Hello ppl! here I am with another story - Naruto, this time. Plus, it's a short story (only 10 chapters long), since long stories seem to hate me. I had a lot of fun typing this out. It's kind of a quirky love story.
Warnings: It's rather fast-paced, may have OOC-acting characters. But you should enjoy it anyway!
It's dedicated to one of my good friends, Yoshiko Hatake!
PS. This chapter is merely a introduction, and it's written in the OC's POV.
You know, if men were on sticks, it'd make women's lives much easier.
This can't be happening.
Not only have I run out of money and most of my dignity, but the last of my precious-stored-up-for-the-trip-in-case-of-emergencies energy nougat sips and chucklit (chocolate) bars, too.
Why does this keep happening to me?
In my angry state, I found a nearby inanimate object to take my anger out on – a lamppost. I crack my knuckles and engage into a one-man (or in my case, woman) combat. Damn you! Damn you! Damn yoouuuuu!!!! I kicked the life out of the lamppost – really, the light went off, and I was engulfed in woodland darkness.
I flicked my torch on and looked around nervously.
This really, really can't be happening…
Who can I blame for this?
Oh yeah -
It all started with that wretched invitation –
To a wedding in Konoha.
I received it three weeks ago, signed by my cousin (older than me one year, but mentally younger than me ten years), urging me to spend my summer vacation there and also attend her wedding. She is a crazy woman - With an obsession to use her evil hairbrushes on my long hair (she really likes me hair), another odd taste for peculiar fashion, and an eye for eyeing up anything of the opposite gender who has a wad of cash – hell, the guy she is marrying will be her fourth husband. Because my cousin is so up to date in her love life and I am not, my mother and father thinks it's compulsory to check up on my love-life on a regular basis.
Anyway, upon instantly seeing those ill-fated words in the poor handwriting of hers on the invitation, which had bright red lettering, I winced and expected the worse.
Weddings. I'm not really fond of them, to be honest.
I went to one once - one that could've been compared to an illegal ninja rave party - and all I could remember was me waking up with a major hangover, floating and doing nothing in particular in an onsen filled with water (which someone had obviously already bathed in), feeling like murder in my frontal lobes and I was a missing shoe. And then I realise that I'm in an actual public bath and look down to see if my clothes were still intact. They were not. End of my nightmare, hellish experience of reminiscing.
In the accursed invitation, there was a small sticky note, which said:
'Take this as an opportunity to meet some nice, young men your age.'
God, I've not even married yet. I don't want to. I just broke up with my psycho-ex two weeks ago. I just wanted to hide from the world these days and now she's brought me back unwillingly.
This time, I have no excuse to get out of it. My mother and father are also in Konoha too, they'll be expecting me.
'Don't forget to bring your hair!'
Hell, what was that supposed to mean?
Oh yeah, long hair was a must-have for women these days, fashionable ninjas have found extraordinary ways to do up their hair and turn it into a statement, but me…. I touched my abnormally short, spiky, sticky-out hair as I looked at myself in the mirror, whilst looking at my cousin's new letter, explaining how my parents have already rented out an apartment for me to live for the time being during my stay in Konoha.
Argh, I can't have them see me like… like… this.
I loved having long hair, feeling the smooth, silky feel bellowing on my back – er-hem… but an unexpected haircut appointment by a substitute hairdresser who I had a language barrier with did this to me. Sobs, my poor hair…
Thus, I lost my dignity. People can't see my like this. Honestly.
It looks like I've put my head in a blender….No, it's actually more like I've put my head in the lawnmower!
Therefore, the next day, I reluctantly booted myself out of my comforting home in the Village of the Mist, saluted my puny home-unit and made my way to the Travel Dome, with my ten suitcases lagging behind, bum-bag to carry the extra utensils, food for the long journey, and a hat on my head.
On my way, I passed a lot of ninjas. I'm not very fond of them either. But how can you be when you're practically surrounded by them? And at this threshold of a ninja-era, it's completely engulfed in latest craze of the ninja-nin-ness. Sighs. It's just the way I am. This is what I do in one complete day of twenty four hours: whine, nag, moan, tussle tussle, shop, sleep, eat, breathe, walk, complain. But mostly the first three, and possibly the last.
