Hello everyone, and welcome to my main Naruto story! Man, I am so glad that I have finally got this up on this website. I've been planning it for such a long time that it's ridiculous. Okay, first of all, let's discuss the pairing... It's Naru/Hina. In truth, the romance in this fic will be very, VERY low key, so you don't have to worry too much about overly fluffly and corney moments in this fic, despite the look of this first chapter. More pairings will be added later...as in much later.
A word of warning for those first visiting my story. You are going to find that there are going to be some things that you may not want to happen or do not agree with. Bad things do happen to good people in this fic at times, but let's face it, that's how life is. So again, this is your warning.
On a brighter note, this first chapter has NONE of that bad stuff. I have big plans for this fic, so let's finally begin!
Edit Note (6/4/09): As a note to everyone, I'm now taking time to do some severe editting of all of my early chapters (mostly from now to chapter ten). Though the plot will remain the same, events and thoughts of specific characters will be explained in greater detail than before. Unfortunately, there is a drawback to this. Since I'm editting from the first chapter on, there may be a drop in quality after a few chapters (not bad mind you, but it's there). I'm hoping to at least get two chapter revisions each week (with luck). Just bear this in mind as you read. Still, I sincerely hope you enjoy this fic just as much as I am enjoying writing it.
The small boy yawned tiredly, scratching his messy blonde hair, only half awake. Then with a big "Wahoo!" he jumped up from his bed and punched the air enthusiastically. "Good morning, Konohakagure!" he shouted out window that he had never been able to actually fully close, stomping his foot on the wooden floor under his feet. This only caused several shouts and complaints from the other occupants on his floor and below. Not that they needed any provocation in the first place to yell at him anyways.
The boy just shrugged it off and ignored the commotion, completely used to the angry shouts from the residents in the lower apartments. Silently, he leaned his head forward on to the windowsill, gazing out at the coming sun. He had always loved sunrises, ever since he was small…er. It was the only thing that had ever greeted him when he woke up in the morning. Every time he looked out at the shining globe, something in the back of his mind always told him...fooled him into thinking that it was going to be a better day than the last. That it would be a day worth actually living...
"Hey kid!" the voice of the apartment owner yelled at him from outside his door, surprising him out of his brooding. "I'm up to my eyeballs in complaints about you being too loud. Shut up before you put me out of business!"
"I'll yell as much as I want!" the blonde ten year old yelled as loudly as he could back at the closed door, though he made sure that it was locked before doing so. "You should show some respect to the next Hokage in your village. If you keep this up, I'll make sure you go out of business when I'm running this village!"
"Just keep it down, kid," the owner said with a sigh, and the shadow that had appeared from underneath the door disappeared.
Naruto stuck his tongue out toward the door and stomped his foot even louder on the floorboard, causing the uproar from below him to grow even louder. A minute later, he figured he had caused enough pandemonium for the morning and decided against continuing. He didn't want too much trouble when he would eventually go down to the main level of the apartment and leave for school.
With a depressed groan Naruto made his way to the cabinet and fridge to get his cereal and milk out, reluctantly pouring both into the one bowl that he owned. It wasn't like he had anything against cereal or anything. It was just that…something was missing. That one thing that would help him through all of his ninja skills and give him the energy he needed. With a sigh, he continued to pour himself cereal and milk. Before eating any though, Naruto made sure to check the expiration date of the milk this time. He didn't want to go through another day of running to and from the restroom the entire day like he had last month. Besides, if his new teacher was anything like the ones he had already had, he wouldn't be getting any trips in the first place.
After he finished his meal and dressing in his usual white tee shirt with the Fire Country symbol and his black pants, he quietly made his way downstairs. Though he attempted to keep himself quiet and unnoticeable, he found the second he entered the room, it became deathly quite. The boy looked around the room in caution, figuring that each of the residents must be mad about his yelling. He laughed it off and headed toward the door, making sure to not bother anyone and to ignore each of the hateful glares that were being shot at him. When he finally made it to the doorway, he began to believe that he was home free, too bad the fat lady hadn't sung yet.
