Chapter One - One Day of All
A.N - Hello readers of this story, new and old! Just so you know, I HAVE re-written this part, and will do so with every other chapter. There will be no big changes, but I just want to fix up a few things, ok? And, so a few things can make more sense...because I realize I may have messed some stuff up.
I hope that you guys preferred the re-written version better than the old version. I usually will change my story after posting it, because there is usually a few things I don't like about it...and also, I took it into liberty to actually read all of the Naruto manga that was available last holidays (that took me about 3 days...)...so, I'm pretty up to date, but there are a few things I don't get, but nothing that's TOO serious.
No matter. I present to you, the re-written, edited, and hopefully better, Apologize!
Disclaimer - RunDiamondRun does not own Naruto.
"Ja ne Gaara!"
The blond yelled, waving to the now Kazekage.
"We hope to come back soon! It was nice talking to you! Let's do it again sometime!"
The black haired one yelled also, waving to his red haired friend.
"Farewell. That time was enjoyable. I do hope we can do it again soon."
It was the only response from him, but the blond grinned. It was more than last time, and that was an improvement.
The two shinobi started walking away from the Sand Village. Uzumaki Naruto and Rock Lee were those two shinobi. They had been told to go to see their friend, the Kazekage, Gaara. Ever since Sasuke had left, the 3 had become very good friends.
"It's been about a year since we last saw Gaara-kun, right Naruto-kun?"
Lee asked. It had been. The last time they had seen Gaara was around the time with the Akatsuki. Being able to go to Suna...was how to say it...a reward...But, it was also a request made by Gaara...
"What is it Baa-chan?!"
Naruto yelled loudly at the Hokage in front of him. He had been training beforehand, when Shizune had made her appearance to Naruto, requesting that he meet Tsunade in her office.
"Stop your complaining. This is important."
"Yeah, and what I was doing before this was important too!!"
"Just shut up and listen, okay? Look. The Kazekage wishes your presence."
"Eh? Gaara? Why does he want me?"
"I don't know. He just requested you come to Sunagakure."
The blond began to worry slightly. He knew of someone in his village that needed to be under constant watch, and he was probably the biggest worrier of it.
"Leave him to me. Just go."
She said with a neutral tone to her voice. Naruto hesitated before giving her a response.
"...Well...okay then! It might be good to catch up with Gaara! Haven't seen him in a while...but, I have one condition."
"..Can Lee accompany me?"
Naruto had been beginning to get somewhat closer to Lee. With Sasuke's departure, Naruto sometimes needed some sort of comfort. Yeah, he did have Sakura, but, it was not usual for her to want to hang out with Naruto on her own free will.
So, he had needed to find another guy friend, to fill up the hole that Sasuke had left...well, only sometimes, but anyway. And well, Lee had been the one to fill that. So, they became good friends in no time.
And it seemed after other incidents, Gaara and Lee were also starting to build a friendship too. And so, these 3 had become sort of like a trio - a group of people that each could turn to when times were down, and just needed a "guy-with-guy" chat.
"Are you really that scared going alone?"
"Of course not! It's just that, Lee's one of Gaara's friends too. Besides! Always good to have company."
"...Fine. I'll ask Shizune to look over it to see if it was pacifically mentioned for you to go alone, or if someone could accompany you."
The blond grinned, thinking that this was a good opportunity to get the three to catch up.
"Yeah. It has...hey remember that time with that Seimei guy?"
"...Oh yeah! I remember that! He was from the Takumi Village, right?"
The two shinobi then talked about their adventures on their way back to Konoha. The reward, was because both shinobi had completed very big tasks on their 'to do' lists.
Naruto...after 5 years of work, suffering, and a sword in his back, had finally gotten Sasuke back. He didn't know if Sasuke still wanted to avenge...those years with Orochimaru seriously stuffed him up...nah, what was he saying. This was Uchiha Sasuke, The Avenger he was talking about.
Nothing anyone could ever say would ever get him to find inner peace. The only thing that would give him that was the destruction of this brother.
"..Do you think that now maybe, you'll be able to become Hokage?"
It got him to stop and think slightly, but the cheery disposition that Naruto currently possessed prevented him from thinking for too long.
"Well, probably yeah. I mean, I've done a far bit, haven't I? And I've come pretty far from "Academy Naruto". And, I also trained under Ero-Sennin, yeah?"
"Yeah you're right...hey, you know? I've just realized. You all have trained under Sannin."
"You, Sakura-san, and Sasuke-kun. You were under Jiraiya-sama, Sakura under Hokage-sama, and Sasuke under Orochimaru."
"Yeah...but there's one thing I'm still wondering about."
"And what's that, Naruto-kun?"
Lee said, curiosity sticking to his tone.
"...Well...even though I think that the villagers have come to accept me a little more...sometimes I get the feeling they don't trust me completely..."
Lee's rather round eyes widened slightly at the statement, continuing to listen politely to Naruto. He knew what he was talking about - the demon fox inside of him. Lee had become trusted enough to learn this horrible secret of Naruto's.
