Kakashi! What. Is. This?" Naruto growled as he took out a stack of photographs from under a pile of books.
The silver-haired man paused in the discussion of the different shades and paints with the four boys, and paled. 'NO! My special collection bought from Shibuya district!!! And I had specially hidden it under my art folders... How!?!'
"Na-Naru-chan..." Kakashi began.
The blonde fumed. "Don't 'Naru-chan' me!! How many times have I told you NOT to buy this kind of dirty pictures!! And they are of high school girls too!! What? I'm not enough for you?! ...Your allowance this month will have a 20 percent cut!!!"
"No—!! Wait!! Listen to my explanation!!"
Despite the countless threats to his Icha Icha series and various collections, Kakashi continue to love Naruto deeply. Despite countless (futile) attempts to throw the pervert's collections and getting angry over his spouse's lazy and perverted ways, Naruto continue to love Kakashi deeply. And so, like all couples in the awkward stage of living under the same roof, they continued to argue and make up, and with every argument, their love only expanded as they slowly learned the way to live together as one.
After all, they were each other's first love and as everyone knows, first loves are always special. ::winks::
It's finally over. ::cries::
I had a wonderful time writing this story and I would really like to take this A/N corner to thank all the constant reviewers for their countless support and encouragement. Your reviews are pretty much the best part of posting this fic. You guys are the best! Seriously!! If it wasn't for your support, I doubt I would have continued this fic like this. Thank you very much!!
Now that FIRST LOVE is officially completed, I would continue the other KakaNaru story, A Fox and A Scarecrow is a No-No. If you like animal cosplay stories like Damekko Dobutsu, do check that one out. ::waves KakaNaru-All-The-Way banner::
Also, do remember Rin-san and Densha-Shounen, Kiba from this story. Why? Because very soon, I'll be writing a sequel to FIRST LOVE. Only thing now is... I wonder how I should do the m-preg thing or if I should even do it at all.
Thank you very much for reading this story and for your constant support. I hope you had enjoyed this as much as I had enjoyed writing it.
See you next time!