"Get out of our village you creature!" a woman yelled, throwing the book that was in her hands straight at Naruto's head. Naruto barely dodged the ridiculously large novel and got out of the building as fast as he could before a riot could start. Again...
After running a couple blocks down the street, Naruto let out a sigh of relief that he had gotten out unscathed. With only one last glance back over his shoulder, he began his way to the academy. It wasn't as though he wasn't already used to it anyways. For as long as he could remember everyone had always treated him the same way. He tried to be good, he really did. But that only resulted in empty stares as he passed by, almost as though he didn't even exist. Even vengeful stares were better than those. At least those looks actually acknowledged his existence. And so far there has only been one person that had ever looked at him differently than anyone else…
Five minutes after he first started his trek, he saw another boy walk around the corner a block ahead of him and begin walking the same direction, not noticing Naruto all the while. For a second, Naruto stopped his walking and just watched the other young child walking down the street in front of him. Then, with a mischievous smile, Naruto leaped into the trees and hopped from branch to branch until he was right above the other boy. Naruto chuckled manically as he followed the boy within the safety of the trees, making sure that he wasn't seen or heard. Though there was one moment where the boy under him looked upwards into the branches above him, in the end he only sighed and continued his walk to the academy.
Naruto could barely contain the giddy laughter that was trying to escape from him. There was no way his plan could fail this time. Soon he, Uzumaki Naruto, will be known as the most talented, genius student in the academy. With a deep breath, he jumped out of the trees and fell downward toward his victim.
"I got you now!" he yelled at the top of his lungs, prepared to tackle the unsuspecting child beneath him. But instead of hitting flesh, his face connected with hard cement. "Ow! Holy crap that hurt!" Naruto yelled as he rubbed his right cheek in pain. He then yelped in pain and grabbed his matted blonde hair as a hard punch connected to the top of his head. It didn't actually hurt that much, he just hadn't been expecting it.
"How can you ever expect to surprise someone if you shout out where you are?" the other boy asked as he looked down at Naruto and crossed his arms. "It's no wonder that you're the dead last in the class...Dobe," he said with a sigh.
"Blah, blah, blah! Don't get so cocky, baka," Naruto said as he stood to his feet and pointed at the other boy. "That was a lucky dodge! You know I almost had you this time, Sasuke!"
"Whatever," the raven haired boy replied as he uncrossed his arms and stuffed his hands into his pockets. "So, are you actually going to school today?"
"Of coarse I'm coming!" Naruto yelled enthusiastically. "How else will I become Hokage?"
Sasuke chuckled as he turned back around to continue on his way with Naruto walking beside him. "You still think you have a chance of becoming Hokage? Aren't you the one who is always failing the tests? The one who keeps playing pranks on everyone so they hate your guts? Most of the teachers won't even look at you after the last one you did to the advance class' sensei"
"My pranks are funny Sasuke and you know it. And if I remember correctly, you were the one who distracted the class while I was able to do my prank last week. Not to mention you helped me with one a couple days ago! And one other thing, I only flunk the written tests!" Naruto said, turning his head away from his fellow shinobi in training. "It's not my fault they make the questions so darn hard! What can you do when a bunch of shuriken are coming at you anyways? The best thing you can do is try to get out of the way as fast as you can before they get to you."
"Or you can use the Kawarimi no Jutsu and escape without a scratch on you," Sasuke said with a pitied sigh. "Sheesh Naruto, I really don't know how I can put up with you."
"Because you and I are best friends, Sasuke-kun!" Naruto said as he unexpectedly slung his arm over the Uchiha's shoulder and began marching.
"Get off me, dobe!" the trapped ninja in training yelled, trying to shake himself free, but Naruto had a tight grip on him. If Naruto knew anything about Sasuke, it was that he hated physical contact with anyone.
"I may have not have gotten you the first time, but there's no escaping now!" Naruto laughed as he tightened his arm to keep a hold of Sasuke, savoring his victory. "So, what now Sasuke? There aren't any fan girls here to save you now."
"Naruto!" two voices yelled from behind him. Two fists simultaneously slammed into the poor boy's already bruised head and sent him down to the ground to once again become acquainted to the pavement.
