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Chapter One

I don't own Naruto, everyone! And if I did, why would I be writing this?

"Aagh! Where is it? I just had it!" Naruto yelled frantically as he immediately started searching. He had lost his coupon for the Ichiraku Ramen Shop yet again. Iruka sat on the stool nearest the blonde, shaking his head in pity. Naruto whined some more and then he started looking under the stools.

Meanwhile, a woman in her mid-30's had the same dilemma, though she had not lost a coupon. Naruto had caught the attention of her dark, purple eyes. As she turned, her forest- green hair trailed behind her. She watched Naruto whine and search a bit more, until she went over to ask him something.

As Naruto started checking the dirt ground, he felt a light tapping on his shoulder. He didn't even bother to look at who wanted his attention, he needed to find that dang coupon!

"Excuse me," came a woman's voice from behind the blue-eyed boy. "Could you help me?"

Naruto growled in frustration, not looking up from the ground. "Sorry, Lady. I have problems of my own!"

"Naruto! Don't be so rude!" Iruka snapped. Naruto stood up and face his sensei.

"You're not my father, Iruka-sensei!" Naruto shot back hotly, purposefully being as rude as he could.

"You better wish I wasn't!" Iruka growled, catching on to what Naruto was doing. It was really hard for Naruto to keep a straight face, so he burst out laughing. Iruka couldn't help but smile, too.

"EXCUSE ME!" The Lady yelled over Naruto's laughter. The young ninja immediately went silent. She sounded just like Pervy Sage when he was serious.

"Oh, I'm sorry, miss." Iruka apologized. "Is there something I can help you with?"

The Lady took a deep breath. She didn't mean to be that loud, but she had to be heard. "Actually, much like your friend here, I have lost something."

"What is it?" Naruto asked, now turning to face the Lady. Suddenly, the Lady blushed immensely when she saw Naruto's face. Naruto gave her a look. He barely knew this person and she reminded of Hinata. "Well?" Naruto was getting uncomfortable.

"What's your name?" The Lady whispered, staring at Naruto.

Naruto shifted uncomfortably. "Naruto Uzumaki."

"You're eyes… you're hair! Are you using genjutsu?!"

Naruto was astonished. Why in the world would this Lady suggest he was using a illusion? "Uh, no." Naruto gave a look to Iruka-sensei. He was watching intently, his guard was up. He thought this Lady was a lunatic, too.

The Ladies' knees felt weak. How could this be… Had he somehow come back… It had to be him! It just had to be! The Lady gulped. "Would you mind if I joined you for lunch?"

Again, Naruto gave Iruka a look. He really didn't want to have this weird Lady messing up his lunch with Iruka-sensei. Geez, he just wanted to relax! Iruka considered for a moment, then he nodded. Iruka had to find out why this Lady had this reaction toward Naruto. Pretty much everyone in Konoha would treat Naruto the exact opposite.

When Naruto saw Iruka-sensei's nod, his jaw dropped. This Lady freaked him out more than Shino did! He wanted to protest, but he didn't. Instead, he soon found himself slurping up ramen and sending sideways glances at the Lady.

"So, where are you from?" Iruka asked, hoping to break the silence.

"The outskirts of Konoha." The Lady explained. "I used to live in the heart of Konoha, until twelve years ago."

"Why'd you move?" Iruka inquired.

"Someone that I cared about died, during the Nine-Tailed Fox attack." She looked down.

Naruto stiffened and shoved some more noodles in his mouth. Iruka felt Naruto's stiffness and decided to change the subject.

"I didn't catch your name. What is it?" Iruka asked.

"Kumono." She answered and smiled sweetly. When Iruka caught himself smiling back at her, he nervously looked down, blushing a bit. "Anyway, Naruto?" Kumono asked.

Naruto looked up. He didn't want to be involved in this conversation, but he guessed he had to now. "Hm?"

"I apologize for reacting to you that way. You reminded me of someone I miss so much…" Kumono trailed off, a hint of sadness and loss lingered in her violet eyes.

Naruto swallowed ."The one that died in the Kyubbi attack?"

"The what attack?" She asked.

"Er, the demon fox attack." Whew, that was close. Only Naruto and a few other high-leveled ninja knew of the Fox's real name. Most referred to it just as 'demon' or 'Nine-Tailed Fox'. "Anyway, was it?" Naruto asked.

"Yes. He was very dear to me. My sister died on that day, too."

"Who were they?" Naruto asked.

"My sister was younger than me. About 25. Her name was Yulia. Surprisingly, she didn't die because of the demon on October 10th. She died at child birth. She wouldn't tell me who the father was, but she did tell me it was going to be a boy." Kumono smiled warmly.

"Who was the guy that was 'dear to you'?" Iruka asked.

Kumono blushed again. "To be honest, it was actually the Fourth Hokage. I liked him very, very much. You look so much like him, Naruto, that I blushed. Sorry about that."

"Yeah, I've been told that." Naruto laughed and scratched the back of his head out of habit. But he stopped when he saw Sasuke walking up to him. Naruto made a face. Oh, what a joy. Sasuke's here. When Sasuke reached the stool Naruto was sitting at, he spoke.

"Hey, Loser. Kakashi wanted me to let you know that training is an hour early tomorrow."

"Huh? Why?" Naruto squinted in confusion, completely oblivious to what he'd just been called.

"How the heck should I know?" Sasuke snapped, then he walked away. Once he was out of earshot, Naruto growled.

"Man! Why does Sasuke always do that! I hate him! He thinks he's so cool walking around like that!"

"Sasuke Uchiha?" Kumono suggested.

Oh great, another Uchiha fan. Naruto thought grumpily.

"Yes!" Iruka exclaimed, jumping at the chance to answer her question. "He is the only remaining Uchiha, besides Itachi, of course." Kumono nodded, interested all of a sudden. "He was one of my students…" Iruka continued on, but Naruto decided to leave. He didn't want to hear about how great his teammate was. Naruto already got enough of that with Sakura.

With his stomach full, he decided to head to a training ground to practice his shuriken throwing. Once he got there, he set up the dummies and took off his jacket and headband. If he kept his jacket on, he'd be sweating to death on a day like this. He took off his headband because even with the jacket off, he'd still work up a sweat. His headband pressing on his would-be damp forehead wasn't exactly helping.

Hours later, Naruto sat, slumped against a tree, sweat making his messy blonde hair to stick to his face. He took out a bottle of water and drank deeply. The water was a bit warm, but even so it was amazingly refreshing.

Naruto heard a leaf jounin running toward him. He groggily turned his head over to the direction of the sound. Sure enough, one of the Leaf elite ninja came rushing over to him. Within a second, she was towering over Naruto. It was Kurenei (did I spell that right?) , Hinata's sensei.

"Naruto, Lord Hokage wants you." She said, her red eyes making Naruto's cerulean ones lower their gaze a fraction of an inch.

"Me? Why?"

"Just come with me." Kurenei explained and grabbed Naruto's arm. In a blink of an eye, they were zooming through the streets of Konoha. Naruto couldn't wait until he could travel this fast. Instead of taking an hour to walk to the Hokage tower, they had made it in a little over 15 minutes. Naruto was rushed inside and was put in front of Tsunade's door. Surprisingly, Kumono was there too.

"Hey, what are you doing here?" Naruto asked.

"Oh, hello, Naruto. I don't really know. They sort of rushed me here."

"Me too," Naruto said, nodding.

What could they want with the both of us? Naruto thought.

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