"..I still feel that there's distance between me and them...I just still think that they hate me, you know?"
It was times like these Lee came in handy. Yes, Naruto would usually be the one with enough good health to spare, but sometimes, he did have those moments. They were rare, yes, but, they did happen from time to time.
"Hey you know what? I think they would be honored if you became Hokage."
"I know what you're thinking. They might not let you become Hokage because of the Kitsune no Kyuubi, but think about it. You've used that power for things that have helped this village in so many ways. You've stopped the Shukaku..."
"Hey! I only used some of that chakra."
Naruto said, somewhat flushing at the praise. He seemed to of been one of the few who believed Naruto was the reason Gaara receded with his attack. Some still doubted it was Naruto who stopped him, but, it wasn't a subject which was brought up regularly.
"Never the less, you used it to protect Konoha. It's just what the Hokage would have done. Even if you have that type of power, which could burn Konoha to the ground, you use it to help others. The people of the village. I believe you would make a great Hokage, Naruto-kun."
"Yes...besides. They made Gaara-kun Kazekage, didn't they?"
"..Yeah, you're right...thanks Lee. That really helped me."
"No problem. Anything for a friend."
He gave Naruto his not-so-common thumbs up and teeth shine, Naruto returning it with a grin of his own.
"Ahhh! Let's go get some ramen! My treat!"
Both shinobi had re-entered Konoha, and it was around 8 o' clock. They had left sometime early that morning, around 4:00 AM, and even though the trip would have usually taken a few days, both boys didn't rest at all, and at one point, even made a contest of getting back to Konoha first.
It's not like it bothered Gaara to get up at 4 o' clock. He was an early riser. Come to think of it, he still barely slept anyway...
It shocked Lee immensely, considering there was a time barely known for Naruto to give out free meals, especially meals of Ramen.
"...Well...you pay for half of your meal."
Naruto grinned. Even though Lee didn't know it, he had helped him in many ways. Given him a real confidence boost. And that made him happy...and this happiness was enough to treat him to ramen. He and his friend walked to Ichiraku.
"Hi Naruto. What will it be?"
"Miso Ramen. Just one please."
"Just one?...Alright then. What about you?"
"I'll have...Miso Ramen too."
"Alright then. Two Miso Ramen."
He went back to cook the meals.
"Why only one? I mean, it isn't like you..."
"Oh...it's just I don't feel all that hungry today. Don't know why but...that's just how I feel I guess."
Lee nodded, but with uncertainty. Naruto then grinned. That trademark grin. But, there was something which had been bothering Naruto for a while. He didn't know what. But, there was a strange feeling in the pit of his stomach...
"...Maybe it was that stuff Temari gave us! It had this odor which smelled suspicious..."
Teuchi came back with the ramen.
"Here you go boys!"
Naruto and Lee grabbed their chopsticks, and started eating. Naruto's pace today was slow, and flowing. Not like the usual 'Eat First, Ask Questions Later' type of thing. Lee had been studying his friend's eating style of the past few years, in hoping discover how one person could eat like he had. The way he was eating tonight, was very peculiar.
"Hey Lee! Remember when I first introduced you guys to this stuff?"
Lee nodded, smiling, looking away from Naruto, remembering clearly what had happened...
"Ramen? What is that?"
Sabaku no Gaara was walking on the left to Naruto, Lee on the right. The Sand Shinobi had been sent to Konoha with Temari and Kankurou, Shikarmaru requesting Temari. Temari was told not to go along, so Kankurou and Gaara offered to come.
"Ramen?! Don't tell me you don't know! Only the best food on the planet!! And, i'm going to treat you to some! You better remember this moment, because I've never treated ANYONE...at least, not on a free will anyways."
Naruto walked to the Ramen Bar, pushing back the cloth. He motioned for his two comrades to sit next to him on the stools.
"I hope you're feeling special. Not even Iruka-sensei has had the joy to be given free ramen."
A man came out, asking what the boys would like. Lee asked for a menu and Gaara did the same.
"This will be my first bowl of Ramen...I will enjoy the moment!!"
Lee's eyes burned with flame, as Gaara questioned as to why he was here in the first place. But he figured that these two people were the closet things to friends he had ever had, and he had learned that friends did these sorts of things.
"..I'll have plain Ramen."
Gaara said, not really finding anything else that sparked his interest.
"As always, I'll have Miso ramen! 5 bowls please!"
"Ooh! How about you and I have a ramen eating contest?? It will make the day more memorable!"
Lee shouted. This definitely sparked Naruto's interest, and agreed instantly.
"That sounds great! But, what does the winner get??"
"How about...well, the winner doesn't have to pay for ANY meals?"
Naruto had this won and he knew it.
"SIGN ME UP!! Teuchi, get those bowls a commin'!"
"..I'm not going to partake."
Gaara said quietly, watching his new found friends, eat bowl after bowl after bowl after bowl. He felt a sweatdrop form, questioning as to how one single person could eat so much ramen. He ate all of his ramen, finishing after Naruto had eaten 35 bowls, Lee on his 23rd.