"Ow!" Naruto yelled for the second time in five minutes. "I must have jinxed myself. Okay, which ones hit me this time?" he asked as he looked up. His face slightly paled when he saw the two kunoichi in training leering over him. It was just his luck to get stuck with the arguably two most obsessed Sasuke fans in the ninja academy, Haruno Sakura and Yanamaka Ino.
"What do you think you're doing to my Sasuke-kun?" Ino roared at the helpless ten-year old, which Naruto responded with an angry glare back at her. Naruto had never liked Ino, she was too annoying. Always talking about how beautiful she looked and how Sasuke would be hers one day. Naruto once made a joke about how she probably sniffs the toilet Sasuke goes on and the lump on his head didn't disappear for a month.
"Hey, hey, hey, I'm sorry! I was just messing around, I…" he was cut off again as another fist collided into his head, this time from the other girl.
"If you were sorry you wouldn't have done it in the first place!" Sakura yelled this time, raising her fist threateningly to punch him again.
"Ah, come on Sakura-chan. Why do you have to be so mean? I have no idea why you don't like me. I mean tell me how many times I have asked you out already?" the beaten up ten year old asked. "I even gave you those nice flowers that one day…"
"As far as I care you could give me all the treasures in the village, I'll never go out with you," the pink haired girl said turning her head away from him. "You should already know that my heart belongs to Sasuke, he's mine. Isn't that right Sasuke-kun?"
"The next time you call Sasuke 'yours' I'll beat you to a pulp, forehead girl!" Ino yelled. Naruto sighed to himself as he rested his arm on his knee and propped his head up with his fist. This seemed to be the beginning of another one of Sakura and Ino's "Sasuke fights". They had at least four of them each day. Sometimes they became entertaining though. He might as well just sit still and make himself unnoticeable for now. Last thing he wanted was yet another bump on his head.
"How could you ever think Sasuke-kun would ever want to go out with a pig like you?!" Ino's former best friend shouted back. "Your ideal date would probably be going to the local barn to eat some hay!"
"Pigs don't eat hay you idiot!"
"Then they probably eat manure. That must be why they smell so much, just like you!"
"This is hopeless!" Ino huffed. "Sasuke-kun, just tell Sakura already that you like me better and get this over with," Ino said turning to where Sasuke was standing, or rather where Sasuke used to be standing.
"Sasuke!" the two girls exclaimed at the same time as they both looked around for their dear Sasuke.
"I think he took off when Sakura punched me on the head," Naruto said still sitting on the ground. He was slightly disappointed that the fight was over. He had actually been enjoying the spat the two were having. He didn't get why Sasuke never stuck around to find out who the victor would be.
"He must have headed to the academy!" Sakura yelled. "Sasuke-kun! I'm coming!" The two girls then took off with dust trailing behind them, their voices still being heard long after they were out of sight.
"Man, why can't girls be like that around me?" Naruto asked as he stood up. He dusted off his white tee shirt and repositioned his goggles on his forehead before continuing his rant. "Sasuke has all the luck, and what does he do? He walks away! Man if I was Sasuke, I would…"
Naruto stopped his complaining as he turned around to look at the bushes. Looking at them suspiciously, he tiptoed toward them, inspecting them for a moment. After a couple more seconds, he shrugged and turned around to leave, but then jumped back at the bushes to surprise whoever was in them. And Naruto came face to face with…no one. Naruto closed his eyes and scratched the back of his head, thinking for sure that he had heard something. Then, with another shrug, he walked away with his hands folded behind his head.
As soon as he was too far away to notice, a small girl stepped out behind a tree and looked after him. With a blushing face, she gazed after the boy while pushing her two index fingers together. When he finally turned the corner and out of sight, the white eyed girl left her hiding place and began walking toward the ninja academy. When she had seen him ahead of her…she absolutely froze, not able to do anything. Before she knew it, she was once again hidden behind a tree, avoiding him. Still angry at herself, she trudged on toward the academy, her eyes cast downward to the ground.