You can tell that I'm not a very sociable person either, I've always thought that going to nightclubs and bars would help my status, but all I did was pick up a megalomaniac of a chuunin-ninja that didn't know how to swim, hence earning the title of 'my psycho-ex'. It's amazing that he hasn't tried to kill me yet; all he does is stand at the foot of my apartment with dead flowers and bowls of ramen hoping to be romantic. All I want to do is blow up a balloon, fill it with water and drop it on his head.
I stop my musings.
Only old people think about their lives. Damn, I must be going through mid-life crisis already. How sad.
While walking down the street, I check what I have; I've got my boat ticket and money for a train – mum doesn't trust trams anymore – I also have my brick-like mobile phone (mum doesn't like new phones and prefer it if we use the old models, it's really embarrassing, I know), and my walkman. You're not supposed to carry so much luggage when travelling a great deal of distance, so I had to check in to the Travel Dome first, where they put my suitcases to be sent to Konoha. The whole process took roughly three hours because I had ten, and thus, by time I had checked everything in, it was night.
And the last ferry will leave in five minutes.
I could see it if I squinted my eyes. It was going to leave without me.
"Heeey! Waaaiiiittt! I still need to get on!"
Even though I was running for my ride and looking a right state - trying to hold my bag up properly and make sure my pants didn't fall down because the ones I had chosen to wear today didn't precisely fit snugly around my waist; someone blocks my way.
"You don't want to do this - "
Oh great, it's my psycho-ex. His name is Gouki. He has another bouquet of flowers and a packet of ramen in his hands.
I walk past him; he trails me close behind. "Yes, I do. Now get out of my way or I'll miss my boat."
He follows the direction of my finger to the bearded man at the ferry, who's untying the string to the boat. "Don't do this to me, please! Why are you leaving, anyway?"
I sigh. "Look, I've told you a thousand times, it's over between us!"
"It's not over until I say so."
"Well, I'm over with you, so there! You SUCK!" I push past him and leap greatly for my life and freedom, and crash-bang onto the boat, making it almost go under the water.
The ferry-man screams in fright. I get up, smile apologetically at him, then look at my psycho-ex who throws down his packet of ramen and stomps his feet. I mock salute him. "GOODBYEEEE!"
It felt great to be travelling for once in my wretched life. Whenever I am happy though, something always has to bring it down.
"Hey, this isn't the – "
After several hours of peaceful rowing and rocking of the boat across a quiet, dark ocean, I was suddenly hauled to my feet, the boat now rocking dangerously in the water. He pulled up in the middle of the frickin' ocean!(?)
He put the oar away. "Okay, I've taken you this far – "
I thought it was quite weird as to why I was the only one on the public ferry. Damn, I'm so stupid.
I've taken the wrong one, obviously.
No, it was even worse than that.
I blinked at the bearded man, who tied a forehead protector over his, well, uh… forehead. He was a ninja?? I blinked again in confusion and then looked at the public ferryboat – until a blob of old paint scraped off the word 'Public Ferry' to reveal a poorly painted, old and decrepit, unofficial… well, boat. An impostor! It floated to the water and my eyes bulged out of their sockets.
"Holy crap, you're a mugger!"
I've seen it in the news; mugs and thugs use vehicles and impersonate public transport, and then when the victim gets on, they take them to a secluded area - and-and….they kill them -gulp- I squealed, wrapping my arms around my body tightly. Oh my god! What if he's a rapist?!
Oh god oh god oh god!
I can see my life flashing before my eyes already!!
He brought me back down to earth as he took a step towards me. Don't come any closer! I open my mouth to sc -
" – Don't – " He ordered calmly, holding his hairy, ginormous palm out to my face. " – Don't scream, young man, or you'll regret it."
I looked around – he must be talking to me. Well, we're in the middle of the sea, goddamnit! it's just us - No-one could hear me scream even if I did! "What do you want?!" I screamed anyway.
He pointed at my bag.
"Argh! Please, no, no, don't kill me!"
He is silent.
"Okay, okay, you can kill me – but please, don't take my chucklit!" I screamed, holding my freddo frog bar close to me.
"Gimme your bag!" He grabbed my bag off my arm and ripped it open, going through my things. "I'll take this – " He took out my remaining money and emptied it into his palm. "And I'll take this, too - one, two, three…. nine ryo. You can keep the rest however."