"Ooooohhhh...oooOOOOOOHHHHH...how...how can you...eat this...much..."
Lee was leaning back and forth in his chair, clutching his stomach. He regretted ever agreeing to that. He didn't know that Naruto could eat like that. He felt bad in his stomach, and in his wallet.
"It's been my diet for all my life..."
"...No seriously. I live off the stuff."
Lee and Gaara's eyes widen, as Lee fell down from the stool. He ran to the nearest trash can, and dumped all of the ramen he had eaten. He had to remain in hospital for the next two days...
"It was a day I'll never forget."
"Yeah. Heh. I didn't know eating ramen could land you in the hospital."
Both of them finished their ramen. Naruto left the money on the counter, walking out of the bar. Lee looked up at the sky.
"Wow. It got cloudy pretty quickly. Probably going to start storming tonight."
Naruto looked up at the sky at his friend's comment.
"Hey yeah. You're right."
There was a little silence after that, until Naruto spoke again.
"...Hey Lee, what do you wanna do now?"
Naruto spoke casually. He wondered if it was anything that good...his days usually didn't go this well...there was always something there to stuff them up. But today...today seemed to go strangely well...there wasn't even any ninja's on the way back from Konoha...and that was a fairly long time.
Lee shrugged. He too, didn't know what to do.
"I say, you both go and re-decorate your wardrobes, kit."
Naruto growled. He didn't know how the Kyuubi did it, but over the past month, he had developed a communication path with the demon. Naruto didn't like the Kyuubi interrupting his thoughts. He hadn't told anyone about it though...of course, who would want to tell?
"Re-decorate your wardrobes nenenenenene..."
Naruto said to no-one in particular, in a mocking tone. Despite the orange colour, it seemed as though the Kyuubi did not like Naruto's choice of dressing. And if there was one thing that horrified him, it was that someone with talented Taijutsu skills decided to copy someone with such bad taste.
"How you walk around in that sanely kit, I don't know. At least you changed the style a bit."
Naruto had come to learn a little more about the Kyuubi. The Kyuubi, at first, yeah, he was a bit of a critic, and at times, yeah he did go over the edge...but, he seemed to be lightning up. It didn't exactly bother Naruto all that much, nor did he take much notice to it. But, maybe it was all those years cooped up within a cage that forces you to live with whatever situation you're in, eh?
"...Hey, do you want to go check out that new restaurant that just opened?"
Lee suggested, thinking of something they could do.
Naruto thought about it for a second, and agreed that this was a good thing to do. He nodded in response to Lee.
"Yeah sure. Let's go."
They made their way across town, over to where the restaurant was situated. It was located in a fairly nice spot, and you got a pretty good view of a park on one side of the building, and another good view of the Hokage Mountain on the other.
They entered the restaurant, a little jingle of the bell that hung near the door, signaling they entered. When they came in, the place was half filled with people. Both Naruto and Lee took a few steps forward, trying to find a nice table to sit at.
"Oi! Naruto! Lee! Over here!"
Both men turned their heads to the sound of Kiba's voice. At the table, alongside Kiba, was Chouji, Shino, Neji and Shikamaru. He waved back to them, as both of them sat down, and then started to chat to one another about things going on in their lives.
Shino, as it turned out, was engaged to someone from another bug clan, which was in the Rock Village. This was an up, since they weren't on good terms with Konoha, but this marriage would bring them further away from affiliation. He also told Shikamaru how his sister had a thing for him.
Kiba, as it appeared, had nothing that important going on with his life at the moment.
Neji had told everybody of how he had recently became ANBU, Lee bringing up the subject. Everyone congratulated him, though it was not surprising that he'd reached that level. He was bound to someday.
Lee was also entering a Taijutsu Tournament in the far outskirts of the Fire Country, which was being held in a small village named Matsumori. Lee also revealed his plan on getting Sakura to realize that he was the one meant for her.
Shikamaru had said of how his mind was more interested in 'that ghastly sand woman', but, like a usual response from Shikamaru, all he said was, "Like i'm gonna admit it. It's too much work".
Chouji announced of how he'd moved on from Ino (which wasn't the complete truth), and his newly found girlfriend. That really had taken everyone by surprise. It shocked everyone more, of when he showed a picture of her. She was gorgeous! And she looked around half his size too!
"Heh. At least if Chouji can get a girlfriend, I know there'll be one out there for me."
When eventually they boys were done with their conversation, they all dispersed, leaving each other for the night, heading on home. Eventually, Naruto made it back to his apartment, and instantly flopped on his bed. He'd been wiped out from all the running he'd done today, so sleep sounded good at the moment. Which is what he did.
"...I guess it's time for this, yes?"
Murmured the demon from his chambers as his host fell into sleep.
A.N - ...Yeah...I hope that it was better than the 'other' first chapter...review with what you thought about the re-written chapters with your review on chapter 17, okay? That is, if you review. You don't have to.