"Okay class," said the young man toward the large number of children before him. He wore the signature Chunin vest and a hitae-ate with the sign of fire on it rested on his forehead. His brown hair was tied back and a scar went across his upper nose, far enough to reach past his eyes. Yet the scar could not hinder how kind his eyes were. "My name is Umino Iruka, and I will be teaching you for the remainder of your time here. I hope that we can have a great time together."
A young long black haired boy that Naruto didn't know raised his hand. "What happened to Raiku-sensei?"
"Raiku-san has been promoted to Jonin and will be undergoing tougher missions that only the elite are able to accomplish. We need as many high ranking ninja in our village as we can get, so I'm counting on all of you to become the best ninjas possible," Iruka said with a closed eyes smile and raising his finger.
"Well, you can count on everybody but Naruto," a cocky girl a couple seats away from Naruto said loudly. Naruto began to stand up and charge her but Sasuke, who was sitting beside him, grabbed the furious blonde and yanked him back into his chair.
"Do you really want to get on the new teacher's bad side on the first day? Can't you tell that this may be a new start for you, dobe?" he asked.
Though Naruto hated to admit it, Sasuke was right…as usual. "I'll get her latter," Naruto said threateningly as he sat back down in his seat and crossed his arms in annoyance.
Iruka saw this and looked over at the boy. Just as anyone else over the age of twenty, he immediately recognized the boy by the noticeable whiskers and blonde hair. Uzumaki Naruto. Though he hated to admit it, he could not help but think, "Kyuubi…"
"I would rather none of you say too harsh of words to your fellow classmates," the new sensei said, looking at the one girl in particular. "You never know who might become even stronger than you someday, maybe even Hokage."
"I like this guy already," Naruto said smiling. Sasuke just let out a low grunt, though Naruto just took it that he agreed with him.
"Now, I'd like all of you to show me how well you can do the henge no jutsu," Iruka said as a chorus of groans responded back to him. "Come on everybody, line up." Naruto felt some sweat drop down from the back of his head. At the same time, he put his head on the table in front of him and softly hit his head a couple times. Why did the teacher have to test them on their jutsu ability on his first day? And in front of everyone in the class as well!
"Come on," Sasuke said tapping him on the shoulder and walking away.
Naruto sat up with a nervous sigh, then walked down to join the others, but still made sure that he was the last one to do his henge. One by one the students attempted the jutsu, which most of the time were pathetic due to the fact that they were new to the ninja academy, much like Naruto. Most of them were just fatter and uglier images of Iruka, who was the one they were looking at that moment. But each time Iruka would just nod and tell them nice job, and the student would walk back to their seat feeling some sort of accomplishment. When it came to be Sasuke's turn though, he demonstrated just why he was known as the genius of the academy and preformed an impressive henge of the Sanidaime.
"Very nice transformation," Iruka said, obviously impressed by the student's jutsu. "What's your name again?"
"Uchiha Sasuke," the raven haired boy responded as he undid the jutsu and turned his head to look at the new teacher. Back at their seats, a couple girls fainted. Iruka cast a knowing eye toward the boy, and then just nodded and jotted down a few notes on his paper as Sasuke went back to his seat.
Finally, it was Naruto's turn. Iruka continued to jot down a couple more notes, but then noticed that the boy was just standing there in front of him. Naruto had just realized that his plan had backfired. Since he was the last one up, he was now the only one that was still in the front of the classroom, causing all eyes to fall on him. For once, Naruto did not want everyone's attention on him
"Uh, you may start now," Iruka said awkwardly. Naruto could hear the class snickering behind him, which made the small boy even more determined and focused.
"Alright, what did Sasuke say?" Naruto thought as he made the necessary hand sign. "Uh…focus my chakra…concentrate hard…and let it lose!"
Naruto summoned all the chakra he could to perform the justu and closed his eyes, not wanting to see what he would become. With a loud 'poof' smoke covered Naruto.
Laughter exploded in the room when Naruto opened his eyes. Each of them was laughing so hard that a couple of them had fallen out of their chairs. Ino and Sakura were laughing so hysterically that they were actually helping each other stand up, neither of them realizing what they were doing. Sasuke put his head on the desk and just shook his head miserably. Naruto looked into the window and saw in his reflection, much to his horror, that the only thing that he had changed was his nose, which was four times as long as it once was.