I receive back two ryo. Argh!?
Before long, he went into my lady things. He looked back at me and gave me a strange look. "What are these?" He took out my undergarments – I cringed like mad.
"Uh, they're for my cousin!" I blurted out, a little embarrassed - what amazed me was the fact that I just acknowledged that I was indeed, a male. But I'm not. "My girl cousin!"
He really doesn't know I am a girl!
The mugger threw them into my lap, before fishing out a brick. "This is – ?"
I nodded meekly in response. "Yar." I croaked.
"It's a crap phone." He threw it into the ocean. I whimpered as I heard a loud, woeful'splash' of the remains of my phone.
He ignored me and went through the last of my things – my food store. Looking through my heaping mountains of energy drinks, more chucklit freddo bars and Kinder Surprise eggs and even chucklit-covered onigiri, he kept them, too.
Then he goes onto my make-up kit and gives me another look of disgust. I shrug helplessly. "She likes make-up from the Mist."
"Yeah? Well, she has crap taste." He chucked away my pearl pink lipstick.
"…That's all I have."
"You're carrying a load of crap. Go out, to nightclubs and stuff, get a few girls, have fun. Geez, the wasted years of the youth these days…" He muttered to himself, before tossing my broken bag back into my lap along with my clothes, and then -
I was suddenly no loner dry and clean, but sinking into freezing, deep water. He pushed me off the boat!!
The mugger began to row back to the harbour. "Oh, and if you tell anyone about this or even tell the ANBU, I'll murder you, eat your remains, and then I'll kill you."
I think my heart just stopped.
And now this concludes to where I am now.
In the woods, with no-one but the woodland creatures.
But mostly hungry.
I want chocolate….
I've completely exhausted myself by splashing helplessly towards any form of society like mad. And now, I have no clue where I am.
Where is god when you need him?
I really need a sign now!
I can see nothing but darkness.
Then - there is a flash of silver. I blinked and looked around - another flash. There are a few grunts of agony following a string of 'chkkks!'.
Then someone screams.
More disgruntled noises from ninjas suffering from obvious, painful yet creative demise to their lives.
Argh! I'm on a ninja battlefield!
Here is another reason to add onto my list of 'Why I hate Ninjas'.
After an all-encompassing four hour walk – I eventually reach civilisation – Konoha. The gates are just up ahead. I can't believe I'm saying this, but thank god I followed the bunch of murderers, or I'd be dead, and found five and a half days later half eaten by owls and squirrels. Hmm, that's an awfully weird way of dying. Oh god, I'm so depressed – I'm even thinking about death, well I was almost – if that guy had a shuriken to slice my head clean off… or even a kunai to stab repeatedly into my chest… gulps…
I arrive at my cousin's house safe and sound – by that time, I am half dead, a zombie entering the establishment and walking towards the stairs. Her flat is common as much as the neighbourhood is seemingly boring – but then again, it is five am in the morning.
"Uh, is this a bad time?"
Well, here she is. In the glory of family presence, dressed in frilly pants and undies, looking even more dishevelled than me, a little sweaty, too. Nothing else. . Her name is Hayato, but sometimes, I just call her 'OC-chan' ('OC' 'Older Cousin'). In return, she calls me 'YC-chan' ('YC' Younger Cousin'). She thinks she's sexy, smart and sultry. Maybe it's because she is. Hell, she landed herself a fourth husband - me? None. I can't compete against her even if I wanted to, or tried to. Boohoo.
"I thought you were the postman or milkman." She cringes and covers herself with her silk dressing gown. "… But mostly the postman."
I raise an eyebrow."You greet them dressed like that?"
"Well, technically, not really, but uh…." she fidgets. "Never mind… Tenka's in my house now."
Oh, Tenka is her future husband. Guess I did interrupt something."Oh, I'm sorry. I'll come back some other day."
"No, no, stay. I'm sure he won't mind! Come in, come in!" My older cousin squeals, holding her arms out to me – I don't even think she needs sleep, and she doesn't even wait for me to hug her back – she grabs me and envelops me in a bone-crushing bear hug that I can see the stars that disappeared over four hours ago.
Oof, she's a lot friendlier than ever this year. A bit muscular, too. She must've been working out or something.
