Title: You are my sunshine

Rating: G

Pairing / Characters: Uzumaki Naruto, the rookie nine, Tsunade and Jiraiya

Word Count: 1,054 words

Warnings: No spoilers I can imagine

Summary: Naruto disappears

A/N: Part one of a little something I came up with… part two to follow!

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine

You make me happy when skies are grey

You'll never know dear, how much I love you

So please don't take my sunshine away

prologue

He hadn't even seen it coming.

Waking from a restless sleep, he had heard footsteps somewhere in the dark apartment but unable to guess their direction, he had remained in bed, tense, one hand inching towards the kunai pouch he had left carelessly on the bedside table.

Even so, it had been too late. An arm had wrapped around his throat, the other hand clamped against his mouth to stifle the instinctive yell. He hadn't been totally paralyzed, and had fought his attackers tooth and nail despite the fact that he didn't know how many of them there were.

In the morning, all that was left of his presence in Konoha was a dirty orange jumpsuit crumpled at the foot of his bed, a kunai embedded in a poster opposite the kitchen table, several muddy footprints, a cracked Konoha hitae-ate and a single, bloody handprint on the wall.

Uzumaki Naruto was gone.

of grey skies and rain clouds

Shikamaru sighed. 'This is so troublesome.'

Sakura nodded despondently. 'All it does is rain. All day and all night, every single moment of every single hour of every single day…'

It was an exaggeration on her part, but not by much. For the last two days, all it had done was rain, turning Konoha's streets into pools of muddy water that none but shinobi could successfully navigate.

Restless, bored with staying at home and watching the rain, the genin and Shikamaru had eventually gathered in the dojo, hoping to burn off excess energy by training with each other. Lee, naturally, had the most energy to burn off, and it had taken two fights with Neji, one with Tenten, three with Ino, and one with Chouji to satisfy his thirst for the "power of youth".

Now though, ten genin and one chuunin were sitting in the entrance hall, doing exactly what none of them actually wanted to – watching the rain.

'At least the flowers are getting water,' Hinata volunteered shyly.

Ino perked up. 'That's true. Even if I hate it, rain is good for business. It's been so bad lately.'

'Well, with Konoha the way it is, most of our energy is going into fixing things up,' Kiba pointed out before sniggering.

'At least the Fifth has found a way to keep Naruto out of her hair.'

At that, everyone laughed.

Tsunade had indeed found a way to keep him out of trouble- helping to repair the faces on the Hokage mountain. As no missions had come in of late, Naruto had spent the last week on the face of the Third, seeming to take unusual care in doing the repairs.

'He'll be the only one enjoying the rain, then,' Chouji said, 'since it means he doesn't have to do any work at all.'

'Come to think of it, has anyone seen him today at all?' Sakura asked suddenly.

Shikamaru shrugged. 'Training, probably. Either that or Tsunade-sama has sent him on another mission.'

'Sent who on another mission?'

Shikamaru jumped. 'Godaime!'

Tsunade planted her hands on her hips. 'Who am I supposed to have sent on a mission?'

'Er… Naruto. We haven't seen him today, and we were wondering – '

Tsunade interrupted. 'You haven't seen him? At all?'

Neji frowned. 'Is something wrong, Tsunade-sama?'

Tsunade sighed. 'No, no, nothing. He had a physical examination this morning but he missed it.'

'Sleeping late, probably,' Ino muttered. 'The lazy, good for nothing…'

'Ino!' Hinata protested – and then blushed.

'Bah, I'll find him sooner or later,' Tsunade grinned evilly. 'No one gets away from me in my own village…'

The group watched her stalk off, muttering pithily under her breath about stupid genin and their stupid habits apprehensively.

Ino glanced at Sakura. 'How you train under her is a mystery, Sakura. That woman is scary.'

Sakura just smiled, while inner Sakura roared 'Hell yes, she is!'

Shikamaru dropped his head into his hands, sighing again. 'How troublesome…'

By midday the rain had stopped, and the sun was shining weakly on the village. Whistling cheerfully, Jiraiya strolled down the streets, pretending to be oblivious to the evil eyes he was getting from several women who saw past his cheery demeanor.

The frog hermit glanced casually into the shops and stalls he passed, seeing nothing untoward. Sighing, he rounded the corner – and came across the genin.

'Yo,' he greeted.

'Jiraiya-sama,' sakura said in surprise. 'I didn't know you were back in the village.'

At her ominous tone, Jiraiya lifted his hands. 'I've only been here since yesterday afternoon, Sakura.'

Sakura glared at him, but Jiraiya was already going on. 'Have any of you seen Naruto, by the way? He never showed for his training this morning. I thought he would be either with you or Tsunade.'

Shikamaru tensed. 'We saw Tsunade-sama about half an hour ago- she was also looking for him.'

Abruptly serious, Jiraiya said 'So no one has seen him all morning?'

Sakura shook her head. 'We thought he was sleeping late…' she began uncertainly.

'Lee, go and fetch Tsunade. Have her meet me at Naruto's apartment – and tell her to bring the ANBU with her. The rest of you, follow me.'

There was a bleak note in the Sannin's voice that made the air vibrate with tension.

Less than fifteen minutes later, Tsunade, Jiraiya, two ANBU members, and the rookies were standing in the corridor outside Naruto's apartment.

The first ANBU member placed a gloved hand against the door. 'This has been opened recently, and locked again. It doesn't appear to be forced. However, it has been opened since then.'

He twisted the handle and the door swung open silently, revealing the dim interior.

Silently, the ANBU members reached for their katanas, and entered the room.

'Wait here, you lot,' Tsunade ordered, walking in behind them and reaching for the light switch.

For a moment there was silence- and Jiraiya swore viciously. 'We're too late. Damn them to hell!'

Shaken by what he heard, Shikamaru moved towards the door, glancing inside. What he saw made his eyes widen in shock as the Fifth picked something off the floor, and turned around.

A broken Konoha hitae-ate.