"Well, you had nice effort," Iruka said as Naruto undid the jutsu.
"Naruto, you're such a failure!" someone yelled from behind him, causing more laughter to explode from behind. Naruto looked up at the teacher in shame and turned his back to him to make his back to his seat. What did it matter anyways? It wasn't like he cared what any of them thought. With each step he took he began devising some way that he could get back at each and every one of them.
"Um…uh," a voice said as he continued his way up the stairs.
"Huh?" Naruto asked as and turned to the person who had talked. Sitting there was a girl around his age, pressing her two index fingers together. She wore a white sweater with blue pants, and her hair was dark black. She hid her eyes behind her blue bangs, only occasionally looking up at him. From behind her bangs he could spot some bandages wrapped around her head for some reason or another. But the thing that struck Naruto the most was her eyes, pure white without pupils. He remembered a lesson a while back where the teacher talked the bloodline trait and the family that possessed it. What were their names again? Hiesha? Hohwa? Ah whatever, Naruto finally decided.
"Yeah?" he asked the girl, who turned away and blushed when he spoke to her.
"Um…well. I-I just wanted t-to say…n-nice try," she stuttered as she stared at her desk. Naruto raised his eyebrows at the girl. It was the first time someone had really complemented him for real. He had always been told that he would never amount to anything by the other students and teachers, and Sasuke would just berate him just to get on his nerves. Now, out of nowhere, someone finally congratulated him? And what's more, it was a girl.
"Uh," he laughed nervously and rubbed the back of his head. "Thanks."
Naruto was surprised to see the girl's face turn even redder than before, causing Naruto to worry that there was something wrong with her. Was she sick or something?
"Naruto, can you please get back to your seat?" Iruka asked from below. Though he sounded annoyed, the new teacher had just had a very swift and strong realization. It had happend when Naruto had looked up at him after he had failed the jutsu. And what he had seen…shocked him. He had always thought that Naruto was the incarnation of the Kyuubi that destroyed their village, the ravage monster that murdered both of his parents in a single night. While being dragged away from the battle that his parents were involved in, he had stared the fox straight in the its blood red eyes. There was no way that the sad, clear blue eyes of that boy could be the same eyes of the demon that killed so many in their village.
"Uh, sorry Iruka-sensei," Naruto said with a respectful bow, then running back up the stairs and sitting in his seat. For some reason, when he sat back down, he wasn't as conscious of all of the snickers that was around him as he was at the front of the room.
"Who was that girl?" Sasuke asked as Naruto sat down.
"Well," Naruto said scratching his nose. "I don't know!" he said with a goofy smile.
"Dobe," Sasuke said rolling his eyes.
"Okay class, please open your books and turn to page fourty eight, which should deal with the proper way to execute the henge no jutsu…"
Three hours later, the class left the room in slight exhaustion. Though they were happy with their new teacher, they all had to admit that he worked them much harder than Raiku-sensei. All day Iruka had been testing them on various jutsus and having them fill out multiple worksheets. And the worst part was that it was only lunchtime! Even Sasuke, who usually never showed any emotion at all, looked beat.
"Naruto-kun, can I please talk to you for a moment?" Iruka asked as the boy approached the door. Naruto looked at Iruka for a moment in confusion, then shrugged and walked over to him, leaving Sasuke to go to lunch by himself. After taking a moment to make sure that Iruka wasn't angry at him, he took a seat into the chair that Iruka offered him.
"Uh, I didn't do anything wrong, did I?" Naruto asked nervously as Iruka grabbed another chair and took a seat across from him.
"No, no, nothing like that. I just noticed that you were having a little trouble with the Henge no Jutsu today," Iruka said with a kind smile, leaning back casually in his chair. Naruto rubbed the back of his head, ashamed of himself. "Do you know exactly why you failed at the jutsu?"
"Uh…" Naruto thought. "Is it because I didn't try hard enough?"