"You're finally here! A little off schedule and certainly early than I thought, but its okay, I stay up late on Saturdays anyway, and – oh god, what on earth did you do to your lovely hair?! I was looking forward in brushing your hair for my big day! I could've styled it so nicely! You'd have looked so beautiful, but now you look like… like…"
I touch the short ends and cringe.
"… A man." She finishes in a deadpan manner, before she smiles awkwardly. "A really, really old man."
I cough. "Thanks."
"Tell me what happened."
My stomach growled really loudly. I shudder a little and manage a weak smile. "Yeah… I'm really hungry though."
"I've got some food out already. Where's your stuff? Why do you look so dishevelled? Why are you sopping wet?"
Argh, too many questions for one day! All I want to do is get a bed and sleep. "Uh… I got mugged on my way here, but luckily I've still got my – "
"NANI? You got robbed? Well let's go to the ANBU now!"
I jerk, remembering the guy's death threat. "N-No… honestly, just leave it…"
"You sure?!" She blinks in shock.
"Yes, let's drop it, okay?"
"Well…. Your choice…" She escorts me inside, kicking away some pillows away from the ground and flicks the TV one where there's some sappy ninja-soap opera on - about a woman falling in love with a ninja - typical.
Hayato ditches her husband's needs (which I do not intend to delve my nose into for good reasons) and comes to console me while I slump in a deep, dark depression, revelling how I got mugged off a boat in the middle of the night and lived to tell the tale. I'm also finding it customary to have my body thrown over some cushions on her sofa and sink into soft and fluffy comfort while watching the sappy ninja soap-opera, which I have grown very attached to - and it's only been on for fifteen minutes.
It's six am in the morning. We are perhaps, the sad saps who are still awake at this hour.
And now, it's the break; I've already had a shower and now dressed in Hayato's spare pyjamas consisting of a pink vest top saying 'Kiss the Bitch' and matching trousers. Why she goes for stuff like these, I don't know. She's random. We all are.
Hayato scoops up a mint chocolate and pops it in her mouth. We've lowered the volume down, and we can here Tenka snoring like a pig in the background of the quiet apartment.
"How many times do I have to tell you? It's C-H-O-C-O-L - "
"I don't care how you spell chocolate; I spell it as 'C-H-U-C-K-L-I-T."
"Well, YOUR way is inaccurate, YC-chan… "
"Yeah-huh, just what elementary school did you go to?"
"That's not the point. In my vocabulary and dictionary, that's how I spell chucklit, chucklit."
Hayato sighs in defeat. "Okay then, I acknowledge that you're in a loony-bin world of your own and guys grow on trees."
Yes, yes, this is my world. I'm describing the world entirely from my point of view. The world can go down on its knees and kiss my feet because I rule it now!
I change the subject before the conversation takes a wrong turn and goes down the memory lane of 'world domination'. "I think I'm going through a mid-life crisis."
She gives me a long, cold, hard, stony gaze, ad then snorts. "Mid-life crisis? You're barely twenty five."
"But I feel like dog crap on the streets."
"Stop whining, you're such a baby."
"Are you going to help me or not?"
"… I think you need a boyfriend - one preferably younger than you, too, to make you feel youthful again."
"Yeah, and get mistaken for a paedophile while I'm at it!"
"Look, just meet a guy, okay?"
I glower at her. "No, I don't want to – and how on earth did this conversation fly over to stuff - that's like the far-far-away, off-limits, Hokage-like related category of things which they don't tell the public, namely us - about the opposite gender now? Hmm?"
She shrugs "All I know is that you need one and you want one, really, you do." Then she gives me an inspecting look.
"I already had one."
"You can get another one."
I sigh. "I can't just 'get' another one."
"You're kinda already much like a boy anyway in terms of looks, even with that new haircut now."
"What's that got to do with my predicament? Can we talk about something else?"
"Okay… um… so, do you know any nice guys?"
I stop seething and my blood pressure returns back to normal.
"Hey, I heard there's some nice guys who's going to my wedding and they're single…"
"I don't know why you're getting so frustrated. If you had a boyfriend, all your blind fury would've been diverted away and all your troubles would be over…"
Right, that's it!
Maybe I really do need a man in my life again.
Well, I hoped you like the first chapter!