Iruka laughed after his response, much to Naruto's surprise. This was usually the point when the teacher would yell at him angrily or throw him out of the room. "No. The reason that it didn't work was that you actually tried too hard," Iruka said, still smiling. Naruto looked at his new teacher in bewilderment. "Here, let me explain. It is common knowledge that all techniques require a certain amount of chakra, right? Well, it is possible to actually use too much chakra while performing a jutsu. If you become a Genin, you will learn how to walk up trees in your later years to learn how to control your chakra in a precise way. If you use too much chakra, you are sent crashing down to the ground, but if you use too little, you slip right off. This type of chakra control is involved and used for all jutsus. It is possible to make a ninjutsu and genjustu stronger by applying more chakra to your attack, but techniques as simple as the Henge no Jutsu will just end in failure, like yours did. No offence by the way."
"So you're saying that I need to work less?" Naruto asked hopefully.
"Not exactly," Iruka replied chuckling and standing up to his feet. "To tell you the truth, Naruto, you have the most chakra out of any of the students in the class." Iruka was pleased to see Naruto's blue eyes suddenly light up in surprise and happiness. "Unfortunately, since you have so much chakra, you often use too much of it. In the end, you usually not only end up with a failed jutsu, but you are extremely exhausted afterwards. If you want, I can help you control your chakra better."
Naruto's face lit up in delightat this proposition. The enthusiastic boy jumped to his feet and yelled, "You got it, Iruka-sensei! Whatever helps me become Hokage!"
Iruka couldn't help but chuckle once again. So this kid wanted to be Hokage? Kind of ironic for the worst student in the school. They were usually the ones who would drop out in the early years of the academy. Of course, was he any different when he was younger? Was that why he felt obligated to help this kid? Did he remind him of himself? Iruka didn't have an answer to that question. Not yet anyways.
"Okay, how about I help you every Monday right after school? I'll even take you out to dinner afterwards," he said holding out his hand to the younger boy.
"Sounds great!" Naruto said, grasping the hand and shaking it, not one to ever deny a free meal. As he began to walk out the door, he suddenly stopped and turned back to his chair and grabbed a book. "Sorry, forgot my textbook," he said running behind Iruka's chair and running out the door.
Iruka once again laughed and shook his head as he put his hands on his hips. The boy will be tough to teach, there was no doubt about that. But who knows what the future might bring. The boy may become a great shinobi yet.
The new sensei sat down, but his eyes snapped wide open as he heard a rather inappropriate sound coming from underneath him. He slowly reached to his behind and pulled out the whoopee cushion from beneath his rear. Iruka looked at the prank item and read, "If found, please return to Uzumaki Naruto. Address: 93…
Iruka sighed and bowed his head.
"This is going to be harder than I thought…"
"What took you so long?" Sasuke asked as Naruto finally exited the academy, though he did notice the bright and happy smile that he had on his face instead of his usual beaten and sad one that he usually wore when he left the teacher's room. "Don't tell me you got detention on the first day our new teacher comes to school."
"Nah!" Naruto said crossing his arms behind his head. "He's just going to give me private lessons on how to control my chakra. Hope your not too jealous Sasuke, I think he likes me the best out of the whole entire class."
"Or your jutsu was so pathetic that he decided to teach you so you would actually have a chance to pass," Sasuke replied. Naruto was about to yell back at the Uchiha when ten girls suddenly spotted them and began running in Sasuke's direction. "Dang it," Sasuke said looking at the mob of fan girls charging toward him. "I'm going to have to beat it until lunch is over."
"Just hide in the boy's bathroom, they wouldn't follow you there," Naruto advised.
"You'd be surprised," Sasuke responded, then sprinted off into the trees, mere seconds before the girls arrived to the spot he had been standing.
"Where'd he go?" the girls asked each other as they approached Naruto.
"Run Sasuke! Run!" Naruto yelled in the opposite direction Sasuke went. Just as he planned, the girls changed directions and ran in the direction Naruto had yelled. The blonde smiled and spat his tongue out at the girls (except for Sakura-chan of course) and walked to a nearby tree to begin his meal.
He opened the lunch box and took out a rice ball, biting into it savagely. This was turning out to be a much better day than he had ever imagined. Though his jutsu had ended up being a complete failure during class, he could not help but feel a rush of excitement when he began thinking about his special lessons that he was going to start with Iruka-sensei. He really liked the new teacher; he was a much more enjoyable replacement than their previous one, who fell in the category of those that had decided to pretend that Naruto didn't even exist. His happiness was only fueled further when he remembered what Iruka said about him having the most chakra out of anyone in the class, even Sasuke. If that wasn't something to be proud of, he didn't know what was.
Once he was done with his first rice ball, he reached into his sack to grab another when his nose suddenly caught a whiff of something in the air...something wonderful. Drool ran down his mouth as he continued to smell the tasty, magnificent aroma. Standing to his feet, he began following his nose toward the source and, after a couple minutes, finally found it. It came from a girl's lunch, some kind of soup by the looks of it. She took her chopsticks and sipped on some noodles, then repeated the process politely.
"Uh, hi," Naruto said stepping out of the trees. The girl jumped so high in surprise that Naruto found it kind of impressive that she didn't spill one drop of her soup.
"H-hello," she said back, slightly hiding her face behind the bowl in her hands. Naruto suddenly realized that it was the same girl who had given him a complement that morning. He moved towards her and sat down, which made her blush and take her eyes off of him, letting them focus instead on a nearby twig. For a moment, the two did not speak, both young children opting instead for silence.
"Uh, I was wondering, what are you eating?" Naruto finally asked as he looked from her and then to the bowl soup in hunger.
"R-ramen," she said shyly, still not making eye contact. She could have kicked herself for sounding so pathetic.
"Um, is it okay if I have a little?" Naruto asked. "I won't eat all of it. It's just...it smells so good. I'll even give you my rice ball.
The girl nodded and handed the bowl and chopsticks to Naruto with shaking hands. He slowly took some of the contents of the bowl in his chopsticks and lifted it up to his mouth. As soon as the hot soup touched his lips, his entire body stiffened in surprise as the hot liquid and noodles slowly made his way down his throat. When he was finally done with his swallow, he reverently put down the ramen bowl. As soon as the bowl was out of his hands, he shot up to his feet and punched the air.
"This stuff is the best thing I've ever tasted in my entire life!" he yelled, pulling the girl to her feet and giving her a hug. "Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Oh man this is so great! I can't believe I've gone through life without ever eating this! I don't know how I can ever thank you!"
Naruto almost fell over as the girl's weight toppled onto him. Carefully, he set her on the ground and looked at her. Her eyes were completely shut, though her face remained the same crimson hue as it had been when they were been talking. She must have fainted, Naruto decided as he checked her pulse. Did he really hug her that hard? He hadn't thought so. Naruto crossed his legs and arms, thinking about how to wake the girl up. It was almost time to get back to class, and he didn't want to just leave her out here all by herself. He snapped his fingers as he looked over and saw a small bottle of water that the girl had with her. Opening the cap, he put some in his hand and splashed a little of it on the girl's face, waking her up instantly.
"Sorry about that," Naruto said smiling as the girl looked around her in confusion. "You passed out for some reason."
For a second, the girl just stared at Naruto in shock, as if she could not believe that he was there. For a second, Naruto wondered if she was one of the girls that didn't like him…she didn't look like it though. She had even given him a complement back in class. Yeah, this girl seemed different. "Uh…y-yeah. I d-didn't m-mean to…" she stammered, looking at him from the corner of her blank white eyes.
"Ah, don't worry about it!" Naruto said with a closed eyes smile. "So, what's your name?" he asked.
"...Hyuuga Hinata," she said crossing her legs and looking down at the ground, though her eyes did occasionally look up at him nervously.
"Nice to meet you Hinata-chan! I'm Uzumaki Naruto," he said kindly. The girl's blush suddenly reddened even more and her head felt light again. She felt as though she was going to faint again. Did he just say her name and attached 'chan' to it? "Like I said, thank you so much for letting me try your ramen!" he continued.
"D-don't worry. It w-was n-nothing," Hinata said stammered with a small smile. "W-would y-you like to have it? I'm not that h-hungry anyways…"
"Wow! Do you really mean it?!" he asked, almost as if he had jumped from academy student to Hokage in the matter of three seconds. "Thanks so much. You're a really nice girl! I like you!" The boy never saw the girl teeter to the side and almost faint again as he gulped down the entire meal in three seconds.
"You know," Naruto said looking around after he was done with the soup. "It seems pretty lonely over here. Are you always over here all by yourself?"
"I-It doesn't bother m-me that much," Hinata said, blushing that the boy seemed to be so concerned with her.
"Well that doesn't seem like any fun. Hey! I've got an idea. As thanks for letting me try your ramen, how about you and me become friends?" Naruto asked leaning forward. Hinata looked at him in surprise and backed her head away as Naruto's face came closer to hers. "I mean, there's no one here. Do you even have any friends?"
"Um…well, n-not really."
"Then it's settled! You can eat with me and Sasuke," he said standing to his feet. When Hinata also stood up, he looked at her suspiciously. "One thing though, you're not 'in love' with Sasuke too, are you?"
Once again Hinata's face turned red for what felt like the twentieth time that day. "N-no. Actually, I have k-kind of like…"
"Great!" Naruto said interrupting her. "Then you can sit with us. I'm sure Sasuke won't mind. And if he doesn't like you right away, don't take it personally. I don't even think he likes me. Of course he's just like that because he's jealous of my awesome ninja skills and…"
During Naruto's rambling, Hinata was totally stunned by what had just happened. Had she just made…a friend? Not only that, but she had just become friends with Naruto? She didn't think she would ever get a friend in her life, being cursed by her extreme shyness. Not only that, but if Sasuke would accept her too, she would even have two friends. She blushed and looked to the ground which Naruto saw.
"Hey, you alright?"
"Um…well," Hinata said blushing. "It's just, are you sure that I would be welcome in your group."
"Oh yeah, you'll fit right in! And I wouldn't really call two people a group, but maybe with three we can!" Naruto said giving her a fox like smile. "Just don't worry about it. I'm asking you to be my friend! Do you really think that I really don't want you to after I asked? Uh, you don't mind if I want to be your friend, do you?" he asked, suddenly feeling stupid.
"Of course not!" Hinata said as quickly as she could, hoping that she hadn't blown her chance to get to know Naruto. "I mean…I would really like…to be your friend…"
"Great!" he said. "I'll show you where we sit tomorrow, don't worry. You'll have a blast! Maybe we can have a name for our gang or something. Like 'Naruto and Friends', or maybe 'The Future of Konoha' or..."
The bell from the academy rang, making both young ninjas in training looked in the direction simultaneously.
"Hey, you want to race back to class?" Naruto asked with bright eyes.
Hinata looked at him in surprise, though her white eyes showed how happy she was. "Well, I haven't really raced anybody before," she said, trying her best to not stutter again.
"Ah, it's easy. You just try and beat the person you're running against," Naruto said. "Here, on three," he said getting beside Hinata.
The Hyuuga looked at Naruto with a blush, not truly believing that she had actually become friends with the person she had a crush on for too long to remember. She suddenly wondered if he would like her more if she beat him, or maybe he would be mad.
"Um, N-Naruto-k…kun?" she said.
"Huh?" he asked, looking at her in confusion.
"C-can we just walk back together?"
Naruto looked a little disappointed at first, but then just shrugged.
"Alright, we can do that I guess. It's not everyday I get a new friend," he said. Together, they walked back to the ninja academy, with Hinata secretly smiling and looking at Naruto the whole entire time.
And there you have it, the first chapter. This was more of a set up chapter but we'll get into some action soon. IMPORTANT TO READ: If none of you have noticed yet, the bandages on Hinata's forehead was because that in my fic, I've placed her into the branch family. Basically, her and Neji's places have been exchanged. So Neji is now the heir to the Hyuuga clan and not Hinata. We'll get into more of that some other time. Thanks for reading and a review would be great as well. Well once again, thank you for reading.